Kina hurra

If you ever see an old Jewish lady spitting, don’t be alarmed. Don’t feel the need to lecture her about how gross and unsanitary it was. She’s already feeling bad enough. In all likelihood she did it because she just gave herself a kina hurra. (Or she finally realized the hard candy that’s been in her purse since 1980 went bad).
A kina hurra is the Yiddish term for when you curse yourself by saying something that will probably end up biting you in the tuchus. For example, tonight I was thinking to myself, “wow, we have gotten through this awful cold and flu season fairly unscathed. Good for us”. The proper reaction would have been to bite my tongue, literally, and then spit those cursed words right out of my mouth. I should have known. Not twenty minutes later, “Mommy, I’ve got the sniffles. I have a cold”.
I try so hard to keep the girls germ free. I encourage hand washing and keep them away from places that I think are carrying the plague during winter (public library, kids gymnastics place, aquarium, etc). My friends all laugh at me because I send texts making sure their kids are all healthy before we play. However, as I have learned about all things parenting, I can’t protect them from everything out there.
I’m hoping that a good night’s sleep and the Vicks Vaporub I just put on her will do the trick. Hopefully, it will knock out whatever bug she’s fighting, but I can’t help feeling guilty. Mother’s guilt and Jewish guilt together, a powerful combination. I better go whip up some chicken soup and start carrying a tissue in my sleeve. Oy!

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Slutty Toons

Is it just me or are cartoons way too sexualized these days?  I generally think Nick Jr. is a safe channel to put on. I feel confident that my girls won’t be learning anything negative from their programming.  However, in the past few months they’ve been advertising these slutty little fairies called Wink or Winx (‘x’ makes everything more sexy, of course).  They fly around and sing some catchy jingle while clothed in barely there bra tops and skirts.  The don’t bend over for fear of flashing type of skirts.
I’ve already had to deal with Ariel flaunting her midriff when she’s frolicking in the waves and gawking at Prince Eric (I don’t blame her, he’s a hunk). After watching this promiscuous mermaid, the big girl likes to walk around baring her belly and say, “Look, I’m like Ariel.”  I’m scared (although, for the moment, it’s pretty cute).  Lest I think this is a recent problem, I recall Jessica Rabbit, Miss Piggy, Betty Boop.  They, too, were hussies on the prowl like the swoony swimmer.
I don’t know why these fairy commercials are bothering me so much.  I don’t want to tell my girls to hide their bodies, but I’d like them to have some more realistic, positive media images to look at promoting, perhaps, a more innocent, wholesome image. (Do those even exist?)
I know the onus is my own. All things start at home. I have to be the best role model for them.  How am I going to do that when I’m rocking my new post-op bod? I have established how excited I am for the new appearance. I’m going to have to resist my temptation to flaunt it. Perky boobs and slimmer thighs, I want to dye my hair red and pretend I’m Ariel too.

Rainy Days and Rainbows

Parenting is like an unpredictable weather forecast. Today was a torrential rainstorm, bordering on hurricane-like conditions, with one or two rays of sunshine.  My little one, 17 months old, pooped and peed on the potty for the fifth day in a row.  Awesome! My three year old was like a fucking typhoon.  

I fear that, in this space, I’m not always shining the most positive light on my children.  They are my joys, my everything; I love them more than life itself.  But, like me, they’re not perfect (and ps. I wouldn’t wish that for them anyway). I don’t find diamonds in their diapers.  I feel like if I’m only gushing left and right about how amazing they are… a) who’s going to want to read that? and b) it’s not keeping it real.  If you have a friend who tells you that their kid sleeps through the night at 6 weeks old, is never fussy, doesn’t misbehave, and eats broccoli… I hate to break it to you (no, I don’t), but your friend is a fucking liar.  Get a new friend, immediately.
We’ve been through the ringer here today.  It was a Battle Royale and it began first thing this morning. I should have known how the day would end up.  Wowza!  I swear three year old girls are just like teenage girls who have their period 24/7.  The mood swings, the attitude, the necessity to eat only crap food and the subsequent meltdown when they are told they cannot do whatever it is they so desperately want to do (if only they knew what that was and how to articulate it).  In my limited experience with three year old boys, I’m convinced there’s a parallel there to teenage boys who have not yet had sex.  The testosterone fueled rage, the erratic behavior, the hyperactivity; it’s all the same.  It is so exhausting and after today, I’m just spent.
I shamefully admit to my Mom today that I was really looking forward to my next surgery.  Not for the new rack (although that’s obviously a major part of it), but for the guilt-free rest.  The time to just relax and not have to actively parent all day, everyday. Is that horrible?  My mom assured me it was not.  In fact, she told me she used to be friends with a woman who had seven children.  This lady told her that she kept having kids because those few days at the hospital after the birth of the latest baby was like a vacation.  While I personally think that’s a pretty dumbass plan, I totally understand where she was coming from.  
It’s a privilege to be my girls’ mother.  They are wonderful in so many ways.  Today’s behavior wasn’t great, but I know that three is a trying time for both of us.  I saw this quote the other day that so perfectly summed it up.  I have to keep reminding myself: “If you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.”

Numero Dos

Surgery número dos is scheduled and fast approaching. Yesterday, I had my pre-op appointment at the plastic surgeon’s office. He man-handled the boobs and took notes on what size implants he was ordering for me. My final tissue expander volume is 545 cc’s in each (that’s a little over a pint, about a 32D). So when he was throwing out numbers to his assistant, he cautioned me, “Don’t be alarmed that the numbers don’t match the tissue expanders’ volumes. They don’t directly correlate”. I’m like, “Hey, dude, do what you’ve got to do. You’ve knocked it out of the park so far. I trust you.” (that was my inner dialogue, I don’t really call my surgeon dude.  I probably just nodded).
I talked to the dude about the next steps in this whole process (there are still at least three more procedures).  Obviously, next is getting the gloriously supple silicone gel implants put in, but after that comes the nipple manufacturing.  I don’t know what to do here, because I don’t want a permanent high beam situation, blinding everyone when they stare at my fabulous new knockers.  So he told me I had a few options for nipples (who knew? design your own nipples, coming to a mall near you): don’t do it at all, do a small profile that is created using just my own skin from my scar (I’m imagining these are like those dot candies that are all different colors in rows on paper), do a larger nub using a plastic piece and skin (pencil erasers?), or do a 3D areola tattoo.  Say what?  I guess we would have to get some special 3D glasses made for my husband.  “What’s that, dear?  You want to get down on the get down?  Hold on, let me light a candle.  Here are your glasses.  Go crazy!”  I’m going to have to think about this one a little more.
Luckily, I have some time.  After my implant procedure next month, I’m anticipating a much shorter recovery period than my first surgery.  I think I will be able to hold my girls after about a week, I will get the two (not four this time, thank goodness) drains out after 4 days, and I should be pretty good to go.  Easier said than done, I’m sure.  After that, it will be 6-8 weeks or up to 3 months until I can do the nipple/lipo procedure (which I’m hoping is done before bikini season). So I have some time to decide what kind of candy dots/eraser/avatar style nipples I’m going to get. Decisions, decisions!

Organize Me

I can’t remember shit.  I think it started when I was pregnant with my first, but then again, I can’t remember.  I recall saying things like, “It’s just mommy brain.” or “It’ll come back when I’m not growing another human inside of me.”  (looking at my watch and tapping my foot impatiently) It hasn’t come back.
I swear a little piece of my brain power left the building when they took out each placenta after the birth of my two daughters and a little more when they took out my boobs.  I am so bad about responding to emails, I cannot remember appointments unless they are in my calendar and two reminders are set, and I forget the simplest to-do’s unless I’ve written them down.  I forgot to buy eggs at the supermarket the other day… and I went solely for eggs and milk.  What the fuck!  I’m beyond frustrated.
I bought my mom the book I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron as a Valentine’s gift.  The first line said something about it all starting in her thirties.  My point to Mom is… see, it’s not an age thing.  I’m not lying to you when I say I’m forgetting the same stuff you are.  It’s not just to make you feel better.  You had four kids, they could have possibly taken a little bit more out of you with the additional two placentas, but you still have your boobs, so maybe we’re even?  I don’t know.
I do remember a simpler time… say, high school? I had my filofax with every subject accounted for with each nightly homework assignment, my dance schedules outlined so I knew when I could complete the schoolwork along with my rehearsals, my cheerleading practice and game schedules, club activities and responsibilities, etc. I was uber-organized and I don’t use uber lightly (German should always be taken seriously).  Heck, even at my wedding, the event coordinator at the hotel almost laughed when she saw my two clear plastic bins with all of the wedding paraphernalia needed to carry out the day and  my instructions which were typed out, including pictures.  I long for my former self in the organizational arena.
Today, you can barely walk into the room we call an “office” (that’s a light term if I’ve ever used one).  My closet looks like a bomb went off (I think my husband secretly relishes the fact that I’ve become so loosey goosey and enjoys tossing his underwear next to the hamper instead of in it, because I really can’t say much about it without being labeled a hypocrite).  I’m constantly trying to stay on top of the disaster areas of playroom, laundry, and snack cabinet, but to no avail.  Just when I think I’ve got it under control, more stuff enters the house and starts piling up again. Like most challenges of this nature (ie. somewhat trivial), I need to take a deep breath and tackle one thing at a time.  I need to try not to derail my efforts by doing little bits here and there, but stick with a project, finish it and then maintain it.  I will make a list so I don’t forget what these tasks are (and I might buy a filofax again if I can figure out a way to sync it to my iPhone – Old Me, meet New Me. She needs your help. Organize Me!).

Sports Illustrated

Thank you Sports Illustrated. Your cover girl has a real body. Her boobs are big and not that perky. Her hips are wide enough to birth an 8 pound baby. Her thighs actually have some meat on them. Although your imagery is very nearly pornographic (last I checked a scarf wasn’t swimwear or appropriate as one’s sole item of “clothing”), I appreciate that you chose someone with an attainable, womanly figure.
As an adult, a mother and a wife, my reflection finally shows me how I feel about my body and I don’t feel like I have to look like a model in a magazine. However, I fear that my girls will enter their teens and be subject to the common feelings of being uncomfortable in their own skin. It’s an unfortunate rite of passage that almost all young girls seem to face. The yellow cautionary signs warning of dangerous curves in the road ahead as their own curves develop. How do I get them past it unscathed?
My husband and I often discuss how we plan to approach their upbringing in order to build in them as much self-confidence as we can. Who would have thought I would take away parenting advice from 50 Shades of Gray, but something resonated with me in conjunction with the plans we have already made. In the salacious novel, there was reference to teaching your children to excel and/or master three things: a foreign language, a musical instrument and a martial art. (In addition to these three things, one of their kids was also an expert in kinky sex. So, clearly not everything worked out as they’d planned, but then again, it never does).
We had already discussed our desire to help our girls find what they are passionate about. Whether it’s a sport, an art, an instrument, we will make sure that we support them in whichever they choose and help them stick with it. We want them to be well rounded, but also focused. We hope that this will give them the confidence to know that they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to, and to appreciate what their bodies and brains are capable of. With said confidence and discipline, perhaps they will be able to look beyond some of the adolescent insecurities that plague us all as we develop. Maybe one day I will show them the SI cover from 2013 and they will see that real women with curves are just as desirable as skinny ones on runways. That no matter how big or small their boobs, hips or thighs, they can have confidence in themselves, their bodies and their brains. (Although, I’m not sure where brains factored into posing in a bikini in Antarctica. As an advocate for breast health, I am officially questioning the endangerment of that model’s nipples. Ouch!).

Valentine’s

Valentine’s Day is for suckers. I’m convinced that this holiday was invented to boost the economy (at least in certain markets). The candy and chocolate people got together with the card makers and lingerie tycoons to conspire against men everywhere. Lest I forget about the floral importers, they’ve had a hand in this too. Everyone has worked so hard since New Years to lose those holiday love handles and then the person who wants to see you naked is handing you a box of chocolate. Sabotage! Seven dollars for a hallmark card with sentimental phraseology that your loved one deems has summed it up and therefore needs only a John Hancock, it never strikes me as romantic. And giving your lady lingerie is basically like buying yourself a present. If I was the Grinch at Christmas, well on Valentine’s Day, consider me that vision of a fat, ugly Cupid baby with a five o’clock shadow, a beer and a cigarette.
I paint a bitter and grim picture, but I’m not thrilled with a holiday that has the potential to make people feel sad if they don’t have a special someone at the moment. I remember crushing on people way back in the day and feeling so let down that the feelings weren’t reciprocated on this holiday. Anxiously awaiting Valentine’s Day, I’d wonder if I’d be surprised with a candy gram in class or a rose from a secret admirer on my locker. Few are as lucky as I am to have found their true love in high school. I don’t want my girls to feel the disappointment of unrequited love. It stings in general, but on February 14th, it burns.
Although I’m obviously disenchanted with this cold day, I look back with a smile as I recall the last 14 Valentine’s I’ve had with my husband. I don’t think he truly buys into the hype either, but he never disappointed me. Our first Valentine’s Day he showed up at my parents house dressed in his finest khakis and button down shirt wielding roses and chocolates. Then he took me in his parents’ fancy car to a romantic restaurant (Paul Newman was at the adjacent table). Subsequent years we laughed at all of the restaurants he took me to. He would painstakingly research the trendy and hip valentines offerings, wining and dining me at these romantic venues. We undoubtedly ordered the wrong thing every time and left laughing at how bad the meal was, but we always had fun. This year, I was adamant that we not play into the consumerism. After all, romance shouldn’t happen one day a year.
Last week, my husband had a meeting in the city where I went to college. I haven’t been back in years and I have been whining about my cravings for my favorite meal there. It’s my favorite meal anywhere. My five dollar bean and rice quesadilla!!!! He only had four hours in the city and the little burrito joint is nowhere near where he was. I kept telling him he would need to find another place to sleep if he came home without my quesadilla. His three hour ride home was chock full of texts; he told me it wasn’t possible, I told him I changed the locks, ya know, the usual. I didn’t think he pulled it off but when he walked in the door while I was bathing our girls and held up a plastic bag with a huge smile on his face, my jaw dropped. After I inhaled half of a quesadilla standing in our bathroom, I gave him a huge hug and told him that was the best valentines surprise ever. He was officially off the hook this year and as far as I’m concerned, every year.
I don’t need a romantic gesture on Valentine’s Day because he shows me love everyday. When he gets up with the girls on weekends and lets me sleep. When he makes pancakes with them and changes their diapers before work in the morning. When he wakes up with them in be middle of the night. When he comes home early on nights when I’m ready to totally lose it. When he goes downstairs in the wee hours because I “heard something”. When he makes me laugh and never have to cry. When he works his ass off so the girls and I can be together all day. When he supports us through life’s ups and downs, both big and small. He’s the best Valentine on this day and all days. (PS. I didn’t buy you a card today, babe, but I could print this out and sign it. Love you, me).