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My Favorite Things

  • Naptime
  • Caffeine in various forms
  • Italy
  • The Beach
  • Family camping trips
  • The gym
  • Storytime at the Library
  • Rachael Ray
  • Running

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In Which I'm a Terrible Mother

It's been a crappy afternoon. Coming off a busy morning of Bible study that left me feeling "meh" and the kids incredibly high strung and talking/babbling a mile a minute, I was hoping for a peaceful afternoon. But, for whatever reason, New Baby decided on a super short nap and I found myself staring at the clock at 2:15 and wondering what the heck I was going to do for the next 6 hours. The idea of staying home made all of us antsy, so I decided we would go to the playground and library.

And that's when the afternoon went from crappy to awful.

We got to the library, whereupon I realized I have never really taught my kids the Rules Of The Library. Namely, it is frowned upon to run through the library and scream like Corn Children. Also, I realized that the vibe of the library at 10 AM, when we usually go, is totally different than it is around 3. Specifically, people give you and your Corn Children dirty looks when they run around screaming at 3 PM. Add to that the fact that Captain Destructo almost got smashed in the automatic doors and New Baby was stinking up the joint with her rank diaper, we got the heck out of the library as fast as we could and moved next door to the playground.

Because I am the master of foresight and planning, I chose the playground that has recently added adult workout equipment. Because, you know, adults work out at the playground all the time. Of course, both girls made a beeline for the chest press machine and the way-too-big plyometric benches. Nevermind the swings, climbing toys, and slides that were right next to them. I informed them that we needed to stay on the playground. They whined. I said they would stay on the playground or we would go home. They went to the playground for about 30 seconds and went back to the workout area. I repeated my warning. They repeated their whining. I realized I would have to actually follow through with my threat, gathered up 60 pounds of whining children, and left.

Fast forward 2 hours, I was cleaning up a wholesome and delicious dinner (where New Baby ate 2 containers of applesauce), still stewing over my crappy day, missing my husband, and listening to sounds of shrieking from Captain Destructo's room, and I did this.

Yeah. I'm awesome. And then I realized that I was yelling, actually yelling, at a 1 year old and a 3 year old for fighting over a toy. (If you wondered, the story I got was Captain D was trying to do New Baby's hair and she wouldn't let her.) I know they're good kids. Seriously, I was a teacher. I know bad kids. I just wish I could be more patient and calm and Michelle Duggar-like, who, by the way, probably doesn't respond to stress by hiding in her pantry and eating bagfuls handfuls of candy corn. Not that I do that.

But, in the spirit of teaching them forgiveness, I told them I was sorry and spent the next 20 minutes letting Captain Destucto pull brush my hair. And now we're watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and praying for a better tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What, me worry?

I am totally the queen of worry. I worry the kids will get picked on, get sick, get hurt, even get bug bites (West Nile is killing people in Texas. Like I need another thing down here that could kill us). After New Baby's latest pediatrician visit, I realized I should start worrying about the fact that she doesn't talk.

I guess that's not entirely accurate. I have been keeping a running tally of all the words she's ever said. At 18 months, she has said 14 words at least one time. But most days, she says "Ma" for Mama, "Ma" for Molly (Captain Destructo's real name. Your mind is blown, I know), duck, ball, and book. Occasionally we'll get an Elmo or an Abby. And yes, I realize that 1/3 of her words are Sesame Street characters. I have video of Captain Destructo on her 2nd birthday where she says "the hat fall down on my face." So yeah, there is a bit of disparity there. If things stay the way they are now, on New Baby's 2nd birthday she will be emitting a series of grunts and blowing raspberries, doing a close impersonation of the Tasmanian Devil.

Like most people who worry, I google. And when I google I found that if your child is not meeting language milestones, you should may need to start thinking about autism. I really don't think she's there. Girlfriend can make animal noises like no one's business, as well as point to body parts, and she does that thing where she points to things just to share it with us (I used to know the name for that before I became a stay at home mom and my brain turned to mush). So if she's not meeting language milestones, and she's most likely not autistic, then (a) do I need to worry and (b) what do I do to help her? I have a total vision of her in her cap and gown, holding up her diploma and yelling "Ma! Book!"

Going to chase a roll of Tums with a glass of wine.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Open Letter to Pinterest

Dear Pinterest,
First of all, thank you for finally sending me an invitation to your super-exclusive website! I love flashbacks to high school, waiting to be invited to prom. Secondly, thank you for the hours of brainless entertainment you have provided me with. Seriously, I think my head almost exploded with excitement the first time I figured out how to create my own boards. And the pins! All of the pins. I've got stuff for the kids, recipes, pictures of Ryan Gosling saying "hey girl." The fun never ends. Thank you for the giant time waster you are, Pinterest, because my hubby's gone a lot, I've got 2 little kids, and goodness knows I can waste some time!

But, let's be real for a bit here, Pinterest. I'm not going to make DIY vintage inspired onesies for New Baby. I'm just not. Nor am I going to decoupage my kids their very own tea set. Also? When people say decoupage I'm not really sure what they mean. And when I see all these pins of ordinary moms doing this super fancy crafty stuff I start to feel like a loser mom. And then when I read about people making DIY finger paint, and then actually using said DIY finger paints without losing their minds or ruining their house, I start to really feel inferior. And I'm not sure I need a website to do that, you know?

And here's my second beef with you, Pinterest. I can't stand the health and fitness section anymore. Like a bad relationship, it started out great with the helpful suggestions on how to breathe when running, and simple ab exercises to do when watching TV (not that I do them. But for sure they're pinned.). But then the more I browsed that section, the more it felt like fodder for bad body image. I don't need to see a 90 lb girl standing around in a sports bra with a caption that says "inspiration" or "motivation." And when I see super cute teenage girls that I know pinning these posters, I start to feel sad. And also bad about myself. Again, not sure I need a website to do that.

So, pinterest, it seems you and I have a love/hate relationship. Because as much as you drive me nuts, I am totally in love with some of the tasty nuggets (literally) that I've found. Like Reese's Peanut Butter Banana bread (yes, this is a thing!). Also, 3 magic words: cake. batter. truffles. Which is maybe why I don't look like the skinny chicks on your fitness section.

See you soon, love.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tales from the Pool

Maybe it's due to all the rain that's making South Texas feel more like Seattle, or maybe it's because my sweet husband has been in Germany all week, but the kids and I have been super stir crazy all week. So yesterday afternoon, when the sun finally came out, I announced we were going to spend the afternoon at the pool. And I am still trying to recover.

Our pool is part of our gym, and is actually pretty nice. It's got a huge wade in area that flows into the deeper adult pool. The girls love it so it's a treat for them to get to go. Here's a blow by blow account of our afternoon.By the way, it's important to note that New Baby thinks she's Michael Phelps and likes to plunge into the water, and Captain Destructo thinks she's the Wicked Witch of the West and will melt if water gets on her face.

3:00-Arrive at pool. I attempt to keep the girls from sprinting into the water while I spray them down with sunscreen. (Sidenote: I read somewhere that the aerosol sunscreens are dangerous because kids can inhale them. Guess what? I'm spraying them down anyway. It's way easier to spray them down while they attempt to squirm away then it would be to pin them down and smear lotion all over them.)

3:02-I release the hounds and they sprint (well, New Baby waddles) straight into the water. I stare longingly at the single people sipping drinks and napping on the chairs as I follow the kids in.

3:05-Captain Destructo announces she has to go pee pee. She asks loudly (in front of the lifeguard) if she can pee in the water. Because the lifeguard is awaiting my answer, I say no and shlep all of us to the potty. New Baby is borderline hysterical that I am taking her out of the pool, and is practicing her stiff as a board trick.

3:10-Return to the water. Both kids sprint back into the water and ignore my cries of "walk!" (Former lifeguard here.) New Baby immediately walks out over her head. I pull her up and put her in the shallow area. She walks back out. Repeats this for the next few minutes. Meanwhile, Captain Destructo is yelling "it's a bird, it's a plane, it's SUPER MOLLY!!!" and plunging headfirst into 12 inches of water.

3:15-Captain Destructo has to go pee pee again. Repeat process.

3:30-Captain Destructo finds a friend who is very, very interested in sticking her fingers in New Baby's face. Friend's mother is attempting to stop her and Friend is ignoring her. I never quite know my role in these situations, but eventually get sick of fingers in New Baby's face and tell Friend to go find her mommy. Her mommy tells me "sorry! She loves babies." Well, then! Feel free to poke my baby's eyes! As long as she loves babies.

3:40-I realize my C section scar is showing. Awesome. How long has it been showing? Seriously, why is there not a store called "Appropriate Swimsuits for 30 Somethings"?

4:00-Adult swim. Hysterical shrieks from both kids ensues. The snack bar is inexplicably closed so I attempt to distract them with an old granola bar I find in my purse.

4:15-Adult swim over. Stampede of children into the water.

4:17-Captain Destructo has to go pee pee.

4:30-We are playing in a shallow part. New Baby is picking up someone's goggles and handing them to me over and over. Captain Destructo has announced she's looking for Ariel. Both kids are drinking the water. A lifeguard is staring intently at New Baby and walks over to me while saying "ma'am, she's drinking the water." I try to cover up my lack of concern and say "ok, thank you." What am I supposed to do about that? Muzzle?

4:45-I've had enough fun and both kids are starting to look like Tan Mom's kid, so we call it a day. I wonder, not for the first time, why they don't serve margaritas at the snack bar.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Dirty Thirty

I know women aren't supposed to talk about their age or their weight, but here's something I want to talk about.

I am going to be thirty in exactly one week.

Thirty. 3-0. Three decades. Like, get the black balloons that say "over the hill" ready and send me a pair of orthopedic shoes.

I'm not one to really care about age, but as the big day gets closer and closer I get uncomfortable. I'm starting to feel like 30 isn't young anymore. I remember watching the episode of Friends where they all turn 30 when I was in college (I was 21. The last official cool birthday, by the way). If you've never seen it, they all have pretty hilarious reactions to turning 30. Monica gets really drunk, Joey cries and begs God not to let them turn 30, and Rachel re-evaluates her life and realizes she needs to break up with Tad. I'm forgetting how everyone else reacts (it was 9 years ago and I am apparently getting old), but basically everyone has a quarter life crisis. When I first saw the episode, I felt like 30 was so far away, and it seems like I blinked and it's here.

Yet when I was 21, I dreamed about having what I have now. I always wanted to be married and have babies. I realize that I probably set the feminist movement back about 30 years but I've never been one to care about that. I was shocked that my twenties turned out the way they did. Met handsome man at 22, married at 23, baby number 1 at 26, baby number 2 at 28. Now I've had a (short) career, I'm married to a wonderful man and have 2 beautiful little girls. I'm truly a blessed woman. There was a running joke when I was growing up that I'd be a barren crazy cat lady (my family has a weird sense of humor) so when I look back, I'm pretty flabbergasted to see how everything ended up.

But on the other, extremely vain hand, I'm sad to be bidding farewell to my twenties. I met someone once who said she could tell I was in my late twenties because I was "getting the lines around my eyes" (I kept Oil of Olay in business that year) and, although I haven't found any yet, I check for grey hairs every night. And doesn't your metabolism slow down at 30? Because I was really thinking how awesome it would be if I could eat LESS. And I'm also sad that the exciting, new parts of life that happened in my twenties are kind of over, you know? Like I've had the wedding, the babies, the new houses and now what's next? I guess my thirties will be the time for settling in and getting comfortable. I don't know yet if that's cozy or monotonous.

All this to say, I'm obviously conflicted about hitting the big 3-0. For my quarter life crisis, I've decided to train for a full marathon next year (so hopefully I will live to see 31). Have you turned 30 yet? Did it freak you out?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Preschool Blues

Captain Destructo just turned 3 (help me, Lord). While I am celebrating the fact that she can now USE THE POTTY and do other exciting things such as insist on leaving the house wearing a dress, a tutu, 2 bracelets and a tiara, I am also realizing I need to start making a decision about preschool.

I don't know about you, but I don't remember preschool being such a big deal when I was little. I went when I was 4, but only because my mom taught there and needed something to do with my sister and I. We went to half-day kindergarten and we were fine. In fact, my kindergarten teacher wanted me to skip kindergarten. Booyah. Who was a tiny genius? This girl.

Anyway, it seems like there are 2 schools of thought on preschool around my area now. (1) Send kids to preschool, which has 2 sub categories: (a) send kids for a few half days a week, and (b) send kids full time.
(2) Homeschool preschool.

Maybe I'm terrible, or lazy, or whatever, but I really want to do none of those things. As September gets closer, I start getting itchy and stressed when I think about it. Captain Destructo is sweet and kind, and while she is a handful sometimes (particularly coupled with her wild child sister), I'm in no rush to send her off. This may be predicated by the fact that she turned 3 and said "I can't be 3, I don't want to go to preschool." And as for homeschooling preschool, despite the fact that I can't imagine how it would go trying to teach anything structured with our 1 year old wild child running around, I just don't know if I see the need to force her to sit down and do school work at this age. And then if I homeschool, I will have to grow my hair super long and wear long dresses and start making my own laundry soap, right?
But on the other hand, there's this worry that I'm doing her a disservice. If she gets to kindergarten, and the other students have had 2 years of preschool, will she be behind academically? Or worse, will she be totally overwhelmed by being in kindergarten for 6 hours a day and miss her mommy and cry and I won't be there and it will be terrible?

So that's where we are. Right now I'm pretty sure that she will stay with me next year, and maybe we'll do some academic type stuff, but maybe not. I'm going to keep having playdates and Bible class so she's around other kids, and pray that that's enough for her.

What do you do about preschool?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To New Baby on Her First Birthday

Dear New Baby (also known as Wild Woman, Stinkerpoo, Ladybug or just Miss),

I cannot believe you're a whole year old. I remember discovering I was pregnant with you. It was a sharp contrast to being pregnant with your sister. With you, I watched the stick turn to a plus sign, asked your daddy for confirmation, looked over at your sister and immediately felt guilty for ruining her life. But you didn't ruin it, did you? I am proud of you and Captain Destructo for many things; one of them being that you love each other so much. It makes me so happy to see you shriek at each other, play together, and laugh with delight when you wake each other up in the mornings.

You've been full of energy since before you were born. Though no one believed me, I swear I felt you flutter at 9 weeks. Crazy thumping soon followed. When you were born, you rolled (off the bed, oops!)at 2 months, crawled at 8, cruised at 10, and thankfully are holding off on walking for a bit. You have a mind of your own, too. When I tell you "no," you like to shake your head "no" at me, and then smile as you continue to do what I asked you not to do.

It's funny that I was so excited to be done with the baby stage, and now I'm so sad thinking that it's almost over. Your chubby little belly is starting to shrink now. When I pick you up, you are starting to lurch out of my arms, and you're starting to lose that sweet diaper cream and spit-up scent. Though I'm glad that you sleep through the night now, I will miss having a baby. On your birthday, I will give you your last bottle, and I will probably cry a little as I watch you bang your little fist on my chest and scratch at my nose. I will miss our snuggly times that I know will only get fewer and farther between as you grow. I am so proud of you and the little toddler you're turning into. Don't grow any faster.

I love you,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Thrilling Threes

Captain Destructo is 3! She had a birthday this week, and it was filled with princesses, homemade cupcakes (because I will become Betty Crocker. Oh yes.), and balloons. It's funny that I spent her whole first year dreading her 2nd birthday, and her whole second year going "hey! This terrible two stuff is nothing! I am super mom!"

And then she turned 3.

I started noticing a few subtle changes in her behavior a few weeks ago. She slowly is morphing from sweet little toddler into sassy opinionated preschooler (who is still sweet sometimes) and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Here are my observations about age 3.

"I'm not a baby, not yet a big girl."
3 is sort of this weird place between toddler and preschooler. And therefore I feel it's time to call an end to the baby stuff, like using a pacifier (not that Captain Destructo uses one still. Just this other mom I know. By the way, if anyone could offer tips on getting a 3 year old to lose the binky, just let me, I mean her, know). Also, it feels like 3 is the age when your kid really should be potty trained. 2 is still young, but 3 means time to get trained. No pressure.

Save the drama for yo' mama.
Dear God, the drama. It's like being stuck on a perpetual episode of General Hospital. Here are 2 actual conversations from this morning.

CD: (hysterical screaming)
Me: What?! What's wrong?!
CD: I wanna paint my toenails!!!


Seriously, what is adolescence going to be like at this rate? It's 20 minutes of hysteria followed immediately by giggles of laughter.

I do it myself.
Independence is a good thing. We spend all of babyhood trying to get them to sit up, crawl, eat, and walk on their own. And then they really get independent and we miss the times where they sat quietly in a crib. Captain D is currently the master of getting dressed by herself. The problem is what she picks out, independently, to wear. I used to look at toddlers in the grocery store, dressed in capes and crowns, and wonder who let them out like that. Then Captain D started with the putting on tutus and tiaras and insisting on wearing them in public, and honestly it was just not worth the effort to make her change. I don't love that she wears glass slippers and five necklaces to Target, but that's the least of my worries.

There are lots of good things. The other day she said the most wonderful sentence I've ever heard:
"Mommy, I not want to poop in my underpants anymore." And a beam of sunlight poured from the sky and a choir of angels sang.
The containing of bodily functions is a great part of turning 3. Just like the sweet cuddles, the singing, and the creativity. There are lots of wonderful things about having a 3 year old.

And in just 363 days she'll be 4.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Song Stylings of Captain Destructo

So Captain Destructo is fixing to turn 3. Along with the not so wonderful things to come with this (probably will write a full post on this, but a little preview: the tantrums, the pickiness, the refusal to take naps, the asking of the questions, and the insistence on wearing crown jewels to the grocery store) comes the ability to sing along. We are a singing house, so I love it that Captain D likes to sing along with me. Here are her top 5 hits.

1. Over the river and through the horse, Elmo has to go...Elmo has to go...Elmo has to go-O!

2. Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it's Cinderelly. Do the washer and the cleaner, and every doer things!

3. Mama Miel. Here I go again. Ah ah. How uh I uh missed you.

4. I got da moves like Jack-a. I got the moves like Jack-a. I got the mooooooooves like Jack-a.
*True story: She sang this at the post office and the worker said "wow. Kids just listen to anything nowadays."

5. Jingle Bells, jingle bells, all the way to Bible Class.