2014-0

Thursday, 9. January 2014

Like many other smart people, I gave up on New Year Resolutions a long time ago. As I got older, I began to accept the person I am. I’m not going to get a six pack in 2014 – or ever – because I don’t consider one glass of wine three nights per week suitable for my lifestyle. It is more like three glasses per one night.

I am not going to eat healthier because eating a kale salad for lunch makes me hungry, and being hungry makes me a bitch, which leads to my third failed resolution: be nicer to stupid people.

I’m going to be 40 this year. And, I’m excited about everything I have – our family, the friendships that have spanned many years, my health, and my job. I don’t want to drink less, work out more, eat better or save more money (shhhh….don’t tell Laef).

I want to eat and drink more with these friends and enjoy my life. I do not want to stress about changing anything or doing anything better. I just want to sit back and enjoy the life I have, and the people who are in it. It seems like I’ve spent a lifetime trying to improve upon the things about myself that I considered lacking, and now I want to take a break from that.

After years of coming up short on my resolutions, I realized at some point during my 30s that this is who I am. It’s not perfect, but it’s me. This doesn’t mean I don’t have things about myself that I wish were different, it just means that I’m going to spend more time doing things that I enjoy – writing, socializing, sleeping (ha) and making time for myself (ha).

There will be zero pregnancies or births this year. But since I never follow through with my resolutions, this probably means I will have twins by December. I guess I should add “No Sex” to my ME list for 2014 (shhhh….don’t tell Laef).

We spent the last six months of 2013 in some kind of parenting fog capped by pulling over on the side of Highway 16 in rural northern California on Christmas Day to pin Harper down and put ear drops into her ears to remedy her 78th ear infection of the year – all while listening to Reagan scream in the car because she realized that she had been born into a family that pins children down and leaves other children in the car alone with a Minnie Mouse rattle.

Listening to two screaming children while racing to the airport to fly on an airplane with two screaming children made me realize that I have got to start this year off by setting some new ground rules.

Yes, both girls are still going to get 99.8 percent of our attention. This is a .2 percent decrease from 2012 and 2013. What this basically means is that I will no longer share my expensive lip gloss. I will no longer share my favorite water cup and accept backwash. I will no longer be coaxed out of bed at 4 a.m. by a two and a half year old asking for the iPad. If you don’t have to pee, please stay in your bed.

Let me tell you how many fucks Harper and Reagan gave about the new sleeping rules: ZERO.

Congratulations to Harper who has done a better job of not waking up multiple times during the night to ask me for milk or the iPad or fruit snacks. But because she always wins at everything, she has decided that this is the year that she will wake up at 5:15. Upon hearing that it is still not iPad time, she then screams “iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiPAD” over and over and over like her first boyfriend just ditched her. Listening to a two year old cry a river over an iPad is pure comedy so at this point Laef and I are awake for the day, and of course Reagan wakes up to join in all the fun.

I don’t know if they had a secret baby/toddler meeting in which “Make sure the people in charge are sleep deprived to maximize desired outcomes (i.e. Lollipops at 9 a.m., milk before bed time, back-to-back episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, pajamas to school, use of mascara on a school day, unlimited supply of Band-Aids for non-existent injuries, etc.)” was at the top of the agenda, but they synced up on their early-morning wake up time almost immediately.

The other portion of the .2 percent that I am hoping to change revolves around being able to take a shower – or a shit – by  myself. Our apartment is small and has one bathroom. It is bad enough when I am trying to blow dry my hair while Laef hovers over me to shave, but now I have Harper sitting on the toilet telling me about her poop and how it’s “big”.

And forget about sitting on the toilet by myself.

Harper will always come in. And she always wants to be just like mommy and daddy.

“Mommy, do you need me to help you wipe?”

No, sweetie. But talk to me in 50 years. I might have a different answer.

I have sorely missed my morning ME bathroom time over the last year. I would like to take a leisurely shower, shave my legs, put on my bath robe, listen to talk radio, sip my coffee, apply my make up over a 15 minute span rather than a two-minute span, and make my hair look like Gisele’s before emerging.

But as it stands now, it is usually me huddled in one corner with an inch of mirror to use, Harper sitting on the ground eating her cereal (yes, I know), Laef using the remainder of the mirror to analyze how many hairs he still has on his head, Reagan sitting her in lamb seat in the doorway to make sure she doesn’t miss out, and Sanchez licking the drain of the bath tub.

Love every last one of y’all, but is it too much to ask for you to please get the fuck out of the bathroom in 2014? Can we get a sign up sheet? Is it wrong to ask Harper to use her portable potty between the hours of 6:30 – 7:15 a.m.? Can Laef use the portable potty? Can we put a mirror in the kitchen for gazing and shaving purposes?

Since my mission in 2014 is to enjoy all that I have, I guess I will embrace these special family meetings.

My Little Christmas Angel

Tuesday, 17. December 2013

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I’m terrible with secrets. I’m even worse with presents. When I was younger, I rummaged through my parents’ closet, dug out a pair of shoes I was getting for Christmas, wore them to school, and put them back in the box before anyone ever knew.

That’s just one of the perks of being a latchkey kid.

And when it comes to giving gifts, I almost can’t bear to wait until Christmas morning. Hence why Harper is wearing the pink Chucks that I got her for Christmas today. Daddy is gone so he can’t bust me for giving her presents early. It’s kind of like she rummaged through our closet with a little help from mommy.

It is beginning to look like Harper is a mini-version of her mother as she does not do well with secrets.

Harper: “Mommy. Reagan got a boo boo on her head.”
Laef: Quietly walking out of the room and out of sight.
Me: “She did?”
Harper: “Yeah. She fell out of the swing.”
Laef from the back room: “I was right there. I only looked away for a quick second.”
Harper: “Daddy dropped Reagan.”

Luckily for Daddy, Reagan is our second baby, and therefore drops on the head are commonplace and mommy didn’t have an epic freak out and rush Reagan to the emergency room to make sure that she wouldn’t be reading at a 1st grade level on her 16th birthday.

Of course, Harper returned the favor after she and I took a trip to the Farmer’s Market last weekend.

Laef: “How was the farmer’s market?”
Harper: “Good. I got a lollipop.”
Laef: “At the farmer’s market? No…you had blueberries, right?”
Me: Hiding in the kitchen.
Harper: “No lollipop. A purple one. Mommy got it for me.”
Laef: “Ohhhhh really. I thought we weren’t doing lollipops at 9 in the morning.”
Me: Damn Harper.

Now that it’s Christmas time and there are gifts everywhere, Harper’s penchant spilling her guts like she just drank 6 shots of Jägermeister is becoming a little troublesome.

For Laef.

Last weekend, Laef took Harper to CVS to pick out a present for me for Christmas. Harper was SO excited to tell me: “MOMMY! WE GOT YOU NAIL POLISH. PINK!”

My little angel. Now mommy doesn’t have to rummage through your bedroom to see what you got me. Thank you for saving us all time.

Most of the presents we have are wrapped. Some are under the tree, but the majority (from Santa) won’t be under the tree until Christmas morning. Harper hasn’t seemed too interested in opening any of the presents under the tree, but that all changed last night when Laef was giving Reagan a bath. He came out to find Harper with a present ripped open and her looking at a box of scotch stones. Now he knows what one of his presents is, although he was not nearly as excited to find out as I would have been. He put her in time out! The nerve!

And it was the first story she relayed to me when I got home from dinner.

Harper: “Mommy. Daddy is mad because I opened a present, but daddy put tape on it and fixed it. I had a time out. He’s going on an airplane tomorrow and he’s mad. But he got more tape.”

There is not one detail of what happens or what is said that she will leave out.

This is awesome at Christmas and my birthday. Terrible for just about everything else we do.

 

 

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Thursday, 12. December 2013

I spend a lot of time telling people how hard it is to raise kids. My gushing comes in the form of pictures on Instagram and Facebook. I don’t spend enough time telling the stories behind the pictures. Like the other day when Harper said, “What’s up chicken butt?”

Or how she constantly reminds me to “keep my panties dry.”

I’m going to leave that one alone.

Kids.

When they are amazing, they are just that: amazing.

So it’s Christmastime, and it’s beginning to look a lot like we made the right decision to have kids. Harper is now 2.5 and fully understands what it means to get a present. When Reagan was born she got a lot of “big sister presents”, and ever since then not a day goes by where she doesn’t say, “Mommy, I want a present.”

I’ve been explaining that it’s almost Christmas, and Santa will bring presents if she’s good.

Me: “What should I tell Santa you want for a present?”
Harper: “Pink.”
Me: “Pink what?”
Harper: “Lollipop.”
In my head: Thank God she didn’t say iPad.

So last night Laef and I went shopping to Toys R Us hell, and before we left we told Harper we had a meeting with Santa and that we’d relay all of the information that we had gathered from our Elf, Buddy. (Sidenote: Do not ever shop at Toys R Us for any reason ever. There are perfectly good toys that can be purchased online without watching little Johnny flip out because he can’t get a Furby. Which, by the way, WHY DO YOU EVEN WANT THAT? It is the ugliest, most stupid toy ever. AND, it’s $50???.  Which reminds me of the time I wanted a Cabbage Patch Doll, but since my mom wasn’t willing to get trampled to get one, I was out of luck. I thought I was going to die because everyone else had one. Looking back, that’s the only reason I wanted one, and why they cost $150. My Nana finally sent me one, but I was pissed because I wanted a bald one, so within two days I cut the braids. Which didn’t make her bald at all. It made her look like John Travolta – just little pieces of hair coming out of plugs all over her head. The must-haves are different in 2013, but it’s all still a racket, and after listening to Johnny for 5 minutes, I told Laef it was time to go home).

And speaking of the Elf. I was against the Elf on the Shelf bullshit because, quite frankly, when I am laying in bed at night about to fall asleep there are a list of things that get me out of bed:

1. The Cat. I either forgot to feed him or forgot to open the back door so he can get to the litter box.
2. The Cat. He took a shit outside my door because I forgot to open the back door so he can get to the litter box, and he was probably holding it for two days.
3. Laef. Apparently the TV must be at volume 32 while watching Tosh.0
4. I forgot to take out my contacts.
5. I forgot to brush my teeth.

And now:

6. THE FUCKING ELF. I FORGOT TO MOVE THE ELF.

Harper is not even three years old, and yet, you can not slip anything by her. Every morning the first thing she does is look for Buddy. She knows he should not be in the same place, and she looks all over. The excitement on her face when she finds him is immeasurable.

The Elf – Buddy – has also provided a new way of bribing her that doesn’t involve sugar or chocolate. If we want Harper to eat her dinner, we simply tell her that Buddy is watching. If we want her to stop whining, we tell her that Buddy is going to tell Santa. To which she says:

“Mommy, I’m not naughty. I’m nice.”

And then she walks over to Buddy and spends 2 minutes convincing him how good she is, and how her panties are dry (going to the bathroom in the toilet is a very big deal in our house), she ate her eggs and she listened to Daddy.

Watching all of these things unfold is parenthood gold. It’s what I envisioned when I thought about having kids. I have been collecting ornaments and Christmas decorations for the past 4 years all for what we are experiencing this year – our first real holiday as a family where the excitement of it is written all over Harper’s face.

Every morning I go into our closest and see bags of gifts on the top shelf hidden away. And every morning I think, “How did time go so fast? How is it that just yesterday I was sneaking into my mom’s closet trying to find my gifts, and now I’m the parent who is hiding gifts?”

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes.

Swaggin’

Thursday, 14. November 2013

About a month ago, a friend of mine was talking about Tumblr, and how all the kids use it. She referred to it as the new thing (Instagram is soooo January). Not wanting to feel old, I immediately went to Tumblr and created a page. Excited and inspired, I was planning to move my blog to Tumblr and use it as a one-stop shop for photos, tweets, blog posts, etc. Then I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to format my page and upload a profile picture. Eventually I was googling, “Tumblr for dummies”.

OK, fine. Tumblr is for the kids. I will keep plugging along on my old-school wordpress blog.

Nothing makes me feel older than following my nieces on Instagram. They’re teenagers so by default they have hundreds of followers. They mostly post selfies, and they are almost always posed with puckered lips. Their photos get a minimum of 70 likes, and the comments range from “Swaggy” to “ily and yo face”.

I used to feel completely comfortable commenting on their photos because I’m like, the cool aunt. But as I approach my 40th birthday, a sad reality is hitting me – not only am I probably not considered anywhere near cool to a gaggle of 13-year olds, I am not swaggy.

I am saggy.

In the span of 3 years I went from marathon-running, tequila-drinking, fresh-faced 30-something to the person who discusses her pension with her husband.

I CAN NOT BE THE PERSON TALKING ABOUT MY PENSION.

I should be talking about how hungover I am and how rad (that is a vintage word, and I am bringing it back) last night’s episode of Alias was.

But the proof is everywhere. A quick scroll of my Facebook photos tells the whole story: partying, partying, running, partying, engagement photo, bachelorette party, wedding, honeymoon, partying, ultrasound picture, babies.

A quick glance in the mirror really tells the story. Um, is it me, or am I two bra sizes smaller now that I have two children? Is it me, or do I still look 3 months pregnant? Why am I not tan like I was in 2009? Is it me, or do I look 39 and not 29? When did this happen?

So, about a month ago – right around the time when I accepted defeat to Tumblr – I suggested to Laef that we join the Y. My logic was simple: they offer free child care while you work out if you have a membership. Laef being Laef needed time to process this request. Questions of more money going out of the household are filed with questions of “when are you going to clean the litter box?”. They usually take 3-6 weeks (Sorry, Sanch) to garner a response.

After looking in the mirror for an extended amount of time today, I settled on a new solution.

Me: “I want to get a boob job.”
Laef: …
Me: “Not bigger. Just. Less saggy. And maybe something with the nipples. I have no idea what is going on there.”
Laef: …
Me: “I want to be cute. For you.”
Laef: “You should join the Y.”
Me: “Really?!!! Yay.”

(I totally did not plan this, but it is filed away for future reference).

 

 

 


Animal House

Wednesday, 25. September 2013

“Also, Harper dressed herself today, which is why she looks like that.”

That’s the text I sent to Harper’s daycare lady today.

Harper is wearing pink and white striped tights and a dress that is a size too big and covered in yellow and pink flowers. She’s rocking the off the shoulder look. It hangs down to her ankles. There’s a boobie exposed. Laef calls it her Little House on the Prairie outfit. She’s says it’s “so pwetty, mommy.”

There aren’t enough words to describe how bad this pains me. It also pains me when she wears her Daisy Duck pajama bottoms with her Minnie Mouse pajama top. Who cares, right? She’s only going to sleep. No one is going to see her. But I have bought her so many cute pajamas and outfits, and they are collecting dust in the closet because she will only wear dresses, and all garments must be pink. Basically if I want her to wear a cute matching outfit she will refuse because EVERYTHING HAS TO BE HER DECISION.

Seeing as we live in an insane asylum with Harper and Reagan, I have thrown in the white flag on a myriad of issues. The biggest ones being:

1. What Harper wears
2. Our couch
3. What we eat
4. The walls, the floors, the bathroom, the play area (OK, our entire house)

Over the past few days, I begrudgingly came to a realization: I live in a frat house with a bunch of farting, pooping, loud, messy, Lucky-charm eating animals. It used to be that I would clean up constantly during the day. I would regularly wipe yogurt up from the floor. Why? Because Harper thinks it’s fun to dab yogurt on each finger and then run all over the house until she finds me:

“LOOK AT ME, MOMMY! HARPER SO SILLY!”

I don’t know what I was doing at that particular moment, but I only had time to cringe for one second before she ran away, most likely to put her hand all over the couch, which has become a cesspool of ICK. It’s like that couch that you slept on in college at some frat house because you were so wasted and the frat dude was so hot that you totally didn’t mind waking up on a beer/throw up stained couch. Except now you’re a full grown adult with a real job and looking at stains on your couch makes you feel like a total fucking loser and like you’re an intern at Forever 21 making $8.75 an hour. You know it’s bad when you’re dressed for work and you won’t go within a 17-foot radius of your couch because you don’t want anything from the couch to even possibly touch you, nor do you want to smell like the middle cushion.

Anyway, when Harper was running around with yogurt all over her hands laughing like a lunatic, all I had time to do was smile at how cute she was. I couldn’t chase her. I didn’t have any wipes handy. I finally just said, “Whatever.”

Because if I had ran after her, cleaned her hands, wiped up the couch, it would only be a matter of minutes before she got up from her table to come find me and show me how she was eating her soup out of her bib.

I mean.

Come. On.

When it comes to kids, there is just no way to predict what is coming next. It’s a constant hurricane of mess. They will draw on anything and everything besides paper. Unless, it’s my shopping list that I need. If that is the case, they will happily draw all over it, and tear it up for an extra does of silliness.

By the way, please don’t be fooled by the text on that shopping list. That is like my pretend shopping list. The one I would use if I was a DINK. The one I was working with on Saturday afternoon when I was inspired and rested. By Sunday  night our dinner was nowhere near Pork Tenderloin with baby potatoes and asparagus.

Bitch, please.

We eat what we can find. Sometimes it’s PB&J with soup. Sometimes it’s a cheese quesadilla. And, I’ve learned to accept it. What’s important is that everyone is fed. What’s important is that no one gets hangry.

Let’s recap. My house is not mine. The bathroom is play area no. 2. I don’t have control of my make up, my nail polish, my sink, my tub or my toilet. Every time I pee, I have to remove the princess toilet cover. When I do my make up, I have to sift through the spilled powder to find my eyebrow brush. If I take a bath, I am staring at a plastic Elmo faucet cover.

There is never a moment where I am not reminded of my kids. I either see their “artwork” all over or I hear them singing while jumping on whatever they can find.

And I’m finally at peace with all of it.

The Swap

Friday, 20. September 2013

Well, it’s Friday.

Somehow, we made it.

And the best thing to come out of this anomalistic week: we have now walked a mile in each others’ shoes.

By the time I got home Thursday evening, I could not wait to see the girls. I realized that I had seen them awake for a total of about 5 hours all week. I came home and Laef proceeded to explain the best way to burp Reagan, that she’s now drinking 6 ounces of milk at each feeding and that Harper doesn’t fall for it when you give her tomatoes and tell her that they are red grapes.

“She’s really perfected the side eye.”

Sigh.

I miss getting that side eye. I feel like they both just grew a week older and I missed it. When I get home from work I have 1.5 hours to figure out to spend quality time with each of them before they go to sleep. It never seems like enough, and let’s be honest, 45 minutes of that time is spent trying to persuade Harper to take a bath and convincing her that she needs to wear underwear.

Bottom line: I feel totally out of the loop with what is going on with my family and have to debrief with Laef after they go to bed. This is something that Laef completely understands as he is usually the one trying to cram as much time as possible in with the girls. He is gone a lot, and now I know the sadness he must feel when he comes home and the girls are already sleeping. It sucks.

On the other hand, walking in the door and seeing Laef holding a crying baby while explaining to Harper that she can not have chocolate for dinner hit right at home. I’m not home for 30 seconds before he starts in:

“Reagan is ready for bath, but I’m trying to hold her off a little longer. Harps hasn’t eaten anything, and did you know she doesn’t like tomatoes? I was thinking of making the Parmesean meatloaf for dinner, does that sound good? And, by the way, Reagan doesn’t like to be burped while sitting down and she’s eating way more now and I think we should have her nap in the crib and not the swing. Oh, also, I found out today that Harper’s accidents at daycare are typically at nap time, and that she has milk because all the other kids have milk and they don’t know how to single her out. Did you know we only have two size 2 nipples? I went to Target, but they didn’t have any.”

Halfway through this discourse I realize: Oh my God, he’s been home all day by himself with a 2 month old with no one to talk to. He is so happy to have someone to talk to.

I feel his pain at my core. I look around and see everything in disarray because as every parent knows, we are now in the Witching Hour and things are teetering ever so slightly, and I have come home just in time to tag team the whole mess that is about to take place between now and bed time. You can see it on his face that he’s been holding things together, and the relief of me waking through the door is palpable.

Bottom line: Laef actually muttered the words, “I’m struggling to do what you do.” He now has a firm understanding as to why  he sometimes gets a call from me at 6 p.m. where I’m basically a lunatic and t-minus from taking a swig straight from the vodka bottle, “BUT SERIOUSLY. WHEN THE FUCK ARE YOU COMING HOME? COME HOME NOW.”

So, in a lot of ways this week was really good for everyone. But perhaps Laef had a little too much time at  home by himself.

We have been having some issues with Harper wetting the bed at night this week. Obviously this whole Wife Swap thing is throwing her off. By day two of washing sheets and remaking her bed, Laef decided that something needed to be done. So he went to Target to get a plastic cover for her bed.

I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.

Laef: “Just so you know, plastic bed covers at Target started at $40.”
Me: “Oh, OK. Well, we can just see if she gets better.”
Laef: “Go look at her bed.”

I proceed with caution and as I sit on her bed, I hear the loudest sound of crinkling plastic I have ever heard. I lift up the sheet and all I see is a clear plastic something with little ring holes all along the edge.

Laef (with a look of utmost pride): “It’s a shower curtain liner. It was $3.”

He seriously can not help himself with this shit.

Life returns to normal on Monday. And by normal I mean let’s just try to survive.

Dogpaddling Through Parenthood

Wednesday, 18. September 2013

I finally returned back to work (the office version) this week. I’m either Lindsay Lohan or a working parent. It’s hard to tell when I look in the mirror.

Because Reagan is only 10 weeks old, Laef decided to take a week off of work and stay home with her. This will also save us a million dollars in day care fees so despite the fact that Laef is not stoked about missing work, he is on board with this plan.

Back in the day when we talked about having kids we always knew that we wanted to have them close in age. Mostly because I am old, but also so that they’ll be close as they grow up. I am still pleased with this plan because I am done being pregnant. I am one day closer to losing the sweet backpack I carry to work. I am one day closer to not having to hide in a quiet corner at work pumping milk while hearing my coworkers voices. I mean, seriously, I am all for having it all! doing it all! working mom!, but I really just can’t with my boobs exposed at work.

Although, this woman seems to have the whole thing figured out:

and I guess if I could drink wine and pump at the same time, I’d be happy to head to the bar for happy hour with my coworkers. Talk about doing it all.

Anyway, there are a lot of things associated with pregnancy and newborns that I am happy to leave behind. Lack of sleep is probably the biggest one of all. Because Laef is staying home this week, and I am working off-site, the agreement is that he will handle a majority of the middle of the night duties. This is how it was all summer with me letting him sleep through the night because he was going to work. The assumption being that when Reagan naps during the day, the stay-at-home worker can take a nap. I was shocked to learn when I returned to work that there is no designated nap hour, and by Tuesday afternoon my body was like, What The Fuck, and I was scrambling trying to figure out how to not look like a heroin addict while talking to my colleagues.

This is not to say that because Laef is at home he has it easier. Rationalizing with a 2-year old at 6 a.m. after sleeping for about 3 hours because one child peed the bed twice and the other woke up three different times to eat,  is probably comparable to even the most difficult rehabs Laef will see this year (I hope I didn’t just offend all my athletic trainer friends).

Harper: “I want pink milk daddy.”
Laef: “The pink cup is dirty.”
Harper: Throws herself on the floor. Reagan wakes up. Harper runs over and tries to shove the paci into Reagan’s mouth.
Laef: “Reagan doesn’t want a paci.”
Harper: Throws herself on the floor. “I neeeeed a paci.”

It’s one of those mornings: EVERYONE NEEDS A PACI. EVEN DADDY.

I’m listening to everything from the bathroom where I’m quickly trying to apply eyeshadow so that when I show up to work I don’t look like someone who has two kids under the age of 3. I’d like to have my hair looking like I just stepped out of the Dry Bar and not like I was at the bar all night. And then I realize that this is going to be a two-person job so I say fuck it, and make myself as presentable as possible and head out to the living room to start the first part of my workday.

Laef and I manage to get everyone dressed and fed. I look at Laef and realize he’s in a daze and maybe I should volunteer to take Harper to school even though it means I will be at least 15 minutes late because she will insist on walking to the car herself, and low and behold there will be something cool to look at on ALL 24 stairs down to the car. Harper will then have to get herself in the car seat, and I am also not allowed to buckle it. So I have to watch for 3 minutes while she fumbles around with the buckle before declaring, “I need help.”

Well, no shit.

Two blocks later she has to pee. And a decision has to be made: Risk it or pull over?

It’s my first week back, so I decide to risk it. We make it. She doesn’t pee in the car seat. Hooray.

I then spend the whole drive looking at the clock realizing that the decision to have two kids two years apart is going to be awesome in like 25 years when we will all be sitting around the Thanksgiving table looking back on this year fondly. I will tell Harper how she insisted Reagan have a piece of corn from her dinner plate. Or how she loved holding Reagan until she threw up on her, at which point Harper basically threw her on the ground. Or how – when the stars aligned just right – they would both be sleeping peacefully in their pink and brown room with the walls covered in stickers and Laef and I would just stare at both of them so fondly (when they are sleeping it’s very easy to gaze fondly upon them and feel so proud of what you are doing).

I know everything we are going through right now is going to be a blip on the radar so I’m trying to enjoy the fact that while Harper thinks she is a big girl, she’s really still just a baby.

I mean, who says: “Mommy. I don’t wear a diaper. I wear panties. Reagan’s a baby. I’m a big girl” all while clinging to a pacifier?

Even though life is one gigantic clusterfuck right now, it’s exactly how we planned it.

 

There’s Only One Baby Left

Tuesday, 3. September 2013

As I sit on the couch perusing the internet in peace, I suddenly realize that it’s painfully quiet this morning. I am exhausted from spending three days shadowing Harper, and should be enjoying the fact that I’m sipping my morning coffee and reading my favorite web sites while Reagan quietly naps.

For three days our house was complete chaos. I didn’t bother to clean up at the end of each day because I was too tired, and I just figured that we’d regroup after Harper went to school today and was all potty-trained.

The 3-day potty training method works. I will say that. Is there an easier, less-draining way? Probably. But, from what I can tell, we’re done. I’m sure she’ll have accidents over the next few weeks, but for the most part, it seems to have clicked. Harper was beyond proud of herself everytime she went to the bathroom. She would proclaim, “I’m a big girl. I went stinky poo poo on the toilet.” The smile on her face was priceless.

So, this morning when I went into her room to make her bed and put things away, I literally broke down. I don’t know why today is different, but as I looked around her room – her wall covered in Mickey and Tinkerbell stickers to symbolize each trip to the bathroom – I felt like I sent her off to college today. I feel like we woke up on Saturday with a baby, and woke up today with a big girl, who is one step closer to not needing me.

Don’t get me wrong. The fact that those giant poops were in the toilet and not in a diaper that I have to touch and clean up after is an amazing feeling. But I just can’t get over that she’s cruising around in underwear.

When Harper was born, I truly hated the baby phase. I never felt like time was flying by as everyone kept telling us. I never thought it was fun to just hold her, rock her, look at her. I wanted to be able to do fun things with her, and I could not wait for those days to come.

Now that those days have come, it has helped me enjoy being home with Reagan. I enjoy just looking at her baby face. I enjoy her sleeping on me. I enjoy her being so little and not throwing a fit over anything other than being hungry.

Harper is such a presence in our house. She is so full of energy and is always looking for something new to learn. There is nothing that she won’t try or do. She cooks with me, eats cereal with Daddy, helps change Reagan’s diaper, feeds Sanchez, brushes her teeth, walks Mickey around in his stroller, sings Twinkle Twinkle to Reagan when she’s tired, reads her books to Tinkerbell and puts lotion on her legs just like mommy.

She’s not a baby anymore and now I’m dreading every day that goes by and she gets older. She loves reminding us that she’s not a baby, and Reagan is a baby who wears a diaper.

Maybe I’ll leave her trail of stickers on her wall forever to remind me of the little girl who used to wear a diaper.

 

Big Girl Era: Day 2

Monday, 2. September 2013

Today didn’t start off with the same excitement as yesterday. For starters, we were almost out of exciting prizes and there wasn’t quite enough sleep last night. I tossed and turned all night waiting for Harper to wake up in a puddle of pee screaming. She never did scream, and she also never wet the bed. But, at 6 a.m. I panicked and went in to take her to the bathroom. She was half asleep on the toilet, but as soon as she went to the bathroom, she was wide awake, “I need a sticker.”

Oh shit, is what I thought. I desperately tried to get her back into her bed, but my efforts were futile.

So up we got, and it wasn’t much longer until Reagan was up because of all the commotion. It was apparent from the minute we all got up that no one wanted to embark on this adventure for the second straight day. I should have known things weren’t starting right when the first prize I offered her was an accessory for her kitchen and she looked at it, frowned and said, “I no want it.” It was as if she was 7 and I got her clothes for Christmas. Like, ew, where’s my roller skates?

Things steadily went down from there. Harper wanted milk in her “pink cup.” The pink cup was dirty so I got the green cup. She proceeded to flop and flail on the kitchen floor like a crazy hyena while I blocked it out so that I could make some coffee to enable myself to even begin to understand what was happening.

In between washing the pink cup and trying to get coffee made, I remembered that I am supposed to be showering her with love and praise and reminding her to tell me if she has to got potty. At that point I realized that potty training sucks.

My next mistake was making oatmeal improperly. Apparently the orange bowl is a piece of shit and she only eats oatmeal out of the blue bowl. At this point I realized that potty training sucks, and there was no way we could do it if she was going to be tired and cranky all day.

At 9:45 a.m. she had her third epic meltdown of the day because daddy gave her the wrong band aid for her invisible injury. This meltdown led to her peeing on the floor, and finally agreeing that she needed to go back in her bed and rest.

After we all regrouped, the day began for real at about 11:30 a.m. And from this moment on she told us when she had to go potty and there were almost no false alarms. When it was clear that she had to go poop, she struggled a little with how to handle it. She kept going into the bathroom, but she was petrified to do it. So she’d say, “All done” as soon as she sat toilet. So we followed her around the house pretending to want to play, but really checking to see if she was “crowning’ (Laef’s words, and another moment where I was almost the one who peed on the floor). Eventually – despite her best efforts – she had to go bad enough that she went on the toilet. When she was done she said, “Bye bye stinky poo poo!”

I might have teared up. I know it’s just a poop going down the drain, but with it went my little baby. At the end of the day today, Harper seemed so much older to me. She’s one of us – a non-diaper wearing, human grown up.

We didn’t have many false alarms today, but what we had was an extended bed time. While reading books and singing songs Harper said she had to go potty at least 5 times. Finally we decided to risk it and told her no, and to go to bed. I made Laef and I a yummy dinner to celebrate being 2/3 of the way done, and the fact that today was a big, big success. As soon as we took a bite, we heard noises coming from Harper’s room. We got up to see what was going on, and low and behold it was Cinderella poking her feet out:

“I have to got potty with Cinderella.”

We decided to put her on the toilet and told her that we were going to eat, and when Cinderella was one peeing to come say good night. Two minutes later we heard her tinkling away in the toilet, so we walked away from the steak and salmon, put on our happy faces and ran to the bathroom to do dance a jig. Harper said, “I went potty. I flush, I wipe. I’m a big girl.”

Oh my God, it’s working and she is so excited, and we’ve got one day to go. I just hope we didn’t use all of our good tricks today. We decorated cookies:

And spent hours playing with balloons:

 

Parenting is Awesome Part 2,434,284: Potty Training

Sunday, 1. September 2013

Many years ago Saturday mornings were met with such joy in our house. At 10 a.m. we’d saunter out of bed, watch Gameday on DVR, pop some champagne, enjoy mimosas with a side of Kirk Herbstreit and then head out to watch football games at a smelly bar with beer spilled all over the floor.

So, today – the first Saturday of college football – when I woke up at 5:45 a.m. (because 2-year olds are awesome) I did feel a little excited about my day. However, it had nothing to do with football.

Today is day one of potty training for Harper, and I bought her all kinds of prizes and treats and big girl underwear and arts and crafts and movies and snacks and a whole shitload of stuff to make this monumental weekend seem even more exciting through her eyes.

Ideally, we’d all sleep in until at least 7 a.m. so that no one would be overly exhausted, and also so that the day would not seem 800 hours long as opposed to 12. That’s just not how things work with kids. This is how they work: When Harper wakes up at 5:45 a.m., Reagan sleeps until 8:20 a.m. When Reagan wakes up at 4:30 a.m., Harper sleeps until 7:20 a.m. When Harper and Reagan sleep until 7 a.m., Sanchez goes into heat and meows as loud as he can at 4 a.m. before scratching on our door for 30 minutes.

They’re all like a pea under your mattress.

So, today was a big day, and extra sleep was key for mommy and daddy so of course extra sleep was not granted. We got up and – OH! how exciting! We can watch Gameday Live!! And now that Harper is over 2 years old, she can totally understand when we say that we aren’t watching Mickey, we’re watching Gameday!!

And then we realized that we had to start potty training. We’re doing the 3-day method, and rather than bore you with the details I will give your the quick version: You throw away all your diapers, put your kid in underwear and then you basically follow them around the house all day. You’re not supposed to look away ever, so that means no TV, no internet, no phone, no nothing. You can’t leave the house, and you certainly can’t be drunk at 10 a.m.

You just hang out with your child all day for every second and you wait for them to pee. Then when they start pissing on the floor because, um, they have no idea what is going on, you scoop them up and RUN to the bathroom while getting your legs and feet pissed on. All the while you have stay ultra, uber positive praising them all day long for wearing big girl panties and being so awesome. You award prizes – stickers, M&Ms, lip gloss, etc. – all along the way.

Harper – being the genius that she is – figured out after the very first trip to the potty that saying, “I have to go potty” means, “I get an M&M and a prize!”

For the rest of the day Harper said, “I have to pee” at least a thousand times. Every time she said it, we ran her to the bathroom because you never know. So, she’d claim to have to pee, we’d spazz out, and en route to the bathroom she’d yell, “I want a priiiiiiiiiiize!!!”

I am not going to lie, at one point I almost peed on the floor from laughing so hard at her whole game. I mean, Laef and I were basically trying to see who could set the Dorothy Street PR for kitchen-to-bathroom dash. And all the while, Harper was like, “Haha, bitches. I’m winning this game and Reagan is fucked because today is all about meeeeeeeeeeeee and my Mickey Mouse stickers. And all I have to do is say, ‘I have to pee’. THIS DAY RULES.”

And so this is what we did. ALL DAY. We said, “Tell Mommy if you have to go to the bathroom” over and over and over. We ran to the bathroom over and over and over for false alarm after false alarm. We smiled and praised over and over and over. We refrained from saying, “Bitch, please. You don’t have to pee” (the one time I paused because I thought she was faking it, she peed everywhere, at which point I was like, ‘damn, you are winning this game, and it’s now Harper 150, Mommy 0′).

It’s hard to tell if we made progress when you consider the laundry, the smell of my feet and that she crapped her pants twice, but the good news is that I’m drinking vodka soda, watching the UCLA game in my living room with the smelly floor.