April 29, 2010

Hi, Mr. Policeman: Now Mommy Needs a Diaper Change

I was only on the road two minutes from home when I spotted those fear-inducing flashing blue lights from behind. “Oh, God, please have mercy! Please, please, please, pleeeeeease, help!” I yelp much like a guilty Chihuahua squeaking at its master’s feet, seeking forgiveness for messing on the new white couch. But there came that officer marching right up to my car window with frowning eyes that spoke, you’re in deep, sky-high doodoo.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” He asks in a tone—you know, that condescending tone that reminds you of getting pulled into the principal’s office in grade school. That daunting question was surely as loaded and ready to fire as the officer’s gun. Answer wrong, and you’re in trouble; answer right, you’re still in trouble. Big trouble to say the least.

“How fast was I going?” I ask, the lump in my throat pulsating out of my neck.
“You were going 60 in a 45. That’s on top of cutting me off, failing to fully stop at the stop sign, and not signaling!”

You hand over your license with trembling slippery fingers. That’s when you can’t control the palpating heartbeat and potentially onset of cardiac arrest. You debate if you should call 911 and quite frankly, you would if the operator could guarantee NOT to send this officer who just snatched your license away. As he walks away to the patrol car to determine your fate, you stutter, “I’m soooorry. I don’t have any other tickets on my record.” Did he even hear you and does it even matter? He didn’t look impressed—well, at least the back of his head didn’t—that’s all you saw.

And then comes the painful two-minute period of waiting and waiting. And waiting some more. Those eternal two minutes where the officer has your license and you’re almost hyperventilating, almost needing a change of clothes because of almost peeing in your pants and sweating so profusely that your shirt is soaked—well, almost.

What will he say? How many points will this one be! Why is he taking so long! Wait, did I remember hearing that if you speed 15 over they will revoke your license? Or is it 20 over? Oh, the court bill! Lawyer fees! The insurance increase! And please, toddler girl, please just be quiet right now as mommy is having a moment here. Yes, Mommy was going to fast.

And then you also think, why wasn’t anyone back-seat driving for me! I mean really, to think of all those times I have so graciously lended my driving skills to help a friend and spare them the same predicaments. Get behind the wheel; you’re on your own. Well almost.

That’s when I prayed even harder if you can call begging a prayer. It was more like, “mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy. Please give it. I need some mercy.” But if faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, could my microscopic-is-it-even-there faith to be helped even move a piece of gravel. THIS mistake, the mistake of speeding and cutting off an officer, this is not one you get out of. THIS was a mistake I deserved a ticket for, so much more so the fact that there are children in the car. I mean really. I’m usually the driving-Miss-Daisy kind of chauffer: smooth sailing, careful navigation, slower than necessary speeds—well, at least that’s how I describe it. But, I guess everyone has his/her moments. Why did mine have to happen in front of a police officer!

So then I see the officer in my mirror walking back to the car. By this point, I’m wishing I really was hyperventilating or crying—I mean let there be some kind of physical manifestation to stir up his compassion. Instead I have a big ole zit on my chin to greet him in the window, frizzy hair (as I explained earlier it was either make-up or hair today not both), and a scratchy stuttering voice that tells him of my lack of tickets as he’s walking away. Where are some good tears when you really need them! They will of course only appear after he hands me a big ticket!

Well, that’s when the UNTHINKABLE happens. He walks up to the window, hands me my license and says, have a nice day. WHAT? WHAT! Really! He decided to give me a warning. That’s when Melodramommy realizes she needs a shovel to scrape her jaw off the car floor so she can drive away and be thankful. That’s when Mommy can’t help rolling down the windows and yelling, “Thank you Jeeeeeeesus!” but this time only driving 44 miles an hour. That’s when Mommy herself needs a diaper change!

Don't forget to vote, top right of this post.

Posted by Laura

April 28, 2010

Every Parent's Dream: On Cleaning

As an Italian neat freak who loves the sparkle and shine of a clean house but fails to keep up with laundry, this is what I dream about ...

What do you dream about?

Thanks for voting for me 1x per day by clicking to the right of this post.

Posted by Laura

April 27, 2010

Top 10 Signs Mommy Needs To Do Laundry

The challenge of folding laundry takes on new meaning when there are little people at your feet who believe “helping” means climbing in the laundry baskets and “folding” means squishing a shirt into a tiny ball as they declare with a grin of accomplishment, “Here, Mommy.” The greatest challenge, however, is that doing laundry is the never-ending task: spend an entire day sorting, washing, drying, folding and putting away clothes ONLY to find with the passing of every hour there are more loads to conquer! And please make sure that disposable diaper doesn’t EVER wander in a load. Thus, are there any reasons why Mommies out there might not find themselves in any number of the following predicaments?

Here are the top 10 signs that Mommy needs to do laundry:

1.) Desperate times mean desperate measures: The only choice of underwear (albeit something that resembles a deflated hot air balloon OR a rubber band) leaves you walking around all day with a wedgie!

2.) Comfort is sacrificed at the door of convenience: Even though your months out from weaning baby, you debate wearing a flapping nursing bra just ignore the now-deflated Madonna-esque protruding cones that enter the room before you do.

4.) Beauty comes second to practicality: You encourage hubby to pull a late-Michael Jackson to the office, wearing the stark white socks with his black pants, because that’s the only choice.

5.) Sharing is no longer optional: You are tempted to put pink socks on baby boy, because that’s what’s available. Besides, pssssst, don’t tell daddy, baby boy has already sported the pink princess pull up a few weeks ago when you ran out of diapers.

6.) Recycling takes on new meaning: No jeans left. Okay, time to pull out those maternity jeans with the yard-long, thick elastic bellyband that makes you appear as though you were ingested by a two-legged octopus.

7.) The Great Osmosis: There are more clothes outside of the dresser drawers and closets than inside.

8.) The Great Invasion: Dirty laundry piles consume almost every room of the house.

9.) The Great Famine: There are not enough laundry baskets or rooms to contain the laundry.

10.) Scarcity Redefined: Finally, the only choice, if you don’t want to wear something with Mr. Poopie, Mr. Booger, or Puke thanks to the munchkins, the only choice is wear nothing at all. Yes, this is the ultimate sign laundry can wait no longer.

Thanks for your continued support by voting for me at the top right of this post in the Top Mommy Blogs. We are #2 in Humor and a few votes shy of being in the top 25 overall : ) Keep ‘em coming.

Posted by Laura

April 26, 2010

How to Clean Disposable Diaper Disaster in the Washing Machine: Attack of the Jelly Monster!

Diapers were NOT meant to be washed! No, I’m not talking about cloth diapering. In fact, you cloth-diapering Mommies are my heroes at the moment, in which case this post might be the article you want to read to encourage yourself on why you made the right decision in cloth diapering. The diapers I am talking about are the plastic type that appear flat, lifeless, and ordinary UNTIL the day arrives when that disposable diaper meanders its merry way into the washing machine for a joy ride where it can finally take that gluttonous deep drink of fresh water until it explodes millions of jelly beads into every nook and cranny, wrinkle and crevice, pocket and fold of your entire load of laundry! And then that blobby jelly monster, who you never knew was inhabitating your child’s diaper, finally manifests and waits there to behold mommy’s look of horror and shock when she lifts open the washing machine lid.

SO the question is how do we clean such a disaster?

Let me tell you what NOT to do:
1.) Do NOT try to rewash the load, as I did. Those resilient jelly beads aren’t going anywhere no matter how hot you try to melt them.
2.) Do NOT try shaking out the laundry in the laundry room. One seemingly innocent white sock might just be hosting tons of microscopic diaper beads. You won’t notice this until you shake it out and later discover jelly in your hair, shoulders, shirt, slippers … and you look like it rained caviar in your hair.
3.) Do NOT Scream! You’ll wake the babies. Besides, there is a solution.

Let me tell you what I did which WORKED!
1.) Went outside, shook each individual piece of laundry out, both inside out and on both sides, rewashed it, dried it and it turned out fine. As a warning, shaking the laundry will result in little beads going everywhere. You may want to wear a mask. I am only thinking that diaper beads that are flying everywhere cannot be healthy to inhale. Thus, the mask idea. Yes, I error on being psychotically careful. Yes, this was extremely time consuming and I hope to NEVER make this mistake again.

Let’s ask the Experts!
But, now I am curious, do the diaper companies have any advice to give? After all they are the ones who have created those beads in the first place. Let’s see what they have to say. Well, I just contacted the two big diaper dogs out there: Pampers and Huggies. Both were kind and reassuring that this type of disaster happens very often. Phew, breathe. So I’m not a total freak. But, they both gave slightly DIFFERENT advice.

According to Pampers Customer Service: (800-726-7377)
1.) Put load of laundry into the dryer as is (with the jelly beads).
2.) Drying laundry will cause gel to bead up and fall off clothing; most beads will collect in lint filter.
3.) You may need to dry laundry longer than usual to collect beads
4.) When laundry is dry shake it outside
5.) To clean the washing machine, simply use rinse cycle and wipe inside of washing machine

According to Huggies Diapers customer service: (888-525-8388)
The Huggies representative said that this happens so often she usually gets at least one call a day with this question. She also reassured me that this should not hurt the machine in any way. I asked her if this information was on the company website, because I had trouble finding it. She said there was information under the Pull-ups section, and that she would put in a request to have it under the diaper section as well.

1.) Take wet load outside and shake it out
2.) Break up laundry into smaller loads and rewash.
3.) Dry as usual.

Well, I hope this information helps other parents out there who have made the same mistake. Collectively, we will defeat that jelly monster and have clean clothes and dry diapers once again. This is all the more reason why I am looking forward to having both kids potty trained! Then we can put the Mr. Poopies, Jelly Monsters, Mr. Gummy Bears, and Mr. Boogers to rest; ironically, by that time the kids will be off in college and I would do anything to relive any one of these day all over again.

If you share this experience, or found this advice helpful, OR have any better solutions, please let me know.

Keep voting for me in the top mommy blogs to the right of this post. We’re #2 in humor.

Posted by Laura

April 25, 2010

The Face Only A Toddler Could Love

So there I am enjoying a moment snuggling next to Toddler girl when she turns to me and says, “I weally like your pencil, Mommy!”

“Pencil?” I think to myself, “Pencil?!?!?!?!?!?” There are no pencils or pens in sight.

“What pencil?” I politely ask.

“Your pencil,” she says matter-of-factly.

“Pencil?—I’m not sure I understand, sweetheart.”

And that is when she kindly points to yet another emerging zit on my chin!

“Oh, you mean, pimple!” I say, internally rolling my eyes. How many times now are people in my life going to point out a zit on my face! I mean come on now! As if it didn’t already greet me and mock me in the mirror throwing me an unwanted monthly surprise party!

“Ooooooh! PIMBOL … I weally like your pimbol, Mommy.”

“Thank you. But, you know, they’re not really nice to have.”

“I can touch it, Mommy?” she asks with the greatest enthusiasm as though this thing on my face is a pink balloon up for grabs at a fair.

“NO! You may not touch it.”

“But Mommy … I want to feel it. Is it SOFT? Or HARD?” She zealously asks. Man, this zit must be the most fascinating thing on the planet. Soft or Hard! Where did this child come from!

“I don’t know.” I reply, just hoping to end this conversation already about what must be a protruding mountain on my face!

“When I get older, umm, I wanna pimbol just like you Mommy!” She says with utter glee!

“Oh, thank you so much sweetheart, but really it’s not nice to have a pimple because they are actually a booboo.”

And then as I’m pondering how sweet it is that my little 2YO wants to be just like me even in the ignorance of her not realizing what she’s talking about she replies: “Awwwwwwwe, Mommy. I kiss your booboo!” And before I can shield myself and herself, she pounces her sweet lips right on my face.

Lesson learned: Do NOT tell your 2YO that ANYTHING is a booboo unless you don’t mind a very compassionate kiss from a little person who believes kisses have the power to heal. Yet, isn’t it amazing that the most unwanted things (even those zits on your face) can lead to the sweetest encounters with children. Surely, ONLY MOTHERHOOD, has this magical ability to transform the most egregious situations into humorous, heartfelt exchanges of love—even when you have the face only a 2YO could love.

Have you had any similar experiences?

Thanks for your continued voting for me in the top mommy blogs! We're number 2 in humor. Please vote 1x per day clicking the picture next to this post.

Posted by Laura

April 24, 2010

Purse Giveaway Winner

The winner of the 31-Purse giveaway is Cleo at www.wemmicks-in-training.blogspot.com. Congratualtions Cleo! I used Random.org to select the winner.

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April 22, 2010

How Many Miles Mommy Walks a Day: The Answer

So the question is how many miles and steps does a mom of toddlers walk in a day? Let’s think this through: from that moment just after sunrise when the alarm sounds, and yes, I’m referring to a very cute alarm clock that prances in the room with a princess dress, a tiara, and little warm hands that yank at the covers as a sweet voice rings anything from: “I wanna cuddle with you!” or “I leeeeeeaked!” or (to the tune of "Jingle Bells") "Raisin Bran! Raisin Bran! I want Raisin Bran," that is when the mad-race begins.

Let’s review a typical day’s not-so-brief checklist of events:

Dream someone is poking you. But wait, this is no dream! Pry eyes open. Unsuccessfully ask Toddler to go back to sleep. Numerous pokes later ...
Put toddler-girl on the potty. Wipe, get her new pull up or panties. Wash hands!
Get baby boy. Hold breath while changing poopie diaper. Dispose of diaper somewhere far far away out of sight and smell—aka, the garage. Wash hands again!
Bring both children downstairs. Holding toddler girl’s hand and carrying baby boy while counting the steps down.
Brew coffee.
Put boy in high chair and give him a bottle.
Give Toddler girl juice and make and serve breakfast.
Sit on the couch, sip coffee, and stare at the wall (a most important task that is constantly interrupted with numerous requests)
Wash baby boys face and hands.
Clear table.
Wash high chair tray, seat, and crumbs on floor so baby boy doesn’t eat them later.
Unload dishwasher from last night.
Kiss Daddy Goodbye.
Another potty visit for Toddler girl.
Toddler girl requests art time. Get her set up while chasing baby boy around who still walks like Frankenstein but is so much cuter.
Bring both kids upstairs.
Brush teeth of all who have teeth.
Get baby boy dressed for day. Don't forget the hair gel!
Get toddler girl dressed for day. Get the detangling spray!
Chase after Toddler girl who stole the lipgloss.
Get self dressed while chasing baby boy who wants to put his hands around the potty seat or eat plant dirt or touch the TV or pull down the shades or climb the gate … you get the picture.
Oh No. Toddler girl is trying to use potty by herself but was unsuccessful wiping!

Wow, and that’s all before 9:00 A.M.

So fast forward a bit more: 10:30 A.M. Baby boy goes down for nap, while mommy has toddler girl play with playdough as Mommy cooks dinner (this is a new thing I’m trying on my days off from work where I cook dinner in the morning cause I’m waaaaay too exhausted by 5:00 P.M.),

Suddenly, it's time for lunch. Get baby boy. change diaper. Prepare something. serve food. Repeat the meal cycle. oh, yeah! Mommy needs to eat too--but eats standing up while cleaning up the mess from cooking dinner and lunch!

Play with both kids, folded a load of laundry, administer several time outs, chase after baby boy who wants to crawl up the steps, into the cabinets, and eat a book or a shoe or some foreign matter under the couch. Have chat with toddler girl: that yes, we should share; but NO don’t share any cheese with baby boy!

Nap time-only for baby boy. Toddler girl is making lots of requests to play. Mommy encourages her to have quiet time in her room but for some reason Mr. Poopie attempts to make an appearance right around this time. Will a mother ever get to sit down?

Finally a moment of peace. A Moment of free time comes and goes. Oh, it is time for snacks. Yes, let's watch some "Baby Can Read" so mommy can wake up from the nap she never took.

Add a Target run or a short walk to the neighborhood playground.

A bathroom break for mommy, when be careful, the unexpected is bound to happen (a later post shall explain.)

Oh My! Daddy is home! Another adult to talk to!
Have kids greet Daddy in Greek! It makes his day.
Repeat the cycle for Dinner! YAY! Family dinner time is one of Mommy's favorite times of the day!
Clean up a big mess while Daddy plays with kids OR while daddy cleans mess and mommy lays down. Daddy is awesome like that!

Perhaps a stroll to the park or just stay at home playing with kids as a family.

Bath time, Reading time, Bed time!

Mommy and Daddy perform the famous tucking in. Mommy can hear the hallelujah chorus as the children finally drift off to wonderland.

8:00P.M. Mommy looks at a monstrous pile of laundry that gnarls at her from across the family room, but she cannot fathom folding anything right now. She cannot fathom doing anything at all. Mommy is comatose. Daddy is comatose too.

11:00 P.M. And the pedometer reads: 14,881 steps and 7.03 Miles. SEVEN MILES! What, what! Seven Miles! That's a whole lot of walking in diapers, potty training, and mommyland for one day. I've done this now for three consecutive days, nothing out of the ordinary. They are all reading just shy of 15,000 steps! Wow! No wonder this mother be-ith tired.

Working Moms: Aside from working at home in the evenings, I work as a copywriter at the office two days a week. On those days, even though I sit mostly at work in front of a computer writing, it is the hours before and after work that I am pressured to get even more done than a typical day because of all the required preparations for two kids and the house. Thus, today, for example, a day in the office the pedometer read 9,303 steps and 4.39 miles. So working moms, you too should pat yourself on the back cause not only are you working hard all day, but you are getting extreme amount of steps before and after work to do the juggling act you do.

And now, I am reminded of my Italian Grandmother, who after a long day working and then pruning the rose bushes, would collapse in the recliner and gasp a loud bellowing cry, "E'MADONE (that's Italian for Oh, Mother of God) I'M-A DEAD-A!" Yes, dead is how I feel too, Grandma. Good thing like-it-or-not, resurrection comes in the morning.

Please keep the votes coming! You can vote 1x per day by clicking right to this post. We are almost ranked in the top 25 over all in the top mommy blogs and are the #2 humor blog.

Posted by Laura

How Many Miles Does Mommy Walk in a Day?

How Many Miles Does a Mother Walk a Day? The Pedometer reading says …

Come over to my house around 8:00 P.M. and you’ll see a not-so-pretty sight: a woman with frazzled hair (sorry, it was either make-up OR hair today not both), a greasy forehead (hey, I’m Italian and hoping it will later pay off with fewer wrinkles but in the mean time, pass me the proactive bottle) and a shirt with special markings decorated by tiny fingers as her lifeless body melts into a couch with her arm and legs spilling over the edges—but she doesn’t have the strength to clean herself up. In fact, it takes all the energy in the world for her to simply lift her nail-chipped finger and press down on that TV remote to change the channel. Why is she so tired? After all it’s only 8.P.M.

So I bought myself a good ole pedometer to wear through the day to see why is it that at only 8 P.M. after having just put the kids to bed, I am lying there lifeless on the couch. I mean, I used to train for marathons (only one but the plural sounded better), work out all the time, and have energy after a long day’s work teaching to conquer the world—one student at a time even if only in my dreams. Now, I’m struggling to simply conquer the massive piles of laundry. Either I am getting old OR could it be that I am walking more miles per day than I did in my college years or professional life as a teacher?

Let’s take a step into a mommy’s world where the daily-to-do-list meets a pedometer and mommy meets self-validation. Let’s review all that a Mommy of toddlers or little ones does, exhale with great awe and amazement, and pat ourselves on the back even if just mentally cause the strength isn’t there at the moment. After all, don’t athletes pause and look at their trophies or olympians wear their gold metals? I may not have a monument, but I surely have a monumental pile of diapers that I individually unfolded, wiped, and wrapped one-handed! I may not have made it to the gym, but my barbells weigh 30 and 24 pounds each and require lifting every hour on the hour--and they kiss me when I do! After all, doesn’t everyone need a pat on the back and recognition for a job that may not always get the visibility or appreciation it deserves … but is certainly one of the most important of all—being entrusted with the task of raising the next generation!

Come back tomorrow to find out the pedometer reading and miles tracked. I will also include my checklist of tasks!

Also consider this your invitation to join with me. Go out and get a pedometer and lets encourage eachother together. I've been tracking my results. And let me say, they will astound you! We mommies are doing more than we think!

Don't forget to enter our Thirty-One Purse Giveaway which ends tomorrow!!

Thanks for voting. We are almost ranked in the top 25 over all in the top mommy blogs and are the #2 humor blog.

Posted by Laura

April 21, 2010

Honest Scrap Award

I am honored to have received this "Honest Scrap Award" from a mommy blogger friend, Cindy, at This Adventure, Our Life. Cindy's blog is eco-friendly and in addition to the cute pictures of her little girl and sweet reflections, you'll find out about cloth diapering and even how to make your own laundry detergent! I also received this award from Cleo at wemmicks-in-training.blogspot.com. Cleo also has a great blog and is a great blogging friend.

The rules of this award are I must state 10 things about me and pass it on to 10 other friends: So here we go:

10 RANDOM facts about me:
1. This may come as a big surprise, but I like to list things
2. Sometimes when being chased by something in a dream, I turn around and realize, "Wait a minute ... I can fly!" and then I fly away. Now that's an awesome dream.
3. I recently spilled chicken juice from a cooked meal on my car rug and didn't realize it until 6 days later and my car smelled like a decaying body. It took 5 car shampoos to get it out!
4. My favorite color is sky blue.
5. I sing in the car but not in the shower.
6. I once trained for a marathon but got injured on my last 20 mile run before the race. And yes, I was discriminated against when I went to get a pedicure and they made me wait forever bc no one wanted to touch my purple toe with the missing toe nail.
7. I love cleaning but NOT diaper explosions or vomit!
8. If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would choose Greece, sitting on the beach!
9. I wouldn't make it five minutes on Fear Factor because I am absolutely repulsed by bugs!
10. If I were forced to grow an extra limb, I would choose a third arm because it would help with diaper changes!

The Ten Awesome Bloggers I have selected to give this award to are:

1.Kate @ http://www.mommymonologues.com
2.Tractor Mom @ http://frugaltractormom.blogspot.com
3.Mary Allison @ http://www.themsrevolution.com
4.Cleo @ http://wemmicks-in-training.blogspot.com
5.Kat @ http://iplayitbyyear.blogspot.com
6.Jessica @ http://www.thesouthernbellebaby.com
7.Abbi @ http://proverbs31living.blogspot.com
8.Alissa @ http://mommyandmolly.com
9. Law Momma @ http://www.law-momma.com
10. Cascia @ http://www.thehealthymoms.net

Mommyhood: The Job Description

Mommyhood is one of those jobs that has its moments–-some are the most can’t-catch-your-breath hilarious moments that make you laugh so hard you cry.

Some moments are so sweet you want to savor it forever.

Other moments are so frustrating you want to crawl onto the couch and just take a nap or take a bubble bath and be alone.

Yet, in spite of all the eye-tearing, germ-fearing, sweat-dripping, heart-skipping, bottom-wiping, finger-swiping, crumb-picking, toy-tripping, hand-holding, laundry-folding, character-molding, head-turning, stomach churning, patience-testing, non-empty-nesting, mistake-making, self-centered-breaking, life-giving moments—All of it together is what makes the job description so rewarding. It’s looking into your children’s eyes, feeling their soft skin against your cheeks and inhaling their sweet breath that makes you forget how hard it can be as you remember how much you love what you do.

The awesome, fearful, wonderful, terrible aspect of motherhood is that it's made up of moments and moments are fleeting, like water dripping off your hands--one moment it's here, the next it's gone.

Yet, moments like these have the power to wash away all the frustration. Moments like these lift the heart. Moments like these remind me of how precious motherhood is and how it took those moments of frustration to get here. Moments like these make one realize being a mom really is more of delight than a duty, a calling than a just career, and a ministry than just a mission. That's the journey of motherhood.

How do you define Mommyhood? What moments make you smile, laugh, or cry?

Thanks for your voting in the top mommy blogs. Keep it coming 1x per day. We're #2.

Don't forget about the purse giveaway which ends this friday!

Posted by Laura

April 18, 2010

Crazy Things All in the Name of Potty Training!

Potty Training is one of the most hilarious adventures I’ve endured so far in motherhood. Not only is there that cuteness factor that I’ve shared earlier about, but then you look in the mirror at yourself and find yourself doing the most bizzare things all in the name of Potty Training! Yesterday we looked at the dog that wouldn't poop! Now, let's see how that prepared us for the world of potty training toddlers!

So here you go. The Top things I Never thought I’d do to get my toddler to poop.

1.) Talking to the poopie: “Okay, poopie, time to come out!”
2.) Personifying the poopie: “It’s okay, sometimes poopies are lazy and we just need to be patient.” OR “The poopie will be lonely if it doesn’t go in the potty.
3.) Commanding the poopie to obey: “We know you’re in there. Come out, now!”
4.) Forcing the poopie into submission: “Yes, let’s push that poopie out. Push! Push! Do you want to hold my hand? There you go. There you go.”
4.) Imitating the poopie: “Plop, plop, isn’t that fun!”
5.) Expressing affection towards the poopie: “I Love Poopies, Let me see.”
6.) Resisting the poopie:No, No! Don’t touch back there. We don’t want to get the poopie on our hands!”
7.) Measuring the poopie: “Look at the size of that poopie! Amazing! I am so proud of you.”
8.) Containing the poopie:Please let Mommy wipe, it is her joy.”
9.) Describing the poopie: “What? No, Poopies are not cute.”
10.) Naming the poopie: “What? You said it’s a diamond?”
11.) Restraining the poopie: “No, We don’t touch the poopie or anything in the potty!”
12.) Evicting the poopie: “Yes, say goodbye to Mr. Poopie; you get to flush!”

If you liked this post you might also enjoy this.

Is there anything I have missed from the list? Please share!

Thanks for the votes! We're # 2 in the humor category and #30 overall in the top mommy blogs. You can vote once a day by clicking to the right of this post!

Don't forget to enter this giveaway for your chance to win an embroidered thirty-one-purse!

Posted by Laura

The Dog who Wouldn't Poop and the Toddler who Followed ...

In my college-pre-baby years, I remember chasing around a hyper, disobedient doggie during my short-lived career as a dog sitter. Having never owned a dog before, those long walks with a dog on a leash were more about a dog walking me than me being in control. But what do you expect, I was always the cat fan in spite of the issues of my cat—ahem the dingle berry. So on a weekend long adventure dog sitting, walking this stubborn creature along a frigged neighborhood trail, forever WAITING and spying for a brown pellet as my cheeks turned red and stiff, I remember thinking to myself, "I am staring at a dog's rear! What's has my life come to!" Somehow I hoped that if I looked at him, it would pressure him into pooping faster. As I waited longer and longer and walked further and further, I grew desperate. All I wanted was the dog to hurry up and poop already so I could run back inside and defrost my fingers. But compromise was not in this dog’s vocabulary nor was “poop now!” or “Hurry up” or “Pretty Please with kittens on top.” I was onto his schemes and he was onto mine. My strategy: get dog to poop in the first minute so that we can go back inside. Dog’s method: Hold it in as long as possible because delayed poopie = longer walk. So here’s the list of things I found myself doing to get doggie to do the deed.

1.) Repetition: If I could just say the word “poop” enough, surely the dog would do it! I mean, surely this was the purpose of learning about Pavlov and behaviorism!
2.) Bribery: “Look, do a poopie I will give you a treeeeat! ... Cheese? ... 20 dollars?"
3.) Praise: “Yes, good job. I see pee pee! Let me see some poo! Come on! Good doggie! Show me that poopie!”
4.) Begging: "Oh please just do the poopie! Have mercy. Pleeeeease?"
5.) The peer pressure method: "Look, all the other dogs are doing it!"

The result: Frost bitten toes. Failure. And, finally, insight: you can’t rush a dog to do the deed; somethings cannot be rushed. They may sit on command, but this dog was not about to poop on command. What great preparation for me as a parent for the adventures to come in potty training.

Fast forward to present day: Here I am, no dog, but standing over a toddler on the potty doing the same things. Oh this job is so much more rewarding. There’s the cuteness factor and the joy of using less diapers! But time has only made me more determined to defeat Mr. Poopie. And thus, I have found myself doing even more ridiculous things to get little Toddler-girl to use the potty. Come back tomorrow for the full list of things parents do to get their toddlers to poop.

And so I ask you, what has helped prepare you for potty training? Or how do you get your dog to poop when you're in a hurry?

Thanks for your continued voting in the Top Mommy blogs. And don’t forget to enter the awesome purse giveaway.

Posted by Laura

April 16, 2010

You Might Be a Back-Seat Driver if . . .

It never dawned on me as to how bad of a back-seat driver I have become until my 2YO started back-seat driving. Yes, a toddler exhorting: “Put on your seat belt, Daddy!” and “Slow down, Daddy!” Or “Red Light, Daddy!” Yes, Congratulations, this is the sign that you efficiently back-seat drive!

Perhaps you’ve found yourself OR someone you know guilty of more than one of the following:

1.) You grab your heart and gasp, “God help us!” at least once during a five minute drive to the store.

2.) Your nails, when not digging into your knees, are grasping the handle bar on the door or the bar on the car roof for extra security.

3.) You yelp “Wait!” or “Watch Out” or “Red Light!” periodically throughout each drive.

4.) The driver (in my case husband) tells you “Calm down,” “You’re overreacting,” or “Chill” multiple times per drive.

5.) In warning the driver of the upcoming red light, you try to yell “stop” but instead gibberish comes out: “ut tat tat tut da!” Hey, the important thing is that you got his attention.

6.) When your hands are not glued to the handle bar, they are pointing and gesturing to each stop sign, yellow light, and old man biking in spandex.

7.) You check the blind spots more than he does to the degree that you block his peripheral vision during right and left hand turns.

8.) Your toddlers know how to back-seat drive before they can ride a bike.

9.) Your husband/significant other puts his/her hand on your knee, but NOT as a romantic gesture, but instead to say, “I pray God delivers you from this anxiety.”

10.) Upon reaching the destination, he thinks: “You are the world’s worst back-seat driver!” She thinks, “You really need to learn how to drive!”

Look, don't feel bad about it. Don't live in denial. My husband tells me I excel at back-seat driving. Let's celebrate doing what we do so well.

Don’t forget to vote for me in the top mommy blogs by clicking to the right of this post! We’re # 2 in the humor category!

Oh, and don't forget to enter the thirty-one-gifts giveaway for your chance to win an awesome monogrammed purse for mother's day.

Posted by Laura

April 15, 2010

What Makes You Happy?

If you're here for the Thirty-one-giveaway click here. Enter to win a cute monogramed zipper purse for Mother's Day!

Kate at mommymonologues gave me this award on her blog Thursday! Thank you Kate! Kate is evidence to me that you can make new awesome friends in the mommy blog world. Though also new to blogging, Kate has quickly grown her blog and is constantly inspiring me with new ideas. She also has a very fun sense of humor and the cutest little boy. I really enjoyed this post on blogging tips.

The rules of this award are:
1. copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. list who gave the award to you and use a link to her/his blog (or hyperlink).
3. list 10 things that make you happy.
4. pass the award on to other bloggers and visit their blog to let them know about the award.

Ten things that make Melodramommy happy: (in no particular order)
1.) Successfully transferring napping toddlers from the car seat to their beds! Watching them sleep makes my heart skip.
2.) Watching baby boy squeal hugging his "ning kee" (monkey) and then laugh while hugging me
2.) Hearing Toddler girl sing "Dancing queen" at the top of her lungs in her plastic microphone. That's my melodrababy in the works.
3.) Date nights alone with daddy and the many laughs in between
4.) Having my mom live close by. She's a HUGE help! And my best friend. And did I mention, she's my melodramommy role model! Second only to my Italian Grandmother.
5.) Watching my munchkins play "ring around the rosie" --this is a new one for us. Yaaaaay to sibling bff.
6.) The extremely RARE occasions I get to sleep in!
7.) Spending time with Jesus
8.) A big cup of Starbucks coffee while writing.
9.) This picture
10.) Capturing and defeating Mr. Poopie. Come on now, my hands are being trained for battle.

And how exciting that I get to pass this award on to some special friends:

1.)Dana at dancing guitar girl Dana has been a longtime friend of mine who's friendship has always inspired me in the creative arts: both in dancing and writing. Thanks Dana for encouraging me to start blogging!

2.)Diana at hormonal imbalances Diana has an awesome eco-friendly blog and has been a kind friend who's helped me out tons as I've started blogging. She has a cute baby girl and a great sense of humor.

3.) Lily at a lil story Now this is a blog to visit to be inspired with faith: check out her "spiritual sunday" posts. What an awesome Mommy! She doesn't really know I follow her, but I think she's amazing! And her posts have ministered to me : ) Check out this post!

4.) Tiffany at Tiffys tea room Tiffany is a long time friend of mine a mommy of three toddlers! What an inspirational mother of three. Rooted in her Christian faith, her blog gives a positive outlook on the blessings of children and the journey of motherhood. I love her story about taking three kids grocery shopping and saving with coupons!

5.) Amy at Roars and Rambles Amy is friend of mine who I've lost touch with in recent years. But back in the day we used to go to coffee shops and write with our laptops and dream about being published. Amy is now an accomplished freelance writer with two published books and her blog is hysterical. She's now getting back into blogging. I can't wait to read more of her posts!

6.) Anne at Deal wise Mommy Anne doesn't know I follow her, but her blog is amazing. This is the place to go if you want to save a good penny and get the latest on coupons and bargains. Now that's a blog to be happy about.

7.) Cindy at Aguilar family adventures Cindy is a sweet mommy friend who leaves the nicest comments on my blog. Yay to encouraging friends. Her blog is cute and explores her reflections as a new mommy and lots more.

Okay, so before you go check out these cool bloggers, please share, what makes you happy?

Posted by Laura

April 14, 2010

No Poop Zone: On How to Get Poop Smell off Fingers

Dear Mr. Poopie,

Oh how I bet you are just sitting on your high chamber pot right now, looking down at me, laughing at how bad you got me today. Ok, I’ll admit since I had meticulously cleaned the diaper eruption and scrubbed and scrubbed my hands, I had NO idea where the lingering smell was coming from. It didn’t appear to be on Baby boy’s pants, Toddler-girl’s hands, the couch, the rug, the blanket, or the Barbie head, even though you had me sniffing crevices for poo like a Customs Labrador searching for cocaine.

I bet as I left the scene of the crime to get my mind off of you and refresh my palate with a cup of fresh fruit topped with cottage cheese, you were in hysterics: How long would it take me to discover that you were waiting for me, ever so patiently in a ruthless game of hide and seek? So I stood there eating, not sitting because I was determined to find you, when to my bewilderment I realized I was only detecting your ever-so-vile aroma as I lifted the spoon to my mouth. YES, it was then to my utter disgust and HORROR that I beheld a little preemie poopie—with its squinting little slitted eyes gazing at me from in between the cozy knuckle creases of all places—my middle finger!

Did you gasp with delight as I dropped my spoon, nearly gagging, and ran to the sink to scrub the skin off my fingers at temperatures so hot it nearly melted my bones for the second, then third, and forth time! It was then I realized your little bambino was attempting to take a permanent residence on my finger! Didn’t you get the memo: fingers are a NO POOP ZONE!—I wonder if Oprah would be willing to take up this cause in addition to the No Phone Zone. Perhaps he failed to consult with Mr. Gummy Bear who could have warned him of my eviction policy.

Well, guess what, I researched on Google how to get that poopie smell off the fingers: the nurses have already figured it out. Survey says lemon juice, toothpaste, a metal spoon, and shaving cream are your worst enemies. Guess what? My fingers are so minty I could brush my teeth with them. Bye Bye, Preemie poopie. Buh Bye.

Fighting you till the end,


P.S. Tell your buddy Mr. Diarrhea to leave my friend Kate alone! I'm warning you, the lyrics of your favorite song: "When you're walking down the hall and you see it on the wall ..." are about to be rewritten!

Posted by Laura

Giveaway: Thirty-One-Gifts

I’m very excited to announce Melodramommy’s first giveaway and we’re just in time for Mother’s day. Thank you, Krista, from Thirty-one-gifts. Krista is a work at home mom as a consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, which sells personalized purses, totes, handbags and accessories for any lifestyle! Most products can be embroidered and make a great gift for any occasion. In addition, she offers home parties, online parties, fundraisers and more!
Are you interested in making some extra money? Contact Krista to learn about joining her team and reach your dreams together!

The Prize:
The winner will be awarded this 31-zipper pouch, which is perfect for storing make-up, nail polish, jewelry, diapers, wipes etc. The winner will get to choose from 8 different patterns and have it monogrammed! What a great gift for Mother’s Day! You can embroider her initials or a saying like #1 Mom.

How to enter to win your own 31-sassy bag zipper pouch:
1.) Mandatory: Your comment = your entry. Follow this blog, using Google Friend Connect (right hand side of blog) or tell me you already are; and visit the online catalogue and tell me which is your favorite item.

Optional ways to increase your chances of winning. you can do all or one (leave a separate comment for each one. Your comment = your entry):
2.) Tweet about this giveaway. (1 tweet per day, 1 entry per tweet)
3.) Become a FB Fan of this blog (right hand side of blog) or tell me you already are (1 entry)
4.) Follow me on Twitter or tell me you already do (1 entry)
5.) Vote for me in the Top Mommy Blogs top right of this post (1 entry, 1 per day) yes, I can tell
6.) Blog about this giveaway: must include link to blog post in your comment ( 4 entries)
7.) Become a Facebook fan of Krista's 31 business
(1 entry)

Comments will be open today through Friday April 23, at 11:59 p.m. On Saturday I will select a winner using random.org. I will send you an email to notify you if you have won and you will have 48 hours to get back to me. You must either leave your email address in the mandatory entry or have it on your profile so I will be able to contact you. I was not paid to write this review or host this giveaway.

Good luck! And enjoy browsing through those cute purses!

Posted by Laura

April 13, 2010

Why a Mother Might be Late

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

So the annual 5 minutes for mom Ultimate Blog Party 2010 is going on, and I'm showing up fashionably late or shall I say mommy-of-two-toddlers-late: like this morning when just as I finished applying the lipgloss, grabbed my car keys and go to load up Toddler-girl only to find her naked! Gone was Mommy's selected polka-dot dress and matching tights; all was gone except the princess panties and plastic tiara. Now baby boy, he shot poop up his back, no, wait that was during dinner was well behaved, except that he chewed half the corner off a now soggy cardboard book and laughed while bitting my finger as I swiped it out of his mouth and shrieked. And yes, I enjoy commenting on how he likes to chomp because it validates the heck out of me as I look at those razor sharp teeth and think, this is the little pirranah darling that I nursed for 10 months--and he got his teeth early at 4! Now that's an accomplishment that means more to me than the five years I spent daily teaching 120 high school students. Grading an English paper = easy. Capturing nomadic poopies, evicting the potty treats, convincing the toddlers that NO, we should NOT lick the bathroom walls or color our face like an umpah lumpa when mommy's turned her head, now this is an accomplishment to be celebrated --even if it pays a large contribution to my chronic tardiness.

And that's what this blog is about. This isn't the candy-coated, life is bliss, I-have-it-all-together blog. This is the no-one-warned-me-life-was-going-to-get-this-crazy-spacing-my-kids-this-close-together-and-now-I-feel-like-I-have-twins-God-help-me-blog. The goal? Validating new moms that they are not alone in feeling challenged; honoring experienced moms in what they've already overcome; informing working daddies on what goes on all day long when Mommy is left alone; reminding grandparents of sacred memories IF you can call anything involving Mr. Poopie sacred that is. And yes, there will be more to come: giveaways (have one coming tomorrow), recipes, parenting tips, inspirational stories, mommy interviews, creative ideas, a lot of culture, and other fantastic surprises. Join me on this journey of experiencing motherhood as hard but ever so hilarious; unending but extremely entertaining; messy but oh so meaningful; And yes, knowing all that I do now, I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you're looking to be inspired read this or this

If your just here for a laugh see this or this or this

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll keep reading and if you really want to make my day, become a follower, facebook fan, and follow me on twitter. Please don't go without telling me something about you--like what usually makes you late? Or who do you blame when you're late? I'd offer to bribe you with a gummy treat as a reward, but I had to flush them today to join Mr. Poopie.

Oh, as for prizes, which you can see if you check out the ultimate blog party, I'll take the 3. US40- One winner will receive a 3 day 2 night stay from Holiday Inn Main Gate East in Kissimmee, FL (less than 2 miles from Disney World) a value of $250.Provided by: Holiday Inn Main Gate OR the $100 dollar gift card to restaurants.com because Mommy and Daddy could use a good date nite. Now that's for investing in the marriage, which ultimately is investing in baby.

Posted by Laura

April 12, 2010

Mr. Poopie's Alias

Of all the aliases Mr. Poopie has chosen to introduce himself to my 2YO such as . . .

1. "Meatballs!"
2. "A Sea Horse!"
3. "Two Fireflies!"
4. "Three monkeys!"
5. "One Banana!"
6. "A Raisin!"
7. "A Mermaid!"
8. "Peanut Butter!"
9. (oh, how could I almost forget this one) "Finger paint!"

I NEVER thought he would trick her into thinking he was . . .

10. "A DIAMOND!"

My thoughts upon hearing this:

1.) Not just anyone can say they poop diamonds.
2.) I guess she is a true princess at heart.
3.) Would this be an appropriate thing to share in a preschool interview?

That naïve ability in the eyes of a child to look at the detestable, see it sparkle, and call it beautiful, now that is something I admire. What words does your little one use to describe their "diamonds"?

Don't forget to vote for us in the top mommy blogs by clicking the badge to the right of this post. You can vote 1x per day : )

Posted by Laura

April 11, 2010

Potty Training & The Cuteness Factor

A list of Melodramommy's favorite things to look forward to in potty training:

1.) Little legs and feet swinging on the big potty
2.) The cutest scrunched up red, sweaty face that is clearly trying to concentrate on a big task
3.) Watching tiny fingers turn the pages of story books, while singing songs, and contemplating life's mysteries
4.) Big eyes that speak surprise, awe, and accomplishment upon hearing the famous "plop"
5.) The quirky things they do, like naming their poopies
6.) That growing sense of independence: "I want to wipe!" or "I want to flush!"
7.) The hilarious stuff that happens, like toddler almost falling in the potty and Mommy rescuing toddler
8.) Princess panties and Superman briefs!
9.) The fun in washing hands with Mommy: we sing songs and have a contest of who can make more bubbles
10.) The money and environment saved from ditching those diapers
11.) The day when Toddler can do 1-10 all by him/herself while Mommy sits on the couch thanking God she can rest for a minute.

What are your favorite things/memories about potty training? And/or what are your greatest potty training fears?

I know I give Mr. Poopie a bad reputation in potty training, as he so very well deserves, and in doing so I hope I haven't discouraged any new moms in what to expect in their own upcoming potty training adventures. The amazing paradox to keep in mind, as with everything in motherhood, is that your baby has that cuteness factor: you just love your children so much and can't get enough of them that even when they're running around with the dingle berry, wiping boogers on your knee, and calling your zit a poke-a-bot, they're so stinking cute, you constantly want to swoop them up in your arms, kiss their little necks, and inhale.

Don't forget to vote by clicking the top right of this post. We're #2 in humor : )

Posted by Laura

Mr. Poopie's Alias

Of all the aliases Mr. Poopie has introduced himself as to my 2YO such as . . .

1. "Meatballs!"
2. "A Sea Horse!"
3. "Two Fireflies!"
4. "Three monkeys!"
5. "One Banana!"
6. "A Raisin!"
7. "A Mermaid!"
8. "A chocolate chip!"
9. "Awwee-- so cute I want to touch it!"

I NEVER thought he would trick her into thinking he was . . .

10. "A DIAMOND!"

My thoughts upon hearing this:

1.) Not just anyone can say they poop diamonds.
2.) I guess she is a true princess at heart
3.) Would this be an appropriate thing to share in a preschool interview?

That naïve ability in the eyes of a child to look at the detestable, see it sparkle, and call it beautiful, now that is something I admire. What words does your little one use to describe their "diamonds"?

Don't forget to vote for us in the top mommy blogs by clicking the badge to the right of this post. You can vote 1x per day : )

April 10, 2010

Every Parents Dream Part II

Last time, every parents dream turned nightmare. But not today, because persistence has taught us that if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. So, this is what we dream about. How bout you?

Thanks for voting for me in the top mommy blogs. We're #2 in the humor category. Keep the votes coming, all it takes is a click to the top right of this post.

April 8, 2010

Divided Poopies Don't Equal Multiplied Rewards

Dear Mr. Gummy Bear a.k.a. “Potty Tweet”

Yeah, you with the sugar-glazed, missing eyeball stare who has recently taken a residence in my black kitchen canister. I’m writing to inform you of this eviction notice: you have 1 day to leave the premises before I dump you in the toilet to swirl around with your friend, my foe, Mr. Poopie. That’s right, I am now well aware that you have been conspiring against me, as evident by the fact that you have violated our agreement by failing to make potty training easier:

1.) Inflation: First, you convince my 2YO that 1 gummy bear is not enough and that 3 treats are necessary for a reward. Until I finally give her 2 gummy bears and then you raise the demands to 5! Five?????? Are you out of your jelly-licking mind!

2.) Since I refused to increase the number of rewards per potty visit, you convince my innocent and naïve 2YO that the next best thing would increase the frequency of potty visits by instead of doing one simple poopie in the potty, break up the poopie into fractions, thus turning what should have been one potty visit into seven trips! How many times can a Mother wipe her toddler’s bottom and wash her hands and repeat the process, all while curious 1YO is at her feet eager to explore the potty rim! Yes, I know Mr. Poopie gave you this idea because it would multiply his numbers and yours. But you remember this: divided poopies will never multiply potty rewards cause Melodramommy don’t like math!

3.) It really bothers me that when I talk to you, you fail to make eye contact with me. I don’t care that you don’t have a face. It’s just plain rude.

4.) This article and the fact that stickers are more fun anyway!

Your compliance with this notice within 1 day after its service will prevent any further eviction action against you.



Dated this 7TH day of April 2010

What do you use as a potty reward? And what do you or don't you recommend?

Thanks for your votes! Keep them coming by clicking on the picture to the right of this post.

Posted By Laura

When Mommy Becomes a Human Tissue

We’re going on 9 straight days of leaking noses in my house. Yesterday, thanks to the AC breaking, I grabbed a T-shirt and shorts to stay cool; they happened to both be black. At the end of the day, I looked at myself in the mirror and was surprised to see silvery iridescent slime streaks across my black shirt that glowed in the florescent bathroom lighting—like slug trails illuminating on the sidewalk under moonlight. Yes, my children had left their marks on Mommy. Those hugs and squeezes were really the strategic wiping of drips on Mommy’s shirt; why use a tissue when you can hug Mommy and wipe your nose at the same time!

Well, not today! I thought. Because today I was going to work with Daddy. The kids were dropped at Grandma’s house while Mommy actually got to fix her hair, do her make-up, and wear a nice black dress, and remember what she used to look like before chasing around Mr. Poopie with the wipe all day long. Well, in returning home from work this afternoon, 2YO runs up to me to give me a big hug.

“Mommy! Mommy!” She comes running, clearly with something sweet to tell me. What would she say? Would it be the “I missed you” or “I love you, Mommy.” No, today it was going to be something extra special—I could tell by that look in her eyes. I call her to sit on my lap when she whips out that little pointer finger a few inches from my face and with both a sense of delight and great pride declares, “I have boogie on my fin-ga, Mommeeee!”

And there it was, this decrepit yellow shrivel, perched out and gripping on for dear life. I could almost hear it hissing: “Go ahead, tell her to put me in a tissue. You'll regret it!”

Now what could this ug-laaay little booger do to me? So in spite of the threats I say, “NO, we don’t pick our noses, let’s get a tissue.” Well, before the words are even out of my mouth, Toddler-girl is shoving that finger in her mouth! “Oh, nooooooooo!” I cry, with disgust. I don't know how, but that boogie enticed my poor child to taste it! “NO, We don’t eat boogies---“ and before I can finish my sentence, 2YO does what in her mind is the next best practical idea, pull it out of her mouth and immediately wipe it on Mommy’s knee! So, there I am with this elongated booger stretched out several inches across my bare knee in the shape of a V as though it were claiming “victory” over me. That was when I looked down and realized . . . I have become a human tissue! Yet another thing to add to the list of having earned my badge in motherhood.

Thanks for voting for me in the Top mommy blogs. You can vote 1x a day by clicking to the right of this post.

Posted by Laura

April 7, 2010

A Cat, a Toddler, and the Dingle Berry!

Today something happened that instantly took me back to the seventh grade where my not-so-friendly Himalayan cat, “Popcorn,” had a very dirty issue: Non-detachable poopies. On a weekly basis they would become entangled and trapped in his very long, white fuzzy hair. Oh, how they loved to hitch a ride on his bottom, snuggle up on the couch with him, and leave a trail across the blue tile basement floor as he’d try ever so faithfully to detach it AND FAIL! Oh, how my father would freak out, can you blame him, in coming home from a long day at work and seeing the famous familiar signature smeared across the floor. “Laura, would you go clean the da%& dingle berry!” Dingle berry! That was the most hilarious word I had ever heard and also the word I grew to dread hearing. I, the cat lover, was the chosen one to be handed the brush, a wipe, and a glove, to work that thing out and put it in its proper place, in between wrestling this violated cat that was determined to fight me to the finish.

Today, I wrestle my 1YO with each diaper change; I have dear Popcorn to thank for preparing me not only for the fight, but preparing me for the dingle berry that came back to haunt me this afternoon. Let me rewind in my mind a moment: it was before my 1YO learned how to climb out of his crib. It was after my “date” with Toddler-girl where we ate blueberry muffins outside in the sun. And, it was after the air conditioning repair guy left and told me it would cost $1,500 to repair the broken AC that chose to malfunction on the hottest day of spring! Yes, it was during nap time that the dingle berry struck.

Toddler-girl crept out of her bed and came to the door. There I sat on the couch just about to put my feet up when those two big eyes squinted and that sweet voice declared: “I need to do poopoo on the potty!” So I escort her to the bathroom, little man followed, because they’re not on the same nap schedule today. In the moment I’m looking at him, she’s already off the pot attempting to wash her hands, when to my horror I spot a fudge trail on the potty seat and a dangler hanging off her bottom!(Gasp)The dingle berry had returned!

“Wait! Wait!” I yell, anxiously reaching for a wipe when little girl realizes how hysterically funny it would be to run away from Mommy, clueless that the notorious Mr. Poopie was following close behind all while little man approaches the potty seat to inspect the skid marks.

Well, with baby boy tucked under one arm and a wipe extended in the other (my most common stance these days) I captured it. Detached it. Disposed of it. Again! Isn't it funny how history has a way of repeating itself? But this time, I defeated the dingle berry one handed. Oh, how motherhood quickly stretches you, expands your capabilities, and widens your horizons.

Thanks for voting for me in the Top mommy blogs. You can vote 1x a day by clicking to the right of this post.

April 6, 2010

What NOT to pack for your long car ride . . .

This weekend, after dealing with a leaking diapered baby boy while packing up the car for a long ride to visit my awesome big fat Greek family, a 3 hour car ride instantly turned to 6 hours when a distracted Mommy and Daddy realized after an hour and a half that we were headed the wrong direction! That is a painful mistake that you hopefully only make once in your life. The good news is that there’s nobody else I’d rather be next to than my baby-daddy-Greek-husband, even if after 3 hours we were only finally back at our initial starting point. BTW, if you’re wondering how many times a toddler can declare, “I’m thirsty” or ask “Where we going?” in the span of 6 hours: the answer is 12,752.

So what are the essentials to pack for your long car ride with the kids? As well as what you need to be forewarned and banish from the car?

1.) Music: But, please do NOT make the mistake of brining the nursery rhymes CD that your 2YO wants to hear on repeat for 2 hours. There are only so many times you can hear the hip hop version of “B-I-N-G-Oooooo!” before you begin to lose your mind. We learned from that great error and left it at home this time so that we could honestly say, we don’t have that CD with us.

2.) EAR PLUGS! Really, because the folded up McDonalds napkins just don’t work, I promise.

3.) Imagination: Now, of course, we never have ear plugs when you need them, so we entertain 2YO with the various made up games: daddy’s favorite is the “car game” where he asks her to tell him the color of the car driving next to us. Then of course, there’s the “Greek Word Game,” where we point to objects and learn the Greek word for it. And finally, the “Song Game,” where hubby and I sing a nursery rhyme to as many different styles of music we can think (opera, rap, rock, metal); obnoxious, but very entertaining, to say the least. Mommy’s favorite is the “Let’s pretend to take a nap” game, followed second by, “Who can be quiet the longest?”

4.) Snacks: just remember as we learned from yesterday, no cheese for 2YO. Read yesterday’s post if you’re wondering why.

5.) Extra diapers and wipes: because you really don’t want to walk into that gas-station in the middle of nowhere and ask for diapers only to discover that their only selection is a dusty box of single unwrapped diapers that YES have a huge tick in one, and when you complain asking if they have wrapped ones, the guy flicks off the tick and asks, "what tick?" Yes, that happened last year, and I ran out of that store vowing NEVER to let that happen again. Thus, the huge bag of diapers in my trunk.

6.) Toys: but be very selective. Don’t bring markers in the car, because never underestimate the power of boredom to persuade a 2YO to color her entire face a hue that makes you scream when you look back and see a Green and Orange Umpa loompa staring back at you.

Do you have any other essentials to add to the list? Or any games you play with your child in a long car ride?

Please vote for us in the top Mommy blogs by clicking to the right of this post. You can vote 1x per day. They reset the ranking of all to zero yesterday so it’s a race to the top.

April 5, 2010

Parenting Tip #682: What NOT to do before Road Trip

So, the first sign foreshadowing that my road trip might have some slight opposition was revealed the day before we left when I happened to catch a glimpse in the rear view mirror a terrible sight! My well-meaning 2YO decides to sideswipe a big slice of her CHEESE-burger to her lactose-intolerant baby brother from across two car seats. Noooooooooooo! I yell, my hands gripping the wheel debating if I should pull over and intervene. She looked at me with her innocent big eyes that spoke, “don’t you want me to share?” But, alas, it was too late. Baby boy was devouring the cheese with the biggest bright orange grin I’ve ever seen. Note to self, NEVER give Toddler-girl cheese within a 10-foot radius of baby boy again especially NOT before a road trip! But then, to my surprise, the rest of the day baby boy was fine. Usually, it would take only an hour or two for it to reap havoc on his system. Could he have outgrown this predicament?

24 Hours Later . . .
Yes, you guessed it, another surprise visit from our friend and foe, the relentless Mr. Poopie. Well, I’m not going to even dignify Mr. Poopie with a response today by giving him any further attention. But, you can imagine Mommy trying to pack for a weekend, all the baby gear, snacks, bottles, blankees, and appropriate accessories, while making frequent trips to the changing table wrestling a curious, quite stinky, wigging baby boy but prepared this time with more than a sufficient supply of baby wipes! This is when Mommy needs a vacation from vacation.

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Posted by Laura

April 4, 2010

About Me: My breaking points ...

A sign that you're at your breaking point is when your face hits the carpet, your skin digging into the scratchy fibers in a puddle of your own tears as you cry out for a miracle. Last year this was a familiar place for me. In Friday's post, I asked you to tell me where you get your strength. Today, I’ll share where I get mine.

Only a few weeks after just giving birth to my precious baby boy, a series of sicknesses and unusual circumstances hit my family and me so forcefully I quickly realized I needed a strength greater than my own ability to get me through: 7 straight days of vomit and diarrhea hit my NON-potty trained toddler-girl where the first 6 days I cried for her, and finally on the 7th day, I cried for myself in exhaustion. Let’s skip over the surprise emergency appendectomy that sent me running to the emergency room in my bathrobe in severe pain, realizing I had no stored breast milk for baby boy and following surgery was not allowed to pick up infant boy for 4 weeks and toddler-girl for 6 weeks; pass over those two other bouts of the flu and stomach virus that again went through my house that left me begging my Urgent care doctor to just go ahead and inject me with whatever anti-nausea med available. Skip over the normal adjustments of a very strong-willed creative toddler girl who was fascinated with taking off her poop diapers and painting the crib and walls with it’s contents and a determined but exhausted mother who nursed an infant with one arm and had the Clorox wipes in the other. And of course, skip over the five times total that both cars broke down, we refinanced the house, got into a minor accident, and toddler-girl fell down the entire flight of stairs but was unharmed!

But there’s one story in the mix of stressful things listed above that would be an injustice to skip over. Let’s go straight to the part of series of events where I am crying in my room in the middle of the night, and I am completely overwhelmed: Toddler-girl had suddenly developed all the symptoms of what we later realize is Kawasaki disease: 105 degree fever, rash starting on hands and feet then all over body, sores in mouth, red eyes, we spend all night in the emergency room, FIVE different doctors, none could help. It was too early to diagnose, but if you don't treat it by day 10 (treatment means hospitalization), it affects the heart. Two days later, the symptoms are raging. I read about how John Travola's son died of heart disease and he had Kawasaki disease as a child! I read about how the research shows that kids who contract it (as it is not contagious and they are not sure how children get it but believe it is caused by a microbe) have had recent exposure to carpet cleaning or stagnant water. Just the night before Toddler-girl spent the night at her grandparents’ house whose 20-year-old carpet was just cleaned! I have never felt so overwhelmed in my entire life than to see your precious child sick and helpless and all you can do is wait on tests. The more I researched on the Internet and looked at pictures of other kids with Kawasaki, the more overwhelmed I felt as my daughter looked just like them and all the symptoms matched. What happened next is nothing short of an absolute miracle. I was completely overwhelmed with fear in my room, I didn’t know what to do, it was the middle of the night everyone else was asleep, even my husband was knocked out from having spent the previous night in the ER with her. As I’m praying, all of a sudden I went from feeling 100% anxiety to 100% peace—a peace so overwhelmingly comforting and outside of myself that I didn't feel I deserved or even expected, I just knew God was answering my prayers. As I was praying I was reminded of how God did a great miracle in my past and how I had told him I would NEVER forget that miracle. As I was praying for her, I heard Him say, "It's time for a new miracle. Do you believe I will heal her?" I had no question in my mind he was with me because there was no way in my own human strength I could find an ounce of peace. Well, within one hour of praying we checked her temperature and it was gone! It dropped from 105 to 98 degrees and the rash disappeared. That's my greatest miracle!

What got me through?
1.) Having a supportive and encouraging husband who is great at making me laugh in just about every situation, a mom who came to my rescue on numerous occasions, great family and friends.
2.) Friends who didn’t judge me for all my complaining, when I felt at the end of myself and didn’t feel like being positive!
3.) A Moms' group: a group of 2-3 other moms that I consistently met with once a week for play dates (when we were healthy). This helped me keep my sanity, knowing there were other moms going through the same struggles.
4.) This is the most important of all for me: God. I am extremely thankful for having such a supportive husband and family and friends but . . . It was many times in the middle of the night when no one else was around that I felt God meet me where no one else could. In my extreme neediness and exhaustion, I found strength beyond my own capabilities extended by a loving God who freely gives to those who ask.

April 2, 2010

About YOU

This morning somewhere in between brushing baby boy's teeth where he attempted poking my left eyeball out of it's socket and extracting a strand of yellow playdough out of little-toddler girl's nose, I thought I would ask the question to all you mommies out there, others reading this are welcome to respond too, where do you get your strength? You know, when everything that could possibly go wrong does?

Here's an inspirational TRUE story (a clip only a few minutes long) of a father who has an incredible strength that seems beyond his own ability to help his son. When I watch it I can't help but tear up thinking about what an incredible parent this man is. Today, I hope to hear about you. Come back tomorrow, and I'll tell you about me, how I answer this question in light of an extremely challenging year that hit me following the birth of my son and adjusting to a newborn and a toddler: sicknesses, surgery, accidents, chaos, desperation, a lot of prayer, and a very big miracle.

April 1, 2010

The Crazy Toys We Buy: The Big Barbie Head!

Have you ever considered how insanely ridiculous some of the toys are that we actually buy our children? Last week I saw a toy I just had to buy for my 2YO. When I got it home, unveiled it, and placed it on the table, before me was a . . .

. . . gargantuan decapitated Barbie head! No, she does not have a body. Just a big head and a neck that looks sawed off at the shoulders. I thought to myself, I can’t believe I just bought my child a head! What type of mother am I? Why not get her a doll that also has a body! Nevertheless, my little girl absolutely loves to play with this life-sized head of hair: twisting, knotting, brushing, pulling, and braiding the nylon blonde wig. Now, I confess I love it because toddler-girl can express her creativity on doll head rather than Mommy’s hair or, worse, on baby brother’s hair.  The problem is that Barbie Head has claimed her space on the glass coffee table and greets me every morning with her glazed beady stare that seems to say, “Why did you let your child do this to me?” I sip my coffee, salute her, and think to myself, “Better you than me.” 

Have you had any toys you’ve gotten your child and realized similar thoughts? 

Oh, and some exciting news: remember last week as a stomach virus stormed through my home I confessed having to do a very bad thing to little girl's most cherished blankee? Well, I entered a free blanket giveaway and I actually WON! Thank you Heather for hosting this giveaway. I always love visiting Heather's blog because she is a mom to a toddler AND twins! Now that's inspiration to me especially on the days I struggle with only 2! Thank you also to My Blankee for the gorgeous lavendar blanket--which is little girl's fav color! As you can see from the action shot, toddler-girl couldn't stop kissing and hugging it. You made my little girl's day!

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Posted by Laura