Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"You have a Baby and you go to WORK?!!"...

"Don't you feel guilty about coming to work and leaving your baby at home?" Actually today was the first day that I was able to drive to work without crying, so thanks for reminding me that I am a horrible mother...Wait a minute, you are asking me this from your office here at work while your children are at daycare!...Why are you judging me? Does it make you feel better about your choice to be a working mom?
I rush out of work to meet my son at a mommy and me class...Afterwards I am invited to go to lunch, the following day, by some of the moms..."Oh sorry, I can't, I have to work. But if you want to meet up on a Saturday, I would be love to." 3 grown women sit speechless, staring at me like I am an alien. They have heard of women like me but they had never met one...and here it comes..."You go to WORK?!!! What's that like?"
What you will do as a woman once your child is born is a subject of great debate. Prior to having children I naively didn't realize so many people even cared about how my post partum time would be divided. Goodness knows no one ever seemed to care about the hours I spent wandering the mall looking at eyeshadow. Or that some afternoons I liked to look at the pores on my face for several hours in the bright light of the day. But that was BC, before children. I have however, quickly learned that everyone has an opinion about what I do now...because I'm someone's mom! BTW, I'm not the mom to any of their children, so I'm not sure how they have the right to such strong opinions about what it is that I do, EVER.
Stay at home MOM or working MOM...don't we share the same last name? Doesn't that make us family? We certainly share many of the same hardships...like 9 months of sobriety, a lifetime of putting just about everyone before ourselves, a body that will never quite be the same...I could go on and on about all of our commonalities...Interestingly, the only thing that perhaps separates our daily plight is that some of us work outside of the home.
I will tell you that I have no opinion on whether or not you go to work...I have many of working mom friends that don't do so for economic reasons. They had careers first and then wanted to be moms, is it wrong that they continue to work? And then there are my friends that had careers and decided that staying at home was right for them...I'm not sure they know how much easier it is to go to work!  At the end of the day we each have to do what is right for us and our families. How can we judge that for someone else? And why do we want to? I have never heard a man say, that guy's not a good dad because he works...quite the opposite. And to be truthful I have asked my husband if he thought one of his friends was a good dad...his response was something along these lines. "I guess. I don't know. What's for dinner?"
If you are wondering what has prompted this tangent from my usually whimsical, satirical subject matter;  I stumbled on to this blog..The mom pledge blog (http://www.themompledgeblog.com/).
The mom pledge begs that we respect each other as mothers and the choices we as mothers make. So I ask you to take the pledge. Being a mom is without a doubt, the hardest job in the world...I support your decision to be a stay at home mom OR a working mom...I do NOT, however, support your choice of wearing those Mom Jeans! And frankly I will not tolerate you judging my decision to work or not...

I hope you are having more Peaks than Pits to your week...After the shooting in Colorado, I know I am happy to have my kids here to hug tonight. Jackson announced tonight, over the monitor, "Momma, you are my sunshine"...big time PEAK...Now he needs to go to sleep so I can chat with my old friend Pinot Noir!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Everyday is a School Day...But What are the Peaks and Pits?

     With a rare, quiet moment I am reflecting on all that this last week or so has offered me; educationally speaking. Because as one of my Docs always says, "everyday is a school day Sharron". For starters,  I learned that the peaks and pits to each day have changed greatly since kids. Before kids my peaks were something along the lines of a great shoe sale, a stolen weekend with Luke off call or getting my favorite bike in spin class. Common pits:  realizing my car was on fumes when I was running late for work or missing 2 for 1 wine night at my favorite watering hole...my, my things have changed!
     My first peak now comes much earlier in the day. Frequently its when Jackson crawls into our bed around 6 am, he's so sweet and snugly. Then approximately 15 minutes later, the first pit...when I have drifted back into a slumber, Jackson screams at the top of his lungs that he now would like to watch a show...this announcement is usually preceded by a long toot (fart, for those of you without children) sent my way. This of course causes my husband to wake in a fit of laughter...(BTW, a baby screaming in the monitor next to his head at 3 a.m. doesn't even pause his flagrant snoring.) Thus I begin my morning...workdays I leave around 7, so its a race around the house to get everything quickly done. Jackson usually helps out considerably by taking everything out of the bathroom cabinets. Even better, he loves to squirt the lotion under the sink over and over again. He makes such a huge, gross mess, but it keeps him quiet and busy for about 4 minutes.  He also likes to fill random objects with water in the bathtub and spill them all over the bathroom floor. So once I'm either ready to go or I can't take anymore we head downstairs.
     As we leave the bedroom I often try to quiet Jackson so as to not wake Blake...Jackson puts his finger over his mouth in a shhhhh position...YES its working, he's quiet! Then I put my foot on the first step down and Jackson trumpets, as loudly as possible, "I'm being so quiet momma!" This he says with complete pride and pure innocence, unaware that he has likely startled Blake awake - second peak because how can you not smile at this. And so goes much of the day...
    I also learned that my toddler is the Johnny Cochran of concrete defense. How so, you ask...I'll show you....

Jackson is not allowed to stand on the couch, plain and simple. When I saw this in action I said, "are you supposed to be standing on the couch?!"(An attempt to strengthen his ability to reason.) To which he calmly says, "No, I'm on my step stool." (This is a black and white subject for him and the answer was so obvious). So, I manually removed him from this potential disaster and our circular debate on the subject continued until I could get to the coffee pot. Later my husband asks, "did you really take his picture doing this?" No I was able to download this photo from Google Earth and TMZ! Seriously, if I had to take him to the ER I wanted evidence of how his injuries occurred. I mean if the State is going to place him with another family they need to know what they are going to be up against.
     Next,  I discovered that a tedious, lengthy wait in a doctor's office is welcomed if you are alone! I was able to read my email, cyber stalk on Facebook and look up recipes I will never make on Pinterest...severely productive use of my time. Oh and I eavesdropped on several surrounding conversations without once having to shush a child. I may start making up fake illnesses to have some alone time.
     My son has also taught me that he no longer needs my assistance in dressing. This should greatly speed up our morning routine.

      Also we apparently don't need a jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. Jackson informed me the other night that the big bubbles were from his butt. Fabulous...this ties right into the next fun fact from the week...little boys like whoopee cushions...Yes Luke that is because they have an X and Y chromosome.  

     Here's a tidbit that I think many of you will find useful...Just because your 2 year old has a vehicle and a mustache does NOT mean they will allow him to buy a bottle of wine for you.

     Something I thought I would never say...my son has a rat tail...apparently when you marry someone from Kansas this just happens...live and learn!

     My 2 year old can easily earn millions as a hostage negotiator. For the last week, I have been worked over by this daft criminal after his bedtime, bringing him water, reading another story, turning on the stars in his room (yes that's my super power) and many other sleep stalling tactics. He's started yelling, "momma, somethings wrong"...Like Chinese water torture this statement is repeated 25 times in rapid succession. Finally I cave, I'm no Navy Seal, and I ask, "what's wrong?" A question that he clearly is not prepared to answer. And finally there's a break in the verbal persecution. Next he begins the repetitive mantra "I just need my momma" this is accompanied with sobs. I break...I too am crying as put my wine down, we had just been reunited. Up the stairs I go, to lay with him for a bit. And as he drifts off...I sneak out usually just in time for the midway point of Law and Order...luckily Luke has been watching...In a simple, succinct sentence he gets me up to speed..."that girl was raped and they don't know who did it"....great now I know all the details and I feel I can predict the ending.
     Lastly, after 19 years with this feline I have just come to learn he collects stickers.

     So you see my week has been full of learning experiences...How about you? Learn anything new this week? Also...what were your peaks and pits? Here were two of mine...
PEAK...Blake turned 3 months old and Jackson survived another day




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What happened to my Girl's Night Out?

How my GNO used to look...
Over the years I have greatly enjoyed my Girl's Night Out (GNO) adventures.  Frequently a meal is involved, but omnipresent are wine, gossip and laughter. Oh and generally someone screaming, "Take my picture!" Even after marriage I maintained my GNO at least monthly...I fully believe that everyone deserves a little time of their own and honestly Luke does not care to discuss my emotions on last weeks Real Housewives of Orange County. But don't let him fool you, he sits himself down for some Kardashians regularly!
So with the arrival of all the men in my world...GNO has become even more important, I have to wash the testosterone off every once in awhile. The conversations and locations of GNO can vacillate greatly depending on the women I am with; some are new moms, some are moms of older kids, some never want kids and some are trying. (I can promise you the women who don't have kids don't really care about how many times your baby spit up today, because I don't care and I am a mom.) But what never changes is the fact that I am away from my boys just long enough for bedlam to visit my house. I'm not really sure what happens and frankly I'm not sure I want to know. I always return to the frat house after the keg party.

What I now come home to...
Over exaggerating you say? Oh nay nay do not allow yourself to be fooled by the cherubic faces...I assure you just one of these preschool boys can bring you to your knees in moments. Just last week I ventured out for some much deserved girl time. I haven't really left my husband alone much with both boys yet. Luke's good, but both inmates and bedtime is a lot to manage. We usually tackle dinner, baths and bedtime together...and when I say "we", I'm talking about Luke, me and Mark West...
perhaps you've met!
So after about an hour away from The Evans Home for Boys, I received this series of texts from my husband....
1.  "Blake pooped!!"
2.  "He was sitting on my lap" Then I got this picture text...
Luke's shorts with baby poop on them
3.  "Jackson just peed on the floor"

These texts are supposed to get me a running' back to our abode?! Apparently Luke does not feel the boys need to wear diapers while I am gone. I mean seriously there is no other logical explanation for this series of unfortunate accidents. And then I ask you...why is he texting me and not just cleaning it up...why oh why do I need to know this? When I am out with the girls please only call/text if someone is bleeding and you are calling 911...Also, let me know the minute you call 911 because it will take the taxicab awhile to arrive and get me to the hospital. 

But perhaps you think that this was one, out of the ordinary night. Again, I say walk a mile in my heels and yoga pants. But if you need a few more pieces of evidence of how things go to hell in hand basket the minute my car shifts into drive, I'll provide you with the photographic evidence you so crave. 

eating with his feet
with a diaper this full, no wonder he pees on the floor

proof that the diapers come off
and a bag of cookies...just what every toddler should have

riding 4 wheeler in house - Thank goodness he's got the helmet

I think I have set the record straight...So the next time you see me enjoying me GNO, please send me a glass of wine. Because you are now privy to what I will be returning home to find! And really how can I have it any better...my husband sends me out for girls night knowing he will be left alone with these characters...

Friday, July 6, 2012

BabyFat...not BabyPhat

Here is Jessica Alba 2 weeks after having her second child...REALLY?! I don't think that if I were to meet her I would like her. There is something evil behind that beautiful girl next door face...I'm just thankful she isn't the girl next door to me. 

I have been known to let out a blood curdling scream when I catch a glimpse of myself naked in the mirror these days. Luke is so good, he always says "Remember, you just had a baby." I really think he is reminding himself of that. And of course I know I just had a baby, remember I was unable to drink wine for 9 months. But now that the baby has been evicted does it have to look like buckshot sprayed my ass? Pregnancy changes your body...seriously who doesn't know this? But now I'm ready for this change to be over. Yes I had a baby 2 years ago and I should know that these things take time...but I'm ready to wear that entire closet worth of clothes that I can't fit into...I don't want to buy new clothes because that is admitting defeat and I don't need maternity clothes. Because, by the way, I'm NOT pregnant anymore! They need to make half sizes of pregnant clothes...like your not pregnant but you still have that Sponge Bob Square Shape.

Who told me to gain 45 pounds during pregnancy? Yes I had a 9 pound baby but that doesn't account for the tray of cookies I ate everyday. I mean seriously the medical books say a healthy weight gain is 25-35 pounds...they can suck it! Blake is 2 months old and I need to lose 20 pounds. This is not some a plea for my friends to write how great I look...You're my friends, you have to say these things. So once cleared to exercise after my Csection I decided to embark on some competitive dieting with friends...none of whom have as much weight to loose as I do. I really felt like I was the one to beat! I started working out again and eating right...4 pounds that is all I have lost. My mom, who probably has a Hershey's bar in her purse right now, has lost 8 pounds...seriously!

Time management is my biggest challenge right now. I got on the stair master the other day for 11 minutes, that is about the time Blake started wailing! So I could put him in the baby bjorn and use the stair master. I'm seriously afraid though, that one of my neighbors will look in the window and think I'm crazier than they already figured me to be. And I don't suppose the wine and walk that I do in the evenings while Jackson rides his 4 wheeler though the neighborhood counts as real cardio. So my workouts will have to happen before the boys wake up. That means I have to be up and working out by 5 am. And with Blake still waking up in the night that puts me waking at 3 am to feed him and then up at 5 am to run. I choose sleep...The regular workouts will have to wait for now. I may just ascribe myself to the workout regimen of my sister in law. She puts on workout clothes in the morning and if she doesn't make it to the gym she still feels like she got a workout in - Genius!

And on top of it all, 2 weeks after the dieting began I went back to work...talk about having too many balls in the air. Would it be weird if I wore ankle weights at work? I do walk a lot through out the day and I always wear long pants...maybe no one will notice. I will have to remember to take them off before going into the MRI room, that could make for a real catastrophe! I would definitely end up in Administration explaining how the MRI is broken thanks to my flying ankle weights.
Do I really have to be able to do it all? I suppose fitness modeling is out for this season! I apparently will be keeping these saddle bags that I packed on so we have extra storage when traveling! Talk about being a committed mother, I have given up my physique so we don't have to pay baggage fees when we fly. Speaking of flying, I can do that too...with the flab on my arms. Did I mention it is bathing suit and shorts season and I live in South Florida? Hey everyone let's get in the pool, I will be wearing my burqa.
So many of my girlfriends complain about the same thing. And in reality I guess we are just too hard on ourselves. Logically, I am aware that this too shall pass and my body will get back to its usual shape. But it takes a minute to wrap my brain around that.
So the next time you see me wearing this lovely kitty on my butt...know that I am no longer BabyFat, I'm just plain old BabyPhat!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

For the Love of the Nanny...

     Prior to having children I always thought I would easily leave my kids with babysitters or even our parents. Then I had Jackson, my thoughts on the subject of child care drastically changed. Don't get me wrong we have the greatest parents on both sides, but I'm his mother! (I say that like I have some previous mother experience. Basically if 2 people were up for this job of mothering, I would clearly be the least experienced and be asking for the largest salary.). And babysitters...I don't know anyone who can care for my child like family. And the gym day care...not gonna happen! To be clear on this I used to babysit for many families growing up and after having my own kids, I'm not sure what they were thinking. I used to love to run on the treadmill and watch people drop their kids off at the gym daycare. I really thought it was hysterical when the door would open and some kids would run loose through the gym or make a break for the front door. And when you walk up to the gym, the kids are lined up in the window with their snotty noses pressed up against the window looking out like jail...hence the reason I can't possibly leave my kids in there!
But I am a working woman and now I am a working mother (deprecating judgements can be made here). Luke's mom generously has been watching Jackson, daily! And let me tell you, she is a retired third grade teacher with the patience of Job. There is no way Jackson would know half of what he knows if I stayed home with him. He might know more about General Hospital and Dr. Oz but he definitely wouldn't know the lunar cycles. Now enters Blake, the baby, and I cannot in good faith ask my mother in law to watch both of the inmates. So she will continue with Jackson and so I will need someone to watch Blake...who?! Who can be trusted? Likely NO ONE...I ask around if anyone has a good nanny...Well, this is a huge deal! I quickly learned if you have a great nanny you do not give her up or speak of her out loud in earshot of anyone publicly. And if you need a nanny you must speak in hushed tones in dark corners to someone who might know someone who is about to have their children leave for college; therefore they may not need the nanny any more. But never will there be any sharing of the black book of nannies with anyone. Finally I just asked our cleaning lady. She is Brazilian and I wasn't sure she understood me, but within a day I had 4 different Brazilian nannies calling me. Wow! How come she doesn't understand when I ask her to clean the fans?!
 So we began the interview process, I was super nervous about this...I had no idea what to even ask these women who wanted to care for my child. What I really wanted to do was hook them up to EKG machines and show them pictures of naked little boys and ask them how they felt about these pictures. And they would have to surrender their passport once they were hired. But these things might seem a bit strange, especially to someone who isn't really up on American culture, or has watched as much Law and Order as I have.
So I just asked them a battery of questions about their lives and their past childcare experiences. And then I asked for references...like they will give you the name and number for families of children they have sold to the international slave trade. But in all of this we found the most wonderful woman, our nanny...I love her! She came for the first time for 4 hours to spend sometime with me...at the end of the 4 hours I asked her to move in and live with me forever. Apparently she has a husband and children of her own that she wants to live with. Her English is a bit shaky but we can communicate and the good news is she can ask the cleaning girl to clean the fans in Portuguese!
She walks into our home and takes my child and then says, "do you have any laundry you need me to do?" or  "go to take a shower, I'll be here" and other similar helpful, magical statements...its almost like I'm paying her! Here is some laundry that she knocked out in about an hour or so!
Jackson and Blake also love her. But listening to her and Jackson communicate is hysterical. Jackson isn't sure why she doesn't always answer him but he has decided talking loudly to her should fix any communication issues. The other day I hear him ask her if she wants chap stick (weird question no matter what language) and she doesn't really get it...so he starts screaming..."YOU WANT CHAP STICK!" And recently I told Jackson to shake a leg; he turns to the nanny and says "that means hurry up". Great I'm sure it will help her tremendously to have a 2 year old as her translator. She says to me one day, "I have a really hard time with the past participle." I thought yea me too when I was in 7th grade, now I simply have no idea what that is. She frequently shows me her homework from English class...I generally don't agree with what she is being taught...I guess I also should not help her with her English!
Everyday Jackson and I spend a good deal of time reading books. And if she is here with us, she listens in...and at the end she sometimes has questions about the things we have read. Fabulous, now I have to actually pay attention to these crazy books I am reading. And I am scared to death she is going to ask me to diagram a sentence for her or ask me who the protagonist is. The good news is if she has a test on characters from the Cars 2 movie, she'll be all set.
Luke thinks she should come everyday, but I only have her come when I am at work. Because otherwise I can be their mom...apparently not, you see Luke says I'm in a significantly better mood when he comes home if she has been here all day. And I likely have brushed my teeth and gotten out of my pajamas!
So I now understand what all these people have been telling me for years...the right nanny can make your life so much better. I love her!...This is the only time you will ever hear me speak of this wonderful woman, because, like the others, I will no longer tell you how great she is...you will try to steal her of this I am certain!