Saturday, June 30, 2012

Random Acts of Kindess

"A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money." John Ruskin

Too often are we so busy in our own little bubble, that we forget other people occupy this world as well. Often, all it takes is a simple smile, or a 'hello' to make someone's day, and being with Little P reminds me of this daily.

In her innocence, she sees everyone as a friend. She says 'hi' to anyone who walks by her, some people she will go right up to and say it, others she will say it and wave at, and still others she will go up to and say 'hug?'. And every time, she catches people off guard.

And this was very evident during our flights home. Being at the age she is, and being as active as she is, Little P does not like to sit still for very long, which makes flying with her a little, well, let's just say it's 'challenging'. After our flights to Grandma and Grandpa's, I decided that for the flights home I was going to be like a Boy Scout and 'always be prepared'. I had coloring books and crayons, some of her favorite reading books, her blankie, two of her favorite stuffed animals, snacks, drinks and a load of patience.

Our first flight, although only an hour and a half long was probably the harder of the two. It was a smaller plane, so not a lot of space, and the walk to the end of the plane was very short. Fortunately, she was content (somewhat) to sit in Mommy's lap and read and color. Unfortunately, this only lasted for the first hour. After that we were up walking the short length of the plane. And being an early morning flight, a good portion of the people were asleep. But Little P, being Little P, had managed to get the two flight attendants wrapped around her little finger and they pretty much entertained her for the last 20 minutes or so of the flight (praise the gods).

However, due to a gate change and a very tight connection, my hopes of letting her run off some energy in Chicago where dashed when I realized we had 15 minutes to get from our current gate to the new one, get her changed and get boarded. There was no time to waste. And anyone who has traveled with a little one, knows they don't like being cooped up for long periods of time - so I was absolutely dreading the four hour flight to Las Vegas.

I really needn't have worried. She slept for the first hour and a half, and for the rest of the time, she basically 'owned' the plane. Up and down the aisle we walked, with Little P saying 'hi' to pretty much every row, waving at most, high five-ing others and stopping to 'chat' with others still. Let's just say, that as we waited on the gang way for her stroller, almost every person who walked past us had a smile and said 'bye'. I even had one gentleman (whom I had earlier over heard as we passed him to board, say 'great, there goes my chances of getting some sleep'), smile at Little P as he left and said 'what a great flyer she is. She must do this a lot. You ladies have a great day now'. Hey, what he doesn't know won't hurt him, right.

So lesson learned. A smile, a wave and even a high-five can go a long way in making someone's day. 

Who have you smiled at today?


Mommy-ism #74: patience. Comes with the territory, but it's not always easy to have, especially when your little one (or ones) are determined to push all your buttons and push you to the end of the proverbial line. Sometimes it takes giving yourself a 'time out', sometimes it's a matter of handing them over to your significant other (or a family member or friend, and in extreme cases, when no one else is available, booking a babysitter), and sometimes all you can really do is take a deep breath (or 8) and think, "I can get through this".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.....

I totally should have read the fine print on that one.

M, Little P & I just made the trek across country to go visit Grandma & Grandpa (I seriously have "To Grandmother's House We Go" playing in my head right now). And I will admit, I was the one who suggested we should fly overnight, partly so that we could spend as much time as we could with family & partly because I paid too much attention to what other Mommies on web forums had said. I unfortunately did not take into account the potential of Little P being so wide awake and the fact that maybe, just maybe, what other Mommies suggested wouldn't work for her (go figure).

So the end result, after two flights (and a rather lengthy delay on the  tarmac at JFK Airport) was one very tired little girl who on flight number 1, did her best 'Exorcist' impression on Mommy, Daddy, herself and our seats (thankfully we actually had our section to ourselves), one very tired Daddy (who due to work commitments he hadn't slept for 2 days) and one very worn out Mommy (who managed to get about 45 minutes sleep on the plane with a sleeping munchkin in her arms). It also resulted in Little P getting a change of clothes earlier than anticipated, Daddy still finding second hand french fries and peas in his pockets later that morning, and both Mommy and Daddy (and Little P) smelling kinda funky by the time we got to Syracuse.  All I can say is that when we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, we were ready for showers and naps.

But it was all totally worth it. Watching Little P get to know her cousins and Aunt and Uncle (not to mention the rest of M's rather extensive family) and having her spend quality time with Grandpa and Grandma (she can even say 'Grandpa' now.... well okay, it's 'Ganpa' but it's a start) makes the long, tiring and very uncomfortable journey seem less so.

I have to be honest though, the flight back has me a little concerned. Granted, it will be in the morning, and we did luck out and manage to snag a first class seat on the long leg back, I will however, be traveling with Little P on my own. I am hoping she won't do her Linda Blair impression again, but I have no doubt that by the time we get home, we will both need a nap and showers.

So lesson learned. In the future, my checklist for traveling with the munchkin will look something like this:

- luggage packed: check
- boarding pass printed out
- carry-on packed with toys, books, snacks, change of clothes, vomit bag...: check
- water proof pants, shirts and jacket for the flight over: check

And if all else fails, roadtrip!

Till next time, stay away from the pea soup.


Mommy-ism# 3: The peaceful feeling you get when you are watching your little one sleep and listening to their soft breathing... disappears when said child lets out a large fart and smirks.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome to Zombieland

The dictionary defines 'zombie' as 
a) a person whose behavior or responses are wooden,listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.
b) an eccentric or peculiar person.
c) a tall drink made typically with several kinds of rum, citrusjuice, and often apricot liqueur.

And while it is 5 o'clock (in the am not pm) I'm not drinking a 'Zombie', and most of you already know that I'm kind of a 'peculiar person' (to quote Lydia: "I, myself am strange and unusual"). But due to the long day yesterday, a rather sleepless night last night and being awake as the sun comes up, the end result is going to be me being somewhat of an automaton today.

I am seeing large, dark sunglasses and a permanent cup of coffee (or 'cupfee' as Little P calls it) constantly in my hand today.

And I know I'm not alone here. There's been many a day when I've taken Little P to the park and I've been around other parents who are like me (dark sunglasses, coffee in hand, trying desperately to be energetic but mostly just having trouble stringing words together to make a sentence). And there is always, always, one parent who is so full of energy and pep it's annoying (and I do mean that in the nicest possible way).

Perfect example: couple of weeks ago, at a park earlier than usual just because Little P was particularly amped up that day and M needed some sleep, there were the unusual suspects: a daddy with 3 kids (he has them on the weekends, ages 2,4 and 6 - couldn't tell you his name but I know the names of the kids - funny that, huh?), a grandma with her granddaughter who is a little older than P and a Momma, like me, with just the one little one running around. Everything is moving along at the pace we like, kids playing, quite sipping of our coffee's, when in walks what I can only describe as a female version of Richard Simmons - complete with spandex leggings (I kid you not).

Now, when I say 'walk' I mean 'bounced' into the playground, 3 kids in tow, and directs them to where they should be playing (yup, organized play for these kiddies). She comes over to where I am standing with the other Momma and announces how she just 'lurves coming to the park when it's all fresh and bright and early'. And proceeds to denounce pretty much everything about us. Why are we drinking coffee? You know, green tea is soooo much better for you - cleans you out. What's with the dark glasses? You expecting paparazzi to be snapping pictures? I don't like sunglasses, affects my ability to see clearly (?). Standing in the sun like this, I hope you are wearing SPF 1000 (laughs like a donkey at this, I swear). 

This barrage continues for another 10 minutes or so, when she gets distracted from us by her kiddies arguing. The other Momma and I look at each other, and she says, 'did we just get attacked by the Tasmanian Devil?'. This cracked me up for two reasons. One, I don't think we have said more than a couple of words to each other, ever (usually because I think we both know we aren't up to polite conversation at that time of the morning) and two, the reference to the Tasmanian Devil gave me visions of this woman slobbering at the mouth, making weird noises and spinning wildly out of control. 

Since then, Margaret (that's her name) and I, when we see each other at the park in the early morning, just nod and smile. We may be zombies, but we are united in our 'zombieness'.

So, for now, this zombie is going to top up her coffee, maybe get in a 'little' Pinterest, and prepare herself for the day ahead.

Till next time, be good zombies and eat your brains.

Mommy-ism #5: large, dark sunglasses become a necessity. They are handy at hiding the dark circles that have apparently become a permanent addition to your face & help you to feel somewhat normal (re: less a zombie). If you haven't already, invest in multiple pairs. Trust me, you will need more than one.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Oh there you are.

I ran into a friend of mine the other day that I hadn't seen in quite some time, actually, not since Little P was born. After the initial greetings and hugging, she said, and I quote, 'You still look like you'. I must of had a look of puzzlement on my face, because she quickly back pedaled saying 'Not that you look bad, I mean, it's great that you still look like you now that you are a Mommy and not at work. I mean, well, you look like you'. Um, yeah. 

This conversation went on for quite some time, with her digging a bigger and bigger hole. Eventually she managed to get to the point. She was concerned that when I had made the decision to not go back to work, that my fashion sense would pretty much go out the window. Apparently, to her, stay at home moms basically live in sweat pants (or their more 'fashionable' cousin, the yoga pant), t-shirts stained with baby food (or spit up) and ancient sneakers. In her mind, we let our looks go, don't look after ourselves and pretty much spend all our time channeling our fashion stylings on our little ones.

Now, while I am giving her a little leeway here, as she is a) under 25 and b) is very much single and has no kids, I was still somewhat surprised that people still have this vision of stay at home parents (not just moms). I made a conscious decision some time ago, that I needed to be a good role model to Little P in all aspects, and this included looking after myself and how I present myself to the world. Given, most of my high heels have been put into retirement (at least for the time being) and my suits, pencil skirts and dress pants are put away for now, I like to think that I look 'put together' most of the time. Hey, there are gonna be days when just getting out of the door in one piece is going to require an act of God, but I figure, if Little P sees her Momma making an effort to look good, then as she grows older she will to.

It made me think though. After all this time, do people still really view stay at home parents as people who have given up on fashion? Does choosing not to work full time negate your desire to look good? And conversely, if you do make the effort to look good while being at stay at home parent, are you viewed as 'trying to hard'? 

Or am I just over thinking the whole thing? What says you, my faithful readers? 

Till next time, stay fashionable.


Mommy-ism #82: nothing to wear. I know, we've all been there. You just get used to the way your body was BEFORE you had a child and now, it's like a foreign country that you have to learn the topography of. I can't tell you the number of times I have stood in my closet, sighing, trying desperately to find something to wear. In the end, I usually go with something tried and true - hey, if it ain't broke, why try and fix it?

'Closed for Maintenance' (nah, just kidding)

Don't you just wish you could put that sign up some days? 
'Sorry, Mommy is currently closed for maintenance, please check back later'.

There are days, when just getting through the day seems to take everything you have. You feel like the Little Engine that Could - 'I think I can, I think I can, I think I can'. On these days, it would be great to be like a website that is undergoing 'necessary' maintenance, so that 'your experience with us continues to be the best'. Yup, if Mommies (and Daddies) are to remain at peak performance, we need to get our necessary maintenance from time to time.

It doesn't have to be extravagant. It may be as simple as just getting a few hours to ourselves, reading a book, watching a movie uninterrupted, or just getting in a few more zzz's. It might be getting to work out at the gym or go for a run, getting your nails down, your hair down, or being able to shop without little ones constantly asking for something. Seems like a lot to ask huh?

I almost think it becomes a matter of keeping your sanity. To be able to keep up with these little versions of the Energizer Bunny, and still be our vibrant, wonderful selves, we have to get in some down time.

I used to read about these 'super moms' who have 6 kids, run a website and blog, make their kids clothes, cook a fabulous dinner every night and have a regular 'date-night' with the hubby. How on earth do they do it? I have to be honest, for a little while there I used to compare myself to these 'wonder women' and feel woefully inadequate. But then I wised up - I 'Googled' the heck out of them, and you know what, they aren't 'super women' at all - they have HELP! Yup, either large families who help out, or hired assistants. 'Wonder Woman' my butt. I still admire the fact that they want to do as much as they do, but now I know it really does take a village to raise a child (or 6).

I really do believe that we need to 'shut down' every now and then, but now I don't feel so bad for 'closing for maintenance' and leaving the floors dirty for another day. Hey, I ain't no 'Wonder Woman'.

And just because I couldn't resist, here for your viewing pleasure, the Energizer Bunny.

The force is strong with this one....


Mommy-ism #4: Make time for yourself. Meet friends for lunch (or drinks), get your nails done, go shopping without the little one (and don't buy anything for them - hard I know), whatever it is that will make you happy. Trust me, for your sanity and that of your family you need some 'mommy down time'. It may not always be easy to do, but like Nike says 'just do it'.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Laughter is what really makes the world go round

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Out loud, and for an extended length of time. Tears should be coming out of your eyes and if you snort, so much the better. It's been one of those days. You know, the ones where you think "Momma said there would be days like this'.

Little P had a rough night last night, which in turn meant that Mommy and Daddy did too. Although I think M got the rough end of the stick since he was up with her at 4am this morning (granted, he was still awake having gotten home from work not that long prior), but still. This usually means one of two things, P will either be a sleepy girl for most of the day or she will be little Miss Energy - today was the latter. 

We went to the park this morning, hoping to get in some sliding, and then some playing on the splash pad (thinking that she would wear herself out), only to find that the city had decided that this morning was going to be the day they fix the holes in the playground. Unfortunately, we didn't know this till both Little P and I had walked across said playground and had gotten the 'filler' all over our shoes. *sigh*

The rest of the morning was relatively uneventful if you exclude the whole 'putting someone else's snacks in my mouth, chewing them, then deciding I don't really like them so I'm going to just push them out of my mouth and let the ooey, gooey mess dribble down my shirt' business. 

Get home, thinking she would be ready for a nap. Um, yeah, not so much. Apparently she was full of poop (3 diapers worth actually. I swear, every time I changed her there was more poop. How something so small can have so much poop in her itty, bitty body is beyond me). And then there was the whole 'let's pull everything out of the bottom three shelves of the pantry' game (my FB peeps will know all about this game and how much we lurve it).  Finally, by about 1pm she was ready to have a nap (praise the gods). Unfortunately it was short lived. I did however get to hear her saying over the baby monitor 'I love you' (it's her latest phrase). Although, when she says it, it sounds like 'I wub oo', which makes it just that much more adorable. 

Get her up, change yet another poopie diaper (really?) bring her out to the lounge room and she immediately gravitates to the clean laundry folded up in the hamper. I don't pay it much attention, it's too high for her to do her usual 'pull it all out' routine, when I hear her saying 'hat, hat, hat'. I'm thinking, there aren't any hats out here, and when I turn around she has managed to pull out one of my bra's and has put it on her head. With a big grin, she says 'hat' again. And that was it, the water that I had just swallowed started coming out of my nose from laughing so hard, tears pouring down my cheeks, and yes, I snorted. 

See, sometimes you just have to give in and go with it.

Live long and snort loudly.


Mommy-ism #57: giggles. Hearing your little one giggle for the first time is awe-inspiring. Hearing them have their first 'giggle fit' is just adorable, and hearing them practicing their 'wicked witch' laugh with their daddy is just down right hilarious. I do think Little P has a future in being a Disney Villain (you know, should she choose to go that way).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Wow. Who would have thought that post #3 would be so hard to write? It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's that there are just way to many ideas rattling around in my head. It's crazy. If you could see the 'back end' (ha, I said 'back end') of this blog, you would see roughly 8 drafts of posts waiting to be finished (that's right, 8).

I feel like a goldfish - I get started, get on a roll, and then it's 'oh, look, something shiny!' And then I lose it. I can't keep writing on that topic. So I get up, go do something else, come back and go 'crap', save it and start a new one. This has been going on since roughly 5pm this afternoon. 

I thought an episode or two of the 'Big Bang Theory' might help me to switch off my mind for a little while and I have to admit, a good giggle (thanks Sheldon and Co.) and some playtime with the munchkin gave me the 'oomph' I needed, and here we are.

I was informed today, by a friend of mine who also writes a blog, that I have to give people a reason for wanting to read my posts. Apparently just being my charming, witty self is not enough to encourage others to continue to read what I write. Now, I'm not a 'crafty Mommy' (I can't take an empty tissue box, some wrapping paper, a glue gun and some fishing line and go 'I'm going to make a scale size replica of the Millennium Falcon for my son - it will be awesome'), so posting tutorials on what I made today is out of the question. And I made a promise to myself to keep this light hearted so I'm not going to write about the difficulties we had getting and staying pregnant. And as much as I like to voice my opinion about certain topics, I'm far too sensitive to have an 'opinionated blog' (I can see my brother smirking and snorting right now - far too sensitive, ha).

So, here's the deal. I'm going to try and keep my adventures in 'mommy-hood' entertaining and post worthy enough so that you will keep reading and I promise not to do a rant on whether 'Star Trek' or 'Star Wars' is better - deal?

Okay, so onto the fun stuff. 

Einstein said: 'Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result'. I get that, I do. But I have a feeling it only applies to 'grown ups'. Let me explain. I spent the better portion of an hour this afternoon watching Little P do the following: go to her toy box, proceed to pull out everything she could reach (it's a little deep for her at the moment) and line them up. Apparently little one's like to 'organize' their toys. She would get them all lined up, mostly by color, strangely enough, look at them, then mess it all up and put them back in the toy box. She would then come over to the table, get her sippy cup, have some water, sigh, and then go back to her toy box to repeat the whole thing all over again. She did this 5 times. 

And I know this was bad of me, but I kept thinking, if she was older, say like a teenager, people would say she needs help. Which would probably involve seeing a doctor, maybe medication and time in a 'controlled environment'. When did we get to the point where, when we look at what children do, and instead of thinking 'they are just being kids and exploring their world' we think 'do I need to stop this behavior?'. Have we become so aware of how other people view the world that we have to think about what they would think about something instead of just letting things be what they are?

Once I got over that little blip in my head, I sat down with her and we sorted her blocks, which quickly became a game of hide the 'bunny' block which in turn became a game of me hiding behind the kitchen island and going 'boo' whenever she came past. By the end of it, we were both on the floor in a fit of giggles and that moment of panic was gone.

From now on, I'm going to just do what The Beatles said and 'let it be'. She's a happy, healthy kid who loves exploring her world and discovering new things. And honestly, isn't that what being a kid is all about?

So till next time...


Mommy-ism #61: letting it be. Kids are going to be kids. They are going to get into all the things they shouldn't. They are going to fall over and get hurt. They are going to get covered in dirt one day, paint and glitter the next and they are going love doing it all. As long as they aren't hurting themselves or anyone else, we should take a step back, and just watch what they are doing. Because deep down you know that making mud pies is as much fun as it looks and you are going to get down there and make them with them. There is time for serious things later in life, for now, just go with it and have fun with your little one.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

And away we go....

Okay, so it was a somewhat successful start to my blogging 'career' yesterday - a big thank you to all my wonderful friends for taking a look and giving me their feedback. I have duly noted all your comments and am currently reviewing which ones I am going to use and which I am going to politely delete (kidding, they were all really helpful). Who knew I had so many friends who also write blogs?

It appears that for my second blog, I should let you in a little bit on who I am. Makes sense. Why would you read something posted by someone who could for all intensive purposes, be something of a sociopath and secretly trying to recruit you into their cult? Not saying that's what I am doing, although if anyone has plans on taking over the world, I'm down.

So, coffee in hand, heart in my throat and fingers at the ready, here we go.

I'm a 30-something (almost 40-something) Australian, who has been living in the US since November, 2001. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, I had the wonderful opportunity to live in New York City for five awesome years (can you tell I miss Manhattan?). I am married to an incredibly generous, supportive and down right funny man, who will be know as 'M' (I know, very 'James Bond' isn't it?) and we have been blessed with a beautiful little girl, who from here on out will be referred to as 'Little P'.

My family all still reside in Australia, M's family are in upstate New York, so the friends we have made here in Vegas have really become our 'family', and for that we are truly thankful.

I'm not what you would call a 'crafty' momma; I don't sew, bake or make pretty things for other people - I am supportive of my talented friends who do, and totally appreciate their patience when I do try my hand at making things myself and bug them into showing me how. And as soon as I get a handle on this whole blogging thing, I will show you just how talented these women are. 

They say your whole life changes when you have a child, and I know for me, that's truer than true. Partly because I came to the whole 'motherhood' thing late in the game and partly because I really had spent my entire adult life up till that moment when they put that little person in my arms for the first time, just 'living in the now'.

So, that's pretty much me in the old nutshell. If I haven't completely bored you to tears, I would love to have you join me on this little journey as I muddle my way through 'parenthood'.

Till next we meet,


Mommy-ism #60: making it up as you go along. For a lot of us first time parents (and I'm guessing even some of those who are onto child #2 or 3 or 4...) a good portion of the time we are really just 'winging it'. Sure we have family and friends (the occasional support group) who can help, there are plenty of books written about parenting and of course the world wide web is right at our fingertips, but at the end of the day, I'm betting that you, like me, are really just taking it a step at a time, feeling it out as it were, and hoping and praying that you don't screw up your child/ren too much. 

Besides, a little dysfunction is what makes people interesting, right?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Even the best laid plans go astray...

Here I am, officially in 'blog-land' and for once in my life, I can't think of a thing to say. 

Maybe it's the early hour (haven't had my coffee yet), maybe it's the Cheerio's that keep getting thrown at me by my darling daughter or could it possibly be that I'm just not that interesting?

Nah, it's definitely the lack of coffee.

My thoughts on doing this blog were to a) give me something 'grown-up' to do now that I am a SAHM ('stay at home mom' for those of you who aren't familiar with the abbreviation - I know I wasn't till I became one), b) to quiet the voices of my Mother and Brother who kept asking me 'how come you aren't doing a blog'? and c) I thought my insights might make for somewhat interesting reading for someone out there.

But now that I'm here, I am totally stumped. I Googled 'first blog post' to just get an idea of what people write for the first time, and have discovered that it's kind of like the first time you have sex - everyone's experience is different; some where incredibly brief, others seemed to go on forever and not really achieve anything, but most just left me wondering why I had even bothered - so absolutely no help whatsoever. *sigh*

So, till I get into the proverbial swing of things, I'll leave you with a little 'mommy-ism'.

Mommy-ism #77: once you become a parent, things rarely go as planned. Quiet dinners, moments alone, peaceful reflection (um, what's that?), even quick trips to the store, all seem to go out the window once you enter the mystical realm of parenthood. 
But hey, that's okay, because even though you might not be able to enjoy dinner with some friends over a nice bottle of wine, having a tea party with your little one and 20 of her closest furry friends is kind of fun too. So while the best laid plans may continue to go astray, enjoy the ride, because you know it will be over all too soon.