Monday, April 30, 2012

Mommy Fail #212: Trusting my toddler with snacks

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but life has been busy.  Chaotic, actually.  I've been telling myself, "just another week or two and it will slow down."  Then a week or two goes by, and I tell myself "next month will be better.  We'll have a better handle on everything."

You know what,  folks?  That's a load of crap.  It's never going to slow down, and I'm never going to get a better handle on everything.  The truth is that I used to be better at just accepting the chaos and going with it.

I was looking back at my blog posts over the past year or so, and I really like some of the things I was writing.  One of the things I've missed are my "Mommy Fail" moments.  They're a prime example of reveling in the chaos instead of fighting and resenting it. So, I'm bringing them back.

Mommy Fail #212: This weekend, I was in the middle of doing something important when my toddler started pestering me for a snack.  In frustration, I went to the cupboard, pulled out a box of crackers, and handed it to him, and then  I went back to what I was doing.

A few minutes later, I checked in to see how he was enjoying his snack.  And...it was gone.  I don't mean the crackers, I mean the whole box.  I've searched high and low, but I finally had to accept the fact that there's an entire box of Wheat Thins missing somewhere in the house.  That's what I get for trusting my toddler with snacks...lesson learned.

What about you? Do you have any good Mommy Fail (or Daddy Fail or Life in General Fail) moments?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Elephants, firetrucks, and the Easter Bunny

We officially move out of our house this weekend, but 98% of our stuff is already packed and in a storage unit hundreds of miles away.  We're living with a couch, a little table with a couple of chairs, a mattress on the floor, five plates, four cups, and a play tent.

At first I wondered how we'd survive.  But now, I'm reconsidering whether or not I need those hundreds of boxes of stuff that I painstakingly packed.  Perhaps the spartan lifestyle could work for us.  I've contemplated not paying my storage unit bill and hoping I see everything I own end up on an episode of Storage Wars.

And then my toddler wakes up, and I'm quickly reminded why we need eighty thousand toys and six couches to climb on.  Packing tape and mom as a human jungle gym gets old really fast.

Anyway, as I walk through the now-empty rooms of my house, I start to get a little sad and a little nostalgic.  So, I looked through some old videos to cheer myself up, and I found some pretty good ones.  I thought I'd share a couple because, let's face it, the fact that I'm taking time out to blog while my toddler runs in circles in an empty room with a concrete floor means this one's gotta be quick.

Elephant is a really hard word when you're 15 months old. (Last July)

Who wants to make boring cow and sheep sounds when you can make way cooler sounds, like a firetruck?! (About four months ago).

Turns out the Easter Bunny's alright after all.  High five for the win! (Two-ish weeks ago).

Monday, April 16, 2012

If you're going to lie to your kids, look around first

I got an email today that said, "If you've still got Easter Eggs, here's 10 recipes to help you use them up."  Newsflash: Easter was more than a week ago.  Screw recipes, if you've still got Easter Eggs, you should throw them out.  Particularly if they were the ones that were hidden under the couch for six hours before someone found them.

But then I started thinking...if a popular parenting site can still talk about Easter, it means I can still share my super cute photos and the very important parenting lesson I learned during this year's Easter Egg Hunt that I haven't had time to post.

This was our first Easter egg hunt, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  When we got there, they made all the kids line up by age group and wait until it was time for their hunt to begin.  In theory, that's a great idea - very orderly and efficient.  In practice, keeping hundreds of toddlers standing within inches of bright, shiny Easter eggs and making them wait for more than ten minutes...not so much orderly.  More, whining kids and pleading parents.  Lots of crying and flailing.  But there was one mom in particular who caught my attention.

While we were standing, waiting, the Easter Bunny came up onto the deck of the building nearby to wave to all the kids.  A few feet away, an excited little girl started shouting, "Mommy! Mommy! Easter Bunny!!  See the Easter Bunny!"  The mom, who was trying to wrangle at least one other kid and an infant, was digging through her diaper bag for something,  "No, no, honey.  The Easter Bunny's gone.  He had to go home."

"Mom! Easter Bunny!" the girl whined and pointed.  "No," the mom continued to insist, becoming more and more frustrated by the second. "He was tired.  He had to go home, honey.  We're not going to see him again today!"  You can probably guess what happened next...full-on temper tantrum.  But, really, who can blame the girl?  It's confusing when someone tells you that you can't see something that's standing right in front of you.

And so I learned a very important parenting lesson.  Every parent tells little white lies to make their lives easier, but it really pays to look around first.  Otherwise, the kids learn pretty fast that you're pulling one over on them.

And now, Easter 2012 - all the highlights, just for you.

 Oh! Look! There's my basket in that tunnel.

Hey! Who's dumb idea was it to make me crawl through this tunnel and hit my head to get my basket?

It's alright, a couple pieces of candy, and I won't even remember hitting my head on that stupid tunnel.

Nothing says spring like hundreds of brightly-colored, candy-filled eggs spread out on the cool green grass. 

I lied before.  Nothing says spring like being mobbed by a hundred toddlers all trying to grab the same brightly-colored, candy-filled eggs spread out on the cool green grass! Who doesn't want to welcome spring with a little chaos?

Turns out that the firetruck the Easter Bunny arrived in is way cooler than the bunny and the eggs.

My mother loves Thanksgiving Dinner.  So, sometimes she makes it for Easter, too.  This year, though, she had a package of pastel bunny marshmallows and decided they'd be way more festive for the sweet potato casserole than plain old white ones.  Appetizing, huh?

Easter suit?  Oh, I thought you said running suit.  My bad.
 
There you have it.  Happy belated Easter to all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ask, and ye shall receive

Isn't that what they say?

I've been busy.  Very busy.  Almost too busy.  Almost. And, I have to say that busy is way better than depressed.  But let me back up.

About a month ago, I broke down.  I admitted that I can't - and shouldn't - do everything by myself.  I admitted that I was overwhelmed and sad and needed help.  I cannot tell you how much the kind comments and emails meant to me in the days that followed that post, even if I didn't respond to them.  I read them over and over.

Then, a week later, something miraculous happened.  After waiting, stressing, worrying, and hand-wringing for nearly seven months, we signed the papers to sell our house and buy a new one in our new town all in the span of six hours.  It was a whirlwind of emotions and paperwork, and once the dust settled, I was still in shock that things were finally happening.

I believe in coincidences, but I also believe in God.  And I have said an awful lot of prayers of thanks and relief in the last month.  While I obviously can't know why things happen when or how they do, I will always believe that the fact that I finally simply asked for help made all the difference.  That and the positive thoughts and good wishes you all sent out into the universe for me. 

So, I've been busy. I've been packing.  Like crazy.  My dog turned five, and my baby turned two.  We had a rad train-themed party that I can't wait to share with you all (cool free printables included as is custom on this ol' blog).

We are buying a house that needs some TLC (by which I mean it is totally trashed, but the price was right).  I've already spent too many hours on pinterest coming up with a project list that's far too long.  I can't wait to start making my new house a home and sharing my projects and tips (and house fix-its on the cheap).

I am quitting my job and finally giving into my long-term desire to be a true stay-at-home mom.  And I'm terrified.

I'm glad that there's a lot going on.  But the part I'm most excited about is that it's all stuff I want to write about.  It's stuff that I think about writing about.  When things got bad, my internal dialogue stopped.  The running commentary in my head as I went about my day shut off.

Now, I am starting to feel like me again, and my self-narrator has returned.  If only I had a secretary I could dictate my blog posts to, I'd be set!  Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask, right?