Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things I'm Crazy About

My husband, who will let our toddler chase him with the sprinkler
My sweet baby, who obviously got his cheeks from his mom
Long shadows on long spring days

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Slowing down

I was driving with the boys in the car from Target to the grocery store, trying to fit all my errands into the morning before Finn's nap. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of color.

"Look!" I said to Finn. "They are blowing up a hot air balloon!" I stopped at a red light and Finn craned his neck around to try to catch a glimpse. Will was sleeping in the back, and so I thought....hey, why not just pull over for a couple of minutes and watch this.
I merged into the turn lane suddenly. "What are you doing, mama?" Finn asked, confused.

"Let's watch the balloon!" I said, pulling onto the side of the road.

Finn watched, wide eyed. We rolled down the windows and we listened to the roar of the fan blowing air into the balloon. The guys were running around, pulling ropes and doing some kind of well-choreographed dance as the balloon grew bigger and bigger.

My little budding photographer pulled out his camera and began snapping pictures....

...and admiring his work...

And as the balloon rose up in the air, I put the car in drive and said to Finn, "Let's get even closer!" I pulled up right behind the action and scooped Finn out of the car so we could get really close.

The flame was LOUD and he covered his ears, but he did it with a smile on his face.

Sometimes it pays to slow down.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog muse: She Likes Purple

Jennie from She Likes Purple (an amazing writer who I highly recommend that you add to your feed, like NOW) wrote a pretty fantastic blog post last month - and she was actually inspired by Leah from A Girl and a Boy - about women helping women and particularly, mothers helping mothers. She gave a helpful "do" and "don't" list of things to say to new moms.

Among the dos:
I am thinking of you. I am here for you. Go take a nap, I've got this covered. Where's your laundry detergent so I can do this load of whites? You look fantastic. You are the perfect mom for him/her. What's your favorite restaurant so I can pick up dinner? It gets so much better and it'll change from hard to easier like that. You're doing everything right. Your son/daughter is beautiful. It's hard for all of us, in so many ways. I'll be in the kitchen, doing the dishes. Eat this cupcake.

And the don't that literally brought tears to my eyes:
Call me if you need anything! (she won't, you call her)

How many times have we said that to a new mom? We throw it out there "Call me! I'm happy to help! If you ever need a babysitter, just call me!" Do we mean it? Maybe. But do they call? No. Never. They NEVER do. I never did.

After Will was born and I was laid off shortly thereafter, I was lost. I wasn't sleeping much with having a newborn and a toddler at the same time. All those books that say "sleep when the baby sleeps" are useless once you have another kiddo around, as there is rarely a moment when both kids are asleep at the same time. Every free moment was devoted to searching for a job. I felt like no one would really let me mourn the loss of my job because everyone wanted me to "look at the bright side! A long maternity leave!" I felt tossed aside from a company that I devoted many years of my life to and incredibly resentful that I was forced to spend my leave searching for a new job. It was a time in which I felt entirely worthless. Unfortunately, I didn't really reach out. I talked to my friends about my feelings, but I never really told them how sad I felt, how much I longed someone to tell me that I was needed and wanted. And not just wanted to make lunch or get up in the middle of night to feed the baby. But that me, as a woman, was valuable. Combine all of this mental whirlwind with serious exhaustion and zero time to myself, I think I was flirting with a little good old fashioned postpartum depression.

When you have your second baby, people just aren't as excited. People say "Oh, I can't wait to meet him" but they don't come over. They don't bring dinners. They don't call. And even worse, when they did call and offer to help, I said "No, no, I don't want to put you out." And they believed me! The nerve!

Reading Jennie's post, I wondered why we don't insist on helping. Well, I can tell you that this mama won't let my offers go unfulfilled. I will bring dinner. I will fold laundry. I will listen. I will rock her baby while she takes a bath or a nap or just gets the fuck out of the house for an hour and stares at a wall in a coffee shop. Whatever she wants. I will insist.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog muse: Mommy Nani Booboo

I wish I had like 2 hours to read nothing but blogs every day, because there are so many talented writers out there. There are some that I never miss because the content is good every.single.time. These are usually the ones that I think about days, weeks, even months after I've read them. It's usually when they are able to write exactly the words that are in my brain, but generally way better than I could say or write them. So for the next couple of days, I'm going to use some talented ladies as my blog muse.

First up: This genius post at Mommy Nani Booboo, titled "How to Get Into My Pants" Okay, first of all, this lady is funny as shit. Secondly, she encapsulated the difference that men and women have about getting in the mood. For men, it's a 30 second process....for women, foreplay begins 3 days prior. He washes the parts to my breastpump....mmm, I'm getting hot.....he unloads the dishwasher...ohhh now you're talkin.....he tells me to sleep in....uhhh huh, take my clothes off now. I shouldn't talk for all women, but I think it's pretty universal that it's pretty hot when a man can show you that he appreciates you and that he's part of your team. My husband works wacky hours (including weekends) AND goes to school full time, so we'll go several days in a row without really having a conversation. My guess is that in his mind, he's thinking "I want to connect with you, so I'm gonna make a move" but in my mind I'm like "We have barely talked in 4 days, I couldn't be less turned on right now".

And if I can just fully plagiarize for a moment, let me copy and paste this genius line from her blog:

Do something just for me. – Just a little something. Not something for the both of us, or for the family, or for the house… just me. I know you’re very busy, and there probably isn’t a lot of room on your list of “things to do” for me. But if there is no room for me on your list- there is probably no room for your penis in my vagina.

*Not to steal any thunder from another gal talking about married sex this week, Kit at Her post today includes the joke: "Why is the bride smiling?" ... "Because she knows she'll never have to give another blow job."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exciting New Product!

I have a very exciting product announcement for you.  You actually already have it, although perhaps you don't realize it.  It's conviently located to the left of your steering wheel in your car, and it looks much like the lever for your windshield washer function.  This lever is called your TURN SIGNAL.  This clever little device (also known as your blinker) activates a light on your car which is meant to alert other drivers on the road if you intend to change lanes or make a turn onto an adjacent road.  Seems unncessary, you say?  Yes, I realize you think that, which is why I thought we should discuss it.  Let's explore this tool, shall we!

The basics:  Pushing this contraption UP indicates that you are going to the right.  Pushing it down means you are going to the left.  Simple, eh?!

Helpful hints:
  • Don't assume that just because you have your blinker on, that you are entitled to come into the lane.  Plan ahead.  For instance, if you know you need to turn left in a mile, don't wait until the very last second to get into the left lane - i.e., don't be lame.  
  • Your turn signal can be very handy when you want to merge into one of the lanes next to you.  There is no need to get annoyed at other drivers when they won't let you in, when you haven't communicated that you want to do so, even if you believe that your passive aggressive swerving is getting your point across.
  • If you are going to merge into the turn lane, go ahead and turn on your blinker on prior to getting into that lane.  If you turn it on WHILE you are ALREADY in the turn lane, you are just being a lazy, annoying fuck.
  • If you intend on turning right into a side street or strip mall of sorts, be sure not to turn it on your blinker and then pass three or four possible places that you could have turned right.  This defeats the point of the turn signal, as you are LYING about your turning intentions.  
Although we are just covering turn signal basics, this is a perfect time to bring up the concept of the 'thank you wave'.  The purpose of this is to acknowledge someone for allowing you to merge into their lane, especially when the other person has slowed down in order for you to do so.  You simply raise your hand in the air, and move it slightly from side to side.  This very small amount of effort makes you a courteous, friendly driver.  And alternatively, if you decide to garishly pull in front of someone without thanking them for making them slam on their brakes to accommodate your vehicle 2 feet from their front bumper, you are a rude idiot asshole.

I'm so glad that I could enlighten you about these new products and concepts.  Now go forth, and use with reckless abandon.  I think that once you start using it, you'll find yourself turning on your signal when you pull into your driveway, and giving a thank you wave to the tree in your front yard.  You can never be too safe or nice!

Next editionBumper Stickers:  Which ones are totally inappropriate for your vehicle and therefore alert everyone that you are a douche canoe? 

Future editions: Avoid parking like an asshole AND The Left Lane: Not for you, Grandpa. 

*This post is brought to you by "Basic Manners" magazine.  If the subject matter contained within this post is confusing or new information to you in any way, you should subscribe immediately.  You can subscribe by visiting our website: or calling us toll free at 1-800-ASS-CAKE now! 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Being open

The day after I wrote the post about becoming a blog writing machine, I posted a video that I made for Finn's third birthday.  It had his full name in the beginning of the video, but I decided to post it anyway.  The next day, I got a comment on my family blog where I post nonstop pictures and videos and commentary about the boys.  Someone left an anonymous comment on a very old post of Finn that shows him naked from behind.  The comment was nasty.  It called us disgusting parents for "tarting" out our son to the internet, and then alluded to what they would like to do with my boy.  I did some investigating with my stat tracker and found that someone from Sweden left the comment, after doing a Google search for "naked boy".  Because that was the name of the actual picture that I had saved on my computer, it somehow led them to that post.

The first thing I did after reading that comment was to take down the video on this blog.  Even though it was "just" a comment, I felt somehow violated and scared that I was opening up my kid to risk.  I'm generally pretty trusting of the internet and world in general.  I pay my bills online, I don't shred every piece of paper I throw away, I do social media.  So perhaps I'm just naive.  Or maybe I'm just a wimp, and if I'm going to put my life out there online, I have to be prepared for everything.

Well, I'll tell you that although I did poke my head in a hole for a couple of days, I won't retreat indefinitely. 

But where is the line?  How much can I be open without opening myself to risk?  Is this an impossible task?