Monday, October 31, 2011

A Post About That Holiday Which Is Technically Today, But Has Been Going On For A Week.

When one is twelve years old, few things are as awesome as Halloween falling on a Saturday. You have visions of waking up at 7 AM and, over the course of twelve hours, amassing a candy stash large enough to fill the Grand Canyon.

And then, of course, there's the added bonus of a potential sleepover party since it's Saturday and that's what twelve-year old girls do.

Through a series of crafty political maneuvers, I managed to get invited to a slumber party on Halloween night at the house of one of the more popular girls at school.

Some added background information: I was a bit of a tremendously sheltered, naive girl. I believed in Santa Claus until I was 9 or 10 (not joking) and the scariest movie I had seen until this night was The Wizard of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West sent me screaming, terrified out of the family room and into the safety of my Strawberry Shortcake bedroom.

Just in case you forgot, I am not built out of sturdy materials. A strong gust of wind can bring on heart palpitations (What was that? Is someone sneaking up on me? Didn't I read about a psycho killer the other day? OH MY GOD THEY FOUND ME RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! was this leaf falling out of the tree.)

Let's sum up the key points we've gathered so far:
  • Twelve-year old me drastically unprepared for a Halloween-themed sleepover
  • Sleepover at most popular girl's house
  • Giant weenie of a child (and adult)
The night of the party is upon us and everyone gathers at Popular Polly's house. Kids are amped up on Halloween candy. Well, except me, because I wasn't much of a candy kid. Oh sure, I wanted a lot of it while trick-or-treating because other kids wanted a lot of it and it's important to be just like everyone else. But I had no interest in eating the candy (in fact, I usually was forced by my parents to give away my Halloween candy each Easter to kids who enjoyed eating candy).

The deeper I get into this post, the more I understand about the adult I am today. Sigh. Let's move on.

Popular Polly's parents were Halloween fanatics. Yes...those people.

They had transformed the house into a haunted house for the evening's festivities. So when I knocked on the door and it creaked open slowly revealing a pitch black house and nothing else, I nearly crapped my pants and ran. Except. It's Popular Polly's house and not embarrassing oneself in front of the popular kids at school is infinitely higher on the twelve-year old's survival list than actually staying alive.

I waved to my mom in the driveway, took a deep breath and took a step to the door.

My brain began a speedy analysis on the situation: Doors do not usually open themselves. So someone or something opened that door. I can hear kids laughing further in the house. So other people made it past the front door alive.

Decision: Run as fast as you can through the front door and into a room with lights to avoid being eaten by a zombie.

It worked! I was alive, panting and in a kitchen full of giggling pre-teen girls.

Popular Polly's mom, dressed as a witch, walked in behind me laughing. "You should've seen her run!" The flaw in my plan was immediately apparently...I had not taken into account the "cool" factor of  running like my underpants had caught fire. My mind raced for a way to save face before I was the butt of the evening's jokes...

"I was just excited to get inside and see what everyone was laughing at."

Not my most stellar retort, but no one was laughing and pointing at me so it did the job.

The next half hour was my favorite of the party: we sat around and ate pizza in the brightly lit kitchen waiting for everyone to show up.

The first half of the party was manageable. I survived being blindfolded and forced to touch weird things in bowls made to feel like brains, eyeballs and intestines. I lived through walking around the "haunted house" in the garage and kept my dignity due to the pitch black covering my faces of abject horror.

But I knew my minutes were limited. My doom had been spelled out and engraved right on the invitation: Horror Movie Slumber Party - Sleep If You Dare...

It was a large family room on the ground level. Glass sliding doors led out to a backyard with a pool. Two couches and an enormous TV were the only furniture in the room. I'm sure it was a lovely room. In the daytime. On a day when my murder wasn't so imminent.

A line of seven girls, including me, were laid out with sleeping bags and pillows. Popcorn was popped and the movie began.

Which movie, you ask? Why...Friday the 13th naturally. How appropriate for a gaggle of pre-teen girls.

Since hiding under the blankets or behind one's hands is undoubtedly "lame," I concocted my greatest diversion yet. Each time things in the movie got too tense (you know, like during the opening credits) for my fragile constitution, I would suddenly have an urge for popcorn. This way, as people were being stalked and slashed, I would safely be rummaging in the bowl for the perfect piece of popcorn.

I spent a lot of time eating popcorn.

At some point, I realized I needed to make sure my ruse was working. So somewhere in the middle of the movie, I started my scan of the room.

Girls hiding behind sleeping bags and screeching whenever someone was gored? Check.

Popular Polly's mom looking maddeningly gleeful at our fright? Check.

Jason standing outside the glass doors with a knife in his hand staring inside at us? Check.


My heart stopped and I looked slowly around. Everyone else was too engrossed in the movie to notice our visitor. He started to open the doors and I prepared to scream bloody murder...except that's not cool.

Instead I inched closer to the hallway. When someone else noticed him and started to scream, I sprung into action. And by action, I mean I sprinted down the hallway into the house. I heard everyone running behind me to escape.

Girls were streaming out the front door, screeching at the top of their lungs. I was halfway back to my house when I heard Popular Polly's mom yelling after us. It was Popular Polly's dad dressed up as Jason.

I walked up the block and watched girls climbing out of bushes and out from under cars as we all headed back to the party. Popular Polly's mom was less enthused when she realized she just tacked on two more hours to the awake portion of the party because preteen girls really know how to milk a moment.

Everyone slept in starts and fits. Convinced we would be under attack again at any minute. Everyone, except me.

I slept like a damn log.

I was nuzzled in my sleeping bag pleased with the knowledge that even popular girls get scared and run like hell when faced with an undead murdering man in a hockey mask...but more importantly, I could outrun all those other bitches if I had to.

And yes, I'm going you may as well accept it or simply stop here and come back tomorrow.

Token child in a Halloween costume photo:

Isn't she adora-bull?!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Over the Hill

Michael and I have a firm agreement in place when it comes to bringing The Bean to various appointments and engagements. I am to handle all appointments involving needles and he is to handle all appointments involving ice cream.

I watched him nearly faint dead away when The Bean was getting her jaundice heel clips that first month and I took pity on him. Why yes, sucker IS tattooed on my forehead, why do you ask?

Yesterday, The Bean turned the big 0-4......months.
(I'm sure I will use that joke again when she turns 4 years old. I ain't skeered.)

On top of our court visit for her to become an emancipated minor; we had a doctor's checkup. Which included weighing, measuring, eyeball checking and hip rotating. These activities apparently translate into infant amusement park. The Bean was all gummy smiles and coy giggles. I had to check the label and make sure I didn't pick up some other person's kid by accident.

But I was holding my breath. Because I am a mother. And a mother knows that at any minute the screams might start and on this particular day the probability for uncontrollable screams is near 99%.

The needles entered the room held innocently enough by a woman clad in happy jack-o-lantern scrubs. The Bean was mesmerized by the orange vomit explosion.

She was off guard when the first needle struck and the second one followed within nanoseconds. The nurse was a pro.

I braced myself.

The Bean turned violently purple.

And then she erupted with a short holler as if to say "do you KNOW who the hell you are messing with?!?!?!"

Then she got quiet...and angry.

She glared at the nurse, "Bitch. You distracted me with your hypnotic pumpkin voodoo shirt. I will SO not be giving you the satisfaction of crying. I save that shit for my mama."

I packed The Bean up and we went on our way.

We got to the car and I handed The Bean her stuffed bug-butterfly-alien-fish toy to occupy her on the way home; hoping a car meltdown wasn't in my future when she finally had a chance to think over the series of events which just occurred.

She bitched to that critter the whole way home. The tone of her babbles indicated she was informing that thing about the injustices of being only 14 lbs and unable to smack a ho.

You're getting a framed one at Thanksgiving, Mom. No need to print.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hold On To Your Foreheads. The Mind Blowing Is About To Commence.

Shut. Up.

You guys.

Oh my lordy, you guys.

I thought I was being a good little hippie. Boy, do I have a lot to learn! I had no idea how dedicated some of you can be.

I mean, wow.

Elimination Communication. Discuss...

OK, I'll discuss.

My friend mentioned this concept to me on the phone yesterday and before she started her next sentence, I was consulting Dr. Googles.

Mrs. D-Zo: Dr. Googles, is it true that people are out there potty training their children before they are six months old?

Dr. Googles: Yes!

Mrs. D-Zo: Did you read my query correctly? That said six MONTHS old.

Dr. Googles: I don't make mistakes, Mrs. D-Zo. You can read all about it here and here.

Mrs. D-Zo: Um, I don't mean to criticize, but have you read these articles? Some of these tips and techniques leave a lot to be desired...

"To prepare your child's environment, you'll just need to buy very small underwear (doll underwear can work)..."

"Using a container, such as a mixing bowl, keep the child diaperless..."

"Visit the Toilet Place Often"

"Signs which indicate he is about to urinate or have a bowel movement: crying or fussiness, grunting, squinting, kicking legs, squirming..."

Mrs. D-Zo: Explain yourself!

Dr. Googles: These are the facts.

Mrs. D-Zo: You are useless.

One of the biggest drawbacks to working from home is not having the ability to run into someone else's office with earth-shattering news and derail an entire workday with endless discussions on topics about which you know nothing.

So, I did the next best thing and jumped on IM.

Mrs. D-Zo: Holy crap, hippie co-worker!!!! You are never going to believe what I just learned! Seriously, brace yourself.

Hippie Co-worker (HCW): Aren't you supposed to be writing that report we're releasing next week?

Mrs. D-Zo: This is way more important than making money.

HCW: Thankfully you have your priorities straight.

Mrs. D-Zo: Stay focused. Elimination communication. Ready? Set? Go...

HCW: Oh yeah. Pretty intense, huh?

Mrs. D-Zo: WAIT! You KNEW about this insanity?

HCW: I was going to do it. I started it. But when Baby HCW was 1-week old and I was holding him over the sink to pee, I realized it wasn't my thing.

Now, I know I'm not supposed to judge other parents and if things work for you that's fabulous. BUT.

It wasn't that long ago that The Bean was a newborn. The memories are still sharp. Our days went something like this: Eat, Pee, Sleep, Pee, Stare, Poop, Pee, Eat, Pee, Poop, Pee, Sleep, get the point. If on top of everything else, I had to run to the bathroom (or my mixing bowl) every time I thought The Bean was going to "eliminate," I'd still be sitting in there.

I can even get behind this concept until I am reminded that my child won't actually be able to WALK until they are about 12 months old.

So...who is potty training who?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Let's Play a Game

Because it's not bad enough to be writing a blog about my daughter, I thought it would be fun to add a weekly game where I upload a God-awful photo of her and we all try to come up with the snarkiest caption.

This way, when she's old enough to understand all this, she can really hate me.

The winner enjoys knowing they are the ruler of the snarky kingdom for a day.

Shall we?

Let me start the fun:

"The Bean is really devouring her new book."

Participate in the know you want to...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vigilance is Important for Parents - and Ninjas

People would not describe me as having a strong backbone. I am, in fact, a little jumpy. The list of things known to scare me out of my pants is embarrassingly long and includes (but is in no way limited to): horror movies, dark alleys, snakes, aggressive looking bugs, friendly looking bugs, rustling leaves, balloons and my own reflection.

I am also living proof that at some point in evolution there was a third human response to threats. Flight, fight or stand there stupidly and drool while you are eaten alive.

Nobody gets more enjoyment out of these reactions than my husband. I'm the little sister he never had.

Last week, the following series of events occurred:

I'd like to say this was the first time this little dance has occurred, but alas, he probably does this to me once a week.

But unbeknown to him, he has now equipped me to be practically immune to his sly attacks on my unsuspecting bathroom-going self.

That's right. The ninja shoes.

When I'm wearing my ninja shoes, which happens to be always, I take my role very seriously. One of the tenets of ninja-hood (that I made up) is: Be Vigilant.

Ninjas are never taken by surprise. Not even when leaving the confines of the bathroom into the presumable safety of their house.

Last night, during our bedtime preparations nature called.

My paranoid vigilant self knew Michael would be outside the door ready to attack.

So I was ready for him.

What really happened:

You're lucky, my friend. Very lucky.

Just know...a ninja never rests.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Mother of Necessity

OK, look. We humans have been doing this having a baby thing for awhile now, right? Depending on which Wikipedia source you look at, it could be as long as 3.2 million years. So yeah, awhile.

We've come a long way for sure. I mean, the car seat that fits on the stroller is a pretty crucial piece of equipment. The Pack-N-Play? You mean I can bring her bed with me anywhere? Sold! And no parent would dream of leaving the house without a travel pack of wipes.

But frankly, I'm shocked we haven't gotten just a little further than where we're at. Inventors, you should be ashamed. What exactly are you working on? The Segway?

And don't be stealing my ideas. These are totally patent pending.

Invention 1: BabyMeter
Three things cause crying in infants. That's it. Three. Hunger, needing sleep or a dirty diaper. Of course, in the heat of the moment you forget this.

Crying triggers a parent's "Oh my God, the world is ending. Fix the baby! THE SCREAMS!!! THEY DON'T END! HOWCANIMAKEITSTOP!?!?!" instinct. You find yourself exhausting every possible option but the Golden Three.

When you finally regain your senses, you then have to figure out which of the Golden Three is causing the distress.

For those naive few out there who think this part of the problem-solving is easy...hah. Oh, that diaper can't possibly be dirty since you just changed it 30 seconds ago? Hah. Oh, you think the baby isn't tired since they woke up from a 2-hour nap 15 minutes ago? Hah. The baby isn't due to eat again for another least? Hah.

Have you tried to feed a child who has gone into meltdown mode because they are hungry? Do you know what the last thing a child wants to do when their head has caught on fire and their shrieks summon Pterodactyls straight from the Mesozoic Era? Eat.

The whole trick with parenting is solving the problem BEFORE it's a problem.

I'm inventing the BabyMeter. A handy dandy gadget you can stick in the baby's ear or slap on their forehead to indicate exactly the source of trouble. I know. Brilliant. And hold onto your hats because I'm about to blow your minds. I went the extra mile. You're welcome.

You can totally use this as a gauge to assess how long you have before you reach meltdown mode.

"What do you think, dear? Another glass of wine before we head home? Let's check the BabyMeter...ooooh, it looks like we have an overtired meltdown due to hit in about 7 minutes. Drink fast."

Invention 2: Cry-Be-Gone
Mothers, as a group, are a self-conscious lot and I am their leader, hear me roar. Nothing turns the embarrassment spotlight on faster than your baby crying in public.

A crying baby makes heads swivel. It's the grocery store version of rubber necking. If there isn't blood spewing from the baby's eyeballs or limbs strewn among the cereal boxes, then you're clearly an unfit mother and obviously doing something wrong.

The looks immediately change from concern to contempt. Can you not hear the baby? Why can't you take care of the baby, already? Are you sure you should be grocery shopping right now? I'm pretty sure you are the first mother whose child has ever cried.

This may or may not be all in my imagination. But I guarantee, I'm not the only one. Let's hear it for insecure mothers everywhere!

News flash: Babies cry. And sometimes you can't do a damn thing about it. And sometimes you need to go food shopping or else there will be a Mad Max Thunderdome throwdown at the house over who gets the last snack serving of kettle corn microwave popcorn - and no one in the house even likes that crap. You just accidentally bought it because last time you were so frazzled at the grocery store you just threw things into the cart and ran in hopes of avoiding the meltdown-judgement embarrassment.

Thankfully, you no longer have to eat kettle corn popcorn.

Cry-Be-Gone is the first noise-cancelling stroller.

Baby about to cry because the wind changed directions? No problem! Just drop the top and...VOILA! Instant silence.

 Food shopping no longer needs to be the stress-filled, guilt-ridden excursion it once was.

Invention 3
Actually, I don't have a third invention, but my OCD compels me to always do things in sets of three.

We are now accepting orders.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Takes After Her Dad

The kid likes to talk.

To anyone.


To anyTHING. See for yourself.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You're Either In or You're Out

It's down to the two of you. One you will be the winner of Project Baby Carrier.

Moby, when the competition started it looked as though nothing was going to stop you. We particularly enjoyed your newborn looks for the Food Shopping challenge, the Dog Walking challenge and the Getting a Fussy Newborn to Nap challenge.

Mom found you easy to use, convenient to pack and slipping a sleeping newborn in was no problem.

Unfortunately, somewhere around the 12 lb. mark, you began to show some limitations. Right on your label it says mothers shouldn't move from the newborn hold to the hug hold until 3-4 months. Unfortunately by month 2, the baby was no longer happy in the newborn hold. It was tight, she looked uncomfortable and was turning an alarming red color. When we switched to the hug hold, her head wasn't supported and she was still working on holding that giant appendage up on her own.

And, of course, the shrinkage in the dryer was huge misstep. New moms don't like to feel FATTER after they've had a baby; and your two-inch shrinkage did just that.

Ergo, we were super excited to have you in this competition. For starters, you were burnt orange which gave you a leg up with the Texans among us. But you really stumbled out of the gate. Actually, you fell straight on your face. You swallowed the newborn whole. Even with your proclaimed newborn insert.

We were going to cut you that first week, but your burnt orange kept you in the race. We're glad we took a gamble on you.

You've really emerged as a contender down the stretch.

When the baby was just starting to get control of her head, you hit your stride. You're comfortable for her and super comfortable for Mom. The baby likes to hold onto your straps to help her keep her head up and look around while out for a walk.

We still have some concerns about the rumors of you being bad for infants' legs, but the baby in question can comfortably straddle Mom's torso and Mom lifts her up every now and then and moves her legs around to make sure circulation is happening.

So...who is it going to be?

You really are both great products and we are so glad you have been part of this project. We wish we could pick both of you because you each have your own strengths. But, eventually, there can be only one winner.

The winner of Project Baby Carrier is....Ergo.

Moby, I'm sorry. You had a great start, indispensable really, but you just don't seem like you'll be in it for the long-term. But don't give up. Perhaps in a month or so, you'll be ready. Until then...

Auf Wiedersehen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hard Knocked Life

Poor Bean. She's been getting a lot of bad press lately. The meltdowns, the fire shooting out of her eyeballs business and her stubborn resolution to let no one other than myself handle her.

But it's tough being an infant. And guys, she's upset. I can tell because she mostly looks like this these days:

It isn't easy being a baby...

Day 100 BC (Before Catastrophe)
Today was another awesome day. It's still a balmy 98.6 degrees and I love waking up hearing the ocean outside my room.

Day 150 BC
It is so nice for room service to keep sending me brownies with salted caramel ice cream. I should do some jumping jacks to make sure I don't get too fat. Right after my nap.

Day 210 BC
I think I need to lay off the ice cream. It's getting a little tight in here.

Day 250 BC
HOLY CRAP...I think there's an earthquake happening...check my Twitter account for updates! @BabyD

Day 1 AD (After Disrupting-the-Awesome)
Yesterday SUCKED.


Day 6 AD
I am definitely sending a letter to the head of security at the hospital. Those guards let the milk bitch and the freak who keeps taking my picture walk right out with me! Clearly they are part of some South American gang selling babies on the black market. The hideout house is filled with all of their captives.

It doesn't look good for me. The neglect is palpable. It won't be too long before I'm covered in hair, drooling and licking my own butt.

Day 15 AD
Dear People I Don't Know Who Insist on Talking to Me,

Get out of my facial! You are freaking me out.

Back off. The milk bitch just trimmed my nails. They are sharp as razor blades and I know how to use them.

The Bean

Day 46 AD
Today was just another page in this hellish book I call life.

It's bad enough that the milk bitch drags me EVERYWHERE with her. But she is taking it too far now.

Day 91 AD
There was finally a glimmer of hope today!