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2017-04-08 (0 comments)

Photo Tutorial: How To Clip Baby’s Nails

I’ve gotten so many emails from my readers asking, “How do I clip my baby’s nails?” Just kidding. I’ve gotten zero emails from readers asking that. But people always write that on their blog posts and I wanted, for one minute, to try pretending that I have lots of friends and followers and some kind of massive blog reading fan base of people who consider me some kind of authority on baby fingernails. Let me tell you – it was fun! Try it sometime.

OK, now back to reality. I don’t know how many people read this blog. It’s not monetized. I do it for kicks and to keep my brain moving, my fingers typing, my thoughts swirling and my time occupied in a mostly productive way.

If you like this tutorial, please pass it on. That’s my paycheck.

Oh, PS. I started a little Twitter account all about baby stuff. It’s called @TheCooNetwork. Get it? Because when a baby takes over your life, it’s “a coo”. Ha. Hm. Heh.

2016-12-28 (0 comments)

Has Anyone Seen This Bear?

At approximately 9:14 a.m. this morning, I rolled my son over to do tummy time and I discovered this:

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It’s what appears to be the hand print of a…bear? Dog? What kind of animal would paw at my son’s behind when no one was looking?

Yes, it appears that a bear or dog of some kind (though it could have also been a raccoon?) smacked or high-fived my son’s bottom. Perhaps it happened in the night or when I looked away for one minute?

I’ve been considering potential culprits and have determined:

-the animal had 3 fingers (perhaps it lost some in a forest fire? Or maybe it only ever had 3 fingers)

-it wasn’t too large judging by the size of the paw print

-it had access to blue paint or dye?

I don’t know if this bear/dog/raccoon is dangerous or not, but I looked online to see if anyone else has experienced this and I found that this creature, or others like it, have been busy.

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Whatever animal pawed at these babies bottoms had 4 fingers. I’m leaning towards bear at this point, and I have a few pretty solid leads:
grumpy_bearm_3_by_aprilsparrow-d4jnw38

Grumpy Bear, the most troubled of the Care Bears.

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Teddy Ruxpin. I’ve never trusted this dude. I mean, just look at those eyes–he’s totally on drugs. LCD? Ha, more like L-S-D. Plus, the desperation of his constant friend hunt, makes you wonder…just what kind of “friend” is he really looking for?

bb006b_sa_02_bigThis bad guy bear from the Berenstein bears. Stripes mean trouble. Cases in point? The Hamburglar and Freddie, to name a few.

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This guy may seem soft and lovable but if you ask me, he looks guilty. f97bc4de89b4a78c683eb93a08fdc98bYogi is a total trouble maker. Always stealing picnic baskets, trying to get with the ladies, causing scenes at the campground. I guess from this photo, at least we can guess he’s into ladies his age and species, unless that’s JUST A FRONT.

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Smokey the Bear is a major contender. He is always hanging out with kids. Look how his hands are hidden behind the children’s heads so they can’t be ID’d. He may pose as a good bear who is always putting out forest fires, but if someone is too good you especially have to watch out for ’em.

fozzie_bear

Fozzy Bear. Sure, he dresses like a hobo and I highly doubt that he’s employed. But I don’t know if he is guilty of touching kid’s butts. I just don’t want to believe it.

I think my money is on Teddy Ruxpin or the bad guy from Berenstein Bears. If you have any leads, please call 1-800-PAW-BUTT. All calls are anonymous, because the number is one I made up.

2016-12-03 (0 comments)

7 Reasons Why Parents Must Always ALWAYS Carefully Read Warning Labels

As a new parent, I’ve noticed that pretty much EVERY SINGLE baby product includes a prominent, scary warning label. Words like DIED and STRANGLED and SUFFOCATED are in big and bold and are very SCARY to a new parent. I’ve surmised that not every single baby product is that dangerous, is it? I mean, they HAVE to write some of those labels for the percentage of nimrods and dolts who do for some reason think it’s OK to run off really quick while the baby is in the tub to finish that last chapter of their novel. But sometimes the labels are missing something. I want more information. Thankfully, these following labels really give you the what’s what and finally speak to us in language that makes sense.

Here’s one for the car seat:

carseatwarning2

Here’s one about plastic bags. Plastic bags! Who doesn’t know not to let a kid play with a plastic bag?!? Worse, who is that cheap?

plasticbagwarning

Here’s one for the baby bath tub:

bathtubwarning

This is a new one for me, and a fear I hadn’t had prior to reading this particular label, so, thanks label people for giving me a new thing to have nightmares about. Apparently jackets kill the shit out of kids. Great. My kid will be wearing blankets duct taped around his body then, I guess.

jacketwarning

Here’s one for toys with small parts. By the way, Play-Doh should definitely have a warning like this on it.

smallpartswarning

Here’s one for a bucket. Again, why? Who? Where? WTF?

bucketwarning

Here’s another new one. I saw a warning label that was so weird. It was like, hey…there’s a small piece of this toy that you might not have noticed that could jump down your kid’s throat and cover his nose and, you know, kill ’em good. So, yeah. Maybe some warning labels really are kinda necessary.

oddwarningSometimes we have to decipher the warning labels on our own, because they have no words. I took the liberty for you here. How close do you think I got?
lionwarninglionwarningtranslationSometimes the images don’t really fit the warning labels, or are just a great set up. In this case, the warning label for a box. Again. Weird toy choice, bro.

boxwarning

Here’s another one where the image didn’t fit the warning. I don’t even remember what this was for. But the warning should be heeded!

kidwarning

Just kidding. I totally love my kid. He’s really sweet. But having kids be HARD, yo. I had no idea. And I only have one. I see people with two or more kids now and I find myself accidentally and loudly making a “GULP” sound like they do in cartoons. I look at them like they just made a quarter disappear behind my ear. I’m like, “How did you do that?!?” Also, this post doesn’t really have 7 reasons why you should carefully read warning labels. It doesn’t even have one. It was just a click bait title. Did I get ya? If so, I win! But I don’t need to tell you to read warning labels. And most warning labels don’t need to tell you what they tell you. You’re not an idiot, and you know not to let your child stir the mac and cheese with his hand or let him taste small pieces of his toy. In fact, you don’t need me or anyone else to tell you anything. You can educate yourself, and make your own informed decisions. After all, we have a massive overpopulation problem, so SOMEONE is doing it right. Someone just like you. Oh, and by the way–it is you. You’re doing a great job!

2016-11-16 (0 comments)

Sample Schedule For A 3 Month Old Breast Fed Baby

I looked online for sample schedules for babies and couldn’t really find many that reflected my situation, so I decided to make one to share. Enjoy!

5 AM Wake up to screaming baby. Stick boob into baby’s mouth in a side feed pose and hope he will fall back asleep for a little while, and maybe mommy can, too.

5:30 AM Baby fell asleep! But mommy won’t for awhile, so peruse Facebook, Google News and Twitter on iPhone until awash with a renewed sense of disdain for the world, which always helps induce sleep. Then, meditate. Mentally trace the back roads of childhood home town. And count back from 100. And go through the alphabet thinking of one word that begins with each letter. And play 1 or 27 rounds of favorite word game on phone. And read a book. And drink a large glass of water. Finally, finally, begin to doze off again.

6:30 AM Wake up to screaming baby just as a satisfying sleep is settling in. Run and pee really quickly before the baby starts to do the thing where he screams so hard he loses his breath and begins to cough. Don’t forget to stub foot on the bed / crib / wall on the way there / back / both. Refill water glass. Return to bed and side feed baby again, with the opposite breast, hoping he will fall back to sleep. Fall back to sleep with some ease this time.

7:30 AM Husband’s alarm clock goes off. Baby wakes up screaming. Side feed baby again, this time using opposite boob. Forget to note it in breastfeeding app. Feel a strange puddle on the bed and realize baby has somehow magically peed up and out of his diaper. Change and clean baby. Place a towel over pee puddle and lie on top of it, as changing the sheets after just one puddle is essentially futile. Side feed baby using the same or opposite boob, whichever one is currently leaking the biggest spot through shirt.

8 AM Husband sneezes in another room. Baby awakes and starts screaming. Attempt to side feed and fall back to sleep. Though mommy can’t keep eyes open, baby’s aren’t closing.

9 AM Husband leaves for work with loud door bang. He doesn’t quite understand the concept of “sssshhhhh!” yet, probably never will. Mommy opens eyes, like the scene in Ghostbusters when Gozar the Gozarian arrives. Baby is still side feeding, eyes wide open, even though breast is like a flat tire. Get out of bed, get baby and self cleaned up and dressed to best of ability using one arm. Boil water for tea and oatmeal, make and eat it as fast as possible before the baby’s coos devolve into whimpers and the whimpers crumble quickly into screams.

10:30 AM Feed baby breakfast boob while trying to fill out severely belated thank you cards with one hand. Give up eventually, both because handwriting looks like the cards were written in a dark room with a broken arm and because movement is waking the baby who is sleeping on lap.

11 AM When baby wakes up screaming, pump legs, assuming he must have gas. After he flatulates 5 or 6 man-sized farts, pick him up and burp him. Clean up the vomit he has launched onto mommy’s shirt off of his face and clothing. Note as he takes explosive wet dump into diaper, take care of that.

11:30 AM After baby is cleaned up, smiling and cooing with appreciation for having been saved from the hot wet mess that his butt was involved in, play with him for a while: tummy time, read him a book, bounce him on lap, smile and coo with him. Remember what makes him so lovable. Take his photo with phone and text it to daddy, mom and mother in law and a friend or two.

12:15 PM Get baby dressed warmly and take him for a little walk outside, for both party’s sanity. Talk to other human beings–the elderly women who say, “What a blessing! Enjoy this time, it goes by SO. FAST.” as if it’s a script that they’ve all been given. Go to coffee shop. Talk to barista like she’s an old friend. Get cup of decaf coffee so milk doesn’t dry up, though caffeine would do a world of good right now. Overestimate how much strolling time before baby implodes, then try to calm baby as he begins to have an apocalyptic level meltdown because he won’t wait even one more minute for food. Pick him up out of stroller and breast feed him in front of apartment building on random park bench. Wave hello to super when he walks by. Chat with him for a moment and try to remain calm as exposed breast catches a little of the fall breeze. Wave hello to neighbor when she walks by and try to keep the conversation normal sounding even though 2 new people in one day have seen breast, and thus have practically had a threesome. Try to put the baby back into stroller while he is asleep–carefully so he’ll stay asl–ah, shit, he’s awake. Get him into stroller and back into apartment before he realizes he’s still hungry.

1:30 PM He fell back asleep in the elevator somehow! Yesss! Wheel him into apartment ever so quietly and park him in stroller in living room. Take jacket off and pee without an infant on lap. Savor the moment. Wipe as he wakes and begins to cry. Quickly wash hands, exclaiming, “Mommy’s here, it’s OK!” over and over from the bathroom so that his development doesn’t get stunted because he lost trust in his caregiver or whatever that parenting article said would happen.

1:45 PM Pick him up and get his jacket off just as he loudly shits himself. Hold him close and put hand into wet shit that has leaked out diaper and through his pants. Get him cleaned up, calmed down, change his diaper and clothes. Sigh a breath of relief as he begins to smile and coo  from his changing mat and then immediately shits himself again. Get him all undressed and begin to change his diaper as he pees a fountain of pee all over mommy, bed, changing mat, his clothes and his own face. Curse for forgetting to use damn pee pee cloth. Clean him all up, change him again, toss his clothes into laundry, redress him, don’t worry much about his pee on mommy’s clothes because a) it’s like rosewater, it doesn’t smell and will dry quickly and b) there’s no time or energy to change clothes now.

2:30 PM Feeding time again! Every 2-3 hours my ass. Put on some music, fill up a glass of water and sit somewhere calm and comfortable after the ordeal that just went down. Get snuggly with baby and get him situated and eating. See his eyes begin to droop closed as he calms down and even rest own head back and relax for a moment, but then cellphone rings loudly. Make a note to self to just leave ringer off on phone all the time for, say, next year or two. Baby is startled awake by phone and begins to cry. Make another note to maybe just chuck cellphone out window / into the river.

3 PM Baby is awake now, well fed and alert. He wants to play! Mommy could use a nap, but it’s not in the cards. Entertain me! His cute eyes say. But he must be tired, maybe he can be lured back to sleep? Nope, I want to play! He insists. Do tummy time with him. Walk around apartment with him. Bounce him on yoga ball. Lie him on activity mat and let him stare up at the ceiling. Observe with wonder and amazement at FUCKING BABY YOU MADE and ponder at how it’s like, TRIPPY AS HELL and beautiful and crazy.

3:10 PM Baby starts crying for no reason. Does he have to fart? Pump his legs to see. Pick him up and tell him, “It’s OK” which doesn’t help. Smell his butt. He stops crying. Phew! Look at him as he laughs and smiles. All is OK. But wait, no! He starts crying again, then screaming. Oh no! His diaper doesn’t smell, and he just ate. Does he have a fever? Take his temperature with the stupid forehead thermometer that gives different read every time. After 4 reads of 98.4, 98.7, 97.9 and 99.0 assume he probably doesn’t have fever. He’s stopped crying, thankfully, and is smiling again. Huzzah! Rejoice too soon — he begins crying again. What the fucking fuck!?!? Walk him around apartment. He can’t be hungry, he was just fed. Sit down and try to feed him anyway, will do anything to calm him down. He eats with a vigor like he’s never had food before and after a few minutes, passes out adorably with boob in his mouth.

4:30 PM Realize mommy food needs to happen NOW. Stand up holding sleeping baby in arms because experience has taught not to set him down or he’ll wake in screaming fit. Slip him into sling that was tied on this morning and pretty much is worn as a shirt every day all day. He should rouse briefly, then with luck, fall back to sleep. Eureka! He did this time! Go into kitchen, unwrap banana, dip it in peanut butter with each bite and make it disappear so fast if there were a speed banana eating contest, it’d be no contest. Rinse it down with almond milk out of container. Toss hand full of granola on top of it all. Take breath. Refill water glass. Return to comfy spot and assume that since baby is sleeping, maybe will try to put head back and close eyes for a few minutes.

5:30 PM Wake to baby turning his head back and forth in a sort of “Exorcist” style action and realize sleep did occur for 30 or so blissful minutes. Caress baby’s face, hoping maybe he’ll fall asleep, like a lobster. He does! Nice! This time he stays out for a good solid hour or so. While he sleeps in sling, read some fearful baby facts online, peruse Facebook, read a couple chapters of that French parenting book someone gave as shower gift, knock off a few more thank you notes, clean living room, bathroom and kitchen, strip pee / vomit / poop sheets off bed, FaceTime sister, put new sheets on bed, reorganize night stand, tidy up bedroom, get some rice started in the rice cooker and chop up veggies to help dinner along, write blog entry, Google 6 -7 questions for the internet to solve, drink a glass of water, return a few texts and pee.

6:45 PM Super mom! Did all that stuff in just a little over an hour. Daddy comes home! Overjoyed to see him because a) it’s nice to talk to another adult and b) really have to poop and it’d be so cool if he would hold / watch the baby for 5 minutes. He is excited to see and hold baby so he does so with joy. Scuttle away to bathroom for first few minutes all day without an infant. While in there, also brush teeth, brush hair, wash face, clip fingernails for the first time in week or so, clip toenails in — not really sure how long it’s been — and just stand still in the quiet for a minute longer than really necessary before going back out into the shit. Return to position, just as baby starts scream crying.

7:30 PM Shit, spent 45 minutes in bathroom!? Take baby back while daddy makes dinner. Change baby, which is why he was crying, maybe. His diaper was pretty wet and there was a faint confusing yellow streak – did he fart yellow? Or begin to poop and then change his mind? Ah, never mind. He is clean, smiling and happy again. Watch him play and set him into his crib, which today, now, he lets happen for some reason, whereas normally he screams and throws a fit like he was just abandoned in a dumpster instead of a nice, cozy, clean crib. Play with his soft hands and touch his little head for a minute as he looks up at sky with pure fascination and amazement at something unseeable by anyone else. A ghost maybe? Who knows. Who cares? If the ghost keeps the baby from crying for a few minutes, why mess with it? Thank the ghost.

8:00 PM Dinner is ready. Pick up baby and put him in sling. Eat dinner in the living room with daddy while baby eats boob dinner. Take care not to spill food onto baby’s face and hair as he eats. He falls asleep. Enjoy dinner. Contemplate keeping him awake so the family can easily go to bed together at new regular 10:30 PM bedtime, but so tired and appreciative of him finally relaxing, figure, let’s deal with 10:30 at 10:30. Watch a couple episodes of Frasier on Netflix as Husband / Daddy talks about his day. Try to listen to him and really respond with sincerity but so tired, mostly just nod and shove forkfuls of veggies and rice into pie hole. He does the same. Hope he knows love has only deepened for him and that he won’t want a divorce before this is all over.

9:45 PM Baby wakes and cries but just a little bit. Pump his legs, burp him, hug him until he calms down. The super moon is out. Contemplate going to look at it, and then decide to check it out in 35 years when it comes back next time. Daddy cleans up dinner stuff. Do a little bit of writing while baby chills in his swing for a few blissful not freaking out minutes for some reason although when he is normally put in the swing he reacts like he’s just been delicately set onto a bed of nails. Whenever he whimpers, take a break from writing to look at him and give him a little love, remembering of the old ladies’ words like they are a warning, and in a way they are–“Cherish every moment, they grow up so fast”. Close lap top. Watch baby look at the ceiling like it’s the most amazing thing he’s ever seen. Thank the ghost again for occupying baby’s attention, and watch in wonder and amazement, realizing once again, SHIT, there’s a KID here now–this is MY BABY. Peel off for a moment to brush teeth, pee without company, change into PJs and give daddy a hug and a kiss.

10:30 PM Take baby into bedroom, read him a book. Read him another book. Turn bedroom light down. Feed baby a little bit of boob but not too much because like the books say, put him down in his crib tired but not asleep and don’t let him associate food with sleep. How would he sleep ever if not for boob? Curse articles and make promise to self to stop reading them. After a few minutes of feeding, as his eyes start to droop, pick him up and gently lie him in his crib. As he protests, sing to him, turn on the white noise machine and let him suck on pinky. That all seems to work for once and he falls asleep in his crib after about 15 minutes. Fall into bed like it’s a velvet massage basin. Close eyes. Consider making love to husband if he shows any interest at all. Turn to make suggestion, note he is gently snoring. Be secretly relieved. Tell self in 2 years you’ll be rabbits again. Hope it’s true. Quickly slip into a dream.

2 AM Wake to scream crying. Reach over to crib and lift baby up, comforting him. He’s probably hungry and has awoken to find himself alone and his mama gone and he’s scared. Bring him into bed and side feed him, even though all the books and websites and sleeping with a baby in your bed is a vehement no no. But you’re fucking tired, god dammit, and side feeding is the only way that you can get any sleep at all. Otherwise, you’d be up every hour, putting him in and out of the crib that he hates. Make sure there are no blankets or pillows near him and confirm that you’re not drunk or on drugs. Both you and baby fall back to sleep, cuddled up as he eats and feels warmth and comfort next to mommy’s body. As you drift back to sleep, consider for one second getting up to pee, but decide you’d rather sleep in a bed full of your own hot urine than wake the baby again, if necessary, and just hold it. Repeat.

2016-11-14 (0 comments)

10 Kids Product Ideas That Were Totally Shitcanned

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I’ve never gotten so many gifts in my life as I did when my son was born. Old friends came out of the woodwork to give us presents. Even strangers sent us mobiles, diapers and hand knit sweaters. It was really heartwarming and sweet and not expected and generous and gracious and took me by surprise and also, some people gave us really weird gifts. One lady gave us a talking toilet. It’s like, where are we, Japan, lady? Ha ha. We got 2 identical Misfits onesies (very cool, but still, unusual), a bouncy chair the size of a Volkswagen Bug that has so many different activities surrounding it, it looks like the driver’s seat to a space ship and a dog that is pre-programmed to say my son’s name, but it always says it like it’s always asking him a question? Like, Hey there (pause) Wyatt? Let’s play a game!

From these wonderful, kind gifts, I did some imagineering and came up with some baby toys and product pitches that have never existed and hopefully never will.

Little Tiny Tikes Talking Scale
It’s a talking baby scale, but one that tells you you’re a bad mom because your kid is underweight. It’s preprogrammed to say things like, “Maybe your breast milk doesn’t have enough calories, you should eat more ice cream”, “Try giving him some rice cereal”, and “You know, you were fed formula, it’s not poison” but in your mother’s voice.

Wee Wipes Terry Cloth Baby Towel
A baby towel that is not decorated with animal ears of some kind. Instead, these towels have large old man ears on them.

My Small One Baby Classics Book Series
A series of soft padded books including titles like, “The Little Catcher In The Rye” about a baby Holden and his hijinks, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being, for Babies” and “Nexus, Plexus and Sexus Go To The Market”.

Scabies Farm
I don’t know why anyone would want to have an ant farm. What if the ants got out? Is it fun to watch ants? If you really love ants that much, shouldn’t you set them free? But scabies on the other hand, they should be trapped in what is essentially your own private concentration camp, no? You could do things like, you know, starve them or shake them up or empty them out into someone you don’t like’s pudding.

Baby Booby Wipes
There are baby butt wipes, baby tooth and gum wipes, and tissues for baby’s nose and slobber, but why not baby booby wipes? After a child has a meal at the breast, you can wipe his mouth like a little aristocrat with a tiny boob napkin decorated with whales wearing top hats and monocles, dancing clown dogs smoking pipes or frogs playing the harpsichord.

BabyScope TM Child Binoculars
It sounds like these already exist, right? But no, these aren’t any old child binoculars. These are binoculars just for grandparents / mom-in-laws etc. to use to stare wistfully out the window when they know their grandchild is en route for a visit so they can get a glimpse of them from up to 2 miles away, before they even get out of the car.

MakeUp & Beauty Products For Infants By Mabelline’s Kid Line, Babelline
Maybe she was just-born with it? Maybe it’s Babelline. Tiny lipsticks, combs, eye shadows, jewelry, lotions, etc. all made with fair trade ingredients and chemical free dyes, “wink, wink”.

BabyFingers Finger Puppets
Tiny finger puppets sized just perfectly for baby fingers. Caution: This toy is a choking hazard. Do not let baby use unattended, or attended, or at all, OK?

The TellsYaWhat Baby Mom-itor
This product gathers information (also known as ‘spies on you’) using cameras and cross references the data using wifi access to hundreds of mom forums online to determine if your mothering skills are up to par, and reads judgmental comments to you to discourage you from doing whatever you’re doing that “could be dangerous”.

Coo-Fee
Coffee for babies! It’s got less caffeine than regular coffee but still some caffeine so that babies can act up all day but will then be so tired that they’ll surely ‘sleep through the night’. This product comes with a pin you can wear that says, “My baby sleeps through the night!” both so that people won’t ask you and so that you can impress people with the fact that you get to sleep, even if it’s not true.

To purchase any of these items, go to www.NonExistentBabyProducts.com.

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