Monday, June 27, 2016

Pull-Ups and Good Nights

Potty training....I still rank this as one of the top 5 most annoying things.

E1 was potty trained at 25 months in one weekend.
E2 was potty trained at 34 months in one weekend.

Potty trained in this house is defined by daytime. The bladder can only accomplish so much and if you train a child before they are ready, well, it is not going to work. I do not "night train." I will not wake my child at a certain time to use the toilet, I will not put a potty in my child's room so they can pee alone at 2 am, I will not do anything but sleep at night and only wake up for a crying child that damn well better be sick. Holding your bladder all night happens when the body says it can do it. I believe this. I truly do.

Keeping all this mind, E1 was dry through the night by the time she was three. Her pull- ups were dry for a week straight and that was that.

Side note: I ONLY use pull-ups at night. I do not use them to potty train. I use them so if my child pees at night, I do not have to change sheets multiple times a night.

E2 is still in pull-ups at night. SIGH. I, personally, am OK with this. I don't have to change sheets from an accident and she sleeps soundly which means I sleep. The problem - E2 is not OK with this. She desperately wants to wear panties at night. She consistently asks to wear them. Daily. E2 gets the same response, "Keep your pull-up dry 7 times and you can wear panties."

There have been weeks when she makes three nights in a row, four nights, but then will wake up SOAKING wet. We start all over. E2 will stop asking for panties for a few weeks and then her pleading and begging starts again.

And then this week happened. She literally had seven pull-ups left. E2 noticed the small amount and with a huge smile asked, "Can I wear panties when I sleep when they are all gone?" I again reminded her to keep them all dry and yes, panties at night will happen.

Five nights and five glorious mornings of her SO excited to be dry, counting down of how many more sleeps she had left, the glorious pajamas and panties was coming and coming soon.

Last night, 3:45 in the morning, E2 started crying and all I can hear in the monitor is "Mommy, oh no, I am wet. My pull-up is wet." She was so sad. So sad, that I was sad. I changed her, told her it was OK, accidents happen, etc. E2 cried and went back to sleep.

She woke up sad. Defeated. We changed subjects had a great morning until we stopped at the grocery store. I bought more pull-ups. I had to put her in the last one last night after she was wet. There in the baby aisle of the grocery store, E2 cried and whimpered that she wants to wear panties and for me to please not buy the pull-ups.

I am crying on the inside debating whether or not changing sheets every 4 to 5 nights is that big of a deal when I decided yes, it is a big deal especially at 3:45 in the damn morning. So we compromised and I bought a small pack.

I know she is almost ready. I know she is just about there, but the look on her face in the grocery store is burned into my mind. It was like kicking an injured dog.

I am sad for her because it is a goal she has yet to accomplish.

It'll happen. I know she will be proud of herself when it does, but until that day I will remind her of how great she is and I will remember she will not go to college sleeping in pull-ups.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Passionate Child

E1 is passionate. I should know. I am passionate. When you're passionate, everything is big. You love big, you believe big, you laugh big, but the flip side carries emotions that are difficult for an adult let alone a child. Your sensitivity is big, your frustration is big, your anger is big. Passion makes for a phenomenal employee, mother, sister, friend, etc if you can handle the roller coaster of emotions.

Yesterday we experienced another passionate storm with E1. E1 can get really  mad and frustrated. She can clench her fists, stomp her feet, and slam her door, or she can literally scream with or without tears rolling down her face. I have to walk away when she's mad. My mouth wants to say things like, "Are you fucking kidding me, calm the fuck down, why the hell are you even mad, you're being a bitch, etc." My brain and heart know after almost eight years to say, "I'll talk to you when you are calm."

I cannot tell you how many nights I have worried about her. She is passionate. She is smart. She is a child who feels emotions so intense that when she she is happy and laughing your whole world lights up and when she is mad - stay away. E1 is me. She is her mother's daughter. This is what worries me. I can make a decision based on anger and hell hath no fury like me.

We know she can control her anger because E1 never behaves this way at school. Never. The outburst is reserved for home - fun times for us. We have had a behavior chart, we have bribed with outings, we have taken things away, we have earned screen time, TV time, play dates, etc. The Take A Break Box (see blog post) has helped IF I can diffuse the situation early enough, but when I do not see it coming...damn it. The chain helped (see blog post Strength) and I do not remember why we stopped. Shame on me. I am so guilty of putting something in place, it works, the behavior subsides and the idiot in my brain takes over and tricks me into believing we are finished with that phase.

Parenting is not a phase. Children are not a phase. Everything just comes and goes. And sometimes when it comes again, it has grown.

Yesterday's episode involved both girls and it escalated because E1 got angry at her sister and instead of working it out or coming to us for help she turned her back on her sister and refused to acknowledge her. We do not ignore family in this house, we do not turn our backs on family in this house, we do not disrespect FAMILY. This not negotiable. May you get mad, angry, frustrated at your family? Hell yes. But, you will communicate you need a break, alone time, time to think. You will NOT ignore. That is bull shit. And it is damn rude.

So after E1 finished screaming and after E1 calmed down, with tears down her face she said, "I am only 7 - what do you expect from me? To be an adult?" Was she right? Do we expect too much? In some respects, yes. In others, no. I have high expectations for both my girls and my own passion will not allow me to settle for anything less than their best. I am understanding more and more each day how this is a blessing and a curse for my children. I will deal with my own expectations as I help them deal with their own daily lives. I think this is why I drink so much coffee. It is exhausting being a parent.

With E1, we discussed ALL our previous behavior plans, interventions, punishments. E1 let us know taking things away only makes her madder and makes it too hard to earn things back because she starts each day mad. (That is a damn good point.) So, the hubs and I brainstormed again and we went back to what we know. E1 needs to SEE her progress.

We have a jar that we will fill with a pom pom when a day is completed without a major storm. E1 can get mad, frustrated, angry, etc but she cannot escalate to screaming. When the jar is filled, E1 receives a "small prize" of her choosing. E1 expressed that if the jar is too big she will never reach the goal. Together, we decided to start with a small jar and have the jar size grow as she gets better at controlling her anger.

I know this is difficult for E1. I know when she gets frustrated and angry her first response is to clench fists, stomp, or scream. I know it is hard to handle an emotion bigger than yourself. I know this is a challenging task for adults and to ask a child to be successful in this is a tall feat.

What I need to know is to be patient. I need to know that this will take time. I need to know that some days are still going to suck. I need to know that we will be dealing with this for her entire life.

I hope and pray that her passion leads her to great accomplishments and that we will have given her enough strength when she is frustrated and angry, she can move forward. That is what life is about - moving forward.

Raising a passionate child has reduced me to tears, has brought me intense joy and laughter, and has given me a love bigger than myself.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Car

Anyone who knows me knows my house (and life) is extremely organized. Organized to a fault. Everything has a place. If something is on the wrong side of a shelf, I will move it. I cannot stand a mess. I will make a huge mess with the girls when we play, but it must get cleaned up. The best way I can describe myself is to tell you when we moved into this house six years ago, we were unpacked in one day. ONE day. When I went to sleep that first night in our new home, every box was unpacked and everything was put away. EVERYTHING.

Keeping this mind, WHY the hell is my car such a damn mess???? It is like a garbage can on wheels. I don't understand how it happens. I can get my car washed and detailed and within an hour it is so fucking messy. WHY? I'll tell you why - MY DAMN KIDS.

When I was younger my Aunt J and I spent a lot of time together. I remember calling her car "The Cheerio Car." There were cheerios all over the car. ALL OVER. My cousin loved Cheerios and Goldfish. My mom would be grossed out by the car and I just did not understand...until now.

I took inventory this morning.
In my car is:

  • Two pairs of panties
  • Shorts
  • Two shirts
  • A swimsuit
  • A towel
  • A tennis racket
  • A hat
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • A softball glove
  • Two tennis balls that are rolling around
  • A travel potty
  • Blueberry muffins
  • Pretzels
  • Cheerios
  • Juice boxes
  • Water bottles
  • Stickers
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Ten books
  • Three magna-doodles - one of which is broken
  • Countless ponytail holders
  • A coffee mug
  • A travel coffee cup
  • Wet Ones
  • Socks for the trampoline park
  • A kid purse
  • Gum wrappers
  • Food wrappers
  • A sticker book
  • The paper the stickers come on
  • A stroller
  • Crumbs
  • More crumbs
  • Coins
  • A few small toys that are under the seats and the girls cannot remember they even brought them in my car

I wish I could tell my girls and their friends we no longer eat or drink in the car, but it is not something I truly care to do. I figure as they get older, the mess will lessen.

Until that day, I will drive my awesome minivan and keep praying when I pull up to the carpool line and open the door, nothing falls out.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Unicorn Ice Cream

This afternoon after a hot morning outside, I thought it would be a good idea to make Unicorn Ice Cream. I am an idiot. Both girls cried. Both girls whined. In their defense, we had a big morning and I like I said I am an idiot for thinking another project would be a fun way to kill some time this afternoon.

Between the whines and tears (which were over stupid things and not related to the project) they really did enjoy making this treat. We will not know how it tastes until morning, but can heavy whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk taste badly?? 

The girls were able to do each step independently and needed minimal help. We made two because I thought it would cut down on the my turn crap and she isn't sharing bull shit. I, again, am a moron and forgot my kids are total assholes when they are tired and hot - even if they are participating in something exciting.

My fault for doing this creative idea on an already busy day. I promise, they liked it. We will eat the unicorn ice cream tomorrow. (It has to be in the freezer for 8 hours)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Water Gun Painting

It is summer time! We love summer and are always up to something. Today, we did water gun painting. The girls were squirting each other with the water guns and I asked E1 if she wanted to do something 'cool' and of course she said yes. E2 will agree to anything.

I added the entire jar of blue tempera paint (more powder = deeper hue) to our bucket of water and voila, paint! Both girls had so much fun spraying designs all over the driveway. The paint will eventually wash away and this activity kept their attention for almost an hour and it is over 100 degrees today.

Supplies: tempera paint - I order in bulk from amazon, a bucket filled with water- my bucket is from wal-mart, and water guns - mine are from the dollar store.

Added bonus: this activity definitely helps in the fine motor skills department!

Don't paint each other - I cannot guarantee the paint will come out of clothes.

**We might paint our fence as a follow up activity.

Cruising With Kids

My family just returned from our summer vacation. Our vacation of choice this summer was a cruise. The hubs and I LOVE cruising so as soon as the girls were old enough, we cruised with them. The first time was so successful we decided to do it again.

Let me be clear, there is nothing about a family vacation that says vacation. The only vacation we had was from our alarms. The girls are not self sufficient so as long as we are on vacation together, there is no vacation from daily parenting crap. All your kids' annoying habits come on vacation. Your annoying habits come on vacation. And for the icing on the cake, the hub's annoying habits come on vacation. Why the hell does he leave the bathroom door open when he takes a leak? For the love of everything holy I'd rather wake to an alarm clock than to the sound of him peeing. Jesus man, shut the fucking door!



We have always cruised with Royal Caribbean. I cannot tell you one thing about any other cruise line, so do not ask. I don't what is better, what is worse, etc. I ONLY know RCCL. This summer we cruised on The Allure of The Seas. Google this ship - you MUST see it. AMAZING.

Tips for cruising with kids.

1. If you can afford it, get two rooms or a suite and try to get a room with balcony. Cruise ship cabins are SMALL. They are so damn small that when you are in the bathroom, you can sit on the toilet and still reach the sink to spit if you are brushing your teeth. You can literally shit while you brush your teeth. The bathroom plus the room are so small you can trip and have no where to walk if just one pair of shoes is left out. If you leave a hair dryer out, the whole vanity area is full. SMALL, SMALL, SMALL! On the flip side, you are only in there to sleep or to get your groove on with your spouse, so as long as the bed is the right the cruise!

2.  You will not get sea sick. The ship is HUGE. Typically you do not feel anything. You may here or there feel something, but in general it is not an issue. Our kids had to look outside to know if the ship was moving. In my "old age" I will tell you I get nauseous from swinging with my kids, spinning in circles, riding in the backseat of a car, the teacups at Disney, a carousel, and from my husband's driving (just his, no one else's). I do NOT get motion sickness on the cruise. Don't worry about that. If you are worried, you can walk around with a patch behind your ear or wear some bracelet thing. Book the cruise!

3. EAT AND DRINK EVERYTHING! Seriously. Drop a few pounds before you leave. The fruit is fresh, the alcohol just flows, the meals are incredible, the specialty restaurants are phenomenal, there is 24/7 ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, etc. You will gain weight. You will gain weight. You will gain weight. Let your kids eat! Come on, live a little. French fries are not the devil. Ice cream for breakfast is not the worst idea. Virgin pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris by the pool are fun. Cookies, cakes, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, vegetables, fajitas, chili, chips, salad bars, turkey, prime rib, omelettes, pancakes, waffles, a full bar at every corner - pure gluttony. It is a week- just eat and drink and Book the cruise!

4. Order room service! Room service is included in the price of your vacation. Yes. Included. We wake up every morning for a week to room service. We eat breakfast and drink coffee on the balcony of our room overlooking the ocean and just smile. It is my favorite part of the day. There is nothing more gorgeous than the deep blue sea meeting the light blue sky - breathtaking. The girls enjoyed eating in their beds. I for one, hate sleeping with crushed up frosted flakes. Book the cruise!

5. Send your kids to the kids' club. In order to participate, a child must be 3 and potty trained. If they do not meet those requirements, you pay for the babysitting. Three and toilet trained? Kids' Club is included in the price of your cruise. The kids can go to "camp" from 9-12, 2-5, and 7-10. It is divided up into ages 3-5, 6-8, and 9-11. Twelve and older go to the teen area and that is come and go as you please. The teen area looked awesome and I know they have some dance clubs just for them. Our girls went to camp every night from 7-10. A few nights they stayed later and we paid by the hour. After 10 pm, there is a fee. Our girls made friends, enjoyed the activities, and would go running each night to their camp room. Every. Night. Book the cruise!

6. Do not make your kids eat with you at night. Dinners on cruise ships are LONG. Whether you are in the main dining room or a specialty restaurant, the three course dinner (sometimes four) is eaten leisurely. If your child can sit for two hours, eat with them. Mine can make it about an hour and then they get bored, fidgety, etc. We feed our kids in the buffet area (Windjammer) before camp and then the hubs and I have date night. We get a nice break from the kids and don't have to listen to any whining during dinner or listen to them say they don't like the food choices. Book the cruise!

7. Enjoy the amenities on the ship. Included in the price of our cruise was zip lining on the ship, put-putt, ice skating, surfing/boogie boarding, table tennis, basketball, rock wall climbing, and a carousel. There is also a fitness center. There are many classes you can take (wine pairing, yoga, cooking, etc). Some classes are free and others you pay for. It is all printed out on a daily itinerary left in your stateroom each night. Book the cruise!

8. Have fun while at port. There is always something to do on the islands. You can snorkel, go on an ATV, swim with dolphins, hike, scuba, lay at the beach, shop - and so much more. We swam with dolphins and went to a turtle farm in Grand Cayman, we hiked in Jamaica, we went to a butterfly farm and swam in the ocean in St. Maarten, we swam and collected sea shells and rocks in Labadee - the islands are beautiful. Our girls love seeing new places and E1 picks up the differences in economics, population, agriculture, etc. We have some great educational conversations while cruising. Book the cruise!

9.  Stay on the boat while in port. When the ship is in port, almost everyone gets off to explore. The pools are empty and the ship is quiet. You can enjoy all the food, bars, and amenities with very few people. This cruise, we chose one port of call to stay on board and we had a great day. This decision is not for everyone, but we enjoy a calm day of nothing while on vacation. Book the cruise!

10. Have a great time! Sleep in, stay up late, go to bed early, get up early, lay in bed all day, swim all day, eat all day, drink all day, do whatever you want - the possibilities are endless! Just remember, not all kids are go with the flow so set appropriate expectations for your kids. They whine, it is hot. They whine, they are tired. They whine, they are kids. Book the cruise!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Happy Anniversary Tomboys!

It has been one year since I started blogging! What started out as a blog dedicated to all our project ideas has grown into something a tad bigger. I am so grateful for this blog. I have really enjoyed sharing our ups and downs and hope you have had fun recreating some our ideas or felt less alone in your parenting.

I want to say thank you to all my family and friends that encouraged me to blog and a big thank you to everyone who continues to read my posts.

The Top Ten Most Read Blog Posts:

  1. 365 Days
  2. Real Family
  3. Unwanted Membership
  4. Barbie
  5. Strength
  6. Dick and Balls
  7. The Birds and The Bees
  8. Take A Break Box
  9. My Daddy Is At Work
  10. To The Mom That Prayed With My Daughter

My little blog has been read by people in the United States, South Africa (thanks family!), Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Ghana (thanks family!), Russia, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, France, and China! This is what Blogger has reported to me...if your country was missed, blame the stats page!

On this one year anniversary, a very heart felt thank you goes to my Tomboys in Tiaras. E1 and E2, you are the sparkle in my eye, the love in my heart, the smile in my laugh, and the pain in my ass. I love you girls more today than yesterday!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY The Adventures of Tomboys in Tiaras!