Rethinking the Self-Betterment Projects

Soooo… here’s the deal. I’m KIND OF (maybe not COMPLETELY, but KIND OF) over planning a shit-ton of self-betterment projects. 1. They never work. 2. They usually cause me to backslide worse than if I’d never started them.

Since going back to work, my diet has gone to pot, but I’ve been really good at keeping on top of housework, making my lunch, and a bunch of other crap that is mainly lifestyle-related, and it happened organically – without me having to make a pile of “to do” lists and wax poetic about New Miranda being back in town. I just do this crap because I know if I don’t, my head will explode.

Let me tell you, being back to work is a mixed bag. It’s amazing, for the most part, while I’m at work, but the daily juggle of work, commuting, kids, clean-up, bedtime, etc. makes me feel a little suicidal. Not REALLY suicidal, but in a way that makes me think “yeah. I see why people kill themselves”. WHAT IS THIS LIFE I AM LIVING?! I feel like every moment is a race against the clock, only to do more shit I don’t want to do. Being a grown-up really sucks, yo.

Aaaaaanyway. I’m fine. Don’t, like, call the men in white coats on me. I’m just being a whiner. I’m sure it will get better… in 17 years or so when the kids are in college.

Happy Birthday, Bean Sprout!

A Snapshot of Sprout, on her 1st Birthday

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Nicknames: Lilo, Lilo Bilo, Lilo Lolo, Lolo Bolo, Shitty Bum

Family Member She Most Resembles: Nanny

Number of Teeth: 8

Favourite Activities: Playing in the cat’s food dishes and litter box, torturing the cat

Favourite Games: Peekaboo, patty cake, these games

Favourite People: Daddy, Mommy, Buddy (the cat), Butterbean (in that order)

Human Tricks: Lilo can clap, blow kisses, high five, wave goodbye, and “put it in the oven” (raise her hands above her head). She can also crawl and stand.

Favourite Food: Chicken korma

Least Favourite Food: Bananas

Song We Sing Most Often to Her: Smile by Charlie Chaplin

Favourite Music: Hawaiian folk (puts her right to sleep)

Disposition: Calm and quiet, plays well on her own

Fondest Wish: Unlimited, unsupervised access to Mommy and Daddy’s laptops

Can’t Live Without: Her soother

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Goldy and Goldie

It turns out, all my worrying was for nought; Ohmy, my daughter’s fish, passed away Thursday night, and Butterbean barely paused to mourn his death. A few days ago, Chase told her she could get a new fish to replace him and the first thing she asked after he died was “Can I get an orange one now?” My little sociopath…

Meet the newest members of our family:

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Butterbean bought them with her own money, and named them Goldy and Goldie. Her favourite is the solid orange one (Goldy).

Things That Are Making Me Happy Today

I just had a stay-at-home-mommy day that was pretty near perfection. I got up early. The kids and I went to the store without incident. We spent an hour and a half at the splash pad. Butterbean unexpectedly napped (read: fell asleep on the living room floor while I was doing dishes) in the afternoon – miraculously at the same time as her sister. I baked cookies with the kids (The Bean actually helped. Sprout more or less watched while gumming a spatula). We stood on the front steps to watch a storm. I had dinner ready when Chase got home. My house was still relatively clean and put together by the end of the day. Aaaand the kiddos went to bed on time.

If every day was like this, I wouldn’t contemplate selling my children to the gypsies so often.

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Saying Goodbye to Ohmy

OhmyMy daughter’s fish, Ohmy*, is on his last fins. Poor guy has been looking terrible lately, and Chase and I aren’t sure he’s going to make it through the night. He’s been more or less lying on the rocks in his tank all day. We’re hoping he will come around, but oi. So sad.

*so named because when she first got him, Butterbean kept saying “Oh my fish! Oh my fish!”

We debated whether or not to tell the Bean. Do we prepare her for the worst ahead of time? Wait til he passes away and explain it then? Don’t tell her at all and replace Ohmy with another fish?

I’m not going to lie – when our little fishy friend’s time is up,  I WANT to replace him and pretend nothing happened. Butterbean loves Ohmy, and I’d like so badly to shelter her from the pain of losing him. In the end, though, Chase and I sat her down and explained that her fish is very old and he might not be here for very much longer.

It really sucks, but I think it’s important for Bean to know the truth. I don’t want to unnecessarily shelter her from negative experiences. It doesn’t do her any favours in the long run; you can’t raise your kids in a bubble, and then assume they will be able to competently cope with all of the crap the real world will hurl at them when you aren’t around to protect them (but oh man, it would be nice if you could).

Butterbean is okay with Ohmy’s situation (I don’t think she quite grasps what death is yet). She is a little sad, but she took it better than we thought. Still, I hope Ohmy goes on to live a good few months more  (preferably 18 years or so), because I’d rather postpone this particular negative experience just a little bit longer.

Martyr Mom & 26 Steps Update

I am home alone with the kids a lot, and some days I don’t have time to wait for them to take a nap so I can have a bath in peace. The other day, I was having a typical shower (in this particular case, I was shampooing my hair while wrestling a toilet brush out of the baby’s hand and watching my oldest dance around my tiny washroom chanting “I have to go peeee!!”), when I started a mental list of all of the crap I do that my husband would never dream of – showering with the kids in the room, for instance.

Or peeing with the door open so I can hear the kids if they need me.

Or pooping with a screaming kid in my lap.

Or pumping milk at 4am (while bawling my eyes out).

Or waking up in the middle of the night to let a wailing kid suck on my boobs.

Or cradling a baby while she pukes in my hair.

Or sleeping with a sick child.

Or pushing a 6 lb 12 oz baby out of my hoo ha.

I realize that all of these “mom duties” I perform are things I have chosen to do (or have to do, based on biology). My decision to bathe/pee/what-have-you when the kids are awake, the fact that I have breasts, and my choice to let Butterbean crawl into bed with me, are not Chase’s fault. I take ownership of that.

And yet… And yet, sometimes (all the time), I can’t help but feel that this mom gig is unjust. Especially when I am naked and sleep deprived and Sprout is trying to lick the plunger and all I want is a quiet, uneventful shower. In those moments, confident that he will never know the depth of my pain and frustration, I hate my hubby a tiny little bit for having it so good.

 

26 Steps Update

Going forward, I’m going to post about 26 Easy Steps every two weeks, rather than every week. These mini-schemes don’t warrant three journal entries when a final update would be sufficient; it’s boring for me to write, and boring for you to read.

Please note: this decision has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been failing at my resolution to do pilates 3 times a week. Siiiigh. This week, I swear I’ll be good!

Games My Baby Plays With Me

IMG_5007I’m always talking about the games I play with my preschooler, but poor Sprout is left out of those posts because, up until recently, she’s been too small to play anything besides peekaboo (huge hit, by the way).

There are, however, some things she plays with me (read: things she does that drive me bonkers). So, without further ado, here’s a list of my 10 month-old’s favourite games:

Poop My Pants As Mommy Is Heading Out the Door

It never fails – as soon as I have both kids dressed, packed up, and ready to go,  Sprout shits herself. The severity of her blow out is directly proportionate to how far behind I am running; the later I am, the more likely it is her diaper has EXPLODED to the point where she needs a bath and a complete change of clothes.

Wake Mommy Up 5 Times a Night to See if I Can Make Her Head Explode

Despite the fact that she is a chunky monkey who does not, in any way, need to be fed during the night, Sprout wakes up at least twice for some milk. Just like her massive dumps before we leave the house, her nighttime pestering is directly proportionate to how badly I need to sleep.

Scream Until Daddy Holds Me

Ah, this is probably my favourite game of all: spending all evening trying to quiet my cranky baby, only to have Chase come home and settle her down in two seconds flat. I’ve mentioned before that her dad is the Baby Whisperer, but I just need to state, one more time, for the record, that I hate him for it.

Spit My Food Out Using the “Raspberry Technique” 

Sprout loooves to blow raspberries, but only when she has a mouthful of food. Baby goop flies EVERYWHERE and she thinks it’s hilarious. Mommy thinks Sprout needs to learn to work a dishrag pronto because I’m tired of cleaning up after her messy mealtimes.

Throw Everything I Can Onto the Subway Floor

I cannot give Sprout a single thing when we are on the subway because she inevitably throws it on the floor, and then some poor stranger feels obligated to pick it up for her, only to have her throw that exact same item out of her stroller immediately after it was retrieved. This goes double for anything that’s supposed to go into her mouth, like a soother or a bottle.

Try to Eat the Kitty Litter

If she thinks she can get away with it, Sprout will beeline to the cat’s litter box. I spend a good portion of my day trying to deter her from Buddy’s toilet. I don’t know what it is she loves so much about it. I mean, she’s been to a sandbox, and she didn’t express that much interest in it, so I can’t assume that she wants to play in the dirt. Is it the smell she loves? The shape of Buddy’s poop logs? I don’t know. But it’s gross.

Use the Cat’s Water Dish as a Kiddie Pool

The only thing Sprout likes more than playing in the cat’s litter box (aside from maybe giving me a heart attack by pulling his tail), is playing in his food dishes. She loooooves Iams, and she delights in splashing around in his water bowl. I once changed her three times in one hour because she was soaked in the cat’s spitty water. We have since put a baby gate between her and the food dishes, but it only encloses them on one side, and she quickly learned how to use the “back door,” so to speak.

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At it again