Sunday, July 17, 2011

Attack of the Receipt Nazi

Based on evidence gathered today at Wal-Mart, I have determined that the name tags for the “people greeters” should say “People Greeter & Receipt Nazi.”

You are probably thinking that I am a bit deranged since the people greeters are usually sweet little old people. However, today the people greeter was a relentless middle aged lady. Now don’t get me wrong, I know they have a job to do, but what this particular people greeter did just baffled me.

I approached the exit with my tiny one in the buggy that was filled to the brim with groceries (in bags mind you) plus the few bags I was carrying. She (the receipt nazi) asked me for my receipt. All I could think was…Really? You really wanna see my receipt? Can you not see that my hands are full AND the buggy is full (of bagged groceries)? Plus she had just watched me go through the checkout line that was RIGHT NEXT TO the exit where she was standing!!! So I told her, “Well it’s in one of these bags.” She replied, “Okay.” And she looked at me as if to say, “Well you better get to digging in the bags if you are planning on leaving any time today.” So I dug through almost every bag until I finally find the receipt in the next to last bag. Now that the receipt nazi had wasted three minutes of my life detaining me in Wal-mart I felt sure that she would compensate for my aggravation by giving the receipt a thorough examination. Better yet…maybe she would count the number of items on the receipt and count the number of items in my buggy and do a comparison. But nooooooooooo…silly me!!! She took the receipt and smeared it over with her stupid yellow highlighter with no more than a millisecond of a glance at it.

OMG!!! I was so mad! I wanted to scream at her, “REALLY?? Did you really just make me dig out my receipt so that you could color on it after not even looking at it? Do you think that your yellow scribble on my receipt has magical powers that will somehow cause items I didn’t pay for to levitate out of the buggy? What the hell? At least you could have made me THINK you were looking at the receipt! You could have at least pretended to count the items in my buggy or make me somehow feel that my efforts to dig out the receipt were worth it!” Whew I was so mad, and I am actually still pretty worked up about the whole incident (in case you can't tell). But not to worry, I already have a plan! (insert evil laugh here) The next time I go to Wal-Mart and the receipt nazi wants to color on my receipt I am going to pull out my own yellow highlighter and scribble on the receipt and say, “Don’t worry, I got this!”

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Indecision Strikes Again

I have always wanted to be a mommy, but it wasn’t until I became one that I really understood (and still am learning) what being a mom is really all about. And I have recently come to the conclusion that being a mom is all about decisions…

I never imagined there were so many decisions to be made with regard to parenting, and just when I think the hardest ones are behind me *BAM* another one pops up on the radar! Prior to the birth of my tiny one I felt sure that the advice of doctors, the government, and people who are doing things “the way things have always been done” would be good enough. And for some – it is. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on perspective) I am not one of those. Before making any big decisions I tend to overanalyze study and research until my eyes are bloodshot.

Here are a few of the most daunting decisions that I have had to make as a mother:
  • cord blood: bank it or not
  • sleeping: co-sleep or not
  • breastfeeding: keep trying or not
  • table food: organic or not
  • discipline: spank or not
  • vaccines: do it or not
  • nursing: take necessary medications or not

And now, thanks to my experience today I can add convertible car set selection to my list of daunting decisions. Hubby and I have agreed that we want to keep our tiny one rear-facing at least until two, but I want to keep her rear-facing longer (hubby is still not sold on it). So, in the quest for the perfect convertible car seat I ended up at a local boutique baby store that has the nicest folks who will let you bring your car and “try on” car seats! They even help you install them – did I mention that they were awesome?

Prior to sashaying my happy little self into the store I spent what seemed like a decade doing research and studying different car seats. My choices were narrowed down to the Britax Boulevard 70 and the Radian 80SL. Both of these are very pricey seats, and my choice begs one to ask if I chose them simply because they are among the most expensive ones. Doubters, fear not, I chose those seats because they not only meet the government safety requirements they far exceed them. And since I am going to be putting something very important (AKA: my most valuable gift. ever.) in this seat for many years to come I didn’t feel that the price tag was unreasonable.

Blah, blah, blah…fast forward to the trying on of the seats. We did it. I liked the way the Britax fit the best. I bought it and came home. Fast forward a few hours and Shazam! buyer’s remorse hit me like a ton of bricks. I had all these thoughts racing through my head: Did I buy the right seat? What if the other one was better? What if this one is too bulky? What if it’s too hot? What if we suddenly get pregnant with twins, and I can’t fit all the kids in the back seat because I got this super bulky car seat? What if it isn’t installed properly? What if the moon’s gravitational pull causes the straps to be too loose? (Okay I made that one up just now, but you get the idea! I was in a panic!!!)

Fast forward again and I’m back at the cutesy boutique with the amazingly patient and kind lady who must have seen psycho moms like me before. We repeat the “trying on” of the car seats from the previous visit, but this time tiny one is in tow, so we actually put her in the seats as the car gets to “try them on” for the 2nd time. Ultimately I decide that there are features about both seats that I like and features about both seats that I don’t like. Suddenly I realized that I was holding my tiny one, sitting in the back seat with this sweet lady and the car seats, and I was paralyzed with indecision. I just could not decide what to do. So five minutes later I pulled out of the parking lot with a screaming tiny one who was quite annoyed with the whole idea of trying out car seats and a store credit for the car seat I returned. Alas, I am not defeated! We shall “try on” car seats again and allow hubby to join in on the fun!!!

In the meantime, you can just refer to me as the crazy mama who is more indecisive than a six year old on the Barbie aisle.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quick! Somebody Hit Replay!

Sometimes I really wish life had a replay button! Yesterday would definitely be on my replay list. It was simply a great day.

Why? Well I’ll break it down for you in a handy not-so-little list:

  1. Morning: Started off as usual with the sweet beckoning of the little one followed by squeals of joy and jumping up and down when she spotted me coming into her room. This, of course, was followed by the tight squeeze and the slobbery kiss. Man what a way to start the morning! I have never been a morning person; rather, I prefer to sleep until lunch. With a 17 month old the chances of me sleeping until lunch are about as good as a one legged frog getting out of a snake pit. But, now I have the sweetest alarm clock – one that makes me smile instead of cringe! She is such a loving, happy baby…especially first thing in the morning.

  1. Storytime: We were late, but hey…we made it just in time to sit next to our friends who met us there! My tiny one learned that an owl says “hoooo hoooo,” and she even got to make her own owl on a popsicle stick – complete with feathers! Plus, she got to use a glue stick! Major kudos to Ms. Rebecca, the storytime lady, because that glue stick earned her a spot on my tiny one’s favorite people list!  
My Tiny One's Owl
  1. Lunch Date: My tiny one and I enjoyed lunch at IHOP with an old friend of mine. She has three beautiful girls, and two of them joined us for storytime and lunch.  She and I share many of the same ideas on parenting and childbirth, so we had plenty to talk about. It’s always nice to talk with a mama who is on the same wavelength and doesn’t think you are a nut job because of the decisions you make regarding your children! Plus, my tiny one actually ate some food! Real food! Pancakes, grapes, hash browns, and scrambled eggs with cheese! I’m convinced that she was trying to show off in front of her new friends. We must do another lunch date soon to test my hypothesis.

  1. Nap: My tiny one took a nice, long nap. I was able to get some things done…I can’t really think of a mama who wouldn’t love to have a replay button for long naps.

  1. Post Nap Cleaning: In case you are unaware, my tiny one has a REAL love for all things that are clean. Somehow, the messiest mama in the universe has created a germaphobe. She loves to vacuum (as evidenced by her repeatedly yelling “VAC…VAC….VAC” until someone picks her up and holds her while they vacuum), she cannot stand it if her hands get sticky, slimy, dirty, or in any way unclean, and if you give her a napkin she will use it to wipe off everything in sight (from her sippy cup to the dog’s head). On this occasion the first words out of her mouth when she woke up were “VAC.” Perhaps she dreamed about vacuuming…I’m not sure, but she was adamant that we vacuumed. So, of course we did and she was happier than a dog with two tails!

  1. Post Nap Playtime: As I was winding up the cord from the vacuum my tiny one came be-bopping past me with a Belk shopping bag on her shoulder but still dragging the ground and said, “Bye Mommy!” I responded with, “Bye! Love you! Be careful! Got your keys?” She stopped mid-step and looked at me very concerned and yelled, “MONEY!” Then she promptly dropped the bag and ran to her daddy’s spare change jar to get some money. I just watched her in awe thinking “man we are going to be in trouble when she turns 16!”

  1. Outside Time: Shortly after my tiny one finished pillaging her daddy’s change jar and making a fund transfer to her piggy bank she grabbed her pink crocs and beckoned me to “mmm-ON!” as she ran for the front door and grabbed at the door knob. It didn’t take long for her to discover the wild blackberries growing along the edge of the woods in our yard. It also didn’t take long for her BRAND NEW dress to get blackberry juice all over it! Picture this: she picks a blackberry, puts it in her mouth, chews it a little so all the juice is in her mouth, decides she doesn’t like it, spits it down her chest, wipes her tongue with her hand, and wipes her hand on her dress. Now repeat that process several times before mama decides to do a blackberry intervention and all I know is this: Thank God for Shout stain remover! The dress is now stain free, and I won’t be forced to ban my tiny one from the blackberries in the future!
Blackberries! Yummy...or not!

  1. Nana and Poppy: We ended our day with the usual trip to my parent’s house to feed Freckles (a 3 month old calf who is very spoiled and still being bottle fed). Of course we visit with Nana and Poppy first, and then it’s time to ride the 4-wheeler down in the pasture to find Freckles. My tiny one absolutely adores all animals, and she has a special affinity for cows. Luckily my parents have lots of spoiled and petted cows. This means my tiny one can hand feed them and pet them until her little heart is content. Translated: My tiny one can hand feed and pet the cows until it is too dark to see, and then she still doesn’t want to go home.

 ♥ Freckles ♥

♥ Poppy ♥
♥ Nana ♥

As usual, by the time we left Nana and Poppy’s my tiny one was so tired she was doing the stumbling drunk walk. It was only after her nightly bath when I was rocking her to sleep that I reflected on what a great day we had. I realized that my little baby is quickly becoming a little person with her own ways of thinking and her own ideas! It is so cliché, but time really does fly by. It is crazy to think that this time last year my tiny one was just 5 months old! So much has changed since then, but one thing still remains: my tiny one has my heart, and she always will.

Mommy showing how she's got my heart "like this!"


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tiny Kisses Cause Big Tears

Yesterday started off like so many days before….I was awakened by the sweet sounds off the tiny one beckoning for me in her irresistible little sing-song-y voice: “Moooom-eeeeeee…. Moooom-eeeeeee… Moooom-eeeeeee… Moooom-eeeeeee.” This is one thing that never fails to make me smile. It is so darn delightful to know that my baby wants me so badly (plus it’s usually first thing in the morning and nothing crappy has happened yet). So anyway the delightfulness of the beckoning is quickly surpassed by the excited jumping up and down and squeals of joy that are unleashed when I open her bedroom door. I scoop her up and she wraps her arms and legs around me like the sweet little octopus that she is and squeezes me as if she is scared that I might somehow escape  before she has a chance to plant a slobbery kiss right on my lips. These are the moments that I savor. This, my friends, is why I wanted a baby…pure, unadulterated joy in the moment of just being a mama. 

But (and there’s always one of those) there are also moments that I don’t savor. In fact, there are some moments that are downright irritating and frustrating, and it takes every effort to maintain my sweet mama voice rather than screaming at the top of my lungs. Here are a few of the moments that I didn’t savor yesterday:
  1. Time for breakfast. I cooked breakfast (waffles, eggs, toast) for my tiny one. Cut up grapes to go with breakfast. She ate. She finished. I felt pretty accomplished because she ate a pretty decent amount of breakfast. So, in the midst of cleaning up the mess disaster that was once a kitchen she informs me that she wants a pretzel. I muster up all of my mama sweetness and kindly tell her, “No sweetie. You don’t need a pretzel. You just ate breakfast.” She promptly begins to wail. I finally give in…thinking to myself, “Here have the stupid pretzel and PLEASE stop crying!” I caved. I wasn’t happy about that…not gonna savor it.
  2. Time for lunch. I may have forgotten to mention that my tiny one is THE. PICKIEST. EATER. EVER. Here are the things she will eat: cheerios, cottage cheese, eggs, bread, waffles, nutra-grain bars, peas, cheese puffs, teddy grahams, apples, grapes, strawberries, peaches, chips, French fries, spaghetti, pretzels, and maybe a few more things, but that’s pretty much it. Meal times are ALWAYS irritating. She just won’t eat. I try to put something new on her plate, and she picks it up and hands it right back. I try to force her to taste something new by putting a little on her lips, and she cries like I just told her I was going to run away and never come back. I am really at a loss on this one. I don’t know how to get my tiny one (not kidding…I mean tiny…5th percentile on the growth chart) to eat. So yesterday after she refused to taste squash and onions, and potatoes I went back to the old stand bys: black eyed peas, and cottage cheese. No go. She wouldn’t even eat that. Her lunch = cheese puffs (baked and all natural, but still…cheese puffs). For this I feel like I deserve the “mom of the century” award, but again, I’m not gonna savor that moment.
  3. Time for nap. My tiny one’s typical nap ranges from 2.5 to 3 hours in length. Yesterday's nap = infinitesimally small…45 minutes. Total. Unfortunately way to short for me to savor.
  4. Time to run errands. We ended up in Wal-mart, and the tiny one was doing GREAT. She was sitting nicely in the seat of the buggy (protected, of course, by the food encrusted buggy cover) eating her o’s (cheerios) from that handy little cup that she can stick her hand into get some out without spilling them all if she dumps it over. Except for this one little problem – my tiny one is “that kid.” Yeah. The kid who discovers that if she holds the cup upside down with her precious little hand in it just right it will dump out all of the cereal. And what better time to display this little trick than in the middle of the incredibly crowded Father’s Day card aisle where all the “I’m-already-grumpy-because-I-waited-til-the-last-minute-and-can’t-find-a-frikkin’-card-I-like” shoppers have gathered? And so she does her trick and people look (stare), some chuckle a little, some give me the “I-hope-you-are-going-to-clean-that-up” look. And in case you are wondering…We quickly left that aisle, and NO, I didn’t clean it up (although I did scoot the majority of them under the shelf so nobody would squish them). Again, not going to savor that moment.
  5. Time for dinner. Are you noticing a trend? Again, I am forced to play the game of offering new food, tiny one giving it back, offering food I know she likes, tiny one won’t eat it. Dinner consisted of a few bites of cottage cheese and ½ of a strawberry. Plus 3 minutes of tears over the fact that I would not give her an oatmeal raisin cookie even though she saw them and obviously when she sees something she wants she should be able to have it. Duh mama! I’m usually a sucker for crying, but this time I held my ground because it was just one of those days yesterday, and I couldn’t take anymore. I put her down and let her cry as I walked away. Again, not going to savor that moment.
  6. Time for bath. Tiny one loves taking a bath, so it is usually a great time for all involved. And that’s good because the only people involved are mama and the tiny one most nights. Besides, who doesn’t love to wrap up the day with a fun bath? So tonight was no different. Except that it was. Because I was in a grumpy mood. Tiny one was doing what tiny ones do…wiggling all around as I was trying to undress her for the bath, scooting to the faaaaaaar side of the tub so that I had to basically get in the bath with her to reach her, refusing to take her nightly medication (the same medication that she has taken every day since she was 6 months old…she knows the drill), playing twister with me as I tried to put on her diaper and dress her. My tiny one was simply being her silly little aggravating tiny self, and it was grating on my nerves. Where was the fun, silly mama who normally has as much fun as the tiny one during the nightly bath time rituals? I could feel my exasperation welling up, and no doubt, my tiny one knew something was up with mama. Again, not going to savor the guilt I felt in that moment.

But here is what I am going to savor:
As I wordlessly sat my tiny one in my lap for the 5th time after getting her dressed so that I could once again attempt to dry her hair she looked up at me with those beautiful, big blue eyes and said, “Ma-muh.” And she patted me on the arm. Then she lifted up the sleeve of my shirt and kissed my arm. I turned off the blow dryer and just looked at her in awe. She didn’t stop. She kissed both arms several times. Then she kissed my neck and my lips and finished her little display of affection with another “Ma-muh” and a pat on the arm before she laid her precious little head on my chest so I could finish drying her hair. I dried her hair through my tears. I already felt guilty for not being my usual “sweet mama self” during bath time, but my tiny one’s display of affection just multiplied my guilt by oh I don't know....infinity. So why am I going to savor this ultimate guilty feeling? Because I feel like it was God’s little reminder to me that I am the only mama my tiny one has ever known. She doesn’t have anything to compare me to…but me. I don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations. I simply have to offer her the best of me each and every day. And last night she proved to me that even when I don’t offer her the very best of me she still loves me. A whole bunch.  And that is what I will savor.