Two Ways To Go Insane In Winter With Toddlers

I’m dying for ideas for indoor play during the freakishly long ice age that is winter this year.  I’m always reading the “50 Superfun and Incredibly Easy No Mess Creative Ideas for When Your Stuck Indoors for Five Months!” blog posts.  Unfortunately my desperation had led me to try some really stupid ideas.  Montessori beans

Like this one.

mont beans 2Look at this cute, pleasant, well-mannered girl carefully pouring her beans! The kids found an exhibit yesterday at the children’s museum that had a similar set up and Lola loved it.  She sat there for a good 15 minutes scooping beans, and I think she could have done it for much longer if I hadn’t interrupted her zone to go gawk at the crazy Etch-A-Sketches of President’s faces.

Abe etch

Shut the front door this can’t be for real!

I’m gonna make a bean tray!  All I had on hand was dried lentils so I set that up in a big bowl with measuring spoons and a smaller bowl for her to scoop into and let her loose.

It worked for awhile.  She kept most of the lentils in the bowls except when she tried to eat a scoop of them (Mmmm! she says with dried lentils stuck to her eyebrows and up her nose and encrusting her drool covered lips.)

Then Noah caught wind.  Within two seconds it had deteriorated into a fight over the full measuring cup of lentils.  I’m sure you can guess what happened next.  No wait, let me tell you. One full cup of lentils explodes like confetti all over…everything.  (Math question: One cup of dried lentils equals how many lentils? Answer: Five million!) Nothing escaped being assaulted by lentils.  The dog, the rug, the table the floor the counter the sofa the computer the toys you get the picture.

rice box

Look how nicely we’re playing together!

It reminded me of my rice box adventure.  This was another one of those great winter ideas.  A rice box!  Like a sand box, only full of rice!  You get a big plastic under-bed storage container and fill it with twenty pounds of rice and toys.  Put a sheet under it and easy peasy, you’re ready for action!

Noah thought this was the greatest day of his life.  The only thing he didn’t do was sit nicely on the side of the box and play.  He DID: splash the rice around with his hands like it was water; throw a dump truck full of rice across the room; drop a handful of rice on the cat when I wasn’t looking (no rice on cat!), tap dance in the rice box; tap dance all over the house with his rice covered feet.  Rice box lasted exactly one day.  (Not knowing what to do with it, I put it out on the patio whereby the cat proceeded to enjoy, ahem, said rice.)

Thank god for plastic.

What the EFF!!  Who comes up with these ideas?  Probably a Mattel marketing hack trolling the internet posing as a resourceful stay at home mom.  They know that once you try something this stupid, you’d pay good money for something like this in your basement so that you’d never have to make a toy for your kid again.

Looks like we’re putting the iPad and “Handy Hand Hand”  back in rotation until we can come out of hibernation.  And I’m gonna try to stop looking on the internet for how to be a mom.

Ha!! Not.

 

Adventures in Cloth Diapering…Or How I Saved the World

(Warning: This post contains lots of bad poo puns.  I  couldn’t help myself.  You can use it like a drinking game if you want.   Whenever you see a poo pun down a glass of Pinot.  Or, just down a glass of Pinot.  Still totally fun.)

I’ve been debating about writing about this for some time. First, because my story involves poo, and all the moms I know seem to have had their fill of poo stories.

Second, because I really want to keep my seat in the crunchy moms club and things are very precarious right now. I figured I was in the club for LIFE with my home birth and all. But then I couldn’t breast feed, and I nearly got myself kicked out by dropping the ‘F’ bomb on my baby. (Formul-AH!!) I made up to them and earned a probationary membership back in the club when I agreed to cloth diaper.

And third, I feel like a failure – too selfish and tired and sick of touching poo to care that I am destroying the Earth irreparably with each baby, to the tune of something like 5 tons of dirty dipes per kid. But. I couldn’t keep it up. I  gave up on cloth diapering because I did not have the patience for it or the energy to wash all those dipes or the desire to bring extra outfits with me everywhere because inevitably someone was gonna leak their shit.

Oh, at first it’s fun. I convinced my husband to let me invest in the whole shebang up front because we were going to “save so much money,” and then had a grand time spending $500 on the cutest little diapering things you ever did see!! CD moms (that’s ‘cloth diapering” moms to those lay folks out there) call CDs “fluff.” And little baby bums look so friggin‘ fluffy cute in huge ass cloth diapers with patterns like dollar bills on them!1mos-RagababeEasyAIO1-1

First one I tried was gDiapers, probably the most widely recognized CD.  I put it on Noah and it was so adorable. He instantly became a gBabe! Pictures, pictures. He was gonna be an Instagram sensation! gDiapers would want him for their spokesbaby!

Within an hour it leaked. I hopped on the internet. I spent hours reading gDiaper blogs and getting to know the ins and outs of the gMom community (yes, I am a gMom now!!) and ordering my gDiaper diaper bag so that everyone who saw me would know that I am gDiapering.

Ok, of course, user error. I tried again with Noah and put the leg holes in the crease and “made a seal” and made it tight but not too tight and let him loose. Leak. Back on the internet, doubled up the inserts, leak leak leak. I tried that sucker 5 or 6 times and couldn’t get it to work. I am bombing at this already and it’s only the first day.

Now I’m on the internet reading the “I hate gDiaper” blogs and going, yeah! Those suck! No wonder I couldn’t get it right! And start researching other cloth diapers with a better reputation. After hours and hours and hours of research I decide that BumGenius diapers are what I need. I order 15 of them. These are great because they are one size fits all and so Noah and Lola will both be able to use them and I am saving so much goddam money Mat is gonna buy me a diamond because he is in such awe at my frugalness!

I also order a cloth diaper pail because you can’t use a Diaper Genie, duh! I order cloth wipes because you can’t cloth dipe and toxic wipe. I order a special cloth wipe warmer because you can’t just go using the disposable wipe warmer! I order flushable liners so I don’t have to touch poo!  I order special detergent to wash my cloth diapers in because you cannot use regular detergent!

Noah gets it first. It’s orange, his best color, and adorable, and I take more pictures of his cute behind. In 90 minutes his diaperIMG_0242 IMG_0243 has leaked all over my pants while I read to him. Back on the interwebs. Some people birth heavy wetters, it seems, and I happen to be one of them. I ponder the likelihood that this trait is genetic while I search in vain for a pair of cleanish non-holey replacement yoga pants.

Change every hour! the helpful CD forums say. This makes cloth diapering more inconvenient than my still out of shape pubococcygeus (I hate Kegels) muscles but okay. Nothing more I’d like to do all day than spend my leisure time changing (and washing) two cloth diapers every hour.

Wash them better! Okay, buy some special stripping detergent to strip the special cloth diaper detergent I already bought. Nope. No go.

Load that baby up with extra inserts! I layer two, then three inserts together and now, once they get slightly soiled, they turn rock hard and bulky and Noah can hardly utilize his legs and is walking like a robot. A freakin‘ cute fluffy butt robot, but a robot nonetheless. The layers stop the leaking but.  Not winning.

I finally make this happen by using gDiaper inserts in the BumGenius diapers.  So we go on our way for a little happy while. I’m washing all 15 diapers each and every day and letting them air dry every night all over my dining room chairs.

How do you handle the poo? I heard often when I told (bragged) to people I was cloth diapering.  Gotta get your hands in the poo, no way around it.  Little baby poo, like Lola’s was at the time, tends to be water soluble so it will just wash out in the laundry. But Noah’s poo was toddler poo. This had to be dumped into the toilet first and flushed and then the diaper could be washed. But who has ever had a kid that does awesome perfect poo patties every time that just flip right out into the toilet? Not me!

Near the beginning of this escapade Noah takes a truly nasty poo. This is not a flipper. Now some CD moms have this handy sprayer that attaches to the toilet that you use to spray the diapers off. This is the one thing I did not invest in, because hello, I bought the flushable liners that are supposed to take care of this for me.

My choices are: A) dip the whole thing in the toilet with my hands and let it soak out, or B) wash it in the washer twenty times and hope that the poo comes out and doesn’t poo-ify every load of laundry I ever do from here to eternity.

Neither are acceptable scenarios, so I chose C.  I know I need a sprayer for this job, and where do I have one? Aha! The kitchen sink! So I bring this double-pounder to the sink and start spraying. And bits of poo start flying.

You know that moment where you realize you’ve just made a terrible decision, but there’s no taking it back?  Like hypothetically, when you sent that pic to your new boyfriend’s phone, but you don’t know him well enough to know that he for sure won’t show his best friend?  Or in fact, you do know him somewhat, and what you do know points to the very likelihood that he will show his best friend? Hypothetically?

That’s how I felt.  I immediately realize this is a horrible idea, but I’m in deep doo doo now and there’s no taking it back.  I need to just bear down and get it done.

I eventually manage to get most of the poo off the diaper, but now the drain is stopping up and the sink is starting to fill with poo water.  What do I do?? I’m gonna have to use the garbage disposal.  I reach over with my elbow because my hands are biohazardly contaminated and flip the switch and shoot poo water up into the air and all over the counter. I have in effect now just used my sink to blend up a splattering poo milkshake. Omg I will barf right now!

The whole kitchen smells like a bloated rotting carcass and invisible poo particles are swirling through the air and landing on everything within five feet! I make a quick inventory of everything within five feet. All of Lola’s bottles, nipples etc. Vomit in my mouth. Bananas, apples, Mac and cheese still in the pot from earlier. I realize then that I myself am covered not only in invisible poo particles but actual poo particles and I would pay big money to stand in an acid bath right about now.

I finally get the poo dipe in the wash and throw away or bleach the shit out of everything in the vicinity including myself. The entire house has floating invisible poo particles in it that make it smell like a dirty gas station bathroom and even though it’s ten degrees outside I bundle the kids up and open all the windows. I wipe myself down, take a (mouth) breather, and recoup. That was seriously nearly the most disgusting poo experience I’ve had, though since I can think of two other poo experiences of mine that are horrific as well, and don’t involve children, I strangely start to feel better about this whole thing.

And yet. I still continue to cloth diaper! If I can handle that I can handle anything! At this point Mat and my babysitter are sort of not really into this yet, especially after my poo milkshake mishap, and so I have two diaper pails going, two wipe warmers, and two different piles of diapers to choose from. I ask my mom if I should bring the cloth diapers on vacation to Phoenix and she says – I’m paraphrasing here – Fuck No.*

So I’m still buying disposables and I’m still researching for hours searching for the perfect cloth diaper to convince everyone I have not lost the rest of my mind by trying this. After checking out several other brands, I do end up finding the holy grail of cloth diapers. Ragababe.

These are highly rated on all the diaper blogs and raved about on the forums and I must have one! Or 15-20 to be exact. I go to the website and end up on the ordering page where to my chagrin there are five or six paragraphs explaining exactly how, in 10 Easy Steps, I too can get my hands on one of these buggers.

It seems that Ragababes are the shit, and everyone wants them, and the tiny little mom-run company cannot keep them in stock. You have to sign up for their Facebook page where they will notify you of the date of the next stocking. The website then explains how you must go to the website a few minutes early with your trigger finger ready, constantly refreshing the browser until the slated time, because if you, say, have to deal with a screaming baby whose brother just now wanted to use his bulldozer to bulldoze her butt out of the way to make room for his burgeoning rail line you will miss the start of it and within seconds they are all sold out.

Shut the front door.

Who has time for this? Well apparently a lot of people. Including me. And I score! One diaper! And let me tell you, this diaper really is miraculous. It came in a cute hipster print and can be DRIED in the DRYER and actually holds up to my heavy wetter’s best shot and I fall in love.

Now I have to get many, many more. And I can’t. I follow the 10 Easy Steps to no avail. They hardly ever stock Noah’s size so he’s out. I finally do manage to get a couple in Lola’s size and they make me fall even harder. I’m becoming obsessed! How do I get more of these? Now my BumGenius are total has-beens and I can’t even stand to look at them. I’m looking lustily at thenull_zps62abd1cb photos of the out of stock diapers on the website. Pink leopard! Newspaper print! Camouflage! My babies’ butts would be the envy of the town.

I search and search and find there is a black market of resale Ragababes on eBay and a couple of other sketchy sites and these things are going for like 25 more bucks than the original $35, which is nearly twice as much as the $19 BumGenius diapers. Should I? I shouldn’t. That’s stupid to pay 60 bucks for a diaper. Right?

I nearly fall under the eBay auction spell but I manage to control myself. I don’t buy. Because at this point I’ve also realized the dirty little secret of cloth diapering. It really doesn‘t save you that much money. It takes a bunch of tries to find the right cloth diaper, and besides that freak Ragababe these things don’t resell well or at all, so the money spent on dipes that don’t work is a loss. And if you do find something that you like, you want them in every freakin‘ color and design they come in because just like tattoos and Gucci bags, what you’ve got doesn’t satisfy you for very long.

In the end I never did get enough Ragababe love to be able to fully extract myself from clingy, psychotic BumGenius. And I started to loathe the BG. Because I could deal with just about anything with the diapers, but in the end my kids just started…smelling. And I couldn’t figure out how to stop it. Apparently, once the diapers have been used a few times they start retaining this excrement smell. And as soon as your kid pees even a little, the diaper lays on a full-frontal assault of the senses and reeks, and also makes your kid reek even once the diaper is off.

You are supposed to be able to strip these with the fancy stripping detergent to solve this problem, but it never worked. I did more research, tried a few other things, washed the shit out of them, and eventually gave up. Because even with cute little fluff butts, my children will not be the envy of the town if they permanently smell like a bloated rotting carcass. That smell was truly the last straw.

From here, after eating crow with my husband and returning the diamond in my mind, I put my stash of cloth dipes in storage and decided to try some eco-friendly disposable diapers. Research, internet, blah blah blah, I find some that are made in Turkey with paper lining and wood pulp absorbing pellets on the interior. Perfect!

Except. Since these don’t have super-absorbing powers of the “toxic” crunchy mom Unapproved Huggies you are technically supposed to change them more often. Didn’t totally figure this out until we went to our good friends‘ one year old’s birthday party. They have an awesome farm with awesome huge bouncy slides for the party. Noah is bouncing and sliding and having an awesome time. But, the thing with paper, as opposed to say plastic, is that when it gets wet, it doesn’t stretch.

Noah’s three hour old diaper – I mean you try to pry a two year old away from a huge awesome bouncy slide to change his eco-dipe – rips in half and all the millions of pee-soaked wood pulp pellets spread from the top of the slide where Noah is launching to the bottom where he ends his descent. Next is a frantic evacuation of the contaminated, formerly awesome bouncy slide.

Fortunately, our friends conveniently had a leaf blower in the shed, and Pete frankly seemed almost giddy to be able to break it out to blast all of Noah’s wood pellets from the scene of the crime. Also conveniently, as aforementioned, these are made of wood will biodegrade and not harm the environment. So, you know.  Points for that.

And I thought I was ostracizing my kid when he smelled like a carcass. So, we are back to Huggies. These babies can last for 12 hours straight and will withstand all the excremental abuse my kids can throw at them. I get them super cheap at Costco. I sold my Ragababes for more than I paid for them, on eBay, and am saving up for a nice new diamond.

I think of all the hours I wasted researching, then washing diapers. I could have solved world hunger with all that brainpower! Well. At least I could have spliced together someIMG_1081 cute kitten videos. I have reconciled myself to the fact that I am leaving the Earth full of trash generated by my spawn, and am trying to find ways to make up for it. Like buying recycled toilet paper. Mat’s not pleased about that, but I think he’s happy we aren’t washing poo cloths.

I realize that to keep from losing my mind I had to drop my expectations of what I can and can’t do. (Sense a theme?) I may not be able to save the world, but I have saved my sanity, which makes my world, and the people that inhabit it, a better place.

 

* My mom had the experience of cloth diapering in the 70’s without much choice. Like, the kind of cloth diapers with safety pins and plastic covers. Seriously? Sharp pins that will stab your child in his or her genitals? She can’t for the life of her understand why I would choose to cloth diaper. I print out lots of informative articles on the subject to bring with me to Phoenix.

Whatever Lola Wants….

1. Esophagus-singeing heartburn.

2.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome coupled with horrific constipation.

3.  Panic attack-inducing claustrophobia.

4.  Restless Leg Syndrome (Yes! It’s REAL!)

5.  Insomnia.

6.  Hemorrhoids.

7.  Varicose veins.

8.  Vaginal varicose veins.  Awesome as it sounds.

9.  47 extra pounds.

10.  Sprained foot from carrying 47 extra pounds.

11. De Quervains tendinitis.  Where you lose the ability to use your thumb.  Or thumbS as the case may be.

12.  14 hours of labor.

13. Stitches in the woo woo.

14.  Bruised tailbone.

15.  No sleep ever again.

But it’s all worth it.

Really!

Introducing Lola King Bets

Born September 12th, 2012  7 lbs 9 ounces  and super gorgeous.

 

 

 

 

Let the Mompetition Begin!

Katya has a reward chart at school, and she was very proud of herself the other day.  “I have more stars than Caroline!” she said to me.  The little secret, though, is that she and Caroline are the only ones in the class that need a reward chart to keep them on track.  Katya especially needs to “be rewarded often” according to her teacher; all that positive reinforcement makes her feel good.

That’s kinda how I feel about mothering these days.  Everyone’s out for the most stars, to keep their parenting insecurities at bay and make them feel good about themselves…and better than the “other moms.”

There’s a lot of talk in the media lately about the “Mommy Wars.”  Headlines that scream “Are You Mom Enough?” like the recent Time article that shows a mother breastfeeding her 3 year old only add fuel to the fire.  But the truth is that I see this constantly, moms in a race with each other to be Supermom.  A Mompetition, if you will.  ( I’m sure I’m the first person to come up with this term!) We wear all of our a-momplishments like gold stars (sorry, I’ll stop), so everyone knows WE are doing it right.  And this, I fear, is doing us all in.

I think we all have fallen victim to moms around us that make us feel badly about our choices.  It’s quite possible we’ve all at one point or another been one of those moms too.  Mothering is one of the most personal journeys that is on the most public of displays.

It starts with breastfeeding.  Everyone and their mother has an opinion on how, when, where, and what to do with your boobs.  This is how I see the reward chart: the stars you earn for breastfeeding fall on a bell curve.  At the top of the curve where you get the most stars is breastfeeding exclusively for I’d say about a year, year and a half tops.  But once you surpass that point, you start losing stars, because you can’t keep the kid on the boob for too long, or you start looking like a crazy hippie has-been child star.  (Alicia Silverstone and Blossom come to mind…)

Unfortunately I didn’t get any stars in this category.  I couldn’t breast feed Noah because I just didn’t produce any milk.  But here’s the thing – my hope is that when I explain this to people, which I find myself doing often, I get at least some ‘effort’ stars.  Because I did try, really hard.  And ever since, I’ve been trying really hard to prove my momhood by explaining how I wasn’t one of those moms that CHOSE not to breastfeed.

Women make a point of asking, by the way.  Just about everyone is in on this game.  I have often been asked, in playgroups, library storytime, etc (gold star for me for going to organized events!!) when I break out the bottle, “Oh, so you’re not breastfeeding?”  Um…does this look like a boob?  Obviously. Actual conversations have started this way.   “No.  I just couldn’t make it happen,”  I respond.  “Yeah, breastfeeding takes a lot of work.”   No shit.  We all know what the implication is here.  I guess you just didn’t want to make the sacrifice of your body to your child.  But it was worth it to me!

So then I find myself explaining intimate details to strangers about the inner workings of my breasts over the past twenty years; the complete boob development timeline all the way up until Noah was starving to death 3 days after birth because every lactation consultant I talked to couldn’t figure out why my teats didn’t work and I equated formula with poison from all the “advice” I’d been getting so I never even thought it an option.  I set the alarm to pump every two hours night and day the first 4 weeks of his life!  I took herbs, tea, beer!! I squeezed out every last drop I could to see if I could make this happen!  I got about 12 ounces total for all of my effort!!  That gets some stars, right? (see, I’m still doing it.)

Why do I give a crap what this person thinks?  I haven’t figured that out yet.  Why don’t I assume they’re just a nosey, rude  dumbass and not care?  The fact is, there could be a lot of reasons why a person doesn’t breastfeed (breast cancer, for one) and it is rude for someone to assume they know anything about it.  We make judgements based on assumptions when so many things affect each parenting decision a mom makes.  And, in fact, it’s often none of our business.

I got ahead of myself though.  I skipped too far when where I wanted to start the Mompetition was at childbirth.  I DO actually earn some stars here!  This is where it really begins, although the distribution of stars can get pretty tricky.  Natural childbirth gets the most stars, I would presume, and doing it at home, even more.  The most you can get probably is by doing a waterbirth, which, alas, I did not do.  Although my naturopathic chiropractor actually gave birth to her three children at home without a midwife, just she and her husband.  That tips a little too far on the crazy scale to me for getting any more stars, but there I am judging!

Birthcenter is next, still keeping it au natural, folks.  Then the hospital.  But wait!  If you had an extra long labor, or your vajay jay tore big time, you still get extra stars.   Any horror story – which we moms are oh so willing to share to anyone who will listen – gets extra stars.  However, if you had an elected c-section that wasn’t medically necessary, well, heh, NO POINTS FOR YOU!

I will give myself some credit, because it is my blog and I’m allowed to, that I never did just go around pointedly asking people how they gave birth just so I could tell them MY story.  And women have done that to me.  In fact, most of my closest friends didn’t know I was going to do a home birth until after the fact.  But believe you me, when I got asked,  I wore my stars proudly!  Score for Val.

We get stars in so many other ways too.  We earn them if we haven’t put on makeup since pregnancy or changed our pants in 3 days. We earn them by turning in our True Religions for Mom jeans, getting Mom bobs instead of our former luxurious coifs, and in place of our designer purses, picking up diaper bags that look sewn together from girl’s Hello Kitty sheets.   Stars for all those things, girls.

One of the mom books I read talked about how you should have No Makeup Allowed playgroups, so moms can feel welcome without the pressure to look pulled together.  Which, I see the point, but isn’t that being judgmental to women who want to bear some sort of resemblance to their former, albeit distant, pulled together selves? Is it really healthy to fully lose ourselves in Babyland? But in some circles apparently, the more slovenly you look the more stars you get for willingly walking your used-to-be cute self down the plank of self-sacrifice all for your precious offspring.  I’m not going to pretend I’m any less a perpetrator here.  Or victim.  Just read some of my blog posts and you’ll see all the stars I believe I’ve earned on that front.

Where else can we earn some?

Did you stay home or go back to work?  How soon did you go back to work?  Did you continue to haul your pump around in its “gorgeous and discreet” carrying case so you could empty your boobs in a bathroom stall?  Well, ok then.

Do you make your own babyfood, or do you buy that horrible store bought crap?  Do you use all organic fruits and veggies?  Are the animals locally farm-raised and grazing on pesticide-free grass?  Ok good.  At a playgroup one mom said to another one within earshot of me after eyeing one of those squeezy fruit things I pulled out, “Oh, I never feed Junior any purchased baby food, it just looks so disgusting I would hate for him to eat it!”   I looked at NDB happily squeezing away and thought, well…stars that its organic?

And we all know now that you have to take your kids to some classes, but do too many and you start being labeled a helicopter parent.  Activities also fall on the bell curve, you see.  Babies and toddlers need some sort of stimulation – are you doing Kindermusik?  Gymboree? Swim lessons?  Pottery throwing? Soccer lessons, Science Camp, for the 1-3 year old set?  But if you do too much, you start losing stars, and all the overachieving but slightly less-overachieving-in-a-healthy-way moms start calling you an OVERACHEIVER MOM!

Baby wearing? Wood toys or plastic?  Vaccines or no?  Cloth diapers or land-filling wasteful disposables?  Organic onesies? Co-sleeping? Ferberizing?  Did you boil up your placenta and turn it into a smoothie so you can have vitamin-packed breastmilk? Submit your son to circumcision?  Have you sufficiently sacrificed your entire life, living space, career, time, taste, romantic relationship, body, and mind to your child?  Stars for you!  Oh, no, you didn’t do those things?  Well you might as well feed him crack then because that’s about how well he’ll turn out.

We’ve probably all been guilty of adding up our own stars, at least in our minds.  I’ve had more than one person mention to me that you don’t earn a medal for giving birth naturally.  They obviously have 1) never given birth naturally and 2) apparently haven’t seen the gold star scale.  And just last week a friend on FB wrote about how she had just discovered Uncrustables and what a lifesaver they were.  I read it and thought, what, she can’t even make a PB and J?  Didn’t she JUST see on the Today Show that guy from Eat This Not That describing how those things had so much sugar it’s like scarfing down 175 popsicles?  No stars for her!  This I thought as I just finished serving Katya a Toaster Strudel.  No joke.  The irony was fairly palpable.

I guess what I’m slowly figuring out is that we all are trying to do the best we can.  We want to do better for our kids than our parents did, just as they wanted to.  But there’s so much pressure, and so much info out there, we end up feeling insecure and questioning whether we’re making the right choices.

We also have media constantly up in our grill with the splashy headlines.  And we have Facebook in our, well, face, too.  Here’s me checking in to Gymboree!  Here’s a video of me and Junior doing flash cards!  Here’s a picture of my gourmet baby meal lovingly prepared from chickens I raised myself and kale from my garden!

With all the immediate access to every opinion possible we start looking to others to prove to ourselves we’re doing this right.  We boost ourselves up, but often it’s at the expense of pushing other moms down.  We either try to feel really good about our mothering skills by thinking we’re superior, or we beat ourselves up because we haven’t made the same choices and maybe sorta wish we did.

So I’ve decided.  I’m gonna keep plugging ahead, on my journey with my own Mom Project, reading, gathering info, and trying to be the best mom I can be.  But this project is just gonna be about me.  It’s not about being better, more productive, healthier, more committed, more relaxed, more psychotic than anyone else.  It’s about being more (or less) of those things for myself and for my kids.  I’m going to do my very best to stop judging and comparing.  Unless you’re the freakin’ tanorexic mom that brought her 5 year old to the tanning salon.  You are an idiot.   Or my husband’s ex-wife.  But I’ll try to lay off everyone else.

I’ll be chronicling the journey here as usual, giving my opinion on the books I read and what’s working, or not, for me.  But the caveat is:  I’m not doing/not doing things to make anyone else feel better/worse about their own choices.  Just myself!  Cause I’m allowed.  It’s my blog.