Tag Archives: Things

The Social Media Mom (But Seriously, What Sippy Cup?)

November 25, 2014

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When you have spawn, especially young spawn, there are so many boring questions to answer. Like, are these pajamas warm enough? Should we try feeding her sweet potatoes again? Does my toddler think Daniel Tiger’s mom is nicer than me?

The problem is that even when the questions are boring and we know it doesn’t really matter–it’s easy to obsess over the answer. Analyze it from all angles. Turn sexy pillow talk into a 45 minute discussion on cold medicine.

And then every once in a while, desperation strikes and we turn into social media momsters.

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It is so embarrassing.

Last month I spent innumerable hours of my precious time thinking about the do’s and don’ts of pacifiers. Should I let her have them out of her bed? What about the car? Am I giving her a tooth gap? WILL SHE STILL NEED A PACIFIER IN HIGH SCHOOL.

I could have been watching The Mindy Project.

As far as sippy cups go, I am sadly serious.

We skipped sippy cups with Waylon. He went straight from the breast to regular cups and water bottles and we never looked back. It was glorious.

This time around, we have a bottle fed baby who apparently needs a transition. Of course we’d love to bottle feed her like a baby lamb until forever, but I’m trying to be realistic.

So far we have these guys and this one too. I know nothing. Any to recommend?

Are you ever that social media mom?

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When you buy a minivan.

August 21, 2014

Yesterday, exactly one year after I wrote Top Ten Reasons To Drive A Crappy Car, Austin and I took a little road trip to New York to pick up our heaviest eBay purchase to date. It took around ten hours. Four hours there, four hours back, with various stops for things like fuel and Corn Nuts. The most embarrassing thing was that we accidentally wore matching outfits. The second most embarrassing thing was that we bought a minivan.

My plan when we picked up the van was to take a picture of me lying dramatically on the hood, giving my saddest “I’ve been dethroned from coolness” face while Austin flashed a thumbs up over his dream car. But after driving it for .08 seconds, I realized my shame was vain and THERE ARE TWELVE CUPHOLDERS.

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I have never driven a car made past 1999. Did you guys know they put something on the steering wheel so you can magically change the radio and adjust the volume like Merlin the Wizard? I can also open doors and lock/unlock the car with an adorable button the size of an Oreo. I really love that Oreo button. Additionally, there is cruise control and air conditioning that works, so I don’t know why I was being such an asshat.

My lifelong hesitancy over driving a minivan is not original. It is the same boring reason we all have over avoiding being that mom. The mom cruising with her windows down, singing all the wrong words to a Coldplay song while a 23 year old passerbyer named “Dylan” or “Brody” or “Tyler” sadly shakes his head.

No one wants to be uncool.

The thing about being cool when you’re 29 is that we’re not in High School anymore so I don’t actually care about what Brodes thinks of my swagger wagon and side braid. That said, there is still pride to be relinquished and eye-rolling to cease and the idea that I look like such a stupid idiot to put to rest. Time. It takes time. And the charming realizations of trunk space and a moonroof.

RIP rusty Subaru. I will miss your cramped leg room, cowgirl aura, and hipster appeal. I will not miss your one, faulty cupholder.

Drive on, mamas.

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Ten Books For Toddlers

March 20, 2014

Ten Books For Toddlers

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I know what you’re thinking, the Internet doesn’t need another list of books! I hear you. I also hear you saying you’re sick of kids books with no plot, the worst rhyme scheme known to man, or jumbles of words that make your mouth hurt. I’m looking at you, Fox In Socks.

My kid likes to read. I like to read. It is all lovely and nice. But at the risk of sounding like a jerk, I’m really very tired of reading The Little Engine That Could and The Cat In The Hat. Every few weeks I hide those books under a pile of laundry to give my mouth and brain a break. It is our little secret.

This is not a revolutionary list or a Top Ten list or a list that will make your toddler into baby Einstein. It’s just a list of ten books that aren’t annoying to read out loud.

May your children’s bedtimes be filled with the holiest of sounds–silence.

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We're Going On A Bear Hunt

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

Plot Summary: Dad takes kids on a neglectful hike. Almost eaten by bear.

Parent Perk: Dad is wearing skinny jeans.

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Sheep Out To Eat

Sheep Out To Eat

Plot Summary: Sassy sheep shouldn’t eat in cat restaurants.

Parent Perk: Funny, short.

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I just Forgot

I Just Forgot

Plot Summary: Anthropomorphic toddler annoys mother.

Parent Perk: Funny. Nostalgic.

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the very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Plot Summary: Caterpillar goes on food binge then falls asleep.

Parent Perk: Short. Nostalgic.

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open your eyes

Open Your Eyes

Plot Summary: Brothers are bored and say obvious things to pass time.

Parent Perk: Vintage. Pinteresty.

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lemons are not red

Lemons Are Not Red

Plot Summary: Author tries to trick children into thinking lemons are red.

Parent Perk: Short. Pleasing to eyeballs.

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How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

Plot Summary: Toddlers act like dinosaurs at bedtime.

Parent Perk: Funny. Accurate.

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Marcel The Shell

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Plot Summary: Tiny creature with shell head lives small life.

Parent Perk: Funny, weird.

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Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos

Plot Summary: Dragons love tacos but get bad breath.

Parent Perk: Makes you remember tacos.

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color book mr. paint pig

Richard Scarry’s Color Book

Plot Summary: Clumsy pig is the worst painter, spills everything.

Parent Perk: Vintage. Short. Nostalgia.

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What are your favorite toddler books?

Six Things For The Second Baby

February 5, 2014

6 Things For Second Baby

When you have a second baby, you will receive the following questions:

Is this one a good baby?
(Yes. But I guess we’ll go ahead and keep the first one too.)

When will you have another one?
(Should we let my perineum heal first?)

You probably don’t need anything, right? 

Well, no. Babies don’t need anything besides blankets and boobs, but for some reason pregnancy turns women into over-prepared, binky hoarding, nesters who find themselves ordering 26 dollar bottles off of Amazon at 2am. It is part of the process.

To be fair, there are a few things that make the whole baby experience easier. Here are six things we either bought, borrowed, or were given for the second baby that we missed the first time around. They are all, without a doubt, wonderful and used with love on a daily basis.

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Ergo Baby Carrier

Ergo

See it on Amazon.

When I was pregnant with the first kid, I thought for sure I needed a Moby wrap. I thought this because I a) didn’t have kids yet and b) didn’t realize how long it would take to wrap 40 feet of fabric around myself while my colicky baby screamed like a hyena. Everyone has opinions about baby carriers and this is mine: Go Ergo or go home. It is simply the best.

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Nose Frida

Nose Frida

See it on Amazon.

Did you know you’re not actually supposed to use those blue bulbs to suck out baby snot? We didn’t. So we used it on poor ol’ baby #1 during a journey I like to call “The Great Experiment.” (Good news: he’s still alive). Finally a friend recommended what looks super gross, but ended up being a baby snot miracle: The Nose Frida. This thing sucks out boogs safely and efficiently. It is also easy to clean if you’re one of those people who like to let their pots and pans “soak” for a few days instead of actually cleaning them (just let it soak in some soapy water for easy cleaning). A must-have for winter babies exposed to germ predators otherwise known as “relatives.”

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Velcro Swaddlers

Swaddlers

See it on Amazon.

Have you tried swaddling a baby in a normal baby blanket? Their little hands and feet pop out faster than you can say, “Crap, it’s your turn to try.” We didn’t have any velcro swaddlers with baby numero uno, but we did with numero dos and they are a lifesaver. Easy, cozy, and available in summer and winter fabrics (although I like the thin, summer fabric year round). And who doesn’t love a milk breath bambino?

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Como Tomo Bottles

Como Tomo Bottle

See it on Amazon.

First baby didn’t take bottles. I don’t want to talk about it. This time around, we make sure the baby has a bottle at least twice a week to remind her how to eat from something other than ol’ mom. Full discretion, I did a lot of research on bottles. I read forums. I poured over reviews. I basically went to Internet hell and back to find these “breastfeeding friendly,” slow flow, easy to clean, gas reducing, and frankly adorable bottles. They are on the expensive side but worth it when your body gets a break from being a 24 hour milk buffet. They are also shaped to look and feel like a boob so that everything is less confusing for bebe. Win!

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Skip Hop Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Diaper Bag

See it on Amazon.

I have a long and boring history with diaper bags. With Waylon I chose cloth bags, beautiful bags, bags with open tops and no pockets. I was going for the trendy look. The shabby chic look. The mom-who-doesn’t-know-what-the-hell-she’s-doing look. Those bags were beautiful, but are now covered in stains and the tears of a mom who just spilled diapers, wipes, a sippy cup, and three tampons in the parking lot because her bag doesn’t zip shut. I’m going to be straight with you: I don’t love how this bag looks. I do love how practical it is. Cross body, wipeable fabric, stroller clips, multiple pockets inside and out, and plenty of room for all the things I wish I wasn’t carrying around. There is a reason this bag has the highest reviews on Amazon.

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Rock n play

Rock N Play

See it on Amazon.

My first baby didn’t like being put down. Again, I don’t want to talk about it. This time, however, I have a baby who tolerates being set down for a bit and the rock n’ play is a great place to put her. Admittedly it’s a stupid name (how is my newborn “playing” in this?), but she does fall asleep in there with some gentle rocking. She sleeps in a co-sleeper at night, but I know of some babies who sleep in a rock n play all day and all night. Simple, collapsible, transportable, and easy to use. It saves me every day. Sold.

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Top Ten Gifts For New Moms

January 30, 2014

Top Ten Gifts For New Moms

When a baby is born, it is only natural to want to help. You want to do something, anything, because either you’ve experienced it firsthand or you’ve heard about the physical and emotional toll that comes along with bringing home a lumpy, needy meatball.

It is a beautiful thing, women helping women, but sometimes it’s hard to think of a way to help. What does she need? What will make a difference?

Here is a list of ten great ways to show mama some love. If you’re here for ideas, thank you for helping. You are a blessing. You are a saint. You will make her day.

A special thank you to those who have sent care packages, brought bags full of Trader Joe’s groceries, picked up my toddler to play for the morning, and other wonderful things since the baby’s been born. It is not polite to brag about your friends, but it’s worth mentioning that all that help and love makes a big difference in a person’s morale when you find yourself scooping poop out of the tub after a long day of crying.

As an aside, often when bloggers make gift guides they make them very beautiful and link to 65 dollar wooden rattles. I think this is wonderful (I like beautiful things), but realistically your new mom friend does not need a 65 dollar wooden rattle. Babies don’t need much of anything, which is why most of these gifts go to mama.

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Spa Gift Certificate

000See it on Amazon.

Giving a new mom money for a manicure or pedicure is like giving her an open mouth kiss with Ryan Gosling. So fresh. So nice. My college friends rallied together to give me a whopping 100 dollars to spend on myself during pregnancy and after the baby was born and I have stretched that into three pedicures and one, wonderful eyebrow wax. Last week I left a 10 dollar tip on a 25 dollar pedicure because my feet were like dinosaurs and now they are like J-Lo’s bottom. Really, truly wonderful. A massage is also a great choice.  What better way to say “Congratulations for pushing a 9 pound child out of your vagina” than an hour alone, in the dark, having your shoulders rubbed.

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Food

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Dropping off a meal for a new family is a really nice thing to do. Dropping off a bag of groceries is even nicer. Suggested drop off items: Fruit, bread, cheese, nuts, trailmix, homemade jam, white cheese popcorn, chocolate truffles, frozen pizza, chips, salsa, fresh vegetables, cranberry juice, soap, toothbrushes. This is, hands down, one of the best new mom gifts.

Out of town? Don’t live close by? Order a pizza at your new mama’s local pizza shop and have it delivered. Add garlic knots. Instant win.

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Water Bottle

000See it on Amazon.

Breastfeeding makes me very, very thirsty. The second the baby latches, my mouth turns to cotton and all I can think about is carnival lemonade. A fresh, new water bottle is a great way to stay hydrated on the go, but also at home when your toddler is jumping on the couch like a drunk midget and knocking down all your glasses.

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Service

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One of the best gifts for a new mom is acts of service; gentle, no nonsense, quiet service. But there are rules. For example, don’t give a printed out coupon that says  “This coupon equals one dish washing experience!” or make statements such as, “Let me know when you’d like a load of laundry done!” Instead just do the dishesDo the laundry. Make sure it’s a good time, yes. But don’t make a new mom ask for help, just help. Don’t bring your kids.

For moms having second babies, one of the greatest gifts is spending time with the older sibling(s). Pick them up! Give mom the morning off! It is a rare treat, that quiet. A treasure.

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Netflix or Hulu Plus Gift Card

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Feeding a baby takes time. Boost morale with some feeding entertainment, like the ability to watch favorite shows on Hulu or Netflix. Suggested TV binges: Mad Men, Parks & Rec, The Office, Downton Abbey, The New Girl, Parenthood, Modern Family.

Or drop off a few of your favorite chick flicks. The act (and the movies) will make her cry.

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Extra iPhone Charger

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See it on Etsy.

When you are stuck on the couch feeding a baby and trying to survive toddler armageddon all day, that cell phone dies fast. Give mama some love with the convenience of an extra cell phone charger. It may seem like an odd gift, but not having to move that charger from room to room is one less thing to think about during the day. Bonus: find one that glows in the dark.

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Nursing Tank Top

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See them at Target.

Newsflash: Most nursing bras are uncomfortable. Before I had a baby, I spent much time and money trying to find the perfect nursing bra, unaware that I would never wear one. Luckily the nursing tank top was invented. I live in these. I wear one to bed and change into another to wear all day long. Not only are they more comfortable, they are easier to maneuver and allow you to shed layers  of clothes to feed without flashing your ta-tas. I have eleven. Mama can never have enough. 

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Burp Cloths

000See it on Amazon.

Every two hours I am looking for a burp cloth. I turn over all the pillows, look under all the toys. I send my toddler on a personal walkabout to find one and yet they disappear faster than you can say “old cheese smell.”

There are never, ever enough burp cloths.

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Diapers

000See it on Amazon.

Does this seem boring? It’s not boring. Diapers are expensive and always dangerously low for those of us who can’t stay on top of things and hate leaving the house. Order in bulk on Amazon and ship it right to mama. Easy, affordable, a God-send.

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Mail

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Getting a care package in the mail when you’re hibernating with needy spawn is a beautiful thing.

Suggested care package contents: Personalized onesies, cute sleepers, sea salt infused chocolate, lip balm, notepads, an Etsy gift card, handmade stationery, notes of encouragement.

Magic.

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Thank you for loving on a new mama. It will come back to you in a good way.

You are loved.

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