The REAL Terrible 2’s….

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It’s been awhile since my last post so I figured it was time to get on the ball. I won’t lie, working 8 hours a day/5 days a week takes a toll on my blogging. Whoever said there’s such a thing as work/life balance is lying to you. On the off chance you’ve found the secret to accomplishing this, please share your magical wisdom with me! At this point, I’d consider keeping up with my DVR’s an accomplishment…

So in the last few weeks Quinn has officially hit the “Terrible 2’s”. I have previously blogged about this. Forget everything I said before – I now know what the “Terrible 2’s” actually are. Q has always been strong willed but now he can vocalize it. He also expresses himself physically which is just lovely. Nothing says, “I want to crawl under a rock” like picking up your kid at daycare and being told, “Quinn got a timeout today. He wanted “Little Johnny” to go somewhere with him and when he didn’t, he pulled him by the hair.” Awesome. He loves hitting Jared and I too. Yup – go ahead kid. Hit the woman that gave you life. The biggest problem – he’s half my size already so it’s not like love taps. I keep telling myself “This too shall pass…..”

When we tell him “no”, the expression and noises he makes reminds me Michael J. Fox turning into “Teen Wolf” (the picture on the right is the beginning of that face). He grinds his teeth together and makes an extremely unattractive face. I took that picture along with about 5 others and showed him. He started to cry to which I replied, “Told you it’s not cute when you do that”. I should be more sympathetic because he’s only 2 1/2 (almost) but he has the vocal abilities of a 3 year old (reminds me of “Van Wilder” – “She reads at a sophomore level!”…. it’s only funny if you’ve seen the movie).

He’s also a MASTER manipulator. He’s perfected the same face that Puss in Boots makes in “Shreck” while saying, “Please daddy?” in the sweetest voice you’ve ever heard. If you let your guard down, you can’t see the spark of Satan glimmering in his eyes. This was made evident last weekend when I got home from being gone all week and we decided to take Quinn shopping. He’s OBSESSED with football right now and he stumbled across a helmet at Scheels – just his size. I don’t know why we didn’t just buy it on the spot…. Instead we left. Helmetless. And moved on to Target where he proceeded to ask over and over and over again if we could go back and get it, all while doing the face and the sweet voice to Jared. Quinn won. He even said, “Thank you for the football and helmet” on the way to dinner. We thought it was so adorable! Then we got home and he put it on and turned into Jared Allen, tackling everything and whipping (yes whipping) the ball at our heads every other minute. Adorable left the building.

On the other hand, he’s so much fun! We re-did his room and made it a “big boy” room…. he says “please” and “thank-you” for pretty much everything. He talks in full sentences, remembers things you tell him that you’d think he’d forget (this can also be something that bites us in the butt), reminds me to say prayers before bed and understands what it means to think things are funny or scary or sad, etc. To me, I love this stage the most… at least so far 🙂

Speaking of changes, I also turned 33 on September 16th. THIRTY THREE! I swear to God it feels like 53. I’m not like some women who think, “I get better with age” or “30 is the new 20” and so on…. I am not one of the people who want to get old. However, my husband made it a nice soft landing when I received my belated birthday gift in the mail upon my return from Dallas last week. You quickly forget being upset about turning another year older when there’s a box with a Louis Vuitton handbag in it – Husband. Of. The. Year.

The picture on the left is right after my birthday dinner with my family. As you can see, he literally is half my size. I’m in so much trouble…

Ode to My Husband

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It’s been almost a month since my last blog. Quite frankly, I’ve been busy. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking, “Doing what exactly? It’s not like you work….” – Au contraire mon fraire! As of last Monday, I’m back to being a working woman! So I really can’t use that as an excuse…. “Busy” means going to the lake while trying not to eat my bodyweight in Zorbaz pizza or drinking enough to kill a small pony. Which by the way, I rode a couple of weeks ago. No joke.

So the biggest news in our household really is me going back to work. I’d still like to consider myself to be the “Real Housewife of Fargo”. And instead of it being a sarcastic title for my time of unemployment while my kid was in daycare, I now consider it to be an actual title. Why is that you ask? Because I’m not only employed full time again but I’m still the CEO of my household. Going back to work and re-learning how to manage my days/weeks is like re-learning how to walk. Not working meant I had all day to go to the gym, clean the house, run errands, do laundry, make dinner… etc. Now I have to actually run errands after work… when everyone else is doing the same thing (PS – Target is so much better at 8am on a Tuesday than 5:30pm on any day of the week). I’m at the gym by 6:15am so I don’t have to do it at 5pm. Dinner will more than likely be pushed back to 7-7:30 instead of 5:30-6pm. These all might seem like little things to some of you, but to me, this is a complete re-org of my day. As big of a transition as this can be, I honestly couldn’t be happier. The only person more ecstatic than myself is Jared.

Luckily Jared was not only supportive and understanding during my unemployment, he has at least tried to be patient with me when it comes to me re-entering the working world. I will admit right here and now that I’ve been a complete bitch. Yup, I said it. There is no other word to describe myself. During my unemployment, it was because I was bored and felt like I wasn’t contributing to society (DISCLAIMER: I by no means feel that stay at home mom’s or wives don’t contribute to society – It’s my own personal feeling). Now it’s because I put everything on my plate. It’s what will probably kill me one day – “Type A Woman Dies of Self-Induced Stress”. If you know me, you know I can keep my cool when it comes to work. Nothing really stresses me out. But the second I walk out the door I’m a ball of stress. Isn’t Jared lucky?

Speaking of lucky, the whole purpose of me writing a blog after a month is that tomorrow (8/22/13), we will have been married for 5 years and together for over a decade. Good God that’s a long time…  Even through our trials and tribulations, I hope that tomorrow when Jared thinks about me, his loving and sometimes unbearable wife, he still knows he’s the luckiest guy in the world (that was somewhat sarcastic…)! In all seriousness, I KNOW I am the luckiest woman in the world. I think it’s one thing to love someone but it’s harder to like them. This sounds a bit strange but hear me out… I’ve known many couples who have stayed together, whether it’s dating or married because they “love each other”. That’s all warm and fuzzy but “love” almost becomes something you “should say”. But I’ve learned that LIKING Jared is a big deal. I LIKE talking to him. I LIKE going on vacations with him… even if it’s just us. I LIKE spending time with him with and without Quinn. I LIKE doing things for him (even though this often times leads to my stress-filled mental breakdowns). I LIKE spending time with him. If I had to pick one person to be friends with for the rest of my life, it would be him.

It’s been over a decade and I still think he’s funny sometimes – I say sometimes because half the time, the funniest thing is watching him laugh before he’s even told a joke. He’s my father in that way. He still comes up with ridiculous sayings and if you close your eyes and listen to him talk, his Midwest accent is hilarious. We still laugh about the stupid things we did in college (that’s a whole other blog…), laugh about the stupid things we do now, and love talking about the best thing we’ve ever done together – Quinn Charles. He’s a hoot and a half that kid… takes after his daddy.

So if you haven’t noticed, this is the most puppies and rainbows type of blog I’ve written so far… I’ll try not to let it happen TOO often 😉 But on the eve of our Anniversary, it had to be done. So Jared: You are the greatest husband and greatest daddy a girl and small person could ask for! Here’s to another 5 (let’s not overshoot just in case – ha)!

Best. Night. Ever.

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So it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a blog. Summer is flying by before my eyes! But we’ve had a great few weeks spending time at the lake with friends the last weekend of June, had one of my best-friends and Quinn’s godmother visit us over the 4th of July week/weekend, played “single mom” while Jared was gone last week for a work conference (PS… God bless the single mothers out there….) and this last weekend went to Minneapolis to experience the best night of my life. Now, some of you may think “That can’t possibly be true? Isn’t the best day/night of a woman’s life the day you get engaged, married or have kids?” Um, no. As you can see from the picture above, this last weekend I lived out all of my adolescent hopes and dreams with one of my besties at the Boyz II Men/98 Degrees/NKOTB concert. This isn’t a joke. This is literally the inspiration of my blog.

Let me take you back to 1988 – I was 8 years old and heard “Hanging Tough”. It was life changing. NKOTB literally took over my adolescent dreams for at least 5-6 years. I had posters, sheets (yes, for an actual bed), cassette players, beach towels, t-shirts, VHS concert series, every cassette and single ever released (remember “singles”? They were $1.99 for 2 songs and usually came in a cardboard cover – classic), board games (my dad frequently likes to talk about that game I never played but just had to own), etc. I think the only piece of memorabilia I didn’t have was a doll because let’s be honest…. they took my semi-stalking tendencies to absolutely creepy on the “you need a life” meter.

Then we’ll move on to 1990 when Boyz II Men hit it big. I’m positive I cried over high school heartaches to every Boyz II Men slow song they ever made. I remember thinking “It’s like they know my life!” This was an extremely dramatic justification considering now that I’m older, I don’t see how “I’ll Make Love To You” had anything to do with a 16 year old….

Then comes 1997 – 98 Degrees came into play. Having a love of boy bands early in life, I didn’t care if I was 16-32. I love a good boy band (currently they’re more of a “man band”). N’Sync, BSB…. I love them all. Nick Lachey – Hi. So as you can imagine, seeing all 3 of these bands in one night for the first time about sent me over the edge. I literally lost my marbles. We were lucky enough to score 2nd row seats. My friend almost had a heart-attack. However, after heavy flirting with the security guard (you learn to do this at concerts), he let us move to the front row.

You also have to understand because of the era these bands were popular in, it was “mom jean central”. I’ve never seen so many 28+ year olds scream as loud as they did and shove themselves into old concert t-shirts from their youth. It was magical. At 3 different points in the night I looked at my friend to say, “Don’t judge me. I have tears in my eyes right now.” but she was right there with me. Ladies (yes… ladies, not girls) around us asked multiple times if we were ok. Nick Lachey laughed at my friend because she gave him the “ok” sign with her hands and mouthed, “Ok? Really?” Towards the end of the NKOTB set, Donnie Wahlberg made eye contact with me and I mouthed, “FREAKING CELTICS!” (we’re bonded by this) to which he pointed and mouthed it back. We could have both died in those seats happy.

Donnie Wahlberg said, “It’s been 25 years since our first album” – It was the one moment of the evening where I realized “Mother of God…. I’m old. And I’m screaming like a hormonal 16 year old at men who are now in their late 30’s and some into their 40’s.” This thought immediately went away and I decided it was best to pretend it was ok to act like little girls do at One Direction concerts. My point is this: I don’t care how old you are. I don’t care if you’re a wife and mother. It is totally acceptable to act like a buffoon for an evening and pretend you’re young again. This has also led me to hope if we have another child, it’s not a girl. I didn’t see men acting a fool…. So back to my statement about this being the best night of my life – The only way anything would have beat this is if a Boyz II Men song had been playing in the background when Jared proposed, NKOTB played at our wedding and 98 Degrees sang “You Are My Everything” as I gave birth. Jared is so embarrassed of me…. Until next time 🙂

 

“When I Was Your Age….”

I was going to skip blogging this week but was inspired after watching a story on the Today Show yesterday. Evidently the new “thing” for kids to do is “smoke alcohol“. I’m not kidding. You could tell times have changed and Jared and I are getting old when we were both staring at the TV and saying things like, “But how…?”, “Who in the world would think to do that?!”, “Kids these days…” The last thing I said as he was walking downstairs was, “Imagine what we will have to deal with when Quinn is a teenager.” For some reason, I keep thinking about that concept – Quinn as a teenager. Dating. Getting in trouble. Driving. Worrying his mother. I immediately had a mini mommy panic attack.

Every time I watch “Dateline” and they expose a new thing that kids are doing it freaks me out. Long gone are the days when it was enough to find someone’s 21 year old sibling to buy you and your friends a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a sixer of Zimas with jolly ranchers. Who would’ve thought things like Jelly Bracelets, The Choking Game, I-Dosing, sexting, bullying, etc. would be things parents even have to think about. Even the way teenagers dress, mainly young girls, stresses me out. When we were at Ribfest, two girls walked by wearing next to nothing. I turned to Jared and said, “If that was your teenage daughter would you let them leave the house dressed like that?!” to which he replied, “You used to dress like that.” Dang it. He’s totally right. But I was in college! And my boobs weren’t falling out of my shirt! Not that I had them to fall out of anything but whatever… DETAILS!

I dread when Quinn comes home and says, “I have a girlfriend.” I remember thinking “I’m going to be a really cool mom one day when it comes to that stuff.” Yeah…. Easy to say until you have kids. I’m not going to be cool. I’m going to be protective and overbearing. I’m going to be the mom who sets the no being in a room alone with a door shut rule. I’m going to probably use inappropriate words to describe the little girl who comes in my house with half a skirt on while Jared and I wait up to make sure Q makes curfew. I’m going to use phrases like “When I was your age” and “One day you’ll understand” – You know…. things I hated my own parents saying to me. I’m going to kiss him on his cheeks and hug him whenever I feel like it, even in front of his friends/girlfriend and remind him that I gave him life. Of course at the rate he’s growing I’ll have to climb a step ladder to do this by the time he’s 14…. I fully plan to have Q tell me how “embarrassing dad is when he raps to his old Eminem songs in front of my friends!” I can already hear Jared coming behind him and saying, “That s#@t’s a classic yo!” Yup, no matter how much we say when we’re young that we won’t be “those parents”, it’s unavoidable.

When I would get in trouble as a teenager or young adult, my parents never said, “I just don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did” because they generally never did those things when they were young. They were both really well behaved during their adolescent years. I know I put them through the ringer many times. I feel like because I did that, it’ll be a vicious cycle with my own spawn. Jared grew up in a more liberal household than I did so I wondered how he’d feel about rules and discipline when it came to our own kids. Between Jared and I, we’ve been there, done that. We both got in our fair share of trouble, made bad decisions…. We hope as parents that will allow for an open dialogue with Q as he grows up and he will feel that he can talk to both of us about anything, regardless of consequences. But I think that’s every parents hope. And as honest and transparent as we hope to be, I hope he never sees some of the pictures of his mother in college… at least not till he’s 30. I can’t imagine any parent wants their kid coming around the corner holding an old photo album and saying, “Is this you? Holding a beer bong at a foam party in Mexico?!” I should probably destroy the evidence now just to avoid that scenario all together….

My kid is only 2 and I’m worrying about this stuff. Is that normal? But when Q is already asking to watch YouTube videos on the Surface, can unlock my phone, discovered his boy parts months ago and already can tell the difference between soda and beer cans/bottles, yeah… I think it’s ok to start worrying about this stuff now. Thank God we have a few years left to try and brainwash him into believing the only thing he should focus on is, “How to get drafted into the NBA so mommy and daddy can retire early.”

Sometimes I Forget My Kid’s Only 2….

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Since I didn’t blog last week, happy belated Father’s Day everyone! We finally had a beautiful summer weekend at the lake! Above is a picture of Quinn and Jared fishing for the first time. I learned a couple things about Q this weekend: 1. The kid has zero fear of anything. Jared put the fish on the dock and he immediately picked it up. The water was FREEZING and he walked in like it was his job,  bent at the waist and submerged his entire upper body into the ice bucket that is Big Detroit Lake. He did say, “Done now” as soon as he realized what a bad decision that probably was. 2. It’s virtually impossible to get him inside. Even after he’s been outside from 8am to 7pm.

So the title of this weeks blog has to do with yesterday. I had one of those, “I have zero patience and the sound of your voice is driving me up the wall and back down again” kind of days. Quinn has been on a mommy kick again. Although he’s not as dependent as round 1, he’s having mini meltdowns if mommy doesn’t do things for him as opposed to daddy, grandma and grandpa, etc. My mother always says, “This too shall pass”. Yesterday I thought, “I’d appreciate if this would pass a little faster.”

Q is gaining major independence. It doesn’t matter what it is. The answer to everything is “NO! I DO IT!” or “QUINN DO IT”. Long gone are the days of Mr. Tender-Heart. He’s becoming all boy. I can’t even explain the exact changes but you can literally see it in his eyes. He even got his first time-out last week for chucking a toy cell phone at another child at daycare (proud parent moment I tell you what….). He’s naughty. Plain and simple. I know it’s normal but it’s extremely frustrating. And he’s smart. He knows how to manipulate Jared and I and push our buttons already. He knows what the word “No” means and chooses to ignore it when it comes from us, but listens to his daycare provider or anyone else for that matter when they say it to him.

When I was having a mommy breakdown yesterday talking to my own mother, I told her that sometimes I forget he’s only 2. I feel like it’s because he’s abnormally tall and in my opinion, older “looking” than some 2 year olds. He talks like he’s a 5 year old sometimes. But he is ONLY 2. He’s newly a toddler. He’s learning boundaries. He’s a ball of emotions. He understands but doesn’t understand the way I’d like him to… yet. And I’m finding that I have to remind myself that. If for no other reason, to keep me sane.

In the midst of all of our toddler growing pains, he throws in little moments that can take my upset/bad mood to the opposite spectrum. This last weekend while out to dinner with my parents, he decided it was a good time to start singing. At the top of his lungs. It was closer to screaming lyrics than singing. I love my kid but voice of an angel, he does not have. I’m not holding out hope for Q being the next YouTube singing sensation. I normally would be mortified by this but in that moment, it was hilarious. By the way, I’m pretty sure we are “Never Ever Ever” going to move on from that song. My sister in law even tried to expand his musical interests by playing him the best of the 90’s to no success. Even yesterday when I was ready to start yelling “Free 2 Year Old!” from my deck, he said, “KISSES!” and wanted to shower mommy with them. He found this to be extremely funny. Thank Jesus he’s finally mastered the closed mouth kiss…. The drool made Q kisses un-fun.

On a side note: I’d like to thank Jared for being a much more patient and calm human than I am. It’s always good to have back-up. Trust me. Until next time…

I Can’t Think of a Title For This Blog….

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Hello to another wonderful summer week…. I say that with as much sarcasm as possible. This could quite possibly be the worst summer weather I can remember in recent history. We did get a break in the rain and cold on Sunday to finally take Quinn’s 2 year pictures. Above is a quick preview. Be sure to check out Erika’s website! She does amazing work!

So this blog is basically going to be a “Week in the Life of Quinn” update. Some of you may have seen this picture:

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This is a good representation of our biggest struggle this week. The kid loves suckers. And I blame the place where he gets his haircuts since that’s the place that exposed him to what has now become the bane of my existence. The “problem” is that he always wants 2. Frankly he always wants two of everything. God forbid one hand be empty! The upside, he doesn’t eat them. It’s security. The ability to say to himself, “I have TWO suckers that mom and dad didn’t really want me to have but I won and got my way!” The sucker thing is sensitive because this is what caused my post traumatic stress disorder with dentists. I hate the smell when you walk into an office, I hate the chair, the lights and even though the dentists themselves are generally nice people, I loathe them for what their profession entails (i.e., filling cavities and pulling teeth). Hence why I never go. But when I was little my mother gave me suckers which caused many o cavities and led to many visits to the dentist. I’d like to avoid this at all costs for Quinn if possible. So I guess the fact that he just holds them and doesn’t eat them should be a blessing but it’s the principle. It’s like that saying, “You may have won the fight but I will win the war!”…. or something along those lines.

Another big event in our house was Q getting a big boy bed! The kid hates his crib and hasn’t slept in it for a good two months. So after sleeping apart for at least half the night for a couple of months, Jared and I decided enough was enough. When Quinn fell asleep the first night and Jared got into bed, he goes, “Oh hi. Who are you? I’m used to being in a different bed or a kid in here. It’s like sleeping with a random.” So clearly it was time. At least if Q has a bed and wakes up, we can go lay with him until he falls asleep (so tricky). We just finished night 2. Although he has woken up a few times throughout the nights, at least he’ll sleep in his room now. I’ve already chalked this up to a successful parenting decision.

An update on his swearing: He’s still doing it. And more excessively. He now says it multiple times in a row. He’s even shorted it to just “damn”. I’m now implementing distractions when he goes on a rant like singing the ABC’s. The only pr0blem is he goes back to saying it as soon as the song is over. And we haven’t kicked our “We Are Never Getting Back Together” obsession…. The only change is that he sings more w0rds to the song. #toddlerproblems (Jared is going to kill me. He hates “hashtags”…. he usually says “hashbrowns”.)

Today is also my dad’s birthday so tonight it’s dinner with the grandparents! On a serious note, I’d just like to say I have the best dad in the world! I’ve never known a more patient, kind, sometimes funny (you have to know him to understand this… mom and I have re-named his jokes and revelations as “Craigisms” because they can be mildly ridiculous at times) and most importantly, the best grandpa a little boy could ask for!

Things to look forward to in the coming week: Ribfest! We will not be attending with Quinn. Why? 1, because it’s God awful expensive and I refuse to pay those prices for a 2 year old. 2, You should see my kid with a rib. It’s like catnip for clones (you’re welcome Jared). Thursday grandma and grandpa are taking Quinn so Jared and I can have date night. This will mean home by 8 and a full night of sleep. Thank Jesus. Until next time….

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!

 

 

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:

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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….

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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….