Trying to make people: Part Ugh

(Ed. note: I’m venting here. Just roll with it.)

I started writing this post about two months ago. It was dark and ugly and, well, I should have just posted it because sometimes that’s the truth behind the feelings you get when you try (and fail) at getting pregnant. Part of me really did want to hit publish but after rereading it all seemed so jumbled, like the ramblings of the lady that hangs outside 7-11 or a toddler after a donut.

I guess I needed more time to get my head together.

Around that time I had six friends- SIX!- give birth over a 2 week period. No lie. SIX! How does that even happen? Then 2 weeks after that 3 more announced they were pregnant on facebook. That night I told the handsome other half that these 3 friends of mine were expecting and his response was “I’m sorry honey” and suddenly I was that girl. 

I decided I needed a time out. A cease fire on my emotional well being. I took the month off. Like I took off everything having to do with babies (for the most part considering I still kept Audrey alive and never used the old headache trick). I packed away my OvaCue Fertility Monitor, no testing, no temps, no cervical mucus monitoring (eww), no calendars, no little hearts drawn around the expected date of ovulation on said calendar, no subsequent waiting and thinking every ache could be implantation pain… None. Of. It.

I feel like I’ve been pretty careful not to come off as a giant ungrateful “B”, and unless you follow me on Facebook, you would hardly even know all this is going on, but in my head, ugh, it’s not pretty sometimes and I am definitely not proud. It’s really hard sometimes to not feel alone, regardless of super supportive family members and a husband willing to do whatever you need him to. It’s hard not to feel like you’re the only barren womb on the block with all the bellies and babies everywhere you go. What I wouldn’t give to be exhausted with vomit on my shirt.

Recently I came across a post by Amy from Carriage Before Marriage on Huffington Post where she so accurately describes the everyday aches and pains of Secondary Infertility. The wanting to give your child the best gift in the world; a sibling- and failing. The baby shit all over your house that is crowding up your precious storage space and yet you refuse to give it up. (Seriously, don’t touch my crib.) And the guilt over being so sad regardless of the precious little person you already have. It was the most spot on piece I have ever read regarding this crapity situation and I highly recommend you reading it because I don’t do it justice and it’s better written than the nonsense you’re reading now.

I know this feeling is just a phase because this is not like me. I am the one that annoys the crap out of my husband because of my ‘it could be worse!’ attitude, just ask him. I know it’s just the holidays and the fact that I’ve researched a million adorable ways to announce you’re expecting at Christmas (Christmas card! How freaking cute is that?). And I know that God has a plan for me and my family. Everything in His time and all that.

My head knows all of this, just please explain it to my heart.

(PS, I am back on the fertility monitoring phase so stay tuned for the next edition of Trying To Make People where I show step-by-step how to use this handy little device.

 

Who?

Who?

What is it with husbands (and men in general) not being physically able to capture and comprehend to what we say? I mean, I thought for awhile it was just my husband or that what I was saying wasn’t as interesting as whatever was going on inside his pretty little head but apparently it’s become an epidemic among male spouses that needs to be addressed.

Better Half Blogs Marriage

It came to my attention recently in a Geico commercial that was all too familiar to me. You know the one. Two owls are having a conversation. The lady owl says something to the man owl about her friend from work and all he says is “Who?”. She reminds him of her friend whom she has apparenrly mentioned a million times before (as per usual) and he responds once again with “Who?”. At that point she looks like she a third “who” away from punting him out of her tree.

I feel you, kindred owl spirit.

I don’t even get it though. I hear everything. I hear crap I wish I hadn’t heard. Not only that, I remember even more. I can also make dinner, discipline the child, feed the dogs and still recall everything about the conversation had while doing all of this about the topic I could have really cared less about.

It’s called LOVE people. Love and apparently a uterus because I have yet to meet a man, or a woman with a man, who can replicate this incredible feat. Just reading that makes me feel the need to wear a cape on a daily basis.

I have learned to adjust to this shortcoming in my life mate. If he has anything in his hand from his iPhone to an actual apple, I just don’t do it. If he has just walked in the door, I bide my time. If he is watching TV, especially any sport having to do with any of the three major balls (ie. foot, base, or soccer), it’s a no-go on the hi-yo.

Timing is everything people.

But it’s good to know that I’m not alone. Just being aware that I am part of a larger more ignored community makes me feel somehow less stabby.

And I would tell my husband about my new found understanding but chances are he wouldn’t hear me anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[UPDATED!] Local: The Highs and Lows of Baby Town

[UPDATE] After publishing this post I was contacted personally by the owners of Baby Town for a little clarification on my post, which I love love love. I was wrong in that this store is not big box and is, in fact, family owned. Yay! And they have just opened and have yet to get training which will be on-going for their staff. Double yay! Thank you Baby Town for addressing this and your commitment to doing what is best for families in the Valley. The following is their statement in full:

“Nicole, thanks so much for visiting Baby Town. We just soft opened 2 weeks ago, and we’re still trying to get all our staff trained on 200+ brands and 11k products in our store before we grand open so that we can better earn our customers’ business in the future. We’ve come a long way since day one, but I showed your post to all our employees to remind ourselves how much more we still need to work to get to where we should be. 

On another note, we’re not a big box store even though our store may look like one. There were other small stores called “Baby Town” but they are not affiliated with us (I think they’re all closed now). This store belongs to my wife and me. It’s our first venture into brick & mortar retail, and we are passionate about serving our community of new parents to the best of our ability.

I hope we will have an opportunity to earn your business in the future.”

Say you walk into a grocery store, a store made completely to provide you with their specialty and expertise, which is groceries, and you want some tomatoes. You walk over to the tomatoes, and the person working the tomato department, only to find out said tomato specialist knows nothing about tomatoes or tomato handling. They answer questions like “What are some ways to prepare tomatoes?” by throwing a tomato on the floor and stepping on it saying “kinda like this”. Would you trust their knowledge or consider patronizing their store for your future tomato purchases?

Now imagine this same scenario only this time tomatoes are replaced with something that is directly connected with the safety of your child. What about then? At that point would you trust what they have to say about a teddy bear? This is the situation I was in this weekend when I went to go check out a new giant baby depot type store that had just opened in my area, Baby Town.

Doing what I do, writing here and for WhatToExpect.com, there is a certain expectation that I will sometimes know what the hell I’m talking about. Not often, but sometimes. Because of this I like to get out and touch, try, pull, push and basically get my grubby little hands all over the latest and greatest in the baby gear industry. This weekend my three year old sent me on a magical quest to find a unicorn (no really) so I figured this would be an opportunity to kill three birds with one shopping trip: check out the Bee, check out the new store, and buy a damn unicorn.

Upon walking into this big, beautiful, and most importantly, closer to me than the local Babies R Us or Buy Buy Baby, I was greeted with smiley welcoming faces and the smell of new paint. Ahh…so far so good. The store was packed to the rafters with wonderful brands like Zutano and L’oved Baby and row after row was clean, neatly organized and well stocked. As I wandered around, soaking in the wonderfulness, more than a few helpful people wanting to assist me on the unicorn quest approached me.

Then I got to my favorite section: strollers and car seats. Wow, I wasn’t disappointed here. This section was well stocked and there was no shortage of fun things to touch. My eyes and hands first wandered to the new Maxi-Cosi Prezi in the beautiful teal color. Since I was already familiar with the car seat specs from seeing it online, I was completely sold after checking the weight, design and the softness of the beautiful and bright fabric. This will definitely be added to my list of recommendations in the future.

As I am walking around, touching and pushing, I was approached by 3 people asking if they could help and just so that I’m completely transparent here, I did tell them that I was a parenting writer and I was just wanting to check out some of their products for recommendation purposes. I wasn’t acting as a secret shopper, or trying to trap anyone into saying anything they wouldn’t normally, but I did want to be honest as to why I was groping all the goods. This may not be how some people do it, but it’s how I do it.

Lastly I finally got my hands on the Bugaboo Bee and it was obviously glorious because, hello, it’s Bugaboo. I know there are people out there that say as stroller is a stroller. You put the kid in and shove them around, what’s the big deal? These people have obviously never bumped a Bee. From the color to the design to the fabric, it’s high end all the way. (PS, probably my favorite stroller for toddlers.) And then this is where we went downhill….

Me: So can you show me the fold on the bee?

Sales Person 1: Sure! ::folding:: 

Me: Wow, that’s easy! And I do I unfold it?

Sales Person 1: Well, that’s the hard part. I can’t really do it. I’ve been having issues with it all day. I can never get it to work. I think it’s a manufacturer issue.

She then proceeded to grunt, fight and struggle with the stroller for a while until someone else had to come and help her. Next I make the mistake of asking this question:

Me: So I know the seat reverses, can you show me how that works?

This is when it got fun. SP1 and SP2 take the seat off, turn it around and proceed to have no idea what they are doing. It’s collapsing on itself, they are sweating, all the while trying to save face by blaming the manufacturer for the issue. Finally a third person steps in and I started looking around for cameras because this had to be a joke. At one point the seat is clicked on one side, not the other, it’s lopped sided and unconvincing and SP2 says “Well, it’s something like this when it’s done”. Okay, I’ll take your word for it.

I finally had to walk away because I didn’t have all day to watch three adults get out-smarted by a stroller, I’m still not even sure they ever got the seat back on. On my way out SP1 was showing the stellar auto fold and unfold of the 4Moms Origami (another one of my dream strollers) to a family, I mentioned how much I love this particular stroller and pointed out some of the awesome features (like the cell phone charger and LCD display, to name a few). This is when she decided to tell me, in front of potential buyers, “Yeah, I’m having the hardest time selling this one because of the price point.” Not surprisingly the potential buyers all walked away about a second and a half after that. It was all I could do to not bang on head on the nearest wall.

So here is my issue: we are not talking about tomatoes here, we are talking about products that are designed for securing the safety of our children but are being sold by people that have no idea what they’re talking about. (Now this wasn’t all that transpired on this particular trip, if I were to go into every detail you would get bored and never read my blog again, just trust me on this.) It was overwhelmingly obvious that these poor people had no training in the use and handling of any of these very expensive big ticket items. Up until this point I loved this store and because of that, and selfishly how close it is to my house, I really want them to succeed. With a little training and guidance I am 100% sure this store will, deservingly, be a place for moms and dads to get all that their babies need.

And just in case you were wondering, we never did find the unicorn. (But that’s not Baby Town’s fault as much as the 3 foot unicorn snob I live with.)

 

 

Losing faith in humanity, one sale item at a time…

Have you ever wondered about the ridiculousness and stupidity of the people in your surrounding area? Try selling something on a virtual yard sale or Craigslist site. The crazies, they come-a runnin’.

Recently I have been on a mission to rid and clean and de-clutter the house. From the pantry to the playroom, I am gutting it all. The idea came from the discovery of the Facebook yard sale sites. If you aren’t familiar with these little gems, they work like craigslist, only a little more niche, and are supposed to weed out the idiots, flakes, and weirdos since they are invite only pages.

Among the gems I found to sell was a chocolate fountain that was never used, never taken out of the box, surely someone out there would love this and give it a happier home than mine. Upon listing it I was mobbed by “interested!” and “I want it!” Ended up holding it for 2 weeks for someone, the day finally comes, she is getting ready to leave her house to come pick up her party-in-a-box only to finally realize where my home was and that it was too far for her to go for such trivial things.

Um, excuse me?

The next comes my favorite, lets call him “pool table guy”, or PTG for short. The following is my actual listing:

8′ Olhausen Pool Table, purchased from Diamondback Billards. Selling with beautiful wood wall rack, balls, sticks and chalk. Rarely used. $1500obo

PTG: Would you take payments?

Me: Possibly. I would expect at least $500 down then the rest in a timely manner. I would even help with finding a mover for the table when paid in full. The wall rack alone is a few hundred dollars.

PTG: What’s ur location?

Me: [redacted] and [redacted].

PTG: Lol never mind I’m in Phoenix Arizona

***Ed. note: My location is AT MOST 30 minutes away from PTG

Me: Well let me know if you change your mind. It’s not that far if it’s worth it to you.

PTG: No I just don’t feel comfortable sending someone I don’t know 500 dollars who live out in the [redacted]

Me: I totally understand. If you change your mind and want to come look at it, let me know.

PTG: How am I gonna go look at it, I don’t have money to be travling just to see a pool table

And scene.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bang my head against a wall.

 

Scary Mommy Giveaway!

Scary Mommy Giveaway!

It’s no secret that Jill Smokler and I are BFF’s. I mean seariously, if we weren’t would I have this photo?

I love you more. No, I love YOU more.

I love you more. No, I love YOU more.

If you know anything about body language you can clearly see that we are just hours away from matching tattoos and BFF charm necklaces.

Okay, so that’s not entirely true. I may, or may not, have run up to her like a 15 year old Belieber, gushed and giggled and asked for a photo. All while probably touching her entirely too much and then running away swearing never to wash that side of my face ever again. I’m not exactly sure, I had a lot of coffee that day.

Regardless, the details aren’t important. The point is I’m a huge fan, as are thousands of other moms that make up her extremely huge readership.

Jill, and her little corner of the internet, have hit a chord with moms like me and it’s easy to see why. It’s funny, it’s entertaining, it’s often heartbreaking…it’s real life parenting. The yelling, the gross, and the parts we are not proud of. More often than I’m proud to admit, I find myself looking to the confessional, on those especially difficult days, and saying “well, I haven’t done that yet, so I’ll consider the day a win”.

Well I am happy to announce to you (if you weren’t already aware) that the lovely Jill has written her SECOND book and it’s exactly what you would think with a title like Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies). Just in case you are wondering what type of awesome is in this book I have featured a few of my favorite excerpts for you.

Motherhood2

From LIE #19: BEING HOME WITH YOUR KIDS WILL BE THE MOST FULFILLING JOB    

“If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that staying home with my kids would be the most fulfilling job I’d ever have, I’d hire a really good hit man to kill all of those f***ing liars.”

“What’s for dinner? DINNER? What, I’m your personal chef, too? Seriously? I had a bowl of cereal. It was delicious.”

“I have many friends who consider themselves SAHMs. But the reality is, most of them have hobbies or a side gig selling jewelry or body creams online. Even the littlest job or hobby gives them an identy other than simply Mommy. And that’s really, really important.”

From LIE #21: YOU WILL SUCCUMB TO SENTIMENTALITY

“It’s a tough situation to find yourself in, suddenly facing your very own Sophie’s Choice: your children’s feeings or your sanity. I remember the moment I made the choice myself, swimming in piles of the kids’ artwork as I tried to organize our files. It was then and there that I decided there had to be a better way. There had to be a compromise. And so began my career as a selective curator of kids’ shit.”

If you’re interested in seeing Jill Smokler on her book tour check here for dates and locations. If she was coming to Arizona, I would be all over that. Restraining order be dammed.

This book is full of wonderful and I am recommending it so much that I would like to give you, dear reader, a free copy of your own! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Dangers of Stereotypes and the Tragedy in Boston

The first thing I thought about yesterday when they released the photos of the Boston bombing suspects was, sadly, “Oh thank God, they’re white.” So when it was discovered today that they were actually Chechnyan Muslims my heart sank.

It didn’t take long to start seeing the posts on Facebook (from extremely nice and intelligent people) along the lines of, “…you can’t tell me Muslims are peaceful people…” Which is exactly what I was hoping wouldn’t happen.

Since 9/11, an entire community of people has been unjustly scrutinized, attacked and labeled by understandably scared people. But fear doesn’t give us permission to be hateful.

Every single one of us is a member of some sort of stereotype. No matter who or what you are, there is a negative connotation attached to it. As a Hispanic Christian, I would hate to be labeled as an illegal who torches abortion clinics. Just as every Catholic priest is not a pedophile and every Muslim is not a terrorist.

Be mindful of your words today, especially around your children. Hate is not born into our kids, it is grown and learned. Just as we teach our children to be careful when crossing the street and to say thank you, we are also teaching them to judge and hate.

I tend to stay away from politics because it’s such a polarizing topic ,but this isn’t about politics or religion – or even America. It’s about being compassionate and intelligent and better than what I’m sure will pollute the internet in the days and weeks to come.

I pray for the people and the families of those hurt and scared in Boston. I pray for wisdom and conviction on the part of this suspect who is still at large.

And I pray for you and your family, that hate and judgement will not take over your lives and cloud your vision of the beauty that everyone in this world has to offer.

Dammit.

I wouldn’t call myself a nag, perse. I like to think of it as a gentle and thoughtful reminder of things that I deem important. Just ask my husband, he will tell you all about it.

One of my favorite things to gently and thoughtfully remind my dear sweet husband of is his use of colorful language around Audrey. While he doesn’t toss around the f-bomb willy nilly he does let “shit” fly here and there. (Pun intended.)

I, however, have prided myself on my ability to leap up onto my pedestal of piousness in a single bound with a completely spotless use to the English language.

So how is it that Audrey said her first bad word on Sunday?

Right here and right now, I would like to publicly admit to the world, in front of my husband, whom I’m sure is currently smirking, that it was me. 

Dammit.

Three years ago today…

Three years ago today…

Three years ago today at exactly 5:24 pm I became somebody’s mother. From the day I found out I was pregnant all I could think about was how she was going to exit my body but by the time that day had come I didn’t care if they had to pull off my nail beds with rusty pliers to get her out as long as the end result was the same.

March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

Since then my life has been turned on its ear in the most special and important way imaginable. I have experienced things I never thought possible, said things I never thought I was say (“Please stop licking the dog.”), and loved so much I thought my heart would burst. I have been so completely mortified by my own child’s behavior that I wanted to climb under a rock (when she knocked over an entire shoe display at Sketchers during a tantrum) and I have been so proud that my face physically hurt from smiling (her first ballet recital).

Ballet

In the past three years I’ve, at times, been tired in a way that shouldn’t be humanly possible and understood why some wild animals eat their young. I get it now. I’ve gone from being my own boss to being bossed around by a thumb-sucking  dictator.

But even though some days felt like they would never end and I was counting the minutes until glorious bed time, I feel like one day I turned around and my baby was suddenly a little person.

She has become overly dramatic (I like to say she got that from her dad but I’m sure he will point the finger back at me). She no longer just tells me no, now it’s chubby fists on her princess Pull-Up covered hips followed by a defiant “NEVER!!” 

I never eat eggs. NEVER!!”

I never go nap. NEVER!!”

NEVER!!

NEVER!!

I get it kid, no naps, no eggs. Relax.

She is so smart it’s scary. I know everyone says that about their own child but it’s true (I again will say she got that from her dad and he will agree this time, no doubt). She can tell you the proper name for a handful of dinosaurs, recite the alphabet, count to 20, tell you what color pretty much anything is and back seat drive like nobody’s business.

"Green means GO Mommy!!"

“Green means GO Mommy!!”

She is so tough and so fearless that I find myself often a ball of nerves and grateful for health insurance. It is not unusual to hear a loud bang or crash followed by an “I’m OKAY!” I once saw her tackle a chicken to the ground, roll around and come up with it victorious. Which brings me to the next point…

The chicken didn't stand a chance.

This chicken didn’t stand a chance.

She is an animal lover like no other. From fuzzy bunnies to scaly fish, she doesn’t discriminate, she loves them all.

Today I will make her favorite breakfast, pancakes, and spend the day showering her with love and gifts before we go to see Yo Gabba Gabba live in concert. However, in the quieter moments, I will sit back and reflect on the past three years and try not to cry (but I probably will).

Today my wonderful husband and I will celebrate  our own Mom & Dad-iversaries as well as, the last 1,095 days of parenthood, the good, the bad and the amazingly disgusting.

Happy Birthday Audrey!

Happy Birthday Audrey!

Happy Birthday baby girl. Daddy and I are so proud to be the ones chosen by God to be your parents. Everyday we pray for your happiness and your health and for God to give us the wisdom and the patience to do the very best we can for you. I hope one day you will look back on this and know that you are so very very loved.

Xoxo, Mommy & Daddy

 

 

 

 

The Big Lock Down

There is something I have been leery to write about because it’s one of those controversial topics that are oh so fun to write about because who doesn’t like hate mail? Not this girl!

A couple of weeks ago we moved the Little Dictator from her crib to the toddler bed and while it was all unicorns and marshmallows in the begging it got very bad after a bit.

Run along over to Mummy Knows Reviews to read all about how and why I decided to put a lock on Audrey’s bedroom.

(Click HERE.)

Dear Big Round Gassy Pregnant Me….

Do you remember those days when you were pregnant with your first child? Of course you do, those were the glory days.  Do you ever wish you could go back in time and give your self a little pep talk? Well today I am over at MyTimeAsMom.com doing just that.

I remember those days to fondly. Sleeping for hours in the middle of the day, hot showers that were completely un-scheduled, eating a cookie without the need to hide in the laundry room.

Ahh, those were the days…

Just yesterday I was talking to Rutherford and I mentioned that I don’t even recognize the people we were before the Little Dictator moved in. As much as I hate to admit it we were each selfish in our own ways, impatient and immature. Then suddenly there is someone else there who needs and deserves more and better than that and you either step up or get out-of-the-way.

I am proud of my husband and I for a lot of things but none more than for the people and the parents we have become. And neither one of us could have done it without the other and we both fully recognize this and tell each other often.

When was the last time you told your husband you were proud of him? It’s such a small thing that means too much to the person hearing it. With Valentine’s Day coming up this week there no better time to tell someone you love and appreciate them than now. (Hallmark should have me on payroll right?)

What would you add to my letter to a pregnant me? What do you wish some one would have told you in those days?

(PS. click any of the links to read the full article or click HERE!)