Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Top 10 Round Up

No time for full & proper sentences today. Instead! A list that has shown me just how dull and mundane my life really is...

Top 10 most boring Facebook status updates made by me

10. Spinach, banana, plain yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, mango and chia seeds. Mmmmm.....

 9. 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins is on.

 8. Date night with the hubster for my birthday!

 7. 6:39 pm and I haven't eaten dinner yet.

 6. Off to work...

 5. I haven't watched Grey's in years and years.

 4. Burlington peeps: Bell or Cogeco for TV and Internet?

 3. Run Tuesday. Spin Wednesday. Run Thursday. Rest for the weekend.

 2. Almond milk... not bad. Figs? Ew.

 1. What should I have for breakfast?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Top 10 Round-Up

We're busy people, us Moms. Sometimes we only have a quick minute to scan an article. Yet, I still have very important things to share with you people. Which is why I bring you the following "top 10 round-up". Very weighty issues - at a glance.

Without further adieu...

The 10 grossest things my kids have done
1. Licked a toilet.
2. Ate a cheerio off a hockey rink floor.
3. Picked my nose.
4. Ate cat food.
5. Found gum at the park and chewed it.
6. Swished her hands around in the toilet water.
7. Sucked on the “business end” of the nasal aspirator.
8. Licked her sister’s face.
9. Pooped on the floor.
10. Had “ketchup fingers” for lunch. (Ketchup fingers = licking ketchup off her fingers).

Thursday, April 18, 2013

And then there was the time I laughed after my 3-year old fell

“You’re a jerk!”  I hear Anna tell her father.

I look at myself in the mirror and raise my eyebrows. Yup. She picked that one up from me.

(What? Sometimes he can be a jerk. We all can.)

I walk into the kitchen and Andrew looks at me in a “did you hear that?” kind of a way. I nod silently and resist the urge to laugh.

Laughing at my child seems to be my go-to response lately. Not quite sure why. But it’s my instinctual reaction. Like the time Anna inexplicably launched herself off of her bed into a perfect belly flop onto the hard (yet carpeted) bedroom floor.

“Why did you do that???” I asked her as I quickly enveloped her into a hug. Once I knew she was okay, we cuddled for a moment. She insisted she needed a band-aid, so we went to the bathroom where Andrew met us, concern spread across his face.

“What happened?” he asked me.

“She… she…” I started.  And then I had no other choice but to hug her closely to my chest, her face smooshed up against the side of my neck, my hand holding her head there so she couldn’t move.

So she couldn’t see me laughing.

Oh god. Why am I laughing??

My child could have seriously hurt herself and I’m laughing. What is wrong with me?

The truth is, I think I’ve needed it lately.

Between the rush of daycare, babysitting, getting to the office on time, training for a race, ballet, sports classes, long hours, runny noses, coughing, lack of sleep. It’s all so tiring. I’m wearing down a little bit.

So my body is telling me to relax. To enjoy. To laugh.

And so I do.

I laugh at Anna when her eyes get wide in shock after she toots. I laugh at Lauren walking around the house like a 16-month old with purpose. I laugh at what Anna’s daycare teachers must think of us, as Anna’s obsessed with how “dirty” our house is lately. (My bed is dirty! There’s duck poo on the floor! This house is so dirty!)  (Side note: it is not. There is not. And no, it’s not that bad.)

I laugh at Andrew when he rolls out of bed in the morning, looking like he has no idea what his name is. I laugh at a picture my Mom sends me of herself – one that she took by accident while trying to snap a picture of Lauren. I laugh at how my unwaxed eyebrows remind me of Groucho Marx. I laugh at the silly videos I see on Facebook. At the funny tweets on Twitter.

I laugh because I can’t stomach the stress or bad news anymore.

I laugh because I’m fortunate enough to be able to laugh today.

I laugh until I start to go red-faced. Until my eyes start weeping. Until I look slightly crazy.

And then I stop.

And I feel much better.
I just couldn't resist posting this, Mumsie.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The one with the incessant screeching

My children - only 3 years old and 16 months - already fight.

When Lauren came around, Anna made it clear that mostly everything was hers. Lauren was okay with that (not being able to move for the first few months will do that to you). 

Don't be fooled by the cuteness. She'll smack you
with that rubber spoon when you're not looking.
As Lauren got older and was able to grasp things, Anna would take a toy from her. Again, Lauren seemed okay with it.

As she got older still, Lauren would protest mildly when Anna took her things and, as such, Anna quickly learned to do the old switcheroo. If she gave something to Lauren (something she didn't want at all), Anna could still get away with having whatever she wanted.

Lauren is now 16 months old. Her little personality is getting bigger. And so is her confidence. 

And so is her screeching.

We've learned that their disagreements, or "monkey fights" as Andrew and I like to refer to them, can be heard from anywhere in our home. As soon as the baboon-like screeching begins, we know that Anna's made Lauren mad.

Here's how it usually goes down:
  • Anna wants something Lauren has - ONLY because Lauren has it.
  • Lauren senses Anna is coming in for the grab.
  • Lauren bares her 5 teeth and begins screeching.
  • Anna still attempts to pull object away.
  • More screeching from Lauren.
  • Anna begins to yell back - a reaction that I believe is part anger and part fear of her little sister.
  • Both kids start crying and wailing.
  • Andrew or I try to intercede and bring calm to the moment.
  • As responsible parents, we try not to let them see us laugh.
The fighting will get old, I realize. I won't find the reaction of little, sweet Lauren that funny after a short while. And that's when I have to figure out how to handle it.

That's when I could really use some advice. So once again, I'm reaching out to my Mama friends here.

How do you deal with fighting siblings?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

This morning, and every morning

I lay in bed. It’s still dark. I glance at the clock and scowl when I see “5:48” glaring back at me.

Despite my inner protestations, the day has begun.

I get up. Slowly. My limbs ache a little from my run last night. I mumble to myself that my 34-year old body is too young to be creaky already.

I shower. I dry my hair. I get dressed. I hear my 3 year old get out of bed and walk down the hall.

I watch her look up at me, squinting into the light, hair messy and face adorned with lines from her pillow. She looks beautiful.

“I want cereal.”

Good morning to you too, my love.

I get her cereal. The milk is empty. I refill the bag. I pour the near-empty cereal into her bowl. She notices the crumbs at the bottom of the bag fall into her bowl. She protests. Loudly. She doesn’t like cereal crumbs.

I fish out the crumbs and get a new box of cereal. I watch her closely as I pour the new cereal, hoping this will suffice. It is satisfactory.

I make a cup of coffee. Empty the dishwasher. Have a quick slice of toast. Take a sip of coffee. I hear the baby wake up.

I go get her, change her diaper, get her dressed, bring her into the kitchen. Take another sip of coffee.

I warm up some milk for the baby. Get her a banana. Some blackberries. I hope she still likes blackberries today.

I watch the baby eat while I try to get the 3 year old dressed. I pack bags. I remember I need to brush my teeth. Must wear socks. I take another sip of coffee and scowl again at the post-teeth-brushed taste. Fight with the toddler to pee before we leave. Attempt to make a game out of brushing her teeth. Just to get out the door.

Ah, my mornings. Hectic is a good way to describe them.

By the time I get to work (which is only 3 days a week right now, thank goodness), I just want to sit in front of the computer and read my Twitter feed with a hot cup of coffee in front of me.

I feel like my brain is nowhere near ready to start working yet. But I’ve been up for 4 hours already.

This is hard.

And yet – at the same time – I remember that video I watched on YouTube last week. The one with the mother reading her memoir. Talking about her experiences with her two kids, through every stage.

I remember her words. “You think the life you have right now is the only life there is.”

Yes. It really feels that way.

And then, when I worry to myself that I don’t have enough ‘me’ time, that my life is all about cleaning, dressing, feeding my little human beings, I pause.

Because when I pause, I remember what she said. What that Mom – just like any of us Moms – said.

It took her a while, but she learned to appreciate the simple gift. The gift of an ordinary day.

And then I look at my daughters. I touch their soft faces. I realize that eating a bowl of cereal together isn’t just breakfast. It’s a moment. It’s a gift.

Even when they’re mad, grouchy, freaking out, being their highly emotional toddler selves. It’s a gift.

I’m the first to admit that it can be hard for us to see that in the middle of a meltdown. But I also know that one day, I'll be sitting at this big table in this big, empty kitchen, eating my cereal alone. And I know how lucky I am to have every, single, simple moment with them.

So today, and every other day, I try to remember to enjoy.

Enjoy this ordinary day.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

For the love of books

My husband looked at me the other day and said "How old was Anna when we started reading to her?"

We both looked down at Lauren, sitting on the floor in front of us and smiled at her in a "I'm sorry we keep forgetting to do all the things you're supposed to do with your baby with you" kind of a way.

I've said it before. I'll say it again. The poor, poor second child.

Boynton really understands
the complexities of language.
I can't tell you the number of times we've been holding Lauren, playing with Lauren, changing Lauren, when all of the sudden, Andrew or I will look at the other and say "How old was Anna when we... <started brushing her teeth> <encouraged her to feed herself with a spoon> <put her in swimming lessons> <read to her regularly>?"

And while she's still not in swimming lessons or using a spoon, I'm happy to say that this Mom of the Year has begun reading to Lauren each night.

Therefore, in honour of my awesome parenting abilities, I bring you the following list of: My Ultimate Favourite Lines from Kids Books.  These books and these sentiments never fail to make me smile, weep, laugh and remind me of the happiest time in my life so far.

  • "Mama's right here. And I always will be. You are my shining star. Mama's right here. Through the rest of your life. My love is wherever you are!" – Mama’s Right Here
When I first read this line, I was pregnant with Lauren and was looking for a book that would let Anna know how special she was, even with a new baby arriving. I started weeping in the middle of Indigo.

  • "I love you right up to the moon - and back" - Guess How Much I Love You
I literally cannot read that line without my eyes welling up. Gets me every single time I've read it for the past 3 years.

  • "Once there was a tree... And she loved a little boy." - The Giving Tree
I know there's debate on the sentiment of this book, but I love it. I remember it so fondly from when I was a kid.

  • "The moon is high. The sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep." - The Going to Bed Book
I've read this one over and over and over again to Anna. Partly in hopes that she would get the hint and start sleeping through the damn night - and partly because I just love Sandra Boynton.
  • "Sleeping in that cave was a very cranky… BEAR!!!  ROAAAAR went the cranky bear. ROAR, ROAR, ROAR!" - The Very Cranky Bear
Anna loves to "roar" along with this book. And it makes me laugh every time she does it. So cute.

And one of personal favourites from my (a little bit older) childhood...
  • “Are you there, God? It's me Margaret"
What are your faves?