Snack Freely

Me and football don’t really go together. I tried to make it work for years and years until I finally just accepted that I don’t give a shit. Doesn’t mean I can’t get into a good game, but I’ll be just fiiine if I miss it.  The only reason I look forward to watching games is if it’s in party-like gathering — an excuse to socialize, drink, and chow down. I remember back in college my ex wanted to watch the Super Bowl at his friend’s house (I barely hung out with these people), while I wanted to watch it with MY friends.  He won and I was dreading it.  One of my arguments for not wanting to go is that I wouldn’t be able to snack at will, or snack freely, as I coined it during the heavy discussion of where to go.  Being at a party with people you do not know or feel comfortable around makes the chips harder to grab and the dips harder to dive into. I don’t want to be judged when going for my 5th pig in a blanket.  I don’t want to squeeze in on the periphery of some conversation and feel obligated to chit chat when all I want to do is reach over and dip a chip.  I want to go to a place where I can double dip and not worry about people being disgusted because we’re snacking on the honor system.  Don’t DD even if you’re a little bit sick. Gross. I want to be cozy with my pals. I want to take my jacket off and stay for a while.  I want to snack free as a bird, flitting around a buffet of 7-layer dip, buffalo wings (double dipping wings isn’t acceptable — go ahead and place an extra dollop on your snack plate), and spinach artichoke dip.  I think of that one Super Bowl every year and how starved I was when we left (and drunk because I pretty much only had 3 chips).  Thankfully, this year I was able to snack freely in an easy-grab zone with a comfortable ratio of close friends to strangers.  The pictures below illustrate what I’m talking about, kinda.  Note:  I’m still wearing the brace/splint, but it didn’t stop me from stuffing my face.

Snacking uncomfortably

Snacking uncomfortably

Snacking freely

Snacking freely

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Mommy Thumb

Camera 360That’s not a thumbs up.  Not too long ago I wrote a post about my achy wrist.  I was prepared to get x-rays at my doctor’s appointment, but instead the nurse practitioner asked me to describe my pain and then proceeded to have me hold it out like I was going to shake someone’s hand and then bent my wrist down. I squealed and she immediately diagnosed my ailment as “mommy thumb,” aka, thumb extensor tendinitis. She told me it’s all too common and is a result of handling the baby and overworking the wrist and thumb — like when you scoop up your nugget under their arms, that’s a strain on your precious thumb. Hmmm, wish I had known that this might happen because I wouldn’t have kept ignoring the pain.  For some reason, even though I’m thirty-frickin’-seven, I think I am invincible. That I don’t have to worry about joint pain, back issues, and dislocating stuff (not talking about my sunglasses or keys). I would definitely advise new mamas to be hyper aware of how you sit when breastfeeding: don’t hunch over and use a firm pillow so that you’re sitting up as straight as possible, don’t hold your baby’s head so tightly to breastfeed (I would hold Luna’s newborn head up against my breast so firmly so she would keep her latch and I’m pretty sure that’s what started this whole mess), stretch all parts of your body whenever you can, and try not to use your wrists so dang much (haven’t got that one completely figured out yet, but forearms and elbows might be the new wrist).  If you think you might have this condition and would rather spend the co-pay on a nice lunch, then read this article. It’s pretty much what the n.p. ordered. I’ve been following it loosely and it’s getting a teeny bit better.  I also found this Mommy Thumb news clip to be somewhat helpful.  They say it’ll take about 6 weeks to fully heal.  Yay.

Em-brace It!

I’ve had some aches and pains from having a baby.  Back pain, breast pain, C-section incision pain…nothing unique about any of that.

The one issue that I can’t shake is my wrist pain, something I had never heard new mamas complain about. I’ve always had feeble wrists (got them from my mom and grandma), but most of the time they get the job done. Two weeks after I gave birth, my left wrist started aching and I bought a brace for it.  After a few weeks, the a pain subsided. A month or so after that, both my wrists started to hurt and make snapping sounds when I would do certain things.  To be honest, I sort of ignored it because who else is going to lift my baby during the day and deal with the car seat?!  Then one night I woke up in pain and knew I had pushed myself too far. Basically, my right wrist is in a brace/splint now because anytime I twist or bend it in just a specific way, I scream in pain. Something’s not right and I finally made a doctor’s appointment after painfully going through the motions in the land of denial. Some people think it might be carpal tunnel, but there is no numbness.  Either way, I can’t wait to get this diagnosed, once and for all.  Things I can’t do:

  • Leave the house if I want to actually get out of the car and do something with my baby
  • Remove the car seat
  • Pull out the stroller
  • Put the babes in the B’jorn in less than what seems like 10 minutes
  • Open a bottle of wine in less than what seems like 10 minutes
  • Put my hair up in a way that looks normal
  • Squeegee my glass shower doors (not a big deal since I only shower every 2-3 days now that I have a babay)
  • Twist a jar of peanut butter, jam, pickles, mustard, spaghetti sauce…you get the picture
  • Get that super itchy itch on my back that my left hand can’t reach (I thank whoever invented the back scratcher)
  • Pull up my underwear and sweatpants (I can only do that with one hand. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but try it)
  • Text or type with speed
  • Wash my hair

Then I remember all the things I can do (primarily for my baby):

  • Love her
  • Feed her
  • See her
  • Sing to her
  • Read to her
  • Kiss her
  • Hug her
  • Change her diaper (barely)
  • Sleep 5 hours straight at night
  • Thank my sweet husband for being my right-hand-man when he gets home from work

Obviously, there are SO many reasons I should be thankful for what I am able to do. As super annoying as my wrist issue is, I am trying to make the best of it, knowing that this too shall pass. At least it’s not my left wrist, the hand that I write with. If anyone else is experiencing the same pain, stay tuned to my post diagnosis post. 🙂

Have A Little Faith

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

I came across this post and it made me happy.  It talks about how Stanford has a chaplain for atheists and agnostics.  For someone who isn’t religious but seeks out spirituality without subscribing to one particular religion, this is very intriguing. I fully support all my friends who find comfort in religion, but for me it only introduces more questions. I’m so not good with total surrender and am far too practical for it. I do want to be in touch with something intangible to ease my mind, heart, and soul, but don’t find it natural to put all that faith in one basket. Instead, I look for beacons of light within all religions and cobble them together to customize my own spiritual guidebook for getting through life. It’s a project in progress which I’m enjoying more as a full-grown adult. I’m surprised that gatherings like this don’t exist outside of a university campus (or maybe they do and I’m just the last to know). I think it would be brilliant to have a place to go every week or month to hear how people make sense of life’s ups and downs, free of how one religion tells you to get through something — you know, Buddhists might handle it one way, while Christians might do the opposite and Hindus hit it somewhere in the middle. If none of that speaks to you, then maybe you can find solace in science, nature or a simple act of kindness.  I’m not completely sure a support group is for me, but you just might get me there… especially if there are refreshments.

Dear Abby,

Dear Abby

Dear Abby (Photo credit: HA! Designs – Artbyheather)

I never knew how cool you were. I grew up reading your column and then stopped for whatever reason and I can’t recall when. Now that you’ve passed, I’m learning so much about you I wished I had known when you were alive.  You and your twin sister didn’t always get along.  Your parents were from Russia.  Your brother-in-law founded Budget-Rent-A-Car.  You chose Abigail from the Bible and Van Buren from the eighth American president.

I never identified your sarcasm and hidden wit as a young teen, but appreciate them so very much in hindsight. I’m impressed at how your opinions evolved with the times while reflecting the common sense you so dryly imposed on your readers. For example:

To the people complaining about the gay couple who’d moved in next door and wanting to know how the quality of the neighborhood could be restored, you replied: “You could move.”

My question about other people’s questions is and has always been (whether they are writing to a local newspaper or to Cosmo): what do they do until they’ve heard back about their question? Do they avoid that person/situation altogether? They probably knew they might not hear back because of the high volume of readers writing in.  Or does that require the same common sense they’re probably lacking in the first place? I doubt I’ll ever know the answer to this conundrum, especially now that Abby is gone.

Bottomless

I knew that would get your attention!  Now get your head out of that deep bowl.  Unless it’s the bowl of soup I’m about to rave about.  I love gettin’ cozy with some soup in the blistery days of winter here in LA-LA land.  I had this particular soup at a very cozy Italian resto called Sotto.  It’s rustic-y and bustling with beautiful people.  I had dinner there with a couple of girlfriends after work and, unbeknownst to me, I was pregnant at the time!  The girls and I had some bold red vino and shared a handful of dishes. While the plates of pasta we ordered were pretty delicious, the soup is what I have thought of on many occasions. It’s a velvety, smooth, and luxurious cauliflower delight.  That said, I was ecstatic when I found a recipe for it on Lamag.com!  I never thought of actually making it because it tastes like it would take days to make and/or a culinary degree under your belt… but, apparently, all you need is to be able to follow simple directions. And, it’s dairy-free!  I haven’t made it yet, but plan to do so very, very, very soon.

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Snuggie Time!

It’s that time of year again. I have to give a shout out to the snuggie, the most brilliant invention ever known to mankind.  Well, one of them anyway.   The hubby is not a fan.  Nothing says I am not in the mood like the impenetrable barrier of my forest green snuggle sack. I don’t own a slanket, but a delicious and similar alternative.  I mean, when was the last time an adult could wear a onesie made of fleece outside of a mental institute?  One Direction introduced a stylish version, but they’re more American Apparel than cozy. By the way, can we still say forest green or did that go the way of A.L.F. and Punky Brewster?  It doesn’t matter, because that’s the color of my sleeping bag with a zipper. This year I decided to pass on the joy and sent my sister and her new hub a pair of snuggies and a little book called The Snuggie Sutra.  Ya know, to keep the romance alive.  Check it.

snuggiesutra

Rawr… now we are talking.  The perfect newlywed gift because it prepares you for the inevitable exchange of all the Vicki’s Secret from your bridal showers for a warmer way to get it on.