"As for me, I'll take one baby marinated in a dish please"

Casper Babypants

Every time I switch Pandora to Casper Babypants a little piece of me dies.

I realize that I am slowly morphing into the parent I never thought I would become. If she has already broken me on the music, what’s next? Cheerios and French fries stuck in every crevasse of my car? Plastic, sun-faded toys rotting in my front yard? An 80’s style house in the suburbs complete with a swing set? +shiver up the spine+

I thought we had a compromise with “Civil Wars” radio. It had what both of us were looking for. Male and female vocals, acoustic guitars, mellow but not boring, a healthy mix of upbeat and slow songs, no synthesizer... And I don’t care how old or young you are, who can resist the sweet and smoky crooning of Ray Lamontagne?

I’ll tell you who. Ellyette.

The thing is, I made a specific effort during my pregnancy to listen to great music as to avoid this problem. From the day “What to Expect” said babies could hear in the womb, I tried to fill the air space with nothing but ear candy.

At first I thought my sphere of influence had won. As an infant she would only settle down to old school hip hop. Snoop D.O. double G was her personal favorite, with Tupac coming in at number two. And while I admit the lyrics to “Kush” aren’t the best, they also are not the travesty that is “Kids Bop volume 2 million.”

I still don’t know exactly when the change happened or why I couldn’t stop it. But within the last few weeks the only way to get her to stop crying in the car is to put on the dreaded “Casper Babypants” station and brace myself for barrage of animal noises, Kazoos, and imitation harpsichords. And nothing against Baby Casperpants itself. To my current knowledge it seems to be the most tolerable children's station out in Pandoraland. However, more than once I have asked myself which is worse, a crying baby? Or anything from Lucas Miller’s “I’m a Supa Dupa Pupa” album? While thus far a crying baby has won the “worse” contest, it is only a matter of time before I ‘thumb down’ every song on the station and Pandora plays nothing but Jack Johnson’s “Curious George” album with an intermittent flow of Chrysler mini van ads.

If it true that such artists as Marilyn Manson and Eminem can cause young troubled teens to snap with their music, I also then think that artists like Raffi must do the same for parents. Just hearing his voice makes me angry and by the third verse of “Baby Beluga” I’m ready to throw my phone out the window because it isn’t ‘thumbs downing’ fast enough. Raffi is my nemesis. How did he ever become a children’s artist anyway? How does any adult become a children’s artist? It seems like the bottom of the barrel for a musician. A desperate measure taken only when faced with an evection or electricity shut off notice.

Perhaps it occurs after months of preforming in empty dive bars for nobody but the bartender and the sound guy…….Hold on. I was in a band like that. Maybe I should get the band back together for a children’s album. If the Barenaked Ladies can do it, why can’t we? A Byeheart reunion. After all, we did have a song called Moles and Weasels. Not too far fetched from such tunes as, “Four little Duckies” or “Two Little Bunnies.”

Our front man was definitely creepy enough to be a children’s artist. And while I didn’t think our songs were annoying enough to be considered for a children’s album, nobody really came to our shows, so they must have been.


The Byeheart of old.........

Our current potential as Byeheart Baby......

Naaaa. That even creeps me out.


Dear BreeAnne…Welcome to my new life

My younger sister BreeAnne just left from her first visit to Arizona since Ellyette was born. While she visits often, this particular time was more business than pleasure.

It started with my phone call to her a couple weeks ago, which went something like the following:
“So……what are you doing between the 16th and the 23rd? Nothing hopefully, because I really need someone to watch E the 19th and 20th. Heather is going to be in Indiana helping her in-laws harvest their farm. How awesomely rural is that? Please, please, please. I’d rather spend the money to buy your plane ticket down here then pay a stranger almost as much to watch her for two days."

While it might seem extreme to fly a family member down to babysit for a couple days, please reference my previous babysitter post to gain a full understanding of why this seemed like logic at its finest. Anyway… She couldn’t say no. After all, her memories of AZ include hanging out with yours truly, basking in the glorious sun, hanging out by the pool, hiking, golfing, drinking beer, hitting up a couple happy hours and eating the best Mexican food around. What’s not to love?

The days of old:

Patron shots on the golf course. Taken with the plastic Hawaiian shot glass feet from the dollar store (which you might also recognize from the orange juice and caster oil shot that I took just hours before starting labor) SWAGGY

Bree hitting her par 12

Hiking in Sedona -

Happy Hours galore

But oh how the times have changed. Besides the three days of watching Ellyette (Ben took advantage and worked a six day week to her surprise, hence the extra babysitting day), she also got to partake in such fun activities as….wait for it……

The pumpkin patch!!!

If she looks annoyed in that picture, it's because the pumpkin she is holding cost $9.

What a sport. She even posed as the creepy country pumpkin with shaved bodybuilding legs and a pair of wicked Frye boots.

The hayride out to the pumpkin patch. Complete with hay fleas.

The Zoo!!!!

Bree and E with Ruby the elephant in the background

The Train Park!!!!

Almost like Disneyland, but less fun.

Riding the kiddy train through the park. $2 of rip roaring fun for all ages.


That silly Bree brought her swimsuit. Little did she know that her pool time would be traded in for exersaucer and tummy time.

In the end however, I think she did have a good time. Even if that meant trading in margaritas at Valle Luna for cheddar goldfish at the zoo.


Safe Baby Handling Tips

One of Ben's coworkers is having a baby this month. And now that I have become the person that used to annoy me (the one who over shares her own experience right down to, "while you are in the hospital, be sure to order all of your chicken sandwich toppings separately. EVERY SINGLE ONE. From the cheese to the lettuce; even the mustard! I didn't and all I received was chicken in a bun. What a disappointment. You even have to order the salt and pepper separately!") - Yes, I really did say that to a girl I had just met and who was clearly thinking about the horrors of labor and delivery over what toppings she might or might not want on her hospital food.

And the rest of my advice to her that evening was about par to the chicken sandwich..."If you use the jetted tub, make sure the jets are off before the water covers them. We sprayed water everywhere because we couldn't figure out where the button was. It was horrible." I forgot to add that the horrible part was my gut wrenching, curl on the floor contractions.

And how about this solid jewel: "Don't forget to ring the bell when you are going to your recovery room. It plays a nursery rhyme throughout the hospital signaling a baby was born".

OR..."You are totally going to want this lanolin, because breastfeeding hurts almost as much as contractions. Really, it does."

I think the only good advice I gave her was to labor at home as long as possible. Something my sister told me when I text her at 2:30 a.m. the night I went into labor.

But after I mentioned the above, and she asked how I knew it was time to go to the hospital, I threw out this little nugget of wisdom:

"We didn't really know for sure. I just wanted to be far enough along that I thought they wouldn't send us home. And I was a little worried about leaving any later than 7:00 a.m. because of traffic. But it turned out we could use the carpool lane. I think in the end we just guessed when a good time to go would be and then we went."

I should really have my own advice column.

Fast-forward 15 minutes to my "after the baby is born" advice:

"Screw nipple confusion, I started pumping a couple days after she was born so Ben could take a shift. No way he was going to get out of that one."

And, "Good luck, husband. Postpartum is CRAZY. I cried over everything. From how beautiful my baby was, to how great my husband was, to how fat I still felt, to not being able to decide if I wanted a sandwich or salad. But don't worry, it eventually goes away. Right Ben? RIGHT BEN????"

Anyway, the whole night got me thinking to what solid (or not) advice I was given during labor and right after E was born. My sister deserves an A+ (shout out Nicole, yeah!). I'm pretty sure without her I would be a much worse parent. And all the other usual suspects have also contributed. Mother, Mother-in-law, friends, co-workers, annoying strangers, etc.

But then I started thinking about all those books I read. Did any of them do me any good. Did I learn one single thing from any of them? Check out my stash:

I swear I read every page of every book. Or at least the back cover summary page of every book.

But there was one book that stood out from the rest for its parenting prowess. A good friend who clearly knows me well dropped this book as well as a jumbo size pack of nursing pads into my lap right after Ellyette was born.

This red beauty has changed the way Ben and I parent. It contains all the advice I forgot to give just a few nights ago. Plus, it has the important bonus of "wheel of responsibility. To keep parents fair, honest and un-divorced." Read that? Un-divorced. Who could ask for more?

This is the kind of advise every new parent needs. Allow me to share just a few pages from this parenting godsend:

So, if I drink the XXX and then breastfeed, does that make it ok???

(I'm pretty sure both those people sent their application to me at Sittercity. But the one with books was actually faking her literacy).

In the future, I think I should just hand the book over rather than giving my two cents on how to condiment a chicken sandwich in the hospital. After all, you can't go wrong with a book that has a word from the authors that states:

Dear Baby Handler,

Congratulations! You have accepted the challenging task of caring for someone (other than yourself). This job will entail, among many difficult duties, trying not to misplace your baby; skillfully dodging the responsibility of changing your baby's diaper, and remembering not to drive off with your baby on the roof of the car. This book outlines some of the safe handling tips you will need to know. Follow along and you should be A-Okay.

Best parenting advice ever.


Wanted: Competence

We have finally started the nanny search (tears)

For about the last month Ben has suggested we get a nanny about 10 hours-per-week to help me out so I do things like clean the house, go to the gym, buy groceries, and most importantly, use our Arizona Cardinals football seasons tickets.

Translation: Ben misses a clean house, my old body, and attending football games with a beer in his hand rather than a baby.

He finally put his foot down last Sunday when we left the Cardinals/Eagles football game before halftime because even with those honking headphones, it was still too loud for E.

I’ve had the good fortune to avoid it up until this point as I’m only working part time and my childcare situation for work is nothing short of amazing. Ben has her one-day and one of my amazing friends has her two days. But because this amazing friend lives 45 minutes away, it is completely impractical to have her watch Ellyette for just a few hours at a time.

So Monday morning Ben put an ad on sittercity to find the perfect person to watch E fizzle dizzle. We were both excitedly anticipating all the great and qualified candidates that we just knew were out there. Visions of Ellyette and the nanny laughing and playing together danced in my head while I tended to the house and trained for that half marathon I told myself I was going to run in January….umm. ya.

By Wednesday, I was thoroughly traumatized by the applicants that had applied for the job. No way was I going to let any one of these people watch my kid.

So as of now, we have no nanny. But the good news is that I don’t have to worry about some idiot putting my kid in a commercial washing machine and shutting the door only to have it auto-start.

(for those of you who haven't seen this gem of a video....)

Based on the applicants we received, I have taken the liberty to put together a few tips on how to get a babysitting job:

Krista’s guide to getting a babysitting job:

1.For your online profile, a cell phone picture in the bathroom mirror just doesn’t cut it.

2.The above picture with “sexy pout lips” gives the impression that you are on the wrong website (hello Craigslist). No sluts allowed.

3.Thinking about posing with your Chihuahua for that profile picture? Don’t. It’s not that cute.

4.Posting that you are willing to watch up to 6 children by yourself does not make you 6 times more hirable.

5. The following statements will not get you hired. Anywhere. Ever.

“I really need a job at this momnet. And jobs anywhere else doesn't really want me since i'm still in school and i'm 20. But I promise you you can trust me.”

“I am eighteen years old and have recently graduated both high school and college as I was dual enrold.”

“I have had one year experince with babysitting my neighbors kid. I've only babysat her for the year. But i'm willing to work with anyone.

Of course nobody else wants to hire applicant one. But my guess is that it’s not because she is 20 and still in school (elementary school I presume based on her spelling and grammar). And her “I promise you can trust me” sentence makes me think she would lift anything not attached to the walls. I might as well say goodbye to my checkbook now.

Applicant #2 was duel enrold. I’m guessing she might have been duel enrold in halfway house high and the college of hard knocks. Imagine that, Duel enrold.

As far as applicant three, she might be willing to work with anyone, but I’m not.

Imagine choosing the person that is responsible for the most precious thing in your life from that pool. Wowza.

Anyway, continuing on with my guide

6. OMG, Don’t use txt spk on ur app. ☺

7. If you do get an interview, don’t show up 45 minutes early. And then have your boyfriend wait in his truck outside the house.

8. Turn your cell phone off during the interview, and if you forget at least don’t answer your text messages while you are describing your experience.

9. When I ask what kind of things you would do with a 4-month-old, don’t let the first and only thing out of your mouth be, “I guess I would have her watch those baby Einstein videos.”

10. Don’t tell me that you just “pretty much sit around your house all day.” - Especially when your application says that you are in college.

Based on the above list, I don’t think my expectations are too high. All I want is a nanny who can spell at a 5th grade level, have a respectable profile, and interact with my child rather than a cell phone. Not too complicated in theory….

On the bright side, unlike one of my friends, at least I didn’t have an interviewee with neck tattoos or one that offered to “take my baby away to the organic farm she had with her boyfriend to “get away” for a weekend. – creepy. Who would say that in an interview?

I guess I shouldn't be that surprised.