Aug 31, 2010

Survival Guide: From One to Two kids

As of today I have one very curious and defiant two year old and one very adorable and fiesty almost 5 month old.
Here's what you need to know:
1. You and errands outside the home with the youngins may have to take a hiatus depending on
A) how many times in one outing you want to hear "you have your hands full!" Or "you need a hand?"
B) how wild your cuties are.
* *this realization for me occurred after a few grocery store attempts with a screaming baby and runaway toddler, a toddler who, while buckled in, reaches back and opens food and chucks it back into the cart (yogurt, cartons, 3 packages of fruit leather with 24 loose pieces), and a toddler who has sticky fingers ( I found a few packs of lighters, lip gloss and candy in her little car attached to the cart that she tried to take home) this was of course accompanied by numerous offers of a helping hand and or the unnessary hands full comment. It's just not that nice.
2) get yourself items to contain the children if you do want to venture outside the home with the two in tow.
ie) double stroller, ergo baby carrier, sling, single stroller, leash (oh yeah, you know you want one) toddler straight jacket (not yet invented, but I am working on a patent) ok just kidding....or am I? ;)
3) go out without your kiddies. I know, you are attachment parenting and exclusively breastfeeding and your husband said he cannot handle both. (He is totally lying.) Just go for a quick walk for like 30 min. Or go to a coffee shop, or pray at a church, or go to a friends house, anything. This is for your health. And if you aren't healthy, who is going to take care of those sweeties?
4) talk to other mothers. Via mom's groups, blogs, family members, school, anything. So necessary. Vent.
5) find a friend who is one stage ahead of you and one behind you. Either has more kids or kids a little older so you can see what you have in store in the near future. Watch all their mistakes, don't follow them. Then watch everything great they do and copy it. Fortunately and unfortunately all the moms I know that are one step ahead of me are SUPER MOMS and they inspire me everyday. (Shout out to Di, Sarah, Kelley, Emily! You guys are amazing.) Andddd find a friend or keep a friend  :) who is one step behind you to keep you in touch with life outside your crazy home and to give her all your crazy advice and venting. (Shout out to Jamie...the official zoo Davy chaser. We <3 you.)
6) If you have a toddler, make them nap. Do whatever it takes. If they won't nap, make them have quiet time, every. single. day.
7) take pictures! They grow so fast.
8) don't be hard on yourself. If your kids are alive and loved and mostly happy and fed, then you are a rockstar! Way to go! Most children in the world are not so blessed.  You are not going to scar them for life.
9) hug your kids. Kiss your kids. Play with them. Read to them.When you get overwhelmed remember all that matters is that you take care of those sweeties. Most other stresses you have probably put on yourself unnecessarily.
10) go mom go! Moms. Are. The. Bomb. You deserve a little treat. That's what I think. (Chocolate, a martini, a date night, a mom's night out, a new book, a new song, more chocolate and another martini ect.)
Uh oh. Simultaneous nap awakening. Must run.

Aug 20, 2010

The Mommy Photography Studio Outtakes

A few weeks ago, on a day that felt like you were being slow roasted in an oven, my friend Jamie decided to help me dress up the girls and take them out to get their pictures taken. So I called Picture People located at the mall a mile away and asked over the phone about their lowest package. I figured they would be more expensive than JC Penney or Sears. I have never spent a lot on pictures of the girls because  I am super cheap my babies' daddy dabbles in photography. Anyways, the woman I spoke with directed me to their website and would not give me any prices over the phone. Sketchy. I mean what if I had no internet? Or what if my two year old can't keep her hands off my laptop and screams for Elmo the whole time I get on the computer? What if.

So I was forced to journey to their website and their lowest package was.....$148. ouch. Not exactly what I wanted for a leisurely activity to combat cabin fever.

So we decided to go for a makeshift at home photo shoot. Complete with blankets on the floor and distraction food. I now realize why child photography costs so much.

Some things are really really sad, but somehow good can arise from them and they can bring joy to all. Kind of like our photo shoot.

You said you'd never let go! This is just like Titanic. (Sorry Gianna)

I feel crazy.
oooo! your love hurts a little.

(non-dairy) Cheesy

Aug 4, 2010

How to Paint a Toddler's Nails: the Do's and Don'ts

Have you ever looked at your tiny daughter's nails and thought, "wow, those could really use a coat of hot pink?" Yeah, me neither. The few times in the last 3 or so years that I have painted my nails I have tried to do so in private. For a reason. Or two. But the time came recently when my toddler wanted her nails painted and I thought why the heck not?

So, if you just have to do it...

The Do's
1. Do it outside or your kitchen floor might look like a scene from a slasher film (if you chose red naively as I did)
2. Do bring newspaper.
3. Do take off any clothes that you care at all about. Take them off you, your toddler and any innocent bystanders
4. For gosh sakes do have some nail polish remover and cotton balls and or paper towel an arm's reach away.
5. In the beginning, do chose LIGHT colors, like clear or invisible
6. If you are still reading and your little dear doesn't notice, do not put any nail polish on them at all. Do fake it. Dry off the tip and fake paint their nails. You will not be sorry.
7. Do try to get them to stay still. Hahahaha.

The Don'ts
1. Let them anywhere near the polish bottle.
2. Don't get mad at them because their nails are so small or because they move while you are painting or when they sit on their freshly painted toes.
3. Don't try to paint the whole toe nail or finger edge to edge unless you have a pin size brush. Their nails are just too teeny not to make a mess.
4. Don't use a dark color, at least not the first time. Maybe see how it goes with light before you go tangerine or magenta.
5. Don't play head, shoulder's, knees and toes while you are waiting for the paint to dry.
6. Don't let them see where you store the nail polish

*The safer and natural way: try Piggy Paint they list stores and online retailers that carry their product. I am definitely ordering some. Cute.

Aug 3, 2010

Tiny Drawers Project

So I found this little number at an aptly named "treasure mart" at our church. I painted it, fixed the knob situation, and filled it with other tiny things. It is quite amazing what a little white paint will do.

Laundry Slave and Double Rainbows

In my own little home I used to be completely and eternally tied down.

I always had this looming dark cloud hanging over me. I was not free. I even attempted to leave the house often to escape the feelings of shame and unlaunderedness. It was all in vain. And it always came back to tie me down again.

laundry monster
I was after all still a slave. Little did I know I was free to escape at anytime. I could slay this evil monstrous master of all things dirty and cloth. I just didn't know how to combat it and keep it from hatching as a small egg in my home again and again even though I had already killed it. Then it would grow so quickly and with so much power that just the sight of it sent my washing machine into shock.

In all seriousness though, my washing machine did go into shock. Its little light went out. Died. I had to get a new one. One that saves the earth with its teensy water cycle and can wash comforters with ease. It came delievered by 2 strong men in a white truck. I think they were from heaven. 
I thought this new machine could possibly help me slay this hideous beast. But was it enough? No. No way.

So many times I vaporized this monster into thin air...and then miraculously or omenously it reappeared, sometimes with renewed vigor and size!

Then it hit me. This was my cycle from college days which turned into 4th floor apartment living when I was married:

1. Grow a giant laundry monster.
 2. Feed it daily
 3. Kill it (Wash clothes every 1-2 weeks or when you run out of clothes.)
 *Then as our family grew I washed even every few days but it was equivalent to my 1-2 weeks previous pattern.
 4. Repeat. For life.

Then one day I read in multiple places that it can be helpful to do a load of laundry a day. So naturally I thought of several viable reasons why that is a horrible idea.

Here they are:

1. you are hurting mother nature (water waster and baby fish killer)
2. there is no way we have that much laundry to do a load or two a day!
3. wow what waaaaaaaste of time-it is much more time efficient to do a lot at once.
4. most importantly-I hate laundry and I will never do it everyday because that would be nuts

Ironically if you would have asked me how often I did laundry while the monster was alive and well. My answer=every day. This was because I would do one of the processes of laundry once a day.

 Gather. Sort. Carry. Pre-treat. Wash. Dry. Fold. Put Away.

Basically now I am mostly freeee of this sick laundry cycle. It has taken a lot of discipline and actually completing all of the processes of laundry every day.
And since I hate putting clothes away, when you have tiny only have to put away a tiny pile of clothes. Eureka.

If you are trying to kill the laundry monster at your home and you have a washer and dryer in your place of residence just do it. Gather. Sort. Carry. Pre-treat. Wash. Dry. Fold. Put Away. And do it everyday.
Do it for 27 days- According to Marla Cilley @ FlyLady

She is teaching me to be a housekeeping rockstar. And I like it a lot.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional and still slip up now and again. The difference is that I have tasted the sweet nectar of all clean clothes (most) of the time and I will not give it up. The good news is that now I don't have a sick looming dirty laundry feeling in my stomach as I leave the house to do something mommy related and fun with my girls. wooohooo.

And I feel double rainbow good now. And after you click on that link, click on this song to get you motivated to start hiking Mt. Washmore.

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