House Hunters (part 1)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

We've begun the search for a new home.  As much as we love the community, the convenience, and the commute that Brookline provides, we simply need more space.  Our living room looks like a commercial for brightly colored plastic and our basement looks like we belong on an episode of Hoarders. 

So, we have a new Sunday ritual - Open houses. 

In reality, I've been frequenting open houses for years.  Pre-baby, Matt (begrudgingly) and I (giddily) would drive around the neighborhood and look for "open house" signs.  Matt would sit in the car and wait as I would walk through condos and homes.  Nobody ever asked, but I had an elaborate story concocted as to why I was hunting alone.  (I always hoped someone would inquire so I could tell them my brother was moving to the area but he was way too busy to do the home search.  Depending on the price of the home, he was either a doctor or a med student.  Yeah, I may be crazy, but when my husband plays poker, he claims to be a writer who lives in the Bahamas.  C'mon, have you seen his skin tone?!)

Anyway, I can't think of a better activity for a nut-job like me.  I love catching a glimpse into someone else's life.  I don't feel guilty or embarrassed for my desire to look through closets (clothing brands, shoe size, mom jeans), check out the contents of the fridge and pantry (I know from Cribs that it tells a lot about a person), and study faces in the pictures around the home.  Heck, they advertise the house as open.  I'm just following instructions.

But lately, my definition of "open" house has extended past the advertised time frame.  I cringe as I admit that I have googled home-owners, I have glanced over LinkedIn resumes, and I swear only once, I friend requested someone on Facebook.  I know what you're thinking, but she seemed so cool and we had friends in common!  (Alas, she did not accept my request.)

We will be touring 8 properties tomorrow and I am psycho psyched. 


Royal Wedding

Friday, April 29, 2011

I can't believe I could be sleeping right now, but I've been swept up in Royal Wedding mania.

A few thoughts:
  • Those Middleton sisters are hot (and they don't eat).  Pippa, wowza, I have a younger fella for ya.
  • Prince William - eh. 
  • Prince Harry - hey there!
  • You could use a haircut
  • You bad boy
  • You look like my husband! (If my husband had a nose job)

  • Elton John looks a tad puffy
  • Why does this remind me of the Kentucky Derby? 
  • They should have greased Kate's ring
  • Fergie's daughters got hit with the ugly stick. Was that harsh?
  • I hope Ari never joins the choir
  • I don't know how to say this in the politically correct term, but there was only 1 African European invited, and he's 6 and in the choir.
  • Does the Queen use botox?
My baby is awake.  Good timing little boy.


Confessions of a Shopaholic

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last week, I admitted to my Tylenol PM dependence. (And, by the way, I checked myself out of rehab.  Can a Tylenol PM every night really hurt me?  Nah.  But not taking one sure can.)  Today, I will come clean with another addiction.  I am a shopaholic. 

Online shopping, particularly discount shopping, changed my life.  I used to plan my work day around the 11am RueLaLa and 12pm Gilt sales.  I'll never forget the reaction from my boss when I called to let her know I would be late to a meeting because Louboutin was on Gilt. (A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Work can wait.  Right?)   "Unacceptable JulieSue!  What are you thinking?!"  (BTW, guess who called and begged me to work for her again? Uh huh.)

Now that I spend my days at home, walking outside, and attending baby classes, I find I no longer want need to shop online for personal designer duds.  Plus, making the 11am and Noon deadlines is often difficult.  My new boss (you know, the 18-pounder who pooped up to his armpits yesterday) is even less sympathetic than my Loub-lacking manager.  When he's hungry or tired, explaining to him that "Mommy needs a new pair of shoes" just doesn't convince him to wait.   

So, to satisfy my shopping fix, Ari and I take a daily shop-walk.  Sometimes, we stock up at Trader Joes (and hope we don't run into a Trader Shmoe ), often we peruse the baby gear aisles at Magic Beans, occasionally we buy a pound of coffee at Starbucks, and a few times a week, we browse and buy at the Crap Gap.  I feel a little rush when I blow a few bucks in the neighborhood, and more importantly, I feel like a failure when I come home empty-handed.  

I admit I have a problem.  According to this 12 Step Program, "shopping addiction operates the same way as heroin addiction."  Before I star on an episode of Cops (high on a shopping spree, bloody, naked, sweating, and in possession of a bag that "isn't mine"), I better get my shopping in check.

...Oh crap, there's a big sale at Bloomingdale's AND I have a coupon.


Oh sh*t (part 3)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I could tell you how and when and where it happened.

I could detail the cleaning up process. 

I could hypothesize why it was so. unusually. large.

But, instead, I'm just going to promise to pay the shrink bills as I burden my baby with a lifetime of humiliation.


Allergy Season

As much as I love the warm weather and blooming flowers, the onset of Spring brings me pure agony.  I have terrible allergies.  My eyes are scratchy, my nose is runny, and my throat is itchy.  I'm allergic to pollen, and weeds, and probably some trees. 

Oh, and I'm definitely allergic to laundry.

It's true. I can sometimes handle the washer and dryer without taking medication.  But folding clothes gives me a headache and just the thought of putting away laundry makes me break out in hives!  I didn't realize one of the roles of stay-at-home-mom is doing the laundry, but since I have such a severe medical reaction, I think I should be allowed a pass.  I've heard of one magical antidote.  It comes in a hot pink container and is very easy to locate.  The only real problem is that this cure is extraordinarily pricey and insurance doesn't seem to cover it. 

So, as the trees bud and flowers blossom and dryer dries, I plan to just suffer through my pain, buy some Kleenex and a large bottle of Procrastination, and possibly bribe the man of the house to fold a load or two of laundry every week.  (Ok, to be fair, and honest, he does fold a load or two a week.  Maybe he can do a few more.  Especially since he's violently allergic to the dishwasher.)

I assume there are no home remedies for my allergies.


Let me see the tootsee roll

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I hate to admit that I sometimes watch "16 and Pregnant."  On one hand, I am truly disturbed that MTV has glorified teen motherhood and that my trashy Hollywood magazines (Um, Matt, my US Weekly subscription ran out...) have turned these mothers into celebrities.  On the other hand, I totally slow down to see the scene of a car accident and likewise, I love watching a good teenage train wreck. 

I was watching an episode yesterday (sorry, I don't recall the name of the mom...but she was young and didn't have all of her teeth...and her parents lived in a trailer...and they were in the deep South...oh wait, that's every episode!) and one of the new mom-to-be's friends asked her if she was scared of labor.  She replied, "They told me I'd have to push like a bowel movement.  I didn't know what that was.  I thought it was a new dance move."

Aside from the obvious "ohhhhmygawd are you kidding me, this girl's going to have a kid?" gut reaction, my next thought was, "what type of dance move could even vaguely resemble labor?", followed by a little chuckle as I recalled pushing like a bowel movement. (...after I made a bowel movement.  Whatever, you choose to read this blog.)

Anywhooo, I've been thinking a lot about what term we should use to refer to "#2". My parents believed that the more technical the better so they referred to it as "BM."  I casually call it "poop" (obviously).  So, is there a right and wrong word choice? 

Parenthood sure is tricky.  I don't know the answers to all of this crap. 

What did your parents call shit?


Talk to me!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

About three months ago, I was promoted.  I left an office I loved, a title I desired, and a paycheck that supported my Ruelala addiction to take care of my baby 24/7.  I was thrilled to hold the new position of stay at home mom.  My maternal instinct kicked in (shockingly), and I have felt an incredibly strong bond with my baby.  I feed him, I change his poopie diapers,  I take him for walks, I attend classes, and as I detail in this blog, I get drooled on and spit up on and pooped on all day long.  And I am very happy. 

But now, I am jealous.

Ari babbles constantly.  He's been vocal for a long time and loves to make funny noises and practice different pitches.  Until the last week, nothing has sounded like English, but I have been coaching him by saying repeatedly "mommmmmmy" "aaaaarrrrrriiiiiii" when he "talks".  Much to my chagrin, he now says one word over. And over. And over.

Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da-da, Da-da.  All day long. And from 5:45am-6:30am. Da-da.

Come on little guy!  It just ain't fair!  "Da-da" changed 1 poopie diaper in the last month!  "Da-da" didn't gain 35 pounds for you (though he did gain his share of sympathy weight.)  "Da-da" didn't push your cantaloupe-sized head out of a hole the size of a grape.  "Da-da" doesn't even hear you in the middle of the night!

Puh-leeease.  I need a "ma-ma."


Out of town

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am currently out of town for Passover and have had no time to post.  I apologize!  I promise to be back up in a few days.

Oh, and I'm currently watching my husband clip his toenails with the baby nail clippers. 


Mommy's little helper

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dear Ari,

A quick note of thanks for holding your own legs today while I cleaned up your dirty diaper.  I was beginning to think I needed a third hand (one to hold your feet up, one to hold your hands so you stopped putting them in the mess, and one to wipe your tushie).  This makes my job much easier.  Now, I can wipe with one hand and take pictures with my other hand.

You're such a good boy.  XOXO.


p.s. You are very welcome for covering your bits and pieces in this pic.  Thanks for not tinkling on me.



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hi, my name is JulieSue and I'm an addict.

It started so innocently.  I was having trouble falling asleep (even though I was exhausted) and staying asleep (I would hear my baby cry when he was fast asleep OR I would wake up and just stare at the video monitor) so I turned to the OTC aisle at the local CVS.  One night, I popped half a Tylenol PM before bed and, amazingly, I woke up, 8 hours later, feeling refreshed and revived and ready to take on the (baby) world.  It worked so well that I took 1/2 the next night, 1/2 the night after, and then incorporated the pill popping into my nighttime routine (brush teeth, remove contacts, take pill).  At some point, 1/2 a pill turned into 1 pill and occasionally, when I'm feeling extra spunky, I go crazy and take 2 whole pills. 

I called my mom to tell her about my little addiction and she said, "can't hurt you, in fact, you'll get fewer colds."  My mom attended the same medical school as this guy.

A shameless celeb effer, I'm following the lead of my US Weekly headliners and checking myself into Tylenol PM rehab.  This is the same facility that we used when we needed to cure Ari of his pacifier addiction.  Dr. Drew is not here...and it sure is not a "party at the palms" (if you get that reference, I salute you).  I doubt I'll get to see Lindsay Lohan or Catherine Zeta Jones, but if I'm lucky, the manager of this joint (a tall redhead easily bribed with gummy bears) will take pity on me (and my withdrawal symptoms) and slip me some benadryl at 2am.


Gag me

Monday, April 11, 2011

If Ari were in a sorority (just go with it), he'd be a Tri-delt.  He has blond hair, blue eyes, and gags himself all day long.  Ok, maybe it was just a rumor that the Delta Delta Delta's puked so much, the stomach bile eroded the toilet pipes.  So then, each girl was given a mayonnaise jar for their up-chuck.  Can someone let me know if there was any truth to this (before I'm sued for slander)?  Conversely, the girls in my sorority were half bulimic - we binged but didn't purge.

But, I digress.

Ari is constantly putting his fingers in his mouth and down his throat.  He tickles his uvula all day long and he makes as many gag sounds as other silly noises these days.  He even dry heaves a little each time, and then put his hands right back in his mouth, and does it again. 

Here he is, gagging himself while taking a bath:

I have a pretty sensitive gag reflex.  I'm also all about gag gifts.  Oh, and one time, my college roommate Courtney and I put some peanut butter on toilet paper and dropped it under the stall and then "accidentally" kicked it into the next stall when we knew a girl was in there...and she gagged.  Hilarious (so mean).  That said, I don't want my little guy gagging himself all day long.

You may remember my previous post on baby bulimia.  Thankfully, the spit-up has decreased (the dry cleaners called to ask if we had taken our business elsewhere), but I now worry that the constant gagging will soon cause some serious yacking. 

And I should admit, I may be obsessed with poop, but I am revolted by ralph.


Tongue tricks

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I found another genetic similarity between Ari and me!  It's not just the dimples and cellulite on tush and thighs that we it turns out, we're both talented with our tongues (please no comments from the peanut gallery). 

Check us out (sorry honey, I know this isn't why you bought me the iphone):

Why do I look creepy but my baby looks so cute?!  And I agree, we should be on Letterman!


go BACK to sleep

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I slept on my tummy as a baby.  So did you.  And we turned out fine.  But the rules have changed; babies now sleep on their backs.  It's a SIDS risk.  I'm pretty sure the first "S" stands for "sudden" and doctors have never been able to find a cause for this sudden horrific occurrence, but, as a preventive measure, parents must put babies on their backs until they're strong enough to roll over on their tummies.

(For the record, I never met anyone who died from SIDS.)

(Yeah, that was a bad joke.)

We were doing great.  Ari was finally sleeping 12 hours a night and 4 hours during the day.  We were both so happy, so well rested, so up-to-date on reality TV.  And then, he started rolling over.  It was exciting!  The video camera was working overtime and Matt and I would just sit and stare giddily as Ari flipped himself from back to stomach.  We would immediately flip him back over so we could watch his little roll again and again.  He even smiled after every roll as we cheered proudly by his side.  It's no wonder he decided to roll in the middle of the night as well.

Check out this very boring video of Ari (well, it's of the video monitor) showing off his straight-jacketed shimmy after bedtime: 

This presents a few problems.  First, he can't roll himself back.  Second, he can't sleep face-down swaddled (now that's an IDS risk).  Finally, when I don't swaddle him, he can't fall asleep. 

HELP!!  Any moms out there with some good advice?


Trader Shmoes

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm into Trader Joe's.  I take my baby there almost every day.  The store is a 5 minute walk from my home (but pre-baby and l-a-z-y, I steered clear because the parking lot was always packed).  Ari and I both love walking up and down the aisles and seeing the people and products (plus they always have samples, and I can't turn down free food.  C'mon, that's the only reason I belong to Costco).  I have even become obsessed with a few TJ items (freeze dried blueberries, baked salt and vin chips, reasonably priced produce and kosher chickie, jalapeno cheddar cheese puffs, chili lime cashews...I could go on and on).  But yesterday, as I was checking out, I had an encounter with a Trader Shmoe.

Let me set the scene... Trader Joe's is a mob scene.  I put my "less than 12" items, including 1 bottle of wine, on the wooden plank next to the cash register and stand behind my stroller, waiting for the clerk to finish the transaction ahead of me.  Trader Shmoe (aka annoying lady I couldn't identify in a line-up) is standing behind me. 

Very old lady walks up with one bottle of wine and stands right in front of me. 

Clerk: Ma'am, that lady is ahead of you
Me: It's ok, you can take her first
Trader Shmoe: (Makes annoying mumbling noise that sounds like "uchhh, are you kidding me", I don't turn around)
Me: (To Clerk) But, you should probably ID her
Clerk: (Chuckles)
Trader Shmoe: (no noise)
(Very old lady buys her wine and leaves)
Clerk: So I guess I should ID you too.
Me: Definitely!
Clerk: He's your ID (pointing to my baby)
Me: I could be a teen mom
Clerk: Not in Brookline
Trader Shmoe: And not with a bugaboo
Clerk: Buga whoo?
Trader Shmoe: (said in whiny, annoying, judgemental voice) Stroller moms in Brookline use
Me: I could be the babysitter
Clerk: Are you the babysitter?
Trader Shmoe: Not with those dark circles, she's not.

(I felt my cheeks turn red, signed the digital screen, put my items under my judged upon stroller, and left the store.)

I'll be sure to add a cucumber to my shopping list today.  And, I wonder if judgment is counted towards my 11 items or to the Trader Shmoe.

p.s. Should I have responded?


Oh sh*t (part 2)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We spent approximately $50 on a baby thermometer that can be used either in the ear or across the forehead.  It seemed like the perfect way to take Ari's temperature.  Silly first-time parents.  We didn't know that there really is only one accurate way to take a tot's the tush!

I was so nervous the first time I had to do this that I called the pediatrician for moral support.  (I also don't know why she hasn't dropped us from her patient roster.)  We dipped the tip in vaseline, lifted Ari's legs, spread his tiny cheeks, and presto!  The thermometer went in, took a reading, and came out clean!  No tears, no problem.  I even enjoyed it. 

Imagine my surprise when round 2 didn't go as smoothly.  Nope, it was a truly crappy experience.

Poor Ari had 4 shots at his 5 month doc visit Tuesday afternoon.  He was such a big boy, didn't complain at all before them, and recovered like a champ.  But the next day, he was in a bit of a funk.  His cheeks bright red and his forehead warm, I wanted to check for fever. 

Legs up, thermometer in, 98.2...98.4...98.8...99.2... I watched the digital reading ... 99.4...99.5... whattheheckpoopeverywhereandwheredidthethermometergo?  Stunned, it took me a minute to make sense of what had just happened.  I won't give you a visual...ok, I will - the changing pad, my right hand, and even the side of the vaseline container were poop-laden, the thermometer had been dropped on the floor (luckily, it landed on hardwood), and little Ari just lay happy (and empty) in his own poo.  If he wasn't rolling over these days, I would have left him there to get the camera, but alas, you'll just have to imagine the scene.

I cleaned up the mess, put on a fresh diaper and outfit, gave him some tylenol, and put him down for a nap.  But then it hit me - I never heard the thermometer beep signaling the reading was complete! 

If you leave a comment and tell me what you think I did next, I will write you back and tell you if you're right.  No comment, no conclusion.  Pathetic attempt to increase comments?  I agree.  Ok, maybe bribery will work.  Some of you will get a box of Thin Mints. 


Happy Birthday Mom

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

In lieu of a card (I had no stamps) and a gift (c'mon, what do you need anyway?), I want to wish you a very happy birthday by publicly admitting that you were right (sometimes) and that I am a great mom because I learned from the best. 

Just a few things I learned from you:

1. Always lie about your age.  I totally understand why Jeff (my bro) and I threw you a "surprise" 40th b-day party on your 43rd year of life. 

2. Scare your kids into good hygiene.  Ari will also be told that if he bites his nails, he will get worms. 

3. There really is a toothfairy. How do I contact him/her when Ari loses a tooth?

4. The propane to fill the gas tank comes from the cows in the field next to the Home Depot. (We grew up in Texas.)  I will never forget driving by the propane shop, as a senior in high school, and telling my friends that they have tubes that connect to the cow's rear ends, that transfer the cow "gas" to the propane tank.  It did make perfect sense.

5. Jewish girls put out.

6. Teach your kids incorrect song lyrics.  Just last week, in a Baby & Me class, we sang the song, "Do you ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro..." and I raised my hand and asked, "Did we change the words from 'Do your boobs hang low' so the kids don't sing it when they get older?"  Jaws dropped and I literally heard one mom gasp.  Thanks Mom.

7. Judge a book by its cover.  I am forever indebted to you for the countless hours and thousands of dollars you spent to rid me of my Jew-'fro...and that one other issue a little cosmetic surgery solved.

8. Gambling is a good hobby.  The $4 you blow every week at Mah Jongg makes you happy and the dollar a week you spend on the lotto (and have for the last 20-something years) will definitely pay out one of these days.

9. Sunscreen isn't necessary.  The dermatologists are over-reacting. 

10.  And finally, that as an adult, I cannot sh*t my pants...even if we're driving in a snow storm at 5mph and I have the worst bellyache of my life.

(Oh I could go on and on...everything goes on sale; gossip is a good thing, everyone eats chicken on Friday night; parents love all their children the same even if they have a favorite child...)

In all seriousness, you showed me what it means to devote your life to your children and family.  You modeled how to become a successful career-woman (after the kids are in high school).  You taught me about the meaning of good friends.  You proved to me the importance of  fighting for what's right (and protesting against what's the Jesus prayer they used to say before high school football games). You gave selflessly to ensure I had everything I ever wanted.  And please do not bring this up ever again, but you showed me how to be a pretty damn good mommy.  And I thank you.

And most importantly, you confirmed that I really am as smart, funny, and beautiful as I think I am.

Happy 59th Birthday Mom! 


Adventures in Babysitting

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm petrified to leave my baby with anybody.  Neurotic?  Yes.  Okay with it?  Oh yeah.  And now, I have good reason to be.

My husband booked a babysitter for Saturday afternoon so that I could spend some much needed birthday relaxation/beautification time at a spa.  I wrote out a few notes for the sitter (only 2 pages), gave her a quick tutorial on the baby bjorn, and asked her to feed him/play with him/take him for a walk if she wanted to enjoy the beautiful sunshine.   (And this would only cost us 17 bucks an hour.)

Easy enough, right?

There was an early sign that things were a bit outta control when I received a Facebook notification that I had been tagged in a picture.  And here it was:

I didn't realize that the $17/hour included babysitter Facebook-ing.  I can read my baby's mind in that picture.  He's thinking, "This is not listed on the two pages of notes my mommy gave you."

Okay, it's sorta funny...and cute.  A few hours later, Matt came home, paid the sitter, and sent her on her way.  I was relieved when I walked in our front door to find a happy baby playing with Dad.  Ari was squeaking and shimmy-ing and I could tell he had news to share but just couldn't find the words to do so.  He didn't sleep well that night (it had nothing to do with us unswaddling him for the first time in 5 months) and today, when I received an email with more pictures from the sitter, I realized he must have been having nightmares.

The first picture. Good babysitter, way to follow directions:

Okay, I take the blame for this one.  I did show her how to use the baby carrier and suggest she take him on a walk (outside):

The $60 was already burning a hole in her pocket.

And now, things get really disturbing.  Eat - She figured out.  Walk - Check.  Play - This is not what I had in mind!!  And to make matters worse, this bed is not in my house:

My poor baby.  Can you see the fear in his eyes?

I thought things couldn't get much worse after her escapade with my baby on the bed...until I saw this:

Who is this person?  And why is my son feeling her up?  And why is she enjoying it?  (She should be paying me $17/hr for cheap thrills!)  And who is the chick in the background watching?  And where's my babysitter?! 

I want my money back.


Googled this week

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blogger (Google's blog software) updates me on the google search terms people use to find my blog.  Here are this week's search terms (and my commentary):

"Obsessed with shit"
(This is the 3rd week that these words are the highest ranking on the list.  7 people googled this and then clicked on my blog.  When I google "obsessed with shit", my blog isn't even listed on the first page of search results.  Who are you "obsessed with shit" googlers?  I don't judge.  I'm one of you.  Drop me a note - maybe you can be a guest blogger!)

"Cottage cheese pooping"
(Do you think their poop looked like cottage cheese or do you think they had an unusual poop after eating cottage cheese?)

"Dog milk bones for baby"
(This one really worries me.  Babies don't have teeth!  How will they chew the milk bone?!)

"Dr. Todd Shapiro mohel"
(Use him!)

"How to make a merkin"
(Don't make one.  Buy one from me.  What size/color?  I'm having a 2 for 1 sale.)

"My husband's obsessed with pooping"
(Mine too)

"Obsession with pooping on peoples chest"
(Right. Um, you crossed the line. Sick-o)

"Love my curle frise"
(What does this even mean?  I googled it and the search results were all about curly fries.) 

TGIF.  Have a great weekend.  (And an early Happy B-day to me.)


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