Musings About Life... After Birth

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MondayAgain?

Posted by Colleen on September 12, 2011

It's a rocky start over here, as I'm apparently out of coffee. Ouch. I thought about reverting to hot tea, but in one of my last bursts of organization inspiration I moved the bags I keep on hand to God knows where. (Stupid organization). So I'm basically hitting the ground running sans caffeine. Le sigh.

Here's wishing you all a full-loaded, productive, awesome week of wonderfulness. We have some great stories lined up, as well as some amazing giveaways. (And I mean really amazing. Like anyone-who-is-a-mom-would-elbow-her-bestie-in-the-face-for-a-chance-to-win amazing.)

PS. Want some other mom-related reading while I go scrape coffee grounds to munch on? Pop on over to YourTango, where I discuss Beyonce, Rachel Zoe, and foreplay. All in one post. What can I say, I gots skills.

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HowtoLoseaGuyinNineWays(Ideasyoujustmightwanttopassontoyourdaughters!)

Posted by Janna on August 26, 2011

The other day, I had a chance to catch up with an old friend. Somehow we got on the subject of the jobs we had while in high school. He talked about how he had worked at a catfish restaurant (Oh, the humanity!!) and we laughed about the fact that I worked for a couple of years at the video game store at the shopping mall.

 

As conversations such as those go, we veered from topic to topic before we had to get back to reality, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that job at the mall. I hadn’t thought about it in ages. It was not a hard job, really, but it had its challenges. I think the worst part was that I was an attractive 17-year-old girl working in a store that brought in customers who were mostly of the male persuasion. A lot of those guys were very nice...maybe a little obsessed about the release date of the next Final Fantasy title, but nice.

Some of them, however, were completely inappropriate. They would make suggestive comments, try again and again to get my number, accidentally brush up against me, etc. Not fun.

Some of these cretins seemed to spend their entire lives at the mall. As such, from time to time I would have the pleasure of running into them while I was on a dinner break or running an errand for the store. On these blessed occasions, since I was walking alone and not under the protective gaze of the store manager, they would often come on even stronger. I really hated that. I didn't like feeling like a piece of meat being oogled over in a deli case. However, I wasn’t going to give up my tiny paycheck. How else would I buy the expensive cosmetics I was already addicted to in high school? No, no, that simply would not do. Why should I suffer? I wasn’t being creepy – THEY were!

I had to get creative.

I remembered reading something about what to do if you were ever kidnapped. One of the suggestions was to just pee on yourself in hopes that the kidnapper would have a change of heart. Obviously, I wasn't going to pee on myself in the middle of the mall...but, I decided that I *could* be gross if it would make my life easier. Maybe I couldn’t make a scene while I was on the video game sales floor, but on the mall walkways I had no problem with getting a little weird.

So, that's exactly what I did. And it worked!

Below I am going to share with you some of the crazy, yet effective strategies I have used to dodge unwanted male attention. Each has been put to use in reality with great success. Of course, I can’t promise they are failsafe, but if I had a teenage daughter, I would share this little treasure trove of goodies with her and I figure that some of you who are raising girls might want to do the same at some point. Now, a lot of these items would almost certainly backfire and make one the center of some dreadful gossip if they were used in the wrong place, such as school or any other social setting where it matters what people think. However, I think they'd be fine in many environments, such as a shopping mall, a concert, or a party while visiting friends in another town. Regardless, though, heed my disclaimer and use these ideas at your own risk!

Now, without further ado, the list!

How to Lose a Guy in Nine Ways:

1. Act as if you have a stomach virus: Allow a look of concern to come over your face and exclaim "Ugh. I gotta run. My diarrhea is back with a vengeance! I hope I make it to the toilet this time!" Do a 180 and walk away. He won’t follow.

2. Pretend to be knocked up: Say "You guys, I am soooooo hungry. This baby is going to make me so fat! Can you believe I will be a mom by this time next year? Crazy!" You’ll be amazed at how quickly he’ll bolt. For added effect, wonder aloud about whether your imaginary baby’s daddy will make parole before the delivery.

3. Pick your nose: Don't say a word, just start digging...and don't stop til he goes away. It won't take very long.

4. Imaginary lice: I loved using this one. Begin by scratching your head just a little...then more and more. Be sure to casually mention that you babysat for your niece yesterday because she had to stay home from school due to head lice. One guy even began scratching his own head as he walked away. Priceless.

5. Exaggerate your menstrual flow: Rub your stomach and do your best to look ill. Then, in your whiniest voice, say "I have got some killer cramps right now. I better go change my tampon. I don’t want to ruin another pair of pants!" Exit stage left and rest assured that he will exit stage right!

6. Pretend to have just passed gas: Wrinkle your nose and say, "Oh man, do you smell that? I am sooooooo sorry. Guess I should not have eaten those burritos for lunch!" It is truly amazing how a bout of fake flatulence repels even the most persistent of creeps.

7. Pull a Mary Katherine Gallagher: Stick a hand in your pit and then bring it to your nose and take a whiff. Make a disgusted face and say how you wish you could find a deodorant that could handle persistent sweating. You might even pretend to wipe this foul smelling sweat on your pants leg, but he probably won’t hang around long enough to watch that bit.

8. Do something incredibly odd: If you’re a creative sort of gal, just do any weird thing that comes to mind. Make ape sounds. Start spinning in place. Sit on the floor. Pretty much anything out of the ordinary will do. I once took off my shoe in the middle of the food court and sniffed the inside, pretending to relish the scent. I said something like, “I really love my feet.” This was quite effective.

And now… the pièce de résistance. Save this one for the worst of the worst!

9. Fake a venereal disease: In a pained voice, proclaim "Geez, I need to pee again. I seriously hope it doesn't burn as bad as it did this morning. Between that and the constant itching, I’m just miserable!” I can pretty much guarantee that he will run like hell after hearing that, especially if you kinda shift your weight from foot to foot like you’re experiencing some discomfort “down below.”


So there you have it, my Janna-tested, Janna-approved How to Lose a Guy in Nine Ways list. Do you have any ideas to add? Please share!

Cheers, y'all!

MommyMeritBadges

Posted by Colleen on August 25, 2011

If you read my last post, you know that I traveled to Chicago this past weekend to be the MOH in my cousin’s wedding. Since my husband, being the primary breadwinner in this ensemble we call a family, had to “work” Friday and Monday, that left me to fly with three kids. Alone. Both ways. Gulp.

Now that we’re safely back in Georgia, I can say it: We survived! (In person this is accompanied by Spirit Fingers. Or maybe some Jazz Hands. Which are NOT the same thing.) The trip there was a breeze, so for the return trip I figured I'd used up my good travel luck. I was scared, but was armed with activities and snacks. Neither of these helped, though, after we’d been on the damned plane for 30 minutes due to a maintenance issue and my toddler decided that he no longer wanted to wear his seatbelt. In classic toddler timing, this moment was also the exact time we started moving, thus requiring physical maternal intervention. And toddlers love physical maternal intervention that opposes what they’re trying to do.

I snapped his seatbelt back on.

And he screamed.

This wasn’t a cute little, “Hey, please don’t do that” screams, either. This was one of those “Holy hell, if you weren’t my child I would hate you right now and you just convinced all the single folks not to ever have kids kind of screams.”

At this point one of the ladies across the aisle put her earphones in, and I considered stealing them. I, after all, have to hear the kids ALL the time. She only had to bear it for the hour and a half flight.

Further proving the extent of God’s love for me, however, the two smaller kids instantly fell asleep after that, and the Tween lost herself in Angry Birds. Whew. Crisis averted. After such a rocky start, the rest of the flight was a breeze.

Thank God. Thank God. Thank God.

When we landed, the older lady in front of me complimented my parenting and how well behaved my children were. Headphones lady agreed. I just smiled modestly and thanked them, happy to take the compliment I hadn’t really earned.

Then I waited for all the other passengers to leave while I wrestled all three kids and six carryon items (suddenly the $25 checking fee didn’t seem so unreasonable) off the plane.

I have to admit that I lost it a bit when I couldn’t find where my husband had parked the van in the Atlanta airport. I may or may not have introduced my kids to a terrible word that echoed through the cavernous garage. Whoops.

I then drove my exhausted and cranky kids almost two hours home.

My husband was happy to see us, but when we pulled in the driveway, I sort of expected fanfare. I felt as though I’d completed a marathon, implemented world peace, and cured cancer, all in a day’s work. But there wasn’t even confetti, nothing to commemorate what had to be one of my hugest accomplishments as a parent.

I’m not gonna lie. I wanted a trophy. Or at least a foot massage. I got neither. I was disappointed, and I know that I’m not the only mom who’s ever felt the burn of a minor victory go uncelebrated. So here’s what I think we should do. I propose than we implement a merit badge program. Like Scouts parading around with cute little embroidered trophies proclaiming their ability to build shelter (pshaw), I want one for “Flying Solo with a Tween, an Infant, and a Toddler with Only Carry-On Luggage.” Even if the men of the world didn’t know what my badge was for, maybe the other moms would recognize it and silently fist bump me in passing.

I think I’d put my badge on a cute scarf, or just attach it directly to my double stroller. Other badges I’ve earned might include:

· Catching vomit in bare hands
· First aid basics: Racing a child to the hospital for sever allergic reaction, deep cut requiring stitches, and/or a broken bone
· Breaking a toe in front of children without swearing
· Reading “Good Night Moon” 500 times without “accidentally” losing the book
· Learning the words to Justin Bieber songs….you know, because the Tween likes him. (Ahem.)
· And the one I’m really striving for? Raising all children to be non-felons. I’m gonna make it, girls. I can do it.

How about you? You interested in joining my troop? What mommy merit badges have you already earned, or are you working on?

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I*Kinda*WanttoForceMyKidtoPlayFootball…

Posted by Janna on August 20, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, the next JASON ELAM!!!

One of my favorite pregnancy memories is the sensation created by fetal movement in the latter stages. As my pregnancy progressed, I was amazed by how my son’s movements changed from these tiny little flutters to strong kicks. They were particularly pronounced in the evenings, and I can remember just placing my hands on either side of my growing belly and thanking my baby for the reassurance his motions provided. Not to get all “out there” or whatever, but there was definitely this sort of cosmic bliss in those experiences. I’m sure a lot of you momma’s know what I mean. It is just indescribable, and there’s nothing else I can think of that comes close to being similar.

I was pregnant during football season, and my favorite piece of maternity wear was a fitted Atlanta Falcons tee. I stretched it over my pregnant self every week when the Falcons played, certain that I was doing my part to create another Dirty Birds fan. Over the course of the NFL season, my growing baby began to feel less like a butterfly and more like a football player. As such I began daydreaming about him growing up to be a kicker for my beloved Falcons. I know that football is a brutal sport – but it is AWESOME! And anyway, I figure that a kicker has the best odds of escaping each game without serious injury.

I was so excited about this idea, that I began doing “research.” I asked the students in my classes who were football players if there was anything I could do to help my son obtain the skills needed to become a kicker. Their advice was that he should definitely play soccer – several of them felt like that was even more important to a kicker’s skill set than football. I went home and immediately began searching online to find out how old a kid has to be in order to sign up for soccer.

Now my boy is no longer in utero and as football season gets ready to take off, you can bet that my baby will be decked from head to toe in Falcons gear on each and every game day.

In a few short years, I guess we will hit the soccer fields… and the football fields shortly thereafter. And it’s gonna be awesome, right?

Unless he hates it. Unless he begs me not to make him play. Unless he throws a tantrum on the way to every practice. Then what?

I’ve talked to a lot of my friends about the whole “should kids be forced to play a sport” debate. Most seem to lean towards yes. Interestingly, most are also the offspring of parents that did not force their children to play a sport.

That got me thinking. I did a little Googling, and you know what? It seems that our parents were much more likely to have been required to play a sport (or an instrument, or take ballet, or whatever) than we were, regardless of their level of interest. It kinda makes you wonder if this isn’t some sort of parenting backlash cycle. Odd.

I guess, though, the real question here is which school of thought is the better school of thought? We know that sports offer all sorts of potential benefits for children, such as improved self-confidence, discipline, and an affinity for teamwork. However, most every sport also carries the risk of injury (even golf – read this if you don’t believe me). And when you start talking about football (or lacrosse, hockey, or rugby), the risk of injury increases and the types of injuries that can occur are downright scary. I mean, have you read any of the recent articles about sports-related concussions? It seems that they can have some rather devastating consequences, especially for young people.

Luckily, I’ve a few more years to sort out my own stance on this issue. For now, I still plan to enroll Tommy in soccer and football as soon as he is old enough. If he doesn’t like either of those, I guess my course of action will be to help him find a sport that he does enjoy and encourage him in that direction. Can’t promise I will be happy about that though, because I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyREALLY want him to play for the Falcons!

ScoreOneforClothDiapers

Posted by Colleen on August 08, 2011

I have a confession to make.

I use disposable diapers. (Go ahead. Gasp. Hater.)

Yeah. I feel pretty guilty, knowing that my most enduring legacy won’t be my children, but instead the products of keeping my childrens’ prolific behinds clean. I know that many moms, like the super-cool-mom-I-think-im-friends-with-but-forget-ive-never-really-met Sherry at Young House Love, have used cloth diapers, and I think this is amazing and admirable.

I swear I thought about doing the same. I really did. I just knew I couldn’t hang. Hosing “solids” off of soiled nappies? Keeping a bucket of bleach around to soak said nappies in? Egads. I have a hard enough time keeping my house sanitary as it is. Add in buckets of marinating fecal matter and I’d be one rough week away from inspiring a bad Lifetime Movie.

In what I can only think is some version of the universe giving me the cosmic finger, two of the disposable diapers I opted for over saving the earth somehow got thrown in the washing machine today. Naturally I didn’t realize this until after the cycle had run all.the.way.through.

In case you’ve never had the pleasure of duplicating this particularly messy science experiment, let me tell you what happens when you soak two high absorbency diapers in gallons of hot water and then spin them around at NASA-inspired speeds. What happens is they absorb until their little hearts simply can’t absorb anymore. And then they explode.

The resulting carnage takes the form of a bazillion tiny beads of sticky silicon* yuckiness that cling to wet clothes, skin, and metal appliances. The stuff gets everwhere.

I’m sure there are plenty of moms (Sherry?) who would know how to handle this situation and have it cleaned up in no time. I’m not one of them. But we here at The Momtourage are all about information sharing, so I'm going to share my own mature step-by-step reaction to this sticky situation:

  • Curse loudly. Squeeze in as many PG- and R-rated words as possible before your children, who came flying to investigate the second you started screeching, are within earshot.
  • Slap wildly at your hands until you realize that you are not, in fact, being attacked by crazy spiderwebs THATARESMARTANDHAVESUPERPOWERSANDGOINGTOTAKEOVERTHEPLANET.
  • Blush when you turn to see your concerned children, who apparently think you’re dying.
  • Smile and suggest they help themselves to a cookie, ensuring their immediate vacation of the laundry room.
  • Shake one of the silicone-encrusted shirts. Watch in awe as the shimmery beads rise in the air, creating an almost pretty effect…before landing all over the next load of laundry.
  • Curse again.
  • Consider the possibility of using duct tape to remove said silicone.
  • Realize that there is at least one situation in which duct tape will not be of any help whatsoever.
  • Consider calling Sherry.
  • Consider calling Google.
  • Curse again. Kick the front of washing machine for emphasis.
  • Curse again, this time because you’ve hurt your toe.
  • Remove laundry from washing machine and throw it into a basket.
  • Using paper towels, wipe silicone from the inside of the machine. As it’s invisible and is known to be invincible, wonder if you will be finding little gel beads on your clean clothes for the rest of the machine’s lifespan. Or yours.
  • Stare blankly at semi-clean-but-gel-covered laundry. Stupid laundry.
  • Stick basket on back porch.
  • Channel your inner Scarlet O’Hara and decide to deal with the mess tomorrow.

Ever the optimist, I am very grateful to acknowledge that the diapers were, even before the spin cycle, clean.

My toddler had corn yesterday.

And we all have our limits as to what we can handle.

*I’m sure it’s not really silicone inside the diapers. Or maybe it is. Whatever. But for the sake of this story, let’s just agree it is, kthanks.

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APrettyPerfectVisittotheDoctor

Posted by Janna on July 26, 2011

Wow.

I just got home from taking my 15-month-old in for a well-baby checkup. And like I said, wow.

It was absolute hell.

We arrived just in time to be drenched by a downpour as we crossed the parking lot toward the office. Then, as I signed in I heard everyone's fave F.Y.I.: "We're a little behind schedule today." Great.

I sat down and the kiddo started to play with some toys. Then, he decided it would be fun to bang his hands on the wall like a maniac. I went over and tried my best to redirect his attention. At this point, my usually low-key baby boy threw his first full-on temper tantrum.

I tried everything. I really, really did. I rubbed his back. I held him and swayed. I whispered soothing words. I tickled his feet. I bounced him on my knee. I offered him something to drink. I sat down on the floor with him and tried to sell him on reading a book or counting beads on an abacus. He wasn't having it. And the crying grew louder and louder. People were staring.

Oh, did I mention he just figured out how to run this week? Yeah, that's a key bit of info, considering what happened next...

In a split second, my kid jumped up and ran full speed through the waiting room, Tasmanian Devil-style. Before I could grab him, he pushed two kids, knocked over an empty stroller, and pulled a lady's diaper bag off of a chair and dumped all of the contents onto the floor. I got more than just stares after all that...I got tsk-tsks and heads shaking. I got the dreaded smile of pity that says, "Poor you. Too bad you can't keep that kid in check." *sigh*

Finally, I was able to scoop up the little monster. I held him against me and guess what? His diaper leaked. All over me. *double sigh*

I finished changing his diaper and clothes just as our names were called (By the way, we had been in the waiting room for over an hour. That was not cool.) They took my boy's vitals and stats and set us up in a room. Five seconds later, the nurse returned with shots. I braced myself for more bloodcurdling screams.

She administered the shots and just as I suspected, the kid freaked. To make this experience even more special, my darling baby reached down mid-scream and grabbed each of his band-aids...

It was the riiiiiiiip heard 'round the world.

Cue more screams. Louder screams.

The doctor came in and saw the look of defeat on my face. I guess that's why he didn't complain when I couldn't keep my boy from pushing away the stethoscope or trying to wriggle off of the exam table. He didn't fall off, but he fought me the.whole.time.

The doctor wrapped up our visit with, "Well, Mrs. Meeks, your boy checks out just fine. I'd say that's a pretty perfect visit to the doctor, wouldn't you?"

Wow. I need a drink.

ThenandNow:BacheloretteParties

Posted by Colleen on July 26, 2011

My amazing cousin Kate is getting married next month, and this weekend I'm flying to Chicago for her bachelorette trip. Shenanigans are sure to abound.

I'm Katie's Matron-of-Honor. (Gah..."matron." What an ugly word. It's like the name "Hulga." It makes me feel frumpy just saying it.) I am beyond excited about this honor, and I'm even more excited that Katie asked each of her bridesmaids to find a black cocktail dress we love to wear to the wedding, rather than making us each spend a gazillion dollars on a frothy confection that will just take up space in our closet. (Fist bump, Kate.)

This isn't the first wedding I've been in...in fact, I'm pretty sure it's my fifth, but I feel like I'm missing one in my mental roll call. And I've been on countless other bachelorette trips. As I'm getting ready for this weekend, though, I'm reflecting on how my maturity level has evolved since I first entered the realm of bachelorette parties about a decade ago. (Ouch.)

When I was roughly "21" (sorry, bouncer man) and prepping for a bachelorette party, I remember thinking thoughts along these lines:

  • Does this pushup bra push up enough?
  • I hope we remember to take a group picture in the bathroom!
  • Do we have enough decorations with penises on them?
  • ZOMG we should make the bride wear a tutu because that's THEFUNNIESTTHINGEVER!
  • Okay, NOW my pushup bra pushes up enough. But where am I going to stash my keys? (Lightbulb!)
  • He is so.cute. Which one of us gets to kiss him?
  • Is my skirt too short? Cause I can make it shorter.
  • These stillettos are FIERCE! Sure, I may break my ankle, but hey, if they get too uncomfy I'll just take them off! Because going barefoot in a bar isn't trashy at all.
  • I have TWENTY BUCKS! How many beers can I get with that????
  • The bar closes at THREE? Then what???

Now that I'm 31 and packing for the trip, here's the thought process:

  • A weekend without my kids! Wahoo!
  • Wait...I'm really gonna miss my kids.
  • Can you tell I'm wearing Spanx with this dress?
  • I hope my kids are okay without me.
  • These shoes are perfect with this dress...but the heels may get really uncomfortable if we go dancing. Maybe I'll just wear the flats.
  • My husband is gonna feed my kids nothing but junk food and I'm going to come home to diabetic gremlins.
  • Oooh, before we go out dancing, let's do something fun like take a painting class! (Stop laughing. We're really doing that.)
  • I can't wait to spend some good quality girl time. I hope we get a chance to talk.
  • Gah, I'm gonna have to remember to pump before we go out so my boobs don't explode.
  • Let me make sure I have enough cash in case we have to take a cab...
  • My husband better text me a ton of pictures of the kids.
  • The limo's picking us up at 1am? Gulp...maybe I can take a power nap in the bathroom.

Whew. I'm so glad I'm not 21 anymore.

But who am I kidding? I'm not that mature. We're gonna party like rockstars. And I promise to post pictures.

How about y'all? How has your party style matured, other than having the financial means to splurge for the fancy drinks?

HowWeRaiseOurKids:Daddy’sPrincessAndMomma’sBoy

Posted by Colleen on July 24, 2011

(Colleen originally published this piece in Your Tango's LoveMOM blog, for which she's a regular contributor, but it's so awesome, that we wanted to share it with y'all here in case you missed it there!)

My husband and I seem to parent our children differently based on their genders.

I read a post by blogger Janelle Harris today in which she discussed the difference between she and her boyfriend's parenting styles. Harris's tween daughter wanted a piece of candy, and in order to shut down the back-and-forth debate that ensued when Harris said no, the boyfriend just took the candy and ate it, making the argument a non-issue.

This made me laugh, because I immediately identified with the boyfriend. My oldest daughter was seven when my husband and I had our second child, so for a really long time, she was an only child. The two of us parented her very differently—he was a pushover; I was the strict one. Sure, sometimes I resented this dynamic, but I grew to accept it. He caved when she batted her pretty blue eyes, and I swept in with a punishment. It amounted to a fairly balanced approach as a unit, and we all knew what to expect. She'd push the limits, my husband would try to look stern, she'd put on her "Daddy's Princess" face, and I'd have to come in to regulate as my husband melted. Why It Helps To Play Good Cop Bad Cop When Parenting

Sure, the boyfriend's response in Harris's anecdote was a little on the jerky side. But it was immediate, conclusive, and, let's admit it, rather funny. Like I said; I'm usually the strict one. Momma doesn't mess around. But I stopped mid-chuckle, because suddenly Harris's story brought to mind another situation, one in which my toddler son (the addition who dethroned Daddy's Princess) was hell-bent on getting a Hershey's Kiss before dinner. Ever conscious of my children's nutritional intake, I steered him toward an apple.

He wasn't having it. He handed me back the apple, trotted his diapered behind right back to the pantry, and retrieved the Kiss, which I'd made the rookie mistake of placing back within his arm's reach. I took a breath and braced myself for the battle sure to ensue. Kiss in hand, he waddled back to my side…and wrapped his pudgy little arms around my leg in a ginormous hug. He threw his head back so he could look up at me, smiled broadly, and in his baby English, said, "Mama. PEEEEASE?" And before you could say "heartbreaking," the foil was scattered across the floor and my son was delightedly licking his prize from his fingers. From the living room drifted a single word from my husband: "Sucker."

What happened to our dynamic? My husband, ever ready to yank my son from whatever height he is precariously navigating and give him a timeout once back on solid ground, is still totally at my little girl's mercy. (If you need proof, let me just say that there may or may not be photographic evidence of my manly man playing a fantastic board game called "Pretty Pretty Princess," in which wearing pink-colored bling is most definitely involved.)

As best as I can identify, our parenting styles were affected by the introduction of a tax deduction with a Y chromosome. My husband and I seem to parent our children differently based on their genders, a tendency I never expected, being the enlightened and empowered woman I am. ("Roar" and all that.) Once we had both a boy and a girl, though, this tendency became obvious. My husband is very quick to regulate when it comes to my son, and when I asked him why he thought this was, he explained it like this:

"I was raised to treat women right. My mom had me opening doors for women when I was a kid, and my dad took teaching me how to be a good man really seriously. But it's a man's job to take care of women—not that you need me to take care of you, babe, just because I want to, because I love you—so I want to teach our son that, and I want to treat our daughter like a lady, too. I guess that's just how I see my job playing out."

OK, I get that (and thanks for teaching him right, mother-in-law!)

So what's my excuse for being harder on my daughter and a softie with my son? Is it due to the fact that my parents are Yankees and my husband hails from the South? That my dad was a military Colonel, ensuring that I'd have a bit of a hardcore streak? Is it because I was one of three girls and my husband was one of three boys? You got me. I'm a writer, not a shrink, and I'm doing my best to figure out this parenting thing as I go along. I'm just really, really, glad that I'm not always going to have to be the strict one anymore.

Let's just wait and see how the dynamic changes when my daughter thinks she's ready to start dating. That should be interesting.

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Theperfectpresent

Posted by Chelsea on December 10, 2008

The other day, Momtourage member Alison was having lunch with her twin 3 year-old daughters, Lauren and Alexis. They were discussing Alison’s mother’s upcoming birthday, and Alison asked the girls what they thought they should get Grandma for a present.

“Obama,” answered Alexis.

“Obama?” asked Alison.

“Yes, Obama.”

“You want to get Grandma Obama for her birthday?” Alison asked, puzzled.

“Yes, Mommy,” Alexis asserted. “Present Obama!”


A fantastic gift indeed, little one.

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Mmmmmm…spaghetti!

Posted by Chelsea on July 15, 2008

Guess what Big Bro had for dinner tonight:

Not sure if more got into his mouth or onto his face.



I love the pasta beard he gets when he eats spaghetti:

If only Palmolive made shaving cream….




One bonus of spaghetti eating: no need to floss post-dining!

Don’t forget the back teeth…

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      So comfy and feminine, I know I'd wear them all summer. But dang, that much money for jellies? Possibly worth the splurge. $275, nordstrom.com
    • New Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizesNew Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizes
      My boys have wide feet, which means finding cute shoes for them is tough. These, however, rock. Prices vary, visit nbwebexpress.com to purchase.
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      This sheer pink polish is, without question, the PERFECT nude pink. Plus, the polish is free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (read: yucky crap that isn't really safe for prego gals). $6, enailsupply.com.