ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The question that keeps me up at night

I've been up every night at 3:30 a.m. for the last month feeding darling Diddly. I've seen this ad for Pajama Jeans about 5,000 times:



I can't lie, I'm one phone call away from ordering them. Jeans that feel like pajamas but hoist your butt cheeks up in a flattering manner? Jeans that I can wear all day then jump into bed with? For the low, low price of $39.99, plus a free grey crew neck tee?

Hot damn!

I must know: Are they all that? Would you be caught dead in them? Do these "pants" symbolize all that's wrong with our slovenly American culture, like one of the commenters on youtube noted?

Until we meet again Pajama Jeans...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Defensive? Who, me?

I’ve had this blog for three years, and I’ve been really spoiled. The comments and feedback I’ve gotten have been funny, generous and positive. No trolls. No “You suck!” emails. Falalala.

I didn’t realize just how spoiled I was until I got my first “I don’t like you” comments a few days ago and...ouch, man.

Chuck told me I shouldn’t be so sensitive, but I realized that up until this point, I may have mistakenly believed that the entire world thought I was amazingly awesome.

It happened on the honestbaby.com Facebook page. HonestBaby reposted my breastfeeding post and someone responded that my article was “negative and full of hate and profanity.” The woman wrote that she could “care less” whether I breastfed or not, she didn’t like my “horrible attitude.”

Another woman called my post “pretty nasty.” She wrote that if a breastfeeding mother wrote about formula-feeding mothers in that same tone “there would be hell to pay.”

Oof.

I understand that not everyone is going to swoon over my writing, but I’d like to say some things in my defense. My blog is the one place I can be crass and crude. I spell out naughty words at home. Saying fuck and shit on occasion feels good. Really fucking good.

As far as the “full of hate” part, that caught me off guard. I'm not a hateful person. In fact as of late, I feel kind of hearts and flowers. Getting to spend time with my two kids after working full-time for the last two years has made me giddy.

The commenter who wrote that “nobody is making her feel shamed [sic] or guilty but herself” was right. I chose to do a number on myself. I chose to see breastfeeding as the be-all of motherhood.

And Chuck’s family can’t help the fact that they could breastfeed a continent. But come on, having bountiful women take close note of your barren boobies sucks the big one. And let's be honest. There’s something truly awful about having another mother tell you that your baby is trying to eat her clothing after you've just removed him from your breast.

So yes, on the day I wrote my down-with-the-milk-fairy post, I was full of anger for Chuck’s family—but I don’t hate them. I’m envious.

Does that make me nasty? Negative? Full of hatred?

I don't fucking think so.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sappy, sleep-deprived stardom? Maybe

Woohoo! We're going to be on TV.

Maybe.

A local production company shot the footage this morning; whether or not they use it remains to be seen. Basically, the company wanted to film a family as they professed their love for Connecticut.

(Nothing contrived about that.)

They chose us.

Saying I loved Connecticut proved to be more difficult than I'd thought it would be. I don't love this state. The director had to remind me several times not to scowl/grimace/vomit after my "I love Connecticut" line.

Ok, every time.

As part of the shoot, the director also asked me to wax poetic about my early mornings with Diddly. He asked what it was like to watch the town of Mulletville wake up. Before this morning I hadn't really thought about it, except in that Oh-my-gawd-it's-fucking-5:30-am-and-I'm-awake kind of way.

But it's true. For the last month, I've watched Mulletville come to life. Our bedroom window overlooks Main Street, and sometimes as I'm shoving my bosom or a bottle in Diddly's face I look out and see Mulletheads making their way home from the bars. The sky brightens. Church bells ring. School buses rumble by. Neighbors shovel.

It's quaint. It's peaceful. It's magically delicious.

My step-sister once told me that she missed the late night feedings with her children because the world was silent and it was just her and her baby. It felt like they were the only two in the world. She'd even called it blissful. At the time I'd scoffed.

I get it now.

And possibly, the dark canyons under my eyes will mean that Connecticut television viewers get it too.

(Anyone else humming "I Got You Babe"?) Yah, me too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not my words Wednesday

Oh my freaking gawd. We're drowning in snow, and we're getting more. We're freezing our buns off. There's really nothing to do...except watch Junior's trains go around the Island of Sodor.



I'm afraid that one of these days I'm going to go to the Island of Sodor and never come back.

I can't complain too much though. Really. Junior is happy to pass the time pretending to be Sir Topham Hatt. About 20 times a day we overhear this from the living room:



That Fat Controller is so critical. And loud! Curiously loud. I was interested to see how Junior was able to throw his voice so well, so I checked in on him.



At least the damn breast pump is good for something.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's not that bad, really

My pregnant friend has been driving me crazy with questions about my C-section.

Did it hurt?

Did I feel a lot of pain?

Did it hurt?

Normally I'd plead the Fifth (it's practically law that women don't share their labor stories with about-to-labor women) and leave her imagination to its own devices, but I figured since it's a surgical procedure, it falls under a different category. You'd tell your friend what to expect from a root canal, right?

Right.

So, for my dear friend, here is a step-by-step guide to a C-section, by Mrs. Mullet.

Let's get right to business. The first thing that happens at the hospital, after you've settled into your bed and donned your hospital robe, is that a nurse shoves a catheter into your she-cave. This is actually one of the more painful procedures of the C-section. Insertion is a bitch. The tube snaking out of your crotch will make you feel like you have to jump up and empty your bladder immediately. You can't, of course, because you're now tethered to your bed.

Next comes the IV. It'll make your hand and arm feel cold, but that's about it.

Somewhere between 10-20 doctors will come in to ask you questions about everything under the sun. You'll start to get really nervous because it's clear there's no going back, but listen, before you have a chance to really freak out, they'll wheel you into the OR (or ER, depending on the conditions of your section). This is when you say goodbye to your partner. Not in the forever sense, silly, but in the see-you-after-the-anesthesiologist-has-shot-me-up-with-meds sense.

If you're lucky like me, your anesthesiologist will be really hot and serve as a nice distraction from your impending knife slice. After you've hauled your butt from the hospital bed to the operating table (it's no easy feat, what with all the tubes dangling from you), the nurse will sit you up and bend you over so the anesthesiologist can poke your back with some needles. This will feel like a smattering of big-ass bee stings.

There, you're now numb from the rib cage down. Your arms will be spread to either side. The drape will go up in front of your face so you don't get splattered with your own innards, and your partner can come back into the room. He/she will stand next to the anesthesiologist, who will sit with his crotch near your head and adjust the meds so you don't vomit. If you do vomit, don't worry. You won't be able to push it up because you can't feel your ribs, but a nurse will suction it out of your mouth if turn your head.

So nice of her!

If you thought you'd get away with not showing your goods to the world, this is where all decency goes out the window. The doctors whisk up your robe; bam, you're negged. If you gave yourself a blind Brazilian shave job pre-surgery, you'll probably cringe as you imagine everyone gawking at your hacked pubes.

Don't worry, in about three seconds you're going to be distracted. When the doctors really get to work it's going to feel like a 200-pound dog is using your body as a chew toy. There will be lots of shaking and tugging. Pulling and shoving. If you're like me, you'll yell out "Gross!" and "This is so gross!" as you feel all the tugging. A nurse might tell you it's worth it; you might shoot back with "I feel like road kill."

The good news is that you're almost out of the woods. As soon as the doctors move your organs around, they'll scoop out your baby. To me, this is where the C-section, which has thus far been tolerable, sucks major ass. You'll hear your baby. You'll see your baby. You'll be dying to hold your baby. But they'll hand your baby to your partner.

After nine months of morning sickness, bloating, hemorrhoids, weight gain, sleeplessness, emotional instability, feeling like a house, and surgery, this feels incredibly and unjustifiably cruel. You've been conditioned to believe that the labor process concludes with you holding your slimy baby to your bosom and breastfeeding then and there. To see someone else cuddling something extracted from your body just plain hurts.

But look, you're done. Your baby will go to the nursery and you'll go back to your room to recover. As you wait to see your baby, go on and touch your rubbery legs. You'll feel like a jellyfish. Unfortunately, the numbness takes time to shake so you'll be bedridden until the next day, but hey, you won't be able to feel the catheter anymore.

And you've got a baby! A beautiful baby.

Any questions?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Surprisingly there's good shit on TV at 3 am

So wow. The newborn + toddler thing is kicking my ass. We didn't get dressed today. We had pancakes for dinner. I think it snowed, but I never got a chance to look out the window because I was busy doing something. I have no idea what that something was because I am totally out-of-my-mind exhausted.

Oh right, I breastfed while playing with Play-Doh. I don't recommend it.

I'm going to bed now. Chuck has the 10 pm - 1 am shift. Three hours of uninterrupted sleep feels like seven.

Or three. No, two actually. Oh, who am I kidding? It's like fricken half a cat nap.

But. Did you know that all the good sit-coms are on in the middle of the night? It's true. Who's the Boss? and Coach are oddly comforting when you're in the middle of...yes, breastfeeding.

Minus the Play-Doh.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

If I can't think of a name I definitely can't think of a blog post title


So this is Diddly. I can't quite decide what to call him on this blog. Diddlydoo is too long to type. Diddly reminds me of P Diddy. And his real name, Everett (which we chose because he arrived so close to Christmas Eve), seems stuffy next to "Junior."

Maybe I'll just call him Nipple Whipper.

Or Diddly.

I've been feeling kind of funky this week. It's part breastfeeding disappointment. Part cabin fever. Snow shock. Sleep deprivation. It's also part melancholy. I find myself staring wistfully at Junior. Diddly's arrival suddenly has made something about him glaringly obvious: He's not a little kid anymore. I mean, he's three-and-a-half so theoretically he's a kid, but when he walked into my hospital room last week I was struck by how big he is.

We talk about growing big. We use the word big to mark milestones and to encourage Junior to eat his vegetables, but until I'd held a newborn again, I didn't understand how big Junior had actually grown. He's smart and complex and independent. He's stubborn and bossy and clever. He's his own little person.

He isn't too juiced about his new brother.

Yesterday, when I asked him how he was doing he said, "As good as I can be." He told me babies are the worst thing in the world. He's wanted to spend time alone in his bedroom, watching his train go around

and around

and around

the track.

Last night he burst into tears and told us he wanted to spend the night at his Grammie's. That's where he is right now. Being fawned over and coddled while I sit here blubbering into my spit-up covered sleeve about how quickly it all goes by. I thought I'd spend the first week home from the hospital adjusting to the baby. Instead I find myself holding on to Junior, asking him not to grow anymore, adjusting to the different ways I see him.

And asking him not to put his feet on his brother's head.

It's going to be an interesting winter.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Milk Fairy is a big fat slutbag

I am high on newborn love. Seriously. My heart feels like it's going to burst. I cannot get enough of my baby boy.

There's just one thing bothering me: Chuck's family is obsessed with my breasts.

My own family could care less whether or not I breastfeed, but Chuck popped out of a woman who breastfed each of her five children for three years. His cousins' and aunts' mantels are decorated with bulging bronze tits proclaiming "My breasts could cure world hunger." Water doesn't flow from their faux Italian fountains -- extra breastmilk does.

And they're all flat as boards. Fucking boards. Where did the milk come from? A third boob hiding in their ribcage? Did little elves spin milk wheels behind their teeny tiny, stupid nipples?

Their questions started in the hospital. I had just fed Diddly. Chuck's aunt was holding him. She remarked he was trying to eat her shoulder.

"He's still hungry," she said.

Like I couldn't tell. My baby was licking her nasty yarny sweater. She started throwing around the dreaded terms: latching, rooting, milk supply.

I gave Chuck the get-her-out-of-here-right-now look. Thankfully he got it. She, however, wanted to stay and watch me feed Diddly.

I told her NO THANK YOU.

His family's obsession wouldn't bother me quite so much if I wasn't already obsessed with my own breasts. Given my unsuccessful attempts breastfeeding Junior (Chuck's brother wanted to give me tips!) I had my mind and heart set on breastfeeding Diddly.

Set and then set again. One more time for good measure. But it looks like the damn Milk Fairy is going to skip my house again. I hate her. I think about shooting her down as she flies over rooftops.

I've been giving it my best for the last week, but it's just not enough. Last night at 3 a.m. I had to choose between feeding my screaming newborn formula or having him flail at my empty breast for the next hour. I was tired. He was tired.

I chose to feed him.

As I sat there looking at the empty nipple wrapper, I couldn't help but think, That looks like a used condom wrapper. Was I sleep deprived and a little off? God, yes. Should I have put down my cell phone camera and gone to sleep? Yes. But the more I stared at the wrapper, the more I felt like I had just woken up after a cheap one-night stand.



Seriously, the formula stigma is so fucking prevalent and I have ingested so much of it, I was more fixated on the wrapper's insidious condom likeness than on the beautiful calm that had settled across Diddly's face thanks to his full belly.

Like I said, those feelings of inadequacy have only been magnified by Chuck's milk-spurting she-beast relatives.

When this happened with Junior, I promised myself I wouldn't waste precious time on guilt if my supply wasn't enough. I promised.

So I am going to make a declaration on this blog. From this moment on, I am focusing on the things that matter: that my son is healthy and happy and that I have the means to feed him, whether it's from a bottle or a garden hose boob with a serious crick in it. I'm going to do the best I can. I am not going to be a freak about my boobs.

I'm going to get over it.

And when I see Chuck's aunt tomorrow I'm probably going to punch her in the face.

Night y'all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Where the hell am I?

Oh, right, I'm at HOME. Glorious home.

Diddlydoo was born on Thursday. Ten fingers and toes. A veritable Junior clone. Thanks to all your good wishes the C-section felt more like a pleasant tickle than the body fuck it was.

Well, something like that anyway.

I really wish this blog wasn't anonymous because the photo the nurse took of Chuck, Diddlydoo and me behind the blue operating drape is a doozy. Chuck is beaming. Diddlydoo is a wrinkled mess, and I look like a muppet-head. But she was right: It's a moment I won't soon forget.

As soon as I get my bearings with this whole two kids arrangement, I'll write more.

So, like, 2022?

Hope you all had a fabulous New Year's!