Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SAHMing is like vacation

A vacation in HELL.

Ok, look, truly - I love being a stay at home parent.  I never ever EVER thought I'd actually utter those words, much less live them, but I do.  Both that is. Utter and live.  Anyway...

Whatchoo Talkin' bout Willis?
When J-Man and I decided the best option for our family was for me to stay at home and handle da bizness here, I thought, "hey, I can do that! I keep the house clean AND work now! It will be like a 2 year vacation".

I'm now officially in for one month and I have no meat in the freezer for dinner, 12 cans of green beans I got on sale with a coupon (and felt like a supermom doing so despite there being zero nutritional value), 3 gallons of milk (that I can't drink) and one single bagel. My living room looks like I run a daycare and I swear there is only one baby in this house. No one can find their laundry, I seem to have misplaced the cloth diapers and I think we have a dog missing.  Maybe?  Didn't we have two?

I'm not sure where I took a sharp right turn into "that lady" who is home all day and can't seem to keep her house clean. I know I've been in houses with SAHMs before who have sparkling counters, neatly piled laundry, vacuumed floors, AND they find time to put their feet up, have a coffee, and survey their kingdom of Martha Stewartness.

This new career didn't start out like this, though. The first week I had everything neatly planned out. Scheduled even. Grocery stores on Mondays - check. Laundry day on Wednesdays, check. Coffee date on Tuesdays with mom friends to avoid becoming SAHM in pjs forever with only Facebook to keep me connected - check.  Dr. Appts for new kiddo  in calendar with drive time and allowing for puke changes - check.  Dog walks each day to keep ass size in check - check, check and check.  Schedule time to sit down and review schedule - check.

That first couple weeks I was on it! J-Man, Diva, and the Boy would come home, the house would be clean, food cooking, and me smiling with clean baby and all was well. Then, it happened.  Baby girl decided to take a monkey wrench and firmly plant it right up my....well, calendar.

Like an accident on the beltway on a Monday in the rain at 4pm - my new "schedule" came to a screeching halt. I panicked. I tried to stay up that night and get it done.  Sans coffee because I'm breastfeeding.  Sans nap because I'm behind! Sans clothes because who has time to get dressed? Ok maybe scratch the dog walk today- we'll have the Diva do it.  Ok, so maybe laundry can wait because dinner is burning wait is the baby crying again? Oh look we DO have two dogs!


At some point in my failure to become June Cleaver I began just going with the flow.  Then magically - I found my Fu. Baby Girl was finally asleep, the other two were at school, the dogs were sleeping and all was quiet.  The house was an utter disaster, laundry needed folding, baby toys everywhere, but - it was peaceful.  I was watching HGTV and was absentmindly scratching off the dried puke on my nursing/pregnancy top and J-mans pj pants that I had on.  I was sitting in the glider enjoying my 1 of 2 cups of allowed caffeinated beverage daily. My feet were up. I noticed a smell, recognized it as milk vomit, realized what I was picking at and chuckled thinking, "I should hug Diva when she gets in...heh heh heh", which I promptly posted on FaceBook.

I also realized that in every aspect of my life right now I'm happy. I can't be that lady that lives a perfect life because I enjoy our life as it IS. Our house was clean before because no one was IN it. The dogs were always in my face because they never saw me.  My kids were...well wait, they were the same so no change there.

The biggest change for me honestly has been realizing what truly makes me happy.  It used to be recognition, bonuses, raises, and title. Now it's harmony, love, respect and showering 5 days in a row.

And you know what? I LOVE it.  Stand back people, I've found my Fu.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Drawing a dotted wavy line from A - B

Today's post was supposed to be a 2-Minute Review of my travel system, but a news article discussing's latest billboard debacle caught my eye.  As a mature woman of almost a "certain age" AND a breastfeeding mother, I feel the need to address this.

I firmly believe that there is no shame in an older woman dating a younger man.  I   see how society views men with younger women as acceptable but not women with younger men.

I accept that this is unfair and hypocritical and I think this website is kind of funny and entertaining.  

As a SAHM mother with three great kids AND an alternative model, I challenge anyone to find someone who would ever call me a prude, an over-reactor, or in any way easily offended. There are not many things in the advertising industry that truly offends me.  I worked in the industry for a short period of time (in a non marketing position) and I do not consider myself an expert of any sort.  However, I am a consumer and have been marketing to my entire life.  On this, I feel I am qualified to speak.

The issue I have at the moment isn't so much the sign - it's being taken down.  My chief complaint is the response to the public's outcry by the company spokesperson, Marlo Jordan.  This is Ms. Jordan (from the CougarLife website):

Miss, Marlo Jordan

Marlo Jordan is the ultimate cougar... so say the millions of members at! She is a successful business owner, a nationally ranked fitness competitor, a featured model, a professional dating coach, and a mom of three! Beating out thousands of hopeful cougars, Marlo has become our first "Miss".
Being a cougar is second nature to Marlo... everywhere she goes, she attracts younger men. She maintains her busy cougar lifestyle by balancing her career as a professional dating coach, leading a healthy lifestyle, managing her family time, and enjoying her "me" time which includes dating lots of energetic young men. Everywhere she goes she turns heads, but aside from her sexy, youthful look, people everywhere fall in love with her for her intriguing, passionate and loveable personality. She epitomizes the cougar life.
Marlo enjoys traveling, fashion, working out, competing in fitness, and more than anything else, helping people reach their best. This last quality has in turn made her the perfect dating coach, guiding confident people to finding love. She is a 42-year-old single mother whose favorite pastime is dating eligible cubs all over America.

There's no denying that she's one hot mama.  She seems smart, sexy and confident - all things that are awesome.  So why then, does she fall flat on her face trying to convince OTHER smart, sexy and confident women that were offended by the (second) inappropriate billboard that they shouldn't be?  She is doing the *blink blink* whaaaa???? wide eyed thing mock innocence thing. Except she seems to expect us to buy it.  

My turn. Um, what?

She is, by her own admission, a divorced single mom who breastfed her own children.  When she tries to say, "A mother breastfeeding can still be sexy" it's justification for their bad decision.  I've taken photos of myself breastfeeding and it makes people uncomfortable, but I never tried to make it something other than what it was.  I shrugged it off and said, "yea well don't look at it."  I didn't tell people, "Oh, you should totally be into me with my infant on my breast, giggidy".  

She goes on to try and link, again, breastfeeding and relationships in this quote from the article "I know there are going to be some moms that look at it and think, 'What in the world?'" said Jordan. "But we don't think there's anything shameful about either breastfeeding or relationships between older women and younger men."  

Her biggest insult is where she further insults anyone's intelligence and basically calls us all idiots when she says there's no reason for the billboard to be taken down. Because it's next to a Farmers Market - it's the "...perfect place to showcase this ad," and follows up with, "There is nothing more natural than a woman breastfeeding."

Really?  Just what exactly are those farmers farming?  Uteruses?  Breasts?  Why is it the perfect place?  Do all farmers breastfeed AND date "cubs"? Or are you just drawing a line between your points A and B to make them seem related?  Let me try.

I enjoy music and because of that I should get my car washed. 

Follow the logic?  No?  Well, that's because there isn't any. Just like there is no correlation between breastfeeding and sex.  

I realize she is being paid to be the mouthpiece of the company, but shouldn't such an accomplished woman be able to come up with something better than this?  Or, possibly, it was such a bad decision that this WAS the best she could come up with. 

If you would like to contact the company and let them know what you think here is the contact information:

Attn: Media Relations 
Cougar Life Inc. 

(DBA Cougar Life) 
20 Eglinton Ave West, Suite 1200
Toronto, ON Canada M4R 1K8 

Monday, May 13, 2013

4moms Mamaroo Review - In Depth

When I first saw the Mamaroo by 4moms I was stuck by it's simplicity.  (And because it looked like some hybrid Jetsons/Mork from Ork baby gear.)

Someone forwarded me a link to the website for this item,, and I decided, "I want".

LOL - and what pregnant mama wants, pregnant mama begs for.

I did get it as a gift and currently (though not when it was bought for me) it retails for about $230.

So here comes the review. This is more indepth than what the video has. That is only two minutes and goes only over the pros & cons.  Here we will break them down more.

First I'll give the details or "specs". Then I'll discuss how they work IRL compared to what is advertised.  

Finally - I'll say whether I think it's a good purchase, a nursery must have, value, pros/cons etc. 

The Details
  • Six patterns to choose from (shown is "green plush")
  • Smooth reclining seat, locks to adjust (left picture, back bar is the adjustment)
  • Built in nature sounds, with volume OR you can connect an ipod/iphone
  • Reversible toy balls
  • 5 Unique motions with variable speeds for each
  • Up to 25 lbs
...And In Reality...

This item came unassembled but was a snap to assemble, truly.  Took a very round pregnant lady very little time.  It's a heavy item, which is good, you don't want to be knocking stuff over while lumbering around on invisible feet.  After the baby is born, you don't want something flimsy holding your kid. It's a solid item, and I felt safe putting my newborn into it.

However, the first test subject wasn't too happy.  We try out all our stuff on our 12 lb Shih Tzu. The Mamaroo is NOT intended for pets.   And Shih Tzus may get extra cranky. Just a warning.

Ok - so on to the Details and how they work.

  • Six Patterns - not much to say about this. Pick your pattern and go with it.  We picked green, simply because I liked the green.
  • Smooth Reclining Seat - This is actually pretty cool.  The bar that runs along the back of the Mamaroo is the bar that slides through the locking mechanism.  You can slide it to the lowest position for a more "laying flat" baby or up to have them sitting up straighter.  Note however, there are no shoulder straps.  This means if you have your seat in the most upright position, if your baby has great abs like mine, they could theoretically fling themselves out. So stay nearby if you put the seat this inclined.
  • Built in Nature Sounds or music player - I use the nature sounds, which are called "white noises" every where else, frequently.  I have to, because I lost the little cord that goes from the Mamaroo to the iPod/iPhone. It detaches from the unit and is only about 3 inches long.  I never got to try out my stunning collection of Eminem or P!nk.  Dangit!  
  • Reversible Toy Balls - Well yes. They are there. Three soft plush football shaped toy balls.  On one side of the balls are black and white images. On the other side of them are the same images in bright primary colors. And they dangle.  Just - dangle. All I could think of when I saw it was:  Angler Fish of DEATH!  Seriously - they just....hang. It's kind of odd. And the tags are 2 inches long. ON EACH BALL.  Very strange.

  • 5 Unique motions with variable speeds for each- Here's where it gets good. This detail is the reason I wanted the Mamaroo.  Unlike regular swings which can typically go either side to side or front to back in a swinging motion - the mamaroo has two moving parts. First, the post that the seat is perched on slides side to side on the base. Then, depending on which of the "...five unique motions" you choose, the seat section bounces up and down to create a different movement.  Additionally, after you choose your motion, you can increase or decrease the speed of the motion.

  • Up to 25 lbs. Well - no need to review this.  You can put a child, up to 25 lbs, into it provided he or she is not sitting on their own, crawling, etc.  This item is for babies that don't yet move too much. 

The Pros: It's versatile. It really can be tilted to just about any position to sit/lie in.  The style of it is good and its pleasing to look at. It's not an overly loud mechanical item either.  With the player attachment and decent speakers it's pretty nifty.  The movements and options mean they sleep well, and if they get tired of one movement, you have 4 others and various speeds to choose from.   The material literally zips off for easy cleaning should your little one have a blow out or upchuck.  (If you don't have kids yet and don't know what a blow out is, I'll let it be your pleasant surprise)

The Cons:  The cost is a big one.  While it's cool looking, no doubt, the price is prohibitive for parents who are, like most of us, on a strict budget. Shelling out $230 for an item Lil' Suzie will only use for six months seems a bit much, but I have one so clearly not all that prohibitive.  One thing I didn't like was the rounded seat, it often had her chin on her chest as she slept - which is a big no-no. If the back where straighter that would be better.  The player cord detaches from the base.  It's tiny and was lost pretty much in the first month.  There are no shoulder straps to keep babies like mine, who like to lean and move a lot, more secure.  I would love to see some plush straps. 

All in all - I like the 4Moms Mamaroo. For the first three weeks, my daughter wouldn't sleep anywhere else.  She needed the motion and the swing we were given just wasn't doing it.  Now at 12 weeks she is in it sometimes, but not as much for sleeping through the night as the occasional nap in it.

If you can afford it - I'd say it's a good purchase. Definitely not a necessity item, but one you'll appreciate.  It's also a conversation starter, and if all else fails...just keep shopping, just keep shopping....

*This is an UNPAID product review.  I was not asked to do it nor was I compensated or paid in any way. The item was bought by a family member and given to me at my baby shower. I have no affiliation with 4moms.