Tag Archives: Kids

If I had a day without kids…

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If you asked me what I would do if I had an entire day without kids…

I would sleep in and then have a leisurely casual breakfast at my favorite coffee shop with my husband while reading the newspaper and enjoying a latte.

We’d spend the morning poking around downtown shops and plan our next vacation before stopping somewhere new for lunch.

In the afternoon, we’d catch a movie and snack on candy in the back of the theater, head home and read a book over a glass of wine/beer before trying a new recipe for dinner

We’d meet friend for drinks and then come home and fight over the remote in bed while catching up on tv and talking about our day.

That’s what I would say I’d like to do if I had a day without kids, but if I had a day without kids…

I’d wake up at 6:30 a.m. frantically wondering where the screaming alarm clock was and why there were no yelling demands for cereeeeaaaal and MAAAAMAAAAA, and I’d be wide awake and unable to sleep, wondering if they had already woken their babysitters. I might get that latte and coffee shop where we’d talk about the news and briefly enjoy the quiet and then wonder what they were up to and if they were behaving. We’d go shopping in the morning where I’d involuntarily turn around to the sound of every random child’s voice and be constantly looking for my small companions even though they weren’t there. Lunch would be somewhere completely child unfriendly where I would savor the ability to eat a meal at a restaurant without having to entertain anyone and then we’d head to a movie preferably devoid of children all while trying to avoid the nagging sensation to check in on them. Dinner conversation would eventually turn to the kids, what stages their going through, who needs what, what funny things they did, then with no one to tuck in and say good night to, we’d fight over the remote and wonder when we should pick up the kids.

Lies Parents Tell Themselves Before Children

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“We’re never going to sit in a restaurant while our children scream”

“We will never ever bribe our children”

“My children will never have snotty noses, where are all the tissues?”

“Our children will never be that naughty”

“If our kids cry like that, we’ll leave the store IMMEDIATELY”

“We’ll never let our children sleep with us”

“Our kids clothes will always match”

“I am absolutely going to have a natural childbirth” (Major props to you that do!!!)

“I will never quote my mother”

“Our house will never look like that”

“Our kids will never have that many toys”

“Our baby will sleep through the night, and if she/he doesn’t they can just cry themselves to sleep”

“We can do all the things we did before with kids”

“Our kids won’t fight like that”

and the list goes on and on and on…I mean it this could be like a 10 parter!

It’s like from the moment you recognize that you want to or will have children, you start mounting this little righteous front about how you will be a superb parent. Most likely setting yourself up for complete failure. Maybe you are the supermom who can do it all but if you’ve never bribed your child in a moment of weakness/emergency or forgotten to swipe the permanently dripping green snot off their nose in a sleep induced coma after two weeks of circulating the flu around your house, I will be amazed and perhaps inspired to reach a new level of mothersainthood, that even the church doesn’t recognize.

So we tell ourselves these little lies and they build up into this attitude. Then we have children and we become completely fucking unglued. That’s okay though, as long as we can bend, stretch, flex, adjust and grow in our attitude towards parenthood we’ll be okay. The biggest thing is to not be too much of a critic on yourself. If you bribe your child the moment you walk into Target, 4 days a week, you’ve got a problem. If you pull it out occasionally in times of emergency or just to retain your sanity (as long as your sanity doesn’t require it 4 days a week) so what. If your toddler spent the better part of her first 1.5 years sleeping with you, I’m sure there was a reason, we sure had ours. It’s not like most people take a perfect crib sleeper and toss them in their bed for funsies. So don’t get down on yourself if you told a few lies before this whole adventure began. Look back on them, recognize them and laugh at them.

And remember, I’m only writing this post so I can feel better about myself, not make you feel worse, no judgment over here. What’s the best lie you told yourself before kids?

Potty Training in the Dark

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Where the capital H have I been? I know, that’s clearly been on your mind, like you don’t have 30,000 other more important thoughts. But just in case, a teeny little part of you wondered, I’ve been heavily involved in shit, literally, I’ve been in the trenches. The trenches of potty training, oh and in Chicago and cutting all my hair off in some kind of last hurrah to my 20’s which are almost over. This is not a fun task [potty training, turning 30 seems painless so far but ask me in September], in fact initially it’s far worse than changing diapers unless you loathe diapers like me, then it’s about even. Taking Brecken’s lead he picked the date we would finally get rid of the diapers. I then grabbed a shovel, calmly scooped up all my mommy morals and natural parenting philosophies and buried them in the flower bed and went out and bought snazzy things to bribe him with. The results, we are nearly a month free of diapers. This sounds like victory but it’s kind of been like riding a roller coaster in the dark, that you’ve never seen before in the light so you have no idea when the twists and turns will hit you. The first day went super, he earned a shiny Thomas the Train backpack to keep all his future matchbox cars he would earn by pooping on the potty, really I threw away all scruples, buried them. Poop = car and it worked, the key is recognizing when to take away the cars. I think the only piece of advice that I could truly give that I believe could/should be repeated from our experience, we started on a Saturday when we both would be home and I think that was key! In the early days this is a two parent job, because at least one of you will occupy a LARGE chunk of time [like all day]to nagging, dragging, encouraging, cheering, entertaining etc. to, in and around the potty. Anyway it was smooth sailing for the first week, then he regressed and started pooping randomly in his pants except he wasn’t wearing underwear yet so it would just fall through, a good and bad thing all at the same time, see below. We went back to the cars briefly and he seems to be back on track, he seems to have finally got it down that we’re not going back to diapers and this is his life now. So as not to bore you with a novella about potty training, unless you actually want the stinky details, in which case send me a message, I give you:

5 Highlights  Horrors of Potty Training a 29 Month Old Boy

  1. Poop Talk: Little Boys love to talk about Poop. The length, color, smell, you name it they discuss, describe and relish in their accomplishment. Albeit when potty training we want them to accomplish this, I could do without the narrative, because I assure you each time it happens, and having a son gifted with regular bowel movements this is quite often, I get to hear a fabulous narrative such as “Look Mama eees a big one ees lotsa poop, I flush it bye-bye, bye bye poop”
  2. Pooping in Party City: Nothing like a quick trip to Party City for some decorations and regardless of plenty of bathroom stops, he drops a deuce (Jeff’s term) in the middle of the aisle, remember the part above about not wearing underwear, so it literally was in the middle of the aisle. Clean up on aisle 10!!!! Apparently when your child poops in Party City you have to clean it up yourself. Lucky for me this was Jeff’s story.
  3. Penis Songs: In case you ever wondered when the male ego first begins talking about his penis, I would say around the age of 2. In our house he sing songs about it, and not just at home, when we visit Chicago too. It can take many different forms but usually includes some kind of ownership of said business “I have a penis, I have a penis” or This is my penis, this is my penis” I think my all-time favorite is when he sings “Don’t touch your penis, don’t touch your penis” Note we’re very big into repetition here.
  4. Peeing in the Grass: Clearly a milestone in all male children’s lives because I sure do not recall every relishing any experience that necessitated peeing outside lest ever actually wanting to pee outside. Brecken however will quite happily mark his territory. Newest Mama Mantra “Pee goes in the Potty” and I spent forever on a probably way over his head about how pee can’t go in the ground because it could make our plants sick but water makes them feel good story”
  5. Flashing in the stacks: We have really been working on Brecken taking his pants on and off himself, on a recent trip to the library Brecken told me he had to go potty. I was on the computer with Pippa in her car seat on the floor next to me and said just a minute, so I could gather all my stuff. Brecken knowing we were basically right by the hall with the restrooms promptly dropped trough and gave the entire library a show of his naked rear end  and his precious penis. Thankfully he didn’t break into song. I’m pretty sure I literally dove at him, mortified, pulled up his pants and hauled him to the restroom. He was oblivious to the whole episode.

Doesn’t he just look bigger now that you know he doesn’t wear diapers?

B checking out the water display at the Chicago Children’s Museum

If only our babies could speak for us…

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Pippa might say this, on most days that end in Y, only to certain people though, wondering if you’re one of  ’em aren’t you…

Photo Credit Here and you can buy one!

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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The Great Hair Cut Boycott

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I refuse to cut Brecken’s hair. The more friends, family and acquaintances that inquire, the more I refuse. I wavered briefly but have made my decision, I will not cut his hair anytime soon, maybe when he turns 3, maybe not. I can’t help it the golden curls he has on the warm humid days simply make my heart swoon. Besides once I cut his hair, that’s it, I’m done, I have to keep cutting his hair. I am also simply not ready for the transfiguration that I believe will occur, my darling little baby boy will transform before my very eyes into a little boy, I just know it. Further, when you think about it, it’s the one milestone that we as mothers have complete control over. I couldn’t pick when he crawled, walked, talked, sprouted that first tooth, but I can control when I cut those first locks of golden hair. Not to mention this hair is precious, we worked really hard at getting this hair (and by we I mean he). He spent his whole first year nearly bald and at 1 year just had a sort of mop that had just sprouted on the top of his head. Then it took forever to grow from there and only recently has he sprouted a full mop, but it’s filled in so randomly. I’ve convinced myself if I were to cut it, it would just be a disaster, all full in places and sparse in others and I would be the mom who gave her kid the worst first haircut in their life. Is that any way to start out, didn’t think so.

(Brecken @ 1 Year)

I thought maybe then his hair would fabulously take off and he would grow tons of beautiful locks.

This was not the case, as if reading my mind, I think his hair growth slowed down.

Because 6 months later, he looked like this.

Can we discuss this picture briefly, I LOVE THIS PICTURE

read: Hey Mama, no way I just shoved the last of your ice cream cone in my mouth, wasn’t me?

Musta been some other kid!

See the little curly Q’s forming on the side, swooning, I just want to play with them

which is what he does when he is tired.

Finally, yet another 6 months later, we’ve made enough progress that the complaints have started…

when are you going to cut that kid’s hair?

Ummm, maybe when he’s 3?

And so begins what I’m dubbing the “Great Hair Cut Boycott”

we’ll see how long I last?

and now folks, we’ve got wild hair!!