Monday, August 30, 2010

Kids these days….


Pictures are making a return here on the MMC. (Sorry Mom). They just spruce things up a bit.

We got over our week of hand, foot, and mouth disease only to be greeted by colds. That’s okay, though. Finishing off summer with two weeks’ of sickness is great. Really.

If you know me, you know that I only masquerade as a stay-at-home-mom. In reality, I have a bit of a paying job. It’s not usually worth talking about, because I only work one day a week, and maybe a weekend day. And it’s not rocket science, so I just usually don’t mention it. However, over the last 2 weeks, I have pretty much tripled my work hours, along with my level of insanity. (And I bet you didn’t think that last part was even possible).

In my mind, working a few extra hours was not going to  be a problem. Most of my work takes place in the afternoons, while the little one is napping. And of course, I envisioned 3 hour naps. Riiiigghht. Pipedream. And then there’s the 5-year-old. A child that age has no problem entertaining herself, correct? Especially when that child has just been showered with new toys, crafts, and books for her birthday. Wrong. On all counts. Just wrong. Davis might have had one 3-hour-nap day. The other days weren’t bad, but still. Not conducive to a job where one has to spend a good deal of time on the phone. And Ava. Oh boy. Yeah, not so good at entertaining herself. It seems all she really wanted to do was play on the computer. My computer. The one I use for work. She basically just moped around my office (which doubles as my kitchen) waiting for her turn. Nevermind that she has a Leapster, along with 2 other computer-like toys. Oh no, my friends. It’s Mommy’s PC that she wants. (I’ll take that a step further, and tell you that what she truly desires is a Mac. Just ask her. A Mac. Guess what, sweetie? Mommy wants a Mac, too, but we’re still PC around here).

This brings me to the meat of my post today. Kids these days and technology. I know, I know. I sound so old. But really. It’s pretty crazy to think about the fact that today’s kids have always known iPods, iPhones, Wii,computers, the internet, and all the stuff that comes along with that. I have a picture of Ava as a baby with my earphones on, holding my iPod. She knows how to work my iPod Touch better than I do, and has no trouble navigating the internet. So, it should have come as no surprise to me last week, when I walked in the kitchen and found her watching Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” video on You Tube.

Let me take a moment to mention that I’m not one of those moms who drives around listening to nursery rhymes or Baby Einstein CDs. We listen mostly to what I want to hear. Embarassingly, that tends to involve a decent amount of Top 40-ish tunes. As a result, my kids love pop music, and we like to have dance parties in our car. Sadly, this also means that my 5-year-old adores Katy Perry and Lady GaGa. That same 5-year-old can also read and write, and has also figured out that Google can take her places on the internet. So I really shouldn’t have been so surprised to find her gazing at a basically nude Katy Perry along with Snoop Dogg, but still. It was disconcerting, to say the least. The hardest part is having to explain to her why I don’t want her to watch such things. But really, the bottom line is that I’m not ready for her to go from this: (first day of soccer practice, by the way)


to this:

katy perry (image from

So now, I’m having to limit her internet access to the basic, kid-friendly sites. We approve of,,, and I’ve had to tell her  not to go on Google, or any other site I haven’t approved. Last week, she even updated my Facebook status. Next thing you know, she’ll be asking for her own Twitter account.

I’m not ready for my baby girl to be grown up. I’m not ready to have to tell her about the evils of the world, internet predators, and why half-nude pop stars aren’t the best thing for her to see. I like the world she inhabits. The one where Snow White is real (we saw her at Disney….of course she is real), and where seeing the Chickfila cow in person might be the highlight of the week. Ava and I have our moments….the child can get under my skin like no other. But at the end of the day, I love my innocent, sweet little girl, and I just want to keep her safe. It’s a hard job, but it’s worth it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Longest. Week. Ever.

Finally, and not a moment too soon, it's Friday. I think this is the week that has totally done me in. When it was Wednesday, I was CERTAIN it was Friday. Here's a re-cap of the week.

Monday was good, mostly. Pool time with Ava and Davis. Trying to use the pool as much as possible since it will close for the "winter" in a few weeks. Post-pool, I noticed that Davis was warm and took his temperature. He nearly dozed off on the changing table, which should have been my first sign that something was wrong. Anyway, he had a temperature of 99.7, which I wrote off to teething. Oh, and I should mention here that he woke up with a terrible-looking diaper rash that morning.

Honestly, I don't remember the rest of that day. Maybe there was a trip to Target? There often is, you know. And I'm sure there was wine for me. Oh, now I remember. There was a meeting that night for me. So, a night off.

Tuesday. Davis was not himself. At all. I kept thinking, "This is one difficult teething baby! Wow." But when he cried for 2 hours, I figured something was wrong. I peeked in his mouth to get a glance at the molars that he's cutting, and in addition to the molars, I saw sores. All over his lips. On his tongue. And on the roof of his mouth. Then I checked out his hands and feet. Spots. Sores. Gross. Went to the doctor that afternoon to confirm a diagnosis of hand, foot, and mouth disease. Yuck.

The rest of the week was pretty much spent under quarantine. Playdate scheduled for Wednesday? Cancelled. More trips to the pool? Cancelled. Mother's Morning Out? Cancelled. But boy, did I have one cranky baby all week. And naps? Terrible. Just terrible.

And here are just a few other highlights of things that happened involving my youngest child:

1) Bath on Tuesday. Davis and Ava are both in the tub. Davis appears very serious for a moment. Poops in tub. I quickly evacuate both children from tub. Davis gets loose and pees on the carpet.

2) Wednesday. Davis dumps a gallon-bag of Cheerios onto the kitchen floor.

3) Wednesday again. Davis submerges one of our cordless phones into the dog's water bowl. And then dumps the dog's water out everywhere.

4) Davis learns to climb on all of the beds in the house.

On top of that, my oldest child has been sassier than ever. But instead of focusing on the negative, here are a couple of funny Ava-isms from the last week or so:

Last week, we were at the grocery store, purchasing ingredients for her birthday party cupcakes. (Please note that she wanted a Disney Princess Castle cake from Harris Teeter, but Mommy doesn't spend $50 on a cake for a 5 year old). I was looking at the little paper cups for the cupcakes. There were plain white ones, and ones decorated with balloons. I instinctively picked up the ones with the balloons, at which point Ava spoke up and said, "Mommy? I would rather have the white ones. They're just a little more classic." CLASSIC. I seriously don't know where she comes up with this stuff.

A few days later, she was reading Goldilicious. (If you don't have girls, you probably are not familiar with this book, which is a companion book to Pinkalicious and Purplicious. If you're still lost, just bear with me for a second). She said, "How did they color these pages so well?" Before I could answer, she said, "Oh! I know. they went to www-dot-pinkalicious-coloring-dot-com and just clicked on the colors they wanted to use. Then they just printed it out." Riiiggghht. Good theory.

So, long week. Happy hour might have been starting at lunchtime most days. And we didn't call  it "happy hour". More like, "mommy's little helper" hour.

Now, I'll sign off with this. On top of it all, I started training for a half marathon this week. Who the hell am I???

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ava

Five years ago today, my world was turned upside down, in the best possible way. On August 14, 2005, my sweet Ava made her entrance into the world, and nothing has been the same since. I can't believe she's five. I don't think there is anything like having kids to make you see how quickly life goes by. I get sad sometimes, because I can't quite remember exactly how it felt to hold her newborn body in my arms, can't accurately remember the sleepless nights, or the colicky evenings. You can record milestones in a baby book, but nothing is ever as clear as the memories in your mind. And it turns out it's not really the milestones that make the best memories, anyway. It's the little moments. The hugs, the smiles, the giggles, and even the tears. Those little moments that really define your child. And I get a little sad, because every year, I feel like the memories of Ava's very early childhood aren't as sharp to me as they used to be. There is so much going on in all of our lives, that some of the best moments just blend into the minutae. That said, my goal for the next five years (and beyond) is to cherish the little moments, and revel in the things that make Ava who she is.

I thought about this post a lot, and what kind of words I'd like to say to honor my daughter on her 5th birthday. But the thing is, I can't reduce Ava to a mere list of traits on a blog post. She is so much more than that. She's funny, fiesty, shy, spirited, brilliant, precocious, and a bit of an old soul.  She's all of those things, but she's so much more. Most of all, though, she is loved. And she is love, for she has shown me the true meaning of love for the last five years, and I will never be the same for it.

Happy birthday, my sweet girl. I love you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"I had a bad dream...."

Shortly after Ava turned 4 last year, Davis started sleeping through the night. He was six months old. "Yay! I get to sleep through the night again, too!" was probably my first thought. Unfortunately for me, Ava developed a fear of the night around the same time her brother began to embrace it. I really thought it was a phase. She started waking up a few times a night, saying, "I had a bad dream." Rarely could she tell us the nature of the dream, but that's the way dreams often go, right? I quickly figured out that if I laid in her bed with her, she'd get back to sleep and be fine. Problem is, she has a big bed (double), so I can get pretty comfy in there, and next thing I know, I'm waking up and it's morning.

Now, I'm not so cold-hearted that I think children who wake up scared should not be comforted. Quite the contrary. I remember the night being a little scary around that age, and a little hug from my mommy always made me feel better, too. I also remember getting into my parents' bed on stormy nights and getting to sleep there. But it was never a nightly thing.

Back to Ava. All of this started about a year ago. Up until then, she had been the BEST sleeper. She'd go down without a fight, read books in her bed until she fell asleep, sleep until way past was great. Now this has become our night:

-Use every possible excuse not to go to bed
-Read two books. Argue about who gets to read them (her or me)
-Say prayers.
-Oops! Gotta use the bathroom. Again.
-Family hug.
-Sing a lullaby.
-"Hold me for a minute."
-Sit in a chair next to her bed for 5 minutes.
-Tell her goodnight, then wait for the tears to come.
-comfort her.
-She reads about 10 books, then calls for me to come take them out of her bed.
-She realizes she is scared, and asks for books back. We say, no, it's time to sleep. Then it's in and out of bed until she falls asleep. With the light on.

On the flip side, here is Davis' nighttime routine:
-Read two books.
-Turn on lullaby CD.
-Baby in crib. Night-night!

Anyway, I feel like I'm being a teeny bit manipulated with this whole bedtime thing, and I know that if I would just buckle down and be a Mean Mom, then maybe we could make some progress. But I feel sorry for her when she's crying that she's "too scared", so then I end up lying down with her until she falls asleep, or sleeping there in the middle of the night. She's only going to be this little for so long, and I doubt she's going to make me come lie down in her dorm room with her at college. My goal for now is to take baby steps to getting her to sleep on her own again, and trying not to get too frustrated with her in the meantime.

Did I mention that the poor girl also seems to be afflicted by night terrors? Now that's some weird stuff, let me tell you. She wakes up maybe an hour or 2 after falling asleep. She's crying, sweating, trembling, but totally unaware of what's going on. We ask her questions, she doesn't respond. After a few minutes, it passes, and she goes back to sleep, and never has any recollection of it the next day. Freaky stuff, especially the first few times it happened.

On a completely different topic, today is my birthday. I got the sweetest cards from my husband and kids this morning, and they really brightened my day. Turning 29 again has been great! I have a two-night celebration planned. Tonight is dinner at Dos Taquitos (margarita para mis cumpleanos, por favor) with the family. And then tomorrow night is dinner with the husband at my favorite restaurant, Poole's Diner. They have the best, best, best food in the world. Seriously. The world. And they have a kick-ass female chef. (Why is it that women are the primary chefs in most homes, but the most renowned chefs are actually men? Weird.)

I had planned to start my birthday with a run this morning. Alarm went off at 6:15, at which point I debated whether or not this run was going to happen. I decided it would be a good birthday present to myself, so I got dressed and ready to go. I walked out of the bathroom only to find Ava sitting on the floor of my bedroom. Seriously??? I said, "Honey, it's too early. You need to go back to bed." (and adding to myself, "since you stayed up until 9:30 last night fighting sleep). She said, as she rubbed her eyes, that she wasn't tired. So, instead of fighting it, I went back to her bed with her, and waited until she fell asleep. Next thing I knew it was 7:20, and the opportunity to run had passed. Maybe I didn't really want to go after all? Hmmm.