A Year Of Mayhem

As I was pulling together the photo books this year, I realized something important.

Although its been a tough year with some definite trials, we have had a lot of fun.

This year, we sold a house, bought a house, lived with my parents for 6 months, and moved twice. John's job took him on the road full time when Bennett was a month old, he was promoted twice, and now he is taking a new job. After 4 months of only sleeping in 1 hour naps and screaming the rest of the time, B was FINALLY diagnosed with acid reflux and put on medication, at which point I started to become human again. We made the heartbreaking decision to find our rescue dog, Dodge, a new home when his MRSA resurfaced and we couldn't keep him around the babies. This came after a year of extensive treatment trying to get him healthy, and was much harder than either of us expected. John went to the Emergency Room and then later had his gall bladder removed. After a long time with failing health, my grandpa died. I was hit by a driver while walking and have had constant pain since. And we had the extra added fun of being the victims of identity and IRS fraud. Any idea how difficult it is to get a home loan approved while your records are all frozen from identity theft? Let's just say, it took several years off of John's life.

In short, this year has been a doozy.

Oh yeah, and I started this little blog to process my thoughts and get through some of the mayhem ;-)

Yep, it's been an exhausting, heartbreaking, exasperating, whirlwind of a year and I cannot count the number of times I thought I didn't have the energy for any more turbulence, only to hit another bump.

But in looking through the pictures, I realized something else.

It has been a year filled with laughter and love and happiness. There has been a *bit* of naughty mayhem, true, but for the most part, it's been the fun kind that made us (and you) laugh and shake our heads.

We have been lucky enough to be surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family who have helped us through many of the snags.

I honestly do not know what I would have done without them this year, venting to my girlfriends was sometimes the only thing that stood between me and the great black abyss of insanity.

I won't lie, I'm kind of glad to see this tumultuous, tempestuous year come to a close, but I'm also incredibly excited to see what the next year has in store for us.

Hope your new year is as wonderful as I know ours will be, thank you so much for laughing along with me this year, passing my links on to friends and family, and giving me an outlet to find the humor when I needed it most.

It's been a wonderful year :-)


The year started off with two sweet little munchies
Bennett quickly began asserting his opinion on,
well... just about everything.
Mayhem ensued.
And more mayhem.
Annnnnddd more mayhem.
You know how this story goes.

Bennett sampled lots of cuisines.
Some he liked.
Some he didn't.
But through it all, we had a lot of fun.
A ton of laughs.
And a ton of smiles.
Oh, and also a ton of naughty.
Good thing Santa's memory is short ;-)
Have a wonderful New Year's everyone,
hope it's filled with lots of fun and cheer!




Nuclear Oatmeal

As much as it makes my heart warm with motherly joy to see my kids sharing a spoonful of oatmeal and all, there is a part of me that shrivels in torment every time most of the bite lands on the floor (what can I say, that second part of me is a little bit dramatic).

The "torment" comes from knowing EXACTLY how hard it is to pry that sticky, incredibly resilient gunk up.

And because my kids have worse accuracy than a drunk frat boy trying to take a piss at spring break, I pry up a lot of oatmeal.

A lot.

Off the floor.

Off the walls.

Off of little hands and faces and out of little noses.

And because Bennett HATES anything that even vaguely resembles hygiene, it inevitably results in a meltdown of epic proportions.

Why feed them oatmeal you ask? Because its supposed to be healthy. And its damn cold out. And oatmeal is one of the 1.5 non crunchy/carb things that Sterling will eat.

So oatmeal it is.

Just gonna have to get myself a nuclear powered, industrial-strength jack hammer. I'm pretty sure the kids have been working on a power source to run it...







Slip And Slide Of Nastiness

As a mom, you quickly learn that hilarity often equals mayhem.

Bennett was whiny all day today. He was whiny as we snuggled in the bed this morning. Whiny at the playground. Whiny as he mowed his way through Sterling's grilled cheese at lunch. Just an all around whiny grump to be with.

So when he suddenly started laughing like an idiot with Sterling this afternoon, we didn't question it.

She was running and sliding on the marble floor of the vacation condo, and Bennett was laughing like an idiot watching her.

John and I started laughing at Bennett's deep belly laugh, and then when B got into the slipping and sliding, it turned into all out hilarity.

We were all laughing like crazy, the babies sliding and skittering like woodland creatures on ice, John and I laughing at their crazy contortions and hilarious laughter. Everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves.

And then... John stopped and looked at me. "Huh, I wonder where all this water came from?"

"I thought you knew. How much water is there, I didn't think there was that much?"

"A whole bunch actually, and it's all over the place."

And as I looked around, with a thunderclap of doom I realized...

My kids weren't slipping and sliding and rolling in water at all.

Nope.

Even though Sterling potty trained herself a few months ago, and I can count on one hand the number of accidents that she has had, she had indeed had the mother of all "accidents" in the middle of the floor.

And my kids had been playing in it for about 10 minutes.

Talk about bringing a good time to a screeching halt.

John grabbed one kid, I grabbed the other, and we both raced for the tub.

Yep, if John wasn't ready to go back to work before that, he certainly is now.

Wonder if Santa is bringing us a vasectomy for Christmas...

Oreo Orgasm

Evidently Na Na and Pop Pop have fostered in miss Sterling Rose a healthy appreciation for Double Stuff Oreos.

See, are on vacation. And we were stocking up at the grocery store when I added a package of Double Stuffs to the cart. That's a special splurge, not something I would usually ever buy.

Ever.

At the top of her little 2.5 year old lungs S squealed "Oh shit, OREOS!!!", snagged the package from me, and hugged them fervently in her tiny arms for the rest of the shopping trip.

While I shared her sentiment, I thought I had thoroughly routed the term "Oh Shit" from her lexicon.

A little backstory is probably due.

See, "Oh Shit" was a phrase that saw a lot of play time when I was huge pregnant with Bennett, and S was bugging the ever loving crap out of me by performing death-defying feats on a near constant basis.

Back in the days when this blog was born, actually.

In fact, one of the initial titles that was kicked around for this blog was "Oh Shit", it was THAT common.

Once we reached a point of equilibrium (HA, I almost wrote that with a straight face), I stopped using the phrase *quite* so often and by proxy, it seemed to disappear from her everyday language as well.

Evidently not.

Apparently it just went into hiding for moments when she was SUPER excited.

Like when the Double Stuff Oreos come out.

Oh Shit indeed...



Never Nudging Again

Forget the Winter Solstice, today was the longest day in history.

See, a rule of thumb that always seems to hold true in parenting is if I play, I pay.

We get together with friends pretty often, and usually I am religious about getting home in time for the 1:00 nap.

Like crazy nutso dedicated religious.

You can set your clock by me, I am that on point with it.

But today was our final play date with our amazing friend M and her kids before they move, and so I fudged a little on getting home.

We were about 20 minutes late.

Doesn't seem THAT major, does it?

But I will let the photographs below speak for themselves.

As will the fact that for the first time in history, neither of my children took a nap.

Nope, for 3 hours straight, what they did was jump. And scream. And strip. And laugh maniacally. And destroy their rooms. And crap.

I changed 5 poopy diapers during "nap time" today.

5.

Do the math. It's mind boggling.

So yeah, count me as schooled. No chance in hell I'm ever gonna jack with nap time again.

If the penance is changing poopy diapers for JoJo the giggling idiot boy for 3 hours while he feverishly tries to "interfere", and chasing Lady Godiva around her room after she has trashed it... AGAIN... I think I will just stick to nap time.

NOTE: Yes, this was officially the final straw for Sterling's bedroom furniture. The room is now stripped bare except for a bed.



Dust Pan Snack Magic

This morning, while I was getting Sterling ready to go out and meet up with friends, I realized that Bennett had gotten eerily quiet.

In that OhShit way that only a mom of toddlers can do, I leapt up from the sofa to see what he had gotten into.

As I raced around looking for him, my mind ran through a litany of ugly options. Was he sticking his tongue into electrical sockets, jumping off of ledges, poking his eyes out with sharp objects?

It shows how far we have come that the reality was actually a relief...

I came across homeboy... kneeling contentedly in front of the dust pan... munching pretzels out of it as if it were some special little Bennett snack trough.

To his credit, when he caught me watching him in a mixture of disgust and hilarity, he kindly offered to share.

Yep, proud momma moment right there.






Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

Dear God, this child is going to be the death of me.

And I'm fully aware that I've probably said that exact same phrase hundreds if not thousands of times before. But this time I mean it. Really.

It's nap time.

That single time of day when I have three seconds to myself and can pull the house back together in a little bit of peace and quiet.

Otherwise known as nirvana.

I was downstairs cleaning the kitchen, when there was a house shaking thump from upstairs.

Knowing Sterling, I immediately ran up to see what it was... and this is what I found.

According to her, she had decided to sleep in her dresser (suuuuuuurrre, thats TOTALLY a legitimate choice) and it had fallen over on her.

Shocker.

Contrary to the pictures, she was happy as a clam until I moved her bunny out of the way to take a photo. She then promptly melted down, hopped out and went in pursuit of said bunny.

That is the source of her tears.

Even I am not heartless enough to continue snapping merrily away while my child is trapped in agony.

Seriously. No. Stop laughing, I mean it!

But I swear, that is one incredibly lucky child.

So yeah, I officially declared defeat and turned the damn dresser around. The room is starting to resemble a sweet little girl's room less and less, and a mental patient's bunker more and more.

I guess this way, when I officially lose it, they have somewhere to keep me...





Ornery Thought Of The Day

Is it a bad sign if your kids yell "whee" and clap like they are on a roller coaster when you accelerate out of a stop light?

I ask purely for hypothetical reasons, not because my kids ever do this.

Ever.



Man Teething

Today was one of those holy-fuck-thank-god-we-made-it-through-the-day-in-one-piece kind of days.

Bennett is man teething. If you aren't familiar with the concept, take teething, add a highly vocal, highly dramatic man, and you get the idea.

He is convinced it is a fatal malady that might well take him at any moment, and is bound and determined to scream about it until it actually does.

Imagine the whiny, baby version of Fred Sanford and you are close. I could totally see Bennett grasping his chest and talking about how he could see the light.

We even have a baby easy chair...

Meanwhile, I have my ever present friend, the post-accident whiplash headache. Any idea what a screaming baby does for a tension headache?

Imagine a frog, in a blender, on the highest setting. Now replace that frog with your brain. And add a few rocks. And whack the shit out of that bastard with a baseball bat like a piƱata for good measure.

That's close.

And not to be outdone, Sterling decided to use the afternoon as an opportunity to antagonize the two of us, snagging Bennett's bottle whenever it looked like he was really enjoying it (or was quiet for 3 seconds). Toppling his block towers. Screeching in those few moments when he wasn't. Wiping boogers down the legs of my pants.

Generally endearing herself to both of us.

Yeah, it was a beautiful, beautiful afternoon.

Which is why, when I finally tucked their hineys into bed, it was the single most amazing feeling in the world.

I swear, I heard trumpets *quietly* heralding, like I deserved a medal.

Or at least the largest, most salty margarita in the history of mankind. But the fun thing about the medication for the second kind of headaches from my accident (yep, there are multiple)?

I can't drink on it.

Nope, that's not a joke, I'm dead serious.

Two small kids, husband travels full time, constant headaches, and I can't drink.

So instead I am writing a blog post and then I am going to go downstairs to clean my kitchen. That's almost as nice.

Almost.

Ornery Thought Of The Day

Sterling is perfecting the art of wiping herself.

It happens to have occurred at the same time that she has suddenly taken new joy in feeding me finger foods.

It is no coincidence that hand washing has suddenly taken on a particularly important significance in our household...



Party Magic

Last night we had a party to celebrate Bennett's first year.

It was our first big party in over a year. And for a couple who used to have parties every month or so, it has been way too long.

It was wonderful to surround ourselves with so many wonderful friends, both new and familiar. To hear their laughter, admire their children, reminisce with them over stories, joke and tease and flirt and enjoy their hugs.

There is so much love and joy in our group of friends. Something about our parties always seems to bring that out, release it into the night like a gossamer of enchantment to weave through the air around us.

It's magical, the spirit of these parties, and I have missed it.

It brings something to life inside of me. It awakens something vital, something vibrant and jovial and excited. Like a kid on Christmas morning, parties always leave me giddy and full of happiness.

I woke up this morning and even though I had my usual headache from the accident, I still had a certain peace, a certain contentment, as if something inside of me that had been empty, or maybe just dormant, had been filled up again.

For some reason, great parties always do this to me. The excitement, the energy, the effervescent joy, it all comes together and recharges my own inner happiness.

It's been a long year. It's been a tough year. But it was wonderful to get together with our friends and family and celebrate and share the joy and love together.

And I can't think of any better way to celebrate the first year of life of my beautiful baby boy.



Bat Shit Little Bat

Would it be wrong if the first thought I had, after seeing my girl in this pose, was to wonder "gee, I wonder how long she could stay like that and still get into the Ivy League"?

I'm asking purely out of curiosity, not because I actually had that thought or anything.

Definitely not.

But it definitely was awesome to have her voluntarily temporarily incapacitated. Even if it was only for a brief little snippet of time.

And she was INSANELY happy about being stuck upside down with her head wedged in a toy.

So what the hell, I went with it.

Because how often does a momma get a few moments with a toddler completely occupied, totally happy, and not destroying anything (other than perhaps a few brain cells)?




Fools Errand

Every so often, I make the mistake of taking the monkeys out alone to run errands.

It's always a mistake. Always.

Taking one or the other solo is a pleasure. Taking the two together with someone else to help wrangle them is fun.

Taking them both myself? Insanity. Plain and simple.

But what else would it be?

First, there are the perfect proportions of the average shopping cart. Just large enough to serve as a child-sized ThunderDome and make it difficult for me to intercede, yet not large enough to let them get away from each other.

So essentially, I am pushing a rolling toddler melee down the aisles of Lowes this morning while Bennett yanks great handfuls of Sterling's hair and she sinks her teeth into his fleshy little fingers every time I turn my head.

Then there is Sterling's nearly manic movement in and out of the shopping cart.

You might think that it would be easier to keep track of her when she is in the cart, but when you factor in such helpful tactics as her throwing out the items I have so carefully put IN the cart, and her being bored enough to strip when she wasn't chucking my stuff, that would be incorrect.

Although outside of the cart, there is the issue of her performing acrobatics on the cart itself, and doing military-style combat rolls under it as I try to nonchalantly stroll down the aisle.

No, quite frankly we are a rolling train wreck.

We get lots of laughs and comical comments from everyone around us, but so far no one has ever taken me up on my offer to trade places.

No amount of "yummy bar" treats, special toys or marketing our fun outings as opportunities to practice "sitting in the fun rolling cart" manage to make these errands exactly easy. Easier? Perhaps. But easy? Hell no!



Welcome To The Jungle, Baby!

Why is it that for so much of my parenting experience, I hear GNR's "Welcome to the jungle" playing in the back of my head, whereas when I watch my girlfriends' kids, I hear "Claire De Lune" playing instead?

It isn't just that I have two small kids, although that is definitely a large part of it. But many of them have two small kids as well.

But I think a large part of it is that my two small bodies are packed full of two incredibly large personalities, which equals two sets of opinions that are constantly being offended.

And in my house, we don't believe in suffering in silence. No, I don't have a single mellow gene in the group.

Not a single "go with the flow" moment in our day, which means that at all times, when I am making someone happy, I am simultaneously pissing someone else off.

Like when I am getting Sterling's milk? It means I am neglecting Ben's bottle. And he ain't about to take that kind of treatment lying down.

Or when I am changing a particularly heinous diaper for Bennett? That's the exact moment when Sterling MUST have an admiring entourage for the potty.

My kids are determined and demanding and constantly looking for opportunities to push my buttons... er... I mean, looking for new "learning opportunities".

This makes for a fascinating, exciting, fun life, but certainly not a relaxing one.

And sometimes a little relaxing sounds like a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I don't mean that I want to replace the soundtrack of our lives with classical music, but I wouldn't mind mixing things up every once in a while with a little easy listening.

Just a little.







Poached Pixie

Pardon the blurry photo, but this quickly shifted from "oh wow, that child is one crazy little spider monkey, let me grab a quick photo" to "oh crap, that crazy little spider monkey is trying to turn on the stove burner... WITH HER ON IT"!!!

But I am getting ahead of myself.

See, behind the stove is a sunken family room. It's a drop of several feet from the top of the kitchen divider wall to the sofa.

I always assumed that drop was large enough to prevent Sterling from climbing from the sofa to the counter.

I would be wrong.

Absolutely no idea how she did it, but when I turned around while preparing lunch today, there she was perched perkily on the counter like some happy little pixie.

I pulled out my handy iPhone to snag a few pictures. It usually takes me at least 20 to get one that is the right blend of not blurry, decent composition and tells the story I want. I settle. A lot.

No sooner had I snagged the first shot then I noticed her creeping stealthily forward and reaching for the stove knobs.

Now a less responsible mom (in case CPS is reading this) might have taken a few more shots knowing that I had only gotten two blurry ones so far, and that it took the stove several minutes to get really hot.

Not me though. Nope, I instantly put the camera down and took her off of the counter. See, good mom decision of the day right there.

Plus John was watching. So I kind of HAD to take the responsible route. But that was the decision I would have made anyway. Definitely. Totally. Probably.

Anyway, I like to think that the blur of this shot lends a certain realism to the moment, a certain urgency to the subject.

And if it doesn't, any critics are welcome to recreate the setup and perfect the photography with their kids ;-)

P.S. For the record, when Sterling saw this picture, she said "Sterling so naughty". So naughty indeed...



Rough Rider


Poor Sterling, this game seemed like a good idea when it started out. Any idea how hard it is to convince a 2.5 year old to voluntarily take turns???

Sadly, it ended like pretty much everything with Bennett ends right now. 

With hair pulling and tears...

Good times :-)


Whole Lotta Wuv

My kids sometimes blow me away.

Tonight, while I was perched on the side of the tub, waiting for Sterling to use the potty, she suddenly turned and threw her little arms around my neck.

Pulling me to her, she fervently whispered into my neck:

You my best friend in the WHOLE world mommy, I wuv you a WHOLE lot. Whole lot.

It was one of those beautifully perfect, spur of the moment gestures that was completely honest.

She wasn't trying to get anything out of me or manipulate me in any way.

All she was doing was sharing what was sincerely in her heart at that moment.

I don't know what the future holds for me and Ms. Sterling Rose. As hard as we butt heads sometimes, I am kind of terrified to see what the teen years bring.

But I hope at the heart at it all, she always remembers that no matter what, she is also one of my best friends, and I wuv her a whole lot, too.



Bathroom Bruiser

Any idea how a 2.5 year old cracks a toilet seat in half? Any? At all? Any?

And I'm not talking some big bruiser with a right arm that a semi-pro ball pitcher would be jealous of. No, I'm talking my little 23 pound pixie who still wears size 12 month skinny jeans.

See, Sterling decided to potty train herself a few weeks ago.

I erroneously thought that meant I would be on easy street.

I would be wrong. Very, very wrong.

Shocker, I know.

What it really meant is that any time she got bored, I became her potty buddy, which was pretty much every 20 minutes. Because she IS 2.5 and has the attention span of a fruit fly.

So being the enterprising soul that I am, I decided to teach her how to go on her own.

Makes sense, right?

She gets to go the potty whenever she wants. I don't have to spend half my life bent over the toilet with a toddler.

Yeah, I almost almost immediately saw the error of of my ways. Because somehow, in the three seconds she spent in the bathroom alone, homegirl put a hurtin' on it.

In addition to completely emptying the roll of toilet paper down the toilet and pumping hand soap all over the floor, she mustered up the strength of her ancestors and somehow managed to completely shatter the toilet seat down the middle.

Take a few moments to wrap your brain around that one.

I'm still working on it.




Banana Beatdown

Today, Bennett decided to exercise a little creativity in his freedom of expression.

With a banana.

And a goldfish cracker (look close, that puppy is perched perkily up there like a little chapeau).

And smooshed those babies ALL over the friggin place.

On a flippin preschool morning for crying out loud! Like I need any more obstacles to getting out the door. The morning after a bath.

Now I don't mean to say that like baths are a super rare occurrence in this house or anything.

But they kind of are.

Or at least they are rare enough that when baby boy decided to inaugurate the morning by smooshing banana all over his freaking adorable little noggin, I instantly switched into triage mode to salvage as much clean skin as possible.

Which wasn't much.

Absolutely no idea how he managed to get bananas smashed down, into his zipped jammies, past his diaper, under his balls, but my boy has skills.

Mad skills.

And as the photographic evidence shows, absolutely no remorse. Pretty confident that if he could speak, that last one would say "suck it"...






Opening The Door Of Opportunity

This morning Sterling discovered she could open her bedroom door.

Up until now, this door has been less a physical obstruction, and more of a mental one.

I knew it was purely a matter of time before S connected her ability to open every other door in her world, and the ability to open her bedroom door.

But I hoped that mental block lasted well into her late teens. Because I really needed the little nugget of peace every day that shutting her in her room provided.

Notice the past tense there.

The first time she got out this morning, she scared the ever loving crap out of John, apparitioning silently behind him as he was making breakfast and proudly announcing at the top of her toddler lungs "here I am, Daddy".

For a guy used to being alone in silent somnolence at 5:30 every morning, it was a *bit* of a surprise.

Then, at 7:30, I got the gentle wake up of a toddler finger being lovingly rammed up my nose.

S: Hehehehehehehe, I funny mommy.
Me: You aren't funny.
S: I trouble (said with the knowing twinkle in her eyes of a child who knows exactly how much trouble she is).
Me: I have no good response to that.
S: I wuv you momma, a WHOLE lot, whole lot.

She had me there.

And then when we got out into the hall, I discovered that homegirl had helpfully gone on a door locking tour while she was on the lam, locking every door along the way.

Good times.

Looks like we will be investing in some non-locking door handles AND a door knob blocker for her room.

Yes, I see the humor there.

And some more wine for mommy. And some anti anxiety meds for daddy ;-)


Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone

I learned last week that one of my closest friends is moving to Denver. When I heard the news, it felt like a physical blow to the gut. At first I went numb, and then I could actually feel the point of impact.

There are three of us that met two years ago when we were new moms, trying to navigate the unfamiliar waters of motherhood. We quickly became inseparable friends, bonding over the highs and lows of parenting.

We constantly talk either via text or in person throughout the day, and usually hang out several times a week. We swap baby supplies, maternity clothes and pretty much everything else.

We talk about the intimate, ugly details of everything in our lives. And I mean everything. Our sex lives, politics, family relationships, if its messy or uncomfortable, it's fair game.

We have a safe word, "Listen Bitch", a sacred totem that precedes anything we say to one another that could be interpreted as hurtful or painful. Listen Bitch is used indicate that what we are going to say will come from a genuinely kind and loving place, but may not be easy to hear. And we are asking the person to hear the message with an open heart.

Listen bitch has been used to deliver some incredibly tough messages over the years, but it's also been used to remind one another when we are being too hard on ourselves, which is often.

Usually it's as hard to deliver a Listen Bitch as it is to receive one.

We are like the three legs of a stool, the three strands of a braid. It only works when all three of us are engaged. When one of us goes quiet, the conversation goes flat. Discussions aren't as strong. Nothing flows quite as well.

And now that M is moving half a continent away, it feels like we are losing something critical. Without her face at play dates, her cooking at family brunches, her dry comments at girls night outs, things won't be the same.

And we already feel it. Our little triumvirate, which has always had remarkably little drama, is suddenly on shaky ground. There is all this extra friction right now.

We are a little bit brittle, a little less fluid, a little bit delicate with one another. We have moments of that old comfortable ease, and moments of this new uncomfortable friction and overall it's all part of this change process.

I don't think any of us really know how we are going to do it, but I know we will figure it out. I know we will be fine. We have weathered some pretty tough things together, and we will pull through this as well. It will just take us a little bit of adjusting. But it sucks to have to go through such a major shift with such a large physical distance impending.

Here's to creative girls weekends. With lots of laughs. And cabana boys. And alcohol as soon as I am off the heavy pain pills from my run in with the lovely lady in her car.

I wish you all the best M, I love you :-)




The Crayon Smuggler at The Voting Booth

I voted today. And while I am incredibly proud I did it and feel lucky to be able to do so, I think I would rather tie an angry honey badger to my face while jump roping with a hive of yellow jackets rather than take my kids and go solo again.*

You might recall that Sterling chose this week for potty training. And at this point we have it pretty nailed, but I still drop everything and rush like a pothead for a Taco Bell the moment she announces "momma, I pee potty".

Which she happened to do today right as we made it to the front of a 40 minute voting line. Twice.

And both times were friggin false alarms.

Both. Times.

Currently, she feels the need to be completely bare from the waist down to take care of business.

So each time, we dropped everything and rushed to the nearest bathroom, where I then spent roughly 10 minutes begging her to "pee potty" while she crawled around, on the floor, practicing her lion roar as she appreciated the bathroom acoustics and Ben did his best to reach the tampon box.

It was exactly as absurd and disgusting as it sounds.

And because we had to go back to the end of the line TWICE, you might think that waiting a total of 80 minutes would have made us good at waiting. It didn't. What it DID do was make us bored. And entertaining.

First, there was Sterling's insistence that anyone of any color at all was Obama. Including the two Asian ladies ahead of us in line. And I was stumped on how to explain the difference to her in terms that a two year old would both grasp AND be safe in repeating. Because she still didn't understand that we weren't boating.

Second, there was the damn concession stand selling damn donuts next to the damn line and I didn't have any damn money with me. And we had been waiting for damn EONS. Any idea how many times a toddler can repeat the word "donut"? Slightly less than they can offend people by calling them Obama. Slightly.

Third, when you are a toddler stuck in a line for long periods and your mom has no good explanation for why, the enterprising get creative and perform for the audience. It's impressive how many laughs you can get when you are cute and dance and sing in line.

Even more impressive when you do acrobatics off the back of your brother's stroller. And when you suddenly take off screaming "stinky poopy bud-dy, stinky poopy" down the hallway?

That gets the best responses of all. But when you are the mom of that entertaining little minx? Somehow it stops being quite so entertaining :/

And the icing on the cake is that when I took my shirt off tonight, I discovered a green crayon in my bra. Absolutely no idea how it got in there, but it raises questions that I really don't know if I am ready to ask.

Which is why next time I am taking a voting buddy. Or getting buzzed before I go. Not certain which, but maybe both...

* This is what is known as sarcasm. Not familiar with it? Buckle up baby.


Happy Halloween From The Mistress!

Happy Halloween from the Mistress of Mayhem and her little mayhem makers :-)



Officer Sterling taking down a gangsta

MAN, it's good to be a gangsta'...

I got 99 problems, but a bottle ain't one 


I Got A Sticker

"Wook Momma, I got a sticker".

My girl is the queen of understatements today.




Going For The Gold

I have discovered the pot of gold, and let me tell you baby, it isn't what you are expecting but it is every bit as precious!

My toddler is potty trained! And I am more than a little embarrassed at how ABSOLUTELY THRILLED I am about this. My little girl is no longer in diapers!

Every time her little butt perches on that toilet seat and leaves behind a little golden puddle of miracle, I breathe a giant sigh of relief. One less butt to diaper, and that is an amazing, amazing thing in my world.

Rumpelstiltskin may have turned hay into gold, but I could hardly be happier than with my little pot of gold from Sterling. Yep, I know exactly how cheesy that was, and I am going with it! I am literally THAT giddy with a potty trained girl :-)

OK, enough gushing about my child's bathroom habits.

I realize this post officially makes me the most stereotypical SAHM possible, and if the pre-baby me met the current me and read this post, she would roll her eyes and then skewer me afterwards to her super posh, super awesome friends over a pitcher of sangria. God, I miss the old me...

But anyway, here's the thing.

About 6 months ago, I read all the books and articles about how as an American mom, it was my duty to "mom up" and wade into the battleground of potty training armed with no less than 3 different types of potty chairs, every type of candy Sterling's little heart could desire, stickers, fancy big girl panties, and even a special "wetting doll" to show her the ropes.

The first few days were great, she peed in the potty, we rejoiced, birds sang, everyone danced with ribbons in their hair.

But when it was time to stop running around naked and put underwear on, she decided she was done with potty training, and wanted her diapers back.

I'm pretty damn hard headed... but evidently so is she. After several days of tantrums and pee battles, I realized this wasn't what potty training should be about, and so we quit cold turkey.

I'm sure there's lots of potty training pros out there with lots of expert opinions on how we should have toughed it out. But they can shove those opinions.

Because after all, that's all they are. Opinions. And honestly, this is my kid to screw up as I see fit.

But 6 months later, after I had decided that there was no way in hell I was ever going down the "potty training path of doom" again, Sterling decided out of the blue that she was ready to use the potty again. She gave me some simple signs. I gave it a try, and it all fell into place.

It was incredibly easy, super quick, and MUCH more fun. And honestly, I think I will take this approach with Ben as well.

And if giving her a little control over such a momentous decision helped smooth the transition, so be it. If you think about it, taking away a kid's diaper is a fairly large transition. One that for some kids is a pretty big emotional shift.

I realize now that for Sterling, changing from diapers to underwear was the emotional change from "baby" to "big girl", and with the introduction of a second new "baby" into the house, it was a role that she wasn't entirely ready to be pushed out of yet.

And as my lovely friend Theresa wisely said, "they won't go to college wearing a diaper, so what's a few more months".

Exactly.

So to those militant potty trainers, more power to you. No judgement, everyone has their own style that works best for them.

But for me? I'm gonna kick back with some sangria and enjoy the company of my babies, rather than looking for anything *else* to fight with them over.

Besides, the teenage years are right around the corner and I'm sure we will have PLENTY of things to fight over...



My Bestie

I had one of those incredibly special moments in parenthood this morning.

We are all bundled up against Hurricane Sandy. The pantry is full, the heat is cranking, and we are snuggled up in cozy clothes while the hurricane rages and pounds away outside.

Sterling and I were sitting on the sofa, trading kisses.

She was straddling my lap, facing me, and holding my face in her two little hands. The game was to ask for a kiss and offer your lips, then quickly turn your face and give your cheek right before the other person kissed you.

We were both laughing like crazy, enjoying the silliness of the moment and suddenly it hit me.

One of my absolute best friends in the world is 2 1/2.

Not only is she my kid and I love her like crazy, but she is also one of my best friends.

Now I know, I have an ENTIRE blog dedicated to the mayhem of our lives, and a large amount of that mayhem is a direct result of miss Sterling's influence, but somehow weathering that nuttiness together has cemented our friendship.

Every insane little antic that she tries, every absurd thing she climbs, every poop laden object I scrub somehow just solidifies our friendship further.

I'm guessing its like the first time you hold you hold your college roommate's hair while she worships at the porcelain goddess. It's a rite of passage. A friendship cover charge. A price of admission that builds the relationship.

Either that, or my toddler has given me Stockholm Syndrome...

Poopocalypse

Holy sweet hell. Know what those pictures are?

Exactly what they look like.

But let me give you a little back story.

Right now I am hosting either Strep, or it's low rent, meaner, uglier cousin. I'm waiting for the lab report to confirm.

My body aches, my throat is on fire and I am congested like that snot monster from Ghostbusters. Yeah, sexy.

So after a particularly bratty morning wrangling the monsters while John got his hair did, the trade off was that I was supposed to get to spend this afternoon in bed trying to get over the plague.

Operative words: supposed to.

See, John put Sterling down for nap... and evidently skipped one critical step.

He didn't put the jammies on backwards.

In our house, backwards jammies are critical. For obvious reasons.

Homegirl was so moved by her unexpected opportunity to get naked that she decided to spread her joy... on her sheets, her comforter, and all over the carpet.

And as I sit here feeling sorry for myself, I know that I am the one who is going to end up cleaning it up.

At least I am congested enough that I won't smell it.

Much.