Big Bubblin stars’ contest

Hey, here is a fun contest Rex and I worked on last month.  It’s a super cute contest where you film your kid in a bubble bath and you can win up to 10 grand.  I did the “here’s how you did it vid” and then Rex performed like a pro in the sample cute kid in bath video.

Check it out on YouTube.

And yes, we got paid and I put it in his 529, toot sweet.  But, you can get even more dough if you win!

Baby Safety Class

I was pumping my hand into the chest of the dummy kid with purpose and concentration. The instructor gave us a narrative, “Now you hear the sirens…” I was near tears. I was getting so wrapped up in my faux rescue I was nearly shaking.

I was still waiting for the choking talk. It had been 90 minutes since my save a little life class had started, and I was there primarily because of that.

Two weeks ago I was at my mom’s. Rex was on my lap, and my sister Cecily and I were yakking away. Rex was teething on some pizza crust. When he started to choke. Or nearly choke… cough/choke hybrid. Cecily started to push up on his lower belly, I stuck my finger in his throat to make him gag. A combo of the gagging and the coughing produced the pizza crust. They usually get soft in his mouth, but this had a burnt part that baby saliva couldn’t melt.

Rex started crying (a good sign), and I passed him to my sister so I could collapse for a second in hysterics. “He is fine Daphne, he is fine,” Cecily said.

“I know, but I was so scared.” I pulled it together and took Rex to nurse him.

Cecily, always wise, said, “We should take a baby first aid class, because I think what we did was wrong.”

Apparently it was. I learned so much in the class I can’t scratch the surface here. And I’ve taken it twice before. Once in college and once when I was pregnant with Vivien.

THE RULES KEEP CHANGING.

Did you know that beats we are now suppose to perform CPR on adult or child match the beats to the Bee Gee’s “Stayin Alive”? True and ironic.

Did you know that you shouldn’t dial 911 on a cell phone? Can take forever. Landline is better. Or program a local police station into your phone for emergencies.

That your kids should NEVER eat in the car. We heard some scary stories about that. One child who nearly died in his car seat on a piece of chicken (a bystander in the parking lot saved his life) and another child who did die eating a tiny piece of apple in her car seat. There isn’t enough time to react.

And my car has way too many cheerios on the floor anyway.

The instructor said, “Has anyone ever seen a child choke?” I raised my hand.

I told the story and, of course, I started crying. The nice RN teacher came and patted me. Then we went to work tipping the kid over, whacking him on the back. The imaginary grape came out, and all was fine.

I went home and drank wine.

Can’t Read the Paper

One of the differences between our younger selves and our more mature selves is the acceptance that it is the accumulation of small things that can make your life good. Our ennui and youthful boredom somewhat stems from thinking life should be like a Samuel Jackson film, even if that means snakes on a plane, or the excitement at the end of a romantic comedy when the dog has run into the wedding cake, the fat lady is thrown into the pool, and the guy tells the girl he has been in love with her all along. See the last scene of The Graduate for some reality on that one.

Remember how when you were little and your grandma’s friend was so excited about the new tea cup that goes with her collection and you thought, “What is the big deal? It’s a tea cup.” Well, I seriously think it’s better to embrace the tea cup collection. There are some small things that can really make your life good. For me, it’s having a strong cup of coffee in the morning with my husband. I must have half and half, a little sugar, and then I like to read the paper.

If I can.

Hanging with Mr. Rex

I think one of the things that’s hard for new moms is suddenly your best buddy and constant companion has no reasoning and can’t form sentences (insert a hack joke about a husband here). Every nuance and development is so exciting. Granted one mother’s drooling child is just some annoying kid to someone else.

I find I am enjoying Rex’s baby ways a little more than I did with Vivien. I think it’s because I was still in the “HEY, what just happened to me?” mode with the first one. And I know each period will be done soon. So, here is a little slice of life with my BFF (well, until about 2 when I pick up my other BFF).

I’m an Abused Mom

I don’t want to show you my face. It’s too embarrassing. But right there you can see the red blood gash left by my wild nine mouth old. There are two more cuts like that on my nose and two more on my forehead. If it wasn’t for concealer, I couldn’t walk outside. But concealer cannot conceal the shame I feel for allowing it to happen. I know, don’t blame the victim. But I could have tried hard to trim his nails. I could always try to hold him facing out.

But no. I like to look at his beautiful face. And then… and then, that’s when it happens. He screams gleefully and lunges for my face. Sometimes he digs into my lip. We aren’t talking chimp level, but these little nicks are adding up.

I don’t want to leave the house.

I don’t want to admit that I let it happen every day. Several times a day.

Call me an enabler, but I love him.

Farewell Bassinet, Farewell

It is with bittersweet feelings I write of the passing of our beloved bassinet. Our bassinet was handed down from my sister Cecily. My niece Lily resided within it. Vivien slept in it till she was about 8 months, and Rex has been in there on and off for the last 8 months as well. Being passed around like that has not made our bassinet like a broken down whore in our eyes; oh no, our bassinet has been a loving part of the family, albeit one who is hard to get through doorways because of its sturdy wide bottom (not to be mean, it has a wide bottom).

It’s still very pretty. Blue and white and in mint condition. I fondly remember the terror of new motherhood as the post-partum doula I had hired when Vivien was new showed me how I could continually rock the bassinet and pat the swaddled Vivien as she cried and eventually she would sleep. It seemed like black magic at the time. Which why I hung on the doula’s ankles begging her never to leave me as she tried to walk out the.

In our now smaller home, that bassinet has gamely traveled from our bedroom, to Oliver’s bedroom when he is at his moms, to the playroom when Oliver is with us, sometimes stashed in the dining room when we didn’t know what the sleeping arrangements would be that night. Back and forth more times than a candidate goes to Iowa. But did the bassinet ever yell, cry, stomp its foot and say, “I must be counted here. Am I worth nothing? Can’t I have a place? Are you really putting your baby son to sleep in a closet?” (Yes, a couple of times that happened too.)

But a few days ago something happened.  Rex would not go to sleep in the bassinet.  He cried and cried, and not in a good way.  I then realized the poor kid had about a half inch of space between his feet and the edge of the bassinet.  In fact, once when i put him in recently, his feet hung over the side of it.

But bassinet is not to blame. It’s done its job well.

I’m sad because there will not be another small baby of mine to put in the bassinet.

I’m happy because there will not be another small baby of mine to put in the bassinet.

See, bittersweet.

As I wrap plastic around it and place in lovingly in its temporary resting place, the garage, I hope that one day another worthy family will love it as we have.

Farewell, dear bassinet, farewell.

The Neglecterzizer

Thank heavens for it!

When Vivien was a baby we had a hand me down exersaucer. It was a bit sun bleached, some of toys were missing, but it still use to buy me time to throw food in my mouth or pee. I recently asked Mark to get me a saucer. He came back with a little seat that rolls. Yeah, okay, good for 2 to 3 minutes. But I knew it was the saucer-baby-prison I needed. Not all hunks of plastic are created equally. Somewhere in China my perfect baby activity center awaited.

I needed a prime neglecterzizer. I almost bought one when I was birthday shopping for Viv, but the $90 price tag made me pause. A few weeks ago, my sister Cecily called that she was in a hand-me-down kids shop, and there were some nice ones. Not all beat up or ghettozizer like Vivien’s had been.

So, voila, $55 later, look at how happy Rex is in it. The other day he was happily playing away in his office for 15 minutes.

Almost long enough to take a nap.

Please Take a Nap

There was a time when I handed someone something and I said, “Here is your camera.” It really was one.

Now it’s a phone.

There was a time when I said, “I’m in the mood for a kabob!”  I meant it.  But actually I mean a turkey wrap.

I use to say, “Sure, a jog sounds great.”  But I mean lying on my back on the couch.

My brain is not working that well. I know it’s cause I’m just so tired.

In this article they list the symptoms of sleep deprivation. It says some people need 9 hours of sleep. I haven’t sleep like that in over 5 years.  I’m happy with 6. The problem with this article and others I searched for is there was nothing about how one (a mom, a solider, a shift worker) can ever really function well without sleep… ’cause they can’t.

And if I didn’t fold my socks together when they come out of the dryer I would be dressing like a 3 year old. And not in the cute way.

Finding Time for… Momversation

So, today marks the 100th episode of Momversation. (We did a little special thing over on Momversation.com). The Momversation I’m in today concerns that old saw “How do you find time for yourself?” Heather Armstrong of dooce is back after a hiatus to have her daughter Marlo (love that name) and two producers on the “Today” show are guesting.

When Vivien was a baby, I loved nursing here. Felt like that was me time. It gave me permission to not work, clean up, whatever. I had to sit. And then I just thought, or watched TV, or read. I’m missing that with Rex since he doesn’t nurse as long as she did and is more easily distracted. If I’m not nursing, I don’t really find time or give myself permission to watch a show I like or read more than the headlines.

What do you do to carve out sometime for yourself?

Or is that idea a joke?