Be mine

February 14, 2018

Dear Babies,

Happy Valentines Day to you both. On a day celebrating love, its fitting that I tell you how much I love you both and how much you fill my heart with joy. There is no way you will ever understand how much love I have for you but my hope is that the feeling is mutual and that I have a million more years to tell you all about it. Ug, mom, you’re so lame. Totally. I am. Get over it.

Our little baby has the biggest eyes in the world and they sparkle every time you look at her. She is happy, joyful and easily amused. She loves to be engaged and touched and when you hold her, she cuddles.

Our big baby has the bluest eyes in the world. They look like sweet tranquil seas. She is thoughtful, sensitive and hilarious. I laugh out loud multiple times a day with her. Genuinely. She loves to hear stories and when you aren’t looking, she is memorizing them.

Both my girls display kindness, love and affection to one another and to us every single day and we are GRATEFUL.

And I’m to holier than thou. My house is a fucking mess 100% of the time. I have help to clean and watch my kids. My car is a total disaster and filled with at least 4 pairs of shoe per kid and I currently have oatmeal from breakfast (it’s 2pm) attached to my sweater. Yesterday I didn’t brush my teeth until 3pm. I’m drinking cold coffee cup #3 and I’m dreading nap time ending because I am tired and I want to close my eyes for like, a day or 7 before resuming mom-ing.

This doesn’t negate how fucking grateful I am or how much I love you. Love is everything. It’s good and bad and fun and boring and exciting and dull and sweet and sour. So to all the moms out there who today, and every day love their kids so fucking fiercely it hurts, happy Valentines Day.

To my kids who made me a mom and allowed me the forum to even feel this crazy stuff, Happy Valentine’s Day.

It may be a Hallmark holiday but any day that celebrates our love for one another is a great one in my books.

xo

Mom

PS. I obviously love your dad, my ultimate Valentine but this post was made to not gross you out and celebrate you. If you want to hear me gust about your dad, give me like, 800 hours and I can let you have it.

 

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Be mine

The terribly, horribly, no-good, very bad weekend

February 12, 2018

Dear Babies,

When the weekend begins with your dad getting into a car accident twice in one day, it’s not going to go well. Friday was an awful day (weather wise) and a truck smashed your dad’s car (thankfully, he was fine). He spent the day dealing with the aftermath of the accident (which was a whole fucking nuisance in itself) and didn’t make it home until after bedtime making it the third time this week I did a solo bedtime. Not going to lie, I’m the new bedtime master over here. 2 kids? No problem. We cancelled our trip up north to deal with the car and resigned ourselves to a shit weekend.

We missed Friday swim class as a result and the weather prevented our expected visitors so it was a long day of playing at home together. THANK GAWD FOR KID IMAGINATION. Oh, and crafts.

Saturday was hardly an improvement. Bad weather and kids recovering from a cold meant a nearby indoor activity. Hello, Yorkdale. We go to the mall any time we need open space for you to run around and we need to be indoors. There is literally zero shopping done – we rarely even go into stores, you just run through the mall free as a bird and we often stay for lunch. Sometimes we visit Nordstrom for a balloon, sometimes we get a smoothie and we always spend at least 5-10 minutes riding up and down an escalator somewhere. I never thought I’d be that mall parent but it’s so much less stressful than an indoor playground on a shitty day.

By the afternoon, weather was crazy again and we again, stayed home and hung out.

That night, our dog got sick and had to be taken to the emergency dog hospital (bladder infection – because, of course). Sunday aside from a grocery trip, we didn’t leave the house. We stayed in pyjamas (including the grocery trip) and played. We built forts, baked energy balls and hung out. On paper, it was the worst weekend we’ve had in a long time.

BUT.

Sometimes, just spending time together is enough to turn it around. We are often so busy on weekends with friends and family that we miss hours of our own family togetherness. So when your dad and I lay down after putting you guys to bed on Sunday and reflected, the shitty weekend actually looked pretty good to us. We got to laugh with our kids, spend time enjoying cuddles and games and your dad even found time to organize our pantry.

Babies, it’s all about perspective and just because something seems to be less fun than what you anticipate or are used to, doesn’t mean it will be. We made the best of a crap situation and came out pretty relaxed all things considered.

In the meantime, this optimism does not negate the major Monday blues.

xo

Mom

The terribly, horribly, no-good, very bad weekend

Looking ahead

February 8, 2018

Dear Babies,

This week has been spent on getting your Spring/Summer programming all figured out and I have to say that the pressure negotiating a schedule for a baby and 2.5 year old is enormous. Sure, first world problems here, but since this is my life…

The first issue is planning a schedule that is chilled out. NOTHING makes me crazier than hearing the schedules of moms who have their kids programmed every second of the day. It makes me itchy to think about that kind of planning. I still firmly believe that kids need free time and time to just be bored/play/be around the house or outside. Over-planning is the biggest buzzkill to our happiness and these little people will have plenty of time to be hectic. Now isn’t that time.

 

Also, for the very time being, I’m focusing on programs where I can be present. At 2.5 they start letting you do drop-off style programs but I also feel like you have your whole life to be dropped off and do stuff without me and whether it’s more for me or you, I’m going to be doing as much as I can with you while I can. They basically cut you off at age 3 so we are months away from not being able to do stuff together anyways.

So this session we are signed up for music, soccer and gymnastics. Your sister will come for music and soccer and gym is all ours.

The end of spring programs.

Then the whole conversation about camp came up. I had originally registered you in a fancy camp where they bus you to a pool for swim and have activities like rock wall climbing. Sure, it was pricey but “everyone” was doing it so we hopped on board. Your school – which is super granola and NOT fancy then opened a camp and an entire summer there including lunches is the same price as 3.5 weeks of fancy camp.

And money aside, I thought about finishing school and putting you in a new place that you don’t know and leaving you there was a bit hard for me to wrap my head around. On the one hand, you are a resilient person (as we all are) and I am sure that you would figure it out. On the other hand, I’m not a parent who hands their kids off to relative strangers while said kid is crying and just goes about my day. If I had to leave you crying, I would fucking die inside. My guess is that more traditional places (ie. not our school) are of the mentality that they just grab the kids crying, distract them until they stop and carry on. I’m sure this works and I’m sure that kids who are left at daycare or camp crying turn out just fine but no thank you. Not into that at all.

Also, in spite of being resilient, toddlers are notorious for having trouble with transition so why force it on you? Are you going to give a shit about what camp you go to? No. If anything you will probably be happier with familiar faces in a familiar environment.

I also hate the idea that I’m striving to do what “everyone” does. Like, who cares what everyone does? I’m not raising a sheep. I’m raising strong girls who lead the way and don’t follow the status quo just because. Again, there will be enough times that we will get caught up in the herd, when we can, it’s nice to colour outside the lines.

Anyways, the moral of this is that first, you should balance your time between being busy and not so that you can enjoy challenges and schedules while also enjoying spark and spontaneity – no need for that to die just yet. Second, do you. Don’t worry about anyone else and just enjoy your own independent and awesome life. And until you can make those kinds of decisions, I’ll help you live the best life I can imagine for you.

In the meantime, let’s enjoy being 2 and a baby because soon enough, like won’t be all songs and swings.

xo

Mom

Looking ahead

Is ignorance bliss?

February 6, 2016

Dear Babies,

I love you. I love you both so much but some days I want nap time to go on forever. Today is that day. I spent this morning in the walk in clinic to get some antibiotics for my sinus and ear infection. Why a walk in? WHEN ELSE CAN I GO??? With a no-show temp nanny and a quarantine from school, I was left with little options. Your dad kindly watched you for the hour and then basically threw the baby at me when I walked in the door and ran out as fast as he could to catch up on the work he missed. Can’t begrudge him although I will.

My mom suggested I take it easy and not run around to classes. In theory, that would be an ideal situation. I could leave you guys on the floor to play and just sit for five seconds and maybe have a lukewarm tea. In practice, 5 minutes of that scenario and we had every wipe in the container strewn about the house, a cookie crumbled into the couch and the baby almost ate 3 different choking hazards and then shimmied herself under the chair. SOOOOOOO relaxing. Just like a day at the spa.

So off we ran to class #1, came home, somehow trashed the house again and then it was beloved nap time. I had dreams of a matcha latte and 10 minutes of reading but the avocado on the floor ad the applesauce in the chairs had other ideas. After cleaning them both, making dinner and having my first solo pee of the day, the baby was up from a short lived nap. I won’t lie, I was irritated. Not at her, she can’t help waking up but at the complete lack of spare time. I felt frustration running through my body and I knew it was about to eat me alive.

So I took a page from what we keep telling our kids to do and I took one long deep breath. I turned off the monitor (we have a small house so I would hear if the baby was up and actually crying vs. the noises she was just making) and I sat down in front of my computer and zoned out on FB while sipping my latte. Could baby have been making noises of frustration herself? Maybe. Am I usually over-responsive to her? Definitely. Do we all have moments where the best thing to do is regain our composure, take a deep breath and refocus? YES! Is FB a good way to do that? Debatable but I digress.

I went up 10 minutes later feeling normal and ready to face the afternoon with my two people and it went smoothly (whatever that means) because of it.

So. With that, here’s the lesson. Try to actually take those deep breaths we’ve been working on when you’re feeling frustrated (or anxious, or sad or angry). Take a moment to recenter and regroup before you move on. I promise you that there is literally nothing that can’t wait a few minutes for you to get your shit together and everyone will be better for it.

In the meantime, I’m warming up that latte again because anything a deep breath can’t fix, some tea usually can.

xo

Mom

Is ignorance bliss?

If you’re looking for us, we’ll be in quarantine

February 5, 2018

Dear Babies,

Day 6 of project “don’t get stomach flu” is on and girls, the struggle is real.

We got this cheerful little email from school on Wednesday alerting us that our toddler’s entire school was in a state of “outbreak” from multiple cases of Norwalk. Outbreak!!!! I’m already wearing a hazmat suit just thinking of that word. I picture total fucking chaos with feral monkeys running around the arts and crafts table throwing their shit around while kids Lord of the Flies dance around and tear the place to shreds. Dramatic? Maybe but you can be sure that I pulled my kid the fuck out of school for the week and she has yet to go back.

Again, dramatic? Maybe, but we had Norwalk last year and it was the fucking worst thing ever. My husband almost died on the floor of our kid’s room, I was pregnant and couldn’t get up except to barf 4 zillion times and when we discovered our babe had gotten sick it was because we walked in on a scene from the exorcist but with barf. So suffice to say the trauma was real and I would be pleased as punch never to relive that experience again. Even if it means being dramatic and have both kids with me all week long.

So, ok, you’re probably all like, “but your kids are going to get sick one way or another.”

True. Avoiding the stomach flu for the rest of our lives is just a beautiful dream of mine, but I’m also not throwing them into the literal thick of it and just twirling my thumbs. If I in fact strive to not get the flu, surly my first step is to not send them to a nursery where kids constantly touch everything and never properly wash their hands (with no offence to them, their not dirty or unsanitary, they’re just kids).

And you’re probably like, “ooo, you’re going to jinx yourself and get sick anyways”

Well, fuck you. But seriously, if jinxes are a real actual thing, than yes, we will probably all get diarrhea later today.

So kids, todays’ lesson is to stay the hell away from really infectious and gross situations (if you can). There is no reason to just willy nilly expose yourself to otherwise preventable sickness. In this instance, I was already home with the baby, ready and willing to keep you home with us and I assume that since you’re 2, you’re not missing any crucial learnings. I totally get that if I was at work and couldn’t take the time, I would have no choice but girls, if you have the choice, always choose to stay away.

In the meantime, here’s hoping for an “all clear” tomorrow because it’s freezing, I’ve been entertaining you both for a week and I’m plum out of ideas.

xo

Mom

If you’re looking for us, we’ll be in quarantine

I.just.won.the.superbowl.of.moms

February 4, 2018

Dear Babies,

It’s almost 10pm and I’ve been sitting downstairs since 8 working and eating Skinny Pop popcorn which, I have a sneaky suspicion, does not make you actually skinny if you eat it by the fucking bowlful like I do. But my point is not about weight but that I singlehandedly NAILED bedtime alone without any fuss. It’s almost ridiculous to be so excited but this simple task being that many moms everywhere don’t have support or a partner to tag team bedtime with but in our house, no one does bedtime solo so for me, this was a big job.

Want to give a shout out to your dad who ran out the door as fast as he fucking could when he was given permission to have a night off and not deal with any part of bedtime. He left his shadow on the ground bolting into that Uber at 4… should we take this as a slight?

The truth is, I owe my stress free night to you two girls who are the absolute best. You made this daunting thing not a thing at all and much like our flight home, the anticipation was far worse than the actual.

Which makes me want to tell you what I have been reminding myself lately: you are so much more capable than you think you are. Every step of the way and everything you do, you can do whatever you want. You are strong, capable and perceived obstacles are just that, a perception. You can think if 4 million reasons why something will fail or go wrong or be hard, but even if it is hard, you can do it.

I know this seems pretty fucking profound for an affirmation I’m giving myself just because I managed to swing bedtime with no help from another human or electronic device BUT this tiny and super inconsequential example is a perfect one to be reminded of all the other things I (and you) can do if we want to.

So whether it’s putting two kids to bed without tantrums or taking over the whole damn world, you got this girls. Touchdown.

xo

Mom

I.just.won.the.superbowl.of.moms

Big girl bed

January 31, 2018

Dear Babies,

I can’t believe I haven’t written this yet because it’s basically the most exciting thing that’s happened to us in a while but someone moved into a big girl bed this month and we need to talk about it.

Now I start by saying this: not everyone has a positive experience with a crib to bed transition so I speak from the perspective of having had a great one. It could have gone either way but fortunately, it’s been leaning to good.

So with that, here is how it went.

We moved into a bed while we were on vacation. I think the whole shock of being away and out of the norm made the bed just another new thing to get used to instead of a big deal. By the time we got home, the new bed had been delivered and the crib was moved to the baby’s room. The end.

So the best thing about a bed is that I can actually get in it and hang out with you. I know that people climb into cribs (and I have) but laying in bed together is next level. Plus, the new vocabulary surrounding bed makes for evenings when, at bedtime, you ask for things like “a long cuddle in bed”. Sure. I can stay all night if you want.

It means that we have had full naps together. It means that when I tell you your goodnight stories, we often lay face to face and talk. It means that I put this tiny peanut person into this big bed and it is so cute that my face almost melts off.

I was warned not to rush moving you into a bed because you would climb out and harass us in the night. I assume that a lot of kids do that and I know one day I’ll find you bedside but for the most part, I don’t know any kids who sleep as well as you do (poo poo poo) so I think we mitigate that experience with you not really waking up.

The times you have awoken in the night you call for us and you better believe I’m coming running. I got to sleep half the night with you the one time it happened which felt more like a present than punishment.

So I’ll say this. We took the chance of moving you because we know you and we know what your limitations are. I hope that one day you know yourself and are willing to push yourself to try new things within your comfort zone and then-some.

Sure, it could have been a disaster but if we didn’t try we’d never know how actually awesome it is. I think you’ll find that lesson everywhere you go.

In the meantime, is it wrong that I’m counting down to nap time?

xo

Mom

Big girl bed