Thursday, March 31, 2011

We're all just trying not to raise a bunch of A**holes right?

Let's face it, there are enough a**holes in the world. And us moms, we're just trying our best to make sure we don't contribute to that ever increasing number.

We read our kids books, sing them songs, monitor their tv watching, monitor their time on the internet, spend hours (I MEAN HOURS) picking out THE BEST items for our baby registries, run out like its Black Friday to get the product another blogger SWEARS by (::cough:: Sophie the Giraffe ::cough::).... it just goes on and on and on and on.

Well all of this effort isn't for nothing. We're trying to make sure our child is a well behaved, side-parted, shirt tucked in, "please" and "thank-you" little lady or gentleman.

We know those a**hole kids. The ones at the playground with absolutely no manners. The ones who talk back to their mom. The ones who push the other kids aside so they can go down the slide first. And the insist on CLIMBING UP the slide with their stupid Buzz Lightyear light up shoes. We always go home and tell our husbands over a perfectly cooked meatloaf (yeah, I had the time to raise a gold star child AND cook an amazing dinner) that the bad kid was at the park again and we just don't understand what the parents are thinking raising him/her that way. Where are the boundaries? Did they not buy him Sophie when he was teething? Did they not read The Happiest Baby on the Block? These moms must know nothing. They must not sit on Twitter and read blogs and discuss to no end on sites like The Bump the ins and outs of parenting.

Obviously there is a clear line, and you are on one side or the other. Good mommy. Bad mommy. God forbid you are on bad mommy side because... let me tell you... it's awful. You get rejected from groups, people ignore you on Twitter, and even worse, your kid will grow up to be an a**hole. And we know what happens to a**holes. Yep, you guessed it, they go on to raise more a**holes who's parents just never got it.

Okay okay okay... obviously this is all just in fun. All of our kids are bound to have a bratty moment. We're all going to stumble. We're all going to over analyze our parenting styles.

But in the end, we are all just trying not to raise an a**hole. Even if we don't rush out to buy the glow in the dark seahorse who is supposed to be the cure to sleepless nights... right? RIGHT???

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

At least she can feed the dog... now onto feeding herself.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Learning Together - Sign Language

I never learned sign language. I knew bits and pieces, because in middle school it was the cool thing for girls to do, learn sign language and "secretly" talk to each other in class. We thought we were so cool using out fingers to sign to someone across the room that the boy next to us smelled really bad, or Sarah in the third row is a total witch with a b. I knew the basics. I knew a few swear words. That was it.

Well now that I have a kid I have a new interest in signing. I've seen all the commercials and infomercials about how it will make my kid so much more intelligent, and able to tell me what's wrong long before she can talk. I'm probably starting this whole process much later than I should have, but it's never too late right?

As an extreme beginner to the world of signing I opted to buy a ton of books and some videos. Kirsten enjoys the books. I got her a few from Amazon that were priced well and the pictures looked really colorful and fun. I bought a "Itsy Bitsy Spider Sign and Sing" book that has been a big hit (book by Annie Kubler). I also ordered her videos, which sat unopened until this weekend. I will tackle this project! My kid will be signing, "milk" and "ball" and "more" before I even know it.

Well it turns out that when you know nothing about teaching a kid something you know even less about, its a challenge.

We are starting with DVDs called Signing Time: Volume 1, My First Signs and Playtime Signs and so far Kirsten enjoys them. The woman who does the signs and kids in the video are cute and fun. The DVDs remind me of Baby Einstein movies. Lots of repeated images and words. Which I suppose is really the only way to teach a child sign language. Just as we do with animal sounds... show and tell, show and tell. I really enjoy that it is very kid centered. Lots of kids doing signs, showing an image, being silly. I was worried it would mostly be "This is how we sign ball.... This is how we sign milk...." and bore her.

So far we have stuck to the first video, which is basic signs. She shows some interest, and I play along with the video too. I try to have on hand as many of the objects as they are showing in the video. Her favorite word right now is "ball" so I am trying to focus on words she is very familiar with.

No sign of any signs from her yet, but really its only been two days. I may look for some flash cards to help us too.

I really look forward to sharing how this is going. It has been a really fun process learning along with her. I don't expect us to ever be experts, or be able to sign conversations to one another. My ultimate goal is just to have some basics down. The hardest part so far is figuring out how to go from "learning time" and "use in real life" time. Its easy to put on the video and sign away with it, or use the books as guides for a few minutes a day. But I think the true test is if I can make it a habit to use the signs throughout the day.

Here we go!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is why...

I stay home.

Random, unplanned, trips to the park.
Getting caught in the rain, right before the quarter-sized hail started to fall.

If I was working full-time, this would never happen. Before? Well before I wanted planned and structured days off. I wanted to get every ounce of fun out of the day. I had plans, I had errands, I had things to do. It wasn't a day off, it was a working day but my kid got to come along.

Now? We ride sea horses at the park.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fluff-date Tuesday (gDiapers)

This weeks Fluff-date? gDiapers!

Alright. Watch me as I eat my words.

When I got into cloth diapering I saw gDiapers in BabiesRUs considered them, but I wanted to go home and research first. What I found was that gDiapers is a HUGE retailer in cloth diapers and that both turned me on and turned me off at the same time. There is something about the "small company" that really tugs at my heart strings. But there is also something to be said about a company who has such an amazing following.

I then read reviews and saw mixed reactions. Mostly I heard that they leaked. I immediately decided against them and went through the process of trying about 3 other types of diapers. As you may know from reading my blog, I fell head over heels for GroBaby (Now GroVia) diapers, and we still use them with great success.

Here's the thing, I can never settle. I always have to be trying new things. I have a friend who uses gDiapers on her son and has nothing but great things to say about them. This made me really curious. So over Christmas time while online shopping for gifts, I put a pack of gDiapers in my virtual shopping cart. Why not?

They came in the mail and went untouched until this week. I used the cloth inserts yesterday and found it easy to use. At first I was a little skeptical about the way you put them in the holder that snaps into the diaper. I wasn't sure they would stay and not cause a leak. I made sure to change Kirsten every two hours to help prevent leaking and check the absorbency of the insert. She never went longer than 2 hours with one insert inside the diaper, but no leaks! If I were to go out and use these diapers I would probably add another insert just in case. But really no problems, probably just as good as my GroVia diapers.

Today I decided to see how the Biodegradable Inserts worked. I use these with my GroVia diapers and like them. I like to use them when we are out so I don't have to bring cloth with me, I can just toss them. Again I was a little worried because I had to place the insert inside this little plastic lined holder. Will it stay put? Move around and cause leaking? I have used them all day, and even during nap time with no problems! Again I changed her about every two hours, but I was really happy with how they held up.

From what I can tell, the snap in layer has done its job in keeping the insert safely snug in the diaper. After the Biodegradable insert gets wet, it does shrivel up a bit, but the wetness stays within the area of the snap-in layer. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked... it is a little awkward to stuff a cloth insert or biodegradable insert into a little plastic feeling layer and hope it will hold pee or poo! Even with a little shifting, everything stayed put!

I guess my favorite part of these diapers are the fit. The diaper (size medium) fits very snug around her middle and legs. Never did it seem too tight or uncomfortable. Plus, it is a slim fitting diaper. I didn't have problems putting it over over clothing, which has always been a concern of mine. My husband always comments on Kirsten's "bubble butt," but had no idea she had on cloth when she wore the gDiapers!

Thumbs up gDiapers! And congrats on making me eat my words. I learned my lesson to base decisions on reviews (wait I'm writing a review....).

Monday, March 21, 2011

I have to sing in front of people??

I recently read that less women are participating in "mommy and me" classes because of their busy schedules. Also, because they feel less of a need for a group setting, and feel they can get that on their own or at a public place.

This is all good. I have been that mommy up until this point. Frankly, I had zero time for a "mommy and me" class, heck I've barely had time to eat and sleep. But now that I'm home I vowed to do more things that are Kirsten centered, and not just all about me. Example... going to a mall play area or meeting up with a friend who has a baby. Not saying those things aren't good, but I really wanted to do something that was ALL about her. Something more structured.

So I decided to sign us up for Kindermusik!

I was a little nervous at first. What does one wear to such a function? Should I be sporty mommy? Laid back mommy? Trendy mommy? I mean these are all things to think about before our first "mommy and me" class. As much as this was something for Kirsten, it was for me too. I need to meet moms that live near me because honestly, I'm lonely. I like being home with Kirsten, and I love my friends, but I don't have anyone who can really relate. Except for internet friends. And even though they are there for me any time of the day, I need some face-to-face time!

Dressed in what I though was an outfit that showed I wasn't trying too hard, but still fun and cool, we made our way to Kindermusik. I walked in and immediately saw babies crawling around and playing on the floor. I knew Kirsten would have nothing to do with playing with the other kids. Every time I dropped her off at daycare she shyed away from the kids and cried for me. Would this bring back those memories?

After sitting down, polite small talk, Kirsten warmed up to the group from the safe vantage point on my lap. The teacher introduced herself, and the class began.

I'd say it went well. She eventually let go of her reservations and began to play with the other kids. As in, she crawled around and played with some toys and instruments. All of the moms were nice, polite, and warm. I felt very welcomed, but still a little bit of an outsider. I am not a shy person, but for some reason, when I really want to make friends, I get shy and reserved. Not how I am normally at all!

I really hope Kirsten continues to like it. And I hope to make some mommy friends. But most importantly, I hope no one is bothered by my singing voice!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Great Outdoors

It is no secret that Pittsburgh is cold, as in, "holy crap I don't want to leave my bed" cold for about 90% of the year. Watch a Steelers game and you are almost guaranteed to see snow on the field. So it's no wonder that when the temperatures outside reach 40+ everyone goes crazy and crowds the parks and zoo. So where did we go? The park and the zoo.

I took Kirsten out on Monday last week to the park because I was so sick of being in the house. Plus I can only take so much Dora the Explorer. "Tree, Bridge, Rainbow Mountain.... Tree, Bridge, Rainbow Mountain...."
I went ready for the cooler weather. I was just so excited that it wasn't -5 degrees I braved the 40 degree weather, and even wore running shoes. If you know me at all, you know I HATE SOCKS and HATE closed toe shoes. Odd, but true. I looked like a true "out at the park" mommy. Jogging stroller, stretchy jogging pants, Puma socks, and cute pink running shoes. (By the way, the socks and shoes have been worn once in the past year and a half). While walking the trails it was cold, and I thought of going straight home after our walk, but I knew I'd kick myself for not letting her go down a slide or two. Not only did we go down the slides, but she crawled ALL over that place. It really melted my heart to see her love the playground so much. She's a kid y'all!

We returned to the park, with daddy this time, yesterday. The weather was so much nicer, and even though it was crowded, it was a ton of fun. My husband even called a little girl a boy to her face. Score. Making friends everywhere we go.
But more importantly, Kirsten learned how to go down the slide head first.

Today we decided to meet my sister-in-law and nephews at the zoo. Kirsten slept about 80% of the time, but it was still awesome to get out and enjoy the great weather. It was 70 degrees! Holy crap! And not only did we see lions, tigers, and Nemo fish... but I successfully embarrassed myself by calling a little girl, "little dude." Seriously what the heck is wrong with us that we can't detect a girl at a public place? Wow.

This weather makes me so excited for what is to come. And hopefully we don't get knocked out by a parent because we can't tell if their kid is a boy, girl, or animal. I mean, at least I didn't call the kid a "little jerk." Right?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tis the Season

It is that time of year folks. That other time of year where we all make promises to ourselves and try to start anew. It is Lent!

I never really liked the idea of having to "give up" something during Lent. It never made sense to me. My mom always gave up chocolates or snacking, and she would complain for 40 days and 40 nights about it, but you better believe on that 41st day she was eating a bag full of tootsie rolls! So what was the point? To show that you have some will power, for at least a month? I just never got it. It didn't seem like it was what God wanted us to do when celebrating Lent. I don't think He wanted us to "give up" something or act like we were suffering because we are Catholic.

Instead I always tried to focus on "giving" something. Or, in other words, "giving up" some of my time to others in need. I took Lent as a way to finally get off my butt and volunteer somewhere. Whether it was my church, the local library, school, or women's shelter, I felt far more fulfilled with my decision.

This is not to say that "giving up" something isn't a good idea. I think the basic concept is good. It forces us to come forward with our vices and try to fix them.

So in spirit of "giving up" something for Lent, this is what our family will focus on this season.....

1. Keeping up on cleaning. Whether it is laundry, dishes, keeping our rooms clean, organization is the new keyword in our house!

2. Saying, "I love you" more often. I think we too often assume it and forget to just say it.

3. Sit down and eat as a family more often. Which basically means, I will cook more meals and make everyone sit at the table.

4. Get out and do something that is fun FOR THE BABY. I love the mall. I love going and just walking around. But it really isn't a trip for Kirsten. She hates the mall, except for the pretzels and play area. However those things aren't really worth the trip for her most of the time. So with the weather changing for the better (fingers crossed) we will start doing more "Kirsten" centered activities.

What are you "giving up" for Lent?

Monday, March 7, 2011


At no point since Kirsten was born (except for the first 4 weeks) was I ever a stay-at-home mom. Even when I was on maternity leave I never considered myself a stay-at-home mom because I knew there was a time limit. I was going back to work. Plus it took all 4 of those weeks for me to adjust to the idea of having a kid in the first place. No one ever remembers the first few weeks, and if you do, you only remember never sleeping and wearing the same sweat pants the entire time.

Well now that I am home basically full time it doesn't feel like it is real. I haven't quite adjusted to the idea that I don't have to get up and go to work every day. Or be home by a certain time so I can do a night shift. I work three or so days a week so most days are left open to whatever I want to do. And that is such a change!

It is honestly hard to make yourself not selfish after a lifetime of being so darn selfish. I admit it, I was super selfish my whole life. Everything revolved around what I wanted/wanted to do/my time. Adjusting to married life and living with a man was one thing. And even then it was fairly easy, because we both were independent enough to do our own thing without worry. But adjusting to a child, even more so, being home with a child 24/7, is super difficult.

Sometimes I see a marathon of Real Housewives episodes on tv and think... "What a perfect afternoon!" My old self would flop my butt on the couch with pizza rolls and mountain dew and have a perfectly good time. Now? I am lucky if I get to shower and have a cup of coffee throughout the entire day, not to mention, I am usually so tired after cooking for Kirsten and feeding her that my meals consist of yogurt or a granola bar.

When I worked I scheduled in things because I had to do it. I had to shower. Now it doesn't matter if I go three days without one. Who is going to judge me and my 3 inch roots? My dog?? (well maybe, he is very judgey).

It will take a lot to get used to. but I have confidence that we will find our groove. And I will stop looking at my time as this huge void, and more so as an adventure.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wait... the government doesn't care? NO?!?!

Mother Jones: Why Know Ones Cares About Unemployment

With my recent change in working status, from full to part time, and taking a rather significant pay cut in the process, I found this article interesting.

I don't think it really comes as a surprise that the government generally doesn't care/can't do much about the economy right now. Programs have come and gone with only mild success, and people in some cities are still struggling, even with a college degree. Remember those high hopes we had as bright eyed college students? I seriously thought I was going to be this amazing college professor, write for a local paper, and maybe publish a few books or articles. Um.... hello reality!

Not to say that these goals weren't, and maybe still aren't obtainable, but it just goes to show that in this tough economy it is hard to really hold onto a dream, or continue with those lofty thoughts. Settling has become the best option. I'd rather have SOMETHING than NOTHING is the new mentality.

I remember my dad having a hard time facing the fact that after graduation, and applying to many places, that I ended up in retail. It was easy for me though. I was good at it, there was always a job opening somewhere, and it was easy money. He just didn't get that I wasn't doing something in my field. He offered to pay for more schooling or see if he could pull strings... but in reality, none of that would matter. I needed to settle, so I did. Am I happy? Of course. Do I still dream of being a professor one day or writing for a paper on the side? Definitely.

This isn't me trying to say that all dreams are unobtainable and we should always settle. I hope I can be proven wrong and by the time my daughter is in college she can have wild and crazy dreams about her future, and not feel as though they are out of reach for her.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


First of all... wow so I am back on this site? Yes. Due to some wackiness happening over at I need to post here. Plus it is such prettier over here, don't ya think?

Anyway, how are you? How has life been? Have you missed me?

Let's get to the good stuff. Why did I stop blogging? Where did I go? Well I never really went anywhere. I just needed a break from some things in life, and sadly my blog took a huge back seat. The person who used to be able to juggle 1000 tasks could no longer do so, and things had get shut down.

What's happened since my last post? A LOT!

That person I was referring to before really wanted to come back. And sadly that could not happen when I worked a job that I absolutely hated 45 hours a week. I hated that job. I clashed with some people. It made me a really ugly person. And I wanted to get back to the simple things. My daughter.

My daughter comes first, always, and the job was keeping me from her. And keeping me from being the best mom I could be. Not saying that a full-time working mom is doing something wrong, but this full-time mom thing was just not for me. I missed seeing her, watching her grow, being there for the special moments, the not so special moments, to cook dinner, clean the house... the list just goes on and on. I could write for hours about the things I missed. I missed being able to clean! You know I am seriously nuts when I miss cleaning!

Other than that I really just missed my husband and I wasn't being a good wife. Things had to change.

And they did!

I quit. I have been home for three weeks and loving it. We haven't done a lot but doing nothing has been such a blessing. I can watch Roseanne again during the day, sit on the floor and fold laundry while eating ice cream, take my daughter anywhere I want, whenever I want. It is just such a relief!

I go back to work at another retail store (a much better one!) tomorrow, but my hours are extremely limited. Again, focus is on my family and myself.

I cannot wait to get back to blogging and being kid centered again. I missed reading blogs and being apart of this mommy world.

Stay tuned and keep me on your list!

I'M BACK!!!!!!