Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's a Mom Gotta Do To Get A Shower Around Here?

When I first got pregnant, I heard all the warnings and read a couple blogs telling me that I'd never get to shower or go to the bathroom in peace again.

I thought they were kidding or over-exaggerating, until my little man cut himself down to one nap a day, if I'm lucky, and became very mobile.

Now, I'm home all day with a toddler who is half monkey, half acrobat, and cannot be contained. Seriously, he can climb out of his playpen in about 10 seconds.

If I could wake up naturally before 6am, I probably could get a shower before he woke up, but mommy doesn't work that way. That tends to be closer to my pre-baby bedtime than to any sort of a natural wake-up time for me.

I have spent way too many days vegging around in a nightgown or shorts and a tank top, being all skanky and unwashed until the little man crashed out for his afternoon nap, or sometimes until my husband gets home for work and I tell him he's got to watch the rugrat so I can get un-gross before fixing dinner. That's really not my idea of a good plan though (and it keeps scaring the UPS guys.

Today, I decided I really needed a shower and just let the little dude run amok while I showered. He did run in there every few minutes to look at my through the glass, so I knew he was ok, but he pretty much had run of the bedroom and bathroom. My husband's alarm/cell phone got re-programmed, half the sock drawer was emptied out, all my hair ties were scattered around the bathroom, and he got an ink pen out and drew on the bathroom floor. I don't care though, it was so worth it to be showered and dressed and feeling like a human before noon.

I think tomorrow I may just plop him down in the (empty) garden tub with some non-toxic fingerpaints and a few toys and try it again. Failing that, I am planning to join a local gym, so I guess I could bring all my good hair and makeup stuff with me and get prettied up in the shower there before I pick him up from their child care area.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

KIA... Because Sick Fantasies Win Awards

eta:
This message was just posted on the Kia Motors Facebook page:
Thank you for your comments. The advertisement in question was not produced by Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) nor Kia Motors America (KMA), but rather by a local creative agency in another region. Neither KMC nor KMA were previously aware of the existence of this ad and it does not reflect the values of the Kia brand in any way. We at Kia Motors corporate headquarters in South Korea are investigating the matter and will address with the related parties.
Apparently, the ad was not commissioned or approved by Kia, but was created and submitted to the contest by the ad agency with the company only becoming aware of it once it hit the media and internet.

===

Sorry, my planned "Cute Kid Story™" has been postponed, due to this crap:

An ad for car manufacturer Kia has won an Press Silver Lion award at the Cannes Lion Awards.
The ad is supposed to feature the Kia Sportage's dual climate control system, but instead seems to feature a teacher having s____l fantasies about one of his young students.

Doesn't this just make you want to go out and support these creeps by buying their vehicles?Not suprisingly, the advertising team that came up with this - Moma, from São Paulo, Brazil - was all male. I'm just really hoping none of the designers, Mr. Rodolfo Sampaio, Mr. Marco Martins, or Mr. Adriano Matos have daughters or access to children or teenagers if this is what they consider acceptable (and, yes, I know that plenty of consenting adults fetishize schoolgirl uniforms, nut not typically while talking to much younger schoolgirls, or at least I hope not).

I will be contacting Kia's US Public Relations contact in the morning to get his take on it and to voice my opinion, assuming this is an actual approved ad.

I doubt I'll get an answer, as a question about it and link to the ad on their Facebook page was deleted in less than 3 minutes. All it would have taken was a "we did not approve this ad".

Feel free to do the same:

Scott McKee, Director of KIA-USA Public Relations
c/o KIA-USA
111 Peters Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92606

email: smckee@kiausa.com
phone: 949-468-4813



eta: They also have this lovely take on "Sleeping Beauty", with the kids on the left:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Owww...

I'm really starting to notice a pattern here. Every time I start an exercise plan, something happens to really throw me off track. A couple years ago, when I was finally getting into a good groove with running, I was in a car accident and broke my arm, plus had some nerve damage in my leg that made it painful to even walk for a while. That healed, then I got pregnant, and had some weird complications where I was passing out, then more craziness postpartum (fatigue and joint pain that was diagnosed as fibromyalgia, but I think may be more related to thyroid & vitamin D deficiency since it has improved greatly since I started taking medications for those).

So, lately, I've started walking again in an effort to build back up to running and then triathlon. I had even called a local gym and made an appointment for a tour so I could sign up under a special deal they are running for summer. Then, this happened:The toddler was going after something, I forget what, and I jumped up to get him. Somehow, I caught my end toes on the brown footstool there in the picture and I guess all of my weight went into them. Either way, I hurt a pop and it hurt like crazy. It looked fine until the next morning, then I woke up to see bruising all down the left side of my foot and a swelled up pinky toe. I had it x-rayed and they confirmed it was broken, and they told me to ice it and try to stay off it, which is pretty hard to do with a little one.

Right now, I'm supposed to take it easy and try to stay off it until at least the end of next month. The doctor said not to run or skate on it for at least 3 months, to give it time to heal completely, so that cuts out a lot of what I was planning to do. I'll have to check back and ask about cycling, but I would think that should be OK since it doesn't put pressure right on my toes, and I might try to do pilates and things like that. I've lost 4 pounds this week just by cooking more at home and eating out less, so I want to do what I can to get in shape and build up some endurance while the toe is healing so I can jump right into things once it's better.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And I Wonder Why the UPS Guy Runs Off

I ordered a bunch of books off Amazon for my rugrat, so we've had packages dropped off for the past two days. This coincided with me realizing my roots were showing and it was time to fix my hair.

The two don't have much to do with eachother, except I use henna rather than chemical dye. If you're not familiar with it, it's a plant that coats your hair, making it strong and soft, and dying it a reddish or burgundy (or sometimes orange) color. To get mine more of a burgundy color, I usually leave it in my hair for several hours.

I prepared my henna (it sits overnight, mixed with lemon juice, to help release the dye) Thursday night, because my husband usually gets off work around noon on Friday. Friday morning, I woke up, took a shower to wet my hair, and coated my scalp and roots in henna. To keep from dying my skin or clothes, and to hold in the heat to help the color take better, I wrapped my hair and head in saran wrap, covered it with a shower cap, and then wrapped and pinned a bath towel over the whole thing. Yeah, I do this about every 6 weeks. I also kept on my nightgown instead of getting dressed, so I didn't stain my real clothes and had no tight neckline to pull over everything. It ended up looking like this:No problem there. I'm just chilling at home, waiting for the husband because it take for ever to rinse out, and I can't spend that long in the shower with the rugrat running lose. I keep waiting, and waiting, and then I hear the door, so I open it to help my husband.

Only, it's not him. It's the UPS guy. He hands me a box and hauls ass back to the truck. Hubby gets home about an hour later, because he had to work over, and I finally get to wash my hair and come out all bright and shiny and looking like Rhianna on the cover of Vogue. Well, what Rhianna might look like if she was a fat, white, housewife but still had the rockin' hair. Of course, I guess she wouldn't be in Vogue then - well, whatever.

Anyhow, all's good until this afternoon, not long after the ball incident. I see the Brown Truck of Happiness UPS truck pull up again, and figure they're here with more books. I notice the guy get out, run down my driveway, and then I see him running back up it to the truck before my psycho dog even has a chance to bark at the doorbell. I look at my husband and remark on how fast the delivery man is, and he's like, "Yeah, he wants to get out of here. He thinks you're nuts". I start to say something, then I think about yesterday, and I'm just like "Oh, OK, I can see that".

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mommy Will Get Your Ball, After She Finds Her Machete

Today started out early, because my son peed on the bedsheets. We're working on potty training because he has decided he hates a wet diaper, but that means he will sometimes just pull it down and pee or poop wherever instead of waiting for the potty (yeah, it's gross and frustrating to me, too).

Since we were both wide awake after a shower/bath and a change of clothes, I fixed us breakfast and looked for something fun to do. It was nice outside, because it hadn't gotten hot and humid yet, so I decided it'd be awesome to go outside and play ball. Now, we play ball inside all the time, but usually reserve outside ball playing for the park. This is because our entire yard is a hillside, with a flat spot graded out and the house perched on it.

I thought I could get away with going down to the very back of the yard, where it was a little flatter, but no dice. We played for a while, and it was cool, until the ball rolled down the hill, and off into the woods. This would be no big deal, except we decided it would be cool to leave about an acre of woods natural. It's pretty cool in autumn and winter, but in summer there is a ton of undergrowth, ticks, and snakes. I found out real early that the "natural" habitat the big old downed trees and the creek in the back create is like a paradise for copperheads. So yeah, my son's wanting his ball back, and it's down here (the beginning of the "path" is where the yellow arrow is):
Keep in mind I had a toddler with me, and was wearing shorts and a tank top at the time. There was no way I was going in there without some pants, some boots, and preferably a machete or flamethrower. I was not going to take the rugrat in their either, and also wasn't going to leave him way up at the house alone (the yard is close to 3 acres, and being that he doesn't stay in the playpen and we don't have baby gates, he would have had the whole run of the house alone). So, I did what most people would do -I decided to forget about it and shove it off on someone else.

I must have momentarily forgotten who I was married to because, when I told my husband Robbie's ball was in the woods, he was like, "So, go get it". Hinting and nagging didn't work either, so I had him watch Robbie while I changed clothes and went after it. He laughed at me, because I came out of the bedroom dressed in combat boots, with a set of coveralls tucked into them and a bandana around my hair. I did look more like I was going bee-keeping than anything else, but I did not want any critters on me. This was all justified when I finally got back out of the woods, and found 2 ticks on the pants.

I found the ball though, and that's what matters. I just think we're going to keep it limited to inside and/or to the several nice, flat, fenced-in parks within driving distance from now on.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Go the F__k to Sleep - now with Samuel L. Jackson

No, the title of this post isn't directed at my son (although I've thought it a time or two).

Rather, it's the title of a new “children’s book for adults” by Adam Mansbach that is showing up all over the internet and, due to a leaked PDF file, has managed to top both the Amazon.com and New York Times bestseller lists before ever being released.

The official release date for the book is today, June 14, and you can order a copy from the book's website, GoTheFtoSleep.com

No, this isn't something I'd actually read to my child as a bedtime story (probably, although I might consider it those nights he's up past 2pm), but it is funny to read because I think most parents have been there and thought the same things.

Thanks to Cecily at Motherhood Uncensored, here is an even better audio version, as read by Samuel L. Jackson:


You can also download this for free as an audio book from Audible.com

Monday, June 13, 2011

"Moms Against Cooties" - PR Fail

I noticed that one of the searches someone had used to find my blog was "Moms Against Cooties", so I thought I'd post a quick run-down.

The "Moms Against Cooties" site/campaign is a group that is run by a marketing firm hired by one of the Chlorine Industry's trade groups, hiding behind the name "Water Quality and Health Council".

They are soliciting posts from mom bloggers and other parenting blogs and sites to promote their campaign, which centers around posters that parents are advised to hand out to "daycare" centers advising them to sanitize with bleach (see the chlorine connection now?). The campaign also links to a similar group of sites advising parents to disinfect with chlorine bleach at home.

The problem is that all child care centers in the U.S already disinfect with bleach, because it is part of their health and safety standards, so there is no actual point to the posters. One blogger with a degree in Early Childhood education sent them an email pointing this out, and also mentioning that the posters therefore served no purpose, other than to make mothers feel more worried or guilty about having to use outside child care, and possibly harming the relationship between mother and caregiver by making the mom look uninformed and seeming to insinuate that the care worker may be ignorant or needs to be told how to do their job properly.

On top of those concerns, I also have major issues with these "moms groups" and campaigns that almost always turn out to be be the product of some corporate interest and/or marketing company. It's so obvious that they just see us as some target group to direct and influence so they can sell us more of whatever the product du jour is. This particular campaign gets extra points by referencing "cooties" instead of germs, like our brains reverted to playground-speak when we had children.

For parents more interested in cutting down on germs and keeping their children healthy than in just selling more bleach, healthychild.org has a great post listing Alternatives to Antibacterials and Disinfectants. Of course, the very best thing to prevent to spread of germs in child care programs, at home, and at school, is to teach and remind our children to wash their hands frequently using soap and warm water, and to try not to touch their faces.


Sources:
"Moms Against Cooties" aka the Chlorine Industry - PhD in Parenting
Marketing Fail - Baleful Regards

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Fresh Start


It seems like I have just let everything slide in the past year or two. Between the whole PPD thing, and just being busy and getting used to having a baby/toddler in the house all days, I've sort of been coasting.

This means that most of the routines I had going on and most of the progress I'd made have gone away.

I've decided it's time to get back in control of things, and to just start over.

My goals right now are to get my house de-cluttered and organized, to get back to a regular fitness routine, to write daily, and to get my finances in order and find ways to save money.

Around the house, I need to keep up with my FlyLady routines and to do at least 15 minutes of decluttering a day. I've been able to maintain things with the routines but, without the decluttering, the house is still messy and it looks even worse with a toddler running around and strewing things all over.

For fitness, I am starting back on a walking/running plan I had good results with before I got pregnant. It is a "conservative", or very slowed-down, version of the well-known "Couch to 5k" program. I am going to do workout tapes or roller skate on the "off" days, because I'm also trying to get into shape to try out for our local Roller Derby team. Once I can run the full 5k, or 3.1 miles, then I want to add in more cycling and start swimming, so I can compete in triathlons.

For writing, my goal is to start blogging again regularly and to work on some personal projects. I'd also like to get hired for some of the paid writing websites, and I need to work on some "clips" to send in and apply for those.

The finances part is self-explanatory. Without a job for over a year, money is tight for me. I have been trying to find a job I can do in the afternoons and/or weekends, so I don't have to put my son in daycare, but I haven't had any luck. Right now, my focus is on tracking my bills and sticking to a budget, and on seeing if I can make a decent income from writing. Chances are, I will go back to work as a real estate agent towards the end of this year, because I will be able to have my son with me and can work around his schedule for many things. It's not my really ideal set-up, but I still prefer that to leaving him in daycare or with a sitter, then spending half my paycheck to cover the costs of that.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Guess I'm Offically a RECOVERING Hoarder

Last week, I got a call from a woman who was one of the producers on the "I'm Pregnant And..." show I did for Discovery Health.

She was asking how I was doing and how the baby was, and also how the house was coming along. I told her it was better than it had been, but still way too cluttered and I felt like I was at sort of a dead end. I can keep up with the maintenance stuff now, like dishes, vacuuming, laundry, dusting, and all that, but still have a long way to go on the de-cluttering part.

With my stuff out of the way, I'm also realizing that part of the problem is that my husband has also hoarder a lot of things, and he will not even admit that it is a problem, much less dispose of any of it (I hoard clothes and papers/books mostly, he hoards extra furniture, knick-knacks, cars, and anything given to him by a friend or family member).

She told me that she is now a producer for the A&E show orders, and wanted to see if I'd be interested in filming a show with them. Being that money is very tight and they pay pretty well, plus they actually send a crew to help with a lot of the de-cluttering and a therapist and organizer to help you find ways to deal with problems, I thought it sounded great. I also hoped it would help because there would be a third party there who could point of some of my husband's clutter issues to him and maybe help me get rid of some of his stuff that is unused and taking up tons of space. I took pictures and sent in video of our home, and waited to hear back. I was a little hesitant, and figured the hubby would be, but he was excited at the prospect of getting the rest of the clutter sorted out and agreed that we need the money really bad.

After a few days, I got a call saying that our home wasn't really what they were looking for. We have some rooms de-cluttered and the rest is not dangerously bad or totally packed to the ceiling, so basically it wasn't cluttered enough. I also keep my bathrooms and kitchen clean and vacuum/dust what I can, so there's no real "ick" factor or trash, spoiled food, poop, or dead animals to be found hidden in my home (which seems to be a common find on some of the episodes). She was thinking they may still be interested because of our back-story, but the other people involved with the show didn't think the "before" shots would be shocking enough to fit in with their other episodes. She wished me luck and told me to let her know if things ever got really bad and out of control again and she'd see if they could help.

I know I should be glad about this, and happy at the progress I made, but I'm actually disappointed. For one, we could have seriously used both the money they pay for being on the show and the help with getting the rest of our stuff de-cluttered. I just feel stuck now - it's still overwhelming to tackle it all on my own, especially the clothes (I have to use our bed as a sorting area, so I spend twice as much time moving things from closet or tote to bed and back so we have a place to sleep as I do actually sorting things). I also don't see how I can get my husband to deal with any of his stuff, because he ignores me and gets mad if I bring it up. I've looked into hiring a de-cluttering crew or organizer in the past, and it's just not something we can afford, especially right now.

I guess I am going to have to deal with this on my own, as much as I can, so it's time to get back to it. I am doing to flylady routines somewhat although, you guessed it, I still have a mental block with the whole de-cluttering part. I'm trying to get back to that and kick things up some, so I will have the house in better shape before I go back to work. I'm letting myself get way too stressed out over so many things and at least having a little more order at home should help me relax and deal with everything else better.
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