Twitter. I am about infinity years behind the boat on this, but I finally am warming up to stupid Twitter. Are you my friend? Go be my friend. I have not a lot of Twitter friends. It’s not really helping me in my continued efforts to heal from my middle school years. I cover a lot of FASCINATING material like calling my husband out for going to Hooters four times in the same week but then finding out I had actually accosted a stranger who has a very similar handle, publically shaming a Facebook friend for quoting God awful Usher lyrics, finding self worth in pathetic ways like bragging about my Word Mole prowess, dropping random movie quotes and sometimes just making vacuum noises.
Here’s the thing about Twitter. As I was just explaining to a blog buddy, I do not appreciate being bossed around by their BS character limit. You are typing your little message, and it starts counting down into the negative, and I’m like WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, I’LL DO WHAT I WANT. It will just never sit comfortably with me that I can’t take one hundred forty five characters if that’s what I need to convey a message. And if anyone ever catches me writing “u” instead of “you” then please walk up behind me and hit me with a snow shovel a la Old Man Marley. Sometimes I will be desperate to conserve characters so I’ll use one space after a period instead of two, and that makes me cringe. You’d be surprised how many Tweets I write that are exactly 140 characters. I spend about 80% of my Twitter energy just editing stuff down to fit the limit. It’s really annoying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown my hands up and said NEVERMIND it’s not worth this much freaking effort to say something stupid about oatmeal or Justin Bieber or a Toyota commercial.
No, seriously, Brown Rice Triscuits. Everyone stop what you are doing and go buy 4 boxes NOW.
In searching my mind for more crap to blab about, because I had about a hundred things in my head and remembered about three when I sat down to write, I opened my drafts folder in my Gmail, where I sometimes will save random ideas that I want to quickly get down and flesh out later. I found this:
things ive googled: talk me out of eating a little debbie, can you die from eating a whole box of tagalongs, can you get in legal trouble for wikipedia pranks, can you use windex on a blender.
Although the note was over a year old and I can’t remember the exact conditions precipitating each of these, I know that all of those happened. Not a joke.
Baby Blurb. One year ago tomorrow I found out we were expecting. Baby was the size of a poppy seed. Today, he is 14 pounds and tore a page out of my library book. Life– even the most basic, primitive process of a child growing– is unbelievable, isn’t it?
Starving Blogger Shout Outs. So, exciting news, I have been bestowed two “Liebster Awards”– which apparently are honorary titles (“internet high fives” as they’ve been described) that fledgling bloggers give to other fledgling bloggers. There is a pay it forward component, so a few notes on this. First off, THANK YOU to Surprise Mama and 80/20 Mom, I am flattered and high fiving you right back!
Secondly I want to give a shout out to a few real life friends of mine. I used to work with Anne at Mrs. B Takes On who is just getting her domesticity blog off the ground. You know how there are bloggers out there purporting to be domestic goddesses but you find yourself thinking that their meals look like something hauled out of the ape house in a wheelbarrow? Anne is the opposite of that. She is the real deal. I read her blog and my eyes get big and I want to lick my monitor. And she can do stuff like stencil a wall, which just the thought of attempting makes me want to cry and drive to Dairy Queen.
This is Rhian at For Always who I technically don’t know, but she went to high school with Jeff so that’s close enough to real life for me. Jeff finally just put us in touch with one another because we were using him as a middleman to discuss cloth diapers. She is awesome and if you are a sucker for a good birth story like me, go refill your coffee and hit her up because like I said, awesome.
This is my former gymnastics teammate Megan at Positively (Im)perfect. She too is 900 kinds of cool. She is a SAGE of a mother (to human and canine alike), West Point alum, and birth and Hypnobabies aficionado (ditto on her birth stories although I think you have to click the link to go to her personal blog). Like I said, lots of cool.
Hooters. Ok, you guys know I don’t talk politics here, except in jest. Which I need to do more of, because the government does HILARIOUS stuff on a regular basis and nobody ever finds out about it. Which is both a shame and a blessing, I guess. Occasionally, though, I have to give credit where it’s due and acknowledge something cool that tax dollars paid for. Usually all I can come up with is the library. But yesterday– oh, sweet yesterday– the Pennsylvania legislators won my heart by declaring April 30 Hooters Appreciation Day.
No, not that Hooters or those Hooters, although appreciation days for both would be awesome as well, but rather The Hooters, an immensely talented group of rockers from Philadelphia, who you probably know for All You Zombies and And We Danced. Pennsylvania does a lot of things well, but producing quality musicians is not one of them. Behind the Hooters our next claims to fame I guess would be Fuel, Train, and Taylor Swift. BLECH.
Now the exciting thing was that the Hooters themselves played a FREE CONCERT in honor of this. Did I take my 3.5 month old infant to this?
(I was very disappointed to find this image had not yet been created, so I would like the record to state that I created this myself for the good of the internet, and it’s scary how much pride I have in this fact.)
Guys, it was so awesome. Frogson rode along in his little wrap (I needed my hands to make rock fingers, duh) and he loved it. We sang and bounced to the beat and I wasn’t kidding, rock fingers were involved. I loved it. I love live music so so much. I mean I know that’s a dumb remark, because duh, we all do, but yea. I’m afraid to say I am in fact That Girl from your section who is dancing and high pitch wooing and screaming lyrics and generally UNABLE to contain herself. I cannot help it, I get so freaking excited. So that was that.
Speaking of Pennsylvania. I cannot believe we are almost a year into our move up here! Things move a little slower up here, and it’s kind of refreshing. Today I’d like to tell you about the Dunkin Donuts drive thru. God, I’m sorry, this is absolutely the crappiest boringest most rambling post ever, I’m sorry. Just save yourself and go do something else and let me just sit here and work through this.
I’ve never really been conditioned to utilize drive thrus. In DC, they just didn’t really exist. In DC you get really, really excited if a place just has parking spots. Then you get REALLY excited if there’s actually enough spots that you can find one without getting into a freaking MMA throw down with another motorist. Here in PA, you can get what you want and you don’t even have to get out of your car. SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT!
I now go to the Dunkin drive thru for most of my mocha needs. Sorry Starbucks, you require walking (THE HORROR) and a whole extra dollar for the same product. The one thing I hate about Dunkin is they ask you “Will that be all?” after you order. I guess this is exactly why business experts require customers to be asked this, because the question DOES leave this big open door for you to ask for what you really want. Because they did ask.
Yes three dozen munchkins you can meet me at the second window and shove them straight down my gullet yes that will be all.
Not Speaking of Acronyms But Let’s Go Ahead and Do That. I’ve had acronyms on the brain lately. Actually I’ve been investing a lot of mental anguish over acronyms. Why, as a human species, can we not GET THE HANG OF acronyms already?! I get that you want to come up with a cool acronym for your business or organization or whatever, but sometimes you just have to admit a difficult truth to yourself. I can’t make this acronym work. I need to walk away. WALK AWAY, PEOPLE.
If you’re just mashing nouns and adjectives together in a grammatical hot mess that actually makes no sense at all, YOU NEED TO STOP RIGHT NOW. Do you know how many DUMB acronyms were shoved down my throat in middle school because some idiot PhD somewhere said they were a helpful tool to help middle schoolers think critically? They aren’t. There is nothing easy or helpful about all the times I was told to “Kids, it’s easy, just think SOLVE! Strategize Organize Leverage Venn diagram Estimate!” Here, I am going to make my own acronym for this phenomenon. It’s called your acronym is a STRETCH. Stop Tacking Random Expressions Together Cause it’s Heinous.
Related: I drove by a place called Inspire Female Athletic Training. Do the acronym math on that one.
Please Hug Your Pets in Honor of my Stray Cat Friend. OK, I am like 400 kinds of worked up over this. Guys, my stray cat got hit by a car. In our neighborhood, which is ridiculous because there’s no reason to go over 20 in our neighborhood, and in 9 out of 10 cases that is plenty slow enough to hit the brakes for a cat. I don’t know why I am depressing all of you with this, I think I just need to type through it or whatever. I was oddly attached to this cat, and Jeff is lucky it didn’t love me back because that thing would have been in our house right now.
And when his little pile of food remained uneaten on our stoop (shattering my heart every time I saw it), I realized that the second stray cat must be gone too. My heart breaks thinking that these cats lived their lives without ever snuggling on a warm bed or receiving a purr-worthy throat scratch. I can only hope they have gone to somewhere happy, to the Great Cardboard Box in the Sky, where they will know warmth and love and endless supplies of tuna. Please give your pets a snuggle in their honor, and forgive me one holier than thou PSA as I encourage everyone to please rescue your next furry friend.
I hate to end on a sad note so here is our own resident rescue beagle, surveying Turnpike vistas like the stately little fur-gentleman he is…
One of the most wonderful things about motherhood is– gag, I can’t believe I’m writing something this cheesy– is that you join this tremendous– gag, here it comes– SISTERHOOD of other mothers. Vomit, I know, but it’s true.
Something happened during that last week or two that I inched towards my due date. Women everywhere started coming out of the woodwork. Friends, old friends, old sorority sisters, cousins, colleagues… all popping in with emails and texts and Facebook messages saying the same variation of the same thing: I’m cheering you on. You can do it. You are going to be a great mom. You can call me, it doesn’t matter what time it is. I hope each one of them will read this and know how much that meant to me, that I didn’t just read and forget. That I carried those sentiments with me as I battled through birth and the aftermath, remembering that I wasn’t alone, that millions of women had gone before me and would go after me. Sniff. Enough of the gaggy stuff. I guess what I mean to say is, SISTERS ARE DOIN’ IT FOR THEMSELVES.
It’s weird finding myself on the other side now. One of my very best BFFs just had a little brunette beauty and we talked for the first time yesterday. “I’m on day 12,” she says, “when does it get easier?”
Oh bless you mama. It will get better. Was the wisest thing I could think to say. I love the It Gets Better message. It’s applicable to so much. It always gets better.
I was trying to think back to Frogson’s first few weeks and much like his first few days, I struggled to even remember a lot. It was difficult. I hate even writing that, because I wonder if in some small corner of others’ minds, people look at women with PPD issues and equate it with not having love for their children. THAT’S NOT TRUE. It was difficult because I loved him so much, because I worried that I was unworthy, that he was so wonderful and perfect he deserved someone who knew exactly what they were doing, someone who could win a NOBEL PRIZE in parenting. Not dingbat me, who couldn’t even put a diaper on right (THAT IS TRUE I COULD NOT PUT ON DIAPERS THE NURSES HAD TO REDO IT FOR ME), and also had to watch a YouTube tutorial on how to put a shirt over a baby’s head (ALSO TRUE).
The first few days home were stressful. He had jaundice, he lost weight, the visiting nurses had to come over twice, I worried my face off. I spent a morning back at the stupid hospital for a problem on my end. It was the dead of winter. Jeff had to go right back to work. I d0n’t remember a lot. There were tears. I wondered if I was depressed but I thought no, I couldn’t be, because between the hysteria there was a sweet little cherubic nugget nestled on my chest, and every moment I felt so grateful that he was here and healthy. Gratitude does not an undepressed person make, though. Can we talk about gratitude? It’s a double-edged sword. The other side is self loathing. I berated myself to no end. What right did I have to feel overwhelmed? There were women doing the same thing I was with 3.5% of the luxuries and resources I have. There were women who had lost babies or pregnancies who would give anything to be up all night nursing a newborn. What a spoiled, ungrateful, undeserving, perspectiveless brat of a mother I was!
It was not healthy. At all. Sometimes I need to remind myself that HEY YOU’RE ALLOWED TO HAVE FEELINGS SOMETIMES CRAZYPANTS. You are entitled to your own struggles and emotions and it doesn’t negate the grief or the empathy you have for others. (I need to cross stitch that for my freaking wall.) So I did say that to my friend, that you can have feelings. Don’t be hard on yourself. HORMONES ARE NO JOKE.
As for the rest? It gets better. The sleep gets longer. They can hold a pacifier in their mouth for longer than 14 seconds. There are still setbacks and difficult days but it gets better. Your boobs start to feel better and nursing no longer feels like an angry chimp is clamping down on your nipples. And when it is time to nurse, baby is like CHUGGA CHUGGA CHUGGA OK all done instead of those early days, where he was like suck… suck… sucky suck… Mom how does this work again? Better go call that lactation consultant back, I’m sure she won’t mind. I’ll just wait here and sob and assume your desire is to starve me.
You heal, you feel normal again. Instead of hysterical wailing on the changing table, your baby will smile and giggle and shove both fists in their mouth, and grab your hand and pull it against their chest, and you will smile the biggest smile and your heart will melt with love and affection. Leaving the house gets easier. DID YOU HEAR THAT, THE DAY WILL COME WHEN YOU WILL LEAVE YOUR HOUSE! The lights at Target shine brighter, the produce at the grocery store tastes sweeter, you will have a spring in your step that comes not from your elastic leggings but because LOOK AT ME I LEFT THE HOUSE WHEEEEEE!
Some things stay the same. Sometimes it will still take 3 tries to get baby into a new diaper and a new outfit because they immediately pooped and/or peed and/or explosively puked milk all over the first two diapers and outfits. (And the changing table. And you. And over the changing table onto the carpet. AND NOW THE DOG IS LICKING IT OMG THIS IS MY LIFE.) But you get better at it. Your hands will fly with speed and dexterity, instead of fumbling slowly and awkwardly. Lining up the stupid snaps on baby outfits is no longer like AP Calculus. You will laugh about all of this instead of wanting to wrap yourself in a hooded bath towel and rock in the corner.
“When do you remember it getting better?” my friend asked me. I don’t really remember. 4, 5, 6 weeks? One day you will suddenly notice that you are smiling and not blankly staring. It’s like those signs in factories. It’s been 10 days since my last crying fit! When Frogson was exactly one month old, the three of us went and sat at Starbucks on a weekend. The winter was thawing. He wore one of those ridiculous knitted hats with braided tails down each side, a look only a four-week-old human could pull off. He drew awws from everyone and I fielded their questions. One month today. Our first. Yes they do grow fast don’t they? Thank you, you are kind to say that.
I felt… joy. I had a child. AND A VENTI MOCHA. We had made it.
It gets so better.
This is what my quaint little home office used to look like around here.
Aesthetically I liked it a lot but structurally that ladder desk had major ish. I bought it almost four years ago for– no joke– less than $50 from Staples or Office Max something. ”Sort by Price, Low to High” fo life. I doubted it would survive The Great Move of 2011, but it lived on to see another trans-state move on top of that. It’s basically the Vin Diesel of cheap Staples desks. It could jump out of a flaming car off a cliff being chased by 10 U.S. Marshals and it would dust off its knees and be like AIN’T NO THANG. But even though it was still standing against all odds, it was wobbly and coming unhinged and becoming not safe for me to work at with Frogson napping in his wrap against me. And getting into my little workspace nook I’d have to suck in my stomach (DIFFICULT) and sort of inch my way to the chair without bumping the desk, because any little nudge made me cup my hand over Frogson’s head cause I was sure the desk was like HIDE YOUR OFFSPRING, I’M GONNA MAKE KNICK KNACKS RAIN FROM THE SKY.
SORRY FOR THE CAPS LOCK SO MUCH CAFFEINE.
So I took to Craigslist, like any good person does when their soul is jointly owned by the IRS, Sallie Mae, and the American Express corporation. And that is where I found this little gem, sitting at a furniture dealer not far away.
This was a homemade concoction wherein someone had dismembered an old oak desk and placed this mosaic on top. Yes, the thing is a hot mess but I was instantly in love. Sometimes I have strange reactions like that. It’s actually how Frogson’s real name came to be. It was never on the list of boy names I liked, it’s kind of random, it has no family or other symbolic meaning… I just read it in one of those baby name books and I was like… that’s it, don’t ask me why but that’s what he was meant to be named.
So I told the seller I wanted it and freaked out all week that someone would snatch it up before we were able to make it there over the weekend. Because surely a desk that cool would be coveted by all. Instead we showed up to this little furniture boutique and they were like, it’s been here forever, we can’t get rid of the thing. But it’s been a great conversation starter!
Conversation starter?! Was my taste way off on this? Was this like all those years where I had breakdowns at the Christmas tree farm that we needed to pick one of the freaky deformed trees from the bargain lot because nobody else would give it a home and IT WOULD BE SAD AND NEVER KNOW LOVE? Even Jeff took one look and was like THAT THING IS FUGLY. You don’t understand, Jeff does not have opinions when it comes to this stuff. I don’t even bother to show him things like this in advance, because he no curr and has no appreciation for the domestic refinery I bring to his life. He spent many years living quite contentedly at what is surely one of the nastiest frat houses the Eastern seaboard has to offer. So I was starting to panic and second guess myself.
Guess what, I like it. I DON’T CARE I LOVE IT I DON’T CARE.
I was in agreement with my mom who suggested I paint the crazy blue trim to match the walls, so I think that tamed it a little. I relocated the mirror thing from elsewhere in the house, and I went shopping in my parents’ basement for the green pot and faux palms (AKA from that thrift shop down the road). I think it looks cool. The patterns are supposed to clash, IT’S FUNKY OKAY? But I need you to comment on this post anonymously if you agree it’s heinous though. It’s the only way I’ll learn. Sorry again for the too much caps lock.
Very effective illustration, though. Now if I try to put Frogson down for a second to attend to something, I’m like NO, NO SARAH… Only avoiding, scowling mothers put their babies down to selfishly make themselves lunch! Guys you can tell it must be REALLY BAD by the way the line violently zig-zags OUTSIDE THE BOX OMG.
A couple people have asked me how the cloth diapering is going so I am inspired to blab a little about it… (you may have heard one criticism of cloth diapering is that cloth diaper mothers don’t shut up about cloth diapers… it’s probably true).
The short story is that I do really like them! Here is my… (I want to say ‘two cents’ but I hate that stupid expression)… here is my… I don’t know. Let the word vomit floodgates open. Emphasis mine in case you want the shortened word vomit version.
The bottom line is that diapering is annoying no matter what you do. I’m not going to tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT because containing another individual’s excrement is challenging and occasionally nasty.
Speaking of excrement, you will also have poop encounters no matter what you do. They are not some magical panacea for this. But in my estimation they do outperform disposables in the poop containment category. We do battle with leaks but I’ve definitely never had a blowout, and every time I put a disposable on Frogson I’m all “UHHH are we sure this is up for the job?!” because they’re so light and tiny and thin, whereas the cloth diaps are these puffy, beastly monstrosities that give you a lot of confidence they will hold up their end of the deal. The puff factor is both pleasant and annoying– annoying in that I do sometimes struggle to get clothes over them, and have had to retire some outfits early– but pleasant in that it provides this nice little fulcrum when you handle baby. I can’t explain it, but he’s easier to carry in a cloth diap. And when he’s in his sling with a lot of weight on his crotch, I also appreciate that it gives him a little extra cushioning and support there.
The learning curve is annoying. Read this and tell me it’s not more confusing than anything you read in college. It took me a while to figure out the perfect combo of detergent, laundry cycles, drying strategy, and laundering frequency to get good wash results. Which is annoying to go through when you have a 3 week old and already enough on your plate, and at times I’ll admit I was like GAH CANNOT DEAL, WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO. But a few more weeks and it was second nature, and now I’m like a Ph.D. in diaper laundry and I can troubleshoot stuff very easily.
It is a lot of laundry. The minimum you have to wash them is every other day so there’s really no way around the laundry. Oh and it’s not just throw them in and they’re done, it’s a freaking headache of a double wash cycle and an extra rinse, so I have the massive first world problem of having to make four trips to the basement and I whine to myself that we should have bought the house with the laundry on the second floor. That said, the laundry actually won’t annoy you as much as you think. It really doesn’t faze me at all actually. There are so many other adjustments that come with a new baby, I laugh that I worried extra laundry would bother me.
Even with all that I still believe the benefits to be worth it. The biggest benefit in my mind being, you only need to buy diapers once! I bought them on a Black Friday sale and got like 35% off or something really sweet; I honestly feel like for what we spent, even after only 3 months we would be breaking even soon with the cost. I had to buy newborn disposies as we were waiting for his cord stump to fall off, and they are really expensive for something a baby wears for 2 hours for the sole purpose of crapping in. I like that we’re not slaves to a diaper supply, nobody’s ever had to do a midnight run to the 24 hour CVS… they go into the wash and come out ready to rock again. Dig it!
I also think they are somehow “fresher.” I know that “fresh” isn’t what comes to mind when you think about cloth diapers, but they really are! First off, the spray we use on them (Bac-Out) smells SO GOOD. If you don’t believe me, I challenge any woman in America to come over to my house, put her face in my diaper pail, and sniff. You can actually do that to my diaper pail and it smells good. YES THIS IS MY LIFE, SNIFFING MY DIAPER PAIL. Whenever I put Frogson into a disposie, he kind of has a general diapery scent to him. Which isn’t bad, it’s kind of ”the baby smell,” but still. Oh and the actual poo smell is much more subdued in the cloth. Win.
I would sum this up by saying yes they are annoying but I just plain like them. I like them the way that you like a certain colleague, in that I just like working with them. I just feel good about what I’m putting on my boy’s butt.
OK, enough tripe! Reward for those that have made it to the end… butt picture parade! (Oh, and he wears BumGenius 4.0– picked just because in my super non-scientific research it seemed like they were the most popular and well reviewed).