Friday, April 30, 2010

Mommy Quote of the Week

"Having children is the hardest thing I've ever done. No one could have prepared me for how awesome it is, and how hard."
~ Gwen Stefani

Monday, April 26, 2010

You Have No Idea

"So... how are you feeling?"

This is one of the polite and acceptable questions to ask a pregnant woman. It shows concern for her well-being, as well as an understanding that pregnancy is not an easy task. No mention of weight, baby names, or child-care issues, it is probably the nicest (and safest) question to ask me at this time.

So when a male friend (actually, the same guy that made that comment about my weight a while back) asked me, as we're picking up our boys from school, "So, how are you feeling?" I was actually impressed.

"Tired," I laughed, trying to play it off as funny. I try not to complain too much, even though I'm not 100%. My back is killing me, my side aches, I'm on a nonfat diet, and I can't have caffeine. Of course I don't feel 100%!

So I just replied, "You know... exhausted. But otherwise, I'm feeling good."

"Huh," he laughed. "Yeah, I remember."

I looked at him. "You don't remember," I corrected him. "Your wife remembers. You have no idea how I'm feeling."

Was that rude? But why do some guys act like they understand how it feels to be pregnant? When you're SO tired, you can barely keep your eyes open, after all you've done is sort the laundry. Or when walking up the stairs makes you short of breath. Or when your new bedtime is now 9 o'clock. It is a whole new exhaustion -- one that I had never known until I was pregnant.

Since then I've had two other men say the same thing to me, too. And I always correct them: they really have NO IDEA.

Hubby will come home sometimes, tired from a hard day at work, and sigh heavily, "Man, I'm tired." Then he catches my dark look from across the room. "Well, probably not as tired as you." Exactly.

I am used to being a very active person. I am usually constantly moving, running around with two kids, getting housework done, running errands, taking care of my family or four (plus a dog and a cat). I walk the three blocks to and from my son's school (uphill) every day, as well as go to the gym at least three times a week. At least, I used to. Now I get tired after trying to open a jar of peanut butter. This feeling of exhaustion is not only new, it's hella annoying. It's cramping my style.

And, yes, I know all the research as to why I'm so tired. As as normal pregnant woman in her last trimester, I'm carrying around some extra weight, and I'm not sleeping very well. Plus, I have other kids to take care of, so my time to rest is limited. I get the reasons why... but I don't have to like it. It's still annoying.

So when some guy says, with mock sympathy, that he knows how I feel, I can't help but get defensive. Plus, it's that lack of caffeine talking.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mommy Quote of the Week

"Life is tough enough without having someone kicking you from the inside."
~ Rita Rudner

Monday, April 19, 2010

Houston, We Have a Belly

It amazes me how fascinated people are with my expanding belly. And these are the people the already knew I was pregnant. Didn't they know that a pregnant woman is supposed to grow bigger in the midsection? Yet some people still act surprised, even when they know I'm 7 months pregnant, to see that my belly has gotten a little bigger.

I don't get it. We've all heard about the birds and the bees. We were all pulled out of our fifth grade classes to watch the films and discuss the "changing woman." We all took Biology in high school, right? I mean, seriously. Why are they amazed that a pregnant woman has extended her waistline a bit?

I go to my local Starbucks regularly, and I guess the barista finally realized I was telling the truth: I am pregnant. "Are we expecting something?" she asked wickedly. Well, yeah... I was expecting a grande nonfat mocha, but I guess that's too much to ask at this point.

When taking Monkey to swim practice, one of the teachers said, "Ah! You're getting bigger!" Hey, thank you for pointing that out! That explains the pants with the elastic waist I've been wearing for 4 months.

As I was picking up Volcano from school, a mother on the playground exclaimed, "Whoa, belly!" Yes, ladies and gentlemen... babies grow, so pregnant women do as well. What's the big f%&$ing deal?!

I love being pregnant. It is an exciting time, feeling my baby grow, anticipating this new life that will soon join me, and already loving the being inside that I have yet to meet. And I love how gaining weight is actually a good thing, for once in a woman's life. It means my baby is growing healthy and strong and will be coming out to greet the world soon. If I wasn't gaining weight, that would be a sign that there is something wrong with my baby, right?

Why can't these idiots understand that?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mommy Quote of the Week

"If pregnancy were a book they would cut the last two chapters."

~ Nora Ephron

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forget Locking Up Your Daughters...

I don't find it cute. This is not something I am happy about. This is something I am concerned about. Something that is just wrong.

My first grade son Volcano came home the first few weeks of school constantly talking about Emily: Emily this and Emily that. I thought it was an innocent little crush, much like Volcano has on Princess Leia or Gabriella from High School Musical.

But then things got weird. Volcano would often say that Emily is talking to him about marriage and asking him when he can start dating. What? Excuse me?! RED FLAG!

Then Volcano said Emily keeps asking for his phone number. Now, why does a 7-year-old girl need my son's phone number? And when I volunteered in Volcano's class, Emily told me, "I think your son's in LOVE with me! He said he's going to MARRY me!"

"Really?" I said, annoyed. "Because my son isn't allowed to think about marriage until he graduates college. So... you could be waiting a looooooong time."

A few weeks later, Volcano brought home a note from Emily. (Thank God he tells me everything and shows me anything he gets from school.) In it was a crayon drawing of a boy and a girl kissing, with the labels showing that they were indeed Volcano and Emily. Hearts surrounded the couple. Written, in pencil, the note said, "I love you and I will never stop loving you and when I'm a grown up I will love you forever." Just this past weekend at a recent birthday party, this same girl was tackling the boys and chasing after them, telling them to give her a kiss. She even tried to start a rumor that day that Volcano was in love with the guest of honor.
Two words: SIGH and KO. I am officially creeped out by a 7-year-old girl.

Apparently I am not the only one that has had this experience. Some of my other friends who have first grade sons have had similar stories, with girls buying their sons gifts, writing inappropriate love notes, or asking for phone numbers. I even saw a girl slip my friends' son a piece of paper with her phone number on it and coo, "Call me." These girls are acting like they're some 22-year-old on The Bachelor, not a 7-year-old in a first grade classroom. What is it with the girls of today? Why are they pushing relationships and professing crushes at the tender age of 7?

I have a feeling it has to do with a lot of the media out there. Shows like Hannah Montana and Suite Life of Zach and Cody portray pre-teens and teens chasing the opposite sex as the major plot of the show. "Trying to get the guy" seems to be the motive of almost all of the female characters on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel. That is what these young girls are watching, so that is what they think they should be doing.

Now, I'll admit, I've never watched any of these shows (I can't bear to sit through any of them) and I certainly don't let my kids watch them. But I see the backpacks and the Halloween costumes these young girls are wearing that try to emulate them. I find it more than coincidental that the girls wearing these clothes and giving out the Hannah Montana valentines are the same ones chasing after the boys. These shows are targeted for the younger, female set -- no way would a teenage boy be interested in that junk. Believe me, I have a 15-year-old nephew, and he is constantly making fun of all of it. And the sad thing is, I know it's just going to get worse as the kids get older.

It doesn't help that Miley Cyrus and her cronies have had their own scandals, including their own racy photos. When searching images, it was hard not to avoid any of these girls exposing themselves for the camera.

The whole Emily experience has been a good lesson for both of my kids. For my son, we are continuously discussing how to handle a girl like this. For my daughter, we are discussing the difference between inappropriate and appropriate behavior between the sexes.
Apparently, it's never too early to start.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mommy Quote of the Week

"Think of stretch marks as pregnancy service stripes."
~ Joyce Armor

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Downfall of the Librarian

After reading this article on Parent Dish, it reminded me of one of the first posts I wrote for this blog a few years back, about a snooty librarian who seemed to be more rude than helpful.

When did librarians get so standoffish? I remember when I was younger, going to the library, and those librarians were the sweetest ladies in the world. They used to interact with us, helping us find interesting and fun books to read, walking around the library looking for someone that needed assistance, or just a smile. What happened to those days?

I think the mom in this article is completely justified in going upstairs to find her own book, while her 5-year-old daughter sits with a book in the children's area. Libraries are divided into sections, right? So, are we really expecting children to patiently stand in the adult section while we moms contemplate reading selections and browse shelves? That's why I thought they had the kids' section, filled with stuffed animals, puzzles, colorful chairs and plush pillows, scores of teen idol posters garnishing the walls so we can show our kids "See, Zac Ephron reads books, too!" It's supposed to attract the kids to linger there on there own, or so I thought.

It doesn't take that long for an adult to find a book, especially without her kids in tow. Kids over age 4 should be allowed to sit with a book or other library activity with the supervision of the librarian. It used to be a librarian's job to watch over the children, assist them in finding books, and basically manage the area. But today, they are rarely seen out behind their large desks, instead giving disapproving looks or the occasional "Shh!" I know they have their weekly story time, a scheduled sit-down where they read to toddlers and sing songs for groups. But after that, they are back behind their desks. Where is the interaction?

The mom in this article told the librarian where she was going and that she would be back soon. Her daughter was occupied with her own book and was sitting quietly. So what is the problem? I'm not saying that librarians should be babysitters, watching over children while their parents leave the building of are away for hours at a time. But I see no reason why they shouldn't be capable of keeping an eye on a child (who, according to the mom, was the only child there) for a second while the mom heads upstairs.

What happened to the friendly, kindly librarian? She used to embody a sense of community, one of those helpers who we could count on to assist our children and insure their safety. Now it seems like we parents are just in for scoldings or parental warnings. Ladies, get someone else to shelve books and hand out a smile instead.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mommy Quote of the Week

"There are three reasons for breast-feeding: the milk is always at the right temperature; it comes in attractive containers; and the cat can't get it."

~ Irena Chalmers