Thursday, September 26, 2013

Five Years of Marriage and We Still Don't Fight About the Toothpaste.

Tomorrow Sean and I will celebrate our five year wedding anniversary. Unless of course, Sean decides to leave me tonight--but I find that highly unlikely since between the two of us, I'm the only one who knows how to make my famous "Double Meat Lasagna."

Photo by Anthony Sinagoga
Naturally,  this week I've been doing a lot of reflecting on our marriage. How are we different now? How are we the same? How come my ass got so much bigger and Sean's ass didn't?  But most of all, I'm reflecting on how we came together to produce a new life.  A beautiful, perfect, hilarious life, that fills us with redonkulous amounts of joy, despite her production of horrific bodily fluids in quantities that would intimidate most municipal sewage utilities.

When Sean and I got married, lots of people told us ominously how much our lives would change.  “You’ll learn things about each other that you never knew before” they assured us, “little things, like, how they roll the tube-of-toothpaste will drive you crazy.” 

I’m happy to report that, despite our post nuptial tooth-paste merger, Sean and I found that getting married really didn’t change our lives that much.  In fact, it only made things easier, funner, and more convenient.  We felt victorious—we didn’t have to slow down, we could still party, play in a band, and drink as much PBR as we wanted. We didn't start bickering or fighting, and we certainly didn’t give a second thought to the rolling of the toothpaste, except to say “why the fuck is everyone in America so obsessed with the toothpaste? Is this really an insurmountable obstacle for some couples?”

So understandably, when we announced that we were pregnant we listened to the same dire warnings with a small degree of skepticism. Sure, sure our lives will change, but how much?  Certainly not as much as everyone is predicting. The baby won’t even have teeth for the first year, so we know we won’t be fighting about the toothpaste.  What else is there?

If you are a new parent reading this, you are probably snorting derisively into your coffee right about now.  I know you are drinking coffee, because I'm betting that you were also awake at 5 am, promising your husband 100 blow jobs if he would just go get the baby this time, and receiving in return his counter-offer of a stable of 25 miniature ponies named Thunder, if you would go.

I feel your pain comrade, I really do.  That's why I have created these new wedding vows, ones that more accurately reflect the commitment that couples make to each other when they decide to have kids.

Marriage Vows For New Parents

I ______ take you, _______, to have a baby with and hold that baby with when she is screaming at 5 am. I promise to love you, and laugh with you, and never nag you about stupid shit like how you roll your toothpaste tube--seriously America, get it together. For richer, or for way, WAY poorer. In sickness and in health. You, me, and all of our ponies named Thunder, and even if your ass gets fat.  

Happy Anniversary Sean.  I love you now more than ever, and I wouldn't want to be on this crazy adventure with anyone else. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My sick baby, Lethal Weapon, and the Blue Snot Sucker Cartel

I'm at home with a sick baby today.  I thought she was sick a few months ago, but I realize now that I was wrong.  In my arrogance and naivety, I mistook a few sniffles and coughs 4 months ago for the "sick baby" that is so feared by parents around the world. My current self looks back at my 4 months ago self with the level of disdain Lethal Weapon's Sergeant Murtaugh may show to a wet-behind-the-ears, rookie cop wanting to swap war stories at his retirement party.

For one thing, I never realized how much snot Millie has.  Until recently, I assumed that her little baby folds, chubby thighs, and plump cheeks just contained extra "baby fat."  I assumed wrong.  These folds contain her strategic snot reserves, which are saved up for times of emergency, when they gush forth from her nostrils in flows sufficient for generating hydro-electric energy.

"Not to worry" you may think-- "this must be why all parents come equipped with one of these devices:" 

I foolishly thought the same thing. It is impossible to deliver a baby in today's modern society without being given at least five of these snot suckers by the time your baby is born.  In fact, some women are given a new snot sucker at each of her monthly OB visits, just as a precaution.  It is only after your baby is born that you will realize how utterly useless they are.  Millie thinks of these devices as the BLUE SNOT SUCKERS OF DEATH, and (if anything) they only increase the amount of snot she is producing, due to her excessive crying with each torture session use.

An assortment of BLUE SNOT SUCKERS OF DEATH, selected at random from Millie's medicine drawer.
The only way I can account for the powerful hold these devices seem to have on our nation's obstetricians, is by assuming that our medical community has been infiltrated by the seedy and ruthless Blue Snot-Sucker Cartel, a powerful organization with an uncanny knack for obtaining incriminating photos of your obstetrician or mid-wife.

This is why I have an ingenious idea for a new Lethal Weapon Movie. In "Lethal Weapon 5: Beat to Snot,"  Sergeant Riggs and Sergeant Murtaugh have to thwart the powerful Blue Snot Sucker Cartel, which has an evil plan to torture the babies in daycare centers across Los Angeles and capture their snot for use in hydro-electric energy production.  The Cartel's sophisticated and brutal leader will be played by Jane Lynch from Glee, and the young rookie cop that goes undercover in the daycare center will be played by the e-trade baby.  The trailer will just be Murtaugh looking at one of the snot-sucking devices and muttering, "I'm too Old for this Shit."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

10 Reasons Why Your Baby Loves Church

We've recently decided to stop being heathens and take our baby to church.  We figured since Millie is almost seven months old we really don't have any excuses for not taking her, and besides, we'll need THE LORD on our side in our upcoming battle against Dora the Explorer, Tracy the Teenage Prostitute, and whatever other mass marketed toddler Cover Girl that will soon penetrate our otherwise peaceful existence.

The good news is that Millie LOVES church.  Odds are, your baby loves church too, and I think I know why:

1. Church Clothes-  All babies love getting dressed in fancy clothes for church!  In fact, Millie loves it so much that she projectile vomits all over herself immediately after being dressed, just so that she can do it over again! She also projectile vomits on me, and (once) directly inside her chest-of-drawers! Our baby believes in being thorough.

2. Hymnals- Hymnals are very baby friendly, but only if your congregation uses their hymnals primarily to produce small, finely shredded paper for lighting campfires or--potentially--for use as hamster bedding.  If your congregation uses their hymnals primarily for singing, it's best not to let your baby touch them.

3.  Call and Response-  We were amazed to see how our baby intuitively understood the concept of call and response! For example, whenever the priest says the words "let us pray" or "lets take a moment of silence" Millie INTUITIVELY understands that she is supposed to respond, and loudly announces "DaDAHaBadGah!" to the stunned congregation (*Literal translation: "I've made you some Hamster Bedding!"*)

4. Organ Music-  Let's face it, Organs are kind of like giant xylophones.

5.  Jingle Cow-  Millie has a favorite toy named Jingle Cow, which hangs from her carseat.  I have no idea how parents who do not own this toy make their babies behave in public.

toy cow
Jingle Cow
6. Praying-- It's hard to tell if Millie is praying or not, but if she is, I can guarantee her prayer goes something like this:

Dear Lord,

Please bless Mommy, Daddy, Jingle Cow, and Cricket. Protect me from the horrible homemade peach baby food, and from wearing any outfit with SLEEVES, which are the absolute worst.   Please give me the strength to eat this entire page of hymnal before Mommy notices. 


7. The Narthex-  Every church has one-- the room just outside of the sanctuary where the Preacher stands and greets people after the service.  This is also a convenient place to take a screaming baby when she is throwing a tantrum because you will not let her eat today's scripture readings.

8. Today's Scripture Readings- Today's scripture readings are delicious, and pair nicely with the Liturgical Response.

9.  Napping-  Hahaha! I'm just joshing with you.  The only time your baby will sleep during church is at the very first service she attends.  You (her parents) will likely announce to everyone that you would have taken her to church sooner, but she's been colicky and you didn't want to disrupt the service, and it's not like you are heathens or something, it's just that this baby screams-all-the-time.  Your baby will then sleep angelically for the next two solid hours, because even God enjoys a good joke.

10.  Anxiety Attacks-  If you are taking your baby to church for the first time, you are probably having a major anxiety attack, which your baby thinks is hilarious.  That's why I recommend that you parents take a deep breath, relax, and join me in a quick prayer.

Dear Lord,

Please bless my baby and help her not to scream in church.  But if she screamed a little, that would be ok too, cause then everyone would know that I'm not a heathen, and I've just been avoiding church to be considerate.

Thank you for all of your creations, but especially for Jingle Cow, who is surely proof that you are a benevolent and loving God.  Shield me Oh Lord, from Tracy the Teenage Prostitute, and the years of trials before us. And give us this day, a hamster, so that we will have a use for all this hamster bedding. 

In your name,

Friday, September 6, 2013

Can I wear jeggings now that I'm a Mom?

This is embarrassing to admit, but I want to wear jeggings SO BAD.

You can't tell me that jeggings aren't stylish, because I know they are.  I see the cool kids wearing them downtown all the time. But everytime I put on a pair, there's a little voice in the back of my head that says "you can't go grocery shopping in these-- you look ridiculous, now go and change!"

For those of you reading this, saying WTF are "jeggings?"  I'm referring to a combination of "jeans," and "leggings."  My sister Kelly wears her jeggings with stompy little Cowboy Boots and looks FABULOUS. So my question is this:  Can I still wear jeggings now that I'm a Mom?

I know the answer is yes. It should be yes.  I want it to be yes. And yet-- I'm not sure. It's not like I normally care what other people think, but, when it comes to fashion, I've always found it hard to be courageous. And, if I wore jeggings before I had the baby, I think it would be a non-issue, but I'm finding it hard to transition to new fashions now that she's here. For one thing, all of my parts have sort of shifted around. For another, I have a new 15 lb accessory that is constantly puking on, drooling on, and motorboating me whenever I go into public.   Basically, I've just been wearing what I feel good and comfortable in, is that so wrong?

Have I reached the point where my sense of fashion, along with my musical taste has just been frozen in time?  Is this the reason my friend's fathers still wear sweaters that look like they are straight out of The Cosby Show?

Oh sweet Jesus.

I tried to ask Sean about the jeggings but he wisely did not have an opinion.  Cricket was equally worthless, having nothing constructive to add to the jegging conversation.  Millie responded by throwing up on my normal jeans-- which I'm choosing to interpret as her encouraging me to be fashion forward.

Today I've decided that I really need to overcome my jegg-phobia.  I want you all to know that I'm wearing the jeggings RIGHT NOW as I'm typing this.  Any minute now, Millie will wake up from her nap, and I'm going to walk to the grocery store in them, not caring who might see me.  So, for those of you who are locals, when you see me coming towards you in the linguine isle in my sassy, jegging-driven ensemble, I want you to high-five the shit out of me.  Because, the truth of the matter is that I CAN wear jeggings now that I'm a mom.  You bet your ass I can.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to Make Homemade Baby Food Which Your Child Will Refuse to Eat

If you're a new mom like me, you are probably really concerned about the integrity of the solid foods you are feeding your baby.  I took a jar of sweet potatoes and did a little research. Here are the hard-hitting areas my study focused on:

  • What is the nutritional value of this jar of sweet potatoes? 
  • What is their carbon footprint? 
  • What about pesticides?
  • Does your product come with a complimentary stain remover?  
  • Theoretically, if the entire jar of your product was poured on top of a mother's head, and then the mother did not have time to shower that night, how orange would it turn her hair? 
  • Are we talking sexy strawberry highlights, or the full Carrot Top?
  • Do you think this gob of sweet potato in my hair is noticeable?

Not a single baby food manufacturer was able to answer these questions, leaving me boggled with the lack of accountability in the baby food industry. That is why most moms agree that it is best to make your baby's food at home using fresh, local, and organic ingredients.  This solution is a no-brainer, in the sense that if you think you are actually going to have time to make baby food from scratch, you have no brain.

The other day, I made some baby food from scratch---using peaches I bought at the Farmers Market. (That's right, other moms- suck it!)  This process was a huge pain in the ass, but I knew Millie loved them, so I did it anyways.  I stock-piled so many servings of frozen pureed peaches, that I could have been filming an episode of Doomsday Preppers. After it was over I felt like I deserved a medal or something.  That's why I made this medal for myself.  If you are a mom out there making her own baby food, feel free to print yourself out a copy!

medal of motherhood

Here is the method I used for preparing the food, in case any of you are experiencing a similar lapse in your ability to distinguish a "good idea" from a "life-sucking waste of time!"

baked peaches for babyfood
Fresh Peaches, halved, pitted, and sitting in baking dishes about 1/2 full of water

peaches, slip off skins
After the Peaches have been baked at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, the skins are ready to slip off

how to make peach baby food
Skins Slipped off and into the Food Processor

Pureed Peaches
Into a large pitcher for ease of pouring

freezing peach baby food
Into these handy little bags designed for freezing breast milk, so I can have individual portions of Peaches ready to go for Millie all winter!

I know you all must be impressed! I know I was!  I know Sean was! You know who wasn't impressed? Millie.  That's right.  Millie watched me carefully processing a milk crate full of raw peaches, and made a solemn vow to herself, "I will never eat one those again. Ever.

So, now I have a stockpile of pureed peaches in my freezer, which I'm hoping to unload in some creative and lucrative way. (Note- if any of you reading this happen to write for a health and beauty magazine, I could really use an article on the restorative and anti-aging properties of organic peach puree!) In the meantime, I'll be at my house, cleaning up the shrapnel of rejected peach baby food, and  polishing my Congressional Medal of Motherhood, which is a little sticky at the moment.