Once upon a time, there was a young lady without children named Karyn. Karyn lived in a magical world of beer, boys & bars, and she was under a very deep spell where she thought being a parent was easy. While in that magical world, Karyn decided that she would NEVERRRRRRR let her future well-behaved, non-whining and always sedate children watch any of those annoying Nick Jr & Disney Channel television shows that so many other un-attentive, pathetic parents used as  babysitters for their kids. She also swore up & down that Barney, Elmo and Dora were 3 characters her children would never encounter until he/she was old enough to have their own Facebook page.

Karyn has since left that magic world of bars & boys. She now lives in the Kingdom of Kids, where drinking means tasting the 2 day old milk in the sippy cup found under the couch, just to see if it might be safe to use. In Karyn's new world, she will spend endless hours searching YouTube for even a remnant of an Elmo clip her child has yet to see. "All of these videos are under a minute long? That's! Not! Good! Enough!" she yells in frustrating, realizing that any YouTube under 3 minutes won't buy her enough time to pee, let alone Facebook & fold laundry. The Elmo search continues cause in the real world (the one without bars & boys), Karyn will do just about anything if it means 15 minutes of quiet and one happy, Elmo loving 18 month old. Plus, Karyn is a mush and  still thinks it's kinda cute to hear "ELL-MOEEE" repeated with such great love and excitement by her child 74 times a day.

Karyn also told herself she'd NEVERRRRRR dress her son and/or daughter in any clothing that remotely referenced, looked like or mentioned a Disney or Sesame Street character. While Karyn still holds very, very, very firm to that stance, there has been an instance of caving, as her not-yet-17-month old searched from dresser draw to dresser draw in hopes of finding her beloved Elmo shirt. And Karyn was amazed to see how popular Isabel quickly became when the infamous Elmo shirt made a guest appearance at toddler gym class. "Elmo!!! Elmo!!" the other kids screamed and pointed as Isabel strutted around, chest out, oh-so-proud of the smiling red character on her belly that everyone seemed to love. 

Many "I'll nevers" quickly morph into "Where is that damn Elmo DVD???!!!" once you enter the Kingdom of Kids. Karyn is still holding strong to a no Barney policy, that is, until Isabel has a nervous breakdown in the Target checkout and the closet thing to shutting her up is a Barney coloring book and a six pack of wine coolers for Karyn. Oh the things we do for love (Up yours, Elmo).




I get much of my blogging inspiration from life experiences, other moms, or US Weekly. I can thank US Weekly & my obsession with bloated-for-the-1st-time celeb moms for my latest. The hidden secret, or maybe not so hidden secret, in the mommy world, is the debate over having or not having an epidural during labor. As I've discovered in my short 1 year of being a mother, moms can be each others strongest allies or harshest critics, and it pretty much starts from day 1 of conception. "I didn't use drugs" or "Pain free PLEASE!" becomes as hot a topic as Republican or Democrat. Who knew that someone's medical decisions could create such a firestorm of opinion and finger pointing? I don't judge when someone has a tooth pulled with or without novocane, yet I too have jumped on the mommy crazytrain, voicing my many thoughts on why drugs are the right way to go. I'm not Barbara Walters & I don't work for the View, so why I feel my opinion matters is beyond me, but it's topic all moms seem to feel strongly about.

So why the debate over something so insignificant in the grand scheme of things? US Weekly featured a 2 page spread in their latest July issue on the many celebs that went au naturelle.  Lets take Giselle, for instance. She said childbirth was a zen experience, like doing yoga. To that, I say, up yours. I had a baby, with drugs, & it was exciting, and scary, and certainly hurt much like attempting yoga, but I would not say it was zen. Good for you, Giselle, for feeling no pain, but 95% of women would probably compare childbirth to someone pulling out their liver with pliers. You probably also don't eat, we all know you don't smile & you most likely never poop or sweat either. AND since you don't have cellulite, I've decided you're not really human & therefore, I can't take your opinion seriously and neither should the rest of America.

Do you see what anger this whole epidural thing brings out in a person? If you want to feel every ache & pain during labor, good for you. If you want to be drugged up and feel almost nothing, good for you too. In the end,  all Joe and I wanted was a healthy baby (coming out of my end) and that's all other moms should want for each other as well. If you want to dress your baby boy in pink, have at it. If you want to drink wine every day while prego, it's all you. My opinion and anyone else's opinion certainly should not matter cause 1. It's your body & 2. It's your baby. And who knows, maybe you'll go drug free, and it will be as zen for you as it was for Giselle. Either way, all moms are so fortunate in this country to have a choice during labor to do whatever they want, and that's what we should be celebrating.

Moral of my story...it doesn't make you weak to have an epidural, and it doesn't make you crazy to not have one. Either way, we'll all be sitting on ice packs together post-labor anyways, so who really cares. Happy contractions to you all (except you, Giselle & your perfect non-contracting uterus)!




I used to be fun. I realized this at a recent work convention for my highly mom-focused company. As is typical of many sales conferences, the company usually brings in a few random speakers that always cover off on the following topics: 1. selling more, 2. why that speaker has been awesome in their career & you haven't, and 3. why you are crazy & it's holding you back. The "crazy" speaker really hit a nerve & brought out this deep, dark secret of mine, that, surprise! I used to be fun. I shared this finding with the room of 150+ moms. They responded in laughter & then proceeded to try and get me drunk all night. No fun Karyn should have kept her "I can't hold my liquor anymore" mouth shut.

When I say I used to be fun, I mean, I used to be the life of the party, but I was fun because I wanted to be, not because it was expected. I just loved being crazy because in my daily life, I was perfect, an A student, always had my act together, paid my bills on time, totally boring stuff. But when I could let loose, I went nuts, and I really enjoyed it. I was "dance-on-tables" fun. I was "pull-your-shirt-up-over-your-head" fun (yes, mom, I was at least wearing a bra & yes, mom, I did apologize to God for my actions).

Now, I've become "you-dance-on-the-tables-&-I'll-pick-up-the-beer-cans-under-you" fun. I blame this on many things. 1. I officially became an adult (aka: bought a house, had a child, live in the burbs) and 2. Quality beauty sleep sooooo outweighs 15 glasses of wine & staying out until 2:00 in the morning. I also blame this on the fact that I had 4 months straight of morning / afternoon / evening sickness when I was pregnant, so I'd rather jump in a pile of poop than be hungover.

Please don't think that my fun only came cause I was a lush. When sober, I was way more carefree, didn't stress out if groceries needed to be bought or there was laundry to fold. I bought myself nice things, I took the time to relax, and worried so much less, hence, the lack of gray hair some 3 years ago. Why can't I, as Julia Roberts so eloquently put it, "Fly by the seat of my pants, ya know, moment to moment" (I can quote Pretty Woman / a prostitute but can't remember what I did yesterday. I may need to rethink things)? Ohhhhhhhhhhh, that's right, I pushed a baby out of my vagina, gained fat in places I didn't know existed, & now, all of the energy I used to put towards being fun goes towards feeding, loving & diapering this amazing new person in my life. It's all starting to make sense.

I guess I need to realize that fun comes in many shapes and sizes. My new fun might not be a 3 hour bike ride around Manhattan or a day at a Yankee's game, but it doesn't mean I can't have fun rolling outside in the grass with Isabel, singing "I'm a Little Teapot" as she's eating dinner or chasing her around the house till her giggles turn into hiccups. And ya know what, she thinks I'm lots of fun, so that has to count for something! I do need to take more time to smell the roses instead of the poppy diapers, but what mom doesn't. There's always going to be a push & shove between the old "fun" me and the "new" fun me and hopefully, one day, those worlds will collide once more. I only have 17 more years to really have fun with my daughter, so I better enjoy it while it lasts (and I can always look back at the pics of when I danced on tables, right?). 

The old, fun me (Yes, I am a Candy Cane and yes, that is a piece of bacon drinking a beer in the background)!

The new, fun me!




Why moms gain weight once their child starts eating table food...let me count the ways:

1. Baby puts a graham cracker in their mouth, a soggy / mushy piece falls out & onto the floor. Mom picks up soggy / mushy cracker, but do we throw it away? No. We proceed to eat it without a second thought.
2. You decide to introduce a food to your baby that you haven't had since you were 2 years old, for example, fish sticks. Fish sticks...gross, right? Um, no. They are possibly the best tasting thing that I've had in the last 15 years. Amazing & now I just might need to feed them to Isabel (aka ME) weekly.
3. If she still can't gum the crust of the grilled cheese, who else is gonna eat it?
4. Didn't finish her 100% full-fat yogurt? Don't mind if I do.
5. 1 Cheerio for you, 9,452 for me. And repeat.
6. No napkin around to wipe up every drop of food that I've caught falling from her mouth? Guess I'll just need to lick it clean.
7. Baby loves the Happy Baby & Plum Organics bagged pureed fruits, but mommy might possibly love them more. It's fruit...how bad can it be?
8. Avocados low fat, right?
9. I'm trying to lead by example. If I eat, she'll eat it & besides, people are starving in Africa (and Westwood, NJ).
10. There's just no way she'll finish a whole slice of cheese on her own.

As per the above, lets just say I'm in a whole lot of trouble once this kid sprouts a few teeth & falls in love with french fries & chicken fingers. Good-bye wasteline, hello spanx & Jenny Craig.

Isabel is probably thinking "Mom, OMG! Stop eating my food, fatty-pants!"




Today I officially became "that person." Isabel & I flew from Maine to NYC, my 1st time flying without Joe by my side to haul around our 27 bags, keep Isabel entertained long enough for me to read People, and to be my moral support with every bump of turbulence we hit. This was a big day for me & yes, it 100% made the baby book, along with a very cute pair of Jetblue wings (for Isabel, not me).

The  minute I entered the airport, I was everything I hated about parents pre-Isabel. I was "that poor girl" who was all by herself with her baby, pitied & at the same time disliked by every person in the Portland Jetport (apparently, we Mainers don't fly airplanes, we fly jets, hence "Jetport"). I was "that bad mother" who gave her child whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted it, in hopes she didn't make one sound from take-off to landing. I was "that person" who pre-boarded yet still blocked the plane door as I unloaded 15 bags & a baby from an over-priced stroller that wouldn't fold without me having to LIE Isabel on the jetway floor to get the damn thing shut (PS...I also asked the luggage dude to make sure he kept it clean. He was very impressed and most definitely dragged it through jet fuel ).

I quickly escalated to "that bitch" when I spent 20+ minutes hogging the airplane bathroom after Isabel peed through her outfit (and mine) & needed a change mid-air / mid-turbulence. I was "that weirdo" by snapping pics with my illegally turned on electronic device (rules don't scare a die-hard blogger). And lastly, I was "that mom" who dumped mass amounts of Cheerios on the floor, expected everyone to think my baby was SOOOOO cute as Isabel played peek-a-boo with the last 20 rows of the plane & took up 14 seats with her toys, food, diapers and additional baby entertaining supplies. And ya know what, I couldn't have cared less, jerky Jetbluer's who were just bitter cause my baby didn't make a peep & you didn't get any good snacks. First baby & me flight down, many more to go. Look out Jetport, here we come!

Mom gets crazy drugs & I get a banana for my nerves. Yippee.
Safety 1st.
Pee stains, compliments of Isabel.
If she doesn't get an infection after this little moment of fun, than she's pretty much immune to everything.
Helping us find our way back to our seat.

What she really thinks of flying.
Nothing like a sexy & loving daddy to meet ya at the gate (and carry some of my bags too!)


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