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Being a Mom: Living the Oxymoron

Colt’s arrival was somewhat traumatic.

An emergency C-section followed by a morphine reaction that left me hysterical and itching like a heroin addict.

I felt accomplished that we’d both made it out alive. I also felt completely insecure as a new mother.

It was my first “oxymoron” experience as a parent.

In the year that followed, a cloud of postpartum depression loomed over me. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t laugh. I lost the pep in my step, and I cried. A lot.

When the storm passed, I was feeling much more confident in my new role.

Being a mom is about balancing the “confidence” with the “bat-sh&t crazy” that also comes with the job, and I had finally found the balance.

I didn’t want to ruin it with another child, so I decided we were One And Done.

But then Mother Nature (and my husband) tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear. Convincing me I was ready for one more.

I thought it would be as easy to get pregnant as it was the first time.

But more than a year later, the only thing rolling around my womb were tumbleweeds.

(When you’re trying to get pregnant, everyone but you is pregnant. Old ladies, teenagers, dogs.)

Babies and Bellys. Babies and Bellys. Bellys and babies.

I was so distracted by the loud ticking of my biological clock, it became harder and harder to do every day things like deciphering work emails…

“Julie, I need you to pee on the stick.”

Huh?

Julie, I need you to input the specs.”

“Well that’s just not how I ovulate.”

“I mean operate.”

Ughhhhhhh.

For more than a year, my life revolved around egg production.

But my eggs were free-range and not cooperating.

Meanwhile, it seemed like all the women around me were “accidentally” getting pregnant.

“I don’t know HOW this happened. I mean, we weren’t even trying.”

You don’t know HOW it happened?

You don’t know HOWWWWWWW it happened?

I was angry and bitter and sad.

I couldn’t even buy Prego spaghetti sauce. (Clearly some inconsiderate prick had chosen that name to torture infertile women the world over!)

But with a little hope and some help from modern pharmaceuticals…it happened.

Now as I write this, dry heaving over the trash can, I am reminded of how much I wanted to be pregnant.

I know there are women out there who are desperate to feel nauseas because it  means there is new life thriving inside!

Feeling like complete sh&t, and yet also euphoric, is good practice for the tossed salad of emotions that comes with parenting.

Sadness, anxiety, exhaustion, fear, resentment, joy, accomplishment, confidence….and love.

Usually some painfully weird combination thereof.

Forget Jumbo Shrimp, in the dictionary under “oxymoron”, it should just say:

Being a Mother.

Pregnancy is the only time in a woman’s life when it’s possible to feel like you’re going to lose your cookies, and also like you might devour an entire package of cookies, simultaneously.

Watching your newborn sleep can induce tears of joy… and sheer terror. (What AM I supposed to DO with this thing????!!!!)

With a 2-year old, it’s common to want to strangle him, and yet also to strangle anyone that were to harm him.

We watch our kids graduate from kindergarten, high school, college, and it is both pride and fear that plague us.

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So for women everywhere surviving the oxymoron of motherhood…

Cheers to you on Mother’s Day! May you remain sane despite it all.

I’ll be here dreaming of my new baby’s future. And thinking of all the things that might go wrong…and right!

And gagging. Somebody get me some pickles!

 

 

 

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Captain Koozie

Captain Koozie

Lately Colt has been wearing this red beer koozie on his arm because it gives him “super powers.”
Funny, that koozie gives mommy super powers too.

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A Fabulous Fourth

A Fabulous Fourth

Had a Fabulous Fourth of July weekend with my family in Tierra Verde (my super-cute sister pictured here.)

Hope you all did too!

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One Of Those Days

Yesssssss! This must mean my kid is great!

mumtolachlan

This pretty much sums up today

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The Tugger

Occasionally Todd and I will watch something weird on Netflix.

I especially like to watch shows documenting mental illness, obsessions, addictions, oh and any of those bizarre sex shows…

Last weekend, Todd and I watched like 4 straight hours of TLC’s Strange Sex.

Each episode more horrifying than the last.

One about a middle-aged couple using common kitchen utensils to beat, spank and prod each other – spatulas, wooden spoons, meat tenderizers. I’ve always said I wanted a man who was good in the kitchen. But I didn’t mean it…like that.

Another one about some British guy with more than 400 life-size sex dolls. Ga-Ross.

The most disturbing was an episode about a man who was speaking out against male genitalia mutilation in the US. Otherwise known as circumcision.

Basically he was implying that millions of heartless parents (like us) choose to mutilate their sons’ genitalia for absolutely no reason. Thus causing decreased “sensitivity” and ruining their sex lives forever.

Oh shit.

What if this was true. What if we’ve succumbed to this medical tradition like every other chambray-shirt-wearing southerner who didn’t do their research before…snip.

Luckily for us, this brilliant man has invented The Tugger – Improving the World. One Penis at a Time.

A tapeless restoration unit that stretches the existing skin and eventually recreates the… ahem….foreskin.

Well THANK GOD.

I appreciate this man’s assiduousness to the cause, I really do.

But as he walks the city streets wearing his sandwich board with the big penis on it, does he ever think…

I look like a dick.

Let’s fight for cleaner energy! Ending hunger! World Peace! Foreskin!

Nope, that one doesn’t make my list.

After all, do we really want our men hornier than they already are?

Um, no.

In all seriousness, I hate to think I’ve contributed to any shortcomings (no pun intended) that my son might experience. But I’m sure his future wife will understand.

She might even thank me.

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Love and Vomit

I’m 6 days into the vomit bug from hell and feeling like death is imminent. This is with Zofran, Phenergan and a tanker of Gatorade at my side.

I have a new appreciation for those people in “Love and Cholera.”

All they had was love.

My son came down with this virus two weeks ago. It was the first time he’d thrown up in his young life, so naturally he was terrified. He looked at me with sheer panic as the volcano rumbled inside of him.

I cuddled him and shushed him – as my former-marine husband gagged his way through the clean-up. No amount of doomsday prepping could have prepared him for that natural disaster.

How did it get on the ceiling?

If you know me, you know my one big fear in life – next to like… losing a family member to cancer – is barfing.

I hate it.

I would rather lay in agony, with pneumonia, in a hospital bed for days, than throw up even just once.

But something magical came over me that night, and I just didn’t give a shit.

So I slept with Colt in my arms – soothing him, rocking him.

Now I’m rethinking my actions…slightly. Maybe I shouldn’t have let him cough in my mouth.

Regardless, here we are on day 6.

I haven’t done my hair, worn a cute outfit or painted my nails in a week.

I’ve tried not to go outside very much, but I have taken the dog out a couple of times. I keep running into my perfectly posh gay neighbors who now think I’m on meth.

Speaking of, I’ve been watching a lot of TV the last few days – either Real Housewives or those Women-in-Prison shows (I like to cover all socio-economic classes.)

Halfway through a “Breaking Down the Bars” marathon on OWN, I got up to use the restroom for the 12,000th time and looked

Someone please bail me out!

Someone please bail me out!

in the mirror. I realized….I am one of them.

I took this picture to prove it.

Take away the cardigan, earrings and mascara, and I’m an inmate.

I managed to clean the bathroom floor this week – my one domestic accomplishment.

I really had no idea how disgusting the baseboards were until I was down there staring at them for so long.

And I never thought I’d poop my pants at 30, but that happened too. Mortified, I told Todd what happened. He shrugged and said he didn’t care.

True love.

Why is it when you haven’t eaten in 3 days, buttered toast tastes like filet mignon?

I just took down a plain baked potato like it was lobster tail. Holy crap, that was delicious.

Applesauce for dessert. Yessssssss.

I guess the upside of this Puke Fest, is that it’s really made me appreciate all I have in my life.

My precious baby boy. My husband. My access to delicious food and prescription drugs. Continence.

Oh, and I’m down 7 pounds (which otherwise would have taken at least 12 months of intense gym training.)

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Bathing Suit Shopping and “Side Ball”

Nothing makes you wanna kill yourself like shopping for a bathing suit.

Shortly after I had Colt, my mother convinced me to start shopping at Bealls Department Store. I guess she was implying that my days at Victoria’s Secret were over.

At Bealls, I found a cute coral one-piece that has been my go-to mommy suit for two years now.

But the elastic has dry-rotted, the seams are torn and the crotch is pilly.

A few weeks ago, I decided to return there – hoping to find another industrial strength suit to last until 2018.

But Todd has been begging me to buy a bikini. I think he’s realizing he may. never. see his wife in one again.

The thought must be terrifying.

So after trying on 75 bathing suits with no luck, I finally find the “Jessica Simpson” section at Bealls. Yessssss. She gained like 100 pounds with her kid, right?

Sure enough. I try on a killer blue bikini, and I love it. I’m no Adriana Lima, but it’s not bad. Not bad at all.

Todd and Colt mosey over toward the dressing room, and I swing open the door – certain Todd will pass out when he sees my smokin’ hot…

He looks confused. Staring.

Suddenly Colt cries, “Mommy it’s too small!”

Right.

Later in the week, I’m in Target trying not to spend $200 (impossible), and I notice The Cutest Bathing Suits Ever.

They come in the following sizes:

X-So f*&king small this wouldn’t fit my toddler if he were a girl.

So NOT much bigger than the XS.

My one a$$ cheek could not fit inside the bottom of this bathing suit. Maybe they are referring to the TV show?

Laughing at this top, which is CLEARLY mismarked. No boob bigger than a B cup could fit in one of these triangles.

X-Lo and Behold. This one fits.

XL bathing suit

XL bathing suit – Thanks a lot Target

Now… I am a size 6 in the morning… and a size 8 at night.

I’m not asking to fit in a petite small, but an EXTRA LARGE?

What about the rest of America? Where are they shopping?

Target is supposed to be a store for The American People.

I can only assume that the people in China assembling our bathing suits have started sizing them to fit their bodies.

Do men have to worry about these things? Things like Uniboob, Muffin top or Camel Toe?

Of course not.

When is the last time you heard your husband complain about squeezing his manhood into a neon-colored sling or checking for “side ball.”

They just slide on a pair of elastic-waisted shorts in a subtle-colored breathable fabric, and the mesh nest inside cradles their privates.

Nothing is squished or mashed or strung together. And they have pockets!

And I’m pretty sure if they’re medium sized, they just buy a “medium” size. Which is probably the same regardless of store or state or assembly plant location.

My head is swimming with the injustice of it all.

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The People of the Courthouse

“I have Jury Duty.”

You might as well tell your friends you have the Ebola Virus.

They will feel SO BAD for you… but will secretly celebrate that they don’t have it.

Quite honestly, I don’t mind jury “service.”

The term “service” has replaced “duty” (perhaps to sound less obligatory and more honorary?) But it’s kind of like a colonoscopy, you can call it whatever you want, there’s still a tube going up your ass.

Nevertheless, it’s our civic responsibility, and we should take pride in it!

The other jurors were complaining.  About missing work. About the limited options in the snack machine. About having to “wait around ALL DAY.”

Five hours to sit and read? Sounds like a vacation to me.

The reason why I dread jury duty is not for the waiting, nor the process itself. It is for the inevitable forced interaction with the People of the Courthouse.

Who are actually the People of Walmart. They are just at the courthouse on this particular day either for “service” or for trial.

In fact, the only differences between Walmart and the Courthouse, are the metal detectors and the “dress code.”

I use this term loosely.

There are placards on each courtroom door that read, “No tank tops, shorts or GUM.”

I find it odd that GUM be emphasized over shorts or tank tops. In fact, I believe these signs should be re-thought all together.

An alternative idea might be: “No exposed cleavage or cracks allowed. Belt and Bra required to enter.”

It should also be clarified that pajama pants do not not REALLY qualify as “pants.” They are, in my opinion, more offensive than shorts.

Especially if you are not wearing underwear, and you are a man. With only a layer of flannel between me and your wiener.

There is such dichotomy in the courthouse between attorneys and their clients. A handsome young man in his Brooks Brothers suit and fancy cuff links. His client in her acid wash skinny jeans and T-back.

Oh, and all of her family members loitering outside the courtroom yelling obscenities into their cell phones. (Girl, your entourage is not winning you any points with “his honor.”)

Maybe this is why I never get picked to serve on an actual jury?

Because yes, I am likely to judge your book by it’s tattered, unkempt, cursing cover.

If there isn’t a voice in your head saying, “OH MY GOD, DO NOT WEAR THOSE FLANNEL PANTS TO YOUR COURT DATE, AND DO NOT CALL THE JUDGE A MOTH&* FU*^ER,” than I seriously doubt there is a voice saying, “DO NOT MAKE THAT METH IN YOUR BATHTUB AND INTEND TO SELL IT.”

Inside the courtroom, the attorneys question the jurors about our pasts to determine who might have any underlying prejudices. (They are trying to narrow down the group to the top eight most “fair” people.)

In my most recent experience, a law enforcement officer was involved in the trial, so the attorney asked, “Do any of you have a close personal relationship with anyone in law enforcement? If so, please raise your hand.”

This could be translated to, “If your boyfriend, father or brother is a cop, let us know.”

Instead, every hand goes up, and the SAME people who are bitching about being there ALL DAY launch into monologues about how… in 1993, in middle school…in Detroit…they once had a friend… whose girlfriend’s dad… was a security guard for the local mall.

And so what I thought would be a mini-vacay with my Real Simple, has turned into a 5-hour hostage situation in the Walmart.

I always seem to make it to the final round of questioning before getting dropped from the panel with no explanation. Like a when Alpha Delta Pi didn’t invite me back for preferentials.

Why wouldn’t they want me? Do I not LOOK unbiased enough? Can they read my thoughts? Is it my hot pink cardigan? My sequin earrings? The death stare I’m giving to the dumb ass next to me?

I can’t help but feel cheated.

So now I’m back in the big, stinky, un-chlorinated  jury pool. Just waiting for my next subpeona.

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The Holy Freaking Grail of Pediatric Dentists

Today Colt visited The Holy Freaking Grail of Pediatric Dentists…

I remember my younger years at the dentist, vividly.

There was the exam chair – grey cracking pleather. The 20-year-old framed photo of hot air balloons on the wall.

And the many, many posters of Gingivitis gone wrong.

The woman missing half her jaw with the rotting roots and no tongue. The child with a clef palate and no right nostril. The old man with dentures – smiling at me.

A Little Dental Hygiene Shop of Horrors.

And I suppose those scare tactics had a certain value. I always left thinking I should floss more.

But based on today’s visit, a lot has changed over the last 20 years. There are televisions, toys, games and prizes. There’s a helium tank for filling up balloons and a “sticker station.”

The "exam" room

The “exam” room

That’s not an operatory light, it’s a giant flashlight for finding treasure! That’s not an electric toothbrush, it’s a little race car that drives around in your mouth – hear it buzzing?!

That’s not a vacuum, it’s a giant straw! Want to taste the magic water straight from the Pik?

Excuse my french, but these people have this shit down to a science.

“Miss Kim,” the hygienist, could have convinced Colt to let her do open heart surgery on him right there.

The "exam"

The “exam”

Todd thought the total bill of $175.00 was “outrageous.”

But he wasn’t there to witness the professional level of psychological manipulation that took place.

I mean, our child DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE.

Think about that.

I would have paid FIVE hundred and seventy-five dollars for this experience. The lasting effects could be priceless!

He could love brushing his teeth so much that we never have to pay for a filling. Ever.

Better yet, he could BECOME a dentist one day.

Then he could take care of his aging parents, and we could live at one of those nice retirement communities on the water.

(If you want the number to this place, call me. They have two locations.)

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Creeper at the Gym

Dear Man At the Gym who Keeps Talking to Me Even Though I Never Make Eye Contact with You,

Thank you for recommending that ab exercise that you think I should be doing.

Thank you for pointing out the fact that I’m running on the defective treadmill, and suggesting that I move to the treadmill closest to you.

Thank you for staring at my breasts – reminding me that I forgot to pack a sports bra today.

Thank you for being so F&*CKING annoying that I ran for 1.5 miles on level 5 without stopping. A new record for me.

For that reason, and that reason alone, I hope to see you there tomorrow.

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