Not everybody worships Santa

Yeah, I know. I've been slacking.

We had a nice Christmas, even though it still just kinda rubs me wrong to do the whole Santa thing. With the exception of the divorce (meaning, I still feed the mutual breakup "mommy and daddy wanted it" line), I'm all about total honestly. Bean knows that hamburgers are made from cows (and how the cows die), I don't use cutesy pseudonyms for body part names, she thinks vultures are cool and wants to stop and look at the roadkill we pass. So to do the Santa thing just seems wrong to me. Yeah, yeah ... I know. I take it from all sides when I talk about this, so I get the 'magic of make believe' deal. And I'm not against her having a kickass imagination. This is the girl who told me the other day "Look, mommy - I'm cooking slime eels". So I encourage and foster her imagination all the time. But if she's able to pretend she's cooking slime eels (and, to take it a step or three further, to pretend they taste good), she's obviously got pretend and make believe covered.

I also had the unenviable task of finding Barbie-esque dolls that aren't overly sexualized. I settled on Wizards of Waverly Place dolls, which are dressed like girls dressed when I went to high school. That is - not like a skanky ho.

I'm anti-Barbie for my kids. Their dad isn't, but I won't buy them Barbie dolls. Bean asked me why and I said that I thought they sent the wrong message to girls. To which she responded (she always has a response) "Well, if I ever meet Barbie, I'll just tell her she needs to change her message to the right one, and then you can buy me a Barbie to play with."

Problem solved.

Like my anti-Santa tendencies, I catch flak on the anti-Barbie stance. I really don't fault anyone else if they're okay with Barbie for their young daughters. I'm not. That's all. I'm not judging anyone or saying they're a bad parent for doing so, it's just not what I want for my girls. To me, Barbie just sends the wrong message. I don't see her as an empowering female role model. Now if they had a normally-proportioned astrophysicist Barbie in jeans and a t-shirt, I'd be all over it.

But I digress.

Christmas: good. The girls were with me the whole week, and Christmas morning was fun. The liked their gifts, my folks came over for dinner, and it was a pretty good day, even if Miss O skipped her nap and there were points in time where I considered seeing if any of the neighbors would like to receive two kids for Christmas.

I've been struggling a bit with Bean. We had a few rough days last week and a few battles of will. On Sunday, after a way-too-early morning, I told the girls they needed to nap. Then gave the ultimatum: you're not coming out of your room without a nap. One would think that would get them to chill out and sleep (because they both needed it). But they ended up staying in their room all afternoon. I spent an hour or so trying to get them to sleep, then put up the child gate on the door and told them they could come out for dinner and bath time, but otherwise, they were staying in there.

And I actually stuck to it. They took it pretty well, as they have a ton of books in there and love to jump on the bed and act like fruit baskets. There were a couple requests to come out, but I just reminded them that they chose not to sleep, so they could come out to use the bathroom, to eat and to take a bath, but that was it.

And then Bean showed up pants-less in the living room to inform me she only came out to pee. Apparently, she's able to climb over that gate. But she chose to use her powers for good instead of evil, and only did it to use the potty.

If I survive single motherhood with these two, I'm fairly certain I'd be able to talk jumpers off bridges, and hostage-takers into violence free surrenders. Maybe I'll run for president on the platform: I survived single motherhood with The Bean - there's nothing that can scare me and no one that can outfox me.

Wordless Wednesday



I will remember you

Things I don't want to forget.

That Miss O says "I love you too mama" when I tell her I love her.

That she also says "Mama house" as an imperative, not as a question, when I pick her up from school. Followed by "No more dada." (Insert wry grin here - it's one of those 'kinda funny/kinda not' little divorce things.)

That she has an intense love for my boobs. And my hair. "Mama hair!" is a frequent request when she's upset, and I hear at least 2-3 "Mama boobs" a day. And she hasn't nursed in like 6 months. She just wants to see them, give them a pat, etc. It's strange and endearing all at once.

That Bean refers to the feathers on some horses' ankles as "frisky hair." Used in a sentence? "Clydesdales are my favorite horses because they have frisky hair on their feet."

A conversation with Bean from yesterday, re: my layered shirts:
Bean: Why do you wear two shirts?
Me: To keep warm. And also because this one is pretty low-cut. If I wore it alone, people would see my boobs. And no-one wants that. Except maybe Miss O.
Bean: I'd like to see them too. Your boobs are pretty spiffy.

(I swear. to. god. that happened. She uses spiffy a lot these days, and fortunately my boobs fall in the "spiffy" category. They could be in the "not very spiffy" category, along with bears. Why are bears not spiffy, you ask? They eat other animals. Somehow all feline carnivores escape the "not very spiffy" stigma, but bears are S.O.L.)

Bean, queuing up all the Schleich horses she can get her hands on at Target, plus one elephant and a great white shark: "Look mama. The elephant poked the shark in the brain with it's tusk and killed it. He was protecting the other plant-eaters."

Regarding why everything she asks for doesn't appear at her b-day party:
Bean - "How come I don't get what I want for my birthday?"
Mommy - "Well, sometimes people just get you what they think you'd like. It's not what you get that matters, it's that people care enough to get you anything at all."
Bean - "Well ... [pause] If Mia wanted a princess for her birthday, and I got her a Batman costume, that just wouldn't be right!"

When I said "We're mellow and ..." to Bean the other day, waiting for her to fill in the "Zen" part, Miss O piped up with a clear-as-day "Zen!"

When we read the book 'Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon', Miss O enthusiastically supplies the "so she DID!" at the appropriate times. She'll even fill in the blanks if I recite the book to her.

She still says "Pin-cess" for princess. And calls Willow something that sounds like "Wih-yo."

Miss O has started setting animals up in odd places, just like Bean does. She set up a few ponies and horses on the window sill by the front door, and I believe (her speech still isn't super clear) they were all looking at the trees.

There's more, but this is everything I can think of right now.

Wordless Wednesday



Happy Birthday Miss O!

I remember when you were born ... when we were in the hospital, I heard all these other newborns wailing away, and you were so quiet. Barely made a peep. I thought I was uber-lucky and had one of those mythical "easy babies".



Then we came home.

You showed me. Our first few months were hellish at times. You never slept unless I was wearing you in a sling, wrap or, eventually, thankfully, on my back in a mei tai or soft-sided carrier. It took around 2 hours of nursing, walking, bouncing, swinging and a vacuum running nonstop three feet from our heads to get you to sleep at night. How you and I survived those months, I'll never know.

But we did. The napping-in-carrier persisted, but we got the nighttime shenanigans down to 45-60 minutes. And sometimes you'd deign to nap on me or, rarer still, on your Boppy. Even with the napping-in-carrier, Bean started part-time preschool and I realized I could walk and read, so I knocked out 130+ books that year and found a measure of Zen. And you started to show your personality, and realized how very cool your big sister is.

And you kept growing. Shockingly, your personality was one of outspoken single-mindedness, a trait that must come from your father and certainly isn't shared by your sister or I. You showed you were just as snuggly and sweet as your big sister, but possessed a self-reliance that she didn't. You could (and still do) play happily by yourself, and make your own fun.

You turned one, and showed that spending so much time around your totally unique sister means that you're her Mini-Me.

Around one, you also developed the ability to throw a hairy sh*t fit over not getting your way. You built it into a traveling road show that went (and sometimes still goes) something like this: Try to get your way; if thwarted, scream and throw self on ground; if audience moves away, pick self up, cease tantrum, track them down, throw self on floor and resume histrionics. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

Your survival, however, was guaranteed by your ability to elevate your cuteness slightly above your hissy fits

As the final months of your second year have ticked down, you've shown yourself to be quite the conversationalist. You took your sweet time talking, perhaps because you have such a blabbermouth mommy and a big sister who does enough talking for all of us, but once you started, you didn't stop.

You've also demonstrated a great sense of humor, the physicality (and low pain threshold) needed to have a great time with your big sister, and a quirkiness and sweetness that endears you to all.

So Happy Birthday baby girl. I cannot wait to see what the next year brings us!


Can't call to mom, can't say a word

Thanks for all the feedback on lying; turns out she was telling the truth, at least for the most part.

What Bean had told me was that the teacher called her dad, and her dad said that if she couldn't lay quietly that she couldn't come come home with mommy or daddy, but if she did lay quietly, she could.

Dave sent a note to the director and apparently the teachers will fake phone calls to the parents to gain compliance from the kids. So at least the calling part was true. The other part will come down to whether the teacher will cop to giving an ultimatum like that or not, versus Bean's word. I tend to believe Bean is telling the whole truth: the day Dave sent the note, my parents picked Bean up, and that teacher made a big effort to go over to my parents' car and say how great Bean was that day.

I had planned to talk with that teacher yesterday when I dropped Bean off, as the director had said she's be manning the door for check-in. So on the way to school, I told Bean that I'd be having a talk with the teacher and that it was never true that mommy or daddy wouldn't come get her, and that the teacher was wrong for telling her that. Then the teacher wasn't working the door, so I didn't get a chance to talk to her. Sigh.

It's not the worst thing in the world (tho for a kid like Bean, who already has, I think, some mild separation anxiety because of the divorce it's certainly not a nice thing), but seriously - why can't folks just ... hell. I don't know. Yeah, its gotta be a pain in the ass that she can't sit/lay still for the whole nap, and yeah, it's some sort of requirement that they do a naptime in a licensed facility, but why can't they just figure something out for her? Why does this have to be such a frustrating thing for her - and I - over something that developmentally, she likely doesn't need anymore? Yeah, it'd be nice if she napped, but she won't, she's past the age when it's really necessary, so let's just. move. on.

I wonder if I can bring a signed note in saying "don't force her to nap - ask her to clean the woodwork with a toothbrush instead".

She starts OT today for her sensory stuff, so maybe that's reason enough to grant her a special circumstances dealie. The OT evaluation also showed hypotonia (low muscle tone) in her trunk and mouth, of all places. So her desire for riding lessons will be fulfilled, as horseback riding is awesome for hypotonia. At least we've already got a helmet for her - thanks Libby!

More later, need to prep for a phone interview. Wish me luck :)

I love you. I don't know if I trust you.

Oh. Hi.

Yeah, it's been a while ... insert lame excuse here.

So, how y'all doing? I watched my Gators crash and burn Saturday, then a horrific Vikings game Sunday. I actually switched to a documentary where they were dissecting a crocodile instead of watching the second half of Sunday's game. It was more pleasant to see someone squeeze out the contents of a huge croc's intestines than it was to watch football this weekend.

Random aside: What's up with the cheese sticks waving all over at Lambeau? Is it like the Cheesehead version of the Terrible Towel?

My mom has done her best to jinx the Packers tonite, with a blithe 'they've got it in the bag'-type comment during halftime. So if the green and gold lose tonite, you can send hate mail to

(Update: Whew. She's lucky.)

On to real stuff. Assuming anyone's left after my football blather. Anyone else dealing with lying in their 4-year-old? Bean told a whopper the other day, and recanted the next morning. But the night before, she swore up and down it was true, promised she wasn't lying, the whole nine yards. Because it was so outrageous, I waited until morning to act on it, and when I brought it up, she changed her tune. Again, I pressed her and she said she lied.

She came to me with another big one tonight, and I'm defaulting to "I believe her", but not acting on anything until the morning. Her dad is less willing to believe her, and seems to be more inclined to dismiss her as a result of the first big lie. In his defense, she was lying about his treatment of her, so he's a bit jaded, but still. I hate that he immediately thinks she's lying; it's my biggest fear for my kids - that a grownup won't believe them when they need them too.

Do you have kids that lie? Big lies or just little ones? How do you handle it?

template by : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing