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Stairway to Pain

So yesterday morning when Charlotte woke up I went to get her as usual. I was one minute away from leaving for work and I had my socks on. I usually don’t wear my socks when I go up and down the steps because it’s slippery and socks and steps don’t mix. And then the unthinkable happened. My worst nightmare since moving into a house with three flights of stairs. I fell down almost the entire flight of stairs holding my child.

I never really thought this would happen because I’m so very careful on steps, but they’re called accidents for a reason and I think this can really happen to anybody. I shouldn’t have had my socks on for sure, and maybe I shouldn’t be carrying my 4 year old down steps, but of course it’s easy to say that now. If you asked me to recreate the fall I really couldn’t because it happened so quickly, but I can tell you that it’s true what they say about your motherly instincts. Charlotte walked away unscathed. Not a bump, scratch or thump. I basically enveloped her into my body and when we landed at the bottom she kept saying “I got you mommy you’re okay I protect you!” So I am basically a hero and you can start a go fund me for me at any time you’d like.

I, however, am not unscathed. I am a disaster. I am someone who really doesn’t get hurt. I’m not prone to accidents and I have never broken a bone. Well, apparently I have broken a bone because my X-rays showed a fracture in my ankle that’s apparently years old so there’s that. Right now I’m wrapped up from my knee down, with a boot on my foot with my unpedicured toenails sticking out and driving me insane. Everything on my body hurts today but nothing more than my knee, which feels like it’s crooked and on the wrong way. I can’t really walk and all I can do is lay with my leg up but that’s kind of hard to do with a four year old. I think the last time I was in this much pain was recovering from childbirth and we all know how fun that is.

Anyway, I’m writing about this so I remember not to wear socks on the steps and maybe if you’re someone who has stairs and children to be extra careful. This laying down business would be a dream except for the child I have to care for, but if I didn’t have the child then I most likely wouldn’t have fallen and then I wouldn’t have a go fund me in my honor.

(I’m just kidding about the go fund me. Maybe.)

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Hello Again

I’ve been a little MIA lately but not because Charlotte gives me a lack of writing material but because we have been busy, busy, busy.  Since I’ve last written we’ve had birthday parties and baseball parades, trips to Legoland and cousin sleepovers, and now heading into Easter shows and a vacation from school.  It’s been a lot of go, go, go every weekend, but it’s been all good things.  We got our patio set last week which has been a highlight of April for me.  Eric picked it out and we had dinner out there Saturday night with Charlotte and it just got me really excited to spend all summer outside in the yard.  We thoroughly cleaned the fence we have in the front of the house too, and while it sucked while we were doing it, every time we look at the shining white fence we’re pretty proud of it.

I went to Costco on Friday to finish getting things we need for Easter and I picked up a box set of Roald Dahl’s books and started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Charlotte on Saturday night.  I wasn’t sure how this would go since the book has less illustrations that she is used to, but I read three chapters and she promptly fell asleep.  She would interrupt me here and there to shout, “BUT WHERE IS THE CHOCOLATE??” but for the most part she really enjoyed it.  Yesterday morning I asked her some questions about it to see if she absorbed any of it, and she got all of them right, so I’m excited to keep reading it to her.  I am happy to be done with Brown Bear, Brown Bear and onto actual literature.  I cannot wait until it’s time for Harry Potter.

Tomorrow is Charlotte’s Easter show at school.  It is 10 minutes long and she said she is never going to sing anything except for Neon Pegasus.  If you haven’t heard Neon Pegasus, please look up the lyrics and envision that at an Easter show.  It should be fun for me and definitely a good use of a vacation day from work.  I’ll probably cry and take 45 pictures and videos anyway though.

No More Distractions

So lately when I get home from work I have been trying to put my phone on the dining room table and leave it there for at least an hour without touching it so I can hang out with Char and not be distracted.  It’s not enough to worry about her screen time so I might as well worry about my screen time too.  But a couple of weeks ago she was trying to tell me something and said “mommy! look up from your phone!” and that was basically the kick in the ass that I needed.  I don’t need to be mindlessly scrolling Instagram or Facebook or looking up recipes for food I do not have time to make during the week.  And honestly leaving the phone in a place I’m not going to touch it has really helped!  Sometimes I will quickly respond to a text from my watch but for the most part I really find the late afternoon goes faster when I’m doing things with her instead of looking at food videos while pretending to play.  And isn’t that what we want as parents?  To make it to bedtime faster?

Last night we went into the basement (and after the hot water heater disaster of Tuesday, Charlotte helped me mop the floors, AGAIN) and we played with her vanity set and dolls she hasn’t played with for at least a year.  She even set up a dinner table for the dolls and herself and she ate her entire dinner while I cooked mine.  I had to talk to the dolls and pretend to be the daddy (she was the mommy, of course) but it was actually really nice.  I did break the phone rule and bring it up during her bath though, because she insists on 40 minute baths and I can’t sit there and watch her try to blow bubbles and then cry when the water goes up her nose for that entire time.  I have my limits.  But the important thing is that I am trying and so far it’s going well.  My goal is to not use my phone at all until she goes to bed and I think I can get there.  Once the weather gets warmer and summer comes I think it will be even easier because I just picture us in our yard playing and swimming every day.  I can’t wait to come home from work and be able to jump into the pool!  And grill outside while she swims!  SWIMMING MAKES GOING TO BED SO EASY!!  I see good times ahead.

Time for your Checkup!

I vividly remember when Charlotte had to go for her one month checkup and I was reading every single article on the planet about the vaccinations she would  be getting and how absolutely horrified and anxious I got with each and every article.  Not because I am an anti-vaxxer (VACCINATE YOUR DAMN KIDS!!!) but because I was so incredibly upset over how she could get a reaction and how to soothe her from the pain of it all.  WHAT A MORON I WAS.

Vaccines back then were NOTHING compared to vaccines now.  Ever since I told Charlotte we were going to the doctor (rookie mistake) she kept saying to me over and over and over, “this doctor doesn’t give shots right?”  And I didn’t want to lie to her so I said what my mom always said to me, “we’ll see what happens!”  She was a champ for the entire checkup and then the doctor came in with the shot box.  I held her hands and looked into her face and told her what a big brave girl she was.  And then I watched her face as the needle went in and she went from brave to, “my mother has betrayed me.”  She screamed, she cried, she tried to rip her arm off.  And then she saw the second needle.  This is when she threw herself off the table and I had to pick her up,  get on top of the table and hold her down to administer shot number 2 and she screamed at the top of her lungs, “I am never coming here again! Why are you doing this to me!” So I screamed back, “SO YOU DON’T GET POLIO!!!!” and the doctor laughed and quickly ran the hell out of the room.  It was TRAUMATIC for the both of us and I’m already anxious about her 5 year checkup where she needs two more shots.  I’m making Eric take her for that.

She did get something out of this visit though because the doctor told her to try new foods and she actually tried peanut butter last night.  She didn’t like it, of course, but she tried it.  And then she cried herself to sleep over the fact that I took her for shots even though I told her that getting polio would be wayyyyy worse.

Weekend Roundup

Happy Monday friends! I don’t know about you guys but I’m really enjoying the longer days even if the weather has gotten cold again.  I’m really ready for 60’s and sunny and retiring the winter coats for the season!  Friday was such a nice preview and Charlotte got to ride her bike and run around outside and I am reaaaadyyyy for springggggggg.

On Saturday my mom and I took Charlotte shopping for spring/summer clothes.  I usually detest this type of activity and order all of her clothes online because shopping with a four year old is hell on earth, but this was the opposite of that!  She had to come with me because I don’t know her size anymore.  She’s only four but she is tall and I knew the sizes for shorts and bathing suits would be all messed up.  It turns out my four year old is in a girls size small, which is a 6/7, and no longer in toddler sized clothes.  So I guess sizes for girls screws with your mind even at this age.  I find it so odd that a four year old is in 6/7 year old sizes, but what are you going to do.  She really was such a champ trying on different shorts and shirts and even got two dresses and two rompers, which is insane for her.  She told me what she liked and didn’t like and even tried on tons of bathing suits.  We have to buy a lot of suits this year because we have a pool (I still can’t get over this!) and she tends to rip a suit off the second she gets out of the water so there will be a lot of summer wardrobe changes.  It was a surprisingly good shopping trip.  Now she just better wear everything.

She spent the night at my mom’s because it was our anniversary and we did what any couple married for 6 years does on their anniversary which is see a movie, go to dinner at a diner and then go to bed.  #Goals.

Yesterday was the BEST day because we saw our good friends from Queens and got to finally meet their new delicious baby which was HEAVEN for me.  Charlotte absolutely adored her and was so good with her that the wheels, they are a turnin’ (just not yet).  Whenever the baby cried Charlotte would run over and rub her head or her feet and hold her and give her kisses and run to get her pacifier.  It was the sweetest thing.  And she had the best time playing with her original BFF so that was great.  A good weekend, but always too short.  And now it’s back to our regularly scheduled work programming.

Parenting Hacks

So about two weeks ago Charlotte got a canker sore.  She had a stroke over it, because canker sores hurt and she told me she couldn’t eat or drink or sleep or do anything because of this canker sore, which honestly isn’t different than any other day so I’m not sure what the sore was hindering in her ability to live life.

Anyway, because she is a wacko toddler she does weird things like lick her feet to get a rise out of me, so I told her that’s probably how she got a canker sore.  She hasn’t licked her feet since.  And THIS is the moment I realize what power I now held.

Charlotte doesn’t want to get out of the bath? I tell her she will get a canker sore.  OUT SHE COMES.

Charlotte doesn’t want to get dressed? CANKER SORES ARE A’COMIN.  Clothes are magically on.

Honestly, every little thing she has been fighting me on, I just use a canker sore as my weapon.  It’s incredible.  Now, no matter what she does, she asks me if she’s going to get a canker sore.  And I tell her if she listens to mommy and does what mommy says, no canker sores will happen.  These have been the best two weeks of life.  I mean I am obviously the best mom, am I not?

I’m just here to share my parenting hacks with the world.  You’re welcome.

Oh man are we birthday partied out or what?  Char had three celebrations and Eric basically had three celebrations.  We’ve been lighting so many candles and eating so many treats my pants seriously dislike me.  I need to abstain from sugar for a WHILE.  But it was all good things and everyone was happy!

Charlotte has asked every single day since her birthday if she’s still 4.  She then asks me when she’s going to be 6, because she wants her teeth to fall out.  She’s pretty thrilled with all of her presents, especially the new kitchen Eric and I got for her, and whenever she plays with it she thanks me for building it for her, which is delightful since it took me 2 hours and 150 curses to do so.  She got lots of new food for her kitchen and every day is making new concoctions and she thoroughly enjoys shoving the fake food in her mouth.  Because why eat real food when you can stick fake wooden hamburgers in your mouth, am I right?

Now that her birthday and Eric’s birthday are over she wants to know who is next, and so the cycle goes.  This kid isn’t satisfied until she knows who is having a birthday when and when we can have more cake.  She always wants a celebration.  But who can blame her?  Birthdays are fun and she knows it.

Man, I STILL can’t believe I had a four year old.

Four.

Dear Charlotte,

Today you are four!  I can’t comprehend how this has happened because it feels like just yesterday I held you for the first time and now here we are, four years later.  How you’ve grown in these four years.  You love so fiercely, and man oh man, when you don’t like something you dislike it with the same amount of intensity.  You wake up every morning and you always think to ask me how I slept.  Since you’re still in my bed (we’re really going to need to fix this one little mama) I usually haven’t slept that well, but waking up to your sweet face and your hugs and kisses never gets old.  I love how you snuggle up to me and yell, “mommy love me harder! love me more!” and even in your sleep will roll over and ask me to hold you.

You’re thriving in school and making friends.  You’re shy, but you are starting to come out of your shell little by little, which makes me so proud.  You love your cousins and friends so much and ask about them almost every day.  You always want someone to come over and love to have a packed social calendar.  “Who is coming over today? What are we doing today?”  You like plans, which is funny for a four year old.

I think your favorite thing to do is paint and color and you think every single picture deserves a spot on the fridge or displayed somewhere else around the house because you are so pleased with yourself.  I hope you never lose that pride in your work, no matter what you’re doing.  It gives me so much joy to see how happy you are with one of your creations.

You love to sing, with Shallow being your current favorite, and I will never get tired of hearing you belt out the wrong words to the song.  Our dance parties in the living room are some of my favorite times.  You’re always down to dance with me.

I love that you think licking a piece of broccoli should have won you a lifetime achievement award and how absolutely dramatic you were when this event occurred.  Every time your clothes come out of the dryer you think you have to do jumping jacks and spin around to stretch them out.  When you’re done you dramatically sigh and say, “I think they’re loose enough now!”  I think you get the drama gene from me.

You are wildly independent and make sure everyone knows it.  You insist on dressing yourself and putting your shoes on yourself, even if it takes 500 times longer than it would if someone helped you.  But I’ll never get tired of seeing your beaming face walk down the steps when you’ve successfully put your pajamas on and shout that you did it.  I hope you take this attitude with you for the rest of your life.  #IndependentWoman.

I wouldn’t change a minute of our four years together.  You make me a better me, and even when I am at my wit’s end and ready to throw in the towel, when you look up at me and say “mommy, will you forgive me?” my heart melts.  I love you more than I knew it was possible to love anyone.  You are my whole heart.

Happy birthday, my baby girl.  I’ll let you pop all the balloons today in celebration of being fantastic four.

 

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Oh, Kids.

Charlotte woke up this morning, looked over at me (yes, she was in my bed – yes, I know I need to figure out how to end this once and for all) and said “mommy, can we get up? I think I had a wet dream.”  And if that’s not one of the most ridiculous ways to wake up at 6:15 AM, I don’t know what is.

She thinks when she has to pee when she’s in bed it means she’s having a wet dream.  I honestly don’t know where this idea came from, but here we are.

In Defense of the iPad

I know screen time is a tricky subject with parents.  The pediatric association or whatever it is called recommends one hour a day or something like that and I know there are people who adhere to these guidelines and more power to you if you do.  I am not one of those people.  I believe technology is a blessing and a curse, but as long as we monitor what our kids can access online (for example, cutting out the Kermit Commits Suicide videos, see prior blog post about that) that it can be truly beneficial to parents and kids.  Now, Charlotte does love her stupid YouTube videos of Ryan’s Toy Review and Ryden & Andy and all that dumb junk, but what she is really getting more into now are the EDUCATIONAL games I have downloaded for her.  And I truly see how they help her, honest to God!  We have the PBS kids app and there is a game where you make your own cookie recipes and then you follow the recipes to serve cookies to customers.  It sounds silly, but it keeps her entertained and it is actually educational.  Charlotte has loved this game for a while but I used to have to sit there with her and help her do it.  NOW she does it on her own because she knows all of her numbers.  She used to have a hard time with the oven time portion of the game, but the more she has played the more she is comfortable with that too.  She’s almost four and she can recognize larger numbers, which I think is good!  In this app there is also a game in which you learn about the properties of things, i.e. what material soaks up water, what material is waterproof, etc.  When I’m washing dishes in the kitchen now she’ll say, “sponges soak up water!”

She also really loves the Daniel Tiger apps and the lessons in that show are really good for kids.  When she gets mad or upset she sings “when you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four!”  The app lets her interact with the different characters and play games that help with life skills like not being an ass.  Daniel Tiger is the best if you ask me.

I mean, have there been times where I let her sit on the iPad for hours so I could watch the entire series of Russian Doll on Netflix in one day?  Yes, yes there have been.  But for the most part I think we have a good balance of technology use and actual play time.  And I’ve also stopped making myself feel guilty for letting her use the iPad because I don’t care what anyone thinks.  You do you and all that.  But Charlotte can count to the number 55 because of a cookie game on the iPad at four years old, so I think we’re fine.