Tag Archives: pet peeves

Penicillin and Other Enigmas

Once upon a time when I was a baby a doctor gave me Amoxicillin for an infection and I developed a rash. As the legend goes, no one was sure if the rash was from the antibiotic or my illness, but just to be safe they labeled me as allergic to all the drugs in the Penicillin family and I lived happily ever after.

Do you know what doesn’t make me happy? Having to retell that story to every single medical care provider I’ve had my entire life. We don’t even know if I was allergic to Penicillin. I wasn’t even cognizant of what was happening to me, but every single physician I’ve ever seen needs all the low-down dirty details of my babyhood reaction and I can’t really give them the details they want.

Earlier this week I was prescribed antibiotics, which resulted in my nurse, my doctor AND my pharmacist quizzing me about my allergy. By the third round of “What happens when you take Penicillin?” my shoulders got tired from all the shrugging. I feel completely sheepish explaining it since it’s such second hand information. Maybe I would find this less annoying if I actually remembered having a reaction to Penicillin. Or if they were SURE I had a reaction to it. It’s especially annoying to have to explain the situation when we’re not even sure that I really am allergic to the drug. Sometimes I wish we could give it another try to make sure I’m really allergic, but I know that’s really dangerous and everyone’s just looking out for my best interest.

Still, it’s one of those minor things in life that continually pops up to annoy me.

That said, man, I love antibiotics!



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Do you know what’s stupid? Even when you buy a ginormous box of crayons, it only comes with ONE black crayon. This doesn’t work very well for two little girls who have a daddy who has black hair. This doesn’t work very well for most people who draw in general. You need black for outlines and shading. Black runs out really quickly no matter what color your dad’s hair is, but it runs out especially quickly around here. My kids fight over the black crayon. But you can’t buy just one black crayon. You have to buy a whole box of crayons.

Do you know what colors run out the quickest in the crayon box? I remember this from my own crayons and observe it in my kids’ crayons. The “pure” colors go first. The kids quickly use up the “red” red, “blue” blue, “yellow” yellow etc. There are a trillion different shades of red in a giant crayon box, but I personally know that the red labeled as “red” is the one you reach for when coloring Elmo or lips. Many of those other shades of red don’t even get touched. It’s frustrating because you get so many freaking crayons, but all you want is the pure red crayon you ran out of the first week you got the crayon box. You’re stuck with these off-color shades for months!

That’s why I’m not buying giant boxes of crayons anymore. All those shades look so exciting when you open that giant box of crayons, but they are lacking. Before you know it, you are crying because you want black and all you have is 50 shades of grey (do you see what I did there?). From now on, we are buying 24 packs or less of crayons. We already have a giant crayon bucket so we don’t exactly need a million shades of each color. Most of them are still there, if broken. What we need are replacement crayons. The 24 pack provides all the best colors without overkill and it’s not as big of a crayon commitment. It’s like $1.24ish, so getting another box of crayons when the black runs out is no big thing.

Seriously, though, the big box of crayons needs to start coming with like 5 each of the primary colors and maybe 10 black crayons and THEN all those other shades. That’s what we need for coloring: The basics PLUS some extras. When there are more extras than main colors, it just doesn’t work.



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Toy WTF: Disney Princess Dolls

A few weeks before Lily’s birthday, we got her the Ultimate Princess Collection from Target. For $65ish, you get seven Barbie-sized princesses. I was especially excited because the set included Jasmine. Jasmine is often hard to find in stores. She gets the snub in the princess department and I really don’t know why. She’s one of my favorites. You also can’t usually find Mulan or Pocahontas unless you are at the Disney store.

Do you sense a theme here? There are plenty of Belles and Cinderellas and Snow Whites and Ariels to go around. Everybody likes a white princess. American Indian, Chinese and Arab princesses? They clearly don’t belong in Walmart or Target, as far as I can tell.

If you think I’m exaggerating this, watch what happened to the Ultimate Disney Princess Collection one week later.

Pay careful attention who got booted for the newbie, Merida, another white girl.

That’s right, Jasmine was kicked to the curb. The box that once contained five white princesses, an Arabic princess and an African American princess now contains SIX white princesses and an African American princess. Instead of getting rid of the princess who sucks the most (Snow White), they booted Jasmine, who is way more current and also brings diversity to the table.

WTF, Target and Disney? I mean, yes, you chose Jasmine over Aurora in the previous Ultimate Princess Collection, but then you boot Jasmine for Merida? Where’s Mulan? Where’s Pocahontas? How many white princesses do my girls need in a box? I mean, it took years to even get a hint of diversity in Disney princess films, but then you take it away in the merchandising? Really?

Is it really that hard to sell Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine dolls along with all the other dolls in most mainstream stores like Walmart, Target and Toys R Us? I can’t imagine my girls are the only ones who want these dolls in their collection. It makes me sad to think other girls only want the white princesses to the extent that you can’t even find the princesses of color unless you specifically hunt them down on the internet or a Disney store.



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Sugar. It’s a scapegoat a lot of moms use when their kids act crazy. Or like kids.

Kids act crazy. All the time. When they get excited, they bounce off the walls. At parties, most kids get pretty excited and act zany. My kids run around in circles just out of excitement of the IDEA of going to a party. They haven’t had sugar yet. Honestly, I’ve never noticed much difference between my kids sugared up and my kids sugar-free. They have a lot of energy either way. That’s how kids are as far as I can tell.

So you get to a party and the kids act insane. They are excited that it’s a party. I don’t know about you, but at most parties I go where there are both adults and kids, the kids don’t end up getting a ton of supervision. We were at a Halloween party this weekend where all the kids ran around a finished basement full of toys while the moms gabbed upstairs. The dads were there with them, but the dads were watching football and not doing a whole lot of supervising. So basically, you had a bunch of kids super excited about having just trick-or-treated, super excited to play with new toys and super excited to see each other. They were running around like lunatics throwing balls at each other and having a blast. It was past their bedtimes and they were just loopy with excitement and exhaustion. No one is watching them to tell them to slow down, so they really let loose and act like… a bunch of kids at a party.

At some point, each kid had at least one cupcake. Every kid had one EXCEPT Lily who had little sugar because she has a dairy allergy and dairy was in all the desserts. Lily was acting just as insane as the other kids.

Every single mom at the party was blaming the sugar on all the kids running around and being crazy. None of the moms said “Wow, they are so excited about this party.” Every mom said it was the sugar.

Sorry, moms. I know we’d like to blame stimulants for our kids acting rambunctious, and maybe sometimes sugar does crazy things for kids, but I’m telling you even if you were serving only fruits and vegetables at a party the kids would be acting like this. Kids party by running around and acting crazy with excitement. Kids don’t need sugar to act insane. They are insane naturally.

And when they crash later? Sure, it could be partially from the sugar, but it’s also because they just burned a TON of energy from being excited at a party where there were other kids and lots of fun things to do. Who wouldn’t crash after a party? I’m exhausted after going to a party too and I’m not even running around in circles and working up a sweat like my kids are.

It’s not the sugar. Or it might be the sugar… but not as much as you think it is. Trust me.



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Parking Lot Phenomenon

I don’t know about you, but when I go into Target or the mall or a grocery store, I’m usually inside for more than 15 minutes. I’d bet if you sat in the car in a parking lot of one of these places, none of the cars parked around you would move more than once in 15 minutes… unless you were nursing without a cover.

Every time I’m nursing in the car, the 5 cars surrounding mine come and go at least twice a piece during the 15 minutes I am in the car. I often nurse in the car in public because I feel it’s more private and comfortable than nursing on a bench. I nurse out of the car in public too, but I prefer to do it with a cover to keep things discreet. When I’m able to nurse in the car instead of out in the open, I don’t use a cover because I figure the car is my own private space. If someone looks while I’m in my own car, that’s their own fault (same thing with the rest of public, but I really hate people seeing my boobs so I cover up). Theoretically, not that many people come near your car when you are parked.

Except that the people who have parked near you in a nursing car have a 6th sense that you are nursing. Instead of maybe one or two cars moving in 15 minutes, five cars move twice. That means at least four people per parking space can see into your car while you are nursing– the two cars leaving and the two new cars parking there. Often as many as 20 drivers approach my car while I’m nursing. It’s uncanny.

What are these people doing in Target, the mall and the grocery store for less than 15 minutes? Am I just the slowest shopper on Earth that I’m rarely out that quickly? Seriously, these people walk into Target, stay there no more than 5 minutes, and walk right back out with a purchase. It would probably take me 5 full minutes just to find the product I was looking for if I were going to Target with something specific in mind. How are these people in and out so quickly? And why? Sometimes they have two armloads worth of bags and they were only in there 5 minutes! How are they doing this? It’s a mystery.

Clearly this is happening so I can accidentally flash more people. The one moment where I could use more privacy, everyone in the world swarms my car and shops at lightening speed to make sure they can see more of my nudity.

I seriously need to get some shopping lessons from these people. In and out of the mall in 5 minutes AND with purchases? Please teach me. Or don’t. What are you going to do with the rest of your day if you are in and out so quickly? What fun is that?


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Bad Dance Mom

I did a stupid thing last year. I signed Lily up for ballet lessons. After the disaster that was soccer, I hoped we could find something she’d like. What I should have thought about more when I signed her up for ballet was whether or not I, the mother who has to sit through dance recitals, would like it.

I hate watching people dance. The second people I don’t know get on the stage and start leaping around, I zone out and wonder how many more numbers I have to sit through. I look at the clock and count the seconds. I check the program again and again and count how many more numbers are left before I can escape and do math problems about how long each number should take. The same thing happens at piano recitals, choir and band concerts and, um, synagogue. If there’s no dialogue or plot, I get antsy. I’m probably in for a lot of this torture in various forms in the coming years.

Signing my daughter up for ballet when I hate watching people dance was a dumb, dumb idea. After the first Christmas show, I really wanted out, but I felt obligated to finish out the year and Lily was LOVING it.

After the first year of ballet, Lily is still really into it. “I just love going to school and ballet. Those are my favorite things that I do.”


Now she’s in a ballet/tap combo class because that’s what our friends were signing up for. Since she is dancing with two types of shoes, this means she will have TWO numbers I have to wait for at every single recital. Yay?

I do have to give it to her that dance has the best accessories.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching HER dance. There’s nothing cuter than watching a bunch of 3-5 year olds totally botch up a dance number. It’s more entertaining than watching the kids who actually know what they’re doing. The trouble is to get to my kids’ number, I have to watch a bunch of other junk. Despite the fact that the 3-5 year old crowd is even worse at sitting through dance recitals than I am, the routine for the little kids always seem to be at the very end of the show, which makes absolutely no sense given their attention span (and mine). Yesterday, we sat in a crowded mall food court for an hour waiting for Lily to take the stage. It was almost 8 pm before she danced. That’s bedtime! Ridiculous.

The trouble with being a dance mom to a 5 year old is you always have to be available to watch your kid back stage. You can’t just leave a 5 year old alone. They don’t have baby-sitters lined up for them. Recitals are crowded and insane and you have to make sure your too-little-to-just-say-meet-me-here kid can find you when they are released from the stage. I end up standing just off stage where she can see me. This means that I don’t actually get to watch the recital at all.

So this is what the recital ends up being: Me, standing behind the stage annoyed with an anxious 5 year old waiting and waiting and waiting forever for my kid to dance somewhere where I can’t even see her dance.

This was my amazing view of my daughter dancing. I'm so glad we came out so I could see that.

Meanwhile, I have to vaguely watch a bunch of other kids I don’t care about dance dances I wouldn’t be interested in seeing even if they were danced by professional ballerinas. I feel tortured and bored for what feels like hours on end but is actually only an hour.

And I SHOULD really want to see my kid dance in these recitals. Instead, I dread it and often discuss other activities Lily can do. Gymnastics! Soccer! Swimming! Piano!

But when I think about those things, I groan when I think about the other things I’d have to sit through: gymnastics exhibitions, soccer games when I hate watching sports, swim meets, piano recitals. Yuck, boring, BORING! Again, I like seeing HER do these things, but watching all those other kids is SO boring. This may be one of my biggest obstacles as a parent yet– to pretend to be enthusiastic about the idea of sitting through this stuff.

Giving Lily other options hasn’t changed anything. She still wants dance.

Ugh, I hope I don’t have to be a dance mom forever. And I hope whatever activity she chooses down the line has minimal boring things for me to pretend to be a fan of. I fail at dance mom. Will I fail at choir, piano or soccer mom as well?


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Things My 3 Month Old Likes More Than Me

I spend 90% of Violet’s waking hours holding her. If I should dare to put her down for more than 5 minutes, she screams bloody murder. Such transgressions are unacceptable. Daddy holding her? Perhaps 25% better than no one holding her, but still pretty unacceptable.

Considering she wants ME and only me most of the time, you’d think that I’d be the one to make her smile and laugh the most.

Nope. Why should I get rewarded for all that holding? My reward is shoulder and neck pain (plus a healthy baby and less crying and all that jazz). Here are the things that earn Violet’s smiles and laughs more than anything I do.

*Her carseat toys. Sure, she’ll cry like it’s the end of the world for most of every car trip, but when she’s first put in her carseat? Those dangling toys win her true devotion. Good job being a hanging lion, lion! Good job being a hungry caterpillar, caterpillar! Considering this is the only toy I’ve actually purchased for her myself, I suppose I should take this as a compliment? But still. The lion and caterpillar get more love than I do.

*Her swing mobile. What could be more exciting than butterflies, birds and a mirror? Nothing, that’s what. But only for five minutes. Longer than five minutes means I haven’t held her for five minutes and that’s against the laws of nature! BAD MOMMY!

*Any random grandmas. Random grandmas are HILARIOUS. Should we encounter one, Violet will laugh and laugh and laugh at everything one says. I can say the exact same things they say to her in the exact same tones and she’ll just look at me like I’m an idiot. Actual grandmas that are related to her aren’t as funny as stranger grandmas either.

*Lily. I am not bitter about this one. It’s nice that she thinks her big sister is more smile-worthy than I am.

*My boobs. Sure, my boobs are part of me, but I don’t know that she cares for me beyond the food production thing.

*Her stroller. It moves, so it makes her smile. Until it’s been 15 minutes (slightly longer than usual, an ode to how awesome the stroller is). Then she screams again.

*The Ergo. Babywearing always keeps her slightly happy presumably because I’m holding her or maybe because she just wants to make my shoulders hurt. The Ergo does its best to keep me comfortable, but it’s not a magic show. I’m still lugging a 15 pound baby around in it for at least an hour at a time and that still takes its toll on me. It’s kind of a draw as to whether wearing the baby or carrying the baby without a baby wrap hurts more.

*Being around my friends. If we are out with friends, she acts like an absolute angel for much of it. She smiles for 80% of our playdates with friends at every friend she sees. This is to make people think I’m a liar that she cries a lot. She just wants everyone to think she’s the cutest baby in the world and I don’t know how good I have it. Touche, baby. You win at being right. But seriously, let me put you down for more than 5 minutes. Sometimes I get hungry or need to pay attention to your sisters or type with two hands, but who cares about my needs? HOLD THE NON-SMILING BABY!


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Operation Mommy Doesn’t Get to Nap

I am really tired today. The baby didn’t go to bed until 11 and then cried several times in the middle of the night (though didn’t wake up so it could have been worse). Every time she cried in her sleep, my adrenaline would pump. “OMG! Baby’s up! She never goes right back to sleep so I’m not going to get any sleep! OMG I’m going to be so tired tomorrow! Why is she up?! Why?!”

She wasn’t up. She was just crying wolf.

But then Rose started wailing in the middle of the night and she meant it. She was up with a bad cough. She moved to my bed and then kept me up coughing even after I relocated to the guest room. I woke up earlier than I would have liked to the sounds of the clean-up of a gross pull-up leak in MY OWN BED. Thanks, Rose!

It was one of those wonderful nights where there isn’t enough coffee in the world to make the next day right. To top things off, Dr. Toy Warden is working late.

So I needed a nap this afternoon while the big girls were at preschool. I had 2.5 hours to make that happen before Dr. Toy Warden brought the girls home during his dinner break. I hoped the baby would cooperate. In a way she did by sleeping a lot, but I still didn’t get to take a nap. She plotted out her sleep in a way that made my sleeping impossible.

1) Baby falls asleep on the way home from preschool. She never stays asleep in the carseat long. I know that if I try to nap now, it won’t happen. I know I can’t take her out of her carseat or she will wake up. She naps about once every 90 minutes still, so I figure I’ll catch the next one.

2) Baby wakes up 20 minutes later while I’m making lunch. I put her in her swing so I can eat. I take about 5 minutes to eat, but she’s fallen right back to sleep. I know I don’t have long because she doesn’t sleep well in the swing. The odds of my getting a nap now are slim.

3) An HOUR later (weird for the swing) baby wakes up. I figure she’s really awake now. I nurse her. She falls asleep in my lap. I am currently trapped under a sleeping baby who has taken one long-ass nap with interruptions. If I move her, she will wake up.

I’ve been trapped for a while. The big girls will now be home in 15 minutes.

No nap for me and it’s super unfair because the baby has been asleep almost the entire time the girls were at school. And I haven’t been able to do anything productive because this sleeping baby was in the living room. Any movement will wake her.

I think she did this on purpose. Every single time I try to nap, it backfires. She clearly wants me to be awake all the time and thinks I should be able to muddle through because she sleeps through the night. In a way, she’s right. If I had slept through the night with her, I would be fine. Sadly, her sibling had other ideas.

Plotting children– nothing but trouble.


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Baby’s Law

I have a ton of posts I want to write. A ton of drafts just sitting there. I also have a stack of birthday invitations that need to be written up to put in neighborhood mailboxes tomorrow. I also have a filthy kitchen I need to clean. I was planning on doing all those things tonight when Violet went to bed.

Babies KNOW when you plan to be productive. They will not allow it. It is against their Baby Law. Violet usually goes to bed at 8 pm. Tonight she went to bed at 11. None of things I wanted to do will get done. On nights when I have nothing to accomplish and sit around goofing around and wasting time on facebook, the baby is sure to go right to sleep at 8 and sleep for 12 hours. On nights where I want to get stuff done, she is up, crying and needy. Daddy won’t do. She wants Mommy. And I can’t do anything.

The same Baby Law applies to naptime. If I screw around on the internet during her nap, she will sleep FOREVER. If I try to write, clean, do laundry or even nap (napping is more productive than facebook), the kid wakes up after 2 minutes. She senses the exact second I start any of those things. That is the second she wakes up crying.

This is my third baby to do this. It is clearly a Baby Law and not just a Violet Law. No baby wants its mother to be productive. All productivity must involve taking care of the baby.

So, I guess the lesson to be learned here is never even try to be productive because Baby’s Law will prevent you from actually accomplishing a thing. At least when you don’t try you have nothing to be disappointed about. Or something.


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When Are You Going For a Boy?

Taking three little girls in public somehow makes me an open target for the pity of strangers.

“Three girls, huh? Poor you.”

“Three girls, huh? Your poor husband!”

“Three girls, huh? When are you going for a boy?”

“Three girls, huh? One was more than enough for me.”

Yes, these are all statements that have actually been said to me these last 13 weeks as I’ve taken our beautiful little Lily, Rose and Violet out with me. It drives me insane because I’m very happy with three girls. I was really excited when I found out I would have another girl instead of a boy. A boy would have been good for a lot of reasons and I would have loved him, but I really wanted three girls. We were not trying for a boy. We were trying for a healthy baby. Sure, I hoped it would be another girl, but I figured it would be a boy because who could be so lucky to get three girls?

I don’t get why people don’t like little girls. My girls are kind and gentle and super funny. They have their moments, but for the most part we haven’t had too much trouble with sass yet. I’ve met a lot of sweet little boys, but I’ve also spent time with a lot of them who were so stereotypically rambunctious, loud, defiant and violent that I actually have somewhat of a toddler boy phobia. I’m not saying toddler girls are perfect or don’t also do loud, violent things, but these things seem to happen less with them– or at least with mine so far.

There are a million great things about having girls. My girls are spunky, creative and smart. They love to climb and play t-ball like boys, but I get the added bonus of tea parties, princess dress up, dolls and ridiculously cute pink outfits. The clothes alone (plus the alleged money we’re saving on having hand-me-downs) made me ecstatic to have another girl.

I have heard the teen years with girls will be rough with sass and hormones, but I find it hard to believe that girls are really harder than boys then. Boys seem harder to control at almost all ages. Does a few years of girl teen angst really outweigh the preceding 13 years of stereotypical boy hyperactivity? Do boys really not get moody or crazy in high school? They all seemed to be getting into plenty of trouble to me when I was in high school.

And my husband is not “poor” in any way. He loves having three girls. Would he have liked a boy? Sure. But he’s not all that disappointed he doesn’t have one. Our girls are awesome. He plays basketball with them in the yard and is encouraging them to run with him. You do not need a boy to play sports, nor does having a boy guarantee that you will get one that LIKES to play or even watch sports.

So, pesky strangers on the street, we were not trying for a boy and we never will be. This family is perfect just the way it is.



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