Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Can't Quit You, New York. Oh Wait - Yes I Can.

I love New York.

I was born here, spent the early years of my life here, and always felt something pulling me back. It's been 10 years (which flew by) and now that I have a child and one on the way - city life is really wearing me down.

I tried to ignore it - I really did. But it's becoming clearer and clearer that I'm craving the conveniences of the suburban life that I left behind when I moved here.

Read my story on Mommyish...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Okay Gwyneth, You Win. You Have The Coolest Life - Part II

I feel like crap today, so naturally I followed the link in my inbox to my favorite blog, GOOP. And by favorite I mean, the one that makes me want to jam a lit match into my eye. Maybe you've heard of it? It's the brainchild of Gwyneth Paltrow and, like, every expert about anything on the planet. She knows everyone and has the best life ever, and every few months she updates us all on how fabulous it is to be her and recommends we buy shit we can't afford. It's so bad it's kinda good. Well, it's good for a day like to day when I want to curse someone out but not lose any friends. Naturally, Gwyneth will bear the brunt of my wrath. It makes sense to me.

Madonna is her BFF. Don't you forget it.

You see, there are two kinds of people in this world - the haves and the have nots. The have nots get to make fun of the haves, relentlessly. It's because the haves have everything and are completely unaffected by our opinions and snark. I don't make the rules - I just follow them when they suit me. And today, they totally suit me. So back to Gwyneth, and why she is the most mother-fucking annoying person on the planet.

There's this, for one:

New Year's Eve, 2012. She has her whole brood on stage at Barclay's Center in Brooklyn. Jay-Z and her husband are performing - and Gwyneth is dancing on stage, holding a glass of champagne. The look on her face says, "Yes, everyone. This is my life. I'm sipping champagne on the stage that is driving the rent in your neighborhood THROUGH THE MOTHER F-ING ROOF, Y'ALL! JIGGA WHAT?"


But I digress. Back to GOOP, and how it's destroying America. Okay, it's not destroying America - but it is making my head explode and there is also math involved. I hate math.

She's recently updated her blog design to include some new sections including GOOP Collection, where you would go if you ever decided you needed a pair of $150 denim-looking sweatpants.
They're kinda like jeggings, made of sweats. Sweggings. Or maybe, Sweans? But her original blog design just included five basic sections: Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, See. If those titles alone don't make you want to punch something, we probably can't be friends.

My favorite is always "Get." I love to see what Gwyneth thinks I should buy each season. And by love, I mean resent with a fiery passion only found in the deepest flames of hell. I'm a little disappointed that this page hasn't been updated since Thanksgiving, but when you are Gwyneth you clearly don't have the time or inclination to keep up with the current season. So the Thanksgiving recommendations will have to do.

Happy Thanksgiving! It's officially the holiday season, and with that in mind, it's time to get on top of our shopping lists. And so, we've scoured the web and searched the shops to find you the gifts we'd love to give.
Also, I've always wanted a one shouldered exercise top and could never find one so we've collaborated with BEYOND YOGA (who make really chic, comfortable, perfect exercise gear) to make my dream top!

No words. Moving on.

Her first recommendation is for something called an iPhone Passive Horn Amplifier. It's 24k gold.
"This super-chic passive amplifier uses the principle of the bugle to turn your iPhone into a speakerphone. "

Did you read that? This thing's function is to turn your iPhone into a speakerphone. A speakerphone. Not a sound dock or anything - just a speakerphone. I guess it's for those times you want to lounge by the fire smoking a pipe and need your hands free. It's £649. Do you know how much that is? Of course you don't, but Gwyneth is an honorary Brit so we just have to deal with math. It's $1026.65. 

The next gift she recommends "Olfactive Branding."
Since 2009, identical twins Dawn and Samantha Goldworm of 12.29 have been creating custom scents for corporate, hospitality and private clients. Scents are made in conversation and to your specification and they can produce candles, room sprays and more. To them, it’s about “olfactive branding.” A truly unique present for a friend’s home.
Again, no words. Oh wait - I do have a few. What in the what? I just can't. You can read the rest of her recommendations here. They mostly involve really annoying descriptions and no prices.

It worked! The realization that I will never be this detached from reality made me feel all better.
Thanks, Gwyneth.

Oh, yeah. Part I is here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't Be An A*!hole When You Dine Out With Your Kids

This disaster happened in the privacy of our own home.

I know everyone (including myself) hates to be told what to do, but there’s a reason that many people dread sitting next to people with children at a restaurant. An absence of social grace isn’t something that is specific to people with kids. But I’ve been a waitress for a long time – and I can attest to the fact that many people believe that dining with a child gives them carte-blanche to behave however they want.
I’m a mother, too. I understand how hard it is to have a civilized meal with a toddler in tow. I still believe it is really important to bring him to restaurants so he can learn how to act while eating in public. I just choose my times wisely, because I know what a pain in the ass it can be for everyone involved. I also follow some very basic rules that make the experience better for everyone.
I’m going to tell you a few of the things that drive people who work in restaurants insane. Maybe you can see if you are guilty of any of these behaviors. Maybe you don’t care. Don’t kill the messenger.
Continue to article...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Satan Invented Genetic Screening


I've been pretty silent on the blog regarding the pregnancy, which is pretty weird considering this is essentially a mom blog. You would think a pregnancy would be a goldmine of writing material for a gal like myself.

Yeah.  Not so much.

My first trimester genetic screening gave me a scare and put me into I-guess-I'm-gonna-have-to-deal-with-this-shit mode. For me, dealing with situations that scare the shit out of me = total denial. That may seem like not dealing with things at all, but it kinda works for me. I don't like working myself into a frenzy over things I have no control of. I'm also a Greek/Italian woman, so whether or not I like to admit it to myself - I am extremely superstitious. The combination of all the above factors put the pregnancy talk on mute for a while.

I've finally emerged from that semi-terrified haze and can talk about what the hell has been going on. I'll also be free to bore you with all of the details of my pregnancy from here on out. Well, not all of them. Just the ones that make for good stories.

But back to the genetic screening and why I think Satan is it's architect.

When I was 12 weeks pregnant, I had a routine screen called an NT scan. This combined with a series of blood tests gives you your probability of birthing a child with certain genetic defects. I wasn't worried about these tests at all. During my first pregnancy - when I was 37 - my results showed the same probability as that of a 26-year-old - 1 in 1300 or something to that effect. So I had the blood test and refused any other kinds of advanced screens because I just wasn't worried about it. The technician was trying to sell me on something called a "Harmony" blood test, which is basically just as effective as an amnio without the creepy, huge needle. Again, I refused it because I just wasn't worried.

A couple of days after the tests I get a call from my birthing center. A woman with a thick Brooklyn accents bluntly reports that I have soft markers for genetic abnormalities and they would be willing to do an early amnio if I wanted one.
What? An early amnio? Why?
Well, your numbers came back a 1 in 81 chance of having a child with a genetic defect.

1 in 81? What happened to my 26 year old uterus? All of a sudden it's age caught up with it? What the hell?

Read the saga of the genetic screening fiasco here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Free Astroglide! I Also Have To Say The Words "Sexual Shyness"

Who doesn't like big, fluffy hearts and lube?

I wouldn't know ANYTHING about this but I've heard your sex life can suffer after you have kids. That is so weird. I wonder why? It's not like you're so tired you fantasize about locking your family out of your house, dragging a cooler filled with white wine into your living room, covering said living room in blankets, and hiding under them while watching back to back episodes of Mob Wives for three days. I mean - who would want to do that when you could be making sweet love to your husband?

I'm not speaking for everyone here, but sometimes the thought of doing anything extra - even frolicking around with your hot husband/partner/whatever - seems so exhausting.  I'm no sex expert - but even I know that relationships flow easier when the sex is good.

So yes, I admit that my utter exhaustion takes a toll on my inner sex-goddess at times. Boo. I know I'm not alone. What's screwing up your sex life? Astroglide's Sexual Wellness Ambassador Dr. Yvonne Fulbright thinks it's "sexual shyness." That phrase make me cringe a little. I have a hard time thinking of us fearless ladies as shy. Especially those of us that have been through the very exposing event of childbirth. Kinda hard to be shy when every person in scrubs that walks through the door puts their hand in your vagina. But hey, it happens.

She's composed some tips for improving your sex life by getting over some humps. Seriously, no pun intended. I hate it when that word is used for any other reason than to describe an obstacle or a camel's back. This is my favorite, and the one I will share with you:
Tip 2: Read quality sex manuals. Knowledge is power, w/ a number of lovers insecure about their sexual expression b/c of ignorance. So educate yourself on techniques, erogenous zones, modes of seduction... in boosting your confidence and expanding your repertoire of ideas.
Yes! Why didn't I think of that? Seriously. I have never purchased a "sex manual" in my life. My best friend in grade school had a book called "Where Did I Come From?" It had these round, chubby cartoon characters falling in love, having sex and having a baby. They really drew them having sex! Peter-from-Family-Guy-looking cartoon characters! I don't think that counts as browsing a sex manual. I've considered researching Tantric practices, but I'm pretty sure it will fall into the same category as meditation - with nakedness. Too much pressure - not enough silence in my brain.

As usual, I digress. The point of this post is - bringing anything into the bedroom can help boost your sex life - including lube. If you think you are suffering from sex inhibitions, you should buy yourself one of the gazillion sex manuals that exists on the market. Why not? You can order the sex manual on Amazon or something and be totally discreet. And now, I'm hooking you up with free Astroglide - so you don't have to be shy about browsing the lube aisle in Target.

Win, win.

This is a sponsored post - which means I've been paid to write it - but you get free Astroglide, yo! Just follow this link to get your goods! I promise to only do sponsored posts if it means you get cool free stuff. Or if they give me a new mattress or a years supply of chocolate or something.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

It's A Girl!

I hate to admit it, but I actually do think I had a little maternal intuition this time around. Well, it could be that - or it could just be that my mother and husband have been calling this baby a girl since she was an embryo.  Anyway - today it was confirmed - GIRL.

Of course, my mother was the first person I called. She promptly informed me that she "knew" it would be a girl because she had a dream she was climbing up a snow covered mountain wearing high heels with my grandfather.

Naturally. Makes total sense.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I'm Against the Death Penalty, But...

I'm against the death penalty - but not for the reasons that you may think. I really don't give a shit if a vicious, violent criminal rots in jail or even dies for their crimes. I'm adamantly against the death penalty in this country because I think our judicial system is flawed and racist. When we stop convicting innocent people because of our own prejudices - I may be totally pro death penalty. That will never happen - so I'll always be against it.

This brings me to the situation in India and the rage that I feel. I can't stop thinking of that young woman who had her life violently taken from her on that bus. Jyoti Singh Pandey. That's her name. Her father released it yesterday to "give courage to other women."

There was news of women in India beating and stripping a public official who had been accused of rape. Many people think violence begets violence and this won't help anything. I think it's about time. I can't think about these crimes with a level head. I'm sick and tired of women constantly being targets - and having to defend their right to simply exist. The crime in India has everyone in an uproar because of it's blatant brutality. But in most other rape cases, there is always some blame attributed to the victim. We have to defend our right to our clothes, our lifestyles, even the time of day that we leave the house.

Those violent beasts in India are being fast-tracked to trial - and maybe the death penalty. I'm glad. But I would be happier if they would just release them into the crowds of protesters and let them tear them limb from limb.

I can't be better. I want this to end. I want these men dead. I finally get the term "by all means necessary."

Rapists get no sympathy from me. If an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - I'll walk around in darkness rather than let these crimes against women go unpunished.