Thursday, September 27, 2012

'Nailed It' - Easy Stenciled Art

I've been trying to decide for quite some time now, how to do something like this:

Credit - Pinterest (I couldn't find the original website - think it's TipJunky)
without having to spend $300 or so to get a Silhouette or something similar that prints and cuts vinyl. I also thought about printing directly onto scrap book paper, but it just wasn't screaming out 'do it' to me.

So, when out of the blue, I came across this:

Credit - DIY on the Cheap
I thought to myself, 'Self, you could totally do this'. Her tutorial is really (and I mean really) easy to follow and I had the Martha Stewart stencils and paint on hand from a project I was already doing (more on that later), so all I needed was a frame. And wouldn't you know it, I swung by Walmart (just like she suggested) later that day and found myself a frame I liked for a whopping $5. SCORE!

Home I goes, ready to rock and roll this project like no bodies business. 

I gathered my supplies (I used the painters tape to help keep the letters on a straight line - cause I'm funny like that), and set to work.

And this is how it turned out:

While I loved the matt, the all white wasn't working for me and the backing was black, so that wasn't going to work as the background - instead, I switched it up a notch and used some burlap I had left over for the background (actually, I think I have about 5 yards of burlap left over from a project that used about 1/2 a yard.... because I couldn't get it in a smaller size at the store and I didn't have the patience to order it online and wait. You know me, Ms. Instant Gratification). And my fonts are a little different from the ones on the tutorial, but I guess that's the point, right? You don't want it to be exactly like someone else's.

And this is how the finished 'family plaque' looks:

And once I got started using the stencils, it kind of snow balled (and will probably continue to do so). I've used it on cups, wine glasses and vases so far....

The stencils are going to come in handy when I start making ornaments for Christmas.... yup, definitely getting my money's worth out of those.

So, easy stencil art - think I 'nailed it'?


(and as a side note, I actually put the wrong year on our family plaque - it's what happens when too much wine is consumed and you have the TV going on in the background. But a little alcohol - which is kind of funny since that's what got me in trouble in the first place - and I rubbed out the wrong number and I put the right year on there)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yup. Un-huh.

I was asked the other day, by a friend of mine's little sister, if my life was really that interesting or if I was just a good story teller (she actually used the term 'making sh*t up', but I like my version better). When I asked her what she was talking about, she said 'Your blog'.

Trust me, there is no way I would be able to make this stuff up (okay, maybe a couple of bottles of wine and watching 'Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas' might give me the ability to make stuff like this up...). When you have a child, they don't hand you the baby, a copy of 'A Parent's Guide to Not Screwing It Up', give you the card of a good therapist and send you on your way. They give you the baby and that's about it. Off you go. Good luck.

If you don't have kids, or don't spend a lot of time around them, it can be hard to believe that some of the weirdest and most wonderful things happen when you are around them. And while Little P is full of personality, she's still just 19 months old, so a lot of what I write comes from my wonderful friends and from just watching other parents and their kids.

I see it this way - I have friends without kids (and actually some with) who still party like a rock star and some of the things they get up to would make even the most hard core of celebrities blush. It's the same thing with kids. You could almost make a game out of it. It would go something like this:

"So, your 3 year old son likes to run around without pants on and show everyone his penis? I'll see your 3 year old penis with Prince Harry being naked and raise you a grown man passing out in his front yard with his pants around his ankles.

Okay. How about a 2 year old who won't wear anything unless it's pink. Tantrums and thrown items occur if she's not in head to toe pink. Too easy. I'll see your 2 year old pink lover and raise you a 56 year old woman who not only wears nothing but pink, but her hair is pink, her dog is pink, her car is pink and everything in her house is pink.

How about a 4 year old who uses the word 'f**k' to describe everything (his parent's are so proud). Please, I know grown ups who can't say one sentence without peppering it with at least 5 cuss words."

It somehow becomes a weird version of 'Anything you can do, I can do better'. But at the end of the day, when a kid put his underwear on his head, it's kind of cute; an adult does it, well, it's just kind of sad (occasionally funny too, but mostly just sad).

See, I don't need to make this stuff up - it's happening, everyday. I have no doubt that when we go to the park today, I will see something that will make me pull out my notebook and pen and start jotting down notes.

Life is interesting. It's happening around you all the time. You just have to pay attention to what is going on. If you slow down and just look around, you will see all sorts of interesting things happening. It, of course, helps that I live in Las Vegas - this place is a mecca for the weird and wonderful.

So, my beautiful people, till next time, keep your eyes open, and you just may see something interesting.


Mommy-ism #41: It's the quirks we have that make us unique. I know one little boy that will only eat food if it's green (green food coloring gets used a lot in that house) and one little girl that refuse’s to wear any clothes that aren't pink (as in, she would rather be naked than not wear pink). And Little P? Well she thinks everything belongs in her toy box - and I mean everything. I've found our shoes, car keys, tissues, cushions, books and even her sippy cup in there (today it was were the cookies belonged). I know, it could be way worse.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet 'Mr. Chuck'. First name 'Up'.

Baby vomit. Little kid vomit. And even grown up vomit. It's all 'eewww', but if I had to pick which one I thought was the worst, I would have to go with baby/toddler vomit.

It's sticky. It's really, really stinky. It has a rather unusual consistency that kind of reminds me of slime (you know, the stuff you got in a can and was green, sticky and just nasty) and it tends to come out of your little ones like someone just switched on a hose - very reminiscent of Linda Blair.

As a baby, Little P didn't throw up - of course she spit up a little, but not a whole lot, so I kind of figured we might luck out. And then around the nine month mark, it happened. I was picking her up to put her to bed and out it came - on me, on her, all over the floor, it was nasty. Who knew that a little one could have that much puke come out of them. 

While I was amazing at the sheer amount of it, and the weird consistency, the smell hit me. Like the proverbial ton of bricks. Oh. My. Dear. Lord. Fortunately, after years of working in nightclubs, the smell of vomit doesn't make me want to throw up, but wow, this was seriously gross. M and I have since become very skilled at dealing with little kid puke - how to get Little P from what had now become ground zero, to the bath without dragging it everywhere, to being able to change her bed and clean up her room all in under 30 minutes. Of course, when there's just one of us, it takes a little longer, but we got some serious skills kids.

I mention all of this because friends of mine recently went through this for the first time. Their little boy, at age two, had yet to throw up (I know right? How lucky for them). When it did happen, they were kind of at a loss as how to a) remove him from the car seat (where he had been sick), b) get him into the bath to wash him off, c) to get the smell out of the car seat and the car and d) not throw up themselves.

It apparently took them almost two hours to get it all done. Their little boy was fascinated with this weird thing that had just come out of his mouth and wanted to keep playing with it. Mom was having a hard time not throwing up as she tried to get his clothes off without getting the vomit all over him and Dad had put on a mask (used for spray painting) and rubber gloves and was trying to pull the car seat out of the car without getting covered in little kid puke.

At the end of it all, both Mom and Dad had thrown up ('only a little' they tell me), Junior was all clean and smelling of Mom's body wash as apparently the kid stuff just couldn't get rid of that smell, and the car was taken to be detailed because there was 'no way they were going to drive around in a car that still had vomit smell'. I didn't have the heart to tell them it was all down hill after this. That there will indeed be more days of little kid vomit. But, they will get a routine down after it happens a couple more times and that they won't throw up every time that it does. 

That smell never really does go away though - no matter what you do. I wonder what taxi drivers use....?

Till next time, avoid Mr. Up Chuck - he's no fun.


Mommy-ism #32: I have two words for you - 'baby vomit'. Nothing compares to it in color, texture, smell, consistency or just plain stickiness. Having worked in bars and nightclubs, I've had to deal with many a type of vomit, but this stuff just takes the cake (so to speak).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nailed It - EasyFall Decor

So, as you all know, I'm super excited for the weather to cool down (which, is slowly happening here in Vegas) and I've been working on some new fun projects for the house. Since I don't like to do Halloween decor till October, I wanted to get some 'fall' color going and after making my Fall Blocks I wanted to add a few more touches to the table in our foyer.

My original intention had been to do a 'Pumpkin Shadow Box' along the lines of my Butterfly Shadow Box that I had done for Little P's room. But do you think I could find a basic pumpkin punch out there? Nope. Nada. No way. They were all Halloween-ized. Which is fine, but wasn't going to work for what I wanted. Even my crafty friends couldn't help. (I'm seriously thinking of writing to Martha to ask her why she didn't do one this year - I mean, really, how hard could it be?)

So, back to the drawing board. Fortunately, while I was roaming Michaels wondering why it was so hard to find a pumpkin punch, I came across their clearance racks and found two 5" x 7" white photo frames - and bingo! An idea was born. I grabbed those babies, paid for them and headed home.

With a little left over scrap book paper, some fall leaves that were left over from a project Little P and I had done and about five minutes of my time, I had these:

How cute, right?

Not what I had wanted to do, but they actually work out better, as they balance the table nicely. Inspiration can strike in the strangest ways, can't it?

So, for $4 and about five minutes of my time, what do you think? Did I 'nail it'?


(and my apologies for the quality of the photo's for the last couple of posts. I put away the photo studio when I needed all the room on the table and have just been way too lazy to pull it out again. I promise the next one I will make an effort and take some better pictures.)

Slight of Hand

When you become a parent, all of a sudden, you also become a magician. In the beginning, it's just being able to make dinner with a baby in your arms, or being able to keep a relatively clean house while surviving on about 3 hours of sleep a night. But as your little one gets older, it becomes more of an ability to either keep them entertained, or distract them from something they shouldn't or can't have.

Case in point: I recently made a special trip to a store with Little P, and upon entering said store I realized I'd made a rookie mistake - I didn't put Little P in the stroller. Normally this isn't a problem as I'm usually shopping at places that have carts and can put her in one of those, but not today. So I had to make a decision: either call it quits and get back in the car and try and make it out here another day, or brave it with Little P walking with me. I really should have just called it quits.

Aside from her wanting to a) not take my hand and b) run like a Zombie was chasing her, I had to deal with her picking up things, and walking around with them like they were hers. For the most part, it wasn't too big a deal. If her holding onto a book or a doll while I tried (in vain, I might add) to find what it was that I actually came here for, I was okay with that. But then we came to a section that had a bunch of teddy bears.

And again, this wouldn't have been an issue. I mean, really, what harm can a kid do to a teddy bear when they only have it for a few minutes? That, however was not the problem. The $50 price tag and the fact that Little P had decided it was now HERS, were.

Trust me, I tried everything. 'Honey, do you want a snack? How about a cracker?' 'NO.' 'Hey, look, Mommy has your Mickey. Do you want to take him and give Mommy the bear?' 'NO.' 'How about some water? A cookie? A book?' 'NO. NO. NO.' *sigh*

Okay, so the usual tactics were not going to work in this case. What on earth can I get her to take without there being a scene (cause you just know how much I lurve leaving a store with a screaming toddler) and without me having to fork over $50 just to keep Little P calm, cool and collected. Maybe there was another teddy that I could get her to hold? Nope - they were all 'hand made lovingly and given their own personalities'. Hence the $50 price tag. Fan-frigging-tastic. Okay, woman, think. What would Little P want? And then I saw them. Shoes. Not kids shoes. But shoes none the less. And we all know how Little P loves her shoes.

'Look, baby girl. Shoes.' 'Shoes?' 'Uh-huh. Do you want to go look at the shoes.' 'Yes!' 'Okay, well Mister Bear needs to go back to his friends if we are going to look at the shoes.' 'Bear come?' 'No, sweetie, he needs to sit with his friends while we look at shoes. Okay?' 'Bear come home?' 'Maybe after we look at shoes.' 'Okay.' With much reluctance, she hands over said expensive bear and makes straight for the shoes. Okay, crisis averted. Now, how do I leave the store without buying a new pair of shoes (which, given the price of the bear, are no doubt going to cost more than my weekly grocery budget) and by-pass the bear?

After much giggling over the shoes, I was able to maneuver Little P past the bears, by keeping her attention focused on the other side of the aisle and blocking her view (talk about being an Illusionist - 'watch me make all these teddy bears disappear!') and we got out of the store in one piece. Without what I had just driven 30 minutes to try and find, but that's okay. No tantrums, crying or expensive teddy bears, tends to make for a successful trip. 

Next time, I'll pack the stroller. And do a little more research to make sure the store I'm going to doesn't sell $50 baby dolls. 

So, till next time, read up on the manual. Rookie mistakes like this can cost a bundle.


Mommy-ism #43: 'Quickly running to the store to get a few things' takes on a whole new meaning when you have a baby. Gone are the days when you could leave and come back in 15 minutes and have everything you went out for. A short grocery trip now requires planning, checking & double-checking to make sure you have everything, and then hoping that your little one doesn't have a melt down while you are there. Makes me wonder why more stores don't have drive-thru's..."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nailed It - DIY Paperweights

Ever look on Pinterest and think, 'Wow. That looks really, really easy.' And then proceed to try it out only to have it be a dismal failure? Yeah, me neither. (Ha! One day I will show you some of the less than perfect crafts I tried in the beginning. And if you haven't already checked out Pinstrosity, you should do so, very funny).

Seriously though, I saw these from my new favorite blog, Mod Podge Rocks (indeed it does) and I thought 'How easy' and you know what? They really were. 

So, here's my take on this. The tutorial on this is pretty easy step by step, but I changed it up a little bit, cause, you know, that's how I roll.

All you need is:

  • Votive candler holders (from Dollar Store: $1 for a two pack)
  • Fancy pants paper or a photo cut to size (I used scrap book paper I had left over from     another craft and was going to use a photo of Little P, but the candle holders are pretty small and you have to really size the photo right - which I didn't, but you get that)
  • Mod Podge (or any other crafting glue that dries clear and is easy to brush on. I prefer Mod Podge - a) because I have a bunch of it and b)it seems to dry better than any other glue. But that's just me)
  • Brush (to brush on the glue)
  • Something to trace a circle the size of the candle holder (I used a cookie cutter that just fit into it)
  • And a glass of wine (it's not necessary, but I find doing crafts with one on hand tends to go much easier. Not sure why)

And that's about it. See? Piece of proverbial cake.

(Small disclaimer: even though I have been using Mod Podge for a good six months now, I still manage to a) get it all over me and b) forget that when crafting, one should not have spent a good hour doing their nails the day before - Mod Podge, paint and fancy nails DO NOT a happy partnership make. Oh and the paint was from another craft, but you will see that next week)

So, get your fancy pants paper or photos (Exhibit A):

Exhibit A
And your candle holders (Exhibit B):

Exhibit B
And cut your fancy pants paper to fit inside your candle holders. You should have a circle and a long strip (exhibit C):

Exhibit C
Now, grab your Mod Podge (Exhibit D) and take a sip of wine (Exhibit E). Cover the inside of the candle holder with a light coating and the picture side of the paper with a light coating ,

Exhibit D

Exhibit E
and place Exhibit C into Exhibit B, so that you get Exhibit F:

Exhibit F
Then you just do the same with the long strip, sit back and let it dry. Once the Mod Podge has dried (it goes on white but dries clear) You will have your paperweight (Exhibits G & H).

Exhibit G
Exhibit H
Now, the tutorial on Mod Podge Rocks goes a little further and adds resin to the inside to give it more weight and a more 'finished' look. Since I didn't have any resin on hand (and I'm a little wary of using it - if I get Mod Podge everywhere, who knows what will happen if I use resin!) I skipped that part. But you would mix the resin and then pour it in at this point if that's what you wish to do.

(And if you are wondering what's up with all the 'exhibit' stuff, I had 'Law and Order' on in the background while writing this and kept hearing the 'dunk dunk'.)

So, sit back, take another sip of wine (if you have any left) and admire your handy work. For $1 (for the candle holder  - I had everything else on hand) and about 20 minutes of time, it's not a bad effort, huh?

So, did I nail this one?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Give a girl the right shoes...

And she can conquer the world. 
Marilyn Monroe said that. Wise woman that she was. I'm all about shoes. High heels, ballet flats, knee high boots. Patent black, leopard print, purple seude.... I love them. I'm of the opinion that the right shoe can take any outfit from okay to freaking fantastic.

And, it would appear, that my love of shoes has passed onto Little P. Even before she could walk she had an affinity for them - going into our walk-in and grabbing shoes on a daily basis. She would surround herself with them. Both mine and M's. Lately, however, she's taken to putting my shoes on and walking around in them. Sometimes with nothing but a diaper on. I find it cute. M finds it disturbing - a sign of things to come.

(Little P in a pair of Mommy's heels)

Recently Little P was overheard by her Daddy saying 'I love shoes.' His sigh of defeat could be heard from the other side of the house. If he's lucky, she'll outgrow this obsession. I don't like his chances though.

And we aren't the only ones. I was talking with a Mommy friend the other day about Little P's fascination with shoes and she tells me she has the same trouble, with her 3 year old.... son. She's not really worried about it. Six months ago he was all about wearing his Spiderman outfit constantly. His Daddy however, is somewhat, um, concerned. 

Trying to explain to a man that his only son is fine, and that he's just going through a phase when it comes to being obsessed with shoes, is kind of like trying to talk to a brick wall. The words just bounce off. He is convinced that his little boy is destined to become a Drag Queen, a fashion stylist or store buyer (personally I think that Daddy is a) just a little too aware of these things and b) does he realize how much most of these jobs pay if they are good at it?). 

I would totally understand Daddy's concern if he was gravitating towards red shoes with sequins on them, or leopard print over-the-knee boots, but he's not. He's a work boot, sneaker and motorcycle boot kind of kid. He just likes to have them near him (beside him when he's reading a book, wearing them when he's watching TV, and on the rare occasion, in bed with him. They are kind of like a security blanket for him - personally I think it's because Daddy travels for work and these remind him of his Daddy when he's away).

And really, the kid is 3 years old. I have no doubt that before long he will be all about trucks, cars and dinosaurs again. 

But hey, if shoes are in his future, I know a couple of little girls that would love to help him shop for them...

So till next time, these boots were made for walking!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You don't talk about Fight Club.

That's rule number one. 

And rule number two.

The same thing apparently applies to some 'Mommy & Me' groups. Weird huh? I mean, I kind of get the association (there are times when my body feels like I just spent the night at a fight club), but do we really need 'underground' Mommy clubs?

And I'm not talking about some totally cool version of a Mommy group where we have a secret hideout, with secret identities, and spend our time rescuing other Mother's from unknown attacks of vomit, poop and other nasty things.... Nope. Not even close to that interesting. Just a small group of women, who happen to be mothers and want to meet 'secretly'. 

I ask you, what's so all important about being a Mommy that you have to create an underground version of it? Will they be plotting to take over the country? And then the world? Probably not. Will they be discussing the latest version of fusion technology and how to get it out to the general public without being squashed by 'the man'? I doubt it. What I do think they will talk about will be the best places to get Pampers cheap, which butt cream is the best for Juniors diaper rash and what the coolest pins on Pinterest were that day. 

Unfortunately, I don't think they will be any where near as nefarious as some other 'secret' groups out there (Freemason's, Skull & Bones and The Illuminati all come to mind), but don't mess with them if you want your child to go to a certain pre-school (Just kidding. They don't have the power to do that... at least, I don't think they do).

And who knows, maybe 'Underground Mommy Groups' will become the next 'in' thing. Just think about it - to join, you will have to be invited by a current member and then be voted in by the other members. They will have rules and ceremonies, and will be overseen by the Grand Pobar of Mommies (she'll wear a cloak fashioned out of her little one's clothes, wear pasta necklaces created by the children of the other Mommies and carry a scepter in the shape of a rattle.... can you tell I've spent a little too long thinking about this?).

Hmmm, maybe I should be careful what I write. If they are like any other secret society, they already know, I know. And then they will know that I know they know. And the knowing will become so all encompassing that it will make our heads explode!! 

Okay. Enough of that. So, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Fight Club. So, the first rule of Fight Club....

Till next time, stock up on the Neosporin, Ace bandages and ice packs. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Number Two

It's a simple fact of life: everyone does it (and yes, even the Queen). Poop. Crap. Caca. Sh*t. Do-do. Feces. Poo.

As an adult, you don't tend to discuss poop on a daily basis (you know, outside of the doctor's office). But the minute you become a parent, it all of a sudden becomes a hotly discussed topic. What color? How did it look? Was it hard or soft? How did it smell? And we talk about it so calmly - as if we were asking someone what they had for breakfast. 'Little Johnny's poop is a weird green color. I should talk to his doctor right?' 'Little Janie hasn't pooped in three days, should I be worried?' 'Hey, did you catch the game on TV last night?'

It still kind of freaks me out how easy it is to talk about something that really should be a personal thing. I don't want to know how regular my friends are, but I can tell you without even pausing to think about it which child is regular, who still has trouble, who goes a couple of days without having one and then spends the next day pooping all day long.... it's kind of disturbing really, when you think about it.

Credit - Babble

Recently, we were concerned about Little P and her pooping. She was having trouble going, so much so that she would break into tears. So, I did what any Mother would - I Googled the living crap out of it. Man, you type in 'trouble pooping' and you are bombarded with millions of posts. Eventually, I just gave in and called her doctor. And what I had to do after that, I really hope I never have to do again. Because I couldn't get to the doctor that day, I was asked to email a photo of her poop (when she did one) and to put on a glove and touch it - to find out if it was hard or squishy. Eeewwww! Fortunately it wasn't anything to worry about, and after a day or two, she was back to normal with her bodily functions. 

And little one's seem to have a fascination with it. Fortunately, Little P calls it 'yukky' and pretty much only refers to it when she's actually pooping. She'll tell me shes doing it, then come over and get me when she's done. But I have friends who aren't so lucky in this arena.

I know one Daddy, who has three little ones, and while the youngest was in the bath, her brother came up to him horrified, and said 'J is painting the bathtub!' Somewhat perplexed as to why he was so upset (they have the bathtub crayons) he said 'That's okay, she's allowed to.' 'No, Daddy. She's painting it BROWN!!'. Now totally confused, he went into the bathroom and realized his little girl had pooped while in the bath and had proceeded to use it as a crayon, and had smeared it all over the tub. 

Yuck, right? Let's just say, there was a lot of bleach used that night (and the bathtub crayons got thrown out).

I've had friends tell me their little one's have taken their diaper off once they have pooped and 'painted' the walls in their room with it; other's have found it all over their little ones (apparently it's fun to cover yourself in poop). Other's still have had their little bundle of joy hand them their poop - like it was a gift.

As gross as it is, you have to laugh when things like this happen. Because you just know that when your little one turns 18, it's gonna make for a really embarrassing story. And, as parents, isn't that really what it's all about?

Till next time - keep the bleach, rubber gloves and gas masks handy. You are entering a biohazard zone.


Mommy-ism #2: How can something so tiny produce so much waste and have it smell so bad? (And why don't they send you home from the hospital with a hazmat suit, gas mask and bio-hazard bags?).

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oh Baby.

There are certain things in life that should be full of joy. Christmas comes to mind. Birthdays and graduations. And baby showers. Unfortunately, baby showers just make me sad these days.

I'm very happy for my friends who are welcoming a new little one (or sometimes, ones) into their lives, but it just reminds me that I'm not going to experience that again. 

Little P is our miracle baby. A beautiful, smart and really funny little girl. We are truly blessed to have her in our lives.  And I know there are a lot of women who can't get pregnant, and I really am thankful I was able to experience it once. I know I really shouldn't be greedy and want another miracle. But I do. And I know it just won't happen again.

Logically I know it's nothing I can control, it is what it is. And most days, I'm okay with that. But the thought that I can't give Little P a baby brother or sister just tears me up sometimes. I feel like a failure - as a woman, as a wife and as a mother. I know I shouldn't, but with things like this, knowing doesn't make it any easier. 

For the most part, I'm at peace with it - I guess it's because I'm don't have to face it on a daily basis. But some days, like today, it's just really, really hard. To be surrounded by women who are pregnant, and trying ever so hard not to become a hot mess and burst into tears in front of them, takes all that I have. 

I want to be able to 'ooh, and aah' over the adorable little clothes. I want to giggle over the cute little shoes and the itty bitty hats. I want to share in their joy. But it hurts. 

Lately, I find myself avoiding the baby section in stores, making excuses not to spend one on one time with friends who are pregnant, and just in general, trying to prevent the flood gates from opening. Today, however, was just too much for me to handle.

I contemplated not going, reasoning that I'm just putting myself into a situation that I can't handle. And to be honest, I didn't. While I was there, I was so pre-occupied with Little P (who was far from her normal, happy self) that I was able to delude myself into thinking I was okay with this. And then it hit me. Surrounded not just by the couple whose shower it was, but by at least three others, it was just more than I could bare.

Fortunately (?), Little P hit melt down mode, and I was given the chance to escape. I barely made it to my car before I was a balling mess. And baby girl? Her melt down ended the minute mine started. 'What happened?' was all she kept asking. And her blubbering mother couldn't do much more than say 'It's okay. Mommy's okay.'

By the time we got home, I was cried out, and Little P was cranky once more (my, how the balance of power sifts so quickly). I know it's going to be a long road. And short of living on an island somewhere, I'm always going to see pregnant women. I know that. I accept it. I just really, really don't like it.

So, my dear friends, bare with me over the next couple of months. Those of you who are expecting, please don't think I'm ignoring you when you invite me to come to lunch. It's really not you - it's totally me (and trust me, when I get the water works going, I really am a hot mess).

Okay. Enough of this. 

Time to switch it up. 

Here's something to look forward to - my next post - it's about poop! 

Till next time - keep the kleenex handy, I'm gonna need it.


Friday, September 14, 2012

No, No, No, NOOOOOO!!

It has begun. Little P has hit that point in her short little life where everything is a trial. Eating, getting dressed, even playing with her toys. These trials always end with her on the floor (not yet flailing her arms and legs around, although I am sure that will come with time) and with tears. Lots and lots of tears.

For a while there I thought it was just due to her being overtired. If she hadn't had a decent nap and she didn't get her way, it was on the floor and the tears would begin. But lately it seems that everything, and I mean everything, upsets her. 
'Do you want yogurt for breakfast?'...'No!!!' (and then the tears). 
'Do you want to go play?'....'No!! (and more tears). 
'What do you want to wear today?'... Just tears and laying on the floor. 


I swear, if Dante had another circle in hell that just contained toddlers having tantrums, people everywhere would be trying their darnedest to stay out of hell. This is so not my idea of a good time.

For example, today, for the short amount of time that Little P has been awake (oh, say 30 minutes) we have had a meltdown about wearing sunglasses (I apparently gave her the wrong one when she got up - diva), not wanting her diaper changed (major meltdown that stopped the minute she was on the floor with a dry diaper attached, somewhat precariously because she wouldn't stop moving) and her blanket being stuck in the crib (talk about the tragedy of the year). Of course, each of them were short lived, but I am already contemplating just crawling back into bed and letting M deal with it.
(Credit - Life with Our Lads)

Because of this, I've been researching this whole 'toddler' phase - reading the books we have, checking the forums online, reaching out to fellow Mommy-bloggers and talking to my Mommy friends. And the general consensus is, ride it out. It get's better, they say. If you are lucky, it will only be for a few months....if not, it could be a couple of years (Lord help me). It's just something they all go through, some worse than others. Hence the term 'terrible two's (and the 'even more terrible three's. Or the 'and you thought the 4's would be easy? Ha!').

Logically I know it's all part of being a parent, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with, nor does it mean I like it.

I guess we just have to batten down the hatches, stockpile on food and weather the storm.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


It's one thing to know and accept that you, are in fact, quite awesome. It's quite another to realize that the people you have chosen to surround yourself with are also, indeed, pretty awesome themselves.

Yes, dear readers, I'm talking about you. You, who, without fully knowing what you were getting yourself into, jumped off that ledge with me, and have remained by my side since the beginning.

You, who, so selflessly give over your stories for me to share. You, with your children of many different ages and stages who empathize with me, support me and give me a virtual shoulder to lean on. 

You wonderful people, with your suggestions and ideas, who share your inner most thoughts and feelings with me.

This blog, would be nothing without you (okay, maybe not nothing, because I would still be doing this even if nobody read it - consider it a form of therapy). 

I thank those of you that I have never met. You wonderful people in Russia and Germany (that's right folks, I've gone GLOBAL!!!). Those of you in Korea, Ireland and New Zealand. My readers in Malaysia, and of course in the US, Australia and UK. I thank you. Deeply and sincerely.

It means so much to me that you have joined me on this ride, and I hope to have you stay with me for as long as I do this blog - in whatever form it may take.

You. Are. All. AWESOME!!

Completely and undoubtably awesome. Undeniably and most unapologetically AWESOME. 

You people rock and I am so blessed to have you in my life.

Okay. Just read over that, and I think it's time for me to put the wine away. 

It's true though - I'm totally awesome.

And so are you.

(from Pinterest - where else?)


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Clowns, balloons and face painting... Oh my.

Why is it that seemingly normal parents turn into crazed, over the top nutters when it comes to planning their child's birthday party? I mean seriously. Make sure they have something to play with, something to eat, throw in some balloons and cake and voila! Birthday party success!

Look, I understand that you want to make your little one's big day memorable, I really do. But stressing yourself out, wearing yourself out and even, gasp, putting yourself into debt to do so is just plan NUTS.

Due to my being somewhat sleep deprived (me, what? Nah.) I over booked both myself and Little P a while ago and had back to back birthday parties for an entire weekend. Now, if it had been just me, it wouldn't have been an issue. I would have just sauntered in, dropped off the gift, said 'hi' to the host and the birthday boy/or girl and then headed on out to the next one. Piece of cake. But when you actually bring a child to a child's birthday party, you are kind of expected to hang around, comment on the decorations, 'oh' and 'ah' over the food and make polite conversation with people that you don't know and will probably never see again (okay, maybe I'm slightly exaggerating here, but you get the point). Add to this the fact that I had a total of four to go to over two days and you can understand how completely tired and worn out we both were at the end of it all.

But that's not why I'm writing (I freely admit it was my fault that we - okay, me - had so much cake and sugar-y stuff in a 48 hour period that I'm sure my body thought I was a teenager again). Why I'm writing is because I can't believe how much energy (and money) these parents put into their kids parties.


Party number 1 was a 'carnival theme'. Okay, cool. Sounds fun. It was an actual carnival. With a ferris wheel and other kids rides, cotton candy stand, face painter, ballon animal maker, clowns, bouncy house, popcorn maker.... it just went on and on. I swear, Little P's eyes just went HUGE when she saw everything that was going on. That and she clung to me like a Reese's Monkey. Not sure if that was the clowns or just the overwhelming number of things to look at. I'm sure that Little Miss 3 was just beside herself with her birthday party, but really, how do you top that for her fourth birthday? 

Party number 2 was just as over the top. Fairy theme for this one. They turned the inside of their house into a forest (I kid you not) and even had forest sounds going as you walked into the door. As you go further back to the yard, you pass through a bunch of pastel colored streamers hanging from a door way and then you are in 'Fairy Land'. Parents where dressed up as fairies and pixies and the like. There was 'fairy' themed food, all listed on the table (with calories, and if it was gluten free, soy based, yadda, yadda, yadda), balloons and glitter. Lots and lots of glitter. This was for a 2 year old little girl, who prior this, I didn't even know liked fairies (and it turned out, she wasn't really keen on them, Mom was the one who was nuts about them - figures). So, more cake and high sugary food (yup, I stayed away from the healthy stuff. Hey, it's a party!). At the end of this one, Little P was practically falling asleep in my arms so we headed home - her asleep as soon as I got her in the car, me nursing a stomach ache.

The next day we had the other two; a party for a four year old and one for a six year old. I was thinking (somewhat naively as I later discovered) that these would be somewhat tamed down as they were for older kids. Hah! 

We get to party number 3, for Mister 4, and find ourselves on a farm. Apparently, Mister 4 is all about farm animals, and what do you know, his parents managed to turn their back yard into just that. Hay bales and corn stalks, petting zoo, pony rides, corn dogs and popcorn, and of course balloons. And wouldn't you know it, an actual farmer! Okay, it was the guy who brought all the animals, but man, he looked like all the pictures I've ever seen of Old MacDonald. I kid you not. 

Little P probably enjoyed this one the most, I'm guessing because of the animals. But man, after being there for a little while, it certainly started to smell rank. We wished the birthday boy 'happy birthday' grabbed some cupcakes and headed on out to the last party.

Party number 4, had the most potential to be fun. It was at a park, they had erected their own open tents (three of them), had set up a volleyball net, and had a bunch of organized games for the kids. This, I thought, was how a party should be. Easy breezy, with the kids running around having fun, the parents taking it easy and everybody just enjoying themselves. Granted, they did have a large flatscreen TV operated by a generator, in one of the tents, with Xbox games playing (this was where Mister 6 spent the majority of his time), and they had a 'bar' set up for the grown ups (I use the term 'bar' loosely as it wasn't really a physical bar, but a table with a bunch of cocktail waitresses getting your drinks), and there were dudes walking around offering you little bites of food on platters (to this day I have no idea what I ate and Little P refused to try any of it). So, it was really more a 'grown up' party than one for the kids. And the cake, it was enormous. I swear, it was almost as big as the kid was and apparently it was in the theme of one of his favorite Xbox games because when it came out, he almost lost it.

We sang 'happy birthday' grabbed a goody bag and left, quietly. Once we got home, both Little P and I passed out for a couple of hours. It was a long weekend, but an eye opening one.

I get it. I really do. It's their big day. You want to make it special. But you know what? The stuff they remember about that party isn't necessarily going to be the decorations, or the food or even the cake. It's gonna be that one of their cousins ate so much they threw up in the bouncy house. Or that their little sister decided to pull down all the balloons and pop them. Or that the dog jumped on the cake and then ran through the house making paw prints in frosting. That's the stuff they will remember, if they remember it at all (seriously, how much will a two year old remember?).

So, while it's great to go all out for your little one's birthday, don't drive yourself crazy doing it. You should be able to enjoy it too.

Till next time, go easy on the balloons, and the cake and most definitely the clowns (they just freak me out).


Mommy-ism #30:
I used to think that planning a party for a grown up was hard work but really, as long as there is alcohol, decent tunes and something for people to do when they are drunk and ready to embarrass themselves (i.e. Karaoke, Wii) you are pretty well set. Planning a little ones party - totally different ball game. I mean, really, what do you serve 1-4 year olds? It's not like you can add a little something to the punch to make things interesting....