Spying on a Teen

Every once in a while, I like a reminder that I am not a certifible loon. Yesterday, as I was working on my computer, I kept hearing this pinging noise coming from it. I finally minimized the window I was working in to see that I was getting instant messages. But they weren’t for me – they were for my stepson. I answered one with “Are you looking for Oliver?” It was a gal friend of his who I know, so I told her he was at his mom’s.

IM/Red Abstraction No. 2
Creative Commons License photo credit: Kris Cohen

The pings kept coming. I saw in the iChat menu that he had 10 friends wanting to talk – four boys and six girls. I won’t say I wasn’t curious. Since he’s a typical 9th grade boy and shares next to nothing about his life, the idea of one of those awful psycho moms who pretends to be the kid in order to get info flashed through my head. The thought passed quickly as I “quit” iChat (yeah, it took me a while to figure that out) and emailed Oliver that folks were wanting to gab.

I told him I had thought better of playing mom-spy. “Ha ha,” he wrote. “I know moms like that. They are weird.”

That was the nicest thing he’s ever said to me! I’m not weird! At least, that’s how I am deciding to take it.

Pregnant Sex Dreams

In my continuing quest to be honest and point out the upsides of pregnancy, in this video I talk about the passionate dreams. Oh, don’t tell I’m the only one who has felt her hormones surge during gestation. Before you’re so huge that you can’t roll out of bed for your 16th pee of the night comes another nice nighttime companion.

Madonna Arms

I know it’s tawdry, but I do a have a passing interest in this Madonna divorce. What really caught my eye was a piece that said her super fitness was getting in the way of the marriage. I’ve long said I’ve wanted “Madonna arms” (Note the place they are in now: not saggy, but not Queen of Pop).

Daphne Brogdon flexing

She is 50 and has defied gravity and womanhood to prevent the arm flaps that start to appear in the late 30s (earlier if there is a weight issue). Well, now the truth the comes out: she gets perfect arms ’cause she works out FOUR HOURS A DAY. And she banned sugar and dairy from her home.  

Now, if I was performing in a corset in front of millions, I’d probably do the same thing, but having part of my body on basic cable doesn’t quite warrant such drastic measures. If I consistently worked out an hour a day and put half and half in my coffee, I think I’d be happy with the results.

But the ol’ “don’t envy people” is easy to find here. I do envy her arms, but her hubby allegedly saying the workouts got in the way of their life together is a big bummer. Or that he wanted to cuddle with more flesh.

Cool Mom Poll: Double Strollers

My husband goes to the farmer’s market at least once a week, for his restaurant. This place is packed with chefs, foodies and hippies all converging to buy fresh produce and some junky jewelry. Mark gets irked when a mom pushing a double-wide stroller stops in the middle of the market to chat with a friend. “Uh, hello, can’t get around you.”

Lest you think he is unsympathetic to people with two small children, his two oldest are two years apart and he used to push a double stroller, but it was tandem.  Part of that time he was living in NYC and he said in NYC if he had been pushing a double-wide if he didn’t accidentally kill someone, someone would have killed him.

So, come on, aren’t they a bit ungainly?  Since Viv will be three-and-a-half when Junior is born, I might have escaped my need to get one of these wheelbarrows, but I’m not sure. She rarely goes into a stroller now – and usually only when I am desperate for exercise and I beg her to get in one so I can have some cardio activity. (‘Cause walking with a three-year-old burns about two calories.)

So this week, I want to know what you think about double-wide strollers:

 


Check back on Cool Mom for the results on Friday! To see past polls, visit the Cool Mom Quizzes and Polls page.

Cool Mom Poll Recap: Husbands That Bug

Husbands That Bug Poll Results - Cool Mom

Well, shut my mouth and cover me with Jell-O! Here are the results of last week’s Cool Mom poll, Husbands That Bug (voting officially ended Thursday). Cool Mom visitors seem to be a randy lot. I thought there would be more of you who felt badgered on the bedroom issue. I hear it enough in my non-virtual life. It’s interesting that the age old equality among chores is the big vote-getter. I know in my upbringing, mowing the lawn seemed to be one of the only tasks Dad was expected to do.  

I do think housecleaning and laundry would be an issue in my home if I hadn’t figured out that paying someone else can help keep the peace. Particularly in our blended family. If I had been cleaning up after my husband and his sons when I had a new baby, I would have become a very disgruntled wife. As in, day-dreaming of divorce. So a pair of gals showed up once a week for a long time. I would get Viv down for her mid-morning nap and then ask them to clean one room first, and then I would go and collapse in whatever room that was. It cost less than marriage counseling or a lawyer. Then when I started working, we had to step up the schedule.  

Sometimes I hear friends say, “Well, our moms did it” – meaning no daycare, no housekeepers. I say, “Well, goody for you. I know I am NOT Mama Walton.” I came into the domestic scene with different expectations than some might have had in 1969.

Oh, and I thought “gross family” was a chuckle.  I’m not from the Kennedys or the Mountbattens myself, so I don’t believe in being overly close to relatives if they aren’t your same food group.

What’s Going To Fit Me Now?

What’s the question that all moms-to-be-ask themselves? “Are my ankles swollen?” No, it’s, the perennial pregnant-lady question: “What am I going to wear?” In this video, I explore the minefield I encounter every morning… that is, when I don’t put on the same velour tracksuit pants.

Kiwi Problem

No, this isn’t about some New Zealander I had a fling with. That was years ago and it was no “problem” – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – if you know what I mean. This is a classic mom-tale.

Daphne with kiwis

It’s the end of a busy day, one in which I think I am getting a cold. The end of the week is busier for me because I work on my TV show on Thursdays and Fridays. I’ve got enough squared away so Viv and I can go to my sister’s and watch the last presidential debate. Well, so I can watch and she can play with her cousins.

Under the pile on the kitchen counter, I see a note from the school. My mother-in-law picked up Viv as she often does, God bless her, so I hadn’t seen the note. In honor of “F” week (each week, a new letter is featured), the class is making fruit salad. Vivien needs to bring – I hold my breath, hoping it’s something we have already – bananas? Grapes? Plums? Strawberries? Apples? Oranges?  I just went to Whole Foods; I have everything! Oh wait, no, I don’t – she is supposed to bring two to three kiwis. Certainly I have a day to accomplish this? No, by tomorrow morning. Grrrr.

I was lucky. Vivien’s babysitter was just about to leave, so I asked her to please go to the store and get me kiwis (I didn’t want to miss the debate). She did. So this morning, I got Viv and myself out the door on time (miracle), with no tears (second miracle). We walk into her classroom and DUH. I FORGOT THE DAMN KIWIS.

My husband is not working this morning, so I just farmed it out to him to go back to school. I’m afraid what else I will screw up!

My Clip on Dr. Phil

For those that missed it, here is my very brief part on the Dr. Phil show about “extreme parenting.” It sounds so salacious!

This is longer than a usual Cool Mom bit: between two and three minutes, which, for me, is about as long a video as I can ever watch online. The mom I was backing up is Lenore of Free Range Kids.

Did I change the face of daytime TV? Nah, but it was fun to be on the show.

And I hope, someday, to fit in that yellow dress again.

Dressing While Decaffed

That does it – I need caffeine. I had a homemade half-caf this morning, and after getting Viv’s lunch together and unloading the dishwasher, I got dressed. You can see the results below. I look like I’m in a cult. Or perhaps in preschool.

Daphne in her decaf pregnancy outfit

Here was my thinking process: “I am going to pre-natal Pilates, so I’ll put on leggings.” Then I thought, “I’m dropping off Viv at preschool first, and do I really want my crotch-space showing? What will the other mothers think?” So I decided to put on a skirt, but not many fit. Anyway, it was a mess. The Pilates teacher convinced me to lose the skirt, which I did. It’s LA: it could be a look.

The moral of the story was that after I dropped off Viv, I had another half-caf and then the world seemed a bit clearer. Sorry, Junior: Mom can’t think without caffeine.

Baby Has Me In Training

I don’t know if it’s my general anxiety or my full bladder, but sleep has become a tad restless lately. Seeing that I’m only 21 weeks pregnant, I think it’s too early for this. But this is the third morning in a row that I am waking up at 5 am, unable to go back to sleep.

From 5 to 6 I have to lay and worry about everything and everyone. Or work up some dormant anger about some past slight. Having some time before the house wakes up is okay. I make my one cup of coffee for the day – a sweet half-cup before I’m forced to switch to decaf. Then I take a walk, read the paper, watch the news, space out online, but dang, I’d sure like more sleep.

I think the baby is nudging me to remember what it will be like when he arrives. No longer the leisure life of a kid in preschool, but growling at my husband if he doesn’t help with the 11 and 2 feedings. Oh, yes, I know what’s coming. Breathe in “miracle of life,” breathe out “someone will care when I die.” I must stay focused on the important things, not that disabled feeling for the first couple of weeks, or months, or year and a half.

If only I could take a sleeping pill!