Thursday, June 30, 2011

Being a stay at home mom...

is tough work! I really am loving being home with Bear this summer but I am learning a lot about what stay at home moms go through. I had grand plans for keeping the house clean, delicious dinners on the table every night, and lots of stimulating and educational activities to fill Bear's day. What I actually have is a trashed house (every time I clean one thing she destroys another), I have yet to cook a dinner that involves more than 3 steps, and most days are dictated by Bear's mood.
I never thought of my child as particularly moody but I have realized that how she wakes up in the morning completely dictates how our day will go and nothing I have planned will change that. When I was working if she had a bad morning I just had to get through the first 45 min and get her off to school. I never realized what I might be dropping off for them to deal with all day. Here are the 3 sides of my pookie Bear:

Wide Awake:
Literally she pops straight up from sound asleep, bounds into the living room with a giant smile and proceeds to do gymnastics OFF the couch. These days she is like the energizer bunny and are best filled with trips to the playground, pool, or hours of running in an empty field.

Every day Bear starts whining and cranking as soon as the sun starts coming up. The difference is usually she finally accepts it and goes back to sleep. On cranky days she never gets back to sleep. She wakes with growls and grunts. The best course of action on these days is to as quickly as possible get her to the living room and immediately put on favorite show of the moment (Dora, Diego, Looney Toons, or Super Why) and pray you picked the right one. Then begin surrounding her with her favorite stuffed animals and blankies, set up a table of all her favorite snackie breakfasts, and fill cups with every kind of juice possible. This usually still makes her mad but at least its one fit versus dealing with the grunts to figure out what she wants. These are the best days for cleaning because she usually wants to be LEFT ALONE. I get it kid I have those days too.

Last we have Snuggly:
This is the very best. This is when she wakes up smiley but snuggly. She usually calls out to go to Mommy's bed (Daddy gets to sleep in it WAY more than Mommy but for some reason it's Mommy's bed. She wants to lay around and snuggle and laugh and tell jokes. These days are the best. They are great for going to the movies, reading books at the library, and playing low key fun games that are easy on a pregnant mommy.

Does anyone else's kid wake up these ways. Does it control how your day is going to go? Any suggestions for navigating any of my mornings?

Monday, June 27, 2011

You clearly don't have kids...

*Disclaimer*- As this blog post is titled "You clearly don't have kids" if you do not have kids you may want to avoid this post while eating, if you have a weak stomach, if you do not like to hear about the more disgusting parts of parenting... etc... I am not responsible for any food left unfinished as a result of reading this post during a meal...

I LOVE the fact that I can literally just grab and go these days. No more 20 lb. diaper bag that weighs more than the baby. All I really need to get through a shopping trip is a diaper, wipes, and maybe some fruit snacks or M&M's. Sometimes I actually don't even bring those things if we are just running out. It is amazing. I better enjoy it while it lasts since I am at the most 17 weeks from pulling that monster diaper bag back out of the closet... That's one part I am NOT looking forward to.
My mom and sister came over and we grabbed Bear, the very small adorable kitty cat satchel that serves as our diaper bag now and left for the mall. I didn't even think to check it because we were just running out for a little while. After walking around for a few minutes my sister goes "WHAT IS THAT SMELL??" My child who usually informs anyone and everyone (at a very loud volume usually in the food court) about all bodily functions she makes, had not informed us this time. I did the classic mom/butt sniff... yeah classy I know... and confirmed yes it was definitely her. We can't go to the beautiful family changing room that has a vending machine for anything you might ever need (diapers, wipes, fruit snacks, pacifiers, match box cars, you name it, it's in there!) because they so kindly put it next to the kid play area. Now I know that seems to make sense, kids play there so we will make it convenient to have the changing rooms there. To a mom this was the worst engineering possible. I do not come to the mall to spend 3 hours in kiddie play land. I do everything I can to avoid this wing of the mall and no longer shop at some of my favorite stores just in case she sees it and wants to play for 3 hours. Terrible I know. I actually have a game plan for navigating around this area. So I am NOT going to go use those changing tables. I end up going into the closest department store which of course has the bathrooms the furthest from the downstairs door as possible. When I get in there I realize this is not your average poopy diaper. This is a complete blowout! Since I have not had to deal with blowouts in at least a year I start to panic... I start talking to myself a little reminding myself how to navigate with the least mess possible. I open the diaper bag and see ONE wipe. Yes there is ONE wipe left... Lovely.... I try to use it as efficiently as possible but lets be honest ONE wipe is no match for this diaper. (Feel free to check out now if you are more than grossed out). So I begin wetting paper towels and using those as wipes. but I didn't wring them out enough and lets just say it wasn't clear water that dripped all over her clothes. So I get her naked. Attempt to give my 2 year old a sink bath, get a diaper on her, breathe, and head out to find her clothes. So hear I am walking around the children's department with a naked 2 year old (ok she had on a diaper and shoes, my coat in my arms (because I am not 100% sure I didn't get some on there), her dirty clothes in my hand because I can't risk putting them in her bag and contaminating her fruit snacks in case there is another meltdown (besides mine) and I need them for reinforcements, and my keys, wallet, (but no cell phone so I couldn't call for back up)... I am a frazzled hot mess! In the baby department I frantically search and search for SOMETHING in my daughters size. I asked the sales clerk where 24 month clothes are and she looks at me like Im crazy. At the time I thought maybe they were right in front of my face and I just missed them but I realized no I probably really looked crazy. Finally I found ONE little jumper thing and went to check out. I immediately started pulling off tags and dressing my poor child. Then I asked her for a bag for the old clothes (that are nicely bundled up and not visibly disgusting). She says "bags are for purchases" I kindly reminded her that I had just paid more than I would like for an outfit I don't even like because it was the ONLY ONE in my child's size in her entire department so I believe I have purchased enough to qualify for a small plastic shopping bag. She huffed at me and literally gave me the smallest bag they had. Maybe she thought I had said I needed 2 mo. size clothes and thats why she was confused earlier. As I'm walking out, trying to hold my head high... I hear her mutter Oh MY God.. under her breath. Go ahead cute 24 year old girl. I was where you are 6 years ago... thinking I will never be that mom... well guess what... I am almost past my blowout diaper days (well at least for this child) you have many more in your future (unless you don't have children which right now I don't think is a bad idea)... So I toast to you... may your blowouts always be at home, may you always have enough diapers, wipes, and spare clothes, and may you never be judged for things you can't control! Cheers!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

4 years doesn't feel long enough...

4 years ago... I married you... I thought I knew what marriage meant...I thought I would rock at it and it would be a piece of cake...
It really has been a piece of cake... decadent carrot cake with rich cream cheese frosting and an adorable icing carrot on top (that really is a necessity to the experience). All of this isn't because of me though... it's because of you. When I married you I knew we were opposites in all the ways that attract and the same in all the ways that were important. I knew you were a calming force to my panicked hurricane winds... I knew you were a saver where I am a spender... I knew you were a "see where it takes us" kinda person versus my plan every moment discuss every scenario. What I didn't know was how much these traits would mean to our marriage. In 4 years we have faced some scary stuff with my health, a tough pregnancy, graduate school, and a move across the country. Your calming force got me through those scary times. Although I know you were just as worried about many of these things, you knew how important it was to keep it together for me. I can't thank you enough for that (it helps that we lived close enough to the hospital that you didn't have to hold it together too long (: ). When my spending has gotten me in trouble... your saving has never failed to well... save us/me. If it weren't for you we couldn't have moved across the country with no job and a 4 month old, so that I could follow my dream and we could have our dream life. Your "see where it takes us" attitude has taken us to some pretty great places... Everything always works out for you and I am glad I get to be your co-pilot on those adventures.
When we got married we wrote each other letters. We both wrote about our love of travel and exploring as well as just sitting on the porch sharing margaritas, good music, and a fun game. Our travels have changed from caribbean islands to Disney World,our margaritas to chocolate milk, and our music is more often sung by Barney but our joy in doing these things has not diminished at all. It is just as much fun to break it down to "The Potty Dance" in our living room as it was to 80's music at Yiannis.
I've told you before and I hope to spend the rest of my life telling you... I couldn't think of a better partner to have in a marriage or in parenting. You are far and beyond my better half. Happy Anniversary honey. I love you!