Friday, September 30, 2011

Almost as Cool as The Bean

Michael bought me a gift the other day.

He is one of those really obnoxious thoughtful gift givers. You know the one. They always buy the most perfect thing ever. You didn't even know you needed the thing until you got the thing and now you can't live without the thing.

I am the exact opposite.

Buying presents gives me dry heaves. I panic, wanting desperately to be the thoughtful gift giver, but buckle under the pressure of not finding the most perfect present ever. Seriously, people should have to register for every occasion where a gift is required.

I procrastinate, over think, talk myself out of everything, throw up, then buy absolutely nothing because I become gripped with the horror of buying the wrong present.

You know what they always present is better than the not-absolutely-perfect present.

Last year, Michael took a trip to Germany and came home with, what quickly became, my most prized possession ever.

Lufthansa airplane socks.

Things you should know about me: if it is below 78 degrees, you will find me in a fleece, heavy pants and socks. And I will be under a blanket.

I was the first woman to go through pregnancy without complaining about the heat. And I was nine months pregnant in June. In Atlanta. In one of Atlanta's hottest Junes ever.

I wore the crap out of those Lufthansa socks. They died a noble death, doing their job to the bitter end. But ultimately, my toes won out and the Lufthansa socks simply gave out.

le sigh....

OK; back to the story.

So the other day Michael informs me that he has a present for me. My heartbeat quickens.

Oh! Didn't I tell you? Gift receiving is even more traumatic than gift buying for me. giant ball of sanity over here.

What if my reaction isn't exuberant enough and the person is disappointed? And I don't mean them to be because I really do love the gift, but I'm bad at showing it because I'm emotionally stunted. What if I really don't like the present and they can tell? Because as soon as I saw what it was I stared silently for 15 seconds too long, then overreacted about how cool the present was and used words like "SO cool" "REALLY fabulous" "TOTALLY excellent" and opened my eyes wider and wider on each adjective so they understood just how AWESOME the present was. What if it's really a bomb that will go off as soon as I open the box. Whatifwhatifwhatif...

The holidays are a tough time for me.

Michael. Present. Right...

I open the bag and am frozen with fear. What is the appropriate level of enthusiasm for these:

I have an important distinction to make here though. Mine are all black.

This is a critical piece of information because as soon as I slid into these bad boys, it was clear that Michael did not buy me Magellan Travel Slippers as he claims.

Oh no.

He bought me ninja shoes!

I then spent the next hour running around the house being a ninja.

Michael says it looked more like this:

Whatever. He better watch his step and sleep with one eye open. You never know where the invisible ninjas may be lurking.

Totally invisible.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wearing Flowers in My Hair

It's been awhile since I've gone around tearing new assholes for those who stomp on my dreams of pregnancy (and now parental) bliss. You remember the ice cream guy, right?

Shall we...?

Oh yes, we shall.


Dear Haters,

I thought once I popped out The Bean, I would be free of you "Just you wait; once the baby comes along you'll see how it really is" idiots. Alas, you apparently have a little book full of phrases to imply your superiority, cast thinly veiled judgments and just generally piss me off.

"Just you wait" has been replaced with "Oh, that won't last" and...oh STILL use "Just you wait!!" Now it's followed by "Just you wait until she [insert some major milestone here]."

You pry into potentially hot-button issues for the sole purpose of whipping out one of your trusty phrases. Breastfeeding, co-sleeping, day run through the list until you hit the one where you think you have the most leverage.

Admittedly, I am an easy target. Not only am I a first-time mom with lofty visions of competence, but I also have been known for my dedication to the local, sustainable movement which means I walked into this parenting thing with the intention to use cloth diapers.

Boy, did THAT get you revved up.

" say that now...just wait..."

"Oh, we thought about that too. You'll change your mind."

And, of course, there were those of you who just laughed.

Well guess who's cloth diapering?

You're never going to guess.


Before you say anything...prepare to shut the f*ck up.

Let's start with the obvious awesomeness I'm doing for the environment by not throwing away 10 diapers a day for the next 913 days (that's nearly 10,000 diapers for you mathematically challenged folks). And before you load your mouth with the unoriginal water waste from washing said diapers tripe; we are using eco-friendly appliances. The polar bears love me.

Me - 1; You - 0

I'm also saving a buttload (pun totally intended) of money. When The Bean first arrived, her little tush didn't fit into the cloth diapers. So, yes, we used disposables since I couldn't find a baby pooper-scooper. Diapers are ridiculous-expensive. And do you know what's sitting in my closet now? An economy-sized box of disposable diapers too small for my child.

The cloth diapers? One size fits all. They have snaps to adjust the sizing so they grow with your child. No more boxes of unusable diapers.

Me - 2; You - 0

Finally, you know what sentence doesn't come out of my mouth ever? "Oh my God. We're out of diapers. And it's 4 in the morning. Now we need to run to the ghetto CVS where we may get shot...but we need those diapers!!!"

This still happens with dog food, toilet paper and emergency Reese's Peanut Butter Cup needs...but not diapers.

Me - 3; You - 0

Second finally, they work just as well as disposables (well, we're still training Michael on how to properly get them on The Bean without poop disasters ensuing) and are no more effort on my part. In fact, they may be less effort. I'm far more apt to throw a load of diapers into the washing machine which is inside my house than take a bag of dirty, disposable diapers outside to the garbage can.

Me - 5,003; You - 0

So for all you haters out there who lectured me about how hard cloth diapering would be and dropped the ever famous "just you wait...," I have one thing to say to you.

Mrs. D-Zo

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Horror

Last night, I created a new party signal for Michael and me.

You know party signals...the "if I scratch my left eyebrow, you need to come rescue me from the conversation I'm having" codes.

Our new signal is: If I run into a room cursing with one of my boobs hanging out and am holding a child who has been screaming at the very top of her lungs for ten straight minutes and turned an alarming shade of purple, it means I want to bail on the party.

Despite having not discussed this signal prior to attending the dinner party, he very astutely picked up on it as I enacted it for the first time. Our understanding of each other's nuances is one of the things I love about us.

This meltdown put Savannah to shame.

The impetus? Well, let me tell you a little story...

Back in the Before Bean days when someone handed me a child, my heart would beat just a little faster and if you looked closely, you'd probably catch a little bead of sweat forming in the nape of my neck. I know I'm not alone in this.

There are two types of people in the world: the children-holding lovers and the children-holding if I have to's (actually, there are also a handful of I will make sure my hands are always full if there is a child in this roomers).

I was a children-holding if I have to's.

There is always a parent who will thrust their baby into any set of open arms in a room (having not had the time to use the restroom in the last 72 hours, I understand this sentiment). Whenever my arms happened to be the open arms suddenly filled with a child, I would become immobilized with fear.

No one wants to be the person who makes the baby cry.

Because everyone knows babies can sense the good and the bad people in the world and if the baby cries when you are holding them, Jesus will come straight down from heaven and give you a test on the Bible. And since you forgot that Judges came before Ruth in the Old Testament he will condemn you to a life of wearing steel wool underpants. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HOLD A BABY AND IT STARTS TO CRY.

Now that we are in the action-packed Bean days, I have a new irrational fear to compulsively obsess about every time we see another human being.

What if they want to hold my child!?!?!?!?!

Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE for other people to hold my child (see above note regarding my ability to use the restroom); however lately when someone holds The Bean, they might get this:

Or one of these:

There's no way to predict which child they'll get. And so my angst begins because eventually someone wants to hold her and who can really know if it is worse to have people think you are a little weird for not letting them hold your child or to unleash Pandora's Box of baby hell.

And so we go back to last night.

We were having a delightful evening with friends when someone asked to hold The Bean.

I sucked my breath in quickly. Then thought rationally, "well, we've been here for two hours with no meltdown. And The Bean has been throwing smiles at people all night long. Maybe I can enjoy my dessert baby-free."

Rational thoughts have no place in parenthood.

I passed The Bean over. There were a few coos. Some looking around. A quick glance at her surroundings. It was going great! Right up until the moment when it wasn't. And hell broke loose.

There was no calming her down. Not mama. Not boobs. Not a dark room. Not walking around. Not the binky. Not a damn thing any human was going to try would help. So we ran. With our tails tucked between our legs because there really is nothing quite as embarrassing as having people think you can't soothe your own child.

She screamed as we put her into the car.

She screamed the entire car ride home.

She screamed as we took her out of the car seat.

She screamed as I carried her to the house.

The moment we stepped onto the porch, she stopped.

By the time we got inside to the nursery, she was laughing.

No. Really.

Friday, September 23, 2011

When Sleep Attacks

So the other night, this happened:

Naturally, The Bean is fine or else I wouldn't be posting this in quite as cavalier an attitude.

She is fine because there is one little detail you need to know: We don't co-sleep.

The above is a representation of what my sleep-deprived brain concocted in the midst of a vivid dream.

So what actually was happening in the bed was this:

One second later, I punched Michael square in the face.

Which happened to coincide exactly with the moment I woke up and realized what had happened.

A very confused and slightly bruised Michael asked what was going on. For some reason he seemed stunned by his knuckle sandwich wake-up call.

Embarrassed, I told him to mind his own business and go back to sleep.

Which, also being a sleep deprived parent, he did.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Parental Dictionary

Snorgasm [sn.awr.gaz.uhm] - noun

The profound, life-changing sensation new parents have when they finally get some sleep.

As a noun: After dealing with the fussy baby for 10 straight hours, I fell on the bed and immediately had a snorgasm.

As an adjective: The baby took an unexpected nap this afternoon, so I decided to do the same. It was snorgasmic.

As an interesting note, in a study I made up for the purposes of this joke: when given the option, 4 out of 5 new parents will opt for a snorgasm over an orgasm.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Parenthood: The Movie: The Early Days

[The movie begins...]


Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood. A rewarding journey that you and and yours will travel together and look back upon fondly until the end of days.

Your first month as parents will be exciting and full of love.

You'll cherish and enjoy this time together as you build the bonds which will hold you together as a family.

You and your partner will be a team.

You will be each other's support and pillar of strength.

And don't forget to schedule some time alone with each other.

By month two, you will be well into your routine and really getting the hang of your new roles as parents.

You might even begin to resume some of the activities you participated in prior to having a baby.

Sometime during the second month, you and your baby will enjoy sleeping through the night.

Congratulations! You've made it through the first two months of parenthood.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Il Padrone

Did you know your sleeping position can say a lot about the type of person you are?

In order to provide you with the most reliable and up-to-date thinking on this topic, I spent whole minutes on a single website doing some research. This one (in case you want to be an expert on the subject as I now am).

Here's the chart from the page:

I, myself, am a fetal sleeper. Which, according to this very scientific study means I'm tough, but sensitive and shy, but eventually outgoing. They were really covering their bases when they wrote up this description.

However, I began to question the integrity and authority of this research when I couldn't find the sleeping positions of the other two humans with whom I share my life.

Luckily, this article has made me an expert in all things sleep personality-related. So I can give you some additional guidance. Let's start with Michael:

This sleeping position, known as The Burrow, says a person is warm-hearted and warm-blooded -- and can breathe through their feet. But mainly, it indicates this individual is not open for business between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM. So if a baby cries, a dog pukes, a murderer breaks into the house, and your bedmate is a should be ready to get on as best you can.

And The Bean? What does her sleep position say?

I run shit around here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Daddy's Little Girl

Michael is one of those people who remembers everything.


Sometimes it's wildly interesting and entertaining since he can tell stories on most any topic with vivid details that are peppered with poignant quotes and include relevent anecdotes.

Many times it's wildly irritating because he will not let you forget he is ALWAYS right.



Cadence will learn this trait about her Daddy. But it will really hit home when she is sixteen years old.

We did a handful of trips recently. Baby Tour 2011 where we introduced The Bean to her relatives. Mama and Daddy love to travel. Cadie isn't as excited by it:

Living it up Texas-style

Rocking it out in New York

Getting dirty down south in Savannah

That last photo is a bit deceptive.

You see, two weeks ago, The Bean, Michael and I went to Savannah. On it's own, a nice-sounding excursion to celebrate the end of summer and a trip where we weren't visiting with anyone. However, combine this with the prior two weeks of traveling we did and you have the exact recipe for infant meltdown.

The photo above was taken as we pulled into Savannah and rolled The Bean into the hotel lobby. Approximately 4 minutes and 36 seconds later, The Bean looked like this:

Apparently, she had enough with the travel, the hotels, the scenery, the world. And she was going to make herself very clear on that fact.

It was looking like a meltdown might be imminent as we rolled into the hotel room in Savannah, but being the naive, stupid parents we are we thought if we simply laid down in the bed together (all quiet-like) that the meltdown would evaporate.

The eyes bulging out of her head was not reassuring.

But then I made an error of enormous proportions.

In an effort to remove the haze of flies circling me from having not showered in days (a hectic travel schedule and an infant doesn't leave a lot of room for other things), I jumped into the shower to peel the grime off of me.

This was not the correct thing to do.

As the first drop of water hit my body, I heard the screams begin.

But Michael is well-equipped to deal with The Bean's meltdowns. He's done it before with great success. So I squirted shampoo into my hair. Quickly, mind you, because I knew the situation outside the shower curtain could turn at any moment.

I managed to reach my hand up to my hair to lather the shampoo when the bathroom door flung open and an ogre holding a screaming banshee barged in yelling, "DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE A SHOWER RIGHT NOW??? YOUR CHILD NEEDS YOU!"

"That is not my child. I don't have children. What screaming?"

I didn't say that.

Instead, I leapt out of the running shower to don my SuperMom cape...except, of course, there was no cape handy.

I grabbed the child (not my child, so she doesn't get a name) from Michael's arms.

Um...infants' whose heads have fallen off from the intensity of screaming they are doing, do not like to be grabbed by soaking wet people. You're welcome for that handy tip.

I will not draw a cartoon of the following, use your imagination to picture: me naked and soaking wet barely holding onto a child who is trying to wriggle out of my arms and screaming her head off as I am attempting to shove a boob in her mouth and being chased around the room by Michael who is attempting to throw a towel around me.

The image in your head right now is probably what scarred our child and set off the following series of events.

I managed to get dry and get The Bean to calm down.

I give The Bean to Michael so I can get dressed.

The Bean's head explodes.

I put on whatever clothes are closest and get The Bean to calm down.

Later that night I give The Bean to Michael so I can tinkle.

The Bean's head explodes.

This goes on and on and on and on. The Bean can be held by no one but Mama or else her head falls off. We (hysterically) think the issue will be resolved by the next morning. Oh no.

By day five my own head was ready to fall off. Michael was shoving pencils into his eyeballs. The dogs all ran away from home. And the cat committed suicide.

Kidding aside, it was a tough time and poor Michael simply wanted to play with his daughter who used to love him and was unknowingly replaced with the demon spawn of Satan. All because of Savannah.

Suffice it to say, we will not be visiting there again.

On day six I needed adult interaction and decided to host a party at our house. Because what's better for a child who can't stop screaming when someone else holds them than to have a dozen people over the house who want nothing more than to hold the cuteness?

Guess what happened?

You're never going to guess.

Actually, it cured her. She went to people willingly without fuss. She was happy as a clam being held by her Daddy. It was as if the past week didn't happen at all.

Later that night, I was listening in as Michael was getting The Bean ready for bed.

Michael: (in a sweet sing-song voice) I know baby, you had a big day today. You were a sweet baby again. Yes, you were. You loved on your Daddy and everything was good. Thank goodness because you hurt Daddy's feelings. Luckily you're not the devil child anymore. But don't worry, Bean. One day, when you're sixteen years old, you're going to ask me if you can borrow the car and I'm going to tell you 'to go ask your mother about Savannah.' I won't forget what a little butthole you were.

Oh Bean...I wish I could save you.