Babies are like dogs (but dogs aren’t like babies)

Babies are like dogs (but dogs aren’t like babies)

I have now been a parent for almost 10 months (10 MONTHS WHY GOD WHYYYY), and while I am still relatively new to the child-raising game, I have garnered a lot of wisdom in my short tenure. For example, don’t get attached to your baby’s socks. The cuter they are, the faster they disappear in the Great Sock Void, where socks are drawn in by a guy selling candy and are never seen again. Another fun fact is that toots are deceptive. What you are smelling is probably just a toot, but since you have to make sure and unbutton those stupid PJs, look in the diaper, and stop your baby from wriggling out of his pajamas so he can finally be free like he’s always wanted, it winds up being just as much work as if the smell was actually poop.

But the most startling discovery, the most shocking, wild, unexpected bit of information I have learned this year is this: Babies and dogs have a lot in common. 
Let me clarify: Owning a dog does not equal raising a baby. I know that your precious Fifi is a lot of work and the other night you had to stay up with her because she was sick and it was very sad and that you might think it’s the same as having a baby. Stop that. Dogs are a lot of work, but at least they take their poop outside (most of the time). And dogs become self-entertaining – that tail is easy to chase pretty early on. But, in spite of the many difference, there are also a lot of similarities. Maybe the better way to say it is that I approach raising my child much like the way I approach owning a dog. Wait. That doesn’t sound right. Just keep reading. 
This is my dog: 
Ignore the terrifying eyes. He isn’t a robot. 

This is my baby:

Cute, right?? I know. 

At first glance, you might wonder what these two have in common, besides the fact that in each picture they are drooling on something. But while you’re looking for the drool in both of these pictures, consider the following list of things I say to my dog and my child on a daily basis:

– “What is in your mouth??”
– “Don’t lick that.”
– “There is no need to make that noise.”
– “Tell me what you want… you’re looking toward the kitchen… food? Is it food? It’s food!!!”
– “Is this dirt or poop?” (It’s poop. It’s always poop.)
– “This sounds like a job for Daddy… Oh, Daniel!!”
So you can see that the similarities are already building. Both my dog and child would like to chew on every electrical cord available. They enjoy rolling things into small, hard to reach places and then they enjoy crying until I find a way to reach it. They both want something that is totally, completely unreasonable all of the time: The dog would like to be a lap dog and curl up on us in spite of the fact that he is fifty pounds. The baby would like to both turn his head away from his bottle and drink from his bottle at the same time. They both have a knack for ignoring the safe, happy toys right in front of them and instead presenting me with random pieces of trash, in spite of the fact that I just vacuumed and picked up all trash in sight. 
And my baby can’t even crawl yet. I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse. 
So, other moms – tell me, am I right? Do my infant and my pooch bear a resemblance to each other? Or am I just a really terrible person who compares her sweet baby to her dog?

Save the Ta Tas

Save the Ta Tas

When I was in high school, my health teacher had all the girls separate into smaller groups. She told us to look around at each of our group members one by one. She then told us that according to current statistics, one person in each group would develop breast cancer in their lifetime. At the time I didn’t think much of it. Bad things didn’t happen to me or my family (note from the future: LOL) and I wasn’t concerned.

Then, in 2009, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 48. Suddenly breast cancer was all too real. It was threatening and dangerous. And I could no longer look at the pink ribbons or the ads for the Susan G. Komen race without understanding how short life really is.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Over the last few years, it’s been the theme to raise awareness for breast cancer by using a lot of pink and making silly shirts that say “Save the Ta Tas” or “Save Second Base.” People run races with their bras on the outside of their shirt. Mysterious Facebook statuses go up that say “I like it on the stairs” as a secret message to supposedly raise awareness. And, to be honest, all of that stuff really annoys me. I understand what it’s trying to do – make people understand how prevalent breast cancer is and how much research is needed to combat it.

But all it really does is make it funny. And breast cancer isn’t funny.

It’s my humble opinion that the main reason people try to make it funny is that it’s a taboo subject and everyone thinks boobies are funny. It’s uncomfortable to talk about so they go out of their way to make it comfortable. They giggle and laugh and come up with clever nicknames for breasts and then put it on a t-shirt so everyone can join in on the fun. And it makes people who don’t know the statistics think that breast cancer is no big deal and could possibly be hilarious. I don’t think that is the intention of the funny shirts at all. It just happens to be the result. I have had multiple people tell me they’re tired of seeing pink ribbons everywhere and how it’s annoying that breast cancer gets so much attention when other cancers don’t.

Do you want to know the real reason that it gets more attention? It’s because 1 in 8 women in the US alone will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lives. It’s because it is the number two cause of death for women, after lung cancer. It’s because if you get breast cancer, the odds are high that you will have to have part of your breast removed or, for some people, your breasts removed completely.

Is it funny now?

I don’t want sit up here on my high horse and judge someone for raising awareness with a funny t-shirt. I get the idea. I think raising awareness is awesome. I know that other cancers are just as important and deadly as breast cancer is. But I also know that breast cancer is a serious thing. It deserves respect. Raising awareness isn’t about saving ta tas or second base or boobies. It’s about saving lives. So break out your pink shirts, get your mammograms, and understand that while breasts make us giggle, cancer never should.

Terrible Life Lessons from Twilight

Terrible Life Lessons from Twilight

Twilight is over. Finally. We learned a lot from Twilight: Male vampires look a little girly. Female vampires look a little stripper-y. And all vampires have confusing hair.

I have read all four of the books, and heaven help me, I have seen all five of the movies. I don’t want to talk about it, okay? But I did learn something from reading Twilight. And that is that teenage girls should never read these books. If you are a teenage girl and you are reading this book, don’t be sad. Just put the book down and read this post instead, m’kay?

So, here we go – the Top 3 Terrible Life Lessons From Twilight.

Lesson # 1: Only boys matter. Nothing else. Boys boys boys. Boyssssssssssss.

This might come across as a little… I’m scared to say it… feminist. I am not the girl you see in photographs burning her bra and refusing to walk through doors opened by a man. But I am a fan of women having… what’s the word I’m looking for… a brain. Yes, brains are the best and every girl should acquire at least one. Unfortunately, the main character in this series, Bella Swan, does not have one. What’s even more unfortunate is that she is the one who narrates the entire series so it boils down to listening to a really dull love story as told by the best and brightest from the Daisy Elementary kindergarten class.

Bella has absolutely no identity outside of her boyfriend. Truly. She is the one TELLING us the story and I know exactly three things about her: 1) She likes depressing novels. 2) She thinks pale is the new tan. 3) She has a terrible mother. Other than that, nada. Homegirl doesn’t even have a middle name until the last book. I like to picture her as a Muppet, bopping along until her boyfriend gently redirects her to the mall. A friend-less, family-less, extremely dull Muppet.

Lesson # 2:  Do not fret over challenges of any kind – they will be solved for you. 

Look, I like getting help as much as the next gal. When my husband comes home and insists on cleaning the kitchen for me, I don’t fight too hard before sitting on the couch with my Dr. Quinn reruns. But Twilight takes it to a whole new level. Need a bajillion dollars? These people have endless amounts of money. At one point Bella takes about fifty thousand dollars – from what appears to literally be a pile of money in a closet – and no one notices. Or, hey, wouldn’t it be convenient if one of the characters could read minds? Ooh, what if one could see the future? Twilight leaves no inconvenience unconquered.

The problem with this is that it’s… well, it’s annoying. Every time Stephenie Meyer remembers to write a conflict, she gets too excited and writes a resolution about two paragraphs later. There is no suspense. There is no OMG NO WAY. There is just happy, happy rich vampires. Even when ~~SPOILERRRR~~ Bella becomes a vampire, there is no adjustment for her. She is instantly the most terrificest vampire to ever haunt the earth.

Lesson # 3: Eating people is totally cool. Just, you know, try to stop.

So in the books – and I hate myself for knowing this – the main vampire family only eats animals. But at some point, every one of them has snacked on a bus driver or nun or neighbor. Bella, the eternal genius, makes her peace with this in about twelve seconds. I am still creeped out by it. You have a family who has openly admitted to eating, not one, but several people, and you’re going to marry into it? On purpose? Without coercion or threats? You crazy.

But it’s okay. It’s all in the past. Eating people was soooo last century and now the vampires vow to never harm humans again.

You know, until they eat all the buffalo in the area and get hungry again.

Really, vicious murders aside, they’re terrific people.

Apples, lies, and French fries

Apples, lies, and French fries

I started writing this post a while ago and forgot about it. I have rediscovered it and it’s just too sad and pathetic to keep from you.

A few months ago, Daniel and I had an argument about walnuts.

Yes, walnuts. Specifically the early stages of walnuts and what they look like. He told me the brown spiky ball things that live in your backyard were really walnuts.

He knows things. And I believed him. And casually mentioned this amazing new fact at work the next day, and my coworkers quickly proved that fact to be nothing more than a LIE. Which sparked the following text conversation:

Note my sure-fire debating skills

Turns out it is chestnuts. But they are a different spiky ball than the ones in the yard. 
In Daniel’s defense, they do look similar. Also in his defense, I will believe pretty much anything. Seriously. Try it out some time. My friends love it. I am pretty good about not believing obvious stuff, like that soap can talk (unless you know otherwise). But Daniel has a lot of general knowledge about life things and walnuts and so I usually believe what he tells me. 
So after this happened, I jokingly asked him what else he’s lied about. He looked kind of uncomfortable, like when you really need to let out some steam, so to speak, but you’re in church so you can’t and you have to just hope it doesn’t escape on its own during a prayer. Then he told me something that I have never let go to this day: 
“Well… you ask me a lot of questions. And you think I know the answers. And you look so eager when you ask them that I can’t stand to disappoint you, so… if I don’t know the answer, sometimes I make it up.”
Hold. The. Phone. 
“You make it up?” I repeated. “What else have you made up so far?”
But he couldn’t remember. So I was left to wrack my brains, wondering what other lies I had told my friends and coworkers – or worse, what I had told them that they knew wasn’t true but, like Daniel, didn’t want to break the bad news to me. 
Now that I was on to his scheme, I vowed to never let Daniel trick me into believing one of his “facts” again without verifying them. That lasted for about two days before I realized that was a lot of work. Daniel said he would try to keep the lies to a minimum and all was well. 
Until the other day, when I pulled out a weird kitchen appliance thingy and asked Daniel what it was for. It was this bad boy right here:
“Oh, that? It’s for slicing apples.” 
Neat. I hate slicing apples and this thing would definitely make it easier. So I got an apple from the fridge and started slicing. It sliced like a centimeter in and then stopped. I tried everything – a different angle, putting all my weight on it, working it back and forth like a saw. Daniel was watching me do all of this and offered to help, but I was determined. 
But the thing was about to break from the pressure and I was no closer to apple slices. I gave up and got a knife and swore to get revenge on the apple slicer for being so useless. 
I decided to look it up to see how other people did it. That was when I began to understand…I had been a victim of another of Daniel’s “facts.” Danggggitttttt. 
“Uh, Daniel?” I said. “This says that the apple slicer is meant to make french fries, not apple slices. You use it with potatoes.”
“Ohhhhh, yeahhhhh, it’s potatoes! That explains why the apple was so hard to cut. Oh, well.”
So now I have to go back to Googling everything. Which is fine; it’s probably best that I do some research to defend against my gullibility so if I’m ever kidnapped by someone I won’t think they’re the President of the galaxy. 
And now you can be prepared. If you see Daniel and he gives you a fact, just smile politely. Then Google that business the minute you get home. 
(This post was written with Daniel’s approval and permission. I got a kiss for it. Yay!)

Motherhood Haikus

Motherhood Haikus

As requested by my friend Heather McAwesome, I have compiled some deep haikus about motherhood and the lessons learned there. Enjoy.

Baby Joshua
Don’t you want to go to sleep?
Mommy needs a drink
Spit up everywhere
Is no place sacred to you?
You have a dark gift
I hear you crying
I am pretty sure it’s fake
Nice try, buddy boy
Poop is in your hair
How can that be possible?
You are so crafty
Beep beep beep beep beep
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep
Beep beep beep beep beep
Do I see a smile? 
What is that unearthly smell?
Oh, you got me good

Thank you.