So, uh… are you free tonight?

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Remember when you were in the dating scene and someone would call you up and ask if you were available to go out that night and it was totally offensive because, like, do they not think you have anything better to do?  As if!

But actually you didn’t have anything better to do but you weren’t going to admit that so you lied and told this person that you have some amazing plans you just couldn’t break.

I am so glad I’m not single anymore.*

Or perhaps you were the one doing the asking and you wanted to see someone but were afraid to ask because you didn’t want to offend them by implying they had nothing better to do than wait around for you.  (This mainly applies to men – is it so hard to plan ahead, fellows?)

Well today I realized this same game-playing now applies to babysitters.  I think it was more fun when it was prospective boyfriends.

Here’s the deal:  Damon and I had plans to go on this tour to a Japanese village where they are doing a big Christmas tree lighting event tonight.  We were going to drag Elisabeth along, which in retrospect seems like a poor choice, as it is an outdoor event lasting several hours and it is winter.  Mom fail.  Anyway, late last night an impromptu dinner out was planned for a family in our squadron that is leaving on Monday.  Well obviously good-bye dinner trumps Christmas tree lighting.  But then this morning the scramble for the sitter began.

It was 8:30AM.  I needed a sitter for 5:30PM.  This was not good.  Everyone would be booked, I was sure of it.  And plus, I totally didn’t want to ask, because who does that?  That was only 9 hours notice!  Surely my go-to babysitters have better things to do then wait around for jobs to pop up that evening.

Not wanting to offend my adult babysitters with lives and children of their own, I started with the teenagers.  Let’s be honest, a teenager living on a small base in Japan probably doesn’t have the most active social calendar.  (But they are all making bank in babysitting gigs, so it’s okay.)  No luck.  They were all booked already.  I would have to swallow my pride and call the adults.

“So, um, I know this is really last-minute, but uh, is there any chance you are free to babysit tonight?  I know you probably already have plans because it’s so late so I totally understand if you can’t but I had to ask!”  I was right; they did all have plans.

Then I began to get paranoid:  Are they just saying no because I’ve insulted them by waiting till the day of to request their services?  Do they think I don’t value their time?  I completely value their time!  It just turns out that I am as poor a planner as a 22-year-old male.

Thankfully, the ladies on base are pretty generous with their babysitters, so I’m dropping Elisabeth off at a friend’s house to mooch off her sitter.  But the anxiety of it all have been a little much.  And to all those lovely ladies I called desperately this morning: Don’t hate me!  I promise, I do value your time!  You’re incredibly important to me!  I hope we can make our relationship work beyond this.  And also, I’m sorry if I woke you up.  I realize now that 8:30 is a tad early for Desperately Seeking Sitter phone calls.

*The grass is always greener, right?  I obviously love my husband and baby, but sometimes, when I’m at home on a Friday night covered in snot and rinsing out poopy onesies, I think of my single friends out being fabulous and wish I could join them.  At least for a night 🙂

Unrelated: The holidays have forced me to abandon my vow to blog weekly, so to make up for it, here’s a little taste of what you can expect in the next few weeks:

-1st Birthday Party Madness (I’m a little surprised I didn’t lose friends over this party)

-Reflections on my 1st year as a mom (This will be good, because as you know I’m really wise and full of sound, reasonable advice.)

-The only workout song you will ever need (That’s right: song.  Not playlist, song.  Singular.  Prepare to be wowed.)

-That time I got pulled over by a Japanese cop and other driving adventures.  (Actually, I wasn’t pulled over, it was my friend Claudia.  But I was in the car and I’m pretty sure it was my fault, so that counts.)

-My kid is famous, and I’m officially a stage mom.

There.  Now that I’ve put it in writing, I’ll have to get back to blogging.  Until then, hope you are surviving the holidays!

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The Big Birthday

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

November 21, 2012.  Elisabeth turns 1.  I turn into a total wreck. I was recently watching an episode of “Parenthood” in which one of the couples sends their daughter to college.  And I lost it.  I can’t believe I have to send Elisabeth to college!  … In 17 years. As I am clearly emotionally incapable of accepting that my baby girl is no longer a baby baby, I will instead link you to her birth story. Sorry, I just gagged.  I hate that term, “birth story”.  But that’s what it is, I guess.  So in honor of Elisabeth’s big day, let’s revisit how she tortured me for the better part of 24 hours. And while you’re reading that, I’m going to go crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate surviving my first year of motherhood. Share...

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It’s the Sorority Life

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 in It's the Navy Life

Disclaimer: I was a sorority girl.  Or maybe, I am a sorority girl?  (I think it’s like the Marines: Once a Marine, Always a Marine.  Once a Kappa Delta, Always a Kappa Delta.)  So as you read this blog, please keep in mind that I think sororities are a good thing.  Really, I do!  Here goes: Living on base is like being in a sorority.  But with more babies and less boozing. Okay, maybe about the same amount of boozing.  But absolutely more babies. For those of you who aren’t military spouses, let me offer you some very, very basic background: My husband is in a squadron, one of many on the base.  Each squadron has a corresponding spouse club.  My husband’s squadron is called “The Eagles.”  The ladies in my spouse club are the “Lady Eagles.”  It’s complicated, I know, but stay with me. When all these squadrons deploy, the base is left with a lot of women (and to be fair, a few men) all organized into these pre-existing clubs.  And sorority-esque antics ensue!  Are you on pins and needles waiting to read about all the juicy drama???  All those women living in close quarters and seeing each other day in and day out?  Hardly any men to keep down the crazy?  Oh, you can see the Bravo show now, can’t you?! Sorry to disappoint.  Being in a sorority was freaking fun, so getting to relive some of that at a more… mature age… can be kind of awesome. I can’t say that all spouse clubs create this kind of environment, as I’ve never been a part of another spouse club.  But I’m willing to hypothesize that the certain set of conditions we experience at NAF Atsugi contribute to the sisterly environment: Living on base… In a foreign country… With deployed husbands.  Put those together and what do you get? T-shirts. Bad Girl Games. Dance parties.  You’re a little jealous now, aren’t you?  And you don’t even know what Bad Girl Games are.  I’ll get there in a minute. But first, the t-shirts. The hallmark of any...

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My Halloween Horror Story

Posted on Oct 31, 2012 in Pinterest Stole My Cool

As a new mom, many things cause me anxiety.  Germs.  Illness.  Choking hazards.  Falls.  The list goes on.  But here’s the big one, the one that has instigated endless angst: Halloween. Is it the weirdos out trolling the streets?  The potential for poison-tainted candy?  The impending sugar high of a child who has gorged herself on Kit-Kats? No, of course not.  Elisabeth can’t walk, let alone Trick-or-Treat.  I’ll deal with those issues next year.  For now, my Halloween horror is this: that my daughter will be doomed to don a cliché costume. News flash: I can’t sew.  I don’t do crafty.  I’m creatively challenged.  So last Halloween when – at nine months pregnant – I started seeing all these imaginative, original costumes popping up on my Facebook and Pinterest feeds, I began to stress.  Yes, I began stressing about my daughter’s Halloween costume a year ago.  Before she was born.  (I recognize that this probably qualifies me as insane, but aren’t all moms a little insane about something or other?) Now before I came out to California, I specifically told my mother that she was not to buy Elisabeth a Halloween costume.  She had three kids to dress up for years; this was my turn.  I only have so many years before Elisabeth starts voicing an opinion on these things, so I need to take advantage of her silence now.  But guess what I found hanging in the closet when I arrived?  A Carter’s elephant costume my mom had bought at Costco.  An elephant.  How uninspired!  Any old baby can be an elephant.  This would not do for my Elisabeth. I strengthened my resolve to find Elisabeth a costume that would wow.  I obviously wasn’t go to make something myself, so where did I turn?  Etsy, of course. Bad idea.  Since when did creativity come at such a high cost?  And since when did every little girl’s item involve a tutu?  Can’t somebody somewhere think of something unique, inexpensive and tutu-less?  Is that so much to ask?!  (Just don’t look at me.  I’ve got nothing.) This brings me to...

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Goth Mom

Posted on Oct 30, 2012 in Adulthood Stole My Cool

I am not a do-it-yourself kinda gal.  You’ve probably gathered that from previous blog posts.  Well, my non DIY stance applies to my hair, too.  I never have – and never will – colored/cut/up-doed my own hair.  I am simply not capable of such things.  I once YouTubed a curling iron tutorial.  Got that?  I actually googled, “How to curl your hair.”  I can’t even operate a curling iron without video assistance!  And even with the video assistance, I totally scorched my hair. But that’s okay, because I’m not really high maintenance about my hair.  Perhaps I’m not high maintenance about my hair because I don’t know how to be high maintenance about my hair – but whatever.  Growing up, I always played it safe, never adding more than a few barely noticeable highlights to enhance my natural color (mousey brown).  But then a few years ago I decided I was ready for a change!  I was ready to plunge into the world of hair dye! This was a HUGE decision for me.  So I gathered my courage, walked into the salon a light brunette and walked out – a dark brunette!  It was revolutionary!  Changed my life! I’m lying.  Of course it didn’t change my life.  It’s hair dye.  I don’t subscribe to the theory that blondes have more fun, and by extension, brunettes less fun.  Or any theory that claims you hair color will determine your life/personality/how much fun you have.  The person who has the most margaritas has the most fun, obviously; it has absolutely nothing to do with hair color.  But still, I liked the new look and decided to stick with it, when convenient. Incidentally, the last time it was convenient was a really, really long time ago.  Like, pre-baby long ago.  My lustrous dark brown hair had long ago faded back to basic brown.  But visiting my parents in California afforded me the opportunity to visit my long-time stylist and redo my do. Perhaps my stylist’s assistant had been drinking before she mixed my color, or perhaps she just didn’t like me.  Either...

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The Night Stalker Strikes Again

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Night Stalker.  That’s what my parents have named Elisabeth.  That, and Demon Baby.  You can probably guess how our nights have been going lately. My brain is too muddled from lack of sleep to remember if I ever shared with you how I sleep trained Elisabeth.  In case not, here’s a recap:  The child resisted sleep with all her power.  After months of Elisabeth SCREAMING before every nap time (no matter how much rocking, cuddling, singing, etc.) for sometimes upward of an hour, falling asleep in my arms and then waking the moment I placed in her her crib (over and over and over again), taking naps that averaged 20-25 minutes, and waking up several times throughout the night, I had reached the end of my rope.  I decided the best option for all parties involved would be to sleep train the kid, and the method I chose was Ferber’s.  Otherwise known as (mistakenly, in my opinion) the “Cry It Out” method. I can hear the gasps now!  How could she!  That cruel, cruel mother!  That poor child is ruined!  Here’s how I see it.  Elisabeth was crying before every nap and every bedtime anyway.  So instead of letting her cry in my arms for an hour I let her cry in her crib for 20-30 minutes while I periodically checked on her, until she fell asleep on her own.  And after a couple of days, the crying stopped.  And she slept.  And stayed asleep.  And I slept.  AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. -Sigh-  It was a nice month while it lasted. Since traveling to the states, Elisabeth’s sleep has been all sorts of messed up.  I had hoped that once the initial jet lag had worn off and we had settled down from our travels around the country, she would simply slip back into her sleep trained ways.  I should know better than to ever assume such silly things… No, no.  Instead we have the Night Stalker/Demon Baby.  The non-sleeping baby has returned with a vengeance.  The baby who thinks 30 minutes constitutes a nap.  Unless of course...

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