DIZMOMMY > November 2014


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November 25, 2014

My Son Loves Me and I'm Questioning It

DISCLAIMER: This is a letter I wrote to my son for the sole purpose of putting his recent affections on record. As you'll probably recall, Dylan was born disappointed that his mom is female. He's a boy's boy through and through and though it may sound dramatic, I'm not trying to oversell the fact that he's barely tolerated my existence. 

Dear Dylan, 

You’ve been my son for nearly 2 years, during which you’ve taught me the cruelest lesson ever: just because I have a son, doesn’t mean I have a momma’s boy (ouch). Oh well. You’ve also taught me that holding favoritism against you is impossible. Scratch that. Holding anything against you is impossible. Apparently all I see is when I look at your face is instant defeat aka my big fat perfect baby. Yes, I realize I’ve become as soft as the plush pals that sit in your bed. But alas, you’re finally reciprocating my love!!! 

Yesterday I was shocked to hear your teacher explain that when you don’t want to follow her instructions, you call out for “Mommy,” then bolt towards the window to check if I’m there to save you. Your teacher thinks the rebellion is really cute (thankfully), and I’m flattered/amused by your impression that mom is willing to bail you out of things that you don’t want to do. LOL. That’s not how it works. Regardless, thanks for thinking me when I’m not around. I especially love that instead of running away from me when I pick you up (like you’ve been doing for the past 12 months), you now run to me. Swoon! Victory dance! YAY! 

Other recent affections have also been duly noted. Like pulling me to your room for play sessions, or jumping on my back for unexpected hugs…I see you baby! And I like it. I’ve also noticed that you’re actually REQUESTING that I pick you up and hold you. It’s like you’re a different person! Who is this child seeking his mother’s attention? I’m grateful, yes, but seriously, what happened? You haven’t given me the time of day in two years! I’ve had to grovel for kisses, master the art of graceful rejection, and I’ve had to sit on the outside of your team daddy club meetings on countless occasions. And now you love me? Why am I even questioning it instead of knocking on wood like a smart person?! 

I can’t help but wonder. Maybe all my good-mom efforts are (finally) resonating with you. Maybe I’ve passed your stringent trial period. Or maybe this is a “tell Santa I was a good boy” Christmas conspiracy. Truthfully, I don’t care. Manipulate me all you want, I’m just delighted that you’re shining your light in my direction! Unprompted kisses!? YES! Your new found affections make the hair pulling, face slapping, and general brutality all the less painful. So thank you. I’m going to enjoy the next fifteen minutes of favoritism before you remember that I’m not your dad. 

Lovey Dovey, 

Your Mom 

P.S. I didn’t give you Ducky. He’s mine. I hope this doesn’t change things.

November 21, 2014

Mommy is Sorry.

My cute little long haired bum child
I’m a bad girl. Though I made a big time declaration that I was going to cut my son’s hobo-like locks, let’s be real: that was practically a year ago and I just couldn’t do it- I love his bummy hair! Even if it’s a knotted mop…even if it’s constantly bothering him…even if he hides food in it. Love is blind, what can I say? It wasn’t until people began regularly referring to my son as a girl that I started thinking he might need a trim. Nothing dramatic, just a little length off the back so strangers would stop telling me how beautiful my daughter is. 

I began searching for a kids’ salon but chickened out after reading one too many scary Yelp reviews featuring jagged cow-licked photos from disgruntled customers. Having waited nearly 2 years to trim Dylan’s locks, I couldn’t risk a bad experience. So I did what any over-confident mother would do, I decided to cut Dylan’s hair myself. Because, uhm, hello- I’m his mom. I can do anything. But there’s a problem (and it isn’t that I have zero stylist skills or experience), it’s my husband. 

Though I’m sure there are a lot of men in the world without two cents to spare when it comes to their children’s hair (part one of my argument), that’s not my guy. My husband is the kind of dad that examines the outfits I pick out for Dylan, shakes his head, and picks out something else…then irons it. So I spent a couple of weeks campaigning, stating that it would grow back (part two); that if I messed up, I’d take him for a real cut (part three); and finally, who was he to deny me the right to cut my own son’s hair, anyway? (The closer) All my efforts eventually paid off and I was given the Zepeda stamp of approval to move forward with Operation Snippety Snip. What a disaster. 

It started out great. Dylan sat stilly watching monster trucks on my phone as I combed through his head making little cuts to his precious curls. And when I was finished, I whipped out my blow dryer and dried his wet shaggy mop. That’s when I realized what I had done: I gave my son a first class bob. And it would’ve looked great….on an old woman. So let’s classify this under “never again,” “mom fail,” and “wtf,” cut my losses (literally) and bank on the fact that hair grows back. My love for Dylan may run deep but I can confirm that it is no longer blind. At all. Stupid retracting curls.  

Silver Lining: Though it was not my intention to butcher Dylan's hair for a blog post (evil laugh), it does make for great content..lol...

My bad...
You know it's bad when the blur doesn't help...

November 18, 2014

Don't Say the "C" Word - And Other House Rules

I’ve made a lot of life changes since becoming a parent, some voluntarily (e.g. work schedule) and some involuntarily. (e.g. I’m a “morning person” now, really? Sad.) And I’ve learned a thing or two throughout these adjustments; like coffee tables are for acrobatics, anything atop a counter is free game, and if you value sanity and/or peace (definitions may vary), then you live by the truth that there are some things you just DON’T DO and DON’T SAY to a toddler. Seriously. Though each child is different, I have a feeling I’m not the only one who: 
  • Won’t announce we’re leaving the house until we’re physically leaving the house. Utter “bye-bye” any sooner is like rolling out the red carpet for trouble to stomp on in its muddy shoes. 
  • Hides candy, chocolate, and chips from my child because sharing is never a onetime thing. Toddlers have selective memory partial to junk food. They will remember, and you will be harassed. Forever. 
  • Asks if they want _________. The answer is always no. And now? They’re onto you. i.e. “Do you want to go to bed?” Nope. You blew it. 
  • Gets punished for hypocritical rule breaking. Yes…I threw the remote onto the couch…but NO THROWING YOUR TOYS! Mom gets a time-out (though let’s be honest, it doesn’t feel like punishment).
  • Really REALLY has to watch what comes out of that mouth. “Oh sh**!” will be your child's new favorite term, requiring immediate damage control. “Mommy meant said ‘Oh grits! Sits! Mommy's new mitts! Oh that's the pits.'” It's what failure sounds like.
  • And when it comes to cursing, DO NOT by any means under any circumstances say the “C” word. No, not that one. These days the "c" word is "cookie."   
Being the personal assistant to a 2x2 (two years by two feet) doesn’t always come easy. My boss toddler runs a tight (but unpredictable and ever-changing) ship. And in order to navigate the cruel seas of moody toddler waters, I’ve had to learn how to acclimate. I mean, my ability to shove and chew an entire chocolate bar undetected is a practically a job acquired skill! How’s that for a resume polisher? 

November 14, 2014

Technology, Stem Cells, and a Car Seat Giveaway

Below is a post that was scheduled prior to the big news that..my older sister had her baby boy yesterday!!! Meet my day old nephew Dietrich! I'm already in love with this little guy...and by little, I mean 9lbs 10oz. Isn't he dreamy? Congratulations Veronica, Ed, and big sister Sofia!!! Welcome to the world little one!

And speaking about welcoming little bundles of joy in the world....

I would do anything to keep Dylan from harm, even if it means jumping out of a building, running in front of a train, or god forbid- killing an intruder. Parents want to protect their children, period. But what about the things we can’t control? Like diseases, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies? We might not be able to manipulate the future in our favor, but we can try. So when LifebankUSA contacted me and asked if I’d post about their Facebook giveaway, I agreed. Not only because you can win a fab car seat, but because I wish I would’ve known about LifebankUSA when I had Dylan. Let me tell you why. 

If you don’t already know, stem cells are the building blocks of our blood and immune systems and we all have them. Unfortunately, adult stem cells aren’t as versatile or durable as embryonic and they can contain higher abnormalities, whereas embryonic stem cells have the ability to develop into other types of cells that can repair organs, tissues, and blood vessels. Did you hear me? I said they can REPAIR ORGANS

Umbilical cords and placenta blood are stem cell rich and stashing them away is one of the most amazing benefits living in this day and age affords us. LifebankUSA has the technology to store and preserve your baby’s stem cells so should you ever need them, they’re available to you. You can learn more about their FDA approved clinical trials, the protection they provide, and their super technology here

I know that health issues are scary but I hope you find this information to be empowering. And if it isn’t, then at least I have an awesome Facebook giveaway to link you to! I’m talkin’ THREE Graco car seats! Visit their FB page and enter by 12/21/14. Winners will be selected by 12/31/14. Good luck! 

If you didn't catch it in the first paragraph, let me remind you that I agreed to share LifeBankUSA's giveaway after being contacted to do so. I received a giftcard for my participation but know that my opinions cannot be bought and though I had no plans to post this prior to being contacted, I don't participate in campaigns I don't already agree with. So how's that for disclosure, FTC?

November 12, 2014

That One Time I Let My Toddler Do Whatever

I was at the sink doing dishes [will they ever just stop?] when the piercing sounds of clinking-clanking metals startled my little rabbit heart. I turned around and lo’ and behold, every pot, pan, and lid we own was spread across the tile floor. It took Dylan seven seconds to accomplish such, a new record, I thought. Color me impressed and irritable. “Dylan, put them back!” I barked whilst making a mental note to rinse each piece before reuse because well, you know toddlers, they’re germy…and the pots don’t belong on the floor. Dylan smiled and continued to sit on the floor with all the “toys,” then promptly gave me his back. Whoa dude, blatantly pretending ignoring me? He really is starting to mirror my behavior. 

The kid is smart, I gotta give him that. He knew I was too preoccupied with soapy hands to abandon post. So I tried something else, “Dylan, can you show mommy how you put it away like a good boy?” He’s either uninterested or he’s onto me, regardless, clink clink clink. I turn back to consider my options. I can:

(a) Stop, put it all away and return to the dishes at the risk of another record-breaking cabinet extraction; 
(b) Put it all away and put off the dishes (TEMPTING!); 
(c) Beg Continue asking Dylan to put it away (he wont); or 
(d) Give up and accept the noise, the possibility of broken glass, and the guilt of knowingly allowing him to rebel.

Easy! I choose (d) and accept the premature demise of any respect I possess as an authoritative figure. I also choose to omit such incrimination from my post-day share time with the husband. Dad doesn’t need to know everything, why burden him…right

With the dishwasher finally loaded up and my jaws permanently clenched from biting my tongue, I was ready to reclaim Dylan’s toys as my cookware. But then I noticed something...Dylan wasn’t just playing with the pots and pans, he was assembling them. He devised an entire system of lining them up by size, matching each to their respective lid, then scrambling, repeat. I couldn't resist; I surrendered.

sat across from Dylan and asked what he was doing. He showed me how the big lid doesn’t fit the small pots but it fits 2 of the large ones, and how the tiny little lid just falls into the big pots [CLINK]. 

And before I knew it, I was dropping lids on the floor too. Sure, I may have sent the "wrong" message and maybe he'll think playing with cookware on the kitchen floor is all good [shudder], but the kid made a freaking puzzle! Props. Plus, I did get the dishes done. So I’m proud. Of the both of us. 

November 10, 2014

When the Fever Becomes an Infection

I have a fever that I just can’t shake. But before you panic and have me quarantined by the CDC, my current state shouldn't alarm you. That is, unless you have a baby...in which case you should HIDE THEM FROM ME IMMEDIATELY. 

Hi, my name is Rebeccafaith and I have baby fever.

It’s all very new to me. I haven't been the baby-craving type. Even when I was pregnant with Dylan, it was more of a fact than an achievement. Sure, I was excited and looking forward to being a mom, but there was no list with a box to check off, and being impregnated wasn’t filling any sort of void or offering me a sense of purpose…that I was aware of. Cause you know....babies. They change your life. Wiping asses quickly becomes no big deal and you'll still love them even after being forced out of bed six times a night. And as they grow and get bigger, there's the chance you'll be left wanting another one. It's madness. It's purpose. It's a void I didn't know I had. And it's definitely the fever.

But my baby fever is becoming an infection. I can tell because:
  • I use every opportunity to remind my husband that Dylan needs a sibling. Just look at him! He wont share! He needs a sibling to jack his toys. 
  • I choose to "forget" all the work that comes with an infant.
  • I also choose to "forget" how expensive they are.
  • I randomly drop subjective one liners like, I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, honey.
  • I've developed the super ability to spot and identify babies of all ages. Babies! They're everywhere!
  • And once spotted, I point them out. Aww! Look at how cute that baby is! I SAID LOOK!
  • My automated reply to "Dylan looks so big" comments are, "Yeah I'm ready for number two."
  • I'm only half kidding when I ask if I can keep your baby.
  • I have no shame in my morbidity: When we die, Dylan won’t be alone if he has a brother or sister.
  • I buy pregnancy tests "just in case" I might need them..someday. 
  • I make weird hippy-dippy declarations like, I have so much love still left to give!
  • There's officially a list. With a box. To be checked.
This feverish infection isn't really my fault. I mean, just look at how quickly they grow! Plus, it's not like I'll be this crazy forever because luckily, there's a cure. And it's just what the doctor ordered: A baby. 

November 5, 2014

How To Piss Off Your Toddler

It’s so fun to unexpectedly discover something you’re really good at; like the moment you realize you bake a mean coconut macaroon (eh-em)

And then there are things you don’t necessarily want to be good at but rock anyway; like pissing off your toddler (which I’ve apparently mastered). Whether it’s a talent or a skill, I’ve somehow become exceptionally proficient in provoking meltdowns. No effort required! When it comes to eliciting fits of fury, I am the reigning queen mom expert here to share my intel. These are just a handful of tried and tested ways to piss your toddler off: 
  • Ask them if they want something when they don’t. 
  • Pick them up when it’s time to leave. 
  • Say no. Works every time
  • Secure your toddler in their car seat. 
  • Stop at a red light. 
  • Intercept your bundle of joy as they fall off the couch. 
  • Talk on the phone. 
  • Try to feed them vegetables. Sometimes, feeding them anything does the trick.
  • Approach them too quickly. Especially in the morning. 
  • Change their clothes. 
  • Change their diaper. 
  • Take something out of their hands. 
  • Refuse their request for cookies. 
  • Misunderstand their babble. 
  • Restrict them in any way. 
  • Exist. 

If you haven’t caught on, let me explain: everything pisses off a toddler. Though the screams, the flailing deadweight body thrashes, and the physical abuse I put up with on a daily basis is hard on the nerves, I’ve accepted the terribles and my skilled ability to provoke it. And quite honestly, if you’re not pissing off your toddler, you’re doing it wrong. 

November 3, 2014

Halloween Fail, AGAIN.

Just like last year, Halloween was a bust. Though we had big plans to trick-or-treat with the cousins and party like one should when it falls on a Friday, we ended up staying home with a miserable toddler. Dylan was sick y’all, like REALLY sick. He had a cough throughout the week but he didn’t complain too much; but by Friday morning, he was stuffy and looking all sorts of ill. Dad took him to the doctor in the afternoon only to discover that Dylan was suffering a double ear infection and fluid in his lungs. YEAH, FLUID IN HIS LUNGS. The doctor put him on a breathing machine that improved his airways by 3% and eliminated the possibility of pneumonia. Thank the heavens! But still, he was miserable and in obvious discomfort. 

Though we don't normally allow it, Dylan slept in our bed that night. I wanted to keep an eye on him and I’m glad I did, but man! It was a painful night of no sleep for all. Dylan was delirious throughout the night, waking up, sitting up, falling over, crying, you name it. And around 7 am I heard him say, “Trucks? Trucks?” But before I could even open my eyes he slapped me in the face. I was too tired to react so he slapped me again. I just love that boy. Jkghkjdfgd. 

The rest of the weekend consisted of making soup, watching the Doodlebops over and over and over and over, trying to cheer Dylan up, baking cookies, and buying Halloween candy on clearance since we didn’t have a stash to raid. But in case anyone’s counting, we’re 2 for 2 for Halloween fails. Last year he slept through it, and this year he was too sick. Will we ever have a normal and successful Halloween?! We’re going big next year. Not only will it be on a Saturday, but it will be Dylan’s FIRST Halloween.