Thursday, December 29, 2011

Motherhood really should be classified as a mental illness

Wikipedia, wealth of completely accurate information that it is, characterizes a "mental illness," in part, as "a psychological or behavioral pattern that is generally associated with distress or disability, and which is not considered part of normal development or a person's culture."  And while that mom certainly seems commonplace nowadays, my madness tonight certainly seems outside of MY normal development or culture.

I'm a pretty rational creature.  In fact, recently, when speaking with the wife of a male client of mine about VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean, for my male readers or those of you moms who have been lucky enough not to have a c-section before your last child or 14 months before you're about to have your second, unexpected although delightful child), he remarked, "I wouldn't have expected you to have an interest in that."  That's right.  I'm like a dude.  I do the stuff that I have to, I try to remain logical and unemotional about things that are outside of my control and I only really admit to being a freak on the internet.  I assume that babies come from storks, or at least that it doesn't hurt nearly as bad as tv depicts labor and delivery and that a c-section is a cake walk.  Okay, that's not the point of this post, but I'm a closet hippie (and apparent emotional basket case), it's not what I lead with, you know?

So I surprised not only my husband, but also myself when I skulked back to my room after Kaia's bedtime in tears.  See, she's been in this phase lately.  Her official language is "I Don't Want To," and most of the natives speak "No."  So, like the circus clown that I am, I make everything a game, give her options and make lots of silly faces to keep her from the doldrums of "No, I don't want to."

We did our usual routine - we got our jammy balls on (yes, I said "jammy balls" - it refers to the jammies with basket/base/foot balls on them that she HAD TO HAVE because baby brother got some....and, for what it's worth, I handed these over a month early as a bribe because she wouldn't get her pajamas on one night), we brushed our teeth singing, counting and letting her play in the water so she'd give us 8 uninterrupted seconds to brush all the cookies we bribed her with earlier off her teeth and we climbed into my bed to watch Caillou and Kipper.  Thankfully she watches reasonably bearable television.

She snatched my iPhone from me, where I was quietly ignoring the cartoons and reading a book, and opened the Dora app.  I let her until Kipper was over, but being that I'm a sleep Nazi, it was time to go night night.  Believe it or not, she did not want to go to night night.  I always remind her we still have to go potty.  No reason to bother trying to rush the master procrastinator.  I offered options, a little circus trick I learned over the last year or so.  I said, "You have two choices to make.  You can either go on the big potty or the little potty AND you can either go with Mommy or Daddy."  I was pretty confident that she'd pick me.  She LOVES me.  "I wanna go all by myself."  Smugly, I said, "Okay, go ahead."  No shit, the kid took herself to the bathroom, turned on the light, managed out of her feety pajamas, went potty only in the toilet, wiped and jammied herself.  WTF.  I was a little flustered by her ability and at how dispensable I suddenly became.  Being that I'm not a completely selfish human and hoping I could win back her favor, I congratulated her and told her how proud I was.  Much more timidly, I asked, "Do you want Mommy or Daddy to take you to bed?"  She said, "I want to walk."  I'd had it.  Tears.  Walk?  She's NEVER not been carried to bed.  Ever.  And unless I'm not in the house, she's only been carried by anyone other than me, like 5 times.  She always picks me and she always lets me carry her.  She hopped off the bed, walked to her room, opened the door (leaving it open for me groveling behind her) and waited by her bedside.  I came back to let Kevin know he could go in and say goodnight and when I went back in, I asked if she wanted her lullaby.  She nodded.  As soon as I started to sing, she said, "No Mommy, I want to sing it."  WHAAAAAT?!  She sang the entire thing.  I cried quietly enough not to be heard and hugged both Kaia little Mikko extra tight because I'm pretty sure they'll be starting college in a few weeks.

I came back sobbing.  I'm not sure if Kevin was more amused or surprised, but he definitely did NOT know what to say.  He reminded me that she still can't make her own lunch, so it was probably no big deal.  But I do, in fact, feel like a crazy person who is developing outside of my normal.  The whole point of raising children is to create independent human beings out of them, right?  So why am I so Spaz about this?  It's because despite how easy things get as they get independent, we're all masochists and want to be our children's circus clowns.  Or something like that.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll show her the trailer for It and tell her a thing or two about circus clowns.  I bet that alone would have her clinging to me for another 5 years.  Okay, maybe not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Before I was mommy, I was stepmommy

In an uncharacteristically sappy moment, I must share.  My dear, sweet teenage stepdaughter turns 16 years old today.  No seriously, "dear" and "sweet" are not euphemisms for "miserable" and "rotten," nor are they code for "find a way not to let your own child reach his or her teens."  She really is an absolutely wonderful girl.  I had no idea that this (a not miserable female teenager) could exist.

Years before I had children of my own to push around, I found myself meandering through a situation that even the most centered of actual adults struggle to handle.  Yet somehow, between a rocky beginning (because how could it be anything else?) and my internet declaration of joy at her reaching such a milestone, we have forged what I dare say is a pretty incredible bond.

I remember K completely ignoring me the first time I saw her.  She knew who I was and she knew why I was there, but I don't think she was ready yet.  She walked right past me, skipped up the stairs and she was gone.  Just like that.  It was hours before she sat me down and schooled me in Sudoku.  I have been learning from this child ever since.  Two years later, when I married her dad, I promised some things that I wish I could remember and she wishes she had understood through my crying, but I meant every word of it, I'm sure.  A year after that my first child was born and while it was a HUGE adjustment for all of us, it has done the most amazing thing for K and I.  It has brought us closer and changed us in ways I couldn't have expected and wouldn't have dared hope for.  If my daughter follows in her big sister's footsteps, I will be one proud mama bear.

K, you are, without a doubt, the most wonderful 16 year old I have ever known (and when I was 16, I knew a lot of 16 year olds).  You have brought a depth to my life that I can't imagine living without.  No matter where life leads us both, I know that we will always share something that is special and reserved only for us.  I look forward to sharing all of your milestones with you - graduation, college, wedding and marriage, and someday your own children, perhaps.  I hope you have a magical year and a magical life.  I can't wait to be there with you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I blame it on sleep deprivation

I do.  I blame all of my problems on sleep deprivation, which I suffer from depending on the day (and the blunder).  Plus, claiming sleep deprivation is the only thing that makes this must-be-told-in-blog-because-it's-hilarious story there's that.

I've had a busy work week.  I was out of the office and playing stay-at-home mommy last week because my sitters were all out of town.  Enjoying themselves.  While I panicked about spending 7 uninterrupted days with my own children.

This makes coming back to the office with 20 voice mails, 100 emails, and who knows how many annoyed sighs at calls that didn't result in voicemails, not to mention the response to my "out of office" email auto-reply, rather less than pleasant.  I trudged through Monday in preparation for 3 hearings between Tuesday and Wednesday.  To a non-lawyer, this may not seem overwhelming.  To a lawyer, 3 hearings a week is a good clip to work at, not 3 hearings in two days.  Perhaps look at it this way - I have 7 hearings all month and 3 of  those were in 24 hours.  I'm really busy and important, dammit!

Monday night, I woke up after a terrible nightmare.  In my dream, I was sleeping in the middle of the day for some reason (sleep deprivation, probably) and woke up.  I started getting ready to go to my first of these three hearings and realized that it was 5:00!  The hearing was scheduled at 3:15 (in my dream) and I was late!  I turned to Kevin, "Shit!  I missed it!  I missed the hearing!  I'm not even late, like I completely missed it!  What the [bleep] am I going to do?  Should I call the court and just lie?"  (Disclaimer:  I would NEVER lie to a court official, just in case anyone comes across this and questions my impeccable, although sleep deprived, character.)  I woke up heart racing and in a cold sweat at 4:00 a.m.  Not an awesome way to start a day I'm already anxious about.  See part of the issue was that I had papers to prepare before both hearings that I needed to prepare before the first hearing (8:15) because I wasn't sure I'd have time in between to get prepped for the second hearing, which was in another county and only 2.5 hours later.

So, I'm all frantic all morning.  I get what I need to get done and I get on the road worried I'm going to arrive to court late.  I arrive to court late.  :/  Thankfully, so did everyone else party to the matter, so that was a win. I started to feel good.  I had 5 minutes to sit and breathe before anyone else wanted to even talk to me!  My client arrives, meeting goes well, we head into court.  Commissioner was in a great mood, cracking jokes, enjoying his morning.  Parties were actually working together, instead of against one another which is the norm in this business.  It was a glorious first appearance of the three!  I'm feeling good.  We part ways.  I step onto the elevator.

What happens next has already become legend, you know, to me.  So, I was in a hurry because while my first hearing went more smoothly and therefore more quickly than expected, I could really have used some extra time going through the file for the next case.  No one can ever be too prepared for court.  I'm waiting patiently as the elevator crawls from the 7th floor to the 1st.  I distract myself by playing peek-a-boo with the little girl next to me.  Sadly, she got off on the 1st floor and I've got to get through the Ground Floor to the Basement where my car awaits me.  The door opens and I start to step through.  In anticipation of a speedy exit and return to my office, I pull my keys out of my briefcase.  I bobbled them ever so slightly and they slipped out of my hands.  RIGHT. DOWN. THE. ELEVATOR. SHAFT.

Even the other attorney in the elevator exclaimed, "NO WAY!" like a 15 year old boy watching a friend perform Jackass-style stunts in a living room.  I would have thought that dropping ones keys down the elevator shaft, you know down that little crack between the moving box and solid ground, would be nearly impossible.  Apparently not.  Or I'm just oh so awesome that it could only happen to me.  As they were falling from my hands I thought, "Wow, it looks like those could fall right down that little crack between this moving box and solid ground."  Then I thought, "Holy &*!%sing shit!"  Then I thought, "I'm never going to be able to get home again because my car keys and my office keys and my house keys and my Mickey Mouse keychain were on there."  Then I thought, "No, seriously, how the hell am I going to get home."  Then I thought, "How the HELL am I going to get to my next court appearance."  This all lasted about 8 seconds.

I calmly walked over to the bailiff doing security checks and said, "Um, I just dropped my keys down the elevator shaft."  Dude just puts down his beepy wand and looks at me.  "Like you dropped them and they fell into the crack between the moving box and solid ground?"  Okay, he didn't say exactly that, but you get my WAS pretty unbelievable.  "Yes."  "Well, that's not going to be easy to fix."  Little did he know that Mike, the maintenance guy, is actually a super hero and had them in my hands in less than 10 minutes.  So Mike?  Here's a shout out to you, wherever you are.  THANK YOU!  You proved both beepy wand bailiff and all unionized-county-worker-haters wrong when you ever so promptly returned my lost keys.  (Thanks for that Joey.)

If dropping your keys down the elevator shaft is akin to seeing 666, Mike was definitely the image of the Virgin Mary on my grilled cheese sandwich.  I'm pleased to say that while Tuesday did NOT get better, today has been glorious, thus I've taken the time out of my day to ignore my work and update my blog.  Oh, and I was really tired when this happened, which is probably because I have two kids, which causes sleep deprivation, which is why this story is appropriate for my mommy-blog.  Whatevs.  I'm done defending.  It's just a priceless story that deserves to be shared as many times as someone can stand to hear it and laugh at me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

An ode to the stay-at-home mom

Like most mothers, I love my children with a fierce devotion that borders on psychosis.  I can imagine myself into crying spells over possible some day tragedies like my daughter being cut from the dance team or my son being teased for his love of shoes.  I actually have panic attacks when my son cries when I put him down for bed.  I kiss my daughter a thousand times a day and tell her I love her...

I, however, freely admit that I could never be a stay-at-home mom.  I think I'm able to adore my children so much because my time with them is limited.  I work full-time and there's nothing better than coming home to squeals of glee from my littlest loves, but those squeals quickly sound like screams when you're stuck inside with two under three all day.  So, when I learned that both my daytime care givers were going to be out of town the same week, I did what every loving mom would do.  I freaking panicked.  I don't "do" crafts.  I have limited patience with Dora, and while I am a master fort-builder, my 18 month old doesn't get not to pull the blankets down.

I have some ideas.  We're going to bake Christmas cookies one day, and I have resigned myself to cleaning during the two hour nap time to follow.  We're going to go for a freezing winter hike one day.  I'm sure that will waste all of 30 minutes.  It's too cold to spend hours at the zoo and Kaia has decided that she's deathly afraid of the museum.  She reminds me every day.  Today we did some shopping, just to get out of the house.

And this is why I could never be a stay-at-home mom.  We stopped at three stores.  The grocery store let them each take a balloon home.  Sure glad we stopped there first because you can imagine two children in car seats with helium balloons in and out of the car five times.  Oy.  I avoided all but three aisles at Target because I wasn't willing to have the "Santa's coming in a few weeks, so we're not getting anything" conversation today.  We got our groceries at the store, but I forgot two things I really wanted.  We enjoyed the pet store (and the cats are enjoying their catnip), but Kaia did not enjoy when we left twenty minutes after picking up said catnip.

So we got home, I threw some lunch on the stove and I sneaked off to the bathroom while the kids watched some Dora.  It was then that I realized that I was wearing a shirt with a hole in it, my underwear inside out and I had managed to leave my zipper undone.  Classy.  Thank goodness they're too little to be embarrassed by me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The shit that happens at my house (when we're stuck inside all day)

The day started out rough.  Mikko was up before 5:00 a.m. for the second day in a row and he was C-R-A-N-K-Y.  When Mikko gets attention for whining, Kaia catches on quickly.  She's even taken to mimicking his non-word sounds to try and get her way.  It didn't take long before Mommy and Daddy were overwhelmed and feeling beaten by their greater (spastic) energy.  I'm not gonna lie, we pretty much let them do whatever kept them from crying all day....and so, our day in pictures, entitled "The Shit that Happens at My House (when we're stuck inside all day)"...

While I'm not huge into routine, I'm kind of a stickler for healthy eating and generally require that my children wear daytime clothes during the daytime.  Some day they'll wonder how my yoga pants qualify as "daytime clothes," but by then, I'm sure I'll come up with some explanation....probably "Because I said so."  So at some point I noticed that they were in their matching jammies (Kaia insists on having all the same feety pajamas as Mikko has) playing in Kaia's bed with a pumpkin bucket from Halloween that found its way back up from the garage recently and eating Reese's Pieces.  And, for what it's worth, it wasn't that early, but no doubt probably not an appropriate time for candy, like after they've at least had a meal.

There's really only one way to watch tv in this house....

 Well, alright, there are two ways, but both clearly involve laundry baskets.  And no, I don't get credit for my house being chaos because I was busy doing chores, like laundry, because I was not.  I was busy taking pictures of my nutjob kids, a most time-consuming hobby.

This was  the highlight of my night, probably because I had already started drinking wine at this point.  The kids pulled out every stored grocery bag we had in the house.  Kaia starts throwing them over her head yelling, "Snowing! Snowing!"  Kevin does NOT enjoy this game.  I LOVE it.  While I realize it's a pain in the ass and there's probably a choking hazard we should consider, they will play like this, uninterrupted and nicely for like 20 minutes.  Note that Kaia is wearing her Dorothy costume while Mikko is sporting the one-leg-up sweatpants thing.  My kids are COOL.
And just so there's no misunderstanding, this was about 15 minutes before Mikko's bedtime and, yes, they're eating cake.  There's no doubt these little rockstars are my kids.  They love cake.

So here's what I missed with my camera today.  Can you believe that with all this mayhem there's more that went uncaptured?  Not long after my grocery trip with Kaia that was cut short just after the produce section because someone decided to have a hissy fit and someone's mommy was NOT into dealing with it, I found the two of them spinning in circles in the living room.  They were giggling their tiny butts off when I realized that Mikko had a balloon string wrapped around his neck...twice....and when Kaia, who was holding the weight, spun, Mikko had to too.  I put a stop to that game and no one was happy about it.  Poor Mikko looks like a strangulation survivor.

I also managed to miss Mikko refusing to take his Tylenol, and by refusing, I mean getting all of it in his mouth and hanging his lower lip so that it all went running down his chin, neck and jammies.  It was like a horror flick in my living room.

And, last but not least, during her bath tonight, Kaia decided to test the faucet pressure with her tongue.  Imagine that first snowfall of the year and, like a child, you stick your tongue out with your eyes facing expectantly upward.  Now instead of a weightless snowflake landing on your tongue, picture a faucet running at full pressure down your throat.  There was much sputtering, eye watering and laughing.

I should start drinking at 4:30 every day.  Everything is so much more funny.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A quiet moment

I have a big trial today.  I'm not looking forward to it.  I've been at the office in the evenings or on weekends more in the last month than I have in probably my entire career put together.  I'm CRABBY!  Thankfully, it's all over after today (at least until the next big thing comes) and I'm looking forward to that.  In the meantime, I'm CRABBY!

This morning as I was getting my mini monsters ready, they were taking full advantage of their energy and my lack thereof.  I was at the office until 11:00 p.m. and up at 5:30 a.m.  It's going to be a long day and the games weren't nearly as funny this morning as they sometimes know, on Saturdays when I have nothing to do.  So I finally get the kids dressed, pick up the oatmeal they refused to eat (much of which was on the floor when I came back into the room), wrangle them to put on shoes and jackets and strap them into their car seats.  Kev comes down to say goodbye and we took a moment next to the car.  He kissed me, I leaned into him, thankful that this day will be over soon and that he's remained patient with my obligations recently.  Both kids are looking at us curiously and I remarked, "Little monsters.  They're so cute when they're strapped into a car that I haven't gotten into yet."

They proceeded to scream and pout the entire way to Grandma's house.  At least, as like most things they do, they were playing.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

The playground and my blood pressure

The park.  This place is a child's dream and a parent's nightmare.  The super duper playground by our house has both a slide (yay) and an opening straight to the ground (damn) at every platform.  All.  Six. Platforms.

I'm not particularly religious, but places like this make me believe that there is someone out there pointing and laughing at me.  See, I was blessed with a very cautious little girl.  She's dainty, unless she's throwing shit, but for the most part, she's very careful.  I didn't make her that way.  In fact, I was a tree-climbing kind of kid and hope that mine will be know, when they're older, won't fall and I don't have to watch.  Then I was blessed with a son who is, well, a boy.

So, picture this.  Kaia climbs up the low stairs with Mikko close behind.  Kaia climbs up the short ladder to the tunnel.  Mikko follows.  They stop in the center of the tunnel, I bang on the clear walls and get them good and riled up.  Then Kaia goes left and Mikko goes right.  Uh oh.  So I let Kaia be because she's less likely to walk off the edge of a platform without at least an attempt at holding on to the fireman's pole or monkey bars. I duck beneath the second tunnel to get to the platform between them before Mikko makes it to the edge.  Phew, I caught him before he dove and instead he dives into the second tunnel.  Meanwhile, Kaia is calling me because she wants me to catch her at the bottom of the slide.  I turn around to realize that she's at the top of a VERY high platform, the tallest at the park, and is literally so high that I'm a little sick to my stomach over it.  I imagine her terror (undoubtedly, delight) and rush over to where she's climbing into a gigantic tube slide.  I rush her because I have literally no idea where her brother is.  She finally comes down, her skinny little butt isn't heavy enough to propel her down and she has to scoot from about half way.  I see Mikko's head pop up out of the tunnel and, when he sees me, he turns and runs.  I run through the cedar chips, ducking to avoid, unsuccessfully, bumping my head on metal bars of various shapes, sizes and configurations.  I get to the opening where I last saw my little boy's floppy hair and big grin and he's no where to be seen.  Just then I hear banging on the clear plastic walls of one first tunnel that I had just run underneath.  Both little monkeys are inside, giggling their insane little heads off.

The kids love the playground, but Mommy's blood pressure can't handle it.  The only day I ever took them to the park by myself, when I finally got them safely strapped into their carseats, I sat in the front seat, turned the Disney CD up really, really loud, and balled my eyes out.  Being a mom is really hard.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Storms and such

I live in Wisconsin.  We don't generally play host to tropical storms or the dreaded hurricane.  We do get the occasional tornado, but since they're not named, they don't apply to this RANT.  This week, my house has been overtaken by Tropical Storm Kaia and Hurricane Mikko.  Not surprisingly, neither has been officially recorded, but I can attest to their existence.

Tropical Storm Kaia has been brewing for a while now.  She hasn't been sleeping well.  She's teething.  She's two...  It was inevitable.  This morning she told me, "Mommy, when I talk, you have to LISTEN TO ME!"  Um, okay, kid.  All day it was "No, Mommy" this and "No, Mommy" that.  She freaked when I took her jammies shirt off to change her into her clothes, then she freaked again when I took off her regular shirt to put back on her jammies shirt.  WTF is that!?  The swirling winds really picked up when mean mommy made homemade pizzas and tried to make her EAT IT!  I decided that I was boss and sat her in her chair despite her protests.  She screamed and cried for five minutes before I gave in and let her get down without even a bite.  Then she cried bloody murder because I wouldn't get up from the table.  After I finished eating, she cried for a sticker.  Then she got the sticker stuck on her play kitchen and cried for a new sticker.  She didn't want the new sticker because I cut it out instead of giving her the sticky side, trying to avoid a repeat of the original sticker's demise.  Seriously, child.  I got her juice, brushed her teeth, read her a story and had her in bed by a merciful 7:05 p.m.  She was crying again within 5 minutes.  I went in her room where she was still laying down and she said, "I want Dora."  I said, "Sweetie, you have Dora right here."  "I DON'T want Dora," she clarifies.  Alright, Kaia, I'll take Dora with me, but could you please sleep off whatever this attitude this is so that I don't lose my mind??

Ah, Hurricane Mikko.  I considered letting Mikko be the mild tropical storm and giving Kaia the title of "hurricane."  She kind of seems to deserve it.  Yet Mikko gave me his own version of crazy and it was quite a bit more destructive and stressful, so Hurricane Mikko it is.  So Mikko likes to be on the couch now.  He's a big boy, you know.  I watch him pretty carefully because he likes to stand and he's already taken a header off the couch.  Because I watch him so closely, I was a mere 12 inches from him when he bounced himself backward which propelled him forward.  Right. Into. The. Corner.  The arm of the couch is padded, but not on the very very very edge.  Instead, it's a wooden edge covered by suede fabric.  Little dude had a knot so big and blue that it made my stomach turn a little.  This morning he woke up with a broken blood vessel in his eye.  This afternoon I ran to find him crying because he had pinched his fingers in a drawer (and was holding the drawer closed on them with his other hand).  I rescued him from that and sent him on his way.  Not 30 seconds later, he was chewing on a screw he pulled from the wall.  Later, he went tearing up the stairs at Grandma's house and when she blocked those off with a gate, he started to climb the side of the stairs that is an open banister.  Hurricane Mikko.

So I'm taking the day off tomorrow and I wouldn't mind getting a mommy break, but as it happens, I'll be spending the day with my little loves.  If it's awful, I'll just consider it research.  Or normal.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Being THAT mom

No, I'm not that mom....but apparently my kid is that kid and she did it to a kid with that mom.  So Kaia and I are doing tots gymnastics this summer.  First, let me clear a few things up about tots gymnastics.  It is NOT the fast track to the US Olympic team, although I get the impression that the "big girls" who do handstands for the first 40 minutes we are there are probably in training.  It is NOT cartwheels, kips and Kasamatsus (I didn't make that last one up, that's actually a thing).  It is also NOT fun for Mommy.

See, in my head, everything Kaia and I do is fun because we do it together.  I really dig my kid.  She's funny.  In reality, though, lots of things we do also involve other people and I think a lot of other people suck.  I don't really have a sanctimommy routine, so bear with me as I sort out my judgment.  (I didn't make that up either, "sanctimommy" has graced the pages of both the New York and Washington Times!  Google it, I bet you know one.)

Some of the parents hover around their kids saying things like, "You gotta suck it up, honey, you're a big boy/girl," and "If you don't listen to teacher and follow the circuit, we'll go home," and "Why do I pay for this if you refuse to participate?"  Now, all these kids are 18-36 months, and while she's a pretty smart cookie, I suspect Kaia doesn't know what a "circuit" is, nor does she understand the concept of paying for something, but whatevs.  Perhaps some of the 36-monthers do.  My kid usually cooperates because she's glued to my side and I think it's fun to walk across the beam and hop hop hop across the numbered floor.  In their defense, it would be hard for some of the mothers to hop in their high heels and skirts (no joke) and the one nanny always seems pretty tired.  These mommies are not having fun.

Then there are the two boys.  The two sweet little 18 month boys who are both too young and far too rambunctious to really do what they're "supposed" to do.  The boys' mommies aren't having fun because they're never there.  In fact, both boys come with their dads, which I think is AWESOME!  Those poor dads always look terrified of the other moms and I think they should be.  So am I.

Finally, there are the kids.  See, this entry isn't all about judging moms.  I judge kids too.  There is, in particular, one kid, the kid, who continuously messes with the blocks.  The kids are given blocks to carry across the beam (to encourage them not to hold mommy or daddy's hand, I assume) and stack at the end.  This kid lurks at the end of the beam and knocks down the tower the other kids make or grabs the blocks out of their hands as they pick one to carry across.  I've never noticed her mom before (because she never attempts to stop her at the end of the beam).  Until Friday.

So last class, like at the end of every class, the kids are allowed to jump on the trampoline.  This time, though, they got to bounce down the tumble tramp.  It's a long, somewhat narrow trampoline used for mastering skills in a floor tumbling pass.  So, the little kids usually just run down it.  The big kids bounce down it with their feet together.  Kaia usually bounces down it on her butt.  I taught her that.  Nice, right?  It was a good idea when they were jumping on the regular trampoline and not expected to make forward progress.  Oh well.  Live and learn right?  Lesson:  No butt drops until you KNOW they're not going to be going on the tumble tramp during this session...

So Kaia is bouncing her little butt down the tramp and Block Girl comes tearing up behind her.  Kaia stands up and BOOM! knocks right into the little girl.  I say "boom," but for real, it was like she stood up and they bumped heads.  There was no skull cracking, no hysteria.  In fact, I think the other little girl was still standing and Kaia landed back on her butt, which was probably just fine as far as she was concerned.  Oh, but the hysteria came.

Block Girl goes nuts crying.  Block Mom says she's sorry and makes Block Girl say she's sorry.  I also apologize and a few seconds later Kaia said, "I'm sorry," to her and followed that up with, "It's okay, Mommy.  She'll be happy soon."  But she was not.  In fact, she was so tremendously upset over the incident that they left before class was over, which is a big deal because you get a stamp on your hand AND a coloring page.

Okay, so the 3 year old overreacted, what's my beef, right?  Block Mom must have said, at least three times to no one at all, "Oh, she's going to have a black eye now."  "Look at that.  It's going to be a black eye, I'm sure of it."  "Yep, that's definitely going to be a black eye."  Seriously, Block Mom?  No wonder your kid just went bonkers because she bumped her head.  You're lucky my kid didn't intentionally knock your kid down, like your kid knocks down the block tower, when your kid stole my kid's block at the end of the balance beam.  BOOM.

So, no, I'm not that mom.  I genuinely felt bad that they had a collision.  I made sure my kid said sorry too.  It wasn't anyone's fault.  Kids fall down sometimes.  Kids bump heads sometimes.  Shit, kids in gymnastics tear callouses, break bones and tear ligaments sometimes.  Unfortunately, my butt bouncing goofball managed to bump into a kid who has a crazy mom, that mom.

Sadly, we don't have class this week, so I don't get to gloat when the kid comes to class without that dreaded black eye.  Bummer.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How many times can you say "Mommy" today?

Today I challenged Kaia to say "Mommy" 1000 times.  I'm pretty sure she met and exceeded that figure.  No, I am not a tiger mom attempting to give my child goals to achieve in preparation for the grueling future I have planned for her.  Instead, since she had already "mommied" me a few hundred times in the car that morning, I figured I'd find some positive spin.  Give the kid an achievable goal, right?

Jesus.  I swear to you she said "Mommy" a hundred times in 30 minutes.  "Mommy, look."  "Mommy, call Kaia."  "No, Mommy, no!"  "Mommy, what are you doing?"  "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy...."  The latest is that I am not allowed to speak to anyone else in the car.  She says, "Mommy, no calling Poppy.  Call Kaia."  "Mommy, no calling Daddy.  Mommy wants to call Kaia."  I don't know how she decided that speaking in the car was considered "calling," but that's her thing.  I'm not allowed to call anyone but her.  She wants me to look at everything she's doing (and everything she puts in her mouth, incidentally).  She just likes to hear herself say "Mommy."

I'm pretty sure she drained the ever-living-mommy out of me today.  Thank goodness for grandparents, baseball and beer.  Hopefully I can find my mommy pants tomorrow morning because I think there'll be some "Mommy" in my future.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rainbows, boo boos and COPS(?)! Oh my....

Remember when I said most of my blogs come on the heels of some sort of chaos?  How's about an emergency 911 call?  That counts, right?  Totally.  My sweet baby girl, Kaia, recently turned 2.  While we have been fairly lucky to avoid the "terrible twos," she has her moments of absolute monstrousness.  Last night was "one of those days."  It was a little chaotic at bedtime.  We had been gone all day, so we came home and nearly tossed Mikko straight into bed, where he was still displaying his immense displeasure.  Kaia was playing with my locked blackberry, an attempt to keep her occupied and not yelling for 15 minutes so her brother can fall asleep.  It's a work phone, so I keep it locked at all times rather than let my two-year old call clients and courts.  Suddenly it beeped.  It was a beep I'd never heard before, which to be fair, is not that uncommon when a two-year old is playing with an electronic that she's too young for...happens with my laptop all the time.  So I walk over and notice that a call had been placed and quickly hit the "end" button as I realize, slowly, that the disconnected call was "EMERGENCY SERVICES."  Great.

So a few minutes later, a nice lady calls and confirms that we're having an emergency.  We are not.  She takes my information and says she'll advise the officer that we do not need him to stop by.  He does anyway.  I apologize.  She laughs and says, "It happens all the time."  Officer comes.  I made Kaia apologize ("Sorry Offdider") and tell her that he has real work to do.  He did tell her he liked her Dora jammies, which didn't really strike the fear of dialing 911 into her as I had hoped talking to a strange man with a gun would.  She spent the rest of the night alternating between "Sorry Offdider" and "He has to go to work.  He has real work."  So that was a SWEET end to a busy weekend full of tantrums and madness.

This morning I woke up to my sweet, yet strange, little girl again.  I bumped my elbow (expletive) and Kaia asked me if I had a boo boo.  Now where the hell did she hear that nonsense?  "Boo boo?"  I can handle "owie," but "boo boo?"  I'm sure I rolled my eyes and said, "Yes, Kaia.  Mommy has a boo boo," while I gagged a little.  Then she asked if she could help and offered to kiss it.  Aw, melt.  Boo boo it is, kid, and candy for dinner.  So a little later, we're outside and I see a rainbow.  Well, if she's all boo boos and kissies, maybe she'll love rainbows and unicorns too.  So I pointed it out and she said, "I see it!  I see the car, Mommy."  Me:  "No Kaia, rainbow.  See it up there in the sky (pointing)?"  Kaia:  "I see it!  I see the bird, Mommy."  Me:  "Nevermind."  We came inside to play pirates.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lacking material??

My blogs tend to come on the heels of some sort of chaos.  As such, I haven't had much to say lately.  Don't get me wrong, my house is always chaos.  I have a 1 and a 2 year old...what else could it be?  BUT, some of that chaos just isn't funny.  It's downright ugly.  And since every mom in the world thinks their kid is the cutest, smartest, most wonderful creature on earth, I won't bore you with how awesome my kids are....and funny.  Well, maybe I will a little.  I just moved baby Mikko into the nursery with big sister Kaia.  Let's keep in mind that "baby Mikko" turns a year old this week and "big sister Kaia" just finally caught up to him in diaper size.  With the new arrangement, Kaia decided they MUST play in Mikko's crib.  The next twenty minutes go as follows:  Mikko stands up, holding onto the railing.  Kaia tugs him down.  They roll around a bit, Kaia finally outmaneuvers Mikko and straddles his back like a horsey, all the while chanting, "Giddy up, Mikko."  Repeat.  Strange kids.

But really, the funny stuff is always the ugly stuff right?  I know my kids are cute, but your kids are cute too, so for every story I share, you've got a match.  Try to beat the two nights of hell I enjoyed after moving the cribs into the same room.  We're limited in space in this joint.  It's a 2 bedroom condo with a loft.  When we moved here, it was Kev, Kailey and I.  We had LOTS of space.  Then we had a baby.  We adjusted and it was alright.  Then we had another baby.  Shit.

So our mini Harry Potter slept in Mommy and Daddy's closet, which worked pretty well except for every time we needed to get stuff out of the closet, which was pretty much every day.  So for nearly a year, I've been dying to get my closet back.  On a random Wednesday night, when Kev was off to a choir concert, I decided it was the night.  Why would I do it on a night when I was solely responsible for dismantling the crib, moving it from room to room, reconstructing the same crib, AND putting the kids to bed?  Who the f knows!  I had decided "it was time."  Whatev.  The first tuck in wasn't nearly as bad as I expected.  In fact, with the horsey rides, it was downright funny.

I had Mikko down first and despite his habit of screaming for upwards of 45 minutes, he was quiet pretty quickly.  He woke up when I brought Kaia in, but magically (I say magically because it happened somehow and it most certainly wasn't anything I had done or I would have done it again the next night to save myself the 2 hours of INSANITY), he went back to sleep without much fuss.  Then he proceeded to wake up 4 more times.  The best was the 4:00 a.m. wake up when he screamed bloody murder for an hour.  You know what time I'm not ready to get up?  4:00.  I fell asleep every 4 minutes between outbursts.  It wasn't pretty.  Thursday was So. Much. Worse.  (See reference to "2 hours of INSANITY" above.  'Nough said.)

Tonight, after a weekend with the grandparents, they just went to bed.  Seriously.  Mikko went down, no screaming.  Kaia went down without waking Mikko or any "Mooooooooooooommy, Moooooooooooooommy, Mooooooooooooommy."  Amazing.  So, the thing is, it's just not that funny to be miserably tired and have actual problems like wickedly unsleeping babies and it's equally not funny to have sweet little angels who just go to sleep when I want them to.  You know what is funny?  Stuff that my husband does and says.  Fixing that after he reads this, though, would again not be funny, so I guess I won't go there either.  Love you, honey.  :)  For what it's worth, I sincerely doubt he reads this.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mommy Guilt

Unless you're a superhero, no mistakes kind of mom, or, I suppose, a complete deadbeat mom, you suffer from "mommy guilt."  Every mani/pedi conjures cost comparisons between your pampering and their Pampers.  Every night out is tempered by the possibility that they'll wake up and realize you're gone.  Hell, sometimes I even debate buying myself a cupcake and eating it in the bathroom, so that I don't have to share it and just the THOUGHT makes me feel guilty.

Today, my two year old took "mommy guilt" to a whole new level.  Yesterday, we joined my beautiful sister-in-law-to-be and the rest of the family to enjoy some Mexican food in celebration of her birthday, albeit a month or so late.  Kaia was delighted to find a place mat and crayons for her to color with.  Let me start this by saying that I'm all for encouraging creativity.  I'm even more for bribing a kid at a restaurant into good behavior.  But deep down, I HATE crayons.  I'm a little Type A and like to be in control of what my kid plays with.  I hate crayons because they get color on stuff other than the paper that I've designated.  I hate little toys because Mikko will put them in his mouth.  I hate noisy toys because I have to listen to them.  Anyway, back to the crayons...

So, Kaia has been gripping a crayon in each hand pretty much non-stop since yesterday.  She slept with one in her little mitt on the drive home from Madison.  Last night she cried when I wouldn't let her bring them to bed.  This morning she drew all over her Dora and Boots in the car on the way to the store.  (I might have made a less than polite comment about the genius who let a 2 year old have crayons in her carseat they day before.)  Needless to say, she's developed an extreme interest in coloring.  So, despite my annoyance at a "ruined" book, Dora's new swimsuit design and the little shavings of crayon I'm finding all over the house because she likes to dig her tiny fingernail into the crayon as she wanders with them in her tight pudgy grip, I agreed to color with her this morning.

I drew a green Elmo and then she asked for a bigger green Elmo.  I got a little overzealous in my attempt to give her a great big green Elmo and snapped the green crayon in two right before her little eyes.  I'm astonished that she didn't cry.  I immediately told her I was sorry.  (By the way, she has tons of crayons, but these were the new and oh-so-special free restaurant crayons.)

I kid you not, she carried that half crayon around ALL DAY.  She must have reminded me about breaking the crayon while drawing the big Elmo a hundred times.  Her:  "Mommy, you break it."  Me:  "Yes, honey.  I broke it.  I'm really sorry."  Her:  "Mommy, you break it . . . big Elmo."  Me:  "I know, sweetie.  I broke it while I was drawing the big Elmo.  I'm sorry."  Her:  "Mommy, it breaked.  You break it."  Me:  "Jesus, kid, give it up already."  I'm kidding, I took my beating like a champ and apologized every time, secretly hoping that she'd eventually get bored with it and I could throw the damn thing away.  Not my luck.  She cried for her colors before bed yet again.  I guess that means another day of mommy guilt for me tomorrow.  Worst.  Mom.  Ever.

And yes, the half green crayon is safely stored in a place of honor among the other, lesser loved crayons.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A case of the Mondays

Every Monday I go to my office and mope about not being with my babies.  Don't get me wrong, they're monsters that I need to get away from sometimes.  But they're also sweet and silly and I just KNOW I'm missing something awesome by being someone in addition to Mom for several hours.

It's something I think I'll never completely come to terms with, the dichotomy of my current state of being.  I am both professional and parent.  Although it exists seemingly seamlessly in my male counterparts, all the lawyer mommies I know struggle with the guilt, the time constraints and to find a pair of nylons that isn't stuffed with toys or tied around a teddy bear's neck like a lasso.  Well, that last one might just be me...  And while I love my kids more than life itself, I know I'd never want to give up what I consider the "real" me for mommy me.  I guess I should just be thankful that someone paved the way for me to go to work and still have kids and stop expecting to find comfort in my dual life.

I feel a little like a double agent.  Inevitably when out on one of our weekend morning marathon grocery shopping trips, someone will give me the pitying look that is reserved for people with too many kids to handle, and offer to open the door, help me out with my purchase, take my cart, etc.  Once someone even offered to hold a kid for me.  I always laugh and say we're fine.  We are.  Don't these people know I fight battles for a living?  Kids?  Pshh, easy.  On the other hand, I go to work and listen with absolute understanding when parents talk about their battles with kids, with their spouses, with their finances...I always nod somberly and want to say, "I totally understand suffering.  I have a 2 year old and a 10 month old."  Okay, not the same, but I get chaos.  I get complicated.  I get feeling like you might actually fall asleep standing, as you're rocking a screaming 10 month old who is trying to grow so many teeth that you feel he should have been required to make you sign a waiver for engaging in this type of activity (mothering)...  Okay, that last one might just be me too.

While for the first time in my life I've found something I feel I am just naturally good at, I wonder if I'll ever feel completely settled in this life.  Perhaps it's perfection in chaos.  I'll never feel so content that I stop having to make effort and yet I got constant reaffirmation that I don't suck at life in the slobbery little kisses and the rare moment of quiet when I have completely fulfilled all of their needs.  The kids, not the clients.  The clients are never content and it would be an ethical violation for them to pay me in kisses.  Thankfully, the kid stuff always trumps the client stuff by the end of a Monday.