July 31, 2010

Just Call Me Supermom

So far this week, I have:

** Attempted potty training, with finally an inkling of success today... (Note to self: Do NOT run low on fruit snacks...)
** Convinced my daughter that her pacifier was "lost". And she actually bought it without a fight - I now have a paci-free toddler!
** Got my son to start napping in his OWN bed, consistently, without me having to pat his butt until my arm cramped up and felt like it would fall off.
** Took both kids grocery shopping, a feat I've only attempted once when my son was a newborn and I didn't know any better.
** Went to the zoo, despite the fact that it was so hot we may as well cooled off in a pit of burning lava.
** Played at Rocket Park for a good two hours until I had to drag my stubborn toddler's exhausted, sweaty body off of the slide and carry both squirmy and crabby kids (35lbs and 18lbs) for what felt like a mile back to my car.
** Taught my daughter the letters "A" and "B", to where she can consistently recognize them wherever we are. Next step: Get her to stop saying "Look mom, a Number A!"
** Also, apparently, taught her a curse word. Daddy dropped something and we were both quite surprised to hear a tiny voice say "What the h*ll?"
** Read the "ice cream train" book so many times that I can recite it upside down with one hand tied behind my back.
** Filled out daycare paperwork.
** Celebrated my son's 8th month of life.
** Spent 45 minutes at the imaging clinic for his heart echo, only to be told that Doogie Howser was not only uncomfortable doing an echo on a child so small, but that he had never, in fact, heard of my son's condition before. Thankfully he was honest and didn't make us sit there while he looked it up on Google, like the tech a couple months back did.
** Spent another 45 minutes driving over to another hospital to see another tech who actually looked as though she had graduated high school, and might also perhaps know what she's doing too.
** Spent yesterday, today, and probably tomorrow and Monday nervously awaiting the results as to whether or not my son still has any pronounced heart defects. I guess the cardiologists definition of 24 hours and mine vary slightly....
** Built close to 149 MegaBlok towers, only to have them destroyed by a little redheaded Godzilla.
** Picked up those same MegaBloks more times than I care to recall.
** Cleaned, laundered, scrubbed, cooked, chauffeured, bathed, rinsed, emptied, organized, washed, dusted, vacuumed, trashed, wiped, changed, and swept.

And still had time at the end of each day to reflect on how lovely it all is despite the everyday chaos.

July 26, 2010

Potty Learning, Take Three

After two previous unsuccessful attempts at potty learning, I decided that this time I wasn't going to wimp out. After all, I have a very intelligent, outspoken, emotionally in-tune daughter who is surely capable of such a simple biological task....right?

When I use the bathroom, she congratulates me in a flurry of jazz hands and insists on getting me a sticker for "going pee-pee in the potty!" And, much to my dismay, she will gladly run over and plop her bare butt down, hand outstretched, requesting the fruit snack that I give her for making a potty attempt. The second that delicious fruit snack hits her mouth, she's up and goes about her play. After doing this three times in a row in the span of half an hour, it slowly dawned on me that maybe I was the one being trained here. Clearly, it is not that my daughter doesn't understand the concept - she merely wants nothing to do with it. And when you think about it, who can really blame her? When you wear a diaper, you can just pee wherever you are. Playing with blocks? No problem! Watching a cartoon? Go ahead! Eating some yogurt? Pee away! Someone will come along and switch you out with a clean one soon enough.

I suppose this shouldn't come as any great shock. She is my daughter, and a redhead to boot, so stubborn independence is just a part of her genetic code. How to overcome it, however, is presenting me with quite a challenge. If I let her wear diapers, she pees in them and I have to change them - she wins. If I let her wear undies, she pees in them and I have to change them - she wins. If she goes naked, she holds it in until her eyeballs start to float and her knees are locked together and only during naptime will she release the floodgate - she wins. Fruit snacks, stickers, treats for trying - win, win, win.

Running water doesn't help, I could set that child's potty chair on the deck of Niagra Falls and she'd hold it in while singing a song titled "I Like Water". Giving her privacy doesn't help, because a nanosecond after I leave the bathroom she is already up and going through the drawers. Her potty chair has just become an overpriced storage bucket, as it currently houses two necklaces and a raisin from lunchtime. She is now pushing the size limits on the cloth diapers she wears, and the next size up disposables are labeled for elderly incontinence use.

It has turned into a battle of wills, and mom is losing. With any luck, we'll get this thing down before she goes to kindergarten - high school, at the latest.

July 21, 2010

My Bumper Sticker Soulmate

I was sitting at a stoplight today, singing along shamelessly to an 80's song that popped on to the radio, when I noticed some reading material on the bumper of the white pickup truck ahead of me. Generally speaking, I dislike bumper stickers. Not only has society failed to create one that actually looks appealing, but they often are some type of in-your-face advertising of a certain belief or political affiliation. I mean, come on - do I really care that you voted for Gore? Aren't you the least bit sorry you decreased the value of your car by tenfold in order to campaign for someone who lost and now lives amongst the polar bears? And heaven forbid you decide to remove one, the glue on those suckers is so strong I'm surprised NASA hasn't started using it to hold together their space shuttles.

But given the fact that I had happened upon the LONGEST LIGHT IN HISTORY, I decided to go ahead and indulge in the ones in front of me.

On the left, a bumper sticker that said: "Come Over to the Darkside. We Have Cookies."

On the right, another that said: "I would tell you to go to Hell, but I work there and I don't want to see you every day!"

And there was one above, on the back window, that said: "DON'T HIT KIDS. (No seriously, they have guns now.)"

After I finished snickering internally (I could have snickered out loud, I suppose, but that would have interrupted the chorus of "I Think We're Alone Now"), I decided that this person could probably become my new best friend. Suddenly the light changed, and I made the executive decision to take the outside lane in order to steal a glance at my potential bumper sticker soulmate. And I may have accomplished this, if I hadn't ended up down the road that had more orange cones than it did pavement. I was forced to back down, submit in line behind this truck, and eventually lose them on a left turn.

I may never know who this witty stranger is, but thank you for selflessly giving up the real estate on the back of your vehicle in order to bring a smile to my face. The gesture is much appreciated.

July 17, 2010

Memories From Blogs Past

I found my old blog the other day, and came across a wonderful little memory that took place almost exactly three years ago today:

And here I go, diving into uncharted territory. I am, officially, "with child", and the concept is simultaneously exciting, terrifying, mysterious, and altogether hard to wrap my brain around. I suppose I can read all the books and articles I want and still never quite understand what it will be like to be a mother - that is, until that (probably) cold day in February when I am confronted with it face to face. As hard as it will be to let my independence go, the thought of being able to start this new being from scratch and teach him or her everything from riding a bike to becoming a wonderful human being is such an amazing undertaking. I truly am looking forward to every moment of it. As you can see, this little human isn't much more than a blob that resembles Mr. Peanut without his tophat. Hey, we all gotta start somewhere. And you're welcome to start placing bets, however I think you should know that all but one person believes that this will be a girl. You have about 8 weeks until we know for sure!

(PS, If I talk to you between now and a couple weeks from now, please don't mention food. At all. It's a touchy subject, ok?)
And now, that blob has become a happy, healthy, and independent little two year old. One that loves to dance and sing. One that can light up a room just with her mere presence. One who stopped us in the middle of dinner tonight to announce that she had "toots in her butt". Oh, my wonderful daughter - we've come a long way!

July 16, 2010

The Daycare Hunt

(I have to say that my mom cautioned me not to put this up on my blog, in the event that one of the women mentioned might happen upon it and become offended. But, I'm doing it anyway because A) if they DO see it, maybe they will realize the ridiculousness of their choice of profession and B) because I'm a rebel.)

I'm returning to work in T-minus one month and counting. And since my daughter isn't nearly old enough to hold down the fort alone, we decided that some proper childcare was in order. I had the names of, like, two whole daycares - no big deal, right?

Well, first of all, I drastically underestimated my mom paranoia. The mere thought of leaving my children with a stranger sent me into near convulsions. What if they were the kind of creep that ends up on Dateline? What if they yelled at my kids and forced them to sit in a corner all day? What if....what if....they....MADE THEM EAT LUNCHABLES? :shudders: And after my first three encounters with "daycare providers", I realized that this task was a little like swimming across the Atlantic Ocean, except without a compass or nose plugs.

I was psyched about my first daycare interview. She lived no more than five blocks from me and seemed very nice on the phone. Because I was a newbie with the whole process, I opted not to bring the kids with me. Turns out, that was an EXCELLENT idea. Why? Well, for starters, I'm not sure that two more kids would have fit into her house. The entire space was the size of a public restroom, except not as clean. Her carpet could have passed for camoflauge thanks to the grey and green stains all over, and there was a cat on the sofa that was missing quite a large amount of fur above her tail. And twice, in the middle of her sentence, the woman belched without pausing OR excusing herself. Did I mention that I had to leave a breadcrumb trail through her front lawn just to find my way back to the car? I don't think it had seen a lawnmower in over three years. Next...

The following day, I catch wind of a daycare that was very focused on arts and crafts. Being a somewhat artsy person myself, I thought that sounded like a swell concept! So I picked up the phone and dialed. That was my first mistake. Twenty six minutes into the call - TWENTY SIX MINUTES - I had still not found out any information about this particular daycare. I sure heard a lot about homeopathic cancer remedies, and pottery, and Cocker Spaniels, though. I humored her until she got to the part about how in the past ten years, she had taken in a dozen homeless people. I'm definitely no expert, but I have a feeling that's the type of volunteer work that should be left to someone who does not also take in small children. Seems like a bad combo, is all I'm sayin'. So, I pretended like we lost our connection and hung up on her. Tactful? No. Successful? No. She emailed me twice and called me six more times, once leaving a message that consisted of a story about how she was helping a friend of hers move because she was being beaten by her landlord, and how landlord these days are nuts. Pot, meet kettle. I'm sure she would have gone on, but thankfully my voicemail cut her off. Next...

Another day, another interview. This one I had high hopes for. The house was nice, the yard was nice, there were no homeless people camping on their porch - so far, so good. The woman who ran the daycare was extremely nice, and I was able to look past her bleached 80's wave and see that she probably was a very good caregiver. Why did she have to go and ruin it? A conversation cropped up in which she mentioned that she had to drive two children home in the afternoon, which would require taking my kids with. I wouldn't have necessarily discounted her with that, however then she adds in that "there might be the occasional run to the grocery store too". FLAG. No thanks. I don't get to go to the store in the middle of my work shift, neither should you. Next...

At this point, I only had about one good prospect after a list of about 57. Hopelessness was starting to creep in, and I knew with only three more scheduled interviews the quality really had to pick up FAST or I'd be up the creek without a paddle. Thankfully, that's where Miss B comes in. I loved this place the moment I walked in, and not just because the carpet was all one color. I loved it because the kids had their names on their spots at the table. I loved it because there was no TV in sight. I loved it because two adorable kids were squished onto a ridiculously tiny sofa listening to her assistant read them a book. I loved it because it was what I had envisioned all along. Finally!

Despite the fact that I still had two more interviews, I called Miss B back a half hour after our visit and reserved our spots. I wasn't willing to risk losing out on this and having to settle for a cat with mange. And I hope, when the time comes, that my kids will feel comfortable and happy there and thus put my worried heart at ease.

July 13, 2010

I've Been Interviewed!

I did a fun little interview for a fellow blogger about my daughter's wonderful curly locks. If you have a few minutes to kill and want to read it, be my guest!

Curly Hairdo Ideas: Short Curly Toddler Hair

July 12, 2010

Document Disposal Service

I've been a little lazy lately, especially when it comes to blogging. Ok, it isn't so much lazy as it is tired and bombarded with projects of other sorts. Anyhow, my schedule has forced me to delegate certain tasks.

Take, for instance, important document disposal. You may think this type of thing is only needed for corporations with questionable recordkeeping or people who have something worth stealing, but how do you know there isn't someone stalking your electricity usage? Granted, the bills from six years ago may be a little excessive, but I found a solution. We found a couple people who are not only willing to take on such a tedious chore, but who actually ENJOY the entire process - from sorting, to feeding the paper, to throwing the shredded bits around like an indoor snowstorm:

I couldn't do a finer job myself, and with a hectic schedule such as mine, it's always good to go with people you can trust to get it done right. Besides, who doesn't like a little free labor?

July 6, 2010

Big Diner

My daughter opened her own business today, by the name of "Big Diner". She had barely so much as stumbled out of bed before she already had a plate with one single strawberry and a glass in hand. I asked her if I could share, which must have sparked something in her as she set her plate down, yelled "Coming right up!" and ran to her play kitchen where she produced a triangular block of cheese for me. After that came corn, more strawberries, pancakes, a round green block that I *think* she was trying to sell me as broccoli, tea, even more strawberries, a headband (she served it on my plate and called it necklace, so...yum!...?), and some birthday cake. This girl LOVES birthday cake, did you know that? Her most stunning creation was the hamburger birthday cake, which consisted of a hamburger bun with a slice of tomato and a cupcake piled on top. I mean, just look at this masterpiece:

I probably indulged in this wonderful treat at LEAST 139 times today. A green spatula was her serving utensil of choice, which only added to the uniqueness of this dish.

I also learned two important things about this new business endeavor:
1) "Big Diner" only serves breakfast. 10am? Breakfast. 8pm? Breakfast. Strawberries, headbands, hamburger cakes? It's all breakfast.
2) "Big Diner" uses the same plate over and over. Same glass of milk, too (which may actually have had real milk in it at one point). Perhaps a conversation about diner ettiquette is in order?

I can't wait to see what is on the menu for tomorrow!