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School’s Out!

June 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

camp photoby Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

School is out, and camp is in session. Ahhh, yes. A child’s respite from the rigors of elementary school (hey, show and tell and recess aren’t as easy as we think). Sports, games, swimming, songs, and field trips will fill their summer days. But for me, the best part is the stories they share with me. And not because I’m living vicariously through them. Well, not completely. It’s just seeing how excited they are to tell me things. It’s like a kiddie soap opera: Days of Our Summer, All My Campers, General Craft Camp.

There’s always some kid who brings cool stuff to camp. “Mom, there’s a guy who brings a cell phone to camp. But it doesn’t have batteries, so he can’t call anyone.” Note to self: Must thank that parent.

And once a week, they’ll tell me that there are older girls who think they’re cute. They no longer like this because “cute” is synonymous with small and young. Apparently, they are oblivious to the fact that they are still both.

And there were crushes galore. “Our counselors have a crush on each other and are getting married.” Something tells me the counselors are unaware of this arrangement. And every week, there were details of a new crush.

Oh, and there’s a guy named George who lives in the trees at camp at night. He walks around and tries to eat little kids under 18. Thank you, camp counselors, for guaranteeing an occasional nightmare and keeping my guys out of trees after dark.

And I can’t wait to meet the older camp friend who has a six pack and shows it off daily. That kid is who I have to thank for my boys wanting to do 100 sit-ups a day. I showed my younger son my stomach, and he shook his head in disappointment and told me, “Mom, that’s a one pack.” On second thought, I’m not thanking that kid for nothin’!

Of course, there are naughty words that they’ve heard at camp. It would be hypocritical to get upset because I’m certain they have heard those same words at home once or twice. Maybe three times. The best was when the kids from Canada taught them a bad word in French. I was ready to be proud, but they still got it wrong!

photo (5)One of the best pieces of intel was about their “secret” fort. They even told me the passwords: “Money Man” and “Astronaut.” It sounded kind of sophisticated in that they had different rankings like Managers and Assistant Managers. My youngest told me he was allowed in because his older brother was a member. Hmm…sounds like nepotism to me. No worries, though, because the counselors found out and put a kibosh on it. Squashing exclusivity? I like that.

Kids don’t always tell you what you want to hear. But to some extent, as parents, we need to hear it. And I hope they don’t stop talking with me. Seriously. Bad language, endless crushes, and six packs? This is so better than Jersey Shore.

Make Room for Dad

June 13, 2014 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Do you ever feel like you need to be all things to everyone in your family? Even if it means doing something outside your comfort zone? Although I said yes to his request, I knew that playing football with my youngest son was a stretch. Literally. I’m pretty sure your arm shouldn’t feel like it’s out of the socket each time you release the ball.

Moms get a lot of credit. Maybe it’s the whole growing a baby inside our body thing. But it does seem a little lopsided in moms’ favor though. Think about it. We get the baby showers. The new wardrobe. And when the baby cries, mom is the preferred comforter.

Moms even dominate commercials. It seems like ads for Mother’s Day began at Easter. Have you even noticed any for Father’s Day yet? Exactly! And look at TV shows and movies. Moms are typically portrayed as in control and able to multi-task. Dads? Silly, too relaxed, and disorganized.

Undoubtedly, there are some aloof, rarely serious, not-so-organized dads out there. But don’t you think there are more than a few over the edge, oh my gosh you’ll shoot your eyes out with that BB gun, and make sure to wear a coat if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, and put on sunscreen every 10 minutes kind of moms as well? Touché.

It’s about trying to keep things balanced. So yeah—the one who leaves the lasagna-crusted casserole pan in the sink cannot get upset with the one who washes the dishes within 60 seconds after they’ve been used. Not that most men would sign up to have girl parts, (the tampon, PMS medicine, and 15-hour bra commercials kinda ruined it), but maybe things are tilted a little more in moms’ way when it comes to parental recognition. But men can’t bear children. Well, except for that guy on Oprah a few years ago who thoroughly confused my kids by actually having a baby. But all the other guys? They don’t get to do that.

But seriously, let dad shine. It’s not a competition, although I’ll be the first to admit, I wanted my son to think I was this amazing football-throwing mom. But just between us—my shoulder hasn’t been the same since.

What Is Happening in There?

April 8, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

There could be moments during pregnancy when you want some alone time. Not necessarily because you need time to yourself. More like you want time to let your body do its things without others having to witness such awkward moments.

Did you ever get a pain in your chest? Just above your lungs? Part burn, part pressure. Like maybe after eating a double cheeseburger with the works? I can count on that pain after a shot (or two) of Tequila. Or eating while pregnant. Hello, heartburn.

Of course I know that bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and chili cheese dogs do not appear in any list of top 10 healthy foods. But while I was pregnant, they kicked off episodes of heartburn strong enough to make me believe that my child was setting my insides on fire. I mean, who does that to their mother?

But at some point, that heartburn subsides. But not before disguising itself as gas so bad you’ll put your husband and your dog to shame. The point where you realize you don’t have control over major bodily functions starts there.

And be prepared for the possibility that it all just stops. Bowel movements, that is. Yep. You’re eating for two and pooping for none. And now you have this enormous discomfort in your lower half. Which, of course, is complicated by the fact that you also have a baby constantly perched in the same area, putting more pressure on the area that’s backed up. I hate to pile on, but I wonder if this is a good place to mention that this horrible game of dominos could be further complicated with hemorrhoids?

All that might be a bit more tolerable if sleep were on the horizon. My biggest obstacle with sleeping was me. There was just too much of me. By the seventh month, I couldn’t get comfortable. Many nights were spent flopping from one side to the other. I was grateful not to have a water bed because I was certain the liquid-filled mattress would smack me back in the face. Someone suggested I use a body pillow, one that runs almost the length of your body. Bingo. I would wrap my legs around it, and I was golden. Never mind that it must have looked like my overstretched body was humping five feet of stuffed fabric.

Eh, so what. Walk around rubbing your chest and scratching your bottom. Straddle a pillow. It may guarantee that alone time you wished for.

Brotherly Advice

April 4, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

I have five siblings, all older. And long before I had children, they had 10 children among them. Seemed like every year, someone was popping out a kid. I fondly recall the late-night or early-morning calls to the house, my mother squealing with excitement that another child had been born into the family. People squealing just because you were born? What a sweet gig!

Then came the visits. My mom would get so excited to see them. I would get so excited to see them. Cute, cuddly babies coming to our house! Way better than my dolls. These babies were breathing, giggling, waddling little beings. Real skin, real food. And that real brand-new baby smell.

And I would swell with joy at the thought of being able to babysit for them. I was the trusted younger sister (for once) who got to entertain a miniperson not even two years old. I couldn’t resist being around them. There’s an automatic lure to someone who is one-sixteenth the size of a full-grown human. Babies are like the model airplanes of the human species. It’s hard not to stare and ooohh and ahhhh over them.

Watching my brothers- and sisters-in-law raising their own young kids solidified that I too was going to have kids. The parent-child connection was amazing (remember I’m talking babies not teenagers here). When a baby’s cries lingered too long, I’d hand him or her back to the parents, and almost instantly, the crying would stop. If the baby was feeling sick or got hurt, they had the cure. It’s as if they were a mobile triage unit!

At a young age, I knew that motherhood was in my future. Until at some point, it was explained exactly where babies came from. Exactly where. And for several years, I believe that explanation may have been the cheapest, best form of birth control. That and what I recall one of my brothers saying about a baby’s head at birth—that it wasn’t much bigger than a coffee pot. After that, I saw babies’ heads in a totally different light. Coffee pots too.

Try This Way

April 2, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

I’m not a prude. But I kinda think that unless invited, people should stay out of your bedroom: figuratively and literally.

But who listens to that, especially when people find out you’re trying to get pregnant. Sure it makes sense to start eating healthy and to quit smoking..

I don’t know where these people come from, but there will not be a shortage of advice-givers suggesting what to wear. During baby-making sessions. Seriously? If you’re trying to get knocked up, you don’t need to wear anything. I was on a mission and didn’t need things like hooks, zippers, and ties getting in the way. That sexy lingerie was at the bottom of the drawer, collecting dust near the socks with the holes in them.

Oh, the other end of the spectrum? The buttinskis who want to talk the mechanics of sex. C’mon people. I took health class in high school, read plenty of smutty romance novels, and had the premium cable movie channels.

Okay, it makes total sense that timing goes into getting pregnant. The whole ovulation thing pretty much demands that. But then people chime in about positions. No, not positions like in baseball or soccer. You know, the sexual kind. If you try this, you’ll increase your chances of having a boy. Or, you’ll be more likely to have a girl if you do it this way.

Okay, so let me get this straight. The egg and sperm are divided into groups that get called up based on the position their host body is in? Very interesting. I was told that if a woman is on top, that makes it more likely to create a girl. Hmm. So what if positions change at the very last second? Do the sperm quickly stop where they were headed and call for backup? Like changing your breakfast order 10 minutes after your server has put it through to the kitchen.

And somewhere along the line, I was told that getting my legs up in the air would be a good way to secure the sperm in place. Hey, why not just have a sandwich bag taped over my lady part afterward? Of course, after my husband and I exhaust half the positions in the Kama Sutra. I mean one of those positions has gotta be a guarantee for a genius. Or an alien baby, right?

Was It Something I Ate?

March 26, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Did you ever have too much to drink? The kind of overdoing it that has you huddled over a toilet bowl, hanging on for dear life? That brings the phrase “gut wrenching” to a whole new level. It also brings out promises to yourself to never drink like that again. Ever. Even if your friends swear what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Or maybe you were just plain unlucky and ate a quick lunch at one of those street vendors parked along the curbside. The ones that are in a truck so small they likely don’t have refrigeration, or a sink, or more than one cook. The one you ordered from the same day you had stomach pain so bad you left work two hours early.

Remember the last time you had the stomach flu? With an empty ice cream pail at your side, you vowed not to eat a thing for at least a week.

Those situations are uncomfortable, but at least you know that they will be short-lived. Within a few days or so, you’ll feel human again, and that discomfort will fade in your memory. With morning sickness, you can’t be sure. Well, yes, you’ll still be human, but just how long it will last and how you’ll get through it can vary.

Fergie, the lead singer for the Black Eyed Peas, said in an interview on Good Morning America that it was her intent to take a natural approach during pregnancy. She found that acupuncture and Chinese herbs helped with morning sickness. I found that McDonald’s bacon egg and cheese biscuits helped.

I never had the oh my goodness I’m going to be sick the rest of my life kind of morning sickness. But many women do have morning sickness that is intense and sometimes lasts beyond the first trimester.

Pregnancy is more uncomfortable when you feel ill for long periods of time. You could start to feel like your whole nine months of carrying your baby is overshadowed by being what might feel like a permanent state of nausea. It could start to feel believable that your body is being possessed by demons. But it will go away. Just like after the girls weekend in Vegas. And takeout from the food truck guy. And last year’s stomach bug. Plus, this time you’ll have a lot more to show for it. Instead of pictures of you face-to-face with a porcelain fixture, you’ll be face-to-face with a beautiful, chubby-cheeked baby.

The Blame Game

March 14, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Do you ever blame someone or something because you don’t want to take the fall or because there is no logical explanation? All this time, I thought I had done something horrible to make my left foot bigger! Maybe I chewed more on my left side. Or was it because I was right-footed and my left foot never got an adequate workout? Was it some left-brain/right-brain thing?

The truth is that both feet were wide and squishy (pretty much like the rest of me during pregnancy), and it wasn’t until well after having kids that I noticed the left foot was noticeably larger than the right. I kept thinking it was the shoes I was wearing. As if, ironically, every shoe was tighter on the left side. Shoe shopping is as dreaded as trying to find a two-piece bathing suit. One size never fits both parts, and something is always hanging out.

But alas, there is something to pin the blame on: pregnancy. A study was done that confirms that something happens to your arch during pregnancy and a woman’s feet may get bigger. Okay, so the study was more scientific, with anatomical terms and stuff. But who cares about all the jargon? It’s not our fault!

So yeah. Let’s see what else pregnancy can take credit (or blame) for. Welcome stretch marks. Okay, a moment of truth. I had a few (who’s counting) stretch marks before pregnancy. Somehow, between my carefree I-can-eat-anything years of my twenties and the oh-my-goodness, I-have-muffin-tops reality of my thirties, I lost and gained a few pounds, thus resulting in the appearance of stretch marks. But (besides you), no one knows that. So, blame away!

It wouldn’t be fair to leave the legs out of this game. Some of us have things down the backs of our legs. No. Not tattoos. Varicose veins. Mine got to the point where they looked like Google maps. Like you were looking at an aerial view of a mountain range. That extra weight is bound to have an effect on the very things that have to carry you.

Say hello to your hormones. They will be responsible for your forgetting simple things. Like people’s names. And your social security number. And something else, but you can’t remember what it was! And when you aren’t feeling anxious, you can thank your hormones for your feeling as if you had just watched an hour of back-to-back Hallmark commercials. Tissue, please.

That last trimester is when things move and settle. Like on your bladder. Ever heard of “sneeze pee”? You know, when people sneeze and a little bit of pee comes out. Well, at around seven months, it’s more than sneeze pee. It’s more like a walk pee, a talk pee, and a breathe pee.

So blame away while you can! No need to rush into taking the fall for everything. There’ll be plenty of time for that.

A Little Slack, Please

March 12, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Women in China have been so desperate for seats on crowded subways that they have resorted to using fake baby bumps. People probably shouldn’t become pregnant for perks. That’s what credit cards and frequent-flyer memberships are for. But still, if ever there was a time to give someone some slack, pregnancy should be it.

Sadly, mall parking lots are not filled with nice people. Or rather, they’re overshadowed by the not-so-nice people: the ones cutting people off, parking in restricted spots, and yelling obscenities loud enough to alert mall security.

Charles and I were at a shopping mall when I was six months pregnant. We’d circled the lot for 15 minutes trying to find a spot that wasn’t too far away from the entrance. Finally, we found one. And so did someone else. There was a bit of a game of chicken, along with some hand gestures. But we ended up getting the space. But not before the driver of the other car shot some crude words at my husband. It was a true Jerry Springer moment as I kept thinking, This is not happening.

As I moved from behind the car, it was obvious I was upset. And pregnant. At that point, the other driver stepped back and shrugged it all off.

So you’ve heard that memory is an issue during pregnancy. Believe it. And remember how your home alarm system works. One trip of the alarm, and we had a visit from half a dozen firefighters on a shiny fire engine. As they walked up the steps, I was trying to think of something—anything— to say as to why I summoned them. As I met them on the front porch, a wave of smiles moved across their faces as I apologized, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

They had a good chuckle, and one of them explained, “Well, you’re pregnant, and you have enough going on. We understand.” And that was it. No chastising or criticism. Not even a bill!

You might feel strong while you’re pregnant, but why risk it? We were trying to move a couch into a new place and as soon as the neighbors saw that, they practically pushed me out of the way. There’s really never a need to argue with anyone who’s willing to do manual labor for you.

Thank goodness for the kindness of others. From opening doors to going to the head of the line in a public restroom, having a visible baby bump has some benefits. As for using a fake one? After nine months, you’ll have some explaining to do.

Guestlist

March 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

Maybe you aren’t a big planner, but somehow, the closer you get to having kids, you start trying to get organized. Or as close to it as you can. You get the house ready. You have your showers. The car seat is finally installed correctly, and your bag is packed.

And after the baby arrives, so do the guests. I used to think it would be best to just have it be my husband and me at the hospital, but then I realized that people really want to share in your joy and excitement. And as I found out, they bring gifts! But who and when do you call or Facebook? You don’t want to forget anyone, but you also don’t want to assume that everyone will want to be there. As it turns out, word spreads like wildfire. You tell one person, and they’ll tell 50!

Our first son was born via C-section. So we had a little over an hour to get the word out. By the time I dressed for surgery, three friends were already at the hospital. My very own pregnancy posse, ready to cheer me on. And I was grateful because it kept my mind off the fact that my life, my sanity, and my abdomen were about to change forever.

After the surgery, guests drifted into the recovery room. And I drifted into a haze of confusion. They were so cheerful, while foggy best describes my mental state. Plus, I was numb from the anesthesia. Foggy and numb. It was like the morning after a bachelorette party. So not the way I wanted to start my new role as a mom. I kept obsessing about two things: why I couldn’t feel my legs and where my baby was. Meanwhile, our visitors were gushing about how beautiful the baby was. At one point, a nurse told me my brother got to hold the baby. I was confused. I hadn’t seen my brother or the baby, but they had already met!

During my stay at the hospital, guests continued to stop by. It was nice to have support. But I was exhausted, trying to heal from surgery and battling how to get the baby to nurse. Nothing breaks up a good gathering like showing off your bloody dressing or whipping out your boob and trying not to cry as your newborn latches on tighter than a suction cup.

You love your friends. But they get that you may need a little space. As you tactfully usher them to the hallway, make sure to invite them to your house. You’ll need some company after you finally find your legs, some of your sanity, and that kid you apparently had.

Keeping Up with the Baby Jones

February 27, 2013 by  
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by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

There is an amazing amount of stuff you need to take care of a baby. And when you’re pregnant, you’ll have a while to think of what you really need. Because in reality, you won’t need everything on the market. Like when you’re on the hunt for a new SUV. Do you really need leather seats, the sunroof, and DVD player?

Dolce & Gabanna now markets a baby perfume. It’s designed to enhance the natural smell of a baby. Not sure if that would be before or after the natural diaper blow out! Yes, I know to each their own, but why does a baby really need perfume? They already get a good coating of shampoo, baby oil, baby powder, and baby wipes. It might be setting them up for unnecessary stress. If they get within 20 feet of the lady who gives out sample perfumes at the department store, these kids may be destined for serious therapy.

Strollers are a big-ticket item. They are to a baby what a minivan is to a parent. With about as many options. Strollers with built-in bassinets. Who wouldn’t like a bed on wheels, right? And some of the high-end strollers have multiple cup holders. More holders than a baby has bottles. I’m pretty sure those are for mommy’s sippy cups. And if running up and down the stairs to soothe your baby’s every need doesn’t burn enough calories for you, the jogger stroller may be more your style. Those are some fierce mommas running behind those. Personally, I’d use one just to keep my balance while attempting to run! And then there is the Mack truck of strollers: the double stroller. Difficult to push, nearly impossible to turn, but perfect for strapping down two toddlers at the same time.

But the mother of all inventions is the recently introduced ipotty. A training seat with an attachment to hold…wait for it…an iPad. Yes, an iPad. So now your baby can learn to use the toilet while watching a movie, getting the Dow Jones numbers, and taking in another episode of Barney and Friends. It just seems like the perfect breeding grounds for a future Al Bundy. Heck, if they made toilets like that for adults, none of us would leave the bathroom.

Having kids seems to have a direct relationship to being on a budget. So sometimes it comes down to buying what you really need. But man, on the other hand, it’s fun to buy stuff that isn’t really necessary. Why not use having a baby as a good excuse to buy it? Try this:

Kids are messy. Leather cleans up easily. See how easy it is?

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The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.