I know everyone is dying for updates

Want some updates on how things are running around here? no, okay well then click here and go enjoy yourself something actually interesting.

IMG_6479

Those of you just dying to know what is happening in the Boone Show read on.

  1. Quince is weaned. I mean he still might occasionally walk over flapping his hand at me signing for milk, but he accepts that they do not work (for him) and moves along. Well by move along I mean he says paci belly on repeat and then pulls up my shirt and rubs his head on my flabby stomach. It’s really cute worse than nursing him. Maybe next time I blog (in 6.5 months) he will be weaned from this weird habit. Or on that show strange addictions. Either way you’ll just have to sit tight to find out about that. Also, if anyone out there is googling weaning tandem fed toddler the answer is cold turkey – or at least that was our answer for a kid who nursed as much as his 5 month old sister. Oh and it wasn’t pretty.

    IMG_6418

    She won’t give me milk anymore, but she

  2. I followed some sleep consultant blog and decided I was going to get my kids to sleep through the night (or at least better) starting from the bottom up. So Navi is up first. I haven’t done any sleep training techniques, but just trying to stick to a schedule. That lasted all the three days. Then my husband left town, we had birthday parties and I realized I have to leave the house. So I’ll do my best, but basically just resigned to that fact that no schedule/no sleep training method will work for us. So instead I just google how little sleep one can function on and keep track of kids night wakings in the notes on my phone. I figure those notes will be evidence when I go insane. Seriously, though, I can’t be consistent for 3 days let alone 3 weeks.

    IMG_6293

    Do you plan on sleeping, Navi? Oh good because we don’t,

  3. I need a carseat for the third row of a Honda Pilot, preferably harness, but high back booster will do. Needs to be really short in length so the tiny bit of leg room that exists back there is not consumed by carseats hanging over. Or need a new car. Carseat seems cheaper option so lets start there.

    IMG_3464

    No really, my legs are trapped, mother!

  4. I survived another long weekend alone with two very fun birthday parties for the kids. I will be honest I need to get a fit bit to monitor my blood pressure during these weekends because it seems whatever plan I have to make things run a tad smoother will go to crap – from D’s schedule changing last minute to a store being closed to packages not arriving. I have to be “on” 24/7 and I feel like I am still trying to recover days later.

 

 

5. When is Quantico coming back on? I mean I know I am the only one who watches this show, but really I miss it. Please come back, Quantico, please.

 

 

We Will Call This — What I Googled This Week

IMG_0152

I often wonder what mothers humans did before google. How did one plan a vacation? The yellow pages? This is a serious question for me. I can understand that one went to a store to buy diapers, but how did one even know the number to the Hampton Inn in Virginia Beach?

Multiple times a day I think to myself I need to google that. Actually, multiple times a day I also tell my son we will have to google that – including when he asks me why his sister says everything is Minnie. My Minnie breakfast. My minnie guitar. We don’t own minnie breakfast items or guitars, but for her it’s all Minnie something. Maybe google knows why she does this.

Did moms pre-google rely on their own mothers? A friend? I do both of those and then some, but as I lay listening to the Roger the Rabbit audiobook for the 19th time I tend to stalk google to assess my parenting and discover solutions to my latest “problems”.

If I was a consistent person who wrote blog posts – you know instead of one who just keeps an online diary of random thoughts that really shouldn’t be shared with anyone let alone the internet – I would write a weekly post called What I googled this week. Since I probably won’t post again next week (heck I may not even finish this post) I won’t call this a series, but I will share “What I Googled this Week”.

This week my most popular google search was “How to get two toddlers/preschoolers to sleep at the same time?” I was hoping there would be a step by step guide or even better someone who tells me where to remove the batteries if turning off the toddler’s on/off switch doesn’t work. None of that exists (sadly), but I did learn this…

FullSizeRender-3

One mother has her two preschool age kids wait at the bottom of the steps while she puts her under 1 year old to sleep. In other words, I learned that I jumped the gun and I need to learn (google) how to get my 3 and 2 year old to sit for 20 minutes straight without needing me. I also need steps.

IMG_1009

I cannot even get my kids to sit and watch a basketball game without some death-defying antics.

One mother states she does the routine, says goodnight and shuts the door. Her job is done. This type of advice is more up my alley. However, after reading this I promptly went on Amazon and attempted to order locks for the light switch and closet. Then I decided I really just needed to get on Zillow and find a house with a padded room because one time I left them in there for about 10 minutes to give myself a “time out” and Flynn peed his pants, Nola peed on the floor (mind you they are potty trained) and their entire wardrobe from birth to now was thrown across the room.

IMG_0881

One mom said this time was precious and would soon pass. She’s right. But you know what – it is not passing quickly enough and my sanity is also precious. Like really precious. I love my kids. I also love to hang up the wet clothes that have been sitting in the wash machine since yesterday.

IMG_1475

Baby Flynn where did you go? I miss you. I also miss those maternity pajama pants. Where did you go, pants?

One writer had a decent idea of splitting them up (either in rooms or by time) and leaving one with Dad while you tackle the other.  This isn’t a terrible idea. I’d need a third bedroom and a new husband. Neither are feasible right now, but I might be able to work with this. Like replace husband with television or third bedroom with bring Nola back into my bed and we have a strategy? Maybe. I’ll think about this one.

IMG_0930

He works late. Always.

These are just a few of things I learned from google. And seriously I am just not sure how my mother did without. Google had all my parenting issued answered. It also let me know I am really no closer to solving this current “crisis” and probably also not equipped to have any more children (oops too late) because I can’t get my kids to stay safely in a room alone or better yet sit at the bottom of the steps peacefully and for the love of all things I really cannot get a child to sleep through the night.

If you came here for answers sorry I have none, but here are a few things I took away from these findings:

  • That you can buy covers for light switches on Amazon for like $12.
  • That I might try some version of quiet time where after our “routine” I will let my kiddos quietly play in their room while I get something/anything/nothing done. If they leave the room/act crazy/pee on floors then quiet time is over and we will have to lay and listen to Roger the Rabbit on repeat for the next 90 minutes. I will report back (or let me rephrase try to report back) once I hash this out.
  • That improvements are being made. Flynn use to run away after I finished their last story. I was left with the decision to leave a relaxed-ish Nola to force him back into bed which required force/tears/tantrums (more me than him) and couple of profanity-laced texts to my husband about his basketball practice times. Now I play an audiobook (free through our old library card) and he will lay and listen. Sometimes it takes 90 minutes of listening to Cars 2 A Junior Novelization, but I have had nights were 30 minutes of Charlotte’s Web did the trick.

 

 

 

Winter. You aren’t my first choice, but I’m learning I can live with you.

IMG_0806

The weather has always had a strong hold on me. My mood, my plans, my sheer happiness existed around what weather was predicted. Checking my weather app in the winter and seeing a warm day on the horizon felt like winning the lottery. I never liked winter and basically could live without it. I do not need the Four Seasons. As a matter of fact one is fine with me. Summer.

Growing up an old neighbor used to joke that spring must be coming because the Albert children were shoeless. As soon as the temp neared 60, I was ready for bathing suits and beach visits.

IMG_1220

Fast forward to 2015 and my husband tells me he wants to accept a job in Lake Placid, NY. The lake part sounded the great. The average temperature calendar online, however, did not. The man who complained about Philadelphia winters wanted to move the girl who dreamed of living in Florida {despite Florida being the weirdest state alive (sorry Florida)} to one of the coldest places in America. We moved and I must admit I feared winter with each summer and fall day that passed. I was paralyzed with thinking I was trapped inside for over half the year.

IMG_1099

However, a few weeks ago, as I drove alone to my doctor’s appointment I realized it was really a tad bit cold in the car. It was -4 degrees. I laughed and thought how in this short time my view of weather has changed. While I check my weather app – I no longer fear the cold temperatures – I no longer plan my life around the winter temps. -4 before meant not leaving the house. Heck, not leaving bed. Basically, anything below 40 degrees demanded I be inside a place and if you dropped below 20 I wasn’t even going out of the house. However, now, we are outside nearly everyday. The kids bundle up in their winter gear and we go outside. It might be to sled. It might be to walk around. If it is dry enough, it may mean to ride scooters or bikes or things I limited to warmer days before. My weather checking no longer dictates what I can do – it just reminds me what we need to wear. I joke that nearly half of Dominique’s income this year was spent securing warm gear. While this may be somewhat true, I also know that this move has shaped how I respond to the weather – be that in Lake Placid, NY or Lake Placid, FL. While I use to dream of 60 degrees and sun, I now am pleased with 40 degrees and rain. I have expanded my view of what one can do outdoors in cold weather and even more it has expanded how long my kids will play outside regardless of the temperature. While it still takes us 20 minutes to get ready to go outside – we now can spend well over an hour before someone begs to come inside (or pees up their snowsuit). This move is forcing me to grow in so many ways and at times the growing pains exhaust me into a whiny mess of a person. Other times I realize how this move is helping to erode me of something I have been plagued with since childhood — letting weather dictate my mood, my plans, my ability to enjoy being outside. I am embracing winter and all it has to offer (even if my growing baby belly limits my outdoor options). Wherever we land next (whenever that may be) I am hoping that my newfound ability to not only accept colder temps, but to enjoy them will carry with me and more importantly with my kids. While they become the annoying kids who prance through southern winter in shorts and fleece vests, commenting on how warm it is while everyone else is freezing in parkas and snow boots – I also hope they will become the kids who can take any temperature and find an outdoor adventure. I just hope they learn this as they learn to also stop peeing up their snowsuits.

IMG_1145 IMG_1074 IMG_1269

I Fear Sleep

FullSizeRender-3

When I was in high school I recall going into deep panic as I heard Late Night TV starting or looked at the clock and calculated I would only be getting 7 or so hours of sleep. I loved my sleep and often would beg my mom to let me sleep in and drop me off at school late. I needed it to function.

Fast forward to 2016 and I am writing this while in midst of a long term sleep torture brought to you by none other than my two loving children. While neither one of my children has actually ever slept through the night, there were moments with Flynn, Pre-Nola, where he could be in my bed and sleep decent enough that sleep wasn’t too interrupted. He still struggled to fall asleep at night and woke up really early, but I did have a few nights in there were I strung together a few consistent hours of sleep. He also was a regular napper who took two naps a day up until shortly after Nola was born.  Then came Nola and seriously I have never slept since. Flynn got booted to his own bed right before she arrived and he continued to require multiple check-ins throughout the night. Flynn was a morning bird while Nola loved late night parties. I functioned on 2 hour stretches if I was lucky and lots and lots of coffee.

Here we are now with a 3.5 year old who requires you to lay with him to fall asleep and wakes a few times each night (oh and no longer really naps), a 2 year old who currently demands I not leave her side as she sleeps and a new baby on the way who we all know will not be any better. After one bad sleeper, the little sympathy you might have had goes away and people are tired of hearing how tired you are. And you know what is funny – your body is tired of hearing how tired you are. As a matter of fact, I no longer feel tired. Impatient sure. Barely able to get things done. Absolutely. Tired. Nope. My body refuses to enter the sleep cycle. It refuses to be tortured.

I basically fear sleep. Tonight was no different than the rest. Nola easily went down around 7:30, but Flynn took until 9:30. In that time, I had to go tend to Nola two times. I finally head downstairs to have a moment to figure out what to do with my Day 7 sick kiddo and another one who is tired of being stuck in the house, but it is too cold to go outside, before Nola starts calling for me again. I usually lay there on my phone passing the time until the next wake-up call, but tonight I tried to fall asleep. It was pointless. I was woken up multiple times and I woke up angry. Frustratedly telling Nola to lay the hell down and stop kicking me with her legs. She climbs all over me and passes out momentarily only for Flynn to stir again in the other room. And after a period of time of this back and forth – I give up. I do not want to close my eyes. It is 1:30 AM and I have been disturbed enough times to know better. I know what will happen when I do and I would prefer to sit here and wait to be called upon to come rub a back or gently push a half asleep, crying Flynn from a seated sleep position to lying down on the bed. So I sit and wait and wonder if maybe I should go get a cup of coffee or maybe some tea. I wonder if I will ever sleep again. I google what will happen if this continues. I search through solutions that I have read a hundred times before and have never successfully have been able to implement either because my kids didn’t respond the way they were suppose to or because I run a one man show most nights and Ferber is no match for my two, mobile, no longer in crib kids and my small house. According to my phone app that I check every now and then to see how pregnant I am, I have 17 weeks before my spaghetti squash of a baby arrives. 17 weeks and a few days to figure out how the hell I am going to do this without ending up in a mental institution. But in reality, I really just need to figure out what the hell I am going to do tomorrow to properly care for and entertain my children alone all day until the next bedtime torture routine begins. Better yet I need to figure out how to make the coffee walk itself up to me right now because we all know if I leave Nola’s side she will stand up and scream for me.

FullSizeRender-2

And you Thought 1 on 1 Time Was Just Something You Saw on The Bachelor

IMG_0177

 Flynn B       3                                              Professional Basketball Reenactor                      Lake Placid, NY

 

IMG_0152

Nola B        2                                                             Diva                                                                           Lake Placid, NY

 

Back when I was young, fun and much smaller dress size I had this grand idea to apply for the Bachelor. No, I didn’t really think I would find love, but I did think I’d get a cool vacation. One day as I headed home from teaching in the Bronx, they called me asking me to attend some interview. I never went.

Luckily, I dodged that bullet and the embarrassment (and nice tan) it would have brought upon my twenty something life.

Fast forward a few pounds years and I realize I am finally getting that Bachelor experience. No, I am not sitting around a huge mansion drinking Margherita’s poolside waiting for my on camera interview with 20 other girls dating the same man. No, I just have the extreme privilege of being the bachelorette to my children with my children constantly battling it out for my 1 on 1 time.

I am not sure if it is the traveling, the holidays, the very clear large stomach that indicates a baby to my very “in tune” children or perhaps the fact that I have been able to pass some parenting duties off on Dominique since he is home the past few days, but basically my day is like Episode 1 of the Bachelor with my children climbing all over me for constant attention and affection….all without the ability to consume copious amounts of alcohol or wear fancy gowns.

My day starts with both kids fighting over who gets to sit next on top of me and after some elbowing, blankie throwing and a few bruised ribs one kid is off crying in the corner about he/she is not getting any alone time and how the fellow contestant keeps butting in on their conversations. Then it moves to errand running with one kid begging to come and more importantly to not make this a group date. If said date does happen to be a group date – there is alway the more aggressive kid asking to be carried or make some sort of scene to grab my attention. If a one on one date is received, upon returning from our romantic date to the grocery store – there is always another kid sitting around feeling sorry for themselves and needing me to reassure them they I still want them to be here and to just trust the process and please don’t run back to your farm/winery/bar/fake job.

We move throughout our day with some funny moments and the contestants (Flynn and Nola) even seem to get along for part of the day – especially while I am out of sight getting massages folding laundry. Then night time hits and BAM! this 2 on 1 date gets really crowded. The contestants are all showered and dolled up in their fanciest of pajamas and do not want to share their prized mother. Nope. In fact, one will even talk about how annoying the other is and that they might not be ready to commit to a night of sleep. “Nola doesn’t want to sleep. She wants to be downstairs”. Oh really, because a few minutes ago she told me you that you are still not over your ex-bedroom and still like to sleep in the other room on the trundle bed. Once we all settle into our nightly snuggle, the two of them basically dance around trying to be as close as possible to me with the famous line whines “may I interrupt for a minute” replaced with “she’s touching me” and “that’s my spot”.

Once the contestants are safe in bed, I can head to my confessional  group text and talk about each contestant and who is winning me over and who may not be here for the right reasons. I share how right now I am just so confused because I have connections to both of them. However, the producers really know how to shake things up and come May are going to really throw these two for a loop when a new guy is added and demands a whole ton of the prize Bachelorette’s attention! Tune in to see who makes it another week, who gets kicked out of the mansion Queen size bed and who ends up with their own spin-off show.

IMG_0003

5 Reasons Potty Trained Kids Aren’t All They Are Cracked Up to Be

IMG_0514

I have written before about my adventures with Flynn potty training. I wouldn’t even call it potty training, but more Flynn deciding to be done with diapers with a brief “trained” period followed by a few more months in the cloth diapers ended by a Flynn proclamation that diapers don’t cut it for him anymore give me some undies. When all was said and done he was around 2.5 years old.

Right at Nola’s 2nd birthday – she decided she wanted to wear underwear full time as well. Nola has been using the potty since 1. No joke the girl would use the potty for fun (or part of her night time entertainment routine) right after she learned to walk. Finally at two – she wanted underwear and to not wear diapers so we rolled with it. All was great at first – no accidents, but you did have to occasionally be like hey Nola why don’t you use the potty. Fast forward a month and just like Flynn, Nola is kind of over using the potty. And I am kind of over her not being in diapers. I am not going to go back to the diapers (just yet anyway), but I have compiled a list of 5 reasons I wish my kids stayed in diapers FOREVER. Or at least until they totally get the whole using the bathroom thing down pat.

  1. Your kid will forgot to pee on the potty at the worst times. Things will be going along great. No accidents, no need to constantly remind your kid “hey why don’t you use the bathroom”. You get cocky. You say to your husband wow this having your kid learn to use the potty business is really not hard. Then your kid will pee all over you at public place with change of clothes needed for both of you, but not a spare item around.
  2. Your kid will remember to pee on the potty at the worst times. Like six times at bedtime. And 30 minutes after falling asleep and at 5:34 AM. Don’t worry though because by 6:05 AM they will have forgotten that they are no longer wearing diapers and will pee their pants as you attempt to pour your second cup of coffee, but damn at 5:30 they will surely remember.
  3. Long car rides just became that much longer. Pre-kids you type your long distance travel plans into Mapquest and be like bah 5 hrs and 39 minutes I can totally do that in less hours. Post kids you are like “Lord, please let’s try do this in 6.5 hours.” Potty trained kids you are like God, please let me arrive there without a visit to the Hampton Inn. Seriously, Nola in diapers and I made the trip home in less than 6 hours. Nola not in diapers it took 8+ hours  and a few scenic bathroom breaks on the side of I-87.
  4. Cleaning a kid’s potty is gross. Like give me a dirty cloth diaper any day. I am sure once my kids graduate to using a real human toilet this “headache” will go away, but it seriously grosses me out cleaning out my kids potty seat. Every time I am wiping that thing with a Clorox wipe I am thinking to myself there has got to be Shark Tank idea here. Then I realize it is called the toddler size ring on top of the adult toilet seat, but my kids are seriously not a fan of that. Flynn flat out refuses to use that thing and Nola flat out refuses to do anything different than Flynn. So bring on the bleach and no sorry vinegar you won’t cut it.
  5. Public bathrooms are a hassle. Back in the day I could take my sweet diapered child to a cleanish area and change their diaper. Hello, Nordstrom’s mothers’ room. Now I play the game of which stall is the cleanest, can we all fit inside, please stop trying to flush that thing with your hands, No you cannot both pee at the same time, Nola please do not climb under that door there is another person in there, Flynn just please pee standing up, No, Nola you cannot pee standing up.  Why you ask? I do not know why take it up with God. And while you are talking to him, ask him about his reasoning behind the human bladder.

 

 

I Kind of Need a Trophy for Having it Really Hard. Just for Tonight.

IMG_4222

Sleep Terrorists

I really do not know where I am headed with this post, which probably means it will end up in my drafts only to be recovered as a diary entry a few months down the line reminding me of the night I wanted to runaway and not come back until my sleep debt was paid off and my children could fall asleep in less than 120 minutes.

I often write about how women – often stay at home women like myself – try to paint what we do as work and compare ourselves to working moms. More often than not the message comes across as look how hard we have it – you could never do what we do. It bothers me and I then rant and “attack” my fellow stay at home mothers, which rarely feels nice. However, today, after reaching what I am going to say is my breaking point (and really my husband is gone yet again this weekend so I don’t get to have a meltdown…just yet anyway), that many of the moms writing these pieces that rub me the wrong way – just want to say how hard it is for them and get some empathy or at least an outlet to complain and get a Lord, yes that is hard … without the well it you could have it worse or look at all you do have or being label the whiniest bitty on the block (even if I am the whiniest bitty on the block). Perhaps all they want is a trophy for having it the worst, but since we don’t give out those awards (and thankfully I would never win) we can start with some holy crap that really does suck.

I know my life could be harder. Tonight after a day of waking up at 4:30 and short naps that did nothing, but make things worse, my kids were not going to sleep, my house is seriously a disaster and my patience is completely gone. After one month of my “sleep routine” my kids might be going to bed earlier (we were starting with Nola going to bed at 11 PM or later folks), but at the expense of my sanity. Trying to get a 3 year old and 2 year old asleep in the same room is just not possible for me. Every suggestion does not work for my situation. The three times I let Nola wonder out of the room so Flynn could fall asleep without her wonderful voice serenading us, she has either pooped on the bathroom floor, sprayed her body and clothes with Jr Watkins Cleaning Solution or opened my computer and started doing “work”.  It could be harder/worse – I could be rubbing the back of sick child or praying to the Lord to return a husband not from work, but from the heavens above. I could be laying there worrying about paying for dinner instead of cleaning up dinner. There are so many worse situations than the one I am in. I know that and remind myself of that while I rub Flynn’s back for the 112th minute. But it doesn’t make what I am experiencing right now “easy”. Yes, it could be worse and I am grateful for so many things, but I am also drowning in the night time bedtime routine disaster of doing it alone. I am drowning in the long weekends alone. I am seriously drowning in pregnancy and lack of sleep. I am drowning even though I am so grateful to be pregnant and have two wackos to wake me up at 4:30.  I am sure there is advice that may help me solve these feelings or predicaments and I really need to figure them out, but quite frankly right now all I want to do is  just sit here with my milk and cookies, whine, get some empathy and maybe win a parent award for having it the hardest. Just this once.

IMG_4732

The whole day wasn’t a disaster and I really had great moments, but crap I cannot do the 5-9:30 bit alone much longer 🙂

What Am I Missing? Is There a Parent Award for Having it the “Hardest?”

IMG_3423

And so I begin again.

We are currently back visiting family and my husband took the kiddos to the playground while I am sitting around being pregnant and lazy and wasting time on social media. I come across yet another stay-at-home mom trying to tell a working mom she just doesn’t know how much harder it is being a stay at home. I barely could read the whole thing. It drove me nuts. (Sort of like the last time when I wrote this, followed by this)

Stay-at-home moms please stop! I know working mom rant articles may exist, but for some reason they don’t come across my radar nearly as often. Perhaps that is because working moms are too busy working and being a mom to write such rants. Or it could be because stay at home moms feel like they have to “defend” themselves more than working moms. Whatever the reason – it is getting old for me.

As expected, the comments on the article were a bunch of annoyed people or people screaming Amen. However, the bigger theme (besides people being in an uproar or people chanting thank you thank lady for saying it for me – were a bunch of people petitioning for the award of hardest scenario yet.

So mother’s listen up. This shit is hard and I am not sure who told you (I blame my mom she made 5 kids look easy) that it  wasn’t hard, but it is freaking hard. Whether you work or not. I love all of it –  the exhausting, and messy and my hair is never washed parts included. That being said – it is really freaking hard. It is hard to leave your kids in someone else’s care and rush to work and perform. It is challenging to be on kid schedule all day long picking up toy after toy all while playing whatever crazy game your kid whipped up.

As a stay-at-home mom, I have heard comments about how I live the life and must be nice to sit at the pool all day with my kids (ahem Dad). At times, I want to scream you realize I am not at the pool reading People magazine, drinking cocktails, right? But really – I am living the life. At least the life I want. Sure I would love to be able to afford a babysitter every now and then to go sit by the pool myself grocery shopping alone, but no situation is perfect.

As a working mom, I remember reading things (like the most recent article that annoyed me) and thinking who the hell do you think cleans my house, makes my kids’ lunch and what the heck do you think I do at work all day? Yes, there were “luxuries” sometimes (like being able to run into the coffee shop ALONE after dropping my kid off at daycare, although I will admit this was RARE because most days I was running late) or being able to take 10 minutes during the day to call the doctor and schedule an appointment. But those “perks” of being a working mom didn’t come without countless other obstacles. Just like staying home comes with the perk of alleviating the stress of “double-duty”, it also comes with the added mess of being in the house nonstop or the struggle of finding good things to entertain your kids.

IMG_3603

So let me compare some things working mom vs stay at home mom in hopes of shedding light that there are trade-offs – some things are easier, some things more challenging, but realize in the end it is all HARD.

Working moms often have childcare that you can utilize when not working. Like for example, it is probably rare you have to take your kid to an OB/GYN appointment. That being said, I know of working moms who have had to endure a Pap Smear with kids in tow and yes there are stay at home moms with babysitters who can go alone, but overall working moms have some form of built-in childcare that they can use along with some vacation time to make for kid free moments (tad easier than stay at home moms).

IMG_3461

Stay at home parents do not have to scramble to throw together a backup childcare plan when sick kids, snow days or doctor’s appointments need to occur.

Working parents do not have to deal with the pressure to entertain their children for 12+ hours a day ALONE. On the evenings/weekends, many parents are both home so you can divide and conquer or enjoy an activity together. That is not the same as being ALONE with your AWAKE children for long long hours – it is no easy feat keeping your kids engaged (and engaged with quality tasks).

Stay at home parents can “seize the moment”. Nice weather – lets head to the beach for the day. Mommy and me Class on Monday at 9 – sure got nothing else on the schedule. As a stay at home mom, I find it easier to connect with other moms because there are activities and events during the day to foster this, but as a working mom it is hard to find mommy and me swim lessons or other parent activities during the weekends (not non-existent, but harder).

Working parents houses do not get as messy because they are not utilized as much. There are less dishes to clean, toilets are utilizes less, the number of toys pull out is less. You get the picture. Working moms still have to clean their house, BUT the amount of cleaning and picking up needing to get done is not as much because for a lot of the week their kids make messes at childcare and they eat lunch at their desk (or in the fun rare occasion with other people!).

These are just some examples people. No situation is perfect. None. Being a parent is really hard work, but no matter if you stay at home or work, being a parent is also really awesome. Our kids can be huge pains in the ass and honestly they will be for the rest of their damn lives. (I still give my parents a headache) Kids also are incredibly awesome. So moms, when you need to vent about the hard parts – do just that vent – don’t try to say how much easier it is for this or that type of parent because seriously when your kid is 16 and pulls some stupid shit you will have to deal with it whether you are a working mom or a stay at home mom. And moms when a fellow mom needs to complain about how difficult things are right now – don’t sit there ticking off in your head how much harder it is for you because  in reality sides of the grass are full of shit, but if you actually look into it both sides also have some really green parts as well.

 

Desperate Times Call for Excel (The Tracking of Sleep or Lack Thereof)

FullSizeRender 9My children are horrible at sleep. Like seriously, horrible. A few weeks or months back (who knows anymore) I would say Flynn wasn’t horrendous. He liked sleep, took long, beautiful naps and didn’t run away from bedtime. He did still wake-up during the night, but on the scale from 1-10, with 1 being worst sleeper ever and 10 being Ferber’s children – Flynn was a 5. Okay maybe 4. Nola, well many know about Notorious Nola. She doesn’t need sleep. Lately, she has started to be a little fussy if she doesn’t take a nap, but really before the girl would just party all day and late into the night, then sleep in in the morning. In my bed.

EBA53DD8-97BF-4B3C-AE5F-D8185238D3BD

Between the move, me being the only person home during bedtime almost all nights, trips back home, and our good friend Daylight Savings time (oh and the loss of the Paci) sleep is pretty miserable. Flynn refusing naps, Nola napping when she felt like it and bedtime being a complete disaster with me trying to rub Flynn’s back for 900 years while Nola roamed the house unsupervised. Most nights consist of me floating between my bed, Flynn’s bed and the rare occasion Nola was in her bed – I’d make stops there too. I don’t think I had more than 3 hours straight…well actually since Flynn was born, but definitely not in the past few months.

2E1F5D39-4147-4DB7-A9BD-66EEE862FD39

And so I had enough. I don’t care if my kids sleep in my bed, in their bed or in the tub. They just need to sleep. And I also would like some naps. So I decided to suck it up and make a plan. Upon my return from a two week stint with my parents, I did what I do best. I made an excel tracker. I haven’t made one of these since 2013 when I would make them often to track the student data and I love excel and formulas and sortable filters. What – you don’t? I also decided to keep a strict routine – or as strict as I can get. (yes that sentence just summed up why my kids are probably terrible sleepers. That and I like to believe Nola is a genius and geniuses don’t sleep).  So for a little less than a week every night at 6 PM they bathe, we (Nola, Flynn and I) read books in the kids room, and I fight them to sleep. It takes FOREVER. Like no joke one night it was 9:15 before they were both in asleep. THREE HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES with more than two thirds of that being laying with them or rocking Nola. That is multiple hours of being like why don’t we still have pacifiers and why did I stop nursing Nola. And why don’t we all just go back to playing until you both pass out because I seriously might lose it.

FullSizeRender

I wish I could report that things are improving, but really they are not. Flynn wakes up between 5:30-6:00 every morning (and pre Daylight Savings we were at 7:45 wake up). Nola used to get nearly 11 hours of sleep (you know from 11:30 PM-10:30 AM), but now is getting way less than that.  They both fall asleep at nap time, but a lot of that requires planning a morning activity that has us driving home at nap time or wrestling with Flynn until he passes out. Many naps have been shorter than the time it took to get them to sleep. Oh and night wakings, the thing I dislike the most, have increased. A lot. I guess it’s just reminding me of life with a newborn. Dear Lord, there will soon be a newborn.

FullSizeRender 6

But I will continue on with the plan and use my trusty old excel tracker not because it will produce any reliable data, but because I really love excel. Like a lot. I will stick with the routine and in a few weeks, we can all have a fabulous party at 7 PM sharp (because my kids will sleeping by then) where we sit around and analyze my data and ultimately just conclude that the art of sleep was lost on my children and one day in the future  – we will all sleep … until they are teenagers and sneak out of the house and I have to go find them. (Sorry Mom) (PS – Nola is currently whining in there – off to check that box in my tracker).

730DF53B-0F3E-466D-954E-BE75DA3F8222

IMG_3688

Five Books Not to Read to Your Child At Bedtime

IMG_2440

Every night Flynn picks out a stack of books to read before bed. Some nights, we read, I rub his back, he falls asleep. Other times it does not go so smooth and I have narrowed part of the dilemma down to these 5 books or shall we say type of books.

Books with Character Figurines

When you read books that also have character figurines you own you are setting yourself up for failure. The book reading will turn into a full out search party for every character represented in the  book. The sweet Level 2 Reader Paw Patrol book that was suppose to only take 2.5 minutes to read is now turning into a 25 minute playroom investigation for the missing Skye. Never ends well.

IMG_2459

Books with Costumes

This is very much similar to above, however this requires additional outfits, outfits that often are not conducive to sleep. For instance, I thought the lovely book titled Good Night, Good Knight would be perfect for bed. I mean heck it has Good Night in the title. Except no. This book requires hopping out of bed and quickly locating all the pieces to 5 piece knight costume, including headwear before getting to page 2.

IMG_2327 2IMG_2475

Books that are Longer than the Movie

This is pretty self-explanatory, but pretty much steer clear of any book by Disney that is not a leveled reader. I never know how these books get into our collection. I can thank my wonderful aunt and godparent for passing down loads of books many of which are chapter book long Disney movie stories. These stories seriously take 25+ minutes to read and midway you wonder if the author of the book just did this to torture tired parents. Or perhaps just didn’t feel like summarizing so just went with the word for word translation. Either way – they take WAY too long.

IMG_2341 IMG_2476

Books with Catchy Rhythms

We got out this great book from the library that is short, sweet and Halloween oriented. Flynn’s favorite. However, this book always ends up being one of the last of the night and so the calming effect of the 45 minute Disney read goes out the window as your kid chimes in Bones, Bones, Look at the bones… OH NO. So catchy rhymes, funny voices, parts your kid likes to join in on – save those for the morning, otherwise you will adding a second 45 minute play by play of the Lion King just to get the kid to calm back down.

This book

Rabbit sleep

So many people write these reviews that this magical book put their kid to sleep. And to them that is amazing. However, with my both my kids this book was a signal that I was about to try to make them sleep. So they just got crazy and did everything in their power to ensure they did not fall asleep. Like locate figurines and costumes. The book actually had the reverse effect. Now perhaps you say my reading was not quite the way it was suppose to be, but oh no, I even played the audiobook. Those people know how to read and my kids were totally onto this Jedi-mind crap. And me, well I just felt like if I can’t even get this oh so popular book to work I must be doing something wrong. Until I whip out Disney Frozen and 160 minutes later my kids are passed out before Hans turns all nasty. Now that book – that book works magic.