Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I May Be Rethinking My Take on Santa

Our Christmas was very nice. Josh and I really did not get each other gifts. We just put our 2 foot tall Christmas tree from Whole Foods in our hallway and sat on the floor while we watched Pman open his 3 gifts. He sat in the walker and opened the gifts bungee style. Meaning I would rip a piece of paper off the gifts, the very gifts I wrapped only moments earlier- in front of him. Whereupon Parker would grab the piece and toss the gift off the side of his walker while holding onto the ripped piece thus opening the gift as it twisted and plummeted to the ground.

We put some light-up reindeer antlers on Abby and got a couple glasses of wine and laughed our asses off at the absurdness of it all, knowing we will never forget this.

Also, I have made a decision on the To Santa or Not to Santa situation. I elect to encourage the belief in Santa for as long as possible. I have chosen this route because as the picture below demonstrates, Parker seems to be difficult to impress when it comes to gifts. I need to be able to blame someone else when I see this face again in Christmases to come.

I mean if this picture doesn't say, "What the hell, mom?" I don't know what does.

He also got a little car, from Grammy, that he can ride on. He seems to be terrified by this toy, but I have a feeling that will subside and he will end up LOVING it and I will end up equally HATING it. Thanks Grammy!

Other than that our holiday weekend was pretty quiet, although I did introduce him to something controversial. No, not porn. No, not Smirnoff.

First of all, let me say, the boy is still...still I say...toothless.
I gave him both blueberry frozen waffles and very hard pizza crust.

Before you turn me over to the authorities, let me say I did not give him these at the same time, nor did I leave him for a second while he was enjoying either. I do give him frozen waffles quite often now, though. He LOVES LOVES LOVES them and they seem to really help with the teething. I got this advice, not from a wise old Grandmother, or any sort of veteran mom. No, I learned about this from Roseanne- what works for the Conner's works for me- sort of.

We also introduced him to church over the holiday. We went to a small Christmas morning service at a Episcopal church (we are Catholic) in Ocean City, Maryland. Parker was the only baby and brought the average age of those in attendance down to 60. He was being super cute (of course) and well behaved (duh). However, when he was offered the Body and Blood of Christ, the priest dipped the stale bready disc into the sweet wine and placed it in Parkers' mouth. And Parker immediately and without hesitation, spit it out. I'm scared about what this may mean.

Our NYE was about as eventful as any other NYE really. I kind of think that holiday is overrated- similar to Valentine's Day. I was in bed by 10:30p.m. but I fell asleep on the couch well before that. However, I think I may have crashed out so early because the night before Parker was quite literally in some sort of P-funk.

I have a strict policy of no sleeping babies in bed. Meaning, Parker sleeps in his bed, er crib. I will vaguely explain why in an effort to protect the guilty. I know a certain mom and dad who let a certain daughter (not me I swear) stay in their bed until she 10? I will say I slept in this certain daughter's room while she was in our...I mean her parent's bed.

I expect to argue with Parker over somethings, sleeping in our bed will not be one of them.

Or so I thought.

The other night he just was...well a devil child. (See above mention of church experience). He wasn't crying, he was full on screaming. Looking back I think maybe his stomach hurt because he was arching his back and farting...a lot.

Did I mention I had just introduced him to prunes?

Anyway, back to the point (there I go again). He was screaming every time we put him down, but he was able to fall asleep in our arms. Finally around 12:30a.m., after about 3 hours of scream-crying, I caved and brought him into our bed. Of course he fell asleep, like instantly. I, however, had to sleep with my robe on because I was afraid to pull the covers up and suffocate my baby. I also had to sleep in the exact shape of a horseshoe around Parker in order to fit on the bed and keep him aware of the fact that I was actually right there at all times. I am still not able to stand up straight, but I can tell you if your shoes need to be tied!

He woke up a few more times, whimpered and then going back to sleep. I slept in about 10 minute intervals and just about sucker punched Josh when he started snoring. At one point I got Josh to try and put Parker in his crib only to have them both return minutes later with Josh saying, "This just isn't going to work. He is staying here."


I guess I should see if I can get an adult sized "I still live with my parent's" onsie. My fear of him still living with us when he is 40 may not only come true, but will also involve him sleeping in our bed. Neat. Guess who is going to be an only child.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Monkeyhead Christmas

Parker: My mom makes me wear silly hats.

Confessions: Like most mom's I think my son is especially cute, but I also put him is silly hats and clothes and parade him around so that people are sure to tell me how cute he really is.

Parker has some funny clothing that I love putting him in because it causes people to say, "Oh how cute! What a sweet little baby." Whereupon usually Pfunk will smile and shyly turn his head into my shoulder as if to say, "Aw shucks! Cute? Me?" Truly his mother's son- playing coy when the situation is really quite contrived.

Along with this amazing monkey hat, given to him by friends of my parents, he also has a Santa hat he likes to wear (read: I make him wear). He really seems to eat up the attention he gets when he is being super cute. Again, so much my son is he! A week ago, Josh, Parker and I went grocery shopping. Josh was carrying Parker in the holster and I put the Santa hat on him because it was windy. My plan was to take it off once we got in the store, because typically he hates hats. However, everyone kept talking, cooing and smiling at him, that little bugger kept the hat on through the whole grocery shopping trip! Tell me he doesn't get it!

He also has a shirt that says, "I still live with my parents." This shirt is funny now, but I hope it is not foreshadowing 30 or 40 years down the road. At that point it would far less funny and much more tragic.

His Aunt Lynsey got him this onsie...

I mean there are just no words.
Let it be known, Josh is not exactly a fan of these "costumes". However, I keep telling Josh that I have complete control over what Parker wears now, but as soon as Parker figures things out, the outfits he will come up with on his own will be beyond my wildest imagination. I fully expect him at some point in his life to wear a cape made out of a pillow case with cowboy boots and some sort of pajama situation to the grocery store. I am ok with it.
Joking aside, Parker will be 6 months on Christmas Eve. He is doing so well, you would never know anything bad ever happened to him. In light of this Josh suggested we not buy each gifts this year and just donate money and items to charities. He said, "We have a healthy Parker, is there really anything else we need?" Sometime Josh is so on point and that is one of the many reasons I love him.
Finally, some people have told me they want to leave messages and comments, but the blog will not allow them. I set up an email address, please feel free to send me messages, questions anything, whether we have actually met face to face or not.

Thank you to all of you for your support and love. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Celebrate and Enjoy the New Year. I will probably not get another chance to post until after January 1, 2009. See you then!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Hi all!
I have decided that I am going to enter pieces of this blog into some writing competitions, hopefully getting some cred behind my name helping me land a book deal and becoming more famous then Nancy Drew or Paris Hilton or Tori Spelling (who I secretly love, but come on if she can "write" a book then surely I can write one). All of this leading me to TV interviews where people will do my hair and make-up and put me in a sparkly outfit so the studio lights catch it properly to highlight my beauty.

Anyway, back to the point...

All the entries in the blog are a draft of a draft and all need to be edited a bit before they are ready to be seen and judged.

I am going to enter the one about the day/night Parker was born.

I am torn about which other ones to put in as they are all super special to me.
Here is the favor, I have listed 5 entries below with the dates they were posted. I would like to hear your thoughts on what I should enter. I want to enter a total of 3 pieces.

Here are the other 5 I am considering:
Pregnancy: Baby Gear and You 2/26
True Confessions 4/8
Whitney Houston 4/48
I'm just so emotional 3/10
Fear and Loathing in DC 11/13

If there is another one you like please let me know.

Feel free to ring in even if I do not actually know you. I love that you read the blog and want your input.

My email is

Thank you!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hello Nipple? I'm confused.

Just to recap, before Pman was born, I went to three classes.
1. Baby care I- birth to three months
2. Baby careII- three months to a year
3. Nursing

(Note I did not take a Lamaze class as I have mentioned, I believe babies were born well before these classes were introduced and therefore did not see the purpose in going. I figured the end result would be fairly similar class or no class. While I am at it, I also never read a single book about being pregnant or giving birth. Nor have I read any on the first year of life, although I have read bits of pieces of the latter of the three mentioned. Again, I figure people raised babies well before there were books, and who makes the authors of those books think they are so great? If every baby is different as these experts tout, how could a book possibly be written about the care of said unique baby?)

Anyway, back to the point...(I seem to say that a lot lately, curious.)

In two of the three classes I was told of this horrible thing called nipple confusion. The third class negated everything I had been warned about regarding nipple confusion. (See this is why classes and books suck, they all negated each other eventually.)

Anyway, back to the point (SEE!)

Apparently the believers in nipple confusion profess that if you are a breastfeeding mama you should not introduce a bottle or pacifier until the baby is at least any where from 6 weeks to 3 months old. Upon hearing this in my first two classes, Baby Care I and Nursing, like a good soon-to-be mommy, I vowed to wait until Parker was a couple months into nursing before introducing any sort of forgien nipple-like object.

Now, some of you may have gotten this far in the entry and are still scratching your heads and saying, "Huh?" Me too.

They never really said if this nipple confusion is a product of the baby not being able to tell the difference between the two nipples that give food (boob and bottle) verse the one that does not (pacifier) creating a situation like a lab rat in a cage.
Lab Rat Group #1: Every time they push a leaver they get food.

Lab Rat Group #2: No matter how much they push the leaver, they never get anything to eat.

Lab Rat Group #3: This group gets a treat randomly when they press the leaver, meaning sometimes there is food and sometimes, not. Leaving these poor lab rat to be OBSESSED with pressing the leaver in an attempt to find food. (P.S. Hell must be coming back to life as a lab rat.)

In this scenario, does nipple confusion mean that our babies who get breastfed, bottle fed and are introduced to pacifiers at the same time will become nipple obsessed, attempting to suckle anything looking like a nipple in an effort to get a snack or fill their bellies? Are we about to have a generation of adults with suckle seeking behavior? If so, ew.
Also, my boobs may be different than they once were, but they do not resemble pacifiers and therefore again, I do not see where the confusion would come into play. Actually, I think I may be offended at the suggestion that the two were so similar.


Are the babies going to be confused by the word nipple itself? Which, I have to say, is a terrible word and if I have to clear up Parker's confusion with some sort of explanation for the word nipple, I may just pop in a copy of Meet the Parents, bring up the dinner table scene for Parker to observe and call it a day. I have a friend, a fellow blogger and college English teacher, who has two boys. One is slightly younger than Parker and the other is 2. It seems the two year old calls nipples, belly buttons. Any why not? I'm just as confused about why we all have nipple as I am about why we all have belly buttons.

In the end I think it is all a bunch of hooey.

Since, as you know, Pfunk did not come directly home after birth, I really had little to do with how he was fed and comforted when I was not around. This being said, I think he is a good case study baby for debunking this mysterious nipple confusion. When he was finally taken off the breathing and feeding tubes he was given a bottle because I was not there and so neither were my boobs. My milk was and that is what they gave him in the bottle and he took it. He also latched on whenever I was there and nursed him. I also even came into the NICU at times and they had put a pacifier in his mouth. Fearing he would not eat now, I voiced my concerned. Behind stifled laughter, the NICU nurses basically said the nipple confusion crap, was in fact, crap.
Although, I will say he does not seem to be, nor was he ever really into the pacifier. Now it is more like a toy to him. I will also say that I have friends who waited the "recommended" 3 months before introducing a bottle and it backfired and they had to feel their babies with eye droppers (I'm not making this up) in order to get them to eat.

Talk about confusion!

I think all we can do as mothers is do what feels right and not make one another feel guilty for taking a different path to achieve the same goal of happy, healthy kids.

I do think a bit of confusion comes into Parker's life every time Josh has to change a poopy diaper though. This past Sunday, as I am putting away groceries AND making lunch for Josh and I when I hear Josh call me from the living room to tell me Parker has pooped.

"So change him...."

The next thing I see is Parker in the Pack n Play- naked but still diapered. He is kicking his legs and seemingly giggling.
Josh (or someone I believe to be Josh) is standing over Parker. A towel or blanket is wrapped around Josh's face with only his eyes showing. In each of his hands are hot dog tongs and he is reaching or jabbing in the general direction of Pfunk's diaper.
Since I am able to change Parker's diapers without this get-up, imagine his confusion when this Arabian Night's/ Edward Scissorhands minus the scissors and plus the tongs is coming at him.

Confused indeed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Claus or no Claus

Confession: I do not believe in Santa Claus.

I love the notion of him and Christmas is my favorite favorite time of year. However, there is no Santa Claus. I know this because when I was 5-ish my older brother pulled back the curtain and revealed that he was in fact our parents.

He also filled me in on the Toothfairy and Easter Bunny. Now make no mistake. He was doing this in the vain of typical older brother blowing the cover off all things fun and pretend in an effort to disappoint and upset his younger sisters. He was not doing this so that my older sister and I were going into the world well informed. God love him. Someone has to. I kid I kid.

Before I go on, can we talk about the Easter Bunny? What the hell? I know that Christmas and gift giving has gotten slightly out of hand. However, at the core, the main idea is still there. We celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. We give each other gifts similar to the Wise Men bringing gifts to baby Jesus. (Although hopefully our gifts are slightly more useful than Mir for an infant, but whatev. The idea is to be with family and attempt to make life a little brighter for those without.) But a larger than life rabbit in a pastel plaid vest and bow tie, who comes to your house and leaves children mysterious baskets of malt balls, jelly beans and chocolate replicas of himself? Huh?

Anywhoo, now faced with our own little monkey and the holiday season, Josh and I were having a conversation about whether or not we are going to encourage the belief in Santa. I know that Pman SO does not get Christmas yet. In fact, I wish someone could remember what they were thinking during their first Christmas. Mom and Dad bring a tree in the house, dress it up, leave it there for a few days and then for no obvious reason the tree is removed never to return again...until next year about the same time. Odd.

Back to the point, Claus or no Claus? Josh says yes to Claus. He is of the mind set that every kid enjoys believing in SC and parents should play along for a few years.

I say, "Meh." to the whole thing. Meaning, I don't really care if he (Josh or Parker) believes in SC, but if and when Pfunk asks me if SC is in fact real, I will likely tell him the truth. I mean I remember when my little sister was growing up and she had a litany of questions- "We don't have a chimney, how will he get in?" "How does he know if we are bad or good?" "How does he get all around the world in one night?" and the endless, "Is he real?"

My parents seemed to defer these questions to me as she was the fourth child, and they were likely over the whole thing. At first I tried to come up with some creative answers, but eventually just told her something about an tiny elf living in our house and reporting back to SC. This was WAY before cell phones, so I am not sure how I explained the "reporting back" portion of the operation. Frankly, I'm not looking forward to being cross-examined about SC and his lifestyle...again.

My mom, bless her, even bought special wrapping paper that was suppose to be SC paper that identified the gifts from him verse the ones from the 'rents. To this again I say, "Meh."
For gifts this year Pman will be getting diapers, formula, some baby food (introducing veggies this weekend!) and possibly a stocking with his name on it (something I plan on doing for all my kids). My favorite gift I have planned for the monkey is this sippy cup that someone gave me at the baby shower.
That was held in May.
He cannot use the cup until he is 6 months, says the label on the cup. So yes, I am bringing regifting to a whole new level. I am giving my son a cup that someone already gave him. I may be on to something here!
This is a two part entry, and here is the second part.
I have a few things to say to all the soon to be mommies in my life.
First of all, I promise you will not be pregnant forever.
Some of you are dilating and are probably hearing from others in a snotty know-it-all tone no less, "I was dilated for weeks before my due date and I ended up being 2 weeks late!" To this I say, "Shut it. You are just scaring the poor girl!" I started dilating at 33 weeks and continued to dialte pretty steady from that point because I stayed as relaxed as possible. Just relax and I bet you will dilate a bit more.
Everyone- my doctor, the pediatrician who worked on Parker before he went to Hopkins, the nurses etc.- everyone commented on how calm and relaxed I was from the time I checked into the hospital through the labor and until I checked out. (Typically not a characteristic I portray well. However, since June 24, I have made great strides to Just Relax.)
In fact, when your water does break and you are actually in labor, just remember to those two words- Just Relax. Also, trust (and love) your doctor and nurses. They have the drugs and can help control your pain!
In the event you have to have a c-section, here is how the pain will likely go.
Week one- Seriously, did someone cut me in half? My scar is about 8 inches long. I know people with smaller scars, but either way, I hear the first week is the same. Sitting on the couch and or toilet will seem near impossible. Sitting will seem near impossilbe. You will wonder how other seem to do this with such ease. It will take you honestly about 15 to 20 minutes to get from your bed to toilet and back. You will be afraid to stand up straight as you surely will be pulled in two, reopening the cut.
Week two- Still ouch, but slightly less ouch. If you brace yourself on the walls or your hubby, you can get up and down from the couch/bed/toilet.
Week three- Was I punched in the stomach or something? I feel uncomfortable, but I can stand up straight!
Week four- I'm tired. Will this baby ever stop crying and go to sleep? What c-section?
To the soon to be dad's- Do not worry. No matter how much screaming, crying, cussing etc. happens, your wife will (likely) be ok. Also, that newly lactating, crying momblob will soon turn back into that sexy, vivacious lady you fell in love with. Just Relax.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Photojournal: Parker vs. cereal

Pfunk (as Aunt Lynsey started calling him) sitting innocently and unsuspecting in his high chair. He has started grabbing for my...well anything I put in my mouth be it beer, chicken, soup, chapstick. No I am not eating chapstick, the idea is if I make any move toward my mouth Pfunk is aware of it. Josh and I are taking this as a "FEED ME" sign.

"Ummmm, this does NOT look like the yummy stuff you are eating mom!"

"Oh just give me the damn bowl! I will do it myself!"

"Do I have anything on my face?"
Overall, he seemed interested, but not overjoyed. I think he would rather have turkey and sweet potatoes with roasted marshmellows (who wouldn't?). We are going to try it again tonight and hopefully will be introducing fruits and veggies in the coming weeks.
Anyway, I am writing this and my oven is beeping telling me Tom the Turkey is ready to be eaten.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

And Her Baby Wasn't Even Real

Confession: I have had this intense unexplainable fear of dropping Parker since the day I brought him home. I used to be afraid of holding him on the deck for fear he would violently wiggle out of my arms and fall into the neighbors backyard where upon their dog would snarl and bark loudly at Parker who lay helplessly in the dirt.

It's an intense fear.

My mom laughs at me, but I really thought/still think dropping him was/is inevitable.

My fears were confirmed when I was watching Friends one evening, as I do, and Rachel voiced a similar fear about her fake daughter Emma.

Also, can we talk about Emma for a minute? I mean what is the point of putting Rachel and Ross in this un-wed parent situation if the baby is barely and I mean barely part of the show. Putting a pink shiny E on a door in Joey's apartment does not mean you have a baby! No wonder us new mom's are thrown for such a loop and overwhelmed when the baby comes! Friends set us up for failure.

Anyway, on this one episode Rachel was still living with Ross and Emma had just been born. R&R some how were both out of the apartment and Emma was locked in the apartment by herself. She was a newbie and apparently sleeping in a bassinet.
Rachel started freaking out about Emma being in the apartment alone and said, "We have to get in there! What if she falls and hits her head?!"
To which Ross replied, "Can't hold her own head up, but yeah she is going to throw herself out of the bassinet."
(Or something like that)

I feel ya Rach. Who knows what those crazy babies can do!?

All this is leading up to another confession: I fell down the stairs with Parker the other day.

We are both fine and as most things in my life, I am probably making this more dramatic than necessary.
Here's how it went down:
Pman was taking a nap and I was eating lunch before it was time for us to leave so I could go to work and he could go to the sitter's house. When I wake him up from a nap I usually change his diaper then carry him downstairs while singing some song about what we are going to go do- have a bottle, go to Aunt Brenda's house, call daddy, take Abby out etc. These songs are nonsense and entertaining for us both. As I came to (and evidently missed) the last three steps we both went tumbling down and landed on that last step that is also a platform of sorts. You know? Anyway, some how I managed to hold him tight the whole time sacrificing both of my own knees and my left shin in the process. The noise we made was so bumpy and loud that even Abby came off her perch on our bed to check it out. Aside from my knees everyone is ok.

I do have to say a) It's amazing that the natural instinct to brace my fall with my hands did not even kick in (I am actually thankful for that) and b) My fear of actually dropping Parker has only intensified. Therfore we will both be wrapped in bubblewrap hence forth!

In other news, I have found these new teething tablets, well new to me anyway. They come in this little plastic tube and look like the dehydrated marshmallows that come with Swiss Miss hot chocolate. You put these meltable tablets under the baby's tongue and hope for the best. Both praying they work and that the baby does not choke on them.
So I opened the tube, took a few myself (felt NOTHING) and decided to give them a shot with the monkey man. While having a firm grip on the phone and after practicing dialing 911 with my thumb a few times, I put two of these marshmellow-y things under his tongue.
I'm not sure if they stopped the crying because he was distracted and thinking, "What the hell is this lady giving me now?" or if he stopped crying because they worked. Either way stopping the crying is the desired result and therefore, Thank You Sweet Jesus for inventing these things!

Parker will be eating baby rice cereal for the first time on Thanksgiving day. Stay tuned for a photo journal of some sort!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fear and Loathing in DC (or) I May Have Earned Another Gold Mom Star

I have a very good friend who lives in Alexandria. If you are not aware this town is near/on the edge of DC. She has been campaigning for me to come visit her for about two years now. At first my excuses were the typical, "I'm just so busy..." or "This month is booked, let's try and set something up a couple months from now..." After this excuse I would have to ignore her emails for a bit. Either way, I was dodging the inevitable, driving in the general direction, and to the out skirts of, Washington DC.

I have an irrational and unfounded fear of DC. Well, I guess it is not so unfounded. The first time I ever...EVER drove there it literally took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to figure out how to leave. To me DC is like some sort of black hole filled with crime, destruction and general scary stuff. (I know I am overreacting on most accounts here, but it's what I picture so there you have it.)

My friend caught me with my guard down and I agreed to drive to Alexandria with Parker to meet her for lunch. (deep breath deep breath- just the thought makes me light headed.)

Parker and I start our day as normal- gym, bottle, shower and then were we on our way to the DC area. We are about 20 minutes from home and running a little late (see previous entry on leaving the house in a timely manner ha!) when I realized I had to pee. Here I am faced with the choice to hold it when I am driving to a place I have never been, which is located in a land that terrifies me. I fear how long I will actually have to hold it and what if I get to the point where I may be about to burst and am in the depths of the city, would the corner bum let me use his bench as a potty?!
Before it got to that point, I pulled over at a WAWA in a familiar area and got P-man our of his seat heading to the bathroom.

It was a little odd using the potty with a babbling baby who just learned how to do raspberries sitting on your lap, but I'm a mom and it's what we do.

I managed to get my pants down without a problem. I managed to pull them back up with out a problem, however, I was wearing jeans.

I stood there for about a minute holding Parker, pants up- unbuttoned trying to figure out exactly how to button my pants with one hand. Parker was oblivious as he was still blowing raspberries on my face and was therefore no help what so ever. I tried several times to button my pants with one hand to no avail.
I tried pulling the zipper up and then button them- no luck.
I even tried to convince myself that if I just held Parker down low and walked to out quickly, I would be able to get to my car without anyone noticing.
I ended up balancing Parker between the toilet paper dispenser and my own stomach and saying a quick prayer while buttoning my pants. All is well and we left the WAWA and headed toward the dreaded DC area.

We got there just fine, had a nice lunch and visit with my friend. Since we got there ok, I figured we would be a-ok on the way out. However, I figured wrong.

Much like a lot of cities, you cannot really go the way you came because of one way streets and dead ends. Any logical person- or if I were not already a insanly apprehensive about being in the city, I-probably would have been able to figure out how to get out with no problem. However, since I had been trapped in DC once before, I immediately went into panic mode and started sweating as my eyes filled with tears. I also cannot be held responsible for the words coming out of my mouth at that moment in time.
I tried calling my friend, but her cell phone died while we were out and she did not have the charger. I tried calling Josh, although I do not know what he would have done, he has never been to Alexandria.

As I am driving around in a frantic panic I hear unmistakable grunts from P-man in the back. His face was turning red and he was making his signature poop-face.

Despite my destine and fear of DC, I am an excellent parallel parker. So I whip my Santa Fe into a spot as traffic is whizzing by. My plan was to get in the back so I could change the monkey.
I look up and I see someone loading stuff into the back of a truck. My first thought is, "Great I will ask him for directions!"

In hind sight I realize this man may have been robbing the store he was in front of as he was moving quickly and seemed generally shifty- who knows, maybe I am stereotyping- I was scared. Although, given my mental state at that moment, he is lucky I did not just get out and pepper spray him. I am sure he saw me pull up in front of the "No Parking" sign and attempt to exit my vehicle despite the thundering traffic and thought "Dumb suburban mom."

When there was a break in traffic I got out and asked him out to get to 495 or mainly Maryland. He told me to stay straight and stay in the right lane and follow signs to Baltimore.


Stay straight- correct

Follow signs to Baltimore- correct

Stay in the right lane- WRONG

I basically ended up driving horizontally across a vertcial traffic pattern to get to the exit. I some how ended up on Rt. 50 meaning I got home from DC by way of Annapolis. For those of you not familiar with the area, that is like going from California to Texas by way of Ohio.

I am writing this though so we are home safe.

Disclaimer- Alexandria is actually very cute, kind of like Annapolis or a small New England town- clearly not the crime riddled picture I have in my mind. I mean they have a Starbucks and people leash up their dogs while they go inside to grab a latte.

Mom hint- I always have a couple Zip-Lock bags in my diaper bag for just situations like this, messy diapers and no where to throw them away. I toss the soiled diaper and wipes in the Zip-Lock until I come to a trash can. These bags are also useful if clothes get wet with drool or soiled from an explosive situation. They take up virtually no room in the diaper bag, but can be SUCH a life saver.

There you have it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2008- Parker's first Halloween!

If you can't tell from the picture, he was some sort of monster/dragon thing. It actually said "little monster" on the bottoms of the feet. (See Below.)

He hated the hood, but was pretty agreeable to wearing it for a bit. We took him to two friend's houses and then came home to hand out candy. We only took him to two houses because Josh has strong feelings about not taking kids out trick or treating if they do not even have teeth. Because of our venture out to TWO houses we missed the bulk of tricker treaters leaving me with a large basket of Milky Ways, Skittles and Junior Mints to eat by Thanksgiving because I hate to mix my holidays. No worries, I feel up to the challenge.
In addition to his feeling about babies trick or treating, Josh refuses candy to anyone with basically a sweatshirt and tennis shoes on as a costume. He also is strongly against kids over the age of about 12 coming to the door for candy. Josh wants kids, he wants costumes and he wants to hear "Trick or Treat!" Darn it!
In fact, last year he was attempting to take a stand on this issue. After a few hours of doling out stale Starbursts and Snickers to, as Josh puts it, unappreciative teenagers who are much to old and had uncreative outfits, he decided to make these "kids" work for their candy. If you had a five o'clock shadow and a W-2 you either had to work for the 50 cent candy or move along.
Josh did everything short of asking teenagers to tap dance and then mow the lawn.
Finally, feeling superior to the neighborhood rif-raf a oldish looking child comes up. Now, we have a small porch with 3 steps. Josh sits on the porch to hand out the candy, but wants the kids to make the effort to come up the few steps we have- If you can't do steps, you can't get candy.
So this oldish child comes up. I was not out there, so I am not sure how this kid actually came up, but nonetheless, he asked Josh for candy. This is how it went down:
Josh: Come on kid, why can't you at least come up here to get the candy?!
Kid's mom: He has Spina Bifida and has difficulty with stairs.
*Note: It may not have been Spina Bifida, but we know he could not walk up the steps.
(After a few awkward silent moments seeming like hours)
Josh: Oh I'm sorry dude! Here have some extra candy!
(Toss handfuls upon handfuls into the kids bag.)
Kid's mom: Oh, he can't hear you, he's deaf.
Play on Josh, play on.
Side story: While I did not vote for Obama, I think it is rather remarkable that our nation elected a man who physically does not fit the mold that has been cast by thousands of years of American history.
Now, we need to stand together as a nation and lead by example for all our little guys and gals. Who knows who will be the next President, literally!
Ok, I'm off that soapbox and back into that basket of Halloween candy!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Let the Light From Above Fool You...

This boy is no Angel after what he did today!

This is his third outfit for the day. It is 3p.m. and he is wearing jammies.

He must be channeling his inner Hugh Hefner, ya know, minus the ho-bags and whatnot.

The first outfit was a cute pair of brown baby cargo pants and a long sleeved green onsie with a moose on it. Underneath the moose it said "Little Guy". I'm not sure what "Little Guy" has to do with the moose, but there you have it. Of course, this was also his first time wearing this shirt/onsie. With both of us dressed and ready to go, we headed off to the gym. Some how his bottle leaked all over him. The day care lady actually had to come get me because it was leaking so much. To solve the mystery, I unscrewed and then rescrewed the top back on. No more leaks. Special touch I have.

We came home and selected a different long sleeved onsie, same pants though.

P.S. I LOVE selecting his clothes and I find it very interesting that this side of 3 years from now he will be picking out his own stuff and I will likely be running errands with the superhero of the moment complete with cape.

Anyway, his second outfit was a cute blue onsie with light blue dogs on it and it said "Dog Gone Cute" across his chest. Dog Gone Cute indeed!
We went to Target to return some stuff and buy monkey a new book- Curious George Travels or something...
While we are in the store he throws up on himself. I wipe away the baby bile with the sleeve of my own shirt and move on. Really, this does not even phase me and would not warrant an outfit change, for either of us. However, what happened on the car ride home can only be described as foul.

We are riding along. Sleeping monkey in the back.

I look in the rear view to check on him and he is awake, but not crying. Good.

Then I hear it.

A tummy rumble worthy of a full sized truck driver man.

I mean he was in the backseat I was in the front, with the radio on and I heard the rumble.

Darn it! Maybe I could just drive around until Josh is home and when I get there I will pretend to know nothing of what lurks in our sons' diaper. It will be as if it is a shock to us all.

Ok, ok I did not do that.
I drove home and since I had not had lunch yet, I put P-man in his Pack and Play and made myself a chicken sandwich. I ate it. I had to eat it for I knew once I changed the diaper all hope would be lost for lunch.

I laid a blanket on the floor and put P-man on top of it.

As I peeled off his baby cargo's I was smacked in the face with a terrible smell. Before I went any further I ran to his room and grabbed his PJ's and the rest of his dirty clothes, I knew a load of laundry was going to need to be thrown in the machine.

To spare you what I had to witness firsthand, I will not go into all the details. I will say though there was poop on his stomach. Nay, there was poop just about on his chest. I guess since he poo'ed in the seated position it projected up and around or something.

I shudder when I think of it.

My side story of the day is a special note to the man on the stationary bike next to me at the gym this morning.
Dear Sir:
Dear Old Sir:
Dear Old Gross Sweaty Sir in the t-shirt with the arm hole that was ripped down to your waist and it was obviously not suppose to be that way seeing as the shirt itself was practically see-through as it has likely been washed 4, 532 times,
You are old, sweaty and moley. Please wear an appropriate shirt or I will W-I-L-L throw up on you next time.
N. Phillips

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Teething: Hell on Earth

Parker has begun teething. There is no easy or child-friendly way to say this- teething is a bitch.

Hell personified (at least up to this point of parenthood) is a teething infant.

Parker does not cry he is flat out screaming in pain. And if he can do this directly in my ear while tugging on fists full of my hair, all the better. Parker seems to be a misery love company type of kid.

Anyway, last night it took us from 9:30p.m. until 2:30a.m. to get him to finally fall asleep and stay that way. Josh and I took 1 hour shifts until the mission was complete. Finally around 2:00a.m. I gave him a shot of infant Tylenol and a few more ounces of formula and that did the trick. Although at some point during the day a friend suggested whiskey as a remedy to soothe the teething. I am still not sure if she meant the whiskey to be for Josh and me or Parker or a shot for each of us! I think the third option sounds the most reasonable.

This morning he was obviously still uncomfortable when he woke up around 9:15a.m.

I bought some infant Orajel a few days ago for just this occasion. The directions indicate that babies should not have the gel until they are 4 months old. We are mere days away from 4 month, so I gave in and rubbed some on his gums. Now I have never had to use Orajel so I was not aware exactly what would happen. So, like everything I give him, I took a dose myself.

Side note: The directions on the Orajel box also say you should not give it to baby more than 4 times a day for no more than 7 days. To this I say, "Why?'
Is Parker going to develop some sort of addiction?
Will I find him hurling himself out of the crib and army crawling to the kitchen to get his fix?
If the Orajel makes the crying stop, I think I can weather the Orajel addiction. I mean I pretty much control the situation anyway. Parker can't even hold his own bottle, I'm pretty confident that I can wrestle away a tube of Orajel.

Anyway, in the last 4 months I have taken infant Tylenol, infant Orajel, Mylicon, Gripe Water, infant vitamins and drank a mouthful of formula. The next question I usually get is, "What about breast milk?"
No you sicko, I did not drink my own breast milk.
Which, by the by I am no longer nursing and I am wearing a normal bra again! All of you rejoice with me!

The Orajel numbed the area of my tongue I put it on and I'm guessing did the same for the little monkey, except on his gums.

Stay tuned because through all of this I can see that his gums on the bottom are white, but I cannot see or feel any teeth, so this is really just the beginning!

Also in other news (WARNING: cussing about to commence):
This is a notice to all strangers, especially those who are currently cleaning the floor at the local grocery store.

(understand I am not calling Parker a bitch, rather I am referring to the grocery store employee)

The other day Parker, Josh and I were at the grocery store. Now, I realize P-man is exceptionally cute and this makes people want to touch him. However, if you are mopping up slop on the floor of a grocery store, please refrain from touching my child.
I was a few feet away and Parker was in his stroller, which Josh was pushing. The lady commented on the cutest of him (P-man, not Josh) and reached in to touch him. I shot Josh a looked that said, "Run her over! Run the bitch over with the stroller and don't look back!" Instead Josh stood there amazed that a stranger would do such a thing.
I ended up saying, "Parker, come to mommy."
And Josh awkwardly smiled and the grocery store employee and rolled away in my direction.

Apparently this is an epidemic. A girl I know had a stranger pull the pacifier out of her child's mouth to "see his precious face"

Sweet corn!? Who are these people!?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nikki? Who Exactly is Nikki?

A funny thing happened today, a friend asked me how I am doing. She said, "I read the blog, but how are YOU doing?"

She is not the first person to ask me this question. However, this is the first time I tried to answer the question without referencing anything related to Parker. I sat there for about 5 minutes attempting to answer this very simple basic question.

This question that most people answer without even thinking. In fact, I have on occasion answered this question when I was not even really asked, but it was assumed that was going to be the next thing the person on the other end of the conversation was going to say or ask.

This question that most people just want the standard, "I'm fine." or "Good, you?" or "Great thanks!" type of answer.

However, because my friend put the YOU in capital letters, I felt the need to attempt to answer her without mention of my little monkey man. I do not feel I was very successful since my answer was something about work, which is neither entertaining nor does it actually answer her question. I guess I'm just a momblob now chocked full of stories about P-man's latest adventure, but is minimally aware of herself and her own actions.

In case you are wondering though we took monkey to get some pictures taken today, like I don't take enough of them already. I apparently felt the need to pay strangers $160 for pictures that pretty much could have been done at home with a white fleece blanket and a boppy.

P.S. Boppy's are ok, but in my honest opinion are WAY over rated.

P.P.S. I wanted to get pictures of him in his Halloween costume, but by then the little bugger had enough of it and started crying, but we got some great shots nonetheless.

Back to the entry and me.
So to those veteran mom's out do you answer the question, How are you?
Am I resigned to a lifetime of answering that question by going into a diatribe about Parker's latest poopy, or teething issues, or goal scored, or SAT scores etc. etc. etc.? I did not have this problem when it was just Josh, Abby and me.

I will say this though my singing abilities have gone down hill. I was in All County Chorus (ACC) in high school, for two years. I was in some sort of choral group from 5th grade through 12th and had a brief stint in college. I really liked, well I guess I still like, singing. I was by no means American Idol status, but I was good enough to at least be singled out by whoever picked the members of ACC and I liked that. However, recently I can't even carry a tune in my hand, it would just slip out like jello.

So to answer the question how am I?
I will say, I am great, but the rapid decline of my singing ability makes me slightly sad. Maybe one day I will try to join some sort of North Beach community choral group. However, I do not have high hopes since the only practice I get is in the car with one Monkey Phillips. I fear my chances are low of getting in this imaginary singing group. I also fear Parker will think that humming Somewhere Over the Rainbow in a way that makes it some how seem like the song is being played through bagpipes, will not fair well for his future singing career either.

And see it all came back to him!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cry Baby

The gym will not only not change poopy diapers, but they will interrupt a work out to tell you that your baby will NOT stop crying.

I was about half way through my work out and the day care girl came up to me and said, "Mrs. are the last mom I ever expected to have to do this for, but we cannot get Parker to stop crying."

Then she stared at me until I figured out that this meant I had to stop working out and go deal with the monkey. This actually took me a few seconds to realized because I was in denial that I was not going to get to finish my work out because my son was being a crank.

I followed her to the day care area and sure enough I found a screaming Paker with a very red face and tears practically flying out of his ducts.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to soothe him so I could resume my work out (mother of the year, I know). When I realized that he was just not having it, I packed up his stuff and shuffled out the door with my head down. The door that is literally 6 feet from where I just was with screaming baby numero uno.

He stopped crying as soon as I got outside.

I mean immediately.

I almost turned back around to resume my work out.


Instead, I continued the very short walk to the car, whereupon I put the monkey in his seat and before I walked around to the driver's side, he was sleeping.


So I drove the boardwalk near our house and walked. While he slept in the stroller.

Yes I had the stroller with me, come on!

This was a Tuesday which meant he was going to go to the sitters house while I went to school to teach. I tried to warn the sitter that he was in an ornery mood and relayed the story of the gym. At which time, monkey started laughing...he actually started laughing. When I looked at him and said, "Parker, it is not funny to get kicked out of the gym." He smiled.

He repeated this reaction when I told Josh of our gym adventure...or misadventure as it were.
(I fear for our future if he is already getting kicked out of places and laughing about it...)

I guess in the end I can understand where he is coming from, sometimes, it is just not a gym kind of day.

Above is a picture of him smiling, no doubt he is thinking about how he got us kicked out of the gym.

Below is a picture of him giving his "pound" fist. He is so hip! Do the kids even say hip, these days?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Harvard? Is that you on the phone...

MENSA should be beating down my front door any minute.

Parker is 3 months old and he is holding his own rattle and...AND the boy genius rolled over! Clearly we have the next Phelps on our hands here...rolling over from your tummy to your back is an Olympic event, right?

I have packed away all of his newborn and 0-3 month clothes and washed and put away his "big boy" 3-6 month clothes.

He rolls all around in his crib and when I go to get him in the morning- after he has SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT- he is rarely in the same position he was in when I left him.

Now, I realize that this brings wonder and amazement to me and all who know me. Parker is growing so much and literally seems to change everyday or at least every 3 days. After a nap he loves to cuddle with his mom and he is starting to pay more and more attention when I read to him at night.

However, he is still very much a baby. I mean he doesn't even have teeth and he drools on himself regularly...wait doesn't that describe at least half of the guys I knew in college? Anyway, he is a baby...he poops in his pants and wait actually I think I knew some guys in college who did
that too...I'm getting distracted here and little off topic...
P.S. his pooping issues seem to be under control for now.

Let me try another approach.
A few weeks ago Josh and I celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss. We decided to go out to dinner mainly because it was that or have Doritos and Zima for dinner to celebrate the occasion. It was a Monday night and we figured most restaurants would be empty, so taking the monkey with us would be ok. Sometimes he can be a shall I say this...socially unacceptable.
We were correct about the resturant being empty. (And the monkey was very well behaved.)

So, as we wheeled Parker up to the hostess stand.

In his stroller.

He was laying down in.

Because although he is a boy genius he cannot sit up yet. The young, naive hostess asked us if we want a kids menu.


Why do you have my breast milk as a feature item?

Bless her heart, sweet little thing.

I told her no, he has no teeth and I have a bottle for him.

A few days later I went out to lunch with a friend and Parker and the hostess asked if I wanted a highchair.

Well thank you darlin! While I only have about 3 to 5 more pounds to go until I am at my pre-baby weight, my ass is not small enough to fit into one of those cute high chairs. Also, I am tall enough to not only sit at the "grown-up table" but see over it as well!

When she pointed to Parker, who was busy bouncing his head around like that of a minor league baseball players' bobble-head doll they give out on opening day, I simply shook my head and said he was fine in the stroller.

All that aside. On to another one of my favorite topics: Ice cream.
Have you heard that some group in Europe somewhere wants Ben and Jerry's to start using breast milk, instead of cows milk, in their ice cream. Human breast milk.

Aside from the gross...extremely gross factor of breast milk in ice cream, who in their right mind would sign up to donate this milk. Would this be an acutal job with a W-2 and pention plan? "Hi my name is Nikki Phillips and I am here to hook-up ala cow on a dairy farm style! When is my lunch break?"

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm just going to run to the store

"Kissy Face"

Think about your weekend. How many times did you say, "I'm just going to run to the store. I'll be right back." I bet you said it at least once. I will also bet that before you even finished the phrase you had run your errand and were on your way home. This is unless you have a kid.

I have learned that "I'm just going to run to the store. I'll be right back." is a laughable phrase. This is because it gives the illusion of things happening quickly. The only things that happen quickly are the headaches that come during/after one of Parker's screaming sessions, the groggy trip down the stairs in the middle of the night to feed him and how dirty the house gets mere seconds after I clean it. (Which, p.s. is not often these days.) Actually that is not that fair, Parker has had a few night where he has slept all the way through and even on his worse nights he only gets up once or twice, so I better shut-up about that.

Back to the point at hand- moving quickly from point A to point B is a non-possiblity now. When I make the choice to go to the store to just to pick up a few things, I end up being gone for about 4 days. Us new mom's have to think about the following things:
-Does his diaper need to be changed?
-Is it likely that it will need to be changed while we are out? If I do not bring diapers there is guaranteed to be an explosion worthy of a HAZMAT team, so I might as well change him now and bring a jumbo pack of diapers with me.
-When is he suppose to eat again? I will bring a bottle just in case...maybe I will bring two just in case, never know when there may be traffic, nevermind the store is pretty much within walking distance.
-Hummm the store is within walking distance, should I walk and try to burn some extra mommy calories?
-No I will drive.
-Is the stroller in the car? Yes! I'm so on the ball!
-But maybe I should make sure the baby holster is in there too because how am I going to push a cart and a stroller?
-Should I change the baby so he is in warmer clothes, grocery stores/Walmart/etc. can get cold?

The whole thing makes me want to turn Amish and live off the land...HA! I bet Jedidiah's wife isn't worried about pushing a stroller and a grocery cart at the same time.

Clearly you can see how a "quick trip" to the store is anything but.
By the time you leave the house you are so bogged down with crap it's not even worth it.
Also, while at the store you have to deal with the other people who ventured out that day. When people in Target stop me to see how old he is and then ask to see his face as I am balancing him, a box of wipes, a new pair of shoes, CD, dog treats and something I am going to try and pass off as dinner all in my arms, I want to SCREAM at them and say, "Take the baby ok, hold him and stare at his face while I load up the are not like a sex offender or kidnapper are you?!"

I'm learning this is all a balancing act between my life prior to mommyhood and my life now, between what was important and what is important and between tv shows I used to love to watch and reading to Parker. Yes I read to him and he seems to like it I swear.

So if you learn something from me today learn that being a mom does not mean giving up the person you are now, in fact if you do give up that person you will go crazy.

Also, I will share with you the best thing in the world. It has nothing to do with cheesecake or chocolate, nor does it even compare to an affordable Prada purse or fitting into jeans you wore in high school. The best thing in the world is when your son looks you straight in the eyes and smiles at you because you are his mommy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Poop Happens...or not

The poopy saga continues.
When Parker first came home all of his diapers were filled with or had reminiscent of both tinkles and poopies. As of late, as mentioned in the previous posts, the diapers had been lacking the poo portion.
After several suppositories (4 actually...well actually it was 2 whole infant suppositories cut in half longways) I called the doctor's office and made an appointment thinking clearly something was wrong and fearing that something was related to all the drama in Parker's first 2 weeks of life.
This is how the exchange went:

Me: Doctor, he is not pooping. He will go if I give him 1/2 a suppository, which I have been doing every 24 hours.

Doctor: What does it look like when he goes?

Me: Mustard. Mustard with seeds in it. (sorry if I just forever ruined mustard for you)

Doctor: Ok, that is good. How often have you given him suppositories?

At this point a thought is now crossing my mind, since I just told her I have been doing this every 24 hours and the tone of her question was not that of information gathering, but more of a "you did what?" tone, I'm thinking I may be doing something wrong...

Me: Ummm...every 24 hours....

Doctor: Ok...
Once babies turn about 2 months their digestive systems start to mature. It is completely normal and ok for them to not have a bowel movement for 2 to 3 days. If by the end of the 4th day he still has not gone, give him a suppository and call me.

Me: So I am over medicating him.

Doctor: Well...I'm sure you were worried.

Now, here I am approaching day #3 of no BM from Parker. I am trying very hard not to give him the suppositories. In fact, we are once again at my parents house so he could meet his Aunt Megan. I did not bring the suppositories with me, so that I would not be tempted to use them. However, on Saturday night I broke down and bought some. Josh came to Rite Aid with me and again, I had an interesting interaction involving the baby butt bullets (BBB).
I walked up to the counter with Josh and put the BBB and a pack of gum on the counter. I said, "Baby suppositories and gum...just another Saturday night." The checkout girl giggled, but was probably thinking, "shut up."
So I pushed on with my comedy routine because if you cannot have a sense of humor about inserting medicine into your son's hind-quarters, what can you have a sense of humor about?
Anyway, I then said, "And we don't even have a baby!"
That got a chuckle from the Rite Aid checkout girl and I felt like I made her night a little brighter, yeh me!

We came home and I set the jar of suppositories on the counter and stared at them, much like a recovering alcoholic must start at a bottle of vodka at the company Christmas party.
"I'll just give him one more half and then I will let his system handle the BM's from then on. Just one more man! One more for old time's sake, just to give me something to remember!!!"

Similarly to that successful recovering alcoholic though, I did not cave. Parker (and I) have been suppository free since Wednesday morning and it is now Sunday early afternoon. (He moved things through on his own Thursday evening.)

I promise this will not turn into the Poop Chronicles of Parker Phillips. However, my life is revolving around the digestive system of an almost 11 week old.

I did go back to work, teaching at College of Southern Maryland part time. I love it because it is the best of both worlds. I get to spend the majority of my day monitoring Parker's diapers, but I get to be a normal adult for a few hours each week too.

Josh has to go out of town for work this week, which means it will be me vs. Parker ...or I mean me and Parker Tuesday through Thursday night. It's anyone's game and the lightening round at the end will determine the true winner, stay tuned!

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I feel I rightfully earned my mom badge during the NICU situation. However, I would like someone to tell me where I can go to collect my gold star to be placed on said badge.

I ended up having to give Parker a suppository. I had to cut it in half long-ways. I gave..inserted...placed the first half a few days ago and there was a major explosion and thankfully I was not home, but Josh was. This morning I gave him the other half and again, he produced the desired results, but I was on the receiving end this time. I tried to tell Josh that it is not my policy to change explosive poopy diapers. He rolled his eyes and walked away...

Also, p.s. I missed the first explosive diaper because I was out buying jeans as I have none. I did have to get a pair that are a size bigger than I was this time last year, BUT I did find one style in the GAP and I was able to buy my normal size! Sadly, I was not all that happy with my "normal" size, but I joined the gym and am on a mission, so hopefully I'm on the right track to loosing a little more weight...if not I know where I can get some suppositories to help things along...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Suppositories: They Get Things Going...

But apparently not quite as well as taking your baby out in public does!
In the last post I mentioned my monkey was having trouble passing things through his tiny digestive system. That problem resolved itself in a couple smallish explosions throughout the day after the post. However, in the last 48 hours, Parker has held it in. There has been a lot of grunting, kicking, screaming and crying on both of our parts in dealing with this issue. I was trying to just let him work it out, but finally this morning I called the doctor. I was PRAYING there was an ORAL...ORAL medicine I could give him to help out.

There is something I can give him.

And it ain't oral.

It's of the butt-insertion variety, aka suppositories.

I called the doctor on my way to the gym- yes I joined a gym near my house and they watch Parker while I attempt to get myself back to something resembling a woman and not a mom-blob. Anyway, the doctor told me about the baby "magic bullets" (if you have ever seen suppositories you are probably laughing now, if you have not, consider yourself lucky). Parker must have heard what we were saying and gotten very frightened. For when I was finishing the last set on the last machine I was doing today, a woman came over to me and said, "Do you have a baby in the daycare? He just pooped."

It is their policy not to change poopy diapers. Nice policy, eh?

By the way, she is being very general when she calls what my son did, poop. It was an explosion worthy of note on CNN or MSNBC. The crawl below would warn the public not to inhale unless absolutely necessary. The graphic over the reporters shoulder would be of woman and children running away with looks of panic and fear on their faces.

Needless to say when your torso is about 12 inches long and your mom keeps feeding you despite the fact that you have not released anything in 48 hours, crap is backed-up. The offending material almost reached his hair, which he does not have much of.

When I finally got it all cleaned up and put Pooper in the car seat to venture home, he yawned real big, smiled and passed out. No shit -ha!

This brings me to my next point. I can cuss something awful. I am good at it. I can throw 4 letter words into my conversation like nobody's f-ing business b-tches. F that S.

However, I am realizing that very soon Parker will be able to understand and mimic everything I say. Getting reigned in from your workout because your son took a major poo is one thing, but getting called out because your 2 year old cussed out the Daycare lady is another story. Especially if he does it correctly, meaning the cusses make sense- calling someone a sh*thead is very different from calling them a sh*tfoot or something, catch my drift?
I don't Parker to be the asshat in daycare. Damn, I shouldn't have said asshat...shi...da..I just can't seem to stop!
So I have started using phrases like:
Mother of Pearl
Jiminey Christmas
God Bless America
and my personal favorite- Sweet Corn
Sweet corn can be used in situations like- "Sweet corn, where did I leave my car keys?!" or "Sweet corn I stubbed my toe." or just yell "Sweet corn!" in place of any other cuss you may want to yell. If nothing else you will laugh, how can you not? It's sweet corn!

Finally, some people ask me how Josh is doing with "this." They say this.
I'm not sure if "this" is Parker, fatherhood in general or the crazy momwife I have become. Either way, Josh is doing great. So far I have come to realize parenthood is best played as a team sport. When one of us is slacking, stressed or has a heel injury, the other steps in with the tape and some ice and takes over.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Poop, drugs and rock n' roll

I am gearing up for another trip to G-ma and G-pa's house. We leave next Wednesday, I am mentally making my packing list now...5 days early.

One thing I know I need more of is diapers. When we went last time I took a new pack of 44 diapers, thinking that would be enough for a 5 day trip. I was off by 8 diapers and wouldn't you know they do not sell them in singles, so I had to buy another pack. This time I will know that and will come armed with the proper amount of poop-catchers. Although, as of this moment Parker has not pooped in about 14 hours and I am scared.

I am not scared because I think something is wrong, for gas is being passed, just no bowel. I am scared because I know there is an impending explosion and I am on the receiving end. It's like when you were a kid and you broke your mom's porcelain...something and attempted to glue it back together and placed it strategically back on the shelf so she will not see it. However, every time she went into the room where said broken-"repaired"- porcelain whatever was, you braced yourself for the inevitable. Your jaw tightened, you broke out in a a sweat and you were desperately looking for someone else to clean up your dirty work.

I'm thinking about cutting feet holes into a Ziploc freezer bag and just putting Parker in that until the explosion occurs.

One reason for the non-poop issue may be this new infant anti-gas medicine I found called Gripe Water. Although I have come to LOVE Gripe Water and I really think the cause of his back-up is due to the fact that he has had more formula in the last 24 hours than breast milk due to the fact that I am trying to build up my supply in the freezer. I horde breast milk like a squirrel hordes nuts. They are like little frozen trophies or something. I cannot explain it, but if you have ever pumped/nursed a baby you understand.
Back to the Gripe Water. This stuff is like baby crack. If Parker gets the hiccups, which is often, I let him go until he starts to get pissy about them and then I give him half a dose of Gripe Water and presto, hiccups gone, happy baby back! If you know someone who is going to have a baby and you love them, you may want to investigate Gripe Water for them. It can be hard to find, but I talked to my pediatrician and she said if I can get my hands on it and it works, go for it. It is from Thailand or something, but like any desperate mother, if it works--I say GIVEITTOME!

Another item you may want to gift to a new mom is something from the website, look at their swaddle blankets. Now, I know they sell blankets for swaddling everywhere and for a little less money. I am telling you, these swaddle blankets are the best!! They are big and soft and no matter how much Parker kicks his little feet, it does not come unswaddled. I have made it my mission to buy one of these for all the pregnant ladies I know. In return maybe I can get the fine swaddle design people to sponsor this blog or something...

Finally, I hate kid's cartoons and songs. We have attempted to watch The Backyardigans and some other show that involves a hamspter, turtle and so other animal and they sing a lot about teamwork. Instead Parker and I watch a lot of Will and Grace and Frasier because I think they have a good amount of quick-wit and intelligent humor. Two things I hope Parker (and all my children) posses. We also do not listen to any Disney or other silly children CD's in the car. We listen to Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and Dave Matthews to name a few. I want Parker to know where good music comes from. I tell him who is singing whatever song is on the radio and tell him any memories I may have linked to that song. (Don't worry, I make them G-rated). I think it will help him know me and the world of music a bit better than the "Wheels on the Bus" will. However, I have flashed forward to when he is in Kindergarten and while the other kids are singing "This Old Man" my son will be signing "All Along the Watchtower" and immediately be labeled a stoner.

Am I setting him up for failure?

P.S. Parker gives shout-outs to his aunt's Lynsey and Megan who both had birthday's this summer...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Did you know..?

We have successfully returned for our trip to Grandma's house and no one was run over by a reindeer!

I found out a few things about my baby while I was there and some of these may prove to either be helpful tips for you or sheer entertainment at the amazement of simple things to a new mom.

First of all I have gotten a lot of questions about the car seat I spoke about so much in this blog, pre-baby. We got it in the car and it is very secure. There is even a strap that goes under the actual seat in the car and hooks into something in the back of my car. It is so secure in fact that the person in the passenger seat cannot recline in anyway seeing how the seat fits perfectly behind it in the rear facing position. It will remain that way until Parker is about a year or so old.
Now when we took him from the NICU I was curious as to how I was going to get to take him.
Was I going to be allowed to carry him?
Was someone going to have to cart him out in a bassinet?
Is there a team of doctors and nurses who form some sort of conveyor belt and pass him from one to the next until he reaches the front door?

When I asked one of his nurses this question she said that I would have to get the car seat and bring it into the NICU so they can a) see that I have a car seat and b) that Parker fits in it properly. Now, I do not have one of those all popular carrier things that hook into the base in the car and also into the stroller. I'm sorry if you have one, I thought that seemed a bit useless. (However, after this, who's laughing now?!) I tried to explain all of this to the nurse and tell her I went to great lengths to get the car seat in the car correctly (clearly she does not read the blog) and it is rather big. I asked if one of the nurse's could just come to car with me and check all that stuff out. They went around and around with me about this. Suggesting I take the car seat out of my car, put it on a wheelchair, wheel it up to the NICU, let them check it, put Parker in it, put the car seat back in the wheelchair-with Parker- and roll out.



Does that make sense to anyone?

Take a perfectly secure car seat out and then go careening down the halls of Hopkins with my 2 week old-recovering from surgery son?

In the end a nurse who throws caution to the wind along with dumb rules, wheeled him to the car in a bassinet, barely looked at the car seat and rolled herself back into the hospital.

Anyway- things I learned while at G-ma and G-pa's house.
1. At one of the baby classes Josh and I went to they told us not to give our baby water. They said, "Babies don't get thirsty. There is plenty of water in breast milk." Well.
What I learned was they were wrong. Water in a bottle not only helps quiet a crying-screaming baby, but it also teaches them how to use a bottle. He does not drink a lot of water, maybe a ounce and hour, but he likes to have a little something to suck on pre-meal. An aqua-tizer if you will.

2. Formula is not the devil. I breastfeed Parker. I am not particularly a fan of breastfeeding as I have mentioned. However, I want him to be as healthy as possible, so I do it. However, he is a slow eater. It takes him about 40 to 60 minutes to nurse and I am suppose to nurse him every 3 hours. That means I live my day in two hour increments of when I am not breastfeeding. I did not want to spend 1/3 of my visit at my mom's in a room by myself with Parker, nursing. So I rented a pump before we left (*I will come back to this pump rental). I can pump out all my milk in 10 minutes, while someone else is feeding my monkey. When we are out and I cannot pump and I do not want to take breast milk for fear it may spoil, I bring formula. He likes it and gets one or two formula bottles a day and I am happier. It is a personal choice, but it really works for me.
Yes I rented a pump and no it is not gross. My milk does not touch anything that anyone else's milk touched, it is basically the size of a car battery and just provides the motor for the pump action.

3. Finally and most important- My mom is the most incredible resource I never knew I had. When I was pregnant with Parker I always said that I wanted to come home from the hospital and have it just be Parker, Josh and me for a week or two before we had any visitor, including grandparents. I know I had a rocky start and that threw off my idea, but I couldn't be happier about my messed up plan. Ladies- mostly new moms and pending new moms- know that your own mother, or if she is not in the picture, your mother-in-law is the best resource. They love you and that baby more than anything and they will do whatever you need them to. They will smile and tell you that you are doing a great job even while you are crying because you feel guilty about introducing formula. Your mom will take the baby to make sure you go have fun with your sister so that you can remember what it is like to be Nikki er yourself for a little bit. She will take the baby on the last night of the visit so that you can get a full night's sleep so you are able to drive the next day.
Don't get me wrong husband's are great, but no one knows what you are thinking and feeling like a mother.
When you feel like everything is floating above you, she will help you pin it down.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Have Baby Will Travel

Parker, Abby and I went out on an adventure to see Grammy and Grandpa.
We left on Thursday.

I started packing on Monday.

I successfully packed everything we needed and I do not think I forgot anything. Although it is hard to forget something when you pack EVERYTHING. My Santa Fe was beyond packed. Poor Parker had to hold his own suitcase on his lap for the whole trip.
Sort of.

My goal was to leave my house by 10a.m. I have said that since the birth of my little monkey (that is what I call Parker) time is merely a suggestion. I try not to watch the clock too much, but I wanted to get on the road and quick. After I packed the car and monkey had another satisfying meal at McBoob, we were off.

We were three miles into the trip here and Abby pukes in the front seat. I had to pull over in a church parking lot and clean up my dog, who apparently was recovering from some sort of a bender from the night before.

I got her all cleaned up thanks to a bottle of water I had brought for myself to drink, thanks Abby. And we were back on our way to Grandma's house. We got about another 30 miles, Annapolis, and I needed to get some cash. I go the the Bank of America's ATM only to find that my debit card does not work. Long story short, Josh needed a new debit card and I guess BOA thought that meant I needed a new one too. The one I had, was not the new one.

I went on, cashless.

I went on to Chil-Fil-A to get hangover Abby some nuggets to settle her stomach. For every college graduate knows grease helps a hangover.

We continued on our journey to Ocean City with all the other tourons.

Except for an intense need to pee at about the Easton mark (90-ish miles from our desitnation) and not quite sure how to deal with Parker in this situation, the trip was uneventful, after the first few events.

P.S. I did not pee until I got to my parent's house. I basically threw Parker into Lynsey's arms, let Abby roam the yard and I sprinted into the house barely making it to the toilet. At one point in the ride I considered putting on one of Parker's diapers and let things flow.

P.P.S. Abby was not drunk. I think she was a bit carsick. Who knows.

We are 24 hours into the vaca. I will report back with details. Although as a teaser, my mom took Parker to the Crab Cake Factory and she let this random OC trash take his picture and then they thought mom was Parker's mom. This all occurred while I was getting a Delmarvelous haricut. It's been fun.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Post Pregnancy Body and You

I was determined that after I was not pregnant I would not wear maternity clothes. I have managed to stick to this. Now, before you go getting all jealous and then congratulating me through clenched teeth, let me explain.

For the first few days after Parker was born, I wore tank tops and yoga capri's (both non-maternity) everywhere I went...everywhere. These were the same clothes I wore to work out in the early pregnancy months as my belly grew until I just could not wear them anymore. This effectively stretched them out for me making it possible to wear them again immediately after having Parker. However, one can only wear old gym clothes so many times before people start to notice the repetitiveness and well the smell.
Side story: While wearing one of these lovely stretch out tired outfits I had an interesting encounter at a WAWA that made me realize I needed to step it up, fashion speaking. My mom and I were on our way home from the NICU and we were STARVING. We stopped at Wawa to pick up some sandwiches for a fancy dashboard dinner. At this point in the whole NICU mess, I was still pretty sore from the c-section and was usually being carted around in a wheelchair. By the end of the day my feet were swollen because my blood pressure was so off because of the stress and I usually had a headache. My point, I was feeling and likely looking like crap.
So I went into Wawa, not realizing I was being sized up and judged by the people inside and ordered my sandwich. I was so uncomfortable that I told my mom I had to just go sit in the car. I slowly...very slowly waddling to the car and made my way to the passenger door (I was not allowed to drive yet) I hear someone talking behind me. I did not know anyone at the Wawa and was not in the mood to make friends at the moment, so I ignored it. However, the voice got a bit louder and firmer. A lady...a big fat lady in a beat-up minivan was parked next to us. She was talking to me. When I realized what she was saying, I found she asked me if I was pregnant. When I said no while barely looking at her, she probed some more asking if I had just had a baby.
Now, what about me could have prompted that question? I mean really? What?
I mumbled some answer resembling yes and tried to hoist myself in the car without furthering this discussion because anytime I mention NICU I started to cry and I was getting sick of crying in front of strangers.
As I was struggling to get in the car she proceeded to ask me about the delivery and the baby. As I said, I was in no mood to make friends in the Wawa parking lot of a town I do not even live in, so I barked some answer about no wanting to talk about it and she drove away. She was obviously pissed too.
She was pissed off!? She just called me fat and then asked about my personal life.
On the drive home I was reflecting back on the situation and decided that if I had a slightly better ensemble, perhaps strangers would not assume I was pregnant and attempt to have a conversation with me about it.

So one day on the way to the NICU my mom and I stopped at Any Taylor (only because it was on the way) and I got 3 dresses. This meant I was either wearing smelling old stretched out gym clothes or a nice stylish dress. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum! P.S. Don't judge me for going shopping on the way to the NICU. If helps, I cried in the dressing room.

I also quickly found out that to pump or breastfeed in a dress means you have to practically fully disrobe, which is not always convenient.

This all led to a shopping trip this past week with my mom, Parker and me. Parker's first trip to the mall and possibly first step down the rainbow path leading to Gay-ville. First of all, I had to buy a size bigger than I care to admit. My mom is so great, she was in the cheering section of every dressing room saying, "You are only 4 weeks postpartum! This size is not forever!" God willing!

I do not want to be this size forever. Truth be told I am only 1 or 2 sizes up from what I normally wear, depending on the day, and I have hit the weight loss plateau and those last 5 to 10 will NOT GO AWAY! I did manage to find some normal clothes that will fashionably cover my tail until I fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I still have to buy jeans, I have none and I am DREADING that, pray for me.

All of the weight loss stuff is frustrating because I cannot officially work out yet. I take Parker (and sometimes Abby) on 2 mile(ish) walks everyday, but I need to build up the endurance. I go to the doctor this week and if she gives me the all clear I will be joining a gym and Mission: Lose the Rest of the Baby Weight will commence. My neighbor had a little girl a month before I had Parker and sometimes we take the kids for a walk together, which is fun, but then I feel guilty because when I come home, poor Abby is still sitting by the door like "What the hell? I used to go with you on those walks!" If my neighbor cannot go on the walk then Abby is allowed to come. Two strollers and two dogs (neighbor has a dog too) is just too much.

In the walks involving both Parker and Abby craziness ensues. And by craziness, I mean that people I walk past think I am crazy for walking them both. I'm not going to say it is easy and I am not going to deny running over Abby's back paw a time or two, but we manage. Yes, yes I have run over Abby's back paw more than once. She howls, people stare, it's not pretty.
I'm sure they all think that I am some sort of unfit mother, but whatever, read my previous entry about the town that is North Beach, Maryland and the people in it. Bless their hearts.
I am posting some pics here for those of you who have not seen any yet. Enjoy!
In the second picture, no that is not a baby's a snap, but the face is too precious to pass up!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Very Important Tip...

In my last entry, I completely forgot to add something that I know now and wish I knew last week when Parker came home.
If you plan on breastfeeding I have a few things to say about that. First off all it is a personal choice whether you do or do not breastfeed. Don't let anyone bully you into doing or not doing something you want to do, either way.
Second, after my first three weeks of pumping and breastfeeding, I was ready to throw in the towel. Not because it was hard or hurt, which I hear it is/does for some ladies. Parker took right to it and has not looked back since. But one night/morning...3a.m.-ish...I was feeding him and realized that for as long as I plan on doing this breastfeeding thing, I am the food machine to him. Every time he eats I will need to be there or have pumped to provide the food for him. I became very overwhelmed and was ready to quit right there.
I only plan on doing this for 3 or 4 months. I do love the closeness, but jeezey peezey sometimes it's enough already!
Anyway, that has nothing to do with my tip, it is just a rant.

My tip is, if you do plan on breastfeeding invest in at least 2 very comfortable nursing bras that you can sleep in. Also invest in some great nursing pads (or nipple pads as I have started calling them). I have disposable ones from Medela that are great, but I have big plans to go buy some cloth washable ones. The bra I wear 100% of the time is a racerback sports nursing bra that I got from Motherhood for less than $20...I have 3 of them. Way comfy!

Anyway, no one told me to wear a bra and nipple pads to bed when you are nursing. DO IT!

Here's why:
Mind you I pumped every 3 hours or so when Parker was in the NICU, so I was up at 3a.m. pumping. I did not wear a bra to bed at this point. I'm not sure why, but I did not have a problem at all with leaking. I pumped my nearly 3 oz. and rolled over and went back to sleep. However, when that baby was home and my boobs could hear (I swear they can hear now!) him cry the second he opened his mouth, liquid was coming out me me and Parker! The first night I changed my shirt 4 times and I could have easily done it 8 times, but after several failed attempts at routing around in both my drawers and Josh's in the middle of the night/morning I just gave up. Each time I changed my shirt it was a matter of mere seconds before the shirt was drenched as if I had just stepped off the Whitewater Rapids ride at Hershey Park.

That- my friends- is mommyhood. Sleeping in milk drenched shirts because you were just to tired to realize if you put on a bra and nipple pads, this problem would easily be solved.

Go forth and nurse or go forth and bottle feed, either way, I have found a full baby is a happy long as the diaper is clean

P.S. I am told by a veteran mom and generally knowledgeable lady that cabbage leaves also help leaking in a pinch, but I am fresh out of cabbage leaves!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm back....I think

Parker is officially 3 weeks old today! We gave him a bath and took him for a walk to celebrate.

I guess since I gave you the titillating teaser of the pending grocery shopping trip that did occur this weekend, I will fill you in on how his first trip to Safeway went down.
Josh and I discussed our plan of attack before we left for the store. We had several possible options and routes we could have gone. Below are some of the top options we came up with:

-Every man for him/herself. This would mean we each would race through the store, grabbing what we needed in a mad dash then throwing the items on the belt and racing out of the store all before Parker had a chance to even think about crying or pooping. The problem here aside from the obvious ridiculousness of it, is that all Parker really does is cry and poop (and eat) and he is very good at all of those things. The chances of two rookie parents beating him at that game are slim to none and we realized that very quickly. See how well Parker has us trained?!

-Man on man offensive approach. In this game plan, Josh would take the coupons and get all those items and I would get the produce, lunch meat and other non-coupon items and we would eventually meet at checkout stand 10 and pray we did not duplicate any items, which enviably we would. Aside from the multiples of the same item, we also realized that if Parker did have a crying fit and I need to go change or feed him, I would be slowing the team down because I would not be pulling my weight, clearly not the goal here.

-Finally, we decided on a 2 on 1 defensive approach. I put Parker in the baby holster (which he LOVES!! Proof itself there is a God and he is smiling on me.) We moved quickly, but not panicky through the store together getting the appropriate amount of each item. The trip was free of crying fits and poopy diapers...Parker did well too.

I have come to realize a few things in the week that Parker has been home. Some of you are veterans at the mom game and will probably laugh at how "normal" these realizations are and some of you are son to be moms who think you have heard these things 100 times before and therefore may skip over this portion of the blog (big mistake!) and there is another group of you who are not moms yet, but will be in the future. To the last two groups mentions- read what I am about to say. Take it in. Do not over look it. I would not lie to you. No matter how much you think you know about what it is to be a mom and take care of a baby, you know nothing.

Babies are the most overwhelming challenge you will encounter. It is a strange feeling of loving this baby more than you can even imagine right now, but also, some how being terrified of it. I know babies are resourceful and amazing beings, but they are scary as hell. You are responsible for everything they do, everything they eat, everything they don't do, how they sleep. You. Are. Responsible. For. EVERYTHING. And they do not give you a damn clue on how to handle it.

Breastfeeding is great for weight loss, but it is also stressful and draining (at least for now.) I have lost 25 pounds since Parker was born and if you read the beginning of this entry you know that it's been 3 weeks. I still have about 10 to 15 more before I am at my pre-baby weight and about 30 to 40 more after that before I am Hollywood thin. I love being able to nurse Parker, but there is a small sense of confinement to it. However, I would still recommend it to anyone who is interested. It is very cool to be able to give your baby the food he needs to thrive and growth, its very cycle of life- mother earth kinda stuff.

You will be more excited about another person's poop than you ever thought possible. I love it when Parker poops because it means everything is working and he eating enough. There is just nothing really more to say about that, just get ready to excited about shit.

Time is merely a suggestion on how to organize your day. If you let the clock tell you when to eat, when to change the baby, when to put the baby to bed, when to give the baby a bath, you will drive yourself nuts. Just go with the flow and only look at the clock to see if it is too early in the day to eat the ice cream that is still hanging out in the freezer from when you were pregnant. Even then, to hell with it, eat the ice cream, the baby needs calcium! Bottom line, do what feels right when it feels right.

Baby blues are totally normal and ok and they seem to come and go with the breeze. Yesterday I had a really hard day. Parker has not been sleeping so well. Wait, what I mean is he sleeps fine, but getting him to sleep, only at night is damn near impossible. UNTIL...Grandma came and suggested we get him a mobile and put him in his crib at night. I was totally against this at first. Paker's "room" is on the second floor of our house. Our room is on the third. I was having serious abandonment issues. However, after a lot of tears (totally on my part) we decided to try out the crib on Monday night. He slept better than he has since he came home.

Babies can tell you what they want, you just have to listen to them and not put your own insecurities in the way. Parker wanted the crib. We listened and he did great in there.

In the end, no matter how ready you think you are to be a parent, you aren't. What is really happening when you think you are ready is that your heart finally convinced your head that is was going to be a doable thing. That you will be able to overcome this challenge. But you have no idea.
I do not say this to discourage anyone, but think about it, especially you first timers. We have no idea what we are doing. Other than younger siblings and summer babysitting gigs, we have had no training in this field. How could we possibly be ready? I am 3 weeks into mommyhood and I'm told it gets easier. The thing is which each new stage comes new challenges, but I think I am ready to take them on.

(P.S. sorry if there are a ton of typos, I have a Parker to tend to!)