Category Archives: in which Steph is snarky

An Open Letter to My Daughter’s Teeth (And to My Cat)

Sorry for the mildly R-rated post but I’m having a day.

Letter #1: To my daughter’s teeth:

Look, I know we all have a job to do. I know you’re going to come in handy soon and that you’re roaring to come into the world and be useful. That’s nice. Very considerate of you. I get it.

But let’s be real here for a second.

Teeth, if you were a person, I’d kill you. Straight up. I would throw you down a flight of very steep concrete stairs and beat you with a hammer until you died from blunt force trauma and blood loss.

So here’s the deal. Quit dicking around and just come the fuck out of my daughter’s gum. I have been waiting for you to erupt for 2 fucking weeks. I can see you there, waiting, just being an asshole chilling there while in the meantime she is spending half her days screaming in discomfort. You know who you are. You’re the bottom center tooth on the right and you’re a little shithead. Be a good tooth like your neighbor and just come out already.

Seriously.

At least the swings make her happy.

Letter #2: To my cat:

Whiskey, if you shit one more time on my floor I’m going to lock you on the patio, open the gate, and hope that a coyote eats you.

Phew. It’s a good thing a friend wants to meet for dinner tonight because–just in case you couldn’t tell–I need a drink.

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A Soapbox

I have a bone to pick. I have a feeling this might not be a very popular post. I’m feeling kind of snarky today for no particular reason so whatever.

I don’t have a bone to pick with anyone in particular, really. I have a bone to pick with labeling. Don’t get me wrong, some labels are important. FDA labels. Medication labels. Warning labels. GMO labels. Those kinds of things are important.

I have a problem with parenting labels. It seems to be super important for mothers to label themselves and the kind of “parenting” they parent with. There’s so many “kinds” of parenting out there, and people have some strong feelings about all of them, and I’m here to say that it’s all bullshit. The specific thing that has my goat today (though I’m not sure why) is this whole thing called “gentle parenting” or “attachment parenting.” Mothers who adhere to this idea do things like extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, co-bathing, babywearing, not using the cry-it-out method…you get my drift. And there is nothing wrong with ANY of those things. Nothing. But why do we have to call it “gentle” parenting? So say I don’t do things like co-sleep. Does that therefore imply that I’m not a gentle parent? Or that I’m not attached to my child because I allow her to cry sometimes?

I am really tired of people carrying around this label on their shoulders like it makes them a better mother than me because I don’t let my kid sleep in the same bed. Whatever way you want to raise your child is fine. Breastfeed till age 3? Congratulations. Sleep in the same bed till they’re in kindergarten? Fine. But why does anyone feel the need to broadcast this? Why label yourself an “attachment parent?” Why label yourself anything? Here’s something I’d like to broadcast about all this, in all capital letters because I’d like you to imagine me shouting it from the top of a big soapbox:

NOBODY GIVES A FUCK HOW YOU RAISE YOUR KID.

I don’t look at a toddler and think, oh, he was raised with attachment parenting. When you get to a job interview nobody asks if your mother let you cry till you fell asleep on your own. Chances are unless you were abandoned repeatedly or fed blue meth as an infant, you’re going to turn out pretty much the same as anybody else no matter how your mother(s)/father(s) chose to parent you. My daughter is not going to go to kindergarten and seek out friends who were formula fed and form a clique that talks shit about kids who were breastfed, or vice versa. Kids don’t give a fuck about this sort of stuff, so why do we? Yeah, it’s important that YOU care and feel strongly about the choices you make, but it has no business being anyone else’s business.

Mothers need to quit wasting time worrying that other women care how they are raising their children. Because nobody does. Who has time to care? I have time to raise my child in the manner that works for me, my husband, and our daughter. My motherhood does not make me a martyr and I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself. One method of parenting is not better than the other and nobody cares that you picked one over the other. Make your choices, raise your family, and shut up.

But one more thing, while I’m at it. Since I’m already up on this soapbox. Since my follower count is already dropping anyway. Can we do away with the pictures of the baby eating with the edge of your boob in the picture? I get it, you’re proud to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is cool. But do we need shitloads of pictures of it and your boobs?

You may now return to your regularly scheduled Friday.

Mommies Don’t Get Sick Days

Nor do they get breaks for the craziness that a full moon brings. It would be just my luck to be sick over the weekend of a full moon, wouldn’t it?

It finally happened. I’m generally not a sick person, and in fact can’t recall the last time I was down for the count like this–possibly not since 2009, my first senior year of college, when I came down with Influenza A–the same year swine flu was big on the scene and my mother told me in a panic “that flu is killing young people!” Real confidence booster. Usually when I feel oncoming cold symptoms, I overload with vitamin C (praise ye, god of Emergen-C) and fluids and I escape unscathed. Two weeks ago this happened; I had a sore throat for about three days but thanks to my overdosing of VitC and herbal tea, nothing ever came of it. I guess this time I wasn’t so lucky. It was my time.

Anyway, I am finally feeling human again after several days battling a sinus infection, or something otherwise devised by Satan. These are especially fun when you also have a four-month old at home and you are desperate to not get her sick. I went to the doctor on Friday morning just to make sure it wasn’t something contagious (it was) but she gave me a round of antibiotics just in case it was bacterial. I know it doesn’t necessarily work this way but I started taking them anyway. What the hell. After several days of begging the baby to sleep for just twenty minutes longer so I could just rest a little more, the worst of it hit in the early hours of Saturday morning when I arrived at the “I just want to die” stage. Saturday wasn’t a whole lot better, but Cameron managed to come home a few hours early so that I could catch a break. Sunday I hit the “nose so raw I want to cut it off” stage at the same time that I hit the “I am so tired of being sick I just want to cry all day” stage, which might have helped clear out my sinuses.

I ended up using a teething ring to cool my burning nose. Yes, I washed it after.

But, this morning when I woke up, I felt sort of normal again. Still stuffy and coughing a bit, but not quite at the death-warmed-over point. So, progress.

And luckily (knock on wood) it doesn’t appear that either Cameron or Caroline has picked it up. I’m hopeful that by now she would have been showing symptoms and she’s not, so fingers crossed. Unfortunately, the poor thing didn’t escape quite unscathed, because you know what happens when Mommy is stuffed up and can’t smell shit? Yeah, just that. Mommy can’t smell shit. Saturday night after I put her back to bed following her middle-of-the-night bottle, she kept waking up and fussing. I was terrified she was becoming cranky because she had caught my sickness and wasn’t feeling well. (Oh, and did I mention this was also the weekend she decided to start rolling over in her crib and cry for help when she landed on her back and couldn’t go back to sleep? Full moon!) In the morning when I finally got her out of bed, I discovered an hours-old poo in her diaper, which I had been unable to smell but is more than likely the cause of her continual waking and fussing. Womp womp. Sorry Bean. The same thing happened this morning, but this one looked like it hadn’t been in there since 3 in the morning at least. So as much as I hate to say it, I’m hoping my sense of smell returns soon so I can sniff out the FPD (Formula Poops of Doom) in the middle of the night so that she doesn’t have to sit in it all night long.

Now I am facing the daunting task of picking up my house, which has been woefully neglected since I came down with this crap. Ugh.

You’re sick Mommy? Aint nobody got time for that!

Okay, y’all are weird.

And by y’all I don’t mean y’all who read this blog, I mean y’all out there in the wide world of the internet. You know, y’all.

So a few days ago I was taking a peek at the search terms that people have Googled and subsequently found their way to my blog. I thought this was such a cool idea and it would give me some insight as to what kinds of topics are bringing folks to my blog. In hindsight, I’m sort of wishing I didn’t. Because as the title suggests, y’all are weird.

Some of them were pretty normal, you know, in that “yeah, that makes perfect sense” category. Some of these included:

how to stop worrying during pregnancy. Makes sense. I wrote a post about how I was going to focus on not worrying while I was pregnant. It’s a fairly common thing for pregnant women to think about.

high elevation and pregnancy third trimester. Well, I never wrote about this specifically, but I live at high elevation and wrote often about the third trimester. A number of the search terms were about pregnancy at high elevation, actually. And I really have to wonder, is this honestly something people worry about? Maybe since I have lived at at least a mile high since I was a kid I never really think about that sort of thing…

santa fe renaissance faire. Another fairly normal search term I could see leading to my blog.

Then there were a couple that made me scratch my head a little, not just because they’re sort of weird but because I have no idea how they got to my blog with that search term.

lester holt cries. Well, that’s sad. He seems like a nice guy.

nano is my boyfriend chef. I don’t actually know what this means. But congratulations? I wish I had a personal chef.

should I bring name tags? Yes. I have no idea why, but it can’t hurt to be prepared.

limearitas bloat you? I hope not. I love those things.

And then, finally, were two search terms that really made me go, “What the fuck?” Brace yourself now, because they’re weird. I mean really weird. I think I spit out my coffee when I saw them.

thong and pasties in the park.

sherlock gdjskfdjk

 

Thank you, Sherlock, I had a similar thought. What on earth does that mean? Never mind. Maybe I don’t want to know.

And finally, the big one. I should hope you don’t use this blog as out-loud reading material for your small children, but if you do, I would suggest holding off on this one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

stories about girls getting an air hose up the ass and giving them painful cramps.

 

Huh. I mean, you couldn’t make this shit up. I don’t even know how you might go about making something like that up because that means you’re into some pretty weird shit–oh, never mind. Secondly, how on earth did someone with those search terms end up at my blog? I wonder if they were disappointed. This blog is sorely lacking in the…girls with air hoses in certain orifices department. Sorry to disappoint.

In conclusion….y’all are weird. But welcome to the blog anyway!

The Magic Words

Ah, yes. The magic words every pregnant woman wants to hear, when she’s late in the third trimester and can’t turn over in bed without looking so much like a breeching whale that David Attenborough is knocking at the door hoping to film a documentary on a new species. If you’ve been there, you know exactly what words I’m talking about.

“Could be any day now.”

Sweet hallelujah! There IS a light at the end of this tunnel, even if I can’t actually FIT in said tunnel. Have I mentioned according to my dr’s records I’ve put on 41 pounds since March? Mmmyep. If that doesn’t make a girl feel good I don’t know what does. Pretty soon I will be squeezing into these puppies:

IMG_20131016_091512

Anyway, Dr. said the magic words yesterday at our 36 week check. Now, don’t get me wrong, he said it more as an overall “yep, it might happen” rather than an “expect to go into labor right now.” Just a way of saying, yep, it’s almost that time so don’t freak out in case it does. Obviously, we want Caroline to continue incubating as long as possible, so please don’t think I’m chomping at the bit to have her out tomorrow or that I’m going to start thinking of myself as overdue. I know it’s important for her to bake a little longer. I’m only mostly joking. Nevertheless, it is good to hear from the doctor that he’s confident that if she did come, more than likely everything would be just fine.

That being said…do I STILL really have 4 weeks left till my EDD? Fuck me! (However, Dr did say that babies do tend to be born earlier and somewhat smaller than average up here, I’m assuming due to altitude or barometric pressure or thin air or a preponderance of unicorn farts or something scientific like that. Who knows. But maybe it’s true and it won’t be 4 more full weeks. Fingers crossed.)

After giving me the mother of all horrible internal checks (seriously it was awful), Dr declared she is still head down, growing according to schedule, and her heartbeat is slowing down to a good rate. I’m even a tiny bit dilated! Not like that means much at this point but hey, makes me feel good that my body is responding in roughly the way it is supposed to. I also had my Strep-B culture done and thankfully do not need another internal exam until closer to the due date thankyoubabyjesusbecausethatsucks. So that being said, full steam ahead on the Let’s Get This Show on the Road Train.

Relaxing with my stage-5 clinger of a cat on Mount Caroline.

Caroline’s newest trick, by the way? Planting both feet firmly on my ribs ALL. NIGHT. LONG. I am seriously (as in, not even joking) beginning to bruise on my ribs. When I sit up I can feel one or both of her feet pop around the edges of my ribs and Jesus Fuck does that hurt! This morning I almost could not sit up to get out of bed. Please, please, please drop soon. Please.

Oh, and on the subject of dropping. I have had a virtual crew of complete strangers (you know, people you’ve never met before) look at me and say “Wow, you’ve dropped!” I just give them this look like yeah, tell that to my bruising ribs and my inability to breathe when I lie down. If I hear one more stranger tell me I’ve dropped, I’m gonna drop my palm on their face.

hahanojohn

Oh, we booked a “babymoon”! Or, more like… “last date with the two of us not involving a babysitter.” We were sort of planning on doing that last night, because several months ago I bought tickets to see The Book of Mormon in Denver. But, since getting off Isle Estes these days is sort of a pain we would have had to make an overnight out of it, bring the dog with us, stay at my parents’ house, come back early or take time off work, yadda yadda. It had just become a pain, so we sent the tickets to my parents as a birthday present for my mom instead. I was bummed, but happy that they apparently loved it.

Dad enjoying a little musical sacrilege

So, instead, we are going down next Saturday to see a show in Denver and stay at a nice hotel overnight, since we won’t have to rush to get back home. It’ll be our last chance to chill out together, just the two of us, and be out of Estes for a little while…probably for the last time until the baby comes and/or the roads open up, whichever happens first. (My guess is baby.)

Part of my “postpartum goodie bag” package arrived from Walmart last night. (I was hoping it would be my new pair of boots, but no dice. Just part of the Christmas morning-like joy of doing all our shopping online these days.) Oooh yes, definitely getting close now. Because nothing screams “you are either getting ready to have a baby or perform surgery on a small animal” like a box full of giant thunderpads, stool softeners, witch hazel wipes and doggie tinkle pads. My Depends and granny panties are still on backorder. Shucks.

When I got that tattoo I didn’t actually think I would one day get to BE a whale.

Trimester the Third

Welcome to the Third Trimester, said the Universe. You’ve made it 2/3 of the way through this pregnancy. As a reward, have a gestational diabetes test and a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Nightmare. Oh, and then ANOTHER diabetes test, because the first one wasn’t bad enough. Isn’t this fun?

So yeah, this has been a fun week. I went in for my gestational diabetes test on Thursday (after it was rescheduled from Tuesday because the OB had 2 emergency c-sections, I mean what are the odds) and it wasn’t as terrible as I had thought it would be; the orange shit was definitely second-to-none gross, but I got it down and kept it down, so that was a positive. I got a little bit of a sugar rush but definitely nothing terrible, and I had some crackers and cheese right when I got home so I didn’t have a huge crash either. The nurse told me that “no news is good news” and they would only call if I failed, and that if I did, they’d call me the next day (Friday). Stay tuned for the rest of this story.

Saturday morning I woke up at 4:30 after a pretty terrible nightmare about the baby. I don’t dream very often, even since I’ve been pregnant, and usually my dreams are so bizarre and make so little sense that it’s no big deal even if I manage to remember them. This one was pretty visceral and real, though, and very upsetting. Cameron was in the shower getting ready for an opening shift at the ‘Bux and I had to get out of bed and tell him just to feel like everything was okay. So I stood in the bathroom while he showered and cried for a while and then went back to bed and watched an episode of The Office before going back to sleep. It was pretty rotten and I know it was just a little sliver of subconscious rising to the top of my brain that got all bent out of shape by the dream, but it’s still hard to shake something like that when it feels so real even for a little while. Luckily I had a massage booked for later that morning so I was at least able to go and have some relaxing me-time, which was probably what I needed in the first place.

And, to put the cherry on top of my “welcome to hell the third trimester” cake, I was under the assumption as of Friday evening that I had passed my diabetes test, since the phone never rang all day. Rock on, thought I. I figured, wrongly obviously, that since a holiday weekend was coming up, the lab would probably make the attempt to get all their important calls done before the weekend so people wouldn’t have to wait 3 days for results. Anyway, my phone rang not long ago with the hospital’s number and my stomach dropped. It’s the nurse from the OB’s office informing me that I have failed my diabetes test by 1 fucking point and my OB wants me to come in this week for the 3-hour test. Are you kidding me. One point?? Evidently the “normal” range is 75-139 and I clocked in at 140. Yeah.

So, despite my  annoyance with the fact that 1) I was told that if I failed they’d call 4 days ago and they didn’t, and 2) that I only failed by 1 measly point, I booked an appointment to go back on Thursday morning and do the 3-hour. I get to fast after dinner on Wednesday night and show up at 8 the next morning for what I’m assuming is just going to be more fun than a unicorn pooping lollipops while riding a double rainbow all the way across the sky. Luckily Cameron should be able to be with me for most if not all of it, so at least if I throw up I’ll have someone to hold my hair back. And I work for some really accommodating folks, so the fact that I’ll be in almost 4 hours late (if at all, because I am prepared for the contingency that I might just feel like total shit) isn’t a huge deal. So that’s good I guess.

So, yeah. It’s been a fun week. On the positive (since I need at least one), I was able to snag a crib mattress for only $10 from someone on a local swap site, and am going to pick that up later today. Maybe this will actually compel me to finish the nursery at some point because, oh yeah, I still haven’t done that.

And, since text-only posts are boring, here’s a picture of all 3 of my animals making it really hard for me to get out of bed this morning.

In the meantime, I’m off to hopefully get rid of this stomachache and try not to let my hormones get the best of me today. Least the office is pretty empty today….

Just Sayin’.

Or, The post in which I use .gifs to express myself.

So I know I’m still roughly 3 months away from becoming a real, bona fide, actual parent, but I’ve already decided to stay out of the whole “mommy wars” thing. In general I don’t think it’s helpful or constructive and generally leads to a lot of stress because people get so out of control. So I’ve decided not to ask for advice or make my opinions known online, since it usually devolves into nothing more than mud-flinging. That being said, I have to comment on something that I think all parents should have generally the same opinion on, though I know I’m probably opening up a can of worms in doing so.

It’s about breastfeeding. Ruh roh. Everybody stay calm.

sherlock breatheMore importantly, it’s about the people who think that breastfeeding in public is shameful, disgusting, immodest, wrong, or generally anything other than overall awesomeness.

sherlock eyerollThe reason I got to thinking about this is because last night I was, against my better judgement, lying in bed watching the VMAs on MTV. I don’t normally do this, because I think the music industry these days tends to be a bunch of sparkly poo and I don’t watch music videos anyway, but there was an NSYNC reunion. And it ended up only being for 110 seconds, but IT WAS AWESOME.

(And this is the place I would put a .gif of NSYNC performing….IF I COULD FIND ONE)

Anyway. The show opened up with a performance by Lady Gaga, which is awesome because she’s been really quiet recently and I’m happy to see her doing things again. I mean, she did look like the bread cat at first, but, it is Lady Gaga after all.

gagabreadcat breadcatThe performance ended with her stripping down to a seashell bra and a thong bikini. And you know what, I’m okay with that. I really don’t have a problem if you feel comfortable enough with your body that you feel like you can perform in front of millions of people with basically a naked bum. Rock on with your bad self.

What happened shortly thereafter, though, was a little more upsetting and made me throw up in my mouth a little. What I’m referencing is Miley Cyrus’s performance with Robin Thicke. She, too, went the ultra-skimpy bathing suit route, (in what looked like latex) but at one point in the performance she got down on all fours and grinded her behind on Robin Thicke’s genital region.

sherlock gdjskfdjkIt’s at this point that you’re probably wondering what on earth the VMAs and Miley Cyrus’s twerking and Lady Gaga’s butt could possibly have in common with breastfeeding. Nothing, directly. It’s more about perception and the things that we, as a society, are okay with.

See, this is the problem that I have with all of this. We (speaking on a highly generalized zeitgeist level) are totally, 100% okay with watching women parade around on stage and do a hip-gyrating, boob-shaking routine wearing little more than pasties and a thong. I’m okay with that too, usually–I mean, I think there should be a point at which we draw some kind of line, but I think if female performers want to wear that sort of stuff and dance like that, okay. I’m not a prude, and I’m not offended by that and neither, it seems, are a lot of people out there. It’s sort of the “norm” isn’t it? So, point #1, we’re okay with women dancing around nearly naked and swinging their boobs around to the beat. Gotcha.

But we’re not okay with a mother sitting in a restaurant or in a public park trying to quietly, modestly, privately breastfeed her child.

sherlock internal screamingI know I’m not the only person to see the giant, glaring, ugly double standard here, right? RIGHT? The whole concept basically makes me wish my head would explode so I don’t have to listen to it anymore because IT’S JUST THAT FUCKING RIDICULOUS.

Oh, sorry, I should have warned you that there is language in this post. If you haven’t guessed yet by reading my blog, I really couldn’t give 2 sparkly unicorn shits about censorship. (But it would be awesome if I could…)

Here’s the deal. The recurring theme I see online coming from people who are against breastfeeding in public say that it’s disgusting because…wait for it….children might see.

john are you seriousYes John, I am serious. Let that one sink in for a moment.

hahanojohnYeah, sorry, but I’m calling bullshit on that one. Because guess what. There’s quite a few things I worry about my children potentially seeing on TV or out in public. Gratuitous violence, drug use, really explicit Game of Thrones sex, (good for Mama, not good for kiddos) Miley Cyrus twerking in a latex bodysuit, etc etc. You know what I’m absolutely NOT worried about my children seeing in public? Breastfeeding. I mean, let’s get real here, if a woman is breastfeeding in public, what are we actually seeing? Not much. Maybe the top of the boob. Maybe, shocker of all shockers, a flash of nipple for a second. Hey, Janet Jackson got away with it and we didn’t seem to mind all that much. (Ooh, am I dating myself with that one?) You see a whole lot more of the whole boob/cleavage area just by walking through the mall.

Here’s another thing. There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding. Nothing. And if you think there is, you probably need to seek professional help because you might have a weird fetish. Lots of cleavage at Hooter’s is super sexual, though. There’s only one reason to dress like that other than to attract attention to one’s self (and probably get better tips–hey, I used to be a bartender, I know how it works.) Now let me cover all my bases here and say that I don’t have a problem if you want to show a little cleavage. Or a lot. It’s your body, you do what you like with it, and if you feel like that’s something you should be doing, fine. I think tasteful cleavage is pretty. Generally, I am totally chill with boobs. Boobs boobs boobs.

But here’s where the line gets squidgy. If we, as a society, are going to be okay with lots of cleavage and bikini thongs on national television and what some people see as an exploitation of the female body, we have got to stop pretending that we are offended by a woman feeding her baby in public. Have to. Because that is one of the worst double standards out there that I can think of. There are already enough double standards about women, let’s at least try to cut at least one out. Because we can’t say that we’re okay with super-sexualization on TV and not be okay with a little top boob poking out over a baby’s head in the park once in a while. For god’s sake, what if a woman was wearing a thong bikini and pasties in the park feeding her baby with a bottle? We’d be totally okay with that, wouldn’t we? So what’s the difference? Because I have yet to figure one out.

About the only thing that I can think of as far as the “children might see” logic is that in fact, we are placing our own insecurities about the female body onto our children. By saying “I don’t want my children to see that” we are really saying two things: 1) “I don’t want to see that” and “I don’t want to be bothered to explain to my children what’s going on when they ask what that woman is doing.” What’s wrong with telling our children the truth about breastfeeding? It goes something like this: Baby is hungry. Mom has food. Mom is feeding baby. Sounds simple enough to me. And if we’re going to be uncomfortable with that notion it means we’re really uncomfortable with ourselves and it’s just being projected onto mom and breastfeeding baby. And you know what? I am way more uncomfortable explaining to my child what Miley Cyrus is doing when she’s simulating sex on tv than explaining that that mom is feeding her little one just like I used to do when they were tiny.

And one more thing: let’s stop forcing women to cover up while they’re breastfeeding. If you personally want to do that for your own comfort or modesty, rock on. Go for it. Nursing covers can be super cute! But we can’t tell a woman she has to cover up, and I don’t give a rat’s tail if you’re on a plane or at a play or in a movie theater or in a restaurant or on the beach. How would you like to get inside a dark stuffy sleeping bag and eat your dinner? Or sit in the bathroom and chow down? Sounds pretty shitty to me (pun intended). So let’s quit asking our mothers to feed their babies in awkward places and positions if they don’t want to. Especially if we’re going to practically expect our female celebrities to show up on the red carpet nearly naked.

Basically, my point is this: Boobs are made for feeding babies. And that’s awesome. Boobs are also pretty and lots of people like them. That is also awesome. So it’s also okay if women want to show them off and dance around in any state of dress/undress that they want. But we can’t be okay with one of them and not okay with the other. It just does not work like that.

Just sayin’.