And other things I learned the hard way.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why you never let your toddler near your laptop.

t]]]]]]]hguuiimmbegggggggggb //
]][ojnnn b bbbb



;/.,/i09o/;[]=]\['----/'.n kji7yuuhjuj7ijiji8i99i b mjkkomn9-p=0k/0pop;ookoijmuhjujuhh;p;.ll.p;['[ =


\ytyyhuyh7y7hbuyjn8uyjnyunghgftv fcr gvjk;i uo ffgjkl.;/ tyhup;k

(compliments of Charlotte)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Have baby, will travel...sort of

I'm just going to be honest with you here: I hate traveling with my kid.


Not because she doesn't ride in the car well, because she honestly does.

And I don't even particularly care about the 50 extra pounds of stuff I have to pack.

I just don't like the shit.

Like, actual shit. From the baby.

I hates it.

Here's the situation: EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. my child takes a long road trip, she craps her brains out. I'm talking total epic explosion that requires an entire outfit change and possible a scrub of the car seat.

I site as an example my latest trip with her to the Sterling Renaissance Festival. The drive there, wasn't too terribly long, it clocked at just about two hours. But here's pretty much how it went once we got there:

We caravaned in two sets of cars. Total of six people including baby. Plus we were meeting two more at the gates. So the five adults get out of the car and start changing into their costumes. I start the process of unload and setup of the stroller. And then I notice the wetness. I'll spare you specifics, but it was BAD. And yet at the same time wholly expected from my child. So I do what any parent would do...spread out a mat and lay her down on the front seat to change her.

Except she's wiggling, gets a foot in it and proceeds to smear crap ON my seat. And the ties of my blouse keep falling INTO it, so I have poop on my blouse. And then, for good measure, I get a streak of it down my arm while trying to contain my baby which has turned into a flailing poop-smearing octopus.

And my phone is RINGING OFF THE HOOK.

I'm going to preface this: I love my friends. And the friends we were supposed to be meeting at the gate weren't quite getting the seriousness of the situation via text. So while texting them that I have a "situation" with one hand (the aforementioned shit covered arm) I'm talking AT my phone "I'm covered in shit I can't get to the 5 mile an hour sign dammit!!"

So I get the diaper on the baby while she's caterwauling her FACE OFF and proceed to scrub at my shirt, my arm and the seat with baby wipes. And promptly, on the first diaper change of the trip, use up ALL the wipes in my travel container.

Tip #1: However many wipes you THINK you will need, triple it.

I learned that months ago so I actually brought a FULL SIZE tub of wipes to refill the travel pack through the trip.

Tip #2: Bring TWO garbage bags. One for dirty diapers so they aren't just rolling around in your car/diaper bag. And the other to lay on the seat so as to avoid the shit-finger-paint.

I forgot them both. Shame on me.

So, I eventually get the kid into the stroller. And get myself out of my clothes and into costume, and by this point, my blood pressure is a little high.


I have so many bags with me, and everyone wants to get a move on that my brain is racing along at about 80 miles an hour with an internal monologue of

Alley are we ready?
No. I can't find my baby's sunglasses.

Tip #3: Attach cords to everything.

The sippy cup and snack cups were both physically attached to the stroller so I would have a harder time loosing track of them. But things like sunglasses and car keys get tossed into the diaper bag and inevitably sink to the bottom so you never find them when you are looking for them.

So about this point my friends are REALLY anxious to get moving and start shutting my car doors and I start flipping out because


Bottom of the fucking diaper bag. Of course.

Tip #4: Attach fucking cords. To fucking everything.

So by the time our rag-tag motley crew of people hit the gate, my blood is boiling. I just feel cranked up to 11.

Tip #5: Bottled water.

This is for you, ideally you should sit down and drink some. But there was no sitting. Because our group of friends broke off into fragments and we all had somewhere to go.

Now about this point in the program I should have said "Fuck all y'all I'm sitting my ass down before I have a heart attack". Or at the very least a polite "Um, I need to sit down before I FALL DOWN..." but I didn't. So shame on me. So we keep walking.

Tip #6: Take rests when you need to. You are no good to your baby dead.

I didn't follow this tip.

So we walk. And it's ball sweat hot. And I'm in FAR TOO MANY clothes...

(Tip #7: Dress accordingly, also did not follow)

I start to get dizzy. And feel sick to my stomach. Because my blood pressure is still rattling around my ears. Seriously that poop bath totally screwed up my groove.

FINALLY we sit down. I'm REALLY dizzy. I'm wheezing. I'm pretty sure I'm about to throw up. And I look over at the baby...

and there's poop.

Splattered across the side of the stroller.

So even though I JUST sat down for literally the first time in hours, I had to stand right back up and walk to the car because I *knew* I would need some space and time for this operation.

Tip #8: Park close.

So I walked BACK to the car, unlacing my corset as I went and fighting off waves of nausea.

Get to the car and do the poop/octopus/smear dance AGAIN. This time with an added bonus of having to scrub off the stroller seat. And AGAIN using every single wipe I had in the travel case up in the process(see tip #1). I will spare you the details, but I dry heaved it was so bad.

And at THAT point I decided to follow tip #7 and stripped off the costume and put my aforementioned poop shirt back on with shorts.

Seriously, don't ever try to look nice AND travel. Just give up. Fellow parents that have DONE the "No Don't Smear That There!" Tango won't judge you. I promise.

I get the kid BACK into her (newly cleaned) stroller and realize that both her sippy AND snack cup are empty.

Tip #9: Bring extra everything.

Refilled both cups. Took a deep breath. And started walking. AGAIN. And I'm not ashamed to admit, I cried a bit on that walk back into the park. I only had about a dozen wipes left out of the ENTIRE TUB I had brought with me. I don't even know what I'm going to do if she decides to let fly again. AND I have a three hour drive home ahead of me. Which even at the point I was at, shaking and crying, I knew I couldn't leave just then. I HAD TO CALM DOWN and...

Tip #10: Feed YOURSELF.

Self explanatory. I was fucking hungry. At this point it was almost two in the goddamn afternoon.

Tip #11: FEED YOURSELF AND SIT DOWN. Again, you are no use to your baby dead.

About this point in the program I was finally at the "fuck all y'all" stage and sat my happy ass down for two hours eating and watching shows.

It was fucking brilliant.

And believe it or not, my day got better from that point. Who knew??

But a few more little tidbits.

Tip #12: If outside, bring a blanket.

Because eventually, and who can really blame them, your bundle of love is going to want OUT OF THAT STROLLER ZOMFG NOW!! Tip #9 comes in handy right about now when you make a small picnic out of snacks.

Tip #13: Find a way to bring them down a notch.

I did this by listening to a group singing Italian chamber music.

Tip #14: When it comes to long drives, take turns. Oh shifts.

I could not do this. I had a three hour drive home with a screaming child in the backseat on my own. Which leads me to the last tip...

Tip #15: Travel with reinforcements.

Now this list is in no way written in stone. Maybe you have a wonderful child that doesn't shatter the earth's core when they fart. If you do, please don't tell me, I don't want to know about it.

All in all, the day trip for me personally was pretty horrible. I didn't get home until after 11 and at that point I just wanted to sleep, cry and die all the same time. The last 20 minutes of the drive I had to talk to myself to keep myself awake.

And I honestly think that if I would have had another set of hands to help with things like the extreme shit wrangling, I would have been in a better mood.

Though you know what the REAL kick to the pants was?

The kid had a great goddamn time and sacked out smiling when we finally got home.


Tip #16: Try to have a good time. And if that fails, just drink. Heavily.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stickers, Lawn Fetes and the downfall of our nation.

**disclaimer - sorry if this blog pisses you off. But I have to get this off my chest**

So Todd and I went to the Queen of Heaven lawn fete this past weekend. And aside from Western New York showing an AMAZING amount of class (sarcasm) we saw a few things we just. can't. let. slide.

Firstly: Stickers.

People these stickers have gotten out of control. I do not now, nor have I EVER given a SHIT about any honor student. No matter where they go to school. Or if your spawn was student of the week. Couldn't care less.

Also, these little family stickers. You know, on your back window showing me how many people, dogs, turtles and whatnot are in your family? Yeah, I don't dig on those either. I think it's ridiculously self-centered and arrogant to assume that the person behind you in traffic gives a rat's ass how many assholes you're carting around in your too big SUV that you can't even park properly.

Every time I see these stickers I want to knock on your window and say "Hi, arrogant shit head? Yeah, NOBODY CARES."

You earn extra asshole points if these fucking stick figures are wearing mickey mouse ears.

Secondly: Pacifiers.

Now, in general, I have no problems with babies using pacifiers.

Key word: BABIES.

When you are carting around a toddler who's at least 4 years old and STILL clinging to that thing, I can't help but wonder what sort of complex your child is developing before your eyes.

Now, I GET it. It's a crutch. A soothing method.

But people, I hate to sound mean, but here it is: LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS EASY. That being said, WHY would you train your children to learn that you will never ever take things away from them? And then, when they're 8 and you smack something out of their hands they throw a volcanic meltdown in the middle of Target and you blame THEM. When clearly it's your fault for being a spineless weakling.

It probably sounds harsh, I realize this. But come ON. If your child is old enough to TELL you what their problem is and why they need to be soothed then they DON'T need a pacifier. End of story. Period.

Thirdly (and much along the same lines): If your child is A)over the age of eight or B) weighs more than say 95 pounds, DO NOT LET THEM RIDE IN A STROLLER FOR GOD'S SAKE. If you have to fold your pre-teen up like a piece or origami to get it to fit in the stroller they are OBVIOUSLY too big. Make the little spoiled rotten shit WALK. Also, if your youth is abnormally rotund, you should take away the corn dog and MAKE THEM WALK.

Now I also understand that some people have tazmanian devil children. If you have a child like the proverbial bull in said china shop, there IS a solution for that. It's called a leash. It's only cruel if you put it around their neck. And works a dandy job for the under five crowd. If your child is older and you STILL can't control your little hell beast, maybe the problem isn't them, it's you.

I realize this post is REALLY nasty. But I'm being totally honest when I say that I lost ALL FAITH FOR THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN RACE this past weekend. Fat mouthy children swearing at their parents. Festooned with toys and prizes and fried food. Kids that were obviously well into grade school in strollers WITH BOTTLES!!

PARENTS! Wake up!

You are over-coddling your youngsters. And then you have the AUDACITY to cry fowl when they reach school age and can't do a hot damn thing for themselves. You have the gall to blame the TEACHERS for not instilling this sense of independence into your PUDDING of a child. A child that you reared to never be able to think or act for themselves. A child you told could have anything they want. Then they get into the real world and discover rain is wet and snow is cold and suddenly they are very unhappy.

If you have one of these poor disillusioned children in your home, I'm sorry to say that it's no one's fault but your own.

So pull your pointless fucking stickers off your car, take the goddamn pacifier away and teach your child to USE their backbone.

Good day.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I now understand why people cater their kid's birthday parties. I totally get it.

I am EXHAUSTED. But in a really good way. For as much stress, and headaches, and backaches and work and sweat and a little blood and some this party was to organize and set up it was TOTALLY worth it. We all had a really good time.

(Special note of Thanks! to Uncle B who sent this adorable tutu all the way from sunny Cali for babygirl's b-day)

Pre-party I had EVERY INTENTION of taking pictures of the food and turning this into a WTGDDE post.

And didn't take any.


So! Menu was:
white bean and spinach hummus with veggie dipping sticks
chipotle and salsa with chips
fruit platter
green salad
cold black bean chili
mac and cheese
tuna mac salad
Great Nana pasta salad
baked beans
hamburgers, hot dogs and italian sausage with peppers and onions
and TWO kinds of cake and two sherberts

*pant pant pant*

I went a WEEEE bit overboard on the food (in fact, my fridge is still really full if anyone wants to come over for dinner).

And then, of course, that was the cake.

Oh. The. Cake.

We required a change of clothes because she had cake caked in the tulle of the tutu. And her eyelashes. And about a quarter pound up her nose.

Though by this point, although she was very well behaved, she was VERY tired.

And honestly didn't give a fat rat's ass about opening presents.

But all in all, a good day was had by all. And what was the winning present of the evening? I know you're wondering...

Crayons. Hundreds of dollars worth of toys and clothes. And she looses her shit over the crayons.


And that folks, is how we did the birthday.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

WTGDDE Ver 2.5

(What the Griffins Done Did Eat)

So I totally warned you that I would more than likely FAIL at the Thursday posting of this blog. But rest assured, I've been taking pictures of the more memorable meals.

But I want to take this time here and talk to you about food.

What food SHOULD do:
*nourish you
*taste good
*make you feel good
*help make good memories

What food SHOULD NOT do:
*make you feel guilty/bad about yourself

Food I feel, has much the same power at words: they only make you feel BAD if you let them. In this aspect 'fuck' and 'cheeseburger' are very similar. There is NOTHING wrong with either of them. But because of social stigma or pressure you say fuck, you feel bad. Or you eat a cheeseburger, you feel bad. I don't even KNOW what would happen if you ate a cheeseburger while fucking, I think your head might explode.

But, I digress...

Food. It's come to my attention through several people and sources that most food/mommy blogs end up making a person feel bad, or like a failure. People, that's REALLY not how shit rolls up in this joint. And you KNOW that. So how does this relate to food? Well, back when I did the first WTGDDE post I mentioned that I felt the vegan blogger posed her food. And you know what? I TOTALLY caught myself doing it. I told Todd "WAIT! Don't eat that! I need a picture!"


Yeah I know. I KNOW. So I'm altering this segment of the blog. It won't be a weekly thing. It may not even be bi-weekly. WTGDDE is going to pictures or stories about food that was nourishing/tasted good/and made us feel good as a family.

And it if winds up being two big macs from McDonald's and large chocolate shakes, so be it! Because let's be honest, it happens.


But, before I get to the pictures, there are some meals that deserve honorable mention that I didn't get pictures of. Namely:
*Charlotte's first time eating blueberries
*Eggplant not-Parmesan
*Charlotte's first taco from Taco Bell where she lathered sour cream into her hair like shampoo.

And now, onto the pictures!

Charlotte had eggo and pineapple.

Mom had cheerios and strawberries.

Don't remember what this meal was but MAN it sure looks tasty.

Italian porkchops with feta, sauted spring greens over brown rice and garlic cheese bread. Recipe avail upon request. It was fucking tasty.

So how do we feel about this variation on the blog? Comments? Questions? Concerns? Dirty jokes? No seriously...I want the dirty jokes...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh what a difference a year can bring

(Subtitle: It's not that I'm a bitch and don't care about your sob story/horror birth, it's that I have one of my own kthnxbai)

So I'm honestly not sure how many of you know the story of Charlotte's birth. But I figured on the year anniversary (give or take a few days) would be a good time to spin this particular yarn. So sit back and let's have a job down memory lane, shall we?

You may remember that this pregnancy was NOT easy on me. At all. I mean it took me a year and a half more or less to GET pregnant. Least the Almighty could have done was made it easy. BUT NOOOOOOOO.

Morning sickness. Dislocated ribs. Hip displaysia. HEARTBURN to rattle the fucking mountains. You may remember such hit tunes as me passing out at work from dehydration and then getting pulled out on disability because of my body's slow collapse like a flan in a cupboard. FUN TIMES!

Not really.

I hated being pregnant. I didn't feel special. I felt like the dinner scene in alien. I didn't glow, I dripped. I smelled funny. My feet gained a size. All in all I was GLORIOUSLY happy when my doctor called me and said "Yeah, we're tired of your fake labor. Come in early, we're cutin' that baby out yo' ass."

I practically SKIPPED to labor and delivery that morning my friends. Because it was going to be OVER.


How naive I was.

My c-section was probably one of the least eventful/totally cool operations in the history of the planet. There were no emergencies. No one was near death. In fact Todd sat there reading the paper while I rocked back and forth in my hospital bed saying "ohmigawdwe'rehavingababyohmigawdwe'rehavingababy."

So I got a catheter. Don't let them lie, it's not HORRIBLE. I got shaved by a stranger *eyebrow waggle*. And then in I was wheeled.

And then I got the spinal.

THAT is the worst. THING. EVARZ.

Let me break that part down for you. It's cold in there. Like 10 - 15 degrees below comfy. And it's LOUD. There's at least half a dozen people moving around and all talking. You have 2 or 3 nurses just for helping the doctor, so they are counting and double counting spikey sharp looking silver things in the corner. 2 or 3 men types who are your drug givers. They are talking off to the side. And 2 or 3 people I'm not sure what they were there for, they they were there. And it's REALLY bright. And the fucking phone is ringing. I shit you not.

So here I am, wide eyed and overstimulated to the EXTREME, and in the middle of all this I have to stay perfectly still while the guy shots 6 needles into my spine.

Yeah, you read that right. I cried. It was the worst worst worst part of the "birth".

So they lay me down and I IMMEDIATELY start to freak out that they are going to operate on me and I'm not going to be completely numb. I know, I'm insane. And the doctor is there telling me that's pretty much impossible. I can SEE her touching my feet, but I can't feel it.

And then the drugs kick in and two things happen in VERY quick succession.

They lift my gown up and expose my bits to the 6 or so people in the room and I literally say "Oh well hey now, everyone welcome to my vagina."

And my blood pressure PLUMMETS and I say "Oh, I think I'm about to..." hooooooorrrrrrk.

And I puke. And then cried. Because I was embarrassed. I'm half naked, spread eagle and just threw up in front of strangers. Seriously the only thing missing is me without my homework.

So I apologize to the drug tech. "I'm so sorry, I usually don't throw up in front of strangers." TRUE STORY. Ask Todd, he heard it. I then proceed to have small talk with the med student ass my blood pressure drops to like 2 over 6 or something scary low like that. Seriously, I asked him about his schooling.

Then my arm starts to cramp up and I START WAVING MY RIGHT ARM AROUND and GIGGLING because as they are moving my uterus it starts to tickle internally.

My doc pops her head over the sheet, looks at Todd horror struck and says "Is she REALLY laughing??"

Ladies and gents, after my horrible pregnancy, hand to God, my baby came into this world while I was near in tears with the giggles.

And she was pink and beautiful and perfect and screaming her face off and it was over so quick I was shocked and back in my bed in recovery before I could say "I'd like a shot of Jameson." Except the drugs wore off WAY quicker than they were supposed to and I needed an emergency shot of morphine in my leg because I started to go into shock.

They brought me my small burrito who was all squished and tiny and then it hit me.

Holy fucking shit I was a goddamn mother.

I'm responsible not to break it, or kill it. Keep it safe and warm and fed. Don't loose it. Don't let it grow up to be a republican. My mind was practically spinning with all the "ohmigawdohmigawd".

And then they took her from me because she was too cold. I went into shock and passed out.

Several hours later when I was allowed to FINALLY leave recovery (and at this point I would have walked out had I been able to walk because the bitch across from me would NOT shut THE FUCK up. With the screaming and the crying and swearing in Spanish. Ay! Dios Mio! Callate la boca puta!)

I went upstairs and there was my mom, my husband AND MY BABY!! And then Todd's parents show up. And it's all wonderful and sweet and loving.

Until about 3 am when shit starts going wrong. And here people. HERE is where I start to not care about your birth story. So I'm going to take a pause and explain why. It's not that I'm a bitch. It's not that I'm mean. It's that WE ALL have our own shit to deal with. And honestly, how DARE you try to make me feel bad that I'm not all hallmark commercial weepy about your sob story. I know that probably sounds heartless. Because I DO feel bad when I hear bad birth stories. I just get angry when people feel entitled. So, we continue.

She won't feed. This isn't abnormal. But I mean she REALLY won't feed. Boob or bottle. And I'm trying. And trying. And she's fighting. AND FIGHTING. She grabs my iv and RIPS IT OUT OF MY ARM and I start bleeding everywhere while she's in my arms wailing and caterwauling. And Todd and I are alone in room going "WTF do we do now??"

So the nurse comes it and I'll spare you but it took them 3 tries to get that iv back in my arm. OMG luckily at this point I was numb from lack of sleep and drugs that I didn't care. So, they took the baby to the nursery so we could get some sleep.

And that's the last time I was able to hold my newborn for 48 hours.

Turns out she had an EPIC HUGE myconium plug that her little butt butt just could not pass. So around 6am they took her up to the NICU and put her in a baby incubator and did all sorts of tests, pokes, prods, xrays and minor surgery on her. The stuck a tube up her nose to drain out the bile in her stomach. They tried to give her an iv in both hand and both feet but failed so they operated on her umbilical stump and inserted an iv directly through there. They then told me that if she didn't poop she'd die.

...I'm sorry, what?

If she didn't poop. She would die. They wanted to operate. They wanted to do a punch biopsy. But for now, we were just going to wait and see what nature did. And we were allowed to see her. But we couldn't touch her. Or hold her. Or wake her up. Or FEED HER.

So for two days I stared in silence as my baby got smaller and smaller from not eating. And couldn't touch her. I couldn't hold her. I WAS FAILING AS A MOTHER. She was less than three days old and already I can't tell her it'll be alright because I honestly don't know if it will be.

People, I have no words for my tears in these days. I have no words for the anguish in my soul.

This is why, when you demand that I feel bad for you, I'm out of those feelings. I'm sorry, I'm a selfish bitch that used them all on my baby. I have none left for you.

And then, the most wonderful thing in the world happened.

I got a phone call "Mrs. Griffin, we wanted to let you know that little Charlotte just moved her bowels for the first time!"


And then she came home.

And all sorts of stuff happened/went wrong.

Oh the breastfeeding drama. Reading over those first few blogs I still laugh. I didn't know WHAT the hell I was doing. At all.

And these days? I cart her around on one hip while I pull stuff out of the fridge to make dinner. My living room has never been messier, I'm overrun by her toys. And I've never been SO tired as I have the past few days where's she been nonstop sick and screaming every waking moment.

But would I trade it for anything in the world?

Nope. Sure as shit not.

BUT, let's clear up a few misconceptions:
*I LOVE being a mother, but that doesn't mean I have to ENJOY it all the time. Those are two VERY different emotions.
*You do NOT forget all the "bad" pregnancy things the moment your baby is born. It's been a year later and I STILL have nightmares about that back pain.
*And just because I didn't spend my pregnancy shitting rainbows and glitter does NOT make me a bad mother.

And that's the kind of clarity a year can bring. I don't have to be super mom. I just have to be Charlotte's mom. And I think I'm doing a damn fine job so far.