No one told me that one day I would hear myself say, “We have to eat all of these apples, because they are organic and they cost an arm and a leg” and thus realize that my transformation into my mother was complete.
Halloween is a big friggin’ deal when you are a kid.
This year we went to a Halloween party at a farm, a trunk-or-treat (apparently this is a thing now) at Reese’s school, a Halloween party at a playplace near our house, and then of course the normal trick-or-treating on Halloween night. We got our money’s worth out of this year’s costumes.
I have come to accept the fact that as much as I want to be a crafty person whose kids always have homemade Halloween costumes, I will never be that person. Remember last year’s attempt?
Reese had been asking to be a mermaid for weeks before Halloween. When we were at Target I saw a mermaid costume which was, unfortunately, hanging next to an Elsa costume. Once she saw the Elsa costume, the mermaid was out.
Being a stay at home mom can be a lonely business.
In order to maintain one’s sanity, (and to make yourself take a shower), it is necessary to make other mom friends, join groups, make playdates, talk to people you don’t know.
The best way I can explain how I feel about interacting with strangers is through this Onion article. (I am the one experiencing spikes in anxiety. My husband is the one assaulting other strangers with Game of Thrones trivia and anecdotes about our dog.) But I feel that the article missed a major demographic in its list of offenders; Moms.
For the reasons I mentioned above, moms are on a mission to meet other people (usually other moms, because who else is available for a mid-day, mid-week date that may be cut short after 20 minutes because there isn’t a potty at this playground, and what the hell kind of place is this anyway!?) One can never be at a kid related place too long before a mom asks how old your child is. Then the conversation inevitably leads to your child’s eating/pooping habits. Pretty soon you have a new mom best friend.
Even I, the semi-antisocial, lover of my comfort zone, have become friends with a few other moms who I really like. But when we first met I quickly realized that I don’t even know how to make friends as an adult. Aside from people I worked with, I haven’t made any new, real, lasting friendships since college, back when I didn’t even have a cell phone. Once we hit it off at the playground and it’s time to go, do I ask for her phone number?? Is that a weird thing to do? My first instinct tells me yes. Do I just hope we run into each other again sometime? If I let her go will I have to only hang out with my children every day for the rest of my life? Love my kids to death, but sometimes you need a day where you don’t do the Sofia the First puzzle on your living room floor ELEVEN TIMES.
In my experiences, the other moms ended up asking for my number so we could do a playdate, and I didn’t think it was weird at all. And actually, who cares if I thought it was weird anyway? (Sidenote:I really, really hate the word “playdate.”)
Here is a picture of me with all my new mom friends.
Just kidding, we aren’t close enough friends to take pictures with each other yet. I like to take it slow.
Instead here is a casual picture of my real best friends.
Reese: Oh look, there’s a nice wicked queen who won’t kill me.
Reese: <while going to bed>: Mom, I’m going to keep you forever.
Me: I’m going to keep you forever too. And Dad, and James and Miles.
Reese: Yea, or just me and Dad and Miles.
This is the day my girl left for school.
I wasn’t sure how she was going to do on that first day. I have never dropped her off anywhere, except with her grandparents. Would she cry when I was leaving? I didn’t think I would be able to handle that. Would she cling to my leg and beg me to stay? No, she would literally jog into her classroom, toss her backpack at me and wave goodbye to me from the dress up corner. I don’t think she even looked up.
When I came to pick her up, her teachers would tell me that it was like she had been going to school her whole life. I am relieved and happy for her that she loves school so much. She only goes two days a week for four hours but she tells me that she would like to go every day, and also to stay for nap time. She loves her teachers. She brings them flowers that she picked and often asks intimate questions about what they do after hours. “What do you think Mrs. Bannon is doing RIGHT now?”
Eating lunch is her favorite part of school. Rightfully so. Followed by playing dress up, particularly in the “Barbie costume.” She is one of three girls in her class and there are 6 boys. The two other girls in her class were best friends last year at school, but Reese seems to be fitting in. I’m not sure if she would know if she wasn’t fitting in anyway.
I am enjoying a few hours with just James and am thrilled for Reese to gain some independence and to interact more with kids her age, I also love hearing about what she is doing. Is it creepy that I would die to be able to somehow watch her while she is at school? I would love to see what she’s doing, what she’s saying etc. I am so fascinated by how she might act at school, away from me.
So while this is the end of our 24/7 togetherness, and that is a little sad, it’s just the beginning of first days, and that is so exciting.
18 months young.
Our boy is walking, running, jumping and CLIMBING like a maniac. The other day I found him standing on the kitchen table jumping up and down. Always with this grin.
The current phase is beating the crap out of his sister and sometimes, out of me. He has discovered hitting and he uses it whenever something is taken away from him, or when he’s tired. So basically he is hitting 80% of the time. The other day at the playground another mother said “he is just so cute!” just as he started trying to climb up another boy. I picked him up and he slapped me in the face. So cute!
Despite this new fun phase, James is a snuggler, and when he’s being nice, he loves his sister to death. Often giving kisses and hugs. I think they are kisses and hugs; they are definitely more aggressive than one would imagine hugs and kisses should be, but they usually don’t end in tears so, yay!
He likes other kids and especially, older girls. Whenever we are out somewhere where there are other kids, he beelines for the girls who look to be about Reese’s age and either hugs them, or holds his arms up to them, asking to be picked up.
He is a sleepaholic. He still takes two, two-hour naps a day. He goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 and he usually wakes around 9. He has slept till 10:30 AM on more than one occasion. Please stay this way forever.
He is still big and beautiful. A big, beautiful beefcake with the most adorable curls. He literally has ringlets in the back of his head and I won’t get his hair cut because I’m afraid they will cut off the curls and his hair will grow back straight.
He likes most foods but favorites are graham crackers (when he sees the brown packaging he starts hyperventilating), corn, bananas, applesauce, Kix, pizza, chicken parm and sweet potatoes.
Jamers is ALL boy. He loves running and jumping and throwing and crashing stuff together. Trucks are his favorite, particularly tractors.
Bedtime is my favorite part of the day with James. After stories and some milk he puts his head on my shoulder and lets me rock him to sleep. This is something Reese never let me do, she was always trying to wriggle out of my arms. When we’re done rocking, he allows himself to be put down awake and sometimes sits up in the crib to wave goodbye to me. And everytime he does it, I just die.
Reese: The color of the hair on my legs is the same color as Taylor’s <Swift’s>
Reese: <on her play cellphone>: Oh hello, it’s me, Elsa the garbage woman.
This clock is our new best friend.
When James finally started sleeping through the night, like a sick joke, Reese started waking at 5 AM. We tried making her room darker, which didn’t help, we tried forcing her to go back to her room to sleep, which resulted in her throwing loud fits directly in front of James’s door, and we tried getting her to get into bed with us, just for a “few more minutes”, which resulted in more fits.
I had heard about alarm clocks for kids that let parents set the time they want their kid to wake up, and at that time the clock lights up, letting the kid know it is ok to get up. I didn’t think this would work for us, since Reese never listens to us when we ask her to stay in her room, so why would she listen to a clock? But, my nephew has one and my sister-in-law said it worked. We thought we’d try it, and I talked up the idea of Reese having her “very own alarm clock!”
I bought this one from Amazon. The Kid’Sleep Classic. It was $37, which was more than I was planning on spending but I knew the key to making it work was for her to be excited about it; the less expensive versions I showed her online from Target and Walmart did not excite her in the least. But, a cow dancing ballet in a pink tutu is really all a girl could ask for.
The clock is also a night-light, so when she goes to bed the clock has a glowing picture of a cow tucked into bed. Come 7 AM (which is the time we set it to, because for us, that’s sleeping in) the ballet dancing cow lights up.
And right now, its working. I know that she waits in her bed for the ballet dancing cow to light up, because most mornings, I can hear her feet hit the ground at exactly 7:00.
We’ve had it for a couple of months and she still usually stays in bed until it lights up. I know that it is still semi-new so maybe in a few more weeks the excitement will wear off and we’ll be back to rising with the sun. But right now we are happy with it and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their sleep.