Elf Games

If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that every morning I post a photograph or video of where I have hidden our Elf, Baci, with a musical theme.  If you happen to follow my husband Eric, you will notice that he does that same thing, with a different photo and song choice.  Every day we come up with the idea of where the Elf is going to go and then we fight over what song we’re going to use and who has a better idea.  He won the My Little Pony round with “Pony” by Ginuwine, but I won the Mission Impossible round.  Every day we are trying to come up with something more ridiculous and extravagant.  Every day we try to see who gets better reactions.  THIS IS WHO WE HAVE BECOME.  WE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF OURSELVES.

Charlotte likes to look at Baci once in the morning and then forgets about it.  Eric and I can’t forget about it.  How can we ever stop thinking about Baci when we still have two weeks of ideas we need to come up with?  Remember two years ago when all I did was talk shit about the elf?  WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME?

Eric goes back to work next week though, so the Elf is going to become my sole responsibility again and therefore I will always win with clever ideas.  Sorry Eric.

Things Charlotte Dislikes: Holiday Edition

  1. That she can’t touch Baci, her elf on the shelf.  She stares sooooo hard at him with her little hand itching to reach out and grab him.  I’ve really instilled the fear though.  I love when she does something wrong and she starts chanting under her breath “don’t tell Baci don’t tell Baci.”  FEAR IS CHRISTMAS MAGIC.
  2. That baby Jesus isn’t a girl.  She’s real pissed about this one.  She is not about boy babies at ALL.  When she plays with her nativity set she gets all aggravated that Jesus has to be a boy and she can’t change it.
  3. That she can’t eat all her of Advent chocolate in one shot.  Opening one door a day is an act in patience she does not want to master.  She got around it though, because Eric also has an advent calendar, so she just eats his chocolate.
  4. That I told her she isn’t allowed to change her Santa list or continue to add things because Santa closed his workshop AND THAT IS IT.  The wish list is finito.  The elves are done.
  5. That she has to wait another 22 days for it to be Christmas morning.  I remember how slow December felt when I was a kid, so I get this.
  6. That the Christmas colors are red and green.  As she says, red and green are NOT her favorite colors.  Pink, purple and blue are.
  7. That I yell at her when she tries to move the ornaments on the tree 500 times a day and puts 4 ornaments on one branch and tells me “you never let me do anything I want” and “ARIEL AND JACK SKELLINGTON WANT TO BE NEXT TO EACH OTHER” and “you are the worst mommy ever.”  And then I grab Baci and shove him in her face.  FEAR IS CHRISTMAS MAGIC.

The Lion King

Now that our household has the glory that is Disney+ I thought it was time to start exploring some of the Disney classics with Charlotte.  She’s been wanting to watch Sleeping Beauty for a while so we put it on but she told me it was boring 10 minutes in.  She wasn’t wrong – I was bored too.  So on Saturday when she was a bit under the weather, I decided it was time to watch The Lion King.

I put it on and she asked the usual questions.  Who is that, who is this, how old is he, when was he born, where does he live, is Jabba the Hutt going to be on Pride Rock.  THE USUAL.  Then we got to ” I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and she tried to sing it immediately (she kept singing “oh I just can’t wait to be there”) and then it was time.  You know what time I mean.  It was time for Mufasa to die.  Anyone who has seen this movie knows how heart wrenching this is.  I start to cry the second the stampede starts.  I cry harder when Scar digs his nails into Mufasa’s paws and sneers “long live the king.”  I cry the hardest when Simba goes up to Mufasa’s dead body and asks him to wake up and then curls up under him.  IT IS TOO MUCH I TELL YOU. TOO MUCH.  So I was a little worried about how Charlotte was going to handle this.  It went like this:

“Wait, he’s DEAD?”

“Well okay.  He’s dead then.  At least he’s still got a mother.”

“Can we watch the singing part again?  Is Jabba the Hutt coming to Pride Rock?”

AT LEAST HE’S STILL GOT A MOTHER?!  WELL HE’S DEAD THEN?!  I’m raising a straight psychopath!  Not a hint of emotion!  Not one tear!  She seemed to be annoyed with me that I was crying!  AND ALWAYS WITH THE JABBA THE HUTT!

I’m sure it’s the age and perhaps we will revisit this movie when she’s older so she can properly grieve for Mufasa, but COME ON.  I should show her The Fox and The Hound to really get her going, but that will just destroy me more than I’d like.  She’d probably just ask me when Jabba the Hutt was coming on anyway.

Hello Again!

It’s been so long since I’ve last written.  It’s not for lack of material – we’ve had Halloween parades and trick or treating, school homework fights (WHYYYY), new bed adventures – so many things!  I’ve just been busy or tired and didn’t want to write just for the sake of writing.  But, here I am!  Back again!

In news that isn’t really news since I have said it SO MANY TIMES BEFORE – Eric and I have decided that it is time for Charlotte to go to bed in her own room every night.  Yes, she is almost 5 years old and we are still discussing bedtime struggles.  I know, I KNOW.  But, we’ve been consistent with making her start her night in there.  She isn’t fighting me on going to bed (not for the most part anyway) but she has yet to stay an entire night in her room.  She told me she doesn’t like it because green isn’t her favorite color anymore.  You’ll recall we painted her room green when we bought our house last year because green was her favorite color and she picked it out herself.  Now she wants a room that is pink and purple.  Because of course she does.  I told her if she sleeps in her room all night for an entire month I’ll repaint it however she wants.  This is an empty promise because I am quite certain it will never happen.  I ordered her a new mattress that is supposed to be really good and comfortable and I’m going to get her new sheets and pillows and hope this helps.  At least Eric will be comfortable when he inevitably sleeps in there.

The person who is suffering the most though, is me.  Because now I’m waking up thinking I hear her, or thinking she fell out of bed, or just wondering when she’s going to start screaming, because I’ve been stockholm syndromed.  It’s like I have a newborn again.  WHAT A TIME.

In unrelated news, I CANNOT wait to decorate for Christmas.  I am itching to put my tree up.  I bought a 6 foot inflatable Santa Claus for the lawn.  I. AM. READY.  I’ve started listening to Christmas music already and I am loving the Starbucks holiday cups.  It is REALLY the little things, am I right?

Hope you guys missed me!

Lizzo is Good for the Children

We’re finally at the age where Charlotte is no longer requesting the Hot Dog song in the car and is now requesting music that I enjoy as well.  There are still times when I have to listen to the PJ Masks soundtrack on repeat, but for the most part she’s made herself a running playlist of songs she likes.  Here are the current favorites:

  • Paper Rings by Taylor Swift
  • You Need to Calm Down by Taylor Swift
  • Get Another Boyfriend by the Backstreet Boys
  • Ooh, Aah, Just a Little Bit by Gina G
  • Truth Hurts by Lizzo
  • Good as Hell by Lizzo

Currently, Lizzo is the front runner.  Yesterday I saw her playing with her Barbies going “WHY MEN GREAT TIL THEY GOTTA BE GREAT!”  She knows most of the words to Truth Hurts.  I mean, is it the best song for her to listen to?  Probably not.  But she proudly sings “I JUST TOOK A DNA TEST TURNS OUT I’M 100% THAT” and stops singing, because she KNOWS.  So it isn’t like this is the worst thing to happen in the history of parenting.  I also find it very inspiring when she starts in with “I do my hair toss, check my nails, baby how you feelin’? FEELING GOOD AS HELL!”  She sings it with such conviction.  She IS feeling good as hell.  She tosses her hair AND checks her nails!!! Lizzo is good for the children.

In March she’s got her week to be student of the week, and one of the days she gets to bring in her favorite song.  I will die if she chooses a Lizzo song.  I’ll have to find a clean version.  I’m the best mom.

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

I don’t know about you, but nothing says fall family time like driving out to the pumpkin patch only to sit in traffic and scream at each other over port-a-potties, am I right?  Oh, is that just us?  OK then.

We drove to Battleview Orchards yesterday to go pumpkin and apple picking because I said I didn’t want to be stuck in the house all day (I should have stayed in the house) and because it’s fall and that is what required of you.  I hear your Instagram gets deleted if you don’t have quality pumpkin photographs by the end of October.  Anyway, we went to the country store first and it was a madhouse, which should have given us a clue as to how this day was going to go.  Then, we realized we needed CASH ONLY for apples and pumpkins so we had to travel to find an ATM (WHO CARRIES CASH IN COPIOUS AMOUNTS NOWADAYS I ASK YOU), and it was during this journey that Charlotte and I both had to pee.  We then realize all that is available to us are port-a-potties in the parking lot.  I would rather get a UTI from holing my pee than use a port-a-potty, so this is the part of the day where Eric and I screamed at each other about said urination needs.  So, we go BACK to the crowded parking lot to go to the port-a-potty, and when I open the door Char starts SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER and starts running in the opposite direction.  Same girl, same.  She refused to go near them, and none of them had toilet paper anyway.  So we get back in the car, drive to the pumpkin patch, drive through the parking lot and LEAVE to go get pizza and a bathroom.  We arrive at the pizza place and Charlotte sees the bathroom and, I kid you not, screams with joy. “THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER! THE SMELL IN HERE IS REGULAR! THIS IS A REGULAR BATHROOM!” and neither one of us have been so happy to pee in all our days.

After we peed and ate our spirits improved and we decided to go to a store that sold pumpkins, which is what we should have done from the get go.  Charlotte still thought we were pumpkin picking, we still took the obligatory pumpkin photos for social media and we went home with fun fall decorations that I then had to put a hot pepper bath on because the squirrels are attacking my gourds.

YAY FAMILY FUN TIME!!!!!

A Different Kind of Hard

Charlotte has been at school long enough now that we’ve settled into a nice routine.  She’s going to bed easier (most of the time), lunches are packed faster (good thing she only eats 4 foods!), and clothes are usually not an issue.  She’s happy and thriving and I guess that’s really all you can ask for when your baby is in school full time.  But as the days go on, I can’t help but notice how hard it is for me as a mother.  Not because of the new routine, but because for 8 hours a day I’m not with her and I don’t know what she’s doing.  Now, I’ve worked since she’s 4 months old, so I have always spent more time away from her during the day than I do with her, but this feels different.  Before school, I knew she was at home and could always check in to see how she is, what she’s eating, if she napped, etc., etc.  But now?  I can’t just call the teacher and ask about her.  I mean, I probably could, but I doubt that would go over well if  I were that mom.  I sit at work and I wonder who she’s playing with, if she’s being nice, if people are being nice to her.  I wonder what she’s thinking there all day.  Now that she’s in school, it’s a different kind of hard.

Mothering is always hard, no matter what season you’re in.  First it’s the sleepless nights and the nursing and the overwhelming exhaustion of it all.  Then it’s the transition from baby to toddler and all the drama that comes with it.  Now?  Now it’s giving her to school and to someone else for 40 hours a week.  I think I will always worry about her hours there.  Well, worry doesn’t seem to be the correct word.  It isn’t like I’m worried for her safety or well being.  I know she is cared for and safe, but still, there is this nagging little voice in my head that will randomly pop up and say, “what do we think Charlotte is doing right now?”  And then the voice gets louder and louder until I’ve played a scene out in my head where she is all alone in the corner.  Which is RIDICULOUS, but I guess I’ve always been a drama queen.  Perhaps this will lessen with time and experience, but I don’t think mothers ever really stop thinking about what their kids are doing at school during the day.  It’s just a new aspect of motherhood I haven’t really encountered yet.  Trusting that you’ve done well enough in their early years to send them out into the world to be good kids and later good people.  I hope I’ve done enough.

She does come home and talk about school sometimes.  But one day last week I started to ask her about her day, and her response was, “I’d like you to stop asking me questions.”  And that was that.  I’m so glad the attitude is emerging at 4 years old.  WHAT A BLESSING.

Homework!

We’re on our third week of school and got our first homework assignment!  It was due last Friday! We did it last night! We are KILLING THIS SCHOOL GAME GUYS.

OK OK OK so it isn’t entirely our fault (we never heard the teacher handing it out) and it isn’t Charlotte’s fault at all because she kept telling me she had homework and I kept telling her she didn’t (because I didn’t know!!!) but we finally found out about it and got the assignment.  Better late than never!

Charlotte was SO excited to do it when I got home last night.  If we had more time I would have gone out and got more arts supplies, but we worked with what we had and she spent a good hour completing her version of herself.  Here is the finished product:

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It looks like a hot mess (much like Eric’s shoes on the floor…) but she was soooooo proud of it!  She couldn’t wait to bring it in today and show the teacher and I love that she was so confident about it.  It’s very colorful, just like she is.

We also received her next assignment so we’ll be able to complete this one in a timely matter.  She is really loving school and it makes me so happy.  She’s also loving her weekly gymnastics class and her very best friend from her class is in gymnastics with her so every Saturday is a joy.  Things are going well for Miss Charlotte Shea!

A New Routine Means New Stress

Well folks, it has only been 4 nights of preparing Charlotte for school and I still haven’t fully grasped the fact that I’m going to be doing this new nightly routine for years and years and years.  I feel like I’ve entered a new season of parenthood.  When I get home from work things feel even more hectic than they did before and I am not totally used to this yet.  Now in addition to making dinner I have to make a lunch for the next day, and with a child that treats food like poison, this is no easy feat.  I make her help me, with the hopes that if she picks what she wants she’ll eat it, but she’s pretty much coming home with everything I’ve packed.  One day she ate maybe two bites of something and told her teacher she was saving it for later.  And because she isn’t eating at school she is then requested 47 different dinners and snacks when she’s home.  WHY IS EATING SO HARD! I LOVE TO EAT! JUST LOOK AT THE EXTRA 15 POUNDS I AM CARRYING BECAUSE OF MY LOVE OF FOOD!

Also, I don’t know about any of you but I didn’t give Charlotte a bath every night in the summer.  I was very lax about bath time and bedtime, and now I have to be strict about both and it’s adding to my stress.  When I say it’s bath time she tells Alexa to set a timer for 20 minutes.  When I say it’s bedtime she tells Alexa to set a timer for a thousand minutes.  Last night I told her Alexa should be her mother.  At least I’m getting her to go to sleep before 9 PM though so at least I feel like I’m winning there.

She really is loving school though and I couldn’t be happier about that.  It’s a big change for her, going all day every day, but she goes in with a smile and comes out with a smile.  The other night in the bath tub she was using her toys and pretending they were her classmates and it was the cutest thing.  Last night we went through her Scholastic book catalog and picked out the new books she wants, and she was also really excited that her teacher knew her birthday was on February 27.  So at least I don’t have to worry about her in class and only about the fact that she’s on a self imposed hunger strike.  She’ll eat when she’s hungry, or so people tell me.

Beauty Musings

First, I’d just like to say how much I LOVE seeing all of the back to school posts.  I’ve seen some negativity from some people who weren’t thrilled that their feeds were filled with HAPPY CHILDREN going back to LEARN, but I think that with all the stupidity and negativity in the world, seeing your kiddos smiling faces as they go back to school warms my heart.  Charlotte had a great day – even though I was with her – and she went outside to play without even looking back at me and didn’t want to leave.  She has a shortened day today so hopefully she is just as happy when my mom drops her off as she was yesterday.  Hooray for school!

Second – now this has nothing to do with school or children – but everything to do with being a woman so I’m sure moms will agree with my latest thought.  Anyway, I’ve stopped getting manicures and pedicures and have just learned how to do it myself as best I can.  I never really liked sitting there getting my nails done, although I still love a good pedicure, but I just honestly don’t have the time.  Sure, I could make the time, but I just don’t want to, you know?  So I’ve now taken that money and invested in monthly eyelash extensions, because they make me feel joy, make me feel beautiful, and I LIKE laying down on the table every three weeks while getting my lashes put on.  I can lay on a table without moving for an hour! It is RELAXING!

Last night, as I lay there, I realized something insane.  As women, we spend a LOT of money on beauty related products that men never do.  We pay for manicures, pedicures, makeup, hair products, hair color, etc.  And don’t even get me started on the cost of tampons and pads, which are a NECESSITY and not a want, but that’s not where I’m going with this.  Last night I realized that we spend a lot of money on having hair ripped off our bodies when we get waxed, but here I am spending money on having hair GLUED to already existing hair on my eyes.  After I thought that I felt pretty silly that this is what I was doing.  But then I looked in the mirror and didn’t give a you know what.  Sometimes you have to spend money on what makes you happy, and for me, that is artificial lashes glued to my regular lashes on a monthly basis.  Huzzah!

Happy Friday folks! May your lashes be long and your child’s bedtime be short!