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Friday, August 26, 2011

We're not that different

I've been talking to some of my working friends and family lately and found that while people feel like there is a big difference between stay at home parents and people in the working world, that's just not the case. As the title of this post says we're not that different. I've read tons of articles that try to pin one side against the other, exclaiming their role to be the more difficult. So this post is to unite the working and the stay at home parent in order to find common ground.

The working person says "I'm tired of dealing with everyone's else's crap all day"
The stay at home parent actualy deals with the literal crap of someone else all day. (also deals with pee, snot, and the occasional puke)

The working person says "My boss is so unreasonable, his expectations are crazy"
The stay at home parent just spent 40 minutes trying to explain/plead/ reason with their toddler, the logistics of why a soup pot, pop up tent, and the cat can not fit in the three inch space between the front door and the storm door no matter how hard you slam it. How's that for reasonable expectations?

The working person says "No one here understands me"
The stay at home parent of a toddler shares only about 6-10 common words with their child and you might be surprised how infrequently "woof-woof" and "ball" help bridge the daily communication gap.

The working person says "These deadlines are killing me"
The stay at home parent has deadlines too. We have four minutes from witnessing "poop face" to change the diaper before the onset of rash. We have 3 seconds to fast forward the part of a show our toddler doesn't like before they melt down and rip the tv off the wall. We have 1/4 of a second to realize that the trajectory of the hand full of spaghetti is not moving toward the mouth but the floor.

The working person says "I hate the politics here"
The stay at home parent is all to familiar with politics. I mean Mr. Frog and Captian Beanrington can barely stay in the same playroom. For stuffed animals they are suprisingly temperamental. It's sad really.

And finally the working person says "I did all the work and someone else took all the glory"
The stay at home parent knows this feeling well. They administer the yucky medicine, they force the unwanted diaper changes, they wipe the after meal face while trying to avoid being bit. They spend the day forcing their children to be clean, nice, and safe. Then after all the toddlers screaming, defying, and crying in walks Daddy! He hands over an Oreo, throws your child dangerously high into the air, and upon catching him showers him with kisses! Oh Daddy, you're wonderful...not at all like that Mommy of mine.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Children's tv

I'm not sure when I started to despise children's tv, but I certainly do! I find myself watching sesame street and hoping Bert just looses it and knocks Ernie out. I mean the guy is constantly messing with him, I don't think there's a jury in the world that would convict Bert. He clearly has some mental issues, he's in love with Bernice the pigeon, obsessed with paperclips, and wears a turtleneck. After years of mental abuse, I think we could give him a pass.

And these characters never learn anything, is that really the example I want for my son? I mean how special of an agent can Oso be if he forgets what to do every time he has a mission. And really goofy, you can't remember the word "tootles" every day, but we let you drive a car? Don't get me started on yo gaba gaba, that whole show freaks me out. Let's have swiper arrested for swiping Dora's crap all the time and teach kids real consequences. And is Mr. Noodle really our subject matter expert? It takes him ten tries and the help of yelling five year olds to get anything right. Finally, Mr. Blueman (yes that's his name) if Grover is your waiter, flight attendant, or salesman... Go somewhere else. He clearly is inept and your optimism is slowly becoming stupidity.

We limit Jack's tv and really the only show he will sit through is sesame street which helps me stay sane. However, I can't fight the urge to secretly wish these very predictable shows would break format and throw something in that would result in a collective "that's what I'm talking about" from parents everywhere. Can you honestly say that if Oscar the grouch put his money where his mouth is and shanked Big Bird for singing the abc's outside his can you wouldn't smile? I mean you would be appalled and quickly change the channel to protect your child, but inside you'd think, that chipper giant had it coming to him.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mommy Resume

Danielle Stewart
Charlotte NC
Mom of 18 month old

Objective: To grow a functioning little human, equipped with manors, wisdom, and empathy while maintaing my sanity.



1 Can currently clean a puddle of juice off the floor while keeping toddler away with one leg
2 Able to lift 30 grocery bags, one child, a diaper bag and unlock the front door (still working on closing the back of the suv at the same time)
3 Can change diaper of squirming toddler on a public changing table while begging people not to turn on the very loud air hand dryer right next to his head. Occasionally ignored.


1 Able to cook four dinners in 30 minutes until one is finally eaten rather then spit out.
2 Can pay six bills and send three overdue email responses in one afternoon nap. (at least 50% will be done accurately)
3 Have created a streamlined process that has reduced the time it takes me to get ready from 30 minutes to 3 minutes (appearance has suffered greatly)

Patience :

1 Can wait out up to an 8 minute tantrum before loosing my mind
2 Able to repeat the same task hundreds of times without variation (27 climbs up the playground stairs and back down)
3 Have not killed or attempted to kill anyone who slows me down at the supermarket in over six months. (guess I'm due)


18 months of sleep depervation classes (ideal candidate for third shift)
8 months of whining translation (fluent in squeals and shreiks)
3 months of intense "no" seminars with an almost 24hr use of the word.
At home haircut class resulting in investment in toddler hats.
On the job training regarding the ability to fish hook inedible objects out of child's mouth. (includes dust bunnies, leaves, and various thing from under the couch.)
Conflict resolution expert - have defused hundreds of cat vs baby arguments

Desired position: I'm living it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's not a tumor

One thing I hadn't prepared myself for when I became a mom was the worry. The suffocating, constant fear for your child's well being can drive you mad if you let it. Here is a list of things I worried about and what they actual turned out to be. These are all 100% true. (sadly enough)

1. A rash on Jack's bum that I was convinced was a flesh eating disease. I had just watched a show about it a day prior and couldn't help but worry they would have to cut off his bum. He would be the bumless kid all through school probably be called crackless Jack or no crack Jack.

Result: chaffing and heat rash

2. Jack had a terrible black and blue mark on his toe. I thought, broken toe? Did he drop something on it when I wasn't looking, am I that inattentive that I missed a serious injury?

Result: It was mushed blueberry from his lunch, washed right off.

3. The first night in the hospital after Jack was born he got the hicups... Oh gosh perforated diaphragm? (I have no idea what that actually is) I hit the call button and made the nurse come in and asked her what we should do.

Result: provided a good laugh for a bunch of nurses in the break room

4. One day Jack started sneezing and rubbing his nose and fussing, I thought, oh no the poor kid has allergies, or is fighting a cold. He fussed with his nose all night. Then the next morning he sneezed and something brown came out. I thought, is that a peice of his brain, is his brain falling out his noise? I think I read that can happen.

Result: It was a leaf that got stuck up his nose while we all sat outside watching my husband clean the yard. Leaf came out, problem solved.

These are just a few of the hundreds of mommy worries I have a day. (not to be confused with wife worries that are more "honey, did you hear that noise, you better go check it out")

From week to week you worry they aren't eating enough, sleeping soundly enough. You wonder when every corner and edge in your house got so sharp.

I haven't ordered Jacks bubble boy suit yet but I have it saved to my amazon shopping cart. I am assuming that as long as I am his mother, I will worry. I think it just comes with the territory.

Thinking Thursday

Just so this page has a little purpose I've decided to give a tip of the week every Thursday.


Jack will eat anything in the form of a fry, cookie, pancake, or pop. Since I don't want his diet to be made up of the conventional forms of the above, I've found or created home made recipes that come in the shapes but without the junk. *Jack does however sometimes eat all these things in their normal wonderfully yummy form!

Examples you can search on the Internet:

Beet Cookies
Pumpkin Cookies
Carrot Cookies
Banana Cookies
Yogurt fruit pops (using the molds you buy at stores)
Carrot pancakes
Avocado pancakes
Sweat potato fries
Any kind of mini muffin

Also almost anything that is creamy can be mixed into a grilled cheese. Avocado works great! You can sub sugar and oil for unsweetened applesauce on most recipes. I get the majority of my recipes from since she adds new ones almost every day.

More funny stuff later. Its about Jacks new ability to dance... maybe even a video.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Because I said so

I knew that as Jack got older my husband and I would need to "lay down the law" and do things that wouldn't make us popular in order to keep him safe. I'd didn't realize how soon in life we would be crushing his idea of fun. It's heart breaking at times to steal the little spark of joy from his eyes as I redirect him away from the "fun"

It got me thinking what a day in Jacks world would be like if I let him roam free and act on all of his whims.

Jacks day would start by tumbling head first down the stairs that he wants so badly to walk down alone. Then for breakfast he would pass on the homemade waffles (I love my waffle maker) and opt for a handful of cat food washed down with a sip from their water bowl. He would then flush the toilet 32 times and unroll all the toilet paper. He would of course be naked all day as well. He would spill something on the carpet and run his foot through it until it was mashed as nicely into the fibers as it was between his toes.

For our play date we would head to the pool. He would ride in the front seat and push the radio buttons until it didn't work anymore. At the pool he would run barefoot on the burning asphalt through the parking lot dodging cars. Once at the pool he would gather the toys of all the other children without regard for anyone's feelings. Then he would slap all those brave enough to try to take them back. When ready to enter the pool he would walk right off the edge and sink to the bottom.

Back at the house he would sit in his stinky diaper for the rest of the day and search the floor for food, rather then eat the dinner I made. He would finish up the evening by opening and emptying all the drawers in the house. A few tail pulls for the cat, a couple blocks thrown at the tv and a run out the front door and into the street. He would stay up all night watching Elmo movies and jumping on the couch.

I guess it's true, you really can't let your child do whatever they think will make them happy. I just can't believe how frequently I have to be the buzz kill in my sons day. At least at this point he can't run up to his bedroom and slam the door while screaming "I hate you". Ah the teen years... How fondly I remember you.

For Jacks sake I will continue to close the toilet seat, keep the cat food out of his reach, and stop him from walking into the deep end of the pool, even if he doesn't like it....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

False Advertising

I’ve always known there were things out there that were too good to be true. For a while in my early 20’s my middle name could have been “as seen on TV”. I’m guilty of buying the miracle blade knife set, the slap chopper, and the fold flat strainer, but at least these things cut, chopped and strained. They did the bare minimum required by their name.

It wasn’t until I entered this journey of parenthood that I realized just how easy it is to find false advertising. Companies depend on the fact that you are sleep deprived or desperate for a solution to your current situation.
So, I’m able to forgive the people who make the stretch mark cream (worth a try). I can overlook the people who invented the wipe warmer (Jack’s bum is equally happy with room temperature wipes). I can even excuse the creators of the baby mop (Yes it’s real; you attach it to your baby while they crawl around.) These are all valiant efforts and things we all know probably are too dumb to work anyway.

The people I can’t pardon however, are the companies out there calling their toddler cups leak proof. I have tried hundreds (11, maybe 12) toddler cups that all claim to be 100% leak proof, but unless that is 100% out of 200% then they are liars! I have spent upwards of $19 on one cup. These cups couldn’t leak more if they had holes drilled in them and were being rattled by the paint shaker thing at Home Depot.

I can just image a bunch of guys sitting in a conference room saying “Think of how many more cups we can sell if we write leak proof on it” and another childless jerk chimes in with. “Better put 100% on there too, people eat that up!” They are probably getting a kick back from Stanley Steamer who needs to come to everyone’s house and get the juice stains out of their carpet and the sour milk smell off their couch. Jack would have less milk on him if he tried to get it directly from the cow.

Is there not some fact check oversight spill committee out there testing these cups? This is like me inventing a bra that returns your chest to pre-baby form, even when you aren’t wearing it. It makes you five pounds lighter, two inches taller (or shorter if you prefer) and keeps your hair from getting frizzy even in the rain. For three easy payments of $19.99 you too can have something that makes absolutely no sense.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Work Place Injuries

The job of mom is an important one. I take my responsibilities very seriously (though it may be hard to tell sometimes since I am normally laughing at myself) Today I want to help to warn other new or soon to be moms of the physical hazards of being a mom. Considering you are the opposite of a "union member" and you get no days off or sick time it helps to be cautious. This way you can work to avoid these injuries (now called boo-boo's since I am bi-lingual in baby talk)

Common injuries to Mommy

1. Under arm abrasion

Cause: Your child becomes tall enough to reach the drawers in your bathroom vanity. He pulls out your deodorant and smashes it on the tile floor 23 times. The following day, destracted by his rummaging through other bathroom drawers you thoughtlessly attempt to put your deodorant on. The entire stick is stuck in the cap and you scrape the empty plastic rim firmly across your unsuspecting pit. (repeat this three more days until you remember to throw it out)

2. Toy to foot injury

Cause: Your house, which you swore never would, has turned into a Toy's r us commercial. Unless you suddenly sprout wings and can fly from room to room your foot will encounter the sharp edge of a toy. Don't worry though, since you haven't been for a pedicure in months your feet are so rough you barely felt it.

3. Rocking chair ass

Cause: Hours of rocking a non sleeping baby resulting in your ass to get tingly and numb. Don't panic however, it may feel like your ass is gone but trust me it's still there, stretch marks and all. Also watch for a neck cramp, dead arms, and clinical insanity. To alleviate this I made up song lyrics to the squeak in my chair. It got me through those long nights!

4. Bruised knuckles

Cause: publicly beating the many strangers who cough and sneeze and then attempt to touch your baby for no reason at all. A circle of other mothers will surround you chanting "fight, fight, fight! " Then when you win they will hoist you onto their shoulders and you will have a celebratory flash mob dance that you have all been working on.

Let's not leave out injuries to your spouse (not including the beatings they receive for fat jokes while you are pregnant) They are at risk to suffer from cuts and scrapes resulting from your unshaved legs, unclipped toe nails, and your attempts to gouge their eyes out while they snore through your child's 12pm feeding.

**You may notice I have left out the actual pain like labor, raw nipples, stitches etc. But surprisingly there is nothing funny about those things. I know I wasn't laughing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


There is a lot of talk these days about allergies in children. The stats and increases over the last 10 years are really astounding. They can cause anaphylaxis, hives, and other symptoms. I can attest to how challenging having a child with allergies really is.

I've listed Jack's allergies below, reading the symptoms may help you diagnose your child too.

1. TiVo-intolerance
Symptoms: Waking during the night and screaming every time my husband and I press play on a recorded show that we have been trying for weeks to watch.

Cure: Stopping said show, hugging, rocking, and repeating until you have spent 3.5 hours watching a 60 minute show that you cannot remember what it was about anyway.

2. Mommy Sitting Aversion
Symptoms: Playing perfectly quietly alone until mommy decides to sit (even to fold clothes) then deciding that just won't work. Pulling on mommy's shirt until she gets on the floor and plays. In early infancy this can present as sleeping peacefully in mommy's arms until she sits down out of sheer exhaustion then screaming like a crazy person until she stands back up.

Cure: Stand the hell up all day.

3. Mommy Getting Ready Sensitivity
Symptoms: The sound of the running shower, blow dryer, and the opening of mascara, all cause immediate use of the word "up" followed by screams if need is not met quickly

Cure: Stay dirty and ugly until reinforcements arrive.

4. Room Leaving Hypersensitivity.
Symptoms: The melting down of toddler self into a screaming puddle at the site of either parent exiting the current room said toddler is in. (unless said room was filled with cookies, milk, and movies) But sadly we do not have a cookie, milk, movie room.

Cure: There are two ways to alleviate this problem. Leave quickly before your spouse in a “tag you’re it” approach or sneak away when he is enthralled with attempting to feed the cat a carpet fiber. This should postpone screaming for 1-5 minutes depending on your luck that day. Really depending on who is luckier, you or the cat.

The doctor assures me that he will grow out of his allergies. (And continues to refuse to write me a prescription) She believes by the time he is ready to leave for college, most if not all of these will be behind us. Fingers crossed!

Serious Note: All you parents struggling with real allergies, I commend you. Those are challenges with very serious risks. Good luck managing the issue and I hope (like my nephew did) your children grow out of them.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Nap Junkie

When you are young a nap is something that you take on a mat in your kindergarten class. When you're a teen it's something you do in the back of science class. When you're a young married couple it's something you do cuddled together on a Sunday afternoon after watching Message is a Bottle on TBS. (lucky)

Well when you're a parent the nap is something completely different. **Warning: if your child exclaims "nap" and proceeds to walk himself upstairs, climbing into his crib, singing himself a song, and falls peacefully to sleep for three wonderful hours, then please stop reading this. As a matter of fact, go poke yourself in the eye, because none of us are happy for you. Keep it to yourself.

Ok back to business, as a parent the nap is an elusive beast that you hunt daily. It's the chubakabra, you believe it exists, seen pictures of it, but each day you are sure you will never quite catch it. I am ready to admit, my name is Danielle an I'm a nap junkie. It's my drug. I spend all morning thinking about J's nap. I plan what I will wash, clean, call, pay, or email. I count the minutes while playing tag and blocks. Don't get me wrong I love playing with my son but I have lots of responsibilities around the house that have to get done too. So I'm glancing at the sink of breakfast dishes knowing they are on the list. Did he just yawn? I think he yawned.

As the time approaches like any junkie, I start to sweat. I pace, jittery across the floor. Is it time, should I do this now? I prep. Blankie - check, room temp - check, curtains drawn - check. This is it I can feel it. Ok, ok don't get too excited, don't get ahead of yourself, he's not asleep yet.
Everything goes as planned. I put him down in the perfect side laying, blankie cuddling, position. I back out of the room like I just stole
something. Stepping over a toy like a security system laser beam. The door clicks shut and I hold my breath. Ah, perfect! Oh the rush, the high, the sheer extacy of one uninterrupted hour of cleaning, calling, eating, maybe showering.

Wait....what - is that guy seriously pulling out the weed whacker again? The weeds are whacked dude, you meticulously whacked them yesterday.

Again, in true junkie fashion I see this man as a threat to my high and for a moment I think of whittling a shank out of J's xylophone stick and maiming him in some way that ensures his weeds can no longer be whacked. Maybe I will set fire to his lawn, you can't mow dirt. Doesn't this guy have a job, is he a stay at home whacker? You're killing me! I contemplate befriending him and turning him onto some hobby like stamp collecting or dungeons and dragons. Something really addicting so that he shirks his lawn care responsibilities and my son can sleep.

And before you know it, I have cleaned, and called, and posted and Jack is up. The junkie has had her fix. No one was injured, though the UPS guy who rang my doorbell came dangerously close to feeling the wrath of mommy. Those brown shorts would have been slightly more brown if he hadn't left the package on the steps and scurried back to his truck. So friends, please don't plan an intervention, because I'm just not ready to quit yet. I'm sure the 12 step program is wonderful, but I'm too deep in the lifestyle to turn back now.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Changing Supermarkets

So I've decided I need to change supermarkets. No no it's not because of the embarrassing tantrum J threw which included 12 broken jars of pickles, biting a cashier, and ultimately taking him down with a tranquilizer gun. (These details are slightly exaggerated but this is what it felt like) But that's not what's got me looking for a new store.

The food at my store is inconsistent. Sometimes it's great and other times it's inedible, vile really! Now it all tastes fine to me but J must have a much keener pallet then I do. You see I buy a bunch of bananas, 6 to be exact. On Monday I peel half of it and J eats it ravenously. By the look on his face it may be the best thing he's ever eaten. Now two days later when I reach for the next banana I expect it to be equally yummy and J to enjoy it thoroughly. Well this banana might as well be a steaming pile of garbage peeled off someone's shoe. J sniffs it, licks it, then proceeds to flat handed smash it into the counter while screaming what I translate into "why would you try to feed me this crap, don't you love me, don't you know me at all?"

Repeat this process daily with fish, cherries, most veggies... In fact everything but peas, raspberries, grilled cheese, and pasta. At least the store can get those right.

I'm thinking of writing a strongly worded letter to the store insisting that their quality control team be more vigalent. I mean a bunch of bananas should all taste the same right? It's not like my son would wildly enjoy a food one day, reject it the next, and then love it again later that week. Right?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let's put an end to teething!

The miracle of a baby growing in your womb is one of those things you can't really articulate. It is hard to compare to any other experience in life. I guess if I was forced to pick something to align it with it would be the cultivating and nurturing of a chia pet (I grew up in apartments we didn't have gardens). The excitement of planting the seed, thoroughly reading everything there is to know about the chia pet, and watching it grow into something amazing. (Hopefully my child is never eaten by the cat and then knocked off the counter and broken beyond repair as was the fate of my poor chia pet)

So where is the humor in this, I did mention this blog would attempt to be funny. Well inside my womb my son grew arms, legs, ears, lips, organs, and so much more. None of these things seemed to be hard for him, pretty painless. So I find myself asking why then for the last 12 months little pointy, rash, and fever causing, sleep stealing teeth are ripping through his gums one at a time. I mean the kid grew skin in my belly, a full head of hair, and I didnt hear him complain once. Toe nails, nostrils, muscles, is it really to much to ask to just have the choppers in place on arrival?

So I'm not sure where to file it yet but I am starting a petition that will require kids to come out of the womb with a full set of teeth. I'm not saying it won't make for some interesting breastfeeding, but someone will invent baby mouth guards within a week. I think the shamwow guy is probably out of jail by now, he could come up with something.

As a small addition to the petition I may add a foot note regarding bladder control. I have been pee'd on more then a urinal at Fenway park.

Appreciate your support in this matter. I believe, together we can change the world"