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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Its that time of year again. Its Halloween! The air has gotten colder, the leaves are turning their vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, and pumpkins are displayed on the front porches of homes across America. I love this time of year despite the cold air (I am not one for the cold) as I love Halloween, and all the great holidays that follow. For me, it reminds me of a time for family and holiday cheer.

This year my little one is going as a Native American Indian. He looks adorable in his costume and actually lets me put the head piece on complete with a feather on his head. He typically throws off any hats I put on him, unless they are tied to his head, so I was surprised in the dress rehearsal that he allowed it. I know he still is young and won't get everything that is going on, but if he can go out on a walk and be outside, he is all for it. Plus, what mother doesn't want to get some free candy and use her child as an excuse? I will obviously allow some candy to be given to him for his hard work, but the things he can have are few and far between (no hard candy), so the rest will go to his Dad and I. I am even more pleased that for the second year, he will be using one of my childhood pumpkin pails for his treats when he goes out. Its a small pumpkin, but just the right size so we can go out for a little while and not be out for too long.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Enjoy your evening with friends, family and your little ones!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Farewell To An Old Friend

I recently learned that a childhood cherished doll of mine will no longer be for sale through the American Girl company. Samantha will be discontinued. Sure, most of my childhood toys that I loved and cherished are no longer for sale in the retail stores. The Wuzzles, Gem, and Gummi Bears are all a distant memory of my past. I acknowledge that and accept that. I guess its hard to see it when you are an adult seeing a piece of your childhood being discontinued.

Samantha was the last doll I cherished when I was still in the doll playing stage. I believe I also received her in the last Christmas when I thought Santa Claus was real and Christmas was magical (it still is magical to me just in a different way). She was an expensive doll for the 80's, but my Mom (aka Santa) knew it was something I really wanted. One of the best parts about this doll, is that she looked like me. She was complete with long brown hair, bangs and big brown eyes. I even loved the name she was given and at that time I was going to name my little girl, Samantha when I grew up and had children.

Samantha and I were buds. I pretended I was her Mommy and she my little girl. I spent hours dressing her up in her early 1900's clothing. I remember what a hassle it was to stuff her in her stockings. I remember being sympathetic, because I would occasionally be stuffed into stockings too. I used to do her hair all the time into her trademark half pony tail. I would want my hair done like that to and even to this day (not that my Mom does my hair), if I asked my Mom to give me a Samantha hair do, she would know exactly what I was talking about. I even had my Mom buy me a dress just like Samantha's so we could dress alike. 1900's or not, I was going to look just like her. I even had professional protraits taken in that dress with Samantha by my side. She was my favorite toy until I reached the boring, non-toy playing preteen stage.

I wanted to write a special blog about her, because she was special to me. She was there at the end of my childhood and for that she has a special piece of my heart. I ache knowing that future little girls will not dote on the same doll I did. She was a wonderful doll. At least I have my memory of her and at least I still have MY Samantha tucked away on a shelf until I have a little girl or grand daughter to pass her down to. Then she will be cherished once again, as a only a child can cherish a toy, and Samantha will be given the most glorious kind of love, a child's love.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Television and Babies

When my little guy was an infant, I really didn't care what was on the television. He spent most of his time cuddled up without a care in the world (as long as he was feed and had a clean diaper) in his Moms arms. As he grew older, I got more and more into what he couldn't watch on television and what should be on the television if he is in the room. I know kids don't need television on all the time and I do try to cut it to a minimum, but even if just Thomas or Sesame Street, I like having the background noise. I am one that likes a noisy house. Go figure.

My new house rules (when the baby is not sleeping his crib) are the following:
  • No Dead People (CSI, Bones television shows are ruled out)
  • No violence
  • No sex
  • No drug use
  • No curse words (God forbid the kiddo picks up a word)
In my husbands words, "So what can we watch on television?" I like to break down the television shows of things that are funny (AFV), dance shows, Oprah (even ruled out some times), and any sports. I am what you call a television addict and I do have to appreciate having DVR so I can catch up on some not so friendly kid shows after the baby is asleep.

I guess it never occurred to me when you have a baby that you thought of such things, but as the Johnson and Johnson commercials always say, "Having a baby changes everything." That line is so true.

So for now, until my kids are age appropriate, the television shows are all screened. At least I can always trust the PBS Sprout Kids, which are completely age appropriate.

How did television change in your household when you had children? Do you have any favorite shows you watch as a family?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Toddler Talk

For the purpose of this article, we'll call my toddler Pumpkin. Pumpkin is of the age when he is learning more and more words. The first word came around the first birthday and inevitably it was "Dada". It was very cute and my husband adored that he was singled out. I didn't tell him that lots of toddlers first word is "Dada", since its just easier to say then "Mama". Even so, we rejoiced in the new milestone Pumpkin reached. Over the next few months, Pumpkin learned more and more what things meant. He learned the word "dog" next as he loves to terrorize the two poodles in our home. Luckily, they are faster then him. If you said, "Tough down Redskins",those little arms would reach over his head like the refs do when a player scored a touchdown. He even learned that if he pointed and said "that", then we would tell him whatever "that" was. Recently, Pumpkin even learned the word "clock". Yup, a hard word for a toddler (at least in my opinion) to get that "cl" and "k" out there. I relish in all of the new things Pumpkin has learned. However, he has yet to say "Mama".

Don't get me wrong, I am not mad. I praise my toddler for every milestone he hits. I know each one of them is a true blessing as there are so many children that never reach those same milestones. However, can Pumpkin just look at me and say "Mama"? I carried this child for 38 weeks, went on bed rest for four of those weeks, pushed him out, lost countless hours of sleep by his cries, read hundreds of stories, sang every song imaginable, and did my best to play the "Super Mom" role. I guess I am just a bit disappointed? Everyone in our house has a name to him, the dogs, Dada and even his favorite clock, but Mama has yet to receive a name. Have I tried having my husband point to me and say my name? Yes. I have tried saying his name by pointing (since he learns words through pointing at things) and then pointing at me and saying my name. He just looks at me as if he's saying "okay whatever lady" and moves on to something more interesting.

I know someday I'll get that "Mama" word out of him. Its bound to happen at some point and I am sure it will catch me by surprise and I'll relish in finally having a name like his Dad does. I'll probably write at a later time and say how much he does say "Mom" or "Mama", like Stewie does in Family Guy and wish that I could have a break. For now I am just waiting for that moment. I know it will come all too soon.

What were your little ones first words?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mom Guilt

For the longest time, I thought I was the only Mom that had "Mom guilt". I just don't remember hearing friends, family members or anyone talking about the guilt that you feel when you become a Mom. You want to do a million things for your kids, like take them to great places, cook gourmet meals every day and have it on the dinner table at five, read tons of books every day, and just be the best possible Mom you can be. Although, I strive every day to put my son first, there are days where I don't feel that I did enough for him or slack in another part of my life. When you become a parent for the first time, you hear its going to be hard, but you can never anticipate what it will actually be like. Its not hard doting, loving on and just snuggling with your child, but having enough energy and enough hours in the day is a whole different matter to do everything you want to do in life.

My biggest confession of guilt is that I work full time. I know a shocker, but still I feel guilty for having to work. I do my best in working early hours so I can spend the rest of the afternoon with my son, but its still hours missed that I am not with my son. Financially, I have to work so we can put a roof over our heads and food on the table. I just feel badly that I am missing out on most of my son's days five days a week. This stems from my other guilt. When I get home from work, I try to be the most upbeat Mom with lots of energy, but the truth is I am tired. I push it though. I push having the energy to be upbeat, sing songs, read books, make snack and all those other great things I can do before dinner time and bed time. I just sometimes don't have the energy to do everything, like read that extra book, do a craft, or make a healthy dinner (chicken nuggets are just too easy to pop in the microwave).

My realization is this, something has to give. Rather it be my friends, other family members, work, household or sometimes my son, something has to give. If my son is sick, I have to call in for work. If my work needs me that day because a big project is due and my son is sick, I have to find someone to watch him. I feel guilt about that and too often I have had to do both of those scenarios. I have had to cancel on girls nights, parties, etc., because either I could not find a sitter or my son wasn't himself and thus I decided to stay at home. All too often I have wanted to just go out shopping with my Mom and sister, but that would mean leaving my son at home because he would last all of five seconds. So, I had to bail out on that. And forget about my house. Its a wreck and its dirty. I used to clean my bathrooms every week like clockwork, but with activities and other things going on, its lucky if I get to them every two weeks. My house is by no means nasty or unhygienic, but it certainly can stand for a good clean. I would like for once to have all the laundry folded, put away and off my bedroom floor before the weekend is over with. That usually doesn't happen until around Tuesday.

The bottom line is my son is always first and foremost, but there is Mom guilt associated with doing everything I can for him, because I can't do everything. He's only a baby for a little while, only a kid for a little while and I have this window for a little while where I can do certain activities with him per his age group. I do my best in everything I can do for him, I just wish I could do better.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Calls

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know it is election season. From the dozens of signs on the highways, to the endless news coverage and campaign commercials, it certainly is apparent who is running for the presidential office. I typically don't mind election season. Its easy to drive past signs and simply ignore them or fast forward through the campaign commercials with my trusty DVR remote, but what I can't ignore are the endless amount of phone calls being made to my house.

These phone calls never come at a decent time in my house. Either I am just getting in the door with a hungry toddler and two dogs that want to go outside, cooking dinner/cleaning up, or (and this is the one I hate the most) the phone rings right as I am putting my baby down to go to bed. No Obama or McCain supporters, I don't want to work in a campaign (like I have the time), I don't want to contribute money (we are in an economic crisis), and its no one's business (especially a strange person at the end of the other line) on who I am going to vote for! Not only did you call me at an inconvenient time, but usually you can hear a child in the background begging for my attention. Do you think trying to delay me getting off the phone is going to make me want to support your candidate even more so? No!

What gets to me more is, they usually ask for my husband first. Did the 19th amendment get thrown out for some reason? I don't get it! Last month he was blessed to receive his naturalization papers and became a citizen of the United States, but did he hand out his home number as apart of the process? That just makes me mad that they never ask for either Mr. or Mrs. when they call.

Obviously I look forward to November since it has two holidays, family time, etc., but another more calls! My house will be call free, except for those that I actually want to talk to.
Does anyone else have an annoying campaign story to tell?

Up All Night

So nightmares are a new thing in our household. We (meaning my husband and I) have been up all week, multiple times during the night trying to soothe our child. We have no idea where how these nightmares started. We are careful about what is on the television, nothing dramatic has happened to cause any nightmares, so what gives? Our baby is too young to tell us about what the dream is about, so the idea of putting monster spray around the room is a little too premature for our kiddo to understand. Plus, who wants to introduce the word of "monster" to a kid? The only monster I want him finding out about is Elmo, who refers to himself as a big (I think he's exaggerating), red, hairy monster.

May I someday resume sleep? Perhaps not, well at least it seems that way. If my kid follows in his Mommies footsteps, this could go on for well over a year. When I was the age of three, I woke up every single night dreaming that bodyless knights in armor were chasing me. This whole dream stemmed from the end of Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Note to self: don't let the kids watch Bedknobs and Broomsticks until they are 16). So wish me luck in this new stage of my life, the sleep deprived state. Then again, thats just been the story of my life since I became a Mom.

First Night Away

This weekend will be the first time my son has stayed away over night. My husband and I were invited to a friend's Halloween party this Saturday. It will be one of our first parties since we became parents that is late (past 2 pm) and kid free! We even planned (since the party won't be until 8 o'clock that evening), to have a dinner date. My son will be going to his Grandparents house. I know that he will have loads of fun, be completely spoiled and have lots of great kiddo treats. So why am I a nervous wreck?

I am a worry wart Mom. I don't try to helicopter my young toddler son, since I want him to be able to experience things; however I want to be with him as much as humanly (and financially) possible. The highlight of my day is running out of work and seeing his little face as I open the day care room door. I am completely in love and infatuated with him. He certainly is the apple of my eye. He has grown so fast and its hard even calling him a toddler. Where did my infant go? Where did the little guy that used to be cradled in my arms for hours at a time go? He's getting big and although many parents will leave their kids at a younger age with family or friends over night, I just never did. "He's too little", I used to think. Now, this is another marker in his little life of growing up and going to an over night stay.

Selfishly I wish my son's Grandparents would stay up until we got home so I could sneak a peak (as I do every night) at my baby sleeping soundly in his crib before I go to sleep. But, I can't do that to them. It wouldn't be right and my parents aren't the type to stay awake much past 10pm. It will be a fun night for me, but one of the most difficult nights of my life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Welcome to our blogging site! This site is dedicated to Moms and Dad living in the NOVA area (and beyond) to talk about our thoughts, feelings, triumphs and difficulties. Each day parents are faced with new and sometimes trying events. It is always nice to see, read or hear about a parent, friend or relative going through the same day to day things that you or someone you love is going through.

This site is dedicated to all the Moms, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, friends and other family that has children in their lives. May God bless you all.