The Bryan Kids 2014

The Bryan Kids 2014

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mommy hell...

  So, I took the kids to one of those indoor play spaces the other day.  I have decided that it is actually torture to go to one of those places without a friend.  It is a miserable place to be for a mommy.  The children are incredibly difficult to follow, the chaos is every where, the noise is unbearable, and the other parents can be very annoying.  They can be overly attentive or under attentive, unfriendly and cliquey, and just generally a pain.  It is simply much more tolerable with another mommy friend around.  At least you have some one to talk to, and be back up help if it is needed.  But sometimes, it becomes clear that the kids need to burn off some energy, and it is simply too hot to play on a playground.  So, off to Catch Air we go.

    My friend Sandra is off on vacation.  Normally, we handle these places together, but I am on my own for a few more days.  I load up the kids, and head in the direction of Catch Air.  As we arrive, I cringe at the huge crowd inside.  There are at least two birthday parties going on, and plenty of other people as well.  The kids are excited, we put on our socks, and head inside to the play equipment.  They both immediately head in opposite directions.  I pick a table in a central location, and attempt to locate both children.  The kids are already having a blast.  My head is about to explode from the noise alone.  I sit down to watch and observe. I have only been there 10 minutes when I start to look at my watch and wonder how long we have been there.

   Molly is wearing big girl underwear.  This can pose a problem in a place like this.  There are plenty of places for children to hide.  The massive indoor playground is huge, and not very adult friendly.  Once they go in, it is very difficult to find them.  I think this one of the reasons I actually prefer Monkey Joe's.  Smaller equipment, smaller place in general.

   Colin checks in with me whenever he switches to the next piece of equipment.  Molly, on the other hand, loves to hide from me when ever she can.  In fact, She snuck into the linen closet when Mike put her down for a nap on Sunday.  He put her down in her room, and he went back 15 minutes later to check on her.  She was gone...After a several minutes of total panic, he found her asleep on a pile of blankets in the linen closet.  A giant playground full of tunnels and tubes is her idea of heaven.

   Molly sets up camp in the smaller kid area, and I watch her as she plays what appears to be "Tag" in a ball pit area at the top of some stairs.  She attempts to tackle a much larger boy, and I run up the stairs to make my presence known.  I scold her, make her apologize, and head back down the steps.  The stairs in this area are specially made smaller for little kids.  They are also slightly padded.  I say slightly because I got to see just how hard they actually were on my way down.  My sock covered feet flew out from under me, and I fell flat on my right butt cheek.  I am stunned by the fall, and I hop up to try and shake it off.  Four moms are staring at actually asked if I was OK.  I said I was, but I was tempted to see if they had any boo boo ice packs.  I knew that was going to be quite the bruise.  I ease my injured behind back into one of the kiddie chairs at my table, and assume my watchful waiting.

    At one point, I had lost Molly for a few minutes.  I was frustrated, but knew she was in the building some where.  I finally spotted her in one of the windowed tubes at the top of the play area.  I couldn't help but think she had snuck off by herself to poop.  After about 10 minutes of peek a boo in the window, she finally decided to head down the slide.  I was waiting for her at the bottom.  I do an immediate poop check, and I am disappointed to be proven correct.  Off to the bathroom for a wardrobe change.  We return to the floor as I watch the older kids flying around the room at top speed.  I find Colin and give him a 15 minute warning.    I sigh as those long minutes tick by, and I contemplate how I am going to get both children back out to the car.

    Colin reports to my side and states that he is ready to go home.  Of course, Molly heard the word "home" and she bolted in the opposite direction.  I send Colin into the jumpy house to chase his sister.  I know this is not going to go well, but it is my only shot outside of climbing into the jump house myself, and my butt is still hurting from my earlier injury.  I have to laugh quietly as Colin tackles his sister, and drags her by the foot over to the entrance of the jumpy house, saying simply "Here you go mommy, I think she is mad though."  As Molly kicks her brother in protest, I have to resist the urge to say "Thank you Captain Obvious." Not exactly the way I wanted it to go down, but he was successful. I pick her up, carry her out to our shoes, and we all leave.  I glance at my watch, and realize it is only 2:45.  We were only in there for 1 hr 45 minutes.  Dear what do I do for the rest of the day?  Why did that feel like an eternity?  They really need to have  adult beverages available in these places.

   Not only was it incredibly boring, I have a bruise that takes up half of my right butt cheek.  Sadly, I know I will return.  The things we do for our children...Next time though, I am bringing a friend. No mommy should have to tolerate that place alone.  Especially a social being like myself :)

Pregnancy overtime...

   My friend is a week past her due date.  We are all anxiously awaiting the arrival of this little baby.  I am  sure Wendy is by far the most ready for the little one to make their appearance.  We have met a couple of times this week already for a play dates, and I have inquired "Anything going on?? Any contractions at all?"  Her response..."Nothing...nada."  How can she be so patient?  I work in the field.  Hardly anyone waits to go into to labor these days.  Everybody gets induced.  I am proud and impressed as she patiently waits on Mother Nature to kick in.  This girl rocked a natural labor last time, and I am sure it will happen again soon.  Until then, we have some time to hang out and wait.

    We met at the mall today for a little "walk the baby out" time.  Actually, it was really just to go get lunch, and let our kids play in the air conditioned comfort of the mall padded playground.  There was very little walking involved, not that I can blame her.  I never made it past 37 weeks myself.  I have no idea what it feels like to be 41 weeks July, but it can safely be said I would have already served that baby some eviction papers.

    Wendy and I have known each other roughly since middle school.  We grew up in a small town.  Our parents were friends, both of our fathers were Navy guys, and our mothers sang in the church choir behind us.  Mrs. Young had understood permission from my mother to pop me in the back of the head if she saw us talking during church, and that happened frequently.  Wendy and I are both "talkers."
I can remember asking my mother if Wendy could spend the night, and she would sigh.  When I asked her what was wrong, she would simply say, "She just talks SO much."  Quickly, I would step in to defend my friend.  "Wendy doesn't talk any more than I do..."  My mother would reply, "Yes, but I made you, I have to listen to you...I don't have to listen to two of you."  I laugh now looking back on it, because even my husband can get overwhelmed when I get together with my other girlfriends that love to talk.  I also sigh, and wonder if my mother is looking down on us as we continue to chat in our 30's while our children play together.  I hope so :)  She is probably amazed that we are STILL talking, and wondering when we will run out of things to say...

    Today, Wendy's mother joined us at the mall.  Mrs. Young is also stalking this sweet baby, and waiting on its arrival.  I love the fact that we have known each other for 20 years, and that her mother remembers both of us as kids ourselves.  Part of me was slightly jealous today as I watched my incredibly pregnant friend sit with her mother and joke about this stubborn baby.  I wish I had been able to spend those long days on bedrest with my mommy at my side.  I know she was there with me in spirit...and I know my friend wishes her father was here to meet his grandchildren.  Both of us are bonded in friendship, but also by the premature death of a parent.  It is times like childbirth and other life changing events that can make the pain feel fresh all over again.  But, the three of us hung out, laughing at the kids, making bets on when Wendy will deliver, and laughing at my crazy children.  As always, it isn't a complete blog post without a silly story about my kids.

   Colin is getting more and more curious, and even more aware of the world around him.  I have explained briefly about babies in mommy's tummies, but Colin was staring at Wendy's belly.  He looked at it...cocked his head to one side like a puppy, and continued to stare.  I finally decided to ask him some questions, and see if he had any for me.

Me  "Colin, what's up?  Did you want to ask me anything?"
Colin  "Why is her tummy like that?"
Me  "We have talked about this, Ms. Wendy has a baby in her tummy.  It should come out very soon.  At least, we hope it will."
Colin " OK..." (still staring and reaching out to touch her belly)
Me  "It's OK bud, she probably doesn't mind if you touch her belly"

He reaches out, touches her belly and starts to laugh

Me  "I know, it is pretty cool, right?"
Colin  "Do you have a baby in your belly mommy?"
Me  "Nope, no baby in here."
Colin  "Do all girls have babies in their bellies?"
Me  "No, just some do."

He leans over, looks at her belly, stares, and then leans over further and stares between her legs.  We all start to giggle because we know what is coming next...

Colin (While staring between her legs)  "Mommy, how do the babies come out of there?"

Oh boy...

Colin "Do babies come out of your bottom?"
Me  "Well...kind of.  Sometimes they do, and sometimes doctors have to make a cut in the mommy's belly, and take the baby out.  That is how you and your sister got here."
Colin  "hmmm...OK. (Leans back over and looks one more time, I guess just to make sure it wasn't going to come out right there in the mall play ground)

     Mrs. Young giggles and says, "Perhaps a possible career option for the little guy??"  I suppose I could see him being an OB...In the mean time, I hope he doesn't ask how the babies get IN their mommy's bellies. That is a completely different question that I am just simply not ready to address.  Until then, I am sending positive labor vibes to my friend and hoping this baby sees fit to join us on the outside some time the next 12-24 hrs...fingers crossed Wendy.  Or I might just start misting pitocin in her bedroom window while she sleeps...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

one more cup of coffee...I can do this, maybe two more cups??

   Oh the money I would pay for my sweet children to take a nap...Not just a nap, but maybe two weeks straight of napping everyday for two hours.  I miss those days so much.  I would kill for a nap around 3-4pm.  Instead, I settle for a cup of coffee, and occasionally enforced quiet time.  Molly used to doze off in the afternoon no matter what, but these days, not so much.  In fact, if they both fell asleep, I would probably go check the carbon monoxide detector...after I caught a quick nap myself, of course :)  I have stopped fighting the issue, sadly.  If by some minor miracle they do take a nap, bedtime becomes a nightmare.  And while I love my daytime naps, my nighttime sleep is much more precious. I knew this day would come, but I am still mourning the loss of a 90-120 minutes of quiet time.  It was a break, a welcome respite from the noisy insanity that is my life.  But like so many things about parenthood, they were fleeting moments.  I guess all good things must come to an end.  I suppose slipping Benadryl in their afternoon sippy cups is frowned upon, so I will continue to prop my eyelids open from 4-6 pm, and acceptably drugging myself with caffeine.

   As far as the rest of my life if going, PottyGate continues.  Molly has been sans Pull Ups in public now for over a week.  We have been to the zoo, Monkey Joes, and several stores successfully accident free.  She has yet to tell me she needs to pee while wearing any kind of underwear, but will go with prompting.  She does great going on her own at home, but only without underwear.  For this reason, we are continuing our "al fresco" situation at home.  She is fighting pulling up and down her own panties.  She tells me "I don't know how."  This coming from the girl who has been long nicknamed "Stripper Bear."  If there is anything she has been able to do for a long time, it is take off her clothes.  She did have her "pee and run" in Target, and she pooped in Wal Mart the other day, but she has done well since then.  One distressing thing...pooping in her underwear does not stress her out at all.  Doesn't seem to care in the slightest.  I left her in the icky panties until we could get to the car, and she never even told me she had pooped.  The power struggle continues on a daily basis, but I stand by the fact that most kids don't go to kindergarten wearing Pull Ups.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.   Colin has been out of his Pull Ups at night for 4 days without any accidents.  Hallelujah!!  I can hardly believe it.  I may actually have two potty trained kids in my home in the very near future.

   As far as the weight loss is concerned, the battle continues as well.  I have started using an app called "My Fitness Pal" to track my calories, etc.  You can even scan the barcode of whatever you are about to put in your mouth, and it pulls up all of the nutrition information.  I suppose the novelty might help me stick to using it.  I have started measuring serving sizes, and I continue to go to the gym, however the scale continues to hover at 154.  I hate that scale...I want to buy a new one just to see if it is broken.  Of course, it seems to work for my husband, so I can only assume it is completely functional, and I am completely hopeless at losing weight.  Off to make some dinner for my family, and have yet another salad for myself.  Dieting SUCKS!!  There, I said it...I feel a little better now :)  I would feel even better if the scale went down to prove all of my hard work.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Drop cloths, elbow length gloves, hazmat suits, and paper towels...

   For the last three days, Molly has been Pull Up free, much to the dismay of the Huggies diaper company, and her mother.  We are going hard core on the potty training.  Big girl panties only...which can present horrible situations, including but not limited to, our Target "pee and run" incident in small appliances.  She has also developed a new move that I can safely say never occurred with Colin.  She has taken to peeing on the potty, all on her own, but forgetting to pull down her panties.  An "A" for effort, but an "F" for mommy's laundry situation.  I refuse to cave, so I pack my backpack with a fresh pack of wipes, two changes of clothes for Molly, and several pairs of panties.  I throw in a few gallon size ziploc bags as well as we head out the door to our play date for the day.  We are meeting our friends at The Fernbank Science museum, and I am excited.  Not just for air conditioned play time, but because I haven't been able to see Ginny and the Triplets in forever.

   We hit the road, and head south on 75.  The children are in rare form, OK, maybe I should just call it normal form these days.  They were not happy about forced potty breaks prior to our departure, and they continued in a downward spiral of hitting, kicking, pinching, and whining.  If I heard "Mommy, Cowin hit me,"  or "Mommy, Molly is touching me with her foot" one more time on our 35 minute drive to the museum, I thought my head might actually explode.  We arrive, after avoiding several speed traps, and accidentally missing our exit, our very typical "15 minutes" late.  Molly peepees in the "car potty" before we enter the museum, and we are ready for some dinosaur fun.

    Ginny is the proud mother of four year old triplets.  When you put our two families together, we are pretty hard to miss.  We descend upon the kids area of the museum, and set the children free.  I am nervous about Molly and accidents, but hopeful.  Ginny and I set up camp on some fake rocks, and attempt to keep a head count of our children while catching up on the last several weeks.  Within minutes, one of the triplets needs to go potty.  Ginny heads off, and I stay to keep watch.  Next, it's Molly.  I decide to take her, since I highly doubt her ability to tell me when she needs to go.  After two bathroom trips in the first 20 minutes, I decide it could be a super awesome Mommy drinking game.  We could take a shot for every trip to the potty.   Two shots if they have an accident.   Of course, we would also have to bring nannies to watch the children, and to drive the drunk mommies home.  Instead, we just keep a mental tally, and laugh as the total increases.

   The children are all playing well together.  That is until I see Molly body check a small two year old.  I cover the distance between us quickly, help the other little girl up, make Molly apologize, and carry her over to my fake rock.  I sit her down for a time out when I catch a whiff...Oh dear Lord.
"Molly, did you go poop in your underwears?"

     I alert Ginny to the Code Brown situation.  She nods in understanding.  I grab my survival kit/backpack, and we head as quickly as possible to the restroom.  Molly is angry that I am taking her away from playtime, but my time is limited.  This is not an optional bathroom trip.  We enter the restroom, and set up camp in the handicap stall.  I figure we will need the space.  I take off her shoes, and then I pull off her dress.  She doesn't seem to understand how to hold it up out of the way, so I just take the dress out of the equation.  I pull out the wipes and two gallon size ziploc bags.  I pull down her training panties, but no amount of "extra padding" can hide what has happened.  The poo is everywhere.  I set the science project that is my daughter's underwear off to the side, and try to clean her.  She has even managed to get poop on her feet during the process.  Half a pack of wipes later, Molly is kind of clean.  It comes to me as I am squatting on a public bathroom floor, using plastic bags as gloves to rinse out the poop in the potty, I am going to need more equipment over these next couple of weeks.  Molly is no ordinary toddler.  I make a mental list of paper towels, elbow length gloves, plastic drop cloth, and perhaps even a hazmat suit to throw in my bag for our next adventure.  I might be able to pick up a few needed items at work this weekend...

   Back to play time, and plenty of handwashing and hand sanitizer later, we decide to head downstairs for lunch.  The kids eat, and I eat way too many of their leftovers, due to my increased level of stress.  Well, that is what I am telling myself.  We glance over at the exhibit across the way, and I have to laugh.  The title "The Scoop on Poop."  I point to it and tell Ginny I should have just brought Molly down there for a live exhibition.  We decide that the exhibit was a "must see" for our little crowd.  The exhibit was interesting, strange, and hilarious all at the same time.  Some scientists had a lot of fun putting it together.  It was kind of like being trapped in a life size version of the book "Everyone Poops."

   As we leave the museum, we have caused horrible meltdowns in four out of the five children.  I was relieved to see Ginny's four year old's throw just as big of a tantrum as Colin.  They were all sad for different reasons, but the drama was consistent.  Their lives were obviously over, and we were the worst mommies in the world.  Ginny smiled, and said just what I was thinking.  "I am so glad to see that this happens with other kids.  Now I can feel a little more normal.  I was starting to wonder."  We console each other, reassure each other, and attempt to herd our howling "cats" out of the museum.  As we traipse through the parking lot, I yell over to Ginny, "Maybe we could open our windows, and people would assume the noise was a siren, and get out of our way?"  Who am I kidding? This is Atlanta.  People cut off ambulances if they can.

   The fighting continues in the car.  More hitting, more kicking, more whining...."Mommy, I need juice."  "Mommy I need goldfish."  "Mommy, I want to watch a movie."  Well kids, Mommy wants Tequila.  We can't always get what we want...Including a nap...A simple shot of tequila and a nap would have been awesome.  Of course, I settled for a large cup of coffee, and watching a show on the DVR.  I lied and told the kids NickJR was off the air for an hour. Some days, a girl has got to do, what a girl has got to do :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When I turn 16...

   This evening, we were headed to the mall to pick up some contacts for me.  Colin of course wanted to know where and why we were going.  Molly was just along for the ride.  Our conversation went something like this...
Colin  "Mommy, where are we going?"
Me  "We are headed to a store to go and buy contact lenses for mommy"
Colin  "Why?"
Me  "Well, Mommy can't see without them, and she is almost out of contacts."
Colin  "Oh...can you see right now?  Because, maybe you shouldn't be driving..."
Me  "Yes bud, I have contacts in right now, but I will be out soon."
Colin "Maybe you should have worn your glasses."
Me  "I promise, I can see little dude."
Colin  "OK, Mommy, I need a snuggle."
Me  "I'm sorry, Mommy is driving right now, so I can't give you a hug"
Colin  "I can't reach me.You could if I sat up there(points to the passenger seat)"
Me  "Well you have to be a big boy to sit up here, little boys sit in the back."
Colin  "Well, when I am sixteen, I am going to sit there(points to the driver seat) and you can sit there(points to the passenger seat), and then you can give me a snuggle"
Me  "Awww...thanks little dude.  Of course I will snuggle you, but something tells me I will be the last person you will want to snuggle in the car with at that age. If not, we are really going to have to look into cutting that cord...And on another note, how in the world do you know you get to drive at 16??"
   That little dude is always surprising me.  Smart, and he loves his mommy...some girl is going to hate me one day...

My coffee pot died...

   I returned home from the beach only to discover my sweet friend that provides me caffeinated goodness was no longer functioning.  I tried several things just to get her working, but despite my best efforts, she remained stubborn and unable to brew my favorite beverage.  I pitched her in the trash while pillaging for alternative sources of caffeine.  I settled on a simple Diet Pepsi and decided to head out with the kids in tow to pick out another coffee pot.  I chose Target.  Not just because it is one of my personal happy places, but also because of the Starbucks on your way in the front door.  Caffeine was needed to tackle this mission.  Well actually, it was needed no matter what the day entailed, but a trip to the store with both children calls for a large coffee.

   I packed both kids into the car, and head to the store.  Now I have to decide what kind of coffee maker I want all over again.  I have friends who swear by their Keurigs, but I can't help but think that brewing one cup at a time is impractical for our family, even if it seems super cool...

   I had previously decided that it was time to rip off the bandaid that are Pull ups.  Molly has to be ready by mid August, so it is time to for both of us to put on our big girl panties, and suck it up.  I did not enjoy this part at all with Colin.  Traveling with two changes of clothes and plastic bags got very old, but the time has come.  I put Molly in big girl panties before we left the house, and I explained what that meant.  She nodded her head in agreement, and repeated everything I said.  I took her to the bathroom about ten minutes before we left, and then I sat her on the "car potty" before we actually entered Target.  Success both times.  I clap and bribe her with chocolate, and remind her for the 20th time during the five minute trip to Target that she needs to tell me if she needs to go peepee.

   I stopped at the snack bar for the requisite slushies and Starbucks for mommy.  We head off, and as always, I am distracted by bright shiny objects.  I even get brave enough to try on clothes.  I discovered a potential Maxi dress for 14$ on the clearance rack.  The kids are behaving so well, I take time to hit the dressing room.  I decide I need the next size up, but that I like the dress. I throw it in the cart, and head out for my next destination.  I stop in the toddler aisle, and I pick up some of the padded, training panties.  I figure they may come in handy over the next few weeks. I throw them in the cart, and head towards small appliances.  

    As I stand in the aisle staring at the various one cup to twelve cup models before me, Molly starts taking coffee makers off the shelves, and lining them up on the floor.  I put them back, all while fielding questions from Colin, and comparing stats on the various pots.  I finally decide on a traditional 12 cup maker, due to it's versatility.  I can make as little or as much as I want, not to mention the price difference alone.  I pick a mid range pot, and I am loading it into the cart as Molly runs past me.  I felt a little drop of liquid hit my leg as she ran past.  I look down at the floor and my foot, and I see a puddle of liquid.  I ask "Molly, did you spill your drink?"  But I know this isn't true.  Her slushie is blue, not clear.  And then it hits me.  This is something that will be very different this time around with the conversion to big girl panties.  With Colin, pee rarely hit the floor.  I had a layer of cargo shorts or jeans and underwear between him and the floor.  There seems to be quite a bit more collateral damage with big girl panties and dresses.  No extra barrier of absorption.  It is simpler for her to use the bathroom, but may cause other unanticipated problems.  My bad, Target...Clean up in small appliances.  I stare at the puddle in mild horror as I sip my Starbucks.  I frantically look for paper towels, and realize that they must be added to my usual arsenal of mommy preparedness.  I ask Molly if she peed on the floor, and she looks shocked that I would even ask her such a question...Her answer "Ummmm...yes Mommy, I peepeed on the floor."  I scold her, and remind her that pee pee goes in the potty.  Now what do I do?  Think fast Super Mom...The puddle is very small...I could look around for an employee, or I could do my best with a few wipes, and head up to check out.  I am sure you know what I did.  

     Within minutes, I had both children herded up to the register.  I purchased my padded training panties, my brand new coffee pot, and a brand new pack of Dora underwear as well.  I think we may need some extras on hand for this early period of potty training boot camp.  I walked out of the store with my head held high, hoping and praying that they mop those floors pretty regularly. On that note, I am also going to think much harder before I ever sit or kneel down on the floor of Target ever again.  I mean, I can't be the first mom to commit a "pee and run" least, I hope not...

Florida is a very long state...

   After a few weeks back in Atlanta, it was already time to hit the road with the kiddos yet again.  This time, destination, Fort Myers Beach, Florida.  The Bryan side of the family was having a reunion, and who doesn't love a great beach location.  Even better, Mike's Uncle Chuck had opened his own restaurant right at the shore, and we were all staying at a beachfront hotel right across the street.  Paradise, that is if we can survive the ten plus hours in the car with the kids.

    We hit the road much earlier than usual for us.  That means around 8 AM.  Yes, I know this isn't early for most people, but we rarely hit the road before 10 AM...Even when we try really hard, it never seems to happen.  Honestly, things went pretty well.  God bless Dora, Elmo, Blue's Clues, and Tangled for helping us survive.  I had forgotten just how long Florida actually is.  We seemed to zip through Georgia, but then we hit a strange wrinkle in time.  It seemed as if we would never reach our destination.

    Finally, after many pee breaks, food stops, and even stops just to get out of the car, we finally reached our hotel.  We check in to our room, and I am pleasantly surprised by the small kitchen and fridge that I discover.  As all mommies know, a fridge is a survival must with little ones.  I am already plotting my grocery trip for milk and juice and other toddler staples.  Oh...and some beer might be nice as well. It seems my husband had other plans for our super awesome fridge.  Leave it to mommy to think about milk and yogurt, and daddy to think about stocking it with beer. The beach is just a few feet from our doorstep, and the pools are directly in front of us as well.  The kids start to chant "Beach, Beach, Beach" even before we find out our plans for the evening.  We meet our family across the street for a fabulous meal at Uncle Chuck's restaurant.  Chuck is finally living his dream, and we were all there to support him in this adventure.  Check out Chuck's Last Stop if you are ever in Fort Myers Beach.  I think I gained 10 pounds over the weekend, but ti was so worth it.

    It was so nice to have so many extra hands around to help with the kids.  Our family is so far away from everyone.  Mike and I are on our own as far as childcare is concerned.  People were jumping to help with the kids at the pool and in the restaurant.  For once, I didn't have to chase the whirling dervish that is Molly, all over the place.  The kids started the summer very timid around water.  It was almost like they had never been in the water before.  By the time our long weekend at the beach was complete, the children were jumping into the pool, albeit with floaties on, but jumping in and letting their heads go under water.  I was shocked, but proud.  My sweet babies are growing up.  I was actually able to enjoy a few glasses of wine, and relax a little while at the beach.  Highly unusual for a mommy vacation, but a wonderful surprise.

My morning coffee view.  I could get used to this :)
Molly, Keeper of the pool shower.  She was fascinated with turning it off and on.  She even ran to turn it on for other people.  Hilarious, and it kept her entertained for a few hours

Water Babies

Colin swimming with just arm floaties.  I am still so proud of  my super timid boy :)

Ice cream bribery about 9 hours into our drive home

Molly in a food coma.  "Yummy, ice cream good..."
    After a few short days, the family headed back north for Atlanta.  I am positive that Georgia was actually moving further north the entire time.  We were far from ready to leave our little vacation, but we were more than ready to be home by the time we finally arrived in our driveway.  No Code Browns, a few major and minor meltdowns, but we all survived, and we even managed to have some fun on both vacations this summer.  I think the kids are finally getting old enough to make traveling a little easier.  I predict not even a pull up or a wipe will be needed for our next family road trip.  OK...the wipes will still be needed.  Those things fix so many problems.  I may still have them in the house long after the kids are gone.  Now, for a few pictures.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mommy's night out...

   Friday night was declared a girls night.  Plans were made to attend a movie (that certainly did not involve male strippers and plenty of eye candy), and I was going to go this time.  I almost always get left out because of the kids, lack of a babysitter, or simply because I work on the weekends, and most people go out on the weekends.  This time, it was a Friday, at 8 pm.  Now that I can do.  I instructed the hubby to be home before 7 pm, and purchased my ticket online for the movie.  Dear Lord...$12.95 for a movie ticket.  Maybe that's why I never make it out.  OK, ticket purchased, cute outfit chosen (that sadly still reeked of suburban mom, but cute nonetheless), husband on his way home to intercept children so that I could tag out as the designated parent.  I had to make a last second run to Target for miscellaneous stuff that we needed around the house.  I loaded both kids in to the car with promises of red and blue slushies.  I was working with limited time, so bribery is frequently a must.

    The trip to Target was relatively uneventful, due to the slushie goodness that was provided at the door.  I returned home as Mike was pulling into the driveway.  We entered the house together as he suspiciously eyed my Target bags.  I could see his mind working...he was attempting to believe that the items in the bag were "needed" as opposed to "wanted."  As we walked through our front door, Mike asks "What is that smell??"  With two toddlers, a dog, and a cat around our house, it is a question that is posed all too often.  I simply respond  "I have no idea.  The kids need a bath, I should be home around midnight."  And then I spot it..."Or the smell could be whatever that is that appears to be dead on our carpet."  Yep, partially eaten, regurgitated dead bird on my carpet.  Oh the joys of owning pets.  The cat never leaves, so I can only assume that our dog decided to eat said bird, and it didn't sit very well with her.  I left Mike scrubbing the carpet as I was trying to scrub that picture out of my brain.  Things like that don't normally get to me.  I could eat a cheeseburger in the middle of a C-section, if it was allowed.  For some reason, I felt a little bit nauseous the entire way to the theater.  Icky, to say the least.  Hopefully, the scantily clad men on the screen will be able to distract me from this image that is burned into my brain.

    Not 10 minutes into my 35 minute drive to the theater, my husband has called.
Mike "Why the hell do you ever buy our children markers?"
Me  "They are washable...Why, did Molly color all over herself again?  You have to watch her all of the time with markers."
Mike  "Yes, she is in the shower now, I am trying to get it off of her."
Me  "Sorry babe,  Have fun??"
Mike  "you too..."

    Not 5 minutes later, another call.  Seriously??
Mike  "What was in the tube in the shower?"
Me  "huh??  What tube?"
Mike  "The one that says Feria, is it hair dye?"
Me  "Nope, just the conditioner for after you dye your hair."
Mike  "Well your daughter ate some.  She is spitting on the floor and saying yucky."
Me  "I am sure she is fine, I doubt she ingested enough to be concerned.  It is a good sign that she is spitting and thinks it is yucky."
Mike  "So, no Poison Control needed?"
Me  "I think she is fine babe."
Mike  "Oh, and I think she tried to shave her stomach, she has little cut on her belly now."

   I shake my head.  How does that little girl always find what she shouldn't have?  Oh well, off for an evening out.  I run into the theater, find my friends, and take a seat with my bucket of soda and bag of popcorn.  The movie had a little more plot than I was expecting, and I salute the personal trainers that these gentlemen used before and during filming.  It certainly isn't going to win an Oscar, but it was nice for an evening of escapism for this suburban mommy.

   I have been working for the last two nights, and I still have to head in again tonight.  I have completed two loads of laundry, a load of dishes with another to go, posted this in my blog, but I have yet to make it out of my jammies.  Must...get...motivated.  Oh, and does anyone know how to get hot pink highlighter off of your child??  Molly had another Picasso moment while I was working.  She drew all over her arms and legs, and of course finished her piece de resistance by coloring her nose hot pink.  I put her in a pink dress this morning.  I figured I should at least try to compliment the artwork...and hide all of the markers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Potty Training Bootcamp...Part Deux

     There are many things about motherhood that I have discovered to be out and out "Oh she is a girl, she is going to be SO much easier."  But my personal favorite right now is "Oh, she is a girl, she will be easy to potty train.  In fact, you may get them trained at the same time."  For some reason, neither one of my children has been easy to potty train.  It has required bribery, tons of laundry, patience, books for us, books about pooping and pottying for them, and more than a few visits from the carpets cleaning guys.  The only thing that seemed to work for Colin was a combination of no pants for several weeks at home and chocolate.  I was horrified when I first heard of this "naked" potty training.  But there is method to this madness.  It seems that most children will hold their pee pee and poop if they have no pants on at all.  This worked for Colin.  Our only complication was the poop.  He would just hold that in for days at a time.  Not pretty.  The kid still has poop issues at 4.5 y/o.  He is plagued with constipation and the problem becomes worse due to his desire to hold it in instead of push it out.  He is literally the most anal retentive person I know.
      This "naked" approach may not be the way to go with Molly.  When they say each child is different, they were not lying.  Molly was starting to get the potty training thing towards the end of the school year.  She would pee pee and poop in the potty...sometimes.  It was far from consistent, but she was showing some interest.  We switched to pull ups, so that she could try when she wanted to, but I knew we were far from ready to take away that safety net.  This summer, it is crunch time.  She needs to be completely potty trained by school time.  Not just a little potty trained, but like pull up her own pants and underwear, wipe herself kind of trained.  I am in a panic.  I put off going cold turkey from the pull ups due to our trip to New Jersey.  The last thing I needed was the extra challenge of an early potty trainer on a road trip.  Of course, this girl eats well.  She eats big meals, and she likes "grown up" food, so you can imagine, this produces "grown up" poops.  And, she poops once a day, so she makes it count.  I have been teasing her that I was going to have to switch her to Depends if she didn't figure this potty thing out soon, but it can get quite messy.  And while it makes for funny stories, it is time for the poop to go in the potty...

      So Potty Training Bootcamp has begun.  I have found this girl in more puddles than I care to admit.  She has peed on my floor at least 6 times now, and she fails to mention it most of the time.  If you ask her, she will confess, but she doesn't stop midstream to sit down on the potty, she just finishes the job on the floor.  I have caught her in the act, and redirected her to the potty.  She even pooped on the dining room floor the other day.  I heard a "thump," and turned to investigate.  The dog was even staring at the floor and the child in horror.  It was as if the dog was trying to say "Do you see what your puppy just did?? I bet if you rubbed her nose in it, it might stop."  Molly just looked down at the floor, and said "oh no!! Mommy can you wipe my butt?" The dog has ratted her out more than once by coming to get me, and I am sure it is because she wants to make sure she doesn't get blamed for the pee on the carpet.  Sadly, if I step in a puddle, I know exactly where to go for more information.

      Today has been a good day so far.  She has been pooping and peeing on the potty since this morning.  She is demanding her chocolate each time she goes, but I will invest in Hershey's if that is what it takes to get this kid to use the potty.  If anyone had ever told me that potty training my kids would result in carpet cleaning, I would have never believed them.  Little did I know what could be involved in this process. After our trip to Florida this weekend, we are going straight to panties...Lots of laundry, perhaps a little booze, and extra prayers will be needed in the next few weeks.  I am praying for that moment of enlightenment that people speak know, where the kid all of a sudden just "gets it."  A girl can dream, can't she?  Until then, I may need to invest in some more Whipped Cream flavored vodka, and some more princess panties, for Molly that is...The panties, not the booze

My vacuum cleaner may need Viagra...

  Over the weekend, for various reasons, the vacuum cleaner was needed.  I know I should be embarrassed,  but I actually think it is pretty funny that my children scold me for using the vacuum.  They insist that it is Ms Anne's (my friend who cleans our house every two weeks).  I suppose it is a sign that I don't use it enough myself, but it's services were needed, so out it came.  I have a long history of killing vacuum cleaners.  No vacuum I have ever owned has ever made it past 6 months in our house.  I think it has a lot to do with our history of at least four furry animals in our house shedding all over my carpets.  This vacuum was a hand me down, and it has lasted for almost three years.  Shhhh...don't let it hear that it is supposed to be dead already.  He has been my faithful companion now for much longer than I expected, so I was quite sad when Mike brought out the vacuum to clean up the strawberry milk powder that Molly had spilled all over the floor, and he asked...
Mike "What do you do to make this thing stay up??"
Me "I'm sorry...what's wrong?"
Mike "The vacuum, it keeps falling over, how do you get it to stay up?"
Me "I don't should be the professional in this area."
Mike "huh??"
Me "Well, if you must know, I would probably buy it a drink, and stroke it a little, but I am not sure that works with vacuum cleaners..."
Mike (shakes his head) "I think the locking mechanism might be broken, and how old are you??"
Me "Yeah, I know.  It was broken the last time I tried to use it as well.  It still seems to work otherwise, so just prop it up against the wall.  We could always try to vacuum up a little Viagra and see if it helps."
Mike "You are just not right some times..."

I am still drinking coffee...

    I am still drinking coffee...It is 2:43 in the afternoon.  I have been to the gym.  I have been to the grocery store.  I have been up with the kids for hours now.  You would think I would be awake, but for some reason, my children have decided that sleep is for the weak toddlers yet again.

       Yesterday was a day full of cookouts, fun, and friends.  We actually made it to two separate cookouts during the day.  The kids were out and about from 11 am until 9 pm.  You would think they would have been exhausted.  Mike and I were full of meat and would have loved to have passed out into food comas, but the kids had completely different reactions.  For some reason, a full day of activity+no nap= slap happy children who fight sleep with every bit of stubbornness they both possess.  This of course also=mommy hanging on by a thread.  You see, between the fact that my kids don't sleep well to begin with, and our vacation this month, our children have been even worse.  I feel like I am back to the newborn phase all over again.

    Somebody is scared of the dark, someone is thirsty, someone is lonely, someone thinks their bed is too small (sadly, he is right about that fact, but I haven't decided what I am going to do with their bed situation just yet.)  They have different tactics and approaches, but it always results in the same thing.  Their parents get very little sleep.  Colin whines and cries, and begs for some one to come into his room.  Molly uses the boomerang method.  She keeps coming into our room, and then we take her back to her bed.  She continues until I am so friggin tired, that I just give up, and let her sleep with us.  I give up...I am starting to think about shock collars and cattle prods.  Maybe I should call in the Dog Whisperer.  I have no idea, but I need to get some continuous sleep soon, or I will never be able to have a complete thought inside my head ever again.  I have severe "momnesia"  right now.  I can't remember anything for more than a few minutes at a time.  This is why my posts have become so infrequent.  I can hardly get motivated to write, and then when I find the time and the energy, all of the funny stories have left my brain, but I decided to give it a shot today...after my third cup of coffee...I think I may need to lodge a complaint with Dunkin Donuts.  This bag must be defective.

        When all else fails...throw in some adorable pictures of my children.  These are the pics I managed to get while the children were vibrating out of their skin from too much sugar and excitement.  I dressed them up in full hopes of getting an adorable picture together.  Every time I tried, they moved, or fought, or...well, they were just being kids.  These were a couple of the better ones that I managed to squeak out.  The hug picture looks very sweet.  Of course, what you don't see is how quickly the "hug" became a headlock, and Molly started to cry, and fight her brother off.  I am choosing to pretend that this picture is just sweet...

      The last couple of weeks have been unbearably hot, even for Hotlanta standards.  I was raised in this state, and I have to admit, the heat has actually been a bit much for even the native Georgians.  The kids beg to go outside, play for a few minutes, and then they beg to go back inside.  Who can blame the little guys?  I sense a lot of pool time, water play, and indoor play spaces in our future.  Mike took the kids out over the weekend to a playground, about half a mile from our house.  Colin wanted to ride his bike, and Molly walked.  I think I was napping due to my horrible case of pink eye (that whole thing may deserve it's own post, so I will leave it at that.)

       I couldn't imagine that they had gone that far, so I called Mike to see where they were.  He told me they were at the church playground around the corner.  He said "You might want to bring the car up here to pick us up."  I poo pooed this idea, but offered to walk up to help him get the kids home.  By the time I got to the play ground, I thought I might die...ok, an exaggeration, but it was horrible.  The heat had reached simply oppressive.  The air felt so heavy and thick, it was difficult to breathe.  The children saw me walk up, and promptly stole my glass of sweet tea.  I think they finished the entire thing in two sips.  We all started the walk back to the house.

      In one block, Molly was demanding to be carried, Colin was begging to be held, and Mike and I realized what a horrible idea the whole adventure had become.  We trudged on as Mike informed us "oh come on guys, this is not the Bataan Death March."  I turned and glared at him, as I huffed up the sidewalk dragging my son, and carrying my daughter on my hip.  Leave it to my husband to use some vague historical reference to make me feel stupid on top of the fact that he was making me feel bad for complaining about the horrific heat and sheer weight of our massive children.  Now I am going to have to Google that just so I know what the hell he is talking about.

          I swear, it is like living with a living game of Trivial Pursuit at times.  And I lettered, yes "lettered" in quiz bowl in high school.  He is still full of completely off the wall facts that I have never heard of before.  Perhaps I should have paid more attention in History class...Oh, and did I mention, Molly had no panties on.  She was wearing a dress, and no pull up or panties.  Perfectly acceptable for our home during potty training, but not cool while on a play a church...on a Sunday.  I may not know about the Bataan Death March, but I do know that social etiquette requires my daughter to cover her bottom in public.  Not to mention, I had no desire to make the ER trip that could be involved from a slide burn on a naked bottom.  My husband, ladies and gentleman. Full of interesting facts, but completely oblivious to his daughter's vajayjay flashing to the world.

       For future reference, I will now be listening a little more closely to the local news and their "Code Red" smog alerts.  That weather man was not lying when he warned us to all stay inside, and inside the Bryan Family may stay, at least until the sun starts to go down.  And Mommy figures out how to make decent iced coffee at is simply too hot for my beverage of choice right now.