My Son Is Obsessed With BeatBelle

I took my 1 year old into a toy store on a whim, just to take a walk through and see if anything caught his eye. At home, his favorite toys are empty plastic bottles, anything gross and whatever he shouldn’t be touching. “What toys do you like?” I asked W, carrying him close to the toy-lined shelf. “Do you see anything fun?” I hoped he might reach out of my arms and select something that appealed to him but I didn’t expect him to do so, and I was actually kind of surprised when he leaned over and grabbed a little creature that looked like a rabbit person with big striped ears, a pink bobble head, a yellow face, a white body and purple shoes. His touch set her off, and she began playing high energy dance music, and singing and talking, very loudly. Her stomach had what I could best describe as a dancing rave party light that sent him into a trance. I had no idea what she was saying, it sounded like gibberish to me, but he was clearly stricken.

I walked around the store, offering him the opportunity to touch other toys but he wouldn’t let the rabbit person creature go. Another mom saw the thing in my son’s hand. “My daughter loves that toy,” she said to me. “It keeps her busy for like 20 minutes and I can actually get something done.” I was intrigued, then immediately felt guilty about it, intrigued, then felt guilty…I hated the idea of liking the thought of my kid being occupied by some dumb toy so I could have less than 100% concentration on him for 15 minutes but then again, sometimes it’s nice to poop without a baby on your lap, you know?

I plunked down the $12.99 for the toy and hoped I wouldn’t regret purchasing it. I kept it out of sight until we were in a safe place, imagining some knucklehead yelling, “Shut that god damn thing off!”, ripping it out of W’s hand and chucking it down the street, because it was that loud and annoying. But again, baby boy liked it so…, and the thought of pooping without a infant on my lap was just too enticing.

When we got home I took the toy out for him and he went frickin’ nuts. He was laughing and holding it like I imagine a cave man held the women they chose to possess. He dragged the thing around the house as it yelled and sang, “Clap clap clap to the beat!” and “Beatdown! Beatdown!” What did it say? What was it saying?

I looked up the toy and found the name of the toy was “Bright Beats TM Juniors” and she was saying her name, “BeatBelle“.  I also learned there was a boy version, and his name is BeatBo. There are 2 sizes, a small one and a big one, and the big one dances and apparently the kids love to dance with them.

So if you’re headed to the party of a child of a frenemy or boss you don’t really like, I very strongly recommend showing up with this thing in hand. The kid will love it, and it will drive everyone else a little nuts.

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The Archetypes Of My Apartment Complex

Every building has a cast of characters and mine is no different. Let me set the scene for you a little bit. I live in a very old school building that you have to get on a list to live in. It was built in the early 1900s and has a shit ton of units in it. Hundreds. It’s massive. It has a large, sprawling, well-manicured courtyard that almost every apartment has a window that looks over. The median age range is, I’d say people in their 50s and the community is referred to as a “NORC”, a naturally occurring retirement community because people move in and it’s nice enough that they mostly never leave, at least not by choice.

So that’s the scenario. Here are some of the characters who frequent the building’s courtyard and surrounding area.

Mr. Sneezes
Mr. Sneezes, well, sneezes. A lot. 5, 6, 7 times in a row. Sometimes more. I hear him in the morning while I’m having oatmeal. His sneeze is a booming loud sneeze that often breaks the sound barrier and leaves goosebumps on my neck. Is it TB? Is he allergic to the flowers but MUST sit beside them due to potent OCD? Does he just have a cold all the time? WTF IS UP WITH MR. SNEEZES?

The Cat Lady
Every borough, every village, every street, every building in NYC has a notorious cat lady or 10. They are everywhere, and this city seems especially furry with them. But our building happens to have a very special cat lady. She has personally made it her job to take care of the stray cat community in the building’s courtyard. No one pays her, I don’t even know if she knows where she is. But she feeds all the sad, mangy, feral cats and pets them, every day. Thank Goodness–every creature needs to be pet from time to time.

The Mom From The Goonies
The Mom from the Goonies is a nice enough and in fact, quite pleasant older lady. She just happens to have the same voice as the mom from the goonies and a more than passing resemblance to her. I can imagine her smacking someone in the head or driving a beat up Jeep Cherokee as I type this. She’s cool, and The Goonies is one of my favorite movies of all time. But still. Mom from the Goonies. All that she’s missing is the beret.

The Friendliest Marine In The World
He has tinnitus in one ear. He’s super nice, and he’s, like, the mayor of the building or something. I think he was a lawyer a long time ago, or he went to jail enough times to know a lot about the courts, but that’s doubtful, he seems too awesome. I adore him. He hugs and kisses me every time he sees me. He was once a marine. He is whip smart. He is as tall as a light post and always well-dressed in a button down shirt and khakis. Nary a day goes by when I don’t see him. I think he has a timeshare in Florida. He has one of the biggest, fanciest apartments in the complex, a 3 bedroom, I think. He seems to be able to make things happen with a word and a whisper. He’s the friendliest marine in the world.

Gosh, there are so many more wack-a-doo characters. I haven’t even gotten into the lady with the giant white dog, the lady with the tiny white dog, the weird security guard who reminds me of the lead singer of Fine Young Cannibals, the older Asian lady who is always smacking herself in the back, stomach and chest, (there are actually like 20-30 or so of that particular archetype), the Russian nanny who is always sleeping, the wormy management guy who my actual nickname for is “the worm” but upon further investigation of him, he’s not the worst guy ever, just wormy, and so on and so on.

I wonder how they’d describe me?

White Lady With A Baby Who’s Making All Our Rent Go Up
Every day, this corny white lady strolls outside pushing a giant carriage with her baby in it who is cute now but one look at him tells you he’s going to grow up and be a bruh or a pain in the ass. She always wears a big green hat like she’s on safari and giant sunglasses like she’s a celebrity or something but I’ve never seen her in anything except our courtyard. She and her husband always get a million Amazon boxes delivered. They are hiding from someone or are the most laziest people in the world. She and her husband also sometimes take the baby for walks together. The husband is tall and always dresses in black even when it’s 100 degrees out. Kinda weird folks, but at least they seem friendly.

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Just Your Typical 4:32 am Post

They say if you’re a writer you will write. “You will find time,” they say. They say, “Just write a little bit every day.” Some set alarms to wake up early to write for an hour before the baby gets up. Some wake up at 4:32 every day now and don’t need alarms. Who needs an alarm when you have a human alarm clock, alarming you every few hours of the night?

I wonder if my mom or your mom or our grandmothers were plagued with the compulsion to get up and write at 4:32 am. I doubt it.

This scintillating and fascinating post that is so important it must be written at 4:32 am is being written via iPhone. Because I don’t have the luxury of quietly slipping out of bed to write. My baby sleeps beside me in our one bedroom apartment and guards my every waking night move like a tiny jail guard. I better not wake him lest he will respond with a howl and fine me one boob. So I don’t. Instead, I peck silently into a mini creativity releasing new post. Is this what creativity is? This word dump? For me, yeah, I guess so. For now.

One thing that gives me comfort is knowing that all over this city and this world, other mothers are doing the same, in the thousands if not millions. They are cutting patterns, reading, dreaming up plans, writing novels, tidying their homes and releasing those creative endorphins that get back piled up after days of playing, changing, fretting, walking, living with a baby. I choose to tap some tepid thoughts into an iPhone. At 4:32 am. That’s my creative contribution slash outlet. For today. For now. I also tweet. I have dreams. Big dreams. I have goals. Plans. Ideas. Thoughts. Work to do. Big works. Huge, in fact! I am not nobody. I’m somebody. And I’ll prove it. One day. One day soon maybe. Or maybe not for many years. Or maybe never at all. But for now, I’m doing what I said I’d do, what I told myself I’d do. I’m writing. At 4:32 am. I’m writing this little post and this counts. It matters. It’s gas to get me to the next day, through the next day.

Baby twitches and sighs beside me. Light is bothering him. Time to go, for now, or face the consequences. See you again next time, thoughts and dreams.

 

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Mama’s got a brand new reel

Thanks to the patience and ability of Ms. Jorja Hudson, I am able to share my new reel with you today. I’ve spent the last year working hard at being a good mom and not doing much of anything else. But I’m coming up for air and am glad to be able to say the early hard days are getting a little easier, allowing me time to do things like go out, see friends, and hang out with people who aren’t less than a year old.

Enjoy my reel! Pass onto all your big time pals. Thanks <3

 

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7 Healthy Easy Meals That Every Brand New Busy Tired Hungry First-Time Mom Can Totally Toss Together With Her Eyes Closed (Or Swollen Shut From Lack Of Sleep / Crying) + A Few Handy Food Tips and a Shopping List

Top L to Bottom R: Oatmeal photo gallery with incredible assortment of delectable topping choices
I know, mama, and on behalf of all moms everywhere, WE know. This next few months is going to knock you on your ass, babe, but you’ll be OK. However, you MUST eat. And if you can, eat well. Your baby depends on you being healthy and sane. Maybe you have some help but when you don’t, refer to these easy recipes and eat. I know it feels like even putting on pants right now is a struggle. Pants are stupid. I call them “society shackles” and I try not to wear them indoors. You will be ok! But first and foremost, you need that good nutrition you hear people talk about. I lost 15 pounds from breastfeeding, because baby eats up to 20 oz of milk a day. So chomp down lots of foods that will fill your ass up for hours, if possible. Like some of the meals below.
The “This Shit Is Hard” Oatmeal Protein Bowl
Oatmeal. I swear by this one. Cook a giant container of it after baby is in bed one night and eat it through the week or set it up at night then make and let it cook in the am while you dress and feed baby. I measure 1/2 cup of oatmeal and one cup of water because 1 serving is a huge amount of satisfying food and has a filling 120 calories.
Plus oatmeal aids in lactation, it’s good for your heart and colon, it makes you feel grown up and it’s cheap AF. And they even make it gluten free though I find it not as filling. But here’s what separates the girls from the moms: toppings. Go nuts with your bad breastfeeding calorie needin’ self. Try one, three or all of the following together: Banana, almond or peanut butter, cinnamon, chocolate chips, scoop of yogurt, blueberries, slice of pie, dash of hopes and dreams, new mom tears… you get the idea.
Pretty much anything works on top of oatmeal and that bad bowl of yes please will keep you full for hours. Eat it for lunch and dinner too, because why tf not?
Hot Tip: Try a slice of Whole Foods flourless chocolate cake on top. Repeat every few days for 6 months – the rest of your life.
“Power Through It” Chia Seed Pudding
This healthy meal is so easy to make, it actually preps while you sleep (ha, sleep!). Chia seeds are a super food  which means they’re good as hell for you. Plus a doctor guy I know told me that eating seeds 2x a week can add up to 2 years onto your life–more time to spend with your new baby love. Put a cup of seeds into any bowl and add a cup of almond milk, a squirt of agave, honey or your preferred sweetener, and mint, along with raspberries or any other fruit you have. Stick into fridge to set for a few hours and go to sleep.
Hot Tip: Wake up at 2 am, ravenous and eat cold, or heat up later when you’re feeling more civilized and top with cream or a scoop of sorbet.
“It’ll All Be OK” No Bake (Or Bake If You Wanna) Cookies
This one you can practically do while changing a diaper. In a large bowl, smoosh 3 bananas, a cup of oatmeal,
A large squirt of honey or your preferred seeetener, 2 or so heaping tablespoons of peanut butter, chocolate or butterscotch chips and any nuts or seeds you like. Add a little almond milk or water if you need some lube. Smash together until it has the consistency of a chunky bowl of granola bar. Scoop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 mins or don’t. Alternatively, you can mush this into a giant square, bake and then cut into bars. Put into a container and nibble when you get the hunger, or freeze.
Hot Tip: Eat right out of the bowl with a spoon.
The “I Got This” Smoothie
Leave your blender set up and out if you can and lean on it when you’re not strong, during the hard early days. Don’t measure, that’s for people without infants. You’re a mom now and you don’t have to do things like “use cups”. Eyeball in a couple servings of any kind of milk, toss a peeled banana or 2 or any fruit in, add a spoonful of cocoa, a glob of peanut butter, a scoop of ice, handful of nuts, the sweetener you like and blend, baby, blend!
Hot Tip: Cry loudly while the blade spins. No one can hear you.
“Do It For Baby” Protein Rice Bowl
When my LO was raisin sized, my mantra was, if I can’t do it for me, I will do it for him. I was tired, after an unplanned C section, I hurt, both physically and emotionally, and I was feeling abandoned by friends and family. PTSD hit hard and some days, I can’t count how many times I cried. But I knew I had to eat and eat well so I could feed him and refuel myself. I set up rice in the rice maker (do you have one? If no, why not? They are cheap and so easy to use.) I put one cup brown rice (use brown for better nutrition) and two cups water in the rice maker and went back to bed. With the rice, you can do a lot–eat it with your fingers, add butter and salt and it tastes like popcorn, add soy sauce  and mustard and hot sauce and it tastes like Chinese food. (I call this “white fire and ate it all through college, although today I’d call it brown fire and use brown rice instead). Add sugar, milk and cinnamon or chocolate chips while it’s still warm and it’s a dessert, kind of like rice pudding. Add avocado, olives, tomato and lettuce and it’s a Mediterranean style meal. Add beans and it’s Mexican. My point is, it’s stupid easy to make and use and cooks while you sleep. Keyword: sleep.
Hot Tip: Half the rice and add extra water plus any veggies in your fridge and a bouillon cube to the rice maker and you’ve got a nourishing soup.
“It Will Get Easier” Soup
Fill a large pot with water and add a few scoops of miso paste to the water. Let it boil. Tada! Miso soup. You can also do this with bouillon cubes for chicken, beef, seafood or vegetable soup. Add veggies if you have them but it’s not important right this second. For now, drink the hot nourishing broth and live to fight another day.
Hot Tip: Don’t add salt and add less bouillon or miso than you think you’ll need because that stuff is way mega salty. This is also a sneaky way to drink more water to help promote breastfeeding.
“Welcome To Your New Life!” Egg Dishes
Boil a whole dozen eggs and then put them in the fridge. When you’re hungry, eat a hard boiled egg. Take an egg and chop it up. Add it to the rice bowl above. Mash up a few and add mayo for egg salad or an egg sandwich.
Hot Tip: Wash your hands after handling raw eggs. It’s a no brainer but it’s easy to forget to do when you’re tired.
Not A Meal But Ideas To Make Water More Fun To Drink So You Will Drink Lots Of It
– Add cucumber slices
– Add lemon or lime slices
– Add strawberries or any berries
– Add apple cider vinegar
– Add a tea bag
– Decaf coffee and diet soda and seltzer count as water! To make coffee fill you up so hard, add a pat of butter to it. (It’s like adding cream to coffee but much more filling and pretty damn tasty too, believe it or not).
– Add a bouillon cube or miso paste
– Add ice or flavored ice (ice cubes with a berry added to each cube compartment)
– Add your favorite crystal or rock to the bottom of the glass (be sure not to swallow it, duh)
– Add good vibes and healing energy–YOU GOT THIS!!
Healthy Easy Shopping List: Write a list to carry with you so that you know what you need and don’t waste time at the grocery store. (What’s time and how do I waste it?) Here are some items to get you started and to help you with the recipes listed above:
Staple Shopping List
Oatmeal
Peanut or Almond Butter
Bananas and whatever fruit and berries are on sale
Large bag of Kale, pre-shredded (when things settle, you can buy the stalks again, clean them, strip them, etc.)
Tomatoes, avocados and whatever veggies are on sale
Brown Rice
Bouillon or Miso
Yogurt
Eggs
Milk
Nuts (most nuts are expensive but peanuts will do, or anything on sale, or trail mix is a good often cheap alternative)
Extras Shopping List
Chia seeds
Ice Cream
Pie
Coffee
Butter
Apple Cider Vinegar
Tea / Diet soda / Seltzer
Cocoa powder
Sweetener
Flourless chocolate cake
Chocolate or butterscotch chips or a bar of dark chocolate
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Photo Tutorial: How To Clip Baby’s Nails

I’ve gotten so many emails from my readers asking, “How do I clip my baby’s nails?” Just kidding. I’ve gotten zero emails from readers asking that. But people always write that on their blog posts and I wanted, for one minute, to try pretending that I have lots of friends and followers and some kind of massive blog reading fan base of people who consider me some kind of authority on baby fingernails. Let me tell you – it was fun! Try it sometime.

OK, now back to reality. I don’t know how many people read this blog. It’s not monetized. I do it for kicks and to keep my brain moving, my fingers typing, my thoughts swirling and my time occupied in a mostly productive way.

If you like this tutorial, please pass it on. That’s my paycheck.

Oh, PS. I started a little Twitter account all about baby stuff. It’s called @TheCooNetwork. Get it? Because when a baby takes over your life, it’s “a coo”. Ha. Hm. Heh.

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Mommy And Me Macarons – An Easy Macaron Recipe For Anyone With A Baby

I’m one of those kooky moms who does things with a baby. Here is a picture of me last weekend cross country skiing with the poor little guy strapped to my chest. Trust me when I say these activities are for ME and not for him. It keeps me sane to DO THINGS. Not that I ever was 100% sane to begin with. But being a mom naturally reduces that percentage even further.

Let’s talk about these cookies. Macarons have a real attitude problem (after all they are French – HA!), and so I have concocted a recipe that has been simplified so that even people with babies (moms!) can make them. Have you ever tried to make macarons WITHOUT a baby, much less with one? They are as hard as the first month of breastfeeding to make. For starters, egg whites are “fussy” (says every recipe I’ve seen, none of these people have ever experienced the fuss of an infant at 2, 4 and 7 a.m., clearly, or the egg fussiness level would be about as mentionable as hiccups) and the bowls and dishes used have to be immaculately clean, which is so the enemy of having an infant. I don’t even remember what immaculately clean feels like. I’m barely sure what day today is. Just kidding now that my little guy is older, but 3 months ago I wouldn’t have been.

So, I got it in my silly head that I wanted to learn how to make macarons (not macaROONS, the sweet coconut lump treats) and I started Googling macaron recipes. The first thing I noticed was that they are all long as hell. So I condensed steps to help make them easier for MOMS or anyone with a little baby to make. My full recipe is below.

There are 15 speedy steps.

MOMMY AND ME MACARONS

  1. Strap baby to chest in sling. A Bumbaroo or a Beeble or any other weird sounding named or Scandinavian sling will do.
  2. Google “Macaron recipe easy fast”.
  3. Take 3 eggs out of the fridge. Change baby’s diaper. Try to plan this for when you’re sure it’s a #2 so it’ll take a few minutes.
  4. Measure out 1/4 c. white sugar, 1 2/3 c. powdered sugar, 1 c. finely ground almonds (buy Bob’s Mill Almond Meal and save yourself 20 minutes of grinding almonds. What new mom has time to ground and sift almonds let alone MAKE MACARONS?!?).
  5. Gather all supplies, lay parchment paper onto baking sheets, realize you are missing the cookie template, say f@#% it, you’ll have to eyeball them, there’s only a small window of baby cooperation here and that window is closing faster than you can say butter cream filling or goo goo ga ga, your choice.
  6. Crack eggs and separate whites. Toss yolks. Some people save yolks and do things with them, like some kind of super heroes. *Be careful not to get yolk OR baby saliva in the whites!
  7. Sanitize / wash hands 3-4 times, or more if you’re a BRAND new mom. Babies & raw eggs = bad mix. (You’re encouraged to eat salmon, DIScouraged to eat Salmonella.
  8. Set baby down because whipping egg whites while holding an infant is akin to shaking the baby, and you’re not supposed to do that. Dump white sugar into whites and beat those eggs but good. Use this as an excuse to take out any internal anger and de-stress. Think about your useless birth plan, friends who vanished, how much you miss martinis. Beat, beat, beat. When eggs turn the color of foremilk and the texture of yogurt, OR you’re crying, stop. Add “Buy an electric blender” to your never ending to do list.
  9. Oh, shit–Did you preheat the oven to 285 – 300? Do that now!!
  10. Sift almonds and powdered sugar into a bowl. Toss any little lumps aside. You’re a mom now.
  11. Fold almond / sugar mixture into whites the way you fold laundry — like it’s your new job. Fold quickly – 30 strokes with a rubber spatula. No, this is not a chapter in 50 Shades of Grayish or whatever it’s called.
  12. Dump the batter into a piping bag, or for us normal folks who don’t have access to a french patisserie, plop it into a sandwich bag and cut the corner off for an instant piping bag. Pipe onto cookie sheet covered in parchment paper in fast half dollar sized dollops. Some say use a silicone mat on a cookie sheet, but what is this, House Beautiful? Who the hell has a silicone mat kicking around? Pipe faster, the baby is whining from his play mat where you *might* have left him just a few minutes too long and you have about 30 seconds before it escalates into a full blown howl. 
  13. Breast feed or give baby a bottle while cookies set for a bit, uncooked on the tray. This is apparently an important step. Some say let them sit the length of lap sit story time at the library, others suggest a good long cry in the shower.
  14. Place the cookies, one sheet at a time in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes each.
  15. You know the macarons are done when the baby is asleep, or after about 10 minutes, and every dish in the kitchen is dirty.

Enjoy! If you try the recipe, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below, or tweet pics at me @JessicaDelfino. For filling, by the way, a classic buttercream works, and easy stuff too, like peanut butter and jelly. You know. Like the sandwich you’re going to get really good at making with your eyes closed in a few years.

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Has Anyone Seen This Bear?

At approximately 9:14 a.m. this morning, I rolled my son over to do tummy time and I discovered this:

image2-2
It’s what appears to be the hand print of a…bear? Dog? What kind of animal would paw at my son’s behind when no one was looking?

Yes, it appears that a bear or dog of some kind (though it could have also been a raccoon?) smacked or high-fived my son’s bottom. Perhaps it happened in the night or when I looked away for one minute?

I’ve been considering potential culprits and have determined:

-the animal had 3 fingers (perhaps it lost some in a forest fire? Or maybe it only ever had 3 fingers)

-it wasn’t too large judging by the size of the paw print

-it had access to blue paint or dye?

I don’t know if this bear/dog/raccoon is dangerous or not, but I looked online to see if anyone else has experienced this and I found that this creature, or others like it, have been busy.

image4-2image3-2

Whatever animal pawed at these babies bottoms had 4 fingers. I’m leaning towards bear at this point, and I have a few pretty solid leads:
grumpy_bearm_3_by_aprilsparrow-d4jnw38

Grumpy Bear, the most troubled of the Care Bears.

160930113530-teddy-ruxpin-return-780x439

Teddy Ruxpin. I’ve never trusted this dude. I mean, just look at those eyes–he’s totally on drugs. LCD? Ha, more like L-S-D. Plus, the desperation of his constant friend hunt, makes you wonder…just what kind of “friend” is he really looking for?

bb006b_sa_02_bigThis bad guy bear from the Berenstein bears. Stripes mean trouble. Cases in point? The Hamburglar and Freddie, to name a few.

il_340x270-1060562338_ti5r

This guy may seem soft and lovable but if you ask me, he looks guilty. f97bc4de89b4a78c683eb93a08fdc98bYogi is a total trouble maker. Always stealing picnic baskets, trying to get with the ladies, causing scenes at the campground. I guess from this photo, at least we can guess he’s into ladies his age and species, unless that’s JUST A FRONT.

maxresdefault

Smokey the Bear is a major contender. He is always hanging out with kids. Look how his hands are hidden behind the children’s heads so they can’t be ID’d. He may pose as a good bear who is always putting out forest fires, but if someone is too good you especially have to watch out for ’em.

fozzie_bear

Fozzy Bear. Sure, he dresses like a hobo and I highly doubt that he’s employed. But I don’t know if he is guilty of touching kid’s butts. I just don’t want to believe it.

I think my money is on Teddy Ruxpin or the bad guy from Berenstein Bears. If you have any leads, please call 1-800-PAW-BUTT. All calls are anonymous, because the number is one I made up.

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7 Reasons Why Parents Must Always ALWAYS Carefully Read Warning Labels

As a new parent, I’ve noticed that pretty much EVERY SINGLE baby product includes a prominent, scary warning label. Words like DIED and STRANGLED and SUFFOCATED are in big and bold and are very SCARY to a new parent. I’ve surmised that not every single baby product is that dangerous, is it? I mean, they HAVE to write some of those labels for the percentage of nimrods and dolts who do for some reason think it’s OK to run off really quick while the baby is in the tub to finish that last chapter of their novel. But sometimes the labels are missing something. I want more information. Thankfully, these following labels really give you the what’s what and finally speak to us in language that makes sense. By the way, these labels came out kind of small. I’m not a graphic designer, just a dumb ass (or a smart ass, depending on who you ask) with Photoshop. So click on the image if you are unable to read it to enlarge and see it in it’s full glory.

Here’s one for the car seat:

carseatwarning2

Here’s one about plastic bags. Plastic bags! Who doesn’t know not to let a kid play with a plastic bag?!? Worse, who is that cheap?

plasticbagwarning

Here’s one for the baby bath tub:

bathtubwarning

This is a new one for me, and a fear I hadn’t had prior to reading this particular label, so, thanks label people for giving me a new thing to have nightmares about. Apparently jackets kill the shit out of kids. Great. My kid will be wearing blankets duct taped around his body then, I guess.

jacketwarning

Here’s one for toys with small parts. By the way, Play-Doh should definitely have a warning like this on it.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-9-47-24-am

Here’s one for a bucket. Again, why? Who? Where? WTF?

bucketwarning

Here’s another new one. I saw a warning label that was so weird. It was like, hey…there’s a small piece of this toy that you might not have noticed that could jump down your kid’s throat and cover his nose and, you know, kill ’em good. So, yeah. Maybe some warning labels really are kinda necessary.

oddwarningSometimes we have to decipher the warning labels on our own, because they have no words. I took the liberty for you here. How close do you think I got?
lionwarninglionwarningtranslationSometimes the images don’t really fit the warning labels, or are just a great set up. In this case, the warning label for a box. Again. Weird toy choice, bro.

boxwarning

Here’s another one where the image didn’t fit the warning. I don’t even remember what this was for. But the warning should be heeded!

kidwarning

Just kidding. I totally love my kid. He’s really sweet. But having kids be HARD, yo. I had no idea. And I only have one. I see people with two or more kids now and I find myself accidentally and loudly making a “GULP” sound like they do in cartoons. I look at them like they just made a quarter disappear behind my ear. I’m like, “How did you do that?!?” Also, this post doesn’t really have 7 reasons why you should carefully read warning labels. It doesn’t even have one. It was just a click bait title. Did I get ya? If so, I win! But I don’t need to tell you to read warning labels. And most warning labels don’t need to tell you what they tell you. You’re not an idiot, and you know not to let your child stir the mac and cheese with his hand or let him taste small pieces of his toy. In fact, you don’t need me or anyone else to tell you anything. You can educate yourself, and make your own informed decisions. After all, we have a massive overpopulation problem, so SOMEONE is doing it right. Someone just like you. Oh, and by the way–it IS you. You’re doing a great job!

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Sample Schedule For A 3 Month Old Breast Fed Baby

I looked online for sample schedules for babies and couldn’t really find many that reflected my situation, so I decided to make one to share. Enjoy!

5 AM Wake up to screaming baby. Stick boob into baby’s mouth in a side feed pose and hope he will fall back asleep for a little while, and maybe mommy can, too.

5:30 AM Baby fell asleep! But mommy won’t for awhile, so peruse Facebook, Google News and Twitter on iPhone until awash with a renewed sense of disdain for the world, which always helps induce sleep. Then, meditate. Mentally trace the back roads of childhood home town. And count back from 100. And go through the alphabet thinking of one word that begins with each letter. And play 1 or 27 rounds of favorite word game on phone. And read a book. And drink a large glass of water. Finally, finally, begin to doze off again.

6:30 AM Wake up to screaming baby just as a satisfying sleep is settling in. Run and pee really quickly before the baby starts to do the thing where he screams so hard he loses his breath and begins to cough. Don’t forget to stub foot on the bed / crib / wall on the way there / back / both. Refill water glass. Return to bed and side feed baby again, with the opposite breast, hoping he will fall back to sleep. Fall back to sleep with some ease this time.

7:30 AM Husband’s alarm clock goes off. Baby wakes up screaming. Side feed baby again, this time using opposite boob. Forget to note it in breastfeeding app. Feel a strange puddle on the bed and realize baby has somehow magically peed up and out of his diaper. Change and clean baby. Place a towel over pee puddle and lie on top of it, as changing the sheets after just one puddle is essentially futile. Side feed baby using the same or opposite boob, whichever one is currently leaking the biggest spot through shirt.

8 AM Husband sneezes in another room. Baby awakes and starts screaming. Attempt to side feed and fall back to sleep. Though mommy can’t keep eyes open, baby’s aren’t closing.

9 AM Husband leaves for work with loud door bang. He doesn’t quite understand the concept of “sssshhhhh!” yet, probably never will. Mommy opens eyes, like the scene in Ghostbusters when Gozar the Gozarian arrives. Baby is still side feeding, eyes wide open, even though breast is like a flat tire. Get out of bed, get baby and self cleaned up and dressed to best of ability using one arm. Boil water for tea and oatmeal, make and eat it as fast as possible before the baby’s coos devolve into whimpers and the whimpers crumble quickly into screams.

10:30 AM Feed baby breakfast boob while trying to fill out severely belated thank you cards with one hand. Give up eventually, both because handwriting looks like the cards were written in a dark room with a broken arm and because movement is waking the baby who is sleeping on lap.

11 AM When baby wakes up screaming, pump legs, assuming he must have gas. After he flatulates 5 or 6 man-sized farts, pick him up and burp him. Clean up the vomit he has launched onto mommy’s shirt off of his face and clothing. Note as he takes explosive wet dump into diaper, take care of that.

11:30 AM After baby is cleaned up, smiling and cooing with appreciation for having been saved from the hot wet mess that his butt was involved in, play with him for a while: tummy time, read him a book, bounce him on lap, smile and coo with him. Remember what makes him so lovable. Take his photo with phone and text it to daddy, mom and mother in law and a friend or two.

12:15 PM Get baby dressed warmly and take him for a little walk outside, for both party’s sanity. Talk to other human beings–the elderly women who say, “What a blessing! Enjoy this time, it goes by SO. FAST.” as if it’s a script that they’ve all been given. Go to coffee shop. Talk to barista like she’s an old friend. Get cup of decaf coffee so milk doesn’t dry up, though caffeine would do a world of good right now. Overestimate how much strolling time before baby implodes, then try to calm baby as he begins to have an apocalyptic level meltdown because he won’t wait even one more minute for food. Pick him up out of stroller and breast feed him in front of apartment building on random park bench. Wave hello to super when he walks by. Chat with him for a moment and try to remain calm as exposed breast catches a little of the fall breeze. Wave hello to neighbor when she walks by and try to keep the conversation normal sounding even though 2 new people in one day have seen breast, and thus have practically had a threesome. Try to put the baby back into stroller while he is asleep–carefully so he’ll stay asl–ah, shit, he’s awake. Get him into stroller and back into apartment before he realizes he’s still hungry.

1:30 PM He fell back asleep in the elevator somehow! Yesss! Wheel him into apartment ever so quietly and park him in stroller in living room. Take jacket off and pee without an infant on lap. Savor the moment. Wipe as he wakes and begins to cry. Quickly wash hands, exclaiming, “Mommy’s here, it’s OK!” over and over from the bathroom so that his development doesn’t get stunted because he lost trust in his caregiver or whatever that parenting article said would happen.

1:45 PM Pick him up and get his jacket off just as he loudly shits himself. Hold him close and put hand into wet shit that has leaked out diaper and through his pants. Get him cleaned up, calmed down, change his diaper and clothes. Sigh a breath of relief as he begins to smile and coo  from his changing mat and then immediately shits himself again. Get him all undressed and begin to change his diaper as he pees a fountain of pee all over mommy, bed, changing mat, his clothes and his own face. Curse for forgetting to use damn pee pee cloth. Clean him all up, change him again, toss his clothes into laundry, redress him, don’t worry much about his pee on mommy’s clothes because a) it’s like rosewater, it doesn’t smell and will dry quickly and b) there’s no time or energy to change clothes now.

2:30 PM Feeding time again! Every 2-3 hours my ass. Put on some music, fill up a glass of water and sit somewhere calm and comfortable after the ordeal that just went down. Get snuggly with baby and get him situated and eating. See his eyes begin to droop closed as he calms down and even rest own head back and relax for a moment, but then cellphone rings loudly. Make a note to self to just leave ringer off on phone all the time for, say, next year or two. Baby is startled awake by phone and begins to cry. Make another note to maybe just chuck cellphone out window / into the river.

3 PM Baby is awake now, well fed and alert. He wants to play! Mommy could use a nap, but it’s not in the cards. Entertain me! His cute eyes say. But he must be tired, maybe he can be lured back to sleep? Nope, I want to play! He insists. Do tummy time with him. Walk around apartment with him. Bounce him on yoga ball. Lie him on activity mat and let him stare up at the ceiling. Observe with wonder and amazement at FUCKING BABY YOU MADE and ponder at how it’s like, TRIPPY AS HELL and beautiful and crazy.

3:10 PM Baby starts crying for no reason. Does he have to fart? Pump his legs to see. Pick him up and tell him, “It’s OK” which doesn’t help. Smell his butt. He stops crying. Phew! Look at him as he laughs and smiles. All is OK. But wait, no! He starts crying again, then screaming. Oh no! His diaper doesn’t smell, and he just ate. Does he have a fever? Take his temperature with the stupid forehead thermometer that gives different read every time. After 4 reads of 98.4, 98.7, 97.9 and 99.0 assume he probably doesn’t have fever. He’s stopped crying, thankfully, and is smiling again. Huzzah! Rejoice too soon — he begins crying again. What the fucking fuck!?!? Walk him around apartment. He can’t be hungry, he was just fed. Sit down and try to feed him anyway, will do anything to calm him down. He eats with a vigor like he’s never had food before and after a few minutes, passes out adorably with boob in his mouth.

4:30 PM Realize mommy food needs to happen NOW. Stand up holding sleeping baby in arms because experience has taught not to set him down or he’ll wake in screaming fit. Slip him into sling that was tied on this morning and pretty much is worn as a shirt every day all day. He should rouse briefly, then with luck, fall back to sleep. Eureka! He did this time! Go into kitchen, unwrap banana, dip it in peanut butter with each bite and make it disappear so fast if there were a speed banana eating contest, it’d be no contest. Rinse it down with almond milk out of container. Toss hand full of granola on top of it all. Take breath. Refill water glass. Return to comfy spot and assume that since baby is sleeping, maybe will try to put head back and close eyes for a few minutes.

5:30 PM Wake to baby turning his head back and forth in a sort of “Exorcist” style action and realize sleep did occur for 30 or so blissful minutes. Caress baby’s face, hoping maybe he’ll fall asleep, like a lobster. He does! Nice! This time he stays out for a good solid hour or so. While he sleeps in sling, read some fearful baby facts online, peruse Facebook, read a couple chapters of that French parenting book someone gave as shower gift, knock off a few more thank you notes, clean living room, bathroom and kitchen, strip pee / vomit / poop sheets off bed, FaceTime sister, put new sheets on bed, reorganize night stand, tidy up bedroom, get some rice started in the rice cooker and chop up veggies to help dinner along, write blog entry, Google 6 -7 questions for the internet to solve, drink a glass of water, return a few texts and pee.

6:45 PM Super mom! Did all that stuff in just a little over an hour. Daddy comes home! Overjoyed to see him because a) it’s nice to talk to another adult and b) really have to poop and it’d be so cool if he would hold / watch the baby for 5 minutes. He is excited to see and hold baby so he does so with joy. Scuttle away to bathroom for first few minutes all day without an infant. While in there, also brush teeth, brush hair, wash face, clip fingernails for the first time in week or so, clip toenails in — not really sure how long it’s been — and just stand still in the quiet for a minute longer than really necessary before going back out into the shit. Return to position, just as baby starts scream crying.

7:30 PM Shit, spent 45 minutes in bathroom!? Take baby back while daddy makes dinner. Change baby, which is why he was crying, maybe. His diaper was pretty wet and there was a faint confusing yellow streak – did he fart yellow? Or begin to poop and then change his mind? Ah, never mind. He is clean, smiling and happy again. Watch him play and set him into his crib, which today, now, he lets happen for some reason, whereas normally he screams and throws a fit like he was just abandoned in a dumpster instead of a nice, cozy, clean crib. Play with his soft hands and touch his little head for a minute as he looks up at sky with pure fascination and amazement at something unseeable by anyone else. A ghost maybe? Who knows. Who cares? If the ghost keeps the baby from crying for a few minutes, why mess with it? Thank the ghost.

8:00 PM Dinner is ready. Pick up baby and put him in sling. Eat dinner in the living room with daddy while baby eats boob dinner. Take care not to spill food onto baby’s face and hair as he eats. He falls asleep. Enjoy dinner. Contemplate keeping him awake so the family can easily go to bed together at new regular 10:30 PM bedtime, but so tired and appreciative of him finally relaxing, figure, let’s deal with 10:30 at 10:30. Watch a couple episodes of Frasier on Netflix as Husband / Daddy talks about his day. Try to listen to him and really respond with sincerity but so tired, mostly just nod and shove forkfuls of veggies and rice into pie hole. He does the same. Hope he knows love has only deepened for him and that he won’t want a divorce before this is all over.

9:45 PM Baby wakes and cries but just a little bit. Pump his legs, burp him, hug him until he calms down. The super moon is out. Contemplate going to look at it, and then decide to check it out in 35 years when it comes back next time. Daddy cleans up dinner stuff. Do a little bit of writing while baby chills in his swing for a few blissful not freaking out minutes for some reason although when he is normally put in the swing he reacts like he’s just been delicately set onto a bed of nails. Whenever he whimpers, take a break from writing to look at him and give him a little love, remembering of the old ladies’ words like they are a warning, and in a way they are–“Cherish every moment, they grow up so fast”. Close lap top. Watch baby look at the ceiling like it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen. Thank the ghost again for occupying baby’s attention, and watch in wonder and amazement, realizing once again, SHIT, there’s a KID here now–this is MY BABY. Peel off for a moment to brush teeth, pee without company, change into PJs and give daddy a hug and a kiss.

10:30 PM Take baby into bedroom, read him a book. Read him another book. Turn bedroom light down. Feed baby a little bit of boob but not too much because like the books say, put him down in his crib tired but not asleep and don’t let him associate food with sleep. How would he sleep ever if not for boob? Curse articles and make promise to self to stop reading them. After a few minutes of feeding, as his eyes start to droop, pick him up and gently lie him in his crib. As he protests, sing to him, turn on the white noise machine and let him suck on pinky. That all seems to work for once and he falls asleep in his crib after about 15 minutes. Fall into bed like it’s a velvet massage basin. Close eyes. Consider making love to husband if he shows any interest at all. Turn to make suggestion, note he is gently snoring. Be secretly relieved. Tell self in 2 years you’ll be rabbits again. Hope it’s true. Quickly slip into a dream.

2 AM Wake to scream crying. Reach over to crib and lift baby up, comforting him. He’s probably hungry and has awoken to find himself alone and his mama gone and he’s scared. Bring him into bed and side feed him, even though all the books and websites and sleeping with a baby in your bed is a vehement no no. But you’re fucking tired, god dammit, and side feeding is the only way that you can get any sleep at all. Otherwise, you’d be up every hour, putting him in and out of the crib that he hates. Make sure there are no blankets or pillows near him and confirm that you’re not drunk or on drugs. Both you and baby fall back to sleep, cuddled up as he eats and feels warmth and comfort next to mommy’s body. As you drift back to sleep, consider for one second getting up to pee, but decide you’d rather sleep in a bed full of your own hot urine than wake the baby again, if necessary, and just hold it. Repeat.

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