When Mom is a Bridesmaid

Mostly, I think I am a grown-up… or at least I pretend to be. There is no definitive criteria for establishing adult-hood and maturity is not automatically granted at the age of 18. Occasionally I’ll have one of those wow-I’m-getting-old moments and by occasionally, I mean all the time.

My best friend of almost 25 years is getting married. Yes, that would make us 21 years young. I am honored to be her bridesmaid and looking forward to the wedding. Although I don’t mind humiliating myself by blogging about life’s embarrassing moments, I won’t humiliate her by mentioning we used to have practice weddings in the library with paper flowers, wedding invitations written on notebook paper, and an aisle we used to walk down near the non-fiction section.

I haven’t been in a wedding since my own and I hadn’t anticipated the challenges of being a bridesmaid and being a mom at the same time.

Ah, how un-fondly I look back on that moment when the bridal shop called to verify my unusual measurements were accurate. Nonetheless, I re-did my measurements to determine whether or not having a baby had turned me into a mis-shapen mutant and it had. I not-so-enthusiastically ordered a larger dress size and was distressed when I tried it on. Snug is not a word that makes women feel beautiful or sexy. Bless the seamstress who promised the next time I try the dress on, my expression will be happier. If that is the case, I might have clothes professionally altered more often just for the pep-talks.

While we were waiting to have the alteration ticket written up, my mother and I were discussing undergarments. Yes, undergarments. My mother suddenly laughed (although I take undergarments very seriously) and I realized my son was standing on the pedestal with a young girl  who was having her prom gown fitted. Flirting already at 15 months… hide your daughters. After I offered an apology only necessary for me, I scooped him up and pondered the logistics of being a bridesmaid and being a mom.

We had a plan at the bridal shower for when he got fussy and I wasn’t able to make him happy without neglecting my bridesmaid duties, but the wedding will be a bigger challenge. I think I can hear some moms telling me to just leave him at home, but my usual childcare options will be AT this wedding and making arrangements is a little more complicated seeing as how we are traveling for the wedding.

And how will I get ready? I have been responsible for getting myself, my husband, and my son ready for the past 15 months. I’m afraid if I’m not there to help they’ll show up with no pants on or else inconveniently late. If the universe ever implodes and time collapses on itself, it is because a mother was not there to get her family ready.

This is another one of those unexpected ways a woman’s life changes after having a baby. No matter what other role I might serve as a bridesmaid, a working woman, or someone trying to wash their car… first and foremost I am a mom now!

What experiences have you had with taking your child to a wedding? Success or embarrassing disaster?  Any tips or tricks for taking your child to celebrate a special occasion?

Tuesday 10: 10 Favorite Photos

Below are 10 of my favorite photos that capture some of the most special moments in my life. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I will let these special photos speak for themselves.

1. When we first met…

2. Celebrating our marriage with family and friends…

3. Baby’s first picture…

4. Our first family photo…

5. Mother and daughter…

6. Little baby goes to Washington…

7. Precious smile…

8. Sisters…

9. That’s my boy…10. I love every, simple, mundane moment…

When Mom is Sick

I’m sick. The germ kind. This is what happens when the weather is pleasant and my schedule is flexible. As you can imagine, this happens frequently during holidays, vacation, special occasions, and other times that have the potential for enjoyment. For this cough and cold I have, I blame my sister.

Motivation frequently evades me. Even on my best days, I am easily distracted and unable to… oh, look… Pinterest! If you clicked on Pinterest, you are just as easily distracted as I am. When I am not feeling well, it is even more difficult to find the motivation to complete my daily tasks such as getting out of bed, leaving the house, and showing up at work. Further, I am struggling to compensate for the hour of sleep I just lost to Daylight Savings Time.

The world must go on, but I’m a non-believer. I believe it should stop until I am physically able to continue. Unfortunately, spouses and children do not recognize when mom is not feeling well. Their needs increase as does their own irritability. It is frustrating to the families of sick moms that their needs and requests are not top priority because mom: 1. Does not feel well and cannot fulfill their request 2. Is putting her health and wellness before mundane issues 3. Is not capable are caring about family nonsense. Families are always important, of course. However, so are moms.

It has been a year since I was sick. Last time I was sick, I enjoyed 3 weeks of a sinus infection and was unable to treat aggressively due to nursing. By enjoyed I mean I was miserable. Currently, I am only on day 3 of an unidentifiable cold and cough. I suspect this is the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. We all know how households fail to function properly when mom is sick. Imagine a world of moms with cough and colds. Zombie apocalypse.

My husband is concerned for me… or at least he is afraid I am turning into a zombie with a runny nose and an incoherent attitude. Whilst I coughed for an hour and a half last night at 3 am-ish, he asked me if I was ok. What he means is “You are keeping me awake. You should go somewhere and do something about that cough.” He’s probably right, but a medication induced sleep makes it impossible to find the energy to climb out of bed. I’d rather just lay in bed and cough (and complain about it the following day).

Zombie or not, I managed to brush my hair and show up at work. I certainly hope zombie isn’t contagious. Although I am suffering a sensitivity to sunlight and happiness, I’m holding on to humanity as best I can.

What happens to your household when mom is sick? Share your stories in the comments!

VOTE FOR ME: Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012

I am asking you (yes you and you) to please vote for me in Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms of 2012.

Why?

Because at 8 months pregnant I dressed like a Mom-Zombie and posed for pictures.

Because I am THIS mom: Shit Working Moms Say

Because I compared my Adventures in Commuting to a classic John Hughes film. Also, there were dinosaurs.

Because what mom dreams of breaking the law with her child in the backseat? This mom!

Because I have a board on Pinterest devoted to ridiculous nonsense.

Because I proudly forged my father’s signature on a test I failed with brown crayon. Yes, brown crayon.

Because I invited everyone into the bathroom with me (and you don’t even need to knock on the door).

If I make the Top 25, I will pose for and POST a goofy photo of your choosing. No nudity, but you may suggest something equally embarrassing. I’m not a politician, so you can trust me. I’m good for my word. See, you get something in return! In politics and parenting, they call it bribery folks.

If you would like a daily reminder to vote, leave your email in the comments below (or shoot me an email privately at mommyhuhinfo(at)gmail.com). I’ll even send you something silly with each daily reminder.

Please, VOTE FOR ME!

I said please.

Thank you!

- Jennifer @DCWorkingMommy

 

Pinterest for Mommies

I heart Pinterest. I would marry it if I could, but my husband won’t let me.

What is Pinterest? It’s something different for everybody. It is a place to organize and share ideas and thoughts. It’s whatever you want it to be! Am I vague enough? I used to imagine my head was full of tiny people and filing cabinets. This microscopic office environment’s primary function was to retrieve and provide information when necessary. If this microscopic environment had a bulletin board for thoughts to ponder and ideas to try, that would be Pinterest.

Pinterest is not so different from other popular social media; you follow and have followers, can ‘like’ and comment on what you see, and can share and interact with others. When you see an image worth remembering, you ‘pin it.’ Whatever you ‘pin’ can be organized onto different ‘boards’ which represent different categories relevant and specific to you.

Personally, my fave board is Silly-Mommy. I love to laugh and share humor with others! For many, Pinterest is the go-to for crafts, DIY, recipes, and other projects. Here is a list of 5 projects I found on Pinterest that I HAVE tried and 5 projects I found on Pinterest that I HAVEN’T tried. Remember to follow me on Pinterest.

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5 Projects I HAVE Tried on Pinterest

1. Sweet Potato Fries: I have yet to perfect the recipe and get a crispy frie, but it is delicious trying! Cost: About .70 cents per potato

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2. Bacon and Eggs Candy: Take white chocolate discs and place on top of a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Pop in a 200 degree oven for a minuter or two to soften the chocolate, then drop a yellow M&M and pretzel stick on top. Cost: About $10 for ingredients

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3. Moustache Pacifier: I think moustaches are adorable, especially on kids. Cut a moustache from felt and secure to a pacifier with tape. I used a photograph of my son with a moustache and turned it into a special Valentine. Cost: About .20 cents for a sheet of felt.

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4. Hungry Caterpillar Balloons: Inflate green balloons for the body and a big red balloon for the head. Use construction paper to make antennae and eyes. Secure all with tape. Cost: About $5 for balloons, tape, and construction paper. Learn more

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5. Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes: Make a batch of cupcakes and add green and red food coloring to icing. Ice cupcakes and get creative with refrigerator and pantry items to decorate the head. Cost: About $5.50 for cake mix, icing, and cupcake papers. Learn more

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5 Projects I HAVEN’T Tried on Pinterest.. YET!

1. Cardboard Playhouse: My son loves playing in closets. No doubt, he would enjoy a playhouse of his own (and I would enjoy not cleaning up closets after he messes them up).

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2. Cloud Mobile: I have been using the ceiling fan in our son’s room to create different mobiles. Fluffy clouds would be beautiful.

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3. Sponge Blocks: This versatile DIY toy is inexpensive and simple. When my son is older (and less likely to eat the sponges) I hope to make him a set of sponge blocks.

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4. Pretzel Buckeyes: Simple, I want to eat it, therefore I want to make it!

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5. Pretzel Rolls: They look delicious and can be frozen for later use.

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Remember to follow me on Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest too? Ready to try it out and need an invite? Leave me a comment!

When Something Scary Happened to My Son

This topic is a little more serious than usual. I learn so much from my experiences, and wanted to share this one.

The sun slept in on Saturday and got a later start than usual. Unfortunately, the same was not true for me. I had a list of errands to do before a bridal shower at noon. Although motherhood has taught me efficiency, it has not taught me patience. I was in foul mood until my to-do list was completed and we made it to the bridal shower.

My mother and I were greeted at the bridal shower by family we don’t see as often as we would like and some new friends. For them, it was their first time meeting my son. He didn’t mind the attention, but was staying cautiously close to me. When the bride-to-be opened her gifts in the living room, I stood just outside the empty kitchen. Releasing my son was like opening a birdcage. After pacing through the kitchen several times, he was at my side and playing with a pair of balloons.When he sat on the floor beside me, I gave him a snack.

I took advantage of the opportunity to be sociable, and directed my attention back to the bridal shower for a moment as I stood just beside my son. When I looked down at him seconds later, I noticed something was very wrong.

“HE’S CHOKING!’ I shouted immediately. The words were there before I understood what was happening. Suddenly, time stopped.

I grabbed my son and began hitting him on the back. When that didn’t work and he continued gasping for air, I used my fingers in his mouth. I had CPR and First Aid training years ago, but I was too busy reacting to what was happening to ponder if I should be doing something differently. My mother was beside me now and while I continued to use my pinky in his mouth, she was hitting him on the back with the heel of her hand.

He gagged and spit up a little. Then he did it again. Finally, he vomited and his airway was cleared. After he got some air, his scream was one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.

While I took care of him, the other moms at the bridal shower were taking care of me. I couldn’t truly comprehend what they were saying. When my son was choking, I didn’t have the time to freak out. Now that he was in my arms and enjoying a bottle, I replayed the moment over and over again in my head.

Even now, it upsets me to think of that first moment when I realized something was wrong. But in the seconds, minutes, hours, and days that followed, I have learned a few things that I wanted to share.

I have been spinning my tires in the mud worrying about what I did wrong. What mom doesn’t blame herself when something happens regardless of whether or not she has control over it? Sure I could have NOT given my son a cracker, but he’s had them so many times before. Should I never-ever give him a cracker again? After the incapacitating shock wore off, one of the moms gave me a pat on the back and told me this incident would just be the first of many ‘scary’ incidents. As our children grow, develop, and try new things, they take risks. Although we can not, and should not, shelter our children (young or old) from life, we can do our part to TRY to keep them safe. But keeping them safe, no matter how hard we try, is no guarantee.

This was one of those ‘special’ moments when I felt instinct controlling me. Sure I had the CPR and First Aid training years ago, but it is much easier to sit here now and remember it than it was while my son was choking. I am sure there was a better technique I could have used, but the cracker needed to not-be-stuck-in-my-son’s-throat and that was all that mattered. Even now, that is still all that matters.

There was a small part of me that I can not deny was a little embarrassed afterwards. I had given a room full of women (most of them moms) a scare during what should have been a fun and happy moment for the bride. Their laughter became anxious silence when I shouted out. They all approached me afterwards (some several times) to check on my son and I. It was natural for me to feel embarrassed for being the center of attention for a few minutes, but wrong of me to think that others might feel annoyed that I had given them a scare. Nothing mattered to them more than my son being ok.

What impressed me most was that I realized my son is tougher than I am. He moved on from the incident very quickly; unfazed and behaving as though nothing had happen. I monitored him closely through out the day, but he wasn’t bothered. I needn’t be afraid of him loving me less (or even loving crackers less). It happened and he’s over it. This mom, however, is still working on it.

I started my day with a to-do list, but there is no way of predicting or controlling things from happening. My son wasn’t choking for more than a couple of seconds, but it has certainly affected me since then. The only thing predictable about life, is that it is so unpredictable.

In case you didn’t know, I am not a medical expert. I’m just a mom who wanted to share her experience. This was an opportunity for me to sort my thoughts and the what-ifs that have been bothering me.

Moms, what have you learned from similar experiences? How did you feel? What did you do? Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Function for Production: Home Calendar Station

By guest blogger, Erin Houg:

Finding that your kiddos are coming home with all sorts of papers that you didn’t notice until the morning they are needed?  Yeah, it happens every day.  Kids are sent home with newsletters, permission slips and notes from their school.  What should you do with all these stray notes?  Sort them when they arrive!

Now to a minimalist like myself, the picture above of Pottery Barn’s home sorting/mailing/calendar station makes me a bit queasy.  But for those of you that have a need for this, invest in one!  They are sold in many stores.  Click here for Bed Bath & Beyond black wood set they sell at most of their stores.

Before You Buy:

First, figure out what you need to organize.  Do you lose bills before they get paid?  Are your kids active in after school activities?  Make sure that your wall organizers cater to what your family needs.  Maybe for your mail dilemma you need something with sorting boxes, and then label those boxes as “incoming” and “outgoing”.  White board calendar are great for all those after school activities and team games.

Location, Location, Location:

Where you hang this organization center is key.  If it ends up on the garage wall and you can’t even park in your garage due to storage issues, don’t hang it up in there.  You won’t use it!  The point of this system is that you see it, update it and utilize everyday.  That being said you don’t have to hang on your main kitchen wall.  Inside of a pantry, or mudroom, is a great spot.  This allows you to “hide” it when necessary.

Magnetic or Cork?

It doesn’t matter, but find a system with one or the other.  Magnetic and cork boards are great for keeping track of party and wedding invites that you might need again closer to the date.  With these invites come gifts to buy.  Forgot where that couple was registered?  Have no fear!  You pinned the invite on your board!

Utilize this space to its full potential.  Get the whole family involved by showing your kids where to store any papers that come home from school.

Function for production!