August 2008

What’s the beef with pacifiers?  I never realized there was such an anti-pacifier movement until I had my son.  Perhaps there’s some “League of Mothers Whose Babies Were Perfect Enough to Not Need Pacifiers” that I wasn’t aware of.    The fact that people would scoff at an infant with a pacifier astounds me.  He’s 6 months old, not 16. 

After anti-pacifier comment #582 and a Google search that revealed that there really are paci-haters, I called my mother.  “Someone said that pacifiers are terrible.  And I shouldn’t be a pacifier user because I’m a breast feeder.  And the internet says the baby will probably have funky, Billy Bob teeth.” 

Seriously, who aids in the malformation of their child’s teeth!?  Apparently I am … Crap.   I hope the anti-pacifier people spend a lifetime trying to pry a thumb out of their children’s mouths. 

The fact (according to my all-knowing, ever-fabulous mother) is that it’s ok if your baby sucks on a pacifier.  Infants have a natural urge to suck and it is soothing.  If you choose to use a pacifier, rock on.  Please ignore all haters.  And consequently, if you choose not to use a pacifier, that’s absolutely fabulous too.  

No mom should be made to feel bad because they choose (or choose not) to use a pacifier.  Though, if you’re sending your kid off to college with one, feel bad.  Feel very bad.  You will most certainly spend a fortune on therapy sessions.  Invest now. 




I know it’s still August, but I am so excited for Brody’s first Halloween.

This weekend my husband went to a flea market.  He has a freak affinity with flea markets, a fondness that I don’t share or understand.  I appreciate the notion of “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” but I like to find my treasure in the mall.  Pretentious?  Perhaps.

After returning from the ‘mercado le flea’ (it sounds so much more appealing that way), Chris came in the door with a bright orange pumpkin costume.  He was so proud of it.  He bargained and got it for only $2.  Bless his heart, but does he not know of the super cute Halloween costumes available for babies?  Monkeys, penguins, hot dogs, bananas, peas in a pod?!

At any rate, I think I will put B in the $2 pumpkin his father so lovingly purchased (and only because he so lovingly purchased it), but there will most definitely be a wardrobe change at some point in the evening …

What should Brody be for (part deux of) his first Halloween?

My husband thinks I should buy a minivan.  I think he’s smoking dope. 

At 24 years old, I’m already a bit peeved about driving my SUV.  I think my SUV is mom enough – a mini van is out of the question.  

While motherhood has countless blessings, it has also bestowed stretch marks, saggy breasts, and (dare I say it?) weathered nethers.  I need a minivan like I need another tear in my … nevermind.

Two weekends ago I packed up my “mommy mobile” and headed to the Big Apple to meet up with friends and spend a day in the city. After finally getting my super suburban and very heavy Graco stroller to the subway platform, I boarded the 1 train.

I lived in NYC for four years and know all about the subway rule of conduct that suggests you stare at feet, subway advertisements, and anything in the subway car but an actual face. Prior to navigating public transportation with my bambino, I would estimate that about 90% of city dwellers accept and abide by this rule, with the remaining 10% who disobey consisting of beggars, schizophrenics, drunks, and perverts. Apparently, however, when you board the train with a baby the rule is void and all people – beggar, schizo, drunk, perv, seemingly nice man in suit, preteen girls, and traveling foreign father also pushing a stroller – think they have a right to not only look at your baby, but touch your baby.

I was never a germophobe prior to the arrival of my son, but since his entry into the world, I have become a Purell toting, shopping cart sanitizing, germ loathing freak. Needless to say, the fact that strangers – especially a subway car full of strangers with hands on dirty rails – were touching my son flipped me out.

Let me put this out there. If you don’t know me, don’t touch my kid.

I plan on making Brody a vest, much like those bright red vests that service dogs wear. I will affix a patch that dissuades petting. (Come to think of it … I will make him wear it all through his preteen, teenage, and college years too. Anything I can do to discourage petting!)

Furthermore, I think that all people should adopt the General Service Animal Guidelines as found on the State of Indiana’s website (please disregard the fact that I don’t live in Indiana) and apply the rules to babies as well.

  • Do not touch the service animal baby, without the owner’s permission
  • Do not make noises at the service animal baby
  • Do not feed the service animal baby; this could disrupt his/her schedule

This weekend when Brody, Chris, and I were in Rehoboth Beach, a woman approached us to tell us our {ahem} “daughter” dropped “her” pacifier. Meanwhile, my son was sporting a blue and orange onesie with an airplane, wearing blue sunglasses, and the pacifier he dropped was also blue. (see above) This wasn’t the first time someone has referred to him as my daughter either. Perhaps it’s his full head of hair? Or maybe his blue eyes? Either way, he’s never dressed like a girl.
I don’t know why it bothers me when people mistake the genders of babies, namely my baby. It is sometimes difficult to determine the sex of an infant, especially when they’re very young, but why go assuming?

Because gender snafus are clearly inevitable, I’m a huge fan of this onesie from Baby Snazz

P.S. I will soon be starting the coalition for Mothers of Pretty Blue Eyed Boys Who Are Tired of Gender Confusion … (MOPBEBWATOGC) Although, I think I should rethink the name…

I cried when my son got his first vaccinations, as I’m sure many moms do.  I didn’t cry because of the pain inflicted.  Nope.  I cried because I felt like I was giving my son autism.

After watching a passionate Jenny McCarthy make TV appearances urging mothers to call the White House and demand that the Director of the Center for Disease Control get canned, I freaked out.  She and many others believe that there is a correlation between autism and the current vaccination schedule used in the US. 

I remember tossing and turning the whole night after first hearing of the issue.  Whooping cough or autism?  Polio or Aspergers?  Rubella or developmental delays?   My stomach was in an unyielding knot.  I kept wondering what qualified me to make this choice.  Nobody tells you that when you have a child you have to make these kinds of decisions.  I bet abstinence pushers all over the globe would have great success with their campaign if they adopted a slogan like, “Polio or Aspergers?  Have sex.  Have a child.  You decide.”  It would keep my pants on.   

As I always do, I called my mother seeking advice.  She thought it was all “bologna” and believed cases of autism were genetically linked. 

I asked my husband what his thoughts were, “I dunno.  What did your mom say?”   God love him, but he’s hardly insightful. 

I did further research and acclimated myself with what researchers believed to be an acceptable vaccine schedule.  I went to Brody’s next appointment armed with information, yet still confused.  I asked his pediatrician a million and one questions.  She adamantly denied the hypothesized link. 

After asking how many vaccines my son would be receiving and if any could be held off, I was informed that there is a timeline in which certain vaccines must be administered or children miss their opportunity to receive them.  Shit. 

And so it was, my son received four vaccines and I cried hysterically.  I eventually calmed myself down with the notion that nothing was truly conclusive and that perhaps the alternative situation was worse.  Besides, what if Brody wanted to grow up to be in the Peace Corps and travel to third world countries? 

I felt confident in my decision until the next week when I spoke to a friend who chose not to vaccinate her son at all.  My heart sunk and for a moment I let myself believe that I was an awful mother. 

The truth of the matter is, both my friend and I made decisions based on what we ultimately thought was best for our boys, albeit those decisions were different.  Like any mom I want to make my child’s life as perfect as possible.  And at this point, I can only hope that the decision I made was the right one for me, my child, and my family.  

P.S.  Dear God,  Please may Brody not join the Peace Corps or travel to unstable regions of the world?   Thanks, Jen

I’m not one for bumper stickers, even in an election year, but I do believe strongly in voting and supporting your candidate in whatever ways you can.  Because I don’t do the bumper sticker thing, the past two presidential election years I’ve purchased witty campaign t-shirts.  They’re always fun and my point is always clear, although those that favor an opposing candidate become glaringly obvious; some have nearly snarled at the notion of my political persuasion.

This year Brody will be clad in election ’08 gear – I’m thinking a campaign bib and a campaign onesie.  (And I’ll be sure to snarl back at anyone who snarls at my 6 month old.)

Cafe Press has campaign duds for adults and babies (you can even get a matching set for you and your tot)  … There are basic McCain and Obama tees and onesies, some age appropriate choices like the ones below, and some humorous options like, “I only cry when Democrats hold me” or “McCain makes me spit up in my mouth.”

Happy shopping and of course, happy voting!

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