What I've Learned In a Year of Hearing, "Mommy, Somebody Needs You"

What I've Learned In a Year of Hearing, "Mommy, Somebody Needs You"

In the blink of an eye, they will be wriggling out of your arms.  And, before you know it, you will be called just "Mom", and then sometimes "Megan" and then "Grandma".  They are growing up.  By the day, the hour, even the second.  This morning may have been the last time my baby called her big brother "Da chi".  That may have been your last time sitting in the carpool line.  Tomorrow may be the last time your pre-tween son lays his head on your shoulder.  And we may have just been too busy to notice.  We may be so consumed with the craziness of life, that the "substance of life" just slipped through our fingers.

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Real Easy, 'Big Easy'. Last Minute Mardi Gras!

Real Easy, 'Big Easy'.  Last Minute Mardi Gras!

Even though we are stuck in frigid Indiana this Fat Tuesday, it's kind of like Bourbon Street around here; beverages spilled all over the floor, people with no shirts on, throw up, incomprehensible language, just general melee.  The culprits are all under age 6 so, pretty much the same thing.  No?  I wish I could escape to the "Big Easy", but instead I am going to throw together a real easy last-minute Mardi Gras for my little heathens.  And, BTW, Mardi Gras just means Fat Tuesday in French.  It's kind of a no-brainer.  Kind of like my 5 Steps to a Real Easy, 'Big Easy'... Step 1Everyone put on purple, green, gold, or at least a shirt.

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'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, and all through the house,

kids were peeing and pooping,

and I was throwing candy out.

I was told that it was the meanest thing I could "ever do",

and meanwhile Baby Girl was chewing a stick of glue.

While I glared at the blurry Christmas cards I'd ordered with a pout,

and called customer service a brutal Brother fight broke out.

Little Brother was cross when I told him to stay,

right there in the den, no talking, no play.

So cross in fact, he decided to pee

all over the carpet and floor to upset me.

He had to stand in his puddle and was handed a towel,

and as I did the dishes I smelled something foul.

Baby Girl had decided to remove her diaper,

and a trail of little poop-lettes were scattered beside her.

I cleaned up the poop and scooped her to the stairs in a whirl,

Big Brother touched the gate too hard and it fell on on Baby Girl.

The baby jumped headfirst right into the bath,

while I stood there beside her as one second passed.

Meanwhile I heard some shrieks down the hall,

some Brothers thought it was fun to throw pillows and into a bathtub to fall.

Next thing I know I begin to hear screaming,

and banging and pounding, please tell me I'm dreaming!

An epic battle of suckers-in-Ziplocs had ensued,

and Little Brother was crying that Big Brother was a "bad dude"!

And through his red hair I could see a big knot.

Was this the 4th, or 5th, or 10th time they'd fought?!

I calmed them all down and went straight to my work,

dusting, and cleaning, and chopping while the kids danced and "twerked".

Trying to get this madhouse ready for the big Turkey Day,

while dreaming that the kids are all in bed after an evening of quiet play.

But the truth is... it's dinner, and diapers, and craziness right through bedtime.

And I know how things will seem later as we open some wine...

I will feel my heart fill with love, as I turn out their light

that I have my little trouble-makers to be grateful for this 'Before-Thanksgiving-Night'!

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15 Signs You May Not be Ready to Have Kids...

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15.  You say things like, "I don't think we could make it there by noon on Saturday.  That's a little too early." 14.  You like your house to be clean and organized.

13.  It takes you a while to realize that when your sister said 3 different people needed her assistance last night, at varying intervals, covered in their own feces, she wasn't on a shift at a nursing home.

12.  You believe that Pottery Barn Kid's diaper changing tables are so expensive because they actually change the baby's diaper for you.

11.  You are confused to find out that you really can't take a baby into a bar.

10.  You see a haggard-looking woman with 2 kids in their pajamas and another screaming on the curb outside the grocery store and believe that she is homeless.

9.  You think a case of diapers costs less than a case of beer.

8.  You are not aware that there is a chance that words like "cervix", "mucous plug", and "hooter hider" may be part of your daily conversation.

7.  You think that when your friends-with-kids say they "Had a blast in Disney World!" that they are joking.

6.  When you hear others complaining about potty training issues with their 3-year-old, you boast how you had your dog potty trained in 3 weeks.

5.  You enjoy sitting down with your family and friends for a meal without screaming, crying, child-wrangling, cleaning peas out of bodily crevices, or vomit.

4.  You think only surgeons are capable of pulling a craft fuzzball out of a toddler's nose with tweezers, while scanning through the DVR.

3.  You have mailed holiday cards with your pet in an outfit on more than 4 occasions.

2.  You occasionally park in the "Expecting Mothers" spot at the store, stuff a sweater in your shirt, and run inside to buy vodka.

1.  You enjoy sleeping.

Post15Signs

Last Thursday, Uncensored.

So, here is the thing about life with little ones and a mom who suffers from perpetual "mom brain".  Some days seem as smooth as glass, and some days, well, go a little something like this... 3:30am Suddenly wake up from a deep sleep with a surge of design ideas for new house we will be moving to in a couple of months.

4:15am  Fabulous design ideas are replaced by dark, looming thoughts about how much work we have to do before moving.

4:35am  Dark, looming thoughts are replaced by frustration that I cannot go back to sleep.

4:55am Fall back asleep.

5:02am Baby girls cries out.

5:05 Decide to move alarm clock time from 6am to 6:15am.  Every little bit helps, right?

6:15am Tear myself out of my super cozy, comfy bed and begin working on packing up the house, clean base boards, drink coffee, do yoga in the garage, shower, feed baby, check email, and play with Baby Girl.

9:00am Leave a little early to meet my in-laws and pick up Big Brother and Little Brother who had a sleepover.  So early in fact, I have time for Starbucks.

9:11am Pick up a steaming cup of Starbucks, turn up the radio so I can sing to Baby Girl since she doesn't complain, and hit the road.  Life is good.

9:12am  Glance at gas tank.

9:13am Interrupt singing to begin swearing at myself.  The tank is on empty.

9:28am Roll in on fumes to closest gas station.

9:29am  Realize my purse and wallet are at home.  Of course, I didn't notice this earlier since I used a gift card I have conveniently stowed in my car.

9:30am  Call Mother in Law and begin lamenting about how uncooperative my brain is.  In-Laws decide it would be fastest (and probably safest) for them to just drive all the way to my house.

11:02am The Brothers are safely home and already outside trying to capture birds with their empty laundry baskets.

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11:14am  While changing Baby Girl's diaper on the couch, I find myself lost in deep thoughts about kitchen wall colors in our new house.

11:15am  Something wet is running down my leg.

11:16am  Snap out of my interior design fantasy and realize Baby Girl has peed all over herself, the couch, me, and it has dribbled down to the carpet.  She thinks this is hilarious and I am wondering why I was changing a diaper on a couch.

11:20am Clean up, lunch, feed Baby Girl, pack, home-staging, bribe everyone into the car with the promise of playing with new bubble machine this afternoon.

12:12pm  Pull into a parking spot in our quaint little downtown.  Husband is going to take the boys for ice cream while I run to a doctor's appointment with Baby Girl.

12:13pm  As Big Brother hops out of the car, he announces "Beautiful day!  Sure is a nice breeze!"  A group of women look up from their Bible study and smile.

12:15pm  As I pull Baby Girl out of the car, the women respond with, "Oooohh!  Aaaah!  Adorable!"

12:16pm  Then comes Little Brother.  As he jumps out of the van, his red hair gleaming in the sun, he excitedly shouts, "Let's pretend we are big kids and that we love beer!"  The women gasp.  I see their eyes narrow and turn to look at me, Mother Of The Year.

12:43pm  While waiting on the doctor I receive text from husband explaining that Big Brother was licking the glass barrier over the ice cream bins and informed the staff that he was spelling his name with his tongue.

1:47pm  After a quick trip to the library that involved only a small incident of The Brothers making a shuffleboard game with DVDs, all kids are home and preparing for "quiet time".  I even tell Little Brother that he can rest on the couch today instead of napping in his room.

2:08pm  Little Brother begins moaning and groaning that we are being too loud.  He sounds like an old man as he grunts and tries to get comfortable on the couch.

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2:24pm  Little Brother continues his complaining as he tries to get comfortable on the floor, "Are you kidding me!?  C'mon.  Are you kidding me?!  Everything is so loud!"

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2:55pm Still trying

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3:25pm And still trying

LastThursdayChach

4:00pm  Once Husband is home, run with Big Brother to CVS since the bubble machine didn't come with batteries.

4:05pm  Big Brother asks me at CVS checkout, "How in the world did the cash register guy get that big nasty ring in his nose?"

4:08pm  Engage in deep conversation with Big Brother about other people's feelings in the car.  I glance in rear view mirror for his reaction.  He is licking the window.

4:15pm  Walk into family room to find Little Brother sound asleep.

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5:00pm Begin trying to wake up Little Brother.

5:45pm  Little Brother is finally somewhat awake and laying on the floor mumbling, "C'mon, are you guys kidding me?!  C'mon!"

6:30pm  Pack the whole fam in the car and head to neighborhood concert.

7:00pm  Little Brother is laying face down on the blanket instead of running around like a crazy person.

7:15pm  Little Brother is still laying face down.  I check his forehead and he feels like he is burning up.

7:17pm   I inform Husband that I will be heading home with the younger 2 and he is in charge of Big Brother's well-being.  I ask where Big Brother is.  Husband is unsure.

7:20pm  A neighbor asks if the soaking wet, barefoot kid wrestling with his friend in a drainage ditch is Big Brother.  Husband and I reply, "Definitely" with our proudest smiles.

7:25pm Arrive home, discover Little Brother's temperature is 102!  Administer Tylenol, give baths, jammies, and get him in bed.

7:45pm  Baby Girl is starving!  I grab a bottle and can't find a burp cloth so I snatch the closest thing I can find... a pair of the boys' underwear.  At least they are clean.

8:20pm  Big Brother is calling from his room that he feels fine and wants to play.  Begin evening negotiations.

8:40pm Still negotiating with Little Brother who marches into the hallway, shouts, "Mommy!  I don't even know you anymore!"  and slams his bedroom door.  Darn Tylenol.

9:30pm  Husband and Big Brother arrive home after chasing a loose dog around the neighborhood.

10:00pm Finally have Big Brother in bed when I hear Little Brother announcing that he has to go poopy.

10:03pm Husband informs Little Brother that he will be wiping him tonight.  I am downstairs hiding in the hall closet with red wine.

10:07pm  Little Brother shouts that he appreciates that Daddy wiped him, but he has "Made another piece of poopy so that Mommy can wipe me because I love her so much!"

It sure is nice to be loved that much.  Now goodnight everybody and let's do this all over again tomorrow, with a little less "mom brain", limited bathroom and beer references, and a lot of love.

Thank You Mama. With Love... Your Baby.

Hi Mama, it's me, your 4 month old.  It's 6:00am and I know I usually sleep until 8:00am, but today I felt like getting up early and blowing bubbles and working on my new shriek noises.  I hope you don't mind.   You do look a little flustered, trying to get everybody's lunches made, and shower, and make breakfast, and pack up your computer for work, and get my brothers dressed for school on time.  I just wanted to see you because I love how you smell and I love YOU.  I think I will tell you why... 20140507-163227.jpg

Thank you for growing me in your tummy.  For letting it stretch and itch and not be able to fit behind the steering wheel.  Thank you for wearing that full-leg compression hose all last summer, pretty cute, right!?  Thanks for gaining all that weight and not really caring, since it was for me.  Thanks for giving up craft beer for 10 months.  Ouch, I know.

Thanks for letting me take my time being born.  I just wasn't really sure if I wanted to leave my quiet, peaceful water world.  Thanks for walking for 2 days.  Around the basement, the stairs, at Meijer, the mall, the hospital halls with a bag of apples.  Sorry my hand was above my head and I got stuck on your pubic bone.  I heard a lot of muffled yelling and shouting, but then I came out and I heard Daddy clearly screaming, "It's a girl!"  And then I heard you cry.  Happy cry.

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Thank you for all those diaper changes.  Sorry I had a blowout at 4am and it shot across the room.  I know you had to clean the picture frames in the dark.  I feel badly, but they were just of my brothers.

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Thank you for letting me have my own room.  I was getting kind of sick of everybody's snoring in your room.  No offense.  Now, how about my own bathroom?  I see you cleaning the toilet in my brothers' loo like everyday.  I hope their aim in sports is better.

Thank you for coming in my nursery 4 times last night.  I know you don't like doing that, but I really wanted my paci so I cried a little bit.

Thank you for my Daddy, I just love it when he comes home.  Do you see how he likes it when I bat my eyes at him?  Last week he slow danced with me in the family room to "Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III.  I hope he will dance with me to that song at my wedding some day.

Thank you for my big brothers.  Why do they spend so much time jumping off of furniture and taking their shirts off?  They say they will protect me from bad guys forever so I feel pretty lucky.  Even if they are always talking about potty stuff and building forts out of the couch cushions when you turn your back.  Whoops, did I say that?

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Thank you for packing all that stuff for me all the time.  Why do you think I need so many things every where we go?  Don't I just need you?  Umm, I thought you might need to know that Little Brother just took glue, a shoe horn, and 2 rolls of toilet paper out of the closet.  Not quite sure what that means.

Thanks for always laughing and talking to me in those crazy voices and making silly faces.  I do really like it, but you could tone it down a bit.  I'm just sayin.

Thank you for taking a billion pictures of me.  I'm just gonna say it... I look pretty much the same today as I did yesterday, so back off.  Plus, I am starting to think you are secretly taping me all night on the Dropcam thing.  I guess if I had a baby this cute I would be recording and preserving every single, adorable second too.

Thank you for all my grandparents and aunts and uncles.  I can't really eat much yet, but I heard from some certain older siblings that they pretty much let you eat whatever you want and shower you with gifts and let you stay up late.  Sounds pretty sweet.

Thank you for always feeding me.  Then you always hold me and say, "Never grow up!"  But, then I hear you talking about how happy you are I put on weight with the doctor.  So confusing.

Thank you for always singing those pretty songs to me.  Your voice is... mediocre at best.  But it's your voice.  So to me, it's the best voice in the whole world.

Thank you for all these play things and toys.  I really can't use half of them and the songs are getting pretty lame, but at least it's something to do when the boys aren't around.  Is there a reason they are all manufactured out of like 50 different colors?  Yikes!  Oh, by the way, I just saw Big Brother take an entire bag of pretzels and a can opener out of the pantry and head upstairs.

Thank you for holding me all the time.  I just really love it.  You are so cozy and always know just what I need.  I just love to pull on your hair and feel your skin.  You have to know that I am going to eventually grow up, right?!  I'll tell you what, let's make a deal.  You keep doing the best job you can being my Mommy, and I will grow up.  But, I will always be your baby.

"Deal."

Ok, deal too.  Now will you just hold me until I go to sleep Mommy?  Cuz if you don't I am probably going to start crying really loud and wake my brothers.

Ahhh, I love laying here in your arms.  You look pretty tired, maybe you should go to sleep too.  I will just be real quiet most of the night, but I might cry for my paci once or twice so that you come in to see me.  Because I love you.

 

Trending Today...

Recovering from Spring Break... 20140418-073403.jpg

Super heroes watching Mickey Mouse...

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Thinking of excuses why I don't need to unpack #3 out of 4 suitcases.

Getting ready for Easter.  See an easy and FREE Easter decorating idea here!

Working hard in the office...

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Yes folks, this is my office.  It also used to be known as a family room.  Now it is a recreation of the beach, according to some toddlers.

What's trending in your nest today?

How to Enjoy Your Spring Break, With Kids (Hint, Put Your Phone Down)

It's that time of year again. Spring break!!! Or as many moms think of it... Just another week, but with an exorbitant amount of sand, close quarters, and a really small washing machine. No matter what you call it, or whether you are traveling to Fiji or enjoying a "stay-cation", it is a week of no school and hopefully some days off for Mom and Dad. Needless, to say, the additional passenger in every family's car or plane is... the smart phone. I am openly "technically challenged", but still more often than not, find myself always with a little 6 oz electronic addiction in my hand. I will not be controlled by a bunch of wires and over-priced plastic! I am going to beat this addiction with a good old-fashioned family vacation! Sans electronics. No phones, no laptops, no nothing. Okay, except for the plane. The kids can use approved electronic devices on the plane. But, this is strictly for the safety of other passengers. Every year we travel down south to Longboat Key, Florida. A tropical little island paradise with gleaming white beaches and azure foamy waves. I have gone there for spring break every year since I was 5 years old. And for 25 fabulous years, I had a lovely, relaxing time. Then one year, we had a stowaway. He was a little 20 pound butterball that woke up 3 times a night and successfully ended every dinner out by competing for "world's longest high pitch shriek". This little condo-crasher seemed to think the whole vacation revolved around him! He was wide awake and ready to take on the day, every morning by 4:30am, and his only beach skills involved being able to stuff an entire fist-full of sand into his tiny mouth.

Gone were the days of basking in the afternoon sun and staying up late at the tiki bar. Gone were the days of actual...vacation. Of course, it was great to be away from work, but, wait a second! This was kind of harder than work! My clients didn't usually wake me up during the night, spill my beverages, or poop in a diaper. It probably didn't help that I was 10 weeks pregnant with #2. So, no liquid comforts. I couldn't drink alcohol, but my husband and I were definitely consuming a big 'ol dose of reality. We realized that just like the first months of parenthood, we were wildly unprepared for the changes that came along with a new baby, on vacation.

Fast forward a few years, and we are sitting with our lounge chairs sinking into the tide. The sun is setting and we are sipping frosty Coronas. Two sun-kissed little boys run and dip into the waves, wielding their sand shovels. Our little boys. We have figured it out. How to vacation with kids. It's different then vacation used to be, it's harder to enjoy at times and a lot more work. But it is much, much more fulfilling. We learned that once you are a parent, it's just not always about you. It's usually about them, and more importantly... it's about time together as a family. Even if that time is spent removing sand from all sorts of crevices. Even if your "basking in the sun" is about 14 minutes on the deck while everyone is briefly asleep at the same time. Even if, you eat dinner out so early that the tiki bar isn't even open yet. Vacation with kids is about learning, observing, sharing, and adjusting. It's about the adults taking turns. It's about finding the peaceful moments to sit and soak in the memories. Before someone has a fight over a beach bucket. You won't remember how cold the surf feels the 11th time you go to the sandbar in a row. You won't remember what you ate out at dinner, or if you even did. But you will remember dancing in the sand with your little ones to a steel drum band. You will remember watching your child cautiously find their way closer and closer to the waves, building their confidence and forging a life-long love of the sea, just as you did. You will remember your first trips to the shore, and for a few days, you will begin to be a child again. You will dig in the sand, forgetting about your manicure. You will search for the perfect shell and chase the sand pipers. You will fall asleep, your hair soaking with salty water, wrapped in a Disney beach towel.

Most importantly, they will remember. Your children will remember watching the golden sun melt into the ocean, with you. They will remember special morning walks with just Daddy along the shore and spotting a school of dolphins. They will remember that first sunburn and the smell of the cool aloe as Mommy spreads it across their arms. They won't remember if they had to go to timeout for kicking sand at their brother, but they will remember how they loved the warm days, together. Distraction. Isn't that really what a vacation is? A distraction from your daily life, a chance to escape some of the monotony? I know I use my phone as a distraction. I just don't want to distract myself from my vacation. So, au revoir phone!

I can absolutely promise you, that you will not remember that awesome YouTube video you are watching while your daughter finds a perfect conch shell. I can assure you, that voice mail from work is not as important as riding the waves with your son. I am positive that the Facebook news feed will not bring you as much satisfaction as filling your spouse's empty hand with your own. We will get used to our lack of electronics, just as we did to braving the security line with toddlers. Vacationing with kids is about enjoying, adjusting and growing. And being able to laugh at yourself when you need to(have you ever changed a blowout in an airplane bathroom?) But most importantly, being present. Be there, with your family, and don't miss a single sunset.

So please join us as we give ourselves the gift of a technology-free vacation. Don't let your children remember you on the beach with your face buried in your I-Phone. Use it to capture a picture of them buried in the white sand, change your profile picture to this new memory, and then... put it away.

Safe travels everyone! Enjoy your time together!

 BeachMom

BeachMom

Trending Today...

Playing new game called, "mean animals".  Involves crawling around and howling as a pack of wolves and speaking in very mean voices.  I get to be the three-legged wolf with 1 eye who carries about 30 beanie babies back and forth to our "mean wolf den". 

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