And So It Begins…

The day my three year old started preschool was a momentous moment in my motherhood career. I was finally going to get a little break and a breather while she was at school for three glorious, whine-free hours. I wasn’t going to be one of those moms crying her eyes out because she couldn’t leave her child, but I was going to be one of those moms with tears of joy streaming down her face doing a happy dance of freedom.

happy dance

Just like this

The morning of my daughter’s first day, she got dressed, donned her horsey backpack, and stood in front of the fireplace to have her picture taken. Once she would finally listen to my direction, and I was able to get a good one, we then took another one standing by the front door. And another one next to the car. Now that I think about it, I was trying to stop time, capture every moment before she was officially a student.

Driving her to school, I was nervous. How would she do at drop off? She’d never been to daycare and had only been left with family members up until then. Would she cry and scream? Throw a tantrum? To calm my nerves, I turned on the music. And wouldn’t you know it, that damn Frozen soundtrack was playing. Of course it was on, Let it Go. Of course.

let it go

But not the movie version, the Demi Lovato version, which made it all even worse. My eyes filled with tears. What the hell was wrong with me? I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. And there I was driving my daughter to her first day of school, realizing that this was the beginning of the end, and she’d be off to college before I knew it. Which doesn’t sound all that bad now, but let’s face it, it’s terrible. I’ll be so old and exhausted by then, that is, if I even survive the teenage years.

It was not so long ago that my little girl was a little baby, and now she was going to school for the first time, and the enormity hit me like a gust of icy wind. Here I was releasing her into the real world, sending her off to make her own path, and it was too much to process. Luckily, whenever I get emotional and overwhelmed by the feelings of motherhood, my kids know just how to distract me by having a complete meltdown or needing one of their million needs met. They keep me from over-thinking things, or thinking things at all, really.

So by the time we pulled into the parking lot, my avalanche of emotion stopped short by their cries to get out of their seats, and I was able to collect myself. We went inside her classroom, only after taking more pictures outside the door. Everything went well. She didn’t cry, she wasn’t afraid, she was a little unsure, but it didn’t stop her from sitting at the table and playing with the freshly made playdough. It went better than I imagined. She was ready, the only thing I had to do was let. her. go. Oh god, here come the waterworks again. Damn hormones.

And so begins her journey to success, and Mummy’s journey to freedom.

Why I Cried

Why I Cried

 

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.”

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.