If your house is anything like mine, your dryer lint has gone from being pink and bespeckled with glitter, to being red and bespeckled with glitter, signaling that Christmas is finally upon us.
Also, that this family has an unsustainable glitter habit.
This is a magical time. Everything is festively decorated and there’s an extra crackle of excitement in the air. Sprinkle kids into the mix, and that excitement gets dialed up by about a million.
After all, most kids spend the entire year in (not so quiet) anticipation, plotting and planning how to get Santa to bring them everything they desire while just toeing the line between naughty and nice.
That is unless your kids are toddlers. Then you can forget about that line all together. There is no pretending to be good with toddlers. You can’t bribe good behavior out of a three-year-old, or threaten it out with the prospect of ending up on the naughty list (trust me, bribery and threats are the backbone of my parenting philosophy, she sobs into her messy living room).
Also, you can’t give a two-foot-tall person approximately three feet of cookies and expect them to have any chill what-so-ever when it comes to anything Santa related.
I mean, my toddler spends every day sneaking up to our advent calendar and setting it to Christmas Eve and then exclaiming that today is Christmas and asking where Santa left her presents.
It isn’t really much different than her normal day-to-day lack of chill, to be honest. And I contemplated that one day while listening to the holiday station on the car radio while trying to drown out my oldests pleas for ice cream from the back seat. I noticed a common theme among some of my favorite Christmas songs…
I present to you all the Christmas carols that are forever tainted by raising a toddler.
Please Come Home for Christmas, The Eagles – Bells will be ringing? Yeah, I hear them. I hear every single one of them. My toddler just rang each one and ran away, only to run back and ring them again.
Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer, Elmo and Patsy – “IS THAT WHAT’S WRONG WITH HER FACE?”
Do You Hear What I Hear, Harry Simeone – “Do you? Do you hear it, mommy? Mom, mom, do you hear it? What is that? Mom? Mom? MOM?!”
Little Drummer Boy, Harry Simeone – BANG ON THIS, BANG ON THAT, PRETEND ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS A DRUM… BANG BANG BANG.
Baby it’s Cold Outside, by like, everyone – “But I don’t wannnnnna wear a jacket!!!”
Silent Night, Joseph Mohr – LOL, JK
All I Want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey – “I want a puppy.” “Oh, and a firetruck.” “And, and, and a talking Marshall from Paw Patrol!” “And THAT! What IS that? I want it!”
Deck the Halls, Thomas Oliphant – If your kid isn’t “Fa la la la-ing” at full volume is it even Christmas?
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FRIENDS!
It’s me, your 12 pound turkey, with a very important message about Thanksgiving. I know a letter seems a little formal, especially since you are about to be wrist deep inside of me, but it’s pretty hard to get your attention any other way.
Remember the other day when you thought you heard a noise coming from your trunk on your way home from the grocery store? That was me, trying to get your attention.
Shit changes fast around here, and as soon as I’m used to the current state of things, it changes again.
I’m still in survival mode. I say still because I think I shifted into it somewhere around my sixth month of pregnancy, maybe somewhere around my second round of strep throat? The “baby” is now almost seven months. It’s been a while. Maybe it’s not even really survival mode when you’re coming up on the one year mark. Maybe this is just my life now.
I’m okay with it. Because between the old life and the new, the moves and the changes, we’re all managing to survive. And that’s good enough for me.
Stuff, stuff everywhere…
Today marks two weeks since we moved into our new house. All the rooms are still piled high with boxes. We arrange and then rearrange while we try and figure out where to put all of these toys. Every time I think I’m making progress I find another box, jam packed with more brightly colored crap. I am inclined to think that Pandora’s Box was just full of mismatched doll outfits and random Lego pieces. Continue reading
Parents, you are doing everything wrong! Yes, I mean you. Every. Thing.
That’s what the headline read as I scrolled through my newsfeed on my phone while nursing my 3 month old (apparently that’s another big no-no, no phones while breastfeeding. Babies need eye contact while nursing. PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN RIGHT NOW AND ENGAGE YOUR LITTLE SQUISH WITH YOUR EYE BALLS). Continue reading
There is something that happens when you become a parent. Some weird thing that changes your relationship with the space time continuum. It’s like, time no longer moves as it once did. Don’t believe me? Ask any parent you know and they will tell you that once you have kids, time loses all meaning.
I mention this fact, because today is the 4th of July. Which is odd, since I swear St. Paddy’s Day was only yesterday.
The fourth has always felt like summer’s half way point to me. Just like Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer, the Fourth of July is the unofficial middle. Continue reading
Being a new mom is hard. You’re tired, full of raging hormones, and you may or may not be so sleep deprived that you’re nearing a mental breakdown.
And that’s after spending the past 40 weeks being tired, full of hormones, and sleep deprived.
Being a new mom is hard… wait, I think I said that already… Continue reading
Becoming a mother has been one of the most rewarding (awful), magical (terrifying), and amazing things that has ever happened to me. I cannot even begin to fully explain the range of emotions that it fills me with every single day.
It also gives me a whole new appreciation for my own mother. I see things so much differently now. It’s as though I’ve moved across the street. The view is still familiar– I know this house, and these neighbors, but I see them in an entirely different way. Continue reading
We’re snuggled up on the couch together as I write this. Your head resting on my shoulder, your arms intertwined with mine.
You fell down earlier while running through the hallway. I was busy pulling your old bassinet out of the bottom of your closet, as you ran up and down the hallway, yelling with glee. When I reached you, big wet tears were already rolling down your cheeks and you were clutching your knee.
And then there were four
After I soothed your tears away you asked to get into your bassinet. You’ve been too big for it for so long now, but you were still desperate to get back into it. Instead I rocked you, and cooed at you, and told you about the days when you used to fit into it. Pretending to suck your thumb with your eyes half closed you smiled, laughed, and said, “I a baby.” Continue reading
If I had known that it was going to be the last time, I would have taken our picture. One of you falling asleep the way that you had every day of your entire life. Your eyes were usually half closed with a happy smile playing around your lips, all of your focus on nursing.
Your hands were almost always clasped together, as if in some silent prayer. Sometimes you would pull off to laugh, say something to me, or start singing me a song. Sometimes you would just flop back, contented, and drift off to sleep. No matter how it ended, it always started the same, just the two of us in our quiet routine.
Lindsay and I nursing our babies right before my wedding in 2015, photo by Maria Kalitina
Yes, you were almost two, and I was almost five months pregnant, and I was so ready for this part of our relationship to be over, but you were not. It had become both a physical and emotional strain on me in the last month of this pregnancy. I would sit there with you, watching you drift off to sleep, and quietly hope that soon this part of our journey would be done.
And then one day, it just ended. Continue reading