Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We have to clean-up - the cleaners are coming!

This year for my birthday, I received a wonderful gift - cleaning service. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I actually remember saying to my husband that I was looking forward to being home all of the time so I could actually keep up with the housework. Ha! Wow, was I naive. It would seem that spending all day at home, it wouldn't be too hard to keep the house in order. But of course, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Maintaining a household with young children is VERY hard. I especially felt this after my son was born. He was a terrible sleeper and naps were non-existent unless they took place in my arms. I didn't have a single moment for anything but taking care of my kids. And even that was difficult to do successfully.

I called a local cleaning agency and they came over to give me a quote. They had a minimum of 10 visits and I signed up for bi-monthly service. Funny side note: They advertised their cleaning every two weeks as bi-weekly service. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that would mean twice weekly cleaning, right? Anyway, the service has been a much needed break from cleaning. I can (try) to keep up with picking up the house, laundry and dishes and not worry about things like cleaning the shower.

There is one thing about having a cleaning service that I maybe wasn't prepared for. You have to clean the house before the cleaners come. I don't want even the cleaners to know the true state of our house. So every second Wednesday, I make an announcement, "We have to clean the house! The cleaners are coming!" All the toys on the living room floor are picked up. The dirty clothes are moved to the laundry room. The dishes in the sink are put in the dishwasher. The wet diaper on the bathroom floor is thrown away. The breakfast dishes are finally moved from the table. Toiletries are thrown in drawers. Cups are collected from throughout the house. We make it appear as though we actually know how to pick up after ourselves. And when the cleaners leave, the house looks spotless. And that lasts about 5 minutes until we resume our daily life. Oh well, a perfect house is something I gave up on with the birth of my first child.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Things I probably shouldn't know

When you first become a Mommy, there is so much you don't know. It is so scary to bring that first newborn home; you have so many questions and nobody really has any answers. Everyone just says that you will "figure it out" And it is so true. You learn so many new things just by being a Mommy. You learn how to take care of a child and fit this new blessing into your existing life. You learn so many new things. Here are a few things I have learned that I probably shouldn't even know.

1. Newborns sleep best either in your bed or in your arms

2. Jellybeans are a great way to convince a toddler to go poop on the potty.

3. Thirty minutes of Dora will guarantee that my daughter isn't going anywhere. If I need to get something done, such as put my son down for a nap, I just have to put on Dora. I feel completely confident that she won't be getting into anything.

4. Dora will also occupy a 3 month old when trying to get the other child dressed and ready to head out the door.

5. One diaper will last through an entire night for a baby - usually.

6. The cost of a meal for myself and my daughter at McDonald's is $10.10

7. A long drive will help you avoid struggling to get the baby to nap.

8. If you have a toddler, a Sonic drink will satisfy her while driving the baby around for a nap.

9. My daughter's favorite Sonic drink is a Cherry Limeade.

10. Milk that has been sitting out in a sippy cup for most of the day won't make your child sick

11. Eating watercolors won't make her sick either

12. Individual Horizon Vanilla Milk is a great way to get a toddler to enjoy the grocery store

13. My son will play in his crib for at least 30 minutes in the morning

14. Samples (and a milk) at the grocery store are enough to fill a toddler so she doesn't need a separate lunch

15. Frozen chicken nuggets are microwaved 30 seconds on each side

16. Gymbucks redemption starts July 15th (July 14th if you are a rewards member)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

He must be teething

One thing I have learned since I have become a mom is that everything can be blamed on teething. And I mean everything. Fussy baby - teething. Not sleeping - teething. Drooling - teething. Refusal to eat - teething. Diarrhea, fever, runny nose - all teething. Before I had children, I probably would have thought it was ridiculous to blame everything on teething. But I have recently found myself convinced my son is teething. I mean he has been drooling excessively for weeks now. And it is about that time for him to sprout his first teeth. Of course, I can see no teeth and I don't really have any good reason to believe his teeth will be coming soon. My daughter starting drooling at 2 months and didn't get teeth until she was 10 months old. But, without fail, every time we are out in public and someone sees my son's soaked shirt and wet chin, they always comment, "He must be teething!" I used to explain that he probably wasn't because my daughter drooled too and, late teeth run in the family. But then one day he was fussy and I thought to myself, "Well, maybe he is teething." And then the next night he woke up every 2 hours. And one time he refused to nurse. And his gums do look a little red. So, I have become convinced - he must be teething.

My daughter never had much trouble with teething so I never really needed any remedies. But this time around, I have discovered teething tablets. These are wonderful! For those of you that don't know, they are a homeopathic tablet that dissolves in the mouth and is supposed to help with teething. I have no idea if these really work. Trust me, I am the first person to be suspect of any thing "natural." I am a medicine kind of girl. But I do love the idea of having something I can give my son and not feel guilty. They are like a security blanket. I obviously have no idea if he is really teething, but I can give him a few tablets before bed - just in case. The first night I gave them to him, he slept 7 hours! He hasn't done that in months! So of course, the next night I was too afraid to NOT give him the tablets. What if he is teething and they really do work? I can't risk a bad nights sleep. Again, he slept 7 hours! And then yesterday, was a little bit of a fussy day. Must be that teething again. So last night before bed, I was really worried about his sleep. So, not only did he get tablets but a dose of Motrin as well. I confess. I gave my son medicine without really knowing if his teeth were bothering him or not. I don't even know if he really is teething. But somehow, I have let those strangers at the grocery store convince me. He must be teething. What else could it be? Every mom knows, teething is the cause of everything.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good Mommy Monday

Today, I want to dedicate my Monday post to some of the funny, sweet and special things my daughter says and does. It isn't so much about me as a Mommy. Rather, it is just a good way to record the everyday humor that happens in the house with a two-year-old. I always think I am going to remember every little moment but I know that unless I write down the milestones, they will become fuzzy. I used to think my mom had a really bad memory for my childhood. She claims she can't remember if I crawled! How can you forget that, right? Well, I now know that it is so easy to forget all the details. Mom brain will do that to you every time. So, I am going to do my best to try to remember some cute things my very precocious two year old has said recently.

* A few months ago, we went to the furniture store to buy a new big girl bed. As we are checking out, my daughter says to the salesman, "I want to pick my nose!"

* When I told her we were going to a place with a merry-go-round, she asked, "You have money, Mommy?" She knows I never have any change for the rides at the mall.

* She has been insisting we call her Dora. We also get in trouble if we don't call her little brother Boots the Monkey

* She is afraid of flushing toilets in public. So, next time you go into a bathroom at a restaurant and it hasn't been flushed, it might have been us. I have to promise her we won't flush it in order to get her to use the potty in public.

* Sometimes when she is frustrated, she will throw the toy that is making her mad. She usually announces it first, "I want to throw this toy!"

* When on vacation in Tennessee, we saw a bear in the woods. She told us, "Bears are very wild. Bears are very nice" My husband told her that bears are mean. She insisted, "No, bears are very nice. They might bite you. Bears are very nice."

* When singing Old McDonald with my husband before bed, he let her pick out which animal to sing about next. So, he sang, "Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O, and on that farm he had a ....." "A toot! " She exclaimed and laughed at how funny she was.

* At least 5 times a day, she says, "I love you SO much, Mommy!" And then she gives me a huge hug and kiss. That is the best feeling in the whole world and makes being a Mom the best job I could ever have

To be soon as I remember what else I wanted to write.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Early Bird

I have always been a good sleeper. Not only do I enjoy my sleep, I NEED my sleep. According to my parents, it took me days to recover from slumber parties when I was younger. Yet, as much as I love to sleep, I also love to stay up late. I just really enjoy that time in the evening after the kids have gone to bed, watching TV or reading in my jammies. So, I love to sleep in. Although it has been many years since I slept until noon, I still have a pretty firm belief that anything before 8 seems early. Maybe by luck, or maybe through a little training, my first child likes to sleep in too. She usually sleeps until at least 8:30, and I must admit if she wakes up before 8 I feel a little annoyed. Why is she up so early?!? When I only had one child, I would wake up early about once a month for one reason or another. And I always said to myself, "I should do this more often! Look at all the things I can get done before she wakes up!" Yet, I always changed my mind the next morning as soon as the alarm went off. I was getting used to my slow mornings as a stay-at-home mom.

And then my son was born. Somehow, he did not get the sleep-in gene. I probably should have screened for that when getting married. As a newborn, he would sometimes wake up before 5:00, ready to play. I half-way accepted this and hoped he would soon fall into a more normal routine. And he did. Normal for most people that is. But to me, 7:00 is still way too early to be up. In fact, I have a rule that if he gets up before 7:00, I put him back in his bed after I nurse him. He almost always talks for a few minutes and then falls back asleep for a short while.

So, this morning when he was chatting away in his crib at 6:15, my first reaction was, "You have to be kidding me! I am not getting up at 6:15!" I nursed him and he went right back into the bed. He was in the room next to us, so I turned the monitor off and climbed back in bed. If he didn't go back to sleep, he would eventually start talking and wake me up. I just needed a few more minutes to close my eyes.....

Or maybe I needed another few hours. I woke up at the clock said 8:30. "Good," I thought, feeling so proud of myself, "He must have gone back to sleep" I turned on the monitor to confirm and to my surprise, he was just silently kicking in bed. Oh my gosh! Had he gone back to sleep? Had he been awake the whole time? Did I really abandon him in his crib for 2 hours? Why didn't I just get up at 6:15 in the first place? But I have to admit, a part of me was still glad that I had slept in.

As babies always do, when I leaned over his crib to get him, his whole face lit up. He was so excited to see his Mommy and didn't care what had happened in the last 2 hours. I will never know if he slept or not and I realize that it doesn't matter. He loves him Mommy and I love my early bird. Even at 6:00 in the morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sticky Icky Icky

Oh, you should have seen us today. We were quite a mess. It all started with me having the great idea of eating Sonic for lunch. My son had woken up late from his morning nap and I had planned all morning to go to Target as soon as he got up. By the time he got up, I wasn't sure we would have time to make it to the store and eat lunch before nap time. My solution: lunch in the car. My daughter ordered a cheeseburger, apple dippers and a lime slush. She insisted on eating the hamburger whole, not broken into pieces. I let her because I do like to encourage decision making. Plus, I can handle a little mess. Which is obvious because I then let her hold her own lime slush as well. I wasn't so sure how the caramel dip would do in the car so I told her we could take it into Target and eat it in the buggy. Of course, she didn't eat much of her burger because she was so interested in the slush. And I didn't argue too much. I am not a big fan of pushing food. So, when we arrived at Target I just decided to take the whole Sonic bag inside and try to convince her to eat a little more while we were on the go. As I was getting her out of the car, I had to pick onion and pickle off of her chest. And then, after I had gotten her and my purse and bag in the cart I realized I had parked too close to the shopping cart holder and couldn't get the baby's car seat out. I pushed my buggy in front of the car, took my daughter out, and reparked the car with her in my lap. Second try was a charm. As soon as we got inside, I opened the caramel and proceeded to spill half of it in my daughter's lap. Sticky, icky caramel all over her lap. She naturally immediately stuck her hands in it. I had no wipes so I then stuck my hand it. Oh well. Just a little caramel. But then as she dipped her apples in the caramel she dropped her apples in the container and was fishing them out with her hands. Now there is caramel on both hands. And caramel on both hands means caramel on the face, in the hair, on the shopping cart, and all over the Father's Day card we had picked out. Time to be done with caramel. So I dug out the burger and ripped a piece off with my fingers. Now I have burger stuck to my fingers and no where to wipe that either. Just when I thought the two of us couldn't get any stickier, my daughter dumps her lime slush. At least it was time to check-out. As I was loading my stuff onto the conveyor belt, I hear the lady behind us talking to my daughter, "Wow, that's a sticky mess. It must be good!" I look at her a little embarrassed and ask, "Did she drop something on the floor?" "No," she replied, "I just noticed your hands." Wow. She noticed how gross I was. Embarrassing. And then, to top it all off, as I was backing out of the parking lot, I hit the buggy that I had left sticking out just a little too much because I was too lazy to walk over and fix it. Finally, we made it home. After nap, we decided to go outside and play for a few minutes before dinner. When my daughter came over to me, she was covered in black dirt, showing where every sticky spot of caramel had been that I had failed to wash off. Sticky, icky mess. But at least we got home in time for nap.

Good Mommy Monday

I know it is already Tuesday. I am not that far behind. But I had this great idea to do a Good Mommy Monday post, but when I sat down last night to write, my Internet was broken! So, I will go ahead and do my post one day late.

I came up with the idea to dedicate one post a week to things that are going well in my life as a Mommy. Honestly, I rarely feel as though I have anything together. But despite that my family continues to thrive and bring immense joy to my life. I fully recognize that these posts are for my benefit only. How often have we as moms wanted to write down everything we accomplished in one day just to prove that our job may look easy but is really a lot of responsibility. I guess I just need to feel better about myself. So, for now I will dedicate each Monday to bragging!

Let's see if I can remember yesterday....

We didn't do much. Just hung around the house for most of the morning. Our normal morning routine is after breakfast, I let my daughter watch a little Dora while I get the baby down for a nap. Then, I clean the kitchen and sit down to drink coffee and check email (and by email I mean facebook and my blogs :) ) After 2 Dora's (or maybe 3 if I am feeling lazy) we turn the TV off and play. I was actually able to complete almost 3 loads of laundry yesterday during play time! And I even had time to sing a little Jingle Bells and play some instruments. When baby's nap was over, we all piled in the car for the grocery store. We made it through the store with no melt downs and no crying. I did basically feed my daughter lunch in the store. She loves samples. Yesterday's menu was pasta salad, smoked turkey, olive loaf, a slice of ham and pineapple cake. After our real lunch at home, I actually got both kids down for a nap at the same time. (I use the term nap loosely in my house. This will have to be a post on it's own. My daughter doesn't always sleep but at least stays in her room for a time of rest.) I had over 2 hours to myself! In that time I paid bills, finished laundry, emptied the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, put up the rest of the groceries, and did my Bible study. I probably also spent some time on the Internet. Yet, I still managed to not squeeze in a shower. But my most proud moment of the day? Dinner time. Because my daughter didn't have a nap, she needed to be in bed early. So, I managed to feed both kids and get dinner cooked for myself and my husband all by myself - without turning on the TV! All I had to do was march around the kitchen, singing "Boom-de-ah-da" That may seem trivial but, trust me, it is not. 4:30 - 6:00 is the WORST time of day. Once my husband was home, we had both kids in bed my 7:30! That is a special bonus on Monday nights because then I get to watch The Bachelorette! Oh, the simple pleasures in life.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Morning snacks

This morning while sitting in church, my Mommy friend and I were discussing how hungry we were. We will blame that on the nursing. So later, when the two of us found ourselves bouncing our noisy babies in the lobby instead of listening to the sermon, we had a morning snack. I had two options. Either an already opened package of peanut butter crackers or Nemo fruit snacks, both of which I dug out of the bottom of my diaper bag. I seriously considered the crackers because I wanted something salty. But they were smashed beyond recognition and I was a little concerned about what they might have picked up at the bottom of the bag. So, I went with the unopened fruit snacks. My friend went with a bag of stale cheese crackers that she confessed had possibly been on the floor and put back in the bag. But really, who else but a Mommy always has a snack in her bag?

Late night snacks

Last night went a little something like this. Around 7:30, I started the bedtime routine with my 5 month old. I gave him a bath and put him in jammies. I attempted to read a book but he immediately began squealing and arching his back. Gave up on the books. Straight to nursing. After nursing him, he wasn't asleep yet so I tried rocking and singing. Again, arching his back and squirming off of my lap. So, we walked around and sang a few songs and then I put him in bed awake. He fussed for a few minutes and went to sleep by about 8:15. (Notice that he CAN fall asleep on his own). I guess that is my first confession of the day. I know that the experts recommend a bed time of around 7. And some nights, that is possible. But let's be honest. Saturday night is too busy to have the baby in bed by 7. I didn't even have our take-out at home until almost 7. Anyway, I finally went to bed around 11 and was not surprised to hear the baby start crying around midnight. 4 hours, right on cue. Every night I go to bed swearing that tonight is the night I am going to let him fuss for at least 10-20 minutes before I get him. I have to give him a chance to fall asleep on his own. But then every night I last about 3 minutes. I am just so sleepy and I know if I just go in and nurse him, he will back asleep in no time and I can go back to sleep, too. So, that is exactly what I did. And I then I did it again at 3:30. And that is what I do every night. Now, you have to understand that I have read all the books about sleep - The Sleep Lady, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and Sleep Sense. I am well aware that I am not supposed to be nursing my child back to sleep. I am supposed to try other soothing methods, like singing and rocking and rubbing his back. Really!?? Really!?? Who does that? Is that really a successful method for other mothers? I have tried. I have tried sending my husband in. I have tried not picking him up. I have tried everything. But in the middle of night I really don't have the ability to do what I am supposed to do if it isn't working, quickly. And so, I will continue to take the easy route and nurse him to sleep. But only after I wait at least 10 - 20 minutes. This time I mean it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Short Books

So, I have spent my whole morning wondering what I should blog about first. I seem to have so many things I could confess. In fact, I have starting writing down some ideas because I don't want to forget all of the things that pop into my mind during the day. How do I pick which one is right for today? I still haven't decided exactly how I will go about this blogging business. Should I confess things just as they happen, on a day-to-day basis? Or should I just write about things as they come to me. I think for now, I will just start with today.

I will start by saying, that I truly do believe that reading is one of the most important things we can do with our children. I believe our houses should be full of books. All kinds of books. Our kids should see us reading, we should read with our kids, and we should give them opportunities to read to themselves. That being said, my nap time routine with my daughter includes reading two or three books. I usually let her pick one book and I pick a book. As anyone who has a two year old knows, bedtime is full of sneaky ways to postpone that moment when Mommy leaves and nap time officially begins. This is no different at our house. So today, after we had gotten upstairs, used the potty, put on a pull-up, gotten a drink of water, retrieved the stuffed animal we left downstairs the first time, picked up the room (my daughter is a little obsessive and likes to pick up her room even when I would rather not), closed the blinds, and finally gotten into the bed, my precious time alone was ticking away. My son was asleep and had been for almost 30 minutes already! He only sometimes naps more than an hour! I had to hurry and get downstairs for just a few minutes alone! So, I picked the shortest book I can find. You know the kind with only a few words on each page. But, to my disappointment, my daughter had picked a really long book - a collection of poems! So, I did what every good mother would do. Instead of complaining about her choice, I read only the first few lines on every page and was done in just a few minutes flat! Lights off, sang a few quick songs (none of those long ones), and here I am, sitting on the couch, blogging - with both kids asleep!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Well, I finally did it. I finally created a blog. Over the last few years, I have become one of those blog stalkers. You know, one of those people who checks my Google Reader maybe 50 times a day. I guess this is a good time to start the confessing. A few nights ago, when my son woke for his middle of the night feeding, I actually took my phone with me so I could read blogs while nursing him. In my defense, I have been closely following a blog about a family whose newborn son was undergoing heart surgery, and I was really hoping for an update on his condition. But still, pretty embarrassing. I am obsessed. So naturally, I find myself narrating about my day to myself, imagining how I might record my experiences in my non-exsistent blog. I just could never actually start a blog about myself because I wasn't sure it was interesting enough. But there is one thing I find interesting - discovering other mom's aren't perfect either. So, I decided my blog wasn't just going to be a place to record my everyday life and the funny things my kids do. Instead, this blog is a place for me to write down all of my confessions as a mommy, in hopes that other moms might see themselves in my imperfections. And then, we can all know that even though it may appear that all of the other moms have it together, they probably don't either.