So anyone with small children out there can probably relate to the fact that the task of physically getting everyone out of the house can feel like this:
There are times where I decide not to leave my house simply because the thought of getting everyone ready and out the door is too overwhelming. And if I do go through with it, by the time we are all in the car I am covered in sweat and usually we are all in mild states of hysteria.
If you don't have children or are just a better parent than me, here's why it's often the hardest thing I do all day.
1. Because I have to shower, dress myself, and throw on some makeup while simultaneously keeping track of an infant and toddler. Which means the end result often looks like this:
2. Because I have to chase a toddler down, change her diaper, and put her in real clothing. This involves a nice half mile sprint around the house with various pieces of clothing half on her body, and a lot of tackling.
3. Because inevitably 30 seconds after I get the toddler fully dressed, she takes a massive poop. Every. Damn. Time.
4. After we go through the whole chasing/tackling/dressing process, I have to get her socks and shoes on. Which involves a lot more of this:
5. Because I foolishly attempt to do a quick tidy of the house so I don't come home to the usual chaos, but then while I'm feeding Bobby right before we leave Ryland has free reign of the just tidied house.
6. Because right as we're about to go out the door, I realize the diaper bag is completely out of almost everything. I try to hide in the closet to pack snacks, but Ryland susses me out like a Cheerios sniffing blood hound. And the second she sees food, it's over.
7. Because after I've given Ryland a snack and actually packed the diaper bag (which involves running from room to room collecting the right size diapers and two outfit changes), I still have to get them both in coats and hats.
8. Because once everyone is bundled to within an inch of their lives, someone poops again.
9. Because hauling the kids into the garage, buckling two children into the car in two separate car seats, followed by hauling the ginormous double stroller into the trunk, followed by the huge, overstuffed diaper bag, followed by my own purse can feel like an Olympian endurance test.
10. Because then as I'm backing out of the garage I remember that the dog hasn't been fed, given water, or let out.
11. Because then after I run inside, take care of the dog, come back to the car where two babies scream their heads off, and start to back out again, I see the trash cans lining the curb and realize we've forgotten trash day, again. And our trash can is full of dirty diapers.
12. Because when we finally get onto the street, we are an hour late to wherever we were trying to go.
All of this is why we rarely leave the house.
Today has been a pretty cool day my friends. Becsause:
1. I discovered Gary Janetti’s Instagram . For those who don’t obsessively watch Bravo shows (even the not so great ones like Below Deck), Gary Janetti is the partner of Brad Goreski (of Rachel Zoe Project fame, one of the all time great Bravo shows, and its spin off It’s a Brad Brad World). I fell in love with Gary on the show but had no idea just how amazing he is until I found his Instagram. He does a series featuring Prince George giving Megan Markle some major royal shade and it’s hard to do it justice so I’ll just give you a morsel of the brilliance.
2. I went to Cycle Bar (at Greengate for anyone local) for the first time and it was awesome. It kicked my butt and I came in 21st out of 26 (they rank you which is a little horrifying but motivating at least) but I really enjoyed it. I used to do spin all the time and loved it so I’m really excited to get back into it again. The studio is super fancy and nice and everyone was incredibly helpful and friendly (they even wrote a little welcome message on my locker and gave me a free water bottle and Koozie!). And I know I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow.
3. I took advantage of my lovely mom watching the kiddos for the morning as well as a gift card R gave me for Christmas and met my BF for a mani/pedi! We went to Escape Nails and it is also super fancy and nice, definitely my favorite nail salon in Richmond. They have the usual massage chairs but they also give an awesome leg and foot massage with the basic pedicure (I am so ticklish and normally can do not STAND foot massages but both times I’ve gone there they’ve managed to make it not just tolerable but really nice). They also give complementary drinks (wine too!) and a big fruit plate. And the manicure comes with an amazing neck and shoulder massage. Oh and they have super fancy Japanese toilets that open when you go near them and have heated seats (that alone gives them top marks). Basically it’s the best and even better was spending kid free time with my best friend (normally our meet ups involved one or both of us chasing a small child). It’s easy to forget how important it is to connect with another adult without children present.
4. I’ve started listening to Oprah’s Super Soul podcast. Not super exciting but it feels like a little nourishment for the soul every time you listen to one. It’s great to put on when I’m in the car or giving Ryland a bath (especially since she takes 45 minute long diva baths and mama gets bored).
5. So this last thing I debated sharing here. But as timing would have it one of the Oprah podcasts I listened to was with a blogger who emphasized how important and valuable and necessary honesty is, among mothers especially. So here is me being honest and open, even if it means totally embarrassing myself. A piece I wrote ran on Scary Mommy today, which for a mom blogger and writer is a pretty big deal. I’ve never had a bigger audience for my writing before. And I never thought I’d write about something like this. But if there’s any guiding philosophy to this blog and my writing it’s honesty, warts and all, even when it’s embarrassing. Because I know other people out there can relate. So well here goes. You can read it here. If you have a low tolerance for humiliation you may want to skip this one ;)
So I’d call today a pretty darn good one. Hope all of you are having equally amazing Fridays!
We woke up to another lovely snow day around here. I'm all for snow right now, since we're already stuck inside, might as well have something pretty to look at out the windows!
Some snow day highlights:
You know how Pinterest is chock full of posts about indoor toddler activities? I always see these and think, "well I've pretty much lost in the parenting department." Because they're always these lovely, detailed Montessori type activities, like sensory tables or building scale replicas of the Empire State building from pasta or Moon Sand (whatever that is) or filling up a giant plastic container full of beans for your kid to sit in (Ryland would sit in this for like a minute and then proceed to hurl beans all over our house/at the dog).
Apologies to my children but mama just ain't got the patience or frankly creative talent for that (plus that many beans would be an investment).
However today I was pretty proud of myself. I came up with a brand new indoor game for toddlers stuck inside. May I present to you: CUP O SNOW. Here are the steps.
1. Get a plastic cup.
2. Fill it up with snow (preferably clean and not dirty/yellow).
3. Hand it to your child.
4. Let the magic commence.
In all seriousness this kept Ryland entertained for a while.
And then when Cup O Snow fizzled out, in a divine mom burst of inspiration, I came up with yet another indoor, sensory, fine motor enhancing kid friendly and parent approved, GLUTEN and DAIRY FREE toddler activity. May I present: CUP O SNOW WITH SPRINKLES!
Educational and delicious. Thank you, thank you. I take requests for birthday parties and bat mitzvahs.
Other snow day things:
Not quite as good as the real deal, but still a yummy wintery treat!
I also finished dinner by 10am (always a good feeling) with a Skinny Taste crockpot Taco Chili.
By the way, last night's meal, Slow Cooker Indian and Peas, was another Crockpot Skinny Taste (no better invention for a mom whose babies both get cranky after 5pm than a Crockpot which lets you cook when everyone is in a better mood), and it was AWESOME.
Something about snow just makes you crave warm meals so Ryland and I both had paninis for lunch (aka grilled cheese), hers just plain cheddar, mine turkey, cheddar and sri racha.
After nap time we did a little Frozen (appropriate for today’s weather) watching and snuggling.
And then we all counted down the minutes (or maybe I was the only one doing the counting...) until 5pm.
And soon all that will be left is bedtime for Ryland and then I’ll be enjoying my taco chili (another reason I pretty much only cook crock pot meals these days, at 7ish after I put Ryland to bed the last thing I want to do is cook or assemble a meal), and last night’s episode of Fixer Upper :)
Hope you all enjoyed and/or survived your snow days!!
Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you all enjoyed your holiday Monday (or in the case of parents everywhere, I hope you survived yet ANOTHER winter day when your darling kiddos were home from school/preschool.)
So today I thought I’d take a little snapshot of what our mornings currently look like. When spring comes I hope a lot of our mornings will involve walks/playground outings and next fall Ryland will be in preschool THREE mornings a week (!!!). But right now we are more or less home bound and incredibly boring. But in the spirit of one day looking back and longing for lazy mornings at home, here’s what goes down in our households most days.
5:30ish. Bobby is up. We just stopped co-sleeping (for multiple reasons particular to Bobby including grassiness and stuffiness at night that made him SUPER restless, not a huge comfort nurser like Ryland, a much quicker and more efficient eater than Ryland so he only wakes 2 times to feed versus like 10). It’s gone really well with him in the rock n play next to our bed but one downside is much earlier morning wake ups. However I don’t mind too much because these dark, quiet moments with just Bobby are fast becoming some of my favorites times of the day.
I take him to the family room, feed him, and then he hangs out in the rock n play or on the playmat before conking out (this nap is usually pretty long, 1-2 hours).
I also change diaper #1, have coffee cup #1, eat my typical breakfast Clif bar, and catch up on some very intellectual DVR.
And then I enjoy the glorious peace and silence until...
6-7ish: The beast awakes. I kid, mostly. Most mornings she wakes up sweet and smiling and huggy. But occasionally she wakes up like a really pissed off hyena. Or even morefun, some mornings she wakes up with a dirty diaper that she has managed to “paint” on her crib (parenting is delightful and not at all disgusting right?)
I make Ryland breakfast, either a Kodiak cake pancake or an English muffin with PB (or if we’re really out of sorts a fruit pouch and cereal bar). Usually by this point I’ve switched on the local news or Today show (Ryland is old enough where I hesitate to keep Vanderpump Rules, I don’t want her first full phrase to be “stupid slut.”
The second she sees food she becomes frantic and throws herself at my legs, tugs on my sweater, raises her fists to the heavens in despair, basically acts like I have never fed her before in her life and this is her last chance to avoid starvation. Feeding a toddler is what I imagine feeding time at the zoo must be like. I manage to get her in the high chair and practically throw pieces of English muffin directly into her mouth as she screams for more. By the time the meal is over we are both exhausted and covered in peanut butter.
Usually somewhere in here is diaper change #1 for Ryland. Since we have nowhere to go she stays in pajamas or ends up in just a diaper.
Playtime quickly veers from her toys to anything in the house. Among her favorite activities: rearranging everything in our closet, pulling everything out of the drawers in our bathroom, bringing random items out of our room into various corners in the house where they will stay hidden for weeks or even months, flinging quarters in the air, and the old standby, playing with Tupperware.
8ish: I shower while Bobby finishes up his nap. This is essential for my sanity and I recommend it to all moms of infants. I have to start my day with a shower, even if we aren’t going to leave the house, no matter how cranky the babies are, even if it means Bobby needs to fuss for a few minutes, even if Ryland uses that time to draw all over the bathroom wall with my eyeliner. When you breastfeed especially and have the night sweats that come with it, you just wake up feeling gross and really need that shower. Usually Ryland hangs out in the bathroom, sometimes half in the shower. I remind myself that one day I will take showers in private again. And then I change from my nighttime comfy clothes to my daytime comfy clothes (which are essentially the same but I tell myself they’re different to feel better about living in leggings and sweatpants).
8:30ish: Coffee #2. Bobby wakes up. He gets diaper change #2 and eats again. I usually succumb and put on a show or movie for Ryland to keep her entertained while Bobby eats. These days it’s usually Sing.
9-10ish: Movie/TV time continues. I either use this time to write, cuddle Bobby (or usually a combo of both) or get stuff done around the house like cleaning or laundry. Ryland and Bobby are both fans of the vacuum and because we have a golden retriever with ALL the hair, I vacuum pretty much daily. Laundry is also almost a daily task because babies and toddlers are adorable and also disgusting. Somewhere in here Ryland usually gets diaper change #2.
10: Coffee #3! (No I don't have a problem...) Snack time! Ryland usually gets a yogurt squeeze pouch (best invention ever!!)
She downs this in like 10 seconds and demands more food. I cave and give her a cereal bar which is shoved into her mouth pretty much the second the wrapper comes off. She wants more. I put my foot down. She grabs my hand and leads me to the fridge. I say no. She leads me to the pantry. I say no. Cue meltdown #1 of the day until I can distract her with something shiny (literally).
10-11ish. A tricky time of morning. Bobby is typically napping again and Ryland is typically bored and restless and ready for lunch (despite her 2 snacks). This is when it would be really great to be able to you know, leave the house, even just to go outside or on a walk. But with temps below freezing we’re stuck. Sometimes we’ll go upstairs to the playroom. Sometimes we’ll find more things to do downstairs. Some days we color. Sometimes she follows me around as I do chores. And then there are the A+ parenting days when we watch another show/movie (please don’t judge me, I judge myself enough already!)
11ish. Bobby eats again and gets diaper change #3 (that brings us to 5 total). Ryland is back to her food demands. I always try to push lunch until 12 but typically cave and feed her closer to 11:30. Usually a sandwichor quesadilla and raisins/veggie straws/crackers and hummus. Something easy (and of course the ubiquitous fruit and veggie pouch, these are single handedly responsible for the reason my daughter doesn’t have scurvy, or rickets).
After lunch we play and I count down the seconds until nap time. Again I try to push this until 1 but typically don’t make it and she ends up down by like 12:30-12:45.
So that’s our morning deal right now. We have good ones where everyone is happy and no one cries. And we have bad ones when we’re all in tears by 10. I know before long mornings are going to turn into rushed, on the go productions so I really am trying to remember to embrace these long, unplanned winter mornings trapped inside. Because one day I will miss them...
or at least parts of them ;)
Happy MLK day everyone! Here are 6 random Monday musings on this frigid morning.
1. So I know I promised much less sleep talk with this baby. I also hesitate to post things like this because I know with Ryland , whenever I read about some other baby’s awesome sleep, I kind of wanted to cry and/or hit something. But...this little bean slept for almost 7 hours straight last night!! Cue trumpets blaring and angels singing and lots of dancing. He went down around 9 in the rock n play and didn’t wake up to eat until 3:30!! That is the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since my first trimester! I’m experienced enough of a parent to know this may not happen again for months but still, it was pretty exciting.
2. R goes back to work tomorrow (he’s been off the last 8 days which has been awesome), and of course his 7 day stretch coincides with the return of super cold weather and a highly aggressive flu season (so no indoor play places, children’s museum, etc). Which means there’s going to be a lot of this:
And a lot of this:
3. Last night I discovered that Amazon has a Kindle LIBRARY. For $9.99/month you get UNLIMITED books. I am so sorry for all the negative things I’ve said about a Kindle. Because when you need to be able to read one handed it is just the best invention ever. I’ve read more since embracing the Kindle app on my phone like a week ago than I had in the previous year. I’m onto this book and I’m very excited about it. I love WWII books but haven’t read any set in Italy even though obviously Italy was very much involved. This one is based off a true story, and it’s been my breastfeeding entertainment choice the last 2 days.
4. ER is available on Hulu. All gazillion episodes of it! Streaming for the first time. This is a big deal for me. ER was pretty much the first TV show I remember getting really into, back when I was probably way too young to watch it. It was on back in the days of appointment television, when the only way to watch a show was to sit down and watch it, on an actual television. There was no DVR, no On Demad. This ages me but if I couldn’t watch ER at 10pm on a Thursday I would record it on our VCR. (Side bar: I know technically I’m a millennial but the fact that I remember years of recording shows on VHS tapes should disqualify me from that generation right?) Anyways it was a big deal. I remember excitedly talking about it the next day in school on fridays (if you had any doubts already, I was and always have been a big old nerd). And I’ve been craving a good old binge rewatch for years. And now I can!
5. We went to the Maymont Nature Center last Friday and Ryland had such a blast. It’s kind of the perfect place for an almost two year old. It’s small enough to be a manageable size where they can have a little free reign to run and you still know where they are. It’s never super crowded. The employees/volunteers are super enthusiastic and helpful (this one guy who was there took a turtle out for the kids to see). And the exhibits are really fun for a toddler because all of the tanks/enclosures are at eye level and filled with “exotic” things like frogs and fish and otters. Ryland ran around loudly shouting “ooooh” and “ahhhh” over and over again. I’m really going to miss this phase where everything is amazing f and awesome when she’s an over it teenager who responds to everything I say with a “Whatever” and an eye roll.
5. I’ve continued to love the Skinny Taste Fast and Slow Cookbook. I’ve made three dishes now including this one:
Everything has been pretty easy and turned out really yummy (and bonus it’s healthy!). I have a list of new recipes for this week already and can’t wait to try them out. I definitely recommend this cookbook for anyone out there who wants healthy, easy meals that are also really yummy and a little more special than the average Pinterest meal.
I'm a thirty-something mom of two, wife, pediatric RN, and writer with a passion for the all the big and little things in life.