Friday, August 31, 2007

Shake Your Bootay

I'm not usually one to brag about my kids, but I just have to say this: my baby's got moves. Dance moves that is.

Check it out:


video

I don't know another two-year-old who has quite mastered the wave like this, or for that matter, who can perform a take on the electric slide using the book What to Expect the First Year as a platform.

Takes skills, people. Skills.


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This post was written as part of The Parent Bloggers Network (PBN) Blog Blast in conjunction with Baby Loves Disco.

Go to the PBN website for details on how to play along with this blog blast and get entered to win some Stride Rite shoes. You have until midnight PST tonight to enter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Perspective

20 weeks of nausea

4 marital disputes

6 teary outbursts for no good reason

5 stretch marks

12 hours of gut-wrenching labor

1 belly button that will never be the same....


And yet it now seems like such a small price to pay.

For this.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Funniest Exhange Heard During My Labor

Editor's Note: This exchange occurred while contractions were very painful and approximately 3-4 minutes apart. I was at this point fairly close to transition.

Husband (to me): Do you want to watch the news?

Me: Are you serious?

Husband: Well, there's a TV here. I just thought you might want to watch something. And the news would be on right about now.

Me (in disbelief): Uh, no, I don't want to watch the news.

Seriously, wtf, people? Are husbands always so clueless? Sheesh.



***********
Thank you all for the well wishes on my last post. I have been a horrible blogging friend for a while now and haven't had time to get out and comment as much on your blogs as I would like to. It means a lot that you are still reading here. I do plan to get around soon to see each of you as soon as possible.

Friday, August 24, 2007

I Didn't Have an Orgasm, But it Was Still Awesome

So tired.

So, so tired.

And happy.

And tired....

My second little baby boy was born on Monday, August 20th. He is beautiful. Wondrous. Everything we could hope for and more. I can't believe I ever felt disappointed to find out we were having another boy.

This is definitely the way it was meant to be. Little Guy and Littler(?) Guy are already becoming friends. (That is, if you consider getting bobby pillows thrown at your head by your older brother a sign of friendship.)

We have been in and out of the hospital since Monday because the baby had jaundice and we're not quite out of the woods yet so blogging might be sporadic until we really get settled.

Eventually, I will post the birth story. For now, suffice it to say that I only attempted to throw myself out the window once to end the agony. My labor was much shorter than my last one - only about 12 hours of the I'd-rather-have-a-root-canal-with-no-anesthesia-than-do-this-shit-any-longer kinda labor. And although I did have pain despite the hypnobirthing I studied, I mangaged to get through it with no drugs. Woo-hoo!

Overall, it was an awesome experience. My only regret is that I didn't experience an orgasm during labor.

I guess a girl can't have everything. Heh.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

40 weeks, 1 Day

I am now officially overdue. In a way, I'm not surprised. Lately, I've been late for everything - why not be late having a baby too?

I'm now on to trying out natural induction techniques. After checking out the Internet (where I go for all my official medical advice) I have found a few things I'm going to try out first. On the list are:

1) eating spicy food
2) taking a bouncy car ride
3) eating pineapple
4) walking
5) having sex

So far today, I have done 4 out of these 5 things. I'm not going to say which item I have yet to cross off my list, but I will say that pineapple is now officially out of season.

I will also say that having sex while 40 weeks pregnant is no easy feat, but it beats the heck out of checking into the hospital for a Pitocin drip, kwim?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pregnancy Live Blogging: 39 Weeks 5 Days

Number of times I've been in an elevator and had a random stranger worry about having to deliver my baby if the elevator gets stuck: 3

Percentage of those times that I faked a major contraction just to freak the guy out: none yet, but I'm so doing that next time.

********

Number of times this week I've yelled at my husband for no good reason: 5-6

Number of times he deserved it: 2

*********

Number of times this week I've gone shopping to feed my insane nesting craze: 5

Number of times I've taken a nap: 0

Number of months I'll live to regret this: at least 4



*********

Number of pieces of Ikea furniture that I've put together so far this week: 2 (one table and one chair)

Number of pieces yet to assemble: 5 chairs

*********
Number of unread posts on my bloglines: 347

Number of times a day I feel guilty for not getting around to comment more: constant

Number of contractions I've had while writing this post: 2

_______________________
PSA for Today: Some vinyl bibs sold at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart have been found to contain hazardous amounts of lead in them, but are not all currently being recalled. More information here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An Open Letter re. the Mattel Recall

We interrupt live pregnancy blogging to bring you another open letter...

Dear Mattel,

Wow. Another recall. I'm having a little bit of trouble keeping up. So, this latest recall in the news today is not the recall from two weeks ago right? I hear there might actually be more recalls soon too.

Phew. Wouldn't want to be you guys right now.

Well, I think I'm just going to go ahead and bookmark your recall site so that I can routinely check in to see whether any of my son's toys are putting him at risk of a) sucking on lethal amounts of lead paint or b) dying from aspirating small toy magnets.

You know what? On second thought, I think I'm just going to stop buying toys made in China. And since, like, all U.S. toys (80%) are made in China now, I guess I'll just stop buying my son toys altogether. Better to be safe than sorry, you know?

It's not like he needs your stupid toys anyways. He's been known to play for hours with a closet full of shoes. So no worries here. We'll be just fine without your crappy toys.

Signed,

Angry Mama Who Has Boatloads of Money to Spend on Her Son But Won't Be Spending a Dime On Your Stupid Toys Anytime Soon

Pregnancy Live Blogging, 39 Weeks 3 Days

I love Little Guy and I love my work, but today I don't have to worry about either. Because I am officially on maternity leave and my parents also graciously agreed to watch Little Guy for me all day.

This so that I can have a day all to myself to do, well, whatever I want to do.

I can hardly contain my joy (evidenced by the fact that I am zealously overusing CAPS and exlamation points in this blog post. YEEEEE!)

So yeah. To recap - I get to stay home! By myself! And I'm not even puking! I haven't had a day to myself in over two years - coincidentally right around the time that I became a mother. Hmmmmm.

But today is different! I can do anything I want to do! I can even shower without worrying that my toddler is going to kill himself in the other room while I'm lathering my hair.

I have been looking forward to this day for WEEKS - ever since I had the revelation that this could possibly be the last time I will ever get to have a day to myself again for a really, REALLY long time.

Now, I just have to figure out what I want to do with this precious, luscious, wonderous alone time that I have.

I think I'll start by gazing upon my new and not-yet-marred-by-dogs-and-kids hardwood floors. And maybe I'll even run my hand across their clean, smooth shininess.

*sigh*

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pregnancy Live Blogging - 39 Weeks 2 Days

I feel that I haven't blogged that much about this pregnancy and I feel a bit guilty so...since I have approximately one week left, I've decided that the time has come. I'm going *try* to dedicate the rest of my posts to the pregnancy until the baby is born.

One distinctive aspect of this pregnancy versus my pregnancy with Little Guy is that I have been going through massive nesting phases. Unfortunately for Husband, when the nesting instinct comes on strong, it usually entails me yelling irrationally at him for something like putting canned goods on the pantry shelf that should only contain baking products. He usually sits back and just lets me yell and scream and throw things (in the garbage more often than at him). He has been very nice about it though he probably has grounds for divorce if he wanted.

On the bright side, our house has never been more organized. Everything is perfectly in its place now.

Except for one thing - our kitchen floor.

Cuz about 3 weeks ago, I decided I thought it needed to be replaced. Immediately. And it was gonna get replaced before this baby was born so help me God. It just needed to happen. I can't explain it - the power of the nesting instinct. Once let loose, it just really cannot be stopped.

So at the moment, our kitchen floor looks like this:
















This is the height of what I have done to our poor house to get it ready for the baby. It's not a complete remodel, but it's as close as my pocketbook will allow us to get. Hopefully, it will be done today.

So, in total, my nesting instinct has cost us approximately $2300 plus a couple marriage counseling sessions. Not so bad, eh? I even get a new, shiny hardwood floor out of it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Comedy at Its Finest

Since I am only 7 days away from my due date, this would probably be the time to get more introspective with my posts and really delve into my feelings about preparing for the birth of this baby.

That would be what a normal person would probably be blogging about.

Me? I'm more interested in finding out if you've seen the movie Borat yet.

Anyone?

I just finally saw it tonight and I was laughing my ass off. I guess a man with a speedo wrapped around his neck will do that to me.

But what was up with the naked man-on-man hotel room fight scene towards the end of the movie? That was just insane! Could you believe that he actually assumed the 69 with that guy and then streaked into a conference room full of people and rolled around naked with him on stage? That seriously takes guts.

And even though I kinda threw up a little in my mouth while I was watching that scene unfold, it still cracked me up.

Ah, how I love a good comedy. Helps me take my mind off the fact that I'll be squeezing an 8-lb baby through my vajajay any day now.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The post in which I declare my
stalkerish love for another blogger

I may not have gotten to go to BlogHer, but I got close enough. I got to meet one of my best friends in the whole blogworld last weekend. A woman who everyone immediately loves and yet cannot help also being jealous of if only because she has GREAT hair and SKIN and WRITING TALENT and STYLE. And plus she's just NICE. Really, really nice. Do you know who I'm talking about yet?

Yeah, this girl.

Meeting her was like being with a celebrity, I swear. As soon as we sat down for lunch and I opened the baby gift she had brought for me people were flocking to the table to admire it - "it" being the cutest little embroidered Sheriff and Deputy baby and toddler Tees that she made herself... (By the way, did I mention she's so generous too? yeah, she is. For more evidence, just check out here last post in which she wants to help bloggers who are down and out.)

Unfortunately, I just know I made an awful impression by a) taking her to lunch at a place with no air-conditioning on a day that was at least 90 degrees b) wearing my "I love LILDB" T-shirt and babbling on and on about how much I love her blog after asking her to autograph my napkin for the 10th time despite her protests and then c) sweating on her during the two photos we took together. Cuz yeah, it was hot and I picked a restaurant with no air conditioning.

At one point, I had a feeling that things just weren't going so well on our BlogDate. I'm not sure why. Just a feeling I got I guess.


Here she is hiding behind her napkin, pretending not to know me.



And then here she is the first time she tried to run away from the table.


Maybe it was all the stalkerish talk about how I LOVE her blog and LOVE her hair and LOVE her Faddidle store. Do you think I maybe overdid it? God, I probably did. I wouldn't be surprised if she has a restraining order out on me.

I guess it's just as well that I didn't go to BlogHer or I'd probably have multiple restraining orders out on me.

But, oh, look! I have one more picture. This one was taken when she thought I was normal and sane. How easily fooled she was. BWAHAHAHAHA!



Me and lildb forever.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Skin Deep Database:
A Resource Every Family Should Know About

In my last post I discussed how INSANE it is that the government doesn't require cosmetics products like baby shampoo to be tested for safety before they are sold to the public. It makes me feel mad and helpless not to know for sure if the products my family is using will cause us cancer 10, 20 or 30 years down the line.

Many of you who commented agreed that this is scary and wrong. Luckily, as a few savvy commenters pointed out, there is an excellent online resource that can help families make somewhat educated decisions about how to find safe body care products.

It's called the Skin Deep Database.

I heard about it a few months ago and have been obsessed with it ever since. Obsessed in a good way. I didn't mention it in my last post because I didn't want it to get lost in my rantings. I wanted to dedicate an entire post to this awesomest of resources.

So what is the Skin Deep Database and why should you go visit it today?

The database is a resource of the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit health advocacy organization. Basically, what they've done is entered hazard data from 50 toxicity and regulatory databases and then entered the individual ingredients of thousands of personal care products in order to produce reports on the safety of the products. As far as I know, this database provides consumers with the only way to help assess the safety of cosmetics products.

Using the database is easy. Just go to the start page and enter in a product name in the search engine. The database will bring up a comprehensive report on the product, including a hazard score (1-10 with 10 being the most hazardous) and a data gap score. It will also provide a hazard score for every single ingredient in the product and tell you what type of hazards the ingredients may present (e.g., cancer, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, etc.)

(Note that one the caveats in talking about this is that there are many ingredients for which no studies have been conducted. Therefore, we really don't know for sure whether they are safe. The hazard score does not take into account the data gaps, but the data gap percentage will give you a sense of how much of the safety of the product cannot be accurately assessed due to lack of scientific studies.)

Now, where did my aforementioned obsession with this database begin? Well, once I started searching the database for the products that I use regularly I realized that most of the commerical products out either not the safest or downright toxic. I also quickly realized that it's not enough to find a product that sells itself as "all natural" or even "organic" and feel completely safe buying it.

I now feel compelled to enter every single item that I plan to purchase in this database before I buy it. Even though EWG cannot guarantee the safety of any products (especially due to the large gaps in data) the database is a great tool to educate consumers about which products they might want to avoid.

Have I convinced you to check this out yet?

Go now!

And if you know of other resources like this for household products etc., let me know in the comments. I feel that we need to help each other by passing along this kind of information. Because, really, who else is going look out for us if we don't look out for each other?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Enough

There's nothing like finding out that your baby's bubble bath has cancer-causing agents in it to scare a mom shitless and make her madder than hell.

Well, I am officially pissed off. Because, apparently, I've been using carcinogenic shampoo on my son since he was an infant. Thank you, Johnson and Johnson.

From the press release:

Laboratory tests released today revealed the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in products such as Hello Kitty Bubble Bath, Huggies Baby Wash, Johnson’s Baby Wash, Scooby-Doo Bubble Bath and Sesame Street Bubble Bath. The tests also found the carcinogen in Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo, Olay Complete Body Wash and many other personal care products....“Regrettably, 1,4-Dioxane contamination is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., executive director of the Breast Cancer Fund, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “Because the FDA does not require cosmetics products to be approved as safe before they are sold, companies can put unlimited amounts of toxic chemicals in cosmetics.”

Everyone can now join me in a collective, What the fuck??

I'm sorry, but how is it that the ingredients in our cosmetics products (which include shampoo, body lotion, make-up, bubble bath, hair gel, nail polish, moisturizer, sunscreen and like a bazillion other products) ARE NOT REVIEWED OR REGULATED FOR SAFETY BY OUR GOVERNMENT BEFORE BEING SOLD TO THE PUBLIC?

I mean, is this a joke?

What is happening in this country when we are allowing our children to be put at risk like this?

Where is the uproar?

Because things just seem to be getting out of control. I feel like we live in a completely toxic environment. Everywhere we turn, we are finding out that what we touch, breathe, eat, and play with can literally kill us.

Use Hello Kitty Bubble Bath on your kid for the last five years? Watch out for cancer!

Just bought a Sesame Street Shape Sorter or a Birthday Dora? Watch out for lead poisoning!

Happen to live near fields where farmers are using pesticides? Hello autism.

Use a laser printer at work? You might as well be smoking cigarettes. (That is, unless you ask a manufacturer of laser printers- in which case, they're perfectly safe.)

Plan to take your kids on a cross-country trip in your new RV? Might want to think twice. You could be embalmed in it.

I mean, is nothing safe anymore?

I don't know about you, but I've had enough. I feel like we're sitting ducks - unable to truly know what is and isn't safe anymore. I feel like our government isn't being tough enough with its product regulations to keep our children safe. Yeah, I know I'm taking the cynical view, and perhaps the cliched view, that money talks and that governments are often beholden more to big business than to the public they are supposed to serve. And that they look the other way sometimes - or a lot of times - even when they know something isn't right.

That is, until some non-profit or university has the funding and the balls to investigate an issue on their own and then the shit hits the fan and then the government has to act.

But by then my kid has been sucking on his Made-in-China lead-laden stacking rings and bathing in toxic bubble bath for two years.

And it makes me feel helpless. And pissed off. And helpless.

Because I realize that I can't protect my children from everything. And somehow, lately, it seems like everything is what they need protection from.
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Edited to add: Click here for Part II of this post, which discusses the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database - a quick and easy online tool you can use to help determine whether your family's body products (sunscreens, lotions, shampoos, toothpaste etc.) are toxic or not. Or just go straight to the database and start searching now. You can find it here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Little Mr. OCD

I'm a little worried. Little Guy loves to do all the normal stuff that toddlers love to do - play with toys, kick a ball around, torture our animals by sitting on them...

But lately, he's also been showing some odd tendencies.

For example, he loves, LOVES to wash his hands. But he doesn't just want to do it once. No. He wants to do it 25 times or more. And his ritual is always the same: lather with soap, rinse, towel dry, point to bar of soap and say "bar of soap", point to liquid soap and say "liquid soap."

He will literally sit at the sink for TWENTY minutes doing this over and over again until (usually) I have to finally drag him away.

Frankly, it's starting to creep me out a little bit. I'm all for cleanliness but this is ridiculous. The fact that I have some mild OCD issues in my family doesn't help ease my mind.


Mommy, look, bar of soap! Wow! I know it's the same bar of soap I've been using for the past 20 minutes, but wow, isn't it great?!


The other weird thing is his fetish for shoes. Now, I know that almost everyone has a picture of themselves with their parents shoes on when they were a kid. It's cute, right?



Well, my kid has to take out every single pair of shoes that we own (including my heels) and walk in them into another room until they are all lined up near our couch. Once he's done, he then puts his feet into every pair and again walks them to another part of the house until they're all lined up again. And woe be it to the person who tries to interrupt him during this activity. There will be hell to pay, let me tell you. Because, really, lining up shoes for an hour is serious business. And he takes it very seriously.


This is just a fraction of the shoes that he collects. Eventually, the entire carpet is covered.


So, I ask you, is this normal, people? Is it? Or should I call a shrink now?

Sidebar: 10 pts to anyone who recognizes the hat on the ground in the last photo. (Husband's actually worn it. In public. Ugh.)
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