Monday, March 28, 2011

Excessive obsessive

With the impending birth of the second 'only' child (yes, if you have a decade between your children they are both onlies, sibling rivalry is odd with that time span) I have been researching stuff. And by stuff I mean hardware. You would not believe the things they have out there for parents to throw their money at like it's growing on trees. There are parenting websites that have specific sections dedicated to crap. Stuff that's just ridiculous and no one needs. Apparently not only is there a sucker born everyday but there are just a few more breeding too. Since this is not my first child I do have some experience with some hardware so I knew where my research would begin.

I am very well known as a car seat safety freak. I'm totally obsessive with it and the hubby used to blow me off until he figured out is was way easier to just keep me placated with following my lead and letting me get the type of car seat I thought necessary. And go to the car seat safety inspection clinic to have them show us how to properly install a car seat. Something like 90+% of all car seats in the US are installed incorrectly. I have a friend who is registered with, she runs car seat installation clinics through children's hospital in San Diego. She's the only other person I know that is just as crazy as me about car seats, if not more. I contacted her first about where to start my search. The question was answered exactly how I needed it answered "If I were to need a new car seat for my new baby right now I'd get a .." and I think the phone conversation last somewhere between 2 and 3 hours. Yup, it's bad.

For simplicity sakes I'll tell y'all this, if you need a car seat get a European one. The brand she suggested as being the best all around was Radian (Sunshine Kids) because the seat can go from rear facing to front and the weight range is 5lbs-80lbs on some models. If I wanted a bucket seat (infants only) then go with the Chicco Key fit. I won't bore y'all with the details of the rest of the phone conversation, I know not every one is as obsessive as me about car seats.

Here's the deal though, I am also buying a stroller yes? The hubby prefers baby wearing and he used the Bjorn last time around. I had a c-section and there was no way my back could take the strain of the Bjorn. This time around I'm planning, just in case, that I will have the same issue. So I did some research on baby carriers and decided on the Ergo would be a better choice. The hubby is skeptical but he always is, change is not always a good thing in his book and the Bjorn worked fine for him last time. My back can't take it though so he was game. Also we lucked out. Costco had them for sale for $79.99, it's regular retail is something like $115. I was all over that, but back to that stroller car seat thing...

When we had the first kid we did the same thing most new parents do and registered a Graco travel system thingy thinking that it was the most practical, had everything we needed and it all matched. Lame. Graco is trash, totally disposable plastic that fell apart very quickly. I also found I'm not a huge fan of the bucket car seat that snaps into a high stroller. It's top heavy and easy to knock over. With your infant in it. Not cool. I am going to make a wild assumption here though and point out that this may not be true of all travel systems and there could be ones out there with a better design. Of course this would translate to more expensive though right? Right. On to the insane price of strollers and infant car seats....

Fair warning here childless ones, this synapsis of strollers may send you into a cardiac arrest. There are strollers and car seats that, by themselves, will rival your mortgage payment. Maybe even your mortgage and car payment combined. No shit. And don't get me wrong, I'm sure these products are very nice products but really, why put so much money into something that you really just aren't going to use that much? The Ergo carrier I had no problem spending $80 on. I know for a proven fact that this child will practically live in it. The hubby will probably even wear her inside the house in it. It's easier than carrying a baby in your arms because you don't have to keep picking them up and down, they're just a part of your torso. The stroller, eh, I'll probably be the one using it most. After 9 months of being mama alien and the subsequent birth I just do not have the physical strength left to carry the baby around. I just can't. This is why the hubby and I are at odds about the stroller. He's not going to use it much. I am. Here began the hunt for the practical stroller...

First, we owned 3 strollers with the first child. The pos Graco that quickly fell apart, the jogging stroller whose front wheel was never true and so it constantly steered left, and the Zooper which was like an expensive umbrella stroller. The Zooper was ok but only when the kid was at toddler/past 6 months stage. I want something that will take us from infant through to 4 years. After that I expect the kid to be running around. I am not the mom with the 7 year old in a stroller with their legs dragging behind them. That's so lame.

Have you seen the high dollar strollers they have out there? WHOA. These ones are just plain old singles, there are more expensive models too...
Baby Jogger, high end $499 (this one is cheap)

Bumbleride Queen B $599 (I love this one)

Bugaboo Chameleon $879 (another fav of mine)

Orbit Baby $750 (WTF?)

Peg Perego Skate $699.99

Phil & Ted's Vibe (apparently this one is super trendy, I don't get it) $699.99

Stokke Xplory Basic $849.99 (Basic? I swear it looks like you're only getting a partial stroller for $850)

Teutonia Chassis T 250 $500 (this is just the chassis for $500 ?!)

Uppa Baby Vista $699 (I like these models that come with a bassinet)

Note, most of these images and prices came from, you can probably get a better price somewhere. Like China.

Now here's the deal, these are nice strollers. Many come with attachments (for a price) that will connect some models of infant car seats to the frame of the stroller. That way you can either put the car seat in, put the baby in the bassinet, or when they get older attach the toddler seat in. This is really nifty but not necessary in my book. I'd love all those features but really, $600 + ? Dude really? I have found some that are less. I like the Maxi Cosi Foray and if you get it from it comes as a travel system with the infant car seat for $309.99. Now keep in mind that the Maxi Cosi car seat alone is $130. I haven't even gotten into the cost of these car seats yet have I? Maybe later, suffice to say the one I want is under $300. Barely...

There are a few things I'm looking for in a stroller, I really would like air filled tires. I know it doesn't make a difference to most people but I have carpel tunnel after my 7th month of pregnancy. It hurts. The less vibration I get from stroller tires the less pain I have. And how much is the lessening of pain worth to me? A lot. Maybe not $600 but possibly $300. I'd like to only buy one stroller. I want one that isn't going to fall apart after 6 uses. I want one that will last from infant through 4 years. Ultimately this is asking a lot, I know. And really the only ones that fit within these parameters are the stupid expensive ones. My answer to this conundrum? Craig's List. Used is totally acceptable to me. I found the perfect stroller but when I was supposed to pick it up the guy told me he sold it to someone else. Yes, I had talked to him 3 days prior and we had set up a meet day but I guess he was just an ass hole. Craig's List, sadly, has lots of them. I have a few months yet though so I continue to look. Wish me luck with the putzes that show up on CL....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Mom Truths part III

More new-mom truths our last installation of Michelle's crazy mom truth comments...

47. You will wake up feeling sick one morning but will muster the strength to get through the day with your baby because you have to. Because it's not like anyone else is going to...

48. You will take waaaay longer to go on your first postbaby getaway than you'd imagined. Truth. I still haven't taken one from the first child and she's almost 10 years old.

49. You will be excited when your tot grows out of one size and into the next. Mine are so skinny that the sizes never work like you think they do so this is not a practical mile stone in our house.

50. You will be sad to put away what he's grown out of. Only the heirloom stuff and I save it all anyway.

51. You will actually be in the mood for sex one night, only to find that your husband's passed out cold in bed. That's like nightly, nothing new there.

52. You will not be in the mood for sex as he runs his foot along your unshaven legs and touches your greasy hair. Nope, I shower (and wash hair) in the morning and take a bath (and shave legs) at night. This will not change.

53. You will be grateful for K-Y Jelly. Isn't that true no matter what where or when? Everything is better with lube!

54. You will consider your husband's work commute his alone time, and be jealous of it. He drives 160 miles a day. I will never ever be jealous of that kind of commute.

55. You will be taken by surprise by your first postpartum period. Disappointed more like. Not looking forward to going back to those...

56. You will struggle to stay close to some of your childless friends. Don't think I have man (any?) of those as it stands. Not local anyway.

57. You will wonder how your stay-at-home-mom friends do it. Still do to this day.

58. You will wonder how your working-mom friends do it. Been there, done that, own the t-shirt, will own another soon...

59. You will make peace with your stretch marks because they give you character. Sure? They aren't so bad on me.

60. You will accept that your husband will never be as paranoid about the baby as you are, and will decide that's a good thing. Totally.

61. You will eventually find a playgroup whose kids are on the same schedule as yours. Nah, and it's ok. She's got a sister and we have neighbor kids.

62. You will hear yourself tell brand-new moms that the first 12 weeks really do fly by, even though it pissed you off when people told you that. No one ever told me that. I think it is true though so it won't piss me off.

63. You will live for your girls' nights out, once you get a couple under your belt and see that everything at home went just fine without you. I could see this as true. If I have girlfriends that can get a girls night out. I don't really though, they all have more kids than me.

64. You will find Cheerios in odd places. TRUTH. Until the dogs find them....

65. You won't care that she's getting food in her hair when she does "So Big" in her high chair. I don't care about food in hair until they're like 5 years old.

66. You will cherish the freedom to empty the dishwasher while your baby holds his morning bottle himself. Huh. The hubby does the dishes. That includes emptying the dishwasher. By the time my daughter was old enough to hold a bottle she thought they were passe. She had already graduated up to sippy cup. We're advanced in our household...

67. You will miss the smell of Dreft once you get the green light to wash infant clothes with yours. I don't bother with different laundry soaps because we use the biodegradable good stuff with all our laundry.

68. You will try not to take it personally when your sweetie's first word is "Da-Da." It must be easier to pronounce. [Editor's note: It is!] Like I give a crap. Teach her young to yell for daddy, that way I don't have to get up!

69. You will write more-heartfelt thank-you notes to anyone who gives a toy without lights, batteries, and noise. Doubtful. I like the ones that explode goo the best.

70. You will be relieved when your child turns 1. You didn't break him. I know huh? Therapy later though....

71. You will marvel at the volumes of unconditional love you have for your most wonderful achievement -- your baby. TRUTH.

Partial list of New Mom Truths part II

More new-mom truths with my own commentaries added....

23. You will overbundle your tyke for winter outings. I live in Texas, if it's that cold out we don't go out. Period.

24. You will call out to your hubby as he's taking the baby for a walk, "You have your cell on you, right?" My hubby is addicted to Words With Friends, he's never without his iPhone. Plus if he takes the child more power to him, I don't need to know where they're at or what they're doing. I have my own car!

25. You will get sick of hearing yourself say, "I didn't get to it yet." I don't even bother.

26. You will feel naked when you walk outside alone. Sooo not true. Free is more the word I'm looking for....

27. You will wonder if you could possibly love another child as much as you love this one. I'll have 2, that's just a stupid statement all around, there's no limit to love.

28. You will put your sweet pea in the ugliest outfit he's got, take an obligatory photo, and send it to the distant relative who purchased the fashion disaster. No, it'll go straight to the Good Will. Waste not want not but no need to dress my child in it. I didn't birth her for their entertainment. I birthed her for my entertainment.

29. You will rejoice when the baby's bald spot finally fills in. Now if only there were something to do about her mullet. No mullet or bald spot. Mine was totally bald until she was like 3 yrs old.

30.You will call your new-mom friend to say that your baby has a runny nose and has sneezed twice, and that if she wants to reschedule your play date, you'll understand. I'll just reschedule. I don't believe in sharing germs.

31. You will come up with a soothing mantra -- for yourself -- for when you take your child's rectal temperature. I'm a scientist working in the medical field. I've been eviscerated and had brain surgery. Rectal thermometers will be one of the easier things in life. The sooner she figures that out the better off she'll be.

32. You will get peed, puked, or pooped on when you have nothing handy to change into. Try all that as a vet tech all at the same time and baby bodily fluids are nothing, NOTHING, comparatively.

33. You will pack everything your baby could possibly need for a weekend and forget your own eyeglasses or toothbrush. Hell I forget that stuff anyway, baby isn't going to change that.

34. You will need to leave the house and have your husband stay home if and when you let the baby cry it out for the first time. Try the reverse.

35. You will detest traffic -- it means you're either late getting back home to your child or stuck in the car even longer with a fusspot. I'm there already. I own a french bulldog with a busted back and car sickness. Try running his ass through stop and go traffic in a standard transmission Jeep. Add to the vomit the fact that he always ALWAYS either pees or poops or both during these trips. Baby won't have anything on the bodily fluid monster.

36. You will slide a picture of your bambino on top of the wedding photo in your wallet. Haha! I don't have a wedding photo in my wallet. I have a pic of my daughter, I'll just add a second of the second daughter.

37. You will get takeout for dinner (again) just so you can take your baby to the park and hear her coo and giggle on the swings. I use every and all excuses for take out dinner. Stopping at the park would mean waiting longer to eat. Not happening.

38. You will crack up when you see your kid get down to music for the first time. Oh Hell yeah, an I'll video tape it too. Funny shit.

39. You will chat intimately with complete strangers on the grocery checkout line just because they are pregnant or have a small child. Maybe. I may do that anyway regardless of children/preggo.

40. You will e-mail friends and family pictures of the baby, always noting that if they want to stop receiving the updates you'll totally understand. No, the only people I bother doing that with want the pics. I'll post them to Facebook.

41. You will confess to your hubby whenever you do something not-so-smart with the baby, to ensure he doesn't make the same mistake. Probably not. I've watched him slam our baby's head into a door jam while carrying her back to her bed in the middle of the night as I tell him to watch out. She was sick with a cold, it was late, he was sleepy. If I can't keep him from doing that there's no real saving the kid. She just has to buck up.

42. You will find yourself saying "I only have one child so far," as if you're apologizing for not having a brood hidden underneath your petticoat. Fuck that. It took me a decade to have a second. I'm not having anymore and I think 2 is too many anyway. What you people think I'm in the Nutcracker?

43. You will eagerly devour your first really spicy post-pregnancy, post-nursing meal. Neither pregnancy nor nursing will keep me from Thai food.

44. You will catch your husband or partner being moved to tears by the baby. Oh yeah, no question about that there.

45. You will feel so lucky to have a child when you catch up with a friend who's been struggling to get pregnant. This is very true. I've had people contact me via FB messaging and I know that not just a few friends have lost not just a few pregnancies before being successful. It may have taken us awhile but it did happen and we are very very fortunate.

46. You will hear about criminals on the news and wonder what their moms are doing. Now this is very true. The hubby works in a prison and I do wonder at what time of totally moronic family these people had to take something like a human and basically raise it completely devoid of morals. Some people should be sterilized at birth.

Partial list of New Mom Truths

There are 71 in this list from Parenting. I'm only going to do 21 today so I can comment on them. They're all true. I know, I'm a mom...

1.You will hear all sorts of delivery and nursing nightmare stories once you start sharing your own. Like you always wanted to know right?

2. You will want to burn your maternity clothes -- even if you plan on having more kids. I think this was true of my first set 10 years ago. I'm silly happy with my new set and am still shopping for maternity lingerie. Be happy you're not my hubby, the poor dear.

3. You will lose tiny socks in the wash. Shit like we don't lose the big ones too? Ya think the tiny ones will not succumb to the same fate? Pulease.

4. You will be able to shower, wash and dry your hair, and get dressed in less than ten minutes. I'm not so sure about this. More like the baby won't die if she cries for 10 more minutes. 20 minute shower here I come....

5. You will want to apologize to friends and family who had kids before you for never really getting why they had less time for you. I never had issues with my friends who didn't have time for me. My mom was a craptastic mom. If you spent more time with your kid than me more power to ya!

6. You will fantasize about what you would swap for a good eight hours of sleep. 8? Shit try 3.

7. You will be so proud of every ounce your baby gains. I bred with a stick. Twice. I'm thrilled when she gains fractions of ounces.

8. You will wonder whether it's possible to get all the crud out of your baby's skin folds. No, it's not. They're like reptiles, you have to wait for the next shed.

9. You will laugh at your OB when she asks what you plan on using for birth control at your six-week postpartum checkup. My OB isn't that stupid. Plus we already told her we're having the hubby fixed.

10. You won't stop worrying that you'll make your tot bleed when you clip his fingernails. I was a vet tech for 5 years. If I never hit the quick on a psycho-going-to-rip-my-head-off-300lb-rottie then I'm not worried about a sleeping baby. Plus a little blood never hurt anyone...

11. You will wish you had the time and brain cells to read just one of the novels you blew through when pregnancy heartburn kept you up all night. Not going to be a problem, trust me....

12. You will want to throw the baby monitor out the window. I don't own a baby monitor, I have a husband and a 10 yr old. I may or may not want to throw myself out the window at any given point in time. Maybe the hubby too. Not the kid though, she took too much effort to make and replacing her would mean doing this again. Fuck no.

13. You won't have the desire or the time to iron the crib skirt after you first wash it. And the wrinkles will drive you crazy. But not crazy enough to dismantle the crib and iron it. Iron? GTFO.

14. You will wonder how other new moms manage to be so skinny, put-together, or energetic. Wonder? No. I just won't associate with them, problem solved.

15. You will think you seem pretty together compared with other new moms you see. Fat fucking chance there. If I'm alive I'm good.

16. You will dread encountering baby-crazed preschoolers with runny noses and coughs. Always have always will. Disease monsters....

17. You will never again touch an infant that isn't yours on the hands or face. I haven't touched an infant since mine was that young. Seriously.

18. You will forget all about your difficult day with your baby when you finally see her sleeping peacefully at night. Not going to happen until the baby is 3 years minimum (this is my luck) and by then I will not be forgetting, I'll be dead asleep.

19. You will have some mornings when you bounce out of bed to get the baby... and others when you need a truck to pull you from under the covers. There will be no mornings when I bounce out of bed. Never has been never will be. Not a morning person and no offspring will change that.

20. You will thank God for caffeine. Doesn't work on me and I don't believe in God. May have something to do with the caffeine not working one me.

21. You will get used to how your husband comes home from work, checks on the baby, and "accidentally" wakes him up. My hubby has baby night duty. I seriously doubt I married a man so dumb as to make his life even more difficult than he already has by marrying me and breeding 2 girls. Trust me on this one.

22. You will pretend you don't smell your child's dirty diaper as you hand her to Dad. Who needs to pretend, just dump and go.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Have any? I don't. My mom is a terrible mother and she didn't want to be a mom in the first place, my dad just talked her into not terminating their 'oops'. Which I'm grateful for, really. She had no business adding to that though so I'm good with the fact that I never had another to share in her lunacy. The Pioneer Woman has a photo contest up right now entitled Sisters and I just love the variety that it resulted in. Most pictures are of sisters near in age. There are a few singles that the sister was apparently the one taking the pic (which is ok I guess) and one or two of sisters drastically different in age. One that's even (obviously) and older sister with an adopted infant baby sister (one is white and the other very black). It got me thinking about how my two daughters are going to have a different sort of relationship than most sisters.

Since I have no siblings and consequently, no real life frame of reference, I can only make these assumptions based on what I've seen between other sibling relationships. The hubby has an older brother that is 5 1/2 years older than him. It's a decent age difference. For the most part they were never really in the same school as youngsters and let's face it, no matter what the age difference big brothers are going to beat the crap out of the younger one. The hubby is very wiley, I think his brother taught him this form of defense at a very early age. They didn't get on well in their younger years (his brother was a bit of a trouble maker) but once they became adults they became good friends. I think sisters are much different though, for one thing the physical aggression is not there as much. They'll be plenty of fighting I'm sure but the closer they are in age the more competition that will be going on.

There will be, for all intents and purposes, 10 years between my daughters. They will never ever attend the same schools at the same time. Their emotional needs will be different due to their maturity. My eldest will be more like another momma to my youngest. With some kids I think that may make them resentful but if you knew my eldest you'd know that it won't be a problem as long as she still gets mommy or daddy's undivided attention when she needs it. I don't think this will be a problem at all. We're very used to her emotional needs and she always let's us know exactly what she needs if we, lord forbid, don't notice. Each of them will be raised much like an only child since there will be such an age discrepancy. Toy pilfering will be negligible, our eldest will probably be around to teach the youngest to do girly stuff like put on make up, etc. It'll be very interesting to see how their relationship grows. Like I said, I have no frame of reference.

How about y'all? I know 99.999% of Texans seems to have kids in litters rather than the singletons most southern Californians raise. Cost of living, space, and whatnot being to blame for that. Do you guys have any siblings far off in age from yourself? I'm not so good with the pregnancy thing or babies, I think it's a patience and pain tolerance thing. I have neither. Hence the need for a HUGE gap between children. And yes, this is the last. No way I'm doing this again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

19 + 4 weeks update

Yes, you guys are going to get sick of my health updates but such is life. I'm over the cold, the kid got it last weekend but the hubby was able to stay home with her on Monday so it was all good. This past Sunday we went clothes shopping for her and I think I walked too much. Result, I started having mega Braxton Hicks contractions. Like MEGA. I am not one to call my doctor unless I really have to. I was calling her on Monday. And on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday too. Because by Tuesday night the pain was pretty bad, a good 4-5 on a 1-10 scale. I can tough it out without meds, it wasn't that bad. Still, I didn't want this newbie popping out quite that early. That would be bad. I'm not starting this whole process again after I've already gotten halfway through, no way. It's now or never time.

Getting a hold of a doctor is not nearly as easy as one would like. It all depends on how good the MA is and the only good one my doctor has had left because the administration there drove her nuts. I totally understand but all her subsequent replacements have sucked. This most recent one doesn't suck as bad as the last one but I started this process on Monday. Finally got a response on Wednesday. Good thing my body wasn't actually pushing out my perfectly healthy baby huh? For those of you who don't know much about the medical field the medical assistants that see you when you go to the doctors know how to 1) take your blood pressure, weight and temp and 2) write down what the issue is. That's it. They don't have a degree, they hopefully have a high school degree but not always. Reassuring huh? We have a few at the clinic I work at that have made a long term career out of it and are wonderful. I know we have a few that are raving morons. These are the people who police your phone calls to your doctor. Really, how can that system be anything less than inherently flawed? That is one of the main reasons I start calling early if I think something might become serious. By the time the doctor gets the message I may already be at the critical point. Note, I have already informed my doctor that if I think something is seriously wrong I'm just showing up at the office after I call. She's ok with that which is one of the reasons I really like my doctor. Actually shes ok with a lot of my...personality issues (?)....I'm being politically correct here. I am adamant about a few things that she knows will probably piss off some of her partners at the practice. She's asked me not to be mean to them if I end up going into labor and get someone who is not on board with what I want (very high likelihood). I'm going to try but if they give me any lip it's going to get ugly. I have a pack of she bitches at my back, 2 of which deal with doctors on a daily basis at work.

So here's what the doctor seems to think about this current burst of contractions/pain : they aren't contractions. At some point in the last 3 years I developed fibroids. A lot of them. Actually an inordinately large quantity of them, some very big. All together enough so that I'll be having ultrasounds at least every 4-6 weeks at the specialists to make sure the baby's growth is not being hindered. It's not likely but we'll be monitoring it just in case. What my doctor thinks is happening is the blood flow to these monster fibroids is being cut off so that more blood can got to the placenta. The fibroids, in the meantime, are suffering a sort of mini heart attack and are disintergrating. Causing pain. The upside, they're going away and the baby is not being harmed. The downside, it hurts like a beotch. Kinda like mega- menstrual cramps. Fun stuff huh?

You know it's bad when, at 19 weeks, your doctor says to you 'This is going to be a rough pregnancy'. Yay me! This is it folks, never again.....