Magical, Mortifying, Motherhood.

Motherhood is full of magical, heart-warming moments that take your breath away and make you wonder how you ever lived your life before your children came into it.

It’s also filled with moments that make you want to melt into the floor, run away, or just spontaneously combust from embarrassment and want to sell them to the lowest paying customer.

That’s the shit no one ever tells you about. EVER. For instance:

No one ever told me that one day, I would be elbow-deep in baby diarrhea and bathing her in the sink. At Olive Garden. In the middle of the day.

No one ever told me that I’d be holding my toddler in line at the grocery store and that she would suddenly grab hold of my shirt, pull it down and yell, “HI BOOBS!”

No one ever told me that while on a solo trip to the aquarium with my child, I’d have to go to the bathroom. So I’d take her in the stall with me. No one ever told me that while sitting on the toilet, my child would look down and see my sanitary pad and ask loudly, “MAMA HAVE DIAPER?!”

No one ever told me that I would lift her up and sniff her ass in public, just to see if she had pooped. My child turned me into a public ass-sniffer.

No one ever told me that I’d have to say certain things to her in a public place, things like:
“Stop scratching your butt.”
“Yes, I’m aware Ariel has boobs.”
“Nellie Rose! Stop licking (the shopping cart, your Ariel doll’s boobs, your foot, your daddy’s face)!”

No one ever told me that I would be on the phone with a complete stranger at my pediatrician’s office explaining my daughter’s bowel movements/vaginal odors/scent of her diaper and asking if it was normal.

What are some of your most embarrassing/humbling moments of parenthood?


My daughter’s hair is out of control. It’s long, curly, fine, and all over the place. I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut it yet. More often than not, her hair resembles Gene Wilder’s in Young Frankenstein. I usually have to wrestle it into pigtails or a ponytail, lest she look like she got a little too curious with an electrical outlet.

My daughter has also had chronic cradle cap on her scalp, which drives me insane. Yes, it’s harmless. Yes, her hair covers it up most of the time but when she’s sitting on my lap I can see it while I run my fingers through her curls, and it drives me insane. I’ll sit there and try and pick some of it off like some sort of mother chimpanzee while she fusses and protests. I did a little bit of research the other week on toddler cradle cap, and one website helpfully suggested rubbing olive oil into her scalp, letting it sit, then loosening the scales (like she’s a lizard) with a comb.

So the other night during bathtime, I was armed with some olive oil from the kitchen. While Nellie was playing, I wetted her hair (which she hates) and gave her head a nice scrub with some shampoo. I figured I’d use the olive oil as sort of a conditioner. I rinsed her hair clean of the shampoo (from Nellie’s reaction, I think the water I use to rinse her head is actually acid) and then rubbed the olive oil into her scalp. Have you ever tried to rub anything into a naked, slippery toddler’s scalp? It’s not easy, especially when said toddler is protesting and sliding all around the tub like a greasy seal.

I digress. I got the olive oil in, let it set and then I started combing away her flakes. Much to my delight, they loosened easily and her scalp immediately looked better. I began the process of chasing her around the tub as she slipped and slid and yelled, “I MERMAID! I DOLPHIN! WHOAAAAA!” attempting to rinse her hair (again with the acid, or snake venom, or whatever my water is made of). Nellie wailed and thrashed and complained and after a few decent attempts at getting the olive oil out of her hair, I finally told her we were done and got her out of the tub.

We went about our normal nighttime routine and put her to bed. The next morning I greeted my pajama-clad girl with a hug and a kiss…

And then I saw her greasy little head and I jumped back slightly. It looked like someone had poured a vat of grease (or, you know. Olive oil) on the top of her head. It was then that I realized that after I had doused her head in olive oil, I had failed to do what the instructions on the internet had said, and that was to rinse it with shampoo again after combing the cradle cap flakes off.


“What’s wrong with Nellie’s hair?” Josh asked as he came into the room.
”Uh. I put some olive oil on her scalp to try and help with her flakes and also the tangles in her hair..”
”It looks awful.”
“Yes. I’m aware.”

I pulled her up into my lap and scooped her greasy curls toward the top of her head, winding a ponytail holder around them.
“There. That’s better.”
Josh gave me a side-eye and went to empty the garbage.

My girl went to school today dressed in a cute pink and plaid dress, Spider-Man shoes, and a head full of greasy hair that smells kind of like a salad. I had to explain to her teacher what had happened and that she wasn’t dirty; her mother was just an idiot.

Sorry, kiddo. Mom fail.

Shit I Never Thought I’d Say: Part Eighty Five.

I’ve posted about hearing myself utter things I never in a million years though I would hear myself utter before. Now that Nellie is walking, talking, and almost two, I thought I’d post a revised edition of Shit I Thought I’d Never Say. Enjoy.

  • Get that sucker out of your hair.
  • No, we don’t need a Hormel meal, bubbles, a rubber duck, and a Spider-Man hat on this shopping trip. Let’s put them back.
  • Old MacDonald Had A Farm again? Really? Wouldn’t you rather sing something else? No? Awesome.
  • Okay, don’t drink that bathwater, it has bubbles in it.
  • Yeah, the bathwater is yucky. That’s because there’s bubbles in it.
  • Do NOT put that Christmas ornament in your mouth. Sharp! Stabby! OUCH!
  • I know you love the cat but please don’t try and lick him on the face.
  • Don’t draw on the table.
  • Don’t draw on the floor.
  • Kitty doesn’t want you to draw on him.
  • That’s not a boo-boo, that’s your nipple.
  • Oh, you can say ‘nipple’ now. Awesome.
  • Yes, mommy also has nipples.
  • So does daddy.
  • Please don’t try and look at mommy’s nipples while we’re in line at Wal-Mart.
  • Get your hand out of my shirt, you still can’t see mommy’s nipples.
  • Don’t you DARE bite that balloon!
  • *reading a book* What’s that? That’s a sheep. …Still a sheep. ……..Still a sheep. ………….Always going to be a sheep. ………….Hasn’t stopped being a sheep.
  • Ugh. Please don’t put your feet in the popcorn.

What funny things are your kids saying?

Climbing the Lion

At our local mall, we have an indoor playground that’s meant for smaller children. It even has a height restriction. Not that other parents always pay attention to said height restriction *coughhackcough*. But that’s another post for another time.

This playground is made entirely of things that won’t stab your kid in the face or cause decapitation. The floor is almost bouncy and everything is made of some special material from the magical land of “no childhood injuries ever”. Really the worst thing that could happen is your toddler tumbles off the slide and bumps their head a little. It’s very safe. We’ve only taken Nellie a few times, because there are usually older kids there and they are running and being rambunctious little kids. We just didn’t feel comfortable with her toddling unsteadily about amidst the rumpus. The few times we did take her, I followed her around; hovering like one of the dreaded Helicopter Parents you read about. And up until recently, my hovering was justified.

We took her last week, and Helicopter Mama hovered about helpfully. The playground was provided by the local hospital in town, so some of the animals that the kids can climb on are in various states of ailment and recovery. There is a lion that is lying on its belly with a hot water bottle on its head. Nellie ran over to the lion and lifted herself onto one of its feet. I was right there behind her, offering to help. “Noooo!” she insisted, shaking her head and backing up off the lion. Nellie is and has always been very cautious so I figured she just wasn’t ready to climb the lion.

Josh waved me over to where he was standing and told me to stop hovering.
“I’m not hovering,” I insisted. He just looked at me. “Okay maybe I’m being a bit of a helicopter but I can’t help it. I don’t want her to get hurt.”
“Honey,” he said. “This place is pretty much like playing on a marshmallow. She’s not going to get hurt. Let her play. Let her climb, let her fall.”

Taking deep breaths, I realized my husband was right and I stood by his side, watching our girl run and squeal. Being the careful child she is, she spent most of her playtime running from one thing to the next.The few times she would put a foot up on something like she was wanting to climb, it took every ounce of self-control I had to not run over and help her. But I didn’t. It was really hard, but I didn’t do it.

A few days later we returned when it wasn’t too crowded. There were smaller children there for the most part so we felt comfortable letting her play. I stood back this time, watching my girl run and enjoy herself. I was talking to Josh and when I looked over to check on her,  she was standing at the ailing lion again. As I watched, she put one foot up on his, then the other. I watched my girl crawl, scramble, and maneuver until she was sitting on the top of the lion, looking around with a smile on her face.

My girl climbed the lion. By herself. My breath caught in my throat as I witnessed this “first” for her; my safe and cautious girl had climbed something that had scared her only days before completely unassisted. She did it without my help and encouragement. My heart swelled with pride and love for my brave little girl. She sat atop the lion for a few minutes before deciding it was time to get down. She looked a little hesitant and I felt compelled to go help her but I resisted the urge and of course, my curly-headed adventurer found her own way down without my help once more. With a grin on her face, she turned back around to climb the lion again and I watched her with tears in my eyes. I turned to look at Josh, who was also smiling.
“She did it,” I said. “She did it without my help.”
My voice caught as I spoke the words, because in that moment it was more than just watching my daughter scramble up a playground lion. It was her taking another little step out of my nervous arms and toward independence. It was another moment that I realized my child is growing up and needing me less and less.

My entire body still wants to Helicopter. I want to hold her little hand and help her climb all of the lions that life throws into her path, but I know that I can’t. She has to do it on her own. I just have to tell myself that even though I have to let go, even though she has to learn for herself, that doesn’t mean that I won’t still be there to help her just in case she needs me, and to kiss away the tears when she does fall.

Boosit and Buhseek.

Nellie’s vocabulary grows each and every day. A few weeks ago, she was toddling around the apartment being adorable when she exclaimed,


*record scratch*

Josh and I whipped our heads around to look at one another.
“Did she just say bullshit?” I asked.
Wide-eyed, Josh replied, “Sure did sound like it.”
“Boosit! Boosit! Boosit!” Nellie chirped happily while trotting behind her little push-toy.
“Surely not,” I said uncertainly, eyeballing my curly-headed cussing child. “We hardly ever say that word.”
It’s true. We don’t. We say lots of other things we shouldn’t, but “bullshit” isn’t really in our vocabulary. Bullshit is kind of a boring and not cool swear word if you ask me. Some would argue that no swear words are cool, and to those people I say, “boosit.”

Anyway, after a little bit of debating, we decided that Nellie was trying to say “push it” because we’ve encouraged her so often to push her toy, to push a button, to push the door closed, etc.

The other day, my mother in law called me.
“You will never believe what Nellie said,” she began.
Gulp. A parade of profanity begun marching through my head, as each and every F-Bomb I’ve uttered in front of Nellie came back to haunt me. The possibilities of what she could have let loose in front of my mother in law were endless. Damnit. Shit. Fuck. Douchecanoe. Jackwagon. Balls. Republican (I kid, I kid! … Maybe. Not really.).

“What.. did she say?” I asked hesitantly.
“Well,” she began, “I was changing her diaper and when we were all done, her little buttcheek was hanging out of the back. So I said ‘Nellie! Your buttcheek’s stickin’ out!’ and then she yelled, ‘buttcheek! Buttcheek!'”

I began laughing hysterically, half because that’s actually really cute and half because I was relieved my daughter hadn’t said ‘asslicker’ in front of her Gran. When we went to pick her up that day from my mother in law, Josh and I prompted Nellie.

“Nellie. Nellie. ‘Buttcheek’.”
“Buhhhseek!” she yelled happily.

I about died laughing. So now my kid can say a lot of different words. Dog, cat, bear, ball, spoon, cheese, and buttcheek.

I’m a proud mama. A proud mama who needs to watch her mouth before my kid really does call someone a douchecanoe.

The Parental Acknowledgment Nod

Josh, Nellie and I have been enjoying walks more often now that it’s warm out. … Okay, warm is an understatement. It’s effing hot. Winter turned directly into Summer. There was like, 2.5 days of Springtime before Summer was all, “HAY GUYS, HERE I AM. LOL IS THAT SWEAT?! HAVE SOME WATER, ASSHOLES.”

On our many walks, I’ve noticed an interesting social interaction that occurs between parents, and it’s something that I like to call the Parental Acknowledgment Nod. The Parental Acknowledgment Nod (or P.A.N. , because Parental Acknowledgment Nod is a lot of letters to type.) is an exchange between two sets of parents – and it’s not limited to couples and it generally goes down like this:

  • You approach another person or persons pushing a stroller.
  • If your child and the other child are close to the same age, both parties will give the other the P.A.N.: A tilt of the head, a slight smile, and maybe even a short, “awww”.
  • Don’t make the “awww” too loud or enthusiastic, because that it just creepy. Think about it. Do you want some random person, parent or not, staring down your kid and going, “AWWWWW”? No. You don’t. Get the eff away from my kid, Uncle Creepo.
  • If the passing child is younger than yours, you initiate the P.A.N. The other parent will generally smile at your child in a way that suggests that they are imagining their baby at that age.
  • If you pass a parent of school-age children, the P.A.N. generally doesn’t happen. You are in two different worlds.
  • Sometimes, the other parent thinks that their little Jimmy Precious Face is the best thing since sliced bread and they cannot possibly spare your child a glance. This is when you give them the Hey, Eff You Your Kid Is Funny Looking Anyway Glance. Or the H.E.Y.Y.K.I.F.L.G.

Another strange – and slightly uncomfortable – social interaction that occurs between parents (or grandparents) is the Forced Baby Interaction. That’s when you pass someone else with a stroller and instead of doing the simple P.A.N. exchange, the other parent gets all freaking excited to see another kid and takes a detour, making a beeline for you. That’s when they push their stroller as close to yours as they can, point at your child and squeal at their offspring: “Look, Katie! ANOTHER BABY! SAY HI TO THE OTHER BABY! HI OTHER BABY!”

And you stand there, laughing uncomfortably and watching the babies/toddlers stare at each other, drooling. The babies don’t care. The babies don’t give a shit, they don’t know that other kid and they are probably wondering when the hell you’re going to throw another handful of goldfish crackers in their snack cup. So the parents are left awkwardly asking questions and making inane and obvious statements about the other kid (“Look at all that hair! What a cute blue shirt. Oh, that child also has two eyes and they are green.”)

I HATE the Forced Baby Interaction (F.B.I.). I’m socially awkward anyway so when I get approached by an over-zealous fellow parent I kind of freeze up and say lame things.  I wonder what someone would do if I were to stroll up to them and appreciate their baby and ask questions like I would if they had a really nice car.

Me: Heyyyy, that’s a nice baby you have there. What model is it?
Other Parent: Uh. …………
Me: 2010? Looks like a 2010. I’ve got one of those. How’s yours run?
Other Parent: *slowly puts their hand in pocket to grab cellphone to call for help*
Me: Mine runs real well except sometimes, she emits this high-pitched whining noise and the only way to get ‘er to stop is to give her a cookie. I don’t know, but it works! Anyway, you made a nice lookin’ baby with your fornicating. Keep up the good work!

It’s a fascinating aspect of our society that we feel the need to connect with other parents, even if it’s just a slight nod and an acknowledgment of their kid. I suppose it’s just that parenthood is such a mindfuck that we feel just a little bonded with complete strangers just because we both happen to have children. We’re all riding this crazy ass roller coaster together after all, so I guess a little casual camaraderie is expected.

So the next time you pass another parent with a stroller, make sure to give your P.A.N., but don’t be that F.B.I. offender, because those people are just nuts.


Barfapalooza 2011.

My husband and I woke this morning at 7:15. We rejoiced, because normally our baby girl wakes us at 6 A.M. or earlier.

By the time 8:45 rolled around and Nellie was still asleep, we chuckled at the irony. Of all the days to choose to sleep in, she chose the one where we were wide awake just after 7.

By 10:30, she was awake and guzzling a sippy of milk like her life depended on it.

By 10:32, she had projectile-vomited all over me, the couch, and the floor. She looked around, dazed, as her parents sprung into action to clean up the baby and the mess. I took the baby, daddy took the mess. She cried during her bath, after her bath, and right up until I put her back down to sleep.

The rest of the day was more or less the same. She woke a while later, drank some more, puked it back up. Back into the bath, clean-up, back down to sleep. I ran out to get Chinese food for me and Josh. Gave a hungry homeless man $20, which I never do, because the only other bills I had in my wallet were $4. He cried when I handed him the $20.

Came back. Ate. Nellie drank some more. Threw it back up. Bath #3. Back to bed. Daddy ran out for provisions after Nellie went back to sleep yet again and I jumped on Twitter, asking my parent friends what we should do. We’re between insurances right now and Nellie’s coverage doesn’t start back up until the 1st of June. General consensus was: small sips, don’t let her guzzle, duh. Okay, no one said duh. That was me. No milk; PediaLyte. If she won’t drink PediaLyte, get the clear stuff and sneak it into juice or Sprite. Nellie ended up not wanting to touch her sippy cup at all so being the sneaky and clever mama that I am, I fixed a cup of ginger ale and PediaLyte. She drank it in small sips. Ate some Ritz crackers. Stayed awake for about three hours and went down for the night around 6:30.

I’m anticipating a rough night, seeing as how she was asleep most of the day. And that’s okay. I just want her to feel better. I’ve never felt truly helpless until my child was sick, and there was little I could do to help her. I’ve been snuggling and rocking with her all day in between washing myself of the vomit. I just want her to feel better.

Likely very few people will read this right now; most people are out enjoying the beginning of summer and their Memorial Day weekend and by the time you do read this, the Barfapalooza 2011 festivities will have ended. Just in case you want to party with us, it’s BYOBB: Bring Your Own Barf Bucket.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise Makes Mommy Crazy

If you see me as of late, my life looks a little bit something like this:

By the way, I am now from the 50’s and my child has blond hair. Ta Da!

But seriously. My child has decided that sleeping in is for the fucking birds. Which, by the way, haven’t even been chirping when she’s been waking up. I wrote earlier in the week about my fabulous Human Alarm Clock and at the time, I was still mildly amused at the fact that she’d been waking up earlier and earlier in the morning. We get up a little after 6 AM, and Nellie had begun waking at 5:45. Which is maddening. You know how you get up to pee, look at your alarm clock hoping you still have two hours to sleep when in reality, your alarm is set to go off in like a minute? Yeah, it’s just as frustrating when it’s fifteen minutes. No worries though, she remedied that irritation by getting up EVEN EARLIER.

Yesterday she woke at 5:15 and I decided to put her to bed earlier, to my husband’s protests:

Josh: If she’s waking up earlier, why would you put her to bed earlier? Put her to bed later.
Me: No, I’ve read that if your baby gets up really early, they’re actually not getting enough sleep and it’s makes them over-tired or something, and you should put them to bed earlier.
Josh: ……….. That doesn’t even make sense.

So we put Nellie to bed by 6:30 last night, and this morning she broke a recent record and was up at 5:10. In the morning. It was dark and there was no one in the universe awake besides us.  I usually go in to her when she starts fussing and crying but this morning I was so tired and fed up with this sudden early bird business, that I let her cry. I’m a horrible mom, I know. She cried for about a minute and then was silent for about ten. I relaxed back into my bed, hopeful that she’d drifted back off to sleep. I myself never did go back to sleep because I was expecting at any moment to be woken by my chirpy little bird.

She fussed on and off for about 45 minutes. I stubbornly refused to get her out of her bed until 6 A.M., which is ridiculous because my kid can’t tell time. I lay there thinking, “This will teach her a lesson. I’ll show her that we don’t wake up before 6 A.M. in this house. MOMMY WINS FOREVER.”

Then my cat started bitching loudly, and scratching my bed post, even though his damned food bowl was full. I glared at him from under the covers as he screamed in my face. I resigned myself to the fact that I will never ever sleep past 6 A.M. again without either a child or a feline screeching at me. I stuck to my guns, though, and didn’t retrieve Nellie from her crib until 6 A.M. HA! SHOWED YOU, TODDLER.

Tonight I’m going to take my husband’s suggestion of a later bedtime. I don’t understand why she suddenly began waking up at such an ungodly hour when she’s been sleeping until at least 6 A.M. for months now. Thoughts? Suggestions? It’s cool to put some vodka in her bedtime milk, right? Just a little? Yes? Vodka always makes me want to sleep in.

A Rude Awakening & a Goodbye

I had been asleep for about a half an hour last night when Nellie woke up screaming.

And when I say screaming, I don’t mean “I’m scared”, “I’m awake” or “I’m pissed” screaming. My child was emitting a blood-curdling, high-pitched shriek that I have never heard before and I hope to god I never, EVER hear again. Upon hearing that god-awful, terrifying scream I shot out of bed and was barreling down the hallway and throwing the door to her room open before I even knew what was happening. I turned the light on and hurried to her crib and grabbed her out of it, inspecting her quickly. She was whimpering and crying and I was on the verge of having a heart attack. Once I saw that she was okay and unharmed, I started to shake and sob. Josh had come into the room right after me and was asking if everything was okay. I clutched Nellie to me and just cried. I had to sit down with her in the glider, I was shaking so badly. I couldn’t even talk, but as soon as I could I explained that I’d never heard such a noise and she scared me so bad. I don’t know what I was expecting to find when I threw her door open, but with a noise like that I guess I figured it could only be something horrible.

I noticed a foul smell coming from her so we checked her diaper and found a large, round, hard poop. It must’ve been painful and woken her up from a dead sleep, hence the scream. I changed her diaper and soothed her as she was still whimpering a little. I was still crying and shaking but I got her cleaned up and told Josh to go ahead back on to bed, that I needed to be with her for a few minutes. He turned the light off for us and I took my Nellie and held her to me, rocking in her glider. I couldn’t stop the tears as I held her against my chest. I have never, ever been so terrified in all of my life as I was when I heard that screaming. I almost could not bring myself to put her back down in her crib. We rocked like that for about ten minutes before I finally calmed down enough to put her back to sleep. I did not know that level of terror existed. I have never in my life felt as afraid and panicky as I did when I hear my child shrieking like that. I hope with every fiber of my being that I never feel that again because just remembering it makes me feel sick.

She woke up crying (not screaming, thankfully) almost every hour after that and I got up with her each time. Normally if she wakes up crying, I give her a few minutes to see if she’ll fall back asleep but last night I went in almost immediately. I had to be close to her after the scare she gave me.

I decided to stay home with her in case she was sick, and so we could both get a little more sleep.

I noticed as I was passing by Josh’s phone this morning to use the bathroom that he had a missed call and a voicemail from around 6 A.M. Unfortunately, a call like that can usually only mean one thing. I looked at who the missed call was from and as I suspected, it was from his dad. His Nana died last night.

I thought it was odd that Nellie had such a hard night the very same night that her great-Nana passed away. Maybe the two things are related and maybe they are not. I know that Nana is at peace now, but our family’s got some sadness ahead of us in the next few days.


Paci Free?

This post may get me the virtual stink-eye from quite a few parents and make me a few mommy enemies.

As of last night, Nellie Rose is pacifier-free.

She’s been off the paci with the exception of bedtime and naptime for months now. The kid’s never been too attached to her pacifier. Josh mentioned today that he’d like to try a paci-free bedtime tonight. I thought, what the hell? The older she gets, the harder it’s going to be to say bye bye to the paci so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I had a feeling that we wouldn’t have much of a struggle. We weaned her from her swaddle in one night at 6 months, she was drinking from a sippy cup by 10 months, took whole milk instead of formula with no fuss and only cried for 10 minutes when we weaned her from being rocked and held to sleep around 9 months old. In short, the kid is adaptable and rolls with the punches.

It would appear that Operation Paci-Free Bedtime has been no exception. We put her down tonight without paci, said night night and turned out the light and sat on the couch to watch 127 Hours expecting to hear her at least whining a little bit.

An hour later, I realized that Nellie hadn’t made a peep. She wasn’t even phased by the absence of Paci. Not even a whimper.

I know that a lot of you are probably snarling and frothing at me right about now. I admit freely: I have an easy baby. Sure, she has her meltdowns and Hobby Lobby fits but overall she is a very easygoing, adaptable child and we are really blessed. I could also be declaring a paci-free house too early; it is, after all just the first night. Nellie may have just been too worn out after a day of running, squealing, and throwing her goldfish crackers at our waitress at Chili’s to care about her lack of pacifier. She could be laying in her crib at this very moment, dreaming and scheming of ways to make our lives a living hell the next few nights. We may be in for a battle of wills, but considering her personality I really don’t think so. We’ve been informed on more than one occasion that we aren’t going to get this lucky twice. We’re fully expecting our next child to look something like this:

So no worries. We’ll get ours. I try not to be smarmy about Nellie’s easygoing nature, so when people ask me how I got her to take a sippy so early or how I managed to get her off Paci so easily all I can really do is shrug and say, “I got lucky.” Because that’s really all it is. It has nothing to do with Josh and I or our ability as parents.. Nellie just takes life as it comes and accepts things for what they are.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to say the same for Baby #2, A.K.A “Taz” Green.