Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cuddling Is Overrated

I had a planned to post something great yesterday (and by “planned” I mean I had an idea and said “oh that’s good, I’ll write that one tomorrow!” cause I’m lazy like that), but a little something called life popped up and ruined everything. (Yes, I’m pouting.) Remember back in the day when (like a fool) I said that I kind of regret sleep training my kiddo because it turned him an anti-cuddler that demands "space?" Well...I take it back, BIG TIME. The chance to co-sleep popped up, I seized it, and I learned an extremely valuable lesson: cuddles are overrated I need a bigger bed. 

Everything has a price and the opportunity to “cuddle” with Dylan was no different. Long story short, he burnt through my ten minute rule. (Meaning when he cries instead of sleeping, he has ten minutes to pull himself together and soothe to snooze.) On this particular night, the typical, “I’m all alone!” sobs were replaced with, “I’m in pain!” shrieks. Interception was unavoidable so I went into his room to see what was up. His cries ceased the moment I picked him up, which is a giant red flag for I’M BEING PLAYED. I promptly left him in his crib. A half hour later it was round two of screams, then round three, and finally when round four struck, this fool concluded there was something wrong. Dylan was in pain! The cause? A mystery. And you know what mysteries do? They keep you up. 

It was one of those parenting moments when you have no freaking idea what is wrong with your kid and you wonder if a trip to the emergency room is necessary (it totally wasn’t). Airing on the side of caution, I took my inconsolable and very squirmy Dylan into my room and tried to con comfort him into a deep sleep whilst keeping an eye on him. I didn’t understand what was going on as I went through the laundry list of agony-riddled possibilities: Earache? No. Teething? No. Fever? No. Stomach ache? Maybe. But because Dylan didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary, I spent way too much time wondering if somehow, while I was busy making dinner or doing dishes, Dylan managed to eat/drink something he shouldn’t have…like pennies…or Windex. Which, of course, he absolutely did not do, but leave it to sleep deprivation and a screaming baby to kick your imagination into overdrive and make anything seem possible. Dream land! 

The rest of the night went something like this: Dylan kicking, squirming, and crying every other hour; Dylan randomly sitting up to request a, “Bottle? Truck?” (not happening, go to sleep); Dylan using my head as a pillow; and me floating in and out consciousness as to be alert but still rested (I’m ambitious like that). By the time my alarm buzzed at 5:30 am, I thought “Psh! I’m not even tired. I can do this any day!” So foolish, the girl! So I got ready, went to work, and began falling apart. My eyes were first to go, burning and heavy. Then it was my motor skills, no focus, klutz. Then finally, an “I wanted to cuddle and be super mom soother” migraine hit me like a glass vase to the head. I left work early, I picked up Dylan, we went home, and we slept. He slept for THREE HOURS! Obviously he hated sleeping with me, too. 

So I take it back, I don’t need a toddler in my bed. Even if I had the biggest bed in the world, it wouldn’t prevent or deter the kid from climbing over me throughout the night so he can rest cheek to cheek on my face. And like a fool, I don’t move him because I want him to be comfortable. Clearly I’m not cut out for co-sleeping. BUT! If there’s ever a reason I need to pull an all-nighter, BINGO! Just add Dylan. 

Really though, how big of a bed does it take to co-sleep with a toddler? Tamara probably knows the answer- girlfriend's bed is HUGE.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Thing About Toddlers: They're Weird

Once your baby becomes a toddler, things get weird. I’m talkin’ SUPER weird…aka your child becomes a bathwater-drinking nudist who steals your sunglasses, prompting the most illogical sentences to roll off your tongue in such a natural way that it even throws you off. Though finding a toddler’s stash of week old blueberries hidden beneath the couch is far from fun, it’s so typical that I ain’t worried ‘bout nothin’! 

You see, these experiences have expanded my threshold for [pretty much] anything and very little surprises me these days. So aside from having to “explain” to my 1 year old that no, that dog poop IS NOT a cookie on a regular basis, I look forward to the weird. It’s fun! Until it gets too weird…e.g. Dylan, no feeding strangers…especially old men sitting alone at the park, and especially when you won’t share with me, thanks. What can I say? Tyke logic is nonsensical, unpredictable, and founded on the grounds that just because they can…they should. Here’s proof:  

  • Just because Dylan can put his foot in his mouth, he should eat his shoe. And I’m like, “Ew, No Dylan. Yucky.” Germs, ya know? And he’s all, “HAHA yucky so funny! Look, I can do it!” It’s the texture thing isn’t it- it’s why he hates broccoli, and why he loves the rubber taste of footprint. Cool.
  • Just because he can climb atop our beagle, he should ride him. And the dog is like, “No, please! I’m 9 years old and my back is killing me!” Degenerative disc disease, ya know? And Dylan is all, “HAHA! FASTER! Again, again! Good doggy!” Shouldn’t have given him a taste of that County Fair pony, my bad. 
  • Just because he can yell out the bedroom window, he should howl at neighbors. And I’m like, “Dylan, shh! No screaming out the window!” This is a private freak show, ya know? And he’s all [in his deepest voice possible], “HEEEEEEEEEEEY!! HEEEEEEEEEEEEY!!” Great, now everyone knows we’re the weirdos. 
  • Just because he can obstruct his view with a bucket on his head, he should. And I’m like, “No Dylan, you’re gonna get hurt!” This isn’t Jackass, ya know? And he’s all, “HAHA! I can’t see, look, I can’t see!” Yup, that was a wall, and that is the ground. Told ya. 

I can go on and on but the picture is clear: toddlerhood is weird. And when I’m not trying to keep my son from chewing on the dog’s tail, or squinting in preparation for what may be hidden beneath the couch cushion, I’m surpassing my laughing quota on a daily basis. Best weird EVER. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why I Gave My Firstborn's Receiving Blanket to the Dogs

I am the opposite of a hoarder, I opt to toss and deal with it later. This means an essential ingredient is always missing from my pantry, I exhaust myself digging for clothes I thought I still owned, and sometimes, I have to kick myself for discarding the “junk” of yesterday that’s selling for hundreds thousands of dollars on eBay, today. (Damn TY beanie babies!) So when it comes to purging the ever-accumulating baby items that are no longer of use, I don’t wanna make a big, fat, sentimental mistake. Wait, let me clarify: ANOTHER big, fat, sentimental mistake…like the one I may have committed when I donated Dylan’s receiving blanket to my dogs. They like blankets too… 

You see, when the mood to exclude strikes, I just can’t help myself! I become a hyper tossy robot, unconcerned with matters of the heart; it’s just business baby! Everything gets sized up in two categories: use or lose, with “just get rid of it” making frequent appearances when the slightest hesitation begins creepin’. But wait, what am I doing? What am I going to miss? Am I setting myself up for a sad realization that I haven’t any sentimental belongings to whip out and say, “This was the outfit we took you home in!”, or “You used to kiss and feed this stuffed bear.” 

Right now these objects exist in the moments of my day-to-day, but years from now, they’ll be remnants from some of the greatest days of my life. And if I lose the remnants, do I lose the memory? My connection to the past? Is this what storage boxes and attics are for? Losing the connection to my most precious and highly regarded life experiences is a real deal fear of mine. But an even bigger fear of mine is not having memories to connect to at all. And if I’m too occupied with holding on, I’m not letting go. And if I’m not letting go, I’m attached, not connected. 

I’d have seventeen boxes stuffed with Hot Wheels, toy animals, and swaddles that Dylan clung to if I kept all the objects of my memory's affection. But dusty things make me feel trapped by the past and all I really wanna do is cherish it. I’m not attached to that bear, I’m attached to Dylan’s laughter when I made that bear dance, and keeping it isn't going to bring back the laughter or the feeling anymore than the memory itself does. 

So as much as I want the moments of dancing bears to last a lifetime, and as much as I hope the feelings within those moments will be forever accessible by memory- the plastic goods, the stuffed toys, and the receiving blanket won’t be my connections. I’m too sentimental to hold on. If it’s not a drawing, a journal, a card or a picture, it's gone. Unless I come across another Princess Diana beanie baby...because that was basically my retirement plan. 

Do you hold onto any sentimental items? First outfits? First toys?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Transition Issues

Despite the fact Dylan is merely a year old, he makes the best teacher. Most recently he’s taught me that he’s not the only one with transition issues- I have ‘em too! Like when I had to transition into a daycare mom aka my transition into a paranoid freak, that one time Dylan decided he was done breastfeeding and I had to deal with his rejection the transition out of that, or every morning when I transition out of bed. And while I typically have one foot dragging behind, stuck in the past, Dylan will run right past me and shout, “CATCH UP MOM!” So I do. 

Dylan is currently transitioning me out of our his bedtime routine. Six months ago, Dylan’s doctor explained that he could and should give up the bottle. In my oh-so-logical world, bottles are for babies and Dylan is still a baby...right? So instead of giving them up, I cut back! Six months later and Dylan still gets 1 bottle a night despite my husband’s reminders that I must eventually transition out of bottles altogether (all I hear is “eventually”). Those damn bottles are the basis of our bedtime process: Bottle, massage, goodnight. Or well, they were. Dylan’s transitioning me into the next routine whether I like it or not. 

That last part of the bedtime process, the part where I carry Dylan to his room, lay him down, kiss him, then slowly walk out while waving bye, is no more. Lately, he doesn’t let me lye him down. He wants me to hold him for a few minutes, pat his back, and then say goodbye. Extra cuddles? Yes please! But in those final minutes of back-patting and kisses to my shoulder, I can feel the end of the bottle days nearing to make way for a new routine. The ever-growing giant I coddle in my arms demands it. 

It’s not easy for me to let go (obviously) and accept that babyhood is over regardless of the bottles I’ve been serving. It's a real lesson in time taught by the best teacher imaginable. Because when you wanna learn just how quickly and just how precious time really is, kids will put it all in perspective for ya; they just keep growing and growing until there's no kid left.  One day you'll wake up and BOOM. You're the parent of an adult. So excuse me while I sob uncontrollably and try to keep my son a baby with bottles he doesn't need. Clearly I haven't learned how to transition gracefully.

P.S. So there's really NO WAY to keep a baby a baby??? Fiiiiine....

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A List of 6 Badass Bloggers - Part III

This is my third installment of Badass Bloggers; if you missed my first and second batches of badassery, check out these little cuties:

It’s no secret that bloggers love fellow bloggers, and sometimes I get lucky and stumble upon a blog that blows my mind, speaks to me, or simply makes me happy. In honor of these dreamboats I have decided to periodically share a list of bloggers that stand out. If you have a favorite blog that you'd like to share with me, please do so in the comments and maybe they’ll be featured on my next list!

Tawnya – All of Life’s Little Adventures   Tawnya is beautiful inside and out. No really, she posted a “no makeup selfie” and it’s ridiculously gorgeous. She’s a nurse, a photographer, a mom, and a wife who shares photos that will make you want to step your game up, and writes provocative posts that will get you thinking…like this one.

Julia – The Every Day Momma  Julia is fun, fun, fun! I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning twice, girlfriend up and moved across the country with her bf and son (Myles) to live in my home state, California, because she loves me it was her lifelong dream! She’s creative, sweet, and is up for any activity regardless of the mess which basically makes her my hero and a fantastic mother to a boy.

Rachel – Craving Some Creativity   Rachel is one of the most creative people I’ve stumbled upon. Her talents are versatile, ranging from the perfect table setting to remodeling/redesigning an entire house. But wait, there’s more! She’s so thoughtful! Sweet! Supportive! You will love her just like me!

Maurissa – Maurissa Sees Beauty   Meet my makeup hero! Maurissa’s reviews are spot-on, she has no problem telling you a product sucks, she taught me the difference between makeup brushes (don’t judge me), and she has eyebrows that dreams are made of. One day, she’s going to give me a make-under so I can look like a goddess too.

Clarissa – Munchkins & Moms  Clarissa is too clever. I told her she should work for Milton Bradley because she’s a master game creator. Resourceful, creative, AND!!! All of her self-made activities are also promote learning! Clarissa is a gem.

Amber – Airing My Dirty Laundry    If you’re sarcastic and/or appreciate sarcasm, Amber is your girl. She is as authentic as it gets and says the things you wanted to say but didn’t think of. She’s birthed two gorgeous kids and a book that you can find here.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I've Turned My Son Into a Couch Potato

I have a love/hate relationship with television. Vegging out to trashy reality shows is totally part of my bedtime routine. Yet, I resent wasting precious time dumbing down to said trash. So when Dylan was born, so was the T.V. ban….that is, Dylan’s T.V. ban. Parenting practically requires the presence of double standards! Right? The purpose of the ban was to encourage Dylan to engage in any activity other than sitting around; there’s plenty of time for that later on in life (said the mom with a measly 1 hour 15 minutes of “free time” per day). 

The ban has been great! Up until recently, Dylan’s only T.V. exposure had been the occasional background noise at my mom’s house. Wait, did you catch that? Up until recently. You see, a couple of weeks ago my husband suggested we get Dylan some movies. He must’ve caught me in a great mood because within days our DVD collection included “Surfs Up” and “Open Season.” You know, kid movies. “Surfs Up” fell flat and I was thrilled by Dylan’s anti-climactic reaction to his first film experience. Yay! Obviously my ban was super effective and I had successfully trained his brain to reject couch potato tendencies. DAMN I’M GOOD! 

Yeah right. All it took was two minutes of “Open Season” to transform Dylan into a movie-feigning FREAK. Suddenly Dylan can’t pass the living room without pointing to the T.V. and requesting, “Movie? Movie? Movie? Pleeeeease?” And if I cave (which I often do), he begins cheering me on like a pep squad. The kid will do anything in exchange for movie time! He’ll kiss, bring the remote, throw away trash, he’ll even let me make dinner without tugging on my leg and crying! It’s hard to resist such adorable manipulation because getting things done without being bogged down by a needy toddler is what dreams are made of. But look at me now, I’ve created a film consuming monster that begs me to restart the dvd as soon as it ends. 

So what’s a girl to do? Express her concerns to her husband of course! His response? “When I said we should get Dylan ‘movies,’ I meant educational ones.” Oh yeah…duh. I think I’ll just take Dylan to the park from now on because I clearly have no business in show business.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Breathing Like My Life Depends on it

It’s a beautiful day. I decide to take Dylan to the park so he can burn off some energy. We run, we play, we laugh, and I try to get a video of his ridiculously amazing soccer skills as he kicks the ball. An hour passes and it’s time to head home for dinner. I ask Dylan if he’s hungry, if he wants some yum-yum, to which he nods. “Okay let’s go home and eat!” He bolts away and yells, “NO!” I tell him to say bye and thank you to the park, we’ll see ‘em later. I approach him and he drops to the ground in protest. I pick him up, he begins flinging his body, swinging his arms, and screams, “NO!” I tell him to relax, I understand he’s upset but there’s no hitting, no hitting. Dylan grabs a fist full of my hair and jerks it, I walk to the stroller with his back to my chest as to prevent any cheap shots to my face. He thrashes in the stroller and has a brief meltdown. 

I take a deep breath and try not to get caught up in the drama of being slapped around, I take another deep breath and ignore Dylan’s screams. I take another deep breath and try not to take it personal. I take another deep breath and try not to look at the people looking at me because I can read faces all too well and I don’t want to know what they’re thinking. “It’s none of my business.” I tell myself. Deep breath. 

We get home and I wash Dylan’s hands. I fix him a dinner plate, sit him in his high chair and begin giving him food. “Spoon, spoon,” Dylan requests. 
“Dylan wants a spoon?” He nods. 
“What do you say?” 
“Okay mom’s going to get a spoon.” 

I retrieve a spoon. Dinner time is a five minute success before he begins to get bored. He throws the spoon on the floor. “No throwing Dylan.” I give him the spoon which he uses for another minute before chucking it. “Mommy said no throwing. No more spoon.” Another meltdown ensues. I look at the clock, I’m officially on the bedtime countdown. 

By the time Dylan is down for the night, I’m exhausted. I’ve been hit dozens of times, my face has been grabbed, my hair pulled, and I’ve been challenged by a defiant 1 year old more than I care to admit. Honestly, I feel powerless. I don’t want to be the parent who has no control over their child and I wonder if I’m on my way. This is my nightmare. Advice jumbles in my head like loose change: “Hit him back,” “give him a time out,” “remain calm,” “explain,” “be consistent.” I want to cash out all the two-cents and buy myself a massage. I proceed to google: “one year old hitting discipline” and read article after article on the “hitting stage” of development…all of which end with, “Learning not to hit takes time for any 1-year-old to master. Meanwhile, cultivate some patience, a thick skin, and your sense of humor.” 

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry so I proceed to do both. I take a deep breath and channel my inner calm. I laugh at myself…just look at me. I’ve become a deep breathing sensation. I may have little to no control when the tantrums strike my face but check out my five-count huffy puffy ways! So I take another deep breath because hey, that's all I can do, apparently.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Getting to Know My Son

I’m fascinated with Dylan’s fascinations. When he’s paying attention to something, so am I. And like any other relationship, I get to know him better as time passes. It might sound silly to say I’m “getting to know my son,” but don’t laugh me out the door just yet! He’s a toddler, remember? His world is constantly expanding and the possibilities of what may or may not tickle his fancy, and the impact those things will have on his personality are only just beginning to reveal themselves. So I watch on, I give him space, and I try to let his experiences be his own. But let me tell you what I’m NOT down for....and some others things that are [kind of] okay…maybe. 

Spiders. I get it, they’re small, they crawl, and they’re always a surprise but COME ON! I hate them! But whattaya know- life has a fabulous senses of humor and gave me the kid with SPI-DAR aka the ability to spot any spider, invisible or not. Dylan likes to get on his hands and knees to chase them. It goes like this: Aw, he’s crawling! So cute. “Dylan, what are you doing? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” 

Drinking soap water. I just don't see the appeal. Bath time rolls around and suddenly Dylan’s sitting in the tub face-first in the water so he can drink the soap. Not only does it look like he’s drowning himself but IT’S SOAP. That’s where it begins…and it ends with a starring role on My Strange Addiction. So sorry kid, this is an experience that requires parental interception. 

Scavenging. My favorite sunglasses are missing even though I haven’t lost or misplaced them. I’ve been searching high and low throughout the house and in the process I’ve found: my husband’s missing sunglasses, 12 Hot Wheels I didn’t know we owned, my debit card, and a three week old Redbox case. I can kind of deal with Dylan sponsored scavenger hunts because he hides things in the same three locations but I am not above a couch trapper if my fave sunnies aren’t safely returned, THIEF. 

Selective Generosity. Dylan rarely shares food. He mostly fakes people out by offering to feed someone from his hand before snatching it back and eating it himself. It’s pretty rude and it’s definitely on the stingy side but hey, some people are just adamant that their food is THEIR food. Unless you’re a dog, then suddenly Dylan won’t hesitate to give you every crumb he can. Even if it means reaching above counter tops to pull whatever the dog MIGHT want to eat. Selective generosity? Not down…but pretty sure I can channel this into full-fledged sharing so at least I have something to work with. 

Know-it-all-Parrot-Hybrid. It can be pretty annoying when someone repeats everything you say but I love when Dylan does it because he’s a-know-it-all/parrot hybrid. Each day he brings me the same picture/vocab books, grabs my hand and uses it to point to different objects so that I’ll say its name for him to repeat. Doing this 60 times in one sitting can be a little much but hey, it’s his playtime we’ll do what he wants. Plus, how can I not encourage learning?! 

When Dylan isn’t drinking soap, hiding my stuff, or making friends with spiders, he’s pretty awesome. And though I have an idea of who I’d like Dylan to be, I’m down for getting to know who he already is and going from there. Besides, he’d probably beat me into submission if it were any other way. (Just kidding…kind of.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Can Coffee Stunt My Son's Growth?

It’s happening just like they said it would: Dylan is growing at an alarming pace. But before I attempt to stunt his growth by way of a coffee filled sippy cup, I’m going step back and catch my breath. Keeping up ain't easy. 

Six months ago when I made the decision to put Dylan into daycare I was kind of a mess. The idea of strangers caring for/protecting my baby had me salivating at an all-you-can-fear buffet, full of wacko what-ifs that I couldn’t stop from consuming. I even debated getting a hidden camera! But as it turns out, Dylan is a daycare hotshot and the adjustment period was non-existent. Apparently Dylan is a honeybaked ham who enjoys the schoolboy life full of fun, girlfriends, and incessant dotes over his good behavior. (Huh? He’s good?) What a relief! Dylan made it way too easy for me to get comfortable with the routine, the staff, and the whole enchilada. But do you hear that? Change is at the door. 

A promotion to big boy land with new classmates, a fresh curriculum, and teachers I don't really know is a few months away. Or, well, it should’ve been a few months away. But thanks to Dylan’s genetically predispositioned impatience (cough: from his dad) he's wiggled his way up in the world of daycare classrooms. And hyper-growth is so Dylan's style. I mean, back when newborn Dylan should’ve been content with 2 ounces of milk, he insisted on 7; and before he could even wear his 1 month clothes, they were outgrown; and don’t get me started on “percentiles” because I’m done charting his lack of commitment to babyhood.

So yet again, Dylan has rushed through time and has convinced everyone that he’s older than he actually is. While I've been stressing over the future torment Dylan would experience when he'd be separated from his beloved Anabelle, or how sad he'd be when he wasn't being held by his favorite teachers, Dylan was literally banging on the older kid’s classroom door hoping they’d let him in. WHOA! Didn't see that coming. 

Part of me wants to resist, deny, and even try to stunt his growth with some coffee, but it wont change the fact that if you knock on a door long enough, it's gonna open. So yes, change has been let in a lot sooner than mom was prepared for but what's more important is that Dylan is ready. And in true Dizbaby fashion, he has hit the ground running while I try to keep up...and I couldn't be more proud!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

I bet you’d never know that just by reading this, you’re on a tour…but you are! There’s a blog tour going on and thanks to my dear bloggy girlfriend Liv By Surprise, I’m one of the stops. I don’t know where the tour actually originated from but dang, there must be at least 1,000 bloggers who have already hopped aboard and have followed the same tour guidelines of answering 3 questions and inviting 3 others. 

Before I get to the nitty-gritty protocol, I’d like you to know who Liv By Surprise is; she is funny, she is positive, and she is resilient. She gracefully writes on the aftermath of divorcing an extremely difficult man, the qualms and successes of child rearing, and so much more. She refuses to be victimized despite living through a traumatic car accident and I don’t dare call her a survivor- she hates that. So without further adu, choo choo! 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON? Uhm, is there an alternative question for lazy girls like me that regularly have 17 tabs open and waste time browsing the internet instead of working on things? No? Okay…then I guess I'm working on it.

HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?  What the heck, did James Lipton draft these questions? My writing is exactly what it is, my writing. And since I have yet to meet another me, I am the only Dizmommy out there writing about whether or not her son will grow up and be a serial killer. 

HOW DOES YOUR WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK? Finally an easy question! I sit in front of the computer with a black cup of coffee, hoover my hands over the keyboard, quiet my mind and sit still. Then, I type the first sentence that the silence produces and before you know it, we’re going places. My process is completely dependent on good old fashion divine inspiration. 

But wait! There’s more! Here are three bloggers I’d like to invite on this never-ending tour:

 Rachel - Craving Some Creativity: She's clever, she's thoughtful, and she has a beautiful heart. Rachel is the kind of girl that anyone can get along with. I feel like I've known her for years! I wish I had just an ounce of her talents

Julia – Everyday Momma: Julia packed up and moved across the country to raise her son in California because that's where she dreamt of living. I love people that are ballsy and bold enough to follow their dreams! Plus, this one can get down and dirty when it comes to messy play. No joke.

Danielle – Dancing with my Daughter: Danielle is one of my first bloggy friends, our kids are 1 month a part in age and we've bonded over new mom problems and watching our babies grow up in two very different parts of the world....she lives in New Zealand!