Super Trooper

So a few months ago, Joe and I binge watched a few seasons of ER (using the magic of the internets!). One of the episodes dealt with someone who was sick and dying (shocking, I know) and they were told not to worry, they’d pull through. They’re a “trooper.” Joe looked at me thoughtfully for a moment, and said something to the effect of, “I don’t think anyone would call you a trooper in that situation.”

Dude. Yes. I am NOT a trooper. I would be a total baby. I relish in my whining, moaning, groaning, and complaining. It’s indulgent and an excuse to eat my feelings (spoiler alert: my feelings taste like donuts) and I don’t care.

On a related note: I recently traveled with a one year old, teething, sleep-fighting hellspawn!

“ALOHA, BITCHES!”

Let me first get this FAQ out of the way.

“Who the f$@& complains about a weeklong vacation to Hawaii???”

Me. I do.

Ok, not all of it. The days were AMAZING. We had the great fortune to stay in a beautiful condo right off of the beach, walking distance to a farmer’s market AND a shave ice place, the weather was gorgeous, we met some nice people, and the boys were filled with unbridled joy when they played in the sand and the ocean. It was rad, and I would do it again in a heartbeat just to see those kids smile like that again.









See? God, don’t you want to punch me so hard in the face right now? Look at that beach! Holy shit, so beautiful! Look at those babies in the sand, look at those smiles!

But I took a vow to avoid the whole “fakebooking” trend so prevalent nowadays, so here’s the flipside:





You know that feeling you get when you get on an airplane, find your seat, and then notice a family with a baby is sitting right behind you? That sucks, right? Trust me: it’s about a bajillion times worse for the parent who is in charge of that baby. Especially when it’s a seven hour flight, the baby has a cold, and is the Worst Sleeper Ever. Joe and I mutually decided that we would never speak of that plane ride again, so if you were hoping for some hilarious tale, you’re SOL. Sorry.

My immune system also has impeccable timing, and decided to crap out on me the day after we arrived. I had a really fun cold, and then a really fun fever, exacerbated by lack of sleep and high stress levels. I was not a trooper.

On average, I got about four hours of (broken) sleep, but my favorite night was when he woke up at 11 PM. For the day. And he only took 15 minute naps. On me. At 6am (when I’d been up for seven hours already), I threw him in the ergo, hiked over to a bakery, and spent $25 on pastries and coffee, because fuck the world, that’s why. We also watched approximately 8.4 katrillion hours of Sesame Street, because fuck studies about screen time and developing brains, that’s why. THAT IS WHY, OK? (I bet a trooper wouldn’t have just yelled at you. I bet a trooper would have said that way more politely.)

Anytime anyone asks me how our trip was, I try to say, “The days were fantastic!” Because they so were. And I loved seeing those boys playing in the surf.

But traveling with a one year old? Never. Again.

-C

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Plagued by Fashion Disasters

Holy crap, you guys! I am really bad at updating. Usually because when I find a free minute or two, my mind says “stare at the wall! Stare at it! While eating chocolate chips! Now browse Netflix for 20 minutes and never find anything you want to watch! Now browse imgur! BROWSE IT! Now Google really strange medical questions! MOAR CHOCOLATE!!!” instead of, “hey girl, let’s do some of that blogging you promised yourself you’d do.” Scumbag brain.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram/Facebook/real life, you know that last week, M developed a pretty gnarly case of The Plague of Awfulness. For five days. When Joe was working nonstop. And there was a torrential downpour for four days straight. And we had really expensive tickets to the penultimate showing of a play and there was no way of getting a refund. And S was being a total asshole.

At one point, I had M, AND S, AND the dog fighting for prime mama real estate (a combination of my lap and my undivided attention), and all three of these creatures were whining, shrieking, and howling, respectively. It took all of my reserves not to start screaming, too. I’m pretty sure time stopped, that particular afternoon. It was wibbly wobbly in the absolute worst way.

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Though our selfie game was strong.

There are some weeks of parenthood that just suck, and that was one of them. Although I was able to sneak out for an hour thanks to my parents, and I did some accidental retail therapy.

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Awwww yiss, motherfuckin’ mom jeeeeaaannnsss!

Speaking of ugly pants, I feel like I’m going through a transitional phase in terms of ~*fashion*~. I’ve been through just about all the phases one can possibly go through: prep, glam rock, emo/scene, vintage/pin-up, sweatpants/sadness, boho, fancy, cutesy, nerd chic, early 90’s law student… now that I’m 30, a mother of two, and it’s time to Be An Adult, I’m of course finding myself in what can only be described as my “dirtbag, power-clashing, possibly a throwback to grunge, ridiculous pants and fuzzy socks, oh look there’s food in my hair” era. And I am ROCKING it. I don’t know if it’s because I no longer give a shit, or if I have finally found the look that reflects my inner goddess (to borrow a phrase from 50 Shades of There is Much Better Erotica Out There Good CHRIST Please Read It Instead). But this look is totally working for me. Marcus even asked to take a pic of me a few weeks ago, because he thought I looked like “a magical hobo.”

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Magical!!!

So stay tuned for possible future outfit posts, if you’re very lucky, you might get a glimpse into some of my more inventive and treasured looks.

Like this one:

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Sour cream is the new black.

This is Carly, signing off. Remember to stay strong, fight the power, and dress like everyone has retinal damage.

-C

Contaminators Gonna Contaminate

So usually I try to avoid getting involved in Hot Button Topics on social media, because there’s a veritable flood of information, opinions about that information, debate over those opinions, etc. etc. etc. And mostly, I try not to rock the boat, because drowning is my number 2 fear. (My number 1 fear is giant statues becoming sentient and taking over the world, because why the fuck not? Think about that though. TERRIFYING.)

Sometimes, though, I start thinking about these Hot Button Topics, and can’t stop. And because I’m a hermit, these thoughts have nowhere to go. So they sit and fester, until my fingers start twitching and suddenly I’m at my keyboard, word-vomiting stream-o-consciousness and then sharing said word-vomit with you fine people. Now, some of you will probably stop reading when I actually come to the point, but I’m letting you know right now: this is not a preachy post. This is not a judgment post. This is a post intended to ask some genuine questions both of myself and some of you folks, if you feel up to sharing your thoughts.

NOW. FUCKIN’ MEASLES, AMIRITE?

For those of you who didn’t roll your eyes and close this tab, what’s up!? Thanks for sticking around. You guys rule. Imaginary gold stars for each of you.

Let’s start with some full disclosure. Both my kids are vaccinated. My husband is a nurse, and we’re both vaccinated. We get flu shots every year. The kids get flu shots every year. I think it’s pretty groovy we live somewhere where vaccines are accessible and available. I am to medical innovations as Ron Swanson is to breakfast foods: Give me all the vaccines and ibuprofen you have. ‘MERICA! *cue eagle soaring by and majestically ca-caw-ing* Do I think that everyone that is physically able to get vaccinations SHOULD get vaccinations? Absolutely. Am I frustrated and worried and kinda pissed that this is even an issue? Totally. But that’s not what this post is about.

The thing that’s striking me about this whole vax/anti-vax debate is the straight up RAGE!posts and comments I’ve seen lately. Lots of YELLING VIA CAPSLOCK (both sides), misspelled insults (both sides), anecdotal evidence instead of factual evidence to support claims (both sides)… which makes me wonder, what’s the point? What is your endgame here? I get that a lot of people are scared… fear is another contagion we’ve seen emerge these last few months. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side… (Yoda knows what’s up.)

Has anyone’s mind, in the whole of human history, been legitimately changed because someone called them an idiot? Think about the last time you did a complete 180 from something you believed in. CAN you even think of a time that happened? If you can, I am sure the change of heart had more to do with compassion, understanding, and time, than from SoccerMom1981 telling you you’re a “KID ABUSER FUCKTARD” in the comments section of a HuffPost article.

One of the fundamental pieces missing from these “debates” (read: internet screaming matches) is the idea that anti-vaxxers don’t care about their children. I’m pretty sure they care a LOT about their children. I’m pretty sure that they care about their children just as much as vaxxers do. In fact, It wouldn’t surprise me if most of them have done more “research” about vaccinations than most vaxxers. Now, my idea of legitimate evidence regarding the subject is probably completely different from theirs, true. This is the real issue. This is what people should be focusing on. But it’s harder than just pointing people to legitimate scientific, evidence based articles about the benefits of vaccinations outweighing the risks. There’s a few reasons why. One, scientific articles can be difficult to interpret. In a lot of cases, it’d be like handing someone with no mathematical background a book on engineering, and expecting them to build a bridge. And for every article you find that supports your case, another (possibly less reputable, but still published) can refute it. Two, it is hard, HARD, to get someone to change their fundamental beliefs, once they’ve been established. Think about something you know is 100% factual. You have unwavering faith. There is a community of people who back you up with the same ideas. You are inundated with literature and anecdotal evidence that supports these beliefs. What could possibly change your mind?

Think about the people who changed your life. Flipped your perspective. Opened your eyes. Were they flippant, angry, dismissive? Or were they patient, steadfast, encouraging? I heard a quote the other day that pretty much sums up how I feel about this. Google tells me it’s from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and not someone less eyeroll worthy. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Yes. YES! By all means, speak out. Let people know what is important to you. Tell people you vaccinate your kids, and why it’s important to you. But also LISTEN. Ask questions. Be curious and encouraging. Engage! Set phasers to compassion! Make it so!

And remember … Understanding: the vaccine against being an asshole.

-C

Tits or GTFO

WARNING: This is a post that talks about boobs. Not in a porny way, though. (Sorry to any pubescent boys who googled “porny boobs” and found this post. Is that a phrase they would use? It must be. I’m pretty hip to what the young folks are rapping about these days. #yolo #lol #hashtag)

Parenting is weird. It’s one of the few jobs you can do for decades, and still not know what the hell you’re doing. (The other job like this is Best Buy cell phone “specialists.”)

I’d been a mom for six and a half years by the time S was born, and I thought I had it figured out at that point. “I’ve kept M alive and happy for this long, so I must be a parenting expert!” I thought.

WRONG. WRONG WRONG, SO DAMN WRONG.IN THE LAND OF WRONGNESS, THIS WAS KING OF ALL OF WRONG.

S came along and I fell into that stupid trap all parents fall into of making declarations beginning with “I’ll always…” and, “I’ll never…” The biggest one of which was, “I’ll never give him a bottle and/or formula!” I’d like to sidebar here for a moment and say that I don’t care what other people do with their kids and how they raise them. Seriously. As long as your kid is fed, I don’t care what method you used. Just because I say I never want to do something (like rock climbing) doesn’t mean I have the right to judge you for doing that thing. NOW! Where was I? Oh yes, back to me being an idiot.

Are you ready for a truthbomb? Breastfeeding SUCKS. I know there are mamas out there who enjoy it (who ARE you people?!), but I am not amongst their ranks. I found it painful, exhausting, time consuming, frustrating, maddening, and only occasionally awesome. The best thing I got out of breastfeeding M for 12+ months was bragging rights and a smug sense of self-satisfaction. (Winning?) This time, with S, I was determined to earn more fake parenting points by exclusively breastfeeding.

Here’s the thing about life. It never goes as planned. By S’s fourth month, he was teetering on the “failure to thrive” precipice. I tried everything. Teas, galactagogues, massage, marathon nursing, hand expressing… I could go on and on. I reached out to self-proclaimed experts who insisted that I should not, NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, give him any supplemental formula. You know the really atrocious dubbing in Godzilla movies? Their mouths were saying, “Don’t give up!” but all I could hear was, “Try harder or you’re a disgrace to all mothers everywhere, how DARE YOU.” I know they were trying to be helpful, but it just made me feel even worse. I don’t blame them for that. That’s all on me.

The day I bought a bottle and formula, I started crying in the middle of Target. I cried when I washed the bottles. I cried when he refused to take the bottle. I cried when he finally (after five days) took a bottle. And I had the biggest smile on my face when he started gaining weight. Yeah, breastfeeding is really great for babies. You know what else is really great? Having a less stressed mom raising that baby.

Now that he’s a year old, we’ve finally found the right balance between nursing and formula. Does that mean it’s right for everyone? Hell no! Is rock climbing right for everyone? Also hell no! And here’s the kicker: my reasons for supplementing shouldn’t matter. They shouldn’t be judged as a positive or a negative. The fact that I give S formula is just that: a fact. Nothing else.

So to all you mamas (and dads) out there, remember to be kind to your fellow baby feeders, regardless of the method. And be kind to yourself. Just feed dem babies. Or climb rocks.
Whatever.

-C

Social Interactions, or: I am Terrible at Things

It’s so amazing to me how you can be so similar to someone, yet so incredibly different at the same time. For example, M and I are both suffer from an acute case of Musical Theatre Nerd Syndrome, which is when you have to sing about everything, and randomly starting a dance party in your living room is an everyday occurrence. We both get extremely frustrated with ourselves in our struggles for unrealistic perfection, and are ridiculously emotional over things like Pixar movies and/or Muppets. We are polar opposites, however, in our handling of social situations.

M is one of the most joyful, accepting, non-judgmental, and gregarious people I have ever encountered. His teachers (all of them) have all asked if he ever actually stops smiling. He has friends all over, of all different genders, ages, backgrounds, and he loves them fiercely.

I went through school/jobs/life with the nickname “Daria.”

It’s not that I dislike people. I just dislike being around people. No, not that. I just find it tedious? No. Crap. CRAP. See, there’s no way of trying to describe introversion without sounding like a total dick. “I’d love to come hang out! Except I totally don’t. Putting on pants sounds like way too much work. So does talking about anything. Instead, I want to be alone in my pillow fort with my dog and some chips and maybe Netflix and some craft project I found on Pinterest that I’ll never actually finish. But alone. I might be ok with texting you. Maybe. I still love you and value you as a person though. Maybe next month? Ok thaaaaaaanks!!!” See? Dickish.

So needless to say, when M gets invited to birthday parties and/or play dates, we may be physically in the same place, but our interpretations of these events are completely and utterly different. We had two birthday parties this weekend, both with approximately eight thousand hyped up children and their parents. I will say, props to the owners of the bouncy castle venue and the ice skating rink, they really did an awesome job disguising the fact that they were actually the tenth circle of hell. (Dante had NO idea.)

As far as interacting with new people goes, I am either brilliant and charming and you want to keep talking to me, or a total disaster. Usually the latter. There is no middle ground. I don’t think I’ve ever been described as being the standard “very nice” after meeting someone. If I had to guess, the words most often used to describe me would be (in no particular order):

-weird
-funny
-weird
-weird
-kinda awkward
-bitchy
-quiet
and
-wtf was she wearing, was she serious, isn’t she like thirty by now, why are there ninja turtles on her dress? (Answer: because COWABUNGA, DUDE!)

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🐢🐢TURTLE POWER!🐢🐢

This weekend I did not bring my A-game. I mumbled my way through some conversation, got kicked in the face with an ice skate in front of a group of moms, AND ran into a pole, because coordination is hard. I also was complimented on how polite Marcus was, and instead of saying “Oh thank you!” like a normal person would, I said “Oh good. Yup. Ok,” because I am the worst conversationalist ever ever ever. Just about the only thing I did right (socially) this weekend was to quickly rewrap one of the gifts for a seven year old girl after I realized why the first gift bag looked so familiar.

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Fun fact: the lettering is only on one side of the bag! Who knew?

I’m glad that M was/is totally oblivious to my social ineptitude. Hopefully it’s not contagious.

I’m probably going to quarantine myself in this pillow fort though, just in case.

-C

Welcome to Mom’s Guilt Corner!

For those of you who follow my Instagram, you may have seen my hashtag #FiF, also known as “Fuck it Friday.” I think the blog version of this shall henceforth be known as Mom’s Guilt Corner, where I air my (sometimes literal) dirty laundry and confess to my shortcomings as a mom. (FUN!)

On this week’s episode of Mom’s Guilt Corner: Cooking: why?

If I could choose one “mom” thing to totally do away with forever and ever, it would be food prep. I loathe food prep. I hate meal planning, grocery shopping, chopping, sautéing, roasting, simmering, spicing, dicing, washing plates… about the only things that I actually enjoy are baking (because pie) and eating (because pie). This anti-cooking gene is a problem on a few levels:

A: I live in a house with two growing boys who require food to continue, y’know, growing.
B: The eldest of whom is hungry constantly, and eats more meals than a hobbit, and
C: I feel like a total asshole. At least we can afford the food I’m complaining about having to fix for my kids, right? This thought sends me into a never ending guilt/shame spiral that eventually turns into me YouTubing videos of soldiers coming home to their families because I am So Full of Guilt Feels that the tears need to get out somehow.

ANYWAY, the reason I’m waxing poetic about how cooking is the worst thing in the history of ever, is because I discovered we ran out of bread while I was packing M’s lunch, so I did this:

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Yes, that’s a tortilla PB&J. It’s not organic, the peanuts are not free-range (that’s a thing, right?) and I’m pretty sure the first three ingredients in the jam are fancy ways of saying “a shit-ton of sugar.” At least I also packed some cut up veggies for him to totally ignore, so I’m pretty sure it balances out.

Also, as we’re talking about food stuff, here’s a picture of the current state of my kitchen:

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Isn’t it pretty? True story: a few weeks ago I was actually caught up with the dishes and even washed the sink (I effing know, right? Riveting stuff!). Joe took one look at our kitchen and said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but the sink looks weird with nothing in it.” Dude, I ain’t even mad. It totally did. It was weird in the way that unicorns or Luna Lovegood is weird… magical and mythical and kinda crazy.

Well folks, that concludes this week’s edition of Mom’s Guilt Corner. Maybe someday I’ll develop some mad culinary skillz, but in the meantime, I plan on singlehandedly keeping Annie’s Mac & Cheese in business.

-C

Introduction!

Oh, hi there! Welcome to this tiny corner of the internet that I plan to graffiti with word-vomit. I’m assuming everyone reading this post soon after it goes live actually knows me, or is creepily stalking me and therefore knows more about me than they probably ever wanted. (Except the stalker, who probably wants to know more.) But you’re going to have to suffer through this intro post, or skip it and go back to watching Netflix and/or getting lost in the Wikipedia ether. Or whatever kids do these days.

If you’ve made it this far, HELLO! I’m Carly, or as my husband likes to call me, “Big Carl.” Despite that nickname, we are still married, and I’m still quite fond of him. I have two kids, M (7 years old going on 21), and S (1 year going on 97). RIP my sanity. I also have a lazy dog who I’m pretty sure is 95% cat.

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I’m a Whovian, a horror nerd, and a baker of pies. Sometimes I make shit. Sometimes I bake shit. Sometimes I make/bake things and they look/taste like shit. I swear more than I should, because I am a twelve year old boy at heart and find a well placed curse word to be hilarious. I am truly sorry if this offends you.*

Why am I doing this? What’s the point? Why should you read this?

I’m doing this for a few reasons. First of all, the first year of having a new baby can make you crazy. Like, silently screaming into a pillow while they’re nursing because they Just Won’t Effing Sleep and my GOD how long has this vomit been in my hair CRAZY. For the most part though, babies are awesome, don’t get me wrong. (Some babies. Some babies are assholes.) I just need some sense of autonomy again, and maybe writing this blog will force me to spend some time doing what I love the most: zoning out on the internet and stuffing chocolate in/around my facehole. Secondly, I’m not planning on making a Pinterest perfect blog. There are a lot of those out there, and yes, I freaking love them. It’s like candy for my brain. But too much candy is starting to rot my self-esteem and I need some truthbomb toothbrush. (Toothbomb? This metaphor sucks. Just roll with it.) Maybe someone out there does, too. I think it’s important to be truthful in this messy, ugly, fantastic life, and I’m willing to share. That’s the point. That’s why you should read this.

Or don’t. Netflix is waiting.

-C

*I’m not really sorry, because fuck it. (BALLS.)