Yes, I Said, “Rad Swag”.

Okay, so I couldn’t wait. I went ahead and decided to start taking entries for the FIRST EVER BROKEN CONDOMS BLOG GIVEAWAY today instead of May 1st. Partially, because I am taking a mini-vacay with the little family for the first time since we were a family of FOUR and the first time I have been away since I got married in 2012. And I am SO EFFING EXCITED that I felt like I might not remember to remind you wonderful people to head on over to my Facebook Fan Page, “Like” Broken Condoms Blog and enter by clicking the Giveaway tab to win some rad swag! (Yes. I just said “rad swag”. Please don’t hold it against me.) So, anyway, starting right now, you can head on over and enter! The contest will run until L’s SECOND (holy shitballs) birthday on May 19th and you must be a resident of the US to win!

Thanks for reading, ladies and gents!

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La-di-da-di…Learning to Potty

So, a few months ago, my mom bought L a training potty. And it sings when the kid goes to the potty successfully. I am not terribly excited at the prospect of another noisy gadget for these, already ridiculously loud kids. But it was a nice gesture. And it meant that I didn’t have to buy one.

The thing literally sat at my mom’s house, never touched, until about two weeks ago. And then I put it in my car and left it there until three days ago. I don’t want to potty train. I think we all know how smoothly sleep training has gone. (Read: How much I have threatened to kill myself over the past two years due to bedtime/naptime battling.) I feel that this is going to be a disaster. I have been dreading it since I MADE this baby. And as fond as I am of the idea of only having to change ONE person’d diapers, I am even more terrified of trying to make this happen.

So, I put the training potty in the hallway next to the bathroom because I couldn’t think of anywhere to put it, seeing as my living room is in a constant state of TOTAL DISARRAY, and I expected to ignore it for as long as possible. And then today, L woke up in a great mood after her nap (a rarity these days as she is battling an ear infection/separation anxiety and a nasty case of the Terrible Twos) and walked with me out into the hallway, asking for juice. I walked to the kitchen to realize that she wasn’t behind me. When I retraced my steps to find out where I had lost her (read: what she could be quietly destroying while I was distracted by her request), I found her sitting, fully-clothed on her potty. She was smiling as big as she could and making a “sssssssss” sound. (Seriously? Not so subtle.) So, I asked her if she wanted to “go pee-pee on her potty” and she said, “PEEEEEEEE-PEEEEEEEEE! YES!”

I took her shorts and diaper off and she sat back down. She did not “pee-pee on her potty”, but she did continue to make a “ssssssss” sound. I can only assume that this was a simulation of peeing. And that’s fine. And I seriously hope that this means she is ready and that this is an indication that this will not be the terrible process that I have envisioned in my head for the past 23 months.

I know that this is a big step! I know that it is exciting and everything! But holy shitballs, I don’t wanna, you guys!

Do you mommies (or daddies) have any tips for a reluctant potty trainer?

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this is not exactly right.

Maybe I’m Doing it Wrong?

I don’t know whether or not being a stay-at-home parent is the hardest job in the world. I haven’t had every other job in the world. I have had my fair share of jobs. Jobs that I was fairly successful in. Jobs that I was pretty confident in. I know that, in comparison to those jobs, this one is definitely the hardest. Definitely.

Staying at home with my kids is undoubtedly the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It is also the most thankless, frustrating, lonely, isolating, and lowest paying thing I have ever done. And I know that I just made being a SAHM sound like the worst thing that anyone could ever do. And it isn’t. But it is, to me, definitely all of those things. But, obviously, that’s just the stuff that makes me want to stick my head in the oven.

Having a toddler is like trying to ride across country on a stationary bike.

I wake up, change her, feed her, play with her, clean up after her, try and deal with 17 tantrums before lunch, feed her again…you know…lather, rinse, repeat. But no matter how much I clean up, she is one step ahead. Destroying some other part of the house. And all that food I just swept up from under the high chair? I think someone just retrieved it from the garbage and placed it right back where it just was. And there is screaming about nap time. And the Today Show. And tooth brushing. And rain. And a closed door. (Like, if there is a closed door ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, my daughter knows about it and she HATES it. Which reminds me of this giant, orange cat I used to have.) I, now, fully understand these “Terrible Twos” I have been hearing so much about. And I hate them. (And then people tell me that THREE is worse. Which is SO AWESOME, because by the time I have a three-year-old, I will also have another two-year-old. I really screwed myself here, didn’t I?)

But this whole merry-go-round of crazy is sort of what I expected to happen with her. I mean, I have met toddlers before. I know they can be pint-size jerk-faces with wicked tempers and strong little wills. I knew that. What I wasn’t expecting, and what I couldn’t have expected not knowing exactly everything about everything, was how hard it was going to be to do all of this toddler stuff, while somehow also managing to keep a very large infant alive. You know, and sometimes even HAPPY.

What I’m saying is that I do all of that toddler stuff. And sometimes I do it while carrying a 25 lb infant. And sometimes there are two VERY unhappy kids in my house, both screaming for me at the same time. One is screaming because “OH MY GOD, THE TODAY SHOW!” and the other is screaming because “OH MY GOD, THAT OTHER SHORT PERSON IS HARSHING MY MELLOW*!” And then I want to cry. I try to hide in the bathroom for sixteen seconds but as soon as the door closes, almost to the point of the click of the knob, there is more screaming. Then more screaming from the other one. I have been discovered trying to sneak away. A door has almost completely closed. GASP!

There are still infinite bottles to wash and fill and feed to the baby. And there are infinite Cheerios and there are infinite tantrums and faces full of spaghetti sauce and diaper changes and nap-time battles and night wakings and sometimes, Mommy just straight LOSES HER SHIT. And sometimes I just wish that I could have A WHOLE DAY wherein no one spoke to me. No one asked me for anything. No one bothered me at all. I would sit by a pool with a book and a cocktail. And I would remember what those days were like when I didn’t have someone attached to me every second of every day.

And then I know I would miss all of this stuff. Because the babies laughing, you guys? The best sound in the world. And I’ve never had a job that paid in baby laughs. (I am not sure I would have accepted that job, though? I mean…that’s a confusing thing to think about. Because I really also like to get paid with money.) And okay, maybe I wouldn’t miss diaper changing. And temper tantrums. But I would TOTALLY miss playing and giggling and hugs and kisses and all the twirling I get to do with my little lady.

But seriously, you guys…hardest job I’ve ever had. And the noisiest. Holy shitballs. The noise.

*Seriously, if you know which movie this is from, you’re as sad as I am for quoting it. Yep. I said it.

**I just read this post by AM and this is absolutely not a rebuttal. I laughed my face off when I read her post because I was halfway through this one and thinking, “Dammit. What am I doing WRONG?! And I wonder if she would come over and show me how to work it! Ooooh! And maybe she’d bring booze!”

I’m Finally Doing It! (Alternately Titled: Swaggy McSwaggerson)

So, L is going to be turning 2. Like, super soon. And I have been hinting at a giveaway for awhile. And I have been deciding whether or not I want to give you guys booze or drink it myself. (I have, obviously, opted to drink it myself. Naturally.) But in honor of my L’s SECOND (holy shitballs, you guys!) birthday, I am giving one of you lucky followers a birthday gift! Hooray for you! The contest will start on May 1st and run through midnight on May 19th (L’s birthday) and you have to like the Broken Condoms Blog FB page to enter! I promise, I will not send you broken condoms. I swear to Cheesus.

Seriously.

Good luck! XO!

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A Cruel Joke

Okay, you guys. Seriously. I am writing this from the edge of insanity.

L has decided that sleep is no longer necessary for her. She has, since right after her first birthday, been good about going to sleep on her own, in her bed, for naps and at bedtime. We lay her down awake, she goes to sleep, ba-da-bing. But for the last three days, she has been standing up in her crib and IMMEDIATELY starting to scream like she is being murdered. And today, it happened at naptime too. BA-DA-BOOM.

I took her to the doctor on Thursday last week because she was acting a little funny. Like, she was extra sleepy and extra clingy and the pediatrician told me that she has a virus (she has a few spots on her throat) but they did a rapid strep test and she was negative (THANK CHEESUS, because we just went through that…) and she hadn’t had a fever. But she had been sleeping fine at that point. Now, this starts. What IS this? Night terrors? The Terrible Twos? WHAT? Last night, after 40 minutes of trying to let her CIO, which I almost never do, I called the after-hours doctor on call and she told me to just let her keep screaming and that she would eventually go to sleep. Which I did. And she did. But I felt terrible. Worn down. Stressed out. Angry. I mean, first of all, who wants to hear their child scream for over an hour? Secondly, SERIOUSLY?! Isn’t that kind of MEAN? But I did it. And I did it again today when she was refusing to nap. And I made it exactly 61 minutes before I gave in so that I could FINALLY put Baby O down for his nap, and I went in and got her. And I told her to lie on the couch and stay there. And she did. She didn’t sleep. But she laid there quietly until I came and sat next to her. And now she is imitating me as I type this.

Have you guys ever experienced anything like this? What did you do? How do I make the shit stop? Because, I mean, I obviously can’t put drugs in her apple juice. Duh.

MB said to me today, “Just be strong. If you get her up now, she will never learn.” But I think he is an idiot. And I think his proximity to the blood curdling screaming may be making this a little easier for him to say.

Why I Need to Baby-Proof My Husband

Childproofing is a bitch.

We were pretty lax about it when we started because L didn’t seem to have much interest in things that weren’t HER things. Or, you know, my hair. So, we covered the outlets, and she figured out how to pull the little things out of the plugs and bring them to me. She unplugged all of the night lights. She seemed, not so much to want to play with the outlets themselves, but that anything that was in them should be brought straight to me. So, obviously, those little white plug things didn’t really help with anything. Really, the only thing that did any good was watching her round the clock so that she didn’t electrocute herself. We didn’t pad the corners of the tables and we didn’t put those SUPER ANNOYING plastic cabinet locks on everything because I found that she really only gets into the tupperware and, lets be honest, I doubt that a plastic bowl will be the cause of her first major injury. (We have them on SOME cabinets, but only the ones that contain any sort of cleaning chemicals and things of the like but I think that I actually have a harder time getting past them than she would. Parent-proof.) Then she started climbing on everything. Nothing is safe. How do you childproof for that? They don’t make a baby spray that repels babies away from dangerous things. You know, like that spray they make for pets that makes them not want to climb on/pee on things? (They really should develop this for babies. Because, aside from smearing peas on everything she could climb on, I can’t think of anything that would deter her.)

I can tell that I am going to have to, very soon, start re-evaluating this whole “baby-proofing” thing because Baby O is getting there. And by “getting there” I mean he is mobile enough to GET to things that are small enough to put in his mouth, however, not yet mobile enough to climb onto the dining room table and take a flying leap from it. And I have this feeling that it won’t be long before he will discover plugs. And cabinets. And…all sorts of potentially dangerous things…

Which brings me to my point: I can handle baby-proofing the house. Because I am home with the kids all day and I have developed a pretty good sense of what they can and WILL get into. I can see the little twinkle in their eyes when they see something intriguing. Like…anything that they can swallow and/or choke themselves with. I am getting SO good at spotting these things before they become an issue, you guys. SO GOOD. But I think I need to figure out how to childproof my husband.

MB seems completely oblivious to the fact that we have one kid who would love nothing more than for our entire house to be a climbing wall and another who would love for it to be made of tiny, brightly colored things that he can “taste”. So, he comes home from work, empties the day’s worth of tiny metal screws, nuts, and other weird stuff, pieces of wire, you name it, out of his pockets and onto a placemat on the kitchen table. We have a high table. No problem, right? Wrong, MB. You could not be more wrong. L can reach the place mat. She can reach it and she can pull it down, spilling tiny pieces of metal all over the kitchen floor. And even on my best day, I cannot guarantee that I got every speck of everything that has landed on the kitchen floor. So those little pieces travel into the living room. And become little potential killers of our baby. I tell him and I tell him and I tell him. And he cannot seem to wrap his head around the idea that he could just leave it in his work truck and then there would be no such issue.

I don’t know if this is a daddy thing or a parent who works outside the home thing or what…It just seems like none of this ever occurs to him. How can that be? After all the crazy he went about those stupid little plug things…

I googled “How to baby-proof your husband” but all I got was a bunch of relationship advice for new parents. Hell…maybe I should read that too? I am pretty sure killing your husband because he leaves tiny metal things all over the place isn’t the way to go…

An Open Letter to My Kids: On Motherhood

Dearest Kiddos,

I wanted to talk to you both about motherhood. And yes, O, I know that you won’t ever be a mother but I think that you need to understand this as much as your sister so that you can appreciate, not only what a beautiful gift motherhood is, but how you can be appreciative to mothers. You know, in general.

No one, thankfully, has ever asked me to explain how motherhood feels. And that is a good thing. Because there is no way to really describe it. But I’m about to try.

I think there are moments for every mother, when they feel like the world is crumbling. I think that we all, sometimes, feel like there is no possible way that we, as mere women, can make it through one more sleepless night. One more day of constant hysterics (on your parts and/or ours). One more day. Because motherhood, my babies, is hard work. It is the hardest, most beautiful work that can be done. And I don’t take it for granted. You work and you work. And you forget to eat and you can’t sleep because your babies are so small and defenseless and hungry or wet or…you know…whatever. But mommies: We are THERE. We are there at 4 AM, when we have just gone to bed at 3, thinking that if we just fell asleep RIGHT NOW, we would, at least, get to MAYBE sleep until dawn. We are there at 4PM when you should be napping but you are teething and you can’t seem to get comfortable enough to do so. We are just there. And it is HARD. But we love you. We love you because we grew you in our bodies.  And no one else can feel that for you. You just remember that. Because at the risk of being generic and weird, I felt your hearts beat first from INSIDE my body. And THAT, is a miracle. YOU are my miracles.

Tonight, neither of you wanted to go to sleep. You wanted to be held and cuddled and just loved. And sometimes, and I can’t lie here, I find myself irritated at the fact that I have been working to keep you both happy all day and I feel that, once you are both in bed, it is MY time. And sometimes, when you wake up and insist on being held or rocked or fed, it irritates me. Tonight, when you cried, I came to you and I held you, like I do every night. I felt a rush of something come over me. Maybe a rush of everything. Happiness that y0u are my babies. Sadness that someday you won’t be babies and I will not feel the softness of your forehead on my lips as you drift to sleep. You will not grasp my hair with your tiny fingers. I won’t hold you in my lap. You won’t need me to comfort you. You won’t NEED me at all. Because I will raise you to trust in yourselves. Because you should. You should believe in yourselves enough that I am not your everything. But then…I think about how lost I will be when I am no longer just that.

Motherhood is a joyous, heartbreaking thing.

I love you both until my heart overflows. And I struggle, every day, with a mixture of making you the happiest you can be, and dealing with the fact that some day, I will not be the source of that happiness at all.

I hope that you both know how much I love you. I hope that you know that every, single thing that I do is for you. I hope that you know that it will be so for the rest of my days. And I hope that you respect Motherhood. Because it is truly the best gift anyone can be given.

That is all.

To the moon and back,

Mommy