Thar She Blows!

Blowouts are inevitable! Yellow, runny poop can hide in places you didn’t even know existed on your baby. What’s even worse is that sometimes they will just stew in it, perfectly happy without a complaint. Then the smell hits you. But it’s not a normal doo doo smell. Someone once described it as a breakfast food smell. No breakfast I ever had! Someone else said it smells like movie theater popcorn…way to ruin that for me. But the best thing about blowouts (sarcasm font needed) is that they wait until the most inopportune time to let it fly. Just when you’ve put a freshie on them, new outfit, plopped them in their car seat for a trip to the grocery store, started the car, and made it around the block…wham! Blowout city!

Now that the munchkin is eating some solid foods, we’ve entered a whole new realm of poop. (I know this is just what you wanted to read about.) New textures, colors, and smells! Oh my! The contents of her diapers closely resemble what she ate at her previous meal: think liquidy prunes. Yummy! Never did I think I’d be so enthralled with what comes out of her rear end. However, I’m not one of those moms who carefully inspects each dirty diaper, but I do take a quick peek to make sure everything is normal. Because sometimes it’s so much that you think she might’ve pooped a squirrel — like on Anchorman.

There is this whole method of infant potty-training called Elimination Communication where the parent looks for the baby’s bathroom cues then rushes them to the toilet or a nearby pot. This just screams disaster to me. I wouldn’t have the patience for it at all. Plus, you’d have to be agile enough to spring into action at any given moment. You’d probably be better off getting a parakeet and letting it fly around your house to poop willy-nilly on all your furniture.

Potty-training this early is enticing, but this method isn’t for me. More power to those who are brave enough to try it though. E.C. really gives new meaning to the term “baby poop” when referring to an unattractive shade of green or yellow paint! While I’m all for a “pop” of color in a room, baby poop is not really the look I’m going for.

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The Living Dead

Forget diamonds — concealer is a new mummy’s best friend! Cursed with spotty skin from an early age, concealer and I have been bosom buddies for a loooong time. But now I rely on it for fear of looking like the undead without it, as well as covering up PMS breakouts. Awesome. It’s no surprise that I would frighten young children first thing in the morning, yet when I look over my daughter’s crib she’s not horrified by my zombie-like appearance, she’s tickled to see me. Now that’s love.

My mommy guru (sister-in-law) used to tell me the wonders of a highlighter pencil and how it could brighten up the dullest of faces. But to me, it was just one more thing I couldn’t be bothered with, plus I didn’t have kids yet and didn’t know the importance of looking well-rested even if it was just smoke and mirrors. I was already putting moisturizer, concealer, foundation, powder, eyeliner, and mascara on…wasn’t that enough?!?

Apparently the answer is no!

I didn’t know what it meant to be truly tired until my baby came along. I also didn’t know what it meant to look truly tired until my baby came along. There’s nothing worse than someone saying, “You look tired.” Really? Why don’t you tell me how fat my ass is while you’re at it? What do people think they’re accomplishing by telling someone this? That once you hear it, you’ll realize they’re right, drop everything, and take a nap right away? This observation is almost always followed up with, “Why are you in a bad mood?” Gee, I wonder…

When I see pictures of myself now, my eyes are happy but they’re beyond droopy. I see the same thing in my hubby’s eyes, but he’s not battling the dark rings that I am. It’s probably because he gets to sleep through her 3 am wake-ups. Lucky bastard! He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to figure out a way for him to breastfeed number two, whether it’s taking hormones or what! That way maybe I won’t have to glop on so much concealer to cover up my racoon mask! And in the meantime, maybe I’ll have to buy those wonderous highlighter pencils…in bulk.

Where Is the Snooze Button on This Baby?

“5 more minutes, mom.” I’m not pleading with my mom though, I’m pleading with my baby! Wouldn’t it be so nice if she did have a snooze button. She doesn’t —  I’ve looked all over. To be able to push on her head like Small Wonder and sleep for at least ten more minutes would be glorious. But you know I’d start to abuse it, snoozing for at least an hour. Why do we do that to ourselves? I remember going through a phase when I was younger that I would purposely set my alarm clock for a half hour earlier and hit the snooze until I really had to get up. Is that why it’s so hard to tear myself from the covers now? Or is it because it’s not on my terms?

A baby dictates the schedule from day one. If she’s crying, you’re up trying to soothe her. When she’s awake for the day (even if she’s just babbling to herself in her crib) that means you’re awake too. When she’s taken a massive dump in her pants and you can smell it down the hallway, you don’t get to change her diaper when it’s convenient for you. You change that dirty diaper even if your eyes are still full of sleep. When she’s screaming because she’s starving even though she just ate two hours earlier, then it’s boobie time. Forget that you were in the middle of a dream where you were kissing James Franco. My favorite is when she’s up earlier than normal — happy and smiling at the crack-o-dawn. I bring her in my bed to show her it’s still sleepy time, but she’s bright-eyed and ready to play. She slaps me on the face and tries out her newest, loudest vocalizations. Only when I fully give up on trying to sleep and surrender to the day, does she decide that she’s tired again and needs her morning nap. She’s got a cruel sense of humor. (But at least she has one.)

Babies don’t have snooze buttons, but what a wonderful world if they did.

The Top 5 Things I Realize Now

The Top 5 Things I Realize Now That I’m a Mummy

1) Boobs are Overrated. It’s not like they can cook you dinner or wish you a happy birthday, so why all the fuss? Why did I wish I’d wake up with the chest of a Victoria’s Secret model when I was a teenager? We’ll blame TV and the media. Now I realize that fun bags are just that–fun to look at for 5 minutes then they’re just…there. And now that I’ve experienced both worlds, I’d rather go back to how they used to be! (Maybe that’s #6–appreciate what your Mama gave ya!)

2) It’s Not About the Stuff. For months before I had my baby, I’d obsess about all of the things we needed to have before she arrived. The crib, the obnoxiously expensive rocking chair and baby bouncer, the clothes, blankets, beanies, and nursery decor. Who knew babies needed so much crap! But they don’t…it was me thinking I needed the crap. The baby gets here and poops and vomits on everything and you wondered why you cared so much about all the stuff.

3) Date Nights Are Crucial. Romance isn’t something that comes easily after eight years of marriage, and it was the last thing on my mind after giving birth. But now I realize that making time for just the two of us is more important than ever. Plus, it’s nice to clean the poop from under your fingernails, change into something that doesn’t smell like sour milk, and go out (even if you’re just pretending not to think about your baby every 10 seconds.)

4) Judge Lest Ye Be Judged. I used to get annoyed with screaming kids in public. Who wouldn’t, am I right? I used to hide in nearby aisles, grumbling and vowing that I would never be that mom. But I realize now that the mom of the temper-tantrum, shrieking child is going to be me one day. Luckily, my baby hasn’t made me sweat too badly yet, but I know it’s a matter of time. And I hope when that time comes, people will not be so quick to judge but will offer a knowing smile instead of a scowl.

5) Chores CAN wait: I like a clean house. I like organization and order. But I LOVE my daughter. Sometimes I panic that time is going by too quickly and why am I wasting all this time with dishes and dusting? Do I want to look back and remember having a clean house or remember the day we rolled around on the floor laughing and playing with her toys? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be on Hoarders anytime ever, but I realize now that the dishes will still be there tomorrow while my daughter will be a day older.

Fur Babies

I would be so embarrassed if the world could hear how I yell at my dogs sometimes. Between the death threats I spew at them and terrible names I call them when they’re acting out, it would seem I went from exceptional pet owner to Michael Vick…well, I wouldn’t go that far. My death threats to them are all empty threats. These animals were once my babies. I confess that I was one of those crazy pet owners who treated her animals like her kids. I didn’t go as far as pushing them around in doggie strollers that is all the rage right now, but I did dress them up in silly outfits and put them on our annual Christmas card.

People kept trying to tell me that it would change once I had actual children, but I never believed them. I used to listen, nodding in agreement while inside I vowed to remain loyal to my four-legged babies. They were our kids for seven years before our little munchkin arrived so I was sure they wouldn’t be neglected, although this was something that worried me while I was pregnant. Fast forward to the day we brought the baby home from the hospital…the animals were excited yet confused on why there was this funny little bundle permanently attached to us. The guilt was strong, yet I didn’t have time to dwell on it what with taking care of a newborn. Their sad little faces were pathetic as they tried to figure out their new pecking order…they still haven’t figured it out. There were many days when I’d have the baby and both dogs on my lap.

I still feel guilty that the dogs don’t get walked everyday and they don’t get as much cuddle time anymore. I still think of them as my kids, we call them brother and sister to our daughter after all. But I definitely understand what everyone was trying to tell me. There’s really no comparison. I love my fur babies very much but I love my daughter beyond words.

A Little Bathroom Humor

Has someone ever watched you go to the bathroom? Unless you’re a career criminal, the answer is probably no. There’s nothing quite as unsettling as a pair of peering eyes on you while you do your duty. It’s way more awkward than when you’re in a public restroom and you get stage fright and are unable to go or if the door won’t latch and someone briefly walks in on you. Mummyhood has meant goodbye to modesty in more ways than one, and this is one of those ways.

My hubby and I have never been one of those really open couples who uses the bathroom in tandem (surprising since we’ve only ever had one bathroom wherever we’ve lived). Call me old-fashioned but I like to keep some sort of mystery alive because after child-birth there really isn’t anything left to wonder about.

So when my daughter is in one of her clingy moods and Mummy needs to use the facilities, there’s no other option than to bring her along. In the few times that I’ve had to subject her to my restroom trips, she sits in her swing just as happy as can be. Only once did I have to actually wear her in the baby sling causing me to wonder if it qualified as child abuse?! To make your child sit in the bathroom while you use the toilet seems like some sort of punishment. Am I doing unnecessary trauma to her little psyche? Isn’t it better than leaving her screaming and alone in the other room making her feel abandoned? Or am I doing worse damage to where she’ll have flashbacks when she’s older to a horrifying memory of her mother sitting on the commode? Who knows. Soon she’ll learn that everyone poops (just like the book) and at one time in your life you might have an audience for it.

Guillotine of Fun

Our baby is barely 6 months old and it’s already established that Daddy is “The Jester” and Mummy is “The Guillotine of Fun.” Daddy swoops in and is all about laughs and getting smiles while Mummy is all about cutting fun in half and making sure baby’s needs are met. It’s just not fair. I knew before the baby even joined us that Daddy would be the favorite. I was a Daddy’s girl too, so on one hand it makes me happy that she’ll have a close bond with her father (and extra pleased that she won’t end up a stripper with daddy issues) but on the other hand I don’t want to be the bad cop all the time, unless doughnuts are involved.

Case in point: there we were, a happy family of 3 sitting down to dinner. Baby was next to me in her highchair: bib on and ready to chow down. I had my plate and her bowl of mush. One bite for her, half of one for me. It wasn’t quite working for her. I was too slow. So Daddy shoveled his food in and took over. Next thing I knew he was making airplanes noises and her face was covered in said mush. She was smiling and loving every minute of it. “Boring ol’ Mummy just sits there and spoons it in, but this guy is grrreat.” I could hear her thinking. But he had barely given her any food and it was almost bath time. After a couple more minutes, I took the bowl back and got the job done before his antics threw off our entire schedule.

I guess if I have to let Daddy win one then it should be this. I’m lucky enough to get to stay home with our daughter all day making her squeal with delight whenever I please. He gets a couple hours a day tops, so letting him be “The Jester” is fine by me. He still makes me chuckle–not an easy thing to do– so I know he’s qualified for the job.