Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Christmas Hippo

Because I can't make this stuff up- here is the story of how my 3 year old was the Christmas hippo in the Nativity play.

At the first rehearsal, Ella was asked which part she would like to play. Her conversation with the director went something like this:

"Do you want to be a lamb?" No.
"A cow?" No.
"Maybe a dog? I think we have a dog costume." No.
"Did you want to be a shepherd or an angel with the bigger kids?" No.
"How about you tell me what you want to be."

She proudly tells the director, "I going to be a buffalo."

Fantastic. My kid is going to be the Christmas buffalo. Pretty sure there weren't buffalo in Bethlehem but whatever, she's three and it will be cute.

Practice commences without too much of a hitch. Well, there's the minor fact that Ella is obsessed with trying to get the baby Jesus doll and change his poopy diaper. Which she does, several times, pretend poop and all. But it's still all good, since this is only practice, and I'm sure things will be okay by Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve comes. We get to the church. Go to get her in the costume. Like a true 3 year old, she is quite contrary and doesn't want to be a buffalo any more. I ask her if she still wants to be in the play, thinking if she doesn't, that's fine. She is adamant that she needs to be in the play but she is NOT going to be a buffalo. I ask her what she would like to be instead.

A hippo.

After some quick thinking, a few safety pins, and the helpful fact that 3 year olds have wonderful imaginations, I finangled up a hippo costume. She was delighted. Then the director gave her a teddy bear to carry (in hopes of distracting her from changing baby Jesus' poppy diaper during the play) and her joy was complete.

Things started off okay. She went up the church aisle along side the other kids, proudly clutching her teddy bear. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought this year things would go off without a hitch.

Until she went up to the manger, promptly displaced baby Jesus, and put the teddy bear in his place.

Teddy bear settled, she wandered off to go look at the creche. And somehow managed to break the hand off of St. Joseph.

She spent the remainder of the play walking around trying to touch everything and getting the stink eye from the kid playing Mary.

On the bright side, the poinsettias survived this year.

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, 2015

I know it's totally cliched to write a blog post taking stock of the old year and listing resolutions for the new. However, that's exactly what I am about to do. Deal with it.

2014 will not go down as one of my favorite years. In it we faced:

-Marian getting very sick with RSV and bronchiolitis
-My grandmother's continuing decline in health
-My dad having a massive heart attack
-Ella dealing with severe psychological constipation
-Jim traveling a bunch for work
-Getting the flu right before Ella's birthday and Christmas
-And the final middle finger of 2014, having a crabby teething baby who refused to go to sleep for hours and hours and then when we finally got her settled some asshole neighbor set off fireworks, waking up both kids.

But we also had a lot of good points:

-Traveling to Florida, Raleigh, the Ozarks, Cape Cod, Chicago, Montana, and Yellowstone
-Growing a pretty awesome garden (plus did a fairly good job with canning/freezing)
-Taking lots of fun little local trips to the zoo, children's museum, state park, etc.
-Watching both kids grow and learn and be sweet and silly

Here are my goals/resolutions for the new year:

-Be more mindful of what I eat/drink less coffee
-Get back to exercising on a fairly regular basis (and no, chasing after the kids doesn't count)
-Be better about not letting little things get to me
-Blog more/read more books/take more time for myself

That's all fairly doable, right? Feel free to hold me accountable.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Already three, how can this be?

(Her birthday was actually on the 21st. I'm recovering from the flu some I get a free pass on being late.)

Happy 3rd Birthday, Ella!

As I think back on this past year, two things come to mind: "We made it through two" and "You're really growing up, kid." You've spent a lot of time testing limits and pushing boundaries, but in doing so we've come to this (mostly) good place where you are this seriously amazing kid. 

Because you are three, here are three ways in which I hope you never change: 

1. Your kindness and generosity. There are so many examples I could give, but this one sticks out in my mind. You decided that the Grinch is the one who brings Christmas presents. I asked you what he was going to bring you this year. You told me, "I'm going to ask the Grinch to bring me new Doc McStuffins toys. Because the ones I have now are too small for Marian to play with and maybe the Grinch will bring me ones we can play with together." 

2. Your creativity. I love how you look at the world in your own unique way. You are always busy figuring out new ways to do things and new uses for everyday objects. Some of these endeavors may drive me a little bonkers. Some of them are silly (like when you fashioned a bra for your baby doll out of a hair tie). Some of them may fail. But please, never, ever stop trying.

3. Your sense of humor. I think it's awesome that you understand that sometimes you simply need to laugh. Or as you say, "Right now I'm not Eleanor Mary. I'm a silly goose."

Keep being awesome, kiddo. Let's bring on the preschool years.

P.S. You are not as sneaky as you think. Totally knew you were busy picking sprinkles off your cake. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The plague house, again

Here's a tally of this month's illnesses: 

1 toddler with mysterious on again, off again fever and lethargy but no other symptoms

2 kids with colds. The special, fun, never-ending toddler colds. 

1 husband with bronchitis

1 mom who has battled colds, mystery 24 hour virus, and is finally laid low by a horrible upper respiratory virus/fever/chills/shakes

Naturally this would have to occur right before Ella's birthday party. So on top of feeling like crap I am dealing with mommy guilt for having to push her party back to January. Nothing like hearing your almost 3 year old say over and over, "But Mommy TOMORROW is my birthday party. TOMORROW!" 

Ugh. Can it be spring yet? 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Effective parenting

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you already know that I'm a fierce disciplinarian. I'm so intimidating that the following examples of my awesome parenting skillz shouldn't be any surprise.

Example One: "And we shall go merrily to timeout"

Double trouble conspired to tip over the end table. After being told repeatedly not to knock it over, they look at me, giggle, and do it anyway. Then Ella says, "Come on Marian, we have to go to timeout now." And they run off, hand in hand, to go sit in timeout. Without being told.

As if that was not enough, a few minutes later Ella brings her baby doll over to the table. She says, "Mama, New Baby* says she is going to knock the table over now too. But I tell her, 'No no New Baby,' but she going to do it anyway." And the she proceeds to help the baby doll pretend to knock over the table and takes her to pretend time out.

*The dolls in our house have very original names. New Baby was, at one point, the newest baby doll. We also have Cow Baby, Soft Baby, Music Dolly, and Stinky Baby. 

Example Two: "I only has on my bad ears today"

The other day Ella got sent to timeout for not listening. After two minutes I go over there and tell her she can come out. She's sitting there goofing around pretending to be Mr. Potato Head. I figure, whatever, she knows she's free to come out. After a few minutes I hear her call and ask if she can get out. I tell her yes and continue making dinner. Several minutes later I notice she's still sitting there. I peek around the corner and see she's pretending her hands are alligators. Again I tell her she can come out. Ten minutes later she still sitting there. I guess the answer as to whether she found her listening ears was a definite no.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Yes, interwebs, I am 5

Well, at any rate Ella keeps on telling me I'm five. Which I guess when you are two is pretty ancient. She also has told me she doesn't like the lines in my forehead. Thanks, kiddo, guess I'll be taking the money from your college fund and getting Botox.

Anyway, this post has more to do with my incredibly immature sense of humor.

This past weekend, Jim noticed that the caulking on the bathtub had been shoddily done. We had a boring conversation about him replacing it. Nothing untoward about discussing caulk in front of the kids, right?

Monday rolls around and I'm getting Ella ready for school. I head out to the garage to put her backpack and such in the car. The kids dutifully trot out after me, Ella talking a mile a minute about this and that. Now, I'll back this up for a second and mention that Ella has some speech troubles so words don't always come out crystal clear. Thus why I hear my little two year old yell, "Marian! Stop! We don't touch Daddy's cock!"

In true Ella fashion, once she starts talking about a subject she won't shut up. The ten minute drive to school was filled with all sorts of details about "Daddy's cock." Including but not limited to the fact that Daddy's cock was broken and he had to go to the store to buy a new one. And that Daddy's old cock was red but now he has a new white cock.

Whoever said parenting wasn't fricking hilarious?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide- Mommy Edition

I figured since I gave all my readers (yes, all three of you) a handy dandy gift guide for the kids, I might as well make one out for myself. You may send your gift to BFE- just write my name on the box and it will somehow find its way to me, I promise. This gift guide will also serve you well for any other mom of young children on your gift list.

1. Alcohol. Moms have to heavy job of ensuring that the next generation doesn't turn out to be little shits. Doing so means that we have to deal with a LOT of whining and tantrums and utter ridiculous sentences like, "Please stop telling the dog to sniff your butt and go get some undies on." I can give you somewhere along the lines of a gazillion other examples but you get the point.

2. Coffee. This is pretty much self-explanatory. I have not slept through the night since 2011. In fact, I'm pretty positive that I am a caffeinated zombie. I need caffeine like I need oxygen.

3. Babysitting services. You know how every single parenting magazine/website tells you to make sure to take time for yourself, go on dates with your significant other, maybe get your hair cut or fall asleep in a movie theatre? What they don't tell you is that (a) babysitters are freaking expensive and (b) finding the Holy Grail is easier than finding a good babysitter.

4. Everyone else to not have a housecleaning service. I discovered a dirty little secret here in BFE- almost everyone I know utilizes a housecleaning service on a fairly regular basis. While it would be nice to have a housekeeper of my own, I'm kind of a vindictive bitch. It would be far nicer to watch everyone else scramble to figure out how the hell to keep a house halfway decent while doing enriching things with the kids and at least 5 Pinterest-worthy projects a day and pretend that you have all your shit together. I'll smugly watch from the sidelines with my alcohol-laden coffee.

5. Hotel room. I have fantasies about hotel rooms. They all run along these lines: I check into the hotel, while singing, "All by myself! I get to be- all by myself!" (Celine Dion re-wrote the song after having kids.) I change into my super sexy yoga pants and grungy t-shirt. I order room service. I watch crappy cable TV. Maybe binge watch HGTV. After eating a meal in which no one throws food or whines about wanting something different, I go to sleep. I get to sprawl over the entire king size bed and no one wakes me up by snoring or needing to nurse or wanting Mommy to come get the scary things off the bed. I wake up the next morning after 12 amazing hours of sleep. I order room service breakfast. I eat and drink coffee- hot coffee, and not hot from being microwaved five times- while reading a book or trashy magazine. I get to shower and pee without company. If it's a hotel room in a swanky place that has a spa, I will love you forever.