More Pink, Please


Why, oh why, is everything in the world of baby girls’ clothing pink? Pink is a fine color. But it is only one of thousands of hues. It’s kind of ridiculous. Once you get to toddler sizes, there’s a beautiful world of whimsical purples, playful oranges, and bold, vibrant primary colors. So why is it that clothing manufacturers presume I’m insecure about people asking me how old “he” is or telling me “he’s” a cutie, and insist that I clothe her in all pink? Why don’t they let that be my problem. They should worry less about my “need” to demonstrate to the world that my baby is a girl and more about the sewing needles left in the hem of her garments, or the tiny, unbuttonable buttons on the back of her shirt (when there should be only snaps, and only on the front of the garment).

Whether it’s the sweetly subtle pink of her soft fleece swaddle or the muted pink of her floral onesie, or the pink fawns on her forested waffle tee, or the pink ice skates on her pajamas, or the solid pink ballet tee, or the pink polka-dotted onesie, or the pink stripey outfit, or the pink snowflakes shirt, or the pink daisies onesie, or the pink stripey hoodie, or the pink pants, the other pink pants, the other other pink pants, the hot pink pants, or the other hot pink pants, or the other other other pink pants, I’m just not tickled pink.


It’s Great to Have a Baby When…

You show up to a work party at someone’s house and discover that they have 7, that’s right SEVEN, cats. And you are allergic to cats. And one of the cats helps itself to making a bed out of your baby’s carseat the moment you put it down. And the homeowner tells you “The only cat you wanna watch out for is Bitsy, who tends to attack without reason or warning. And, yes, he has his claws. So you might want to watch your baby around him.”

Oh, would you look at that? It’s the baby’s naptime! So sorry I can’t stay longer! Or something like that. And by “something like that,” I mean I need to get the HELL out of this crazy ass cat hole.

Ah, the Taser

I just came across a notice of a research project awarded to someone here at ASU and it has the best research title. EVER: “Examining the Effects of the Taser on Cognitive Functioning.”

I’m guessing the research will take this into consideration:

And this:

Luckily, a lot of the evidence was already summarized and analyzed by The Daily Show:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Taser War 2007
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Flying With an Infant, Take 1

Tomorrow is my first flight with baby, and my anxiety is basically at a fever pitch. If you were to read my list of worries, it would go something like this:

What if she cries the whole time? What if everyone shoots daggers out their eyes at me for having a baby on board? What if my plane suddenly becomes a convertible? What if she thrashes around and refuses a bottle on takeoff and landing and her ears are killing her as a result? What if she has a poopy blowout on the passengers seated next to me? How do you change an infant on a plane? Is there a changing table in that tiny cramped lavatory? What if I sh*t myself because I’m so stressed out? Where do I change? And how do I do that with an infant?

You get the idea. I deliberately chose a short flight to visit my friend Mari, so that I could get the experience of flying with baby over with. Well, and see my BFF! Which I am very excited about. But I’ve yet to find useful info online about how to pack, so I’m not exactly sure how I’ll manage a carseat, the carseat carrier, the breast pump, the bottles (both those that are yet to be filled and those with milk in them already), a changing pad, diapers, wipes, toys, a blanket, spare clothes, mittens, her hat, my phone, my iPod, a pacifier, and my own coat & gloves, plus my checked bag all by myself, so I’m a little frazzled. Right about now I’m picturing that I get to the gate unscathed only to find that I’ve forgotten baby at security and I get called on the intercom. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Seeking Personal Intern

I’m catching up on email after the weekend, and there is a tremendous amount of it. I should clarify: personal email. I have found that I do not have time to get online on the weekends. At all. My hats off to those professional mom-bloggers who do have the time have hired help to watch their little ones. But I don’t have time to check (and, more importantly, respond to my email), write a blog post, or just scroll through gawker. And while I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, it does feel overwhelming to open that inbox come Monday morning. Just another reason I’ve decided I could use a personal intern to help cope with everyday demands (read: anything lower on my priority list than (1) hanging with baby, (2) walks with baby, and (3) napping with baby) on my time and energy. So, here goes:

Funky-Ass Monkey, Inc.

Position Description: Funky-Ass Monkey, Inc. is a small, privately held company focused on writing and editing. Our mission is to help call attention to items that deserve both rants and raves. We’re looking for an intern who is genuinely interested in helping us grow comedy, baking, photography, babies, and reality tv that is of the highest quality of the lowliest, most awful television life form.

This entry-level position is ideally suited for a student wishing to gain experience or someone interested in a career change in web-publishing and/or writing and editing making coffee, checking email, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, vacuuming, and running errands as needed.

You might be the right candidate if you possess:

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Strong organizational and time-management skills

An eye for detail

The ability to proactively identify and solve problems

A sense of humor

A strong understanding of the importance of naps, diet coke, and dog walks

A music catalogue that enables you to dispel any earworm that gets stuck in my head with a better replacement

The ability to draw the wickety wak scenes that spring forth from my imagination

While this position is unpaid, I can offer a flexible work schedule, close proximity to my awesomeness, nearly unlimited coffee, diet coke, and leftovers, yummy baked goods, my dogs’ undying devotion, and a casual work environment.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter that tells me why you think you’d be the right fit for the position.

6 Months, 6 Life Lessons

Now that I’ve got a 6 month old on my hands, I think it’s time to reflect on what being a mom has taught me thus far. So here are the 6 things I’ve learned so far from baby, one for each month:

  1. Be Yourself. Having never been a parent before, I had no idea that there were formal parenting styles out there – Attachment, Slow, Ferberization. I don’t know about you, but if someone asked me “what kind of person are you?” I’d just look at them dumbfounded, and it seems just as strange to confine and box in my parenting role. Do what feels naturally; that is what you will excel at. Trust your instincts. Use common sense. Whatever works for you? Do that. Your baby wants you to be you, accepts you as you, and loves you for who you are. Being your authentic self is all your baby asks of you.
  2. You Can’t Fix Everything. Sometimes you will not be able to sort out what’s wrong with baby. You’ve changed the diaper, you’ve fed, you’ve held and rocked her, you’ve sung to her, you’ve walked her, and yet? Still crying. You will try everything in your bag of tricks. Your family, friends, and neighbors will try different things. And yet, nothing seems to help. Then? All of a sudden, the clouds part and your happy, content baby returns. You may never know what was wrong in that moment, but just know that your very efforts to try to console her are what matters. That brings us to:
  3. This, too, Shall Pass. Right after we first brought baby home from the hospital, some friends brought over their 6 month old, and gave us some of the best advice we could have heard: Don’t spend too much time trying to sort out what is “wrong”, because baby is ever-changing, and so her needs and development dictate that it will always be something different. One week, it might be that she seems hungry every hour and that you may never sleep again, but then the next week she seems to have settled into more of a feeding routine and goes 3-4 hours between nursing. One month it might be that she needs to be held an awful lot and you may never be able to eat anything that isn’t hand-held again, but the next month she seems slightly more independent. Just in the past 6 months, I’ve seen baby go from sleeping only an hour or two at a time to sleeping 6 hours at a stretch; from eating only an ounce or two at a time to hoovering a 5-oz. bottle; from not wanting to be put down to wanting to play by herself on her rug for a bit. Every phase is surpassed by the next, and you don’t want to miss a moment, so don’t spend your time wondering what’s wrong. Instead:
  4. Take Every Moment at Face Value. I’m not about to tell you that every single instant with your little one is a blessing or that you should try and cherish every. single. minute (and I thank Momastery for stating that so well). But there is something to be said about the application of mindfulness meditation to being a mom. If you are thinking of what’s next, you might miss that funny look you’re getting right now. And if you’re stressed about the fussiness from last night, you might be stressing out your baby, too. They’re very sensitive to you. So try to just take life moment by moment. And see what unfolds. Just being a keen observer of my baby is, in itself, fascinating. One moment she’ll be crying, then that cry will turn into a babble, then that babble into a smile and half-hearted giggle, then all serious. There’s no predicting, and it’s fun to go along for the ride.
  5. Make Time for Play. I often hear or read about baby routines, and it’s usually all about when baby sleeps or eats, but what’s important to me is not a routine, but to be sure and make time for the small stuff. I find playing with baby to be the most joyful experience I can imagine. Her contagious giggles, her wide-eyed smile, and her desire for you to “do it again!” are all I need as a reminder for how pleasurable life’s smallest moments (and people) can be. Play is when I discover the new moves she’s got, new facial expressions, new reactions, and the things that she enjoys the most. It’s also fun for us – she has a magical ability to make all adults around her behave like utter goofballs.
  6. Dismiss All Unsolicited Advice – including this post. Take everything as it is – close friends and family offer advice with only the best intentions of offering you some tried-and-true tips that worked for them. Your pediatrician may have some great insights for you on why your baby might be behaving a certain way. Folks at daycare will offer their helpful “suggestions” for you. And total strangers will come up to you to offer their two cents. If it sounds ok and the source is good, something to think about. But the most important rule is #1 – Be Yourself. So if any advice you get seems a little odd to you or just doesn’t gel with your style? Fuhgeddaboudit!


Babies are not just tiny adults

Today, my girl had her 6-month checkup, and now that she’s 6 months, of course the favorite question for everyone to ask is, “Is she sleeping through the night yet?”

The yet part is, by far, the most annoying part of that inquiry. And when I say no, it’s always followed by unsolicited advice that frequently leads to a discussion of her “schedule.” As in, “what’s her nap schedule?”

This question used to make me feel like an inexperienced and unqualified parent. It initially made me rack my brain, but the only entry I ever found under “schedule, baby” was a blank page. Now that I’m much more at ease and confident with my own parenting skills and talents, it just makes me react with “schedule? WTF schedule are you talking about?!” When I can’t even nail down a routine for myself, how about we just roll with life, as it presents itself? Maybe that’s just the meditation practice talking, and I’m getting better at staying in the moment (ha!) or, more likely, maybe it’s just that I firmly believe that babies are not just tiny adults.

If I know anything about myself, it’s that I think it’s time I stop spending so much energy alternating between ruminating about what has happened and worrying about what’s yet to come and start focusing more and more on the moment. Every day is new, every moment is different. And that’s how I’ve spent the past 6 months. As a result, her “schedule” is as follows: she eats when she’s hungry. She sleeps when she’s tired. I know baby experts say again and again how important a routine is for baby. But, following my own parenting logic of “do whatever works,” our “routine” of addressing needs as they arise, is working just fine. She’s doing very well, growing and developing. Right on schedule.