Kitty Time

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

Oh, I’m definitely going there July 31, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 5:36 pm

By now, all of my loyal fans and followers know there are a two central themes here on KT. Want to sing along? I know you know them.

1. If you think it won’t happen to you, it will. Trust me.

2. Open mockery of Republicans, in particular the small few who are left who still think the President is doing a good job. The only ones that get a pass are the progressive, socially democtratic leaning ones who consider themselves Republicans for tax/financial reasons. You know who you are.

SO really, really, I try to set aside judgement here on KT. You work? You stay home? Great. I love you.

You have a nanny? You send your child to daycare? Super. I love you too.

You had an epidural? Super, so did I. You had a c-section? Great, hope your recovery was fast. We all have our own birth stories. One friend has pointed out that it’s the really horrid, near death ones, that seem to live on in time, haunting those first-time preggo’s out there.

Everyone had a hard delivery. Everyone has a rough time in the beginning. Everyone loves their child.

See? I could be the Secretary of State – the Diplomat of all Mommies.

Until today.  In case you didn’t know it:

“An unassisted birth hammers home what it means to be a woman.”

 

Ahh yes. Today’s Washington Post Health section features a controversial, sure to bring up impressions and emailed links, traffic to their site, story on the wave of women who believe that unassisted birth is the way to go. And by their quotes throughout the piece, appear to be judging those who dare seek out medical guidance or gasp….the use of a hospital, for delivering their child.

 

I think you most definitely should go read the story and learn about how having your 10 year old in the room to help you deliver your child without any medical help or supplies, is what really makes you a woman.  I don’t know about you but I had trouble watching the baby’s head crowning in the birth scene in “Knocked Up.” And I’m not 10.

 

I mean really.

Should I get out my shrink hat and comment on what repercussions a 10 year old girl will face from the trauma of witnessing a natural birth with no medical help or drugs?

Can we check back with that 10 year old in about 20 years to see if she ever intends to have a child? And if so, where she ends up birthing that kid?

 

The bottom line is – I’ll leave all the dangers of birthing a child in your home, without any doctors or midwives present – for the medical experts to discuss. When other people are judgemental, it brings out the worst in me – which is really what this article did to me.

 

But the real point at the end of the day is this – you don’t get a gold star and a trophy branded on yourself, like some kind of superhero emblem, opposite of a scarlet letter, to wear around, for birthing your child in that environment. At the end of the day, all that matters is that mommy and baby are safe and healthy at the end of delivery….and I’m putting my money on a hospital with doctors – where the odds are clearly in mine and baby’s favor. We all know that labor can be very dangerous and things can turn murky on a dime.

 

I’m pretty sure carrying a life inside of you and then bringing it into this world is just ONE of the things that makes you a woman.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072702164.html?hpid=sec-health

 

 

It Really Feels Real Now July 30, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 2:13 pm

One of the many strange and life-adjusting things that come with having a child is learning to say the words “My Daughter” or “My Son” or be referred to as someone’s “Mom,” and not turn your head around, looking for your own Mom.

Let’s be honest. It’s weird. Suddenly you go from just being you, if you’re anything like me, not even particularly enjoying being referred to as “Mrs. X” – isn’t that your Mother-in-law?

And then bam.

You deliver this baby and you’re a Mom.

But that doesn’t mean you automatically feel like a Mom. Even when you’re pacing the halls at 3am, or pushing the stroller around town like a zombie, with saggy leaking boobies. Nope. Even then, it can still not feel that real.

At least that’s how I was.

I giggled after saying “My daughter,” I felt like having an out-of-body experience when saying the words “I’m a mom.” Right? Right.

So then I thought that maybe with more time and once darling daughter started referring to me as “Mommy,” it would feel really real by then.

Truth is, I think by the time she started referring to me as “Mommy,” and trust me, I LOVE it, I’d forgotten that it all felt so strange. I just wasn’t focusing on it anymore.

Until the day came when I received a letter in the mail about darling daughter’s new teacher for this coming Fall.

Teacher?

School?

Back to school supplies?

Maybe even a small backpack?

For real? All of a sudden those crazy “back to school” commercials are going to start applying to moi?

And then…then…I received an email from another parent in darling daughter’s class, about scheduling playdates for the classmates.

I’m a Mom with a kid in school?

Wait?

Suddenly I am not getting report cards, or sitting at home with sweaty palms as my mom goes to my parent teacher conference to learn, once again, I’m talking too much in class?

It’s going to be ME going to parent teacher conferences?

For real?

A mom with a kid in school?

Sure, we’re talking about preschool, I’m not getting totally carried away and shipping her off to “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”

But still, it’s just the beginning.

And it feels real now.

But still a little strange.

Am I really mature enough to be a mom with a kid in school? Can I giggle during parent teacher conferences? What if I’d rather be “back to school” shopping for said daughter? And myself along the way (who doesn’t love Fall clothes?)

What if I’m still passing notes, but this time, not in class but in business meetings?

Hopefully my husband will set the better example on that one……

 

Shopping Tips for Expectant Mama’s July 26, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 6:31 pm

OK. I feel that it’s time for a posting with a useful purpose. I don’t know about you, but I have so many pregnant friends right now. It seems that I have more pregnant friends than non-pregnant friends. And it’s wonderful. Preggo’s are adorable. They are glowing and happy and have strange bodily issues that are always fun to talk about. I can ask probing inappropriate questions and they will answer truthfully because they are just as puzzled and amazed by what their bodies are capable of. It’s fun.

But along the way, it seems that these fun preggos also have lots of questions that are good questions – mainly concerning the baby registry. The dreaded registry. And so, I thought that it might be fun and helpful to tip you off to things that someone may or may not tip you off about along the way. Odds are that most preggos have very helpful mothers or mother’s-in-law (yeah, right) or friends who are mommy’s – but if they have me as a mommy friend, I have mommy/drank way too much in my formative years brain. So I forget things along the way. And so here is my brain dump of the essentials. Take it or leave it kittens, but here is what I’ve learned along the way, in totally random order.

1. Bumper Pads. They look great. They’re almost as fun to pick out as your wedding china, but then comes the day when you start using the crib and you learn something horrible. You learn that you DESPISE the bumper pads because in order to change the crib sheet, you have to REMOVE the bumper pads, lift out the crib mattress, remove said soiled sheet and then replace with clean sheet, and it’s horrible. So first, gather round, NEVER do this job. Keep that a husband job. I, for one, have convinced my husband that I “don’t know how to do it” and it “hurts my back too much.” Take a page out of my book, make it his job. Trust me.  Second, you need crib accessories. There are two kinds.

First – you need the lap pad. You also need this for over the changing pad on your changing table (or wherever it is that you change your child). Because you are pregnant, KT will assure you that your child will never piss all over the place or shit all over you and the changing pad because your baby will be perfect, but just in case it might happen, go get at least three lap pads. One goes in the crib under their adorable butts for when accidents occur while napping or otherwise lying there doing nothing.  One goes on the changing pad. You need at least one extra on hand for just in case. Here is a link:

http://www.buybuybaby.com/shopping/prod_detail/main.asp?uid=CE300C28-2C47-4CA4-B94E-31D0C7030B18-31013472&MainCatID=1&catID=13&sl=0&productID=192108

Second – you need this thing to tie on either side of your crib and it goes where your baby’s head goes. I have no idea what it’s official name is beyond NECESSARY. It’s for when your baby spits up. This way your precious child can spit up on these things and you can easily remove them yourself and put a fresh one on, rather than the dreaded sheet change because sometime these undesirable events happen during the day when said husband is at work. Again, three is always a good number:

http://www.buybuybaby.com/shopping/prod_detail/main.asp?uid=CE300C28-2C47-4CA4-B94E-31D0C7030B18-31013472&MainCatID=1&catID=13&sl=0&productID=111554

2. Diapers. Lots of opinions on diaper brands, what works the best, whatever. Just experiment. I was very brand loyal to Pampers for most of my baby’s first year until I noticed red marks on her thighs. I could tell she wasn’t ready for the next size and had to switch to Huggies because they didn’t cut into her thighs. So keep your eye out for fit. Also just because the diaper is labeled a weight limit doesn’t mean it is a perfect science. Are you always a size 4? Sometimes you’re a 2 or 0, right?

Of course you are.  So don’t be wed to the weight limit. And if your child’s diaper starts leaking a lot – might be time to try the next size up or again, try a different brand. And if none of that works, well then, that’s what emergency bath situations are for.

3. Pack’n’Play. A wonderful invention. A fabulous thing to have for as long as your child will stay in it. But changing your baby on the pack’n’play changing table can be a killer on your back, especially if you are tall. I highly recommend the pack’n’play with the changing table that rises up a bit higher – it’s a life saver. Graco makes one – I think the Madison Avenue edition. It’s worth the extra bucks if you like no back pain.

4. Mobile. You want a mobile that is interesting for your baby, not one that you personally think is pretty or matches the room. This is a very important distinction, kittens. This is the kind of device that serves a very real and legitimate purpose – it ENTERTAINS your baby. So just think of it like this – it’s 5am. You don’t want to be up. No one does. But your baby is up. If your mobile is interesting for your CHILD – then said mobile will keep said baby entertained in crib. Even if this buys you 20 more minutes of being able to lay in bed and just lay there. Trust me. It’s worth it. So what sorts of things are interesting for the baby, you ask? Patterns on the bottom of the little animals – usually they are geometric and in black and white. Obviously music and motion and a mirror. Parents and babies alike prefer mobiles play music for as long as possible.  Mirrors are always a crowd pleaser for the under 1 set. For a while, we actually had 2 mirrors in our darling daughter’s crib. One came at the base of the mobile and another got added (by moi after an extravagent shopping spree to Target) on the opposite side of her crib. Of course, she never knew it was her – but it was very entertaining for her to gaze at herself and talk to herself until she lost all toy privileges in her crib because the distraction kept her up. But you have a while to go before then. With infants, you want to buy yourself as much time as possible in the crib so you can just lay in bed. So think of that when selecting your mobile, not what looks like it so nicely was pulled from the Pottery Barn Cataloge and locks-in your chances of winning the Home Decor award for best decorated nursery.

5. The Jumperoo. I am a huge proponent of the Jumperoo. It is safe. It is self-standing, it has only mildly annoying music (versus the gut-wrenching, someone kill me now, music that comes in the star of the Baby Einstein activity mat), and it guarantees physical activity. And what comes after physical activity? NAPS! The Jumperoo is a no brainer and unlike the Exersaucer – again – it requires physical movement. It is a must-have in my book. As soon as your darling child can hold up his/her own head, put baby in the Jumperoo. Sure, we had to wrap blankets around my daughter to fill out the space in the seat and put phone books underneath because her feet didn’t touch the ground at first – but again – it didn’t harm her in the least and my main game – is nap time. I might be running baby boot camp but it works.

6. The stroller. I hate to even go here because it has churned out so many emails and debates but I feel I must because it keeps coming up. So first – this is just my opinion. Take it or leave it. I’m only going to tell you what worked for me and I largely based my decision on my mom’s help. She had 4 kids. I felt like she knew what she was talking about. I think the biggest problem is the dirth of good strollers we have to pick from in the States. But unfortunately, most of us can’t jet off to Europe to purchase our stroller, so we are stuck with our limited options. First – what I don’t understand is the idea of purchasing a stroller that you cannot put your child in from day one home from the hospital. Oddly enough, there are more strollers of that kind than I can believe. What is the point of a stroller if you can’t put your baby in it until they can hold up their head? I don’t know. Also – if you are having a child in extreme weather – such as hot summer or cold winter – why force your child to be shoved into the infant car seat in order to be in a stroller and pushed around? I think they get really hot in the summer in the car seats and well, how well can you bundle them up in the winter in the car seat? Which is why you want a stroller that allows them to stretch out and be comfy in from the beginning. In order for this to happen, your stroller needs to be able to go fully flat. Not a lot of them do but I think it’s definitely worth the extra money. You also want a stroller that is going to give your baby blockage from the cold winter wind and from the beating hot sun in the summer. In other words – the canopy of the stroller. Does it really cover them? Obviously you also want to consider how easily the stroller folds up, how much it weighs, and if the wheels turn smoothly and without trouble. Taking all of these things into account leaves you with very few options, sadly, but when your baby is fussy and you can prop them in the stroller and push it back and forth while sitting on your couch, wishing it would stop, it’s worth it. I have the Peg Perego A3 Pramette which unfortuantely is no longer sold in stores but you can still get it online. I’ve considered buying another one just to have – because that’s how much I love it – but I have better ways to spend $300.

7. Infant car seat. You can’t leave the hospital without one. And if you think you are walking home from the hospital, then allow me to say — that you’re not. So you need one. The infant car seat needs to be rear facing and the baby needs to remain rear facing until they are 20 pounds AND 1 year. Most are 20 pounds well before they are 1. Most babies also grow out of the infant car seat by around 6-7 months – and the convertible car seats can go rear facing. The real safety experts actually want you to keep your child rear facing until they are three but at least for me – that’s a pipe dream. But she was rear facing until she was 1. You should also get your car seat inspected because trust me, you and your husband don’t know how to install it properly. No one does. At the inspection, you will learn all about how to install it properly, how to strap baby in properly (yes, there’s a correct way) and why you shouldn’t have hanging toys or mirrors for the baby in the car. First – they will explain that they become torpedoes at the baby’s face in the event of an accident. Second – the mirrors in particular are distracting for the driver because you get caught up looking at your sweet cherub’s face and forget you are supposed to be paying attention to the road. My point – be sure to get your seat checked!

I think I’ve covered the big areas by now. Sure I didn’t get into swings or cribs but you already know you need those. And my final comment is this. While pregnant, we all go through this exercise of – is all of this really necessary? It’s going to take up so much space in my house? I don’t want all this in my house? Where’s it going to go? What about my beautiful X?

Look. Trust me. Your small tiny infant is going to take over your home. It’s not going to look the same for a long time and all the stuff is necessary because it helps you survive the day. And makes your baby happy. And so you are happy.

 

Baby Beauty Pageants July 25, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 6:26 pm

Just when you thought we’d covered all the bizarre and unusual topics concerning babies here on KT, think again. There’s more.

And in case any of you have forgotten, let’s harken back to last December’s entry on baby wigs. For those of you who have become new parents since that time, don’t forget, you can always find a baby wig for your precious child to help them look more like your favorite celebrity – just log on here:

 http://www.babywigs.co.uk/acatalog/BabyToupee.html

I think the Donald Trump wig is still my personal fav.  

In the meantime, think about your beautiful babe. If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty sure that there isn’t a better looking kid out there. Particularly once their personality develops more. Then you’re really quite sure that your kid is the next America’s top model – whether you have a boy or a girl.

In dark moments, you might begin to wonder wierd things like – is my baby so good looking that people see him/her and then look at me and wonder who she got her good looks from?

Or even worse – you think they just see your beautiful child and then see you, equally beautiful and glowing new mommy – and it all makes sense to them?

Right?

Right.

OF course that’s what they are thinking.

But just in case you needed validation, you can always head over to your favorite local shopping mall and enroll your baby in a beauty pageant.

Anyone else envisioning JonBenet Ramsay now parading around like a china doll in all those videos we saw after she disappeared?

Yes well, in case you missed it, Sunday’s Washington Post featured a hilarious and insider’s look into the world of baby beauty pageants. I, for one, really love the reporter’s sense of humor, so I enjoyed reading the piece in its entirety….and if you need a good laugh, I’d urge you to log on and read it as well:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/18/AR2007071802772.html

Of the many times I laughed out loud, I think my favorite was the consensus that amongst the fathers, they were there because their wives made them.

 

Mommy Track’d July 24, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 5:04 pm

Kittens –

Sorry I’ve been MIA the past few days. I was on vacation – a nice long weekend with darling daughter and husband and some dear friends. It was fantastic.

Unfortunately work continues to think that I should be, ahem, WORKING, all day when I am here. SO sadly, I don’t have much time today to blog. But because I am always thinking of you, I wanted to check-in real quick and give you a little piece of me. And something to think about.

Being a full-time working mom, work and how I manage it and try to maximize my time with my daughter, is always top of mind for me. I like to joke that I’ve mommy track’d myself. And to a certain extent, I really have. We have meetings here that begin every night around 6pm, sometimes they last until 9pm. Every single night.

Have I ever stayed for one?

HELL NO.

Am I the ONLY one in my department and really, the only director level position that is involved in the issues being covered in those meetings, that isn’t present?

You got it.

Making the situation all the worse is the fact that my two colleagues are men, and they are here for the meetings. One is married with a wife and daughter at home. His wife works part-time and has a full-time nanny at home. The other is single.

We are very different people. We have very different responsibilities. I am the wife. I still don’t seem to have one at home despite all my classified postings looking for a wife, earlier this year.

But my point in all of this is that I leave with no qualms. I couldn’t give a rip how it appears to our new CEO, how it impacts my job here and what others think. Because at the end of the day, I churn out tons of work and have to get home to my daughter. No topics that need to be discussed starting at dinner time are more important to me than bath time.

Seriously. While this is a HUGE personality change for me – it is one that I have made and I am comfortable with.

No one is “mommy tracking” me without my consent. No one is pegging me as someone who doesn’t work as hard, who shouldn’t be given difficult assignments. And if they are, I am blissfully unaware and well, don’t care.

But that is the important distinction. It’s about me making this decision for myself.

The decision the Supreme Court made in Ledbetter vs. Goodyear, however, puts many working mom’s in a very vulnerable position and gives them little protection from work place discrimination that is very real and very present in this country.

And so, I urge you all to log onto MomsRising and take one second to send a letter of support to your Member of Congress, to vote ‘Yes’ on H.R. 2831 to reverse the Ledbetter decision. MomsRising is right, working mom’s need all the workplace protection they can get. As do our daughters down the road. So clicking a link and sending the letter is a no brainer and will take all of two seconds of your time because MomsRising did all the work.

http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/momsrising/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=12206&message=Some+required+fields+are+missing%3A+%3Cli%3EStreet%3Cli%3EEmail%3Cli%3ELast+Name%3Cli%3EFirst+Name%3Cli%3EZip%3Cli%3ECity

 

The panacea of parenthood? July 19, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 4:55 pm

One of KT’s dear friends sent along the below two links. She indicated that she felt in tune with both pieces being a happily married woman in her 30s, focused on her career, and unsure of her path to parenthood.

Will she have a baby? Won’t she? Who knows.

Sure, she knows she has the ideal situation for bringing a child into this world: a loving husband, a great marriage, a beautiful house, and a strong financial foundation with which to support said unborn, unfertilized child.

But just because she has those things doesn’t mean she will – or should – necessarily go on to become a mother. Right?

Right.

Can I get a strong shout out for support, people?

Before I even considered getting pregnant and was a similar happily married woman in her 30s, with a career, and a house, and no pitter patter of small feet in the halls, no one ever offended me or pushed me to have kids. I never came across these people that get in your face and push the joys of parenthood. Instinctively I despise these people but I’ve yet to really find them. You better believe there’s a part of me that would like to inquire – are they the God-loving, Church-going people that voted Bush into office a second time? Because I definitely don’t know those people.

Either way, since having a child, I still haven’t come across these people and I assure you, if I did, I would interrupt them and call them out on such horrid behavior. Again – just because parents of children have discovered that there is nothing more fulfilling, doesn’t mean that EVERYONE will feel that way. And most importantly, it sure as hell doesn’t mean everyone SHOULD BE a parent.

There is little that saddens me more than hearing of a sweet young baby that’s been brought into this world and isn’t in a loving, nurturing environment. Not everyone is equipped to handle the job. And even if they are, they like their life as it is and there isn’t anything wrong with that.

That being said, I also take issue with women in their 30s who claim to want to have kids later, and yet spend their time judging women their same age for “giving it all up” for their kids, or for “not finding time for themselves” and this is my personal favorite – the horror and disgust on their face when the woman that used to work late and on the weekends – now dashes out the door at 5pm (ahem, or before) to get home to her baby.

Yes – there are women out there who are incredibly judgemental of other working mom’s – even though they make clear that at some point – they INTEND to be a working mom.

SO kittens – I guess what I’m saying is that this dance we do of judgement goes both ways, sometimes, and quite sadly.

And really, at the end of the day, we’re just doing it to each other. Where are the men? You think they are off judging each other for having or not having kids? Or for how and when they work or spend their free time?

Hell no. You think those thoughts have ever crossed their little minds?

And so, I leave you with two links. The first, I really liked a lot. The second, she really started to lose me on page two and sounds to me like a small hard-headed child who’s just trying to prove a point.

http://lifestyle.msn.com/familyandparenting/raisingkids/articleab.aspx?cp-documentid=454101>1=10215

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19762056/site/newsweek/page/2/

 

Elizabeth Edwards for Prez, Michelle Obama for VP

Filed under: Motherhood,Politics — Wired_Momma @ 1:42 pm

Earlier this week, Salon.com posted a very interesting interview with Elizabeth Edwards, wife of KT’s favorite presidential candidate, John Edwards. After reading the interview in its entirety, I hereby would like to vote for Elizabeth Edwards for President. And Michelle Obama for Vice President.

The women behind these men are intelligent, thoughtful, grounded, aware of the real challenges facing this country, and for the purposes of this blog, they are also mom’s, and for much of the time, working mom’s. Hearing what each of them have to say never fails to interest me.

Here’s a link to the Salon.com piece on Elizabeth Edwards, and I encourage you to read it:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/07/17/elizabeth_edwards/index.html

What really struck me about this interview is her candor. Maybe it’s because she’s fighting cancer and has been through a tough presidential campaign before, but she has a real “I’m saying what I think and frankly, I don’t care how you react” attitude, that strikes a chord with KT. Shocker, I know.

But isn’t that the crux of the problem with most campaigns? It’s all so fake and focused on talking points. Here, Mrs. Edwards speaks very candidly about the evil that is Ann Coulter, why Hillary isn’t the most pro-woman candidate just because she’s a woman, and how, in the end, her kids are what matters.

Frankly, it’s the very end of the interview that stuck with me the most. She points out that you don’t really know until years later, what lessons you truly taught your kids. This never occurred to me before.  I hope you’ll read her poignant and candid interview.

And then there’s KT’s ongoing favorite, Michelle Obama. I never had a chance a few weeks ago to blog on her interview on NPR – talking about how the plight of working mothers is an issue that she will bring to national attention if she is the first lady. I can get on board with that.

Here is a link to her interview but I will also point out my favorite quote, she asks:

“Is there a way that we can invest differently in this country to bring more support and attention to the issues that are basically strangling the family unit? Obama says that instead of spending money on the war in Iraq, the government should be providing universal health care and better quality childcare, as well as expanding and improving the quality of education.”

 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11831859&sc=emaf

 At the end of the day, if Elizabeth and Michelle were running, I’d be hitting the campaign trail to support them and they’d guarantee my vote.

I will continue to watch them as the campaign trails heat up and I hope they’ll bring us more candor and continue to draw attention to issues that working mom’s and women care about.