Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mommy Wonder: Little Squirt

Everyone warned me (or at least I think they did) that baby boys will pee on you when you change them. Clearly I did not listen to them.  I cannot even count how many times Mad Man got me while I was changing him or while he was in the bath.  The funny part was my amazement each time.  I was completely astounded every time I got a shot of pee in the face.  I would scream "Oh!  Oh!" while trying to cover it up.  The funniest time was when T Bear was in the bathroom with me wanting to see me change his diaper.  He really unleashed this time.  He got her, me, our dog, the walls, the changer, the floor...everywhere.  T's reaction was hilarious.  She too was completely baffled by this!  Looking back on it, it really was funny, although at the time it was quite gross.  You would think that after the first time I would have learned, but I didn't.  It took several rounds of changing my clothes and the changing table cover, and wiping down the walls, the changing table, and the floor that I started to devise a plan.  In the tub I covered his little wee willy wonka, as I have named it, with a wash cloth.  As for diaper changes I used a wipe to cover him.  Certainly not brain science, but it still took some thought!

Another time Mad Man was having an ultrasound on his wee willy wonka and I warned the technician about his spraying power, to which he casually replied, "I deal with this all the time."  To his surprise, Mad Man responded by spraying full power all over the table.  I have to say I loved my little man a little bit more at that moment!

I remember sharing my wonder with one of my good friends.  She has a grown-up son and was so thankful for me reminding of her of that.  It was something that was so present for me, and a fond memory for her.  Kind of special.

I miss those diaper changes.  It was always a surprise and I was never quite sure what was going to happen. It is quite wondrous how powerful that little thing was.  I mean nothing in the bathroom was safe!  Oh, my little squirt...literally. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Disney Vacay 2013: Day 2

Day two at Disney started off in a whirlwind.  We had scheduled a character breakfast at 'Ohana at the Polynesian Resort with the whole softball team and chaperones - twenty two people in all.  So, in order to get there on time we had to leave an hour and a half early.  We managed to get everyone out the door, on the bus to the Magic Kingdom (there is no direct line of transportation) for our 9:30 reservation.  The bus was there quickly, but was super crowded.  I had Mad Man in the Bjorn and had to stand.  Let me say my biceps had quite the workout holding on to the two straps above me!  Balancing was quite interesting.  From the bus we walked past the entrance to the Magic Kingdom (not an easy task for this Disney fanatic) and got on the monorail.  T definitely enjoyed all of the sights, but was getting very hungry.  Once at the Polynesian we had to wait a while for our reservation.  T was beyond at this point, but held it together pretty well.  Let me say that the Polynesian is awesome; I would love to stay there some day. 

We had a section in 'Ohana with three big tables.  The servers brought out huge portions of scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, hash browns, bacon, and sausage.  There was also fresh fruit with a yummy dip on the table, along with sticky buns.  Everything was delicious!   I particularly loved the juice.  The food, however, was only half of the experience!  The characters were fantastic!  We got to see Mickey, Lilo, Stitch, and Pluto. Each character comes around to the table and interacts with the kiddos - it was incredible.  T has never been excited about big characters - she won't sit on Santa's lap or the Easter Bunny and some Halloween costumes on adults even scare her.  However, at this breakfast she was all about the characters.  She hugged them, posed with them, and talked to them.  Mad Man on the other hand was not feeling it!  He has sat on Santa's lap with no problem, but once Stitch came up behind him and breathed on his head he was done with the characters!  They also invite the kids to do a conga line around the restaurant - T and I loved it!  The character breakfast is so worth it!  Loved it!!!!

After breakfast we headed back to the hotel.  We hung out and did a little swimming.  The team headed off to the fields for their night games.  The kiddos and I were on our own!  Da da dah...  We continued swimming, lo and behold T had to go potty again!  So, in another mad dash back to the room we made it - however, we lost one of her brand new sandals along the way.  Ugh.  So, after my little lecture about taking care of stuff and not rushing Mommy and any other grievance I had at the moment, we retraced our steps and miraculously found the lost sandal.  At this point I felt guilty for being so hard on her, after all she is only four.  So, we decided to play in the sand for a while.  It was a lot of fun watching Mad Man try to navigate the unfamiliar terrain and T Bear had a blast rolling in the sand and digging in it.  We ended up having a great time on our own!

As dinner approached, I reminded T Bear that I would need a big four year old since I was alone.  We made our way to the restaurant.  Luckily, a few nice young men held the doors for me since the double stroller is beyond difficult to maneuver through doorways!  I didn't really have a game plan on how to carry all of the food, but I figured it would work out and it did.  One of the servers offered to carry my tray to each station, which was so nice.  Then I realized they had lids, so I was able to load everything in the stroller and head off!  Success.  Now T Bear generally does not eat well and meals are laborious to say the least.  She must have sensed that she needed to do a good job, so she ate her whole dinner, Mad Man ate his and I was even able to finish my meal (unheard of!).  Although, I will note that the broccoli rabe was nasty!  As a reward for such a great dinner we went to the hotel store (which T had been begging to do...I mean the poor girl barely has any toys - note my sarcasm!).  T picked out a fancy Minnie Mouse doll and we found a Mickey Mouse for Mad Man.  I was feeling pretty good about my single parent adventures.  So, we decided to head to the ESPN Wide World of Sports to see Hubby's game. 

I didn't dare bring the stroller on the bus, so I Bjorned Mad Man and T had to walk.  I had clearly forgotten just how long the walk was!  Poor little thing; it felt like we walked forever and the temperature was quickly dropping.  We made it and stayed for the end of the first game.  After the game, T chatted with the girls and played for a few minutes on the field.  Well, she must have used up her quota for good behavior because when I told her it was time to leave she threw a fit and told me that she wanted me to go to heaven.  Nice. No more Mrs. calm nice mommy.  I pulled her close and in my stern, quiet voice told her to say good bye and start walking.  She did.  I do not think she has any idea of what she meant by what she said, but still.  She has an obsession with  heaven and what happens when you die, she is constantly questioning me on it.  Clearly I haven't done an adequate job explaining the whole concept!  We continued on our long trek home.  We were just about freezing and made the long journey back toward the bus.  Of course, with my oh so on point sense of direction we went down the wrong path and ended up in what seemed to be a restricted area with Atlanta Braves trucks pulling out.  This was the only time during the whole trip that I felt unsafe.  It was dark, there was virtually no one around, and I was by myself with two little ones.  My senses were definitely on high alert.  We arrived back to the hotel and ended the day on a good note snuggling in bed.  Phew.

High:  The triumph I felt after managing all afternoon and evening on my own (even though I do it all the time at home - being on vacation somehow makes it different)!
Low:  That heaven comment. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Naughty Ballerina: The Saga Continues

Well, the last five weeks have been a roller-coaster in terms of T Bear's dance class.  We are down to the wire.  The most heartbreaking aspect of this whole situation is that I can tell she wants to go in to class and she desperately wants to be on stage, but her emotions are holding her back.

Five weeks ago she had me take her to the bathroom just before class was about to start.  I was hopeful seeing as how the bathroom is located inside the studio.  Then when she finished I couldn't get out the door. She was crying and holding onto me.  I ended up having her sit on my lap in the waiting room for the entire class.  She could hear class going on and a few times I really thought she was going to go in, but she didn't. Then she heard the song for the recital come on and she was desperate to go in.  I wouldn't let her because it was the end of class.  There was only like five minutes left.  So, she cried a little about that too.

So, we tried again the following week.  She insisted on having Mima come and said she would go right in. She didn't.  She started her fit.  The waiting room was super crowded.  We tried to coax her in, I gave her a few warnings, but she wouldn't budge.  We left and I told Miss S that I thought we were done.  Mima was not pleased with little Miss T.  We decided to go home and not do anything "fun".  When we got home I explained to T that I was going to pack up her leotards and tutus, which she desperately didn't want.  I was certainly at a loss.  We talked a little bit more about it and then I decided to put the ball in her court.  I told her that she could have one more chance and that if she wanted to go she would have to tell me, but if she didn't go in then it was over: no costume, no leotards, no tutus, and no recital.  After that conversation we didn't talk much about it.  During the week she did mention going to class a few times.  My sister mentioned trying to go to the studio when Miss S had down time and just hanging out for a little bit.  Miss S was game, so on Thursday we went in and T and Miss S had a little mock class.  Then Miss S played the recital song (How to Believe sung by Bridgit Mendler) and T danced around.  She had a blast.  She did get very anxious when the little girls started to enter the studio for their class so really I didn't have high hopes for her upcoming class.

The next day she had an offer to go to Hubby's softball game an hour away with her good friend and her father.  She was so excited, but when it cam time to leave she couldn't do it.  She was screaming and pulling on my shirt; so, she ended up staying home and was very disappointed and wished she had gone.  Then something dawned on me.  I recalled a book we had that we had not read in some time: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  The premise is that a little raccoon is nervous about starting school, so his mom kisses his hand and tells him her love will stay with him even when he is at school.  So, I read it with T on Friday night and she loved it.  She was completely captivated by the story and I even ended it with kissing her hand and putting a sticker on her hand so she would remember my kiss.  She loved it.  She woke up the next morning (as she usually does on Saturdays) saying she would go right in to dance.  We picked up Mima and were running late.  By the time we got to the studio all of the girls were already in and the door was closed.  We got her ready.  She was reticent, but we managed to get her through the door.  She wouldn't join the circle of girls, but did sit on the floor by the door.  She tried to chat with me, but I told her that she had to do what the class was doing and that I would watch for a minute.  She showed me her kissing hand sticker and I was able to leave with no tears!  She joined the class as soon as they stood up and she made it through the class without crying!  Holy Mother...hallelujah!  I was beyond proud of her.  I rewarded her with the Sofia the First doll she had been coveting and we had a great day!  (As a side note she has slept with this doll every night since and pretty much brings her everywhere - she is quite proud of herself!)  She tells everyone she got her for going in to dance like a big girl.  Since then she has done the exact same thing (sitting by the door then joining class) for the past two weeks!  Triumph!  Now we have made it through the year.  One last obstacle: the recital.  It is this coming weekend and we will see how it goes!  Wish us luck!  

High:  Seeing T overcome her fear and make it through several classes without crying or having a fit!
Low:  The Saturday that I was ready to throw the towel in. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Walt Disney World Vacay 2013: Day 1

It is no secret that Walt Disney World is my favorite place in the world.  I have loved it since I first visited in my teens and have returned about fifteen times.  A few weeks ago we went as a family plus Hubby's high school varsity softball team.  That's right the four of us, plus thirteen teenage girls, three parents, and Hubby's right hand man in all things softball.  You may be asking yourself if I am crazy and the answer is a resounding yes!!  My sister and her boyfriend met us there to partake in the excitement and obviously to help me out with my two little ones since Hubby was quite preoccupied.  My final take on the trip: we survived!  I am going to create a series of posts detailing our experiences, as we all know I can be a bit verbose!!

Day 1: We met at the school bus garage at 1:00 am, that's right AM.  Waking two little ones to get on a bus is insane in itself, but it gets better.  We had to travel by school bus, four and a half hours to the airport. Apparently the travel agent got us a "great" deal on tickets from this airport (I am not convinced).  The kiddos were pretty good.  They fell back asleep pretty easily.  The problem was that the bus driver had to keep stopping - to stretch his legs or smoke or whatever - so the kiddos kept waking up.  Mad Man was screaming at one point, so I removed him from his car seat and nursed him back to sleep.  At another point T was melting down, so I took her out and cuddled her for a while.  We finally made it to the airport with not as much time to spare as we had imagined, got the kiddos dressed, got breakfast and got on the plane.  Then we were delayed for an hour on the runway.  Good times with a toddler who wants to run around!  T played with her Leap Pad the whole time and ate breakfast!  The flight was turbulent, but went well.  Mad Man slept almost the whole flight (unheard of for this little guy!).  T was great and really loved the flight!  Once we landed it was a mad dash to get the whole group to the Magical Express.  For some reason we go the wrong way every time we go!  We did manage to locate it...after a short jaunt around the terminal.  Once on the bus Mad Man was antsy until the video came on.  He was beyond excited each time he saw a character on the screen.  He would scream with exuberance and point at the screen.  It was hilarious!  T fed off of his excitement and created her own.  Then we had the ridiculously long wait outside the lobby while Hubby checked in the entire group.  Now, God bless him, he has many talents, but traveling is not one of them.  He is not a comfortable traveler, add the responsibility of thirteen teenagers to the mix and you have one very anxious, on edge man.  While he checked in I chased the kiddos around the benches in front of the building. Mad Man was trying to eat the wood chips and run into the road. T Bear was playing in the bushes. By the time check-in was complete the kiddos were done and frankly so was I.  Luckily our room was ready so we made our way there and dropped off the numerous carry-ons I was lugging around.  I wanted to take the kiddos to get some lunch, but Hubby wanted to wait for all of the girls.  So, I grabbed the hotel key and took off toward the restaurant with the kiddos in the double stroller.  I miraculously found some things for the kiddos to eat and made my way to the check out.  This is when the steam literally came out of my ears as I tried to use my room key to charge the meal to, only to find out the key was not set up to make charges.  Seriously?!  I have no idea why, since we have done that every other time, I guess Hubby decided to change the rules.  So, I put back the food and stormed off to find Hubby.  Luckily (for him) he was just entering the restaurant and we were able to remedy the situation, since he actually had his wallet with him.  We sure make some team!

After lunch, which was not enjoyable as T Bear was melting down, we headed back to the room to relax. Mad Man was not interested in napping and T only wanted to go swimming.  So, Hubby went off with the softball girls and I managed to get the kiddos in their bathing suits.  At this point my dad showed up for a few minutes (he had been in Orlando on business and was flying home that evening).  We all headed to the pool and then he had to leave.  Too short for my liking.  The kiddos and I swam for a while, when all of a sudden T said, "I have to go poop".  Ugh.  Of course.  I hurried her out of the pool and told her to hold it.  I had flashbacks of our previous times in the pool when she didn't quite hold it.  Gross.  I plopped them in the stroller and raced toward the room.  Now, you may be thinking isn't here a bathroom a the pool?  Why yes there is, however in my haste I didn't even think about it and took off for our room.  We made it in time. Then we relaxed the rest of the day.  Certainly a full day.

High:  Experiencing the building excitement with the kiddos as we approached the hotel.
Low:  All the waiting - on the bus, on the plane, during check-in.