Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Mom's Reflection

Dear D,

      You are the absolute light of my life, sweetie. Yesterday was your very first birthday and I was so proud and happy to watch you cheerfully playing with your new toys, interacting and flirting with everyone, enjoying every second being the center of attention. It was just an amazingly joyful experience to watch you.

       During these past 12 months I have watched you change so much and develop this incredible little personality that I learn more about with each passing day. You're so full of unbridled enthusiasm and every time you learn some new skill - crawling, walking, pointing - I find myself feeling so excited for you because it gives you a new way to explore this world you never seem to tire of.

      I won't tell you it was always easy. Colic, sleeplessness (yours and mine), teething, sickness - we've been through it all, buddy. While I still don't always have as much as I need, you have taught me the virtue of patience in ways that no one else ever could. You have reminded me of what it is like to be a child. You have made it so that everything old is new again. There have been many nights where I actually want you to stay awake past your bedtime because I will miss you if you go to sleep. (Luckily for everyone, common sense always prevails over that temptation.)

    My favorite moments of every day this past year, the one I will never forget even though no photos or videos exist of it, are those that happen when I bring you into bed with me in the mornings to cuddle, nurse and (hopefully) fall back asleep for a little while longer. So many of those times I have stared at your sleeping face in the crook of my arm, taken a mental snapshot, and said to myself "I have never loved anyone or anything more in my life than this little creature right here."

    My darling, sweet, baby boy, this year with you has been a gift. I love watching you turn into a little boy, and I will love watching you grow into a man. I promise you I will continue to do my best every day to make sure that your life is full of love, affection, and support as you grow up and make sure you have the tools you need to do well in this crazy, unforgiving, and complicated world.

    I love you more than words, D. Happy Birthday.


Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Still Dumbstruck

I am still absolutely dumbstruck by the events of 6/1. For those of you who haven't heard on the news, an EF03 tornado ripped through western MA in a 39 mile path of sheer destruction. I have family and friends in every single affected town and city, and the tornado missed them all by as little as a half mile and my house by about 8 miles. By sheer dumb fucking luck, we were all either just to the south or north of the tornado's path.

My former stomping grounds from my teenage years are all but totally leveled. People have lost everything. Again, by dumb fucking luck, only 4 people were killed. One of them, a mother, was killed when she acted as human shield over her 15 year-old daughter as their house came down on top of them. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.

I've seen many people on the news and on Facebook talking about how they prayed for God to spare them and their homes, and how it was a "miracle" they came through unscathed. I am amazed at the cognitive dissonance that belief requires. It has taken all of my self-control not to ask - do you somehow think you prayed harder or had more faith than the people who lost everything? Do you think you deserved to be spared and those affected didn't? How can you possibly believe in and justify the actions of a god who would do something like that?

Don't get me wrong - I'm sure that if my house had been in the path and I was forced to take cover in the basement, shielding my baby from flying debris, glass, and mother nature's blind-ass fury, you'd probably catch me, an Atheist, praying my ass off too. I think that's just human nature in the face of impending doom - not necessarily praying to a god, but to anything, everything that might be listening - even the tornado itself - "Please Mr. Tornado, please spare my baby, I am BEGGING you PLEASE!" - throwing your will and desperation out there to the universe and hoping it sticks somehow.

But then if you ARE spared, if you are one of the lucky ones, how can you possibly sit there and say, out loud no less, that "God" saw fit to save YOU because he heard your prayers somehow over the prayers of thousands of others praying just as feverishly and desperately as you?

I am dumbstruck by all of it. The destruction, the violence of it, the terror I went through calling my family members and saying "There's a tornado heading straight for your house!!!!!" while I'm watching the shit happen on the news. Being in a panic the entire rest of the evening with every rumble of thunder, every flash of lightning, a yellow-orange foreboding sky above - the whole time saying to myself "But this shit doesn't happen HERE! Not HERE!!!"

And I've been having nightmares about it ever since. As someone who truly loved thunderstorms my entire life, I don't think I will ever see them the same way again. Ever.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nature? I Forfeit.

Fucking tornadoes now? Really? REALLY?????

I bought formula at this grocery store at 1pm yesterday. I bought some booze at this liquor store around 1:30pm. This photo was taken around 5pm:

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nature 2. JLK 0.

My loyal readers might remember the last time I tried to take on nature at our new house. It didn't go so well.

And it's only getting worse. In fact, I am looking forward to winter and it's only just Memorial Day. And I used to LOVE summer.

It got pretty hot around these parts pretty quickly. I was happy for the nice weather, but we don't (yet) have air conditioning in our house so the nights have been steaming hot on the 2nd floor. We've been forced to open the windows at night, knowing that the shitty screens were going to let some bugs in. And so for the last week or so, my house has been damn-near infested with every little creepy crawly you can imagine.

Then, on friday, we found ourselves having a pretty serious carpenter ant problem, especially in the living room. But even then I was okay, because I can kill ants, I'm not scared of them, and my husband all but eradicated the problem when he got home from work that same day.

Today we had all new windows installed in the house. We've been counting down the days for a month, so we were pretty excited. Every single window in the house is open right now and I am enjoying the bugless fresh air. Except for two nagging things:

1. One of the window guys felt the need to tell me that on one of the 2nd floor storm windows there was a big ass spider with fangs that jumped off the house before he could kill it, and...

2. The thing about new windows is, in order for them to install them they have to take the old ones out. Which means that for at least a few minutes, there were gaping holes in the house. So for most of the afternoon I have been killing MORE bugs and spiders and only keeping myself from losing my shit by telling myself that this is the end, these are the last bugs that are getting in here.

But the absolute KICKER today was when I headed out through the garage to go see the progress of the install. I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye and noticed a 6 FOOT LONG SNAKE dangling from the side wall of the fucking garage, trying to slither its way on top of the now-open garage door. I freaked the FREAK out.

A got the thing down and out of the garage, probably injured it in the process, and laughed at me for being such a chicken shit when we used to have a pet snake. But a snake in a cage that you raised from the time it was a baby and a wild snake from the woods that you don't know from Adam are two different things.

Either way I thought it was over.

Late this afternoon I noticed the garage door was still open. "Gee honey, I wonder how the snake got IN the garage in the first place????" I decided that since it had been open for so long, I should probably go out and check to make sure the snake hadn't returned. I didn't make it 3 feet in before I noticed a giant-ass snake skin hanging from the crawlspace above the interior entry door. I'm pretty sure it wasn't there last night. I'm also pretty sure it wasn't there this morning. Hubby isn't home to check it out.

I am now at the point where every time I go outside, I feel like Owen Wilson in Behind Enemy Lines - under constant fucking attack from creatures all around me. Bugs fly into my head, mosquitoes bite me, bees screw with me, spiders somehow decide that my yard isn't big enough and they need to come investigate ME. I've gone from telling my husband not to use pesticides in our yard at all, to saying "Spray that shit until it glows in the dark for all I care, just get rid of the fuckers!" Irresponsible and selfish? Yeah, probably. But I'm developing phobias left and right here.

So much for my gardening and landscaping plans. I have an awesome Yankee Doodle lilac to plant but I can't bring myself to go outside long enough to dig a hole.

This summer is going to suck. :(

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's Always Something

I've been away for a bit longer than normal, barely having time to read and comment on your pages. My Grandpa's death was like a 12 day event, with family flying in and staying with us and subsequent visiting with others who stayed elsewhere. I've also been working on planning D's first birthday party in June, which has turned into a minor clusterfuck because apparently everyone either waits until the last minute to rsvp or doesn't rsvp at all, which REALLY pisses me off.

But beyond all that, I'm feeling pretty beaten down in general. The absolute deadline for the bathroom renovation is the baby's party, which is less than a month away. That means that every single day, all day, I am by myself with D while A is at work. And when A gets home, we eat dinner, and then he goes to work on the bathroom until bedtime. So I am by myself with D all evening as well. For the past few weeks he seems to think that whining and temper tantrums over stupid shit are just the Awesomest way to spend time with Mama.

The first person among my friends to have a baby now has 2 of them, and the oldest is 5. A couple of years ago I asked her, "So how's motherhood?" At the time she still only had one.

She said, "It's pretty good. Once you realize and accept the fact that your kid is an asshole, it gets much easier. Because up until that point you constantly ask yourself what you're doing wrong and how can you fix it and it makes you crazy. But kids are assholes, and more often than not it has nothing to do with you."

I thought it was a pretty amusing thing to say and of course, back then, I didn't understand. Now, I do.

"Hi, my name is JLK, and my son is an asshole." *sigh*

I've realized it, but I haven't yet accepted it. Even just typing that sentence makes me cringe and itch to delete it and write something nicer. But that would be sugarcoating and I hate sugarcoating.

Everything right now feels like a struggle. Bedtime is a struggle. Diaper changing is a battle of wills. Changing his goddamn clothes is an exercise in futility. Keeping the child from eating the cat food, dumping their water bowl, or trying to explore the litter box makes me feel like Sisyphus, only instead of pushing a boulder up a mountain, I'm dragging a toddler across a tile floor.

It has only been getting harder.

He took his first steps the day before he turned 11 months, and hasn't shown any interest in walking since. This child is 24lbs and has weighed over 20lbs since he was 5-6 months old. I am so freaking tired of carrying him all the time that I could scream. He doesn't hang onto me to help with the weight - instead he leans over, flops around, and makes it as difficult as humanly possible. My upper body looks like Vin Diesel's right now.

There is so much going on, so many things I need to do, and I am losing my ever-loving mind over here.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Here's The Thing...

When you have kids, your shit just doesn't matter. And that can be a hard thing to take.

For example, if today you find out (through EMAIL!) that your grandfather died last night from a heart attack, your baby does not know or understand that your day has gone to shit.

So you must suck it up, ignore your sadness, bite back your anger about the email part, make the phone calls you were asked to make, nurse your son, soothe him when he cries, deal with his temper tantrums.

And none of it can be made about you. None of it. Because it's not ABOUT you anymore, ever, until your child is grown up and finally sees you as a another adult. And by that time, I'm guessing, most of us have learned to cope with our shit in silence and behind closed doors.

Cheers, Grandpa. I love you and I will miss you. I thank you for teaching me about gardens, orchids, birds, and woodland animals. I thank you for watching my fashion shows and looking at my home designs. I thank you for your patience and loving acceptance. As an American, I thank you for your service and sacrifice in the Navy during WWII. I'm sorry I didn't visit more. I'm sorry I didn't listen more. I'm sorry that I just never seemed to have time. I hope that you forgive me. May you rest in peace.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

If Only

There needs to be a place where, on those days, you can just drop your child (or children) off and know that he or she is in very safe, capable hands until whenever you decide to return.

Image taken from Hollands Jewelers Blog

You know what I'm talking about - a place you can put them when you're seriously on the verge of losing your shit. Where you don't have to call first. You just show up with your frazzled self, hand off the little brat, and come back to pick them up whenever you're feeling better.

I started thinking up some names for such a place:

"Mental Health Day"care

The Sanity Asylum

The Sanity Sandbox

Take a Penny, Leave a Suzie

The Kiddie Kennel

Minor Retreat

The Rest Stop

Whine to Wine

Yes, JLK is being kind of an asshole right now. It's been one of those days and I won't lie, I was fantasizing about what it would be like to have the ability to drop D off somewhere and be like "I'll be back in a few days" and head off to the shore or something for some peace and fucking quiet.

An accurate representation of what my day would have looked like. If I had earplugs.

Please don't get me wrong. I love my son dearly. But today was a nonstop whine- and shriek-fest and I thought my head was going to explode when it was barely 2pm. I kept coming back to the same thought: "When your baby has colic, you tell yourself 'He's just a baby, it's not his fault, it's his only way of communicating.' But at what point can you comfortably acknowledge that he's just a brat sometimes? 11 months? 2 years?"

When does it become okay (in your own head or otherwise) to be like "Okay, kid. Now you're just being a douchebag"?

And I was also thinking what a better place this world would be if moms could go to a neighbor (or anyone else they know and trust, for that matter) and say "I'm about to lose my shit. Can you please take this child before I sell him in exchange for a bus ticket to Hoboken?" and feel okay about it. Feel like a better parent for recognizing her limits and taking a break when needed. Feel like it's okay to take a moment (or 10) for yourself every once in awhile.

As I put D down to bed tonight, my final thought was this:

"Fuck, would it be nice to paint my toenails in the middle of the day again."

Ooooh. If only........

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nature 1. JLK 0.

I grew up in a medium-sized city. As an adult, I lived in a large town/suburb where my husband and I had a condo with a very small yard. Back in November, we moved to a town that can only be described as rural. Although it is really only separated by 9 miles and a large river from where we used to live, it is an entirely different setting.

We have an acre of land with woods and a small mountain behind our property. We have deer, owls, all sorts of cool animals living around here. I have seen more species of birds on my bird feeders in the past 2 weeks than I have seen in my entire life. Since spring began, I've been all "Yay! Nature! I'm going to start GARDENING and shit!"The original owners of our house spent a lot of money on landscaping at one point, but it's been neglected for awhile and the yard is kind of a mess.

The bird feeder next to my patio area.

Despite the fact that I have never really been a person who gardens or does any kind of dirty outdoor work, I felt myself getting really into the idea of doing stuff outside. I bought garden tools, decided to start a compost heap.......I was feeling very GREEN.

Yesterday, as I headed out to the side property line to start my compost heap, bag of cantaloupe rind, strawberry tops, and various other refuse in hand, I thought to myself "You know, I haven't really had an issue with any bugs turning me off to being outside yet. Other than the annoying gnats, I'm doing okay!"


That afternoon, I went to move a small pile of debris from the concrete pad that is going to become my little hideaway/patio area, and I encountered a wolf spider. A big one. I was going to put a picture here, but they freaked me out too much and couldn't do it. Feel free to google an image and see for yourself. I'll wait.


Fucking GROSS, right????

I was like "Holy shit! I am so DONE right now. Won't do that again!" And I promptly moved to a different area of the yard and left my pile of shit right where it was.

This morning I noticed that the top of my right ass cheek/hip felt really bruised and painful. "WTF?" I thought. So I pulled aside my pajama pants and saw a variation of this:

No, that's not my ass. That's someone else's pic. I was too busy screaming to take a photo.

I freaked the freak out, called my husband, and made him come home from work and remove it. 20 minutes and much whining later, he had removed the deer tick's body and all the legs. 

But the fucking head is still in there. In my ass cheek. In my FREAKING ASS CHEEK!

I called my doctor and she said to just let it work its way out, but if it was really bothering me I could come in and she would excavate it. I decided to stop being a wuss for now and see how much it's bugging me by Monday. 

Seriously, though. WTF.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Latest Recipes We've Tried

I know, I know. I've been severely slacking in the blog department period, let alone my posting reviews of the new dishes we've tried. In my defense, spring has sprung around here and most of my free time has been taken up with newbie gardening/landscaping and, oddly enough, birdwatching. But that's another post.

I've decided that instead of posting my entire menu every week, I'm only going to post the recipes that we had never tried before (or at least that I have not already reviewed here). I figure what's the sense in repeating information that can be found in the related posts and archives.

So here are the new recipes and reviews for the past 2 weeks:

Miso-Marinated Salmon w/ Lime-Ginger Glaze. The recipe was for rainbow trout. Which is what I intended to make after I looked at the weekly circular for my grocery store and saw that it was on sale. That was when I looked up this recipe, specifically for rainbow trout, which I had never made before. But I get to the store and the seafood manager tells me that no one actually has it and no one seems to know why it was in the circular. WTF. So I tell her what my recipe is and ask her what I can use instead. She suggests salmon, as no other fish she thinks is going to hold its own in such a strongly-flavored marinade and glaze. Long story short, I went through this whole clusterfuck for a dish that wasn't even that good. If I ever see rainbow trout in a fish market though, I will try it again. But I happen to like my salmon to taste like salmon, and the miso plus the glaze was just too much I think.

Pizza Supreme. From a Cooking Light special section on making take-out healthier and at home. I just used a whole wheat Boboli crust and regular marinara (I think it was Classico) but damn was it GOOD. For so little seasoning it had sooo much flavor. But the best part was that it wasn't greasy at all but definitely tasted like a pizza house pizza. A bit of prep work for the vegetables, but so worth it.

Grilled Steak w/ Fresh Mango Salsa. Flat-iron steak was on sale at the supermarket so I figured it was as good a time as any to try this recipe I had been sitting on for a year or so. Holy shit. Flat-iron is my new favorite cut. The seasoning in this recipe was also fantastic, had great flavor, and not an ounce of meat went to waste. The salsa was also excellent.

Herbed Greek Chicken Salad. This was very good and very light. It had a similar flavor to the chicken souvlaki that I love so much. This will definitely be a staple in our house once the summer is here. I served it with toasted pita wedges seasoned with salt & pepper.

Smoked Mozzarella, Spinach, and Pepper Omelet Sandwiches. My husband actually did the cooking and prep for this one, as he is obsessed with breakfast foods - especially when eaten for dinner. The omelets themselves I felt were kind of "eh" - A loved them though. So much that he invited some friends over for brunch the following Sunday and made them again. When he made them the second time I had him put the mozzarella IN my omelet instead of just on the muffin, which of course means more cheese and more calories, but I felt it was worth it. Served with the recommended fresh fruit salad (honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, and blueberries for us) drizzled with French vanilla yogurt - HOLY YUMMY.

Coconut Curried Pork, Snow Pea, & Mango Stir-fry. Not to ruin your appetite, but this is the infamous dish of my first Learned From Experience post. This was my first venture into curried pork as well as my first time making a stir-fry with pork. The pork itself was great, the recipe was just alright and I decided it was not worth keeping in my recipe binder. Using coconut milk is a pain in the ass unless a recipe calls for the entire can, because then you have all this leftover milk and need to find another way to use it. Luckily, I figured that part out. But still. Here's how my plate looked:

Chicken & Couscous Salad. This is one of my all-time favorite CL recipes and one of the first we ever tried. It is so fresh and light-tasting, even if I cheat and use canned chicken from Costco! I've subbed in red peppers instead of the radishes and that is also fantastic. It is also amazing as leftovers the next day (or two) cold or warmed up. I served this one with toasted pita wedges as well.

Baked Pasta w/ Spinach, Lemon & Cheese. After reading the online reviews for this one, I decided to cut the amount of onion in half when I made it. I thought the recipe came out perfectly fine and pretty tasty, but it's not a keeper for me because I already have a mac & cheese recipe that I love more and the nutrition for both is about the same.

Broiled Tenderloin Steaks w/ Ginger-Hoisin Glaze. I was sooooo disappointed with this one, but I think it was more because the cuts of filet mignon I purchased just weren't very high quality, and I couldn't find just regular tenderloin steaks at this particular supermarket. So I think my expectations were set pretty high and they just didn't deliver. I served with Asian-style veggies and rice.

Stir-Fried Chicken Salad. This one was pretty good, much better than I expected. It's the only recipe I have of its kind so far, so I'm going to hang onto it for those summer nights when I feel like eating something Asian-inspired.

Fettuccine w/ Olive Oil, Garlic, & Red Pepper. OMG. So good. I used fresh fettuccine so I had to watch my timing very carefully. I also skipped the drizzling of oil at the end because I thought it would make the pasta too greasy. But it was very good and very indulgent-feeling.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad Pitas. Another one I had been sitting on for awhile. Pretty damn good, though I omitted the olives from mine because I hate them with a bitter passion. The baby loved his, my husband thought they were pretty good and that's saying something because he doesn't "do" chicken salad. His only suggestion was to chop up the tomatoes into the salad instead of sticking them in the pita, but he doesn't really like tomatoes all that much so his opinion doesn't count for shit.

Spaghetti Bolognese. First, a disclaimer - I have never made a bolognese before. So my view might be a bit challenged. We all LOVED the flavor of this dish. I thought the thing was great A-Z. Hubby, however, has an issue when there isn't enough sauce, and this just isn't a saucy dish. When I reheated the leftovers for us for lunch the next day though, I added a few tablespoons of spaghetti sauce to the meat mixture and served over mini farfalle and he thought it was much better that way. So if your family is picky about having a lot of sauce on their pasta, I recommend adding tomato sauce while cooking.

And holy cow, 45 minutes later I am finally done writing this post. And now you see why I've been slacking!!!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Learned From Experience....

If you start feeding your baby the same meals you serve the adults at your dinner table and he/she enjoys them, you will feel quite a sense of pride and accomplishment that your cooking skills apparently pass muster among the toothless set.

But then just like the warning about feeding your pets table scraps, whenever you sit down to try and enjoy a meal or a snack for yourself, your child will whine and beg like a dog until you give him/her some.

Dammit, Rover!


NO KITTY! This is MY pot pie!!!!!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pride & Purpose

There's a stirring in my soul these days. It's a reminder of how, once upon a time, I wanted to do something important. I wanted to make a difference in the world somehow, some way. I wanted there to be meaning behind what I do every day. I wanted to set and attain goals.

My son, of course, is the most important thing in my life and raising him is making a difference in the world and gives plenty of meaning behind what I do every day. And while I hope that someday he looks back and is proud of how his Mama loved and raised him, I also want him to be proud of who I am as a person and the things I accomplished in this world.

Initially I thought I would be earning a PhD in Social Psychology. Researching gender issues and actively working toward a society in which calling someone a "girl/boy/man/woman" was merely a descriptor and no longer carried with it all of the biases and beliefs we have about what those labels mean - how a person should act, dress, speak, etc. But as with many things in this world, I discovered that the sheer amount of bullshit I would have to wade through in order to get to the point of being a difference-maker was just too much. I feel the same way about politics right now - I know how I would like things to be, but there's just too much opposition out there to actually be able to make a difference.

I've been spending a lot of time recently with a friend who has been through some of the worst things many of us could even begin to imagine. She came out the other side of it as this amazing, compassionate, beautiful person who, without even trying, has the ability to inspire others to make better choices, to live fully and without apology, to face darkness in our lives and in ourselves head-on and to make something out of it. She has been making a difference in people's lives through her blog - simply by telling her story and its accompanying happy ending (not the right word, as the story isn't over and never will be, but that's the best I've got) in such a real, from-the-heart, nitty-gritty way that it's impossible to look the other way and not be touched by it. She is an incredibly talented writer and her husband and I are encouraging her to transform her writings into a book when she's ready, because it's just too important NOT to be shared with the world. She will continue to make a difference in the world with each passing day, in addition to the difference she makes raising her daughter with pure love and gratitude. To read her blog and the story she tells, please click here. If you decide to read through the archives, I suggest you have a box of tissues handy and no important place to be.

The stirrings within me to find a new purpose have been strengthened by getting to know her. I don't have a story to tell. But it has made me look at my life and ask "What am I really DOING every day?" The job I get paid to do does make a difference in the lives of anonymous children every day. I help schools raise money and promote literacy among their students. I directly help to put about 500,000 books into the hands of kids every single year. That's a pretty big number. But at the end of the day I am still working for a major corporation that, despite its sunshine & roses mission statement and lipservice paid to literacy partnership and promoting reading, is still out for profits, is still responsible to its shareholders, and still makes company decisions based on the bottom line. I hate that, but there's nothing I can do about it. It's not the greediest corporation in the world, but it's not a nonprofit either. So I stay, because I need to get paid.

I started to think about what my talents are, what my experience can be used to accomplish, and what types of things I would feel good about doing and would have personal meaning to me. Since moving to a rural area, my love of nature and wildlife has been rekindled in a major way, something I have not felt particularly passionate about since I was a child. I have only lived in this house since November, but in that time I have seen several species of owls including a Great Horned owl that hunts in my yard every night and a Barred owl that visited us right around Christmas. One morning I woke up to find a Blue Heron standing in the little pond on our land. There are eagles, falcons, hawks, rabbits, squirrels of all colors, woodpeckers that think our house is a giant tree, deer - you name it, I probably have it in the land behind our house.

Our Christmas owl. He was much bigger than he looks here.

The Blue Heron that stopped by for a visit.

I am not a birdwatching enthusiast, despite all appearances to the contrary. But spring has just begun and I started wondering what other animals and birds I would see as the weather grows warmer. I thought about how neat it would be to name them, and how much my son might enjoy that as he gets older. This reminded me of the children's author Thornton Burgess. I read many of his books when I was little and my favorite thing about him was that his inspiration for the stories he wrote came from the animals he saw every day on his land. 

That land was willed to the Mass Audubon society after his death, and was transformed into a wildlife sanctuary called Laughing Brook. I can't even tell you how much time I spent there as a child. There was a staff who cared for animals that had been injured in the sanctuary, rehabilitated them, and those who were unable to safely return to the wild were kept in large outdoor enclosures where visitors could view them as close to their natural habitat as was possible. It was my favorite place on earth. Floods, fires, and financial woes have all contributed to the demise of what was once a thriving nature preserve. I have returned to my memories of it many times in the last decade or so and have been frustrated by my lack of ability to DO anything about it. 

But now that I have a son who I am raising somewhat close to the area where I grew up, it has become increasingly important to me to share with him the things that were close to my heart in my childhood. Laughing Brook is one of those things. And it has been suffering. 

I realized that I might actually be able to really help. I have helped raise literally millions of dollars for schools in my territories. I have sales skills for days and days. I have strong networking connections all over New England. So I contacted Mass Audubon and told them I want to help. I told them what I have to offer. All I need from them is a dollar amount. I said "Tell me how much money you need to restore the place to what it used to be. Then tell me how much money you'll need every year to keep it going." I will get that money for them. I will make it happen. 

And hopefully sometime in the not-too-distant future, I will make the drive to Laughing Brook with D. I will tell him all about how I used to go there all the time with his Great Grandma. I will tell him how Shawnee the coyote was my favorite animal there and how I used to sit for hours and talk to her whether she listened or not. I will tell him about walking the Chipmunk Trail and counting how many chipmunks I would see. I will tell him about how Laughing Brook was forgotten for awhile and how no one came to see it anymore. 

Shawnee the coyote. Taken from Hell's Acres blog.

And then I will tell him how his Mama helped to bring it all back to life so that children just like him could enjoy it the same way I used to. And how proud I will be to have done it. 

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Last Week's Menu Plus Baby Entrees!

I've started feeding D a variation of what we eat for dinner on most nights or throwing something together for him from what I already have in my pantry. So now in addition to the menu we followed last week, I'm also going to include what I fed the baby. If you are in a solids rut with your infant, check out some of my suggestions and look for a post coming up of what I've been feeding D that's NOT made by Gerber - it will include breakfast and lunch choices.

But for now, here's what we ate last week and my reviews:

Chunky Fish Fingers w/ Pea & Mint Puree: I decided to make this one for 2 reasons; First, cod was on sale and second, I wanted the baby to try fish and this was my first venture into feeding him table food. I thought the puree would be a nice touch. But man, was it a pain in the ass. Breading the fish was a pain and I didn't think worth the end result. The pea puree was pretty, but also kind of bland. My husband salted the shit out of it and then said it was "Okay." I gave D the puree straight up and cut the fish into very teeny tiny pieces, but otherwise made no adjustments. He wasn't too excited about it either.

Edamame Succotash: **vegetarian option** This is one of our favorite Cooking Light recipes and was the first dish we tried edamame in. I served it with the recommended French baguette and neufchatel cheese. To make this dish vegetarian just omit the bacon and use oil instead to cook the veggies. I fed D the edamame and pieces of the bread with cheese for his dinner. Here's a picture of the succotash after finishing it in the pan:


Chicken Souvlaki w/ Tzatziki Sauce: See my previous review and photo of this dish here. I took a few pieces of the chicken, zucchini, and red pepper and stuck it in the Cuisinart for a few seconds to make it smaller and gave it to D with the sauce on the side and some brown rice. He seemed to love it. 

Turkey Sausage Gnocchi Soup: This is the third time I've made this dish since I started posting weekly menus. See the original review here. Again with this one, I stuck some in the Cuisinart for a few seconds to make sure everything was in small enough bits and just fed it to D straight. He definitely loved this one - luckily even the "hot" turkey sausage isn't really hot by most standards.

Beef, Cheese, & Noodle Bake: The last time I made this, A suggested I use more veggies the next time. So this time in addition to the carrots I included peas, red pepper, and green beans. It definitely made it more filling, but I didn't think it added anything special. I think next time I'll keep the pepper and the peas and skip the green beans. Either way, it's still a great substitute if you're craving Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni but are trying to watch your sodium intake. We cut this one up by hand for the baby and he inhaled it. He also enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day. 

Homemade Macaroni & Cheese: No link for this one because it's my recipe. Made using whole wheat rotini, broccoli & green beans, light semisoft garlic & herb cheese, cheddar, gruyere, and whole wheat bread crumbs, it is delicious and with no unnecessary fat or sodium. Gave it to the baby pretty much straight, just watched for big pieces and cut the rotini as we fed him. YUM!

Thai Chicken Saute: This was my first time making this one. I had actually never used fish sauce before and thought I was going to gag as I put it in the chicken marinade. But despite that, it was pretty good and I served it as suggested over rice. However, I didn't think it was anything special and neither did A, so I doubt I'll make it again. For D's dinner, I was concerned about the heat in this one, so I actually gave him some silken tofu cut up into manageable size, mixed it with some rice, added some marinara sauce and sprinkled with parmesan. 

Black Bean Quesadillas w/ Corn Salsa: The quesadillas were good, but the salsa was AWESOME. The tortillas got a bit too browned under my broiler though, and since I usually bake quesadillas I think that's what I would do next time. Other than a few stray black beans and some bites of cheese, I fed the baby the same thing as the night before - tofu marinara with rice and cheese.

Happy Cooking!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tips for Applying to a Job as a Nanny or Babysitter

As a mom who is currently in the process of trying to find a caregiver for my son, I have found quite a few things lacking in some of the applications I've received. Because of that, I decided to compile a list of tips for people applying to nanny jobs that will help to keep your application from going to the bottom of the applicant pile.

1. Your Profile Photo: Like it or not, pictures speak a thousand words and on the internet they give a first impression. If you put up what looks like a headshot for a modeling job, that suggests vanity. When looking for a photo to put on a caregiver profile, don't necessarily go for the one you think you look "best" in, especially if it's clearly posed. It's just artificial, and I'm not going to be looking for the nanny with the prettiest eyes or highest cheekbones. I'm looking for someone who is kind and genuine - photos like that don't suggest either of those traits to me as a first impression. 

Also, as much as I love to see a photo of the nanny with children, make sure the child looks genuinely happy in the photo. Many of you out there have posted pictures that clearly involve you forcing the child to sit with you while you use your camera-phone to take a photo. They're not really smiling, their body language shows they would much rather be doing something else, and it does nothing for you if I see that in your picture. 

The best profile pictures are those that show a real smile - a photo that wasn't intended to be a profile photo. Or a photo that shows you playing or cuddling with a child that clearly adores you - we can see it in their face, in their arms draped around your neck, in their almost-laughing smile. 

In my search so far, the nanny who is at the top of my list is one who I knew would be there from the moment I saw her photo. She has a genuine smile and the little girl she is hugging also has a genuine smile on her face and is leaning into her. The nanny looks sweet and kind. And when I received her responses to my screening questions, she was one of very few applicants who took the time to think about each question and provide a thoughtful, intelligent response to each one. Her answers also show me that she really does love caring for children and knows a lot about them. 

2. SPELL CHECK!!! There are no excuses for spelling and grammar errors in your caregiver profile. None. It is the equivalent of having spelling errors in your resume - it is essentially a summary of who you are, what you've done, and why you should be given the job you are applying for. Check it and then check it again. Read it out loud to yourself and make sure that all of your sentences make sense. Make sure there are no missing words, no "their/there/they're" errors, etc. 

No, a nanny job is not rocket science and I'm not looking for someone with an amazing vocabulary and writing ability. But I AM looking for someone who pays attention to detail. If you can't recheck your own paragraphs to make sure you're presenting yourself in the best possible light, how do I know you're going to listen carefully when I explain to you how to handle and prepare breastmilk or formula for my baby? Or what kind of and how much solid food to give him? Or if he's sick, the correct dosage of his medication and how often to give it to him? 

3. Responding to a Job Posting: If you see a job posting that sounds like a position you might like to have, first and foremost make sure you read it thoroughly. Most of these websites ask the parent to provide the salary they are willing to pay, the days of the week and hours they are looking for, as well as other things the parent is looking for such as first aid certification or someone who speaks a language other than English. If a job listing says $15/hr for 3 days per week, don't waste the parents' time if you are looking to make $35/hr on the weekends. If they list a salary range, make sure you are comfortable being paid with the middle amount, not just the higher-end listed. Can we put a price tag on quality care for our children? No, not really, because our kids are priceless. But there ARE limits to what we can afford. Don't apply for a $10/hr position hoping that the parents will like you so much they'll be willing to pay $20. They won't be.

4. The Cover Letter/First Message: The first time you contact the parents through an online service is probably going to be through an email. Don't just write something like "I'd love to know more about the job you posted. XOXO Stephanie." (Yes, I did receive messages like this.) Definitely don't just copy and paste the About Me section of your caregiver profile into the body of the message. That tells me you just don't care enough to put the time in to send something even the least bit personalized.

Use the opportunity to tell me why you're applying to the job I posted - do you love working with infants or toddlers and maybe you live close by? What days are you available? When could you start? Why should I look at YOUR profile and consider hiring YOU? If you want some help writing a great first message, google "writing cover letters" and use the tips you find online that are what people use for applying to jobs and graduate schools. The rule of thumb for writing a great cover letter is this: Sell yourself in 3 paragraphs or less.

And once you've done that, for the love of god, SPELL CHECK IT.

5. Your Profile: Especially after you've just applied to a job listing, go through your profile and make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Does it include extraneous information that I'm probably not going to care about? Like how many dogs you have? Or maybe that you live in the house that your grandfather built? Or how about the fact that you work at Starbucks part-time? (Actually, scratch that. That's totally relevant if you can get me a discount on my morning jolt.)

Point is, if you're looking to work with children, you should explain why you love working with them, what type of job you are hoping to get, what your desired pay is, what your qualifications are, and for how long are you looking to be a nanny. If you're 21 years old and about to graduate from college and move to NYC to pursue a job as an investment banker, make sure you put in your profile that you are looking for a short-term position and why. 

6. Communications with Parents: First, remember that this isn't quite the same thing as putting an ad on Craig's List. Parents have to pay the online service for the privilege of communicating with you. Therefore, if I shell out the cash so I can send you an email, please take the time to read it carefully and respond thoughtfully and thoroughly and TIMELY. If I send you a list of questions to answer as a pre-screening, please read all of the questions carefully, think about them, and make sure your response actually answers the questions. At the very least, make sure your answers make SENSE. I asked all of my applicants what experience they have with potty training, the ages of the children, the methods used, etc. One girl, who used to work in a daycare, claimed that they potty trained children there in 2 weeks. 2 WEEKS!!! Now THAT I would pay $35/hr for!

I don't expect applicants to pay the same level of attention to email as I do to their profile and cover letter, but you should still scan for spelling and grammar mistakes, stay on-point, and answer emails as promptly as you can. I am still waiting for people to get back to me with their answers to the screening questions I sent over 2 weeks ago - and I mean waiting for quite a few people! If you applied to a job, ANY job, and they called you to schedule an interview - would you NOT call them back for 2-3 weeks? I don't think so, especially not if you really want the job. 

Remember that most parents who are looking for childcare are not particularly happy about doing so. Many of us wish we could afford to stay home full-time. Many of us wish we had family close by who would care for our kids while we work. Our babies mean the world to us, and finding just the right person to care for them is no easy task. But if you really want to work as a nanny for a great family, utilize this advice and not only will you get more interested parents, you will also make our task of finding a nanny a lot easier. 

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Learned From Experience...

You can feed your 9 month-old baby curried pork with coconut and mango. He might even really, really like it!

But you WILL regret it the next day.

Oh man, will you regret it the next day.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Poll Results: Childcare Options

I did not get as many responses as I was hoping for, but oh well. I wish I could have had a better quality poll with a ranking system, but I didn't see any free poll options online that let me do that.

Anyway, the results were as follows:

1. If all costs were equal, what would be your first choice for childcare?
50% of you said that one parent staying home would be your first choice.
33% of you said that an in-home nanny would be your first choice.
16% of you said that a daycare facility would be your first choice.
0% said "other"

2. What would be your second choice?
0% of you said one parent staying home would be your 2nd choice.
58% of you said an in-home nanny
42% of you said a daycare facility.
0% of you said "other"

3. What would be your third choice?
0% of you said one parent staying home
33% of you said an in-home nanny
33% of you said a daycare facility
33% of you said "other

No real suprises here in these results, especially considering my main audience still consists of PhDs, grad students, and stay-at-home moms. However, there are still some things I am curious about.

First, those of you who said that a daycare facility would be your first choice even if all costs were equal - I am very curious to know your reasons for choosing that option. The main reason I wanted to take this poll was to get some outside opinion and hopefully help settle a disagreement between my husband and I about our childcare options. He would prefer to put our son in daycare and I would prefer a nanny. So those of you out there who prefer daycare, can you tell me more about your thoughts?

And second, those of you who chose "other" as your third option - what types of arrangements fall into that category for you? I couldn't find a poll with a write-in response option.

Problems with my poll: Inconsistent sample size - I have a different n for the last 2 polls, with the most people responding to the first question only. Also, I could not create a poll that would collect the information I was looking for in the most comprehensive, easy, and straightforward manner possible. So all in all, the information I collected is very faulty for these reasons - there are too many confounding variables.

Guess I won't be publishing this one anytime soon......

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Poll!

I'm collecting data informally. Please answer my poll and send as many people over here to answer it as you can so I can get a decent sample size!

If all costs were equal, what would be your first choice for childcare?

What would be your second choice for childcare if all costs were the same but your first choice was unavailable?

What would be your 3rd choice if the other 2 options were unavailable?

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Caramellow Bliss

I call this sundae the Caramellow:

1 Cup of fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt (180 calories)
1 Tbsp of Hershey's caramel topping (55 calories)
1 Tbsp of Hershey's chocolate syrup (50 calories)
4 Tbsp of Cool Whip Lite (40 calories)
1 Tbsp of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks (60 calories)
2 Tbsp of toasted or raw sliced almonds (90 calories)

For a grand total of 475 calories. Sitting home at 10pm indulging in one of these after the Shittiest of Shitty Days?


AND guilt-free.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Last Week's Menu & Recipes

After my little mini poll in my last menu post, I received the suggestion that I post the menu after I have cooked all of it, so that the reviews can be in the post instead of the comments. Well, you folks are important to me, so I decided to listen. Hence the delay in food porn-providing.

Here's what we ate last week in Casa de JLK:

Mini Farfalle w/ Roasted Peppers, Feta, & Mint: **vegetarian** Blah. My husband thought it was alright and then said it was pretty good the next day as lunch. I didn't like it enough to give it a second try as leftovers. I think the problem is that I really hate raisins. No matter how much I want to like them, I just can't get past how gross they are. I think if I skipped the raisins, this would have been pretty good, but not worth buying a special box of "mini" bowties for.

Spinach, Chicken & Feta Salad: This was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. Very good as leftovers the next day, so I would make it again as a make-ahead recipe for lunches. Definitely easy to make.

Italian Meatball Burgers w/ angel hair & pesto. The great flavor of these comes from the turkey sausage mixed in with the ground sirloin. Tastes just like a meatball sub (or better) but without all the work and cost. I've also made it with garlic mashed potatoes, but for some reason I really like pasta as the side dish.

Spicy Sweet & Sour Chicken: This one is a repeat from last week. I made it again because my husband loved it so much. Served over white rice. This time, though, I took a picture.

Don't mind the steam, I took the pic right after I plated. It took 5 tries to get it this clear.

Chipotle Bean Burritos **vegetarian**: These were alright. I prefer the Chicken & Black Bean burritos that I've posted before, but still a good, solid vegetarian option that's very easy to make.

Superfast Kofte w/ Tomato Basil Feta Couscous: The kofte was not pretty, but it was pretty tasty and easy. My pita fell the hell apart from the tomato juice and yogurt, but it was still yummy. The couscous was made with chicken broth and I stirred in some quartered grape tomatoes, basil, lemon juice, and feta. Gave this to the baby for his first "real" dinner with us, along with a few small pieces of kofte. He freakin' loved it and made quite the mess trying to feed it to himself.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Where The F*ck is Mary Poppins???

My childcare situation is in chaos right now. My sister, who is the closest thing to a nanny that I have, is currently trying to get a full-time job which would render her unavailable for babysitting while I work. My mother, who watches D one day a week has proven herself somewhat unreliable, selfish, and often more trouble and inconvenience than her service is worth. (But that's a whole other post.....)

So I have found myself in the unfortunate position of trying to find a nanny. As much as I abhor the idea of leaving my son with a stranger, I am running out of options. I can't afford daycare because of the minimums they charge and I only need 2 days a week. Plus with D's age, (9 months), he is beginning separation and stranger anxiety and the idea of dropping him off in a new place with new people and all sorts of strange kids would make me suicidal with guilt.

I went on FB and asked my circle of peeps where they would recommend I start my search. They suggested,, and (which had the highest fees, so I'm skipping them.) I also inquired to College Nannies, but their hourly rate starts about 70% higher than what I am willing and able to pay.

I discovered a couple of things in my searches. First, I am swayed much more by a nanny's looks than I would like to admit. There are just way too many hot, young nannies out there - no wonder so many dudes get into trouble. Second, because of how young many of these women are, most of them are only available for evenings, weekends, and summers. That doesn't help me at all, especially since I get summers off from work like a teacher. And finally, the idea of having someone come to my house, take care of my son the way I want them to, and do some light housekeeping like unloading the dishwasher, prepping for dinner, doing the baby's laundry - is such an enticing thought that it helps to assuage some of that guilt I experience for considering handing my son off to someone I don't know from Adam.

I've never been an employer before, so this is an interesting experience for me. When a potential nanny applies to your job, you receive a message from them that is somewhat akin to a cover letter. I have noticed that while some of these people definitely know how to apply for a job, many of them don't have a clue. For example, my job posting clearly states that I am hiring for the academic year, and that hours woud be reduced over the summer to the minimum we would need to keep my son comfortable with them so that when they return in August for real, I don't have to worry about him freaking out. Not to mention the job posting clearly shows a weekly calendar where I checked off the days and hours that I am looking to fill. One girl sent me a message that says "Since I am a student I can not travel during class, but I would love to be considered for the job during the summer." Um. There IS NO job during the summer. 

Another applicant made mention of her "collegiate knowledge" as an excellent qualification, explaining how she has a B.S in teaching. I certainly appreciate an educated candidate, but my son is only 9 months old. He likes to lick things. Unless she took a class in getting babies to stop licking things, I don't see how that necessarily makes her qualified to change his poopy diapers and watch him bang on his Leapfrog table all day. 

D is everything to me. What I want more than anything else is someone who will truly care about and for him. Someone who is reliable and will be around for awhile.

Someone who won't care that I don't have cable.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Bucket List

This post over at The Domestic Diva in which she lays out her Bucket List inspired me to come up with my own, as I said in the comments over there, "to remind myself there is more to life than dirty diapers and sleepless nights!"

So here is mine, numbered but not in any particular order:

1. Visit every major city in Europe.

2. Earn a graduate degree. In something.

3. Take a jetski out on open ocean.

4. Sleep overnight on the beach, like maybe in a tent.

5. Ride a horse on the beach. (Has to be in Mexico, it's illegal in the US!)

6. Pet a killer whale.

7. Visit Disneyworld, with or without children.

8. Pet a tiger cub.

9. Go out for one fantastic, Sex & The City-type night out in NYC.

10. See the sunrise from Haleakala crater on Maui. (Didn't do this during the honeymoon.)

11. To snowboard for real. At least once. Preferably in Alaska when it's 50 degrees outside.

This is all I"ve got for now, but I'm sure I'll be adding to this as time goes on. What about you guys? What's on YOUR bucket list?

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Need Some Bliss?

Try this:

1 cup of fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt (about 180 calories)
2 Tbsp of Bear Naked Banana Nut granola (70 calories)
2 Tbsp of Cool Whip light (20 calories)
1 Tbsp of toasted or raw sliced almonds (about 55 calories)
1 Tbsp of Reeses Pieces or Peanut Butter M&Ms (55 calories)
1 Tbsp of Reeses Peanut Butter Topping (95 calories)

That is a good-sized sundae with some fantastic textural variation, and it tastes like a peanut butter & banana sandwich like from when you were a kid, only better.

And it clocks in at just 475 calories - WAY less than you would get from, say, Friendly's. Plus it has lots of protein and fiber!

I became a master of the 500-calorie sundae while I was pregnant. I plan to share some more of my creations with you guys as time goes on.

A note about the granola - stuff tastes like Grandma's banana bread in a bag. It is The Shizzle.

I would have taken a picture of my sundae to show you guys, but I already ate it. :(

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Booze & Boobs (Yup, That's What I'm Going With)

In an informal poll I recently looked at, about 70% of breastfeeding mothers say that they drink alcohol. What I wonder though is how many of them actually have all the facts about drinking while breastfeeding. Because I've been doing it for 9 months and apparently I didn't have a fucking clue this whole time.

Truth is, I'm still not sure I have a fucking clue.

After a particularly social weekend, I realized I never did look up how, exactly, breastmilk production works and how alcohol enters and leaves it. Following the majority belief that "pumping and dumping" is the only way to deal with tainted milk, I went on that way this entire time. I had purchased some alcohol test strips for breastmilk before the baby was born, (which I highly recommend, by the way), and they worked really well to confirm what I often already knew about my milk supply.

Until one day, when I had pumped and dumped the night before and gone to bed. 5 hours later the baby woke up and needed to be fed. I felt off, but wasn't sure if it was from alcohol in my system or lack of sleep. I really hadn't drank that much the night before, but just to be on the safe side I decided to test my milk before feeding the baby. The result was positive. WHUCK???

From that point on I became pretty paranoid about drinking, never having enough to even earn a buzz, especially not unless the baby was asleep for the night and I knew he wouldn't be waking up. But it bothered me that I didn't really understand how it all worked. I read that alcohol would be out of your milk about 1-2 hours after having a drink, and you should never feed your baby if you feel even slightly buzzed, and that pumping and dumping was an alternative to waiting the 2 hours. I personally just never understood the waiting thing - where did it go? Any nursing mom can tell you that when you don't feed your baby, your boobs get bigger and bigger and more full as time goes on. There is certainly no physical evidence to suggest that milk cycles out of your boobs as time goes on. (Unless you're weaning of course, but that's another story altogether.) So to me, pumping and dumping just made sense. Get rid of the "bad" milk and let the "good" milk come back in.

But it turns out that's wrong. 

A little research on the internet turned up the info that alcohol enters breastmilk through the blood, and so the amount of alcohol in your blood is what affects the amount in the milk. As long as the alcohol is still in your bloodstream, it's still going to be in your milk. But if it's clear from your blood, it's clear from your milk because your body has metabolized it all out.

Supposedly, anyway.

I just still don't get it. And two of the claims from the same site just don't sit right with me. First, it says that most milk is made on-demand for the baby while he/she is nursing. But again, see what I said above about your boobs in between nursing sessions. That suggests otherwise, wouldn't you say?

And second, it says that drinking alcohol to increase milk supply is a bogus old-wives tale. Now I have no access to research that might show this to be false or whatever, but my anecdotal evidence is solid. When I pump after having a drink or two, I pump WAY more milk than I normally get after the same amount of time has passed when I haven't had anything to drink. And second, Bethenny Frankel's well-paid, live-in baby nurse gave her a glass of beer to help her with milk production. The woman was a NURSE, for pete's sake.

And of course, in case this all wasn't enough for you, here's some more conflicting information. Wait 6-7 hours before nursing again after a few drinks? Wait 2 hours for every drink you consume?

Fuck that. No one has any freaking clue. I think I'll just stick to my test strips, thankyouverymuch. 

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Monday, March 14, 2011

But I Wanna Be on HIS Team!!!

About a week ago, D figured out how to pull up to standing from his tummy. Using only the floor. He stands on his own for a few seconds at a time with a big grin on his face like he knows he's doing something awesome.

I'm so screwed.

He also thinks he can walk. He can't, of course, but he likes to try and just get up and go. It nearly always ends with me clutching my pounding heart in one hand and his round little bottom in the other. My guess is that he'll be walking by the middle of next month.

So, SO screwed.

I was flipping through WTE the other day and looked at the section on 10 month-olds. It includes a subsection on discipline and how to go about teaching your baby limits early-on. And I realized that this is how everything is going to change.

Up until now just about everything my baby does has been viewed as progress and we have accomodated HIM accordingly. I wasn't going to try and "teach" my baby that outlets are dangerous once he started tooling around in his walker - so we installed tamper-proof plugs in the entire first floor. Problem solved. There are tons of examples just like this. We've all been on Team D, running the same race, holding hands and singing Kumbaya together.

But soon, very soon, D is going to be starting his own team. And A and I will be his opposition. And so begins the next 18+ years of our life until he grows up and we find ourselves in non-competing divisions. (I'm really not that into sports for the most part, I swear!)

Pretty soon I'm going to have to drop "No"'s like they're hot. I'm going to have to designate a time-out spot. He is going to throw tantrums and say "I hate you, Mommy!" And this.......this is what I think is going to make me want another baby.

Because it's only that first year that everyone gets to play on the same team, with the same goals. And I think I'm really going to miss that when it's gone.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...