Category: Being Mom

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!

Working 9 to 5, What a Way to Make a Living

Well friends, I just finished my first week back to work after 3 months of catching up on bad TV. I have to say – it felt good. And exhausting. But good.

I am now an Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant, Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President of an insurance marketing company. This is obviously a pretty new position, so I am still figuring things out and cleaning out my desk from the last person who was part time. This is my first job where I am in the office five days a week and it is a big change. Thankfully the office is casual dress and I am hourly, so I work 40 hours a week and anything more is overtime. The staff is small since we are a remote office, about 10 people and then 150 or so at headquarters in Nebraska.

I know it’s only been a week, but I think S. and I are juggling pretty well. Nothing is really different for Mike, he is going to daycare about the same time and being picked up at the same time, the only change for him is more time with Dad, but that’s never ever a bad thing.  Dad gets him from daycare, gives him dinner and starts a bath, which is usually when I get home. I get a good hour or so with the guys before Mike hits the sack. He’s sleeping so much better these days which is helpful.

I was so worried about this transition. I knew MIke would be fine, but me – I wasn’t so confident. But it’s been pretty nice, at least for a week, to have lunch alone reading my book, interact with my coworkers, commute for 45 minutes listening to my podcasts … I know some days will be hard, but frankly the only time I miss Mike is when I see other kids about his age on the street. I just make up stories in my head that they are with their nannies or on vacation because their momma works 10 hours a day.

I also realized pretty quick that our time together is much more valuable now. When I get home, no cleaning or anything other than Mike until he goes to bed. Everything else can wait. And with his morning schedule I get a lot of snuggle and play time before going to work.

Side note – I thought it would be nice to stick a funny SomeEcard about being a working mom, but wow. There is so much crap about who has it harder – stay at home moms or work outside the home moms. I’m not going to play into the mommy wars, so I am going to leave you with something else 🙂

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