Musings About Life... After Birth

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Hurricaneprepyoumightnothaveconsidered…...

Posted by Chelsea on August 26, 2011

I just got back from our (quite large and well-stocked) local hardware store where they were completely sold out of batteries and flashlights. I guess Hurricane Irene hysteria is fully upon us here in the DC metro area. Aside from picking up a little extra non-perishable food, I haven't really done a whole lot to prepare. Am I being dumb? We will likely lose power for a while, but aside from fretting about what the heck I will do to entertain my kids, I am not completely freaking out. I just kinda feel like we'll weather this storm as we have others, no pun intended.

I recently received an article that made me consider that if I were breastfeeding right now, I would probably need to plan a bit more in the wake of this impending weather crisis. In it, Gina Ciagne, CLC and Senior Director of Breastfeeding Relations at Lansinoh Laboratories, offers a checklist for breastfeeding moms to consider when faced with a possible power outage. Some of Gina's advice includes:

  • Keep a cooler of dry ice on hand just in case your electricity goes out and you have frozen milk stored in your freezer.
  • Have extra batteries on hand in case your electricity goes out and you need to use your pump.
  • Familiarize yourself with hand expression in case you don't have batteries and need to pump. Remember that the baby is the best way to remove your milk, so even if you are predominantly a pumper and breastfeed sporadically in an emergency situation, you should focus on feeding the baby on demand. You can also use a manual pump.

You can view Gina's full list on OnCloudMom.com in the event that you need to be prepared for whatever Irene blows our way!

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?

Post-vacationblahs…plusagiveaway(yea!)

Posted by Chelsea on August 23, 2011

I just got back from a wonderful family vacation in Cape Cod, MA. We hung by the beach and pond, ate lobsters like it was going out of style and hung out with all of my husband's family, who we see less frequently than we'd all like, as we're spaced out all over the East Coast. Kinda bummed to be back because it was so much fun, and now I'm zooming around trying to get the kids ready to go back to school. Guess this means summer is over. Boooooooooo.

As awesome as the trip was, what was not so awesome were the major-league breakouts I experienced while there (likely the cause of the copious amounts of sunscreen with which I slathered myself - sunburn/skin cancer or breakouts: pick your evil). I didn't bring any good stuff with me to combat acne, but when I got home, i ran for my Let Me Clarify, a refinining gel treatment from mybody. 

,

Let Me Clarify Refinining Gel, $56.50 at doctors' offices nationwide

 

Y'all, this stuff works miracles. Its gentle, so it won't leave your skin all red and raw (and its safe to use while pregnant), yet it works like a champ, so you'll be clear of pesky blemishes in no time. After a couple of days of use, my skin is zit-free and glowing again. LOVE.

The good folks at mybody are offering one for us to give away, so if you've got some clearing up to do, let us know by posting a comment here, sending us a tweet or posting on our facebook page. We'll select one winner next week!

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!

PreppingtoFlywithKids:Tips,Bribes,andSuperstitions

Posted by Colleen on August 17, 2011

I’m flying to Chicago tonight with my three kids, sans husband. Somewhere today are the individuals who will be on the same flight as us. They’re going about their business, peacefully unaware of the potential hell awaiting them. Of course, my toddler and infant may sleep like angels (ahem, Benadryl) while my Tween is immersed in her Dsi (with ear buds, natch). It may be a non-issue and the other passengers may never even know we're there. But I like to play a game called “Worse Case Scenario.” It’s pretty self-explanatory. I imagine the worst-case scenario, not out of morbidity, but for two reasons. First, in my superstitious English-major’s understanding of probabilities, I imagine that this reduces the chances of it actually happening. To say, “I bet on my way to the grocery store I’m going to get struck by lightning” and then actually have it happen? Crazytown…that would make me psychic. Which I’m not, or I probably wouldn’t have majored in English. (Kidding.)

Secondly, once I’ve imagined the worst case scenario, whatever happens, even if it’s pretty bad, seems tame in comparison. (I have a pretty vivid imagination.) Yesterday I had a pretty clear idea of the worst case scenario when the Infant, the Toddler and I (oh, my) all were struck with a 24-hour stomach virus.

The cons: Yuck. Yuck, yuck. The laundry. Yuck. Feeling like crap and crashing on the couch when I needed to be packing.

The pros: I think I lost five pounds, which is good, because since the bachelorette party I’ve decided that brownies are a food group. My lovely bridesmaid’s dress is hanging in a closet in Chicago, and I’m a little skeered to try the bad boy on. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…thank God for Spanx.

Luckily, this virus was one that stuck to a strict schedule, and by this morning it seems to have moved on, leaving us all a bit weak but less…fluid. Halle.freaking.lujah. This? Along with the Spanx proves that God loves me.

So worst case scenario: Three kids on a plane, screaming, diapers, vomit, diarrhea, while sick to my stomach myself. And in my mind, this beats firey inferno of a crash.

We’re gonna be golden.

But just in case, here’s how I’ve prepared for a 1.5 hour flight solo with three kiddos:

  • The Husband is getting a gate pass so he can help get us through security, so I'm not having to convince my toddler to cooperate with the body scan machine while holding an infant and trying to collapse a stroller. All while trying to explain the the uniformed officer that unless it causes yesterday's reaction in the baby's stomach,  the contents of her bottle aren't explosive. 
  • The Infant and The Toddler are going in a double umbrella stroller by McLaren. This product? Up there with the Spanx.
  • Packing was done with great efficiency and deliberation. We’re going to do some laundry while in Chicago, so I didn’t pack a full week’s worth of clothes. Since I’m going to be pushing the stroller, I packed bags I can carry on my shoulder, and  a suitcase with wheels that my Tween can help me with. Minimal luggage means minimal juggling. 
  • Snacks. This will be my first time bringing snacks through security so we’ll see how it goes, but I’ve heard it’s pretty simple as long as you declare them. When going anywhere with kids, I've learned that food paves the way to a peaceful experience. Doctors have lollipops at the checkout for a reason. 
  • Packing said bottle. I’m nursing but occasionally supplement with formula, especially now that baby's appetite is through the roof. The logistics of popping my boob out on the plane without flashing the other passengers intimidated me, although they may need a mercy flash. I have my nursing wrap packed in case, but the bottle helps covers my bases. (Pun intended.)
  • Activities. In the diaper bag I have a plethora of new funsies…cheap little activities I’ll bust out in case of emergency. You know, if the Benadryl lets me down.
  • Car seats at the destination. Rather than dealing with checking car seats and having to strap them into the car, my aunt and uncle borrowed some and are going to have them there and ready to roll when they pick us up. Whew.

 

The Land of Nod has a fabulous new blog, Honest to Nod, that has great ideas for moms. They published a post on making favors for the surrounding passengers when you travel with kiddos…you know, just to smooth the way. Brilliant. Did I have time to do this? Please. I haven’t even packed my toothbrush yet.

Wish me luck. How about y’all? Any tips for flying with small people?

ChicagoBachelorettePartyRecap

Posted by Colleen on August 15, 2011

Although it’s taken me several weeks to recover, the bachelorette trip I went on in Chicago was worth mentioning. (I must note that it was more sleep deprivation and less alcohol I was recovering from. If I go to bed anytime after 11 my wake cycle suffers. I? Am a toddler.)

The trip was to celebrate my cousin Katie, a special lady who’s getting married this upcoming Saturday. I hadn’t met any of her friends before the party, but had a blast getting to know them all. By the time the weekend was wrapping up we were all fast friends, and I’m looking forward to seeing them this weekend.

In planning the trip, I aimed for a fun but adult approach to the weekend. (Read: nothing phallic.) I would have done anything to make the weekend what Kate wanted, but luckily she was on-board with a classier approach.

Part of the fun of a bachelorette trip is always sweeping through the city en masse, feeling like the world is your party and everyone else was invited to celebrate. To achieve this, it’s important to dress up. Katie’s wedding is going to have an elegant, vintage vibe, and I wanted to tie into that. We requested that the guests all wear black, with the bride-to-be in white. (Throughout the night, we had multiple people ask which of us was the bride. This amused me.) Here are some of us right before the limo picked us up.

The rest of our party met us downtown. The dog stayed home, along with Katie's dog daughter Ramona, who guarded the bow bouquet. (Isn't Ramona the perfect name for a pug?)

 

I love the fascinator trend, but didn’t see any that were exactly what I wanted, so I made one for each of the guests. (They were simple…hot glue all the way.) We gave these, along with masses of white beads, to each of the guests. Simple, elegant, cheesy. Check.

For Katie I made a birdcage veil. This was fairly simple. I would encourage anyone to at least attempt to do it themselves, but be prepared for it to take several attempts to get it just right. Add a skinny feather boa, and Katie looked amazing. Just getting dressed up and hitting the city with this lovely group of women would have been a fun enough experience.

However…

We wanted to do something fun and memorable during our event other than dancing (although that came later, make no mistake). Kate has some education from the Art Institute under her belt, so after a lot of fun brainstorming (Kentucky Derby? Belly Dancing lessons?) we opted for a private painting class at Bottles and Bottega in Lakeview.

The venue was beautiful…lots of windows so you could see the city. The staff was amazing…the owners worked with me and another bridesmaid (in Georgia and DC, respectively) to plan the event and the owners, Stephanie and Nancy, couldn’t have been more helpful. They host regular events, not just private parties, so if you’re in the market for a fun date night in Chicago (with you SO or your girlfriends), this would be a great place to do it.

We catered in food and brought our own wine. We each painted the same picture, although our results were all widely different. (Katie’s was gorgeous and I schemed to switch ours out, but was foiled in my short career in art thievery.)

Here’s the lot of us…aren’t we lovely?

The rest of the evening involved more traditional activities, such as cramming too many girls in a cab. We read that Snoop Dogg was in Chicago that weekend and attempted, through a iPhone/Twitter/Facbook bomb, to get him to join us in our shenanigans, but he was a no-show. In hindsight, I think perhaps that was for the best.

A visit to a Sidetracks, a gay bar in Boystown, was next. This bar was clean and lovely, and had amazing Arnold Palmers…for only $5 a pop.

A note on gay bars on bachelorette trips: I recommend them highly if you’re interested in avoiding too much attention and focusing on your friends, as we were. The other patrons were friendly but respectful. We did chat with one couple that made me laugh…the blonde gentleman introduced me to his Italian boyfriend and gushed, “He’s from Italy. He knows the Pope.” Which makes absolutely logical sense. Since I’m an American and by the same logic should be acquainted with Michelle Obama. (Should I feel slighted we have yet to have dinner?)

The night concluded with a trip to Hangee Uppee, a dirty, loud, overcrowded bar that played every song you ever forgot you loved. They didn’t serve white wine, my shoes stuck to the floor, and around midnight as we sang “Love Shack,” (Tiiiiin Roof! Rusted.) I realized I was quite ready to go. Can you tell?

Katie danced on the small stage, artfully avoiding the advances of every drunk male willing to offer his services for her last hurrah. However, two hilarious guys joined Katie for an impromtu air band with Katie on bongos, a trombone, and a guitar. This performance will remain one of my favorite memories. Unfortunately the camera batteries died at this point, so I don’t have any pictures to share.

Great memories were made, and I’m looking forward to the wedding this weekend…although I’m traveling up early with the three kiddos so The Husband can finish the work week, so expect a whole other post on that.

EasySaturdayCraftforTots:ConstructionPaper*StainedGlassWindow*

Posted by Janna on August 13, 2011

Today, our family made a construction paper *stained glass window* together. It was super easy and really fun, too!

Now, don't worry if you are not an artistically inclined individual. I certainly am not, but this is an easy little project that anyone can do. Seriously.

Here's what you need:

  • Pair of scissors
  • 4 or 5 pieces of colored construction paper (we used purple, green, blue, yellow & red)

  • 1 piece of white construction paper (I was out of white, so we used tan)
  • Glue stick

  • Masking tape (optional)
  • Wipes for cleanup

Before you get your kid involved, grab the scissors and colored pieces of paper. Cut the paper into various shapes, like this:

Once the shapes are ready, you can put the scissors away.

Gather the colored paper shapes and remaining materials and head with your child to a kid-sized table or his high chair.

Place the white paper on the table (you might want to secure the paper in place with masking tape).

Show the colored paper shapes to your child. Choose a shape and demonstrate how to glue it down on the paper. Then, invite your child to select a shape. "Tommy, which shape would you like to use now?"

Once your child selects a shape, be sure to point out the color. "Very nice, Tommy. You chose a blue shape."

Now, help him apply glue to the back of it. Then encourage him to find a spot on the paper for the shape. "Tommy, where would you like this blue shape to go?"

When he indicates a spot, help him place the shape on the paper.

Repeat this process for as long as it holds your tot's attention. For my boy, it lasted about fifteen minutes. Then pick up your child's finished work and lay it flat to dry. If you have any shapes left over, you might want to store those to use for another project.

Once you are finished with all that, use the baby wipes for clean up. I know that this is probably stating the obvious, but I am mentioning it because my husband Andrew has turned it into a little game. As a result, our Tommy likes to help wipe down his table and high chair. When Daddy cleans the tabletop he always lets Tommy take a turn and sings "Clean! Clean! Clean!" Tommy adores it and sometimes he sings along, too.

Once the glue is dry, the only thing left to do is to write your kid's name and the date on the project and display it on the fridge. Here is Tommy's *stained glass window* from today:

What do you guys think? Do you have suggestions for ways to improve this project? What about some other art ideas for tots? Please share!

JessicaAlba,Iofficiallyloveyounow.

Posted by Chelsea on August 08, 2011

When it comes to celebrities, I am most opinionated. Obviously, I know them all super-well, so I clearly have all sorts of gounds on which to form said opinions. I mean, doesn't three years of Us Weekly subscriber status offer one the right to judge? Um, I think so.....

Regarding Jessica Alba, I have never been a fan. I find her pretty and all, but my distaste for her comes from the fact that I think she's a really crappy actress who has been in a bunch of really crappy movies and therefore I think she's not so deserving of the fame she's earned. Sorry, Jess.  That's just how I feel.

When I saw Jessica on the cover of the September Lucky magazine, I groaned. She's already not my fave, and there she is, looking not one ounce pregnant despite getting ready to give birth any day now, with the cover touting that she'll share her thoughts "on nudity, hating diets and her secret splurges." Gag all around. Imagine my surprise, then, when I read the story inside and found her comments about losing baby weight (in my opinion, one of the all-time worst task EVER) refreshing, honest and just flat-out awesome. Reading what she said made me want to literally cheer out loud, and I'm not being hyperbolic. Tell me you don't love what she says:

On her post-baby shape-up plans: "I have a hard time with portion control, so I have 1,200-calorie meals delivered. But I also work out, so basically I'm starving  - it sucks." 

Seriously, thank, you, Jessica, for admitting that the way celebrities drop their baby weight in record time is to a) pay lots of money for someone else to make them portion-controlled meals and ultimately, b) work out so much that they literally starve themselves. And, naturally, that that particular course of action sucks. Of course that's what they do, because there is NO OTHER WAY to lose 35 pounds in a freaking month. At all. I just loved hearing someone admit it and not be all, "I just have really good genes," or, "I did a lot of pilates when I was pregnant." Please.

On working out: "Working out every day for even just 45 minutes is good for my mental state. But getting dressed and actually doing it is the worst. It's hard to get motivated...In the gym, I have like five things to distract me "TV, iPod, magazines. Workout partners are good, too, so you can chat and not just drown in your own misery. Sorry, does that sound bad? I just hate working out."

Again, Jessica, I am loving your honesty here. i know the "I hate working out" statement isn't original or particularly Earth-shattering, but again, I love that she freely admits that working out makes her miserable and that essentially, she'd rather be sitting on the sofa watching the Real Housewives than on the treadmill. I feel that way, and I love hearing that someone else  - especially someone who looks like her - admit that they have to force themselves to work out and that they don't just "loooove the endorphins!!!!" it provides them.  A celebrity actually being real  - especially about this kind of thing - just makes me happy. 

  

Jessica, I heart you. 

 

In light of Jessica's comments, I have now decided that I officially love her and will no longer diss or avoid reading stories about her. I will not, however, go and see "Spy Kids 14" or whatever the heck her next movie will be. Sorry, but I still do have some standards. 

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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