Oh Telly

Thursday, March 31, 2011

When Ari was 6 weeks old, we realized he was transfixed by the television.  He would get so excited when it was on that he would sh*t his pants...literally.  I would hold him in my lap, his mini legs kicking like he was Michael Phelps, and his lids open so wide I thought the eyeballs may pop out of the socket.  We asked our pediatrician if it was bad that he was watching a little TV and she said that although it can't really hurt him, and although it's exciting for babies because it's like a kaleidoscope, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) does not recommend that children watch any tv until the age of 2.

With complete disregard for my Doc and the AAP, I made the executive decision that just a few minutes of educational programming daily would be good for the baby and his expanding mind.  Here's what AJ learned about this week:

1. World Religion:  I feel as though Ari leads a bit of a sheltered life (Coolidge Corner, Brookline is not known for its diversity...in other words, there are more Shlomos than Shirleys) and it's important to me that he be exposed to other religions and cultures.  Therefore, we watch Big Love.  He and I both cried in the final minutes of the finale.

2. Nutrition: As he is about to start consuming solid foods, I want my baby to make healthy choices, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and feel comfortable both in the kitchen and in the grocery store.  Ari, such a Mommy's boy, cheered Richard on all season long of Top Chef.  He drooled nonstop during the tastings.

3. Family values: Matt and I both believe in the importance of a close-knit family and we are so lucky to have parents, siblings, and cousins who support us and serve as our role models.  We know Ari will have the same commitment to family and I reinforce this belief by letting him watch both the Kardashian Family and the Hoppy's (you know - Bethenney, Jason, & Baby Bryn) as they truly epitomize the ideals that Republicans everywhere hold true.  (I am pretty sure Ari will now only date very large busted women in the future.  Like daddy like son.)

Oh yeah, and he learned about slut smut by watching The Bachelor. 


Rock out with your .... out

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If there's one thing Ari loves, one thing that always makes him giggle, one thing that can undoubtedly turn that frown upside down...it's being naked.  Yup, it's his 5 month birthday (and his mom's birthday week) and he just wants to be in his birthday suit.  So, I don't deny my baby the things he likes and I let him...hang out.

Last month he found his hands...and then his feet...and so I shouldn't have been surprised when, during naked playtime, he found another appendage.  You guessed it.  And he's all about it.  Tugging, twisting, yanking, twirling.  Matt was thrilled and celebrated with a beer and and a proud, "That's my boy!" while I called the pediatrician to make sure he wasn't going to give himself a vasectomy.  She assured me it was normal for naked playtime to become naked pen*s playtime.

We had a new babysitter last week and I was showing her how to give Ari a bath.  He looooves the bath.  He used to kick and splash (and fart, ohmygod it is so friggin funny, little bubbles float up to the surface) and try his hardest to get all of the water out of the tub.  Not anymore.  Now, he just touches himself.  And to show off for the sitter, he stared and smiled at her the entire time, while he fondled his bits and pieces.  At first I was embarrassed, then I realized she was entertained and maybe even liked the show.  (She's never being hired back.)

We have the book Everybody Poops (thanks Karyn) but it seems we need this book.  I'm slightly mortified that I'm writing about this.  Sorry Mom!

Happy 5 months sweetie pie.  You're such a wonderful and cute goy boy.



8 Days a Week

Monday, March 28, 2011

This post appears on JewishBoston.com, but I thought it would be nice to add it here as well.  If you're Jewish and in Boston, check out the website.  It rocks.


Pregnant with my first baby, I wanted the gender to remain a mystery until birth day. Truthfully, I wanted a girl for the clothing (tights, tiaras, tutu's!) and a boy for the bris (party, presents, pastries!). My water broke, contractions began, and before I knew it, "It's a boy!" reverberated from the doctor and nurses and husband in the delivery room. (FYI, this line originally read "...and before I knew it, 'it's a boy!' reverberated from my husband's lips...and to be specific, at my swollen lips"...but I figured I should clean it up for JewishBoston.com.)  Ari was born on a Friday at 4:22pm and Shabbat was scheduled to begin at 5:30pm. Time was of the essence, and I wanted to book a mohel before sundown. My OB-GYN Dr. Todd Shapiro moonlights as a mohel, and I was determined to have him perform Ari's snip. 

8 days later, I got my hair blown out and squeezed into a pre-pregnancy dress, and we made our way to my father-in-law's home in Newton for the bris.  I was excited to see friends and family and welcome my baby into the Jewish community.  Having worked in Boston's Jewish community for almost ten years, I felt embraced by colleagues, clergy, and communal leaders who came to share in the simcha.  And yes, there were presents (lots of gifts = lots of thank you notes) and there were pastries (I think we still have them in the freezer), but the ritual circumcision turned out to be so much more than just a party.

In April of 2009, my mother-in-law Vivian passed away after a long battle with cancer.  She was a vivacious woman with a strong sense of self and an even stronger commitment to her family.  She loved and lived for her children and grandchildren and I know my husband will forever wish that she was alive for the birth of our baby. She passed away in her home in Newton, surrounded by her family. Hundreds of family friends visited the shiva house to pay respect and honor her life. The bris would be the first time all of these people would come together again.  My husband and I were honored to name our son after her and we chose the Hebrew name Chaim (Hebrew for "to life!") to remember Vivian, which has the same translation in Latin. How fitting that we were celebrating life, a new life and a mother's life, at the same time and in the same home which had now seen both intense sadness and immense spirit. It truly epitomized the circle of life.

On this 8th day, I was so greatly moved as I witnessed a family, a community, and a home, sharing both a metamorphical rebirth and blessing an actual birth. I will forever remember the overwhelming feeling of love and pride after Dr. Shapiro performed the bris and the crowd joined together in a very lively "Schechiyanu" which, not surprisingly, means "who has given us life."

 my mom, dad, father-in-law, and baby

 dr. shapiro!  it's worth getting pregnant just to hang out with him.

happy family 

 1977 was a good year for manischewitz


Let's make a merkin!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My hair is falling out.  I'm not talking a few strands here and there.  Rather, a big thick handful every time I brush or wash my hair.  And when I blow dry... fuggedaboutit!   The floor of my bathroom used to be white and now it's brown (with a sprinkling of gray) and my shower walls have been transformed into a glorious painting of hair.  My sink and shower are both clogged with hair and the dustbuster is completely full. 

I had read about this post-pregnancy symptom but was relieved when one month passed, then two, three, and four, with no hair loss.  There's a scientific term for this "excessive shedding of hair that happens between 1-5 months of pregnancy".  (1 question - why only the hair on my head?!  I could stand to lose some other unwanted body hair.)  Since I'm now plagued with "Telogen effluvium" I would like to find a way to turn my hair loss into someone else's gain. 

I'm going to start a merkin making company.  What's a merkin you ask?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkin  I can't quite figure out why anyone would want, or need, a female public wig, but alas, there's something for everyone.  My BFF K taught me this word in high school and I've been joking about it ever since.  (There was even a merkin reference on Holly's World a few weeks ago...and yes, I watch Holly's World.  It comes on immediately after Kim and Kourtney take New York.)  I googled "merkin" to see if I had any competition and read about this guy http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/06/30/2009-06-30_ezra_merkin_hedge_fund_manager_tied_to_bernie_madoff_forced_to_sell_modern_art_c.html.  He sure is a hairy snatch. 

So who's with me?  Mom's Merkin Making.  I just need a few boxes of hair dye and some glue, a creative marketing team, and of course, a few customers with alopecia. 


We came, we cried, we conquered

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In her book The Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg refers to actions by parents like Matt and me as "accidental parenting."  I think the term is unfair and inaccurate.  I would define "accidental parenting" with the quote by the stars of MTV's Teen Mom who tell their parents, "it was an accident."  Contrarily, Matt and I knew exactly what we were doing that steamy night last January (fine, it wasn't steamy, a girl can dream).

Anyway, Hogg (who died in 2004, long before MTV and Gloucester High and US Weekly glorified teen motherhood) uses this term to describe actions parents take that they think are best for their baby, but ultimately cause unhealthy habits.  Running into the baby's room 20 times a night to replace the pacifier, picking the baby up every time he wakes mid-nap, and letting him snack all day and night long are a few examples in the book.  And oops, we did them all (on purpose...we are purposeful parents).  It shouldn't have been a surprise that he wasn't sleeping at night, but it sure was frustrating.  So we called in our own baby whipererer (auntie erin, mother of 4, heart of steel) who helped us develop a plan of attack.  Email me if you want the full plan, but the gist of it was let him cry, don't feed him at night, and don't go in his room.  She even convinced me that when he cried, he was saying, "Mom, give me a chance to put myself to sleep."  Sleep deprived, I believed her. 

It took a few nights and wasn't nearly as traumatic as I expected, and now, we have a 7:30pm-7:30am night sleeper.  And, the pacifier is a thing of the past.  Now that the baby is sleeping, and we're sleeping, there's only one thing to do...start working on #2.  And then claim it was an accident.


Oh sh*t (part 1)

Monday, March 21, 2011

You knew this was coming.

It started out like every other day.  Ari woke, ate, played, napped, woke, ate, pooped.  I scooped him up, brought him upstairs, and plopped him down on the changing table.  In a great mood, he was cooing and smiling and banging his chest Tarzan style (it's his new thing). I lifted his legs and removed his dirty diaper like I always do, and placed the dirty diapie (poo side up) about 2 inches from his tushie so I could place the used wipes in the soiled diaper before I wrapped it up and threw it away.  And this is when the seemingly ordinary day became, well, blog worthy. 

Ari kicked his legs so hard and fast that I dropped his little feet right in the dirty diaper.  His right foot completely covered with crap, I carefully picked up the left foot and right ankle, grabbed a few wipes, and began to clean up the mess.  It was simply too difficult to maneuver with an awkward grip and before I knew it, Ari's foot swept against my palm like a paintbrush.  At this point I said the heck with it, readjusted my grip, and held both feet in my now poop covered hand.  I cleaned up his bum using my clean hand, and then followed with a one-handed foot scrub the lead in 127 Hours would appreciate.  He lay naked staring at me as I considered my next move.  I had two options: 1. use wipes on my left hand or 2. wash my hands and then dress the baby. 

Nauseated by the look and smell of my phalanges, I desperately wanted to wash my hand under warm water with anti-bacterial soap.  Cardinal rule of baby rearing - never leave the baby on the changing table unattended.  So, using only my right arm, I slid his little body closer to mine, maneuvered my arm under his body, and using my left arm for balance, picked him up and set him down on the rug in his room...without smearing any more poop.

I quickly ran to the bathroom and washed my hands well, returned to the room, put him back on the changing table, and finished the dressing job.  Moral of the story - move the diaper off the changing table or wear latex gloves during each diaper change.  Or, better yet, let Dad change the dirty diapers.


Forever young, I wanna be forever young

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby AJ gets cuter (and funnier) by the day.  I've noticed that many of the traits and characteristics I find irresistible in him are quite disturbing and disgusting in grown-ups.  Here are some examples:

The toothless smile:


Fat rolls:


Bald spot and comb over:


And then there are the baby bodily functions that I can't help but find adorable (and unfortunately I have no image or video clips for proof).  A big wet infant sneeze makes me grin from ear-to-ear whereas the same thing in an adult makes me exclaim in disgust, "cover your mouth when you sneeze" and then quickly apply hand sanitizer.  A loud belch resonating from my tiny tot's mouth elicits chuckles, yet from an adult, I find it is simply gross and disturbing.  And finally, the sound, smell, and feel of my baby farting on my lap is one of the highlights of my day (and since this happens every time I feed my baby, I am one happy gal).  But, the last time my husband sat on me and farted, I dry heaved...and threatened to leave him.

It's good to be a baby.


Puppetry of the Peewee Penis

Friday, March 18, 2011

I don't have a penis. I asked for one for Hanukkah when I was very little but my parents got me a Nintendo instead. It was something to play with.

Having a little boy has been quite an educational experience. I've seen a weiner or two in my life (I babysat...) yet have been repeatedly surprised by my little one's winkie. First, I expected the occasional tinkle on the changing table, but nobody warned me that the peepee comes out the weewee at high speeds, goes long distances, and points in all directions. I look away for a split second, and next thing I know, I feel the warm trickle of urine on my hands, or, more likely, find my little bambini with wee on his head, shoulders, knees, and toes.

Second, when I wipe him off during diaper changes, or clean him in the bath, or push back the little skin (who knew I would have to do this to prevent reattached skin?!), he looks me in the eyes and smiles. Every time. Doesn't he know I'm his mother?! Baby oedipus complex? I'm freaked out!

Baby boners. Enough said.

Finally, I want to know that my boy will be well endowed. At his bris (ritual circumcision), I jokingly asked the mohel (guy who performs the snip) if Ari had a big pecker, and, without a chuckle, he calmly answered, "it's average." Average doesn't cut it (pun intended) for a 6ft 2 white Jewish boy with red curly hair and no rhythm. Here's hoping for some girth, I mean, growth!

I love Sarah Silverman.  A short silly video on today's subject:


Caught ya

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Things people googled this week that led them to my blog:

Funny mom shit
My baby pooped everywhere
Baby poops a lot
Poop blogs
I need to make a poop
Baby can't make a poop

To all you poop googlers out there - welcome! I hope you find the answers to your pooping problems!


Love letters

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,

The last few nights have been really lonely. I like waking up every 2 hours and being fed by Mom or held by Dad and neither of you came to my crib. Did I do something wrong? I yelled for you - didn't you hear me? I wasn't sure if you were asleep, so I was really really ridiculously loud. I missed you so much I cried. I went back to sleep eventually, but it was hard to fall asleep without you. And, what happened to all of my pacifiers?

Will I see you tonight? Pleeeease.  Love, Ari

Dear Ari,

We love you very much and we missed you too. But, we want you to sleep all night long. You don't need to eat or see us to sleep soundly. You are a big wonderful boy and we know you can do it. Tonight, why don't you just suck on your thumb? It is much better than the pacifier because it's always attached to you. And rather than cry out for us, just think about how great it will be to see us in the morning. Go back to sleep.

Sweet dreams.  Love, Mom and Dad

Dear Neighbors,

Did you forget you live in a townhouse? I may be a mean 80 year old woman, but I need my sleep. Your baby cried on and off for what felt like all night long. Please do not let it happen again.

Your old hag of a neighbor, R

Dear R,
I'm on your side. What were they thinking?! 
Sorry I was so loud, Ari

Dear R,
JulieSue & Matt


Cut it out!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Watching a tv special on extreme couponing, my husband and I got inspired to break out the scissors and cash in on the savings. I find myself at the grocery store at least twice a week (I love to shop... anywhere) and am stocking up on significantly more dry goods (cereal, soap, salad dressing, etc) than ever before. The "extreme couponers" spend a little time and energy on organizing coupons and scoping out deals and are paid off with carts full of free or extremely discounted items and huge stockpiles of food and cosmetics.

If we save even $10 a week, we will have over $500 extra in the bank at the end of the year (okay, you got me, I will have $500 worth of new shoe in my closet). Matt left the house in a hurry to buy a Sunday newspaper, and I sharpened the scissors and gathered a few envelopes to organize the coupons. Excited and motivated, I anxiously awaited his return home.

20 minutes later, Matt came home empty handed. "Where's the paper?" I asked. "I couldn't find a parking spot" he answered. Motivation out the window, I shrugged and realized that maybe we're just not the couponing types. If they did a show on Extreme Laziness, we would most definitely be cast.


Who's the bigger sucker?

Monday, March 7, 2011

During my 18 week ultrasound, the little fetus could clearly be seen sucking its thumb, and 12 weeks later, immediately after the baby came squirting out of my vajay, his little fingers found their way into his suctioning lips. My boy loves to suck. He obviously does not get this gene from me (if you know what I mean). While in the hospital, the nurses suggested a pacifier as we waited for my milk to come in, and hesitantly, I accepted. It was like magic. Ari would suck to sleep, suck to soothe, and suck to quiet contentment. Matt called it the mute button. I called it a miracle. Now, I call it the bane of my existence.

Here's the problemo - Ari has learned (by yours truly) that he needs the paci to fall asleep. If it falls out and he hasn't yet drifted into a deep sleep, he cries. If he wakes up from a sleep cycle and it is not in his mouth, he cannot fall back asleep. And, if he's in the car and in need of a nap but the paci is buried under his bum, he hollers until I hit a red light and replace it. He eats his fingers all day long, yet hasn't learned to use them in place of the soothie. And, now, my four month old genius knows that if he spits it out, I come running in his room. He smiles, I bink, he spits, repeat. Who's the sucker now?!

I've done some googling to find ways to either wean him from the binky (oy, I hate the word binky) or make it easier for him to replace the paci himself. Glow in the dark binkies, pacifier clips, and the wubbanub (http://www.wubbanub.com/)... we've tried them all. I thought about hanging pacifiers from his mobile so that he could simply open his mouth and grab one (go fish) but Matt thinks it's a choking hazard (he's so cautious, sheesh). I found an article on msnbc titled "Baby died after pacifier taped to face, mother charged with manslaughter" and decided I would not attempt a similar mistake. So that leaves us with two options - continue to replace the paci when it falls out or let the little guy "cry it out" as he learns to fall asleep without his oral fix.

The pacifier sucks!


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