Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Curious George: The Dark Side

A couple of months ago we axed our cable and stopped watching all the normal programs on television. I used to be glued to The Biggest Loser, Top Chef, and ANYTHING on HGTV. Hayden's shows of choice included Curious George, Word World and most other PBS cartoons. We thought that by getting rid of TV we would spend more time outside and doing creative things rather than sitting around zoning out. We didn't want to get rid of everything however, and Hayden was pretty addicted to his daily Curious George, so i went on and bought all the CG videos I could find so he wouldn't start feeling deprived....or whatever a 2 year old feels when they lose their tube watching privileges.

For the past two months now he's been watching George almost exclusively. For a time I marveled at what a good role model that little monkey is. He eats fruits and vegetables for snacks, he recycles, and he's Uber polite. All around good stuff. I failed to notice his monkey antics until recently.

Our last couple of trips to the grocery store have been a nightmare for me. Hayden runs away, grabs stuff randomly, grabs random people, shouts at the top of his lungs, and is generally embarrassing to shop with. At one point a few weeks ago when he was laying in the shopping cart using my expensive organic loaf of bread as a pillow and the organic avocados as a foot rest while simultaneously throwing a tantrum and ripping apart my cheese i decided to suspend all further shopping privileges for him. That worked for at least 2 days before i ran out of groceries and had no choice but to take him on another equally pleasurable shopping trip.

It was at this point that I realized George might have a dark side. A side i should have considered before letting my impressionable 2 year old watch him over and over. In addition to all his charming qualities George also climbs everything, frequently makes HUGE messes, and every single episode is based on how he colossally damages things and then learns how to fix them. I guess having my child model himself after a monkey isn't the best idea after all. ParentingFail.

We may be in the market for some new educational cartoons. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fun at the mall

What can I say, the race car was taken.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Diet Log: Ulceritititus or Something Else Equally Troubling

I completely lost count of what week I'm supposed to be on for my diet. Let's just say this is week 8 of 12. I had lost 14 lbs, up until my Dad came for a visit. We partied and at cheesecake like there was no tomorrow and I happily gained 2 lbs back. Since my Dad left I've been bummed out and as a result I broke my own cardinal rule and ate way more than any human being should be allowed to night. So I've had a few set backs in the past two weeks. I started over on Friday and have been doing okay since then. I appear to have hit a plateau which is unbelievably frustrating, but I've decided I would rather starve forever and remain at the same weight than slowly gain it all back.

I am starting to rave again at nights and beg Helmut to take me out for cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Today he told me he's pretty sure I must be pregnant again because the only time I crave cheeseburgers is when I'm carrying children in mah bellay (if that just went over your head you probably need to watch Austin Powers). My response: DO I LOOK LIKE I'M PREGNANT?! If I still do this diet must not be working or my husband has very little perception of my changing shape....or I haven't lost enough weight yet for people to notice...crap.

I also appear to have picked up an ulcer somewhere along the way. I'm not 100% sure that's what it is, but that's the easiest explanation for what I'm feeling. It's a steady burning gnawing pain in my belly that's been there for 7 weeks now. Some days it doesn't hurt at all, other days it drives me crazy. When my Dad was visiting it mysteriously disappeared for 2 weeks, only to start back up with a vengeance on Saturday and stay until this morning.

I found a home remedy for healing ulcers that involves drinking 1 liter of cabbage juice a day for 10 days. Up until this morning I found the idea too repulsive to try. I also had buried my juicer in a moving box 9 months ago and thought it would be impossible to find (note to self: don't pack your stuff 9 months before you sell your house).

After enduring the pain for 2.5 days [read: an eternity], I dug through the boxes in the garage, found my juicer and prepared a cabbage juice cocktail for Hayden and I. It was as awful tasting as it sounds. I downed 2 cups with only a little bit of gagging, while Hayden drank his, periodically letting me know how much he didn't like it. The relief was instantaneous. Almost unreal. I was so skeptical about the remedy that i could hardly believe when it worked. Granted the burning gnawing pain was replaced by a little nausea. It has been 12 hours now since I drank it and the pain is still gone. I had planned on drinking more tonight if it came back, but I guess I'll reserve that pleasure for tomorrow morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I have two things to say about this picture,

a) Mariah is wearing a sweater that my mom made for me when i was a baby.

b) This was taken a couple of hours after Hayden's rough and tough toddler playing style knocked over Mariah and she split her upper lip. You can hardly tell by looking at this picture though, I must have taken it before the majority of the swelling took place. Now she looks like she's had some professional work done. I'm talking lip augmentation people.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Having Babies Close in Age

I have five other brothers and sisters. Growing up my parents would give us little hints tips on making parenting easier, but at the time I didn't know that's what they were. I just thought they were annoying little factoids to be ignored. I also didn't know I wanted to have kids. I thought I would grow old as the uptight secretary... a notion I entertained for a 2 year period while working at one of the most beautiful, and poorly run camps in the world (they have since undergone some changes and from what I hear are now quite classy). So when they threw out the have-kids-2.5-years-apart-rule I happily ignored them.

After having Hayden I entered a phase of mothering ecstasy. He was such a sweet and perfect baby and my hormones were obviously drugging me into a utopian dreamworld. Helmut and I decided to ignore the have-kids-2.5-years-apart-rule, thinking the addition of a baby sister as soon as possible would only make things more wonderful, but I was wrong. Things are wonderful now, but for the first 6 months after I had my daughter I wondered if I would be able to live through stress of having two small children too young.

I've decided to make a pros and cons list for those of you who haven't had your second child yet and are thinking about it. There is so much controversy on this topic that I've decided not to give my actual opinion, but if you email me I WILL TELL YOU. Feel free to add stuff if you've already had your second, third or fourth, etc.

Pros of having kids less than 2.5 years apart:
1. They can share sippy cups.
2. They can share the same sized diapers.
3. Heck, they can share baby food (because the older child will want to eat baby food again once he sees his little sister eating it)
4. At some point in their lives they will become best friends and play well together (or so I've been told).

Cons of having kids less than 2.5 years apart:
1. Unless you're very diligent while pregnant with the second child you will be changing two sets of diapers every day.
2. Your older child will still be too young to have achieved the "independence" stage, meaning they will still want you to pick them up and hold them ALL THE TIME. This becomes a challenge once you have the newborn baby, especially if the newborn is colicky and WILL NOT LET YOU PUT THEM DOWN.
3. You will basically have two babies. One very big tantrum throwing baby, and one very tiny unable to do anything baby.
4. When you go to the grocery store (if you are especially gutsy) you will probably have to put the infant in a front pack, and the older kid in the basket of the cart, or put the older kid in the basket and the baby with infant carrier baby seat in the shopping cart. You will then have to try and squeeze enough food for the week around the infant seat without smothering the child within. This can be tricky. I don't recommend it. If you choose the front pack method your child will probably become so heavy over time that a trip to the grocery store will become akin to a 14 mile hike through the wilderness, but with less fresh air and more screaming.
5. The older child has still not mastered gentleness and kindness or bodily self control (especially if it's an overactive boy). This is especially scary around a newborn baby. What used to be cute little monkey-like antics are now scary-as-heck (I don't swear, but use your imagination) moments.

If you've already had your second child, and you're living through some of this list, I feel for you and don't worry you'll make it through. Things start to get easier around month 6. If you're absolutely bent on having kids really close, then go for it, this list will just give you a little heads up.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Self Pitty

My Dad was here this past week helping us get our house ready to sell. One of the projects he completed was a new deck complete with railing and custom made gate. It's really just a large outdoor playpen, but don't tell the kids that, they think they're free when they go outside.

I've been wallowing in the depths of despair all day, feeling keenly the absence of family around us. Our friends and church have been so supportive, but like Tamara says, even good friends can't replace family. Wiping away tear and moving on....

That said I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the things that made me feel better on this dreary dismal day:

1. Sharing a Starbucks hot chocolate with my 2 year old.

2. Reading This, this, and this.

3. Watching movies based on Jane Austin books.

4. Eating my weight in Chocolate Chip Canolli.

5. Thinking about exercising. Not actually exercising, just thinking about it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mess Maker

My little mess maker in her first real pair of jeans.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reptilian Thing

This is a lizard, salamander, or gecko (don't quote me on that) that
Hayden found living in a bucket. He revelled in holding it and proudly
showing it to Everybody. We put a little bit of water in the bucket so
it could "swim", then he decided to pick it up by the head and
accidentally squeezed it too hard. At first I thought he had completely
pinched off it's head...then I realized it was just upside down and
what I was seeing was the tail (sigh of relief, how do you explain
that to a toddler?). After about 10 stunned minutes the thing started
to move again and appeared none the worse for wear. We quickly let it outside to "go home." I guess the idea of a pet for Hayden will have
to be revisited in a few years...or else it will have to be something
on the large side that doesn't fit between the thumb and forefinger of
a toddler.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Grandpa has arrived.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Reckoning

Today was supposed to be a cleaning/baking day with LOTS on the agenda. We're getting ready for my dad to come and stay with us for a week to help us fix up our house so we can sell it. Normally, we don't have an agenda beyond taking naps, eating lunch and wading through the daily poopy diapers, which have been cut in half (yay!). So today was a stretch for us.....Correction: for me. Last night I went to bed 3 minutes earlier than usual in anticipation of the big day ahead. After tossing for the next 2 hours (a direct result of an afternoon nap and a latte), I finally drifted off to sweet slumber. This lasted approximately 7 minutes, at which time Hayden found his way into our room and climbed into bed. The rest of the night was spent fending off toddler kicks and punches in my sleep. It's all pretty hazy but I remember my back taking quite a beating, and when Helmut finally woke me up in the morning all I could think to say was "I'm pretty sure I have bruises all over my back.....goodbye, have a nice day at work."

I managed to shuffle around and start getting things done in my sleep deprived stupor, although I'll admit my mood was not good. If I'm being honest I'm fairly certain I resembled Cruella Devil. Hayden has a way of sensing my moods and instead of helping me so I will be less irritated, he takes his time and tries to press each of my buttons individually so that the end result is usually close to an atomic explosion.

After lunch the kids and I had to go to the grocery story to buy some last minute food items and a chair. Random I know. When we first got married Helmut and I bought a table with 2 chairs for our dining room. We never thought that we might need more than that. Now we regret it. We've ALWAYS needed more than that. Case in point, we needed another chair for my dad to sit on while he's here so we can eat dinner together. So I took the kids and went to Walmart to get a folding chair.

Before we even entered the store I could tell it was going to be a battle with Hayden. He started by throwing a tantrum about having to sit in the basket (not the place with the safety belt that's where Mariah sits, we're talking the basket where the food items go). After threatening him with the loss of candy for LIFE he gave in and got in the basket, but proceeded to sit on his knees and hang over the end nearly giving me a heart attack. I insisted multiple times that he sit ON HIS REAR END IMMEDIATELY PENDING SUDDEN DOOM, but not even that worked. Then to be helpful he started randomly grabbing objects and adding them to the cart, and in turn removing objects that I added and throwing them out of the cart. At this point the steam was starting to issue forth from my ears and I was beginning to audibly seethe. I'm pretty sure I glared down several other shoppers for smiling in our general direction. How dare they...

Then we got to the place where they sell the folding chairs. I added a folding chair to the basket and wedged it into the side so that it couldn't be removed with anything less than the jaws of life, definitely NOT toddler fingers. That didn't appear to trouble Hayden. He sat next to it on his knees and began to bang on the metal seat and howl like a banshee....and that's how we exited the store. Somehow in my rage I was able to get through the automatic check out station where he halfway dismantled the scanner, with only a few mutterings of "are you kidding me?!"...and make it to the car where I nearly gauged out my own eyeballs in my rage.

Once we were all in the car I informed him of the massive spanking he would receive upon arriving home, and as I drove away I marvelled at the beauty of having to drive 10 minutes to get home before administering said spanking. I had 10 full minutes of relative quiet to take cleansing breaths and put my thoughts in order, dissipating the anger and leaving a semi-rational person in it's stead.

I did give him a spanking, because really what kind of mother would I be if I didn't do as promised, and there can be absolutely no question as to whether or not it was deserved. He took it well, cried a little, said he was sorry, and promised never to behave in such a fashion again (my words not his).

The remainder of the day went comparatively well. We completely most projects and are now awaiting my dad. I'm seriously hoping for some better sleep tonight though....seriously.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

For the Birds

How to tell if you're mom's favorite:

I take no credit whatsoever for the above picture/post. I stumbled across it here when I was hunting for some inspiration for tonight. Beware, some of the posts should be rated midway between PG-13 and R.

It's not the inspiration hasn't been forthcoming, after all we did have our first accident in the middle of a target yesterday, but Hayden's subsequent humiliation made me feel so guilty for wanting to make it into a funny story that I've decided not to officially post about it. As for details I'll just say that he ran into a metal shelf with his face, started screaming in pain, then let loose the floodgates onto a carpeted section of the local target to the horror of myself and another mother who witnessed the little catastrophe. Of all the people that were involved, I think Hayden was the most horrified. He hasn't had any accidents since then and now I can say that I'm no longer the mother who's son hasn't peed in an inappropriate place.

When I was 2.5 I received a piece of advise from my then 5 year old sister Kristi that I've never forgotten, perhaps the most important piece of advice I've ever been given. I grew up in the 80's when double socks and pegged acid wash jeans were cool. My oldest sister was very trendy and thus the donning of double socks was a daily occurrence. Kristi and I used to tease her and make fun of her double socks, because really, how many socks does a person need? When Kristi turned 5 she started going to school and I used to watch her getting ready. One morning I noticed her donning the double socks. She must have seen my shocked faced because I have never forgotten the words that she spoke to me. She said, "Kari, never make fun of someone for what they are doing because someday you might find yourself doing exactly the same thing."

That has never been more true than in my life as a mother. So far I've done and behaved in ways I never thought possible for me. My kids have done things I never expected them to do, and as far as self pride, I'm pretty certain mine is non-existent. I do however have pride in other areas. Mostly my children's accomplishments. While they may not be newsworthy, I mean, EVERYbody's kids get potty trained eventually, they still make my heart burst with pride.

That said I should admit that at a birthday party last year I witnessed a very small girl pooping on the floor of a child's activity center. My first reaction was to be supremely grossed out. My second reaction was to remove Hayden, and my last reaction was the BLAME THE PARENTS. What kind of parents bring they're OBVIOUSLY only partially potty trained child to an activity center without putting a pull-up on her? Gross. I don't think what Hayden did was quite as embarrassing as what that little girl did, but I guess I knew I had it coming since then. *guffaw*

Friday, September 11, 2009


I caught them watching the rain together this morning. Neither of them have seen much rain in the short life times so today's showers were a novelty.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Serious Conversation

Enough about pee, poop and potty stuff. Here's a little something Helmut dug up in his spare time.

And for those of you with a touch of the dramatic, here's a little something else:

Hayden gets that looks out of me at least 5 times a day. Usually after he dumps his toys all over the floor and then spreads them around the house....or maybe after he separates his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then wipes each half on his face....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Potty Diaries: Day 3

There shouldn't even be a post here because today Hayden made it the WHOLE DAY without an accident. I was so ready for this experience to be a repeat of last time, which was a nightmare. I even let Hayden pick out a 2 lb bag of potty candy thinking it would take FOREVER. There's $12.99 I'll never get back....uhhh yeah, I let him choose his own ginormous bag of candy and instead of going for the $3.99 bag of M&M's he chose the WAY OVERPRICED Jelly belly's. Note to self: NEVER BUY JELLY BELLY'S. Seriously people, they're JELLY BEANS. Come on, how can it cost $12.99 to manufacture little chewy balls of sugar?? I thought they would be at most $6 bucks. Lessons learned.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Potty Diaries: Day 2

Today was day 2 of our potty training ventures. It kicked off with a nice puddle on the floor, but quickly took an upward turn when Hayden suddenly started to tell me that he "had to go potty really bad." The first time he went by himself I a baby. The second time he did it I was so excited I gave him two chocolate chip cookies and a handful of "potty candy." I'm pretty sure of the two of us I'm the one who is the most excited about this. The future is looking pretty bright my friends, pretty bright indeed. Who knew potty train could have such a profound affect on the parents.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Riding the Potty Train

I don't have anything witty to write tonight, just that we're embarking on the potty training experience again with Hayden. We made an attempt about 9 months ago that failed miserably, and in an effort not to repeat the failure we've left off trying until now. There are many reasons why our first attempt failed, I can blame it on any number of things, post postpartum depression, a colicky infant, or the fact that we gave up after 3 days. Maybe in reality he wasn't ready, or maybe it was me...maybe I wasn't ready. That's probably more accurate. But we're putting that all behind us and moving forward with it now. My goal is to have it mostly accomplished in the next two weeks. Wish me luck!....or endurance.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saving Face

Yesterday was our 5 year wedding anniversary and to celebrate we got a babysitter for tonight, booked a fancy restaurant and planned a nice dress-up date.

I waited until 1.5 hours before the babysitter was due to arrive to pick out my outfit which took 30 seconds, then I spent the next 89 minutes second guessing it. I worked myself into such a state that when Mariah was clinging to my legs in despair and crying her eyes out because I was too busy flinging clothes on and off to pick her up, that I coldly told her to stop crying. For heaven's sakes child, don't you know this is an emergency? In reality I was really just irritated that Helmut didn't hear her cries and come running to fetch her without my having to ask, since HELLO we all know that men are mind readers. Not. Actually that's not fair, Helmut does an admirable job at reading my mind, just not on this occasion. It also may not have helped that he was outside at the time and therefore unable to hear her crying. I expect him to read my mind, but I guess my expectations of his telepathic powers shouldn't exceed the boundaries of our home.

After angrily flinging off a dress that I couldn't zip for myself, I decided to quit trying to impress and put on something I knew would be ugly. If I'm not trying to impress, it will be impossible to disappoint right? It was at this time that I had a personal revelation. I may be the ONLY WOMAN ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET who does NOT like to get dressed up.....well, not the only woman, my Mom would be the only other woman I know who equally loathes it. I like to look nice, I really don't want to spent all my time in PJ's and play clothes, but the amount of stress that comes out of a simple fancy dinner date is really not worth the insanity it creates.

I'm not ready to trade all my Jimmy Choo's (who am I kidding I've never owned a Jimmy Choo *sob*) in for socks and Birkenstock yet, but fancy dress up dates might be on hold until I have a sister or a very good friend who is willing to give me honest opinions on what I should and should not wear on them.

After a very dramatic 1.5 hours we were ready to leave only to find out that the babysitter had a family emergency and couldn't come. So, after all the stress and drama we ended up going out in jeans and t-shirts with the kids to eat some tacos.

Friday, September 4, 2009


"Hi Grampa."

Ironically Grampa is one of the only relatives who doesn't read this blog...ha.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Diet Log

Well, my face is still grossly disfigured, but enough about that. I'm going to give an update on my diet.

I've officially been starving every single night (except 3) for 4.5 weeks now. I've lost 10.5 miserable pounds of baby weight. I was originally shooting for 15, but now I'm thinking I may as well stay in it for the long haul and get the last 5 off as well. So my new goal is 20 pounds. That means I've got 9.5 pounds left and I'm estimating about 8 more weeks of being on a diet.

The first couple of days were the most difficult, but now that I'm in the rhythm my body has gotten used to it and I'm not as hungry. I feel good about myself and really good about getting rid of the muffin top.

In case you're curious I'm going to outline my diet below:

Disclaimer: this in not a diet for people who are trying to get "healthy." It does not endorse exercise or good eating habits. It's for people who want to lose weight without changing their main food groups i.e. pizza, chocolate, what have you.

There is only 1 rule on this diet. That's what makes it so easy. DON'T EAT AFTER 3PM.
That's it. That's the WHOLE diet. Eat whatever you want before that. For example, today I ate cheesecake for breakfast (I know I'm incorrigible) and a bunch of egg tacos for lunch. I should probably say though that if you break the 1 and only rule you will in fact GAIN weight. Should you try this diet, DO NOT break that rule or you'll be sorry.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gorilla Face: The Sequel

Ok, I take back what I said yesterday. Today my eye is almost swollen
shut. I look like Rocky after a fight or gorilla face. I'm pretty sure
if I attempt to go out in public there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth, children clinging to their mothers in fear and men beating
their chests at the injustice. Okay maybe not that last part but you
get the point. Anyone have an eye patch hanging around that I could
borrow for a few days?