Monday, February 27, 2012

Date Night

My parents generously offered to watch the boys on Saturday night, so we could have a date night.  I instantly thought of dinner, without children.  When I suggested a solo dinner to my husband, he thought we could try WineWorks... somewhere we would never bring the boys.  I dropped the boys off around 6 (after Jacob woke up from his nap, gathered his 'items', and I managed to herd everyone into the car). Got home around 6:40 pm, out the door around 7 pm... off to WineWorks. 

"Oh, you don't have a reservation? We can't seat you." My thought: "Seriously? We're in Mission Viejo, not Hollywood!" Hostess: "We even reserve our bar seating now." My face: "Well, that's great for you."

[caption id="attachment_342" align="alignleft" width="135" caption="image source:"][/caption]

Back to the car, hungry, annoyed, and not sure where to try next. Hubby says, "Let's call Amazing Grapes" We had tried to go to this place previously, on a Sunday afternoon sans children- but they were closed. We struck out with them again tonight, "No, we're full. Sorry" Well, at least we didn't drive all the way there to find that out!

Next place, Uncorked- "Sure, come on down! We have room, we'll save you a table." YES! I drive, hubby looks up their menu on his phone- sounds delicious... A smile returns to my face, it's getting late- but I'm really trying not to focus on that...

We walk in- and my mother-in-law is there with friends.  Really.  And to top it all off, the waiter is a customer that my husband got in an argument with earlier in the week.  Is there a hidden camera somewhere??

[caption id="attachment_341" align="aligncenter" width="198" caption="image source:"][/caption]

Got back to my parents house at 9 pm, and passed out at 9:30. Lesson: Date nights are overrated!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bitter, Party of One

This morning in Starbucks, I stood in line at 7:15 am, half awake after not sleeping well because of Baby Mayhem's molars. In front of me was a happy, wide-awake couple in casual clothes, with their perfectly behaved child in a jogging stroller.

[caption id="attachment_338" align="alignleft" width="146" caption="image source:"][/caption]

They smiled, leaned into each other and Perfect Wife said, "Hey- it's supposed to be warm today, we should go to the beach!" In that moment, I hated Perfect Couple. I hated them so much.

I wanted to crawl back in bed, put the covers over my head and disappear for a few hours of blissfully uninterrupted sleep. But instead, I was going to down a Venti Latte and head into the office for 9 hours, then sit in the car for another hour. I was Bitter, party of one.

I took action. I have scheduled a weekday for my family and I to spend together. Of course, I still won't look like Perfect Wife. And I won't be standing in line at Starbucks, calming discussing plans for the rest of the day. I can dream...

But first, I need to get through the rest of the day- without falling asleep.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


After feeling guilty that I was allowing JUST ONE MORE episode of 'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' last night, so I could take a bath and get 30 minutes to myself... I decided that maybe I would feel better if I just got this stuff off my chest. Since I know I'm not in the running for Mother of the Year 2012... maybe next year.

My laundry pile is bigger than me. I am pretty sure that laundry is a  full time job, but I've already got one of those. So, throw your pajamas in the corner.

[caption id="attachment_335" align="aligncenter" width="140" caption="image source:"][/caption]

Sometimes, we eat dinner around the coffee table.OK, it's more than sometimes, and last night it was chinese food take out.


My kids watch tv. With two children who are not in school yet, and no backyard in our townhouse- there is a lot of time in the house during the day. Baby Mayhem takes two naps, and that ties you to the house for ... what seems like the entire day. I'm not making excuses, but Nick Jr. is educational!

I love wine. No explanation needed here.

[caption id="attachment_333" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="image source:"][/caption]

I don't buy all organic food. When I was pregnant for the first time, I ate mostly organic food. It was 'for the baby'. Well, that was in 2008- and I haven't bought any organic food in a long time. I am working on serving up more veggies this year though- New Year's Resolution!

We don't do baths every night. I once had this idea that the kids needed to be put to bed CLEAN every night. Recently, I have been doing baths when Mayhem covers his crib in poo- or when Jacob wets the bed. There, now you know.
I'm in here because I was really dirty!
Sometimes I go to bed right after I put the kids to bed. Is that so wrong? Mama needs her sleep.

Is there anything you'd like to get off your chest? I know I'm not alone!


Monday, February 13, 2012

A picture is worth 1,000 words

Here are my two boys, at the same fountain yesterday-

[caption id="attachment_327" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Jacob- at a safe distance, staying dry"][/caption]

It amazes me that these two are brothers... 

[caption id="attachment_328" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Mayhem- trying to get IN the fountain, left soaking wet"][/caption]

Do I even need to say anything? By the way, I'm with Jacob- I didn't want to get wet!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby Mayhem

Baby Mayhem has taught me so many things in his first year of life. Did you know you can eat your entire body weight in Cheerios, and still want more food? Did you know that you can strike fear in a dog, just by waking up? Or that you can pee so much during a two hour nap, that your entire mattress is soaking wet when you wake up? Baby Mayhem taught me those things, and more. He taught me that your heart grows each time you have a child. He taught me to never underestimate a baby. I once believed that he would stay downstairs with Daddy, while I switched the laundry. Well, he pulled the baby gate open at the bottom of the stairs and climbed up to help me. Silly me!

No Fear! Baby Mayhem doesn't see boundaries. Now, this is a good thing and a bad thing in a one year old! But if you keep an open mind, and really think about why you think you can't do something- you may realize that you can.

Just smile. No matter how bad my day is, or how long my commute takes- when I walk in the door and see his big smile, all the trouble in the world melts away.

It's OK to be silly. My first born is very serious, Baby Mayhem is bringing out the silly. His belly laugh is something that I strive to hear every day!

Happy Birthday, Baby Mayhem.  Here's to many, many more happy memories!

[caption id="attachment_322" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Chocolate chips are yummy!"][/caption]

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'American' parenting - Stop generalizing!

In a new trend, Americans are being compared to other countries in terms of parenting abilities and techniques.  We've all heard of Tiger Mom, now we are hearing about Le Tigre Mom.  In a new book entitled Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, author Pamela Druckerman claims that the French are better at raising children than Americans!

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

Now, we all can learn a thing or two about parenting.  But we all do what works for our family, and what is best for our children (right?!).  When can we stop judging each other and just BE GOOD MOTHERS!?! The things that are 'better' about French parenting- discipline, delayed gratification, children sleep through the night, children are not as picky with healthy food, and the mothers lose baby weight faster. Really? Now, I have not read this book yet- but it sounds to me like the French have less parenting guilt than Americans.

They tell their children 'no', they put them on a schedule, and they expect them to behave. Well, I'm not French, but I tell my children NO, my children are not picky eaters and they sleep through the night. Many American mothers are challenged with working full time and feeling guilty about it- which can lead to less discipline. But that is not all of us! Not all of us let our children misbehave in public, without doing anything about it. I resent that generalization. I'm sure there are wonderful French mothers, but there are also amazing super-moms over here in America!

[caption id="attachment_248" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="image source:"][/caption]

I have to agree with Meagan Francis, author of The Happiest Mom. "There's no more effective mom than one who is true to her own principles and is open to new ideas, without jumping on every new fad just because somebody said it results in better kids." AMEN to that!

Disclaimer: I am not claiming that I am, or ever will be "super-mom."

Monday, February 6, 2012

What should they call you??

We were the first of our group of friends to get married, and subsequently the first to have a baby.  Our family is an ever-evolving experiment.  We are the 'test' to see if your dog is baby safe (well, only dogs that we already trust of course!).

[caption id="attachment_242" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="No, really, we like each other!"][/caption]

We were the first to bring a baby on our annual camping trip.  Thankfully, a fellow parent and camper had the brilliant idea of bringing a blow up pool!

[caption id="attachment_241" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Jacob camping with us in 2010"][/caption]

There are a lot of details, but generally we are the first to integrate children with our already existing life. It's been working pretty well, so far! But there are certain things that I wonder if we're doing... wrong. 

Our three year old calls our friends by their first name.  He always has.  They are aunts and uncles to him.  But, as he will be going to pre-school in September, I am wondering if we should teach him to call adults by "Ms. Webber" or "Mr. Reid" instead of first names.  I'm pretty sure that the ship has sailed for our close friends, but when my son told my mom that he had gone to the park with "Keri, Jenny and Mackenzie" I was a bit concerned, because I'm KERI! and Jenny is my friend! Shouldn't he be saying, "Mommy, Mrs. Busch and Mackenzie" ??

It is further complicated by the fact that it feels very strange for someone else's children to call me, "Mrs. Bullock".  I guess you just get used to it, kind of like when teenagers call you ma'am and you feel like you want to crawl under a rock. Do I look that old?!

[caption id="attachment_243" align="aligncenter" width="251" caption="Do we look like "Mr. and Mrs." ?? Well, the pirate doesn't help..."][/caption]

I could be making a mountain out of a molehill, but it just seemed odd to me! What do you think- is it OK for my son to call my friends by their first names?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Daddy's Home!


In a recent switcheroo, my husband now gets home earlier than I do in the evening. When I walked in the door last night, I realized three things:

1. He was cooking. Well, it was a quesadilla, but I have to give him credit.

2. My baby had a black eye. Learning to walk is dangerous! I wish I could bubble wrap him for the next few months.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="247" caption="image source:"]Image[/caption]

3. I was not in a huge rush to do anything! Pretty amazing, right?!

When I learned that I would be home later than him, I'll be honest- I was worried.  Worried that things would not get done, worried that getting home later would somehow not work, just worried. I'm not sure what exactly I expected. I think as a mother there is a feeling that no one else can do it 'right'. Maybe it's just me. And maybe I want it to be that way, because like I think the boys (all three of them) need me.

I was so relieved, that I couldn't help but smile.  No one was hurt, well, minus the black eye from earlier in the day. Everyone was eating.  Everyone was FINE. It's not that I have no faith in my husband, really! He just doesn't usually have to juggle the household chaos alone, and I'm used to it.

When I walked in the door, I heard, "MOMMY!" coming from the kitchen.  It was actually kind of nice, but I was happy that Daddy was home... and we were all together, even if it was a little later in the evening. Have you had to work late?  What was your experience?