How to Fill Up Jogging Stroller Tires

Got one of these?

Me, too… and so does just about every other mom in my neighborhood. Posey and I go for our “serious walks” in this thing. It’s a perfect 2.4 mile loop to Target and back (2.5 if you count the lollygagging up and down the aisles… make that an even 3.0), and we’ve taken the trek about a zillion times during her 18 (yes, 18!) months.

Here’s something that never occurred to me. Notice this?

I didn’t, until last week. DUH. They’re like bikes tires, and they NEED TO GET FILLED UP.

I’ve been pushing the kid around on flat tires for months and months. Who knows, maybe there wasn’t even air in them when we got the thing. I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. The last time I filled up a bike tire was before I was pregnant, and I over-did it at a gas station. The inner tube exploded, and I lost hearing in my right ear for an hour. Today is finally a nice, sunny day in Chicago, so I rolled her and her deflated wheels down the road to Oscar Wastyn Cycles, where the kind gent took one look at Pose and her sorry-ass ride and pulled out the air hose.

It’s kind of like when I got my first car, and no one ever told me that you have to get the oil changed. How am I supposed to know these things? So check your stroller tires.

Happy Spring.

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Posey and Carl Jung’s Theory of the Collective Unconscious

heartofdarknessMy senior year of high school, I had a truly awful English teacher who did not care for me very much whatsoever. Towards the end of the school year, she asked that we go around the classroom and announce where each of us was to attend college the following fall. It basically went down like this: “Harvard.” “Yale.” “Stanford.” “M.I.T.” “M.I.T.” “M.I.T.” and so on. I have no idea why so many engineer-minded kids were in an AP English class, but they were. Then she came to me. I shyly said, “The University of Iowa.”

She glared at me, curled her evil lip up just like the Grinch, and snarled– “You don’t want to be a WRITER, do you?” Gulp.

This post doesn’t have much to do with that story, I just wanted to tell it. The segue is that in this class, I read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and learned about Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious:

“My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited.”

So basically, we’re all born with inherited human experience collective knowledge. And you know what? I totally buy it. I’ve seen it in action. In the form of… THE TELEPHONE.

These days, the only phones Posey has really ever seen in action look like this:

iphone

So how the heck can I explain the fact that she totally instinctively knows what to do with THIS thing? Like, what do do with a handset? When she’s never seen one before???

chatterphone

But she gets it. And answers the phone. That Jung guy was on to something.

What to Expect When You Expect Your Baby’s Toenails to Grow, But They Don’t

*Toe-tally not Po's piggies

*Toe-tally not Po’s piggies

Posey is 17 months and 9 days old. Today, on this magical day, she hit quite the milestone– and Beef and I are mighty proud.

Did she walk? No.

Did she say “Mama?” No.

Did she scoop the poop out of the cat box? I wish.

On this magical day, my daughter grew her toenails long enough for me to be able to cut them for the very first time!!! But don’t get too excited– only 6 of them were ready for trimming. Is this normal? According to Whattoexpect.com, I need to “keep in mind that toenails grow more slowly and therefore require less maintenance.” Did they mean over 500 days?

For more of their advice on how to cut your baby’s nails, click on over to here. And no, I did not save the clippings.

3 Reasons I’m Annoyed My Toddler Can’t Walk Yet

1. The acute lower back pain I’m currently in physical therapy for from lifting a non-walking toddler.

2. The sprained rib I was diagnosed with today that I most likely got from lifting a non-walking toddler.

3. The kid pictured above, Kate Wood, is just a few months older than Posey and is already an international swimming star. A baby that swims laps? Maybe I need to re-direct my efforts and head back to swim school

The Cutest Hair Bows on Earth, for Easter & Beyond

haircut

Last weekend, we took Posey for her first haircut. Well, her first “real” haircut. My mom said it didn’t count when I trimmed the back of her head into a sweet little rattail. Now that she’s got a fancy new ‘do, I felt she needed something else in her life: fancy hair bows.

This is what Etsy is made for.

After a quick search, I came across a little shop called Ellie & Liv. It doesn’t get much cuter than this, people. And guess what? If you use discount code SPRING2013, you can save 10% now through 4/1/2013. If you don’t want a chocolate bunny to clip in your child’s hair, there is seriously something wrong with you.

chocbunny chevron

striped

A Mom’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

cupid

5:52 a.m. Awaken to breakfast in bed. How is there literally more Cheerios than there are grains of sand at the beach under your covers?

5:57 a.m. Change Cupid’s diaper. How did Cheerios get in there, too?

6:22 a.m. Give your honey a valentine. Draw a heart around the Post-It note you left next to his keys that says, “Remember to call your mother back re: goiter surgery. Buy cat litter.”

9:16 a.m. Indulge in a sweet treat. Play the Is It Chocolate… Or Poop? Game, Valentine’s Edition! (Hint: Poop isn’t heart-shaped. Usually.)

10:46 a.m. Remember to Flirt! When you pass those three post-college dudes buying bulk toilet paper and their first Swiffer at Target, suck in your stomach until you feel your bellybutton wrap around your spine.

High Noon: Crack open a bottle of the good stuff. This isn’t a clever play on words for something parenting-related.

5:01 p.m. Go dancing! The tango? Naaaahhhh. Your Hot Dog Dance would make Julianne Hough beg for Toodles.

6:44 p.m. Savor a romantic dinner. Those Fish McBites aren’t going to try themselves.

6:48 p.m. Bust out your special lingerie… not the ratty nursing bra you still wear daily, even though you stopped breastfeeding two years ago. Wear the new nursing bra with the tags still on it.

8:06 p.m. Retire to the boudoir for another threesome… your third one this week. Hopefully, the tiny person in the middle doesn’t steal all the covers this time. Hey, is that a Cheerio?

How to Fly With a Toddler In Your Lap

January 20th, 2013. 11:05 a.m.  San Diego International Airport.

“Well, that was easy,” Beef said, “because we prepared.”

Hmm… shall we back up a wee bit?

Posey’s first flight was over the summer, when we schlepped her all the way to London. At the time, it seemed like the Hardest Thing Any Parent Has Ever Done Ever. Looking back at the circumstances, she was a non-crawling sack of potatoes who slept almost the entire time in a SPECIAL BED ATTACHED TO THE WALL, kind of like those sleep chambers in Aliens:

Piece of crumpet.

Flash forward the moment we decide to take her to California. And not just anywhere! Let’s make it a Grand Tour, shall we? San Diego! Orange County! Santa Monica! Pasadena! Brigadoon!  After all, we did okay on the last trip, right?  The one when we stayed in a gorgeous home with great friends who also had a baby and an extra set of all the stuff that comes with a baby?  That went smashingly!

This trip, we have to pack a car seat.  And a pack and play.  And a stroller.  And her mobile, because there is only one song on the planet earth she will fall asleep to.  And this trip, the Squiggliest Baby On Earth has to sit in “our” laps for four hours and nineteen minutes.

So here’s how “we” did it:

Step 1: Ask your parents to get up at 5 a.m. and come with TWO CARS to fit your luggage and yourselves comfortably.

Step 2: Oversleep and try to get past the fact that you are flying to the land of movie stars with hair that hasn’t been washed in two days.  Two days in a row that you worked out and then didn’t shower, because that’s why the alarm is set for 5:00 a.m. on the phone with no juice left.

Things To Check as Baggage:

  • Car Seat: My pediatrician recommended bringing our own car seat. After all, you don’t know where those rental car ones have been, although my first guess is probably in the back seat of a rental car.  Luckily, they make a special bag for the occasion, which I was able to borrow from a friend during a Big Trip to the Suburbs.  It was a lifesaver.  Car seats can be checked for free on United, so stuff that sucker full. Diapers, wipes, and the things that always takes up too much room in the suitcase so thusly I never bring them on vacation: running shoes.  Maybe I hate this car seat bag.
  • Pack and Play: Perhaps you remember my fondness for Ziploc baggies? They make one big enough to protect an entire foldable crib!!!!!!!

Things To Carry On:

  • Stroller: Get a gate check ticket and ride that thing to the plane door.
  • The Mom Tote: Wait, yours isn’t an oversized pink L.L. Bean customized “Oprah’s Book Club” tote bag circa the East of Eden re-launch, 2003? That’s weird. Mine sat in my closet for a decade– and finally, it was Big Pink Tote’s time to shine.  I spent a week stocking it with the following essentials:
  • Laptop
  • DVDs for laptop (Mickey Mouse, Sesame Street*)
  • Tiny child headphones I went to a special store for
  • Pre-chewed Board book, Posey’s fave
  • Talking Minnie Mouse, Posey’s other fave
  • Little plastic blocks to clackity-clack together, Posey’s other-other fave
  • 3 boxes of Horizon shelf-stable milk**
  • An entire tube of puffs
  • 3 baby food pouches
  • Enough wipes for the entire plane
  • A day’s worth of diapers
  • Baby B’Air toddler vest (Really? Really.)
  • 2 Cliff Bars, Gum & Goldfish***
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water

*I bought this to prepare her for the Sesame-land at Sea World, but instead I got a whole lotta Erykah Badu. I’m pretty sure there’s no Badu World. 

** These don’t count as liquid, so you can bring them through security as long as you consent to a pat down. Got that? Juice box = pat down. 

***So when Beef asks, “What do we have to eat?” there is food. And when he asks, “Do we have gum?” the answer is “yes.”

Dramatic re-enactment. But I was wearing those same jeans.

Dramatic re-enactment. But I was wearing those same jeans.

Our seats are in the very last row.  The kind that don’t recline back. Middle and window. Sweatpants on the aisle looks hungover and ready to nap. Posey starts to freak. I distract her with the board book and Hemisphere Magazine and the barf bag for just long enough until the momentum of take-off catches her fancy, at which point a bottle gets shoved into her maw to protect her ears from popping.  Once we’re up and see two girls go to the bathroom, we ask Sweatpants if we can get out to go change her already twelve-ton diaper. Two Mr. Meanie flight attendants to tell us to sit back down. Sweatpants lets us back in. The fleeciness of his pants makes him agile like a serpent. The seatbelt light dings off.  This time, Mr. Meanie says, “You know there’s no changing table on board this aircraft.” No prob. We change her in our seats and leave a little parting gift on board when we leave.  (For the return trip, I doubled up on diapers.  It worked; she survived.)

Back in our row, the Giant Business Man in front of me reclines his seat into Posey’s face. I don’t stop her from kicking the seat back for hours, because if it bothered him, he is welcome to move into the empty seat next to him that he’s using to keep his coat and newspaper. Strapped into her red vest that somehow makes me feel safer and better about life in general, Posey watches two and a half hours of Mickey Mouse until she falls asleep on my chest for the first time in about a year.  At first, it feels nice.  And then, she feels like a hot lava rock in my lap and I pray that the wet I feel is my sweat and not her pee. Beef enjoys watching Bradley Cooper pay the steepest of steep prices to pay in The Words.

Bad Writer!

Bad Writer!

When it’s time to land, my little traveler gets mad that there’s no Mickey to watch, so talking Minnie will have to do. And she does.

I wrestle with her down the aisle as we wait to de-plane from forty rows back, and I’m relieved to reunite with our stroller, which I’m pleased to say looks like it had a truly excellent time visiting the coal mine.

January 20th, 2013. 11:05 a.m.  San Diego International Airport.

“Well, that was easy,” Beef said, “because we prepared.”

Some Things I Love About Her

  • That she laughs like Beavis and Butthead: “Heh, heh, heh.”
  • How her nose and eyes wrinkle up into a nerd-face when she’s pleased
  • The way she snores like a drunken sailor, so loud we can hear it through the closed door
  • When she slaps her hand on the highchair when she wants more
  • That her babbling is more like a caveman grunting
  • When she rubs her eyes when she’s tired and sticks her tongue out when she’s trying, just like a cartoon
  • The way she dips her face into every bath and gets a Richard Branson bubble-goatee
  • How she opens her mouth up really wide,  like a baby bird, when I’m feeding her food on a spoon
  • That she claps when she hears applause on TV
  • The fact that her mouth has run along the entire parameter of this home like it was one giant envelope
  • When I head the clatter of a pacifier hitting the ground followed by “Uh. Ooooooh” coming from her room
  • How she extends her leg extra-long like a ballerina, her toes hitting my nose, so I’ll say “peee-you” one more time
  • That’s she’s happiest when she’s holding a fist full of cat hair
  • That her favorite song is “The Transylvania Twist” from Spookley the Square Pumpkin
  • The look on her face when she crawls over to me and tugs on my pant leg so I’ll scoop her up.