What Does Mommy Read?

As a mom, sometimes getting time to yourself is harder than getting tickets to a Bon Jovi show. I should know, but that’s a different topic for a different time. Seriously, though, getting time to yourself is so important. It can really help keep you sane and recharge your batteries. With that said, you don’t want to waste it doing dumb things like laundry or cleaning your house. Hitting the gym and reading a good book often top my free time list. While I enjoy some “Goodnight Moon” and “Green Eggs and Ham”, I need some grownup pages to turn.

What’s more grownup than the “50 Shades” trilogy? I often brought it with me to the gym and noticed my fellow gymsters staring at the covers. What kind of mom would I be if I didn’t read these books? Come on! Anyway, some of the guys would stare at the cover with intrigue and silliness. Some women would give me the “oh yeah, I’m reading that too” look, while others looked on in disgust. I wanted to tell those onlookers, “Hey mama, you don’t know what you’re missing!” That is until you get to the last book. Oh E.L. James, what a let down! I won’t spoil it for those of you who may still be drooling over Christian Grey. But, let’s just say I was 50 shades of disappointed! I don’t know how I wanted it to end, but I didn’t want to end it the way it did.

On the total end of the spectrum is a book by a friend of mine, Rosemary O’Brien. Her new novel “Scraps” is 50 shades of a good read. While there’s no Christian Grey or any of that craziness, there are some real honest to goodness characters and story lines that will suck you in faster than a buy one get one free sale. I can truthfully say I read through this one faster than any of the three “50 Shades” books. Sometimes you just need a good story, especially one that will get you a little misty at the end. That’s when you know you’re invested in a good book. If the characters can make you feel something, then you’ve sold me, and this one did just that.

Speaking of characters that make you feel something, open a page to any of the Nicholas Sparks books. He is my favorite author. I can say I own and have read every one of his books. I’m currently into “Safe Haven”. Of course, I love it! All of his books suck me in and make me want more. Seriously, what a talent! Unfortunately, the movie adaptions weren’t always on my list of favs, but I guess that’s okay.

Okay, enough writing for now, time to spend some quality time with my book and my little book light. I know it’s nerdy, but it’s one of the best gifts I ever got! What are some of your favorite books and authors? I’m always looking for some new pages to turn!

Sleep Training Bootcamp: The Sequel

When it comes to movies, the sequels are never usually ever as good as the originals. In my case, that’s not true. In my house “Sleep Training Bootcamp, Part II” well surpasses part one. If you follow my posts, you remember back in October when I talked about trying to get my youngest daughter to sleep through the night. At that point she was just one year old and had pretty much woke up at least two to three times every night of her little life. To avoid waking up her big sister, my husband or I (really, mostly me) would go in her room to try to get the little beast, I mean angel, to go back to sleep. That meant mommy was one cranky beast herself.

Of course the pediatrician advised to let her cry it out. I unwillingly went along with the plan. I felt like such a bad mommy not coming to her rescue. To my surprise it worked…for awhile. I really thought we were on the road to sweet dreams. But really, it was just a tease. Her shenanigans started up again pretty quickly due to a monster called Hurricane Sandy. That female dog ruined any little pattern I tried to get off the ground. We lost power for a few days and had to stay elsewhere. Try getting a kid to adapt to a routine in an unfamiliar place! Once we were back home, she got a cold. What kind of monster mom would I be if I let her howl while she was sick? So, I did what any pushover mom would do, I started picking her up again…and again…and again…for the next three months.

Now, we’re at her fifteen month check-up and I’m at my wits end. Once again, I had the same talk with the pediatrician. She pretty much told me I was screwed if I didn’t let her cry it out. So I did. The first couple of nights she did just that…cry it out…for more than one hour. But then, something magical happened, she laid back down and went back to sleep…on her own. The next night, same thing, but the symphony lasted a mere 45 minutes. Holy mother of Pampers I think we’re on to something! Fast forward a few more nights and her greatest hits were down to about ten minutes. I could almost predict the pattern..same time, same place, same routine, but better. She actually falls asleep on her own now consistently without me having to get up!

Granted, there are still those nights when I do need to get up because she’s woken up her sister, or the whole neighborhood (just kidding), but for the most part this is working so much better the second time around. No more waking up three or four times a night! Thank goodness because the bags under my eyes were getting too heavy! Sweet dreams, night night:)

Stay at Home Momiversary

It’s been a year. I really can’t believe it. One whole year that I’ve been at this stay-at-home mom thing. It’s my stay-at-home momiversary.You may think it sounds cliché but it really seems like just yesterday that I was freaking out about having a screaming newborn and demanding toddler on my hands. Fast forward one year and now I have two demanding toddlers on my hands with a little less freaking out…well, at least sometimes!

When I signed up for this stay-at-home mom thing part of me thought it would be easier than it really is some days. I mean, really, stay at home and just take care of your own kids, piece of cake, right? Not so much. This gig is no joke. You are on call 24/7 with no sick, personal, or vacation days. I really thought I would have more free time than I do. It seems like I have less somehow. I thought my house would be forever clean because I would be here more often to clean it. I thought I would transform into some kind of Martha Stewart with decorations to die for and dinners to drool over. Guess what? My house is still a mess, if not messier. The decorations haven’t changed and the dinners are the same crap we’ve always eaten. So, perhaps I failed in those areas. But, I think I succeeded in some others that are more important like being able to feel proud that my three year-old knows her letters because I am the one who taught her before her teachers ever did. And the fact that she is becoming a puzzle whiz and loves to look at books.

But, I would be lying if I didn’t admit there are days that I do miss the daily routine of getting up and going to work and interacting with people over the age of three. There are days I miss driving in my car alone without answering 20,000 questions. But, there are also many more days that I enjoy play dates, story hour at the library, strolls on the beach, and many other activities that I know I wouldn’t be able to do as freely as I do now, and for that I am grateful.

As a SAHM, you have bosses who can be so demanding and relentless that you sometimes want to cry. And guess what? There’s no cash money paycheck or 401K! What kind of job is this? It’s the kind of job that pays in “I love you’s” and hugs and kisses and things like “Mom, I want to be just like you.” You might not be able to take that to the bank or save up to buy a condo in Boca when you’re 70, but the payoff is  far greater.

Bye Bye, I Don’t Like You, Go Away

You’ve heard it before, “kids say the darnedest things.” But, you really don’t live it until you actual have children of your own. Lately, I’ve had a laundry list of things my three year-old is just busting out with. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes embarrassing, and other times they are just downright rude to the point that I wish she was still in utero.

Just this morning, she told me she was going to have a birthday party for her doll fully equipped with cake, party hats, and wine. I almost spit out my coffee! I asked wine, you’re going to have wine at your party? She looked at me as if I was the one who said something crazy. She simply said yes and then went on to ask if I like wine. Well, duh! That’s like asking a squirrel if he likes nuts. Then there’s the conversation about show and tell where she told me she wanted to bring her sister as her toy. As cute as that would be, I had to say no. After going through a few things in her playroom, she settled on her “Furr Real” pet dog. We’ll see how that goes.

As far as embarrassing goes, well, kids are always saying something that could fall under that category. My daughter will talk about her poop and boogers like any other child. And as I’ve told you all before, she enjoys calling people farm animals. Yes, I am still “Mommy Cow.”

Her latest phrase falls under embarrassing, as well as downright rude. With her little Minnie Mouse voice and angelic eyes she’ll say goodbye to you in one breath and then in the next she’ll tell you she doesn’t like you and to go away…still in her sweet and innocent voice…and then laugh. I don’t know where on earth she picked that up, but it’s getting annoying. She even said it to the priest! After saying goodbye to him, we walked away and she said it! Luckily we were far enough away that he didn’t hear. Granted there are times when I want to tell people to go away because I don’t like them, but I don’t do it. At least not so they can hear it! I’m really hoping this is a phase. I really want to tell her to say bye bye to this little saying because mommy doesn’t like it and wishes it would go away! Stay tuned!

If My Kids Could Make Resolutions…

The Christmas trees are coming down, the presents have either been put away or returned or put into that “special” pile of crap that you don’t know what you’re ever going to do with. You’ve watched the ball drop at Times Square and have done the annual countdown to the New Year. So, guess what time it is? Yes, it’s time to make those resolutions. You know, the time of year when you pledge to be more organized, exercise more, eat better, be a better person, blah blah blah. But, what if your kids could make resolutions? What would they be? Well, since they don’t quite grasp the concept, I’m going to do it for them.

Here goes. If my three-year-old could make some resolutions, I would hope it would be to fall asleep earlier. I envy people who are able to put their kids to sleep at eight o’clock and claim they sleep for twelve hours straight with no interruptions. I want proof. I would also like for her to eat breakfast willingly without me having to make threats to her TV time and toys. Abby Cadabby and Dora’s lives have been put at risk one too many times. I would also like for her to stop calling people animals and stop telling people she doesn’t like them. It is annoying.

As for my one-year-old, I think she should try to sleep through the night without waking up and screaming as though she is possessed. Sleep training was working, but then we fell off the wagon, and we are back where we started. I also think she should resolve to change her own diapers. That would awesome. It would also be great if she would learn to share and not hit her sister. I know, a mom can dream. Another great resolution for her would be to learn how to ween off the boob. Mom is getting tired and it is getting old. I am not a human pacifier.

Now that I’ve made my children’s resolutions, you may be wondering if I’ve made any of my own. Even if you’re not wondering, I’ll share anyway. Mine fall under the blah, blah, blah, category for the most part…exercise more, eat better, and try not to sweat the small stuff. I’m also going to try not to complain so much about dumb things. It’s just hard when you’re sleep deprived and feel torn in five thousand directions. We’ll see if I can stick to these things and if I can get my children to comply with the resolutions I’ve made for them. Happy 2013 folks, let’s hope it’s a good one!