Best Laid Plans

My goal in starting this blog was to post every week.  It was going to be my escape, my little mommy time out all of my own… Well it didn’t happen.   I apologize to those who have been following and enjoy reading this blog weekly.  It really was the plan.  However as most of us mommies know, we plan and our children laugh, out loud, and in our faces.

Last weekend was one for the record books.  We had 2 separate birthday parties on our calendar.  They were loads of fun, and both kids had a great time.  The Hubs and I were exhausted.  We had no idea what most parents had been doing for years… the never ending kid event schedule.  In the old days, the hubs and I were party animals.  Two parties or more in one day would be nothing to us, easy, piece of cake.  Now with the kids in tow, 2 PARTIES?  Are you JOKING me?  We now know that this is just the beginning.  It’s pretty sad when 9:00pm feels like 2:00am.  Ugh!  Dare I say, I’m getting to old for this crap???

I confess I had a moment of panic at birthday party number 2.  The child in question is by far the genius on the block.  She talked and wore big girl panties first.  She is currently bi-lingual, working on becoming tri-lingual.  She is a blossoming artist according to her art teacher and a soon to be classical musician according to her music teacher.  Uh, my kid knows all the words to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream.  Sometimes she draws people with arms, and she can count to five in Spanish, sometimes.  So going to the party, both the Hubs and I were prepared to feel a little less than stellar parents. 

The kids played together like normal kids do, never knowing that there was a genius among them.  It was when they all came together that the truth came out.  At this party there was a 2 man musical ensemble singing kids songs.  To start they asked the bday girl to tell everyone how old she was, first in English, then in Spanish, and then in FRENCH.  The Hubs, gave me the look, you guys know the one.  The one that says, “Oh crap we are falling behind the curve”.  I laughed it off, but of course I was wondering should I talk to the French teacher that is currently in the kitchen cleaning up the snack table?  I wonder how much she charges. 

My freak out began!  What have I done?  My little ball of clay is not being molded into the genius I was planning.  Maybe I should go out and buy a chemistry set after this party, and workbooks in French.  Or maybe in English, because we haven’t really mastered that language yet either.  OH CRAP, my kid is going to flunk out of preschool and at this point will never go to college and it’s all my fault because I let her watch Twilight!!

Really has it come to this?  They are 4 or on their way to be 4.  Is it bad that my daughter can’t speak French?  Or play the piano, or make crepes?  No it’s not.  Can the kids tell, well of course not.  The only people feeling the heat are us, the parents. 

So what!  So my kid likes to sing Katy Perry songs.  She is sort of tri-lingual.  She spoke Mandarin Chinese before she spoke English thanks to Ni-Hao KiLan.  My little preschooler knows Lady GaGa, and recognizes her songs.  She also knows that one of mommy’s favorite movies is the “Edward and Bella” movie, and that Jacob is “the good bad wolf”.  So there!  Can the bday girl pick Lady GaGa out of a line up?  Probably not.  That’s ok too, but I refuse to feel bad because we are not currently enrolled in French class.

The real reason for this rant is simply because I’m jealous.  I’m jealous that these parents have the organization and commitment to take their daughter to 4 classes a week.  I’m jealous that on most days I’m still in pjs and my preschooler is screaming about how I cut her pb&j.  I’m jealous that I can plan and plan and plan, and someone, usually someone under the age of 4, throws a wrench in it. 

On a side note, I returned to the working world this past week.  For those who don’t know, I work seasonally for the IRS entering tax returns.  Here is why I love it:  It’s only for about 5 months, I get a little break and a chance to be ME again, and I download audio books to my iPod.  I get to listen to books I would never have the time to read.  It’s pretty great.  Here’s why I don’t love it so much:  I have to be super organized with diaper bags, bag packs and lunches.  I have to leave my kiddos for like 10 hours, and I have to then come home and do all that other stuff. 

I’m formally taking the time to THANK all you working moms who do this 24-7/365.  You are my idols and heroes.  Your job is by far harder than mine.  Don’t let anyone take that away from you.  In 5 months or so, I’ll be home again, back to what I call the “lazy zone” of,”I’ll get to that tomorrow”, or “later”.  For now, I’m trying to get the week set in on day, namely Sundays.  Again THANK YOU WORKING MOMS.  I’m going to try my best to do the title justice.

New goal… I WILL POST EVERY SUNDAY.  Best laid plans right?  Don’t laugh; the kids are doing that for you…

Happy Blogging,

"Balentimes Day"

That’s what Caitlin calls it.  Valentine’s Day.  A day she is super excited about since its primary color is pink.  Why wouldn’t it be the favorite holiday of every girl, right?

I have a very odd relationship with Valentine’s Day.  On one hand, I love it.  The colors, the hearts, the cute teddy bears dressed in hearts.  I love the idea of Valentine’s Day.  Telling someone you have a crush on them, or that you love them, or asking them to marry you… It’s so romantic.

On the other hand I hate it.  It’s like New Year’s Eve.  It’s always a dream that never ends the way you planned.  All the hype and never the delivery.  I can’t tell you how many of my V-days were spent hoping, wishing, praying, a guy would call, notice me, kiss me… They never played out that way.  Some of my best Valentine’s Day memories were made possible by friends. 

Now my best V-day memories include my little family.  Since I’ve been married, my hubby and I have spent most V-days at home.  Making dinner, watching movies, relaxing.  Mostly I wanted to avoid the crowds.  Recently my best V-day memories are with my babies.  Last year we took Caitlin to the zoo.  It was so much fun to see her excited about the animals.  It was a great day of being together as a family, no huge expectations, and no fussy candle light, no stuffy restaurants.  Just us.  We ate at the snack bar; the pink pop corn was the high light of the day.

This weekend before V-day has been awesome.  A blessing in its own right.  The weather Saturday was beautiful.  We took the kiddos to River Park.  The play yard by the movie theatre was a huge hit.  We had pizza and then went to Yogurtland.  It’s a build your own froyo sundae place.  It was so memorable in fact that Caitlin asked for it by name today.  We also walked around and window shopped.  It was an altogether awesome day….

Here is the real reason it was great.  It has completely restored my faith in this family thing I’m doing.  We’ve all had rough days, but this past year has been hard.  Life is never easy, but for some reason, along the way, I lost some faith.  As a mom, as a wife.  I came to a point where I was wondering, am I doing this right?  Is it supposed to be this hard?  Am I supposed to feel this guilty?

V-day is about love; restoring it, finding it, enjoying it.  Somewhere along the way I think I forgot how to be a wife… I have been so wrapped up in trying to be a mom.  I forget that John was here first.  When Mackenzie was born, I feel like Caitlin lost a part of her Mommy.  I forgot that John lost another piece of his wife.  It’s easy to hurt someone’s feelings and not even know it.  Later you know you did, but how many times can you apologize before the damage is done? 

Sure, ours is a passionate and sometimes tempestuous relationship.  John and I are not built for peace.  We like to argue and debate.  Yes, we fight.  I admit it freely.  We fight.  I know married couples that say “We never fight”, to that I say, well do you live?  I joke, but the background on my relationship with my husband is that we met by arguing.  We have never stopped.  It’s what makes us love each other.  It’s the debate.

Saturday and today was just what my heart ordered.  Yes, we are functioning as a family.  Yes, we still enjoy working as a team.  Yes, his jokes are still funny.  Yes, I can still make him laugh too.

This V-day weekend is going to go down as one of the best.  It had all of the things that Valentine’s Day should: the ones you love; food; fun; Starbucks… I’d say it was pretty perfect…

Although one of my favorite Valentine’s Day on record happened years ago and involved 4 single girls with nothing to lose…

However it was nothing compared to last year’s.  John brought home my brand new iPhone last February 12th as an early V-day gift. 

So how does he top the best gift ever???  A priceless weekend.  Just the 4 of us.

Happy Blogging,

It's not rocket science...

Or brain surgery or even physics.  It’s harder; it has no rules and no actual right or wrong.  It’s motherhood, parenting if you will.  No matter the number of children you have, the formula for raising each tiny being is never the same.  It completely boggles my mind.  Take math for example, formulas and equations.  Use them and you get answers.  The same can be said for science, I’ve seen enough Big Bang Theory to know that Sheldon Cooper and company have a specific set of rules and regulations to do their jobs correctly.  However the most important job in the world… Nothing.

Sure there are books.  My favorites are those written by doctors, who are men, or women with nannies.  I’ll admit I do love Harvey Karp and his “Happiest Toddler on the Block”, but it’s only because it gives you as many options on how to deal with your brats as a Starbucks menu.  Where is the book that says, “So your daughter refuses to wear red, here is the answer”?  What about, “So your infant looks at you blankly, here is a list of things not to worry about”?  Haven’t found those…

After a week of “sleep training” I’ve decided that I know absolutely nothing about raising children.  Would you believe me if I told you I actually took a behavior modification class in college?  I even got an A, but alas I could not modify my toddlers behavior to “go in the big potty” until just before Thanksgiving.  We had been trying for a year.  I also cannot modify my infant’s behavior to go to sleep before 7:30 pm.  Even though she is tired and hasn’t napped all day. 

Is it crazy that I actually thought that I would know something about babies and kids the second time around?  I really thought that I would be a little bit more put together with baby #2.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  I’ll admit that my mommy instinct is more in tune.  I am able to let things go easier.  Like Mac didn’t crawl right away, oh well.  She wasn’t interested in solid food so quickly, no big.  I went on an overnight trip when she was just shy of 8 weeks.  Things that I would have lost my *s* over when Caitlin was a baby.  The second time around, no big deal…

Big deal however when I find that the expectations I set for baby #2 have met their demise.  Case in point, I swore that Mac wasn’t going to be a mamma’s girl.  That I would do a better job this time at raising a more independent infant.  Go ahead and laugh.  Those LaLeche League peeps who say that your baby will not bond as well if you don’t latch them to your boob are dead wrong!  That kid sticks to me like glue, most times clutching my clothes in her tiny fists.  No independence here.  Also #2 was to sleep better and in her crib.  Well if you are my friend on Facebook you know that this was an EPIC fail.  Not only did Mackenzie hate, I mean despise her crib, she refused to sleep alone when met with sleep training.  So out with the crib, and to a foam mattress on the floor… Good until little Mac started crawling 3 days in, and in the process of crying it out, crawled off said foam, to the door, and cried it out while banging her head against said door.  So much for expectations…

Am I really upset by this?  No not really.  I’ve just learned that my kids, your kids, the neighbors kids are all different.  There is no one right way, and there are certainly no wrong ways.  Rules to parenting and motherhood are impossible since each child is different.  They are born with their personality.  No joke, Caitlin literally popped out in a winter of discontent that continues.  Sure, she’s a happy kid, well adjusted at times, but never truly content.  Mackenzie was challenging IN UTERO.  That’s right; she was challenging, demanding, and testing my patience in the womb.  Not once while carrying her could I forget she was there.  Then she was born, and her presence is at times overwhelming.  I challenge someone to find me a book that would set the tone for what wars I’ll be waging in the future… Or today for that matter.

I guess it would be a boring world of beige if we could all have the same owner’s manual for our children.  They would all be good, eat their vegetables, hate soda, and watch Anderson Cooper 360.  They would all go to Harvard or Yale, play the piano, and grow up to be doctors or lawyers.  No thanks.  Some of my proudest mommy moments are when Caitlin requests Starbucks tea, from an actual Starbucks, or as she says the “Mermaid place”.  When she watches Glee, or that she loves the first 2 “Edward and Bella” movies.  I’m hoping Mac will want to be in a band or play lacrosse.  You know something completely badass… They have to find their own paths, just like I have to find mine.  I think that’s what it’s all about, and a book can’t really live it for you.

Motherhood is truly learning from your mistakes.  Daily instances of on the job training.  I guess that’s what makes it fun, and what prompts us to have additional children.  I remember saying that by having baby #2; I was getting my chance at a “do over”.  You know to get my second chance at success… They are alive and well, they laugh, they eat vegetables, and they like ice cream… Success right?

Oh and a shot out to those moms that are rocket scientists and brain surgeons… God bless you and your infinite brain power… Write a damn book will you?

Happy Blogging,