What Not To Wear, New Baby Edition

I used to love the television show, “What Not To Wear.” It was a show where they would give unsuspecting fashion challenged people a makeover. I thought the hosts of the show, Stacy and Clinton, were so cool, and so witty, and so stylish. Frequently when a guest was a mom and dressed in comfortable but not very stylish clothes, Stacy and Clinton would talk to them about their clothing choices, and say things like, “Having kids is no excuse. It doesn’t take any longer to put on pants with buttons than sweat pants.”

Or, “It’s just as much effort to pick out a cute blouse as a t-shirt, so go for the blouse! You have no excuse.”

And the moms would come away from their week of shopping in New York and look so chic, and so much better than when they left, and there was not an oversized t-shirt or yoga pant in sight.

At the time I always thought, “Stacy and Clinton are so right. It doesn’t take any longer to put on nice clothes. If I ever become a mom, I’m not going to dress in sweatpants all the time.”

Now ten years removed from watching the show and in a totally different life position, I discovered something. Stacy and Clinton have no idea what they are talking about.

As it turns out, those precious seconds it takes to button up actual pants, they matter. Do you know how much trouble a high energy 3 year old can get into in 6 seconds? Today I left the fully clothed munchkin in the living room, walked to the changing table with the baby, and looked out the window to see that the munchkin had walked out of the house and was running around the yard, naked. In 6 seconds he stripped naked and ran out of the house. This is why I like to wear pants that don’t require buttoning or a belt. Oh man, I don’t even want to think about how far he could get if I had to button my pants and buckle a belt!

In addition, when Stacy and Clinton sent these newly made-over ladies home with admonitions to steer clear of baggy cotton t-shirts, they weren’t considering the laundry situation. Baby is quite the spitter, and today has gone through 5 onesies, 2 bibs, and 2 tiny pairs of baby pants. I tend to be collateral damage to all this spitting, and am currently on my fourth shirt in 7 hours. Now, if I had been following Stacy and Clinton’s guidelines, the laundry situation would be quite complicated, with the buttons, delicate wash cycles, dry-clean-only tags, and lay-flat-to-dry directions. Thankfully, yoga pants and t-shirts have no special cleaning instructions, so I’m really not too perturbed at all the wardrobe changes I have to go through in a day. But it does mean Clinton and Stacy were very wrong: picking nice clothes does take more effort, especially if they get dirty every 45 minutes.

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Baby girl is such a sweetheart, I do not mind her messiness. Photo credit: Huisman Photography

The sleep talking hubs does not seem to mind the current state of my wardrobe. Actually, since we brought baby home the hubs has not been “the sleep talking hubs,” as he has not done much sleep talking. I think he is just too tired, and I am probably tired enough that even if he has talked I slept right through it. But last night he did talk some.

I was lying in bed when I felt the hubs jump in his sleep. As if he were gently scolding someone, he said, “No, no, no!”

I asked who he was talking to, and he said, “Oh, no one.”

I was so tired I let it go at that, and went back to sleep.

I am not sure what the hubs was saying, “No,” to, but I do know what I would say no to: anyone, even Clinton or Stacy, who tried to pry my comfiest yoga pants away from me.

Pants with elastic waistbands FOREVER!

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Planes, Trains, and Vehicles for the Elderly

Recently the munchkin and I flew down to see my parents for the holidays. The munchkin does very well on planes, especially now that he is old enough to have his own seat. On our second flight of the day he happened to be seated right next to a lady who was obviously very nervous about the flight. I tried to keep him busy and distracted and not bothering her, since flying was already obviously not something she enjoyed. The munchkin did a great job during the flight, and his seat-mate seemed to calm down and be less distressed about flying.

And then we began the descent. As the plane nose dropped the munchkin threw his little fists in the air and yelled, “WE’RE GOING DOWN!”

At this outburst the passenger next to us became very agitated and began making the sign of the cross on herself; I assume she was praying something along the lines of that if we were in fact to go down that an excited toddler who would not stop kicking the seat in front of him would not be the last thing she saw. I hope she is able to fly again.

Shortly before we left for this eventful trip the asleep hubs was apparently also concerned with transportation. The hubs had a cold so he had gone to bed early while I was still up reading. All of the sudden he jumped in his sleep and started talking.

Hubs: The older people need the vehicle…or should they not?

Me: Hmm? What do you mean?

Hubs: Well, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s a vehicle for older people.

Me: Oh, really? That’s different.

Hubs: Yeah, just not a good idea.

Me: Yeah, can you tell me about it?

Hubs: It isn’t important, I don’t think I need to tell you. It’s about the elderly.

Me: You said that, but I’m curious about it.

Hubs: I don’t want to tell you about it. I already told you that.

Me: You can’t tell me anything?

Hubs: Stop asking about it. Please stop!

Me: Ok, that’s fine.

Then he huffed and rolled over angrily, never waking up. I was sorry to upset him in his sleep, but I also couldn’t help giggling about how silly the conversation was. I guess both of my boys have very serious transportation concerns!

Interpreter Wanted

The munchkin knows the words for his colors, but does not always use them for the correct color. For example, this morning the munchkin cried and cried and cried that he wanted a green cup…all while I stood there offering him a green cup. Eventually I had him show me what he was referring to and he pointed to his orange cup in the cabinet. Once I handed it to him he cradled it, and glaring up at me said, “My green cup.”

Oy. Sometimes I wish I had an interpreter to tell me what the munchkin is trying to communicate. The other night I could have used an interpreter for what the hubs was talking about in his sleep. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet when the hubs started talking.

Hubs: Hey, they really need more than that. I mean, they need a lot more for sure.

Me: Oh, really? What do they need?

Hubs: Tubes. They need a lot more tubes.

Me: Yeah? How many more do you think?

Hubs: Probably 3 or 4, at least. There just aren’t enough.

Me: I see. And that will be enough?

Hubs: You, you’re making fun of me. I can tell.

Me: Oh, ok. I just don’t know what you’re talking about.

Hubs: Yeah, me neither.

And then he went back to sleeping quietly. I guess maybe everyone in this house could use an interpreter sometimes!

Oh, the Irony

We live on an idyllic wooded plot in the country, and because the hubs, munchkin, and dog are all here, I happen to think it is the best spot in the whole world. We can hike to a lake, see owls and deer in our backyard, and off of our road is a small family strawberry farm.

Sounds just ideal, doesn’t it? I’ll be honest – it is pretty fantastic. But every year something happens in the summer on the aforementioned small family strawberry farm which makes my skin crawl. And that thing is the open-picking season. Scores of moms in mini-vans descend on our quiet street, bringing their small children to whine in the hot sun while they “make memories” and pick berries for their Pinterest projects. And these moms drive like crazy people, some speeding recklessly down the pot-hole rutted back road and others going so slowly that when I get behind them I contemplate leaning out my window and picking berries while we drive down the road.

A few even get really confused and drive down our long driveway, even though there are a plethora of signs pointing to the strawberry farm, away from our house. And then they have the audacity to look shocked when they happen upon the munchkin and me eating Popsicles in the front yard at 7:30 am. This is our house – we’ll eat frozen treats whenever we want, thank you very much!

Yes, I know: having the road get a little more busy for two months of the year is a first world problem. I will be the first to admit that this is barely even a mild inconvenience. I bring it up only to get a laugh at my own expense. You see, as I drove along on our street the other day, grumbling about the soccer moms in their mini-vans driving like maniacs, I was, in fact, a soccer mom in a mini-van. That’s right, I drive a mini-van, and stay home with my kiddo. And last year I took him berry picking. Oh, the irony: I am one of them! And I didn’t even realize it. Basically, my annoyance is completely misplaced.

There was some additional misplaced anger at our house recently. We had been gone for much of the day, and the poor little dog had missed us, so I let her sleep in our room with us, instead of downstairs where she normally sleeps at night. I was sleeping just fine, until well after midnight the hubs shook me awake.

Me: Hmm, what’s up?

Hubs: You’re snoring so loudly! I can’t even sleep.

I don’t really snore very often, so I kind of wondered if maybe he was sleep talking.

Me: Really? Are you asleep?

Hubs: No! I can’t believe how loud you were, it woke me up! UGH!!!

He was very annoyed. All of the sudden it hit me that I heard the snoring, too.

Me: Wait, do you still hear it?

The hubs sat still.

Hubs: Yes! What is that?!?

Me: It’s the dog! You woke me up and can’t sleep because of the dog’s snoring!

And then I laughed for a really long time. I mean, really, I thought it was so funny. It wasn’t so funny for the dog, though, as she was banished from the room for the rest of the night. My trying to do a nice thing by letting her sleep with us meant that she was rudely kicked out of bed after sleeping peacefully for hours. Oh, the irony!

Sleep Talking Squabbles

The other night I had a very scary dream, and jolted awake – whimpering and heart thumping. I scooted closer to the hubs, and he drowsily turned over.

Hubs: You’re ok.

Now, I’m not sure why I reacted to this statement the way I did. Perhaps I was still scared from the dream, or perhaps I felt like he just wasn’t being empathetic enough, or maybe I’m just argumentative at 2 am. Regardless, I was not happy with this lackadaisical comforting from the hubs.

Me: You don’t know that! What if I’m not?

Hubs: What?

Me: What if I’m not ok? Maybe I’m not. You can’t know for sure. It’s just…rude!

Hubs: Hmm, yeah, maybe. It’s fine, though.

Me: That’s what you think!

Then I rolled back over and went back to sleep. (I’m really not a horrible person, I just felt very strongly at that moment. If I had been fully awake I hope I wouldn’t have reacted quite that way.)

The next morning as the hubs was getting ready for work I mentioned to him that I hated having scary dreams, like I had the night before.

Hubs: Yeah, well, you’re ok.

Me: Are you kidding me?!? That line didn’t work last night, and it isn’t going to work this morning either!

Hubs: What are you talking about?

Me: Last night. You know, you were not very comforting when I had that bad dream, and told me it was ok, so I told you it wasn’t ok, and to stop saying that! And you just did it again!

Hubs: Sweety, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t remember waking up or you having a dream, or anything. Maybe you were sleep talking.

Me: Maybe I was sleep talking?? No, no – maybe YOU were sleep talking!

Hubs: Yeah, probably.

Then he turned back to finish brushing his teeth, unperturbed that asleep-him had gotten me so riled up. And, much as I hate to admit it sometimes, that is one of the great things about the hubs: I know that he really will make it ok. Even though it’s a pain when he says so.

The Long Goodnight

Sometimes only a few words is all it takes to completely change a situation. Whether you are trying to diffuse a disagreement, tell someone how much you care, or get another driver’s attention, it just takes a few well chosen words.

One of the first words the munchkin could say clearly was, “help.” This word can definitely pack a punch in the right circumstances. For example, the munchkin whipped out this great word one time in the grocery store parking lot. I was trying to get the munchkin into his car seat, but he was disinclined to acquiesce. To show his displeasure he was holding himself as stiff as a board, and I was trying to get him to bend at the waist enough to get strapped in to his seat.

So, there we were in the grocery store parking lot, me karate-chopping the munchkin’s middle, and all of the sudden he throws his head out the window and lets out in his little voice, “Help! Help!” Those two words made a big difference. Where previously the scene had appeared innocuous enough, now I was frantically stuffing a fighting child into a van while he yelled, “Help!” in a little squeaky toddler voice. Thankfully I was able to get him safely strapped in before anyone thought I was abducting him.

Last week we had a situation where the hubs spoke just a few words in his sleep, but it changed my night completely. I woke up to the hubs sitting up and tapping me gently.

Me: Huh? What’s wrong?

Hubs: Goodnight, love.

Me: What do you mean? What’s going on?

Then the hubs rolled back over and went right on sleeping, never waking up. As he slept peacefully, I laid there staring at the ceiling, noticing how much I really need to dust the ceiling fan. The hubs can normally brighten my day with just a few words, but this time his two words made me miss out on a good night’s sleep!

Seat Lock

When I married the hubs, there was the normal blending of family traditions and idiosyncrasies. One thing his family does that I was not familiar with is “seat lock.” Seat lock is when a person leaves a place where they are sitting, if they yell, “seat lock,” then they get to sit there when they come back. If, say, they don’t know about seat lock because they’ve only been on three dates with a member of the family, they lose their comfortable spot on the couch and have to sit on the floor. Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to figure out the rules, so I can now defend my comfy chair at family events.

Our little dog is the queen of “seat lock.” Mainly because she only has a few places she likes to sit, and she has made those places so covered with dog hair that no one would want to sit there unless armed with a jumbo lint roller.

The dog lounging in her favorite spot on the couch.

The dog lounging in her favorite spot on the couch.

I think it’s normal to be attached to a particular place, and claim it as your own. This last week I even talked to the hubs about this in my sleep. That’s right, I am the one sleep talking this time.

Apparently, the hubs woke up in the middle of the night to me yelling. He said that our conversation went like this:

Me: It’s my spot…. MY SPOTTTTT!!!!

Hubs: You’re ok, honey, just go back to sleep.

Me: You’re not listening to me. This is my spot!

Hubs: Yes, honey, you’re sleep talking. 

Me: It’s my spot, my spot, my spot!!!

I asked him what he did after all of this commotion, and he said, “I rolled over and went back to sleep as you continued to repeat ‘my spot,’ over and over…. There was no winning.”

Well, ok then. I guess he knew that I would definitely call “seat lock” on this spot that I apparently cared about so much!

Packaging Problems

Packaging is very important in our house – both literally and figuratively. Literally, the hubs works for a packaging company. He loves his job, and I am very grateful for it, but it does make it difficult to go shopping with him. As we walk through the grocery store he gets distracted by mascara and air compressors and dry erase markers, examining their packages.

There is another not-quite-so-literal way that packaging is important in our home: how I package my morning coffee. In the morning as the munchkin and I get going, I have a nice hot drink in a mug. It’s either coffee, or tea, or chai, but whatever it is the munchkin can’t have any of it. He has learned this, and it only took two years of asking for some almost every day. He now associates mugs with something that he is not allowed to touch or taste. I definitely use this to my advantage. If I want some juice all to myself and don’t want to share, or maybe want to sneak a special little piece of chocolate on a long day, I just have to put it in a mug. As long as whatever I want to keep the munchkin away from is “packaged” in a mug, it is safe. It is magic!

Yay!

He’s so sweet that I am normally happy to share with him, but sometimes I just want to drink my own cup of orange juice. Crazy, huh?

This past week the hubs’ own packaging (aka, his clothes) was the subject of his sleep talking. I was completely asleep when all of the sudden I was jolted awake by somebody moving in the bedroom. I sat up, and saw that the hubs was standing next to the bed, taking off his hoodie.

Me (looking at the clock and seeing it was almost 2:30 am): What on earth are you doing?

Hubs (continuing to shed clothing): Getting comfortable.

Me: Really?

Hubs: HEY! Don’t be grumpy!

Me: Yeah, I’m not being grum…

Hubs (still shedding clothing, and interrupting me): Oh, don’t be grumpy! No grumpy!

Me: Fine, no grumpy. I’m going back to sleep.

Hubs (climbing back in bed with significantly less clothing on than when he originally went to bed): Yep, yep, no grumpy.

In the morning he had no idea what he had done in the night. Apparently sleeping hubs decided his original nighttime packaging was just too constrictive. Thankfully the hubs is a master at fixing any packaging problem, he can do it even in his sleep!

Game Time

In our house, after the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year comes the season of athletic competition. Bowl games, Super Bowl, and March Madness come in rapid succession. All are significant holidays in the hubs’ life. We kicked off the sports season yesterday by watching a nail-biter of a bowl game.

Perhaps all of this athletic competition might have been on the hubs’ mind when he was talking in his sleep last week. I was climbing back in bed from refilling my water cup when the hubs threw off his blankets suddenly.

Me: You all right?

Hubs: I don’t know.

Me: Ok, well is something wrong?

Hubs: Your team is screwing up my team.

Me: Oh? How am I doing that?

Hubs: Oh, I don’t know.

Me: Alright, well, go back to bed.

The hubs listened to me, and rolled over and was quiet for the rest of the night. I am not sure what team he was talking about, but I trust that he got it straightened out in the end. If not, though, he will have plenty more opportunities to dream about sports teams in the coming days. After all, ’tis the season!

Fear and Trembling

I hate scary movies. Really, honestly hate them. And haunted houses. Or haunted hay-rides, or really anything with “haunted” in the name. I do not like to be scared, even if I know it is all make-believe. Fear is just…scary!

It is not always even outside scary forces that make my heart race and palms sweaty. Sometimes it is my own thoughts that end up scaring me. For example, at church on Sundays we drop the munchkin off at his class, and are given a number that flashes on the screen in the service if he needs us. Whenever a number comes up in the service, I always think they mistyped it, and really it is us they are trying to contact. For example, our number is 6734 and sometimes 6834, or 7734, or 6733 come up on the screen. And then I work myself into a scared fit, convinced that the munchkin is in trouble, and I am not coming to him because the number is wrong.

Sometimes it is not even close to our number, yet my brain makes me freak out with fear that I am somehow missing out on my responsibility. The number could be 5487 and my fear convinces me that the childcare worker is dyslexic and has poor depth perception, and really meant to type 6734 and summon us.

I know I have a problem. I’m working on it.

The most fearless member of the family. Here she is, in a moment of extreme bravery, guarding the home for the ones she loves.

The most fearless member of the family. Here she is, in a moment of extreme bravery, guarding the home for the ones she loves.

Sometimes the hubs’ sleep talking scares me. I really only get truly frightened when he sits up or tries to get out of bed in his sleep. I worry that in his asleep state he will hurt himself or me.

This happened most recently a few weeks ago: I woke up to the hubs sitting up in bed, completely still. I asked if he was alright, scared he would try to get out of bed. He did not say anything, sat there for another minute, then rolled over as if nothing happened. It was a scary moment for the awake member of the family.

Just last week, though, the hubs was the one who was scared in his sleep. I woke up to him throwing his arms around wildly.

Me: What is it?

Hubs: There’s a bug!

Me, sort of concerned maybe there really was a bug: Really?!

Hubs, with more thrashing around: It’s a bug!

Me, realizing he was asleep: Yeah, well just get rid of it.

Hubs: Hate it. Hate that.

Me: Ok, me too.

Hubs: Bug. Gross.

He was quiet after that. I hope his experience with the bug in his sleep was not too frightening, because I know how awful it is to be scared!