Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

Bonjour Kittens June 28, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 2:15 pm

Bonjour my lovelies –

Miss moi? I am back and sadly don’t have much time…work has to go and interfere with my desire to blog away on KT and surf the web and email my friends. How rude, right? How very not-French of my job….

But, I thought I would give you all a taste of moi. Surely you’ve missed moi as it’s been so long. So while I will be brief today, I promise more later this week, I just want to give you some observations from my trip to La France.

First of all, I’ve concluded that going on vacation alone with your husband is a must-do for all mom’s. Even if it feels hard at first. Secondly, I’ve concluded that 5-6 days max is the ideal time. I’ll be honest, for the first 6 days, sure I missed my darling daughter, but trust me, we LOVED afternoon naps, sleeping in, and dilly dallying around town, and long late dinners with lots of wine. That French wine makes everything wonderful. As does the cheese. And the pain au chocolate.

After day 6, I was ready to return to my baby even though I was staring down a weekend in Provence. Actually, I ached for her. But somehow we powered through. I’m thinking the fabulous shops, prolific amounts of wine and cheese and perfect weather with no bugs helped.

So first kittens, a week’s vacation sans enfants is a must-do. Even a long weekend. But if you think you can’t leave your kid or your kid can’t survive without you, well then, you are the first one that ought to be signing up for that break.

But now to La France.

Returning to Europe for the first time as a Mom opened my eyes to things that I assure you, I never noticed or cared about before.

First – my mom was right. Per the usual. The Europeans have WAY better stroller options than we do. When we were shopping for our stroller what feels like 500 years ago, my mother couldn’t believe the dirth of options we have here in the States and how few of the strollers go into a bassinet, fully flat. Well, in Europe, dear kittens, they all do, and they are beautiful and seem to move seemlessly over all the cobblestones. And interestingly, they all were outfitted with beautiful soft fabric for l’enfant.

Is anyone really surprised that the Europeans have better and more stylish strollers than us? Hell, most of us are walking around with European strollers and for all you Bugaboo fans out there, I saw ONE the entire 10 days in France…and of course, it was an American couple.

Second. French baby clothing stores and French maternity fashion.

FABULOUS.

If I had been preggo, I would have shopped my heart out. I did, however, shop my heart out for darling daughter and man was that fun. Adorable outfits, fun color combos that are different from ours (lots of red, lots of polka dots, but much smaller polka dots and of course, an adorable rain coat that is – reversible. Why wouldn’t it be.)

I was also surprised at how family friendly the culture seemed to be. During the day, I noticed new mom’s out and about with their friends, all lunching, babies and strollers everywhere. I never once spotted what seemed to be a nanny. Never. Not once.

We all know that if you walk through the parks and streets of Washington or NY during the day during the week, well, it’s pretty obvious to spot the nannies with the babies. I couldn’t believe that I never ever saw something similar in Paris, Lyon or anywhere in Provence. Occasionally I saw what could have been a Grandmother with the babies. But speaking of parks, the French know how to build them for kids. There were parks everywhere we turned and filled with fabulous large wooden structures to climb all over.

I inquired with our family friends who have been living in France almost ten years now. I asked about returning to work, I asked about maternity leave, I asked all these questions. What I learned is this – the French government pays couples a significant amount of money to have children, they get paid for each kid up to three kids. Note I said “couple” and not “married couples.” I will get into the French political drama over the unmarried couple maybe tomorrow because it was fascinating – but really, it’s so not French to get married.

Our friends thought that you get paid full salary for about 4 months of maternity leave but he wasn’t entirely sure and he said that it is becoming more common for the women to return to work but not nearly the amount as we do here in the good old U.S.

As for the mom’s, they all seemed to have returned to their pre baby bodies even when they were pushing what looked to be a one week old to me. I was amazed. And never once did I ever see evidence of breastfeeding.  I saw lots of mom’s shaking up the bottle, mixing up the formula while they were out to lunch, but never once did I ever see someone breastfeeding. I just saw formula and bottles. And trust me, I was paying attention.

The other thing I noticed was how the French women eat. Again, I was watching. Probably blatantly staring sometimes. They ate everything. They had gobs of bottles of wine (gasp! drinking as a mother! mon dieu!), they had appetizers, bread, entrees, and dessert. And kittens, these women clean their plates.

Why are they still so thin? Is it that they walk and bike everywhere? Does the obsessive smoking help? I don’t know. But these women eat.

And finally, a note on fashion. Flats everywhere in metallics. Lots of black and white, nothing really that blew me away or even really surprised me. Just simple, clean style with flats. And of course a cigarette in one had.

 

Viva La France June 14, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:48 pm

Kittens –

Today is my last day in the office until the 27th of June. I am off to my rightful homeland, France.

C’est vrai.

Darling husband and I leave this weekend and will be gone for about 9 days. And for those of you wondering, darling daughter will NOT be joining us.

The first part of the trip is for work, I will be attending a conference in Lyon, and the last part of the trip is pure vacation. We will head down to Provence and just sorta tool around for a long weekend.

Never in my life, never in my wildest imagation did I ever expect to board a plane to Paris with a heavy heart and high anxiety, but apparently, I still haven’t learned to not be surprised by things since becoming a mom.

I actually do not know how to process not seeing darling daughter for so many days and get super emotional just thinking about it. Realize that I don’t feel sorry for myself and I fully realize how crazy this all sounds – but I’m just being honest.

I think like anything in life, the buildup and anticipation of something is actually worse than the reality, so I fully expect to have recovered and bounced back to my normal self once my twinkle toes hit the ground of Paris on Sunday. And I think a cafe au lait and pain au chocolat will help mend my aching heart…..

I think it will be bizarre and fun for us to revert back to our old life, the life that includes dawdling along streets, browsing casually in shops, loitering around a museum, and eating out at whatever time we damn well please. Not to mention actually eating a warm meal if eating out. That old life seems like light years ago and well, isn’t that what vacation is for? We will get a taste of it once again.

Surely we’ll spend a large part of that dawdling time talking about darling daughter.

But talking about darling daughter when you actually don’t have to DO anything beyond what you want to do at that precise moment in time – again, foreign concept.

And so french kittens, I bid you adieu. I will think of you and come back with grand stories of summer fashion trends in France and anything else you must know about all things wonderful in Europe.

A bientot!

 

Power June 13, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 3:34 pm

If there’s one part of pop culture I know very little about, it’s comics about superheroes. Yet, my husband loves Spiderman, so I’ve seen the first two movies. Naturally, the very eloquent line delievered by Spiderman’s Aunt stuck with me, as it surely did everyone, and that is, a reminder that with great power comes great responsibility.

Yeah yeah. I know, surely Spiderman’s Aunt didn’t really coin the phrase. Regardless, I am noticing a trend and feel that it is time to discuss it.

Being a Communicator, it is my job to know the latest and greatest ways to reach out to your target audience and well, influence them.

With the popularity of the Internet and now Blogs, comes a whole new avenue for reaching out to target audiences. I mean, really, isn’t it a marketers dream to have easy access to a highly specific, targeted group of individuals?

And isn’t that what marketers have access too with the growing expanse of Mommy Bloggers?

Mais oui, kittens. That is exactly what is happening.

Large, sophisticated companies and industries are investing marketing dollars on reaching out to large and influential mom bloggers. I mean – isn’t it a no brainer? These women generate thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of clicks a day. The mom bloggers aren’t jaded like reporters – you can approach them and pitch them on something, and if you throw in some perks like a trip to the set of  TV show or a visit to the set of a Movie, or an insider’s glimpse into a McDonald’s corporate kitchen -well, they’re likely going to think it’s pretty cool.

And the unstated goal in all of this – is that these powerful and influential mommy bloggers will go home and well, blog about it. And then their readers will do what – go watch the show? Go see the movie? Go buy the product.

Of course.

Just this morning I read about McDonald’s new effort to combat negative stereotypes about their unhealthy food (I’m sorry, did I die and wake up in heaven? Fries aren’t bad for you anymore?) – by inviting popular Mom bloggers to their corporate kitchen over the course of the next few months.

http://blogher.org/node/20770

(NOTE: to any corporate communicators patroling mom blogs out there – I’m open to fashion invitations, like say, from baby gap. but McD’s – not so much).

OK. OK. So really – what’s my point in all of this?

From the communications standpoint, pitching mom bloggers is a no brainer and well, somewhat brilliant.

From a mom blogger and reader of mom blog’s standpoint, I have a few issues. And frankly, I am one of the more jaded people out there, given my line of work.

I blog about being a mom, just as I read others’ blogs about mommyhood because, well, we all have something in common. We share the same job – and it’s the toughest one out there. When someone tips me off to something that really worked with a baby’s nasty cold or a great piece of super soft and well fitting clothing – I’m going to believe them because I inherently am going to trust a mom blogging about motherhood.

I would hate for this final frontier to fall to the enticements that come with being approached by large corporations with lots of money. I would hate to suddenly feel skeptical of other mom bloggers when discussing specific products.

(TVs, Movies – who cares – that doesn’t impact me. And hell, I’d go visit a set too) – but products, clothes, Triaminic, these types of tips – let’s keep them pure and fresh as the new fallen snow, shall we?

 

My Favorite June 12, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 3:44 pm

As any type A, anal mom and mom-to-be knows, there’s countless articles, books, and web sites dedicate to the various phases your baby goes through, your toddler goes through, etc. What to expect during these period, tips on how to handle it, etc etc.

Throughout the past 19 months, I have thought about each phase my darling daughter is in. What I like about it, what I might have liked better about a previous phase. If you’re looking for an example – an initial one might just be mobility. Sure, it’s fun to see your darling baby walking like Baby Frankenstein, or waddling like your younger self after a few hours at happy hour, but still, mobility changes EVERYTHING. And frankly, life was easier before it.

But like everything else with a baby, a little time passes, and you quickly have no real memory of what your life was like before, you only know how to manage life as it is NOW. And really, in retrospect, every previous phase seems easier, right?

Well, I can say with confidence that right now, the past month – months 18-19, have been my all time favorite with my darling daughter.

I have no shame in saying that I didn’t love the first three-four months. I really didn’t. I loved my daughter but that even took a few weeks, about 6, for me to really grasp. I had to get to know her. I had to get to know me as a mom. And those beginning months really passed in a foggy haze. Frankly, I don’t really remember much about them. Except I didn’t love them.

I thought months 6-8 were pretty amazing. All the smiling and laughing.

I thought months 10-11 were adorable with the crawling.

Obviously when she hit 12 months, I beamed with pride. Not only was darling daughter one, but we survived. We made it. And we were still happily married!

But this age – right now – I LOVE IT.

Why? You wonder?

Well first of all, she’s beyond walking, she’s running. So we don’t really ever get a moment’s rest. But I love communicating with her. I love talking to her on the phone! I love how she talks to us when she’s playing. And I love that her vocabulary isn’t so prolific that she talks back. Don’t think I’m completely naive, I know where we’re headed with these improved communication skills.

But seriously – when she’s hungry, she goes to her high chair and says “up” or in the afternoon, when she wants a snack, she says “nack.”

When she’s tired, she finds her passie and blanket, then goes to the gate at the bottom of the stairs and tries to climb over it. Could it be any more obvious that the kid wants a nap?

And hell, when she’s in the midst of doing something she knows she shouldn’t be doing, she’s actually repeating “No” over and over again. She’s practically doing my job for me.

And naturally, the way she pronounces each word isn’t quite right but it’s close enough so you know what she’s saying – making it all the more charming.

So, I will happily go on the record and state that I, KT, am completely in love with the phase and developmental milestones of a 1.5 year old, temper tantrums and all. I’ll keep you posted as she gets older, I know we have lots of fun in store for us…… 

 

Dessert is good for your soul June 11, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Wired_Momma @ 6:28 pm

Although summer doesn’t officially start until next week, I think it’s been hot enough for us to consider it officially summer. And, with the change of seasons, always comes a wonderful array of seasonal fruits with which we can delight in eating all summer long.
Peaches, plums, watermelon. And let’s not forget an old favorite, corn.

Watching our little toddler gnaw on an entire ear of corn last night was pretty precious.

But see, it’s not really corn and fruit that I want to talk about today. It’s dessert.

Why? You ask.

Well, last week, when I wasn’t caught up in the details of a BFF’s pending labor and another BFF’s new baby at home, I noticed that there were lots of emails flying back and forth about, well, cake. Amongst different groups of friends, making it all the more fascinating to me.

And no, not “oh, let’s make new mommy a cake and bring it to her in honor of her new baby.” We’re not that generous, or, frankly, that organized.

Just generally emails about cake. And stuffing our faces with it.

And just a week ago, I got caught up in a contentious discussion with my sister over the pros and cons of cake v. pie.

See, the thing is, with the exception of angel food cake with homemade strawberry icing, I could go the rest of my life without cake. My older sister, in particular, was outraged at such a notion and scoffed at pie.  How dare she turn her nose up at a warm cherry pie?

Now – I do love the jelly roll my mom makes around July 4th because well, who doesn’t like cake rolled in heavy whipping cream with blueberries and strawberries mixed in? I can get on board with being patriotic when it comes to themed desserts. The jelly roll is a lovely presentation and while bad for your arteries, it’s good for your soul.

And that’s really what today’s entry is about. Dessert is good for your soul. And your body. If you’re a KT reader, then you are as thin and rich and beautiful and powerful as you want to be – therefore, you need not skimp on dessert.

But see, I’d much rather have pie.

Give me a piece of warm home made rhubarb strawberry pie any day – and man, I am happy.

How about some peach pie with a little ice cream on top?

Mmm mmmm mmmm…now you’re talking.

 I mean, who doesn’t come home from a few hours on the beach and want to stuff their face with some pie?

So what does it say about you if you are a pie lover or a cake lover?

Are you sweet but still a little tart if a pie lover?

Are you a little dry but still sweet if a cake lover?

(This has the potential to turn into a pornographic entry. Don’t think this is lost on me.)

And what if you are an equal opportunity dessert lover? You’ll take it all? You’re like the Italian of the bunch, you’re all for love. Never a hater? Or are you basically like a hooker? You’ll take anything, so long as someone else is paying. Ha.

I, for one, stand for pie. I will look forward to eating as much of my mom’s home made pies as she’ll make when I’m around this summer. I don’t discriminate. Blueberry, rhubarb, peach, apple, whatever floats your boat, I’m all for it. But my sister was left wondering, is it just the sweetened fruit that I love, or do I really love pie crust? Afterall, who am I to turn away a piece of quiche?

If I’ve succeeded in making you hungry and got you to thinking about what you will have for dessert tonight, then my work here is done.

 

No Return Policy June 7, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 4:11 pm

In the spirit of welcoming new babies into this world, I decided to blog on something unspoken today.

What is that, you wonder?

The real reason why Paris Hilton was released from Prison?

The logic behind lighting up a cig as soon as you exit the gym, HoHan style?

Whether or not Nicole Ritchie is preggo?

Mais non!

Not today!

In the spirit of KT’s BFF’s both having, and now, bringing home their brand new beautiful babies, I am going to pull back the curtain on the truth behind…..drumroll….the FIRST NIGHT HOME WITH BABY.

First, let me caution you all. There is, in fact, NO RETURN POLICY for babies.

And that, dear kittens, is what you will find yourself wondering between midnight-4am on your first night home. You will likely be crying.

Your husband will be pacing the hallways.

OH -and your beloved bundle of joy?

Yeah…not so happy.

Why is baby so difficult that first night? Why so restless? Why so fussy? WHY WON’T SHE SLEEP!

You will find yourself wondering.

And remember, there is no receipt that came with this baby, except that hefty hospital bill and a birth certificate proving this baby is all yours. There is no return policy.

C’est vrai.

One of KT’s dear friends spoke in hushed tones of her first night home from hospital with baby. It was awful. Baby was inconsolable, mommy exhausted, everyone except baby wants to sleep. She wondered if she could return baby to hospital.

Afterall, in the hospital, baby didn’t act like this! Baby was so good! Baby slept perfectly.

Mais non, kittens.

In the hospital, you have a team of nurses that are doing all the work. You just don’t realize it because you’re tired.

For me, the first night home from the hospital actually wasn’t bad. And I remember feeling so relieved that next morning.

We only had to get up TWICE!

And she went right back down easily each time.

HA HA! Surely we were in the clear! Surely I birthed world’s most SUPERIOR BABY! One who doesn’t wake up undesirable amounts of time and ALWAYS goes back to bed, IMMEDIATELY upon filling her tummy.

Right? I am superior, therefore I birth only superior offspring.  

WRONG.

Remember – number one rule of fight club – whenever you think it won’t happen to you. It will. And soon. And worse than you think. KT is not dramatic when speaking about newborns.

And so. Night two was HORRENDOUS for me. I looked for that receipt. I wondered what the return policy was. I had every book printed and sold out on the coffee table, desperately looking for an answer.

I called my mother at 6 in the morning (thanksgiving morning of 2005, I will never forget it). I was crying my eyes out. I didn’t know how to make it stop. How do I make the crying stop? How do we get her back to sleep? When can we sleep? Just make it stop.

Ahh..kittens…..if this hasn’t happened to you because you are pregnant or childless, it will happen to you should you have children. You’ve been warned. I had been warned, I just didn’t heed the warning because it didn’t happen to me on the first night home. I thought I got off scott free.

No one gets off scott free. And if you said you did, then you’re lying. And if you claim you’re not lying, some sleep deprived parent is going to come over and kick your ass.

And you deserve it.

And so, dear kittens, I leave you with this: there is no return policy for your baby. Part of the problem is that as a brand new parent, you don’t know what you are doing, and so, you are being trained by your child. The roles have reversed.

But it gets better. Trust me, it really really really gets better. And while KT is happy to help out any new mom, don’t call me in the middle of the night. I’ve been there, done that, but would love to discuss ideas for attacking the next night, oh, after I’ve luxuriated over morning coffee the next morning. Heh heh.

Go forth new momma’s – and love that baby. It all goes by so fast and in a blur. And just know that you are not alone when you find yourself wondering about that return policy…..

 

Real Time Delivery June 6, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:58 pm

As you all know, KT has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of one of her BFF’s babies. Well, yesterday was the big day – INDUCTION DAY.

At first, KT and her friends were bored with said preggo friend. We got tired of waiting for baby to arrive, we were annoyed with waking up each morning and never finding an email to alert us that she was in labor. Then they scheduled her induction and said she’d likely not go into labor before scheduled date.

SNORE.

SO ANTI-CLIMATIC.

Where is the element of surprise?

Add to it that we were all so sure she was having a boy, mommy-to-be included.

Snore fest, right?

Well……not so fast, kittens. Me thinks my flair for dramatics got a little ahead of reality this time.

As it turns out, it’s the dawn of real time delivery.
No. No. Don’t turn your head in horror. We did NOT have a live webcast going in the delivery room (though it was thrown out there as a viable option when we were tired of wondering what the latest news is); we just were more addicted to our crackberries than normal.

Not only are we all obsessed with up-to-the-minute late breaking cable news, non stop, hungry for more more more, turns out we are addicted to up-to-the-minute late breaking delivery news.

What?

You’re 7cm dilated?

What, exactly, is your excuse for NOT emailing us and letting us know? AS IT IS HAPPENING?

Just picture the scene. The innocent mommy-to-be had her crack with her in the delivery room. The day started out calm with plenty of time to keep me updated.

In which, I would immediately turn around and update the mom’s other BFFs.

Yes – we were operating under the stealth guise of not “inundating” the induced preggo with emails – so instead we were drooling like starving wolves over our computer keyboards and cracks for any snippet of information we could get.

And it was great for a while. Emails would come in quite regularly from the mommy-to-be. Everything sounded good. Spirits were high. Everyone was healthy.

But then. Then.

RADIO DEAD SILENCE.

Nothing.

We heard NOTHING.

And well, mix in a lot of dramatics, a few preggo hormones with one BFF, some brain dead mommy comments with other BFFs, a day without too many work meetings (READ: free time to obsess and email – and let’s not forget a generous amount of time off for a nice lunch) and well…..you can only imagine the plausible scenarios that were being emailed back and forth.

Sure, many comments were witty. I mean, this is moi and mi amigos we are talking about. We are funny, not just pretty.

There were lots of insults being lobbed back and forth as we jockeyed for position over who would have the most accurate guess on birth time and gender.

It’s entirely possible that there might have even been a “Her husband has hands, why hasn’t he used them to email an update,” thrown in. With a few f bombs dropped, using her husband’s name in vain.

Oh, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, KT promised to swear off insulting Republicans for an entire week if the other preggo BFF’s husband kept the updates coming when she goes in labor.

You decide if I went that far.

But really kittens, really, real time delivery news is exciting, late breaking, at times painfully stressful and tedious, and really, a wild ride. Turns out our preggo friend wasn’t boring at all, in the end.

You get to strap yourself in and really feel like you are a part of your BFF’s big day. It leaves a little too much wiggle room for postulating and theorizing, but really, what fun is life without a few ridiculous scenarios tossed into the mix?

In the end, we finally learned the news. We had to log quite a few over-time hours into our cracks. My hands might have still been cracking while I slept last night, after the day I had. One BFF admitted she only left her crack’s side to pee (who are we kidding, we know she takes it into the bathroom).

I mean, how could we not know IMMEDIATLEY of the birth of baby?

And finally, finally, baby was born.

Healthy and strong.

And for those of you paying attention – NOT a boy.

We got the delivery time and gender wrong. We were so wrong.

But man was it fun along the way.