Welcome To The Big Leagues, Daddy

My lovely husband took over the kids this afternoon so I could take a nap. I am still recovering from an accident that took place about 7 months ago, so days where I can rest are amazing.

I decided to head downstairs at about 5:00 to help him get the day wrapped up and feed the monsters dinner.

As I entered the playroom, both kids launched themselves at me with shrill shrieks of "Momma".

And sitting in the middle of the floor, looking beaten and bedraggled and thoroughly demoralized was my poor, sweet hubby. His hair was all disheveled, his shirt was askew, and he gazed dazedly off into the distance like a shell shocked battle survivor.

Which is interesting, because usually when John has the kids, they are on their good behavior and he revels in his superior parenting abilities.

Today though? Not so much.

I sat down to play with the little beasts, and Bennett immediately commenced to whacking my back with a club while Sterling bit my knees. I guess they had missed me?

Once the abuse was over, they both came back for hugs and love. Which was sweet and all, but they interspersed it with brief fits of violence.

Daddy finally shook himself out of his stupor and announced that it was dinner time... about 30 minutes early.

We all tromped upstairs for a cascading series of tantrums over what to eat, where to sit, and which spoon to use.

It was a lovely, lovely meal.

As we tucked the little monsters into bed, I literally watched the life come back to John.

And being intimately familiar with the huge relief that comes when both babies are tucked into their rooms behind shut doors, I felt for him.

It's not that I don't love them, or that I'm not incredibly grateful to have them. Because I am both of those things. But it's that they know how to pluck (and whack, and bite, and...) every last nerve, and it takes an incredible amount of self control not to run away most afternoons.

And I think today may have been my husband's first real experience walking in my shoes. Welcome to the big leagues, daddy :-)

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Mini Super Hero? You Be The Judge.

There are those who insist that my girl is a mini super hero. And this post is for you guys.

You see, I have to be honest. The best Mayhem by FAR is Mayhem that happens to someone else when I'm not around. Because then I have to agree with you all, that shit is funny.

Like the other evening for instance.

I had a Physical Therapy appointment, so my wonderful husband came home to wrangle the monst... er, I mean tuck the little angels in to bed.

I called home about an hour after bed time, and my sweet husband was still wrangling Demon Girl (my guess at her superhero name... I could be wrong).

Turns out, she had been in bed for about 30 minutes when she started yelling.

He came rushing in to find... she had hacked into her closet.

A little backstory: based upon past Mayhem, all of her furniture, clothes, and potentially deadly toys are locked behind closed doors in her closet. Each time I try a new kiddie latch for it, she figures out how to open it.

This most recent setup thwarted her for a bit, but the night in question was its last stand. Homegirl went after it like a Kardashian sister after a publicity opportunity. That poor door didn't stand a chance.

So once she got the closet open, she dug out her bathing suit and pulled that puppy on. Like any self-respecting super hero would do.

At which point daddy (the awesome toddler's arch-nemesis) came in to crap on her party.

I'm pretty certain her expression speaks for itself. But if not, let me try to translate. I'm confident it says "You think you are prepared to tackle me, big man? Think again. I know how to make a nut shot look like a roughhousing accident ."

Daddy probably ought to watch his back. It's nice to have a buddy with me on the crap list...

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The Growler

Bennett is a little bit hard headed. In the way that the Grand Canyon is a little bit big. Or that Niagra Falls is a little bit wet. Or that... you get the picture.

So when my sweet baby boy decided he was just going to growl my name going forward, he kind of stuck with it. 

Yep, plenty of other words he will say in a normal voice. But "Momma"? That one he insists on growling. 

So special...

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Electrical Outlet Mayhem

Fun fact: the more deadly something is, the more drawn toddlers are to jack with it.

Case in point, electrical sockets.

I think we can all agree that they are deadly.

Yet for some crazy-ass reason, my kids love to try to poke things into them, including their tongues.

And those handy little plastic jobbies that you buy to cover them over? Useless.

Both of my kids quickly learned how to pull those out. So at this point, they are just toys that lure my kids in... to play with the electrical sockets.

And the fun part? Those socket covers are the PERFECT size to be a choking hazard. So as soon as my kids pull them out, they pop those handy little plugs of death right into their mouths.

But because my little turkeys know I will be all over them if I catch them jacking with the electrical covers, they do it covertly. Sneaking away to screw with them only when my back is turned.

Human beings must be the only creatures on earth that are that KNOWINGLY self destructive. I've never seen a puppy or kitten hide in the corner so it could lick an electrical socket...

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Homeslice just strolled on over
and handed this to me...

Bennett doing a quick check before he peels
off another switch cover.
Smooth buddy, real smooth...

Even After This, They Still Trust Me Alone With Kids

This weekend, I had a couple of awesome friends visit to help me edit a manuscript I am working on. John helpfully took the kids to the beach.

Now you might think that meant my weekend was spent mayhem free.

You would be wrong.

Let me explain.

Saturday morning I woke up early to whip up a tasty breakfast while my guests slept. I have this signature dish that I call "Pecan Praline Bread Pudding". It is *just* breakfasty enough that I usually make it as a brunch dish, even though it is pretty much a dessert.

I had a few extra pecans so I upped my praline topping, not taking into consideration how that beast would bubble up as it baked.

Which it did. It was all KINDS of freakin amazing, and I ended up with a pile of sugary goo in the bottom of my spotless oven.

Thinking nothing of it, I turned on the oven's handy dandy Self Clean feature to deal with the mess. And totally jacked the day.

About 30 minutes into the Self Clean cycle, thick smoke began to billow out of the oven. I quickly turned it off and began frantically waving a broom at the shrieking fire alarm.

The initial smoke. Not too bad.

Smoke continued to stream out, so I turned on the kitchen fan, opened the back door and several windows and thought we were all good.

We weren't.

Soon a little smoke turned into a LOT of smoke. And no matter how many windows we opened, it quickly filled the house.

We weighed the pros and cons of calling the fire department, but sadly decided that seeing a bunch of hot  eye candy wasn't worth the tradeoff of potential water damage.

Instead, we initially tried sitting down on the floor to get underneath the haze of smoke.

This is ONE way to get rid of house guests...

That didn't work so well, so then we went out onto the front porch. It was freaking freezing.

After about an hour, the oven cooled down enough to stop belching out thick smoke, but the funk of burned sugar still filled the house.

The last photo before we abandoned ship.
When I opened the oven door, I was completely unprepared for the mess.

There was a 2 inch thick layer of scorched sugar in the bottom of the oven, evidently the heat had caused it to expand and then crystallize. And the entire interior was coated in a black greasy scum.

After breaking the bottom crust out in large chunks to remove it, I tried several tactics to soften the rest of it in order to get the oven clean.

I must say, when it comes to oven cleaning tactics, Pinterest is fucking useless. Makes me wonder how many other "handy tips" out there are completely ineffective.

I finally exhausted all of my vinegar and baking soda, and was completely disgusted with the results from the organic approach, so I broke down and bought some good old-fashioned high toxin oven cleaner.

If you've never read the directions on one of those, I don't suggest doing it now. They are scary enough to make you question why the hell we would ever create something so freaking dangerous. And then sell it at CVS.

But it DID begin to chip away at the nasty scum inside my oven. A few more goes at it, and I may be able to see through the window of my oven door again.

So now I am left with a house that still reeks of scorched sugar, a oven that is still pretty much a train wreck, and a toxin load in my system that rivals that of Karen Silkwood.

But we laughed our asses off through the entire process, so I'm also left with the great memories of how hilarious that long series of mistakes was.

And that makes it worth it :-)

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Shake, Shake, Shake... Yep, She Just Said What You Think She Said

So, yeahhhhh...

Another one to file under Excellence in Parenting.

I have absolutely NO idea where Sterling heard the original "Shake Your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Gang, let alone how she got the idea to add her own special spin, but yep.

My girl decided to strike out on her own. It's unlikely that she has a future in song writing if this is any indication.

So proud...

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iPhone and Flush, Not Two Happy Thoughts Together

I am pretty freaking thankful for this app right here.

This is "Finder", from Apple. Essentially, it enables you to track down your Apple devices.

Pretty damn sweet, huh?

This morning I couldn't find my phone. I'd had it earlier in the morning, so I knew it was somewhere in the house.

"No worries" I confidently thought to myself. I snagged my iPad, pulled up Finder, and tracked it down.

Then I discovered one of the weaknesses of Finder. All it showed was where it generally was in relation to my iPad, somewhere in the Southeastern corner of the house. It didn't tell me which floor.

When you have two little mayhem makers, not knowing which floor leaves a lot of room for guessing.

Bennett loves to run through the house any chance he gets, and we had just come back downstairs for snack time. That meant that my phone could be in the Southeastern corner of three different floors.

No worries, I thought, I will just search each of those floors. Nothing.

I used the compass again, thinking perhaps it would be a little more specific this time. Nothing.

I began tearing apart furniture on each floor in search of it. Nothing.

Sterling and Bennett had been contentedly watching me through all this.

Sterling finally pipes up "Momma, I flush your phone in the potty".

Thinking I had misunderstood, I clarified three different times. Each time, she was insistent that she had flushed it down the potty.

The guest toilet is attached to the playroom, and IS in the Southeastern corner of the house.

And this wasn't my first time at the "flushing crap down the toilet" rodeo. Last time it cost us hundreds of dollars, so I added the cost of a new phone on top of that and immediately broke out into a cold sweat.

Several frantic minutes of jamming my arm down the toilet ensued. They helpfully did their damnedest to fish along with me. It was like wrestling with two little octopi while my left hand was jammed as far into the toilet bowl as it would go.

I flushed the toilet just to see if there was an obstruction, and there wasn't, but Finder IMMEDIATELY showed that my phone had gone offline. Sterling helpfully piped up "uh oh, Momma's phone gone".

A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach started to set in.

I realized I needed a few minutes away from her to regain my composure, otherwise things might get real ugly, real quick.

I was sitting on the stairs with my iPad, trying not to cry, when I saw a nice little feature on Finder which makes your phone beep.

With nothing to lose, I hit it. Immediately there was an answering trill... up in the living room. In the Southeastern corner of the house. Evidently Bennett had snagged my phone at snack time and conveniently stashed it between the seat cushions in the sofa.


So I came back downstairs, and asked Sterling why she said she had flushed my phone. Sterling looks at me, smiles that ornery little smile and says "I funny mama".

I've got several words for her, "funny" ain't one of them...

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Toilet Paper Tornado

I have to be honest, I had a totally different post planned for today.

I wrote it after a pretty mayhem-y morning. I had the pictures uploaded, keywords tagged, everything was all ready to go with a bow on top.

Annnnd then this happened.

Let me explain.

I had to Bennett all into his bed, and went to get Sterling some jammies. After checking her closet, I realized that they were all in the laundry room, so I left her to use the potty while I went downstairs to grab a pair.

BIG mistake. Huge.

Because when I came back from the laundry room, this was what was waiting for me.

A naked Sterling, jumping around like an idiot, screaming "Yay mama, I naked! Happy party, happy naked, happy naked party!!!"

She had taken the end of the toilet paper, pulled it through the house, down the stairs, and was dancing with it like it was a ribbon in the entryway.

We've have had a bit of an issue with toilet paper lately, I am a few blog posts behind but don't worry, I will catch you up. I've got to admit, I'm totally over this trick.

I'm just thankful it was naptime, I was able to stick her hiney in bed before I strangled her.

And just in case you're curious, it's Trader Joe's brand toilet paper that has enough strength to be pulled through the house by a two-year-old and still not rip off the damn roll.

You are welcome ;-)

Now, I've got an entire roll of toilet paper to go re-roll. Or just shove in a pile somewhere. Not sure which...

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Losing Our ShooShit

Don't want to share with your bother?
Climb out of his reach. Seems legit...
Today, the cause of much whinescreaming is "shooshit".

Otherwise known as sushi to those of us who can speak in decibels that don't have dogs within a 3 mile radius going crazy.

See, we have some toy sushi. Up until today, the primary piece that got played with was the huge wooden knife that came with the set.

Bennett likes to use it to whack things. Big shocker, I know.

But for some reason, today the shooshit's stock suddenly raised to red hot. No idea why, but suddenly they both NEEDED it. And thus the whinescreaming.

If I don't go deaf from having " that shooshit is MOINE Ben Ben" screamed in close proximity for an entire day, then I will certainly go crazy from it.

And of the two options, I think I prefer crazy, because that way I get a few months away with my own comfy padded cell.

But wait, if I were deaf, I wouldn't be able to hear whines ever again. Is it an option to go selectively deaf only to toddler whines? Because that might be the best solution of all...

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The One Armed Poop Monster

There are days that are lovely and happy and all around joyful.

And then there are days like today, where the kids' moods perfectly mirror the grey, ominous, overcast sky.

Today, today we all needed nap time WAAAAAAAAYYYY before it ever friggin rolled around. But because I am a slave to the schedule (and I know exactly what happens when we deviate), I went ahead and waited until 1:00 to put them down.

Sterling has horrible allergies right now, and Bennett contributed sympathy whining from the moment he woke up, so it had been a long ass morning.

They both went to sleep almost immediately, which was a sure sign that they were exhausted. The house was quiet, the babies were snoozing, all was right with the world... until the doorbell rang. I am pretty certain I was about as chipper as Grumpy Cat to see the lady at the door.

I quickly wrapped that visit up, and shut the front door just as Sterling called out "Momma, I wannnnttttt you."

Usually the rule is, once that bedroom door closes, it stays closed. But then she followed up with the clincher. "Momma, I all poopy. I can't get it off." Which meant one of several things, none of which were good.

So running up the stairs two at a time, I open the door to find this, my happy little munchkin with a hand coming out the top of her jammies. Breathing an internal sigh of relief because it was NONE of the scenarios I envisioned, I started to undress her to fix it.

At which point I realized how premature that sigh of relief had been.

See, homegirl is a *bit* of a contortionist. And she had pulled her arm inside of her jammies. And unhooked her diaper. And pushed it down into the bottom of one leg of her jammies. Smearing poop EVERYWHERE.

I unzipped her jammies, and was momentarily tempted to zip them right back up again and go on with my day. Because there is no way in hell to recover from a pooptastrophie like that.

First I had to get the jammies off, then I had to take her into the bathroom and hose her down. Then I had to clean the poop off of the carpet where chunks had fallen when I initially unzipped her. And then the final fun part was that I had to wrangle her into a new diaper and jammies.

Any idea how hard it is to get a kid who has seen a glimpse of freedom back into their jammies? Pretty damn hard.

If reincarnation does exist, I either was a horrible, horrible poop fiend in the last life, or I am preparing to come back as a unicorn in the next one. Either one.

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You, Me, and Crap

Want an exercise in futility? Try explaining to a toddler the difference between "me" and "you".

The last few days, our conversations have gone something like this:

Sterling: Here momma, put this necklace on me? As she reaches up to put it around my neck.
Me: No Sterling, you are "me". I am "you". When you are putting the necklace on me, you are putting it on "you". I mean "me" are putting the necklace on "you".
S: I put the necklace on "you"? Taking the necklace back and putting it on her neck.
Me: No, now you are putting the necklace on "me". Sterling reaches out to put the necklace back around my neck.
S: "You"?
Me: Yes, now you are putting the necklace on "you". Sterling looks at me apprehensively.
S: You put necklace on "you"? Sterling looks at me in confusion, the necklace hangs midway between us.
Me: Let me help you put that necklace on you. Crap, I mean I am putting the necklace on "Me"I pat her tummy with one hand.
S: Crap.
Me: No, you shouldn't say that.
Me: Nope, that's not a good choice. You can say CRUD.
S: You say crap?
Me: Nope, I say crud.
S: No, you say crap momma. Crap! Me say crap!

So in essence, we never did actually clear up the whole "me" and "you" situation, but we DID teach Sterling the correct usage for crap.

Which is almost as good.


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Rainy Day Delirium

Man, nothing like a dreary early spring day to make you appreciate the value of giant, kid-sized hamster balls. My friend recommended this as a parenting solution, and the more I think about it, the more I see the validity this option. Because there is nothing better than crappy weather to bring out the mayhem in small children.

Take my kids, for example. Today I had a completely different blog post planned. And then mayhem struck.

First, they figured out how to get the bathroom door open and snuck in there to shove things down the toilet. I have learned from our mistakes in that arena, and spent the next few minutes fishing out Mardi Gras beads, a wooden dog pull toy, and one of Sterling's shoes.

Bennett was completely soaked in toilet water, so I stripped him down to just a diaper. 

While I was occupied resolving that potential fiasco and scrubbing soggy toys with soap, they got bored and shifted their sights onto new options.

I came back out to the playroom to discover that they were using the kitchen set to practice their mountain climbing skills. Seems legit, why not use the heaviest, most easily tipped piece of furniture in the room to climb on? Who needs to see their next birthday?

I peeled them both off, and had succeeded in getting Sterling engaged in a book when I realized Bennett was being abnormally quiet.

With that creepy sixth sense that only a mom develops, I rushed back in to the kitchen set, to discover that Bennett The Wonder Chunk had succeeded in climbing the kitchen set on his own. And as soon as Sterling saw him up there, she scampered to join him. Yay.

This was the point at which I banished the basket that they were using to climb on, and put it in "Toy Time Out". My kids could care less if I punish them. But take away a toy that they are doing bad things with? That's when stuff gets heavy.

Both were so incensed that I would take away their favorite stepping stool, that they sat down in the floor and proceeded to pitch the mother of all matching tantrums. I took them upstairs for lunch, and they both continued to scream and wail the entire way through.

This was the point at which I called "Uncle" on the day and took them up for nap.

We are getting outside this afternoon, even if it means I have to wrap everyone in plastic bags to keep them dry.

I joke!


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Public Restroom Cheerleader

I'm thankful for little cheer leaders in public restrooms, I really am.

There is nothing quite like the incredibly loud voice of a toddler yelling "Mommy pee in the potty, yaaaaayyyyy!!!!", accompanied by a round of applause to make you feel completely honored to be doing your business in the potty like a big kid.

Yep, it's the laughter from everyone else in the restroom around you that kind of tarnishes the moment a bit, but what evs.

However, I am not so thankful for little cheer leaders who peek under the stall wall into the next stall beside you. Because no matter HOW profusely you apologize, people still give you the "bad parenting" glare.

Or who helpfully open the stall door prematurely. Like while you are still in the middle of doing said business.

"Oh, hi there random strangers, let me just get my pants pulled up here before I run off to strang... er, I mean chase my toddler."

It definitely destroys the moment a bit.

In fact, it's been so long since I have been able to use a public restroom in peace that I have almost forgotten what it was like.


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There are days when I have my shit together. The kind of days where the sun shines, the birds sing, and the children are well-behaved.

This my friends, this post ain't about those kind of days. Nope, this is about one of those days where the ugly comes out of mama, the children are hellions, and we all wonder if I'm the best person for the job.

Today was a preschool day for Sterling. Usually one of our favorite days. She gets to go have fun and play at school. Bennett and I get a couple of hours to enjoy one another alone, and we get our grocery shopping done. It is a win for all.

I should have known something was up when we went for pickup, and Bennett laid down in the middle of the hall at school and refused to get up.

Homeboy is a tank. A HEAVY tank. And his refusal to walk back out to the car meant one thing: I was going to have to carry him out. And I am not talking Saving Private Ryan heroic type of carrying. I am talking tired, sweaty, frazzled mom carry. Which means that you are always thisclose to dropping something important. 

Sterling was tired and grouchy, but we made it out to the car in one piece. Since I was carrying Bennett, I decided to buckle him into his seat first, and that was the start of my poor decisions today.

As I was taking care of Bennett, Sterling took off running. I let her run for a little bit, it's not uncommon for her to burn off the last of her steam as we are walking to the car. But her preschool is at the intersection of two BUSY roads, so it always makes me a little nervous. After I called her back to me and she ignored me, I knew we were up for some trouble. I took off after her as she raced happily,  straight for the road.

Just as a reminder, I was hit 6 months ago while walking by a car, and still go to Physical Therapy several times a week. Running is not currently in my repertoire. But I didn't have a choice, so I booked it after her as she scooted merrily toward the roadway. We had gotten about three yards from the street when she turned around and saw me. Laughing like a loon, she immediately sped up and ran as fast as she could, straight for the street.

I managed to catch her about a foot and a half from the roadway, as cars zoomed merrily past us. My adrenaline was pumping, my emotions were high, and I popped her hiney in front of the whole preschool. Yep. I am that mom.

It would have been worth it if it had made the slightest impact, but she laughed merrily at me and said "whee Momma, FUN!"

I picked her up and carried her back to the car, giving her crap the entire way. Not the slightest of which even made a dent in her enthusiam.

And I thought to myself, "Well, it was terrifying, but we have our blog post for today". And it would have been awesome if it ended there.

But it didn't.


I buckled her in, kissed her forehead, and gave her the snack that we do every Friday after school. A carrot applesauce packet and a "Yummy Bar". I walked around to my side of the car, with Bennett screaming every step of the way.

A quick goodbye to my friends who had watched the entire thing, and an assurance from my friend Lara that I didn't look *quite* as crazy as I felt, and I climbed into my car.

To the unmistakable aroma of carrot.

And then I looked into my back seat, and saw carrot destruction of epic proportions. Carrot sauce was in her hair, coated into the power window switch, all over her car seat, poured into all the cup holders and crevices she could reach, and smeared all over my leather seats.

It was a carrotastrophe.

I called Lara over to show her the wreckage. "Are you going to be OK?" she asked me uncertainly. And although I was, it took me several deep breaths to be sure.

As I was driving home, processing all of this, and mindlessly following the flow of traffic, I happened to catch the unmistakable flash of a speed camera. Which was the icing on the cake.

If ever I have needed wine at the end of the day, this is the day. Instead, I am enjoying a nice green smoothie. That's almost as good. Almost...

Look at that face, full of remorse and contrition.

Pretty glad expressions can't speak for themselves, although I am FULLY confident I know what this one is saying...

Any idea how freakin hard it is to get carrot goo out of these little crevices?

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Climbing Little Chunk

Who us? Oh, we're just avoiding cabin fever today by climbing shit we're not supposed to.

See, it took the boy 45 minutes and multiple climbing launch pads, but he finally figured it out. Evidently Bennett is not going to let a little extra junk in his trunk stop him from defying gravity. And driving me crazy(er).

What he lacks in nimble grace, he MORE than makes up for in blind persistence and strength.

Which means obstacles that might have deterred a less determined kid are just opportunities for improvisation in Bennett world.

Yep. Guess who is going to spend a little time outside after nap?

A man with a plan, Bennett sizes up his obstacle.

He pulls his book/step closer and gives it a try, making it look like he is playing with the truck so as not to arouse any suspicions.

He ups his game with a better step. But catches the attention of SHE WHO RUINS ALL FUN. "Look away lady, nothing for you to see here."

He gives it a try. And realizes that perhaps he should have skipped that second helping of Animal Crackers at snack time.

SUCCESS! Trumpets are blaring. Crowds are cheering. And crap, moms are coming to peel us off. Thwarted again...

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Club Happy Camper

Bennett has two modes:

- Roaming around looking for things he can club, or use to club others over the head with.

- Asleep.

Today he has been in an especially clubby mood. I have been impressed at both the creativity and the diversity of items he has clubbed me with.

And as my pile of toys in "time out" has grown, he has had to get more and more creative.

I have been clubbed with a microphone, a flip flop, a baby bottle, and in an especially dastardly spin, he just came over and whacked me with a plush Ariel doll. Now you might be thinking "a stuffed doll, how much could that really hurt". But he whipped her hair at me with such a fervor that even Willow Smith would be impressed, and it hurt like a bitch!

He has strutted around all morning with his little chest out, bellowing and glaring belligerently at anything that mistakenly made eye contact with him.

Homeboy has been pretty clear about his desire to beat the ever loving shit out of SOMETHING today. He taught that poor rocking horse a lesson earlier that it won't soon forget!

And if he keeps ripping handfuls of hair out of Sterling's head like he has been, we are soon going to have enough to knit a sweater from.

Which leaves me one of a few options. I can:

1. Finally test out that baby straight jacket theory I've been kicking around for a little while.
2. Duct tape his hands together. I figure no opposable thumbs = no ability hold on to clubs.
3. Run away from home. To somewhere tropical. That has a ban on tantrums. And a mandatory four hour nap every day.

Actually, # 3 is sounding better and better...

Unless anyone else can recommend one that I am overlooking?

Ben's tried and true favorite club. Always certain to leave a bruise.

An improvised option, the microphone worked in a pinch. Look at the determination in those eyes. Someone is going to get it...

A sample of the handfuls of hair that Ben keeps pulling out of Sterling's head.

What's In A Name

So recently baby girl has been calling me Cararine, which is her closest approximation at my name.

She throws it out there all casual and hip like, as if all cool toddlers called their mom by their first name.

Who knows, maybe they do.

I know my sister and I called my parents by their first names, but they were hippies, so we did things a little bit differently.

But in our house, I'm Momma and John is Daddy.

It all started with her asking me one day "where's John". It was cute. I made the mistake of laughing. It stuck. And now he is Daddy 50 percent of the time and John the other 50.

I am Mommy or Momma when she is sad or really wants something. Cararine is saved for when she is feeling spunky, ornery, or "talking" to me on the phone.

But for some reason, I'm not really all that worried about it.

Part of it is that I feel this is just a stage. She is trying out calling us by our first names as part of being "big". She has also tested out calling me Sweetie, Honey, and Sunshine, all of which are names that John calls me.

The other part of it is that the two of them have worn me down to an exhausted little nub. What she calls me is the LEAST of my worries, as long as it isn't too bad.

The truth of it though is that I pick my battles. I am big on respect and treating one another with consideration. And as long as she is calling us by our first names as a play at being big rather than out of disrespect, I'm OK with it.

Besides, I grew up calling my parents by their first name and I turned out OK. Wait, perhaps that's not exactly a strong endorsement...

"Hello? Cararine? I'm going to be especially naughty today, you might want to get that wine ready now..."

Diaper Cream Disaster

So yeah.

Yesterday, I learned that there are things harder than baby poop to clean off the carpet.

Yep, this whole parenting gig rocks for practical, hands-on learning opportunities.

See,  Sterling must have gotten extra bored during nap time. Usually, she either sleeps, or hangs out in her room and plays quietly the whole time. But occasionally, she gets a wild hair, and mayhem ensues.

I'm used to that. I've had LOTS of practice. Lots. Lots and Lots. And Lots. That's just the tip of the iceberg, but I think you get the picture.

But yesterday was a particularly rough day. First, John went to his doctor for a routine visit, and discovered that his blood pressure was dangerously high. Which meant that my blood pressure instantly went dangerously high.

Little bit of an emotional roller coaster there.

Then, I went in to get Sterling up from nap. I walked into the room, which you will notice at this point is nearly bare, and discovered some kind of white scum all over the windows. And walls. And bedding. And in her hair. And on her jammies. And holy hell, sweet mercy, smeared all over the carpet.

She smiled at me with the impish glee that only a 2.5 year old can muster and proudly says "I got butt cream momma, oh crap, it's a mess".

Oh crap, indeed...

Somehow, she had shimmied up the doorway between her bedroom and her bathroom, and wedged her hand into the tiny crack that the door opens to (I have one of those handy dandy little door stopper things which is supposed to let light but not kids through). Still not sure how the hell she managed to do it, but she did.

And the awesome thing about that diaper cream? It's made to withstand the nuclear Holocaust of the nastiest poops, so there is very little that your average cleaning agent can do to it. Nope, after 45 minutes of alternately crying and swearing under my breath, I finally admitted defeat.

It's starting to look unlikely that the carpet in her room will outlive the year at this rate. At least the diaper cream was white, so it kind of camoflouged in, but now the carpet is gummy in large portions of the room.


My first hint that something wasn't quite right, a hazy window...

The Master at work, demonstrating her technique...

Face and hair full of butt cream

Bed slats, window, carpet, and rocking horse all liberally coated

The TEENY TINY little gap Sterling somehow managed to climb and wedge her hand through to grab the diaper cream off of the shelf on the other side.