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.

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.

 

 

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.

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…

A Dare

So, I haven’t really written in awhile, about how life is as a mother of two UNDER TWO. And that is mostly because, as a mother of two under two, I have  ZERO time to do so. Which, I am sure you might have expected.

I am, by no means, some type of domestic goddess. In fact, I am quite the opposite. I hate dirty dishes, but if I use my muffin pan to make the delicious and healthy oatmeal cups (for which, the liners will not work) for my daughter so that she doesn’t have to eat crap food for breakfast, I will pretend not to see the muffin pan sitting in the sink for days and use the excuse that “it needs to soak” to avoid scrubbing the shit out of it. I do assloads of laundry but frequently leave clean clothes in baskets until I can no longer stand to look at them. I sweep 471 times per day but can never seem to get everything. And I routinely bribe my husband with anything I can think of to scrub the bathtub because I fucking hate doing it.

When and if my kids take naps at the same time, I prefer to spend that hour (USUALLY LESS) watching the reality TV on my DVR and playing Candy Crush. Because, we all have our guilty pleasures. And while I wish I could say that I bust my ass during that time, I would be lying. Because it rarely happens and Mama needs her Mob Wives fix. And I won’t apologize. Because, as chaotic as I knew all of this “mother of two” shit was going to be, I HAD NO IDEA what I was getting myself into.

I have a friend who was pregnant with her second child when I was pregnant with L. Her kids are about 17 or 18 months apart. I always marvel at her because, though we share a bunch of frustrated, “WHY WON’T THESE FUCKING KIDS SLEEP” texts (DAILY), she seems to handle it all so much better than I feel I do. I mean, it could just be that I am more willing to say things like, “Seriously. My kids are being assholes and they are trying to kill me” or “If they don’t STOP THIS RIGHT NOW, I am making them sleep in the yard”. It just seems to me that, through the frustration, she finds grace. And I find myself wanting to bang my head against hard things.

Being a SAHM is completely ridiculous. I mean, there are moments that I am SO grateful for. Like, when the kids interact with each other and I get to catch what seems like this private, brother-sister moment. Or when L says something really awesome like the other day when she said, “Hot mess!” when I was trying to scrub syrup off of her chin. I am grateful that, in her, I can see so much of myself. She speaks with my inflection (and hopefully doesn’t start integrating my HORRIBLE language! FUUUUUCK, I have to stop swearing so much!) and it is all because I am the one she hears the most. And that is pretty awesome. Dangerous. But totally awesome. I would say that about 85% of the time, I really enjoy my time with my kids. But that other 15% makes me want to run screaming from my house and never come back. I don’t know if it is okay to admit that. But screw it. There it is. If my bosses in the workforce ever worked me like this, I would have stabbed them in the neck with my staple remover. But, you know…my little slavedrivers are the loves of my life. So, that’s like, a get out of jail free card. Lucky them.

I am more patient than I have ever been (although, my husband might tell you differently, but what does he know about anything? He gets to leave the house without two tiny people hanging on him.) and I am mostly happy with the decision I have made to become this person. Mostly. I miss interacting with people who can utter at least four-word sentences (we’re so close!) and drinking coffee while it is still hot. I miss lunch breaks. I even sometimes miss waking up to an alarm and not an infant demanding food. (I never thought I would say that I miss my alarm. Seriously. Who says shit like that?)

But this shit is hard. I am exhausted and am currently nursing L back to health from strep throat and dealing with Baby O’s third round of teething. I am averaging 3 solid hours of sleep per night and eating frozen food while I make 17 different dishes for L who is entering the terrible twos. I drink entirely too much coffee and spend entirely too little time with my husband. (who is currently out of town for work for two weeks. Just in time for the strep and teething. Lucky bastard.) I haven’t painted my toenails in weeks and my hair desperately needs a trim. I need to lose the last ten pounds I gained during my last pregnancy (plus about 30 more) and I need to take better care of my skin. But the kids. Oh my god, the kids. They are so much fun and so adorable and so time consuming that I barely remember that these things are…well…things.

It is a balancing act. And I am working on it.

So, there you go, internet. Go ahead, have two kids in the span of 13 months. I dare you!

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.