Pooping Should Be Easy

Yes. This post is about poop. All about some poop. If you need to leave, I understand.

My three year old is currently writhing on my lap whimpering the phrase “I don’t feel good” over and over. We’re going on-I don’t know-week 5? of poop issues and I’m starting to lose it (starting? Let’s be real. I’m waist-deep into the sea of Losing It.).

We hit potty training real hard about two months ago and he’s been a champ. No pee accidents and no intentional average size and consistency turd-droppage since week one. That’s awesome. What is not awesome is the physical and psychological battle that’s waged every time little man needs to take the Browns to the Super Bowl. We’ve been on a constant rollercoaster of average bm’s, constipation, constarrhea and straight-up-good-old-fashioned-down-the-legs diarrhea. I’m at my wit’s and cleaning supplies’ end.

Get it, James.

Get it, James.

Granted, EVERYTHING is a battle at three years old. I’m not sure why I feel entitled to hassel-free toddler pooping but I DO. I feel like I fought to get him dressed, I waged war against the battery powered toys that just HAD to come into the bathtub, I battled through three entire and entirely miniscule bites of dinner. I don’t know how you feel about it but I feel pretty confident that I earned some stress-free poops in there somewhere.

And here’s a fun story. I started this post yesterday but was forced to stop to attend to some motherly duties. Please, just for fun, take a guess as to what those duties (0r, should I say doodies) were. Just a quick guess…

POOP.

Yep. Mid poop-blogging, I had to stop to help my anxious toddler poop. Naturally. It was beyond traumatic. He had a rough time, too. ;) I basically had to put all my big-mama’s-house weight down on him to keep him from flinging his little body off the toilet and running through the house leaving a turd trail in his wake. Meanwhile, he’s weeping and screaming and I’m sweating and trying not to cry. He did eventually move those stubborn bowels and then wept with a smile on his face repeating, “You’re so proud of me!” over and over. Thankfully, the smell of the constinuggets was so pungent that it distracted me from what I really wanted to do which was weep like a constipated toddler on the bathroom floor.

It's not easy being Dubya.

It’s not easy being Dubya.

Since that evacuation, we’ve had 2 more successful rounds of dropping the kids off at the pool and far less “My body hurts!” whimpering. Thank the fiber-eating Lord because I need a few days to recover.

And please, for my sanity and his bowels, please share you favorite colon cleansing remedies. Everyone in this house will be eternally grateful.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.

 

 

 

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Weecycled Winner!

Berit A is our winner! If by same crazy coincidence your name happens to also be Berit A and you have not received an email from me, you are not the Berit A I’m looking for (but you should totally hook up with the other Berit A because how many Berit’s are running around out there?!).

Thanks to all the Weecycled folks who liked The Mom in Black on Facebook and TMIB people that liked jumped over to give Weecycled  a like. We all appreciate it!

Will Kill for Good Deals (Locals: Weecycled Wardrobe Giveaway!)

A friend recently asked me if I would be open to receiving some of her used baby girl clothes. Thankfully, she asked me via social media so she couldn’t see just how overly giddy I was over the mere mention of free clothes. I casually answered, “Well, I’ll consider it if the items are in good condition/not hideous.”

Psych.

I went all caps-lock on her and was like, “HECK YES, I’M OPEN!!”

I will take all. of. them.

I will take all. of. them.

The truth is, I love deals and steals. Love them. I love new clothes, I love new shoes, I love accessories and makeup and hair things and shopping in general. But, when you combine the added thrill of getting a good deal into the shopping experience, I go a little nuts-o. I actually find joy in a midnight Black Friday excursion. TO WALMART EVEN. I’m a deal hound. I realize this and I’ve come to terms with it.

With the advent of Baby Girl in Black, we have some clothes shopping to do. I could be super cheap and just make her wear her brothers’ hand-me-downs that say, “I dig dirt” (because she could and probably will) or “Boys are awesome” (because she’ll probably agree with that statement at some point in her life). Plus, she most likely won’t even know she’s wearing clothes until she’s at least two or three years old. The problem lies in the facts that I very much care, I have a deep internal need to buy things and my pulse is only steadied by buccaneering deals as I buy these things.

Fortunately for crazy people like me, there is a local event that comes around a few times a year called Weecycled Wardrobe (sane people are welcome, too). It’s a giant consignment sale and they have EVERYTHING. Seriously. An abundance of clothes, shoes, strollers, toys, baby carriers, breast pumps, cribs, swings, activity mats and any other baby and young child related thing your deal-loving mind can manufacture. Praise the money-saving Lord (I mean, I feel like he’d be thrifty at least).

To quote Ariel, "Look at this stuff! Isn't it neat?!"

To quote Ariel, “Look at this stuff! Isn’t it neat?!”

Here’s their blurb for the May event:

flyer_stafford_2014 (1)

“WEEduse, WEEuse, WEEcycle! Come shop from over 25,000 spring & summer items at Weecycled Wardrobe Kid’s Consignment Sale, May 3-6, in Stafford, VA. Our prices are 60-80% off retail! Cute clothing sizes infant to teen, books, games, shoes, infant-toddler-girls and boys toys, strollers, high chairs and lots more baby gear and kid’s items available for 4 days only! 400 sellers selling 25,000 items. There’s still time to consign! Shop early as a consignor. Shop even earlier as a volunteer, because we all know, first in – best dressed. Visit our website at WeecycledWardrobe.com and we’ll help you Keep Down the Cost of Growing UP!”

And, for the upcoming event in Northern VA, these discount angels have asked me to host a giveaway! If you’d like to snag yourself some WeeWard money ($50 to be exact), you’d better hitch your wagon to the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, if you’re lucky, you’ll see me there.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.

We’re All Gonna Die (Over Dramatic Rant + Bonus Baby Announcement!)

I’ve been gone for a hundred years. I just haven’t felt like writing. Hormones, emotions, avoiding the house like the plague, reasons, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. I’m here now so let’s do this.

I recently (and by “recently”, I mean sometime in the last month or two. I don’t know. I live in a time warp.) read an article about the danger of swaddling babies. According to the (stupid, stupid) article, you can: break baby’s arms by swaddling at the wrong angle, dress baby too warm and swaddle creating a sauna-like effect that kills baby instantly, wrap baby too tight and restrict breathing or wrap baby too loose and the wrap will come then become a blanket of death or, if using a swaddle suit, baby’s head can get stuck in the arm hole and baby can suffocate and die. My favorite: if baby is swaddled AND placed on it’s belly, baby will die.

WHAT.

No, really. WHAT?!?!

Baby’s head can get stuck in the arm hole? Really?! Have you seen a baby’s head? And have you seen the sleeve of a baby outfit? That would require a type of voodoo baby magic no baby has ever harnessed. And the swaddling on the belly? No, seriously. Do you live in a closet in a deep cave in a remote mountain range on another planet? Have you never heard of “Back to Sleep” or “Back is Best” or read a swaddle blanket or wrap/outfit label? Do you know how to read? Are you a baby yourself?

Some bonehead nurse wrote this “article”. I’m not even going to link it because I don’t want to defile any more eyes with her nonsensical writing and warnings. This piece of written trash was the last straw for me in a series of absurd recalls and warnings and promises of infant and child death.

Have you seen this recall?

“Monkey-Shaped Teethers Sold at Target Recalled for Choking Hazard” -NBC 4 Los Angeles

recalled+teether

Apparently, the monkey’s tail is a choking hazard. When I saw this recall, I thought, “Hmm. That looks like a ridiculous and fear-mongering type of recall that I want to write about and make fun of but let me ask some questions first.” So, I asked a few questions on a mommy board that had posted the recall. I asked, “Does the tail detach somehow?”

“No.”

“Okay. So, what’s the hazard?”

“Well, babies can gag themselves if they get the tail too far into their mouths.”

*crickets*

ARE YOU JOKING?! Yep! Throw the monkey out! Baby might gag! And, while we’re gag-proofing, let’s do something about these fingers babies keep gagging on! “Sorry, baby. Your baby fingers are a GAGGING HAZARD so we’re going to have to cut them off. Can’t let our little snowflake gag! Oh, and, nursing mother, your nips are too pointy. Baby could gag. Time for a file down!” SHOOT ME.

There’s also the Graco carseat recall.

graco

Shockingly, if your toddler gets juice, ice cream, gummy bears, poop or some other substance into the buckle, it can jam making it difficult to unbuckle them. And somehow, that’s Graco’s fault and by some magic, a new buckle will solve your toddler’s crap-dropping problem. Does this new buckle replacement piece come with a force field that repels all food and drink and bodily fluids from the piece? Or maybe it’s equipped with a special feature that makes children stop whining for snacks on long trips and parents less desperate to shove a juice cup in their two-year-old’s general direction? Not likely. So, go away.

If we’re all shouting asinine safety warnings from the rooftops, here are mine:

1) The sun can give your children cancer but sunscreen will also give them cancer so never go outside.

2) A meteor or satellite or drone or UFO or large tree branch or heavy bird may fall on your house and kill everyone instantly so never stay inside for longer than absolutely necessary.

3) Your baby will die if they don’t get enough sleep but they’re 1 million times more likely to die in their sleep from 1 million different things so…um…figure that one out on your own.

4) Be sure to rear face your baby for eternity because their heads will snap right off in an accident.

5) While rear facing, make sure you can see your baby at all times and NEVER let them fall asleep because the angle could cause restricted breathing and they’ll die before you know it.

6) Sickness is everywhere. Invest in a bubble.

Look, according to these redonkulous statistics, recalls, reports and “true stories”, every child is just plastic monkey’s tail away from death at all times. Here are your options. Either, take a Xanax and do your best to be safe but reasonable or live in a legitimate underground bunker. Either way, being a parent is going to make you straight crazy. Enjoy.

And for the announcement, I will let Bear do the talking…

itsagirl

Baby Black number three is a little lady! We don’t have a name yet, but you’ll know her as The Princess. The Princess is due July 31st which means August. It also means I’ll be fat, sweaty and swollen for 95% of the summer. Can’t wait.

I'm sure I'm on page 897 so please vote. Or don't. Whatever.

I’m sure I’m on page 897 so please vote. Or don’t. Whatever.

Teeth Whitening Olympics 2014 (Review, Giveaway, New Throwing-Slippers-at-Your-Kids Game)

The fine folks at Smile Brilliant sent me this kit of teeth whitening deliciousness to review and host a giveaway (they must have gotten wind of my coffee, tea and soda bingeing).

white2           white1

I’m sure they were hoping for a sweet paragraph something along the lines of

“From the moment the whitening paste touched my teeth, I have been living in a state of pearly white bliss. The LED light transformed my haggard yellow homeless man teeth into a toothpaste commercial and I am eternally grateful. My life has changed and I will never be the same.”

Wouldn’t that be nice.

While my testimony isn’t the exact opposite of this fairy tale, it is a little more colorful. Here’s reality:

“For the love of all that is sane in this life, DO NOT use this product while your children are conscious. If that simply cannot be avoided, ONLY commence the whitening process once you have gone into a long, detailed and painfully descriptive account of what’s about to happen. Otherwise, you will spend AT LEAST 20 minutes grunting ‘SHUT UP!’ as your children beg for you to take ‘that monster flashlight’ out of your mouth. Also, certainly do not use in front of anyone you want to impress or really just other humans in general because you will be drooling like a teething toddler. Other than that, two thumbs up!”

But, seriously. The whitening product is great. It’s my kids that are a little too awesome while I’m making use of the product that’s the problem. I failed to explain what I was doing and they failed to silence themselves for a solid 2o minutes. “Mom! What are you doing? MOM! Answer me! MOM!! YOU’RE A MONSTER!!”

Since I was covered in whitening paste, biting a mouthguard and shining an LED light into my mouth, I couldn’t really say much. Instead, we played a rousing game of kick-your-slippers-gently-down-the-hall-toward-your-child’s-face. They could not have been happier dodging my pink cheetah print slippers and I could not have been happier not hearing “Mom, why are you a monster?” every five seconds (apparently, shining a blue light onto your teeth is very monster-like).

It's kind of monstery.

It’s kind of monstery.

And now it’s your turn to drool and throw slippers at your kids! Sign up to win! The winner will be announced in one week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS: Monkey just saw this picture and said, “I was scared of that blue thing in your mouth. Then, you threw slippers at me and it was funny.” This is real life, y’all.

We're doing it! I'm back on page 1!

We’re doing it! I’m back on page 1!

Give Valentine’s Day a Chance!

Hey, guys. What’s going on, here? I’m seeing a whole lot of V-Day hate out in the Interwebz (“Interwebz” just reminded me that my phone now recognizes “fugz” as a word. I love myself.) and I just don’t understand. I mean, you’re mad because you feel like you don’t have “that special someone” (whatever that even means) or maybe your special someone just sucks at being romantic. I don’t know. Perhaps it’s that you have some kind of weird bitterness toward Hallmark and/or Russell Stover as business entities and refuse to aid in their success. Or maybe the last Nicholas Sparks movie you watched gave you the voms for days and you associate romantic love with excessive vomiting (ps: was it The Last Song? Because it had to be The Last Song. Lord KNOWS it wasn’t The Notebook. If you don’t love The Notebook, you have cigarette ashes and dog poop for a heart.). But, like I said, I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know, though. I know that just like Christmas and Cinco de Mayo, Valentine’s Day has feelings and you are hurting them. I’m here to help you help V-Day have a better year. Here are some steps you can take to learn to love Valentine’s Day:

1) I’m dead serious. Go to a grocery store or drugstore around 5pm on Valentine’s Day. All of the remaining boxes of chocolate will be on sale. Buy that shizz up like it’ll be used as currency in the next year. Then, binge on an array of chocolatey delights. Emotional eating: check! I do this and my husband has already given me a giant box of chocolates. Last year, he bought me two. Chocolate covers a multitude of sins. Especially when the chocolate is filled with nuts and caramel. Not fruit, though. That stuff is Yucktown, USA.

My dream. Minus the roses. Plus more chocolate. (thewalkmagazine.com)

My dream. Minus the roses. Plus more chocolate.
(thewalkmagazine.com)

2) Order pizza. If you have nothing and no one, order pizza, breadsticks and mozzarella sticks if available. You might want to throw in a two-liter, too. Eat it in your pajamas while watching a funny movie. Might I suggest Mean Girls? I might.

3) While you’re out fulfilling task number one, look into your store’s bulk wine selection. Buy as much as you can afford/carry and drink as much as you can keep down. In the comfort of your home and pizza stained pajamas, of course.

You can carry all of that, right? (theboundary.co.uk)

You can carry all of that, right?
(theboundary.co.uk)

4) But, seriously, folks. Make Valentine’s Day about someone other than someone you don’t have. If there are any children in your life (neighbors, students, nieces/nephews), make them something. One year, I bought up these little pink mailboxes fro the dollar section of Target, baked some heart shaped brownies and stuffed them in the mailboxes with a Valentine card for my students. They loved it and I loved doing it. It’s fun doing stuff for kids because they get excited about dirt. Seriously. I spent a grand total of $4 on my sons for Valentine’s Day tomorrow and they act as if I have granted them access into Mickey Mouse’s actual clubhouse.

5) If you have expectations of someone, either make them known or lower them. This is me with every holiday, “Just so you know, *insert holiday here* is *number ranging between 50 and 1* days away and I’m expecting *insert gift/sentiment/activity here*.” You don’t even want to know about my birthday. Let’s just say, I have a reputation of loving my birthday. My grandma calls me on my birthday and says, “I forgot it was your birthday until the marching band you hired came parading down my street. Oh! Yep! And there’s the plane flying overhead with the ‘Happy Birthday, Stephanie’ banner trailing behind!” If you are serious about your holiday wishes, tell someone that can make them happen. If not, hush your sweet face when they don’t happen. Yes. We want people to be spontaneous party planners and automatic awesome gift-giving machines but a lot of people (especially men) are not. Mr. Black (my husband) is actually great with holidays and birthdays even without being told but has definitely botched a few here and there.

6) Quit crying about how much you hate Valentine’s Day on Facebook. Joke about your pizza and boxed wine. Laugh about all the chocolate you bought yourself. Post a picture of you and “your date” (aka the pizza man). But, for St. Valentine’s sake, stop talking about how much you hate Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day has done nothing to you. If you want to direct your hate in a more deserving direction, laser beam it straight at The Last Song. That is the worst movie in the history of movies (and then, go watch The Notebook).

We're doing it! I'm back on page 1!

We’re doing it! I’m back on page 1!

“5 Things That Will Instantly Mortally Wound Your Child On The Inside”

There are a few things I’m sure of, here. I’m sure people have good intentions when they write these kinds of articles/blog posts. I’m sure you’ve seen your Attachment Parenting friends share a post titled something along the lines of “5 Things You Should Never Say to Your Child or You’ll Damage Their Psyche Forever”. Or maybe your Buck-Up-And-Shut-Up Parenting friends shared something that sounds a little like “5 Ways You’ve Made Your Child a Big Fat Mama’s Boy Forever and Now, No Woman Will Ever Marry Him”.

I’m also sure that these posts are awful, terrible and altogether the worst.

Here’s me reading those “don’t ever say these 5 things” kinds of posts…

After reading #1: “Oops”

#2: “Crap.”

#3: “Again?!”

#4: “AM I AMERICA’S WORST MOTHER?!”

#5: “Hello? Yes. I’m just calling to find out what you charge for hourly child counseling.”

And then me reading the “5 ways you’ve turned your kids into babies forever” posts…

#1: “Yep.”

#2: “Awesome.”

#3: “Did that one, too.”

#4: “I’ve said that at least 10 times since breakfast.”

#5: “Cool. Now, where did I put that counselor’s phone number?”

Like I said, I’m sure people have the best intentions when they write and/or share these types of “helpful” bits of information. It’s a similar sentiment found in the 8,000 different and contradicting parenting method books out there.

“Put your baby in his own bed immediately. Cosleeping will result in death.”

“Cosleep for eternity. They’ll be ruined without you.”

“Let them potty train only when they show these signs.”

“Just dangle them over the toilet from birth. Diapers are torture.”

“Children need 3 cups of milk a day.”

“Milk will kill your child.”

See what I mean? Despite common rantings, there’s more than one good way to raise a child. If I were to write a parenting book or article, this and this alone would be found inside:

“Love your children. Watch your mouth. Have self-control. Forgive yourself and forgive them. Be cautious but not afraid.

And stop reading stupid crap. The End.”

hilarioustmb