Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just one?

I swear, if I have one more 'well meaning' person say to me 'So, just the one child?' I am going to go postal!

Seriously. It's getting to be beyond ridiculous. If I have to smile sweetly at another stranger and say, 'Yes, just the one' and then hear their opinions (which I didn't ask for) on why we really should have another child, I  honestly don't think I can be held responisble for my actions.

There are a multitude of reasons why people have only one child. Maybe they met late in life and only had the chance to have the one before Mother Nature decided that was it. Or maybe, like us, they had so much difficulty getting (and staying) pregnant, that having one is a miracle, a miracle that isn't likely to be repeated. They could have adopted. They could have had medical issues that prevented them from having any more children. They could be a single woman who decided she wanted a child and wasn't going to wait around for 'Mr. Right' and used a sperm donor. Maybe they feel that they just can't provide for more than one child. Or maybe, just maybe, they only ever wanted to have one child.

The list goes on. It's the same as saying to someone who has 5, 6, 7 or more kids 'keeping the population going are we' (heard that said to a friend of mine recently. She was more controlled than I - I would have slapped the person for saying something like that).

I don't owe you an explanation. Our reasons for having one child are no concern of your's or anyone else for that matter. Yes, I would love to have another one. Of course I would like Little P to have a sibling - both M and I have younger brothers. But it's just not in the cards for us. Do I feel like she's going to miss out on that bond? Sure. But this little girl already has so many little friends and so many grown ups who care for her, that she'll have bonds in other ways. She'll have a multitude of 'extended family members' (sisters, brothers, Aunts and Uncles) from all our friends that she will never be without someone to play with, someone to paint with and someone to just go exploring with.

I have a lot of friends who are only children. They are normal, fully functional, funny and smart people who are able to have long lasting friendships and relationships. They aren't psychopaths, hiding in a basement somewhere plotting their revenge on the world because they never had to learn how to share with a sibling. They aren't self-centered and feel that the world truly does revolve around them. They really are just ordinary people.

So for the love of all that is good in this world, please stop asking people this question. It's not an 'innocent' question. It's a fully loaded one, and there is a high risk that it could very likely explode in your face.

You have been warned.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How the times have changed.

I was recently chatting with a friend of mine who resides in the Big Apple. We're what I like to call 'faraway friends'. We don't get to catch up anywhere near as much as we would like, but because we have so much in common, we can kind of just pick up where we left off. Of course, it doesn't hurt that we're both fabulous (as are all my friends), we are both transplants from other countries, and we both recently (well, relatively recently) entered 'Mommy-hood'. Her little boy is about 2 months older than Little P. And while I bemoan the commute here in Las Vegas, she's got it a little tougher, living in Queens but working in Manhattan, and having to ger herself and her little guy in and out of the city on a daily basis, using nothing but buses and trains.

Aside from trying to 'one up' each other on the trials and tribulations of the daily grind, we were busy discussing how much our styles have changed since having kids. You have to understand, when we first met, I was running the club that she bartended at, so our 'uniform' such as it was, consisted of black everything. Black pants, black shirts, black shoes.... you get the idea. But once we 'grew up' (which for me involved getting a '9-5' gig, and for her meant finishing her degree and getting a 'real' job in finance) we had to ditch the 'all black' get up and get something a bit more, well, corporate.

So we kind of went from looking like this:
(Okay, that might be a stretch, our skirts were definitely longer, but you get the idea)

To this:

And then we both stopped working to look after our little ones and looked more like this:

Alright so we were never THAT stylish, but, well, you get the point...
But eventually, we both went back to work, and we had to start looking more like this:
Trying to find a happy medium isn't easy (you know, clothes that show you are actually working and that is preferably NOT covered in yogurt, Gold Fish remants or milk). We had both recently been shopping to try and find things that fit and were deemed 'work appropriate' and had enjoyed a laugh over the fact that we had both, without knowing what the other was doing, bought stuff only for ourselves, nothing for our little ones, and shock horror, we had both bought cardigans!!

The conversation went a little like this.
Her: 'I can't believe I dragged J around shopping for three hours and all I bought for him was snacks and a drink. Not one item of clothing, no toys, nothing! It's a miracle'
Me: 'I know! I don't think I've managed to do that since Little P was born. How liberating.'

And of course, once we found out that we had both gone the 'preppy' route, we were just about besides ourselves with laughter. 'My how the times they have changed.'

And that's fine. Actually, it's better than fine. I'm not sure what the word is, but it's better. People change, they adapt. We develop the 'style' that works for us right then and now. In ten years time, it could  will be different again. And that's okay.

So till next time, go on, embrace the change. It's a thrilling experience.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Can I get a 'do-over'?

We've all had it happen. That moment when you realize you are suffering from an extreme case of 'foot in mouth' disease. That point when you make that mental note: before speaking, be sure to remove foot from mouth.

Credit - Google Images
Those times when someone exclaims quite cheerfully (and usually loudly) - 'You're pregnant!' Only to be told that the person is in fact, not with child. Or when you run full tilt up to someone to give them a hug only to realize at the very last second that they are NOT who you thought you were running up to and you have to decide to either follow through and hug them regardless of the consequences, or perform a maneuvre that resembles something that a Cirque de Soleil perfomer would do and hope that you didn't look like half as much a fool as you felt. 

I like to think it's just a part of being human. Just one of those funny little genetic quirks that we all have... some more than others.

A friend of mine recently suffered from a severe case of 'foot in mouth' at her eldest boys school. While waiting to meet with his teacher, she was bemoaning the current state of her body after having baby number 4 to another Mommy. The conversation had, for the most part, be in the 'PG' rating (stomach resembling dough that has been kneaded to within an inch of it's life, breasts now located somewhere 'below the equator', that sort of thing). Then it suddenly made a very sharp turn into an 'R' rating when she stated "and now my vagina is like two loose flaps. It's so bad that when I walk, I'm farting from there. I call them 'vagfarts'."

It was of course, at that moment when her sons teacher stepped out of the classroom. Queue awkward silence. Luckily for her, the teacher had a sense of humor and said, 'Kids, huh? Ruin you for life don't they?'.

Till next time, be sure to check your feet are on the ground before speaking. You just never know who will come around that corner.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Dressing a Toddler for Dummies

Getting an almost two year old  dressed and organized in the morning is like trying to nail jello to the wall. Or wrangle snakes covered in olive oil. Or read War and Peace and actually enjoy it. It. Just. Ain't. Happening.

As soon as you mention 'getting dressed' your toddler turns into either a limp rag doll, and is completely uncooperative or, they suddenly develop a sense of fashion and absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, is fit for them to wear. This usually results in fits of crying, refusing to lift arms or legs so you can get the clothes on them, or constantly moving till you eventually give up and they leave their bedroom with one arm in the shirt, one leg through the pants and one sock on, but no shoes.

Did I mention they are uncooperative?

M has decided that if he wants to get out of the house at a certain time, he needs to start getting Little P ready about one hour prior to the actual time of departure. Most days he's successful at doing this. Other days, not so much.

But, I have discovered the secret to successfully get Little P dressed and out of the house without one or both of us being tired and cranky and I can usually pull it off in as little as 15 minutes. 

Want to know the secret?

I get her dressed while she's still sleepy.

Yup. I'm the super sneaky Mommy. It, of course helps that I make sure I'm organized and ready to go before I attempt this risky maneuver; that her bag for school is packed and that all I need to do is scoop her up, put clothes on her while she's still waking up, go kiss M goodbye and out the door we go. We are in the car and on our way before she even realizes we aren't in the house anymore. It of course helps that she eats breakfast at her school, and that I have so much crap in my car to keep her entertained that she's so preoccupied with the book, toy, game or whatever else she's playing with, that she doesn't pay any attention to the fact that we are indeed, on our way somewhere.

Weekends of course, are a whole other story. But weekdays - I own those 'like a boss'.

Till next time...


Monday, January 21, 2013

Just breathe....

just breathe chalkboard

I need to catch my breath. Just to sit quiet and still. To be able to shut out all the noise and the distractions. To just, be.

There are days when I feel like a complete and utter failure. I know, hard to believe, what with me being totally awesome and everything, but it's true. I look at how organized and prepared I used to be, and compare that to how completely chaotic most of my days are and I think 'what happened?'. 

And yes, I know the whole 'having a child changes everything' business, but still, why can't I work, be a Mom and keep up on all the things I used to? Is it that unrealistic of me to think that what I used to accomplish in the 24 hours of a day should still, in essence be achieveable? I see women do it all the time. Run a business, raise a family, keep a tidy house and still have time for friends. But for me, it's like something has to give. I can work and raise a family, but when it comes to spending time with friends and keeping a tidy house, it tends to be one or other. 

I want to be present for my baby girl. Watch in amazement as she continues to learn and discover the world. But some days, I find myself willing her to go to sleep just so I can too. I have projects I want to work on, books to read, photo's to catalogue... yet all I yearn for is sleep.

And I feel horrible about it. Logically, yes, logically, I know it's just a phase. That after all the craziness of starting a new job and getting through the holidays, it's about setting a routine, of getting into the swing of things. But, I just can't seem to.

It's not that I don't want to. Heavens no. I long for structure, for a solid routine, for knowing what to expect (mostly) of the days to come. Sure, I love spontaneity, it spices things up, but not all the time.

Maybe it's just a matter of looking at things in a different way. Of seeing my days, not as chaotic, but as full. Of seeing the house not as untidy, but as a home that's lived in and well loved. 

I don't know. 

Maybe it's just a matter of acceptance.

Either way, I know it's going to be a process...hopefully one that works itself out soon.

Till next time....


Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Finity and Yond!"

Little P has quite the attachment to a certain Buzz Lightyear and his best pal Woody. And really, there are worse things she could be fond of (Bratz dolls come to mind). But you know a character has had an impact on your little one, when after successfully going "number 2" on the potty they yell out 'Finity and Yond!', followed by a slight pause and then 'Hey howdy hey.'

Yup, that's my talented little girl. 

It could be much worse. She could be quoting Spongebob Squarepants for example.  Or repeating stuff from pretty much anything on Nick Jr. (I'm sorry, I just don't get a lot of the kid's programming on that channel - it seems to be directed at either grown ups who are high, or, well.... no, just grown ups who are high). Seriously, who is that happy all the time? And what on earth are 'Bubble Guppies'?

Alternatively, she could be repeating what I have said to complete a certain little boy I know....

Young Master W has a fondness for telling complete strangers exactly what it was that his parents talked about that morning. For example, I got this gem just recently; 'Guess what? Mommy has hemp noids and Daddy hates cream because it smells like butt!' 

(Translation: Mommy (who is 7 months pregnant) has got hemarroids and asked Daddy to pick up some cream for them on the way home. His response was 'Okay, but I really hate picking up that butt cream - people always look at me funny.')

See? Could totally be worse.

'To finity and yond!'


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Relationships are like ice cream....

Wise words from a wise friend. I'm serious. Look, if 'life is like a box of chocolates' then it only makes sense that relationships are like ice cream. Here's how it breaks down.

'Relationships are like ice cream. There are some flavors that you see and go 'oooo, have to try that one', things like 'Carmel Swirl, Double Fudge, Cookie Dough' or 'Pecan Brittle, Strawberry Cheesecake', and your first spoonful is wonderful. You think "I could eat this for the rest of my life", but after a while it's either too sweet, or too crunchy, or just leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach.'

'But then there's flavors like Chocolate, or Vanilla, or Strawberry. Flavors that may seem very ordinary, but they are stable and true. You know that when you take a spoonful of your favorite chocolate ice cream, it's going to taste the same each time. That on those days when you just want to go hide in a corner and forget the rest of the world exists, that first taste of your 'old reliable' is going to make everything seem okay. By the time you have finished the bowl (or the pint) you feel a whole lot better and life is good again.'

'And sure, there will be times when you want to 'spice' things up a bit and add some fudge, or whipped cream, maybe some fruit or chopped nuts, or even go a little crazy and pile on sprinkles, but at the end of the day, that one flavor, the one your soul almost seems to cry out for, that's the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Because it's always been there for you, in the good time and the bad, ready to just let you cry and look like a hot mess while you get it out of your system. Your non-judgemental companion as you watch that movie again, because it makes you smile. Your steady hand during trying times. The one you celebrate with when you get that promotion, or that job, or just come one with the perfect pair of shoes. The ONE.'

See. How true is that? 

So, my friends, you can have your fancy pants ice cream with seven different flavors in one tub. Me, I'll take my chocolate ice cream any day. Cause it's perfect for me (both the ice cream and M).

Till next time, grab a big spoon and dig in.


Ships in the night

There was a time, a long time ago, when M and I were on different schedules. He had finally made the break from working nights to a 'real job' (one that sees the daylight) and I was still running the show at a nightclub. So there were many times when I would just be crawling into bed and he would be getting up, passing each other like 'ships in the night'. 

Which was okay. Because we knew it was going to be a short period in our lives together and there would be a time when we would be on the same schedule again.

Fast forward about 10 years and we are again on different schedules, and now with a little one in the mix. Normally this isn't a bad thing - Little P spends Saturday's with Mommy, Sunday's with Mommy and Daddy and Monday's are for her and Daddy to spend time together. We get to share dinner together three nights a week and breakfast on roughly three, sometimes four depending on M's schedule. And at the moment, it works. It's not ideal, but it's not horrible either.

This past week however, has been rough on all of us. With CES in town (that's 'Consumer Electronics Show' for those of you not in the know), it's been a crazy week. Being one of, if not the biggest conference in Las Vegas, means that traffic sucks three times as much, and navigating any where around the Strip is next to impossible. Which in turn means that for me to get in my hours at work AND avoid the headache of getting to Little P's daycare in time, I have to be leave for work at an ungodly hour. It also means that M is insanely busy at the restaurants so his hours are longer and life is just a little off balance.

The end result of this is that Little P and I have to leave the house at 6:30am (I know, yuck, right), which is roughly when M has been in bed for about two hours. It also means that we are both in bed by around 8:30pm (which is just when things are warming up for M). The mornings have become a blur, but it's also provided a little early morning entertainment for me.

For example, yesterday, M didn't remember us coming in to say 'bye' so in his half awake/half asleep trance, he heard the garage door open and came running downstairs in his PJ's to catch us before we left. 'Did you say bye to me' he asks. 'Yes, we did, about 10 minutes ago.' 'Oh. I don't remember.' And off he rushes to give Little P a kiss, smooches me and then runs back inside saying 'Ugh, it's cold'. Well, yeah, if you are standing in an open garage in just your jammies, it's going to be cold.

And this morning, he was busy talking in his sleep about donuts of all things, while I was gettung ready. I'm not sure if he remembered us saying 'bye' this morning, but in his sleepy state, he still managed an 'I love you'.

So, while we haven't spent a whole lot of time together this week, and our communication has been limited to text messages, phone calls and leaving each other 'love notes' on mirrors and shower screens, we both know it's just one of those things and life will be back to normal in no time. 

And Little P? I think she's just enjoying the fact that Mommy's too tired to make dinner so we have had 'Mommy and Little P' dates each night this week.

Till next time.... aw, bugger it. I think of something witty when I'm not so tired.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Say it isn't so....

I apologize for what I am about to say, especially to you, dear brother, as I know you are probably going to 'throw up a little in your mouth' over this.

I bought a sweater set the other day. I confess. I did. And I actually like it. I don't look like this:

But, well, you know, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. I also bought cardigans. Yup. And a couple of button down shirts. Channeling an 80's prepster? Maybe. Or maybe it's just time for a change. Who knows?

I've come to the realization recently, that I'm going through another 'discovery' phase of my life. Yes, I know it's something that you are supposed to do in your twenties (you know, 'find yourself' and all that blarney), but if you want to know the truth, I think I've found, lost and re-found myself at least a dozen times since I started puberty, and I honestly don't think I'm any where close to being done. Too many things change in life to stay the same.

You meet new people, get a different job, move to a different city (or a different country), fall in love, fall out of love, fall in love again, get married (and sometimes divorced, occasionally multiple times), have kids, kids grow up, move again..... it's endless. So, I ask you, why would anyone want to wear the same style of clothes?

Sure, some things are timeless (read: expensive) and there are classic things that will never go out of style (the classic beige trench coat, a great pair of jeans, the basic black 'go with everything' heels), but you change, heck, you body changes (especially after having a kid) and your life style changes, so why wouldn't your wardrobe.

So, for now, I'm going to embrace my 'prepster' style and enjoy it. Sorry little brother.

Till next time, go get down with your bad self, and rock whatever style you got going on. I promise to love you no matter what.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

And the 'Bad Mommy' Award goes to...

I yelled at my baby girl today. And it made her cry. And I felt like a complete heel afterwards. I know that it's not something that she will remember, but I also know that it's not something that I will quickly forget.

Yes, I know logically, that we all yell at our kids. Sometimes it's to get their attention, sometimes it's to stop them from doing something stupid (or dangerous), and sometimes it's because they did something stupid (or dangerous). And other times it's just out of frustration, pure and simple.

Don't misunderstand me, I've raised my voice to Little P numerous times, usually because of one of the things mentioned above, but till this day, I had never, never, actually yelled at her. And it really wasn't her fault or anything she did. It was just a 'perfect storm' of things that built up and I, well, snapped.

It wasn't her fault that I was stuck in heinous traffic, or that I was surrounded by complete moron's who had less driving ability than Sheldon Cooper. It most certainly wasn't her fault that I was almost doubling over in pain thanks to Mother Nature's wonderful monthly visitor, and it kind of wasn't her fault I was tired (although the hour and change that I was awake with her in the middle of the night last night certainly didn't help). And normally her asking me the same question over and over (and over and over) again wouldn't have bugged me that much. But you put all of them together and you get a recipe for Mount Vesuvius - and that's what happened. I exploded.

And I made Little P cry.

If it had of been one of the 'I'm not sure why you just yelled at me, but I'm gonna cry anyway' kind of cry, I could have been okay with that, because those are the ones that you can quickly turn around into laughing if you know the right things to say or do. No, this was a 'the world is exploding' kind of cry, with the great big gap between sobs as she's trying to catch her breath. 

If I had of been able to pull over and just give her a big cuddle and let her cry it out, I would have, but we were on the highway, still a good 15 minutes from home and there wasn't much I could do.

So, I did what any self-respecting Mother who is trying to stop her little one from crying would do. I put on her favorite song and listened to it, on repeat, all the way home.

By the time we were listening to it for the third time, she was down to just the sniffles and 'singing' along. By the time we got home, she was all smiles and talking about the things that 2 year olds talk about.

See, all but forgotten. At least on her end it was. 

I may have given her bigger and longer cuddles that night, and maybe, just maybe, I read her favorite story more than once (try 10 ten times). And I may have let her sit on my lap just rocking and talking till she was ready to go to sleep. And maybe, just maybe, I might have stayed in her room watching her sleep for a little while. And that's okay.

There will come a day in the not so distant future when her and I will butt heads. And we will yell at each other. There will probably be name calling and the slamming of a door or two, but at the end of the day, this little girl is going to know that no matter what is said in a moment of frustration, I will always, always love her. 

Because I carry her heart with me, I carry it in my heart.

Till next time, remember to always take time to squeeze your babies.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

Credit - Google
Sitting here early on the first morning of 2013, necessary cup of coffee in hand, watching a rather magnificent sunrise and I'm hit with a wave of nostalgia.

The last time I can remember doing this, the watching of a sunrise on the new year, alone (M and Little P are still sleeping), was in 1999 (well, '99 going into 2000). I hadn't met M yet, Little P was not even a blip on my radar and my life was pretty different.

It was after a rather eventful night, and I was headed home on the tram with every intention of going straight to bed, but as so often happens, the universe had different plans for me. I got sidetracked walking home from the tram stop, and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the beach, with a coffee and a croissant (still smelling of cigarette smoke and spilt alcohol), watching the sunrise.

It was breathtaking. Even after all these years I can still say that. I remember the sun just peaking over the horizon, seeing it's reflection start to show on the water, watching it briefly disappear behind low clouds only to reappear in all it's brilliance what felt like moments later. I knew at that moment, that 2000 was going to be a banner year....and it was. It was the year I started working for a company that would not only provide me with some wonderful life long friends, but also technically gave me M, and the chance to move to the States to be with him. It was the year I essentially went from being a 'club kid' (which, if I'm totally honest, was exactly what I was) to being an actual grown up, with goals and plans and aspirations.

It was the year I knew what being in love truly was, everything else had simply been a forerunner to this all encompassing, unable to breath, spinning wildly out of control feeling that I had for this other person. I wouldn't feel that way again till Little P was placed in my arms for the first time.

2000 was the year that, although the computers of the world didn't rise up and attack us, and we weren't sent into a crazy non-technology based society, it was the year that I discovered MP3 players and that Excel spreadsheets really weren't that scary. It was the year I tried, unsuccessfully, to teach my American boyfriend how to drive stick shift (on the 'wrong' side of the road).

It was a banner year.

2013 is going to be one too. I just know it. I have a job I enjoy, work with a bunch of great people and I'm learning new things daily. And while some friends have moved on, I have made a bunch of new ones, and my old friends just keep getting better (something to do with aging like fine wine...). I have my little angel, Little P, who just amazes me every day and makes me laugh and cry and just want to be silly. I have M, who even to this day, when he takes my hand, still takes my breath away, and I have family in two continents now - my love has gone global.

And as in 2000, we survived a potential earth shattering day - 12/21/12 - only to wake up on the 22nd to see no real discernible change (I still think Skynet is just biding time). We have Little P's 2nd birthday coming up, my Dad's 60th, my Father-in-law's 70th, my 40th and my Mum's 60th all to look forward to this year. Potential trips to Australia, LA and back to New York are all on the books.

2013. Definitely going to be a banner year.

So, to you and yours, may the sun rise on a wonderful new year and may it be full of surprises and much happiness.

From me and comes the sun!


Credit - Google