Friday, June 8, 2012

Where's my Oprah-moment?!

Setting the scene...
Witching-hour has commenced, the house is in ruins, my husband is running late at work, I'm sleep-deprived, the baby is screaming, the middle-child is putting on her own production of Stomp and the oldest just spilled milk all over the sofa! Now instead of me on the verge of tears, envision this:

All of a sudden the intro music to The Oprah Winfrey show starts playing. Magically the living-room is transformed into a TV-studio. I am on the stage, and there she is! Oprah Winfrey, in all her glory, saying things like "Own Your Power" and " Where There is no Struggle, There is No Strength", all while she and her entire audience, is clapping and nodding in acknowledgement to the amazingness that is me and my motherly struggles!

Before having children, I used to watch made-for-TV-moments like this, and honestly find it all a bit excessive. The majority of woman become mothers at some point in their lives right? - so what's the big whoop!? I'll tell you what the big whoop is .... children are terrible! We love them more than anything, and every day contains moments that make it all worth while. But let's face it, those little ones can be absolute monsters!

Sleepless nights, colic, witching-hour, teething, waiting rooms at doctors offices - it's hard work! Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, working full-time or part-time - it's hard work! Moments like those are enough to make anyone loose their minds! And I'm sure it doesn't get easier by the time those monsters are teenagers, slamming doors and sneaking beers out of the refrigerator.

Some days you just need someone to tell you, you're doing a good job! Some days, when you're having one of those almost-in-tears-moments, you need appreciation of a magnitude that only Oprah could give you! Nothing less!

So to all you mothers out there: Go kiss your wonderful [terrible] children, and know that Oprah and I believe you to deserve much appreciation. You all rock and you've taken on one of the hardest jobs in the world!    

Monday, June 4, 2012

How To Keep Your Wife From Hitting The Fan

I love my husband. Now let's get on with it ......

I get mad at my husband!

Being pregnant and postpartum continuously for quite some years now, I get mad at him A LOT! Even in my dreams, I'll be mad at him! Most of the time, I don't even think he realizes that I'm mad at him. Days will pass, and he will all of a sudden say "wait a minute, are you mad about something?", realizing that I have given him the silence treatment for two days! .... or maybe he did realize, but decided to enjoy the calm!

Either way, when he does realize, he will usually humor me, and let me fight with him. You see, it is most definitely always me, who is having a fight with- or at him, without much participation from his side.

This could work, if he actually listened and took notice, but no! This is the most infuriating thing! He will only listen half way. He actually has an amazing talent, where he zones out all background noise, picks out a few thought-provoking words, and creates his own new perception. For example, if I go on about needing more help, and how hard it is being alone with toddlers and a new baby, he somehow just hears the word baby, and then his male brain brings him to "let's go practice making another one!"  - Are you kidding me!

The thing is, I actually don't believe myself to be all that complicated. Woman are from Venus and men are from Mars?.... Nah! I might be slightly crazy, but It's all very simple and earthly. So the measures it takes to keep me from hitting the fan, might not always be rational, but they are quite straightforward.

Dear Husband, the following advice is for you......

  • First of all, if I am pregnant, postpartum or PMS'ing, avoid any spontaneous conversation all together! 
  •  Sometimes I need to vent. Do not come up with solutions! I do not want to solve things - I want to dwell in them! I only want comments from you, stating how sorry you are, or that you get where I'm coming from and that you agree with me! You do not have to reason with me, even if I'm being unreasonable!  
  • If for some idiotic reason an x-girlfriend or fling is brought up in conversation, the only correct thing to say is: "she's terrible!". Do not tell me how "she's actually a nice girl" or "quite sweet" and unless you tell me she's fat and wrinkled, I don't even want to know the color of her hair!
  • if you have already disregarded the above mentioned points, and set me off, then do not attempt to win the argument. It will only end badly. I am always right!
                                                                         - Sincerely your loving wife  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Bonus

I'm the fourth and youngest of my parents children, and I was not planned. Unplanned children will often be referred to as accidents. My father always say, that I was no accident, but rather a bonus, unexpected, but welcomed with joy!

It probably doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out, that with an arrival just 13 months after our second daughter was born, our third little one, was such a bonus!

I was sitting, with a big glass of red-wine in my hand, when conversation let me to the fact, that I might be pregnant. It seemed quite unfathomable, since I had a baby, only a few months-old next to me! Never the less, I finished my glass of wine, on the off chance that I was pregnant, and yet again would have to give up this sweet nectar, and took a pregnancy-test.....  

So how does one get unexpectedly pregnant you might ask?! .... One doesn't! One just isn't very smart!

Originally I had a paragraph here, explaining the specifics, but my husband had me edit it out - something about how people would know that we, as he so eloquently puts it, do it! We have three kids! I think they already know?! But either way, the point is, that without being very smart, we still got away with seven and a half years together (five of them married), before we intentionally got pregnant. And then another two years, before another intentional pregnancy.

According to my husband, the responsibility lies fully with me (and perhaps the few cocktails I had in me). Something about being a guy, and how you can't expect much from men under such circumstances. A valid point.......

When I look into the beautiful eyes of our little bonus, and she smiles at me, revealing a single perfect dimple on her left cheek, I am happy to take full responsibility! And I can't help but wonder if she was really all that unexpected? or if the universe always meant for her arrival? 

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Water Works

Growing up,  my mother would cry at every single recital, school musical or graduation my siblings and I ever participated in, and I would roll my eyes at her every time!  

Walking into the gym at my daughter's school, I saw the stage, all set up for the spring concert. There weren't even any kids in the room, but i could feel the lump starting in my throat. This was a week after I had given birth to my youngest, which might explain why I was extra sensitive, but still! It was a half empty gym for crying out load (no pun intended)!

When I saw my daughter and her little friends take the stage, hand in hand, it was all over - let alone  when they started singing this little light of mine! My husband looked at me and noticed, that I was wearing my sunglasses. In a slightly schooling tone, he asked me, why I was wearing those inside - I lifted them, showing my red teary eyes, "because I'm crying, that's why!!" ..... he put his arm around me, and said nothing further about the sunglasses.     

Now I would like to say, that this was all due to my hormonal changes, and that I am nothing like my mother. But the truth is, that no amount of hormones will change the fact, that I am a crier!

I cry when I'm sad, when I'm angry, when I'm overwhelmed, when I'm touched by something - pretty much anytime my emotions sway just slightly from the baseline. I cry watching TV or reading books. I cry every time I say goodbye to someone - which is quite the predicament, since I live half a world away from pretty much every person in my life. I cry in airports at the thought of others saying goodbye or being reunited. I cry when someone tells me they're pregnant, and I cry never more, than after I had kids!

At the onset of that lump forming in my throat, I will attempt to talk myself out of crying. Reasoning with myself about how the situation in no way will be altered by the fact that I am crying. Crying won't make things less touching, less sad or less scary. It will only result in puffy red eyes for the rest of the day - maybe even the next day, if the crying took place at night! I try to think of something else, or distract myself. As if thinking about furniture upholstery for example, will take away from the two people about to get married, or my daughter taking a bow at her first ever school performance!  
I have met woman who are beautiful criers. One single tear rolling down their cheeks as they gaze ahead. This does not run in my genetic pool, and my tears would never be perceived as endearing. I am an ugly crier! It is as if my face and I are having a fight. Each of us trying to pull the facial muscles in different directions! Not just a few muscles around the eyes either, but every single facial muscle and beyond, starting at those tendons at the front of my throat! My eyes turn into tiny little creases and my hands start waving uncontrollably in front of me! (come to think of it, I actually laugh in a similar unattractive manor!). 

Now there is absolutely nothing I can do to change the fact that I am a crier. And when I try to look prettier while crying, it only makes it worse - since the fight between me and my face intensifies! It is a circumstance that I will have to live with. And when my daughters begin to roll their eyes at me - which they undoubtedly will, I will simply cry even more, thinking about how I am my mothers daughter and they are mine!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do I have too much snot on my shirt?!

The other day, I caught a glimpse of myself in a window. Let me just tell you, it wasn't pretty! This was the second day in a row of not showering, I had my greasy hair pulled back in an unflattering ponytail, and I was wearing sweatpants, flip flops and a t-shirt with unidentified stains all over it. I came to the astonishing realization, that I have let myself go!

Lately the bar has been set rather low. Most things don't fit post baby-number-three, and comfort has taken precedence over the overall look of things. Before leaving the house, I will ask, not whether I have any snot on me, but whether I have too much snot on me! And where it used to take a bit of cleavage for my husband to be all "yawsa", it now only takes a pair of jeans and maybe a bit of mascara.

With all that being said, I don't know why this vision of myself was such a surprise!

I guess I was deceiving myself thinking that the right bag and a pair of big shades, would take away from the overall look of old worn yoga pants!    

I always used to think, that even as a mom, I would keep up with my fashion forward European self! Think Kate Hudson or Nicole Richie, where I would wear a great maxi-dress and a fashionable fedora hat on the one day, where I didn't have time to shower.

I guess without the worry of paparazzi on every corner, the incentive is lacking. Do I really want to get up an hour earlier in the morning to dry my hair, or make it to the mall, so I can buy that maxi-dress? .... maybe I should try and get myself on one of those reality shows - "Real Housewives of Expat Husbands" - now there's an idea! Then I would have to make an effort.... right?!

I have hope for myself though. Maybe things will change when the little one starts sleeping through the night, or when I don't pick out shirts based on their nursing efficiency, or when I have an amazingly tight hot body (because this will happen, it will!.....because I have sooooo much time to make it to a gym...hmmmm..... THIS WILL HAPPEN!) Worst case, I will at one point have three teenage daughters, who will make sure to let me know when I'm dressing badly, and who will make sure that we make it to a mall!   


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother Google

When my sister as a one-year-old, pulled a worm out of the lawn and swallowed it, my mother dusted her off, and gave her some water. Today's mother would dust her off, and then rush to the laptop, where she would google "what happens if you eat a worm!?".

This past week I have googled such things as; "dangers of eating flower pot dirt" and "How do you know if your baby farts too much?" (if you read "The Middle Child", you will already know which child ate the dirt!)

Now, what good can really come from online information on eating dirt? It already happened, and if you spend enough time searching, you will undoubtedly find someone, somewhere in the realm of the internet, who will give you reason to be concerned. It's like an enabling friend, who's even crazier than yourself!

I don't know how many Google searches I make in a day, but it's a lot! It will often be little things like recipes, listings, map searches, opening hours at stores and so on. But I have to admit, that many searches revolve around such topics, as the above mentioned, farts and flower pot dirt. I simply can not help myself! I have to know what my crazy friend Google thinks of the matter!
When my husband says, there's nothing to worry about, I will reply with a "but Google said"!  If the pediatrician tells me, there's no need to be concerned, I will still find myself mid Google search. 

I believe that I might have a Google-addiction. I know that it's bad for me, but I still can't stop myself from hitting that search-button. I believe that I might need help!

My next Google search will be for "mothers-who-Google-too-much-anonymous". 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Middle Child

Out of three kids, there's bound to be a middle-child. According to experts, middle children will have a tendency to feel neglected or ignored. From day one, our middle child made sure nobody could ignore her. Even before we knew she wasn't going to be our last, we believe that she did!

Her sisters arrived petite and with fussy blond hair. She came out of the womb with a whole head of black hair, with round chubby cheeks and eating like no other baby could have possibly eaten before!

Like a Duracell rabbit, she has yet to stop. She has not stopped moving, she has not stopped eating, she has not stopped getting into trouble! She is my zumba-class, my run around the park and my diet all wrapped up in one!

We never had to baby-proof the house with our oldest daughter. This one on the other hand, will enter a room and with spy like vision scan for what-not-to-do. Even with all doors shut, safety gates at the stairs and cords tucked away, she will find a table to climb on, a curtain to hang from or a flowerpot to eat out of.

I thought I had baby-proofed our bathroom, thought being the operable word here! Toilet brush was removed, toilet paper out of reach, you name it. I hadn't think to remove the toilet itself though! I found her sitting in the toilet - yes IN the toilet bowl! Feet first, head sticking out, happy as a clam!

I could also tell you about the time she climbed out of a window (not far off the ground) and ran down the driveway in all but her diaper, or the time she stuck her whole head in a bucket with soapy mop-water, but I think I have already painted a pretty good picture..... 

She gets me tired, she worries me and she makes my heart stop beating at least once a day. But she also makes me laugh, she has a smile that will light up the room and her dance moves are unheard of for a 15-months-old. And when she kisses her baby sister, or when she sings in the backseat of the car with her big sister, I could never imagine this family without her or her craziness. 

Two pieces of bread, with nothing in between, is just two pieces of bread. Two pieces of bread with a filling, now that makes a sandwich! Our middle child makes our family. And she's no regular slice of cheese either! So when it boils down to it, what would our family be without our filling?! We need a little spice in our life - we need our middle child!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's In The Bag!

I have a confession to make – I spent an obscene amount of money on my diaper bag! (Well technically my husband did, but same difference - right?!)

In this economy, admitting to such a purchase, is slightly embarrassing, but let me just tell you; this bag makes me SO Happy!

This would be the “as-seen-on: brad Pitt, Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie etc. –diaper-bag. It smells like leather and it looks like a designer bag.

I don’t have a personal trainer, a stylist or a nutritionist, and I know I won’t ever look like a celebrity mom, but at least I can rock the same diaper bag! And oh how I rock it!  With a big bag like that and some cool shades, then who even notices the floppy post baby belly!

So I choose to reason my purchase with its psychological benefits. I might actually be a better mom simply because of this diaper bag! Come to think of it, I might actually become an even better mom, if I had some Gucci pumps. I’ll run that one by my husband next month……..

Friday, April 20, 2012

Belly Laughs – The naked truth about pregnancy and childbirth by Jenny McCarthy

It’s funny because it’s true!

This book had me crying from laughing. It’s not written by a healthcare professional, but simply by a woman, who happens to have been pregnant. This woman happens to be Jenny McCarthy, who happens to be very funny.

It’s one of those celebrity-decided-to-write-a-book-books that actually works!

It’s a very easy, light read (so perfect for pregnancy brain) and it won’t leave you any wiser, but it will make you laugh! And best of all, it will make you laugh at yourself!

To paint a picture, I’ll give you the names of a few chapters:
Psycho Chick (Hormonal Rage),
Passing Stonehenge (Constipation),
Did a Sewer Tank Just Explode Or Did You Just Fart? (Gas),
Die, Model Bitch, Die! (Hating Skinny People).

Find it online at Amazon US
Find it online at Amazon UK