Starting Again

I can't believe 23 people are still followers on this blog! It's been a few years since my last post. It felt too long to go back and the name seemed outdated so I started a new blog called Superheroes Wearing Tiaras. It's still very rough but I decided to just go for it. I hope you'll check it out!

Barbasol... Not Just for Grandpa's Beard

I have vague memories of my dad using Barbasol shaving cream. Does anyone still use that stuff? It reminds me of dads and grandpas. We, however, found a more exciting use for this can of Barbasol. (Perhaps I should have used it to shave my hairy legs, you know, since it's summer and all.)

This summer has been basically craft free. Out of guilt and boredom I decided to pick up a recent issue of Family Fun. I LOVE this magazine and the Family Fun website, by the way. I highly recommend it for activity suggestions. It's always full of fun activities that are easy to execute. Just my style! After a quick trip to Walmart, we were set for our shaving cream craft project.

Everything about this craft project screams fun. First, you get to cover a baking sheet with shaving cream. Big One exclaimed, "I never knew shaving cream could be so much fun!" How often do you get to squirt shaving cream haphazardly?

The next step involves placing drops of liquid food coloring on top of the shaving cream. Big One struggled with the urge to squeeze the entire bottle of food coloring on top of the cream. Ultimately, he conquered the urge and placed a few large drops on the cream.

Next, a craft stick is used to swirl the food coloring in fun patterns.

Place a piece of card stock on top of the shaving cream, pressing gently. Or, if you're 3, go ahead and shove that piece of paper down as hard as you can.

After lifting the paper out of the shaving cream, scrape the excess off with a craft stick or other flat edged implement.

The result? Some fun patterns on the paper which can be used for other crafts.

Of course, when the craft is done, it's fun to squish around in the shaving cream. Be prepared for colorful hands even after the shaving cream is washed away! Big One still has blue hands. With the exception of the skin tinting, this craft was very easy to clean up.

Little One didn't get to join in on the fun. I'm such a mean mommy! (Or I just wanted to avoid a trip to the ER for excessive shaving cream consumption by my 1 year old.) Either way, she entertained herself with a book and some toys.

Such a Wean-ee

Oh, Little One. Such a demanding sweet soul. She is persistent, I'll give her that.

After the decision to stay home with the kids once she was born, I also decided she would be breastfed until a year. At that time, she would simply wean herself and begin drinking whole milk like her big brother.

Or not.

She will soon be 14 months old and shows no signs of weaning. In fact, over the last few months she has added feedings to her schedule, despite the fact that I feed her three solid meals and snacks. A growing girl needs her milk. And her comfort. The original goal was to wean by 1 year. The new goal is to be done by 18 months. Little One may have other ideas.

I'm torn because it's not that big of a deal to continue nursing. I just don't want her tugging at my shirt when she's 5 expecting to nurse. (No offense to anyone who still nurses their 5 year old. It's just not for me.) I have a fear that the longer I nurse, the harder it will be to wean her. And, occasionally, it would be nice to not have to schedule my life around her bedtime, since the only way she will go to sleep is after a belly full of warm breast milk, straight from the source. Bottles are chew toys at our house.

I thought I got away with no nursing after nap time this afternoon. She woke up screaming (typical) but was quickly smiling at the sight of Elmo. We played for a while and I gave her a cup of milk. She humored me by taking a few sips. At least 15 minutes passed with no signs of nursing. But then the urge struck and she wouldn't be denied. She climbed into my lap and cuddled up into nursing position. I tried to just cuddle or sit her back up but she wasn't falling for it. I gave it.

The biggest issue is that the nursing is a big comfort thing for her. She often nurses longer than she actually needs to just for the comfort factor. I hate denying my baby the comfort that she wants and needs. She's such a mama's girl. This could be a long, difficult process! My new mantra? I am not a human pacifier. I am not a human pacifier!

Baby E's Magic Toilet

Big One's fear for the longest time has been pooping on the potty. We've struggled with it for over a year now. As he nears 4, we feared he would always need the security of his diaper to go number 2. We've tried bribing, coercing, punishing, begging, pleading, bribing some more. The kid just wasn't going to do it. Until yesterday.

We went to visit a high school friend of mine and her daughter, Baby E. Big One declared that he had to poop. I informed him he would either have to hold it or try going on the potty. He decided to hold it. For about a minute. He then decided to give the potty a try.

As soon as he sat down, he started going. No begging or pleading required. There was no clenching of his butt cheeks and whining that it was scary. He just sat down and went. I can't tell you how shocked and happy I was. Only a parent could be this excited about poop. Isn't it amazing how your priorities change? I declared Baby E's toilet the magic toilet.

On the way home, I asked if Big One would start pooping in our toilet now that he knows it's not scary. This is where my words came back to bite me.

"No, because Baby E's toilet is the only magic toilet. Ours isn't magic."

Shoot! Luckily, I was quick on my feet.

"Guess what? I took the magic from Baby E's toilet and brought it home for our toilet. Now you can use ours, too!"

Apparently, he bought it. He went again last night at home. He even mentioned something about not needing magic anymore. Small victory! This morning he used the toilet yet again to do his number 2. We're on a roll. I'm hesitant to say he's completely over his pooping issues. But at least it's a good start!

Change of Scenery

Before embarking on our latest adventure, I foolishly called it a vacation. A few days into the "vacation", my opinion changed. I decided to call it my "change of scenery" instead. My everyday life in a new location. Dirty diapers, temper tantrums, entertaining the kids, making sure no one fell down the stairs, feeding, clothing, and all of the other little things that make up the average mom's day. The thing about the mommy gig is you never get to turn it off.

Still, I can't complain. This is where our change of scenery took us...

Not a bad view to see each morning. Our cabin was located just outside of Gatlinburg, TN. We shared the cabin with my parents, sister, brother, sister in law, niece and nephew. It was a spacious cabin, with each family having their own bedroom.

Big One and Little One handled most of the car ride very well. But the last leg from Paducah, Kentucky to Gatlinburg was rough. And it was on Father's Day. Happy Father's Day, Hubs! I got you a relaxing day of driving with two screaming kids. I even threw in a mental breakdown just for you. Did you like it?

We were all happy to arrive at the cabin.

Except that the first night at the cabin was almost as rough as that day's car ride. The kids didn't sleep well. Little One kept waking up. Big One flopped around in the bed we shared. Hubs tried to sleep in the van until I begged him to come in so he wouldn't be eaten by a bear. None of us slept well.

Monday morning we all decided to take a hike in the mountains. Little One was whiny. Big One was whiny. I was on edge and exhausted. We finally made it to the beginning of the trail to find all of the parking spots were full.

But wait, someone was backing out. We were going to park in the spot and my brother was going to drive a quarter mile back down the hill to park his car. Hubs moved forward slightly to let the other car out of the spot. Out of no where, another car speeds up and slips right into the spot.

That was the straw.

I got out of the van with Little One and Hubs drove down the hill with my brother. I lost it. Tears. Cursing. Threats of packing up and heading home that day. I made sure to throw out a comment about rude people stealing parking spots as I stood right next to the car that had taken the spot. And yes, they were out of the car. Passive-aggressive tendencies at their finest. I needed to make my point. It took a little of the edge off.

My dad took Little One and I paced the parking lot crying.

We finally started up the trail. A nice woman who was pushing a stroller down the trail stopped us. There was a tree down over the trail about 100 yards from the end. A stroller could be lifted over it. Don't stop. It's worth it to go on.

I know she could see how psycho I was that day. My face said it all. "Psycho out of control mommy on the verge of a complete mental breakdown right here. Everyone stand back."

I wanted to throw myself in her arms and cry. She would understand. She's a mom. But I resisted for fear she would pull out some pepper spray or try to push me over the edge of the trail.

Instead we forged ahead. I stifled the tears, but the raw emotions still lurked near the surface.

Half way up the mountain, Big One got tired. Little One was sound asleep in the stroller. And it started pouring down rain. Drenching rain. I picked up my muddy, soaking, 43 pound son. I carried him up the mountain. I forced myself to keep taking steps. Put one foot in front of the other. Don't think about your burning arms. Keep going.

We made it to the tree across the trail. Stroller went over, despite warnings from every single party coming down the mountain (except the first mom) that we would not be able to make it through. Tell me I can't and I will. (OK, so technically it was Hubs and my brother that lifted the stroller over the giant tree.)

The kind mother at the bottom of the hill was correct. It was worth it.

Little One woke up half way down the trail so we stopped for a family picture.

We're all soaked, muddy and tired but not defeated. I was even able to muster a smile. More to come on our change of scenery...

One Year Ago...

Dear Little One,
One year ago, you graced us with your presence. I still remember so many of the details. How is it possible that it was one year ago?

I remember the contractions starting and not being concerned. Big One took FOREVER to join us. You weren't so patient. 5 hours from the first contraction to your birth.

I remember waiting for Grandpa & Grandma to get to our house to watch Big One. We watched one of those late night celebrity gossip shows as we waited. They kept talking about pregnant celebrities.

I remember running a red light on the way to the hospital. We stopped first. But it was 1am and no one was around. The light wasn't changing so we went.

I remember stopping on the steps of the hospital to breathe through a contraction. The security guard shooing us to the elevator. The secretary that took forever. The long wheelchair ride to my delivery room. I remember them wheeling me past several open rooms wondering why they wouldn't just stop at one.

I remember them telling me I was progressing quickly and may not have time for an epidural. I remember crying. Pleading. I got my way. It kicked in quickly. The anesthesiologist didn't think it would. He was wrong. I won.

I remember you having difficulty breathing. I held you for a minute. Off to the nursery. An hour of recovery for me before I could join you on the mother/baby floor.

I remember your Daddy going home after we were settled in the room. Then the doctor on call came to tell me that you were on your way to the NICU. That was not in the plans.

I remember crying. A lot. Feeling cheated that all the other moms had their babies in the room while I had to rely on others to wheel me up 2 floors to the NICU.

I remember the first time I saw you in the NICU. You were crying. I held out my fingers and told you mommy was here. You grabbed my fingers and stopped crying.

I remember the guilt I felt. Not being with you constantly. Being torn between you at the hospital and Big One at home. Wanting to pick you up and carry you out of the hospital. What did the doctors know? I wanted my baby.

Looking back, I realize how lucky we were. You only had to stay in the NICU 5 days. It was more precautionary than anything. We were blessed to bring home a healthy baby girl. I know not all families are so lucky.

With tears in my eyes, I want to be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday, my sweet little girl. I can't wait to snuggle with you when you wake (and wipe your runny nose, my little sickling!). I can't wait to help Big One decorate your birthday cake. I can't wait for that smile to flash across your face.

Happy Birthday, Little One! It has been one crazy year full of laughter, tears and memories. We love you more than words can express. You added a piece to the family that we never knew was missing!


100 Calorie Packs

Does anyone else see a major flaw in all of the 100 calorie packs that overrun the snack aisle? In theory, they are great. You can fulfill your snacking desires with only 100 calories. And there are so many possibilities. I can eat chocolate for only 100 calories? Count me in!

So you throw a few boxes in your cart, speed through the rest of the aisles, and rush home so you can dive into your new snacking friend. You put away the cold groceries so they don't melt and/or rot. You dig through the bags to find the 100 calorie packs.

And then you open the bag.

Is this some kind of sick joke? Did someone with willpower to spare think up the 100 calorie packs to torture the rest of us?

I bought the chocolate covered pretzels. I adore chocolate covered pretzels. And I adored the ones in the 100 calorie pack. All 10 of them. Tiny ones too. Not a full sized pretzel. If I had the willpower to eat 10 chocolate covered pretzels would I be buying 100 calorie packs? Would I be trying to lose 50 pounds?

I can eat one of my 100 calorie packs but I'm not satisfied. All I can think about is eating another one. I want more of those chocolaty, yummy pretzels. I could easily polish off the entire box in one sitting. Suddenly, I'm eating a 600 calorie pack, not a 100 calorie pack. (I haven't actually done this. But I did have 2 bags in one sitting.) I'm better off not buying them because once I start with the chocolate I don't want to stop. If I avoid it altogether, I'm much better off.

My theory is that the 100 calorie packs are a gimmick. If you ate such a small amount of most snacks you would probably only consume around 100 calories. These companies are using the health food/dieting/weight loss craze to their advantage to make money. But then again, I suppose every company who sells anything preys upon some weakness in its target audience.

From now on, I'm sticking to my Skinny Cow (or as Hubs calls them, Happy Cow... at least he didn't call me a happy cow!) ice cream treats. At least I can enjoy a full sized treat for 3 WW points!