Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mornings

I can sort of remember what life was like in the morning before I had kids. I remember complaining about having to wake up at 7:30 for work, and lamenting that I was still tired after the weekend, even though I had not woken up before at least 9 on either day. Now I’m completely dumbfounded as to what the heck I could have possibly meant. What I wouldn’t give for my pre-kid morning routine! Yesterday I had one of the WORST mornings I’ve had in a long time. It went a little something like this.

From 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. our power decided to go on and off about 3 times. This meant that the girls’ white noise maker did the same. They can sleep without it or with it, but not with it going on and off every 10 minutes. Also, when the power would go back on, the smoke alarm down in the basement would give a nice “woo woo” to let us know that it was in fact back in action. So, needless to say there wasn’t any sleeping going on during that time. (side note, the girls actually did really well and didn’t fuss until the final huge beep at 6. BQ just let out a guttural whine and rolled over. Molé needed a hug and a kiss and then i held my breath hoping she’d go back to sleep). Well, apparently we all fell back asleep and at seven I was startled awake by BQ telling me “it’s at the SSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEVEN!!” They aren’t allowed out of their room until this lovely hour. If you have a child who comes out of her room at ungodly hours but is old enough to know her numbers, I seriously recommend doing this. It’s magic. Anyway, I fell asleep HARD and was not at all ready to wake up. Usually I stir around 6:30 and have some time to drink coffee and, well, not be a grouch. Yesterday, I had no such time and I was not in a good mood. BQ was actually great, coming out without a whine or fuss and settling in to watch some cartoons. Molé on the other hand was ravenous and refused to eat anything I presented. Cheerios, no, milk, no banana, NO. Well, I was in no mood to make eggs at 7:15, so I allowed her to indulge in a full out 15 minute tantrum. As she crawled into my lap exhausted when she had finished hurling her body at the ground and writhing around in utter disdain for me, covered in a snot/tear mixture, she finally relented and accepted both the banana and the O’s. Whew.

About an hour later, around 8:30 or so, I decided that I should probably bathe. Only problem was the girls were very much rocking out on the slide I brought inside and I knew it would be UGLY to pull them away. Let’s just say the two of them completely unsupervised on this particular piece of play equipment could be a recipe for complete disaster. There was no way I could be in the shower knowing they were sliding. BQ, amazingly enough, understood and agreed to leave the slide without problem. Unfortunately I could not fully enjoy her fabulous choice for long, because someone else decided to launch into round two of tantrumville USA. Not cool. More thrashing, more tears, more snot, and lots more drama. I do recall at some point hearing myself say out loud, “I just want to take a shower!!!” In a voice that could only be described as desperate/almost at breaking point decibels. Again we all recovered and I did get to de-funktify myself at last.

After the shower I did make the eggs, which Molé consumed like a ravenous beast, as if the entire banana two cups of O’s and large glass of milk she had eaten an hour before never happened. BQ of course took a small bite and said, “I’m still full from my banana.” Gotta love it.

All this to say, mornings can sometimes be a little taste of hell for me. Being woken up at random hours by little people up in my grill demanding food, beverage, t.v., wiping, entertainment, and wardrobe assistance when all I want to do is crawl into a dark hole somewhere is not cool. And yet is is my daily existence. So I drink lots of coffee and try really hard not to watch reality t.v. until midnight. I guess I shouldn’t expect them to know on Friday mornings that Project Runway is finally on a channel we have, but it doesn’t start until 10, so mommy is not going to be ready to wake up with a smile. But then again, just like anything, I also have to realize that with every choice I make, good or bad, there are consequences that affect my parenting and therefore my girls. And while I might need extra caffeine or another video to get my through, I should never expect my kids to get it or pay for my poor choices. What I’m trying to say, while poorly, is that the kids are always going to be hungry in the morning regardless of how late I was up and resenting them for simply being kids is overrated. I think many times we moms can get together and lament about things (believe me I LOVE a good lament) that are simply part of living with kids. They do things and say things that are going to be annoying. We did things that were really annoying to our parents too. One of my high school friends always used to say, “It’s like living with a six year old.” So true, even though I would change the age to 3. This life is just that- it’s living with a 1 and a 3 year old, even in the morning.

So this morning I was up before the girls, thank God, and able to consume some coffee. I’ve been surprisingly engaged and pleasant with my children, imagine that. If you are struggling with early mornings or the overall ways of children you are not alone. I am right there with you. On the bad days, give yourself some grace, because it happens to all of us. And on the days where there are pancakes, eggs, and all the food groups represented in your child’s breakfast, well hot damn, girl. Take a photo. Above all, hang in there. I’ve heard teenagers like to sleep in, so that’s like a decade away…

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It’s All About the Letter G

Cutie booty

I am going to try and start sharing about specific products I love on here, not because I have any personal gain from it, but because when stuff rocks and makes my life easier, it’s worth passing along. Also, if you noticed, I added a new column on your left called “Stuff I’m Crushing On” which will be a place where I put some links to sites that have some of the things I talk about. Sound good?

So today, I want to tell you about the diapers that we’ve been using since Molé was born. When BQ came along, I didn’t know anyone who did anything other than disposables. I had no idea how many cloth or hybrid options were out there. Heck, I didn’t even know that there were disposables that were less horrible for the environment. I wish that I had known how easy, cute, and wonderful they are. When I was pregnant with Molé I came across the G Diaper and thought we’d give it a go. Basically it is a cloth diapering system that involves a compostable/flushable/tossable insert. Being someone who is very conscious of wasting water, that’s what happens when you grow up in the desert, I wasn’t sure the full cloth diapers were for me. I was really worried about doing extra laundry and using extra water and energy. So, with that in mind, I figured that this would be a great choice. I could not have been more right. (and that doesn’t happen very often). I have loved these diapers from the start. Recently, my love affair has grown even more as they have introduced the G cloth, which is a cloth insert for the same diaper. Now I can either use the compostable/flushable/tossable insert or the cloth one. Fabulous. And, the water and energy use that I was so worried about is a non issue, as they do not require multiple loads in the washer. I have found the cloth insert to be so easy, that we are basically 100% cloth around the house and use the throw aways when we are out and about. (you know we have a rockin’ social life). If you have ever considered cloth diapering, I would encourage you to look into G Diapers. Honestly, they are easy. And, even if you use the throw away inserts, you are only looking at 150 days to biodegrade versus 500 YEARS for your regular disposables. That wasn’t a type-o by the way. 500 YEARS. Sick, I know.

A basket full of G's

Do any of you do cloth? What do you like? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And here are two blogs that have recent posts about cloth diapering if you are in the market!

The Train to Crazy

Happily Domestic

P.S. If you are worried about the start up costs, I hear you. A couple of options for that include looking at sites like Craigslist and Ebay for used (really, it’s not gross), some websites where people swap diapers, or just borrowing from a friend. My small G’s are now on their 3rd baby. Anyway, some thoughts.

Craft-tastic

Just as a warning, this post is quite mommy-esque and might seem like boring kid talk to those readers without kids. So, feel free to move on to the next blog on your list. But, for those of you who, like me, are constantly looking for ways entertain your kiddos, I thought I’d share some recent crafty loves I’ve been working on to keep my ladies busy.

BQ has always loved crafts and back in the day when Molé napped multiple times a day, we would have some great one on one time doing various projects. For those of you with a new baby in the house, I definitely recommend doing this. It is so nice to do something focused with your older child when you have one on one time. Did that make sense? Basically, I found that with BQ rather than just doing random play together, we were able to connect and really enjoy doing a “big girl” project. Obviously that might not be true for your child, but it was with mine. This worked great for us for a while, but when Molé became mobile and then went down to only one nap, it made our crafting pretty much non existent. Luckily, now at 18 months, we have reached an even better stage where not only is Molé not in the way, she is able to participate! And, BQ loves having her best friend and mommy do it all together. It definitely helps the morning restlessness in our home as well.

Okay, so here are some of the things we have enjoyed, that are really easy. I just thought I’d pass them along, because I know I’m always looking for ideas. You may already do them yourself, or may have other fun ideas to add. Please feel free to leave your ideas in the comments, because I would LOVE them. And, as a reminder, my girls are 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 and obviously some of the things I modify for my younger daughter as we go along. At any rate, some crafty fun.

1. Stickers! Um, these rock. I slap a piece of paper up on the easel, or we do it at the table, hand BQ a sheet of stickers and she is off. Molé can’t quite hold her own sheet and peel them off, so I sit there and hand them too her. This is easy to do while also sipping on that morning cup of coffee. I kid you not that we often do this for an hour. An 18 month old completely happy doing the same thing for an hour is FABULOUS. I buy cheap stickers in bulk, since we tend to crank through them! Oriental Trading Company is a fabulous resource.

2. Old container decorating! Okay, sounds odd, but you know those old coffee canisters, Crystal Light containers, etc? Great for a craft. I’ve thrown some paper around the containers so that the girls can draw on them, slap stickers on them, glue on pom poms, paint, whatever they want. You can even create strategically create them to help you organize things like markers, crayons, etc. Super fun. Doing that this morning, in fact.

3. Old greeting cards! A friend of mine recently turned me on to this. Take your old greeting cards and reuse them for projects. I like to go through them and either cut out fun images and words or if it is a pattern type card I cut out shapes. These can them be glued onto projects. Very easy, very cheap, and a great way to reuse something you already have.

4. Watercolor paints. Um, the best. Easy to clean, one brush involved, and cheap. They even make coloring books that are made for doing water color. Nice.

5. Twistable crayons. If your child gets as frustrated as mine when her crayons are constantly snapping in half, these are the best. Why they don’t make shorter crayons for small hands yet is beyond me. They seem to just make them fatter, which really doesn’t help. At any rate, these are awesome because they are much harder to break. Not impossible 🙂 just harder.

6. Iron on shapes. I bought these $.99 fabric purses and we had a blast decorating them. I just bought a little bag of iron on butterflies and let BQ tell me where to place them. After they were cooled, I helped her decorate with puff paint. Remember that stuff? I used to make some crazy earrings with that action.

Anyway, these are just a couple and I will try to add some at regular intervals. Again, I would LOVE your ideas!!! Happy crafting to you.

The Curds Give me Away

My house is messy. It is MESS-Y. There may be some moments where it is “picked up” or freshly mopped wedged somewhere in between the moments of too much crap on the table to see the counter and oh my goodness please don’t step in the urine on the floor over there times. Yah, I do bust out a sponge and something that comes out of a spray bottle and smells nice from time to time. I don’t like odors, so if I ever detect one I am the sleuth of all sleuths, on the case from sun up ’till sundown until said smell is hunted down, killed (if necessary), and conquered. Ah yes, the smell of freshness where there once was only decay and rancid fumes is a very good thing.

Alas, back to my point. Lately, I have found that my girls are secretly running science experiments throughout our house. Cultures are growing, and the results are less than positive. Oh yes, the old sippy cup left under the couch, sippy cup left behind the bookshelf, sippy cup left out in plain sight but mommy forgot to clean it 2 days ago routine. Normally, this is a slightly gross undertaking to clean, but not too big of a deal. Unfortunately, with no central air, 70% plus humidity and 80 to 90 degree temps lately, these findings have gone from unpleasant to downright vomilicious (while not a word YET, worthy of usage. that which could cause one to have the desire to, urge to or need to vomit could be characterized as being “vomilicious”). Hey, if Beyoncé can add “licious” to a pet name for butt, write a ditty about it and make millions, I’m at least gonna try to rock it. Okay, back to the cups. Seriously, I don’t know what stage of the dairy product making process we are achieving, but things are definitely not in a liquid form when found. And the smell…um…there are no words.

So, after finding these sippy cups on a daily basis for a while I have realized that I can no longer hide or go incognito as one of those women who has a clean home. I don’t enjoy cleaning, don’t feel more “centered” in a clean house, and don’t get antsy from looking at clutter. I truly am clueless and unphased. If you come over to my house unannounced, it will be messy, but I will gladly welcome you to join our chaos. Just don’t open a sippy cup if you find one on the ground. If you are someone who manages to keep a clean home (and it totally doesn’t count if you pay someone to do it. nothing wrong with it, it’s actually quite fabulous, but it just means i don’t have to feel guilty at all when i’m in your home) mad props to you. I actually love being in your home and am often inspired to change some things around my own. And yet, I have knick knacks, piles, and stacks. And life is too short for me to really care. I will try to get better at putting things away after I use them, since I obviously still haven’t mastered that after 30 years, and will hunt down those cups throughout the day to avoid any health hazards. But really, I am going to just accept that this is part of who I am and forcing myself to be like “so and so” or meet some crazy standard is a total waste of my time.

It’s late, my house is still a mess, and you know what? I’m going to bed. And I think I’ll actually sleep better knowing that my house, just like its mistress, is far from perfect, definitely not in order, and could probably use a good deep clean.

Oh the Milkman

All I gotta say is Carlos, our new best friend who brings us the most tasty, cold, creamy, luscious milk EVER, totally rocks. This milk delivery business rocks. Not having to go to the store to buy milk or wonder what’s in my milk rocks. So, go get yourself a milkman! Like I said, it rocks.

It’s Intense

Can I get a “what what” from anyone out there who has an intense child? If you are thinking to yourself, “hmm, do I,” than no, no you do not. My beautiful BQ has been intense since her first breath on this earth. I had no idea why she cried so much when she was a newborn, or refused to just “nap” in the stroller as I went about my business as other babies did. The more she grew and the more she developed as a person the more I finally understood why these early months were so difficult. She’s simply intense. She knows how she wants things done and is not afraid to express herself. Not completely unlike her mother. She likes order, structure, and what’s known. If the schedule is going to be thrown off, I better be on my game with a nice prep period so she knows what’s up. Itchy tag on a shirt, yep that’s gonna ruin the day. Socks that are “twisty twisty” yikes. A malfunctioning toy, goodnight head for the hills people it’s going to get ugly! She is intense. And somedays that intensity drives me quite close to insanity.

So what is a mother to do? How do we parent children who have personalities that at times can make them harder to parent? How do we not start to “prefer” the child who goes with the flow, wakes up smiling with kisses, and doesn’t cringe when we try to offer affection? For one, we work hard, and two we choose to celebrate. What I’ve decided is that I have two amazing little girls, very different little girls, but equally wonderful. These girls were made just the way they are, to be individuals and it is not my job to change them. Even if it would make my job easier, it would certainly make her someone who she is not. And you know what? I just want her to be BQ. And her intense nature is part of who she is and I’m choosing to love it. The whole enchilada that makes her my little girl. I’m claiming the public meltdowns, the times when she refuses to smile at sweet little old ladies at Starbucks, the scream-fests when she’s sleep deprived, and the sass. You know why? Because I’m also claiming her kind words and fabulous manners, intelligence and creativity, beauty, gentleness, compassion, and great sense of humor. Why do we so easily want to claim the good and not the bad? My goodness, if my mom had only accepted my good qualities, I would have been up a creek!!! And, who is to say that what I think are “bad” qualities really are? They simply aren’t.

I love my daughter and I am going to give it one heck of a go to try and parent her in a way that directs and encourages rather than tries to reshape and remold. I don’t want her to be like my friend’s kid or even like her sister. I just want her to be my sweet BQ.

Sometimes You Gotta Get Up Pretty Early…

Or maybe it’s just when you have a toddler. What is that all about!!?? For a period of months these little ones, regardless of whether or not they slept until college-esque hours during their infancy, turn into farmers. Is the sun slightly up? Then we are too. Is there a glimmer of light entering the room through the small crack in the window shade? That’s good enough for us. When 7 becomes 6, this momma just isn’t the same. Hence my passion and need for coffee burns on. So, cheers fellow mommies who greet the day at ungodly hours. Raise your mug and suck it down. Here’s hoping one day we find that magical method for bottling toddler energy so we can all have a swig.

The Milk Man

Believe it or not, I am not referring to a certain time of life where I have felt like just that. But, I guess a milk-woman. I am stoked about the fact that starting next Friday we are going to have a milkman bringing us yummy, fresh milk! The dairy is about an hour away, so it’s great to know that our milk isn’t coming from thousands of miles away. Have you ever thought about doing it old school and doing the milkman thing? More affordable than you think! Plus, it comes in glass bottles that are reused, so you aren’t wasting a plastic milk carton every week. And the obvious, the milk is super fresh and you know where it comes from. Oh, and the best of all, no need to rush to the store with crazy children just to get milk. That is going to rock in the winter!! Love it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anybody else going the milkman route? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Who knows what could happen. After all, my mom met the mom of one of my best friends (we’ve been friends since we were 2) through the milkman back in ’80. The possibilities are endless!

These Are Days…

IMG_2871

If this phrase has caused you to now have a certain 10,000 Maniacs song in your head on repeat, I apologize. Well, only sort of, because it’s actually a pretty great song. But, I had to comment that as much as these days with toddlers/preschoolers/babies are wicked hard, they are also pretty freakin’ fabulous.

Yesterday my hubby was able to get out off work early and was home by the time the girls woke up from their naps. Heaven. For those of us who have spouses who do not get weekends off, the ability to have almost half of a Sunday together is pretty much spectacular. Since we had the window of time, we decided to do something. We headed to dinner, which let’s face it, is really a crap shoot. You never know what’s going to happen. BQ is at a great age for eating out, but Molé…is anyone’s guess. Luckily, we had perfect timing and ordered the perfect things because it was bliss. BLISS I tell you! We sat at the table for almost an hour, everyone ate without being rushed, and we did not leave with a flaming case of indigestion from slamming down our food in order to go chase a toddler outside. Since all had gone well and it was still only 6:30 (part of why the dinner outing went so well, since the earlier the better with these little ones) we decided to go for a stroll down the road to work off said meal and take a stroll through Target to get some bread and shampoo. I know, it is a glamorous life. The best part was putting BQ up on my shoulders, and my sweet hubby had Molé on his, as we walked on over. The girls were giggling, there wasn’t any kid wrangling or children attempting to run into the street. Everyone was contained and happy. Daddy gave them a rocking ride in the groovy double cart at Target (thank God for those) and I was even able to stroll the aisles like a free woman. The walk back played out the same way, as we switched kids and shoulders and strolled back. Heaven.

So, here I am acknowledging a great day. Building an altar to remember that yes, the good really does outweigh the bad and that in the midst of the insanity, there is joy. And Miss Natalie Merchant, sing on girl. I hope to be rocking your sweet sounds in my head all day. (at least until someone poops on me or decides to whine that is). Whatever. I love my family.

Things I’m Enjoying These Days (Part 3?)

In order to help myself get a proper “attitude adjustment” I am going to once again make a list of the things that I am loving these days. Somehow when my hubby works nights I find myself slipping easily into a “woe is me” mode and I definitely do not want to live like that. So, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts…

Coffee. Still loving it. Can’t get enough.

Sunshine!!!

The freedom of our days since summer means basically no schedule

Preschool starts in a month

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law come to visit in two weeks (and they totally rock)

Fresh veggies from our garden. Oh so cheap and oh so tasty

It’s finally hot enough for the girls to wear their cute summer clothes (or for Molé to get to just chill in a diaper which is always my fave)

Ice cream on a daily basis

Facebook. Yes, I love Facebook.

Music. Any and all, it is just one of the best things in life

Writing. I love to write and am trying to do it more and more

Air conditioning

Our car. It’s small, fuel efficient, no frills, and fabulous.

Strollers with buggy boards (if you don’t have one, you need to get one)

The beginning of craft times where both girls can participate

Playing with friends (especially fun friends who have the Wii Fit 🙂

New babies to love on

My girls. Period. They are just the coolest.

Water. We are so blessed to have it and I’m even more aware of that during the summer.

Free stuff

G-cloth and Gdiapers in general

Crystal Light beverages (especially lemonade and raspberry lemonade)

And salad

That’s it for now, though there are many more things I am definitely thankful for on a daily basis. But, Curious George has ended and I must attend to these crazy people. Remember to make your own list- I swear it’s quite therapeutic.