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Trick or Treat!

I hope everyone had the best Halloween!  I have to say, year after year, my social media feeds are filled with more and more kids, and I absolutely adore looking at each and every post.  There’s just something about kids in costumes that make you smile.  Charlotte didn’t want to wear her princess dress and chose to be Doc McStuffins, which is fine because she’s worn the princess dress enough that I feel like I didn’t waste all of my money on it.  At first she didn’t want to go out and trick or treat because she was having a great time sitting on the stoop with Eric handing out candy.  When I was walking home from the bus stop I heard her shouting “TRICK OR TREAT MOMMY! Here is some candy for you!!”

I don’t think we could have gotten better weather this year.  What a gorgeous night to be outside! We ended up doing the most trick or treating on what will be our new block of our new house.  Eric and I got really excited about this because almost every house was decorated and all of our soon to be new neighbors were just hanging out outside, handing out candy, some drinking beers.  We even stopped by our new house and the sellers were outside and said to us, “aren’t you buying our house?!”  I thought it would be weird, but it wasn’t weird at all, and I am just getting more and more excited about living on that block and in that neighborhood.

I have to say I love Halloween for the kids, but I really love Halloween for my husband.  There’s nothing like watching him getting more excited than all the kids to get candy.  When Charlotte got tired he was going up to houses by himself with her candy bag.  One woman had to ask him if he was trick or treating for himself or for a kid, which was just the best.

All in all, it was a great night.  Eric and I said that every year Charlotte is getting better.  At least this year she wore a costume!!

And now I guess it’s Christmas time?  TIME TO BUY PRESENTSSSSSSSS.

Much Needed Getaway

HEELLLLOOOOO THERE.  Well, Eric and I are back from Vegas and Charlotte is back from Disney.  Post vacation depression is real, my friends.  When we were driving back to get Charlotte on Friday night, I was really afraid that I would just be upset about no longer being away and stuck with mom duties again.  But I will tell you that the best thing to make you appreciate your kid is to get the hell away from them for a while.  Reuniting with Charlotte was honestly the BEST.  She was up very late the night we got home but it was great.  She just kept hugging me and kissing me and playing with all of her toys like she had been away from them for the longest time.  She told me Disney stories, and when I told her to lay down and get ready for bed I heard her singing to Tom “my mommy is here, my mommy is here!” And I just melted into a puddle.  I hugged her soooo tightly that night and the joy continued on Saturday.  I was so, so happy to be home with her.

AND THEN LAST NIGHT ROLLED AROUND.  It takes barely any time to revert back into the perpetually exhausted person I always am.  She fell asleep around 6:30 in the car on the way home from my grandma’s, which is usually safe but last night was the kiss of damn death.  She woke up the second I parked the car and stayed awake until like 1 AM.  Screaming, crying, fighting.  I wanted to run away and never return.  The joy of our reunion was gone.  She was back to being a pain.  I AM TIRED ALL OVER AGAIN.  IT’S LIKE I NEVER EVEN WENT AWAY!!!

I’m over it though.  Because that’s just the way it is.  We have our good times filled with kisses and hugs and happiness and we have our bad times where we wish we were back in Vegas and not tending to the needs of a small child who refuses to go the F to sleep.  I should be thankful for my time away from her, and I am, but home girl better get it together tonight.

Questions Constantly

I’ve come to realize life with a 3 and a half year old is just an endless stream of questions.  From the minute she wakes up to the minute she goes to bed, Charlotte is asking me questions constantly.  When she hobbles out of bed, her first question is “who is coming today?” followed by “am I going to school?”  That segways into “what day is it?” followed by “can we sing the days of the week song?”  Then she will ask me if she has to wear pants, because that is always an important topic on her mind.  This morning I was running late and she was giving me a hard time about pants so I let her wear shorts because I’ve had it up to here with early morning fights.  The second she got outside she told me she was cold and I laughed in her face.  A note about the pants – I’d like to point out she puts pants on for everyone else but me, so that’s fun.

When I get home from work she asks me how I got home.  She asks me what color the bus was and how many people were on it.  Then she asks me to play with her and asks me when we are going to Sesame Place again, even though we went twice in less than a month.  The answer is never, Charlotte. If I had it my way, we’d never go back to Sesame Place.

When it’s time for bed that’s when the fun questions come out to play.  “Why is it night time? Where is the sun? Why do I have to sleep?”  And, my personal favorite…

“Who made me?”

I really thought we’d have more time before that particular question came into play, but she asks it constantly.  I tell her that mommy, daddy and God made her.  Then she asks who made daddy, who made mommy, who made her grandparents, until finally we get to “who made spiders?” And then she tells me “I KNOW. MOMMY SPIDER DADDY SPIDER AND GOD SPIDER.”

So we end our nights with God spider.  Which is really not how I imagined bedtime stories with my kid, but nothing about parenting is how I imagined it to be if I’m honest.

A Dog Named Tom

Charlotte was never one of those babies that had a special stuffed animal or a blanket or even a pacifier.  We have had an abundance of stuffed animals since she was born but she never really took to any of them and although she sometimes played with her stuffed animals or baby dolls, she could pretty much take them or leave them.  That is until she met Tom.

Tom is a pink and white stuffed dog that we have had since she was born.  Tom was always in the stuffed animal holder we kept over her bedroom door.  I don’t think Charlotte every picked this animal up in her entire life, until one day, I guess about 6 or so months ago, she decided his name was Tom.  And Tom and Charlotte have been inseparable ever since.

Tom goes EVERYWHERE with her.  Even if we are going out for a quick milk run for 30 seconds, the first thing out of her mouth is “WHERE’S TOM?”  Tom goes to bed with her and the first thing she asks when she wakes up in the morning is “WHERE’S TOM?”  Tom had to go to school with her on her first day of orientation.  Tom has continued to go to school with her and he stays in her backpack because technically toys aren’t allowed at school.  She tells me that Tom is sad in her backpack but she knows he is waiting for her.  Tom comes to restaurants and she has to repeatedly make sure he is in my bag when she isn’t holding him.  I went out to eat with my mom a week ago and forgot Tom in the house and we had to go back, because Charlotte started to cry that Tom would miss her.  Tom went to Sesame Place, Tom will go to Disney World.  A dog named Tom (I wish I knew where she came up with that name) has stolen my daughter’s heart and it is actually the sweetest thing in the world.

Because Tom goes everywhere, Tom was getting a little bit ripe.  He was more of a grey and pink shade at this point, so last Friday I had to put Tom in the washing machine and Charlotte had an absolute stroke the entire time.  If she could have sat in front of the washing machine and waited for him to come out, she would have.  When we told her he had to go in the dryer she cried so hard and said he would be too scared and instructed my mom to “dry him with the hand dryer!!!”  So my mom stood there and used a blow dryer to dry Tom while Charlotte waited impatiently for him.  Tom is proof that our kids can change on a whim.  I never thought she would ever have a connection to a stuffed animal like this, but she and Tom are stronger than ever.

Char ❤ Tom ForeverIMG-3565 (1)

 

A Bug’s Life

I’ve talked a lot about how I wanted a girl when I got pregnant, and how God gave me a little girl but not the one I had in mind.  I’ve gotten over the fact that Charlotte, for the most part, isn’t a girly girl because it makes the times when she does things like wear a ballerina dress all the more exciting for me.  The fact that she is pretty much the opposite of what I envisioned has really made me embrace the fact that I can’t push my ideas of what I think a little girl should be onto her.  With that being said, there is one aspect of her personality that I can’t really wrap my head around or embrace.  And that is her love of bugs.

If anyone knows me, you know I am petrified of all bugs.  Even flies freak me out.  But for some reason this child is obsessed with bugs.  Especially fake bugs.  The house next to my parents decorated with these giant fake spiders for Halloween and she was standing outside of it last night begging me to go touch them.  We went in to feed the dog and she was waiting by the door to go BACK outside to see the spiders.  She wanted to know why the house didn’t have roaches.  I cannot.

She also watches these videos on YouTube where this guy picks up fake bugs and says what they are and then transitions into showing the real bug in its natural habitat.  She loves these videos.  One day she came up to me and says, “mommy, do you like scarabs?” And I honestly thought she was making up words.  WTF is a scarab?  And then she showed me what a scarab was and I almost fainted.  No Charlotte, I most certainly do NOT like scarabs.  (If you are afraid of bugs do NOT look up a scarab).

Last night she was watching one of these videos while I was watching The Voice (great parenting, I know – don’t @ me) and she was holding the phone very close to her chest.  I leaned over to ask what she was doing and she said “the bugs you don’t like are coming! I hide it so you don’t see.  Look at the TV mommy!” and she pushed my face away from the phone.  So even though she is looking at scarabs and dragon flies and God knows what else, she was protecting me from seeing the bugs.  So while I may not love that I have a kid who likes bugs, I must be doing something right if she is empathetic enough to shield me from them.

The Pinch

I have to say, as difficult as it is to be raising a “threenager” I really do think this age is the most fun I’ve ever had with Charlotte.  Sure, she makes me crazy with her wardrobe demands and her affinity for not eating any nutritious food, but she is honestly so funny and loving that I find myself laughing with her every day as opposed to wanting to crawl into the corner and weep.

An example.  The other day I had to take her for blood work for school, and while I was a nervous wreck the entire day waiting for the inevitable, she was actually pretty chill about the whole thing, and has now turned the events of the “pinch” (as she calls it) into a game.  Last night she got out her little Doc McStuffins doctor bag and told me that I would be the patient and she would be the doctor.  She had me lay down and put a blanket over me and took out the toy needle and said “OK I’m just going to give you a little pinch! It’s gonna hurt but you be OK!” and then proceeded to violently jab me with the needle, so my reaction of pain was not feigned.  She looked at me with pure glee in her eyes (I guess hurting me was her payback for me taking her for the blood work) but then she came over and said “it’s okay mommy! I’m not the doctor anymore, I’m Char now, and I kiss it and make it better.”  She did this about 25 times and for some reason I didn’t get sick of it because it was just SO sweet.  I like how she took an experience she had that was less than fun for her and turned it into a game and a way to express her kind side.  She does this with a lot of things, and these moments are when I forget about the tough aspects of this age and really embrace the good ones.

Also, as an aside, today is “red day” at her school and we, of course, did not have one single item of red clothing.  So I was totally that mom rushing around stores at 6:45 last night looking for something red and could only find one polo shirt in her size that she definitely isn’t going to wear and now I really understand why parents hate “theme days” because it’s so easy to forget about it until the last minute.  Because you’ll spend your night time hours looking for stuff for theme day and then your kid will probably just throw a fit and wear the same shirt she’s worn for the past 3 days anyway.  Fun times.

Sunny Days, Keeping The Clouds Away…

…Or not.

We had the wettest, nastiest day at Sesame Place.  We checked the forecast multiple times and it never predicted what we experienced! Cold with a constant downpour.  I have never felt such disappointment for my Char than I did yesterday.  She has been SO excited to go there – watching videos of the park, telling me what rides she wants to go on and what characters she wanted to meet – for WEEKS.  So to get there in the worst weather and have to wear ponchos yet still be soaking wet was just terrible.  We went on three rides and she didn’t really have fun on any of them, mostly because we were soaked and cold.  She kept yelling to stop the ride as she choked on water.  It was terrible.  We did get to meet a few characters, and the progression of her hair getting wetter and wetter throughout is kind of comical.  Eric and I decided we would stay just long enough to get the Sunny Day Guarantee, so we can at least visit the park again, free of charge.  As we were driving home it, of course, wasn’t raining.  And all you heard from the back seat was Char’s little voice saying, “it’s not raining now! we go back to Sesame?”  My heart!!!  I was honestly so upset the entire time and the whole ride home, but kids are never as disappointed as we think they are.  The rest of the afternoon (and it was a loooong afternoon) she kept saying, “tell me the story about Sesame Place in the rain!” and would ask if we could go back and I was so glad to be able to tell her yes.

But this time we’re not going to tell her ahead of time and instead just surprise her.  And hopefully we’ll be able to have the sunny day that she’s been dreaming of.

Rain didn’t stop her fun though!!

It might not have been the day we hoped for, but we had a nice time as a family.  Before we left Eric told Char “today is the day to make family memories!”  And we did!  In vinyl ponchos.

I ended up passing out in bed with her at 8:30 so I guess we had a full day and needed the rest.

Who am I kidding though – I always need the rest.

Baby Shark Forever

There are some kids songs out there that really grate on my nerves.  Kids will listen to the same song over and over and over again, until you think your ears are actually going to bleed.  We have listened to Let It Go so many times that I am certain I could perform it on a moment’s notice.  When I hear the intro to that song, my stomach clenches.  I am sure my fellow parents understand this phenomenon.

But for some reason, the children’s song that is sweeping the nation doesn’t bother me.  I can listen to it as many times as Charlotte does.  The second the beat drops, I start to dance.  I know the moves by heart and I think it is an excellent song, a club banger even.

I am, of course, talking about Baby Shark.  For those of you that haven’t experienced the joy that is Pink Fog’s (the OG, don’t even come at me with the poser versions of this masterpiece) here is the link in all of its sharky glory.

BABY SHARK FOREVER

I don’t know why I love this song so much.  Perhaps because my body involuntarily bops along to the music?  Perhaps because it comes with easy hand moves that anyone can master?  I mean, when the RUN AWAY portion comes on, I RUN THE HELL AWAY.  Char and I run like our lives depend on it.  As I’m writing this, the song is playing in the background.  I have restarted it at least 3 times.  I will never tire of the glory that is Baby Shark.

I am probably in the less popular opinion camp on this one, but I do not care.  Baby Shark will continue to get YouTube views, and that will mainly be because of me.

SAFE AT LASSSSSSSST!

Crafting

I recently read something online talking about how important it is to craft with your kids.  Whether that be playing with play-doh, coloring, painting, or – heaven forbid – glitter, it’s important to spend that time together helping them develop skills and what not.

So I did what any good mother would do and go to Michael’s to buy extra crayons and paint and green glitter glue that Charlotte begged me for, and I instantly regretted it.
I’m sure there are some of you out there who adore crafting with your kids, and good for you! Sincerely, good for you.  But I must be missing that gene, because any time she asks to bust out the paint or the play-doh I die a little inside.  I can’t turn off the part of my brain that focuses on the mess, or the water EVERYWHERE, or the fact that she is trying to finger paint with water colors and is then rubbing her hands all over the damn place.  The play-doh always, ALWAYS gets ground up into the rug no matter how diligent I try to be.  Usually, halfway through painting, Charlotte decides she wants to just take her shopkins or her PJ masks figures and stick them inside the water glass and give them a bath, so now there’s water and paint everywhere.  And the glue is an entirely different ordeal. I have hidden it and she hasn’t asked for it because the last time I took it out it somehow ended up in my hair and on my back.
I just figure this is the way I was made.  I am not someone who likes to craft on my own, so I’m certainly not someone who is going to like crafting with a 3 year old.  I’ll color with her until she tells me that I’m doing it wrong, but that’s about as far as I’m going to go.  Isn’t this what school is for?  So they can play with play-doh and paint and make things that are already dry and ready to come home, no mess included?  She’ll still get all of the benefits of crafting, just not with her mother, who will bond with her in other ways.
And I’ll never take out the green glitter glue, EVER again.

Remember when I said I wasn’t getting emotional as school was approaching for Charlotte?  Well, the joke was most certainly on me.  As soon as the director of her pre-k opened the doors and shouted “welcome to school!” and Charlotte ran in, the tears started.  When we went inside her classroom and I knew it was time to say goodbye I was physically choking back my tears to not upset her.  I did exactly what they told us to do – I hugged her, said I love you and I’ll be back.  Then I ran out of the room while Eric did the same thing, and then SHE ran out of the room looking for me and begging me to stay while her teacher had to drag her back in and I walked down the halls openly sobbing.  The director saw me and said “it’s going to be OK, she’s in great hands!” And yes, I know that of course, but leaving your screaming child in an unfamiliar place was a real gut punch I wasn’t expecting.  For all the times she drives me crazy and I beg to get away from her, in that moment I wanted nothing more than to run into the classroom and hold her and tell her it was going to be fine.

But I didn’t.  And after I cried into a Wendy’s bacon cheeseburger and went back to pick her up, Eric and I saw her in the playground, holding her precious dog Tom and the teacher’s hand, lining up for dismissal.  And when she came out of class she had a big smile on her face and no more tears.  It also helped to know that each and every child in her class cried and they needed extra teachers to help with the transition of 14 sobbing 3 year olds.  So at least she wasn’t the only one, right?

And now I’m grateful that I never have to drop her off again because I’d rather avoid that scene and I think she’ll do better with the babysitter than she’d ever do with me.  But I’m so excited to see where this year takes her. She’s going to be great, I just know it.

Also, I filled out one of those adorable back to school signs with all of the questions she answered.  It’s in the back seat of my car because when I asked her to hold it she told me I was “so rude” and then screamed hysterically.  So just add that to the list of things I waste my money on.