Sunday, July 31, 2011

In a few years, I'll moan about texting from another room.

Do you know what the hardest thing is right now about parenting?  It's trying to ignore the constant 'Ma! Mama! Mama!  Ma! Ma!' coming from the other rooms.
It's so easy to just answer but I really don't want her to get into the habit of shouting from different rooms especially if it isn't urgent.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Two Kids. Two Parents. Outnumbered?

Last night, DH and I tag teamed with nighttime parenting.  Usually I handle most of it so it was a nice reprieve for me.
DH said, "How are we going to be able to put two kids to bed on different schedules?"
I didn't have an answer.
I do know that we're not reinventing the wheel and other parents go through this too so we'll figure this out.
I think what throws off DH is that we don't put our kids on some set schedule.  We have routines.  We're not the type to say every day exactly at this time we need to do this.  Every day is different.  We know that we have to assist our daughter in getting 13 hours of cumulative sleep otherwise she's a hot mess the next day.  So each day is a math game.
Because of such, he (and I) wonder what #2 will be like.  Will he/she have a similiar need?  Will she/he need more or less sleep?  Will he/she desire yogurt while we read bedtime stories too?  Will she/he pee the Nile River like TG?
Unlike #1, I'm not going crazy with preparation and planning.  If anything, I learned with #1 that curve balls come left and right. 
This is new for me as my OCD drives me to prepare prepare prepare.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Is technology or parenthood killing the art of conversation with my spouse?

I love my husband very much.
We talk alot throughout the day.
Most of the talk is via email and texts.
It's sort of semi-realtime discussion.
It's great.
Then I get home and the things I usually share with him, I've already shared.
That isn't so bad necessarily as with a child time to converse is minimal.
I get home and sit and hear about my child's day from her perspective.
So in a sense, my usual face to face convo with DH is now replaced with my face to face convo with my daughter.
I don't think this is bad but it sometimes makes it hard for DH and I when we do have time together.  I'm not complaining though because usually the time we do have together is at 12 midnight and I'm half awake folding laundry or doing dishes.
So when someone asked me if having a kid kills conversation, I want to say it may look like it because all you do is talk about the kid but that's still conversation. 
I think technology kills conversation more than anything.  Wait,  technology doesn't kill conversation but alters the method of conversation.
DH and I still talk, and yes mostly about our kids and pet, but we talk.  We just don't do it at the dinner table like we used to.  At the dinner table most discussions are about learning and experiences that our daughter has had during the day with an occasional splash of work banter.
It's like when they tell you to have date nights with your spouse and avoid the subject of your children.  Well, who else can you talk to your children about with such enthusiasm and non-opinionated banter than your husband?  And for the most part, I like to hear about my kids.  So does my husband.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The case of the mommy blahs.

In a bit of a funk lately.  I'm tired.  I'm hot.  I'm lonely.  The loneliness is the loneliness of motherhood.  You are in this big organism but at the same time in your microcosm, you hold the keys to everything and you probably didn't even want all the keys. 
Anyway, I know this too shall pass.  I'm trying to pull myself out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Feeling kind of down.  I miss my husband and my family and it's been awhile since we could just do a family day.  School was the priority for a long time.  Now that it's slowed down, now DH has focus on his plans which is fine.  I know this is part of being a team.  We support each other and help each other with our goals.
A little piece of me though wishes that he'd just specifically want a day with us without thinking about his projects in his mind.  I know that sounds awful and my DH is not.  He's a good man.  He's got so many ideas in his head.  He's like my dad in that aspect.  I guess it's one of the reasons I fell for him.
I'm just in that not-enough-time funk that happens to everyone.  The laundry is piling up.  The house needs a good cleaning.  I could use a massage.  Work is crazy. Home is crazy.  I want to stop the world and get off just for a bit and enjoy my family and not be a woman and plan and take care of the everyday stuff.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No DVDs, no stuffed animals. Stop the insanity!

I'm glad I'm not the only mom who has to deal with this.  I know it's all in love but it drives me insane.
I met up with a fellow mommy in the neighborhood this morning and she mentioned how she doesn't understand how her MIL doesn't get it.
"She knows we aren't sugar people.  What does she do?  She buys three giant italian black and white cookies, a watermelon cupcake the size of his head and another dessert for him."
As with these conversations, we swapped stories.
I explained the case load of DVDs that we received over the holidays that I'm still trying to donate or sell.
"And I did the right thing.  I showed them to my daughter and asked her if she wanted any and she said no and walked away."
I explained how I'm waiting for UPS to deliver the Noah's ark package of stuffed animals for TG's birthday which I had asked her not to get.
"I just got rid of a boatload of stuffed animals. It's ridiculous.  I can't even give them to the hospital either because of the chemicals and potential contamination issues."
My mom friend moved it right along to the... "We give her a list of ideas.  Does she take them?"
"No.  Mine too.  Although she has gotten better.  She's buying books now which are a big win here.  We make a list of books of interest based on TG's interests and those are the hands down winners."
We then reminded each other this could just be darn payback for our own childhood.
Does this mean that we get to do this to our kids?
30 lb vat of playdough and spin art games for everyone!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Are NYC children all cynical?

I keep going back to wanting my child to be a child and being a New Yorker and knowing my child needs to be at times cynical and at all times aware of her surroundings.
When my child was almost a year old, my mother was taken aback at how my husband and I scope out the playgrounds and parks and keep our eyes for anything we deem suspicious.
"Why do you keep looking at that old man?"
"He's by himself, in a playground with a newspaper sitting by a bush."
"Why would he sit in a playground without any children."
"He's just a grandpa."
"You can't assume."
Later that day she picked up a 2 year old trying to climb the jungle gym.  The child was struggling but did not ask for help.  We did not know the child.
"MIL, we don't pick up a stranger's kid without making sure it's ok with the parent.   We only pick them up if they are hurt and look for parents/caregivers asap."
"But she needed help."
"She didn't ask for help and you don't know if her parent wants her to be up this high.  You have to be mindful that the parent might have told the child she could not climb up."
"You are being too cautious."
"No, I'm being a parent."
I know times are different.  I know back in the days my neighbors watched us and looked out for each other.  If we saw a kid doing something wrong, we told them so.  We still do to an extent but we also know nowadays, there are just too many "you don't knows".
Reading about the horrific incident in Brooklyn with the boy who wanted to walk to the bus stop, I'm reminded of the need to be vigiliant.  I know New Yorkers can be too cynical.  I know we can be too guarded but can you blame us?  The city is a huge melting pot which is a great but also comes with the need to be extra careful.
Now I don't want my child to be constantly on alert but I do want her to be mindful.  I'm hoping my husband has some ideas on this because this one is a doozy for a parent.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Generation Gap

TG still believes every child drinks Mama's milk.  She knows dolphins and whales drink Mama's milk. She knows cows drink Mama's milk.  She knows Zebra's drink Mama's milk. 
I love that she believes this and it's very natural to her. 
It also makes me wonder how as a parent do we explain differences and how there can many different ways but that's ok.
I know for the most part it's something the child learns by himself/herself but it's important to also be the example you want your child to emulate.   Being a parent is not about enforcing or teaching.  I truly believe being a parent is about guiding and being a good example.  God blessed me with this beautiful gift and I need to care and nurture this gift given.
My MIL called upset that same sex marriage is legal in NY.  I won't go into the whole conversation nor will I go into details on my beliefs in this.  It lead to my MIL saying, "How are you going to teach your child morality with this in your backyard?"
I calmly explained to her that my daughter has many friends and acquaintances in our neighborhood.  Some are adopted.  Some are biological.  Some are of different races and ethnicities.  Some look like her Mommy.  Some look like her Daddy.  Some speak English.  Some don't.  Some who have two daddys or two mommies.  She knows there is a difference.  She also sees her friends mommies and daddies lovingly care for them and that I'm proud that she can see love and compassion in her daily to dos rather than hate and loneliness and pain.  If I try to follow Jesus' example and look at the surrounding love and compassion, it will guide me and my husband and my children.
She didn't seemed surprised but taken aback but what I said.  I know every generation is different and I know there will be things that I don't understand but things happen for a reason and I'm hear for a reason.  I don't have time to judge nor do I want to be a judge.  I want to show my child the love and compassion that is here on this earth and pray her beliefs and convictions guide her as she continues to grow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Demonstrating to a child to be true to herself

I know the whole beliefs and differences in beliefs is going to be an ever changing and ever learning process for both my children and us as parents.  It's been on my mind for awhile.
Even between parents, there are different values and beliefs.  It's a confusing thing for an adult to grasp.
It makes me think about how my child, I am so blessed, seems to understand for the most part that we don't need a lot of stuff.  That we should be satisfied with what we have and appreciate what we have been blessed with.  A few weeks ago, we went to a store and she saw the cutest dancing Snoppy doll out there.  She asked to 'borrow' it.  (She hasn't grasped borrow versus buy yet.  She knows we borrow at the library and she thinks anything with a scanner now is a 'borrow'.)  I explained that it was an expensive doll and that we couldn't afford it.  She seemed to understand and she gingerly hugged it and said goodbye and said someone else might want to borrow it.  I was so proud.
A week later, we were at the grocery store and she saw the large bin of grapes on display.  I asked her if we should get red or green grapes and she replied, "Green but we only need one.  We don't need a lot of grapes."  I was so proud.  I grabbed a bag and she seemed very satisfied.
I know there will come a time when mass marketing will push and push the need for more stuff and brand stuff for that matter.  I know living in the US we will be inundated with this.  I just hope she retains this characteristic and remember stuff is just stuff.  It's not what is important.  I wonder how peer pressure will be handled.  I pray she's strong and holds to her convictions.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sharing or how not everyone believes what you believe

My kid got tackled and her face smushed on the dirt during our weekly picnic.
She's been tackled before.  Apparently this is a fun sign of affection toddler boys do to fellow tykes they like.
The first time, it was a football pile from Tuna and Carrots.  That time her face wasn't planted into the ground.
This time it was Tuna and So.  This time, it was a full face to dirt plant, the kind where dirt is in the mouth.
Thank goodness DH was there because I can't jump up as quickly these days.  I smacked DH into action and he ran and picked her up and we cleaned her off.  She was in tears and you can sense the confusion.  "Why did he do that?"
It happened once more that night.  Tuna just likes big bear hugs so I know it wasn't malicious.
After a bath where half of the park was washed out of her hair, she was squeaky clean or in her words, "I'm squeaky clean.  No cheesy feet."  She has a cut on her superficial cut on her forehead.  DH took a photo of it and texted Tuna's dad jokingly saying the doctor's bill was being sent.
I know kids are going to rough house and at this stage it's all about being loving and friendly.  I like you so I'm going to push you.  I'm not worried.
It was interesting to see the different reactions by children though.  Each kid is so different.
My daughter didn't understand why her friend would hug her so tight that he'd push her to the ground.  I think because of this, she didn't say, "No."  At the playground when someone pushes or 'semi-bullies' their way cutting in line for the equipment, she sometimes says, "No!  Wait your turn!"  Sometimes she stands there in confusion trying to understand why the kid doesn't play fair.
Her friend, So, joined in on the hug but then later on twice, psyched out Tuna.  Tuna tried to hug her and she did a martial arts move where she side stepped so he fell to the ground and then proceeded to howl and cry.  First, every Dad there was super impressed a 2.5 year old did such a slick Jackie Chan move.  Second, it was incredible to see her reaction versus my daughters. 
My daughter gets her hand held alot but her friends out of affection.  When she doesn't want her hand held, she resists but doesn't say no.  Of course this leads to the boy/girl to tug at her. 
This girl just side stepped and then immediately screamed.
Should my daughter be more defensive and more vocal?  I say yes to the vocal.  How though do you teach a kid to be defensive and still understand the difference between friends playing and real danger?
Later, So's parents said that she held her own against her 6 year old cousin to the point where she even bit him because he was bothering her.  Now, I'm not saying I want my kid to bite but good for her for standing her ground.
It makes me think of the time a few weeks back when her friend, Carrots, did not want to share Tuna's big wheel.  TG kept saying to him, "Carrots, we share.  Here is my scooter.  We take turns."  His mom explained we share and he reluctantly did as most toddlers do.  As TG was riding it though, he ran to her and tried to tell her where to go and how fast she should ride.  She seemed to tell him no but wasn't as insistent as I've seen her.  I think again, it's the problem of this is my friend versus a stranger kid.  It got to the point where she rode back and got off the trike and sat next to me. 
It's so hard to explain to toddlers that what they feel and understand may not be what others, including friends perceive.  Yes, everyone should say please, thank you and be kind and share but not everyone does.
Last evening at the end of TG's gymnastics class, a classmate, Ja, had a cargo airplane filled with cars.  Of course, this attracted TG's attention.  She's still a huge airplane and helicopter fan.
When she asked Ja to share, he said no.  She looked so confused and asked twice and then came to me to ask me why he wouldn't share.  I tried to explain that sometimes people aren't ready to share.  I tried to find an example where I asked her to share something and she didn't.  I couldn't find one.  My kid has for the most part been very happy to share.  Finally his dad said that he just received the airplane and that it's new and he's not ready to share it yet.  I know it's so confusing.  She left confused.  I left confused. 
I'm going to guess this part of parenting, social interactions, is going to be a tough one for all parties in this learning game.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Funny how toddlers learn the word 'Why?" without being taught

Whoever is perpetuating the 2s being the rough year is a liar.
I passed the twos thinking, wow, that wasn't too bad.  I was pretty blessed.
No one tells you about the 3s.  Holy moly, 3 year olds not only know what they want, they know how to tell you what they want and at times has the obstinance of a 80 year old.
I must say I'm fairly blessed and TG is rather understanding but when she gets into that toddler 3 mood, it's a foreshadowing of what's to come during the teen years.
Her favorite phrase now is, "I told you to....."  eg.  I told you to lay down. I told you not to move.  I told you I'd be right back.
Every mom I've spoken to agrees 3s seem to be the tougher compared to 2s. 
I have to say though that she's semi-reasonable.  When I explain that we can't afford something or that she can't wear the blue sneakers because they have gum and need to be washed if I'm patient and rational, she seems to understand and move on.  She'll still ask 'Why?" but if the answer meets whatever toddler reasons are, she moves on.  I know some parents who have to kids who just won't take the answer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bathing the baby & trumpets

Last night my daughter asked me to lay down in the bathtub and she bathed my bobbing belly with a washcloth and soap.

 "I'm giving the baby some water and a bath."
She took water and poured it onto my belly button and complained the baby did not open her/his mouth.  I had to explain how the baby doesn't eat and drink like we do just yet.  On a good note, she knows what the umbilical cord is for now.  It's not just rope.
We also gave her a trumpet and boy howdy the kid loved it.  She didn't want to let go of it.  She can play a few notes and she's super proud she is able to.  She also knows how to play loud or soft depending on breath.  I was impressed.  First thing this morning, she marched out to the kitchen with her trumpet.  The kid loves her music. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

I need a scooter to push my belly around

I am so not a pioneer woman.  If this were Little House, I'd be Nelly and Lord would I need a Percival.
There is no way I'd be bringing in the sheaths pregnant in this heat.
What no refrigeration?  No washer and dryer?  No air conditioning?
I am such a wuss.
It's 95 degrees out today with real feel of 101 and an air quality advisory which has been in effect for the last three days now.
Essentially, you walk out of your shower and feel as if you need another one from the humidity.
The weight of the air is so thick and heavy I'm fairly certain it's pushing down on my belly.
ToF is still moving along, kicking and shuffling around.  TG saw movement two days ago and I explained it was ToF getting comfy and stretching. 
She greets ToF in the am now and talks to my belly.
DH turned to me and said, "Wow, you really look pregnant now."  Uh, did I not look pregnant before?  Seriously.  I knew what he meant though.  He meant I seriously look like what you see in television shows and movies.
Oh and my daughter this morning told me that I'm getting bigger in the front and back.   Thanks, darling.  I've always asked for honesty right.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Night of the oozing poops

Spent last night dealing with poop.
First tot had a bought of diarrhea.
Then after that was settled, a lingering stench kept me up so I went to check the apartment and found our pup, Tasha had a bought as well.
It was not a fun night.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Can I sleep for 3 days now?

The party was a blast.  The kids really enjoyed it and it was a perfect refreshing break from the heat and humidity.
As soon as the party was over, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.
It has been a very rough week for us.  Between work, school and birthday, sleep has been few and lists have been large for Mama.
It was also very bittersweet for me.  This is our last birthday where it's just the three of us.  Yes, future birthdays will be great.  I'm not sure if it's so emotional for me because 1) I'm pregnant, 2) it's been a rough week 3) I'm realizing that I'll be planning this at least twice a year for the foreseeable future.
Back to the kids, they really seemed to have a blast and all the food was pretty much eaten.
I made a cucumber crudite treehouse, cheese and fruit kabobs, hummus flower sandwiches and banana oatmeal cupcakes.  I tried to keep the theme nature.
Kids loved the fruit kabobs.  I used lollipop sticks as I felt 3 years old shouldn't have kabob sticks as weapons.
The night before, my daughter kept waking up every 90 minutes asking questions about her party.  Is T going to be there?  Will they play in the water with me?  Can I wear my tree shirt?  Finally DH said to TG, "TG, you need energy to play tomorrow and if you don't sleep you won't have enough energy."
I don't know where the reserves were because as soon as 8am hit, that kid was riding her tricycle and scooter up and down the building hallways.  It was the only thing my husband could do to get her to release some of the energy while I made the crudite and fruit kabobs.
As soon as the party was over though, she fell out hard.  It was a super late nap but seeing as both DH and I could have used one too, we didn't protest.
DH dropped us off and went back to his studies. 
By the time I got home I received several texts and emails already saying the party was a blast and most kids were dropping to bed quickly.  Glad someone is getting rest.
I still have the thank you cards to do but that will have to wait.
The next week is another crazy school week for DH.  Anything that isn't life sustaining in our household will have to wait.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


So my tot is now three years old.  Her birthday was spent in our traditional quiet family way. 
This worked out as DH's week has been consummed by a major final project due for one of his classes.  The man has not slept in days.  God bless him.
In the AM, she went to her traditional date with Dad.  It's one of the few times where DH can purchase something for TG at the big box store (TRU).  I having nothing against TRU.  We're just particular with the toys and items TG plays with.  I read to many items, for work and personal, regarding endocrine disruptors, that we are careful with play item.s  Plus we lean towards Waldorf and Montessori influences.  TRU unfortunately does not lean this way.  But on her birthday, DH takes her to TRU and she gets her annual giraffe helium balloon and a toy.
This year, it was a horse and cowboy set.  It's actually Woody and Bullseye from Toy Story but she calls it's Cowboy and Bullseye.  (Remember, we aren't big brand promoters either.  We figure it will happen soon enough when school starts.)
They came home after nap just in time for some celebratory cake.  
I hung some decorations that I kept from a surprise celebration DH held for me way back, BC. 
We opened presents (a wooden birthday cake, Thomas train birthday set, some books, her annual birthday shirt and a Viewfinder).  Yes, a Viewfinder.   I think DH and I had more fun playing with that.  TG calls them binoculars. 
We had some homemade chocolate ice cream cake and then kissed DH off to school.
I really do cherish this quiet family birthday tradition.  The playdate is a few days away and I still have a laundry list of items to do but this little quiet celebration is a great way for me to feel like I'm not just the mom running around planning things while I miss everything.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Potty Learning Milestone

Last night, my kid woke up and said she needed to use the rest room. For the first time, I picked her up in the dark, shuffled her to the bathroom, got her to sit on the potty and pee in the dark, wiped, redressed and shuffled her to bed. She woke up at 2:35am. She was back to sleep by 2:40am.
What a milestone!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Well Done and then some

I am exhausted. It's way past our daughter's bedtime. We just arrived back from a last minute trip to visit cousins that are up from FL. I took the trip by myself with our daughter. It was not the smoothest day before the trip so by the time I got in the car (which was an adventure in itself) I was done. Still, I knew I needed to get out of the house. I needed air and I needed to see folks I hadn't seen in a year or so.
It was great seeing them but I also felt awful I was in such an exhausted mood. I wish I had more time to spend with them but at the same time, if they offered a bed for me while I was there, I would have happily taken a nap.
Now I'm back home and my child is on her second wind because well, the day was so out of routine and emotional. There were highs and lows. I know I should get her ready for sleep but 1) she's expressed missing her dad and she and him are actually pretending to be dogs now and 2) although I'm exhausted, I'm not ready for sleep. I don't want my freaking day to be about doing chores, travel and then bedtime.
Actually, I really need a massage right now. I think I'm going to book a prenatal massage for next week for me. I'm totally burnt and need it.

Postscript: After I posted this, I literally passed out on the bedroom couch. DH came in at some point and placed a blanket on me. I woke up at 1am and TG was already in bed (thank you DH). I didn't even have a chance to make dinner for DH. I shuffled to bed and passed out again and woke up at 7:30am.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Stop the train, I need to take a sabbatical.

There comes a point in being a mother to a toddler/preschooler where you seriously wish your name wasn't Mama. Honestly, my daughter says my name with the same volume and urgency whether it's a rush to go to the potty or she simply dropped her pancake on the floor and she needs me to come in from two room away to pick the darn thing up. Kid, it's next to our big toe. Pick it up.
It's like a game of Marco Polo but replace Mama for MP.
The newest thing is calling me to give me play by plays of everything she's doing. I love you, child. God I do. I incubated you gingerly and pushed you out. You can tell me during eats that the penguins surf on the comb and the water is deep and that Rocket reads the alphabet (favorite book). I seriously need to get some food on the table least we all starve.
It's also been hard on me as I'm hitting that point where I'm getting more tired. I'm at the point in my pregnancy where the contractions are getting stronger and my body is completely not my own. Add to this trying to juggle the fort and work and leaving DH to be so he can focus and I'm like a circus performer. Oh and I have my daughter's birthday to plan and prep for.
The idea of making skewered cheese and fruit sticks and flower patterned veggie credit sounds absolutely ridiculous now.
All this makes me again think, what the hell am I getting myself into? Being a mom to a 3 year old and a newborn! I know it could be crazier. The original idea was 2 years. Could you imagine? Some mommies here are on the 2 year track. God bless them. Some were on the Irish twins track. Holy moly! It's all kinds of fun though. I know the hardest years are the first 5. Then I'm told I get a small reprieve before the hormones start kicking into gear again. Joy. We'll get there smiling and chuckling most of the way, God willing.