Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Job Title

I've alluded to it in previous posts, but here I am staying at home again. But I'm not a stay-at-home-mom; that would mean my daughter is home with me. She's at pre-school till the afternoon, learning way more than what I can teach her here.
I'm not unemployed, I'm fun-employed!
I'm a writer. Yep, I said it. I'm not getting paid for it yet but it's what I do.
I try to write every day. Sometimes it's just an email to a friend. Others, it's full-blown stories about my life.
I've been told by four different people in the last week that I need to write a book.
So I'm writing a book.
It's either going to be a semi-autobiographical tale of a neurotic 30-something ad professional or it's a sci-fi-tinged character novel set in the pre-apocalyptic future, based on a dream I once had.
Or it will be a memoir. If that's the case, I need to pre-emptively warn my friends and family that they may be in it.
I might be spending some holidays alone in the future!
So I ask you, my dear readers. What do you think? Should I keep writing? What should my book be about? Will you buy my book if it ever gets published?
I need affirmation. OK, I need it and Dr. T needs it so he knows I'm not just sitting around watching TV all day.
What else can I ask of you? Please tell your friends about me. I'm easy to remember and i'm now. I dropped the blogspot in my address.
I can send you business cards and ad badges, too.
Thank you, friends.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

L.E.'s Reasons to Completely Freak Out

She loses it in about 2-1/2 minutes.

  • She can't find her teddy bear
  • She doesn't want to use her potty
  • She hates shoes
  • She needs socks on her feet
  • She wants to go outside
  • She wants to go inside
  • She wants popcorn
  • We're out of lollipops
  • She wants her hat
  • She wants her hat off NOW
  • She doesn't want to watch Mickey Mouse
  • She wants to watch Mickey Mouse
  • She wants to go home instead of watching the second act of The Lion King
  • She wants to go back and watch the rest of The Lion King
  • Her pants are too big
  • Her shirt is too yellow
  • You're brushing her hair
  • You're changing her pants
  • Her pigtails are too crooked
  • She wants her daddy
  • She wants her mommy
  • She needs a popsicle
  • She doesn't want to take a bath
  • She doesn't want to get out of the tub
  • She doesn't want to brush her teeth
  • She wants more toothpaste
  • She wants to go see peacocks
  • She wants cheese
  • We don't have the right kind of cheese
  • She wants a cookie
  • She wants another cookie
  • Finding Nemo is too scary
  • She wants to watch Finding Nemo
  • She has a pebble in her nose

Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I Would Be A Terrible Life Coach

Yesterday, I attended MomCom Austin. It is exactly what you think it is: it's a conference for moms.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not one for big groups of people, particularly women, especially moms. But I've been struggling to meet people and I thought it would be nice to do some networking.
The event was amazing. I can't say enough good things about it. I learned how to build a "mama tribe," which isn't as weird as it sounds; I listened to a pediatrician say that with proper planning, even a household with two physicians can eat dinner together every night; I met a woman with the same birthday as me. I met one of my favorite writers. I discovered a wellness center I wish I could join.
But something I realized at MomCom after visiting all of the exhibits is that Austin families wholeheartedly believe in outsourcing. You can hire someone to get your baby on a sleep schedule, potty-train, make gourmet baby food, handle your finances, create meal plans, help you make friends and, my personal favorite, a life coach. Yes, people get paid to get your chaotic crazy life in order.
Since I'm once again unemployed between jobs, I'm taking this life coaching thing pretty seriously. Not because I want to hire one; maybe I should be one!

Would my snarkiness be a help or a hinder? Let's role-play a bit.

Problem: "My partner and I are having trouble communicating."
Hip-Baby Mama, Life Coach: There's nothing that can't be solved by leaving notes around the house. Start with something nice like 'Have a great day.' 'I love you.' 'My life is more complete since I have you.'
Once you've gotten his/her attention and they think these notes are nice affirmations, be free and say whatever you want. 'You bought the wrong milk, asshole.' 'Please put your shoes away because I tripped over them and twisted my ankle.' 'If you leave the goddamn toilet seat up one more time, I'm going to smother you in your sleep.' Notes are perfect because you can say whatever you want and you're not around for the reaction. Write-and-run is a motto to live by.

Problem: "I'm unfulfilled in my job."
Hip-Baby Mama, Life Coach: You should probably quit.
If that's not feasible, then do what you can to make your day more fun. Fill the copy machine with neon paper, email your co-workers cat videos, blast Wilson Phillips, yell, "The meeting will now begin!!" like Bill Cosby says, "The beatings will now begin," burst into tears anytime someone asks you to do something, leave the toilet seat up in the ladies' room. Just because you're not doing your life's work doesn't mean you can't have fun.

Problem: "My kids don't listen to me."
Hip-Baby Mama, Life Coach: There's nothing a little public shaming can't cure! Hack into the brat's Facebook profile and post raunchy status updates. If they're only 9, they shouldn't be on Facebook anyway and you are a terrible parent who needs to monitor their internet usage.

Problem: "Sometimes I think my baby is an asshole."
Hip-Baby Mama, Life Coach: You are right. Your baby is an asshole. Maybe they'll grow out of it, maybe not. It's best to just find the right mix of wine and pills to make your life more bearable. Because the scariest words ever, FINAL SALE--NO RETURNS, are even scarier when applied to a newborn.

What do you think? Do I have what it takes to become a life coach?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Irrational Fears

Does this look like something nightmarish? Bad example?
© Juburg | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
This morning when I was driving to work, I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a guy on a motorcycle. He was wearing a Skeletor mask.
My first reaction was, "Is he the Angel of Death? Am I going to die today?"
How did I even get there? Shouldn't my initial reaction be, "Only in Austin will you see a guy on a motorcycle wearing a Skeletor mask. I wonder which of my co-workers knows him."
I have weird fears. My mind will just "go there" when confronted something strange.
L.E. sat on my chest one time and put her hands on my neck to give me a hug. I immediately mistook it as her trying to strangle me and she is going to end up a serial killer.
I assure you nothing traumatic happened in my childhood to give me this bizarre paranoia.
Except for the clown.
When I was four, we were at some Halloween party at a big restaurant. I was dressed as a princess. I asked my mom if I could go to the bathroom by myself. She said sure. When I was coming back, someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around and there was a werewolf and a clown. The werewolf was the most terrifying thing I'd ever seen. The clown was guilty by association. My screams were so loud that they almost put the restaurant on lockdown because people assumed I was being abducted.
Ever since then, I'm scared of clowns. All types...Ronald McDonald, Bimbo, Killer Klowns, clown dolls, Jack-in-the-Boxes, etc.
Seeing Poltergeist at age 7 may have contributed to this.
So yes, I have an irrational fear of clowns. And I always assume the worst is going to happen even when it's just a dude dressed as Skeletor. On a motorcycle. In January...
I can't be the only one with a strange fear. Please tell me:
What are your crazy, irrational fears?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GFC Blog Hop!

It's Tuesday again which means it's time for the GFC Blog Hop!
While looking to see how other bloggers network, I came across these cute Blog Hops. Since I love Google Friend Connect, the GFC Blog Hop was perfect for deciding which Hop to co-host. When I want to follow a blog, GFC makes it easy. It's a great tool to have so you can see all of the blogs you follow in one spot.
One side note- Did you know you can follow through GFC using your Twitter Account? TRUE, it's definitely an option!
Ok, so let's get to the party, shall we?
RULES are simple:
1. Follow your host via GFC
The First link below
2. Follow your co-hosts via GFC
The Next 8 links below
3. Link up below using your main blog url not a specific post.
4. Make sure to visit some of the blogs in the link up and follow them via GFC 
and if you want to leave them a comment, I'm sure they'd appreciate that as well.
5. Tweet about this blog hop

6. Share about this blog hop by grabbing a button and putting it on your sidebar!
*After 6 months of the waiting list to cohost being extra long, there are paid cohost spots available! Email Melissa if you're interested at
Post Sponsor Ad:

Monday, January 21, 2013

13 Anti-Goals for 2013

Yesterday, I posted 13 goals I'd like to accomplish. Today I'm writing about goals that I have zero intention of completing.

  1. I won't stop complaining about the following things: mosquitos; Ray Lewis; Bill Belichick's lack of sportsmanship; any football team that's not the Steelers unless it's the Steelers who are playing poorly, humidity, queso not being a diet food, being sick, how working moms have two jobs and your second boss is waaaayyyy less forgiving than the first one, my car not warming up fast enough, the tiny bugs that blow through our screens and pile up on the floor, my tiny bathroom, traffic (too much) and parking (not enough) in Austin, my laptop battery running out too fast, L.E. whining too much (when she's really not that bad)
  2. I won't finish reading any book that isn't a novel or bio. So my goal of reading "The Outliers" probably won't happen.
  3. I will always procrastinate. 
  4. I will always take on too much without asking for help.
  5. I will always ignore the hair in the shower drain
  6. Even while enjoying my bonding time with L.E., I will still have my phone within reach.
  7. Pretending L.E.'s potty-training is going great when it's actually a daily battle. (Me: Honey, you have to go use your potty. Her: I just went potty yesterday!!)
  8. Quoting such luminaries as Gooble, Elmo and Dora will remain my normal conversation starters.
  9. I will always pretend I know what's going on in Austin even though what I usually know is going is geared towards 4-year-olds.
  10. I will wear clothing that is a few seasons behind because I'm just into finding the right "look" for me that doesn't involve jeans and boots.
  11. I may cook more meals, but they won't be more elaborate. Meatloaf is going to be a regular thing.
  12. I will most likely judge the moms at those Mommy and Me gym thingies because isn't that why we go to them?
  13. I guarantee there will be times when I stoop to L.E.'s level of reasoning. Her: You CAN NOT comb my hair. Me: Yes I can. I outweigh you.
What are your totally out there, no intention of accomplishing feats for the year?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

13 Goals for 2013

I don't normally do this, but because I've been all-over-the-place mentally lately, I decided to sit down and write out some of my goals. I don't have a timeline for these, but I want to list them out and see what I can accomplish. Some will be easier than others, I'm sure.

  1. Visit the Blanton Museum of Art.
  2. Take L.E. to one of those Mommy and Me gym thingies.
  3. Be better about checking in with my long-distance friends. As in, be less self-absorbed.
  4. Find a full-time job closer to home or at home.
  5. Have a set plan for weekly Family Fun Day.
  6. Set up more play dates.
  7. Go on vacation. No, a REAL vacation.
  8. Get paid for writing something. Anything.
  9. Learn a song on L.E.'s new ukelele.
  10. Read "The Outliers."
  11. Make a pie from scratch.
  12. Remember everything on my list at the grocery store.
  13. Eat salad for dinner at least once a week.
What about you? What are some of your goals? How can I help you accomplish them?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Only Child Revisited

Oh, Effie...
I'm reposting my Only Doesn't Mean Lonely blog because I've been reminded of my somewhat-controversial choice lately. Elizabeth Banks, an actress I adore, recently made comments along the lines of, "I'm a real mom now because I have more than one kid..." 
(HuffPo's Coverage) (Jezebel's Coverage) (Original Story)
Personally, I don't find fault with what Ms. Banks is saying. She's always had a no-bullshit way about her and I'm sure she didn't mean to rile up the mommy masses with her comments. If you've ever seen an interview with her, she has a sarcastic nature about her. I can definitely relate to that.
I am a real mom.
I have one child. I refuse to say I have ONLY one child because that would give it a negative context.
There is nothing negative about L.E. Well, except for potty-training, losing the binky, no sleep, toddler-whining, me forgetting the right pair of socks, not being able to find her little car so the world must be ending, etc.
I recognize how much harder it is to have two.
And that's a challenge that I am still not willing to take on.

If my sister is reading this, I would like to remind her of this post so she doesn't get mad at me again. 

Only Doesn't Mean Lonely
Originally posted on Hip-Baby Mama 7.29.12
L.E. will be an only child.
I’m not apologetic about that.
I want her to have my undivided attention.
I want to be able to provide her with the best life I can afford to give her.
I don’t want another baby.

I get a lot of flack for this. I know a lot of couples with kids L.E.’s age or even younger who are already pregnant with their next child.

I think they are insane. 

Parents of 2-under-2 look even more exhausted than I did when I was still going through L.E.’s “Sleep is for Suckers” campaign.

Maybe it’s because I still feel the effects of PPD (more like PTSD) that I suffered from those first several months. Maybe it’s because the baby weight is still lingering. Maybe it’s the rational thought-processes brought on by my steady diet of anti-depressants.

Or maybe it’s because I just want one child.

I hear all the arguments: Only children are spoiled. I think there’s a pretty good chance a sibling would be spoiled, too. She’ll have the burden to shoulder when you need taken care of. Isn’t one person to take care of us better than no one to take care of us? A sibling will teach her to share and play nice.  So does daycare. Who will she play with on Saturday mornings? You mean who else will stare at her while she zones out on cartoons? What if something happens to her? (Actual reason given to me by my own mother about why she had me.) Isn’t the sick-with-worry worse if you have two children? She’s such a great kid, wouldn’t you love to have another great kid? You know what happens to great kids when they become the big brother or big sister? They turn into assholes. I’ve seen it first-hand.

I know I sound pretty defensive and judgmental about this. I get really annoyed by the series of “Whens” you get asked repeatedly when you reach a certain point in life. You know how it is: you start dating someone and it’s “When is he going to pop the question?” You get engaged: “When’s the wedding?” You get married: “When are you going to have a baby?” You have a baby: “When are you going to have another one?”

It’s always bothered me that these are “when” questions and not “if” questions. Last I checked, we’re fortunate enough to live in a country where we’re free to make our own decisions, regardless of whether or not they’re considered the norm.

Having one child isn’t the norm and I seriously wonder what’s wrong with people. Either they’re all delusional or I’m in the minority because I didn’t fall in love with my infant right away.  (Pretty sure the answer is B…)

“They” say you forget the bad times. I call bullshit. I can still remember every single sleepless night, every failed attempt at breastfeeding, every daily “happy hour” where she cried non-stop from 5-7 pm, every poo-splatter on a white canvas Pavlik harness, every freakout when the brace came on, every ultrasound, every time I was made to feel inept by doctors, nurses, lactation consultants who led me to believe I wasn’t trying hard enough…it was too much for me to take. The thought of doing it all again makes me panic worse than the thought of packing up my house and moving to a new place where I know virtually no one.

Two-and-a-half-years in, I’m obviously not embarrassed or ashamed to admit that those first few months of motherhood sucked so horribly. But yes, the payoff is the most amazing little girl I could ever dream of having! She’s so smart and funny and beautiful and my most favorite person in the world to be around. I love taking her to the park and watching her run and climb. We do whatever she wants to do, as long as it’s outdoors. I don’t fear that all our focus on her will lead her to be some kind of spoiled brat. As long she’s taught to think and to love and to share, she’ll continue to be amazing.

It wouldn’t be fair to her to split that attention.

I'm not alone in my notion, I was happy to discover. Even TIME wrote about it, before they lost their credibility with their "Are You Mom Enough?" cover.

I have an older sister. She’s my best friend. NOW. She was my worst enemy for the bulk of my youth. Ask her about the time I punched her in the nose. Or all of her clothes that I "ruined."

When we traveled on a plane, my parents would argue over who would sit next to me because as a 5-year-old on her first plane ride, I was incapable of sitting still.

Airplanes have three seats to a row. That’s a lot of subtext right there.

I was always forced to sit in the way back of Dad’s ’85 Custom Cruiser station wagon, facing backwards, so that my sister and her friend could have the backseat.

She got to bring a friend on vacation!

To this day, I still don’t get car-sick.

Lest you think this is a single-minded, mom-only decision I asked Dr. T. what his thoughts are about another kid. His response: “Another one? Seriously? One is hard enough. *insert L.E. screaming for her toothpaste* I think we’re good, honey.” Then he muttered something under his breath about me being crazy and how life was easier with no kids.

Keep in mind, I asked him while he was trying to convince L.E. that she doesn’t need anymore toothpaste on her toothbrush while he was trying to wipe her face off.

This is one of our many battle-rituals we face with her every morning.

Plus, as regular readers of this blog know, I’m very insecure and I barely feel capable of getting L.E. and I out of the house every day with few tears and very little yogurt in our hair. And that’s WITH Dr. T.’s help. There’s no way I could handle all of that on top of getting a baby together, too.

People say it gets easier. People also lie. A lot.

I just turned 36. Don’t give me that crap about how I’m not too old. I’m old enough to where my ovaries could drop eggs like crazy and what’s worse than having another child?


So there you have it.
I don’t mean to sound evil and judgmental. Like everything else with parenting, you have to do what’s best for you.

I want to know: What are your family plans? 1 kid? 2 kids? 8 kids?

And like with all things, I'm entitled to change my mind if I accidentally forget my birth control.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The F Word

A belly is beautiful.
Well it's a new year so I suppose it's time for more ill-fated resolutions. I blogged about some resolution alternatives here but there is one that I need to address head-on.
I've written about my weight issues before but moving to Austin hasn't helped. (How is it that there is not a bad meal to be had in this town?)
I'm heavier than I've ever been, excluding pregnancy.
With that comes a bevy of self-esteem issues along with too-tight jeans.
But I can't wallow about it anymore. I have a little girl. And I never want her to have the body insecurities that I do. So I've started on the path of accepting who I am and my less-than-perfect-by-model-standards body.
We don't use the F word in our home.
To L.E., her mom loves to eat and encourages her to do the same. Food is not something to be shameful about.
So it's about making healthy choices and that's where Weight Watchers is coming back into play. I re-enrolled in the program. So far I lost 2.5 lbs in three days, just for having salad instead of something fried.
Novel concept, I know.
I owe it to my daughter to embrace my body and its flaws because I never want to hear her say she thinks she's fat. It's much easier said than done, but it's liberating to choose not to obsess over how I look.
I aim to make better choices, know that I will have clothes that fit again soon and I'm still enjoying food.
I've even managed to carve out 1/2 an hour 2 days a week to run.
Our little girls are going to feel enough societal pressure to look a certain way. As much as I want to put her in a bubble and never know what Glamour and Cosmo are, I know that's not possible. But it will be  matter-of-fact that women have curves and they shouldn't be ashamed of them.
It's not a grand discussion to have. It's just the way it is.
I have this delusional idea that by the time L.E. is a teenager, these crazy thin-spo girls won't be around anymore. Neither will sexting or frat parties. Like I said, delusional. Women will be considered beautiful no matter what size they are.
My L.E. will always be the most beautiful girl ever born.
Especially if she still has that adorable belly!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why Have Kids

Worth it.
On Thanksgiving Day in 2008, I woke up sad. We were going to have dinner at someone's house, who I barely knew. My family was having their traditional, ridiculous, fun 30-person dinner and I was missing it again. I was tired of being far away from family. I felt very alone and I said so to T. He said that if we want to have family traditions of our own, then we have to make our own family.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd been so steadfast in not wanting kids that I never took the time to actually think about what it would be like to have them. At the time, a lot of our friends were having babies or were pregnant and I was starting to feel ostracized.
We were the weird drunk couple who didn't want kids.
I thought about it for all of 30 seconds. "We need to have a baby," I said. T laughed and told me to think about it some more. There wasn't much to think about; all of a sudden, I wanted to have kids.
I thought for sure we would struggle with fertility since it seemed like everyone else around us did. My OB/GYN, who'd fortunately talked me out of getting my tubes tied the year earlier, said she didn't even want to discuss fertility issues until we'd been trying for at least two years. I was worried because I'd been on the Pill for almost 20 years. T was worried because he'd never gotten a girl pregnant and figured he was sterile. The silly things men come up with!
I got pregnant the second month I was off the Pill. Who knew I was Fertile-Myrtle?
My pregnancy had its ups and downs, the ups being mostly my weight. I gained 65 lbs, which is way more than the "normal suggested" gain of about 35 lbs. I had gestational diabetes (thank you, genetics), a blood clot scare, placenta previa and swollen everything. You know how you can't tell some women are pregnant from behind? Well, you could tell I was pregnant from EVERYWHERE. I was even pregnant in my feet.
I thought I would find other pregnant ladies to bond with but didn't until the end, when I connected with my MommyGoesToWork friend. I went to prenatal yoga every Saturday but that was mostly for the snacks. You know what happens when you put 20 pregnant women in a small room, give them fiber-rich snacks and then have them bend like a pretzel? Yes. THAT.
*Secretly hoping that the lady next to me whose water may have just broken doesn't realize that the last fart was from me.*
Since we had L.E. our lives changed completely, which was the total point of having a family. Sure, I may complain to my younger colleagues that they have the luxury of going to happy hour on the way home from work. They even respond with, "Wow, you sure bag on being a mom a lot. Was L.E. an accident?" But for every day I struggle with mom-guilt, shame and inadequacy, I also want to shout my gratitude for L.E. from the top of Mt. Bonnell. She's the most amazing person I've ever known and it's sometimes hard to believe I made her.
I love being somebody's mom.
I love her rubbing her chubby little hands on my face. I love her cackling giggle when I tickle her. I love it when she tickles me back. I love it when she yells, "I can't sleep like this!" when I try to turn her lamp off in her room at night. I love it when she holds up her finger and says, "Please read ONE MORE story." I love when she says, "FIVE MINUTES" when I say it's time to clean up and go. I love how she smells her feet and says, "EWWWW!" I love when she says, "I love you so much, Mommy."
I never thought I'd say it, but being a mom is the best thing I've ever done. I get to be a kid again through her. I can watch cartoons and wear t-shirts with cupcakes on them. I can slide down the slide at the park and not look like that creepy lady hanging out at the park. I have someone I can share my ice cream with. I get to read my favorite stories like Harry the Dirty Dog, Corduroy,  Cat in the Hat, and Go Dog Go. And when she's a little older, we'll read Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.
Sure there are the bad things. She always needs something. NEEDS it. I can't get her potty-trained to save my life. She throws herself down on the ground in public and starts screaming. One time, she started yelling, "Help me help me!" in Target so people looked at me like I was kidnapping her. She still doesn't sleep through the night every night. She hardly eats. I have to chase her to get her dressed. She yells at me and bosses me around. How do you deal with that?
And then there's the never-ending struggle of the working mom. I feel guilty all the time. I read the message boards that say things like, "If you're not going to raise your kid yourself, why have one?" and it feels like I've been stabbed.
I explored staying home. I'm happier working.
I should stop reading message boards.
I'd rather be fulfilled if I'm not with L.E. but that's something I need to deal with.
Despite all of the struggles to find the right balance, usually unsuccessfully, I take comfort in knowing that the world is a better place because L.E. is in it.
I made that happen.
It's a pretty scary and powerful proclamation.
Hopefully she won't blow the ridiculous expectation I just set up for her.