Needs and Wants

There are needs and then there are wants.  I count my blessings, when I run, that all of my needs are provided, along with many of my wants.  I am still greedy.  Here are my wants:

  • A new couch.  Mine is repulsive.
  • An outdoor rug for my courtyard.
  • To live in a stronger school district for the tiny one.
  • Hair extensions.
  • Botox.
  • In all honesty, I desperately want a Chloe handbag.
  • To win the lottery even though I don’t buy lottery tickets.

We just met with our fertility specialist who told us that we have roughly a 0% chance of having a child naturally.  Suddenly, my wants change, and unfortunately they are wants.

  • A second child.
  • Another happy and HEALTHY tiny one.
  • More belly laughter from someone under 1-year-old.
  • More diapers to change.
  • More croup to keep me awake at night.

We have decided that there is another round of ivf left in us. There is another round of injections, potential surgeries, emotional hurt, financial (God awful) stress, and weight gain (forgive my vanity) in us to try.  If you have not been through this, let me give you hope.  It can work.  I remember sitting in my doctor’s exam room, crying that I could take no more after having to cancel our second round of ivf in exchange for a second surgery.  It takes you to the depths of despair, but I had an incredible partner to catch me in those moments.  Surprising no one more than myself, every day I thank God for how hard it was to have this tiny bundle of joy.  I am more patient because of our struggle to conceive him.  I value each repulsive diaper because I wanted him so badly.  I see beauty in a sleepless night at 4 a.m. because I so desperately wanted to rock my own child.  Truthfully, the money we spent seems like a bargain because of what it gave me emotionally in return.  I can only say this after the fact.  Had it not worked, I would have been resentful of forgoing numerous glamorous vacations and Chloe handbags.  The glorious side of today and not yesterday is the worst case scenario: if the tiny one is the only child we are graced with, he is enough.  Enough joy, enough laughter, and enough love to share.  He was our need.

Afraid of Flying With a Baby? Go Southwest.

flight

The tiny one and I have taken 2 roundtrips together.  We have flown Southwest both times.  The first flight was fairly dreamy.  I carried the small bundle of love inside a Moby wrap.  The bestie flew with me on the outbound flight because I was scared to fly alone.  We had an entire row to ourselves and Teeny only cried when people eyeballed our middle seat.  He was cute and sleepy the rest of the time.  On the way home, it was the same.  The first leg of the flight was so empty that most people had their own row.  A woman across the aisle said she was moved by the way I looked at him.  The biggest challenge I had was convincing the person in front of me that the gaseous, adult-like noises were not coming from me, but a 3 month old infant.  That particular plane did not have a changing table in the bathroom.  I thought that was rough.  Little did I know….

We flew again when he was 5.5 months.  I was not nearly as nervous.  I felt I knew his behavior.  I was a little worried about missing his afternoon nap, but he slept almost the entire time on the previous flight, so I assumed he would again.  The first leg was challenging, but doable.  We again flew Southwest and again no one wanted the middle seat.  He fussed, but we walked the aisles and it was ok.  He fell asleep 20 minutes before we landed.  We sprinted for our gate and all hell broke loose.  He was a complete and total mess for the next 1 and a half hours.  I would like to say that when people boarded after us they saw a woman with large blue eyes and youthfully tousled hair, discreetly nursing a baby with just a hint of womanly cleavage showing.  In all actuality, I had a crazed look in my eye with hair that could have housed beavers, and I would have offered my fully exposed teats to anyone who could make this baby stop screaming.  He would not stop.  He missed his nap.  I took his clothes off because he’s a little nudie.  I sang to him.  I offered him a bottle.  I walked the aisles with him and apologized to passengers.  He.Would.Not.Stop.Screaming.  The ‘dude’ (you fake hipster) in front of me kept turning and looking at me, and it certainly was not because he was interested in my still exposed breasts.  I finally yelled that there was nothing I could do to make him stop crying.  He did not turn around even once more.  The kind, princess-of-the-air flight attendant came over when we had to buckle up and offered to walk with him.  I burst into tears and sobbed the rest of the flight.  She assured me over and over again that it was ok.  She walked with my screaming mess and appeared to like him.  I am certain she was the only one on the flight who did.  She was an angel at that moment.  The way back was not nearly as traumatic.  The amazing, fabulous, professional flight attendants let us take our car seat on the flight, which helped immensely, and told me that mothers drink for free on their flight.  I am flying back in a few weeks (with reinforcements) and I had no problem paying an extra $40 to fly Southwest*.  Southwest, you are amazing and are a luxury for terrified mothers.  I am yours….for life.

*I apologize in advance for any non-parents on my flight.

Gifts For Father’s Day

My husband and I attended high school together.  He is a year older.  When we tell people we met in high school, they assume we were high school sweethearts.  We were not, except for one, very brief, month.  We reconnected when I was in a travelling children’s show that performed in Chicago, where he was living and working.  We hit the town and I made him dance with me in a bar where no one else was dancing.  He was both fascinated and appalled by what he calls my “show boating”.  The bar, Matildas, is famous for its variety of martinis and I sort of believed I was both invincible and invisible after 2 of them.  When I hit 3, I invited him to watch the show.  I played a variety of characters from a witch, to an elephant, to a chef.  My main costume was: a white turtleneck, white culottes, white tights, white tennis shoes, and a white apron.  (You can see why I waited until the 3rd martini, no?) In one scene, I danced around making a pretend salad.  In another, I pretended to be a mouse and ran around the stage making mouse noises.  Patrick declined, and to this day, he regrets not going and witnessing that spectacle.  This was our beginning.

Patrick and I are both kind of dramatic.  He one time told me that he could either be a good husband or a good father, but not both.  I have no idea how he came up with this statement, or how he rationalized it, but there it was.  He also told me that he would like to be the type of man who pulls off a regular hat.  I only include this to give you an idea of how our conversations go and his mind set.  I am not mocking, by the way.  I love this.  It fits us.  Patrick has now been my husband for 8 years and a father for 9 months.  He, like all other tasks he puts his mind to, has exceeded all expectations in both categories.  We are not without disagreements and arguments, but he is mine and I would not trade him, even for Tim Riggins.  While the list could go on for pages, these moments jump out at me regarding his character as a father and husband.

  • For my birthday this year, a part of my present was him coming home from work early (meaning going in freakishly early) so I had time to run or do something on my own.
  • He has always supported every endeavor of mine, encouraged and brainstormed many, and caught me when I began to fall.
  • He went to almost every single prenatal visit and fully participated in child birthing classes.
  • He never once left our side in the hospital except to go home and take care of our puppies.
  • He takes shifts in the middle of the night, and actually wants to.
  • He reads in character voices to Teddy for his favorite book, “Brown Bear”.
  • He regularly tells me that I have the body to pull off short shorts.  (I did not say he was sane.)
  • He is the most optimistic human I have ever met when it comes to life’s potential.

There is not a gift I could give that would be equal to my appreciation to this man, but here are a few gifts important men in my life have said make it a little sweeter.  Here is a little list if you need some help for the upcoming celebration of fatherhood.

Sporting Category:

Under Armour Golf Shirts: these beat out the competition because of their loose fit and cool breathe technology.

under armour

Nike Golf Shoes: The tennis shoe style breathes better.

nike golf shoe

Mizuno: This workout shoe is ideal for flat and wider feet.  www.mizunousa.com

Jawbone Up: “UP is a wristband and app that tracks how you sleep, move and eat—then helps you use that information to feel your best.” –from jawbone.com.  Great new tool for techies and cross fitters.

jawbone up

Fashion:

Hugo Boss Ties: the quality is superior.  They have a firm enough texture to stay tied nicely throughout the day.  Also, not appropriate for Father’s Day weather, but he makes the most incredible velvet blazer I have ever seen.  Neiman’s has them on sale.

Donald Pliner Dress Shoes: I love my brother David’s sense of style and he will now only wear this dress shoe since discovering it.

donald pliner

Ted Baker Socks: You have to love a bit of cheeky British whimsy for these.

ted baker socks

Cowboy boots: There is not a manlier, or sexier shoe out there.  Plus, for any men who see themselves taller, there is a little lift in them.  No worries, they will not look like Prince.  Zappos.com upgrades your free shipping to overnight.

dan post

Miscellaneous:

Tumi Wallets: Tumi is a luxury brand with a modern look.  Their products last forever and their wallets are very reasonably priced.  After Patrick washed (and ruined) the Gucci wallet I gave him, I bought him this.  It has been washed and still is kicking 8 years later.

pTUMI1-7880257v400

Meoimi Wine: I am not a wine connoisseur by any means, but my brother is.  He recommends this for a nice, well priced red.

Gold Bond Lotion: It just works for man hands.

Brush Your Hair

This is simply a tale of caution to let you know that your personal paparazzi can pop up anywhere, at anytime.

The tiny one has an ear infection that started last week.  He had been waking up multiple times during the night for about a week.  It hit its peak Thursday evening and he could not sleep at all.  I held, sang, cuddled, and fed him most of the night.  I have no complaints about that evening, but I was a walking disaster the next day.  He was a crawling disaster and needed extra love.  I brushed my teeth and washed my face with him clinging to my leg and sobbing.  This repeated when I needed to get dressed.  I grabbed shorts off the floor and the first top I could reach.  I debated skipping changing my underwear, but thought that I should have a small amount of personal pride.  I put on mascara for my post pictures and called it a day.  I did not brush my hair and was pale as a ghost.  I did not care.  I felt proud of the small achievement of the updated underpants.

Patrick came home and the tiny one was adorable and charming.  He may have thought I faked the sobbing and clinging.  We decided to go get frozen yogurt because it was a lovely evening.  I looked like a transient and was fine with it.  Just get me sugar and out of this house!  I was excited to try out my new Ergo carrier too.  (It is awesome, by the way.)  Yogurt was a success, the weather was a success, the ambiance of South Pasadena is always a success.  My appearance, not so much, but who would know?  My husband snaps a picture of our son’s cuteness and posts it to Facebook.  I scream that I am supposed to be knowledgeable about fashion and beauty and in one snap, my street cred is gone.  I am pale, smelly, have visible roots (isn’t it called ombre when you brush your hair?), horrible outfit, and the angle makes me look a good 10 pounds bigger.  I threatened to post my nudie of him holding the tiny one, but got paranoid about being arrested for child pornography.

The moral of the story?  While I appreciate the fact that my husband finds me attractive at my worst, take the time to feel good.  5 more minutes to bronze my cheeks, brush my hair, and put together a decent outfit would have made for a picture worth posting, and quite frankly, pulling myself together physically keeps me pulled together emotionally when I am bone weary.  Patrick, I challenge you to a retake this weekend.  Bring it.

Motherhood Is A Gift That Doesn’t Come Easily To All

Last year Patrick and I decided not to celebrate Mother’s Day. We thought it could jinx our pregnancy. We had lost the tiny one’s twin early on, and he had been in jeopardy as well. It was too raw for us to celebrate with any confidence. This year, I cannot wait, but I don’t see it as a day about me. I see it as a day dedicated to being grateful for the opportunity to be T’s mama. I see jokes online about how it’s a day to not have to wipe rear ends or be awakened early, and I know there is truth there, but I see this day differently. Maybe it is because aside from a no napping stretch early on, T is an easy baby. Maybe it is because I only have 1 child, which is infinitely easier than 2. Maybe. I think it comes from all the stress, prayers, and the emotional roller coaster ride we took to create this beautiful baby boy. My greatest luxury is this wonderful little family I am a part of, so today my post is in answer to the trite articles written about the difficulties of being a mother. I can tell you that there is a vast population of would-be mothers out there who’s greatest desire is to clean poop off their own child’s bottom or live with sleep deprivation.
• Today I want you to wake me up in the middle of the night from a deep sleep. I am grateful to be the person you want to comfort you. This time goes too fast and I will take any opportunity to spend time with you when the night is dark and still.
• Please twist on the changing table while your bottom is still dirty. It makes me laugh to see you curious about your world and lets me know that you are growing stronger.
• Please make a big mess today with your food for me to clean up. It is better than any movie I could be watching to see you discover how to squish watermelon and then drool it out.
• Please cry a few times today and reach for me. You will not always want me this much and I savor it.
• To my husband: please do not buy me an expensive gift. I stay home with our child every day. That is the best gift you have ever given me, including my Manolo Blahniks and UCLA gymnastics tickets. Besides, when do you have time to shop? You work constantly to make sure I can stay home. Thank you.
• Please chuck your toys across the room. I have been waiting to see your arm strength.
• Please don’t take a nap today. It will panic me enough to research a million things online and learn something I did not know. It may even help me get in touch with friends I haven’t communicated with while seeking their advice.
• Please bite me while nursing. You are the only human in life who has been able to teach me patience. I love you.

teddy 4months 16.2 lbs

Can I Conceal This Morning??

This has been my last 12 hours: I couldn’t sleep very well and when I did, I was negotiating visual space in a store to remerchandise their floor.  If you have worked with me, I know you have had this dream.  Teeny woke up at 4:45 a.m. and after feeding him, I walked into a wall.  It has been a while since I have done that.  I couldn’t sleep after that so I got up to make coffee and could not, for the life of me, figure out why I was only pouring water after I had clearly been signaled that the coffee was done.  It turns out, if you do not pour the water from the carafe into the machine, coffee doesn’t happen.  I redid my effort and then put Splenda into my coffee.  With cream in hand, I was confused as to how the top of the Splenda container got on top of my coffee cup.  Yup, it’s that kind of morning.  Teeny is sleeping and I am still awake.  Needless to say, I have circles under my eyes that are terrifying and I should not drive a car today.

When I was little my mom used to tell me how she hated dark circles under her eyes.  I remember being very afraid of this condition, as if it were a disease.  I am so happy that it is not a disease, or painful, because I too suffer from it.  I have found a miracle concealer that I get very excited to use, and even better, it’s a total bargain.  I have tried so many concealers; Lancome, MAC, YSL, Kat Von D (huge fail), and none of them work as well as….Cover Girl.  Yep.  Cover Girl Concealer Balm, with Olay.  It comes in a lipstick shape and goes on incredibly smooth and creamy, but not oily.  My dark circles magically disappear for at least 6 hours.  Now, with the way my day has been going so far, I am hoping I do not confuse this magic balm with real lipstick under my eyes.  Wouldn’t that be pretty?

cover girl concealer

I Stole Out of an Easter Basket

I am on videotape stealing out of my brother’s Easter basket. I was not 2 or 3 stealing out of my teenage brother’s basket; that would have been cute. I was in the 7-9 range, stealing out of my 2-3 year old brother’s Easter basket. I am honestly not sure which bothers me more; the fact that I did it, or that I did not notice a giant 1980’s video camera recording my every move. There isn’t any verbiage on the tape either. It’s like one of my parents was recording an animal in the wild doing what came naturally. I am fervently against stealing, as a side note. Whether it is physically stealing goods or stealing ideas, it is not ok. I do not know what came over me. I am an honest person; I know my flat spots and thievery isn’t among them. I blame the excitement of the goodies in the Easter basket after a mean, competitive hunt for the most eggs. Maybe I was actually just counting his eggs?

Next year the tiny one will get to participate in Easter and I cannot wait. I already talk to him about the true meaning of Easter, but for all children, the egg hunt and basket really are what make it an exciting holiday. The reverence comes later. In honor of the commercial side of Easter, here is what I would stash in my own Easter basket.

MAC lip liner in Whirl.  They are recognized for their Spice color, but I swear it is secretly an eye liner. Whirl is incredible. It is like the color of your lips after a high school make-out session. It enhances red lipstick and is the perfect base to a nude gloss.
MAC+Whirl+Lip+Pencil+Review

Nails Inc Feathers Effect Nail Polish.  It looks like an Easter egg.  This should only be worn on grown up toes or little girl fingers. The only thing creepier than an adult woman accessorized like a child is a child accessorized like an adult.
nails inc

Kai Body Butter. This smells exactly like California in Spring, and it is fantastic. January through April is by far the best part of a Southern California year and this embodies it. I like the idea of smothering my body in the scent.
kai

A Fantastic Statement Necklace, like this one from Anthropologie ($68).  These have always been my signature style. I cannot wear them with the tiny one’s curious fingers, but in a year or so, I will again. When you have a basic, flat outfit, all you need is a wow piece of jewelry to off-set the boring. Costume is usually even more baroque and fabulous than real.
necklace $68

Target Champion Sports Bras.  I need the motivation and I love the colors and fabric. They last forever.
champion-neon-sports-bras

Coffee from Koffi in Palm Springs.  I had a malted mocha latte from there recently and I DREAM about it. So, so fabulous. http://www.kofficoffee.com

Baby Gut

“Come on Baby Gut, get going!” This was the inspirational phrase my Pilates teacher chose to use mid class after I had shared with her my concern over my lack of hard abs 2 months post T’s delivery.  While I was not in the least bit embarrassed, it did create an interesting desire to pull my shirt up and ask for thoughts on the supposed baby gut amongst my classmates.  Relying on a phrase from childhood, I remembered that it isn’t always about me and continued on with class.

I have no patience for yoga, other than prenatal yoga where you are encouraged to not work too hard and stretch a lot.  Pilates, however, is a life and ab saver.  I love Pilates mat classes.  Most gyms and many yoga studios offer this class and it is energetic enough to keep me occupied, and definitely challenging enough to whittle the middle.  If you have not tried Pilates before, give it a go.  It is less embarrassing than doing Zumba for the first time, and is the best thing I have found for toning.

What to wear to class?  My current favorite tees are the GapFit Motion tees, which are a total knock off of Lululemon’s cult favorite, yet overpriced tees, but with a less delicate fabric and a nicer price of $34.95.  The fit is snug, but not clingy.  It’s long enough to not have to worry about flashing while bending, and it covers the upper arm area.  I find I am more inclined to attend class when I am wearing a cute outfit.  I never claimed to be deep.

gap tee