Friday, March 30, 2012

Practical Advice for Bun Ovens

My sister-in-law is pregnant with the spawn of my brother a precious gift of God.  They are due in early summer and will be first-time parents.  Remember those days?  You were filled with anticipation and had NO friggin' idea exactly how much you used to love sleeping?   

At one of my baby showers, my girlfriend Mama Mia gave me some "advice."  (She bought me a real gift too, lest I never speak to her again.)  I have since added/adjusted/amended the list and given it as part of a baby shower gift.  Just another way for me to grace the universe with my unsolicited opinion . . . 

No, really, Mommy . . . you should try to get some rest.

(which you may, of course, choose to ignore)
compiled by BoyMommy
CEO: BoyMommy Family Household

I.               My favorite brands:
* I am not receiving any compensation from the following brands, but if they would like to throw some money my way, I will gladly accept it.  
a.      Diapers & wipes – Pampers
b.     Car seats – Graco Snug Ride (infant) and then Britax Roundabout and Britax Marathon, in age-appropriate order
c.      Socks – Children’s Place
d.     Footie Pajamas – Children’s Place
e.      Sippy Cups – Platex  (Gerber sippies have stoppers that fall loose every time Baby drops the cup.  Platex stoppers stay in better.)
f.      Gas Drops – Store brand  (Mylicon is expensive, and let’s face it . . . they’re GAS drops; how different can they all be?)
g.      Pain Reliever – Motrin lasts longer than Tylenol
h.     Bible – What to Expect the First Year
i.       Bottles – Dr. Brown’s are the “new thing” but I’m not sure it makes much difference.  HOWERVER, if Baby is colicky you're willing to try anything to please for-the-love-o'-pete-make-it-stop.
j.      Diaper Crème – Desitin
* my computer thinks I'm all fancy and French and keeps adding that little thingy to the top of the e.  Still doesn't change the fact that it goes on Baby's poop chute.
k.      Sleep Bras (if you nurse) – Motherhood
l.       Nursing camisoles - Target
m.    Maternity clothes – Motherhood, Gap Maternity (online), Kohls, Target
II.            Things I wish I’d known:
a.      Nipple confusion is bullsh*t.  I wouldn’t let the nurses give Large a pacifier because I was worried about nipple confusion.  (Because I was an expert . . . I mean I HAD been a mother for a few hours now . . . )  Trust me – babies know where their next meal’s comin’ from.
b.     Unless you know you’re going to be transferring Baby from one car to the other a lot, don’t bother with an extra base.  We’ve used a car seat in Daddy’s car maybe 5 times total. 
c.      Register for BIG items, even if you’re not going to use them right away.  It’s easy to store things like the high chair/swing/exersaucer in their original boxes until you need them, and then you won’t have to run out and buy them yourselves later.  These make great gifts for people (like co-workers) who want to pool their money for one big gift.  Don’t register for clothes – you’ll get a ton of those anyway, especially if you already know what you’re having.
d.     Shave your legs, get your toes done, get your eyebrows waxed, and get your hair cut about a week before Baby’s arrival.  It may not happen again for a loooooong time.  And buy some good ponytail holders.  Personal hygiene is the first to go.
e.      Invest in a good quality glider.  Baby doesn’t care if his/her dresser matches the crib, etc, but YOU will appreciate having a comfy place to sit in in the wee hours of the morning.  You don’t want a hard rocking chair that makes your butt stiff.
f.      Register online at,,,, etc, even if you plan to nurse.  They’ll send you free coupons, and even if you don’t use the formula coupons, you can trade them with a girlfriend for something you will use, like diapers.
g.      Ask your pediatrician for samples of formula and pain reliever.
III.          If you plan to Nurse:
a.      Don’t go cheap on the nursing bras.  Target has In Due Time brand nursing camisoles that look like little tanktops.  They run a little small, so you might want to try on first.  (I wore a 2x – I know I’m not a LITTLE girl, but come on!)  Motherhood has good bras too, but don’t forget – their return policy is not very forgiving.  I love their sleep bras – not very supportive, but enough to keep you from leaking.
b.     Take Lansinoh gel with you to the hospital and apply it EVERY time you nurse.  Breastfeeding hurts.  The La Leche Nazis will not tell you this because they want you to keep trying.  Consult with the Lactation Consultant at the hospital and get used to the fact that not only has your doctor been elbow-deep into your hoo-ha, now a very grandmotherly lady that you don’t know will be feeling you up. 
c.      The Lactation Consultant should also have these little gel pads that fit right over your nippy to help soothe the soreness.  They’re expensive, but SO worth it.  You can put them in the fridge and cool them before you apply.  I know it sounds weird right now, but please take my word for it.  You can also buy them at the store (Gerber, I think) but they aren’t as good as the ones you can get from the Lactation Consultant.
d.     If you buy a breast pump, get a good one.  I have a Medela and I love it.  I actually used it quite a bit.  I registered for it so I wouldn’t have to shell out all that money myself.  It is LOUD.  A 757 could pass overhead but you wouldn't hear it over the sound of the Human Milker.
e.      No one will tell you this: when you do the s-e-x, you might leak from your boobs.  It is very strange and can really ruin a moment.  (Also, invest in some K-Y because nursing makes you extra dry.) 
f.      Lansinoh also makes disposable nursing pads to keep any leaking from showing through during the day.  I tried to save money by using cloth ones that I could reuse, but they’re a lot thicker and they’re pretty obvious.  I wore nursing pads for about 6 months with all 3 boys.
IV.            Other odds and ends:
a.      Keep all blankets you get as gifts.  I thought I had way too many, but if you have a puker, like my own little Yacky McVomit (AKA Medium) then you’ll need a lot of clean blankets.
b.     Miracle Blanket (online) has great swaddling blankets which I think work WONDERS in the first few weeks.  I got one as a gift for Medium and I wish I’d had one with Large. 
c.      Every parent will tell you something different, but personally, we’re firm believers in the Ferber Method at about 3.5-4 months old.  I think it’s REALLY important for your own sanity that you teach your baby to sleep on his/her own.  I also know it’s REALLY hard to listen to your baby cry for you.  But it’s a few nights of pure hell (maybe a week?) that pays off in the long run.
d.      Gymboree is very expensive and I have been very happy with the cheap classes I have taken through the park authority.
e.      Malls, Libraries, and Bookstores have a lot of free kid programs.  Check them out online.
f.      A pacifier tether will help keep Baby’s binky close at hand.  So when you’re driving down the highway at 60 miles an hour, you can reach behind you and easily find the binky because Baby can only spit it out so far.
g.     I LOVED my Baby Bjorn.  Expensive, but totally worth it.
h.       No one needs a wipes warmer.  (Although a friend told me their wipes would freeze in the winter, and they used one, so perhaps . . . PERHAPS . . . I'm not an expert.)
i.      Join a mom’s group.  You can look online – just google "mom’s club" – and you should be able to track one down in your area.  Motherhood is very isolating, especially at first.  It’s vital that you remember you are not alone.
j.      Be honest with your doctor.  Having baby blues is normal, but there’s NO reason for you to suffer unnecessarily. 
k.       MOST IMPORTANT: Sleep while Baby sleeps!  You will not get a significant chunk of sleep for MONTHS, (maybe years,) so you have to get it while you can.  The dishes and vacuuming will be there later.  Your time is better spent with Baby and you’ll be a better mommy if you are better rested.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Birds, 2012 Edition

Um, that's disgusting, Al.
I’m living in my own personal Alfred Hitchcock film.  

It’s The Birds, 2012 edition: The Bird Keeps Sh*tting on my Car.

Below is a photo of the Swagga Wagon ONE DAY after I had it washed.

Does the offending bird not realize how much pride I got in my ride?

I hate birds.  Well . . . hate is a strong word.  Which is WHY I used it to describe how I feel about the avian species.  They’re fine to look at when they’re up in the sky, and I periodically enjoy listening to their tweet-tweeting as the harbingers of spring.

But that’s where I draw the line.

I will never have one in my home.  They stink, they squawk, and they sh*t all over the newspaper and then expect you to clean up after them.  No thank you.  (I feel similarly about fish, and you can read about how I explained my feelings to Medium here.)

About a week ago, I was out on the back deck with Small, who was playing in his sand box.  I kept hearing a thumping noise and realized that a bird was flying into the window of my neighbor’s back door.  Repeatedly.  Because the first time didn’t work, so let’s try it again.  And again!  Maybe THIS time!  THIS time?

Whatevs, I thought.  Just another character flaw to add to my list of reasons I hate birds.

But then he moved over to my window.  The next day, as I was sitting in my family room watching a week-old Desperate Housewives reading the Wall Street Journal during nap time, I was startled by a flying object that pounded into my window.  Repeatedly.  Because the first time didn’t work, so let’s try it again. . . . . you get the picture.

Now he has moved on to shinier pastures.  He has discovered my motor vehicle.  He keeps pooping all over my car.  I heard scratching the other day while the boys were playing in the driveway, and found my little friend perched on top of my side mirror – which was apparently the perfect angle for which to empty the contents of his little bird stomach with such force that it became lodged in the crevices of my mirror.  He is also partial to loitering at the base of the windshield so that when I use the wipers, I am presented with a rainbow of bird sh*t. 


To top it off, he seems to be having some gastro-intestinal issues.  Perhaps it's the bird flu.  He delights in evacuating his bowels and then using his scratchy little claws to smear it all over the driver's side.  It's like he knows that's the side on which I enter the vehicle.  I'm telling you . . . for a creature with a brain the size of a grain of rice, he's proficient at playing mind games with me.

I told Hubby I am going to set up camp and shoot it with a water pistol, except all I keep thinking about is that line from To Kill a Mockingbird.  Atticus tells Scout, “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em.  But remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”  Miss Maudie later explains, “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

Well guess what, Atticus.  This bird doesn’t do one thing but sh*t all over my car and then get all scarce and stealth-like when it’s time to get yer wallet out at the car wash.

So if you need me, I’ll be sitting in a lawn chair next to my Swagga Wagon with a fully loaded water pistol.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Spoils of my Vacuuming

A brief inventory of the stuff I just found under the sofa cushions while I was vacuuming:
  • Enough goldfish/pretzels/cheerios/dried-up raisins/Golden Grahams/popcorn remnants/Cookie Crisps to feed a third-world country (though not with nutritious foods, mind you.)
  • 2 hair ties, which would have been helpful last week when I was . . . um . . . emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet.
  • 1 barrette
  • 1 knitting needle, size 8
  • 5 marbles . . .  totally safe when you live with a toddler.
  • 1 empty box of raisins
  • 2 pencils
  • 1 crayon, yellow
  • 1 miniature bat that belongs to a Build-a-Bear Yankee Bear.  I’m guessing he’s not raking in the RBIs this season since his bat has been located beneath the cushions of my couch.
  • 1 Word Wall word
  • 2 legos
  • 1 sock, formerly black, but now covered in dog fur and dust
  • 1 coupon to Babies R Us
  • 1 juice box straw
  • 1 Thomas the Tank Engine, 60th Anniversary edition
  • 1 serving spoon
  • 1 chip clip, green
  • 1 pen and 1 pen top, found separately
  • 1 Target receipt
  • 2 dryer sheets
  • 1 yogurt tube, empty (thankfully)
  • 1 Special K bar wrapper
  • enough sand to make our property beach-front and/or to refill the sand box

The sound of the vacuum cleaner only muffled the sound of Small, who was safely standing 2 rooms away, repeating “is scawy” approximately 100 times (though I ball-park, admittedly,) and the dog, who barked as though I were entertaining a masked gunman for morning tea.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back From Being MIA

I’m back!

. . . now available at A Pea in the Pod
I’m sure you’ve been sitting by your computer, waiting patiently for me to post a blog entry, and I apologize for being MIA for so long.  (Missing in Action, not the female rapper with the poor taste in maternity clothing.)  It has been a rough couple weeks.   

Thing that prevented me from blogging #1: I had 3 family birthdays for which to prepare.  
  • Medium had a Muppet-themed party at a local children’s hot spot, but it proved difficult to find Muppet paraphernalia.  Since Pinterest is my new crack, I had all kinds of ideas swirling around in my brain.  Pinterest, to me, is like that mysterious magnetic force on Lost.  It sucks me in; I must go to it.   I spent hours finding, pasting, and cutting tiny circles of Muppets characters and then gluing them onto the bottoms of Hershey Kisses.  Because 7-year-old boys appreciate stuff like that.
But look how cute they are!
  • Then we had a surprise 70th birthday party for my dad.  Again with the Hershey Kisses.  Except THIS time I had the sense to call in reinforcements.  After a desperate late-night email plea, four of my girlfriends came over and joined me in the finding/pasting/cutting/gluing madness, AND helped me assemble gift boxes, AND helped me prepare centerpieces.  Because 70-year-old men appreciate stuff like that.
  • Then we had Small’s 2nd birthday.  Poor kid.  I bought 12 cupcakes at Target, ordered pizza, and called it a day. 

Thing that prevented me from blogging #2:  Illness.
Soon after Medium’s birthday party at the local cesspool of germs and infectious diseases children’s jumpy place, the BoyMommy family was struck by the stomach bug.  You know the one.  The one where there’s stuff shooting out of your body from every available orifice.  That one.  

It started with Medium, but it was relatively minor so I honestly thought he was just a little dehydrated.  Nevertheless, I kept him home from school the next day.  But then I got it.  You KNOW your husband loves you when he says through the door, “are you okay, babe?  Are you getting sick?” and is answered with “I.  Need.  A Hair Tie.”  It’s the middle-aged equivalent of holding your hair back for you after a night of binge drinking.  Hubby slept on the couch for two nights because Large was soon struck and he and I were holed up in my bedroom.  Once we recovered, I had the pleasure of washing and sanitizing all the sheets and towels that had seen us through our illness.

Thing that prevented me from blogging #3:  Hubby is on a Guys’ Weekend.  For SEVEN days.  

He certainly deserves a break.  He works hard, he works long hours, he commutes an hour each way, and he does a lot of extracurricular stuff.  He’s an elder at our church, he teachers Sunday school, he is Vice President of the HOA and a member of the Finance Committee, and he coaches two baseball teams.  I admire his commitment to life outside of work.

But . . .

(You knew there’d be a BUT, right?)

Guess who has to hold down the fort while he’s gone, either at work or at play?  Guess who does all the behind-the-scenes stuff that allows Hubby the time and availability to be all volunteery?

When I get angry at him, I tell him it’s The Hubby Show, and the boys and I are merely supporting cast members.  That’s honestly how I feel sometimes, so I’m going to vent a little.

It’s hard not to be a little resentful when Hubby picks up and leaves for seven days for a fun trip – not because I don’t think he deserves it, because he absolutely does, but because I know I could never just go somewhere for seven days.  Even while I was sick and pukey and headachy and had body aches, I still had children to care for and Hubby still had to go to work.  (This is the man who went to work during the afternoon Medium was born.  Medium was born at 9:32 am.  Circumstances were such that Hubby was back in the office around 2.  Poor planning to deliver a child during “Busy Season!”)

First there’s the Mommy-Guilt.  I have no idea why I feel like I have to be the martyr.  Since when do I hold myself to such a high standard?  Seriously, have you seen the way I dress/cook/clean? 

A little back story: I am going away this weekend with a girlfriend.  We originally planned our trip for the 1st weekend in January, but Hubby suggested we try a different date because we had so much going on that weekend.  So we chose another weekend, and then some family stuff came up and I again had to reschedule.  Now, here it is, the middle of March, and it looks like we’re finally going to be able to have our girls’ weekend, and I feel guilty for going 2 nights instead of just the one. 

Second, I have to do all the scheduling, no matter who leaves.  Since Hubby has been gone, I have done all the picking up/dropping off for Scouts, baseball practice, etc.  No problem – it’s all part of the job.  But in order for me to enjoy a r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g weekend, first I need to arrange for sitters and/or transportation for the kids for Friday and Saturday on Hubby's behalf. 

Third, I will think about my children the entire time I’m gone.  I’m not saying I won’t enjoy myself, but I’ll wonder what they’re doing, what they’re having for dinner, how practice went, is Daddy letting them stay up too late, and are they watching inappropriate tv programming?

Yes, intellectually I think I deserve a little time off too.  So why do I feel so guilty about needing a break every once in a while?