Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Romance and Motherhood

I got spam today about "keeping the romance alive with a new baby!" It had stuff in it like, "Have a night out - just the two of you!" or "cook him a candlelit dinner!"

Are you fucking kidding me?

Listen, I have a seven week old (which the e-mail knew, since it was for "your baby's 7th week.") And a three year old. I'm not cooking a candlelit dinner unless the damn power goes out. And as for having a night out right now? Spam, I'm exclusively nursing a baby. Going out alone ain't in the cards right now.

There's too much importance on "rekindling the romance!!" after a baby. Let's be honest, first of all - who really wants candlelight and big nights out? It's not the guy, usually. It's the girl. If the guy wants to go out, it's not usually to, like, a showing of Eclipse and a dinner involving soulful gazes over wine. In fact, most guys are probably cool if you resume having sex and regularly shower. Bonus points if you occasionally dress in something other than sweatpants.

And why are we so freaked out about the standard definition of romance anyways? Everything changes with kids. Romance does, too. I'd take Shane cleaning the kitchen because Keira's having a growth spurt and all I do is nurse her over a dozen roses. I'm not saying I never want the hearts and flowers crap again. But right now, I'm too tired for it.

I love Shane a ginormous amount still, but I'm cool with dates right now including our whole family. We're rock steady, and if we wanted our whole lives to be all about us, we wouldn't have had kids. And our children are the fleeting part of our life together. We'll have years when they've grown for long walks on the beach and all that jazz.

I'm not saying to ignore your significant other while you raise your kids, and you should certainly strive for alone time and work on making your love stay strong. But you're just delusional if you think the relationship of two people can ever be the same with kids added. One of the real challenges of relationships is keeping your love strong through all different aspects of life, and saying a candlelit dinner will do that is naive at best. Being realistic about things is much more sensible and leads to way less disappointment.


I'm going to be whiny.

This house is driving me quietly insane. Not the new one we plan on building, the one we live in. If it's not one thing, it's another here. It's super cluttered, it's really hot (although I have a repreive from that this week, thank god,) I can't find anyone to brush hog it, so the grass is ridiculous - and because of that, we have ticks and chiggers out the wazoo, we have insane barn swallows dive bombing us, and now we suddenly have mice. It's not even the right season for mice!


We haven't started building the new house yet for two reasons. One, it's hard to lay a foundation when your grass is 12 feet tall (yes, a slight exaggeration) and two, money.

We had some earmarked for the house, but when Shane switched jobs, we had to use it for bills due to the change in how often he was paid making it almost a month until we had any cash rolling in. That sucks, especially when you weren't planning on it. On the other hand, we were hugely lucky to have that money to access.

The really irritating part is that, by my calculations, we need maybe a thousand bucks to do the outside of the house. Including the foundation. A grand is not a massive amount. And we don't even need it all at once - we need about $500 for the foundation and then $500 for the walls. And the inside? Once the outside's done, we can kind of nickle and dime that along.

I'm just worried about getting the outside done before winter. We can press it into fall if needed, but not winter. And I seriously can't handle winter in this place. It's just straining me way too much.

Sigh. I'll stop complaining now. We have a lot of good going on, too - Keira and Rhi are wonderful, Shane's new job seems to be going swimmingly, I interviewed for a job I would really love - so it's certainly not like the bad overshadows the good by any means. I just wish we had a mysterious benefactor to toss us a thousand bucks, lol. Or a way to get a loan for it until tax time (but nowhere will lend for this variety of construction.)

Oh well. We'll press on, and it'll fall into place, or we'll make a new plan, I suppose.

And we're very lucky, in comparison to a lot of others. I try hard not to take the blessings we have for granted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Stop saving me from myself, please.

The Center For Science in the Public Interest announced plans to sue McDonalds if they don't remove toys from their Happy Meals, saying that the toys give kids "pester power" and "foster unhealthy eating habits."

Well, screw you, CSPI. I don't actually want, or need, your parenting help.

First of all, I find the concept of "pester power" laughable. You don't want to be pestered? Well, you are in the wrong profession then. My kid pesters me over a trillion things daily. It's called "being a child." Get over it.

Or, here's a novel concept - turn off your damn TV so they don't know that Shrek's in the Happy Meals.

I find the part about McDonald's fostering poor nutritional habits with these toys to be utterly offensive, though.

It's not McDonald's job to teach my kids how to be healthy. It's their job to sell quickly prepared, nutritiously crap food that appeals to you on a level of "This tastes good and is pretty cheap." Yeah, it's fatty and salty and high calorie and junk food. So what? Fast food isn't healthy. Oh noes! *rolls eyes*

It's not McDonald's, or CSPI, or anyone else's job to teach your child good nutrition. It's yours. You're the parent, so act like one. Your kid wants a Happy Meal? Learn the word no. Use it. It's not that hard. Jeez, if I let my kid decide what to eat, I'd live on a diet of ice cream, chocolate, bubble gum, peanut butter, spaghetti, chicken soup and cantaloupe. That's why she doesn't plan the menus in this house.

I feel the same way about Spongebob mac and cheese or Dora Spaghetti-Os. Your kid may have pester power, but you have the cash. A child won't die of heartbreak if her noodles don't look like Squidward. TELL HER NO. Tell her Spongebob lives in a damn pineapple and buy one of those instead.

There was a great quote in the article I read from a man who voted against a toy ban previously. He said, "If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers."

I totally agree.

If your kid is fat and eats awful foods all the time (barring a medical condition,) it's because you aren't using the word no enough. No, you can't have a Happy Meal. No, you've watched enough TV, go play.

When did we become such wusses that we can't deny our children anything ever?

Kids not always getting their way is good for them. Know why? Because life isn't all rainbows and butterflies and they won't always get their way in it.

And as far as nutrition goes, if you're giving in on eating crap foods all the time, maybe it's time to tell your inner child no, too. No one eats healthily all the time because pizza and ice cream suck. They do it because they know that the half hour of "yum" isn't worth the damage to your body.

But this is something you can handle, parents. You don't need CSPI holding your hand.

Besides, ban toys in Happy Meals, and, I assure you, someone somewhere will come up with something else to make unhealthy things appeal to kids. That's why parenting is important. So FFS, stop kowtowing to your kids and do some.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mom x 2

Having a second kid is balls hard.

No one said that, while I was pregnant. I got hearts and flowers stories of sisterhood, and siblings being best friends and crap like that.

Don't get me wrong - Rhi loveslovesloves Keira, and there are probably 5,000 adorable moments a day that make me go, "Awwww, sisters."

But it's still hard.

No one explained to me that housework is damn near impossible with a toddler and a newborn. And I have a wrap, so I get a little more done than I would otherwise. But ohmygod. Try to do dishes with one kid strapped to your chest while the other one is on a chair next to you demanding that you help her feed her fish and damn near falling off in her exuberance. It doesn't work well. And playing Shrek with your eldest while nursing your youngest is a real treat. Inevitably, someone gets pissed at me - either Keira, because her latch gets screwed up, or Rhi because "Mommy! You have to be Donkey AND Fiona! And make Fiona dance with me. Mommy! Mommy, you're not listening!"

Also, I don't have a "real" vacuum. I did, but somehow, in the move, it lost important parts, like the brush and the brush guard. We have a mini car vac that I use to vacuum. I haven't replaced this yet because I don't really want carpet in the new house, so it's a moot point. And vacuuming on your hands and knees with two kids is impossible. In fact, even with the wrap, by the time I have one thing half done, Keira usually wants to nurse or something, Rhi has tried to "help" (sweet, but usually more of a hindrance than anything else) and I have decided that if I ever win the lottery, the very first thing I'm getting is a damn maid and why don't houses just self clean anyways?

Also, I still can't get the hang of dividing attention very well. And Rhiannon's budding interest in all things gymnastics and sporty is really not conducive to keeping babies safe. So I find myself saying no a lot. "No, Rhi. We don't throw the ball around our sister. No, Rhi, we can't do headstands on the same couch cushion Mommy is changing Keira on."

Incidentally, I used to be one of those "I won't use the word no because redirecting is way more effective anyways" moms. Yeah, it might be, but you try redirecting a toddler before she falls atop her newborn sister while pretending to be Lady Gaga (who she has never seen a picture of, and for some reason involves the same costume as Prince Naveen from Princess and the Frog) while singing and dancing to Bad Romance (which, in Rhi's version, goes, "I want your love and I want your fence you and me could have a bromance.")

That all said, I love both my kids tremendously, and Keira has brought all sorts of extra love and light into our family. She's already a character, with a plethora of expressions (that usually express disdain or concern for your mental health, lol.) She smiles a lot, she can hold up her head on her own, she can sometimes roll over - she is the most determined baby I have ever seen. You can just tell she loathes being immobile and not having words yet.

And Rhi is, of course, amazing. She's so smart and so fun, and everything about her just shines. She's taken to sisterhood way better than I imagined she would, since, until now, she has ruled the roost and been the number one star in everyone's sky. Right now, she seems content to make a spot in her galaxy for Keira, though - although that may change when Keira starts, you know, stealing her thunder or getting into her stuff.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear Everyone

Because some of you will be bored to tears if I constantly write this here, I started an offshoot of this blog called I'm Not Pregnant Anymore...Now I'm Just Fat. I intend to use it as a weight loss blog for these extra thirty pounds I'm hauling around. If you wanna read it, check it out and or follow it...if not, I'll still be writing normal crap here. Yay!

Ok, good night, all.

Let's hear it for the boys...

Dads sometimes get a bad rap.

You mostly hear about them in the context of bad - the absentee father, the guy who won't pay child support, the man who beats his kids.

But that's largely not the truth.

There are certainly men out there who have fathered children, yet don't deserve to be called fathers. Just like there are moms out there who have been a vessel for a new life but shouldn't really be called a mother.

But most of the fathers I know, even if they, for various reasons, aren't in their child's day to day life, are wonderful people who love, care for, and teach their children. My own father saw me only on the weekends once my parents split up, yet I couldn't imagine a more loving, supportive dad. He's been one of my heroes for my whole life. Thank you, Dad. I love you so much.

I was also truly lucky to have a great stepfather, who put up with me like I was his own for years, even through the terrible teenage years when I'm certain every adult around me wanted to lock my black lipstick wearing, rebelling against nothing, emo, selfish ass in a closet somewhere until I snapped out of it.

And, as I'm always saying, fathers are important. Kids with involved fathers are more successful, have higher grades, have better self esteem, have less mental health issues, and a billion more things.

So, on Father's Day, I salute the dads out there. Not just my own, or the fathers of my beautiful children, but all the dads who:

change diapers
teach their kids how to swing
get up in the middle of the night with fussy babies
do all they can to be with their kids
teach right from wrong
provide for their children
play with their kids
sing with their kids
dance with their kids
show their kids what a man should be
fight for their children
worry about them
give goodnight kisses
check for monsters
drive to school/practice/playdates
let their little girls put makeup on them/play dress up with them
cook dinners

and otherwise contribute to making your children happy and healthy.

Thank you for being awesome.

And a special mention to stepfathers and grandfathers, who do all the same stuff, but sometimes get less recognition.

This wouldn't be complete without:

Shane, Happy Father's Day. Thank you for being a wonderful father to Keira, and an amazing stepfather to Rhi. You're fantastic, and we love you.

And, Mike, even though you don't even know I have a blog, thanks for being a great dad and co-parent, even though we're not together anymore. Happy Father's Day.


Robby, I'm mentioning you here, because I don't know many other dads who are as loyal and dedicated to their kids. Happy Father's Day. Have a great one - you deserve it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm not an addict

But I was.

After Rhi, as many of you know, I lost a lot of weight on Weight Watchers. Well over 100 pounds. One of the many, many things I did to accomplish this was by swapping soda for tea. Tea that I sweetened with Splenda.

I used Splenda in a lot of other stuff, too.

But mostly tea. And if the place I was getting tea from didn't have Splenda, I swear, I shook like a crackhead from the lack of it.

I knew, smart person that I am, that maybe Splenda might not be the best thing ever. And I'd heard the studies about artificial sweeteners making you fatter, or causing health problems. But I didn't seem to have those issues, so I overlooked them.

Then, I got pregnant with Keira.

I don't do a lot of artificial crap while pregnant. I feel like I should not throw too many chemicals at a newly developing life, you know? So I cut the tea cold turkey. Which sucked, but in nine months, I could go back.

Well, I did go back - to the tea. I'm still not drinking gallons of the caffeinated kind, but I'm in love with tea, and not a huge water person. But I still haven't done any Splenda. I sweeten my tea still, but lightly, with regular sugar. I thought this would be an issue, but I've grown accustomed to less sweet beverages now. Which is good.

This is all part of my attempt to eat healthier foods and set a good example for the kids. Gotta admit, it's been circumvented slightly by trying to deal with an infant and toddler and keeping the house respectable - especially since Keira is a high maintenance baby for sure. But I found a huge cookbook of healthy crock pot stuff, so I'm going to start doing that. :) I really want my family to put good, nutritious things in their bodies. Including Shane, despite his hatred of anything not processed and heaping with MSG, saturated fat, and yellow dye #4. ;)

In other news...I'm going to resume running tonight. Which will probably be more like jogging, or power walking, since I haven't done anything in forever. Hopefully my guts won't fall out lol.