Thursday, May 31, 2007

Does Your Kitchen Need a Makeover?

Once in a while I get e-mails from people telling me about contests that might be of interest to some of you out there. If they look worth your time, I will post about it over at my Mama Likes Blog.

There is one contest that I recently heard about where the grand prize is a $30,000 kitchen makeover. I considered not telling you guys about this one because I don't need the competition (hee) but, alas, I will share the details with you.

Continue reading...


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Labor is Hard. Duh, Right?

When I was pregnant with Little Guy two years ago, I remember being meticulous in my preparation for bringing a baby into the world. I read all about what to eat and what not to eat, I prepared my nursery, I researched the pros and cons of circumcisions, I ensured that I had my car seat installed by a certified technician, I took my prenatal vitamins everyday, and I had every last thing on my baby-buying checklist bought and at the ready (including the wipe warmer I never used).

And yet, somehow, in the midst of all this planning, I had forgotten - no I had disregarded - the most important piece to planning for my baby's birth. The actual birth part.

Yes, I had taken my hospital's birth preparation class, but I had not given more than a few hours of thought as to whether or not I was mentally, physically or emotionally ready for the process of giving birth to another human. I had not practiced any breathing techniques. I had not read any books on birthing.

I really thought that I would just wing it. I knew the baby was going to come out somehow - that was a given - so I didn't really think to prepare much. In retrospect, I think I was in denial.

I was in denial that an 8-pound living being was somehow going to have to come out of my body and that I would be more than a passive actor in that process. I thought that as soon as I got to the hospital, I would be "taken care of" by the nurses and doctors and that if things got too painful I would get an epidural, read a magazine until it was time to push, and then pop out the baby.

Like I said, I was in denial.

What actually happened was both wonderful and traumatic. Wonderful because at the end of the experience, I had a healthy baby, but traumatic because the birth process was, for me, just short of a horrific ordeal.

And let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I am speaking of how I felt personally and not in comparison to others' experiences. I know that I didn't have the most difficult labor of any woman who ever lived, but it was traumatic for me nonetheless.

During the middle of my labor, I remember thinking to myself that I would never have another child. That we would have to adopt. I think this thought crosses the mind of many women in labor at some point.

Why? Because it FUCKING HURTS, that's why.

I was not prepared for the pain. I was not prepared for my epidural to fail and leave me unmedicated during the majority of my labor. I was not prepared for the out-of-control feeling I had during the worst of my seven-minute long pitocin-induced contractions. I was not prepared to be tethered to my bed by IVs, writhing and groaning with no real mobility.

And I had certainly underestimated the need I would have for other people to support me through the process.

I felt desperate to be free of the pain, confused about what was happening, and worst of all, alone.

My mother had told me she didn't want to be present during the labor. She didn't think she could be much help to me, she had said, because she doesn't "do well" around people in pain. I had no friends I wanted in the room. I have no sisters. I really just wanted my husband there. We were going to do it. Just him and I.

But just as I was unprepared for what was happening, he too was unprepared. Bless his heart and I don't fault him for this, but he was not able to provide me the support I needed.

He didn't know what to do. So he did nothing. Other than watch the machines that monitored my contractions, he spent most of my labor reading magazines. This while I was going through very painful, very long contractions for hours. At one point, I remember telling him I couldn't do it anymore. He looked at the clock and said, "Well, you better not tire out yet, you still have a long way to go." I had already been in active labor for many hours at that point and it was the worst possible thing he could say (especially since he had no idea how much longer my labor would go). To this day, I have no idea what possessed him to say that. I think it was because he didn't know how to comfort me and he just stuck his foot in his mouth.

At another point, I turned to him and cried out "help me." It was pathetic. I was so scared and in so much pain. And all he could say was "I don't know what you want me to do."

That's when I knew I was alone.

He didn't have a clue and neither did I. It was horrible.

In the end, I just endured it until it was over. I was very close to a c-section because I was stalled for so long, but at the last minute, I progressed to 10 cm and birthed the baby vaginally. It wasn't the longest labor on record (26 hours), but it felt like an eternity to me.

I have since decided that I could do it again (obviously, right? since I'm currently pregnant). But this time I want to be more prepared. And my husband wants to be more prepared. (After all, he knows I would literally kill (yes, kill) him if he were to ever again tell me during labor to suck it up and then go back to reading his magazine.)

The reality is that labor is hard. Duh, right? So it's not a bad idea to go into it prepared.

So, now at 28 weeks of pregnancy, I am beginning to blog about this stuff because I feel that writing about my feelings will help me put my last birth experience behind me and focus in a more positive way on my next birth.

And I am actually (kinda sorta) looking forward to my next birth. More on that in another post.

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LTDchix Give-a-way Contest!

*edited below*

Recently, I was contacted by Nina and Cindi, mothers and founders of the hip and hilarious clothing line LTDchix, to do a contest for my blog readers. I said 'yes' right away because a) I would love to help YOU win something and b) I like to help out mom-driven businesses.

Up for grabs are two $20 t-shirt gift certificates (plus shipping costs) from LTDchix.

About the Company
LTDchix (Living the Dream chix) was just started in 2006, but their t-shirts are already getting kudos around the blogosphere from sites including If you haven't seen their t-shirts yet, they are absolutely hilarious. The designs focus on the everyday trials of being a mom, which is so often exhausting, frustrating and rewarding all at once. But the designers of these t-shirts have clearly learned to keep their sense of humor about motherhood - which I love! Just check out the pictures of the "mini-van mom" and "referee mom" to see what I mean. I think we can all relate.

About the Contest
OK, so here's how it works:

You write a post on your blog about your most frazzled, funniest “LTDchix” moment. Maybe your toddler got hold of some black ink and started fingerpainting on your white walls. Or maybe your 21-month-old son cried out "mommy! boobie!" over and over again in the dressing room at Old Navy while you were trying on clothing causing you to run out of the store in complete embarrasment.

Whatever it is, just write a post about it! There's no rule about how long the post has to be - it can be a few sentences or a few paragraphs. Please link back to Mommy off the Record in case your readers would like details about how to enter the contest themselves.

Then e-mail the link to your post by Tuesday, June 5th.

The bloggers who write the funniest two posts will each win a $20 gift certificate to LTDchix (shipping will also be covered.)

I will post the links on my blog and announce the awardees within the next two weeks.

If you have any questions, let me know!
Edited to add: I just learned that LTDchix has three blog contests going on at once, so when you e-mail them the link to your blog entry, please state in your e-mail that you are entering the Mommy off the Record contest. I don't get a commission or anything (lol!) but they need to keep all of their contests straight for judging purposes. You can e-mail your link to them by clicking here .


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is Being a Jerk Hereditary?

Apparently it is if you're one of the Miller twins.

Perhaps you've heard of them - they were in the news earlier this week.

Identical twin brothers Raymon and Richard Miller have been battling each other in court over a child support issue.

Their problem? Each brother had sex with the same woman on the same day four years ago. Now this woman has a three-year-old child and paternity tests show that both men have a 99.9% probabilty of being the father.

And neither of them wants to pay child support. Nor do they want to acknowledge that the child is theirs or "have anything to do with her". And yet, they will probably never know who is the father and who is the uncle.

What a couple of winners.

According to the ABC article, Raymond told ABC that he's willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court with this. He was quoted as saying ' "If they can't prove it's me then they should throw it out of court." And as for the child support, he said, "The state should eat it." '

If there was ever a time I wanted to reach through the computer to slap someone, this was it.

People like this should not be procreating. Seriously.

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A Belated Blogging Thank-You

Is there a point when it’s too late to send a thank you note? Is there a point when it’s been so long since the gift-giver gave you the gift that sending a thank-you note would be more embarrassing than not sending a thank-you at all?

I have to say that I am behind on a lot of blogging thank-you’s, but I don’t want them to go left unsaid. While I was on my blogging break a little while back, it appears that a few people thought to award my blog with some neat stuff. Perhaps they were drinking that night and mistook me for someone else or something. But for whatever reason, I now have some really cool doo-dads for my sidebar.

So, thank you to the nice people who decided I should receive these. If it was you, let me know please!

Also, I’d like to thank everyone who commented and e-mailed when I decided to take my blogging break. I feel very guilty that, at the time, I never got to respond back to each of the comments or make visits to each of your blogs, but just know that I really appreciated it.

And it’s nice to be back.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Embracing the Fatter Side of Pregnancy

Last night I had a psychic dream. It was a horrible, anxiety-inducing dream. In it, I was trying on maternity clothes. And none of them fit. Not even close. I tried hoisting a pant leg on and I could barely get it past my knees. It was my thighs - they were enormous.

At 6 months pregnant, I had already outgrown maternity clothes. Now what would I wear?

I awoke this morning in a cold sweat (OK, not really). But I did awake to the memory of that dream and the realization that I had, in fact, been lent some maternity clothes by my friend the day before that I needed to try on. I walked over to the bag of clothes and pulled out the first item. A pair of totally cute Motherhood Maternity capris. Awesome. I needed capris! I tried them on with some trepidation. After tugging and pulling desperately, I found that I was able to get them over my thighs. Victory! However, they were skin tight and I was unable to fasten the button. The totally cute Motherhood capris didn't look so totally cute on me.

I won't go through the horror of recounting how I tried pathetically to squeeze myself into every pair of pants in the bag, but suffice it to say that my attempts were unsuccessful, finally confirming something I have been slowly coming to realize for weeks now - I'm getting fat. And it's not just the normal pregnancy weight that a woman needs to gain in order to support the healthy development of her gestating fetus. No, it's the extra cellulite, pudge and overall flabiness that I have no excuse for other than the fact that I get cravings for ice cream, chocolate cookies, and other assorted chocolate foods while I'm pregnant. (Side note: Have you tried the Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch? I highly recommend it.)

I do find it a bit disconcerting that I have finally come to this realization by way of a dream - a pyschic dream. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Should I feel bad that I don't feel comfortable in anything but a mumu? Should I feel guilty for wanting to eat dessert every day?

I find myself faced with several choices. I could:

a) stop eating so much
b) get off my arse and do some leg lifts
c) join a yoga class
d) eat an extra scoop of Ben and Jerry's after dinner to console myself

*twiddles thumbs*

*thinks about it*

*thinks some more*

Screw it. I'm going with "d".


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh. What?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

If you’ve never heard of Robo-tripping, Dex-ing, or Skittling, then you should read this post

Did you know that it is becoming increasingly common for teens to take cough medicine to get high? Currently, one in ten teens has abused cough medicine. One in ten! That is a frightening statistic, especially considering that virtually every household in America has cough medicine sitting out in their medicine cabinets.

Until last week, I would have thought nothing of keeping cough medicine within reach of teenage children. That is, until I was contacted by the Five Moms Campaign.

Five Moms is a group of, you guessed it, five real moms who have started a campaign to get the word out about this issue. Their mission? To tell other moms about the dangers of teen cough medicine abuse. The idea is that they tell five moms, who tell five moms, who tell five moms and so on, until families are armed with the information they need to prevent their children from falling victim to cough medicine abuse.

And believe me, abusing cough medicine can have tragic consequences – especially when (as often occurs) it is taken in combination with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.

If you visit the Five Moms website, you can read the story of Christy Crandell whose oldest son, then 18-years-old, was arrested for armed robbery while high on over-the-counter cough medicine and marijuana. He is now serving a 13-year prison sentence. When you read about their family before this tragedy, it is easy to see how this could happen to any family.

It’s up to us as parents to be aware of the issue, educate ourselves, and then spread the word to others.

So, what can you do? It’s easy:

Got one minute? Spread the word to your friends and other parents in your community! Just click here and fill out a simple form to send your friends a pre-written message about the issue. (And not that they needed to bribe us to do this, but when you send the message to five moms you know, the Five Moms Campaign will send you a manicure kit.)

Got 30 minutes?
Spread the word to other parent bloggers!
Write a post about this on your blog and link back to the Five Moms website.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Five Moms website at

* If you hear your kids or their friends talking about Dex, DXM, Skittles, Syrup, Tussin, Triple-C, or CCC, that’s code for cough medicine. Or if you hear them talking about Robo-tripping, Dex-ing, Robo-fizzing, or Skittling, that’s slang for abusing cough medicine.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Does cursing on your mommy blog make you a bad mommy?

The reason that I ask is that I recently received the following comment on my Crazy Crayola post.
For being a caring mom who looks into your kids well being, you sure do use some vulgar language. Be careful, whether or not you know it, that stuff rubs off on your children even if you think you are careful about saying it in front of them. It also discredits a lot of what you are saying, in my opinion.

After I read the comment, I reviewed that particular post to see which words I had used that might be offensive. “Bad-ass” and “shite” (intentional spelling) were the only two I could find.

I also noticed that I used the word “shit” in my Mother’s Day Confession and the word “dang” in this post.

Hmmm. I guess I can see her point. I swear like a sailor.

But here’s what I’m not getting. When she said “for being a caring mom, you sure do use some vulgar language,” she seemed to be insinuating that I couldn’t possibly be a caring mom if I use vulgar language on my blog, and therefore, I am not a caring mom. Maybe I'm being sensitive, but that's what it sounded like she was saying.

And that’s what I take issue with.

It's not that cursing is cool or admirable, but does the use of a curse word now and then on one's blog make them less of a mother? Do I lose my membership in the "good mothers" club because of it? And sidenote: cursing on one's blog does not necessarily mean that cursing is occurring in front of the kids.

The thing is that I do use foul language. I admit it. And not just dang or shite either. I’ve even been known to use the f-word now and then. But I don’t use it around my kid. It's not like I go around asking Little Guy to "pick up his fucking toys”, you know?

But on my blog. Well, that’s different. Cuz my blog is not my baby book. It’s not even a space that I've told too many "real-life friends" and family about. My parents, for example, do not know I have this blog. That's the way I like it. This is my private writing space, my "off the record" rants about motherhood. Where I can say “fuck” whenever I feel like it. That’s part of the beauty and liberation of writing anonymously or semi-anonymously. I don't have to censor.

And as for this: "[Your vulgar language] also discredits a lot of what you are saying, in my opinion," I have to laugh. It discredits what I have to say about what? Sidewalk paint? I mean, seriously, I’m not writing policy position papers on important world issues here.

So, in conclusion, I reserve to the right to use curse words in my posts now and then. Like when I'm coming up on 20 weeks of all-day puking sessions and I have to vent. In that case, you might even find a "really bad word" in the title of my post. Cuz it did fucking suck, and there was just no way better to put it.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Confession

My favorite part of the day is Little Guy's bedtime. He's getting kinda big, but I still like to rock him for several minutes in his rocking chair before I put him in his crib. Within a couple weeks, we're going to start transitioning him to a new room with a "big boy bed" and no rocking chair.

Sometimes I think about the day when he will be too big to hold in my lap anymore. It makes me really sad to think about it and I usually start crying.

Shit, I'm crying now.

I don't want him to grow up.


Friday, May 11, 2007

What Makes You a Mother

Deciding to be there, for one little soul or two or three or ten, every day of their lives, even when sometimes you are tired and you don't want to. You do it.

You feed them, you burp them, you change them, you rock them, you wipe up their messes, you play with them, you laugh with them, you discipline them, you kiss their boo-boos, you comb out their tangles, you teach them to share, you make their birthday cakes, you play dress-up, you dance with them, you read them books, you hold their hand when you cross the street...

you teach them about life, you listen to them when they have troubles, you help them with their homework, you take them to sports practice/music lessons/dance class...

you listen to their boyfriend woes, you help them stay away from drugs, you help them get through school, you help them succeed...

you watch them grow up, you watch them become independent, you watch them leave...

but you make sure they know that you are still there to rock them, to laugh with them, to kiss their boo-boos, if they need it

you are their mother.

This post was written in honor of my son, my greatest blesssing, and for the Parent Bloggers Network's first Blog Blast inspired by Light Iris.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'd Be Jealous if It Weren't So Dang Cute

On Little Guy's list of favorite people, I think that mommy, daddy, and for that matter grandma and grandpa too have been demoted. Yes, it appears that Little Guy has come to cherish others even more than his own flesh and blood.

Thank you, Sesame Street, for creating characters even more lovable than real-life family members.

May I present to you, Little Guy's new best friends: “Cookie” and Elmo. Not only does he sleep with them, he does just about everything else with them too.

He shares snacks with them.

He changes their diapers.

He goes potty with them.

He brushes their teeth.

I'd seriously be jealous if it weren't so dang cute.

*for those of you who may be visiting my other family blog, I will be cross-posting some of those posts here and vice-versa*


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm Launching a New Review Blog - Mama Likes!

Just for kicks, I decided to start a new blog, which is kind of crazy considering that I quit all blogging a couple months ago and now I have three blogs - this blog, my G-rated family blog, and now a new product reviews blog.

Why? Why would I start a third blog when I barely find the time to brush my teeth every day? Why?

Oh yeah. Cuz people are giving me free stuff to review. hee. I'll admit it - I like free stuff! So sue me.

Or better yet, go check out my new blog. Let me know what you think of the background color and fonts and stuff. I got to "design" it myself with the new Blogger. It was kinda fun.

And please check out my first ever review of Best Buy's new iPod and Chocolates Gift Set. It's yummy on so many levels!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Why I Love TJs: Reason #87

When you're exhausted, pregnant, and you've just recently turned 30, there's just nothing like being carded for wine at the grocery store to give your self-esteem that much-needed boost, you know?

And that's reason #87 that I love Trader Joe's: the checkout girls may be 10 years younger than me, but yet they always do me the honor of asking for my ID.

Bless them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Crazy Crayola

Is it just me or has Crayola been going really crazy with all the chalk toys lately? What happened to getting a simple 8-pack of chalk sticks? When I was a kid...waaaay back in my day...we just played with regular old chalk. We were lucky if we got colored chalk. That was a special occasion, kwim?

Now this is the kind of stuff I'm seeing:

The Crayola Chalk N' Roll: Why Use Your Hands to Draw with Chalk when You Can Use an Alien-Robot-Looking-Thing Instead?

Speaking of aliens, didn't I see this land on Jupiter a few years back? Oh, nope, sorry, this is the Crayola Color Cyclone. My bad.

Ready, aim, fire! Crayola's first semi-automatic paint gun. For when you want to be a bad-ass sidewalk colorer.

Yeah, Crayola, you're coming up with some pretty cool shite. I can't wait to see what my driveway's going to look like this time next year.
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