If I had a half a billion dollars…

So, Megabucks or whatever it’s called is really huge right now.  I don’t know the details because I don’t pay attention to the lottery.  Basically, if you win the lottery today you become richer than God.  Or at least as rich as Snookie (another thing I know nothing about, by the way.  I’ve never seen Jersey Shore.) 

So everyone at my work is talking about what they’d do if they won this huge lottery.  I’m now thinking about it, too.  Which I don’t like to do, because it tends to just remind me of how painfully broke I am.  But here goes:

– I have a pretty large family, but I would pay off all of their houses and cars and I would create a healthy college fund for all of my cousins’ kids.

– I would do other charitable and altruistic things, but I won’t type all those out because the list will get boring.

– My feet would be clad almost exclusively in Old Gringo cowboy boots (and other ridiculously expensive brands of cowboys boots that I don’t even know about) and I would wear real Ray Ban aviators instead of my $9.99 gas station specials.

– I would drive: a SERIOUS off-roadin’ Jeep (PROBABLY an old CJ-7 restored, but I would have a new Rubicon as well,)  a Harley Davidson heritage springer softtail (I would pay someone else to clean that springer frontend for me though,  a ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda.  And I would buy my husband his ’67 four door black Impala.

– I would travel.  I would be the travellingest traveller who ever travelled.  I wouldn’t have to go to Epcot and PRETEND to see the world.  (But I still would.  Regularly.  I LOVE Epcot!)

– I would eat SOOOO well.  I would employ a chef to make sure that most of that stuff was healthy so I didn’t gain 300lbs.  But I would EAT AND EAT AND EAT.  Fine chocolate, imported cheese, delicious asian dishes that I am just incapable of making at home (I SUCK at cooking asian food).

–  My collection of bakeware would put Martha Stewart’s to shame (and I’m pretty sure she has like a whole separate house to house hers.)

– I would have a couple more kids.  And to carry those children, I would have every babywearing device I EVER WANTED!!  Look at this!!!  I’m drooling!

– I would spend so much time with my kids, because I wouldn’t have to work fulltime.  I would work, however, but only part time and they could come with.  Where would I work?  I would own my own library!  And I would bake stuff to share with the patrons.  And I would stock it with good and useful books.  “Can you tell me where to find Twilight?”  “Someone else’s library!”

I could obviously play this game forever, but I’m just getting frustrated by the longing now.

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She’s just so much muchier than most

I find that I often have trouble recognizing how small Lola is.  She’s only 3; she’s barely out of toddlerhood.  And yet I have to constantly remind myself of that.  I just know I’m not going to explain this well.

She just doesn’t seem small.  First of all, she’s pretty tall.  She’s consistently in at least the 90th percentile (and Corbin was only 70th at his 4 month WBV, I’m so scared that he’s going to be shorter than his sister.)  And that hair!  She has a lot of flippin hair.  My sister always comments that she has the hair of a gown woman.  Plus, don’t we all find ourselves acting as though our kids are just little adults sometimes?

I think, though, that the biggest reason why Lola seems so much bigger to me is her larger than life personality.  When she’s in a room, she fills the whole thing!  Her voice is so big; we have to work and work and work at how to use an appropriate voice level.  Her emotions are so big; when she is happy, she is ELATED, when she is upset, your heart absolutely BREAKS with the level of raw emotion she displays.  (Except for all those times when she’s upset and your heart just sort of hardens to how ridiculously annoying she can become.)  Her hugs are so big, her smiles are so big, her vocabulary is pretty darn big, even her feet are bigger than normal!

Nothing is small or subtle; everything is to excess.  It’s a blessing and a curse.

It is only when she’s not in the room that I really see her smallness.  Her little jacket hangs over mine on the hook and the whole thing just reaches my jacket’s shoulder.  Her tiny little girl undershirts are so sweet and small.  (And so strewn about!  There is a thing called a laundry hamper, people!  It’s right there in her closet!)  And I wonder how those tiny things can possibly fit around all that muchness.

Sometimes, in those rare times of Lola being still for more than 0.5 seconds, she will lay by me and I take stock of how her frame compares to mine.  Her whole body can fit on my torso.  Her thighbones are dwarfed by mine.  One of my favorites is the look of her tiny shoulder blades on her little back.

I am brought back to the reality of her young age when she doesn’t know the right word for “ripe.”  Or when she doesn’t understand that you shouldn’t run outside with no pants on. 

She’s getting bigger by the second, so I’m really trying hard to note the smallness when I can.

Oh, and funny thing Lola said yesteray:  DH brought home onion rings, and she said “ooh, donut!”  I said, “I don’t think you’ll like that honey, it’s an onion ring.”  She happily took a bite and said, “Mmm, onion donuts.”

Thanks for the tip! (Or not.)

I was filling in Corbin’s baby book yesterday (only a month behind schedule.  And can I just take an aside here and mention the fact that this baby book is repeatedly worded in such a way that it is CLEARLY meant for a first-born.  What the heck?  Does NO ONE fill out the book for the second kid?  Because if so, I feel like such a rockstar mom!  Except for all that OTHER stuff that I totally haven’t bothered about the second time around.)  ANYWAY!  There was a question like “what is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve received so far?  What is the worst?”

And I literally wrote, “I definitely need more than 2 lines for this,” and left it at that.  Come on!  TWO lines!?  I should add “see blog.”  lol.

So, now I’m thinking about it.  What IS the best piece of advice I got?

Don’t try to keep her from messing with breakables, just put them far far away.”  That was a good one.  “Try to keep his penis covered with something when you change his diaper.”  An excellent tip that I repeatedly fail to adhere to.  “Treasure this time because it goes by so fast.” An oldie but a goodie, and something I didn’t really understand until I had a second baby and Lola turned into a preschooler.

Really, I get a lot of good advice.  I have a network of moms that I talk to online and I’m SOOO grateful, because I don’t really have mom-friends in real life.  I mostly have mom-competitors, you know the type.  But from my online mommies, there has been so much support and wisdom.  I guess one bit stands out the most, as I’ve remembered it almost verbatim for years now.

When Lola was a baby I was suffering from an aspect of PPD that materialised for me, not as sadness or a disconnect from my baby, but as soul crushing anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.  I felt like I couldn’t do anything right.  I worried constantly about whether I was doing things the “right” way, because what FELT right to me seemed to be at odds with all the things people kept telling me.  And since they were veteran moms and I was new to this, MY gut couldn’t possibly be right, right?

One day I was fretting about something or another.  Someone told me I catered to my baby too much and she’d be spoiled.  I shouldn’t hold her all the time.  I should be helping her learn to fall asleep without my comforting her.  She’s hungry too often; I nurse her too much.  And a very kind person told me, “Hold that baby until your arms break, rock her till your knees buckle, and nurse her till your boobs fall off.  And if your arms don’t break, and your knees don’t buckle, and your boobs don’t fall off, then all is right in your world.” And it just about changed my life.  And I repeated it almost like a mantra.  And things got better and better. 

Dont get me wrong, I still do, and always will I suppose, struggle with feelings of anxiety and inadequacy.  But those words help so much.  Those specific words are just what I needed at that specific time.  But that sentiment is something that I try to remember for all aspects of parenting.  Just love your kids, and cherish them in the best way you know how.  And if that gets you through the day with your family still intact, then it was perfect all along.

And the worst advice?  WHERE could I even START!?  There is so much to choose from.  “You have to let them cry it out by 2 months old or you’ll have ruined their sleeping forever.”  Well, Lola and I certainly proved that one wrong!  “You’ve got to switch to formula.” I got this one BOTH times, from DOCTORS!  I am pleased to report that I ignored that advice both times and we all survived just fine with a healthy nursing relationship.  I don’t know where I found the resolve to defy Dr’s advice, either, but I’m glad.  “Don’t worry so much about carseats, we all grew up Okay without them.” Do I even need to say anything about this one?

That whole “Give them a little blackberry brandy” for basically EVERY conceivable ailment thing?  I’m starting to see some wisdom in that one. 😉

Wednesdays With the Kids

So, the reason I started this blog is because my friend suggested it.  I had emailed him one of my journal entries (every now and then I SWEAR I’m going to keep a journal to remember this time by, and then I do for a week, and then I quit.)  It was just a recap of our day, basically.  I work 4 ten-hour days and I LOVE it because it gives me a whole day with the kids midweek.  So one day I decided to just journal our day, and that’s what I forwarded to Matty, who suggested that I do a blog because I could add pictures and share it with family.

I was thinking I should start making this a regular feature, since for me the real point of this blog is to look back on and remember.  Except yesterday frustrated me so much that I don’t feel like writing it down.  Instead, here is that initial Wednsday With the Kids.  The one that got this party started.

February 15, 2012

-It begins in the wee hours of the morning (AGAIN!) when I haul my sleep deprived (and disappointingly large) ass out of bed to change Corbin’s diaper while he cries.  Until I flip on the booklight that Brian attatched to a bandana that was hanging from the mirror (Klassy!).  This Corbin stares at transfixed as though it were the Very Special Light of the Universe.
 
-We are then up for the day, and Corbin has for some reason developed a particular fondness for laying on the bathroom rug.  So he is ALL. SMILES! while I slowly realize that I am brushing my teeth with a tiny, Tigger shaped brush.
 
-Lola wakes up with the kind of epic bedhead that only a crazy-sleeping 3yr old with hair rivaling Shakira’s can create.  She smiles sleepily and wishes Good Morning to everyone, including the cat, because I suggested she try being a little nicer to poor Logan and not just take advantage of the fact that he’s the one member of the household who won’t put her in timeout for yelling at him.
 
-Lola stands by my side while I eat my cereal and repeatedly points out which piece I should eat next.  I find this partly very amusing, and partly very annoying because apparently I actually have my own oddly-strong opinions about which piece to eat next.  I fear we might both be weirdos.
 
-Today I have my first session of Counseling for the Weak and Overly Sensitive (it turns out one of the things I need to work on is self criticism).  Lola keeps asking me where I’m going and I oh-so-expertly explain that I have to “go somewhere and talk to someone.”  She spends the rest of the morning begging to please go somewhere to talk to someone too.  I tell her it’s her LUCKY DAY because she gets to go and talk to the Dr. later about her RAGING ear infection!  🙂
 
-Corbin has developed a Pavlovian response to the Dr’s office and starts crying to be fed every. time. we walk in the door.  The poor pediatrician has seen WAY too much of my nipples.
 
-Lola starts squatting suspiciously on the other side of the Overly Tempting Train Table of Germy Death.  So much for not peeing or pooping on Princess Rapunzel.  But I congratulate myself for being SuperMom because I don’t yell at her AND I have a spare pair of (admittedly seasonally inappropriate) pants to change her into.  Go me!
 
-Lola critiques my driving the whole way to the pharmacy.  “watch out for that big truck!” “Whew, that was a close one.”  I swear that there were no near accidents at all; she’s got me feeling defensive.
 
-I am STOKED to discover that her prescription does NOT need to be refrigerated, because my sleep deprived state has also caused me to leave Corbin’s refrigerated prescription out on the counter overnight THREE TIMES already.  Talk about being thankful for the little things.
 
-Lola sees me cutting bread (which I am SO excited to slather with butter after self-diagnosing Corbin’s allergies as None.) and says “there’s the bread!  Bread A-ho!” as if she’s a Thundercat or a sea-weary sailor spotting land.  I’m with you kid, bread IS awesome.
 
-I not only slather the bread with butter, I add deep dish pizza, a steak quesadilla, and way too many cookies because that elimination diet was For. The. Birds. and I’m making up for lost time.
  
-After one too many meltdowns I have decided it’s bedtime.  She gives cheery goodnights to everyone, INCLUDING the cat! Because apparently she has decided to listen to SOMETHING I told her for once!  Why couldn’t it have been that “don’t pee on the Princess Rapunzel” bit?
 
-I don’t even feel an unrelenting need for a glass of wine tonight!  🙂

Exposed midriffs no longer a job requirement

I’ve always enjoyed baseball.  Beyond that, I’ve never been much of a sports person.  And then I caught on television one day the coolest thing!  Women’s beach volleyball.  Those women are AWESOME!  I was COMPLETELY sold when I saw this commercial.  Can any girl watch that and not want to be them!?  Not I, I’ll tell you that. 

Sadly, my athletic capabilities fall somewhere just short of mediocre.  Okay, I’m actually even worse.  Daria would kick my ass at volleyball. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers Daria.)  So, sadly, I’ll have to force my daughter to play volleyball.  I’m just kidding about forceing her; why don’t we say “suggest.” Strongly.  Okay, I MAY have considered what would suit a professional volleyball player when picking her name (and almost went with C.J. instead because of it.)

So when my homepage came up this morning mentioning an article about women’s volleyball, I clicked on it right away, slow computer be damned.  And 6 minutes later, when the article finally loaded (y’all have no idea how long it takes me to do stuff on this computer.  You should feel VERY SPECIAL when I bother!) it was this one.  Apparently, for our Olympic athletes, bikinis are no longer required.  I didn’t know they were REQUIRED before, but it made me a little miffed to learn.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if I were one of those women, I would LIVE in a bikini.  Seriously, grocery shopping?  Dining out?  Taking in a movie?  Bikini. Bikini. Bikini.  But I would do it because I WANTED to (have you SEEN these women?)  I’m not sure that basically requiring women to wear a bikini to work* was something that should have lasted as long as it did, meaning right up till now.  I’m sure most of them want to, but REQUIRED?  For a job that doesn’t inherently require it?  That’s kinda sexist.   

But, we’re past that now, and other cultures who couldn’t compete due to ideas about modesty are now more likely to participate.  Yay.  The world needs more kick-ass, Amazonian women for me to look up to.  And since my ONE apprehension about forcing encouraging Lola to be a volleyball player was the shorty short shorts, I now can rest assured that “Shorts of a maximum length of [1.18 inches] above the knee” will be accepted.  And I know she’ll be DYING to be the only one in the Amish-wear.  🙂

*Dear Employer, my coworkers would like to sincerely thank you for not requiring me to wear a bikini to work.  Love, pasty, flabby mother-of-two with copious stretch marks.

My Kids Are Overachievers

My posts about the way that Corbin excels far beyond his peers at drool production got me thinking, my kids are really ahead of the curve in a lot of areas.  I mean, yes, Lola’s language skills (except pronunciation, lol) are pretty stellar, but what’s the fun in academic achievement?  I’m all about the talents that people don’t usually brag about.  For instance:

– Corbin is a master of pooping out of his diaper.  I know this is a fairly common skill in men his age, but what sets him apart is that he is also highly proficient at timing those poopsplosions for precisely 10 minutes AFTER I’ve gone through the whole routine of wiping him only with water, letting it airdry, and applying the lotrimin to his latest yeast rash.  That’s impressive awareness and bowel control.

– Lola surely earns the trophy for most complex sentence uttered while one’s mouth is ENTIRELY STUFFED with food, and I’ll tack on a tenacity award for repeating that sentence at least 3 times (after I continuously ask her “huh?”) without actually swallowing the food.

– Corbin has recently impressed me with his ability to fit his ENTIRE fist into his mouth.  Sure, there’s some gagging involved, but he makes up for that slight embarrassment with his superior slime production all over said fist.

– Both of my children have a real talent for evading the waterproof pad that I now keep on my couch to prevent more damage to the upholstery.  Try as I might to position it well, they are experts at finding an exposed area of couch to pee (Lola) or regurgitate (Corbin) on.

– Lola is a master in the art of conquering many attempts at childproofing.  Baby gates? Easily scaled.  Cabinet locks? Swiftly disassembled.  Storing things in a place too high for her to get to? No such place exists.

– Corbin shares a capability with many for peeing on Mommy while getting his diaper changed.  But his gift is in the genius way that he manages to pee on Mommy TWICE in one diapering.  See, after he pees the first time, he knows my guard is down, and THAT’s when he REALLY lets it go.  Now that is pretty highly developed planning for a four month old.

 – I would put Lola’s strength up against any bodybuilder when it comes time to wrestle her into her carseat so we can leave Grandma’s house.

–  Lola also wins the Iron Stomach Award for her ability to eat candy or cereal, no matter how old or dirty, without batting an eye.  She recently ate an old m&m out of the bottom of the garbage can!  In a related impressive act, she once licked the handrail in the monkey house at the zoo.

I could go on, but really, I know how everyone hates to hear people gloat about their gifted children.  Just one more:  Corbin rolled over yesterday.  I know, how ordinary. 🙂

One more reblog

Okay, one more that I LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!! and then I’ll get back to my own stuff.  Except, what if my stuff seems super boring in comparison?  Should I post this?

Yes.  Because it makes me laugh out loud EVERY time I look at it, and I’m a giver.

From The Two Boys Club

There’s a new regime in our house putting up little signs with new rules. A kindergartner’s Hammurabi’s code of law, if you will. And to some, these might even read like cuneiform.

The first sign to appear:

NO TALKING. Really, what is it with these parents who try to converse with their much  cooler 5-year-old offspring? And they ask the lamest questions, like would you like chicken or pasta tonight. Duh, obviously the answer is always nigiri tuna sushi.

The next:

NO IPHONES. Doesn’t this mean the parents are in fact obeying the first sign, and zoned out while reading? No, it means they are obviously depriving the ruling 5-year-old of precious time that could be spent playing Angry Birds or trying to purchase new games.

Thankfully, we have kids under 6 to lay down these rules for us.--Jillian O’Connor

I seriously hope my kids do something this awesome someday.  Currently, Lola’s still learning to draw circles.