Fear and Loathing in the Swimsuit Aisle

It’s time.  I have to buy a new bathing suit.  This isn’t an endeavor I approach lightly nor with little planning.  How do I put it?  I HATE bathing suit shopping.  The main reason?  I hate bathing suits.  I don’t know whose idea they were, but they are really a modern day form of torture.  But, warmer weather is fast approaching, and the day when the girls ask to get back in the pool is just around the corner.  I’ve lost some weight, and my already slightly stretched out suits are not going to cut it for another season.

I went through the ads on Sunday, and saw that Target has every swimsuit on sale this week.  If I have to buy one, at least it can be cheap, right? Armed with the knowledge of a potential bargain, I headed to Target yesterday.

Enter Exhibit A.


OMG, this is what I have to work with?  Is that a bouquet of flowers pinned to a bra?  Seriously?  OK, so, yes, suits like this one left me feeling very, very old.  I mean, do people actually wear suits like this?  There were a myriad of similar little tops, covered with animal print and sequins and ruffles.  After scouring all the choices, I found four somewhat age appropriate tankinis.  They all covered my midsection (an absolute requirement!), so I figured I had a fighting chance of finding a winner.  I was confident enough that I was willing to overlook the fact that my back would have been almost completely exposed in all of them.  Then, I put the first one on.  It was made for a boob-less toothpick!  There was no way I would parade around in that at home, let alone in public.

My dear friend Apple hit the nail on the head when she said that no single item of clothing can make you hate yourself the way the female swimsuit does.  There is no room for hiding any flaws, and they cause you to flaunt parts of your body that normally are not exposed to daylight.  And, post-childbirth, they are even scarier than before, because there are a lot more spots to hide!

Unfortunately, my quest isn’t over.  I left without a suit.  I still need one, so there is more fear and loathing in my future.


I just returned from a weekend away, just the two of us, to find out that my youngest son, almost 6-month-old Puppet, had a trip to the ER. He is fine, but I’m still irked that the caretakers, my mother and my mother-in-law, did not call us. There is guilt laden all over this. My husband and I feel guilty because we got snowed in and couldn’t return home until a day later than expected. If we had been home as planned, none of this would have happened. The grandmas feel guilty as it happened under their care. I co-sleep with my son, so during our absence my mother-in-law had been taking my place in bed with Puppet. The afternoon of the incident, she had tried in vain to put Puppet down for a nap in the playpen or Scooby’s crib, but he just wasn’t having it. He fell asleep straight away once she put him down in our bed. We have a guardrail on his side of the bed, so she placed a bunch of memory foam pillows along the opposite side without a guardrail. The grandmas apparently forgot we had a video baby monitor, even though the cam was on the nightstand and the monitor on the bar in the kitchen. The grandmas said they were checking in on him from time to time, but low and behold they were startled by screams from the bedroom and Puppet was on the floor.

They said he had a red mark on his forehead about the size of a nickel. He screamed very loud but did eventually stop. They were very panicked, but they did NOT call us. They didn’t want to worry us as we couldn’t get off the mountain then anyway. They feared we would try and possibly kill ourselves in the process.  Now, this really bothers me. He is my child and my husband and I should be making the decisions for our children. We were not incapacitated nor out of reach by phone or even email. They seemed to call everybody else but us his parents. My mother even called the hospital she works for to talk to the ER doctor who was over 90 miles away. They spoke to the on-call nurse for Puppet’s pediatrician and everyone directed them to the local emergency room. My sister was called and my father was called who met my mother-in-law at the ER, while my mother stayed home with Scooby.

The ER doctor examined him and found that Puppet was okay. My father asked for a CT scan and the doctor said that was too much radiation for a baby with no obvious sign of major trauma. The doctor explained that babies are like bouncy balls. My father insisted on an x-ray of his head which they did which came back normal. I’m annoyed that my father was calling the shots when we didn’t even leave him in his care. When Scooby had a bad face plant onto concrete which resulted in a big bump in between his eyes and a nosebleed, we rushed him to urgent care. That doctor concluded that he was fine with no broken bones and that an x-ray was unnecessary. Puppet landed on carpet and had no bump at all. Granted, it was a higher fall than Scooby’s. If we were at least on the phone during the exam, we would not have pushed for an x-ray and would have been happy to hear that he had no other symptoms and wasn’t crying anymore.

We did leave our children in capable hands and they did do what they thought was best for our children. While away, we did have peace of mind knowing that, but we also left explicit instructions that in an emergency such as this we were to be called. I just don’t appreciate being left in the dark because of good intentions. Not wanting to worry us is not a good enough excuse. There was not much we could have done from there, but I would have liked to have called the shots in regards to his care. I’m not happy that he was x-rayed when the doctor didn’t originally order one. I feel bypassed and excluded from the decision making process and even a little disrespected. I feel like our parents felt they knew better and they could handle it on their own. What were they waiting for? What if the news was bad? Were they going to call us when he was dead, when there would be nothing we could do?

The more I think about it, the more annoyed and angry I become. We even have a child protection plan in place and that was completely out the window. What is really blowing my mind right now is why the ER doctor or a hospital representative didn’t contact us by phone. The hospital wanted to know all kinds of information about us that the grandparents just did not have the answers to, but they definitely could have provided them with our phone numbers. We were still available by phone, just not present.

I am thankful that Puppet is healthy and safe, but this is all after the fact. What are your thoughts?

I Need a Confessional, a 12-Step Program, and Some Sleep!

My name is The Legal Eagle, and my 21-month old still doesn’t sleep through the night. I get such a weird reaction from people when I make that confession that I feel like I need to find a 12-step program somewhere.  Granted, most sleep training programs have about 12 steps, and I suppose that’s why I haven’t stuck with any of them!

Honestly, in her almost 2 years, The Bugster has slept through the night less than 5 times.  She sleeps in her own bed up to a point, and then she wakes up, screaming inconsolably.  We have to pick her up to get her stop, and if we value our lives, we can’t even think about laying her back down in her own bed.  So, we carry her to our bed – where she falls asleep the second her head hits our mattress.

The other day, a wise mommy said to me, “Is it really that big of a problem that she sleeps part of the night with you?”  No, I suppose it isn’t a big deal.  I mean, she won’t be little much longer, and, before I know it, I won’t even get unsolicited hugs.  I know I should try to appreciate that she’s so comfortable with us and that she loves sleeping right next to us.  But, I haven’t had six straight hours of sleep more than a handful of times in over 2 years.  (Come on, mommies – you remember what 3rd trimester pregnancy sleep is like.  Right?)  That really does something to a person.  I swear I am always tired, and it makes me rather moody.  And, when she is sleeping with us, she doesn’t usually wake up – but we wake up with her head in our ribs or a foot in our face.  Talk about bad sleep!

I’m not really looking for help.  I’ve heard it all.  I would love it, though, if this rant resonates with any of you.  Basically, I want to know I’m not alone.  Anyone?

I Want My Dang TV!

I like TV. Quite a bit. But, if you had asked me a month ago if I could completely give TV up for several weeks, I would have stated unequivocally that, yes, I could live without it. Then, on Election Day, my beautiful, beloved, magnificent 42-inch plasma TV died. This TV was 2 years and 6 days old, and it would not turn on. And, yes, we are a one TV house. (If you read the Scrivener’s post about her recent power steering problems, you’re going to think we all are having major issues with our stuff right now.) 

To jump ahead for a second, as I type this, I am currently watching Conan on a borrowed 13-inch TV/VCR combo. 

Yes, that means my TV is still broken. The warranty is expired, but the company has offered to pay for our parts. There is still a huge labor cost we have to pay, but at least they are willing to help us. Or, so we thought. We have spent what feels like hours on the phone with their customer service representatives, and we just cannot get the same answer twice. There is some fax they have to send to the authorized repair shop to actually authorize the repair. They told us this simple fax will take 2 business days to be sent. They also told us that when they receive faxes, it takes 2 business days to log their receipt in to the system. I’m sorry, but are there that many of their televisions out there that have turned to complete crap and won’t work that it takes 2 days to get through the fax queue?

It turns out that our power board is fried, but there is no guarantee that this is the only part that is bad. They can’t troubleshoot the other circuit boards in our TV until the power board is functional. They are telling us that the earliest the power board will be in is tomorrow, although, realistically, we’re looking at closer to Thanksgiving – unless the part is on backorder. If it’s on backorder, it could be weeks. Then, once that part comes in and gets replaced, we’ll see if the TV is operational. If not, we have to wait some more.

Not having a working TV has turned me in to an absolute grouch. I suppose that has something to do with the fact that I missed two weeks of Glee and the premiere of Conan. I do have a laptop with DVD capabilities, and I have a fast enough internet connection that I can watch TV shows on Hulu. But, it’s just not the same. 

We have contemplated buying another TV, but there’s a reason we are a one TV house.  We had a TV in our bedroom for a while and never used it.  And, our girls are way too young to have a TV in their room.  All of this means we’d have a spare TV literally sitting in a box somewhere growing technologically obsolete. We are grateful that a friend loaned us a TV over the weekend (Yay for friends who own multiple TVs!), and we are just going to hope that our dear TV manufacturer decides to get their act together and fix our plasma before we usher in 2011. Please?

More Committed? or Apathetic?

I’ve been hearing reports about how over-committed everyone is these days, with meetings and sports teams and church groups and on and on.  Personally, I have been observing a change in this trend, and I was wondering what you, our readers, think about it.

I am in a moms group that has activities scheduled 4-5 times a week.  The group asks members to make it to one event a month.  However, lately, everyone is opting to stay home and spend quality time with their families or one-on-one time with their kiddos, either in a mommy and me class or some special outing.

I know that now that I have one child in preschool, I certainly have more meetings in my life.  And, since I belong to an HOA, I have those meetings.  But, when it comes to our social calendar, it’s filled with family outings.  Yes, we do have the occasional birthday party, but we usually fill our weekends with outings: the zoo or aquarium, Chuck E. Cheese, the park.  And, yes, we plan trips to the park.  If we saw we should go to the park over the weekend, it might happen.  But, if we plan on going Saturday before dinner, it will happen. 

The other trend I have been observing is that people are willing to either commit to 100% or nothing.  I don’t know what to make of that.  I think it’s perfectly fine to take your son to storytime once in a while.  But, I have friends that set aside every Wednesday afternoon for storytime, and it’s non-negotiable.  Now, some of that could be the commitment to quality family time I mentioned above, but I also wonder if some that is a leaning towards inflexibility.  I love my local library’s storytime.  But, if I have the chance to take my kids to have lunch with Daddy or on some sort of social outing with their playmates, I am willing to skip storytime that week.  My kids don’t complain, the librarian has no shortage of people to listen to her, and I feel my children are getting more fully enriched.  I know people that won’t go to one storytime if they can’t go every week.  What’s wrong with exposing your kid to new experiences?  (And, yes, “storytime” is a euphemism for a lot of other things in life.)

I am having trouble even juggling these observations and trying to make sense of them.  In one sense, I think people are becoming more family-focused, and I personally think that’s wonderful.  But, in the other sense, I think we are becoming a bunch of apathetic losers.

Wow.  I guess somebody really ticked me off today!  I would love to read your thoughts.  Do share.

WANTED: Patience

As I prepared to sit down and write today’s post, I couldn’t think of a topic because someone was screaming about something, and I was getting mad. All I could think about was how hard it is to find a few minutes of peace when the girls are awake. Then, it hit me this was the topic for my blog post: patience. I am trying to teach my children how important it is to have some, but lately I find myself almost entirely without it. I have been applying for part-time jobs, and I check email incessantly throughout the day, hoping for a response. Any restaurant with a wait of more than 15 minutes is crossed off my list.Tantrums during diaper changes used to be brushed off as part of raising a toddler; lately, they are leaving me frustrated and upset. I need to find some patience. Parents need patience more than most people, I think. And, I don’t really have any right now.  

Our kids are learning tons of new stuff every day. So much that we take for granted what is new and exciting for them. And, if your kids are like The Big Cheese, they want to talk about each new discovery over and over and over again. This is all part of the learning process for them, and I know that. Some days, though, it is a lot harder to remember than others. Like the days when Bugster decides to add to the mix. She just turned 18 months, and this is what I call “The Magical Age.” It is when tantrums and willfully disobeying begin in full force, in my experience. Not to disappoint, the Bugster has been acting her age lately. But, that’s what I am working hard to remember: she is 18 months old. That’s it. There are so many things she doesn’t know, and, what she is learning, she is learning so quickly, it is hard to process. So, in my attempts to find patience, I am trying to sit back, take a deep breath, and remind myself that my kids are wonderful, wonderful kids. And I am lucky to be their mom.  Now, if only I could actually find that patience . . .

Close Encounter of the Rude Kind

I went out with my family the other night to dinner.  We just went to Ruby’s, a family-friendly diner with very standard diner fare.  I picked it because of its location at the end of the Seal Beach pier.  Oceanfront dining for cheap really can’t be beat!  And, I really like the variety of lighter, healthier fare on their menu for being a diner.  And, it’s a great place to take the kids.  Anyhow, soon after we ordered, a group of 6 was seated next to us.  And one of them (I shall call her Mouthy), sat down right next to me.  I was sitting on a long booth, so we were literally cheek to cheek.

Of  course, I dislike Mouthy from the instant she sits.  I mean, really – is personal space THAT hard to understand!  She and her partner are pretty loud and overall annoying, but I can overlook that.  Then, our food comes.  Bugster was jumping up and down in her high chair with excitement when her meal of macaroni and cheese with apple slices arrived.  Once it cooled, she dug in to the mac and cheese.  (I want to pause here and remind you that Bugster is 17 months old.)  She dug in with her hands, and, as to be expected, was making a huge mess of her face.  But she was quiet, calm, and completely engrossed by her meal.  Likewise, The Big Cheese was on her absolute best behavior.

Then, in my left ear, I hear Mouthy.  “Oh, gross.  That’s so disgusting.  I can’t even look.”  I look over, and she is staring at Bugster.  She continues to make comments to her partner about how nasty Bugster’s face looks and the crime her parents are committing for letting her eat with her hands.  She literally goes on for several minutes.  The more she talks, the madder I am getting.  Dear Hubby doesn’t know why I’m fuming (he thinks I’m REALLY overreacting to the personal space thing), so I very softly clue him in.  Now he’s fuming, and all the while, sweet Bugster is enjoying every bite of her meal.

I run through all the things I can do or say to Mouthy.  I contemplate saying something immediately, but I was still trying to eat my meal.  I also think about “accidentally spilling” my sticky Cherry Coke on her lap. But, I was trying to balance standing up for my daughter without embarrassing Dear Hubby or setting a bad example for my kids.

While my wheels are turning, Mouthy leans over to get an even better look at Bugster, puts her hand over her mouth in disgust, and starts right back in on her tirade.  She even says,”I wish I had my camera.”  “Hello?,” I’m thinking, “I’m right next to you.  You aren’t quiet.  Do you get that I can hear you?  Do you really think I’d let you photograph my kid?”  Still, I take the high road for a minute and stay quiet.  I ask Dear Hubby to gather up the girls, and I address Mouthy on my way to the door.  “I can’t believe the awful things you were saying my daughter.  You are the rudest person I have ever met.  Did you think we couldn’t hear what you were saying?”  And then, I walked away.  Mouthy began to sputter that she hadn’t said anything, and her partner chimed in with something I didn’t hear.  All the while, I just kept walking.  I stood up for Bugster, and I did it without embarrassing myself.

I seriously want to know if she thought I couldn’t hear her every word.  If you’re going to be a nasty, rude gossip, shouldn’t you know that you are being loud?  Thanks for letting me vent!  Now, I can forget about Mouthy and move on with my life.