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…

Hey, Hey, Hey!

Hi, guys! I know! You had almost forgotten about me. Its okay. I totally understand. I am a slacker. But I haven’t forgotten YOU…

My kids are currently quiet and watching some ridiculousness on BabyFirst TV (which makes me want to shoot myself in the face, but I have discovered that, if I allow this, I am able to drink coffee and possibly pay some bills online so…I’m running with it) so I have a few minutes and I thought I would try and pound out an update.

Before we get started, I want to go ahead and dedicate this post to themathmaster because I am a woman of my word and I do it all for the people. (My apologies, because I am basically still asleep and I am not sure I have anything interesting to say at all…so…there’s that…)

I don’t really know the format in which to write this post because SO many things are going on. Every day is different. I can’t even explain to you how much of a roller coaster this last couple of months has been. But here goes…let’s start with L.

  • L is 22 months old today. She is absolutely hilarious. And also ABSOLUTELY a part of this gang called “The Terrible Twosies”. It is notorious. You may have heard of them. If you haven’t, BE WARNED.
  • She likes to wear my Reeboks around the house and then attempt to jump over things.
  • I put her on a gluten-free diet a little over three weeks ago because Celiac Disease runs in my family. I was hoping that this would improve her ability to sleep through the night without any blood-curdling screaming for me. This did not happen. She is still sleeping on face for half of the night. BUT, the tantrums, which started at about 18 months, have lessened. I don’t know if there is a connection there, but I’ll take it.
  • We decided that, instead of a birthday party for her, we are going to take a family trip to visit my sister and stay on the beach on the gulf. I am super excited because 1. L has never been to the beach because the whole time she has been alive it has either been cold or I have been pregnant, neither of which will be the case in May this year and 2. I have to throw Baby O’s FIRST birthday party three weeks later and am NOT A FAN of trying to plan two parties at the same time. And he gets a first birthday party. Next year, they can share the party.
  • She’s doing things like, throwing everything in the garbage can (and when I say EVERYTHING, that’s exactly what I mean), unraveling rolls of toilet paper and then shredding said paper all over the house, “reorganizing” shelves full of things like DVDs or cabinets full of tupperware, (I don’t think I need to tell you that reorganizing actually means, THROWING EVERYTHING ONTO THE GODDAMNED FLOOR), trying to jump on Baby O (I think that she THINKS that she is playing…but…), screeching like a pterodactyl, climbing any and all furniture (or anything else that is stationary enough for her to get onto, this includes people and pets), repeating EVERYTHING I say. EVER. (Again, dangerous. I have mentioned before that I am really bad about censoring my expletives because for 33 years, I didn’t have to. Now I find myself making up words on the fly to avoid screaming “FUUUUUUUCK” when a can of frozen apple juice hurls itself out of the freezer and onto my toe. (Note: I was not successful. I totally screamed, “FUUUUUUUCK!” She did not repeat this. But I think it was more because I think it sounded more like, “FUUUUUUUUUHHHHHH” and the “CK!!!!” part I said under my breath. Because, that’s effective, right?
  • She is still obsessed with “Yo Gabba Gabba”. I don’t have much else to say about this except that she can, at least, now sing the words to songs that they sing. And sings them all day when she is not watching the show too. Which, while sometimes annoying, is REALLY EFFING CUTE.
  • I still can’t believ e that this little PERSON came out of my body.

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Okay, now Baby O:

  • He turned 9 months last week (hopefully an Open Letter to follow this afternoon…) and has started to do some dumb shit where he gets up twice per night wanting to be held or a bottle or whatever and it is very reminiscent of having a newborn. And I don’t want to remember all of that not sleeping and forgetting my name and stuff. I am really not sure if this is because he is about to have some major milestone or he is getting teeth (he is TOTALLY getting teeth. I can see those little bastards…) or a combo of both. But with this kind of shenanigans, the milestone had better be that he has learned to speak German, graduated from college and written some sort of book. I will keep you updated.
  • He currently has four teeth. The top two front ones just came through within the last two days after nearly a month and a half of sitting there, RIGHT BELOW THE SURFACE and making everyone’s life a living hell. I will be glad when this kid doesn’t need to grow anymore of these bitches.
  • He is blonde. Like me. And that gives me a lot of pleasure. Because, if he weren’t blonde, I wouldn’t see any of myself in him at ALL. Because he looks JUST LIKE MB.
  • I almost punched his pediatrician in the throat last week at his nine-month checkup because she was really condescending about the fact that he isn’t crawling. I don’t think that people understand that with an almost two-year-old, crazy hard floors and a pretty hefty anxiety issue, putting him down on the floor for any length of time, unless I am sitting RIGHT THERE, is not really an option. I am not worried. Hell, L went from not crawling to RUNNING around like a little insane tornado with barely any transition time at all.
  • He is a massive kid. 28.5 inches long and 23 lbs 9 oz as of last week. GIANT.

That’s about all. I mean, aside from that I need a nanny, a cook and mimosas with breakfast.

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An Open Letter to Baby O at Six Months

Oh, my Darling, Oliver,

You are growing SO FAST. You turned six months old the other day and I am having a hard time processing that. Because about this time last year, I was starting to plan your sister’s first birthday party. And now here you are…catching up with her. I can’t believe it.

You got your first tooth on December 7th. And not without a lot of screaming. I will be the first one to tell you, son, that you are the loudest screamer EVER. You are quiet and content and giggly almost all of the time, but when you scream, little boy, you don’t mess around. Your sister had a hard time with the teething too, as all babies do, but she didn’t come close to your range of angry sounds. L just kind of fussed continuously for months while those stubborn teeth popped in, one by one, taking their damn time and ruining any plans I had of sleep or peace in general. You are like a really pissed off air horn. I will forgive you sometime between now and your first birthday (hopefully) when all of these little bastards are in place and I can sit back peacefully and wait for the molars. At which time, I will move out of the house until you are finished growing them. Just kidding. (Kind of.)

You sit up unassisted. Which, I mean, isn’t new. But it is something you are doing. You seem to be hitting your milestones a little slower than you are supposed to. But this is totally my fault. Or, rather, your sister’s. I am terrified to put you down on the floor to let you explore your body and strength and surroundings for two reasons: 1. we have hard wood floors and I am constantly concerned that you will lose control of your giant noggin and crack it open and 2. the other day, I put you on this baby gym thing that lies on the floor and has toys dangling above your head. I went to the bathroom and left the door open to where I could hear you and your sister but could not see you. I heard your muffled cries and ran into the living room with my pants around my ankles, only to find your sister, straddling your face, attempting to reach the dangling toys. And I screeched like some sort of bird not yet identified by scientists and pulled her off of your face. So…needless to say, our home is a dangerous place for the likes of you. And if it takes you a little longer to crawl but your cranium remains intact, so be it. Score one for mommy.

Aside from almost being smothered by your sister, you seem to really enjoy being around her. You get so excited when she is around. You giggle at each other and you babble to her and she treats you just like I do. When you cry, she strokes your head and says, “It’s OK, baby” and she gives you hugs and kisses ALL THE TIME. And you eat it up. And it melts mommy into a big, slimy puddle of gooey love all over the place. I really can’t believe how quickly and beautifully this bond is forming between the two of you and how blessed I feel about getting to witness it as it does.

You have giant, pink cheeks and beautiful hazel eyes. And you have a wonderful, happy disposition. You sleep well and you eat well and at your six month checkup on 12/12, you weighed in at a whopping 20 pounds, 11 ounces and you were 27 inches long. You are a big boy. Rightly so. You are definitely your father’s son. And that makes me happy. I hope that you learn from him how to treat the ladies. Because, honey, your father is truly a gentleman. I am so lucky to have him. And so are you and your sister.

We are finally about to transition you into sleeping in your crib full-time. And yes, we may be slow to do this, and we are aware. But your sister didn’t start sleeping in her crib until six months old (although, she pretty much still hates it) and your room was an utter disaster until this past weekend. And now, it is complete, and ready for YOU. Daddy put all kinds of things together for you and we bought all new toys and bedding and fun things for you to look at and play with. Just in time for Christmas!

I hope that, when you read these letters, you know that I love you more than I could possibly document here. I hope you know that there is nothing better than you and your sister and our little family.

I love you always, little man.

Mom

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The 18-Month Demon Possession. I mean, Sleep Regression

Okay, you guys. I am about to lose my shit. And not in that cutesy way that’s all, like, Oh Em GEEE, I’m at the grocery store and, like, that guy is SO CUTE and I haven’t brushed my hair and I’m wearing yoga pants!

Seriously. L hasn’t napped in EIGHT DAYS. And she’s not hungry or wet or sick (I know this because I brought her to the doctor already and she was fine) and she’s not on fire. But the minute I mention sleep in any form, she goes batshit crazy and screams like she actually IS ON FIRE.

Now, before you get all, “She’s probably teething, or entering the Terrible Twos, or having separation anxiety or is on FIRE”, let me assure you that I am aware that all of these things are possible. (Except for that last one. Because, that would be harder to miss. Come on, you guys, I’m not a TOTAL idiot.) But do kids typically scream in their cribs for HOURS ON END? (Note: I have not let her stay in there for hours on end screaming, but she WOULD, I assure you.)

It started last Thursday. I went to put her down for her nap, a little early, I’ll admit, because she was acting like a maniac and I was about to stick a screwdriver in my temple. She went apeshit. APE. SHIT. She screamed for five minutes before hurling herself out of her crib and I heard a thump. This was my worst nightmare. Luckily, she didn’t have any bumps or bruises but she scared the bejesus out of me (and herself). So, I waited about two hours, let her play and tire herself out and then put her down again. This time, she screamed but she eventually went to sleep after just a few minutes. Success!

Friday was a lot like Thursday. INSANE protest at our first attempt. But the second attempt went swimmingly. Until Baby O lost his baby cool and screamed for 45 minutes (which he NEVER DOES) and woke her up after exactly 36 minutes. Sleep? Who needs it!?

Saturday, we were visiting my mom. Heh. NADA.

Sunday I got her to sleep at her normal time and I believed that all was not lost. And then MB wanted to wake her up early to have lunch with his dad before he left to go back home, out of state. And so we did that. DISASTER. She was a total asshole for the rest of the day. I wanted to run away from home.

Monday, I brought her to the doctor for her 18-month check up and she did great. Until I tried to put her down. SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM. No nap.

Tuesday. She was angelic. No problems.

Yesterday? Forgetaboutit. I am thankful for the Thanksgiving feast at my mom’s house which provided her with two 30 minute car seat naps.

Today? THREE ATTEMPTS at napping. Each involving 45 minutes of non-stop screaming. I am convinced that my neighbors are going to call CPS because I cannot stop the noise. CANNOT STOP IT. So, I called the pediatrician. Her advice? “Yeah, give her a little motrin or Tylenol just in case she is in pain. But you just have to let her know that it is nap time and she has to stay in her bed and go to sleep. So, just let her scream and go in every 15 minutes or so and console her. But don’t pick her up. She will eventually wear herself out.” Now, mind you, I have read every baby sleep book known to man. I have avoided the cry it out method as much as possible. And I had finally gotten L to a manageable level of slumber. But I have been using this method, exactly as she just told me, for THREE DAYS already and, unless I want to listen to my kid continuously scream ALL FUCKING DAY, I am not sure I can continue. Just now, after an hour and seven minutes of this, she has finally stopped (an hour and seven minutes in THIS attempt, 40 and 45 minutes in the previous two attempts) and she has either finally worn herself out or has banged her head, amidst all the thrashing, and knocked herself out. And I am afraid to check. Because if I wake her up and have to start all over again, I WILL KILL MYSELF.

I called MB at work, in the middle of my second meltdown of the day, trying to explain to him what it is like to NEVER. EVER. EVER. get to stop trying to get babies to go to sleep. Especially when you haven’t slept, yourself. He is no help. Because he has never had to do all of that while simultaneously trying to tend to an infant. I have never, in my life, felt so helpless. And, I mean, sort of hopeless too. It seems like I can never accomplish anything because I am constantly trying to get L to sleep. There is no time to do ANYTHING ELSE.

I have read about this 18-month sleep regression. And let me tell you, those articles and whatnot make it sound like it is just a rough patch. Like, you got a hangnail. I liken it more to COMPLETE DEMON POSSESSION.

Please send good sleep juju. Or an exorcist.

To Work, Or Not to Work

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Yo Gabba Gabba! (Photo credit: Faceless Librarian)

I’ve been thinking a lot about going back to work.

Not because I am not enjoying being puked on and yelled at by tiny people all day or anything. And not because I don’t love “Yo Gabba Gabba” or waking up in the middle of the night with L to play. Or doing 37 daily loads of laundry. Because these things are fine. And the baby snuggles make all of that totally worth it.

Honestly, though, I think that, with MB working the schedule that he currently is, we’re just stretching ourselves too thin. We would both like to go back to school as soon as possible and we would like to have a lot more time to spend together and with the kids as a family. But right now, there just isn’t any time. I see MB for no more than one hour per night (usually at around 9 PM) and then one day per week, he is off. (And that doesn’t happen EVERY week.) So, that ONE DAY, we have to squeeze in all of the chores that we haven’t gotten to during the week, any family time we want to have, fun things with the kids, any alone time we might get, sleeping, and visiting with other members of the family. I don’t know if anyone told you, internet, but days only contain 24 hours. And that’s not a whole lot of hours for all that stuff. Considering that I haven’t yet figured out how to do anything else while also sleeping. (Which, seriously, you guys, would be amazeballs and I would be SUCH A ROCKSTAR if I could learn how to do that.) MB gets to spend so little time with the kids and I know that it is killing him to miss all the fun stuff that they are learning to do every day. But it is stressful on me too. And I am sure those of you who are SAHMs can agree that this job is super hard in and of itself. And I am sure that you will also agree that having a partner, even just in the evenings and on weekends doesn’t relieve all of the stress of the day, but it helps Mommy to be sane. And that, my friends, is important. Because if Mommy is wearing a straight-jacket, who is going to make the mac and cheese?

MB’s job is demanding. The pay is pretty good. But it is hardly worth having to sacrifice our time as a family to have a few extra dollars that we don’t have time to spend. It has been really hard on all of us.  But I really don’t know what the solution is at this point.

I am really not at all interested in putting my kids in daycare. In fact, I am super opposed to it. Not because all daycares are bad or scary or whatever, but because of my own experience in childhood. I have almost ZERO memories of hanging out with either of my parents when I was small. I remember my grandparents. And my uncle. And a daycare. And it wasn’t a bad childhood and that is not at all what I am saying. I just want my kids to have memories of…you know…ME. Playing with them. Taking them to the zoo. Playing hopscotch on the driveway. Not doing all of those things solely with other people. I want to be the one they remember. Or, I at least want to play a larger role than my parents did in my early years. (This was not their fault. My dad was in culinary school in New York and my mom was working full-time for next to nothing to keep us fed…) And I wouldn’t even mind so much if I was a close second to their dad. Because, obvs, that is equally important.

So, I am back on the hunt for a job. Ideally, one of us will work and the other will stay home with the kids and go to school. And I guess, what it comes down to, is that whichever one of us can make the most money will work, and the other will stay home and possibly work part-time if need be. I just don’t want to settle for some job that sucks all of the life out of me and leaves nothing for my littles. Because I am doing everything for them. I don’t want them to have memories of an overworked, miserable lady. And I don’t want MB to be that guy either. In a perfect world, I would be working from home, MB would work part-time and stay home with the kids while taking some classes on-line and we could just…SPEND SOME EFFING TIME TOGETHER. Hell, I’ve almost forgotten what he looks like.

Send us some good juju, internet. We just have to figure it all out. I just want my family. Together.

 

Elvis was Booked This Year

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Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1- (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, internet, one year ago yesterday, MB and I got married. In Vegas. With an Elvis impersonator. Yep.

I can hardly believe that we have been married for a whole year. Not to say that this year has been particularly easy. Because it has been a total mindfuck. Right after we got married (L was 5 months old), we found out we were expecting ANOTHER baby. Then we moved into a house, had a baby boy, MB changed jobs, I had to learn how to be a mother of two (still working on this one) and we have had to combat a LOT of hard shit. With MB working more at this new place, he is gone more than he is present. He misses things that the kids do every day. He missed the first time L gave a kiss (which was the cutest thing ever), the first time Baby O laughed, and COUNTLESS things already in the two months that he has been working this new schedule. And it is heartbreaking for him. And for me.

And our relationship is sometimes strained. He goes to work, day in, day out and makes money so that I can stay home and be driven completely mad by raise the kids so that we don’t have to send them to daycare. (Daycare totally terrifies me. And I am not judging those of you who don’t have a choice in sending your kids there, I am just lucky enough, because of my husband, that I can be here with them myself.) Sometimes I feel resentful that he gets to leave the house and see adults and have conversations that don’t involve babbling or made-up words.  Sometimes, I get angry that I am here all alone with no support from him. And I am sure that sometimes he resents me for being able to stay home with the kids and be there with them while they learn and grow and discover. Because I know that has to sting.

But I am wrong in being resentful. And I do check myself when I feel that way. Because I appreciate him. For every single thing he does for me. For us. He makes this life possible and I love him infinitely. And I am so lucky. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

On our anniversary, we saw each other for about two hours when he got home from work before he passed out from exhaustion on the loveseat. I always regret not having the time to say the things to him that I think about when I have time to think about our relationship. And my gratitude. We get lost in a sea of to-do lists and last minute chores and taking the trash out before we forget. And our anniversary was no different.

He came home with a bottle of wine, a card, and flowers. After working a 13 hour day and not having had lunch. After sweating in the hot sun. All for us. All for me.

And I just love him, internet.

I have never met anyone so kind and gracious and generous and loving. IN. MY. LIFE. And he has made this life possible for me. And I am eternally grateful. Even if I rarely can find the time to say it.

He never has time to read this blog. And I am writing as a reminder to myself that he is amazing. And I am one lucky gal.

(Happy ONE YEAR, MB. I hope you read this sometime when you aren’t busy making our family work and know that you are my everything. I love you.)

An Open Letter to My Kids: A Mommy’s Plea

Dear Kiddos,

I want to preface this letter by telling you how much I adore both of you. You are the center of my universe and your smiles are the most beautiful things I have ever seen. You make every day fun and interesting and pretty damn hilarious and, for that, I am so grateful.

But…

You are being total assholes.

You have been taking turns driving Mommy batshit insane for days on end and you seem to have no remorse. You wait until the other is content (for the 3.5 minutes that this will last) and then you scream your bloody head off and create havoc until I calm you down. And then the other one of you starts. You do this for hours. And hours. AND HOURS. Until Mommy is almost bald and considering padding the whole house, not only for easier childproofing but for protection for herself for when she completely loses it. Padded rooms are supposed to be safer for crazy people, I hear.

Mommy is not a terribly patient person to begin with. She likes quiet and alone time and reading books. She doesn’t get any of that anymore and has dealt with it rather well considering that one of you is a little tornado who NEVER. SITS. DOWN. and the other is a tiny, brand new nugget who needs constant attention in order to become another tiny tornado down the road. Mommy is tired and cranky and spends the majority of her time dreaming of enough time to take a hot, glorious shower. One where she might even SHAVE HER LEGS.

There is not enough wine in the state of Florida for Mommy this week, you guys. You have to tone down the crazy-pants. Or Mommy’s head will explode.

Your dad is a marvelous man and is a wonderful father, but has been working many, many hours per week to make sure that Mommy can stay home and keep you alive and not have to leave you with strangers or people who can’t handle the crazy. This leaves Mommy alone with you both for 16 hours per day. 16 hours is a really long time. And being that one of you (probably the one who shouldn’t be yet, but is, obviously, wise beyond his months) is sleeping 9 hours per night and the other (who will remain nameless, LILAH.) refuses to sleep in her crib for more than five straight hours at night without pitching the world’s largest fit until being invited to sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s room where she will torment us with feet of steel (seriously, how are those little kicks NOT LITTLE KICKS?) to the kidneys for hours and then resort to head butting and sitting on our faces, Mommy is EXHAUSTED.

Mommy wants to finish ONE CUP of coffee while it is still hot. Mommy wants to eat a meal while sitting down. Mommy wants to shave her effing legs. Or pee without an audience. Just once. Maybe twice per day. Mommy wants to put on mascara and not read a book that does not involve red fish and blue fish or cats in hats and the like. Mommy needs David Sedaris, you guys. Can I read “Naked” to you? Because I’ve gotten to page 14 and it has been three weeks.

Again, I love you guys. It is the kind of patient, unyielding love that I never expected to feel. But seriously, you guys, throw Mommy a bone here and GO THE EFF TO SLEEP. Like, at the same time, and for a couple of hours. Consecutively. My legs are a forest.

Thanks.

 

Love,

Mommy