Fisher-Price is a Bad Influence.

My mom is really awesome.

She recently managed to score a used, Fisher-Price Power Wheel for the boys from one of her neighbors who had a child that had outgrown it.

She called me as soon as she got it, and told me that it was big enough to fit two kids and that it had a huge trunk.

I asked her if it was a jeep. She said it was.

I have seen the Power Wheel jeeps before. At first, since it had previously belonged to a little girl, I had assumed that it was pink.

Oh, no. My mom set me straight and explained that it was a big, BLACK jeep.

Based on her description, I pictured it looking something like this:

Imagine my surprise when my sister dropped this off at my house on Easter:

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Yes. It’s BIG. It’s black.

But it is most certainly Not A Jeep.

My mother may have also failed to mention a few other minor details.

Like the hideous paint sticker job.

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Looking at that really made me start thinking about the people who work in the design department at Fisher-Price.

I mean with all the cool monster trucks out there, you go and model your kid version after this monstrosity?

Really, Fisher-Price? What were you thinking?

I realize that The Grave Digger is one of the more famous monster trucks out there, but for a child’s toy I find it to be…

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hmmm….a bit too macabre?

Maybe it’s just me.

But I’ll let you be the judge. Here’s what I found molded in the trunk of my 4 year-old’s new “ride”:

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Anyone else find this a little disturbing?

Not at all? Maybe that’s because all normal people carry shovels in their trunks.

Yeah, if you’re as normal as, let’s say, a serial killer.

Seriously, would it have been out of the question to make a Power Wheel that looked a little less satanic and a little more like this?

Now that’s a cool monster truck. And it’s so much more kid-friendly.

I think the reason that my mom neglected to mention that she was sending my kids the scariest Power Wheels ever built was because she was more concerned with the fact that the headlights and music didn’t work and that the truck seemed to be running slow.

She told me that I might need to invest in a new battery to fix it because maybe it wasn’t be taking a full charge.

Of course, being the little Miss Handy Woman that I am, I started looking into it immediately. After a little researching, I found out that the lights and the music don’t run off of the main battery, they operate separately off of 3 AA batteries. I took the box with the battery compartment out of the dashboard and unscrewed it to find 3 dead batteries, one of which had exploded, leaving nasty dried battery acid all over the inside.

It took a few rounds of cleaning and a toothbrush soaked in diet Pepsi, but I got the acid residue out and new batteries in and now all the bells and whistles are in perfect working order.

A little more internet sleuthing led me to discover that the vehicle actually has two speeds, and there is a high-speed lockout on the gearshift that prevents beginners from going too fast. I removed the screw that was locking out the fast gear, and the speed problem was (not-so) magically solved.

That means that I don’t need to invest in a new battery.

Custom vinyl to replace all those skulls doesn’t seem like a bad idea, though.

The Chemicals Between Us.

**Warning: This post is full of TMI. If you don’t have any interest in the inner workings of my uterus or my (slightly deranged) mind, please stop reading now, while you’re still safe.**

That said, my body seems to have gone completely psycho.

This almost never happens.

When it does, I tend to go completely psycho with it.

Let me lay it all out for you. A few weeks ago, at 8 weeks postpartum, I accidently discovered that I was ovulating.

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What the Hey Zeus?!

This doesn’t make any sense. I exclusively breastfeed. I should be enjoying the privilege of lactational amenorrhea. I shouldn’t be anywhere near fertile right now.

Except for the fact that my body always seems to want to start the baby factory up and running right after I give birth. My uterus is operating under the assumption that it is responsible for repopulating the entire planet. With my first two sons, I was back to my regularly scheduled program of cycling at three months postpartum. Again while exclusively breastfeeding.

That pretty much shoots the nursing-as-a-form-of-birth-control theory right out the window for me.

This time I got cheated out of a whole month. Once I knew that I had ovulated, I found myself in a nervous and panicky unexpected two week wait. What if I was pregnant? What if I wasn’t?

Of course, getting pregnant again and having two babies who would very likely be born in the same year is not an ideal plan for our family right now. After the dire warnings against another pregnancy in the near future and a clear push for medically prescribed contraceptives, I am absolutely positive that my OB/GYN would bitch slap me immediately upon arriving at his office for my first prenatal appointment. I’m equally certain that my parents and in-laws would start treating me and my husband like irresponsible, stupid little teenagers. The Duggar references would only get worse.

And I’m pretty sure that my husband would probably die of shock.

I know what you’re thinking…what about the pill?

I was waiting for my first postpartum cycle to start it. The thought behind this was that I wasn’t going to start regulating something that wasn’t there to regulate if I didn’t have to.

I was really in no hurry to start up a period before it’s time.

I was also thinking chances were pretty slim that anything would actually happen before that first cycle hit.

Besides, we were no where near the ten month mark.

ha. I’m a little naive like that sometimes.

I started to get nervous when two whole weeks passed after the positive OPK and AF hadn’t shown up.

So I tested. BFN.

I squinted. Looked at the test every which way, under every type of light.

There was only one line. ridiculously negative.

Then the next day came, but AF didn’t. I tested again. Just to be sure.

And that’s when I saw it. The faintest of faint lines.


Later that same night, I started spotting.

Another morning. Another test. Another barely there line.

Then I had two days that hovered between spotting and the lightest period I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Tested again. Back to the BFN.

In retrospect, there is a possibility that what I saw may have just been evaporation lines.

Then again, I’m afraid it could also have been a chemical pregnancy.

But here is the weird thing…as relieved as I am that I am not pregnant right now, I also can’t help feeling the least bit broken hearted.

It may be that I am suffering from Octomom Syndrome.

Because even though I just had a baby, I am already obsessing about having the next.

One… or Two.

Which is completely insane, especially since I think that woman (and her doctor) are complete whack jobs.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve wanted to punch in her fakey Angelina Jolie face on more than one occasion.

And while I haven’t been taking money out of my existing children’s mouths for IVF treatments, I may have been planning out the details of how Matt and I will be TTC our future babies in my head.

That’s got to be crazy, right?

I mean, come on, lady! Give the incubator a chance to cool down already!

The logical side of me has agreed with my husband that we will hold off on adding to the family until the kids are all in school. Ideally, about five years from now.

Although, the Nadia Suleman side of me thinks tomorrow would be a good time to hop back on the baby-making train.

That’s bad.

If my husband knew about that side, he’d skip his morning meeting tomorrow and head straight to the doctor’s office for a vasectomy.

And there is no way I’m going to let that go down.

I guess that means I better break out those pills already.

My 17 Days in Hell

I have never been a dieter.

Fortunately for me, I have never needed to be. Up until recently, I had the rare luxury of being a natural beefcake.

Sadly, we all know what happened after I found myself in the family way.

My beefcake turned into, well, just cake.

And while cake is delicious, it doesn’t look all that great sitting on one’s midsection moonlighting as fat.

Ugh. Wiggly Jiggly. No good.

I am two months postpartum now and I am still carrying around an extra five pounds of baby weight. I know that it can take up to a year for some women to get back in shape after a baby, but this has never happened to me before.

I am a freak of nature.

With both of my previous pregnancies I was back to my pre-baby weight by my six-week postpartum visit.

It wasn’t that I gained more weight this time around. I didn’t. I put on a total of 23 pounds with this pregnancy. With my first I gained 23 pounds as well and with my second I gained 19.

Since extra poundage isn’t a reasonable explanation, the only excuse I have left is my age.

So I’m going to jump to conclusions and blame the fact that I’m almost thirty as the reason those five evil pounds keep hanging on.

I’ve already started running again, something I was forced to give up while I was incubating the third heir to our family’s throne. I also have resumed my strength training workout, but even with the exercise I am not seeing the benefits fast enough.

Translation = I still don’t look quite like this:

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I’m pretty close, but still no dice.

In an attempt to jump start things a bit, I took a giant leap of faith and downloaded The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno onto my Kindle.

For the first time in my life, I was going to go on a diet.

Okay, so technically that’s a lie. When I was pregnant with Bronx back in 2009 I had gestational diabetes and I had to limit my carbohydrate intake.

That diet flopped when I realized that everything tasty is actually a carb. Even when I followed the changes to my food intake, my blood sugar remained sky high, so I was forced to endure daily insulin injections.

That ordeal gave me a newfound respect for diabetics everywhere.

Other than that, I have never been on a diet, so I knew that this 17 day thing was going to be a challenge.

Unless of course, the diet somehow involved consuming Pepsi and Snickers bars for two whole weeks.

I wish I could have been that lucky, but I wasn’t. Snickers bars, as well as every other edible item that I love, were suddenly contraband as I entered into my 17 days in food prison.

Or as I like to call it, dietary hell.

First of all, the diet is not really just 17 days. It’s actually three cycles of 17 days.

Great. So I’m on the 51 Day Diet. This guy should change the book title. It’s misleading.

Oh, and after the 51 days then you go on the “rest of your life” diet where you follow one of the 17 day cycles during the week and the have three meals of whatever you want over the weekend.

Okay. So cross off that 51 days and replace it with “forever”.

The worst part was when I found out that the main staples of this diet are vegetables and water.

I hate vegetables. And we all know how water is my nemesis.

But I was determined to try and I decided to take my Pillsbury Doughboy of a husband along for the ride.

We lasted a whole five days.

Until I realized that I might pass out and die from running everyday without the aid of carbs.

And I really started to get cranky from the low blood sugars.

We modified the diet. We still follow most of it, (which is good because I have literally consumed more vegetables and water in the past week than I have in my entire life) but I get two carbs and at least a tiny bit of something chocolate during the day.

Because seriously, if I have learned anything from this diet, it’s that I cannot live without chocolate.

If Charlie Sheen was my Therapist…

He would tell you that right now, I’m not high on a drug called “Brittany”.

He would also say that I’m not a rock star from mars, I’m not drinking tiger’s blood, I don’t have Adonis DNA, and above all…

I’m duh, NOT winning.

Although, I doubt that I would choose to seek help from a therapist whose prescribed course of treatment would involve a brick of cocaine and paying me an obnoxious amount of money to sleep with him.

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That would just make me even more of a disaster.

But in reality, I’d never see a therapist in the first place. I have considered the possibility that I might need therapy many times in my life, only to inevitably come to the same conclusion every time.

I don’t want anyone, not even a psychologist, to think that I am crazy.

Even if, maybe, I am.

The truth is, I realized several weeks ago that I was dealing with the postpartum monster all over again. Once my husband figured out what was going on, he asked me if I wanted to talk to someone.

Ugh. No.

I explained that I didn’t need people thinking that I was crazy. It would only make my emotionally-unbalanced, hormonally-induced condition worse.

Instead, I let my emotions work themselves through.

For a few weeks, insanity ensued. I started out sad, and then I just turned angry, bitter even. I felt like I was going to lose it at any minute. I thought that my very own, personal nervous breakdown was waiting for me around every corner. I was constantly on edge, just trying to hang on.

In my defense, everything in my life was falling victim to the domino effect. My grandmother had suddenly died, and Daegan was born with a congenital eye defect that will require surgery. On top of that, a million little everyday things were going awry, like the stroller getting a flat tire and the delivery date for furniture I ordered getting pushed back indefinitely. Everything seemed like it was falling apart.

And then there was Facebook. It was irritating to log on and see everybody’s stupid happy status updates all the time. I got sick and tired of everyone else having such wonderful lives when mine was really starting to suck. So I deactivated my account.

Needless to say, all the big things that were weighing on me were making it nearly impossible to cope with the little aggravations.

In other words, I was becoming a word that rhymes with witch.

And a really big one, at that.

It’s hard for me to hold on to all that angst, though. In a moment of rationality, I decided that I ultimately needed to focus on the things in my life that I can control as opposed to the things I can’t.

I think that’s my real problem. I’m a control freak with a luggage claim full of excess baggage.

I’m trying to get over it, I swear. Sometimes it helps just to remind myself that things could be worse.

I could be a wreck of a man named Charlie Sheen.

The Price of Avoiding Prematurity.

After a lot of time spent sitting on the fence about progesterone injections, I finally gave in to my doctor’s advice and let a nurse stick a needle in my behind  once a week for nine weeks during my last pregnancy.

The injections were an attempt to prevent me from delivering prematurely, because my middle son was born early and I had preterm labor that had to be stopped with medication during all of my pregnancies.

It worked. Sort of. I still had preterm labor in my sixth month that required hospitalization and medication, and I gave birth to my third son three weeks early, but at 37 weeks gestation, he was considered full-term.

Without the injections, I highly doubt that I would have made it that far.

Right after Daegan’s birth, the same progesterone injections that I received during my pregnancy finally became approved by the FDA for the prevention of preterm labor.

Up until this point, doctors were prescribing the drug “off-label” and using compounding pharmacies to obtain the injections.

The PIO injections that I was getting were shipped directly to my doctor’s office for about $20 a shot.

However, once the FDA approved the drug, the company that markets the drug under the brand name Makena, sent letters to compounding pharmacies demanding that they stop producing the drug. Then they set the price of one injection of Makena up from $20 to $1500.

Subsequent outrage ensued. In response, the makers of Makena, dropped their price in half, to $690.

Which means, a normal prescribed course of treatment, which is 20 weeks, will cost about $13,800.

Still far more than the $400 that the compounding pharmacies were charging for the same exact drug.

It’s completely outrageous.

What bothers me the most is that the pharmaceutical company is willing to turn out a disgustingly huge profit at the expense of risking the lives of babies.

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Not just babies. My future babies.

Because of my history, progesterone injections will probably be a necessity for any future pregnancies I may have.

But I can’t drop $690 a week on injections.

I don’t know of many people who could.

Thankfully, the FDA is still allowing the compounding pharmacies to make the drug as a generic at an affordable price. I’m also happy to state that the March of Dimes, one of my favorite organizations, has terminated it’s relationship with the makers of Makena.

That means that my initial fears of not being able to receive the drug next time around can probably be put to rest.

At least, let’s hope so.

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