Thats the Last Time I Patron this Dollar Store

This one needs a hint of back story:
Lets begin with the fact that I like male gynecologists so much more than female. (yeah I just dove right into that subject) I mean I feel like the females are just “over it” and the males are just so much more excited about their work. Its like the difference between cats and dogs. 

Dogs Aren't Babies

I love dogs. This post is by no means a slight to the dog community. It’s more of a problem I have with the dog owner community. Having a dog is NOT the same as having kids. I love dogs. I grew up with two dogs that I love and cuddled, fed and cleaned up after. Dogs are part of the family but dogs are not children. Dogs don’t talk back and they don’t make scenes in restaurants.  If your dog has a cold you don’t have to take three days off of work to take care of it. If you want to go on a weekend getaway you can’t drop your kids off at a Kennel. You can drop them off at grandma’s but then you’ll get three phone calls a day asking “where is the diaper cream?” while you’re trying to relax on the beach. The only people who try to say their dog is their baby are people who don’t have babies.

Pappa - Papparazzi

            All of the hustle and bustle of the holidays has been murder on my daily schedule. But when my editor (I’m “press” now remember?) asked me to go cover a live red carpet fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital with some of the New York Giants I jumped at the chance. I have never covered a live event before but I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants so far I figured I would continue. The event was held at the Build a Bear workshop in New York. I knew there would be some reality stars there that the editor wanted me to attempt to get an interview with. He had really low expectations of me but little did he know how charmingly awkward I am.

My First Date ... Play Date

Last week I became a true Hobokian and participated in my very first play date! I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey where I called across the street  to see if anyone wanted to play but apparently that’s too complicated for kids today. Now that I’m in Hoboken I need to assimilate into the culture and let’s face it Ali is a bit to young to wander the streets by herself looking for friends. So I met a mother at baby yoga who was very nice. I had seen her around town a few times and eventually when I saw her for the fourth time I had the guts to ask for her email address.  I don’t have any “mom friends” in town and I figured since she was one of the only moms I’ve actually spoken to she was an excellent candidate for my first friend.

Worry Wart

I once read an interview with Jullianne Moore where she said before she had children she was filled with insecurities. She would worry about her red hair or her freckles. Now that she has children she doesn’t have time to worry about those insecurities anymore. It’s a nice story except my worries seem to have gotten weirder with motherhood. Im not too worried about my freckles, especially when my daughter tries to take my mole off my face saying “dirty”. Before her that may have sent me crying into the other room but now I laugh.

How not to spend baby’s first Thanksgiving

I’m not easily embarrassed but that’s not to say that there aren’t a few moments I’m not too proud of. One of those happens to be Thanksgiving of 2009.

Definitely My First Time

When I’m not cleaning Oreos out of my couch or populating the blogosphere I write freelance articles for, an entertainment website. I usually cover TV shows like Glee but I’ve been dying to submit a review on a feature film. Since I only work part time I’m pretty low on the totem pole when it comes to free movie tickets. Well it just so happens I was the only person on staff who was not only willing but also excited to see The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. That’s right last Wednesday I was invited to an advanced screening and it was an experience to say the least. 

Bella's Baby Shower

I'm not sure if you know this but next weekend The Twilight Sage: Breaking Dawn Part 1 hits theaters. I'm sure you're just as excited as I am. Fans are already talking about some of the most anticipated scenes such as Edward and Bella's wedding night. Still, with everything to look forward to I recall one event Bella did not get to experience: a baby shower. With the unexpected and hasty birth of half vampire baby Renesme none of the Cullens had a moment to stop and think about whether or not they were prepared to raise a child or if they even had the appropriate tools to do so. Like any young parent it is not easy to quickly process what being a parent means. Pile that on top of an abnormally high risk pregnancy and the lack of prep time and you are going to have some frazzled parents. I’m sure Alice, Esme and even sour puss Rosalee would have been able to slap together a baby shower of epic proportions. Unfortunately the crew had more pressing matters at hand, like how to keep mother and child alive. Thankfully fans can come together and celebrate a baby shower for Reneseme ourselves. Bella may not be the "Lets register at Babies 'R Us" type so I put together my own list. Here are some things one would need in preparation of your half vampire half human baby.

1. Stretch Mark Cream
Any mother will tell you the formula for stretch marks is high weight gain in a short period of time. Unfortunately for Bella her skin has even less time to work with. Becoming a vampire may save Bella's life but there is no guarantee that it can save her skin. Unless she plans on spending eternity with those nasty lines running all over her body she better bust out the cocoa butter and apply liberally. One brand I particularly like is Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
5. Baby Carrier
One of Renesme's favorite activities is hunting with family and friends. Her mode of choice is piggy back ride. We are taking about super strong family members but sometimes it's nice to stop and think about the health of their necks and backs. A baby carrier would be the most ergonomic for all parties involved. One to consider is the Phil and Ted's model check it out:here If Jacob and Renesme end up running away together Jacob will thank you.

2. Teething
We all know the Twilight saga has consciously decided to omit fangs from the vampire's mouth. The lack of those cuspids is not going to make baby Renesme's  teething process any easier. Just be thankful that at her growth rate it will only last a few days rather than months like some weary parents must endure (stay strong!) It is important for her to have something she can safely bite down on that it is not someones flesh. May I recommend the Rasberry Teether. The  ridges of the fruit provide relief to those achy teeth better than a standard teether. Also do not forget the crib saver. You do not need chunks of our crib missing when your vampire baby tries to sooth her gums on the furniture.

3. Digestion
Although the gastronomy of a vampire baby is unknown it is safe to assume there will be spit up. With a diet of blood and raw meat the end product is bound to be graphic. The Cullens will need an arsenal of spit up cloths and cleaning products. One idea that is always a hit at a baby shower is the burp cloth cake. If the family is not going to eat cake anyway the burp cloths will be he perfect substitute and a beautiful centerpiece. Who wouldn’t love that? As for cleaning materials I would recommend Toddler Out. This solution has gotten rid of any bodily function you can think of. Thankfully I have never had the privilege of cleaning blood spit up but this product is what I would grab to give it a shot.

4. Safety
We all know Renesme is at the center of an epic battle between good and evil vampires but we must not forget that she is still a toddler, and they can be dangerous on their own. Even the laziest baby can find trouble faster than you can whip your head. Add super vampire speed to that equation and you're in for a world of trouble. With the rate at which Renesme grows it is important to turn the house into a safety zone as quickly as possible. We are taking gates, locks, safety knobs, outlet covers you name it. Thankfully as half vampire Renesme does not really have to worry about bleach poison or electrocution but you do not need her setting the house on fire or worse getting into daddy's epic CD collection.

What would your gift to the baby be?

The Real Trouble Begins

So far raising a two year old has been easy. Well, not easy but we haven't had any major problems. Unfortunately lately she's developed a strange way of dealing with a problem. The other day she was grabbing something she wasn't supposed to and when I told her "no" she tried to kiss me. This was the first time something like this happened so I thought "oh nice I get a kiss."  Then the other day she grabbed a box of Lucky Charms and when I told her to put it down she decided to ignore me and run around the house leaving a trail of rainbow deliciousness. I was enraged. I ran over to her looked her in the eye and screamed "YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME!" At this point she started trying to kiss me again. I was so mad I turned away but It took everything in my body not to laugh. Who does this? She's a diabolical genius. She knows the only thing I ever ask her for is kisses and she saves the for when she's in real trouble. SHE"S ONLY 2 AND A HALF! I didn't think they possessed these sort of problem solving skills. How am I supposed to discipline a girl who wants to make out every time she does something wrong? I'm so afraid she's going to grow into a young woman who wants to kiss any guy who yells at her. This could be the start of some deep seeded issues here.

Another problem is I'm not sure how to discipline her. I'm not saying my parents beat me but when I was younger and got out of line I could expect a nice whack on the bottom. I remember when my brother and I got a little older, around 4 or 5,  we asked my parents if they could no longer use that type of discipline and they agreed. Then once we were in public we acted up and my dad told us we were going to get a beating when we got home. My brother and I started crying and yelling "you said you weren't going to beat us anymore." Everyone was looking at us; it was hysterical and wrong. Maybe this is where Ali gets it from? I don't think I can administer a beating just yet so I decided an appropriate punishment was to make Ali clean up all the cereal. It took awhile and she thought it was a game. She ended up eating a solid amount of marshmallows but at least she wasn't tyring to kiss anyone.

Personal Torture

It's been a few weeks since my last post. It turns out apple juice may be good for people but not Macs. Who Knew? Of course my  $250.00 warranty doesn't cover toddler mishaps so I was S.O.L. Thankfully, my mother was kind enough to let me borrow her Sony. I'm not sure what's worse, being without a computer or having one that's so slow it takes 20 minutes to turn on then another 10 to open the Internet. I had almost forgotten what I wanted to write about by the time the computer came to. Even as I type it takes the screen a few seconds before it registers the letters. It's really testing my patience, but beggars can't be choosers.

A lot has happened since I last signed on. One notable experience was the preschool open house. Once every fall the "Hoboken Family Alliance" invites all of the schools in the city to one location where the parents can come and see what each school is all about. Its strange to think that I have to start thinking about my 2 year old's education but if everyone here is doing it I have to join in. The event took place inside the towns high school gym. The room was set up like a job fair and was packed with young children and their yuppy parents. The first school my cheap self checked out was the public school. We were pleasantly surprised to be speaking with the head of the program.(Either she's super involved or doesn't have anything better to do; I'm hoping i's the former) She explained that they should be receiving a grant that would enable all three year olds in town a spot. The program seemed great, it even included Spanish lessons. The only downfall is it would be a full-day, five day a week program. This would mean I would have to get a real job ...  I'm not sure I'm ready to go down that track just yet.

Dan and I next went over to see one of the Catholic schools. I wasn't sure how Dan would feel about a Catholic education since he is Jewish. Turns out I know more about Judaism than he does from my years in Catholic School so he was OK with it. The program was similar to the public school, the price was reasonable and the idea of her in a little school uniform is just the cutest thing I've ever heard of.

Things were looking up in terms of preschool when we headed over to the "Cooperative" school I had read about online. The idea is that the parents perform duties for the school in order to keep the tuition down. I went over to talk to one of the parent representatives and after she answered a few questions I asked "What's the admission process?" She explained there was a tour, an application and then there would be an observation. "Observation of what?" I asked. She said "Well they put al the kids together and see how they work." Is this lady serious? Are you basically telling me this is some sort of admissions test get into preschool? I said "What exactly are you looking for in this observation?" She started to get a little uncomfortable and said "Well they see if your kid is quiet or loud you know" Apparently I did not know because I think that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. This kids haven't started school yet, they don't know anything what are you going to test them on? The only thing I can think of is whether or not she can wipe her own ass. (Which you wouldn't have to observe you can just take my word for it.) This school has some nerve forcing me to work, charging me pretty high tuition and then judging my daughter.

My husband and I exchanged "yeah right" glances and started to look at some other schools. Eventually one of the public school reps told us the high school had a pool and we could take our daughter to go see it in the next room. Yes sir, I would love to take my two year old into a room with an Olympic sized swimming pool that doesn't have a fence around it. The public school lost some points on that one.

Although its still a year away we've made some progress on schools. There is a lot to consider but it doesn't look like we'll be going the "cooperative" route.

Fear Factor

Yesterday I faced my fears and traveled via public transit to NYC with 2 year old in tow. When I usually go into he city by myself I walk around guns blazed, full confidence no one can get in my way. However, after I had my daughter I haven’t traveled with the same confidence. In fact, I haven’t really traveled at all so I was determined to meet my husband at work. I figured I only had to make a one-way trip alone, since he’d come with me on the way home. Our trip began on the bus. This would be simple enough since Ali and I have taken the bus a few blocks before. Well the “in town” bus driver is much different from the city bound driver. I folded up the stroller and got on but before I could pay this driver hit the road. I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t about to leave Ali alone in a seat with the bus moving so I could go pay. What was this driver thinking? Finally she stopped at a red light and I was able to pay my way. Good thing Ali was within arms reach, I was able to stretch my body to the limits to ensure I had one toe on Ali in the seat and my hands free put the money in the machine, the stroller had to fend for itself.
We made it to the port authority and now it was time to hit the dreaded subway. I strapped Ali into the stroller nice and tight. My father once told me the port authority was where kidnappers waited for kids who ran away into the city. I think this was supposed to make me fear running away, unfortunately I just fear bus stations. Of course the subway is 2 flights downstairs so I had to wander around in my personal nightmare to find an elevator, all the while making sure kidnappers aren’t following us. We found the elevator and thankfully there was another couple with a baby already riding so I didn’t have to ride alone. We made it to the subway and somehow braved the underground 3,000-degree heat. Ali was excited when our train came; I was excited for air conditioning.
We made it to our stop and I'm confronted with a fear I never knew I had: escalators. I’m not talking about a normal one-story 45-degree escalator; I’m talking about 53rd and Lexington. It’s about 5 stories and probably rises at 85 degrees. I almost hyperventilated, but the only way out was up. I kept Ali in the stroller because I knew once I got onto the death machine I wouldn’t physically be able to move so she needed to be immobile as well. I said my prayers and rolled on. I ended up taking 5 steps in an extreme forward lunge to try to lessen the rising angle. I stared at my feet for the 5-minute ride because looking up made me dizzy and looking down made me vomit. We finally made it to the top and when we saw daylight again I was a new woman. I have conquered the NYC transit with Ali. Nothing can stop me now! (except the movie Poltergeist … don’t ask). 

Missing the comforts of home.

Since I’ve moved off to Hoboken life has been good. I walk more, I play more and I’m finally tan.. well tann-ish. But every now and then I start to miss some of the modern comforts suburbia has to offer. The first would probably be the luxury of parking your car in front of your home. I think I’ve gotten a spot in front of my building three times and only because it was street cleaning day and I shouldn’t have been parked there. But the main thing I long for is my dry cleaner Lee. A drycleaner, you ask? Yes. I had gone to her maybe three times as a teen to unwillingly drop off some shirts for my dad and she not only knew my name she knew exactly who I was picking up for. She’d even ask detailed questions about my mom and brothers. When I started going there for my husband she would ask “Are you picking up for Dad or Dan?” in her heavy Vietnamese accent. Eventually she began to recognize my car and would have the clothes ready by the time I walked in. She was the nicest lady on the plant, she would ask about my daughter and how daycare was going. When we moved about 20 minutes away from her and we still kept going, you cant get service like that just anywhere. She was even was a bit more expensive than any other drycleaner but we still kept going. And those who know how cheap I am realize how good she must have been. When we said our goodbyes to move to Hoboken she told me I could drop my stuff off with her anytime, me who knows it all told her I’d have to find someone up here.            
Little did I know what a task that would be! I found a dry cleaner up here with a similarly nice Asian lady. When I went to go pick them up it was a differnt man at the counter. He didn’t so much as say Hi to me he just took my ticket and grabbed the pants. I didn’t think much of it since I was tired that day too. The next time I went there he seemed annoyed that I was interrupting whatever else it was he was doing. I know there are about twenty other drycleaners I could use but at this point I want him to like me. I am always chipper when I see him and I make sure Ali is dressed really cute. I think maybe I hope the nice Asian lady will come and help but she hasn’t been around since. I think maybe she’s a bait to get you to drop off your clothes. Or she left because she couldn’t take the cranky man. I really cant stop going to them until I get to the bottom of this. 

The Secret to a Perfect Marriage

I have discovered what some have been searching for their entire married life. Many have tried and failed but I, Kelly Sater have found the secret to a perfect marriage. It isn’t sex everyday or making sure dinner is on the table when he gets home from work. It’s much deeper than that. The secret is: I work every Sunday and Monday during professional football. It’s the perfect balance I get paid to watch football at a sports bar while he stays home and watches football without having to turn on HGTV during every commercial. I think the key in our marriage isn’t that we cant watch football together it’s the fact that I married someone who cant watch football with anyone.
I grew up having Sunday dinners at my grandparents where nothing but football was allowed on the TV. My grandpa was actually super cool and would hook up two TV’s in the basement to watch multiple games at once. My husband, on the other hand, is a hermit when it comes to sports. He likes to sit alone in the house completely silent as he watches a game. I think maybe he wants to make sure he can take it all in with no distractions. If the Jets ever make it to the super bowl I wouldn’t be surprised if he wanted to rent a hotel room just for himself (as long as it has HD of course).
            So ladies, if your like me and you cant stand your husbands during football season just go down to your local sports bar and pick up a shift. You’ll make plenty of money for your fall wardrobe and your husband will be so happy he may get some laundry done while you’re gone. 

I'm Ashamed for You

The hottest book of 2011 is shaping up to be “Maggie Goes on a Diet”. It’s a children’s book about a young girl named Maggie who has no friends and gets teased about her weight. She decides to go on a diet and join the soccer team to ultimately become a popular chick. The author, Pail Kramer claims the books is meant to help the children but everyone on the planet knows better.

My main issue with the book is that it’s about a girl. Why didn’t the author choose “Joseph Goes on a Diet” or asexual “Pat Goes on a Diet”? How can he claim it’s not aimed at young girls when he clearly picked a girl as his subject? How can a grown man think he has any idea how to relate to young girls going through this? He claims it will help girls and boys realize they can take matters into their own hands. Earth to Paul : no boy is ever going to be caught dead reading a book about a fat chick named Maggie. If he weren’t getting made fun of for his weight he’d definitely get made fun of for reading girly books. 

I’ve done some research on the author. (And by research I googled him and watched some clips from GMA … this is a blog not a masters thesis) in my studies I found Paul Kramer has made a career by self-publishing children’s books in Hawaii. So no, he isn’t a doctor or a psychologist or even a nutritionist so clearly he is the authority on children’s obesity.

I’m not one to hate on something before I have a chance to truly read it but you don’t have to be a genius to figure out telling a young girl “if you were thinner you’d have friends” isn’t a good idea. The book comes out in October and I won’t be buying it. I will definitely peruse the pages at my local Barnes and noble. Maybe it can give me a few weight loss tips. 

Why I Hate the Playground

With all the commotion here on the east coast you may expect me to blog about Irene. But no one needs to hear the depressing story about how I stayed at my mothers for four days with no power only to return to my home and find I didn’t loose power at all. (All my alarm clocks were still set) I know, it’s sad.
Instead I think its time to discuss why I now hate the playground and all of its inhabitants. After the hurricane I decided to wander off my beaten path and check out some of the other playgrounds in the area. As we were about to walk into one playground I heard one of the kids ask another if his family had a Range Rover. I kept walking.
Ali and I ended up at a less crowded park and she ran off on the equipment. After a little while the place really started to clear out and it was just Ali and another young girl around 3. The girl was playing by herself with a little stuffed cat. When the girl tried to put the cat on the swing Ali walked over to investigate, since a cat on a swing is always a fun thing to watch. The little girl wasn’t happy with Ali circling her cat so she said “NO you can’t play”. OK the kids are establishing their sense of self and possession; I get it. Then this brat went on to tell me that her cat doesn’t like Ali. What? Excuse me? Are you trying to say your inanimate dingy cat has something against my daughter? This little girl had sunglasses attached to her had like swimming goggles, she’s lucky Ali and I are even talking to her.  It took every fiber of my being not to grab the cat rip its head right of the seams and throw it to kingdom come screaming “HE DOESN’T LIKE YOU”!! Cooler heads prevailed and through my teeth I asked “Why not?” She just ran off to play in eh corner by herself and Ali just played on the slide as usual. Please, why wouldn’t a stuffed animal like my daughter? She’s so chill and accepting, she was playing with a weirdo wearing goggles for the love of god. The next time we went to the park we saw the girl playing alone in the corner again, she tried to play with a boy on the swing and he said “No, I don’t want to play with you.” So it’s safe to say she got hers! 

Whats wrong with people?

I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are in desperate need of a punch in the face. The other day I was at work when a very large and in charge gentleman came into the bar to have a drink. It was very early and we had no customers so everyone began chatting with him. It turns out he used to be a bouncer at a very exclusive, hip, celebrity frequented club. He was pretty impressed with himself, but those types of places aren’t really my cup of tea. I like beer, not attitude. So he goes on to tell us about people who tried to get into his club. He said that there were rules, like a man couldn’t get in unless he had at least two females. He said one time a man gave him $1000.00 so he could get in with his date. I blurted “did you punch him in the face?” He said no, because he was trying to impress the girl. Maybe I need higher standards because I wouldn’t be impressed with that, I would be annoyed and slightly uncomfortable. And I'm sure if a girl would get impressed by something like that, you may just be able to give her the $1000.00 directly and she would sleep with you, rather than suffering through bad techno and extremely overpriced bottle “service”. My bouncer friend also said there were other rules, like he couldn’t let in ugly or fat girls. What? That’s wrong. I asked him if he felt bad doing that, he said yes but it was his job he had to do what he had to do. I’m sure there are Nazi’s who said those exact same words. I didn’t say that last part out loud, because at this point he was my customer and I had to do what I had to do. 

Is it the Glasses?

I don’t know what’s happening lately but everyone has been taken aback when I tell him or her how old I am. I was at work yesterday and the manager almost stumbled when I said I was only 25. I know I’m married with a child, which is a lot more responsibility than most 25 year olds take on, but I don’t think I really look that old.
Unfortunately this has been going on long before I gave birth. People have thought I was older since I was 16. Not because I ran around dressed up like a hussy, it’s probably because I’ve been dressing like a soccer mom since middle school. Seriously I had 5 or 6 warm-up suits I wore everyday.  
My parents used to have to volunteer at Bingo for my brothers’ school and somehow they were able to guilt me into doing it for them. (I didn’t have a car and if I ever wanted to use their minivan I had to put in the man-hours) The other parents were confused by my presence and thought I had a kid in the school. Hello I was 16. Most of them admitted they though my fake kid would be in preschool at the most but that’s still embarrassing. At least when I was 16 it was cool to look older, that meant I wouldn’t have as much trouble getting into bars when I got into college.
It’s still happening even after I turned 21. My best friend since childhood, Megan, is the same age as me. (6 months older if we want to get technical) She has a younger sister who is the same age as my younger brother Richard. After graduating college Megan and I would help out our parents by taking our siblings to the doctor or dentist. Meg’s dentist thought her younger sister was older than her and my doctor asked if I was Richards’s mom. What? I wasn’t even wearing a warm up suit! Maybe it’s the glasses, maybe its because I’m an old soul, I don’t know but its certainly annoying. 

Times are Changing

We’re a month into this “stay at home mother” business and I think I may be starting to get the hang of it. Sure my days are ruled by a tyrannical two year-old, but it’s not all that bad. Here are some of the major changes I’ve undergone since I hung up the work pants and slipped on the apron:

·       Showering
o      Wait; with that title did I imply that I could shower? Because that’s a lie. I no longer shower. I don’t feel bad if I smell; its not because I’m a smelly person, it’s just because I couldn’t shower.  Also, it’s so hot out these days that I wear my hair up anyway, so why would I wash it? I should say it’s because I’m “green” or “trying to save money” but my water bill is included in my rent and I can’t leave that baby alone long enough to lather. 
·       Going to the Bathroom
o      Intruders beware I now go to the bathroom with the door WIDE open. How else am I supposed to keep an eye on her? Its actually really liberating, I can stretch out. Its nice to know that no one is going to walk in on you since you never closed the door in the first place. This change can get tricky though, I went to my parents house the other day and went to the bathroom, just before I was about to get it started I realized the door was open. Thankfully I closed it before anyone saw that my fly was open.
·       Business Lunch
o      Yep, no such thing as lunch. I’m lucky if I can carry around an easy mac while I chase after her. I remember I used to have a whole hour for lunch and I would complain when it was time to go back to work. Sometimes I used to take a nap during lunch; it was wonderful. Not so much anymore.   Now my lunches are spent in the kitchen eating whatever cold leftovers I can find off of Ali’s plate.
·       TV time
o      I think in some fantasy I thought when I was home with my daughter I’d have a half hour to spare to catch up on my favorite HGTV programming. I have a better shot at winning the lottery. My TV is permanently fixed on Nick Junior and my DVR is filled with SpongeBob, Dinosaur Train, Barney and of course Umi Zoomi. I’d be lucky if I was able to sneak something PG in there just for my enjoyment. I find myself getting excited when a NEW episode of a cartoon is on because I haven’t already watched it 14 times.
·       Wake up Call
o      Turns out you don’t need an alarm clock to be up by 7am, just a baby. When I was working I didn’t wake up until at least 7:30. Now with all the hustle and bustle of city living Ali is awake and shining the second she hears the some idiot cab driver blaring on his horn.

Staying home with her is stressful but so far we’ve been having fun. She does forward rolls in the grass near our house (don’t worry I check it for dog poop). I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been from chasing after her and I’m the tannest I've ever been from going outside everyday. Sure I wake up early, but there is nothing like going to bed Sunday night relaxed, not frantically thinking of what I have to do at work tomorrow. All I have to worry about is whether Ali wants to go to the park before or after lunch. 

Finding room for Nemo

Some of you may know I’ve signed up for an email group for mothers living in Hoboken. Usually it’s informative, but sometimes I get some real comedic gems, like one email I received last week. A mother was traveling to North Carolina by car and was looking for some appropriate movies to show her 2½ year old to keep her entertained. Just as I was about to type “Finding Nemo” into a response I read on to see this: “Never realized how terrifying Finding Nemo is until you see it through their eyes”

What? We’re talking about a two-year-old right? I know the mom dies at the beginning of the movie, but they don’t show it. Maybe that’s scary for a five year old, but a two year old? The whole movie is like watching a fish tank to them. Ali loves it and when we go to the aquarium she just yells NEMO! The whole time, it’s precious.

What’s wrong with people? If you’re afraid of Disney movies you’re probably not going to get far in life. I once babysat a young kid who wasn’t allowed to watch TV at all and his mother only let him watch Lord of The Rings because it was his favorite movie. His mother was quite the hippie, she would leave the air conditioning off in the summertime while I was babysitting and made me journal with him in the oppressive heat. His mother took him to go see Inconvient Truth and he came to me the next day discussing the difference between gas and electric stoves … he was six.

 I’m all about “live and let live” but we live in a social world filled with pop culture. If you can’t talk Britney Spears or sports with people you’re probably going to have no friends or social skills. All this poor kid could talk about was L.O.T.R. All his mom had to do was let him watch the marathon on TNT three times in a row and he wouldn’t be able to watch it again for a minimum of 6 months; she would know that if she watched TV.

I’m not promoting couch potato-ry (as I sit on my couch with the TV in the background as I write) but kids need to be exposed to life. If you shelter them and only let them see what you want they will end up playing alone with their replica Sword of Narsil (Even though your babysitter told him not to because he will end up cutting his arm off). So maybe Finding Nemo isn't the worst thing that could happen to a toddler.

Breast Milk Baby

Recently a company in South America has come up with a genius idea for a toy; it’s going to trump the “Tickle Me Elmo” and “Furby” fever’s that swept the nation. What can it be? You need to get your hands on it now before the Christmas rush! It’s the Breast Milk Baby! That’s’ right, they’ve come up with a doll that breast feeds. The doll comes with a halter-top that has two flowers where nipples would be, when the baby is held up to the flowers it makes a sucking sound. (Halter-tops, just like God intended)

This is just weird. I know it’s probably a good idea to get children comfortable with the idea of nursing but that could be true for other things as well; like getting your period. But we all know no one is going to buy the “Menstruation Baby”, unless it’s Dora themed of course. Also, I’m not so comfortable with my daughter thinking about her boobs and their function just yet. I’m nervous she may try to whip it out in public to nurse her hungry doll. Hopefully she has the decency to use a nursing cover (I recommend “Hooter Hiders” brand).
My real problem with this toy is that it’s going for $89! What? I can’t remember the last time I dropped $89 on anything let alone a doll. I get chapped when I spend $89 on groceries. The number one reason I nursed was because it would save money! If Ali takes one of her modestly priced dolls and holds it up to her little boobies I wouldn’t find it weird, it would be thrifty. But somebody trying to make $89 for making a sucking sound, that’s just wrong.
The craziest thing surrounding all of this is that parents are calling this an outrage and that it’s going to encourage little girls to want to get pregnant. What? Do they realize that little girls have been playing with baby dolls for hundreds of years? Have they watched 16 and Pregnant? None of those girls blamed dolls for their unplanned pregnancies; they blame lack of contraception and sexual education … and their boyfriends.
I don’t know if any of these angry women have actually nursed or worse pumped, because it is painful, exhausting and would encourage me NOT to have children. I remember the first time I had to pump at work; the only place with a power outlet was the supply closet in the break room. I thought I got lucky because I could crack the door open and watch TV while I pumped (score!). Unfortunately my 19-year-old co-worker was in the break room eating her lunch and she didn’t need a glimpse of my lovely ladies mid bite. If she grew up with a “breast milk baby” my story may have been different. Maybe I would have been able to watch E! News that day.
In conclusion, nursing is good, babies nursing fake babies is weird, Paying $89 for toys is stupid and blaming toys for teen pregnancy is just ignorant. 

Castle Couture

There are a few places in the world that babies should never be allowed in: bars, China shops, and as I have come to learn: Bridal Stores. A few months after I had my daughter my mother wanted to take me shopping for a wedding gown. My husband and I got married legally, but never had a wedding, We figured since I was pregg-o we only had 9 months to plan for a baby so the big wedding could wait until after I gave birth. 

As soon as I could put on a pair of jeans that didn’t have an elastic waist, my mom put the baby in her finest outfit, I grabbed my maid of honor and we went off to the dress store. Since it was our first time at the Rodeo, we thought it would be a good idea to go to the newest, fanciest store in town: Castle Couture. We walked in and the lobby was decked out with white marble columns and ornate crown moldings, it was beautiful-very Jersey. Typically if you walk into a bridal store with a baby on your hip you may not be treated with the best service, but the woman at the desk, Brianna, couldn’t be sweeter. She was young and worked in fashion but got laid off. We commiserated about the whole fashion industry, she told me her boss was crazy and I told her mine got annoyed at me for getting pregnant: we were instant buds.

Well if you’ve ever watched TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress you know that the saleswomen come into the room with you to assist in getting the dresses on. I didn’t know this at the time and as it happened I went to the beach for the first time that summer only a few days before my shopping adventure. If you check out my picture you can see that I have the complexion of an ill vampire. Usually I soak myself in SPF 50 before leaving the house (even in the winter months) but I had a new baby and my mind was elsewhere. I put sunscreen on but I didn’t realize it wasn’t waterproof. So after my first hour at the beach I went into the water and off went the sunscreen. My chest happens to be the most sensitive part of my body so I re-apply the SPF 50 every half hour or so. Well, let me describe to you this sunburn that I had. My chest and face were still as white as my picture, but my stomach and thighs were purple, but not an even purple. There were little spots of white all over my stomach where the sunscreen ricocheted off my chest and it looked like a handprint on my thigh where I possibly wiped off some of the excess. Now I have to strip down in form of Brianna, I’m desperately trying to explain to her that I don’t have a skin condition; I just can’t apply sunscreen properly. To top it al off, I just had a baby but I never bought new underwear. (I guess I thought they would fit eventually.) Here I am with 2 sizes too-small string bikini underwear that was cutting mercilessly into my post-baby muffin-top. Poor Brianna was so sweet but she was probably thought, “ this girl can’t take care of herself, how's she going to take care of that precious baby?”

I eventually swallowed my shame, we tried on a few dresses and we were having a nice time. Then I found a dress that was a true contender. I’m standing up on the pedestal; my best friend is so excited. My mother is on cloud nine, her only daughter is in her wedding dress and she has her first grandchild in her arms, there were tears in her eyes, It was truly a beautiful memory Then, in the silence of this moment, my three month told bundle of joy lets out her loudest, wettest, diarrhea sounding poop. It echoed off the marble floors. Way to go Ali. Brianna did her best to pretend she didn’t hear it, my best friend is mortified and my mother just casually takes the baby outside to clean up. I didn’t even try to apologize, I just went back to the dressing room to take off the dress, you should never be in a white gown when diarrhea is nearby. We didn’t end up buying anything from Brianna; II was too embarrassed to ever go back to Castle Couture. 

Yankees Forever

Undoubtedly we’ve all heard the story of the man who did the right thing. Last week Derek Jeter made history by becoming only the 28th baseball player ever to reach the 3,000 hit plateau.  In typical Jeter fashion, hit number 3,000 was a 420-foot home run to the left field seats. I’m sure you’ve asked yourself what would you have done if you were the lucky fan who caught that ball? Would you auction the ball off?  It was estimated to fetch a bid of over $250,000, not bad for a day’s work.  Would you keep it for yourself?  Luckily hit number 3,000 fell into the hands of Christian Lopez, a 23-year-old diehard Yankee fan who wanted nothing but to return the ball to its rightful owner, “Mr. Jeter.”  Just to put how selfless this act was into perspective, Lopez has over $150,000 of outstanding student loans.  He easily could have taken this opportunity to wipe that slate clean and take that enormous weight off of his shoulders by putting the ball up for auction. 

So far Lopez has received four Champion Suite tickets for the rest of the season (including playoffs), tons of signed memorabilia, Mr. Modell’s 2009 Yankees World Series ring, appearances on YES network and ESPN, his own baseball card, and two companies pitching in over $25,000 each to help with his student loans. He’s met Derek Jeter, Jay-Z, and countless other stars that we only get to read about. So far it looks like it pays to be good. Of course Yankee haters are talking about how much taxes he will have to pay on the memorabilia, etc. Miller High Life has come out and said they would pay his tax bill since he exemplifies “living the high life’ (shut up Miller, way to plug yourself [but that’s pretty nice of you anyway])
Amidst all these good deeds there is still so much hatred for the Yankees. I am an avid Yankee fan and all I have to say is that Christian Lopez is proof that the Yankees can’t be an “evil empire”. If someone this pure of heart can love a team so much, to turn down the possibility of thousands of dollars they can’t be bad. And if they were bad, they would have patted him on the back and said, “Thanks for the ball” and sent him on his way. (Actually if they were evil I imagine they would have punched him in the face and took the ball) They wouldn’t have showered him with gifts and praise. Seriously, there is nothing less evil than a baseball card.
 Everyone hates on the Yankees because they think they buy championships. I’m sorry, this is a business and they pay for the best players because they have the fan support to do it. I’ve gone to an Orioles game in Baltimore and they were literally giving tickets away. Seriously, there was a police officer giving out tickets, it was unreal. How can you expect to attract talent when O’s “fans” don’t even show up for games?
            When all is said and done Christian’s action was a great example of someone who did the right thing and is getting rewarded for it … and that the Yankees Rule! Specifically Derek Jeter. 

Judgement Day

Dan, Ali and I had our first trip to the neighborhood playground yesterday. I’ve been to this playground before, but as an outsider. I’m now an official resident so I need to be recognized as a member of society. I meticulously picked her outfit; she needed to look cute, but not make it seem like we are trying too hard. It also needs to be playground and weather appropriate. It was a difficult task I know, we ended up with black leopard shorts, matching hair clip and a tank top – this is Jersey after all. Ali ditched the hair clip on the walk over and I had no back up, already we were off to a bad start. We arrived after 4PM and even though its late in the day it’s still almost 90 degrees. We’re all sweating profusely and I quickly learned that Ali’s shorts are a smidge too big and keep falling down. Couple that with lack of a hair accessory, the heat, and the new revelation that her face likes to turn bright red in blotches when she’s hot. This isn’t going so well.

Of course her first act is to slide down the slide. On our way up we see a girl about her age with her grandmother. I say Hi and they ask how old Ali is. I say “2 ½”. My husband looks at me with dagger eyes and hastily corrects me and says “27 months”! I later got yelled at because those three months make a huge difference developmentally, he thought I was purposely setting her up for failure. So now that everyone thinks she’s 2.5 Dan’s got something to prove. He keeps announcing that Ali is going down the slide and says “ONE” and Ali would follow with “to, tee” and Dan would stand by proud of his counting 27 month old. I just went with it since this was obviously all my fault. Then Ali gets daring and thinks she can walk down the slide. She slid about ¾ of the way down, stood up and face-planted on the bottom of the slide. She’s tough so I don’t react and she’s fine. If I did react she’d play for the crowd (I know she’s a drama queen). Ali was fine; not even a bruise but I heard the gasps from the peanut gallery of moms on the bench. Now I feel dubbed as a “bad mom” or “I don’t love my kid” because I don’t brush her hair, buy clothes that fit or care that she falls on her already red face. This is getting worse by the second.

I decided to move over to the swings with a much younger baby. Maybe her mom wouldn’t judge Ali’s development because she won’t know the milestones (I’m a genius). So I say hi to the mom ask the babies name and age. The mom replies “she’s 13 months” and in the same breath she says “but she doesn’t walk yet!”  Have I found a kindred spirit?  A mom who is so self-conscious that everyone is looking at her thinking her baby should be doing more? I told her it was OK Ali didn’t walk until she was 16 months (I didn’t share with her that Ali broke her leg, no one needs to know that).  I’m so excited I think I’ve made a friend and her baby is super cute (I only befriend mothers of cute babies). These particular swings unfortunately are in direct sunlight and I’m dying; you can see the sweat pouring off my face. I tell my new friend I’m dying and going to go in the shade. She looks at me and says nervously “yeah it’s way too hot” then grabs her baby and leaves the park. What? Oh no, I think she may have read me being too hot as “you’re a bad mom for keeping your non-walking 13 months old in the sun!” Which was not what I was saying. We all decided to go home after that.

I think I should stop being so hard on myself. I don’t judge others so why should I think they are judging me? (We’re having an Oprah moment here). I’ll try the park again tomorrow, but Ill be more careful on the slide and bring back up hair accessories. 

The Bar Card

Big changes are a coming.  I just gave my two weeks’ notice at work and we're going to be moving to Hoboken, NJ.  I'm also heading into the uncharted territory of being a stay-at-home mom (I have a lot of feelings about that which I will relay in the coming blog weeks). For now though, I have a bone to pick with the municipality of Hoboken.
In order to have some extra cash on hand as well as some adult interaction, I've decided to work a couple of nights a week at a local bar (We'll get into that later too). If you want to work at a bar in the city of Hoboken you need to have what is known as a "Bar Card". It looks like a school ID and basically testifies that I'm over 18; wouldn't it be nice if we already had some sort of national way to do that? Like maybe...a drivers' license? In order to obtain said Bar card you need to first go to the Hoboken Police department with a $50.00 money order where you fill out a piece of paper.  Then you call a phone number that they give you to make an appointment for finger prints which will run you an additional $60.00 dollars.
Ok, I break out in hives when I have to deal with bureaucracy and those who've seen me lately can attest to that (nothing like the scent of calamine lotion on a woman). But the whole process sounds simple enough, just go fill out the paper and get the prints right? Well the police department only allows a 3 hour window each day in which you can fill out the paperwork (What you'll only rob me 3 hours out of the day? That's sweet). Thankfully I showed up in the correct time frame (a very rare occurrence) and there was already line of little young girlie girls who wanted to work at the bar. One of them actually had fingerprints taken for substitute teaching and they wouldn't accept it (like we had any question before that this was just a money making ploy). As we're filling out the paper work I see that a few of the girls are already on hold with the finger print company. So I grabbed my phone, which was about to die (why not?) and get into the queue. We're in a pretty small waiting room and the questions they ask are pretty standard like "name", "birth date" then she asked for my weight, not once but twice she asked. Why do you need to know this so badly? I'm sitting in a room of 5 pound 20 year olds (one of them was wearing a belly shirt for the love of god) and you want me to announce how much I weigh?  I mean I've done a damn good job on weight watchers but not good enough to make an announcement. So I swallowed my pride and whispered the magic number into the phone, which actually caused more of a stir than if I just said it plainly.
The only appointment I could make that fit my work schedule was 2 hours away! Thankfully I took care of that and now I'm patiently awaiting the 5 business it takes to get the ID made. Then I get to go back to the police department during the 3 hour window all just so I have the privilege to work in the city.
Thanks Hoboken.

Itching for Number 2

The question every mother of a 2-year-old gets is: ”so when’s the next one coming?” There are two ways to answer that question depending on the manner in which it is asked. You can either respond by looking directly at your husband who has already gone pale with fear. Or if the person who asks you is male and gestures to your belly as if you are already pregnant when you aren’t, the correct response is to punch them in the face.

Thankfully lately, I haven’t given out too many punches in the face but I’ve been trying to figure out a way to turn my husband’s fear into excitement. Don’t get me wrong I’m not 100% ready to have a second child. (Ali has only just mastered how to eat by herself; I think I will enjoy that for a while.) But you have to understand I need to plant these ideas in my husband’s head well in advanced in order to ensure their fruition (does anyone else hear the theme to INCEPTION right now?). I had to tell him we were having a christening on the day we found out I was pregnant. I plan to purchase a house in 2012 so I’ve been talking about it since 2009 … these things take time. 

So far Dan has been perpetually 1 year away from being “ready” to have another child. When Ali turned 1 he would be ready the following September. Just last Christmas he said he would be ready this Christmas, then when he got his review in March he said he would be ready in march of 2012.

Little did Dan know I have a secret weapon up my sleeve: Baby Michaela

Michaela is my co-workers, chubby, bubbly, blue-eyed, cute as ever baby girl. She comes second, only to my daughter Alison. (Sorry Daniela, you’re a mom, you understand) So I had a secret plan to get Dan to my brothers baseball game where Michaela would be there waiting. The whole ride to the game I was telling him how funny it is to hold a baby who looks chubby and they turn out feeling so light since we’re used to carrying around a 30 pound 2 year old.

When we arrived at the field I saw Michaela and her mom, I went over to say hi and told her to come on over to see Dan. The plan was in motion. When they came over Dan said “you’re baby is cute” (Look at the picture, she’s a cute baby) I said “Dan feel how light she is” and promptly shoved the baby at him so he couldn’t say no. The two looked at each other smiling for about 2 minutes making each other laugh. (I’m diabolical)

On the way home from the game he said” You know Ali is getting so big, she’s not a baby anymore.” I said, “I know” then he said, “I think maybe it’s time to have more” VICTORY! The only thing is that he said we could start trying in March... So not complete success but at least it’s less than a year! Thanks Michaela.

The Dog Bit the Baby

Before everyone gets all worked up, Ali is fine; she was only nipped in the hand.  Lara is a very old dog that looks like Toto from Wizard of Oz. She is really stupid, I’m not a mean person and I love all animals, but this is just a stupid dog. She just doesn’t get it. You’ll throw her a treat and she’ll let it hit her in the face and land on the ground while still staring at you to give her a treat. I think she’s just getting old; she pooped in the doorway on her way back inside. And the other day I was walking through the living room and I saw one of her teeth on the ground… that was kinda creepy. It reminded me of home alone, except instead of a piece of gold it was a nasty rotten dog tooth.
Sweet little Ali was about to walk over and pet Lara.  As she said “niceeeee,” and pets her on the head, the dog snapped at her and nipped her hand.  She didn’t bite her hand hard and didn’t break the skin (it’s a good thing she’s old and missing teeth), but she did scare the living crap out of my daughter.  Check out the amount of chocolate frosting I needed to calm her down:

It’s probably not a good idea for me to train her to crave chocolate when she injures herself. Next thing I know she’ll stub her toe and be hitting the Ben and Jerry’s. But for now, if the icing helps her forget her injuries, I’m OK with it.
So we don’t know what to do with this dog.  No one wants to put her down; she’s just so old. I know if it were up to my husband he would put her down personally. I asked him how would he like if it I put him down. HE told me if he got so old he was pooping in the doorway, he’d want to be put down … we didn’t get very far in this conversation.
As of right now we just gated of Lara in the dining room. The sad thing is she’s so dumb she probably has no idea why she’s in there, but what are we supposed to do? Just pretend it didn’t happen? Let he go on with her day like she did nothing wrong?
A dog attacked my youngest brother, Casey, once. When he was 6, our neighbors had a Shetland terrier (yes, there is a pattern here, terriers are evil, even those “cute” little yorkie’s). When our neighbors would go on vacation they would ask Casey to walk her for them. He and my mom would go over there and take care of Shea; they would feed her and let her out back. He had done it a few times; he would get all excited about it because it was his “job”. One time they went over there and when they opened the garage door Shea just attacked my brother; she bit him in the arm and stomach to the point where he was bleeding. My mom and Casey ran into their yard and shut the gate before the dog could get in, but now they were being held hostage. Thank God my mom had her cell phone, because she called my dad to save them from the yard. Casey was fine; he went the hospital and cleaned him up. His tummy was swollen from the bite so me and my brothers told him he was going to have puppies and they he may turn into a rabid animal, my parents weren’t to happy about that. … neither was Casey. Anyway, The neighbor gave my brother flowers and a $100 gift card to sports authority, so he got over it. My mom didn’t push to have our neighbor’s dog put down; they just weren’t going to go near her anymore. The neighbors hired a “dog whisperer” who swore she could train any dog. When she arrived at their house Shea attacked her. The dog whisperer had Shea put down.. I guess she had a rep to protect.
So for now Lara is still in the dining room and Ali is in the living room. We won’t be hiring a dog whisperer anytime soon, but no one will be throwing Lara any treats either.