Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful Take 2...

So everything I wrote in my last post on Thanksgiving was true. All of it. I am thankful for SO much and my kids are just amazing little things...but...

There are other things I am thankful for too. Like daycare and school. After spending every single waking hour (and some not-so-waking hours) with both of my kids from Wednesday at noon until this morning...well I can definitely tell you I am thankful for daycare and school. SO SO thankful. If I'm being honest, it was a really long weekend.

The Boy was fine. He was good. Plus, he's easy to deal with so he got some time out of the house away from me with friends and family. So he was good. But The Girl? She and I literally spent every single second together and got rough a couple of times. Remember a couple of months ago when she got some little bug and started having diarrhea all over the place? Remember that? Yeah, we are right there again. It started the day after Thanksgiving which makes 4. Last time it lasted almost 10 days. Dear God we are not even half way done if that repeats itself. And on a long weekend it was really hard. She was super whiny and just wanted to be held and rocked. Which for the first day or so was really sweet and cute and, OF COURSE Mommy will hold you and rock you and make you feel better. But by day three I started to wonder what that smell was and couldn't tell if it was my own self because I hadn't showered in two days, or if it was something coming from the kitchen as I hadn't been able to empty the dishwasher in two days, or perhaps the cats litter box...the choices were endless. Because, you see, when you are a single Mommy and one of your children is demanding to be held all the time there isn't a lot of other stuff that can get done. So you choose to either let your child cry and whine and follow you around the house and latch onto your legs every time you pause long enough for them to get a grip, or you sit. And you sit. And you watch PBS because it is the only thing that keeps her quiet.

The weather was also super crappy and cold and rainy here this weekend and what with Little Miss Poops-A-Lot messing through any outfit at any given time (OOHH!! Also thankful for the washing machine. SUPER thankful for that), we barely left the house. And man...these walls started to close in on me. Add to that bored, whiny, sometimes sick kids and it makes for a REALLY long weekend.

So today! Back to school for both of them. Yesterday was somewhat better for The Girl with no major blow outs so I was hoping we were going to be done with it. I warned her daycare ladies that she had a bit of a tummy thing going on and to please call me if they needed me to come and get her (please don't call...please don't call...please don't call...) but that I hoped she was on the tail end of it. Since I made it through the entire day without a phone call I figured we were all good. Until my mom brought her home tonight. She was in a different outfit than I sent her in (bad sign number one) and then my mom came in carrying a grocery bag stuffed full. I knew we had done the grocery shopping over the weekend (an outting!! Yay!! How sad is my life?) so I looked a little perplexed. My mom said, "Apparently your daughter pooped through every single one of her spare outfits and it all needs to be washed." (Bad sign number 2). She has 4 spare outfits. All 4 of them came home, along with ALL of her bedding from school. Not only did it need to be washed, but it had to be rinsed first because they literally peeled it off of her and stuffed it into a bag. So it sat in a bag and marinated all day long and then when I opened it? I can't even tell you all. I seriously almost barfed from the stench.

And bad sign number 3? Well when we were eating dinner, out of the blue The Girl starts screaming. I asked her what was wrong and she said in a pitiful little voice, "I wanta a new diaper..." Her poor bum. So I took her back to change it and...nothing. A little tiny skid on the diaper but that was it. I can't imagine how much it must have hurt to have that reaction. So I gave her a fresh diaper anyway and put some medicine on her bum and sent her on her way. About 10 minutes later she came toddling down the hall and said, "Pee You!! Stinky!!" I looked at her and she was COVERED. Seriously. Down both legs, up the front, in her belly button you guys. So of course I picked her up and cleaned her up getting my new cute red Christmas sweater covered in poop in the process. Poor sweetie. Poor me. Poor all of us.

At least my mom agreed to take my sweater home and make it smell like new again. Because seriously, the washer was already going and...I just didn't have it in me. Even now, I am going to go put on a different outfit all together because something on my person smells like ass. And it is kinda making me want to lose my mind.

So...thankful? Absolutely. Wouldn't trade it for anything. But damn...sometimes it is just easier to go to work!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving was a first for me. It was the first time in my 36 years on this planet that I have not spent this day at my grandmother's house. She is turning 94 this year and has finally moved out of her home and therefore we had to start a new tradition this year. So we ended up at my brother's house and it was lovely. I left there after a very long, but thankful, day.

I am thankful for my support system; the wonderful people in my life that allow me to live the amazing life that I live. My mother. Couldn't live without her; my best friend and co-parent to my children and just an amazing example of what I would always strive to be. Thankful for the rest of my large and complicated family. Thankful for my nieces and nephews and the ability to give my children the kind of traditions that I had as a child. Thankful that my other 88 year old grandmother was home from the hospital and healthy. Thankful that she sat next to me during dinner and told me that this was the best Thanksgiving she had ever had and it was because of my children. She said seeing their faces makes her life on this planet smile.

And thankful for my two amazing kids. Thankful that on days like today when both of you have colds and therefore are both pretty pitiful and whiny...thankful that I can make it through the end of a long day still thinking you are both amazing kids. I not only love my kids, but I like them too. I like spending the day with them. They make me laugh, they make me smile, they make me crazy...but I have nothing but love for the both of them. I could not be more thankful for them. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Hope it was a great one.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


This is me between 18 and 24 months:
...and this is my son at 18 months old...
...and this is my daughter at 18 months old...
Can you see the resemblance?

Friday, November 19, 2010

The First Haircut

Here's The Girl this morning during breakfast. This is true "morning hair." It hasn't been brushed or anything. But this is how she spends her time before I "do her hair" each day. She has taken to saying, "Where's [Girl]?" and then she takes both of her hands and pushes her hair up out of her face so she can see and says, "Der she is!!"

It was time for the first haircut. Here's the before.
And here's the "after."
I love it! She looks so grown up. The pics from the "during" are on my phone so I'll show them to you later. Or not... But I love it. My big girl!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Check Out the New Digs

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to tell you to check out my new header and format of my blog. I take no responsibility whatsoever. A fabulous reader--who am I kidding--Calliope! offered to give me a little face lift to my old header as a holiday gift. How rad is she? (Although I may have given her a little cashola into her paypal as a thank you anyway because she's just THAT awesome...).

So if you're reading this through a reader, click through and check it out. And then go over to her site and give her some love (and some business!!)

Continue on with your day...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

More shots from The Girl's 18 month photo shoot... And you may wonder why I chose to have her photographed in her sunglasses pushing her stroller. The reason would be that this look really wraps up her essence at 18 months. She wears these glasses on a daily basis and for some reason she connects pushing her babies in a stroller with wearing the glasses. I wanted to capture this image to always remember this time. This is what she loved to do. This is who she 18 months old...

PS--Clearly I am challenged by the "wordless" portion of "Wordless Wednesday..."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

OMG You Guys...

Yesterday I had perhaps the scariest moment of my parenting career thus far. I can't even tell you how scared I was... But first, let me back up and give you some background.

Last Friday the 5th of November I had an appointment to take my kids to get professional pictures done. We were going to do their Holiday shots and also get some of just The Girl for her 18 month shots. My mom always goes with me on these things to help out so that was the plan. My mom called me at 8:00 that morning to tell me she had food poisoning and would (obviously) not be joining me. I was a little stressed out about doing it all on my own, but it went really well. In fact, after the pictures were taken I was going to write a blog post about "Tips for surviving Professional Pictures with your kids," and talk about my tips. First, schedule as early in the day as possible to avoid delays, second bring snacks and books, third bring toys that your kids are familiar with to use in the pictures (they are so much better than the props they give you that your kids have never seen before...)...I could go on. I never got around to writing that post (shocker, I know), but the point of this is that it all went really well. We got some great pictures and I left there proud of myself for doing it all on my own and I even managed to take the two kids out to lunch by myself after the pictures. So it went great. In fact, I got those pictures back yesterday and here are a couple of shots. They are adorable...

So anyway, that was last week. So THIS Friday we had another appointment at the same place with all of the cousins to try and get a picture of all 7 grandchildren to give to the parental units for Christmas. The age ranges of the kids goes from 7 as the oldest all the way down to 5 months as the youngest. I knew going into it that The Girl was going to be our difficult child to deal with. The baby (5 months) can pretty much just be propped up somewhere, and the child that is older than The Girl is almost 4 so all of those kids can just be told where to sit and they will stay. So my daughter was the wild card. I knew that going in. And she had had a ROUGH day. One of those days where they just don't want anything you offer them and the entire world seems to be conspiring against them. You know the days...we've all had them. So that was how we went into the pictures.

Also, even though The Girl is a complete ham and a crazy child, she is uncharacteristically shy when she gets somewhere. Even though she sees her cousins all the time, whenever we get somewhere with them she spends the first half an hour glued to my side until she warms up a little. So I knew that getting to the picture place with all those people and being rushed into a room and telling her to sit down away from me out of the blue was going to be a challenge.

It was more than a challenge. She threw a freaking colossal fit. I am not kidding. She screamed NO!!!! at the top of her lungs and threw herself on the floor kicking and screaming and throwing the biggest tantrum you have ever seen. The photographer actually even snapped a picture of it (which I am glad she did; it's hysterical and I bought a copy) with 6 kids posed perfectly and my daughter strewn across the floor screaming bloody murder and my son sitting above her with his hands over his ears because she was screaming so loud. It was quite a moment.

So we took her away and let the other families do some family shots with her watching hoping it would "warm her up" to the camera. Nope. Not so much. She still refused. After 40 MINUTES!! (that is NOT an exaggeration) we got her to sit on a stool next to her brother by bribing her with Pirates Booty. So in the pictures we ended up with, my daughter is sitting there with a zip lock bag of "popcorn" in her lap and her face stuffed full of the stuff and the powdery stuff all over her face mixed with snot and tears and her cute brown dress covered in "popcorn dust." Charming. But at least she was IN the picture. We weren't even sure if we would get that far. But needless to say I was glad I hadn't posted a blog post talking about how to conquer professional pictures because that day? That day was a huge failure. Huge.

So at that point it had been a REALLY long day with my daughter. I was stressed and tired and to be quite frank, really over it. I just wanted to get home and have a glass of wine (or 12). So then we were waiting for quite a while for them to process the pics and show them to us and the kids were all running around being crazy and eating snacks and reading the books I had brought (see back when I thought I knew how to get through this type of thing; I had packed well). My daughter was playing with all of her cousins and watching TV on her iPod and doing her thing. I was watching her like usual and also looking at the pictures they had managed to capture. I checked on her and saw her sitting on the floor with the iPod and went back to the pictures and not 30 seconds later, seriously, I looked back for her and she was gone.


I said "Where's [her name]?" very casually while looking in the other studios and around the room where we were, and then "WHERE'S [GIRL]?!?!" with more urgency in my voice and when I still didn't see her I screamed, "I'm serious you guys! [She's] missing!!" This is one of those portrait studios in a bigger department store so the portrait studio opens up to the entire store. I looked and there were rows of clothes and sheets and crap everywhere. She could be ANYWHERE!! I freaked. We all scattered, including all the other kids until one of the other parents realized that wasn't the best idea and rounded up all the kids and stayed at the studio with them while my sister, my sister in law, and the photographer started running frantically around the store screaming her name.

My heart was pounding so loud you guys. She wasn't anywhere. It was all a blur. I was just looking down all these rows of clothes and racks and stuff and she wasn't there. Ever. She wasn't ever there. I was just about to run up to a checkout desk and tell them they needed to make an announcement about a lost child when I heard, "Kim, we found her!" and I ran back to see the photographer carrying my child back to the portrait studio. She set her down and she casually strolls up to me saying, "I wanna see Mommy..." I grabbed her and hugged her and then threw her in her stroller and put the 5 point harness straps on her and sat down and burst into tears. Holy crap. She had been way over by the escalator and the front door! The front freaking door you guys. And the escalator. Holy shit. She was probably missing a total of about 5 minutes but it was the longest 5 minutes of my entire life.

Somehow I managed to keep it together and we picked pictures paid and got out of there. I got home and The Ex took The Boy for the night and after I put The Girl to bed it all hit me. I just lost it. I cried for a good 5 minutes. That entire day was SUCH crap with her. From the temper tantrums in the morning for not sharing with her brother, to her fit getting into the car because she didn't want a jacket on, and then she DID want the jacket on, and then NO! NO! NO! not the jacket!! And then ruining the group picture for everyone and then freaking RUNNING AWAY!!!, it was all just too much.

And then, finally, at 8:30pm...I had my glass of wine. And then another one. And then half another one which I couldn't finish because I got so tired I simply had to go to bed.

The end.

Friday, November 12, 2010

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual that I am copying from Finding Chaos, who got it from SouleMama.

A single photo– no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This has been a bit of a rough week here in my household. My 88 year old grandmother (my mom's mom) ended up in the hospital on Monday evening. She was having issues with her heart and ended up with atrial fibrillation. She needed much monitoring and a procedure where the docs went down her throat to look at her heart for blood clots and ended up having to shock her heart back into rhythm with the scary little paddle things. It has been a scary week but it looks like she is getting out of the hospital this evening and everything will be fine. But...DAMN!!!

This entire thing has made me think a lot about family. I am 36 years old and I am lucky enough to still have both of my grandmother's alive and well. One of my grandmother's is 93 and the other is 88. The one who is 88 lives in a "penthouse" apartment in a very ritzy little area right near my house (which, it should be noted, is not anywhere near as ritzy) and the one who is 93 just recently moved into an assisted living facility but she is still very much alert and healthy. So I am extremely lucky. But more than that, my KIDS are very lucky. My son is almost 5 and I think there's a good chance that he will actually retain memories of both of them. My 88 year old grandmother lives literally a couple of blocks from me and she is able to stop by my house on a regular basis and hang out with my kids and they both love her dearly. She has said to me several times that moving out of the house that she lived in for over 30 years to where she lives now was completely worth it because of my son and my daughter.

It makes me think that my mom and I probably won't have that same luxury. Because we are all having kids later in life now, the chances that my mom will see her great grand kids is very slim. And same for me. I was 31 when I had my son and if he is near 30 when he has his kids and THEY are near 30 when they have theirs...I will be 90-ish! It really is a treat to be able to have 4 generations in the same room. And I genuinely treasure it. And this week has made me realize that I won't get to enjoy that forever.

Family really is a very special thing. The relationship that both of my kids have with both their grandmother AND their great grandmother's is one that is beyond special. I hope one day they become old enough to realize how very lucky they were.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Return of the Bean Bag Shot...

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, you might remember the "Bean Bag Shot." For those who don't, I took a picture of my daughter in the exact same spot every month of her first year so that I could watch her grow. And now she is 18 months old, so I thought it was time for an updated bean bag shot. So here is The Girl, 18 months old.
And if you want to see how she has changed over the years, click on the short video below and watch her grow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween--All of It

And when you have young kids...there is A LOT of Halloween to be had. But this year was all good. The Boy is old enough to really get it and he was SO excited. He picked out his costume really early on (good thing too since his Mom had to make it...) and watched his pumpkin grow in his backyard and couldn't wait until we could put up the Spider webs in front of the house.

First thing was his school field trip. I was sorta put off by the fact that they wanted the kids to go over an hour away. I was like, What the hell, there are hundreds of pumpkin patches within 15 minutes of where we live... But it turns out I shouldn't have been such a scrooge. It wasn't even so much a pumpkin patch as there was no large area with hundreds of pumpkins. It was a little tour that included picking out a pumpkin. But we started the day in a giant tee pee listening to stories, then we went and got to pick a pumpkin. Here is The Boy with his pick:
And here is The Girl with her pick. She picked a good pumpkin and remembered to smile for the picture, she just forgot to open her eyes...
And after that we went to "Mine for gold." It was actually really cool. They gave all the kids a bag of sand and they had to sift through it to find a bunch of little rocks and stones. The Boy was ALL about this part. It thought I uploaded a picture of his with this but I guess I didn't and there are far too many pictures in this post to try and go back and do it now. But just trust me. This was his favorite part of the day. In fact after the mining for gold we went and had a little snack. All the other kids were scarfing on popcorn but my son said no thank you to any popcorn and instead spread out his napkin in front of him so he could sort his rocks into like piles. Like I have said before...gotta love my little nerd.

Then after the snack we got to ride on a little train that went around the entire property. It was like a 20 minute ride and both kids loved it. The Girl went a little bit postal at first when I told her she had to sit next to me and couldn't climb around all crazy (they were just little seats...there really wasn't any sort of enclosure to hold her in place...) until the train started moving and she understood. She is still talking about the "choo choo twain..."

After that we headed over to the carousel. Guess who took one look at it and decided he wasn't interested?
And guess who pointed furiously and said, "I want it...I want it..."?
After that we went on a big corn maze thing and then went and had a nice picnic lunch. Like I said, it was a long drive to get there but in the end it was great. The Boy had a great time with his friends and his sister had a blast too. It was a really nice day. I'll try and remember that next year when I get the attitude...

Then it was time for THE EVENT. I can't remember how much I have posted about this here but way back in spring, on one of the Saturdays The Ex had The Boy she asked me if she could plant some seeds with him in the backyard. I said sure and then came home to find she had planted watermelons, corn, peas and pumpkins in a tiny little space on my side yard. I don't know a whole lot about gardening, but I do know that the things she picked are things that like to spread the hell out. Watermelons go EVERYWHERE. And so do peas and of course the pumpkins. The corn at least just goes up. So while I appreciated the concept of planting with our kid, I was was less than enthused at her choice of veggies.

Fast forward months later and the watermelon never grew (funny how that happens when a certain Mommy doesn't "remember" to water that particular plant...), the corn had grown and been eaten and pulled out, the peas had grown and produced enough peas to make the boy happy and then had been killed by the GINORMOUS pumpkin plant that took over my entire side yard and was trying to move into the regular backyard. I bitched and bitched about this plant constantly. I told The Ex she had to get rid of it...I took clippers and cut the hell out of the thing several times. Until one day I noticed a small pumpkin growing near the back door. It continued to grow (and it was the only one) amongst an insane amount of vines and leaves. Anyway, about three weeks ago we took the pumpkin out of the "garden" (HA!) and it has been sitting on the front porch. Well last week The Ex came over and carved it for The Boy. He was SO excited. It actually was quite big. Again, this post is ridiculously long enough but I could post pictures of the plant and the pumpkin itself but I will spare you all.

The pumpkin that he himself grew from a seed had made it into a full-fledged pumpkin and was now carved into his latest obsession: bats. He couldn't have been more thrilled. Here is the finished product...
After all that it was time for The Boy's Halloween Parade at school, which I have already posted about... Then it was time for THE BIG DAY!!

The Boy started asking if he could trick or treat at about 7:15am. Sigh...loooooonnngg day... Anyway, we decided to start out the evening at the gay boyfriends' house. They decorate their house all up so we took the kids and headed over. The Boy didn't wear his costume cause he can't ride in the car with it (kinda hard to fit in a car seat with a tail...), but The Girl was ALL decked out in hers. My daughter was The Cat in the Hat. And she couldn't have been happier about it. It is one of her favorite shows on right now and was so excited to put it on. She even tolerated the hat for a little while. Here she is running around the backyard of the boyfriends' house...
After we had a little snack there (kids AND adults; my mom and grandmother came with us to their house) we went over to my brother's house for the trick or treating. They have a great neighborhood so we have been going there for the past few years. Here is The Boy all dressed up and ready to hit the streets!
And again, here is his crazy sister playing peek a boo with her hat... (We all know I am pretty damn cynical, but my daughter playing peek with her hat? Perhaps one of the cutest things I have witnessed in my entire life...)
There are a ton more pictures but they all have a bunch of kids in them so you will just have to take my word when I tell you that they both had a grand time. My daughter, although she is a mere 18 months old, quickly got into the groove of things. She would march up to the doors with her brother and cousins and yell "tick teet!" and then run away before actually getting any candy. She thought it was hysterical. I had brought the umbrella stroller because, well...she's 18 months old and it was late..., and she wanted NO part in that. She walked the entire way (except for a few times when I picked her up because she wasn't moving fast enough). Her brother, true to character, after about the third block asked me if HE could sit in the stroller if his sister wasn't going to. So my almost-5-year-old rode in the stroller while his 18-month-old sister walked the entire way. Gotta love them.

And is a picture of the one time The Girl actually remembered to get candy before she ran off again...
As my 93 year old grandmother would say... "A good time was had by all."