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Tuesday Advice Column: When You’re Expecting Houseguests

June 26th, 2007

Oh, Friday Advice Column, how I miss you! But I have been busy. And Swiffering.

How about a Tuesday Advice Column instead?



Dear Wacky Mommy:

Do your children pick up after themselves? Do they put their own clothes away? If so, how do you get them to do this?


A Little Messed-Up

Dear Messed-Up: (more…)

For Your Eyes Only

May 18th, 2007

A few links, and a recipe, because I think you need ’em. Also a tiny bit of advice.



For the kiddies:
Eloise — “I am a city child/I live at the Plaza.”
The World’s Youngest Blogger
Nancy Drew

From my kids’ wish lists:

Wacky Girl: 1) big house 2) big screen TV 3) lifetime supply of candy

Wacky Boy: 1) big house with a swamp in his room 2) a pen with 200 gallons of ink so it wouldn’t run out of ink

For breakfast this weekend:
from J’s thoughts and musings:

Company French Toast

1 ½ Sticks Butter
6 Eggs
1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
2 cups Milk
1 ½ cup Brown Sugar
*White Bread (Pepperidge Farm Toasting)

Melt butter in bottom of 9×13 casserole dish.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon: Mix and spread on bottom
Cut Crust off bread (personal choice here….) and layer bread 2 slices deep.

In separate bowl:
Beat together eggs and milk
Pour mixture over bread in casserole dish
Cover and refrigerate overnight

Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes in 350º
Drizzle maple syrup and broil until brown and bubbly.
Broil for 5 minutes or less.

*Note: The Canadian White bread is just as good as the Pepperidge Farm bread.

for you foodies:
The Smitten Kitchen
Ms. Dorie
and one just for the kids

Throw caution to the wind! Go bake a cake or make a vegetable dip or something. Cheese straws, perhaps.

For you gardeners… Were you aware that Miracle-Gro is now making an Organic Choice formula? Will wonders never cease?
Gardening With Lil Children
Rough Terrain
The Edible Schoolyard

(And for those of you needing to de-stress…)
Just Bubbles
Sex Tips for the Rest of Us (wherein women’s breasts do not bob up at top of website, thank you!)
…and last, but certainly not least, we have “Lock the Bedroom Door.” All I can say is — whoa.

Dear Wacky Mommy,

Can a person ever really have it all?


Losing Hope

Dear Hope,

Yes. Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing date, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well, it’s you girl and you should know it! With each glance and every little movement you show it… Love is all around, no need to waste it…

No, jeez, of course you can’t have it all, and thank God for small favors because what would you do with it all once you got it? But you can have 1) Grey’s Anatomy re-runs 2) Bosom Buddies on DVD 3) some flowers to watch grow 4) that next breath you inhale. And that, for tonight, is enough.



All You Need In a Woman, I Have

March 9th, 2007

“I have a terrible memory; I never forget a thing.”
— Edith Konecky, writer

Dear Doctor I Fired Yesterday,
You were a lousy doctor, that’s why I fired you. In case you were wondering. And no, you can’t fire me, or quit, because I fired you first. Nyah-nyah.


Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others: Post-Partum Depression

January 30th, 2007

Dear Wacky Mommy:

I think I have Post-Partum Depression. It does not affect anything at this point except how I feel about and deal with my baby’s father. I have no money (as I have a baby and am a single mother) to pay for therapy, am breastfeeding and am not comfortable taking any medications.

Like I said, it only affects my relationship with the baby’s father (okay, and my self-esteem, but that’s cuz I am huge and stretchy now), so what the fuck do I do?


New Mom

Dear New Mom:

First, a disclaimer: This column is not meant to take the place of medical attention from a doctor, witch doctor, or mental health professional. Please seek professional attention when needed. Can you find someone who does counseling sliding scale? Check with your baby’s doctor, check with your doctor, check with Baby Blues Connection. (Their site has phone numbers to call.)

I think Tom Cruise really did us all a favor when he insulted Brooke Shields and went off on his whole anti- anti-depressants spiel. It got us all talking about a previously-taboo subject. I remember breaking down in my ob-gyn’s office after my second baby, because I’d found out that my doc was leaving her private practice to work for an HMO. The thought of being without her did me in. She gave me the hugest hug, and we talked about different ways to build community. (It’s hard. It’s embarrassing to say, “I need help” because in our society, and especially in some families, you had better well pull your own weight — and your baby’s. And your baby’s father’s. Or else. This is garbage. Please do not buy into this. You’ve signed up for the most difficult job on earth. But I know you can do it.)

Sometimes anti-depressants are the only way to go, and if it means weaning the baby, and if that’s the only solution — then so be it. The nursing really helped my depression — all those endorphins were great, as well as the bonding. I was twitchy about exposing my babies to meds, so I hear you. However… weigh your options.

Are you getting financial support from the baby’s dad? Can you ask family or friends for help to pay for babysitting and/or counseling? I remember feeling so beat-up the first two years after each baby was born — it’s just been recently that I’ve been able to work-out regularly, go to the doctor’s alone, go to the bathroom alone. When people do that whole, “oh you think it’s hard now just wait!” thing — don’t believe them. Once kids are verbal — and in school all day — life is but a dream. (Mostly.)

I read Down Came the Rain and liked it a lot. Do a library search with your county library and check out a few books on PPD. Read up online.

You’re not the only one. Although I went through it with both babies, it wasn’t as bad with the second one. Of course, we’d just been through 9/11 so I think we had a huge time of national depression and mourning, anyway, so who knows how bad I was feeling. I remember just feeling a sense of despair at times, or as my friend N described it, “It wasn’t like I was really, really depressed. I would just look at my baby and think ‘I should be happy. Why am I not?'” That’s how I felt, too. I got depressed during my first pregnancy, too, because of the morning sickness. Not wanting to die, but not being able to come up with many reasons I wanted to live.

If you think you are going to do harm to yourself or your baby, please get help immediately. Join a mom’s group, if you can, or check on Craig’s List and try to find some parents in your neighborhood to do swaps with. My neighbor saved my ass by swapping childcare once a week with me so I could get a few minutes alone. Don’t feel guilty about this — you’re not doing your baby any favors if you’re weeping and unable to get out of jammies.

Re: drugs. It bothers me that we don’t have any long-term studies on the impact that drugs have on breastmilk and nursing babies. Are they doing any studies? Who knows. They need to, though — especially for anti-depressants, antihistamines and decongestants. Vistaril is a antihistamine that they are not recommending for nursing or pregnant mothers, but that works well for anxiety and depression. (As well as clearing up your sinuses. Ha.)

Talk with your doctor and see if there is anything — Tylenol PM, Vistaril, anything — that wouldn’t be as harsh as a full-scale anti-depressant. Talk with a naturopath and/or acupuncturist about herbal treatments. My doctor (general practice) gave me a ton of grief because I refused to go on anti-depressants while I was pregnant and nursing. She was not kind. She offered me no alternatives, no support, and it made me feel alone and like a horrid mother. Do not see this kind of doctor. (I no longer see this one.) She kept repeating, “All of these medicines are totally safe for nursing babies,” and I kept asking, “Says who?” They don’t flippin’ know. My mom’s doc insisted she take DES when she was pregnant with me. Thank God she had more sense than he did and refused.

I am in way over my head here, and I apologize, but I’ve been reading some studies about people who have bi-polar disorder and the new studies are showing that anti-depressants are possibly the opposite of what they need? Jeez, I’m starting to sound like Tom Cruise here, I apologize. But I would see what a mental health professional has to say. PPD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Depressive Disorder?

Check with your doc about taking prenatals (I took them the entire time I was nursing both kids); also check about calcium (they told me to take 1,500-2,000 mg. of calcium citrate — easiest to digest; no Tums — the absorption is not great); drink enough water; no booze or recreational drugs; try to get some exercise, even if it’s only half an hour three times a week; get enough sleep.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. You’re a new mom. You’re probably getting no sleep. Your hormones are on overdrive. You’re a single mom, so you don’t have someone to kick in the middle of the night and tell, “You get the baby this time.” Find someone awesome to kick in the middle of the night, someone who (of course) adores you and the baby. Here’s some fairy dust while I’m at it, to make that happen. “Mr. Wonderful needed, Aisle 14!” For real — build whatever support system you can. I didn’t find a group of mommies to hang out with until my second was born, and the moral support and the knowledge that you’re not alone in this — you can’t buy that at a store.

Check the blogs, post frequently, e-mail people off-list and ask them for help (like you’re doing here).

And make some calls.



Friday Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others

January 12th, 2007

This week I was asked three different questions by three different readers, none of whom went to the right person for advice:

1) Should I have a baby alone (with a sperm donor)? Yes or no? I feel like I will regret it if I don’t.

2) How do I find a great guy like Hockey God?

3) Why didn’t any of you (bleep-bleep) moms tell me how hard nursing would be?

Sure, those are easy enough questions. I’ll bite. Oh, that’s not me biting — that’s a nursing baby!


Friday Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others

December 15th, 2006

Dear Wacky Mommy:

What do you think it means when you pull up to drop your kids at school, and there are no other people there?


Baffled in PDX

Dear Baffled:

What it means, my friend, is you are an idiot, because school had a two-hour late opening today and you didn’t know. Loser. Yeah, that was us this morning. Funny thing is, we were on time for only the second time this week. Kinda neat, huh? Actually, really neat, because it meant that instead of heading to reading groups, we headed to Sohbet Coffeehouse. I’m having some peppermint tea, and homemade granola with honey and fresh apples. I already had a cappucino, and the kids had hot cocoa.

And… Hockey God’s with us. A rare Friday sighting of my husband. He’d planned to do a troubador kinda thing with Wacky Boy’s pre-k class — playing the guitar for the little tykes as they strolled from class to class, wearing their paper reindeer antlers and jingling bells, singing (you knew it) “Jingle Bells.” (Not the “Batman Smells” version, either.)

But no morning pre-k because of late opening. Funny thing about Portland — anytime there might be a storm, or actually is a storm, or someone remembers one time there was a storm — the town pretty much shuts down. An inch of snow? Leave work early. Lots of rain? Call in sick. Portland is slacker-happy this way.

Thus it is a gorgeous sunny morning here in North Portland, yet we have late school opening. The west side did get hit pretty hard by the winds, I heard. But the Portland School District has a kind of all for one/one for all attitude and doesn’t close schools individually.

Some of our more famous storms: Columbus Day Storm, way back in 1962 — Zoot, there’s a map on there for you; and the various ice storms of the 1970s (We “cooked” Jell-o outside on the back steps! We pulled the sled to Fred Meyer to do the shopping! Then Fred Meyer lost power and we had to leave!) There was the “Big One” in 1995; the flooding in 1996, etc.

It’s not too bad in this part of the world, despite the erratic, moody climate.

My least favorite thing about living here is when climbers get lost. When families get lost. When skiers ski off-course. There are three climbers lost on Mt. Hood right now — they’ve been missing since Sunday. So send those good thoughts out this way, please. Sometimes it’s not just sunshine and drinking hot cocoa, waiting for school to open.



Friday Advice Column: Teens

November 26th, 2006


Dear Wacky Mommy,

What do I do with my teenager?




Friday Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others

November 5th, 2006

Back from break… Wacky Mommy, Superhero, to the rescue…

(A disclaimer: I am not a trained medical or mental health professional and this column is for entertainment purposes only. If and when necessary, please consult your physician or analyst.)

Dear Wacky Mommy:

My daughter’s swim meet was yesterday, and all of the parents were pretty much on their best behavior, except one mother, who was RUDE as hell to almost everyone. She literally threw the stop watch at my husband when it was his turn to time. She also had on Levis that were TOO low for her fat arse. Her big butt crack was hanging out all day. “EWWW!” “GROSS!” ….just a few of the words I heard from some of the swimmers.

What is the best way to handle parents like these?


Team Mom


Friday Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others

October 19th, 2006

Grey’s Anatomy, I love you so. Especially when I have insomnia and you, on tape.

Meredith: “Guilt never goes anywhere on its own. It brings its friends, doubt and insecurity.

McSteamy, to Callie, when her cell rings while they’re in bed: “That your boyfriend again?”
Callie: “I do not have a boyfriend.”
McSteamy: “Then why the guilty face?”
Callie: “You were sexier when you weren’t talking.”

A disclaimer: While I am a professional writer, I am professional in no other areas at all, medically, socially, academically or career-wise. Just ask the other PTA parents. Thus, this is not medical advice. Please check with your doctor or analyst if you need to.

If you have questions, please shoot me an e-mail. It’s not like I’m sleeping.


Dear Wacky Mommy:

What do you think of co-sleeping? My husband and I are co-sleeping with our three-month-old, and it’s going fine. We have one of those rail/net things next to the bed (not a co-sleeper). But what do you do when the baby starts crawling?

Happy Mama


Friday Advice Column/My Husband is Too Sexy for This Blog

September 28th, 2006

We were at dinner. Two tables over I saw this cute family — both kids dressed in their school uniforms. Well, the parents weren’t that cute, they were kind of homely. But the kids were cute, because of the uniforms and all. I’m thinking, like I always think when I see those adorable jumpers and the sharply-creased slacks and the plain white shirts, “I love school uniforms. So practical! So not Hello Kitty and Crazy Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It (with that stupid bunny that my daughter and all the other girls adore) and My Pretending to Listen to You Should Be Enough and Your Shirt Says ‘Princess’ But Your Face Says ‘Frog.‘” Etc.

(I have a fondness for school uniforms that is not shared by my friends who attended parochial school. Unless their kids are at parochial school, in which case they all say, “School uniforms are the best. You don’t have to hassle every day about what to wear, and it’s cheaper, and NO FIGHTS ABOUT SLUTTY CLOTHES.”)

So I’m daydreaming about uniforms, and cursing crop-tops, low-slung jeans and bitchy T-shirts and I notice that her kids have left her table. And her husband. She’s alone. She’s having a moment of “mommy me time.” And she’s… tongueing something?


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