Friday, March 22, 2013

We've Moved!

Ha, ha - no, not the Feldmann Family, silly fools! Are you kidding? It took Derrick and I more than a year to agree on THIS house! You would know if we were looking for a new home!

Our BLOG has moved! We made the jump to a new and improved host (which makes us sound like parasites. Or greedy guests. Both of which might be true on any given day.)!

So, if you'd like to keep reading about our adventures, please check out our new site. And, if you'd like to get new posts delivered to your inbox, just sign-up on the 'Follow' button!

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sick Days, Vacation Days

Here's the thing - being sick on vacation in not much fun. And I am sick as a dog right now. Seriously - call me, I sound like a man. Don't call me - I won't answer my phone. I'm on vacation.

But, I'm not complaining even one iota of the smallest molecule of the littlest particle (that might be backwards. Or maybe not even a little correct at all ... I don't care. I'm a housewife, not a scientist.).

You know why I'm not complaining? Because here are what sick days look like in Florida:

Looks like it's going to be another crappy day on Longboat Key ...

Girlies in my bed. Shhh ... if Nani asks, that's just water in those cups. NOT MILK? Got it?
(Every day actually starts like this, even in Indiana. Every. Single. Day. Promise me it lasts forever.)

Some playtime before breakfast. Paige has just announced that she is the doctor and the nurse. Which makes Blair the ... less busy of the two, I guess?

A pancake breakfast at The Depot! Mmmmm ... pancakes.

Hi, Nani and Botsie! (This was right before Bots made Blair 'hide' behind her crayon. He was making train sounds, she thought he was telling her to 'shush.' A little miscommunication. Blair did NOT appreciate it - she is, after all, Botsie's bestie.

Blair pointing to the train (look for the black blur right under the hanging light). She liked to yell and point it out each time it passed. Which was about every 30 seconds.

Seriously? It's too bad she's not very cute, right?

She didn't think she could do it ...

We told her we KNEW she could do it ...

SHE DID IT!!!! So pleased with herself!!

Conference in the tunnel ... plotting their next terrorist act, no doubt.

Yay!!!! (That's actually what she's saying here.)

Tigers! Blair wanted NO part of these faux circus animals, which were scattered throughout the park. She thinks they are real ... which I think is pretty funny. I may or may not try to make her touch them to see what she'll do. I'm a super-great mom.

I don't blame Blair for avoiding this one. Clowns are creepy - even pretend ones.

Clowns in the clown car! Okay, THESE particular clowns aren't creepy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thanks A Lot, Old Folks

Warning, you are going to read some profanity and glaring generalizations in this post. I don't care. I am PISSED.

Today is our third full day in Florida, and poor Paigers woke up with a tummy ache and a fever this morning. Here's the good part about being in Florida versus Indianapolis on a day like today: we were able to head out this morning with Botsie, take a nice long walk outside and just soak up some Vitamin D and fresh air. Instead of being stuck in our basement, driving each other crazy, soaking up dust and Nick Jr. (Poor Paige even fell asleep in the stroller on our walk! It's been YEARS since she did that!)

So, the girls went down for an early nap - around 12:30 this afternoon. Blair woke up around 3:30 and she and I decided to head to the grocery together. This was mostly decided by her, because at this point in the day (every day) she pretty much likes to be held by me from the time she wakes up from her nap until her daddy gets home. Then she likes to be held by him.

Off to Publix we went - she was reading me her book, I rolled our windows down and turned up the radio. All in all it was looking like a fun outing (yes, I realize it was just the grocery store - but when your kids are little you can still call this an 'outing'. Plus, I can make pretty much anything fun. I'm kind of awesome like that.).

We got to the store and waited for a parking spot (seriously, Grandpa? Just park in the spot two feet further away rather than making us all wait 10 minutes while YOU wait for the other one to open up.). I got Blair out and we smiled at the woman sitting in the parked car next to us (remember this fact for future use).

Then, we started to weave in-between parked cars to get into the store. And it happened.

I tripped over a parking barrier. I never even saw it coming - it wasn't painted, and was mostly covered by the car in the spot next to me. In fact, I've been in this parking lot MULTIPLE times and never even noticed they were there. (Also a fact, I had to ask my dad what they were called. Because I used to be smart like that. And then I had kids.)

Here's the thing. Rarely do I ever just trip and stumble. I fall ALL. THE. WAY. DOWN. Like, tumble.  Ass over tea-kettle, if you will. In fact, my older brother has mentioned that he has never actually seen a grow-up fall all the way down as much as I do. (Also a fact, I am currently nursing a huge bruise on my knee from falling down the stairs in a store last weekend. Sober, folks. No excuse.)

Here's the other thing - remember that I was carrying my baby at the time today. Yes, she might be almost 2, but she is my baby. In fact, both of my girls are my babies. I fell to the ground, scraped both knees up, lost part of a toenail, scraped the side of a foot and banged my elbow. Which doesn't even matter.

Because Blair hit her head. On the ground. And was SCREAMING and crying hysterically (which is really what I felt like doing too). I also don't think my cramming her into my chest to hug her and make sure she was okay did much to calm her. Also, come to think of it, the panicked look on my face probably didn't help much either.

And do you know what? The parking lot was full of people.

And not One. Single. Asshole stopped to see if we were okay.

DID I TELL YOU THE PARKING LOT WAS FULL?!?! It was almost 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, which in retired/semi-retired land is DANGEROUSLY close to cocktail hour (okay, in stay at home mom land, too. Not judging that part - just painting a picture here.).

Folks, it's not as if no one noticed. People were actually WALKING by us, looking, making eye contact for Christ's sake (sorry Jesus, I told you I was pissed - you understand, because you would have stopped), looking away and walking on. One of those people? A freaking PUBLIX EMPLOYEE! Yep. Looked at me, maybe looked a tad concerned, then carried on with his obviously critical job of collecting grocery carts.

Oh, and remember the woman I mentioned? The one sitting in the car? PARKED NEXT TO US? Nothing. Nada. Not even a pretend-concerned-mouthed 'are you okay?' Because, guess what? We're not.

Listen, I understand your lives are hard. You live in Longboat Key, Florida where once or twice a week there might be a cloud or two in the sky. You work hard all day playing golf/tennis/boccie ball/searching for shells on the beach. Normally, I wouldn't judge you. Chances are very high that you spent the bulk of your life actually working hard so you can do this now.

But, seriously? That gives you the right to be a total ASSHAT and not even care about other people? That gives you the right to walk past a woman and her small child sitting on the ground, with one of them bleeding and one of them crying? Not necessarily in that order?

No. No it abso-fucking-lutely does not. You are probably a grandparents, jerks. Think about how you would feel if this happened to your daughter and granddaughter. You would probably want to kick some serious geriatric ass. And you would be right to both feel that way AND kick some ass (or Depends ... which probably would lessen the blow somewhat).

Blair and I continued inside and got our shopping done. Luckily one of our good friends was there to tell me that she agreed, those people WERE assholes (LOVE you Laura Mutz), and she gave me a hug. Which is probably the only thing that kept me from completely losing it when I noticed the scrapes on Blair's scalp. (What a trouper she is. If that had been Paige, we would have had to leave immediately and go home. And by 'home,' I mean all the way back to Indiana.)

And you know what? Just to show that I wasn't a total douchebag (albeit a slightly foul-mouthed mommy), Blair and I unloaded our cart and walked it ALL the way back up to the store rather than leave it in the parking lot, where it might roll into either the Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes/Jaguar/Lexus convertible or perhaps the Alfa Romeo parked in the one of the 300 Handicapped spots around me.

You know why? Because I'm not a dick.

Which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for anyone else in that parking lot today.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Yep, you guessed it. Another trip out of town, another story about traveling.

"Why does she do it?," you might ask yourself. If that is the case, then you do NOT live in Indiana, or anywhere near the Midwest. This time of year is horrible. No. You know what? It completely sucks. We left Indianapolis at 11:00 am this morning with a Winter Weather Advisory predicting more than 6 inches of snow. Today.

By 1:15 pm, we were looking at this:


So, the day actually started out pretty well (my horribly stressed-out attitude notwithstanding. Sorry again, babe.). However, I'm not sure if it was a good or bad sign that I woke up, turned on the TV to watch the news, and the movie 'Airplane!' immediately came on. I'm taking it as a good sign. Because, seriously? I love that movie. And, also? It was the scene where the little boy sits next to the little girl and offers her a cup of coffee. And she turns down the cream he offers, because she likes her "coffee black, like her men." Which is probably one of my very favorite lines of that movie. Or ever. So, good sign, it is.

We got out of the house with only a few meltdowns about shoes being too tight (seriously? I am about to lose it with that ... perhaps that will be tomorrow's post?) and only 2 threats of not being able to go to Florida at all. And by 'threats,' I mean 'leaving them at home and going without them'. 

Derrick drove us to the airport and walked us to the security checkpoint. We all gave him a few smooches, and then the girls and I were off! Yep. You read that right. Just the three of us. 

And, I don't often give out mad props, but I will here - specifically to the TSA people working at IND this morning. Sequester-be-damned - the line was quick, and everyone there was MORE than pleasant to us. They were actually helpful. I know, right? It was a wonderful experience, and I'm sort of wondering if I was in The Twilight Zone (which, for you young-uns out there, will already be the second reference you probably don't get in this post).

We headed to the gate, got the girls a muffin, some fruit and a juice and got Mommy her medicine (aka, strong coffee...but with cream and sugar). And then we went to the gate and this happened:

Watching Tinkerbell with breakfast. And this lasted for more than 30 minutes!

 Girlies on a plane.

I bought Blair her own seat since it was just the three of us, and so I decided that Blair should sit in her car seat (aka-so I could keep her confined). I had her seat buckled onto this cart that allowed me to pull her like a suitcase, which she surprisingly liked. Until when we got on the plane, I realized that the cart did not fit down the aisle (as promised...although it was Southwest ... the Walmart of airlines). So, we went ahead and caused a major clog because I had to pull into the bulkhead row (next to an old man who I'm pretty sure was about to have a heart attack until I assured him we were only temporarily in his  space, not there to stay). I unlatched Blair, tried to confine she and Paige (aka, continuously grabbed ahold of their hood and yanked them back towards me), unhooked Blair's car seat, folded the cart, wrangled three backpacks, a purse, two blankets, a bunny, a penguin and two sippy cups. Luckily, the flight attendant offered to carry both the cart AND the car seat back for me. Curly-haired blond Southwest flight attendant? I heart you.

Sidenote: I'm pretty sure it's somewhat offensive to call flight attendants "stewardesses" nowadays. Folks over 70, take note. It really seems to piss them off, and I'm pretty sure they're spitting in your drinks.

The flight was VERY uneventful. Lots of jockeying technology around and getting things in and out of backpacks, but nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, IN FACT, I read an entire magazine. In 2 1/2 hours! A record (since circa 2009)!!!

After getting off the plane we loaded up, and headed to baggage claim. We quickly rented a cart and found our 2 suitcases (make note of this), then headed to the rental cars. En rote, I actually thought to myself, "Look at me! I think I've got this".

Until I got to Budget. Where the line was about 30 people long. This is what that situation looked like for us:

Yep. That's Blair asleep in her carseat/suitcasy-roller thing. See that blur behind her? That's Paige running circles around her. Literally. Running. In. Circles. Around. Blair.

 This is where Paige ended up. Yup. That's her balanced on top of our two suitcases on our rented suitcase cart. Super safe. If you're judging right now, either stop reading this blog or travel with yourself with a 4 and 1 year old. You may borrow these two, if you'd like. I'll be heading back mid-March.

After about 30 minutes we got to the front of the line, and the guy there gave us an AWESOME deal on an upgrade to a minivan (my husband had rented us a Ford Fusion). And he did his very best to be quick. It's a good thing, because Paige had woken Blair up and Blair was NOT pleased. And Paige told me she was tired, which is basically like her saying she's about to lose it and then pass out.

Um, remember how easily baggage claim went? That's because I actually forgot that I ALSO brought along a booster seat for Paige. So, the nice manager from Budget (who was actually working the line trying to get folks to sign up for something) offered to run back to baggage claim to get it for us. (Matt Wolfman at Budget, I heart you too.)

Oh, and then he came back with Paige's booster seat. And our stroller. Which I totally forgot we even brought. Oops. I have really got my shit together, people.

So we headed off to get our car, after a quick stop to the bathroom. Where Paige told me I smelled disgusting. My response was that A) she was rude and B) I probably smell disgusting because you and your sister make me sweat. A LOT.

Then we headed off to the car (again) and I promptly dropped Blair's car seat backwards onto the ground. With her still buckled into it. She handled it VERY well. I did not. Nothing makes you feel like a 'Good Mom" than dropping your daughter (okay, fine she was in a car seat and a cart, and not any part of her or the seat actually hit the ground, but still). And then both girls started to scream and throw fits. 

Aha. Now we're talking.

Then we GOT to the car, where I had to get all the luggage loaded up, change Blair's diaper (while she was standing up - the third time that happened today), buckled in both seats, buckled in both girls and give them smooches so they could be reassured I truly don't hate them. Then I turned to the Hispanic women who must work for either the airport or Budget (judging by their neon vests and official looking name tags) standing near the car to ask where I should drop off our luggage cart. Oh, you're going to shrug and make the "I don't understand" motions? Guess what? I speak Spanish and can hear you talking about me and how you don't want to take my cart back for me. Really? I don't even have the patience (or the swear words in Spanish) to deal with this. Thank you, Carl at Budget, for taking my cart for me. Or for whatever you did with it. I really don't care at this point.

We get on the road, and I'll fast-forward (because this post is getting long). Paige fell asleep, Blair didn't, Paige woke up, Blair was still awake, there was lots of screaming, some singing,  ... blah, blah, blah ... we get to Longboat Key!!!

The girls were SO EXCITED to see their Nani and Botsie meet them at the parking area, and they ran into their armm. We got upstairs, unpacked quickly (I mean, have you met me...first things first) and headed to the pool. How nice was it to leave a potential snowstorm in the morning and be swimming that afternoon? Really nice, that's how nice. 

A quick dinner, and it didn't take these girls long to settle into their old habits:
Watching a few episodes of old-school Smurfs while snuggled on the couch.

 Then time for bed, but first:

A few stories from Botsie. 

MAN these girls were tired! A 6:30 pm bedtime, and these girls were OUT.

Stay tuned for some GREAT stories, folks. We'll be here for TWO. WEEKS.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Date Night

Remember when you first got married, pre-kids, and you and your significant other would just "go out to dinner" or "see a movie" or "get some drinks"? If things got crazy, you might even "hit up a festival" or "listen to some live music" (which usually led to "waiting in line at Qdoba" and "spending the next day on the couch").

It wasn't a special occasion, and it typically happened multiple times a week (the going to dinner or drinks, not the spending the next day on the couch. Most of the time. Usually.)

Now, we have kids and responsibilities. And we have "date night." An event that must be planned at least several days in advance - more if your parents are all out of town and you have to have your act together enough to secure a babysitter. They certainly don't happen multiple times a week anymore. In fact, a date night a week would be rare (don't judge all you 'we make sure to have one night a week together'-ers.  My husband travels a lot, he's super-cheap and our kids are crazy. We're tired!). Not that I'm complaining. Don't get me wrong. I love me some Derrick Feldmann and we always have a great time on our dates, but it's a lot more work on my end than just hopping in the shower and putting on a cute outfit. Part of that being trying to fit into said cute outfit. But I digress.

So, we had a date night on Saturday. With an actual babysitter, and actual grown-up dressy clothes. And adult conversation. And beverages.

But, just to be sure the night was going to go well (and also probably to ensure that I didn't forget what and who was MOST important), this happened as we were getting ready to leave. Literally getting ready to walk out the door. Our babysitter is actually standing about 5 feet away from me here:

I'm not too sure of this doctor's skills. She shuts her eyes tight when examining me. Also? When I asked her how the exam went, she looked me in the eye and said "Es ovah, Mama." Soooo ... the exam is over? It's over for me? I don't understand, and she was NOT forthcoming. Her bedside manner sucks.

Also, I'm pretty sure my kids LOVE when we have a date night, because staying up past 11:00 pm means we are both exhausted the next day. It also doesn't help that they both woke up at 6:00 am the next morning. Oh, and that when I told my husband I still had the headache I'd been fighting for more than 24 hours (glad it wasn't an aneurism, or that cute little doctor would have one HELL of a lawsuit on her hands) he gave me 2 Tylenol. Let me be more specific. He gave me 2 TYLENOL PM. At 6:15 in the morning. I felt drugged. I mean, I was, right? (Yet somehow he ended up being the one who took a three hour nap that day.)

Anywoo, I'm off topic. Surprise.

Our girls LOVE lazy days in our bed ... and I'm not going to lie, I do too. They are in their cozy jammies, they smell like the syrup they had on their waffles at breakfast, and I usually get to read an entire magazine while they play or watch shows. Yeppers. We are SUPER good parents. No crafts here! Go watch TV!

Here is what I saw when I pried my eyes open long enough to see what was happening:

Ahhh, the Feldmanns love technology! Also, please note the small timer on the nightstand. The girls were fighting (literally pulling hair and hitting) over my iPad and my phone (Daddy would not share). So I got the kitchen timer so they could rest assured that they were having equal turns. Plus, it scares the bejeezus out of them both each time it buzzes ... which is just funny.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bedtime Stories

Derrick usually does the bedtime routine around here. Let's face it, by 7:00 pm I'm ready to clock out. And, honestly, the girls are probably sick of me, too. (Not that you'd be able to tell ... since they run into the living room where I'm watching 'The Bachelor' or reading blog/Facebook posts I've missed during the day the news or reading poetry and jump up on my lap to give me hugs and kisses. I don't really mind that part - I mean, it's not horrible being the most popular, right? The fighting and screaming that's also usually involved? That I love not so much.)

However, as a lot of you know, Derrick travels for work. And we're getting close to the time of year where his travels take him away from home during the week more than he's here. And while it's somewhat physically tiring and more than a little mentally exhausting to be with a 1 and 4 year old all day, every day, it's occasionally pretty funny to hear the "gems" that come out at bedtime.

Blair is pretty cut and dry. It's her usual routine. Jammies, show, teeth, book, song, bed. Followed by her standing and screaming "MAMA!!!" until I go back in and remind her she needs to go to 'nigh-nigh.' And I remember to say it nicely, obv.

With Paige, it's a little more involved and a LOT more calculated. How, you ask? Here are a few of the beauties I heard in the 20-minute span when I was repeatedly called into her room after putting her to bed tonight (it didn't help that I was cleaning the kitchen, which is about 10 inches from her bedroom door):

  • Mommy, I need some water in here. I feel so dehydrated. Really. I am so very dehydrated from running to brush my teeth and chasing my sister, Bear (like I was unsure of which sister she was chasing?).
  • Mommy, can you read me a nigh-nigh book? The ones you read to both Blair and me upstairs don't count. They were upstairs! In her room! We are down here now!
  • Mommy, I need more pillows under my head. I can't see these books unless I sit up and it hurts my neck (she gets to have 2 books and a flashlight in bed when we have a good night).
  • After showing her how she can roll onto her side, prop up the book and hold the flashlight to read Mommy, these books are too big, I need smaller books or I will never be able to hold them up.
  • Mommy, I can't read. I'm trying to look at these books, but I can't read. I not-so-gently informed her that it was true, she couldn't read. However, we were not going to learn tonight. So, she could either look at the pictures or I could go ahead and just take the flashlight and all of her books into the kitchen with me.
  • Mommy, I think we need to get some books about Easter.
  • Mommy, remember those cute Elmo Easter eggs Bear got last year? Oh, she was so excited. 
  • Did I have Elmo Easter eggs when I was little? I wonder if we will get them again. 
  • Do you think the Easter bunny knows Elmo? 
  • How many days until Easter? 
  • When are we going to Florida? 
  • What do you ... Insert big smooch on her forehead, with a warning letting her know I would NOT be coming in again, I love her very much, and I will see her in the morning.
So, it's mildly amusing tonight. Check back in after I've been doing this multiple days on my own. My guess? Not so funny.

You'd be smart to buy stock in Chardonnay before the end of March. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Funny Valentines

Let me start off by saying that in the past, I have NOT been a fan of Valentine's Day.

I get the sentiment behind it, but I really think people should tell one another how much they love each other every day.

And by "people," I mean "husbands/significant others." Guess what? I clean our toilets, fold your boxers, and argue with your kids about whether or not their knock-knock jokes make sense (they don't) or are funny (they aren't). If that doesn't tell you how much I love you, nothing does.

Bring flowers home on a random Tuesday. Kiss us each time you walk through the door. Tell us how much you appreciate all we do as often as you think it. Remember to plug our phone in to charge at night.

Vacuum every now and then. I know, I know ... I'm a sucker for fairy tales.

Having kids has changed my perspective on February 14th (as well as on everything else, right?). It's a pretty fun holiday now, especially with two little girls who LOVE everything pink. And pretty much everything heart-shaped, too. And don't even get them STARTED on candy/chocolates/sweets. You had them at sugar.

The girls working hard on their cards. And fighting over the markers/stamps/cantaloupe snack/chairs ... you know, in the true spirit of St. Valentine (or the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, perhaps).

This was also the first year Paige had a Valentine's party at school. Her in-class party meant cards for each of the other 9 kids in her class. (Don't even get me started on the fight we had about the fact that she didn't need to make a Valentine for 'Paige'. She did NOT understand why she wouldn't want to give herself a Valentine. Oh, those narcissistic little preschoolers.).

The funny thing is, the day before we made her Valentines, the girls and I ran into one of Paige's classmates and his mom at The Children's Museum. We somehow got to talking about the kids and their interest in writing their letters - or, in both of our cases, the lack thereof. "Paige just isn't willing to sit still long enough to learn how to write them. I sometimes worry she's behind because her both her bestie and her cousin are all over it. I wonder when she will learn how to write her name?"

You know how people tell you not to compare your kids to other kids? It's because you will end up looking like an idiot.

We got home that VERY day, and Paige not only signed all of her cards herself (with a little reminding which letters came where in her name), but she also traced all of her classmates names on the envelopes, and even wrote "Happy Valentine's Day" on her teacher's card. All while only asking me which letter came next. She only needed help with the 'H' (none of us has that letter in our name!).

Well. Color me pink (as in, embarrassed).

Yep - that very clearly says 'Paige'. Oh, and she knows how to draw hearts, too. This? Is the ONLY Valentine's Day card I received, by the way. Yep. Being a SAHM is full of thanks and love!

Paige also had a Valentine's Day party with her Daddy the night before the big day. All the kids in her class and their daddies had a party in their classroom where they had circle time, ate cupcakes, made mailboxes for the next day and had a grand ol' time. Paige's teacher noted how pleased she was that Paige was the only one who thought to color the inside of the mailbox ... just in case. Have we mentioned how much we love Paige's teachers?

Paige and her Daddy - she is SO proud!!!

Paige and her daddy working on her mailbox. He was worried he wouldn't be able to get out of that tiny chair after he sat down.

Circle time - Daddy noticed that Paige seems a bit more distracted than the other kids. Yeah. Tell me something I don't know.

All in all, it was a terrific Valentine's Day. And, I don't want to brag, but I'm pretty sure I have the cutest Valentines around.


Seriously? No words. This wasn't even taken on Valentine's Day. I just had to post it because it's so cute.

Thanks again for the kazoo, Nani and Botsie. I hope the sarcasm comes through in this statement. This is a rare moment when they are not fighting over it. Also? Paige says it reminds her of a 'party blower,' so all kazoo-ing is accompanied by shouts of "Let's Party!!" and "Woohoo!!!!" Awesome.

Sisters. Ooohhhh, please promise you will always be each other's Valentines. And mine, too. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just Ask Nicely

Soooo ... don't judge, but for the past couple of weeks Blair has been spending about half of the night in our bed. No, that's not a typo. I don't mean half of the nights in a week. I mean half of each night. Pretty much every night.

She has always been a bedtime-protester, but it seems to get worse after I am either out of town or not there when she wakes up. Like, say, if she wakes up and her Susu is here because I have to go have my appendix removed. It always leads to a few weeks of readjustment while she basically cries for me nonstop (I mean, I'm kind of a big deal).

So for the past three-plus weeks, she has been waking up WAY too early from her naps, and also at some point in the middle of the night (like, around 2:00 am). And she doesn't just mill around in bed and wait for us to come get her.

She screams. And by screams, I mean ... I can't even describe it. I think Derrick described the sound that she makes best. Have you ever seen 'Throw Mama from the Train?' Because that's EXACTLY what she sounds (and maybe even looks a little like her. Don't tell her I said that. I'll deny it.). And the word she is screaming is "MAAAAAMMMMMMAAAAAA!!!!!" in a deep, raspy, loud voice.

Imagine a much cuter, yet JUST as angry version of this face.

We have been at our wits' end (wit ends? wits ends?). We were frustrated beyond belief. We were freaking exhausted. We were also worried that the decibel level of the screams would wake up Paige ... and possibly cause our epileptic dog to have a seizure.

So every time we heard the start of the screaming, Derrick would get our of bed to handle it (me going into the room only makes it MUCH worse). And, by "handle it," I mean that he would pick her up out of bed, bring her into our room, toss her on top of me, and then fall asleep before his head hits the pillow. And she basically spends the rest of the night/morning creepily staring at me while I pretend to be asleep. And patting my face every few minutes while "whispering" "mama...mama...mama". 

And then, about 30 minutes before Paige wakes up, Blair falls into a deep, snoring sleep beside me. But she makes sure I don't make the error of also falling asleep by jerking her arms every few minutes and hitting me in the nose, eye, etc. 

Did I mention this happens every night? I'm super well-rested and full of energy.

So, last night, I decided to take matters into my own hands. The screaming started at 2:15 am, and I hopped out of bed and walked into her room. Sure enough, she was standing up screaming my name (Mama, not Bis, obviously). I calmly walked up to her, bent over to her eye-level, and put my hands on her shoulders. (Mind you, I was also laughing inside at how ridiculous this was, sure that she would scratch my eyes out if I got too close to her). 

"Blair," I said quietly, "you need to go nigh-nigh. Please. You need to lie down, and go to sleep. Here, in your bed. NOT in Mommy's bed. Okay? I love you, and I will see you in the morning. Mommy loves you. Nigh nigh."

She lay back down. I turned around and walked out of her room, waiting for the screams.

And ... silence. What. The. Hell? (And, 'hell' was not my first choice of words here ... but, c'mon. My parents read this blog.)

Derrick sat up and asked me what happened. I explained my technique, and we both laughed. Out loud. At how ridiculous the situation was.

At 6:15 am, the screaming happened again, but this time for "DAAAAAADDDDDDAAAAAA!" D repeated my technique, and came back to bed.


Are you freaking kidding me? Three-and-a-half FREAKING weeks of horrible sleep, stifling angry feelings towards my toddler, and yelling much more during the day than usual. And seriously? 

Apparently we just needed to say please.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Closet Creations

Um, yeah. So, I've mentioned before that there might be times when I'm maybe not the nicest mommy in the world. A lot of that probably has to do with my patience level. Or lack thereof.

Let's see ... what could an example be? Oh, I know! Most crafts. Yeah. That's why we pay to send you to school. I already have to pick peas, noodles, marker lids ... you get the idea ... out of poor Ramsey's fur. No need to add glitter and glue into the mix.

What else? Hmmm - oh, right. I hang the clothes in their closets WAAAAY too high for them to reach. Is Paige perhaps a bit behind in the ability to dress herself? Not really (although she does get frustrated really easily. She obviously gets that from Derrick). Is her fashion sense stunted at all?

Well ... I'll let you be the judge:

This is this morning. She is wearing footy jammies, a bear hat and one foot of Blair's first Halloween costume, a Tinkerbell pixie dust purse and a Wonder Woman tutu. And her pink glasses, obv.

This is brushing her teeth after she got dressed this morning. Ok, fine. This afternoon. OK. FINE!!! It was 3:45 pm! Don't judge - Derrick's out of town. She is wearing black Hello Kitty sweats, a polo dress (backwards) and, although you can't see them, Tangled panties (inside out and backwards). When we left the house, her shoes were on the wrong feet and her coat was on upside-down. If you even dare try to suggest that any of the above, um...transgressions?, be fixed, Paige will promptly (and loudly) let you know that she " LIKES THEM THAT WAY!!!!!"

The funny thing? Blair is actually TOTALLY into choosing her outfit. She may or may not own her very own pair of legit Ugg boots. Because she flat-out refused to wear the Fuggs (aka faux-Uggs) from Target. She is LIVID if I don't put a bow in her hair in the morning (sadly, she calls everything 'bow,' while pointing up to bows, barrettes, ribbons, and ponytail holders - let's just say it takes a while to get it right each day). She likes us to hold her up so she can point to the SPECIFIC outfit she wants to wear each day. And if I turn away and then go back to give her another choice, she will pick the same outfit, over and over again.

See the picture above? That is probably one of the most expensive outfits in her closet right now (aka, a gift from a grandparent ... Nani and Botsie, specifically in this case.). It was Paige's originally, and she wore it once (because it snaps in the back, and Paige wouldn't sit still long enough for me to snap it up). 

Oh boy. This should get interesting.

Monday, February 4, 2013


This may be stupid. I'm sure I'm jinxing myself. But, I can't. I just can't keep it from you any longer.

Folks. We have a pooper.

Paige has officially NOT pooped in her diaper for the past three weeks.

Now, you might be thinking, "Um, this should DEFINITELY not be a big deal. Isn't that child 4 or something like that?" Or something more along the lines of "What the hell is that mom's problem? Didn't she try pulling out all the stops to make this happen?"

You would be a tad self-righteous and much judgy-er than folks I like to hang out with ... but you also might not know Paige all that well. To say we have been dealing with this stubborn little girl's potty issues for awhile would be the understatement of the year. Probably the century. If necessary, please review our efforts here (circa early-summer 2012). And also here (a few months later). Also, please keep in mind that Paige was fully potty-trained (from a #1 standpoint) by August. 2011.

Yes ... more than a year ago.

Derrick and I had officially decided that one of us would probably end up going to college with her, because we'd have to be there to change her poopy diaper each morning.

And then, I ran into a mom friend of mine who I knew was having similar issues with her daughter who is just a few weeks younger than Paige. And they had recently solved their problem. By taking away something she loved.

And then it hit me. Oh. My. God. It was brilliant in it's simplicity. Sure, we had threatened, yelled, and taken away books, blankets, stuffed animals ... pretty much everything. But we had not yet stooped to taking away the one thing she loves most. More than anything in the world.


People. I shit you not (pun entirely intended). We told her one time - ONE TIME - that if she pooped in her diaper, she would get no technology the next day. No iPad. No iPhone. No TV. No iXL. Nada.

Oh, and I also may or may not have made a point to stress that Blair would not be affected by this ban. That if Paige lost privileges but Blair wanted to watch a show or play with the iPad, then Paige would have to go into the other room and find something else to do.

That first nap after the new rule, she tried to call my bluff. I was prepared for this (I mean, I'm not sure who she thinks she's dealing with ... because she's dealing with the girl who wrote the freaking book on being stubborn). And she had to sit in her room while Blair and I watched a 'Bubble Guppies.' And while her Daddy and I laughed unnecessarily loud every 10 seconds or so. It sent her into a tailspin.

And she has not pooped in her diaper since. No kidding. Not ONE. SINGLE. TIME.

In fact, she even went to school last week and pooped. At school! In a public bathroom! Holy turnaround!

My favorite part of this story is that her teachers said following said poop, Paige walked out of the bathroom back into class, arms raised in victorious pride, and loudly announced "I just poopied on the potty everyone!" And her classmates cheered and clapped. What? That didn't happen to you at some point today? Seriously? I would have paid money to see that. 

And now, before she goes to bed, I always ask "Okay, what happens if you poop in your diaper?"

And she looks at me with those big eyes (crossed, usually, because her glasses are off) and somberly replies, "No technology, Mommy. Don't worry - I will NOT poop in my diaper."

What 4 year-old talks like that - or even says the word 'technology'? One with a technology problem, I would guess. But you know what her problem isn't, anymore?

Pooping on the potty.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MUCH More Like It ...

Soooo, you may remember our introduction to ballet. Or, perhaps, our un-vitation to ballet?

Let's just say we quickly realized little Paiger's personality isn't exactly suited to the types of activities that require lots of standing around and listening. Or old-ish teachers who don't have much patience for ... um, how do you say? Strong-ish personalities?

Soccer was a tad better, but mostly because we are pretty sure Paige really enjoyed hanging out with her friends and getting the snacks at the end. And she might have had a teensy crush on one of her coaches. Who is also her dentist. (A coincidence that she could NOT get past.)

Then, a few weeks ago we started gymnastics.

Before the first class there was a lot of hemming and hawing about how much she didn't like gymnastics (um, except that she had never been). And lots of talk that she was worried the other kids would laugh at her (I'm not even sure where the HELL this comes from? WTF? Why would a 4 year-old even think that?!?!? That's a subject for another post).

She and I walk into her first class, along with Blair and Gramma. It helped that Paige had her birthday party to look forward to later that day. It also helped (apparently) that she was able to announce said birthday party to the entire class. It certainly gave her an ice-breaker.

Her teacher is a young woman named 'Ms. Chris.' She is spunky, energetic and she doesn't take "I can't do it" for an answer. She is just what Paige needs - a certain blend of sweet and fun, yet hard-assed bossiness. In short - her nemesis who is also her idol. Probably a lot like Paige will be one day.

The classes have gone really well. She spends most of the time running around, saying "Ta-da" and waving to me. The first class, she excitedly yelled to Ms. Chris "I DID IT!" every time she did a somersault. Ms. Chris let Paige know this was unnecessary. I didn't have the heart to tell Ms. Chris that Paige was so excited because she had never actually DONE a somersault before.

I mean, do you know me at all? I hear somersault and my mind immediately jumps to broken neck. I hear cartwheel and I'm all like "well, let's pick out your wheelchair." I figured it was better for her to learn in the presence of an expert. And, yes. In my mind, "Instructor at the YMCA" = "Expert."

Anyhoo - here are some pictures from the past two classes. She had to miss a class because of my stupid appendix. But I think she'll be alright.

Ready to go to her first class! Thanks, Gramma and Grampa for the cute outfit! (And seriously? Those legs? I would pay a trainer everything I have for them!)

Practicing her first 'Ta-da!' (That's Ms. Chris beside her. And, in the blue leotard, quite possibly one of the cutest little girls I've ever seen that aren't directly related to me.)

See? LOTS of running. This is one of MANY pictures of the running I took. It was the least blurry.

Working on a handstand

Blair, watching the beginning of class. Shortly after this shot she tore stuff off that bulletin board, threw a fit, tossed her snack all over the place and spilled her water on my iPad. Being a little sister is HARD work.

LOTS of firsts in this class - bouncing somersault!

Her next class - learning the 'pike'

Working on somersaults. Seriously. I hold my breath EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. she is not standing upright.

"TA-DA!!!" Followed by an, "I DID IT, MOMMY! I DID IT!" Paige, once again: Please, stay like this forever. I heart you. So, so much.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Breakfast Dates

This is going to sound crazy, but the girls and I had our very first sit-down breakfast date yesterday. I know, I know ... you might be thinking, "what the heck has she been waiting for?"

If that is the case, please go back through and read all previous posts for clarification.

Our day began early because I had to drop the van off at 7:30 am at the dealership (awwww yeah, remote starter! No more shivering babies waiting for the heat to kick in!). It helps that our girls wake up at the ass-crack of dawn. Yet, to make this happen, we had to dress ourselves and the girls, give them breakfast, brush teeth and hair, get everyone out the door and loaded into the van, drive to Nani and Botsie's to borrow their car, put carseats in said car, drive to the dealership, drop off van, take Derrick back to Nani and Botsie's to get his car again and ... wait, that was it. Did I mention it was snowing and everyone was driving about 10 miles per hour?

I mean, for the love. Anyhoo, we had a few hours to kill before Paige's 4 year-old check up (sob!), so rather than go home, unload and then start the process all over again, I decided to run some errands.

We were at Trader Joe's by 8:15 am. Which, incidentally, might actually be the best time ever to be at TJ's. We were the only people there besides the employees. Meaning no one gave us dirty looks when my girl's found the monkey (aka, started screaming excitedly and making loud monkey sounds). TJ workers get my kids, which makes me love that place even more.

Even after more than our fair share of samples (crumpets with cookie butter. COOKIE. BUTTER. Literally a jar of creamy goodness made out of crushed cookies. Who could blame us for going back?) we realized we were starving. Things had been going fairly well, so I decided to give a restaurant a shot. We headed to Panera.

I mean, I'm not crazy. Not a sit-down and order restaurant. Baby steps, people.

They were delightful dates ... albeit a little high-maintenance. But, who doesn't have a hard time deciding what to order (it took Paige 5 minutes and an ultimatum) and cry for her own empty coffee cup (I get it, Blair. I feel that way about coffee). And, it's nice to know I'm missed when I take the 10 steps to the coffee station to fill up my cup. The girls let me know they missed me by telling "Mama! Hi Mama!" until I came back to the table.

MAN I make cute kids! Shortly after this, Blair let out one of her pterodactyl screams. Right after a group of old ladies walked in. One of them looked at us and said "Oh no!!!" I looked back and said, "Oh yes!!!"

I mean, it's not like she was upset or being bad. She was just excited (yes, she doesn't get out much).  Yet, we decided as a trio that it was probably time to head on out.

Let's roll, ladies. We got places to go and people to see.