Loathe of the Ring

I went in for my annual exam yesterday. (Let that sentence be a warning unto you, fellas.) An unexpected benefit to delivering a baby is that these annual visits are much less dreadful.

First of all, there’s only one person in the room who is expecting to look at your vagina. Though, I will tell you, a pelvic exam is much less festive without bright lights, beeping machines, a mirror, 15 nurses and your spouse in tow.

Also, the infamous “you may feel a little pressure” is a laughable warning to give a woman who, the last time she heard that, proceeded to push a nine-pound replica of her husband out of her lady parts. I’ve got your pressure right here.

Anywho, I love going to doctors offices because of how they decorate their exam rooms with 1984-looking, plastic replicas of human organs. For example:


The NuvaRing on display in the middle there gave me pause. For those of you not familiar with it, The Ring is a form of birth control that resembles and feels like those glitter/water bracelets you wore 20 at-a-time in the 80’s.


Except, you don’t put this bracelet on your arm. The Ring accessorizes you from the inside.


I gave it a go once. For about two hours in the summer of 2007.

I was little confused at how it should work, so I read the manual. Those are always so helpful. I did as instructed, but something didn’t feel right. I took it out and called my doctor’s after hours line.

Me: Hey, I don’t think I did this right.

Doc: I don’t make house calls for vaginal birth control. If you like, you can come back to the office tomorrow and I can put it in for you.

Me: Would you make fun of me if I did that?

Doc: Yes.

Me: (sigh) Nevermind.

Doc: Why don’t you get your partner to help you?

Me: {crickets}

For the next hour, I tried to make it work sitting, standing, crouching. I considered taking a running jump and landing on it. I even Googled potential solutions. Don’t do that, by the way.

Then, out of desperation I called out to Dave:

Me: Baby! I need your help!

Dave: No.

Me: Yes! The doctor said so.

Dave: There’s no way I’m doing that.

Maybe it was frustration, or how hard I was laughing by this point, but suddenly, it worked!

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Ya’ll have questions

Have I told you lately how much I appreciate you reading and sharing with your friends my ridiculous thoughts on parenting and baby stuff? I do. I also appreciate your questions; here is my attempt to answer a few of them:


This is me very preggers in February 2012.

Why didn’t you do a pregnancy blog? I did, actually. It’s over here at Margie Newman: Preggers. Highlights include:

Why did you resurrect the blog after your four month hiatus? 

Several friends had been asking me to write again and it was really touching. I started this blog as therapy for myself, but it turns out that my confessions are helpful to others, too. That’s a really nice feeling, and responsibility. I started back up because I want you to know you’re not alone, which also means I’m not alone.

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Things I did not understand until I had a baby

They say having a child gives you a change in perspective. They are correct. I’m not talking about a new-found understanding of sleep deprivation as a form of torture, “experiencing a love like no other” or even the development of your new pain tolerance standards (would you say it was labor painful? or just broken limb painful?).

What I am talking about is the acceptance–if not the active practice–of things you used to have no tolerance for, like:

Cars full of crap. 

Before baby: So, you’ve procreated and now you can’t clean out your backseat? Really? Sure, I’ll ride back here. No problem. Let me just brush these soggy Cheerios off the seat and side step these three sad, gnawed on action figures. No, no, really it’s fine. I’m sure whatever wet substance I just put my hand in is not pee.

Now: This morning, our backseat inventory included: four books, two very large stuffed animals, a beach towel, a spoiled bottle of milk, two milk bottle caps, sand, one sock, a car seat the size of Texas, and an Elmo mirror. Don’t look in the trunk, it’s a mess. However, should we take a spontaneous trip to the beach, we’re all set thanks to the beach umbrella, a beach chair, two beach towels and the bucket of beach toys that reside in the trunk. Last week, we also toted around TWO strollers for our one child.

The lure of the Mini Van.

Before baby: Have you lost your mind? You birthed a baby, not the Brady Bunch. No one requires a vehicle that big unless they have four kids who take surfing and/or pole-vaulting lessons.

Now: Whoa. Maybe we need one of these:

Every now and then, I entertain the idea of a larger vehicle. The only thing that keeps me from seriously considering a mini van is Dave’s theory about getting a larger house, car, or office: in every case, the more space you give yourself, the more stuff you’ll end up collecting to fill it. If what we are doing to our four-door Volkswagen is any indication, we do not need this temptation.

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How To Create a Sleeping Sanctuary

How do you create the perfect sleeping environment for your baby? Hell if I know.

From noise machines, to night lights, to food schedules, to superstition, I’ve tried everything to get my Dawn Worshiper to sleep past 5:15 a.m. And when she wakes she’s not waking up happy; she’s all kinds of mad for no apparent reason.

For a while, I thought it was the sunlight peeking in, waking her up before she was ready. So for the past week, Suzianne slept in a blacked-out room. A room so devoid of natural light, it felt dungeon-like during the day. But whatevs. Here’s a flashlight, baby. Momma needs some sleep.

The Baby Cave was created with the aid of this magical substance. It is black-out film, like the kind teachers use on their classroom windows. Although, I’m positive their handiwork does not look like something off of Frankenstein’s Pinterest board:


Crafty I’m not.

Sure it is creepy, but it really works. And by “it really works” I mean, it clings to the windows and makes the room dark. It in no way helps my child sleep. It might actually be making her angry.

After this week’s co-sleeping fun, I decided to rip down the film. I’m over it. I have no idea what conditions would enable my child to stay asleep past sunrise. And why make her wander through a depressing Baby Cave if it doesn’t actually help.

You birthed an early-bird, Margie. Deal with it.

Ah, but wouldn’t you know…the past two days–sans darkroom–she has slept until 6:30 a.m. Once awake, she’s not freaking out. She just sort of hangs out in her crib, playing with her stuffed animals until she gets board and calls for us Daddy.

The bottom line on baby sleep seems to be the same infuriatingly true advice people give about searching for a good man: be patient, honey. As soon as you give up, it’ll happen.

One of these things is not like the other one

Here’s how Princess Kate rolls ONE DAY after giving birth to the future King of England:

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 3.13.31 PM

{Slow Clap}.

That, friends, is a woman with a newborn who took a shower AND brushed her teeth on the same day.

Not only did she look stunning, she carried her baby and walked–unassisted and without limping–down a flight of stairs into a gaggle of the World’s press. Without so much as one grimace.

Let’s compare Kate’s exit to how I left the hospital, THREE days after birthing Suzianne:


I can haz 10 Motrin?

That is a photo of a woman who has not bathed in four days. Although, I did manage to brush my teeth on Day Two:


When I left the hospital, I was wheeled out. Not just because it was hospital protocol, but because I could not hardly walk.

I wore pajamas and house shoes–the same exact outfit that I would wear for the next three days. Probably longer, had Suzianne not peed all over it.

Over the next three weeks, I would be completely overwhelmed and paralyzed at the very thought of having to greet visitors. Even when they were family members.

My pregnancy and labor were nearly perfect, but the act of giving birth really wrecked my body and mind. If ever there was a time to be happy NOT to be a Royal, it was this week, as I watched a woman who just gave birth greet the World graciously and gracefully. Two things it literally took me months to do…and no one was publishing my picture or commenting on the remains of my bump.


It’s 5:05 A.M. and Suzianne’s screams are blaring through the monitor. We spawned an early riser. It is clearly a cruel joke the Universe is playing on two people who, pre-baby, routinely slept until Noon on Saturdays.


“No, ma’am. Not today,” I Momma Mean Whisper as I walk with a purpose down the hall. But when I barrel through the door this particular morning, she actually is reaching for me. My heart softens. Most days, I am the last thing she wants to see, as she wakes with hanger only satiated with scrambled eggs and Daddy.

I pick her up, she’s calming, then, pointing back to the crib. I lay her down and play with her hair. I forget I was on a mission to quickly put her to bed and fall back to sleep in my own. It’s times like these when she’s so content to have me there that I lose track time and agenda.

She’s nearly asleep so I tip toe out of her room with that warm fuzzy feeling of CREEEEAK!

{head slap}

The 80 year old floor gives away my exit with such volume it actually causes me to jump.

{toddler screaming}

“Let’s try this another way, together,” I say, scooping up Suzianne and her pink elephant. We are making our way to the couch and I’m thinking this will never work. By design, co-sleeping is something we never do. Dave and I love our bed, our sleep, our clean and crumb-free sheets. But this morning, it’s clear she’s still sleepy. I’m still sleepy.

We are curled up under a blanket and she smells like baby. Her little nose is just inches from mine. She has put her feet between my legs because they are cold. Her head is resting on my arm. Her eyelids are heavy. Thoughts of gratitude and love are causing my eyes to well up. Will she ever understand how much I love her?

She’s asleep, her little hand laying on my chest. I am starting to understand why co-sleepers do this and it occurs to me:

I have to pee.

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Favorite things: Months 13-16

It’s been a while since we posted a list of Suzianne’s favorite things. Here’s a grouping of her go-to books, foods and toys over the past few months:

Books. The good old fashioned board kind. Since she could sit up on her own, she’s had a thing for pulling every book off the shelf and wading in a pool of cardboard. These are her favorites. Note: if you buy these, you’ll be reading them over and over again. Unless you hide them under the ottoman like we do. So, don’t blame me–you’ve been warned.


But wait! Where is MY favorite book, Llama, Llama, Red Pajama? Yeah, so, she could not care less about that book. It breaks my heart, since reading that book to her while making her sit awkwardly in a Bumbo is basically the only reason I had a baby and of course my child hates both of those things. (geez)

Food. Unless she’s teething, this child will pack away the food. She’s especially fond of red foods, like watermelon, tomatoes, red bell peppers, strawberries and cherries.IMG_7897

Even as easy-going eater, she still goes through picky phases. For three days, the only thing she’d eat was this banana pouch and cheddar bunnies. Also, every now and then, she’ll refuse to eat cheese unless it is sliced in a certain way. Last week, she wouldn’t eat a green bean with strings hanging off of it. So, daddy picked off all the strings for her, naturally.

When my foodie turns fickle, I always giggle/cry and think about this hilarious/true/depressing Honest Toddler post. As a friend of mine commented on Facebook last week, it’s amazing how universal this behavior is. Continue reading

What you missed: walking

During my blogging hiatus, Suzianne learned to walk. I’m delighted to report I lucked into capturing her actual first steps on video:

Suzianne was a late walker; also a late crawler. Folks always told me savor this, because once they start walking they turn into wild horned beasts or something. But I actually like this whole walking thing.

I love that when I’m holding her and she wants down, I no longer have to bend so far over to sit her on the floor. I can stop when her feet touch the ground. My back is more than grateful.

And when she’s trying to tell me something and she doesn’t have the words, she can just walk over to it and show me like so:


Momma, I would like to put my fingers in this electrical outlet. Cool?

Also, photos of her walking are adorable:




Bonus: once she started walking, she decided shoes were not products of the devil.


This started in late April. These days, she’s running, turning in circles, attempting to jump, climbing things, etc. I’ll keep you posted on how long the new-to-walking phase enjoyment lasts…

By “no” she means, “the only other word I know is daddy.”

When I was preggers, I loved this Capital One “no” baby commercial because:

A) I was certain I was having a red-headed girl; and,

B) I was amazed that one could train a small child to say “no” on command.

Now that I have a toddler of my own, it is clear to me that the “no” baby is not acting. This “no-while-smiling” business is just how babies roll. For most of her 15th month, “no” was the only word Suzianne could say with conviction.

When 15 month old babies say “no,” they actually mean: “you’ve asked me something and I know I’m supposed to respond to it, but the only word I know besides ‘daddy’ is ‘no.’ So, no.”

Once your baby hits the “no” phase, your conversations will go like this:

Momma: “did you poop?”

Suzianne: “no.”

Momma: “then why are flies following you around the house?”

Suzianne walking backwards & giggling: “no.”

This is super cute and really funny, but not very practical.

Now that she’s at the 16.5 month mark, she’s developed a suite of “no” tones.

  • The “Serious & Furrowed Brow No,” for when you’re trying to get her to eat something other than watermelon.
  • The “Playful No,” which is used when she initiates a conversation with you or wants you to read to her, but doesn’t have the words to express herself.
  • The “Boneless No,” on reserve for swing set removals and when momma attempts to change her diaper on the changing table.
  • The “Yes No,” the most popular version of the word that she uses to answer just about any question you ask her. For example:

Granny Sue Sue: “do you want a million dollars?”

Suzianne: “no”


Momma: “did you like that ice-cream?”

Suzianne: “no”

Momma: “I see”

no ice cream


This week, her lips are starting to move as she watches you talk, so I know she’ll be repeating our words any day now. I’m a little sad, because this only-knowing-a-handful-of-words phase is really cute. But I’m excited to get to the point where she can actually talk back to us. I’m positive I’ll look back in a few months and find that last sentence ridiculous.