Sunday, February 24, 2013

Paci wars

I haven't been blogging much because about 3 weeks ago our household descended into the lower levels of hell and we haven't managed to find the escape hatch yet.  Apparently this was triggered by me doing the unthinkable - I took away Audrey's pacifiers cold turkey.  I know you're probably thinking, "what's the big deal?"  She is 2 1/2 years old after all.  And we have no more international travel on the horizon, which truthfully was the reason we put it off for so long (you're welcome 200+ other passengers). 

I had hoped it would all go down fairly painlessly.  Or, at least with some "help" from Audrey.  HA HA HA HA.  I love these hilarious fantasies I create in my mind.  But don't get me wrong, we tried that route.  We read the books.  We talked about being a "big girl."  We cut off the rubber tips.  We had the Paci Fairy come and leave us Pez.  And it was all a huge fail.  So one night Audrey forget to get the paci on her way to bed and I just decided that was it.  Fast forward 3 weeks and I have aged 3 years.  There have been so many tantrums in this house I'm not even sure I remember what my child used to be like.  If we lived near one of those fire and brimstone churchs I probably would have had her exorcised by now.  Naps are a distant (yet fond) memory and I feel like we are back to Cry It Out sleep training every night, which I sucked at then and still suck at now.

Of course, everyone wants to give me their opinion on whether this was the right or the wrong thing to do.  My parents and Audrey's teachers think I'm being cruel and mean and that she would have given the pacifier up on her own, even if she was 15.  The dentist is in my corner, and a few other moms here and there.  But I refuse to give in at this point, even if I feel like I'm a crackhead with a fix stashed in the back of the cupboard.

I know in a few months (years?) I will [hopefully] look back on this and laugh, and realize this was nothing compared to whatever other parenting challenges lie ahead, but for now it really sucks.  I'm not sure what the takeaway is, except that I have apparently birthed the most stubborn child on the planet.  The true winner here is the Starbucks drive-thru, where I'm finding myself all too often these days.  Audrey has started asking me for "grande lattes" at home and I can tell the Starbucks workers are discussing why I appear to only shower every 3 days, which my pre-child self would totally have done too.

So, take this as a Public Service Announcement that pacifiers are a deal with the devil.  Albeit a small, 27-pound blond-haired deceivingly cute devil.  And whatever I did - do the opposite - because this has been an epic fail.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


3. That is the number of times that the hubs has been out of town for the majority of the week for work since the beginning of 2013.
3. That is the number of times that T has had some yuckiness or another while the hubs has been out of town.
It's not shaping up to be a great track record.

The first was just a cold. A cough-through the night, mom resorts to turning off the sound on the monitor so she can get a little bit of rest cold. But just a cold.

The second was a nice little mom-fail.  Last week, I noticed that T was pretty much covered in little bumps all over his hands, feet, knees, and seat.  But as I’ve mentioned before, he is really sensitive to bug bites – and since he now comes home almost daily with sand pouring out of every inch of himself due to his new love of the sandbox at school, I figured that the unseasonably warm weather combined with my child’s sensitivity and sand obsession resulted in some sort of weird insect getting to him. In my defense, I pointed it out to his teachers, and they didn’t think anything differently than I did – they actually had the whole yard sprayed for crazy bugs because of him then (which I really appreciated for the pro-activeness, actually). And then, the bug bites started to appear to be blisters. Tons of little blisters. But it was an insanely busy week at work with must-attend meetings up the wazoo, I was single parenting, and he wasn’t acting bothered in the slightest by the blistery bumps, so I decided if they weren’t gone by the end of the week, I’d take him to the doctor over the weekend. Well, hubs got back into town and thought they looked a lot worse than I did, so we took him to the doctor on Friday. Apparently, the bug bites were coxsackie virus, or even better sounding, hand foot and mouth disease. Lovely. In my defense, the doctor did say that the bumps did look like ant bites – and without the fever and irritability that usually goes along with the virus, it’s possible he wasn’t even contagious. Regardless, I admit it. Failure.

The third is this week. T seems to have gotten his bazillionth cold of the month and it turned nasty last night. School tells me that all of the kids basically have colds right now and two got sent home sick yesterday, with one being tested as we speak for the flu. Wonderful. Last night, T was up coughing again from about 12:30 on. I was up listening to him from about 12:30 on. Even with the second dosage of Benedryl I gave him around 1am – he didn’t sound so hot. This morning, he had a slight temperature – 99 – but I **think** 99 degree temps are allowed at school*. So, because this is insanity week #2 before my work’s big convention and because I had a big meeting scheduled with my boss today, in he went. And I spent the day watching my phone waiting for the call from school to come pick him up -- which thankfully it didn't. Tonight however, he had a 101.4 fever - so work and daycare isn't looking so hot for tomorrow.

Sigh. We need a break.

*My old daycare did, anyway. I believe the send-home threshold is generally 100.3? Though my co-worker informed me today her daycare sends kiddos home when their temperature reaches 99.5. Seriously? Some people have a base temperature of 99 for goodness sake. I digress.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Preschool is a racket

At least, Audrey's preschool is.  I have to do a little preschool venting here because I don't know if this is normal and a glimpse into what lies ahead with elementary school...or if we have just stumbled into some weirdly high maintenance preschool.  I feel like I have my real part-time job and then my preschool mom part-time job.

Let me start by saying that Audrey attends a church-based preschool 2 days a week from 9:00 - 2:00 so we're not talking full-time or private.  When we signed her up we were told that we needed to take on a few responsibilities throughout the year.  Namely, throwing one holiday party for the class (i.e. bringing a class snack, plates/napkins, and goody bags for each kid), bringing the teachers lunch one day out of the year, and contributing $50 for teacher and staff gifts throughout the year (birthdays, holidays, etc.)

Okay, fine.

Except it's actually way more crap than that.  And they don't tell you that if you're in a class full of slacker parents, you will need to pick up that slack and step in when they bail or the kids will be the ones who suffer by not having a party, etc.  Which of course makes you feel badly when all the other classes are participating so you suck it up and do it.

So there are 10 kids in Audrey's class, which in theory would mean 20 parents to help out with various things.  Not that I'm keeping score (never!) but just in the past 2 1/2 months I have:

1) made the teachers lunch
2) bought and assembled gift baskets for the teacher Christmas gifts
3) babysat the class during the teacher appreciation lunch (we all remember how well that went and the fact that the other mom who was supposed to help me bailed that same morning - thanks!)
4) made cupcakes for one teacher's birthday

Next week I have to throw the Valentine's Day party b/c no one else agreed to do it (I'm already throwing the Easter party).  I also have to bring Valentines for every kid in the class, plus separate Valentine's Day teacher gifts, plus little gifts for the other school staff if I "feel so inclined" (I don't).

Oh, and the last week in February is "official" Teacher Appreciation Week which means making the teachers a dessert they can share with their families, more gifts, and more staff gifts.  Originally we were supposed to make them dinner to go with the dessert but enough people freaked out so that part was eliminated.

I mean, WTF, right???

It's not like this preschool is free.  Or that we didn't fork over $50 at the beginning of the year for these supposed "gifts." 

The real kicker is that I've accidentally been over-paying tuition each month, without even realizing it.  Yes, I'm a moron.  But do you think the school bothered to inform me?  Oh no, they just kept cashing those checks for 6 months until I realized my mistake.  So whatever they did with that extra cash is gift enough as far as I'm concerned and I might just lose it on the next person that tells me I need to do X, Y and Z for this school.

Okay, done venting.

Phew, I feel better now.

Time to make more cupcakes...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


So, you know when your child starts to do something -- and you know it's because it's something you do? Hopefully it's something like helping old ladies cross the street or something along those lines - not some annoying habit you had unbeknownst to you until your child picks it up.

Yeaaaa, so.....

No, literally.

This week, Tyler started saying "yea." Not "yes" or "yes please" anymore....but "yea."  It's driving me a little batty. He sounds like a little New York teenager in the works.

And I don't know how to stop it. Especially when I keep catching myself answering his questions by saying "yea" in the same exact way. I caught myself at least five times tonight mid-yea.  Makes me wonder what other me-isms he'll pick up along the way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dining out

I just read a cute and very relatable toddler-dining related article today. It actually came at the perfect time because it resonated for me by following smack on the heels of our grandma-and-aunt-birthday dinner celebrating weekend. You can read it here.

When the hubs and I take T out to eat these days it’s generally a) at lunchtime b) when we can sit outside and not bother anyone but families with other kids who have the same idea and c) at a place with a playground. No, we are not eating at  McDonalds thank you very much….I have to say, Austin happens to be pretty good with putting playgrounds next to their restaurants. Something I never would have even remotely considered a plus in a restaurant dining experience before T. While we might not be going to any 5-star celebrity chef haunts these days, at least the local bar-food joint has swings and a slide, which is amazingly helpful for getting through an entire meal.

But in honor of the joint birthdays, we ventured out for an actual dinner-time dinner. There were slight heart palpitations, I admit it. But we ventured out into the world of normal-timed dining with a diaper bag full of books, trucks, snacks, and even the ipad loaded with some Blue’s Clues.  Since he refuses to sit in a high chair these days, we never know how sitting (in general) is going to go – will he refuse the booster seat also? Trip a waitress? Jet into the kitchen? How in the world can you keep a toddler in one place in a restaurant when he is no longer strapped into his seat*? This night, we cornered him in the booth, and it seemed to work out ok. We went through two books, one episode of Blue’s on repeat, several escape attempts, and some short track & field games as he attempted to run back and forth along the short empty stretch of the booth while enamored with watching his handsome self in the mirror (much to my dad’s dismay, we left some fingerprint evidence behind on the mirror as well). All in all, he did pretty well. Especially when he realized that tomatoes are really funny when they can be wiped repeatedly along mommy’s shirt. Yes, mommy is now dirty and in need of the dry cleaners. Thank you, dear child. And when the waitress brought warm cookies and ice cream to the table for said birthday celebration – the kiddo was in his glory. Someone’s got himself a sweet tooth like mommy.

The bench, the mirror, cookies & ice cream = happy combo! (bad hair day for mom though)

*Grown-up dining chairs with seat belts just might be my strike-it-rich invention.