Morning Time

Here is a sneak peek on what happens in our house. Before 9:00 am.

Now, mind you, I didn’t actually start documenting until around 8:00. This was about 20 minutes after Derrick left and I was more than halfway through my cup of coffee. Aka, ‘Mommy’s Medicine.’

I began by attempting to put the duvet cover back on our down comforter (because it’s been sitting clean in our room for more than a week). This turned into a game of “let’s pretend this is snow and jump around like crazy people.” We actually end up playing some version of this at least 4 days a week … or however many days a week I end up making the bed (whichever is more … probably 4 … sorry, Dad. I know this is killing you to read.).

This is ironic because both of my girls HATE being cold, and when Paige was given the chance to do a snow angel last year she threw a fit because her coat got wet and she got snow inside her hat. She quickly ran inside and declared that she was done with snow.

Anyhoo …

Please ignore the laundry in the background…
Blair is missing from this one because she rolled off the pillow and into the closet.
Actually, DON’T ignore the laundry in the background! How freaking ridiculous is it that I JUST put away an entire laundry basket full of clean clothes, and this is what is waiting for me?!?!

It finally ended when I had enough and told them I needed to actually accomplish something before getting myself dressed (I’m not sure why I didn’t count getting them dressed???). Paige declared me “rude,” told me she didn’t want to play with me anymore, and took Blair into her room to play.

Oh, and she shut the door so they could have “privacy.” I’m not sure if you’re keeping score, but I absolutely count this as a point in my column.

Then she came back in, gave me a hug and said “Happy holidays, Mama.” These mixed messages are difficult to decipher.

Which, come to think of it is probably part of her plan.

Shit. Point Paige.

Then it was time to brush our teeth (or “TEEF!!!” as Blair likes to scream as she runs to the bathroom). Anyone not currently a parent to children this age would be shocked (honestly, SHOCKED) to either learn or remember how long this process takes.

Sidenote: this is the first point of the morning where I wonder how the hell moms who work actually get out the door in the morning. Notice I say the first point. I’m actually not sure how they even get themselves dressed in time to get anywhere before 9:00 am. And my kids get up at 6:00.

Luckily, this morning I had a little help. Which was pretty nice. And more than a little cute.

Finally, everyone is dressed. Hair is done (or brushed, which are synonyms at my house). Beds are made. Laundry is put away.

We head downstairs so I can write this blog and check e-mail get the rest of the morning’s activities done. Which include cleaning up cat puke, reprimanding Ramsey for eating the girls’ breakfast leftovers off the table (yes – off the MIDDLE of the kitchen table), switching the laundry, emptying the dishwasher, talking about poop, changing poopy diapers, packing snacks, telling my little dementia patient (Paige) for the 200th time what our plan is that morning … you get the idea.

How does she get this all done, you ask? Is she some sort of magician, or a Super Mom? How does she do it (besides sweatily, that is)?

Nah. I’m actually just standing in front of them reading a book.
Or … um, that may or may not just be the general direction of where our television is hung. I’m not saying it was on. Okay. It was.

Off We Go …

Most of the time, getting out of the house requires a few hours of effort, lots of sweat, a few outfit changes, a thrown fit (or two) and more than a few minutes of tears.
And this is just on my part.
Seriously. 
When the hell does the sweating stop? I don’t even wear a coat now during the winter, and I HATE being cold. I’m so freaking hot all the time. And not in the “good kind” of housewifey-hot way. In the totally-stressed-out-trying-to-pretend-like-I-got-this-but-I’m-always-afraid-I’m-a-horrible-mom way.
I got bangs cut, for God’s sake! Trying to be cute. Now I just have stringy, sweaty hair plastered to my huge forehead. It’s a really good look for me. Not.
But, here’s what happens when I finally shove everyone into their socks, shoes and coats and then toss them out the door while shoving the dog and cat back inside and trying to make sure I have my purse, keys and coffee have the girls ready to go.
They go and do this. Face the world together like a couple of feral cats. Super, super cute. Protective of  their territory and one another. And ready to scratch your eyes out if you mess with either of them. Or their mommy.
Seriously. Try it. I dare you.

Last Warm Day

This post is actually about last weekend, and some of you may have seen some of these pictures on Facebook already.
Tough.
I couldn’t let what was possibly/probably the last warm day of the year pass without documentation. It was mid-November, and we spent all day outside playing in the yard (and cleaning out/de-cluttering the garage).
Paige ‘helping’ her daddy organize the garage – aka, take all the toys off the shelves after we just organized them.

These poor kids – they think that Playdough is an “outside” toy. Paige wonders why they get to play with it at school, and I just explained that school is a “special place where they get to do all sorts of fun things like play with clay, paint, and make messes. It’s not like home at all.”
The girls loved the opportunity to play on their swingset. For the past two months or so, Paige has been going down the slide all by herself. It occasionally takes a bit of coaxing, but after one trip down she remembers how fun it is. 

Look at that face. Pure joy. Now, if only she would let me brush that hair!!!

Blair enjoyed ‘mowing’ the lawn, digging in the sand table and playing in her Cozy Coupe. 
Until she noticed what her big sister was doing. And then this happened:

Yep. It took Paige ALL spring and summer to work up the nerve to go down the slide on her own. And Blair just climbed herself up the ladder (she tried to go up the “harder” ladder first, but this mom has limits to what I will let my nerves endure). She went down once and humored me by letting me catch her at the bottom. And then she would have nothing to do with that last safety measure.
Such a fearless little girl. 
Hand to God, she is going to be the death of me.

See? I’m not making this up – I turned my back for TWO seconds to look at something in the garage with Derrick, and I turned back around and she had pulled out the chair, climbed onto the table, changed the station on Pandora and was drawing on my garage ‘blueprint’ for organizing everything. Granted, she had some pretty good ideas, but still … 

Partners-in-crime … 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I’m thankful for my friends and family. I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful I am able to be a Homemaker and stay home with the girls. I’m thankful it’s warm enough today that the kids can go outside and burn off some steam before company gets here play for a while. I’m thankful for Chardonnay.

I’m thankful for so very, very much this year.

I’m even thankful for this guy (who let me brush him for 45 minutes this morning – which is actually something I asked Derrick to do last week. Nevertheless, I will still be thankful for my husband, too, today).

Oh, Ramsey. You horribly-behaved dog. You push us to the point of wanting to find you a new home, and then you do things like let Blair and Paige sit on you while they watch TV. Darn you, dog – fine, you get to stay (for now).

I’m NOT thankful that our girls have been up since 4:45 am this morning. At this point (a little before 9:00 am, as I’m writing this), we’ve had:
3 timeouts (all Paige)
2 breakfasts
2 snacks
1 bloody lip (Blair – and Paige was actually not involved!)
2 Thanksgiving projects
4 cups of coffee
1 Disney movie (Sophia the First)
1 Thanksgiving special (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving)
1/3 of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
1 short (and much-needed nap) (Blair – her daddy LOVES her napping-style)
Oh, and 1 newly-penned song about Thanksgiving:
I THINK this is about a turkey? Maybe? 
And buying the book ‘I Love You, Stinkyface’ was the Worst. Decision. Ever. I am NOT thankful for that book. Not even a little bit.
Happy Thanksgiving. Stinkyfaces.

Hurt Feelings

I have lots of other posts cued up and ready to go (well, the ideas are ready to go – I actually have to write them first). But this just happened literally 5 minutes ago.

(Side note: youth of today – this LITERALLY happened 5 minutes ago. Note the correct usage of that word. If it had happened yesterday, I would not have used literally. You did NOT “literally die” when you read that Facebook post, and you are not going to “literally throw up” if Kiley wears that dress to formal. Unless you do. And that’s just ridiculous (and, p.s., send me a picture of that dress. If it makes you ‘literally’ puke, I must see it).

Anyhoo.

I was putting clean sheets on Paige’s bed when she and Blair came in to perform one of their favorite activities. One which happens to make me a nervous wreck.

These little monkeys LOVE to jump on the bed. And all I can do is picture split lips, cracked heads and broken arms. So I sent them upstairs with their daddy for bathtime.

Paige came back in and prepared to climb back onto the bed. I asked her nicely not to (literally. I was actually nice about it. I know it’s hard to believe.). She did anyway. I bounced her off and told her to go upstairs for a bath. The following conversation ensued:

P: “Mommy, I’m not going to play with you anymore.”
M: “Okay. Because when you play, you jump on the bed. And that’s dangerous.”
P: “Mommy, then I’m not going to be your friend anymore.”
M: “Fine. If you are going to say mean things then I think I don’t want a friend like that anyway.”
P: Walking out the door “Mommy, I do NOT love you anymore.” Slam. (That little …. deep breath … she actually slammed her bedroom door?!?!).

I pretended to cry while I actually smiled and enjoyed the uninterrupted opportunity to make her bed. She knocked multiple times on the door, and when I decided she was probably sorry enough I opened it, hiding my eyes.

I then went back to her bed, anxious to quickly put the bedspread back on. And I may or may not have still been pretending to cry.

She slowly climbed up. “Here we go,” I thought. “She’s going to say she’s sorry.”

P: “Hey, Mommy?”
M: Through faux tears, “Yes?”
P: “Um, please don’t cry too hard while you make my bed. I’m afraid you’re going to frow up, and that would be disgusting.”

Wow. That’s all I have to say.

Literally.

School Picture Day

I picked Paige up from school yesterday, and she handed me the packet containing her first official school pictures.

Needless to say, the contents of said packet melted my heart.

Paige, age 3
This? THIS face?!?!?! This is how she gets away with being a stinker. And, honestly? She’s not THAT much of a stinker. Just a little (okay, a LOT) too smart for her own good, and also mine.
I just don’t know where she gets it…
Me, circa age 3


Sleep Study

Perhaps you remember that Paige isn’t the best of sleepers (especially in the sleeping-in department).

Perhaps you remember the Tonsil Incident of Early 2012. Let us speak no more of that – just remember, okay?

Well, over the past few months we’ve noticed that while she sleeps Paige is still snoring, still breathing through her mouth, still making lots of noise, and still getting up at the ass-crack of dawn rather early. We tried to phase out her nap earlier this year, and it just wasn’t worth the horrible evenings that resulted.

So, Paige is still taking a 2+ hour nap every day, and is still heading to bed around 7:30 (asleep by 8:30 at the latest) every night.

And yet, she was still yawning on the way to school. Still losing her you-know-what every afternoon and evening. So, after a loooong appointment with her pediatrician, we scheduled an appointment for a sleep study (we also ordered a book called “Parenting the Strong-Willed Child”, but that’s a story for another blog post).

I’d be building up the “sleepover” to Paige for a few days. I prepped her teachers in case they heard any “sleeping in the hospital with Mommy” talk (they indeed had – and they also said “you all always have the most interesting things going on!” To which I replied, “If by ‘interesting’ you mean ‘crazy,’ then welcome to the Feldmann family!”). We talked lots about the stickers they’d be putting on her. A lot about how she might not be able to sleep so well. I even watched some YouTube videos of a pediatric study and talked with a friend whose son had one to fully prep myself.

And it went pretty well. At first.

We arrived around 7:00 pm and quickly got settled into our room (which was huge, by the way). I got Paige into her jammies, turned on “Tangled,” and proceeded to set up my pullout bed (which I’m pretty sure was made out of leftover flooring from when the building was built … either that, or concrete. Whichever of those two options would be the hardest, most uncomfortable material known to man).

The respiratory therapist who would be monitoring Paige all night came in and introduced herself. And she quickly got to work placing the stickers and monitoring equipment onto Paige’s little body. 
One minor snag – I forgot to mention that the “stickers” would have things underneath them (the sensors). And that they would be placed directly onto her skin. And that there would be something taped to her toe (Okay, FINE – three minor snags. Within the first 5 minutes.).

Still doing well after learning about the sensors and toe-taping. We had a few tears and a mild panic, but we pulled through it. She was having a snack and I was reading books to her.

STILL doing well – the gauze around the head was iffy, but then she found out it was hot pink and all was okay in the world again.

Then, the shit hit the fan (no dancing around the word this time). 
I didn’t realize there would be a sensor that went up her nose. Which also had a little stem attached to it that pointed down into her mouth. That was then taped to her face. 
She panicked. She sobbed. I found myself getting stressed out about it, then I realized I was being ridiculous
What the hell was I apologizing for? This WAS scary, and she had every right to cry, maybe even scream a little, and be afraid. We cuddled, talked about it, and I may or may not have gotten my own nose tube to wear and promised to wear it all night (Don’t tell Paige – I didn’t. That thing was crazy annoying!).
Paige, with all the equipment in. Don’t think I’m a horrible parent for taking this picture. They suggest taking pictures so your kids can see how “silly” and “funny” they look. This was the best I could get. Let’s just say she wasn’t amused …

I finally got her settled down around 8:15, and it was immediately lights-out. 
My poor, poor, poor baby. 
She had a box the size of a shoebox filled with wires next to her in bed. She couldn’t move, and kept saying my name every 2 minutes. I wanted to just crawl into bed with her, but couldn’t. I finally realized that if I got into my bed and smushed up against the side, I could reach her little outstretched hand. 
So that’s what we did. I had a magazine and a book to read with my book light, and election results to monitor. And instead I stayed perfectly still in the most uncomfortable position possible to hold my little girl’s hand until she fell asleep. Okay. Fine. And for a little longer after that.
I was so, so proud of her. She was SO brave – especially for being only 3 years old, and having all past hospital experience stuck in her memory as horrible. She didn’t sleep very well at all, and I slept in 15 minute increments checking on her and responding to her calls for me.
She woke up at 4:00 am and the therapist came in and said they had plenty of information, so I asked if I could get into bed with her. I did, and we snuggled until she fell back to sleep. At 5:15 the lights came on, the stickers and sensors came off, and Paigers and I headed to Dunkin Donuts. We went inside so she could pick out whatever she wanted (a pink-iced doughnut with rainbow sprinkles and some Munchkins, in case you wondered. L.A.R.G.E. coffee for Mommy.).
So, cross one more adventure off the Mommy/Paige Adventure List (Hmmm…I don’t remember making that list, and I sure don’t remember putting this on it.). 
Once again, Paige was braver than her Mommy, and came through the other side doing what little girls do best.
Eating pink-iced doughnuts.