Ep. 85: What Do Babies Dream About?
February 17, 2020
In the segment “They Said What!?!” Laura is taken aback by a stranger’s bizarre proposition, and Shanna gets mom-shamed into making an unnecessary purchase. Also, Shanna and Laura talk about baby dreams, receptive language, dropping bottles, and unusual baby obsessions. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s toddler is 13 months and 1 week old, and Laura’s baby is 12 months and 2 weeks old.
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Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, They Said What!? where I get a strange proposition in a strange new place and we close with our BFPs and BFNs of the week. Let’s get started.
Laura Birek: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the show. This is episode 85. Hello, Shanna.
Shanna Micko: Hello.
Laura Birek: So tell me, how are you guys this week? How old is your little toddler now?
Shanna Micko: She’s 13 months and one week and it’s been a mixed bag this week. First of all, naps and nighttime sleep have gotten a little rocky recently.
Laura Birek: Really?
Shanna Micko: Yeah, we were on a really good roll and it’s been kind of short naps, waking up upset, and of course I’m like, what is going on? It so happens that the weekly update I get in my email from BabyCenter or whatever that…
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. I still get those too.
Shanna Micko: It happened to say this week that around this time babies start dreaming and they could wake up from their dreams and I’m like, I think that might be it, which I hope they’re not bad dreams. Maybe they’re such wonderful dreams that it startles her awake.
Laura Birek: So she’s not waking up crying? She’s just waking up.
Shanna Micko: No, sometimes she wakes up crying.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: But I’m hoping she’s not dreaming of terrible things and waking up scared. I have no idea and also I’m like, maybe she’s teething because around this age, the molars can start coming in. It’s always a conundrum what exactly is going on, but I thought it was interesting that now the babies are going to start dreaming. So it’s like, what are they dreaming about?
Laura Birek: Don’t you wish you could get inside their little heads?
Shanna Micko: Yes, I really do. It’s like, is she dreaming about falling on her face, snuggling with mommy? It’s interesting with Elle because she’s old enough now that she remembers her dreams and has the verbal abilities to tell me about them, so I know what she dreams about a lot of the time and it’s so interesting to hear about that.
Laura Birek: What kind of stuff is it?
Shanna Micko: Sometimes it’s really sweet stuff. It’s like, “Mama, I dreamt that me and you went on an adventure to the beach.” Sometimes it’s scary stuff. She’ll wake up scared because she dreamt that a crocodile is trying to nip her. I think it’s stuff that comes from stories, shows, books and life. So it’s fun. You’ll eventually know what your little one is dreaming about once they can verbalize it all.
Laura Birek: I still remember what I remember as my first nightmare.
Shanna Micko: Really? I kind of remember mine too. What was yours?
Laura Birek: Mine was a giant black widow spider climbing up a ladder. That was it. I remember watching the black widow spider. It was like human size climbing up a ladder and I woke up terrified and ran into my parents’ room.
Shanna Micko: Oh, that’s so scary. Were you aware of black widow spiders being more dangerous than garden spiders or something?
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I grew up in Fresno where black widows are everywhere. My parents would tell me like, “Never reach inside wood piles, never reach underneath something outside without looking first.” So I was totally aware of how dangerous black widows were.
Shanna Micko: Got you.
Laura Birek: I definitely had that in my brain and to this day, I think I’ve talked about it, I have extremely, extremely vivid dreams. Every night I remember the whole saga and it’s a little distressing.
Shanna Micko: Oh, God.
Shanna Micko: I’m like, I’m glad to forget dreams.
Laura Birek: Yeah, so I’m really hoping my guy doesn’t have that.
Shanna Micko: Interesting. I remember one of my very first nightmares was a creepy talking doll almost like a demonic doll like, “Hello, Shanna.” I woke up and ran to my parents’ room.
Laura Birek: That’s so, so creepy.
Shanna Micko: It’s so creepy. That must have been from something I watched when I was a kid because when I was little I did like watching scary movies and stuff. So this was probably when I was a little bit older.
Laura Birek: Chucky was a thing. In Poltergeist, there was that creepy ass doll. Creepy dolls were real mainstay of the eighties.
Shanna Micko: They really were. They’re so creepy. Okay. Anyway, a couple cute things going on this week and kind of related to what you were talking about last week with your baby’s receptive language starting to blossom. I’m seeing that a lot with CeCe and she’s hearing and understanding a lot I’m saying. So now when I’m like, “You have a dirty diaper. We need to go change your diaper. Do you want me to pick you up? Or do you want to walk to your room?” She hops up. She refuses to be carried and she walks in her room, opens the door.
Laura Birek: Oh my God. So cute.
Shanna Micko: It is so cute to see her just tottle to her room to get ready for her little diaper change. That’s cute too.
Laura Birek: I’m impressed she even lets you. When it’s time for a diaper change, I’m like, “I’m going to pick you up. We’re going to do our diaper change,” and the minute we start approaching the changing table, he starts twisting in my arms and does not want to go down. It’s awful.
Shanna Micko: It’s so awful. I think that giving her this little bit of autonomy is helping. It’s exciting for her to be independently walking to her room. So whenever your guy starts being able to walk well enough to go down the hallway, maybe try that.
Maybe he’ll be like, yeah, I can do it myself.
Laura Birek: I will try that. We’ve tried everything. We try toys to play with, singing songs. I try giving him a choice of like, which diaper because I have two different types of diapers on hand. I think I talked about it. I have those ones that are like pull-ups.
Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. The pull-up ones.
Laura Birek: I’ll hold one of each up and I’ll be like, “Which one do you want?” None of that helps. So hopefully, letting him arrive at the changing table will help.
Shanna Micko: I hope so.
Laura Birek: I must admit if it’s a really poopy diaper, we will bring out Sesame Street on our phones.
Shanna Micko: You got to do what you got do.
Laura Birek: Because he can’t roll around in the poopy diaper.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: He can’t do it.
Shanna Micko: It’s too much of a mess. Forget about that.
Laura Birek: Elmo fixes everything.
Shanna Micko: Elmo does.
Laura Birek: That’s very cute though.
Shanna Micko: It’s super cute. I love seeing it and then the other thing is she’s getting so curious about everything around her, her surroundings, reaching out for everything, wants to touch stuff. I can see that she’s starting to master the skills that she gained in her last leap, which was the leap of programs, which means they start to understand the order of things. Like brushing your teeth for example is a system. You get the brush out, you put the toothpaste on your mouth, the water, whatever. So I can see her trying to understand that kind of stuff. When I brush her teeth, she takes her toothbrush and bites on it. Really she doesn’t brush her teeth, obviously. But then she’ll hold it down so that I can rinse it and she does this on her own and then after we rinse it, she holds it out so I can put the little toothbrush cap on and then she leans for the drawer to drop it in the drawer and she’s picking up her feet to stick out when it’s time to put on socks. So all these little things. It’s so interesting to see their little brains put together all this stuff that we take for granted and I just love watching them learn.
Laura Birek: It’s so fascinating.
Shanna Micko: It is. I love it.
Laura Birek: From a year, they go from these little blobs I can’t do anything to understanding it’s time to put your diaper on. It’s crazy.
Shanna Micko: Yes, it’s wild. The human brain is so impressive. It’s really, really cool. So yeah, that’s pretty much it for us this week. What about you guys? How old’s your baby?
Laura Birek: He is 12 months and two weeks, and we had a fun week. So there’s a couple sort of events to talk about. One is that we dropped our bottles altogether.
Shanna Micko: Ooh. Okay.
Laura Birek: I didn’t know this until I got to around I think 11 months with my baby and started reading about it and realized, oh, crap. Apparently, you’re supposed to get rid of baby’s bottles by 18 months or something. That’s what they say. Apparently, it does something weird. Sucking on the bottle does something weird to their teeth or soft palate. Who knows? I’ve heard different reasons, but they say you should get the baby off of the bottle by 18 months, ideally earlier. My baby, he only had one bottle a day in the morning with his dad of pumped milk. So I didn’t think it was going to be that hard and honestly it wasn’t and I’m still breastfeeding. So it was that one little bottle a day he wasn’t super emotionally attached to.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: But I didn’t know what to do because we were going to replace it with cow’s milk in a cup and he wasn’t taking the cow’s milk in a cup. He’d drink like a couple sips and just not be interested in it and then we were getting to the point where we were almost done with my frozen breast milk and so we were trying to put frozen thaw breast milk in a cup thinking maybe he’d be like, oh, okay. This tastes the same. But it’s in a cup, so it’s okay. Didn’t care about that either. Tried different cups, tried the 360 cup, tried the straw cup. He’d take a couple sips and he would be done and then Corey would put it in the bottle and he’d drink the whole thing.
Shanna Micko: Oh my gosh. Yes, that’s our life.
Laura Birek: So I was like, what do we do? I think I mentioned in last week’s episode that my doctor basically said they don’t actually need milk if they’re getting their calcium and nutrition from other sources and he eats yogurt and cheese and stuff. We just decided to just not do milk in the morning, to just not bother with it and it’s actually very liberating.
Shanna Micko: Good.
Laura Birek: The only thing is that Corey then has to make breakfast right away. So instead of just warming up a bottle and handing it to him, now he has to go and make some eggs or get yogurt into the pouch. So yeah, we’re off bottles. No more bottles, which is nice because they’re big and clunky so I can put them in storage and not have to worry about it.
Shanna Micko: That’s awesome.
Laura Birek: Clear up some cabinet space for other stuff.
Shanna Micko: Washing all those parts. That’s so great.
Laura Birek: It’s a big milestone, which I honestly had no idea. Before you had kids, did you know because I feel like I see older kids with bottles and it never even occurred to me that it wasn’t “supposed.” I should say, by the way, if you have an older kid who has a bottle, I’m no expert and I think there’s a lot of older kids who still use bottles and it’s probably fine.
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: I think that you pick your battles.
Shanna Micko: 100%. I did not know that and that was something I learned with Elle and so we started trying to wean the bottles probably around 13 months and it was definitely a transition period. We are in that transition period now with CeCe because same thing, she’ll drink out of cups. No problem. But she won’t really drink enough and since she’s not getting breast milk, she’s kind of a picky eater. She doesn’t eat a lot of cheese and yogurt. Sticky stuff, she doesn’t really like. So I kind of want to make sure she keeps getting enough milk and liquid. I need to really endeavor on that transition with intention.
Laura Birek: Well, you’ll have to keep us posted as usual. But anyway, so we did that this week. Have I talked about my baby’s obsession with brooms?
Shanna Micko: I think you did mention it. Yes, it’s hilarious.
Laura Birek: For people who maybe have missed it, my baby is obsessed with brooms. I don’t know why. He has been for months and months. Anytime we’d bring our broom out, he would do that thing, eh, eh, eh, reaching for it and he’d just get so happy if I was using it around him. For a while, I was just putting him in the BabyBjörn facing out and sweeping the whole house because he thought it was so funny. Now he’s realized that he can spot brooms in the wild. Last week we were out to lunch with my mom when she was visiting, or it was like two weeks ago for his birthday and he was in his high chair. We were eating and he kept pointing at something and going, “Eh, eh,” and we were like, “What are you looking at baby? There’s a cool umbrella over there and then finally I looked and I could barely see it. In the doorway, they had leaned a broom and he was obsessively reaching for the freaking broom. Then my mom had the genius idea when we were at Target picking up some diapers to go visit the broom aisle.
Shanna Micko: Oh my goodness.
Laura Birek: We took a picture of him, we handed him a broom and he’s sitting in his stroller and he just is holding the broom in his lap and he just has the most contented look on his face.
Shanna Micko: Like he was in heaven.
Laura Birek: Everything is perfect. You know what’s hard?
Shanna Micko: Leaving the aisle?
Laura Birek: Yes.
Shanna Micko: It reminds me of those memes that were posts that were around a while ago like, “Why my toddler’s crying?” It’s like, “Because I told him he couldn’t shove a knife into his hand,” or whatever ridiculous reason and your baby is like because I left the broom aisle.
Laura Birek: Regularly. Because the broom went away. I now have to tell him like, “The broom is tired, the broom is sleeping,” when I have to put the broom away in our closet because he will throw himself on the floor in like a mini tantrum crying. I don’t know what is his obsession. Anyway, we’ll have to post photos of this because it is actually really cute. But we’re amused and concerned about the broom obsession. I just had to share that because it’s so cute and weird and then the big thing we did this week is we went on a staycation.
Shanna Micko: Oh, fun. Nice.
Laura Birek: Not a vacation. A staycation. So we were trying to plan an actual vacation with our friends, Steve and Keri, and they have a little 14-month-old, who’s friends with our baby and Keri, who was on our podcast, the Pharmacist. First, we were going to go to Mammoth to go skiing, then we were going to go to Tahoe to go skiing and the more Keri and I talked about it…
Shanna Micko: That is ambitious.
Laura Birek: We all love. I snowboard. Corey snowboards. I think Steve also snowboards, but Keri’s a big skier. She grew up in Mammoth. We all love hitting the slopes if you know. Keri and I haven’t been able to do it. Last season we were pregnant and this season you have a baby it’s so hard. But we were determined to make it happen and the more we talked about it, the more we were just like, we can’t do this. We can’t pack up our snow gear plus baby snow gear, baby park n’ plays. All the baby crap you have to bring on a trip and either drive six hours to Mammoth or drive an hour to LAX, get in a plane, put everything on a plane, get to Reno, drive another hour to Tahoe.
Shanna Micko: That sounds so exhausting.
Laura Birek: It sounded awful. So it ended up morphing into a staycation where we found an Airbnb in Venice Beach.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: Which is far enough away. I don’t go to Venice very often. For people who aren’t familiar with the LA area, it’s like an hour away from where I live, basically.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, probably.
Laura Birek: If there’s bad traffic, an hour and a half. But it was actually very fun. We got this big house where we all had bedrooms. The adults had their own bedrooms and the babies had their own bedrooms, which is awesome. Because it’s not a vacation if you have to share the room with your kid.
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: We just basically hung around the house a lot because our babies were on opposite nap schedules.
Shanna Micko: Oh, no.
Laura Birek: But it was still fun. They got to play together and my baby is really picking up a lot of stuff from hanging out with their baby who’s a little bit older. Like the walking is getting close. He’s now starting to do like two or three steps in a row, which I don’t know. Does that count? But I’m not counting it yet because he has to go like between a coffee table and a couch. He can’t just like walk. He has to know there’s somewhere for him to land.
Shanna Micko: Right.
Laura Birek: He doesn’t take off from the couch and then slam into the ground or something. He has to have two points of balance or whatever. But he watches her, she’s walking around like crazy and he’s like, oh, okay. That’s how you do it. That was fun and they enjoyed reading books together. They’re parallel playing, but very cute to see them and Keri got us a babysitter one night after bedtime, so we got to go out to a fancy dinner for adults.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God. Fun.
Laura Birek: I know. We went to Gjelina, which was so good.
Shanna Micko: Nice.
Laura Birek: Shanna, do you remember the Brig in Venice? Did you ever come out drinking with us at the Brig on Abbot Kinney? Okay. So in grad school, for whatever reason, I would end up at this. It’s a dive bar in Venice called the Brig with my friends like Noel and Jen and Amanda and Jenny, all of our friends from grad school. We ended up getting the babies down early and our reservation was until 8:15. We show up and we’re like, “Can we eat early?” They’re like, “No, your table won’t be ready on time.” So we’re like, “Well, shit. I guess we got to go to the Brig have drinks.”
Shanna Micko: Good old time.
Laura Birek: So we went to the Brig and played pool and it’s very weird after so long of having a baby and constantly being like, where’s the baby? What’s the baby doing? You’re just like, whoa. I’m having an adult interaction.
Shanna Micko: I need more of that in my life.
Laura Birek: We need to plan more and it really made me think like, okay, I need to plan this. It’s worth the babysitter or it’s worth asking when your parents are in town like, I need to get out and have social interaction with grownups.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: It really was restorative. We had a really fun time.
Shanna Micko: Yay.
Laura Birek: Highly recommend the staycation as an option because the other thing is after the kids went to bed, we tried playing board games. We were also tired. We didn’t even get through an entire game in three nights, but we tried and we got to order dinner in and we got to just talk because that’s the other thing about having kids is you don’t get to hang out with your friends. I’m not talking about going out. Even at your house, we used to go to each other’s houses and just hang out and now we’re constantly chasing the kids and the kids need to be in their own beds for bedtime, so it’s not like I can just pop over to your house and hang out after bedtime. The staycation solved that problem.
Shanna Micko: I love that. Good idea.
Laura Birek: Highly recommend that staycation and yeah, that was our week.
Shanna Micko: Cool. Should we take a break and move on to our special segment?
Laura Birek: I think we should.
Laura Birek: We’re back. So our special segment this week is, They Said What!?, where we talk about the questionable, shocking, or weird things people have said to us related to pregnancy, parenting, or anything in between. Shanna, what do you have for us today?
Shanna Micko: Oh, a delightful stranger as usual. So it was really cold a couple weeks ago, but CeCe and I go walking almost every day in her little pink car to get out of the house, get fresh air around the neighborhood, and I bundled her up. She is wearing a puffy jacket, thick pants, socks, shoes. I’ve got this pink fuzzy knit hat that straps under her chin. I just really bundled her up and I’m telling you it’s probably like 53 degrees.
Laura Birek: It’s frigid.
Shanna Micko: So if you live in Minnesota, you’re just like rolling your eyes at me, but I’m frigid.
Laura Birek: It’s sunny, but it’s cold.
Shanna Micko: Yes, where I live it’s kind of windy.
Laura Birek: It’s been cold and yeah, it’s very windy where you live. I’m with you on that: bundle that baby up.
Shanna Micko: So I totally bundle her up and so we’re walking a nice lady…
Laura Birek: Is that what you do when you walk?
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: It’s really weird.
Shanna Micko: Just over and over like a cartoon character. This woman with a dog is coming our way and CeCe loves dogs, waves at the dogs. We stop and look at the dog and talk to the lady. She’s kind of a grandma-ish age and, “Oh, cute baby, cute baby,” and then she zeros in on CeCe’s hands, which are besides her little face, the only thing skin that’s showing in this frigid weather.
Laura Birek: I see where this is going.
Shanna Micko: Yes, “Oh, baby. You’re so cold. Your little hands must be so cold.” I’m like, fucking damn! Yes, I have failed as a mother. I forgot to bundle up her little digits.
Laura Birek: What are you supposed to do? Put mittens on in 53 degrees?
Shanna Micko: Well, Laura, I felt so guilty as a mom being shamed for letting her fingers be exposed in the frigid 53 degree weather then we went on our way. You know what I do, “Oh, ha, ha. Yep,” and then, “Bye-bye.” Then I live near a big strip mall shopping center and I was like, well, clearly I need to go straight to the Carter’s, which is a baby clothes store and buy mittens, so we can continue this walk with me being a good mom. So I walked to the Carter’s and we go around, I’m like, “Do you sell gloves or mittens?” She’s like, “Yes, this little basket over here.” Baby mittens are not in demand in Southern California. So it’s like this one tiny little basket kind of in the corner back corner of Carter’s.
Laura Birek: It’s not a top selling item.
Shanna Micko: It is not.
Laura Birek: Is it less than 60 degrees? Catch yourself some baby mittens.
Shanna Micko: Of course, they don’t make baby mittens either. There’s no infant mittens. I think the smallest size they had was 2T. I was like, that’ll be fine. She’s one. So I go and buy these mittens and put them on and they are ginormous on her hand. I’m like, she’s going to have warm hands now. So we’re walking out and then she of course, instantly pulls them off.
Laura Birek: Of course, she did, Shanna. Of course, she did.
Shanna Micko: Of course, she did. So she’s playing with them and I’m like, “No, no, no, baby. Leave the mittens on. Leave the mittens on. You got to keep your hands warm because that’s what good mommys do.” I put the mittens back on and she leaves them on for a little while, but then she decides she needs to chew on them and suck on them. So as we’re walking, she’s chewing on them, filling them with saliva, making the mittens cold and wet in this frigid weather, which I’m like, that’s probably even worse. Right now I’ve got a cold wet mitten on my baby’s hands.
Laura Birek: The baby’s hands are cold wrapping them in a damp cloth really.
Shanna Micko: That’s how it ended up. Basically, we went home. She had cold hands and the mittens have never seen the light of day since.
Laura Birek: Amazing. How much did you spend on these mittens?
Shanna Micko: I think they were on clearance, so not a lot. Maybe like $5.
Laura Birek: Okay. I think that’s a wash. If you said $20, I would’ve been like, get a refund.
Shanna Micko: Totally.
Laura Birek: The good news is she’ll grow into them.
Shanna Micko: Yeah, exactly. For next winter when she’s actually two. It’s like, lady, why you got to be commenting on what you think my baby is feeling.
Laura Birek: I’ve gotten that too.
Shanna Micko: I just felt like, oh, God. Of course, I should have covered her hands. Why am I taking my baby out in the cold? Blah, blah, blah. So annoying.
Laura Birek: I understand. I always try to remember that most people live in much colder climates and babies like to have their hands free. I find it very hard to find the right number of layers for my baby as well. I’ve been finding that I bought a couple puffy vests that is a good option because it leaves their arms free because also, if you put on too many layers, they can’t move properly and they’re just learning how to walk and move around. So you don’t want to restrict them. The puffy vest was a good sort of revelation on my part. It was actually a birthday gift for him and I was like, oh yeah, these things exist.
Shanna Micko: That’s a great idea. I love that.
Laura Birek: The puffy vest was good plus their hands get cold and the rest of their body’s fine. I always try to do the thing where I feel between his shoulder blades and 9 out of 10 times if his hands are cold, I feel between his shoulder blades and he’s fine.
Shanna Micko: Exactly. Her core was completely warm and bundled and I had managed to get socks and shoes on her and she was keeping those on and that’s always something people comment on. It’s like, ooh. Even if it’s like 90 degrees out, where’s your shoes? Where’s your socks, baby?
Laura Birek: Oh, God. I hate that. My mom does that. Bless her heart. She’s always like, “He doesn’t have any shoes on.” I was like, “It’s night summer,” and he’s learning to walk. It wasn’t summer. It’s not summer now when he’s learning to walk, but they say the closer to barefoot they can get is better for learning motor skills plus putting shoes on a baby is hard.
Shanna Micko: It is. They just pull them right off. Anyway, do you have a They Said What for us?
Laura Birek: I do. So mine just happened and I’m a little shook after it.
Shanna Micko: What happened?
Laura Birek: I was going to tell you the story. So recently I had a babysitter for the afternoon and like any mom who finds herself with a free afternoon, I ran errands free as a bird. I plan for the day. I was to go do all my errands and run around and I found myself at a grocery store I don’t usually shop at because it just happened to be right next to where I was doing all my other stuff. You know how it is when you go into a new grocery store and you don’t know how to find anything? The one you always go to, you can get the stuff right away, but I was all turned around in this one and so I’m pushing my cart around trying to find stuff and I’m in the produce section and I end up needing to go to the same spot that another person needed to go. It was an older man I think in his sixties and he seemed very nice and I didn’t realize we both needed to go in the same direction. So we did the little dance you do when you both have to go to the same spot and then he kind of laughed and I laughed and then we moved on with our lives. Then I get to the checkout line and Corey responds to my texts I sent 20 minutes ago, which was like, “Do you need anything from the grocery store,” and he was like, “Yeah, yeah. I need this and this and this.” I was like, crap. Okay. So I left the checkout line and I started pushing my cart around trying to find the specific cereal he wanted and as I’m in the cereal aisle, I go walking down the aisle and that same man is there and he was like, “Ha, ha, ha. It’s you again.” He was like in his sixties and he seemed very nice and he wasn’t a big guy. I had absolutely no concerns about my safety being alone in aisle with him until he came up to me, he is like, “We meet again.” He grabs my arm and he pulls me in for a hug and I’m like, what’s happening? He’s pushing me in for a hug and he’s just laughing. He’s like, “It’s so funny I’ve run into you.” I was like, “Haha. Yeah.” This is crazy.
Shanna Micko: What?
Laura Birek: I’m just like, okay. I’m trying to move on. I’m trying to find this stuff and I think he thought it was funny because I was lost in the aisles. I wasn’t paying attention. So I didn’t see him until he was right in front of me, basically. He grabs me for a hug, he’s still holding my arm and he says, “If I run into you again, maybe I’ll just grab you and kidnap you.”
Shanna Micko: What the hell?
Laura Birek: I was like, what? I was just like, “Haha, I hope not.” He’s like, “What if I did?” I said, “Well, I think my baby will miss me,” and he said, “What about your husband?” I was like, “Yeah, him too.”
Shanna Micko: Oh my God.
Laura Birek: He just keeps laughing and then he insists on giving me a hug. So I tried to give him a half hug, but no, he has to give me a full body hug, which by the way knocks my sunglasses off the top of my head. That’s how much of a hug it was. He’s laughing and I’m so stunned and then he walks away and I’m just like, what the fuck just happened?
Shanna Micko: Wow.
Laura Birek: He literally grabbed my arm and said I’ll just kidnap you. I’m like, what? He wouldn’t have the ability I should just mention. I was bigger than him.
I’m definitely stronger than him. I think he thought it was like a cute thing to say kind of like I got a real friendly uncle vibe from him, but too far, dude.
Shanna Micko: That’s way too far.
Laura Birek: Also, why are we hugging people in the grocery store you’ve never met? Why?
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, that’s so weird. I’m so sorry.
Laura Birek: I feel like if I was a man I would be like, whoa, get off me, bro. But instead it was just like, ha, ha, ha. Okay. Hug, I’ll hug you. I don’t want to hug you.
Shanna Micko: Right. But to be polite, I feel obligated to go along with this.
Laura Birek: I wanted to tell you about it, but I was like, I got to save this for They Said What!? So I texted our friend Jen and she was like, “It’s normal for women to deflect and defuse the situation. It’s normal for us to try to make it out.”
Shanna Micko: True. True. True.
Laura Birek: I felt a little better about that because it’s a survival tactic. Even though I wasn’t physically intimidated by this guy at all, but when he said that I was like, what the fuck is that? What kind of thing is that? Do you have a taser? What is happening?
Shanna Micko: That’s so bizarre. That’s just weird.
Laura Birek: Then I had to find two more things and turns out I couldn’t find them. Corey wanted Gatorade Powder. I don’t think they had it, so I’m going down all these aisles trying to find it and the rest of the time I was there, I would peek down the aisle first because I didn’t want to have to have another interaction. Plus he told me he was going to fucking kidnap me.
Shanna Micko: Yes.
Laura Birek: Oh, God.
Shanna Micko: That’s so weird. They’re really just are some bizarre people in the world and I’m always taken aback by them because I just expect the best out of people. I’m an optimist when it comes to other people and everyone’s just totally normal and nice and then all of a sudden you’re like, wait, what? It rocks your world that someone like that exists.
Laura Birek: I know. But anyway, thankfully I did not run into him again.
Shanna Micko: Good. I’m so glad.
Laura Birek: What? I don’t know what I would’ve done because instantly when he walked away I was like, I should have said something.
You really shouldn’t hug random people, but of course, I was just like, “Ha, ha, ha. My husband will miss me.” Have you ever been in a situation like that?
Shanna Micko: No, you’re improvising. You don’t even know how you’re going to react in a situation like that until you’re actually there. The hindsight is of course 2020, you’re like, I should have done this. I should have done that. I should have been stronger. But talk about being caught off guard.
Laura Birek: I’m programmed to be polite. So I didn’t want to be rude to the guy and then it escalates so quickly. I lost nothing with the hug. It was a weird interaction. I don’t feel seriously violated. I just can’t believe that in 2020 people think it’s okay to hug strangers in the grocery store and tell them they’re going to kidnap you.
Shanna Micko: Oh my God, weird.
Laura Birek: Shanna, I just got the skin crawly creepy feeling thinking about possibly being kidnapped in a Ralphs. Well, if I don’t get kidnapped between now and a minute from now, should we take a little break and get in some BFPs and BFNs?
Shanna Micko: Yes, let’s do it.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: All right, Laura, BFPs and BFNs. What do you got for us this week?
Laura Birek: I’ve got a BFP.
Shanna Micko: Cool. Cool.
Laura Birek: So mine is the EZPZ Place Mats and Tiny Cup. Do you know about the brand EZPZ?
Shanna Micko: No.
Laura Birek: It’s spelled E-Z-P-Z, four letters. So they make these silicone place mats and bowls and a product called the Tiny Cup.
Shanna Micko: Okay.
Laura Birek: Which is also made out of silicone, which is this little itty bitty baby size cup that that is weighted on the bottom. So it’s got a good shape for them to hold and it’s supposed to teach them how to drink out of an open cup.
Shanna Micko: Oh, cool.
Laura Birek: It only fits maybe an ounce of water inside. So they make a gigantic mess, but it’s not dumping an entire massive cup of water on them. It’s a better way to teach them how to drink out of an open cup, which apparently they need to master by 18 months also. There’s all these milestones that are about…
Shanna Micko: Geez.
Laura Birek: I know, right?
Shanna Micko: You get me nervous here.
Laura Birek: I resisted buying anything EZPZ for a while because they’re kind of expensive to be honest. It’s not like breaking the bank, but I think one of their mats is $25 and the Tiny Cup is $15 or something. It’s off the top of my head. We’ll put links to this on our website in the show notes, but they’re honestly great quality. I ended up getting a mat as I think a Black Friday something or other and I got some deals. The Instagram handle babyledweanteam, that’s babyled, W-E-A-N, team will post coupon codes in their stories a lot. So it’s worth going there to try to find they’ll post 20% or 25% off.
Shanna Micko: Oh, cool.
Laura Birek: But anyway, I got two of these mats. One’s the mat with a bowl and they’re built into the mat so it has a flat bottom and the bowl is like on it. But what’s genius about them is they’re really smooth on the bottom side, so they stick to almost all surfaces really well, so the babies have a harder time picking them up off the table basically. They actually adhere to a lot of tables really well. So we’ve got it because I’m so lazy. I had just been putting my baby’s finger foods out on the flat surface of, he now eats right up against the table because we got a high chair that goes right up against the table and I would just put like a normal place mat down and put his food on it and then I realized he should probably know that food comes in bowls. But any bowl, even plastic ones, even once I had suction cups on the bottom, I tried putting it in front of him and he immediately pull it up and throw it.
Shanna Micko: Right. Yes, it’s such a mess. They just dump it automatically.
Laura Birek: But this EZPZ ones and not an ad, I promise, but they actually work especially if you have a granite countertop. I have trouble getting it off. You have to get your nails underneath it and peel it up.
Shanna Micko: Cool.
Laura Birek: It’s kind of magic how works.
Shanna Micko: I need this.
Laura Birek: It’s really nice and they have different sizes.
I have a single bowl and then they’re called Happy Mats where there’s three compartments and they make a little happy face.
Shanna Micko: Nice.
Laura Birek: Highly recommend. Also, the Tiny Cup is just very cute to watch them use.
Shanna Micko: That sounds adorable.
Laura Birek: He loves it. He thinks it’s the funniest thing. Maybe I’ll have to post a video of him doing it. He’s just thinks it’s hilarious even though he’s dumping water and he is starting to learn. He’s figuring it out. It makes me feel good about his need for being able to drink out of a cup by 18 months or whatever.
Shanna Micko: I love that. That reminds me that one of Janet Lansbury’s, she’s kind of a proponent of the RIE method that we’ve talked about a lot, one of her things is to encourage babies and little ones to drink out of open cups and even at a very young age. One of her recommendations is using shot glasses for it because they’re so small. They only fit like one or two ounces and that always made me nervous. I never really did that because it’s like, yeah, those are glass and I didn’t want to go there, but that sounds like it’s in line with this thinking, but baby proof and it won’t shatter. So I love that idea. It won’t shatter.
Laura Birek: The cool thing about it is there’s extra silicone at the bottom so it’s weighted on the bottom so that when they put it on the table it doesn’t immediately tip over. So that helps too. It’s really cool. I wish I had bought them earlier. I’m always so cheap about them. I’m like, I don’t need to buy it. I should have just bought this earlier. It would’ve save me so much grief.
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: EZPZ.
Shanna Micko: Cool. Cool. Cool.
Laura Birek: Anyway, what do you have for us: BFP or BFN?
Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.
Laura Birek: Oh, good.
Shanna Micko: Mine is kind of a two in one this week BFP. So I have two things I’m going to mention and the first is there’s a little Italian deli and shop near my house and I love these kind of places: delicious imports from Italy, delicious fresh pizza dough. Oh my God, I love this. But this was the first time I’ve gone to this particular one. I was going for pizza dough and I wanted to browse around and see what they had and I was looking through the pasta section and I found a bag of dry pasta. It was like SpaghettiOs. I had no idea that was an actual thing. I grew up eating Chef Boyardee the can of SpaghettiOs. I don’t know.
Did you eat SpaghettiOs from a can when you were a kid??
Laura Birek: Absolutely. I don’t know if it would still taste good, but I just have memories that it’s like the best shit.
Shanna Micko: I know. I love it. I’m not too excited about feeding my kids canned food like that now. I’ve done it a couple times and actually Elle kind of pooped it.
Laura Birek: This is your first canned food. Sorry, just call back.
Shanna Micko: That’s great. So I was like, oh my God. SpaghettiOs! I was just way too excited because I’ve never seen this ever in a grocery store or Trader Joe’s where I usually shop. So I was like, need this immediately. The only thing is they take a little longer to cook maybe 15 minutes to get to a good softness. Usually, I like angel hair pasta for the kids because I throw it, it takes two minutes. But it was so fun to feed them SpaghettiOs also because it’s perfect bite size piece. I know you did a specific type of pasta once.
Laura Birek: The Ditalini.
Shanna Micko: So it’s already like perfect little baby toddler bite size pieces. That’s exactly how it is with the SpaghettiOs and she really loved it and it was just bringing me back to my childhood and it made me real, real happy.
Laura Birek: Did you toss it in a marinara sauce or something?
Shanna Micko: Yeah.
Laura Birek: Okay.
Shanna Micko: I really like the Bolognese sauce from Trader Joe’s.
Laura Birek: Does it have actual meat in it?
Shanna Micko: I think so, yeah. A little bit.
Laura Birek: Cool.
Shanna Micko: So then kind of going along with that, my other BFP that I’ve discovered is riced cauliflower.
Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. Very hot with the ketogenic diet folks.
Shanna Micko: Yes, so it could be like a good rice replacement I guess. But I love using it to sneak vegetables into my kids’ pasta.
Laura Birek: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Shanna Micko: Because it doesn’t have a lot of taste and I get a bag of frozen riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s.
Laura Birek: Is it riced cauliflower or cauliflower rice or both? I feel like I’ve heard riced is what you do when you take a potato and stick it through a ricer, but I feel like I’ve heard it referred to as cauliflower rice, like it’s the size of rice. Do you know?
Shanna Micko: I don’t know. I thought it was riced, but I often read things and make connections in my brain that aren’t true in reality. So I don’t really know what it’s called.
Laura Birek: I actually think your description is more accurate. I’ve always heard of it as cauliflower rice.
Shanna Micko: Interesting. Well, I think either it’s the same idea.
Laura Birek: Wow. This is a mystery for the ages.
Shanna Micko: It really is and just fascinating podcast content.
Laura Birek: Riveting podcasting.
Shanna Micko: But it’s about the size of rice, maybe a little bit smaller bites and so you can totally sneak vegetables into your kids’ food because it absorbs the taste of especially pasta sauce. They don’t know they’re eating vegetables because it’s hard, especially as the kids get older. Elle doesn’t really love all vegetables and she will reject things and CeCe looks like she’s fixing to be a picky eater. So I love it. Throw it in there and it’s good on its own too. Kind of just cook it up with a little olive oil, salt pepper, maybe a little garlic salt or something and it’s actually pretty yummy.
Laura Birek: People use it to make low carb pizza crusts I think and other stuff. People will use it I think as a mashed potato substitute.
Shanna Micko: Cool. Sounds versatile. So there you have it. Those are my BFPs for the week.
Laura Birek: Now I’m hungry, so we should wrap it up.
Shanna Micko: Let’s do it. Go eat some lunch.
Shanna Micko: If you have any BFPs or BFNs you want to share with us or of course if you have any They Said What, please share. We need to know. Laura, where can they reach us?
You can include a voice memo in it if you want to: [email protected]. We also have a Facebook community group. Just search Big Fat Positive community and request to join. It’s a closed group, so I’ll have to add you, but then you can join in on the amazing conversations we’ve had in there. There’s a baby boom in our podcast community. I’m loving seeing all these new little babies.
Shanna Micko: Aww, I know. Thank you all for sharing those pictures and everything.
Laura Birek: Love it.
Shanna Micko: It’s so fun. I love the community and if you love the show, please spread the word. If you know a pregnant person, people trying to conceive, a new parent, let them know about Big Fat Positive and leave us a rating, a review, wherever you listen to podcasts. Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.
Laura Birek: Thanks for listening. See you next week.
Shanna Micko: Bye.