Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ode to Target

I hate the way your dollar isle
Draws me in, fills my car
I hate the way your darn Wi-Fi
gives no signal, not a bar

I hate the way your app won't launch
On the network all your own
I hate the way I need to scan
Every item with my phone

My kids run wild and fill the cart
While I will the app to scan
Just to find I saved five cents
This was such a lousy plan

Your app thinks saving is a game
with levels to unlock
I'm no gamer this is not fun
my time it seems to mock

I hate the way I cannot find
the deals that I most need
Cartwheel takes so long to load
with nigh an endless feed

I come for diapers and shampoo
but always leave with more.
Who can resist your clearance racks
I hate the way I score

I hate the way your buyers know
Exactly what I'm lacking
Some wall decor, pillows and food
Perhaps a bit of string

I hate the way that one quick trip
Never fails to cost a lot
I try and try to turn blind eye
But really I cannot

I hate the way your Circo brand
has vanished without trace
I loved those socks for baby boy
No others can replace

I hate the way I always come
I'm sure it's accidental
I hate the way I don't hate you
well maybe just a little

Monday, June 27, 2016

Xander Turns One

Hair: light brown

Eyes: dark brown

Height: 27 inches

Weight: 17 pounds (best guess) 

Teeth: 6

Words: mama, dada, Elli, poppop, dog, bye

Foods: whatever anyone else is eating

Favorites: wrap naps, animals, Elli, splashing in baths, showers, pools

It's time to: cruise, climb, clap, wave, splash

Personality: sweet, laid back, joyful, silly

Monday, February 15, 2016

Toddler Valentine's Day Crafting

Hey, E? Want to scroll through Pinterest with me and find something fun to do together? You want to make these adorable heart shaped animals? One for all your friends? How sweet. Let's print the patterns!  

Oh, choose a different one to start with, Mommy doesn't do mice. 

Good choice! The hippo is adorable!

We can cut the pattern out together, trace it onto construction paper for you to cut out each and every piece, and then you can glue and tape it together. How lovely!

{Twenty loooong minutes later}

Great job, E! He's adorable! I'm so happy we could make him together. 

Wait, what do you mean you want to do more?! I think this adorable little hippo is perfect! 

Let's do something else. Anything else! 

...Oh, okay, fine. But this time I'm cutting. You can do all the gluing/taping. Okay?


You've got to be kidding me. Okay, okay, we'll wing it. 

Oops he's upside down. He'll live. 

What do you mean he needs eyes? He looks perfect with no eyes! Well, if you can find googly eyes I certainly won't stop you from gluing them on his face.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An honest mom's guide to new baby essentials

I've read countless Pinterest lists of Essential Newborn Items. They range from basic to excessive, crunchy to mainstream, and more often than not, flat out ridiculous. How did I survive without 25 pairs of newborn socks or the $1500 stroller?! I'll never know. Zulily had a New Baby Essentials shopping category recently that included items such as facial masks for guests to wear to contain their germs. Friends don't let friends share air with their baby.

The simple truth is that what is essential to me probably isn't essential to you. What was essential for my daughter was very different than what was essential for my son. At five months old, my dear boy has spent zero minutes in a stroller, sleeping in a crib, or bathing in a baby tub.

So what do you really need for that new bundle of joy? Here's my honest list.

5. Stain fighting super powers
Even if you embrace stains as works of art, kids have a knack for staining the one shirt that is actually semi-flattering that allows you to easily breastfeed in public. Or vomiting on those pants you tried on for thirty seconds just to make sure they'll work for the Christmas party. Or pooping all over the sofa during a midnight diaper change. OxiClean, Shout, or your all homemade mixture of peroxide, Dawn, and unicorn tears is your friend even when your baby isn't.

4. Strong Coffee
It still amazes me that anyone can function, let along parent, without this nectar from God himself. There's no shame in copious coffee consumption when you haven't slept in weeks, months, or years.

3. Fresh Air
Even if it's walking in circles around your back yard, fresh air can help you and baby recharge. It's my first line of defense against a grumpy baby or grumpy self. You might even get a few minutes of exercise while you're at it.

2. Sense of Humor
When the baby poos mid diaper change, causing both you and baby to need to bathe and change your clothes for the third time today, and it's not even 10am. And it's the only day this week you've actually showered or been dressed by 10am. Or when you wake your husband in the middle of the night and tell him to stop crying, not realizing that three week old infant is the one crying. Or when your toddler is out back butt naked while you obliviously snuggle your sleeping baby on the sofa. Or when the toddler wants you to sing "Let it Go" after an hour long tantrum. Or when you're so tired you walk the dog and don't realize you come back home without the dog. Or when you're at the grocery store to fulfill your donut craving and the stranger in front of you, upon hearing you still have 3 months of pregnancy to go, loudly exclaims, "Well, I guess when you're that short, baby has nowhere to go but straight out!" Or when your toddler completely photobombs your pictures of the baby even though she refused to join when you wanted her to. Or when you spend your Saturday night in the store checking out baby equimpent after the swing breaks. Or when your toddler, who is the most outgoing kid you know and an expert at cheesing it up for the camera, hasn't smiled for a professional photographer in the last two years. Or when the toddler, who is the reason you cosleep because she's never slept a wink in a crib, insists on sleeping in the crib when you set it up for the next baby. Or that week she spent every night on the new dog bed rather than her brand new pink ruffly big girl bed. Or when you're 37 weeks pregnant and your husband decides we need to scrap our list of baby names and start over. Or when you go into labor at 39 weeks and baby is born before you've come up with another name. Or when the baby empties an entire bottle of oregano on the dog. Or that day that was so long that you didn't realize you put the baby to bed without a diaper. Or when your husband graciously agrees to clean the bathtub when your baby is a few days old, and he ends up with a chemical burn from your organic all natural cleaner requiring two different steroids, an antibiotic, and an anti-inflammatory drug.  Need I go on? You're going to need to be able to laugh at yourself. You may very well cry first, but being able to laugh will help.

1. Mom Friends
Everyone needs a friend who will come over immediately the first time the baby falls off the sofa, who will come pick up your naked screaming baby so that you can take a nap, or heaven forbid, shower in peace for just a few minutes, who will laugh at you when necessary. Friends who show up with coffee and ignore your mountain of laundry, who treat your kids as their own, and who support your family even when they parent completely opposite of you. Friends who will laugh at you, cry with you, and help you survive your tiny tyrants.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Toddler Convos

Some recent toddler convos:

While talking to E about fleeing dangerous situations:
E: Well, I don't want to be safe. I want to stay. I want to fight the bad guys!
Mommy: We run. We let the policemen get the bad guys. Do you want to be a policewoman?
E: Why not doctors? Why don't they get the bad guys?
Mommy: Do you want to be a doctor that fights bad guys?
E: Why aren't we eating pancakes?

As she rolls up a napkin and shoves it in Daddy's pocket:
E: Here, take this to the birthday party for me. Then, if I get birthday party on my face, you can wipe it off.

While she plays:
Mommy: Oh what a tiny baby you have!
E: I know! She's so tiny! She's 300 pounds. She just came out of my belly. She's five years old but she'll be one at her birthday!

From a recent car ride now that we turned her forward facing:
Mommy, look, there are cars! It's dark in here. Why can't I see? Can we turn a light on? Why did you stop? Why is the light red? Do you like my sparkly shoes? Where is Xander? Is he home with Daddy? Why didn't he come? How far away are we? You can go now! I think you should go that way. Why didn't you go that way? Why don't we ever go that way? Well, yesterday, at the beach, we had ice cream. Can we have ice cream? There's still a bug on the car. Is he inside or outside? Why didn't you get the bug? Can I squash the bug? Let's wash the car. It's dirty. Is Xander awake yet? Is Daddy at work? I'm going to save this last piece for Daddy. Never mind, I ate it. Why did you stop? Why aren't you going? Let's go that way!

Bedtime conversations:
E: Daddy, can I sleep in Mommy's bed tonight?
Daddy: No.
E: Thank you so much! That's so kind of you!
Daddy: I said no.
E: Um, I don't think so.

Mommy: Why don't you go put on some play clothes?
E: Where are we going?!
Mommy: We're staying here. Just put on some clothes that can get dirty.
E: Okay. I'll go find a plain tutu.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why having a three year old sister is the best thing ever

When Xander was born, the hospital pediatrician told me that optimum child spacing was 3 years 7 months. I was immediately filled with regret and remorse. Had I simply held off for nine more days, I could have given both E and Xander (Xe/Z/Xe Man) the best possible start on life. 

Actually, I couldn't have cared less. I was just happy to not be pregnant any longer.

And that doctor was a bit of a nut who told me I was her favorite mother of the day and that I was killing my child all within a five minute conversation, but that's another story.

Despite being a whole nine days off from some arbitrary, or possibly well researched, ideal, I feel that Z is greatly benefiting from having a sister that is 3 years, 6 months, and 21 days older than him.

1) He's learning to always be alert and prepared.
My friend mentioned that Z always looks a little stunned/scared. I'm pretty sure it is from never knowing when his older sister is about to pounce, squeeze him til he can't breathe while declaring her undying love for him, or pick him up when I'm not watching (not that I would ever let him out of my sight!) I'm fairly certain that one day hyper alertness and the the ability to sense the enemy approaching from a mile away could come in handy.

2.) He gets way cooler songs sung to him.
When I used to rock E to sleep in the middle of the night, I'd sing her sweet lullabies. My favorite went:

Hey beautiful girl
Daddy loves you
He loves you
Most beautiful girl
In the whole wide world

When I'm singing to Z, it's usually whatever song is in my head. Since E has been on a Tangled kick lately, he usually hears:

I'm malicious mean and scary
My sneer could curdle dairy
And violence-wise my hands are not the cleanest
But despite my evil look
And my temper and my hook
I've always yearned to be a concert pianist...

Clearly, he's benefiting from living with a three year old.

3.) His every move is well monitored.
E is always more than happy to check on him and make sure he's still sleeping. Having a first hand report is so much more helpful than the static filled monitors we had last time.

E: He's still sleeping! I didn't wake him up!
Me: Wonderful! Thank you!
(30 seconds later)
E: He's crying!
Me: What happened?
E: I opened his eyes for him. I think he wants to be awake.

So. Much. Better.

4.) He always receives attention and comfort when he cries.
E doesn't like Z crying and is quick to comfort him. She likes to hold a pacifier (that he hates) in his mouth and when all else fails she's willing to smother him to so the crying stops. Sibling love.

5.) He's developing a strong immune system.
E didn't get her first cold until she was almost a year. Thanks to a sister with the sniffles, Z got his first cold at one week.

6.) Z's three year old sister is always willing to test things out for him.
From his itty bitty clothes to the swing, Moses basket, pacifier, toy, or car seat, she's tested it all.

7.) Having a three year old sister guarantees that everyone takes care of Z properly.
She's very eager to correct your hold, your burping technique, and my nursing position. She keeps a very accurate account of his diaper output and his feeding schedule (I didn't even know he had a feeding schedule!) Without her devoted oversight, Z would be lucky to be alive.

I think we can conclude based on a research sample of one, that a three year seven month age gap is truly ideal... at least for the three year old.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Xander Zekiah's First Month

Dear Xander,

We've had the pleasure of knowing you on this side of the womb for a whole month already! You are a dream baby, perfectly content and very easy going. When you sleep you are floppy and when you're awake you are happy. From birth you have audibly laughed in your sleep and you already smile at your mama both in your sleep and when you're awake. I'm really hoping to catch your little sleep chuckle on video one of these days. In your first week of life you slept through the night twice and you've continued to sleep well.

You have rolled tummy to back more times than I can remember. The Dr says it's just a random movement and not a purposeful roll, but don't worry, Mommy and Daddy are well aware that you're simply advanced.

You still struggle with the whole nursing thing, slurping and gulping and choking until milk pours out your nose. You don't seem to mind, though, and you're already growing bigger. Tear.

You are still in Premie/Newborn diapers and are just starting to outgrow newborn clothes. Please stay small just a little while longer!

You have been everywhere in you ring sling or woven wrap, because we're just so excited to finally leave the house! You've been to market every week, church, walks downtown, parks, and birthday parties. You're happy on the go and like a good poolside nap. But really, who doesn't?

We love you and are so glad you're here!