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!

I find that the longer I go without writing the harder it gets to come back to this space. So many things happen from day to day that I can’t keep up with what I want to write down, and then months have gone by and I realize I’ve never written anything.

We are in the trenches of second grade now! I feel like Charlotte has so many tests and assignments that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with it all. Math is a nightmare because whoever has changed math has decided to make it 1000000x harder than it needs to be. She has a math test tomorrow and every day she has had anxiety about it saying how she is going to fail. It’s so hard to see your kid struggle with something, especially when I am struggling with it too! I have to sit down with her math homework and teach myself before I can even do it with her. I told her I don’t care about the grades she gets as long as we study and try our best, and if we have to get a tutor and try that route we will. I just feel like second grade shouldn’t feel this hard? She loves science which is wonderful, and her reading is really impressive. We’re reading chapter books and she rocks out chapters by herself every night with very little help from me on words. Strengths and weaknesses, am I right?

Mackenzie continues to be a menace and an absolute delight all rolled into one. She is the biggest chatterbox going now and I call her a parrot because she repeats everything you say to her, which is great until Charlotte tells her to say ass. Her favorite phrase right now is shouting “WHAT THE HECK” in every situation. She is very excited for Halloween (she’s going to be Buzz Lightyear, per her request) and when you ask her about Halloween she will say “trick or treat blue pop” because all she wants is a blue lollipop, so if any houses in Westerleigh can stock up on blue pops that would be great! We have a trunk or treat on Friday and a Halloween party on Saturday, so I think the chances of her getting a blue pop even before Monday are strong.

The two of them together are just the sweetest thing when they aren’t fighting and screaming at one another. Mackenzie hugs and kisses Charlotte goodbye every morning and looks forward to playing with her when she gets home. They play with Mackenzie’s figures together, or cook at the play kitchen and pretend to feed their dolls and Charlotte is teaching Mackenzie how to play Roblox on the iPad, which is a game I will never understand. They are exhausting and wonderful and fun. I feel like we’re in a really good groove right now so I’m hoping nothing comes along to screw that up, even though I know the second things start to feel good and easy is when something changes and BAM everything is terrible. But we’ll enjoy it while it lasts!

Hello Again!

Happy end of September! It has been so long since I have last written. We are fully in the swing of school being back in session and I have just been chosen as a class parent! It remains to be seen whether or not I made a mistake, but I put my name down for the sole reason of being allowed into the school. Since COVID was in full bloom when Charlotte started schooling I have never actually stepped foot into the building, so this was an easy way to get in there and see what it’s all about. I get to go to a class parent meeting tomorrow in the auditorium! WHAT AN EXCITING TIME!!! Maybe? We’ll see.

Charlotte told me yesterday she got her name on the BINGO board, which means she is one step closer to being Student of the Month. She is DYING to be Student of the Month. She has her first math test tomorrow and she is stressing the hell out because she doesn’t want a bad grade which would get her out of the running. Nothing like starting performance anxiety in kids at a young age, am I right? I don’t particularly care one way or another if she is Student of the Month, but because it is so important to her I am trying to help her realize she can achieve her goals. Also, the ceremonies are in person again, so that’s another way for me to get my butt inside the building. Can you tell I really want to see the school?

Mackenzie has become an incredible chatter box. The child does not stop talking from the second she wakes up to the second she goes to sleep. She is absolutely obsessed with Halloween and asks multiple times a day to go on a walk to see the Halloween decorations around the neighborhood. Some of them scare her so we walk on the opposite side of the street as she shouts “no way no way!” My dad is with her today while I am at work and the second he walked in the door she started in with “big stroller Halloween!” She also started her day at 4:45 AM asking for baby waffles and syrup, so I bet she falls asleep on her Halloween walk. Lord knows I’d love to fall asleep right now. Also, if you ask her what she wants to be for Halloween she will either tell you Buzz Lightyear, Barbie or a big werewolf. She says werewolf like Beowulf though, and it makes me laugh every time.

I feel like the months are going faster than they normally do and the girls are growing at a rapid rate. Sometimes I look at them and can’t believe how big they have gotten. Charlotte is so incredibly tall and her face has lost any shadow of baby that she had last year. It’s like I am getting a glimpse into what she will look like as an adult, and I don’t like it too much. Her favorite compliments are when you tell her how grown up she looks, and I got her to wear a jean jacket yesterday by saying it made her look like a teenager. She is in such a rush to grow up. She told me that she is going to have a 5 floor mansion when she is 24 years old and it will have a disco room, a makeup room, a spa and 7 bedrooms. She told me I could stay in a bedroom sometimes but that because I already have a house I don’t need hers. I told her that her house sounds a hell of a lot better than mine, and she said “that’s because it is.” Then she said she would have two kids the same years apart as she and her sister and they could take turns switching bedrooms. She also said she is not having a husband because she is “not in the mood to deal with that.” My conversations with her get funnier and funnier I tell you.

This is truly my favorite time of year. I love the weather, I love the fall decor, I love how happy I feel in the fall. I love the excitement of all the holiday times to come, especially now that Mackenzie is really engaged with decorations and such. If she loves the Halloween decorations this much I imagine she will love the Christmas lights even more. They drive me crazy, but I have to say I have been loving these girls of mine a little extra lately. Come back tomorrow when I’m ready to run away again though!

The Great Unfollow

Yesterday I went on my Instagram and started unfollowing all the accounts that do nothing for me and let me tell you, it was very liberating. The majority of them were mom and family related accounts that stopped being funny and started being too preachy. I like my mom accounts to say horrible things about their kids, you know? I don’t want to sign on to Instagram while I’m hiding from my children and see “you got this mama!” and “this too shall pass!” and “you’ll miss these days when they’re gone!” Because let me tell you, on any given day, I do NOT got this, this isn’t PASSING FAST ENOUGH and no, I don’t think I will miss the days of Mackenzie screaming like a wounded pterodactyl in IKEA loud enough that some woman muttered “Jesus Christ” as she passed us, thank you very much. I mean sure, sometimes I need a motivational quote to get me through the day, but most of the time I like to see everyone else losing their mind like I am. I want to see a mom going live from the inside of her closet binge eating Twizzlers and rocking back and forth like a psych ward patient. I want someone else to tell me that their toddler also has super long nails because she also can’t figure out a way to cut them without blood or injury. I want to see you say that this is HARD and it SUCKS and we all daydream about a solo vacation where nobody is screaming mommymommymommy. I don’t want inspirational recognition for being a “warrior” and to be reminded that “the days are long but the years are short.” I KNOW THE YEARS ARE SHORT. BUT THE MADNESS IS NEVER ENDING.

I look at Charlotte now and I can barely remember her at Mackenzie’s age. I don’t need to be reminded on Instagram about how fleeting time is. Our kids are a daily reminder of that. So when I see some crap online like, “you’ll never know the last time you pick them up is going to be the last time” I kind of want to scream. For one, I had to hold Mackenzie so long the other day that she pinched a nerve in my wrist and I could barely use it for the remainder of the day, so I kind of WISH that was the last time, you know? And two, Charlotte is almost as tall as I am and she is still launching herself on me to be held, so this isn’t over yet. My body is a constant human jungle gym. I am always holding someone or being held onto, so sue me for not wanting to be touched for a bit.

Also, I had to unfollow every single toddler food account I was following because what started out as a way to get inspiration to feed these kids has only become an absolute gut punch every time I realize Mackenzie is eating pancakes with food coloring that I have to use in order for her to eat them for the billionth time and I see kids eating a plethora of healthy, homemade meals, I would only feel bad about myself. So F that. No more toddler food accounts, this is a preservative filled zone.

Now my Instagram is filled with food, dogs, and people complaining about motherhood. All my favorite things.

August Blues

I can’t believe it is already August and school is right around the corner. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to getting Charlotte out of the house for many hours 5 days a week again, but man, I am not looking forward to the school schedule. The lunches, the homework, the bedtime. Summer is just so much easier and more relaxed. When I get home from work I don’t have to worry about getting everything ready for the next day or fight with her to get in bed so she isn’t cranky the next day. There isn’t homework to do or check or whine about. I love the easiness of work nights in the summer and I’ll miss them when they’re gone. We have to buy all of her supplies and I am delaying it because I don’t want to go back to the routine and stress of the hours of 5-9 PM during the week. We are still waiting for her class assignment and every day she asks me if I know who her teacher is or if her BFFs are in her class. She had the same teacher for kindergarten and first grade so she is a little nervous about getting a new teacher. She asked me if her teacher is mean if she can just go into a different classroom and when I told her it didn’t work that way she got annoyed. “Can’t you just text them and ask them to move me?” Sorry kiddo, it doesn’t work like that! I also have to drill it into her head that she cannot continue to wear the same pair of unicorn leggings that have a gigantic hole in the knee that she has been living in since June. Lord help us.

I think next year is when I can send Mackenzie to 3K and I will probably have to pry her off my body to get into whatever building she goes to but that kid is going to school the second she can. I swear she would climb back inside me if she could. I don’t want to rush time since it goes faster than I’d like anyway, but the thought of a day off from work when BOTH of them are in a school building?? That will be HEAVEN. It will be Bravo marathons all day! Hot coffee! Full meals! What glorious times await me!

10 Reasons Why Mackenzie is Crying

  1. She asked for macaroni so I gave her macaroni.
  2. She asked for cream cheese on toast so I gave her cream cheese on toast.
  3. She doesn’t want a wet diaper on but doesn’t want a diaper change or to attempt potty training.
  4. It’s nap time.
  5. It’s bed time.
  6. It’s mommy goes to work time.
  7. It’s mommy has to pee time.
  8. She wants to go into the pool but doesn’t want anyone other than me to go in the pool with her even though we have a pool large enough for like, 50 people.
  9. She broke a crayon and I can’t put the top of it back on for her.
  10. Her sister touched me in passing.

I really forgot how terrible the terrible twos are. Jesus take the wheel.

Important Lessons

The other day I was driving home with the girls when Charlotte requested the Spice Girls. I obliged, because who doesn’t love the Spice Girls? Charlotte started telling Mackenzie all of the their names (I taught her well.) and their Spice Girl persona. I really, really wish I wasn’t driving so I could have recorded their exchange.

Charlotte: Now there is Mel B! Can you say Mel? Can you say Mel B?

Mackenzie: B! B!

Charlotte: Very good Kenz! You’re so smart! You’re the smartest baby we should put you in school right now!

Mackenzie: MEL! B!

Charlotte: MOMMY! DID YOU HEAR! SHE CAN SAY MEL B SHE CAN SAY IT!

It was the freaking cutest thing ever. Charlotte felt like a rock star for teaching her the important lesson of who the Spice Girls are and Mackenzie was excited just to be included. They went back to fighting each other when we got home, but for these 5 minutes we were all united in our love of Baby, Sporty, Scary, Ginger & Posh. Zig a zig AH!

Hello Again!

Well it’s been quite some time since I’ve written anything. That’s not for lack of material but lack of time or mental capacity to do so. Mackenzie is capital T Terrible Two. When I am at home the kid is on me like white on rice and does not leave me alone for anything. It is a constant battle of UPPIE UPPIE, where she climbs my body until I hold her all day long, and then meltdown city over the smallest things. Yesterday she had an absolute stroke because the coffee box had a donut on the outside and she thought there were donuts on the inside and when there were only k-cups she lost her mind. You never know when she will be set off. I try to discipline her but how do you discipline a two year old? Charlotte made her a time out corner once and that lasted all of 3 seconds. She tried to block her in with box covers but it didn’t work. Charlotte suggested a dog crate and I’m no longer opposed to the idea.

We went on “vacation” last week. Mackenzie continued her trend of not sleeping anywhere that isn’t her home. She was up ALL NIGHT the first night, which meant I was up all night, which meant everyone was cranky and tired and it was a bad time. Was there fun had? Sure. Am I running out the door for another “vacation” any time soon? Absolutely not. I am a firm believer that there is absolutely no such thing as vacation with kids until they get older. When they are little it is just parenting in a different setting. Everything is the same, except you’re spending more money and trying to do fun things even though you are hot and tired and miserable. At least at home I am likely to spend less money.

Charlotte finished first grade last week (what?!) and has never been happier. She was on the Principal’s List and got the Oreo Award for being sweet on the inside and the outside so we wee very proud of her. The day she got home from her last day of school she asked me if she could do all of her summer work “to get it over with.” She started camp yesterday and had a great time. She only goes 3 days a week for 3 hours but I think that’s just enough for her. I came back to work today and she video chatted me 3 times asking when it was time for camp, so I guess that’s a good sign. She made a bracelet yesterday and told me to bring it to work so that “you never forget me.” Which is super sweet but also how could I ever forget her??? I’ll tell you what though, getting back on that Express Bus this morning felt more like a vacation than my time off work. There was nothing but my music and my book. Absolute peace. Absolute joy. I love my kids but hot damn did I need a break from them.

I hope everyone out there is having a great summer so far. We are so busy the next few weekends but with all good things. It feels like once the 4th of July passes summer just flies on by.

Two.

Dear Mackenzie,

Today you are two! We have been asking you every day, how old is Mackenzie going to be? And you would happily respond with “DOOOO” and the day is here! These two years have gone by in an instant. It feels like yesterday you were a tiny baby and now you’re running and jumping and swimming and saying new words every day. It is so fun to watch you grow and see your personality shine through. You are so very funny and always manage to get a laugh out of everyone around you. You love to march around the house, dance to Lizzo or stand by the back door and scream “aaahh pooolllll” over and over until someone takes you into the water. You have a temper and you’re stubborn, but you’re my daughter so I guess that’s to be expected. You are incredibly sweet and loving and your big squeezes and kisses are the best part of my day. You could be nicer to your sister so we will work on that this year. Just a little less screaming in her face and a little more loving, ok?

You are the perfect person to complete our family. We love you so much our Kenzie girl. Happy birthday baby! Today we will go for ice cream and pizza and Starbucks, all your favorite things! We love you forever and ever and ever our sweet, silly, curly haired baby girl.

The Clothes Wars, Part 760 million

If you’ve followed along in this blog before you’ll be quite familiar with the issues Charlotte has with clothes. They have yet to resolve themselves but I’ve gotten better with letting her wear what she wants (within reason). The child doesn’t make any sense with her fashion choices. In the winter she wanted to wear summer dresses and now that it is summer she won’t wear them. Yesterday she came downstairs in a pair of black biker shorts and a heavy fuzzy sweatshirt that she refused to wear when it was cold. I understand nothing. I’ve honestly spent a small fortune on clothes she doesn’t wear, and I have saved ALL OF THEM because I insisted they would go on her sister. Surely the second one would be easier, right? Right?!

Wrong.

While Mackenzie is no where near as difficult as Charlotte is or was at the age of 2 (remember when Charlotte refused to wear anything but a diaper and a boy’s green spring rain jacket? I sure do.) she is starting to assert her dominance when it comes to outfits. She isn’t a fan of khaki shorts (who is though?) and she doesn’t like halter top or two piece bathing suits. But the real kicker is if anything has ANY tulle on it whatsoever she won’t even let me attempt to get it on her. Example: for her birthday party I bought her the cutest little Cat and Jack dress from Target. It isn’t frilly at all so I thought it was a go. The top was a plain tank top and there was some tulle on the bottom but it was only one layer so I thought we’d be fine. We weren’t fine. I couldn’t even get it near her to put it on her head. NO NO NO came the shouts. And then when everyone was over my house and I tried again, thinking she’d be distracted, she took the dress out of my hands and THREW IT IN THE GARBAGE. Just casually walked over and TOSSED IT. I really don’t know why I waste my money. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right? I’m insane.

Maybe it’s time I bring out the green jacket again.