This Moment

Life is full of ups and downs.  I tend to talk/write about the downs.  It’s how I process problems, work through stress, and deal.  I realize that maybe this is painting a lopsided picture, because in actuality life is pretty grand.  But then, is it okay to say that? If I do say it, is that a humble brag, a brag, or just obnoxious?

This morning we went for a walk through the park.  It was sunny, the birds were chirping, R was happy, I was feeling productive.  Then I saw this door…


Someone had the foresight to make this lovely door face a public park and remind passersby to be at peace.  While my daily grind is jam packed with planning meals,  cleaning, entertaining/educating a child, this moment was one that reminded me how lucky I am to have the chance to do all of it.

 

What Gender are Unicorns?

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This is a serious question folks.  Everyone knows it’s NOT okay to have a gender specific theme for your child’s nursery.  If you do choose to live in the 50’s and paint your daughter’s bedroom pink, you’re basically saying, “hey, you’re a girl!” And there is something very wrong with that in our world.

I definitely fell into this gender neutral ideal of raising your baby.  If eliminating pink, dolls, and frills was going to make my daughter a stronger more empowered human being, I was in! We painted our nursery green, I wanted a mermaid theme but thought, “no, no, what kind of message would that send?” So we went for baby animals instead.  Gender neutral baby animals to be exact.  Is that a boy cub or a girl cub? No matter, cubs are equal in their abilities and potential, amirite?

The problem I found with this whole gender neutral approach is that it almost makes being a girl taboo.  Not that pink, dolls, and frills equal girl, but these are things generally associated with girl interests (doesn’t mean it is ALL that interests a girl though).  So in my quest for gender neutrality, I found boy things for girls were A-OK, boy things for boys were good too, but girl things for girls or boys…BAD!

I don’t think it really hit me until I saw this unicorn head at Target.  I really wanted to buy it for R’s room (not that it had any place in her baby animal theme).  Then I thought, “unicorns are definitely girly right? That means I can never buy it.  Why can’t I buy something girly? Why is it bad to be a girl? My daughter loves playing with dolls and strolling them  in carriages at other people’s houses, why am I denying her of imaginative play that interests her? She gets giddy when we take things out of shopping bags, do boys do this? Should I discourage it? …When did being a strong woman mean denying your womanhood?”

This $20 unicorn head  made me question everything! Which led me to this conclusion:

Screw Gender Neutral! Let your child be who they are.  Guess what? If you paint your girl’s room in trucks and race cars that’s for you, not her.  You may as well like what her nursery looks like before she changes it all up with her own opinions and preferences.  Cause your child WILL have her own opinions and preferences.

*I did not buy the unicorn

DIY: Fizzy Play for Toddlers

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Toddlers have an insatiable curiosity about the world.  This one does anyway.  She wants to open every drawer and cupboard to see what’s inside, eat every dust bunny to see what it tastes like, climb every surface to see what it’s like to be on top.  That’s why no matter how many toys she has, she will always be bored with them.  Right now she prefers activities that allow her to explore something new.   It’s not hard to do since almost everything is new to you if you’re 14 months old.  Just this morning I gave her a potato masher and that occupied her long enough for me to heat up her breakfast.

Sometimes though, just handing her a random kitchen utensil doesn’t quite do it.  That’s when you gotta get a little more creative.  Pinterest is an awesome resource when you just can’t think of something to do.  I had been wanting to do some exploration with R using baking soda and vinegar and saw many different ways to do this on different blogs.  Because I love easy clean up I decided to meld a few different approaches into one.  It was super easy to set up/clean up and kept R entertained for a good 10 minutes solo.

Here are the materials you need to set it up for yourself:

  • a sheet or towel to cover the floor
  • a big shallow tub to catch spills (there WILL be spills)
  • a few paper/plastic cups
  • Crayola color bath dropz
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • a spoon
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The essentials

*Most of these items you’ll find you already have, the only thing you may need to buy are the bath dropz.  I chose to use these because most other tutorials used food coloring which stains fingers for a while.  Since these bath dropz are intended for colored bath water, they only discolor fingers for a little while and wash clear quickly.  I told you, I hate messes.

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All you need to do for this activity is pour vinegar into paper cups and add a bath drop into each cup to change its color.  Then show your little one how to spoon vinegar into each cup to make it fizz different colors.  They’ll be engaged in the spooning for a while.  For us, it eventually turned into tipping all the cups over and making a rainbow water trough, but that’s fun too.

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This activity is great for the developing thinking and fine motor skills.  It helps them learn about cause and effect (fizzing action and color mixing), and helps their little fingers and hands master that pesky skill of spooning small things into containers (great practice for self feeding).  If you wanted to work on pincer grasp you could reverse the process by giving them a dropper of vinegar to add to cups filled with baking soda. So many different ways you can approach this super simple activity.  Get creative, and go find out what works for you!

Parenting Fail: Gel Window Clings

The teacher in me wants to decorate/celebrate every holiday with baby.  So when I found adorable Valentine’s day window gel clings (much like these) in the dollar section of Target, I had to get them.  I got two packs in fact.  Sure I saw the ages 3+ sign on the bottom of the package, but this mom was going to be watching her baby play with them with eagle eyes so I could disregard that label.  “Won’t it be so cute to see R playing with these gel clings? It’ll be a great way for her to practice her fine motor skills.  And, I can put them up high enough so she’ll have to stand up to get them!” (We all know how much she loves hanging around on her bum.)

And it was cute.  For a while…

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Especially that morning she woke up wearing heart pajamas.  For a split second, I thought, “Damn, what an awesome idea this was! She’s standing, she’s excited…She’s EATING THEM!?!” Well, not really, because I was watching her with an eagle eye–remember?

This is when she discovered the game, Let’s Pretend to Eat These So Mom Freaks Out. Here’s how you play: Baby gets up to grab a gel cling and then has to put it just far enough and slowly enough into her mouth that mom has a chance to grab them.  Then mom puts the gel clings higher so baby can’t reach them.  Finally, baby whines until mom moves them down again and the whole process repeats.  This game can bring joy to baby for hours if you have the stamina to play. Mom does not have the stamina to play.

“Where does the parenting fail come in?” you may be wondering at this point.  Well, it comes in a few days later when she wakes up and takes a gigantic poop after a night of really terrible sleep (like waking up every few hours crying kind of sleep).  I open her diaper to find something I think to be undigested bok choy.  I get a little freaked out and call Pop over.  Did she eat a succulent? Is this some kind of mutant poop? After a little more investigating, and rinsing, we find that her poop says “Hug me” and “Too Cute.” It is, in fact, not one, but TWO whole gel clings…

This is about the moment I feel like a failure.  When could this have happened? I try racking my brain to remember.  And then I do.  I’m washing dishes, “watching” her play with gel clings out of the corner of my eagle eye when I see her grab one and try to play our game.  I run over to take it from her but realize there’s actually nothing in her mouth.  “Hmmm…must have put it back on the window,” I think.  Wrong! So, so very wrong.

After a call to poison control and an email to Target, I find that I am lucky she didn’t choke on the clings (I mean she swallowed two at a time!) and that I’ll never know if the clings changing color from red/pink to green in her tummy was toxic or not (I’m guessing so).  Target never got back to me about that question, and poison control was mostly concerned with the asphyxiation potential and her behavior which was totally normal.

So I’m here to tell you, please mind the age labels.  Unless of course, you’re an actual eagle with eagle eyes.

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Nap Time Over

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It occurs to me that I’ve been MIA for almost a full year.  What in the world could have caused that to happen? Hmmm…

But here’s my first attempt to resurrect this blog. I say “first” because I’m no fool.  I fully anticipate getting sidetracked by life.  Let’s see how long this attempt lasts.

You have The Less Than Domestic Goddess to thank for this.  I stumbled upon her very own blog revival and got inspired.

Time to dust off my keyboard, this mama’s nap time is over!

My Mom Says I’m Weird

I am now 28 weeks pregnant.  I am now in my third trimester.  I am nearing the end of my pregnancy.  I am so happy to be experiencing this.  I love feeling our baby move around and get hiccups.  I love feeling tiny movements that no one else can feel.  Sometimes when she’s super active in my belly, I try to call someone over to feel it and she stops.  It’s almost like she’s moving just for me.

I only have 10 or so weeks to go.  The nursery is not set up.  I don’t even know what diapers to buy.  I don’t even have a birth plan.  I’m afraid of the pain.  I don’t want to bleed for weeks after.  I’m afraid my endometriosis pain will come back once our baby arrives.  There’s so much unknown.

These two sides of my brain are battling each other these days.  I told my mom the other day that I wanted the baby to stay inside forever.  She thought this was the weirdest thing she’d ever heard.  She said, “Most people want their babies to come out faster.”  Yes, but then I have to share all these moments with everyone else.  She won’t be all mine.  That’s when my mom said I was weird.  Is this a weird thing to feel?  Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to meet this little human, and hold her in my arms, but a little part of me likes the way things are right now.  Weird?

A Little Levity

Now that I have officially entered my 6th month of pregnancy, I’m finding that I can enjoy it a little more (most times).  I’ve also already experienced my share of swelling, indigestion, potty breaks, restless nights, hot flashes, etc.  I stumbled across this surely already famous tumblr account called Pregnant Husband and it made me laugh so very hard, mainly because so much of what he posts is so relatable.

In fact, I did this just last night:

When my pregnant wife is going to bed and suddenly feels very hot.

She’s like:

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Props to you Jeffrey Bausch, for hitting it right on the nose.

Here’s one more of my favorites:

When my pregnant wife wants a snack and I suggest having fruit, she’s like: