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Welcome back, old self. It only took 16 months. That’s like low term in state prison.

Welcome back, old self. It only took 16 months. That’s like low term in state prison.

It’s been over a year since I’ve blogged.

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I’ve been meaning to blog, but with the birth of my second child, I just haven’t felt up to it. Blogging was constantly on my mind, but it was hard for me to do it. Honestly, going back to writing is about as awkward, unsettling, and weird as having sex for the first time after giving birth (if you don’t know what I mean, read Erin Donovan’s “Dead Vagina Walking” to get caught up to speed). Plus, there was just so much to write about I honestly didn’t know where to start.

Since blogging about all that I had wanted to write about in the past year would take forever, so I’ve just made a timeline. Here’s a year of my life, condensed:

12/2013: I give birth to #2! After laboring at home and giving up because my beloved husband FELL ASLEEP while I was dancing to speed things up, we end up at the hospital, 6cm dilated and me yelling for an epidural because 1) holy oxytocin, back labor and 2) I was so desperate for sleep.

Eight hours later, my husband would help deliver a sunny side up, 7 pound 3 ounce baby girl. Unlike with my first baby, the moment they put Juliette into my arms, I was in love. Unlike with my first, I was not overwhelmed with the knowledge that I was now responsible, legally, morally and otherwise, for a tiny human being whose survival depended on me. Instead, I felt proud and confident. The past nine months had been terrible, both physically and emotionally, but after giving birth I felt amazing.

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Of course, no way could I ACTUALLY do this immediately after giving birth.

1/2014: On New Year’s Day, we go to Disneyland with my son and my brand new baby girl. Being in the hospital had been terribly tough on Tiny Boss, and I wanted to do something special for him. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a horrible idea and I end up with a sick, feverish infant and several sleepless nights. Those sleepless nights haven’t disappeared, by the way.

2/2014: I am pumping so I can save milk for Tinier Boss because FFS, she is going on the bottle as soon as we get her two month shots. I am NOT making the same mistake I did with her older brother (who never took a bottle and therefore I never got a break).

3/2014: I have way too much milk because she’s not on the bottle. I’m going to start donating milk. Or maybe I should sell it. I found a website that puts you in touch with parents who need milk. This person is willing to pay $2/ounce for fresh, unfrozen milk. I’m pumping 6-12 ounces a day. I am literally a cash cow! Wait, not a cow. Poor choice of words.

Later in 3/2014: I make $20 selling breast milk! After emailing the buyer, who promises to be discreet (ok?), we meet at Starbucks.

You’re K.C.?”

whaaa

Fine. Maybe he’s a dad? But a few hours after we meet up, K.C. texts me, “Your milk is delicious.”

ewBut maybe I shouldn’t judge because thanks to Google, I’ve learned that some cancer patients drink breast milk (it is full of nutrients and extremely easy to digest). Also, some bodybuilders do it too, although based solely on appearance, this guy wasn’t a bodybuilder . . . I speculate that I have sold 10 ounces of my breastmilk to an adult baby (thanks Wikipedia!).

4/2014: I am still disappointed that I can’t make money with my boobs.

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What happens to a dream deferred?

8/2014: We travel to Mexico with both kids by plane.

Vacationing with tiny humans is awesome!

Vacationing with tiny humans is awesome!

The kids do awesome and I am proud. On the return flight we are stuck in a holding pattern for almost two hours due to bad weather and no one under the age of three in my row has a meltdown. On the other hand, our surrounding passengers must have been coming back from a convention for assholes. I regret not being a Tom Clancy fan; otherwise I could yell out spoilers at the man sitting next to me pretending to read but he can’t due to the amount of eye rolling going on. Bless his heart, he can’t seem to stop alternating between rolling his eyes and huffing like he’s trying to get to the head of the Hometown Buffet line. dwight

Next time I board a plane with kids, I’m printing out required reading (including this and this) to pass out. How’s that for goody bags?

booobitch9/2014: My son is potty trained! I’m forever grateful for the 3 Day Potty Training method.

At first, this is awesome, but then the realization that my schedule is now ruled by his bladder (or worse) quickly sets in. I learn the importance of always knowing the location of a bathroom or a good bush wherever I go and accumulate bad juju for the number of times we have peed on the seat or elsewhere (shudder). I spend good money on a Kalencom portable potette that is used and accepted by every American toddler except for ours.

11/2014: Flu season has set in. You know what’s worse than being sick with one kid? You guessed it.

12/2014: Baby girl is one year old. I can’t believe a year went by.

And that’s what I’ve been up to since I last blogged.

IMG_9513Actually, it wasn’t that bad getting back into writing. Stay tuned for my next post, which will be about transitioning from one to two kids, and the number of new gray hairs that have coincidentally sprouted at the same time.

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Top 5 Best Careers for Toddlers

In my everlasting quest to find the perfect job (oh wait, that’s not motherhood?), I started reading this book, Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through The Secrets of Personality Type. It’s based on the Myers-Briggs personality types. Once you figure out your personality type, it’s easier to predict what jobs you would naturally enjoy and excel at, and which ones you’d be terrible at.

For example, as an INFP – an introvert, intuitive, feeling perceiver (or possibly an INFJ), I’d be a terrible CFO. But there are plenty of you bean-counters out there who would naturally excel at making high-stake decisions or taking calculated risks.

Which made me think of Tiny Boss and toddlers in general. Toddlers could really use some career counseling. For example, my son would love to be the guy who makes announcements over the PA system – he’s been practicing consistently for what feels like the better half of the last decade every time we go into a store, or the library, or any space enclosed by four walls.

Newsflash, Tiny Boss: English, or proficiency in some language, is usually a requirement for these types of jobs. And no, whining is not a language.

So I’ve come up with a short list of the top five jobs toddlers should try instead, based on the “Toddler Personality Type.”

1. Quality Assurance with Molly Maids (or any housekeeping service)

Every toddler possesses the innate ability to discover the minutest piece of dirt, debris or otherwise disgusting/inedible particle in even the cleanest house. Every housekeeping service should hire a toddler to root out any missed spots.

2. Mattress Tester

Does anyone else remember those commercials with the glass of wine on top of the mattress? Someone sits on the mattress or even jumps on it, and the mattress doesn’t move because of its dual foam technology or 1,375,372 individual spring coils? Anyone? Well, a toddler would be the perfect candidate to test out the quality of your mattress. Just have him fall asleep on one, and see if you can creep into bed without waking him up.

3. Dog Personal Trainer

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Well, some toddlers (and dogs) are better at this than others.

I don’t mean a dog trainer. I mean a dog personal trainer. You know, like a personal trainer for dogs, especially dogs that are overweight. Just let one or more toddlers into a room with your pet, and watch that lazy pooch’s activity level rise.

*Note: may be hazardous to both toddler and/or dog in many, if not most, households.

4. Human Personal Trainer

Just three more miles, mom!

Just three more miles, mom!

Watching a toddler is actually a complete workout ritual. You can warm up with repetitive movements. “Oh, did you throw that out of your high chair? Let me get it” equals hamstring stretch! “Your firetruck is under the sofa again? Let me lay on the floor and see how far my arm can stretch.”

When you’re ready for cardio, just take them to the park, or better yet, let them loose in a department store. If you need a little extra excitement in your workout that day, try Home Depot or Ikea.

When your toddler decides you’ve worked out hard enough for a break and decide to take a nap, be sure to get in some crazy yoga poses by attempting co-sleeping on your bed. Remember, the smaller the mattress, the more challenging! No pain, no gain, guys!

5. All-natural birth control.

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‘Nuff said.

How Did We End Up Like This?

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1 out of 2 people say this is a great sleeping arrangement.

Let me break it down for you. We once had a reasonably nice bed. Sure, it was from Ikea, but it was a nice black-brown (the actual color name by Ikea) and didn’t squeak, creak, or fall apart (I know my standards for beds might be low).

Then we had a baby.

Then the baby turned into a toddler.

Now the mattress is on the ground. There’s just no other way we can keep him from plummeting to the floor while sleep-crawling.

All pillows are removed from the bed in case he rolls his face into one and suffocates in his sleep. Boppys are allowed, but unfortunately for Dad, he didn’t get his head on top of one before Tiny Boss decided to use his chest as partial lumbar support.

No/minimal blankets for the same reason. Tonight Tiny Boss obviously wants us to play a game of remove-the-stacked-pile-of-blankets-from-beneath-the-world’s-lightest-sleeper.

We have a full size mattress. Although it looks roomy in this picture, it is not. Note that Dad, who is by no means fat, but is also not quite svelte, has been smushed to the very far edge of the bed. Good thing Dad won’t have far to fall!

We have a pack and play mattress extending the top of the mattress by a generous 25.5 inches. Can you say luxury?

This video is one of the most amazing and terrifying videos I’ve watched as a parent.

It’s self-rescue and survival training skills that apparently allows a toddler (maybe one year old?) to fall into a pool but manage to kick himself up to the surface and turn over and float on his back.

Fantastic stuff and I hope I can enroll my kid in this program. But it was so scary to watch.

Before I was a parent, I didn’t know what fear was. Sure, I avoided large spiders. And I’ll admit that I have an irrational fear of electric shocks – from those buzzing things for a handshake prank to the shock knife we used in practicing knife defense in Krav Maga. I won’t even consider doing the Tough Mudder race because there’s a couple of obstacles that require mild electrocution.

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Only $5.99 at thinkgeek.com to scare the crap out of me!

But I never really knew fear until after my son was born. You see, I love him more than anything in the world. So of course, the thought of any harm falling upon him scares me more than anything. As a parent, you see the world in a whole new way. Things that were once benign n my pre-parent days  are no longer.

Sleep – SIDS

Bath – drowning possibility

Solid foods – choking hazard

Kitchen floor – source of exotic dried food scraps, dirt, and other germ-infested particles for toddler ingestion

Grocery shopping carts – salmonella covered handles

The good thing is that the older Tiny Boss gets, the less scary it becomes. When they’re infants, they’re so helpless and delicate. As a toddler, I swear his head and limbs are made of rubber, judging from the numerous falls, topples and bumps they’ve endured from the time he started crawling to now, where he has learned how to manuever himself  at a frightening rate upright like a drunk mini-me.

Someone told me once we are all born with just two emotions: fear and love. Tiny Boss has definitely taught me the meaning of both.

 

Silly Lady, Don’t You Know You Can Only Drug Your Own Kids?

Photo by Posterize at Freedigitalphotos.com

Photo by posterize at freedigitalphotos.com

A couple weeks ago, a daycare worker in Morgan Hill, CA, was arrested for allegedly trying to drug the kids in her charge with Sominex, an over-the-counter sleeping pill.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the 59-year-old woman “admitted that she placed an over-the-counter sleep medication into the cups.”

But wait! The exact same thing apparently also happened in Texas less than two years ago.

What?

The daycare worker in that instance was arrested for allegedly actually giving the kids – ages 20 months to four years – milk laced with over-the-counter antihistamines. The woman in the California case was apparently in charge of the toddlers between the ages one to two.

As the mother of a thriving, active, food-throwing, headache-inducing, dog whistle-mimicking, sleep-depriving 13.5 month old little boy, I can see where the woman is coming from. Sort of.

I mean, there are days where I find myself chugging coffee at 6pm because I just can’t keep up with Tiny Boss otherwise.  Days where I start fantasizing paying for a babysitter just so I can close my eyes for half an hour. Where my lower back begins to ache from overwork despite my best attempts to use my glutes and hammies to deadlift the 22-pound Tiny Boss up into my arms when he so demands, and the demands can be often.

A little Ambien in the applesauce, and none the wiser.

A little Ambien in the applesauce, and none the wiser.

But I would never, ever, ever drug him (or any other kid) with sleeping pills. The idea is just beyond me. But then again, I don’t even give Tiny Boss anything with artificial colors, unlike my in-laws, who have a tendency to feed him Fruit Loops.

Or so I say now. I guess one thing I have learned from parenthood is that “never” doesn’t mean crap. Ask me two years ago if I would be a stay at home mom and I would have said laughed and said no. Ask me that same question 10 years ago and I would have probably kneed you in the crotch.

And here I am today. Granted, a WAHM, but I wouldn’t want to work at an office and have to place Tiny Boss in daycare. So who knows, maybe in thirty years I’ll be dissolving Benadryl into my toddler grandkids’ Kool-aid and Tang.

It was 8pm last night when I came up with the brilliant idea to take Tiny Boss to Target. “No one will be there,” I thought. “Who goes to a Target on a Thursday night?”

Um, apparently only everyone and their eight million kids. It was a madhouse. Carts blocking aisles, kids running all over the place. It struck me that Target is really the defining icon of suburban life, and where the middle class watch their pay checks disappear.

Crappypictures.com knows what’s up when it comes to shopping at Target.

I also realized this was the best place for a preview of the years to come. What it’s like having more than one kid. What it’s like having three kids. What it’s like having three boys? The unpredictability of toddler behavior. How loud can one kid really scream?

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Pretty much sums up my Target experience last night.

See, I want to have another kid. And I think having them closely spaced is a good thing, you know, so they can play together. Although the mom at Short Fat Dictator is giving me the whoa nelly. And some days I’m so tired that I have no idea what I would do if I had to chase after two kids, put two kids down for a nap, or feed two kids.

I had no idea what to expect with just one, so I’m a little afraid of having another one. But growing up an only child has convinced me that I should have two. Although then my friends who grew up with only one sibling tell me that they were lonely, so maybe three’s the number. Wait, but my husband, he had four kids in the family and they’re all so happy and well-adjusted…

THIS HERE IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE.

Let’s just see how #2 goes. That is, if we’re lucky enough to have a second one so Tiny Boss can have a brother or a sister and I can start working on procuring more gray hairs.