The wheel is in motion

I thought it would be hard to part with certain baby items when they were no longer needed. My mom says I fail when it comes to the sentimental value of items, but that’s not true. There are some things that I will never part with. I don’t frequent diapering forums much anymore, but people used to save cloth diapers and put them in shadow boxes for display. I didn’t think I would ever do something that crazy, but there are definately diapers I had made for both Maggie and Liam that I wondered if I would part with when the time came. I wondered the same when acquired a much coveted Beco Butterfly carrier last year and though I can’t imagine why I would keep it around, I never pictured myself selling it.

Well, the time has come. I sold the carrier today to a nice girl named Amelia for her 10 month old baby. SHe and her husband are just getting started on having children and hope to have a few more. The carrier will work well for her and I was glad to have sold it to someone who really wanted one. The diapers are also for sale. I have several packaged and ready to go to the post office. It feels good. I don’t feel sad about selling our little baby items. The truth is, we can use the space for all of the toys, shoes and clothing that seem to be growing in volume by the day.

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I don’t think I’ll jinx it…

Maggie started wearing big girl panties on Monday. No pull ups, just panties. She had 2 accidents on Monday, one on Tuesday. Today is Friday. She has not had another accident since Tuesday. I’m going to officially go on the record and say we are day-time trained. My biggest problem hasn’t been the training, it has been finding undies small enough for my 20 month old girl.

My mom swears I was trained at 18 months, and that I wasn’t exceptional or anything, that most kids were trained around that time frame 30-odd years ago. What has changed? As parents, are we so terrified that we are going to scar our children’s little psyche’s or that we want it to be *their accomplishment*? Are we just out of tune with our little ones because there are so many other distractions ranging from 2-parent working families, to internet, iphones, and satelitte television? Is it too inconvient to stay home for a few days or a weekend to accomplish the task? I really do wonder why the mindset seems to have changed, why 3 – 3.5 is the norm age and not the exception.

As a daycare provider I’ve told most of my parents that there are 2 big windows of opportunity for potty training. The first occurs sometime around 18-21 months. This is the time where a child truly is trained to use the potty. They go when mom goes, go when dad goes, when big brother or sister goes and they are mimicking behavior. If you miss this first window, most parents will wait because any further attempts are met with much resisistance. When this first chance passes, it can be like pulling teeth trying to convince your child to use the potty because most of them are into a very negative stage of life, fairly normal. It is when you frequently hear “I DO IT MYSELF”. Then, the magic window reopens a little more than a year later and the child wants to be big and you teach them to use the potty so they can be a big kid. Most people hit this second window and make a big production out of picking special panties/underwear and so on. I guess this is when potty learning, potty bribing and potty forcing comes in.

So even in my wondering where we as parents have gone wrong, I am guilty of missing the first window with both of my boys. I tried earlier training with both of them, but things came up in life and I failed to follow through, finding diapers for another year easier than the struggle. My girls were trained prior to age two, both boys right around their 3rd birthdays.

Enough analysis, check out my big girl!

Did that just happen?

One of my New Year resolves was to spend more time with the kids, not in front of a television. Last night I made good on my promise to them and took them to the library. The library can be a really great place to relax and spend time with children. Ours has a nice children’s area where you can sit and read, little kids can play or look at board books, and even a small screen for a puppet show. I let my children each pick a book and a movie. Then we all went to the seats, I sat down and read a story that Liam, Maggie and Dorothy enjoyed, while Dustin leafed through his new book.

Before I knew it, several children had gathered round the chair where I was reading to hear the story. The book took about ten minutes to read and all of the children, mine included begged for another story, but it was time for us to go. I felt somewhat uncomfortable leaving, though, because I didn’t see who these children were with, and they were not together. I asked who they were with and each told me either a mom or a dad. I’m not normally one to over-parent, or hover even, but these kids were no older than 3 and 4, who lets their child just wander the library?

We gathered our things, and headed to the check out. I saw a stand next to our checkout that was filled with “Hot Demand” movies and books. These items are new, only available for 3 days and carry a $1 a day fine. I ask if we can get G-Force, not sure if they were on hold since they were right next to the counter. The library lady says sure, so I reach out for the movie, my hand was no more than 5 inches from the movie. Suddenly, a 14 or 15 year old boy snatches the movie. I looked at the library worker, and THE BOY HID IT BEHIND HIS BACK. WHAT??? Really??? Did he really snatch my movie??? His mom just watched and said nothing. If this is how he acts in front of her, I wonder how he acts away from her! I bet she is the type of parent who would just let her 3 year old wander the library and sit with a stranger to hear a story.

Shopping with Dorothy

Yesterday, Dorothy and I went to Old Navy to get me some new jeans. Of course, I did get jeans, but Dorothy helped me buy something for her and the other kids as well. First of all, let me talk about ON jeans….The Diva, The Flirt, Boyfriend Jeans, The Sweetheart, these all have rises that are so short I can’t believe anyone who has ever had a child can wear. All of them showed both the front and back of my undies which made Dorothy laugh. I don’t mean kind of laugh, I mean a full belly laugh in the dressing room. One pair, I put on, zipped up and Dorothy said, “It looks like the top of the jeans is missing, Mom.” Yeah, I’ll say. So, ON has a new jean, I guess trying to capture the 30+ crowd. These are called “The Dreamer”. Clever. The Dreamer jeans are for those of us who miss our pre-baby bodies, who dream of a day where the pile of jeans we saved from high school will fit again, and who dream of the desire and time to do P90X. The people at ON are smart, they knew these jeans would have a market, and a big one at that. Capitalizing on the group who might normally be relegated to MOM jeans, they price these jeans at $34.50, about $15.00 more than their normal jeans, I guess the extra material and butt support panel costs more, but I think that they just know that people will pay more to look decent and still somewhat stylish.

I could have used 2, maybe 3 pairs of these great Dreamer jeans, but shopping with a budget, and my 8 year old didn’t yield more pants for me. Instead, we got some cute jeans for Maggie for next year – and they are PINK on the inside! Dustin got some normal boy jeans in a 12Slim, wow he has gotten tall recently. Dorothy just knew he would love them because they were a dark color, she picked. Liam got a Wolverine hoodie, I don’t know that he knows who Wolverine is, but Dorothy just knew he would love this. Finally, she got a shirt. She pawed over dozens, but ultimately decided on one with the Valentines Day Sweetheart candy. Of course. She is a sweetheart for sure!

I think our shopping trip was good. It was full of smiles and laughter, mostly at my expense….and I didn’t even mention how Dorothy was certain that a smaller size would fit me, and how she laughed when I nearly fell over trying to pull them up and how they wouldn’t go past my thighs….and it was a great time with my oldest daughter.

Oh Lord I wanna go, but they won’t let me go…

Hoooo-o-o-ooo-me.

I find myself singing cadence sometimes, for no really good reason. I’ll be washing dishes, folding laundry or putting kids in the car and in my head I am singing the scores that kept me marching on back in Basic Training and AIT. Most of the lyrics are highly inappropriate for the children to hear, the last thing I want the kids singing is about chopping up villages with machettes or blowing things away with oozies, so I keep them in my head. I’m not sure if the cadence serves the same purpose as it did back then, but I imagine I use it as something of a coping mechanism for tasks that I find mundane, boring or monotonous. Interestingly, I rarely sing them while working out, I find pop Top 40 music more appealing for that purpose.

I never really thought I’d be rocking out to Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and PitBull, but several times a week I do. Heck, while I’m on the subject of listening material, I accidentally uploaded an entire 16 song Kidz Bop CD to my MP3 player and I was on the treadmill, running, humming along and I was mid-2nd song before I realized it was KIDS singing the familiar tunes.

We survived…the highlights and the gifts that fail to delight

The holiday went well. Yesterday was trash day, and I was slightly embarrassed at the full dumpster surrounded by 13 bags of trash, a full recycle bin (full size dumpster), a Little Tikes kitchen box full of recycle, and since our neighbor was out of town, we used their trash cans too – thanks Kristi LOL!

Starting with the youngest…
Maggie – favorite gift – Little Tikes Smart Kitchen, she loves putting the food in the pan or on the cutting board and hearing it tell her what the item is. She also loves taking apart the fruits and cooking like Mommy.

Liam – favorite gift – this is a toss up between the Fisher Price Smart Fit Park and his MP3 Player (Disney Mix Stick). The Smart Fit Park is like a Wii for little kids aged 3-6. He has spent several hours racing through the park, splashing in puddles and playing jump rope. Last night he was so tired when he finished that he fell on the floor and said, “I nearly broke my favorite leg.” Hmmm…I had no idea that he had a favorite leg, but I sure am glad it didn’t break. The MP3 Player is outstanding, very easy to load songs too, easy to operate, and seems very durable already. We bought some output reducing headphones made for children to go with it so that he doesn’t hurt his little ears. His favorite song is “Kiss a Squirrel,” if you listen to country music, you may recognize this tune as “Kiss a Girl,” by Keith Urban, Liam just sings it wrong.

Dorothy – favorite gift – a suitcase full of Littlest Pet Shop animals and accessories or the Barbie Baby Doctor set. She immediately removed all the little animals, organized them, set them up by which ones fit into which families, and pulled out her book of identification and personalities. Who knew so much was involved in the world of little animals?! The Barbie Baby Doctor has a million little pieces and two little babies with the stuff to weigh them, diaper them and so on. She really enjoys playing pretend with both of these and I think this may be the last year for toys like this being so exciting. She was thrilled with all the clothing and I see next year’s gifts being more clothes, necklaces and accesories than toys. She really hasn’t expressed too much interest in gaming systems, but we’ll see if that changes.

Dustin – favorite gift – Wii. If you have one or have played one, you understand. Dustin’s gifts are getting more expensive by the year, but he has really shown some responsiblity in taking care of his things and I’m awfully proud of him.

John – favorite gift – I have no idea. We gave him a lot of stuff so that when he moves out in May he will have a well stocked kitchen with hopefully everything he needs from a small crockpot to a knife set.

I got John, my husband, a 14 drawer rolling tool chest. He loves it. He put it together in the freezing cold garage – temps outside were about 25 degrees and our garage is neither heated or insulated well. He wasn’t surprised, he knew I got if for him this year, but it was something he really wanted. I’m glad I could make him happy.

He got me a diamond ring. I didn’t have one, and I had asked for a right hand ring. I didn’t expect this and it made me cry. I love it and I love him. I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful husband.

———————–
Fails.

I didn’t fight crowds or pay more than $8/piece for the Zhu Zhu Pets. Thank Gawd. All 4 of the small kids opened a little hamster. Dustin opened his, looked at it and handed it to Dorothy. Dorothy wanted to love hers, both of them since she now had Dustin’s, but they just aren’t that exciting. She thinks they are cute and has played with them for a few minutes, but the ball keeps falling apart and other things are more exciting. Liam likes his *Little Fella*, but other than a few runs in the car, it has become an accessory to The Bat Cave and can frequently be seen hanging from a rope waiting to be saved by Batman and Robin. Maggie has taken the most interest in her little Zhu Zhu pet. She wraps it up in a blanket and carries it around like a baby and she pushes it in a stroller. She enjoys the noises it makes and likes to let it run on the kitchen table and fall off. Final review: Though this toy holds the interest of my 19 month old she isn’t in the intended age group for the Zhu Zhu, nor does she use it for it’s intended purpose. My three children who this was likely marketed for are completely uninterested, and I am so glad I didn’t pay the largely inflated internet prices for them.

Fail: Gloves for John the Dad. Yeah, they are still up near the tree. LOL!

Fail: Presents for MIL….she has yet to get them or to give anyone at this house a gift….so much for celebrating the holiday as a family.

Fail: Gingerbread house. Cute, but not $40 cute.

I think I get some extra points for this one

I tossed some clothes in the washer, but didn’t turn it on, thinking I’d wait until morning to add some more things in and then start it. My step-son, John, went downstairs and was going to do laundry so he could go visit his girlfriend for the weekend. He asked if he could just add some stuff to my load and he’d get it all washed and dried. Sure, thanks for not dropping it all on the laundry area floor, kwim?

Next morning, I go downstairs to get my stuff out of the dryer, and what do I find mingled amongst my things? Take a guess….

It wasn’t the whole box, nor a used one…it was just an empty wrapper.

So, of course I’m glad he’s practicing safe sex. Rock on….however….it has been 3 weeks since he saw his girlfriend…um….has it been that long since he did laundry?

I didn’t ask. I did, however, place the now washed & dryed wrapper neatly on top of the clean basket of clothing that belongs to him. I wonder if he’ll notice.