We have this swing for Dylan that has an adjustable seat, can swing either back and forth or forward and back, and has various audio settings that play music or white noise or weird outdoor sounds that include a chirping cricket. It is quite fancy, the “Nature’s Touch Cradle Swing”, except for one problem: the audio stops playing after a few minutes. I guess this is to save your batteries, and the assumption is that your sweet slumbering angel won’t notice the sudden lack of noise, but Dylan sure as shit does. This is a baby who could sleep through an M-80 going off in the living room but god forbid the tinkling little tune on his freaking swing comes to an end.

I have experienced many moments of extreme frustration over the last several weeks, but the ongoing need to lunge to the swing in order to reset the music before Dylan progresses from squirming and half-opening his eyes to wide-awake yelling trumps them all, even the 3 AM jesus-christ-kid-I-just-fed-you-at-2:30 grousefests.

Dear Fisher Price: why no ALWAYS ON button? I can always buy new batteries, you heartless fucks, but I will NEVER GET THAT AFTERNOON NAP BACK.


Did anyone watch American Idol last night and literally cringe with pain at the Jim Carrey tie-in? JB was staring at the TV going, doesn’t that guy earn, like, millions per movie? Did his Horton Hears a Sell-Out contract stipulate a physical extraction of his dignity, or what? That whole thing was so lame I actually felt violated for having watched it.

PS. I SO want the Irish chick, Carly, to win. Although I really like Brooke, too. All of the guys can suck it.


Last weekend while JB’s brother was visiting:

Me (as JB and I are heading off to put Riley to bed): “Hey, if the baby starts fussing just cram that little thing in his mouth.”
Joe: “Okay.”
Me: “Uh, by little thing I mean his pacifier.”
Joe: “. . .”
Me: “I . . . probably didn’t need to clarify that, did I.”
Joe: “Not really.”


I started doing Tae Bo again, a video called Cardio Circuit which should really be called Like Hell You Can Kick This Fast because jesus, Billy Blanks, what are you trying to DO to me over here. I find him strangely encouraging, though, in a maniacal kind of way, like if I don’t at least try to whip my leg up and down like I’m karate-kicking away a cloud of insects he’s going to show up at my house and give me a stern lecture, probably getting little foamballs of spit all over my face while yelling COUNT IT! COUNT IT!

In the video he repeatedly draws the viewer’s attention to a woman formed entirely of sinew and muscle and informs us she’s had two c-sections, TWO! And just look at her abs! And I have to admit, they are very nice abs indeed, probably very handy for crushing walnuts and human skulls and such. I would settle for a stomach that looks less like a fallen souffle, but I suppose it’s nice to know the extent of my Tae Bo potential. Now I just have to make it through the workout without stopping to check and see what just landed on the floor during that last round of side kicks, hey look it’s my LUNGS.


47 Responses to “Tapas style”

  1. Swistle on March 13th, 2008 11:35 am

    I think she’s had 2 c-sections and a tummy tuck.

    Also, you need one of those sound machine things that makes those noises (mine’s a Norelco, designed for grown-ups to use for relaxing, which sounds pervy but I mean it literally, and I think it was $20 or $30). Then you can plug it in next to the swing and leave it on all night long baby.

  2. Kristen on March 13th, 2008 11:42 am

    Have you considered a small portable cd player w/ relaxing music? You could put it near his swing and he’ll never know the difference!

  3. Jas on March 13th, 2008 11:44 am

    I tried to follow along with Billy Blanks and I fell over. That was it for me a Tae Bo. My legs are not powered by jet engines.

  4. Sarah Lena on March 13th, 2008 11:45 am

    Fisher Price does this to torture us. We have said swing AND a bouncy seat AND an infant gym (yes, it is as silly as it sounds) and they both feature the “let me lull you into a peaceful slumber with chirping crickets and songs that slightly resemble familiar tunes without copyright infringement.. AND THEN DROWN YOU IN SILENCE.” I hate them for their timed calm.

  5. Naomi the Strange on March 13th, 2008 11:45 am

    wow, that workout video sounds crazy! Also, why doesn’t the baby seat have an always-on button?!? you could always get one of those nature-sounds CD’s or whatever, to keep the kid happy…

  6. Caleal on March 13th, 2008 11:50 am

    I don’t even *attempt* that guy’s tae-bo, and I have had *zero* C-sections.

  7. Jessica on March 13th, 2008 11:56 am

    If it’s the same Tae Bo video I had, I quit using it because the little blonde chick in it ANNOYED THE HELL OUT OF ME. I literally was hating her by the end of it….her perfect little body….if she told me “Come on! You can do it!” one more time, I was going to jump through the tv.

    I think we had the same swing for our Dylan. He seemed to always be asleep though by the end of the music cycle, so it didn’t bother him. We do have a white noise in his nursery though. We’ve played that since we brought him home, and it does wonders. It might be worth the investment.

  8. Jill on March 13th, 2008 11:57 am

    We used to do tae bo in a common room in my college dorm, and there was a very similar crazy-ass chick in the video then. We called her The Machine. Probably not the same woman, but damn that chick was scary.

  9. Christina on March 13th, 2008 12:07 pm

    Missed Idol… I am just not as into as I was in the past. However it sounds like I did not miss much!?

    We have that swing but I HATED the sounds so much I hardly used them. I did buy a cool clock for the new baby recently at Target which plays birds and rivers running and falls falling – it can be turned up and down and NEVER stops if you want to look into that. No idea of the brand (SO helpful over here…) it was like $35 bucks and the one I bought was white (ah get it white noise… yeah I am THAT lame :)

  10. leanne on March 13th, 2008 12:12 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with Tae Bo. Billy annoys the crap out of me but his workouts are really effective and I was in the best shape of my life when I did his tapes 3 times a week. And ate carrot salad.

    These days, though, if they start going too fast with the crazy-kicks, I ignore their counting and do my own in “half time”. I figure it’s better than sitting it out altogether and watching them kick. I’ve picked up his DVDs with the resistance bands and if you think your ass hurts after Tae Bo, try going for full body pain.

    I’ve also done The Firm and, while more fun than Tae Bo, I never saw the same results. But it’s a much calmer environment than hyper-Billy.

  11. biscuit on March 13th, 2008 12:15 pm

    I was crushed when Danny got kicked off of Idol the other week. He made it much more entertaining.

    As for the best girls, I have to agree with your choices of Carly + Brook.

    I believe David Archuleta has is in the bag though.

    I do NOT get who the fuck is voting for the skunk bitch that is Amanda Overmyer! She makes my ears + eyes bleed. She always looks like she’s straining to look remotely happy on the show too. Boo. Suck my balls.

    Enough of my loser AI rant. . .

    You need an electric sing that has continuous jams for Dylan. I keep telling you to upgrade to Graco’s SweetPeace Newborn Soothing Center, girlfriend! Saved. My. Sanity.

  12. moo on March 13th, 2008 12:25 pm

    Love the title, so apt!

    I thirteenth (?) getting a soothing sounds CD and a small, yet portable CD player. Preferably set on REPEAT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

  13. laughing mommy on March 13th, 2008 12:26 pm

    I hear you about the music shutting off on the swing. For us it was the vibration feature in the bassinet… it would automatically shut off and my daughter would wake up. I learned to sleep right next to the button and wake up every 9 minutes (NINE MINUTES) to press the button.

    I agree with Kristen about a small CD player with music next to the swing. Should work great. We do that too… except it is a home made white noise we are playing on the CD player.

  14. Michelle on March 13th, 2008 12:26 pm

    I hate that swing. Having a two-year-old and no infant, and with the swing packed safely away in the attic in the event of an infant ever gracing us with his/her presence again, I forgot how much I hate that feature about that swing. But I do. I do.

  15. Pickles & Dimes on March 13th, 2008 12:35 pm

    We have the same DVD, and there’s one move at the end where everyone’s kicking and punching and TURNING and my body just shuts down. I am not that damn coordinated.

  16. Chris on March 13th, 2008 12:50 pm

    erg. American Idol. I agree 100% about the whole Jim Carrey bit. Laaaaame.

    i started out not diggin’ the irish chick at all and thinking that the fellas were just better all around. now that we’re down to 12, well 11, i think the girls are stepping up.

    Amanda? I can’t stand her.

    But was David Hernandez really worse than that Kristy chick? Really?

    I don’t think so.

  17. bea on March 13th, 2008 12:56 pm

    we have the same swing. Swing is great, music not so much. I have commented before about the Homedics sound machine. hey have one for babies that has great white noise and music along with a projector for the ceiling showing cute scenes. Music only stops when you turn it off. Hot mine at Target. Hope it helps.

  18. warcrygirl on March 13th, 2008 12:59 pm

    Our VCR eats tapes more often than I eat Girl Scout cookies (and jelly beans, oh my!) so I don’t do the Tae Bo. I do, however, own the Turbo Jam dvd and have only done it once.

    Yea verily, I am a lazy shit.

    Our baby swing never played music but it did aid in the breaking of my baby toe about a week after I came home from the hospital. Joy.

  19. AmyBow on March 13th, 2008 1:23 pm

    “…a fallen souffle”!! HAHAHAHAHA. That is the perfect way to describe my belly when not pregnant. I am going to use it repeatedly. And maybe add in “cracked fallen souffle” because well, stretch marks are AWESOME.

  20. Becky on March 13th, 2008 1:29 pm

    Amen…what is with the auto shut off….same thing with the baby papasan….

  21. Clueless But Hopeful Mama on March 13th, 2008 1:58 pm

    I dig Carly and Brook, too. Little David is probably going to win; he’s just too sweet, his dimples could swallow a ship.

    And I add my vote to those suggesting a white noise machine/CD player next to the swing. We still use a white noise machine with Zoe (22 months) and take it with us everywhere.

  22. Bethiclaus on March 13th, 2008 2:02 pm

    The swing! We bought a similar swing by F-P that has a light/canopy/mobile feature. We bought it because it has a plug and I don’t have to buy batteries. Anyway. Alliclaus would sleep anywhere under any conditions as a newborn. Mimiclaus, however, wakes up when the light show turns off. How the hell does she know? Her eyes are closed!

  23. tracey on March 13th, 2008 3:12 pm

    oh Linda you are such an inspiration. you have two wee ones and are not getting much in the way of sleep yet you still find time (and the WILL) to actually work out! like a fiend!

    impressive. the next time I make an excuse not to exercise (WAH – I’m too tired! WAH), I’ll remember that if you aren’t too tired, I shouldn’t be making excuses for my lazy childless ass!

  24. breckgirl on March 13th, 2008 3:35 pm

    Kinda like the “Repeat Play” button on the old Baby Einstein DVD’s – gotta have that shit, for sure. I think some of those asshole companies actually leave that option off because God forbid, you might actually leave your child in the seat for a WHOLE half hour or OMG, you might actually let your child sit and watch the same DVD 6 times in a row. Hell yes, I will – and he’ll love it! Every day he yells “Wa wa Dedil! Wa wa Dedil!” He wants to WATCH the CAT – the Baby Einstein DVD with the CAT. (We are not sure how “dedil” came from cat, and no, our cat is not named Devil. It’s Mocha, so go figure).

    I think the Einstein folks have discovered the secret to having people obsessively purchase their entire collection – it’s not that the shows are that great or that my child is learning anything amazing (clearly – see “dedil” above) – it’s the “Repeat Play” feature. We buy them up in volume, looking forward to a spare minute here and there where we can fit in some laundry or brush our teeth. Now if the Fisher Price folks could only get their shit together, we mothers might just have a minute to THINK. At least Linda might actually get a NAP.

  25. Alex on March 13th, 2008 4:18 pm

    Carly and Brooke for SURE. Am struggling to find a guy to root for, although I do like that Jason Castro.

    David Archuleta’s nerves/youth will get the best of him.

  26. K on March 13th, 2008 4:38 pm

    Really? Carly? She bothers me. I don’t think she’s genuine at all.

    Brooke, though…I love her. And I’m really warming up to the guy that did “Eleanor Rigby,” too.

  27. Ang on March 13th, 2008 5:04 pm

    I actually recorded a minute of my fan on my pc, duplicated it 60 times, and recorded it on a CD to play over and over and over and over – before I figured out that white noise machines actually exist! Oh well, baby brain.

  28. Mnerva on March 13th, 2008 5:13 pm

    I like Carly when she is talking (the accent) a lot more than when she is singing. I’ve been behind Brooke from the tryouts; love her. And I 2nd that David is/was better than either Kristy OR Syesha. Oh well, it’s always been a popularity contest, not purely talent contest. (Although I also thought David might have done well in that area; he wasn’t too hard on the eyes.)

  29. Victoria on March 13th, 2008 5:29 pm

    I am speechless that you don’t want my dreamy dreamy American Idol boys to win. I LOVES them. Or, at least, some of them. For me, most of the girls can suck it.

    That’s right, I’m makin my stand! ; )

  30. Lesley on March 13th, 2008 5:45 pm

    I’m beginning to understand why J. Carey can’t keep a girlfriend.

    I’m hopeful for Carly too because she can…wait for it…actually sing in tune and on key. She hasn’t a hope in hell of winning though because she’s not an American citizen. I doubt winning will matter. She’ll have a career before the competition is over.

    The Mormonish-goody-two-shoes guy from Utah is kind of irritating because he’s faux humble and his tongue darts in and out of his mouth like a snake’s when he’s singing. Someone should tell him.

    The Australian guy is cute.

  31. Lesley on March 13th, 2008 5:49 pm

    oh re Billy Blanks. I downloaded one of his videos and couldn’t get through the first ten minutes without wanting to yell ‘SHUT THE f UP!” Plus, even though I can keep up with TJam, which I never thought I’d be able to, I cannot do his moves. They’re too complicated for me and my body is afraid of them.

    Also, the father-daughter dynamic creeps me the hell out.

  32. Danell on March 13th, 2008 7:10 pm

    It wouldn’t matter if I was fit enough to do that work out…I am not coordinated enough for that sort of activity. In fact, if I am to run safely, I must clear my mouth of any chewing gum first. Also, when I got a treadmill, it was only after WEEKS of running on it that I could LET GO OF THE HANDLES. No, I will not be doing any of those crazy kicking spinning moves. At least not without seriously injuring myself and possibly anyone within a fifteen foot radius…like innocent toddlers and labradors.

  33. H on March 13th, 2008 7:47 pm

    I couldn’t even watch the Jim Carrey thing. I was embarrassed for him.

  34. Josh on March 13th, 2008 8:36 pm

    My exercise regimen consists mostly of bare knuckle boxing with dinosaurs, but occasionally I pillage remote jungle villages inhabited completely by attractive women with huge knockers, and out of duty I have to love them all up, and that’s a pretty good work out too. I used to rip phone books in half and punch through concrete walls, but at this point I realize that’s just for pussies.

  35. Josh on March 13th, 2008 8:38 pm

    A second thought crossed my mind here: if this (alleged) woman with the crazy man abs had had two c-sections, why would she opt for the easy surgical way out? Couldn’t she just hold one long kegel until her past-due monster-gene babies got angry and punched their way out of her belly?

  36. ericaw on March 13th, 2008 11:39 pm

    To channel some Parentdish commenters, you should not for one second resent the fact that you can’t leave your baby alone while his soothing music plays, but have to keep checking back to reset it. It’s irresponsible to leave your baby alone in his swing. Somebody could barge into your locked house and take him!

    It makes ME feel old-fashioned and I’m only 24. My mom left me in the car often enough starting when I was probably 5 or 6, sometimes for upwards of 10 minutes (if she did this when I was younger, which I don’t doubt, I don’t remember it – and it was probably just in the sort of situation you described). In parking spaces all over Seattle. And nothing bad ever happened.

    Perhaps you can make a CD of the swing noises just like the washing machine noises.

  37. Beth on March 14th, 2008 4:57 am

    Fallen souffle… I love it!

  38. KJ on March 14th, 2008 7:46 am

    I’m not a mom but I remember as a kid I always HATED silence and one of the best things about being at my grandparents’ house was their always-on NPR and classical music. They had ancient radio speakers in every room set to barely audible volume levels and every time I needed a nap there, it was like *WHAM* sleepnow. Just something to consider – All Things Considered at uberlow volume can be really soperific.

  39. pam on March 14th, 2008 8:14 am

    our swing is possessed, i think. the music comes on at random times, when there’s no baby in it, when it’s not even on. freaky. trade ya!

  40. Ang on March 14th, 2008 9:06 am

    I like the Taebo workouts. The crazy blonde bitch with zero percent body fat? She’s Billy’s daughter, Shelly and is (unfortunately) in most of the dvds. Try the first Taebo live 1 hour for a really, really great ab session. My husband does this one with me, because according to him it looks all manly and shit-not at all like Richards Simmons or some of that other crap. Of course I had to spring it to him: Uhh, yeah. Remember that whole time you’re doing the crunches with the squeeze and release thing? Yeah, that’s so gay. But not nearly as bad as watching me from the couch, lunch box. :-)

  41. willikat on March 14th, 2008 10:05 am

    my niece had a swing, and would wake up squalling whenever it would stop. but to wind it–oh, the noise! it was soooo loud, like brakes grinding. um, hello? child awake. thanks, fisher-price.
    also, i think carly is so rock. jim carrey cross promotion, not so much.

  42. Andrea on March 14th, 2008 11:49 am

    SAME PROBLEM with the pappasan swing. A very handy device: the white noise machine from brookstone. (http://www.brookstone.com/store/product.asp?product_code=467019&search_type=search&search_words=white%20noise&prodtemp=t2&cm_re=Result*R1C2*T) You can put it by the swing, then transport it to nursery for nighttime. :)

  43. Dvlshkitten on March 14th, 2008 2:20 pm

    You’re right about Billy Blanks being “strangely encouraging”. Tae Bo was the only workout I could keep up with without getting annoyed (you know, when I was actually committed to working out). Otherwise, the “you can do it” and the “just five more” make me want to throw something at the t.v.

  44. Sunshyn on March 14th, 2008 5:14 pm

    You can always do the Tae Bo kicks at half-speed. You actually get MORE muscle that way. You might not burn as much fat or calories, but you will get muscle, and it will work. It’s perfectly ok, I said so. Just being strangely encouraging…

  45. Amber on March 14th, 2008 7:36 pm


    I remember those days, I had a serious love/hate relationship with that swing for the exact same reason. I have the same feelings towards the Rainforest soother, it’s like baby crack but turns off in under 5 mins. Ugh.

  46. Briana on March 15th, 2008 9:20 pm

    I totally agree about the swing thing! Our almost 3 month old, RJ, sleeps all night in the swing. We’ve got two sets of rechargable D batteries. I’m to the point where I can hear (from a dead sleep) the batteries run down. The baby wakes up if the swing stops. I literally kicked my husband out of bed at 5 AM yesterday, yelling “get the batteries!” He was so confused. I just snickered and rolled over for one more hour of blissful rest before the baby feeding session started anew for the day. RJ eats like every 45 minutes to 2 hours during the day, but for some reason, can make it up to 6 hours at night.

  47. ben on March 17th, 2008 11:05 am

    You so crack me up. I must refrain from reading while at, um, work.

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