Sleeping with the Enemy

While pregnant everyone, including strangers, had advice for me. Among the list was: Don’t give him a paci he will get nipple confusion, don’t eat spicy food it will come out in your breast milk, don’t let them sleep in your bed they will never leave, blah, blah and blah.

Everything seemed overwhelming enough, I didn’t need the added stress of the “do’s and don’ts” of parenting. About a week after baby was born, Husband and I had to tell our family and friends to just let us figure it out and if we needed advice, we would ask. Some of the advice admittedly turned out to be true, particularly the sleeping in the bed bit.

I have to admit, I was (and maybe still am) the one who didn’t want him sleeping in his own room. First off, I would have never been able to sleep when he was a baby if he wasn’t in my room. Even then, I slept with one eye open and his bassinet was within arms reach. Plus since Husband and I worked so hard to get him on this earth, that kid was never leaving my sight. After three months, Husband said it was time to let him go in his own room. After he went to sleep, I would sometimes sneak Baby back in the room. Crazy? Maybe just a little.


Fast forward to now. I have a toddler who request’s ‘Momma’s Bed’ every night, and I have to tell you: it is hard to say no. He likes to cuddle and read books, which I love. However once he is asleep, he frails his arms and legs in the air and often hits me in the head. He also likes to sleep sideways on a king bed, shared with a man who is 6’5”, and then there is me. I am lucky to get a small section in the corner. Husband has given up the battle at this point; he knows I am just as attached to Sebastian as he is to me.

If I do put him in his bed after he falls asleep, he often wakes in the middle of the night and tries to sneak back into our room. Most times he is too tired to actually make it, and I find him in the morning either on the floor with his blanket or hanging off his bed.

I figure one day he will be too cool to hang out with me, and I will be lucky to even get a hug. So in the meantime, who cares if he sleeps with his momma! But before you pass judgment, know that I fully intend on paying his therapy bills in his 30’s due to his co-dependencies.

You Can’t Argue with Crazy

I recently saw a commercial, which shows a man going to Burger King at 2:30 am because his pregnant wife had her first craving. Sorry Whopper, you were not my first craving but it was something equally bad for you…. Doritos. I have a similar craving story, but Husband was not near as patient with me as the man in the commercial. Does that man even exist? Anyway, I couldn’t believe how this little crisp with powdered fake cheese had such a hold on me.


It was Christmas night when my first Dorito craving hit. The winters in Chicago can be pretty brutal and this one was no exception. We were snuggled on the couch watching a movie when I turn to Husband and say, “I have to have Doritos.” He looked at me but didn’t speak. I followed up, “No like now, let’s go!” Frustrated, he turned to look out the window and pointed, “Look it is snowing outside and it’s Christmas, no one is open.” “We will find someone open, now let’s go,” I demand. At that point he didn’t try to argue because you can’t argue with crazy, right? He knew I was on another Holly mission and no one could stop me.

Luckily living in the city you can walk anywhere you need to go. We bundled up and headed to the Walgreens a block away. “Damn it, they closed an hour ago,” I yell throwing my arms in the air. Husband looks at me, “Sorry honey, you will just have to wait until tomorrow.” I explain how that is not going to happen and we need to continue on our search.

We move on to the grocery store another two blocks away. Closed also! WTF, who do I have to sleep with around here to get some freakin’ Doritos? Husband looks at me with defeat written all over his face. I tell him we will just have to walk home and get the car. Now he is pissed. He tries some logic, “Now you are being ridiculous, driving in this weather just for Doritos?” Still didn’t work, I start marching home.

At the time we lived in a high rise, so before I got too dramatic by getting the car I ask the doorman, “Hey, what’s a preggo gotta do to get some Doritos in this city?” After he realized I was serious he replied, “Go to the Seven Eleven around the corner, he will be open.” Eureka! I waddle toward the door as Husband follows. We get there just as he is about to close for the night. Thank you Jesus! I buy several bags and tell the clerk he saved Christmas. Not sure if he knew what I meant, but I did.

Once we got home, I nearly finished the whole bag. I let Husband have a few, but guarded the bag as if it were my last meal. Husband eventually forgave me, but in the end he got the last laugh. Later that night I paid for being such a diva as the Doritos got the best of me. I will spare you the details. No more powered fake cheese for me.

Silence Equals Trouble

As mothers, you quickly learn every different sound and quirky characteristic your child has. We can pick out our kids cry or laughter in a room full of kids. We also know when something is not quite right.

You know the saying: Silence is golden? Well this is not always the case when referring to parenting. We hear stories time and time again. Sometimes in the daily grind you lose yourself in the chaos. You usually snap out of it when you suddenly hear a moment of silence. Instincts then kick in, what are they doing now?

silencetroubleThis happened to me the other night while cooking, I asked Husband to watch baby as he was trying to watch football (first mistake). As I peek over the island, I found my son, a.k.a. Master of Destruction, painting a picture on the wall with Nutella. Awesome.

A colleague of ours shared his ‘silence’ story the other day, and it is too funny not to pass on. It went something like this:

His son was in his room for naptime. After a few hours his wife’s ‘silent’ instinct become apparent. She went up to check on him only to find him on the floor and his room in complete shambles, a total wreck. He had pulled his drawers out of his chest-of-drawers and stood in the bottom to break through the wood. He took all his clothes out and threw them on the floor. He also pulled all the wipes out, maybe in an attempt to clean up the baby powder he used to ‘make it rain’. Either way, when she asked him what he was doing he responded, “Looking for shorts.” Oh, just looking for shorts?

With this, we would officially like to change the phrase from: Silence is golden to Silence is trouble!

Push Gifts?

I think Hallmark needs to start spreading the word regarding push gifts. They made up Sweetest Day right? Why not Push Day? What are push gifts you ask? A gift, (preferably expensive), that women EARN after giving birth. Let’s be honest here, yes it takes two to tango, but women do all the work when making a baby! You lose your body, your thought process, your hair, your bladder, and during the actual birth: your dignity.


During labor, I made my husband promise to not look down there. I told him he would never look at me the same again, and I threatened divorce (being dramatic, of course), if he broke his promise. I also didn’t want to see the look of horror on his face, which would in turn, freak ME out. “Eyes up here buddy!” I yelled.

I was in labor a total of 18 hours, 10 of which I went drug free. Disclaimer: I wasn’t trying to be a hero by holding out on the epidural, I was just more afraid of a needle in my spine then I was of contractions. I waited until my pelvis felt like it was going to shatter before I begged for drugs. Finally at 7:00 pm, my little boy was here. I had my son at a teaching hospital, so as you can imagine, I had several medical students asking me questions like: “Describe your pain on a scale of 1 to 10.”

Really? I’m in labor idiot. Furthermore, my pain is a 12 because I am expected to answer ‘Captain Obvious’ questions from you!

No, I didn’t really say that but was definitely thinking it. I obliged like a good patient. Hopefully, in the grand scheme, witnessing my son’s birth was birth control to these young med students.

Three weeks after having my son, I was at home alone trying to figure out this mom business when my phone rings. It’s work. I answer to hear my bosses voice, “Hey, I know your son is only three weeks old, so you probably can’t come up, but your bonus check was just cut and…..” I cut him off, “I’ll be right there!” I wrap my son up and go wait for the bus on the corner. I was beyond excited. Not only did I work up until the DAY I went into labor, but also I had one of the busiest quarters of my career and no one was going to stop me from collecting my reward.

As I arrive at the office, everyone is amazed to see me and wants to hold the baby, chit chat, etc. I, on the other hand had different plans. I wanted my check! Once I collected my money, I got in a cab and went straight to Michigan Ave, the mecca of shopping in Chicago. I had my heart set on a pair of shoes for over 2 years now, but the guilt always kept me from buying them. As I walk into the store I b-line it for a beautiful pair of shoes lined with red soles. A woman cautiously approaches me as I am still suffering with post-baby hormones. Translation: I looked like a hot mess. My clothes were hanging off me because I couldn’t yet fit in my regular clothes. I was profusely sweating from hormones and I had circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. “May I help you?” She asked. “Yes, I’ll take these, size 6.” I command. My feet were still swollen and my hips still healing so I couldn’t even try them on. The sales woman, trying to make awkward conversation, says, “Will you be wearing these for a special occasion?” “No.” I reply, “These are my -I just pushed a baby out of my vagina- gift.” “Oh,” she says uncomfortably. “Well, congrats.” She hands me the bag and flashes a fake smile. I turn and walk out of the store feeling like a million bucks.

They say having a baby is equivalent to 20 bones in your body fracturing all at once. I have only worn those shoes a handful of times in the past two years, but when I do.. Momma looks good! Moral of the story: My push gift was worth every penny.

Trying is Trying (warning TMI)

Contrary to what single men and women think: trying for a baby is miserable! With my son we started trying by not trying to not have a baby. You know, very organic, carefree, la vida loca!! While on our honeymoon (taken two years after we got married, because the wedding burned holes in our pockets) in Spain, I started to feel nauseous so I immediately ran to the Farmacia, as I was certain I was pregnant! As I am roaming back to the hotel down La Rambla, my brain starts to panic:

HOLY SH*T, could this be? Am I ready for this? Will my kid think I am a lunatic too? Will my career suffer? Will Husband think I am fat? Am I having buyer’s remorse? F**K, I just spent the past two weeks drinking enough to kill a small animal! My baby already hates me and is probably drunk….! Stop talking to yourself these Spaniard’s are going to think you are some crazy American!

Much to my surprise, after a few minutes of waiting and trying to decipher the instructions in Spanish (Spanish-Spanish, not American-Spanish), the results were clear: NO EMBARAZADA. There it was, SHOUTING at me that my baby maker had failed.

Suddenly I was sad. The thought of drunken baby kind of made me smile. Now that I had a taste of what it might have been, I was hooked. And when my mind is made up, I make sh*t happen. Poor husband became a victim of my mission! I barked, “Listen up! From this day forward we are having sex everyday until this baby maker makes a baby, got it!” He obliged. I’m not sure if it was out of excitement or out of fear of the crazy lady, a.k.a., me.

Fast-forward a month. I am walking through the grocery store, have a dizzy spell and eat it. By eat it, I mean, I fell so hard and so ugly, you would have thought an invisible linemen from the Chicago Bears tackled me. I walked to the car frazzled, and called my doc to schedule an appointment. I tell her I am getting old and forgot how to use my legs.

When I get home, I think: what the hell, might as well. I grab a pregnancy test and before I can even flush, the stick has TWO LINES! I run out waving it in the air to husband. He jumps and exclaims, “I DON’T KNOW what that means!” I yell, “WE ARE PREGNANT!” In my head, I thank baby maker for answering my prayers. Husband grabs two champagne glasses, fills them with orange juice, and runs over to me to toast as we both are crying. I proclaim, “This will be a boy, and we are naming him Sebastian, my saint.” Was this rollercoaster worth it? Absolutely! And I will be doing it again.

Bigger Than Holly Balls?

For those of you who do not know, my nickname growing up was Hollyballs. Why, you ask? Head out of the gutter people, I think you know the answer: I’m a self-proclaimed lunatic and nothing can stand in my way. My motto in life is: Make it happen. You can’t change anyone else, you can only change yourself. I rarely meet people who are similar to me. Most can only handle me in doses. Husband says his life would be totally boring without me, and he’s right! Just saying.

After about 3 months of dating Husband, he took me home to Florida to meet his mom. I was nervous, because not only is Husband an angel, but also he is Cuban. Translation: he has a Cuban mother. We all know Latin women LOVE their sons; they are Gods and can do no wrong. I thought with my type A personality, she would instantly turn into Jane Fonda in Monster-in-Law. I was tainting her perfect son, why on earth would she like me?


We arrived pretty late, so I really didn’t have much interaction with her on the first night. She had made the spare room up for his to sleep in there together. WAIT….what? She is letting me sleep in the same room and we are not married? My Southern parents would have put the kibosh on that real quick. OK, so maybe this Cuban woman isn’t that bad. We shall see.

The next morning she calls me out on the lanai (a rich person’s word for patio). I am a beer and hot dog girl from Converse, Texas, but I can clean up nice. As I step outside she has a photo album of Husband’s baby pictures. She says, “I thought I would embarrass him before he wakes up!” Then proceeds with an evil laugh.

Wow this broad may be kinda cool, I’m thinking. As she opens to the first page, it is a picture of her……..birth….to……him! Legit. I immediately BURST into laughter. She continues, “Oh, I’m sure you don’t want to see this, but look at him! He had such big balls as a baby!” I almost fell out of the chair as I say in my head: What the f**k is going on here? At that very moment, Husband walks out as he is sipping coffee and almost spits it out. “Mom, WHAT are you doing?” he yells. She states, “Oh stop it, just having some fun!” Husband turns and goes back inside riddled with embarrassment. She then turns to me and says, “Hey, want to go visit my friend who is a psychic?” “Umm ok,” I reply. I have to say, I knew I loved husband pre – Mrs. Cubana, but meeting her made me want to marry him. Here’s to having awesome mother in laws! Cheers.

Who Pissed in Your Cheerios?

whopissedAs of three years ago I became a serious runner. I love running races, however I usually only run ones that provide medals at the end. Why? Because I love being rewarded for doing things that suck. Running does suck but I somehow developed a love for it.

This morning I decided to run a 5k with my girlfriend where we could run with our strollers. It was family friendly, lots of activities, bounce house, etc., sounds like fun right? Wrong!

For starters, it was a chilly 48 degrees and the route was along the lake. Anyone who lives or has visited Chicago knows the wind along the lake is BRUTAL! Also, I haven’t used my stroller in months, so I forgot how heavy that stupid thing is. Once I arrive and unload all the gear, here is the conversation that took place in my head:

Way to go genius, two of the three tires are flat!!! WTF?!! You should have prepared everything last night! What were you thinking!!? Great, Sebe’s nose is running – and NO wipes either! What should I do? Leave? No, that would make me a pansy! I can push 50 lbs of dead weight for 3 miles, I ran the marathon for Christ sake. Get your sh** together and stop talking to yourself, you look like an insane person.

After my pep talk with myself, I try to give the cranky pants (which I can’t blame him seeing how I woke him up early to come freeze his ass off) some cheerios and he catapults the bag, sending the cheerios flying. Great, now no snack.

I put my big girl pants on and headed toward the start line. The entire race was miserable, however I did finish, beat-down stroller and all. When we reached the finish line: no medal, no cheers, no nothing. Will I do this again next year? I think you know the answer. Note to self: buy a new effing stroller!

Headed to Crazy Town

Normally I am a pretty grounded person. I hold together nicely and rise to the occasion when faced with adversity. This has always been my strength. Ever since my son was born, this quality doesn’t apply when he gets sick. I literally turn into a maniac with a first class ticket to crazy town.

The first time my son was ill, we were on a trip to middle of nowhere, Texas for a friend’s wedding. I have family there so it was the perfect trip to combine family & friend time. My son, who was three months old at the time, started off the day with a minor cough. No big deal right? WRONG. Turns out he had croup, which sounds much worse than it is, but nonetheless, scary.


We leave the wedding and I get a call from my sister’s house, which by the way was a 45 min drive away, that something was wrong. She of course is trying to be calm because she knows as a new mom, I was on the verge of a freak out. I can hear my sweet angel in the background gasping for breath and whining. The drive was miserable and as soon as we got there, I b-lined it for the bathroom where she had him standing in the steam.

Meanwhile, Husband is trying to calm me down as I was sobbing uncontrollably. He then tells me, “It’s just the cat, and he’s allergic.”

I lose it. Why is it that men always seem to downplay the situation, and instantly become a doctor? I know woman can be drama, but this is MY son we are talking about here. Suddenly his participation in creating my son didn’t count.

We finally get to the hospital ER, where even the staff was telling me to calm down. Obviously everything turned out OK, but my poor family and husband for witnessing the wrath of the Holly. I know it only makes things worse, but I can’t be the only woman out there like this right? Sincerely, Mrs. Crazy Pants.

Sweet Nothings to Dirty Diapers

sweetnothingsAh the allure of young love.

I can remember when I first met Husband. I was so nervous yet so comfortable around him. I often had butterflies just seeing his name pop up on my caller ID. It was hard to get work done, because I couldn’t wait to get home so we could be together.

We would chat for hours about our dreams, career paths, and places we wanted to visit. In reality all we really could do was talk, because we were definitely too broke to be out and about. He would send sweet, and sometimes sexy (sorry mom) texts to make me blush and feel loved.

Since Sebe has joined our lives, those texts and conversations have definitely changed. When I sit back and actually think about it I will laugh out load. Most texts are now along the lines of, “Don’t forget to pick up the kid today,” or, “Your son kicked me in the baby maker while I was trying to dress him this AM.”

It’s funny how this has become our new normal. Our relationship has turned into a deep love and amazing friendship so much so that we now like to talk about poop and stinky feet. Ah, the allure of having kids.

It Only Takes One

On a serious note (Me…serious?): I want to take a moment to remind everyone how powerful words are, especially to children.

itonlytakesoneMany times as a child, I felt lost and in need of guidance. I was not someone who saw in myself the confidence and strength that others may have seen in me.

Of the many people who shaped who I am today, one of the first who stands out in particular is my 7th grade teacher, Mr. Kratz. I asked him to sign my end-of-year notebook that all my friends had penned their goodbye notes in. When I got home, I slowly began to comb through all the well wishes and the one that still resonates with me today is the one from him.

What a GEM in a coalmine, you are destined for success. Sincerely, Mr. Kratz.

He may have written that in everyone’s book, but at that moment, I believed him.  Who knew 20 years later, I would still tell myself that when I am facing hardship or feeling discouraged. Teachers: Know that your words do not always fall on deaf ears.

“I am a success today because I had someone who believed in me, and I didn’t have the heart to let them down.” — Abraham Lincoln