Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smoking Update

For anybody who has been on the edge of their seat since this post, I thought I'd go ahead and let you all know that everything turned out awesome. The hospital sent out a strongly worded email to employees about not giving babies cancer smoking by the playground. Daycare drop offs and pick ups got a lot less carcinogenic and confrontrational. And recently the hospital administrators put up more signs (which everyone agreed is not a magic cure-all, but after all the work Seton did to emphasize the policy, we didn't need any magic). But every little bit helps. Like this adorable sign!

For anybody keeping track at home, this is actually my second no-smoking victory. This fall I convinced a building to not put a smoking section right outside of the oncology clinic. I mean, REALLY. A cancer clinic? You're going to smoke in front of a cancer clinic? I mean, REALLY?? The waiting room smelled like cigarettes. These are people who are going through chemo and radiation and you are blowing cancer-causing smoke at them? In defense of the smokers, there was a freaking ash tray, bench, and possibly engraved invitations to sicken people right outside the door. But once I brought it to the right person's attention (um, not the receptionist for Texas Oncology Midtown. Super not helpful and a little rude. But the building manger for Midtown Medical that I hunted down without that receptionsist's help was AWESOME.), the bench and ash tray were separated by about 100 yards, and this sign was put up in no time.

I feel like I should emphasize the fact that I don't hate smokers. Except the hospital employees/smokers who were super rude when I told them that they were actually smoking in front of a playground full of kids. I maybe sort of hate them. Also, I hate cigarettes. And tobacco companies. And their lobbysts. And stupidly placed smoking sections.


Monday, June 25, 2012

My Big Girl

Hannah is growing up so fast. It seems like not that long ago she was Maggie's age, and putting her in a car seat made me wish for a Xanax prescription. Now she is a joy to drive with. She brushes her teeth without trying to claw me. She is positively delightful. Usually. So I just have to remind myself, this Maggie fussy phase* can't last forever. I mean, it can't, right?

*In Maggie's defense, she got a fever Saturday morning that lasted a few days. So hopefully most of this is because she has a little bug and just is feeling crummy.  But even a healthy Maggie is a not-easy Maggie.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Mall, and other bad ideas

My sister and I took the girls to the mall. It was. Something.

First, Maggie screamed, "Mama" the entire way there. Seriously non stop. So maybe it was only like two miles away but my ears still hurt. This is the closest I have come to throwing the whole extended rear-facing thing out the window. Among other things.

some post-mall sisterly love

As soon as we walked in the mall, Hannah announced that her baby brother is inside my belly. Rest assured, he most certainly is not. {I blame her dad for these kind of comments. Also, all her schools friends with pregnant moms. Just last week at Target, Hannah pointed to an empty shopping cart seat and told me I could put a baby there! Yeah, that or a box of wine.}

Both girls danced in every store we went into. And Hannah would walk up to clothes and say, "that is so stylish!" or "that is a great dress for dancing!" Once I tried to pry her away from a maxi skirt on a manikin and she said, "noooo, Mommy, I'm dancing with this princess."

Hannah alternated between being super cute and inspiring the entire staff of The Loft to pursue a more longer-lasting form of birth control.

At one point, Maggie solidified our belief that she has no instinct for self preservation by trying to climb through the rails to jump to the mall's first floor (see also, putting a blanket on her head and playing peek-a-boo on the run, or walking Thelma and Louise-style off of beds, couches, etc.). That kid. The only thing that stopped her, besides me and the railing, was that she saw the Build-a-Bear store.

While the whole trip wasn't exactly awful, it also wasn't not awful. So I think maybe I'll resume my online shopping habits until the girls are in middle school or so.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Building with blocks

Hannah is really into building towers lately. Her newest thing, she tells them it is VERY important that they stay balanced. And if they fall down she tells them, "you are in big trouble! I'm putting you in time out!"


{Also, it makes me feel a little sad. I hope she doesn't think she is getting in trouble for doing the toddler equivalent of blocks falling down.}

Speaking of blocks (just kidding, totally unrelated) I was driving my minivan today, rocking out to some 90s on 9, and I had the immediate realization that I'm super not cool and my kids aren't even old enough to appreciate it (ie., be embarrassed by it) yet. One day, little ones. Promise.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Bad Day

Maggie is going through a rough patch. I remember Hannah going through something similar around this age. It almost makes me feel relieved that maybe what Hannah went through was just a developmental thing and not a I-hate-you-for-having-another-baby thing. But Maggie has been a super unhappy camper lately. Everything we do makes her angry. Changing her diaper, changing her clothes, giving her medicine, brushing her teeth, putting her in her car seat, leaving her in her car seat while we drive somewhere, pretty much doing anything. It is hard to watch/hear.
That might be bed head and a yawn.
It might also be the early stages of her transition to Incredible Toddler Hulk.
The one thing that has been getting me through the toddler drama and stress is our new minivan (or Minnie van/Mickey van, depending on Hannah's mood). I think a colleague captured the intense and positive feelings one can have towards a minivan best when she asked a fellow minivan lover if she was describing a minivan or an orgasm. My love for this car is almost awkward. The doors. They open magically. No more trying to load a kid in the car with a dozen bags in the other arm and there isn't enough room to open the door all the way and it keeps hitting you in the back and you want to punch the car door in the throat. The minivan doors are just the beginning. There is just so much I love about this minivan. Mostly, I love my love for it. I don't just accept it as a kinda sad but practical fact of life, like wrinkles or stretchmarks. I love it. A lot. And I'm totally OK with how uncool that makes me.

Here is a picture of Maggie not sleeping.
And I bring up my minivan, my one-and-a-half week old minivan, and my love for that minivan in this post about bad days because my neighbor already hit it with his car. It just felt appropriate when Cork called to tell me what happened. Like, of course my neighbor ran into it. Why wouldn't he? Mah life is so hard. Just kidding. If a constantly crying baby and a severely-dented, beloved minivan are my biggest problems, I'm a pretty lucky girl. I know this. 


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

This was from Cork's first week of fatherhood. It suits him well, don't you think?
There are a lot of things I love about Cork. Like the way he didn't get all disappointing looking with age like so many guys I went to high school with. {What is up with that? Ask him about the number of times I've logged on Facebook, only to pause and thank him for maintaining his hair and jaw line.} But way more importantly, he is an awesome dad. I knew he would be from the very beginning of our relationship. He's just one of those guys that is dad material. 
The girls and I are lucky to have him around. I feel bad for him sometimes because of the chaos that comes with toddlers. On the one hand, toddlers can be so cute and amazing. They can just fill your heart up until you think it might burst. And on the other hand, they can be awfully loud and demanding. They wake up early. They make huge messes. And the same can be said for me, unfortunately. So I feel like the three of us sort of drag him down. But he promises he still loves us anyway. And good thing. Because I can't do this parenting thing by myself. I can hardly do it with him. Seriously. It is hard stuff. {Or maybe I'm just doing it wrong?} But it is also sort of incredible. It has made me a happier, more patient (except sometimes, when I'm decidedly way less patient) and more loving person. And I couldn't have done it without him. Thanks, babe. And happy father's day.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Dentist

Putting Minnie Nigh-Night

Maggie had a really stressful dentist appointment today. Stressful for me, anyway. One of her intake forms asked about concerns, and I mentioned my fears that she'd knock her front teeth out and be a hilbilly toddler. He called my concern prophetic (combination of her teeth and her clumsiness/age) and then told me to wean her.

I called my pediatrician and talked to the lactation consultant. She said they deal with this all the time (dentists telling moms to wean), and this isn't evidence-based advice. Weaning won't improve your kid's teeth or prevent cavities, good dental hygiene will (frequent brushing, etc). And she said breast milk won't ruin your kids' teeth, bacteria infecting their mouth and acidic/sugary food or drinks feeding the bacteria will. Breast milk can feed the bacteria, but so can cow's milk. She said, just take good care of her teeth and lie to your dentist at the next appointment (about breastfeeding).

I kind of love that a medical professional recommended that I lie to another medical professional. That is some medical advice I can get behind. I also totally recommend early infant visits to the dentist so that they can scare you into obsessive-compulsive dental hygiene. But don't let them scare you enough to wean you baby. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Something I love about Maggie is the way she says "yes." It is with her whole, entire body. Her eyebrows go up, along with the corners of her mouth, and every muscle in her body seems to nod along with her head. It hardly makes a difference if you are asking her if she wants more Elmo or if she can help find her other shoe. I hope she finds a way to preserve that kind of enthusiasm beyond her toddler years.

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Weekend in Hannah

Hannah on cars:
Me: Hannah, do you think we should get a minivan?
Hannah: YES! And then we should get a MICKEY van!
Me: OK. Let's do it.

Hannah on ordering in:
Hannah: The sushi man is a good helper, isn't he?
Me: Yes, Hannah, yes he is a very good helper.

Hannah on bras and bikinis:
Hannah walking through Target: "Mommy, look! Booby covers! So many booby holders!"
Me: Yup. Lots of 'em.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The evening

Generally, we start our evening off with some Mickey Mouse. Because that is the only way I can convince Maggie to let me change clothes or do anything that requires two hands. Turning on Mickey Mouse is pretty exciting and usually met with enthusiastic hug/fights.
Sometimes to properly enjoy Mickey, you need to find just the right angle.
After a couple minutes, Maggie realizes I'm not holding her and gets upset. She starts demanding a "baby," which I think might mean "booby," which I find pretty funny. Kind of because "booby" is a funny word, and kind of because I always hear people say that if a baby can ask to be breastfed, then they are too old to be breastfed. Which is totes scientific.
Then it is time for dinner. I forgot to get a picture of the floor, which I think would really capture what dinner is like in our family. And maybe an audio clip of Hannah screaming, "I don't want my basketti!" as she throws it on the floor, apropos of nothing.
Obviously bath time comes next.
We like our baths princess pink and with lots of bubbles. Hannah likes to choose her bath color (just a couple drops of food coloring). It is important to achieve the proper toy to baby ratio. You can tell when you have reached it because babies can no longer move around the tub or find the wash rag.
Once everyone is all clean, there is generally a lot of splashing and playing and wrinkly-finger getting. And finally, Hannah will get bored and want to get out. And Maggie will keep playing until the water is drained. And if I forget to drain the water (or a toy gets stuck in the drain), she will try to climb back in later. Which is why you can't let that one out of your sight.
Next, it is towel time. Hannah likes to wear hers as a cape so she can be a super herio. It is sort of my favorite word she has invented. The perfect mix of super hero and Cheerios.
Then, OMG, DADDY! We missed you so much!
 Then, OMG, iPad! We missed you so much!

Whew. Who is ready for bed? (hint: only Mommy)


Tuesday, June 5, 2012


True story, you can get a splinter out with baking soda. {Is there anything baking soda can't do?} I got a splinter in my foot at the park. Why a park would be covered with something (wood chips/saw dust/are those the same thing?) that can give you splinters is beyond me. But whatever. I'm the genius who ran onto it barefoot.

At first the splinter didn't hurt, so I figured it might come out on its own. I'm not sure if splinters actually do that. I'm not much of a splinter-getter. What do I know? But it didn't. And it got pretty painful the next day. I couldn't really get it out myself, as it was on the bottom of my foot, so I asked Cork to get it out.

Maggie sat on my lap while Cork tried to dig it out. And it sort of hurt. So I kept squealing and whining like the baby that I sometimes am. And Maggie laughed hysterically every single time I winced from the pain. Which made me laugh. It sort of made me think that about how that is pretty much my life with these kids. Even the bad times are never that bad when you have your sweet little family with you (helping you out, laughing at your pain, either way).

For any of you who are on the edge of your seat about the splinter, Cork got it out except for a tiny speck. And a thin paste of baking soda and water on a band-aid got that itty bitty splinter out by the next day. Thank you, Cork and Google.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Pictures and an unrelated rant on breastfeeding

In case you were wondering, I will totally be the mom who dresses her kids in matching stuff. For now anyway. And maybe in high school when they disobey me.

One of my favorite things lately is when we pick Hannah up from school, she has started asking us if we had fun at work. So innocent.

So I just read this article (while I was nursing Maggie to bed). It's about how women don't breastfeed as long as they said they would. And I was like, maybe if we didn't obsess over how natural it is and how all the good moms are doing it. Imagine if we treated marathons like we treat breastfeeding? Guilt everyone into running them and not tell them that, you know, it is a marathon. They will probably be pretty frustrated and confused and full of self doubt. Who wouldn't think: holy crud this race blows, I thought it would be all "natural" or something. 

The truth is, breastfeeding sucks sometimes. It is inconvenient sometimes. And it hurts sometimes. Sometimes a lot. Even after breastfeeding Maggie for a year, I've still ended up in the doctor's office because something went wrong. But people flip out anytime someone complains about breastfeeding, like  honesty discourages women from nursing. Here is a memo to those people: marathon runners crap their pants sometimes. And people can talk about it and (wait for it) other people STILL run marathons. Probably because they know what they are getting themselves into. 

And while I'm on a rant about breastfeeding, this kills me:

"...studies have shown that most mothers in the United States do not breast-feed their babies for the six months that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends."
Six months is EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding. Then you keep breastfeeding while giving solids (hence, the "exclusive" part is dropped). Then you keep breastfeeding as long as baby and mother want to. It isn't like six months is when the AAP says, OK, enough. You guys are done. But journalists quit reading after that line in the recommendation or something.

Also, this is annoying:
"Also helpful in getting new moms to their nursing goals were some of the practices that are part of the "Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative," developed in 1991 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund: beginning breast-feeding within an hour of giving birth and babies not  getting formula or pacifiers in the hospital."
This nipple confusion garbage is not substantiated by ANY research. In fact, research pretty much says, stop making stuff up, lactation consultants. 

And don't even get me started on people freaking out about public breastfeeding (get over it, all of you. a baby is eating. that is it.) or about extended breastfeeding (i.e., into toddlerhood). One day, I hope people look back at our bizarre obsession with boobs and shaming moms for everything that they do (breastfeeding in public or past six or twelve months) or don't do (formula feeding ever) and think, whoa I'm glad we aren't that stupid anymore.