Thursday, April 10, 2014

Is Not Vaccinating Like Having Unprotected Sex?

I recently ran into a fellow blogger and friend at the gym. While we were discussing the child care in the facility, I informed her that the last time I left the midget there he got some weird hand, foot and mouth disease (just typing it out gives me the creeps).

The conversation moved to vaccinating, and she told me that her babysitter doesn't. Apparently, her two children had contracted Pertussis (Whooping Cough). 

My first thought? DUH!! 

Obviously, I wasn't shocked by the fact that the kids got sick, but rather that there are still people out there not vaccinating. I was shocked to hear that there are actually "a ton" of people out there that have just simply decided against it. 

It seems not vaccinating is, "trendy." 

My friend then posed a really great question. "Are we allowed to ask people if they vaccinate?" I marinated in this one for a minute before coming to the conclusion that "FUCK YES" should be the answer.

Now, I'm not going to do any research on statistics, dangers, and/or probabilities here. I'm not going to bore myself, or you, with numbers and figures to be challenged and recalculated. What I am going to do is compare not vaccinating your children to having unprotected sex. 

You're welcome.

It is important to note that I am directing any and all snarkiness towards people that don't vaccinate because one in 50,000 vaccinated may suffer possible side effects. There are also those that fail to protect our children due to refusal to pay money to those silly drug companies because of some conspiracy theory. Do I think the drug companies are way whacked with all their pills for fill in the blank? Yup, which is why I will not vaccinate my boys for genital warts. I understand that they cause cervical cancer, and that this vaccine might someday keep them from spreading it to their girlfriends. You know what else will protect them? 

Safe, protected sex.

Decades ago, before people knew any better, having unprotected sex with strangers was "trendy." Believe it or not, even in 2014 there are still people that continue to this trend. I know, crazy right? Even though we know all that we know about how many people out of five have Herpes, HIV, and other fun diseases that can be treated with antibiotics, there are still those that think it's cool to share bodily fluids and trust their partners. Obviously, I'm not talking about people in monogamous relationships, like old school. I'm talking about today, where sex seems to be nothing more than an extra curricular activity to some.

"OMG, Please let her be vaccinated"
What heterosexual woman hasn't heard a guy say that he didn't want to wear a condom because he didn't like the feeling?  Imagine for a moment that we didn't have the right to say "Tough shit, Dude. I'm not taking the risk!" Imagine if that right was taken away, and we lost the power to choose precaution because someone else was uncomfortable? That's how I feel about letting my kids play at the park now.  Maybe your kid is protected, but maybe he's not. How do I know if I don't ask? 

Do I have the right to ask someone I'm about to be intimate with if they have been tested? Yes. Why is that a good idea? Because the answer will make me aware of any added bonus dangers that might be involved with touching his or her body. What I do with the answer to that question might keep me safe.

Do I have the right to ask someone I'm about to be intimate with if they have or have ever had an STD? Certainly. Why is this smart? Because it can protect me from being dead. 

So, why wouldn't it be okay for me to ask you if you vaccinate your children; especially since the answer to that question might help keep my children safe? If knowing which kids at the playground/pool/gym could potentially harm sons will keep them safe, I'm asking.

Sorry, not sorry.

P.S. Don't even think about talking to me about my kids' right to eat a peanut butter sandwich in public if yours isn't vaccinated...unless you also don't believe in EpiPens. An allergic reaction and Polio are both life threatening and preventable, if we are considerate of each other's children.

photo credit: jpellgen via photopin cc photo credit: marktrash via photopin cc

Friday, March 28, 2014

Better Late Than Never? I'm Going To Listen To Your Mother

I can't remember the last time I auditioned for something. It could have been for the production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, when I was in fourth grade.  I read the lines for one of the main characters, no doubt, and was instead given the role of some loud mouthed girl in Tom's class. I didn't complain because it came with a musical number. 

Needless to say, I NAILED IT. I sang my little heart out on stage, and my mom said I was pretty much the star of the whole show. I want to say I coasted on the celebrity fumes from this for years, but sadly, my performance was quickly forgotten (or suppressed) by everyone. 

Soon after my acting debut, I traded in everything artistic for a cheerleading uniform (no offense, Barbie) and I never acted or stepped on stage again...until last month.

I had heard many wonderful things about the show Listen To Your Mother. I have been unable to watch any of the videos without being kicked in the feelings, and I have yet to find one I don't love with all my heart. 

When I found out it was coming to Boston, I was excited for the show. I couldn't wait to be in that room, filled with such powerful emotion and unquestioning trust. I imagine it's like that. I mean, how could it not be? When you give motherhood a microphone, anything is possible. And so it is. 

I decided to dust off my mad auditioning skills and give it a shot. Truth be told, I was scared shitless and fairly positive I would not get the gig. I just wanted to try. I think it was Kristen Johnston that suggested the goal of just breathing during an audition, instead of getting the role, and that's the one I set. I was NOT going to pass out during the audition, and anything aside from that was going to be a bonus. 

I decided to read Because Life Was On The List,  because it's one of my favorites, and because every time I read it I laugh and cry. My beautiful friend Allycia came with me to the audition and talked me back into it every time I changed my mind. She's awesome like that. 

Two weeks later I got the email... I GOT IT!!! Holy shit, I couldn't even breathe! I'm so honored to announce that I am an official cast member in the Listen To Your Mother Boston show!! I will not be singing, but I promise it is going to be an AMAZING time. We had our first rehearsal a couple of weeks ago and I laugh and cried the whole time. It's an unbelievable gift to be included in such a talented group of people. I'm SOOOOO excited!!

If you're going to be in the Boston area on April 26th, you should DEFINITELY come see the show!

Need tickets? Of course you do. CLICK HERE!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dairy Pure Prize Pack Giveaway!!!!

I don't know about you, but there are many times throughout the day when I'm working with one hand while a tiny person is yells at me because I'm not moving fast enough. So, when the kind folks at Dairy Pure reached out to me with the great news that they had released the new Worry-Free Flip Cap, I jumped at the opportunity to run out and buy a gallon. 

The good news? They provided me with $10 Amazon gift card AND this super-cute insulated Dairy Pure tote bag for my willingness to try the cap and tell you about it.

The great news? One of you lucky peeps is going to WIN a tote bag and $10 Amazon gift card in the giveaway at the end of this post!!!

Dairy Pure Milk with the Worry-Free Flip cap offers a number of wonderful benefits to my fridge and my family. 
Have you ever tried to unscrew a full gallon of milk with a psychotic, hyperactive, clingy toddler in your hip? Ugh, me too. It always turns into a terrible mess. Let us not forget that he's usually screaming because he wants the milk yesterday. 

I mean really, what the heck is taking me so long anyway??? 

Although life would be easier with a couple extra arms, I would look ridiculous and none of my shirts would fit properly. The worry-free flip cap is what every two armed mom needs. It enables me to hold that crazy, squirmy, little monkey in one arm, and flip open-pour-and serve his milk with one handNO spills, NO struggling, NO clean-up! I'll be honest, after the first time, I kind of felt like a super-hero.


We have been buying Dairy Pure milk in this house for as long as I can remember and I am more than willing to tell you why. 
I've seen all the documentaries. I know what some companies do to produce more milk, faster, and keep their cows "healthy."

I'm not going to pretend that my son will only drink Dairy Pure milk as may not know the difference between theirs and another brand in a taste test. However, I know the difference between other brands and Dairy Pure and I choose them for the following reasons:

  • Dairy Pure farmers use absolutely NO artificial growth hormones. Therefore, I have NO worries about the affects on my children. 
  • Dairy Pure tests all of their milk for antibiotics and other impurities continuously. Once again, I have NO worries. 

These things are important to me. We have enough to worry about. 

What snack or treat do you and/or your kids enjoy with a glass of milk? Feel free to include some recipes!

Monday, March 17, 2014

How To Survive "The Preschool Years" Without Seizing

I get the whole "Carpe Diem" thing, I do, but let's be honest. I will probably not seize every day. In fact, if we're being completely honest, some days I will be lucky to simply survive the day without seizing. 

As moms we have to stick together. We need to be gentle and honest with each other about what to expect. We also need to find humor in the little things that make us want to run. Between sleepless nights, the "But, WHY" phase, potty training, and all the other exciting moments to look forward to, it's only fair that we should share our secrets of survival, right? Amen. 

It has recently occurred to me that surviving my son's "Preschool Years" is all about accepting the fact that everything in my life will be interrupted, disrupted, and sometimes slightly annoying. It's that simple really. I must accept that while there is a very curious, energetic, talkative four year old in my house, there will be very little peace, solitude, sex, or silence. If I can only come to terms with this fact, and discard any and all expectations, the days can be delightful.

Here are some examples of what I mean.

Chance to sleep in? 
HA! Forget about it. If it is light outside it will be "time to wake up!!" NOW.

Relaxing with a nice cup of coffee?
Good one. He will want to play Bingo. I will be reminded that I told him last night that we could play "tomorrow" and that it's "tomorrow already."

Nature's calling?
My morning poop will be interrupted so he can show me that the block is actually red, his lunch box is empty, or one of his books has a tear in it. These things will not wait until I am finished. 

Getting him dressed?
If I have picked out his clothes, he will inform me that he's "big now" and can pick out his own clothes. He will then ask me to help him put everything on because he "can't do it!!!!"

He won't want the toast he asked for because he'll remember he didn't want butter on it. He'll think he wants, a bagel with cream cheese; and some juice. NOT apple juice, ORANGE juice. No, maybe water. Never mind he's not hungry. Can we play Bingo now? 

Putting his younger sibling down for a nap? 
Good luck to me. He'll just want to be with me. Seven minutes apart from me will be, "too long."

He can stay, but needs to be quiet and whisper?
He'll just have to tell me "one more thing before whispering." Can we play Bingo now?

He'll be ready to eat breakfast now.

In the middle of a phone call? 
He'll just want to tell me something!!!

Want him to nap? 
Dream on. There's way too much to do today. Oh, and by the way...*EPIC TANTRUM*

Trying to enjoy the rest of the afternoon? 
Are you kidding me? He needs a nap! NO ONE will be enjoying anything. Bingo will turn into five more reasons for a meltdown.

Prepared a nice dinner? 
He'll be sure his brother got more broccoli, the chicken will be too hot, the carrots not orange enough, and he will decided he doesn't like mashed potatoes anymore. He'll want to know why we can't order pizza. He likes pizza!

Trying to have a conversation with _________? 
He'll just want to tell me something!!!

Want to watch a movie? 
He'll want to watch Toy Story 2. He won't care that we only own Toy Story 3.  

Want to read a book? 
He'll know that part and want to read it himself. Then, I will be asked read it. He will tell me I'm reading it the wrong way. Half way through he'll want to read a different book.

He won't be able to sleep because his room is too dark and the moon is too bright. He'll need some water.

Finally, he's in bed??? Whoo Hoo!!!

Sexy-naked time with the Mr.?? 
No. He still won't be able sleep because his brother is breathing too loud. He'll have to pee because he drank too much water. 

He'll just want to ask me one more thing. 

"Can we play Bingo tomorrow?"

Original (changes made) photo credit: angellea (glitterbug) via photopin cc

Thursday, March 13, 2014

25 Things I Learned On My 36th Birthday

1. Repeating the mantra "There is NO whining on Mommy's birthday," is a ridiculous waste of time.

2. When a four year old tells you he wants to take you to IHOP for pancakes to celebrate your birthday, he's probably just using you for the ride. 

3. Do not let a toddler play with your phone and/or keys if you ever want to see them again. 

4. A spaghetti strainer makes for not only a super cute hat, but also a great place to hide stuff from your mother. 

5. The picture of the HUGE stack of pancakes on the IHOP menu is way smaller in person. 

6. Not all toddlers like pancakes. 

7. Giving a toddler one of those little creamer cups to play with in a restaurant is a terrible idea. *whoops*

8. Toddlers are the devil's playground. 

9. Not everyone at IHOP likes children.

10. Successfully wedging yourself in a booth, snuggly between coats and a highchair, ensures that your 4yo will immediately need to use the potty.

11. If you want to receive your check promptly at IHOP, bring small children.

13. No matter how many times you ask a four year old if he has to go to the bathroom BEFORE getting in the car, half way to wherever you are going, he will have to poop "RIGHT NOW."

14. There is no such thing as fast enough when it comes to getting in the house with a four year old that has to poop yesterday.

15. "No, Mom. I'm a big boy. I want some privacy," means there will definitely be shit all over the bathroom wall and sink when he's finished.

16. Cleaning shit off the bathroom wall and sink while the person responsible asks if you "want to play Bingo when you're done?" should be funny, but it's not.

17. Clorox wipes are the greatest things ever invented.

18. I'm officially OVER mourning the loss of my uterus and the possibility of having any more children.

19.  Allowing your four year old to watch movies like "FROZEN" will bite you in the ass someday. Like, maybe, I dunno...when you ask him to put his coat on in the waiting area of the pediatrician's office and he screams, "But MOM!! I just can't live like this anymore!!" 

20. Not everyone in our pediatrician's office has a sense of humor. 

21. After avoiding a possible call to Child & Family Services, if you decided to drown your feelings in what's left of your ice-cold latte in the car, hold your breath. Otherwise you might almost choke to death and pull a muscle in your neck.

23. When your husband surprises you by coming home early from work with a box of cake to bake for you... your oven will be broken, and will fill your house with the smell of gas.

24. When all else fails, have an amazing husband. In full preparation of all things Murphy's Law-ish, he will be hiding a beautiful store bought cake in his car. 

25. Next year I'm leaving town...ALONE.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Balance Is A Bulls*it Fallacy

I'm starting to think there's something seriously wrong with me. 

For the last week I've been on a roll with keeping up with errands, housework, and having dinner ready at six. I even hit the gym every day and was feeling really great. I get into the groove and I start to settle into my role as housewife. I allow myself to feel wonderful about this role and then... BOOM, something happens and all of the sudden I find myself questioning everything

When things are going well at home there's not much time to blog. Sure, I'm making sure that Sober Mommies is taken care of, but my on-line life suffers. I love blogging and all of the friendships that have stemmed from it. I do it for ME. I blog to process shit or to bitch or to just roll with whatever. It has been a life saver. It has saved me from myself.

Lately, it feels like I'm suffocating in the social media game. Too many groups, too many pages, too much of everything. Then I start to wonder why the fuck all of that shit is so important to me anyway. I mean, do I really care how many fucking Twitter followers I have? No. 

There's too much fucking shit to do! Finding "balance" seems impossible and I'm starting to think that perhaps it's a word that Maria Kang made up to make us feel bad about ourselves. I'm about to file it under, "Unachievable Bullshit," along with other words like "perfect" and "skinny jeans." 

WTF, Dude! 

I feel like I can't fucking win. Also, I feel like I'm the only one that has forgotten what game we're playing...and the rules. I get overwhelmed so easily when I'm feeling like this, and then the added bonus of listening to the toddler whine like a pack of dying kittens makes me twitchy. Is it terrible that I would totally welcome a trip to the loony bin right now? Give me some fuzzy fucking slippers and let me sleep all day on a plastic covered mattress. Also, lock me in and don't allow any visitors. 

I took Baby JDogg to the YMCA earlier today to play in the soft room and get good and exhausted for nap time. We were in there alone for about fifteen minutes and then in walked Mrs. Perfect Everything and her precious little girl. Let the record show that she did nothing to offend me...except breathe perfectly with her cute little bun atop her tanned head, looking amazing in her skinny jeans and Uggs. God help me, I hated her even more after she started talking to me in her cute little voice and then smiled with her perfect, bleached teeth. 

I know it's me. I know it's me I hate today. This has nothing to do with Malibu Barbie Mom, and everything to do with how I feel about me. I just wish any part of this was easy. I wish I could go a whole couple of weeks without feeling maladjusted and ill equipped at this balancing act called life and motherhood. 

How the fuck do you guys make this shit look so easy?  Am I the only one that feels like I'm missing vital SuperMomDNA?

photo credit: hans s via photopin cc

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Face Of Depression Is NEVER Ugly #DayOfLight

This is the face of Depression. 

I think I was thirteen the first time someone said that word to me. My parents had "concerns" because I had been withdrawing. I learned very quickly after that how to hide behind masks and avoid this concern. 

Depression has been a long time companion of mine and along my journey I have met some amazing people that know her too. There have been many times in my life that the words, "Me too" have saved me. My most recent experience with depression was one of them. 

After I had my youngest son in 2012, I fell flat on my face in what I can only describe as an emotional abomination. I felt broken, alone, and scared of my own thoughts. I hated myself because of them and spun in a circle of defeat. I found some blogs about depression and felt less alone. The words I read pulled me up very slowly. I found the courage to write down my own and I found freedom. 

The amazing blogging community saved my life. They took me under their wings and encouraged me every day to speak my truth until it didn't feel ugly anymore. The face of depression is NEVER ugly. It's the feelings of despair, the secrets we hide behind beautiful smiles, and all the lies we tell ourselves that are ugly. 

So, today I share my truth alongside many of the amazing women that helped me out of my darkness. Today I celebrate a Day Of Light and help to break the silence that Depression wants me in. If you are struggling, please know that you are not alone. Please know that there is hope. Please believe that you are beautiful, powerful, and worth it. 

Please let someone help you. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year In The Life Of NLNK

It's been an amazing, insane, thought-provoking, terrifying, pain-in-the-ass, tearful, hysterical year. Honestly, it feels like it's been longer than 365 days because of all that's happened. In order to reflect and celebrate the year properly, I decided to do a little gratitude list to mark some of my favorite and not so favorite moments. 

Here goes.

The beginning of something wonderful

Shit got real with a teenager in the house, and I did some personal reflection

I almost lost my mind after the 4yo created a masterpiece on the hardwood

I called for back up

I got called "HUGE" at Walmart

I realized that Molly Ringwald is mostly to blame for much of my terrible relationship choices

We attempted to potty train during the election, neither of which were very successful

Preschool started and I had to leave my little man in the hands of assholes

I wanted to give up, and you saved my life

I experienced and celebrated some huge gifts of sobriety

We challenged negativity together with BEAUTY 

We judged some young girls

I decided I didn't want my marriage

Once again, I called for back up, and you were there. 

I am so grateful to all of you for your support, shoulders, humor, and cyber hugs. I know that I would not be here without you and I am so blessed to have you. Special thanks to so many wonderful women that have given me permission to breathe again by sharing themselves so freely in their blogs and our friendship. Here are just a few that have helped me more than they know...

Lizzi @ Considerings 
Lucy @ My Life As Lucille
Jeanette @ Mommy Needs A Martini
Molley @ A Mother Life
Jean @ MamaSchmama
Jen @ My Skewed View
Lori @ The Next Step
Tracy @ Crazy As Normal
Lea @ Becoming Supermommy
Alyson @ The Shitastrophy
Dana @ Kiss My List
Nancy @ The Calibamamom
Lisa @ Lisa Nolan
Michelle @ They Call Me Mummy
Kathy @ My Dishwasher's Possessed
JD @ Honest Mom
Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0
Allison @ MotherhoodWTF

There are so many more amazing human beings IRL and online who have lifted me up when I was falling, and brought me back to life. This year has been wonderful because of you and I love you SO much.


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