October 15, 2018

Rosie the Robot Vacuum

For my birthday, Jason's parents gave him money to pick out a present from them. Jason picked a robot vacuum because he knows what chicks dig. It was a rose gold colored one, so I named it Rosie.
Like this Rosie, but lazier and less sassy
I used to dream about having a baby and getting it a Roomba to sit on, like in YouTube videos. This proved very disillusioning because by the time Zach could sit up on his own, he was too heavy, and Rosie just beeped while grinding into the ground. 

Soon it became normal to have Rosie buzzing around, and when she would go by, I would say, "Zach! There's your sister Rosie," and Zach would watch it with interest. Since Zach was too heavy, I would put a stuffed T-Rex on it and sent it into the bathroom after Jason. 

After a while, Rosie began getting on my nerves. She got stuck places she never should have been able to fit in, couldn't handle the incline from the floor to carpet, and beeped while being charged. Basically, she was getting stupider. I think it's because Zach had learned how to crawl, and when I had my back turned, he would find her and beat on her with his little fists. 

Finally, the day came when I had to retire her. Zach was sleeping in the bedroom with the door closed, and she kept smacking it, trying to get in. When she finally succeeded, I yelled, "Get out, Rosie, you dumb bitch!" Upon hearing myself say that, I realized that I was taking this vacuum way too seriously. I packed her up and put her in the closet for the time being. In the meantime, I still have two other vacuums I can tell myself I'm going to use. 

October 12, 2018

Cleaning the Irritation Valve

I finally have an opportunity to write, and I'm grumpy. The annoying things in life have crept up on me, and it's finally time to unleash them. Here's this round:

1. Snapchats filters with babies.
Me-ow., Zachy.
2. Jason's crush on late 90's pop musician Michelle Branch.

3. People thinking my social media posts are about them and getting offended. They've been wrong 100% of the time.

4. Stating outlandish things without fact-checking first.

5. Sharing a bathroom with a boy.

6. Having to put on clothes that aren't pajama pants.

7. Hamsters that eat their babies.

8. The weather in Pittsburgh. I've seen all four seasons within the same week. It's creepy.

9. Not changing an opinion despite being given factual information to the contrary.

10. Responding to what they interpret the photo or tagline to mean without reading my blog post. Like, they noticed the post, it interested them, had time to reply, and blatantly decided not to read it.

11. The "Just Say No" campaign of the 80's. It was proven to have done exponentially more harm than good.

12. Unaffectionate people. They're reptilian, and I don't like it.

13. Affectionate people. Gross.

14. Spammers calling when Zach is asleep on me.

15. Having people watch me while I clean.

16. Responses that start with "You just think that..."

17. Blonde jokes because they're generally about women being intellectually inferior or shame their sexuality.

18. Unhealthy foods high in carbohydrates cost the least.

19. How patronizing it is when someone must always respond with "wise lessons" or advice.

20. People grabbing pitchforks because they got their political information from a meme. Just because it's in meme form, that doesn't automatically make it true. 

October 11, 2018

Baby Debauchery

Last winter, I got an LG phone, and the autocorrect kept changing 'Zachary' to 'debauchery'. Little did I know, this phone had insight into his character. He's almost one and has made it clear that he's a pervert. Like when Zach hears Jason in the shower, he zooms into the bathroom to throw back the curtain and watch him. By the time I get there, Zach is soaking wet from leaning over to get a good look.

It's not the only bathroom activity Zach enjoys. Once I heard a thud and walked in to find that Zach had figured out how to open the cabinet and was eating the empty toilet paper rolls from the garbage. Peeing is another hassle. Jason said that out of the three kids he has had, Zach is the only one who tries to put his hand in the pee stream and swirl it in the bowl. The others would just run in to watch in fascination. All of this could be fixed by simply closing doors, but we aren't the door closing kind of people. That takes a minor amount of effort which we are both unwilling to exert.

Along with this behavior, Zach has also made it clear that he prefers being naked. When I change his diaper, he does a contortionist act to get out of my hold, then flees. When I try to put clothes on him, he acts like he's being tortured. Then one day, he figured out how to take his pants off. I can only fight with him so much before I go dead inside, so most of his baby pics are him in just a diaper. I often have to blur the background so that people don't see how messy our place is, especially the floor. We had a robot vacuum that Jason told his parents to get me for my birthday (yes, a vacuum for my birthday) but Zach wails on it like he's in a prison yard.
There wasn't room in the fridge to cut up the watermelon, so I told Zach it's his new brother.
Then there's the nipple twisting. It's called 'twiddling', and I read ages ago that they do it to increase milk in the other boob by nipple stimulation. Zach digs his razor claws into it and twists like a stuck ham radio knob. If I cover it with my hand, he tries to remove it, then swipes at my face like a feral cat.
Zach at 6 months running off with my breast pump. 
I'm trying to teach him boundaries, but he's too young to understand and just thinks I'm mean or that I get off on withholding. I'm both, I just hoped he would learn that when he's a bit older. 

October 10, 2018

We're Pumpkin Spice People Now

Since we are just starting out as a family, the time is now if we want to start traditions. Here are some that I have come up with:

1. Each vacation, buy a Christmas ornament. That way when we decorate the tree, we can reminisce over past trips. This was my mom's idea.

2. Buy the whimsical seasonal flavors at the grocery store. My goal is for us to eat healthily while still enjoying life. Growing up, my mom considered fruit to be an appropriate dessert. It's not. No kid deserves to be rewarded for eating their vegetables with an apple. A cup of cocoa with peppermint Oreos sounds like a nice way to end a Winter's day. I recently welcomed Autumn with Halloween Pop Tarts for Jason and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios for Zach. 

3. Christmas gifts before bed, then stockings in the morning. Since Jason works evenings, we have grown accustomed to a late schedule. This way Zach can still be excited to wake up on Christmas morning, we can go back to bed, and I have time to cook before his older kids and parents come over.
Christmas 2017. I ruined the first part of the morning by asking if I could return all the lotions Jason got me. 
4. Changing the TV screensaver for birthdays to celebrate the person. This is only my tradition though because Jason doesn't know how to change it, and I assume he prefers it that way. 

5. Zach gets Jason silly tee-shirts for occasions. I didn't know what the baby was supposed to get him for Christmas, so I wrapped up a shirt that said, "Chicken" with an arrow pointing to its butt and said it was from Zach. Now Zach gets him stupid shirts for his birthday and Father's Day too. 

I've been thinking about this stuff lately because Zach's first birthday is coming up. On one hand, it will set a precedent. On the other, he's a baby and won't care. Part of me wants to just get him clothes and wrap them up because he needs them anyway, but then again, I'm his guardian and legally required to clothe him. That's like packing him a lunch and putting a bow on it. 

October 6, 2018


My weight has yo-yoed since I was a preteen. Part of me assumes that I was predisposed to be a huskier gal because my parents were big, but clearly, there's a diet aspect of it. The best way to curb my sweet tooth has been to limit carbohydrates, which was hard enough when I lived alone but is an uphill battle since getting pregnant. My doctor told me when I was a few months in that I didn't need to eat carbs during pregnancy, but Zach begged to differ.

When it was just me, I could buy low carb food and cook because I had all this energy from not giving a shit about anyone else. Now I can't even count the times I had to turn the stove or oven off in the middle of cooking something because Zach was having a meltdown. The counters are cluttered with stuff that I have had to move out of Zach's reach, and I'm too short to reach the high shelves. This also wasn't a problem when I lived alone, because I easily climbed all over countertops and furniture like the nimble thirty-six year old I was. Then when I was in my third trimester, I was hanging curtains, and the chair I was standing on buckled beneath me. I texted Jason crying that I was now the fat sidekick in a buddy comedy.
Six weeks pre-pregnancy, all fresh-faced and relaxed.

I assumed after giving birth, I would lose a ton of weight pumping and breastfeeding, but my body decided against that plan. For the past year, I have felt a combination of physical exhaustion and insatiable hunger. The more solids Zach eats, the better I feel, and the more energy I have. He really is a little parasite. My understanding of breastfeeding was that I would get back to my pre-pregnancy weight within a year while experiencing an extra special oxytocin bond with the baby. Maybe with the breast pump too. Instead, it feels weird, and sometimes like I'm a hostage.
Me now, suckled dry. 

The older Zach gets, the more awkward the breastfeeding gets. He does weird gymnastics during and if we are in public, has no problem suddenly moving to expose me to the world. So on one hand, yay, I'm nourishing a life. On the other hand, I miss wearing a bra with underwire that keeps my boobs and dignity in place.

Now that I'm trying to wean him, I have hopes that I can start bouncing back, but this is dependent on my not getting pregnant again. Now that I'm breastfeeding less, I'm ovulating again, so it's a possibility, so I have to either go on birth control or run from Jason when the Lions win. Fortunately, that a rare occurrence.
Zach's bizarre breastfeeding position. My boob has been censored out because I'm only comfortable with immediate family, friends, distant relatives, Denny's, and Ripley's aquarium seeing them. 

Instruction Not Included

Since my entire day is consumed by Zach, it would be helpful if he was a better muse. I don't know how there are so many parenting blogs out there because babies are boring. Also, if I tell the truth about my parenting style, there's always some guy quick to make a joke about calling child services. They can't comprehend the mama bear nerve it hits to tease about taking my baby away. Next time I'll joke right back about taking their cat, and they always have cats, and sticking it in a blender. That would only give them a glimpse of what I feel.

In my desperation to be a good mother, I read a lot of those parenting blogs. I also read parenting books and listened to too much advice. Very little of it was helpful. The most helpful thing was my realization that I am Zach's mother, and I know my baby. When he wouldn't latch, several people told me that it was "nipple confusion" because I was using bottles. His doctor disagreed, and so did I. My hunch was that because he was born early, his mouth was small and having trouble, but as he grew, it would resolve itself. Sure enough, by the time he was six weeks, he was only nursing and refusing bottles. Until then, it was painful thinking that I was failing as a mother because I couldn't feed him properly.

Not only does he refuse bottles, he finds sippy cups perplexing. It's embarrassing for all of us. I've now filled bottles and cups with every spout, nipple, and design out there with lemonade flavored Kool-Aid and stashed them all over the place. That way when he's exploring, he will come across one and try to figure it out. Instead of sugar, I use stevia or sucralose so that I can drink it all day too.

He also gets plenty of screen-time even though it's recommended that they don't get any in the first two years. I didn't do the best job of building a community when I moved to Pittsburgh, so it's just the two of us all day. It's too much for me, so I put on YouTube videos of kids' songs for him to watch so that I can do simple tasks.

The list of what I'm doing wrong is endless, but it must be right for Zach because he is thriving. At eleven months, he's already starting to walk and talk. When he wants to climb onto something, he finds something to drag across the room to use as a stepping stool. He went from being in the third percentile for size to the ninety-fifth. Most importantly, he is extremely happy and loving. I just wish he wasn't so curious because he destroys everything in his path, but I'm also proud of his curiosity. I just wish he could figure out a damn sippy cup already.
Zach's favorite thing to do is dance. If you even start humming a song, he will start dancing along.