Bad Day Gone Good

I really hadn’t planned on blogging about today. Because it was one of those horrible, no good, very bad days. The kind where I texted my best momma friend and had her talk me off the crazy lady cliff. (And I texted her because my children were both screaming and the dogs kept barking so I wouldn’t have been able to hear her if I’d called!) If you’re reading this, I absolutely love you Cassi and thank you for letting my have a panic attack/pity party!
Anyway, I wasn’t going to write about my day because bad days happen and no one wants to read about them. But, Paul got home before bed time, and the boys were so, so, SO very excited to see him. And Liam took his first steps to Paul!!
I was so excited because both of their faces were absolutely ecstatic. And heartbroken at the same time because I deserved those steps after today. But then it hit me, he has been gone all day long, just like every day, making money to support us–and to allow me to stay home for all the firsts, like the first smile, first giggle, I own all those. So yes, my last baby just took his first steps to his Daddy at the very start of a very happy Father’s Day weekend! I dare your little ones to top that present! Because to me, that’s the absolute best present that could have been given!!

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Parenting Surprises: Princess Vitamins For My Boys?

Today I did something I never thought I would ever do.  I bought Princess Vitamins.  Now, I never thought I’d be buying princess anything since I have two wonderful, frog catching, mud-pie making, car driving boys.

Let me start by setting the scene.  Liam’s first birthday party is tomorrow and we spent our morning running last minute errands for that, dropping off dry cleaning, and what feels like a million other things.  The commissary’s watermelons looked to be on their last leg yesterday so I had to go to the grocery store out in town to grab one, and while I was there I went down the vitamin aisle to replace Xander’s vitamins that have expired.  While on the vitamin aisle another mom stopped me and told me that the vitamins next door at CVS were buy one get one free.  Well, never to miss a deal I put back the ones in my cart and we bought our watermelon and headed next door.

He is very happy with them, and as long as hes happy--Im happy too!

He is very happy with them, and as long as he’s happy–I’m happy too!

Well, by the time we got the watermelon and other last minute items in the car it was getting awfully close to nap time,  but I had a million other things to do, so I told Xander if was really good in CVS he could pick out which vitamins he wanted to get.  Now we don’t buy vitamins that often, and honestly he probably doesn’t even need to take one because he eats a little bit of everything. So since my vitamin knowledge is somewhat limited I figured his options would be Flintstones or gummies.  I was wrong.  It seems that every character known to man now has their own brand of vitamins, including Cars and Disney Princesses.  I assumed Cars would be the choice but he was really eyeing the Princesses.  At first I tried discouraging by telling him that the Princesses were usually for little girls but he wasn’t having it.  He even told me, “Mom, I’m good, I pick!” in his most diplomatic tone.  So, we grabbed the Princess vitamins (and the Cars because they were free) and headed to check out.

Then.. An older gentleman that I guess had seen us looking at the vitamin options stopped us and told Xander in a pretty stern voice that Princess vitamins were for girls and he needed to take them back.  Cue complete Todzilla meltdown and total embarrassment for me.  I finally grabbed the Princess vitamins out of my little guy’s hands and squatted beside and him and told him we could get whichever vitamins he wanted.  He nodded, dried his tears, and said, “Mom, they are pretty like you! I want the Princesses.”  So we now have a pink and purple bottle of vitamins sitting on top of our microwave for all to see.  IMG_3374

On the way home we talked about how usually Princesses are for girls, and how Xander is a boy.  He knows this.  He also was the one to tell me that if we played Princesses he could be Prince Charming and I could be Cinderella.  He also said Liam has to be the mouse.   So am I worried that my two year old picked out the girly vitamins and might end up a “F@g” like the man at CVS said he’d be? Not in the least bit.  And even if he did, I’d still love him just as much.  So in case the gentleman that stopped us in CVS and caused a meltdown ever finds my blog, next time just butt out.  We’ve got things covered in this house.  Right down to our Disney Princess Vitamins.

Bad Day Fixes

If you stay at home with your kids, you know there are days that you have contemplated locking yourself in the bathroom with a tub of ice cream and ignoring the screaming children that need all of your attention until their other parent gets home.  If you don’t ever contemplate doing this, I don’t either, I’m a perfect mom.  Just go ahead and quit reading this right now.

Let's be real, if every day was this happy every family would have a dozen kids!

Let’s be real, if every day was this happy every family would have a dozen kids!

I have PLENTY of days that I literally count down the hours, minutes, and seconds until Super Dad is supposed to walk through the door and save me from my children.  Last week I’m pretty sure I had FIVE of them.  That’s right, every single day last week I contemplated selling my children (and our lab puppy Piper!) to the circus and running away to an island somewhere and–oh wait, I already live on an island and Piper doesn’t know enough tricks for the circus to buy her.  See, even my dream plan wouldn’t have worked.  That is precisely the kind of week I was having.  Nothing was going the way I wanted.

Some days I'm faking it like Xander, and other days I've given up and I'm like Liam and crying is the only way to cope.

Some days I’m faking happy like Xander, and other days I’ve given up and like Liam, crying is the only way to cope.

But I’m still a stay at home mom, and Super Dad still has to go to work when I’m having bad days and the boys are being monsters.  It’s what I signed up for after all.  But, I’ll let you in on a few of my secrets:

  1. Dance parties do wonders for everyone in our house.  If the boys are being Todzilla and Babyzilla I just turn iTunes on and we jam.  It may take a full song before they join me, but they DO join me every single time.  Xander has started making up some pretty cool moves lately too–including playing tag with the couches while he’s dancing.  Whatever floats your boat kid, as long as that boat gets happy fast!

    These two need a dance party!

    These two need a dance party!

  2. My second happy fix is actually inspired by a Katy Perry song titled “Roar.”  We literally roar.  It REALLY helps when you’re mad.  We pretend to be monsters or dinosaurs or lions or whatever toy is closest when I decide that what we need.  Super Dad takes the car when we’re out of milk and need to go to the store on a Monday (when the commissary is closed!?) Looks like we’re having a roar-fest.  It turns into a giggle fest, and you can’t stay mad when your two year old and one year old are laughing.  I dare you to try it!
  3. Look forward to the weekend. (Or whenever your parenting partner is off next.) Think about sleeping in and having someone to tag team with you.  I’m a pessimist by nature, so this one is hard for me.  I always think, “Yeah right Super Dad probably has 549,648,793 things planned to do so there will be no sleeping in!” But if I get out of my own head sometimes this one is nice.     If your next “weekend” is too far away to look forward to, look at photos on your phone of adorable moments you’ve captured and remind yourself that your kid isn’t always a Todzilla/Babyzilla. If you’re a single parent I apologize for the slap in the face of this one.  My mom was a single parent for quite some time and I have a ton of respect for single parents!!
  4. I get out the art supplies.  I have a creative soul.  Crafting makes me happy.  When I’m angry, sad, confused, etc. crafting makes it better.  Xander seems to be the same way, or maybe it’s just a good distraction.  So on really bad days, I’ll get out the construction paper, the markers, the glue sticks, and the kid scissors and we create masterpieces.  If my house is already a mess, we take our creative souls outside and play with chalk.  We have actually started having “chalk parties” lately with our easel and the driveway.

    Our recent driveway chalk party.  Google is heaven sent when it comes to learning to draw Disney characters!

    Our recent driveway chalk party. Google is heaven sent when it comes to learning to draw Disney characters!

  5. Get outside.  Now if it’s raining outside or you live somewhere with seasons this might not work for you.  We live on a tropical island, and our seasons range from hot to mega hot.  So, unless it’s raining this one usually works.  We actually made a swing for the boys to play in so that we can still swing while it’s raining (it’s in our Florida room) but we also have a baby swimming pool and lots of shovels and pails.  There are days when I don’t feel like cleaning, I don’t feel like looking at legos, I don’t feel like reading another single book, and going outside helps.  Xander is at the age he can play on his own, and I’ll stick my water baby Lumlum into the baby pool with some toys and tell him to “splash splash” until he’s happily playing on his own.  The sunshine makes me feel better, and not having to entertain them does wonders for my mood too.  (Of course if they’re in the pool I’m still right there watching them–usually I pretend I’m getting a pedicure and soak my feet in the pool!)
  6. I pull out the yoga mat and we find our center together.  Xander is two yet he loves yoga.  He’s a master at downward facing dog, tree pose, mountain pose, and several others.  We used to do videos, but have recently stopped and I’ll just go through sun salutations a few times and then we do whatever poses Xander wants to do until he tires of it.  You could sub yoga for any exercise you enjoy.  Yoga is just easy on my grandma knees and hips.

    The master of Downward Facing Dog ;)

    The master of Downward Facing Dog ;)

  7. Set up a play date.  One of my friends from high school has recently started blogging and has a recent blog about the importance of what she calls “Momships.”  I’ve noticed that if I’m having a bad day if we meet up with another family my bad day seems to disappear. Maybe I’m just busy and not focusing on the bad, but it works for me.  If your mom friend is having a bad day too at least you have someone to commiserate with, and hey, maybe one of you can bring the wine. 😉
  8. This one is pretty much my last resort for bad days, but if Xander is the culprit of the bad day in question it works until Super Dad is home and can take over.  We have a “movie day” and pop some popcorn and watch a movie.  It’s a last resort for several reasons: Xander acts a fool after he watches TV, Liam isn’t distracted by the movie at all so I still have him to entertain, and then there are all those studies that show you should limit screen time.
  9. Bake.  Just like crafting, baking makes it better–and eating what you bake makes it even better!  Baking with toddlers is a science project too if you think about it.  You’re following directions and measuring and you can add in several taste tests.. Add in some chocolate and once the timer goes off your day is bound to be better.  If not, your taste buds will thank you.

    Some sugar makes it all better.

    Some sugar makes it all better.

  10. I ALWAYS have ice cream in my freezer.  Even when I was nursing Xander and couldn’t have any dairy, I always had some fake ice cream in my freezer for “emergencies.”  If you wait until your kids are sleeping you don’t even have to share! An added bonus, if your bake sometime like in tip #9, you can top it with ice cream.  Calories schmalories!

So tell me, how do you survive your bad days? I’d love to hear and get some new ideas!!

Switched at Birth

This is the only picture I got of him smiling... And of course it's before he even touched the cake!

This is the only picture I got of him smiling… And of course it’s before he even touched the cake!

Yesterday, we didn’t ever get around to giving Lumlum his birthday cake.  Paul had to work so we took the boys out to breakfast at our favorite cafe on the beach, and then we came home and the boys took naps, Paul went to work and that afternoon the boys played and I played referee.  Xander woke up yesterday in a horrible mood and it never went away, so I was literally playing referee.  It wasn’t an ideal day, but Liam had a blast–and even got to play with the chalkboard by himself for a little while!

You can just see his little brain going.

You can just see his little brain going.

Anyway, the boy never got his “birthday cake” so today I made him one for breakfast.  We have some leftover sour cream cake and it is DELICIOUS.  It’s probably the only cake that is actually better on the second day!  Anyways I made some raspberry whipped cream and iced the cake with that.  (The cake is plenty sweet so I didn’t even add sugar to the “frosting”) And then I used a cookie cutter to make a three layer cake out of a cake.  Smash Cake Liam2

It looks like a smile, but it is actually the start of the crocodile tears.

It looks like a smile, but it is actually the start of the crocodile tears.

You’re probably wondering about the title? Well, Liam HAD to have been switched at birth because he was NOT a cake or frosting fan.  He actually cried once he tried it and didn’t stop crying until I took it away.  No child born into my family could have been born without a sweet tooth.  So either Liam’s hasn’t broke through yet, or he was switched at birth!! Smash Cake Liam4

"Just take it away, Mom!"

“Just take it away, Mom!”

We’ll try again at his birthday party in a few weeks and see how he does with cake then.  Hopefully it goes a little better… Otherwise I might need to look into a DNA test, haha!

Happy Birthday to Liam

IMG_5265Today my little Lumlum turns ONE!  From the very start Liam started proving not only how different he would be than his brother, but just how much of my heart he would need!  (If you’re wondering, he’d like the whole thing but settles for his third most days.)  While we’ve had some extremely challenging days this past year with colic and sick days and a whole learning process of parenting two, we’ve also had so many days that were beyond full of love, laughter, and fun that wouldn’t be possible without Liam in our lives.

Giving kisses at the Martello Towers

Giving kisses at the Martello Towers

When I was pregnant and doubting whether I could love another baby as much as I loved Xander all of my friends with more than one kid assured me that I’d be able to love them equally, and I just felt like “How? My heart is already so full!?!” Well, it either wasn’t full or my heart just grows and grows, because I love Liam just as much as I love Xander, and I actually love them both MORE because there are two of them!  I’d never love Xander’s ability to be a great brother without Liam.  Liam brings out so much love in our family.  As cliché as it will sound, he warms my heart in ways I never thought possible.  From his little smile to his constant need for his Momma, he constantly shows me just how loved I am.  In the last couple of months he’s started giving hugs and kisses and you haven’t seen sweet until you’ve seen my Lumlum give his big brother a hug when he’s in a full blown meltdown.  They both calm and start laughing immediately.

All smiles in the tub.

All smiles in the tub.

Speaking of laughing, I said above that Liam is the comedian of our family.  He is.  This morning before he even opened his eyes he started blowing raspberries and shortly afterwards opened his eyes, looked up at me, and started laughing at himself.  Since then he has made Xander laugh a half dozen time, even though he woke up in a total Todzilla mood!  He’s also made himself laugh quite a bit more than that.  I call him our little comedian often, and it always makes me smile knowing he’s usually doing whatever he’s doing to get a laugh out of his audience.

Playing peek-a-boo while waiting in line at Disney.

Playing peek-a-boo while waiting in line at Disney.

Since he’s only just turned one, I know that the fun we’ve experienced in the last year is only the beginning.  Liam can turn peek-a-boo into an hour long game and make even me in my grumpiest of  moods think it’s fun.  Xander will hate playing cars or trains of whatever but the second Liam is involved and then trains, cars, and block building is fun again. (Usually Liam plays the part of Babyzilla-think Godzilla in terms of massive destruction!)  Part of it is his age, of course, but I am hopeful that his little zest for life stays and he is always the fun one in our family… Because so far he’s definitely earned the title!

My silly boy

My silly boy

I’ll always feel so blessed that God chose me to be Liam’s momma.  That’s a fact.  But today brings all the memories of the last year and I’m a sappy mess that really feels thankful for it all, which includes the sumo squats to calm a colicky baby but especially includes the waking up to kisses, the silliness in expectation making me laugh, and being able to watch my little guy play with his big brother and be the happiest little one year old on the block.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!