So Charlie pooped on the potty! Exciting, right? Yes and no.
I never thought my daughter would be ready to start potty training before I was ready for her to. I mean, seriously, who wants to change diapers?
Now, I keep having flashbacks of the bright green, raisins and stained carpet.
But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s take it back to where it all began.
My daughter makes distinct noises and crouches down like she is a tiger stalking her pray in a field of tall grasses when she goes number two.
I became acutely aware of this after she added some company to one of our baths one night.
While cleaning up, I noticed some crouching tiger hidden dragon going on in the corner of my living room.
Upon this discovery, Charlie and I made our way to the bathroom to sit on her stinky skunk potty.
It was then I realized the hard part is keeping her on the potty long enough to do the deed.
So, I did what any parent would do. I bribed her. I let her play with something she knew she was never supposed to touch, my nail polish bottles.
After picking up and dropping all of the nail polishes, the thunder came down into my bathroom.
It was really the sound the got my attention. It was like a rescue airplane dropping gallons of water on a burning fire in California. The sound also scared my daughter so much she jumped up off the pot before she was actually done going and got it all over the bottoms of her pajamas and shoes.
The color, the smell, oh goodness she ate raisins today.
Between figuring out how to clean this catastrophe in the corner of my bathroom and pure shock that Charlie actually used the potty, I missed the tiger crouching down behind me on my bath mat. After cleaning out the potty and yelling congratulations to this little child, I turned just in time to catch her finish her poo all over my bathroom rug.
It was then we decided to take the second bath of the day.
And when I realized I needed more wine, a lot more wine to even consider the potty training process for at least another month.
So, whenever you think you have a bad case of the Mondays, just think, you could be cleaning multi-colored poop off the floor while chasing a pant-less toddler. Or you could borrow mine for a few hours.
I spent my Monday off running errands with my daughter, and overdosing my usage of the kitchen, which means there will be plenty of recipes coming your way this week (teaser – spinach and apple muffins, crock pot burrito bowls and of course lots of chocolate).
Having days like today make me appreciate my time that I do get to spend at home with my family.
While nursing my daughter to sleep for her first nap of the day, I reminisced about close to a year ago when baby C was first born and I was struggling with going back to work.
I found myself having anxiety about leaving C, stressing over pumping milk, keeping up my supply, not being able to soothe her cries and missing out on her life. Missing her smiles, coos, what if she did something she’s never done before and I don’t get to see it?
Forty hours a week away from my baby, it seemed like the impossible.
My husband was very sick through the last few weeks of my pregnancy all the way through the first six weeks of our baby’s life. He was actually admitted to the hospital twice, the first time just days after she was born, and the second time was the night before I was supposed to go back to work. My first thought was, “Yes, I don’t have to go back to work yet!” immediately followed by, “Holy sh*t woman, your husband is in the hospital, snap out of it!”
That was my wake up call. That was my ‘earth to mommy, time to put your big-girl work pants back on.’
I took the extra few days to make sure everything was set for C’s first days of daycare and organized the house in-between visiting the hospital and caring for my six-week old daughter.
The night before my first day at work was terrible. The babe didn’t sleep, couldn’t sleep, it was almost if she knew I was going to be away from her.
After no more than a few hours of sleep it was time to get up. Getting ready for work the next week seemed strange, like I was watching myself get dressed and put make up on. I got up earlier than I needed to and I spent those last fleeting minutes nursing this tiny little nugget.
As I drove to work, which is only a mile away, I held back tears and the feeling of guilt for going back to work and leaving her in the care of someone else instead of taking care of her myself. My body was at work, but my heart and head were at home with my Michelin-man thighed daughter with an even bigger smile.
I thought my first few days at work would drag and I would count down the minutes until I could go home, but between getting back on task, pumping and talking about C, my days went by faster than I could ever imagine. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and now being a working mom is second nature.
Relax. Easy for me to tell you, right? But you have to soothe your anxiety and breathe. Not only is your stress doing damage to you, baby and hubby will feed off your vibes too.
Take pictures. Bring in frames, keep out your phone, DIY the crap out of your office with that baby’s face. Keeping pictures near will help you remember why you are going back to work in the first place.
Know why you are going back to work. It doesn’t make a difference if you can’t afford to stay home or enjoy your job, either way they both end with it being the best thing for your family and you. That’s the priority.
Have a plan if pumping. Make a plan when and where you are going to pump/store your milk before your first day. And talk to your boss/immediate co-workers about your schedule so they know when you will be unavailable.
Create a relationship with daycare provider. Keeping close touch with whoever will be taking care of your child is irreplaceable during those first few weeks. Be honest with them if you want pictures and updates throughout the day, or if you don’t. Creating a comfortable relationship with them will help just not for everyday communication, but you when you’re on the verge of a breakdown and have to see their face either in FaceTime or picture. And don’t worry, you won’t be the first, or the last.
Enjoy the time you’re at home. And if you can, keep work at work so you are 100% present at home.
Lastly, and most importantly..
Drop the guilt. You know, that sinking feeling like you’re doing something wrong by going back to work, kick it to the curb. I’ll be the first to tell you, you are not doing anything wrong by going back to work. Do not feel guilty!
You’re an employee, you’re a boss, you’re a coworker.. You’re a mom. That means you’re also a master chef, cleaning lady, sex-pot wife, Thursday night tv watcher, toenail painter, DIY-er, laundry folder extrodinare, do I need to go on?
I’m not going to lie, it’s hard, exhausting, stressful and so much more, but it’s worth it. The first few days will be hard, but life has this crazy way of moving fast and not stopping for anyone, including you momma.
You can do this, you can do everything – you created a life, how hard can work be?
That’s what I would say for the whole, full nine months I was pregnant, “I won’t be that kind of mom.”
I won’t freak out over little things and I will stay close with every single one of my friends. I won’t stare at baby monitors and triple wash baby bottles to make sure every speck of ‘maybe it’s dirt or maybe it’s a water mark’ is gone.
I will be a cool mom, duh. I’ll be chill, relaxed, dress impeccably everyday and still had time for dates, girls weekends, coffee and cocktails.
Duh, it won’t be that hard.
The ‘duh’ is on me.
After ten short months of full-blown motherhood, I will admit, I was completely wrong. So, I made a list, because that’s what I do, of all the things I was so, so completely, immeasurably, wrong about:
Boogers gross me out. Snot, boogie, farmer’s blows, whatever you want to call the nasty stuff that lives up in those nostrils, I hate them. They give me the heebie geemies and make me squirm. Well, all except my daughters, I willingly dive in there knuckles deep and dig for gold, I’ll use my own shirt to wipe her draining nose. But your boogers, keep them away from me.
Ew, what is that smell/stain/coming out of your baby. Pretty much any adult bodily function shouldn’t be shared, in my humble opinion. But spit up, diarrhea, yellow, seedy breast fed baby poop, farts and so much more – bring them on. My baby once had a blow out up to the back of her neck in Sam’s Club, all up the back of her shirt (unbeknownst to me), I didn’t find it until I put her in her carseat… that’s a fun story.
I hate going to grocery stores alone. Not anymore. I find solace in the aisles of Wal Mart, peace between the produce at Tops. Thank the lord for quick trips, long hauls and everything in between, as long as I am alone. I’ll bring my baby another time, now I will meditate next to the meats please.
I won’t be overprotective. Yeah freaking right. You bet your bottom dollar I have the need to know exactly what my daughter is doing at every minute of the day (emphasis on need, I work 40 hours a week). When she was first born I was very close to collecting social security information and a background check if you wanted to hold her. I’ve since gotten better, now I only require a copy of a driver’s license.
I won’t rely on caffeine, I’ll sleep when the baby sleeps. HA!! Let me say that again, HA!! That one actually makes me laugh out loud, I can’t believe I actually believed that. While my first few weeks at home with my daughter was a little different than most (I’ll get to that in a later post), I did not sleep, coffee was my savior, my God and top of my favorites list.
I will not be able to function without at least eight hours of sleep. I love sleep, it is one of my favorite things to do. That was a hard habit to quit, and my body paid for it. This reverts back to my previous point of still being so completely and totally in love with coffee.
I won’t compare myself to other moms. Oh but I do. And it’s a hard hurdle to jump over – accepting that we all are amazing mothers to our kids and are giving the best love to our children, nobody else can come close. Even if you made a new train set with fresh, organic wood from trees you grew in your backyard all while the baby was sleeping.
I will not lose touch with friends. It’s not that you want to lose friends, nobody picks that as a goal to have, but it happens. Just like any other time in your life, people change, you as a mother change, and your friends that don’t have kids won’t really understand what’s going on in your life no matter how much they try, or don’t try. I have a core group of friends that I couldn’t get rid of if I tried, but I am lucky, and sometimes it is still hard to find someone to talk to. (So if you’re a momma or not a momma, I’ll be your friend!)
Those are all things I swore up and down wouldn’t change when I had my baby. But they did, and it is for the better. Even though I may be a tinsey bit strict and a little nutzo, I’ll ease up eventually. Like maybe when she’s 33. I’ll be 58, I could be chill at 58.
Mostly, the list contains everything that I wouldn’t do. But now, I’m not the center of my universe, she is. So I have no problem wiping boogers, butts or always having an eye on her. I will happily stay home and cuddle than go out. Everything I do is to care, love, and protect her.
Maybe I was too immature to see that from the start, but from the moment I held her in my arms, my fears and silly things I wouldn’t do disappeared, and my life changed, for the better.
So here’s to boogers, dirty diapers, and relaxing next to the frozen vegetables. Cheers.
As promised, this blog will contain the many crazy, silly stories that make up my life.. This is one of those stories.
For the first time I took a road trip with just my daughter. I’ve driven a few hours here and there with her before, but my husband was always either at the other end or meeting me. This time it was just me.
I have been having anxiety about traveling with just her for months. What will I do if she starts crying? What if she gets hungry? How will I be able to comfort her?
I thought about this trip all week, dreamed about it every night and when it came down to me leaving on Saturday morning, half of my brain told me just to back out.
I waited until baby girl was fed, changed and tired and thought “this is perfect timing,” she will sleep for the 3 1/2 hours and hopefully I won’t hit traffic and everything will be A-OK.
So I packed up the car and hit the road.
I downloaded an audio book to listen to thinking it would help me keep my mind of the long trip and help pass the time, and everything seemed to be working!
45 minutes into the trip baby girl is sleeping, I’m on the third chapter of my book, there’s not too many cars on the road and the sun was shining. See, you were being silly worrying about how this trip would go, everything is just fine. You can do this!
Then I got to my first toll, that’s when the loudest truck on the face of the planet decided to speed though the EzPass lane.. waking up my sleeping baby. Waking up my sound, sleeping baby. Waking up my sound, sleeping baby who just realized she’s stuck in her car seat and can’t get out.
She started out calm, but the cooing and mumbling turned into frustrated grunts which turned into angry screams as she tried to get out of her car seat.
On top of that, I told myself, don’t drink anything, don’t even take one sip. You are not stopping on this trip.
Well, I got thirsty. Just a little water wouldn’t hurt, right? Wrong. Now I have to pee, in pain pee, counting down the mile marker signs to the rest stop.
So, as I’m singing 10 Little Monkeys as loud as I can for the thirtieth time, I finally make the 20 miles to the rest stop.
Shaking from having to go to the bathroom, I quickly park, grab the baby and the diaper buy and skip/sprint/Foxtrot into the crowded rest stop. As i finally shimmy my way to the bathroom, I stop in a panic. What the heck am I going to do with my daughter while I use the facilities? I will not put her on a dirty bathroom floor, I didn’t bring a carrier, what the heck am I going to do?
Then my body took over, as I stealthily wiggle my pants off with one hand and manage to pop a squat while holding my daughter on my lap. In a public bathroom.
Let’s touch light on this one more time. I am squatting over a toilet while holding and entertaining my daughter in a public rest room.
On top of that spectacular sight, after managing to wash my hands and getting covered in water, because remember, I am holding my almost 10-month-old daughter, I decided to change her diaper. Let’s set the scene, the changing table is next to an automatic soap dispenser and automatic paper towel holder.
As I’m changing her diaper, she starts getting fussy so another rendition of 10 Little Monkeys is on deck. While breaking it down while monkeys are falling off the bed, I hear a squirt, squirt, and rollllll, squirt, squirt and rolllllll. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but by the time I got to six monkeys I figured I should probably look around… As I turn I see paper towels creating a pile on the floor.. seeping up the pink and white foaming soap that has descended all over the floor due to my booty popping to 10 Little Monkeys.
As I try to figure out how the heck I am going to clean it up, the cleaning lady comes around the corner, looks at the mess, looks and me. I tried to smile and explain but she just held up her hand and told me to stop.
I don’t think I’ve ever booked it out of a rest stop so fast in my life.
While still in shock about going to the bathroom with my daughter on my lap and making a mess in the bathroom, we get back in the car and hit the road. My daughter soon realizes she is back in the car seat, back in the car = her hell.
She cries, I try to reach around and give her her binky. She cries, I try to give her her favorite minion doll, Bob. She cries and the process repeats itself over and over. Until I take Bob and make him dance over my head behind the driver seat head rest.. this makes her giggle and laugh.
So for the next 45 minutes, Bob was dancing like crazy behind my head getting switched from one hand to the other to try to make her happy.
Ten minutes away from our destination, she falls asleep, of course.
After a fabulous trip with friends and celebrating a new baby coming into the world, we got ready to hit the road again. This time, anticipating a dance recital from Bob, stops on the way home, and lots of 10 Little Monkeys. Ok mom, you can do this.
Ten minutes into the drive home, she’s sound asleep. Sound asleep at one hour, sound asleep at chapter 12, sound asleep at three hours.. until she finally wakes up as we pull up to our house. #blessed.
Now, just a few hours later, she’s curled up in her crib with her favorite blanket, which I forgot to bring on our trip. And I can’t help but smile and be thankful for the weekend time we got to share together and with great friends.
Plus, even when she’s angry crying, or looking at me confused while I hold her while I pee, she’s still pretty cute.