Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Table for one

TI have never been a good cook. In fact it's a running joke how I married my husband because he was such a good one. Maybe that is why I am so impressed with my ability to make food for my child. I am of course talking about breast milk. 
I am less impressed with my ability to make a human than fill tiny bottles with ounces of the liquid gold. I am so impressed I carry the bottle around the house for a victory lap and email pics to friends. 
My husband has a different take on the pumping. He thinks the contraption looks like something a sociologist from the National Archives would carry into the Deep South to record negro spirituals. 
My son is a good eater and I am pretty laid back about breastfeeding, but I never thought I would be this comfortable with my body as I feed him. Of course this is only in my house.

I am over those early feelings of being a dim sum cart.  I seemed to be always on edge, circling him every couple of hours wondering if he was hungry. I do still have the fear that he is too skinny. The founder of Eat Sleep Love have me a great formula that made me feel a bit more in control. She says your baby should be consuming double his weight in ounces every 24 hours. I never said I was good at math and with my diminished brain cells I had to write it out once I got home. For me that means my 9.5 lb baby should be consuming about 20 oz every 24 hours. PHEW! I can at east feed him, lets hope he gets his father's head for math

Monday, August 19, 2013

Yoda Mom

yoda-luke.jpgA bit of advice given before I have birth was "find your Yoda Mom". This is a women who has her second child at the same time as you so you can befriend her for all her wisdom. A brilliant plan! All my friends have toddlers or older at this stage and they have been a wealth of knowledge and equipment, but a Yoda Mom eluded me.
Yet my Yoda Mom has been with me for 15 years. My dear friend Ashley and I have led parallel lives as pageant girls, young professionals and married women. She delivers her second child any day now and I am going to pump her for information and inspiration!

Everard's

Kudos to friends Louis Everard and Jennifer Nygard on a great story on their stylish shop
http://www.hulu.com/watch/512552#i1,p0,d1

Revolving Door Ward

If you clock the time I spent in the hospital from the moment I gave birth it rounds up to 31 hours. I was offered another day but decided to go home. Why rush it? I wasn't trying to prove anything, I just felt there was more support at home than in the hospital.
A recent Daily Beast article makes me think I should have spent another day but then again the reason I went home was based on support.
It would be easy to blame it on insurance companies, but I think the issue comes from shrinking hospital staff and trying to fill many women's need of being in control of their delivery experience.
I for one was a little surprised to hear the baby would be with me from the moment I delivered. Couldn't someone else watch the baby that first night to let me get a full night of sleep?
Nope! There little Peter slept in his crisper while I tried to sleep off the drugs and the pain I was starting to feel.
I changed every diaper myself and I fed him without instruction from the first moment. I got some bang up meals delivered to my bed, but otherwise it was me, the baby and below basic TV.
So I headed home to the care of my mother and husband.
But I pushed it too much there too. Some how I figured I had to be a trooper and do SOMETHING other than lay in bed if the hospital was sending me home. Hindsight I should have taken a shower and curled into bed. Instead we took family pictures and sat around talking. The next day we were out to the pediatrician for a check up where I once the feeling of manning up was reinforced. If the doctors want the baby in the office they expect you should be bringing him.
So when a client called with a gig 4 days after delivery I said yes. It wasn't heavy lifting, why turn it down? Well if I had known I would faint 6 hours later I maybe would have reconsidered.
I have a feeling that will be the mantra of motherhood for me "If I had known, I would have reconsidered".



Monday, July 22, 2013

The Original Facebook Post

The royal birth announcement displayed on its gilt frame made me think of one thing, Facebook. The idea that this low tech, but classy display of news has been happening for centuries makes me thinking  what other magisterial traditions we should add some American ingenuity to monetize.
 

The Arch Campbell Show

I hope the last appearance before I give birth...
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Long Term Care

I do love the guys from EBW... they make this all understandable
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RedTri.com- Get on Board

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RedTri.com Trolley Story

(click on the image to jump to story)

Red Tricycle DC

I am so excited to be part of the team of writers for RedTri.com in DC. You can read my stories at http://redtri.com/dc but I will also post them here. Feel free to send me story leads!

Mentioning the Unmentionables

I did many things right when I first found out I was pregnant. The early sign I was in the family way was "the girls". I immediatly grew out of my brassieres and I didn't look forward to buying new ones every couple of weeks as they started to grow. 
in one of my early trimester fogis I found myself at Bed Bath and Beyond and there staring me in the face was the Genie Bra. I'd seen it on late night television showing off how the productcould lift your best friends in the right direction this seems like the perfect thing for my growing chest. With coupon in hand I figured why not. This was the best investment of the entire pregnancy!
I have relied on these space age fibers for the last 40 weeks and now I'm looking forward to buying new underwear. the next phase of my body will be interesting. I have no idea what I'm going to be left with so one of the first things I plan on doing is treating myself, for the very first time, to fancy drawers.
 I've never been one to splurged. When I found something that worked I got a lot of them in every color available. 
Next up the nursing bra. They just look darn painful. If I can intuitively find the right thing like I did at the beginning it will be the perfect solution to the age old problem of "the girls".

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Push Gift

I can't remember the first time I heard about the idea of a gift for giving birth, but I do remember thinking "A reason for getting jewelry! I am fine with that." The concept is simple. When a woman gives birth, she expects a large item of jewelry to commemorate the birth.
My mom has two lovely items from giving birth to my sister and I, but I remember the engraved silhouettes she gave my grandmother for each of her grand kids.
I want a push gift, in fact I have known exactly what I wanted as soon as I found out the due date. Sharing this information and price tag were the hard part. How do you break it to your husband you want something of monetary value to commemorate the moment that is invaluable?
Thanks to Mervis Diamonds it makes I easier to discuss.

Mervis Diamonds is offering free diamond earrings to the couple who has a baby closest to the day and time of William and Kate's Royal Baby. If your baby is due any moment visit www.mervisdiamond.com/push-presents to enter.  
Here's hoping the most recognizable voice in DC calls with some good news soon!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trippy Love

Thanks to the wonderful Claudine Kurp of Kid Trips for showing interest in my journey. 
Click the image to read the story!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Destination Cuisine on MHz

Who doesn't like eating for a living?!

The Pet Show Product review

Love being a contributor on The Pet Show

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wanderlust

I'm lounging in bed trying to stay awake by watching a PBS show on The Orient Express. The glamour and history is just as intoxicating as the vistas from the 80 hour trip. Then I am struck by the reality,mI can't just get on the train.
I have been a world traveler my entire life crossing the globe several times before my firs birthday. Travel has always been important to me. It is how I learn and my parents realized t early enough that they would plan family vacations based on school curriculum to help me retain I formation.
While my college peers went to the beach over spring break I would find a buddy to go on a European adventure. After graduation I promised myself I would take a big trip every year and realized if I went ahead of the Olympics I could let the IOC do the decision making for me, and relive my vacation while watching the sporting events.
Now I lay in bed with a bag packed for a trip to the hospital. Not the same at all. Bt I am already considering how to travel with an infant. I hope to sneak away for a weekend at a B&B in the first month. My first plane trip is planned for October when I have a gig in Atlanta. I will ship diapers and task my mom with watching Bjorn while I am on camera.
I maybe fooling myself at how easy this could be, but I also don't want to let fear keep me at home

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let's Talk Vacation

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Showers and Their Themes

I have been blessed with great friends. They are supportive, funny, talented and true. They have been so excited about my pregnancy. I think its because they knew I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut about every moment. They have also risen to new heights of thematic parties. 

It all started with Miss DC 2009 who threw the first shower. Dozens of former contestants, volunteers and gay men got together. They supplied baby pictures so the room could be decorated in a kiddie pageant theme.

Next came a weekend away with some of my bridesmaid. We stopped for ice cream at every road side stall on the way to the beach.  We sat around and relaxed and shared stories and took naps. I was banished to my room one night to set up a party. We had decided there would be no gifts, but they just couldn't help themselves. To be honest, I am glad. They gave me their children's favorite books and 
we played ridiculous games and shared enormous 
cupcakes. Then the real gifts came out. Mini buttons with all my favorite things on 
them and hand written advice cards that made me cry. 
















Then it was back to my childhood home for an epic celebration. Your family can't live in a town for 40 years and not have fewer than 60 people at a baby shower! My mom's good friends drowned me in love and baby items. But the best part were the buffet and goody 
bags all handmade by women I've known my entire life. Anyone can make chips and dip but macarons from scratch? SERIOUSLY? It 
was almost as impressive as me making a human!



An office shower kicked off the summer. We gathered for fried chicken and humor and an awkward game where my coworkers used 
string to guess my size. Somehow, appropriately, "The Voice" of the Newseum guessed it EXACTLY right. 

Now at 36 weeks the final thank you cards have been written for the neighborhood party. What was to be a simple BBQ turned into a 
heart warming evening. It started with a hand painted shelf in my favorite color and then every neighbor selected a children's book for the shelf. Classics, favorites and unknowns were added one by one till the shelf was full!
The nursery is still a disaster. The 10 year old IKEA computer desk is still in place and the crib is weeks away from delivery. My mom arrives in 2 weeks and then the room will 
suddenly look like a decorated room thanks to her fine touch. I just hope Bjorn doesn't 
arrive first.







Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fashion Review

Thanks to fellow blogger María José for asking me to review some wonderful wears from Thyme Maternity. Click on the image to read my review


Get Ready!

We have this offensive term at the office. We refer to birth as "splashdown". It's the perfect combination of rocket science and disgusting. Just like the actual birth. Even more the baby is like a little astronaut in his capsule with the life line, so I really love the term.

Now that I have less than 30 days to go I realize my body is going into this weird mode that i cannot control. I feel like the baby is going through a check list with my body. It reminds me of the count down in mission control at NASA. I feel like my body has disconnected from my brain and I am just watching. When I finally go into labor I will know how much of this is in my head and how much is nature

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Keep It Classy

It is the time in the pregnancy when CME and I are taking classes. I signed up for these classes months ago and today was the first-- CPR for Infants.

Who is it that said "if you can't find the patsy at the poker table you are it"? I always think of this when I enter a classroom. There is that couple in every class that you think "just shut up so we can get this over with!"

Shouldn't there be rules to follow in parenting classes?

1) No one wants to hear your "advice from experience". We are taking the class so we can get a baseline of knowledge. If we wanted to hear your story of the time your child choked on a jelly bean we would ask.
2) When you speak in class and no one turns around in their seat to look at you, you have no audience. Maybe your thinking "wow I didn't even notice no one looked at me." That is because you were too busy holding court.
3) When it comes time to practice in class don't take it as an audition. We all know the script. We are trying to murmur it while imagining ourselves in the situation. Your cries of "CALL 911" are not needed and concerning to the jazzercise class across the hall.


And if your the instructor, these rules apply to you! Its not time for your 2 hour comedy set. Give us the instruction and a laugh half way through and we, your students, will leave happy and informed.


There are exceptions to the rule. You have a handy little tip that you found your friends didn't even know about, please share it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Skintern

Either I am getting to be an old lady or it is the pregnancy hormones. Either way I am horrified by my summer interns wardrobe. Emails have been flying back and forth and the subjects are her daily choice.
She is a sassy, artistic chick with a solid head on her shoulders. She has little office experience and her clothes reflect it. I understand her issue. If you're a young woman who enjoys a bit of style theatrics (think well applied blue eye shadow) where do you buy clothes? I can imagine she thinks Anne Taylor is for old ladies but her choice of H & M "executive" isn't working.
In an attempt to help her and others like her, here are tips for the young woman who wants to make a good impression in her first summer internship and how not to be known as the Skintern.
1) Ask your supervisor how they would describe the office dress code and vibe. You're going to get one of 3 choices
A) Executive- This means you are expected to wear a suit and hose.
B) Business casual- no jacket needed. A couple of crisp shirts and pencil skirts and slacks and your done
C) casual- show up how you want, just make sure its clean and no holes.

The pitfall is you may be told one thing and you see another. The boss says executive but everyone looks pretty dull and casual to you. This is where correct sizing a personal sense of style will save you!
Sizing 101
You're a 6. You have always been a 6. So why the side eye? Sizing has nothing to do with length and everything to do with fit. True you could be wearing a size too small that makes you look like a sausage, but your co-workers are more worried about exposure.
You found that perfect little black dress with the fun metallic belt. It looks super. Perfect for a night out after work... Here is why its wrong. When you are 20, no outfit should be good for both.
Check that perfect dress that looks conservative for 3 things. a) where is it exposing you? Deep V, sleeveless with a little slit in the back is a no-no. BUT IT LOOKS PERFECT! Here is how to make it perfect. Measure your body from your shoulder to your knee. Subtract an inch. Now measure that dress on the hanger. If its shorter than the measurement of your body its going to crawl up your leg.
If you absolutely MUST have this short dress please wear opaque hose.
If you really want to play it safe, invest in some classic cut suits in fun colors. They will last years and set you apart from the pack at job interviews.
Skintern
Exposed skin will be your downfall every time. If you aren't one to freeze in an office then use the simple rule of only exposing one part of your body per outfit. Remember you only get one!
* your skirt falls shorter than 3 inches from your knee while standing
* your arms are totally bare
* a plunging neck line no matter your cup size And remember- a bare back is never ok for the office

But you adore the closet full of clothes you have for your job as a restaurant hostess. You can easily class them up with a cropped jacked to show off your slim build, or a shrug sweater. They are youthful yet tasteful. Short skirts look great with patterned hose or even flesh fish nets OVER nylons. You can always peel off the layers and leave them at your desk when you meet your friends out after work.

If you get pulled aside and there is a mention of your clothes act quickly to fix it! Ask questions to figure out how to fix your look!

If all else fails keep your eye pealed for your style mentor. Email her and simply ask "I worry my clothes don't match the office vibe. Am I doing ok?" The reality is, how you dress has just as much impact on your internship experience as your work. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What's In A Name?

Recently The Atlantic did a wonderful story on the mellifluous names of NPR reporters. This just adds to my pressure of having no names for a baby girl. I find it hard to name a girl. Meanwhile the boy’s name was decided before we even conceived. Yet a girl’s name seems to have more impact. If we give her the wrong name, will she be destined to a life that we didn’t intend.
My husband and I have had a very hard time finding a name that would imply heritage, strength and femininity. I think even if we found that name I would have to still see the face of the baby.
So for now, the baby will continue to be named Bjorn.

Why I won't be registering for that


I'm sitting in the airport to fly home for my second baby shower. This one hosted by friend of my mom. A chance for them to see me in real life to get a view of my quickly enlarging body.

My mom calls to inform me her best friend can't find anything good to buy me off my registry. How can that be? I registered for just what I needed. Items range in price from ATM purchases to big ticket items, with a smattering of adorable ridiculous tossed in.

Apparently this friend will be buying me something I can "use forever". I expect to smile while unwrapping a silver picture frame. 
Why must I register for one of every possible tool for the baby? As it is I can't believe I chose a $400 crib!

Which brings me to the wipe warmer. For the uninitiated, a wipe warmer is a heated caddy the diaper wipes reside in. It plugs into the wall and is a fire hazard. REALLY! There is a warning on it! Besides this safety fact, I get pissing mad (sorry I couldn't resist) about the
fact its job is to warm pieces of wet paper to wipe the butt of a baby.

No wonder we have a generation who feel entitled! They have been told room temperature wipes aren't good enough for their smooth bums. I want my child to feel that therapeutic sting of cold soap. If they can't deal with that, they are going to have a hard time having me as a mother!

Friday, May 10, 2013

What Elizabeth Jennings Taught Me

There has been a lot of discussion about work and life balance since the publication of "Lean In". I have even been asked for comment on it! Now 7 months pregnant, I have stronger feelings about how I plan on finding the right equation.

It was today that I found my model; Elizabeth Jennings. She is almost too good to be true, and 
she isn't. Mrs. Jennings is the main character in The FX's successful new drama "The 
Americas". She is a KGB agent, a travel agency owner and mother.

Somehow she finds the time to raise a family and run a business all while killing people. Sure 
there was that one time she forgot to pick up the kids from the mall and they were almost in 
harms way, but she was busy with state affairs.

Now her marriage maybe falling apart and the cold war is heating up. She and her husband areseparated and her kids are getting to that nosey age. How will she handle it? With 80's style 
and chilled Russian vodka running through her veins!

My notes are simple; know your priorities. Is it kids or job first? Your job maybe a touch smaller 
than dear Elizabeth's, but it sure feels like we are toppling countries sometimes! 

* Remember to wipe your prints and cover your tracks. Work methodical and with purpose 
quickly.

* Don't fret when you mess up. So the kids were almost molested! They escaped using 
ingenuity and a bit of genetic code, and hell they are closer than ever!

* Work with your spouse no matter what! There is a greater good you two are working towards. It could be communism or something smaller. Even if you aren't feeling the love, know you were and still are a great team. You will find your stride again and the reason you're together. 

So forget all the talk and discussion and get to it! Be that agent kicking in doors and folding 
laundry to cover up for something else more subversive.

My Uterus Has A Facebook Page


Being a first time mom, Sonya Gavankar, is thinking about how her journey is different than her mother’s generation.

Well into my second trimester I posted on social media that I was pregnant. A few weeks later I posted about feeling my uterus. My mother’s head exploded! She previously had chided me for not referring to myself as “with child” and this post seemed too far.

My older friends recommended I started journaling the next 9 months, but that seemed redundant of what I was already doing. Whether you use pen and paper or blog, the process of recording the moment doesn’t change. Social media has changed how my generation will document and process their pregnancies. By making these entries public it creates an instant community of like minded parents to share the journey with. Now that my eyes are open to this subset of my age group I see how social media gives mothers with special needs children an instant support system. No longer do they need to leave the comfort of home to feel connected in a struggle that used to be one that happened only in specialized physical therapy offices.

I was shopping for nursery bedding at one of the luxury malls in my area and the sales person openly told me of her 40 year old daughter who had conceived with medical help. I don’t believe that social networks have greatly affected how we talk about fertility. The success of treatments are shared with more frequency but women still chose to share these conversations in person. We are more free to discuss treatments  in public but I believe most women still chose to discuss fertility issues with a smaller group of friends. My peers are older and have a higher level of education and in general, have waited longer to start a family. We know the risks in delaying starting a family, but we still hope it will be easy. Perhaps that known difficulty makes us more comfortable discussing the process.

While you may not consider it flaming when a woman with no children comes up to me in the dog food aisle to tell me how to properly prepare my dog for the baby’s arrival... that is what she is doing. With openness, comes more viewpoints and the unsolicited comments of strangers. It doesn’t matter the technology or the medium, total strangers have found me out to impart their advice.  There seems to be something about that big belly that makes people experts on my experience. Putting my bump out on the internet brings these same advisors out. I thought because I have been judicious in selecting my virtual friends I was sub selecting a type of person. But like I found with the last presidential election, I am always surprised who has the crazy view in the group. I have started to think of my real life as the comment section of a blog or online mommy group. A simple request for informed advice empowers people with no filter. They may be writing it under a chat room handle or they could be the woman in the baby food aisle, either way, there have always been women (and men) who feel they have every right to tell you and your belly what they think.

Pregnancy and the internet both feed into that part of our egos we hate to admit we have. I love the positive attention to a picture of my growing waistline or sonogram. The instant gratification of the comment bell going off is intoxicating. Getting hundreds of likes makes me want to post more.  I need to remind myself while I am months away from the birth that it is much easier to get that instant reaction from a glowing screen than it will be to impact the new life and to focus on reality.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

First Shower


One of the sweetest emails I got when announcing I was pregnant was from a former Miss DC contestant who said "you are so great with girls 17-24 you will be an awesome mom". Today I was so touched to have Miss DC 2009 host a baby shower for me with dozens of former contestants, volunteers and some of my best gays from my pageant days!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Early mommy interview

Click on the image to hear my views on pregnancy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pregnant Posts


I have been trying to figure out how to blog/podcast about this experience. Finding the right voice and making sure I don't say something that will cause my child to go through therapy is a concern. I think I need to approach it as I was writing a diary.
Maybe I should call the fetus Diary, so I can write "Dear Diary".

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Itch


They say being pregnant is a time to glow, but every square inch of me is itchy. I have been plying myself with loads of ointments and oils, but nothing is helping. In general I have felt off this whole time. Either I am too exhausted to move or I feel like I am walking through water. Now the itch keeps me in a constant state of irritation.
I am sure eventually the itch will be left to just my stomach as it stretches.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Baby item shopping

I have never been in a baby store other than to pick up a gift from a friend's registry. So I was more than a little overwhelmed to check out the things one needs. I also worried about going too early. Thank goodness for the calm, experienced hand of Libby who took me under her wing. She helped cut through the noise of all the baby stuff. I highly recommend if its your first time, you go with an open mind and let your friend be your guide. There is so much out there and it is very overwhelming. So to cut through the noise, a mom who has done in before will help greatly! However be prepared for people to think you are lesbians.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lots to report


Trying to keep this all quiet has meant that I cannot blog about it. But now I can!
I have been exhausted for months. The tip off that I was with child, should have been the 6 hour car ride I slept through in mid November.
I muscled through till Thanksgiving when it was all confirmed. Since then I have been spending any time after 6 in my bed. It is so irritating to not have the energy to accomplish anything other than drinking large amounts of water.
I always though being pregnant would be a whole lot of eating at buffets. But alas, I have only been craving salad and tomatoes. It is so disappointing. I did eat a lot the first month. That tired feeling mostly disappears when I eat. So I kept eating. When I finally realized that it wasn't helping I think I had already gained about 10 lbs. That means I haven't gained anything in the last 2 because I am eating like a normal person. YET I seem to be suddenly huge.
Thankfully a Miss DC comes in many sizes, so I called the one who is 6 feet tall and asked to borrow some dresses... when you put an amazon's dress on a short, pregnant woman it actually works!
Now after confirming that nothing fell out of me while I flew to too many places, I now feel like I have an alien in me.