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Funny Stuff

One of my all time favorite quotes

Last month my husband and I took a solo vacation for our anniversary and the grandparents stayed at our house with the girls while we were gone.

Upon our return, my mother-in-law shared with me a quote my 7-year-old daughter busted out I had to share.

The impetus for the quote came one night when we called from Mexico and she happened to be eating dessert. She asked if we could call back? That in itself was funny, because, God forbid we interrupt the sacred eating of dessert.

I guess a few other things happened during the course of the stay, and my mother-in-law pointed out how you have to also think about others because it isn’t all about “me, me, me.”  The word “selfish” was used in this conversation and she looked at my mother-in-law and said,

quote Of course at first when I heard that I laughed so hard tears came down my face. The brutal honesty killed me. At the same time, I was sort of mortified, because, my GOSH, that sounds awful!

Then, the more I thought of it, the more I LOVED it, because isn’t that an AWESOME quote?

But please don’t get me wrong, because I am not encouraging self-indulgent or selfish behavior in my kids, but what I loved is the fact that she was honestly viewing it as “taking care of herself” in her 7-year-old mind.

Wouldn’t it be great if us moms looked at it this way sometimes? At some point as we get older, we lose this perspective of just how important it is to take “really good care of ourselves.”

I believe ALL moms could benefit from taking the time to take really good care of yourself, and realize, it is NOT selfish.

So the next time you want to say “no” to an obligation or take an hour to get your nails done, or basically do SOMETHING you want to do, think, “I’m not selfish. I just like to take really good care of myself.”

Photo credit: www.kristineldridge.com

Confessions from a Mommy of Two

Mommy Confessions 5

I have a mommy confession to make. Okay…several.  Here are my confessions from a mommy of two.  About parenting (have I perked your interest?).

Do you ever remember thinking during your pre-mommyhood days…”When I have kids, I will NEVER…(fill in the blank)”.  Or worse, “When I have kids, I will never let them…(fill in the many, many blanks).”

Ummm, yeahhhh. Fast-forward years later, I now have two active, rambunctious, bright, curious, mischievous, stubborn, loving, sweet, loud little kiddos, and I would like to respectfully retract quite a few of my pre-baby “rules.”  No matter how well intentioned.    Because now I’m a mom in the trenches.

Because as all of you mamas know, you live, you learn, you survive, you thrive, you fail, you succeed, you meltdown, you learn to live on little (or no sleep), you experiment…and you love your child more than you ever thought possible.

So here’s a message for my pre-kid self – being a mama is a LOT more challenging than you ever dreamed.  And it will be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.  So ease up on all of those “I’ll never” rules. Because you’ll throw quite a few out the window during the winding path of mommy hood.

Want a laugh?  Here you go – my top 10 things I swore I’d never do (obviously this was made before I had babies).

Top 10 Parenting Things I Swore I’d Never Do [That I Do Now]

10.) Let them wear mismatched or funky clothes.  In public.

I quickly learned to pick my battles. Polka dot shirts with striped pants, Halloween socks and a red Minnie Mouse bow was not a battle that was worth it.  My “rule” quickly turned to…if you’re clean and in clean clothes, you’re fine. Go for it. The fashion world is your oyster.

Mommy Confessions 1

9.)  Raise my voice (that sounds SO much better than yelling, doesn’t it?)

Granted, the majority of the time, my “raised voice” is to simply be heard over my very loud, lovable kids. But still…I was convinced that I would only yell if I absolutely had to for safety reasons.  (Does chasing my three-year-old around the house trying to shove his shoes on because we’re late to school, count??)

8.)  Spit on my hand…to fix their unruly hair. (Ewwww, I know.)

This is a no-brainer, right?  I actually caught myself doing this on picture day at school last year.  I was mortified.  Then, I realized it was either a “spit-do” or fly-away, frizzy hair on my little princess for her Pre-K picture.  Spit it is.

7.)  Become a short order cook.

I had listened to other moms complain about cooking several dishes per mealtime, and was quietly convinced that my future children would only eat what I cooked for the whole family.  Healthy, organic, fresh food with something represented from each food group.

I have been a mom for almost six years.  I have yet to master or enforce this concept.  I’ll let you know when it happens.

6.)  Feed them lots and lots of snacks…beyond the suggested 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. “snack times.”

The books I read (during my pregnancy) encouraged snack times twice a day.  Once mid-morning and once mid-afternoon.  Seemed simple enough.  Until I actually had kids (are you starting to see my pattern?).

Many days, one snack isn’t enough.  And whenever we climb into the car and they have been strapped in their carseats for .3 seconds, they are asking for a snack (I’ve learned that carseats somehow equal snack time).

So I feed my little munchkins their snacks…and Cheerios, granola bar flakes and cracker crumbs litter the floor of my car.  Yes, I give them more snacks at random times if they ask for it.  And yes, they still eat their full breakfast, lunch and dinner.  So I’ve learned to let this one go.

5.)  Demand privacy…(for going to the bathroom, showering, dressing – ha ha!)

This one is self explanatory.  Any parent understands this.  There is NO privacy.  Ever.  Part of the hazing process of motherhood.

Mommy Confessions 2

4.) Let them watch television. Sometimes, for more than 30 minutes at a time – gasp!

I read the studies, I talked to other moms, I talked with my husband, and we decided to greatly limit our children’s television time.  Of course we would!  We would be so busy being the best parents ever, we wouldn’t even have time to turn on the tv!  We would be too engrossed in teaching baby sign language, playing classical music, engaging our children in creative and sensory play, yada yada yada.

Almost six years later, I know every Disney Junior theme song, can recite Thomas the Train by heart (it haunts me in my sleep), and have seen every Pixar/Disney movie available.  Multiple times.

Not my proudest confession, but I think one of the most honest.  Although we DID the baby sign language, music class, gymnastics, swim, story time, park time, yada yada…I still let my kids watch tv.  And yes, sometimes for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.

3.)  Let them play with iPhones and/or iPads at restaurants.

This used to be one of my biggest pet peeves.  I was taught that mealtime was family time.  A time to talk and share about your day.

But actually having kids now (including a VERY squirmy toddler), I can certainly appreciate that an iPad can help…let’s say “bridge a gap,” during a restaurant visit with little kids.  Pretty much any restaurant that isn’t fast food.  So my rule is we all talk about our day first…before the iPad turns on.

2.) Bribe, bribe, bribe.

Now I’m not talking about “I’ll buy you a $20 train if you sit still during a Target run” – but, let’s be serious.  I have been known to use tv/computer screen time, fruit snacks, stickers, ice cream, a trip to their favorite park, dinner at Ruby’s, lollipops, etc. as bribes…whatever is an appropriate “incentive” at the time.  But I’d like to think I’m still choosy (this helps me feel better about the situation).

Mommy Confessions 4

1.) Beg.

“Please, please, PLEASE just…GO TO SLEEP.  NAP.  STOP SINGING MICKEY MOUSE ON REPEAT.  PICK UP YOUR TOYS.  REMEMBER TO FLUSH THE POTTY.  WASH YOUR HANDS. PUT ON YOUR SHOES. STOP THROWING THINGS DOWN THE STAIRS.”  The list goes on and on and on.  Said I’d never do it.  And, here I am.  As a mom, it’s inevitable!

Spill it, mamas!  What did you say you’d NEVER do, but do now that you have kiddos?  Let’s share the laughs and stories together!

Potty Talk: Potty Training Tips from the Trenches

Potty Training

There are about a million and one things that I LOVE about being a mama. And then there are a select few things that I just dread. Potty training is one of them (“Pooh” on the potty anyone?  I know, I know…but it had to be said!)

So with my son’s third birthday approaching shortly, I knew it wouldn’t be long before potty training began with my little man.

So, after “watching for the signs” like so many books and blogs say to do to determine potty “readiness,” (and digging out the Elmo potty DVD from a storage box) my munchkin was (very sweetly) against it.

The Dreaded Perky Potty Talk

So I went into the perky potty talk mode, but no amount of positive potty talk and introducing him to the potty seemed to change his mind.

“Honey, let’s go pee pee in the potty!  You are such a big boy!  Let’s go check out the potty! Let’s go see what big boy under pants look like!  Let’s pick out a little potty together at Target! Look – little (insert his buddy’s name) can go pee pee on the potty!  (and on and on and on with whatever other perky potty talk I could muster).”

His response?  “No thank you mama.  I like my diapers. No potty please.”

Well, I’ll give him this.  At least he was polite about it.

Seeing that my potty enthusiasm wasn’t convincing him, my hubby and I had several “discussions” about this subject.  My feeling? Let’s keep waiting until he tells me he is ready.

Because guess what? I potty trained my first on MY timetable, not hers. And guess how successful we both were with THAT strategy? I’ll give you a hint…it took a long time for it to click.

My hubby’s take?

“He doesn’t like broccoli.  But, it is our job to keep introducing it to him and making him eat it…or other vegetables…to be a healthy, happy kid.  Just because he doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be encouraged to eat it.”  And he related this to potty training.

Well, humph. So we eyed each other down. And then decided to compromise as best as possible.

Operation Potty Time: Choosing Our Strategy

We came to the decision we would pick a potty training method together (not the easiest decision since everyone seems to have the answer…or an opinion on why a method does not work) and agreed on the following:

1. He would be an active participant (we picked a long weekend so work wasn’t much of an issue).
2. We would deal with the messes together (i.e. he had to clean up just as many stinkers as I did).
3. We would stop and take a break from training if our little man was terrified/traumatized/etc.

I was convinced that my little guy wasn’t ready.  I was convinced that this was going to be a disaster.  And, you know what?

He was ready.

To my delighted surprise (and to his daddy’s triumphant, but very sweet, “I told you so”), he actually was ready and responded to the training method we chose.

We also went through about four packages of M&Ms in the process (but hey, I didn’t say I was above positive praise…and flat out bribes.)

Potty Training

Four days – completely housebound.  Four packages of M&Ms (so much for broccoli!). Twenty-one new pairs of Cars and Thomas the Train underpants.  About 1,651 times of saying, ‘Tell mama when you need to go potty!”  Eight loads of laundry.  One special Thomas the Train toy set for the first time he was completely dry and clean for one full day (no accidents).

THEN NO MORE DIAPERS – well worth every second!  Not to mention a confident, happy, proud little boy who now loved the potty – again, well worth every second!

I would love to take credit for my fabulous potty training skills. Boast about how I developed this insanely wonderful, fabulous way to convince your child that pee pee in the potty is the best.thing.ever.

Nope, it wasn’t me.  I have to give major props to the woman, Lora Jensen, who wrote “Three Day Potty Training.” (for us, it took a solid four days).  Note:  we followed most of the method…but we still tailored it to my son’s specific needs.

Bottom (no pun intended) line: every kid is different. And every kid is motivated by different things. And every parent has to do what works for them.  When I mention this method, some people love it…others, not so much.  But for us, this method worked.  And, I am completely grateful.  Four days…and it’s DONE.  And, we have only had one daytime accident in three weeks!

My Potty Training Advice

So, my advice for deciding when to potty train your little one?  Do your research. Pick your method in advance. Prepare everything you will need in advance (undies, sheet savers, bribes, laundry detergent, snacks, sticker charts, DVDs, books – whatever you decide you want to use). Talk to your partner and make sure both of you are on the same page. Then, pick a time block that you can devote to your munchkin.

And remember – breathe!  Do your best to stay positive and encouraging and patient (and excited to your child!).  Your little one will mirror your behaviors.

That’s all for now on this stinky subject.  Next, I’m going to have to write a blog on taking your newly potty trained kiddo a to public restroom (because I am now remembering how difficult this actually is…my little guy accidentally peed on my shoes…while sitting on the potty in a Target bathroom yesterday…but that story is for another time).

What potty training secrets do you have?  Any “potty whisperers” out there?  Please share – we want to hear what worked for you and your kids!

Funny

Barbies are a big hit in our house so for Easter this year the Easter Bunny brought my almost 5 year old a new Teacher Barbie from the “I can be…” collection which has Barbies from different careers.

After we opened our new Teacher Barbie, my daughter was looking at the back of the box and was announcing the different careers almost to herself.

I overheard her mumbling…

Ballerina Barbie

Doctor Barbie

Fashion Barbie

Chef Barbie

…and then I heard this one and I had to laugh out loud…

Blogger Barbie

I got the box to see what she was talking about and there was a Barbie with a cell phone and laptop.  The Barbie on the box is actually Computer Engineer Barbie.  But I didn’t correct her as I actually like Blogger Barbie.

Hey Mattel, want to consider Blogger Barbie?  She could have a Twitter account and an iPhone…  :)