Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Apparently Rya is a giant among babies. If I had a nickel for every stranger that stopped us to remark on the size of my infant I would be off unemployment, sporting Manolo's and driving a Mercedes. No joke - waiters, check out girls, grandmas, gas station attendants (OK, I made that last one up but wouldn't it be retro-cool if they still HAD gas stations attendants?) - all say something to the effect of, "She must be a good eater!" or straight up, "She is so big!" Its not like I am surprised. I, mean, she is in the 90th percentile in both height and weight for her age but I guess I don't view her that way. I just don't think I have or WOULD ever say any thing like that - off the cuff ... to a stranger ... about their offspring.

I knew there must be some unabashed truth to the matter when I ran into a friend of mine (of whom shall remain nameless because I am sure that, as s
he reads this, is cowering under her desk in the sheer mortification of even a slight reference to her or this incident) at a birthday party and the first thing that came out of her adorable 4 year old daughters mouth when introduced to Rya was, "She is HUGE!!" The humor of the comment being amplified by the many conversations we have had on how crazy it is that everyone remarks on Rya's size and the fact that about fifteen people were within earshot and a perfect audience to the unfiltered (and correct) musings of a young mind. I laughed so hard and instantly said to mom, "Oh - THAT is going in the blog for SURE!!"

OK, so my baby is HUGE. I'm cool with it. All those dimply rol
ls and mountains of cheeks just make her one big squishy ball of adorable heavenly smelling lusciousness - and what could be better than that?


That, my dear friends is the number for Poison Control. I know this because, this morning, while getting Rya ready for the day - I unknowingly placed a pea sized dollop of A&D Antibiotic Ointment onto her toothbrush and ..... brushed her teeth with it.

UmHmm. That's right. I poisoned my own daughter in the name of proper dental hygiene.

Look, the tube is the same size color and location as the toothpaste and it just happened OK. The crazy thing is that she did not flinch. No additional whining or flailing - just let me brush her teeth. I only noticed because it has a distinct smell and the instant I caught a whiff I panicked and scrambled to read the tube (which says to keep away from children and if swallowed call poison control). Great. So I called and the lady at the center was really nice. Not judgey at all like I had feared her to be (I mean, what kind of a dumb ass mistakenly brushes her kids teeth with antibiotic creme). Good news is that it turns out you have to ingest at least a half a tube to have an adverse effect.

Crazier still is that fact that, although Rya is an impressive eater with a diverse palette and a never ending appetite, the kid gaged like crazy when I fed her scrambled eggs a week ago. I mean, it totally freaked her out. She would not finish the rest of that meal OR her next meal because of the trauma that scrambled eggs brought forth in her tiny little brain. I had to calmly reassure her for the next few days that each item I placed in front of her was NOT the dreaded ovum she feared it to be.

Not to mention the fact that she will crawl along the floor and, like a hoover, place every last bit of schmegma from her chosen path into her mouth. This includes little nuggets like leaf bits, lint or the occasional (and unavoidable no matter how thorough or frequently one vacuums) cat hair tumble weed. (You all have seen my cat - seriously?!) Yea, Ewwww - is right! And she just chews it like its no big deal while watching me dive across the room to finger scoop it out of her mouth. It amazes me that she is so discerning of foods at times but will gladly ingest HAIR and ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT like its no big thing.

I admit that I thought twice about telling you all this. But that's what this blog is all about - talking about the dirty underbelly of child rearing. Not all of us are perfect and those that appear to be are well, lying to you. So I hope that someone feels better by knowing that another mother has messed up too.

I know its been a long time since I have written. Do you blame me? I am busy on the phone with life safety providers and chasing around my kid, fishing things out of her mouth. Never fear though. I'm not lacking in material that's for sure. I have a laundry list of blog entry topics to write about to complete this year of our journey together as mother and child. So I will start back from where I left off and get back in the mix. Thanks for sticking with me.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


I don't consider myself a conformist or one to worry much on the 'rules' but I have fallen prey to the great baby "milestone" race. Simply put, what she IS doing vs. what she SHOULD BE doing. I know, I know - all babies learn at their own pace and just because Rya is not doing something when a book or website says she should does not mean there is anything wrong with her blah blah blah.......this makes sense, is posted as a disclaimer following each list of 'supposed too's', and more importantly I know it to be true. But that does little to silence the nagging thoughts in the back of my head. I mean, its not so much the individual things that bother me, its the general concept or what falls under the whole umbrella of 'movement' or 'comprehension' that give me pause.

This SAHM (stay at home mom) thing has its perks; no cramming for deadlines and meetings, no late nights at the office causing me to forgo evenings out with my family or friends, no uncomfortable moments dodging office politics but, believe me, my life is not without stress. If you think about it, I am supposed to be providing an environment that teaches her EVERYTHING about this world and how she fits into it. And EVERYTHING is allot people.....its, well.....every THING, that's ALL the THINGS.... EVER! Its my job to make sure I am challenging her and teaching her daily at every meal time, play time, sitting and wondering if its 7 at night and BEDTIME. So when she falls short in areas its not a huge leap towards mom's feelings of failure.

There is a happy ending (or more so, beginning) though - we have had a breakthrough! It was a wave, a single wave - to an un appreciative cat that had this mom breathing a huge sigh of relief.

That tiny chubby handed wave snowballed into a few other eureka moments that week in the comprehension department, making me feel like I had just received a raise and a company car for a job well done. Turns out, it was all about the approach.
Instead of pointing at the ball and saying, "BALL" with enthusiasm abound expecting her to one day do the same - all I had to do was ask. Yea, just ask. "Rya, where is the ball?" And she looks at me then the ball and taps it looking back at me like, "Um hello - its this thing right here that you point to every day and squeal over like forty times in a span of 5 minutes mom....jeez." Cut to me screaming "YAAAAAAAAAAY!" at the top of my lungs while tearing up and her, after initially being startled (hands flying in the air with a look of 'holy shit') eventually grinning from ear to ear - happy that she made me happy. That day, I discovered that she knows what feet are (I think she has a bit of a fetish) and, most importantly, who MaMa and DaDa are too. Lets just say I've got some calls into Harvard for pre-applications. It seems now that she gets it. Gets what we are saying and is trying to figure it all out along with us.

As for the movement aspect - well, we have a ways to go on that. She is still content to just sit where you put her (which is not all that bad really if you think about it). If a toy gets out of reach she just looks at it like, "Oh well. That was fun." and sticks her hand into her mouth or studies the stitching on the hem of her dress. I don't know WHO she gets that patience from because it does NOT come from my side of the family. She has NO desire to crawl either but she loves to stand if you hold her up. We think that she will skip the creeping and crawling and one day just get up from a sitting position and casually travel to the fridge for a snack or something (THAT feat would come directly from her dad for sure!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Look deep....deeeep into my eyes.

You will put down that baby and pick up this remote at which time you will find an embarrassingly trashy reality television program on your TIVO season pass list. In response you will sit down on the couch, thus providing a mushy lap for the kitty. Following this action, we will snuggle for a minimum of 6 hours, like we did on the weekends before you had the nerve to bring that thing home.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My neighborhood is small with a myriad of ranch homes on lots the size of postage stamps. It also hosts a vast conglomeration of empty nesters so, needless to say, we don't have a pool. Something that I feel is important to introduce Rya too in her early years to establish a comfort level with the water that will carry her through many future summers of funky tan lines, clogged ears and chlorine smelling hair. So, we did the next best thing - blew up a tiny inflatable one in the front yard, filled it with hose water, left it to 'bake' a bit, and piled in a heap of bath toys. Turns out she loves the water, even chilly water, but you would not be able to tell it from the incredibly serious look on her face she sported the WHOLE time. For real, the kid was splashing up a storm and it looked like she was the main speaker at a weekend-long insurance seminar.

I took serious consideration in her swimming attire. She has the cutest little pink and white striped swim suit but when I tried to do a 'dry run' fitting she went nuts - must hug those curves a little snugly (because apparently my child is HUGE...more on this later). This caused me some pause, I mean, you cant just plop the kid in an inflatable pool in the front lawn in a swim diaper (as my husband suggested), I mean this is not Gymboree Jerry Springer Edition here folks. So I found a diaper cover that I paired with a matching hat and voila - chic swim attire that will have Rya focusing on the activity not the outfit - and, more importantly, will not make us look like the kind of people who consider fully upholstered sofas appropriate outdoor patio furniture. Mike was a bit weirded out that her tiny boobies were not covered - even though I kept saying, "But she is a BABY!", must be a dad thing.

This blog is about motherhood, obviously, but more importantly - the side of being a parent that I think most people don't tell you. You see a family out in the yard in the kiddie pool and pass by with a smile but what it takes to put that scene together and play it out is so much more. The outfit and temperature considerations. The elaborate chirography of applying SPF 1,342 on your tiny, wiggling child's body (including between the rolls on her forearms, yea you read it right, my kid has rolls in places that have never before seen cellulite) - only to have that effort be mocked by puffy red eye allergies later. Or the simple effort of removing your protective hand from behind her back for just a second to displace a swimming suicidal bug with the dreaded result - her falling back into the water - head under and everything. Oh god. That sucked so bad. Mike came around the corner to me holding a screaming child with a (tellingly) soaked head and floppy dripping "chic" sun hat asking me what happened and, "Did her whole head go under?". I lied and said, "No, only up to her ears." Isn't that awful?! I just could not stand the fact I let this crappy thing happen on MY watch. He is no dummy - I am sure he knew what happened but he let it go and sat in one place, silently, vibrating with the inner thoughts of, "NONONO!" when I put her back in the pool, while she was still fussing and talked to her about the importance of 'getting back on the horse' with this forced smile on my face and high pitched lilt to my voice. She was a trooper and we made it through but, dude, this parenting thing can be scary sometimes. Its hard not to feel like a failure when you mess up but I would guess that all parents feel this way at some time or another. And I share so others know that they are not alone in the systematic ruining - oh, did I say ruining, I meant 'raising' - of the new generation.

Monday, July 27, 2009


This stay-at-home-mom thing can do a rigorous tap dance on ones psyche. I vacillate between loving every moment of childhood activity while bearing witness to the discovery of life turn the wheels of my daughters little mind - and the feeling of being caught in my very own "Groundhogs Day" movie where the same thing happens over and over and over......and over. I would never take a second of this back and feel, oddly, lucky to have lost my job because I can do what very few moms get to do - really be here for my little girl every day....but jeeez, I'm only human and it can be a challenge to feel fresh and excited for each new day of the same thing.

Now that I have that off my chest (feel free to judge if you are so compelled). I feel I must say that I am fortunate to have had the time and resources over the years while creating our home. Where we hang out ... EVERY DAY of the week ... ALL DAY ... um DAILY. I have realized now more than ever, I like this place. Its nice. Thought I would post a few pics of one of the most inhabited in our small handful of rooms, the nursery.

Few notes on the details:
  • Yea, I painted my little GIRLS room blue...SO?! Don't make me bust out with a lecture on gender socialization people. The other walls are pale grey with huge tonal polka dots on them that my fabulous designer friend painted with a stencil when I was so pregnant I was about to burst (I did make her some rockin pasta in exchange though - I'm not running a sweat shop or anything.)
  • The white chandelier is a vinyl applique from Bilk.
  • The multicolored artwork is a series I painted for her based off of attributes that Mike and I wish for her to have in her life (love, imaginative, happy, confidence and compassion .... its probably not hard to guess which words I chose and which were my husbands.)
  • The crib and dresser are from Walmart.....I KNOW right??!! Who knew? I did replace the wooden dowel legs that came with the set to square metal ones though. I was trying to make it look like the Oeuf crib - that we would have had to take a small equity line out on the house to afford.
  • I scoured online for months to find fabric I liked for my crib bedding and a wonderful friend of mine (my sister through gift) made the sheets for me. The one shown is a raspberry color but we also have one in an orange and white tropical, yellow and white leaf pattern, and pale pink and white damask.
  • The Ikea shelf is full of books, small toys and goofy photos of us (one where we were on vacation with our snorkels on after a dive trip, and one of us...kissing on our first date. I know, I'm a floozy what can I say.)
  • My mom and I recovered a tan Target Ultrasuede ottoman with some amazing embroidered felt fabric, and I must say - we did a DAMN good job!!
  • Mike and I searched high and low for a cool looking rocker (that, again did not cost the same as a four door sedan, from a modern baby website) and I am here to tell you - such a rocker does not exist. So we found this one, the price was right, it looks sleek and swivels back and forth. Something I THOUGHT was going to be equally as soothing to a baby as rocking but was wrong wrong wrong. We ended up in a mad dash to borrow an old beat up rocker my mom had in storage for the first 3 months in an effort to soothe the savage beast. Crisis averted and we are now loving this ones compact size and chic styling without that whole messy 'function' thing in the way.
  • The table is a clearance find from a modern furniture store that was originally created with open holes in the side for magazine storage beneath. I had some plexiglass squares cut at the hardware store and affixed them inside, added a suede 'handle' to the glass top for lifting and now use it for stuffed animal storage. I would like to think that this small unit will always have enough volume to store our entire cache of stuffed animals but something tells me that I am on crack with that one (a mom can dream right).

Thursday, July 9, 2009


As you can see, Ari has found some perks in the arrival of our newest family member.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I thought it would be interesting to take a photo of Rya's 'first bite' of each veggie and fruit she ate on our journey into baby food. Thinking that she would have these hilarious grimacing faces say, for peas, or big toothy grins for bananas. Well, as you can see below - the kid likes most EVERYTHING you put in her mouth. Don't get me wrong, adore l that she loves pureed squash that smells like SpaghettiO's (or as I like to call them Pukeo's - because they smell like vomit - no seriously, straight up vomit.) But its kind of a buzz-kill for an anticipatory mom and makes for a lackluster photo montage when you get the same "Hey cool - green beans. Hey cool - peaches." reaction every time.

As they say, be careful what you wish for.

Well, it turns out that we might just have a texture issue instead of a taste issue. In an effort to dip our toe into the waters of baby friendly finger foods I bought these organic 'puffs' that look like Cheerios but melt when in her mouth. Let me set the scene.
After a hearty lunch of 8oz of formula and half a jar of applesauce I place one of said puffs in her mouth. What followed was a hilarious series of grimaces and facial contortions that sent me into a fit of giggles while the camera was snap snap snapping away. Then she gagged. A single gag. Something she has done a few times before, once when I first fed her rice cereal and once the first time she ate baby food. So I did not think much of it. Then she gagged again. "OK, maybe she is not ready for this quite yet." I am thinking while assuring her its OK amongst a continued stream of giggles.

Then she yakked.

A HUGE exorcist-style projectile yakking that included the entire contents of her lunch - all over the table and down the front of her soaking both her legs and the carpet beneath. Whats worse is that I have taken to giving her different (safe) kitchen gadgets to play with and today's toy was a spatula. Something, I found out, that causes a nice splatter when you swat a pool of throw up with it. Not so funny any more. She just turned to me in utter shock with tears in her eyes (as we all know happen after you have experienced an intense bought of hurling) and a look like, "Mom, what in the world would you do that for?! That was awful!"

I suck.

Friday, June 12, 2009


The ban has been lifted! My kid will now sport many forms of headgear and cranium-hugging accessories. It is ridiculous how much joy I receive by this new development. It speaks to me on some molecular level of girly-momness, I cant even tell you. So much so that I will resort to putting most ANYTHING on her head - as witnessed below.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


She speaks. These words will melt my heart (and get her off the hook for borrowing and subsequently ruining my clothing)

This little run will rope dad into getting her that pony or Porsche she covets in the future FOR SURE.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


A little video of my wee tiny one sitting up for the first time on her own. Something that is exciting to her parents and grandparents but bores the shit out of most everyone else.

The most notable thing this video does is provide evidence of the HORRID haircut I performed on my defenseless little daughter. I thought I would just, "Trim up the back mullet part a little". Well, it was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be. After all, she IS a moving target.

I started with scissors (that left all those mini bald patches on the back of her head) then graduated to clippers in which she promptly started to cry and hold the back of her head like she just KNEW I was making her look like an idiot. Now for those of you that don't have children, or have not observed them in detail - they have these freakishly short arms that don't even reach the top of their heads when fully extended. This fact should make you appreciate just how hard Rya had to contort herself to try and preserve her dignity from her mothers good intentions.

I had to calm her down by reassuring her that I will never put a bowl over her head for a home-style cut but she did make me promise not to follow through with that Flowbee purchase I have been toying with.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


A few posts back I revealed a portion of the dirty underbelly of what happens to a woman post-pregnancy, specifically, in the boob region. Turns out, just a bit north of there other changes are occurring - more notably - I am loosing my hair by the fistful. This may not seem like a big deal compared to floppy and mushy boobs but at least you can shove those baby's into some kind of devise that is meant to lift, separate and administer faux perkiness if you can wrangle them accordingly.

Ive always been the kind of person that has no qualms going out of the house without a stitch of makeup on wearing sweatpants that have knee dimples in them from extensive recent lounging - as long as my hair was presentable. As of late, my hair is a limp and lifeless wreck whose entirety can be collected into a quarter inch diameter pony tail....quarter inch people, that's not allot. I leave a trail of tresses (and tears) wherever I go around the house - a cleaning nightmare - and often find a sneaky escaped locke lurking under Rya's armpit or neck folds. Mike has even commented in shock over the copious amounts of hair loss I seem to be experiencing (its probably tied subliminally to, "Can you sweep up this shit already ... ewwww.") Each shower I hope to come away with a rinse that is does not make me consider calling 'Locks of Love' for a donation, only to be alarmed yet again at the handful of my once sassy do.

This is not an isolated event. It has happened to a few other friends of mine, one of which has gotten extensions after the birth of her THREE children. We like to call it her weave. Oh how I covet that weave and wish I had the funds to procure one of my own. Maybe I can create my own foundation, hold a bake sale, and generate extra cash to have some lady sew some another persons hair into my own for hours until I leave, in tears from pain, and with a luscious full flowing head of hair that rivals that of Britney Spears back in the day before she became zitty, chunky, crazy and attacking automobiles with rain gear. Or on second thought, maybe I will give in, shave my own head and grab an umbrella in retaliation for this biological injustice.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


To my baby girl,

34 mother's days have passed in my lifetime and although I enjoyed spending them celebrating my own mother - I never really felt the day like I did today. Being your mother is the greatest joy Ive ever had. Your smile makes my entire world seem ok even when grownup things are weighing on my mind. I crave sharing your experiences and relish seeing you explore the world. I pray every day that I can do your little soul justice and teach you all the things you need to know in order to be a kind, compassionate, creative, curious and strong woman in the future. Would you believe me if I said that I miss you when you sleep? I just simply cannot believe you are mine - my little being to enjoy.

I love you stinky face - so very much.
Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So, for those of you that don't know me personally, I recently lost my job as a commercial interior designer. To put it mildly, the interior design industry is CRAP right now in the current economy. Not only are many of my talented designer friends being let go - but many area firms are shrinking into non-existence. Scary.

I have always felt lucky - I love what I do and am pretty darn good at it. B.B. (before baby), I would tell anyone within earshot that I WANTED to be a working mom. I would try my best to strike a balance between a healthy and involved family life with a successful career. Flash forward, A.B. (um....after baby) and I struggled, as most moms do, with leaving my child in someone elses' care during the day - work stuff seemed so trivial compared to the milestones she would reach without me there as her first witness and cheerleader. Well, that was short lived. Now - I collect unemployment, do some design work on the side for friends and try to structure each day around the mental and physical enrichment of my 6 month old. And since my husband works nights, its just she and I now - taking on the world (or Target at peak busy hours).

Am I happy? Absolutely. But people, let me tell you, the days can get pretty monotonous. How many times can you play with the same primary colored jingly toy or watch Baby Einstein Neighborhood Animals with ANY hint of genuine enthusiasm? How bad can it be you ask? Well let me show you. I have chronicled a day in pictures and video so you can see what this successful up-and-coming designer now does for a living.

Its funny and sad all at the same time.

Morning story time. Testing the video function of
my camera using my favorite subject. (Note: this video
is boring - depicting nothing special or exciting...
but that it the point of this blog post right?)

Later, going for a walk. Need this huge crazy visor to shield
the sun from our delicate visage (and no cute HAT will do -
as noted in previous posts).

Ahhh, walks make us sleeeeepy.

Post walk, diaper change and PJ transition.
Captured a bit more video chronicling my
daughters love of the River Dance.

Trying on other forms of sun protection for
future walks. As you will note from the
expression, this method is approved.

Mom has a thought, "If we will wear a visor
AND sunglasses - why not slip on a super
cute handmade headband and see if the
'no accessories on our heads' ban is up......
don't let the photo fool you - two seconds
into this and she worked up a fuss to beat all hell.

In our PJ's and thinking to myself,
"This kid is going to think I never held
her a day in her young life since all the
photos show just her alone or her and dad."
I get her to smile by singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider
song right before I hit the shutter.
Kid loves that song - tried to get her into
some Pink Floyd or Snoop Dog but, no takers.

More PJ shots because, hey,
I don't think I have pushed this camera in
front of her face enough today.

Aaaaaaand we're done.
Edit scene.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


"Yo kid, don't turn around or act like we are talking - they are watching. Here is the drill, when you get this walking thing down you are going to learn how to unlock and open the door - I will make a nice clean break and we can be rid of each other for good. Capesh?"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I often wax philosophical about the funny side of being me...as a mom. I figure its what people want to read most - it would be what I want to read of others lives on a weekly basis. But this post touches on something that I think every day - Rya and I have hit the husband and father jackpot in Mike. Although there is some hilarity that encircles this relationship, I have certain moments that make me pause and take in our fortune. Among other things: He is a sensitive man but will tell my ass to shut-it when I am actin-a-fool (a much needed combo with my personality type). He is thoughtful and puts us before him on most every instance (something that I love while at the same time wishing he would be selfish for once so I dont feel like such a jerk when I go down that road). And he is funny.....reaaaallly funny. Lately, the best thing about him is watching him be a dad to Rya. He truly relishes every moment with her - not forgoing the icky stuff like diaper changes, morning cereal feedings or late night crying outbursts. He is as excited as I am with all the milestones she reaches and will initiate long conversations about what she will be like when she grows up and how much fun we will all have. In short, he's the perfect dad - the perfect husband and we are both VERY lucky girls.


For Easter, I imagine that most families dress their little ones in the frilliest of frocks and gather in their finery with the family for a delightful afternoon of conversation and foodstuffs. We do things a bit differently round our parts. Clad in funky modern attire, Rya was passed around to all the family members (along with the deviled egg platter) till she eventually ended up at the table, surrounded by giggling aunties and grandma while they fed her table food (something she has NOT had yet) and put her in newly purchased silly accessories that would induce wild fits of giggles when she made faces at them like, "Heeeey what the HELL is this thing on my head?" I think its supposed to be a crown of some sort but when placed upon her noggin as they did, created a visor type headpiece. I like to call this look The Practical Princess. Amazingly, she not only tolerated these goofy antics, she seemed to truly enjoy herself, as did we.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Oh yea, I said it....BOOBS. As in breasts, knockers or 'the ladies' (what I call mine).

[NOTE: For all those who are family members, men or others with delicate sensibilities - you might want to sit this one out.]

This post - is a shout out to all the moms out there who once had nice, firm, perky boobs (of any size) who's - after birth (and in my case a brief stint at breast feeding) - are now saggy, soggy, mushy and a mere shadow of their former glory. I'm just going to put it out there - I had some really nice 'ladies' back in the day. So much so that some people had commented that they thought I had undergone a breast augmentation. Truthfully, I never really gave them much thought. I figured, "Hey, they work for me" and there you go. But now....NOW I realize what I had and I miss them terribly.

Every day. Allot. Sniff sniff.

Imagine, if you will, two water balloons (not the small party balloons but the HUGE weather sized ones) with say a cup of water in them, nailed to a wall and hoisted daily by a loose cheap cotton 'sling' ....that you bought on sale at Target in the last stages of your pregnancy - and there you have it. My (and many other beautiful women's) daily struggle. I mean, is it not enough to have all the physical CRAP that comes along with pregnancy, delivery and post pregnancy? Do we REALLY need to know what if feels like to roll over on our sides at night (when the ladies are un-holstered) to have our breast flop over and around our arm? REALLY? I think not. Where is the justice I ask?

So, fellow moms, lets all join in a moment of silence for the loss of the last vestiges of our pre-baby youth, "To perky and firm boobs, may you rest (or, when upright, lie floppily on the upper part of our stomachs) in peace."

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Let me set the scene. I was walking into the library the other day - it was chilly - the girl was in jeans, long sleeve top, and shoes while being holstered to me in a baby carrier with my arms around her ... when this seemingly nice lady approaches me just outside the door, all smiles, and this exchange happens;

Nibby lady: "She should be wearing a hat."
Deadpan me: "She hates hats."
Nibby lady: "Well she is going to get sick, its cold outside."
Pissed me: "Its physically impossible to get sick from cold weather alone, thanks though."


What is up with people just throwing out their opinion all willy nilly. If your opinion was, "I really love that sassy outfit you have on her." or "How neat that you take your five month old to the library for new books to read her in an effort to keep the day fresh." Then by ALL MEANS, speak up. But no mom feels breezy and chatty after a sneak attack from the left flank with comments that have an undertone of you are doing it wrong. Cmon people.

Now, I don't mean you guys. I know none of my readers would dare say to a mom - "Are you serious?! What are you feeding her? She must eat a ton." - after the initial question of her current age was answered. Especially after originally referring to your embroidered-peasant top and jean wearing baby GIRL as 'him'. Yea, this little gem of a conversation took place in the craft store check out line the other day. I pride myself with quick witty responses but even I, did not know what to say for this one.



"So, mom. Lets get serious for a minute. What you are saying is that we now eat this mushy crap, sitting upright, without the comfy semi-circular pillow thingie. Um ... not a fan. Not. A. Fan."

Monday, March 30, 2009


Posted a new entry - you will find it a few posts down under March 24, 2008 "SHE IS A TREND SETTER FOLKS". Still cant figure out how to prewrite and save these then get them to post at the date I demand. This is not the first time I have done this so you might want to scroll a bit when popping into the blog to see if there is an update. Maybe we could look at it as a fun surprise - like a toy that is hidden in the bottom of the cereal box. Just keeping things interesting.

Friday, March 27, 2009


In researching the world wide web on how to make my blog the new cult religion that everyone follows....um...religoulsy (and therefore eventually pays for the mortgage and cute new shoes for mommy) - I came across a fantastic blog called Dadicals. Any post that has the headline "Daddy, kitties don't get cold in the freezer" is worth a read. In a sea of mommy blogs it is refreshing to dive headlong into the witty perspective of this man and his three sons. Well written, check it out at http://dadicals.blogspot.com/ .


Having a bit of a crazy week - we have some teeth coming in and we rolled over for the first time - however, not in the candy land version that one would HOPE as a new mom (there is always a twist at our house, hence the blog).

As for the teeth - we have the standard issue two bottom teeth coming in......and ONE of the pointy ones on the top left - yea that's right my kid is going to have FANGS. Do you think this has anything to do with the fact that I read the entire Twilight series during the last few weeks of my pregnancy?

And the rolling over - nope - no idealistic mom sitting by the sidelines cheering for her little one to reach this big milestone. Left the room with her chilling on her back on the towel on the floor after a bath - came back in 30 seconds later to THIS:

Cute but devious. Could she not have WAITED for me to be in the room at least? I am in shock quite frankly at how quickly she is growing up. I feel like I just spit the kid out yesterday. Teeth?! Are you kidding me? You mean, I'm actually a month or so away from making decisions on what she will be eating beyond ounce allotments? Mike is lucky if he gets a can of SpagettiO's and a manual can opener for dinner. I am going to have to bone up on my food pyramid for sure. Is Carnation Instant Breakfast one of the tiers?

And I'm not going to lie - I was excited when she rolled over sure, but my internal dialog was swimming with thoughts like, "Well, shit - you mean she is going to MOVE now - from where I placed her before? No more quick checks on email while she hangs out on her play mat in the next room." Let the fun - and mess - begin.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My kid is currently sporting not one but THREE different hairstyles. Are they classic like the 'Audrey Hepburn' pixie, trendy like the 'Jennifer Aniston' layered look or even edgy like the 'Bo Derek' cornrow debacle (yea, I just aged myself...moving on)? Nope. As you will note in the given photo - they are three of the WORST styles one could choose.

Exhibit A, The Toupee: A unnatural and noticeable change from ones original hair offset by that of ones 'new' hair (or in this case NO hair).

Exhibit B, The Bald Look: Hip and in-fashion right now with 30 something gentleman. Done in an effort to hide male pattern baldness. Cool if you go the full monty. Not so cool if you just choose a two inch by four inch patch of hair in the back to eradicate.

Exhibit C, The Mullet Starter Kit: We all know what it is and it is NEVER a good look. On anyone. Ever.

Join me, will you, in wishing for a flowing 'Farrah Fawcett' in her future.


Went for our first ever outdoor walk with the little one last week. In my mind I pictured a serene family stroll on one of those pre-spring days that brings forth an energy your lazy winter ass had forgotten. A happy baby on an inaugural exploration of the world. Proud parents 'introducing' her to the neighborhood for the first time. Theme song of The Andy Griffith Show playing in the background (the catchy one, you know, with the whistling).

Yea. Well. Not so much.

Try 15 minutes of crying baby hot potato while each of us tried to figure out the puzzle that was our freshly unfolded stroller, another 5 minutes of crying baby while we try to strap her in for dear life, and 20 minutes of us traveling the shortest possible route of our development at a frantic pace with a screaming child while we take turns blocking every tiny element of nature from gracing her delicate presence (read: sun, wind, animal sounds, smells - pretty much everything one would find OUTDOORS). Eventually Mike had to take her out of the stroller entirely in an effort to soothe and muffle the wailing, and carry her briskly while I pushed the stroller a few paces behind trying to keep up.

When we got inside the house, she stopped instantly. Of course. I would not take this as defeat, oh NO! We were going to have a nice walk in the stroller if it was the last thing I did! So I gave the stroller another once over, moving the seat upright more, adjusting the straps and unlocking the wheels (yea, we walked around the block looking like even BIGGER morons when my husband had to pick up the back wheels and twist the entire stroller in an effort to TURN) - strapped the kid in and strolled her tiny ass around the kitchen, living room and dining room for 15 minutes or so. The little shit - she enjoyed the hell out of it and did not make a peep.

Our stroller, a Mutsy Spider, (aka Chariot of Doom) is actually pretty cool - its a great price, folds up tiny and, as it turns out, has a pretty rocking turn radius .... when you release the brakes.

Monday, March 16, 2009


So, don't send the ASPCA for me after reading this but I must share that I have HORRIBLY neglected our other baby - Ari. If you check out my February 15th post you will note that he is an abnormally furry cat - I'm talking mountains of vacuum bags FULL of fur, furry cat. Before the baby came, I had developed a schedule where I brushed him from head to toe every morning. He would actually roll over from side to side when I asked so I could get every last patch detangled, all the while purring and reveling in my whispered compliments that afterwards HE would be the envy of every cat on the block with his Fabio like tresses.

You can see where this is going I am sure. When Rya came home it was not abnormal of me to declare 4:30 in the afternoon "breakfast time" because that was the first moment I had stopped to take a breath for myself that day. Needless to say, the feline grooming sessions ceased to exist and to a peril that none of us could have foreseen. My cat developed dreadlocks so bad even Bob Marley would have winced in sympathy. We couldn't so much as pet him for fear that it was hurting him by pulling on his clumping and felt-like mats. We felt awful. I tried to take the clippers to him one day in some last ditch effort to make things right but that went over like ..... a cat being held down while his tenders were being mauled by an electronic gadget.

So, we defaulted to the professionals. And this my dear friends is what came back to us. Was he ashamed, humiliated, acting oddly? NOPE - he LOVES it! He sashays around the house like someone is constantly shouting "Work it girl!" to him at every threshold. With his stylish mukluk 'boots', giant fluffy tail, enormous ruff and the uncovering of white tiger stripes on his flanks, I am now convinced that he is NOT an average house cat but a "Liger" (a lion and tiger mixed). Bred for his skills in magic (A-la Napoleon Dynamite). If by magic you mean he shits less in his litter box now that he does not have to 'bathe' all those flowing locks - then move over Chris Angel, there is a new kid in town!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Recently we went to my in-laws house for a rare visit. My father in law (PaaaaPaaaaw is the handle he has given himself), is an amazing photographer and we set up Rya's first photo shoot. Some of the images that came out of this exorcise were stunning - dream photos that any mother would want to have of their four month old infant (see evidence of this above). But I am here to uncover what we all know is the dirty truth. Mothers only want to showcase the most aesthetically pleasing images of their offspring because it is a reflection of themselves...after all, we did HAND CRAFT these little beings out of our own genetic material right? What we all seem to forget, as we rifle through the albums of our friends or family members, is that there is a box or electronic file somewhere with gnarly reject photos that are choc full of boogers, spit up, crossed eyes, bad angles and wiggly screaming fits that are captured for all eternity on film. So I'm puttin it out there folks - here she is - my kid at her most visually unappealing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Let us all witness my daughters first true love......(notice the 'romantic' sepia-tone image).

Meet, Eduardo. A handsome Latin-American devil from the small town of 'Babio Einsteino Del Play-matteo'. My daughter has been captivated by his roguish primary-colored visage ever since her eyesight extended out past twelve inches. No matter what other blinking and singing plastic baby-soother was nearby, she would just stare intently and smile charmingly at Eduardo - kicking and drooling like most young girls in do in the first stages of love. He is so beloved that he travels with us now, attached to her car seat as a constant companion. I often look back at her when driving to find her staring at him as if to say, "Eduardo my love, I think mommy has stopped waaaaaay to long at this stoplight - what do you think - should I initiate a cry and let her know to get this thing moving already?" I am looking so forward to telling her prom date all about her very first crush and how proud we were as parents to know that she is diverse and open to all cultures - gotta love a man with an accent - right ladies?!

Eduardo Polkamantoya - Self Portrait 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Oh man, is this picture cute or what? I would have loved it if her delicious double chin and osteoporosis-like slump were not hiding the fantastic little t-shirt design I made her but it was worth the trade-off for that expression. My friend Lauren said it best in an email I sent her where this image was attached, "With her skirt hiked up that high, she does kind of have a 'retired old lady playing shuffleboard in Florida' look about her, but regardless, that smile is so hard to resist." (I've got funny friends too - its like a club.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We have a cat named Ari or, more formally, Ari Flufenstein (he's Jewish....we, however, are not). Before we had Rya, I had been known to pepper my conversations with wild stories about my crazy cat. He has more personality than most dogs I know and definitely most cats I've come across. As evidence of this, we caught him in the action here airing out his private bits on top of the humidifier like Marilyn Monroe on a breezy street grate. Needless to say, its been quite an adjustment for him not being the center of attention with the new 'animal' in the house. I am sure his internal dialogue is filled with such jealousy-laced statements as, "Will this THING ever SHUT UP?" or "Why is the new cat allowed to get on the table and I am not." and "Oh NO YOU DIDN'T just walk past me when I am lying on my back, all cute like with my belly exposed to be petted."

As most astute cats do, he has dedicated the first 3 years of his life to finding out the small things that REALLY piss us off and repeating those activities as some sort of retribution for the unknown wrongdoings that we have subjected him too that day (like running full speed across our heads at 4 in the morning as a nice subtle wake up call to feed him a late night snack). Rya has added a whole new dimension to this past time for him. He has now discovered that when she sleeps we really LOVE it when he gets as close to her as he can and meow/cries at the top of his tiny kitty lungs to get our attention. That might not sound too bad, some would say that it could even be coincidental actually - but I have evidence to the contrary.

The second month into our baby adventure, I had wrangled the beast into submission and placed her in her crib. We were still holding a 24 hour vigil by her bedside at this time (carried over from her breathing issues in the hospital and fueled by the neuroses of new parenthood) and I was laying on the floor of her room. After a fruitless 15 minute tirade of running feverishly through the house meowing and knocking into everything in his path - Ari decided to take a more 'personal' approach to getting my attention. He saunters into Rya's room, swishing his giant fluffy tail in my face to make sure his presence is known, walks directly up to the crib, props his paws up to peer in at her and proceeds to turn and look at me while he reaches his paw in and bats softly at her FACE. Seriously, I am not lying - this is too rich for even ME to make up! All I could do is laugh and dream up ways of sauteing him for dinner or fantasize about trading him in for a non-shedding, relaxed animal like an armadillo.

Little does he know that the days of his 'reign' over her are short and that, in time, she will do something akin to what I did to our cat Miggs when I was young - take him in the closet and proceed to dress him in a full tea party ensemble including a dress, 4 booties and a bonnet. His day will come, oh yes, and I cannot wait.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I know it sounds crazy but my kid is a genius!!!! At three months old she is already doing impressions. There are only a few but they are diverse in range. There is the 'seal' (done when crying and sucking on her pasi), the 'construction worker' (a series of non-poop related grunts and harrumphs executed with a furrowed brow and a determined look on her face), the trucker (a string of earth shattering farts and grand burps that would rival that of a grown man) and my favorite - the 'wookie'. Its a Chewbacca like bray that she uses as a greeting to me and, when returned by my butchered attempts at mimicking her, Rya's main form of communication with us. And here my worst fear was that my kid would not be FUNNY (seriously, I laid awake at nights worrying that she would be a dead serious kid and think everything her father and I did was 'stupid'). We caught her in action on this video.


So, Rya was accompanying me on the counter in her bouncy seat while I was demonstrating the multi-step process on how to clean/sterilize her bottles (in great hopes that one day soon she would actually DO it for me) when I turn around and see her performing THIS little act (see photo). Cute as a baby - NOT so cute when she is 18 and on spring break in Cancun. God help us.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


In each of our daily lives we reach many crossroads where we have to make decisions that will affect us long into the future .... important decisions like; should I buy or lease this car, should I quit my gym membership to save money, should I leave this job for another opportunity or the big one -which blanket (a.k.a. "comfort item") should I strategically and systematically FORCE my child to love forever? Its this last one that has my mind tied up lately.

When I was young I had a 'Blankie'. Ive been told that my great grandmother made it for me. I am sure at one time it was white, had a pretty pattern on the fabric, and a lovely trim on the edges. By the time I was finished with it (forcibly by my mother at some ridiculously old age..thank you mom, I'd probably have that thing to this day if not for your determination and sheer will) it was grey with unraveled trim and frayed edges where the seam came undone. I loved that thing straight into its demise.

I arrived at this dilemma recently when I noticed that Rya had begun to clasp onto any blanket or burp cloth that was placed in her lap and bring it to her face. That sent me into an internal dialog of the pros and cons of all blankets in our current 'stock'. Questions arose like; "Is this replaceable in the event that the most horrid of things happens, we loose or misplace it?" or, "Will this knit unravel one day and I walk into a room with a screaming child and a pile of yarn?" or, "Will it be so long that it will collect filth and dirt when I give-in and let her take it to the grocery with us after an hour long tantrum episode?" or, most importantly, "Will it represent just how cool we really are?" If you can believe it, both my mother and my lovely husband actually entertained a conversation with me on this topic.

After much deliberation, I have chosen a hip little mass-produced 14" square 'Woobie' (a word I have loved for this beloved childhood icon since the stapling scene in the movie Mr. Mom) with a pink satin back and trim surrounding a swatch of that ridiculously fuzzy material that they make everything baby in now. Its from Swaddle Designs (http://www.eswaddle.com/). My plan is to buy several and store them in a safe place in the chance that the inevitable destruction or loss occurs. I have begun the subtle integration of said Woobie by placing it on Rya's lap or around her as much as I can - hoping beyond hope that she will think its as fabulous and practical as I do. Now I do realize, however, that she will probably abandon MY thoughtful choice and gravitate towards some hideous motif like Holly-Hobby meets Barney or something HUGE like the down comforter on our bed or, even worse, something like one of Mike's old lawn mowing shoes. I guess we shall wait and see.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We have been asked quite often about how we came to our daughters name. Fortunately its usually on the heels of favorable responses to it and not a "what were you thinking" type of leed-in. Honestly - the first name, Rya, was something I had written down eons ago on a tattered piece of paper that I kept in my purse along with other baby name 'options' I favored (its a girl thing, I blame its innate cheesiness on estrogen) and I cannot for the life of me remember where I picked it up from. Mike had heard a woman calling to her daughter, West, in a store and rushed home to tell me he loved the name. I liked it too but we mid-westerners have a way of not properly enunciating and it comes out as 'Wess' when said quickly - and this was NOT a cool girl name. He was sticking to his guns and I to mine...until.

One day we were going to dinner and doing that typical "What do you want to eat hunny?" "I don't know what do YOU want?" exchange (a staple conversation in ANY good marriage). After a bit more of the same type of scintillating conversation he had revealed his craving - Some Guys Italian restaurant. Unfortunately for him, that was most certainly NOT what I wanted so he struck a deal, if I would relent to his choice of food establishment, he would let me choose the first name of our child. Look, I'm no dummy - so I nonchalantly said 'ok' and that's how Rya got her first name. Having a very common first and middle name myself, and in the spirit of compromise, we selected West for the middle name and there you have it! Of course we ran the combination through the "how will this sound when I am really salty at her for coloring on the sofa with a sharpie and I want to grab her attention by saying her full name" test. It works quite nicely actually.

And although my husband will, to this day, deny the fact that he gave up his 'rights' to our child's name selection over FOOD, we both love her moniker and hope it is a precursor for how unique and sassy our little girl will become.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I had a dream..........of getting some sleep sometime before 2010, and it came true on Martin Luther King day - our kid slept through the night!! I know that it could be a fluke and that she will have many-a-night of scary monsters, glasses of water and just plain orneriness in the future but I am going to relish in this moment while I can. We are both hoping that she gets mom's knack for mulit-hour naps and general all around LOVE of sleep (its actually something I list as one of my hobbies when prompted). Truthfully, I don't know how she does it with all the drama that goes on in her sleep - she flails and squeaks her way through the whole thing but manages to wake up happy and rested most times. Thought I would include a few pics of the girl in action.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I would be remiss if I did not discuss the one thing that, in the hardest of times, has kept me from shipping Rya's tiny booty off to be raised by a pack of wild dingo's...... her fantastic smile (well, that and her delicious baby scent). I don't care what the books, doctors or know-it-all's say my kid smiled at me the second week she was home. NO it was NOT gas - I had actually broken from my normal demeanour (read: stressed out maniac) to make funny faces at her and she actually smiled at me. It is amazing what crazy things grown adults will do to make a child smile - that humiliation reaps some amazing rewards. I cannot wait to see what antics we will perform to make her laugh. These are a few pics of some of her best smiles.


All self respecting mothers want to dress their baby girls in the sassiest of outfits - its in our DNA. So you will all properly mourn the fact that my child does THIS (see above) whenever I put a hat on or near her head. She even starts to work up a fuss when we put a hooded sweatshirt on her! You can see her little brain working through it, "Waaaait a minute here....hoooold on - is this thing behind me a HAT? I mean this COULD be a HAT right? I .... don't .... think .... so ... lady." Needless to say its a phase I hope she grows out of.


The Holidays were really nice. We were thankful that our families worked to help accommodate us so we could stay close to home and not drag our newborn all over the place. We spent allot of time describing to Rya all the things we were going to do in future snowy holiday vacations....build snowmen, throw snowballs, make snow ice cream, make snow angels and build snow forts (global warming could really throw a wrench in the scheme so lets all vow to be kind to the earth...at least for a few more years until we get to do all these things). Mike and I discovered later that we both had talked to her separately about this but MY snowy adventure included hot coco afterwards so he defaulted his day and promptly told Rya that we would be going with my plans in the future (the man has a thing for coco). She got some great gifts from the grandparent brigade including Santa's future cookie plate and milk glass, her first purse (complete with princess mirror inside), and of course MORE sassy duds and super fluffy stuffed animals (two things I am convinced come in BULK when you have a baby girl). All and all it was pretty fantastic and I cannot wait to have many more with the family.
Add to Technorati Favorites