Category: Being Mom

Where Are They Now?

Each night I lay in bed and think about what I need to do the next day and blogging is always on the top of the list. Then as the day goes on blogging falls closer to the bottom of the list. Life has gone a little sideways recently, but we are meeting those challenges head on. So where are we now?

{S} I have mentioned a few times recently that S. was recently diagnosed with a genetic heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which impacts 1 to 500 people. Most people don’t even KNOW they have it but there are a handful that have symptoms like chest pains, shortness of breath and general exhaustion – S. was one of those people. A few weeks ago S. finally had his open heart surgery at Johns Hopkins and they ‘shaved’ down the extra heart muscle that was blocking his oxygen intake.

The surgery went well, but ultimately a few days later it was determined he needed a pacemaker extending our hospital stay and then a lung infection that followed. At the end of the day we were at the hospital of 8 days. Now he is home and recovering for the next few weeks, but is on major restrictions like lifting, driving and movement. He’s being SUCH a trooper, but understandably getting restless. I am going to have some upcoming posts about this soon!

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{Mike} My little preschooler is becoming SUCH a little old man in the cutest way. He is overly polite to everyone we meet by greeting them and being his charming self. He knows Daddy has an owie and he has to be gentle. His favorite thing right now is riding his balance bike and watching Peppa Pig.

He has taken to his new ‘school’ like … Peppa Pig in muddy puddles. He loves his teachers and they seem to be very taken with him as well. His language has EXPLODED. He is asking what things mean, singing nursery rhymes and remember things. It really is like waking up each morning and finding out a new part of his personality has developed overnight.

Speaking of nights – someone is sleeping in a bed now! That transition has been pretty seamless except for naptime. But bed time might take a little longer, but he has stayed in bed all night and actually slept. I see that as a big win.

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{Muddling Momma} This Muddling Momma is just trying to keep up these days. A week after S. came home from surgery I was relieved of my duties at work which means spending my days at home job hunting. While I won’t ever lie, it stings and was a surprise, I firmly believe it was probably for the best though the timing could not have been worse. However, the silver lining is I can spend time with S. and help with his recovery (which usually means telling him to go take a nap).

On the positive side, I was FINALLY approved to be on the Chick Fil A Mom Panel this year so that was a bit of good news! I am still learning about my ‘duties’, but I am excited to eat some chicken and share some feedback.

There you have it! Like I said, life is a little sideways but I think we are going to come out on the other side and wonder how we survived. But we did and that’s the important part.

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What I Did on my Summer Vacation

Or rather, What Mikey Did on his Summer Vacation.

We lucked out big time with the timing of our current daycare going on 2 week break and when preschool starts. It gave Mike a great little break to (hopefully) ease the transition. It was a little less of a ‘break’ for Momma and Daddy, but we made it work. And on Monday Mikey starts preschool! That is another post for another time when I work out my weird feelings about the whole thing (and I can get the picture of him standing in the corner crying while the other kids point and laugh at him and the teacher stands by doing nothing).

Mikey had a lot of adventures while on break. Including spending a few nights with Geema and Geepa – which was a win-win for all involved. How excited we were to hear he slept on the futon by himself AND swam unassisted in the pool! Of course a visit to Geepa at work, time with Mollie and plenty of movies were included. For the first time three years, we slept with the baby monitor off. It was glorious.

After an eventful few days in Denton, we picked Mike up for the ‘official’ family trip to Rehoboth Beach where we stay with my in-laws. Last year was fun, but this year was even more fun because Mike was old enough to actually spend time in the waves and ride the rides.

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I was a little hesitant with the rides because we all rode the carousel and he refused to sit on the horse. I mean, I am scared of horses, so I get it, but I didn’t think it bode well for the $15 we spent on ride tickets. But as usual – I was surprised. I kept trying to steer him to the low pressure rides, but he was literally BEGGING to ride the helicopters. So Dad took him on the helicopters and he was hooked. We went to the fire trucks next and he decided he wanted to watch before getting on, but once he realized he could ring the bell he was all in. It was a lot of fun!

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The next day we ventured out to the actual beach. We’ve been to Sandy Point numerous times, but this was a ‘real’ beach and it was hotter than hell. I didn’t expect to be out wake boarding, but he LOVED sitting in the surf and being splashed with the waves. After about 15 minutes he loosened his death grip and we even got pushed over a few times. It was so so so cool to see him experience something like that for the first time. Especially since S. spent many summers at the beach growing up and has great memories. This is the start of our summer memories!

The highlight for us was leaving our expensive stroller on a sidewalk at the beach. It was SO hot we packed everything in the car and drove off … only to discover the next day that we left the stroller. A few calls and social media postings didn’t result in it being ‘found’, so we are chalking it up to heat and toddler exhaustion.

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I am thankful for my work that is a family friendly. I was able to bring Mike, my intern, a few mornings, then come home to work some more while he had rest time. While I worked Mike basically sat under my desk and watched Peppa Pig. Oh, and since we are pushing forward with the potty training – taking him the bathroom every 15 minutes. He charmed my coworkers – all parents of adult children (and some grandparents) by coloring pictures and asking about 2000 questions. He loved going to ‘mommy’s office’.

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He also spent a random day with Great Aunt Phyllis who he loves and she got him to nap. I don’t know how – I didn’t ask questions. I don’t really care. He napped. I like him so much more when he is well rested. I hope preschool will encourage him to nap again.

So all in all Mikey had a great summer vacation! Now we are looking forward to Summerfest, the Baysox game, cooler weather and S.’s surgery on September 12th. I’ll probably be a little quiet between now and then. Of course I say that and who knows, I might end up being a daily poster as we go through all these changes.

How did you spend YOUR summer vacation?

Hamilton: Dear Theodosia

I am basically obsessed with the Broadway musical Hamilton. From the minute I get in the car to the minute I get out of the car at home I am listening to the cast album. Even Mike asks for the ‘Ta Da’ song, which is called ‘You’ll Be Back’. At night when I can’t sleep I YouTube all things Hamilton – interviews with the writer and actor Lin-Miranda Manuel, mashups, bootlegs … it’s a problem.

What’s Hamilton? It’s Alexander Hamilton’s life story (loosely) set to hip hop music. I have never learned so much about history and retained the information like I have until I heard Hamilton. I find the story of how Miranda came to write and star in the musical utterly fascinating.

One song I play over and over again is Dear Theodosia. It is a love letter from Aaron Burr to his daughter Theodosia and from Alexander Hamilton to his son Phillip. It really makes my complex feelings about being a Mom seem so simple and beautiful. Of course, the dynamics between Hamilton and Burr during this duet could be a term paper on it’s own, but I’ll save that for another time.

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Not a Morning Person

The scene: Mike’s room with the lights on, like every morning. Mike is curled in the corner of his bed looking snug as a bug in a rug.

 

Mom: Mikey, let’s get moving kiddo.

 

Mikey: NO. No movin’

 

Mom starts to walk out

 

Mikey: NO, NO, NO! Mommy wait!

 

Mom turns around<

 

Mom: Ready to get up?

 

Mikey: No. Milk

 

Mom: Okay, let’s have milk in Mommy’s room

 

Mikey: No. Milk here.

 

Mom: No bug. Mom’s room.

 

Mikey:

 

Mom walks out again

 

Mikey: MOMMY NO NO WAIT!

 

Mom: Ready?

 

Mikey: No. Lights off. Lights off PLEASE!!!

 

Mom: Okay kid. Get your ass up. This is getting ridiculous.

 

Okay, not really. But close.

 

-So, good morning, good morningSunbeams will soon smile throughGood morning, my darling, to you.-

Preschool Woes

I was thinking yesterday about my a ‘parenting style’. Am I a Helicopter Parent? A Free Range Parent? An Unconditional Parent? No folks. I am don’t fit into those neat little boxes. I fit into my own parenting style which I call the ‘It Didn’t Occur to Me Parent’. Signing Mike up for preschool really confirmed that parenting style.

It’s a damn good thing my niece is a few months older than Mike, and my brother and sister-in-law are on top of things. If we weren’t following the path they made, poor Mike would still be drinking formula in a bottle because, well, it just didn’t occur to me to ween him off. My ADHD tends to put me on auto-pilot which isn’t always a good thing.

It didn’t occur to me that Mike probably should go to preschool this year. There was no email from the department of preschool or a knock on the door from preschool police. But then again, how hard could it be? As it turns out pretty complicated. When I went to preschool, there was only one in my hometown. No application process or required tours. There weren’t options like Montessori, co-op, or religious affiliation. And there certainly wasn’t a waiting list.

I had heard there were a couple of preschool expos where they all set up display tables and we could get all the information in one shot, so I decided to ask my local mom’s Facebook group how it all works. Here’s how THAT went:

“Not to make you feel worse, but most places have done their open houses and some of the more popular ones will probably be full soon.”  Yes. I do feel worse. And thanks for a non-solution.

“There was a fair scheduled last weekend at the college.” Great! Thanks! But that does nothing to help ME. 

“We elected to keep our kids in a home daycare until they are 4.”  I am glad you made a decision that works for your family! I am not sure if you are mom-shaming me or not, so I will just move on. Also, another non-solution.

“Registration for many schools started in January. Call NOW!!” I should also note, this response currently has 5 likes. I also currently have a stomach ulcer.

By the time I read through these, I was pretty sure Mike was not going to preschool this year and will never, ever reach his full potential. Although I will say, that there were a few helpful responses that didn’t make me feel like the world’s worst parent.

So S. and I took to Google and have narrowed a long list down to three options to check out. It seems they all have rolling registration so we can set up a time to tour them next month when life calms down a bit. Perhaps Mike won’t grow up and live in our basement because it didn’t occur to me early enough to register him for preschool.

Kiss My Grits

The Scene: Rushing Mike along to the car because we are already running late.

Momma: Mikey, be careful, it is really icy and I don’t want you …

Mikey: (sitting on the icy parking lot) WAILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Momma: Oh, baby (picking him up). Did you fall? That probably scared you!

Mikey: (tears and red faced) Hurt butt!

Momma: Oh goodness.

Mikey: Hurt butt, hurt butt!

Momma: Okay, well let’s get into the car seat and I will give you a book (really wants to say ‘get in the damn car already, we are so late and you are fine’)

Mikey: (screaming loudly) KISS BUTT! KISS BUTT MOMMA! KISS BUTT!

Momma: (trying not to laugh) Can I kiss your hand lovey?

Mikey: (getting increasingly louder) NO NO NO KISS BUTT!

Momma: Okay, lovie. (kisses hand and taps butt)

Mikey: (tears stop instantly) Thank you Mommy.

TGIF.

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Sea-Goo

My Sweet Boy –

Yes, I have neglected to write you a letter the past few months. However, your birthday is right around the corner so I have a whole year to review. But I wanted to capture yesterday and your need to sea-goo (snuggle).

Yesterday was the day that Mommas (and Daddys!) live for. From the minute you woke up to the minute you got in your crib you just wanted to be close to someone. And guess what? I was able to give you that.

When you try to say ‘snuggle’, it comes out as ‘sea-goo’ and usually involves a blanket. Yesterday when everyone got home, you were happily playing with your car in the living room while I watched from the futon. I stood up to make dinner and you said ‘sea-goo’ and pointed to the futon. When I didn’t comply right away, I realized that this wasn’t a request — it was a demand. Daddy happily took over dinner so I could lay on the futon while you played next to me.

Our after bath routine is pretty standard and includs snuggling between Daddy and me while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You were very content with us all under the covers. And when bedtime came, you picked out a book (the first time in months you showed an interest in reading) and hopped right in my lap and sat through the whole story.

Sweetie, sometimes we all need to sea-goo and I hope, even as a big boy, you always feel like Daddy or I will sea-goo with you when you need it. Sometimes I even sea-goo with Grandma! You and I both got what we needed yesterday and that makes me a happy Momma.

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I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo

Keep Rolling

How is it already Wednesday? I try to post twice a week, but the past few days I have been consumed with our next adventure – moving! That’s right. We are heading out of Northern Virginia to Crofton Maryland. We will be closer to family, be able to afford a bigger rental and, well, not have to fight with Route 66 traffic which is slowly but surely stealing our souls.

We are really going to miss our apartment complex and the friends we have here, but at the end of the day, this is a great opportunity for us.  Now we just have to secure daycare, a dog walker, transfer medical files, register our car … and in my case, worry that this move will be discussed in Mike’s therapy sessions down the road. How we RIPPED him from the only home he knew. Of course, I moved when I was about his age and remember absolutely nothing, but what is being a mom without having some sort of guilt? Boring. That’s what.

So instead of writing about moving woes, I will instead share some pictures from our fall family shoot with Keri from Bows&Burlap Photography. She’s affordable and amazing – which says a whole lot in this area.


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TDCLBlogtober2014 – My Biggest Fears

When the DC Ladies prompted bloggers to write about what they were scared of, I had no shortage of options. I should preface this by saying, I know my fears are irrational and it isn’t like they keep me up at night.

As I was trying to find a quote about fear, something light and funny, I got a bunch of motivational crap like ‘feed your faith to starve your fears’ and ‘do one thing that scares you everyday’. Blah. Why can’t you just be scared of something and move on?  Perhaps I can be all whatever to those motivational sentiments because what I am scared of isn’t holding me back. So what am I scared of? Let’s get the normal parent fears out of the way first.

{Raising a Serial Killer} I think all parents worry their sweet bundle of joy will grow up to be a total sociopath. After a killing spree doesn’t the family usual tell the media outlets how sweet and funny their cold blood killer was?

{Something Bad Happening} Bad things are going to happen. I try to live in the now and realize that some bad things aren’t so horrible, like when I was laid off and got to spend more time with Mike.

{Seriously Screwing Up My Kid} Mike is 17 months and still uses a bottle for milk. Does this mean he will be swigging from a baby bottle at his high school graduation? Will he mistake my sarcasm to his dad as anger and tell his wife in 30 years that he had a screwed up home life? Will moving in January and putting him in a new daycare setting cause him so much stress he …. whatevers? I am coming to terms with the fact that he will probably be a little screwed up, but aren’t we all?

Now on to the fun, irrational fears.

{Horses} I have no basis for this, but for as long as I remember get close to a horse was a no go without getting sweaty and anxious. I have never ridden a horse or even really gotten close enough, until recently, to even touch one. This summer though I did touch a horses nose and just knowing he was looking at me made my heart race.

{Being Startled} If I watch you run down the hall and hide behind the corner and then you jump out as I walk by I will STILL scream like a little girl and bolt. Since most scary movies are based on startling viewers, I don’t watch many. I do like more psychological thrillers like The Others.

{Stopping Traffic} Good Lord I hate traffic. If you are familiar with the DC Metro Area, I live down route 66 and drive about 10 miles of it twice a day from the beltway. So many times ONE broken down car causes a massive back-up and by the time I get to the broken  down car I want to get out and kick their tires. I am terrified I will be one of those people. And then a traffic copter flies overhead and I appear on the news and suddenly become the most hated person in Fairfax County.

So there you have it! Nothing a little therapy can’t cure, right? What are your fears?

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Why is it Not Friday?

Oh friends. Do you ever have one of those mornings where feel like it should be bed time by 9AM? That was my morning. Here’s how it went down in the W home this morning:

1AM – I suddenly find myself wide awake for no good reason. While staring at the ceiling, I realize I am hearing a helicopter.  We are in the flight path for a major airport, so airplanes are so common I don’t even register the noise anymore, but a helicopter is another story. I peek out the window and sure enough – slowly circling our area. I do a little research, since I am wide awake, on Twitter and the local news and I don’t see anything of note. Hey Fairfax County? I just signed up for your new alert system and marked about 45 things I want to be alerted about. Perhaps you should have an option to get a text or email if there is a homicidal manic running around my community.

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5:45AM – I wake up to spend some time chatting with S. before he leaves for work. The minute he leaves, Mike starts to stir. MUCH earlier than usual. I take a quick shower and get dressed.

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6:15AM – I get Mike up and dressed

6:30AM – I make Mike a bottle of milk, put it on the stove and while my back is turned he pulls it down and it is perfectly times to get milk on both of us head to toe. We both strip down and he finishes his milk while I try to find something else to wear. This would be easier if I had done my ‘special wash’ last night like I intended. Oh, and if it wasn’t 97% humidity today.

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7:00AM – We are ready to face the day! Mike and I take Charlie out for a walk, which is usually a fun and relaxing time. Again, the 97% humidity doesn’t make this morning much fun. Half way on our walk, we run into a neighbor and his dog Bacon (uh, huh). Apparently the dogs have met before and are nice to each other, but Bacon is high energy and is clearly in the mood to play. Charlie is friendly until he is ‘over it’ and I was worried about how all this energy would go with Mike standing next to me. Bacon’s Dad is chatting my ear off and then Charlie walks around Mike and knocks him over. Nothing terrible, but enough for him to burst into hysterical tears while the dogs are barking at each other and Bacon’s Dad continues his story about … something. I can’t even focus because I am waiting for my conversational ‘out’ while trying to get the point across that he needs to MOVE ALONG. It is easier to manage his one dog versus me trying to corral my circus. We finally move along. #awkward

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7:20AM – We get Charlie his Kong so we can slip out without the typical beagle drama. We didn’t get far before I was sweating everywhere and Charlie was howling.

7:30AM – Quick stop for gas.

7:35AM – Quick stop at the ATM.

7:45AM – A crow flies into my drivers side window. Yep. A crow. I saw it coming, but I assumed it would swoop up. Apparently not. That’s not like a bad omen or anything right?

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7:47AM – I  drop Mike off at daycare. He seemed in a good mood since we spent the morning talking about his friends and the fun stuff he will do (which seems to help with drop off). He walks up the driveway with purpose, marches down the sidewalk, crawls up the steps like he’s been doing it all his life and then they open the front door. My little guy quickly turns around like, ‘that was fun, let’s go Ma’. I turned him around in time to see the waterworks start. Being a working momma isn’t always fun.

7:55AM – Yay! Momma time. My 40 minute commute means loud music or my Mike O’Meara Show podcast. Then I saw the big board telling me my 8 mile trip down 66E to the Beltway will take me 27 minutes. Insert Napoleon Dynamite ‘uggggh’.

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8:45AM – Arrived safely to work but feel like I’ve been awake for twice as long as I actually have.

It can only go up from here right?

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Oh hey! There is still time to comment on my Bloomers bra fitting review post to win a BraMaid!