Monday, December 29, 2014

Third Place

I came in third place in the BabyCenter Baby Bump Blogging Contest!  It was so fun to be part of.  I truly appreciate all the sharing and voting and encouraging that people gave me.  I was even fortunate to have someone write an article about me in the local online newspaper!  How cool is that? 

You can see my online video submission at BabyCenter here

Thank you all again and expect to see a weekly blog post from me over at BabyCenter starting in mid-January. 

Now to go freak out about what to write and publish for the whole world to see...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Would you like to see your cervix?"

I'm so excited to be one of BabyCenter's Blogger Contest Finalists!  You can view my submission here.  The blog I submitted was edited for contest requirements, so I'm publishing the expanded version here.  I hope you enjoy and feel free to vote for me Dec. 16-22! 

“Would you like to see your cervix?”  

The birthing center where I plan to give birth rotates the OB doctors at each appointment.  In this way, expectant mothers have the chance to meet all the potential people who could assist in the birth of the baby.  It seems like a good idea.  You will already know one of the faces that will be staring (and then some) at your hoo-ha on your delivery date.  Makes the introductions a little quicker and easier, I suppose.  It’s not a big deal to me, though.  My baby is coming out no matter what.  I don’t really care about the relationship between me and the person down there.  As long as he or she catches the baby, I’m good.     

I just had my second prenatal appointment at this facility.  Thus, I met a new doctor.  Dr. Stevens* reminded me of Jamie Lee Curtis from the movie “True Lies.”  You know, the one with Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Jamie Lee Curtis gets fooled into doing this amazing striptease for him?  That movie.  Granted, Dr. Stevens did not do a striptease for me, thank goodness, but her appearance was reminiscent of this Jamie Lee Curtis with her short hair and slim figure.  

Then she opened her mouth and I was transported to Mrs. Doubtfire.  

“Hi, honey!”  she greeted me with falsetto tones and a grandmotherly  manner.  

“Uh, hi,” I replied, thinking she couldn’t actually be serious.  

But yes, she really was.  I had an entire, intimate, prenatal appointment performed by Jamie Lee Curtis as Mrs. Doubtfire.  

During this appointment I was scheduled to have a pap smear and a complete physical.  Dr. Jamie Lee Curtis Doubtfire started at the top.  

 “OK, now honey I’m going to check your neck and your thyroids to make sure everything is ok,”  she smiled sweetly at me while pressing on my throat. Then she opened the front of my gown and spent an inordinately long time making sure there were no lumps on the girls.  All is well, in case you were wondering.  I bet my Husband could have told Jamie Lee Doubtfire that as well.  

After that was the dreaded pap smear.  “Alright, honey, put your feet up here and I’m going to get out my speculum.  You’ll probably feel pressure.”  Dr. Jamie Lee then pulls out the Q-tip on steroids and lets me know I might feel a little twinge.  Then she stops and looks at me.  

“Would you like to see your cervix?”  

Um, what?    

“What?” I ask.  I mean, I’ve never heard this question before in my life.  

“Have you ever seen your cervix before?  Would you like to see it?”  asks Dr. Doubtfire sweetly.  

“Yes?”  I respond.  Seriously, I have not seen my cervix before.  Have you?  Do you even know where it is?  It’s going to thin and stretch in order to push a baby out.  I figured I wanted to take a looksee.  

“Well, honey,”  says Jamie Lee thoughtfully, looking me intently in the eyes, “it looks like the tip of a penis.  You’ll see it down the end there with a red dot in the middle.”  She pulls out a handheld mirror and hands it to me.  

I awkwardly hold the mirror and lo’ and behold, there’s my cervix.  Right there at the end of my vagina, exactly as she had described it.   That tiny thing has to stretch to ten centimeters to let my baby through.  It’s no wonder labor is painful.  

After that she told me to get dressed back in my “warm, cozy clothes”  (it was jeans and a t-shirt) and she would be back to chat and answer any questions I might have about my pregnancy.  

Later I said my goodbyes to Dr. Jamie Lee Curtis Doubtfire and hightailed it out to the parking lot to text my best friend about the weirdest prenatal appointment I had ever had.  

I wonder which doctor I will see next.   


*Name changed to protect privacy

Monday, December 8, 2014

Poison Control

Have you heard of Poison Control?  Their name is listed on pretty much every household cleaner, medicine, beauty products, and any other item that might be mistaken as food.  It's the place you call when you think (or know) your child has eaten something they are not supposed to have consumed.  Then Poison Control can advise you on whether or not your child needs to be rushed to the hospital and get his or her stomach pumped (or worse), or whether or not your child will be perfectly fine.

I had always prided myself on not having to call Poison Control.  I (used to) keep a pretty close eye on my children.  We are usually in close proximity to each other and I can monitor them fairly carefully.  Then I became pregnant and proximity moved further and further away.  It's not easy to keep track of multiple, active, curious and very strong-willed small people while one is in the bathroom throwing up, or laying on the couch trying not to throw up.

Thus, I had my first opportunity to call Poison Control.  For future reference, their number is 1-800-222-1222 from anywhere in the US.  You might want to program that into your phone.  

Any guesses as to who ate what?  If I had to guess, I would have guessed someone mistakenly thought one of the cleaning supplies that I had left out during mid-bathroom clean would have been ingested.  But nope, that's not it.

Or the supplies under the cupboard (that should have babyproof locks on them by now but don't because I just keep forgetting.  I mean, the locks are sitting there in the cupboard, waiting to be installed.  Somehow I don't think that's a viable excuse.  Note to self:  get on that.).  Anyway, nope, all cleaning supplies are still present and accounted for.

Well, what was ingested?  You might ask.  And who done it?

It was the little four year old Princess in the bedroom with the chewable gummy vitamins.

Here's the story:

Every night Princess gets a chewable gummy vitamin.  Hers are the princess kind, of course.  She gets a bath, brushes her teeth, then gets her gummy.  She also likes to share with Mommy and Daddy and proudly tell  that she's not old enough yet.

The other night I went to give Princess her gummy and realized that the container was empty, save for about twenty gummies on the bottom.  There were originally 180 and I had just purchased it that past week.  If my pregnant brain math is correct, there were not 160 days, give or take a few, in the past week.

Me: "Where did all your gummies go?"
Princess: "I don't know."
Me: "I'm pretty sure you do know.  Did you eat them?"
Princess: "It was a ghost.  It snuck up the stairs and it was a very quiet ghost because you couldn't hear the baby gate squeak when it came up. And it ate all the gummies."
Me: "Really, a ghost?"
Princess: "Uh huh."
Me:  "I don't think we have any ghosts that come visit in this house.  You need to tell Mommy what really happened to your gummies.  Did you eat them?"
Princess: "Well...."
Me: "So you did eat them?  When did you eat them all?"
Princess:  "I don't know."


So I called Poison Control.  The lady who spoke to me was very nice.  She said that happens all the time.  Those gummies are way too much like candy and very tempting to all the children.  Luckily, there was no iron in this gummy kind, so we didn't have to rush her to the hospital to worry about iron poisoning.  There is a chance of them all conglomerating in her stomach and causing a big, gooey intestinal blockage, so we just had to watch her to make sure she was still eating and not complaining about her tummy hurting.  Also, she doesn't get any gummies for a few months now.   

It's been a week or so and she seems to be fine.  I can't believe she ate them all, though.  The childproof lock on them is a joke, by the way.  Now I need to invest in a safe for all yummy  medications, or that quiet ghost might sneak in and eat them.    


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Looking Good (on social media)

On Social Media:

I look like a really good mom.  Other people might be a little jealous, even.  My children usually have their clothes on correctly, their hair is done one creative way or another.  The pictures of any food that I take have been meticulously plated.  The crafts that I do are put in just the right lighting, placed just the right way so that you can't see any flaws.

Any posts of quoting the children are usually politically correct.  I make sure the background is clear of any items that might be perceived as harmful.  The food they are pictured with is appropriate and healthy.  Usually the pictures are of a fun family activity or a normal childhood action that is not offensive in any way.

The pages that I "follow" and "like" are proactive, be-a-great-mom sites.  They picture crafts and activities to do with the kids that go along with the holidays or seasons.  They feature articles on connecting with the children on an emotional level, being a positive parent who doesn't have to yell or intimidate their children in any way.

In Reality:

I am far from looking good.  Sometimes multiple pieces of clothing are missing or piled on; Flower has discovered how to take her clothes off and likes to do so at any given moment, or she decides she wants to wear everything at once.  Princess absolutely hates having her hair done so it is quite frequently a tangled mess.  Plus, she dresses herself and is often not dressed appropriately for the weather or the outing.  

Flower has discovered her sister's closet and is trying to wear what she can

Any food items that I've made are usually flops.  I'm really not too good in the kitchen, although if I think I was less distracted by fighting, screaming children, then I might be able to do a better job.  Thankfully, Husband will eat whatever I put on the table.  Lately, since I've been so sick due to pregnancy, I must confess that food has been of the instant microwaveable variety (i.e. chicken nuggets, corn dogs, etc).

Crafts?  I can crochet, but my children refuse to wear anything I make, so it's mostly for profit.  Kid crafts are a joke.  I tried, I really did.  However, most crafts call for some item that I have never heard of and therefore don't have and when I go to the store to try to find I end up leaving without it because somebody had a meltdown and I just needed to get out fast.

I did try a few simple ones with Princess once, back when I was a brand new stay at home mom.  I set everything up just like the instructions said to do.  One was an easy stained glass painting activity.  I was prepped and ready to go.  I put Princess in front of the activity and start giving her instructions.  As we already knew, she's pretty independent and wants to do things her way.  Needless to say, she just wanted to tear the whole thing apart and not do the painting.  I learned my lesson that day.  No more crafts that I have to take any time to set up.

My children say all kinds of crazy things.  I'm sure yours do, too.  However, for fear of looking like a bad mom, it stays off the internet. And the background of my pictures, the parts I carefully cut out, are an absolute disaster.  I have to laugh when I see other mom's cleaning schedules.  "Dusting" is a concept I am not familiar with.  Among that is the term "folding laundry."  I have a dirty pile and a clean pile that we dig items out of.  I give myself kudos for actually getting the stuff clean.  Huge accomplishment, there.  Reeally.

I'm also pretty forgetful.  I tend to leave scissors on the table, or markers or pens lying around.  Thus, most everything we have has been written on.  Or almost cut (usually Princess tells on her little sister if she gets hold of something she isn't supposed to have.  I swear, I do watch my children).  

I try really really hard to be a positive parent.  I mean, I've read the Facebook articles.  That counts for something, right?  However, when one child is beating up another and causing duress and lots of screaming, I might tend to jump right in and not be as positive as I hope to be.  My patience is worn thin many a days.

There's more, but I think I'll save it for another day.  I sometimes look at other moms pictures and posts and have a little jealousy going on.  But then I remember that people can look at me that way too, and then I have to laugh.

Don't try too hard, Moms.  Do what you can.  You're doing a great job, even if reality tells a completely different story than Facebook.