Here We Grow Again

   Capri pants in winter? No, it’s just what it looks like these days since my two-and-a-half-year-old had some kind of growth spurt. Some of her shirts also look like she has the 3/4 length sleeve thing going on too, but she doesn’t. Mom just hasn’t been able to keep up. As for the nearly four month old, she’s also starting to bust out of her clothes. I know when it’s time to retire a onesie when I can’t get her head to squeeze through the hole and when she gives me that look like “mom, you ‘re seriously going to try to pour me into this outfit?” Yeah, I know, they’re growing.

  It’s not just the clothes. It just seems like lately there is so much more “growing on” in my house. The baby just started to roll over. She was on the verge for days last week. She was trying and pushing but always got stuck on the last hurdle. Then one day my mom came over and that’s when the baby decided to roll over during the two minutes I went to the bathroom. Seriously? Yep, just can’t make this stuff up. I know kids have the worst timing, but come on, give a momma a break! Then there’s the issue of her bassinet and her one-way ticket to her new room.Okay, who are we kidding, we all know it’s round trip! I knew the transition to her crib was coming. It was pretty obvious when one morning I woke up and she turned herself horizontally and had her legs rested up on the side like she was lounging at Club Med. So, this week (or maybe next), the big move down the hall begins. It’s just another sign she’s growing up.

   My little spunky now two-and-a-half year old surprises me everyday. She’s busting out new words all the time. I wonder if she’s reading the encyclopedia before bedtime. Wait, we don’t have any encyclopedias! I’ve also noticed she’s much more of a sponge than she was before. She remembers every little thing. Nothing is getting past her. Now, we’re also at the point where we have to watch our mouths. I’m afraid one day she’s just going to start singing a litany of profanities she’s heard throughout her little life. Oops! Mommy and Daddy can have a potty mouth at times!

   There’s also the issue of pre-school. I’m excited for her to go and explore new things and meet new friends, but that just means she’s growing up. A letter came the other day for an open house for the pre-school we’re thinking of sending her to in the fall. As I was opening it, I got a little sad to think that we are inching towards that point. Don’t even come talk to me when she goes to Kindergarten. Although by that point with the two of them, I may be ready for it too!

   I know it’s cliche, but kids really do grow up so fast, which means we are also getting older. Ugh. I looked in the mirror the other day and thought to myself, wow, I’m “X” years old and I have two kids, and all the responsibilities that go along with my mortgage coupon book. When did that happen? What happened to that girl who could go out every night of the week and still get up for her 8 a.m. class? She’s still here. She’s just taken on some new hobbies like watching her children grow.

Ciao Ciao Mr. Clean!

   Do you hear that? Those are the dishes in the sink that are screaming to be washed. Ooh..hear that too? Those are the clothes that just want to jump out of the hamper and into the washing machine. Yep, those are just some of the chronic chores that really try to put a dent in my day sometimes. If you know me, you know I am a neat freak with a tinge of OCD mixed in. But, ever since I had kids, I’ve had to let a lot of that go. I’ve come to accept that my house will never be what it was before the kids came along. That’s painfully evident in the new storage ottoman we bought to replace the glass coffee table. Sigh.

   With the house getting messier by the minute, you would think I would be cleaning 24/7. Although there are some days I wish I could just ship the kids out, crank up my Bon Jovi CD and curl up with Mr. Clean, many times I don’t get a chance to lift a finger until they go to sleep, which in my house can be 11 o’clock, but that’s a different topic for a different blog! So what am I doing with all my time you ask? Am I watching what soap operas are left on TV and eating bon bons (how stereotypical, I know)? Am I playing angry birds or words with friends? Nope. I’m trying to spend as much quality time with the girls as possible. Many days that means putting everyday chores aside for the time being and giving them my full attention.

   As a mom, it’s hard to find the perfect balance between obligations, chores, fun, and parenting. If anyone has found it, please clue me in! I think a lot of women, myself included, think we have to have the perfect house with everything in its place. We have to meet all our obligations and wear ten-thousand hats. Why can’t we just be moms and let the rest just fall into place? Why can’t we spend all day reading and playing with our kids and let all that other stuff just wait? Is that so bad? This is not to say you should let your house look like the ones on “Hoarders”, but you don’t need to have the Good Housekeeping seal of approval either.

   If my older daughter wants me to read a book I’m not going to say no just because there are dishes piling up in the sink. The dishes will be there, unless the maid comes and does them. Just kidding. I am the maid. If you push your kid aside, they might not be there the next time around. So, here’s to letting Mr. Clean find a new BFF! Read a book to your kids or take them to the park. Then once they go to bed, reward yourself by raising a glass to being a good mom. Just make sure you don’t leave it in the sink!

Dealing with a Momaholic

   Her first word was Daddy. But now my two and a half year old sounds more like Stewie from that “Family Guy” commercial. You know the one, “mom, mommy, momma, mom, mom, mom…hi.” Kids love their moms, simply put. It’s a great thing because there really is nothing like the love of a child. But, is there ever too much of a good thing? Don’t kill me for saying this, but I am learning that yes, there can be. Every since my two and a half year old was born she never really had a hard time separating from me. That is, until now. I left for work way early in the morning, so she never saw me when she woke up. At night, her Daddy usually put her to bed because I would go to sleep so early. When I would leave her to go out, she would wave to me and say bye…kinda like don’t let the door hit your you know what on your way out. She was always happy to see me when I returned, but we never had that separation anxiety I’ve also dreaded. You know the kind…the kind when kids are stuck on you like a piece of paper you accidentally gorilla glued to your finger. Well, I am afraid to say we are on that path. She is becoming a momaholic. We made need an intervention.

   I think there are a few things that have factored into what I hope is just a temporary condition. There is now a new little one in town. She’s taken her space, taken her old clothes, and more importantly is stealing her mommy time. In fact, she will now point to me and say “you’re mine.” No joke. She has also become used to me being home with her now. As soon as I put on my coat and shoes and don’t grab hers, she knows something is up. The lip becomes pouty, the eyes droop, and then come the water works. This is usually the part when I feel like the worst mother on the planet. But, I can’t be with her every second of everyday!

   I started noticing the early signs of momaholicism when we were at her play gym class. The last five minutes is “separation time.” The kids are supposed to play with each other while the parents sit on the sidelines. That is what is supposed to happen. For me, and one other mom there, that is not what happens. My daughter will play for about 30 seconds and then run over to get me to play with her. The other moms stare like this has never happened to them, all of them except for the one whose son is glued to her too. We exchange sympathetic eyes. I try to get my daughter to go back and play, but she ain’t buying it. I just don’t get it. She is a social kid. Really, she is. Most times when she is with kids she knows, she forgets she knows me. I keep telling myself the “stranger” element is at play. I hope.

   So what’s a mom to do? Well, I’m trying to set up more play dates and more importantly trying to detach a bit, even if it is just to do some errands or go to the gym when she is actually awake so she deals with me leaving. Does this make me a bad mom? Some may say yes. But I say no. I don’t want her to become one of those kids who can’t be without their mommy, especially when she heads to preschool in the fall. I know the day will come when she will forget who I am and not want anything to do with me. I’ll probably cry and wish for these days again. But, for now I need to find ways to cope with my little momaholic.

Potty Training is Going Down the Toilet

   I never thought getting someone to do their business in the potty would be hard. I always heard how difficult potty training can be but I always thought parents were exaggerating. Nope, they weren’t. It’s hard, yep, and frustrating might I add. My master plan was to have my two and a half year old potty trained by Christmas. Go ahead and laugh. Santa Claus has left the building and we are not potty trained.

  My daughter actually did her first deed in the potty months ago at her grandmother’s house. I remember my husband called me at work and told me. I actually was sad that I missed this “first”. It may sound silly, but it was a milestone to me and I missed it, but I digress. I thought after that it would only be a few short weeks before we ditched the Pampers. I was wrong. During the weeks and months following, she has made progress. But, we are still mainly on diaper duty. She does go on her “princess potty” on occasion. The thing plays music after you go, which she seems to love. I’ve told her to tell mommy before you have to go pee pee or poo poo. She tells me after the fact. Baby steps, I guess.

  In my quest to have just one child in diapers in 2012, I’ve followed the advice of so many potty training warriors before me and invested in Pull Ups. Our pediatrician told us they really don’t work, but I bought them anyway. My daughter already knew how to pull up her pants before I introduced her to this marvelous creation. When I first showed them to her, she was probably thinking, “duh, mommy, I’m not stupid, I mastered this awhile ago.” We’ve been doing the Pull Up thing since October and we are still on the local train to becoming potty trained. There are days when the potty is her buddy, and other days when it is public enemy number one. Did I think she would magically put on a Pull Up and decide to go in the potty each and every time? No. But, I did think it would speed up the process more than it has. I know they are supposed to make kids feel like they have real underwear on as they pull them up and down, but what other purpose do they serve? So,yes, sorry to say,Pull Ups have let me down. I just don’t get how they help a kid get potty trained.

   So, what’s next? I’ve decided to go hardcore. That means introducing her to”big girl” underpants. I’ve actually started it today because I knew we were going to be home for the duration. I put on some old pants, and am keeping her away from the couch and my new ottoman as much as I can.Crazy? Maybe. Messy?Definitely. I’ve already cleaned up one puddle. But, a mom’s got to do, what a mom’s got to do. Hopefully by experiencing what it really feels like to wet yourself, the potty will really become her BFF. Hopefully.