Monthly Archives: May 2012

Boys Can Cry Too

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Two year olds cry. a. lot. I’ll be the first to complain about it and tell you that spending time with us, means spending time with crying. No question about it, its annoying, really annoying!!!! Some days I want to pull my hair out annoying because no matter how many times I ask him why he’s crying or if he can use his words to tell me what’s wrong, most of the time he can’t or doesn’t. Likely because he’s two and he’s 3 feet of pure uncontrolled emotion. They call it Terrible Twos for something, although I keep hearing that Three isn’t much better, god help us all, I may not survive another year of this. However, lately I’ve been amazed by the amount of people who upon coming across my crying son, actually tell him to stop crying, because. boys. don’t. cry. Seriously? I mean really you’re seriously saying that to him, first he’s only 2 and second why don’t you just say, Brecken you have a penis and therefore you should be emotionally stunted, because that’s kind of the message you’re sending him. While you’re at it, perhaps you should just marry of my 8 month old? The Washington Post just did an article on this last week, entitled Why it’s good to let boys cry. This article focuses more on slightly older children but discusses the very real and negative effects that suppressing your emotional feelings can have, including increased depression and suicide. One thing that I know I’m guilty of and I don’t believe necessarily is tied to gender is telling my son that he’s okay after a small spill or bump, mostly because we see these 500X a day, but really would it kill me to ask if he’s okay or he’s hurt, making it a question rather than telling him what he feels, NO it wouldn’t and while the results wouldn’t likely be any different and he’ll still whine and cry, I’ve at least let him know that I care and that his feelings are important. So the next time you come across a crying boy, maybe think twice before telling him to man-up.

(Brecken during one of his epic meltdowns at Easter)

Thanks for Taking Care of my Poop Day!

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There seems to be a lot of talk about whether or not Mother’s Day and Father’s Day should be celebrated. Some say they’re just another Hallmark holiday, some say why do we celebrate Mother’s day when there are so many shitty mothers out there, others argue that we don’t actually get these days off and therefore it really isn’t a celebration (there’s some truth to this one but it isn’t the point I want to argue here) and so on. With respect to the first two, I concede Hallmark makes a fair amount of money off these holidays and well there are a lot of shitty mothers out there, perhaps their children shouldn’t buy them a card, but alas I know it isn’t that simple.

However, I have a proposition, instead of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day lets have “Thanks for taking care of my Poop until I was able to do it myself Day! Because before becoming a parent and therefore earning one of the aforementioned holidays, I knew a fairly reasonable amount about kids, had done a lot of kid watching and assisting child rearing, but what I didn’t know and hadn’t had to deal with was a whole lot of SH$T, LITERALLY! My knowledge of poop has grown exponentially since I became a mother.

I have learned acceptable colors for poop, acceptable consistencies for poop, what certain foods look like in poop, which foods affect the color and consistency of poop and the frequency of which one should or should not poop, and how certain medicines affect poop. This is a whole lot of information for someone who didn’t even like to admit that she did poop. In addition to all this, I have been pooped on directly, stepped in pooped, had the shower that I was in pooped in, cleaned poop out or off of the bathtub, bedding, car seat, and floor, routinely washed poop (although admittedly I do this willingly with cloth diapers), generally spend an average of close to an hour dealing with other people’s poop on any given day and on more than one occasion have come far too close to almost eating poop.

So again lets not fight over whether a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day is necessary or deserved or whatever, because regardless of how shitty your parents are/were, no pun intended, someone dealt with your poop until you could. So again I propose:

Thanks for taking care of my Poop until I was able to do it myself Day! 

and you can thank whoever it is that you need to thank, because unless we were raised in a pack of wolves, we all have someone probably lots of people we should thank. No gifts necessary just a really nice Thank You and finding someone else to deal with your poop for a day would do.

I can’t even begin to imagine the greeting cards that would come with this day…

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The Mama Work Out

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Losing baby weight is a total bummer, I mean losing it is great, but all the work you have to go through after the natural weight loss from childbirth/breastfeeding slows down is not so much fun!!! Especially after having a second child, the weight just fell off after the first, this time, not as much. So to the local YMCA I go, or at least try to. But on those days when it just doesn’t happen because of a cranky child or late nap or lack of motivation and dedication as my husband would say, I’ve rationalized that it doesn’t matter because on those days I participate in the Mama Work Out, it goes something like this.

The A.M. Workout

This can begin as early as 6:00 a.m. or as late as 7:30 a.m., it lasts until around 11:30 and starts with arm weights, lifting your yelling 29 pound 2 year old out of bed and onto the changer. You then manage to work several arm muscle groups while using one arm to wrangle kicking legs and the other to furiously wipe his bum.  Further arm lifting ensues when you try to dress him and he implements his latest attention seeking tactic and goes totally limp. This then carries over when you have to carry 29 pounds down 13 stairs, back up to get the 16 pound little sister and back down you go, now you’ve got cardio and arm lifting. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat…or in this case lift up, down the stairs, set down, back up, lift up, down the stairs, set down…whenever everyone needs to go upstairs for something, immediately the limp tactic comes into play and you’re working those arm muscles again. Do this at least 10 times a morning.

The Stroller/Lunch Workout

Want to meet some friends at the park for a stroll/lunch? Don’t think the workout stops here. Arm workout number 34 of the day, lift the mammoth double stroller out of the trunk, lift 16 pounds of passed out baby plus her car seat into the stroller, then grab the 29 pounder and push, add 10 minutes of cardio to that and you’ve managed to find your lunch destination. Time to pack on those calories, but first you better lift that squirming 29 pound 2 year old out of the stroller, since obviously his legs are broken and he’s going limp again yelling MILK. Finagle ordering, pushing heavy stroller to find a spot to eat and plopping 2 year old in chair. Furiously eat while trying to get 2 year old to eat and then time to load up again. Work off those lunch calories on the walk back through the park and for the grand finale of this workout, wrestle 2 year old who doesn’t want to leave into car seat and buckle him in, pack away still passed out baby in her car seat and then return mammoth heavy double stroller to trunk. Whew, done.

Afternoon/Nap Workout

10 minutes later and you’re home again and ready for the next workout, lug cranky 2 year old whose naturally limp and whining up the stairs for a diaper change, on the changer, off the changer, onto the potty, off the potty, onto the changer (please don’t assume he’s being cooperative during all of this) and clothes back on. If you’re lucky you only took one or two kicks to the face/arms during all of this or had your ear drum blown out with one of his many complaints. Now to do your cool down you pick up the 16 pound baby, change her, return her to the floor and pass out in the chair to read some nap time stories.

The Blissful Rest Period

The couple hours where the 29 pound baby sleeps and you only have to tote around your very attached 16 pound baby who wants to be held constantly.

Snack/Dinner/Bath/Bed

and we’re off again…you’ve been yelled at from the bedroom and wait what, he wants to get up himself and walk to the bathroom, sure!! False alarm, halfway there he melts down and goes limp, pick him up, potty, changer, up, down, turn around, put your right arm in and shake it all about. Lug him downstairs and fix a snack in the kitchen all while the 29 pounds of dead weight hangs onto your leg, yelling pick me up, no I don’t want that, I want this. Do this until you can find something that appeases you both, so this portion of the workout could be 5 minutes or 25 minutes. Don’t forget you should be carrying your 16 pounder while doing this, if it’s a light day she may lounge in her jumper for you. Repeat for dinner but add in some arm lifts to get everyone in their proper boosters/high chairs. Afterwards, play with the kids, run around the back yard, maybe go for a walk and get some cardio in. Then for your last set of arms for the night lug everyone upstairs for baths and bed, up, down, up, down, clothes off, into tub, out of tub, onto changer, into jammies, onto floor, next baby…Finally your 29 pound weight is in bed and you’re just left with the 16 pound baby who will go to bed with you. When you finally lie down for the night, you pass out thinking, tomorrow, yes tomorrow I will go to the gym!

A Case of Toddler Morning Wood

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I knew having a boy would have its awkward moments. I keep telling my husband I’ll potty train him to sit and he can teach him to aim someday. Needless to say, I just wasn’t really prepared for one at 7:30 a.m. after another crappy night of sleep and before any coffee or caffeine. I also didn’t think awkward moment number 1 would start at 27 months and 5 days. At least this time it was only awkward for me, of course until he’s 14 and finds this blog post =). Brecken already knows he has a penis, I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of having some silly name for it, I’m not a medical professional but calling it by its actual name has always seemed to be the best approach. Frequently he will point or touch it during diaper changes and say “this my penis” and usually the answer is “yup that’s your penis.” Interestingly that is often followed by “where’s my other penis?” Apparently Brecken has a spare, who knew. Where he keeps it, only he knows. Anyway, I digress.

This morning when I walked in to my chirping/yelling son, he stands up in bed and points to his diaper and says “What’s this?”

In my groggy still semi-sleepatose state, I say the obvious “Ah that’s your diaper?” Then I launch him onto the changer and pull off the diaper only to be greeted by what you menfolk refer to as “morning wood”. Ok whatever, this isn’t the first occurrence, he is a baby boy, but I’m pretty sure his penis has grown since the last occurrence, no pun intended.

Sure enough, Brecken points to it and says “What’s this” for lack of a better explanation and because well that’s what they call erection seemed a little much for 27 months and 5 days as well as 7:35 a.m. before coffee or caffeine, I simply said “that’s your penis”, to which he responded “it hurts.” Hmmm crap, I don’t remember anything about this hurting, I thought, perhaps it’s just awkward feeling, unusual maybe. Egads, what if it does hurt, what does one do?  “I’m sorry that it hurts” I say, hoping to G*D he doesn’t ask me to kiss it which is the routine follow-up when something hurts, because if he does, I don’t care what time it is, I’m busting out the ice cream. Thankfully he did not, although when I went to put his new diaper on, there was no good way to do it.  So I slapped the diaper on and off he went, with a little larger diaper this morning than most and thankfully already over our awkward conversation. Me, I may be scarred for weeks.

 Photo Credit Here

Slept like a Baby or did I?

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Who the H came up with that saying? Slept like a baby? So what you got 14 hours of sleep in 2 hour increments, maybe with a long stretch of 5-6 hours, umm okay lucky you I guess. The only thing I can think of is that whoever started this saying either didn’t have kids or was so old they don’t remember having kids. Lets be clear too, the saying isn’t slept like a baby’s parents, because let’s be honest no one wants to be us. Except I keep seeing all these annoying posts on Facebook like OMG my 3 week old slept for 8 hours straight!!!! I’m torn between asking when they feed their baby and when, absolutely hating them, or going all Red Foreman and reaching though the screen to shove my foot up their a$$.  Then clarity sets in, and laughter ( possibly hysteria?) takes over and I remind myself that no baby is perfect!! Those with good sleepers can have super fussy eaters, teething monsters, crazy clingy babies, colic set in or any number of other challenges we face as parents. And trust me that great sleeper at eight weeks can be an awful sleeper at almost 8 months, example A is currently sitting in my lap. We all pay our dues so to speak. And if you claim to have the perfect baby, not going to lie, I’m going to think you’re lying, but if not, you should probably look into cloning because that kind of thing only happens once.

We went on a mini-vacation last weekend and were prepared for the worst. It normally takes our son like 3 weeks to recover from vacation and get back into his sleep routine. That’s not to mention that he doesn’t generally get any sleep on vacation. He surprised us this time. Now his sister, well that’s another story, she didn’t sleep hardly at all the first night, then as if that wasn’t enough we got an encore last night, our 2nd night home.  She’s the gift that just keeps giving, let me tell you. But as a whole, it could have been a lot worse for our first nights away from home with two kiddos instead of one, and all sleeping in the same room.  In fact, I think the two of them were better than Brecken has ever been by himself before. Here are some tips that we found that seemed to work, in case anyone else has this problem:

Bedtime Vacation Tips:

1. Stick to Routine: This is hard!!!! We didn’t do so well with naps but were very good about getting Brecken down the same time every night and as close to the same routine as possible, three books and then bedtime. It worked, at 27 months he knows this routine and is comfortable with it and I really believe it helped.

2. Make things Familiar: We brought all of his bedding, pillow, blanket to snuggle, puppy dog he snuggles which sounds like a lot but really wasn’t. I think this helped to make him comfortable away from home, he was on a twin aero-bed so he wasn’t much lower than his toddler bed would be and we decked it out with all of his bedding so it seemed like his bed.

3. Don’t Compete with Bedtime: Another thing hard to do but if there’s something better than bedtime (well lets be honest some nights anything is better than bedtime) it can be harder to get them down, especially somewhere unfamiliar. So try to take some time before bedtime with mellow activities, nothing that is so awesome there is no way that your little one wants to miss, so if you’re out making smores make sure he/she gets to join in the fun before having to head off to bed.

4. Don’t Rush It: In line w/ number 3, kids know if you’re trying to run off to have a good time without them, so as much as you might be dying to crack open that wine and hang with your spouse, make sure to stick to routine and don’t rush through it, read the stories, sing the songs and remember if your child is anything like mine, they look forward to this one on one time and depend on it.

On an aside, in case any of you want to know anything more about me, I’ve include my new autobiography below, except that I CAN cook, when I WANT to. I’ll let you figure out the operative word in that sentence!

Clearly everyone has something to offer in a relationship =) !!!!

(Photo Credit: someecards.com)

Lucky Won

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No, I did not misspell won, that was not meant to be one. This is not a Britney Spears song. If my life starts to resemble a Britney Spears song, please put me out of my misery. It says Lucky Won, because quite simply, I was lucky  or I like to think I was and consequently I won the original oval tree swing from The Original Tree Swing’s Facebook giveaway. Lucky me!!!! This swing can bring nostalgic childhood memories to people who didn’t even have nostalgic childhoods, it’s that quintessential american childhood. We have exactly one tree that is not on our curbside, and this beautiful tree swing now hangs from its largest branch. Muchos gracias to my husband who literally climbed the tree to hang it, in his work clothes, like a freaking monkey. Apparently once an eagle scout always an eagle scout, rule number 923. If you like nostalgic, natural wooden toys or Waldorf dolls or are just looking for something unique check out http://www.theoriginaltreeswing.com, they have amazing toys, I really want one of the slingshot making kits, possibly more for myself than even my child and don’t even get me started on the Waldorf dolls, adorable.

Here are some pictures of how we do tree swings in the City….

He climbs trees like a monkey, it’s just hidden talent no. 753 I didn’t know about it…. just be careful if angered he may throw coconuts at you

and now to test it out….

WHEE!!!!!!

OH MAN THIS IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS!!!

Disclaimer: The Original Tree Swing did not pay me to write about them, I did win the tree swing out of I believe pure luck and liking them on Facebook and commenting on a post and not because they had any idea that I would incorporate them into my word vomit, in fact had they known that they may have tried to take it back…but now they’d have to fight my two-year old for it, and trust me he fights dirty, with puppy dog eyes and alligator tears!!! P.S. does anyone know what alligator tears even means?

Spectacularly Unspectacular Mother’s Day

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I hope your Mother’s Day was as absolutely spectacularly unspectacular as mine! We had a cookout at my moms, took a walk through a local nature preserve to scope it out for a future large scale family picture session, see some pictures below of Brecken, lounged around our yard and rounded the day off with Chinese takeout for dinner. It was an absolutely wonderful day in a very relaxing and no pressure sort of way. Although, I could have done without the strange card about vasectomies from my children, I’m not sure my husband will ever live that down. I think he was trying to send me a not so subliminal message perhaps? I hope all of you mothers enjoyed your days in your own special ways! Now that my weekend bridal shower/bachelorette party, mothers day festivities are over perhaps I will get back to blogging before we jet off again Thursday to meet our favorite Chicago residents for a mini vacation!

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