Friday, April 27, 2007

Amazing Race

Kids amaze me. My own being no exception.

For months I've been fretting because Bella refuses to wear panties and is very sporatic with going in the potty.

Last night while playing with her Disney princess ball, she started talking about each character. Then the light came on. She has those same characters on little panties given to her by Grandma! I don't think I've ever moved so fast as I did to retrieve the princess panties. We laid them out on her floor and she carefully picked a pair to wear. I was so excited I nearly peed my own pants! She went to the potty, washed her hands and came into the living room wearing...panties!**

I didn't want to hold out too much hope that this new trend would continue today. But it has! She woke up this morning, took off her night diaper for a bath and then we once again carefully picked out some panties. She had a tiny accident so I quickly put her on the potty where she finished, then a fresh pair of panties were picked out and put on.

I cannot TELL you how amazed I am. It really is true that it is best to wait till kids are ready. Potty training is a monumental step in leaving babyhood and it has been, and will continue to be, an emotional rollercoaster. But at least we have some friggin progress!!

And then there's Ava. She is doing everything so fast I wish she'd slow down! She's standing in her crib unassisted until her chubby legs give in. She is rocking on all fours and I can see the wheels turning in her head as she tries to figure out what should move first. Hand? Knee? Head? She still gets frustrated but I imagine in the next few weeks she'll be zooming about the house tasting new carpet lint and stray leaves.

She feeds herself Gerber star snacks, concentrating hard to capture it between her thumb and forefinger then getting into her mouth. Sometimes she'll have a star on the tip of her lip and I have to refrain from helping her as she works it into her mouth. And she's totally over eating anything too pureed. Toothless Wonder can chomp on banana and avocado like nobody's business.

What's happening? I'm trying to stop and smell the roses with my babies but they are in a hurry to move on to the next thing!

I can see it now. I'll be one of those parents who breaks out the baby videos at 2am to watch in the dark, reminisce, sob and eat a tub of ice cream.

** It is nearly 5pm and 6 pairs of panties later, Bella is still onboard with this whole idea. I did realize rather quickly that my new job is to locate restrooms immediately upon entering buildings. A sanitary toilet ring that sticks to a toddler's behind the whole day would be fabulous.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Part Time Zombie?

There is an ongoing debate over TV and kids. Especially toddlers.

I, quite frankly, am a fan of certain programs such as Little Bear, Little Einsteins, Backyardigans and the newest one, The Upside Down Show. Bella has learned so much from each. Her absolute fave is Little Bear. She's even got her own imaginary Emily who comes over to play occasionally. Fortunately she hasn't figured out how to blame misbehaviour on Emily. Yet.

There are some programs that just weird me out completely. The Doodlebops? Next to Teletubbies, this is the freakiest show out there. What purpose does it serve? Why do they only have four fingers on each hand? If there was a question about gayness on Teletubbies, there's definitely gayness on Doodlebops. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Have you seen Lazytown? C. R. E. E. P. Y. Oddly fascinating to watch Sportacus flip, twirl and not poke anyone's eye out with his razor mustache. If Lazytown represents Iceland, where it was originally produced, I think I'll wait a little longer to visit. Don't need a bunch of big-headed puppets chasing my candy.

Thank goodness for DVR, a cheaper version of TIVO. We can save all our grown-up shows to watch when Bella is asleep or putting every one of her 1500 babies down for a nap which can take a good hour or two.

Our guilty pleasure? Sopranos. It can shock us, bore us or leave us uncomfortable, but we still watch. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Mostly makes us laugh, generally leaves us uncomfortable.

Thursday is our favorite TV night. We actually get excited about Thursdays. 30 Rock is my fave new show. It is friggin FUNNY. It is SNL-type humor, but we are in bed by 9pm on Saturdays so we never get to see SNL and only snippets of that show are ever funny so why waste precious space on DVR?

The Office and Grey's Anatomy are also must-sees or must-records.

If you still watch Desperate Housewives but are too ashamed to fess up, it's okay. I won't fess up either.

What is your guilty TV pleasure? How about your kid(s)?

If neither you nor your family watches TV, yay for you! I guess.

As for movies? I haven't been to one in over a year and a 1/2. Maybe one day my husband will feel comfortable enough to find an actual babysitter. I imagine it will be only after we get a nanny cam for every room, nook and cranny of the house.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Play Nice!

Toddler Moment
by Bella

Yesterday when doing yardwork, hubby threw out a plastic cup of floating weeds. Bella saw this and gasped, "Daddy! Why did you fow those fowers away?! Those fowers are for Mommy to be married!"



All you moms who've ventured into the world of playgrounds, I think I need some rules of etiquette cuz some moms annoy and baffle me.

I believe in letting Bella go play and interact with other kids as long as she is sweet and not bothersome. By bothersome, I mean, when she sees preteen girls hanging out being "cool" it is NOT cool for a 2 1/2 yr old to hang out too.

Not that Bella knows. She just saunters up to them, leans back like they do and says "hey, guhls" casually. Don't worry, I rescued the girls from further embarrassment.

So when my daughter (who does stare) hangs around kids of any age, I let her do her thing. Some Moms who are with their friend(s) appear to only want their kids to play together. Bella will sometimes linger, awaiting an invite to play only to have the moms ignore her curly cuteness and shuffle their kids off somewhere else. Let me tell you. THAT ANNOYS ME.

What baffles me? When I have my infant in her carrier next to me and some snot-nosed 4 yr old goes sticking his head in her carrier in an attempt to give her kisses. I first kindly tell him no and we don't need to get so close to the baby. When he shoves his head in again, I haven't a choice but to pull him back. When he goes in AGAIN and snot is running down his nose onto her blanket, I pushed his forehead out of her carrier.

Was that wrong?

Most of my life I've had few relationships with women because they get on my last ever-lovin nerve. Since becoming a mother, I've made a couple of friends with other moms through playgroups or little gym class. I just don't dig mothers who think their kids' poo don't stink. Or those who allow their children to be rude to other kids. I'm really trying to be a good playground mom. Really.


Stories of your own?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

And on this day...

Today is our 4 year wedding anniversary. And what a four years it has been! We've been blessed beyond measure with two beautiful baby girls and a home full of love, laughter and friendship.

I saw him and I knew. We clicked instantly. And during that evening when he kissed my forehead so sweetly and playfully, I knew.

Within a few dates, I knew we would marry. I knew that he was the person meant for me all along. I knew that if I was to have children, it should be with him.

We lived in two different cities but we talked to each other every single day since we met. We saw each other every single weekend, without fail. He introduced me to his mother early on and SHE knew. Mostly because her son never ever brought a girl home to meet his beloved mom without her being pretty dang special.

We moved in together which was hugely controversial in our family but perfectly right for us. Both of us came from awful first marriages and were both a little gun-shy to do it again, though we knew we'd marry.

And we did. Three years later on April 19 in a beautiful garden. It was a small ceremony with closest friends and loved ones. We had a fantastic reception at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Greek restaurant. We laughed, drank, ate and basked in the glow of our love and joy. It was truly one of the happiest days of my life.

And then the other two happiest days happened with the births of Isabella and Ava. Our little angels. Testament to our love and devotion to one another.

I love my husband for all that he is and all he's allowed me to be. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He "gets" me. Totally. All the good, the bad and the ugly. He loves me completely. He lifts me up, he encourages me to continue growing as a person, as a spiritual being. He listens to me. He thinks I'm hilarious and cute. And even when I'm the exact opposite of hilarious and cute, he still loves me. And I feel the absolute same about him.

Happy 4 years, sweetheart.

The Landlord

Have you seen this?

You simply must! Happy Thursday!

Monday, April 16, 2007

These days...

Busy busy busy...that sums up our life.

Spring is here (depending on the day) and we've been working in the yard. Yesterday Bella helped us plant flowers. Several of them pink, of course.

Ava experienced grass for the first time. I only had to swipe it from her hand before it met her mouth half a dozen times. I'm an idiot because though she was wearing a hat, her cheeks got a little too pink. BAD MOMMY!

I'm completely out of shape because my legs are sore from bending to the ground to work and my arms hurt from trimming the hedges. But on a brighter note, I"ve been on the Weight Watchers diet for 3 weeks and my "fat pants" are too big! Not even cinchable anymore!

I got a new electric toothbrush. Exciting, eh? YES! If you haven't got one already, run and don't walk to your nearest dentist for a Oral B Sonic Complete. It has Clean, Soft and Massage levels. It is like a spa for your mouth.

Ava uses the least amount of water for taking baths. Okay, the cats use the least amount cuz they use their tongues instead of water but I digress. Look at this cutie patootey! She's a splasher. A screeching, happy splasher.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Breast Is Best...For The Wrong Reasons?

Our society drives me nuts sometimes. Oh, I understand that we live in the best country in the world, but for a society so educated and technologically advanced, we sure have lost touch with nature and nurturing one another.

Tomorrow I'm driving 45 minutes from home with my girls to give a literal breastfeeding demonstration with Ava to a new mom. This is the fourth time in about a year that I've been asked to help a new mom deal with what everyone told her should come naturally but doesn't for most.

I'm a pretty laid back person, I think. I have opinions like everyone but I'm also shy and reserved around people I don't know.

Except when it comes to breastfeeding.

I don't know how the fire got lit with me on this subject, but it has. Perhaps it is the statistic that something like only 19% of women nurse their babies past 3 months. Or how overtly sexual boobs have become in our society, practically losing all sense of their intended purpose, thus making breastfeeding seem secondary or not important at all.

Why do so many moms quit nursing before their newborn is even six weeks? While lactation nurses at the hospital are wonderful, most haven't nursed a child in years. Even I had forgotten some aspects of breastfeeding a newborn until I had Ava.

Nursing a newborn for the first time (and often babies that follow later) is frustrating. It can be scary for a new mom who's already so unsure of herself and whether she's doing all the right things. I'm amazed how many new moms don't know that they WILL peak at about 7 weeks. They are not destined for milk tankers the remainder of their nursing days. Their beautiful infant isn't always going to frantically flail arms and legs while searching desperately for a breast that's right there for the taking. Marathon feedings DO slow down. They speed up now and then but eventually there's an actual routine.

The poor mother I spoke to today just sat in the dark and cried last weekend. Her mother didn't nurse her and the lactation nurses at the hospital just told her textbook crap that isn't necessarily true. 20 minutes on each boob at every feeding? nonsense! Neither of my babies ever nursed past 10 minutes. It is absolutely daunting to any woman who thinks her entire life must revolve around feeding a baby.

I'm not taking issue at all with women who choose not to nurse. It is every woman's right to choose. Most women want to nurse their babies but for whatever reason some cannot. No, I'm pointing fingers at the weak attempt by our society to encourage what is truly the very best for babies. That means giving the support, respect and education new mothers need but few recieve.

Did you know that in Norway, women breastfeed in public all the time with nary a glance or side remark from passersby because it is that common? Nature and nurture. How absurd that it isn't as accepted and common in our own country?

My sister is my hero because though my nephew didn't nurse well, she switched to pumping for him for a year. That is incredible and I'm tremendously proud of her because though it was a pain in the butt, she did it anyway...for him.

I'm rambling, I know. It has been a long week and I'm dealing with a bit of an infection in my right milker. Perhaps it has made me a bit touchy? :)

I get sad for new moms who have to struggle more than is necessary to try and do what they feel is right for their child, only to give up because no one hears their silent plea for help. Mothers are judged so harshly, why can't women unite more and be supportive? Educate one another while allowing for mistakes or differences in opinion and parenting techniques?

*sigh* Time for two Tylenol and sleep. Hope I haven't ruffled too many feathers!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Well, THAT's new...

My oldest child who never napped for more than 40 minutes as a baby (and I nearly went crazy) now sleeps a minimum of 2 hours, often as long as 3 1/2 hours. Every day. At least that gives me 40 minutes all to myself as the littlest one takes her miniature baby nap.


We have the overwhelming task of prepping our house to sell and took a load of trash to the dump this weekend. We got turned away cuz...

They didn't have any more room for trash. At the DUMP.


My youngest child bites while nursing. And she has no teeth. The chompers on a toothless six month old make me shudder in fear of those first two buds that will emerge in the next month or two. Is it so wrong to yell obscenities masked in cute words like "mother duckie!"?


I am on somewhat of a post-baby safe-to-nurse diet. Being the healthy eater that I'm trying to be, I bought some Kashi GoLean Crunch. Since when did the FDA approve dirt as "an assortment of delicious food options for a healthier you"? Are flaxseeds those fuzzy looking things falling off the tree in my backyard?


We're donating tons and tons of books to a library of my husband's choosing. We called one library and they were elated to receive any kind of book, even offering to put "In Memory of Becca" in the best books of the bunch. We called another library and they were all "eh, we need to examine them for quality."

For free books?? In a public library?? In the backwoods country?? No wonder the volunteer firefighters burn up their own trailers. (oh, yes. That is a whole other story for another day)


So what's new with you?