Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Liebster Award

A BIG thank you to Morna at Awesome Austerity for nominating me for the Liebster Award! 

Check out Morna's Liebster Award Q&A's here: http://awesomeausterity.com/?p=458

I'm very new to this blogging world, but so far I've found it to be such a welcoming community.  I've also found that just taking the time to blog (or tweet) about being a mom has been so much more rewarding than I ever expected.  The answer to my first "Liebster Award" Q&A talks about why that is.


Questions provided by Morna at Awesome Austerity:

1. What are your hopes and aspirations for your blog? 

I don't know if I've completely figured this out yet, but I know that I'm already getting a lot from having started this blog.  I'm very career driven and have found my identity too wrapped up in what happens in my "day job" as an analytical manager recently.  Motherhood -  and the ability to talk about that through my blog - is much more of an important part of who I am than my job outside of the home, even as I continue to be ambitious.

The other hope that I have for my blog is that people find it relate-able.  Moms everywhere get a lot of advice, rules, judgement, etc. but I think what moms today really need is to be able to relate to others and know they aren't alone.

2. What television programme can you absolutely not miss?

There are too many to name - I watch more TV than I probably should admit!  Some of my favorites are Downton Abbey, Grey's Anatomy (even with the recent developments!), Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead.  Plus I binge watch Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Luther and The Killing when they release their seasons online.  (See - more than I should admit.)

3. What was the last dream you had?

I have boring dreams about work and missing deadlines.  I wish I had some interesting dreams to talk about but it seems like being late, forgetting something important or missing something important are the worries that are swirling my subconscious these days!  If I'm going to be dreaming about work, can't at least Ryan Gosling show up to play the part of my boss or something?

4. Who would be your three ideal dinner party guests and why?

This is always such a tough question because just like TV shows, it's hard to narrow it down.  I think today I would pick Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I think I'm having a very politically minded week because of certain events but I would love to talk to our current president and the woman I hope will become our next one about the issues that impact women and families in my country.  Paid maternity/paternity leave and the cost of childcare are such important issues for our society and it's a place where America is really far behind.  And Ginsburg is so intelligent and witty and I think she would be great to add to that conversation and to pick her amazing brain on so many other issues that are important to me.

5. What has been your worst cooking disaster?

Well I've never actually burnt down a kitchen so I feel like I've avoided disaster for the most part!  My husband actually does most of the cooking in this family.  I can cook but I don't love it and my schedule usually keeps me from being home in time to do the cooking.  I also am impatient and forgetful so I tend to walk away from food on the stove or grill and burn the bottom of the pan a lot.

6. Paperback or Kindle?

I really enjoy reading on a Kindle or my phone over a paper book.  I've never enjoyed having to hold open a book and deal with reading along the crease and turning pages.  I download everything to my phone now and just read from there (usually while nursing a toddler to sleep).

7.  What would you do if you had a whole afternoon to yourself? (and you weren’t allowed to clean the house)

If I had a whole afternoon to myself cleaning would be the last thing I would think to do.  Ha.  (My husband also does most of the cleaning around here.  I'm a lucky lady.)  Given an entire afternoon free I would probably try to get a little pampered (maybe a pedicure or haircut) and then go to the movies with my husband.

8.  What is your biggest regret?

 I really don't have a lot of regrets in life.  My mother always said that I have to "learn everything the hard way" which is true, so it's not that I haven't made mistakes a long the way because I definitely have.  But I think that I do learn from my mistakes and I have a great life and it's those mistakes and the things that have happened to me that have brought me here.  I can't wish away the bad without wishing away the good so I won't do either.

9.  What was the last book you read? – Honestly!!

I'm currently reading a boring management book for work.  The book I read before that was "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" but like most parenting books I've attempted to read,  I don't think I finished it.  Ha.

10. What is your favourite treat food?

I'm an ice cream/froyo girl.  I could eat ice cream every day.  I contemplate getting pregnant again just to be able to justify it!  ;-)

11. What superpower would you like to have?

I used to think that the ability to fly would be the best superpower to have but now that I'm a mom I think it would be the ability to be in multiple places at the same time!  No more being late for daycare pick-up because a work meeting went over and maybe I could actually help with more of the cooking and cleaning around the house if I could simultaneously be binge watching TV and blogging!


Thanks again for the nomination, Morna!  To Pay It Forward, I would like to nominate the following blogs:

Captivating Momma: https://captivatingmomma.wordpress.com/

Just Another Dad: http://justanotherdad.com/

What Mummy Did Next: http://whatmymummydidnext.blogspot.com/

Charlie's Upside Down Again: https://charliesupsidedownagain.wordpress.com/

Here are your questions:
  1. Why did you start a blog and what do you want to get out of it?
  2. What is the story behind the name of your blog?
  3. If you could travel to any time - past or future - what would you choose and why?
  4. Morning Person or Night Owl?
  5. Favorite food?  Choose one savory and one sweet.
  6. If given one whole day to yourself with no kids or obligations of any sort - how would you spend it?
  7. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child?
  8. Where is one place that you long to visit and why?
  9. Favorite TV show?
  10. What/Who inspires you?
  11. Describe your blog in five words or less.

For more info about the "rules" of the Liebster Awards click here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Am I on Candid Camera?

So I was in CVS with FrenchFry (2 year old) today and the chain of events that occurred made me feel like I was in a poorly written sitcom about the follies of mothering young children.  That or I was on a cleverly staged episode of Candid Camera and they somehow got my 2 year old to follow the script perfectly.

First, FrenchFry decided to tell me "these are for you, Momma!"

"New! Just for Bladder Leaks!"

The irony was not lost on me that the majority of women who need the "Always Discreet" (just for bladder leaks) probably do so because of birthing their own little jerk - I mean child.

He proceeded to pull items off the shelf, as two year-olds tend to do.  I know that he lives in a world where everything around him is controlled by others and frequently he is met with the word "no" so I try to give him some freedom where I can.  One place I do that is that I usually let him play and pull items off the shelf as long as he isn't touching anything dangerous or breakable, or making a big mess.  I do require him to put it all back so he learns that he does have to leave things as they were and clean up after himself.

So he pulled off a few boxes of band-aids and then threw them on the ground, which is where I draw the line on poor toddler behavior and decided it was time to have a little positive ("connection based") discussion with him.  I started to talk to him about needing to be careful with things that don't belong to us and that he needed to pick them up and put them back.

Which he responded to by.... kicking them across the aisle.


At this point my patience was just starting to get tested, which apparently he could pick up on because he decided to kick it up a notch and run away from me down the aisle.  I more sternly ask him to stop and come back to help me pick up the band-aids.  He turned around and (with a twinkle in his eye - I swear I saw it) he started running back towards me and right into the display of bladder leak pads like a line backer on Sundays in the Fall.

Is this really happening?
He continued running... now with a full on giggle.  He was so proud of himself, and I was just stunned.  I couldn't do anything except stand there and laugh.  And take a photo of course because I wasn't sure anyone would believe that this was actually happening.  This was also the point I started to look around and make sure that I wasn't on a bad reality TV show and didn't know it.

I think because I was laughing and scooped him up (before he got away) he got out of defiant toddler mode and really looked at me.  I didn't get upset and I didn't have to - I smiled and asked him to help me pick it all up and he did.  He even picked up the band-aids and helped put them back on the shelf.

The rest of the trip in the store was uneventful and we were able to check out without destroying any more displays or more veiled insinuations about my continence.

Have you ever felt like you were on Candid Camera or were in a bad sitcom because of your child?  

How did you handle it?

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Domestic Momster

Friday, April 10, 2015

You Won't Ruin Them

"I’m not offering you a quick fix solution, I’m not telling you that there is a magic trick to make babies sleep for hours on end, what I’m telling you is that what you are experiencing is normal." (From Hectic and Clueless)

That is a quote from this article on baby sleep has been making the rounds on social media this week and it really struck home with me.  The tone of this article is a little more confrontational than I think I would be myself, but there is also a lot in here I agree with. 
Mostly - I think if something is working for you and your child, then go with it. You won't "ruin" your child's chance at ever sleeping "through the night" - since that appears to be our main goal as early parents if you spend any time on the internet or talking to veteran parents.... you won't ruin them if you nurse or cuddle or rock them to sleep, and I promise you they won't be sleeping in your bed when they are 15 years old. The chances of that happening are less than 0.000000000002% from my non-scientific estimations.
You have 13 years before we kick you out, kid.

There have been rough patches when I did wish for better, more, longer sleep but mostly I have been okay with the way things have (almost) naturally occurred on their own with my FrenchFry's sleep. I nursed him to sleep every night for almost 2 years and would nurse him overnight if he woke up for those same 2 years as well. These are things that I feel almost embarrassed to tell people outside of my close friends for some reason - but it WORKED for us. 
Things usually got much worse when I tried to push him into something that deep down I knew he wasn't ready for yet. And then when I knew he was really ready -like when I night weaned him recently (read about it here: In Defense of Weaning my 2 Year Old) - when I did wait until I knew he was ready it went really well - without a lot of tears or heartache.
Mostly I want you to know that if you are in the midst of it right now - do what feels right and don't let the pressure of everything you read on the Internet - or the parents who forget what it was like to be there with a newborn or had a newborn that was very different than your newborn is and had different needs - don't let that create doubt or second guessing of yourself. And if what you are doing works for YOU, then go with it.
And know that there are people out there who nursed and held and rocked their kid to bed every night long past when they were told it was "okay" to do so.  People nursed overnight past a 2 year birthday who now get pretty great sleep most nights and is starting to missing those middle of the night cuddles a bit more than she thought she would. 
(Though really I always knew I would.)

FrenchFry sleeping in his big boy bed.  Apparently I didn't ruin him!

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And Twitter: https://twitter.com/KetchupIsVeggie

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Prisoner of (Toddler) War

As I sneak a piece of pancake from my two year old's plate I feel a slight panic. Is he going to notice?  If he does notice, will he care?  Will this turn into a major meltdown or am I safe?  WHY AM I EVEN TESTING FATE LIKE THIS?

Years before I was a parent myself, a good friend of mine told me how she once peeled an orange for her husband and as she started to hand a piece to him, she went into a state of pure panic as she realized she hadn't first asked if he wanted it peeled and pulled apart. As you have probably guessed - she lived with a toddler at the time.  That story was a glimpse into how volatile the little buggers could be for me.

Of course I didn't really, fully understand this until I had a toddler of my own.  Lately we have been dealing with the emotions that turning two seems to bring.  Those BIG emotions.  FrenchFry (2 year old) is actually probably pretty laid back for a toddler - he's always been a generally happy baby/kid - but that doesn't mean that we don't have regular meltdowns these days.

Some days (or really just part of the day in most cases) it seems like my toddler is a ticking time bomb, and I just don't know what might set him off.  I'm careful not to use certain words (for example: "yogurt," unless I'm prepared to let him slurp down four more Gogurts in one sitting) or make any sudden movements.... yes - sometimes just innocently moving your fork can set them off - WHY DID YOU MOVE THAT FORK?!?! <SOB>.

Sometimes you are the parent who has been there for the lead up to the "verge of a meltdown"...   maybe you just talked the toddler down from a scary, BIG emotions place and are carefully walking on eggshells... making sure not to trigger him and then your partner walks in.... and, of course, they say the EXACT wrong thing for that exact moment, like: "Oh look!  Breakfast time!"


Ugh...  Meltdown City (Population: 1 Cranky French Fry).

Sometimes I wonder if we parents have a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Or maybe it's that biological imperative that keeps us falling back to feelings of good will for our little captors.  That or the cuteness... there is definitely an evolutionary reason that babies and young children are so darn cute.

That cuteness will get you every time!  (Just don't take one of those pancake pieces.)

Being the parent of a toddler takes a lot of patience.  It's also immensely rewarding.  All of these big emotions (that are sometimes hard to handle or even understand) are also why we get so many good hugs and snuggle time during this phase.  I can't get enough of his super awesome two year old snuggles.  It's amazing to watch your child's brain develop right before your eyes (well, not literally... that would be pretty weird).

My two year old blows my mind every day with what he learns, the things he says and the big feelings he has - negative or positive.  Though sometimes it's hard not to get a little shell shocked by all of these BIG emotions flying around when you have a toddler in your home.

Still... the cuteness... and those snuggles...

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