March 31, 2010

Every Parent's Dream turned Nightmare!

Come on now, you know you've dreamed about this . . . 

But what you didn't foresee happening is this . . . 

Yes, this is where Daddy realizes, "OMG I'm stuck!" 
Mommy starts laughing so hard she nearly has an accident on the playground.
Five minutes of Mommy trying to pull down on the rubber base and Daddy trying to pull up. 
No progress.
Who's brilliant idea was this anyway?
It's okay kids, we'll get Daddy out. Don't worry.
Just ignore the neighbor staring at us from out the window. 
We envision neighbors coming out and calling the fire department to come cut him out. 
No that canNOT happen! 
Try harder. Push! Pull! 
God answered. 
He was out.
Wow! If we got through that, we'll get through anything.

Thanks all for voting for us by clicking to the right above this post. We’re now #4 in the humor category!

Posted by Laura

March 30, 2010

Mommy Faces Greatest Fear: The Public Restroom

So don’t ask me why these things happen to me, but sometimes they do and last night it did! Remember how last week I was capturing those nomadic poopies while quarantining Daddy? Well Mr. Poopie  was NOT very happy with me; perhaps he didn’t appreciate my letter setting the record straight or the way I destroyed him with only one wipe. Well, last night he brought a sudden attack against me like I never knew existed but NOT while I was at home in the comforts of my own sanitized bathroom. He waited until I was stranded out in the middle of a mega craft store without a stroller. He waited until Daddy had left and I was just standing there holding my little 2YO’s hand to strike me so hard it sent me running to the public restroom like there was no tomorrow. 

I ran so fast across the store, which by the way, why is the restroom when you really need one always located on the furthest side of the store! Poor little-toddler-girl’s tiny legs could barely keep up.
“WHERE ARE WE RUNNING TO?” she shouts.
“The bathroom.” I whisper.
“WHY ARE WE GOING TO THE BATHROOM, MOMMY?” She innocently loudly inquires,  announcing to the entire store what I don't want them to know. The worst part is that a germaphobe Mommy was forced to bring her 2YO, who I repeat was NOT in the sanitized bubble of a stroller but free to walk and talk and touch the walls of the stall while Mommy felt helpless. Thank God, I had my bottle of purell on my keychain strapped to my belt buckle!

I call Daddy on my cell to cry out for help, BUT, of course he does not answer. Has the stomach flu finally gotten me too? Now what? How do you distract a 2YO while you’re having some major issues going on and toddler is fascinated by her new unsanitized surroundings? Let’s see: I told her a made up story about a princess who found a butterfly—which only entertained her for 20 seconds; we counted the tiles on the floor—got to 10 and lost interest; we talked about how dirty and germy the bathroom floor was—tricky, sometimes that makes her want to touch it even more; I praised her repeatedly for what a big help she was to Mommy by just keeping me company and not touching anything; we discussed the princess stickers that Mommy would buy for her for not touching the baby changing station that was sure to be housing an entire nation of E. coli; and finally we established that, No thank you, Mommy does NOT need help flushing because Mommy so deeply enjoys this task herself. Overall 2YO did very well. When we got to washing our hands I felt relieved: I even questioned if this might be a new stage where 2YO can handle being in a public restroom. But wouldn’t you know, just as we dried her hands, she noticed some pink dried soap on the edge of the sink and before Mommy could yell “Don’t touch,” her little arm in one stroke had swiped the pink residue and shoved those fingers in her mouth!

HANDS IN THE MOUTH! Now, the exit strategy was really in effect. Of course as we open the door, there's daddy. A moment too late. Sigh. We run across the store to the door and, yes, I keep my word and buy 2YO some stickers on the way out. Then, to top off the perfect evening, when we get in the car a tantrum arises so mightily that the two middle aged men who were walking nearby slow their steps and stare at me appalled with their cell phones in hand. Their faces said it all: surely, surely, this child who is kicking and screaming is being kidnapped! Should they call the police? One man pretended to walk away but only took five steps and then glared at us through his peripheral vision. The other man's feet were glued to the sidewalk right in front of our car. NO, It couldn’t possibly be that this child just never took her nap, is frustrated cause Mommy prematurely ended the fun trip to the craft store and is thus having a tantrum. Perhaps they never met a melodramatic child before. Or a Melodramommy.

"Excuse me, Sirs, ahem, yes the two of you who have been staring at me!" I yell rolling down the window while driving away (No I didn't really, I just fantasized about it later).
"Do you really think I'd be that stupid to kidnap a child who's so effective at throwing tantrums! Oh, just read my blog. Buh-bye."

Thanks all for voting for us by clicking to the right above this post. We’re now #6 in the humor category!

Posted by Laura

March 29, 2010

Mommy is Sleep Deprived when . . .

Let's face it, sleep is a luxury of the past in the day and life of a mom with little ones.  Perhaps the following sounds familiar. Here are some of the things I found myself doing over the past year. 

Mommy is sleep deprived when . . . 

1.)   Even though you set your alarm so loud it can be heard across the entire house, it fails to wake you; but of course, while it is sounding you dream that you are trying to turn it off again and again and conclude that it must be broken.

2.)   When you wake up, thanks to toddler poking you in the face OR baby screaming, you have no idea what time, day, or calendar year it is.

3.)   In that moment, you wonder if your baby or toddler has a snooze button.

4.)   You think, If only I could pay my children to sleep in.

5.)   Oh how you need that cup of coffee! If only you were paying attention you wouldn’t have ruined it by pouring the orange juice in it instead of the milk.

6.)   While serving breakfast, you give 2YO the baby’s bottle and baby the French toast. What’s wrong with this picture you wonder.

7.)   Before loading everyone into the car, you rush up the stairs to get something; but can’t remember what it is by the time you get there! You of course remember as your about to drive away … your cell phone!

8.)   Okay so this is definitely a morning that calls for more coffee on the run, so you pull to the drive through window but are confused at why the woman is looking at you funny and won’t hand it over. Oh, you forgot to pay first.

9.)   You forget to put a diaper on your NON potty trained toddler but don’t discover this mistake until pee has soaked half the car seat.

10.)                  Finally, all are loaded into the stroller, you’re ready for your big adventure out--be it going to work, or the store, or the doctor, when you look down and realize you’re still wearing your bathrobe!

Thanks for voting for me in the top mommy blogs and helping us be #7 in the Humor category. You can help me move further up the ranks by clicking the button to the top right of this post. You can vote once a day. 

Posted by Laura

March 28, 2010

Potty Training: Who Knew Poopies Had Feelings

So in putting my little-toddler-girl on the potty (yes, the big porcelain one, a.k.a. her "princess" throne) she jumps off, squirming her body to that not-so-innocent plastic port-a-potty. The problem?  It does NOT flush. I had ONLY been using that one as a stool so she could reach the sink to do the ever-most-important-task of washing her hands. 

“What are you doing?” I ask. “Get back on the big potty.”
“NO! I want to use THIS potty to do my poopie!”
“But what about your BEAUTIFUL princess throne over here?” I ask, nodding my head up and down as to subliminally persuade. 
“No, I want this potty!” she says pointing to the tiny plastic bowl and in an instant she maneuvered herself into a dangerous firing position.

Apparently little-toddler-girl made dibs on all the other various and unthinkable places in the house she could do the deed, so why use the cold hard porcelain one. I suppose I should be thankful that 2YO is wanting to poop in the potty in the first place, even if in the nonflushable one; but, all I can do is remember what happened the last time she used that wretched plastic-potty-wannabe. Did I mention that this is occurring during, yes, you guessed it, naptime! (What’s up with potty calls during naptime--it's a conspiracy, I tell you).

So, what’s a mother to do? Mind you that there’s not a lot of time to think here as any second, something is going to shoot out. I can hear the little poopie squealing at me in a high pitch squeaky voice like a clown shooting out of a cannon ball, "Ready or Not, here I cooooooome!"  

So I say the first thing that comes out of my mouth: “Wait! Don’t do your poopie in there because the poopie will be lonely! You can’t flush him in that fake potty and he wont be able to join all his other friends in pottyland.” It was one of those moments where as you’re speaking you’re hearing yourself and thinking, what the heck am I talking about! Poopies being lonely! What am I teaching my 2YO? 

Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time but as you may already know, 2YO’s aren’t always concerned about the feelings of others, let alone the supposed feelings of their poopies. A stubborn and committed little girl sat there determined and unmoving. So, a mother’s got to do what a mother’s got to do. I lifted her up off that little plastic bucket, put her on the toilet, and threw that plastic potty in the laundry room, way out of commission, once and for all--and just in the nick of time I might add. That’s what I call Mommy intervention. Don’t ask me why, but it worked. Ok, I also reminded her that she would be getting a potty treat for doing it on the big potty. But the point is, it worked.

Sometimes the simple solutions work the most effectively; if only those were the first ideas that come to mind, I’d have a much easier life, though perhaps not as entertaining. 

Thanks for voting for me in the top mommy blogs and helping us be #9 in the Humor category. You can help me move further up the ranks by clicking the button to the top right of this post. You can vote once a day. 

Posted by Laura

March 27, 2010

How NOT to Scare the Living Daylights out of Mommy

It was 3 a.m. when I head a cry so terrifying, so passionate, so committed . . . surely something unspeakable, unimaginable, and unfathomable was taking place in my 2YO’s bedroom! With one eye open, the other still in dreamland, I jump out of bed, heart pounding, and begin sprinting with my still-purple big toe toward her bedroom.  Furiously running, I tread through a toy-obstacle-course, dodging baby gates, using storybooks on the floor as stepping-stones, and eventually high jumping over the mountain of once-folded laundry that toddler-girl had unfolded in an effort to “help.” Finally, I make it to her room. 

There she was sitting up in her bed: big eyes, frazzled hair, and mouth still exhorting a yell worthy of  the Guinness Book of World Records for the loudest screams. 
"What's wrong? Are you okay?" I ask, my eyes frantically scanning the room. To my surprise: NO, there were no monsters under the bed; No not-so-itsy-bitsy-spider dangling above her head; No clowns hiding behind the curtains; So what was this terrible culprit causing my little girl to shriek at a volume that made mommy's heart palpitate out of her chest?
“MOMMY! My cover is on da floor. I need you to tuck me back in!”
“Child! Are you telling me that you screamed like that because your cover is on the floor!?!?!?!?!?!?”

To think that last night I stayed up till 2a.m. looking for resources that would aid in teaching my child to read. Instead, I think we need to work on two more pertinent lessons: 1.) how to tuck ourselves back in bed should our blanket fall on the floor. And 2.) how NOT to scream so we don’t scare the living daylights out of Mommy.

Thanks all who are voting for me in the Top Mommy Blogs by clicking the top right button. You can vote 1x per day : )

Posted by Laura   

March 26, 2010

Mommy's Mistaken Identity

In light of yesterday’s post where I shared how my well-meaning-2YO reminded me that I’m overdue in renewing my ProActive Solution membership, I thought it would only be fair to share a very special compliment that I let her indulge me with last year:

It was only a month after I had given birth to baby #2 when I bought myself a subscription to a fitness magazine with hopes that it would motivate me to melt off the lingering blob of baby fat that wrapped itself around my waist. But who has time to read a magazine when your nursing hungry-little-man every two-three hours, dodging diaper eruptions, wiping a constant flow of churned milk off your shoulders, and chasing after a 1.5YO who believes she’s talking to Grandma when dialing the police  on your cell phone!

So there on the coffee table it collected dust until one day little girl comes running up to me with the widest smile and the biggest passionate eyes I’ve ever seen.
“LOOK, IT'S MOMMY! IT'S MOMMY!” She exclaimed, pointing to this svelte supermodel on the front cover.
So, I did what any self-respecting non-supermodel Mommy would do and replied, “YES! That IS Mommy!” 

Unfortunately, little-toddler-girl’s issue with mistaken identity didn’t work out so well for Daddy: “Look, it’s Daddy!” She shouted with glee one evening after dinner. Who could she be pointing to? Surely it would be his celebrity look alike Vin Diesel. You can imagine the disappointed look on Daddy’s face when he discovered his daughter was pointing to a picture of Elmer Fud. 

Posted by Laura 

March 25, 2010

NONpliment of the Month: Mommy’s polka dot

Initially when my little girl declared with such enthusiasm, “We match!” it seemed a great compliment. She loves to be just like Mommy. But, as I looked at her pink polka dot dress, I felt confused. I was not wearing any pink and definitely no polka dots. Instead, I was sporting an all black don’t-mess-with-me-I’ve-been-chasing-around-two-toddlers-and-barely-have-time-to-pee-let-alone-get-dressed classic Mommy attire.

“How do we match?” I ask her, just in case there was some confusion in her knowledge of colors. I was doing that Mommy thing where you try to make everything a teachable moment.
“I wearing pink, Mommy! See …” She pointed to several pink circles on her dress.
“Yes, you are wearing pink. But, Mommy is wearing all black, Sweet Heart. So how do we match?” I respond.
“Mommy, you have pink too!” She says with the purest sincerity and sheer excitement and lifts up on her tippie toes jumping up with an extended little pointer finger aimed right at the zit on my chin.
“See Mommy, you have a pink pokadot just like me!”

How do you respond to that?  Do you have any nonpliments to share? Also, don’t forget to vote for me above right; vote once per day.

Posted by Laura

March 24, 2010

Dear Mr. Poopie

March 24, 2010

Dear Mr. Poopie,

I know you must feel ever so proud of yourself the way you brought a surprise attack against me this morning, waiting until AFTER I had already bathed, diapered, olive-oiled, dressed, and put my baby boy down for a nap to disguise yourself as silly putty. I bet you smiled to see him playing with you, rubbing you all over the rails of his crib, his blankee, his teddy bear, his crib sheet, his shirt, his jeans. Perhaps, you even laughed out loud when he mistook you for peanut butter and smeared some near his mouth, his chin, his nose, his cheeks, his hair, his ankles and heels. And, yes, I’ll give you that it was very cleaver teaming up with your friend Mr. Peepee who ever-so-forcefully shot out like a spring rain across the rug and onto my little boy’s dresser mirror for an extra special touch.

Sure, you were successful in getting yourself all over my shirt, my arms, my hands, as I lifted my boy into the bathtub and scrubbed and rinsed him all clean.  You know what, I was going to take a shower anyway! And, I’ll have you know that I happened to enjoy sanitizing the bathroom, his crib, his rug, and his bedroom even if it was the third time this week. Have you forgotten that I’m an Italian neat freak who finds joy in cleaning my home? And, my little boy happened to enjoy his second bath of the day.

So, know this: I have a Clorox wipe and I know how to use it! I may have lost this battle, but I will win the war. I’m going to find out all the best products to bring destruction on your front and tell all my mommy friends about how to best combat you. You’re going down. Be afraid.



P.S.—By the way, little-toddler-girl no longer thinks you’re cute. In fact, she’s calling her daddy to come after you, cause when she saw the mess you made this morning, she told me: “Don’t worry Mommy, Daddy will clean it!” She knows her daddy can fix anything.

If you liked this post you can vote for my blog by clicking on the Top Mommy Blog badge located to the top right of this post. You can vote once per day.

Posted by Laura 

March 23, 2010

Why Mommy Can't Sleep on the Job: Part II

I thought I could beat the system by sneaking in a little nap while my 2YO was watching some TV and this is what happens . . .

So what have I learned? 
1.) It is absolutely necessary for both toddlers to nap at the same time if there is to be any hope of Mommy napping.
2.) Daddy may NOT have a camera handy while Mommy is napping. 
3.) Foam stickers work wonders at removing facial hair as I'm now missing 1/8 of my left eyebrow to show for it. I guess I need to add this to my list of mommy casualties.

Posted by Laura

March 22, 2010

Why Mommy Can't Sleep on the Job: Part I

It's a conspiracy. Those poopies are tired of me capturing them and ganged up with a stomach virus to war against me last night in full force.  I did double duty combating them both through diaper changes and potty runs around the clock.  Look, I may be exhausted from limping around in the dark of night to rescue both 2YO and 1YO with only one eye open, but I'm not about to accept defeat, sleep or no sleep. And so, yes, I'm totally sleep deprived today. But, the most important fact is that this Mommy is still reigning victorious over the nomadic poopie! 

Posted by Laura

March 21, 2010

When Mommy Becomes a One-Legged-Chicken

Craziness hit our house this morning: That big-ole-heavy-glass-jar filled with thick alfredo sauce that had been sitting on the very top shelf of the refrigerator door secretly attached itself to the bottle of maple syrup; so when I innocently lifted out the syrup to decorate 2YO’s waffle, BAMB! The jar detached itself from the syrup and came crashing down full force like a mallet striking the center of my left big toe. And that’s not the end of the story.

Fast forward five minutes later when I’m whimpering to myself in throbbing pain. Having hobbled like a one-legged chicken over to the couch and repeatedly maneuvered the bag of frozen peas in attempts to discover a non-pain-inducing position, I both kindly and not-so-kindly tell toddler-girl that she may NOT touch the swollen toe that I suppose is appearing to her like this magical fuchsia and lavender balled ornament that she just cannot resist trying to touch, especially when it’s sporting her favorite colors. 

Ten minutes later: Several more yelps up to sleeping husband with requests for him to go get crying baby boy who is still upstairs in his crib.  Right then, just as I’m staring at the bag of frozen green peas, I hear daddy yell down the most ironic of all statements: “Did you give him peas for dinner last night? … He threw up peas all over the crib!”

Could this story get any worse? Never underestimate the power of a crazy morning. (In fact, I think I will switch to the third person narration to give this story full effect.)

Mommy is sitting there in pain when 2YO whines that dreaded, “My tummy hurts!” Mommy leaps off that couch on her one chicken leg, lifts little girl to the potty JUST in the knick of time. A surprise explosion—captured! Yes, Mommy grins with delight seeing that we made it to the potty. Mommy hops to the other side of the house and back to grab the wipes and get her disposable rubber gloves to properly sanitize little girl.  Daddy, on the contrary, is functioning as the two-legged headless chicken, stripping down a dirty but still ever-so-cute baby boy, scrubbing down both baby and the smelly crib, and running outside armed with rubber gloves to shake those peas out of a soggy crib sheet.  Now that’s what you call teamwork!

So how does this story end? When all are cleaned and redressed, several hours later, all agree they never want to see peas for a very long time. Mommy and Daddy look at each other and roll their eyes; this was nothing compared to last year. Then, baby boy goes down for his morning nap. Mommy hobbles into her warm bed with her big sore toe sticking out from under lots of comfy covers. Toddler-girl snuggles next to mommy watching cartoons, and Daddy surprises Mommy with breakfast in bed—Greek eggs, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Perhaps there is a happy ending to this story after all (even if only lasting a few minutes). 

Posted by Laura

March 20, 2010

Mommy Confession #872: The Blankeee with Rainbow Sprinkles

My little girl's favorite blanket, the pink one that has the plush velour trimmed with satin, the one she named "Soft Blankeee," the one she has snuggled with every night ever since an infant, the one that she named the adopted fifth member of the family, the one that on Thursday night when she woke up with a tummy ache--it successfully caught EVERYTHING, the one that as I carried it to the laundry room with full intent to salvage it--made me NEVER want to inhale again, the one that now stands as evidence proving raisins and rainbow sprinkles aren't always easily digested . . . I just couldn't muster enough strength and courage to clean it.  Yes, I double and quadruple bagged it, sprinted outside in the midnight hour in my bathrobe and bright yellow rubber gloves to the garbage can, and whispered, "Byebye, Soft Blankeee, it was nice while it lasted." 

Bright Idea: 
If people can buy a look-alike fish or hamster to replace one that died, surely I can replace a blanket? Right? Good for me I just found out about a mom blog offering a blankee giveaway. Check it out at 3underthree. The offer ends Monday, March 23. There's still hope. 

Posted by Laura

March 19, 2010

Feature Blog Friday

Today I'm excited to share that my blog is being featured by one of my personal favorite mommy bloggers: Diana So, go check it out, share the love, and leave a comment.

Why I like Diana's blog: 
1.) Her posts make me laugh. 
2.) She ties in sincere, heartfelt topics that are valuable to new moms.
3.) She's a role model in being an eco-friendly Green momma: yes, she only uses cloth diapers! Check out her cloth diaper challenge giveaway where you can win a big bundle of Thirsties gift bundle ($170 value) 
4.) She is a networker: get to know her and you'll soon know a wonderful group of other mommy bloggers.
5.) I find her blog to be inspirational.

More on Diana:  I asked Diana to share a little about herself. 
Tell us a little about yourself: 

I'm a mom to my 4 month old Bella, and my husband Sam and I have been married for 7 years. I cloth diaper and try to be eco-friendly, and I'm a bit of a nut about having a tidy house. I love traveling, wine, The Office, and reading. I was a former teacher and now stay at home.

How long have you been blogging for? 
Only about 2 1/2 months. I've been really loving it so far.

Why do you do it? 
I love to write, always have. As a SAHM, my days are filled with lots of naps. I was wondering how to pass the time, and started blogging to remember my first months as a mom. Then I realized some people actually make money, even just a little, doing it. I hope that perhaps one day I can, so I'm able to continue to stay at home. If not, I'll still keep blogging. I love to look back and read things I had completely forgotten about. I also like to get to know other moms on here. I live in a small town, with lots and lots of snow, so sometimes it's days before I can go anywhere. Blogging keeps my sanity. 

Posted by Laura

March 18, 2010

Top Mommy Casualties Exposed

What the doctors don’t tell you about babies: So on that glorious long-awaited day, when you’re finally handed your glowing, slippery, bright-squinting-eyed little bundle in those very first moments, the doctors and nurses surely don’t warn you about how dangerous a baby can be. No, this post is not about stretch marks and sagging skin, the darkened eye circles from constant sleep deprivation, those hormonal surges that cause pubescent breakouts, nor the sudden hair shedding from 9 months of catch up; we’ll save that for a later discussion—perhaps.

Today is about all those motherly battle wounds—physical wounds—that nobody warned me about. That IF I had known about, I may have taken certain precautions …

1.) A baby’s head is in itself a weapon and a force NOT to be reckoned with:
IF I had known that my little 2YO had a head that was harder and swifter than a bowling ball, would I have nestled my face ever-so-closely into the back of her baby soft curls not knowing that at ANY moment, she would jerk up, lift that noggin, and come smacking down like a wrecking ball right into the bridge of my nose? I might have given a little more room for error.  At the time I thought she broke my nose, and now on those random days when I occasionally scrutinize my face in the mirror, I do question if the ever-so-slight bump at the bridge of my nose was the result of the impact. That same not-so-innocent baby head also gave grandma a fat lip and daddy a bruised chin on several occasions. 

2.) Babies like to pretend they are aspiring Billy Blanks fans:
IF I had known that my little-baby-boy has an inherent ability to perform martial arts, I may NOT have gone to kiss his cheek in the dark and instead gotten kicked right in my eye socket. Yes, I saw stars, and believe me, it wasn’t from looking out the window up at the sky.

3.) The movie should have been called, Baby-Scissor-Hands:
No matter how many times I trim those nails, file, and offer a mani and pedi at the same time, within a day, I am feeling the ramifications of little scratches on my chest and arms. Let’s face it; a baby’s nails are oh-so-cute, but very sharp. 

4.) If only the theme song of Jaws would play when baby is teething:
Perhaps this is why I got the book, Teeth are NOT for Biting, for my 1YO. Need I say more?

5.) Lungs that mean business:
IF I knew that my daughter could reach pitches that I never knew existed, that could actually make my eardrum tingle, vibrate, and almost pop, I might have been more intentional when picking her up to simply position her mouth AWAY from my ear.

So these are some of my battle wounds. And you know what, I’d do it all over again. Ain’t nothing gonna stop this momma from squeezing her little ones and soaking it all up; however, knowing what I do now, I just simply take certain precautions: I approach the baby head with great caution; I try to leave a night light on so I can see the foot coming when attempting to cuddle with baby; and when I stick my fingers in baby's mouth to remove foreign objects I emotionally prepare myself that I will most likely have teeth marks to show for it. I confess that when getting super close to baby, I occasionally consider gearing up with a helmet, earplugs, goggles, gloves, and full body armor. And don’t. Thus, this mommy has herself a lot of bruises, bumps, and scratches to show for it. These are my battle wounds and you know what, I’m proud of them.

What do you wish your doctor had told you about your baby? And what are your battle wounds?

Posted by Laura

March 17, 2010

Grandma's Coveted Irish Soda Bread Recipe

The sign that your child might love raisins is displayed when you open your eyes in the just before dawn dark of night to see your 2YO standing above your bed singing to the tune of Jingle Bells, "Raisin Bran, Raisin Bran, I love Raisin Bran ..." While I won't be serving Raisin Bran this morning (as my children obviously are fulfilling their daily fiber intake to my own detriment as demonstrated in previous posts) in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to share my Grandma O’Brien’s Most Coveted Irish Soda Bread Recipe that I will have my little girl helping me bake later today. And, yes, it has raisins.

3 ½ Cups Flour
½ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Salt
4 ½ Tsp. Baking powder
½ Tsp. Baking soda
1 ½ Cups Milk
1 Egg beaten
1 Tsp. oil
1 ½ Cups raisins
1 Tbsp. Caraway seeds

Mix all dry ingredients. Mix all other separately. Then mix all together. Pour in floured, greased baking dish.  Let stand for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr. Test for doneness.

Irish soda bread is yummy! Serve it for breakfast with butter or jelly. You can have it as a snack with hot tea. It can even work as dessert. The kids will love it. And, it makes a great gift too. 

Posted by Laura 

March 16, 2010

Diaper Explosion vs. One Wipe

The first warning sign that I might be in trouble was the fact that I could smell it before I even opened the door.  But the fatal error wasn’t that I walked in with an air of confidence—as having two kids in diapers, I handle this on a regular basis. Nor, was it that I happen to be without the required third arm that would make diaper changes go so much smoother. I didn’t realize the extent of my predicament even when I wrestled my wiggling baby boy and had him pinned down with two chubby feet held with my left hand and the diaper unveiled with my right, displaying an extensive mass that made me question how so much poop could come out of such a tiny body. No, the problem was not discovered until I reached into the wipes container and kept reaching and reaching, further and deeper inside only to discover to my horror a very big problem—only ONE wipe remained to clean it all up!

Deception! That’s why diaper wipe containers should be clear and not opaque so you can see how many wipes are left! What’s a mother to do? Choices, choices. Do I run into the other room and search for something? If I did he would surely grab the poop and have it all over himself.  Besides you know we never leave baby unattended on the changing table. If I pick him up to perhaps carry him to the tub, it will be all over me. Been there done that, and thus, dirtied the t-shirt.  I even briefly contemplated if I should use his pants that were just lying there on the bed that were calling out to me, “Here I am, use me. No one will ever have to know.”

Well, I was not about to be defeated. Somehow, someway I was going to make this one wipe—this partially shriveled and dried wipe—do the job. So there I stood, baby, diaper, explosion, one wipe and me.  I began swiftly folding each little crevice and corner, reusing every little spot of clean surface area on this one tiny wipe. I felt like I was trying to both master the art of origami and manipulate the laws of geometry at the same time, hoping that just maybe I could create more surface area by folding and refolding and refolding until that one little wipe was compressed into a darkened ball.

Thirty-eight folds later! Phew! Call it desperation or determination, but this was victory. And, yes, it was also all over my hands too. But the point is baby got a clean bottom and Mommy did it with only one wipe. Now that’s how we do it.

How do you do it? And, be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out another big problem that immediately followed and how I handled it. 

Posted by Laura 

March 15, 2010

How to Quarantine Mommy

Yesterday, I quarantined my husband (see the post Seven Ways to Quarantine Daddy.)  On top of getting to spend the entire day in bed, enjoying undisturbed napping, and a most important toy-free path to the toilet, he got served breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed—yes, I got off the hook easy since all he wanted was water. And after I put the kids to bed, dealing with a few tantrums, as a 2YO and 1YO surprisingly don't automatically adjust to daylight savings, I made a late night trip to the ole Food Lion to get his one craving, vanilla ice cream sandwiches.

Well, today, I think it’s only fair that I invite him to return the favor and quarantine me: No, you don’t have to wait for Mommy to be sick with the stomach flu. Just grab the kids and take them away for the day. No need to barricade the door.  I voluntarily will lie in bed all day long. No questions asked.  And when you return, don’t forget to bring home the ice cream.  I’ll take a Cold Stone signature creation “All Lovin’ No Oven”—because the name says it all.

Posted by Laura 

March 14, 2010

Seven Ways To Quarantine Daddy

So it’s 4 p.m. and I confess I haven’t yet brushed my teeth because I dread going into the bathroom to get my toothbrush. I washed my face with shampoo from the guest bathroom. Yes, I’m still wearing the clothes I slept in. The problem? It happened early this morning at 4 a.m. A sound no mother ever wants to hear: a roar coming from a yellow-faced daddy that described all he ate for dinner last night and all day long for that matter in one prolonged breath. Food poisoning? Stomach virus? All I know is that there is no quicker way to get this mother out of bed.  In fact, I’m thankful the ceiling fan isn’t directly above my side of the bed or I probably would have hit my head and been flung into the bathroom while jumping out from under the sheets.

So what do you do? How do you keep the two toddlers as far away from what could be the queen mother of all viruses--the stomach flu? There’s only one answer . . . We must quarantine daddy. Look, I hope you are never in the same predicament. But, it’s always wise to be prepared.

Here’s seven ways to quarantine daddy:

1.)   Get geared up with a mask. If you don’t have one handy, hold your breath when in the same room. Look, breathing isn’t that important right now. Weigh the priorities!
2.)   Bring him a glass of water and toast with a note that says, “I love you. Feel better.” You've got to show some compassion but again I repeat, DO NOT breathe until you are out of the room.
3.)   Barricade the bedroom door so he can’t come out. Look, you gave him bread and water; he has all he needs to survive for the next while. 
4.)   Open all the windows to air out the house. Don’t worry if it’s freezing outside, this will only help the air flow more quickly.
5.)   Grab the Clorox wipes and a can of Lysol disinfectant and begin happy sanitizing.
6.)   Wash your hands! Don’t forget you have to scrub for 30 seconds to eliminate all the germs. Oprah suggests you sing “Happy Birthday” twice. But considering the circumstances, I think a more appropriate song would be, “I Will Survive.”
7.)   Finally, grab the car keys, diaper bag, load the kids in the car, and just drive somewhere far, far away.

Good luck! And, if you have any other suggestions to add to the list, please be sure to post your comment.

Posted by Laura 

March 12, 2010

That Naughty Little Poopie

Hearing 2YO yelling from across the house, “Mommy I’m finissssssshed,” set off a domino effect of Mommy clanging down her warm coffee mug on the glass table, running on tippy-toes across the house, and triple climbing up stairs. Only imagination could foretell what on this bless-eth planet little-toddler-girl could be referring to as nap time had only just begun. But you know how that goes: that sweet silence that Mommy spends all day craving and might even feel is her best friend can sometimes also be a frienemy, predicting upcoming disaster.

Well, upon opening the door, what would Mommy discover? Would she find a poopie finger-painted everywhere? No, no, that was last year. Surely we have graduated from those days. Would she find diaper ointment squeezed out and slathered on all the dolls? No, that was last month, and Mommy had already taken the appropriate precautionary measures to banish that tube of ointment far from 2YO’s reaches. How about crayons? Could it be new drawings on the wall? No, that was yesterday.

Entering the room Mommy exhorts a sigh of relief in finding little-toddler-girl standing there next to her bed, red faced, glassy big eyes, gritting her teeth: “Mommy, I finished doing a poopie.” Phew. It was IN the diaper! (Yes,  Mommy confesses she makes 2YO wear a diaper during nap time even though she’s mostly potty trained.) You must understand that the fact that the poopie was in the diaper, and not roaming around the room, that is what we call progress! Plus, the fact that 2YO told Mommy she was finished and kept the diaper on, that is also progress! In fact, surely if 2YO could tell Mommy when she did a poopie, well, let’s bring out those princess panties, leave the diapers for baby brother, and call it a day. That is indeed progress.

WAS progress. Immediately after cleaning her up, re-panty-ing her, washing hands, re-tucking her in bed, walking away, and returning to a now-COLD-coffee mug, Mommy hears a small voice from across the house say, “Oh, noooooooo!” Again, Mommy sprints across the house, but this time with even greater fervency. Upon opening the door, poor Mommy discovers a horrific sight: That first poopie had a little naughty friend who decided to escape diaper-land and stretch its little body all over the side of the once turquoise and now brown-stripped sheets.

Is Progress. Was Progress. And a-work-in-progress. All in the same. That’s how potty training goes sometimes. And, also, sometimes how mommy spends nap time.

Posted by Laura 

March 11, 2010

Little Artist Meets Big Eraser

Dear Magic Eraser,

Thank you for cleaning the red, blue, and green crayon scribbles off my "little artist's" bedroom walls, white wicker furniture, and toddler bed rails today. If you could just hold your enthusiasm and not strip the paint off the walls, this could be a wonderful new turn in our relationship.  I also think it’s time that you told me, where do you disappear off to after our time together?



P.S.—Maybe next time you could take a little longer to clean the crayon off so my 2-year-old doesn’t think drawing everywhere is so easily remedied. 

Posted by Laura 

March 9, 2010

50 Things I Never Knew I’d Have to Teach My Child

Have you ever considered how many times you have to tell your Toddler "NO" a day? Here's my list. And I'm just getting started. 

  1. No, we don’t put diaper ointment on Barbie’s face, your kitchen set, and Hello kitty’s bottom.
  1. No, we don’t take off all our clothes and run around naked! Especially, not when we have company and not out in public!
  1. No, we don’t draw on our face with markers the moment mommy turns her head! Especially Not bright red marker when Mommy and Daddy are in the middle of a business meeting.
  1. No, we don’t stick raisins, beans, popcorn kernels, jelly beans, etc. up our nose!
  1. No, we don’t take random items off the store shelf and put them in the stroller without paying for them! Especially not the men’s boxers with the little pink birds on them near the check out counter of American Eagle!
  1. No, we don’t take all the wipes out of the holder and decorate the room with baby wipes!
  1. No, we don’t put barrettes in our infant brother’s hair!
  1. No, we don’t pull out all the drawers in the dresser and climb on top of it!
  1. No, we don’t find “treasures” in the trash can!
  1. No, we don’t use random toys as a stool to climb up on the bookshelf!
  1. No, we don’t intentionally jump off the furniture to see where we land. We could get a booboo doing that.
  1. No, we don’t spit out our food and stick it on Mommy’s plate, on the table, under your chair, or in your hair! Especially, not when we’re out at a restaurant.
  1. No, we don’t drink the bath water. That is dirty water!
  1. No, the bath is NOT your big, personal potty!
  1. No, we don’t stick our tooth brush up the faucet.
  1. No, we don’t lick the floor of sears, the shopping cart, or your big toe!
  1. No, we don’t pick grandma’s cherry tomatoes and eat them without asking!
  1. No, we don’t use our hair and shirt to wipe the ketchup off our hands!
  1. No, we don’t smear diaper ointment on our chin and cheeks, at least not those cheeks!
  1. No, we don’t stick the entire can of whip cream in our mouth! I know you “yike it” but that’s not nice.
  1. No, we don’t scream at the top of our lungs when mommy is on the phone, in the car, in the store, at church, or sleeping!
  1. No, broccoli is not a flower to be placed in your hair and we don’t stick the fork down our shirt.
  1. No, we don’t try to drive the car without a license! Your feet need to be able to reach the breaks and you need to be able to see over the steering wheel.
  1. No, we don’t ask mommy “Why” when she has already told you the reason “Why Not.” Who taught you that question, anyway!
  1. No, we don’t put the straw in our ear or up our nose. It is only for one hole in your head—your mouth!
  1. No, We don’t strip down and slather hand soap in our hair and all over our body when mommy is in the other room thinking you are just washing your hands.
  1. No, we don’t draw with crayons on the walls, your shoes, stuffed animals, and library books!
  1. No, we don’t sit on Mommy’s head.
  1. No, we don’t color kitty’s face with a pink highlighter.
  1. No, we NEVER pick up off the playground someone else’s pre-chewed gum and eat it!
  1. No, we don’t play hide and seek in the clothes rack at Target.
  1. No, we don’t change our clothes into a bathing suit, Hawaiian skirt, three princess dresses layered ontop of a tutu! Especially not after Mommy already dressed you and had you all ready not to mention the fact we are already running late!
  1. No, we don’t eat the toothpaste.
  1. No, you’re not supposed to squeeze all the toothpaste out to decorate the sink.
  1. No, “helping Mommy” fold the laundry is not unfolding the clothes and throwing them around the room.
  1. No, when an egg has broken on the floor, we don’t stick our finger in it and lick it in the two seconds Mommy turned away to get a paper towel.
  1. No, we don’t poop on the rug! OR on your bed. 
  1. No, we don’t poop in the pool! Or on the grass in our backyard next to the pool!
  1. No we don’t play with our poop! Or worse, try to fingerpaint the crib and room with it.
  1. No, naptime is NOT the time to take all your clothes out of your dresser and toys out of the closet especially NOT after Mommy just cleaned your room!
  1. No, we don’t take glitter that Mommy thought she had hidden in the closet and sprinkle it all over the dining room table and rug.
  1. No, we don’t take the DVDs out of the cabinet and use it as a “pretty plate” for your princess doll.
  1. No, your princess pajamas are not going to fit over daddy’s head. But thank you for trying to share.
  1. No, we don’t blow our noses on our shirt, in our pillow, or on our blanket. 
  1. No, we don’t put our baby brother’s pacifier in our mouth or in the neighbor’s dog’s mouth!
  1. No, helping Mommy clean is not pouring the entire bottle of hand soap on the glass table.
  1. No, we don’t say yes, when mommy asks you if you need a reminder to behave.  The only correct answer, is “Mommy, I will listen.”
  1.  NO, we don’t scream at the top of our lungs like we are dying just because Mommy says No.
  1. The last and most important rule of all:  No, we don’t say no to mommy!
  1. Remember, Mommy only says "No" because she loves you very much. 

Posted by Laura 

March 8, 2010

Top 15 Crazy Things Parents do to Get Kids to Eat

Don’t mess with an Italian mother trying to get her children to finish eating their dinner; this is SERIOUS business, especially when it comes to eating those veggies. Here’s a list of the Top 15 Things you know either you OR someone you know has tried to get little one to open that mouth and eat.  Mangia!

15.) The This-is-So-Amazing Method: “Oooooh MY! Look at this NICE broccoli that Mommy has made! Oh, it looks sooooooo YUMMY!”

14.) The Peer-Pressure Method: “See how Mommy eats her broccoli. Mmmmm! Ok, now it’s your turn.”

13.) The Distraction Method: “Look, Look, it’s an airplane. Zoooooooooom. Zooooooom. Open your mouth … Good! Now, look, it’s a helicopter! Open wide.”

12.) The Full-Name Method: “(First, Middle, and Last name of child), Eat your broccoli now!”

11.) The No-Dessert Method: “Ok, don’t eat your broccoli. But that means no dessert for you. Now Mommy is going to have to eat your slice of chocolate cake all by herself.”

10.) The Repetition-A.K.A.-Nagging Method: “For the fifteenth time, sit down in your chair and eat your broccoli!”

9.) The Begging Method: “Honey, I love you. Please, please, please, eat this little itty-bitty bite of broccoli for Mommy, OR how about for Daddy, OR how about for our little puppy Guido?

8.) The It’s-a-Contest Method: “Who’s going to finish their broccoli first? I am. No, no, little brother is going to finish before you. Hurry. Hurry. Eat. Let’s see who wins.”

7.) The Reverse Psychology Method: “Fine. Don’t eat it. I don’t care.”

6.) The Bribery Method: “If you eat all of your broccoli, when you’re done, you can have … a sticker!”

5.) The Fear-of-God Method: “Sit down in that seat, eat that broccoli, and stop whining OR I’ll give you something to whine about!”

4.) The But-I-Made-It-Just-for-You Method: (inspired by my own Grandmother O’Brien): “Honey, Aren’t you going to eat your broccoli? But I made this broccoli just for you. Oh, come on. Won't you eat it for me? I don’t like leftovers.”

3.) The Don’t-Hurt-the-Food’s-Feelings Method: “If you don’t eat this broccoli, the broccoli is going to cry!”

2.) The I’ve-Tried-Everything-Else-and-I-Give-Up Method: “Fine. You don’t have to eat your broccoli now. But, it will be here on your plate waiting for you when you are hungry.”

1.) The Ultimate-Guilt-Trip-to-Italy-and-Back Method: (Inspired by my very own Italian Grandmother): “Muh! Don’ you know-a de chil-ren all over de world are-a starve-a! Dey No gotta de food! Dey Cry-a! Dey Would  LOVE-A to eat-a your broccoleeee! You soooo stupid-a! Eat-a de food-a! No Waste-a! It’s a sin-a to waste-a de food! MANGIA! MANGIA!”

I hope this made you smile. If it did, become a follower, sign up for free updates, and/or post a comment.  I’d love to hear any new methods to add to the bag of tricks.

Posted by Laura 

March 4, 2010

Melodramommy Escapes Close Encounter

Yes. That woman. That mother who got out of her car in the parking lot, wrestled the 40-pound double-stroller out of a tiny trunk when she spotted something so terrible in her mommy world, her heart stopped, eyes bulged--even the three hairs on her chin stood straight up—that woman who when she spotted it, in one breath she had that stroller pinned down and shoved back into the trunk all while leaping into the car; in fact, if she could have climbed into the car through the trunk, she would have. Pale trembling fingers gripping the wheel, jiggling keys, a heavy foot commanding a most necessary get-away, all while explaining to the kids there will be no doctor’s check-up today; forget the exciting 2-year-old pep talk given on the drive there on how fun it is to go to the doctor but, of course, DON’T forget the part about how important it is to keep our fingers out of our mouths. 

Yes, that panic stricken woman peeling away and leaving a somewhat apologetic message on the doctor’s voicemail that she would need to reschedule today’s appointment because there in the entrance to the doctor’s office was a man wearing a forbidden blue surgical mask that was screaming, “hi there, I have an extremely contagious disease.  Yes, come bring your two healthy children in here and let me expose them to a wonderful stomach flu or swine flu if you’d prefer.” That’s what she saw. That’s what she did. And, yes, that woman was me.

And that’s how I handle the doctor’s office. How do you? What would you have done?

Posted by Laura 

March 3, 2010

You've Earned Your Badge in Mommyhood When ...

I'm sure many mothers can identify with the following statements. Of course, all of these were personally inspired by my very own toddlers.

You have earned your badge in mommyhood when …

1.) You find yourself eating the regurgitated crumbs your toddler spit out and slopped into your hand, while out on a walk, because you didn’t have time to eat breakfast and what else were you supposed to do with it. The though of that being semidisgusting, if ever occurring, is of course only a brief afterthought.

2.) At the end of the day you realize you’re styling a bouffant, almost as awesome as your 80s bangs. But that’s what happens when you’re running around for 13 hours, wiping bottoms and noses, sometimes both at the same time, saying do this, don’t do that, put this back on, wipe this off, come back here, and look at mommy when she’s talking to you.”

3.) Privacy is a luxury of the past because to a toddler it may even seem a wonderful thought to give mommy a hug while she herself is on the potty.

4.) You qualify to enter the 2009 "My Baby Can Scream Louder than Yours So Help Me Jesus" Contest.

5.) While holding new baby, some ignorant but well meaning, old man points to your post baby bump and asks you, “When are you due?” And you somehow fake a smile and politely respond that your not, but walk away secretly debating if you should clobber him with your diaper bag.

6.) You are officially fluent in toddlerese: example: “I no Yike it. Too Bicey! PON peeease. Mommy nice!” really translates to: “Dearest Mother, my young, delicate palate is having difficulty savoring this robust spice on this delectable chicken, but would you be so kind as to instead, please pass the gray poupon! And by the way, I aspire to grow up to look just like you because you’re the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen.” 

7.) You wake up one day and realize you have been monitoring the frequency, consistency, and color of another human being’s poops!

8.) You have accepted the fact that some days the fact that the house has not yet burned down is an accomplishment of itself.

9.) You’ve had at least one phone conversation that goes something like: “Sorry Mr. Police Officer, 911 Operator, Neighbor, person on speed dial # 4, etc. It was my toddler that somehow called you.  I deeply apologize. Yes, everything is okay.”

10.) In spite of mommyhood being the hardest job you've ever endured, you wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by Laura