Monday, November 23, 2009

The new teacher

One of the toddler's teachers left in September.  This is very sad; we really liked her.  The daycare has been looking for a new teacher for a while and finally found one two weeks ago.  This teacher is a man.  On his first day, my husband happened to walk the kids in at the same time as her other teacher, who told my husband about Mr. Teacher.  Not in a "hey, guess what?" way either.  She was really concerned about this teacher being a man and told my husband the school would be sending home letters about this and went on and on like it was a big deal.  When my husband called to tell me, I was shocked.  Who cares if he is a man?  It is not like he is all alone with a bunch of girls or something - there are two teachers in her room, the two 2-year old rooms share a bathroom and do most of their activities in a group together, which means there are usually four teachers around the kids.  I let my husband, my dad, my father-in- law, and my brother-in-law take my daughter to the bathroom; this guy is a teacher, I expect he will be professional about things.  We've met him, he is a nice guy, late 20s/early 30s, perfectly normal.  He has been here for weeks and apparently there are still some issues with parents not liking this idea.  I watch lots of crime dramas on tv and tend to jump to scary thoughts, but in this case, I guess I believe in the goodness of people and trust that Mr. Teacher has no alternative plan and likes kids the same way Mrs. Teacher likes kids.

Is it just me?  Am I abnormal for thinking this is perfectly fine?  I just really do not get it, I think this is great.  He provides a different kind of authority figure and a way for kids to see that men and women can do all different types of jobs.  But in this school, my opinion is apparently in the minority!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Breathe

Yesterday as I was putting the toddler in the car in the daycare parking lot, I looked over and there was a dad, standing by his car door.  I heard a squeal/screech coming from his car and he looked up to the sky, took a deep breath, and then got in his car.  I love that I got to see that moment.  I think with all the sterotypes and daycare guilt, whether you have it or feel like you should have it, working moms and dads feel like they should just bounce right in to the car happy for the next few hours they get to spend with their awesome, amazing offspring. 

But, that is not always the case.  Sometimes I wish I could go home and sit on the couch all night with no responsibilities.  Sometimes I want nothing more than to go home and play with my kids.  It all depends on my mood.   I make no excuses and feel no need to justify why I work, but I know many moms do.  Whether or not you feel guilty, it is okay to take a step back and take a deep breath.  You always love your kids, but that does not mean you need to want to spend every second of every day loving every single thing they do.  Sometimes, I go to daycare high on life, wanting nothing more than to go home and play with the kids.  But, then the toddler does not want to hold my hand in the parking lot, and by the time we get to the car she is upset and calling for daddy, and the second the baby realizes I am buckling her in to her carseat, she starts with the tears, and my mood deflates.  Those are the days I take extra long walking from the toddler's side of the car to the driver's seat.  Yesterday, watching that man, I felt united with him as a working parent.   That is what this is all about - being a community.  Whether we talk, or just observe each other, all parents share some connection to this world and this life of parenting and all its joys, sorrows, happiness, and stress.   

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Well, blog-world, I've got news...I'm pregnant!

My oldest will turn three about four weeks before our due date, so I will miss the coveted (heh) 3 under 3 title.  The toddler and the baby are 19 months apart.  The baby and the pumpkin (awesome nickname given based on the fact that we found out on Halloween) will be 17 months apart.  I actually really liked the spacing between the toddler and the baby, and I am hopeful that the pumpkin is as awesome as my other kids so I can enjoy this just as much. 

Another baby!  Wow :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daddy's Girl

The toddler is a daddy's girl.  100,000%  She has been since she was born.  If I had not breastfed, I probably would not have held her for the first year.  It was nice when he was always the one who could calm her down, because I got more time hands free.  But, now, she talks, and whines, and cries.  "daaaddddyyyyyyy..."  I think our neighbors probably think I beat her.  Every day when we get home from daycare she tells me "daddy wants to get me out" and I tell her "daddy is still working" and she tells me "I wait for daddy to get me out" and I tell her "daddy will be working for a long time, we have to get out of the car".  When I forcefully have to pry her out of the car, she proceeds to scream and cry and carry on as if it is torture.  And then we enter the house, and she calls out for him, having forgotten the conversation we just had!  This is followed by more tears when I explain - once again - the work situation.  It is sad.  Doesn't this picture make you want to give her a big hug?  I took it to send my husband.  Nothing like guilt to shorten the work day!

Another one of my favorite phrases, which I hear almost daily is when I say "I love you" and she says "No.  I love daddy".  Knife.  Through. The. Heart.  The only remedy for this is when she says "No.  Daddy wants to take me to poop".  Yes.  Yes, he does.  Her poo stinks!  Seriously, I do not know what they feed those kids at daycare, but yuck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kids & TV

When I was pregnant I was on the mommy boards and there were SO many posts about "I will NEVER let my kid watch TV" and "I will let my kid watch TV and they will be fine, so suck it". I briefly flirted with the idea of the former - being such a good mommy and so involved that my kid would never watch TV. But, then I looked at my life and realized a) I did not care that much and really do not think it has that much of an effect, and b) I want that free time to myself!

When the toddler was born, I would watch TV while hanging out with her. When she started doing "daycare" - my friend brought her daughter over to our house and took care of them both - the kids watched Sesame Street every day, maybe twice some (hard) days. When I got home in the evening we would play for a bit, but she always wanted to watch more Sesame Street. She could have watched that show all day long, every day! I didn't let her, obviously, but she watched a lot and I worried sometimes that we were bad parents. Now, I think it was fine. She enjoyed Sesame Street and she learned some things. But, we are busier. Now she goes to a daycare, and I have a longer commute, and by the time we get home in the afternoon/evening (5ish), I never think to turn on the TV. Weekends are so full, we do not watch it then either. Honestly, these days, it's crazy if my husband and I sit down to watch one hour-long show two days in a row! So, our kids pretty much never watch TV. If the toddler is having a bad day or is extremely tired, she will ask for a show/movie and we oblige, but we never turn it on for our peace of mind. And, the baby! She has enough entertainment trying to keep up with the toddler.

I have not changed my stance on watching TV. I do not care if my kids - or any kids - do or do not watch TV. I just think it is interesting something that was once a huge part of our lives (Sesame Street) is now a fading memory, and one that the baby won't have, or at least not for a while. It is neat to see that my toddler can think of so many things to do and play that she does not want to watch TV unless she needs to decompress. She is growing and changing so much, it is incredible to watch.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

My weekend was great.  The weather was beautiful Sunday, but I really did not enjoy it much as we were at the in-laws and stayed inside.  The visit was nice and we had a great family dinner with the husband's extended family. 

Saturday, though, was amazing.  I have been SLACKING on housework, laundry, everything.  There is a good reason, but still, I felt like I was drowing!  My husband was going to help some friends with a house project, so he called ahead to see if our friend (the wife) would mind watching the toddler.  She agreed, leaving just me and the perfect, wonderful, amazing baby.  Seriously, the baby is so good she kills me.  I closed her in the family room using the North States Superyard XT Gate.  If you do not have one, you are seriously missing out on some awesomeness.  Anyway, I closed the baby in that for a while, let her jump in the johnny jump up for a while, let her play in the exersaucer for a while, and she was fine the whole time.  She didn't need me to hold her or do any more than feed her, change her diaper, and hold her while she ate her bottle and fell asleep.  This allowed me to get stuff done.  My goal was to do the basics - dusting, vacuuming.  But, she was so good, I not only dusted and vacuumed the main floor and upstairs, I also polished furniture, windexed windows and mirrors, cleaned the half bath, mopped, did laundry, did the stairs, and in a random burst of energy toward the end, took care of my appliances.  My microwave, which is generally gross because someone in my house (*cough* husband *cough*) does not believe in covering up dishes of food, is now spotless. 

Not only am I not drowning in housework, I'm all caught up and ahead of the game.  If I can keep up this momentum and maintain a fairly easy cleaning schedule, I will be fine until the next meltdown!  Oh, and in case you were worried about me, I still had plenty of time to take breaks and catch up on my shows sitting on our brand new couches!  My husband rocks!  My friends rock!  And this week is going to rock!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grandparents Rock...why do I feel so guilty?

My parents called last night to check dates with me so they can take the toddler to see Elmo Live! That is very exciting as she loves Elmo and will surely enjoy the performance (especially since I cautioned them against tickets that would put her too close to the scary people in costumes). My parents are always doing stuff like this - I swear, they scour the newspaper and community newsletters, listen to commercials, and crawl the internet looking for awesome things to do with the kids. They rock like that!

Why, then, do I feel so guilty? I am proud of myself if I take them to the mall play place. We've gone to the zoo once with the toddler, when the baby was still in my womb. We went to the beach a couple times, but really, we do so little of these fun, awesome, kid activities it is embarrassing! We live next to DC, there is TONS to do around here, and yet we are always too busy or too tired or too something. I need to step up my game. Otherwise, in 20 years, my kids will look back through pictures and ask why all the pictures of really cool activities only have my parents in them. I'll just tell them it is because we were taking the pictures. duh!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fairness and Equality

When we were kids, every Christmas we each got the same number of gifts in our stacks that added up to the same dollar amount (obviously something we learned later in life). Once we hit middle school, my mom relaxed her requirements and got us the same dollar amount, but didn't care how many gifts we got. This allowed my parents to get us some "cooler" (aka, more expensive) stuff. I like this idea and plan to do the same with my kids. I don't know that I'll pick out a set amount every year to spend on their birthdays and whatnot, but I will try to keep track to keep it equal. That's fine. The problem is, I take it too far! My profile picture for first I had one of the whole family, it was far away and you couldn't see my face, but since I don't have one of just my face or me with both girls, I put up a picture of the whole family. I eventually changed it, but at first I struggled.  PIN numbers at work - I want to use a birthday, but can't decide whose! Why does that get to me? It's not like the toddler is going to know if I use the baby's name for a password but not hers. But, it bothers me. Literally, eats at me every time I type in the PIN number favoring one instead of the other. It's crazy! I know!

I'm worried that if this little crap eats at me now, I'm going to be some sort of freak when they get older and can do more/go more places!

Friday, November 6, 2009


My daughter calls me "mama".  Not "mom" or "mommy", but "mama".  I like that a lot!  I think at school they mostly say "mommies" and my in-laws frequently forget and say "mommy", but for the most part my daughter never wavers.  I think it is cute, and sweet, and apparently it is what I called my mom for ages, which makes it sentimental too.

What is bothering me is that I think of it as "mama" not "momma".  My sister once pointed that difference out to me - when she saw me sign a card or something.  Since then, I've noticed almost everyone spells it "momma".  I hate misspellings.  I also hate bad punctuation, but really really hate when people misspell things, especially when mixing up words, such as their, there, and they're, or bare and bear, here and hear, etc.  I prefer "mama", so I will stick with that spelling, but it really bothers me and I felt the need to acknowledge that I know I am being different! 

Now, why am I so bothered by this?  My need for acceptance?  Add this to the list of things I will talk to a therapist about when I finally get around to fixing my oddities!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the garage

My garage is crippling.  I do not understand how people live without a garage.  I really don't.  I have two friends without garages and it blows my mind that they can live without this space.  Yet, I hate our garage and sometimes wish we did not have one, because then maybe we would not keep so much crap.  It fills up faster than our kitchen trash can! 

A year or so ago, a friend offered to come build some shelves in our garage.  We have hanging shelves and three store bought shelf/rack things, but it was not enough.  He and my husband built a workbench and four HUGE - deep and tall - shelves.  This was awesome!  The shelves are incredibly useful.  But, when they were done building, they took all the boxes and crap and piled them up on the shelves.  So, it was not long before we cluttered the floor of the garage once again. 

In May, I switched jobs.  On my last day, I had an early morning exit interview.  Instead of going to daycare to pick my kids up early, I used the nice weather as motivation to clean out the garage.  And I did amazing.  I went through every box, organized all the shelves, the workbench, etc.  I even swept the floor!  The only things left were a couple boxes of my husband's stuff for him to sort through and all his crap that I piled on his workbench.  He was never a big fan of this project and never bothered to go through his stuff.  Now, those few things are buried under a work table, all the tools required to put in the hardwood floors (project:  complete) and do the baseboards (project:  not even started/can't afford), a couch, and who knows what else!  We will probably find quite a few trash bags hidden in random spaces when we get around to cleaning out the garage again. 

I understand why we have all the crap we have, and am not complaining (my sister will get the couch soon, and the tools will go back after we have time to do the baseboards).  But, it has not even been six months and the garage is as bad, if not worse, than it was before!  This is crazy!!!  I need a day off to clean and organize...luckily Veteran's day is next week.  I think I'll use that daycare we pay so much for and focus on organizing my house!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

how hard is it to do your damn job

Where I work, conference rooms are scarce and we have to use other organizations for audio bridges.  It is ridiculous.  Everything about the process frustrates me beyond belief.  If you schedule a room in advance, you are likely to be bumped because a more senior person needs a meeting or someone has a VTC requirement and you only have an audio bridge requirement.  That is fine - being moved to a different room is annoying, but manageable.  Although, I have a WEEKLY recurring meeting that has been moved the last 4 weeks in a row and it is really freaking irritating to have to e-mail everyone who attends from my office every week with a different room, or no room at all because sometimes rooms just plain are not available!  How productive is that?!

Today we have a call with people all over the WORLD in many different time zones, some who call on their way in to work, some on their way home, and others first thing in the morning.  The people who schedule this crap - because, you know, we aren't allowed to book our own - have changed the room and the number.  The call starts in 30 minutes.  How are we going to tell everyone the number changed?  My guess, we aren't.  It's going to be a big clusterfuck and we are going to look like morons. 

Unfortunately, this happens all too often (though not usually with calls that involve every time zone).  Just yesterday I tried to change the name of a meeting that was already set up, get a new audio bridge, and make it recurring.  Instead of cancelling the old meeting, they tried changing everything about the new meeting and I got no less than (and I am not exaggerating) 10 calendar requests.  I am not even sure it is correct.  And, because the usual audio people were not answering their phone, we had to get a bridge from a different organization, and they don't do recurring meetings, so I have to call weekly to get a number.  WTF?!

This is not rocket science.  But, because these people don't attend meetings or don't get how confusing it can be, or just don't care (not sure which because they are all very nice), nothing ever changes.  I almost never set up meetings because it is such a hassle.  This is NOT efficient.  And I am PISSED. 

rant over.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Potty Trained?

The toddler is potty trained.  She was pretty much completely potty trained by her second birthday, which is just awesome.  But, she still has accidents, mostly when she is too lazy to tell us she has to go.  And because we are so used to her telling us, we forget to ask. 

Last night she had an accident, her second (or third?) in a few days and  I was really irritated.  So, I marched her upstairs to take off her wet clothes and put her on the toilet.  Then I left to go change out of my work clothes.  I came back in, got her off the potty and was helping her get redressed...

Toddler:  Your shirt is wet
Me:  No, it's not. 
T:  It is. 
Me:  (feeling shirt) No, it's not
T:  It is wet, mama, because I put my hand in the toilet. 

Pure Awesomeness!  At least it pulled me out of my funk!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Thanks to Cleaning up the Clutter, I've realized that - once again - my house is becoming very cluttered.  I think clutter is the real problem behind my house being so messy, dirty, not as spotless as I would like!  Because if I have to pick up before I can clean up, the cleaning is never going to happen, and that kind of failure looming ahead makes the picking up nearly impossible.  So, tonight, despite the disgusting bathrooms and dusty furniture, I think I'll focus on a few decluttering projects. 

I plan to clean out the toy box - switching toys from the toy box to the storage bin, and hopefully getting the toy box to stop overflowing.
I also am going to reorganize the - not one, but - two junk drawers in the kitchen. 
Lastly, I will take all the mail to be filed downstairs, and file all the papers that have accumulated in the handy box sitting on top of the file cabinet. 

I kind of also want to go to the gym.  We'll see what wins...