Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sporty Mom-mobile = Oxymoron

So I've spent the last three days serving on a jury in Detroit. Nothing like three days in the ghetto to make me appreciate my regular gig here in the 'burbs. More on that experience later...

Anyway, was sitting at a red light today and noticed something amusing. I was behind a red Chrysler mini van, which proudly boasted a "Sport" insignia that was placed there by the manufacturer. Mini not compute. Nothing against mini vans (if Ford bothered to make one, I'd probably own one too!), but, um, why try to make it "sporty"? Surrender the fantasy, friend--you're driving a mini van. Accept it.

Whatever that "Sport" package offered, be it bigger tires, glossier paint, or fresh rims, I assure you that at no point did I miss the fact that the vehicle is, in fact, a mini van. There's just nothing sporty about a mini van. Perhaps this "sport" concept can only be understood and appreciated by other people who drive mini vans.

I was thinking of alternate labels for "Sport" and came up with the following:
  • * "Sucks Less Than a Regular Mini Van"
  • * "I Paid More so I Could Have a Nice Car Stereo, Even Though the Only CDs Loaded are Barney Rock Tales and Here Come the ABCs".
I guess neither of those would fit too well on the back of the car though, eh?

So be on the lookout for these sporty mini may think it's a Maserati GranCabrio cruising up behind you, but don't be fooled. It's just a Town and Country with the Sport package.

Nothing but love for my mini van friends! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

April...Updates and Stories it's April. Blogging has sure taken a backseat these days. So much stuff going on: life (Erin's decided that sleeping through the night is stupid), politics (I try to just keep my opinions to myself, even when I'm about to scream), work (mind-blowing job stress continues)...but I try to focus on what's good. :-)

Despite her midnight demands for attention, Erin is such a good baby. I know...I'm supposed to say that, right? But really--she's about as easy-going as babies get. She smiles, laughs, experiments, eats. All with David's laid-back nature. The getting-sick-all-the-time thing is kind of a drag (thanks, daycare!) but really--no complaints. She's crawling up the stairs all by herself now (with momma arms about 2 inches away, of course) and I know she'll be walking any day now... Snif.

Rachael is no longer wearing the brown pants!! Just about the time D and I were ready to put her in poo-therapy, she somehow turned a corner and is taking care of all business appropriately, independently. I am loving not having to wash poo-ed up clothes every evening, and R is SO PROUD of herself. I think this has given her more confidence at school too, since now she's interacting more and more with the other kids and even has a best friend--Nolan.

Now that my quickie update is out of the way, I thought I'd entertain you with my story of the day--hurrah! Here goes:

We took my mother out to dinner for her birthday last night. We told her we'd pick her up at 5:30.

4 years ago, we would get to my mother's house by 5:30 by the following means:

1) go upstairs around 5pm, brush hair, apply makeup, ponder wardrobe change.
2) pick up gift, wrapped weeks earlier, from kitchen counter.
3) get in car, which is clean.
4) leave by 5:20, arrive at mother's house at 5:30.

Today, we get to my mother's house by 5:47 by the following means:

1) time Erin's naps so she will be conscious at 5:30pm.
2) pack as though leaving on an expedition: toys, books, diapers, wipes, binkies. Then pack similarly for Rachael.
3) clean and dress Erin.
4) clean and dress Rachael.
4a) coax Rachael through clothing-related meltdown, which precipitated over me suggesting I help her with...anything. "I DO IT MYSELF MOMMA!!
5) clean and dress Erin again, as she has just barfed all over outfit #1.
6) convince Rachael that putting her left shoe on her right foot really isn't OK.
6a) stop to teach impromptu lesson on 'left' and 'right'.
7) convince husband that if he wanted to take a shower, he needed to do that yesterday.
8) get children buckled into car. Realize I'm still wearing barf-stained shirt. Time check: 5:30.
9) put on yesterday's (nearly) barf-free shirt.
10) realize that gift has not wrapped itself. Time check: 5:35.
11) wrap gift, ignore scent of barf in hair.
12) get in car, which is littered with Cheerios and smells of stale coffee.
13) leave by 5:37, arrive a tad late but who cares--we showed up, we're all smiling, and that all makes me proud.

I was cracking myself up while recapping this in my head on the way to work today. I wonder sometimes how we ever manage to get out of the house--good thing it makes me laugh! :-)

Check out my big girls:

Rach on her new two-wheeler...

...Erin with her four-wheeler :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wearing the Brown Pants has been well over a month since my last blog. I swear, there is never any time for anything...

The last several weeks have consisted primarily of the following:

1) mind-blowing work stress ("when you have a minute, Baker, can you....")
2) doing laundry
3) getting my 3 year old to stop pooping her pants

Since the first two are rather boring (and blogging about #1 would likely get me fired), let's study #3 (which would be funnier if I'd made it #2....heh).

I have blogged about potty training in the past. Getting started with potty training is a unique time between parent and child--parent is trying to get to know the child on a whole different level. I spent time trying to learn Rachael's 'tells', kept eyes on the clock, had her bladder at the front of my mind. During these early stages, there's a 'win some, lose some' mentality that allows the occasional pair of wet undies to do little but raise an eyebrow. I was down with this process.

Proud of my patience, and prouder of Rachael's mastery of her bladder, we warped to Level 2: Poop.

She seems unwilling (NOT unable) to take ownership of this bowel situation. I honestly don't get it. I've tried to explain to her that the same techniques used for bladder management can be applied to her bowels. I ask, "what do you do when you feel you need to poop?" and she says "I go poop on the potty." She then poops in her pants. Really? REALLY?! The fierce denial is what really gets me: "Rachael, did you poop in your pants?" (while she is standing there with a load in her drawers). Answer: "No! NO NO NO!" Arg!

Perhaps realizing that I was nearing the brink of insanity (did I mention the mind-blowing work stress earlier?), husband shows up with an article he found about...Rachael. I kid you not--it's an article about smart kids who simply will not give in on one lingering piece of the whole potty training experience. I read through it three or four times, considered its advice, and decided to give it a try.

The whole premise of the article is to put your kid in control by letting go. Stop pestering, stop asking, stop issuing punishments if pant-pooping occurs, etc. My previous technique was, if Rach pooed up her pants, she wasn't allowed to watch Dora the Explorer on TV that night. She quietly accepted the Dora-free nights, but it wasn't changing her behavior one bit.

So, on Tuesday this week, I had her go pick out her underpants, explained that the underpants are very pretty and don't want poop on them, then....closing ceremonies: "Rachael, you are a big girl, very smart, and I know you can go potty all by yourself. If you feel you need to be on the potty, you have to do it by yourself now, ok?" She nodded, and that was the last time we've really talked about potty.

So how much poo have I cleaned up since then? Zero. No accidents--three poop successes at school, too. I'm not expecting that this chapter is entirely closed, but I have a totally new outlook now, which helps. If she has an accident, I have to go along, business as usual: no Dora blackouts, no tense rides home from school. So I'm gritting my teeth and talking my type-A self into making poop a non-issue.

Once we get the poop under control, we'll move on to graduate-level topics like 'nighttime bladder awareness'. But for now I'll be satisfied with a bachelor's degree in 'daytime bowel management.' :)

Rach on a school day--she's such a great kid!

And here's my pretty, super-motivated Erin, who is desperate to walk (because after all, Rachael walks, and Erin thinks that everything Rachael does is amazing):