Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Morning...

No need to search for the Bright Side today. It's right in front of me... great day to be a mom. 


Although it's true, this Kodak moment was followed up by a diaper blow-out of epic proportions. Alas, I won't be brought down today. Feeling so blessed! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life Lessons with Santa...

Last year my daughter was 2 when we went to see the big guy in the sleigh. Here's how it went down: 
  1. To avoid a panic situation, we practiced what to ask Santa for as a present multiple times for several days. 
  2. We waited in the excruciating long line for over an hour with a 6 month old and a 2-year old singing, dancing, and practicing more. This was a real test of patience...
  3. My daughter reaches Santa and is instantly scared, near tears. 
  4. I get the joy of sitting on Santa's lap with her on my lap. There's nothing more awesome than sitting on a strange man's lap who is dressed in a red fuzzy suit when you're a woman in your 30's.  
  5. Santa asks what she wants for Christmas. She blanks and I am envisioning the movie "A Christmas Story". 
  6. As we're walking away she finally blurts out, "a Jasmine" as I'm whispering in her ear. She really wanted the movie "Aladdin." She was close.
This year we got smart. We arrived early, in line before Santa even arrived! When he did roll up, literally, he was riding this rad motorcycle decked out in Christmas lights with a Rudolph front fender. Only in St Pete...
Alas, it was another Red Ryder BB Gun moment. We practiced but there's no preparing for the pressure of Santa's lap when you're 3. She really wants the movie Peter Pan but when asked what she'd like for Christmas we again got the blank stare followed by, "a movie." Of course Santa needed to clarify which movie and I instantly felt a Ralphie "football" coming on. She blurted out, "Cinderella!" Which we already own and have for 2 years. But she gets an "A" for effort! 

And the Bright Side beyond the hilarity of the situation, the joy of sitting on Santa's lap as an adult, and seeing Santa arrive like boss hog on his Harley? I think she received another good life lesson in how to deal with high pressure situations. Might as well start young, right?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bringin' Home the B...


It was just a matter of time really before a bunny entered our home. Try as he may, my husband couldn't argue with 3 animal lovers, he was out-numbered. And truly, who could say no to a 3yr old that genuinely takes patience and time to be gentle with small animals in every opportunity given. She earned the bunny. 

I've mentioned in the past that my life is already in a state of disarray, so perhaps adding yet another fuzzy mouth to feed may seem a bit crazy. And upon day 1 it was. So please, sit back and enjoy the bunny tail.. 
  1. It all started back in July. We visited a petting zoo and our daughter held a white bunny on her lap. It truly was love at first hop and I understood exactly how she felt. I grew up with small animals. Every kind they sell at the local pet store from guinea pigs, to rats, to bunnies. NOTE: Looking back my parents were incredibly patient to deal with those animals because let's be honest, while I learned some responsibility I am pretty sure I wasn't cleaning up after them daily... Umm... thanks mom. 
  2. In any case, I slowly began the process of talking my husband into allowing me to get our daughter a bunny. This step took several months but at least it didn't take a PowerPoint presentation like I had to create in order to get the horse. (That's a true story. I was years ahead of that Microsoft commercial with the boy using PPT to get a dog). 
  3. We determine Christmas is the right time to get the bunny. 
  4. I begin my usual process of obsessing over the next big thing. In this case the obsession started with the bunny house. And wow. Who knew about the castles available for bunnies! Some bunnies may have more square footage than I do!
  5. I begin my search for the actual bunny doing research as to what type of bunny will be right for us. 
  6. A week into the search, a friend finds out I'm looking and of course she has a friend needing a home for a bunny. A free bunny with cage, accessories, food, etc. All great except of course the small fact that it is NOT Christmas. 
  7. I decide to take the kids just to "see" the bunny and gauge whether if might be a good fit for us - knowing full-well I may end up with a bunny and I may end up in trouble. 
  8. On the drive home (bunny in box on the seat next to me) my husband calls and asks what we're up to. Before I can even answer a small voice from the backseat yells, "Mom! Don't tell Dad we got a rabbit!" The jig is up. 
  9. We name the bunny. A very common choice... "Caramel Hotchi". "Hotch" for short. 
  10. I face the wrath of the spouse, who is thankfully fairly calm due to the fact that everything came free. Every so often his frugality works in my favor.
  11. I foolishly attempt to allow the dogs to see the bunny - allowing them to run in the yard while we are behind the fence on the patio with the free-range bunny.
  12. Dogs proceed to act insane as I try to stand on the edge of the fence and shout at them to calm down. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed this.
  13. Calming the dogs is a fruitless effort that ends in me tripping and actually falling through the fence and completely knocking a section down. I'm sure the neighbors enjoyed this even more.
  14. Both children scream and cry thinking I'm hurt. And for the record, it did hurt although nothing more than a few bruises and heavily wounded pride.
  15. My daughter then makes me pinky swear that I'll never fall through the fence again. Good Lord let's hope not! I've never been called graceful but this was the first time I took out a fence. 
In the end the bright side is this. Caramel Hotchi s a fabulous bunny and I think I may have finally convinced my hubby that while the timing was wrong, the bunny was right! He doesn't bite, he's litter trained, and he loves attention. Thank God or the bunny poo would have hit the fan - or at least the fence! 

And I have to say, if you're looking for a bunny, visit the SPCA. You may just find your own Caramel Hotchi and who doesn't want that?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished...

I have a lot going on. An excessive amount of chaos really. However, even as the madness ensues I try to do the right thing. Try to follow the rules to a "T". I may not bake the best cookie or maintain the ability to whip up cute crafty crap, but believe me, I read gads on how to raise children and follow the advice. I took lessons for over 2 years when I decided to become an equestrian to be sure I was safe for both me and the horse. And being in marketing I try to read everything I can squeeze into my day about the latest and greatest way to sell the widget. I am honest and never play poker because I would only go broke.

All this said, when the "Buy Local" movement started to take off I really considered the concept and embraced the goodness of it. Apparently for every dollar spent in locally owned businesses it generates over three times the local economic impact as spending with national chains.

As a majority of my family lives up north, I have to admit that for many years past I've done a lot of my Christmas shopping online with my friends like GAP, Toys 'R Us, and Best Buy. But this year I made the decision that I would put in the time to shop our local stores and try to find as many gifts as I could and go that extra distance of shipping on my own. With two small children (1 and 3) and a husband that travels, I cannot tell a lie - this is a project and a pain in my as*! However, I like the concept and I think it's good to instill the value of community support in my children.

So, I pack up the mini-humans pulling them away from their toys and dragged them to go shopping with me. We arrive in downtown St. Petersburg, my city and a place I love... aside from the parking. Damn those meters. However, I've been burned before and like I said, I follow the rules so I went out of my way to scrounge up all the quarters I could find before leaving home. I have the quarters in my pocket but opted to get the kids before plugging the meter because I don't want to waste 5 cents of time, clearly.

We quickly rush in and out of a couple stores and approximately 12 minutes passes when I realize... SOB! The quarters are still in my pocket!! In my mad dash I forgot to feed the hungry meter! I rush the kids back to the truck but it's too late.

Got me. Forgive me if I am a little burned on Buy Local today. The money I would've spent is now going to my TICKET!! I know there are many, many worse things in life. But some days life is not fair. Alas, I will follow the rules and pay the ticket.

The Bright Side of buy local? Of course I found multiple new local shops that I will be sure to continue to patronize. My online shopping experience cannot compare to the passion shown by these owners.  And since I do truly believe in supporting my neighbor I'll pass along some standouts I have discovered:
  • Paper Street Market: Forget Christmas shopping, I'm furnishing my house!
  • Sweet Divas: Not only amazing "REAL" chocolate, but cute little stocking stuffer ideas.
  • Whim So Doodle: They made me feel like I "could" be crafty. Inspiring shop. 
  • Savory Spice Shop: Spices are always a fun gift and this store is knowledgeable and they will ship! :)
  • Paciugo - Gelato: While this is a chain, I believe it is locally owned by a franchisee. And I will just say this, if you visit downtown St Petersburg don't be stupid. Get the gelato. It is worth every penny AND every calorie. 
So go on and buy local! It's worth the effort, just be sure you actually USE the quarters...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Card Superstar

Yep. That's me. Christmas Card Superstar. Now that Thanksgiving is over I realize it's time to start thinking about the expected although dreaded "family photo Christmas card". Something I never imagined I would partake in as so many people send the photo, no personal message. Don't get me wrong, I like the photos and I get it. Sometimes as a parent one simply doesn't have time to spend hours writing messages on the back of a holiday card. But if parenthood has taught me nothing else, it has taught me the truth of "never say never." (Although I still write a short message on the back of each card hoping this creates some level of personalization). 

In any case, each year I strive to get a quality photo in which all family members are smiling, eyes open, facing the camera,  hair and clothing fairly clean, etc. But this is apparently too much to ask. Last year one child was looking the other way but smiling, the other was looking at the camera but crying. And I think I had a hole in my shirt. I ran with it. There comes a point in which one must move forward. I probably should have given up and opted for this thumb print card idea...

But crying, eyes closed, hair out of place, etc, all pale in comparison to the rockin' card I made the first year my daughter was born. The photo was actually perfect. Everyone was smiling and happy laying on a blanket on the beach facing the camera. It was truly cute, festive, and frame worthy.... until of course you read the printed note. The one in which I wrote the Merry Christmas message from each family member including both dogs and the horse but FORGOT to include my daughter. Pretty much the only person in the photo anyone cared to see. 

Shortly after I sent my adorable family photo Christmas cards I noticed I had received many emails and a few voicemails. At first I thought perhaps I was hearing from long lost friends to chat about that cute baby on the card. Ummmm, no. They were calling to inform me I was a complete momo and forgot to include my own daughter on the freaking family photo Christmas card. While it was great the horse said hello, they found it strange the new mommy left out the child. Embarrassing to say the least. Although my mother was kind enough to offer that she thought I left her out on purpose since I signed the note on the back from my daughter. Thanks mom. But it's ok. I can handle the truth... 


The bright side of this tale of Christmas card embarrassment? I did have a memorable card amongst the many and it did lead to lots of contact with old friends... But will I ever live that down? Need a Sunshine Bomb.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Attack Squirrels?

Just curious, when did squirrels cross the line of becoming straight up attack animals?Just saw this posted at the park. Should I truly be concerned about a gang of street tough squirrels taking me down?  

I guess the bright side is that they appear to be unarmed... 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jedi Mind Trick for Parents

Do you find yourself endlessly aggravated as you toss out countless amounts of food and dump gallons of milk down the drain that your children did not or will not consume? It feels like hundreds of dollars going to waste, not to mention my time in preparing it! I could not handle it anymore. Hence, the Jedi mind trick. 

Now, as I'm scraping approximately $4.42 worth of chicken and vegetables into the trash I tell myself, "they ate so perfectly tonight. I'm so happy I was able to spend 1 hour and 48 minutes preparing this meal and spent $22 purchasing it. They are really going to grow big and strong by eating this healthy, home-cooked meal. I could have easily gone the easy/cheap route and fed them a 50cent hotdog, but I'm so happy I went the extra mile and paid the extra buck!" 

Of course they didn't eat well. Both the money and time were basically a bust. However, if they HAD eaten the food it would still be gone. Soooo.... to end my insanity I will fool myself into to believing the food went into their tummies vs my trash. And until I discover a Jedi mind trick to actually make them eat the food, I would suggest parents take my advice and start fooling yourself. The next time you're at the heaping garbage can you may just find yourself thankful for that little Sunshine Bomb.

And of course the bright side of all of this... my dogs always come immediately when called because hey, they're opportunists and they sure as hell won't pass up a good plate of left-overs.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Goldilocks and the 3 Potty Chairs...

There's new trend in our house. Apparently the potty chair in the "child" designated bathroom is too tall, the mini "child" potty chair is too small, but the mommy potty chair is JUUUUST right. 

Each night for the past two weeks I've been awakened at about 4am to the startling sound of tiny feet tearing into my room and straight to the bathroom. After a few moments pass I hear the tiny feet approach as I'm told, "mommy, I just had to use your potty chair." Then the tiny feet quickly pitter-pat back across the house into the darkness. I'm never sure what I'll find in the morning...

While I don't necessarily appreciate the 4am wake-ups, I guess the bright-side of the nightly surprise visits by the Restroom Goldilocks is that at least she is using a potty chair and not a mattress, diaper, or something worse...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Top 10 Reasons for Halloween Duds

You've seen them. You know the houses I speak of. The neighbors that are mysteriously absent each year on Halloween. No lights, no festive decor, and most certainly no candy!

I remember these houses when I was a kid on a candy hunt and now taking my own children trick-or-treating I see the Halloween duds are still in effect. Since the majority of my friends and neighbors blow it out on Halloween, I was trying to conjure up some ideas as to why some people choose to be rotten pumpkins on Halloween.... Feel free to add your own ideas.

10. Lack of will-power. They cannot come within 100 feet of candy or binging takes place.

9. They spent all their candy money on crack. It happens.

8. Laziness. Some people simply cannot be bothered to buy the candy and then spend an entire hour or two passing it out to kids whose parents spent either way too much time, money or both on costumes.

7. They hate tiny humans.

6. Perhaps they have a bumb hip or knee and cannot get up and down frequenty to answer the door.

5. They have had really bad dental experiences and an abundance of cavities and can no longer support sugar-intake of any kind.

4. Full-Time Dud. Some people are just cranky, no-fun, duds in all aspects of their life. Halloween is just one more opportunity to be a stick-in-the-mud.

3.  The home owner is an actual witch and offened by a holiday that makes a mockery of the black magic.

2. Bad childhood experience. Maybe a super lame Halloween costume that lead to teasing. (Mom, that one is for you. Do you remember the owl made out of cardboard and a gunny-sack? Thankfully I'm not scarred.)

1. Fear. I must admit that every year on Halloween I get a little freaked out as I feel it is the perfect time to murder someone. Everyone is in costume and quite frankly they could lay your dead corpse on the front lawn and people would just assume it was a really great score from a Halloween store.

But the bright side to having Halloween Duds in the neighborhood is that they make my minimal effort consisting of a few strings of lights, some pumpkins, and of course the candy look great! Thanks Duds and Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Can I Slap My Nanny?

Or Should I Say EX-Nanny?

I'm not the most maternal of people. I fully admit that I will probably hold your fuzzy, shedding, slobbering, licking, chewing new puppy before I offer to hold your brand new precious human baby. Other people's baby's cry when I take them and quite frankly it makes me nervous. Puppies like everyone. But of course I'm comfortable with my own kids and even I had that terrible, nagging guilt about leaving my kids in someone else's hands while I went to the office 40 hours a week. That said, I was given the opportunity to work part of the time from home with a nanny on-hand to help.

Initially I was nervous the kids would somehow become closer to a younger, more energetic nanny than me, the tired old mommy. How wrong I was...

This past Saturday, our younger, not-so energetic, pregnant nanny up and quit... in an email... with no notice! Thank you for that gong show NANNY! But when my husband initally told me I felt concerned and wanted to call her and tell her it was OK and wish her the best. Afterall, she is pregnant and perhaps this was all too much.

These feelings persisted only until I read her POS email, after which all caring feelings went out the open window like my dog in a moving car (yes, he did do that). My caring, motherly thoughts were instantly replaced with new emotions including, "YOU LITTLE #@*$&)@#!" The reasons for leaving cited in the 8 sentence slacker email were as follows:
  1. I'm not happy as your nanny.
  2. I dread going to work.
  3. I come home with headaches and my Dr. suggested I quit.
  4. And #4, my personal favorite and fuel for my newly found anger, "I just never connected with your kids."
Before you determine that we were too hard on the young pregant girl let me share her responsibilities and hours. She worked 2 and half days a week for a total of 20 hours. One of the full days she only had 1 child and 1 and half of those days I was home working and also helping her. She probably loaded and unloaded the dishwasher once a week. LOOK OUT - SLAVE LABOR!!!

I'm honestly an easy-going person, probably too easy-going and perhaps it was my demise. I noticed she wasn't having fun and wasn't playing with the kids in the way she described when she interviewed. But I gave her a pass because I know how it feels to be pregnant and tired. Mistake.

While it equally breaks my heart and angers me that she was so insensitive, in the end we chose to take the high road and sent her a simple response, "Ok, all good." But since a week has gone by and I'm still peeved at the irresponsible and insensitive girl, I will share my "I wish I had said this" list. Here goes...
  1. Maybe you could have connected with my kids if you would have ever gotten off your fat, lazy @&# to play with them.
  2. Maybe your ^&$#* wouldn't be so fat if you didn't show up with a fast food breakfast every morning. Come to think of it, maybe that's why you felt like crap on a daily basis. You told me you ate healthy for the baby, but I got news little honey. Chick-fil-A breakfast biscuits ain't healthy...
  3. I bet a connection could have been made if you would have put down your stupid smart phone and did your job. 
  4. You didn't make a connection? Really? Are you joking? My child-fearing friends that will NEVER give birth made a connection. Know how? They chased them around the house... ONCE! And made friends for life. Yep, it's that difficult.
In the end there is a bright side to this story. Her short-sightedness has given me a new view of my children and every time I gaze up their little faces I feel that sense of pride and total adoration. I could not love them more. What I would really like to tell this naive young girl is this, "I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry you didn't take the time to see all the amazing, silly, creative, loving, and sweet things that I see. Good luck with motherhood. It takes two to connect."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All the Tiny Pieces...

To the tune of Eleanor Rigby (All the Lonely People) by the Beatles. Click here for reference...

Ah, look at all the tiny pieces (violins)
Ah, look at all the tiny pieces (violins)

The little kitchen, you can only imagine the gagillion pieces of plastic food,
Creates a bad mood.
We have 3 incomplete tea sets. One is purple, one pink, and the one that is blue.
This madness is true.

All the tiny pieces...where DO they all come from.
All the tiny pieces... where DO they all belong.

The little vet kit.17 tools scattered around the home is no joke,
I need rum and Coke!
How 'bout the castle. Thank you Santa for the 52 pieces of princess fun.
Get me the gun.

All the tiny pieces...where DO they all come from.
All the tiny pieces... where DO they all belong.

Ah, look at all the tiny pieces (violins)
Ah, look at all the tiny pieces (violins)

This one was my fault. 80 piece plastic set of giant mega bloks.
Send me away to the school of hard knocks!
Wicker basket o plenty. Overflowing with many a random toy.
The bright side for 1 little girl and 1 little boy.

All the tiny pieces...where DO they all come from.
All the tiny pieces... where DO they all belong.

Ah, look at all the tiny pieces (violins)
Ah, look at all the tiny pieces (violins)

Monday, October 8, 2012


...Ever wish your bank account would fill up as quickly as your sink?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Big Head Dora and the Monsters

The things we do for our kids... sometimes stupid things...

When my daughter was not quite 2 1/2 and my son the "easy" age of 5 months I received free passes to Disney. The only catch? They had to be used within the next few weeks. I'm no dummy, we were going!

More excited than I should have been for what was sure to be certain chaos, I immediately jumped online to research hotels so we could spend a FULL day at the park. So many thrilling plans I have for my children that they won't even remember... 

I find the Nickelodeon Hotel has a 2-bedroom suite for just $99! And the bonus? I discover we can reserve a Breakfast with Dora the Explorer! Clearly my kid needs to eat pancakes with Dora. We've been traversing volcanoes, crocodile lakes, and following that despised map everywhere it told us to go in that incredibly annoying voice for over a year. Booked.

We make it to the Magic Kingdom by 10:30am. Having grown up in WI, we are complete Disney morons and have no idea where we're going. We wander the park aimlessly searching for Princesses and by some miracle we eventually find them. We do our time in the excessively long lines but eventually make it to Princess paradise. No surprise these events are a bit of a challenge with a baby but we power through. We got free tickets and a Dora breakfast in the morning, and damn it, my kids will like it! 

Needless to say this is truly a mind-blowing experience for my daughter. We foolishly thought it would be fine and they would nap in the stroller so we would stay late for the electric light parade, oooh, ahhh... Unfortunately the nap never happened, nor did the light parade. Again, being Disney mega-morons we had no idea (until they were ushering us out of the park) that it was Mickey's Very Merry Christmas and we had to be out by 6pm. SOB. Probably didn't need that hotel room after all.

Our free tickets to torture town happened to be park hoppers so we head to Epcot. Wow. We ARE clueless. It's the final night of the Food and Wine festival and the park is packed. We drag our overly-tired children all over the park searching for a food line that doesn't come with a 30 minute wait. We find a table and the hunter went to find food alone. He finally returns after 20 minutes with 3 shrimp in some kind of sauce. Yes, that was clearly the food solution... We give up and head back to the hotel where the torture truly begins.

The baby got his own room and slept, well, like a baby. On the other hand my husband and I decide to share our bed with the rolling, kicking, 22lb terror too excited to sleep. In fact, no one slept. My child morphed into a whining, crying, melt-down monster by morning. The husband is also on the edge of monster town. At this point we should have cut our losses, but I had booked pancakes with Dora and I'm no quitter. 

We spend our $50 bucks and hit the buffet. Jimmy Neutron waltzes up first and both kids are crying and terrified. Awesome. I'm so exhausted the dancing and singing mania feels surreal and the pancake line is too long so we eat cereal. Again, awesome. But finally, for the Love of God, Dora shows up. Everyone freezes. Her head is literally the size of a small planet and I lose it! CANNOT STOP LAUGHING! Why is her head so astronomically huge? My daughter is scared. I'm scared but equally want to punch the head and send it back into space where it belongs! I'm sure there's a lonely moon orbiting somewhere out there in space just waiting on Planet Dora Head to arrive.

And the bright side is, it's possible the outburst of uncontrollable laughter added years to my life. Years! Thank you Giant Dora Head.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Power of the Magic Golden Hair...

...and Other Warnings You Won't Find in the Parenting Manual

On a recent trip north I visited my niece who has a 3 year-old daughter. Almost instantly my 3 year-old and her second cousin were "the two best friends that anyone could have"... No joke, we actually heard them say, "Let's hold hands and jump!" It was all very charming.

During the visit we were staying at my sister's house which is filled with amazing toys that we don't have at home. However, some of said toys are not amazing, at least not to mommy. The girls found a Rapunzel wig amidst the pile along with a super sweet Joe Dirt mullet wig that coincidentally doubles as a second Rapunzel wig, AKA, Magic Golden Hair or, MGH for short as I like to call it. 

Upon discovery of the MGH there was no stopping the "Rapunzels". My daughter was fortunate enough to sport the mullet version and for the next several hours we all took turns climbing the MGH. 

At some point the wig sisters were instructed to lose the hair so we could go outdoors where it was at least 90 degrees and "Magic Golden Hair" was not to be worn in the extreme heat. We didn't need the sun for the meltdown that took place. However, we all needed a break from climbing the tower of hair a total of 2 inches at a time every 4 minutes. The MGH was hidden and all was right with the world... or so I thought...

Of course we're visiting family and therefore every night we stayed up late and woke up early. There may have been a bit too much wine, I can't be sure as the memory is clouded in the strands of MGH that can still be found in my luggage, but at about 4am my daughter woke me up frantically crying. She seemed incredibly upset and since we're not at our own house I was blasted into a sober, wide-awake-not-going-back-to-sleep state. After a few minutes I finally get her to calm down enough to tell me what's wrong. "Mama, I can't find the Magic Golden Hair!" These were the words I heard at 4am and this was the battle I had for the next two hours until finally my sister woke up and found the hidden MGH. I will burn that MGH! BURN IT!

The bright side in climbing this tower of torture? The photos may prove to be a great weapon when the teenage years hit. No respectable 14-year-old girl wants a mullet photo on the loose so I'll add this to my arsenal...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Path of Destruction

In a rare moment of silence, while two children soundly slept, I took a phone call. A real phone call in which I could solely focus on the caller. Due to the ridiculous reception inside my home I decided to sit outdoors and sip my freshly brewed, French pressed coffee. It was all so peaceful... 

Unbeknownst to me, the three-year-old was not soundly sleeping. She was, in fact, creating a small path of destruction. After my 20 minute phone call, yes, just 20 minutes folks, this was what I encountered... 


Alas, don't worry. There was still a bright side to this trail of terror. The explosion of toys offered a perfect opportunity to play the clean-up game, which is another post entirely involving bribery and lost sanity...

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Disney Challenge

A Grueling Tale of Mom vs Pull-UP

Shortly after turning two my daughter was potty trained… during the day; night came with “sleeping pants”. Initially I wasn’t worried about this phase as every parent on the planet professed, “one day she will magically wake up dry.” She soon turned three and the so-called “magic dry-pants” theory remained a theory. It was time to pull out the real magic, Disney bribery.

Read closely potty-training parents because this plan worked like a charm cast by a Disney fairy. Here’s how it worked:
Step 1: Promised to take my potty trainee to Disney if she could go seven consecutive nights without peeing in the sleeping pants. Hence, the Disney Challenge.
Step 2: There is no step 2. Within 12 days of proposing the Disney Challenge she conquered it. 

The problem with my brilliant plan was that I proposed it in JULY, in FLORIDA! All I could think was at least I wouldn’t have to trek the park dressed as the Beast character. That poor bastard better get bank because there is nothing magical about that costume in 97 degrees and 80% humidity. Nothing.

 In any case, my husband had a conference in Orlando a week later and again I have a stroke of brilliance… I will take my two kids to the park ALONE while he is at the conference because afterwards we can all stay with him at the Marriott with the cool pool!! I’m here to tell you right now, that pool was not that cool. 

We live 2 hours from Disney so I dragged myself magically out of bed at 5am to pack. I have both kids up and ready to go by 6:30 to beat the heat and the crowds. We arrive at the Magic Kingdom early, but not before the sun or the crowds. Damn.

Below is a lovely sequence of events that followed:
1)      Park and pack both kids into the double-wide (D-W) stroller and hike it to the tram which will take us to the park, sort of.
2)      Arrive at the tram pick-up point and wait 8 minutes for it to roll up.
3)      I soon realize the D-W stroller is too large for the tram and there is no way I can manage both kids even if I could cram it on.
4)      Hike it 10 minutes in the scalding sun on blazing hot pavement to the park entrance.
5)      Wait in line 15 minutes for someone to ram-shack through all my crap and confirm I’m not a terrorist.
6)      Enter the park and hike with my D-W stroller to the ferry to really take us to the park.
7)      Wait in line to board the ferry for 15 minutes. We are the very last people to board.
8)      The ferry moves at the same speed the earth rotates.
9)      At 11:15 we are FINALLY entering the park!!
10)   Within :30 seconds of park entry the Disney Challenge Winner “has to go pee pee.” 10 minute bathroom line.
11)   Thankfully the Disney princesses are housed right by the entry so we do what we’ve done the entire morning, get in line.
12)   Wait 1 hour and 14 minutes to see three princesses.
13)   We arrive at Cinderella first who is followed by Belle and Rapunzel.
14)   After a full morning of waiting the daughter rolls up to Cinderella and asks the obvious question, “Where’s Aurora?” Honestly, where the “H” is Aurora?
15)   We finish the magic princess moment and find a shady spot to eat the cheap lunch I packed at 5am. We are quickly surrounded by the only 7 people on the planet that still smoke. Awesome.
16)   Get in line to meet Tinkerbelle.
17)   Wait 47 minutes when the daughter proclaims the famous words, “I have to go pee pee.” Another less than magical moment.
18)   Got in line for ice cream.
19)   In excitement the daughter drops her sundae into the stroller.
20)   We got the “H” out of Disney by 3p. It took a full 52 minutes to get back to the Marriott with the cool pool where my husband asks if we want to go back to the park at 6 and stay for the fireworks. He has to dodge my right hook. 

And the bright side is… we’re done with sleeping pants… magically. It’s that easy folks.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mountain of Lies...

Sippy cups. Why. Why do you play these games with me?! I thought I was done with the lies and games when I said "I Do." But no. The sippy's seduced me with their lies and unfulfilled promises.

Mountain of Sippy Lies...

At about $9 each, I really want to believe you and your "guaranteed not to spill" professions. Damn you sippy cups.I've been played. And many times over.


Sippy Spillage Situation

Seriously, is it user error? Or does anyone else come upon  this all too familiar scene on a fairly regular basis? PS - If you have, I don't recommend throwing the sippy. It actually doesn't help and unfortunately leads to more cleaning. Go ahead and learn from my mistake on this one. A little pearl of wisdom I'm happy to share.

I suppose if I were to search for the bright side of the sippy spillage situation, it would have to be the fact that it does force me to clean the hardwood with real wood cleaner. Like a real adult. I will fully disclose that this overly-stretched, under-caffeinated mother could clearly overlook that little task if it weren't for those pesky, meddling sippy cups!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sorry to the Trees...

Sometimes I'm all like, "Why my toilet keep backing up, YO?"

Then I'm all like, "Oh..." 

What's the bright side of this little dull surprise you may ask? Well, I found a really great plumber. Then, when a pipe burst in our wall the following week, I knew just who to call! Isn't that fabulous?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Camp Pee Pee

A Campfire Tale of Potty Training Triumph

Once school lets out many kids are shipped off to summer camps with fun sounding Native American names like, “Kamp Kawaga,” “Camp Chippewa,” or “Camp Idontwannago”… or something like that. At least that’s where my friends went each summer while growing up in WI. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately (not sure), I never did get sent to camp.

In any case, every parent tries to give their child more than they had and I’m no different. My lucky little one was blessed with the opportunity to be the one and only attendee of “Camp Pee Pee.” Camp Pee Pee has only one counselor, me. Camp Pee Pee has only one mission, operation Pee Pee in Potty. As all parents know, a mission to be equally welcomed and feared.

My little camper had just turned two when my son was born and she was quickly sent to Camp Pee Pee. The timing may sound insane but turns out it was perfect. Working full-time there is no good time to stage a coup against the diaper, but while home on maternity leave, I was ready for battle. Additionally, older siblings are always put-off by the attention paid to the new arrival. But trust me, your child will not feel forgotten when you ask them to go potty every four minutes, possibly more.

How it worked was simple. I locked myself, my camper, new baby and the brand-new potty chair in the front room of our house along with a TV and DVD player. I threw caution to the wind and decided it didn’t matter how many movies we watched or how much “screen time” was logged. (Ok, I admit there was a little guilt over the screen time so I added some crafts and coloring into the mix).

For four days my daughter colored and watched Disney movies while sitting on the potty accepting bribes and M&Ms after each accomplishment. She loved it! For four days I did not sleep, shower, or eat. It was very much like REAL camp. However, the bright side of this campfire story is that Camp Pee Pee was a grueling yet epic success! In the end there were only 4 or 5 accidents – and thankfully, all number one. Bonus! My new slogan may be, Visit Camp Pee Pee! Effective, Affordable, and a Pissin’ Good Time!