Speaking to Pregnant Women 101: The Twins, The Huge, & The Ugly

Its here.  Open season.  No no, I’m not talking about bow hunting season. Open season for the rude, the ignorant, the annoying, and the unintentionally hurtful comments that get slung around all too freely – because I’m pregnant.  If you gasped in horror thinking, “what could she possibly mean?!”, don’t worry… I’ll explain.

I’ve wanted to write this piece for quite some time now, going over in my head all the things I wish I could say to the general public, but I tend pull back from topics that I see written about a lot.  I leave those topics for the real writers who can express themselves far better than I can. Trust me, there’s no shortage of “Things NOT to Say to Pregnant Women” articles on mom pages these days, but as I near the end of my second pregnancy I can’t sit back on this one anymore. I just can’t.  If it helps just one person censor or think twice about what they say to those beautiful women carrying children, and saves one pregnant woman from feeling crappy for a few hours (or a few days), I’ll rest easy knowing my time here was not wasted.

My initial intention for writing this blog was to base it off my personal experiences.  I have plenty, believe me.  But before I dove into it I threw out the idea to my Momtourage hoping they’d give me a more well-rounded view of the kinds of general comments pregnant women receive.  In my request I told them, “no direct quotes are needed – the gist of it will be great”.  Thinking that they probably wouldn’t remember the exact quote anyway, right?  Fast forward 24 hours from when I asked for their help, and I was holding FIVE single spaced pages of not only direct quotes, but those who spoke them as well.  FIVE PAGES. Clearly this was not just my problem. While pregnant women get pretty good at letting comments roll off their shoulder (because we do understand that a lot of times the comments are not coming from a malicious or hurtful place), the fact that these moms remember so vividly who said what speaks volumes.

So think of the rundown below as a quick “Speaking to Pregnant Women 101 Class”.  If you ace the class and think to yourself, “I would never say any of that!” – round of applause and high fives.  Seriously.  If you find some of the quotes hitting a little too close to home and you think to yourself, “Shit.” – pat on the back, and just do better next time.  We know you don’t mean harm (at least we don’t think you do?).  And we appreciate your interest in our pregnancy – it is a really exciting time for us.  But no matter the innocence or attempt at humor behind your comments, they still kinda suck, and still kinda leave us feeling shitty.  So here we go – direct quotes included! 🙂

TWINS. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ITS NOT TWINS.  YES, I’M SURE. 

I’m starting with this one first just in case I lose you at some point.  Comments referencing twins were experienced by nearly every mom in my Momtourage, and several got twin comments on more than one occasion.

“Are you sure you’re not having twins?” Yes, kind stranger, I’m sure.  I appreciate your indirect comment on how large my belly is though. 

“Are you sure its just one in there? You’re sure though?” Ask me if I’m sure one more time, co-worker I rarely see or talk to. I dare you.  

Persistence doesn’t help things either.  [Actual conversation]

“You sure its just one baby in there?”

“Yep, pretty sure”

“Do twins run in your family though?”

“Nope, and I’m still sure its not twins”

“Well I think you’ll be the first in your family.  Its definitely twins”

I can’t believe I didn’t notice you in the room when I’ve had all my ultrasounds! Surely you must be an obstetrician, right? Or a GD psychic. Because if you’re just being this annoying, expect me to avoid all interactions with you in the future.  

Enough with the twins. Unless I tell you first that I am in fact carrying twins, in which case twin comments are OK – because its actually accurate.

I AM ACUTELY AWARE OF HOW LARGE I AM – NO, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME.  

Listen, we get it.  You still don’t mean harm.  And we understand that we’re pregnant and our bodies will grow to accommodate the precious life inside of us.  But only WE get to make comments about our enormity, not you.  Just, don’t.  Not even jokingly.  Seriously, don’t.

“I swear every time you walk down the hall you get bigger!” I would kinda want to fight you right now if I was still quick and agile.  If I’m at all bigger since last time I walked down the hall, maybe its the lunch I just ate.  In which case I kinda really want to fight you. 

“You’re getting pretty big there Missy.  Looks like you’ve been eating too many watermelons”.  Oh, I am? I couldn’t tell by the considerable back pain from it all. 

“Wow! You REALLY popped out! You grow bigger everyday!” I wish my house had mirrors.  I had no way of knowing until you told me!

“You are REALLY pregnant!” I AM?! 

And when you reference how HUGE my baby must be, I take it as a reflection of my size.  Since, ya know, I’m carrying this HUGE baby.  Don’t use words that reference baby’s “massive size”.  Not chunky, not linebacker, not Clydesdale, not enormous… none of it.  I’m already thinking about how I have to push this HUGE baby out, so how about “healthy”.  Just stick with “healthy” if you absolutely must comment. Which you don’t.

And on the opposite side of the coin, don’t make comments about how small I may be.  

Yes, I’m taking care of myself. Yep, I’m measuring right on track.  Not all women show the same.  Surprisingly, women all have different body shapes, genetics, health habits, bone structures, and the way their babies are carried inside.  WEIRD.

NO, MY DUE DATE IS NOT TOMORROW.  NOPE, NOT EVEN NEXT WEEK. 

A wise mom-friend once said, “I swear the second you start to pop at all everyone thinks you’re due within the week.  Does everyone forget how big baby bellies get?!”.  She couldn’t have hit the nail on the head better.  The magazines, articles, and commercials that only feature insanely fit, 20 weeks pregnant women doesn’t help our cause either.  If you ask when the due date it is, don’t make a dumb comment or make a face of horror when we tell you.  Most likely, it’s not tomorrow.

“Did they calculate your due date wrong?” Probably.  They have no way of telling.  If only they had information on my menstrual cycle, or the ability to track the baby’s size throughout my pregnancy.

“When are you due? [responds – still have 13 weeks to go] Oh, you definitely look like you’re done” Again, what would I do without all these expert strangers out there?! 

“Look at that belly, there is NO way you’re going to make it to your due date”.  Keep ’em coming jackasses.  Making it to my due date is kind of priority of mine.. for the sake of my healthy growing child and stuff”.  

“Oh wow, you’re really big for x amount of weeks!” Oh because you’ve studied like a gabillion pregnant women? You’re probably just comparing to your wife huh? She’s a tiny betch, so… 

“When were you due?! Like last week?!” Still three months to go, socially appropriate stranger.  I will cut you. 

When we tell you when we’re due, despite whatever you think about our size in relation to it, something like this would be great, “Oh that’s wonderful!  I bet you can’t wait to meet your sweet baby!” With a smile.

STOP COMPARING.  TO OTHER WOMEN, OR TO MY PAST PREGNANCIES.  NEWS FLASH – THEY’RE NOT THE SAME. 

“You’re looking wider this time around” Ah, an adjective every women loves to hear. Wide. 

“Wow you’re a lot bigger this time, huh?” I see your filter is up and running today.  

 “So and so is pregnant, and you are WAY bigger than she is” Oh, is that what we’re doing? Comparing our bodies to others’? If that’s the case, I could have a field day comparing you with others.. 

“You’re carrying different this time around.  Your face seems puffier”.  Because who wouldn’t receive that warmly?

Which leads into the next one..

IF YOU THINK YOU NOTICE THE PREGNANCY SOMEWHERE ELSE, JUST… SHHHH. 

We are already self conscious. Right before our own eyes we’ve surrendered to so many body changes that we don’t always expect or warmly embrace.  Its all for the health of this tiny miracle, so we really don’t mind, but there’s no need to point it out.  We’re aware.

“Man, he really got you in the face!” Can I get you in the face? 

“I can tell you’re having a boy because you look like you are gaining weight all over!” Weird, you too! 

“I can tell you’re getting bigger from the face and hips” COME ON, PEOPLE.. 

Or this little gem from a cashier..

“Don’t tell me what you’re having – I want guess!”

“Ok”

“I think its a girl!”

“Yep”

“I could tell because girls always make their mamas look like hell”

“Oh, well that’s an interesting theory”.

Being pregnant does NOT mean our entire body is up for unsolicited public critique.

YOU DO KNOW WHAT A BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT IS, RIGHT? 

“Oh my gosh your son is so cute! He must take after his dad!”  Thanks? 

“You look really good this pregnancy.  Last time you were really wide in your hips and thighs”. Thanks? 

“They do say girls suck the beauty out of their mom so they end up pretty” Thanks?

“You look so great pregnant! Better than you usually look!” Thanks? 

“It doesn’t even look like you’re pregnant.  It just looks like you ate too much pizza or something”.  Thanks? 

 

If you feel the need to comment about a woman’s pregnancy, follow this little tip: Give her a KISS.  Keep It Sweet & Simple. We really do appreciate all the genuinely kind and appropriate comments.  In a time when self image can temporarily suffer, kind words can go a long way. Even if you’re just lying to us. 🙂

“You look wonderful – you’re all baby!”

“Pregnancy really suits you!”

“You’re the cutest pregnant woman I’ve ever seen!”

“Mom and baby are looking fantastic.  I can’t wait to meet him or her!”

All acceptable.  If you’re prone to foot in mouth syndrome, just memorize one and use it on repeat.

 

NEXT CLASS: MISCELLANEOUS AND OTHER RANDOM, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, PREGNANCY AND CHILD REARING TOPICS. 

You know, like breastfeeding, family planning, and other entirely personal choices.

foot_in-mouth

 

 

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Unpacking “Help” in Toddlerese

There are basically three definitions of the word “help” in the Toddlerese Dictionary.  You know them.

Help /help/

exclamation 

1. used as an appeal for urgent assistance.

“Help!” (as their head is firmly stuck in between deck rails).  “Help!” (as they are stuck planking between the couch and ottoman and are scared to fall in between).  You know this one as a toddler actually needing help, but for something usually pretty ridiculous and picture worthy.

verb 

2. request to offer your services or resources to make the toddler’s life easier – not as urgent.

“Mom. Please help.” (as she points to the kleenex box on shelf she can’t reach, wanting to take out every kleenex one at a time).  “Please help. Water.” (as he points to his water bottle on the floor of the car that you JUST picked up for him no less than 12 times already).

verb

3. an offering of assistance from your toddler to you – because through your own invitation or simple appeal of the activity, the toddler thinks their assistance will indeed be helpful.

 

THIS LAST ONE.  Numero tres.  The act of the toddler “helping” you.  This is the one.

No one talks about this act of toddler assistance, when some days I feel like it will surely be the thing that kills me one painstaking minute at a time. More so than the whining.  More so than the tantrums when leaving the playground.  And more so than alligator wrestling during each and every diaper change.  (I said some days).

If you’ve been around toddlers, you know all too well the “help” I’m talking about.  It can look like this:

Intention: help vacuuming.

Reality: toddler tries to hold and push your vacuum all on their own with NO help from you, resulting in a several minute struggle because its too heavy, and ending in tears because they couldn’t do it.  Hence, nothing got vacuumed, because your toddler now needs help coming down from their vacuum induced rage.  And if you’re thinking, “just remind her of her own play vacuum and you can do it together”, you are more than welcome to come over and tell her that.  I’ll be in the corner giggling.

Intention: help baking and cooking.

Reality: after bringing over a chair for toddler to stand on or bringing ingredients down to their level, you think you’ve got a firm grip on their hand that holds the mixing spoon.  Toddler refuses help, because after all, they’re the pro here? You calmly refuse to give them full reign, which incites immediate frustration from toddler.  Before you can say “here it comes”, that firm grip is not so firm, and there is food – everywhere. You swear under your breath as you clean up the unknown proportions of misplaced ingredients that that was the last time you let them help for awhile.  Until tomorrow. Blue berry muffins still turn out when half of the mix in your dogs mouth, right?

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Intention: help you go to the bathroom.

Reality:  Who knew that after being self-sufficient in the bathroom for 98% of your life you now needed help? You can’t say no – you want them interested in potty training and the process of going on the potty.  So, they help get you toilet paper to wipe with.  Which is fine, until you’re done wiping – but they aren’t done getting it for you.  Half a roll is on the ground, you’re stuck on the pot, and in frustration they quickly reach to flush before you tell them you’re ready.  All you’re left with is a few cold droplets of water on your butt and the shame in knowing your toddler just beat you in the bathroom.

Intention: help feeding the dogs.

Reality: This one is too easy to envision.  Toddler wants to dump food into bowls.  Gets distracted along the way (shocking).  Food ends up all over floor.  Some gets eaten by dogs.  Some gets eaten by toddler.  You don’t know how much food your dog actually got.  You find bits of dog food in kitchen over the next week.

Intention: helping unload the dishwasher.

Reality: They are playing nicely in the playroom, so you quietly open the dishwasher thinking you can quickly unload it sans “help”.  Your tot is the modern day version of Pavolv’s dog, however, and the simple sound of the dishwasher clicking open sends them running into the kitchen salivating with a thirst to help. You frantically get all the knives and deadly weapons up on the counter out of reach, and then proceed to let them help you.  Three dirty spoons, a broken plate, and 38 minutes later, the dishwasher is unloaded. How could you have possibly done it without them?

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Intention: help bringing in the groceries.

Reality: Most bags are too heavy to hand over.  You learned that when they tipped over sideways while trying to walk the bag through the garage and smashed into the wagon.  So now its a team effort between you and hubby. One sifts through bags looking for durable, non-breakable, non essential, light weight items to hand out. The other waits at the door to retrieve the items one at a time to avoid the toddler trying to walk up (and consequently falling back down) the stairs into the house.  If it was a large grocery shop, you know to run in the perishable fridge/freezer items first because they could easily go bad by the time your helper is done helping.

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To the parents of tiny helpers, I salute you.  Keep on keepin’ on.  Every day tasks take infinitely longer, the house can quickly turn dramatically filthier, and our patience meter can take significant hits when we are “assisted”, but we are determined to raise confident, independent, generous, and strong-willed young people. So we keep at it.   After all, are we really that important to take the extra time to teach them? We allow them to help us throughout our day because we know in the long run, the rewards will far outweigh the patience we put in.  And one day… one day… their help will in fact be our adult definition of help.  Right? (No seriously, some reassure me I’m right).

"Helping" me sweep out the garage.  Aka, stealing the good broom and sweeping our street.
“Helping” me sweep out the garage. Aka, stealing the good broom and sweeping our street.

 

 

 

Nice & Slow – A Pregnancy Remix

The other day I was jamming to some old school Pandora stations, and Usher’s Nice & Slow found its way onto the screen. If you were a tweener or teen in the late 1990’s, this song and that My Way album was your JAM.

(In case you need a little refresher – here’s the throwback for you)

As I sat there keeping up with every word in my head, I found the song rewriting itself as I went along doing my best white girl rap. I guess a song about those after work, I’m coming home NOW, booty call from your husband kind of days are in my rear view mirror for the moment, which made the song a little humorous and unrelatable. Without missing a beat my brain took care of that for me, and created lyrics a little better suited for this glorious “one toddler and one on the way” time in our life.

One day, this song will ring true again. One day.

Until then…

NICE & SLOW – A PREGNANCY REMIX 

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It’s seven o’clock
On the dot
She’s in her drop top
Catchin’ her zzzz’s – oh yeah

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I got a real pretty, pretty little thang that’s waiting for me
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I waddle up
Anticipating, pregnant love
Light headedness, don’t keep me waiting
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I got plans to lay my belly in ways that
You always see, boy you know what I mean

Let me take you to a place nice and quiet
There ain’t no one there to interrupt
We really gotta rush
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

See I’ve been waiting for this for so long
We’ll be makin’ love until the girl gets up
Baby
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

Now here we are
I’m so impossibly round
Contemplating just how I’m gonna lay me down
Sciatic you got me sayin’
My, my, my – My
I wish that I – I
Could easily roll over
And get this thing started right now

I wanna do something freaky to you baby
Shit, I think she heard me
{whispers} I—I wanna do something freaky to you babe
I just can’t call out your name

They call me PR-EGG-O–MO-MMA—E
Now baby do you see these big ole boobies?
Got a momma feelin’ like Dolly P
Every time that you roll with me, holdin’ me
Tryin’ to get control of these
Nice and slow
You know
Never lettin’ go
This baby’s messin’ up our flow
This is how the hook go

Let me take you to a place nice and quiet
There ain’t no one there to interrupt
We really gotta rush
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

See I’ve been waiting for this for so long
We’ll be makin’ love until the girl gets up
Baby
I’m too tired to take it nice and slow
(baby remember all the things you used to do to me)

Now tell me
Do you wanna get sleepy
Cause, I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll get to sleep now cause that was part of our little deal
I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll sleep now yes I will
I’ll get to sleep now cause that was part of our little deal – yeah
(now baby please help me up I gotta pee)

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**If I had the time, resources, man power, or knowledge base to make this into a music video, I totally would’ve. The vision is there. Someone call What’s Up Moms and tell them we should talk! Also, a little shout out to my husband for taking and taking part in these pictures without having a clue of what they were for.  Such a trooper!**

 

There Will Be Boredom.

If you’ve ever had a little toddler, you can imagine the scene.

We begin our walk on the trail that wraps behind the houses on our quiet little court.  A walk that any functioning adult can make in under five minutes.  At a leisurely pace.  I follow Tayler’s lead, embracing the sunshine on my face and the opportunity to get out of the house on this picturesque spring day.  A walk sounds perfect. Three feet onto the trail, she stops and sits to pick up some pebbles on the edge of a neighbor’s landscaping.  After picking them up and dropping them seventeen times, she’s back on her feet and sprinting.  Ten feet later she veers off the trail into a neighbor’s yard to pet their dog we’ve never met.  I swoop her up.  Back on the trail, and she sits on the pavement.  For no apparent reason. The sit turns into a full lay down.  Eventually back on her feet. Squirrel! Two more feet.  She turns and begins to run back the other way.  After some chasing and redirection, I’m given false hope we might just make it around the court.  Twenty feet later.  Bird! She’s off into a brush I’m convinced contains poison ivy.  Five more feet.  Moss is picked at and rubbed in her fingers. Wispy dandelion seeds are in her mouth.  Fifteen more feet.  Back the other way.  Redirected.  Cat! She found a pile of sticks.  Three more feet, and the sticks turn to weapons annihilating all within a two foot radius. Dropped them, and sprinting. Cars in the street!

Thirty seven minutes later, we make it around the court. Every ounce of my being is spent.

I feel so guilty for not enjoying it more. “So many moms would kill to be home out walking with their children!”.  I know.  And most days I do enjoy our walks.  Most days I’m sitting down with her, poking at moss with sticks right next to her.  Faking insane levels of excitement over the sight of every bird.  And bringing things to her attention to feel the different textures in her surroundings.  Today is not that day.  Today I am mind-numbingly bored.  But surely I don’t tell anyone that, because that would make me a horrible mom, right?

Later that day I’m watching my husband hold my daughter at the kitchen table as she plays with magnets on a cookie sheet.  His efforts at pointing out any letters or numbers out are fruitless.  She’d rather just see how quickly she can mess them all up.  I mean, that is more fun.  He sits there for several minutes, until finally he’s wide eyed and laughing with a look of exasperation smeared on his face.  “Oh my goddd this is so boring!”.  He had no shame in it.  He owned it.  And he had no idea that he had just given me a great gift.  Unknowingly, he let me know it was OK to be bored at times. To not always be “on”.  To not always feign excitement and think every little thing we do together is the most fun we’ve ever had.  He’d been there for just a few minutes, but he was bored, and that was OK.

Now mind you, I’m not complaining. I will take every bit of boredom if it means I get to stay home with her everyday.  And most of the time I think we both do a pretty darn good job of engaging her, being present with her, and genuinely playing at her level.  But MAN, there are just some times when I’m certain time has stood still and I’d rather watch another episode of Sofia the First than stack up the cups one. more. time.

And that’s OK.

I’m not a horrible mom.  I’m an adult.  With a brain. That likes to be exercised.  Sometimes I just like to finish a task in its entirety. And every now and then, by the seventy third time I am told to eat fake cereal off a plastic spoon – I’m spent.  Out of my mind spent.

Thank you, sweet husband, for making it OK to be bored sometimes.  I will tell anyone wholly and emphatically how much I genuinely love being home every day with our sweet girl, and how she’s managed to fill every crevice and nook inside my heart.  But some days, at some times, there will be boredom.  The, “I HAVE to go pretend to use the upstairs bathroom for a long period of time so I can text a friend and play Sudoku or I might DIIIIE right here on the playroom floor” boredom.  And that’s OK.  🙂

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An Exaggerated, But Not That Exaggerated Day Inside the Head of Today’s Moms

One of my biggest frustrations as a mom in today’s overloaded information age is the endless stream of hazards, studies, chemicals, toxins, and recalls we are continuously made aware of.  It’s incredibly easy to feel like every single decision you make carries immense weight, and everything you do or give your child during the day has potential hazards involved.  Article after article about children’s products pour through my social media feed each day, and to keep up with it all is utterly exhausting.  Is the study valid? Is it a real concern? What is a safe alternative? How can I make the best choices without breaking our budget? I swear some days I consider going back to work just so I can pay for a research assistant to help me sift through the crap and get down to what  really matters.  While I’m thankful that we as moms today have information available to help keep our children safe, I also sometimes think a little ignorance is bliss.  Generations before us didn’t have access to all of this information – yet somehow, they survived and thrived?

In honor of this daily struggle I wanted to write about what it looks like in the head of today’s moms.  It’s not all to be taken seriously, but some days it sure feels close.  Finding that balance between staying up to date on products and practices and keeping your sanity and focus on what really matters is no easy task. To all you moms that make decisions every day with nothing but your children’s best interest at heart and cross your fingers that it all works out, I applaud you and adore you.

My body naturally rises at 6 a.m. Before I muster the energy to get out of bed I quickly sift through my news and social media feeds, which always contains something about child safety. First up is an article about infant and toddler mattresses emitting toxic chemicals our little ones breathe in all night.

Because who should ever test those to make sure they’re safe? I peek at my daughter on the monitor sleeping peacefully with her bottom in the air. Look at how sweet she is… just soaking up toxins through that cute little nose.  Son of a B. 

I’m ready for the day, and she begins to stir upstairs.  I get her cup ready with some milk.  Having recently read about BPA free cups being just as dangerous due to substituting with unregulated chemicals and carcinogens, I fill it reluctantly.

What the F am I supposed to do? Pour the milk straight into her mouth? Here you go, sweetheart.  Drink up out of your toxic sippy. 

After her milk we head to her playroom to work out some morning wiggles and get an appetite for breakfast working.  As she plays contently with her play food at the kitchen set, I can’t help but look around at what an apparent danger trap the room is.

Hmm. She just climbed up and stood on the back of the chair to play with the blinds and cords. Should probably replace those.  That shelving unit needs mounting.  The outlet covers she now picks off with ease need to be replaced with something heavy duty.  Oh, and those are a choking hazard now. Half of that basket of teething toys have been recalled due to choking hazards… should probably throw those out, too.  There’s her old Bumbo.  The queen bee of fall hazards.  Where were people putting their children while in this seat?!  There’s the jumper she once loved, happily bouncing her way up to projectile spit up.  I just read that those are “amputation and fracture” risks.  YIKES? Clearly this room is not fit for children. Let’s make some breakfast and go play at the park.  

I cut up some toast, wash and chop an apple, and get her some organic fruit smoothie.  I eye the baby food pouch, but get sick thinking about the video I just saw of someone finding live larvae in one of those pouches.

The bread is whole grain, that’s good right? The apple isn’t organic, but I washed it, soooo? Hopefully that’s good enough? Naked brand just came out with the fact that their wholesome smoothies contain other ingredients and chemicals that aren’t listed.  Is this one legit? Here’s to hoping? Eat up, pumpkin.  

I clean her up, get her dressed, and change her diaper.

How can I still use these Kirkland wipes from Costco without letting that article I read about them getting a low safety rating creep into the back of my head?  I love these wipes! 

I grab her bag and go to put her in the car seat.

Chest buckle at armpit height. Check.  Shoulder straps perfectly on top of shoulders and can’t pinch them at all.  Check. Fleece on, but its really thin, so that doesn’t really break the big coat rule, right? Sure.  Check.  Still happy rear-facing. Sweet.  Double check. The fact that we paid for a top of the line car seat and still deal with safety recalls.  Really flipping pisses me off.  

We get to the park filled with children of all ages.

I wonder if anyone else saw that article about people taping small razor blades all over equipment at playgrounds to intentionally hurt children? Hopefully this one is blade free. Of course it is, Erica… chill.  

I do a quick scan of all adults at the playground.  Obviously looking for the creep that the news always tells me will surely be there.

Kinda creepy.  Could be creepy.  Definitely creepy.  Did these people come with children?!

Tayler is happily playing, and being the paparazzi mom that I am, I snap a few cute pictures of her playing.  Our family digs them.

Wait. Shit. Did I turn off the location service for my phone camera? I don’t need any of these creeps knowing where we are all the time. THEY WERE ABLE TO MAKE MAPS OF KIDS’ BEDROOMS WITH THAT STUFF. 

After some fun-filled park adventures, we come back to the house for some lunch and a good nap.  I take her upstairs to her room to lay her down.

Crap. I haven’t washed out that cool-mist humidifier in awhile.  I think the max you’re supposed to let it go is a week.  I’m pretty sure its been like seven.  Noise maker on.  But not too close to her or too loud.  Those are apparently a noise risk now? I’m pretty sure dad’s TV volume level and our dogs’ barking take care of that already for her.  Her breathable mesh bumpers are pushed down a little low.  Oh well, I’ll leave them.  Despite her full body control, I’ve been taught to be terrified of those things. 

She wakes up rested, but a little grumpy from her three teeth trying to push through.

Can’t use baby Orajel.  Can’t use teething tablets.  Our pediatrician said those teething necklaces leak arsenic. Hopefully a low dose of Tylenol is safe.  Here babe, chew on this frozen washcloth. I’m so over this.  

We decide to head back outside for a walk in her new push car.  I opt out of the Bjorn, because I guess those don’t support her hips enough.

I knew I should’ve gotten an Ergo. 

Before I put sunscreen on her, I’m left feeling guilt ridden again. I had just read that most popular sunscreen brands are actually full of harmful chemicals.

Well which is better right now? No sunscreen and turning her fragile baby skin to leather? Or putting it on again before we can get over to Target and buy a “safe” baby brand? Get over here lady.  Let’s lather you up.   

We enjoy our walk and play in our court for awhile, and then devour our string cheese snack.  We head to back yard to kick a ball around.

God our yard looks like hell after this winter.  I’m assuming we can’t use fertilizer? What can we use? Anything? Rely on all the dog poop that needs to be picked up? Shit.  This yard is a minefield of poop.  We can’t be back here.  

So we head back inside for a little bit to play in her danger room.  Followed by what I can only hope was a somewhat safe and nutritious dinner.  We eventually head up for bath time.  We just ran out of our Burt’s Bee’s Soap, so I grab some Johnson and Johnson from our baby shower stash we accumulated.

Is this stuff safe yet? How obnoxious.  Formaldehyde? Really? Maybe just this once? I need to invest in Honest Company stock.  

Pajamas on. Books read.  Lights out.  Milk drank.  Noise maker on.  Rocking into sweet dreams.  She’s sleeping safely and comfortably in my arms.  But I dare not fall asleep with her, because apparently that’s too dangerous.  Pshht.

Whew.  We made it through another day in this battlefield.  I shouldn’t be called Mom.  I should be called Master Crisis Averter.  Or Doctor of Danger Assessment.  I guess Mom will do for now.  

I lay her in her crib, kiss her goodnight, and quietly close the door.

Shit.  I wonder if she’ll be ok with the blanket I left in there? 

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An Ode to Yoga Pants

This weekend I wore jeans. Not once, but twice. Not leggings, not jeggings, not skinny jeans.  Real jeans. While I have to admit it was nice for a few minutes and I was pleasantly surprised with how they fit, I felt like I had cheated on my yogas and I couldn’t wait to get home to their warm embrace. Some days I question how much I wear them.  Is this socially acceptable? Have I let myself go? Am I not trying hard enough? Fortunately, however, my husband’s continual reminder of how much he loves my butt in them and their sheer practicality for surviving a day at home with my daughter keeps me reaching for them day after day.  I debated for a bit on whether or not I should actually take the time to write about a simple pair of pants, but if they are in the name of the blog I have to write about them at some point, right? So here it is.  My somewhat serious, somewhat satirical ode to my beloved yoga pants.

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After doctors needed to open my abdomen to get my precious girl out safely, you were there to ever so gently rest on my incision as it healed.  

Over a near two year span of pregnancy, childbirth, and and working to get my body back, you were always there to adjust my ever changing body without requiring me to purchase you in five different sizes. 

When my daughter sneezes with a mouth full of applesauce, I can quickly rub it into my pants and you would never know the difference. You just take it and hide it like it never happened at all. 

That Christmas I was very pregnant and ate enough mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for three adult men, you were literally the only one at the table that didn’t judge me. 

When hurdling a baby gate numerous times is a daily requirement, you allow me to feel like my form and speed is Olympic worthy.  Sometimes I hurdle it quickly just because I can. 

As much of my day is spent bending over to pick up the storm of toys Tayler leaves in her wake, you allow me to do it without ever feeling my butt crack exposed.  No gentle breeze ever tickles my backside. 

Some days it’s a challenge to fully beautify myself before my husband gets home. When all else fails, you still hug his favorite curves perfectly, and that is always a win.  

When I was so enormous I was convinced I was carrying a grown man and could no longer shave my legs effectively without falling out of the shower, your leggings allowed me to sleep in peace without being poked repeatedly.  

Those times my daughter needed to be with me so bad that she refused to be put on her nemesis (the floor!) when I needed to use the bathroom, you didn’t require me to undo buttons. You allowed me to successfully hold her in one arm and take care of my business with the other.  Many times. 

You allow me to go from doting mother to getting in a quick sweat session as a treadmill beast at the drop of the hat.  Literally.  I don’t even have to change. 

Army crawling through miniature sized tents, crouching in boxes, turning her into an airplane on top of my feet, and transforming my body into a back bridge for her to crawl under are all done with ease thanks to your ever-forgiving stretch.  Seriously. I do a killer bridge. 

When Tayler’s main goal was seeing how many times she could get me to change my clothes in a day with her spit up, you endured wash after wash after wash.  And I didn’t even need to do the jeans lunge so you fit right when I put you back on.  Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Sometimes the fast pace and multitude of tasks a parenting team is required to attend to in a day leaves little time for romance.  But yogas, you always accommodate the quick hand-slide, butt-cheek grab.  Always.  And for that, my husband thanks you.  

Back in our hay-day when Tayler and I were a class A team at napping together, you allowed us to do so comfortably, at any time, anywhere, and in any position.  

When Tayler was attached to my breasts for months, you did a spectacular job of catching any breast milk that escaped past the burp cloth on my stomach.  I didn’t even need to ask.  

And perhaps the most important: on days after baby when my self-confidence and self-esteem desperately needed a pick-me-up, you were always forgiving so I didn’t self loathe any more over the state of my mom pooch or increased size of my love handles.  You just covered them, and reminded me I am still beautiful – no matter my jean size. 

While jeans and I will continue to have an occasional affair on the side, Yoga Pants, you will always be my one true love.

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The Perfect Storm – A Grocery Store Horror

It started out like any one of our other 100 successful trips we’ve taken to the grocery store together. An errand I genuinely enjoy doing with Tayler. She had just gotten up from a nap, had a big bottle, clean diaper, and was ready to rock. Recipe for success, right?

Upon arrival, I felt good. She was happily bumbling in the cart, my list was organized perfectly by aisle (well, for the most part), and we began our rounds. The first inkling of disaster started when every slow-moving and oblivious human appeared to be in Meijer with me. All at the same time. All blocking my aisles. I only have so many patient and understanding smile/nods to give out – come on people. Grab another frozen pizza and move on.

About a quarter of the way through the grocery list, sweet, curious Tayler banged her head on the side of the cart. Crocodile tears, hysterical screams, and thrashing ensued. It scared her more than anything – she was fine. Needless to say, from this point on she refused to sit in the cart for one second longer, and I was forced to carry her in one arm while trying to navigate the heavy cart with the other through the masses of molasses clogging our path ways. Not ideal, but no biggie – I got this.

We had finally finished our list (after batting away those staple 7 elderly people that try to touch her cheeks while we’re there). Since little miss had no intentions of sitting back in the cart, I was forced to pick a check-out lane with an employee – no self-check out today. To no surprise, every check-out lane was 5 people deep with full carts of crap (was it my fault for tempting fate on a late Friday afternoon?).

And then it hit. (If you’re not a fan of TMI stories, or a male – this is probably your cue to stop reading – thanks for stopping by!).

In a matter of 30 seconds, I went from mildy frustrated and sweating from carrying a 9 month old on my arm, to sweating from sheer panic as chaos hit my stomach like a ton of bricks. I needed to find a restroom as soon as possible. Like, yesterday. We squealed our tires out of line, and made it to the closest restroom. My hand was now forced to conquer one of my biggest fears: going #2 in public. This, was my nightmare. My absolute nightmare.

As Tayler and I ditched our cart and made our way in, we were welcomed by a party of women oogling over the third stall toilet that appeared to have exploded. Just what I needed – an audience (and why were they intent on watching that?!). The only available stall was the first one with the mangled door. I had to. Things were moving quick. I thought I was going to die in that stall today, as I battled a knee length jacket that wouldn’t unzip, a 9 month old that wouldn’t stop moving in my lap or trying to touch every disgusting inch of that place, facing my fear of doing my business in public (why god WHY couldn’t the bathroom be empty?!), and a tampon that insisted on being changed – all the while staring back at the woman who had no shame in watching me struggle through the two inch gap in the door. And I thought I was sweating before.

I walked out of that bathroom with zero dignity left as I grabbed our cart and made our way back to the insanely long lines. I can only imagine that I had defeat spelled out in block letters on my face as a Meijer manager so graciously came over to me, grabbed my cart, and had an employee open up a new line just for me. What an angel.

I can laugh now (even though I’m still not feeling too well), but I can’t decide whether I should be amazed at how I pulled it off in that tiny stall, or be mortified knowing that those Meijer employees have not only seen me at my worst in their bathroom, but have also seen me half pee myself in their store when I was 9.5 months pregnant. Regardless, being a mom is never, ever a dull moment.

Maybe I need to find a new grocery store? I guess I’ll debate that tonight as I drink my one (or seven) glasses of wine.