Friday, August 31, 2012

Ann Romney's RNC address. Sort of.

You know those movies, where people somehow magically switch bodies, and the once tight-lipped conservative mother becomes a truth telling, party animal?  No?  Well, I'm sort of thinking a cross between Freaky Friday and Liar, Liar.  When I heard Ann Romney address the RNC this week, I couldn't help but wish she had some truth serum in her latte.  Let's pretend that she did.  Here is Ann Romney's speech at the RNC - injected with truth serum and hopped up on tequila.



The following is a transcript of Ann Romney’s remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, as re-imagined by Guerrilla Mom:

I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party.  I mean really, who are we kidding?  I don't know anything about politics and no one wants to come to my parties.  Have you ever been to a Mormon wedding?  Snoozefest.

I was looking through and old shoebox of memories and I came across the first note I ever wrote Mitt.  There were little hearts stickers all over it and what looks to be a drawing of cupid shooting an arrow.  I want to talk to you about that.  Heart stickers, and cupid, and Mitt.

Tonight I want to talk to you about love.  The love I have for Mitt, and the profound love I have for this country.  If I could buy all of the heart stickers in the world, I would stick them on every highway from California to Rhode Island.  Oh wait, I totally can buy all of the heart stickers in the world. (Squeal!)  But back to Mitt, this amazing country, and the love so deep only a mother that has given birth 12 times can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.  If I piled all of my children and my children's children into this room right now, you would be confused and a little horrified - and might wonder if we were breeding our own super-army.

And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done.  Have you ever seen Roseanne?  People actually live like that.  With mismatched furniture and dirty clothes and stuff.  And I don't personally know any African Americans but I heard that Good Times was a pretty good representation of how they are living now.  I DVR'd an episode, but then Janet came on and I have been boycotting all of her work, even retroactively, since that unfortunate nipple slip.

But I digress.  Poor people are everywhere.  They are here among us tonight in this hall; they are here in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America.  That guy in the red shirt that you gave the rest of your Subway sandwich to when entering the parking lot?  He's here.  I know, I thought he was homeless, too.  Oh, there you are.  Hi!

Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day.  Well, we don't hear our neighbors at all, because we have A LOT of property, but I'm sure all of that sighing is annoying to the rest of you.

And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it?  Women are always complaining just a little louder, aren't they? I mean, they should be happy that they are even allowed to work and be paid anything.  I don't get paid anything.  And I had to give up wine and chocolate to marry Mitt.  Did you hear what I just said?  Wine and chocolate.  I can't have either of those things. (Sigh.)

It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.
It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together.   Well, actually the married and widowed ones hold the country together.  The single ones - not so much.

You know it’s true, don’t you? You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.  I always have to do a little more.  Always.  Mitt doesn't do anything around the house.  Ever.  Look at his fingernails.  They are perfectly manicured.  This used to really turn me on until I started watching Game of Thrones. 

You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you.

Women of America, tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.  Tomorrow we will be taking all of your choices away.  (Fingers crossed!) You are already doing so much we don't want to put any major decisions on your plate.  You're welcome. 

If you would like to read her original speech, it's here. 
Mine is better.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I'll stop posting pictures of my kid, when you stop posting pictures of your lunch.

Today on Mommyish, I pitch some new plug-ins for the creators of Unbaby.me.


So, you're sick of logging into Facebook and seeing pictures of my kid?  Lucky you - now there's a solution for the endless stream of chuckling babies and proud parents that's clogging your news feed.  It's a browser plug-in called Unbaby.me.  This is how the creators of the plug-in describe its functionality:
A browser plug-in that deletes babies from your newsfeed permanently––by replacing them with awesome stuff.  
It seems easy to use.  All you have to do is visit Unbaby.me, configure the extension and refresh Facebook.  According to its creators, Any baby pics will now be cats or pugs or whatever you want.  Now you don't have to look at all your friends' annoying kids.

Unbaby.me picks up key words in captions, like cute or nap, and swaps out those pictures for pictures of cats.  Which is great, because  there are just not enough pictures of cats on the Internet is a complaint that I am constantly hearing. 

Pictures of chubby baby legs, and eyes full of wonder are annoying?  Fair enough.  But the brains behind this plug-in are missing a huge market.  I have a few suggestions for some plug-ins - for those of us that aren't annoyed by babies, rainbows, sunshine, or the laughter of small children.

Continue reading on Mommyish...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hypnobirthing. I failed you.

Holy crap.  I actually won something.


God, I wanted a natural birth.

I was a woman consumed.  I watched all of the documentaries.  I learned about all of the techniques to employ so I too, could experience the pain-free birth that some women insisted was possible.  One class kept appearing in the natural birth forums - hypnobirthing.

Hypnobirthing is the use of hypnotic techniques during labor by an expectant mother to reduce the pain and emotional stress of delivery.

My doe-eyed, optimistic  pregnant lady response was, Great!  I want reduced pain and emotional stress!  I'm going to give this a try!  I found a local course, sent a check for $350, and anxiously awaited my first session.

We arrived at a cute little brownstone in Brooklyn Heights.  Naturally, it was above a holistic massage center, and the room itself doubled as a yoga studio.  Perfect.  We filed in with the other couples, took off our shoes, and found our places in the circle.

The first few sessions were filled with a bunch of reading aloud from Hypnobirthing Made Easy, the course required reading.  The room we were in was steaming hot because the instructor didn't feel like "competing" with the hum of the AC.  I was becoming increasingly annoyed that I was paying someone to read aloud from a book that I already owned.  I pressed on, confident that later sessions would teach me how to hypnotize myself through the pain of childbirth.

We finally got to our first hypnosis session.   I was so excited to test the waters, and see how suggestible I was.  Our instructor began:

Close your eyes.  Relax your lids, relax your jaw.  Relax into your seat. Now imagine, visualize, or pretend that you are standing on a staircase. There are ten steps that you will walk down-each step will take you deeper and deeper. There’s a hand railing for you to hold on to-staring at step ten going deeper and deeper.  Nine, deeper and deeper.  Eight, deeper and deeper.  Seven, deeper and deeper...

Now, look down at your hand.  You are aware of your hand.  You know it belongs to your body.  Notice that you cannot move your hand.  You are unable to move your hand, but this does not scare you.  You approach this with acceptance.

Meanwhile, back in reality, I am wildly waving my hand- because I can.  I look up and glance around the room.  I look at my husband first.  He is fucking sleeping.  Then I look around the circle.  I am the only one cheating and looking, everyone else has their eyes shut and is moving nothing.  I look back down at my hand.  Yes, I am aware of my hand.  I am aware that it has no problem moving.  What the hell?

I am now going to count back from ten.  When I finish, you will open your eyes, be in this room, and regain full control of your hand.  Ten, nine, eight...

I pinch my husband to wake him up and wait for all of the fakers to "be in the room."  Our instructor opens up the floor, so we can all share our experience with the hypnosis.

Wow, that was so relaxing.  I can't believe I couldn't move my hand.
At every number I felt myself going deeper and deeper, like I was walking into a lake. 

What?  I wasn't going to say anything, because I hate failing - but I couldn't help myself.

I could move my hand.  I could totally move my hand.  In fact, I can't imagine a time when I would be conscious, and not be able to totally move my hand.  That would never happen.  

Maria, have you always had issues with control?

Touché, lady.  Touché.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Get Old.com - Worst Idea, Ever.

I got this email today:

Dear Maria Guido,

Thank you so much for participating in the Get Old event at BlogHer.
 
We enjoyed hearing how you feel about getting old and wanted you to know that the conversation doesn’t end with the event.
 
Check out GetOld.com to create a profile, learn how others like you feel about getting old, and access information and resources that are tailored to your needs.

We hope you enjoy everything the community has to offer.

Regards,
The Pfizer 'Get Old' Team


I don't think unsubscribing from these emails is going to give me the healing and closure that I need, so I am going to craft an email now.  


Dear Pfizer,

One of the first things I saw at Blogher this year was your "Get Old" booth.  It was hard to miss, as it was wrapping around the entrance to the room with all of the free stuff.  I saw the giant sign that said, "How do you feel about getting old?"  I answered in my head, "Not good."  

Then a bubbly adorable young lady approached me with a post it and a sharpie, and said, "Do you want to join the conversation?"  I resisted the urge to say, "My jaw isn't sewn shut, I have conversations with my mouth, not with sharpies and post-its," and instead I said, "Sure."   I lied and wrote "optimistic," and walked away, but not before she handed me a cute little post it book and matching pen.  Do you know that every goddamn page of this post-it pad says "How do you feel about getting old" on it?  What gives?

I'm going to give you a little tip - nobody wants to be reminded that they are getting old. Were you raised by a pack of wolves?  It's just rude. 

Regards,
Maria 

P.S.  I went to your website.  It's totally stupid and I have no idea how to use it.

Great.  Every time I take a note I can think about my youth slipping away.  Worst idea, ever.  Unless there are recipe cards that say, "How do you feel about getting fat?"  Then those would actually be the worst idea, ever, I guess.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Magical Vagina Votes Pro-Choice.

Rape is awful, but apparently not as awful as the one-two punch of rape followed by abortion.

By now, I'm sure we've all heard Rep. Akin's statement, regarding pregnancy and rape.  He was defending his anti-choice stance of no abortion, ever -  even in the case of rape or incest - when these highly informed and educated words escaped from his lips.

“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.

These ridiculous words ignited a huge controversy, which led to him "apologizing.' Only, he really didn't apologize at all.  He claimed to have "misspoke."  Apparently, he didn't know that women don't have magical vaginas that can shut down at any sign of distress.  But it's really too bad that they don't, because he's still going to want them to carry that rape baby. 

I believe deeply in the protection of all life, and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion, and I understand I may not have their support in this election."  

This man's apology, was not an apology.  I'm actually glad that men like this who "misspeak" exist, to remind us all that there is, in fact, a war going on.  Legislators like him are dangerous.  Really, really stupid - but dangerous.  If there were ever a time to proudly call yourself a feminist, it is now. 

Let your feminist flag wave proud, ladies.  Especially if you are young, and may, actually need an abortion at some time in the future.  My generation was able to glide through on the protest and work of the generations before us.  Yours is not so lucky.  Open your eyes.  Be vocal.  Write letters.  And come November, VOTE.

A vote against choice is a vote against all women.  Never, ever forget that.

I made some blog banners, just in case you want to show your support for pro-choice vaginas.  I also made a postcard.  Feel free to drag it onto your desktop, share it on whatever social media you use,  make it into stickers - whatever.

Lets show these idiots that our magical vaginas vote - PRO-CHOICE.



Photobucket

Friday, August 17, 2012

Gratuitous Cuteness, again.

video

Who doesn't love a laughing baby?

I took this video almost a year ago - and it cracked me up.  Then, I went down the "oh my God, my baby is growing up so fast" rabbit hole - and started weeping uncontrollably.

Nobody tells you that motherhood is a series of daily heartbreaks.  There.  I told you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

F@#k you, Nike.



American women brought home 58 of the country's 104 medals, and 29 of the 46 gold medals.  In other words, they kicked major ass.  What better way to celebrate these statistics, than by putting a shiny, sexist cliche on a snug fitting tee? They're gold diggers!  Get it?  Get it?

Oh my god, what is the BIG DEAL?  Why are we complaining about this - it is a funny, cute little play on words!  Don't you want one, ladies?

Nope.  I don't.  Let me explain why.  These messages matter, people.  They matter to our young women, who look up to these athletes.  They matter to the athletes themselves, who trained and worked and won, only to have their hair criticized and major news outlets photographing their tits and asses.  They matter. 

I guess considering the disappointing, sexist coverage of the games, this shirt - by the official outfitter - is a fitting bookend.

Call me a feminazi, but fuck you, Nike. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"18 Again" Vaginal Cream Exists.


Some days you are all set to write about playground etiquette, and the universe hands you a commercial about a vaginal-tightening gel, called 18 Again.  I tried to ignore it, I really did.

18 Again vaginal cream.  When I saw the video this morning, I began to shove it into the deep recesses of my mind where things I cannot bear live -  like Paul Ryan and Honey Boo-Boo Child.

Mind-melding the Republican lower middle class (that exists, too!) into believing his budget plan will help them.  Using his pic in this story makes little sense, but it gives me joy to know that it will appear as the image next to the vaginal cream story.  It's the little things, folks.


If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing this commercial,  here you go.  Seeing a couple sashaying around the town square, waxing poetic about virgin vaginas, is as good a way as any to start a Tuesday.




Holy mother of WHAT?  Where do I begin?   

The woman in this commercial looks to be somewhere in her thirties.  She is definitely quickly approaching her sexual prime.  Let's not appreciate that, though.  The eighteen year old virgin is definitely a more satisfying sex partner.  And the way she is chanting "I feel like a virgin" isn't creepy at all.  It's really, really, sexy. 

Whoever directed this really tapped into the female psyche.  Me and all of my girlfriends are constantly reminiscing about our first times, and how great they were.  The futon, the crappy music playing, the romantic whisper of just get it over with!  Not to mention our super knowledgeable sex partners.  Ahhh, being a virgin.  Don't you wish you could relive that first time - over and over and over again?

No.  No woman does.  Well, I can't speak for all women, but here is what would happen if my husband brought this home.
Him:  Honey, look what I found - 18 Again vaginal tightening gel.  It will make you feel like a virgin! 
Me:  You are a creepy pervert.  If you want to date an 18 year old, you should just seek therapy.  I want a divorce. 

The man (surprise, surprise) in charge of this advertising campaign, said this about the product:
18 Again has the power and the potential to break the shackles and redefine the meaning of women empowerment altogether.
No, sorry.  It doesn't do that.  And what shackles are you referring to?  The shackles of being a mature woman with a normal vagina, wanting to have sex that definitely doesn't feel like the first time?   Yes, it is definitely empowering for the masses to convince us our vaginas are flabby and un-virginal.

I think you are missing your target audience. You should just change your pitch, and market it to men.  It should go something like this:

Does your tiny penis make you feel emasculated and pathetic?  Are you a horrible lover that longs for that "first time" when neither of you knew what you were doing, and hence your sexual prowess was considered better than average?  18 Again Vaginal Tightening gel will make you feel bigger, and do absolutely nothing for your mate.  It has the power and potential to break the shackles and redefine the meaning of "size matters" altogether.

Sorry to be crass as usual, but when the world stops being such a giant asshole, I'll stop being a bitch.  Maybe.


While researching this crap, I happened upon the funniest ad for it, ever.  Make sure you read the description.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Gratuitous Cuteness.




Lest you forget this is a Mommy Blog - what with all of the swearing and talk of tequila - here are some photos of the cutest kid, ever.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Match.com and Blogher are the same thing. Sort of.

There was a frenzy of activity going on last week.  I got my eyebrows waxed.  I got my hair cut and colored.  There was a manicure and a pedicure.  I bought new clothes and some ridiculously expensive shoes.  I wore red lipstick and the Prada perfume I never break out.  No, I was not getting ready for the hottest date of my life.  These were all of the tasks I performed to prepare myself for the most important professional conference of woman Bloggers, in the world -  Blogher '12.*

I somehow managed to miss the whole Internet dating thing.  I've never created a profile, or browsed someone else's or exchanged hopeful emails and photos.  My boyfriends always seemed to fall into my lap.  It's as if the universe knows I would fail terribly at courtship.  Whatever, universe.  I may never have actually experienced Match.com.  But I did start a Blog.  It turns out, it's sort of the same thing.

Guess what?  I would be fantastic at Match.com.  I would.  Do you know how I know I would?  All of the women I have been drawn to on the Internet are really cool and great.  I met them in person at Blogher' 12 last week and realized that our friendships could totally exist in reality- not just in cyberspace.  So, I decided to make a Match.com-ish profile for my site, so it would be easier for my future BFF's and comrades in the Blogosphere to find me.

Here goes:

I am driven and I know what I want.  It usually has bacon in it.  Or tequila.

I enjoy long walks, at a leisurely pace, preferably while drinking coffee and gossiping.  If you are one of those people that says you don't gossip, you are a liar and we cannot be friends.  I don't like liars.

That brings us to what else I don't like.  I hate it when people put their gum on their plate at a restaurant, or on top of their can of Diet Coke.  That is fucking disgusting.  I hate it when people say totes instead of totally.  I am a valley girl at heart, and fully embrace the words totally, awesome, and have been trying to single-handedly make bitchin' relevant again, to varying degrees of success.

Music is my lifeblood.  If you can't tell the difference between Miles Davis and John Coltrane, please never admit it to me.  Also - figure it out immediately.  Never insult Madonna in my presence.  I am old enough to remember coveting her Boy-Toy belt, and she has a special place in my heart.  Also, Prince can do no wrong, even though I hear he is a Jehovah's Witness now - and they are quite possibly the strangest religious sect on the planet.  If you are a Jehovah's Witness we probably can't be friends either, because I don't like fraternizing with people who think I am going to hell.

Have you ever uttered the words, "I am socially liberal but fiscally conservative?"  Gross.  But we may still be able to be friends if we never talk about politics - ever.  If you have ever described yourself as pro-life, and you weren't being ironic or talking about the death penalty - our relationship will be rocky at best, and at worst - there will be hair pulling.

If you think parenting is easy, and it causes you no stress or anxiety, I may beg to sleep over at your house to see what I am doing wrong.  I don't snore and I make fabulous cinnamon vanilla pancakes.  I'm also really great at crafting theme drinks to consume while we are watching reality TV.  On the topic of reality TV,   I like to pretend that I hate it, but if it has the word Wives in it -   I am DVRing it as we speak.  This includes, but is not limited to: Mob Wives, Basketball Wives, Mob Wives Chicago, The Real Housewives of (insert city here), and Broke Intellectual Wives.  I'm in the process of crafting a pitch for the last one now.

If you think we are a match made in heaven, please feel free to stalk my site, leave awesome comments, and be and all around bitchin' dude or chick.  We'll be friends forever.  Or until you insult Madonna.


*Of course, there were other tasks.  I got business cards made, crafted a media kit, got some amazing magnets to give away, studied endless How to prepare for Blogher posts, and read all of my favorite Bloggers religiously.  I've read tons of comments complaining about this year's Blogher - but I loved it.  I had a great time and I met a ton of inspirational, amazing women.  I can't wait until next year.

Me and Margaret Cho.  She is not really one of my Bloggy girlfriends, but she's famous and this is a cool pic.  Somehow I managed to not take pics of any of the amazing women I met - but you all know who you are.  Thanks for making my Blogher experience great.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What do your nightmares say about you?

I read a hilarious Scary Mommy Society post yesterday by Christine from Quasi Agato,  in which she recounts her recent experience with parenting nightmares.  It all made me think, Hey - maybe this parenting thing isn't stressing me out too much after all.  I don't think I have had a single parenting nightmare since Lucien was born.

There were a few before he was born.  These mostly involved me being at a party or a bar or some other festive place - and all of a sudden realizing that I had forgotten my baby somewhere.  My baby!  Where is my baby? But since his birth - nothing.

My job, however, has inspired some pretty good ones.  I wait tables and bartend for a living.  This is a job that I love, but it certainly has its fair share of stressful moments - as evidenced by the many horrific nightmares the job has triggered.  Here are some of my favorites:

The Sound of Music Nightmare
Think of the scene in the Sound of music, where Julie Andrews is singing The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music...  Okay, is the image in your head?  Now imagine a kitchen at the top of the rolling hills, and all of the tables in the valley.  Every time I take an order, I have to run up the hill to the kitchen, and then roll back down it into the valley to serve people.  I'm also wearing that long, frumpy dress that she wore.  Not good.


The Ooh!  I Have a Gorgeous Balcony Nightmare
In which I wake up in the morning, and realize that in the back of my tiny apartment in Brooklyn, I have a sweeping, gorgeous balcony that I have never noticed before.  Oh, and my bed is on it.  I can't believe my amazing luck in having such a gorgeous, hidden oasis in the city.  I'm sitting up in bed, taking in the smell of the exotic flowers that encompass my balcony, when all of a sudden someone says, Waitress!  Can we get some help?  We've been trying to get your attention for 10 minutes.  You were sleeping.  I look around, and to my horror there are tables with customers sitting at them, all around my beautiful balcony bedroom - and everyone needs something.

The Peanuts Adults Nightmare
In which every one of my customers talks like the adults in Peanuts.  
Me:  Hi. What can I get for you?
Customer:  Mwa, mwa, meh mwa mwa.
Me:  Excuse me?
Customer: Mwa mwa mwa.
Me: Wha?
Customer: MWA, MWA, MEH MWA MWA!
Me:  Oh, okay.
Hell breaks loose when I have to guess what everyone wants because I have no fucking clue what they are saying.  Riots ensue.  I realize I am dreaming and don't actually have to work.  I walk out the front door of the restaurant into a cotton candy park.  George Clooney is waiting there, delicately nibbling at a cotton candy bush.   He says You're too good for this life, Maria and we get on a Ferris wheel.  Don't ask.

Maybe this parenting thing freaks me out a little here and there, but subconsciously - I'm good.  That has got to count for something.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bloomberg cares about babies and boobs.

When I first heard about Bloomberg's Latch On NYC, a new initiative to encourage breastfeeding to postpartum women in hospitals, I had the same knee-jerk reaction that I am hearing echoed all over the Internet:
What?!  You can't force women to breastfeed, you jerk.  

But then, I actually read the initiative.  You know what?  It's not a bad thing, everybody.  It's actually a really good thing.  Contrary to what you have heard, Latch On NYC will not be forcing anyone to breastfeed.  Because I think that most people have not read it, I am going to post the main points of it here:

Hospitals joining Latch On NYC have agreed to:
  • Enforce the New York State hospital regulation to not supplement breastfeeding infants with formula unless medically indicated and documented on the infant’s
    medical chart
  • Limit access to infant formula by hospital staff
  • Discontinue the distribution of promotional or free
    infant formula
  • Prohibit the display and distribution of infant formula advertising or promotional materials in any hospital location
Additionally, the Health Department is launching a subway and hospital poster campaign highlighting the benefits of breast milk, such as reducing the risk of ear infections, diarrhea and pneumonia.




The biggest function of the initiative, is to stop the peddling of formula goody bags to women who have just delivered.  Similar programs have yielded a 22% increase in exclusive breastfeeding success.  What is wrong with that?  If women want to breastfeed, why shouldn't we help them? 

Many women are derailed in their attempts to breastfeed when they realize what a frustrating endeavor it can be, think they are starving their baby when it doesn't happen right away, and opt to "supplement" with formula early.  90% of women in NYC start out breastfeeding after their child is born.  Only 30% are doing it exclusively after two months.   This tells me two things.  One, we have a problem with lactation education, and two, these goody bags aren't doing women who wish to breastfeed any favors.

Did you know that most babies are born waterlogged, and really don't require much in terms of fluids for the first 24 hours?  I bet you didn't, because everyone panics when a newborn infant isn't feeding like a pro within hours of being born.  It used to be common practice for newborns to receive nothing by mouth for the first 24 hours, because physicians knew that they didn't really need it.   I know several women that gave up really quickly because they thought they just weren't producing milk, and they didn't want to starve their babies.  No one wants to starve their brand new baby.  That is where the formula the hospital sent you home with comes in so handy.  But once you use the formula, you start to rely on it a little bit.  It is way easier than breastfeeding, it comes out of the bottle quickly, and your baby seems more satisfied.

Vicious cycle begins.  More bottle, less breast milk.  Less sucking, less producing of breast milk. Mom gives up, feeling like she is just one of those women who couldn't do it.  That sucks, no pun intended.  If you don't have any desire to breastfeed - fine.  Your choice.  Ask for the formula and they will give it to you.  But if you do want to breastfeed, doesn't it feel better to know that there will be resources to help you?

The language people are using around the issue is really disturbing, because it is spreading misinformation.  They are going to hide the formula!  They are keeping it under lock and key!  Um, what?  No they aren't.  They are just going to administer it in the same way that they administer everything else in a hospital.  You have to ask for it.  Nowhere does it say that they will be denying formula to women who express a desire to have it.  Nowhere.

Are we so brain-washed by big business that we are doing their work for them?  Maybe.  Globally, it's a $7.9 billion industry.  Don't you think they have some amazing marketing strategy behind all of that money? 

***

My personal experience leads me to believe formula is shamelessly peddled in hospitals in NYC.  When I turned down my breastfeeding goody bag, there was no alternative bag, with Lansinoh and a list of references for lactation consultants.  Why not?  Women need more help and resources to encourage breastfeeding.  I wanted to breastfeed and had to fight tooth and nail to make it so.  Here's a little story about my own experience in an NYC hospital, and what happened in regard to breastfeeding.

After delivering in an emergency C section, the nurse in the recovery ward checked Lucien's blood sugar, determined it to be low, and tried to march him off to the nursery for a bottle.  At which point, I freaked.  I was already mourning the loss of my natural birth, there was no way I wasn't going to breastfeed this child.  This little exchange ensued:
You are not taking him to a nursery.  He is breastfeeding.
Sorry ma'am.  God I hate it when people call me ma'am.  You don't have a choice.  His blood sugar is low, we are taking him to the nursery.
NO, YOU ARE NOT.  I AM BREASTFEEDING THIS BABY.  SOMETHING IS GOING MY WAY, DO YOU HEAR ME?
At which point, my midwife intervened, and offered to check his blood sugar again.  It was fine.  


Fast forward to  the second night in the hospital.  I am exhausted, visibly.  Nurse comes in to take Lucien for his bath and changing, and offers to keep him longer so I can sleep.  We can give him a bottle if you want.  God, at that moment, it was so tempting.  It really was.  I was exhausted.  I wanted to sleep.  Alas, I am the most stubborn person on the planet, and nothing was going to divert me from my quest to breastfeed.  No, thanks.

Check out day finally comes, and we visit the nurse's station so I can be discharged.  She hands me a giant gift-looking bag, and a backpack.  Ooooh, what's this?  Diapers?  Diaper cream?  Breast pads?  Chocolate?  No, no, no, and no.  It's all formula.  All of it.  I reiterate that I am breastfeeding, and she takes back the gift bag, empties everything out of the backpack and hands me it's hollow shell.  
Do you want this?
Um, I guess so.  I grab it and see the Enfamil tag on the side, and had it to my husband.
You want it?

***

I realize that everyone has different experiences.  I also realize that more money and effort should be spent on providing lactation consultants, breast pumps, and a variety of other resources to help women who want to breastfeed.  But ladies - don't listen to all of the soundbites.  Read the initiative and decide for yourself.  Yes, Bloomberg can be a huge jerk - but not in this case.  This is actually really good for women and babies.

* In no way am I implying that women HAVE to breastfeed.  I understand that many don't even want to try.  Please don't freak out and attack me if you are one of those women.  I am pro-choice about all of this stuff.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Blogher 12- day 1. Consensus - I'm old.

Wow.

There are a lot of people in Midtown Manhattan.  I live in New York, so you think I would have remembered that.

I got out of the subway yesterday at Rockefeller Center, and descended upon the Hilton.  There were about a zillion tourists and about 14 different conventions going on.  Okay, I exaggerate a little - but you get the picture.

I'm not the greatest planner.  I skimmed the Blogher newsletters that told you what was going on and where everything was.  Do you think I remembered any of that, once I hit the sea of people, at one of the busiest hotels, in one of the most populated cities in America?  No.  The answer is no.  So I basically walked around in a confused stupor, trying to remember what exactly I was trying to accomplish.  I got my badge, and headed toward the expo to retrieve my coveted Blogher tote.

This is one of the first things I saw:


How do you feel about getting old.  Really?  I just got here.  Why are you thrusting deep metaphysical questions in my direction.  Answer:  not great.  I don't feel great about getting old - it sucks.  How do you feel about fucking off, giant cardboard taunter?  I stopped, and answered "optimistic" (lie), and made my way to the swag.

Swag.  Overwhelming.  I get overwhelmed easily and just figured I didn't want to carry any of it.  Until I heard they were giving away vibrators.  I made a bee line for the Trojan booth.  I got to the front of the line, and gave the dude my media kit.  It is the only one I gave out yesterday.  He pulled out one vibrator, and handed it to me.  Then he started talking about some of their other products, and pulled out the super vibrator with 3 interchangeable heads.
Him:  Do you want this one, too?
Me:  I want all the vibrators.  I mean, yes.  I do.  Thanks.

Procuring the vibrators put me in a good mood, so I decided to give the expo hall another chance.  I happened upon a manicure booth by Kiss Nail Dress, and grabbed some samples for my step daughter.  Maybe I shouldn't have just grabbed them, because a girl approaches me and says, Fill out our survey, and we'll give you a gift bag!  I'm feeling a little guilty because I've probably taken more than they give out in their gift bag, so I take the survey.  I get to the results screen, and it says something like, You are older... I stop reading at that point.  How in the hell does this computer know I am older?  I said Rihanna was my style guru, for Christ sakes. (Not true, but I didn't know who the other two options were.)  Mood ruined.  I head to the bar.  The real bar, in the hotel lobby, because I want a martini.

I sit at the bar and have a martini.  I pay for the martini.  It's $21.  Holy crap.  I head to the People's Party.

The People's Party is a room full of people that seem to know each other.  I know no one, so I pick a table with an empty seat and join that group.  The universe loves me.  I sit next to Funky Brown Chick and Jenn motherfucking Pozner.  Jenn Pozner!  We talk about sex and politics and take pics like long, lost BFF's.
Jenn Pozner and Funky Brown Chick



Guerrilla Mom and Jenn Pozner




Funky Brown Chick confirms my lifelong suspicion that the vaginal orgasm is a myth.  Well, not really, but she agrees that they are harder to come by.  My night has taken an awesome turn.  I walk into the hall and see Scary Mommy.  Scary Mommy!   I freaking love this woman and can't believe I get to meet her in person.  She is the coolest woman ever, and gives me her cell number in case I feel overwhelmed by the next day's activities and need to text someone.  I resist the urge to beg her to leave the whole convention behind, and paint the town red with me.  I can be cool when necessary.

This post is getting too long, and my son needs some attention.  I'll quickly say I ended the night hanging out with Somebody's Parent, who is adorable and fun, and cut the dessert line with Good Girl Gone Redneck.  Yay, churros!  Then I met Deb Rox and Mama Non Grata, whose talk I will be attending in a couple hours.

To sum up - Blogher rocks.  And, yes, I'm old - but who cares.



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Snooki, on circumcision.

Snooki was on Jimmy Kimmel last month, talking about her pregnancy and impending motherhood.  The question of circumcision came up.  Here's how that conversation went: 

Jimmy Kimmel: Have you thought about circumcision?

Snooki: Oh of course.

Jimmy Kimmel: What are your feelings on that?

Snooki: I definitely want him circumcised. Because then I feel like he won't get laid, if he doesn't. 

Jimmy Kimmel: If he's not? 

Snooki: I'd be like what is that? So, yeah. I want him to have a normal penis.


Snooki, ladies and gentleman.  The voice of our generation.  Well, not my generation - but somebody's.

Hmm.


I approached the whole circumcision debate the way most of my friends did.  Whatever my husband wants.  For some reason, the logic behind He has one, he should decide what to do with it made sense to me when I was pregnant.  Must have been the hormones making me completely illogical.

I understand there are religious reasons for circumcision.  I also understand that there are health issues in some parts of the world.  But we didn't have any religious reasons - and we don't reside in sub-Saharan Africa.   My husband wasn't concerned about any health implications.  The main points he made were, My son should look like me, and I don't want high school girls making fun of him.   These points are clearly ridiculous Let's deconstruct them one by one.


My son should look like me.  
Fair enough.  What if you were missing a thumb?  Would you want him to look like you then?  People are different.  Their bodies are different.  This is something we need to teach our children anyway.  I remember the first time I saw a penis.  I was about 3 years old, and a friend of the family was changing her son's diaper in front of me.  I remember thinking, What the hell?  It was then that my mother explained to me that boys and girls have different parts down there.  No big whoop.  It didn't traumatize me or change my life in any way.  Also, I want my penis to look just like my dad's, said no son, ever.

I don't want high school girls making fun of him.
Okay, so I'm supposed to take a scalpel to my newborn son's barely anesthetized penis, because I am concerned about what some silly teenage girl is going to think almost two decades from now?  I think not.  More and more American parents are foregoing circumcision, so this probably won't be an issue by the time my son becomes sexually active, anyway.  Frankly, I don't want him having sex with some ignorant idiot that thinks foreskin makes him un-dateable.

The bottom line is, the It's my husband's choice sentiment flew right out the window after my baby was born.  The day after he was born, my midwife came into the hospital room to remind us that we would need to make a choice about the circumcision.  I looked at my baby and said, Over my dead body is anyone taking a knife to this perfect specimen.  And I meant it.  That was my choice.  And if you chose different, that's fine too - because we all do what we think is best for our child.  

Thanks Snooki, for inadvertantly reminding me that I made the right decision.