Friday, 31 August 2018

A Day in the Life Summer 2018

Day in the Life
24 August 2018

Papi 72
Grami 69
Husband 43
Jane 42
Tyler 4
Kate 3

0139 Oh shit! I missed getting up at 11:30 for Kate’s dream pee
0140 Arrive in Kate’s room and discover that she has wet the bed. Take off wet clothes and put her on the potty while I strip off the wet sheets and find some dry PJs for her
0142 She falls asleep as soon as I place her back in bed. Cover her with her blanket and take a moment just to watch her. She does look so angelic while sleeping
0145 Climb back in bed trying not to disturb Tyler, who is sleeping on the foot of my bed and seems to have claimed more space while I was gone
0307 Something wakes me up. The next alarm for Kate’s dream pee is at 0330, but I decided to do it now.
0310 Gently wake Kate and bring her to her potty. I have developed such an appreciation for the sound of urine hitting the plastic kiddie potty. It is music to my ears
0314 Dump the contents of the potty. Funny how there doesn’t seem to be too much there, but when she wets the bed it soaks everything
0449 Tyler is meowing. Why is he still meowing? He is on Kitty Prozac and Kitty Medical Marijuana and had been doing so much better!
0500 As he won’t shut up, I go to the kitchen to investigate. He still has some wet food and his dry food bowl is full, but he has no water. I cleaned his bowl last night and ran it through the dishwasher and didn’t put down a replacement bowl. I fill one of Kate’s plastic bowls for him and feel like an asshole
0515 To let me know how thankful he is, Tyler returns to my bed and sits on my chest, brushing his tail in my face a few times
0545 Appreciate that I’m off today and don’t need to get up to go to work
0620 Alarm goes off as I planned to get up and go to the gym. I thought Kate would be up by now, so I could say good bye to her. Oh well, if she freaks out that I’m not home, there are three people who can console her
0630 Dress for the gym. Weight 151.2. Not where I want it to be, but pleasantly surprised as I had two dinner meetings for work this week and am guilty of a little stress eating. Plus I didn’t swim or gym this week
0640 Leave for the gym
0703 Arrive a little late as I was delayed by a freight train. I’ve never attended this time slot before and I don’t know anyone. The woman who was my partner for the warm up asked me if I just finished basics.
0720 The Strength portion of the WOD is a 1 rep max Power Snatch. I hit 38 kg (84 lbs) which is a PR!
0735 Staring working up for the rest of the WOD. It’s 5 rounds of 8 Dumbbell Thrusters at 35 lbs and 8 ring rows (on a box to Rx) It doesn’t sound too bad
0737 I’m struggling with the 30 lbs dumbbells. I don’t think I can do the Rx weight
0740 For seeming so simple, this WOD is a bitch. I feel disappointed that I couldn’t Rx it
0749:51 Finish the WOD
0755 Get ready to leave after some stretching and using the foam roller
0808 After thinking I’d be home earlier than expected, I hit major traffic just after the last exit where I can take the back roads
0813 I’ve barely moved. Not sure if there was an accident or this is just normal congestion for this time of day
0824 Arrive home in twice the time it usually takes to get home
0830 Find Husband is on a work call. Kate and my mom are in the Kitchen watching Nick Jr cartoons and my dad is in the shower
0834 I get out some sweet potatoes as I was planning to make some packets for Kate. It’s a struggle to get any vegetables into her, so I’m making my own squeeze pouches of sweet potato, carrots, banana with a little spinach thrown in 
0835 My mom sees the sweet potato and asks if I am making sausage scramble. She and Kate are interesting in eating some, so I guess I am now
0837 I take note that Kate is still in the same clothes I dressed her in last night, so she stayed dry for the rest of the night. I’ll take only one accident as a win
0840 I multi-task setting up the cats’ water bowl, cooking the carrots and sweet potatoes, and making the scramble
0850 Breakfast is served! My mom and I sit down to eat with Kate. Kate says it’s too hot and gets down from her chair and heads to play in her room. I don’t chase after her as the food is a bit hot and I’m hungry and just want to eat. 
0900 My phone starts blowing up with text messages and alerts. I start to freak out thinking it could be work related, as shit always seems to hit the fan when I’m out of the office. 
0901 I check my phone. Phew. It’s only coupons from Jo.ann Fabrics and Lake.shore Leaning, plus a reminder from MyFitnessPal to log my weight 
0905 Husband has finished his conference call and comes in to the kitchen for more coffee. He is surprised to see me, as he forgot I am off today and thought I already left for work. 
0920 I’m using my Mini Ninja Chopper to make the packets. I have to do it in two batches and I can hear the motor is starting to strain. I need to see if there is a larger sized Ninja as I am still loathe to drag out my food processor
0925 As I set up the filling station for the packets, Kate wants to help and drags out her ‘Tower or Power’
0926 She thinks were are making applesauce (as she does have packets of applesauce). Well technically, the French word for potato is ‘pomme de terre’ (Apple of the land), so it’s not too much of a stretch… hey, I’m all for deception if it gets them to eat more vegetables. Yes, Kate; we’re making applesauce 
0930 She actually does a good job working the filling station. I put Pig stickers on the packets and prepare them for the freezer. Since her new Day Care doesn’t have a fridge, my thought is that these packets will provide some cool insulation 
0940 To my surprise, Kate goes to the table and eats her scramble without any prompting. She only eats half if it, but I’ll take it. 
1008 Finish cleaning up in the kitchen. Kate brings the packets into the garage to put in the chest freezer. She sees a package of Adelis sausage and decided we need to bring it into the house to have for dinner this week. Sure, why not?
1015 I bring in the clothes that were drying on the drying rack in the garage. Kate follows me and starts playing in the garage. 
1020 Start a load of Kate’s wash so I can clean her wet sheets from the night before. I discover that my parents didn’t hang her wet swim stuff and left it in her swim bag. I throw the whole bag in the washer
1024 Kate is playing in my room as I’m hanging clothes up. She wants to make a tent. We had to bring out the spare duvet this week as Tyler puked on our bed (seriously, my life is awesome) 
1025 She tucks an edge of the duvet in the top drawer of my dresser and the pulls the duvet over my bed. I secure it by placing our foam roller over it. 
1026 Kate is sitting in her tent so she can hide from ‘monsters’ 
1030 I go into Kate’s room to tidy her room a bit. I collect some play food and return it to her kitchen. I end up re-organizing the foods in her refrigerator and pantry and wonder how I ended up with another kitchen to clean
1035 Kate finds me and announces that she wants to move the tent to the other side of my bed
1037 I try to explain that her existing space is better as it gives her more room, but she’s figured out that she can use my night table to help support another blanket wall. This kid know how to build forts
1040 After helping Kate with her tent, I go into the kitchen to grab a yoghurt. It hit the expiration date two days ago, but passes the sniff test
1045 Although it’s a violation of my ‘no eating in the bedroom’ rule, I oblige Kate and eat my yoghurt under her tent. 
1055 Take my empty yoghurt container and spoon to the sink. Discover that the recycling container are full and bring them out to the larger bins in the garage. My parents (with help from Husband) have consumed two bottles of wine, three 2L bottles of diet tonic water, and a big-ass bottle of Costco Vodka. Is that a lot for three weeks?
1110 Change into my swim gear and load my bag into the car. Since I missed going swimming at 6 AM all this week, I somehow managed to talk my parents into watching Kate so I can swim in the noon class.
1115 Start to explain to Kate that I will be leaving. She has been more clingy lately and threw the mother of all tantrums when I left for the gym last Sunday.
1120 She starts to fuss and whines that she will be “lonely” in her tent. I suggest getting some of her animals from her room and she thinks it is a great idea
1125 As Kate is busy brining her stuffed animals into my room,  I slip out patio door. My Dad had just finished putting the final touches on Kate’s new playhouse and wanted a dustpan and broom to sweep up. I hand them to him and feel really guilty as it’s something I should do after he and Husband worked so hard to assemble the playhouse.
1130 Leave for the pool
1155 Arrive at the pool. At 6 AM, the drive only takes 15 minutes, but downtown traffic at noon on a Friday is a nightmare
1156 I place my parking tag on my real view mirror. Whoops I never sent in a request for a summer session tag and the one I have is from the spring semester.  Hopefully, the parking lot attendant will be on lunch…
1157 I text my mom and dad a list of the items we need for dinner tonight in case they decide to go to Safe.way I am swimming. The nagging voice inside my head is telling me that I should have done this earlier as it’s cutting into my warm up time
1204 Dive into Lane 7 which is my usual morning lane. There are already two swimmers in the lane. The noon swimmers are a little slower than the 6 AMers so I always get a bit of a confidence boost. 
1208 Annoyingly, a 4th (and slow) swimmer joins our lane while there is only one swimmer in Lane 8 (the designated slow lane). I move into Lane 8 as I’d rather split the lane and swim at my own pace than try to circle swim with three others. 
1230 The main set begins. Our coach announces today is backstroke day and there is a loud collective groan, save the one or two swimmers who are decent at backstroke
1231 The set involves 6 x 75 of various backstroke drills and to my surprise, I’m crushing it! I’m keeping up with a guy in Lane 6 and I’m way ahead of everyone in Lane 7
1245 I get moved to Lane 6 and discover that one of my former 6 AM Lane mates (who moved to Seattle for a graduate program) is back visiting. I barely have time to say hello before we have to do 50 yard backstroke sprints x 2. He and the other swimmer in Lane 6 decide that I get to be the Lane Leader.
1247 Finish my second fast 50 backstroke. I think I need a defibrillator
1250 My former lane mate tells me that my backstroke is looking good. He must not be swimming very much is Seattle 
1302 We finish the set at last! Since there isn’t a class to follow at noon, our coach has no qualms about pushing us passed the hour mark
1315 I open up my swim bag and discover that my mom took my towel and cover up out of the dryer and folded them before placing them in my swim bag. I’ve been swimming for over 6 years and each time I throw my wet stuff in the dryer and then shove it back in my swim bag. It never occurred to me to fold anything
1317 I’m the last to use the outdoor shower, which means the water may be cold or
1318… really hot. On a hot day it’s unbearable, but today is cloudy and a little cooler, so it feels really nice. 
1325 Make it back to my car. No ticket. 
1327 Quickly check my work email to make sure I’m not missing anything urgent. 
1349 Arrive at home. Husband has already left for his hockey game and my parents and Kate are playing in the back yard. She has not had a nap and they did not do the shopping. I kind of thought they would have done this, so that Kate can nap in the car (as still, this is the only way we get her to nap with us) but I say nothing.
1350 She also hasn’t had lunch, but I am saying nothing
1351 Of course, Kate wants chicken nuggets for lunch, which I know will take too long to make and I don’t think she’ll hold out that long. My mom gives her some Tris.cuit crackers with vegetable cream cheese. Works for me.
1400 My mom informs me that after three and a half weeks at our house she is “losing her identity” She needs to watch the news and take walks each day. I nearly give myself a migraine trying not to roll my eyes as I feel she is being *a touch* dramatic, but instead I offer a few suggestions of some good places to walk
1420 After her ‘lunch’ something sets Kate off into a titanic meltdown
1421 My mom says “I don’t know what this is about”
1422 Captain Obvious states “She’s overtired and needs a nap”
1425 After much back and forth with my mom, I offer to drive Kate so she will nap and do the shopping
1430 Grab the shopping bags and take Kate to the car, I should try to get her to use the potty, but she’s still in full-on meltdown. She is refusing to put on pants. I decide I’ll just cover her with a blanket 
1437 I took a long detour, which was unnecessary as Kate is fast asleep, at least it is a very scenic route
1443 Slowly drive past a house with an amazing garden and stare longingly. 
1450 Fret as I’ve added so much unnecessary extra time to my trip and now I’m stuck in traffic
1455 This time the traffic clears, just as I’m about to jump off the highway on to backroads
1510 Arrive at Safe.way. Check work email to give Kate a few minutes to stay in deep sleep after I’ve turned off the car
1515 Successfully transfer Kate into her stroller. Cover her bare legs with her blanket
1517 I really need to pee, so I head to the store bathroom. Laugh to myself as we’re usually running to this bathroom when Kate needs to go, now it’s my turn
1520 I consider doing a ‘dream pee’ with Kate as I’m not sure when the last time she went. Consider texting my mom to ask, but decide against risking waking her up. 
1525 I leisurely walk up each aisle. It makes such a change to have a peaceful shopping trip
1530 I have an obsession with Open Nature Yoghurt. It’s cheaper than other brans and has less sugar and a better protein to carbs ratio. My favorite flavor is coconut, but not all stores carry it, so I have to stock up when I see it. I clear the shelf of all twelve containers of coconut yoghurt
1531 Giggle to myself as the last time I was here with Kate and she saw my excitement over the coconut yoghurt, she grabbed a random container of some yoghurt and exclaimed “Yessss! They have my yoghurt Whoo-hooo!” She may have been mimicking my behavior 
1540 I think I see one of my patients in the produce department
1545 Head to the check out. The guy behind me asks me what I did to Kate to make her sleep (um, she’s tired) and then comments on how much yoghurt I am buying. I really want to get away from him and suddenly I remember that my Dad wanted me to pick up so more tonic water
1550 The tonic water is on sale 2/$3.00 I decide that I should by the two bottles, even though it’s really awkward to balance the basket and the two bottles of tonic water while pushing the stroller
1551 Yup, that is my patient, fortunately she doesn’t see me, especially as I’m now jugging the stupid bottles of tonic water.
1600 Make it through the check out and drop groceries off in my car. I also need to go to GNC for more protein power and they are having a BOGO sale that ends tomorrow
1602 Fuck. GNC is closed for 30 minutes for lunch, although they don’t know what time this lunch break started…
1603 I decided to walk the length of the shopping plaza
1605 toward the Fro-yo place. After hitting the gym and the pool today, I’m really tempted
1610 I walk into Yoghurt Deluxe. They don’t have coconut 
1612 I taste a sample of New York Cheesecake, but decide against getting fro-yo as it could get really awkward if Kate wakes up while I’m eating some fro-yo and didn’t get any for her
1613 Stick a dollar in the tip jar as I feel cheeky just coming in for a sample.
1625 After walking all the way up and down the shopping Plaza, GNC is open. Not only can I take advantage of the BOGO sale, I had $55 in rewards to use. As Kate would say “Whoo-hoo!” 
1635 Transfer Kate back into her car seat. She wakes up. Fuck.
1637 Kate sees the bottle of coconut water that I bought for myself and wants some. 
1642 As I’m stopped at the light, waiting to exit the shopping plaza, I look in my rear view mirror and note that Kate has fallen back to sleep, holding the coconut water
1643 Carefully remove the coconut water from Kate’s hand, just as the light turns green. The guy behind me is slamming on his horn, but fortunately, it doesn’t wake Kate. 
1703 Stuck in traffic on 580 for the second time today
1718 Finally arrive home. Kate is still asleep!
1720 Start to put away groceries. My Dad is watching the Red Sox and my mom is lying down on the couch
1730 Just as I finish putting groceries away, my mom asks if I need any help
1735 I decided to have a lay down myself, knowing full well that as soon as I get on my bed…
1736 Kate wakes up
1737 I get Kate out of her car seat, fully expecting her to be soaked, but to my surprise she is dry!
1738 I put her on the potty despite her protests and she takes the world’s longest pee
1740 Kate is asking to watch a show
1745 We curl up on my bed and start watching Team Umi Zoomi
1750 Tyler comes to join us
1800 At some point I nod off. The backstroke set is catching up with me. I recall that I managed to take a short nap during my last DITL post, but it really is a rare occurrence. 
1840 Because I was so tired, Kate managed to sneak in one more show. Thanks to Team Umi Zoomi, she can figure out “If I get three shows and I watched one, I get two more?”
1845 Head out to the patio and find my parents drinking wine. 
1846 Kate is playing in her playhouse
1910 I go into the kitchen to start dinner. My mom follows and she wants to check out the Insta.pot
1915 We’re having Chicken Tacos. It’s one of my favorite go-to meals, and one that we used to do in the crock pot, but I find it’s better in the Insta.pot
1916 My mom seems impressed that I prepare and store batches of the dry ingredients to save time. 
1918 Dump the chicken thighs, spices, water and salsa into the IP and set the Poultry setting to 21 minutes
1930 The IP is finally ready. I always forget to add time for heating and for releasing the steam. Fortunately my mom has poured another glass of wine and doesn’t notice how late it is
1940 I go outside to check on my Dad and Kate. My Dad is sitting on Kate’s picnic table, which he moved to be adjacent to the Playhouse. Apparently he is in “Pretend Crog.ans” [our local pub that we frequent every Saturday night] and she is “Pretend Mallory” [the name of our favorite waitress] who is serving some food to my dad and a few stuffed animals who are also sitting at the picnic table
1951 The Insta.pot is finally ready to be vented
1955 Crap. I also forgot it takes another 8-10 minutes to sauté the excess water
2005 Which is also the same time it takes to bring Kate in from the Playhouse and collect her animals after convincing her that she doesn’t want to leave them outside overnight
2015 Grateful to my mom for heating the beans and corn. Dinner is ready !
2017 I stick some shreads of chicken in Kate’s guacamole 
2025 To my surprise, Kate has been sitting in her chair and is eating her dinner. Maybe the solution to her eating struggles is just to smear all her food in guac
2030 As Kate finished her dinner, she is rewarded with a mini-ice cream Drum.stick. I don’t like doing dessert every night, but I’m going to let it pass as a treat while the grandparents are visiting 
2031 Another perk of the IP, clean up is easy. I was the pot and stick everything else in the dishwasher
2040 Give Kate her 5 minute warning until her bath
2041 Run the bath water. Enjoy a few quiet minutes to check and email
2050 Spent a little too much time on my I.pad. A little late getting Kate in the tub
2051 Kate is resisting her bath, so I offer to be a “unicorn” and let Kate pretend to be Nella the Princess Knight and ride on my back to the tub
2052 It works, but as soon as we get to the tub, she runs off
2053 Find Kate in the kitchen looking at the I.pad with my Dad
2055 They’re watching a news video about some naval ship in the Boston Harbor
2056 I tell Kate that the video is “sooo boring!” To try to re-direct her focus back to the bath. 
2057 My Dad informs me that it’s not boring as this ship represents important military history, but he can appreciate what I am trying to do
2058 No, it is really boring. 
2100 My mom asks me how often I use the IP, which leads to a conversation about how Husband is not helpful at all with meal planning.
2110 Apparently, I can go on about this topic for a while
2111 Kate has moved on to looking at pictures of my cousin’s wedding with my Dad
2112 I conclude that it’s too late for Kate’s bath
2113 I let my Dad know that I’m really annoyed with him for showing her an I.pad when he knew I was trying to get her into the bath and for not backing me up when I tried to get her to stop watching and go take her bath, but I’m really annoyed at myself for not being more firm. I can’t be upset about Kate’s lack of decorum while my parents are visiting if I let her get away with bending the rules
2115 Kates says good-night to my parents and then brushes her teeth for two seconds
2118 Change into bed clothes and start reading stories, we have already read her library books multiple times and we only checked them out a few days ago
2130 Turn out the light and kiss Kate good night. 
2140 It doesn’t take long for her to fall asleep
2145 Say good night to my parents who have already gone to their room
2150 Climb into my bed, Tyler jumps into my lap
2151 Start watching Real Time with Bill Maher.
2204 Husband arrives home. Ask him how his game went and feign interest 
2230 Fall asleep before Bill Maher’s New Rules
2310 Wake up as Tyler jumps off the bed
2311 Take Kate for her dream pee. This is my life. Wash, rinse, repeat. 


Monday, 13 August 2018

Three Years

I first heard the term “terrible twos” when I was a teenaged babysitter and experienced them first hand with one of my charges. As subsequent years passed, I began to believe that she was just a spoilt bratty little kid and I imagine today she is probably a terrible 32 year old. When my friends started to procreate, I began to hear that the twos weren’t too terrible, the threes were worse. Some others have suggested that if your twos are really bad, you’ll have a better third year, but if you had an easier year two, you’re in for rough waters during the threes. I asked my Pedi to confirm these theories and he explained that by the age of three toddlers are more cognitively developed…he rambled into a long dissertation that I’ll simply paraphrase as ‘three year olds are able to be aware that they are being assholes.’

Most of the time Kate is a sweet but curious child. I don’t think she’s having more tantrums, but oh boy, have they ramped up in their intensity and it takes longer to get her to calm down. Some days, they seem easier to provoke, or they come out of no where. She’s started throwing herself on the ground when she throws a fit, and O-M-G does that push my buttons. I’m not sure why it’s such a trigger, other than it seems to epitomize the image of an unruly, ill-behaved child. At home, on the advice our pediatrician, we ignore her. One night I walked out of our kitchen and turned out the light. The challenge is what to do in public. Loyal readers may remember my nightmare in the airport, when we were catching an early morning flight and I could attribute it to her being tired from her disturbed sleep and not understanding why I couldn’t bring her sippee cup of milk though security… Yet a few weeks ago, full from a good lunch and after a decent nap, she threw a tantrum in Safe.way complete with rolling around on the ground. I’m not a germaphobe mom, in fact I’m even a bit pro-dirt, but Safe.way probably has some of the dirtiest floors around and I was watching in horror as black marks were collecting on her pink shirt. I started warning her that it wasn’t safe to be on the floor; she could get run over. Then to prove my point, I fake stepped on her. (For those who are old enough to know the reference, think Christian Laettner in the Duke Kentucky game in the 1992 Regional Semi-Finals) I drew some horrified looks, but no one called Social Services and Kate got off the damn floor, so I’m calling it a win.

My other parenting gripe is the whining. No one really prepares you for the whining. Sure, people warn you about the sleepless nights with a newborn. Now I look back and think, big fucking deal! So you wake up, change baby, feed baby, it takes about an hour, then you’re able to sleep again. Seriously, why don’t we warn each other about the whining. This is another trigger that makes me lose my shit. I mean truly lose it. I once got into my most obnoxious voice and started whining back at her and it actually shut her up. Of course, I can’t do it too often, or it will lose it’s magic.

One of our current struggles is getting ready to leave the house in the morning. Kate needs a 10 minute warning, then a 5 minute warning and then a 2 minute warning. She has a habit of deciding to do her most imaginative play when I’m trying to get her to wrap up what she’s doing and focus on getting ready to go. One morning, after I gave the 10 minute warning, she decided she was going to be an art teacher and set up three of her stuffed animals with a piece of paper, a paint brush and their own jar of paint. It was adorable and I felt like such a bitch, but I needed to admonish her for the fact that she wasn’t cleaning up and putting on her shoes as I asked her to do. I get so frustrated and I feel like such a failure as a parent that I can’t get my one child out of the house on time, while there are super moms out there juggling two or three kids. There are some days where I relent and let her play a little longer. Is it a big deal if we’re late to the Farmer’s Market? Well we may lose out on potato Kuku and get left with the spinach ones. The other day we were late leaving for a birthday party As she had to take her baby to school. To go support her fantasy, I offered that Tyler would take her baby to school. She didn’t think he was capable of the task, so I had to convince her that he is a very responsible kitty. She insisted on giving him instructions, so he would make sure Baby has her lunch box and her blanket. So she is demonstrating that she is understanding responsibility. Now we need to work on responsibility and punctuality.

Height 3 feet 3 inches
Weight: 39 pounds

Potty Training
I read one source say that you know your kid is fully potty trained when you don’t have to spend all your time thinking about ‘does my kid need to use the potty?’. I’d add the the definition of success includes being able to handle an outing after you forgot to bring along the backpack of potty supplies. Or you’re really toting the potty backpack just for the coloring books and other forms of entertainment that get us though eating out at a restaurant. Next challenge is getting through the night. I really wasn’t going to tackle this until later in the summer going into the fall, as I had a distant goal of getting rid of diapers by the end of the year. However, I was finding that she would soak through her nighttime pull up about 3-5 times per week. I decided that if I was going to be constantly washing sheets, we might as well learn to night time train.

We started on Memorial Day weekend, which was our potty training anniversary. I stocked up on extra sheets and pads and I would wrap her bed in extra layers as if we were playing ‘Pass the Parcel’. I started putting her to bed in undies and was soon discovering that she would only pee once a night, some time between 2 and 4 AM. I decided to take advantage of the fact that Tyler was meowing at all hours of the night and I would try to wake her up to do a dream pee whenever Tyler woke me up, but she really wasn’t cooperating with the dream pee. So then I decided to try an night time alarm. I found one that has a little clip that attaches to her undies, but I need to get some thicker training pants so it would be more comfortable for her. The alarm just really didn’t work. Some nights it fell off. Other times, her bladder would empty so quickly that even with me sleeping next to her, by the time the alarm went off, her bed was already soaked. Plus she was really scared of the alarm, which made for a good challenge to try to stay dry all night to prevent the alarm from going off, but she became so scared of it that she started to hide it on me. So basically, the alarm was a total fail.

The one night I decided to revisit the dream pee; and it worked! She got up to pee and stayed dry for the rest of the night! She even once got up own her own and used the small potty we placed in her room. I really didn’t want to use any incentives when we started training, but I thought I’d make an exception for night time training, and we started letting her put stickers on her calendar every night she is dry. (She’s fascinated by my sticker chart that I use for going to the gym and to swim practice, so we started comparing calendars) I think we had two weeks were she was dry every other night and maybe one PR of two consecutive dry nights.. then her pee schedule changed. Despite being more restrictive with evening fluids, she started needing to pee earlier, so I’ve been getting up twice a night to take her to pee, but she’s been peeing earlier and earlier. One night it was two minutes before my alarm was set to ring. Then she doesn’t have to go when I get her up later and she’s waking up wet at 6 in the morning. 

I’ve had Co-worker, my aunt and my cousin all tell me not to worry about night time training at this age, that it will be okay if she’s in pull-ups until she’s 6 or 7. Please see above; she soaks through pull-ups. Plus, I really, really want to be done with diapers. I was finding that she was regressing a bit in the pull-ups as she would pee in them while reading stories, rather than using the potty. I then decided the training pants had to go as well, as they are thick like diapers. We’re going back to commando with loose shorts as that is what worked to get us through day time training.  Commando for the win again! (I hope)

Eating: This still remains one of our biggest challenges. She has a limited palate won’t try anything new, so we end up going to our usual staples: meatballs, fish sticks, macaroni and cheese, breakfast sausage links or dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. Sometimes she gets so busy playing that she refuses to come and eat, which it never a good start for a peaceful meal. Does anyone remember reading about the worst fight of all from the story of Helen Keller? ‘Teacher’ Annie Sullivan chased Helen around the dining room before she finally got her to eat her breakfast and fold her napkin. I feel ever meal with Kate is the worst fight of all, except my child isn’t blind, deaf and dumb, she’s just an asshole. 

We’ve been making a point to reduce distractions during dinner. No TV, no phones and we’ve been engaging Kate in conversation. She’ll often ask “how was your day?” We’ll chat for a bit and then she’ll get bored and will start squirming around in her seat. I honestly feel like we’ve become immune to her poor behavior at the table. If anyone has any tricks or tips; please share.

One of the hardest things about switching her Pre-school was that she was doing swim lessons and soccer through her old school and we did gymnastics on Tuesday when I was off from work. Weekends were completely free of scheduled activities. Saturday and Sunday gymnastics classes fill very quickly, but I found there was still space in a 2 year old class on Saturdays and I got us on a wait list for a 3 year old class than only has 3 people ahead of us and it’s with the head instructor, so I’m feeling optimistic that things might work out well. Since her new school doesn’t offer soccer until the end of September and it didn’t want to lose her momentum (as she had been doing well with the soccer lessons at her old school), I signed her up for a six week session (though the same company that does her school lessons) on a Saturday morning. I was weary about doing soccer and gymnastic back to back, but figured if she can make it though a 9.5 hour day at Pre-Schoo, she could handle two activities.

Among the many lessons I learned; firstly it’s not worth booking activities in the Summer. We missed half of the soccer classes anyway due to birthday parties, the Summer festival for the Library reading program and picking up my parents at the airport. Second lesson, I was wrong to assume she’d seamlessly transition into a new soccer class. When we arrived on the first day, she clung to me and refused to participate. The second time, she wanted to run around the park and showed very little interest in the soccer lesson. I get it. It’s a new teacher, she doesn’t know anyone and there is so much new stimulation at this park, a duck pond, two play grounds and many people walking their dogs. At her Pre-school, she’s in a familiar environment, she’s with her friends and I’m not there. It was a total failure due to my unrealistic expectations. My comfort is that she was not the only kid not paying attention and I’ve become friendly with some other parents as we commiserate about what a waste of time and money this endeavor has been. And yes, soccer (even when not fully participating) followed by gymnastics leads to a very tired and cranky kid who didn’t want to cooperate in gymnastics and is too wired to nap. Total fail with the added bonus of having my mother rub my nose in my failures. “You’re not taking her back [to soccer} next week are you?” Well, it is the last soccer class next week. “And the last gymnastics class too?” Well no, given that the gymnastics classes run on their own schedule as they are a completely separate program. Thanks for emphasizing that I suck.

We were able to keep her in her swim lessons at her old school for the rest of August as she’s on break until her new school starts after Labor Day and I’m hoping we can get her in a class on Tuesday evening, which will be a bit funny as Wednesday is Husband’s gym night (although he rarely goes) Thursday is my gym night and Tuesday will be Kate’s night. I’m also looking to sign her up for a 5 week Sunday night swim class in September, where she will attend with a friend and I can swim during her lesson. It runs during the three weeks when Husband will be away, and I’m not looking to do in long term. We’ll see how this all goes…

Looking forward to: Our (new) normal routine. I’ve been thinking about how they say that nothing in life is free… especially as my parents have been visiting. While it is really awesome having them here to plan, shop, prep and cook meals. Plus help with our back garden renovation and do some house work. Not to mention helping with child care… it comes with a price. Some of the cost comes with my mother trying to be helpful, but really annoying me with her efforts. The other expense is a change in Kate’s behavior. The other day I arrived at the gym practically in tears. It seems like there is nothing like a visit from your mother to make you feel like you’re failing at parenting your own child. Fortunately, there were some seasoned moms in attendance to console me. “Oh yeah” said one “My kids always become little shits when my parents come to visit. Yes, I think they are trying to make us look bad. We probably did the same thing to our parents.” Suddenly, the escalation of her worsening behavior made sense. She has additional attention from her grandparents, and sometimes has to compete for attention if everyone else is distracted by something else (like something sports or related to our house) I recall that during their Christmas visit, she hit a potty training regression that I think was attention seeking. She’s over-stimulated, her nap and sleep schedule is off and it is easy to get out of sorts. At least that’s what I am telling myself with the hope that I’ll get my house back and my normal child back at the end of the month.

Come the day after Labor Day, Kate starts full time at her new Pre-School five days a week and I go back to working five days a week, except I kept myself at 36 hours and I will still have Tuesday mornings off. On the advice of my HR cousin, “If you go back to 40 hours, it will be hard to cut back down again” so we’re going to see how this works for a while. I’ll be happy to stop doing ten hour days, as they were getting rather tiring and I’m going to be happy to keep a consistent schedule for a while. Yet, I will miss my stay-at-home-mom-for-a-day time with Kate. I enjoyed all our activities, baby yoga, baby music, the first attempt at soccer (I had forgotten about that failure) two gymnastics classes, many trips to the park, a few play dates and all the times I dragged you around It’s been real.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

La Fiesta

Toward the end of last year, as Kate was into all things Peppa.Pig, I began to contemplate a Peppa themed birthday party. I wasn’t exactly sure how I would put it together. Maybe let each kid represent a character? Hold a puzzle challenge with all our Peppa puzzles? I really didn’t have any great ideas, but I found Peppa birthday balloons along with paper cups and plates,, so it had to be a legit theme -right? However, I had done an Olivia party for her second birthday (which some people thought was Peppa…) could I really feature a pig two years in a row?

Then Kate discovered Dora the Explorer and she was so over Peppa. Initially, I found Dora really annoying. The show is so formulated between the map and the backpack. I mean, does she really need a map to find her own house? There is no way all that stuff can fit into that backpack and be light enough for her to carry it. I started getting into the show a little bit when I learned about Swiper. I think Swiper appeals to me because his big brushy tail reminds me of Tyler, but I actually started rooting for him to steal her stuff. Every time I hear him saw “Aw man!” I want to tell him, next time Swiper, you’ll get her next time…

Then I had to confess that Dora was having a good influence on Kate. She started speaking in Spanish and she could solve a lot of the questions posed on the show including some math problems. Then one day Kate and I went shopping, I had a lot of stuff and I decided to accept help out to my car. I let Kate into the backseat and worked with the clerk to unload the groceries into the boot. When I came to the driver’s door, Kate was sitting in her car seat, so I presumed she was buckled in. . As I started to back out, she shouted “Mommy, why didn’t you buckle me?” As I pulled back in to my parking space, ripped the handbrake and climbed over my seat, Kate was finishing buckling herself into her car seat and then looked up at me and said “Seatbelts! So we can be safe!” Okay. Thank you Dora. That sealed the deal on the decision to have a Dora themed party. Oh and I’ll stop cheering for Swiper to steal your shit.

I discovered a park very close to our house through one of her school functions. It features a great playground, which would be easy entertainment for the kids. The only trouble is that the picnic area available to reserve, is on the other side of the park, so I made a sign with “Map” to help show people the way. I searched through Google images and found one with a picture of a park (which is from an episode where there is a birthday party in the park for Swiper), but annoyingly, the actual park was on the opposite side to the picture on the map.

I knew I wanted to do “Backpack” goodie bags, so I found some cheap purple draw string bags on Amazon and the googled ‘what is inside Dora’s backpack’. Don’t try doing that. Apparently, there is a sex act called the Backpack. I didn’t read too closely, but it ends with someone saying “Yum-yum, delicioso!” After that, I just started paying more attention to when Backpack made her entrance while Kate was watching Dora. The gift bags has a (jump) rope, a small flashlight, a multicolor pen, a snack, bottle of water,  a squeeze ball globe (which is as close as I could get to a map) and a passport and stickers. I brought a Polaroid camera and took a picture of each child to put in their passport. I don’t think many of the boys understood the whole Backpack theme, but seemed to think the stuff was cool. 

“Backpack, backpack. Whatever you might need I have inside for you...”
Do not google ‘what is in Dora’s Backpack.’

For lunch we ordered from Chipotle, as we did last year, because we needed to do the Mexican thing to be consistent with our theme. Chip.olte definitely is more expensive than other catering options, and I was considering finding somewhere else to provide the meat, but thought I could cook my own beans and rice, get one bag of shredded cheese…then reality hit me. It was worth the cost not only to have it all prepared and but delivered too. I under ordered a bit, as we had so much left over last year. My formula was to count the kids as half and subtract 5 from the total. It was pretty accurate as I only had 3 or 4 meals as leftovers. However, I fell into one trap. I decided not to buy any Dora themed plates or cups, as I still have paper ware from her first birthday party (which I used at this party and if we have a Peppa themed party next year, maybe I can get rid of the Olivia cups and plates from her second party…) Chip.olte catering provides plates, napkins and utensils, but I didn’t take into account that I had undercounted, so we ran out of plates. Whoops! I had guests eating off of the plastic lids to the bowls or having a burrito or taco. My tip from last year; I brought plastic containers for the left overs and baggies for the unclaimed cut up veggies. Bam! Clean up and meal prep done in one action!  

We’ve been to a few birthday parties this year and I’ve watched the parents present beautiful professional cupcakes, only to have the kids lick off the frosting and toss the cake. I was seriously considering just serving tubs of frosting.. but I came up with another idea. I got nice cupcakes for the adults and went with crappy Safe.way cupcakes for the kids. Actually the bonus to the Safe.way cakes is that they do a lot of Nickeledon themes, so when I saw they could do a Dora number cake, I was sold. I placed my order with our local store and the woman informed me that they didn’t have any of the plastic Dora cake toppers. Did I want to do a different cake -Shimer and Shine maybe? I had my first ‘this woman doesn’t have kids’ moment, as she obviously didn’t grasp. THIS IS A DORA THEME. WE NEED A DORA CAKE!!! Not to worry, Amaz.on came through with some Dora related candles.  Personally, I was a little disappointed with the cake as I thought it would be more Dora-esque, rather it was just a Dora looking backdrop, but the kids liked requesting the color of their cupcakes “I want yellow!” “I want green” I will forever love the convenience of cupcakes for a kids’ party. Cupcakes for the WIN!

Kind of lame 

Kate is totally eyeing the grown-up cupcakes 

My friend Amy was in London for a wedding and missed the party, but her parter Sheldon (who I imagine wanted to maximize his time out of the house while he was solo parenting their two kids) offered to help set up. I noticed that he brought a small tent out from his car and was setting it up. I didn’t think we needed the tent, but I was too busy with other details to say anything. Good thing I didn’t -the tent was a huge hit! All the kids were running around in and out of it. It was a cave, then a goal for the soccer ball. Sheldon later told me that his kids insisted that he assemble it. Gotta listen to the kids, as they know what makes a party. While we were shopping, Kate requested to have some watermelon. The plastic bowl of pre-cut watermelon was gone, while I was bagging up all the cut up veggies I had prepared and assembled to go along with another picture of map that detailed the three different dips I made and included little Dora characters on a stick to list the ingredients… because I was trying not to get carried away….

I picked up some outdoor games from the dollar bin at Mic.haels just to have on hand in case some of the kids didn’t want to go the playground, but I tried to restrain myself don’t go overboard with this, the kids may not even play with these! Wrong! The bubbles and hula-hoops and styrofoam airplanes and sidewalk chalk was a huge hit! Some kids never made it to the playground because there was so much fun at the campsite, so my worries about the distance between the site and the playground were for not!

The only downside of the party, was that I spend too much time hosting and didn’t spend much time with Kate. Honestly, there were times when I had no idea were she was and was just hoping that someone was watching her. I’m grateful for my aunt and uncle who not only watched her in the morning while we went to set up, but captured most of these pictures as I didn’t take any at the party. Although it’s time consuming, I feel like I’m getting pretty good at hosting birthday parties and I’m learning how to be better and more efficient each year. This year, the only thing I asked Husband to help with was scanning and emailing the signed permit to the Parks Department, and picking up balloons and ice on the morning of the party. He and I carried the coolers full of ice and Sheldon helped him carry the tents and tables, which I had packed into the his car. I think the only thing he carried on his own was the travel folding chairs while I lugged up the crates of beer, water, food etc… Yet he said to me while we were cleaning up “How about next year we do her party at Chuck E Cheese?”
Obligatory number balloon 

Kate’s Birthday Gift -her own Backpack and Map!