here’s to losing hair

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does anyone remember having a tamagachi? oh, the appeal for a little kid to have a virtual creature to care for. how many times did my tamagachi die of me forgetting to clear its habitat of hershey kiss shaped poop?

now having a real life tamagachi, or human baby, how nerve-racking is it that there is no “starting over” button? what’s to say that the decisions we make don’t derail their lives down the road? it’s a lot to sit on your shoulders. it’s a lot of responsibility as a parent. it’s crushing. if i decide to spank as a punishment, will i give rise to a serial killer? if i am too soft-spoken, will i give rise to a miley cyrus? it’s all so difficult to say…

my kiddo has hit 19 months. people always talk about the terrible twos. HA! you know what my experience with motherhood has been so far? there is no terrible twos. there’s a terrible three months, a terrible one year, and a terrible one and a half years. the term “terrible twos” has led me into a false sense of security, leading me to believe that my nerves would be safe until bud turned two. no. my nerves are tested daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

how can such a small, adorable package come with such mischief? such taxing mischief? it’s all a great joke. babies HAD to be adorable. otherwise, it would be a lot more difficult to forgive them for making us burst into tears at any given moment.

so yesterday, i felt as though i spent the entire day telling bud to stop doing something. and, appropriate to his age, he was testing his limits. i was trying to cook dinner, and turned around to check on him, only to find that he was touching mommy’s very expensive laptop. what then happened was, i sobbed, “mommy told you not to touch that! mommy said that was a ‘no touch’!” and sank to the floor bawling. and bud, shocked at his mother’s reaction, started immediately sobbing as well.

he doesn’t want to stress me out. duh, he’s learning what all this disciplining is even about. but it’s so easy to forget. i am not patient by nature. i am trying to be the mother i want to be. who is an understanding and patient woman. i guess i needed to realize that there were two people putting pressure on me that day; my toddler and myself. and sometimes, it feels a bit much. but that’s what new days are for. it doesn’t mean that you’re who you are the exact moment of a meltdown. it just means you’re human. and being human means you get several attempts at becoming the person you want to be. so i guess, yeah, in a way…there is a tamagachi redo button. phew!

product review // generic baby stuffs

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one thing about me: i am a huge fan of generic. saving money? heck yeah! but you know, sometimes generic products do let me down. and then, you’re back to using the name brand stuff so you ended up wasting money that you were trying to save in the first place.

in an effort to help you figure out what’s worth your money and what’s not, i give you…

my baby up&up (target brand) product review! full honesty here, folks. and i kept to the top consumable items; we’re talking powder, cream–the works. anyone else feel like they’re just dumping this stuff into a bottomless pit (ie. your baby)? i sure do!

so let’s get started.

1. up&up diaper pail refills. negatory. at roughly 5 bucks a pop, you expect you’re getting a bargain. okay, so i didn’t do a diaper count exactly, but i felt as though i was emptying out my diaper genie waaay more often than when i was using name brand refills. let me spare you even further; if you shop at costco, these babies are about 5 bucks each as well! name brand! if you prefer not shopping at a place where it’s black friday every day, i recommend going the amazon subscribe & save route at about 5.50-6 bucks each.

2. up&up cornstarch baby powder. i used to use strictly burt’s bees thinking i was doing my baby right by shopping all natural. it turned out, he was highly allergic because burt’s bees uses an ingredient called limonene which is…as you guessed, a compound found in lemon rind. and cleaning products. why, burt’s, why?! i loved you so! you couldn’t separate the beeswax chap stick from me, but baby powder…i curse you! or do i? using cornstarch only powder (talc-free) on my baby’s bottom proved that it was actually gentler on his skin and my wallet :-). yessss. win, target! win!

3. mild up&up baby wash+shampoo. nope. left my babe’s skin drier than…something really dry…saltine crackers? elephants? i’m missing the mark here…as soon as the bottle was finished, i used the bottle as a bath toy and purchased more aveeno baby wash. with oatmeal and its gentle formula…i’m just bitten and i can’t go back, i guess. just totally spoiled here. currently even using the johnson & johnson oatmeal body wash but it’s not living up to my precious aveeno baby. sorry!

4. up&up baby wipes, sensitive skin. so after using pampers sensitive, which i HATED (oily, smeared poop around, way too much moisture), i was relieved to find this target brand wipe. it has just enough moisture so you’re not waiting forever for your kid’s butt to dry so you’re not trapping wetness in their diaper (hellloooo, diaper rash!) and it’s cleans really nicely. but! oh, but! i was discovering that against my previous favorite, costco brand diaper wipes, i was now using about six wipes per poopy diaper when i was used to using only three. the wipes are just too darn small. so at two cents a wipe, you’re actually losing with target brand. so, costco for the win!

5. up&up creamy diaper rash ointment. so i was initially used to destin brand diaper cream after switching from burt’s. that stuff is awesome. it nicks a rash in the butt (pun intended?) so quickly and it’s creamy and stays put. with up&up, the consistency is different (i would say up&up is a bit less thick) but equally as effective. i could live with that if that means a bit more savings because destin is expensive! side note: don’t use babies r us brand diaper cream. it just stinks.

here ya go. i hope i saved some of you a bit of trouble stockpiling on those consumables that you will spend years purchasing boatloads of ;-). good luck!

currently reading // harry potter

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i’ve been having trouble letting go of fall…but it’s still fall at hogwarts!

so the aap recommends that kiddos get zero screen time until age two. bah, some of you may disagree (strongly) or agree (strongly) or maybe even not so much disagree but need to get stuff done around the house and have indulged in what is being dubbed the “electronic babysitter”.

i’ve been known to indulge occasionally. which is always followed by bouts of guilt. which is then followed up by scanning my little one’s eyes for signs of intelligence. yup. still there. no damage done–phew! but for the past few months i have tried to occupy our time around the house with an alternative that i could be happy with that doesn’t include zoning out (which, i know, is so tempting!). anyways, here comes books on tape!

we’ve been listening to harry potter on tape and are now on the order of the phoenix. let me just say, it’s been real magical. and what’s even more fun (for me, anyway) is that this prompted me to reread the series. because strangely, i can’t get enough of hp and also, it’s more fun for me to hear my own voice in my head while reading.

so for the millionth time (because i have reread the series soooo many times), i am puttering around the house wondering why hogwarts isn’t real and how unfortunate we are to live in a wizardless world. however, while i am down that i will never receive my admissions letter by owl post, i am reminded that i have this rare gift; with not one, but seven, books i can read leisurely, i have found an effective stress reliever at the end of the day. i have reread them so many times that i can put it down at any part and just as easily pick it up where i left off. after a day full of energy-sucking baby caring, which is also a true delight–give or take a few tantrums, i can lie in bed next to my snoring husband while i escape to another world where anything is possible (please, santa…nimbus two thousand this year?) and maybe even, reducto snore husbando! 

so this is a new section i am beginning in my blog. books, books, books. after all, how can a writer not write about the books that have touched her life the most? comment below on your favorites or your own “currently reading”s!

“don’t let the muggles get you down.” -ron weasley

phantom baby cry

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i always believed that there was such a thing as phantom baby cry. you know, kind of like phantom phone ring; when you hear your cell phone ring but when you pull your phone out of your pocket, all that greets you is a blank home screen.

it wasn’t until my little family and i trekked on over to the seattle pacific science center when the university of washington students were having a science fair. one display in particular interested me. it supported the theory of phantom phone ring, suggesting that the reason for it is that your psyche is actually “hearing” something as a result of your mental anticipation to hear something. this phenomenon is also called phonemic awareness.”HA! I KNEW IT!” i yelled, pointing at the confused college student’s poster board.

when bud was not, in my eyes, a baby, but a squashy, living time bomb, i would hear phantom baby cry. all.the.time. it was frightening. it made my shoulders tighten, my ears shrivel, and my insides cringe. is the baby awake?! but lo and behold, when i would go check on him, he would be sound asleep. not a care in the world.

lately, i have been feeling as though my expectations have been messing with my brain. they’ve also been inhibiting bud. i have been selling him short and not giving him enough credit. example? i’ve been doing a bit too much for him. is it because i truly feel as though he can’t do certain things? or is it my subconscious being stubborn and not wanting to recognize that he is growing older and less dependent upon me? i’m starting to think it’s option b).

my perspective of my kid is becoming clouded. he amazes me every day when he proves me wrong, and i’m starting to understand that i need to pick up the cues. that he is capable of understanding what we are trying to teach him. thankfully, i have a realistic husband who isn’t half crazy to remind me that although i don’t realize it, our kid is picking up more things every day. let him do it, he’ll remind me. and i’m just blown away when bud does something so willingly when we request it.

whaddami, crazy?! i have been, yes. i certainly am proud of my little guy. i just haven’t been so proud of me lately. i need to start paying more attention to the stage he’s in right now and less to the stage my mind wants to think he’s in. because without living in the moment, i’m missing out on everything that’s going on right now! and obviously that’s the last thing i want. it’s senseless to dwell in the past. dwelling is bad. reminiscing is great, but there’s a time and place for it that isn’t while your kid is rapidly changing and growing. because there’s way too much good stuff in the present. in the present, i get a chance to see the result of all of our parenting efforts; all of the teaching that we have poured into this tiny person. know what i mean? if i don’t get to enjoy seeing all of that, all my nurturing pay off…then what’s the point?

literature on phantom phone ring AKA phonemic awareness here. pretty interesting stuff when you think you’re going crazy.

warm sweater + cold feet

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it’s that time of year!

there’s a reason why christmas seems to be earlier and earlier every year. because it makes people feel ah-mazing. i just feel like a warm, gooey pile of mush. giddiness accompanied by sighs of contentment. there’s something super contagious about christmastime. and i’m not talking about the colds taking out all the kids in bud’s class. no, it’s something even gooier than those snotty sweater sleeves used as toddler tissues.

i thought after being stationed in alaska, i would be happy to never feel cold again. i was wrong! there’s something so wonderful about rushing inside and warming up your hands and toes with some hot cocoa (that makes it sound like i’m dipping my hands and toes in hot cocoa…). what’s more magical than peppermint hot chocolate? correction: what’s more magical than peppermint hot chocolate in december?

i think a lot of the magic this time of year has to do with starting new traditions with bud. i mean, this is our opportunity to shape how this kid remembers his childhood! and i want it to be something special; something for our little family.

when i was a kid, we didn’t have much money. so i never had a tree, never had lights, never had the normal things around the holidays. but you know, it wasn’t until i had a family of my own when i realized the beauty of that; my new beginning with josh and jake was doubly wonderful because we were all starting something new together. my first christmas tree was one josh gave me our first year together. it was 30 bucks, plastic and pretty patchy, but it was the greatest gift. and we are still hanging up (er, assembling) that patchy plastic tree year after year. and since we never had any ornaments to start out with, every year we each pick out one of our own that represents a little bit of ourselves. this year, josh picked a jack skellington, bud picked a mickey, and i picked a how to train your dragon 2 ornament. because i cry every time i watch it, it’s that good. and as i’m writing this, bud is eating kashi cereal, sitting right plop down in front of the tree, staring up at it in wonderment.

this really is the best time of year.

ALRIGHT GUYS!

the grand re-opening is now complete. voila! i give you the new and improved blog featuring yours truly!

it is currently midnight and i am beyond exhausted but oh-so happy that i finally completed this makeover. my blog’s self confidence is skyrocketing through the roof. no body image issues here!

speaking of my blog in third person, i didn’t even realize it had turned a year old a couple months ago. happy one year, blog. let there be many more years to come! hear hear!

thanks for a million

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it’s a shame that at times it takes a tragedy to truly appreciate your blessings. that it takes someone’s life touching yours with contrasting misery for you to say thanks. this happens too often for me.

how many times have i seen something in the news that made me pause and take a moment to appreciate what i have? the little things that are not difficult to overlook because they come so easily?

 

// i am thankful i never had to reuse a diaper. because there are so many–too many–babies out there in discomfort and mothers pained to see them so.

// i am thankful there is always food on our table. because i have a wonderful husband who supports our little family and happily goes to work so i can watch our baby grow every day.

// i am thankful my baby has his health. because this is the reason behind several mothers’ sleepless nights; worrying over what obstacles the next day will bring.

// i am thankful for my husband’s and my own health. because without it, we might not be able to run alongside our little one.

// i am thankful for my youth. because i can only imagine how much happiness will be contained in the years to come.

// i am thankful for our family support. because our baby is always surrounded by faces whom he knows adore him. from the deepest corners of our hearts.

 

there are just too many things. too many things i need to remember every day. which sounds so sappy, but it’s fantastic that there are so many. it’s saptastic. i want to feel this way every day and not just an isolated day of the year. how many people can say they are thankful for too many things for a single day? hopefully a crapton of people.

happy thanksgiving, folks. over and out.