Friday, January 30, 2015

Parenting Musings


A short collection of parenting musings over the last week or so
1. I was a wreck for Aaron's first sleepover at a friend's house. 
Is this going to happen forever? 
This past weekend, Aaron had his first sleepover at a non-grandparent house. 
My friend Virgina had the brilliant idea to do a "kid swap" every other month, 
where one parent hosts a sleepover while the other set gets a [free] night out. 
 And with William being only 4 months younger than Aaron, 
the two love to play with each other. 
We had hosted William in November and it went GREAT. 


 But this time it was Aaron's turn to sleepover. 
GULP. 

To say it was tough to let go, 
was an understatement
But we did. 

Adam and I had a fantastic date night, 
but I didn't sleep well that night. 


2. On a similar note, will I ever be ready to give up the video monitor?
And please hold your comments on his future teenage boy habits. Ahem. Gross.


Our video monitor is one of my top favorite baby products of all time
On Sunday night, the parent unit stopped charging as the cord had frayed too much. 
After googling a ton of replacement options, 
we finally opted to pay a little more for the original from eBay. 
Problem with eBay is that there's no 2-day shipping like amazon. 
Which means we have to wait a week to have our monitor functioning again. 
We have a backup sound-only monitor, but the static is absolutely horrific, 
so we've been sleeping "blind". 
And I am literally freaking out. 
Like, we can totally hear him. 
But ... I wanna see him!



And finally... a confession...

3. Sometimes I wish he wasn't so into Mama. 
I'm the favored parent by a long shot, and always have been.
And as flattering as it is...
 sometimes its really really REALLY annoying. 
Like on our snowday, 
where both Adam and I worked from home, 
which means we took turns parenting while the other worked. 
Yet even during my work time, 
I was constantly interrupted by Aaron requests. 
"He keeps insisting on seeing Mama," Adam would apologize. 
 After his nap, Adam went to go get him, and like a broken record... 
"Mama?  Mama?  Mama?  Mama?  Mama?  Mama?  Mama?" 
I swear there were no less than 20 MAMAs, 
briefly interrupted by a "No, Dada!" 
and then back to Mama. 
It's exhausting.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

I Know My Rank

Aaron is a Mama's boy through and through. 
He may allow Daddy to read him books, 
or grudgingly accept that Daddy is carrying him out to the car, 
but Mama is the be-all-end-all to his world. 
Generally speaking, I love it.
Although sometimes it'd be nice to cook dinner without him underfoot, 
but with his improved involvement, it's getting better. 


Once in a blue moon, I am superseded by some other important object. 
Like a flashlight. 


Adam had a dentist appointment in the morning so I was on daycare-drop-off. 
Daycare drop-off always messes with my morning schedule
plus Aaron is 10x as clingy when I drop him off as opposed to Daddy. 
So needless to say, I was a tad nervous. 


We get to daycare, 
and Teacher #1 is reading books while Teacher #2 is changing a diaper. 
I get a little anxious, since Adam always hands off Aaron and I know that Aaron won't leave Mommy by himself.  Right?


Well, then one child pulls out a flashlight from a toy box. 

Aaron points: "FLAH-LIGHT!" 

Me: "Do you want to play with the flashlight?" 

Aaron scampers down out of my arms. 

"Aaron," I call after him, "Say bye to Mommy!" 

He waves over his shoulder, not even turning around, "Bye Mama!" 


So that's it. 
That's my ranking. 


1. Flashlight. 
2. Mama.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Progression of Snow Funness

Thanks to the "blizzard of 2015" (sarcasm), 
we enjoyed a preemptive snowday this week. 
And while we were out playing in said snow, 
I was talking to our neighbor about the progression of snow FUN. 


As a kid, there is nothing better than snow. 
Nothing. 
Snow means school cancellations. 
Playing all day outside with friends. 
Sledding down hills. 
Building snowmen. 
Building snow forts. 
And sipping hot chocolate after. 

Nothing better. 

Continue this into college... 
take all the above and just add alochol. 
So like, even MORE fun. 



Then we start work, and enter the word "commuting." 
Snow is no longer fun. 
Snow is a f**king disaster. 
Snow has to be shoveled. 
Cars have to be cleaned off. 
Parking spots are at a premium. 
A bad snow can mean your 45-minute commute home turns into 2+ hours. 
Snow blows, man. 


Now enter a child. 
And suddenly, snow is fun again. 
Snow is a whole new world
Snow is a mysterious wonderful thing. 
And every kind of snow is awesome. 
The fluffy snow is fun to run in. 
And the wet snow is perfect for snowmen. 


So, to sum up this ground-breaking post, 
I have to throw in a little nerd excel. 







Monday, January 26, 2015

Toddler Involvement

Just this month, I've started to involve Aaron in more of my around-the-house routines. 

And his enthusiasm level is off-the-charts. 


For the longest time, I could do NOTHING in the hours between work and his bedtime.  
But in this new year, things have started to change a little
I'd say partially due to his Thomas train table obsession
which has sparked a fair amount of independent play. 
(Can we get a hallelujah?!?!)


Despite my skepticism, we recently took the plunge with cooking
And he has been SO enthusiastic about it ever since. 
Every time I'm chopping/prepping in the kitchen, 
he runs to our step stool:
"Ah-ron cook?!" 


He always takes out a measuring spoon and helps to "scoop" whatever I'm doing, 
which generally has nothing to do with scooping. 
Of course, any involvement MUST include eating. 
Which I happily allow because it's exposing him to all sorts of ingredients. 
I have learned that my kid loves RAW RED ONION. 
Wow. 
Trust me when I say his breath was appalling




After dinner EVERY night, Aaron asks for bath 
(because nakedness is next to godliness... oh wait, no, no it isn't) 
and just last week I started testing my luck with: 
"Mommy has to clean the kitchen first." 


Side note: 
I SWORE I'd never become that mother that refers to herself as "Mommy."  
Whatever. 
I now eat my words. 


Well, wouldn't ya know, Aaron has become an avid dishwashing helper. 
He stands on his step stool and we talk about the items being washed. 
And, if the item is nonbreakable, he is in charge of putting in the dishrack. 
(Of course, everything goes in wrong [upside down] but being married to Adam for ~4 years has trained me to deal with this annoyance and I just fix it later.)
We also use this time to practice colors. 
"What color is this lid?" 
"RED!" 







In conclusion, 
I thought I'd NEVER be able to get things done with Aaron around. 
That my productive hours would always be reserved from 7pm-10pm. 
But I'm just now beginning to see the light at the end of that tunnel. 
It's a dim light though. 
Trust me.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Blogs I Stalk

This is not an actual list of the blogs I stalk. 
But rather an amused observation of them. 


On one of my many de-clutter attempts at life, 
I occasionally try to trim down my Bloglovin
Of course, for every one blog I discontinue following, 
I add 2-3 more because I'm a sucker for cute pictures 
and funny recaps of life with toddler maniacs. 



In doing so, 
I discovered a theme in my blogs: 


1. Twins. 
I follow a TON of twin blogs. 
I estimate ~75% of my stalking involves blogs with twins. 
I admit this comes from my secret desire to have twins, 
which I dare not share aloud because people [Adam] think I'm insane. 
But all you twin mamas just make it look so fun. 
Crazy, but fun. 


2. Southern. 
At minimum, 50% of my Bloglovin is southern blogs, particularly in Texas. 
Yet, we live in the Philadelphia area, 
which is as solid Northeast as Boston and NY (minus the accents). 
Also, I've only been to Texas once as a small child 
when my mom was in dietician grad school at Texas Woman's University, 
and the only memory I have is that the house we were staying in had loud toilets. 


3. Catholic. 
I'd estimate a hearty 25% of my blogs are devout Catholic mamas. 
Which is pretty funny since I'm some variant of Protestant 
(my parents claim we were raised "Evangelical Christian")


And that's about it. 
That's my amusement for the day. 
And to post a relevant photo, 
here's a picture of us at Adam's graduation: 

Our single-child, 
Northeastern, 
Protestant-Jew-blend family: 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

22-Month-Old Funnies

A smattering of my favorites about Aaron at 22-months-old.  

 
Aaron LOVES to be naked
There is no greater joy than nakedness. 
And he says it p-e-f-e-c-t-l-y.
"Ah-ron NA-KED!" 
He asks for "NAKED!" all the time. 
He also asks for bath ("baf") after every meal (breakfast included), 
not because he's dirty, but because "baf" is both NAKED and WATER
He's very proud to point out when Mommy and Daddy are NAKED too. 
Even when it's just underwear. 

My favorite was at the King of Prussia Mall. 
We went early on Saturday so he could run around the quiet halls. 
He runs up to the Guess store windows, 
points up at the scantily-clad manikins, 
and yells clear-as-can-be, echoing in the halls
"NAKED! NAKED! NAKED!" 

Adam and I died laughing. 




Another change this month is Aaron's dedication to putting things away
Tissues on the floor? 
THROW IT AWAY! 
(piece-by-piece-by-piece-by-piece) 
And at least half the time, he'll put his toys away without coaching
(The other 50% of the time it looks like a tornado happened, 
so I'll take what I can get.)
He has his ball pit in the basement and will faithfully pick up EVERY ball to put back. 
It makes my OCD mama heart SO PROUD. 




Colors. 
"Yea-ow" (yellow) 
"Buh" (blue)
 "Red" 
"White" 
I'd give him a solid B+ at identifying colors. 
Sometimes he'll get it wrong. 
"No no, Aaron, this ball isn't red, it's BLUE." 
and sometimes he'll blow us away with his identification. 
Like the day he kept pointing to his Little People Batgirl exclaiming: 
"Yea-ow feet!" 
I got home and Adam ran up with Batgirl: 
"Do you know what he identified?!  She has yellow feet!" 


It's little things like this that blow our parental minds.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sales

I confess to not being a bargain shopper. 
Which sounds counter intuitive since my job is Finance 
and that fact that I'm so acutely aware of financial spending. 


When shopping for clothes
(AND while still paying off my credit card balance in FULL each month 
.... just had to throw in that for safe measure!)


My options are: 
A) get a lot of things at low cost each
or 
B) get very few things at a high cost each


Most of the time, I choose the second. 

 I'm big on "investment pieces" and 
firmly believe the real thing often outlasts the cheaper brand. 


My go-to example: 
Over a decade ago when Uggs burst on the scene in college campuses
(also back when I regularly wore mini jean skirts .... ahhhhhhhh),
I got a pair of Ugg boots for like $150. 
My sister got a knock-off pair for $30. 
10 years later, I still wear mine in the snowy f**king cold winters here, 
and hers are long gone. 


Also, truth be told,  
I avoid store clearance sections like an Ebola quarantined room. 
Not that I don't appreciate a good deal 
but store clearance sections are often disheveled, chaotic tiny spaces. 
And that doesn't jive with my OCD tendencies.


(Also, TJMaxx gives me an awful AWFUL twitch. 
I get anxiety attacks just by walking past the store.)


To my mother, a DIE HARD bargain hunter, 
I am the worst kind of shopper possible. 
But again to be fair, I don't own a lot of clothes!!!
Which is why I'm very careful about repeating outfits. 
(Another OCD tendency sneaking in there...) 
 I particularly don't mind spending money for an item I'll get a lot of use out of. 
I bought $250 Tory Burch wedges when I was pregnant and wore them 
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 
I LIVED in those suckers.
I wore them to the hospital to give birth. 
And they are still in fabulous condition after being abused by an elephant 
...I mean, pregnant woman.


 It all comes down to $ / wear. 


Now, enter a child. 
As everyone probably knows: 
kids have a HORRIBLE $/wear ratio. 

Aaron grew out of clothes every month, even weeks
And in the beautifully seasonal climate of Philadelphia (snort), 
we've got warm winter clothing for SINGLE-DIGIT temperatures
and cool summer clothing for when its like 95 degrees and humidity level is 99.999%. 
(Extremes are not my friend.  I need to move states.)
All this further deteriorates $ / wear. 


So... 
:: deep breath ::
 I've resorted to sales. 
Finally. 
I think my mother almost fell over in shock when I told her.
 
NOT in store, mind you, because they still give me a twitch of anxiety. 
But I've succumbed to internet marketing and am on all the children's email lists. 
 I am absolutely positive that GAP runs a sale EVERY DAY of existence. 
If I can't get Aaron's GAP jeans at 50% off, I consider it a failure. 


But just recently I was finally able to join another 
Chapter of the Cool Mom Club:
I was finally able to order Crewcuts
 
I've admired Crewcuts for ages, 
but spending $52.50 on a buffalo check button-up that Aaron will wear for 2 months is just not practical for me. 
Maybe when/if Adam makes partner in 15 years. 
Then maybe I'll also buy a $145 cashmere sweater for a baby (like, really?)


Recently I received an email for additional 40% off sale items! 
And they had SUMMER things!
Of course, sizing is tricky, 
both not knowing how Crewcuts run 
and also not knowing how big Aaron will be in 5 months. 
But I'm REALLY excited to say that my child will own something from J. Crew. 
Cool Mom Club Report Card: 
J.Crew:  CHECK!

 Example of our newest purchase. 
I believe this came in at $12.50. 
That's a price I can handle. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Goals

I am almost three weeks late to the party on this one. 
But if you know anything about me, 
I'm either obnoxiously on top of it (like my Christmas recaps) 
or ridiculously late to the party. 


I was checking out the new-to-me blog Three Little Crowns and 
saw this really cute post on their 2015 Goals


I'm not crazy about resolutions 
(my resolution is the same since college: lose weight) 
but this was too cute to pass up. 

A bad habit I’m going to break: 
My first thought: "I don't have bad habits!" 
(I am such a asshole.)
I have plenty of bad habits, 
but not the will power (or care-power) to break them. 
So I'm going to start simple here: 
Staying up too late. 
This sounds like a toddler goal. 
But really, especially on the nights Adam works late
I stay up WAY too late. 



A destination I’d like to visit: 
Napa Valley. 
My "wish list" answer would be Italy (again), 
but let's face it, having a child now limits us to the US. 


I’m going to work harder at: 
Putting down my damn phone.
I'm such a list person that I clutch my phone with me just in case I'm think of something I "absolutely-must-add-to-a-list" (life-and-death-style). 
But in those few hours between work and bed, 
I think it would benefit me as a MOMMY to put down the damn phone. 
And carry a post-it pad if I really HAVE to have that list reminder.


A project I’d like to finish: 
Creating a Toy Rotation Location. 
I have the spot picked out in our basement, 
and all I need is for spring to come so I can Craiglist our bikes. 
Then buy some IKEA shelving and it's GO TIME!


A class I’d like to take: 
Cooking. 
I've wanted to take cooking classes for AGES. 
But unfortunately with Adam's Law Firm World schedule, 
this would require a babysitter. 


I’d like to spend more time doing: 
Reading. 
I don't read often enough. 
And I think it would benefit me greatly to spend less time rushing around trying to get stuff done before bed, and more time settled down and reading. 
This also ties in well to my bad habit of staying up too late.


A food I want to eat more of: 
Fruit. 
Fruit is so easy and portable,
and yet I always turn to some carb or dairy substitute for a snack. 
Even though fruit satisfies for so much longer.



I want to wear more: 
 Dresses. 
I am such a trousers-and-sweater (work) 
or jeans-and-tee (casual) person.
I want to open up my closet to the world of dresses. 
Not just wear-to-wedding dresses, 
but casual dresses that I can wear all the time. 


Books I’d Like To Read in 2015: 
 I'm going to cheat and just list the books on my reading list at the Library: 
"Gone Girl", 
"Dad is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan, 
and "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler 


So there you have it. 
Almost three weeks late to the party!


Friday, January 16, 2015

My Imaginary Vacation

One of the perks of having a blog, 
is that it gives you an outlet to whine without objection.


Just pretend there's an "H" in there, 
and therefore I can feel like I posted a relevant photo. 



I feel like I'm running on empty. 
And I just need a BREAK. 
Like a vacation break. 
Not even a go-anywhere-vacation-break. 
But a mommy-stay-at-home-all-alone vacation break. 


That vacation break would consist of: 


No Work 
Work has been a stressful these past two months. 
Although truthfully, I can't tell how much is work itself versus
how much is my strung-out nerves and low tolerance.


Sleeping in
Although I haven't been sleep deprived TOO much, 
I feel my quarantined home is just draining all my energy. 


I've run once in the past 2 weeks and its killing me. 
I like to run at least 3 times a week. 
I have more energy and usually even eat better. 
Which leads to...


Meal Planning
I haven't meal planned since before Christmas. 
I'm tired of inventing quick-on-the-go meals, 
like tacos which eventually turned into nachos.
I want to get back to our healthy eating habits.


Organizing the House 
As part of Survival Mode, we've just LET IT GO. 
And it grates on my OCD tendencies. 
Our dining room table looks like a hospital drug room. 
I also want to do a serious toy-rearrange because the amount of toys we have out is ridiculous.  Some toys just need to be put away to reduce clutter. 


Getting My Nails Done 
Not getting them painted per se, 
but getting my gel manicure taken off, 
and going bare. 
I'm a firm believer than nails need time to "breathe," 
and the dead of winter is the perfect time to go bare. 


Getting to my Waxer 
I am now two weeks overdue for my monthly "down there" wax,
thanks to sickness and other work events popping up. 
 Nothing makes a girl feel sexier than overdue for a wax.
(tmi? too bad, that's what a blog is for) 


And when all of the above are done, 
to settle in with a full glass of wine
and just enjoy the peace and tranquility.



And that's basically it. 
That's my dream vacation.
What an exciting life I lead. 


Now, today is Friday, 
so the THOUGHT is that MAYBE I could accomplish some of this this weekend? 
But with Aaron being sick, 
and existing in an 11-inch radius of me at all times, 
I just don't see that happening. 
If only we got MLK Day off from work. 
If only...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

That Time We Had Nachos for Dinner

Lest you ever mistake me for a culinary goddess 
(snort) 
or ever think I'm a snob because my child has never had chicken nuggets for dinner, 
let me assure you that we have our moments too. 


Like that time we had nachos for dinner. 

Aaron didn't want to wait for me to take the picture... 
as you can see from his sneaking finger at the top. 


It was THAT kind of a week. 
We were in desperate Survival Mode already. 
Then Adam joined the club with a sinus infection. 
And now all three of us are on antibiotics! 


My thought process upon opening the fridge for dinner: 


"Hmm... we have taco meat and shredded cheese"  
:: checks pantry ::  
"And no more taco or burrito shells."  
:: pause ::  
"But we have these multigrain Tostitos scoops... 
And if you think about it, 
we'd normally put meat and cheese on processed-white-flour shells anyway... 
so in fact, maybe the multi-grain scoops are healthier
NACHOS FOR DINNER!"


Judge away. 
They were delicious. 





 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Survival Mode

Survival Mode is the acceptance of everything normally banned. 

Unhealthy dinners? 
Check 
Extensive TV time? 
Check 
Unregulated iPad time? 
Check 
Not putting away toys? 
Check 

Not cleaning up after meals? 
Check
We have been in RED ALERT SURVIVAL MODE.
Aaron has bronchitus 
and I thought I had strep, 
but it ended up being "just" tonsillitis.
And I was on my own. 
Adam was held hostage by Big Law Firm World. 
My parents were both working. 
Adam's parents are in Florida for the winter. 
My one sister is still in highschool. 
And the other sister was in DC. 
 And my in-laws are also dual-working parents. 

No one was coming to our rescue. 
Dinner: Annie's Mac&Cheese
Extensive TV Time: 
unlimited Thomas, 101 Dalmations, and Lion King. 
Over and over and over again. 
(So much that I called my Dad and begged him to send some of our Disney VHS-converted-to-DVD movies over)
iPad: 
Completely unlimited. 
 Picking Up the House: 
Well, let's just say, Adam came home from work and gasped: 
"Wow, you really ARE sick." 
There was not a space left un-destroyed. 
Every dish on the counter. 
Every crumb on the floor. 
Every toy out of its basket. 
Alongside all the used tissues that didn't make it to the trash. 


Oh, and work? 
The proper lingo is: "I'm not feeling well so I'm going to work from home." 
My email to my colleagues: "I'm home sick.  If there is an emergency, call my cell." 
Code: DON'T TALK TO ME.


To quote Elsa, I just LET IT GO. 

A month back, 
I confessed that sick people annoy me.
And now I truly believe that comment is coming back to haunt me. 
Because I've been sick twice in the past two weeks, 
when usually I'm sick twice a year. 
I have turned into one of THOSE sick people. 
And it sucks, man, it totally sucks. 


Really though, I need to give some serious credit. 
Through all MY whining and bitching and moaning, 
Aaron has been amazing.
Like seriously, I give MAJOR props to my child. 
He stills clings to "Mama" 
as in, never-more-than-11-inches-away-from-me-at-all-times, 
but he's had a great disposition. 
With bronchitis, he was put on a nebulizer
which I'm positive was constructed from a medieval torture device. 
When they showed me at the doctor's office, 
it scared the crap out of ME.


But Aaron has blown-me-away with his cooperation. 
We have to do it every 4 hours. 
I tell him: "Aaron, it's time for the mask." 
He gets agitated and immediately fetches his favorite stuffed monkey,
But no resistance. 
We settle down (with monkey) for a Thomas or 101 Dalmatians ("doggie movie"). 
I have the medicine in the mask ready to go, strap on his face, and press go. 
And we sit for 8-10 minutes. 


 He sits perfectly still. 
No fighting. No head-jerking. No resistance.
When it's all done, we CHEER SO LOUDLY. 
 "Aaron did a GREAT job with the mask!" 
And he always claps his hands and says: 
"Yay, mask!  Yay, Aaron!" 
because he knows he did a good job. 
 And I'd be totally lying if it didn't bring tears to my over-tired-mom-eyes.
 It's by far the proudest I've ever been of him. 
(Second proudest was when he ate sushi with me.) 


So that's how our survival mode week has gone. 
And I shall leave with this awesome commercial here: