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Don’t Just Look. Feel. Smell. And Other Things I Say to Mike.

21 Jan

So I know…I’m blogging again. Gasp! Shock! Applaud! Are we done yet?

Being a single parent sucks. When Mike is out-of-town, I’m a complete mess. I wake up every hour, I sleep with the lights on, the tv on, the alarm on. I check the windows a million times…every sound is either an earthquake or a burglar. I’d prefer burglar…at least I could aim a rifle at him…maybe. Earthquakes I’m just a sitting duck.

What happened last night kind of takes the cake in my ability to be a single mom superwoman. I pick Ava up from school, head to the gym, get home, cook dinner (and by cook I mean microwave chicken nuggets) and while I’m “cooking” I decide to empty the litter box. While I’m doing this Ava comes into the kitchen to tell me she wants six chicken nuggets, not the original four she requested and that she would like ketchup AND honey tonight. I answer her, she tells me the kitty box stinks and to put the lid back on, which I do. I walk away and that’s that.

UNTIL 5pm today when I get the following phone call from Mike:

Him: Just a piece of advice…
Me: What? What did I do?
Him: When did you empty the litter box?
Me: Last night. Why?
Him: Last night?!?!?!
Me: Just tell me what happened!!!!
Him: Babe, you put the lid on backwards.
Me: What do you mean backwards?
Him: Meaning the entrance to get in is facing the wall…there is no entrance.  
Me: Oh my God!
Him: So last night at what time?
Me: Like 8pm. I think. Shit.
Him: I’m trying to figure out where she went to the bathroom.
Me: Have you checked the beds? Check the beds…this isn’t something we want to find out at 10pm tonight when we’re trying to go to sleep.
Him: I’m looking.
Me: Don’t just look. Feel. Smell. (yes…I said smell)

And this, people, is why I should not be left alone. I can’t even empty a litter box and put the lid back on correctly. I’m sure many of you are questioning my ability to parent at this point. We’re totally fine there though since Mike always leaves the toilet seat up we’re in no danger blocking the entrance to Ava’s bathroom. At some point I’ll share the story about the time a guest came over and put the toilet seat down.

Channeling the Old Navy Commercials

10 Nov

The other night we had to stop by Del Amo Motorsports so I could get Ava a helmet and sign some papers. I was waiting to meet with a lady there and was talking to another lady. Ava was behind me and every few seconds I turned around to make sure she was there and not causing trouble. I hear her little voice say, “Mom, will you take a picture of me and my friend?”

So I turn around and this is what I see:

 So I start cracking up because she’s totally waiting and expectant. Can you see how happy she is? So I take the picture. Immediately send it to my Dad and Mike. My dad says she’s part of the new Old Navy commercials. If you don’t know what I’m talking about go here:

Next thing I do is call Mike since he didn’t respond. He didn’t get the picture and asks what it was. Here’s the conversation:

Me: It was a picture of Ava holding hands with a mannequin.
Him: What? Why was she holding hands with a mannequin?
Me: It was her friend! (giggles)
Ava: Mom, what’s a mannequin?
Me: It’s a person who’s not real.
Ava: She wasn’t real??? (Heartbroken)

And can we talk about this mannequin for a second? I mean really with the boobs? They have these crazy mannequins in downtown LA too…except the ones down there have giant butts instead of giant boobs.

Should I be concerned that my daughter is friends with a mannequin?

Everybody Toots: Part 1

29 Oct

I cannot promise the laughter of yesterday or the same level of ickiness. But I can assure you that by the end of this post, my husband will be embarrassed. Sorry babe.

Day Two of parent/teacher conferences I show up to the school right around 4pm. Today it’s just Tricia (Amanda’s mom) who was there to witness what happened. Thankfully Tricia also has an almost 4 yo little girl, Amanda, and gets that kids say, well, whatever is on their mind. So we’re standing there chatting and Ava farts.

On a side note…when your kid farts in public, which is often, it’s embarrassing. I know it’s a normal bodily function but still they don’t do the silent ones…they are loud and command attention. So she farts and starts laughing hysterically and says, “I farted!”

Me: Ava, what do you say?
Ava: Excuse me.
Me: Thank you.
Ava: (to Tricia) My daddy likes to fart. He farts alot. He farts in my bed!
Me: Ummm….well, he doesn’t really fart in your bed Ava. He just says it when you’re taking too long to get into bed so you’ll hurry up.
Amanda: My daddy likes to fart too!

Thankfully at this point Tricia is laughing. I’m embarrassed…what kind of parents tell their kid they are going to fart in their bed if they don’t hurry up and get into it? So now, not only does my kid play with her poop, invite friends to play with her poop, but she also has parents who threaten to fart in her bed as a motivation. If anyone is giving out parent of the year awards, I’ll be the mom who’s hiding her face in her hands giggling…because….well…frankly…in our house the majority rules that farting is funny.

(And for all you gasping about it being funny…it is…but it’s also something we try to teach her she should excuse herself for…we do believe in manners most days)

Everybody Poops: Part 2

28 Oct

Last Thursday and Friday were parent/teacher conferences at Ava’s school. This means the school closes at 4pm on both days. Since Mike was on jury duty I was on pickup duty. Thursday afternoon I show up to her school at 3:55. I walk in the class and Ava is in the restroom. So I wait…all the other parents are waiting too. And I wait some more. Finally I ask her teacher, is she going #2? The teacher says she is and that she’s been in there awhile. Shortly after that I hear some giggles coming from the bathroom. I should note that there are 2 toilets in restroom but no individual stalls. The giggles were cause for concern. I peek in the restroom and see Ava and Myoko washing their hands and laughing hysterically. So…..

Me: What’s so funny girls?
Ava: We were playing with my poop! (giggles uncontrollably from both girls)
Me: Huh? What do you mean you were playing with your poop?
Ava: It was floating in the potty so we picked it up and it broke in half. (more uncontrollable giggles)
Me: Ava, please tell me you aren’t serious!!!! Please tell me you’re joking. What did you do???? (frantically)
Ava: I took half of it and she took half of it and we squished it between our fingers! (more uncontrollable giggles)
Me: Oh my God. Oh my God! OH MY GOD!

I grab her teacher and tell her what happened as all the other parents look on. They are kind of laughing. I’m just really grossed out. We scrub both girls hands, change their shirts (just in case), pour some more hand sanitizer on their hands…wash them again. I’m mortified at this point. This is just awesome. I’m sure the other parents will forever describe me as the mom of the kid who plays with her own shit. I really wish this story ended there.

So we’re walking out the door and Ava is still laughing so hard. I’m telling her it’s not funny…that playing with poop is gross. And then…the bomb:  

Ava: And then we ate it Mom! (fit of giggles)
Me: YOU WHAT?????? Please tell me you’re lying!!!!!
Ava: What’s lying?
Me: AVA….DID YOU REALLY EAT YOUR POOP???? (shocked I’m even asking this question)
Ava: Yes!!!!
Me: OMG…OMG….OMG…what do I do? OMG.

So I call the one person who will find this hilarious…Auntie Heather. And I’m right…now she’s on the phone in a fit of giggles. I tell her, “SHE ATE HER POOP!!! Is that even safe? Should I take her to the ER?” Ava’s in the backseat hysterically laughing…Heather is on the other end of the phone hysterically laughing….then I’m hysterically laughing. Heather says, “Ask her what it tasted like.” At first I’m like, “Huh…why would I do that?” And then it hits me…duh…because she’s probably lying.

Me: Ava, what did your poop taste like (I cannot believe I have asked my child this question)
Ava: It tasted like chocolate!

Whew! She finally admitted that she didn’t eat it. But man…I was dying you guys. What the hell? Has anyone else’s kid ever purposely played with their own poop? I’m a little mortified.

Tomorrow I will give you the story of how pickup went on Friday. My child…I just don’t know about that kid sometimes.

I Love the Nordstrom Return Policy

1 Sep

Do you want to know a secret? It’s a secret I was afraid to tell for a really long time. You can’t judge me because it’s real and I’m pretty sure most people don’t say this but there’s been two births in my life recently. Combine that with a video I saw today about mom’s who wrote messages about what they wish they knew before they had kids. It got me thinking about Ava being born and that whole experience.

Here’s my secret: The first few days after I had Ava, I wished there was a return counter. A Nordstrom’s return counter because they let you return anything, even if you didn’t buy it there. True story.

All these women told me, “Oh…it was love at first sight.” And if you look at pictures right after I gave birth, it was. Oh yes…it was the honeymoon stage that lasted all of but like 24 hours or something. I wanted to be in love with her but I wasn’t. She invaded my life, interrupted my sleep and was so damn needy. She nearly chewed my nipples off, screamed for hours on end and, at first, was zero return on my investment. I thought, “Oh my dear God, what have I done? I was so happy and now I’ve messed it all up.” And don’t mistake what I’m saying…I loved her from the beginning. I stayed up and begged Mike to let me hire someone to come make sure she breathed all night. And by begged I mean cried and pleaded and tried to make a case. I was so scared she was going to stop breathing. So I know I loved her. But that “I’m so glad you’re here and I’m so in love with you” feeling, that didn’t come right away.

I cried and cried and cried some more. I cried because I couldn’t stop crying. I cried because what kind of person who wanted a baby her whole life could have one and then think, “Wow, this is too hard and I might not want to do this?” I mean really, so much guilt came with that. I remember my best friend telling me later that she thought I was a little crazy during that time. And then she had a child and I got that phone call, “Can you please come over?” And she said, “How come nobody tells you about this part? How come everyone pretends like it’s so awesome and wonderful and that they are so in love?” And I said, “Because nobody wants to admit it kind of sucks at first.”

So I wish women were a little more honest because it would have been so nice to have known that I wasn’t the first person to feel that way. That I wasn’t a shit mom. That it would pass the minute she smiled at me. That it would melt away a little more the first time she giggled. That the pride I would have the first time she crawled, walked and talked would let me know I was in love with her…a little more each day. Until the love that I had was incomparable to anything I had felt in life. That the happiest moments would come singing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” with her in kitchen while making dinner.

Tonight we sang it while making tacos and no matter how many times I tried to teach her that the song goes, “My oh my what a wonderful day” she kept singing, “My oh my what a beautiful day.” And then I stopped correcting her because it is a beautiful day.

I Lost Ava

23 Aug

I think every parent’s biggest fear is that something will happen to their child. Yesterday we went to a concert in the park and it was crowded. Very crowded. We were getting ready to leave and we were packing up and Mike and I both turned to put something in the cooler and Ava was right there. Except that when we turned back around, she wasn’t.

I immediately say, “Where’s Ava?” And I should note that sometimes Mike jokes around too much so I wasn’t sure if he was serious when he said, “I don’t know.” I quickly realized he looked panicked. We start looking left to right, up and down but we don’t see her anywhere. I started panicking. There were so many people and she’s so cute and I just thought, “Oh my God…someone has taken her.” We start frantically searching and still don’t see her. I start asking people, “Have you seen my daughter. She’s wearing a purple dress.” You guys…I NEVER want to have to describe what my child is wearing to a complete stranger again. It makes me sick to my stomach. About that time I see her running down a hill that was behind where we had been sitting. I should have known to look there…she had asked three times if she could run down that hill and I’d said, “Not right now.”

When I saw her, I started laughing. I’m not sure if that was an appropriate response but I think it was relief…it was manic. I don’t really know. Then I just hugged her and I wouldn’t let go. I was afraid to let go. I actually carried her almost all the way to the car and cried the whole time. Of course I talked to her and told her why she shouldn’t run off like that. She said she was sorry and she cried too. But I couldn’t shake it…and I still can’t shake it.

I was getting her dressed for bed last night and started crying all over again. And I’m not just talking watering eyes…I’m talking can barely breathe crying. It made me realize how quickly something can happen. You hear people say all the time, “It just takes a second.” I’m so fortunate and happy that my story has a happy ending. We are and have always been pretty protective and watchful of her. We both just turned around at the same time and she disappeared just like that, but I still can’t help but feel guilty. I can’t help but feel I kind of failed yesterday as a parent. It’s my job to protect her.

Feel free to share your story of how you “misplaced” your child so you can make me feel better.

Everybody Poops

18 Jul

I’m about to share some not so dinner friendly conversation about one of the joys of parenting. Consider yourself warned. I’ll start by saying everybody poops. Yes. Even you. We don’t need to talk about it normally but I have a child who has suddenly decided she’s scared of pooping. I recently spent the weekend in Vegas and I get a call from Mike and this is how that goes:

Mike: How do you get her to poop?
Me: I just hold her hands and give her hugs and tell her to just push. (lovely, huh?)
Mike: She won’t go. Maybe I should just give her a suppository. (at which point Ava starts screaming bloody murder)
Me: I dunno what to tell you. Try and get her to go. If that doesn’t work, then go the suppository route.

Well, he ended up having to give her a suppository. Fast forward to today. She tells me she has to go poop and then starts crying. She’s holding it in and saying, “I need to go away.” She physically thought she could run away from pooping. At which point all I can think of is that Southwest slogan “Need to get away?” Because apparently Ava needs a vacation from bodily functions.

So I sit in the bathroom with her trying to coax her to go. No luck. So then I grab my laptop and put on the “Everybody Poops” song. Here I am sitting on the bathroom floor playing a poop song on my laptop. You know you wish you were me! Not one of my favorite parenting moments. So here’s where it gets fun. I finally decide I have to give her a suppository. I will not go into the gory details but it’s horrible having to do this. She hates it. I hate it. It takes two of us to hold her down and that part just breaks my heart. She’s screaming bloody murder and yells, “Get your finger out of my butt!” I’m pretty sure my neighbors are going to call CPS on me.

P.S. And my finger was NOT in her butt. I feel like I have to point that out. The suppository was in her butt.

I See A Future…

18 Jun

Bet you people are thinking this is going to be an inspirational post…nope. Not even close. I DO have something I want to tell all you lovelies about but I can’t. Yet. Because I’m superstitious and think it’s best to wait. Now all of you are thinking I’m pregant. I’m not. I promise.

Okay, so we’ve had some sleep issues with Ava. I wouldn’t even call them issues. She’s been sneaking into our bed around 2 am every night. And I do love it. It’s nice to wake up to her sweet little face. What I don’t love is being kicked to hell and back between 2 and 6am. She’s killing me and Mike. So we decide no more sneaking in. We explain it to her and her first response to me is, “That’s really not fair mom. You get to sleep with Daddy EVERY night and I have to sleep ALL BY MYSELF!” She’s got a point. But that’s besides the point.

So I try my next plan and this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Okay. If you quit sneaking into our room at night, I’ll tell Santa how good your being and maybe he’ll bring you a scooter for Christmas.
Ava: How far away is Christmas?
Me: 6 months
Ava: Hmmmm. Well, how about a scooter AND a pogo stick? (don’t know why she wants a pogo stick or where she saw one)
Me: How about just a scooter and I tell Santa to bring it a little early?
Ava: Done.

That’s right folks, not only did I bribe my child but she negotiated the terms of the bribery. Was this effective? She has been in her bed, all night, for 5 straight nights!!! I’m a freaking genious! I’ve created my “bribe list” below for future reference.

Bribe List

  1. Disney Princess Scooter
  2. Slip ‘n’ slide
  3. Bicycle with training wheels
  4. Sandbox
  5. Her own tv
  6. New clothes
  7. Free color with markers day (because I’m a neat freak and won’t let her have them)
  8. Play-do playtime (again with the neat freak thing)
  9. A real bed (she has a toddler bed now)

Am I a bad parent if I give her a new bed and then hold out on the sheets and use them as a bribe too?

Saturday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

15 Jun

It started out fine. Mike was working in San Diego and Ava and I got up to get ready for Mimis ballet recital. Ava was SOOOOO excited to see her best friend on stage. I suggested we stop and get Mimis flowers and Ava thought that was a great idea. She picked out red roses and was adamant about them being red. I asked her if she wanted flowers for herself and she picked out red gerbera daisies. I thought I had my bases covered with getting her some too. BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!

So the recital was wonderful and I was very proud of Mimis and how great she did. For a little girl who was very shy out of the gates, she really did awesome up there on that stage! Ava did great watching her and sitting still for an hour and half while everyone performed. Then came time to give Mimis her roses…

Ava has a meltdown of epic proportions. She starts crying and keeps saying she wants the roses and wants to give Mimis the daisies. And I told her no…she had already told Mimis she was giving her the roses before the show so that’s what she had to give her. Ava got so upset…hiccup crying, snot running down her face and that high-pitched squeal kids get when they aren’t getting their way. I tried to calm her down. I offered to get her roses later. Nothing was working.

We were supposed to go to lunch with the whole group and I told Casie, I didn’t think we were going to make it. I couldn’t get her to calm down and thought it best if I take her home at this point. I have never seen Ava act this way. We breezed through the terrible 2’s. So I was so thrown off by it. I get her in the car and she is still screaming. I start driving and she starts kicking the back of the seat and squealing again. So I slam my hand down on the center console and yell, “ENOUGH!” Hmmm…well…things went from bad to worse at this point. She sobbing and in between sobs this is what she says, “You’re. (sob) You’re. (sob, sob) A. (sob) Mon (sob, sob) MONSTER!!!”

I’m not lying when I say she broke my heart. For. Real. I started sobbing. Like hiccup crying, snot running down my face sobbing. And I know she’s 3 and I know she doesn’t mean it. I know she’s mad but you guys…that hurt. I know hitting the center console in the car isn’t one of my finer moments as a parent but man…I was just maxed out.

We get home and I put her in her room…she’s still screaming bloody murder. I tell her she can come out when she’s ready to talk about how she’s behaving. She screamed for twenty minutes before she finally comes out. What does she do? She looks at me and starts crying and says, “I want my roses.”

Oh Lord! I try talking to her but she can’t talk…she’s too upset and she’s being completely bratty. So I send her back to her room. She screams for another 20 minutes and comes out calm. I think, “Great…we’re on the right track.” She tells me, “I’m ready to go to lunch now.” I explain to her we can’t go to lunch because of how she behaved earlier. I explain that I asked her to calm down earlier and told her if she didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to go to lunch. So now, we can’t go to lunch…lunch is over. Meltdown: Take 457!

She starts screaming at me, “I WANT FRENCH FRIES!!!! I WANT TO GO TO LUNCH NOW!!! YOU TAKE ME TO LUNCH RIGHT NOW!!!” I said, “Well, I’m sorry but we can’t go to lunch. I can make you lunch here but we aren’t going out for lunch.” She picks up an ink pen and throws it and hits me right in the face!” Then she looks at me like, “Now what are you gonna do???” As soon as I got up off the couch, she took off running like “Oh crap…I’ve really done it now!” I told her what she did was wrong, why it was wrong, swatted her on her bottom and sent her to her room where she screamed for another twenty minutes. She comes out of her room and says, “I don’t want to talk about the roses anymore.” We made up and she was awesome the rest of the day.

That was one of my most trying times as a parent. She didn’t just push my buttons, she found my buttons and jumped up and down on them. She did a crazy lady dance on them! I really don’t know how I’m going to handle the teenage years…when she actually means it when she calls me a monster. Sometimes I wish there was a manual to parenting but there so isn’t and it’s hard sometimes to know how to handle a situation. This was so out of character for her and I was caught so off-guard by the way she acted. I felt like some bratty 3-year-old had taken over my sweet little girl and IT SUCKED!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

9 Jun

I can’t seem to find anything to inspire me to write lately. I’m in limbo land and my super-awesome friend Jenny seems to keep this little notebook that she writes down ideas of things to blog about, which would be great if my brain was generating ideas. I’m really beginning to believe I’m out of topics because Ava and I don’t take our daily trip to Starbucks anymore. Starbucks is like her stage.

We did go in this morning…I was totally hoping for some material. First things first, we see Weeman again. And this time I’m hoping we don’t have a repeat of the last time we ran into him. He’s in line in front of us and she keeps peeking around at him and he’s cool…smiling at her and he gives her a wave. And she’s like, “Mom…he looks funny.” Well, at least she didn’t call him fat again…I think? I just responded, “He hasn’t had his coffee yet. We all look funny before our coffee sweetheart.” I think it was an okay recovery on my part. But I NEED to know what to do in these situations!!!

So then we run into her friend, Cathy, who works there and Cathy asks Ava how she’s been. Ava says, “Oh I’ve been good. Santa’s coming in 6 months. My birthday is December 8th and I’m 3.” I’m not sure how all this fits together but it cracks me up the data she feels is relevant to share. She also met a new friend in line, her name was Paige and she informed me in the car that her and Paige are now best friends.

It got me thinking how easy it is to make friends when we’re little kids. We’re not guarded or tainted. All a kid thinks is, “By cracky…that person is about the same height as me…I think we’re now best friends.” Wouldn’t it be awesome if it were that easy in our adult life? Now we all come with warning labels and pieces of us are sometimes so broken that it hampers our ability to just say, “By cracky…that person is about the same height as me…I think we’re now best friends.”