The Pretty, Pretty Princess

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Pregnancy Stole My Cool

The Pretty, Pretty Princess 0

Not gonna lie – I totally got sucked into the Royal Baby Watch.  So when Baby George was born last week, and Kate and William made their first appearance on the hospital steps as a family of three, I got giddy.  How cute did they look?  So cute.  …Maybe too cute?

After leaving the hospital, a bunch of idiotic commentators who have apparently never seen a woman after giving birth seemed shocked – just shocked! – at Kate’s belly.  Some even deemed it unsightly.  What the heck, people?  First of all, stop hating on the hormonal new mom.  How rude.  Second of all, were we looking at the same princess?

Kate looked freakin’ awesome!  …Maybe too awesome?  Seriously – who looks that fantastic 24 hours after having a baby!?

I like Kate Middleton.  Or rather, I like the image of her that is portrayed in the media.  Though I’d probably rather head out for a night on the town with Pippa, Kate seems just lovely.  She has a great fashion sense, and she seems down-to-earth.  (Heck, she wears her gorgeous designer outfits more than once!) So relatable.

But then she goes and has a baby, and turns up one day later looking like this:

COME ON, Kate!  That’s just not right.

I mean, good for her for looking Vogue-cover worthy a day after labor.  I’m just not entirely convinced she actually gave birth; Prince George may be an imposter baby.  I have a hard time believing that anyone – even Kate Middleton – looks that great so soon after delivering a baby.  Sure, I get that she is a princess and probably had a team of stylists that prepped her for her first post-baby public appearance, but still.  Is she a magic princess?  A magic princess who shows no signs of physical exhaustion or pain?

When I was discharged from the hospital after having Elisabeth, I was wrecked.  After being awake for some ungodly amount of time (thanks, Elisabeth, for the 21 hours of labor), the next two nights in the hospital were anything but restful.  I remember doctors or nurses coming into my room every hour or two to check on me or the baby.  I hardly got the rest one needs to recover from such a physically draining feat as labor and delivery.  I imagine it is this way for most women.  Even a princess.

For comparison’s sake (and because I don’t mind embarrassing myself on the internet), here is a photo of me returning home 2 days after Elisabeth was born:

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Puffy (thank you, water retention!), exhausted, wearing sweat pants and a tee-shirt that nobody bothered to tell me was revealing my post-baby tummy.  And this is a good picture.  Obviously, I forgot to pack my designer dress.  Next baby.

Like I said before, good for Kate for looking so ridiculously amazing a mere 24 hours after giving birth.  I’m just saying, I think she set the bar a little high for the rest of us commoners.  That is, if she even had the baby, at all.  😉

It’s okay, though.  I’ll still be her friend.  I’ll have to put aside my petty jealousies anyway or else it will be super awkward when Elisabeth marries Prince George.  (My parents have it all planned out:  Yes, Elisabeth is a little older and an American, but she and the future King will meet and fall in love while attending grad school at Cambridge.  I’d like to emphasize this is my parent’s plan, not mine.  Though I’m totally on board with it.)

But really, a belated congratulations to the Royal Family, and good luck these first few weeks and months.  I’m sure even the princess is an exhausted, elated, nervous, hormonal mess, just like all new moms.

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Toilet Water and Other Toddler Fun

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 in My Kid Stole My Cool

Toilet Water and Other Toddler Fun 3

Kids are gross. A few days ago Elisabeth pooped in the tub during her morning bath.  The tub in my parent’s house is quite deep, so bathing her is a two-person job.  I stand in the tub to clean her and then hand her off to one of my parents to dry her off, lest I kill myself trying to get both myself and the wet, wiggly toddler onto dry land. So there I am, scrubbing her down, and she poops.  Now baby poop is nothing new for me.  But baby poop in the tub is.  It totally paralyzed me.  “Uh, I don’t really know what to do about this,” I said to my dad, waiting to dry Elisabeth off.  Then I realized I was standing in the poopy water and quickly extracted both Elisabeth and myself from the tub. At that point, you kinda think, Well, that’s the grossest thing that’s going to happen today.  But then it isn’t. Hours later, I noticed the house had gotten eerily quiet, which obviously meant trouble.  I found Elisabeth in my parent’s bathroom, dunking her sippy cup in the toilet, and then drinking from it.  There you have it – something grosser than a little poop in a tub. I thought I was off the hook when it came to icky-kid stuff – Elisabeth is a total priss.  The first (and only) time I tried finger-painting with her, she had an epic meltdown as soon as her hands touched the paint.  When we went to Hawaii last Christmas, she was terrified of the sand.  And the water.  And the grass.  When we visited Nagano for a ski vacation, the snow reduced her to tears.  I figured her for an indoor girl. Whenever she gets something (food, usually) on her hands, she reaches her hands out to me, completely disgusted by the utter filth that is covering her.  “Eh! Eh!” she whines.  Translation: Get it off me!  And if I don’t wipe her down quickly enough, she has another meltdown of finger-painting proportion.  Should she find so much a fleck of dust...

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What Not to Do with a Toddler: Travel by Air (Part Two)

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 in Travel Traumas

If you missed Part 1 and feel like catching up, here it is. To recap why air travel falls under my list of “What Not to Do with a Toddler”: 1) Toddlers require even more stuff than babies. 2) Air passengers seem to be a particular breed of mean and unhelpful. 3) Toddlers are tiny bundles of energy that must be allowed to exit their seats several times over the course of a 10-hour flight or they might literally explode.  And, the diapers. 4) Toddlers have the attention span of a gnat. I believe when I left off last, I was struggling to get Elisabeth to go to sleep.  Which brings me to reasons 5 and 6 to avoid flying with toddlers: 5) Toddlers are little rebels. That fasten seat belt sign means nothing to the little rascals! It was bedtime.  The fasten seat belt sign lit up.  Elisabeth pooped.  Rebel, I say!  I was thus forced to defy the sign and venture to the rear lavatory in order to change her diaper and put on her PJs.  When I exited, another mom traveling by herself – with TWO kids, bless her heart – was waiting.  Naturally, I offered to hold her baby so she could assist her older child in the bathroom.  (SEE PEOPLE – IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO HELP!) She then held Elisabeth so I could use the restroom, and I then watched both her girls while she took a turn.  It was all Kumbaya in the airplane bathrooms until a second fake-nice flight attendant showed up. “You really should return to your seats.  Should something happen…” Do you think I’m standing back here for fun? I nodded in acknowledgement and then ignored her.  Like I was going to ditch the one-year old in my arms and her five-year old sister.  As soon as the other mother was done in the restroom, we all promptly returned to our seats.  And then the battle to get Elisabeth to go to sleep began.  And so, #6… 6) When faced with the choice to repeatedly slither out of their...

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What Not to Do with a Toddler: Travel by Air (Part One)

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 in Travel Traumas

Welcome to the first edition of a series of posts entitled: What Not to Do with a Toddler. This is certainly not the first time I have written about traveling with a baby; it’s a common theme on my blog.  However this is the first time I have written about traveling with a toddler – a far more harrowing experience.  While traveling with Elisabeth during her infant stage was a scary prospect, the fact is she was small and light and generally quiet and could nurse anytime she became less than quiet.  What’s so hard about that?  But now as a toddler, she walks and talks and eats.  All. The. Time.  And she’s heavy and squirmy and too big for the bathroom changing tables.  And she’s social and likes to touch everyone and everything and she eats.  All. The. Time. Last month’s 10-hour international flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles caused me a great deal of pre-trip anxiety.  So over-planned and over-packed.  Was all my planning and packing in vain?  No.  But did it make the trip really all that much easier?  Heck no.  Here’s why: 1) Toddlers require even more stuff than babies.  A few days before we left, I went one of our local 100 Yen stores (like a dollar store, but way, way better) and bought a bunch of crappy toys that were sure to entertain Elisabeth.  My personal favorite?  A small, cylindrical tin I filled with brightly colored, plastic clothespins.  I envisioned Elisabeth completely engrossed by this tin, endlessly opening and closing the top, removing and replacing the clothespins.  I had never conceived so brilliant a plan!  And for so cheap!  Quite pleased with myself, I packed all of Elisabeth’s entertainment (also including a sticker book, some paper and crayons, a knock-off Etch-a-Sketch, and a couple of books) into one carry-on. I figured the key to a stress-free flight was compartmentalization.  So after dedicating that one carry-on to Elisabeth’s in-flight entertainment, I reserved her diaper back for her snacks (And, well, diapers.)  Did I mention Elisabeth likes to eat?  Because not only did I have...

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Cheesus Loves Me

Posted on Jun 30, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Cheesus Loves Me 3

Elisabeth loves cheese.  I mean, LOVES cheese.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time, she looks up at me expectantly and asks, “Cheese? Cheese?” She also loves music.  Girl can get her groove on.  Like many families, we end Elisabeth’s day with a bedtime book and song before putting her to bed. I recently began incorporating “Jesus Loves Me” into her bedtime routine.  After several evenings of singing this classic Sunday School song to her, Elisabeth began asking for it by name.  Sitting in the rocking chair, head nestled into my shoulder, she’d pop out her pacifier just long enough to ask, “Cheese?” The first time she said it, I melted.  That “J” sound must be a hard one to nail.  But she was trying.  And pronouncing “Jesus” cheese is pretty darn cute. After repeatedly asking me for the “Cheese” song, I got to wondering.  Did she actually think I was singing about cheese?  That Cheesus loves her?  Given how much she loves cheese, it’s not a far leap for her to believe that cheese loves her back.  Think about it: “Cheesus loves me this I know/For the Bible tells me so/Little ones to [cheese] belong/They are weak but [cheese] is strong/ Yes Cheesus loves me/Yes Cheesus loves me/Yes Cheesus loves me/The Bible tells me so.” She’s going to be one confused little girl come Sunday School time… Share...

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The Real Lives of Navy Wives: Calendar Squares

Posted on Jun 29, 2013 in It's the Navy Life

Hey Folks, I’m writing to you from California today.  Did I mention I would be in California?  I can’t remember.  But in California I am, and I am pretty darn stoked about it. Elisabeth and I arrived about a week ago after a nine-hour flight from Tokyo.  I’m still recovering.  The stress and exhaustion of such a trip is so monumental it requires lots of time and alcohol to feel normal again.   Still working on it.  But the monumental-ness of the trip also inspired a mini blog series I am going to kick off soon: What Not to Do with a Toddler.  That will be next time. Because today I’m going to kick off a different mini blog series!  The Real Lives of Navy Wives.  (I hear Bravo calling now….) I’m in California is because it’s deployment season again.  Bummer, right?  I schlepped Elisabeth out to CA to wait out the first part of deployment with the grandparents.  Last year I touched on the highs and lows of deployment, but I thought this year I could really get into the nitty-gritty of what it’s like to be a military wife (or husband) with a deployed spouse.  There are numerous articles and blogs that offer thoughtful and sentimental details into the life of a military family, and I highly encourage you to read them.  Because this ain’t one of them. No-no.  Things are about to get real.  This post – this post is going to rage.  This post …is about calendar squares. What is a calendar square?  A calendar square is a 6-inch by 6-inch square that spouses decorate for their husbands or wives while they are on deployment.  Each squadron has a large calendar with (I would assume) 30 or 31 slots into which these carefully decorated calendar squares are inserted.  The idea is that the deployed serviceman will gaze upon his designated calendar squares and be filled with joy and happiness at the sight of a 6×6 cardboard square decorated just for him. We wives typically decorate the squares with family photos and little notes to give our...

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