Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy last bath of 2009!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Might I recommend an IBCLC, RLC?

You may remember from this recent post that I've been dealing with a pretty SUCKY problem. Good news, dear readers: I suffer no more! My relief is thanks to a visit with a wonderful lactation consultant. I highly recommend Ann Bennett if you could use help with nursing. She's in Lakeway, TX, which is not quite Austin, but well worth the trip if you're within driving distance.

Here are a few highlights from my appointment:
  • Ann has a foam boob on a lanyard for demonstration purposes. (This did not make me laugh, because I'm very mature.)
  • I got confirmation that I'm not starving my baby.
  • Ann told me I have 'anatomically perfect breasts.'
  • Now after nursing I don't feel like I'm going to lose a nipple.

Isn't it great when something that seems like a MAJOR problem has some really easy fixes? And to top it all off, there is an Office marathon on tv tonight. That's my kind of marathon! Hope you had a great day, too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Travel Hijinks

I've got my first guest blogger! My funniest friend, Meredith West (from this post), shared a funny story about recent holiday travel. I know some of you can relate. Thanks Meredith!

Thursday I left work at noon and went to lunch with my cousins Marta and Rachel. We ate at Chik Fil A and gossiped about our families. Then Rachel graciously drove me to the airport. Earlier in the week when I asked her if she would be able to take me on Thursday, her response was "oh good, that will give me something to do this week." I am so honored to give her life such purpose.

So once at the airport, I had an hour until my flight, so I decided to "mall walk" the airport because my office is in a nationwide divisional contest called "Walktober" to see which division can walk the most minutes. I squeezed in 45 minutes of walking, in hopes for bringing home the gold to Austin. (and by gold, I mean pizza party. What better way to motivate exercising than with one of the highest calorie foods?)

While walking the airport, who did I see but a co-worker, Barbara. Now I don't want to brag, but Barbara is just not as dedicated as me. I made sure to let her know I was keeping tabs on her, and that just because she was travelling did not mean she could let our team down. People at my office probably think I am obsessed with winning this pizza.

I also ran into an old friend, Django Walker (lead singer in the Django Walker band, son to Jerry Jeff Walker...yes, I am name dropping). Django was on his way to Vegas, where he told me he was going to party "the Hangover" style. I presume this meant he was going to steal a tiger and take roofies.

With my walking accomplished for the day, I boarded the plane with my heart bursting with excitement and headed to NJ. The flight was going pretty smooth but I was sitting next to this guy who was rather unusual. Let's call him Bruce.

Bruce was very dramatic while praying over his airline cheeseburger, which I actually thought was rather hilarious though he was 100% serious. I guess when you think about it, airline food probably needs additional prayer. So the airline attendant gave him his burger and he somewhat slammed his palms down on his tray on either side of his burger and bowed his head. I was trying not to stare, but honestly in such close quarters it is hard not to.

Bruce proceeded to enjoy his burger, then get his laptop out and continued watching Band of Brothers. I had mentioned to him that I had watched it before, but he kind of just looked at me with that "nobody cares" look. So out of nowhere, Bruce starts acting extremely unusual. I think the best description of it would be some kind of orgasmicly emotional religious experience.

I was sitting there thinking to myself, "man, Bruce is reallly moved by this movie. He must know someone who died in World War 2 or something". Bruce was looking up into the air, clenching his fists, turning his head from side to side, slamming his fists down on the tray and profusely sweating.

I was trying to let him do what he needed to do, but unfortunately I could not stop staring at him. I got a glimpse of his eyes and realized that he was having some sort of medical issue and was not just deeply moved by the most recent episode of Band of Brothers. So after calling a flight attendant and getting Bruce on oxygen, I am sitting there holding his oxygen tank, his laptop, his ginormous headphones, his leather coat, and his Miller Light. It was later determined that Bruce was hyper glycemic and he kept saying "that cheeseburger must have had a lot of sugar in it." It was all I could do to not say to him, "I am pretty sure the Hershey bar you just ate has more sugar than that cheeseburger did".

But who am I to judge?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Three months. Highs AND lows

It's hard to believe my little sweetie pie angel face is three months old already. She is a happy and pretty calm baby (except for this habit). She loves to laugh and smile and coo at anyone who talks to her. She seems to be especially crazy about her grandpa. She loves baths and has started rolling over. She has finally gotten the hang of thumb sucking. Before I became a mom I said I would never bore people with what percentile my baby was in for head size, length, and weight. That's why I won't mention that she's in the 5oth percentile for all of them. Some might call that average. I call it perfect.

I could just stop there. But I won't. The goal of my blogging is to entertain as well as to give an HONEST glimpse into my life as a working mommy and wife. So here you go. These are just a few of the moments of the past three months that will not win me any parenting awards:

1. On Christmas day I staged the living room with toys we already owned, so that in the future Carolyn will think Mommy and Daddy gave her some presents.

2. I peed with the sling on. Twice.
3. I bumped C's head on the car door frame while getting her out of the sling.
4. I hide the disposable diapers from my hubby to force his participation in cloth diapering.
5. Once when I noticed she was mesmerized by Divorce Court, I hopped in the shower instead of engaging her in something more appropriate.

Anyone else feel like sharing an UNglorious moment from their life?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

redneck bread truck

This afternoon while I was out running errands, I passed a loaf of bread in the street. Just laying there. On a busy four lane road. That made me very curious. Here are a few of the possibilities I came up with:

a) kids playing in the car got out of hand and launched bread out the window
2) someone gave up carbs abruptly on the way home from the grocery store

Lucky for me, a few miles down the road I stopped at a red light and got the truth. It was a redneck driving a pickup full of un-boxed loaves of bread with no tailgate, of course. If that's not enough to make you love Austin, TX I don't know what is.

Thank you, redneck bread truck man, for keeping Austin weird. For more examples of Austinites keepin' it weird, click here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A grapefruit and a bowling ball

Attention male readers: you may enjoy this boob related material more than today's post. You've been warned.

Somebody open a window. Because I'm about to vent.

Now that baby C is almost three months old, I thought that I had breastfeeding under control. I had quite a bit of trouble the first few weeks. But, like I said, I thought it was under control. I've even gotten used to seeing two giant leaky grapefruits in my nursing bra.

Last night I noticed that I had one grapefruit and one bowling ball. Yikes!

This morning at the doctor's office I encountered on of Santa's jolliest elves. This is how the convo went:

Jolly Nurse: Can you describe the problem for me?

Me: Righty is very swollen and has a big hard spot.

Jolly Nurse: Can you describe the lump?

Me: Yes, it feels like four legos.

(I don't know why that's the first thing that came to mind. But she wrote it down like it was a reasonable answer.)

Jolly Nurse: Have you had any problems in the past with nursing?

Me: Yes, I have a low milk supply.

Jolly Nurse: OH HOW FUNNY! I was the exact OPPOSITE. I had so much milk I didn't know what to do with it all.

(At this point I'm smirking and nodding on the outside, but inside I'm screaming "Stop bragging, Dairy Queen!")

Then the doctor came in. Merry Christmas! It's a breast infection.

Phwew! I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent. Now on to happier things.

M and I are so excited about our first Christmas as a family of three. We're doing our celebrating today, watching movies and cooking and just spending time together. Just the three of us. So lovely! M is happy as can be, roasting a duck. My hubby LOVES alternative birds. No turkey for that guy! Even a lactation crisis can't spoil the good times.

I hope you are all having a warm cozy day as well. I'll leave you with a picture of my precious little Santa Baby.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Help for check writers

Dear check writers of America,

You don't know me, but I know you. I know you because I am frequently in line behind you at retail stores. I stand there and study you as the teenager behind the counter looks up 'check processing' in her manual. As I'm standing there losing precious moments of my life, I'm wondering why you have chosen to forgo the convenience of the debit card. These are a few of the possibilities I've come up with:

1. You're part of some oddball religious sect that promotes inconvience.

Okay, I only came up with one possibility.

I can't imagine any other reason that you're hanging on to your checkbook when the rest of the civilized world is footloose and fancy free with their debit cards. Since this season is all about giving, I would like to give something to you: a suggestion.

After Christmas is over and the frenzy of the holiday has died down, but before you have to get back to your regular grind, I suggest that you order a debit card.Trust me, dear check writing friend, this will make your trips to the store for your Kodak film and popping corn MUCH faster.

And it's easy! Just look up the customer service number for your bank in your phone book. Give them a ring from your land line. In five to seven business days, you'll be part of the new millenium. If you have any questions, just ask! I'll be checking my snail mail daily just in case.

Yours truly,

Joy Engel

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Christmas Eve Eve Eve!

As you may remember from this post, I'm a sucker for good advertising. I think it was the Christmas of 1989 when I had to have a Roller Racer. My childhood bff's Meredith, Marta, and pesky little sister Rachel were Roller Racer crazy as well.

Somehow none of us caught the part of the commercial that said the Roller Racer was ideal for patios, playrooms, and basements. Instead, we tried to use them for long distance travel. Christmas day we were so excited to go around the block for the first time on our Roller Racers. The mission was aborted when it took five minutes to get from one mailbox to the next.


Marta, Meredith, Yours Truly

What did you beg Santa for in the 80's? Please share!

Monday, December 21, 2009


I was so sad this morning to hear the news that Brittany Murphy died. So young. So talented. So sad.
When I think of Brittany Murphy one movie comes to mind.

Clueless came out in 1995, my freshman year of high school. I loved it. I'm sure I've seen this movie several dozen times. I think for about six months I watched it with friends every weekend. What could be more enjoyable than rich witty teenagers?

I think it was 1997 before I quit using the line 'I broke in my purple clogs' every time someone asked what I did that day. Whenever the topic of driving/ cars/ driver's ed came up I was sure to mention that 'I fully intend to brake for small animals.' (You can find more Clueless quotes here.) Fortunately Billy Madison came out that same year. So if someone rolled their eyes in annoyance at my constant Clueless quoting, I could shut them down with 'Stop looking at me, Swan.'

I'm sure the media will have all sorts of things to say about Brittany Murphy and the way she died. I'll ignore all of it, and remember her fondly as part of the movie that I loved so much in 1995.

Did anyone else spend that year trying to be Clueless?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

rule follower

While grocery shopping recently, I was waited on at the deli counter by a man who was completely bald. I don't mean thinning hair, I mean no hair at all. Like this guy:

Despite his lack of hair (or should I say abundance of scalp), he was wearing a hair net. At first I thought he must have just had a good sense of humor. Then I realized he was just a rule follower.


My otherwise calm baby spends a LOT of time screaming in the car. It just started about a week ago. At first I thought she was being attacked by a wild swarm of bees. When I found no evidence of bees and the screaming didn't stop, I realized she just doesn't like being in the car seat. What a five-point harness offers in safety, it lacks in comfort. Who can blame her? I've pretty much gotten used to it now.

Yesterday as I was in the scream-mobile getting my hubby his large coffee with eight creams and ten sugars from the window at Mickey D's, the teenager with the headset asked "Is your baby upset?"

That's a dumb question.

This brought to mind a few of the dumb questions I come across frequently.

*At Target, even if my total is under a dollar, the card swiping machine asks "do you want it all on the card?"

*Several times a week when I lose my keys, my husband asks "Are they in your purse?"

*At school EVERY SINGLE DAY at least one of my darling second graders asks "Are we going to lunch today?" (This is public school, kid, lunch is our main requirement.)

What FAdumbQ's do you never tire of answering? Please share!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Suggestion for Flip

Dear Flip video camera company,

I am writing to express my satisfaction with your product. Do I Flip? Yes, I do! In fact, I was not even in the market for a tiny video camera when your commercials caught my eye. That catchy tune along with those young attractive people and their charming tom-foolery was too much to resist. While I rarely am involved in hijinks like the ones on the commercials, I do have a baby who is video-worthy.

My camera arrived about a week ago, right on schedule. I was delighted with the ease of use. I installed the double A's and was ready to shoot. And shoot I did.

Today, for the first time, I downloaded my videos. As I watched the clips, I realized that all of them had one glaring flaw: my voice.


Twenty years from now, when my child is away studying at Harvard, I hope to enjoy the videos captured on my tiny Flip camera. My fear is that I will not enjoy them, rather I will be cringing at the sound of my squeaky annoying baby talk that was used to make my daughter smile and coo. It's a little pitchy, dog.

I would like to suggest a new feature for your line of cameras that would allow the videographer to capture the sights and sounds of their subject but NOT record their own voice.

You can call if Flip 2.0, and I will not even ask to be compensated for my idea. If you want to send me a 2.0 as a token of appreciation, I want a yellow one.

Thank you for your near perfect piece of video equipment, and thank you for reading my blog.


Joy Engel

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I have always loved my alone time. In fact, that was the biggest struggle for my hubby and me the first months of our marriage. Since then, he’s learned to give me my space and I’ve learned not to need quite so much time to myself.
Now that I'm a mom, my alone time is pretty much zip.
HOWEVER, about once a week my hubby decides to take the baby with him while he runs an errand. It’s usually a quick trip to the grocery store. He knows I appreciate it, and he enjoys the daddy and daughter time.
The problem is it only lasts a short time.
You see, my sweet husband is not one to stock up on groceries. He rarely buys more than he needs for one meal. That means my solo time is really only about 30 minutes.

This week I got smart and asked if he’d pick up just a handful of things for me. Sucker.

Here’s the list I sent him with:
• Candied ginger
• Reduced sodium beef bouillon granules
• SoftSoap Peach Ginger refill
• Bendy straws
• Marshmallow cream

Have you ever sent your husband on a wild goose chase to get some time to yourself?