Hats Off to the Stay At Home Mom

So after a hiatus last week, I’m due for a post. Quinn’s daycare is closed this week so I had a taste of what it’s like to be a stay at home mom. Ok that’s a slight stretch of the truth…. my parents have yet again, helped us out this week. Mostly because Jared generally works from home so having Quinn there is a challenge. My biggest take away from this week: Hats off to the stay at home mom. I honestly don’t know how you do it. I feel like some women are able to and love it and then there’s me…. The other mother. The one who wasn’t meant to. It’s not in my DNA.

I admit that Quinn has somewhat moved passed the Terrible 2’s already. He’s not throwing constant tantrums or using that whiney voice that drove me batty. He’s moved on from the “I only want mommy” phase (thank God…) and he’s even showing a slight interest in TV. Specifically “The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” – I have nightmares about the “Hot Dog Song”. I’ve also noticed that he’s learning how to entertain himself for short periods of time. He’s showing more interest in his toys, counting to 10, saying his ABC’s and having actual conversations with us. Those are the fun developments.

But like most parent friends have told me: For every obsticle you overcome, there’s a new one around the corner. If I have to listen to “We Are Never Getting Back Together” one more time I might throw myself through a glass door. He is OBSESSED. He screams the song in the car and wants to listen to it on repeat. He asks to watch the video on YouTube every morning, before his nap, when he wakes up from his nap and before bed. It’s possibly the most annoying thing to date.

His new phrase is “damnit” – I have my theory of who he learned that from but like Jared said, “He’s going to learn bad words”. We’ve gotten better about not laughing but it is hard to get upset when he actually uses the word in the right context. For example, when he can’t get his shoes on or when he drops something he’ll say it under his breath. Us telling him “No, no… we don’t say that” means nothing at this point, but are we supposed to just ignore it and pretend he’s not saying it? Maybe I’m approaching this the wrong way….

So I mentioned that the tantrums are no longer an every minute event. Although we’ve moved on from that, he’s now having EPIC meltdowns. For no actual reason. Yesterday he had one because Jared took his sucker away from him before his nap. He has the loudest blood curdling scream I’ve ever heard. He screamed so long and hard that he literally made himself vomit. It was disgusting. The only thing that calmed him down was carrying him into the closet in our room and turning off the lights. I have no idea why I thought to try this or why it worked but it did. He had another one because I put his clothes in the washer before his bath. There’s no rhyme or reason and to be honest, it feels a bit bi-polar because the next second, he’s smiling and saying “Hi mommy!”

A couple of weekends ago I was able to get together with 5 of my best-friends from college in our old stomping grounds. We almost all have kids. Most have 2. I liked being able to hear that they have the same struggles and hurdles we do. One of my friends said, “If I didn’t work, I wouldn’t appreciate the time I’m home with the kids.” I think that’s the thing I miss most about work. When I was working, I’d feel fulfilled during the day putting my efforts into a job and then getting to unwind with my family. I understand that not every mother feels the same way I do. But in my opinion, being a stay at home mom/wife is the hardest job in the world. It’s all day/everyday, you don’t get paid for it and you probably don’t hear “thank you” as much as you should. So I’m saying it: Thank you to the mothers and especially my own mother who have the ability and desire to stay at home full time!

 

 

Advertisements

Hi, My Name is Beth and I’m Not Pinterest Mom

Every time I open Facebook, I see my wonderful mom friends doing all of the fun and creative activities I have frequently “pinned” onto my Pinterest boards – “sushi” PBJ’s, different foods into ice cube trays for visual effect, blow drying crayons onto a canvas, homemade play dough… The list is endless! I’ll say it right now: I aspire to be you because I’m not even close. However, my kid could care less. His attention span lasts about 15 min tops. He has limited interests. I feel like generally, he’s a weird 2 year old.

I notice a lot of kids his age already have things they’re really interested in or into. Here is a picture of the toys we have in our house:

20130516_094536

With the exception of a basketball hoop and water table for outside, this is it. And barely any of it gets played with. I see my friends’ kids who love certain cartoon characters, coloring, painting, etc. Quinn isn’t attached or into anything for more than a short span of time. But this was evident when he was a baby. Where most kids get attached to a pacifier and/or blanket, my kid liked a paci for exactly 1 month, and although he likes his “Me” (his blanket… not sure where that name came from), if we told him it was gone and never coming back, he’d get over it. This is a far cry from his parents because I had my blanket until it disintegrated and Jared loved his “Banka-Boo” so much he had to call and check on “her” when it was left at his grandmother’s house once. I was obsessed with Barbie’s and playing “house” and Jared loved GI Joe. I remember thinking TV was the greatest thing in the world. When we had Q, we imagined the things he’d be into at this age. And then… nothing.

When he was a year old, he started to like music. He responded to Eric Church’s “Springsteen” with a smile and a head-bob. He loved dancing (not very well… he can thank Jared for that) to 80’s and 90’s rap and I hate to admit it… “Mollie B’s Polka Party”. I 100% blame my parents for that phase. That lasted for a couple of months. He isn’t remotely interested in sitting down and watching a movie or cartoon. As much as he enjoys the Sponge Bob theme song, Mickey Mouse Hot Dog song and short doses of Modern Family, that’s where it ends. He likes parts of movies – The Joker’s monologue at Bruce Wayne’s party in “The Dark Knight”, the fight scene in “Step Brothers”, the opening of “Rock of Ages” – clearly all child friendly. The fish experiment of 2013 – EPIC fail. Not just because they both died within a month but because he forgot about them within the first 2 weeks. We tried painting (this is as Pinteresty as I get). He liked it until he got some on his hands. I do take full responsibility for him hating being dirty…. I’m obsessive compulsive when it comes to cleanliness. Play dough – unsure what to with it. He used to love books. That lasted about a month and a half. He does like basketball. He’ll sit and watch it for 20-25 minutes on a good day. And that’s also the only thing he consistently likes to play with. We might get an NBA player yet!

Long story short, although I aspire to be a Pinterest mom, I figured there’s no use going through the hassle until my kid can concentrate on something for longer than 30 minutes or appreciate the time it takes to figure out what the damn Elf of the Shelf is going to do everyday. Give the kid a Nook/cell phone/Surface and let him watch YouTube nursery rhyme videos, a bouquet of balloons or an empty box and he’s happy. One day when he begs to buy toys every time we go to Target or freaks out if the TV isn’t on the show he wants, I’m sure I’ll say, “Can we go back to the time when you didn’t care about anything?” The vicious cycle continues…

PS – Jared would like to thank the young lad at daycare who taught Q “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” – So far, this has held his interest the longest of anything. Ever.

“Mommy Didn’t Say S!#t”

PicMonkey CollageSo before I start this post, I should start by saying RIP to fish #2, Nemo. Patches (seen in the picture floating on the top of the bowl) lasted 5 days. Nemo was with us for a month. We’ve decided goldfish are too high maintenance so it’s on to a Beta. His name will be “Blue” so when he dies (I’m already anticipating it’s demise) we can say, “You’re my boy Blue!” – We’ve thought about this too much.

So last night while Jared was working late in his office downstairs, I decided to bring him dinner. Q says he wants to go with me. I told him to go down the stairs on his own. He interprets that as “Jump into mommy’s arms while she’s holding a hot plate of food”. As this was happening, I let it fly – “S!#T”. I felt like Ralphie on “A Christmas Story” when his internal adult voice says, “I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words”, and Q was Mr. Parker. I normally try and filter what I say around him because we have a 2 year old sponge who repeats EVERYTHING! The only thing I could think of is, “How am I going to get this out of the carpet” and proceeded to scrub like a psycho. Meanwhile Jared had started Mr. Quinn’s bath and I hear him say, “S!#t. S!#t. Mommy S!#t.” Great.

There was a time when I just wished Q could talk. Communicate. Something. It was frustrating for him and for us when he couldn’t just say what was on his mind or tell us what he wanted. I remember parents telling us, “Yeah… and then when they can talk, you wish they’d go back to being quiet.” I now understand this because all he does is talk. He’s starting to put together sentences, have pseudo-conversations and tell us exactly what he wants. As great as this is, we’re now going through the growing pains of learning to be aware of what we say and do.

I think it’s important to mention that we’re somewhat inappropriate parents. We laugh when we shouldn’t. For instance, Jared has called me “numb nuts” since we were in college (so romantic). A few months back he calls me this in front of Quinn. Quinn immediately repeats it – over and over and over again. We laughed. Once it was over I said, “We have to watch what we say in front of him from now on.” Two days later I hear Jared downstairs with our kid whispering it into his ear to get him to say it again. Parents. Of. The. Year.

I know a lot of parents say, “Just ignore it when they say something they shouldn’t” because at this age, he has no idea what he’s saying. And if you make a big deal of out anything, he’ll just keep doing it/saying it. Example: When Q was at my parents house one day, my mother bought him a new ball to play with. It was blue. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this…. He got in the car and I asked him what he did at grandma’s house. He says with excitement “BLUE BALLS!” – I immediately called my mother to tell her how he repeats everything so we have to try watch how we say things. She responded with, “What’s the big deal? Why is that bad?” (try explaining this to your mother – it’s mortifying). Jared then decides he’s funny and says, “Quinn…. daddy has….” and Quinn screams, “BLUE BALLS!” Jared didn’t practice the “ignoring” concept.

On top of this, having a boy means they discover “parts” early. It’s natural. I get it. Q looked like Al Bundy sitting on the couch without a shirt on and his hand down his diaper at a very early age. But because he’s 2 and doesn’t understand, we get the privilege of sharing his discovery with the church congregation (at least those sitting by us). And of course it only happens when there’s no talking, no music, nothing. He lifts up his shirt and says, “Belly button!” Jared whispers “Yup… belly button. Shhhhhh…” (Quinn is still learning what “shhhhh” means) and puts his hand down his pants and says “WEINER!” You’re welcome everyone.

Now overall, I think all of this is hilarious which I know is half the problem. But how do you teach a 2 year old what is inappropriate and what isn’t? I’m afraid of him going to Kindergarten and constantly having teachers say, “Your son said a bad word” or “Quinn showed little Suzy his boy parts today.” I’ve chalked it up to the fact that we probably have to grow up a little and think like parents instead of 20 something’s trying to teach their dog how to fetch a beer from the fridge and thinking it’s genius. Don’t get me wrong, as many obstacles as we’re having with this part of growing up (clearly for all of us), it’s amazing to “talk” to my son. The last few nights he comes and lays in bed with me while I’m watching TV. He’ll lay on his stomach and say, “Hi Goose” (I’ve started to call him this because he’s a “Silly Goose”). We’ll talk about where daddy is, what Jersey (our faithful and annoying dog) is doing and where grandma and grandpa are. He’ll tell me the things he can see in the room and I’ll ask him about his friends at daycare. It’s moments like that I wouldn’t trade for all of the inappropriate growing pains in the world. Bottom line: It’s all worth it. S!#t and all.

On that note, Happy Mother’s Day this weekend!

Jared wanted to be in a blog post so….

PicMonkey Collage

Jared read my first two posts and said, “I’m the black sheep of this family! I was barely mentioned!” – Well be careful what you wish for dear. By the way, Happy May Day! I’m not really sure what that is. I vaguely remember getting a basket with stuff in it when I was in elementary school. Kelly Rippa just said it’s also “Lei Day” in Hawaii. This makes more sense to me. Anyway….

In August, Jared and I will have been married for 5 years and together a decade. A DECADE – We’re already more successful than 90% of Hollywood! Nothing has changed our lives and marriage more than having Quinn. Before I continue, let me make one thing clear: We wouldn’t trade Q for anything in the entire world! He is the ying to our yang (possible inappropriate Asian joke). The hamburger to our french fries. The Louis to our Vuitton – ok, Jared might not like that example. But you get the picture.

When you’ve been together as long as we have it’s hard not to get into the routine of everyday life. And then you add a kid to the mix and it changes everything. For some people, becoming parents means that your kid(s) become your life. Your everything. Your top priority. And I agree… to a point. For Jared and I, we choose to put our marriage and ourselves on the priority list next to Quinn and being parents. We think it’s important to make time to go to a happy hour, have nights out and go on vacations. Again, we’re lucky. We have grandparents who live 10 and 30 minutes away who are more than willing to help make those things happen. Not everyone has this option. But I’ve realized it’s other things too.

I never want Jared to look at me and think, “I remember when I used to be attracted to Beth.” Granted, the short skirts and tube tops of yesteryear have now been replaced with a tasteful tank top and cardigan – HOT. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If he’s not getting it from you, he’s getting it from someone else” – I know this is in reference to sex but I think it applies to attention as a whole. We fully admit we miss getting hit on. Some people might think this is horrible but I think it means we aren’t dead inside. When we were dating, I rejected this notion. But now, I’m positive we both secretly think, “Thank God I haven’t COMPLETELY lost it!” if/when it does happen. I think it’s important to ask each other things like, “Are you happy?” Some people might get offended by this question but for us, asking it means we want to be aware of what’s going on in our marriage.

There are a few things I’ve come to accept. Date nights will never be the same. Now they consist of dinner and drinks (2-3 to be exact on a “good night”) and sleeping before Saturday Night Live comes on. Long gone are the days of sleeping till noon, getting Chinese take-out and taking an afternoon nap to mask your hangover. The last place we want to be is The Hub (you know you’re getting old when you say to your spouse or friends “The music is SO loud!”). Vacations or weekends away usually consist of us actively trying not to talk about Quinn the entire time, especially if we’re with friends (Note: Your friends don’t care that your kid is the cutest kid to ever live). And that “feeling” we had of excitement during the dating years will never come back. It’s ok to miss what you used to have and miss your footloose and fancy free lifestyle before you added “Mr. I Hate Sleeping and Love Talking Back”.

I’m not sure I have a point to this post. It’s just my random thoughts for the day. But I’ll end saying this: I hope every woman is as lucky as I am. I married my best-friend and the man of my dreams Adam Levine, Jared Wells (kidding… kind of)! All joking aside it’s the truth. The guy makes me laugh. We have fun together. Even when we’re dog tired and sitting at dinner not saying a word to each other. He’s the best daddy – It’s probably something I don’t tell him enough. Quinn has inherited his rhythm, facial expressions, love of 80’s rock/90’s rap and basketball. And I wouldn’t have it any other way… except maybe the rhythm part. Jared, don’t say I never said anything nice about you.

PS – I just read this out loud to Jared. He said, “You kind of jumped all over the board. Maybe try not being so serious next time.” Back off ladies. He’s all mine….