8/31/12

I am not a "Top" mommy blogger!

I am not a "Top" mommy blogger!
(This is for the Friday FAQ.  I have been told multiple times that I should be a professional blogger or could I make a living from it?  Well here is my response to that...)



I am not a top mommy blogger, I never will be.  I am a mother who wants nothing more in this world than to be a proper writer-sell one of my books, write articles, stay home with my beautiful son and live the dream.  I started blogging because I needed an outlet.  Because I hoped and prayed someone would read my writing and think, "She is brilliant!  I need to find her to see if she has written a brilliant book to publish."  I write because I love to write.

I am also a competitive perfectionist.  I need to be the best at everything I do. If I am committed, I am unstoppable. I had no idea there was anything more to blogging 3 months ago than just writing what I felt, and then sharing it with anyone who stumbled by. I just wrote everyday to the few of you who kept stumbling by.  I love you.  And you know who you are, the dedicated wonderful women, and men, who read everyday, post comments and make me feel like some how my writing is helpful, even inspiring.

Well, over the last two months I have learned that there is so much more to the blogging world!  It has made me nuts. Full on fucking nuts with jealousy, drive, purpose and now complete and utter frustration. There are thousands of mommy bloggers out there. Hell, probably hundreds of thousands.  I cannot compete with that. No, I am not going to compete with them.  The competitor in me is annoyed and wants to fight. The new mother and true writer inside me says, "Oh fuck it, be a mom and write what you want, who gives a shit if you are not the best mommy blogger with 50,000 followers?"

At first I thought I did give a shit.  I realized while sure I would love to be the best, (who wouldn't?) my quality of life is so much more important.  I have a 7-month-old baby, and I have to go back to work soon.  I am no longer wasting one more minute trying to be the top mommy blogger by spending all day trying to get followers and likes to quantify that. I am the best damn blogger I can be!

I am going to write what I want, when I want.  I am never ever going to make a living as a blogger.  I need to spend my last few weeks of unemployment with my growing son, not trying to grow my blog into anything more than it is already. Of course I cannot stop writing this blog. I love talking about motherhood, raising my big boy, and all of the crazy crap necessary to do that.  I write everyday.  Writing is my passion.  That will never change no matter how annoyed I get with the writing industry.

Sorry, I just needed to rant, to vent, to use my blog for what it is for, my own personal outlet.  I'm so crazed by all of the Blog Hops, Top Mommy blog rankings, Picket Fence giveaways, getting free giveaway sponsors (which the first starts on Sunday),  and gaining followers and likes. It's doing my damn head in!

This whole being a top blogger is just not me. I was never one of the popular girls, so why start trying to be one now?  Fuck it! I'm a mommy with wonderful cyber friends. I will write forever as long as I have you. xx

Help! Some crazy ass baby has possessed my sweet baby!

Help!  Some crazy ass baby has possessed my sweet baby!

Over the past week or so I have looked at my sweet little (near) 7-month-old baby and have said things like, “Have you lost your damn mind?” or “You cheeky little shit!”  And of course the, “Are you kidding me right now?” has come out a few times.

My son has actually looked me in the eyes-full on locked eyes with me- and telepathically told me that he has got me all figured out, and knows exactly how to get what ever he wants.  I looked him back in the eye and said, “Bring it little man!”

He has learned the whine/cry/scream routine will get me on my toes with a quickness.  No kidding, he laughs at me now when I come running!  Laughs. The baby laughs at me! I walk off.  He yells out.  I turn around and go back to him and BOOM! he squeals with amusement! WTF?

Another favorite of mine is for some reason the cat’s food bowl has become Oliver’s go-to destination. When he gets close, I say, “Ollllliverrrrr… that’s not for you!”  He looks at me, smiles and I swear he gives me a little wink before he does one last thrust towards the bowl.  We go through this more times than I care to admit to.

(Just a quick FYI: Oliver is not a professional crawler. He is still scooting and thrusting himself forward. I will post video of him trying to crawl on our Facebook Page if you are interested.) 

God help me if I let Ollie get bored.  Or should I say, God help my ears. When he is bored or just unhappy with his current situation he will yell out a strange little squeal then bust out the worst fake cry I have ever heard, and sometimes for fun add a fake cough on the end. I just look at him… “Really?”

If this child gets tired, hungry or annoyed he does this whole cry then laugh hysterically thing.  It’s disturbing. It’s like some Jekyll and Hyde crazy baby spirit possesses him. Oliver is generally a very very happy baby.  So when he is upset and crying all we have to do is smile or even sing the ABC’s to cheer him up. Well when he is really mad and we do this, he goes back and forth from crying to laughing to crying to smiling.  It’s not right…

My baby is almost 7 months old.  How can he have all of this figured out all ready? He must lie in his bed at night and think, “Mommy is a sucker and will do whatever it takes to keep me happy. And Daddy, he’s pretty easy too if I laugh at his stupid jokes.”

Something tells me FTD and I are in for a long ride.






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8/29/12

Funny Photos!

It's that time again.  My "funny baby photos" folder is overflowing!  Thanks again to those of you who emailed me or posted these funny photos on the First TIme Mom & Dad Facebook Page!  To everyone else, Happy Hump Day! 


8/28/12

Sleep training baby

Sleep training baby

I just thought I would be clear with you all about one thing... The is NO sleep training of a baby going on in my house.  There is however sleep training of parents going on.


I have for the most part been very fortunate about my son going to sleep easily through nursing.  Even at nap times he would nurse to sleep.  Or if I am diligent about putting him down for a nap EXACTLY TWO HOURS from the minute he woke from his last nap, then he will go down easily. His naps through the day are usually exactly 30-minutes long.

Recently things have been changing.  Oliver is putting me through sleep training since I do not have the backbone to train him.  I tried.  Well "tried" might be an exaggeration... I put him down in his crib and when he really got to screaming I broke.  I feel like I am a horrible mother letting him Cry-It-Out.  That's just me.  I cannot do it.  At least not yet...

Here are some of the things Oliver has taught me during my courses in mommy sleep training.

1.  After 200 bounces on the bed or exercise ball if he is not asleep, then I have bounced 200 times to many.  He is not going to go to sleep because he is not ready yet.

2. When he is not tired and I am, I am welcome put him in his crib while he laughs at me and wears himself down. Once he starts screaming and crying, then I have waited way to long to go get him. He is ready to go to sleep via a good bounce or nurse.

3. Bouncing is the only thing that works to get Oliver to sleep next to nursing.  The exercise ball is saving my bed from lopsided ruin.

4. We will strictly adhere to our nap and night-time routine or I will be very sorry.  Punishment will be given in the form of cranky, fussy, foul behaviour.  It will take me no less than five extra minutes to calm him down enough to begin the nap or night-time routine. No exceptions!

5.There will be no sleep training for Oliver yet, possibly not ever unless I grow a backbone.

I have decided that I am not going to have anything to do with sleep training for now, because I honestly do not see the need.  I am a stay at home mom.  My day is devoted to the care of my son.  I do not need to turn him into some miracle self soothing sleeper at 6 months old.  I just do not see the need or research that says its do or have a shit for a son.  We have a routine that works.

Sometimes I do have to spend a few extra minutes getting him to sleep.  There are also times he is just not ready for his nap, so I give him some extra time to get there by putting him in his crib with a few soft books and Sofie to play with.  I don't care if he cannot self sooth yet.  I enjoy soothing him. Well except when I'm bouncing or rocking Ollie and he is pushing away and fussing.  I hate that big time!

The mantra in my house until I figure out a reason to let my son scream his brains out until he passes out is...

Screw Sleep Training!



8/27/12

Dear Dad: News Flash!

Dear Dad: News Flash!


While having lunch with a friend we both started getting "Where are you?" and "How much longer will you be?" texts from our husbands.  Needless to say, we were both annoyed and started trading stories about our husbands and the awards and praise they think they should recieve for various things they do with THEIR OWN CHILD!

Here is the news flash we want to send to our husbands...


Dear Dad: NEWS FLASH!


  1. You are not going to win an award for spending 2 hours alone with your baby.  I know this because I have spent 8 hours alone with our baby and all I got was... Not a damn thing! #nicetry
  2. Just because you just finished bathing him does not mean he will not pee all over you and the change table. He did not save his pee to mess with you.  #getoveryourself
  3. It’s a shame he spit his food all over you. I'm sorry.  Hejust learned how to blow raspberries, clearly he thinks it’s way more fun with a mouth full of squash. #weararaincoatnexttime.
  4. No, I do not feed him ExLax apples. He poops a lot, that’s what babies do. Stop acting like it’s going to kill you to see and smell it. #welcometofatherhood
  5. I did not have our baby so you could have a full-time playmate. I'm tired of pissing on about rules and routines.  The baby follows them, why can't you? #getwiththeprogram
  6. I will continue to bitch and complain until I get 8 hours of sleep just like you! #nosleepnonice
  7.  If you do not help me clean the house, do not complain about it not being spotless.  #callthemerrymaids
  8. The choice is Either/Or, not watch and wonder off midway through. #rollupyoursleeves
  9. Of course I love you.  Our son just needs a lot of attention right now.  I’m trying to pay attention to you too. But, you are a big boy. You can feed yourself and wipe your own ass.  I’ll attend to you when necessary. #18yearsfromnow
  10. He is a baby, he needs constant attention. You cannot play on your computer or watch TV and expect him to sit quietly and watch! #hellooooo
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    8/25/12

    The Best Photographer in Auckland, New Zealand

    (Now that Fridays are devoted to reader questions and ideas. Saturdays are now going to be devoted to highlighting readers businesses.  You all have supported me and helped me get my brand going.  I want to return the favor!  If you have a business you would like me to highlight please email me.  firsttimemomanddad @gmail.com) 



    The Best Photographer in Auckland, New Zealand!

    Images by Shay.


    Shay Grant is an up and coming photographer with a natural eye for light and the perfect shot. Specialising in creative, genuine photography, Shay has a keen eye for that million dollar shot we all want, but cannot find the words to explain. She loves the challenge of capturing people at their best, whether it be in a formal setting such as a wedding, or a relaxed setting like a family portrait.  While Shay is based out of Waikato New Zealand, she will travel anywhere around Auckland and the Bay of Plenty areas.


    Please take a moment to visit her website, Images By Shay. Her fine art portfolio is breath taking, her family shots will warm your heart and the portraits will make you want one. 

    Rest assured what ever your photography needs, Shay will create your picture perfect portfolio!















    8/24/12

    Dad Fail Top 10

    Dad Fail Top 10


    Dear old dad. Dear old do what ever you want dad. Dear old you have got to be kidding me dad! My wonderful husband and his wonderful ideas have made co-parenting an interesting quest in my house. Here are a few examples of his brilliance...

    1. "I read that if you eat heaps of chocolate you will make waterfalls of chocolate titty milk." -FTD

    2. In the early days of nursing I had to pump around the clock to keep my milk supply up. We were having to wash and boil bottles and pump parts around the clock too.  I walked in on FTD just rinsing everything in hot water then placing the bottle parts on the rack to dry.  Concerned I asked, "WTF?"  To which FTD answers, "I read on the Dr. Browns website that soap and a sponge are not necessary. All you need to do is give the stuff a good rinse."  To which I say, "WTF?"  Dear old dad says, "It's titty milk not mud, it doesn't need all that washing business." Rest assured I dropped a few more "F" bombs and rectified the situation.

    3.While taking a much needed nap, dad and Ollie were left to their own devises.  I hear FTD yelling at something.  I jump out of bed to find him playing Grand Theft Auto with Ollie sitting next to him.  I say, "WTF?" FTD says, "What? the kid needs to learn his mad GTA skills from an early age to become part of the 1% of GTA gamer awesomeness."  REALLY?!

    4. "He loves it!"  This is FTD's answer for everything he does with Ollie that I do not think is suitable.  For example: watching Rambo, watching dad play angry birds on his iPhone, watching Monkey Magic, letting Ollie fuss on his belly for too long.  Basically anytime Oliver fusses or is up to no good under dads watch, FTD says, "Don't worry he loves it!" My friends, Ollie doesn't love it, FTD does.

    5. I was running late with a friend, so FTD had to get Ollie started eating his solids for the night.  Sometimes we make Ollie's food, sometimes we feed him  jars of Earth's Best or Ella's Organic.  Oliver loves Spinach and green beans regardless of who makes it.  He's not really a fan of fruit or sweets.  I get home to find FTD feeding Ollie what looks like the fourth jar of food. I walk closer to see a spoon full missing out of all four.  I say, "WTF?"  FTD says,"The green ones smell like shit, and the fruity ones he makes faces at. I don't think he likes the food."  I just wanted to scream!  FTD doesn't like the food.  For once I was the one saying, "He LOVES it!"

    6. Every morning FTD gets up with Ollie to let me sleep an extra half hour or so before he needs to be fed.  In doing so, FTD chooses his clothing for the day.  He has yet to dress Oliver in anything other than super hero or camo outfits.

    7. The other day we picked up FTD's favorite vanilla frosty from Wendy's.  I nearly crashed the car when I looked in the rear view mirror to see FTD letting Ollie have a lick of the spoon. I really did think I was going to have a heart attack.  All I could say was "That is so unacceptable!"  No surprise FTD says, "He loves it!" UNACCEPTABLE!  I really thought Ollie's intestines were going to break. They didn't.

    8. I found a pile of diapers, 4 or 5 that looked used by the change table.  I asked FTD what was up, and he said,"Those are the nappies I took off of him before his baths that I wasn't sure if he pissed or not, or they looked like they only had a little piss.  I thought I would save them just in case we ran out."  ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!

    9. The other morning FTD put Oliver in his high chair for me to feed while I got dressed. After I finished feeding him I pulled him out of the chair and found a half of piece of toast covered in Vegemite stuck to his leg. "WTF?"  FTD informs me that, "Oliver is Australian. Australian babies need Vegemite."

    10.  And finally The other day I come out to find Oliver dressed in a long sleeved Batman zip-up footy onesie.  Upon closer inspection I realized the feet were cut off.  I asked FTD "WTF?" and was informed that, "It was cold, and I couldn't find anything warm that fit. So I cut the feet off so Oliver could wear the bloody outfit."


    Ladies. Something tells me you might have a tale to tell too.  Lets get the Daddy fail list going!


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    8/23/12

    Oops I washed a disposable diaper, now what do I do?

    Oops I washed a disposable diaper, now what do I do?

    According to Pampers Customer Service: (800-726-7377)
    1.) Put load of laundry into the dryer as is (with the jelly beads).
    2.) Drying laundry will cause gel to bead up and fall off clothing; most beads will collect in lint filter.
    3.) You may need to dry laundry longer than usual to collect beads
    4.) When laundry is dry shake it outside
    5.) To clean the washing machine, simply use rinse cycle and wipe inside of washing machine

    According to Huggies Diapers customer service: (888-525-8388)
    The Huggies representative said that this happens so often she usually gets at least one call a day with this question. She also reassured me that this should not hurt the machine in any way. I asked her if this information was on the company website, because I had trouble finding it. She said there was information under the Pull-ups section, and that she would put in a request to have it under the diaper section as well. 

    Hey! Don't talk baby to my baby. He's a genius in training.

    Hey!  Don't talk baby to my baby. He's a genius in training.

    Aaaaaahhhh woooogggggyyyyy boooogggooooo dooo ppppppooooooofffffftttttaa, whoooosy issss the cutest wittle boooooppppy???

    WTF?  What language is that?  I personally cannot stand baby talk, and thankfully neither can First Time Dad.  We speak softly and kindly to our baby, but baby talk is capitol O U T out!  How is my baby expected to develop a solid vocabulary when his foundation is built on woooggggy, booooggggy and boooopppppy bullshit?

    I'll never forget 10+ years ago while working as a server at an upscale restaurant, I waited on a mother and her 3 year old daughter.  The little girl was so well spoken and articulate, it full on blew my mind.  I commented to the mother about how impressed I was with her daughter.  She told me very matter of fact that she, "never spoke baby talk to her."  From that day on I decided if I ever had a child, I would never speak baby talk to my baby either.

    Don't get me wrong, I always use a very kind and sweet pitch and tone with Oliver, but I also make it a point to enunciate my words.  When I sing the ABC's to Ollie I even slow down a L, M, N, O, P and it's always X, Y, Z . I do not add the X, Y, (and) Z.  I also will not, under any freaking circumstance, allow my son to watch those toddler shows with unexplainable beings that do not speak one recognizable word, in ANY language! For example, the teletubbies. OMG!  What is that shit?

    I always try to keep my own personal opinions out of my blogs, but this is one area I am passionate about.  I think it is entirely possible to be a kind, warm, loving mother without pouring heaps a baby-waby crap on. I want Oliver to be a super smart, well spoken, respectable young man from the earliest age possible.

    So, I say to the strangers in the grocery store, and old ladies in church, "Hey! Don't talk baby to my baby. He is a genius in training.

    8/22/12

    Tips and tricks for buying baby clothes

    Tips and tricks for buying baby clothes

    "Well at least he got to wear this once or twice."  I said that to First Time Dad (FTD) today while packing away some of Oliver's summer clothes. With Autumn around the corner I've started packing away summer clothes Oliver will not wear anymore. As I put a few of his super cute dressier outfits away, I couldn't help but sulk about the fact that he had barely wore them. This summer we spent most of our days hanging around the house in light weight onesies. There was no point wearing the cute Osh Kosh B' Gosh Overall outfit to just sit around and drool on.

    What really mean by "putting away" is bye bye cute outfit forever. Of course I am going to keep a few of his best outfits, just in case I need them again, or have a friend who has a 4-6 month old boy next summer. But lets face it, most likely these clothes are probably not going to be used again by my own child. I'd have to be pregnant, by 3 months, right now for that to happen in the next year, and trust me I am not!

    Today's experience taught me that when I go buy his seasonal clothes, I need to remember that we are not a very social, go-out-all-of-the-time family, we will benefit more from one piece long sleeve footy zip ups, not super cute complicated clothes. Besides, Oliver doesn't give a crap what he wears. I have no doubt he would rather spend his days free balling. Diapers and clothes just get in his way.  In fact, in a perfect world he would spend his day wearing only a diaper... and a helmet to protect him from his face planting and poor attempts at thrusting forward while trying to crawl.

    In order to not cry over barely worn clothes I need to...

    1. Not buy that many-or really only get what I absolutely need at first.  We all know we fall for that super cute outfit on the sale rack every time we go to Target or TJ Max.

    2. ONLY buy on super sale, clearance or at thrift and consignment stores.

    3. Call every friend I have with kids and see what cute outfit they have stashed away for that "just in case"  scenario.

    4. Save my damn pennies because I'm going to need them every season until my son is (at least) 18...






    8/21/12

    Candy Coated Crap - The DAD files.

    Candy Coated Crap - The DAD files.
    Howdy All.  I see that the mums have been all excited in sharing their "Candy Coated Crap" stories and thought I'd point out that we dads also have some tales of awesomeness in this area too! So ladies...sit back and relax with a lukewarm cup of organic free-range almond milk and READ ON!!!

    1.  Have a box of cigars ready when the kid is born.

    So...the baby popped out, he had all his fingers and toes, the wife is being sewn up, all is good - TIME FOR A CIGAR!  Nothing like a mouthful of thick velvety vanilla flavoured tobacco smoke to celebrate the birth of the first-born huh?  Well...what a load of crap that was!  I had to walk over a mile before finding the bloody smoking area and the seats were all full of nurses, old people with oxygen carts and cafeteria staff smoking away and complaining about their salaries.  Spoilt my whole morning!

    2.  Cutting the umbilical cord

    It has been said that a fathers first duty is to cut the umbilical cord - the moment when the baby is physically severed from the mother and is welcomed into the world by the strong and steady hands of the father brandishing surgical steel scissors!  I was naturally a little bit anxious but ready to go!  Unfortunately, the moment was denied and instead there was a feeble, token gesture of cutting a small piece off the end well after the separation had occurred and all the measurements and health checks were done.  The young nurse handed me a pair of children's novelty scissors and with a feigned celebratory smirk, said "go on...you can do it". Spoilt my whole afternoon! 

    3.  Batteries

    Wow...look at all the cool baby stuff you have!  Yeah!!!  What most Dads don't realise is that all these stupid bouncy, rocking, rolling, vibrating, flashing, musical crap-boxes need a constant supply of Energizer or Duracell batteries which cost BIG dollar!  Of course, the ladies have no understanding of electricity these days other than using a microwave, so I spend precious MINUTES each day following the wife around switching off kiddie toys! 

    4.  Baby's first shits

    I've mentioned this before but nothing NOTHING can prepare you for the sight of jet-black molasses-like oily BLACK shits in the first day after the birth!  I literally jumped back, called the nurse and pointed at his ass, shrieking hysterically. 


    5.  Lack of sleep (reverse candy coating)

    I can't count the many times that an all-knowing Dad has patted me on the back, rocked a cheesy smile and said "get all the sleep you can NOW cause it's gonna get worse when she has the baby".  Well, as an insomniac, I get to share the late night hours with the baby so...suffer in your jocks dads, it's all fun and games when mummy is not looking!

    6. First daddy feeding

    My first solo feeding moment was a magical affair.  3:30am the sniffling starts and the kraken awakes screaming for his milk. I was prepared and ready for action - bottle warmed, spew rag on the shoulder, Mummy asleep, nightlight on - CHECK!  I changed his diaper, sat down in the rocking chair in all my fatherly glory (undies and a singlet) and put the bottle to the lips.  Within MINUTES I had a disproportionately huge torrent of spew dripping down my chest, the diaper MUST have been a faulty one cause there was piss drizzling down my knickers. All glory is gone. Nice!

    7. Look after your wife

    My Mum back home told me to look after the 'ole wife more than usual in the weeks after the birth because of all the pain, mental fatigue and sore tits etc etc.  What Mum didn't prepare me for was having to stand over the wife while she was grunting on the crapper with a plastic fork, enema and a box of moist towelettes in my hand, ready to excavate if need be.  Thanks Mum!

    8.  Shit in the bath 

    Bath-time is an awesome, fun experience for parents and babies to connect!  Really? I suppose it may be awesome for a minute or two BUT when I first saw a spray of brown fizzy pulp shooting up from the backside of my infant son, rising through the water to float on the bubbly surface, I was less than amused.  Even worse was the long, stringy snake-like turd that shot out in the bath a few days later only to stick like super glue to the back of my hand.



    Any Dads out there with a Candy Coated Crap of their own to share?




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    8/19/12

    Overwhelmed New Mother

    Overwhelmed New Mother

    I am an overwhelmed new mother. FULL STOP!

    Here is one more to add to last Friday's, Candy Coated Crap post; I wish someone would have told me, "Just when you have mastered the milestones of one month, the next month brings twice as many." The older my son gets, the more demanding he becomes for my time and attention. Oliver at six months old is 12 times the baby he was when he was born. It's very overwhelming trying to keep up with him and my sanity at the same time.

    The day my son was born I adapted the deer-in-headlights look of confusion, and still have it smeared across my face to this day. Of course I can easily handle a newborn now without fear.  I can handle everything that a baby under 6-months-old will throw at me with out fear, because I've learned how to be a mom to that age.

    It's that constant learning, staying on my toes and trying to hold it together through each month's milestones that's got me frazzled. Of course I love watching Oliver achieve his milestones.  Everyday when he gets up on all fours I think, "Is this it?  Will he lunge forward and take off down the hallway?" I also know from the warnings of Been-There-Done-That moms, that first trip down the hallway will be the beginning of a whole new world of insanity.

    I cannot even imagine any more insanity at this point.  I am falling apart at the seams from all the damn insanity.  Oliver needs so much attention right now that it has become beyond overwhelming.  I put him down, he fusses. I pick him up, he pushes away and wants to be put back down.  I put him in a docking station, he fusses. I set him down on the floor, he falls forward, gets up on all fours, starts rocking, then face plants and then (yep, you guessed it) FUSSES!!  For FUDGE sake! STOP FUSSING AND GIVE MOMMY'S EARS A FU>>ING BREAK!

    In one month from now I know I will look back on this and think, oh it really was not that bad.  I lose it for a few days every month, only to look back and say, "That was nothing compared to this..." As mothers we are constantly tested, we are constantly learning. I just want to know for how long? How long is it full on? How much longer will it be before I get 6-8 solid hours of sleep again?  If you say 2 years I'll rip your bloody face off!

    I keep telling myself, after 6 months of this vicious cycle of motherhood I have survived, and probably some of the hardest times. I will surely continue to find the peace and patients to persevere. I have to.  It's just hard to remind myself of that when I am dreaming of running away to a secluded beach and drinking rum runners until I forget my name.  Ahhh, just thinking about it makes me relax!  However, when I am away from my baby for more than an hour my heart aches from missing him so much, so I know the escape to drunken paradise is not the answer.

    To all of you over whelmed moms out there, you are not alone.  I am banging the drums of frustration right along with you. It's true motherhood really is so rewarding. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to push all of the bullshit and frustration aside to see it.





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    8/17/12

    Candy Coated Baby Crap!

    Candy Coated Baby Crap!

    A few days ago I was contacted via email by one of my dearest Blog followers about an idea for a post.  The email reads as follows…



    “…Whenever I go through a new parenting experience that I feel like I

    should have been prepared for, I think back to what my Been-There-Done-That friends told me about the experience and I feel completely screwed! What I mean is they sugar-coated EVERYTHING.... like "Get all the sleep you can before baby comes..." but never did anyone tell me honestly how tired and horrible I would feel on 3 hours of sleep. What I would have liked to hear was "It's going to suck, you are going to be perpetually tired for the next 3 years, so get used to it and you CAN function off 3 hours of sleep, but it will be hell".  “….I'd love to hear from you and comments from others what sugar-coated things people told you while you were pregnant and now that you are in the thick of being a new parent what you wish they would have honestly told you. Kind of like a top 10 list or something.”


    Here is my Top 10 list of Sugar Coated Baby advice I received while I was pregnant, and the real meaning behind it.

    1. “Don’t worry, you get amnesia after you deliver. You won’t remember a thing about your pregnancy!”  Really means, “You black it out.” Pregnancy, labor and delivery are so traumatizing you try like hell to black it out so you can attempt to do it all over again to give your child a sibling!

    1. “Sleep Now!” Means “Sleep Seldom” You will sleep for no more than 3 hours at a time for the first 6-8 weeks, then if you are lucky you will get four hour stretches until 6 months, and then who knows, teething, sleep training, weather, poor naps...  The Good news, you think you will loose you mind, but you won’t!

    1.  “Nothing tests a relationship like a baby.” Means,  “Your relationship is screwed for the first 6 months to 2 years once the baby arrives.” Nothing tests the strength of a relationship like high levels of fear, anxiety and insane sleep deprivation. You will argue, bicker, plot painful deaths on each other, throw the divorce word around like a football and then cry together when the baby finally falls asleep.

    1. “Motherhood is so rewarding!” means “Motherhood if so full of tests that when you pass one you should get an award!” You have no clue what you are doing at first.  It’s scary and full of challenges.  Your mother’s instinct will help, but you will still have obstacles and challenges that will boggle the most genius of minds.  You will never get an award so learn to live off of your own praise.

    1. “Breastfeeding is so good for your baby” really means, “Breastfeeding is super hard and painful at first. It is so good for you baby that it doesn’t matter how much it sucks for you.”

    1. “Baby wearing is so wonderful and convenient.  Really means, “If you want to get anything done, strap that baby to your body!” Get one of those baby-wearing contraptions because your back and ass will break from the constant picking up and putting down and carrying involved with a fussy baby that is only happy when he’s being held. 

    1. “Make time for yourself everyday.” Really means, “You will be so covered in vomit and baby goo/poo that you will need to shower everyday.” You have to shower and put on clean clothes every day. Just because you can’t see the throw up all down your back doesn’t mean it’s not there, and just because your hair is in a ponytail, it doesn’t mean it’s ok to be rock hard from the coating of spit up.

    1. “Savor each minute because it goes so fast!” really means, “Time does not slow down so your mind can catch up to your child’s constant growth.” Thanks the extreme exhaustion and overall constant work involved with having a baby, minutes become hours, that become days, that become weeks that become months of blurry hazy confusion. Then surprise your baby is six months old already!

    1. “Join a mothers Group” really means, “All of your friends without children will fall off the face of the earth so you will need to make some new friends.”  Even the friends with children are hard to catch up with now that both of you have child filled days.

    1. “You are going to be a wonderful mother.” Really means, “Just wait, you are going to think you are awful and doing all of the wrong things! Luckily babies are resilient and will overcome your crazy ideas and methods, while teaching you how to be a wonderful mother.”   I don’t think you stop thinking you suck for long periods at a time, because once you think you have it figured out, boom the baby rolls off the couch!




    A good friends list of things she wishes someone would have told her.... she is a mother of a 6 year old and a 9 month old.


    1.Being a mom is not easy.

    2.Babies don't sleep through the night until they are 2.

    3.How much having kids would test the strength of my marriage, or how friends who don't have kids fall off the face of the earth.

     
    4.Don't buy baby clothes out of season for the next year, because your child won't fit into the size he is supposed to until he turns two.  Both babies wear/wore clothes way outside their age range.  Gavin's 12 month onesies are getting a bit small.
     
    5.How hard it is to take a child's paci away.
     
    6.That you have to take the baby to the doctor every couple months and endure shot after shot and that the doctor only works Tuesday through Thursday right in the middle of my work day.
     
    7.That some kids are scared to poop on the toilet and that you might have to hold them down and force them to do it just to get them into big kid underwear...AND...when you get them into big kid underwear, they still have to wear a pull up at night.



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    8/16/12

    New Season. New baby clothes.

    Slowly but surely the temperature outside has been dropping. So much so, we slept with the windows open last night. As nice as it is to give my air conditioner and electric bill a break, its still August, how can it only be 67 degrees? Where did my summer go? I’m still working on losing my baby weight so I can go to the pool. I’m not ready for the cool autumn weather. Neither is my son’s wardrobe…

    This morning when I went to pick out a warm outfit for Ollie, I could not find one!  Not one long sleeved anything.  I ended up having to dig through a storage bin filled with odd baby clothes. Luckily, I found one of daddy’s finds from when I was still pregnant, a full camoflage baby outfit. (photo below) At that moment my heart sunk, I realized I needed a whole new winter wardrobe for my baby. 

    Panic ensued…


    The following is my line of thought… or panic attack. Whatever you want to call it.

    1. Shit, we really cannot afford a bunch of new clothes.  OMG!


    2. Wait. Does he really need that many clothes? It’s not like I need 30 new pieces of baby clothes. 


    3.Oliver doesn’t care if he wears the same onesie everyday for a year. I could seriously only buy seven outfits and go with it.


    4.No, I need nine outfits, so when he throws up or explodes, I will have a back up plan.


    5.OK, this is ridiculous, nine outfits only. Really? 


    6. I need to look at our budget.  Maybe I can move things around to afford a shopping trip.


    7. I’ve lost the plot!  Baby clothes do not cost as much as mine do.  I bet I could get a bunch of clothes for $50. 

    Hubs wakes up, comes into the living room and sees the boy in the camo outfit, does a “look at my camo boy” dance, then looks over at me. Instantly he is sorry he got out of bed and says, “What’s wrong?”  I take him through the last five minutes in my crazy brain.  He says, “Oh God, woman!”

    I close my laptop and join him for coffee. We discuss the fact that this is not a bad thing. We can have fun with this. Then dad drops the big bomb, “Oliver is only 6 months old. We have to buy him heaps of clothes. You can’t freak out every time the weather changes.” 

    Crap! We have been so lucky so far with hand me downs, shower gifts, and picking up odds and ends, that we have yet to buy a bunch of clothes at once.  I did a bit of research, called my sister (mother of two boys), and came up with a game plan. First of all, it's time to enter another line item on the family budget. Second, be smart, savvy and creative about buying baby clothes.

    Bottom line, babies need clothes, and lots of them.  The biggest issue with that is the constant growth. Something that fits brilliantly one week, will not even snap at the ankle the next. There is a fine line between chubby baby and growth spurt. 

    Being that most seasons last three months, it’s important to try to buy the correct size and just what you need for that season. Buying all at once is probably not the best idea. At about 6-8 weeks into the season all of the clothes for that season usually go on sale or even better, clearance. If you buy just what you need early in the season, you may be able to snap up the other half of your baby's wardrobe for a fraction of the cost later. Do I even need to add you may need a larger size by then anyway?


    Here are tips on how to shop smart and savvy when buying baby clothes

    1. Keep an eye on the Sunday paper circulars, and websites for places like Target, Wal-Mart (Big W), The Children’s Place, Babies R’ Us and any other baby clothes store for upcoming promotions, specials and exclusive online clearance.


    2. Discount stores like TJMax, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory and so on, are great places for finding name brand baby clothes at super discounted prices.


    3. Thrift Stores & Consignment. Places like Once Upon a Child are fabulous for quality clothes at affordable prices.


    4. Garage/yard sales.  The season for yard sales is not behind us yet. You would be surprised at what you can find.


    5. EBay & Craig's List You can find an entire season of clothes bundled by one seller.  If you are short on time and cannot be bothered, this is the method for you!


    6. Shop Online. I love Plum District for this. (Link Below)  Right now there are all kinds of spend $10 get $20 worth of clothes from Brand X being offered.  Check out the website of the company Plum District is offering the special for. If you find something you like, go back to Plum District and buy the special. 


    I cannot recommend enough subscribing to them. I have found out about so many mom and baby sites I never ever would have known about. Plus, Plum District has been around for a long time and gets all of the best family deals. It's free to subscribe.

    I will most likely use Plum District’s specials to find a great winter coat for Oliver. I want to get him something funky and fun and will spend a few extra bucks to get it.  Since that’s what people see when we go out, I want him to be stylin’!


    I’m sure there are ideas and tips I am leaving out.  Please let me know what you do to cover a entire season of clothes.




    While it's a fuzzy photo...
    It's clear he's up on all fours and rocking away!



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    8/15/12

    WARNING: Bumbo Seat RECALL...

    Yes, Again!



    This morning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bumbo International Trust voluntarily recalled 4 million of its Bumbo Baby Seats. The recall comes after a series of reports of babies falling from the seat when placed on an elevated surface.

    Since 2007, there have been over 50 reports of injuries involving the seat, which include skull fractures, minor head injuries, as well as bumps and bruises. The recalled seat was sold at Sears, Target, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, USA Babies, and Walmart, from August 2003 through August 2012 for between $30 and $50.

    If you think you may have a recalled Bumbo Baby Seat, check the bottom of the seat for the follow words: ”Manufactured by Bumbo South Africa Material: Polyurethane World Patent No. PCT: ZA/1999/00030.”

    Do you own this seat? Stop using it immediately and contact Bumbo for a free repair kit which will include a restraint belt and installation instructions. You can order the kit by calling or calling (866) 898-4999 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. CT on Friday. You can also visit the website and order the free repair kit by visiting  www.recall.BumboUSA.com. Do not return the Bumbo seat to retailers as they will not be able to provide the repair kit.

    Mommy Fail # 9 – My baby rolled off the couch.

    Mommy Fail # 9 – My baby rolled off the couch.

    Um. Yeah. We suck.  Yes, WE suck, dad was in on this epic fail too.  I have always heard that “all babies roll off the couch sooner or later.”  “HA!” I said to that. Not my baby.  No way would I be foolish enough to let him roll off the couch.  WRONG! Fail. Minus 2 points First Time Mom and Dad.

    I was just finishing up sorting through some warm weather baby clothes, when I walked into the living room to find dad and bub playing on the couch.  Just as I sat down to join them I realized I forgot my water in the nursery, so I stood back up to go get it.  At the same time dad stands up and walks away too.  We realized we were both walking off so we stopped, looked at each other, then back at Oliver… just as he took the dive off the couch.

    OMG! OMG! OMG!  Dad’s screaming, I’m screaming, Oliver is definitely screaming. I got to Ollie first, picked him up and held him close. Trying not to cry myself, I start telling him it’s ok and kissing away.  Dad’s still freaking out, checking every inch of his little baby body.  Poor Ollie, I think us freaking out might have freaked him out even more. (Hmm possibly epic fail #10 right there...)

    It took about two full minutes, but dad and Ollie finally stopped screaming and crying.  I’m still not sure which of them was more traumatized by the whole experience.  Dad felt so terrible, he was so worried that Oliver was broken. He took little man from me and kissed all ten fingers and toes, checked his ears, counted his hair follicles... First Time Dad was a first rate wreck.  I kept downplaying it, promising all babies rolled off the couch, and the fact that he was crying, meant he was ok.  

    It was scary.  Very scary.  My poor baby rolled off the couch. Luckily, neither one of us was fully responsible for the fail, so we could not play the blame game. We both felt equally terrible and hugged and kissed as a family once everyone calmed down.  No harm. No foul.

    My friends, my husband and I are great loving parents and we failed. It happens. I felt terrible for letting it happen, but it was an accident.  Accidents happen.  Unfortunately, now that Oliver is becoming more mobile, we cannot take our eyes off of him for a minute, not even a second.  Unless he is securely locked down in a docking station. 

    Lesson learned: The days of the motionless slug are over.  Our baby has become a mover and shaker.  We can no longer leave him unattended for a second.   








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    8/14/12

    Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

    For those of you who do not know, August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month in the USA. For more information about the Breastfeeding Campaign, please visit WomensHealth.gov.

    I am a huge fan of the benefits, I would not let Oliver gnaw at me 6 times a day if I didn't. But, I also know how blessed I am that I have the ability to nurse my son.  And...well...my two cents, if you can nurse...  breastfeeding is huge, and it's worth a try.  It's not easy, but it gets easy. Even becoming automatic for both mom and child after a month or two.

    I'm going to stop now, and not go to go into a big thing about breastfeeding. I have already done that a few times in the past.  If you want to know more information on my experiences with breastfeeding, the articles are located on the right column listing of this web page. Or just use my blog search tool in the top right corner.

    Another reason I do not want to carry on about breastfeeding, again, is because of the numerous emails, comments and friends who have come to me in tears over their inability to breastfeed. I know this is a touchy subject, even hurtful. My heart goes out to the mothers who wish they could nurse, but are unable to for one reason or another.  No worries, your babies are big, beautiful, strong and healthy too!

    I have been holding off on this post because I know how touchy this subject is for a few of you. However, this site would not be a good parenting resource if I did not at least say a little something...

    Any who... WHOO HOOO it's National Breastfeeding Awareness month!

    Furthermore, last week was actually "World Breastfeeding week." I just couldn't figure out how to write a post without offending, singling out and hurting some of you.  Then I started getting  emails, and text photos with the answer to my dilemma...I think I have found a way for ALL of us to get a little something from the cause. A bit of a laugh...

    ENJOY!


























    Look closely at the mother in the pink hoodie.
























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    8/13/12

    The importance of a cohesive parenting team

    The importance of a cohesive parenting team
    Good parenting starts with a cohesive team.  Unfortunately, I thought good parenting started with my husband understanding my ideas, plans, and goals, and then implement them according to my specifications. I am the mother, I have the God given gift of Mothers Instinct, no way could he know better than me? Plus, from what I had heard and experienced, most dads are happy to take the backseat.  However, my husband had other ideas about that. He had plans and ideas and every intention of implementing them as well. Needless to say the first couple of weeks...er…months of our son’s life were not met with a cohesive mom and dad parenting team.  

    Wanting to be super hands on, the man was not ‘gelling’ at all with my, “I can do it myself” mentality! Nothing would frustrate me more than when he would question me or try to tell me how to do something with our son. Yes, I was doing the same to him, but felt completely justified. I was the one with the all-important mother’s instinct! 

    By the second month of my son’s life I was mentally and physically exhausted. I needed a break from being a do-it-all super mom. So, after lots of “discussions” and a few tears, I started to slowly, albeit reluctantly, begin to let my husband implement some of his own ideas and plans. After about a week or two of letting the hubs do his thing, I started to see the clear difference between my methods and his.  I was very soft and wouldn’t let Oliver shed a tear. I’d jump at the first whimper. I lived according to the hours and minutes of the day so I could keep our son on his strict schedule. Dear old dad didn’t care about schedules, he wanted to play and laugh and be silly with our son all day.  We were polar opposite parents.  Oliver was striving in this environment.

    Today at six months old, Oliver has completely benefited from having polar opposite parents, working together as a team.  I know I would have self destructed, and ruined my marriage, had I not relaxed and let my husband be the father he always dreamt of being. We parent very differently, and that’s actually a really good thing. Even though I understand the need, I still cannot stand the sound of Oliver struggling while he is learning to crawl or stay down for tummy time. The hubs doesn’t seem to mind as he pushes our son to his next milestone.  On the flip side, he still cannot stand sticking to the “baby’s routine,” but he completely understands the purpose of it. We have learned to stay out of each other’s way in those situations. 

    Another important aspect of a strong parenting team is the ability to take turns and share the work. At first I did it all; feeding, bathing, rocking to sleep, cleaning, everything… I would run to beat the hubs, no way could he do anything for our son faster or better than me.  Trust me, there is noting worse you can do to your teammate than shut him out of the game. The shut out could completely backfire and you single handedly are feeding, bathing and cleaning up after your child forever.  Plus, sharing the work has helped me to realize the hubs is better at a lot of things, and it makes him a very proud papa to show me.  This has helped our relationship immensely. 

    We take turns with everything now.  Except I am not a huge fan of bath time, and hubs is not a huge fan of feeding Oliver his solids, so every night I feed Ollie and dad bathes him.  We both respectively enjoy these tasks, so it works out great. We take turns with soothing Oliver back to sleep, changing diapers, playtime, walks, reading books, and most important giving each other breaks.  

    I’ve learned, the hard way, the extreme importance of having a strong cohesive parenting team.  Being able to trust my teammate to take over when I am going to pass out is so important for my sanity as a mother.   For my husband, it’s important that his teammate trusts him and doesn’t stand over him with the hawk eye of, unnecessary, concern. We have a very long and winding road of parenting ahead of us, knowing we can depend on each other and share the ups and downs equally is the only way to make that road as smooth and enjoyable as possible. 



    A quick note: All of you single parents out there doing the job of two, being a team of one, well done. Your job is is not an easy one.  


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