Time Flies

Oh, dearest Blog of mine,

Where has the time gone? I remember a time when my only worry in the world was how I would ever get all of the Cheerios out from between the couch cushions before MB got home! Remember? L and O were just little tiny loaves of precious baby and I was all aflutter about the joy and chaos of parenthood. Until, well…Until I was close to a breakdown because of that whole chaos part.

I am here to report to you, my dear friend, that the chaos has far from slowed. L has just turned 4 and O will be three in exactly one week. There are still Cheerios everywhere. But now there is also couch diving and wall coloring and kicking and hitting and blood. Yes, sometimes there is blood. Because adorable, clumsy little O is ALL boy and falls on his face a lot. (Which only partially surprises me because his body has just now started to catch up with the size of gargantuan cranium. Some choice family members used to call him “Frankenhead”.)

I have to say, I have genuinely missed blogging. I have. I would have thought that, once these little monsters were a little older, I would have MORE time to myself. I would have thought that they would be more independent and able to entertain each other and I would be able to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and…you could really just insert anything here because at this point, sitting down and having a cup of coffee would really be enough. The rest is just a pipe dream anyway.

MB is, at least, now working at a job that affords us time together. And he actually even has time off, (Gasp!) and can take some of the responsibilities away from me so I can shower without imagining I am hearing blood curdling screams from the living room every time I lather up my (insanely long and unmanicured) hair. The truth is, this parenting thing KICKS MY ASS pretty regularly. It is not without its charms. But, true to form, I still want to stick my effing head in the oven at least once per day. One day, I will enlighten you. That day can’t be today. Because it is 3pm and there is half a sandwich, torn into about 300,000 pieces sitting on the floor in front of me and I fear that if I don’t get off of my ass soon and clean it up, the kids will wake up from their naps and be STARVING (because they are ALWAYS starving, unless it is a meal time) and eat it. Sometimes, I think that if I stopped giving them meals and just tossed food at them while they run back and forth from room to room, we wouldn’t waste so much. But, again, this is all for another day. (But if you have ever tried to feed a toddler anything, then I probably don’t have to explain. Also, I think they might enjoy it if I tossed food at them like this. They would think it was a game. Or they would pretend to be ducks. Oh man, I can’t imagine the noise. Jesus. I am stressed out just thinking about it.)

This is all very much just a drop in to let the universe and the blogosphere know that I am still alive and capable of making sentences. And I do plan to come back with something that is not complete nonsense. I do. And soon. Because I think that maybe this is where I left all of my sanity.

Until then, if you get bored, I am missing the matches to about 37 pairs of socks. So…keep your eyes peeled.

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Little Shrieking Monsters

Ta-da! I have returned from the trenches of parenting two toddlers (if only momentarily) to update you on said parenting of two toddlers.

I really don’t know where to begin. I mean, they are 2.5 and 19 months now. So, there’s THAT little tidbit. And if you know toddlers, then you know that that means that the “Terrible Twos” are in full swing around here. Nothing is safe. Walls are riddled with multicolored crayon art, DVDs are used as skates to slide around on the hardwood floors with, tables are being climbed, cribs are being escaped from, molars are coming, tantrums are being thrown (not just by the kids, mind you, I am pretty good at them, myself), there is hitting, there is pushing, there is fighting over things like empty paper towel rolls or a lone sock.

Things are interesting.

L is at the point where she can hold an entire conversation with you and she will tell you all about how it isn’t nice to hit people and that if you eat all of your chicken, mommy will be so proud of you and maybe then you get to go to the park. She will then promptly decide that she doesn’t like chicken and then start hurling it at O. So…needless to say, we don’t go to the park.

O is at a really fun age now. Although it is fun in that he is hilarious and singing and dancing and running around trying to imitate his sister, the tantrums he is starting to throw are not so much fun. He is much louder and persistent than L was. L was definitely a hurl-yourself-onto-the-damn-floor type of fit-thrower, but she generally got bored with the tantrum and moved on to something else fairly quickly. If I had know that those were MILD tantrums…if only I had known. O’s are a little more intense. They usually stem from him not getting to hold something. Like my coffee (this actually IS familiar) and basically start out with these blood-curdling shrieks of SHEER HORRIBLENESS. And just when you think that it can’t get much worse because you are quite certain that your eardrums have likely already exploded, it gets louder. More shrill. MORE HORRIBLE. And it lasts forever. No amount of time seems to make these things end. He is an angel one minute, and the next he is a HORRIBLE, SHRIEKING MONSTER. And don’t you even try and console him. DON’T YOU DARE. That will make it worse and your eardrums surely will explode now. SURELY.

But he is a cuddly little dude and his smile is possibly the best thing EVAR.

L has also gotten glasses. It BROKE MY MUSHY MOMMY HEART when they told me she might need them (I don’t know why, it isn’t like glasses are the worst thing to ever happen to a kid, right?) but I sucked it up. I have to say, they seem to give her even MORE personality, if that is even possible! She looks like a tiny Tina Fey sometimes and I just want to put a little business suit on her and sit her at a news desk and let her tell me some jokes about politics. But it might be a little too soon for that. I will keep you all posted.

So, there you have it, folks. Life is super loud and super messy around here. And sometimes I want to jab ice picks into my temples. And sometimes, I would gladly sell any part of my anatomy for a good night of delicious SLEEP. But sometimes it really is totally worth it. Even if I am only partially conscious to witness it. This shit is EXHAUSTING, ya’ll!

 

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An Open Letter to My Childless Friends

Hey guys! Long time, no see. I know. You might remember me from that one time when we went to that martini bar and drank the sweet, sweet nectar of freedom. Or that time when we stayed up until four in the morning watching all of those really cheesy 80’s movies.  You know, or that time…well…you remember. No need to tell on myself here.

I know, I know. It has been too long!

I wanted to try and explain to you the reason for my absence. It’s not you. It’s me. Well…no, it isn’t. It is those two little people who live with us.

You’re probably wondering a few things. You know, like, why I don’t call, why I don’t email, why I don’t come to your little parties or have dinner at your house, why we don’t drink that sweet nectar together anymore, or why I don’t invite you over. Please allow me to explain.

1. I don’t call because I can’t possibly dial the phone with a toddler on my hip and one wrapped around my legs. You see, I have yet to master the art of tongue dialing. And really, even if I could figure that out, I can assure you, phone conversations with me during the kids awake times, are no good. They kind of go like this:

Me: Hey! How are you doing? I meant to—L, DO NOT step on your brother’s head!! Sorry. Anyway, I meant to call—L, I am SO SERIOUS. Stop.  I meant to call you yesterday because I saw that thing that you po—SERIOUSLY? What are you DOING? Hold on a second. (Put phone down and REGULATE by separating the kids to avoid severe bodily injury that they will inevitably inflict on one another.) I’m so sorry! She’s trying to step on O’s face and I just don’t understand WHY! Uggghhh. Anyway, I can’t remember what I was saying. Oh, yeah, I saw that thing that you posted on Facebook and I was going to call because I heard about something that—I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. Seriously. Stop it!  I have to go. I think that the kids have just flushed all of my underwear down the toilet.
CLICK.

I really don’t want to have to subject you to that.

2. Emailing is also a little challenging. Not as noisy for you. And the beauty of email is that, after the kids bang all over the keyboard while I am trying to type, I can delete the nonsense that they have typed. However convenient this is, you know, for you, it makes email writing a time-consuming and challenging task. And I dunno. Maybe you don’t mind getting emails that look like this:

Hey!!! What’sjogiasjfroiw u-joidfja98en

What’s up!> DFJKJAFPIJDApoajpvmzpvokem 4575r4545a8ojr9i80uejgnv

I am going to snd a aogjhv;l alink

aijasdof;lI

IU amaofhs just going to call you later. THis

ajfsijoakfns

IS STUPID.

3. The reason I don’t come to your parties is simple. I don’t have a sitter. Because I never have a sitter. I AM THE SITTER. That is all.

4. We don’t drink that sweet, sweet nectar together at that lovely martini bar anymore because I just don’t think it is appropriate to bring the kids there. Not because I don’t think that they would enjoy the ambiance or anything, because they are classy little people, but you know, I think that I would prefer to DRINK the martinis than to have my kids crawling all over the place and spilling the damn $10 drink all over me. Just saying.

5. I don’t come to your parties/cookouts/dinners because I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH to bring my kids to your house. The thought of bringing my kids to your house causes me so much stress that I sort of want to sharpen 85 No. 2 pencils and then stab myself in the temples with all of them. This has no reflection on you at all. But, you know that glass thing that you have on that table that looks like it could be tall enough that the kids can’t reach? If I bring my kids to your house, that glass thing is toast. And that table is NOT TALL ENOUGH. Also, you know that brand new carpeting you just had installed? Kiss it goodbye. Because things will be spilled. There may even be vomit. Because, why WOULDN’T there be vomit if I bring the kids? Be for real. You don’t want us to come. And you could argue right now, “Oh, come on, they’re not bad at all!” and I would offer to go and live in your nice, clean house and offer you mine, which is covered top to bottom in Cheerios. And then you would remember that thing you heard someone say one time that went something like, “We have kids. we can’t have nice things.” And you will know that it is all true.

In closing, I would like to remind you why you are still friends with me. First, because I love you and you know that. And no matter how busy I am or how many times I forget to return your call or miss a party, I still miss your pretty face and am waiting for the day when my life becomes just a little easier and I am better able to be a friend to you. Second, because you know that I would do anything for you. It may not seem like it now, but I will always be there when you need me. Always. And third, I make a kick ass pot of chili.  I mean, if that isn’t enough for you…I don’t know what else I can say…

Bear with me, y’all…And I promise not to be mad when you have YOUR kids and completely ignore me because you can barely remember to put pants on. P

Promise.

The Times, They are A’Changin’

I want to write about L turning two. I really do. But it happened so quickly that I can’t even put any of it into words. I can’t believe that I have a two-year-old and in a little over a week, Baby O will no longer be a BABY. He will be ONE. And I will be the mommy of TWO EFFING TODDLERS. How did this even happen?

Things with O are progressing just as they did with L. He didn’t have much interest in getting around on his own until just a couple of weeks ago. It seems like a lightbulb went off inside his head and he suddenly said, “Hey. Wait a minute. I guess if I want to get from HERE to THERE, I need to get on this shit.” And he did. He isn’t walking yet, but he is really trying. Like, if you try to put him down on the floor into the seated position, he hurls himself backward in protest. Sitting is NOT COOL, you guys. Not cool at all. So he crawls and opens cabinets in the kitchen and knocks things over and rips paper things apart. And, even though I seriously JUST DID THIS with L, I had forgotten how crazy babies are when they are just starting to explore their world. Holy shitballs. I am in so much trouble.

L is a sassy little thing. And O is on the move. There are tantrums and loud crashes and Play-Doh eating (purple is the favorite). There is the bumping of little noggins and the fighting over toys. There’s transitioning from formula to whole milk and solids only. There’s potty training looming on the horizon and just SO MUCH NEW STUFF.

I love that, in the near future, the kids will be able to enjoy (or not enjoy so much) each other’s company. They will be able to play together at a more even level and they will learn from each other. I am so excited for all of that. But man, it sure terrifies the shit out of me. I remember that short time when I only had the one kid. I remember how difficult I thought it was. And now, present me wants to go back in time and slap the shit out of past me for ever complaining about it. Because SHIT JUST GOT REAL. I have definitely eaten my words. Definitely.

Currently, O just annoys the piss out of his sister. If he reaches for a toy, she instantly grabs it from his hands. Generally, he giggles at her and picks up a different toy. But occasionally, there are meltdowns. Sometimes, he gets angry when she snatches things from him and screams like he is being stabbed in the temple. Sometimes, the fact that he reaches for another of HER toys angers L so much that she screams like SHE is being stabbed in the temple. Sometimes I scream like I am being stabbed in the temple because all of the screaming is just too much to bear and well…if you can’t beat ’em…

L’s tantrums stem from everywhere. She isn’t as bad as some two-year-olds I have seen. But she definitely is a drama queen. Yesterday, she had a coronary because O was eating a cracker. So, I gave her a cracker. Then she screamed more. Because she did not want a cracker. Today, she is obsessed with her juice cup. If there is no juice in her cup, there is a meltdown. If I take the cup to refill it so that there will BE JUICE IN THE CUP, there is a meltdown because she is not holding the FULL CUP yet. It is challenging. And sometimes I do want to run away from home. But mostly I think that a good pair of ear plugs would be sufficient. Well…maybe.

The other day, a friend attempted to do a Cake Smash photo session with O. And HE was the one having an epic meltdown. Because it would definitely be too much to ask that BOTH of my children be in a good mood at the same time. This is pretty much how it all went down.

This about sums it all up.

This about sums it all up.

 

 

An Open Letter to My Daughter on Her Second Birthday

Oh my dear Lilah,

TodaSecond Birthday Party May 17th, 2014y is your second birthday. I am in tears right now just thinking about how quickly the time has passed. I wouldn’t have mentioned that because it makes me seem like a total sap, but I am afraid it will make it hard for me to type. So, for that, I owe an explanation.

Two years ago today, at 7:22 am, we welcomed you into our lives, our hearts, our souls, the world. I remember when they placed you into my arms for the first time so vividly that it feels like yesterday to me still. I remember the look on your father’s face when he saw you for the first time. It was a combination of horror (because, he did, after all just have to watch HOW you came into the world in the first place), joy, fear and total bliss. It was the most amazing moment of our lives. The moment we became parents for the first time. The moment we would forever remember as the moment we started living for someone other than ourselves. You changed our lives forever. And I thank you so much for that.

Without you, little one, I would have never known the joy of parenthood. I would have also never have had to stay awake for 37 consecutive days either. But I can overlook that. (Until you are a teenager. Because that is when the payback will begin. Just sayin.) You have enriched me in ways that I can’t even put into words. You have made me a better person all around.

Parenthood is hard, little one. It is not for the faint of heart. It is exhausting and thankless and, honestly, the pay is total crap. There are no breaks and your bosses tend to be one third of your size, very vocal and super demanding. But said bosses are also super cute and give the best hugs in the world. So, maybe the pay doesn’t suck THAT bad. Hugs are pretty awesome. It is hard to explain how much being your mom has changed me. How much more I appreciate everything. A hot cup of coffee. A solid hour of doing nothing at all. A beautiful day. A big, toothy grin. A belly laugh. You have made my world more beautiful. You have given me something for which I can never repay you. You have turned my world from the drab black and white world I used to live in, to a vibrant, colorful, beautiful place. And, even with the crappy pay and the sleepless nights and the diaper changing, I wouldn’t change one thing about it. Because you are my whole world.

I am so, so proud of who you are becoming. You are polite and sweet and totally smoochable. For now, I am the center of your universe, as you are mine. And I know that this time is so fleeting. I know that you will continue to grow and to need me less and less as you transition from a toddler to a child to a teenager and then an adult (holy shitballs, I am going to be OLD when that happens…) and I just hope that you never have any doubt in your mind as to how grateful I am to you. How much I love you. How much I cherish every small thing you do. (I don’t really cherish the tantrums…but, I assume these will eventually stop. Cheesus, help us all, I hope they stop.) I hope that you know that I will be your biggest fan forever. I will support you and love you no matter what. Even when you are 16 and have a horrible attitude and want to date that guy with all the face-piercings and A Flock of Seagulls hair. Yes. Even then.

I hope that you read these letters someday and they not only show you how much you mean to me, but I hope they help provide a better understanding to you of why I might have been so protective at times. Or why face-piercing guy isn’t allowed to EVER go into your room. (EVER.) I hope that you get a better understanding of me, not just as your mom, but as a person who was once not a mom. but a person who never even knew she wanted to be one. And is so incredibly happy that she became one.

I love you, my first born. You are the best thing that ever could have happened to me.

To the moon and back,

Mom

 

What I Want Her to Remember

So, in less than a week, my daughter is turning two. It is really surreal to me that she went from this little, helpless meatloaf to this walking, talking, running, beautiful ball of chaos and energy. And it couldn’t be more amazing to have seen her become the little girl that she is now. When she turned one, I was pregnant with my son and I was emotional and crazy and thinking that she was no longer a baby was so bittersweet to me. She was growing up so quickly before my eyes. She was no longer interested in being held and cuddled and I was no longer the center of the universe to her. There were things to explore, things to see, things to destroy! She was starting to become a little girl. She was a person.

Looking back, I guess that the progression from meatloaf to little girl wasn’t as quick as it seems now. After all, my son is almost one now and I am going through all of the same things with him, just minutes it seems, after I have experienced them with her. They are both such wonderful babies. I mean…kids. Because, they aren’t really babies anymore, are they?

I’ve always been really scared of not being enough as a parent. Terrified, even, of not being able to be a good role model for my little girl. I want so desperately to raise her in a way that she will be respectful. Not only of other people but of herself. I want her to know her worth. I want her to see the value in other people and to embrace differences in those people and to know that all of these differences are what make people special. What makes them beautiful. And I want her to see beauty. I want her to experience moments in life that take her breath away. I want her to be able to sit back and have those moments without hesitation.

There are so many things I want for her. So many things I want to teach her. And so many things I know she will teach me. I am still terrified. Every day, as I watch her grow, I think about the things that we will face in the future. All the questions she will have about life and people and (gasp!) boys. And I hope that I am enough. I hope that she will come to me. I hope we will have the kind of relationship that I never had with my mother but am starting to build in my thirties.

I made a list, a while back, of things I wanted to tell my son. And I have had a running list of things that I want to tell my daughter and I just haven’t gotten it right. What are the important things that I want her to remember? There are so many. SO MANY. So, here goes, in honor of my baby who is no longer a baby.

  1. Be true to yourself. There will be times in life when people will want things from you. They will pressure you. Don’t let them. Stand your ground always. I know that telling you this could bite me in the ass someday. But, even if I don’t agree with you, if it is important to you, it is worth it.
  2. Know your worth. Don’t ever let anyone try and belittle you. You are amazing. You are so amazing that there could only be one of you. Remember that.
  3. You are beautiful. Don’t spend your time obsessing over the size of your thighs or the number on the scale. In fact, don’t even use a scale. Look in the mirror and know that you are exactly as you are supposed to be. Everyone has flaws but those flaws make you perfect.
  4. Be nice to other women. Women can be a tough crowd. They can be critical and ridiculous, but most of this, I believe, is a result of their own insecurities. Know that you might be the victim of this, but also know that you don’t have to perpetuate it. Be the kind of woman who lifts others up.
  5. Be the kind of friend that you want to have. You will make a lot of friends over the course of your life. Some of them won’t be very good to you. You can’t help that. But you can surround yourself with people who deserve to be around you. And you can be the kind of friend that you want to attract.
  6. Don’t take your family for granted. This one is hard to remember. Your parents and grandparents love you more than you could possibly understand. But we won’t be around forever. Don’t let yourself forget that nothing is more important than family. You can’t go back once they’re gone.
  7. Volunteer. There will come a time, probably when you are a teenager, when you will think that your time is too precious to be spent doing anything other than what YOU want. You will be wrong. Make sure that you make yourself of service to people who need you. Your time is the most precious gift you can give. Believe me. You will thank me later.
  8. Dance. Just dance.
  9. Find something you love. I hope that you will find a passion. I hope that, whether it is skiing or singing or underwater basket weaving, you love something. And you do it with your whole heart.
  10. Love. You are going to fall in love dozens of times. It will be magical and wonderful and exciting. And sometimes it will break your heart. But don’t let that stop you. Love with everything in you. It is worth it.
  11. Stay away from girls named Tiffany. Seriously. No good can come from a friendship with a Tiffany. (Examples: here and here.
  12. Be fearless. Wear red lipstick even if you think it makes you stand out too much. Apply for a job you aren’t qualified for. Ask that guy out. Jump out of that plane. (Okay…maybe not the thing about the plane but just because I will NOT be fearless about you doing that.) Whatever you do, know that you will ROCK THE HELL OUT OF IT. And then rock the hell out of it.
  13. Be gracious. Always.
  14. Fight for a cause. Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
  15. Know that your mother thinks you are the best gift she was ever given. You made her a mother and you changed her life. Forever. There is no better thing in the world than you. (And your brother, obviously.) Just know that I will love you forever. I will support you in everything. And I don’t care if it turns out that you want to ask the GIRL out instead of the GUY. She’d be lucky to have you.

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Not Enough Coffee in the World (And Your Chance to Win RAD SWAG!)

I don’t know if you guys are keeping track, but in exactly ONE WEEK, L is turning TWO FREAKING YEARS OLD. Two. I can’t even believe that I am going to have a two-year-old. And then three weeks later, Baby O will be turning ONE. And then I will have a nervous breakdown. I honestly do not know where the time has gone with these two. I went from not wanting kids, and then getting pregnant (on accident) and having a baby girl and falling so in love that I felt my heart might explode, to getting pregnant 35 seconds after she was born (on accident) and then having my little dude, to now having TWO TODDLERS! What in the holy hell is going on?

The amount of noise in my house at any given time is sort of insane. I mean, there is no escape. Someone is constantly yelling around here. Most of the time, it isn’t even angry yelling. Just yelling and screeching and all of those cute baby noises. You know, like amplified by a million because my son has some sort of complex about no one hearing him. He is trying to make sure that everyone can hear him over L’s tantrums. Because we have had some pretty epic tantrums lately. I am amazed that I haven’t broken down and invested in earplugs. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

L’s birthday party is next Saturday. We decided to just do a little party at a playground because O’s party is about a month from now and I don’t know how I could stand to plan two giant parties at the same time. And we have a pretty big family and circle of friends, so I really just can’t handle all of that. I would have just had one giant party but I didn’t think that would be fair to O, since L got her big first birthday party with the smash cake and everyone celebrating just HER. (She did not smash that cake. I had to buy her a cupcake to smash on her actual birthday. Which may not have been the spectacle I had envisioned because no one was there to see it, but I loved every second of it. And so did she!) So, it is going to be a busy month. I am excited for everyone to come and play with us though. I love parties. LOVE. And guess what! I WON’T BE PREGNANT! SO THERE WILL BE COCKTAILS!

(I heart cocktails.)

L’s potty training is not so much happening. I have been trying with her but she seems more interested in sticking her head in her potty than sitting on it. I don’t understand this. But it is probably better to wait for right now anyway because she is on antibiotics for the second ear infection in two months and it is making her little tummy a battleground. I would rather not have her running around without a diaper at this point in time. (Read: I don’t own a dog because I don’t like poop on my floor.)

O is finally doing some crawling. He is not as lazy as L was when she was this age. He has WAY more desire to get around than she did and I wouldn’t be surprised if, like her, he decided to skip REAL crawling altogether and just start darting across the house. I have a bunch of friends who had babies around the same time as O was born and their babies are crawling and cruising and all sorts of stuff. One is even walking. If I didn’t know how L was at this age, I might be a little worried. But I’m not concerned. He actually CAN cruise a little bit and does whenever he is given the chance. So, there’s that.

As usual, I am exhausted. I feel like my head sort of lives on a cloud somewhere because forming a complete sentence, especially before a cup of coffee or after 7pm has become nearly impossible. But…people tell me that this will get easier. And I am choosing to believe that. And if it doesn’t, everyone who has ever lied to me about it will be getting a throat punch. That is all.

One of my children is currently covered in something that looks like chocolate and the other one is rolling from one end of the living room to the other. So, I guess I should just wrap this up and go ahead and remind you that you have one week to enter the Giveaway over at my FB page! All you have to do is be a resident of the US, “like” my FB page, and then click the Giveaway tab to enter! I won’t give away what the “rad swag” is, but I WILL tell you that a $10 Starbucks gift card is up for grabs and who doesn’t want free Starbucks goodness? (I could use some RIGHT NOW, in fact.) So, go and enter! Thanks and GOOD LUCK!