Welcome Readers

After pushing out a 9 pound 7 ounce boy in July of 2009, I was handed a large, spiral bound book at his first pediatrician appointment. You know that saying that kids don’t come with manuals? It’s a lie. I have one. A giant one. It’s really good at collecting dust on my bookshelf now.

Welcome to the world of a mommy who is just not… textbook.


My Post-Spring Semester To-Do List… Revisited

Okay, so it’s like practically winter.  Did I do anything I said I wanted to do?

Burn my A&P book.  (Okay, not really, because I actually kind of like it.  We have established a relationship now.) Nope, no burning here.  I still reference it, actually.  

Apply for the nursing program (FINALLY!!!!)  Done.  

Get my CNA. Ha.  

Do my real estate continuing ed like a good real estate agent.  Ha.

Clean my bathroom until it is SPOTLESS.  This means a good hour + of scrubbing tub, shower, and sink.  SPOTLESS.  Everything has been spotless at least once.  Just not all at one time.  Hey, I didn’t get technical here.

Clean my office until it is spotless.  Again, it WAS spotless.  It is not now.

Get rid of a ton of shit that just sits around this house and I’m sick of.  I lied.  There’s like three tons here.  But I did get rid of one ton.

Post the kid’s old clothes I’m getting rid of on thredup.com  Yeah, no.

Get my stupid file cabinet out of Emmie’s room and into the newly clean office.  Done.

Convince Nick to get rid of his ginormous computer monitor that he doesn’t use.  Seriously, what’s the point dude?  Nick?  Get rid of something?  No.

Shampoo carpets.  How about removing them completely?  (In progress)

Read a book.  Any book that I don’t HAVE to learn anything from.  (I’m willing to learn, just don’t want the pressure of NEEDING to learn from it.)  I started a Laurie Notaro the other day.  Like a chapter worth.

Paint Emmie’s room.  No

Paint Ollie’s room.  No

Get a new window since I have some ghost or something breaking mine.  Yeah, no.

Do a ton of BPO’s.  Hey, I can hope.  Lots of unpaid ones, even !

Close some houses for some AWESOME clients!  Woo hoo!  DONE.

Bake something.  I made cupcakes approximately two weeks ago.  And spinach artichoke dip for writing class.

Cook something.  I made hamburgers with mushroom gravy tonight for dinner, actually.  It’s extremely complicated.  Or not.

Start a 9 credit summer semester.  I kicked its tushy.

I have to run!

O put his shoes on after dressing himself in jeans (not zipped, but buttoned!) and a sweatshirt, and as he did he said “I need to put on my running shoes.  I’m going to run to daddy’s work.”

“You are? That’s a long way… why do you need to run that far?”

“I have to go see daddy.  I have to tell him the naughty things I did today.  I have to tell everyone at daddy’s office.”  He says it with pride.

Perhaps we should start taking him to the Catholic church.  He seems to like confessing his sins….

I’m NOT an old lady!

All I wanted was a new wallet. My current one was so sad – seams falling to pieces everywhere. So I began the search. I started where I start every search – Target.

So cute! So fun! So NOT PRACTICAL. I have three check cards alone. Two checkbooks. Three ID cards. Not to mention all the other random crap you pick up from stores (buy 10 at Which Wich, get one free!). This didn’t all fit in these tiny little paisley wallets.


So I ran to Kohl’s. About six months ago I had found the perfect wallet there. Then I didn’t buy it. I will probably regret it forever. It was a Relic brand wallet, which I admittedly have a weakness for.  Something about their prints just makes me want to buy all the purses.  Nope, not an expensive purse girl here!

I began searching through the racks.

Hello cutie pie!  You look adorable, and pretty much would look good no matter which Relic purse I had with me.  I love you.  Until I open you up.  Does no one use checkbooks anymore????

Yep!  Love you.  Love the price.  Love the print.  DO NOT LOVE THE LACK OF CHECKBOOK SLOT.

Boring.  Plain.  Has a million card slots and most likely could hold two checkbooks.  $48.  And I hate it.  When the hell did I become old?  Does having two checkbooks make me old???

I gave up.  I had to go pick up my kids in my SUV since I was done with my day at the office and I had to go worry about things like putting dinner on the table and what my son should take to Show and Share at school the next day.

Wait a minute… am I old?


Why I’ve Distanced Myself from NCB’ers

NCB’ers (otherwise known as those in the natural childbirth movement) stand up for many things – none of which they are shy to share. Back when I was pregnant, I knew I didn’t really fall into a category, but if you had asked me then I was aimed for what I believed was a natural birth. I didn’t want an epidural, Pitocin, or any “drugs”. I was going to use the heck out of that jetted tub. I was seeing a midwife – but little did I know that my CNM would be seen as a “medwife” – not someone with my best interests.

I struggled in labor, and things did not go as I had planned. After hours and hours of stalling at a 9, I think everyone in the room knew that something had to be done because this was spiraling backwards – not moving forwards. An epidural and a low dose Pit drip was administered, and I spent about an hour and a half wide awake before it was time to push – finally out of misery and knowing so well that my baby was on his way. Bonding? It was excellent. I spent the whole night staring at him, studying him – the perfect little baby that was so unbelievably cute and that no one could take from me for a second – except when I wanted a shower, which took me about three minutes… a personal record. I went home with nothing but a raving review of my midwife and the immense pride I felt for the amazing birth I had – no matter how long, miserable, horrible it was – and for my perfect son.

My love for this perfect birth led to reading. I began to toy with the idea of becoming a CNM myself. I studied, I read, I researched. I accidentally stumbled onto a popular birthing facebook page one day, which then lead me to a blog about the things that health care providers say. I began reading to discover what I wouldn’t want to say to a patient someday. Soon I began to read it and believe the comments. That’s where I lost myself, I think.

I began to doubt my CNM. Was she a “medwife”? Had she not had my best interests in mind? What would have happened without the Pitocin? Sometimes I would stare at my son and feel as though I failed him. Who knows what all those “interventions” did to him?

As I became more involved, reading more blogs, following more facebook pages, I also became more involved as a nursing student. My class reports – no matter what class – centered around childbirth, pregnancy, or women’s health. In reality, I think they kept me grounded – scientific research isn’t perfect, but paired with an intelligent and skeptical mind, you can really analyze anything.

I went on to give birth to my daughter, with the same CNM in the same hospital, but no Pitocin, no epidural, and not a mere utterance of such from the nurses or CNM. In fact, the only debate I really remember is me in transition saying “I can’t do this… I’m not going to be able to” and my CNM saying “You can, you’re doing great, and that baby is coming in less than half an hour” – and she was right. I think the sheer terror of the potential of hours and hours of horrible labor were behind the words I spit out, and her confidence was all I needed. Although I’ll admit my husband replying with “You’re silly, you ARE doing it” were pretty darn nice, too – but hey, he hasn’t witnessed 1,000+ births. What does he know?

My faith was somewhat restored in my CNM. I was confident and pleased with birth #2, and I can’t say I’ve doubted it for a second. And while hours and hours of labor isn’t fun, I would never be able to say that one birth trumped the other. Both gave me beautiful children, and isn’t that the priority?

Yet I still continued to follow these pages quite regularly. One night – one particularly bad night, when my three year old was simply a terror, I finally ended up shutting myself in my room, where I sat on the floor bawling. My husband was left to diffuse the situation outside first, then cautiously enter, unsure of what was really wrong or what to do. He sat next to me and I crawled in his lap and cried “What if this is my fault? What if this is my fault for failing when I was in labor?” I sobbed for I don’t know how long. It felt like hours. Hours and hours where I sat there blaming myself for all that happened in my labor with my son, and how his spirit, his intelligence, his curiousity and his damn stubborness was surely my fault for not having the “perfect” birth that NCB’ers talk about, by themselves in a rented pool in their living room, or with a home birth midwife – a REAL midwife – not a “OB in disguise” like I had.

It took a couple of days for me to level out before I realized the error in everything. NCB’ers tell you to have an empowering birth – one that makes you feel incredible about yourself. I did – twice – and then spent some time where that was taken away from me, and I began to doubt that the incredible feeling I had for weeks after delivering both of my children was well deserved. They then mentally vaccinated me with horrific ideas of all the things that would be wrong with my son because I had “failed”, and all the things that were wrong with me because I wasn’t patient enough, didn’t wait, didn’t “know enough” to manage the pain – and I began to feel as if I wasn’t even a woman, and had no right to birth a baby. They left me bawling on the floor one night, convinced that the Pitocin used to get my labor moving again was so dangerous, so harmful, and so awful of me to do that I had destined my son to be a mess – without little regard for things in natural labor that cause issues, too, like hypoxia in labor having a very strong correlation in a lot of research to be associated with schizophrenia. Do you ever see a NCB’er mention that?

I have such a smart son, and such a clever little girl, and while neither are perfect, both are beautiful, healthy, normal kids who were born in beautiful, healthy, normal ways – and never again will I doubt what I did for them. I will not let anyone lead me to believe that anything I did in labor made me a horrible mom, or destined them for anything. And never ever EVER will I doubt my CNM’s – to this day I think I got better care than I could have imagined, and the best partners in my labor that I could have asked for. My births were perfect, even if they weren’t perfectly natural, perfectly intervention free, or perfectly at home. They were perfect for me, perfect for my husband, perfect for my babies… and no one else has any room to say otherwise.

I Don’t Get It – A Post About Birth Rape

The term “birth rape” is all over the internet. In fact, I did a project on this for my psych degree last semester. My instructor had never heard of it, but got quite caught up in it as my project continued on, and actually found some great info that fascinated both of us.

When I started, I believed in birth rape. I could understand how a woman felt that her birth was “taken away from her”. Since then, though, my thought process has changed. Two things occurred to me that made me rethink the way I regard birth rape.

Sometimes the “perfect birth” is a “control-freak” issue. No one should take offense to this. I know all about being a control-freak. (And some OCD tendencies, too, but that’s another topic) I suspect that my saving grace is that I’m the type of control-freak where if I can’t plan every little detail perfectly, I tend to throw my hands up in the air and “give up” (not my best characteristic). I conciously did this with childbirth – I couldn’t plan how it would go, couldn’t even attempt to. So I finally just said to myself that I gave up – what happened, happened, and that is that. Looking back I’m very glad that I had a very intelligent CNM in a hospital, as there were some hurdles along the way, but am I upset about it? Not at all. I had no expectations, so my birth exceeded what I expected. However, as a college student I had a plan, and this semester I’m finding that my plan is being foiled. I’m freaking out. Obsessing. Can’t sleep. This leads me to the belief that perhaps this is exactly what has happened with moms that feel they experienced birth rape. I’ve experienced my-planned-college-career rape. And you better believe I’m pissed! I had a PLAN, and now things are not going according to PLAN, even though I obsessed and poured my heart into this PLAN and researched more than any normal (sane) person should research (OCD), and my plan is destroyed! (Insert drama here – my plan is not destroyed, just comparable to your chain coming off your bike.) So while I understand this, birth is like nearly everything in life – you cannot predict what will happen, you cannot perfect every detail in advance. Just like you can’t predict that even though you went exactly 40 weeks with your firstborn, your secondborn that was supposed to come the week BEFORE midterms happened to go to 41 weeks and cause you to miss an exam. (No sob story – I made it up, and I accept full responsibility for my slightly crummy grade and getting pregnant while in school.) Birth is one area of life where you cannot be a control-freak, because it will only harm, not help.

Medical professionals have feelings, too. And fears. And the desire to see happy, healthy moms and babies. Sure, there are some preventative measures taken that probably aren’t necessary in every case that they are used. But doctors, midwives, and health care professionals in general don’t just do things to be malicious or mean – they do things because they have a reason. While there may be the occassional provider that is worried about their vacation, holiday, or golf game, I highly doubt that it is the majority. I know as a future midwife, if I have a baby stalling with hypoxia I will be worried about if that lack of oxygen will contribute to schizophrenia. (Need sources, I got ’em!) I also know that if I have a mom who is having a hard time letting go and convinced that she’s dying, I’m going to do what I can to help her progress. During my first birth I stalled at 9 cm for hours. Literally, I reached 9 cm about 12 hours before I had my son – and I only spent 20 minutes pushing. I was going nowhere, and the longer I went not progressing, the more distraught, tired and in pain I was, which was followed by more lack of progression. A small Pitocin drip and an epidural, and 20 minutes later I progressed to a 10 and was pushing on my own. 20 minutes after I began pushing a 9 lb 7 oz baby joined this world (practically walking and talking, I might add!). Do I think routine induction is a good idea? No. Do I think Pitocin was a fantastic tool that helped me along a bit when I – for whatever reason – just seemed stuck and was beginning to mentally suffer? Yes. Do I feel that I was birth raped by my CNM? Not in the least. I consented, first of all. (And before anyone says “but consent during labor is not fair – you are in pain and will say yes to anything”, don’t say it – I will begin a long rant as to how that mentality (lack of competency) further supports any and all theories that are based on women not being able to “handle” labor on their own because they are temporarily “insane” or suffering from hysterics. Way to contribute to gender inequality and the degredation of women!) I had a healthy baby boy. He’s brilliant. Insane, spirited and hyper, but brilliant. Did things go perfectly the way I had planned? Nope! But I can honestly say that my second birth wasn’t perfectly the way I planned either, but it was still natural, no drugs, all me. (If you must know what my issue was, I mysteriously HATED the jetted tub the second time. I looked forward to it through the whole pregnancy but when I got to the hospital I tried to sit in there and hated every second. Loved it the first time, though!) I had to let go of the control freak in me and just go with the flow and remind myself what I was there for – not to win a medal, not to have the most “perfect birth”, not to impress anyone and not to do what others expected me to do – to bring home a baby that would grow, change, learn, and join the small ranks of people on this planet that I would die for.

So really, what constitutes birth rape? Is there really such a thing? Or is it just a term used to place blame on someone when things just don’t go the way we planned? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Joslyn Does a BPO

Property address.

Property ID number.

Oooh! A facebook notification! Well while I’m over here, I should check on my favorite childbirth pages.

*Insert Mama Tao, Mom:Informed, Mama Birth*

Get distracted by reference to Dr. Amy. Head over to Skeptical OB’s blog. Am grouchy. Make snarky comments to judgemental people about their inability to use the English language correctly and their laziness in using “U” instead of typing TWO MORE LETTERS and writing “you”.

Oh yeah. BPO.

Define neighborhood boundaries.

Price range of listings? Wait…. what? $40k-$1,050,000??? Geez, I need to move out of Kanabec County. Are they sure that’s not a typo?

*Distracted by 6,000 sq. ft. house on 20 acres in Cambridge*. Holy shit, that’s huge. Who can I show that to? Who has that listed? What do you wear to that listing appointment?

Oh yeah, BPO. Remove 6,000 square foot house from comparables. Price range of solds. What solds? Ugh.

*Searching for sold comparables. Expand search. Expand search more. Expand outside of allowed parameters. Decide Fannie Mae can kiss my tushie. It’s 11 PM. I know what I’m doing. Deal with these comps.

“If I Die Young” starts on iTunes. God, this song haunts me. What caused them to write this?

Google “Meaning of the song ‘If I Die Young’ by The Band Perry”

Live life to the fullest. Got it. Huh. I was hoping for some story or something behind it.

Find vague reference to Anne of Green Gables and the music video. Go watch music video.

It’s a recreation of the boat scene. Scene snaps to a sad mom. Uh oh. Flood of emotions. OMG, what would I do if one of my kids died? Song takes new meaning.

Start bawling at 11:30 PM alone in my living room watching the music video to “If I Die Young”.

Crap. Compose yourself woman.

Return to Skeptical OB. Read post about the 10 worst pregnancy blogs. Then read comments from the blogger themselves defending their blogs. The bloggers can’t use the English language, either.

Insert snarky comments.

Oooh, woot off! A Dyson? Nope, I’m good… thanks anyway, phone.

Ooh! A facebook notification!

Oh yeah…. BPO.

Tab *insert address* tab tab tab *insert city* tab tab tab *Yes, REO property*… I need new music.

Scan iTunes library. Decide on Ingrid Michaelson.

Sing along quietly to “You and I”. Tab tab tab enter tab tab tab type type type tab tab tab….

Return to playlist. Hanson? Oh God, high school reunion next weekend. Holy crap.

Huh. Wonder if Shannon is going. *Facebook message Shannon*

Huh. Wonder if Kari is going. *Facebook message Kari*

Browse list of people who have RSVP’d. Yep. Could be fun.

iTunes shuffles to N’Sync. Huh. A sign? I miss Shannon.

Remember fondly how I used to insist that Backstreet Boys were better than N’Sync. Shannon disagreed. Fun to argue about.

I want to listen to Backstreet Boys!

WTF? I don’t have any Backstreet Boys?

*Search iTunes store* WTF?!?!?! $9.99 for Millennium? God, is it worth it?

*Search Amazon mp3 store* $7.99. That’s better. *Purchase Millennium. Open the Amazon Cloud. Begin “Back to Your Heart”. Memories*

Ahhhhh, love. Crap! Didn’t my past flute student get married this weekend? *Return to facebook*

OMG love her shoes. Cute pictures. Wish there was more.


*You have been logged out due to inactivity*

Ugh. Well if it logged me out, surely it saved my info….

*Stream of words that no one should hear… ever.*

*Start re-entering comps. Tab tab type type tab tab tab type type yes no convert acres to feet tab tab tab*

*Start dancing to “I Want It That Way”*

Realize I’m a loser. Shrug. Keep dancing.

Huh. I should just buy their first album, too. *Search Amazon* $9.99? Ugh. But I’m getting a big kick out of Millennium. Good biking music. Yes. I can justify this. *Purchase*

Debate how 1-click purchasing enables impulse buyers. You know, like me.

Shit! BPO!

*Upload subject pictures* Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait WHY DO I USE A 10 MEGAPIXEL CAMERA FOR THESE!?!?!?!

Email notification. Order summary from Amazon. $17.98. Wait… did I really just spend nearly $20 on Backstreet Boys music?

Well, I used to own the CD’s, so I guess it’s not the first time.

*Dance like an idiot to “It’s Gotta Be You”*

OMG. Emmie’s gonna LOVE this stuff. She already shakes it every time she hears Justin Timberlake. And Backstreet is better than N’Sync….

But no one does it better than Justin.

*Look at iTunes top 25 played*. Justin holds 6 spots. Huh. Does that make me a loser?

Too late. I already knew I was.

CRAP! PICTURES! *Upload, select file, select file, select file…*

I have to pee.

Dear “Lifestyle Change”

Dear Lifestyle Change –

My husband and I thought we wanted you in our lives. We thought we wanted to be healthier, and lose some weight. We thought it would be good for us.

What I’m learning is that you aren’t good for US at all. You are coming between us.

As my husband stands on the scale after dinner and gets excited because in three weeks he’s lost 8 pounds, I glare at him and think evil, bitter, girly-angry things because I’ve gained a half a pound. A HALF A POUND, lifestyle change!

I’ll admit, I slipped up one day, but it wasn’t like I was absolutely crazy – I had some cheese curds and homemade lemonade at the fair that I really shouldn’t have had. But out of three weeks, I slip up once, and here I am, no better off than I was before. Now I see how it is. You favor him. He can eat cheese curds and drink lemonade (and have a gyro!!), but you still grace him with your favors, and he is so thrilled with you.

I see through you, lifestyle change. You are fickle, and bitter. In time, you won’t be able to do for my husband what you have been doing – that I promise you. And then he won’t love you quite as much as he does.

I’ll admit, I don’t want that to happen, because I’m proud of him and happy that he is happy – that is important to me. Yet I still have one thing left to tell you, lifestyle change.

I hate you, your abundance of salads and your stupid calorie counting.

I wish I could quit you….

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