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Hello Again!

WE DID IT GUYS! WE MOVED INTO OUR HOME!! NO MORE MOVING!! NO MOREEEEEE!!

I can’t even begin to describe how happy and content I am.  I’m sure it’s just the honeymoon phase, and eventually something house related will go wrong and I will wish I never bought a house, but right now I wake up every morning SO happy.  I honestly love my house with every fiber of my being, so even if/when something does go wrong, I love it so much.  It has so much character and I get such a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever I come home.   I love that I can do laundry whenever I want.  Not having a washer/dryer for 8 years really makes you appreciate doing laundry.  It’s lovely waking up every morning this happy.  I love the way the house is coming together and that it’s really OUR HOME.

But want to know what I love the most?  That for the last two nights Charlotte has gone to bed in her own room without any issues.  We’ve said goodnight and she has left us alone and gone to sleep.  Yesterday she went into her room and into bed, UNPROMPTED, and TOOK A NAP.  Last night I put her to bed and Eric and I watched television together while she hung out in her room and eventually went to sleep.  You don’t know how much of a big step this is.  WE NEVER GET TO DO THIS.  I usually have to lay with her for 27 hours until she falls asleep and then I end up falling asleep and Eric just shuts the light off and we go another day without hanging out and it’s all very sad.  But TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING.  She wakes up so proud of herself for doing it and we keep encouraging it every second of the day.

We are also bribing her to stay in there and sleep because what is parenting without bribes?  Every night she stays in there she gets a treat.  Like a dog.  But I really DON’T CARE.  After almost 4 years of sleep issues and pretty much co-sleeping constantly for the better part of a year, I will dole out as many treats as I possibly can to turn this corner.  I’ll buy her every Hershey Bar in existence if it means she sleeps in her own room every night of her life from here on out.  WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

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Reasons Why Charlotte is Crying

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these!  2019 is off to a great start in toddler temper tantrums!

  • Because I told her to clean up her toys and she said she can’t because she only has two hands so she cried because she didn’t want to clean up and also because she wanted more hands.
  • Because she isn’t old enough to have her teeth fall out yet and she wants the tooth fairy to come visit her now.
  • Because I told her I had to get a needle in my mouth when I went to the dentist.  (These tears were actually very sweet and showed genuine concern for me so she gets a pass.)
  • Because it isn’t her birthday yet and therefore she isn’t getting a new kitchen set yet.  She decided she needs a new kitchen because we’re getting a new house and the kitchen she currently has only has one “twister” and she needs three “twisters.”  By twister she means the fake oven burner knob.
  • Because the sun went away and she doesn’t want to go to bed.  We’ll never get over this one.
  • Because I moved her Muppet babies at 2 AM so I could have more room in the bed (I seriously sleep in an inch of space because her SIX stuffed animals take up all of the bed) and I messed up THEIR sleep.
  • Because it’s not Halloween anymore and won’t be for some time.
  • Because there isn’t a new episode of Muppet Babies on every single day.
  • Because I told her you have to eat food to survive.  I honestly wish I could give up food as easily as she does.

YAY KIDS!

Happy New Year!

Hi all!  I’m not even sure when the last time I posted was, so I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to 2019!  I’ve been MIA because I was busy, busy, busy!  We got the keys to our new home on December 19 and ever since then it has been painting, painting, holiday prep, painting, painting, Home Depot runs, furniture purchases, painting, painting.  See the theme?  We originally were only going to paint a few rooms but then decided to paint every room in the house, which caused me to have an almost nervous breakdown because we had planned on moving in on December 30 but have now pushed that back to January 14 to give us more time to get things ready, which was the best decision all around.  The last big room to paint is our basement and my best friend is coming to assist with that on Saturday and after that I think I’ll feel much better!  We have the carpet guys coming on Saturday too (I decided last minute to carpet our bedroom and get new runners on the staircases, because why not?) and everything is really starting to look just how I imagined it.  We ordered our couch and our bed and I’m just getting really excited now and no longer feel the dread of having so much to do and so little time to do it.  Now I can just feel dread over the ongoing Government shutdown and the potential of not getting paid in the coming weeks.  New house and no paycheck.  YAY AMERICA!!!!!

Charlotte’s room is the only one that is 100% all done at the house and she really loves it.  The only thing left is the rug I ordered but she has green walls (the color is not what we would have chosen but she picked it out herself and she adores them), and white glittery curtains.  She talks every day about how she’s going to sleep in her new room all by herself with all of her Muppet Babies stuffed animals and Tom.  Eric and I are really starting to think she’s serious, so here’s hoping!

Once things are more settled I’ll share pictures of the house.  Right now every photo I have has paint cans or drop clothes or ladders in them so it doesn’t look that great.  I’m really excited though, and it’s a great feeling to be in love with your home.  Every time I walk in there I get such a cozy feeling and can imagine all of the dinners and parties and fun we’ll have.  January doesn’t feel so bleak with all of this on the horizon!

Just Use AMAZON

The other morning when I was getting ready for work, Charlotte was lamenting about the fact that she only has Kermit and Fozzie figures when she needs ALL the Muppet Babies.  This came on the heels of the epic meltdown she had the day before over the fact that I gave my cousin’s son a paw patrol toy and SHE didn’t have a paw patrol toy and why was I the meanest mother on the planet?  Do any of your kids just think they can have anything and everything or am I the only one?  I try to explain wants and needs to her, but in her mind she NEEDS everything.  Anyway, when she asked me for more Muppet Babies I said, very calmly, “why do you think you’re entitled to every toy in the land?”  And without missing a beat she replied, “because I’m the greatest.”  Which on the one hand is funny coming out her mouth, but on the other hand I certainly don’t want her to truly believe she is the greatest, because she is SO FAR from that.  I mean, I write blog posts about how far from greatness she is.  One day she’ll understand.

So, I took this time to explain that toys don’t just appear out of thin air like magic.  And this is when she said to me, in a very condescending tone, “you can just use AMAZON.”  I was stunned into silence because I didn’t realize she even knew what Amazon was, that using it is, in fact, like magic, and that she assumed I would use Amazon for all of her toy wanting needs.  This is also when I realized I use Amazon WAY TOO MUCH.  I realize that this entire story is making her seem like a spoiled brat (which sometimes she is) but the ending of this tale proves she’s not all bad.  I told her that anything she gets, from us or from others, costs money.  And people work hard for their money, so she can’t just get whatever she wants, whenever she wants it.  She walked away from me, so I thought she was just ignoring my explanation – but then she came back with 4 quarters in her hand from her green piggy bank and said, “now you buy it for me?”

MAN SHE IS THE GREATEST.

Perception

My daughter is sometimes so perceptive that I forget she’s only 3.  Well, closer to 4, but I can’t think about that yet.  On Friday we went to visit Santa at the mall.  She was a little shy but pretty happy so that was good.

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Good old Santa Claus.  Please excuse her shoes – I had to hide these permanently because she insisted on wearing them everywhere even though it is 25 degrees outside.  I told her they went in the summer bin and she’s now wearing socks and sneakers.  So victory for me.

Anyway, yesterday was our 34th annual Montalto family Christmas party, and my cousin dressed up as Santa to give gifts out to the kids.  Here is Charlotte on his lap:

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Still happy, still smiling.

BUT.  When Santa walked in she came over to me immediately and said.  “But where are Santa’s glasses?  I like the Santa with the glasses on.”  It never occurred to me, not for a minute, that she would notice a detail such as glasses and realize that mall Santa and party Santa weren’t the same.  I was at a loss for words, but my mom helped me out and said this Santa was one of Santa’s helpers.  So then later on, when she asked me again about the glasses, I told her Santa sends out other Santas as his representatives to give gifts out to the kids at parties, but the Santa with glasses is the real one and he’s the man who will be delivering the presents on Christmas Eve.  She seemed fine with this answer, so I hope she just gets into the magic and I don’t have to explain anything further, because I never thought she’d be questioning the legitimacy of Santa Claus based on a pair of glasses.

 

Baci is Working!

You guys!!! The Elf is working!!!! Charlotte has been on her best behavior since we introduced this creepy little fella into our lives! We’ve had minimal tantrums and every time she starts to act up I run over to the Elf and say BACI I HOPE YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL SANTA ABOUT THIS and she immediately stops and apologizes. Can we have an Elf all year round?! Fear really IS the magic of Christmas!!

It backfired a little bit this morning when her eyes opened at 6:20 AM and the first words out of her mouth were “we need to see if the Elf left and came back! LET’S GO SEE THE MAGIC!” But I’m not going to really count that as a backfire because it just shows she is believing and is excited about it. She’s playing with her play doh right now, which has seen better days, and I walked by her looking up at Baci (who is sitting on top of our Santa and Mrs. Claus decor) asking if she can have new play doh for Christmas. Also, last night she asked me if the Elf gets cold on his way back to the North Pole and told me to leave her jacket out for him, which was thoughtful and sweet and made me think I’m not raising a future tyrant.

I have to take back the negative things I said about the Elf, because this is actually very cute and fun. I’m not going crazy like throwing sugar everywhere or making him poop out marshmallows and she’s still into it. Here’s what I’ve done so far, minimum effort at its finest:

Yay for the Elf! What a time!

The Elf

Well guys, I’m about to become that mom.  You know, the mom who said she would never do something and then does it.  The one who insisted there would never be an Elf on the Shelf in our house, and yet our Elf is set to arrive on or about December 6.  I know it should have been here by December 1, as per the rules of the Elf on the Shelf club, but I am late to the party and can’t believe I actually am joining this party after all.

I explained to Charlotte last night that an Elf from the North Pole would be coming to our house to keep an eye on her.  I asked what she wanted to name him and she said his name is Baci.  I like that name because I like Baci chocolate, so at least we didn’t fight over that.  I told her she isn’t allowed to touch the Elf and that he is Santa’s representative to make sure she behaves.  I’m really only using this Elf as a disciplinarian, which is probably not the way it’s supposed to be used, but I’m not one to play by the rules.  I know I’m supposed to make the Elf move around and do fun stuff, like poop out marshmallows or get frozen by Elsa in a block of ice or something absolutely ridiculous and time consuming.  I am not going to do these things. (No judgments if you are an Elf on the Shelf fun master, I am just not built this way.)  Baci is basically just going to be the police.  Sure, I’ll move him from one section of the room to the other so she thinks he’s real (she is not going to think he is real) and perhaps I’ll make him sit with her toys or something.  But Baci is basically just going to be Santa’s Gestapo.  Every time this kid acts up I’m going to tell her Baci is watching her and telling Santa.

FEAR IS THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS.

In all seriousness, am I supposed to keep the Elf out during the day?  Does he have to hide after she sees him in the morning?  Why did I roll over for this madness? WHY AM I LIKE THIS?

Trimming the Tree

Hi there!  I hope you all had the a fantastic Thanksgiving and nice long weekend.  We had a great time, starting with a McDonald’s stop at 11:45 AM on Thanksgiving day because all Charlotte wanted was french fries.  She was thankful for them at least.

From there we spent many an hour in the car traveling to the restaurant my cousin works at for Thanksgiving dinner.  We have never gone out to eat for Thanksgiving before, but my cousin is an executive chef at this lovely restaurant in Long Island and they put on a Thanksgiving buffet, which is honestly the best thing ever.  Non stop trips to a buffet table for food you didn’t have to cook? SIGN ME UP.  I have to say though, since I’ve never gone out on Thanksgiving I really want to give a shout out to those that have to work in the service industry.  My cousin was up VERY late the night before preparing all the food for the day, and then had to man the carving station the entire time, from noon to 8 PM.  The waiters and waitresses worked their asses off.  There was a customer in the restaurant who was extremely rude, and seeing her treat the wait staff and the workers that way on Thanksgiving just made me realize that these people are sacrificing their own holiday to work and give your family the best experience.  So if your coffee takes a little longer to get to the table than you’d like, maybe cut them some damn slack?  So my hat is off to those that have to work on these days.  After that we went to my sister and brother in law’s house for more dessert, because there’s no such thing as too much food on a day of being thankful for everything we have, am I right?

Fast forward to yesterday when I decided it was time to decorate.  Eric and I thought we would be in our new house for Christmas this year, but because home buying is a process that usually doesn’t work out in your favor, we won’t be moving until after Christmas.  As in like, the days after Christmas.  Talk about stress, but whatever.  We are closing on Friday though, so at least that’s a plus!  Anyway, we couldn’t have all of our usual decorations out, and our tree this year is a very small tree which only holds about 10 ornaments without falling over.  Charlotte was really excited to decorate the tree, and when we were done (in 5 minutes) Eric and I remarked how ridiculous it looked.  But then Charlotte turned around and said “this is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen!”  And that, my friends, is when I gained some damn perspective.  So what if we aren’t in our new home yet with a big fancy tree?  So what if we can only have a few decorations out, with a tiny tree that barely holds our nicer ornaments?  Charlotte LOVES it.  She was feeling the Christmas spirit as we listened to holiday music and she danced.  It’s not about the tree, and I lose sight of that far too easily.  Our little tree IS the most beautiful tree.

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Christmas Cards

This Sunday, I’m going FULL 80’s mom and taking family photos AT THE MALL.  Eric isn’t thrilled, Charlotte is definitely not going to be thrilled, and I am READY.  I know the cool thing to do now is to get a photographer and go on a fun adventure outdoors to take pictures in the leaves and shit but I don’t like to be outside when it’s cold and I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to have Charlotte tell me she hates pictures and for Eric to not smile.  I’m paying mall prices for mall photos for minimal stress.  Give me a cheesy backdrop of some Christmas scene that will match perfectly with my stress induced sweat, Eric’s pained look of misery and Charlotte’s complete lack of cooperation.  Tis the season, am I right?

I need the pictures for our Christmas cards and also because I realized we haven’t taken any family pictures, like, ever.  I do enjoy the holidays very much, especially with Charlotte, but I have to say sometimes I wish Christmas cards weren’t a thing.  I kind of want to just send out a mass e-mail saying Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, yada, yada.  We didn’t send Christmas cards last year because my grandpa had just passed away and nobody was in the holiday spirit but now I feel like I have to send them again and I am just not feeling it.  But everyone does it so I’m jumping on the bandwagon because that’s what you do.  You spend money on cards and postage and send out cards that everyone will throw away on January 1.  WITH MY MALL PHOTOGRAPHS.  You all better keep my MALL PHOTOGRAPHS.

I have no idea what the hell Charlotte is going to wear, because as you know she vetoes every outfit I choose.  She’s still wearing Halloween leggings on a daily basis and her favorite pants are MC Hammer pants with a Zebra design and I’m not sure that’s going to go with a holiday motif.  I looked on Amazon for Christmas outfits for girls, and every single one is fluffy dresses or skirts and that’s just not going to happen.  I saw a plain red dress in the store the other day and asked Charlotte if she wanted it for Christmas and she told me it was disgusting, and when I asked her what she wanted to wear for Christmas she told me “NOTHING” and the sad part is that is what she wants to wear.  She wants to wear nothing.  Maybe I’ll buy Christmas underwear and she can pose in that?  Are mall photos allowed to photograph kids in their underwear?  That’s probably illegal.

Sunday should be sooooo fun.  FA LA LA LA LA, everyone’s crying.

Kids and Discipline

Charlotte is in this phase where discipline is becoming tricky.  She can be a real PITA and on those occasions where she is throwing a tantrum I usually stick to time out where I just put her in another room and shut the door.  I did this the other day when she was acting up, and after the allotted time I went in to ask her if she was sorry and ready to come out.  She not only told me that she wasn’t sorry but that she still wanted to be punished.  This went on for at least another 10 minutes.  It wasn’t like she was in there playing with toys either.  She was just laying on the floor, not moving, insisting she wasn’t sorry and telling me to go away.  When she came out she was much better behaved and did apologize, so maybe it worked?  I don’t know!!!  Discipline is hard.  I’m probably going to start taking favorite toys away from her soon because that seems harsher than time out but not as harsh as a beating.  Although if you tell me you haven’t wanted to throttle your kids in the middle of an epic tantrum I don’t believe you but I can’t associate with liars.

She’s also too sassy for her own good.  I don’t even know if sassy is the appropriate word.  She’s a smart ass even though she’s too young to know what a smart ass is.  She wasn’t saying please the other day (I am literally forcing this child to say please and thank you 750 times a day, because I want it to be muscle memory in her to ALWAYS SAY IT because there are too many rude a*holes nowadays) when she SCREAMED it at me.  I was taken aback and said “I’m sorry, but you don’t speak to mommy that way.”  And her response?

“You told me to say please, you didn’t tell me to be nice.”

I was at a loss for words, because she wasn’t wrong.  It’s hard to discipline and know if you’re raising your kids right, especially because this age is so tough.  She’s much more independent but is still a baby in some ways.  She doesn’t always know how to express her emotions other than screaming like a banshee, so I don’t know if it’s always appropriate to punish a tantrum or try to deal with it in a different way, like just trying to calm her down and get her to explain what is wrong.  I am starting to use Santa as a threat though, so that is super fun!!