Welcome to Parenthood, Check Your Life at the Door

At times, the first year of parenthood is a literal shitstorm. And on top of that, it’s a shitstorm of emotions.

Our lives change overnight. One minute we’re just a couple of normal, carefree people and the next we’re mothers and fathers in charge of a tiny infant who we want to have the very best life. But we’ve never done anything like this before, so we feel as though we’re screwing them up no matter what we do.

Now that my kids are toddlers, it’s hard for me to even remember the first year of parenthood. It’s all such a blur of random memories. Thank god for pictures because a lot of it has been lost to sleepless nights and crazy chaotic days or just my own self-preservation.

And speaking of pictures, #NewDad, is an awesome new picture book for adults.  A first time dad documents his journey into parenthood with humorous photographs and funny anecdotes that we, as parents, can all relate to. When I say “picture book” it’s almost like his Instagram account has jumped off the screen and into your hands. The opening page is a photograph of the author, Josh Gloer, resting his head on the steering wheel of his car while the caption reads, “Just took a nap…at a stoplight.”

newdadBeing a new parent is utterly exhausting and this sums up every parent’s life well beyond the newborn stage. You think  you’re just going to close your eyes for a brief respite, and the next thing you know, you’re drooling and a police officer is shaking you awake.

From being sprayed with spit-up, to “nailing” a work presentation with poop on his arm, to being in bed on a Friday night by 9 o’clock, Gloer captures the quintessential milestones in the life of a parent perfectly. Never do we feel more unprepared and more unsure of what to do when we become parents, but the best thing to remember is that we’ve all been there, it’s normal, and as Gloer puts it, “If you’re a #NewDad…you get it.”

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Picture Perfect

It’s no surprise that my kids drive me crazy. They are the loudest, most demanding little soul-suckers that ever walked this earth. Couple that with my extreme fatigue and we’re just a shitstorm waiting to happen.

Whenever we visit my mom I have an out of body experience where I see myself as the frazzled, exhausted cliché of a mom that I’ve become. Wearing the typical “mom” uniform of crusty yoga pants and T-shirt, I vent to her about my frustrations and wonder how she survived motherhood without downing three bottles of wine a night.

It’s not always like this though. There are snippets in between the madness when everything is lovely. And those snippets are what I put on Instagram for my friends and family so they see the illusion of my “picture perfect” life.

beach scene

waves

running

While scrolling through all my photos it looks like my life is pretty great, and at times it is, but I never have the chance to sit back and reflect on it or even enjoy it because everything is so damn crazy!

However, this morning the girls and I sat at the desk and watched a slide show of old photos play across the computer screen.

holding handswalking away

snuggles

beach

I held one on my lap while the other leaned against us and we all smiled while I explained the pictures and for a couple minutes I was aware of my luck. Then the little one tried to propel herself onto the desk while the other one tried to smash the keyboard and just like that, it was all over.

Parenthood is exhausting and frustrating and beautiful and heartbreaking. I never realized that it would be living for these tiny, fleeting moments where everything comes together and breaks apart all in the same instant. It’s wanting to pause every happy moment and fast forward through the rest of the chaos. It’s wanting to keep them this way forever and wishing they were already grown up. It’s everything all at once and for this reason I’m happy to have my wineglass waiting for me at the end of the day.

wine

 

Eff This!

It’s all too much!

This motherhood and parenting thing is for the birds! And not even, cause as soon as baby birds learn how to fly they’re gone, kicked out of the nest to take care of themselves, unlike my babies who won’t be self-sufficient for at least 20 more years and then there’s no guarantee that they’ll leave. (Kill me now!)

My nest won’t be empty for a looooonnnggg time and it gives me hives just thinking about how much longer I have to do all of this. And don’t you dare tell me this is the easy part. I will go ballistic on your ass!

sahm

How was my own mother SAD when she became an empty-nester? Her AOL account name was PJMTNEST when I went off to college. Mine would have been YAFREAKINGHOOTHOSEASSHOLESAREGONE@aol.com I’m going to throw a raging party when they’re both in college, hell, I might do it when they both start elementary school.

I can’t wait until the day I have my house back to myself and it’s quiet and I can sit and listen to the birds chirp and eat a meal without someone poking me or asking me “why” 5 million times a day or screaming at me because she wants a bowl of Cheerios to dump all over the floor. I realize it’s 30 years away, that’s why I’m so freaking pissed off!

If you can’t tell, I’ve been really overwhelmed with this stay-at-home-mom business lately. It feels like it’s too much 99% of the time.

list

When you wake up and fantasize about going to work just to get away from your kids, then it might be time to make a change. So then I start thinking about getting a job and how great it would be to feel validated and like I’m actually doing something and then the other side, the mom side, throws her 2 cents in and says, “But you’ll miss so much. They’re only this age for a short period of time. Do you really want someone else raising your kids?” When they’re both screaming at me and fighting over toys and pulling hair and screaming louder the answer is YES! I DON’T CARE WHAT I’LL MISS AND THEY MIGHT NOT LIVE MUCH LONGER IF THEY’RE IN MY CARE ANYWAY SO BETTER TO LET SOMEONE ELSE DEAL WITH THEM!

I wish I was one of those laid-back moms who lets everything wash over her as if she didn’t have a care in the world. How do you not care that your house is a goddamn disaster, your kids won’t listen to you, there is yogurt crusted onto your dining table (at least you hope it’s yogurt), you have more dirty dishes and piles of laundry than you can count, the dogs are barking at the wind, and someone smells like shit. She’s the mom who tells me that it’ll get better with time, much like my own mother. But no, I’m a crazy basket-case mom because I deal with two little mini-me terrorists all day, every day. It’s exhausting and I think I’ve hit my limit. Besides, my mom told me months ago that it was going to get easier and I’m pretty damn sure that it hasn’t.

So if you never hear from me again it’s because I got out and got an effing job!

happy

The Chachi Fairy Cometh

I finally did what I said I was going to do for ages now–get rid of the effing chachi (or pacifier for all you normal people out there). We kept finding excuses to put it off: we were going on vacation and couldn’t do that to the grandparents, or we were just too tired, or we were just too scared.

To tell the truth I was dreading it, even though I knew it had to happen! Everyone I talked to said it would take 3 days of screaming and I just couldn’t do that to myself. However, it was so much easier than I thought it would be! (Feel free to punch or throw something or throw a punch at me!)

Sure, the Chachi Fairy had to send her assistant racing to the nearest sporting goods store to purchase a scooter and something for the smaller one, and then she had to collect the 2 chachis and put them in their little pouch so the big one could place them in the tree in the front yard for pickup in the middle of the night.

And of course the chachis would become permanent stars in the sky so the girls could always see them at night. Daddy even went so far as to point out their Mama’s old chachi. Oh yeah, and she also had to wrap the presents and make little cards with glitter hearts so that by the time she was done, the house looked like Tinkerbell farted pixie dust everywhere! This all sounds so silly, but it freaking worked!

Chachi Fairy's Business Card

Chachi Fairy’s Business Card

Love,  The Chachi Fairy

Love,
The Chachi Fairy

My wine glass and I were prepared for a sleepless week–a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad week. But on the first night, the little one slept straight through without a peep and we were shocked. She didn’t do that when she had the chachi! She usually woke up a couple times needing it put back in. The big one had a harder time obviously because she had the stupid thing for much longer, but after a couple days of asking about Chachi, she stopped and forgot about it.

So there you have it. All that time I could’ve thrown them away sooner and saved myself countless hours of searching for a goddamn pacifier!

I’m so excited that they’re gone–it feels like I’ve won some big important parenting award! The hubby is excited too, but he couldn’t part with them for sentimental reasons, or maybe it was because he wanted them as backup in case our plan didn’t work.

Maybe we’ll have them bronzed for posterity’s sake.

Success!

Success!

A Tale of Sisterly Love

No one wants to share the spotlight especially when it’s the first-born and she’s losing her crown of Only Child. I worried how it would affect my daughter when our second one came along. All pushing and hair pulling aside, she mostly loves her baby sister. (It’s actually the little one I have to worry about! She’s more of a “bully!”)

One of our new favorite books addresses the issue of sibling rivalry. In Chloe, Instead written and illustrated by Micah Player, the big sister, Molly, laments having to share her house with her little sister, Chloe, and how it’s not the picnic she envisioned.

Chloe!

The cover alone makes me happy!

Molly wanted a little sister just like her to share in her love of keyboards, reading, and coloring…

Everything's Great

Everything’s Great…

but Chloe is a little too passionate and “spirited” as babies discovering the world can be.

…until Molly snaps!

Chloe is the cutest little spitfire and reminds me of my younger one, (especially the fact that her cuteness saves her!) She’s got that gleam in her eye that says, “Watch out, world!” And Molly is a lot like my older one who likes things done her way and will not budge unless bribed with a sweet treat.

Cheeky Monkey

Cheeky Monkey

Maybe it’s because the story is about two little girls, or maybe because the pictures are just so darn cute, or maybe it’s a little bit of both, but I’m head over heels for this book and I know you’ll be too!

Oh, Chloe!

Oh, Chloe!

Obsessed with Books

We go to storytime every week.

It’s our religion.

I don’t know if it’s more for me or for my daughter as I’m just as obsessed about getting new library books as she is. It must be what Carrie Bradshaw felt every time she passed a shoe store. My palms get all sweaty and my heart skips a beat seeing all the book spines lined up.  I want ALL the books and I want them now!

I can’t help myself from perusing the shelves while my daughter sits and listens to the librarian read aloud. For the length of those three books, I’m in hog heaven imagining I had time to read at all. I end up checking out books that I know I’ll never finish–a classic case of my eyes being too big for my stomach. If that’s not an addiction, I don’t know what is. I could care less if my little girl is behaving and listening while sitting criss-cross applesauce, just let me look at books and imagine sitting in a quiet room, or better yet, an island in the sun with my book and a daiquiri.

I wanted to pass on my love of reading and books and I think it’s already taken. She loves to read all day, sometimes choosing them over watching a movie (which makes me really proud). This is what the corner of her dresser looks like at all times:

Library Books Galore

So I’ve decided to start writing about our favorites. I’ve come across so many children’s books that I absolutely adore that I want to share them with someone. Whenever the storytime lady reads one that I’ve already checked out, I yawn and shine my knuckles on my crusty shirt, “We read that ages ago. Get with it, lady.” Not really, but I do feel some sort of smug satisfaction that we indeed already read it. How stupid, huh? I can’t help it.

Our newest batch of books includes Crankee Doodle, Little Oink, and Hank Finds An Egg.

Hank Finds An Egg

Hank! My Hero!

I instantly fell in love with the photos in this book. It features an adorable little teddy bear named Hank who *surprisingly* finds an egg in the woods!

There aren’t any words in this book–which is somewhat an issue for a writer as myself–as the story is the guts of the book–however without words, it gives the writer in all of us a chance to create our own story. The author, Rebecca Dudley, created a storybook with whimsical pictures and a heart-warming storyline featuring a bear who wants to return a lost egg to its rightful owner. When we see all the trouble he went through to get the egg back to its home, do we then, truly understand Hank and his journey.

There’s something truly magical about Hank and his quest to get the egg back to its nest.

mama and hankHe’s a gentleman in an age where chivalry has died. Sure, he could go ahead and eat that egg when the economy has tanked and he’s ‘hankering’ for a Whopper but all he gets are some sprouts and berries. But no, he goes and delivers that egg to its Mama, like a true gentleman. There should be more dudes like Hank in the world. Out, not just for himself, but for mankind.

Check out this enchanting book if you still believe in happy endings…and I’m not talking about the kind at the massage parlors.

Tuesdays with Snooki

The moment you realize you have more in common with Snooki than Michelle Obama do you:

A) Call your mom and apologize
B) Sign up for etiquette  classes
C) Do 10 shots of Jager and say screw it right before getting up on that tabletop to dance
D) All of the above

snooki

The other day I realized I had more in common with Snooki than I cared to admit. When writing a tweet that said something like, “I hate when people who can’t read go on to write a book,”I was referring to the pint-sized self-appointed “meatball” from MTV’s Jersey Shore and her book, Baby Bumps.

Snooki book

After tweeting it, I realized I was just hating on Snooki for doing something that I dream about doing –getting published– not achieving the world’s deepest tan or highest pouf. In the midst of my hating, I had to take a hard look at myself and that’s when I realized I was more like Snooki than I thought.

And here are the top 10 ways:

1) I used to be addicted to tanning. Me with my freckly German/Irish skin used to “fake bake” in a cancer box my senior year of high school. Back then in ’99, spray-tanning wasn’t what it is today. It was just a can of orange spray paint but similar to the effect seen below.

snooki tan

2) Have thrown up in my share of parking lots. I used to have a life before I had kids and that included going out and drinking way too much. I finally learned that shots were to be done at the beginning of the evening and not at the end after you’ve already had one too many. And Flip Cup should never be played with Lemon Drops.

3) I’m kind of Italian. My grandmother was 100% Sicilian and 200% crazy so by that logic–I’m 1/4 Italian and 1/2 insane. Apparently Snooki was adopted from Chile by Italian American parents so she’s basically Italian by osmosis.

4) I’m short. Still taller than Snooki, but short all the same.

ss

5) I used to be a vet assistant. Apparently Snooki went to vet school to be a vet tech. I can’t imagine she’d be good at expressing anal glands, however she might have had her finger in worse places than a dog’s butthole when she lived at the Shore.

6) I’m a mom. No one ever predicted that Snooki would settle down and have a baby. While I can’t say the same for me because I was never a true party girl, some days I’m still surprised that I’m somebody’s mom.

snooki mom

7) I’d sleep all day if allowed to. I’d give anything to be able to sleep like a teenager again. Any.Thing.

8) I have awful tattoos. There are only 2 small ones on my back but one is technically a tramp stamp and the other is often misconstrued as the wrong initial. Here are just a couple of Snooki’s.

snooki tattoo

9) Have lived with a relative as a grown-ass adult. But at least it was a long time ago and way before I ever had kids.

10) Had a tiny crush on Vinny. What can I say–it’s hard to resist a babyface.

In conclusion, I can see why Snooki became America’s Guidette–there’s something about her IDGAF attitude that is infectious–or wait, maybe that was just another one of her UTIs. Who knows!

Look forward to the top 10 ways I’m NOT like Snooki, coming soon!