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Momsplaining Episode 5: #ProductReviews with Ryan Hansen

Take Ellen Degeneres, add Kristen Bell and you have a whole lot of laughter!

“Momsplaining” is a hilarious six-episode original digital series created by Ellen Degeneres in partnership with OLLY Nutrition.

Kristen and Ryan Hansen– her longtime BFF and “Veronica Mars co-star – road test the wackiest and most wonderful baby products on the market!

Mom Friends – To Have or to Have Not

After giving birth the first time, I became surprisingly open to meeting other new moms with whom I was certain to form a lifelong bond. If you told me you had a kid, even if you were a total mom dick raising a brat-to-be, it was a done deal; you and I were to be mom friends. Within moments of meeting, I was envisioning gleeful play dates, successful carpool arrangements, sleepovers without slumber, and trades during which you and I take turns relieving one another of our mommy duties to free up time for self care (for example, peeing with the door closed).

Not only was I super receptive to making new mom connections, I was also all about rekindling old friendships with ladies who, like me, now had offspring. Out of nowhere, I was agreeing to meet up with childhood acquaintances whom I hadn’t seen in twenty plus years (thanks for that, Facebook). With more recent lost friendships, years of hard feelings evaporated more quickly than the stretch marks earned in pregnancy. We were moms. Need there be more to it than that?

I bid adieu to my more introverted and often crotchety self and adopted my new identity as social mom. You want me to drive 45 minutes across town with a colicky baby to hang out with you and your colicky baby? Yes please. Skip nap time for a mom walk during which my kiddo fusses uncontrollably and we moms receive glares having unintentionally formed a sidewalk-blocking stroller brigade? Sign me up. Get up at the ass crack of dawn for a mommy and me breakfast? I don’t eat breakfast, but by god I’ll choke down that frittata to show you that I’m worthy of your company and of motherhood. Host small gatherings at my house despite the fact that both my dog and my cat have a strong desire to attack humans? Okay! But only if you pull your boob out to breastfeed the minute I put mine away.

I never really questioned the change; it all seemed pretty natural, and certainly for the best. After giving birth to a small human, I was determined to become the best mom possible. Socialization is part of the deal, right? For a second it was fun. I got into it. But then something gave way. As quickly as my social switch flipped on, it switched off and has remained off ever since. It’s been months since I’ve actually followed through with a mom date. These days, before entering into a fast friendship with a fellow mom, I need info:

  1. Are you located within a five minute drive of me? If my kid falls asleep while driving to your house, even if only for a minute, my day is shot. Nap time is sacred and not something to be taken lightly.
  2. What times are you available for playdates? No thank you early risers – you live in a different time zone than I. I’m not looking to meet up before 9:30 a.m. While your day is half over, we haven’t showered or brushed our teeth. Likewise, in the afternoon, I’m not about to wake my kid from one of those rare but amazing 3-hour naps for a pre-planned playdate. No way.
  3. Is your kid the germ-laden, sickly type?
  4. What type of commitment are you looking for? I’m anti-commitment. Already, I stave off guilt on a daily basis. I don’t need additional reasons to feel guilty, stressed, pressured or tied down.
  5. What unspoken obligations am I signing up for by befriending you? Are you going to start hocking your kids at me every time you have a nail appointment for which you can’t find a sitter? Again, I’m seeking zero added stress or guilt.
  6. Exactly how good are you at moming? I’m open to the occasional motivation to be a better mum, but I don’t need to feel any more inadequate than I already feel on a daily basis. I’m willing to befriend the good enough mom, but if you are the always-on-top-of-your-shit mom, I’ll pass.

I don’t know what caused the switchback, but I’ve definitely noticed a return to my more introverted and crotchety ways. Perhaps reality seeped in when the pink cloud of new motherhood faded. I have a tremendous admiration for social moms, but these days, I simply don’t want to be one. Coincidentally, I met a new mom today who asked me if I have a lot of mom friends. Half jokingly, I told her that I go out of my way to minimize my mom friends. Moments later, she invited me to join her mom’s group.  Think we’ll become besties?

Robin is a Colorado native living in Denver with her her husband and son.  For the past several months, Robin has been consumed by fear and excitement as she prepares for the arrival of her second child, due at the end of March.  Her go-to coping mechanisms are sarcasm, sleep and sweets, in no particular order.

“This is Me” Parody: THIS WAS CLEAN

Is this parody from “The Great Showman” a parody or real life?

I say the Holderness family hits waaaay too close to home with this one.

I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know – 11 Things No One Told Me About Motherhood

When my little guy turned one, I was compelled to reflect on the past year and how uninformed my mom friends allowed me to be as I embarked on new motherhood. True, I had zero mom friends until after I became a mom, but this is beside the point.  I was overly expectant of the obvious and under-prepared for the nuances of motherhood.  Some the of the gems I learned during my first year:

  1. If you breastfeed, your boobs will probably turn into fleshy flaps hanging sadly from your chest. My postnatal boobies have all but vanished, leaving me relatively flat-chested with two permanently erect nipples.
  1. There may be post-nursing weight GAIN!  If you are anything like me, you begin to feel entitled to eat whateverthehellyouwantwhile breastfeeding. Then you stop breastfeeding.  Your poor eating habits do not follow suit.  You begin to question whether or not you are pregnant again.
  1. You realize that baby food is not half bad! Baby Mum Mums, Puffs, Gerber prunes… you have been missing out for years! Until I had my little guy, I believed baby food to be reserved for a) babies and b) anorexics.
  1. The urge to nest may arrive fashionably late… like a full year. Only now am I beginning to experience genuine excitement about creating an enticing and kid-friendly space. I’m ready to build a freaking playroom! (I’m not planning on lifting a finger, but am willing to manage the project.)
  1. Dirt is a category on your family’s food pyramid. I don’t know about other moms of little boys, but I eventually gave up the fight. Rocks and soil are an acceptable snack in this house, and pica is a tolerable syndrome (far more so than colic).
  1. You have far less time to run errands which have now become major events for which you must pack a minimum of three days’ worth of necessities.  Luckily, you have a toddler skilled at stashing anything and everything in random places; you may think you need to purchase cat food, only to realize that there are several unopened cans hidden in the heater vent. Even so, your pets realized a year ago that their needs no longer matter.
  1. You begin to question what constitutes abuse and neglect as your mini person travels recklessly around the house wreaking havoc on his body.  Never before had I heard a noise like the one that escaped my little guy when he realized that he was hanging for dear life from his high chair tray.  You swallow your anxiety with spoonfuls of baby food.
  1. You realize that you’ve given birth to an abusive psychopath with razors for nails and fangs for teeth. He’s out for blood. You wrack your brain for plausible explanations for your obvious war wounds.
  1. You realize that your love IS conditional. This kid damn well better favor you over his father! Eff Jimmy Fallon and his Dadabook.
  1. In place of rose-colored glasses or beer goggles, you begin wearing mommy contacts through which your child truly is the cutest, smartest, most talented kid in the world.
  1. You already kind of disapprove of his future wife/partner. Does she just want him for his money?

IF we make it to year two (this is highly dependent upon whether his first word is or is not mama), I’ll be eager to learn (and list) our many year-two lessons

Robin is a Colorado native living in Denver with her her husband and son.  For the past several months, Robin has been consumed by fear and excitement as she prepares for the arrival of her second child, due at the end of March.  Her go-to coping mechanisms are sarcasm, sleep and sweets, in no particular order.

Momsplaining Episode 4: #MomDownload

Take Ellen Degeneres, add Kristen Bell and you have a whole lot of laughter!

“Momsplaining” is a hilarious six-episode original digital series created by Ellen Degeneres in partnership with OLLY Nutrition.

Kristen sits down with the new mama and “Scandal” star to talk about all the highs and lows of being a new mom – especially the things no one tells you about!

How Strep (and Being LOST) Helped Me Save Mankind

Not all Facebook memories are created equally but this one from seven years ago resonated with me because my friend’s family has down-and-out with Strep throat. If you’ve been there, you know.

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The end is near.

At least the light at the end of my of my strep-induced vow of silence, not the other “end” (though I felt close a few times last weekend).

I’ve had strep many times but nothing like this latest bout, which I deemed STREPZILLA. I was rendered unable to speak or eat due to the agonizing pain.

On the plus side, I dropped five pounds.

I stayed home from church on Sunday and went to the Urgent Care where they loaded me up with antibiotics and sub-par painkillers. I say sub-par because Jamie doped me up with Percocet the night prior and that was the only thing that came close to depleting the pain.

It also gave me a killer buzz that kept me up all night.

Jamie helped out a lot over the weekend but I knew he would be back to work as usual on Monday (Bode’s day off). The little dude has been a great sport coping with his deadbeat mother but I asked my friend Eva to watch him so he could have some social interaction with people who don’t use perturbing charades to communicate.

The toughest part about this latest illness has been lack of sleep. I was up most of my first night due to pain. The second night, because of the Aforementioned Buzz. By the third night, I was loopy and desperately needed to sleep. But I had a challenge even greater than pain and buzzes: phlegm.

If you’ve never had strep, there is a lot of accompanying phlegm due to the infection. This is where strep is the root of all evil: your throat is so sore you can’t swallow so I was reduced to carrying around a “spit glass” with me at all times.

It’s no wonder everyone treated me like a leper except for Fat Kitty who has an appreciation for spit and bathes himself daily in it.

To stay entertained on Sunday evening, we watched a few episodes from the first season of LOST. If you’re not familiar with the show, Flight 815 crashed on an island and the survivors have many inexplicable and mysterious encounters. In the second season one of the characters (Desmond) spends three years inside of a Hatch inputting numbers into a computer every 108 minutes to prevent the world from being destroyed.

That night as I went to bed, I was almost delirious from lack of sleep. Every time I’d start to nod off, phlegm would well up in my mouth and I needed to spit it out. In my frenzied state, my dreams transcended reality. I became Desmond but instead of inputting numbers, I had the imperative responsibility of spitting every 15 minutes or the entire earth would be subjected to a catastrophic electro-magnetic explosion.

You heard it here people: My phlegm is single-handedly responsible for saving the world.

You’re welcome.

 

Momsplaining Episode 3: “Kidsplaining”

Take Ellen Degeneres, add Kristen Bell and you have a whole lot of laughter!

“Momsplaining” is a hilarious six-episode original digital series created by Ellen Degeneres in partnership with OLLY Nutrition.

In this week’s episode, Kristen sits down with a group of kids to ask some hard-hitting questions while their moms sit on the other side of a two-way mirror listening in. The results are hilarious!

Momsplaining Episode 2: Kids Party Goals

Take Ellen Degeneres, add Kristen Bell and you have a whole lot of laughter!

“Momsplaining” is a hilarious six-episode original digital series created by Ellen Degeneres in partnership with OLLY Nutrition.

In this week’s episode, an expectant mom of two – soon to be three – gets some help in throwing the ultimate “Frozen” birthday party for her 7-year-old daughter… in a way only a real “Frozen” princess could!

Momsplaining: Pregnancy Realness in All Its Glory

Take Ellen Degeneres, add Kristen Bell and you have a whole lot of laughter!

“Momsplaining” is a hilarious six-episode original digital series created by Ellen Degeneres in partnership with OLLY Nutrition.

Don’t miss Episode 1: Pregnancy Realness in all its glory. Kristen and a soon-to-be mama take a prenatal class, get some expert advice from Kristen’s very own OB/GYN, Dr. Hakakha, and sit down for some real talk with fellow “Bad Moms” actress, Kathryn Hahn!

The Olympics and my bobsled ride of death

As you’re watching the track events at the Olympics, here’s a bit of perspective for you. Eight years ago, I rode the bobsled in what I later called “the position of death” and it was craaaazy. Not because of the speed but due to a little thing call G-force. For this reason, most of the athletes’ training is spent off the track–they usually only spend two days per week on training runs. Enjoy my [painfully fast] stroll down memory lane.

I’ve done some crazy things in my life.

I won’t expound upon them because my mother sometimes reads my blog.

Riding in the 4-man bobsled at Utah Olympic Park was the craziest thing I have ever done.

We all know bobsledders go fast—upwards of 90 mph. I was equipped to deal with speed. What I was not prepared for were the excruciating 5 Gs of force weighing down upon me.

To put this into perspective: astronauts only feel 3 Gs during maximum launch and reentry in the Space Shuttle.

It was the first time even my Afro could not defy the forces of gravity.

Some background: I was in Park City that weekend. I was a part of Park City Mountain Resort’s cutting-edge social media site Snowmamas and my fellow Snowmamas and I congregated for a glorious weekend of skiing, tubing, eating and brainstorming.

Fellow family travel writers The Vacation Gals (Kara, Jennifer and Beth) were also in town. On Saturday afternoon, we toured Utah Olympic Park, which consists of the interactive Alf Engen Ski Museum, the inspiring 2002 Eccles Olympic Winter Games Museum, and a fascinating bus tour of the aerials, ski jump and the combined track venues.

I have done all this before. What motivated me to act as a fourth-wheel was the opportunity to do the bobsled at no charge (a $175 cost).

I figured it would be a roller-coaster on steroids. I did not anticipate it would be like gold medalist Steve Holcomb described as a “minute-long car accident” on one of the fastest tracks in the world.

Jen, Kara and I were assigned to Sled No. 9 and underwent a 30-minute orientation. The room was predominantly filled with chest-thumping, testosterone-oozing men.

And then there was us. But how serendipitous was it that my helmet and sled totally matched my outfit?

In a 4-man bobsled, there is a pilot (driver), positions 2 and 3, and the brakeman in the back. Our instructor Jon described that fourth position as the most aggressive and the one that bears the brunt of the force. For the public ride, the pilot would serve as both driver and brakeman.

You know. Because the person in Position 4 is consumed with a minor thing like not dying.

And who would be insane enough to volunteer for said Position of Death (POD)? Me, of course. Kara and Jennifer gushed gratitude and vowed they would owe me for life. After what I endured on the Comet bobsled, a proper display of indebtedness would be naming their next child after me. Or, in the very least, their favorite goldfish.

The sled follows 15 curves at speeds only 10 seconds less than the professionals. We were the final competitors. In the public rides, no one does a running start so Jen leisurely entered through the back of the sled, followed by Kara and then me in the POD.

After straddling the person in front of you, the strategy is to shrug your shoulders the entire ride to prevent your head from bobbling around. We used the handles to hold ourselves upright and hang on for dear life.

We were gently pushed off the starting line and that was the final placid moment of our ride. I’m still at a loss for how to describe the sensation of having 5 Gs of force crushing down upon you. It was painful. It was fascinating. It was thrilling. But mostly it was just excruciating.

When I watched bobsledders on TV, I always assumed their head bobbing was due to the velocity but it is more attributed to defying the forces exerted by gravity.

Upon finally coming to a stop, my first thought was, “That was the most unbelievable experience of my life,” which was followed by “WHY THE CRAP DO BOBSLEDDERS SUBMIT THEMSELVES TO THAT INSANITY DAY IN AND DAY OUT?”

And then all thoughts were overcome by severe throbbing. Dazed, we posed with our cutie pie pilot Jake.


See my smile? I did not mean it.

When I woke up the next morning, I had a severe case of whiplash and could not move my neck and shoulders. The blood vessel in my right eye had burst and I looked like I got my butt kicked by the neighborhood bully.

Which, in reality, I kind of did.

His name is Bob.