Saturday, December 8, 2012

Perils of having a young reader

Of course I LOVE that my kid was reading at 3 years old. But...

Having a child who reads at a very young age can lead to the following situations:

1. "Mommy, that sign said 'Speed Limit 35'. You are going too fast and the police are NOT going to be happy."

2. "Mommy, that sign said 'No Turn on Red' and you just turned when the light was red. The police are NOT going to be happy."

3. "Mommy, the sticker on the cart says 'Do Not Put Child in Basket of Cart' so that means I need to walk through the whole grocery store."

4. While with me in a public bathroom, "Mommy, why does that machine give out napkins in the bathroom, and what are tampons? Can we get some? They are only 25 cents."

5. "That sign says 'Adult Store. XXX. Next Exit.' What do they sell there? They must not have toys because kids are not allowed."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The glory of motherhood

There is no training for motherhood. At no time previous to becoming a mother has any woman met with the daily, usually minute-by-minute demands that will fall upon her once she is holding that first baby in her arms. From the first minute of life, there are demands: milk, mostly, but the list grows as they get older and as the number of children in the house multiply.

Having a 3-year old and a 1-year old, the typical demands of Mommy these days are usually for snack, drink and butt-wiping. Also, Mommy must intervene to referee fights and regulate TV, computer, etc.  Mommy must help one with a puzzle while coloring a picture with the other. She must dance to If You're Happy and You Know It while simultaneously giving kisses to 11 different stuffed animals. From the minute the first one wakes up (around 6 a.m.) to the last second before the second one falls asleep (around 8 p.m.), and all the middle of the night requests for Mommy as well, she is on call.

Pregnancy hormones (and the fact that this third one has also already started making demands from the womb -- more food, less food, a different food, and a pee break every 30 minutes) have caused me to be a bit more emotional and sensitive lately. I have been feeling something every (or most) mom feels at some point -- that nothing is ever good enough in this house. The house is never clean enough, the kids are not eating well enough, or are not doing enough educational activities throughout the day, and there is never the right food combination in this house to keep everyone happy.

Having a daddy trying to eat "paleo" as much as possible, a mommy craving carbs, cheese, and pasta (=NOT paleo), and a son with extreme food issues that cause at least 2 meals a day to be a knock-down drag-out battle, Mommy has been feeling a lot of "food demands" and often feels like she visits the grocery store nearly every day and cooks for hours and hours on a weekly basis. Yet, somehow, someone is always "out" of something or unhappy with the choices (myself included). I know, I know -- I should make one family meal and everyone has to eat it or deal with it -- but that really does not work in our house. We have tried it. It is actually worse on Mommy to fight the battles that ensue by going that route.

I am trying to find a happy medium between the strict "one family meal" policy and being a crazed exhausted lunatic trying to appease everyone's needs (or wants, I should say). Unfortunately for him, my husband got the brunt of this burden thrown his way this morning when he jokingly commented there was nothing for him to have for breakfast. My head spun around in exorcism-like fashion, my eyes bulged, and after spitting fire for his last 5 minutes at home before leaving for work, I broke down into tears.

Being the husband he is, he called a few minutes later to apologize (even though we both know much of this meltdown is hormone-pregnancy-sleep deprivation related) and spent several minutes on the phone with me trying his hardest to make me believe in what a wonderful mother and wife he thinks I am. It is not always easy to see it his way, but having him work so hard to make me see it certainly made a difference. We were able to have this crucial conversation (to saving my sanity for the day) before my 1-year old DEMANDED (once again, I use this word) to talk to Daddy, took the phone from me, and promptly hung up on him.

Sigh. Sigh of frustration, sigh of exhaustion, and sigh of relief and appreciation.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Grocery store adventures

I premiered this blog about a year and a half ago with a grocery store tale. At the time I had a newborn in the midst of the poop-through-the-clothes stage and a very jealous and often uncooperative 2-year old. Now that 2-year old is almost 4, and that newborn is almost 2. The grocery store woes may have changed in nature, but many trips to my second home are still blog-worthy.

After a long week of several Halloween celebrations, a bit too much candy, and a trip to the ER to have  a head wound stapled, my little guy still seems to be recovering and he reached his breaking point in the   ice cream aisle today. He and his sister have just started sitting next to each other in the cart (a gamble that lately has faired well for Mommy) but today, they would not stop fighting, pushing, and yelling, so one of them had to be removed from the cart. Obviously with an almost 4 year-old and a 22-month old, the older one gets to walk and the younger one stays strapped in and contained. Well, my older-should-be-more-mature child was not supportive of this rationale and let me know it.

I was dumbfounded. I cannot recall the last time he behaved this way in public. There was some foot stomping, mind-splitting screaming at Mommy, and huge crocodile tears. All because she got to stay in the fun shopping cart with 2 steering wheels.

After a few minutes of "are you kidding me with this?" death stares from Mommy, and "no computer" threats, he regained control of himself and we began to proceed. However, almost immediately his sister realized that she no longer had the ability to irritate him, so she leaned over to get his attention, smacking her face on the cart and giving herself a fat lip. More crying, more tears.

And the ice cream kept melting.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Working mommies, I salute you.

Who has it harder -- working moms or stay at home moms? I have a sister and many friends who work, and on many occasions, I am thankful that I don't live their lives. On other occasions, I am envious of their lives. Today was one day I salute working mommies.

My daughter has been fighting a cold for a week and today she seemed to take a turn for the worst. I called the pediatrician at around 1:00 to get an appointment for the afternoon. The only time the doctor could fit me in was 4:30.

Also, a few essential ingredients for tonight's dinner had not yet been purchased and she was already asleep for nap, which left my only window for hitting the grocery store to be after her appointment.

Early rush hour combined with the incessant amount of construction throughout my county caused traffic to already be heavy on our way to the doctor, but we still managed to arrive to our appointment on time. However, the nurse took us back late because the office had become backed up throughout the day, causing us to not even get to the grocery store until 5:15. It was packed with people just getting out of work (I noticed the moms' attire was quite different -- most were professionally dressed unlike my typical 8 a.m. grocery run uniform of comfy pants and a sweatshirt).

The ride home from the grocery store was longer than usual due to traffic, and I did not walk in the door until 6:15 with both kids screaming for dinner. The dinner I had started in the crock pot earlier was already half-cooked without the ingredients I bought at the store, so I frantically chopped everything else up to throw it in there while tossing a yogurt and banana at my kids for dinner.

It was mayhem. I realized today how spoiled I am in several ways. I usually get in to the doctor in the morning, when appointments are still relatively on time and the doctors and nurses are fresh, perky, and not watching the clock to go home from their long day of crying boogery kids. I usually hit the grocery store between 8 and 9 a.m. when it is nearly empty. I never wait for a cashier -- in fact, they are usually standing around bored waiting desperately for a customer to come fill the next 8 minutes of their shift. My kids are used to having dinner at 5 or 5:30, which occurs at their leisurely pace, and a fun bath followed by play time, story time, and bed time at 7:30. And I almost NEVER deal with rush hour traffic.

I thought about my life vs. that of the working mom's today and saw two drastically different pictures. I thought of moms who always take their kids in to the doctor late in the day because they had to organize the appointment around work. And these same moms probably never saw the same grocery store I did -- the neat, organized store with nearly empty aisles and bright-eyed employees who have just punched in and are standing around desperate to help me find something. They see the crazed post-work day grocery store with jam-packed aisles, carts full of cranky kids hungry for dinner, and check-out lines 5 people deep. Then they rush home watching the clock tick away at the time they have left to feed their kids, bathe their kids, play with their kids and get them to bed.

This mad rush is the daily life of many working moms. I covet their fancy work clothes and fancy work lunches, I envy their adult conversations all day and their financial contributions to the household, and frankly, I am flat jealous of the break they have from their kids. But today, I thought about what I do have, especially when having a sick kid. And today, working moms, I salute you. I dream of breaks from my kids because I have SO MUCH time with my kids, and days like today make me realize how lucky I am.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More questions and concerns from our 3-year old son

Lately, when Mommy gets stuck on an answer to one of his 457 questions of the day, I turn to God. "God made it that way" works A LOT. However, this has led to prodding on WHY God made certain things they way they are:

"Why did God give us two arms?"

"Why is the song The 12 Days of Christmas backwards? Did God make it that way?"

"Why did God put this wrinkly stuff under my penis?"


And a couple other gems:

"When I learn to drive, will you put my car seat in the front seat where the steering wheel is?"

Upon learning that he will lose his baby teeth in a few years, "So when I turn 6 and I open my mouth all of my teeth will fall out of my head?!" (Eyes welling with tears)

The baby in Mommy's tummy

There is a new baby in Mommy's tummy. This has led to some inquisitive comments from our 3-year old son.

"How did the baby get in your tummy?"

Daddy was ready for this one: "God decided we should have another baby, so he put the baby in Mommy's tummy."

Our son was not quite satisfied. "But HOW did God put the baby in there?"


"Did he push it in through that tunnel?" (pointing to my belly button)


At 15 weeks pregnant, I was holding my 6 month old niece:

"Mommy, is that the baby that was in your tummy? Did it come out?"


"Mommy, when the baby comes out of your tummy, will I be a daddy?"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seriously, world??

Angry tirade in response to an issue popping up in the news a lot lately:

Do you know what is easy about being a mother? Not much. Is it amazing and truly the most important role I will ever serve in my life? Absolutely. Will I be a mother until the day I die? Yes, in every way.


Was it easy to grow a human inside my uterus and have him kick and punch the you-know-what out of my ribs until 41 weeks? No.

Was it easy to endure 24 hours of labor and then push for 90 minutes until my 9 lb son emerged? No.

Was it easy to run around after my toddler son while enormous child #2 grew and grew until she, also at 9 lbs, entered the world at 41 weeks? No.

Was it easy to recover from both of these births? (I don't need to add the gory details -- most of you reading this are mothers and know what a trauma this is.)

Was it easy to have a child bite, claw, punch, and kick his way to my nipple every 13 seconds for the first 8 weeks of his life? Um, no.

Was it easy to deal with a jealous 2-year old while trying to protect, feed, bathe, and clothe his younger sister? No! Did it drive me to drink? Yes.

Was it easy to time errands around feedings and the fear of the dreaded leaky boob? No.

Yet, somehow, there were days when I was able to drag my sorry un-showered, puked on, milk-filled self out into the world when my kids were babies. And you can be damn sure that when one of them wanted to eat, I parked myself wherever I could to provide their breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. And 100% of the time, Mommy was the food source. If I have to expose my 3-year old son to 12 foot tall Victoria Secret models thrusting their breasts forward in his face while walking through the mall, then the world can deal with us mommies feeding our babies WHEREVER we want WHENEVER they need it.

Seriously, world?? We breastfeed our kids!! Always have, always will. It is actually natural and normal -- not words used to describe Heidi Klum's body leering over us as we Christmas shop.

Friday, August 17, 2012


My husband and I had a discussion this morning about the use of the word "fancy."

Me: "You can bring a roast beef sandwich or soup for lunch" (as he is getting ready for work).
Him: "I don't need a lunch. I am going out to lunch with (co-worker)."
Me, in a jovially sarcastic tone: "Right. Have fun at your fancy lunch."
Him: "It is so funny to me that you think the places I go for lunch are fancy."
Me: "Well, are there children on your lap putting noodles in their hair?"
Him: "No."
Me: "Do you need to request crayons and a sippy cup with a lid from the waiter?"
Him: "No."
Me: "Can you order whatever you want, not just eat the rest of the kids' meals that they won't eat?"
Him: "Yep."

And finally, me: "Are you out of the house, sitting at a table with food and another grown-up, talking about real grown-up topics?"

Him: "Yeah..."

Me: "FANCY."

6 a.m. questions for Mommy

This morning I watched some anti-hunting propaganda with my 3-year old that led to many questions this Mommy struggled to answer. You may have heard of this heavy program. It is called Bambi.

We have chosen to shield our son from guns to the best of our ability -- he has one toy water gun (which we call a water-shooter). I myself am terrified of the nature of guns, but we are a meat-eating family, and my husband is quite an outdoorsman and will probably hunt for sport at some point, potentially with our son (when he is 36 years old and Mommy finally acquiesces.)

These contradictions within our family led me to think that watching Bambi might actually be an ok idea. Our 3-year old needs to learn about some realities of life covered in this Disney classic -- like making babies and going to heaven.

Due to the barrage of gun-shots in the background, some deer fighting, a wild fire, and all the animals making googly-eyes at each other and producing babies in the next scene, there were some questions.

"Where did Bambi's mommy go?"
"Why did she go to heaven?"
"Why are the boy deer fighting?"
"Where did the mean boy deer go?"
"Where did all these babies come from?"
"How did Bambi and Feline make their babies?'

And, the most pointed question asked at the end due to a new-found obsession of his:

"Mommy, do any of the characters in this movie have a silent letter in their names?"

Monday, August 6, 2012

An ode to the 1950s housewife

I do not know how wives of generations past did it. There used to be an expectation, and most wives (including my mother and grandmother) delivered. A hot meal was ready for their husbands as they walked in the door. Most nights my husband, who works very hard and very long hours, walks in around dinnertime to mad chaos. The children are running amuck with BBQ sauce all over their faces and hands. Dinner is not ready, and this is often not for lack of effort. (Sometimes it is -- sometimes I really don't try because why bother?) But many days, I do. Like tonight. I attempted a freshly grilled meal of pork and asparagus, which necessitated me going outside to the back patio periodically to turn the meat and vegetables. While preparing this meal, one or both of my children did the following:

Rip up a library book
Empty my pantry
Hit each other
Pull each other's hair
Chase each other with forks

Needless to say, dinner was not ready when my husband arrived home. I am thankful that I live in 2012 and am married to a man who plays with the kids while I finish dinner and always compliments my cooking once it is finally done. And quite often, on the weekends, he cooks. It is like a mini-vacation.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

And the anatomical vocabulary list keeps growing...

I recently wrote a post about my son learning the word "vagina." Well, here we go again.

He has asked on a couple of occasions about "those things above your tummy, Mommy." I have been able to change the subject each time in order to avoid this topic. I had hoped to limit the vocabulary, at least for the time being, to body parts that he and/or his sister had. However, his curiosity continued recently as I was getting dressed and both kids were (of course) in my bedroom and bathroom wreaking havoc. My son somehow got a hold of my bra and... well, here was the conversation.

"Mommy, what is this?"
"That is Mommy's."
"What is it?"
"It is something that Mommy wears under my shirt."
"What is it called?"
"It is a called a bra."
"Does Daddy wear one?"
"No, only Mommy wears one."
"Can I wear one?"
"No, kids don't wear bras. Only mommies." (Sorry for excluding all of you bra wearing women who aren't mommies -- it is just easier this way when speaking to a 3-year old.)
"But I want to wear one! And I want Daddy to wear one!"
"No, only mommies need them."
"Why do only mommies need them?"
"Because only mommies have... (here it comes)... breasts. Mommies wear bras to cover our breasts."
"What are breasts?"
"Oh. Breasts. Ok."

Anatomy lesson for week: check.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mommy should have known better.

While running on the treadmill at the gym this afternoon, I found myself reflecting on the day so far and feeling quite pleased. Of course there were the usual incidents of sister hitting brother in the face with a plastic screwdriver, sister dumping her cup of Cheerios on herself in the car and singing with glee, and brother melting down over me giving him an orange popsicle over a red one. And obviously because Mommy (a.k.a. Barbara Crapper, the culinarily inept sister to Betty Crocker) tried a new recipe -- homemade chicken nuggets -- she burned herself when oil splattered all over the stovetop and cabinets. Those events are givens on any old day.

And maybe it was because the children were clear on the other side of a 15,000 square foot facility, but I did feel content and peaceful while running today. And I thought to myself, STUPIDLY, that despite these and several other less than pleasant events, "This has been a pretty good day so far."

Moms! If you find yourself wanting to say this statement, or even think it, don't! This thought is not allowed to cross your mind until the kids are asleep and it is after 8:00, the house is picked up, and your wine / beer is in your hand. THEN you may think this. NOT at 4:00 when the day is still young.

Mommy should have known better.

Work-out ends and serene Mommy goes to childcare room to retrieve the children. Immediately upon entering, I see my 18-month old daughter standing at the front desk with a childcare worker. Apparently she had just made a gift in her diaper and they were about to page me to come deal with it (which would have interrupted my happy time, so I am glad she held it a few extra minutes). I pick her up and immediately smell that yes, indeed, their assessment is accurate. My son comes running and I ask him to go retrieve his shoes out of the cubby. After a few seconds, he reappears with a look of confusion and tells me they are not there. Of course they are there, Buddy. Look again. Nope, Mommy. Okay, the stench coming out of her butt is really brutal. Let's find the shoes and get going, okay? I give the childcare worker a description of the shoes, and we all begin looking. We look and look. And look. They are gone. Apparently some other 3 or 4 year old little boy thought my son's PRECIOUS Buzz Lightyear shoes that LIGHT UP were so cool that he wanted them for himself. And apparently the parent-of-the-year who picked up said child did not notice his new shoes.

Now that I have searched the entire childcare facility, all the while holding stinky-butt, I (in a very obvious loud and irritated tone directed at the gym employees) tell my son that "He was just going to have to walk to the car in socks" and that "Mommy will go to the store tomorrow and buy him new shoes because those are the only shoes that currently fit him." Petty? Yes.

Once we reach the car, I start it up and notice that the external temp is 102 degrees. I change my daughter's vile diaper in this heat, pack both kids into their seats and head home. My son cries the entire 10 minute drive about losing his shoes. "I don't want new shoes from the store! I want my Buzz Lightyear shoes! Where are they? Let's find them!" Over and over and over. Thank you to the oblivious parent whose child now owns my son's shoes.

We arrive home, and although Mommy would love a shower, I recall that there are clothes in the washer that have to be dried before bedtime -- namely my son's mattress cover and sheets, since he soaks through his pull-up and pees his bed nearly every night. While I am quickly switching the laundry (and bear in mind we have been  home for 3 minutes) I hear the kids fighting and they come tearing into the laundry room. He pushes her (he claims because she pushed him first), she falls over, cries, which causes him to cry because he knows this isn't good. Mommy explodes, putting each in separate rooms. I decide this is a good time for my shower.

15 minutes later, feeling somewhat refreshed, I begin to prepare dinner -- the meal I spent over an hour preparing earlier -- dicing chicken, marinating it, covering it in egg followed by a flour-panko-salt-pepper-garlic mixture, frying it in oil, and baking it. The arm burns and 2 dishwasher loads were totally worth it because I made chicken nuggets! Surely the kids will approve?

To quote my son, "Mom, where did you get these chicken nuggets? Why are they so bad and gross?"

Lesson learned, Mommy. Never speak (or think) too soon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A post entirely about child #2

Just another day with an 18-month old:

1. The night before your 18-month old daughter will cry off and on all night. You never really learn why.

2. In the morning, you will take her in for her 18-month well visit. She will get 2 shots.

3. She will take a 50 minute nap after said shots and wake up screaming.

4. You will decide to skip the gym to fit 2 major errands into the afternoon: Costco and grocery store. You don't have time to fit the gym in as well, and let's face it -- no one will want to take her from you today.

5. You will pack up the kids, drive 15 minutes to Costco, unload them in 90 degree heat into the shopping cart, walk up to the entrance, and discover that your wallet is at home.

6. You will drive home to retrieve wallet, abandon Costco mission but still make it the grocery store since you have no food for dinner.

7. You will stupidly attempt a recipe off of Pinterest that includes fancy things like avocado and zest of lime.

8. While preparing dinner, your 18-month old daughter will pull the heaviest pot you own out of the cabinet and drop it on your foot.

9. While you are wiping up the floor after her nightly dinner disaster (on your hand and knees), that same delightful daughter will walk up to you and pull a handful of hair out of your head.

10. She will wrap up this gem of a day with a temper tantrum because you will not allow her to wear necklaces to bed. Because, despite your bruised foot, bald scalp, and sleep deprivation, you actually do not want to strangle her.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Uh-oh Mommy"

If you have not potty-trained a boy, you may not know the importance of the phrase "point it down." This concept is instrumental in order to protect your bathroom floor, walls, and, well... all of your bathroom. Some parents of boys opt for the stand-and-train method, but since 99% of the world's toilets (including our own) are well above the height for this to even be a possibility right now, we went the sit-and-train route.

As with all aspects of parenting our son, we need to repeat everything several hundreds of times. The phrase "point it down" is used at just about every potty break, and usually, he does pretty well getting the pee in the potty. Today, however, Mommy heard "uh-oh" from the bathroom, and knew that something that came out of him and was meant to be in the toilet probably wasn't.

Before I continue, let me set the backdrop here.
#1: Mommy is cooking chicken on the grill outside.
#2: 18-month old sister is extremely (borderline psychotically) attached to Mommy these days.

Mommy has just run back in after flipping the chicken on the grill. She hears son say "uh-oh" from the bathroom and knows that even though she does not want to, she needs to learn the truth and deal with it. Upon entering the bathroom, she notices a sea of liquid on the floor (something that does happen from time to time) but then realizes that the pee-sea is actually coming from under the basket of magazines and books. This evidence leads her to deduce that her son must have peed straight forward, or perhaps upward even, creating an arc of pee that drenched the entire basket on the opposite bathroom wall. Mommy lifts the basket up and out of the bathroom, but since baby sister has followed her in there, the dripping wet pee basket is lifted directly over sister's head. Mommy then wrestles herself from sister's grasp in order to go grab paper towels and returns to find sister standing directly in the middle of pee-pond, staring at her brother, still sitting on the toilet.

As I begin explaining that everything in the basket will have to be thrown away, all of Mommy and Daddy's magazines and all of his own books, he cries and begs me to "clean" his books and not throw them away.

Once the basket is tossed and floor is cleaned, Mommy recalls that she is also cooking dinner! Again, wrenching the death grip of her 18-month old daughter's fingers from her legs, she rushes outside to salvage the burning chicken, and in her haste, touches the grate and sears her fingers.

2 hours later -- I kid you not -- he does it again. This time, however, "It's okay, Mommy. It only got all over the floor."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A new word

My 1-year old daughter has recently taken up the habit of trying to grab a hold of my 3-year old son's frontal appendage. Her latest attempt, while getting into pajamas tonight, led to the following conversation with him.

"No, you don't touch your brother's penis."
"But I can touch my own penis."
"Yes, but she cannot touch your penis, just like you cannot touch her..."
Yikes. I had not introduced this word to him yet.
"Her what?"
"Her vagina."
"Her WHAT?"
"Her vagina. She does not have a penis. She is a girl. Girls have vaginas."
"Where did her penis go?"
"She never had one. She was born as a girl."
"She is not a girl. She is a baby."
"She is a girl and you are a boy. You were born that way."
"Well, where is her vagina?"
"It is covered by her diaper right now."

I watched the wheels turning in his head as he listed everyone he knows who is a boy (Daddy, Papa, Poppy, friends at school, Mickey Mouse...) and who is a girl (Mommy, sister, Nana, Mimi, Dora the Explorer...) and pieced together this new information about everyone's anatomy.

After about 475 questions, eventually the conversation changed topics. However, later when my husband called to say good night to the kids, my son immediately piped in with his newfound terminology. My husband was provided with a dissertation on penises and vaginas and who has what. Tomorrow night's bath might be a little bit more interesting.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Celebration

This week officially marks one year since we jumped into underwear and started potty-training our son. Being the festive fellow that he is, he wanted to commemorate this happy occasion, and did so twice today.

Event #1: While peeing on a public toilet a local farmstead, he neglected to point his peeter into the bowl, thus spraying 10% of the urine on Mommy's hand (who was frantically trying to control the stream), 30% of the urine all over Mommy's leg, and 60% of the urine all over the bathroom floor.

Event #2: Despite a lengthly conversation about what to do if he needed to go potty at the gym, including a threat that he would not be allowed to play in the pool after the gym if his underwear did not stay dry... When I picked him up at the childcare room after my workout, his underwear, shorts and shirt were all soaked with pee. Since it is 93 degrees outside, the only outdoor activity that is remotely pleasant is playing in our $40 plastic pool (currently the favorite toy in our house), so we are therefore stuck inside until bedtime as this frustrated mommy is following through with her promise.

Happy Anniversary, little man. It is has been a rocking year.
Toot (me blowing my celebratory horn).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012



I will pee without 2 visitors -- one trying to brush my hair and the other trying to sit on my lap to read me a book.

I will use a public restroom without having a child open the door, exposing me, on the toilet, to the world.

I will enjoy a visit to the park that does not involve poop in any way.

My son will know that it is okay for the different foods on his plate to touch each other.

My son will eat a vegetable or fruit without the promise of chocolate or cookie. (Maybe not)

My daughter will stop falling off of things and smacking herself in the face.

My kids will sleep past 6:03 in the morning.

Someday, I will miss bathroom visitors, silly games played to entice my son to eat, kissing boo-boos on my daughter's forehead, and 6 a.m. wake-up calls from a little person standing next to my bed holding books.

Wishing for someday. But not wishing for someday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sister in space

Although his relationship with his little sister has improved greatly, we still have some work to do with our son.  Our conversation this morning:

"Mom, only 3 people should live here, not 4."

"Who should be here?"

"Mommy, Daddy, and me."

"What about your sister?"

"She can live in space."

"But we would miss her!"

"We can go visit her in space, Mom. On our space ship."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A bookworm without pants...2

While staying with the grandparents...

3-year old runs up stairs yelling, "I'm gonna need a book Mom!" (I am sure you can crack that code as to what's about to happen in there.)

10 minutes later, child appears on stairs. Naked and reading. The book is big enough to cover his unmentionables. He descends down the stairs, completely engrossed in the book, walks into the playroom, and sits back down into his previous reading chair that he had left a few minutes before. As if nothing had changed.

No awareness that his pants and underwear are still upstairs.

That's our boy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Going on a year now...

We actively began potty training our son last June. As in June of 2011. It is now May. Of 2012. And honestly, I thought we really were about done. He has not had a real accident in months. However, the following has occurred in the past 48 hours:

Yesterday... Pick up son from child care room at gym. He is disheveled and his shirt is tucked in to his pants in the front. This is evidence that we went on the potty there. Good boy. Or not? As I retrieve child #2 and we begin to exit, I notice that he is holding his butt and walking oddly. I ask him if he pooped in his pants, to which he lies, "No." Upon further investigation, I learn that yes, in fact, he did poop in his underpants although he actually did use the potty at some point...???

After several interrogation attempts that lead to no real information, I give up. I chock this event up to him not knowing the childcare workers well at the gym and not being familiar with the bathroom there. An annoying hiccup, but we get past it.

Then today we attend a play date at a friend's house -- a house he has been to a countless number of times, and a house he has pooped and peed at successfully. While running around outside, he begins to do the potty dance but swears he does not have to go. (I know this is untrue, but he needs to come to terms with it on his own, accept the reality that he needs to walk away from the toys to use the potty. Usually he does manage this with enough time to spare. Usually.) Finally, after several potty-dancing minutes, he runs to me frantically yelling that he needs to go potty. I take him inside and he pees on the potty, but I also notice his underwear are soaked. I am very angry at this because he did not give himself enough time to get there. After scolding him, I decide to just let him run around outside in his mesh shorts without underwear (as the clean underwear are in the car and I need to get back to tending to his sister too). I also state clearly that if he has another accident, now that we have had TWO in the past two days, that I am going to take his LeapPad away for a day.

A few minutes later, back outside, he runs up to me holding his butt and crying, "Don't take my LeapPad away!" I am in disbelief. Are you kidding me? Did you poop in your underpants AGAIN? Then I realize with horror that he is not wearing underpants and that the only thing between the poop and the rest of the world -- my friend's yard and house -- is a pair of loose mesh shorts.

The next 20 minutes is a bit of a blur, but you can imagine how it went down. Thank goodness Mommy has Book Club tonight and that there will be wine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My eval

One of the many, many..... many aspects of the working world that I miss is those glowing evaluations. I loved teaching and when you love what you do, well, you are often relatively good at it. Of course I always had areas that needed improvement, but I felt confident on most days that I was doing ok.

Then there is stay-at-home-motherhood. For most of us there are no glowing evaluations. No one comes in to "observe" us at work for 45 minutes, take notes, write up a list of comments on areas where we excel as well as areas we could improve and then schedule a meeting 3-5 days later to discuss it. None of us SAHMs get to walk in to a room full of smiling bosses sitting around a table ready to gush at our wonderfulness. No one gets a raise when her baby finally nurses successfully or when her child is finally potty-trained or when her son correctly uses a fork.

How then do we evaluate ourselves? Although told not to, and we don't want to, we compare our kids to other kids, find faults with them and therefore, find faults with ourselves. I would bet that if your kid ran to the top of Mt. Everest, came back down, found a cure for cancer, and solved world hunger all before becoming president of the United States, that you would still say, "I just wonder if I waited too long before teaching him to ride a bike." I know I would.

No matter what we do and what our kids do, we tend to negatively evaluate ourselves as mothers. (I did this exact thing in my previous post about my 3-year old super-reader who can't put his own shoes on. And they are velcro.) There is always more we can do -- more crafts, more academic activities, more exposure to classical music, more exposure to sign language... There are always thing other kids are doing that ours are not. Your daughter says HOW MANY words?? Your son counts HOW HIGH? I am clearly a horrible mother because my kids says 8 words and yours says 11. You make homemade organic smoothies? My kids eat frozen waffles. You feed your kids vegetables from your own garden? My kids don't eat vegetables. Sigh. Failure.

Well today I was told by someone in the know that I am doing a good job. My town has a program called Parents as Teachers (your town may have this program as well) and my "teacher" visits every couple of months to evaluate my kids, make sure they are on track developmentally, and provide me with advice, feedback, etc. It is really the closest thing to a super-mom-teacher evaluator. And guess what? She said I am good at my job. It brought back all the warm fuzzies of those glowing working-world evaluations. No, there is not anything on paper with her signature, and no there is no raise, promotion, or fancy catered work lunch to go along with it. Just a couple of words -- but it was really good to hear.

I bet you are good at your job too.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A bookworm without pants

My 3-year old son can read. Seriously. He can pick up a book he has never seen before and read it. He reads his own birthday cards, billboards on the interstate, writing on strangers t-shirts, etc. He was actually able to read before even turning 3. He knew how to spell his name before he could pronounce it. He is sort of freakishly smart in that way.


He occasionally still poops in his underpants. He cannot get himself dressed, get his shoes on (or sometimes even off), or brush his teeth without help. He still struggles to jump properly. He rarely eats with utensils. I still wipe his hands and face clean after meals. He will probably sleep in a pull-up until he is 7, and I cannot fathom the day when he successfully wipes his own bottom.

Most of the fault is mine for his short-comings. Like most 3-year old little boys, he is impatient and easily distracted. While getting dressed, he is looking around the room, pointing at things, telling me stories, and I have to remind him over and over to concentrate and focus on getting himself dressed. I will hand him his shoes and tell him to get them on (or at least attempt); upon my return 3 minutes later, he is doing a puzzle on the floor, shoeless. Most of the time when I try, really commit to making him learn to do these things himself, it is the day my 15-month old becomes extra clingy. While "patiently" teaching him how to properly wash his own hands, she is pulling my pants down or trying to climb into the toilet. He is also a horrible eater, so often I am so happy to see him eat meat and a vegetable, that I pretend not to notice him shoveling it all into his mouth with his hands like a 3-year old neanderthal.

So what does Mommy too often do? She just does things for him. She puts his shoes on for him. She dresses him, cleans him up, wipes his butt. She helps him brush his teeth because half way through doing it himself, he starts adding up all of the fish on the shower curtain -- and it is 30 minutes past his bedtime --and Mommy has been up with the kids since 5:30 A.M. -- and she just wants the kids to freaking be in bed already.

So yes, my son is a brain. He is probably gifted. Friends ask me what my secret is to get him to love books and I honestly cannot take the credit. He has been a bookworm since 6 months old. I, however, ask them what their secret is to get their kids to pull up their own pants.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Not only does my son have a mom, a dad, a sister, 2 grandmas, 2 grandpas, 1 great-grandma, 7 uncles, 6 aunts, and 13 cousins to pray for every night, but the list has also extended to include the following "friends":

Nemo, Dory, Buzz, Woody, Wall-E, Eve, Wilson, Brewster, Koko, Thomas, Edward, Gordon, Percy, Rocky, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Pete, Professor Von Drake, and ClaraBelle.

I hope they all know that they have a special place in heaven according to our 3-year old.

(If any of these names are foreign to you, consult any parent of a 3-year old little boy for reference.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The police report

Upon discovering an ocean of pee on the bathroom floor:

Me: "How did this happen?"

My 3-year old son: "The pee came out of my penis and went all over the floor."

Me: "I see that. I mean, why is the pee not in the potty?"

Him: "Because I was standing here while the pee came out."

Me: "Ok. Why weren't you sitting on the potty when the pee came out?"

Him: "Because I ran out of time. There is no more pee in my penis now, Mommy."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Environment: 1. Mommy: 0.

Thank you to a fellow mommy friend who allowed me to poach her story. (See previous post on "making memories.")

Mommy is shopping with two of her kids in Target when the dreaded occurs...

Her 2-year old daughter looks up at her, pale, and covering her mouth. Before Mommy has a chance to process or plan her next move, it happens -- all over herself, her older brother, the cart, the items in the cart, and of course all over Mommy who "uses her coat, her hands, and herself to catch it."

Well, Mommy figures she has to make her way to the bathroom to make a more than likely futile attempt at cleaning it up. After dragging the pukey crew through the aisles and past ghastly expressions on fellow shoppers' faces, she finds the bathroom. However...

Target has gone green. No paper towels.

Fortunately motherhood has taught her the importance of laughter in order to survive the insanity. Once she has pukey and her brother in the car, she starts to laugh. Her son asks why, to which she responds that they were "just making memories."

Thank you for sharing, friend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A good day...Seriously.

Most (if not all) of my posts are sarcastic and express with not so subtle tones the frustrations of motherhood, namely raising a toddler-now-3-year old boy and a baby-now-toddler girl. Today, however, was one of the better ones.

The following positive things occurred since the day began this morning:

--Both children slept 30 minutes past their normal wake-up time. Score 1 for Mommy.

--Both children were relatively well-behaved at our play date (meaning Mommy was not mortified at their behavior at any point while playing in someone else's home).

--My son ate larger than normal helpings of meat and fresh fruit (a big deal since he believes in three basic food groups: Cheerios, NutriGrain bars, and.... Cheerios).

--My self-appointed vegetarian daughter ate the "special new rice" I concocted, in which I hid both eggs and tofu. (Haha! Gotcha!)

--My son willingly and without prompting stepped away from his toys / activities to go to the potty on several occasions, rather than do the "peepee dance" while playing and holding it until it is too late.

--After being given a warning that he had only 5 more minutes to play his LeapPad, he turned it off without needing a reminder, put it down and went to play with something else. (This one left me so shocked that I just stared at him, mouth agape, speechless.)

--Both kids are asleep. It is 7:30 p.m.

A good day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Setting goals

Goal for today: have my 3-year old successfully wipe his own nose (getting ALL the boogers off his nose and face)

As of 11:40 a.m., goal not yet made

Actual accomplishment of day: successfully starting up Mommy's Kindle, finding Amazon page, and ordering himself a game for his LeapPad all without Mommy knowing (with boogers running down his face I am sure)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"I can do it all by myself, Mommy."

We have all heard this from the mouths of our little ones. This is a good thing -- they want to be independent, and if they really can start to do things on their own, life will get easier for Mommy, right?

Well, here are the translations for what this expression really means in our house these days:

"I can go pick out my socks all by myself" = son coming downstairs holding as many pairs of socks as he can (probably 10-15 pairs) and dropping them all over the stairs.

"I can wash my hands all by myself" = pumping the soap dispenser over and over, thus emptying it into the sink while simultaneously splashing water all over his shirt. This is followed by him whining that he needs a new shirt now because his is all wet.

"I can go potty all by myself" = becoming bored on potty and ripping up Daddy's Men's Health magazine into tiny bits and spreading them all over the bathroom floor. After child (and Mommy, of course) pick them all up and put them in a bag, Mommy tries to take the bag outside to the recycling bin. She is joyfully met with a great wind that lifts most of the magazine bits out of the bag and sends them flying all over the lawn.

"I can wipe my nose all by myself" = smearing boogers across his nose and both cheeks and leaving the dirty tissue on the play room floor for his sister to find.

Mommy is so proud.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stuff 3-year olds say

When my husband told him he needed to rest because he was "under the weather", he looked up at the ceiling and said, "Is the weather on the ceiling? Because I am under it?"

When we told him we were going to take a vacation, he excitedly said "Let's go now!" We explained that we need to "plan it."
He replied, "Which planet are we going to? Mars? Or Jupiter?"

Friday, February 3, 2012

No love

I gave my son a questionnaire yesterday, asking him lots of simple questions like "What is your favorite color?" and "What is your favorite snack?" I logged his answers, put the date on it, and put it in his baby book.

There were many humorous answers such as:
         "What is your favorite thing to do with your grandparents?"
         "Eat a donut."

         "What is your favorite thing to wear?"

Through the cuteness, however, his true feelings about his sister also emerged. It has been 13 months, and he is still jealous and generally wishes she would not.... be here. This is evident in the following:

          "What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy?"
          "Go to the park."
          "What is your favorite thing to do with Mommy?"
          "Go to the park."
          "What is your favorite thing to do with [sister]?"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nap vs. Potty

I have recently come to realize that it is probably better for both mom and child if child is potty-trained prior to giving up nap. My 3-year old son has recently given up his nap, yet despite being on month 8 of potty-training (no, you did not read that wrong -- I did type MONTH 8), we are still not at the finish line.

As recommended by fellow mommy friends, I have instituted a daily "quiet time" policy during which he is expected to stay in his room for at least an hour and play quietly. Yesterday he emerged from his room about 9 times, each time proclaiming that "quiet time" was over. He also completely destroyed his room, pulling his sheet and blanket off of the bed as well as ripping pages out of two books. Today we had a talk about the rules of "quiet time" since this is a relatively new concept to him.

Rule #1: Do not make a mess.
Rule #2: Do not come out of your room unless you have to go potty. (Unless you REALLY have to go -- not like yesterday when you said you had to go but just sat on the potty swinging your legs with victory at tricking Mom)

One thing I do have going for me is that he is a book worm and really will sit and read for an hour if he is in the mood. Today was one such day. He stayed in his room for one solid hour. He did not emerge once or put up much of a fight about going upstairs for "quiet time." I was very proud of him and felt quite refreshed after having a one hour kid break (conveniently "quiet time" ALWAYS occurs when his sister is napping). I also heard no banging or questionable noises, which led me to believe he had not made a huge mess. I was right (sort of).

As I entered his room, excited to relieve him of his obligatory quiet hour and compliment him on his success, I did notice his room was relatively neat. A crayon had been peeled of its wrapper, leaving tiny paper bits all over the floor, and a generous pile of about 12 books was created in the middle of the room, but for a 3-year old boy alone for an hour, I was pleased. Beaming with pride, I began to approach my little big boy, arms outstretched, ready for hugs and kisses...

"I peed and pooped in my underpants."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mom's Day Off

So due to last minute / unforeseen events, my husband had to work most of this weekend. This is quite possibly the worst thing to happen to a stay-at-home-mommy (and also maybe a working mommy, but I can only speak for the SAHMs). While we SAHMs don't get a real "weekend" away from "work", we do get that giddy feeling Friday afternoon knowing that the hubs will be home for the next 2 whole days! Help with kids! Grown-up conversations all day long! An uninterrupted Saturday morning shower that can last longer than 6 minutes! So, when this does happen with his work on occasion, you can imagine my resulting mood.

Therefore, I decided that today, I am taking the day off. That's right! Mommy is calling in. What, you ask, does this mean? (Read your part below.)

You: Tell us, SAHM! Tell us what it was like! How did you do it! Did you still have to get up at 6 a.m.?
Me: Well, yes.
You: Oh. Well did you still drink one cup of coffee over a three hour period that you kept reheating in the microwave?
Me: Um, yes.
You: Well... did you still have to referee fights between your kids over menial reasons such as who gets to use the one clean blue plate?
Me: (Sigh.) Yep.
You: Um... well, what exactly DID you do on your day off then?
Me: I let my son watch TWO videos! That's right ladies! It was a glorious 90 minutes. I am a rebel.

Monday, January 9, 2012

From psychotic control-freak to easy-going mommy (sort of)

I remember a conversation with a fellow stay at home mommy friend years ago, when my first born was still a baby. She commented on working vs. staying at home: "Don't you just love staying home? I cannot imagine ever going back to work." I don't recall what words actually came out of my mouth, but in my head, I said: "No. I don't love it. It kind of sucks sometimes. It is lonely and boring and I miss feeling important at work, having a reason to get dressed, justifying shopping for expensive clothes, and being around grown-ups all day."

On that day and for many days that followed, I was very disappointed in myself and just flat-out depressed. Why didn't I love this? What was wrong with me? Was I a horrible mother? Did I make the wrong choice? This struggle to find the missing piece that might bring me true bliss as a SAHM continued for a long time...

Last evening, my husband and I were doing the typical Friday night 2 beer chat, and I told him that I was happy. I am not sure when or how I found it -- Was it when my second child was born so that I never had time to be bored anymore with two kids? Was it because over the past few years I have made some close girlfriends who have filled the void left by not having colleagues? Or did I just get used to it all?

Although I do believe my friends have played an immense role in my transformation, and yes, my daughter has added some craziness and busyness to my life, I have come to realize that the greatest change is finding peace. I used to make myself crazy over my son's naps, and if he woke up earlier than I wanted him to I allowed my entire world to crash down around me. He was going to be so cranky! How was I going to entertain him for that extra hour? Aaaah!! I am having a play date and my house is not immaculate! This is clearly horrible because all of the other mommies must have pristine homes with no dirt or dust anywhere! And I must have home-made muffins and healthy fresh fruit to offer for snack! Aaaaah!!

Not hard to reflect on why I was often unhappy that first year. Now, although I do still "sweat the small stuff" from time to time, things around here (my attitude included) look a lot different. If my kids don't nap well, well that sucks for all of us. Might be a long one. But we will get through it and tomorrow is another day. That's what movies are for. If I am up half the night with my daughter who is teething, yep, I will be tired tomorrow. Extra coffee will be had. And hosting play dates? Goldfish and graham crackers are just fine for snack if that is all I have to offer. And seriously, me baking = not a pretty sight.

Do I still freak out from time to time? Yes and probably always will. But I am finding more and more that I also accept a lot too. Poop through clothes while out in public? Not really a big deal anymore. Kids misbehaving at a restaurant? Yeah, they are kids.

My mother-in-law once advised me to take time to sit down and play with my kids. "The cleaning and laundry can get done later" she told me. I remember being baffled by this. When? By whom? But now I get it. It really will all get done, and if it doesn't, oh well. Until we are literally OUT of clothes and dishes, the laundry and dishes can wait if need be. And quite often, after the kids are in bed, I sit down on the couch with my husband to a beer or glass of wine and we look at the mess. We don't pick it all up. We just look at it and then turn on the TV, snuggle up, and enjoy the hour or minutes until we fall asleep on the couch.

I know it is hard to hear "just let it go" or "don't worry about it." I often felt (and still feel) annoyed when given this advice -- as if it is as easy as putting on our shoes. So to help me "let it go", I ask myself 2 questions when I am about to freak out about something: #1 -- can I do anything about it? and #2 -- is this really a huge deal in the whole scheme of my life? This often helps with such scenarios as mentioned above -- if my kids wake up too early from naps, have meltdowns in public, poop through their clothes, or poop anywhere other than the potty, etc. #1 -- I cannot change these situations. I cannot put the poop back in. I cannot force them to nap. #2 -- in an hour, or even a few minutes, this will be over and in the past and we will be moving on to the next fun scenario. So why spend my energy being angry or frustrated about it?

As I stated before, I am certainly not where I want to be -- I fly off the handle at my kids more often than I would like. I still waste time in anger when I cannot control my life. (When I told my husband that my blog post was all about how calm I am now and how well I deal with life's stresses, he looked at me wide-eyed and said, "Okaaaaay....").

But I am also not where I was. I am not the frazzled / lonely / depressed / overwhelmed mom of 3 years ago who wondered how in the hell my friend was "so happy" being home with her kids. And I hope you join me on my journey. Or maybe you are already there and I can meet you at the end.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sometimes you just have to turn the car around.

I read an article a while back entitled "Sometimes You Just Have to Turn the Car Around." Most of us moms and dads are guilty of giving far too many warnings of what we are "going to do" if our children's behavior does not improve and not enough actual consequences.

"5 more minutes" followed by "5 more minutes" followed by "Ok really. 5 more minutes."

Or "I am not going to tell you again" when both my child and I know that yes, in fact, I will tell him again. And then again probably.

One of the most challenging parts of following through with consequences is when the punishment is a punishment for Mom too. This morning, although Mommy had to suffer as well, she "just had to turn the car around."

The kids and I had driven 45 minutes to a play date. Some would say that is a bit far, but for this mommy, getting out of the house for an activity is the objective and the amount of gas used or miles added to the car become irrelevant. Upon arrival, my 3-year old spotted an extensive train set and parked himself there, foregoing any opportunity for snack or play with any other toy. Knowing him quite well, I anticipated drama if another child -- heaven forbid -- tried to share the train set. And drama was had. After several warnings of "you need to share or we are going home" combined with meltdowns, tears, and fits of anger when approached with this "sharing" concept, I realized what I had to do. And I did not want to do it. For one, I was quite enjoying my time chatting with the other moms, having some semblance of adult conversation. And also, my 1-year old daughter was playing nicely and not crawling up my leg, pulling on my hair, sticking her fingers in my eyes, or trying to fall down stairs. But, my "warnings" to my son were serving no actual warning, and the behavior was not improving. So when he was told that we were going home, the real fun started. A knock-down, drag-out wrestling match ended in me carrying him to the car in my socks (in January), strapping him in to his car seat and letting him scream to holy hell while I retrieved his sister and our belongings. Obviously she needed to cry as she was ripped from her fun bucket of toys as well. Almost immediately upon pulling out of the play date host's driveway, he became remorseful as the true impact of what was happening hit him. "I am a big boy! I am done crying! I will share!" He cried out over and over... as I drove home. It was not fun but I am proud of myself for turning the car around.

Tonight when we tell this story to my husband, you can bet it will start with, "Guess what YOUR son did today?"