Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Ridiculous Problems

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

I don’t actually want to eat any more of this ice cream but I also don’t really want to get up and go put it back in the freezer. This is not the first time I have had this dilemma.

My children like being helpful so much they fight over who gets to bring me things so I always have to think of TWO things I need (a blanket and a drink, my slippers and my phone, etc) to avoid an argument.

Caroline loves school so much she never says goodbye or gives me a hug when I drop her off and it hurts my feelings.

We own way too much stuff. Too many clothes, too many toys, too many THINGS and yet I can’t figure out how to get rid of it all.

I can’t plan things that interfere with bedtime because both children recognize that it’s time for sleeping and beg to be put to bed. Caroline especially loves going to sleep at night.

The list of jobs I love that I also get paid for is getting longer (Did I mention I’m writing for TVFanatic and The Hollywood Gossip? It’s pretty cool – said in the Miley Cyrus voice) and for the first time in a long time I might actually be BUSY. So busy I need an actual day planner…and I don’t HAVE a day planner.

I read something on the internet that made me really mad and I was going to write a post about it but now I can’t remember what it was.

I have too many interesting podcasts to catch up on.

My perfectly healthy, smart, kind, handsome baby is about to turn FIVE and five is too old.

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Never Boring {$100 Giveaway!}

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Before I had kids I was bored a lot. I don’t think I realized I was bored – I probably thought I enjoyed taking long naps and sleeping until noon and spending all my money on shoes. But it turns out I don’t actually enjoy any of those things all that much.

Well, I mean, obviously I still like naps. Everyone likes naps (except the children who actually should be taking them).

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The first year after I got married we lived in Virginia Beach. Despite being young and thin (siiiiiigh) and living directly on the beach, I HATED it. It felt like there was nothing to do. All the guys E worked with either had kids or were trying to have kids (as a 23 year old with no children I was sort of an anomaly in the MilSpouse community). I remember going to a lot of street fairs or walking down to the cheesy beach shops or driving past the aquarium and thinking “If I had kids, this would be way more fun.”

Here in Connecticut I hear a lot of the younger, single guys complain about nothing to do. But since I have kids, I STRONGLY disagree. We have memberships to the aquarium, the seaport, the children’s museum and the science center. We walk to parades, or the library or the cheesy little carnivals downtown. My kids have favorite restaurants and favorite stores and favorite playgrounds. They go to school and take lessons and have a way more active social life than I’ve had since I was in high school.

I LOVE it.

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I’m not someone who is ultra-motivated by nature. If I was still only responsible for myself (and my husband, I guess, although he’s not quite as helpless as children), I would spend a lot more time sleeping and feeling lonely. Kids don’t let you do that. They keep you up, they’re ALWAYS talking, they demand you go outside and see the world. You can’t avoid talking to anyone at the grocery store or wear ear buds all the time or even avoid smiling. I am nicer, friendlier and happier now that I have kids, and it has definitely made me a better person.

Last week after swim class, I took the kids to Panera for an early dinner and “special treat” for both being brave and learning new skills (Caroline can retrieve things from the bottom pool step, Evan learned how to do a sitting dive). I herded them into line where they both placed their orders with no help from me, then stormed the dessert counter to choose their cupcakes. The teenage girl behind the counter said “They’re so cute. I bet having kids is never boring.”

I smiled and said “No, I am never, ever bored.”

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To celebrate the hilarious and heartfelt comedy Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn, being released Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD March 25, BlogHer will be awarding to one of my readers a $100 Visa gift card.

To enter, just leave a comment telling me: How have your kids changed you for the better?

You can pre-order your copy of Delivery Man today or check out the Facebook page for more information on the film, which chronicles the story of a man who unexpectedly discovers he has 533 children. (And I thought just having a THIRD baby was a big deal!)  

Sweepstakes Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods: Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 3/20/14 – 4/17/14. Be sure to visit the Delivery Man page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! 

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Baby #3 Pregnancy Update (15ish weeks)

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Besides announcing I was pregnant, I haven’t blogged much about potential ginger baby #3. I don’t want him/her to read my blog some day (originally documented to record literally every single thought I had about my first pregnancy/baby/Baby Evan from the second I got a positive on the stick) and think he/she wasn’t as wanted. I just don’t have a desk job, unlimited internet and 24 hours a day to think about nothing but BABY BABY BABY BABY anymore. In my mother’s day, this shows up in the fact that I have 3+ photo albums of my childhood, my sister has 2, and my brother has…almost 1.  Today you are less heavily featured on social media. 2014, baby!

Before I wrote this, I had to find an online calculator that would tell me how pregnant I was based on my due date. I’ve been saying “Uh…15ish weeks?” for a while now, since I lost a week based on the measurements at my first ultrasound and I keep forgetting to subtract it and I can’t remember which day I flip over to the next week. Plus I’m assuming the end of the pregnancy will be as miserable as the last one (quick recap: tons of pain, kidney stones, surgery, kidney infections, pre-eclampsia, induction) and I’ll probably be induced again. If I was a character on Downton Abbey this wouldn’t end well. Thank God for my modern medicine and weekly check ups – it helps to know they’re keeping a close watch on me. To sum up that rambling: Not sure when I’ll have this kid, probably July.

I had my second doctor’s appointment yesterday with one of the midwives. Everything is entirely normal, despite the fact that I got my first talking-to about how much weight I’ve gained/might potentially gain. I don’t actually know my starting weight OR my current weight – I had hoped it wouldn’t be an issue at all but I don’t think I’m going to be that lucky. I’m surprised though – besides an endless craving for McDonald’s bacon, egg and cheese biscuits (a horrible craving, since I can only get them in the morning and I mostly want them at 9 pm) I haven’t been eating much or badly. My nausea has kept me from pulling the “PREGNANT! TIME FOR ALL THE FOODS!” card. I’ve been getting to the gym as much or even more than I was pre-pregnancy. I’m not sure what else I am supposed to do so I only gain a couple more pounds in the next 25 weeks (stop eating? take up marathon running???) so I’m going to just let my perfect blood work and amazing blood pressure make me feel better.

On a less complainy note, we’re not finding out if it’s a boy or a girl. I have one of each, so I have stuff for each (and really, is there anything for babies that HAS to be either/or? No, there is not) and I like the idea of being surprised. E doesn’t care. I’m shocked he doesn’t care, but he really doesn’t, at all, not a bit, zero percent. I thought I might have to talk him into waiting but he was totally on board. I think he thinks it will keep me from buying a lot of baby stuff and he might be right. So far I haven’t been tempted to change my mind, but that hasn’t prevented GUESSING. Currently I guess girl, but that changes fairly regularly. I never thought I’d be a person who didn’t find out, since I figured I’d always have a preference (no matter how slight) and I’d want time to accept and get used to the idea. But this time I really don’t care. Caroline says it’s a girl we should name “Caroline Baby Jesus” and Evan says it’s a boy we should name “Diny” (short for Dinosaur) and they like the idea of being surprised when the baby comes out too. Although my poor kids have no idea what getting a new sibling really means, so boy/girl won’t be their ONLY surprise.

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Doing My Best (Question Mark) (Exclamation Point)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Once a week or so my Facebook, which skews heavily towards moms, blows up with a post or article from the interwebs about being a better parent. Posts about putting down your phone and paying more attention to the present, posts about why you should never yell at your kids, posts about how teaching your children patience means letting them take 45 minutes to put on their coat, posts about all the ways you are probably scarring your children and ruining their lives because you aren’t perfect.

Basically, posts about how someone else lives their life better than me. I suck.

I made the mistake of reading one of the posts about yelling on a particularly bad day. I had just been hit with pregnancy symptoms, I had been solo parenting for weeks, the holiday planning was making me feel overwhelmed and stressed and instead of providing me with a hilarious list of animals that look like characters from Downton Abbey the internet punched me in the face with guilt.

Of course, any day is probably a bad day to read parenting advice. I cannot remember a single day since having kids where I was perfect. Pre-kids no one was really expecting me to be, you know?? As long as I didn’t commit any major crimes no one cared and the majority of the advice aimed at me was how to build a work wardrobe for under $200 or how to plan a dinner party for 12. But once you biologically become a parent people suddenly expect you to be a great parent all the time, although no one can even tell you what that means. There isn’t a handbook. There isn’t even a PAMPHLET. And even if there was, I’d still be doing stuff wrong.

Even on days where the kids are angels and I’m a saint, we probably didn’t eat all-organic, locally-sourced, home-cooked meals. We probably ate McDonalds. On the days when we eat a real, fully-balanced meal made with ingredients from the farmer’s market the kids probably watched 4 hours of iPad so I could make the damn thing.

Some days, I toss something in the trash, miss, and then just stand there staring at it on the floor, hoping it might pick itself up. I make sure my children are not physically suffering and then lie down on the couch. The kids eat Pop Tarts for dinner with a side of Pop Tarts for dessert. I yell. I am unfair. I cannot wait for them to go to bed.

As far as I am concerned, both of those days are my best effort. I am giving 100% of myself. All the parts that aren’t being used to keep me alive are going to my children. But I’m a person too, and some days I need all of my own energy to function. I need an extra hour to sleep instead of doing a craft or to watch House Hunters instead of PBS. I need 10 minutes of silence instead of breaking up another argument so I just let them argue. I need to lock the bathroom door so I can pee my pants while I throw up privately instead of with an audience. Again. I NEED those things, the same way I need air and food.

I assume if my life circumstances changed, I would find more to give. Working moms do way more than I do and survive. Single moms do way WAY more an survive. Literally a billion other mothers do more than I do and survive. But right now, at this moment, in my own life, I am giving 100%. You are probably also giving 100%, whether that means making those all-organic meals every night or taking even more naps than I do.

It’s not as hopeless as it sounds. Most nights I go to bed feeling like I had a successful day and not beating myself up over my mistakes (I figure in another four and a half years I might stop doing it all together). Even when I am totally drained I am lucky to have this life – and I really do feel lucky instead of just saying I’m lucky. My kids are great kids, despite my mistakes, and so far show no signs of permanent damage from either cheeseburgers or Disney Jr binges. Since I realized I cannot do everything – and don’t even WANT to do everything – I have gotten much, much happier. Just don’t show up unannounced or I won’t let you in to see my messy house, screaming children, and wet pants.

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A List Of 3rd Pregnancy Complaints, In Alphabetical Order, While I Can Still Remember What That Means

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

A List Of 3rd Pregnancy Complaints, In Alphabetical Order, While I Can Still Remember What That Means #epicwhiningahead

1. Exhaustion – My current nap schedule rivals that of a 3 month old, which makes sense because I’ve had something sucking all the energy out of my body for the past 3 months. I feel like I have one of those video-game life bars over my head that never gets above about 50% and usually hovers around 10. Just enough that I am not ACTUALLY asleep or dead, but not enough to handle reaching over there to put on the bra I took off at 9 am when someone knocks on the door. I will say having a 4 1/2 year old is very handy in this situation, since he thinks fetching things for me is the Best Game Ever and will bring me food/drinks/the remote/a blanket and pillow for another nap. But I’m still not putting that bra back on.

2. Feelings – The combination of the holidays + Caroline turning 3 + pregnancy means I’m basically 20 seconds away from sobbing at any given moment. I cry during Match.com commercials, which are the lowest form of emotional string-pulling currently on TV. I cry reading Buzzfeed roundups. I get myself worked into screaming rage fits over comments on the internet that have absolutely nothing to do with me in ANY WAY. Listening to the radio in the car is a game of sobbing roulette, just waiting for a sad song or an NPR story about poverty of any variety. If someone were to be kind to me in public (putting my shopping cart away, holding a door, not giving me dirty looks when Evan yells “FARTS” in public) I would become inconsolable within seconds and probably scare them out of ever being kind to a stranger again.

3. Hugeness – I am starting this pregnancy at a higher weight than my first two (I ate a lot of feelings over the past year) and it is not very pleasant. I don’t know if any of my maternity clothes are going to fit (I can’t find them) and I KNOW none of my bras do. I’m not going to have an adorable bump or take cutesy maternity photos or impress anyone with my pregnancy style – if I make it 9 months without splitting my pants in public I will consider it a win. My doctor is not concerned (or at least has the tact not to point out it was stupid to get pregnant before I got back in shape because IT’S TOO LATE NOW) and I have plans to keep attending my gym and stay as active as I can…but I am not one of those people who gains 6 pounds and leaves the hospital in her skinny jeans. I do not plan to beat myself up over it (again TOO LATE NOW) but it sort of…sucks.

4. Morning Sickness – I should go back and reread post from both previous babies, since I am guessing I did have medium-to-disruptive morning sickness with them and have just blocked it out. I DEFINITELY remember that after I had Caroline it never really, truly went away – if I brush my teeth in the morning while still half-asleep I almost always gag myself. My current schedule goes like this: wake up, try not to move any more than necessary until I can get to the bathroom, throw up nothing for a while, feel like crap, eat something around noon, eat something around 2 pm, eat something around 4 pm, start feeling crappy again, try not to throw up until I go to bed. If I’m still awake at midnight it starts over again with the eating. I crave spicy food but am scared to eat it too much because that is an unfortunate choice when it comes back up. I’m not in danger of dehydration and it’s not bad enough for medication but it does feel like it’s going to last forever. THIS IS MY LIFE NOW.

5. Slightly overwhelmed and/or terrified – Three children is a lot of children. Outnumbered. Zone defense. We’re out of bedrooms and easily accessible seats in the van. I haven’t really thought much about the reality of three kids, since I haven’t fully convinced myself this one is real. (Sidebar that should probably be a whole post: It’s amazing how much one extremely early loss has changed my belief in pregnancy. I had no problem announcing I was pregnant the second I got a line on the stick the first two times because I had no experience with anything but a full-term outcome. Now I have a hard time believing I’ll ever get a baby out of this, despite the fact that everything is totally fine so far. I can’t imagine how much worse that feeling/worry is for someone whose suffered multiple losses or false positives.) But since it’s already 2014 I’m going to have to think of the details of adding a 3rd baby soonish. My current plan is bunks for the current gingers in Caroline’s room with the front bedroom as a nursery. It will give me an excuse to paint it something other than the VERY blue I chose for Evan (we’re not going to find out what this one is) and buy bunk beds, which is something my childhood heart has always wanted.

I really like lists and this I will blog lots of lists from now on. Coming soon: lists of things I am convinced are wrong with me, lists of stuff I need to replace for this baby because mine are broken/gone and I cannot live without them, and lists of lists. Also the story of how my 4 year old lost his first tooth due to a face-smashing. Maybe bunk beds aren’t a terrific idea.

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