Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Perfect Momma

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that 
there was no way to be a perfect mother and 
a million ways to be a good one."

~Jill Churchill

Monday, December 5, 2011

Obedience through Bribery and Other Advice

Mama guilt is a peculiar thing.  It follows us Mamas around and yells at us when we're trying to sleep.  I have discovered that it can be stifled by - at least occasionally - resorting to Things We Said We'd Never Do.

Things We Said We'd Never Do Before We Had Kids Back When We Were The Perfect Parents With No Kids To Ruin Our Perfect Parenting Streak:

1.  Bribe them.  The experts say you cannot do this or chaos will ensue: the world will be consumed in fire, followed by death, maiming, soiling of quilts, and the stepping on of chickens.  But here's the truth (shh!):

If a purse full of candy means your toddler will let you roam the aisles of Ross twice per year, then get a bigger purse.

2.  Count to three.   Back before we had our own little nose pickers we said we'd never do this because "it only gives them three more seconds to be naughty."  Well, I'm here to tell you this:

We have already been programmed to count to three when we're upset.  You can't help it.  You're already doing it in your head, so it may as well come out your mouth.  Plus, it will buy you three seconds to get yourself under control so that you don't do something you will regret later, like snarf a carton of Oreos in despair.  Go ahead and count to ten if it helps.  I won't tell.

3.  Potty train later rather than earlier.  Who ever said potty training = freedom was smoking something, and I'm not talking about salmon.  

Potty training means two years of your life you will never get back, plus an intimate knowledge of every public restroom from here to Topeka.  Every errand you run will take fourteen times the amount of time it would take had your little muffin been wearing a diaper.

4.  Give in when nagged.  I always said/thought/read/heard that if you NEVER give in on a battle with a toddler, then YOU WILL WIN FOREVER.  That is a big, fat lie and whoever told you that is laughing it up.  Saying "no" only makes stubborn little gremlins more stubborn and more gremlin-y.  They really, REALLY like a challenge.  

So, do yourself a favor and just give in next time.

5.  Never let them become a picky eater.  I don't like picky eaters.  I don't like your picky eater and I don't like that picky eater across the street and I don't like my picky eater.  But they didn't become that way because you "let" them.  They just are.  Like spiders and high bridges and wedgie-prone underpants.  So, accept them.  Let them be.  Give them cereal for lunch (instead of steamed quineoa) and Nutella for breakfast (instead of vegetable stir fry).

I won't tell.

6.  If you don't read to them, they won't become readers.  Yeah, well, sometimes you read to them and they still don't become readers.  Set that example all you want and it still might not work.  I read all the time.  I read so much I forget to change my socks or mop the floor or parent my children!  And all I have to show for my stellar example are a bunch of kids who tell me they'll wait for the Xbox version.  

So go ahead and sink into that bubble bath with the latest romantic mystery...but don't expect your sacrifice to rub off into literate children.

7.  Have a strict bedtime.

Yeah.  Good luck with that one.

8.  Don't allow them to have a "sleep crutch."  You know, those things like binkies and babas and blankies and other things that begin with B.  Well, I'm here to tell you, surround that little angel with every sleep crutch you can possibly find.

We used to surround a snoring infant Cora with upteen pacifiers in the hope that when the one in her sweet angel mouth would fall out (which it would the second we hauled our tired bodies into our own bed), she would magically have enough power over her own limbs to grab the nearest one and pop it in herself.  This doesn't work.  But I still recommend the Circle of Binkies.

9.  Purify their water, boil their pacifiers, use non BPA bottles, give them organic food, use cloth diapers, etc.

At least when someone is looking.  This is key.  When you're home alone with Baby, do whatever the heck you want.

10.  Your turn. 

What rule do you break when it comes to parenting?

Melyssa writes over at The Daze of Us and, we cannot tell a lie, she's awesomely funny. Go visit! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mean Guy

Just in case you're traveling this year for the holidays, here's a glimpse back to 2009 and an extended car trip with a 3 year old and 2 year old. It was awesome.


We’re almost through with 2009 – it’s been quite a fun journey!

We have spent the last week visiting our families. Overall it’s been a wonderful trip and we’ve enjoyed every minute.

There has been a little bit of a toll on us as we stay an extended period away from all that is familiar to us. The girls are still trying to figure out what’s going on with their nap schedule since we’re on a different time zone. We’ve been taking advantage of car rides in order to lull them to sleep.

Today drove a few hours to visit friends and Dos took a nap on the way up but Uno refused. After a full afternoon and fun adventures Lizard and I realized that the trip home was a necessary time for her to nap.

Dos, for her part, had an allergic reaction to the soap at Bath & Body Works and so we had given her a dose of Benadryl. Previously Benadryl knocked Dos out – but today it had the opposite effect. She was wired!

So... On the way home we told both of the girls that they needed to take a nap while we drove. They were quite resistant to this idea, but Uno was the more vocal of the two about her disinterest in our napping plan.

Finally Lizard put his foot down.

“Do not talk, Uno!” he said in his firm, “don’t mess around anymore” voice.

Uno began to wail. “But I have words inside of me and they want to come out!” she protested.

“They are inside of me saying, ‘Please, let me come out!’” she continued with her voice pitched almost to the height that only a dog could hear. “And I promised them that they could come out... But you say, ‘No!’”

Lizard and I were both cracking up in the front seats, trying to hide our laughter from Uno since she was howling and moaning as we drove along the highway.

Uno decided to give one last opinion:

“You mean guy!” she moaned a long “ooooooh” moan. “You mean guy!”

Then it got even better. Because Dos, the Dizzy Devil, began to chime in.

“Mean guy! Mean guy! Mean guy!” she chanted in her little 2-year-old voice. Then without pause, “Santa Clause is coming to town,” she warbled.

That sent us over the edge and I began to write down the conversation so that I could share it with you without messing it up.

Things calmed down a bit and we thought that the fun was over. But then Dos piped up again.

“Uno... Mean guy!” she said.

“I am not a guy,” Uno corrected Dos with passion. “I am a girl!”

Then Uno stopped to consider. “I am a lady!” she amended.

Dos' response?

“I’m Santa Claus!” she crowed.

Juggler blogs daily at StealingFaith about life, parenting, and poop or other bodily fluids likely to arrive in a house with three children and three dogs.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's In My Head and On My Lips

Coffee tastes best when it's stolen out of the pot before it's done brewing and it makes that little sizzling sound when the liquid hits the warmer. 

Gianni, this is my bath.  You can take your own in twenty minutes after Mommy is raisin-y.  Get your toes out.  Get your fingers out.  Quit stealing my bubbles. Ok, you can take the bubbles with you.  Don't drip. 

Yes, Anna, you can have a dark chocolate ginger truffle for breakfast.  It is the season.  Dark chocolate ginger truffles; they're not just for dessert anymore.

I miss the easy friendships I had when I was in my twenties, but I wouldn't go back because they were too easy and not tried by fire yet.  I love knowing that our little band has been through everything possible that could happen to humankind (well, almost) and one by one, we've helped raised one another out of the pits of it, dusted off our big girl pants, and squeezed our entwined hands.

When Thanksgiving dinner arrives I wonder why we only eat such a fabulous, perfect, flawless meal once a year.  Then, after upteen leftovers, I remember why.  No one will want it again for 360 days.

And it all tastes a little bit better when your Mom makes it.  I can't taste 1988 in my stuffing, or 1992 in my mashed potatoes.  Mine are all 2011 and they are lacking somehow.  My mom's food tastes like memories on a plate.

Yaaah, we're finally out of that all natural, green, eco friendly dishwasher soap and we can go back to the hole-in-the-ozone-layer, harsh, plastic-y packaged, dish tabs that I so very much love.  It was like I had a collection of faux milk glass for a while there.

This is the only time of year I like cookies.

Measure your butter when making shortbread, don't just eyeball it.  

Why is the laundry never done?  I hate seeing the bottom of the hamper only to have my view obscured by someone tossing in their underpants, completely and effectively dampening my warm, fuzzy feelings.

I'm so excited to chop down my Christmas tree tomorrow I can hardly stand it.  I'm a little nervous to be living in such a tree hugging state now though.  Especially if they find out about the Cascade dish tabs.  And that I only recycle when I run out of room in my trash.

I love that my man is obsessed with lights on the house and that I can't let him go into any drugstore or department store or grocery store because he will buy more.  

Why is there a fly in my kitchen?  Shouldn't flies be dead in November? 

Gianni's skin is so soft.  Maybe I should rub almond milk, dirt, tears, mud, twigs, oatmeal, salad dressing, Windex, dog food and car oil, on my face too.  Maybe I should make a Toddler Facial Smoothie and sell it on QVC.  

No, Anna, one truffle is plenty.

Gianni, it's time for your bath now.  What do you mean you don't want one anymore?  Can I at least remove the twig from your pants and rub the oatmeal into your skin a little bit better?  Can you spare some of that mysterious grease for my T-zone?

Melyssa blogs at The Daze of Us. Be sure to drop on over and compliment her on the results of her Toddler Facial Smoothie!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Beautiful Mess

courtesy of
By now you've probably seen the viral video of the two boys demolishing their living room with a 5 lbs. bag of ordinary flour.

I watched it, stunned at just how much flour is in a 5 lbs. bag (I had no idea!) and listened to the mom make small gasping noises while chanting, "Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, my."

She held her cool amazingly, which may have been because she realized she didn't want to inadvertantly tape a video Child Protective Services could use against her later, but let me tell you... if my ruffians had done such a thing there is a price and it would be paid.

I was thinking of how quickly things go sour when you add a preschooler into the mix and trying to come up with some new strategies for keeping a lid on my temper and dealing with the kiddos with kindness.

I thought about that 5 lbs. bag of flour and its mess.

I gave thanks it wasn't me and my kids have never come up with something like that.

And then I dumped an entire 32 oz. (hello, watered down challenge!) glass of water on myself, the floor and into the Goldfish carton.

Goodness. Just can't take me anywhere.

Juggler is a daily blogger over at Stealing Faith where she writes about her three daughters, three dogs, charming husband and living life among chaos.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


agastecheg /stock.xchng

Someday…I will get to sleep through the night.
Someday…I will get to drink an entire cup of coffee in one sitting, while it is still hot.
Someday…I will get to run more than three consecutive miles, without stopping to feed/change/comfort/play with someone.
Someday…I will get to go to the bathroom in peace.
Someday…I will get to eat a meal without picking something up off the floor.
Someday…my facebook status updates will involve my own accomplishments.
Someday…I will get to lick the beaters.
Someday…I will get to make one meal, instead of turning into a short order cook at dinner time.
Someday…I will get to nap when necessary.
Someday…I will get to enjoy more than a fleeting moment of silence.
Someday…every conversation won’t involve negotiating.

Until then…I’m just ‘mom.’
Heather is the mom of two boys. She blogs over at (G)O'Donnell. Isn't this a beautiful look at motherhood?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Watered Down Challenge - Update

asifthebes / stock.xchng
Well, It's now been a fortnight + since I began the Watered Down Challenge.

(I've been looking for a place to use the word "fortnight" for approximately a score of years. Today is my lucky day.)

I don't know how it's gone at your house with the challenge, but every morning I stumble out of bed, head to the bathroom, weigh myself on that horrible self-esteem device called a scale and then choke down water.

I become water-logged in fact.

The next three hours are then filled with answering demands from my children, breakfast, and at least sixty rushed trips to the bathroom as my body processes the enormous amount of water I've consumed with abandon.

All of this was something I cold accept, keeping my eyes on the prize: the demise of the lump of fat that has been spending an inappropriate amount of quality time with my belly button lately.

Here's my experience:

Many, many trips to the bathroom.
Much less desire to consume my beverage of choice, Coca-Cola.
General sense of well-being.
Absolutely no weight loss or change of shape to the lard baby.

It's a toss up for me right now. I'm going to keep doing the challenge but I think I won't be so rigid about the rules. If I want to eat a piece a toast before drowning my woes in 32 oz. of tap water... I'm going to do so.

I think it will help with the burping.

What's your take? Have you lost weight while on the Watered Down Challenge? Felt healthier?

Juggler is a daily blogger over at Stealing Faith where she writes about her three daughters, three dogs, charming husband and living life among chaos.
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