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.

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.

An Open Letter to O: One Whole Year

Dear Oliver,

Well, we made it. You are officially a year old. This means that your father and I have survived your infancy. I am pretty proud of us. I mean, come on. It is sort of a big deal.

Your actual birthday was fairly unremarkable. I mean, if you don’t count that I burst into tears no less than 30 times. Because, as you probably will know by the time you read these letters, I am a total sap when it comes to you and your sister. L helped your cousin and your Aunt Amanda make cupcakes with a nauseating blue frosting so that the mess would be substantial enough to be photo-worthy. (Success!) You ate spaghetti. And by “ate spaghetti”, I mean WORE SPAGHETTI. The mess was epic. It was a good day.

We had your birthday party this past Saturday. You wore a shirt that said, “If you mustache, I’m one” and we baked your birthday cake and fashioned it into the shape of a giant mustache. Because…you’re practically a man now, little dude. Your sister has already stolen all of your new toys and/or lost the pieces to them. Honestly, it took longer than I had anticipated.

20140616-163934.jpgYou are a little madman right now. Once you started really crawling, you didn’t stop. It took you a really long time to realize that, if you want to go somewhere, you could just hoist your little self up and get going. But you have mastered it. And you are FAST. I put you down in one spot and I turn my head for a second and you are gone. Almost always trying to shut yourself in a room so that you can scream at the top of your lungs for me to come and rescue you. Or, you know, trying to pull shit out of all of the outlets in the house. You are a sneaky little shit. But you are learning so much new stuff every day and you are so proud of yourself when you figure things out. It is hard to believe that in a year, you will be the age your sister is now and running around and talking and singing and doing all sorts of little kid stuff. It is also hard to believe that one year ago, you were just a tiny little meatloaf. All brand new and delicious. And, while you are still totally edible, you are just so big now. You are growing up so fast. And I can’t figure out why it is all so shocking to me. I just watched your sister grow, so quickly, from a baby into an honest to goodness little kid. And it was terrifying. And beautiful. Just as it is with you. But still, every time I look at you, I wonder where the time has gone.

I wish and hope so many things for you, my dearest boy. I hope that you will grow to be the kind of man your father is. Loving, kind, generous, selfless and hilarious. I hope that you will realize the value in all people. (Even some people that you have probably heard me say some not so good things about. Because that will happen. And, for that, I am sorry. Because even those people have value. I just may not know what it is. I don’t know everything. Except that…Yes, I do. I am your mother.) I hope that you are nice to your sister. I hope that you know that you two are so loved and such a gift to your father and me. I hope that we show you that enough. I am going to do my best to make sure that I do. And I am going to do my best to be an example of humility for you and L.

I can’t wait to see who you will become. But at the same time, I wish I could push a pause button sometimes just to hold on to these moments that are flying by too fast. You are a beautiful little soul.

As always, my little love, you are the light of my every day. You make all the other nonsense worth it. You are the love of my life. I hope you know that always.

Here’s to another wonderful year and so many more to follow. I love you. I love you. I love you.

To the moon and back,

Mom

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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.

 

 

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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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.