[Insert Curses Here]

It’s May 21, 8 PM, Eastern Standard Time. From here on in I weep into my hands. (You’re one of my people if you get this reference.)

We’ve had a bit of a rough go these past few weeks getting Mackenzie to sleep and then to stay asleep but we had seemed to turn a corner. And then last night happened. I put her in her crib, she was screaming, I walked downstairs to ignore her and then we heard it. The thud. The end of the cries. And then the door opening. She climbed out, and all our lives are over.

It took about another 45 minutes of me sitting in the chair of her room and then on the floor next to her but she eventually fell asleep. But because this is my child, she did not stay asleep. Enter 1:30 AM. Crying, screaming, and then, as if a lightbulb went off, “I can get out of here!”


And that’s a wrap folks! I have no choice now but to change her crib, her beloved crib, into a toddler bed. How the hell am I going to get her to stay in here? I don’t even know what to do because we all know how I failed miserably with Charlotte. I had both of them in my bed by 2 AM. Everything is terrible.

Did I mention we’re also seriously potty training her? Why not have two huge life changes at the exact same time? We had her naked all day yesterday for that weird naked potty training method but weirdly it’s working? So at least I have that positive?

If anyone has any tips, tricks or just general words of encouragement on how to get this kid to sleep in a toddler bed, please send them my way. You’d think I didn’t already have a whole other kid but I don’t want to fail twice. God be with me.

The Crib Chronicles – 2023 Edition

As I’ve said before, Mackenzie has beaten Charlotte in the sleep wars since birth. By this age Charlotte was already out of a crib and in my bed permanently. Mackenzie goes to bed without a fuss and I would say 90% of the time sleeps without incident. But that other 10% of the time is a struggle of epic proportions. Let’s discuss this past Saturday night in our house. Mackenzie went to bed without incident a little after 7 PM. At 11:53 PM the crying began. Eric and I tried to ignore her but then we heard Charlotte stomping up the bedroom stairs, because of course she can hear her sister through their shared wall. The cries are getting louder and louder. She is now screaming MOMMY HELP ME over and over. Eric turns the fan on to drown her out and I angrily stomp into her room to try and deal with this situation. Here is what followed:

“I need a drink.” We go downstairs for a drink. I tell her we are going back up and I will hold her for a bit and then she has to go back to sleep in her crib. “Mommy hold me five minutes and then after hold me four minutes.” I am holding her and she begins whispering things to me. “Take me to grandma Lena’s house. Put on the light. Me want grandma Lena’s pizza. Me want to play with the dough.” It is after midnight child. Grandma Lena is not making any pizza at this hour! I tell her she has to go to bed and we’ll call about the pizza tomorrow. “Hold me five minutes! Me want a treat tomorrow!” I end up staying in the damn room for 45 minutes and tell her it’s time to go back to sleep. She says “night night mommy” and I assume this is all over now. I go back upstairs and see Charlotte has completely overtaken my side of the bed and then I hear the screaming begin anew. Mackenzie is now filled with a rage of a thousand burning suns. She is screaming “MOMMY COME HERE! COME HERE NOW!” She is standing up with head thrown back yelling into the void. And now she starts to scream “MOMMY I HATE YOU” over and over, which is really just such a delight. I was this close to speaking back into the monitor and telling her I hate you too but I don’t think that would have helped matters all that much. By this point it is after 1 AM. I am tired. I am angry. I am done with her shit. She starts asking to come into my room, which would be an absolute comedy show. We have a queen sized bed (we really should just get a king at this point) and I already have Eric and Charlotte taking up most of it. There is no room for you tiny demon! She stops telling me she hates me and now tells me she needs me and wants another drink. NO! NO MORE DRINKS! After 20 minutes she finally gives in and goes to bed until she wakes up for the day at 5:57. I rolled over and told Eric it was his turn. I am not dealing with her again.

And then last night she slept 7-7 so I don’t understand the rhyme or reason to her antics at all. Sleep is such a beautiful thing. Why do my children hate it so?

Funny Little Things

I had forgotten how much fun the age of almost 3 is. The conversations I have with Mackenzie now are longer, the words are more intelligible and she is just so darn funny. She can still turn into a pint sized demon at the drop of a hat but for the most part she keeps us in stitches day in and day out. It’s hard to convey how funny she is in writing because it’s really *her little voice* that makes everything perfect, but here are a few examples of life lately with Mackenzie Mae.

She loves to try my iced coffee in the mornings. The other day she took a sip and looked me dead in the eyes and said: “not good mommy. Needs more cream.” I put a little more cream in it and she took another sip and said “that’s better! so yummy!”

She loves playing Roblox with Charlotte and sits on the couch with her screaming JOIN ME! JOIN ME! to anyone in the vicinity. She thinks everyone has Roblox on their phone. It’s actually a little scary how good she is at the mazes in the game. She has no problem using the correct controls and every time I try to play I mess it all up.

She responds to just about everything with “oh thank you!!” I was on my way out the door this morning to go to work and she said “you gonna work on your ‘puter?” I told her yes and that I’d be home later and she shouts “OH THANK YOU!” We’re still working on saying please instead of the “GIVE IT TO ME NOW” which is less funny and more bratty, but we’ll get there.

Now that the weather is nicer she wants to be outside 24/7. Whether it’s the backyard, the front steps or for a walk in the stroller, which she calls her “holla.” The other night we were sitting on the couch on the deck and the birds were being very loud. She stood up, put her fist up to the sky and shouted “SHUSH YOUR MOUTH BIRDS! NO LOUD NOISES! NO LOUD FLYING!” But then she made it weird and said “come down here and I hold you.” Nobody is holding birds in our house thank you very much.

She is starting to have nightmares so every night I take an aromatic room spray and tell her that it’s bad dream magic spray. She stands in the middle of the room while I spray it around and she whispers “abba abba abba boo” which is her version of bibbidi bobbidi boo.” It works most nights! Except for when it doesn’t and she wakes up screaming for me and then lays in my bed across my chest like a weighted blanket nobody asked for. Please stay in your crib until you are 21 years old.

She is still talking about Disney and her “hotel house.” Yesterday she got very serious and said: “mommy I have good idea. We go to Disney Sunday so I show you my hotel house.” If you ask her what she is doing on Sunday she tells you that she’s showing mommy the hotel house. She’s going to be very disappointed on Sunday.

I can’t believe she’s thiiiiis close to being 3. I blinked and the babyhood is GONE. I look at Charlotte who looks more and more like a teenager every day and I know Mackenzie will be there sooner than I’d like and then Charlotte really WILL be a teenager and oh god am I in for it. But I just love them so, so, so much and I think the nicer weather is making me realize I am not such a hateful creature and I really just needed some sunshine and some open windows and a breeze.


Dear Charlotte,

It’s hard to believe I’m back here writing your 8th birthday letter when it feels like I just sat down to write your first. Where has the time gone? You’re growing up so quickly before my eyes and I wish I could slow it down just a little bit.

You are such an incredible kid. You’re still shy and reserved and it takes you a bit to acclimate to a situation, but once you’re comfortable you are silly and fun and love to have a good time. You love nothing more than play dates with your friends, doing gymnastics and copying whatever new dance fad is out there. I’ll never understand your obsession with Roblox but now that you’ve taught your sister how to play it I guess I don’t have to get it.

You can be so helpful when you want to be. I especially love when you have cleaned the entire downstairs while I’m putting Mackenzie to bed and have a big grin on your face when I see your work.

You say the funniest things, especially when you don’t realize they’re funny. Like the time I asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up and you responded with “Mrs. Jeff Bezos.” Not a bad dream to have if you ask me!

I love you with every part of me. You make me so happy and so proud and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year. I’m looking forward to your gym show and doing the CartwheelOThon together. I’m looking forward to so many things with you by my side. Happy birthday my Charlotte Shea.

To Be(d) or Not To Be(d)

That is the question!

Mackenzie is a little over 3 months until she is 3 years old and she is still sleeping in a crib. I know that Charlotte already had a toddler bed at this point – not that she EVER slept in it – so if I am going by how I did things with the first I’d be converting her crib by now. My question is, do you really need to take your kid out of the crib if they actually like it? Mackenzie has never once tried to climb out (let’s hope I’m not jinxing that by writing it down) while her sister used to launch herself over the edge like a ninja on speed. She genuinely seems to enjoy going to bed, except for the last week or so where she has decided to scream for 10 minutes before finally giving up and laying down, but I’ll attribute that to the cold she’s had. She sleeps all night (even though she has been waking up at like 5:30 AM, PLEASE STOP DOING THIS) and she sleeps well. So do I really need to think about changing things up? My gut says no and to just let her sleep there until she shows some sign of wanting a bed. I have the toddler bed rail waiting in the garage for her so it would be an easy set up but I’m thinking not such an easy transition? I don’t really need to bring any more difficulties to my days, so even though she is on her way to school in September I kind of feel perfectly comfortable leaving her in a crib until she protests otherwise. I think I’ll let sleeping dogs lie. Or sleeping kids.

Charlotte on the other hand is still a giant pain in my ass. My dad and I built that loft bed for her, she slept in it the first night and then last night she made me lay up there with her for almost 2 hours and then didn’t go to sleep and then cried like an infant and then ended up in my bed anyway while I yelled at her and let her fall asleep silently weeping so now I feel like a shit mother. But I am tireddddddddd of her sleeping nonsense. It has been almost 8 years of this crap. You’d think by now she’d just, oh, I don’t know, lay down and go the F to sleep? I think I’m going to give her melatonin tonight because I am tired and over it. Too bad I can’t stick her in a crib anymore like Mackenzie.

11 days until we’re off to Vegas and I don’t have to worry about these annoyances for 5 nights. Praise be to God.

The Sweet Spot

This is such a sweet spot of an age with Mackenzie that I can’t help but write about it. She is such a little chatterbox and she is so sweet and affectionate and I wish I could stop time for a bit to be able to enjoy all of this before it leaves too soon. Every day she talks about how much she loves us and how we are all her best friends. She thinks Charlotte’s two besties are her best friends too, and if you tell her differently she screams NO! MINE BEST FRIENDS! Whenever I leave her presence, whether it is to go to work or just to put her to bed, she demands a hug and a kiss multiple times. She is obsessed with Charlotte and always wants to wake her up every morning. She wants to talk to her constantly (even if Charlotte isn’t reciprocating) and will just chant “Char-yit, Char-yit” until she gets an answer. She loves to play with her Peppa Pig house and her Barbies and she always wants you to sit and play with her. “Hiiiii, how you doin?” is how she starts off every play interaction, like a little Joey Tribbiani. She talks to people whenever we go out and she always wants to runs errands with me. Yesterday at the supermarket she was telling the cashier about how she has bad dreams about Oogie Boogie at night and as we left she’s shouting and waving to her saying “bye! Have good day!” She is always asking if you are happy and she seems genuinely concerned if you say no. Charlotte has been sick the last few days and every morning she asks her if she feels better. There is just such a caring side to her personality that Charlotte didn’t have. Not that Charlotte doesn’t care about people, but she doesn’t show it in the same way Mackenzie does. When Charlotte does entertain her demands they love to dance together and she is always trying to copy Charlotte’s gymnastics moves. She is probably the most excited for Charlotte’s birthday and will tell you that she is IN the party. “I in it! I in it!”

I just know that this phase will leave sooner than I’d like. I look at Charlotte who is almost 8 (how?!) and I feel like I can barely remember her at Mackenzie’s age. It really goes just too damn fast. So I’ll soak in all of the “I luff you mommy” moments, enjoy the cuddles and the playtime and pray for time to stand still just a little longer.

Potty Training is a Nightmare

Well friends, we are at that time in life where potty training becomes a focal point of my parenting life. I *think* that Charlotte was trained by the time she was 3 – and I mean fully trained – underwear all the time, no pull-ups necessary even at night. While she was difficult with every other aspect of her young life, potty training seemed to be an easy accomplishment for her. I don’t remember doing anything special with her and it was like one day she just did it and never looked back.

Mackenzie is another story. Last week she decided she wanted to go to the bathroom on the toilet. This is it, I thought. We are going to do this! We’ve had a potty seat for ages that she’d look at but never want to use, but this day she was sitting on that training seat and peeing like a champ. She would go every time I put her on the bowl and even told me she had to go a few times! She even wanted to try and go to the bathroom in a public setting, which was the failure that may have led us to our current lack of accomplishment. I bought her pull-ups because she seems to hate the diapers now and I thought we’d be on the road to underwear just like her sister. But now she refuses to go or even sit on that damn Minnie training seat. “No peepee on the potty. No more peepee! I no do that! No thank you mommy!” She has lost ALL interest in it. I hate it because I am sooooo done with diapers and all that comes with it. My mom said Charlotte did something similar (I do not remember any of this because I think I mentally blocked out the ages of 0-3 with her) but I’m hoping maybe she has just a temporary loss of interest and will pick it up again soon? I am really not one of those people who can do that 3-day crash course of leaving the kid naked peeing all over the house. That is not me and will never be me. This is truly one of the worst parts of rearing young children if you ask me.

As of now I’m kind of just letting her dictate what she wants to do. I see no point in constantly putting her on a toilet she won’t go on, especially because we don’t have a bathroom on our first floor (thank you 100 year old houses) and my knees aren’t what they used to be for 25 stair sprints a day. I ask her if she wants to go, she tells me no thank you and we move along with our day. She won’t go for me or Eric or the babysitter. She’s done with it, and for now so am I. A slave to diapering I continue to be. Oh well.

Career Day

Charlotte had career day at school this week and one of the projects she had over the winter break was to make a doll with the career she wanted to have and write a little note about it. I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up and her response was “I want to be a billionaire who gets to sleep whenever I want.” Now this is great for two reasons. 1) That she, the child who would take 7 minute naps and wake up for the day at 3:30 AM screaming “LIGHTS ON” would add sleeping to her preferred career requirements and 2) that she went right for monetary wishes over an actual career. I mean more power to the child for wanting to becoming a billionaire and I hope she achieves that goal, but we couldn’t decorate a doll as a billionaire as a career choice without just slapping a photo of Elon Musk’s face on the front. I asked her how she thought she could become a billionaire and she said “whatever it takes to get me there.” After much back and forth over how we would complete this project she settled for make-up artist because she is really into doing make-up and we also had enough stickers at home to complete the project without taking a trip to Michael’s.

We only had some blue yarn to make the hair and while her doll was looking a bit bald she was happy with the blue because that’s the hair color she wants in real life. I think she did a pretty cute job on it. When I packed it into her bookbag she told me that while she likes makeup, she in no way wants to become a makeup artist and still wants to be a billionaire who sleeps. Sky’s the limit?

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2023, where one of my resolutions is to write more because I have been slacking so hard as of late. We made it through the madness of the holiday season and everyone had a lovely time. Charlotte woke up at 1 AM on Christmas morning and came into our room to ask if it was time. She then continued to wake up every hour or so before launching herself out of bed at 6 AM and going in to wake up Mackenzie. Santa had left snowy footprints in our house leading up to the tree and his milk and cookies and Charlotte’s eyes were bulging out of her head. Mackenzie cried “wash it! wash it!” over and over until I mopped the floors before we opened presents. They were so happy together, each taking turns opening gifts, Charlotte helping Mackenzie with the wrapping paper. I want to bottle these moments up forever.

Now that Christmas has ended Charlotte is reminding me every day how many days away her birthday is, as if I’d forget. I can’t believe I’m going to have an 8 year old soon. How is that even possible?? She really wants a loft bed from IKEA and since Santa didn’t bring it I guess we’re going to have to get it for the birthday. Too bad money doesn’t grow on trees. She is doing really well in school even though she complains about her homework every single day.

Mackenzie is the cutest kid I know. I know I am her mother and I’m biased, but I really can’t stand how cute she is. She talks up a storm and the way she says words crack me up. She still has a slight British accent because of her obsession with Peppa Pig. Every day she says “mommy I lufff youuuuu” in the sweetest way imaginable. If I leave the room she shouts that she misses me and demands hugs and kisses. She is so affectionate and always wants to cuddle and be smothered in kisses, all of which I am happy to oblige. She has a real temper though, and hell hath no fury like a Mackenzie scorned. She still doesn’t want to potty train at all. In fact, she’ll only ask to sit on the toilet before a bath and that is only so she can pretend to go to the bathroom instead of getting in the tub. Bathing Mackenzie is like bathing a cat. It never goes well and someone is getting scratched and water will be everywhere. She loves her sister so much and is always asking her to play with her or hug her and I just melt. They do fight though, and Mackenzie is usually the one throwing punches as Charlotte screams in her face. It’s very loud in my house – so loud that my Apple watch is usually telling me the sound levels are unsafe.

I have been an absolute demon of gluttony these past few weeks, so I’m focusing on getting my health back on track. I’m trying Dry January and restarted my favorite Barre workout program and am just generally trying not to eat 4 servings of burrata in one sitting. Did you know the serving size of burrata is 1/4 of a ball? News to me. Who can just eat 1/4 of the ball? I hate portion sizes. If eating an entire ball of burrata at once is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

Eric and I celebrate 10 years of marriage this year, which is wild to say the least. We are going to Vegas to celebrate with our BFFs and I cannot wait. My kids won’t miss me though because Nonna and Pa are taking them to Disney the same time. My mom said she’d rather watch them in Disney World than sit in my house and watch them and I don’t fault her logic there. Charlotte has no idea she is going and I don’t think we’re going to tell her until the night before. She keeps complaining that she hasn’t been back and how badly she wants to go. She has no idea how lucky she is that she’s already been there like 4 times! She’s going to lose her mind when we tell her. Mackenzie will too but she doesn’t understand it like Char does.

Here is to a happy and a healthy new year – I hope 2023 treats everyone right!

The Sleep Chronicles, Continued.

If you’re someone who knows me or has read this little blog from the beginning you’ll know that Charlotte has always been a problem sleeper. From waking up for the day at 3 am as a baby to napping for 9 minutes and feeling refreshed, we’ve had issue after issue since she was born. As she’s gotten older she has gotten better but it isn’t like she would get a gold star report card for her sleeping habits. When Eric is home at night on the weekends she does sleep in her own room without a problem but I still have to lay with her until she goes to sleep. During the week she insists on sleeping in bed with me. Last night when I brought her up there I asked her why she always wants to come in my bed even though she loves her new cozy comforter. She got quiet for a minute and then she said “because I feel the most safe when I’m next to you. It’s dark up here but I don’t get scared when you’re with me.” It was like my eyes instantly turned on a faucet and I started crying. It makes sense that this is why she wants to be in my bed but hearing her say it was different. I know there will be a day that she doesn’t need me to feel safe to sleep, but for now how can I deny her that feeling, especially when I’m alone in the bed anyway? I might as well take it for as long as it lasts.

And Mackenzie is my good sleeper (please don’t let me be jinxing myself) so at least I have that!