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Sunday, December 30, 2012

... and 5 Steals

Ok, it's not shaped like a pumpkin, but this crib is only $99.

 No, it doesn't say "Kate Spade," but this diaper bag is darn cute and only $70.

This Fisher Price booster seat is a much more reasonable $26, and it's good enough for me. Baby's just going to mash food into it anyway.

I picked up an Ergo carrier on sale for $70, right now Amazon has it for $80. I assume it does basically the same thing as yesterday's $250 model: holds the baby.

Some moms swear by the Rock n' Play for use as a bassinet; others swear it gave baby a flat head. 
At $37, it seems worth a shot.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 Absurdly Over-priced Things for Baby . . .

I can't fathom what makes this carrier worth $250--didn't ancient man (or woman, as the case may be) just tie baby on with some animal skins and twigs?

At nearly $400, this Kate Spade diaper bag had better change his diapers for me.


At $550, this high chair is a mystery. It kinda looks like a beauty parlor chair, but unless it's self cleaning, it's really just an overpriced way to keep your baby at eye level for feeding. 

For nearly $600, this bassinet had better feed your baby in the middle of the night for you, and rock him back to sleep. Also, not enough ruffles.

I think I actually just had a heart attack. This lowest price I could find for this gem was $3,500 on Amazon. Thirty-five HUNDRED dollars. For a crib that looks like a pumpkin.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holy Crap! Stop Trying to Scare Pregnant Women about these 5 Things.

Something about the human condition seems to make us want to out-miserable each other. "You had a rough day? Well, my handbag got caught in a subway door and I was dragged through 8 miles of tunnels until it finally occurred to me that I could let go. And then a mugger stole it." We can't be happy when we're happy, and we certainly can't be happy when other people are happy.

This seems to be doubly true for pregnancy and parenting. No one wants to tell you about how their baby slept through the night at 6 weeks, or toilet-trained himself at 22 months. Instead there's some kind of unofficial competition going on among the parents of the world to see who had it worst. And if that's not sad enough, they need to make sure you're scared witless about it as well. 

One of us. One of us.

All you fear mongers out there need to stop doing this. Because, in addition to the fact that you're needlessly scaring women worldwide into believing they'll give birth to minions of Satan, you and every other parent on the planet are telling your pregnant friends the SAME DAMN STORIES. At least be original. 

So, for reference, here are 5 things we're already both petrified of and sick to death of hearing about:

1. No. Sleep. Ever. 
Yeah yeah yeah, babies are on a mission to turn their parents into sleep-deprived zombies. I may as well sell my bed on Craigslist and resign myself to 5 minute cat naps in the living room arm chair from now until baby goes to college. 
Here's the thing: you survived. My parents survived. Everyone I know with a kid survived, and while they still may not get a solid 8-hours, none of them have tried to eat my brain or accidentally set the baby to brine in the fridge instead of the holiday turkey, so they're all reasonably well-functioning. 
Not to mention, I'm already up twice a night to pee, and numerous times to adjust/curse the body-pillow-the-size-of-Texas I now sleep with to alleviate hip/back pain; I haven't been sleeping well for months, and at least with a newborn, I won't have to go to work or otherwise be a productive, contributing member of society on 3 hours' sleep.

2. Poo
Poo-splosions. Blowouts. Poo on the walls. Poo on the ceiling. Poo.
We get it. Babies poo. It's gross. It's messy. It will fill a silo just like Spiderpig. 
It's also temporary.
Enough with the poo. If there's something that even most clueless parent-to-be knows, it's that babies poo, and you just have to deal. The constant reminders are unnecessary (and also, we don't need a visual; keep that shit--literally--off Facebook).

3. Assorted nipple-related disasters.
While it's true that society often glosses over the difficulties that can be associated with breastfeeding, leaving us all to believe it's a happy-go-lucky walk through the park, you really do not need to be the one to address this oversight with personal horror stories. Terrifying your friend with all the possible tragedies that could befall her breasts isn't helpful. She'll psych herself out before she starts. If you have actual advice, to be offered to someone who is actually having a difficult time, go for it. Otherwise, shut the hell up.

4. The pseudo-single parent.
Men are less than useless with babies, and will spend those newborn months whining about the lack of sex. Moms are left to do absolutely everything. It's so hard! Sniff.
It's really too bad you decided to marry a complete jackass, but just because you made a poor choice doesn't mean we all did. What exactly do you get out of scaring your pregnant friends into assuming their husbands will be, for all intents and purposes, second babies? Scrape your loaf of a hubby off the couch and into a therapist's office, and let the rest of us figure out our own parenting dynamic. Thanks.

5. Tearing.
Tearing and other childbirth horror stories might be the most useless anecdotes in the history of time. My assumption is that my doctor/midwife/whomever will tell me what I need to know be prepared for childbirth. You don't need to fill in all the gory details so that I have a terrifying compendium of every childbirth disaster that could possibly befall me at my disposal.
Childbirth will happen, and whatever physical ailments result, your pregnant friends will address them accordingly. Creating nightmare scenarios in our heads, helped along by the excessive and unnecessary details you shared about your experience, to be re-imagined over and over in the weeks before birth, is just adding to our stress levels. 

Save these stories to share with your friends that already have kids, during one of your spirited rounds of "my-life-sucks-more-than-yours."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

. . . And 5 Pretty Good Ones


Sexy, but tasteful. 

So adorable. 

Romantic, and everyone's still dressed. 

Actually funny.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

5 Questionable Maternity Photo Ideas from Pinterest . . .

 I'm not convinced anyone has to be topless, but really really, dad doesn't need to be. Figure out exactly what kind of photo shoot you're trying to do here--maternity photos, or sexy time? Don't combine. (Boudoir-style maternity photos are a thing, but that's . . . not this.) 

NO ONE wants to know how it started! TMI. 

Source: google.com via Shanon on Pinterest

Charming.  Are those drawstring shorts? Dad really dressed up for the occasion.

You probably want to wait to do your maternity photos until it actually looks like you're pregnant. Not like you ate a large lunch and are maybe arching your back a bit. 

Source: flickr.com via Abi on Pinterest


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The 12 'Nays' of Christmas, or Why it Sucks to be Pregnant During the Holidays

#12. Advent calendars. How embarrassing--you ate all your chocolate on Day 1. How can you possibly be expected to ignore 25 days of chocolate staring you in the face?? Now, how to hide your indiscretion from others . . . ?

#11. Attire. Holiday attire is a minefield even for your regular body—is this too trampy for the charity dinner? Too stuffy for your friends’ annual cocktail party? Usually you rotate through a few tried-and-true festive dresses in your closet, but this year, you have to buy something entirely new—and given that it will be twice the price of a regular holiday dress because it has the word “maternity” in front of it, you want something that will be appropriate for a number of occasions. Oh, and flattering. Somehow.

#10. Shopping. We all hate it, pregnant or no. But pregnant gals get the extra added bonus of having to pee all the time! Nothing makes shopping go faster than popping into the bathroom every 30 minutes. If you can find it.

#9. Christmas cards. All of your friends with kids are sending out adorable cards with pictures of toddlers snuggling puppies in Santa hats, and all you have is a giant stomach and hair growing in weird new places. No one wants a picture of that. (And really really, no one wants to see your sonogram photo on a Christmas card. I promise.)

#8. Doctors’ appointments. Depending on how far along you are, you could be seeing your OB/GYN every 2 weeks—or even every week! With a million Christmas-related events to attend and errands to run, wasting 45 minutes every week sitting in a waiting room listening to elevator muzak versions of the same 6 Christmas tunes is infuriating.

#7. Social events. Did you know you are no longer a person? You are now a Baby Incubator. You can’t possibly have anything going on in your life—anything interesting worth discussing—that isn’t related to babies. Or so people seem to think. Social events are no longer a pleasant break from the stresses of the holiday season. They are now a prime opportunity for virtual strangers to ask you repetitive, increasingly inappropriate (“So, are your nipples ready for breastfeeding?!?”), nosy questions about your pregnancy and the baby. And to touch your stomach without asking.

#6. Christmas movies and specials. When Jimmy Stewart realizes that it is a wonderful life, it usually brings a tear to your eye. But with pregnancy hormones, it brings a gushing flood of tears that you can’t stop, even though your husband is looking at you as if you’ve grown a third head. “But, sweetie, life is soooo wonderful—sob sob blubber—I’m just so thankful for our family—gurgle gurgle blubber—and I love Christmas and our baby and cookies—sniff sniff sniff. Are you going to finish that egg nog?”

#5. Gift-giving dilemmas. Splash out because this is the last year you can hope to have any sort of disposable income, or skimp on gifts in the name of “saving for the baby”? Tricky.

#4. Cookies. Those 25-35 pounds you’re advised to gain during pregnancy dont’t take into account Christmas cookies. Hmph.

#3. Gifts . . . . for the baby! Wait a second, now. I’m still a person in my own right. Why are all these gifts for someone who isn’t even born yet?? He has years and years of gift-getting ahead of him. Where’s my stuff?!? Oh, this bouncer is for me?? Why don’t I just sit in it and try it out . . .

#2. Ringing in the New Year . . . at 10pm, because you’re too tired to stay awake any longer. Not to mention, standing for more than 5 minutes leads your feet to swell to the size of those tacky inflatable lawn decorations, so dancing the night away is distant memory. You’re parked on the couch with the leftover Christmas cookies, and a bottle of sparkling cider.

Which brings me to the most horrific Christmas atrocity faced by pregnant women:

#1. NO BOOZE. Remember how every Christmas since you turned 21, you’ve eased your way through family Christmas gatherings, your mom’s annual attention-seeking holiday breakdown, and miserable office parties with a bottle of red at your side? Forget it. This year, you have to do it all STONE COLD SOBER. Sure, some doctors allow for a glass of wine here or there, but let’s face it: a glass of wine won’t even dull the pain induced by watching Uncle Grabby Hands harass your sister while your Grandfather repeatedly reminds everyone that he’s going to die soon. Good luck. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

4 Insane Pregnancy “Truths” that are Complete BS

Myth 1: People will be nicer to you
Reality: Last night a family of four pushed me and my family out of the way so they could board a parking garage elevator 1st. Because one of them had a “problem” with her foot. You heard it here first: imaginary foot problem trumps obvious pregnancy, and means you can shove people around without even saying “Excuse me,” or, more importantly, “I’m sorry.” Merry Christmas!

Myth 2: You can eat whatever you want for 9 months.
Reality: There’s an ideal amount of weight to gain, which doctors will advise you is 25-35 pounds (if you’re starting at a healthy weight), but that the general population seems to agree is closer to 0. People will watch your food intake like a hawk, and have no qualms about opening the giant mouths they’re shoveling food into indiscriminately to comment on both the quantity and quality of the food you’re eating. The barista making $8/hour at Starbucks is certain s/he’s medically qualified to pass judgment on your caffeine consumption. Everyone’s a critic. (A critic who needs to be drop kicked into mind-your-own-damn-business land.)

Myth 3: Baby kicks are magical.
Reality: Early on in your pregnancy, baby kicks are pretty magical. Just tiny flutters that remind you there’s a legitimate reason you haven’t guzzled a bottle of Malbec in 5 months. As pregnancy progresses, though, things get less magical. Those “kicks,”—which might be kicks, elbow jabs, headbutts, who knows?—get stronger and seem to be purposefully aimed at your bladder. There’s also squirming and fidgeting, which feel like a tiny alien trying to burrow out through the side of your abdomen. You can actually see your stomach moving, which can be quite disconcerting. And as baby starts running out of room in there, he takes his frustrations out by pummeling your ribcage. Ahhh, the miracle of life.

Myth 4: Pregnant women are glowing and beautiful.
Reality: Good Lord, no.
I do not glow. If I seem to be glowing, I’m probably sweating—incubating a new life generates a lot of heat (and the synthetic panel on these God-awful maternity pants isn’t helping), which is nearly impossible to adjust to after an entire lifetime of always being cold.
And beautiful? As if the extra weight weren’t enough, your body goes through a number of absurd changes no one warns you about, for fear of dooming the human race as women around the world say, “Um, really? No thanks.” Your nose might grow. Your NOSE. Your ankles swell. Breakouts. Greasy hair. Nosebleeds. Bleeding gums. You can’t reach certain places to shave. Or sometimes any places.
Where’s that modeling contract? I’m ready to sign!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

. . . and 5 pretty awesome ones.

Crocheted baby converse!

Tips for doing your own, normal newborn photo shoot at home.

Harry Potter Nursery!

Sweet, handknit dress.(Pattern available here)

Non-embarrassing clothing that's still hilarious.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekend Pinspiration: 5 crazy baby ideas from Pinterest . . .

Source: google.ca via Vickie on Pinterest

Elaborate photo shoots!
Babies just aren't cute enough on their own, so you have to dress them up like other things.
(Actually, newborn babies often aren't particularly cute, but still . . . ) 

Embarrassing clothing!
Because passers-by weren't aware that babies poo a lot. Now they know.

Disturbing Halloween costumes!
Except this one. There's nothing disturbing about Baby Hugh Hefner, right??

Source: bit.ly via Ashley on Pinterest

Insanely overdone, impractical nurseries!
Is that ... a tree??

...I think this one speaks for itself.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dressing: A Handbook for Pregnant Gals

Step 1: Wake up with completely unfounded suspicion that pre-maternity clothes still fit. Dash to closet in fit of joy, and try on various items that clearly do not fit, up to and including “fat” jeans.

Step 2: Cry.

Step 3: Glare at maternity clothes.

Step 4: Decide belly band is the solution. Wiggle into pre-maternity pants again, with band jammed on top to hold them up.

Step 5: Wander about completing morning routine, stopping every 5 seconds to adjust belly band and non-fitting pants.

Step 6: Stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the complete uselessness of belly band; struggle through breakfast with waistband puddling into lap.

Step 7: Glare at husband when he comments that your clothes "look . . . odd." Remind him that this entire situation is HIS FAULT.

Step 8: Admit defeat. Return to closet.

Step 9: Glare at maternity clothes some more. 

Step 10: Keep glaring.

Step 11: Realize you're going to be late for work. Consider quitting altogether.

Step 12: Put on same black dress pants and empire waist maternity button-down you've been wearing every day since the beginning of time. 

Step 13: Count number of weeks until you can reasonably hope to fit into your "real" clothes again.

Step 14: Final glare at maternity clothes.

Ta-da! And it only took 2.5 hours!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Five People You Meet in Childbirth Class

The Expert:

Convinced s/he knows as much as, if not more than, the instructor. Wastes valuable class time “correcting” or arguing with the instructor regarding inane details of the childbirth process (“No! The wheels on the bed roll counterclockwise!”). Apparently paid $150 solely for the opportunity to share his/her knowledge with the rest of the class.

The Worrier:

Apparently sits at home thinking up horrific-yet-nearly-impossible childbirth scenarios, then comes to class to drill the instructor about what to do in such situations. “What if there’s a blizzard, and the power goes out and my wife is in labor, but I can’t find her in the dark because she’s lost her voice, and then I trip over her and land on her stomach and pop the baby out—what should I do?!?!?!” Provides class with a welcome opportunity to check their email.

The Dimwit:

You hope this gal is signed up for 28 more sessions, because she clearly doesn’t have the first clue about . . . anything. How she managed to make a baby in the first place is unclear; presumably she tripped and accidentally had sex. Easily identified by the absurd questions she asks, ex: “How many toes does a baby have?”

The Ass:

You feel sorry for his wife/partner. Can’t shut up about himself for 5 minutes, and seemingly oblivious to the fact that childbirth is necessarily about the woman. Wears the empathy belly for 5 whole minutes and proceeds to brag about his endurance for the rest of the evening. Makes comments such as, “Oh, I have back issues; she can massage herself.”

The Man-child:

Clearly pregnancy wasn’t on his to-do list, and while he’s showing up to class, he’s obviously not handling impending fatherhood well. Telltale signs: still wears a backward baseball cap and frat house cologne, plays with phone the entire time, only perks up when breast enlargement is discussed.

The good news is, you only have about 4 of these classes before you yourself are a childbirth expert and totally qualified to care for a newborn. Incredibly. Tough it out!