Halloween Firsts

As I’m sure you all know, yesterday was Halloween.  For us, it was a Halloween of firsts.  I shall endeavor to describe these firsts by family member so that you can get a fun glimpse of our night, but since at least a handful of those reading this are strangers on the internet, I’m going to use code names so as to decrease the probability of you hunting us down and slaughtering us in our sleep.  Not that I don’t trust you, Internet Strangers!

I don’t, though.

So my husband shall henceforth be known as The Hubs, my toddler shall be Bunny, and the newborn is stuck with the embarrassing moniker of Squishface.  A reminder: I have absolutely no control over the nicknames I give my family members.

With that out of the way, let’s proceed:

Squishface’s Firsts

Well, this one’s easy: Squishface was only born like three weeks ago, so this was his Very First Halloween Ever.  I’d say he rose to the occasion.  I put him in his parrot costume and he promptly spit up all over it.  I cleaned that up and then he was pretty much like, “Alright, well, that was all the trouble I had in me for tonight.  Carry on.”  And then he went to sleep for the rest of the evening.  Very successful holiday!

My Firsts

I love Halloween, and I love to celebrate it.  You’d think that after 27 years of celebrating the crap out of it, there would be no firsts left for me.  Well, you’d be wrong!  See, apparently, in the Midwest, they have this phenomenon called “weather”?  Have you guys heard about this?  I’m from California, so I have never, ever, in my life had to take this “weather” thing into account when picking my Halloween costume.

So that’s how my daughter and I ended up as pirates with skirts and bare shoulders on a night that the temperature was in the 30s.  We both had to wear coats that did not match our costumes at all, which hurt my artistic sensibilities.  Fortunately, we were clearly not the only ones in the neighborhood that faced such a dilemma, and everyone handing out candy was well-trained in identifying costumes based solely on the leg and head portions of the outfit.  Still, lesson learned!  Next year we’re all going as nice, warm Wookies.

Bunny’s Firsts

Since Bunny is a very grown-up two now, and since we actually live in a real neighborhood instead of an apartment building for the first time in her life, we decided that this was the year that she could start trick-or-treating.  Explaining the concept to her, however, was not smooth sailing.  In her defense, she hadn’t gotten a nap that day.  So, really, the whole endeavor was doomed from the start.

First of all, she did not understand why she was supposed to wear a costume, and she was not on board with the idea (Pun intended!  Because she’s a pirate, remember?  Get it?  Eh?).  She threw a fit and I had to appease her by brushing her teeth, because she’s a weird kid.

Then there was the issue of actually laying out the mechanics to her.  We went to the first house and urged her to knock.  She stared blankly.  We knocked for her and then urged her to say “trick or treat”.  She stared blankly.  Candy was given.  We urged her to say “thank you”.  She stared blankly.  We thanked the person for her and they closed the door.

Close enough!

We repeated this at approximately half a dozen more houses, and then we hit a snag.  We knocked on a door and nobody answered.  I shrugged and started walking away, holding Bunny because she’d given up on the walking thing about four houses ago.  But by this time, Bunny had started associated knocking on doors with candy-getting, and no candy had been gotten.  So she started throwing the second fit of the night and I had to try to explain to her that there are houses in the world that don’t contain a bowl of candy for her.  This was not a reality she was prepared to accept.

The rest of the evening was downhill from there (or uphill, if you’re one of those (but if you are, I’ll fight you)).  Despite the fact that every other house we went to did indeed give us candy, the trust had been broken.  Also, it was cold.  And as soon as it got dark, my street was suddenly swarming with cars filled with costumed children of every variety, and they soon flooded the streets.  It was madness.  So I dragged my crying toddler through the mob and back to our house where some carefully-selected YouTube videos finally appeased her.  All in all, she lasted about half an hour out there.  Not a trick or treating prodigy.  Oh well.

The Hubs’ Firsts

Lastly, I just want to give a shout out to my husband for wearing a piratey bandana for maybe an hour and a piratey hat for like fifteen minutes.  This is the most costumey he has ever been!  We are making progress!  Next year maybe a T-shirt or something?  I can dream.

The Aftermath

When all was said and done, my mom, who is awesome and a Halloween champion, made us a dinner of mummy calzones and spiderweb rice crispy treats.  Both were delicious.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is all’s well that ends well?  I had fun, anyway.

Happy Halloween, everybody! 🙂

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Birthing Saga SparkNotes

Ok, so it’s been a little while.  Sorry about that.  I was having a baby or whatever.

Here’s a recap of my life in the last few weeks:

Pre-baby

First of all, my baby came a week late.  Which was very rude.  So I was not a happy camper.  This stage can best be summed up by some actual things that I said:

“I think I’m probably going to be pregnant forever.  This is just my life now.”

“I’m going to go put on my most emo maternity clothes.”

“I drew a frowny face on my stomach to try and make it a more hostile environment, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”

Baby Day

Finally, we scheduled an induction.  It was a huge relief to have an end date and time.  And even though an induction was not what I originally wanted, I started to get really on board with the idea.  I had plans to get plenty of sleep, have a nice, relaxing morning, eat a big, delicious breakfast, and then leisurely drop my toddler off with a friend and arrive at the hospital refreshed and ready to go.

So of course my boy decided to wake me up with hard contractions at 3am.  I guess all he needed was a deadline.

We rushed to the hospital, 2-year-old and all, and I was extremely nervous about how she was going to react to seeing me in so much pain.  Fortunately, she’s got the empathy of a sponge, because once we gave her Mario Kart on the 3DS she could not care less about Mama’s screaming.  Good to know.

(And don’t worry, our friend picked her up before things got too real.)

Now this is a public blog, so I won’t go into too much detail about the labor, but you know how these things go.  Pain, yelling, pushing, and then suddenly there’s a person in the world that wasn’t there before.  And he’s the most beautiful thing in the world.

Post-baby

Here are some things I’ve learned since then:

  • I was wrong about my daughter being the tiniest creature in existence. The little hands and toes that seemed so dainty to me before now seem enormous.  And she’s so sophisticated!  I mean, forget walking and talking, this kid can stay awake for more than half an hour!  Can you say prodigy!?
  • I have no control whatsoever over the nicknames I give my children. I call my oldest Bunny.  Why?  I don’t know.  She neither looks nor acts particularly bunny-like.  I have no affinity with bunnies in general.  I just started calling her that one day and never stopped.  Then again, it’s kinda cute because my husband and I call each other Bear, and I was hoping this baby would get another animal nickname so that together we could be a happy little woodland family.  But, nope!  Apparently, his name is Squishface.
  • Being a family of four is awesome, and totally worth the wait. 🙂

My Toddler is a Con Artist

So my daughter is tiny.  Like a dainty, adorable elf-creature.  She’s got lots of arm and leg, but her torso is basically the same size it has always, always been.  I’m not joking: last Sunday I was telling someone about her perpetual petiteness and they tried to call me out on it by asking what size clothing she wears.  I turned out the tag on her shirt and it was size 3-6 months.  She is almost 2.  So basically her torso is roughly 18-21 months behind schedule.

Pediatricians tell me this is not a problem because she’s always been skinny and because she is in every other way perfectly healthy at every single visit.  And I believe them!  They are medical professionals!

But even so, every time this girl asks for food, I’m like, “YES!  PLEASE!  YOU CAN EAT ANYTHING YOU WANT!  I WILL DROP EVERYTHING!  WHAT’S THAT?  YOU WANT A RARE KIND OF MUSHROOM FOUND ONLY AT THE TOP OF MOUNT EVEREST AND GUARDED BY DRAGONS?  I WILL SCALE IT AND FIGHT THEM RIGHT NOW; BRB.”

The problem?  She knows this.  She knows it very well.

So when it’s 5:30 in the morning and Mama does not want to get out of bed yet, my tiny fairy-creature will crawl up to me and say, “Eat!  Eat!”  Like she is starving.  Like she is about to faint on the spot.  Like I’ve never fed her in her life.

And even though I KNOW that once she has me out of bed and downstairs, she will magically not be hungry anymore… what if this is the one time that she is?  What kind of mother would I be if I let her wither away in starvation so I can get another couple minutes in my cozy bed?

So she dupes me.  Every single morning.  I cross my fingers that she will eat a full meal for once, and she takes those dreams and she crushes them in her tiny hands.  It is very sad for me.

Well, today the con has evolved.

Most of the day was typical, with me making her lots of food and her eating maaaaaybe a bite or two of about half the things I presented.  By the time we got to dinner, I decided to just stop trying and make corn dog bites.

But then… something completely magical happened!  She ate them!  She ate a LOT of them!  I watched her put them into her minuscule mouth and scamper off to enjoy them and then come back asking for more!  And more!  Kid went through three whole plates of them and was still coming back!  I was delirious with exultation.  I texted my husband and let him know that we were finally good parents capable of meeting our child’s basic needs.

And then I saw this:

Just in case you don’t know what you’re looking at, that is a pile of the mini-hot dogs found inside corn dog bites.  Somehow, and I have not yet ascertained how, my toddler figured out how to put the food into her mouth, chew off the deep-fried breading with no nutritional value (yes, I know that the nutritional value of hot dogs is not high, either, but at least it’s meat!) and then discretely spit out the insides and stash them on my entertainment system.  ALL WHILE I WAS IN THE SAME ROOM, PERIODICALLY CHECKING TO MAKE SURE SHE WAS STILL CHEWING.

She finished the third plate and came back asking for more and I was like:

Yes, I grow a beard when I’m angry.  Why?

A Riddle

Ok, I have a riddle for you.  How do I occupy my extremely busy toddler today?

Don’t answer yet!  I can practically see you bursting with craft ideas and educational games to nurture and cultivate her adorable mind.  But hold your horses.  You haven’t heard the rules yet.

Rule #1:

It has to be something I can do without a car.  We have one car and for some reason my husband thinks that he should get to use it to go to work every day.  Psh.

Oh, and he already left for the day.  So this also means I cannot go buy anything to use at home, either.

Rule #2:

It has to be something I can do without moving, like, at all.  See, I’m 8 months pregnant.  That means my body is one enormous (and I do mean enormous) column of pain right now.

“Pain is in the mind!” you say.  “When I was 8 months pregnant I ran a triathlon while teaching my 2-year-old to tango!”

First of all, get off my blog.  This blog is not for you.

Second of all, I was like you once.  My first pregnancy was a delight.  I took walking tours.  I climbed mountains.  People said things to me like, “You’re the spryest pregnant woman I’ve ever met!”

Turns out… not every pregnancy is the same.  And this one is of the Pain Column variety.  My ob-gyn actually said the following to me:

“You need to start limiting your strenuous activity.  Like standing.  Try not to stand too much anymore.”

So… moving is off the table.

Rule #3:

It cannot involve anything that my daughter will want to put in her mouth.  Because she has destroyed a lot of things that way.  Also, I do not want her to choke and die.  Or poison herself.  Or create super weird poops that I do not want to see.

So what does she like to put in her mouth, you ask?  Oh.  Everything.  Absolutely everything.  Except for actual food.

Rule #4:

If your suggestion is to watch a movie with her, the movie you suggest cannot be anything other than Trolls.  If you tell me to watch anything other than Trolls, what you are really telling me to do is watch a tantrum.  And, you know, no thank you.

Rule #5:

I AM NOT WATCHING TROLLS AGAIN.  I.  CAN’T.

 

That’s all the rules!  Easy, right?  Great.  I look forward to your brilliant solutions.

Dear Morning: Why!?

I want my daughter to excel in life.  As she acquires new skills, like talking and walking and opening a tube of toothpaste with her teeth, I enjoy watching her get better and better with each attempt.  It makes me proud, even when she gets so successful at twisty caps that I have to hide the toothpaste from her permanently so that she doesn’t squeeze the whole tube into her mouth and die.

BUT, when the skill she’s trying to acquire is waking up a little earlier each day to see how far she can push Mommy’s patience, I am less on board.

Yesterday we started our day at 5:22am with me whispering “Please make me happy, Princess Poppy” into my mug of coffee because I can no longer distinguish my life from Trolls.  And of the Trolls characters, I definitely relate most to Bergens before like 10am.

We then proceeded to have SUCH a delightful day!  My sleepy, fussy child threw charming tantrums about everything from what she ate to what she did to whether or not Mommy was allowed to have a blanket on her legs (usually no, but sometimes decidedly yes and how dare I suggest otherwise).

Surely, I thought to myself, this will be a one-day thing and she will be so sleepy tonight that she will quickly return to her usual 7am wake-up schedule.  The sun will come out tomorrow.  Maybe even BEFORE I open my eyes!

Wrong.  This morning started at 5:17.

It’s like 7am now, and she has had the following strong opinions so far:

  1. We should watch Netflix.
  2. We should not watch that on Netflix; pick something else.
  3. We should not watch that either.
  4. We should not watch that either.
  5. We should not watch that either (you get the gist).
  6. We should go upstairs and eat breakfast.
  7. We should not eat breakfast; breakfast is terrible. I would rather starve than eat absolutely anything you put in front of me.
  8. We should watch Netflix.
  9. Mama should not have a blanket on her lap.
  10. Mama should not even have a blanket on the floor in front of her; that is much too close. The blanket needs to be on the other side of the room.
  11. This blanket is too heavy.
  12. Everything is terrible.
  13. My diaper does not need to be changed despite strong evidence to the contrary.
  14. Mama should share her coffee (HARD PASS).
  15. We should not try to go back to sleep, why would you even suggest that, we are having a great time.
  16. Bubbles should be dumped on the floor and Mama is mean for saying they shouldn’t.
  17. Everything is the worst and nothing could possibly make it better.
  18. Alright, fine, bathtime with bubbles is pretty ok.

So… she’s calm for the moment, playing in the tub with my husband.  But I know in my heart that this is only a temporary truce.

Also, my husband leaves for work in about half an hour.

Send help.