Happy Almost New Year to all of you! I personally have big plans for New Year's Eve. My hubby is making hot toddies, which means I will be asleep within 10 minutes of finishing said hot toddy, and wake up at midnight cursing all the dang kids setting off the dang fireworks and pray they don't wake up my kids. Should be a good time.
I'm not one for setting New Year's Resolutions. I set the "lose 5 pounds" resolution for about 15 years, and finally just gave up. This year, I have a few things I'd like to work on in 2012, seeing as how I (knock on wood) will not be pregnant or have a newborn and will thus be slightly more functional than I was this year. Here's a quick round up of what I'll be working on.
1. Keep the house somewhat cleanish. I've been checking out the Fly Lady website (google it, for some reason blogger's hyperlink isn't working. Either that or I'm a moron) and it seems manageable to me. I fear that the solution to my messy house will be getting rid of a lot of toys (grownup and kid) which will probably make me unpopular in 2012.
2. Get dressed every day. How sad is this? Sometimes I take a shower and put on makeup, and then put sweatpants on. And by sometimes I mean pretty much every day. I rationalize that I'm not going anywhere anyway so what's the point in real clothes? But then when I was at my parents' house I feel all shlumpy hanging out in sweatpants when they were, you know, dressed and whatnot. So I started wearing real clothes and felt so much more human. It was empowering.
3. Not worry so much. I'm a total spaz worrywart. Literally right now I scratched a mole that was itching, and then I googled "itchy mole" and now I'm pretty sure I'm dying. But most of my worrying is kid-directed. But before I stop worrying, let me run a few things by you and you tell me if they're troubling. -Captain Destructo still poops in her underpants everyday. Every. Day. And she's going to be 3 in 3 weeks. And also I started potty training her when she was 18 months old. So that's 18 months of me sucking at potty training. Is that bad? -New Baby won't sign. She can do things like point to her head and shake her head no when asked, but she won't do the sign for more. Instead she just shrieks like a howler monkey when she wants more food. I feel like one of those toy monkeys banging her cymbals together when I'm trying to get her to do it, but she just looks at me and laughs. So I'm thinking she's either (a) completely thinking that I'm a moron and refusing to do it out of spite, or (b) just doesn't get it. -Seriously, the itchy mole thing. Am I dying?
So that's it, friends. Are you making resolutions this year?
So Christmas is upon us again. And every year, I end up with Charlie Brown-style indignance to the materialism the holiday brings. "Who would spend all that money on inflatable Santas? Do they know how many needy children that could feed?" I scoff, while straightening my angel wings and my halo. I decorate our tree with some candy canes, slap a wreath on the front door and sit on my chair of self-righteousness, proud that I am above all the materialism.
And then it's time to buy the presents.
Here's my thing with toys. I get super excited to buy new toys. Pretty much as excited as my kids are, for about a day, and then they forget about said new toy and I trip on it in the middle of the night and I morph into The Hulk..."RAWR!! WHY DO WE KEEP BUYING ALL THESE TOYS!!" But then I forget how much I hate toys and see something fun and the cycle starts all over again. I have kept most of Captain Destructo's old toys, since New Baby is 2 years behind her and I keep thinking we will reuse all of the toys. But now I have baby toys, early toddler toys, older toddler toys, and Sesame Street toys. Add to that the fact that Captain Destructo is suddenly over Sesame Street and very very into Disney Princesses, and it's like a freaking Toys R Us in here.
Back to Christmas. I love seeing my kids open their presents as much as anyone, but the thought of all those new toys in my house makes me cry a little. As in most aspects of motherhood, I'm torn between teaching my kids humility and simplicity and giving them wonderful Christmas memories. (Although New Baby is only 9 months old. And let's face it, she's just going to eat the wrapping paper.) On one hand, I'm excited to see Captain Destucto open the Princess dolls she wanted. On the other, I know she'd be just as happy looking at the pictures of Princesses in the Toys R Us catalog that she's been carrying around since Thanksgiving. My solution this year is to give all of the old toys away, so that in my mind, it's kind of like I'm not buying more crap for my kids, I'm making a way for us to make a big donation to charity. In a month, Captain Destructo will turn 3 and I'm going to have to deal with all the toys all over again. At which point I'll be reaching for the leftover eggnog and crying into my pillow.
Every year, I flip through the Toys R Us catalog and shake my head at the crap that toy designers make every year. I'm not sure who these people are or why they hate parents, but I pledge to not let these horrible toys inside down our chimney. Here's a few gems from this year.
1. Monster High Dolls Someone please explain these to me. Barbie for the goth crowd? Slutty zombies? I myself am getting a little sick of the vampire/werewolf/dead thing trend. I certainly don't need it for my toddler.
2. Moon Dough Everytime I let Captain Destructo play with Play Doh, and I find it encrusted in our carpet 2 days later, I think to myself, "wow, I wish there was a messier version of this! Thanks , Moon Dough!" Yeah. No thanks.
3. Baby Dolls that make sounds and/or excrete things True story. I walked down the baby doll aisle at Target and it scared the bejeezus out of me. One step set off an entire aisle of (very lifelike sounding) crying. Several dolls actually REQUIRE YOU TO CHANGE THEIR DIAPERS. For real.
4. Bratz Ok, I have to know who is buying these things. I cannot find one redeeming quality. The dolls are dressed like tiny hookers (why all the corsets? Why?), have snotty expressions that make me want to slap them, encourage girls to be brats, and are spelled with an unnecessary z (I hatez when people do that).
5. Let's Rock Elmo Sesame Street, why do you hate me? I watch your show everyday; I own a mess of DVDs, 2 Abby Cadabbys, an Ernie, a Zoe, 2 Grovers and a Prairie Dawn. I also own not 1, not 2, but 8 Elmos. Yet you continue to make Elmo toys louder and more annoying. This one plays a drum and sings in that Elmo voice. You know the one that haunts you in your sleep. Also costs $55 and will require more and more accessories, including but not limited to a Let's Rock Elmo T-shirt. And, since my children think they live on Sesame Street (when going to the grocery store Captain D says we're going to Hooper's Store), I'm sure someone in my family will buy one for us. Maybe Santa will bring me earplugs?
Hopefully Santa will oblige my requests. What toys are on your naughty list this year?
First for some awesome news: New Baby sleeps now! In case you wondered, I read Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kim West, which helped me get her on a nap schedule. This helped her sleep better at night, and then I stopped picking her up when she cried at night. We're on night 4 of 12 hours of straight sleep. Yay! Thanks for all the great advice!
Well since I am no longer sleep deprived, I can now do exciting things like read articles without falling asleep midway through and watch the news. And it's a good week to start paying attention to current events, because wow is there a lot to talk about this week.
I turned on The Today Show a few days ago and they teased that the Duggar family was going to be on with an announcement. No way, I thought to myself. No way can she be knocked up again. But as you know by now, yup! It's true. And I've read a lot from people that hate the Duggars, and people that love the Duggars, and here's how I feel. No one would give a crap if they didn't have a reality show (why do they have a reality show again?). You want to have 20 kids? As long as my tax dollars aren't paying for it, have 30. From what I've seen of the show, I feel like the Duggars are pretty decent parents. They love each other, they love their kids, they love perming their hair and wearing ugly clothes. In the world of reality show parents, they rank pretty high. Way above the Gosselins and any mom from 16 and Pregnant. I personally find it odd and off-putting that their kids are on a reality show, but whatever. As a former reality star myself, I can excuse that.
All my "aren't the Duggars crazy" thoughts were put on the back burner once news of the Penn State sex scandal broke. Surely you've read about it, but if you haven't read this article yet, I highly encourage you to. If you have a strong stomach and no tendency for nightmares, I encourage you to read the grand jury report. I am shocked and disgusted that people are defending Joe Paterno. Unless I'm missing something, the synopsis of what happened is this: Penn State football brings in lots of money, assistant coach helps bring in money. Assistant coach is a pedophile, knowledge of this causes school to lose money, so everyone who knows keeps quiet to ensure that said money will continue to come in. A TA saw a 10 year old boy being sodomized, sat on the knowledge for a day, then told Paterno, who also sat on the knowledge for a day. Paterno told the Athletic Director, saw that the Athletic Director did nothing, saw that the police were never called, saw that Sandusky was continuing to be around his football program, and did nothing. He sat back and let almost a dozen boys get molested. I can't wrap my mind around a society that values football over the innocence and safety of children. It reminds me a lot of this story.
New Baby is 7 1/2 months old now. She is completely adorable and I love her so much that it physically hurts me. She's got super long eyelashes and squooshable cheeks and I just love her. I know that she's my last baby and I really am just trying to enjoy every second with her and not try to rush her to become more advanced.
But, um. There's just one thing.
Girlfriend won't sleep.
To put things in perspective, we're doing far, far better than we were in the "only sleeping every 30 seconds on Mommy" phase. And, either lucky or unlucky for me, when she was 2 months old, she started taking 2 2-hour naps and sleeping 12 hours straight at night. And I was all, "I have such an awesome baby! My baby rocks! I can sleep again!"
What's that verse again? The bigger you are, the harder you fall?
Once New Baby turned 3 months, she was over the sleeping. Why sleep when you can be awake all night? There have been highs and lows in the sleep process, but here's what my night generally looks like. 6:30-Put the Sleepless Wonder to bed. She falls right to sleep. 7:45-Sleepless Wonder crying. Replace pacifier. 9:00-Replace pacifier. Rock for a few minutes to get her to sleep. 9:45-Replace pacifier. 10:00-Replace pacifier. 10:30-Replace pacifier. Daddy rocks Sleepless Wonder as Mommy is kicking Elmo toys on way to bedroom each time. 4:30-Sleepless Wonder wakes up. Give bottle. Put back to bed. 5:00-Replace pacifier. 5:30-Replace pacifier.
Right now it's almost 8 and the Sleepless Wonder (and Captain Destructo) is still out. And I'm asking you all for help before I lose it. I read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and he says to put the baby in bed and ignore them for 12 hours. Ok, I get intellectually that that would work. But then wouldn't she hate me? And wouldn't I also be a hysterical, crying mess? My husband tells me Captain Destructo did this too, but I can't remember that being true. But I forget her name sometimes so I may not be the most reliable. Short of duct taping the pacifier into her mouth, what should I do?
Hey there. You probably remember me. I was the one with the two little girls, who I find delightful and you apparently find detestable. I'm going to go ahead and assume you have no kids (and if you do, I feel very, very sorry for them) so I'll enlighten you a little on 2 year olds. 2 year olds dislike sitting still for a long period of time, particularly if the sitting involves being strapped into a seat between her parents with the seat in front of her lowered into her lap. When 2 year olds are forced to do something they don't want to do for a long period of time, generally they get, um, loud to louder.
Here's what went down. The plane landed. Captain Destructo was super psyched to finally get out of her seat. However, as is typical with bizarro plane rules, it's okay to get out of your seat 30,000 feet above the air while traveling 900 mph, but not okay to get out when you are on a runway sitting still. Captain Destructo was not happy, and starting singing. That's right. Her ABCs in fact. But you, lady behind me, apparently dislike the ABCs very, very much. I will admit that hearing the song 3 times in a row got a little old, but we could have done without your "stop already!" And yes, we all heard you. You were about as subtle as Captain Destructo when she yelled "someone's stinky!" about an hour earlier. We also heard your loud sighs of exasperation.
So, because I am concerned about my fellow passengers, I told her to stop singing. She cried. Even louder than the singing. We didn't attempt to stop the crying. I hope you liked that better.
Hi, my name is Kristin and I am a Facebook junkie.
I admit that when Facebook first came out I was like, seriously? Now I have to know what everyone is doing all the time? Who would be vain enough to be on a website like that? As it turns out, not only am I that vain, I'm a bit of a voyeur, because not only do I like to share the mundane details of my life, but I like to know yours too. Maybe it's because I'm a stay at home mom married to a business traveler, but Facebook makes me feel like I'm "in touch" with people even though I am in my sweats feeding a baby and listening to Elmo's World.
As much as I love Facebook, I find that everytime I log on I find myself irrationally annoyed by someone's post. Here are a few of the Facebook trends that are beginning to put me over the edge.
-The "I just ran 117 miles/did yoga for 6 hours/walked across my living room and burned xxx calories." Super duper. I just changed a nasty diaper and the image will surely ruin my next 2 meals. Booyah. I also saw someone who wrote "If you don't set the treadmill faster than 8.0 mph you have no business being on." Ok there, Usain Bolt. How about run outside? Also, hello, ignore button.
-PeOpLe WhO tYpE lIkE tHiS. Seriously, that sentence just took me like 5 minutes to type. Way to make a time waster an even bigger time waster. And this person's counterpart...
-Tha ppl that intenshinully tipe their wurds rong. If I have to read your post out loud to figure out what the heck you're saying, you're getting an ignore. Get over yourself. Whenever I read these posts I picture that kid from Malibu's Most Wanted (a cinematic classic).
-Peeple whu spell lyke thay never lefft secund grade. Real quick now? You're=you are, your=your. Lose=reference to weight, loose=what happens to your pants when you lose said weight. Seriously people. Spell check once or twice.
-Parental oversharers. OK, I am probably (definitely) guilty of this. But I think we should all agree that there are appropriate things about your kids to put on Facebook and inappropriate things. For example, "Stevie just lost his first tooth!" is appropriate. "Stevie just had a major diaper blowout up his back!" is not.
-The cryptic posts. Example: Joe Smith is worried. Or, Joe Smith can't believe that just happened! Why don't you just say Someone please pay attention to me!!
What am I missing?? I'm off to update my Facebook.
Well, y'all, as I've mentioned a time or two, I'm tired. Between the 3 AM replacing of the pacifier and the boycotting of the afternoon nap by Captain Destructo, my need for caffeine has increased exponentially. So as my two major food groups right now are caffeine and aspartame, I was thrilled when Shellee from Everday Sugar on etsy contacted me about a mug rug giveaway! You can check out all her cute goodies here.
We are giving away a set of two mug rugs like the ones shown above. To win, you must do 3 things:
1. Follow me publicly. 2. "Like" Shellee's page on Facebook. 3. Leave a comment saying "Trials in Toddlerhood sent me" or something to that effect.
1. Inability to control volume.
Captain Destructo has 2 volumes: ridiculously loud and slightly louder. The morehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif I ask her to use her inside voice, the more she gives me a confused look and then continues talking loudly. I'm pretty sure she has Voice Immodulation Disorder.
2. Complete lack of fear for dangerous things, coupled with fear of tiny insignificant things.
Example #1: Captain D is afraid of flies, yet not afraid to careen face first down a slide.
Example #2: Captain D will cry in the bathtub "no like-a the dirt!" at the tiny speck floating in the tub, yet will also jump into 5 feet of water with no adult around.
3. Slavishness to routine.
And by "routine," I don't mean enjoys waking up, having her coffee and then reading the paper starting with the Sports section. I mean I have to read her the same 3 books in the exact same order and ask the exact same reading comprehension questions on each page, in the same precise order. Also, when we go to the gym, she has to hold my membership card and hand it to the front desk clerk ALL BY HERSELF. Then she has to go stick it in the water fountain. Every. Time.
4. Willingness to accept punishment if it means doing what she wants.
I can see her weighing in her head if it's worth it to get out of her bed during naptime, even if it means a timeout. Usually she decides that she'd rather sit in timeout than endure a nap without her cowboy hat and Crocs.
5. The need to do everything herself.
You know how long it would take me to put her shoes on? 2.5 seconds. You know how long it takes her? Well, if you add up the time it takes to put on the first shoe, argue with me about whether or not the shoe is on the wrong foot, throw a tantrum, put the shoe on the right foot, remember that she needs to be holding Elmo doll, and then put the other shoe on, that takes.....about 17 days.
6. The asking of the questions.
"Mommy, whatchu doing?" "Driving." "Oh. What's Daddy doing?" "He's at work." "Oh. What's New Baby doing?" "She's sleeping." "Oh. What's that man doing?" Stop me when this gets familiar.
7. Pickiness with actual food coupled with desire to eat non-food items.
Broccoli and green beans have made it onto the no go list as of late. However, Play Doh and cupcake wrappers are still apparently delicious. Evidently, so are the old dried out Cheerios in the couch cushions.
In 5 more months she'll be 3, which I'm told is worse than 2. Until then, I'll be making plain "pasketti" and reading Goodnight Moon about 755 more times.
A bit of background:
So I have rheumatoid arthritis. Mostly it's manageable, but for the past few weeks it's been pretty out of control. As in, some days I can't walk or pick up New Baby. It's been very frustrating, as I am someone who likes to be self sufficient, and as my husband travels a lot and my family is a 4 hour plane flight away. Most of the drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are not compatible with breastfeeding. So, as I saw it, I had a few choices.
1. Take an ineffective drug and be unable to care for my kids.
2. Shop around for a doctor who would prescribe me the drugs I needed while breastfeeding (La Leche League claims that if you look hard enough you can find a doctor who will let you try meds while nursing).
3. Quit nursing and take the medicine I need to be able to care for my kids.
I went with #3. I know breastfeeding is best, but I think New Baby would be best served if I could pick her up and play with her. Also, she's almost 6 months old, so she's had at least some breastmilk (hopefully enough to keep her ear infection free!).
I've got a lot of mixed feelings on stopping. I was pretty sad to stop for awhile. I actually enjoyed nursing this time around and was proud of how well I was doing. I was especially sad to learn I had 2 days to stop and begin taking medicine. On the other hand, honestly, it was a little freeing to feel like I could drink as much caffeine as I wanted, go braless again, and not worry about flashing strangers when New Baby pulled her nursing cover off.
Today is day one of no nursing. Honestly I mostly just feel pain. My boobs hurt so, so much. I am rocking the supertight sports bra, taking cold showers, and trying my best to not think about nursing. I look like Dolly Parton (actual photo of me shown above) but am realizing that soon my boobs will return to their almost-A cup, non-nursing size. And as it turns out? I haven't had much caffeine for over a year, and having 2 huge cups of coffee this morning was a bad choice.
Here's to sports bras (raises coffee mug).
I was watching The Today Show the other day and a panel of women were discussing the results of their poll of moms. Moms were asked to reveal their deepest secrets. An article about the complete results can be found here, but here are a few highlights.
1. Nearly 1 in 5 moms admitted to drugging their kids for special occasions such as long trips, 1 in 12 admitted to doing it just to get peace and quiet.
2. 1/2 have knowingly sent a sick kid to school/daycare
3.85% use their kids to get out of social obligations
4. 44% would rather be 15 lbs thinner than add 15 points to their kids' IQ scores.
5. Over half would rather have a good nights' sleep than mind-blowing sex.
Soooo, here's my thoughts on these points.
1. OK, I have strongly considered using the old Benadryl on a long plane flight. I'm sure my fellow passengers would have thanked me if I did. The only thing that stopped me is I just know my kid would be the one who had the opposite reaction and was just like Ricky Bobby's kid in Talladega Nights-"Chip, I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew!"
2. I KNEW IT! And I bet the other half are bringing their kids to the Chick Fil A playplace.
3. I am all about using my kids to get out of social obligations. In fact, that's probably 10% of the reason I decided to have kids. Captain Destructo was about a week old when we figured out that she was the perfect excuse to get out of doing things we didn't want to do. Old, out of touch friend getting married 1 hour away? Sorry, the baby doesn't like car trips. Boring work party? Sorry, can't find a sitter. Awesome.
4. I'm Queen of Body Image Issues, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather my kids be 15 IQ points smarter. But my answer probably depends on what time of the month it is.
5. I think my mom reads this blog so I can't elaborate too much on my thoughts on #5. But let's just say I haven't slept in a long, long time. Long time.
The main point of the article is that moms are more stressed than ever and resorting to desperate measures. Motherhood can be completely overwhelming. My secret? I've been taking New Baby to the gym during her naptime so I can get some "me time", even though I know it ruins her morning nap. Also, I moved Captain Destructo's afternoon nap up an hour so I can watch Grey's Anatomy (it comes on at 1 on Lifetime! Score!)
If there's one thing that all moms can relate too, it's feeling dissatisfied with their bodies. There's nothing like looking into the mirror for the first time after giving birth and realizing that you still pretty much look pregnant, except with added scarring (but, in my case, awesome boobs...until I stop nursing and they deflate). I've been pretty upfront about my struggles with body image and eating disorders, so I tend to pay attention to news items about such things. I was shocked to hear about a new disorder called mommyrexia. If you've never heard of it, basically it's a trend inspired by the ridiculously thin pregnant celebrities to stay thin during pregnancy and then lose the baby weight immediately after. Honestly, I've got mixed feelings on this one. I feel like in my two pregnancies I reached both extremes. With Captain Destructo, I felt like I could finally not be on a diet after being one on for most of my adult life. So I definitely didn't diet. In fact, I ate an astronomical amount of food, and after she was born, had about 30 pounds hanging around. With New Baby, I had just lost the baby weight and was feeling good about myself when I got pregnant, so I really didn't want to go through all that again. I didn't diet per se, but I did count my calories and exercised. This time I was left with 15 pounds to lose (sidenote? There are 5 hanging around my midsection that refuse to budge. Hope they're not permanent residents.) One on hand, I think exercise in pregnancy is a good thing. I personally wouldn't run (I tried and immediately started contracting) or do any heavy lifting, but I took spin classes and I know that made people uncomfortable. I got many, many comments while heavily pregnant and at the gym, including the infamous "if you do jumping jacks your baby will fall out." On the other hand, God made our bodies to gain weight during pregnancy and yeah, you might not ever get that body back. Over exercising and dieting during pregnancy is putting your baby at risk, and you as a mom have to decide what's more important: your sweet baby or your sweet booty? Putting pressure on yourself to lose the weight immediately after can harm your weak body which has already been through so much. Additionally, you're worried about so many other things (like nursing and getting the baby to stay asleep for more than 30 seconds) that one more bit of pressure can out you over the edge. This is something that I struggle with a lot. Motherhood involves a lot of dying to self-letting your desires fall to the back burner, and looks are a part of that. Do you think being a mom means giving up on having a great body?
Well, it's summer vacation now. As previously mentioned, "vacation" has a completely different meaning for parents of small children. Captain Destructo, New Baby and I recently had to fly a leg of our trip by ourselves when my husband went to Germany (for work. Although I wouldn't blame him if he was just fleeing the country). As you can imagine, this was completely horrific and terrifying. Both kids had been up since 4:30 AM to catch a flight and both were in various states of meltdown by the time we took off. I was sandwiched between an older man with a clear disdain for children and a crying Captain Destructo, while nursing New Baby about 75 times to get her to stop crying. Good times. As you may expect, I was the recipient of a variety of comments during the flights and during the stay in Maryland with my family. (Um, by the way? Maryland is the hottest place in the history of ever right now. That is all.) Here is a sample.
-"You're not a bad mom. Sometimes babies just can't clear their ears in the air." Well, I appreciate the thought behind that statement, but now I feel like a bad mom.
-"I pee pee in the chair!" This was said by Captain Destructo at around 30,000 feet in the air. As you can imagine, potty training is going great.
-"You know how I got her to stop crying? I dipped her pacifier in that lemonade. Worked for my kids." A member of my family told me this. I won't say who so I don't completely slander her. Also, does anyone know if 4 month olds can drink lemonade?
-"Sorry, ma'am, families with kids can't pre-board." No problem. I'll just make the entire plane wait while I lumber down the walkway, put New Baby in her carrier, take Captain Destructo out of the stroller, take 5 minutes trying to figure out how to fold the stroller, then carry the baby, the toddler, a diaper bag and an Abby Cadabby backpack down the aisle of the plane. You have a good day too.
-(Sound of a giant toot followed by a baby giggling. Repeat 3 times in 2 hour flight. ) You know what's slightly difficult? Changing a gross diaper in a tiny airplane bathroom with no changing table. Even more difficult? Repeating it 3 times. In 2 hours.
I love seeing my family, but you know what they say. There's no place like home, with it's abundance of changing tables and beds for each child.
We're pretty thick in the middle of summer now, and it's freaking hot here. When not laying over the air conditioned vents in the house, we're seeking out pools in any form. We actually belong to 2 pools-one is the free (well, if you define free by ridiculously high home owner association fees) neighborhood pool, and one is the super-nice, fancy-shmancy pool at the gym. During the week I am way more likely to go to the neighborhood pool, since it's right down the road. It also has a huge wading pool section that keeps Captain Destructo occupied and less likely to attempt to drown herself. I always have snarky comments in my head for the other pool goers, but since they are my neighbors I tend to keep them to myself. But since I don't think they read my blog, here's what I would like to say to the people at the pool.
"Hey, teenagers in the corner who are so excited about whatever's in that Bill Miller sweet tea mug? You're not fooling anyone. Also, please stop making out in front of my 2 year old. I'd like to postpone that conversation for about 10 years."
"If you have to say to yourself, 'is the swimsuit inapropriate for my age/body type?' The answer is almost always yes."
"Dear God, parents, calm the heck down. Stop yelling 'be careful' at your kid. He is 4 feet tall and playing in 12 inches of water."
"See this smile on my face? It's fake. If you don't give my daughter her toy back, kid, I'm going to take your goggles. Sweetie pie."
"Yes, this is a baby. Yes, she's super cute. If you don't get your germ-encrusted fingers out of her face, Mama's gonna lose it."
"Here are some reasons your kid is a total spaz: that 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew and supersize bag of Cheetos you brought to the pool. And also I know who to blame for the technicolor puke in the parking lot on the way out."
"Hey there, older man hanging out in the baby pool area with no kids? You're giving me the heebie jeebies. I know Tae Bo. Best to find a new lounge chair."
"I know I pretended to smile and said 'that's ok!' when your kid jumped in right next to me and splashed me and New Baby, but I didn't mean it. It's a huge pool. Splash somewhere else."
"Yes, I just saw Captain Destructo pee in the pool too. Yes, I also just threw up in my mouth a little. However, let's not pretend that the ratio of this baby pool is any less that 50% kid pee."
I have to admit I'm a huge fan of summer. As a former teacher, I would stare all year long at the date of the last day of school circled in red. I started the countdown sometime in October. Now that I'm a stay at home mom, my views of summer "vacation" have changed some. First, no one came on Memorial Day and offered to keep the kids until Labor Day, sadly (ok, I guess I would miss them a little). Here are a few more of the things that threaten to ruin a perfectly good summer.
1. Pools + Fearless Toddler + Mommy with a Newborn=Disaster So Captain Destructo thinks she's Michael Phelps. As a former swimmer, I'm pretty proud of her. She loves jumping into the big pool with her Daddy, going under, blowing bubbles, and all that jazz. I learned the hard way that going to the pool is an activity that requires more than one adult. Last week, we were playing in a baby pool (and by we I mean I was gossiping and holding the baby while she bobbed around and stole other kid's toys). She took a step in the water and lost her footing. Luckily I saw it happen and ran in. It was just like Baywatch, if instead of a hot lifeguard it was an out of shape housewife, and if instead of a buoy she was holding a baby. We all went in the water, dragged the Captain out, and that was the end of that pool trip.
2 The Sun I live in San Antonio, which is Spanish for "hotter than the surface of the sun." Or something like that, Spanish was never my best subject. It's like crazy hot here. All Captain Destructo wants to do is play outside. This involves 10 minutes of applying sunscreen to her, 10 minutes of trying to decide if I should put sunscreehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifn on the baby even though she's younger than the recommendation, putting a hat on New Baby, strapping her into the Beco Gemini, getting water for all, and then being outside for 10 minutes before we all want to go in and eat popsicles. If the pool wasn't a giant death trap that's where we'd be. 3. Actual Vacations As previously mentioned, the idea of a vacation with little kids is, um, slightly different from pre-kid vacation. You know it will be different if getting on the plane involves a double stroller, 2 carseats, Elmo DVDs, sippy cups, pacifiers, and a partridge in a pear tree. And that's before you get to where you're going. After this vacation, all you want to do is sleep, because God knows your kids haven't done that all week. 4. The Kids that are Out Of School Hey moms of elementary schoolers, I like your kids. Really. And I totally know that you missed your kids during the school year and they want to go to the playgrounds and mall playplaces and all that fun stuff. But still I manage to get irritated when all our go-to places to play are chock full of big kids. My already short fuse for playgrounds gets even shorter when I have to keep moving Captain Destructo away from overly helpful big kids (and I know I will be a parent of one of those big kids in just a few years).
5. Longer Days I remember loving the long days, when the sun doesn't go down until 10 PM and I could sit outside forever at night. But then I had kids. The progression of putting kids to sleep at night goes like this: 0-2 weeks: baby sleeps all the time. 2 weeks to 3 months: do whatever you can to get baby to sleep. Mine slept on me, on the swing, on the carseat, wherever. 3 months to 1 year: actually try to get the baby to sleep in their bed. Becomes more successful at putting babies to bed. 1 year on: Child does whatever they can to avoid sleeping. This involves suggesting they need a drink, a snack, a kiss, a hug, another story, and in the case of Captain Destructo, a kiss between each slat of the crib. Add to the equation the fact that it's still bright outside until an hour past bedtime? MY KID WILL NEVER EVER GO TO BED. 6. Self esteem Hi, my name is Kristin, my body image sucks. Also? I had a baby 3 months ago and, despite having lost most of the weight, my abdomen is all blobby and I have this weird skin thing hanging over my C-section scar. Also too? All the women who go to the pool at my gym are either (a) freakishly thin, (b) shockingly muscular, or (c) both. And even though I tell myself, "well, surely they don't have kids" they always come to the pool in their teeny bikinis with a flock of children in tow. I want to scream "did you give birth to those kids?! Do you ever eat or leave the gym?! And if the answer to either of those is yes please tell me what the heck you are doing to look like that." And then I keep my coverup on and sit under the pool umbrella with New Baby covering me up. The end.
So although I love summer, fall is looking more attractive by the day.
New Baby is almost 4 months old now and is just finger-lickin' adorable. Like sometimes the urge to eat her overwhelms me. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm starting to feel a little sad that she's my last baby (not sad enough to have another one, mind you). Maybe it's because she started sleeping through the night and I no longer feel like I am underwater all the time. I was thinking about all the things I'm going to miss about having a newborn and the funny things they do. Here are just a few. 1. The attempts to talk Captain Destructo and I like to try to talk back to New Baby in her language and it is so funny. She gets this super serious look on her face like she's saying something very important and goos and gurgles at us. My husband thinks she sounds like a wookie. I have to agree.
2. The surprised smile New Baby will look at me with this incredibly serious expression and all of a sudden she will gasp and break into this huge smile. It's so cute it makes my ovaries hurt.
3. The rolling over phase Captain Destructo didn't roll over until she was almost 6 months old, and I was so worried that she would be developmentally delayed that every day was like cheering for a football game-"Go! Go! Roll!" (or maybe a wrestling match...I don't know, I was too lame to be a cheerleader.) So I was surprised when New Baby rolled back to front last week. The funny part is she gets stuck on her belly because she can't roll the other way yet. So she grunts and licks the mat for a while until she gets rescued.
4. The kicking I love the kicking much more now than I did when I was pregnant and the target was one of my organs. Now New Baby kicks all the time. The funniest is when she's in her bouncer and she kicks hard enough to rock the chair herself. Sometimes when she gets stuck on her belly she kicks too-she looks like one of those windup frogs.
5. The grunting Oh, the grunting. Apparently babies (at least mine) must grunt when pooping, passing gas, trying to roll, and even eating. I love when I'm nursing in church (yeah, I'm that girl now) with the Hooter Hider on and you can hear grunting coming from under the cover. Oops.
6. The chubby cheeks and baby smell Post bath, before she's had a chance to barf on herself, I wish I could bottle New Baby's smell. It's the combination of baby soap, drool, milk, and overall deliciousness. Nom nom nom.
So as much as I complain about how much my boobs hurt and how tired I am, I do love me some New Baby. Even when she's awake.
1. "This toy's name is Elmo." I will now spend a million dollars on Elmo paraphanelia.
2. "If you're a good girl in Target, you can have a cookie." So now you get one every time we go anywhere.
3. "If you're a good girl at the grocery store, you can have a cookie." Ditto.
4. "This is called a cookie." See above.
5. "Ooh, let's get a little potty instead of a seat for the big potty!" I wish the little potty came with a disclaimer: this potty, when used, will be completely impossible to clean out without much gagging.
6. "Sure, let's put the little potty in the living room." Welcome to our home, friends. What's that over there? Oh, it's just a 2 year old trying to poop in the living room. No biggie.
7. "Why don't you play with Daddy's playbook while you sit on the potty?" And you will never spend less than 20 minutes on the potty at a time again.
8. "I think you need some toys." Yes, I actually remember saying this to Captain Destructo when she was a baby. I felt bad for her because she didn't have enough toys. Sigh.
9. "Why don't you give New Baby a hug?" And now poor New Baby can't sit for a minute without Captain D. smothering her.
10. "I guess we don't need to brush your teeth tonight." And now brushing her teeth involves me sneaking up on her with the toothbrush, pinning her hands back and trying to hold her still enough to get 5 seconds of brushing. Pretty sure she'll need toddler dentures.
Before I had children, I couldn't wait for vacation. The hubby and I could drop everything and go wherever our hearts desired on pretty much a moment's notice. We took the Eurorail through Italy, we went to the beach for the weekend, we even went on a Carribean cruise for a babymoon (sidenote: if you are currently pregnant I highly recommend the babymoon, as you will spend the next several year saying "sigh...remember when we were on our babymoon and well rested?" If you can swing it, I recommend waiting until after your baby is born as you will not fully appreciate the vacation without children until you have had them.)
And then we had kids.
We have tried to stay adventurous and travel since our kids have been born, but vacations have taken a whole new tone. I consider myself somewhat experienced since we have traveled across country in a camper (4 times), flown about a dozen times, and stayed in various hotels and campgrounds. Here are several inalieable truths about vacationing with kids.
1. Airlines hate your kids. That's right. You may be lucky enough to board early, but that's the only perk you'll get. Unless you count dirty looks as a perk. You will be told to put headphones on your one year old so no one hears her Elmo DVD, to wake up your baby and remove her from her carrier for takeoff, and to pay $200 for a seat that your 2 year old won't sit in anyway. I have heard horror stories about moms being told not to breastfeed on planes as well. Also, you have to take your kids' shoes off, put their Snoopy backpack through an Xray machine, and possibly have her patted down by the TSA.
2. And so do hotels. We recently flew to Ohio for a family party. We flew on a 3 hour flight (New Baby was a rock star) and then drove 2 hours (New Baby was a train wreck) and finally arrived, exhausted, at our hotel, whereupon we were informed that the crib we were promised was given to another family. Awesome. I stood in an exhausted, shocked state while my husband negotiated with the front desk. He eventually drove to Target and bought a Pack and Play for the baby. Not that this mattered much, because...
3. Your kids won't sleep. At all. I should revise this a bit. New Baby actually slept okay in her pack and play. Captain Destructo, however, was sharing a bed with us. Yeah. She basically jumped on the bed, sang, and yelled out random Sesame Street quotes for 3 hours until she fell asleep diagonally. She spent the rest of the night tossing and turning and kicking us in various special places. Forget taking a nap...way too much to do to be bothered with sleeping. Last week, we went camping where she again "slept" in a pull out couch, which also involved lots of singing and jumping on the bed.
4. Behavior may become "challenging." Due to the aforementioned lack of sleep, as well as the fact that Captain Destructo was eating junk food that she never gets at home, we experienced some tantrums that were mind boggling. Many of these tantrums occurred in public. We just tried to implement the same discipline as home and assume she'll sleep eventually.
5. Kiss your schedule goodbye. You know how we were making potty training progess? Yeah, not so much anymore. Also, New Baby was sleeping through the night. Again, not so much right now. I'm thinking we'll be back on track soon. Probably right in time for the next vacation.
Also, here are a few quick tips for not losing your mind. -Don't forget extra lots of extra clothes, diapers and wipes. -Pack lots of hand sanitizer. Airports are disgusting. -Consider the portable DVD player for the plane if your kid loves TV as much as mine does. -Bring a babysitter if you can. So wonderful to have an extra set of hands. -Find a hotel with a pool. -Remember to relax and have fun. When they are in college you can enjoy your vacations again.
Captain Destructo is growing so fast. She's learning to swim, starting to go on the potty (!!!) and speaking much clearer. Here's a few of her new words.
All berry self (awl-bear-y-self): Manner in which all things must be done- without help from Mommy, as in "no! I do it all berry self!"
Bee seester (be sea-ster): Older female sibling.
Widdle seester (wid-el sea-ster): Younger female sibling. Exclaimed several times per day : "new baby's a widdle seester!"
Sweeping (sweep-ing): Opposite of being awake. Mommy's favorite time of day.
Sheeps: Linens that cover the bed while Captain Destructo is sweeping. When potty training fails, they become soaked and she yells "Mommy! Change da sheeps!"
Dance-a Waka (dans-a wok-a): Used to communicate desire to watch Shakira's Waka Waka video on Youtube and dance along. While the dance is cute, it is also exhausting, as she also yells "Mommy, Daddy, do dat!" so we are forced to dance along. (P.S.? That dance is a crazy workout. No one Shakira's got such a smoking body.)
Jay beans (j-ay beens): Candy usually found in Easter baskets, currently being used to bribe/reward Captain Destructo for using the potty. She may have eat them after using the potty for the rest of her life, but if I'm not changing toddler diapers anymore I don't think I care.
So prowdayoo! (sew proud-a you): When Captain Destructo is in a sweet mood, she wraps her arms around the deserving person/cartoon character's neck and says "I so prowdayoo!" Makes all the changing of the sheeps and dance-a wakas worth it.
Howdy. How's it going? You have been on the news lately and I have a few things to tell ya. First off, let's just get one thing out of the way. Your shoes might be the ugliest things to happen to feet since Crocs (yes, I know, Crocs are sooo comfortable). I have to admit you had your work cut out for you with the marketing. Using Kim Kardashian and her rockin' booty to sell those bad boys was pretty smart. But let's be honest here. I could wear those shoes for the rest of my life and still look nothing like Kim K. No, I think her butt is more due to not eating and possibly a good deal of surgery. Ditto for Brooke Burke. But if you duped a bunch of adults that would be OK with me. We're responsible for our own choices, right? What gets me is the fact that you targeted kids. I'm talking about the commercials on Cartoon Network featuring skinny girls wearing your fugly shoes and being followed by boys dressed like cupcakes (which is weird and creepy, btw). What exactly is the message here? Girls, as young as 7, should be worried about toning their tushies and impressing boys? YourPR guy must be a genius because he says the shoes are a way to combat childhood obesity. You know what won't do a thing to help obese kids? Wearing stupid shoes. If you want to help, worry about teaching your own kids to eat healthy and possibly lay off the video games. In a world where moms are Botoxing their 8 year olds and buying pushup bikinis for their tweens, these shoes are just one more thing adding to low self esteem and eating disorders in kids. So, Skecher's Shape Ups guy? Stick to ugly shoes for adults.
Love, Pissed Off Mama of 2 Girls Who Will Never Buy Your Shoes
Did you ever see the episode of Friends where Ross dates Rebecca Romijn and she's a huge slob? That's my house. I realized the other day that my house is a friggin' pigsty. And since I am a stay at home mom, and therefore spend my whole day in squalor, something must be done. Right now, looking up from the computer, I see the following: -coffee table covered in 1 stuffed Abby Cadabby, 1 container of trail mix which is spilling onto the floor, and handprints possibly made of yogurt, -carpet that is stained with strawberries and also covered in aforementioned trail mix, -Captain Destructo's play kitchen which contains about 15 million tiny pieces of plastic food, half of which are scattered on the floor.
The problem of the dirty house has several roots. First of all, whatever cleaning schedule I had got shot completely when New Baby came along. Now I feel all my cleaning energy is focused on necessary things like laundry and before you know it, a week goes by and I'm all "when's the last time I cleaned the toilets? Oh yeah, 2 WEEKS AGO." Secondly, I have a 2 year old tornado known as Captain Destructo. This is actually her nickname around our house as she has an ability to destroy the most indestructible of objects. Often I don't discover that she has destroyed them until days later when I trip over a 15 year old formerly glued together puzzle piece. Also, her new favorite game is "changing Elmo's stinky diaper" which apparently involves both taking every single wipe out of the container and throwing it onto the floor and smearing Desitin all over every exposed surface in her room. Finally, I let her eat snacks in the living room. I am a pushover.
So, I know the problem, but it is driving me nuts that I can't stay on top of it. When I sit on the couch and nurse New Baby, I watch Captain D. make a huge mess and I'm powerless to stop it. She's getting better about cleaning up after she plays but she and I have apparently vastly different standards of cleanliness.
So, help out there!! How do you keep your houses clean? Or am I doomed until they graduate high school?
Attention fellow playground goers: It has come to my attention that there needs to be some set of rules we can agree on. There is, of course, a list of rules at the entrance, but let's be honest, none of us read that. Here's a few I have come up with. I hope you find them agreeable. -Parents, get off your phones. Or at least turn so you're facing your kid and pretending to pay attention to him. It would help if you would also not text/play Angry Birds/check Facebook while your kid is climbing the slide and throwing rocks.
-I don't want to push your kid on the swings. Really. He's cute and all, but I'm not going to stand here and push him while you chat. Pushing my own kid gets boring, and I like her a lot. Also, don't give me a dirty look when I tell him "go find your mom."
-Go down the slide. Hey, dad. See how the rest of us are saying "no, go DOWN the slide" over and over? Guess what we think about you when you not only let your kid climb up but give them a boost? Yeah. Don't be that guy.
-Don't freak out. When your kid trips and you say "OH MY GOSH!! ARE YOU OKAY?" he's crying because you freaked him out. No one ever died from a scratch. Better to say "awesome fall!" and send them on their way. -If you are a teenager, get off the darn swing and give my kid a turn. See how she's standing next to you and yelling "swing now?!" Go find a bench. Or maybe grow up and leave the playground.
-Enough with the photo sessions. Yes, I do snap cute pictures of the kids with my phone and put them on Facebook every 10 seconds. I don't, however, break out the huge Nikon with the neck strap and follow my kid around like a papparazo. I saw 2 dads do that this weekend.
So, fellow patrons, if we can all agree to follow these, we will all have a much better time. Until they hear the ice cream truck and no set of rules will help us.
Although this list could be much, much longer, here are some of the things I currently suck at.
1. Paying attention to my husband And I'm not just talking bom-chicka-wow-wow. I mean I forget to wake him up in the mornings and occasionally forget to buy him food when I go grocery shopping. Apparently if you are over 3 feet tall you don't exist in my mind. Sorry, honey. I'd like to blame lack of sleep for that one (as I do everything else). Which leads me to #2.
2. Tolerating other people's complaints about being tired For the record, I exclude all moms from this intolerance. Not included? People complaining about being tired on Facebook, due to (a) various pets keeping them up, (b) being hungover, or (c) staying up too late. You may very well be more tired than me, but I am full of self-pity and don't want to hear about it. You can put your various noise-making pets outside for the night, whereas putting a crying and hungry New Baby outside is generally frowned upon. As for being hungover or staying up too late, yeah, well, been there, done that. Still don't want to hear you complain about it.
3. Falling to sleep Since all I do is whine about how tired I am, you'd think I'd fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. But instead I lay there and think about how I need to sleep and how New Baby is going to wake up any second, and then my heart starts beating faster and I'm up for another hour. It doesn't help that every major news event seems to happen between the hours of midnight and 4 AM. When I do fall asleep, I have crazy dreams. Last night I dreamed I was talking to Osama bin Laden, and last week I dreamed I interviewed Will and Kate. I may or may not have had a naughty dream about Shawn T from the Insanity workouts too. Oops.
4.Learning from my mistakes. You think by now I would learn to keep doors shut. The answer to "where is Captain Destructo?" is never good, and usually involves some type of personal care product. Yesterday she rubbed a tube of Desitin in her hair.
So there you have it. Since I also suck at remembering, I'm sure I will add more to this list tomorrow.
Life with one toddler was pretty hectic. Life with one toddler and one newborn is pretty much off the chain crazy. But in the midst of the craziness, I have discovered that I possess secret talents that have been laying dormant, just waiting for me to have 2 small children to be put to good use. Here are just a few.
1. Translating Toddler-ease I can't tell you how many times my husband has said "what'd she say?" to me. My translation talents, rivaling those of a United Nations translator, have peaked these past few months as Captain Destructo has been speaking more. "Mommy, watch Elmo Potty an' jumpy on da bed?" is her obvious desire to watch Elmo's Potty Time while jumping on the bed, and "Holju Miss Mouse!" means she wants to hold her sister's Minnie Mouse. Duh.
2. Moving at warp speed The other day, between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 AM, I nursed the baby twice, did and Insanity workout, pumped 2 ounces of milk, made breakfast, cleaned up breakfast, swept and mopped the floor, and attempted to wake up my husband approximately 37 times. Apparently I am related to The Flash.
3. Supernatural Ability to Ignore Crying New Baby hates the car with the fury of a thousand suns. Hates it. Screams like a wild banshee the entire time we are in there. Sadly for her, there's not a whole lot I can do for her while we're in there. I attempt to reach back and replace her pacifier and occasionally shake the carseat and say "shhhhhh" about 30,000 times, but that's about it. I've learned to just tune it out. The other day we got to Target and I was surprised to see her crying when I got her out of the car. Turns out she'd been crying the whole time. Oops.
4. Freakish Strength I have been running lately while pushing the double stroller. This means a 35 lb toddler, a 11 lb baby, a 20 lb stroller, 10 lb carseat, and however much 6 books, a sippy cup, peanut butter crackers and a bunch of pacifiers weigh. I also occasionally carry both kids at the same time. I am still a flabby mess so don't be too impressed.
5. Superhuman ability to go without sleep. Just like all of you, I get far less sleep than I want but am doing alright. If by "alright" you mean tripping over toys, craving coffee and daydreaming about big beds, hammocks, and pillows. Sidenote: I read that not only do you need 8 hours of sleep, you need 8 hours of sleep IN A ROW to be functioning optimally. I ask you, when is the last time you got 8 hours of sleep in a row? I think for me it was sometime in 2005.
Next week I'll write about all my epic fails. Now I'm off to save another day!
I know I said I was going to be grateful for my children and not complain. So this isn't a complaint. It's just a statement of facts with a sarcastic undertone. All of the following took place on the same afternoon. True story.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
An important part of this story is that I started doing the Insanity workouts. If you've never heard of them, basically they're by the same company as P90X, but instead of a buff middle aged white guy who says "bring it" over and over again, Insanity is taught by a huge tattooed black guy who refers to himself in the third person. It's a great workout. I like it because it's only 40 minutes long, less if you skip the stretches like I do and even less if you stand there saying "are you freaking kidding me?!" which results in skipping some exercises. Particularly since I am postpartumish, I am typically a sweaty mess at the end. I have been trying to do the workouts during naptime. On this particular day, New Baby was having some issues falling asleep. I was holding her and she was almost asleep when I heard Captain Destructo in her say something about her diaper. I didn't want to move New Baby because getting her to sleep usually involves bouncing, singing, rocking, and occasionally the use of chants and Indian prayer rituals.
So finally New Baby falls asleep and I complete the workout, albeit in 10 minute spurts to replace New Baby's pacifier. At this point, Captain Destructo's naptime is almost over and she is still awake, so I decide to cut my losses and just get her up. As I go into her room, she stands up in bed and says "Mommy, change the sheeps. The bed alll wet." I suddenly remember her mentioning her diaper and discover that, yep, she took her diaper off in her crib and peed EVERYWHERE. Books, blankets, stuffed Elmos, all urine-soaked. New Baby is screaming her fool head off by now, but I put her down and change the "sheeps" as well as Captain Destructo, whose hair is wet but I try not to think about that.
Because I have just finished a workout and am disgusting, I turn on my shower and put an Elmo DVD on in my bedroom so I can clean up. New Baby starts screaming yet again, so I sit down to feed her quickly before my shower. When I finish I head into my room to find Captain Destructo sitting on my bathroom floor, painting the tile with my eye shadow brush and my brand new foundation. Upon closer inspection, I realize she appears several shades darker. In fact, she is covered in foundation. I'm talking in her ears, between her toes, caked in her hair. Suppressing the urge to burst into tears, I strip her down and start to turn on the water in my bath tub. I notice a strange shape in the corner of the tub. Could it be? Oh, of course. For the first time in our 5 years in Texas, we have become home to a huge, ginormous scorpion.
One hour later, the scorpion had been flushed, everyone was clean-ish, and Elmo was back on. And that, my friends, is the story of why I never, ever forget my birth control pill.
Last night was one of those nights again. New Baby played the "I look sound asleep until you lay me down and then I'll wake up screaming as soon as you get to your bed" game from 10 PM-7 AM (at which point she fell asleep on her own.....right as Captain Destructo woke up. Super.). My husband is gone again and I was about 30 seconds from losing it. I was ready to text him and tell him to get on the next flight home until I thought about where he was.
Our former pastor lost his 24 year old son last week, and my husband was at the viewing. He told me that the boy's mother just stood by the casket and stroked her son's hair the whole time. Last night, in my self-pity, I thought about that poor mother. What she wouldn't give for one more sleepless night, one more late night nursing session, or one more 3 AM diaper change. I began to feel awful for being upset about such a trivial thing. Then I started thinking about this family and this mom, both friends of friends who lost their children to cancer. I was overcome by both sorrow and joy. Sorrow at my sinful, selfish ways and joy at how blessed I am.
I've been trying to memorize Matthew 6:25 (I am awful at Bible memorization....yet I know the lyrics to 3 Ke$ha songs...how terrible am I!). It says, in effect, do not worry about what you will eat or wear. Your life is more than food and your body is more than clothing. I am inferring that Jesus is talking about sleep too. God knows what I need and will never give me more than I can handle, and yet I have to realize how inconsequential being tired is in the grand scheme of my life. Last night, around 3 AM I was checking Facebook while feeding New Baby for the 476th time and saw that my sister-in-law had posted Phillipians 4:6-"Do not worry about anything, instead pray about everything." That was such a comfort to me. I am trying hard to stop worrying about when/if New Baby gets into a sleep schedule. That doesn't mean I'm not spending the hours of 1-5 AM begging God to just let me have an hour of sleep, but I am working on just enjoying the time with my sweet girl.
When I was in college I did pretty horrible things to my body. After I got married and started thinking about kids, I was pretty much convinced I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. And yet God knew the cries of my heart and gave me 2 beautiful, healthy girls (I always wanted girls). In the middle of the night tonight, in the middle of my struggles and frustrations, I'm going to try and remember that every sleepless minute, every stretch mark and dark circle under the eyes, and every puke stain I have is such an enormous blessing of which I'm so completely unworthy.
When I was in high school, I was introduced to the awesome game "Never Have I Ever...". If you've never played, basically someone says something they've never done and if you have done it, you take a drink. Well, this is the parent version. These are things I swore I'd never do before having kids, but now do. If you do them too, take a drink of your morning coffee with me!
1. Have a house that looks like Toys R Us. Totally guilty here. Here is my awesome justification-if I have to eat plastic kitchen food and put diapers on Elmo all day, I'd rather do it in the living room where at least I can sit on my couch or grab a snack. However, no matter the http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifjustification, I always have second thoughts about that position when I trip over a plastic pineapple at 3 AM when I am going to get the baby.
2. Jabber incessantly about my kids. Ever see the movie Mean Girls where Lindsay Lohan's character talks about word vomit? When you don't mean to keep talking but the words keep coming up? Yeah, that's me. My conversations all begin normally, and when I talk to people without kids I always try to censor what I say because I do realize that they don't care that New Baby slept for 4 hours IN HER BED last night or that Captain Destructo calls Minnie Mouse "Missy Mouse." But yet, it keeps coming up. This is also related to Facebook posts, where I'm sure 99% of what I post is kid related. As long as I don't end up on this website, I'm okay with that.
3. Wipe my kid's nose on my shirt. Totally guilty here. I also use my shirt to wipe up New Baby's spit up when I can't find a burp rag, and also do the spit-on-my-hand, wipe-the-face thing when we are out and Captain Destructo's face is dirty. Yeah, I'm totally gross.
4. Let my kid eat junk. How hard is it to give your kids a piece of fruit, pre-children me asked? Turns out, sometimes giving them a cookie is way easier. Yes, my (mostly) breastfed, homeade organic baby food eating toddler now knows that the grocery store is where we get a cookie, Starbucks is where we get a cake pop (try these by the way! Sooo yummy!), and the only reason to sit on the potty is to get a Hershey's kiss. Yay, me.
5. Look like a mom. Not that I was super fashionable before, but I had my standards. As it turns out, a newborn and a 2 year old aren't the best shopping companions, and since I'm at Target 5 days a week anyway, I'm buying my clothes there. Also, my body is, umm...less then ideal at the moment. Therefore you will see me in giant mom jeans and a T shirt that is baggy enough to cover my muffin top. I am wearing New Baby in a Moby wrap and hoping people look at her more than me a lot lately.
Did you finish your coffee yet? Feel free to add yours!
It's amazing how much you forget about having a newborn once you are used to having a toddler. You forget how little they are, how often they eat and how little they sleep. You forget how long it takes for the umbilical cord to fall off (New Baby's is still on! Well, half of it is. Is that normal?). You also forget the weird, bizarro stuff that happens to your body AFTER you have given birth. Here are a few of the things I am being reminded of daily. Feel free to join in. 1. Your hair falls out. Ew, I know, right? Apparently the Pantene commercial hair I enjoyed during pregnancy (and by "enjoyed" I mean threw into a ponytail and tried to keep Captain Destructo from pulling) wasn't meant to be kept. Yesterday in the shower I began noticing giant chunks of hair falling into the drain. If I remember correctly, this lovely phenomena lasts about 6 months. I may look like Mr. Clean by then.
2. You're hot...and not in a good way. One of the things I had forgotten about a C-section is that morphine makes me super duper itchy. The other thing I forgot is that giving birth makes me feel like I'm in an Indian sweat lodge. I spent 48 hours miserably itchy and sweaty. When I got home, I walked straight to the air conditioning unit and turned it wayy down. Even now, almost 3 weeks later, I wake up in the middle of the night sweating like a hog. Super awesome.
3. You're an idiot. Whether I can blame this on lack of sleep or hormones I'm not sure, I just know that I'm a freaking moron. Just now I forgot how to spell "once." I had to sit here and think a minute. I've heard of people forgetting how to start a car or write a check. I myself forget common vocabulary and my children's names. Mother of the year here.
4. You still look pregnant. There is nothing like being done with maternity clothes. I know in the last few weeks of pregnancy I was so sick of elastic waistbands and no pockets that I was ready to go bottomless (and THAT would have made for an attractive sight). A few days after I got home and was ready to be done with pajamas, I walked bravely to my closet and attempted to pull on my old jeans. Not even skinny jeans, but the formerly baggy mom jeans that I wore around the house. I got them to my hips, but the buttons hit my on my hipbones instead of my belly button where they belonged. So even worse than maternity clothes, I am wearing fat jeans that are sadly just barely fitting. Also? I'm nearly bald and sweating like a hog.
5. You hurt. Everywhere. Obviously, whichever exit route you choose for your baby is bound to be a little tender for a few weeks. Additionally, if possible, your breasts hurt worse. I feel like I've gotten a titty twister from a 5th grader EVERY DAY for the past 3 weeks. There is not enough lanolin in the world. Also, if I may go on a tangent here, breastfeeding is so freaking hard and once I think I've gotten it down, New Baby hits a growth spurt and wants to eat every 3.2 seconds. I panic, call every breastfeeder I know to make sure I am not running out of milk and stare longingly at the sample can of formula the hospital sent home.
6. You're feeling a little blue. Yes, I have the baby blues. That is, if the baby blues are characterized by plethora of moods ranging from being on the verge of tears every second, to suddenly mad enough to throw a plate, to so in love with my family that I am nearly in tears again.
There are more, I know, but I am too dumb to think of them right now. I'm off to drink some coffee, mop my sweaty brow, and feed New Baby for the 3rd time in the past 2 hours.
I knew that newborns don't sleep. I just think I forgot how much they hate sleeping at night. Well, let me clarify. Mine likes sleeping at night fine. Just not in her bed. She prefers sleeping on my chest on the couch. This "sleeping" is preceded by 10 minutes of grunting and inching up my chest like an inchworm until her little snorting face is right by mine, then spitting up, and then sleeping. As you can imagine, I am not getting a whole lot in the way of sleep. And as I am also the mother to an overall active, nap-boycotting toddler, I am not getting a lot of naps during the day either. Let me go over my night last night.
7:30 PM-I give Captain Destructo a bath. New Baby falls asleep IN HER BED. I go to bed at 8:30, but I lay there wondering when she will wake up instead of sleeping myself. I fall asleep at 9:15. She wakes up at 9:20.
9:20-Change diaper, feed New Baby. Wait for her to fall asleep and in doing so, fall asleep myself around 11:00. Wake up in a startled haze around 1:15 and put New Baby in her bed. Run to my bed and dive in.
1:30-New Baby wakes up. Change diaper and feed her. Rock her for 30 minutes in her glider. She "falls asleep" at 2 and I put her in her bed, run to mine and dive in.
2:15-Apparently New Baby was playing a funny game. She is awake and demands to be rocked and snuggled more. I put her on my chest, sit on the couch and wake up at 4:45. She wakes up as well and is hungry again.
4:45-Feed New Baby and change diaper again. Wait for her to appear sleepy. She seems extra alert. Actually more alert then ever in her short life.
5:45-Still waiting for her to appear sleepy. Turn on the news. Early morning news is super lame. I am getting sleepy.
7:30-Wake up in a startle on the couch. New Baby is asleep on my chest. I put her in her bed only to realize that Captain Destructo is awake and screaming "Mommy, Mommy!"
So, friends, I'm about to lose my friggin' mind. Any tips for getting a newborn to sleep in her bed?
I'm very pleased to announce that New Baby arrived a week ago! It's a girl and she is an adorable little peanut who rarely cries. I'm feeling very blessed, but we are all adjusting to being a family of four.
Captain Destructo is doing better than expected. Being away from her was way way harder than having a C-section, being pregnant, and having my catheter removed combined. By day 3 in the hospital I was losing my mind, and when the nurse told me we might not be able to leave until 5 PM I was a hysterical crying mess. When we finally did get home, Captain Destucto was a hot mess of neediness. She kept asking me to put New Baby in her bed and whined for pretty much 24 hours straight. Each day has gotten a little better, although yesterday she did throw a blanket over New Baby's head (I'm choosing to believe she was trying to be sweet). I'm looking forward to when New Baby is a little less alien-like and they can play together like sisters and I can update Facebook in peace.
My hubby is the best in the world and he seems to be adjusting the best of all of us. He lets me sleep for a few hours each night and holds New Baby while he works/watches TV/plays James Bond on the Playstation. As hard as it was to sleep in the hospital, at least I had a bed (even though it had the itchiest sheets in the world and I had an IV and a catheter in). He stayed with me for 2 nights and slept in a plastic chair/futon thing that I could hardly stand to sit in.
As for me? Mostly I just miss sleeping. I miss it so much. New Baby does better than her big sister did, but newborns are still hard. I feel like every minute I'm changing or feeding someone or getting someone's pacifier. I'm mourning the loss of my pregnant belly but enjoying my giant boobs. I'm looking forward to being able to leave the house again. I tried last week and it took us so long to get out the door that I was immediately ready for a nap and almost called it quits. I'm also looking forward to looking like a human again, not an amorphous blob with circles under my eyes, giant bruises on my arms, and smelling vaguely of baby puke and lanolin.
Off to take a quick nap. We're all here adjusting.
Well, pregnancy number 2 is quickly drawing to a close. In less than a week, New Baby will be here and I will be whining about being a mom to a toddler and a newborn. I had high hopes for this pregnancy. I was going to eat right, exercise, stay attractive and then when I popped this kid out I'd be right back to normal! Well, here's the dirty details of what actually happened.
Hit: No stretch marks! As someone who is generally genetically unlucky, it boggles my mind that I was able to escape this one. Miss: Belly button popped out. Even though I was a giant moose with my first pregnancy, my belly button remained an innie. I was dismayed to notice last week that it has turned inside out with this pregnancy. I'm guessing it will right itself eventually?
Hit: Managed to keep working out right up until the end. Yay me. Although I stopped going to the gym this week as I realized I was making others uncomfortable. I've been told more than once to not give birth in class. Miss: Still gained pretty much the same amount of weight. 10 pounds less, but what's 10 pounds when you have a double/triple chin and love handles that may or may not be bigger than my actual stomach.
Hit: No weird dark line going down the center of my belly. Miss: Had acne the entire time. That's 39 weeks of high school acne, people. And you know what helps pregnant acne? Absolutely nothing.
Hit: Was less panicky about movement this time around. I admit I was a complete spaz with Captain Destructo and swear it was much better this time. Miss: Way more panicky about having a newborn, since I have had one before and know what's coming.
Hit: Actually got my toenails done and my hair highlighted during this pregnancy to maintain some semblance of attractiveness. Miss: Now have dandruff, which inexplicably struck me right before Captain Destructo was born too. Thanks, hormones!
Hit: Less worried about other people's judgments of what I do when I am pregnant. I even posted about my scheduled C-section on Facebook and drank Diet Dr. Peppers in front of people. Miss: Managed to frighten other gym goers in my attempts to show them I don't care if they think I am too big to work out. By the way? The baby never fell out during jumping jacks, my water didn't break while lifting weights, and, as I feared, I managed to maintain enough bladder control not to wet my pants on the treadmill.
I don't know what it is about a baby that makes everyone want to offer you advice. Maybe I looked just completely clueless with a baby, but it seemed like whenever I brought Captain Destructo out in public, everyone and their grandmother had some timeless wisdom to offer. Here are a few gems. Feel free to add yours.
1. When the baby bites you, bite them back. I'm not sure where this one got started, but I've heard it multiple times. Really, people? Bite them back? And when they are teenagers and yell "I hate you!" do you yell that back too?
2. Don't bring your baby out in public or they'll end up in the hospital! Because I can't think of what a brand-new, sleep-deprived, slightly depressed new mother needs more than to be told that their baby will end up in the hospital. If I brought the baby into a daycare center or was allowing strangers to touch her, I concede that she may have a chance of getting sick. When I was offered that advice, we were in Target and she was wrapped in a sling. Unless someone opened the sling and sneezed on her, I think we were okay.
3. Don't pick up that baby or you'll spoil her! Honestly, when I hadn't slept in a month (more if you count the high quality sleep I got the last trimester of pregnancy) I could have cared less if I would spoil her. I just cared about making her stop crying. Also? Pretty sure you can't spoil a 6 week old. I wasn't giving her ponies or anything.
4. Ooh, it's hot out. You should give her water in a cup. While this is appropriate advice for a toddler, or even a baby nearing one year, I found it interesting when offered to my four month old. Give her a cup? Sure. After that I'll grill her up some filet mignon and asparagus.
5. Rub a little whiskey on her gums. It'll help with her teething. Can we all just agree that giving alcohol to a baby is generally frowned upon? As is using alcohol as a pain killer. At least until the baby turns 28 and has their first child.
6. Why don't you just turn on the Disney Channel?" Now, if you've been reading this blog at all you know I am pro-TV. Magic box that has pretty pictures so Mama can take a shower without yelling "no, don't eat that!" out the door? Awesome. However, I'm not sure 3 months old is an appropriate age to start with the TV watching. Also, if you have seen anything on the Disney Channel lately, you will know that most shows are highly annoying. We've been watching the tube for a good year now and have yet to turn on the Disney Channel.
Valentine's Day is upon us again. I have to admit I have a bit of a soft spot for Valentine's Day, as I generally enjoy holidays that revolve around chocolate. Also, I like making a big deal out of silly holidays for Captain Destructo. It breaks up the monotony of our weeks. I plan on basically cutting every food item into heart shape and browbeating my husband into buying her something (but not chocolate, as our "potty-training" lately has her eating massive amounts of Hershey Kisses. Still no peeing in the little potty by the way). It turns out that Valentine's Day and I have a long, torrid history.
When I was in high school, I was...how to put this nicely? A huge dork. 20 pounds overweight, socially awkward, and overall a dork. Also, in a weird twist of fate, I was boy crazy. I pined over movies like Pretty Woman and Sixteen Candles and longed to find my Prince Charming. Although, shockingly, no one was coming a-calling. I spent 4 years of Valentine's Days alone, stuffing my face with an entire box of Russell Stovers.
College was much of the same. Although I weighed less and was marginally less awkward, I was always single for Valentine's Day. I dated here and there, but nothing serious enough to have a Valentine. College was possibly worse than high school, as all of my roommates were always in relationships and I got to sit around our dorms, watching them primp for their dates, stuffing my face with Russel Stovers and chasing it down with Boone's Farm Strawberry wine (mmmm).
So, as you can imagine, when my husband and I started dating, I made a huge freaking deal of Valentine's Day. He delivered, too. He tried to trick me by telling me to come to his house and bring formal wear, a bathing suit, and sweatpants. It turns out that he made me a fancy dinner, from scratch, and showered me with gifts.
As marriages evolve, particularly when there are kids involved, our Valentine's Days have changed over time. This year we are going out 3 days after Valentine's Day to see a musical. I am getting my toenails done (because I haven't seen them in 3 months and am not sure they're still there), bought a new dress and will be praying my water doesn't break at the theater. Captain Destructo has a babysitter and everything. As for romance, let's just say I walked into the lingerie department in Target, waddled right through to the back where the giant granny panties were, and bought a jumbo pack. So at least I'll be comfortable. My husband is a lucky. lucky, man.
Or, The Story of Why I Left Chick-Fil-A Without a Brownie.
It's been one of those days. My husband has been gone all week, my back is killing me, it's crazy windy so Captain Destructo's bouncy house was blowing all over the place when we tried to jump, and I've been stripping cloth diapers for the past 6 hours. So I decided that Captain Destructo and I deserved a special treat. Chick-Fil-A for dinner it is.
I've mentioned my love for Chick-Fil-A before, but in case you missed it, let me reiterate how it is Mom Heaven. At our local restaurant, Tuesday nights are Kids Eat Free nights, so I got both of our dinners for $6. Customer service is awesome, meaning someone else carried my tray for me while I drug the high chair, giant purse and giant toddler. After scarfing down our chicken nuggets, I let Captain Destructo play in the play area.
Let me pause for a second here. When I say "let" her play, I don't mean I sat at my table and let her go into the play area by herself. She's 2. Common sense, right? Apparently not. There was a little boy who was probably 3 or so in the play area, playing with who I would assume was his older brother. His parents were nowhere to be found. Not in the play area, not (as far as I could tell) immediately outside the plexiglass. They may have gone across the street to Starbucks as far as I know. This will be important later. On with the story.
So Captain D. and I de-shoe her and make our way into the musty, slightly smelling of sour milk, play area. Little boy immediately runs up to us and pokes Captain on the back. She yells "no, my back!" which I have to say I was pretty proud of. I ignore this for the moment, until 3 seconds later when he comes back, pokes her again and yells "nanny-nanny-boo-boo!" I didn't realize that insult was still around, but I tell the kid to chill out. Nicely, I would add. "She doesn't want you to tease her, buddy," I say. Roughly 10 seconds later, he comes back and grabs at her again. "She doesn't want you to touch her either. Go play," I say in a slightly less nice voice. Of course he's back in her face immediately. She is starting to get fussy and I am starting to get irritated, so I walk to the other side of the play area to get her shoes so we can leave.
And then (voice of Sue Sylvester)....HORROR.
I sit down on a bench to put her shoes on and look up to see the Little Dude running at me with both of his hands outstretched. His hands land square in the middle of my giant, 9 months pregnant belly.
I am in complete shock for a moment and can't think of what to do next. I'm torn between getting out my hand sanitizer and squeezing it all over my belly and grabbing the kid by his collar and screaming "whose kid is this?!" into the restaurant. I settle for holding the kid's wrist, removing them from my stomach, and firmly saying "NO. We don't touch other people's bellies. There is a baby in there!" while he gives me a blank stare. I then sanitize Captain Destructo and myself and we head quickly home. I am so mad I leave without getting a brownie. That's pretty mad.
So here's my public service announcement: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR KIDS. Where this kid's parents were during the whole night, I have no idea. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they were on their phones or otherwise not paying attention. I'm assuming this because I see it all the time at playgrounds, restaurants, and libraries. I get that there are days when your kids are driving you nuts and you just want a break from them. I totally get it. Yesterday my kid's favorite game was "dump everything from the pantry onto the floor, make Mommy clean it up and then do it again." But you know what is great for taking a break? TV. Don't just dump your kid is a public place and assume that someone else will watch them. Chic-Fil-A play area is not a cage where you can throw your kid in and then let them out when you're done. Be a parent, not a zookeeper.
And, to that kid's mom, wherever you are, you owe me a brownie.