I admit I may have been wrong once or twice in my life. In my mind the thought of taking my 3 and 5 year old to Disneyland was an utter nightmare waiting to happen. I realize Disneyland is designed with little ones in mind, but we all know what tired, hungry, and overstimulated 3 and 5 year olds are like. I took a risk and for New Year’s we had the opportunity to do the Disneyland adventure with our kids. I once said, I will NEVER take my kids to Disneyland, I ate those words…
It was the BEST vacation I have ever had.
First off, we road tripped it from our home in Colorado to California. We loaded up the Ford Flex with the greatest educational toys ever – the LeapPad2. These kept the kids entertained (and educationally entertained) for hours in the car. We had a movie player that was rarely used the entire way. And at the end of the vacation before heading back to Colorado we logged onto our LeapFrog account and downloaded new games and books for the ride back. Seriously I love it when I find a toy that is completely worth the price and then some.
The first night we spent in Las Vegas, Ah-Hem….did I mention Vegas is NOT for children. I remember a few years ago commercials that promoted Vegas as a “Family Affair”, clearly the promoters had no children. We drove down the strip at a way-too-slow pace because of all the traffic and stop lights and let me tell you – we could not get out of there fast enough. Knight was giggling in the back seat while watching the electronic billboards of scantily clad women dancing on screen, he was yelling: INAPPROPRIATE…INAPPROPRIATE. Lets just chalk that one up as a teaching moment.
Rise and shine and off we went early in the AM again (early is the best when traveling with little ones). Only 4 hours to go. The kids were beyond excited and I was an anxious wreck sure we were about to embark on countless meltdowns at Disneyland.
Upon arrival the kids were in complete awe, the Disney tagline couldn’t be more true: The Happiest Place On Earth. As we walked along Main Street the kids were nearly speechless. You could literally see their minds working without them saying a single word. They were awestruck.
Next stop, Mickey’s Toontown. We met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Pluto. We walked through all the characters houses, took pictures with them and gave each character a great big hug (except there was no way Knight was not going to give Minnie a hug, she is a girl and that is gross). Then the magic began. Knight started asking a barrage of questions. Like, where do you think Mickey and Minnie go grocery shopping? Do you think they have sleepover’s? Do you think they go to the beach for fun? The questions were endless and frankly, downright adorable!
The kids went on strong the whole day, without a single meltdown. From the time we left our house in Colorado until the time we returned home – this vacation goes down as the best vacation ever. I feel blessed to have been able to provide this experience for my children. It is a reminder of how precious our imagination is and the sweet innocence of child’s mind.
What was your best vacation ever? How do you entertain your children on road trips?
Is that what I just heard? Oh please tell me I heard those words! Did I misinterpret? No… cannot be. I am 99.99% sure I heard a “you’re right Mom”. This may very well be one of the single best Mother’s Day ever. How often as a mother have you heard those words?
What am I right about? Or maybe it wasn’t “You’re Right”. It was more like: “Wow Mom, I respect you about a million times over”. Actually, I am slightly exaggerating, it wasn’t a million times over but the word respect was definitely said.
What am I babbling about?
Today, Kaitlyn told me how much she respects me as a mother. More so than ever because she is now a mother of an almost 2-year old. She says: “Being a mom is really hard, and you make it look easy”.
I melted inside.
Being a mother frequently feels like wading through mud with rubber boots that are 3 times to big. Impossible to take a step forward without stepping out of your boots in the mud. You tug, pull, and yank one boot and finally free one foot, plant it firmly one step ahead only to have to tug, pull and yank all over again on the other foot. It is slow going and sometimes you are not sure you will make it through. But all the while you know you have to continue, if not for yourself, for your child. You do it over and over and over again not even knowing if trudging through the mud is doing a dang thing. Does what you’re doing really matter?
Today, I know. I know all the trudging, tugging, pulling and yanking was worth every second of all the incredibly difficult times (and with this girl – there was MORE than plenty of trudging).
All worth it. Parenting is hard, its rewarding, its discouraging, its draining, its a crazy mental game with inside and outside influences. You are wrong if you…., you are right if you…., your child will suffer if you… Parenting nowadays with media and information at our fingertips is a constant barrage of do it this way, don’t do this, feed your kids this, or buy them that.
She is right, parenting is hard. You are pushed to your limit and beyond at least 10 times a day. The rewards are unbelievable, but some days you’re not sure there will be any.
And she is doing it alone. Working and enrolled in college full-time is not easy – period – but doing it with a child is downright difficult. She does it, she trudges through that same mud, with those over-sized boots, in the name of motherhood. Because she knows, like I did, inside her heart, its working. Slowly, she is shaping, guiding, and loving beyond what she ever thought was possible.
Over the years I have realized children always love you, even when they think they don’t. They watch you, mock you, and then one day model you. You are never perfect, you make mistakes, you learn and move on. Raising a child is defeating and triumphant.
I love mothering my children, even through the mud while wearing really big boots.
This weeks Kid Quotes:
- Knight: “Mom, I am chewing on my mucus. It’s pretty fun and actually doesn’t taste that bad.” (Um gross!)
- Ann Marie: “I wish I had a penis instead of a vagina.” (um…ok…)
- Ann Marie: “Mom, you’re a sugar mama.” (how did she know?)
- Knight: “Mom, you want to be a millionaire so freakin bad.” (my kids have some killer ESP)
On a positive note, none of the really embarrassing quotes were said in public. I will say, plenty, and I mean way more than any mother’s fair share of quotes, about our dog’s penis have been shared by Ann Marie to anyone with a dog whom she encounters along our hikes. Do they make kid muzzles?
Tonight my heart melted….. Knight’s paternal grandmother just passed away a few weeks ago. It has been a sad few weeks around here. Hubby lost his father when he was 17 and commented to me about how it was particularly difficult not having a living parent in the world. Breaks my heart. Tonight, I snuck in and gave Knight a big ole goodnight kiss. He turns to me and says:
“Such is life”
Then he says:
“That is what Grandma used to say”
I turned to him with tears welling up and said, know what else she used to say?
“Why walk when you can run”
She said that as she watched Knight and Ann Marie speed like maniacs around her house. That was the last time we saw her.
Knight can be a real goofball, but he sure does have sensetive side that takes my breath away.
Got a CUP?
A little background – Knight joined a little league team a week ago. We received a list of all the cool baseball stuff needed, so off to the sports store we go! Hubby, being heavy into baseball in his younger years, excitedly went around the store gathering all the needed supplies - including the CUP.
A CUP? Really? He has to wear a cup? First off, since when did my baby boy grow big enough to wear a cup? And secondly…. Is that necessary?
Not being a dude I guess I am clueless. According to my husband it is absolutely necessary. Naturally, I was thinking there is NO way Knight will wear that thing. He will put it on, feel completely uncomfortable and have a fit before we even get to practice. It would be one of those slow fits, at first he is uncomfortable, he wiggles, and I convince him he needs the CUP. He is complacent for a few minutes, just long enough to get down the road at which time he is throwing off ALL his newly purchased baseball gear in a rage of anger and tears.
While expressing my fears to hubby, he says…. there is no way he will do that. His logic – once he knows he can punch himself in the nuts as hard as he can and it doesn’t hurt he will want to wear the CUP 24 / 7. To school, the park and anywhere where he can make a scene punching himself in the nuggets! OK, I thought……. yeah right.
What happened? I ate my words…. the CUP was possibly the single most entertaining thing Knight has ever owned. Look Mom… as he punches himself repeatedly in the nuts! If I’d have known this I would have gotten him one for Christmas. Best. Present. Ever.
Oh… and it also doubles as an oxygen mask! From crotch to face – like magical soap people. Ewe….
One thing I have learned, girls are princesses (ah-hem, until teen years) and boys are boys. If they can say the word poop, make fart sounds, and especially if they can punch themselves in the nuts without pain - the world is awesomesauce!
Filial Cannibalism. When an adult individual of a species consumes all or part of the young of its own species or immediate offspring.
If we were genetically wired to do this crazy, nasty thing the human race would no doubt have been extinct long ago. Case in point. Today, a certain child whom shall not be named but lets say is under the age of 6. Raced downstairs and ran into the bathroom. I thought…hmmm, must have been an emergency. A few minutes later this small child emerges from the potty, naked holding underpants. I am thinking, great way to start the day – clean up on aisle 1!
The human child then announces: “I had diahrhea. I thought I had to toot but stuff came out. It started UPSTAIRS in my bedroom, so I may have made a mess along the hallway, down the stairs and all the way to the bathroom” (because the tiny tart is wearing BOXER SHORTS!).
As I sat on the couch emotionless and in complete disbelief of what I saw before me, several thoughts ran through my head. 1. WHY… did you NOT go into one of the THREE bathrooms we have upstairs? 2. How come humans don’t eat their young? 3. Do my children hate me? 4. Does this happen to anyone else? Am I really the subject of some kind of governmental experiment to understand how much one human is capable of withstanding before being carted off to the looney bin. And finally I say to myself, just get some cleaning supplies and clean up the mess. Then go on…. like it never happened. And so I did.
Next…. in the car, the beforementioned child is snickering in the back seat. Holding up a finger and proudly displaying a GIANT booger. I say to myself, just get a tissue and get the boogie. Then go on…. like it never happened. And so I did.
And tomorrow and the next day and the one after that I will do the same. Clean it, and go on like it never happened. BUT… don’t think I will forget all this! Like my father always says to me as we are walking out the door of his house and he is handing my children sticky lollipops “for the car”. Paybacks are hell.
I had this most awesome idea the other day. It was one of those ah-hah things that only happen when a portion of your brain has been completely shut off and you are FULLY unaware that anything is malfunctioning.
Hey… Let’s get in the car, drive for an hour with the 5 and 3 year old to IKEA and window shop. Hence, the portion of the brain not functioning. Like really… what the HELL am I thinking? Why would that ever be an awesome idea. It isn’t and by the time my brain re-engaged we were stuck in the middle of IKEA land.
I have been to this store about 3 times ever. Each visit has been separated by at least 3 years. Realistically enough time to completely erase all memory of what a trip to IKEA really entails. Honestly, it is like being in a herd of cattle whom are stuck in an endless, painstakingly slow moving maze. The store is full and I mean FULL of furniture made for short people. I can make fun of shortness because I am short, and if you don’t like it remember that I write this blog and pay for the hosting so I can do what I want.
One thing crossed my mind as we wound through the endless store. What if there was a fire in IKEA? How would you get out? Or more importantly, what if there was a zombie attack? No exit in sight, where would you run?
Oh… I forgot the mention the best part of all. When we finally figured out how to get out, we walked by what appeared to be a child drop off area for the kids to play, SUPERVISED, so you can take as much time as you want shopping! Tell me HOW I missed that one!
Actually they do have some pretty unique items at IKEA. I did purchase some really cheap plastic cups for the kids and spice jars to put all my Penzey’s spices in. So the whole day was not wasted.
Ode to the Seasons
Seasons of love; of red, white and blue; and of honor and labor.
And then, America we get serious. We enter into the Season of FAT. That is FAT with all caps. FAT as in, dear God don’t allow me put another Snickers mini in my mouth! FAT as in: you’ve finished off your children’s Halloween candy just in time for Thanksgiving.
Get ready FAT cause the celebrating is not over yet! Stuffing has a place and it is in my belly. Along with turkey smothered in gravy, yams soaked in sugar and topped with more puffed marshmallow sugar, rolls with tons of real butter dipped in the FAT gravy, and don’t forget then we have pie. You’ve got pumpkin, pecan, and peanut butter. Too many to decide, so in true American fashion you eat all three but not before you open your mouth wide and spray half the can of whipped cream in and then the other half on the three pieces of pie that sit on your plate. The beauty is the Season of FAT ain’t over yet!
Some people think of Christmas as a single day holiday. Let’s not fool ourselves - December is a month long tribute to the Season of FAT. We bake a ridiculous amounts of cookies because Martha Stuart tells us we should. We eat half, give half to our friends then eat all the cookies we recieve in return. We go to holiday work parties where we consume large amounts of food, sweets and naturally alcohol. We go to school Christmas parties and consume more sweets than our bodies know how to process. Let’s not forget about Christmas Eve – another FAT opportunity and finally, the celebration of all celebrations! Christmas Day, where you eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Secretly, I HATE the FAT Season. Why? Because I am a weak minded person. Candy is my particular drug of choice. October rolls around and lordy here we go. Mama’s gettin’ on the chocolate wagon and I am not getting off until my scale scares the living shit out of me come January 1st. I want to skip the FAT Season this year but my kids won’t let me. When I become a millionaire I will buy my own private island. I will call it FAT-NAH -Season Island. I will staff it with a Ricardo Montalban and Tattoo look alike’s and there will not be a single ounce of FAT producing food products on the entire island. It will be every FAT Season Hater’s fantasy!
Tell me the truth, do you secretly hate the FAT Season? What is the item you find absolutely irrisistable?
Remind me why we have a dog?
Tonight I had the fun honor of babysitting for my (ahem) granddaughter. She was toddling about the room while I sat on the step and watched her. She then came over and sat next to me. I notice her hand cupped like she was grasping something. I held out my hand for her and she emptied the contents of her tiny hands into mine.
Bringing my hands up to my old lady eyes to check it out, I see:
Severed Baby Fingers.
DOG! Why! I cannot count the number of toys our dog has chewed up. This poor doll was one of Ann Marie’s last untouched, casualty free dolls. Not to mention what a major choking hazard! The room was baby proof until the dog decided to mutilate toys.
Why do I have a dog?