Aug 162012
 

As of late I know that I have made many references to time, or lack thereof.  And as much as I post about it, I actually whine about it about even more (sorry friends, family and random strangers who mistakenly ask me how my day is going!)  In my life there is barely enough time to do all the things I HAVE to do, such as eating, sleeping, changing diapers and teaching my daughter all the dance moves to “Call Me Maybe”.  So, if there is barely enough time for the things I must do, there is rarely enough time for the things I SHOULD do, like shower, exercise, grocery shop, clean, and connect with friends and family every now and then to let them know that I am just really busy, not dead.  If there is rarely enough time for the things I should do, forget the things that I WANT to do like… hmmmm… what did I used to like to do anyway?

It’s no secret that when you are a parent, there is just never enough time.  But it is not simply the lack of time that bothers me, it is also how quickly the time that I do have goes.  My daughter is now 16 months old.  She is walking, running, talking, playing and feeding herself (more food usually ends up on the face/hands/hair/clothes/floor/ceiling/mom’s shirt than in her mouth, but it still counts!) However, it seems like only yesterday she was a snuggly little bundle curled up on my chest, reliant on me for absolutely everything.  And even though it has been less than a year and a half since all this madness started, for the life of me I can’t remember half of it.  It has all become such a blur.  What was her first word?  Was it “Lyla” or “Hi” ? (Yes my daughter’s first word was her own name, if that says anything about her.) When did she start sitting up?  Was it 4 months or 6 months?  When did she begin to crawl?  What was her first food?
When did she start sleeping through the night?  When was her first smile, giggle, and full-out laugh?  It all blends together in some kind of wonderful, exhausting, beautiful life-smoothie.

Some of these things I wrote down in a baby book, but there are many things that I didn’t write down because either I thought that they were not important enough to count as “milestones”  or because I thought they were things that I would never forget.  What I failed to realize is that a child’s life is full of so many major milestones that sometimes the smaller things get lost along the way.  And while the day that Lyla took her first step is very important (that one I do remember… 10 months and one day) there are so many more small but wonderful things she does that I never want to forget.   The Small Things are not the milestones that you find in books or that you brag about to Grandma or that you use to compare notes with your friends.  No, the Small Things can sometimes seem insignificant in a lifetime of achievements, but often it is the Small Things that make a big life.  They are Things that only you know, Things that only you recognize.  They are the Things that can’t be captured in a story or on video or in a photo.  They are the Things that make you tear up with love, smile with pride, and  laugh till you wet yourself (c’mon, you know that if you had a baby come out of your JJ this happens.)

But as important as the Small Things are, they are often the first things forgotten in a busy life full of memories.  So, in recognition of these magical Small Things I am going to write a few of them down here and now so they will be recorded for all of time… or at least as long as the internet is around.  And if you ask me, the Internet is here to stay.

TODAY’S SMALL THINGS:

– The way that Lyla “reads” a book to herself, all in her own language.  Pointing at the things, as I do, and usually saying “shhhh”  and “noooo”  they way I do when I read to her.

– Her favorite word “Missibah”.  I have no idea what it means, but it seems that Lyla does.

– How every color is currently “bu!” (blue)

– The way she sometimes looks up at me, smiles and presses her nose against mine.  It’s our own special kiss and it always brings tears to my eyes.

– How, the second I pull her out from the car, she says “hi” and waves, just in case anyone is around who she might need to say hi to.

– The exact way she smells right at this moment:  baby shampoo, laundry detergent, Vick’s Baby Chest rub (she has a cold), fruit, milk breath and Lyla.

– The way she shrugs her shoulders and scrunches her face up when I ask her where anything is.

I hope I never forget this!

– How tightly she hugs me around my neck and then kisses me directly on the mouth with a wet, slobbery kiss.

– The way she contentedly twirls her hair with her fingers while she is drinking her bottle.

Ok, so these are a few of my Small Things.  Now it’s your turn!  What are the little things that your child or children do that you never want to forget but probably will.  Feel free to record them here for all of the world… or at least all of my followers… to read.  And if you don’t want to share them with me, write them down for yourself every once in a while.

Cheers to the Small Things!

Jun 152012
 

It was exactly 9:07 last Tuesday night when my husband uttered the phrase, “Now that Lyla sleeps so well, I kind of miss those middle-of-the-night wake-up calls.  Sometimes I wish she would wake up, so I could ‘rescue’ her.”  Two nights later, our little angel granted his wish by waking up at 9:30 and refusing to go back to bed until 2 am.  Because my husband had so longed for those sweet sleepless nights, I obliged him.  I let him spend the night singing, feeding, rocking, walking, cursing, praying and shushing, while I spent it sleeping – ahem – like a baby.  You’re welcome honey.  Sometimes my selflessness amazes even me.

However, I wasn’t laughing when it was my turn on Sunday night.  She woke up  at 10 and I couldn’t get her back down until 1.  I then spent the next hour or two tossing and turning, and snapping my head up to look at the monitor any time she made the slightest peep.  I finally drifted off to sleep (it was actually more like plunging into exhausted oblivion) around 2:30 AM, where I dreamt my standard anxiety dream of waiting tables and realizing that I forgot to place a bunch of tables’ orders, over and over again until 5.  It was then that I heard the siren call of my daughter.  I tried to resist the call and let her fall back asleep on her own, but alas I could not.  Instead I scooped her up and rescued her from whatever invisible assailant was tormenting her.

I sat down with her in the rocking chair to rub her back and caress her head.  After a few minutes, she curled up on my chest, tucking her arms under her, and began to snore lightly.  And despite the stiffness in my neck from trying not to move and the pool of sweat forming under my shirt from her hot little body, I didn’t miss sleep a bit.  I now had a few hours to sit and study her perfect little features, inhale her sweet baby smell (it still hasn’t gone away,  thank god) and think.

I make it a point to try not to judge parents.  I know just how hard it is to be a parent and to make all the decisions that the title requires.  I know that most parents are simply doing the best they can for their children and for themselves, and that every parent makes educated decisions based on what they think is right.  My husband and I made the decision not to bring our daughter into our bed with us.  That decision was based on some stories that friends have told us, some books that we have read, and mostly for the purely selfish reason that if my daughter was in my bed I would be too terrified to ever sleep.  If she is even in the room with me, I am constantly jolted awake by nightmares that I have fallen asleep with her in my arms and have rolled over and crushed her.  So, putting her in my bed is not really an option for me… not if I ever want to sleep again.

People feel quite strongly about the topic of sleeping with your children.  There are some, especially the Attachment Parenting proponents, who feel that co-sleeping creates security for the child.  Mostly though, I feel that co-sleeping is often villainized.  Many doctors warn that it increases the chances of SIDS, which is hard to argue with. That is probably the root of my intense fears.  However, my daughter is past the age where SIDS is a major concern, and still I never put her in my bed. It was the parenting decision that we made, and for us I think it is the right one.  But sitting in the chair with my daughter sleeping so close to me, I totally understood why some parents choose to have their kids sleep with them… or let themselves fall into that pattern.  I was struck by how close I felt to her – almost as though I was pregnant again, only now I could study her every feature in a way that she would never allow me to do while she is awake.  I was reminded of how short our time is with our children.  How quickly all of these moments will pass and then will soon be over.  If every moment is so precious, then sleeping with your child somehow feels like a way to steal a few extra moments.

Now, this is not a story about how I suddenly changed my mind and invited my daughter and all my future children into my bed with me.  I still stand behind the decision that my husband and I made.  I like my sleep.  I like my privacy. And I like my daughter to have her independence from us. All that I am saying is that I get it.  I understand the beauty of those stolen moments with your child while she is sleeping.  And while my daughter is going to stay in her own room, I just might join her every now and then.

 

May 112012
 

“The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.”

– Elaine Heffner

So true. Notice she said ” the art of living” not the “art of wearing expensive clothes or riding in a fancy stroller”. I’m just saying…

May 082012
 

The main reason that I started this blog was to say all the things that you are not supposed to say about parenthood. Like, “Hey, being a mom isn’t all smiles and rainbows.  It can be shitty sometimes (literally) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing.” Or “Sometimes I fantasize about just one night ALL. BY. MYSELF.” Or “I love my daughter but sometimes she makes me so crazy I want to scream.”  I believe that the things that no one ever says about parenthood are the things that people most need to hear.  Not to scare people or dissuade them from having kids, but to let people know that if they feel this way they are not crazy or horrible people… or even worse, horrible parents.

Motherhood can be very isolating.  A new mother spends most of her time inside the confines of her house caring for her new baby, and that is just the beginning. As a new mom, you often feel isolated from your friends who don’t have kids because their lives are now so different from your own. For example, they actually get to sleep for longer than 45 minutes in a row, shower regularly, and put a cohesive thought together.  During those first few months it’s hard to find something in common with someone who doesn’t smell like baby spit-up.  It’s understandable.  But sometimes you even feel isolated from your friends who do have kids. They seem to do it so effortlessly that you are sure that they will think ill of you if you reveal your own fears and frustrations.  You also can feel isolated from your partner because he doesn’t understand what you are going through. How could he?  He’s not gestating what feels like the spawn of Pele.  His body hasn’t undergone an extreme, and mostly unpleasant, transformation (except for the sympathy weight he may or may not have gained due to a pregnant wife who may or may not have forced him to eat at places like Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.  Sorry honey.)  He doesn’t wake up every two hours to let a small human suckle his nipple until it bleeds – and if he does, think about finding a new partner.  To a mother, especially a new one, it can seem like no one in the world could possibly understand the way you are feeling… and it can make you feel very alone.

The worst part is that often the people who should be supporting you, the ones who DO understand what you are going through – the moms – are the ones who can make you feel the worst.  We hear a lot about the bullying of kids. We see movies about mean girls. But what about Mean Moms?

You know the type (especially if you live in LA).  They prance around the parks, the coffee shops, and the Mommy and Me classes with their perfect hair, perfect make-up, clothes that are somehow free of spit-up and shoes that actually match (not just the outfit, but each other… a near impossible feat on 2 hours of sleep.)  They talk about their kids as though they are perfect and about motherhood as though it is easiest thing in the world. They look at you with judgement in their eyes if you so much as hint that you are tired, frustrated, scared or otherwise human.

Mean Moms don’t necessarily SAY anything mean.  Often it’s more about what they don’t say.  Like the fact that her baby woke up 12 times last night, and damn, is she tired.  (Instead, she enjoys every extra minute she gets to spend with her daughter, even if it’s at 3 AM. ) Or the fact that she is worried that her 15-month-old hasn’t said his first word yet.  (Talking is so 2011.  She is working on signing. All the celebrities are doing it.)  Or that she is having trouble losing that last 10 lbs of baby weight. (It’s actually 10 lbs. of pure muscle from her personal training sessions!)  Or that she wishes her perfect husband took more interest in their new baby. (He’s working really hard to pay for that expensive stroller.)

I could go on and on, but instead I am just going to say this – Ladies, stop it with the Mean Mom act.  Leave it for the teeny-boppers, who don’t yet know any better.  Stop trying to pretend that you have everything figured out, that life is perfect, and that you are perfect.  Reach out to other women, or men, who seem like they need help.  And if you need help, ask for it.  Many people don’t realize that you could possibly feel alone while spending 24 hours a day with a new baby, but the truth is that you can feel more alone than you ever have before.  Tell a friend and let her help you, even if all you need is an ear. (But if this friend offers to help with dirty diapers or laundry… marry this friend and don’t look back.) But the most important thing to remember is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  You are not the only one feeling hopeless or clueless or nameless.  You are not the only one who sometimes can’t remember why they thought this whole parenting thing was a good idea.  I promise that you are not the only one.  And I promise it will get better.  And if you spot a Mean Mom, let me know, and I promise to kick her ass.  At least, in my mind.  I am a total badass in my mind.

May 052012
 

If you didn’t before, check out my first featured article in Natural Child Magazine, and get your sexy back… or at least brush your teeth once in a while!

“I’m sexy and I know it!”

Ok, so maybe this is the song currently stuck in my head (curse you LMFAO and your catchy lyrics,) NOT the phrase that I am most likely to think while looking into the mirror.  As a working mom of a ten-month-old baby, whose wardrobe usually consists of a variety of faded black yoga pants and whose highlights have grown so far out that they are now back in (ombre is so hot right now,) I desperately need to find my sexy.  The only problem:  I don’t know where I lost it.

I used to be hot once, if I do say so myself.  Back in those days, I used to spend hours primping with my girlfriends. Then we would strut around the bar, preening like peacocks, daring any man to talk to us. Now-a-days I usually slink around with zero make-up and my hair in a dirty bun, praying that no one notices me, or worse… recognizes me. While I am married with a baby, and definitely not trying to snag a man, I miss that confident, sexy creature I used to be – or at least think I was. My problem is not that no one finds me sexy… my problem is that I don’t find myself sexy.

So what is the answer?  How do you get your sexy back when you have no idea where to start looking? What I am not going to do is give you a list of “full-proof” tips guaranteed to make you feel sexier or make your sex life better.  Every person is different and everyone’s likes, tastes and limits are different too (and discovering what yours are is a joy that I would never take from you!)  But what I will do is give you one piece of advice… start making love to yourself.  No, I’m not talking about this in the literal way, although that might be a big step for many women,  what I am talking about is making time to do the things you love and that make you feel good about yourself.

Make regular appointments at the hairdresser, waxer or both. Hit the gym. Take the extra five minutes to put on some mascara and lip-gloss.  Take a bath, take a class (brains are sexy too!) or take 15 minutes to meditate.  Go buy some sexy new lingerie that fits the body you have right now, not the body you hope to have after six months of starving yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel like the smart, sexy, beautiful woman that you are. I promise that she’s in there somewhere!

And most importantly, stop hiding out and slinking around. Hold your head up high and strut around the grocery store,  office and your bedroom.  You ARE sexy, and if you know it, chances are the world does too.

May 042012
 

“I believe in making the world safe for our children. But not our children’s children, because I don’t think children should be having sex.”

Jack Handy

Wow.  Mr. Handy was a philosopher and a philanthropist.  Is there anything the man can’t do?!

May 022012
 

As some of you know, I have been a part of a wonderful magazine, Natural Child World, for a while.  NCW is a parenting magazine unlike anything else that is currently out there.  It has a great eco message, a real voice that doesn’t take itself too seriously or talk to parents like they are the 5-year-olds,  fashion and design articles worthy of a coffee table, and some pretty great features… including one I am particularly fond of.  I am proud to announce that my blog, The Good, The Bad, and The Saggy is going to be a regular feature in Natural Child World Magazine! It will be, as my blog is, a realistic and somewhat comedic (hey, I try) look at motherhood.  Although there will most likely be a few less F bombs than some of my blog posts.  You can find the magazine at Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble and other stores, as well as online at:  http://naturalchildworld.com/

As always, thanks for your support.  Without further adieu (Now that my blog is in a magazine I am totally going to start using fancy words like adieu)  here is my first The Good, The Bad, and The Saggy feature in the May/June issue of Natural Child World magazine:

Getting Your Sexy Back

“I’m sexy and I know it!”

Ok, so maybe this is the song currently stuck in my head (curse you LMFAO and your catchy lyrics,) NOT the phrase that I am most likely to think while looking into the mirror.  As a working mom of a ten-month-old baby, whose wardrobe usually consists of a variety of faded black yoga pants and whose highlights have grown so far out that they are now back in (ombre is so hot right now,) I desperately need to find my sexy.  The only problem:  I don’t know where I lost it.

I used to be hot once, if I do say so myself.  Back in those days, I used to spend hours primping with my girlfriends. Then we would strut around the bar, preening like peacocks, daring any man to talk to us. Now-a-days I usually slink around with zero make-up and my hair in a dirty bun, praying that no one notices me, or worse… recognizes me. While I am married with a baby, and definitely not trying to snag a man, I miss that confident, sexy creature I used to be – or at least think I was. My problem is not that no one finds me sexy… my problem is that I don’t find myself sexy.

So what is the answer?  How do you get your sexy back when you have no idea where to start looking? What I am not going to do is give you a list of “full-proof” tips guaranteed to make you feel sexier or make your sex life better.  Every person is different and everyone’s likes, tastes and limits are different too (and discovering what yours are is a joy that I would never take from you!)  But what I will do is give you one piece of advice… start making love to yourself.  No, I’m not talking about this in the literal way, although that might be a big step for many women,  what I am talking about is making time to do the things you love and that make you feel good about yourself.

Make regular appointments at the hairdresser, waxer or both. Hit the gym. Take the extra five minutes to put on some mascara and lip-gloss.  Take a bath, take a class (brains are sexy too!) or take 15 minutes to meditate.  Go buy some sexy new lingerie that fits the body you have right now, not the body you hope to have after six months of starving yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel like the smart, sexy, beautiful woman that you are. I promise that she’s in there somewhere!

And most importantly, stop hiding out and slinking around. Hold your head up high and strut around the grocery store,  office and your bedroom.  You ARE sexy, and if you know it, chances are the world does too.

 

Apr 302012
 

Some people say that motherhood is the toughest job in the world, but that is just absurd.  There are definitely harder jobs out there.    Like Sherpas.  Imagine having to schlep around an ungodly amount of someone else’s belongings!  Or how about assistants for crazy, unreasonable bosses… the kind of bosses who seem almost incapable of doing anything on their own, who often have total meltdowns for no apparent reason, and who, on their best days, throw random things at your head.  That job is definitely tough!  Or what about the poor people who have to drain port-o-potties or clean toilets for a living… the people who literally have to clean up someone else’s shit every single day.

Wait a second…

Well, motherhood may in fact be the toughest job in the world… but it definitely has the best bonus structure.

Apr 282012
 

Shel Silverstein has been my absolute favorite since I was just a wee nerd, sneakily reading books with a flashlight after my bedtime.  This poem always makes me tear up.  If it doesn’t make you almost cry… you are dead inside.  You should just give up and try out for the Real World.

“The Little Boy and the Old Man”

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
I know what you mean,” said the little old man.” 

~Shel Silverstein