Cue Olympic Theme music….

Wow, how is it August already? I can’t believe how fast time is flying! Even though I only work two days now, I don’t want to go back to school!! I want to keep spending my days at the beach and the pool!

Anyway, I thought I should update this blog with some kind of something, so here goes. Let’s talk Olympics!!

I LOVE the Olympics. I think it must be because I am about as unathletic as they come. When I was younger and forced to take awful gym classes, I was ALWAYS the last one picked. I was scraggly and wimpy and when any kind of sphere came towards me my first instinct was to put out my hands and block my face and scream. So I suppose in retrospect I do understand why I was always picked last. But still! As a result I’ve never liked any kind of sport really. Never got into any teams or games or whatever.

Except for the Olympics. Whether it’s Summer or Winter (thought Winter is my ultimate favorite!), there is something about an event that happens only once every few years, where the people who participate are the very very best, who have a hope and a dream and train and persevere no matter what…Oh man I’m getting weepy just thinking about it!! I love everything the Olympics stands for and I really think it has to be such an amazing thing to actually BE there participating, whether you win or not!

Of course, because I love the Olympics so much, it is definitely starting to take its toll. Our DVR is maxed out because I tape hours of coverage. I don’t know why they refuse to show my most favorite Summer sport, Synchronized Swimming, during prime time, but they won’t! So I have to tape it all over the place at weird times of the day and watch it after The Kid goes to sleep. She does not seem to have the same zest for the Olympics and will sadly point at the TV and then at her Mickey doll and then at the TV again going “TEESE!?” (please) til I have pity and change it. So anyway, then I ALSO have to tape prime time, and watch that too! So I’ve been up til like 1am or later every night since the Olympics began because I can’t stop watching and I have hours to catch up on!!

It’s rough, let me tell you! So honestly, even though I’ll be so sad when they are over this weekend, I think it will be a relief. I will no longer have the responsibility of making sure I don’t miss any exciting story or triumphant win or miss a horrible disappointment somewhere in these games. Someone has to see it all! I’m doing the best I can! In fact, if there were medals for Olympic viewing, I’m fairly sure I’ve secured at least the bronze ūüôā

Camp Mom week whatever it is: Play Dough Edition!

Yesterday afternoon The Kid needed a distraction. I needed to do something to calm my nerves. It had been a tense afternoon previously…Mega temper tantrum at the Mall! Eep! And although she napped and since then was quite deliriously happy, that tantrum clung to me like a cloak of cranky crankiness. I know these things happen and kids forget immediately so I tried really hard to think of something to help me get over it and give her something fun to do.

The result?
From my list of Pinterest things to do: Make your Own Play Dough!

I pinned this recipe and it claims to be the softest play dough ever. It also is cooked on the stove, which I’d never done before. Years and years ago back when I worked at a Day Care/Nursery School, we’d make our own play dough, but we did it in the microwave. So cooking it on the stovetop was a new experience for me.

It was really easy to do, and The Kid enjoyed standing on a chair next to me helping to stir. She got pissed at me when I took it off the fire to knead it, but hey, she’s a crab lately, what can you do?! It also turns out I was really too excited to use it and I’d taken it off too soon. If it looks remotely sticky, its not ready yet. It really needs to look pretty much like a ball of play dough before you remove it from the heat. That being said, I put it back on and proceeded to overcook it a smidge. Whoops!

Either way, it was hardly a mess at all, and the kid liked it once she got over the shock of it not being exactly like REAL play dough. She sat down, all excited to play with play dough, and when I gave her the giant clump of purple dough we’d just made, poor kid looked at me sadly and cried! Then pointed at the little yellow jars. Damn you and your marketing ploys Play-Doh(TM)!! After showing her all the cool stuff she could do with it, she enjoyed it for a few minutes, then spent the remainder of her time lining up all the rolling pins and other tools in a very neat line. Um, well, it kind of made her happy?

Tomorrow I want to try something else, but I’m not sure what! Suggestions??

Terrible 20 months?!

So okay, my darling daughter is now 20 months old. She’s pretty awesome most of the time but uh, lately? Well…Let’s say I am afraid the Terrible Two’s are arriving early.
She’s usually very happy, easy going, good at sharing, blahdy blah blah blah. But the past two weeks she has started throwing INSANE temper tantrums. Like holy crap get out the holy water and exorcise this child temper tantrums! Over weird things too!

 

Example of my life recently:

Me: Okay! Let’s put our shoes on and go outside!

Her: YAYYY

Me: Okay, sit down and let’s put on our shoes so we can go play. Come sit on my lap…

Her: AAAAAAAAAAARGGGHHH SCREAM YELL KICK WAHHHHH SCREAM!

So basically She’s flipping out like crazy over bizarre things. Also over normal kid things, but the tantrums last a LONG time. She used to get mad, yell for thirty seconds and be over it, now its like a good 5 or 10 minutes which is awful. She won’t let me help her either when she flips, I just kind of have to wait and then distract her when she starts to calm down.

On top of this, she’s started resisting bedtime like insanely. Oh man its so bad! For the past two weeks you basically mention its time to go up and she cries. Then you get her up there, do the routine and she’s fine! Tuck her in and either she stands up and screams immediately, or gives you a false sense of hope and waits til you get downstairs and THEN screams! You go in, give her hugs and she’s all, OH LOOK LETS PLAY WITH THE CRAP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM! LOOK AT THE DOOR! I LOVE YOU! HA! So then you tuck her in, leave, and she repeats til you realize she is playing you for a fool, you tell her she is super fine and a big girl and she can totally go to sleep and you will see her in the morning and she screams another 5-10 mins and goes to sleep. So awful!

 

So anyway, I’ve been stressed about this and also not able to do too much as I’ve been busy working at camp and by the time she’s up from her nap, we have only a few hours before bed. So today was our first day off together and I tried really hard to think like a Toddler. What would frustrate me? What would super make me mad? I also tried to think with more patience…what things are really not a big deal if it goes her way? Which things do I totally need her to comply with? I chose my battles wisely and we had a fabulous day! She only threw one small fit which was quick and no big deal in the end.

At bedtime I employed a new tactic my dear friend Ann’s kid does without them realizing it’s a tactic: I let her pick one special toy from the living room to take up to bed with her. She was so excited! And uh, then she chose an empty fabric box that held her toys. And because this was day one of my plan and I really wanted to see if it would work, I kind of let her do it. I figured we have a monitor that lets you see whats going on so it would be safe enough.

Result? She couldn’t wait to get into her crib. She spent about 20 minutes putting crap in the box, sitting in it and then taking everything out and repeating. Eventually she got tired, climbed out of the box and went to sleep with minimal fuss!

So I’m hoping my new-found resolve to be patient and outsmart her will pay off and her Toddleritis will pass quickly. Or tomorrow she’ll totally flip on everything and cry at bedtime again. Who knows!?

I don’t have a Title for this one…

I’ve been kind of quiet on this blog lately, due to many reasons, some of which I’d rather not write about as I’m trying to keep this a happy upbeat kinda place. But mainly, I’ve been super busy with actual camp, not camp mom. I’ve been working mornings at my district’s art camp, which is always an adventure though this year seemed to entail a whole lot more running around after camp each day than usual! Next year I am hoping things will be a bit calmer, and that I can enjoy my afternoons instead of running around with the poor kid trying to replace the terrible paper mache sent to me that didn’t remotely work…oy!

At any rate, as my darling little kid is snoozing on the couch next to me, I am relaxing and trying to come up with some fun stuff for next week when camp is over! I can’t wait to get us to the beach and pool nice and early and get home before its too hot and just in time for naps and lunch. I also think we are going to try to make our own playdough either on Friday or some time next week. If we succeed, or even if we don’t, I’ll definitely post about it!

Lately the kid is all about a few things:

1) Building towers and stuff out of anything she can find. Blocks, mega blocs, cups, her dinner dishes. I think its so awesome. She sticks her tongue out in concentration and builds things pretty high!

2) Trying to really talk! SO exciting! She now has some new words to add to her repertoire including Choo Choo, NO (She used to say DA and I’m sad she stopped to be honest!), cracker, and other parrot-like responses that she says once but then not again for awhile. I’m wondering if real talking is on it’s way?!

3) Coloring. Omg, I set up a little bin at the kitchen table, which we always cover with butcher paper as its super nice and we are trying to preserve it through the kid years (HA!), and lately she crawls up on a chair and will sit for a really long time picking out different markers, crayons and chalk and just coloring every inch of the paper on the table! I love it! I’d love it more if I felt that I could trust her to sit and color while I did something exciting like, Oh, make dinner or empty the dishwasher, but for now I’m happy to sit and watch her and maybe enjoy a mostly quiet cup of coffee while we sit!

So that’s about it for now! Oh! I forgot all about our recent trip to the Stepping Stones Children’s Museum in CT! I’ll have to post about that later. So much fun! In the meantime, I can’t believe this kid is still asleep. I’m going to lay around and watch cooking instead of doing anything at all cuz long naps are pretty rare in this house and I consider them a gift!!

 

s’mores indoors!

Sometimes you just want to have a gooey and delicious snack and you don’t want to go to the trouble of lighting up a fire pit. In these times, toaster oven s’mores are perfect and cozy.
How do you do such a thing?! You ask? Simple!

1. lay out the graham and slice the marshmallows in half and lay flat on a toaster sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up of course)

2. Cook on the BROIL setting for about 2-5 mins. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not walk away! If you are not staring the mallows down watching them melt they will almost definitely go too far and next thing you know there is a small fire in your kitchen. So watch them!

3. Just before they look super done, throw on the chocolate and let that melt a smidge as well.

4. Smoosh together, and enjoy!

 

Share Share That’s Fair

So okay, I have often said that I try not to judge other parents. I mean, parenthood is a very difficult thing and no two people do it the same way, and no way is really the wrong way. Well, unless you like lock your kids in a closet and spoonfeed them mold or something horrible and evil. But in general, how you parent is up to you. I don’t care if you breastfeed or bottlefeed, so long as the kid is fed. I don’t care if you jump out of bed every time they wimper or let them wail for 20 minutes to be sure it’s a real distress call, that’s totally up to you. I don’t care if you let them wear 14 pairs of socks and no shirt to Mother’s Day Brunch or make them wear a frilly dress. But I draw the line at manners and not intervening when your kid is being a dick.

 

We went to the town pool today. We have a family pass, and the kid LOVES going there. Usually it isn’t too crowded and the kids are all pretty nice, and everyone brings toys that float around the pool and everyone sort of shares them and you just collect them when you leave. Everything is lovely and delightful and I was looking forward to today because it was the first pool day of the season!

However, today there  were a bunch of jerky little kids at the pool. And of course their parents seemed to be the real reason they were acting that way. Allow me to explain:

First off, my Kid is 19 months old. She clearly looks like a baby. She does not look like she is going to swipe some four year old’s toys and run away with them for forever. She is going to look at your toy, wave at it, and set it on it’s merry way. We are hopping around in the giant kiddie pool and she picks up a football, which says Dylan on it. I go into my usual speech parents give in such a situation in case the owner is nearbye:

“Oh no that isn’t our toy, see, it says Dylan on it. He might want to play with it, we should leave it here.”
I put it down, kid picks it back up cuz she doesn’t get it. I look around, and the kids are all playing and no one seems to care we are playing with a football so I figure, okay, when Dylan comes back, we’ll give it to him. So I say so to the kid. No sooner are the words out of my mouth than a big 4 year old comes RACING UP and SNATCHES it out of her hand. Like violently. I look around and see no one who might be his mom or dad. Great.

“Sorry, she was just looking at it, she was looking for you to give it back!” I say. He looks at me and walks away without a word. Lovely.

Moments later she picks up a truck. I am about to make her put it down as it also says Dylan on it and guess who shows up out of thin air and snatches that away too!? “She just wanted to share, maybe you could share with her since you weren’t playing with it?” I say. Again, beastly boy just WALKS AWAY.

Then my kid sees a pink watering can. No name on it so I figure, okay, this one can’t be that kid’s, so we can use it for a minute. Again, the brat comes storming over and I go, “Oh, is this yours? It doesn’t have your name on it.” To which he goes, “No it’s not mine. But its my friends.” “Oh, where is your friend?” He gestures into outer space. “Over there!” and grabs it again. At this point I loudly say to my kid, “Let’s go to the other side of the pool where the children are nicer and look like they might share with you! Next time we will bring our own toys since no one seems to like to share here, how sad!” She agrees and we move on. I finally hear a very halfhearted, “Oh give the baby that watering can….. you aren’t using it….” from some lady sitting in the shadows talking on her phone. He ignores her and she doesn’t push it, so apparently Dylan is always going to be a jerk who doesn’t share and who snatches toys from babies.

 

A little later we are playing with nicer kids and another older boy is playing with a water gun with his friend. My kid drags me in between them and the kid SHOOTS ME RIGHT IN THE FACE WITH WATER! I was like, holy crap! Again, HIS mom is on HER phone and actually says NOTHING at first. I say to the boy, “Wow, you kind of missed and hit me right in the face!¬† YIkes!” in a teacherly way and HE says nothing! His mother tells him not to play with the guns but does she remind him to say he was sorry?! Nope!

I just don’t get it. Being polite and treating others with respect is like the first and most important aspect of being a human being! The fact that neither parent even CARED that their kids were rude and nasty makes it even worse! I know that many parents are not like that, but when you encounter two in one afternoon, it makes you kind of doubt humanity and worry about your own kid’s future in school. I for once, will never stop reminding her to be sweet and kind and polite,and always treat others the way you want to be treated. One day my kid will be doing something amazing with her life and stinky old Dylan is going to be sitting around working as a lifeguard at age 45 telling kids not to touch his toys!!!

Crazy Toddler!

So school let out last week and I promptly traveled up to Rochester NY to surprise one of my dearest friends from college for her birthday, along with our other roommates/friends¬† from college. There is really nothing better than the kind of friends that always pick up right where you left off. We’ve all been through a lot, have gone long periods without seeing one another, but stick us in a room together even if its after a year or more or not seeing each other, and we are still 18 and being dorks. Its so awesome!

Anyway, that was the first time I’ve been away from the kid all by myself. Sure, the husband and I go away from time to time and she has sleepovers at her grandparents, but I’d never left her without having my husband for moral support. I was very nervous: would she be okay? Would she freak out and realize after awhile I wasn’t at the store or something? Would the husband remember to brush her teeth?! Would I be able to have fun away from them?

Well, I’m pleased that everything went fine. She and her dad had a blast together and did so much stuff I think they were both passed out by 7:30 each night, ha! I had a great time myself and while I certainly missed the kid, I knew she was having fun and doing great, so that helped a lot. Besides, it was so nice to see my friends and not be running after a kid or trying to make sure she isn’t stuffing apples in the ottoman while I chat!¬† My husband says that twice she sort of looked for me, but he told her they’d get me at the airport the next day or whatever and she was cool with that. So yay!

Anyway, now summer is upon us and I’m working mornings at art camp. Its actually a big adjustment for me which is silly. I only worked two days a week this past school year, so working every day, even if it is only til noon is still very different. I also have to get the kid moving and to whoever is watching her, and that’s hard. She is not fond of moving quickly in the morning (like me!) and we are still finding the best way to meet up/arrange care for her. Also the past two days she’s fallen asleep in my mom’s car, transferred to mine at camp but then woken up once I get home. So 45 min nap all day! It’s not terrible except she’s getting kind of shrill after awhile and overtired/crazy. She’s also going through a big independence phase: she thinks she should run away from me, run outside without me, charge off into the night and not look back, climb all over the couch and laugh when she gets in trouble for it. (Okay she hasn’t charged into the night–yet!) So me having to be extra vigilant and worrying she’s going to become a horribly behaved child coupled with little naps is making life a tad stressful!

Anyway, I’m hoping this phase passes quickly and she’s back to her normal levels of mischief. Or that she starts to actually care if I put her in time out or something. Sigh. Toddlers are crazy. Good thing they are cute!