Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bring it on

I've always wanted to join the mommy groups. That group of girls who sits at Starbucks with their skinny decaf lattes, talking breastfeeding and breastfeeding poops, holding impossibly cute babies while trying to wrangle down their hyperactive toddlers.

But this scenario takes duex (or whatever comes after duex in French. I don't actually know French. Or Italian. Or any other foreign, romantic language. I just mean it takes more than moi). As in - I can't just sit there myself and do it, or else I look like what I really am. A frazzled Preggo drinking actual caffeine (gasp!) because I need it to chase after my annoyingly hyperactive toddler who (shocker!) doesn't want to listen to me, but wants to break every "un"breakable coffee mug Starbucks sells.

High school was right - friends make you look cooler.

I began searching for this group while I was Preggo. Continued searching after Bjorn was born and throughout his first year. Found some great girls that I know only online. Figured out as well that I had some pretty dang good friends here in town, four of whom had kids. Aha - my very own Mommy group!

Except online friends can't meet you at Starbucks in the middle of a very very grumpy afternoon. And my in-town friends with kids? They had their own lives, and couldn't always meet when I was free. Which meant. . . .

I needed to join a Mommy's Group.

Ugh. I dread that. Because as much as I want to be a part of a group, I want to be a part of a group that I love, and that loves me. And how can picking one off the or mean I meet my perfect group of friends? Could there be a for Mommy groups? (Questions: When you meet for playdates, in your thermos do you have a) organic, no sugar added apple juice. The kid is always thirsty! b) Oops. I forgot the thermos again! Hope someone else's mommy will share their juice with him! or c) bloody marys or mimosas. I need it to get through a playdate with this many kids.)

I recruited my friend Nic to browse through Mommy Meetups and finally decided to join the one she was in. After all, I like her, she likes me, so at least I have one friend in the group already.

The first playdate was a demo class for KinderMusik.  My kid, the one with the always dripping nose, had a blast running around, banging on drums and shaking maracas. A born musician.

Halfway through the class, the Mommy Group Leader overhears the music teacher ask me Bjorn's age.

"21 months," I answered.

"Uhmmmm," says Group Leader Mommy, leaning forward," Did you say - 21 months?"

"Oh well, I guess he's 20 months. Or two weeks from being 21 months. Almost there. I don't really keep track of his age that closely. I just know he'll be two in June!" I joke, laughing at the fact that I am one of those moms who don't really do "motherhood" that strictly.

"Hmmmm." Group Leader Mommy Bitch says.

She was obviously verrrry disappointed in my inability to keep track of my child's age. Or his nose, as I found out later.

My absolute favorite activity to take Bjorn to is an open house gym where they throw all the kids gymnastics equipment in the middle of the bouncy gym floor and tell the kids to have at it. There are balance beams and vaults, uneven bars and trampolines. They throw balls and jump rope and jump into a giant pit of foam blocks.

The week after my KinderMusik class, I brought Bjorn and was talking to one of the instructors at the gym. 

"You know, we had a crazy Mommy here last week. She wanted her money back ($5!!!) because one of the little girls that showed up here had a runny nose and we let her in to play. As if we can keep every kid out that has a runny nose!! Its the winter. Everyone has a runny nose! She yelled and threatened and we practically threw her money at her. As she was telling us she was going to leave and never was going to come back!"

I relayed that info to Nic later that afternoon. "Can you believe it?! Some moms are sooooo crazy! Every kid has a freakin' runny nose all the time!"

"Yeah, girl, I know. . . and guess what?! That was Crazy Group Leader Mommy Bitch!"

Wow. It gets better, too.

Nic RSVP'd to a date night murder mystery theatre dinner CGLMB was throwing at her house only to find out her Hubs had to work that night. I was thrilled to step in - dress up in character and see whodunit in the library with a knife?! Sounds fun - and sounds like something I could never possibly convince my Hubs to do. And CGLMB had already set up a babysitter at her house, so all was good with Bjorn.  Nic called up CGLMB and told her I was coming instead.

And I was a No-Go. Apparently, since Bjorn hasn't been to many playdates yet, she was afraid (before he even showed up, before she even knows my kid, before she even asked Nic or me what he is like) that he wouldn't be able to handle being at someone else's house and he would ruin our dinner. That the babysitter wouldn't be able to deal with him and the other kids whom he doesn't know. That he would be a problem.

Now I know exactly why I hadn't joined a sorority in college. I don't like playing games. I don't like kissing butt. I don't like playing nice.

It's on, CGLMB. You don't mess with me, and you absolutely don't mess with my kid. It is so completely and totally on.

Friday, February 25, 2011


I was sitting in a hotel room in Buffalo - literally the absolute furthest I could be from my family - and made the requisite nighttime call home. The conversations with Bjorn don't vary much - they go a little sumthin' like this:

"Did you have fun at school today?"

"Uh huh."

"Did you play with her dogs?" (He goes to an in-home daycare.)

"Uh huh. Dog. Dog. Woof. Dog."

"Did you play with her fish?"

"'Ish. 'Ish. Mmmmmah. (kiss)"

"What did you have for dinner?"


"Did you have pasta? And chicken?"

"Passsta. 'Hickie. Milk. Milk."

"Did you have fun with Daddy?"

"Uh huh. Daddeeeeee!! Woof. Woof. Dog."

"Ok. Mama is going Night Night. Love you. Night Night."

"Nigh' Nigh'. Love. Nigh nigh. Mmmmmmah."

It's a nice conversation. Sweet, simple, to the point. I hung up with Bjorn and The Hubs, starting to head to bed for the night.

When my phone rang again.

"Is everything ok?" I asked The Hubs. "What's up?"

"Well, you got off the phone and Bjorn starting saying 'More Mommy. More. More. Mommy. More Mommy.' and when I told him Mommy was done on the phone, he went to his toy box and found his phone. Then he opened it, saying 'Mommy? Mommy?' So I figured we should call you back. He obviously wanted more Mommy."

So Bjorn and I started our conversation all over again.

"Did you have fun at school today?" "Uh huh."


I ws on the way to pick up The Hubs for an impromptu lunch date today when I accidentally ran a red light.

"Oh, sh%t." I said as I scoped the area for cops.

From the backseat, I heard a cute baby boy voice say "Ohhhhh shiiiit."

Oh shit, indeed.


"Uh oh!" Bjorn shouts, walking up to me. "Ohhh no!"

"What's wrong?"

"Boo. Boo."

"What? Do you want to read a book?"

"Uh uh. Boo. Poo." shakes head vigorously.

"Ohhhhh. Do you have poop?"

"Uh huh." he says, nodding emphatically. Then he automatically turns around. He wants me to check and make sure there is really poop in there. He grabs my hand to tug me along. "Bi-per? Bi-per?"  "Yes, kiddo. . . let's go get a diaper."

(The best part of this scenario? After he tells me has poop, I can say "Go show Daddy!" and he will go to The Hubs, turn around backwards and wait for him to check his pants. He will go to everyone so they can see his Poo. Looooves to show it off. And if he thinks YOU may have done something. . . . he will try to check the back of your pants too!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've been thinking alot lately about what I want out of life. Not my Bucket List sort of wants exactly, but more specifically in terms of career and life goals.

I want to lose twenty pounds. But I'm pregnant, so I'm not even touching this one for a good year. At least. And I have come to realize that losing weight should not be a life goal for me. It's just something that is there.

Mainly, I want to write. What? I don't know exactly. That may be what is stopping me. Or maybe I just think I want to write, when really I just want to talk about wanting to write. Because that is all that has been happening. I need to take a page from Toby Keith and have a little less talk & alot more action. But I know I am not happy staying as I am currently, in what is a great job, but lacks any kind of onward and upward movement.

I scanned an article the other day about authors who are now bypassing the traditional way of publishing in lieu of self-publishing for Kindle and Nook and other electronic readers. In this way, they forgo publishing costs that would have to come out of pocket and can sell their books for relative pennies, which, to cheapasses like me, mean that I will buy them.

Like Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy.  I never thought I was into trolls and goblins and magic (I didn't read Harry Potter and Twilight) but I loved this series. I think the first book in the series was offered as a free book for a limited time. And, since the Kindle version was only $2.99 or less per book, I bought the other two. Three books for less than $6. Not a bad deal.

I didn't know anything about Amanda Hocking, but after looking at her blog, I found that she is only 26 years old and now has her books on the USA Today list of top 150 best selling ebooks. Pretty impressive, eh? If I was her, first thing I would do when I heard the news was would be to pick out the dress to wear on The View and Regis & Kelly when they called for my interview. But she kept writing. Maybe that's what real writers do? Write?!

While the books don't cost very much for readers, and the profit is less than may have been from the same amount of people buying paper books, that is still a whole lot of change in her pocket. And her books are published and loved. Can you ask for much more than that?

She has inspired me. As has Amber, who spent last NaNoWriMo pouring over her story, 300 words a day, until it came to life on paper. (Or on a blinking computer screen. Whatever. You know what I mean.)

It has taken a while to inspire me, but inspire me it has. I don't know what it is, but I woke up this morning thinking, "I am going to do it." Like the guy who decides one day to quit smoking cold turkey. Just stops. And it works. Because sometimes in life it is all about the right timing and the right motivation and drive.

So let's do it. Let's plan to do something together. whatever it is that you have been wanting to do with your life. Now may be the time to do it! We can motivate each other - I will write 200-300 words a day. You will <<insert life goal here>> and together we will keep each other sane and on track. Which doesn't mean we dont' fall off the wagon, it just means we give each other a hand to get back on.

So what is it you want to do?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ask God

It seems that every day Bjorn is learning something new.

Earlier this football season, we taught him to throw his hands in the arm and yell 'Touchdown!' and just this past Sunday he learned how to wave a Terrible Towel.

And the cutest Steelers fan was born.

Before we leave the house each day, I gather up all the necessities for going anywhere with the kid.

While I'm searching for sippy cups and jackets, I try to prep him for leaving. 'Do you have your snacks?' 'Uh huh.' 'Your shoes?' ' Uh huh.' And then when I have it all gathered, I say 'Ready?' 'Ready!' he says 'Let'sgo!'

But my absolute favorite new phrases involve his manners. (Which, even the gymnastics instructor from the class from hell commented on. 'Oh, he has such great manners!' For a kid who can't sit still, she meant to add!)

Instead of merely saying 'Thank you', he yells it. 'THANKYOUUUUU' he shouts, as if it is all one word. We don't even prompt him into saying it anymore. When he gets snacks, 'THANKYOUUUU', when he gets dinner, 'THANKYOUUUU', when he gets a new diaper 'THANKYOUUUU'. Sooo cute.

And he knows how cute and irresistible he is. 'Bite?' he will ask, wanting some of my cereal/yogurt/yummy goodness. 'Peeeeease?' he arches his neck all the way, leans his head back and looks up at the ceiling, as if he is not asking me or the Hubs or whoever has the food. He looks straight up at God to ask. 'Peeeeease?'

It is so cute, he gets a bite out of pretty much whatever he wants to take a bite out of. And now, instead of saying 'What do you say?' to get a 'Peas' out of him, I throw in the occasional 'Ask God.' And he looks straight up, eyes to the ceiling.  'Peassssse?'

And God delivers.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

15 weeks: Peanuts and Oranges

Peanut is now the size of an orange!

But I've gained 5 lbs now, so that is. . . . . 

THIS many oranges!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

THAT kid

This morning, I thought it would be fun to take Bjorn to a Parent-Tot demo class at the local gymnastics center.  My kid is an active kid, I thought. This class will be perfect for him!

And then my kid became that kid. And I became that mom.

That kid who can't sit down, but zooms around the room, while the rest of the kids are sitting patiently, waiting for their turn on the bars.

That kid who throws a limp spaghetti fit, with full on screaming and crocodile tears. Flailing of the arms. Kicking of the feet. Snot flying everywhere. All while the instructor is trying to explain walking on a balance beam.

That kid who is not scared of anything. Including balance beams. Vaults. And trampoline. Little daredevil.

That kid who collides with a little girl during run time (which completely ruins her day) and continues to play and run and jump. (Oh wait, that's not his fault. That's the fault of the Dad who said to my explanatory "They ran into each other." with "Oh, hmpfh. Hpmhmf." with a dirty look to me and soothingly "Do you need to go home now? Are you gonna be able to play again?" to his little girl who ran right into my kid. Notice he's not crying. Wimp.) I'm a little bitter about this one.

And I was that Mom who tried to contain her rambunctious (and sometimes, let's just face it, Terror) child but only got kicked, snotted on and embarrassed looks from the other parents.

That Mom who was out of breath and sweaty from trying to corral him and hold him while he threw his outrageous tantrum.

That Mom who pretty much threw up her arms in resignation and decided then and there that I didn't care how badly he behaved because there was pretty much no way I was coming back. Until it had at least been long enough that I had recovered, and everyone else had forgotten him. Ten years long enough?

Yeah, I was a bad Mom. Whatever. We are all totally that Mom sometimes. Usually when we have that kid. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

VDay Memories

I don't like Valentines Day. (There. I said it. Do I get my girl card taken away?)

I think at one point I did like it. That point where you still get little Smurfette and Garfield cards from everyone in your class and you and your friends pour over the ones from the boys, wondering what "Have a Great Valentines Day" really means when he writes it.

I liked Valentines then. Before I got sucked into the high-priced dinners where I am uncomfortably dressed, can't eat any of the "selected" Valentines Day entrees (c'mon, restaurants - add more than just one vegetarian meal!) and receive yet another singing gorilla and mushy card.

I'm not a mushy person.

I think I even liked Valentines in college, when the Hubs and I were dating, and broke. It seems more real, less Hallmark-y and sappy when you're broke and spending the day together because, yes, it is expected, but also because you want to. The first year together we (Oh, let's be honest. I don't cook. He) made dinner in my teeny little apartment, my roommate sneaking in every once in a while to taste the cooking. We wound up giving each other the exact same thing that year - a CD of "our songs". (The 2000's equivalent of a mixed tape!)

My idea of a good Valentines Dinner

And I liked those Valentines memories. All the Valentines Days I remember are the ones where we did nothing at all. Cooked at home, maybe watched a movie, hung out together. And, really, isn't that what Valentines Day is all about? Spending time with the person you care most about?

It has nothing to do with jewelry or pricey dinners. It doesn't mean vacations or red, red roses. Valentines is a Hallmark Holiday that we, the consumer, have blown into this big fancy deal. And, yes, I know I am cynical. Whatever.

This year will mark the first year we are actually going somewhere for VDay. It just so happens that BB King is playing a concert on Feb 13th, and since I will be whisked away to work on an airplane the morning of the 14th, and since the King is one of my Hubs' favorite artists, we got tickets. And a baby-sitter. And maybe dinner out? (Or maybe not. The concert is at a casino and without the babe to keep us away from slot machines, I might be skipping dinner in favor of nickel slots.)

I don't really consider this a VDay date, though, being as we would have gone to the show anyways, regardless of date. Our normal VDay date of pizza, beer and movies has to be forgotten because of work, and I'm a little disappointed. I like a low key, relaxed dinner. I'm a pizza and action movie kind of girl. This year, I guess we will just have to do with some slow jazz and some sweet slots.

This was written as part of Mama Kat's Totally Awesome Writer's Workshop