Category Archives: mom stuff

What Motherhood means to me

I’ve been reading loads of inspirational thoughts about Mother’s Day, really nice things have been written about what motherhood means to moms and to their kids. This one always gets to me

“Making the decision to have a child – It’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
– Elizabeth Stone

and this is sweet and sentimental

Lost Some Memory
I think I’ve lost some memory
since _______ was born
I don’t remember sleeping late
on a lazy Sunday morn
I don’t remember quiet dinners
with candlelight and wine.
Or getting up and ready for work
and making it there on time.
I don’t remember summer days
just lounging on the beach
And those memories of “girls’ night out”
are somehow out of reach.
I don’t remember long warm baths
with bubbles and a good book
Or my favorite TV program
or a movie worth a look.
I can’t remember all those things
I spent time on yesterday
And I can’t remember life
being any other way.
And as I lay her down at night
and kiss this little girl
I can’t remember so much happiness,
such love and joy in my world.

But today I’ve been thinking about the fact that this morning, while feeding the baby I wondered aloud, why is he so upset, and Jeremy said hmmm, could be because he’s peed through his pants and I said, oh yeah, the sheets are wet and then I scooched over and fell back asleep.

Motherhood means not minding sleeping next to someone else’s peed on sheets.

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Is it wrong?

That all I really want for Mother’s Day is to have a day to myself, go to the movies, get my nails done, eat something yummy and have a really good margarita?

I love all those boys I live with to death, but I spend all day every day with them. And I’ve been wanting a fine margarita since about month two of being pregnant.

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Filed under mom stuff, musing, stuff that makes me happy

toxins=gross

As if I don’t have enough to worry about.

We moved to Brooklyn from Long Island City in 2008. I was pregnant, we were living in a big drafty third floor walk up apartment with no laundry that overlooked the midtown tunnel toll plaza and just beyond that, the Newtown Creek, you know, one of the most polluted waterways in the country.  I wasn’t excited about the idea of raising a baby exposed to those toxins. And this is aside from the fact that Jeremy works in a shop on the Gowanus canal, a brand new Superfund site. I relish the day he comes home having sprouted a second head.

And now there’s this “a just-released report by the National Cancer Institute that showed a 9.4% increase in childhood cancer between 1992 and 2007, the FDA let moms and dads all across America down. Instead of making the long overdue move to do something serious about getting rid of toxic food dyes so ubiquitous in our food supply, they instead fell back on those two simple words so often used to stall, delay and deny: “more research.”” Link to the full article at Healthy Child, Healthy World here.

But if you don’t feel like clicking on the link, the gist of the article is that so much of our packaged food, most of which is marketed towards kids, includes artificial dyes and food colors, and links are being made between these dyes and hyperactivity, cancer and food allergies. Okay, so we as progressive parents know about these dyes, and to read labels and avoid processed foods when we can, but if you’re still with me, here’s the kicker. Major food manufacturing corporations, I’m looking at you Kraft, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, have removed these dyes from food they manufacture and sell in other countries. What ?!?!

In the UK, these companies “have voluntarily removed artificial colors, the preservative sodium benzoate, and even aspartame from their products. Particularly those marketed to kids. Take a close look at the ingredient list for the product below.”

So if these companies have proved that they can make healthy processed foods without the added chemicals, WHY can’t they do it for our kids? Why can’t the FDA just admit that added chemicals are not good for us and let’s move on. In the meantime, keep reading those labels and keep eating clean.
But wait, there’s more. I just heard this crazy statistic – up to 80% of the antibiotics used in the US are given to farm animals, and only 20% go to sick people.  The animals in question are not necessarily sick, but are given the drugs prophylactically so they’ll grow faster and won’t get sick from the wholly unhealthy conditions they live under. A regular grass fed cow takes something like 5 years to go to slaughter, whereas a corn-fed cow given an unhealthy dose of antibiotics can be ready for slaughter in 9 MONTHS. This is bananas.
Props to NY Congresswoman, Louise Slaughter, (the only microbiologist in Congress) for raising awareness and bringing this to the floor. Back in 2009 she introduced the The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), designed to ensure that we preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for the treatment of human disease. Last month she reintroduced the bill. The new bill aims to prevent certain antibiotics from being given to animals, because they’re the same ones (think tetracycline, penicillin, etc.) that we humans rely on to fight off dangerous infections. The more those antibiotics are given to animals, the more antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” develop—and these superbugs are responsible for a growing number of deaths. For example, each year 90,000 Americans die from bacterial infections acquired during hospital stays, and 70 percent of those infections were resistant to the drugs that should have conquered them.
If you’ve stayed with me this far, some things you can do. Buy organic meat, dairy and eggs. Rather than spend the money to eat antibiotic laden food , spend the money, buy the good stuff and eat less of it. Write your congressperson and ask them to support PAMTA. Click here for an easy link.

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Filed under Family, healthy eating, Healthy habits, mom stuff

Getting on with iy

Four weeks ago I had my second baby. Yesterday, my husband went back to work – I know how incredibly lucky I have been to have had all this extra help and support, but I think it’s also made me a little lazy and a little bit more scared than I need to be.

Today was my first morning alone with the baby and the two year old. While I was nursing, the toddler decided to remove every toy from his toy box, open up the freezer and take out an ice pop and a handful of ice and in general wreak havoc, all while I’m on the couch with a baby on my boob saying oh, please don’t do that. It made me feel kind of pathetic. And weak.

Okay, firstly, how do I keep him out of the darn freezer? Ugh. It’s one of those bottom drawer freezers and I don’t even know, do they make child proofing for that? He’s already figured out how the “child proof” drawers and cabinets work.

And secondly, what on earth do I do while nursing. I’ve read all about the “special” toddler toy box or offering to read to him or even putting on the television. This morning we had on Sesame Street (which engaged him for all of about 10 minutes) and when I asked if he wanted to come sit with us, he threw a plastic penguin from the “special” toy box at me.

I know we all have to go through an adjustment period, but boy oh boy, I sure do hope it’s a short one.

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How I learned to stop worrying

Okay…I haven’t STOPPED worrying. So much to worry about, birth, new baby, how on earth I’m ever going to leave the house again with all this $!@* snow and ice and a kid who won’t walk in the snow and the crosswalks aren’t crossable with a stroller. BUT, I have found a small amount of peace in motherhood strategy. And from a book of all places.

Last week I read Instinctive Parenting : Trusting Ourselves to Raise Great Kids by Ada Calhoun. I knew Ada back in Austin when we were both disgruntled New Yorkers living in the Lone Star. And I LOVE her book. Right before I read it, I spent an evening online looking up the best waterproof pads for changing tables and cribs, reading reviews, cross referencing. Even as I was searching I was thinking about the other things I could be doing with my life and how silly it all seemed. Don’t even get me started on the double stroller thing.

Ada writes about  her experience raising a child in the city and how all we need to raise a great kid are three basic essentials, shelter, food and love and to teach them to be kind and responsible human beings. And the rest, how we do that, is all up to us, you, the individual. It’s all written in short chapters perfect for my attention span and it’s very honest and frank and funny and if I had to recommend ONE parenting book of the hundreds I’ve looked at, this would be it.

What I’ve learned in the past two years of mothering on the fringes of Park Slope is that EVERYone is going to have an opinion about everything and I spend a lot of time keeping my parenting opinions to myself because I don’t really want to have to defend my decisions OR have anyone attempt to sway me in another direction, because truth be told, I’m highly susceptible. So vaccination, circumcision, baptism, plastic toys made in China, I generally don’t engage, especially if someone is busy telling me how doing something one way or the other is going to irrefutably damage my child. I have an annoying tendency to smile and nod and say something about oh how isn’t that nice.

But this book… reading through it, I had an Oprah ah-ha moment. That small stuff, it doesn’t matter. I need to do what works best for me and my family and my kid and not spend more than 5 minutes thinking about things like waterproof changing pads or watching Elmo or how many snacks he eats, if that’s all he’s eating right now or the fact that he doesn’t dig on wasabi or Indian food or kale or the HORROR of juice. Sometimes juice is good. In fact, I might go have some juice right now.

Thanks Ada. It’s a swell read and I’m happy you wrote the book and have given us a good reason to take a deep breath, hug the kids and go eat some m-n-ms.

 

 

 

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It’s just like really, y’know?

Driving somewhere the other day, I declared that I was putting a moratorium on the following words
like
just
really
Soooooo
y’know and lazy conjugations in general
he goes and she goes
and in general using qualifiers instead of real words

We need to start speaking like adults. I’ve been working on removing “like” from my vocabulary but it seems to have been replaced by “just”. Everything is just this and just that. So now I need to work on that. It’s even easier to write, so I’m going to work on removing it from my writing as well. Gunna is another popular one. When did we stop saying going to. I am going to do this. Yes, it’s an extra syllable, but I actually feel better about myself when I say going to instead of gunna.

I understand “like” is here to stay, but if we as parents can’t speak in sentences without using it or any of these other lazy qualifiers and conjugations we have started to use in our speech, how can we ever expect our kids to be eminent speakers or appreciate the beauty of a tremendous vocabulary.  Okay, we’re not Shakespeare, he used over 15,000 words in his plays and tooday the average American has a vocabulary of about 2,000 – 4,000 words. Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to use words that our kids will have to ask, what does that mean? And I don’t mean when they’re 2 and don’t know what a weevil is.

It’s a tough moratorium to put down in the house, because it’s a pretty slippery slope correcting your husbands speech patterns when he grew up with a mother who did the same thing. BUT we’re adults now, and we have kids who listen to EVERYTHING we say and are impressionable and you don’t hear Mr. Obama or John Stewart saying like, y’know. I know they’re usually scripted, but sometimes they’re not, when they’re home they’re not, and I bet they don’t like talk all lazy and shit. y’know?

Next up. Grammar…and the appropriate use of a comma.

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I heart clothing swaps

Thanks A Child Grows in Brooklyn for the heads up about the clothing swap tomorrow at ArtsCetera in Carroll Gardens (maybe it’s Cobble Hill, I can’t ever tell which is where).

This is a great way to get rid of that outgrown baby stuff and get some new to you and your little one stuff. Because really, and I don’t say this lightly, Brooklyn parents dress their kids in cool clothes, and I have found some of the best stuff from the neighborhood stoop sales.

The details:

WHEN: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
AT: ArtsCetera
ADDRESS: 212 Smith Street, between Baltic and Butler
TIME: 9-4pm
COST: $10 suggested donation per family, and at least a grocery sized bag of items. Cost includes a donation to charity and covers any costs associated with the event.

**If you are not interested in swapping, you can also drop off items.

ALSO – I just discovered this website Thred Up, It’s a kids clothing swap site where you post the clothes you have to get rid of based on gender, size and season and can pick other peoples clothes (or toys) and pay just $5 plus shipping for the box of stuff you pick. It gets pretty specific down to brand, color, details of wear. And if you post a box of stuff and someone wants it, the company contacts you and the shipping is paid for. AND they provide you with shipping boxes (just regular USPS boxes, but still better than having to go find them).   I haven’t tried it out yet, but since I’m officially out of all hand me downs and in my mind I’m projecting spring, I’ll probably give it a go soon. Check it out.

 

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Filed under baby stuff, Brooklyn, mom stuff, weekend fun