Friday, June 28, 2013


This week marked the halfway mark of my third pregnancy.  20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go.

It hasn’t gone by fast. 

If this third pregnancy has solidified anything for me, it’s that I don’t like being pregnant.  It’s not that it’s awful per se, and I am so very grateful that so far this pregnancy has been complication free.  It’s just that apart from the whole miracle of birth and the kicks that I’m starting to feel (which I do love), it’s not that much fun.  It’s a denial of things I would normally indulge in (oh margaritas and raw oysters, how I miss you).  It’s an overindulgence of food and desserts to make up for the denial of my normal indulgences, resulting in a steady weight gain that I swore wouldn’t happen to me this pregnancy.  It’s a welcome of all too familiar discomfort – of not being able to sleep on my stomach, of heartburn, of back pain, of headaches I can’t cure with advil.  It’s the dawn of a new kind of anxiety – a kind I had forgotten about – where you pray and beg the weeks to go by until your baby is viable, until his lungs are developed, until he weights more and more – so God forbid, should you deliver early, he will be okay. 

Notwithstanding the fact that I’ve been through this before and I know what’s to come (aka, my life won't be all that easy upon giving birth either), I find myself breaking a cardinal rule of mine and living outside of the moment; of counting down the weeks.  Only 20 weeks left to go, was my mantra throughout much of this week.  Only 20 weeks until I get my body back, until I get my life back, until I am not pregnant anymore. 

Only I WON’T get my life back in 20 weeks.  My life, and the lives of my husband and family, will be forever changed.  It will be a positive change, about which I will someday say, “I can’t imagine I ever had a life before this little boy” – exactly what I say about my first two boys.  But the fact is, this life I have now, that I have gotten used to, embraced, and found comfort in, will never return to me. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Some OTC Safety Reminders

A couple of weeks ago, I aired my own dirty laundry and showed the world where I was storing my family's medication, which included on top of my son's dresser.  It was rather shameful.  I have now done a complete overhaul, thank you very much, and have become somewhat of a tyrant about the whole thing.  If my husband puts his bottle of vitamins on the sink even for a minute (like, when he's taking it), I read him the riot act.

So here's a little bit of that riot act (and some important safety reminders).

As National Safety Month is nearing an end, OTC Safety continues to educate families on safe medicine storage through its #MedsUpAway program.  The following graphics are really humbling, and are enough to snap anyone into shape.  They also contain some great tips!  Please keep all of the information in mind particularly as you are traveling this summer (when it's easy to let things slide).

(Click on the graphics to enlarge).

Disclosure: I receive compensation for my participation in the CHPA educational foundation's OTC Safety Ambassador Program.  However, the content and and opinions in this post are my own.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Crying Uncle with Antibiotics

It started over Memorial Day weekend with a scratchy throat.  I think I'm getting sick, I remember mentioning to my husband, as we drove back from New York.  I remember saying it out loud, just in case I needed to remember it for dating purposes, or in the rare instance of death (my husband could tell the coroner - She did say she wasn't feeling well.).  

Little did I know....

It morphed from a scratchy throat to a sore throat to a cough.  A bad, bad cough.  The kind of uncontrollable cough that kept my husband up at night and had me keeling over in involuntary fits and had my kids yelling, Stop it!!!  The kind of cough where I didn't cough hard enough to break a rib, but where it didn't seem so outlandish that people do.

After a week of this, I had had enough.  I went to the doctor.  Not the minute clinic, not my OB - my regular doctor.  I forget I have one of those every once in a while.  I usually only go once a year (if that) for my yearly check up.  Otherwise, I tough my illnesses out.  I am busy enough taking my kids to the pediatrician's office to ever take myself.

But this time was different.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Girls Don't Work"

Last week, while visiting my dad in North Carolina, my four year old son asked me if my step-mom could accompany us on an excursion to the pool.

"Nana has to work," I told him.  "We'll see her later."

"Girls don't work!" my son quickly replied.

I was at first speechless, and then retorted without much thought: "Of course girls work!  You know how Mommy is at the computer sometimes?  Mommy is working!  And your teachers, your teachers last year were girls.  Being a teacher is work, right?  And the lifeguard at the pool - she's a girl, and she's working!"

By that point my son's attention had turned to other things, and he was making flying noises for his Buzz Lightyear toy.  He had moved on.  But I couldn't seem to.  The sentiment haunted me all day.

I couldn't help but think:  In becoming a stay at home mom, what have I done?  

I decided to leave my full time job mostly for my own reasons - to alleviate stress, to focus on motherhood, to be able to spend more time watching my son grow - all reasons that would benefit me.    But I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a part of me that thought it would also be best for him.  Best for him to have me pick him up from school, me take him to playdates, me care for him when he was sick, me be his constant presence.  I guess in some ways it was an egotistical sentiment, but I really thought that I could do the best job for him over anyone.

But had I created a budding male chauvinist in the process?

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Solo Date

I've never been one to be self conscious about doing things alone.  I have no problem dining alone, and in fact, I actually relish the rare opportunity I get to sit at a bar with a book, an appetizer and a glass of wine.  I also really enjoy going to movies solo, if not for any other reason than my husband hates going, and I am a hard core lover of buttered popcorn.

As you can imagine, solo dates don't come often for me anymore.  And of course, that makes them all the more appealing.  The fact is, I am generally constantly in the company of someone (my kids, predominantly).  And while I'd hardly call myself a loner, the idea of some time to myself - just by myself, for just a little bit - is somewhat of a luxury.

For the past week I have been with my kids in Wilmington, North Carolina, visiting the grandparents.  It's fun and great, but also exhausting and stressful to be out of our fully childproofed environment.  My parents are always offering to give me some time to get out by myself, but I usually decline.  To be honest, I'm usually just so exhausted I don't have the energy to venture out of the house when I have the opportunity.

But last night I mustered the energy, and I indulged.

A few days ago I had read a movie review on CNN of the movie, This is the End.  I had never heard of the movie, but the review was stellar.  I mean, in the I can't remember the last time I've read such a good review of a movie stellar.  It stars Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and James Franco. Given the great review and the weird connection I have with James Franco, I had a sudden urge to see it.  (I should clarify - I don't directly have a weird connection with James Franco, but my sister does, so close enough.  See picture from TMZ below).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Up and Away

Last month I announced my partnership with OTC Safety.  As part of that partnership, every few weeks I'll be posting on how to use over the counter medicines safely, particularly with little ones running around.  And it's all quite timely, because June is National Safety Month, and in conjunction with that, the CDC and the PROTECT Initiative is launching the social media #MedsUpAway program, which is a campaign to encourage parents to keep their medicines up and away and out of kids' reach.

Don't think you need the advice?  Think you're on top of this?  I thought I was.  Until I took a closer look...

This is about to get embarrassing.

This past weekend, I took inventory of where we kept medicine in our house.  And here's what I found.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On the Side of the Road

A few years back Above the Law ran a story about a mom partner at Kaye Scholer who left her kids at the side of the road.  Apparently, they were bickering and the mom had had enough - she dropped them off in downtown White Plains.  One child (age 12) ran after the car, while the other (age 10) wandered off.  The partner was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  (See full story here and here).

I remember reading that story all smug and judgmental like.  Braden was around 6 months old at the time.  What kind of mom does that?  I remember thinking.

For some reason, the story has stuck with me.

To this mom, today I would like to apologize for my judgment.  Not that I condone leaving your kids at the side of the road, and not that I would ever do it really...

But today?  Today I think it might feel amazingly satisfying for a moment or two.

It's been one of those days.

It's been a day of hitting, kicking, screaming, 5 am wake ups, and defiance all around.  It's been a day of empty threats and desperate rewards and proclamations like, "If you don't stop throwing things and kicking the seat, I'm going to stop this car and...."

Well, you know.

Seven hours to go, God help me.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Need a will? A GIVEAWAY for legal services!

The best thing about this blog is that I get to meet people I never would have encountered otherwise.

A month or so ago, in conjunction with the Mommy Esquire event, I was contacted by Maria Simon, an attorney with the Law Office of Rebecca Geller, a firm comprised solely of moms with young children that specializes in wills and estate planning.  That's right, an all mom law firm!  I was intrigued.

We had a bit of a dialogue, and she mentioned that she would be interested in doing a giveaway for legal services (wills/guardianship documents, trusts, advance medical directives, and legal family documents) on my blog.  I thought it would be a great idea, particularly since I know that many families don't have a will, despite how important it is to have something in place when kids are involved.  I agreed, and asked that she also grant me an interview, as I figured many readers would be interested in hearing her story.

So without further adieu, here is Maria's story of success in having a legal career with children. And be sure to read the entire thing (or scroll to the bottom), because details of the giveaway are below:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pool Days

Last week, while chatting with my sister on the phone, I mentioned that I would be taking the boys to the pool.

Aw, that's so great!  she said.  I'm just picturing you and Braden and Casey walking arm in and arm and playing and splashing in the water.  So cute!

I laughed.  It's not quite like that.  I told her.  No, it's not quite like that at all.

Our neighborhood pool is 4 houses down from our house.  It's convenient, inviting, and a great place for the neighborhood kids to gather.  When the summer arrives in full force in the DC area, it becomes a staple of our day.

But man, is it an exertion of energy.

Lets break it down:

Step 1: The Preparation (Approximately 25 minutes)
We don't just get to decide that we want to go to the pool and then go. Noooooooooooo.  Instead, a lengthy preparation must take place.

First, I get myself ready.  This is the easiest step of the process.  Suit, coverup, sunscreen, done.

Then I make the announcement to the children.  Who wants to go to the pool?  The boys usually always say yes, but when it sinks in that they must cease whatever activity they are currently engaged in (playing downstairs, playing outside, torturing one another or the dog), they aren't happy.  It takes a few minutes to get them rallied and in one room.

Once I do, I fetch Braden's bathing suit and plead with him to put it on himself (which he is perfectly capable of but usually refuses to do).  I bribe, I reason, I threaten, and 9 times out of ten I end up dressing him myself.  I do it quickly, slather on sunscreen, and then turn to Casey.

Casey, my needier child at the moment, requires a bit more energy. First, there's the swim diaper, which inevitably gets stuck and twisted and turned around somewhere at his hips.  I then put on his bathing suit and turn to the sunscreen.  My God, that kid hates sunscreen.  I basically pin him down on all fours and smother it over his entire body, with him thrashing and screaming the whole time.  There's snot, there's tears, there's major defiance  By the time I am done, only half of the sunscreen is sufficiently rubbed in, I am sweating, and my ponytail has somehow been removed.  I usually don't put it back in.

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