I have to run!

O put his shoes on after dressing himself in jeans (not zipped, but buttoned!) and a sweatshirt, and as he did he said “I need to put on my running shoes.  I’m going to run to daddy’s work.”

“You are? That’s a long way… why do you need to run that far?”

“I have to go see daddy.  I have to tell him the naughty things I did today.  I have to tell everyone at daddy’s office.”  He says it with pride.

Perhaps we should start taking him to the Catholic church.  He seems to like confessing his sins….

Dear “Lifestyle Change”

Dear Lifestyle Change –

My husband and I thought we wanted you in our lives. We thought we wanted to be healthier, and lose some weight. We thought it would be good for us.

What I’m learning is that you aren’t good for US at all. You are coming between us.

As my husband stands on the scale after dinner and gets excited because in three weeks he’s lost 8 pounds, I glare at him and think evil, bitter, girly-angry things because I’ve gained a half a pound. A HALF A POUND, lifestyle change!

I’ll admit, I slipped up one day, but it wasn’t like I was absolutely crazy – I had some cheese curds and homemade lemonade at the fair that I really shouldn’t have had. But out of three weeks, I slip up once, and here I am, no better off than I was before. Now I see how it is. You favor him. He can eat cheese curds and drink lemonade (and have a gyro!!), but you still grace him with your favors, and he is so thrilled with you.

I see through you, lifestyle change. You are fickle, and bitter. In time, you won’t be able to do for my husband what you have been doing – that I promise you. And then he won’t love you quite as much as he does.

I’ll admit, I don’t want that to happen, because I’m proud of him and happy that he is happy – that is important to me. Yet I still have one thing left to tell you, lifestyle change.

I hate you, your abundance of salads and your stupid calorie counting.

I wish I could quit you….

Back off, mom!

We stopped at a park today while I was touring the state of Minnesota to eat some Subway and burn some energy. After we filled our tummies, we went to play. Nick encouraged Ollie to try to walk across these:

Apparently I’m paranoid. But I do know better. I was hovering. He was clinging for life, scared to try to move from one hanging platform to the next, and I was instructing, cheering, reaching out…

And Nick said “Back off, mommy. You need to let him do it.”

I shrunk away, knowing he was right (must let that preschooler discover he can do things instead of instilling doubt in him!), but still just wanting to help so much.

And you know what? He made it. He did it, all by himself, which prompted me to jump around like an idiot in the middle of the park and then bust into a quick rendition of “We Did It!” from Dora. Wow, how my life has changed.

Anyway, play resumed, and I quickly found myself at the top of a platform that Ollie was climbing to. I rushed over to get this shot:

I’m not kidding you, as the shutter clicked, he was saying “You need to back off mommy and let me do it myself!”

It’s a sad day.

Huh. Next time I should look before I drink.

Don't drink and count calories!

Don't drink and count calories!

That’s unfortunate.

Also, who the hell only drinks 5 oz of wine? I mean, seriously? My wine glass is way bigger than that! And I do not have Courtney Cox’s glass from “Cougartown”. Although I would appreciate one for Christmas. Anyone? And hey, while I’m thinking of it, how does she drink all that wine and not weigh 485 pounds? Huh. I have just decided I will hold that girly-bitterness that accompanies the realization that a specific girl sucks because they can eat (drink) whatever they want. Pfft on you, Courtney.

Okay, I still love you. And Cougartown. Please share your meal plans, so I can learn how to be so skinny and still enjoy massive amounts of wine on a regular basis. Or tell me it’s all fiction. That works, too.

Why I Have Resumed Locking My Kid Up At Night

My Wednesday was eventful.  I was woken from my sleep semi-early for my kid – a little before 7, and his little 2 and a half year old brown eyes were just beaming at me.  I slid out of bed reluctantly, and began the morning routine of milk, cereal, and then preparing a bottle for Emmie.  I set the table for Ollie, and heard his sister making noise in her room, so I head towards the hallway to go get her for breakfast. 

I stopped, slightly confused when my foot went ‘squish’.

I panicked when I heard water rushing.

I screamed for my husband when I saw water pouring – and I mean POURING – out from underneath the closed bathroom door. 

I whipped open the door, honestly expecting an overflowing toilet, but was greeted by an overflowing sink, with the faucet on full blast.  And a ton of water.  TONS.

The good part for my son is that we were so freaked out and worried about what to do, that we didn’t have time to get really mad at him.  He got off kind of easy, considering the circumstances.

Further examination showed that Ollie decided to brush his teeth before waking us up.  He dropped the cap of his toddler toothpaste down the drain, which competely blocked it.  He also at some point squirted the entire tube worth of toothpaste down the drain, as well.  Then he decided to try to pull the cap out, which resulted in him breaking the whole drain assembly.

He then left the water running, for whatever reason that probably made some kind of crazy sense in a toddler’s head, and then shut the door, so mom would never know what happened…. right?

Wrong.

I’ve never been more thankful that I bought a Bissell carpet shampooer a few years ago after a closing.  We started with that, sucking up as much water as we could out of the carpet.  I think if there was one thing we did wrong, it was worrying more about the carpet in the hallway than the bathroom, because the water poured down the heat duct in there.  Because our house is on a crawl space (no basement), we now have a boatload of insulation that pretty much froze instantly, because it was -20 degrees and the water leaked out somewhere in a joint.  Fantastic.

Anyway, we pulled the carpet up after we got it somewhat dry (and I should add that I wash my carpets regularly, but a “deep clean” by flooding results in some SERIOUSLY dirty carpet water) and discovered linoleum underneath, which made us feel a little better.  The subflooring is okay!  Luckily we acted fast enough on most of it that other than replacing some insulation, a drain assembly, and maybe some carpet, we’re going to be okay.

We did estimate that we pulled approximately 12 gallons of water out of the carpet with the shampooer before we pulled the carpet up.

I learned a very important lesson.  A door knob safety cover on the inside of my son’s door is a necessity.  Who knows what else he would do in the middle of the night!

I guess potty priviledges at night have been revoked.  (And I was totally stoked about his progress in that!)

No Sleep for the Next 18 Years

People say it all the time, and it doesn’t click.  I mean, I guess you think “Oh, sure, because they’ll wake up a lot when their babies, and they’ll be sick sometimes and you’ll stay up through the night, and when they are teenagers you’ll be worrying about them being out late…”

But it still doesn’t quite sink in. 

Ollie has slept through the night well.  When he doesn’t, I know there’s a reason why.  That’s not the problem.

The problem is that my son is 2, and some days I just don’t know what to do with him.  I feel like he might be one of “those kids” that you see in the store and go “Why doesn’t that parent DO something?”

This is where the lack of sleep comes in.

Half the time I’m awake because I’ve done everything I can think of, and I either am looking for new ideas online or racking my brain.  Then there are nights like tonight, where I’m just mourning the loss of the bond we had before he became so independent.  I’m sure that this will happen more often than once as he grows up, where I sit and look at pictures of my little baby boy and think “What happened, and how do I get it back?”

I can’t get it back.  I know I can’t.  So the next question is “How do I make this good, despite how hard it is?  How different it is?  How EVOLVING it is?”  Because it is always evolving. 

Perhaps I need to take solace in the fact that we started off rocky, with lots of screaming and unhappiness, and a lot of a very strained mommy desperate to do anything to make her baby happy.  Then things changed for a while, and we were so close, and he was happy (once he could run around), and I was happy, and things were just good. 

Now it’s not that things are never good, and it’s certainly not that I don’t love him, because Iwouldn’t be sitting here with tears streaming down my face if that was the case.  It’s just that as he challenges me and as he acts out and learns and does things that (from what I understand) normal two year olds do, I feel as though our days are flying by, and so much of it is wasted with time outs and talking-to’s and “Please don’t do that” and stress and pain and hurt.  I’m sure the mommies of older kids reading this are going to say “You have so much more to come”, and maybe I do.  So then, mommies ahead of me, how do I make less time about the negative and more time about the positive?  How do I catch just a little bit of us, happy, playing, having fun, and less challenging?

Perhaps things will get easier.  Summer will come, there will be more playing outside and fun things to do.  Emmie will become mobile, and we can all play together.  Walks and parks and fishing and camping and swimming and fun.  Maybe my problem isn’t that my son is two, or isn’t that I have a very difficult time with the toddler attitude, but that it is February.  After all, I usually spend the entire month of February blaming everything that isn’t good on cabin fever, simply because it is February, and I think everyone has had about enough snow and cold by that point.  I call February the “crazy” month.  Everyone gets a little nuts.

When it comes down to it, it may be February, he may be two, I may have too much going on, and he may be getting his molars.   But what I know for certain is I just want to be a good, good mommy, and want to always do the right thing for him, and sometimes I know I don’t.  I don’t know all the answers.  I don’t know the perfect solution.  But I hope someday he knows that I sat up at night trying to figure it all out – just because I love him that much.

Hate.Love.

There are some things about me I hate.  I think we all have them. 

The hook at the end of my nose.

The way my ears stick out just a little more than they should, so they kind of look silly.

My husband says that my fantasy about a nose job is “silly and unecessary, because your (my) nose is perfect”, and I don’t even know if they can do anything about my ears – but I’ll live with them the way they are.  I have other things I’d rather spend the money on.

Yet what I found kind of funny is I was looking at pictures I’ve taken over the last few days, and I was looking at pictures of my daughter.  I just kept thinking “gosh, she’s just so darn cute!”  (Pretend she is, even if you don’t think so, because I’m her mommy, and I think she is – and that’s the way it should be!)  And then, as I was going through them, I noticed this:

And this:

And you know what?  IT. IS. SO. DAMN. CUTE.  I don’t get it.  I hate it on me.  Some days I’d like to take a scalpel to my nose and tape my ears down, but on her, it’s perfect.

Of course, you may not think so.  For all I know, you’re thinking “Oh, that poor kid, with that hooked nose and those silly ears!”  I don’t care.  It’s adorable.

Does that mean that tonight I went and looked in the mirror and thought “Wow, my nose and ears are perfect, just the way they are”?

Hell no.

I still want to tape and cut, tape and cut.

Yet if she ever says she hates it, or wants to get a nose job, I’ll tell her no, she shouldn’t, because her nose is absolutely perfect just the way it is.

Now, if she comes to me with these and wants to do something about it….

…well, then it would be hypocritical to say no, don’t you think?

Of all the traits I have to pass on, I really hope that this trait becomes extinct.

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