DIZMOMMY > January 2014

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January 31, 2014

Dizmommy is Sick

Happy Friday! My little guy has graciously passed his germs on to mommy, and I'm in major need of homemade chicken soup and organic carrot juice. I haven't been to work since Wednesday and Dylan has been home with me instead of going to "school." Taking care of a baby while under the weather is quite the challenge and the only silver lining of fighting a cold while keeping him happy is that he is trying really hard to walk. He stands up from a sitting position (a totally new thing!) and takes a single step before falling over. He's getting so close and I am anxiously cheering him on. It's a milestone I've been mentally preparing myself to miss since I'm at work during the day, so if I do end up witnessing his first few steps I will be elated! 

Dylan's first birthday is next week and the thought of him waking up a toddler on Wednesday morning brings tears to my eyes. I didn't expect to be so emotional over him turning one, but I am kind of a softy. I'm gushing with pride and baby fever (don't tell my husband), and I want these young moments to last forever. A year ago I was four days past my due date and the size of a beluga whale, en route to the doctor's office for a cervix exam (I DO NOT MISS THOSE AT ALL!). So here's to Friday, the future, and the unknown. Have a great weekend ya'll! 

January 28, 2014

Protect Me From My Own Stupidity: Put the Tylenol Down

Research, facts, and information are all tools of empowerment. But there’s nothing like negligence to take that power away. So when I read that the FDA issued a warning that the active ingredient in Tylenol (acetaminophen) can cause long term liver damage when taken in excess of 325 mg, and that it is the leading cause of acute liver damage, I immediately checked Dylan’s infant Tylenol, which contains 160 mg per serving (and can be taken up to 5 times in one day, totaling 800 mg). Please press pause. 

As a society, we are constantly learning that things we once thought were harmless are actually harmful. Some classic examples are: radioactive water in the 1900’s, cocaine in Coca-Cola, asbestos, Fen-Phen, etc. I like to think we’re all doing our best to protect each other but when the FDA speaks up on something as common as Tylenol, the proof is not in the pudding. 

Simply because something is packaged and on a shelf, doesn’t mean it’s safe. I’m sure the FDA does their best (okay I’m not sure), but their best isn’t good enough. Products can hit the market before the FDA has a chance to review and approve them, and even if they are approved, they can later be found to be dangerous and then recalled. It’s a complex and imperfect world out there and we’re bound to make mistakes that jeopardize our health from time to time. And though the best way to protect ourselves is through information, what are we supposed to do when that information is neglected? 

Think of seat belts. If you’re not wearing a seat belt, you will be cited and fined. It’s a law designed to protect us from our own stupidity. So when acetaminophen is discovered to be the leading cause of acute liver damage, why is it still available for consumption? Shouldn’t we be protected? Instead of a law that would ban the profit giant from poisoning our livers, Tylenol is taking the liberty to smack warning labels on their products. You know, because we should be smart enough to adhere to a warning label or at least gamble our liver at our own risk. 

In sum, you can’t trust anyone, anything, or any claim. Stick to what you know until you know better. And as for Dylan, he hates the grape flavored Tylenol anyway.

January 27, 2014

Sick and Liberated

I knew that daycares were riddled with potential viruses but really? Three days in and Dylan came home with germs that sent his immune system into overdrive, warding against a 103 degree fever. Needless to say, our weekend was a tough one and Dylan was miserable.  

He was exhausted, agitated, and full blown sick. If I wasn’t holding him, he was crying. If he was crying, he was congested, and if he was too congested, it was only a matter of time until he would throw up. So what to do? Keep him cool, keep him hydrated, carrot juice, water, the breastmilk stash, feed him whatever food he was interested in (which was hardly any), and coddle as needed. The experience of caring for a baby at this level of illness was a first for me and all I can say is WOW! Being responsible for the well-being of another human life is a tall order and quite frankly, I don’t know how any of us do it. It’s scary to think that my son is completely dependent on my ability to care for him, and there’s a possibility that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. So when I texted my mom and explained the situation and she replied with, “You know best. Listen to your instincts when it comes to Dylan,” I felt liberated. 

She’s right and we all know it. Parents don’t receive formal training (though that would be AWESOME), so we are left with life experience, intuition, and common sense to guide us through the unknown. And you know what? That’s okay. Dylan may be a stuffy little chicken with a lingering cough, but his fever has subsisted and he’s on the mend. Thanks for the pep talk mom!

 

January 23, 2014

A Happy Ending: Saving Dylan

Dylan is almost a year old but he already thinks he doesn't need me. For the past few weeks I have been a little bit of a super freak when it came to finding a childcare for him. I thought my sensitive Aquarius baby would miss his routine and have a hard time adjusting, especially on his first day in a foreign environment....uhm, yeah freaking right. 

I couldn't wait to bail Dylan out of prison daycare! I imagined his face lighting up when he saw me, throwing his hands in the air, and reaching out for the mommy he almost forgot he had. So I rushed over to his "school" and walked through the doors expecting to hear shrieking cries of disgruntled babies. But there weren't any. The kids were having fun. A teacher spotted me and walked over with Dylan on her side. My big moment! (I thought.) His teacher began telling me how great Dylan was, how he did so well on his first day, that he cried a couple times but no major breakdowns, and he took to all the staff members. And as she spoke, Dylan clung onto her neck, hugging her, and casually glanced at me with no reaction other than, "why are you here? I'm not done yet."

"It's your mommy! Aren't you excited to see your mommy?" His teacher asked. Wait a minute, really kid? I birth you, I breastfeed you, I change your diapers, I give you cookies when dad's not looking, I constantly take the brunt for giving into your every request, and then I come to relieve you from a rough day in a strange place and you need to be reminded of who I am? Wow. Every childcare fear I had is out the window. Dylan did fine, he enjoyed himself, and I was the one doing the reaching. The entire car ride home was filled with him excitedly babbling in the backseat with wild hand gestures, spilling the beans on what a fun day he had. And though I'm super excited he had a positive experience, my big hero moment was anticlimactic. Dylan is a big boy, he's fine, he's the best, and he's ready for more.

January 21, 2014

Please Take Care of My Baby


Tomorrow is Dylan's first day in childcare and I'm feeling a flurry of emotions. I'm nervous he's going to be scared, I'm scared he's going to feel abandoned, I'm worried that they won't know his cues, and I'm terrified because it's a first for the both of us. In a perfect world, I would be the one on the floor playing with Dylan, reading him Dr. Seuss, and singing itsy-bitsy-spider. I toyed with the idea of quitting my job and staying at home, but the thought of being at the mercy of a tight budget quickly sent that idea into a tailspin. I'm not great with money, I have zero patience for clearance hunting, and I am certainly not ready to become a shell of financial induced stress for the sake of being a helicopter mom. 

But if I allow myself to dig a little, there are a lot of positives buried beneath my daycare apprehensions. Like the fact that Dylan is going to be in a structured environment where he will socialize with other babies, engage in activities that encourage development, and will be challenged to become a little more independent by trained professionals. So in a way, I am excited. I want the best for Dylan and my mama bear ways tell me that this could be a great move. But it didn't come easy. The cost of daycare is understandably high, and in order to minimize the financial impact, I forfeited my three-day weekends and will be working Monday's again. I have enjoyed mommy Monday's and it wasn't easy to give them up but there's no limit to what a mother will sacrifice for the greater good of her child. And the peace of mind a fancy schmancy childcare program offers this paranoid protector is worth its weight in gold. So it will be fine. Right? 

January 17, 2014

FINE. I'm a Sucker

Before I go any further with my "mean mommy" who "means business," charade, let's set the record straight: I am a total softy who hates the sound of a crying baby, I frequently bail Dylan out of upsetting situations, and I avoid eye contact when confronted with a pout. I'm not exactly the real deal sheriff in town, but look at what I'm up against!

January 16, 2014

An Open Letter to My Hair Pulling Baby

Dear My Precious Baby Boy, 

Don’t let my smile and unconditional love fool you, I am a mean mommy. And by “mean,” I mean business. Sorry bud, but I’m not going to let you run me over with a behavioral free-for-all. Don’t be too disappointed though, you’ll develop a love/hate relationship towards structure, boundaries, and rules. Yes, you’re going to resent your bedtime; yes, you’ll get sick of eating vegetables; and yes, you’ll fight me on wearing a jacket. But you’ll also enjoy a good night’s sleep, a full tummy, and the feeling of warmth, on top of having a family that would give up all of those things for you. It’s a pretty sweet deal. 

But there’s more: expectations. Calm down silly, I don’t expect you to teach yourself how to read at 5 years old (though it can be done so feel free to impress), and I won’t charge you room and board (for a long, long time). But you bet your sweet little tushy that we expect you to be kind and respectful, study in school, and clean up after yourself. And though it might be too early to introduce you to the “c” word, you deserve to know that consequences do exist (and they’re gonna suck). 

My suggestion? Ease up on the violent hair-pulling, the bed time crying, and the wardrobe induced moany groany. You might be a baby now, but you won’t be a baby forever and my flexibility with your outbursts will become a thing of the past the day you know better. Trust me, you’re going to have real life problems one day and it would save us all a truckload of stress if you took your temper down a notch. No one likes the guy who loses it over spilt milk. And don’t bother asking me what’s in it for you because I’ve already given you all I got (plus I birthed you and would hate to have to take that back). But don’t worry, even if you hate me, I’ll love you son! 

Xoxo, Your Mean Mommy

January 15, 2014

List: Must Have Apps for Android or iPhone


Up until recently, I had been an android user for years. I resisted the switch from Android to iPhone because I was comfortable with what I knew. I mean, what could possibly be better than setting up your entire phone by entering an email address and password? But still, my Apple enthused husband was determined to orchestrate an iCult conversion and bestowed a 5S upon me for Christmas. And…..I love it! The only downside to abandoning my cute little green droid friend was replacing the apps I had come to love. But it can be done! Here’s a list of apps every blogger/mom/social media user should have regardless of which side of the tracks you’re on. 


BOTH ANDROID AND iPHONE:

PicsArt Photo Studio: If you take pictures with your phone, this is a must. This is my go to app for watermarking photos, applying filters, drawing, collages, or whatever. If you can think of something to do to a photo, this app can make it happen  


InstaSize: Assuming you have Instagram (it’s so mandatory it’s not even going on this list because you better have it), there are times your photo is too big to post. InstaSize is the solution! It will size your photo to fit Instagram crop free!

Flickr: Yahoo is giving everyone a free terabyte of space (you’ll never use it all) and you can sign up by using your gmail address. Flickr has an “auto upload” tool that backs-up every photo you take by uploading it to your Flickr account. If you like to safely hoard pictures like me, your welcome.


Dropbox: Much like Flickr, this is a “backup your stuff before shit happens you didn’t see coming” app. I am a super paranoid data hoarder and hence why I use two apps to make sure I don’t lose anything. I like Dropbox better than Flickr because it’s uploads photos in the background (Flickr requires the app to be open in order to backup photos), but you don’t get a free terabyte. Still, there are ways to get additional storage (refer a friend, share an album, etc.).

ANDROID ONLY


GIF Camera: You may have seen some of the gif’s I’ve posted on my blog in the past. I love gifs! Here is a free and basic app that you can use to create them, either by using pictures already in your gallery or by shooting a gif within the app. 

Feed Baby: This is the ultimate baby tracking app. You can input height, weight, and/or head circumference data and it will generate percentiles and growth charts. I primarily used the app for sleep tracking and was able to monitor Dylan’s sleep patterns without giving it much thought. I used the free trial for months before ultimately buying the pro app, which I hardly ever do…but it was THAT good! 

iPHONE ONLY


VSCO: If you are looking for a sophisticated photo editing app, this is it. The options, the filters, the effects, oh my! You can’t watermark but you can do so many other things that it’s totally okay.

Sprout: This is a baby tracking app. I like to stalk my son’s sleep so I use it for that, but you can stalk anything with Sprout. Feeding, growth, diapers, whatever! This app even has a section for medication and immunization tracking, as well as a Memories section where milestones are inputted and can be exported into a pdf

QuizUp: This is a just for fun app because we all need a little fun, fun is good! It’s a trivia based game that involves answering 7 questions in 20 seconds against an opponent on a topic of your choice (logos, general knowledge, celebrities, etc.). Beware though, it’s highly addicting and you will lose track of time.

January 14, 2014

11 month Old Hobo

My mornings are perpetually rush-rush; partly because I abuse the snooze and partly because I wake up so freaking early. So as I was leaving for work and goodbye smooching on my chubby checker, I caught a glimpse of what he "really" looks like. Being with a person 24/7 will change the way you see them and my constant exposure to Dylan has me suffering from a first degree prejudice. Since his birth, I’ve wondered if Dylan’s actually a hideous creature with a face “only a mother could love,” or if he’s the Gerber baby I see him as. And all bias aside, I finally understand why haircuts are frequently the topic of conversation. The kid looks like a bum. 
 
Dylan is in between looks right now. Though he is merely an 11 month old, he’s also a whopping 24 lbs. This means he can still rock a onesie but he must always wear pants (sorry son). And though his hair is toddler-esque, it’s only grown from the ridiculous amount he was born with and his mom (oh, is that me?) hasn’t noticed how crazy long and wild it’s come to be. So this morning when I caught a glimpse of my hobo baby’s scraggly locks, I took a moment to acknowledge that he keeps growing without my permission, and that he desperately needs a pair of scissors. 

Sometimes life is so hectic that details become blurs and observations become seldom. And with Dylan’s first birthday only 19 days away, I think it’s time to pump the brakes and take a minute to see this little creature for what he really is: a not so-little baby who is transforming into a big boy. What else am I not seeing as I run through time? And can somebody please press pause before I turn around and he’s graduating high school? I want these days to last forever, mop top and all.


January 10, 2014

The Best of Humanity: A Life Changing Box

The soul is a powerful thing. It is our core, our inner light, our total self, a reservoir of unwavering strength, and where our feelings are felt the deepest. And without even trying, sometimes something will pierce it and leave us forever imprinted. It happened to me this morning. 

There’s no shortage of videos on the internet and if you’ve shared one on facebook, I’ve probably sat through it. So when I was linked to a three minute clip called “The Drop Box,” pressing play was just business as usual. But this video was different; it made my heart sink into my soul and woke it with splashes of a cold, harsh reality. You deserve to see it too. And if you are touched, then go ahead and share it with someone else. In a world where darkness is ever-present, the work of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak is inspiring, selfless and full of light. So take it in, bask in its warmth, and allow your own light to shine through whenever you can. 


"The Drop Box" - Documentary Trailer from Arbella Studios on Vimeo.

January 9, 2014

Mommy Lost Her Marbles: Voodoo Woes

I used to be logical, then I became a mom. For the bulk of my life I've used logic as a weapon to cut, cut, and cut through bullshit. It's the only way to go in my line of work (legal), or when confronted with scams and bullies, but I've been known to draw blood from too much severing and that's never pretty. So with age I gained empathy and saw logic as a tool instead of a weapon. But as I continue to grow into my mommy shoes, I'm becoming crazy illogical.

There was a scene on television last night wherein a woman kidnapped a newborn baby from a hospital in order to pay a debt to a Voodoo spirit whom she sold her soul to. Obviously it was completely fictional and yet there I was in bed, pissed. My brain couldn't compute a baby being sacrificed to some demonic, wheeler and dealer and I lost all interest in the show. "Okay I have to go to bed now," I told my husband. It made no sense that I saw Dylan as the baby actor but still, my heart ached with the woes of voo-dues. 

So great. Apparently I've become so emotionally wired that I cant even sit through T.V. that pushes my maternal buttons. My old self would say it's just a show, what's the big deal? Get over it, it's pure fiction. But no, no, no, that's not me anymore. I'm a big joke. So to all the people whose logic I've challenged and who have told me countless of times that I would "understand when you have kids," (especially my mom) I sure gosh darn diddly do.

January 8, 2014

2 Door Problems

If my life were a headline, lately it would read: SON SAVED FROM JAWS OF BABY EATING BACKSEAT! Or, BOY NARROWLY AVOIDS SHARP TURN FLIP! 

You see, my car has been at the mechanic's since last Monday and I don't know when I will have it back. In early December, that same car cost me nearly $700 when it was in the shop for a week getting worked on. And yet still, I'm pretty lucky because whatever I'm paying, another mechanic would be charging me double, and they certainly wouldn't give me an indefinite loaner ride at no cost. The only problem with the loaner is that it's a 2 door and...I have a baby. 

I've dealt with my share of transportation issues in the past and I can attest that this is just one of many situations wherein I'm happy it's "this and not that." Like the time my car died in the front of a drive-thru line when I was 8 months pregnant, or when I had to take public transportation for months because I didn't have a car at all. So sure, there may not be a handle on the passenger side door, and pulling Dylan out from the backseat requires gravity defying muscle strength, but at least it's powered by gasoline and not the passengers feet.

January 3, 2014

Raising a Serial Killer? CTFD.

I have to be honest, I'm a little scared. At times, I cant tell whether Dylan's behavior is typical baby stuff, or if he's foreshadowing a future as a serial killer. Generally, Dylan is a happy go-lucky baby with little to no fear or qualms. But once his freedom is limited in any capacity (e.g. no, you cannot take mommy's phone; yes, it's time to change your diaper), shit gets crazy. For starters, he hits me...repeatedly. He will also hit himself upside the head with his fist, and tug on his hair. His favorite thing to do is throw himself backwards without regard for the hard floor, tile, or furniture he will body slam. All of this behavior scares the bejeezus out of me. 

With the exception of not allowing him to hit, I try to remain non-reactive in the midst of his outbursts so that I don't fuel them. I'd like to have confirmation that these eruptions are totally and unequivocally normal in the realm of baby conduct, but oh freaking well. So recently when I came across this article on the latest parenting trend, "CTFD", I breathed a sigh of relief. CTFD stands for "Calm The Fuck Down" and in theory, it should be applied when monster Dylan begins thrashing his body against the back of his highchair, or screams because I'm strapping him in his carseat. All I have to do is cool my jets, take a deep breath, put on my mama ain't stressin' pants, and rest assured that alles gut. Why didn't I think of that? 

Am I scared of what Dylan's future holds? Absolutely, I'm a mom. But I'm also excited and thrilled for it. And since it's all too soon to tell, I can save myself from premature graying by curbing the serial killer factor and calming the fuck down.

January 2, 2014

2014

Welcome to 2014! I love the beginning of a new year. Having an excuse to set goals, self-improve, and put out positive vibes feels right. My baby boy will turn 1 in a month and I'm dumbfounded by how quickly his first year passed. There's no better evidence of time's presence than watching a child grow. And since there's no slowing down the hands on the clock, here's to 2014 being grand, abundant, memorable, and filled with joy. I'm ready- bring it on! Happy New Year!