Monthly Archives: August 2011

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

It is seriously one of the most gorgeous days of the summer, and my kiddos and I are stuck inside. Booo! The little lady is sick, and hasn’t made it off the couch much today, poor thing. As I sit here and watch the gorgeous sunshine outside, feeling like I am up to my neck in responsibilities, I can’t help but start absolutely PINING for fall. I love fall. The air, the leaves, the food, the sweatshirts and cardigans. Fall is my happy place (as showcased by today’s photos).

In tackling really oppressively un-fun days like today, I think it’s important to have a plan and to know your happy place or places. You know, the things that will help you keep perspective and trudging along until bedtime. Not that I am an expert in stress management (just ask my husband), but I thought I would share a few things I try when i am on the brink a major mommy meltdown.

1. GO to your happy place, whether mentally, physically, spiritually, whatever it takes. If saying a quick prayer helps, say it. If looking at a picture of happier times lifts you up, look at it. If sitting on your front stoop, simply breathing air in and out of your lungs brings your blood pressure down, go sit! In considering everyone’s sanity, it is preferable to get to this place before you are a crying, screaming looney-tune.

2. Eat something that consists of these two important main ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter. I am not ashamed that I have had two Reese’s today, and I might have another one later. I might be a diet cheater, but I’m smiling.

3. Sing and dance along with your favorite song. Come on now, go for it. Be dramatic. In choosing said song, it is important to recognize song choice. No elevator music will do. I typically go with either a super upbeat tune, like Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback, which makes me feel like a sassy domestic goddess, or a really sad, deep track that reminds me that life could always be worse, like Ray Lamontagne’s Jolene (this song seriously hurts my heart).

4. Call your mom/best friend/go to person. Just spoke with my mom a couple hours ago. When your kids are sick, you need someone to acknowledge your hard work. Friends and moms are perfect for this affirmation!! They will always offer advice and boost your confidence as a mothering force to be reckoned with, which will ultimately give you that extra push to get through the day.

5. Purge. There is something so stinking awesome about de-cluttering your house. Go quickly through the house with a box or bag, and fill it with items you no longer use/need (like your husband’s shirts from 1990 that your secretly hate, but he loves). This is a quick way to make you feel more productive and less overwhelmed. Then, on a less stressful day, be sure to get the items to an appropriate charitable organization. Everyone wins.

6. If possible, take a shower. Not smelling stinky and having clean hair will work wonders for your attitude. Plus, when you look in the mirror, you won’t feel so startled by your messy reflection. For a special treat and if time allows, shave your legs. 🙂

7. Try not to over-react. No one wants their kids to be sick, but don’t scare the crap out of them and treat them like their fever or runny nose is the end of life as we know it. Plus, thinking that way will only freak yourself out more. Worry when worry is due, but trust your abilities and instincts.

8. Finally, don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t try to do it all. Clean the house tomorrow. The laundry will wait. Look at your imperfect house as a reminder that time is fleeting, and one day your little babies won’t be there to take care of anymore. Give lots of hugs and kisses (to your family, not to others. Try your very best not to get anyone else sick, or you will just feel like a jerk, which will ultimately just make things worse!) and embrace your role as an imperfect mommy.

Hope this helps, if even in some small way. Now, back to the trenches.

Cheers,

The Mommy Diarist

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Happy 6 Months!

We made it! We did it! We survived six months with two children! When we first found out about number 2, I think i seriously went into a coma for about 3 months. Despite being terribly sick and overwhelmed, I was also convinced I could not mother two children, be a good wife and still feel like me.

Luckily, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy with dark eyes and a cute little chin. More important than that, he will actually take a bottle, sleep through the night and let you love him to your heart’s content, all traits very different from his sister.

Happy 6 months to my little adventurer!

Water.

While folding laundry today, my absolute least favorite thing to do in the entire world next to going to the dentist and spelunking (Truth be told, I have never actually spelunked, but trust me, I know I would hate it; me+headlamps+bats+confined spaces+water=100% worst nightmare. To make it worse, caves are moist, and I despise the word m-o-i-s-t, as most self-respecting women do.), I realized that my daughter has 5 bathing suits. That is crazy! (Of course, in reviewing my summer photos, it seems I only take pictures of her in the one featured below.)

Why does she need 5? How did she get 5? Where in God’s name do all of these clothes come from?

For the record, I have two bathing suits and don’t like either one. They are cute, just not at the moment, more specifically on my body. And, 6 months post baby #2, you couldn’t pay me enough money to prance around in the backyard like she does. Ok, maybe if you paid me, like, a lot of money. But I would definitely prohibit cameras of any kind, and maybe suggest blindfolds.

I’ve found that willing away baby weight really does not work. Enough with the self-deprecation. I’ll save more on that topic for a later date.

What is it about kids and water?

I wish I got as excited about anything as my daughter does about playing in the pool with her daddy. For her 2nd birthday, she was gifted a water table by a great friend, which is a super fun gift by the way, and my husband puts it into her pool and places two sprinklers around it. Voila! He is a suburban water park genius.

I get it. I can remember being young and having olympic diving contests in my friend’s pool. The panel, our friends, would rate the dive on a 10-point scale. Lots of perfect scores; we were just that good.

I remember my purple-bluish-greenish Speedo (soo cool) swimsuit that I was obsessed with in 7th-9th grade, and I remember wearing it the first time I stepped into the Atlantic Ocean, before I became absolutely terrified of water and the creatures living therein.

It has occurred to me on more that one occasion that I will probably never go back to those fearless days of running around in a bathing suit (insert self-deprecating comment), catching sprinkles on my tongue (been there, done that), or running into the ocean (because I don’t want to be eaten by a shark). For me, getting older has made me much more fearful of life. To that, everyone answers,”well, you have much more to lose now.” I guess that’s it.

That’s part of what makes being a parent so remarkable. Not the being more scared-of-life part, but the being in absolute awe-of-it part. I watch my kids, especially my daughter, do exciting things, and I think about how much I love them and their free-spirited ways. On the other hand, I am terrified by them, saying things like, “Look out!” “Don’t run, you’ll fall!” or “How many times do I have to tell you to not drink the bath water after your brother has peed in it!.”

So, for now, I am lovingly content with the backyard water park and the swimsuit prancing. On occassion, I will hang out with her poolside, sporting a modest cover-up. Sometimes, I’ll even let her get into the pool for a few minutes with an actual diaper instead of a swimmer diaper. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I am a rebel.

I can’t even think about her asking for the car keys. Oooo, sends shivers down my spine.

Cheers,

Mommydiarist

P.S. I started a facebook page this week and changed up the blog format a bit. Trying to be more official. For what purpose, not sure yet. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

P.P.S. Would love your feedback, and more than that,  would love to hear your summertime memories about your own respective childhood.

And then there were tears.

Can I just say AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Holy cow, the terrible twos are not only terrible, they are also hellacious, awful, mind-numbing, and just plain miserable. I was never going to be the mother of the tantrum-wielding toddler in the middle of the grocery store. Oh no, my kids would never, ever behave that way. And, now back to reality. Today was one of those days that, as a mother, I sit here now with two sleeping kiddos upstairs and think, whoa, what HAVE I gotten myself into.

 Right now I am mentally sending myself to a happy place. That was me, 5 months pregnant with my little girl, in Hawaii on the North Shore. I was so naive, so happy. Birds were chirping, waves were crashing, surfers were happily avoiding shark attacks. There were no tears, no tantrums, no screaming in the middle of Babies-R-Us.

After the first time I got pooped on, I realized parenting was not for those with a weak stomach. After the 10th time, I realized that even if you think you are the master, you are decidedly not.

Today, I realized that I am in fact the mother of that screaming child in the store. Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, am back to the proverbial square one. I need a drink.

Cheers,

Mommydiarist

10 things I have in common with my baby girl

Currently, there is A LOT of personality in my house, mostly as exhibited by my free-spirited, self-dressing, strong-willed little girl. We are starting to be so much a like, it is scary. Not only for me, but also for my husband. Neither of us is sure he can handle us both under the same roof. In my quest to find a way to adequately set boundaries for her smarty-pants, independent nature, I often think about what I would want, and try to go that route. Ultimately, that fails, too, but I figure it’s worth a shot, right?

Let the record show:

1. We both have ridiculously crazy hair in the morning. I am not quite sure what happens while I am sleeping, but my hair resembles some sort of dirty grunge rock, Flock of Seagulls hybrid in the morning. But, when I see my baby girl’s hair, it makes me feel better. Is that wrong? I so wished she would’ve got her daddy’s thick, curly mop.

2. We both LOVE to eat out. I’ll ask her what she wants for lunch, and she typically responds with one of two answers–jelly sandwich (which I also love) or “go out to eat.” Panera is a favorite, for sure. They have Organic Mac-n-Cheese for the kid, and the calories are listed on the menu, which typically guilts me into eating something somewhat healthy.

3. Sort of in-line with #2, we both are obsessed with feta cheese. We can both just sit and eat it plain, which simply makes me love her more.

4. We are both sort of scared to try new things, but we feign courage and do it anyway. She is terrified by the balance beam, but giggles her way through it just to prove that she can.

5. Everytime we venture into Target, we both get our hearts set on something that deep-down we know we don’t need. Then, when we get it home, we play with it for a minute, then, it sits in a corner. Most recently, I got a pair of cute shoes that are ridiculously uncomfortable, and she got a pair of goggles that she absolutely hates to have on her head. Both will probably never be used, but we like to keep them around, just in case.

5. We are both very social and constantly feel the need to be around people, but at the same time, we are kind of shy and awkward until we feel comfortable.

6. We both have very, very active imaginations. She is always telling me about the giant in her clubhouse or serving me a “pretend” strawberry-banana smoothie. I asked her to tell me a story the other night, and she started, “Once upon a time, there were three mangoes…” When I was a child, I used to scare the neighborhood kids with stories about children getting lost forever in a giant storm drain behind my house. I am definitely anticipating phone calls from angry parents to discuss the things that she has disclosed to classmates at school. Sorry mom.

7. We both have a trademark gap between our two front teeth. Hers is exacerbated by thumb-sucking, a habit I luckily gave up years ago. 🙂

8. Both of us maintain a ridiculously accurate memory (another reason my husband is in trouble), and I am amazed at how clear she remembers seemingly insignificant details about things and people. Recently, she has been obsessed with learning peoples’ FULL names, and can cite them with ridiculous accuracy.

9. We have both perfected the art of whining about things until we get our way. This, coupled with the fact that we are incredibly stubborn and get bored very easily, makes a lot of days a struggle to get through, especially since she struggles to accept the fact that her baby brother is here to stay and we can’t just leave him home to fend for himself.

10. Finally, I am learning to accept that we are both very emotional. She has a huge heart, as do I, and we both get our feelings hurt fairly easily. This will be tough for her down the road, and I cringe at the thought of boyfriends, break-ups and broken dreams. We bounce back, but we don’t forget.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here. I’ve gotta tell you, this entry today is more like therapy, as it gets harder and harder to parent such a strong little lady. Somedays, I just don’t see how we are both going to survive, while others I can’t imagine loving her anymore than I do. Sometimes I think I do everything wrong, and recently, I am stuck in a rut.

So, for now, let me just say that I love, love, LOVE my daughter, but sometimes, I just don’t like her, mostly because she is too much like me. Often, while she is running away in a fit to tell her daddy how mean I am, I think maybe I should’ve been nicer to my mom…..One of the most painful life lessons to learn: payback is most definitely a B!$#&!

Wow! Little bit of a Debbie-downer there towards the end, but I feel better. Gotta shake it off. Thanks for reading and staying with me.

Cheers,

Mommydiarist

Wishing my brain was more like an Ipad.

So, I am embarking on a new project. Yes, another one, don’t hate. If you know me, you know I am the absolute queen of unfinished projects. I always have good intentions, buy a myriad of interesting supplies (like a box of 100 ties on ebay), and then nothing really happens. Mostly because I don’t do anything with them.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I really did buy a box of 100 ties. For the record, they are actually pretty rad.

I most definitely see things on the Internet or in boutiques and think, “I can DO that!” With two small children, I sometimes wonder if maybe these moments of inspiration are really actually sleep deprived fantasies or a form of rebellion to days filled with diapers and messes. Either way, I long to be creative and have to have an outlet to feel like me, or no one in my house is happy.

The above picture is my attempt at art in college. It is actually a picture of my husband and I, but many viewers have asked me why I painted a picture of me kissing another girl. Either way, I like it, and it hangs in my children’s play room. In a corner.

Onto the current topic. I have fallen in love with photography. A little over a year ago I bought a DSLR, without even knowing what DSLR means. (Digital single-lens reflex, and yes, I just looked it up. Seriously can’t remember stuff like that.) Now, I, Rebecca Ann, am officially a wanna-be photographic genius. Disclaimer: I am by no means a photographer, just someone who likes to take pictures. BUT, I would like to one day be confident enough in my abilities to start a business and establish myself as a professional, emphasis on ONE day. Excited at the possibility that I think I may have finally found something I can manage and still simultaneously manage my mommy duties.

This past weekend, I had my very first unofficial family shoot. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

While I certainly got some shots I really liked, when I got home and started to process, I was once again plagued by my own photoshop stupidity. I wish my brain was more like an Ipad, and I could just download an app and understand things without having to sit down and learn them. Mastering photoshop is the first step in this business plan of mine. That, and getting a workstation.

Anyway, for those that live close to me, I am sure I will be hitting you up so I can take pictures of you and your families. I learn so much each shoot, and I am so very excited to have found a hobby that I truly enjoy. I will also always be fishing for opinions, so please don’t get frustrated if I am overloading you with my work.

Kiddos have worn me out this morning, so since they are both sleeping, I am off to decompress…..and edit some photos. OBSESSED!

Cheers,

Mommydiarist