Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gossip Girls

Sitting at the park the other day, watching Little P wonder and explore, I had the distinct displeasure of being surrounded by a group of Mommies who did nothing but gossip about other Mommies. Thankfully they weren't people I knew, but the nastiness and bitterness that these women were using when talking to each other about other women just left a nasty taste in my mouth. So much so, I went and sat somewhere else.

I'm not disillusioned enough to think that women don't talk about other women (or men for that matter). It's kind of hard wired in us to want to talk about people we know (and don't know), and as much as we don't like to think it affects us, being envious of what some one else has, is or does, just happens. Maybe all too often.

What really bugged me about today though was two things; a) that they really were being very (and almost incredibly) cruel about the people who they were talking about and b) they were ignoring, almost completely, their kids. A child would come up to their Mommy and say they were hungry/thirsty and would have something shoved at them by their Mommy, without any recognition at all. I get that you are 'talking' with your friends, but really, is that necessary?

One child wanted to swing and his Mother said flat out 'No'. Why? 'Because I don't want to swing you.' Wow. I don't always want to stand for hours on end and push Little P on a swing, but I do it. Because it makes her happy.

I just don't get it. I don't. Look, I know that when a bunch of women get together, they are going to start talking about things - how some celebrity popped out six kids and now has the body of a 16 year old. Or about the latest reality star and their mixed up life. But you want to know what my friends and I talk about when we get to the park? For a good 80% of it, we are talking about our kids. Because, when you are around people who have kids, you kind of get a free pass to talk about them. Because you know that when you meet up with your childless friends, there's a really, really good chance that they don't want to talk about potty training, or the latest installment in Junior's career as an interior decorator (hey, give a kid markers and stickers and you just know they are going all over their walls). And that's cool. You don't want to talk about your kids 24/7 either.

But when you get the chance to be in an environment when you can ask and discuss things about kids, you kind of take the opportunity to do so. And the other 20%? We usually talk about the next 'Mom's Night Out', or the latest sales, shows on TV... you know normal stuff.

What we don't do (and I honestly don't think we ever have) is verbally beat up someone who we know and isn't there to defend themselves. Sure, if we know someone who just had a kid and had the good fortune to bounce back to a size 2 after it, we might wonder about how she did it, or if she's just one of those people who do automatically go back to their pre-baby body (hey, it happens). But we don't say things like 'The woman should just successfully off herself. She really doesn't deserve to live.' Or things like 'If I had a man like that, I'd be parading him around and selling him off to the highest bidder. No woman wants that much competition sniffing around.' Or, this wonderful one 'I really think she needs to do what's right for everyone else and go and commit herself. Her kids would be better off, her husband would be better off. And we wouldn't have to hear about what's going on in her life All. The. Time.' Yup. Harsh huh?

Now, I don't know these women, and I don't know the people they are talking about, but doesn't this seem just a little aggressive? And here's the kicker. About ten minutes after I moved, another Mommy came up to their group, and they were all hugs and kisses and 'it's so great to see you'.... and when she walked away to help her kids, it was on. 'Man, she has some nerve turning up here today.' 'Did you see what she was wearing?' 'I told you, she needs to be in an institution.'


It's moments like this that I thank my lucky stars that I have such a great group of women friends - from all walks of life, in all shapes and sizes and with a multitude of life experiences - who can get along. We aren't perfect. We have our misunderstandings. But you know what? Our flaws are what make us who we are. And that's what people love about us.

So please, don't be a gossip girl. There are enough forces out there wanting to hurt us, without us adding to it.

Till next time, hug your girlfriends. Tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. Because you just never know when you are going to need them by your side.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Whoomp!! There it is.

This is how potty time should always look
Poop. It's a fact of life - yes it is. And when you become a parent you become so well versed in it, and see much more of it than you would ever have dreamed, that it becomes something of a daily quest. 'Did they poop today?' Honey, have you pooped?' 'Sweetheart, do you need to go poop?'

The 'p' word comes out of your mouth so easily, and you speak about it so, well, almost absent-mindedly that you almost don't realize you are talking about it till the person you are speaking with says 'Okay, enough with the poop talk!' And, if you are like me, that was one of the things you swore you would never talk about with people. "Toilet behavior is a private matter and shouldn't be shared with others." Yeah, right. That thought went out the door the minute Little P did her first real poop. 

And today, M got to experience the wonderful joy of watching Little P poop on the 'potty'. I think he's scarred for life. Seriously. Aside from the fact that his little girl was naked (she had been in the bath) and she pushed out what can only be described as the equivalent of a baby's arm, he was privy to the whole thing taking place because of his position and how he was holding Little P. 'It's like watching a Play-doh Fun Factory pushing out a log'. Well, yes, I guess in a way it is. And his take on it? After he recovered from the fact of watching it happen and Little P was dressed and back down stairs, he turns to Grandma and Grandpa and says 'Nothing, and I mean nothing, you have ever taught me, told me, or warned me about prepared me for watching my little girl poop.' See, scarred for life.

It's so common place for me now that it's 'just another day in paradise'. M, however, will ever fully recover from this experience.

And all I can say to that is 'Merry Christmas babe'.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Catch Jimi If You Can

Okay, I know I'm a little behind on my '25 Days of Jimi' and I all I ask for is your patience on that one. Little P has been super sick (yet again, the poor kid can't seem to catch a break), so all my spare time has been spent trying to make her feel better. And if anyone has ever tried to do anything on a computer with a little one in your lap, you know it's next to impossible to get it done.

So, here we are my wonderful readers, the latest escapades of young Master Jimi.

Just hanging around.

Told you he was a music lover.

And apparently a bit of a lush.

Who knew Elves where fans of Mario Puzo?

Just a quiet spot of tea with the ladies.

Damn Spam

I've been trying to work out why a certain post has so many hits - then I found out that some dirty so and so has linked to my site from, of all things, a porn site!! Argh! I'm not sure if it's to do with the title of my blog (you know, the whole 'confessions' thing), or if this person isn't actually a person, but a computer searching the web for specific words attached to blogs and then it links to them, but it totally freaked me out.

Now, I'm in a dilemma. Do I change the name of my blog to prevent this from continuing to happen, or do I just ride it out and see what happens? Part of me wants to ride it out - it's kind of exciting to see that many hits on one of my posts - sad, I know, but what's a girl to do. It's nice to be noticed. But the other part of me thinks I should change the name just so some weird dude looking for 'new nuible girls waiting for you' doesn't decide to go trapsing through my blog and leave his dirty, filthy prints all over it. *sigh*

It's kind of funny though. Not funny 'ha ha', but funny 'weird', as I recently had a conversation with a friends daughter who wanted to know why I called it 'Confessions from the Play Room', when, as she so astutely points out 'there aren't any real confessions on it'. Well, no, there aren't. And as she again points out 'it's no Scary Mommy blog'. Again, you got me. But I think one Scary Mommy is plenty - heck, she's got two books, a video series and the confessions on the site are up in the 1,000's. Good for her. But that was never my intention. I was never looking for people to post on here with their deepest, darkest secrets (you can keep that for another blog), and really, the 'confession' part of it is just simply that we, as parents, aren't perfect. We make mistakes, we do stupid things, and constantly worry that we are making our children slightly dysfunctional because of it. That's what makes it a good read (at least, that's what makes it a good read for me), and essentially, what makes it funny.

Kids operate on a totally different level to grown ups. They see the world in a much broader, and infinitely more intersting way than we do. And because of that, weird stuff happens. Kids 'painting' with poop. Kids wearing their Mom's bra's as a hat because that's what they look like. Kids telling parents that 'Satan is coming to town, so you better be good'. It's stuff like this that makes doing this blog fun for me. I'm not looking for people to tell me that they hid in the bathroom with cookies because they don't want to share with their kids (although, that one is kind of funny), or that, the moment their little ones are asleep, the bottle of wine comes out and their night begins (actually, I've done that one a couple of times). Or even that they covet their little one's clothing because it's much more fashionable than theirs (hang on.... I've done that one too. Hmmm, seeing a pattern develop here).

If people want to tell me that they secretly pretend to be asleep because they just don't have the energy to be initimate with their partner, or that they would rather eat a pound cake than go out and play with their little ones, that's fine. It's just not what I am (or this blog) is about. But if people want to share with me the story about the day their little one told the next door neighbor that Daddy makes Mommy yell 'Stop. No don't stop', or that their 3 year old decided it was a good idea to put the car keys in the toilet and flush it, then I'll all down for that, and if they are okay with me sharing with you, then all the better.

Look, at the end of the day, being a parent is a hard, often confusing but most definitely very rewarding job. But there is one thing we must all try to remember - just as every child is different, so is every parent. While I might not agree with your tactics in getting your child to go to sleep, I'm going to be the last person to go 'tsk, tsk' about it. We all do our very best to try and raise our children to be better people, and while at times it might feel like we are dismal failures, I think for the most part, we are pretty successful at it.

So, till next time, just enjoy the ride - it will be over before you know it.


(and here's day 15 of Jimi)

Just hanging out with some 'snowy' buddies.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Base Camp - Mt. Impossible

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, I just know that one day, I looked at what I was carrying and realized all I needed was a furry hat and the backdrop of Mt. Everest and I would look exactly like a sherpa.

Yup - just like this
(Credit - Google)
I'm serious. The amount of stuff I was carrying, just to get out the door and get Little P in the car was mounting on the ridiculous. I had one diaper bag, which had the usual suspects in it (diapers, wipes, snacks etc.), a blanket (because apparently Little P had to have that with her), one Snoopy, one Minnie Mouse, one Mickey Mouse, one Violet and her two babies, Lulu and Sally. Not to mention the two jackets (one for me, one for her), my car keys, my wallet, my phone and a bottle of water for me. If I had anything else on me I think I would have fallen over not just from the weight of it all, but also from sheer exhaustion.

It's funny. People tell you that as your little ones get older, it gets easier to get them out and about. Well I call bullsh*t on that one. Big time. When Little P was just a wee baby, all I needed was her in the baby carrier and my diaper bag. That's it. Out the door and away we went. Now, you tell me how it's easier to get a moveable object, that a) insists on not moving, b) when it's ready to move will only do so under the strictest of conditions (that being Mommy has to carry all of the above mentioned items) and c) if these conditions are not met, you may as well give up the idea of going anywhere and go take a nap.

Trust me, I've tried to go out with just a few things in a bag, telling her that her 'friends' all needed to take a nap and that 'big girls don't need to take their blankets with them'. And what inevitably happens is that I get somewhere and realize that I'm either a) out of diapers (thankfully I keep a stash of those and wipes in the car these days - who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?), b) she wants the one snack I didn't bring or c) melt downs occur because the one friend I insisted that we leave at the house was the only thing that would have prevented said melt down.

Some may say I'm a 'push over'. That I 'give in too easily'. And that might be true. But I tell you what, when it comes down to having an enjoyable drive with a happy munchkin singing away to her little friends in the back seat, snacking on Gold Fish or Cheerios (or both) and telling me she's having a 'good day', I'll take being a push over any day over having a screaming child who thinks I'm subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishment.

So, you super Mommies out there that can get away with your tiny little bag when you go out with your little one, hat's off to you....but guess who is the first person you will come looking for when you need wipes, or hand santizer, or maybe a snack or two? That's right, me, Little Miss Push Over.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Make it stop!

I'm sure every parent goes through this - your child is like the Energizer Bunny on speed & you just want to push the "pause" button.....except they don't come with a remote, a volume control or even a 'quick guide to your child' booklet. You, my dear, are on your own.

Little P is going through that fun stage where even the silliest, littlest thing can have her 'going off like a frog in a sock' (to quote my teenage self). For example, M is asleep so I say 'we need to be quiet, so Daddy can sleep.' She smiles & nods & then proceeds to run around in circles yelling 'Daddy sleeping! Daddy sleeping!' I'm not quite sure how being quiet translated into the equivalent of a riotous football fan, but there you have it.

And I know I'm not alone. A friend of mine has a little boy around Little P's age, and his favorite thing at the moment is to run round and round the kitchen table screaming 'Lightning McQueen!! Vroom vroom!' And he will do this till he either falls down exhausted, gets thirsty and asks for a drink or his mother runs interference and blocks him at some point and makes him go sit down and 'relax'. 

And the worst part of it? While it doesn't seem to wear them down at all, you wind up needing a nap from just watching them. And more often than not, they can do this on minimal sleep. Argh!

A friend of mine loves to say that being a parent is 'a young person's job' and there are times when I totally agree with them. In your 20's you could party like a rock star, go home, have a shower and still be able to work a full day and be coherent while there. In your 30's it starts to slow down, but you can still pull off the occasional all-nighter without any major ramifications. But by the time you get close to your 40's you feel like you need to have an IV with vitamin B in it permanently attached to your arm just so you can feel like half a human being. The next 10 years do not bode well for me and my levels of energy.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Little P is an active kid. I could just do with a day or two when running up and down the hall with her baby stroller and her 'babies' didn't constitute as 'wind down' time. I swear, she only switches off when she's asleep - and some nights even then she doesn't stop.... it's like shes' salsa dancing in her sleep.

However, I have no doubt, that by the time she hits her teenage years, she will be the exact opposite - I will have to resort to drastic measures to get her out of bed in the morning, and even more drastic measures to have her interacting with the world in general.....

So, while I still can, I will deal with the non-stop, full throttle Little P. I figure in about 13 years, I will get a breather.... 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just one little word

It's amazing. When you hear your little one say 'Mommy' (or 'Daddy') for the first time, and your heart skips a beat, your breath catches in your throat and you pause thinking 'did they really just say that?'. And when you hear it again, you think you will never get tired of hearing that word.

Fast forward to a year later and the very mention of that word can sometimes make you cringe inwardly. Or make you sigh in defeat. Or, as was the case yesterday for me, cause a moment of frustration because they don't want anything, they are just calling you (over and over and over.... and over and over again) to make sure you are there.

Reminds me of this part of an episode of 'The Family Guy'...

We've all been there. And you try, you really try to not let it get to you, but you still find yourself taking a deep breath before saying 'yes' for the hundredth time.

I know that at least in Little P's case, it's because she can't see me. It's usually when I've gone downstairs to start the laundry, and she can hear me, but she can't see me. And I can always tell if I'm taking too long, because the pauses between the 'Mommy's' gets shorter and her voice gets higher.

But, I also know a little guy, all of 4, who just likes saying 'Mommy', regardless of the situation, time or place. It's got to the point where his Mom won't answer to 'Mommy' anymore, it's only when he calls her 'Mom' or 'Mama' that she will respond. I don't know if this is a desire to have him call her something else, or just her way of getting him used to using a different name to get her attention. All I do know is that it's not working, at least not yet, as you can hear him the minute you get near them just saying 'Mommy' over and over again - almost like it's a mantra.

And maybe, in some weird way, that's just what it is. A mantra. A chant to let them know that everything is okay. Instead of saying 'ohm' they say 'Mommy'. Either way, I know one Mommy who is going to be very relieved when their little one gets passed that stage. And you know, it could be worse - your little one could be running around saying 'f**k' constantly (like some adults I know) or not be talking at all (also like some brooding adults I know). 

I guess, when you look at the grand scheme of things, having your little one repeat your name ad nauseum is not that least they aren't throwing poop at people.


(and not forgetting day 6 of Jimi)

Just hanging out with a regular 'nut cracker'....

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

'Names have power'

Never was that saying more true than in this day and age. In a time when parents are trying to provide their child with a form of 'individuality' and in the process, almost crippling them for life (I mean really, who wants to go through life called 'Apple'?), the newest set of Royals, that would be William and Kate, are facing a huge dilema when it comes to what to name their child.

Credit - SodaHead
The poor kid isn't even the size of a lemon yet, and already a nation (and a good portion of the world) are asking the question 'what will they call their child'? Aside from the fact that I think a) we have much bigger concerns in the world (famine, plague, the impending end of the world if you follow the whole Mayan calendar theory) and b) it's their child.

I get that they can't go nuts about it (praise the gods) but still, the amount of attention this has been getting is just shy of mass hysteria. If you take a look at this, about what William & Kate have to keep in mind when choosing a name for the munchkin, and not only does a good portion of it makes sense, it's kind of scary. At the end of the day, you know that even though they might want to call the kid 'Royal' they have to stay the course and stick with decidely British names. Something that rolls of that royal tongue easily, and maybe pays tribute to William's mother Diana. It's the fact that the Brits actually have bets going on this that is kind of, well, very British.

My gut feel is that while they will indeed remain very traditional with the name, whether it be a boy or girl, you just know they will come up with something fun and a little 'out there' as a nickname. Heck, with Harry as an uncle the kid is kind of destined to have something of a wild streak in them somewhere.

So, I wish William and Kate, all the very best in the long, and often very drawn out process of picking a name for their little bundle of joy. Personally, I hope they keep everyone guessing till the munchkin actually joins the world. I know it's a long shot, but hey, one never does know.

Till next time, get ready for the next generation of Harry's, William's, Kate's, Pippa's and more, because the royals, and the world's fascination with them, ain't going away any time soon.


(and here's day 5 of '25 Days of Jimi')

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

25 Days of Jimi...

And no, I'm not referring to Jimi Hendrix (although that would be pretty cool). I'm talking about our 'Elf on the Shelf', Jimi (as named by M). He joined our family last year, but this year, Little P is actually aware of him, and while she's still a bit young to get it, I'm having fun moving him around and coming up with ideas of things for him to get up to.

That's Jimi - already an old hand when it comes to the fun stuff...
I was having so much planning it out, that this year, I decided to create for him a door - his way in and out of the house. Granted, it's a wee bit smaller than he is, but I figure, if Santa could go down (and up) chimneys off all shapes and sizes, and even make ones appear where there isn't one, then surely his elves have the same ability to make themselves smaller to get in and out of areas....that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Actually, the idea for his door was kind of the result of an impulse buy. When I was looking for a small lamp post to do the Christmas Miniature in a Jar project, I saw the doors and the 'light bulb' went off above my head. I thinks to myself 'Self, this would be really cute as a door for our elf'. And so a project was born.

I kind of had an idea of how I wanted it to look, and knew I had everything on hand at home, so all I needed was the door, and a little inspiration.

This was probably one of the most expensive projects that I have done recently, essentially because I bought the door, which was $9 (but with the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon, it came out a little cheaper than that) and a small packet of Christmas wreaths, which are actually decorations for those mini Christmas trees you can get that sit on your desk - and those were 50% off, so for I think of a grand total of just under $10 I had my stash of goodies and was ready to get started.

Now, this project actually took a couple of days to finish, partly because I was sick, partly because I was doing two other projects at the same time and partly because of the drying time for the paint. But when all was said and done, I figure it's probably only a couple of hours at the most, including drying time.

So, take your little door...

Add some color (I went with the very Christmas'y option of red and white)...

And if you are really up to it, paint the opposite side for the Tooth Fairy (I love the idea of a door for the Tooth Fairy to come in and out of. For that side, I used white and purple with a little glitter)...

Let it all dry. Add your wreath and 'ta da' one door for the Elf on the Shelf to come in and out of. 

And since it is called '25 Days of Jimi' I'm going to be posting pictures of our charming little guy each day. Because I'm a tad behind on the postings, here's the first four to get you going.

Just hanging around.

Best view in the house.

He's a lover of music too.
Just hanging out near his door.
Ho Ho Ho - bring on the festive season!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nailed It - Christmas Miniature

Since going back to work, my time has become somewhat limited when it comes to 'getting my craft on', but I had a bunch of ideas rattling around in my head, and a bunch of things pinned on Pinterest, that I figured I just needed to get in and get to it.

This one was nice and quick - took me all of 10 minutes to do, although, once it was finished, there were a few things I would like to do to the next one.

Without further ado, my latest addition to 'Nailed It.'

I found this one, kind of by accident - it wasn't in the "holiday" category on Pinterest, so I'm not sure how it popped into my search, but there it was, almost like serendipity. I was looking for something quick and easy, that would make a cute addition to our now quickly growing Christmas village, and when I saw this I thought 'yup, could totally make that'...

Credit - Salt Tree
And when I saw that all it took was a mason jar (had it), fake snow and glitter (had those) and a model street lamp that you could get from Hobby Lobby, thought, 'perfect. Just what I was looking for.'

Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby wasn't on the same page as me as they didn't have any of the small light up lamps anywhere - and weren't likely to get in any prior to Christmas (either that, or a bunch of people in Las Vegas saw the same pin and cleared out the supplies). So, I had to rethink my plan.

I had previously picked up a couple of little trees at Walmart, to put into the previously mentioned Christmas village, and hadn't used them yet, so I figured, I have everything else, why not give it a shot.

So, I grabbed one of my trees,

Gotta love Little P 'photo bombing' this shot.

A mason jar,

Some handy, dandy, super sticky craft glue (because I couldn't be bothered going downstairs and getting the hot glue gun),

Some fake snow and glitter (not pictured, but I figure you lot know what glitter looks like),

And of course, poured myself a glass of wine...

And set to work. I glued the tree to the lid of the mason jar, and walked away for a few minutes (because I know what I'm like - I'll get impatient and want to put it all together before the glue has had time to set and then, well, you know, things go 'boom'), came back, added the snow and glitter to the jar, put the lid on, turned it upside down, gave it a shake and voila - Miniature in a Jar.

So, for something that essentially cost me nada, and took less than 15 minutes to do, I say it worked out okay.

If I do it again, I'd do a couple of things different. I'd use a much bigger jar and actually create a small landscape (a couple of trees, etc), I'd add epsom salts to it, as they work really well as snow and tend to have a little bit of an iridescent shine to them, and I'd really like to use some form of lighting.

But aside from those things, I'm pretty happy how it turned out.

So my wonderful readers, what do you think? Did I nail this one?