A night off

Last night I had what every stay-at-home-mom craves, a few hours out of the house with real, live, grown-up, adult-like people.

RJ and I waited patiently (Note: every time I use the word “patient” in this blog, it is an outright lie. I am not a patient person. Ever.) all afternoon for Dada to get home. RJ helped me pick out my outfit. A sweater and jeans and sneakers. But I swear that outfit has nothing to do with me being a mom. I was always fashionably hopeless and always overly casual well before RJ came along and widened my hips and feet and zapped every ounce of energy I never had. So shh.

RJ was not thrilled when Momma said bye-bye. There was much screaming and clinging. I counted to three and pulled his claws out of my arms and thrust him at Daddy E. and tried to ignore his tragically miserable screams while I ran out the door, crying, “Freedom! Freedom, at last!!!!!”

And for the record, this is the first time we’ve ever had such a scene from RJ when I leave. He usually is the first to push my butt out the door when he learns that he gets to have some quality time alone with his treasured Dada.

I took the ferry into the city. Listened to a podcast on my headphones. Basked in the aloneness of it all.

I met up with a couple of girl friends I used to work with. Neither of whom have children. And so I found I had nothing to talk about. Besides RJ. Who, I try to remind myself, no one finds even a fraction as interesting as I do. Like, um, who wants to hear the totally gross story about the case of the disappearing poo??? (Which I promise I’ll blog about soon. Get excited).  No? Hmmm… ok, who wants to see pictures of RJ walking down the stairs??? No? Really? Are you sure?  Ok, hmm, I’m out of ideas then. Let’s talk about you.

But still. It was nice. I managed to find a couple other topics of conversation besides my son or my desperately sad and empty womb. I swear I only mentioned RJ like… 2 or 3… or maybe 9 or 10 times. Ok, maybe 12. And I totally stopped and corrected myself mid-sentence when I announced to the table that I needed to go find “the potty”.

So, I’d say, overall, a successful night off from Mommy-hood. Let’s do it again sometime. Maybe I’ll get crazy next time and put on some ballet flats or some mascara or something.

Mall Entertainment

I suppose I always knew there was “Mall Entertainment.”  Somehow though, it never pertained to me, even though I vividly recall the Mallrats scene, involving a mall and a TV show.  Chocolate pretzels have never been the same for me, but I digress.  Facebook as an app seems to be smarter than I am these days and shows me content that I actually would click on, in direct contrast of how I used to actively avoid clicking on any suggested ad or post.  The other day, Ella The Elephant’s Live Show at a local mall was suggested as an event I attend.  Okay, I will bite, click.

Sure enough, Ella is coming to one of our local malls today, but of course, it is during the hours I need to be at work.  I can’t really justify having Ella-phantitis to take today off, cough cough, so I asked my aunt if she would take Lana to see one of the show times.  She obliged and hopefully will send me a picture or two as I daydream about missing this moment with my daughter while I frenetically attempt to meet deadline after deadline.  I suppose having a kids’ Live Show on the weekend might draw Easter Bunny or Santa Clause level crowds, but I can’t possibly be the only working parent who would enjoy taking my kid to something like this?  If we want to be stereotypical for discussion purposes, so all of the SAHM (stay-at-home-moms) get to take their littles, but no daddy wants to see their little mesmerized by a dancing Ella? (I am being provocative, so SAHD readers please don’t bite my metaphorical head off ;P).

So, if you are a caretaker during the week of little ones, check out these free events that travel throughout the malls of our country, providing entertainment to our little ones!  Often, they have crafts, photograph opportunities and various activities.  I never had considered the mall for entertainment until Facebook suggested I do so. Clever, clever Facebook.  Knowing what I want before I even know I want it!

For the Socal readers:

Ella the Elephant is at the Westfield Culver City this Thursday – September 18th

Curious George StoryTime at the Palm Desert Westfield’s Barnes & Noble – Saturday, September 20th

Elf on The Shelf StoryTime at the Palm Desert Westfield’s Barnes & Noble – Saturday, September 27th

Peppa the Pig is at the Westfield Culver City on Friday, October 3rd

Playdate with Anna from Frozen at the Westfield Century City on Thursday, October 9th

Brobee of Yo Gabba Gabba is coming on October 16th to the MainPlace Mall


For all other areas and if you want to find non-kid events like say, the local Williams & Sonoma hosting a knife skills class (it’s a thing at the Fashion Square Westfield Mall!):  then go to the main Westfield page and scroll to the bottom to “change Westfield” to find your local Westfield Events.  There are lots of Happy Hour events for mamas needing some adult time!

I searched Simon Malls but their website didn’t have a lot of events at our local malls.  I did find this:

Kidgits – “themed crafts& activities, giveaways and much more”

Saturday, September 20th at the Brea Mall – this mall also boasts a new Kidgits play area – Located on the Lower Level Near Macy’s Women

Saturday, November 8th at the Westminster Mall in the Target Court




Completely Unnecessarily Stressful Day

Yesterday was stressful.

I had a dentist appointment.

I’m a head case when it comes to the dentist. I can’t even explicitly put my finger on why. I had some rough visits as a kid, but it’s not like they were completely traumatic experiences. And in general, I don’t tend to fear pain in a clinical setting. I’m fine with shots: I’ve given myself about 10 gazillion subcutaneous injections this summer for a treatment that’s supposed to get me a healthy baby. I’ve never broken a limb, but I broke my thumb once and my toe twice and I don’t think I was a wuss about it. (Well, okay the thumb was when I was kid, so I was probably a wuss about that.) I’ve had various miscarriage-related procedures that were supposed to be painful, but I went in fairly calm and collected. And, oh, I did a 17-hour non-medicated labor with my son by choice. By choice! (A choice I seriously doubted in the thick of it.)

So why do I shake like a leaf in the dentist’s chair when that drill starts up??? I get myself into such a tizzy to the point where I’m nervous for a day or two leading up to my appointment and then the tension of the appointment itself causes a massive headache for the 24 hours following.

I cried yesterday in the dentist chair. Straight up, the dentist was wiping my tears away for me in between drilling. So. Flipping. Embarrassing.

In my partial defense, the last time a dentist tried to fill one of the cavities this dentist was currently filling, he was unable to get me numb. (Hence the switching of dentists.)

I was also on my period.

Anyway. I survived. Zero pain. Four cavities filled. Bing, bang, boom.

And the dentist was super nice about the crazy-woman-tears too. I wanted to be like “YO! I’m not a wimp! I swear! You shoulda seen me push my son outta my vagina!!!”

But my mouth was too fat with numbing drugs.

That’s probably a good thing. I don’t think the dentist wants to hear about my vagina.

Speaking of my vagina and that thing I pushed out of it…. (My son. In case you didn’t get that) … The other stressful part of the day was dropping my son with someone to watch him who wasn’t my parents! That’s pretty rare for us because my parents are ALWAYS available. But this month they’re off galavanting around the country in their motor home. Those selfish, selfish people. Off having fun, enjoying life. Totally uncool.

Anyway, in trying to figure out how to get away with free childcare, I found a victim mom in our playgroup willing to watch RJ for me on the promise that I’d watch her son, in exchange, the next time she needs someone. It actually went quite well, and there was nothing to be stressed about. He was so distracted by ALL THE COOL TOYS and OMG MOM THEY HAVE A DOG and  SHE KEEPS FEEDING ME MELON YUMM YUMM YUMM that he hardly noticed I was gone.

I did take secret pleasure today, though, in the fact that he was a little extra clingy at Toddler Time and freaked out a bit every time he lost track of where I was. So maybe he missed me yesterday, just a tiny smidge.

He painted his first painting today at Toddler Time. He titled it:

“That Time My Mom Abandoned Me”

That Time My Mom Abandoned Me

Can you just see the toddler-anguish in those angry, hurt brush strokes?? Poor, talented baby.


Grandparent’s Day

I’ve been looking into what Lana will get her grandma, poppy, nana and papa for Grandparent’s Day. Last year, we didn’t do anything because the day skirted right by me without remembering its existence, after all, I wasn’t a kid in elementary school being barraged with reminders and I was a first time mom in the midst of the plethora of “firsts.”

This year, I saw something that reminded me, I better up the ante a bit and do something special! Aside from the usual trinkets, flowers and whatnot, there are lots of Pinterest ideas out there too. Since I am a working mom, I can’t dedicate a lot of time to something homemade, here are some ideas that I can get behind (some require purchases and more time, but maybe this will stir the creative juices):

UPDATE:  Apparently even one of nappies+milk’s own mamas didn’t know what Grandparent’s Day was so here is a quick link to read up on it:  http://grandparentsday.org/

Sickness is my kryptonite

Good morning all,

well maybe not GOOD morning. I am not feeling supermom today. Went to bed last night with a sinus headache and and woke up to it being even worse. I now have the wonderful job of taking care of thing 1 and thing 2 all day while being sick with a stuffy nose and a throb behind my eyes. And just to make it a little worse thing 2 woke up with a lovely cough and a runny nose.

I think being sick while being the stay-at-home parent are the worst days on the job. Not only do you want to stay in bed all day with your eyes shut and to just not move, but you don’t get that luxury. And god forbid you try to lay on the couch to watch the littles, they will ask for everything under the sun every five minutes meaning you continuously have to get up to get them what they want. Eventually you will give up and just be up for the day with your eyes half shut while trying to breathe through your mouth. I guess it could be worse. So far the littles are being fairly good other then the normal question to mom every five minutes.

Here’s to making it through today and hoping i feel better tomorrow

To the families doing it “alone”

If you are raising children without family around to help, YOU ARE MY HERO! This post is a shout-out to you!!!

This post is also a shout-out to my incredible parents. I don’t know how we’d do it without you.

I’m just coming off of a week of food-poisoning hell. Yes, food poisoning, for a whole week! I didn’t even know that was possible! I’d been feeling off for a day already by this time, but it hit me hard on a Sunday morning. My husband was out playing tennis. I nearly passed out on the kitchen floor while making my son some banana-egg pancakes (so yummy and so healthy, you gotta try it!). Do you think he cared though? He just screamed “more!!! more!!!” while I was on my hands and knees on the kitchen tile wondering if I was dying and hubby would find me here in a couple of hours, our helpless toddler having been stuck in his high chair the whole time wondering why mom stopped supplying him with those yummy little pancakes.

I didn’t die, after all. I reached up and turned off the stove and managed to get my son out of the high chair and lay on on the couch with him and called my husband to come home in case it happened again. I spent the rest of the day lying down because every time I got up the world started spinning again.

I was worried to be alone with the babe in this state, but hubby didn’t think he could swing a day off of work the next day, so I called my Mom. She dropped everything and came down the next morning and whisked my son up to their house for a day of fun so I could moan and groan in bed on my own.

My parents have been there for me countless times in the 19 months since my son’s birth. Colds. Pregnancies. Miscarriages. Doctor appointments. You name it, they’re not only available, but EXCITED to help. Not only that, but they take him over night on occasion so hubby and I can have romantic date nights and wine tasting trips when we need a little break. He LOVES being with Nana and Pappy and they LOVE spoiling him and how could I not LOVE all of that??

And it’s not just the help. I know there are babysitters and nannies to go to for that kind of thing (though that’s not nearly as convenient and cheap). But it’s also being able to share my son with people who think he’s as amazing and perfect as we, his parents, do. It never gets old hearing my mom brag about how smart and perfect he is and to see my dad love on him as only a grandpa can love on his grandson.

Every time we get help and love from my parents, I wonder again how people without helpful family nearby survive parenthood. Colds and flus and food poisoning must be 10 times harder. The daily grind must feel like it just goes on and on forever without the opportunity for nights off, courtesy of grandma & grandpa.

So kudos to you guys, doing it alone. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a little extra appreciation after you put the little ones to bed tonight. I know as moms we’re not great at that. If you’re doing it without family help, you should be extra special proud.


One of those days

Stay at home moms, or hell, working moms, too: What do you do when your day goes from

ryker happy       to       ryker cranky  ??????

I mean, aside from pouring a strong drink before noon.

Which I, of course, have never done. Ever.


That would be irresponsible parenting.

*cough* *cough* *cough*

My absolute lowest moments of being a mother are when I lose my cool with my son. My sweet, little, innocent (*cough* MONSTER *cough*) of a son.

(Ok, I may be overusing the *cough* on this post)

(But hang in there, I’m getting to my point.)

Seriously, I hate that feeling. When you’re outside of your body, looking at yourself, going….. wahhhhh??? Why am I taking this out on him right now???

So I’m always in search of new ideas for cooling off and keeping my patience with my son, even on those days when everything just feels impossible.

Things I’ve done in the past when we’re faced with a day like this (besides the whole gin & tonic thing):

Get out of the house – Sometimes we just need a change of scenery. Sometimes I’ve been trying too hard to get the house clean and the laundry done and dinner prepped and I need to just say “F it, people!!!” and take my son to the park and watch him throw sand at the other babies. (Kidding.)

Harry the Bunny – OK, I’m all for the no-TV-before-2 thing and we *mostly* follow that rule. But when the whole house is sick with a deathly cold, or I’m going through a difficult time with a pregnancy or miscarriage, or heck, when I’ve just woken up on the wrong side of the bed…. sometimes a little 20 minute break where I plop the baby in front of Harry the Bunny on the iPad is superior to snapping at him when I’ve run out of patience. Plus, it gives me plenty of time to mix that drink. And down it. And mix another one.***

Impromptu play date – I have been known to emergency message my local playgroup and ask if anyone wants to come over or meet at a park LIKE NOW. The opportunity for my little monster toddler to be distracted by another little monster toddler, and the social outlet for Mama is invaluable in time of crisis.

If anyone is out there reading, share yours too!


*** I swear I have never had more than one drink while alone with my son. Please don’t call child protective services. Thank you.



I’m a stay-at-home mom to a fabulous little toddler boy who came into our lives in January 2013. When I’m not running around trying to keep up with him, I’m consumed with trying to build our family in the face of recurrent pregnancy loss. Miscarriage is such a little-talked-about tragedy; through this blog, my hope is to bring light to a hardship that many families find themselves faced with. And I’ll try to throw a little “GUESS WHO PEE-PEEed IN THE POTTY TODAY!!!” in there too, because, hey… I’m a mom… and my kid is amazeballs and you all need to hear about it. So with that…. look at me and my fantastic kid!!!!! Gush gush gush!!!!!