What is this Adventure?

Full-time Mama & Part-time school social worker in the throes of toddlerhood at its best and worst. In my short tenure as a member of the prestigious Mamahood club, I find the reality of it all to be amazing, exhausting, hilarious, challenging, a blessing, lonely at times, nostalgic, guilt-ridden, and the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me...all at once. Sit back, read, laugh and cry with me on my adventure!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keeping up with New Year's Resolutions...

It's fairly well-known that most people break their New Year's resolutions by the end of January, so I thought I would check in and see how I'm doing with mine...

Here are the goals I wrote down for the New Year, Let's check in and see where I'm at with each one:

1.  Lose weight before the two weddings (May and August).
1.  Joined Weight Watchers Online.  Lost 8.8 pounds so far, and will weigh in tomorrow to see how my loss is going...so far, so good.

2.  Go on at least one date every two months with Paul, no kids.  For some of you romantic people this may seem like not a lot, but this would be a huge step up for me...it's a big goal!
2.  Date?  Check!  Went on Friday to a Hibachi restaurant with Paul...it was the first time we had been out just the two of us since Hazel was born and it was truly nice to spend time together.  We're covered for January and February now (although I wont' complain if we go out again!)  

3.  Make a friend here in Dundee.
3.  I joined a Meet Up Mom n Tot group where I met a few moms and invited them over last week...would I call them friends?  Not quite.  But friend-in-progress?  Perhaps.  (although one of the moms told me that I reminded her of "the sister-in-law that she used to be close with and now is not"...hm....some kind of back-handed compliment or was I misunderstanding something?)

4.  Make a few friends for Kieran here in Dundee.
4.  See comment #3.

5.  Kieran potty trained.
5.  No way.  Check in with me in May or June...

6.  Kieran in big boy bed sleeping through night without waking up screaming.
6.  Kieran has been in his big-boy bed for 2 weeks now and is doing great!  He sleeps there during the night, although not for nap time quite yet.  By the way, this morning, when he got up, he actually played quietly by himself for a bit!  It was a new and wonderful thing that will hopefully form into a habit!  After about 20 minutes, he shouted, "Mama!  Mama get up now!"  I figured I would respond since the 20 minutes had been such a treat!

7.  Hazel sleeping through the night, period.
7.  Nope...but she's doing pretty great most nights, waking up around 1 am and 5 am, and for this I am eternally grateful to her.  At this age, Kieran was still waking every 2 hours to snack.

8.  Hazel sitting up, crawling, and probably walking by Dec 2012.
8.  Give it time...but she does a hell of a job lifting up her head during tummy time!

9.  Possible:  Find a part-time gig in school district close by for 2012-2013 school year.
9.  I've been checking job postings but haven't found anything yet.  The search continues.  If you have any leads, let me know!

Not a bad start, if I do say so myself.
Let's hope I can keep it up in February!

In the meantime, after a realization that I am not in many of my family photos, I am attempting to re-appear in photos with my kids so that when they're older, I can prove that I was around, perhaps just hiding from the camera at times.

Friday, January 20, 2012

So THAT'S what a Band Aid is for!

I'm not really sure why I didn't realize this before.
It seems quite simple really.
I knew the opposite was true, and I don't know why I didn't assume that the truths were reversible.
You see, just today I figured out that something doesn't hurt if you can not see it.  And so the BandAid becomes a much more useful object than one once may have imagined pre-kiddos.

Here are a few pictures of Kieran retelling what happened today:

You couldn't follow that?

Ok, I'll "use my words" as I tell my own toddler about 389 times per day.
It was a simple play activity - we were drawing at the kitchen table.
When suddenly (cue the evil-doer music), the paper sliced Kieran's thumb, leaving a subtle but devastating paper cut.
Cue whining.
Cue Mama thinking it was marker on his hand and stating, "oh Kieran, we'll wash it off when we are all done coloring.  It's not a boo-boo."
Thanks, ever-sympathetic Mama.
Closer look....oops...ok, yes, that IS a boo-boo, everyone stay calm.
I squeezed his finger for a few seconds, wiped off the tiniest bit of blood that one could barely see but seemed like an ocean to him, and gave the thumb my best kisses to make it all better.
Kieran seemed to be pacified.  He was back to a smile...until...
"MAMA!  BOO BOO!  BOO BOO!" Commence crying again.
You see, he could see the line of red where the paper had cut him.  It was torturing him.  He continued to try to "wipe it off" on my pants to no avail.  It was beginning to spin into major melt down when I remembered that I had a Band Aid in the other room.
"Wait!" I said dramatically, "I can fix this!" and I ran into the other room and quickly wrapped the dry non-bleeding boo-boo with the new found Band Aid.
Aaaaah.  Much better.  Everything was fine....
Until the Band Aid fell off a few hours later.  Crying, retelling, "I sad" ensued.
New Band Aid.
Phew.  All clear.
I had no idea the power of Band Aids.

I have, since then, been thinking of a few "Band Aids" I would like to put over my life...
If only I could cover these problems up, perhaps I would forget they existed and not be bothered in the least...

1.  Let's Band Aid my entire condo that is for short-sale and not going anywhere.
2.  While we are at it, can we Band Aid the bank phone calls and such.
3.  I'm putting a big-ol-Band Aid on tantrums.  We had a 90 minute tantrum the other day....if I had a Band Aid around, I wouldn't have even NOTICED!
4.  hm...I'm sure I can think of more I'm just tired right now....can I Band Aid that??????

Oh yes, by the way, my cutie keeps getting cuter...here's evidence in a picture:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mama Bear almost claws 3 to 4 children at "Monkey Joe's"

Well, I have to say I'm a bit embarrassed by this but also find it rather hilarious.

Today we had a lovely outing to a play place called "Monkey Joe's".
It's basically a big room full of inflatable equipment for kids 12 and under to play in- slides, climbing walls, jumping areas, etc.

Let me set the scene for you:
The play places are packed with children everywhere.  Kids are running around like wolves just released into the wild.  Parents stand on the outside, like bored patrons at a petting zoo.  Kieran, much younger than most of the children there, stares in awe and nervous excitement at the possibilities of play.  He starts to climb up into an inflatable tent when he looks back as says, "Mama come too?"  Of course Mama come too when seeing her child a bit nervous about all the big kids.  Mama is nervous too!

Mama and Kieran step into the play area and Mama tries to stay back out of the way.  She wants her son to spread his wings and fly up the ladder to the inflatable slide.  Of course, when the big kids roughly push him out of the way and step on his hand when he is too slow at climbing, Mama doesn't have the patience to let him spread any wings, her claws come out instead.

Now, another side note....working in a school for years sometimes instills a desire to disciplining ALL children, where ever you may be.

Back to Mama bear and cute cub Kieran.  Well, once all the kids trample my poor baby, I decide that I need to help by standing behind him while he climbs.  I want to afford him independence, but I'm certainly not going to sit back and let him get hurt.  Big boy A comes flying around the corner about to be a repeat offender in the smush-a-thon...but not this time, not with Mama bear there.  In a few more words, I tell him that not only did I see him trample my son, but that now he can wait and be more careful please.  He promptly apologizes and I immediately feel a bit guilty for coming down hard on him.  I probably scared him to death...in the end, Kieran made it up the stairs, down the slide, and on to the next adventure.

After that incident, I decided I needed to be close by at all times.  We went into the next play area.  There were obstacles and children jumping and running everywhere.  May I add that one of the rules is no running?!  Four children around age 8 coming running around a corner, knock into Kieran and fall on top of him.  I can't scoop him up fast enough as I see his face full of shock and fear.  "Please watch where you are going and slow down!" I stated in a stern teacher voice, "you just trampled my two year old!"  I picked Kieran up, left the play area, and quickly told my husband that he needed to take over.  I was afraid of what Mama bear could do next.

Paul gladly took the reigns and went around to the different play places with Kieran.  Hazel and I watched safely from a distance.  "Hazel," I said to my sweet 2 month old, "we are going to wait a long time before you play at Monkey Joe's," and then I continued, "and Mama and Kieran will teach you some self-defense before we enter the jungle."

In the end, we actually had a lovely time.  Kieran loved every minute, even in spite of getting trampled and bonking heads with another little girl.  Will we go again?  Sure.  But I don't trust myself to go alone.  Who's telling what Mama bear could do next?

 Here's a short video of the event:
p.s.  It's true, that little ticket machine was only for the "birthday boys and girls"...we were asked if Kieran was having a birthday party here, and after answering no, the worker promptly removed Kieran from the ticket booth.  Oops.  At least I didn't trample anyone.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mama brainwashing pays off...

After two months of brainwashing my toddler son to believe that his baby sister is the best thing that ever happened to him, I think he may just finally be starting to believe it...
Phrases like the following were a regular occurrence around my house:
"You LOVE your little sister!"
"Hazel is your BEST friend!"
"Oh, Kieran, you LOVE Hazel SOOOOO much!"

By common occurrence, I mean that I was saying these things about every 3 minutes, in between the times that he would hit her and tell me to put her down and that she should be sleeping.

Magically, albeit slowly, Kieran has begun to love his baby sister Hazel.
And Hazel, for the most part, adores him and watches his every move (except when he is smothering her, and then she looks at me with eyes as if to say, "HELP!").

I will continue to work on my mama-brainwashing techniques...
Here are some ideas I have for the future:

"You LOVE school!"
"You DON'T LIKE video games!"
"You LOVE being healthy and would never want to hurt yourself with drugs/alcohol!"
"You LOVE getting a higher education and a good job!"
"You LOVE calling your mother at least once a day to check in!"

I'll think of more to cover all age spans...don't worry!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello sitting, crawling, walking, big boy bed, & potty training!

2011 was filled with many blessings.

Kieran grew up from a baby to a full-blown toddler.
His favorite sayings as of late are:
"Sorry, Mama"
"I sad, Mama"
"Peace" as he shakes your hand, as if in church.
and "Hi honey" (in a high-pitched squeal to Hazel)
He slept in his big boy bed for the first time last night.  He was SO excited.  Then woke up about 10 times throughout the night crying for Mama and Dada.  This may be a tough transition.
Nonetheless, he is the light of our life, and we find him quite adorable:

2011 brought us our beautiful baby Hazel, who is now literally OFF the growth charts in both weight and length.  Yup, the two month doc appointment proved that baby Hazel is above the 95 % percentile...if she were a THREE month old...and being that she is only two months old, her little dots are no where near the actual pretty little curve of a growth chart, they are far above it.  She continues to delight us with the wonder and awe of a newborn.  Here's a recent pic of sweet Hazel:

Goals for 2012?  Many!
1.  For Kieran to sleep through the night in his big boy bed happily.
2.  For Hazel to sleep through the night, period.
3.  Potty training!  Ahhh!
4.  To go out on a date with my husband at least once every two months.
5.  To find myself a friend in West Dundee.
6.  To find friends for Kieran in West Dundee.
7.  To "release" some serious weight by May and then some more by August.  Both dates are when I have TWO, count them, TWO exciting weddings to attend of my siblings!  YEA!!
8.  To find a part-time job for myself for the 2012-2013 academic school year

Well, that about wraps it up as far as goals go.  I'm sure I can think of plenty more, but for now, that's a good start for me.

Here's to a blogtastic 2012~ Happy New Year!