Thursday, May 30, 2013

Now Listed on

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Week's Worth Of Funnies

To me there is nothing more comical than the way kids can perceive things. Just this week I posted the following on my personal Facebook page: 
"Fact: I can't think of anyone that can make me laugh harder than my kids."
This statement is 100% true and I thought I'd share some of our laughs.

Dream Big ~
My oldest is always telling me what she wants to be when she "grows big like a mom or dad". Some of the occupations include:
  1. A big guy who mows lawns on a riding mower.
  2. A zookeeper who cleans up poop.
  3. An astronaut who flies to space to french braid monkey tails.

Speaking of tails, whenever my oldest falls on her bottom she'll say "OH NO, I really hurt my tail." Despite me telling her she doesn't have a tail, she insists she does. She'll often ask my youngest if her tail is okay when she takes a tumble too.

My youngest was running laps around our kitchen island while yelling Woooohooo! Except it was coming out more like "Whooo Whooo!" My oldest approached her and said. "Charlotte, are you an owl? Is there an owl in your belly? Mommy, I think Charlotte ate an owl for breakfast."

The other day I pointed out a caterpillar to my kids. My youngest ran in the opposite direction and my oldest looked down at it and said "You're right! That is a letter L." (The way it was positioned it did look like a L.) When I said it does look like a L, but look it's moving now! It's a caterpillar! She looked back down at it, and said "You're right! That is a number 6!" (It had curled up into a ball and did resemble a 6.) I said "You're right, it does look like a 6, but did you see that it's a caterpillar?" Her response . . . "Fine, it's a number 9, and I don't want to play this game anymore." From where she was standing now it did look like a 9 and I gave up and laughed.

Often times I get followed to the bathroom and will get praised for successfully using the potty. The latest phrase is "Great job Mommy! I'm so proud of you! Are you going to share your M&M's with us?" Needless to say I have stopped bribing my kids with M&M's for successfully using the potty. It's not working anyway and just ends up causing some serious sugar highs. 

My youngest loves to sing. Today we went to a garden center to pick out some new plants for our yard and she started singing that Pitbull and Christina song "woooo oooo ooooo O, I just want to feel this moment!" (She's just shy of 19 months.) Lanie also enjoys singing. She tends to make up her own songs. One of her favorites is "Charlotte, Charlotte, you're so cute almost as much as those zebra boots." (To the beat of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.) She has a shoe fascination and still holds a bit of a grudge about the zebra print boots I didn't buy her. 

When my kids really like something they are eating they'll start saying things like "MMM MMM these are so good and spicy!" You'd think I feed them jalapeƱos and Tabasco sauce for lunch but something as simple as a Popsicle can bring that phrase on.

At least I know that if the professions of zookeeper, landscaper, astronaut, or hairdresser for monkeys don't work out comedienne is a great back up plan. They always give me a good laugh. :)

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Friday, May 24, 2013

My Top Struggles As A Mom

Struggles as a Mom ~
Becoming a Mom has been the best thing to ever happen to me. I smile and laugh often, and genuinely feel very happy and content. It's rewarding, challenging, and I often find that I am pushing myself to be the best mom I can be, but sometimes I find myself struggling.

I worked in the childcare field for many years and really thought I had an advantage in this whole parenting thing because of it. Ha! Maybe in some sense . . . but the truth is, you don't know crap until you have kids of your own.

When Lanie was born I continued to work. She attended the daycare I worked at for a little over a year. A couple of months before having my second I left my job and became a stay at home mom. It was more affordable for us, and in my eyes a dream come true. This was a luxury! I didn't have to get up at 4:45am to shower. I no longer had to wake my baby and get her fed, dressed, and out the door by 6:30. To top things off, no more 45 minute-1hr 1/2 commute. Plus, I can wear yoga pants all the time!! This leads me to struggle number 1.

Struggle #1 ~ Full Time #SAHM

Meal Time ~
I now have a new understanding for the term "The grass is always greener on the other side." I love being a stay at home mom, and really would not have it any other way . . . but for those who think it's easy . . . think again. I sometimes go 10 hours a day without having a conversation with someone other than a mini me. It never gets lonely, because sometimes the conversations never stop. I don't get a half hour lunch break where I can drive off and gather my thoughts, or just sit in piece and quiet, and sometimes I find myself too busy to even sit down and eat lunch. When I opt not to eat my children's table scraps and actually sit down to eat with them, my plate usually turns into a community plate for 3. Luckily I like to share, and for some reason whatever is on my plate is always better than what's on their own plate. Even if we all have the same thing. But, you know what? At least I know they are eating. Also, I wear yoga pants all the time.

Struggle #2 ~ Bath Time

Bath Time ~
Oh dear God . . . bath time. Sometimes I think I am doing myself a favor by saving time and bathing them together. This is not a time saver, it's a stress maker. My oldest will flip her wet hair around like Tawny Kitaen did in the old Here I Go Again video by Whitesnake. (If you don't know what that is, YouTube it and watch for the scene where the girl is strutting her stuff on the hoods of Jaguars.) My youngest has mastered the technique of cannon balling. Between the hair flipping and jumbo splashes this always results in a flooded bathroom. It's not just bath time for them though, it's shower time for me too. My one goal a day is to shower, but finding the perfect 3 minutes is never easy. I can usually leave my oldest unattended for a few minutes with the iPad without having to worry. I set her up with some educational games, and frequently come back to find that she has updated my Facebook status with random letters like "gwhrbrvdine dhdi", or had started up several games on my words with friends. Just this past week when my youngest slept in I decided to take a quick shower bright and early. My oldest spent the 3 minutes that I was in there banging on the bathroom door and singing "Knock Knock Knocking on heavens door Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye". (Move over Axel Rose). And my youngest I can never leave alone. She is a climber, and I often find her scaling book shelves when I leave the room. This usually results in me dragging her high chair into the bathroom with me if I want to shower while she is awake. You may wonder why I don't do this at night. Truth be told, I'm just too tired and would rather spend the time I'm awake after they go to bed relaxing on the couch with my husband.

Struggle #3 ~ Potty Training

Potty Training ~
I consider myself a potty training failure. I have been working with my oldest for what seems like forever. I missed that window of opportunity when she was younger and Charlotte was born. She has shown an interest for a long time and I have been very consistent about taking her to go often. The problem is whenever I put her in underwear she tends to regress, and will have several accidents. Her pediatrician says not to stress over it and she'll get it in time. Truth is, I do stress. Working in daycare gave me lots of successful attempts with potty training kids her age, but for some reason she is by far my biggest challenge. The good thing is my youngest has shown a huge interest. (A second chance to redeem myself!). I'm hoping that Lanie will catch on quick now. I'm not making up excuses for myself, but she is strong willed and can be a tad bit stubborn at times. Actually, they both are. Which leads me to the final struggle.

Struggle #4 ~ Temper Tantrums

Temper Tantrums ~
You know the embarrassing ones that happen in public? We had one of those this weekend while out getting groceries.  We had made it successfully through the grocery store and were about to check out when my oldest broke down about not wanting to leave. She sat on the floor and wouldn't move.  I ended up picking her up and carrying her out of the door kicking and screaming. While my husband paid, I exited the store and brought her out to the car. I'm pretty sure fellow onlookers thought I was a kidnapper since she was yelling at the top of her lungs "I want my daddy" as I was practically running out of the store with her.

Whether you have younger kids or older kids I'm sure there will always be struggles. I know someday I'll look back and laugh at all these minor ones. Being a parent is hard work and despite the hard times I find myself struggling the most not to laugh at all the funny stuff they pull.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Stranger Danger

Over the past few months it's been great watching my kids come out of their shells. As a mom of two girls who have both gone through a shy phase, particularly with men, it's nice to see them overcoming their fears. I'm not sure where the shyness came from since my husband and I are both outgoing and we encourage them to be friendly and polite to others. I've never been able to exactly pinpoint what causes their state of panic . . . beards, glasses, or simply someone that just comes off too strong. In their eyes if the wrong person approached either of them and said the wrong thing . . . WHOA. I'd have to prepare myself for a leg cling, headlock, and tears . . . lots of them. While I sympathize with their fears, I often tell them that there is no reason to be scared.  I'd tell them, so and so is just saying "Hi" to you, and it's nice to say "Hi" back. I think this soaked in . . . maybe a little too much.

Stranger Danger ~ #MomBlog
A couple of weeks ago we were out picking up a few groceries when my oldest stopped a man passing by who was wearing a yellow shirt. She looked up at him and yelled "Hey Mr. Man! Nice shirt! Yellow, yellow, kiss a fellow!" I smiled at the man, laughed under my breath, and kept walking. Though I was happy she actually started up a conversation with a random person on her own, I was also thinking to myself . . . oh gosh, what's going to come out of her mouth next? She better not ask this stranger for a kiss. She is known to do that. She did it not that long ago when I had thanked a cashier for giving me a 30% coupon on a purchase I had made. I got a discount, and my oldest wanted to thank her with a hug and a kiss. This actually did come in handy since the cashier slipped another 30% off coupon in my bag for a future purchase because she "could not handle the cuteness".

Now, with the nicer weather here, my kids often ask to have the car windows down. I have been allowing this, but it didn't take long to learn that if we are in a double lane stopped they are quick to yell out to the cars next to us. While Charlotte has taken a liking to saying "Hi Daddy" to old ladies (she calls everyone daddy), Lanie is quick to yell out "Hi! I'm Lanie! What's your name?". So far we've met a Doug, a Beth, and a Kathy. I've been telling her that it's nice to be friendly to people. It's also nice to introduce yourself to kids at the park but not so nice to yell out the window at people next to us. People need to focus on their driving, and having conversations with you could distract them. 

I mean seriously, a conversation with my kid while driving could be just as serious as texting and driving . . . even if you are stopped. I really don't want to be the cause for the creation of a new law about having car windows down in stopped traffic because my kids like to strike up conversations with strangers. I nipped that in the bud, and I roll up the windows as we approach traffic lights . . . just in case.

Just today I had to drag my kids out of the grocery store. It's my husbands birthday so I wanted to get him a small ice cream cake. The cashier, an older woman, said "Oh, it must be someone's birthday!" Before I could even speak my youngest was waving and smiling and repeatedly saying "Hi Daddy" to her. Then my oldest went on to tell her "It's my Daddy's birthday today. Santa's mom has been working hard at the workshop and is going to bring him lots of presents!" Then she went on about how she was going to open the presents and eat his cake, and something else about Rudolph the Red Nosed Kangaroo. She even went as far as telling the cashier our address. I'm not sure if she wanted her to join in on the birthday festivities or what . . . I guess it's time for the "stranger danger" talk. I really hope I don't have any cashier party crashers making an appearance on my doorstep tonight.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

I Scream, You Scream, Nobody's Getting Ice Cream

Actually it's more like . . . when you scream, I want to scream, and the only person whose getting ice cream is me . . . after you go to bed. 

For those who have read some of my past blogs you may remember that I have screamers. My oldest is finally starting to out grow this phase. Don't get me wrong though, she can easily be provoked by her sister at the drop of a hat. The good thing is, she actually gets the "mean mom look". You know, the look that you may give when your child is not listening. If you've mastered it perfectly, it can cause a state of panic which may cause your child to stop whatever it is they're doing wrong. (I clearly haven't mastered it yet, but I'm getting there.) When I give this so called look, my oldest is quick to stop. My youngest however, has taken the screeching to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the mean mom look only encourages her to do it more.

I scream, you scream, nobody's getting ice cream! ~
These ear piercing, dinosaur like screeches are usually brought on by excitement. A trip to the park is a prime example. She's excited to be out and about and enjoys time with other kids. The pro: we are outside, so the screams aren't that big of a deal. The con: before you know it every other kid in the park starts mimicking this behavior and you have a whole tribe of mini screechers. Not to mention angry moms. This scene is pretty horrific. What's even more horrific is when this behavior happens indoors, like at restaurants.

The past three times we have gone out to eat this has happened. The first was when we were at a kid friendly place for dinner. The waitress brought over crayons, which lead to screeching. Then she brought over grilled cheese sandwiches and french fries. While my youngest spent majority of the time screaming at her french fries, my oldest stuck her fries into her sandwich and sang happy birthday . . . loud. This was all before she removed the straw from her plastic cup and starting banging on it and yelling to everyone that she was a drummer. In this case the mean mom look backfired which caused her to drop her drumstick, I mean straw, on the floor under the table. When I would not let her pick it up off the floor, this lead to more screams. Not happy ones. I asked the waitress for another straw to keep her occupied and happy for five minutes so my husband and I could choke down our food and get out of there ASAP.

The second time was at a busy place that their grandfather took us to. Of course I had pre warned him about the screeching, and could only hope for the best. The tables were close together, and we were seated next to some grandparents that had taken their grand kids out for dinner too. We were more than halfway through the meal when it started. I'm pretty sure it was over an onion ring that my dad had given my youngest. I never knew that onion rings could bring such joy, and either did the family next to us. They shot up out of their seats and were clearly frightened by the screeches. Both my husband and I apologized for the scare, while my father was sitting there stunned that something so loud could come out of someone so small. These are the times that, if you were someone who does not have kids, you'd think to yourself . . . oh my god, control your kid. These are also the times that as a parent you would like nothing more than to be able to do just that. Luckily for us the people next to us laughed, and said "We've been there too." That is always reassuring.

The third time happened this past Sunday when we went out to breakfast before grocery shopping. I'm pretty sure the high pitched squeals of excitement were brought on by some jelly packets and creamers for our coffee. These were by far the loudest screeches I have heard yet. The entire restaurant stopped eating and turned to our table. I was mortified. I quickly stood up and apologized to the entire restaurant, while my husband tried to encourage my youngest to stop. Everyone laughed, some people actually started clapping. It was not really the reaction that I was expecting, but I'll take it. I will say the screeching came in handy when we split up to do groceries and I couldn't find him. He had Charlotte with him, and I was able to track him down from all the way across the other side of the store.

Happy Mother's Day from ~ #SAHM Blogging with humor about parenting!
I think it's safe to say we'll be passing on dining out anytime soon. With the exception of a Mother's Day brunch that we'll be going to on Sunday. Wish me luck. In the mean time, I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . be kind to everyone you meet. You never know if they have a toddler at home . . . or a screecher. 
Have a Happy Mother's Day!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Because I Said So, That's Why!

"Why?" "Why?" "Why?" A phrase I have been hearing a lot of lately. I try my best to always answer these questions with reason, but honestly, sometimes it's just exhausting. It's my job as a parent to teach my kids the ways of the world and to teach them right from wrong. It's also my job to keep them safe. When these things collide though, watch out world! 

Because I Said So, That's Why! ~
Just this week I took my kids out to get new shoes. I was on the hunt for hot pink Crocs. Lanie had them last year and was disappointed that they no longer fit. She got great use out of them, so I was eager to get her another pair. She was very set on pink, so before heading out I called around to a few different places to make sure they had some in stock. I was stunned at how much the prices went up on these tiny pieces of rubber. They were ranging anywhere from $24-40! Let's face it, I'm a stay at home mom with zero income, if I can get a good deal on something . . . I'll find it, so off we went.

"C'mon kids, we're going to Marshall's!" (For those unfamiliar with Marshall's it's a discounted department store with name brands). As we approached the shoe department it was very clear that my oldest was in her glory. She intensely grazed the isles repeating the words "Oh, these are so cute!" "I love these!" As I'm walking behind her pushing my youngest in the stroller, I'm trying to replace all the shoes that she has taken off the racks and has placed on the top of the stroller with the intent of me buying. And there they were, right before her eyes, a single pair of zebra print rain boots, 4 sizes too big. She instantly sat down on the ground and whipped her shoes off and attempted to put these bad boys on. She succeeded, and they were up to her thighs.  She could not walk, but instead stumbled over to me falling several times. "These are the Crocs I want."  Yeah . . . try explaining to my kid that we came out to buy pink Crocs, not animal print rain boots that don't fit . . . here's her response. "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" I tried to explain to her that she couldn't walk in them, they were not her size and she was really going to hurt herself if she kept trying. I also said that they are not what we came out to get. TEMPER TANTRUM. At this point, I really just wanted to make a sign and hold it up to all the other shoppers in the shoe department, no actually, the whole store that read something like BEWARE WILD ANIMAL ON THE LOOSE. Instead, after 10 minutes of "reasoning", I chose to scoop my child up kicking and screaming and said "Because I said so, that's why."

I found myself in a similar situation today. We went out for a walk around the neighborhood. Usually my oldest likes to help me push my youngest in the stroller. Today she wanted to walk on her own. We live in a very quiet neighborhood so I didn't see anything wrong with giving her a little freedom to walk beside me. She did great until it came time to cross the street. I insisted she hold my hand. I told her I am the parent, I make the rules, she needs to listen to my words, and it's my job to keep her safe. "Why?" "Why?" "Why?" I really just wanted to say "Do you want to get squished by a car?", I chose not to, I said . . . "Because I said so, that's why."

There is plenty of time in life to make your own choices. Some of which will be right and others, well, not so right. I'm hoping my kids listen to my advice well past 18. I can't wait til the day one of them asks for a tattoo . . . I can show them first hand. "See this alligator tattoo on mommy's stomach? Well it used to be a tiny lizard . . . then I had kids."  Always listen to your mother! Why? Because I said so . . .

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Along Came A Spider and Traumatized My Kids

Along Came A Spider & traumatized my kids! ~
Along came a spider and sat down beside her and traumatized my kid for the rest of the day. Actually both of them, but for different reasons.

Today was the perfect spring day, birds chipping, flowers blooming and sunshine. We were all aching to get outside and enjoy it. My kids chose to go for a wagon ride.

I live in a hilly, wooded area which can make pulling them around a challenge. I don't mind though, the kids love it. Plus, people will often stop me to chat and say things like "Wow!", "That looks tough!" or "Good for you!". I often get the same remarks when I push my kids around in the double stroller. I don't really know what the big deal is, but their comments make me feel like I should be among the top ranking contenders for mother of the year. All for doing typical mom things like going for walks. I don't know, maybe I look like I'm dying doing it . . . which is quite possible. The hardest part of our walks is my driveway. We call it "The Mountain".  It's very steep and makes for great sledding in the winter.

Today, as I was using all my strength to safely cart my kids down The Mountain in their Radio Flyer, it dawned on me that I forgot to switch over from my flip flops to my sneakers.  A big mistake . . . walking these hills in flip flops is even more of a challenge than pulling my kids around. My first response was "UGHHH". My oldest asked, "What's wrong Mommy?".  I explained to her that I should have changed my shoes before heading out. Her response was, "But Mommy, I love those flippers of yours. Let's just go!".  I agreed. I didn't really want to hike back up The Mountain to change shoes. So off we went.

We walked to a house in the neighborhood that has a pony in the backyard. Lanie loves neighing at the pony and Charlotte loves mooing at it. We ventured on down the road a little further when all of the sudden I heard the most ear piercing scream of panic that I have ever heard in my life. It was Charlotte. I whipped myself around thinking that she may have pinched her fingers in one of the buckles keeping her strapped in, but that was not the case. A spider (half the size of a dime) was crawling on the top side of the wagon. She was staring at it in disbelief and shrieking every time it moved. It was the type of shriek you would hear from someone getting eaten in the movie Jaws

I began to explain to her that it was just a tiny spider and not a big deal at all, next thing you know it jumps onto my oldest daughter's sweatshirt. Now I thought, oh crap . . . this thing's a jumper and I'm going to have two kids freaking out over a tiny spider. I made the quick move of taking my flip flop off and brushing the spider off of Lanie's sweatshirt and onto the ground. As I put my shoe back on, my kids were dangling over the side of the wagon looking for the spider. There it was, on the ground, dead. My youngest started clapping, while my oldest began to cry. "Oh no! That was my friend! I don't like your flip'n flipper shoes anymore!"  

I would personally like to wish all the other moms out there the best of luck in the mother of the year contest. I have officially withdrawn myself from the rankings. I killed a spider. . .

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