“Oh, poor daycare baby!” and then I want to punch things.

I told you all that I was sick, right?  Well it’s not just me, it’s the entire house.  First it was me, then Miles, and now Evan…all with the funk.  The funkiest funk to ever funk it’s funking way right into your funking lungs and funk things up.  Get it?

I know that Miles has an ear infection in his left ear because we visited our pediatrician yesterday.  I know that the ear infection was caused mostly by the build up of fluid in his ear, which was caused by the sharp bones stabbing through his gums (otherwise known as teething).  With one secondary incisor, one eye tooth and one molar jamming their way out, something’s gotta give, right?  Ears.  They give up first.  So we started the Amoxicillin, and today he’s back to Hurricane Miles status.

As usual, I visited WebMD for my own diagnosis of what the funk I have.  Turns out it could be…

  1. Sinusitis (highly possible)
  2. Laryngitis (definitely possible)
  3. Hay Fever
  4. Viral Pharyngitis
  5. COPD
  6. Asthma
  7. ASBESTOSIS (!!!)
  8. West Nile Virus
  9. 473 different types of cancer
  10. “Plague” (non-specific plague, my favorite kind)
  11. Pleural Effusion
  12. And a dozen things that I’ve only encountered when playing Oregon Trail.

So, yes…of course I feel reassured that it’s just a minor summertime cold.  OF COURSE.  Thank you WebMD. (it’s important to know I trust WebMD because they told me my appendix was rupturing and it was…and that’s a post for another day)

My symptom checker results aren’t actually what I wanted to write about tonight, though.  I found it extremely important to stress that I was sick first – not Miles.  Know why?  Because if I hear one more person say, “Oh, poor baby, it’s daycare causing this!” then I just might flip.

I get it, I really do.  Daycare can be a cesspool of germs.  But do you know what else harbors these same germies?  EVERYTHING.  The mailbox, the bank, the post office, the handle of the shopping cart that your adorable child is chewing on when you aren’t looking.  Germs are everywhere, people.  And while there are germs at school, it’s not always school that causes the illness.

It obviously burns my biscuits to have a guilt trip laid on me because our son is in daycare.  Some of those “oh poor daycare baby” people really sound as if they’re saying “oh poor neglected child, I can’t believe your parents abandon you for eight hours a day.”  Yes, that’s it…poor baby, spending eight hours a day in a school that is certified by the State of Florida and inspected by the Department of Health, full of teachers who love these children as if they were their own, with a curriculum that has allowed my son – at 14 months – to begin speaking in simple sentences, eat with a spoon and fork and use sign language.  Our kitchen overflows with arts and crafts.  He is excited to see his teachers and friends each day, and guess what?  He’s still even more excited to see me in the afternoon.  Miles missed two days of school this week; when we returned today, three of his “friends” squealed, clapped and smiled when we walked into the room.  Yes, his friends.  Poor baby.

It’s not about SAHP vs. working parents; it’s about doing the best you possibly can with your own unique and individual situation.  Because even if I were a SAHM, I can easily see the benefits of part-time enrollment in daycare or preschool.  I’m as entertaining as they get, and I like to think I’m a pretty good educator for Miles, but there are things he learns and does in school that I just know I probably wouldn’t come up with on my own (or without hours on Pinterest).  And the socializing…so important and beneficial.  So for us, two parents who work full-time, daycare is the bees knees, even if we pick up a cold every once in a while (which we would also pick up just going to Publix)

Parenting is the greatest and most important thing we’ll ever do, and I know that we’re doing an awesome job.  I can see that reflected in my smart, funny, sweet and loving boy, every single day.  Whether you work full-time or part-time, or have chosen to stay at home, we’re all on the same team.

Choose your words wisely.  It’s easy to sound like a Judgey McJudgerson; try not to, though.  Every family is different, and that’s a good thing.  Imagine how boring the world would be if we all cloth diapered, completed every project we pinned, and made all of our meals from scratch – organic scratch, at that.

Working Mom FTW,

K

Word.

Word.

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Let Them Be Little

Earlier this week, while dropping Miles off at school, I noticed a dad who completed his entire arrival-drop off-departure while on his cell phone (obviously a “business” call).  I’d venture to guess that his son is about three years old.  He held his dad’s hand, struggled to keep up with his fast paced walking, and continued smiling while looking up at his dad.  His dad never once looked down to meet his son’s gaze and return the smile.  He shuffled him through his classroom door and waved goodbye, without a hug, without a kiss, without saying, “I love you.”

His son didn’t seem fazed, and maybe he’s accustomed to hurried mornings, but his father’s actions – or lack thereof – bothered me, deeply.  Am I more emotional now that we have Miles?  Most certainly.  There are situations and occurrences we witnessed in our childless life that I didn’t think twice about; now, however, it’s a different story.

Before we had Miles, I would always wonder how parents handle certain inevitable situations that I may have once considered “bad behavior.”  Things like running up and down the aisles in Publix, throwing loaves of bread.  Or taking an entire plate of spaghetti and turning it upside down on the table, while out to eat at a restaurant.  Or talking too loudly during church.  I have witnessed parents discipline in ways that caused me to cringe, and I have witnessed parents portray an obliviousness that left me confused.  And before we had Miles, I wouldn’t have noticed a parent rushing their child to daycare, school, soccer practice, or through a grocery store.  Kids are slow, right?  Seemed normal to urge them along.

Then, we became parents.

I am sure I’ve said many, many times before (and will continue to repeat) that once we had Miles, life as we knew it changed.  Of course there were moments of struggle (new parents are really clueless those first few weeks…) but those are absolute blips on the radar in comparison to the overwhelming love, joy, happiness and general awesomeness we experience on a daily basis.  Not a moment goes by that I don’t look at that kid and think to myself, “My God, we are blessed.”  He is the sun rising and the moon setting in our days.

As children get older, they develop their own personalities.  Becoming their own person brings new behaviors; some are sweet, some are funny, and some are just whaa? moments.  And many, many moments will mimic situations I witnessed before becoming a parent.  I have a different perspective because now, as a  mom, I get it.

Those parents I previously thought were oblivious to their children’s behavior really weren’t (well, not all of them).  I know this because I am not an oblivious parent.  I am fully aware that Miles is “singing” along during the offertory at church.  I know that the instant I give him his spoon to “feed” himself, he’s going to fling zucchini at the cat and stick the spoon up his nose.  There is no trip to Publix that doesn’t end with a toy “dropped” on every aisle, and extra grocery items in the buggy that I’m certain I didn’t have on the list.  Know what?  That’s okay.  Know why?  He’s a baby, bordering on toddler, and these are just the things they do.  He is full of curiosity and wonder (also, feistiness) which we find charming and hilarious, all at the same time.  Miles is free to be Miles, even if it means blowing raspberries at strangers in Target.

We have chosen to let Miles experience life at full sprint…what better way for him to learn?  We have chosen to laugh at the moments that may cause other folks to just cringe.  Just a couple weeks ago, Evan was getting Miles ready for bath time (we call this “nakey baby time” in our house).  After the usual nakey baby song and dance, Evan picked Miles up off the changing table and proceeded to make his way to the bathroom.  It was in that instant that I saw it…poop.  Poop coming out of Miles’ tush, onto the changing table, onto the floor and onto Evan.  Miles was flapping and smiling and waving, per the usual.  My eyes met Evan’s, and we froze…then, we erupted into laughter.  You cannot fully comprehend the humor in poop until you have children.   Life is hysterical.

Rather than become exasperated, we find the joy and humor and absolute silliness that we have in our lives now.  How can I look at that spaghetti smeared face, dumping his sippy cup onto the dining room floor, and not become filled with love and gratitude?

As working parents, life gets busy.  Very busy.  Perhaps “busy” is an understatement for the hurricane of work-errands-chores-parenting that must take place on a daily basis.  But what I’ve learned is that you’re only as busy as you choose to be in that moment.  Sure, there’s laundry I need to fold and the dishwasher needs to be unloaded, but I’m going to push those chores off until after Miles hits the hay, because stacking rings and reading books is so much more fun.  And I’m sure you’d be surprised to know that most days of the week, I’m running late for work, but that doesn’t stop me from spending those extra ten minutes with Miles at school, watching him play with the other kids and giving him oodles of hugs and kisses before I head out the door.

You are never, ever too busy to stop for a moment and cherish your children.

We have chosen to never let “life” interfere with our blessings.  There are many evenings we’re tired (or is it exhausted?) but, truth be told, it’s the best kind of tired.  Feeling a wave of exhaustion hit as soon as I close the nursery door at 8pm is just the result of us living the best moments of our day to the fullest extent possible.

Miles is only little for a short while; soon we’ll have a toddler, then a preschooler, then an actual kid, followed by a preteen and (shudder) a teenager.  Before we realize it, Miles will be in college.  Miles will be getting married (after she passes my “marriage qualifications exam”).  Miles will be starting his own family.

I never, ever want to miss a single smile, hug, kiss, smile, or belly laugh.  I want to be present for each and every moment that I possibly can.  And I want him to have complete joy in being little, regardless of how messy or loud that joy can be.  He is only little once.

I came across this print on Etsy the other day, and found it perfectly encompassed the way we have chosen to parent:

“You will never have this day with your children again.  Tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today.  This day is a gift.  Just breathe, notice, study their faces and little feet.  Pay attention.  Relish the charms of the present.  Enjoy today, it will be over before you know it.  Let them be little.”

Unspeakable Joy

Unspeakable Joy

L-I-V-I-N,

Kristin

Round-Up

As always, here’s your weekly round-up of things I did when I wasn’t staying up way too late writing, reading (I even FINISHED a book this week!) and watching TV Land.  YOU’RE WELCOME.

No sleep ’til…TEETHING IS OVER OMGOMGOMG.  Maybe that’s a little dramatic.  Do you know what happens when you humbly brag about what a super awesome sleeper your baby is?  That’s right, sharp bones begin tearing their way through his gums.  And so, for the past three weeks, between midnight and 2am…we’re up.  Why?  Because my son thinks he’s the long lost Beastie Boy (RIP Ad-Rock) and will not sleep until he arrives in Brooklyn.  Sometimes he cries, sometimes he just lays there and sings, sometimes he sands up and bangs mercilessly on the side of his crib until you shuffle in there and rock him back to sleep.  When his little eyes are closed, and he’s softly snoring, you lay him in his crib, only to find that during the course of your rock session that comfy, cozy crib has suddenly morphed into an Iron Maiden (and not the rockin’ kind) which Miles will relay to you in a series of shrieks as he frantically climbs up the side of the crib.  This happens three times.  On the fourth attempt, we finally sleep.

Sometimes I wonder why this teething business can be such a big deal…then I  look at THIS:

Where did you think all those adult teeth were hiding, anyway?

Where did you think all those adult teeth were hiding, anyway?

And I think to myself, “HOLY SHIT” and stop questioning why this teething stuff is a big deal.  PS – Good luck un-seeing THAT image.  It’s the stuff Stephen King novels are made of.

There are a few other babies in Miles’ class that are teething right now.  Every day when I go to pick him up, I find the teething kids circled up in the same corner of the play area, chewing the bejeezus out of the hard toys.  It’s like an episode of Breaking Bad.

So, now that you can chew…  We’ve been slowly introducing more “finger foods” to Miles, since the onslaught of Teethmurderfest 2014.  He wants to chew on stuff, so why not have a carrot or an apple or a banana?  When we first introduced bananas, Miles made that face, the one that all babies make when you give them a new food, the face that says, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME, WOMAN?!”  Only the banana face was a little bit more dramatic.  Also, it was kind of funny.  Turns out, Miles doesn’t particularly care for the texture of bananas, and if you try to coax him into eating them (vis a vis putting pieces of banana in his mouth when he is clearly over it) he’s going to make a “cat coughing up a hairball face.”  Oh, you think that’s funny?  Me too.  So we tried another piece of banana, because I really wanted Evan to see the hilarity that was the banana-hairball face.  And do you know what happened?  Miles puked all of his mangoes all over the highchair.   Miles: 1  Me: 0  Highchair: -1,487

NO MORE BANANAS.

NO MORE BANANAS.

TVTVTV… Like most parents of young children, we DVR a lot of our shows so we can watch them later (because, let’s face it, staying up until 9:30p is a challenge).  I am most excited to finally see The White Witch herself on American Horror Story.  Did you watch it?  Was it awesome?  I hope so.  In addition to AHS, I’m also going to binge watch Gypsy Sisters.  Have you ever watched My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding?  NO?!  Gypsy Sisters follows one of the families featured in an episode of MBFAGW, and it.is.awesome.  It’s a bedazzled episode of Maury Povich.  The Gypsy culture is interesting and entertaining.  Also, they have names like “Pawpaw Big Daddy” and “Mellie”.  And because the show is on TLC (which used to be The Learning Channel, remember?) I don’t feel like I’m totally rotting my brain.  Even though TLC is responsible for Honey Boo Boo, The Little Chocolatiers and, lest we forget, John and Kate Plus 8.  Barf.  Anyway, Gypsy Sisters: watch it.

Doesn't this just scream awesome?  Along with, "YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER."

Doesn’t this just scream awesome? Along with, “YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER.”

And finally, because I’m not sure if the baby teeth x-ray is enough to give you nightmares, I’m going to leave you with THIS:

Hyperdontia.  Seriously, Google it.

Hyperdontia. Seriously, Google it.

I know, my google image skills are pretty wicked.

Sleep tight,

K

Friday Round-Up

Lots of interesting and/or humorous things tend to occur during the week.  The problems with writing about these weekday occurrences are as follows:
1.            Sometimes the topic isn’t enough for me to base an entire post.  Okay, I could, but some of you have already complained about my wordiness in previous posts (side eye…you know who you are).
2.            Miles usually hits the hay around 9p.  This leaves me with a couple options: I could write; or, I could flop on the couch and watch all the TV programs that have nudity, swearing, vampires, zombies, toddlers (and their tiaras!) with the volume at a normal level and without having to mute anything, or worry about whether Miles’ first words will be, “SPARKLE BABY, SPARKLE!!!”
3.            I’m tired.  Like, a lot.
4.            Wine.
So, in an attempt to share the fascinating things that happen in our day to day lives during the week, I thought I’d start a “Friday Round-Up.”  I am also accepting suggestions for a better post title.  Now, on to the good stuff…
This week, Chobani tried to poison me.  I am a huge fan of Greek yogurt (and not just because of the John Stamos commercials).  Recently, Chobani came out with a line they call “Flips.”  They have that little separate cup on the side, full of delicious, crunchy, sweet things to dump into your yogurt.  It is awesomesauce times a million.  I’ve been eating them for breakfast every day this week.
On Wednesday, I decided to try the banana yogurt.  It had almonds and dark chocolate chips to dump in.  I just knew it was going to be delicious.  I took a bite, and it was not at all what I expected.  Greek yogurt can be sour, yes…but this was like kick you in the teeth sour.  It was weird.  I asked a co-worker of mine to taste my yogurt (WITH MY OWN SPOON – that’s how you know this was serious) and she said it seemed okay, just tasted extra sour.  So I ate it, because I’m cheap and don’t like to waste food.  Also, I had Mylanta in my purse, just in case.
Thursday, I decided to try the key lime yogurt.  It had graham crackers and white chocolate chips.  It was like pie for breakfast.  I started to open the yogurt, and noticed the peel-off top seemed a little puffy.  Whatever, I was hungry.  I opened the yogurt, and noticed some seemed to have leaked out the side.  Whatever, I was hungry and now I could see white chocolate chips.  Then I looked at the yogurt, and saw what I thought could be mold, but decided must be pieces of key lime.  I ate the heck out of that yogurt, and it was wonderful.
Friday, my co-worker (who told me the banana yogurt was safe) saw on Chobani’s Facebook page that they had issued a recall on “certain” yogurts with a particular lot number and expiration date.  I went to the fridge to check the yogurt I brought for that day’s breakfast…contaminated.  In fact, all of the yogurts I had purchased (and subsequently eaten) for the last five days were from the recall batch.  Every.  Single.  One.
I still almost ate the blueberry yogurt, though.  I was hungry and figured since I hadn’t gotten sick yet, what would be the harm?  Instead, I settled on an English muffin.  I have seven yogurts sitting in the fridge, waiting to be returned to Publix.  Damn you, Chobani.
Also this week, I’ve found our daycare parking lot turns into a demolition derby once you get too close to 8am.  You know that scene in Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bates’ character beats the stupid college girl in the VW to the good parking spot at the Piggly Wiggly?  You know, “TOWANDAAAA!” and “Because I’m older, and I have better insurance.”  Yes, that’s our parking lot at 7:58am.
Maybe not every parent realizes this, but toddlers/young children are short.  Like, barely taller than the tires on your super obnoxious Hummer that you park at the very front and take up two – sometimes three – parking spaces.  Even though your child, who is FOUR YEARS OLD, can walk perfectly fine leaving you know real reason to take the spots that parents with children in carriers/strollers would really appreciate having.  Hummer McDouche has nearly backed over a child three times in the past month, because of she’s always running late and always has to park thisclose to the school.
No one likes inconsiderate drivers, I get it.  But they really, really irritate me.  To the point that I would like to carry a dozen expired eggs around with me at all times, hurling them at drivers who make selfish decisions on the road and in parking lots.  The only thing stopping me (besides my husband, who reminds me I could get shot and/or arrested) is asking myself, “WWJD?”  Jesus would not throw eggs at bad drivers.  But maybe, just maybe, Jesus will make sure they get six red lights on their way to work.
Finally this week, Miles has continued his attempts at crawling.  He’s getting really good at working his back end, getting up on his knees and sometimes up on his feet with his legs locked (imagine a horse with its front end asleep and its back end totally ready to run the Derby).  He moves himself forward, but he hasn’t quite mastered the arm movements.  So most of the time, he ends up shoving his face across his floor blanket.  He’s also gotten his Army crawl/pull down, and will drag himself forward by pulling on the blanket.  If he has a toy just out of reach, he’ll use the blank to pull it closer.  Lazy kid.
I have said it 10,786,455 times (and I’ll say it a lot in the future, too) but it is so super cool to watch your child learn, discover and grow.  Every time he figures something out, the expression on his face is amazing.  We could just sit and stare at him for hours, if he didn’t think it was so creepy.
Alright, it’s feeding time at the zoo.  Happy Saturday, y’all!
Not throwing eggs,

Kristin