Sunday, December 16, 2012

In the Christmas Mood!

Wow, two posts in one week. I'm on a roll!

The Climber has been much more excited for Christmas this year than he has been in years past. I don't know if it's because he's 3 now and understands a little better about the holidays, or the fact that I was actually on the ball this year and got all the decorations up really early, but he can't wait. Every morning, he bounces into our room and asks us if Santa came, and he handles it surprisingly well when we tell him that Christmas hasn't come yet! So in order to compound his Christmas joy, we've been doing a lot of holiday baking and crafts these last few weeks. Today, we made a gingerbread house! Voila!

Of course, I use the term "we" lightly. As happy as The Climber was to be making it, he was much happier to eat all the candy the kit came with while Mommy did the grunt work. Let me tell you, putting that thing together was much harder than I had anticipated! Thankfully, I had an extra bag of M&Ms lying around the house to decorate it. We'll see if the thing is still together when we wake up tomorrow!

Earlier this week, we made Reindeer Snickerdoodles. Super easy to do. Just make snickerdoodles and then pinch the bottom of the dough ball and smash it flat with your hand before baking to make the reindeer head shape. Once it's out of the oven, add mini chocolate covered pretzels (or regular pretzels, your pick) for the antlers and M&Ms for the eyes and nose and you're done. Behold!

My apologies for the poor picture quality of my crappy cell phone. Happy Holidays everyone!

*My heart and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families in Sandy Hook, CT. May those little children and their teachers rest in peace, and may their families begin to heal as they grieve over senseless tragedy. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

What's with all the Santa Haters?

I've come across a new aspect of the "Mommy Wars" this year: moms who do the whole "Santa thing" and moms who think letting their kids believe in Santa and Christmas magic is akin to letting them worship the devil. I really don't understand the hatred. I can maybe see the whole "I don't want to lie to my kids, and Christmas is really supposed to be about Jesus" argument, because that is true. Christmas is really about the birth of Jesus (if you are Christian) and our kids probably shouldn't be so fixated on the commercial and material aspects of the holiday season, i.e. PRESENTS! But to kill Santa all together? Why?  What's the harm in letting your child have this small joy and sense of wonder? Taking that away from them just seems mean.

I think my main problem with the moms in the anti-Santa camp is almost every single one of them is so sanctimonious about it, as if everyone else is a horrible parent for perpetuating the myth, and our children are going to grow up so spoiled and scarred because we "lied" to them. Oh please. I grew up believing in Santa, and I believed for a lot longer than most kids probably would have, mostly because my parents were very creative in their "lies". When I figured out the truth, did I have a mental breakdown? No, because I realized, even as a kid, that my belief in Santa enriched the holiday season for me. In fact, I can't think of a single person I know who was "scarred" when they found out the truth. And my parents still label some of my gifts as being from Santa, even though the jig is up and I'm in my thirties, simply because its FUN. After all, isn't that what childhood is supposed to be about?

Our children are going to grow up fast enough, and will learn all too soon how harsh the real world can be. To take Santa away, in my opinion, is just cruel. What's next, telling our kids that they can't really grow up to be a princess or a knight? That their imaginary friend is just made up? That they are not really playing with a sword, it's just an empty roll of wrapping paper? And I highly doubt that these Santa is Satan sanctimommies  have never EVER lied to their kids. We've all used the old "sorry honey, the toy store is closed today" fib at least once in our lives!

What's your take on Santa?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Toddler Mantra: I Want to Do It Myself!

The Climber wants to do everything himself. The start of this phase coincided almost exactly with this third birthday. Sometimes, this works in my favor. Like when he wants to go potty by himself, feed himself, or play trains by himself. Other times, it's my worst nightmare. Case in point- our last trip to the supermarket.

The Climber and I stopped in to the supermarket for just a handful of things. Thinking we didn't need the burden of a big cart (and of trying to keep The Climber in it), I just grabbed a basket. That's when it started.

"I want to carry the basket! I've got big muscles!" says The Climber. Since it's empty and since we are only getting a few things, I relent and let him carry the basket. But of course as we go around the store I inevitably start remembering a few other things we need, and the basket starts to get heavier. It reaches the point where The Climber is no longer carrying it, but is instead pushing it on the floor with both hands.

As cute as this looks, it's taking much too long and we are in a rush. So when I add the half gallon of milk, I decide that's enough.

"Here honey, let Mommy carry the basket, it's getting too heavy," I say.


There is no way he can carry it. The basket is heavy even for me. I pick it up and try my best to calm him down, because he is now crying and approaching full on tantrum mode. The Climber has never had a public tantrum before (how I've escaped this, I have no idea), but he seems hell bent on having his first one right now.

After getting tired of dragging his crying butt down the aisle, I give in.

"Fine. If you can pick it up, you can carry the basket."

The tears magically cease and a look of sheer joy crosses his face! Beaming, he attempts to pick up the basket. Several times in fact. And then he says:

"Mommy, can you carry it? It's too heavy."

For some reason, "I told you so" didn't bring me any comfort.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What Naptime Means in Our House

Now that The Climber is in his big boy bed, naptime has become a bit of a challenge. When he was in his crib, he would just hold onto the side rail and bounce and bounce and bounce until he fell down and passed out. Since that isn't an option in the regular bed, he find new ways to entertain himself during naptime. Here's a list of things The Climber seems to think constitute "taking a nap":

1) running around in circles in the middle of the floor until he falls over from dizziness

2) jumping on the bed until he flops down, usually whacking his head/face on the end of the bed in the process

3) laying on the floor and banging his head against the wall repeatedly

4) telling himself various imaginative and very involved stories

5) coming up with neverending excuses as to why he can't sleep (my bed is too lumpy, I need some milk, I have jobs to do and need my tools, I need you to snuggle with me, I need a hug, I have to pee, my bed is too comfy, etc. etc. etc.)

6) climbing up the safety bars on his window like its a ladder until he's standing on the window sill

7) unscrewing the decorative knobs on his headboard and footboard because they are his new bouncy balls

8) turning his ceiling fan on and off because he can now reach the switch from the end of his bed

and (my all time favorite)

9) pretending he's stuck on/in something so I have to come up and rescue him

And those are just from today. I think he's beginning to outgrow the whole nap thing (God help me).

Note: I realize some of these things I'm describing are dangerous, and yes I do go in there once he starts doing something that could result in injury.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Seriously, Why Do I Bother?

So the other day, The Climber comes running up to me, begging "Mommy, Mommy, make me a super duper train tracks!" Naturally, being the loving mother (sucker) that I am, I set to work. First task is actually finding all the pieces of train track that are scattered around the entire house. Second is remembering how the damn things go together to form the cool layout in the picture on the box. I can't, so I give up and set about making my own super awesome train town. It takes for freaking ever. Thirty minutes later, VOILA!

The Climber is ecstatic and quickly sets to work running his new train town (complete with engine wash and zoo)! Five minutes after that, it looks like this.

And I hear "Mommy fix it!"

I think it's The Husband's turn to play trains.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why My Son's Room Looks Like a Mental Institution, or How The Climber Got His Nickname

This is an old story, but considering how often I've updated this blog since I started it, I suppose I have some catching up to do. In order to avoid using real names out here in the big, bad internet, I've dubbed my son (now almost 3) The Climber. Here is why I use that moniker.

The Climber's room used to look really cute. It was sports themed with coordinated curtains, bedding, and wall decorations. Every neurotic, OCD mother's decorating dream, if I do say so myself. Now it looks like the room of a committed lunatic. No decorations, bare dresser, bare bookcase/cabinet, and nothing on the walls. There are also no knobs on both the dresser and bookcase/cabinet. Why you ask? Well I'll tell you.

Husband and I long ago put the drawer locks you use in the kitchen on his dresser drawers and on the cabinet part of his bookcase. I hate putting away laundry more than doing it, so one round of The Climber ripping every piece of clothing out of his drawer and throwing it on the floor necessitated drawer locks. After that we figured the dresser (which was already secured to the wall, for tipping prevention) was pretty much babyproofed. Wrong.

Now, we already knew The Climber was really a monkey in boy's clothing, because he was out of his crib at the ripe old age of 18 months. Hence he is now in a big boy bed, and able to leave it pretty much whenever he wishes. One day, during The Climber's "nap" I happened to look over at the video monitor and saw that he was out of bed. Surprise surprise. So upstairs I go, and when I open his door I find him sitting (proudly) on top of his dresser, which doubles as his changing table.

"How did you get up there?" I ask.

He points down at the drawers, which are still closed, and answers "Steps!" In a 'duh mom, what are you stupid' kind of tone.

"What steps?" I ask, stupidly.

"Those steps," he says again. And points to the knobs on his dresser drawers. You have got to be freaking kidding me.

So off come the knobs, to be replaced with pieces of leather cord secured by a washer. Problem solved right? WRONG. The next day during "nap" I see that he's out of bed again. So again I go up, expecting to see him playing on the floor or whatever.

Nope. He's once again up on top of the dresser. So this time, I get smart (or so I think) and ask him to show me how he got up there. And The Climber, ever the little monkey, is more than happy to oblige. What I had failed to notice when removing the knobs the day before is that each drawer has a decorative trim about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep around the outside of the drawer. Apparently, this is all The Climber needs to get a toe hold and haul himself up on top of the dresser. And there is nothing I can do about that, short of removing the whole dresser from the room, which is not going to happen. So down come the cute sports pictures and the wall lamp that were over his dresser, along with everything on the adjacent wall that is within his reach when standing on the dresser. The bookcase/cabinet had to be emptied too, since he was also climbing up on that.

And that is why The Climber's room looks like a mental institution.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day... They Mean Well

So here I am, a year later, and the whole blog thing never took off. The toddler years are challenging, as many of you may know, and I never got around to posting again. But now that The Climber is almost 3 and a little more in control of himself, I find I have a little more time to myself to do things like write a blog. So here I go, my second ever post, which will hopefully have a third before another year passes!

As the title of this post implies, here is how Mother's Day with a toddler went for me:

6:30 am- The Climber wakes up earlier then usual (of course). I kick my husband and ask him to let me sleep in since, you know, it's Mother's Day. His response: "Hmpaihejkhren." Back to sleep he goes. I however, can't go back to sleep (though I refuse to get up) in case The Climber gets into mischief in his room, as he usually does.

7:00 am- The Climber is now prancing around his room singing loudly (but happily!) at the top of his lungs some song he just made up. I kick my husband again to wake up and bring him downstairs for breakfast. Husband reluctantly gets up, making a big show of how difficult it is. Husband and The Climber go downstairs, and I attempt to go back to sleep.

7:20 am- I start to drift off when I hear loud thumping followed by giggling as The Climber escapes Husband and comes barreling up the stairs. Even louder thumping ensues as Husband races up after him yelling "Let Mommy sleep in, she's tired!" Heart is now pounding, eyes are wide open. Attempt to go back to sleep anyway.

7:45 am- Repeat of 7:20 incident only this time The Climber reaches the bedroom door and is in the process of opening it by the time Husband picks him up to carry him (screaming) back down the stairs. Sleep is beginning to seem less likely.

8:00 am- My phone beeps as a friend(with small children) texts me to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. Thank you, but why the f*uck aren't you trying to sleep in too?

8:30 am- CLANG CLANG SMASH "Uh-oh" CLANG CLANG. Husband and The Climber are making me breakfast in bed.

8:45 am- Crying coming from downstairs, cause unknown. Hysterical laughter follows 5 minutes later. What the hell is going on down there? Sleep eludes me as I contemplate the possibilities.

9:00 am- Husband and The Climber appear with breakfast in bed (awww)! The Climber scampers in saying "Happy Mommy's Day Mommy! I made you breakfast in bed! I'm going to steal all your bacon!" I, of course, melt instantly. Have breakfast in bed with The Climber and Husband. I then admit defeat and go downstairs with my boys to evaluate the extent of the mess in the kitchen.

Later we are downstairs getting ready for both sides of the family to come over for a BBQ. I yawn as I'm picking up The Climber's toys.  Husband says, "Why are you tired? YOU got to sleep in all morning!" Sigh. They mean well.