November 03, 2017

Recent happenings

- I made a mobile for Molly's room when she was brand new. (I just realized we're almost 10 months in and I still haven't posted about her room. I know you're all dying to see it. I've taken photos, I just forget about them. Someday, friends.) I got the idea from Pinterest, and I got so many compliments on it that I thought it would be fun to make some to sell.

A much craftier friend than me suggested we do a craft show together. I spent most of September preparing for it, and explored my limited creativity to make some other mobiles, too. We decided it would likely be a one and done show, but we made a Facebook page and Angi saved us by making us some business cards so we didn't die out after the show. The show was fun and my friend sold a few things, but I don't think we'll do another.

- Parker is obsessed with Moana. My toddler has an idol. I downloaded a few of the songs for him and they are always stuck in my head. Fortunately, I don't actually mind Moana. It's a good movie, with a good moral, and the music doesn't make me want to rip my ears off. Every time I hear the song at the end of the movie, the "I am Moana" song, I get emotional. Every. single. time. And we listen to that song a lot. Thanks, Disney.

- October was hard month for Molly. She wasn't feeling great and it all kind of came to head this week when she got a cold and added suspected teething to it all. When Parker had days like that we'd just hit the couch and wait it out. I miss those days. Now we just try to survive.

Because she's been feeling not so great for a while, I put off sleep training Molly. A couple weeks ago she was up every hour for three nights in a row. I think that when it's time to sleep train you'll know, and I kind of knew then. It ended up being easier to do than I'd expected and I got five blissful nights without her. Parker, naturally, started waking up every night, something he hasn't done for almost two years, so that was fun. Because of the horrible pain trifecta sleep has gone out the window again. But, whatever, I know it can be done, and little miss has something coming for her this weekend. Assuming that something isn't teeth, of course.

- My Keurig is currently soaking a descaling vinegar bath and all I can think of is how much I want another cup of coffee. The struggle is real. 

- Karl wanted to take Parker trick or treating this year. I could not care less about Halloween now that I can't have Reese's, but I figured Karl wanted to get some free candy and Parker would be really cute. We got him a chicken/pimp costume if he refused to do up the jacket. I also scored Molly a flamingo costume at the thrift store for $6 so we decided to dress both kids up.

Molly had a hard day Tuesday but chippered up for the evening. Parker, on the other hand, cried every time we brought his costume near him. So he took his Darth Vader bucket door to door, dressed as a selfish toddler, and said "you're welcome" to everyone that gave him candy. He really got into the swing of things, but fortunately hasn't asked to do it again.

- I've decided to give up desserts for November. I think we need a break from each other for a while. You know, just some time apart to rekindle the fire in our relationship and get our priorities in check. When you have too much of a good thing it a) shows, and b) makes it less meaningful. My sister in law got excited about it and has convinced half her family to join in. I've got a couple other friends that jumped on board, too. I wasn't planning on making it a big deal, but clearly we need t-shirts (a size smaller than usual) and a hashtag. I'm thinking #nocaketilChristmas. It's a work in progress.

- We woke up to snow the morning of November 1st and just like that, all joy was sucked out of the world. Just kidding, but I still haven't taken Parker outside to play in it and he's going a little stir crazy. The problem is, I can't just throw him in the backyard in this weather and ignore him from inside. I should probably keep an eye on him because of hypothermia or abominable snow men. Friends, I'm from the west coast. We do not snow. I'm hiding in the kitchen while he plays with my blender (take a breath, it's not plugged in) on the other side of the cabinets.

- Now that it's November I need to start thinking about getting a job for January. Even typing those words gave me an intense amount of anxiety. I'm not made of the tough stuff that stay at home moms are, but I have a million feelings about starting a new job in a couple months and leaving my kids with someone else, and most of them involve synonyms for anxiety. This mother of two thing is Hard. 

- A friend recently told me she's expecting her third child and all I could think was, "WHY?" I love my kids, but I'm fairly certain that if I added another to the mix I would lose my mind. Case in point, Parker just put the plug for the toaster in his ear. He also put my hairbrush in the toilet this morning for the second time.

- I went for all you can eat sushi for the first time on Wednesday and I'm not sure why I'd never done it before. Not only was it incredible, but you got to order off an iPad right at the table. Technology! Next time you come visit, we need to go there. Karl "hates" (read: has never tried) sushi.

- I never go out for supper, but it's a wild week so I'm going out with my mom group tonight once the kids are in bed. I don't care how much snow is on the ground, there are fish tacos and a mojito calling my name. Especially because family flu shots are on the agenda beforehand. This group of strangers is helping keep me sane through the most chaotic year of my life and we're finally having our first kid-free outing.

- Have you seen Life in Pieces? It's my new favourite. I laugh out loud every time. I'm bouncing between that and rewatching The Office during naptime.

- Karl has to work every sixth Saturday and tomorrow is one of those days. I give myself a break from parenting on those days and we just watch movies. I might actually get us out in the snow in the morning if it's not too cold, but then it's Shrek all morning. Or Moana if I lose the arm wrestle.

- Finally, I joined a Zumba class. I've tried it a few times before and felt like a major fool, but this time is different. Maybe it's the lack of a mirror to see myself in, the larger class size, or the fact that I'm hiding in the back with a friend, but I love it. My moves leave something to be desired, but I take some satisfaction in knowing that I haven't fallen on my face yet. Close, but not yet.

October 06, 2017

The parade of shame.

On Tuesday morning I packed the kids up and took them to the library down the street for Toddler Time. I'd never been before, but have several friends that go on Fridays so knew it was a popular destination. Because I'm a terrible mother, I'm not particularly fond of cheesy mom and tot programs. I find the singing awkward and all the feigned enthusiasm makes me wonder if switching away from decaf and adding a healthy swig of Baileys might make me fit in more. Surely there must be a reason all those stay at home parents are so painfully chipper and involved after spending every single day with their toddlers.

We showed up five minutes late despite my best efforts to the contrary. We were in the parking lot three minutes before it was set to start, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most parents are actually early for these sorts of organized things, even though that flies in the face of all parenting logic I've ever experienced. It certainly doesn't happen with any of the play dates I've been to.

Getting out of the car involved nothing short of bribery on my part and a near tantrum on Parker's. I'm pretty good at not giving into his terrorist demands, but we were short for time and he wanted to bring his snack cup in. I was not about to waste all the effort I'd gone through of putting makeup on for a Shreddies fuelled throw down in a rainy parking lot.

Because Toddler Time was in a room in the basement and Molly is still in her bucket seat, it took us a full five minutes to manoeuvre ourselves into the building and into the elevator. It's not that I'm necessarily afraid to lug an 85 lb bucket seat down a flight of stairs while holding my toddler's hand, it's just that we were already late and I didn't want to add a trip to the ER to our list of things to do that morning. I threw my hip in August after getting stung by a wasp on my baby toe (makes sense, right?) so I was already a little off balance to begin with.

Getting into the elevator itself was an adventure as, apparently, I don't take Parker out of the house enough to know what the outside world looks like. He was enamoured with the buttons that opened all the doors, and that was just to the building. Once I wrangled him into the elevator, after missing the doors to it twice, it was all I could do to block him from pushing the emergency and alarm buttons all at once. I wish elevator designers had seriously reconsidered putting those buttons at toddler eye level.

When we finally made it to the room, a mere five minutes past 10, Toddler Time was in full swing. The room was full of singing children and parents, all wiggling merrily as they sat on the carpet. All of them, naturally, turning and looking at us upon our tardy entry.

Parker, like me, doesn't do incredibly well in new situations. I'm finding that, as the supposedly mature adult in our relationship, I have to resort to faking it more often than I'd like. While a large part of me wanted to back out of the room mumbling about that not being the bathroom, I'd been spotted so we sat down and acted like we belonged.

Parker flat out refused to surrender his snack cup or take his boots off in order to sit on the carpet, so we hung out on the floor, as close to the door as we could and faked it like our lives depended on it. I sang the songs, did the actions, and pretended to care about the story that I could barely see from across the room. Parker eventually got tired of my enthusiasm and shushed me every time I participated. I couldn't really blame him. All the other kids bounced around enthusiastically and Molly just sat in her bucket seat, still in her pyjamas, ready to make a getaway at a moment's notice.

At the end of the half hour session, the kids all got to take a "musical instrument" and march around the room singing. This is clearly a highlight of the entire morning and eagerly anticipated by parents and children alike. It's true, nothing sounds like more fun to me than watching a bunch of toddlers stomp around in a circle making as much noise as possible. Okay, I'm a little envious. Someone give me a maraca.

I got Parker some bells to shake and encouraged him to, at the very least, stand up and let loose. Instead, we stayed seated at the edge of the carpet circle shaking our bells while the other stylishly dressed children and parents paraded around us. The parents, bless them, seemed to get it and tried not to look directly at me. The kids, however, were looking at Parker and I like we were some sort of interesting stain.

"Why isn't that little boy participating, Mommy?"
"Well, Timmy, some people just don't understand fun."*
Not an actual conversation I overheard.

After Toddler Time there's some free play time. In our case, it was back-out-of-the room-as-quickly-as-possible-and-pray-to-God-that-Parker-doesn't-press-any-alarm-buttons-in-the-elevator-time.

I think we'll just stay home next Tuesday.

October 04, 2017

Yes I can.

Last time I left off, an embarrassingly long time ago, I had you all on the edge of your seats with the prospect of potty training Parker. Fortunately, my son had mercy on me and our imminent road trip and decided that, after nap time that first day, he wanted to go back into diapers. Fine by me.

We have now entered a reality where the potty is around if he wants and he knows that he gets treats when he uses it, but it is no longer controlling our lives. Praise Jesus! He can do it, we're just both highly uninterested in pursuing that lifestyle right now. So we aren't. He'll be done with diapers by the time he's old enough for preschool. Diapers are easy. I'm more than okay with them, especially now that we've discovered Easy Ups. Psychotic toddlers can't take them off in their sleep sacks.

We did, however, have another big life transition with Parker. When we got home from vacation we decided that it was time, for everyone's safety and sanity, to turn his crib into a toddler bed. He was climbing into his crib and teasing a head injury, never mind that it was exhausting having to watch him Houdini his way out of his sleep sack every night and make sure he didn't concuss himself while he was supposed to be sleeping.

I was team "crib until high school" but parenting is nothing if not humbling. He did really well with the transition and only fell out of his bed four times on the second night. He did fine, he just felt his way back to his bed and climbed back in. Nap times were a nightmare for a few days until I realized that as long as he can't get out of his sleep sack he'll, for the most part, sleep. Some days he doesn't sleep, but he has to stay locked in his room for 90 minutes because I'm the boss and don't hate my life.

I've been learning a lot about grace and parenting through the past month and a half. I can't control everything my toddler does, but I can control my attitude towards it. The run up to potty training was just as stressful as transitioning from one kid to two and losing my job. What looked like the end of Parker's naps gave me intense anxiety, too. Embracing the changes and finding a way to make them work for me was the only thing that kept me sane. So, judge away, but locking him in his room for 90 minutes a day while he rearranges his furniture and drawers is the main thing keeping me from becoming a travelling hobo.

Today's boring yet informative re-entry into my life brought to you by Peppa Pig. I've had a busy couple months, but have really missed blogging. In the grand scheme of things, it gets the chopping block. Today I finally figured out how to balance that parenting and blogging lifestyle. Thanks, Netflix.