Posts Tagged ‘children’

She’s here! (Plus all the parenting wisdom I’ve gained so far)

OK, she’s been here for a few weeks now, but it turns out learning how to mom is kind of hard and takes a lot of time that most definitely interferes with your ability to sleep and blog.

But yes, I fulfilled my new year’s resolution at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, when I gave birth to Lillian Sage Franz, aka Lily, aka Lily Pad, aka No. 1 Munchkin, aka all the other silly nicknames we’re sure to come up with for her.

Lily

Hi, I’m Lily!

Turns out all the hard work and feeling like a zombie are worth it when you get to love and schmoodle a sweet little bug like this.

I’d like to claim I am a total parenting expert and am here to impart valuable advice, but I cannot. I will leave you with this little nugget of wisdom I’ve learned since Lily’s arrival: Projectile poop is not a myth. I repeat: Projectile poop is NOT A MYTH.

It is so, so real, and let me tell you: That shit can move. Once it strikes the first time — which will inevitably be during the middle of a 4 a.m. diaper change when you haven’t slept for eight days — you will live in constant fear of when it will happen again.

And it will happen again. If you’re lucky, you will have remembered to put a clean diaper underneath at the beginning, and it will block the poo’s main trajectory. If you’re not lucky, you will have forgotten to do this, and, well, let’s just say that projectile poop doesn’t discriminate when it comes to its targets.

That’s all the wisdom I have to impart for now. Once I have this whole parenting thing down in the next week or two, I’ll surely have more.

Advertisements

My new year’s resolution is to HAVE THIS DAMN BABY ALREADY (plus other pregnancy fun facts)

Well, our little munchkin was due to make her appearance into the world on Jan. 1, but, like her mother tends to, she’s running a little behind.

Since she’s dashed all hopes for a 2014 tax break or first-baby-of-the-year honors, she’s basically starting off her first year grounded, with about $1,000 already deducted from her allowance. That’ll teach her.

From what I can tell, I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy, but after hitting the 40-week mark five days ago, I. Am. Ready. I’m anxious for labor to start and to meet this little bug who’s been growing instead me for the better part of a year.
 br
If baby girl is still refusing to cooperate in a few days, we’ll start talking to our doc about forceful eviction, aka induction. Don’t worry, she’s been served proper notice.
This was actually taken at the 40-week mark. I'm three times this size now.

This was actually taken at the 40-week mark. I’m three times this size now.

I already nested/cleaned so long ago that things are starting to get dirty again, and I don’t feel like starting round two with this bowling ball-sized bulge protruding from my stomach. So instead, I’m writing a post on some things about pregnancy that have been particularly surprising to me.
br
You’ve probably heard all about the morning sickness, the mood swings, the need to pee every 2.5 seconds. But here are a few things “they” don’t tell you about pregnancy before you are pregnant that may or may not freak you out.
 br
(I should probably preface this with: Someone who did a lot more research than I did prior to becoming with child might know these things. Also, I am weird, and weird things happen to me. So it’s possible “they” didn’t tell me about some of these things because I am the only weird person they’ve happened to.)
br 
You won’t actually “feel” like you’re growing another human inside you for a while, and it will freak you the eff out. Sure, you’ll see what looks like the beginning of a baby in an ultrasound. You’ll hear the magical thub-a-lub of a tiny heart beat. Your uterus is supposedly blowing up like a balloon, but the only “showing” you’re doing for a while is courtesy of some massive stomach bloating. Depending on your hormonal load that day, you may accuse your doctor of being a g.d. liar because she keeps telling you there’s a baby in there, but clearly there is not, because you would be able to feel a human growing inside you, thankyouverymuch.
br
Consequently …
br 
It will feel like ages between doctor’s appointments. Each day is a gift, and I hate feeling like I just want them to be over, but holy shit. Each day of the month will never drag by as slowly as it does when you all you want is confirmation that your little munchkin is still kickin’ in there.
br 
Sometimes you don’t get morning sickness. This can mean one of two things: 1) You have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and are just “lucky” and don’t have to suffer through what’s considered one of the most miserable pregnancy symptoms; or 2) Something could be wrong with your pregnancy. As someone who’s experienced both situations (2 followed by 1), it’s pretty nerve-wracking to not have this ubiquitous symptom.
br 
(Um, so, I’m not a doctor. I don’t *actually* know if these are the only two things it could mean. Maybe there’s a weird third option, like you’re actually spawning a miniature pony.)
br 
The worst part is that Googling for information about lacking this symptom will often lead you to articles stating how some researchers have determined morning sickness could be an indication of a healthy pregnancy.
br 
Researchers! STAAAP! Until you can confirm this is a black-and-white deal, quit putting this information out there for unsuspecting neurotics like me to stumble across and freak out over!
br 
So, basically, I know most women would consider me “lucky” to not have morning sickness, but I would have given my left kidney to be puking my brains out every morning in exchange for the reassurance that something was, in fact, happening in there.
br 
Also …
br 
The Internet is your best friend and your worst enemy. A lot of weird-ass stuff is happening to your body when you are pregnant, so of course you want to know what is considered normal and what should send you into a full-swivel panic. But when you find yourself searching for phrases like “OMG is it possible that something else is making you seem pregnant when you’re not actually pregnant 12 weeks,” it’s time to stop. (Yes, I actually Googled something along those lines, due to the point I explained above. Following this and other ridiculous searches, and the panic they provoked, Zach made me put a moratorium on Googling things for one week.)
br 
Really, if you have concerns, you should call your doctor/nurse/midwife. They will reassure you when a symptom is nothing to worry about or let you know if you should get checked out. If you do this enough, they will start to expect your calls. And if you start calling about the same ridiculous things over and over again, they will stop reinforcing your constant need for reassurance either by taking a really long time to call back or not calling back at all, in what I assume is meant to be a form of therapeutic neglect.
br 
Not that I know from experience or anything.
 br
Sleep may not come so easily, even at the beginning. You’ve probably heard that insomnia is common during the third trimester, because sleep experts typically do not recommend trying to catch your z’s with a watermelon protruding from your stomach.
 br
However, I have been an insomniac since age 9. I literally have not had a good night’s sleep since the fourth grade. I had been looking forward to the fatigue of pregnancy in hopes that it would provide this elusive rest. But nope. That would just be too damn normal for me. So, apparently, instead of morning sickness, I got “bolt up wide awake at 3 every morning and never fall back asleep”-ness. (I have a team of medical professionals working on a better term for this affliction.)
br 
On the plus side, I’m really not concerned about the lack of sleep most parents of newborns encounter, since that’s pretty much the norm for me. I’ve been training for it my entire life, apparently.
br 
You can’t eat. Anything. This one’s two-fold: First, even if you aren’t afflicted with oh-my-god-kill-me-now morning sickness, it’s still likely you will find very few foods appetizing. All I could stomach for about two weeks was plain spaghetti with a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese.
br 
Also, once you’re pregnant, all your most favoritest foods suddenly turn to poison, and eating them will surely kill you and/or transform your baby into a sock monkey.
br 
Sushi. Alcohol, obviously. Soft cheeses. Wait, what?! You can’t eat soft cheeses when you’re with child? People. My life depends on cheese. Pregnancy has essentially eliminated half of its most delicious forms. It’s the worst.
br 
“True Life: I Accidentally Ate Some Feta on a Salad So I Gave Birth to a Sock Monkey Instead of a Human Child.”

“True Life: I Accidentally Ate Some Feta on a Salad So I Gave Birth to a Sock Monkey Instead of a Human Child.”

br 
The heartburn. DEAR GOD, THE HEARTBURN. Apparently, when your uterus is squishing the rest of your internal organs up through your throat, it makes it nearly impossible to digest food like a normal person. And don’t even bother looking up foods to avoid to prevent it. Out of the foods you’re still allowed to eat, they will ALL cause heartburn. All of them. Even the healthy stuff. For realsies. I’ve eaten bananas that have given me heartburn. I kind of thought bananas were the most easily digestible food known to humans. Not cool.
 br
The only thing you can really “eat” that doesn’t cause heartburn is Tums, which have subsequently become my favorite food during pregnancy. If someone invented a candy necklace — but instead of candy, it had Tums strung along it — and marketed it to pregnant women, they would make at least a few dozen dollars off it. (I’ll let someone steal that idea as long as they give me 70 percent of the profits. Remember, we don’t get to cash in on that tax break for 2014.)
 br
That “pregnancy glow” is BS. Unless by “glow,” they mean the “red glow of jawline acne,” I apparently missed out on this supposed pregnancy perk. I had terrible acne as a teenager, so I’m not really surprised the surge of hormones wreaked havoc on my skin once again. (But hey, who doesn’t want to look/feel like a teenager when they’re pregnant?)
br 
Of course, using any of the standard acne treatments will turn your little tyke into the aforementioned sock monkey, so I’m kind of SOL on this.
br 
If you’re having a girl, some people think it’s absolutely necessary to tell you about their friend/relative/random person they met at a bus stop who thought they were having a girl but it turned out to be a boy. I’m not gonna lie: I was really hoping we would have a girl. Of course, you don’t want to hope for one gender over the other too much, because there’s a 50 percent chance it will be the other one, and you don’t want your child to feel like they’re a total disappointment before they even exit the womb. Regardless, I was happy when the ultrasound revealed it’s a Baby Squirreltina Jr. who’s been kicking me in the bladder. (Squirreltina is obviously a girls name, in case that was unclear.)
br 
But now, I’ve had a enough people tell me stories about girls turning out to be boys that I’m starting to become paranoid. (In what was probably the most asinine piece of unsolicited advice I received, someone told me I should “bring a blue hat to the hospital, just in case.” Seriously. That happened. And no, I could not even.)
 br
I have no idea why people feel compelled to tell me this, other than that it must be some sort of sign from the universe and I should be prepared. So, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be a boy and we have to name him Sharknado because we didn’t have any boys names picked out so we panicked and that’s the first thing we could think of.
br
Of course, I’d still prefer a boy to a sock monkey.

Pancake has an important new job coming up …

Guard bunny

Zach and I are really excited about our new addition, expected around Jan. 1! She’ll either be a New Year’s Baby or Tax Break Baby — those are her choices. Not a minute a later. (Clearly, I have not yet accepted that as a parent I will actually have little control over many aspects of my child’s life.)

Pancake has started a rigorous Guard Bunny training program in preparation. Though so far it looks like her most valuable weapon will be disarming intruders with her cuteness. We’re working on it.

 

My triumphant return to Apples to Apples!

Apples to Apples

I don’t play Apples to Apples often. Whenever Zach and I go to a get-together involving party games, I have to warn the host that if we play it, my husband will literally flip the f*ck out.

This weekend, I went over to some friends’ house for sushi and games, sans-Zach. Of course, one of the first options everyone wanted to play was Apples to Apples, because it’s America’s favorite party game, and what kind of psycho doesn’t like it, anyway?

It’s a damn shame I don’t get to play it more often, because I’m awesome at it. I can use my Jedi mind-trickery to persuade just about anyone to pick just about any combination, no matter how absurd. Even though I was a bit rusty, my green cards quickly piled up, and I was declared the victor. Everyone found this quite touching because of the aforementioned psycho-husband-fun-hater thing.

OK. So it was Apples to Apples Junior. Up to a third of my competitors may or may not have been adorable children.

And it’s possible that at one point, I tricked convinced an 8-year-old girl that she should pick “horrific surprise party.” Because what if you don’t really like surprises and you went to a surprise party and the surprise gave you a heart attack and you DIED? Horrific, indeed.

But I also convinced a grown-ass man to pick “quick hamburger,” which really required me to ramp up my persuasion prowess. It was between that and “horse,” the more logical option, clearly. But if you order one of the most popular options at a McDonald’s drive-thru, what are you going to get? That’s right: a quick hamburger. Booya.

And then I just got damn lucky with my winning card. My friends’ 9-year-old son drew “best” for the green card, and the stars aligned, as I had “Legos” in my hand. I admit, I was sweating bullets as he weighed my card against “bacon.”

I quietly celebrated my victory with an inconspicuous  fist pump and subtle “YESSSSSSSS!” Everyone was truly happy for me.

The 8-year-old, whose four green cards also had her on the verge of victory, seemed only mildly disappointed. I’m pretty sure she didn’t cry herself to sleep. Pretty sure.

Easter egg hunts = humanity at its worst

Probably because you pushed him down, you little shit.

“I’m gonna push people out of the way and run over them.”

That’s what a 5-year-old at the egg hunt I planned said to a newspaper reporter yesterday. Apparently, these are the sorts of values I’m instilling in our young people by putting on this event.

I mean, I’m not really into the whole Jesus thing, but I’m pretty sure “pushing people out of the way” and “running them over” weren’t what he had in mind when he sacrificed himself for the good of  the order, or whatever.

And it’s not just the kids who have this mindset at the Eggstravaganza. Many of the parents aren’t afraid to block or push other kids out of the way just so their offspring have a better shot at getting some crappy Easter stickers and diabetes-inducing candy (and, some years, inappropriate tattoos). And apparently, before I took the helm, organizers would put the bike-winning coupons in special gold and silver eggs easily distinguishable from the rest of the field, and — I swear I’m not making this up — some parents would bring binoculars so they could spot these special eggs beforehand and tell their kid where to run.

Simply put, mass Easter egg hunts bring out the worst in humanity.

As you can imagine, this incites some conflicting feelings for me. On the one hand, I’m indoctrinating America’s future with the values of greed and selfishness. On the other hand, it pays the bills. (And hey, at least a convicted sex offender wasn’t arrested at MY egg hunt …)

Fortunately, yesterday’s event was the last that will cause this crisis of conscience plaguing my mind. That’s right, I have  a new job! Well, sort of. One of my co-workers is retiring, and I’m transitioning into her strictly writing/editing position that involves only minimal participation in events. We’ll hire someone else to replace me, and I’ll transfer this crisis onto that poor unsuspecting soul.

I hope whoever that is has the best Easter of their life this year, because it’s going to be a long, loooooong time before they enjoy it again.

%d bloggers like this: