Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meeting the Need

Perhaps it is the sugar, the change in sleep habits and just the energy of the holiday excitement but my kiddos are out of whack the last several days. I am too I suppose, we have been nestled in the house for several days watching snow and playing games – which is wonderful but it hasn’t exactly allowed for any energy release. So here we are not quite through the holiday season and we are all a bit antsy and irritable. So today we are working to rebalance our home. Hubs went to the office, I am cleaning and doing laundry, the kids are snacking on healthful foods, playing with toys and napping, and of course the TV and radio are off.


Yet, even as I work to get our energy aligned again I am still hearing loads of whining and fussing and find myself getting irritated and in my head saying (ok, yelling), “WHAT!? What is it!??” While the kids were napping I was reading up on Nonviolent Communication and was reminded that as humans (and especially in children) everything one expresses is in search of having a need met. It may be something basic like food, rest or exercise or something deeper like attention, validation, praise, direction, reassurance…you get the idea. I had to remind myself that my children (although bright as can be and excellent little communicators) still struggle to share their needs. In part because it is often difficult for them to even know what exactly it is that is bothering them, let alone what they need to make them feel better. A child of four cannot express feelings of hyper-anxiety from too much sugar and not enough rest; they simply act out with undesirable behavior. I am reminded that it is my job as mother to not just listen, but to feel the needs of my kids. By paying attention to their rhythms and responses I have the ability and the duty to respond to their needs. Some days it feels a little like a long process of elimination to get to the “Ah! That’s what you needed!” moment, but it is always worth it when I do.

I think because children come with such obvious noise and chatter it gets a easy at times to shut the noise out; to ignore the cries and the pleas (and the arguing!) but all that type of parenting seems to lead to is a wrecked kid and an angry parent (typically both shouting), never any good for anyone.

I wish I were more patient and calm than I am. I must remember my journey of motherhood is just that, a journey. I worry about my parenting mistakes but am also amazed at the resiliency, forgiveness and desire for love and peace that is always present between my children and I. For this, I am grateful.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Did you win?

For those of you who bet against me that I would not actually return the shit toys from target, you win.

Damn. It.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thank God it wasn’t Maracas!

Although we stayed cozy here in Missouri this Christmas, we have family who were celebrating in Michigan. Last year we were together (Itty Bitty had just been born) and it was great. This year even though we were not together the family shipped gifts down, giving us a bit of Michigan Christmas love.

Keurig Coffee Pot (Limited Edition!) for the hubs and I. Sounds wonderful except we are now having a throw down as to where it will go; here at home or at the hubs office. I have to admit, if I still had an office I would want one of these bad boys sitting on my credenza too! I will let you know who wins…

Homemade strawberry jam (among other things) for Rock Star; of which we all participated in eating this morning. As we all sat around the table gobbling down the delicious jam we endured glares from Rock Star letting us know that if he had to eat a PB&J with smuckers jelly anytime in the near future we would pay dearly.

Itty Bitty was given a doll that she loves but has me completely freaked. Can’t exactly put my finger on it, but there is just something about this thing that makes me feel like I need to watch over my shoulder…? The baby also has one of those bottles that looks like the milk disappears when you tip it, leaving Itty Bitty pissed that she is unable to enjoy any of the milk. Rock Star keeps telling her, “It’s M-A-G-I-C” like she is supposed to suddenly understand and be cool with the bottle that gives her nothing.

So here we are the day after enjoying coffee and jam, playing hide the weird baby doll from the baby. Gotta love the holidays.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Toys Suck.

Warning: You are about to read lots of naughty words. Sorry Grandma.


So the hubs and I went to Target today to buy gifts for the kids. I am pretty restrictive when it comes to birthday and holiday gift giving where my family is concerned. As a family we are aggressively working to be more consumption conscious while teaching our children happiness, joy and entertainment do not need to come from things. That being said, we buy our children three gifts for Christmas: one small item for their stocking (plus fruit and nuts), one gift from us and one from Santa. The hubs and I no longer exchange gifts and I have a rule that you only get a gift from our family if we are celebrating together, I do not ship stuff. I will however send homemade gifts of the heart. So my point is…we have very little shopping to do. One quick trip to Target and we are done.

Well, I say Target but what I really mean is the mother-fucking toy shithole of the world. I wanted to get the kids some gentle quiet toys that would allow them to use their imaginations and not be reliant on batteries, lights and noise. No such fucking luck. Nothing. Nothing at all. I could not find anything that did not talk, light-up, blink, sing, or generally rot the small brains it is intended to entertain. Shit.

December 22 and I am a bust. Hmm…could this be the year we give up Santa and tell the kids our family gift will be a day of board games together??? Here I walk the thin line between beautiful, wholesome mommy who will broaden the minds of my children and mommy the crazy bitch who robs my babies of Christmas to serve my own belief system. Damn. Buy toys I must.

I caved, somewhat.

1. Sleds – actually happy with this one given we are supposed to be getting nailed with a snowstorm Christmas Eve.
2. Little People figurines and Schoolhouse – unfortunately plastic. Here love, have a little C-A-N-C-E-R with that toy…
3. Lightening McQueen GeoTrax System. Gag. Loud, batteries required and I guarantee you it will lose it’s luster within 3 days.

Not happy. Toys suck. I have already started knitting next year’s gifts.

UPDATE:

I wrote the above last night then forgot to post it. Today I went to Pottery Barn for Kids and was able to score some wonderful wooden toys for the Rock Star (a HUGE Pirate Ship with figurines) and a barn made of corduroy with fabric animals for Itty Bitty. Sigh. Feeling much better.

BTW – the other shit is getting returned.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Open Letter to Glitter

Dear Sparkly Crafty Glitter,


I give. I break. You win. You seem oh-so-innocent sitting there on the Hobby Lobby shelf. Looking beautiful and fun, begging to be bought and given to the smiling faces of my children. You seem so harmless and wonderful. Everyone loves you, right? You inspire me to create and to allow the creativity to flow out of my kids.

Then I took you out of the freaking package. What have you done to me? Why do you conspire with glue to do such damage to our lovely home? How did you get in my hair and between my boobs!? Your sparkly beauty is now a sheet of migraine inducing scum on my floor, kitchen table and my children.

I would also love to know exactly how you remain completely resistant to the broom, my vacuum and every Swiffer product created? Damn you to hell Glitter. You are killing me softly. I am becoming obsessed, I cannot forget about you hanging out in my kitchen and dining room. I thought about you while running errands today and thought I had a plan to delete you from my life once and for all (can you say lint roller? I know, genius huh?) and then…while cleaning the last remaining scrapes from this morning art event I saw it: The most wonderfully shiny, sparkly, beautifully happy glittered snowman ever created. He took my breath away.














Glitter Snowman will hang for the next several weeks and each day I will gladly attempt in vain to clean the fairy dust droppings you will leave. The hubs has been right all these years; want me to get over being pissed? Just dangle something shiny in my direction.

Thank you Glitter, for the smiles you have brought into our home. Thank you from the bottom of my glue and glitter incrusted socks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Things my kids have made me say (that I never thought I would)

-Please stop licking the remote
-Don’t pee on that again
-Well, you ate it hopefully you will poop it out.
-What is that horrific smell!? Oh shit, it’s me.
-It’s not that old, you can still eat it.
-Where did this poop come from?
-No. Stop. You may not eat your brother’s toes.
-I am just pooping, nothing you need to watch.
-Uh, honey, we need to go back home. I forgot to put a bra on.
-I just peed my pants a little.
-If I can get at least three hours of sleep I am fine.
-Come here, let me pick it and see what happens.
-Use your sleeve…
-She/he had it first (872 times in one day!)
-What do you mean you don’t have a diaper changing station? Ok, well I will just use your lobby then. (said of course with my middle finger tone)
-Friday night? Sure, we will just need to be home by 6:30.
-Just spit it in my hand.
-Where are your pants and underware? (to a child coming in from playing outside!); You pooped WHERE?
-I know Survivor Man eats bugs, but it is still not a good idea for you to do it.

I am dying to tell...

Keeping up with this whole Santa thing is exhausting. Rock Star is four and the questions are relentless. I am now having trouble keeping up with my own answers. We went to the Mayors Christmas tree lighting last week, where of course Santa arrived via a bus converted into a sled on wheels. Rock Star anxiously waited in line to see Santa but upon climbing onto his lap he immediately started nailing Santa with questions…

Why did you drive that bus?
Where are your Reindeer?
How do you fit all the presents on your sled? Because the world is big you know.
What is your house like?
Where are the elves?
Do you have lights on your house?

By this time Santa is clearly getting annoyed as Rock Star is not letting him get a word in and is being completely non-responsive to Santa’s questions, Have you been a good boy? and What do you want for Christmas? It was freaking hysterical, all the other children gladly hopped up and rattled off what they wanted, snap-snap a picture and they went excitedly on their way. Not my kid. No, no…my kid wants to debate Santa and pick the scab of practical reality.

As I am dragging Rock Star away, still shouting questions at Santa…and Santa completely trying to pretend my child isn’t still there, I found myself desperately trying to convince him how wonderful it was to see Santa. “Wasn’t that g-r-e-a-t!? Isn’t Santa nice? You really, really got to see him! How exciting!”

He wasn’t having any of it. He crawled into his sister stroller and under a blanket and just kept glaring with this total “that dude is full of bullshit” look on his face. Now, his belief in Santa hasn’t been shaken – he still believes. He just thinks Santa is a little off his rocker.

And here is my other issue: I hate teaching my kids that if you are good you get presents and if you are bad you don’t. I just think the association to a holiday about the gift of Christ and Gods love and grace which is ever present regardless of how “naughty” is way too much of a contradiction. Additionally, we work all year to teach our children to not be greedy and to consume less. As a family we are aggressively working toward simpler living…then here comes Christmas and wham! Stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Lists of “I wants” and believing that the mailman exists only to bring packages from out-of-town family. I am dry-heaving a little as I write this.

I am so close to telling. Oddly enough the only thing holding me back is the wrath I would most certainly endure from other parents when my child announces to their child that Santa isn’t real…ouch!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

We have a turtle

…of sorts. So my sweet little Itty Bitty in all her tiny daintiness is a farter. A big farter. She farts often and loud. In addition to all the farts, she laughs. Yes, she thinks her farts are utterly hilarious. So whenever there is a fart heard in the house we all joke and laugh trying to guess if the culprit is Rock Star or Itty Bitty. Rock Star loves this game. He loves blaming his farts on his sister. However, Itty Bitty isn’t always available to blame.

Scene: Rock Star’s BFF love, QT Patootie is over and they are practicing jumping from the end table onto the couch (yes that’s right they were jumping on the furniture and I did not stop them – get over it…) and he farts, she giggles; and this conversation takes place:

QT: Rock Star! You farted! (laugh, laugh, laugh)
Rock Star: No I didn’t.
QT: Yes you did, I heard it.
Rock Star: That wasn’t me. (okay, at this point I am trying to figure out how he is going to blame Itty Bitty when she is nowhere in sight)
QT: Then who was it? Because, it wasn’t me!
Rock Star: It was my turtle.
(Yeah, that’s right, he is now blaming an imaginary TURTLE?!?)
QT: You have a turtle!?
Rock Star: Yeah! He is green and really small.
QT: Where is he?
Rock Star: I think he is under the couch cushions.

So for the next hour Rock Star led QT all through the house (tearing it apart I might add) looking for the farting turtle. I don’t know what was more perplexing; the fact that QT so blindly believed him and so eagerly went turtle hunting or the fact that the more they looked for it, the more it seemed Rock Star seemed to believe he too was looking for a farting turtle.

So it has been several days now and we are still being haunted by the farting turtle, or so we all choose to believe.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Too Good for Words

Some moments in life are so good there are simply no words for them.


-A long hot shower after a hard day’s work outside
-Waking up to the first snow of the year
-The first intentional hugs my babys are able to squeeze around my neck
-Coffee with my love on a Saturday morning while the kids are still sleeping
-A note in the mail from friend on the day I am crying my eyes out
-The sight of a couple so in love after all their children and grandchildren are grown they almost melt into one being
-The sight of a child’s free spirit in flight
…and my personal favorite, my kids falling asleep snuggled up in my arms.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Watching Joy

I love the small moments in life when I have the opportunity to sit back and watch joy happen. Thanksgiving 2009 was one of these times. The hubs oldest sister was in town with her hubbylove (UB), and teen son; they all stayed with us for three nights. As a mother I often worry the rest of the world will never see just how wonderful my kids are. I see and love things in them I want to shout out my front door and ensure the rest of the world gets to enjoy as well; so it is no wonder I get all tittlie-winked when I see others really enjoying my children. I get equally happy when I see my children fall more and more in love with their family (who live all too far away).

Rock Star was simply enamored with Cuz-J, who was more gracious and loving than you could imagine a young man of 17 to be. My heart busted wide open every time I saw my baby boy looking starry eyed at his older cousin in complete awe. They cuddled on the couch (you know, in that wrestling, tickle fest boy way), played games, laughed-laughed-laughed, and told many butt and poop jokes. Lovely Aunt, who has one of the most patient and genuinely loving approaches with my children I have ever seen, had visible happiness when interacting with my beb├ęs. UB, without prompting played fire-station with the greatest of detail for far longer than most would have held out with Rock Star and, laughed himself close to tears watching Itty Bitty get her grove on.

The holiday’s bring out a heightened desire to make others feel comfortable and restful in my home. I yearn to give the gift of feeling loved and valued; my kids make this all too easy. I loved sitting back and watching them with their family - being loved and loving back. Rock Star was devastated when Lovely Aunt, UB and Cuz-J left this morning. Me too. Our time together went all too fast, as it always does. Last year when Itty Bitty was born Lovely Aunt came and spent a couple of weeks prior to Thanksgiving taking care of us. As this year’s visit came to an end, I found myself wanting to keep her for a few more weeks. Family feels good. Really Good.

I am so grateful my children will know and experience uninhibited familial love. I look forward to watching this joy for years to come.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Okay, I am convinced, kids really do change EVERYTHING

Growing up Thanksgiving was the Holiday in our family. Not Christmas or Easter but Thanksgiving. This was the day that no matter who was fighting, sick, lived out of town or had really, really pissed off in-laws , everyone and I mean everyone had their butts at the turkey table. Traditions were staunch: Grandmas chocolate covered cherries, orange jell-o with whip cream, olives and more olives, the “goodie” table, women gossiping, men shooting guns, leftovers being pulled out only minutes after the last dish was washed and of course a game of Yatzee over several bottles of wine to end the day. So given my great love for Thanksgiving I have always been highly sensitive to the Christmas season staring before Thanksgiving is over. Two things in particular drive me up a freaking wall: Christmas tree’s up before the Friday after Thanksgiving and that damn Christmas music that starts the day after Halloween.

However…as the commercial says, Children change EVERYTHING.

We were in the car about two weeks ago and Rock Star heard Springsteen’s version of Santa Clause is Coming to Town and went Ape Shit. We rocked out booties off. Funny thing it was a super warm day and we had the sunroof open and the windows down and I thought how bizarre this was (especially for a girl who grew up in Michigan when winter starts about August 12). Ever since that first song, the kids go bananas in the car when I turn on the Christmas station. I literally used to come out of my skin this time of year hearing Christmas songs and now, because my kids are full of giggles and excitement, I find myself singing my guts out with sheer joy. And then there is today. November 22, FOUR days BEFORE Thanksgiving, and my family is putting up the Christmas tree and the outside lights. Yep. I am a goner. The begging for decorations and lights has been relentless since the first Halloween light was spotted mid-October, I give. I happily give as my heart now clings to the joy of my kids versus the memories of my own childhood. Times are a changin’ my friends.

So , A Very Merry Christmas To All! Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Big 5

We all have them. Yes, I am talking about our greatest parenting fears. Okay, the obvious things about our children being stricken with illness or pained emotionally are given. I am talking about those things that we know will humiliate and bring us to our parenting knees. Those things that you have seen happen to other mothers and think, “Oh thank god that did not just happen to me!” Then we walk away tucking the memory of the observed humiliation in our mommy pocket leaving it there to fester and inevitably cause loss of sleep. Like with any psychological issue, getting it out in the open allows the healing to begin. So, in an effort to rid myself of the worry and pain I herby confess my big 5:
5. Taking one of my babies into the pediatrician for a check-up and realize (upon it being discovered by the ped) I missed a hunk of their lunch which is still wedged in a body part.
4. Being outed by kids as a Democrat to my extremely staunch Republican in-laws which I have successfully hid for going on 13 years. Save the judgment my fellow Dem’s, you have not met these people.
3. Being called out in public by your kid as the distributor of the fart smell every adult in the room is trying to pretend isn’t there.
2. Being reminded in the grocery store by your three year old that you are out of beer/wine. (This one perhaps I should take off the list as it actually has happened already. My son saw a wine display and started SHOUTING, “Mom! Look at all those mommy beers! You need to buy some of those because you need them.” Well, it was one of my favorite wines, and it was on sale so I stocked up…
1. “Mom! Look at that fat (or any other politically incorrect term) person! Why are they so fat?” Yep. This was lunch at Panera yesterday. Sigh.

Funny thing, although I have experienced, and survived a few of these they still remain on my list. I can only hope that if you suffer through it with one child the universe will not allow it to happen to me again. I am kidding myself aren’t I?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The person who gave my kids germs can suck it!

Err….oh how I want to hunt you down and make YOU go three days without sleep, look into the puffy, watery little eyes of a body ravaged with snot, aches, fever and diarrhea. I want you to know because you were selfish and needed to run your errands and touch everything in the grocery store without keeping your hands clean you have given my babies days and days of shit. You are a bad, bad person. My four year old without fail sneezes and coughs into his elbow and then sanitizes his hand and said elbow…it’s not that hard dumbass! And furthermore, keep your (dumb)ass home!

I do not know who you are, what you look like, or what your exact story is and quite frankly I don’t give a shit. I just want to kick you in the shins really hard (unfortunately for me I think I am too tired to have enough oomph in my kick to hurt you) and I want my babies to be able to sleep and eat and I want a freaking NAP!

Whoever you are – you suck.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another place to find me...

You can now also find me blogging here at Mom2Mom Kansas City. I am Mamacomedy
(My first post is a repeat of something already here at Living For The Laugh).
Enjoy!

Confessions of an OPM

Hello. My name is Amy and I am an Over-Protective Mama (otherwise known as OPM). I also will introduce you to the hubs, who is an OPD (yes that would be Over-Protective Daddy). We fully acknowledge this, and for the record have no plans to change.

When Rock Star was just a baby and we found ourselves falling in sync with the rhythm of his spirit, his needs, likes and dislikes and like all new parents, were receiving gobs and gobs of advice. We made the decision to live by the philosophy “if it works for our family, then we do it.” At the time we had a wonderful pediatrician who fully supported this practice and often told us, “You are the expert on your child. Trust your instinct and do what you know your baby needs.” Her support and encouragement to be the parents our child needed, not the parents others thought we should be was more of a gift than we could have hoped for.

Our Rock Star is now four and Itty Bitty twelve months and we still practice this philosophy. We know what our children need. Their needs can vary daily, even hourly. Some nights we have little ones who need us to rock them to sleep or need to sleep with us. Some mornings they need an hour or so of snuggling and reading and others they want breakfast and to be on the go within seconds. Some days there is an increased need for hugs and closeness and others they are brave little beings venturing out exploring new territory. But regardless of what it is they need, my job is to be present for them. Whether it is to scoop them up in my arms or to watch over them from a distance, Mama is there.

As Rock Star gets older I am surprised at how many people find it odd, or even detrimental to his development, that I remain near and available to him. I am not a believer in shoving my kids off in to the world with the expectation that they will learn how the world works. I am an educated, capable, grown woman and I often find the world to be harsh and confusing. Why would I expect my child to go it alone? Here are the common questions/statements (actually they are often more like accusations) I get about being an OPM:

You can’t always rush in to save your kids.
OPM Response: Watch me.

How will they learn to deal with things if you are always around?
OPM Response: First, there are other ways to learn than from fear and failure. Second, is it not the inherent job of a parent to be the one to teach and guide? I choose to use example. My kids can’t see my example if I am not around.

Your kids will never want to leave you.
OPM Response: If I am lucky.

You will raise needy and dependent kids.
OPM Response: No, I am raising children who know they can depend upon, trust, and take comfort in their parents. This will give them confidence and reassurance to explore and venture out into their world because they know Daddy and Mama are always here to come back to if needed.

There are enough lessons the world will teach my kids by the sheer nature of life. They will no doubt be hurt, confused, and frustrated over the years. I figure why not alleviate what I can? Contrary to what some think, my children do not live in a bubble (but that is only because I have yet to find one on eBay), they are out there living and learning but they are, and always will be, doing it with Mama lurking nearby just in case they need me.

For those of you who read my editorials in the Pointe, sorry for the duplicate. I am tired and busy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Birthday

Tomorrow my Itty Bitty is turning one year old. I found myself feeling rather emotional today as I thought about what we were going through a year ago and how desperate I was to just get my baby girl in my arms safely.

For those of you who do not know me personally, you are more than likely not aware of our journey to get Itty Bitty here. I was a high risk pregnancy with her. Every day I was able to keep her growing inside me was a gift. In addition to the concern about carrying her I lost my mother and best friend to cancer as well as my paternal grandmother all within 5 weeks of each other while I was in my 5th and 6th months. This time became one of those “practice what you preach” moments. I always said I would do anything for my children. Well, I had to do everything I could to hang on to Itty Bitty during these months. I had to actively make the decision not to think about or grieve my losses so I would not raise my stress/anxiety level and endanger my daughter. This was especially difficult being on bed rest for 5 out of 9 months of pregnancy, when there is little to do but think...

But think I did. I thought about what her eyes would look like, what her laugh would sound like, her smell, I sat in the rocking chair in her room and talked and sang to her as we rocked together. The night before she was delivered I took a long bath and cried as I could not believe we had made it to 36 weeks. She was safe and she would be entering this world a healthy 6ish pound baby within 12 hours.

Tonight, exactly one year later, I took another long bath. This time with my baby girl laughing and splashing with me. She is everything, and more, I dreamt of during those long and difficult months. She is a snuggler and a lover. She has a belly laugh that would put any 200 pound man to shame. She will eat anything that isn’t nailed down, including her brothers toes. She has the longest eye lashes of any baby I have ever seen and is the biggest dare devil imaginable. She is insistent on keeping up with Rock Star at all cost, nothing is too scary or out of her realm of ability in her mind. I am so excited to watch her grow and become a woman, who I know is going to blow my freaking mind with her extraordinary accomplishments. She makes my heart sore every day, not just because her birth and life is a miracle, but because of who she is.

Happy Birthday my lovely Itty Bitty. Mommy loves you deeply, wildly and unconditionally forever.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This post may be a complete waste of your time to read...

Still unpacking. Still...sigh.
I am the type of person who enjoys going ball to the walls on a project and working like a dog until it is done and then chilling out. Ongoing projects drive me nuts. I want it all done NOW! I have a hard time relaxing when there are looming to-do's and I love to relax so.....well, I am feeling robbed. I then wonder, WTF and I doing on the computer when there is work to be done? Oh yeah, it is a chance to sit.

Looking forward to Must See NBC TV and take-out tonight. Woo-Hoo! Last night I was so tired I just drank my dinner after the kids were in bed, and I am not talking about a protien shake.

Rock Star is SO rocking out upstairs right now it is HILARIOUS! Smokin in the boyz room, Smokin in the boyz room...teacher don't you fill me up with your rules, cuz everybody knows that smokin ain't allowed school....

I love it. I am also so going to pay for thinking this is funny later! HA. Oh well. Just got a glimpes of Itty Bitty and she also loves it. She is in her room playing and rocking back and forth humming as she listens. I need to make her a groupie tee-shirt to match her brothers that says, "Rock Star"

Also been having totally wacky dreams lately. In the last few nights I have: found a dead person in my basement, had an afair with an Indian man (no one I actually knew), took my family on a hike in a jungle where we got lost up until we found the concession stand and I kept loosing Rock Star in the hallways of a school (okay that one is a little obvious...but the others!?) Need to drink more, or maybe less...can't tell just yet.

Bored yet? You seriously read this to the end!? Gag. I am not going to even edit it as I am sure it is so boring, so don't bother to point out any spelling errors.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Site Under Construction

Bare with me while I make more changes...

A Lonely, but Happy Place to Parent

I am a believer. I believe in the power of the Mama Gut. I have mentally and emotionally believed in it always, conceptually anyway. But the last few weeks I have been challenged to put my trust and belief system into action. It is more difficult than I had imagined.
When your children are babies you get away with being viewed as overprotective. People expect it, find it silly and cute. They snicker and say that you will outgrow it soon and certainly by baby number two. To some degree this may be true, but I also think we give up on our mommy gut and intuition all too soon. I for one have found I have allowed myself to be overly influenced into the idea that my children need to be shoved out into the world in order to be socialized. Unfortunately being socialized apparently also means being afraid, intimidated and insecure. My kids are young, really young. Too young to be forced into feeling afraid about being away from Mama for sure. I believe children need require constant reassurance in the care and protection of their parents for as long as they need it; not for as long as we think they need it. It is easy parenting to tell yourself that your kids need to be socialized and therefore shoved out into the world away from you. It is easy to tell yourself that your kids benefit from a babysitter while you go out and recharge your batteries. It is hard to make the choice to remain available to the emotional and physical needs of your children 24/7. But interestingly enough, I am finding it is more difficult dealing with the judgment of others on this type of parenting that it is to actually practice it.

I have consistently found that in the quiet of our home, gentle parenting works wonderful with our children. None of us feel good, benefit or have lasting effects with harsh, domineering parenting. My kids respond to hugs and time-ins far more than shouting and time-outs. I find a time-out to say, “You were bad, made a bad choice and therefore I do not want you near me. Go away.” Now here is the thing. Yes, I understand that in “real life” peers and other adults may have this reaction to my kids. Anyone of us in the course of decision making run the risk of making a choice that others do not like and therefore will choose to not be in your company. That is a natural consequence. I as a parent do not need to turn my back on my child in order for them to learn this life lesson. Rather, I need to give them an example of gentle, loving care; of treating others with kindness and respect.

I find the concept that the world is a harsh place with people who will be displeased with you if you do not -fill in the blank- to be the wrong focus from which to make our parenting choices. To “train” our children to live and survive in a harsh world rather than give them the love and security they need to enter into it believing they can be kind and generous and make a difference (rather than have the skills to look out for number one) is the approach I wish to take. And let me say, it is not a popular one. Parenting this way means keeping your children close at all times. Letting them have access to you whenever they need it (yes this means at night and during your favorite TV show and phone calls), giving hugs and reassurance rather than punishment, and most importantly being in sync with your child to know what they are feeling so you can deal with the issue they are often unable to communicate. Children are not born manipulative so the idea of spoiling your children with your love, reassurance and attention is nuts in my opinion. We teach children to be manipulative by withholding what they need until they do what we want.

Research has proven that children who are the recipients of Attachment Parenting are more secure, outgoing and confident than those who are not. To read more on this from an actual expert, see what Dr. Sears has to say. You can also read more about Attachment Parenting here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Shalt Never...Well, Maybe Just This One Thing

I love to laugh at myself when I think of all the "My Children Will Never" comments I made before having them. I had quite a list:


My kids will never...
1. Eat at McDonalds before they are five
2. Watch TV before 4pm
3. Get away with a temper tantrum in public
4. Force me to bribe them with candy or toys
5. Regularly sleep with us simply because they want to (excluding illness or the unique kid stuff)

I could go on but I would start to get a Mommy complex.
I was reminded harshly of number 2 on my list this week when, while moving, we were without cable. I have had glamorous thoughts over the last year and have told mi prima I am pulling the TV plug about twice a month. I really, really planned to not order it when we move to the new house. But then....

well....lets just say I was humbled. I was also freaking tired! When Cable Guy finally plugged us in yesterday my actual words were; "Ah! Dora, my sweet little parenting partner! I have missed you!" I then looked at Rock Star and Itty Bitty and there they sat, like two little coma patients (with their eyes open) starring glazy eyed at the TV as if they had just walked out of The Little House on the Prairie having never seen the magic box before. And then it was given to me, as if it were a gift from above: Quiet. Stillness. Time.

Exhale....

Rock Star genuinely believes I have Super Powers. Oh little does he know I get them from the Spout PBS gods.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Changes...

So I couldn't sleep last night and was up around 2am and decided to work on the (green template) I put up Sunday night. You couldn't leave comments and there was a bunch of junk at the top. After an hour of efforts, all in vain, I gave up and went in search of a new template. Hope you likely. I am not sure about it this morning. Not surprising as decisions made at 3am are often questionable, but I will sit with it for a while and see how we (the template and I that is) relate.
Today begins several days of moving for my family. We FINALLY have a closed deal and have the keys to the new digs. I plan to be too exhausted to do much blogging until I have that first long bath and glass of wine amidst unpacked boxes at the new place so you will just have to imagine all my disasters over the next few days in your minds eye knowing of course that I will surface in a few days with what will surely be at least one funny story involving poop. Because, well...don't they all?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

You Like?

Muchas gracias a mi Kate amor por la punta de la nueva plantilla.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Have Two Donuts

(told Rock Star I needed a cool title for my post today and he recommended the above...?)

Since Itty Bitty has finally figured out how to say "mama" the verbal flood gates have opened. She is now saying hi, baby, more and play. So exciting. She has also started putting words together, like "Hi Dada" and "baby more" (when she wants more food). YEAH. Won’t be long now until she is asking for that belly piercing.

On a much more sever and negative note; I have dropped about 1/2 a pant size putting me too small for the current size and therefore giving me baggy crotch area but still too fat for the next size down which gives me muffin top and flat butt. Who am I kidding it is more like dueling bunt cakes than a muffin. Sigh.

I have seen some other blogger moms who have chronicled their weight loss efforts for the entire world to see. I am thinking of doing this. I would do it in a separate blog but it seems like the accountability factor would be pretty motivating. Even if no one reads it, the worry that some little size -0 would be reading would keep me from wanting to write that I sat on my butt watching Lifetime For Women TV scarffing down all the Halloween candy I bought, leaving nothing for the neighborhood kids. (note: I have NOT done this…yet…just offering an example)

I guess I could just order pizza for dinner and gain weight back to again fill out those baggy crotched jeans; it would after all be far easier. And seriously, how do jeans get baggy there? I mean it is not like I carry around an extra five pounds of fat... well in that spot. Ok, even I am grossing myself out with this….moving on…

Just a few final words on things I am thankful for this past week:
-Fabreeze candles
-My new laptop – enabling me to do some kickass work
-The extra sleep the hubs made sure I got and his all around awesome Daddyness
-The new Target built 5 minutes from my house
-The grand efforts made by the Rock Star to learn to wipe his own butt

All in all, a good week. Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

mamamamamama!!!!!!!!! YIPPIE!

11 months, 6 days and I FINALLY got a "mama" out of Itty Bitty!

As happy as I am I will always begrudge the fact I am fifth in line after:

Rock Star
Dada
Donny Deutsch (I know, can you believe it!?)
Baba (yes...baba after getting MY boob for 9 1/2mo. 3 days of bottle and she is saying "baba")
And then there is me...Mama.

Sigh....

Monday, October 19, 2009

If you poop on it do you have to buy it?

You all have come to expect at least every three post will be about poop, right? Just want to make sure your expectations are properly aligned.

Sooo….Rock Star has decided he has an aversion to pooping on a toilet these days. He has been potty trained for about a year and has NEVER been accident prone. I prided myself on the fact that I waited to potty train him until I knew he was ready. We literally went into big boy pants one morning had ONE accident (little bit of pee while playing outside) and that was it. No accidents. Ever.

Well, until one year later that is. It seems the thought of pooping on the toilet is just too daunting and the fear of missing out on some awesome playtime thing is too great to pause and poop. In addition to this little issue he has also decided public toilets flush too loud and therefore are not for him. Geez.

Given these two things we set up ourselves for the perfect storm this weekend. Late in the day on Saturday we decided to look at another house (on a whim). Called the agent, dragged him to the country burbs from midtown, which is just what he wanted to do Saturday at 6pm I am sure. Given the fact we had played for hours at a pumpkin patch and corn maze that day and the kids were exhausted, Rock Star was being exceptionally well behaved. At one point we were on the deck admiring the view and Rock Star ask to go wave at us from inside the sun porch. Sure, no problem. Then we went back in the house. Right there in the middle of the living room, on BRAND NEW carpet laid a turd. Yep. A Turd. I of course look at the hubs holding Itty Bitty trying to figure out how something just fell out of her fleece bodysuit and boots. Hmm? No way it can be her. Metro sexual Realtor guy is now hunch over the turd examining it with his Dolce and Gabbana eye glasses. Uh-huh. At which point he picks sit up with a tissue, sniffs and says, “oh my, it’s fresh.” Oh F***! The hubs starts saying, "we must have left a door open and let an animal in." “Oh No!” we all agree…quick start looking for a cat! Whew! Narrow escape. Then I see it. Out of the corner of my eye I see my sweet little Rock Star standing against the wall looking completely guilty. Crap. After a quick and quiet talk I am told a little poop fell out of his butt, then out of his boxers and ultimately out of his pant leg. Yep.

So, my question is. If you poop on it do you have to buy it?

Oh yeah, one other question; Why is the word “Turd” not in my Microsoft Word Dictionary? Come on people.

Friday, October 16, 2009

LOVE IT!

Love having the hubs home in the morning. Besides NOT having to jump at the first stirring of kids, I get to shower as soon as I wake up because he is always up and showered at the crack of dawn (I know, wierd right?) This was a good thing given I hadn't showered in two day and was looking a little funky this morning...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Too Busy to Talk

Hubs is taking a vacation day tomorrow as we will be looking at properties for sale. House looks like a bomb went off and the laundry is so deep I am not sure I can actually reach the laundry room door. Have been working balls to the walls all morning on my NPO so I have a HUGE afternoon of housework ahead of me to have us in good shape for the weekend. So, no time to think or write. If you are looking for a laugh be sure to check Nikki's blog out. She is always good for a laugh.

BTW Nikki- I hope you are pimping me as much as I am you. Especially since, unlike me, you have more than 12 readers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cold Weather = DIAMONDS!

So with the return of the cold weather my pudgy little hands have finally shrunk and once again I can wear my diamond wedding ring. For the first eight years of our marriage I never took it off. Then when Rock Star was born it seemed I was constantly scratching him so the hubs (for my first mother’s day) got me a plain gold band and the diamond became my “going out” ring. Then I got perggers with Itty Bitty, got fat and the diamond no longer fit. Yet somehow today, with the return of cold weather the diamond slid on like butta. I am a happy girl. Not so much because I am materialistic and want diamonds dripping from me but it is a nice little reminder of the hubs and our early years. Now don’t get all judgmental, I love my kids and being their mom, and I even relish in my PB&J and sweatpants life but there are a few things that I really miss from those newlywed years, like:

1. Staying in bed until 10am on Saturday, getting up, going out for breakfast , going back to bed for a nap followed by an afternoon of TV and sex.
2. Sleep. Real Sleep. The kind where you KNOW you will fall asleep and not wake up for 8 hours.
3. Having my bathroom visits private. The hubs has had to retrieve a kids from the bathroom one too many times while I am doing my business. Yeah, like that screams “lets do it tonight”…
4. Jacuzzi baths with grown up drinks versus a shower that lasts less than 3.2 minutes.
5. Going days without cooking or cleaning the kitchen.
6. Dry Cleaning, and only doing 1-2 loads of laundry a week (hard to even imagine now!)
7. Getting a pap smear without handing a child a snack, binky, sippie cup or my cell phone to keep them busy. (okay, this doesn’t have anything to do with newlywededness, I just miss it.)
8. Having a full conversation that does not involve the words: poop, pee, penis, constipated, puke, snot or tantrum with the hubs.
9. Enjoying a good body grope from the hubs without a) worrying one of the neighbor kids is over and watching or b) feeling like, “are you kidding me? I have been grabbed at ALL DAY! Get your mitts off!”

Okay, on another topic…I am watching Dr. Phil as I am writing this and they are discussing the big working mom vs stay at home mom thing. Here is what I find interesting. Having been a mom who has done both (I went back to my job as a project manager when my son was 3 months old and worked for 6 months with the help of a nanny) and I now realize how much I hate the phrase “working mom.’

I can tell you I work harder and longer now than I ever did in the corporate world. Even in the times of working 20 hour days at the office THIS IS MORE WORK. So, that being said I prefer to say working at home versus out of the home. But now even that has gotten muddy. I am working another job in addition to the SAHM gig (I run an nonprofit organization) and office out of my home. I also write this blog and for a local newspaper. So am I a “working mom.” Well obviously. But I am not technically working outside the home either (or making any money! Err…). Hmmm…. So what am I? Do the SAHM “zealots” think I should quit my job to only be dedicated to my kids? I think many SAHM like to believe because we are home with our kids we are giving them that extra emotional security, time, confidence and love. Yet, I know plenty of SAHMs who put their kids in daycare (or moms day out or preschool at 2 ½ - right) so they can have their own time away from the kids. What if these same moms took that “me time” and earned money with it? Does it suddenly change how much they love or value their kids? What we need to be looking at is the time and love a child is receiving not whether mom is earning a paycheck. I love being home with my kids. I also love working (which is me talking to clients and writing with kids yelling at me and hanging from the pockets of my jeans) on something that has nothing to do with my family. It is mine. It is good for my brain and my attitude. Some moms may not need or want it. I do; a little anyway.

Live and let live mama’s.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mental Diarrhea

My 4th grade teacher, Mr. Johnson, used to tell me (ALL THE TIME) that I suffered from verbal diarrhea. I always laughed. Well, I had to laugh because all the other 4th graders were laughing; really I was pissed and thought he was an idiot. But now I look back and realize although I have matured- somewhat-I really did have it and now I suffer from mental diarrhea.

So here are my random thoughts on this dreary Monday morning.

1. If you are not reading my cousins blog: http://nikkigsblog.wordpress.com/ get on it now. Well…finish reading mine first then go. She is freaking hilarious and no matter the day you are having she WILL make you smile. I have relied on her humor big time the last several days. I wish she would quit her day job and just blog all day, every day.

2. Again, I have had several shitty days and am feeling compelled to give a shout-out to a few of my loves who keep me going:

MamaDort – My Aunt who has always been my mama in the absence of my own. I wish she was wasn’t 12 hours away. I wish she would knock on my door every morning and make me go running with her. Eh..actually I wish she would come knock on my door and watch my kids while I shower and then have coffee with me while I sort coupons and she does my laundry.

Kate- My cousin and best friend, my life’s confidant and advisor. I trust her with the lives of my kids. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.

Nikki – My cousin mentioned above; she lights up a room, she is kind and loving and FUNNY AS HELL. She also wears ugly skirts. Also, I am not a fan of people telling me they will pray for me (another post for another day), except Nikki. I have this vision of God pouring a martini when he hears Nikki shouting at him.

My friends (JJ, Kellie, Amy, Jen, Stacey, Joey). You are all women I think of (even if we go days or weeks without having time to talk) and remind me of how lucky I am. I am inspired by each of you for different reasons and love you all dearly.

3. I will make chocolate chip cookies today. Best thing to do with a 4 year old on a cold, rainy day.

4. I am overwhelmed with Halloween costumes for the family this year. Rock Star thinks we should be the Incredibles. The day I walk through my neighborhood in head-to-toe spandex …yeah, lets just say NEVER gonna happen folks.

5. I had a hilarious dream last night about a wacky family member that is going to keep me laughing for days. I liked it because I used the *F* word in my dream with this person which really is a lifelong fantasy of mine.

6. Realizing number 5 on this list will not make my Grandmother happy. Well, at least it won’t be the first time my mouth has gotten me in trouble.

7. The Rock Star has started telling people he is a Democrat. I love it. Hubs…not so much. I overheard the hubs telling Itty Bitty some crazy right-wing bullshit while rocking her to sleep a few days ago. When I questioned him he told me I “wasn’t getting both of them.” We’ll see about that. Poor kid number 3.

8. I love my family doctor and his staff. So as I mentioned, several shitty days. Weeks actually. Super tired, not sleeping, weight gain…yada, yada, yada… Doc took me seriously even though chances are I am going coo-coo. Doing some blood work, made me feel like I would get better. Also in the heat of all this immunization overload, he supports my decisions were this is concerned. HUGE! I have been in love with my OBGYN for years. She got me through several terrible years of miscarriage and other female curses. What are the chances I would find a family doctor I like as much as her? I trust my kids with like 3 ½ people. I trust this doctor. Also, I am one of those nuts that have about 87 medical questions a week that his generous staff puts up with and never treats me like the loon I am.

9. If you have not watched Underdog with your kids. Do it. HILARIOUS. Okay, I actually slept through over half of it which may be why I feel so good about it. But the parts I did watch made me laugh out loud. Plus anything that gives Rock Star that deep belly laugh has my immediate vote. Even if it is butt humor.

10. Getting my first Tattoo this month. WOO-HOO. Very excited. Not telling the hubs. Now we will see if he really reads my blog.

11. The Rock Star told me yesterday (in a very loving and concerned tone) that something on me smelled like butt. No shit Sherlock. But here is what I want to know. How does HE know what “butt” smells like when I am the one in this house who does all of the butt cleaning? If you never have to deal with your own butt, or anyone else’s, how do you know what it smells like? Please.

12. Speaking of smells, I need to go take the trash out.

13. Just found the Rock Star in a sleeping bag without pants or underwear (apparently they were too hard to put back on after going pee...I swear, THIS I will never understand!) eating Hershey Kisses. Whatever, just give me a couple.

I really need to be putting this writing effort into the things that pay. ..

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not my favorite day, but at least my kids aren’t schizophrenic

So it’s Saturday and the hubs is gone for the day doing some community goodness with a group of co-workers volunteering their day to fix up a poor old lady’s home. Good for them.

However this good deed leaves me home with the kids on a Saturday, stuck. He had to take my Suburban to haul supplies leaving only the convertible for me, which I cannot fit the kids in. Oh life is rough. So in the midst of feeling sorry for myself like a big dope I am reminded of:

1. I am lucky to be married to a guy that cares about his world enough to go and fix a caving in roof for a little old lady he doesn’t even know.
2. I am pretty lucky to be complaining about having to sit in my nice home, goofing off with my kids for a day with a second vehicle in the driveway when many families are struggling to keep a roof over their head and walking because the car has been repo’d.
3. My kids are not schizophrenic. http://www.januaryfirst.org/www.januaryfirst.org/Blog/Blog.html
4. And my cool cuz Nikki turned me on to this website which will keep me laughing all day. http://textsfromlastnight.com/
5. It is after 10am and I am still drinking coffee and in my pj’s which is never a bad thing.
6. I have an Aunt I can call and cry to about my spilled coupons (yes I am serious) and she just listened, then laughed at me. Which reminded me I am completely nuts and to laugh at myself.

Enjoy your weekend, I will.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Butter and Mr. Rooter

What is the appeal? I just found the Rock Star in the kitchen (sitting on the potty-training toilet) with a spoon and the tub of butter spread. I almost threw up just looking at him. What the Hell!? How can that possibly taste good? At least it was the heart-healthy stuff so he won’t go directly into cardiac arrest. Can you imagine what the inside of his mouth feels like right now? HOOOLAAA….HOOOLAAA….(that is the sound of me dry-heaving).

So I called Mr. Rooter yesterday (LOVE THESE GUYS!) to fix two leaky toilets, one with a broken thing-a-ma-gigie. One was legitimate, the other turns out wasn’t leaking but rather the recipient of constant four-year old boy bad aim.

Open: Mr. Rooter (his real name was Pat, but Mr. Rooter is much more fun) on the floor in the bathroom, 2 four year olds running like crazy playing hide-and-seek, Itty Bitty screaming crazy tired and my house looking like the site of nuclear war testing.

Mr. Rooter: Well, it looks like the toilet is fine. No leaks.
Me: But there is constant stinky water puddle between the stool and the bath.
Mr. Rooter: (L-O-N-G technical explanation as to why there is no chance of a leak), so my guess is you have someone with bad aim. *GRIN*
Me: No. That is disgusting. There has to be a leak.
Mr. Rooter: Nope.
Me: Yes.
Mr. Rooter: I can charge you for one if it will make you feel better.
Me: F#*%!
Me: ROCK STAR!!! COME HERE NOW!
Me: Are you peeing on the floor?
Rock Star: Um, well..you know that potty is broken because the toilet paper roll holder is loose. Fixer Guy, will you fix that please?
Me: Ugh.

Now I am just too damn tired to finish this conversation.

It’s Friday, the house is still a mess and I now have an extra floor to scrub and sanitize. For those of you who have that mother/MIL that you complain about coming into your house and taking over the cleaning, laundry and childcare…would you please send her my way? I give up today. I need help.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Time?

10 Things I spend Too Much Time On:


1. Trying to catch flies with the vacuum hose.
2. Looking for dead flies after I smack them with the swatter. Where do the little suckers go?
3. Being angry that there is another fly in the house.
4. Flies in general.
5. Wiping things: counters, floors, butts, noses, carseats…I could go on forever here.
6. Wondering who is the bigger dumbass, Jon or Kate Gosslin.
7. Thinking about hairstyles that would better suit Hoda Kotb
8. Looking for my car keys
9. Explaining my sarcastic comments to my four year old.
10. Writing mindless junk for this blog.

Today is one of those time assessment days. Rock Star has started a new school and has new hours (fewer days, more hours on those days) allowing me to maximize my productivity. Or one would think…

Itty Bitty is sleeping. The house is quiet. Would it be wrong to just crash on the couch with a book for an hour? Hmmm….

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine

A couple of weeks ago the friend of a young family member was killed in a tragic car crash. This young man had not yet graduated high school. He leaves behind a family, friends even strangers who are devastated and crushed by the magnitude of facing life without him. I did not ever have the pleasure of meeting Tyler but last night I spent some time with the mother of our young cousin hearing stories and looking at pictures of him. I shed tears over his death even though I never knew him. I could not sleep last night thinking about how wrong it was that he was taken from so many people who loved and needed him. I couldn’t help but think about my own kids and how off centered the world would become if they were taken from me.

I was reminded in the wee hours of the morning after my friend Wendy died being told, “The Greater the Love, the Greater the Pain.” How true.

Tyler clearly had a light that shined brighter than perhaps what anyone really knew. I know Wendy did. When people we love are taken from our physical lives we suddenly notice this gaping hole that we took for granted was always filled. Enter guilt. But I am suddenly thinking, maybe that is the way God intends for it to be. We live our lives loving, laughing, enjoying time with our friends and family, not living every moment worrying this may be the last time we see them, hug them or hear the words “I love you.” It is a place of trust and innocence that I think God wants us to relish in.

Yet, when we lose someone we love we are more aware of their light and their impact on the world around them. I am proud to have Wendy as my friend. I am proud of the way she is remembered and the way I KNOW FOR SURE lives have been changed in looking back over hers. I hope that even through their tears and grief Tyler’s parents are able to take pride in their sons light. It is still shining. The lives of the young kids who loved him will be altered. They will ultimately be inspired to live a life wanting to have a light just like their friend. And maybe it will make parents, family and friends more aware of the lights already around them and check the dimmer switch on their own.

The life we are living now is a light deposit. The more you give, love, laugh, inspire, the brighter your light and the longer it will shine after you are gone. I am inspired to life hard, give and love the world around me every day. I cannot control when my time on this earth will end. But I can control the memories and love I will leave behind and I plan to leave a bright, bright light.

Check your switch today. Make sure your little light is shining.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Diego, Red Sauce and Stinky Feet

So Rock Star has spent the entire day being Diego. He will only answer me if I call him by this name and has turned our home into a Rainforest. This is freaking exhausting. In addition to being Diego the Animal Rescuer, he has also decided that Itty Bitty shall be called Red Sauce. Don’t ask, I have no clue. All I know is he has called her “Red Sauce” ALL DAY and she finds it as hilarious as he does.

I however have spent my day trying to figure out how “Red Sauce” has such stinky feet! The child is 10 months old never wears shoes and rarely wears socks. So how is it possible that her feet smell like…well, like the hubs? My poor, poor baby girl. Now for all the typical things I begrudge about my body I have always taken comfort in my nice feet. They are a perfect size (7 to 7 ½) with great toenails and all my toes are just the right length (you know the second one is not longer than the big toe) So you can imagine my disappointment when Itty Bitty was pulled from my body and despite the drugs (intense c-section drugs!), the mucus and all the chatter about her hair, I notice she had the hubs feet. My sweet little…little, baby girl had these feet with an extra knuckle in each toe and a second toe almost double the size of the big toe. Ugh.

Okay, now before you chalk me up as the worst mother ever, I still love and kiss her little toes. Even though they are truly feet only a mother, (well and a father in our case) could love. BUT, the suckers stink! I just don’t get it. From head to ankle she has that sweet, perfect baby smell. Then, POW! Feet.

Maybe there is something to this Red Sauce thing. Don’t tomatoes get rid of skunk smell? Maybe we will have our first mother/daughter at-home pedi tonight, sponsored by Ragu’.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

To The Overly Opinionated:

I have a few bones to pick with you. I will spread them out over time to avoid sounding like a crazy angry woman, which I am not. Here we go…

Average Idiot: “Would she like a sticker?”
Me: “She is a four year old boy who can speak. Ask HIM yourself dumbass.” (okay I really don’t use the word dumbass in public and never swear at stranger, I save the lashing out for the protective covering of the blog world)

So the Rock Star has long hair. He is very attached to his hair, and even though it is often well below his shoulders and ears, he still looks like a boy.

Now we are not talking Celine Dion’s sons longs hair














More Like Gwyneth Paltrow’s son
















Very cool if you ask me. Now in addition to this cool hair the Rock Star also has his “uniform” of cargo jeans or shorts, and one of two types of shirts. Graphic rock tees (currently the fav’s are Rolling Stones, AC/DC and a custom made Rock Star tee) or a Kansas Jayhawk tee or jersey. That plus the fact he is always toting at least one hotwheel in his hand, I have to question exactly how stupid you have to be to think he is a girl. Pretty stupid if you ask me. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that if you make an obvious “girl” statement about my son you are not confused but trying to make a point that you think his hair is too long.

Let me be clear. I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOUR OPINION IS ON MY CHILDS HAIR STYLE. He likes it, he loves it actually, when ask if he wants to cut it he tells us, “No, it is my hair and I want to keep it.’ Well, there you have it. So please, shut-up. Zip it. Move on. We are happy living in the land of tangle free shampoo and long, thick curls.

Friday, October 2, 2009

"On a Much Ligher Note" as Matt Lauer Would Say...

My Super Deal: dollar off manufacture coupon plus a fifty cent off store coupon one bottle of Fabreeze. Whoo-Hoo! Super fabulous because, I had four of each. Yes, that is right, $1.39 each. So I have one in the lower bath, the kitchen, the basement and the spare in the storage linen closet.

My mistake was putting the basement bottle within the Rock Stars reach. I just found an empty…EMPTY! 24oz bottle of Fabreeze.


That would make for one super-duper (good?) smelly, and rather wet basement.

A Year is Forever and Nothing

One year ago today I lost my dearest friend, Wendy. She died at the young age of 37, just four months after her youngest child was born. I was pregnant at the time with Itty Bitty and had just lost my mother 5 weeks earlier to breast cancer. The last year seems like the blink of an eye. It also feel s like the longest time of my life. I still feel my spirit reeling most days. I have to emotionally slap myself in the face to remind me this is real. Wendy is really gone. My mother had battled cancer for 17 years, her death was not a surprise; but Wendy was young, she was healthy and she was the mother of children who still need her.

Sometimes I look at the world around me and find myself angry and how easily everyone seems to be going about their lives. I remember feeling similar after losing my first two babies prior to their birth. I just can’t see how you feel bad one day or week and “move on” in the next. I know Wendy, as I too would feel, wants the people who love her to continue living happy, healthly lives. Especially for the sake of her kids. My brain gets that; but my heart wants the world to continue to cry out for her daily. It feels too much like of a betrayal of our love for her to live life and be happy without her. Maybe these thoughts and feelings are ego-centric in nature. If the world, her husband, children, family and friends can move on without her, so could mine. Therefore my presence in this world seems less vital. My therapist (yes.) says it is normal to deal with ones own mortality in a situation like this. Blah, Blah, Blah…I just want Wendy back.

I am clearly stuck in emotional mud here. The steps of grieving which should be my way out… have gotten me as far as angry and I seem to have set up camp. Well, I am also scared shitless. Scared the world will forget what it has lost, that her daughter will never really know the spirit of her mother no matter how hard we all try and fearful that someday I will no longer be able to hear the sound of her laugh, remember what she smelled like or see the image of her face in my minds eye.

Ugh. Maybe a year from now…

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mutated Free Tata’s!

I have anxiously been awaiting test results for BRAC testing. For those who are not familiar, this is the genetic test for Breast Cancer. My mother died last year from the disease and my grandmother is an eight-year survivor, although last year she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. When I was 21 I had a benign lump removed and did not give birth until “late” in life all things that have my current risk of near 50% (an average woman is around 9%). If I tested positive for the BRAC test I would be at a 90% risk. UGH. Overwhelming.
So I just got the call and the results state…NO MUTATION FOUND. Whoo-Freakin’-Hoo!!!

Now I still have a risk that still puts me 3-5 times more likely than the average woman for getting this disease but it feels far more manageable than 90%. So now I will begin the process of working with a genetic counselor to determine what my “precautionary” steps will be.

I have been waiting days for these results and find it more than coincidental that I got them on October 1, the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Knowing the 9 people who read this blog are either related to me or a friend, so I beg you to go and get the mammogram this month if you are not already doing so.

Also, there is a great tool called the Gail Model Risk Assessment Calculator. Answer just a few questions and calculate your risk. Take the 5 minutes and do it now: http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/

Go Pink and Save the Tata’s!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Loving Aunt

Just to clear up any confusion...and to keep me welcome at future family gatherings:
The Loving Aunt LOVES my kids. I have no doubt how adorable and funny she thinks they are and she showers them with WAAAY to many gifts. The Uncle has the bill to prove it.

But no matter what she says, she does think I am a big, fat softy where my kids are concerned. And she is right.

Kramer Had it Right

If you are a Seinfeld fan you may remember Kramer having a garbage disposal put in his bathtub so he could combine cooking and bathing. Well, I am not planning on salad prepping while soaking my tushy in the tub but I do have a 10 month old who LOVES spaghetti. I attempted in vain last night to wipe her down with baby wipes following her dive into the pasta bowl. Half of a tub of wipes later she was still stuffing spaghetti particles in her bellybutton. I managed to wipe her down enough to safely transport her from kitchen to bathtub will minimal risk to the carpet. Of course as I lifted her from her highchair I remembered I was wearing my new white boyfriend tee from the Gap. Of course. Anyway, we made it to the bathroom where I discovered upon strip down that we were dealing with a poop diaper – you didn’t expect anything else did you? Into the tub; as I am scrubbing Itty Bitty down I realize there are chunks of food floating around in the water. Big chunks. Pasta, beef, carrot…yes, large, identifiable chucks of food. I am not sure what orifice or baby fat roll it fell out of, and I prefer not to. Ugh. So now here I am with a bathtub full of leftovers.

Choices on how to deal with the situation:
1. Bring the damn dog into the house, set him in the tub and let him chow.
2. Go through the rest of the tub of wipes.
3. Leave it and let the hubs deal with it.
4. Run lots of water and smash it into the drain forcing it down. Follow with Drain-O.
5. Install a GARBAGE DISPOSAL in the tub.

Yes. Option five it is. Kramer was really on to something. Come to think of it he had a few ideas that I should perhaps revisit…

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Bootie Grab

Nope. Not mine…although the hubs isn’t home for the day so I should be getting mine shortly. No the recipient of the grab was a very nice, sweet classmate, who we shall call Blondie, of the Rock Star. Blondie made the mistake of asking the Rock Star on the way into the school building this morning to “feel how soft her pants were” oh the allure of the velour. So, as requested the Rock Star gave ‘em a feel. A long, circular motion feel.

Right. On. The. Bootie.

So here I stand in the middle of the parking lot watching my child, my baby, walking into the school with his hand on a girls butt. I laughed…hard. Then I panicked: Who was watching? Did he/she realize what was going on? Am I going to get a call about this? Was her mother seeing this? Am I going to have to fight another parent? Run. Run Now. Run Fast. Oh wait, I have a car, get in the car, don’t forget the baby and get the heck outta dodge.

A slight over-reaction perhaps. But seriously, at the time it seemed like the sort of thing that would end up on the 5:00 local news “Pre-Schooler Receives Suspension for Bootie Feel; Mother Flees Scene.”

I am now over the freak-out. I have told lots of parents the story today, all of whom laughed, Blondie rides the bus so her parents are none the wiser and Mrs. Teacher never mentioned it – WHEW! I of course ask the Rock Star about Blondie’s pants today and he casually shared they were really nice, they matched her jacket and they were really soft and cozy, “just like yours mom!” Halleluiah! He had no clue what he had done. My baby remains innocent for one more day. I however am permanently damaged.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Big Ugly Confession

I have carried a very dirty little secret for years. I love soap operas. Yes it’s true I love all the drama, stupidity, ridiculous story lines, and completely unreal appearances…all of it. I got hooked when I was just a teen and have watched on and off ever since. I went years without watching while I worked outside the home prior to my kids. But then it happened. I became a stay at home mom and got sucked back in. I am a CBS watcher: Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns and Guiding Light.

Now in my defense, I never watch them all in one day or have ever scheduled my day around them or have recorded them. However I did watched one episode online one. Just once. I think this is the appeal of soaps though. I can go days, even weeks without seeing an episode, and jump right back in as if I never missed a beat (the story lines are just so slow and obvious). The hubs teases me for watching the four hour made-for-TV-movies on Lifetime. Of course! When was the last time any mom you knew actually got to sit in front of the TV for an entire show or movie? With soaps and long, slow movies I can come and go to take care of wiping butts, laundry, phone calls, meals and snacks and even a game of freeze tag with the Rock Star and still follow along.

But alas, after a million and two years, Guiding Light has been cancelled and is no longer on the air and I miss it. Yes. I miss it. I really should be more ashamed to say this out loud than I am. It is sort of like admitting to following a celebrity on twitter; which I do not. If I did, it is probably a secret I would take to the grave.

Whew! One of waaay too many embarrassing tid-bits about myself exposed. How Liberating…

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I am so over them...

I am so sick of the Blogger Templates! UGH! I have spent too long today trying in vain to jazz up my site but these damn templates are way too limiting for someone who likes gaudy as much as me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happily headed for Target this morning…

 And then I got there:
  •  Returned a skirt bought at the beginning of summer without a receipt and got $4.62 for it. Of course I paid $19.99 for it.
  • Headed to the baby department to look for a baby gate. Of course they do not have the one I want.
  • Rock Star begins pee-pee dance and starts looking for a place to wing it out. I scream, “Do not pull your penis out! Hurry Run!” and of to the bathroom we go.
  • Force the semi truck kid cart into the bathroom, even though it really does not fit.
  • Ask the Rock Star if he has to poop. THREE times. Answer is of course no, but I know there is a turd looming.
  • Attempt to back out of the bathroom with the kid cart gracefully. As if.
  • Realize I need more caffeine.
  • Take my lousy four bucks and go buy a big coffee at the in-store Starbucks.
  • Head to the Health and Beauty department to buy tampons for the period I feel about ready to take over.
  • Find a mismark on Enfamil Lipil formula (reg $24.99) for $11.59 each. SCORE. I bought every can they had.
  • Notice Rock Star doing poop dance. Have a polite conversation with the Rock Start about going poop when I ask him to as we are making another run for the front of the store. Of course he informs he couldn’t because the poop wasn’t at the hole when I ask him to go.
  • Hike to the very back of the store to look at toys, I am feeling happy about the formula steal and the coffee is kicking in.
  • Say “No” 167 times.
  • Itty Bitty wants to be held; now I get to the push the freaking semi truck cart with one arm and 4-year old speed. I think there may be a little old lady wearing a red shirt left as road kill in the Lego isle.
  • Bribe Rock Star out of the toy isle with a clearance “Speed Racer” hand-held game, which was clearly returned after being given as a gift because there were batteries scotch taped to the back. Another score.
  • Head to the check out, where we have a hoo-ha over the formula. I win.
  • Get home; change into sweats and wonder if because it is Friday if it is okay to start drinking at 1:30.




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh Hell, That Smell…

Sometimes it is obvious. Like the morning after I fail to take the trash out after making salmon for dinner or the poopy diaper left sitting on the changing table. Bet then there are the days when I spend HOURS trying to find where in the hell that smell is coming from. One time I spent a week trying to figure out what smelled so sour in the living room, only to realize the hubs had not rinsed the grass off the riding lawnmower before parking it in the garage. Then there was the time I spent the day changing the baby, myself, and sniffing every piece of furniture in the house only to discover the rotten milk smell was the baby barf in my hair. Yep.

So, today’s smell is a cross between spoiled milk and poop. I am airing out the house, burning candles, scrubbing the kitchen and even cleaning the carpets in the hopes of riding my home of the smell devil. I fear what I will find. The Rock Star has become skilled at getting his own snacks and drinks, and then leaving them in fun places.

But, $20 bucks it’s me. I haven’t showered in two days. Last night I got the boot from the Rock Star while snuggling because I had bad breath and last month I couldn’t figure out why Itty Bittys head smelled like B.O. then I realized it was from me nursing her and having her head near my armpit.

I am Amy. I am disgusting. I need a twelve step program sponsored by DOVE for Real Women. Actually who am I kidding; shampooing and shaving are too many steps at one time for me these days.

Signing off to go buy stock in Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and Fabreez…

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Damn Dog

So I alluded to The Dog in my last post. Let’s see, where do I start?

I guess at the beginning. I am a sucker for puppies and for making my kids smile. For the Rock Star’s second Christmas we made The Big mistake. We bought a puppy. An expensive puppy. At first (and by first I mean about 3 hours) we loved him. We played, we snuggled, we made life-long promises of homemade salmon and rice, long walks, dog parks, pet-friendly family vacations and family nights snuggled on the couch watching a Disney movie.

Fast forward two years.

Hubs: Did you feed the dog today?
Mommy: No, I have been busy, you fed him last night and it rained this morning. He is fine.
Hubs: That’s it. We are getting rid of this dog.
Rock Star: Yeah! Lets get a new one that we like.

Hubs opens the gate, lets the dog out for a run; a run that ends up straight in the back door.

Rock Star: Mom! The damn dog is the house!
Mommy: Get out! Get out! Get out! If you pee I am going to sell you for scientific research!
Rock Star: That damn dog.
Mommy: Yeah, that damn dog.

Now before you call PETA on me. I take care of the dog. He is fed, kept in a rather large and expensive outdoor kennel with a nice warm doghouse. He gets to run and play whenever the Rock Star is outside playing. But let me be clear:

I. HATE. THIS. DOG.

There is nothing cuddly, clean, sweet or cute about this dog. He lacks any form of a personality whatsoever, he snorts, jumps, eats and chews everything in site and has made my kids cry one too many times. Yes. I know, if I had some consistency of training, took a class…blah, blah, blah. I have two small kids, manage a home and run a business people. And did I mention I hate this little F*er?

So, serious conversations have begun with the hubs about the big give-away. I want to sell him because he has made me so nuts for so long I feel entitled to a few bucks, but alas, I do not think there is anyone in the world stupid enough to pay for this little shit.

Therefore, the hunt for the nice free-range “puppy-farm” begins. You know the one, the place with rolling hills, sunshine everyday, ponds, birds to chase, shade tress for napping and endless dishes of that homemade salmon and rice.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Note to My Readers:

(And by Readers I mean my family and a few friends who know how shameless I am and therefore read out of fear of me asking them what they thought of my last blog.)

So I have chosen to abandon blogging on behalf of the V4K so that I may take a few more personal liberties in my content and well, just be more self-indulgent I suppose. Those of you who know me well know I consider myself to be utterly hilarious, even though I am about the only one. Okay, I still can get a chuckle out of the Rock Star and Itty Bitty still finds me funnier than her own farts so I am in good standing there. In addition to finding myself funny I also find my life funnier than ever. I mean the things I deal with in any given day - I don’t know how one cannot laugh out loud. Perhaps only a mother up to her eyeballs in poop, snot, breakfast still on the table at lunch, and lunch at dinner, missing (fill in the blank), endlessly empty milk jugs/toilet paper holders/ detergents of all sorts so on, and so on, find these sorts of ramblings entertaining. I know I find great comfort in reading about other mothers still in their PJ’s at 2pm trying to have a phone conversation with the cable company with children screaming in the background – at which point candy makes it’s appearance.

Candy.

Yes. I bribe the Rock Star with candy, ice cream, popsicles, TV and chocolate milk to have a phone call. He knows it. I know it. We deal. The phone rings and he comes screaming down the hall from the depths of quite play shrieking for something with sugar. I make one or two feeble attempts to act as though I am in control which is really me just trying to decide which form of bribery will buy me the adequate amount of time needed for the call. Yes, this is the truth, I have put it out there and now my loving Aunt (yeah, you…) who is convinced I am raising out-of-control, ego-centric, manipulative brats has my admission and can begin dealing. So There. I guess while I am at it…I also let my kids sleep with us whenever they want, I laugh at burps and farts, I use TV to babysit, and I allow the Rock Star to pee in the backyard and get up each night somewhere between eight and twenty-seven times asking for water, help peeing, a story, an episode of Seinfeld, to snuggle, to talk some more about our day, to inspect his toenails, a back scratch…pretty much whatever. I find the excuses hilarious. Yes, Yes, I know “But when he is 17…” When he is 17 I will make the hubs deal with it.

I am no longer ashamed to admit the children have taken over. They make the decisions. They rule the roost. They squawk, they get. Yes. It is my truth, right along with my fat ass, it is out there for the world to see. But it works for us. The kids are happy, The parents are happy, The dog is…well that’s another blog.

So here we go my friends. I will share my stories, my bits of wisdom from lessons learned, and ultimately document the immeasurable love I feel for my family.

Off to another day in which I plan to LMAO (if you are unsure as to what that means, ask the nearest teen).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Bad Guys Cometh

The Bad Guys have officially arrived in our life. The ones that carry guns, tie you up with ropes, imprison you and then run off only to gather more of the Good Guys.

Is this type of play bred into boy DNA? I am pretty strict as to what I allow the kids to watch on TV or in movies. We read educational books and play your typical board games. How has this crap infiltrated our life?

Today at the park I watched my sweet, funny, kind and intelligent son race around with a group of boys he met there playing “Bad Guys.” They took turns being the bad and good guys. At first mine did not want to be a bad guy…he was BAD after all. Then he realized the bad guys were the most popular positions and got the most action so before I knew it he was pointing a finger in the shape of a gun yelling “FREEZE” then dragging his victim to the top of the slide where he had to remain with the others until my smart son captured all of them.

I don’t get it. I wanted to stop it. I wanted to take him home and do an art project. But alas, I let him be. I let him explore and watch and let him be apart of the world in which he lives. He was laughing and all the boys were playing well and taking turns, working as a team trying to get away from the bad guys and vice versa. No immediate harm I figured. I am still stumped. Perhaps I should have taken him out of the scene; this really isn’t the type of play I want him engaging in. Then again, a week ago at a park he was not playing the star wars game correctly with the other boys (he has no idea what star wars is) and ended up getting called a girl after he told them they were hurting his feelings.

Last week I was proud of the stand he took and the fact he was not engaging in aggressive play, but he ended up embarrassed, crying and asking to leave the park.

This week I was horrified by the play but he was happy, had a great time and ended up crying asking to STAY at the park.

A large part of me says he is a boy, leave him alone and let the boy be and play with the boys. The smaller part of me wonders if this isn’t a convenient mind set we as parents get to use when it comes to putting social boundaries on our boys. When I think that in some parts of our world boys not much older than my son are carrying lethal weapons in a fight for their lives, cause and loved ones, playground play that involves shooting guns just doesn’t seem so playful and innocent.

Now I do not expect my son to sit under the bridge at the playground playing house with the girls…but can’t there be another alternative? Is there not a way we can encourage our boys to play in a manner that releases the testosterone without implied violence? My son has no idea what a gun does and he does not understand death or even severe injury.

Some time ago I watched a PBS documentary called, “Raising Cain” it explored the hazards boys in America face.
Here is an excerpt from http://www.pbs.org/opb/raisingcain :
America's boys are in trouble. They are the most violent in the industrialized world. Many are unable to express their emotions. On average, boys are doing worse in the classroom than they were 10 years ago.
Who is responsible for this situation? How do we learn to listen to and support our boys? How can we guide them on the path to becoming responsible, caring men
?”

Well, I have bad news for the Bad Guys…I am the Baddest. I will fight the good fight. Next time we go to the park, I will go prepared to intervene and gently pull my child out of violent play without being “that mom.” I will simply bribe them to play something else with candy.

I jest (hopefully) but I will have an action plan…I will let you know when it comes together. I figure I have about one day before the next park request is laid in my lap…

4thekids,
Amy

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back in the Dating Game

My husband and I have been married for 12 years, yet I have found myself “on the market” again. Courting of sorts, pursuing and being pursued. Yes, it is true, I am Mommy Dating. I recently met a mom while at a bookstore with my kids, talked and went our separate ways only to end up a few tables apart at Panera for lunch. It was fate, we shared the same name and grew up only a few miles from each other in Michigan. We enjoyed our lunch and ended by swapping contact info. After waiting the appropriate amount of time (careful not to seem overly eager, nor snobbishly distant) I emailed her. Hoping against hope to hear back – I mean I really liked this chick. When she emailed me back she ask me out for drinks - I squealed, printed the email and danced around my house hugging it to my chest. I kid of course, but not really…

How fun is this? I think anyone who has been married more than a week occasionally misses the excitement of dating. The newness, the anticipation, being confused, entertained and intrigued, even the heartbreak. Yes, I have even had my heart broken by a mom or two. Mommy dating brings back the same feelings I had pre-marital bliss. Only seeing the good at first, wondering what the bad is and when you will see it. The never ending questions: once the ugly is reveled do you stick it out or cut and run? Is this person healthy for me? Can I really be myself when we are together or do I morph into someone I do not recognize in the hopes of being liked…on and on.

Just like regular dating, the honeymoon phase is heaven, you are sure you will be friends forever and then it happens. Your kids gets the smack down while your girlfriend looks on and says, “hmm..he just has so much energy!” or you start to realize this person has NEVER spent a day in pj’s with unbrushed teeth. Sorry I need my girlfriends to keep their kids in line (or at least fake an attempt for me) and have at least three gross days a month. So here we end up…The Breakup, which seems to always go something like this:

“Oh Hi, sorry we have been out of touch so much lately. Kids have been sick, hubby is working nonstop, we are vacationing every other week until 2012, in the middle of a house remodel, running to soccer, ballet, piano, pottery, voice, karate and puppy class. But lets try to get-together soon!”

Of course this is done via Facebook.

Now, I have been dumped more than I have dumped others. I am not sure why because my children are perfect and I am gross at least 24 days out of the month so I consider myself to be a real catch.

Perhaps I should start a new dating service for moms – Matchmaker For Mommies. (oh, this is good, consider it patented). I will start with my own ad:

SAHM Seeks Friends:
Seeking funny, overwhelmed, un-kept, coffee drinking, moms who enjoy strolling through Target, wiping butts, laundry, cooking, dishes, poop scooping after the dog, Must be willing to forgo the housework to enjoy a good book, be adept at talking on the phone with screaming children in the background, willing to tag team each others kids when in public, and enjoy a good happy meal. Friend Request me on FB if interested.

Good luck being in the game moms!

4thekids,
Amy

Note to my new friend Amy – I know WE will be friends forever! :-)

Friday, April 24, 2009

What? There Are People in My Life Other Than My Kids???

Huh. Somehow I seem to forget most days that anyone other than my kids exist on this planet.

I mean, I do talk to others about a variety of topics such as: who has pooped, barfed, done something utterly hilarious, who has snot, how my nipples are getting tougher while breast feeding, infant sleeping patterns, potty training and of course all the naughty things that are being learned.

Now, I share these things because you care. You want to hear about them. You want to receive 27 picture mail messages from me in one day of my baby smiling with food on her face. Of course in addition to me, you also want to get emails, texts and voicemails from the 3 year old. You love it when I call you and I put my kid on the line to say something cute and then spent the next 12 minutes coxing a mumble of some sort out of him. Yes. Of course you do.

Hi Honey! Welcome home, how was your day? WAIT! Before you can take a breath to begin and answer I have eight-hundred and seven things to tell you about my day with the children…

I am a really good friend. When you call and want to talk about your kid, I listen. I listen with great excitement because I know I’m gonna get my turn in just a second to tell you about mine. Seriously, lets just be honest.

Oh how harshly we judge “stage moms” uh, for the record, if I could get a reality show about life with my kids, just to show them off 24/7 I am pretty sure I would. You know you watch Jon and Kate +8 thinking, “whatever, my kids are funnier/smarter/cuter than that!”

My kids are the center of my universe, I am the center of theirs (a position I am choosing to relish while I have it). So for now it is us, our world where my 3 year old says, “We are awesome” and we sit starring googly-eyed at each other over PB&J and juice boxes.

I cannot decide if this makes me a really bad, self centered person or a great mom who loves and adores my children beyond measure.

I choose to say it makes me a great mom.
It makes you a great mom for doing the same.
And it makes us great friends for putting up with each other.

4thekids,
Amy

To all my non-mommy of little ones friends & family:
Please forgive me. I will return to normal one of these days.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Mothers Body

Where did I go? I was looking at some old pictures the other day and I felt lost in my own body. Where was I? Where is the nice hair, perky boobs, manicured nails, smooth legs, tan skin, clean clothes and lips smiling with lipstick?

I live in sweats, I wear no make-up most days, am lucky to brush my teeth most mornings. I typically have regurgitated breast milk on my shoulder and probably in my hair. My fingernails are done not according to the latest trend but based on the right length for excavating baby buggers, ear wax and whatever has ended up in the bellybutton. My bras are ugly because they just don’t make cute nursing ones (that are practical anyway…) and my hair lives in a ponytail because my son considers it a requirement for proper piggyback rides.

I am also pretty sure I smell funny most days.

What happened? Ah yes, I became Mama. So now…
my clothes are cotton so I can play on the floor and am soft to the touch for my baby. I forgo make-up and styled hair to spend more time cuddling in pj’s with warm, waking kids. I know where the most important toys are at all times, the number of poops for all kids for the last several days and can calculate Tylenol dosages at 3am. I can remember the phone numbers to my dearest friends, the pediatrician, poison control and the ssn’s of my entire family. I can lug more children and stuff than a pack mule. I can retrieve a popsicle, apply Neosporin and a Band-Aid all one-handed in seconds while holding a crying child in the other. I can conduct family business meetings while feeding the baby and playing hotwheels. My lips are bare of lipstick but can heal all boo-boos.

I consider it a fair trade. I’ll take my mama body any day.

4thekids,
Amy

Sunday, April 5, 2009

High Heels

High Heels. I. LOVE. THEM.

I think they are beautiful, fun and do something to a woman’s spirit that is undeniable. The higher the better I say, much to my chiropractors chagrin. I don’t get to wear them as often now that I am a stay at home mom and seem to lug a small country with me everywhere I go.

However, as much as I love high heels and think they are a wonderful gift from the universe, I have a huge problem where they are concerned. There is a place they simply do not belong, no I am not going to talk about Carrie Bradshaw at a baseball game, but rather the feet of little girls…

I am the mother of a girl and can appreciate the joy of dressing a daughter, the clothes and accessories are simply spectacular these days. But mothers we must be conscientious of the choices we are making for our daughters. The over sexualization of young girls is not a topic that is new to us, yet we tend to think it does not begin until the “tweens” at the earliest. This past week I saw a young girl who could not have been any older than seven, with her family, wearing at least two inch, probably closer to three inch high heeled boots. She could barley walk in them yet somehow was still managing to strut her stuff. I was saddened. She was so cute, so precious and was so concerned about how “hot” she looked. I am sure some of you have seen the baby high heels. They are essentially booties that look like high heels. WHY? Why would we want our babies dressed up like grown women? Why do we think toddler halter tops with “Hot Stuff” bedazzled on the front is cute? What is this telling our daughters about the value of their bodies? About what makes them special, memorable and important?

We could probably debate specific clothing items all day, but I ask you above all to keep in mind what the clothing choices YOU make for your daughters tell them about their value and their bodies. Ask yourself, if you were wearing a similar item what would the message be? If the answer is a beautiful, sexual woman should a young girl be wearing it? I implore you to look beyond what is cute, trendy and worse yet - funny, and help your daughters create a self image that is reflective of their minds and spirits.

I personally love Doves Self Esteem Campaign and encourage you to check out the tools they offer for building positive self esteem in young girls.
http://www.dove.us/#/makeadifference/default.aspx

And moms, lets remember that in spite of our extra pounds, aging skin, cellulite (I could go on but will stop here…) our daughters love us. Let us love ourselves and remember that what we say aloud about our own bodies will set the pattern for how our daughters feel about theirs.

4thekids,
Amy

The author must confess to a small internal confliction with her own post, and professes her love for all things princess dress-up. Sorry.
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