One minute you have a tiny bundle of swaddled joy, and the next minute, that bundle is swinging from the cupboard door. If this sounds familiar to you, either you've already moved here or it's time to pack your bags.
Welcome to Toddlerville! We serve up crazy all day long!
Everything is edible. The shriveled square of cheese in the corner, a Cheerio some other kid left in the shopping cart, cat food, dog poop…
You’re exhausted all day long but have insomnia at 3:45am, and the only thing bouncing around in your brain is a song from The Wiggles.
You have Play-Doh stuck in your hair, finger paint up to your elbows and you just sat in something sticky.
The entire perimeter of your dining room table is engraved with ball point pen, and you can't get mad because it's a “picture of me giving my baby brother a love.”
Tiny little hand prints cover every glass surface you own including the very top of your bathroom-sink mirror - and frankly, you’re afraid to ask about that one.
You have about 25 sippy cups with multiple "leakproof" parts you can never find when you need them, and they all leak.
With your eyes closed, you can recite the words to Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Pat the Bunny.
Everything is a toy. The half-empty dog dish covered in slobber, your cell phone with recent calls to China, your dirty flip flop that's moonlighting as a teether and a box of condoms you keep in “the drawer.”
You once thought of bubbles and chalk as a quiet backyard activity. Now you know it means mixing them into a paste and applying it as a face mask on the dog.
No matter how many fresh veggies, whole grains and "green things" your child ate as a baby, you now live in the world of "beige food": chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, chicken fries, macaroni and cheese, tater tots, enough bread to choke a small horse, noodles with butter, cheese pizza (if you can leave off the sauce that would be awesome), applesauce and corn (Toddlerdom’s approved fruits and veggies) and corn-dog bites, because if you don't remove the stick, it will be used as a weapon against the baby and big sister. The only colorful thing is the milk. It now comes in pink and brown.
How about you? Are we there yet? Or are you still living over on Sweet Baby Lane?
It's ironic how big sissy can be loud and crazy when I'm trying to put her baby brother (a.k.a a real baby) to sleep for a nap but once her baby doll (a.k.a. a TOY) is taking a nap in the toy baby crib everyone in the house needs to tip-toe around and whisper....
Let's face it, it's never really a good time for your toddler to throw a tantrum, but some places are just downright embarrassing (and some times are really poor timing) - especially if you've brought your child there to have fun. Even more so if you've just been talking about how good your toddler is.
Here's are the top 10 places most moms I know would rather not deal with a raging toddler tantrum.
At their own birthday party.
At Gymboree, where literally nothing is off limits and every single surface is climbable.
At the interview for that fancy private preschool you're hoping will give you a scholarship.
As you're walking through the gates at Disneyland.
During family night at your new parent education class, where you've spent 6 weeks learning a bunch of new tantrum-diffusing techniques (and none of them are working).
At your first outing with the new moms' club after you just spent 15 minutes telling everyone how effective your 6-week parenting class was.
When you're meeting the new sitter for the first time and you've already assured her that your child rarely throws tantrums. (Why do we always set ourselves up like that?)
Standing in line to board a 6-hour flight and your toddler has already taken their one nap in the car on the way to the airport.
While you're on your way to the hospital - in labor.
After you've driven 2 hours to go to the zoo because all your kid has talked about is wanting to feed the giraffes, which they heard about from the neighbor kid. You've spent about $100 for parking and tickets. You've just realized that you left the lunch you packed in the refrigerator and know you'll be dropping another $30 on stale chicken strips and old french fries. You've waited forever in line to get the food to feed the giraffe (another 5 bucks), then in another line to actually feed them, and when it's finally your turn, your child is having a five-alarm meltdown because his sister got to turn the dial on the food dispenser and he didn't, and now he doesn't even want to see the giraffe's anymore, let alone feed them.
Has your sweet little angle ever thrown a tantrum so embarrassing that you just wanted to walk in the other direction, looking around the store asking, “who does this child belong to?” Fess up!
*This was originally posted on January 21, 2012 formom365. Clickhere to read more of my Top Ten Lists on Mom365.
The past year has been extremely difficult for me personally despite some rather cool things that have gone on with me "professionally." My body has been in a lot of pain, I have had the most extreme fatigue I have ever experienced in my life, I'm constantly on the verge of tears or on the verge of screaming, and let's face it, I've just kind of been a miserable bitch due to all the stress and depression all of this has caused. I haven't been myself. At the start of it all I had a back injury that lasted 8 weeks. I was not able to pick up my baby to nurse him, put him in and out of the crib, pick him up to change his diaper, you name it. So my mom drove a half hour (if there wasn't any traffic mind you) every single week day morning for 8 weeks to come and help me out as soon as my husband left for work and stayed until he walked in the door that evening. She literally did everything but nurse the baby! I still did that, but I needed help lifting him in order to do it. If you've ever breastfed a baby during a back injury you know where I'm coming from. I don't recommend it. (The back injury part... I highly recommend the breastfeeding part.) THANKS MOM!
So back when I was pregnant with El Bebe #2 the "fill-in OB" I had for that appointment (before I switched to a midwife - smartest move I ever made as written here) noticed a lump in my throat but he said I had to wait to do testing til after the baby was born. Honestly, I forgot about it. Besides the fact I now had a brand new baby and a very busy toddler to care for, doing a bunch of medical tests was the last thing I wanted to add to my To-Do List. I could feel the lump and see it, but I put it aside as far as looking into it. Call it denial, call it avoidance - I call it postpartum depression.
Several months ago I started up with a new family doc and she started me on some tests to look into it. This test result led to wanting to do this test, and that test led to this scan and so on. After several tests were done in several different facilities all over hell's half acres and over several months because kids are "NOT ALOUD" at any of these tests making the process that much more difficult for a stay-at-home-mom, I was told there are a few different lumps in there and not just one like I thought. I ended up having another very detailed and time consuming test that would check out all of the lumps and determine if they were "OK" or not. That test came back but I needed to go to a specialist to hear the results... I was told that some came back "OK." I'm not sure what happens to them, but they aren't anything. But some of the lumps showed up as "something" on the test where others were found to be "nothing."
So what that means is that tomorrow I go in to get the "something" lumps biopsied to see if they are cancerous. I have a good chance that they are not, but in the "something/nothing test" they are "something" so if not cancer, then what? This is new territory for me so I have no clue what else it could be. But the specialist basically said, "we're going to do a biopsy to see if they are malignant or benign if they are malignant then you do chemo/radiation and it should take care of it no problem or we surgically remove it...but it's most likely nothing." So that is where I'm at right now.
I only throw this out there not for sympathy, not for attention but for positive vibes sent my way. Call them prayers, positive energy, positive vibes, whatever makes you feel more comfortable. I'm a firm believer in positive energy. I'm one of those people who thinks that you should tell everyone that you are pregnant right away instead of waiting (and suffering in silence with morning sickness) throughout your entire first trimester.
SIDE NOTE: For those who have never been through a pregnancy, most medical professionals advise you to wait to tell anyone until the second trimester because the first trimester (the first 3 months) is a delicate time in your pregnancy where if you are going to have a miscarriage, typically it will happen during that time. I actually had the first OB I ever saw when I was pregnant with my first tell me, "well, the test came back positive but don't get your hopes up. A lot of women miscarry during this time." Talk about a buzz kill. She wouldn't even say the words, "pregnant", she just kept referring to it as a "positive test result."
I didn't take her advise (big shocker there - the girl who had a water birth at home not taking the advice of an OB), but I wanted everyone in my life to know we were pregnant because I liked the idea of having all of my family and friends thinking and dreaming about the tiny lil baby growing inside of me, sending it love and light. And if something did happen to the pregnancy then I'd already have that support system in place. Nothing happened though because she's out riding her bike right now. The more the merrier when it comes to positive energy, prayers, positive thoughts, etc., as far as I'm concerned.
So if you could just pass along some love for me tomorrow and float it through the universe over my way that would be great. Oddly enough, I'm not really afraid of the pain of someone sticking a needle in my throat to take a sample since I've given birth to two children and am no stranger to pain, and I'm only mildly worried about the test coming back cancerous because I feel that it's not. I'm more worried about, "what is going on with me?" because I know that something is wrong and the specialist already told me that if it is cancerous it really has nothing to do with all of my symptoms right now. I'm not feeling like myself and something is off and I'm in pain, my joints hurt like I'm in my 80's and I'm very tired and run down and I have put on a lot of weight over the past year which is stressing me out too. I'm just not sure what it is yet and that is driving me crazy. So...who knows? Any medical mystery solvers out there reading my blog? Give me a heads up!
Baby Boy wants to wear my hats all the time or Sissy's hats all the time (in public of course!), or anything resembling a hat for that matter - a shirt, pair of pants, a box, a clothes hamper, paper grocery sack...but when the sun is beating down on us and we are outside playing and I want him to wear his hat he screams, flings it off like it's on fire and acts like I just threw his favorite toy car in the garbage disposal.
What a lil stinker!
*P.S. "Baby Boy" is just a month shy of turning 2. I guess he's not really a "baby" anymore... cue the sad face with a single tear trickling down...
I watched the premier episode of The Ricki Lake Show today and it was really great. She's so spunky and fun and she has such a positive energy so it was really enjoyable to watch.
One of the segments was about a woman who at a young age had lost her husband while he was deployed in Iraq and he never got to meet their infant son. She was a single mom for several years but is now happily engaged. However, our pain manifests itself in many different ways whenever we have a traumatic experience or when we are dealing with stress, sadness, etc. and her's manifested itself into an extremely messy closet. She was hanging on to the past with her mess not knowing how to let it go. She kept avoiding cleaning it out and would find a million other things to do instead. Since she was a busy mom, a messy closet never took top priority. I can relate. I get so overwhelmed sometimes with being a stay-at-home-mom and the day-to-day mess of dishes, laundry and toys that major things like organizing closets, drawers and garage boxes get pushed aside.
I was greatly inspired by The Ricki Lake Show today and the themes I took away from it were to:
Just do it
Just start somewhere
So I looked in my closet and I started taking everything out that no longer works, no longer fits, no longer looks good, is no longer in style, etc. Since becoming a mom, especially a SAHM my style of cute skirts and dresses with high heeled boots and funky purses has morphed into anything and everything that is comfortable and made out of cotton. My purses are now filled with diapers, wipes and worn out baggies of sticky raisins and stale cheerios.
Then I moved on to my drawers because my kids were busy entertaining themselves with some "new-to-them" books they found in their rooms. I have been alternating books from the different places we keep them (both kid's rooms as well as a bookshelf in the livingroom) and adding in books of the season that I (try to ) keep away in a box so they are special again when the time comes.
Who wants to read about Fall and pumpkins when it's blazing hot beach weather outside?
Since they were busy doing something productive with their time (reading!) I tackled my drawers and again pulled everything out that no longer fit, no longer looked good, or was too warn out and frumpy. So....um...now my closets and drawers are pretty much bare! I had a lot of "frumpy mom clothes" I was hanging on to.
Which leaves me to ask, "Hey Ricki, are you doing a makeover show anytime soon? I know of a mom who is in desperate need of a new look! Me!" ;-)
I was so inspired with the instant gratification of the new changes and how much less stressed out it made me feel that I tackled my daughter's room and her closet! We made two bags: one to sell at our next garage sale and one to donate. The stuff we were keeping we found a place for it to live, hung it up or folded it and put it away. But the bottom line here is we did not stuff it under the bed, in the closet or stash it away on the shelf to "deal with later."
We handled our mess!
Once that was cleaned out and I got the kids on board with helping too we moved into the living room where a lot of their toys live in various baskets and boxes. I decided to move every single toy into the play room (where they should be anyway) and just left the bookshelf full of kid's books as well as a little climbing structure we keep in the house to give our toddler a clean, safe place to climb. But really it just keeps him from dive bombing the couch all of the time. Now he only dive bombs it some of the time.
But basically we reclaimed our living room. It felt awesome!
After putting all of the toys in the toy room I saw just how much kid stuff we have and having it all in one spot gave me a bit more clarity to go through it. I was able to see all of the duplicates, what was broken or missing from a set, what had been wandering from basket-to-basket and room-to-room in search of their long lost match or missing piece (that is never to be found because toddlers like to throw things in the trash), and what needed to be tossed, donated or sold because we've outgrown it or it no longer makes the cut. Having everything in one spot made it quicker to go through it and store it properly as well.
I was so inspired with change that I finished the dishes, started dinner and banged out a few loads of unfolded laundry... and put it all away!
It took a bit longer because I was teaching my preschooler the art of folding the socks into little balls and I was teaching (or at least trying to teach) my 23 month old where the clothes go in the drawers. It turns out that I really didn't need to actually fold it once we were done with the lesson anyway, but that's OK.
The task was complete. The clean clothes were put away!
So thank you to The Ricki Lake Show for inspiring change in our house with your very first show and for helping this frazzled mama feel a little less frazzled! You also gave me a reason to shop for some new clothes! I learned that you just have to start somewhere and make small changes.
Small changes morph into bigger ones and soon enough you'll be done!
UPDATE 1 Day Later:
The ripple effect from my one day of cleaning and purging just a few of our "junk spots" has already made a drastic change in myself and in my family. We woke up to a clean living room and the kids woke up to clean bedrooms. The few things that were left out took minutes to put back in "their place." This started the day off calm and relaxed. It made it easier to leave the TV off because I wasn't trying to buy extra time to get things picked up while my two kids were already climbing the walls. The house was calm and quiet even though we were wide awake and ready for the day. I wasn't preoccupied with the thoughts of, "how in the world am I going to get this done today with the kids under foot?" or "I have a few "free" minutes but where do I even begin?" Instead we ate breakfast, got ready in a flash and joined some friends at an indoor play place for a few hours which left the kids happy, laughing, smiling and worn out. Both took an afternoon nap at the same time allowing me the free time to go through more boxes of...ahem...crap in the garage.
It was a good day!
The kitchen/dining room is next. "Yea, that's right kitchen...I'm talking to you." It has become our dumping ground for art supplies, art projects, purses/backpacks/lunch boxes, lost toys, mail, paperwork and random things that have no business being in the kitchen on the island.
But for now I smile and exhale because the living room was an amazing work of progress!
*Are you an Organized Mom? Please share your secrets so the rest of us (myself included) can learn a thing or two!
I had so much fun stepping out of my comfort zone the other day to make my (first ever) video blog for the Friends Of Ricki facebook community page. It was about how The Business Of Being Born impacted my birth. And it absolutely did! After I posted it I was looking through all the other takes (10 to be exact!) and I decided to teach myself how to edit them together in imovie for a silly little video. It was so much fun! Plus my crazy husband is in part of it too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did editing it! (I'm now as obsessed with editing as I am with writing!)
A fun problem to have! ;-)
P.S. This was my very first editing job. If you are an editor for work, for fun projects or you work as an editor in the biz please watch something from this list of films. I
f you have never edited anything before and you don't have the first clue how it's done, then for sure check out my new radical vid!
So I logged onto the Friends Of RickiFacebook Page today to get my daily dose of positivity and I see that they are asking for videos talking about how the Friends Of Ricki community has impacted your life. I connected with this right away because recently I made my very first video blog for the FOR community talking about The Business Of Being Born, a wonderful film that spoke to me in so many ways and also had a major impact on my water birth with my youngest baby...and in the process I discovered that making a video blog was pretty darn fun too!
After I posted my first (unedited) video to their FOR fb community page I decided to figure out how to edit all of my takes together to make a new video (and I had a lot of takes to choose from!) I discovered this new found passion for editing that I kinda had a feeling would be there because I always think in movie plots complete with music (weird, I know) but now I know for sure. I LOVE it! I'll post that vid here soon...
For now, here is my newest video blog talking about how the Friends of Ricki facebook community has impacted my life as well as my life as a stay-at-home-mom and how it changes drastically from life as a young woman without kids. I love being a mom, especially a SAHM but I'm not going to sit here and pretend that it's all sunshine and rainbows every single day and that it's not hard and frustrating and stressful at times too. What good is that going to do anyone?
So thank you FOR and The Ricki Lake Show(which premiers Sept 10th btw!) for my newfound passion for video blogging and editing!