Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Not To Wear

Despite the predictions for snow this week, I can still feel spring is in the air. The signs are everywhere. My car gets warmed by the sun while sitting in the parking lot all day. I don’t need to wear my scarf. I still dread getting out of bed in the morning but only because I'm tired, not because it's freezing cold out there.

While I welcome these changes, I’m still having issues because I’m not sure how to dress Monster. It’s two different worlds from morning until evening. And, of course, he’s inside running around with his little cohorts all day. That's three different dressing situations daily!

I’m always cold but I don’t think Monster inherited that disposition from me. At night, he pushes the covers off while I sleep in full sweat suit plus socks underneath several blankets and a comforter. During the day, I’m using a space heater and sometimes a blanket. He’s running around in a t-shirt. Choosing his clothes is difficult enough for me but throw in this wacky weather and I’m at a complete loss.

I like layers but that’s not easy on a toddler, especially mine who is entering Terrible Two territory and fights me on EVERYTHING.

In between seasons is also an in between size time for us. Monster is sporting some flood pants, but he’s too small for the next size and I don’t want to buy him any long pants right now because who knows how he’ll grow in the coming months? I guess I’m putting too much emphasis on fashion here but I know how people are judging me for what my kid is wearing and it’s easy to get caught up in sometimes. Of course, next to me, no matter what my kid is wearing, he looks like a fashion superstar.

What do you do this time of the year when it’s bitter cold in the mornings and seasonal in the evenings?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I used to have a life. I used to go out to dinner. I used to cook elaborate meals. I used to bake wonderful goodies. And now I mostly make mac and cheese and fish sticks.

But I’m trying, people. I’m trying to expand the Monster’s culinary horizons while making sure he doesn’t starve to death in protest. I’m trying to lose the baby weight (is it still baby weight after two years? Toddler weight maybe?) and still eat the foods that I like. I’d say I’m finding my balance and then something happens that throws a big ol’ monkey wrench in the works.

Click over to Dishing on Dishes (where I’m known as Em Chilada, foodie extraordinaire) to read more.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I Kicked Tantrum's Ass

I need more time with my son, plain and simple. More importantly, my son needs more time with me. I know this because he’s being very clear and vocal about it. I’ve been complaining about his tantrum throwing lately and, looking back, I’m feeling really bad about that because, after doing a lot of Internet research and consulting The Mommy Network, I realized Monster’s tantrums were his way of testing me. Yes, of course, there are other factors, but I decided this was the big one.

Recently I had been relinquishing my role as boss because I have been so exhausted by the time we got home after wrestling Monster into the car and his car seat. I think that caused him to panic and push me even further.

Yesterday I tried a new approach.

This is what I know:
·         He is going to throw a fit because he has to get in the car.
·         He is going to throw a fit because he has to get into his car seat.
·         He is going to throw a fit because there’s some toy or book or implement he absolutely must have but can’t reach and I’m driving so I can’t get it for him at exactly that second.

In order to deal with these inevitable events, I decided to give him a little more control.
·         I let him run down the driveway (holding my hand!). But he kept running, past the car and down the road. Diverting him back caused a bit of a problem but still not a major meltdown.

·         I let him crawl around the backseat of the car. I figured he would get in his seat when he was ready. I actually crawled back there with him and shut the door. I told him that he had to sit in his seat if he wanted to go home. Dada was at home, Dog Dog was at home, num num was at home. There were times he would get frustrated and I would tell him, “Look at mama,” (and he totally would!) and then I would explain what had to happen. Eventually (maybe after 10 minutes) he got up into his seat. However, when I went to buckle him in, he got upset, but not full-on meltdown upset.
·         After he was strapped in, I gave him his snack cup filled with Goldfish vanilla graham crackers and dried cranberries. He was happy. Seriously, the whole drive home, he didn’t scream or fuss or cry. It was awesome!

And his good mood and behavior lasted. There was a setback when we went to the neighbor’s to borrow her can opener but all I did was take him back into the house while I ran the errand.

A little after 7, he said, “Night night,” grabbed my hand, walked me over to the steps, climbed up, let me pick him up and walk him to his crib. Once there, he asked for Elmo and lay down in his bed to go to sleep.

In his bed he stayed until after 6 this morning when the steam from my shower set off the smoke alarm.

He is psyched to be in that car seat!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Kids and their weird creativity. I mean, where do their ideas come from? When I was a kid, and hanging out with my cousins, we came up with the game Conehead. This was played in my cousin’s basement. They had two poles that I guess held the whole house up. One person would be “it” and stand between the two poles, and the rest of us would hang on the poles waiting for, well, waiting for the game to begin. And this is how it went:

“It” would yell out a list of random words, “bananas, cornbread, lava, CONEHEAD!”Once the magic word of “conehead” was screamed out, the rest of us ran. We ran from pole to pole trying not to get tagged.My cousins and I talk about Conehead all the time. It’s hilarious to us still.

Fast forward some years to when I have my own little Monster and some step twins. They’re 5 years apart so it’s tough to find activities that all three can enjoy. But the twins are pretty crafty and this past weekend came up with the game “Run from Terry.”

In this game, all three donned new identities. There was Slim, Jim and, of course, Terry. Slim and Jim would run back and forth from one end of the house to the other and hide while Terry would chase after them squealing. The chasing and the hiding is typical kid stuff, the real creativity is in the names. I mean, where did they ever hear the name Terry anyway? Kids aren’t named Terry anymore, are they? And if I got Slim and Jim confused, they’d correct me. How could they even keep track?

As the weekend wore on, they insisted we all have new names and that is how I became Carl Mittens.