Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Takeover

This morning I woke up to a baby key ring teether and a toy semi-truck in our bed.

I brushed my teeth under the watchful gaze of a rubber ducky.

I usually eat breakfast with Mickey Mouse or Doc McStuffins. 

Jake & The Neverland Pirates join me for lunch.

There's a sippy cup, a juice box and a half-eaten packet of applesauce in my passenger seat.

There are currently two Hot Wheels and a bouncy ball in my fruit bowl.

I usually find Fisher-Price Little People hiding in my shoes.

Today, I stepped on a tiny, yellow construction cone that I didn't even know existed previously.

Last time I traveled for work I found a pretend hot dog in my laptop bag as I went through security.

My bedside table is littered with children's books.

There's a railway down the hallway, that wasn't there this morning.

Slowly, and then all at once* this kid paraphernalia has invaded every corner of my world.  The culprits? These tiny humans that come with oh-so-much stuff? Well, while they have most certainly taken over my home, they have managed to even more completely conquer my heart.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.


*Quote credit: John Green (The Fault in Our Stars

Friday, August 15, 2014

Quote It: Read and Kiss

(c) Laurealism

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just a Girl in a Boy World

I've always sort of thought of myself as a boy-mom.

Don't get me wrong, being the mother of a girl would be awesome. Girl clothes are WAY cuter and a mommy/daughter pedicure sounds amazing. And, of course a girl technically could be in our future. But for now: 

I am a boy mom.

I'm not sure what I was thinking exactly with this whole boy-mom business, but now that Henry is getting a little bit older (and baby brother William is all over the place...) it is starting to dawn on me:

I have no idea what it is like to be a boy. 

I have no idea what it's like to grab at my penis every so often. I'm assuming it's to check to make sure it's still there. 

I have no idea what it's like to discover that I have balls. 
Look, mommy! I have eggs in my penis!
Those are your testicles, sweetie. Most people just call them balls.

I have no idea what it's like to love bugs. Like actually enjoy their presence.
I looove bugs, Mommy! I love them.

I have no idea what it's like to be unafraid of spiders. If a spider falls on you, or you touch one, or you pick one up, or heaven forbid you EAT ONE: you are on your own. Or I can kill it with a shoe, but of course that means I will be smacking you with a shoe, so you know, your choice.

I have no idea what it's like to want to pick up every rock I see and want to keep it. Forever. 
Please, Mom? Rock play in my room?

I have no idea what it's like to somehow know exactly what every vehicle sounds like, and be able to do a pretty good impression of it. Also: I'm bad with cars. There are cars, SUVs, Trucks and Semis. I will never know which make or model, and I certainly will never be able to tell by headlights alone. "White van" is about as descriptive as I can be. So please don't get kidnapped because I will not be able to describe the vehicle.

I have no idea what it's like to have the ability to turn just about anything into a weapon. Goodness help me when you figure out you can make guns out of your hands.

I have no idea what it's like to want to pee outside every chance I get. You know that kills the grass, right?

I have no idea what it's like to want to pick up frogs. Or snakes. Or other yucky things. If I see something move out of the corner of my eye, and it's not fluffy, my first reaction is to scream.
You otay, mommy?
Yes, I'm okay. I just thought that toad was a giant spider for a second. It's cool now. No I don't want to touch it.

I have no idea what it's like to think mud and poop are cool. Dirty and cool aren't synonyms for me.

And someday? I will have no idea what it's like to change a tire, or my oil. Or anything to do with tools. This is why God created husbands. The definition of a garage to me is a place to park a car or keep your holiday decorations. 

So while I always pictured myself as a boy-mom, I have a lot to learn. Because before I was a Mom, I was a just a girl. So, next time you want to show off that bug, or play "bad guys" with real sound effects... go talk to Daddy.

But I'm totally up for a tea party with the stuffed animals when you have a minute. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Pirate's Life for Me

I think my brother said it best, when he asked me this weekend:

You really commit to a theme, don't you?

Um, have you met me?!

I LOVE party planning. And I'm sorry in advance kids, but you'll have a themed party long after you've outgrown them. 

Sock-monkeys (just realized I never blogged that one... throwback post in the future...) choo-choo trains and this year pirates? 

Yo ho! Let's go!

Henry loves Jake & The Neverland Pirates Lately, so we already had some of the toys around the house, but anything I bought is already being put to good use by my little pirate. (You be Hook, Mom. I be Jake.)

We had a blast!
Yep, those are votive candles on the cake. Mom of the year over here couldn't find the birthday candles.
Pinata!
Jake & The Neverland Pirats. Everywhere!
Cake Table! Details Below.
Signage is important. You wouldn't want your guests forgetting where they are.
 Details, details! Doubloons, "Fish N Chips," Cannonball Swords...
Treasure Dig, cake table and Pirate Garb table.
Want the details?

Pirate Garb Station:
Inflatable swords (Party City)
Eye Patches and pirate earrings (Party City)
Pirate Hats (Amazon)
Pirate Tattoos (Amazon)

Buried Treasure Dig:
Bones (Party City)
Gold Doubloons (Amazon)
Jewels (Amazon)
Water Table (Amazon)

Cake Station:
Instagram Prints (Snapfish)
Happy Birthday Sign (Target)
Pirate Plates & Napkins (Target)
Cake (Creative Cakes)
Jake Sword (Amazon)
Bucky Pirate Ship (Toys R Us)

Other:
Invitations, not pictured (Tiny Prints)
Pirate Ship Bounce House and Slide (Midway Rentals, NW Indiana & Chicagoland)
Small Chalkboards 14"x14" (Amazon)
Large Chalkboard (Ikea)
Treasure Chest Pinata (Party City)
Treasure Chest Goodie Bags, not pictured (Amazon)
"Fish N Chips" Jake Buckets (Party City)
Jake & The Neverland Pirate Wall Decals, not pictured  (Amazon)
Pirate Ship Tent, not pictured (Amazon)

What was your favorite party theme as a child? What was your favorite to create for your kid?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stroller in the Skies


(Below is a copy of an email to Southwest after a minor inconvenience. Their response to follow. I was limited to a certain number of characters or I would have been more descriptive.)
--
First off I would just like to say that you are my preferred airline.

That being said I feel the need to let you know about a recent negative experience. I'm notifying you, so that you have the opportunity to make it better for your customers in the future.

A business man may claim that his laptop is his most important carry-on. A leisurely traveler might say its a book. A mother on the other hand will tell you: I would lose my mind in an airport without a stroller.

I recently checked our stroller at a gate for a return flight, a regular occurrence. It's always there waiting for me on the jetway upon arrival. I've never given it a second thought.

However on this flight it was not waiting for us. I checked with a flight attendant and a gate agent, who were friendly. Both told me the stroller was likely sent to baggage claim and that I should check there.

Herein lies my problem. We have a toddler (3) and a baby (9 months.) The baby is a solid 21 pounds. And the toddler moves at a rate that nearly has him moving backwards, especially in an airport with so much to see. You can imagine how much fun it was getting said baby, said toddler, and all of our gear from the gate to baggage claim, where we continued to wait another 20 minutes for every last bag to be claimed, before I was allowed to file a claim.

John at claims was very friendly. But my 21 pounder was definitely weighing on me. (Sidenote: I also noticed the blatant mistreatment of another couple by the manager on duty, who refused to file a claim for them.)

Yesterday, the stroller was waiting for us on the front step. Thank you for returning it.

I know mistakes happen. But, the real problem? At no point in all of this were we offered any help getting our family from the gate, to our vehicle.

It was a minor inconvenience, but an inconvenience none-the-less. I'm looking for a minor advantage in exchange. Suggested options:

-A1 boarding on a future flight + VIP treatment at check-in and security
-A massage
-An adult beverage. Or 5.

I will give you one last option:
-A video of your CEO in my position: carrying a 21 pounder plus his carry-on and a kiddy bag from our gate to the terminal at the slowest rate possible. This rep must answer a constant steam of unending toddler questions. Preferably he/she is at the end of their shift or a very long day of travel.

Thank you in advance for making sure every parent who needs one, has a stroller ready for them in the future.
--

What was your best airport experience? What was your worst?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Looking Back

-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Parental Time Warp

There's this strange time-warp phenomena when you're a parent. Time slows down, speeds up, turns around on itself in seemingly impossible ways. And you can't keep track. It's impossible. Time runs away from you before you even think to try and grab at it.

Our first baby just turned three. But, yesterday--wait wasn't that just yesterday?-- we were bringing him home from the hospital in a newborn-sized diaper. How are we at big boy batman underwear already? How? 

Not rhetorical.

How could three years possibly have passed in what seems like overnight? Is there some mathematical formula for this?

More impossible, still is that in that blink of an eye there were some impossibly long moments, too. Moments that dragged on forever. Night feedings and tantrums and flights that would never end. 

And still thousands of tiny spurts of perfect moments, too. Laughs and smiles, and oh look you're rolling over, crawling, walking, running... wait for me!

Seriously, wait.

I'm sure many of you are more familiar than I am with the parental time-warp. You probably blinked at one point to find fully grown humans in your household, eating through your pantry faster than you can stock it.

Were they ever really little? Or did you simply imagine that?

And still more of you glanced away for a second--it couldnt have been more than a second, right?-- to find your babies having babies.

As if that were even possible.

Some days I want to rewind. Some days I want to fast-forward. Some days I don't even know yesterday from tomorrow.

But I don't think I'll ever understand how the long days and nights add up to impossibly short years.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Eventual Man.

I remember a moment in the hospital after Henry was born. It was the very first time I was alone with him. After all the doctors and nurses had left, and Mark had gone to find coffee.

He was all bundled up, lying in his little hospital cradle. So tiny, so sweet. 

Eyes wide.

Those wide blue eyes startled me. My heart raced.

Because in the twelve hours since he'd arrived in our world, I hadn't had a chance to let it sink in. Let him sink in. And he was just looking at me... connecting. Intensely, yet calm and serene like he'd already been here for a thousand years.

Here I am, mom. Are you ready for this journey?

And in this moment I really saw him: This little person. This eventual man.

It occurred to me then, that this little nugget was already himself. He already had a personality. He already had opinions, hopes, dreams and talents. He had it all. He has it all. And three years later, it's starting to shine through.

He can say things like I love you, Mom.

I don't like that.

Me happy.

It's okay, buddy. (to Will, when he's crying)

Me come, too, Daddy. Me help, too.

Sometimes there's a naughty little twinkle in his eye. Sometimes there's a big belly laugh that catches me off guard because, really how can he already understand my humor? 

He'll only dance to jazz. He memorizes his favorite books faster than I can. Getting him to sing is nearly impossible. But ask him to roar, and you'll think you're at the zoo. 

Occasionally there are tears. Big, fat tears that I wish I could halt immediately. I want to be on his side always. Even when I don't, even when he's wrong. Does that even make sense?

My little person? This eventual man? I get to meet a little bit more of him every day. And his little journey in this world brings me great joy. He brings me great joy.

Henry, you grow more and more into the person you were meant to be every day. I love that person and I love you.

Happy 3rd Birthday, my sweet Henry. Here's to many, many more.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Grand Old Flag

A happy and safe 4th of July, folks!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Your Moment: A Mighty Roar

This post is part of a new blog series called Your Moment. Details below.

Copyright @Katie
Meet Jack. He is roaring at the ocean. Because when you're 16 months old, if you want to be bigger and badder than the entire ocean, you can be. Let's all approach the world and our fears with a roar today and do something great! Thanks for the inspiration, Jack!

Thanks to Jack's mom, Katie from North Carolina for sharing this moment. Katie is a work-at-home mom to two wonderful boys and wife to Patrick who, "inspires me everyday," she says. You can find Katie and her food blog HERE or her crafty Facebook page HERE

Your Moment is a series featuring you, my dear readers and all of your heartfelt, hysterical or heavenly moments. Each post will include an image (copyrighted to you, professional and amateur photos accepted!) a caption, and a link-up to your blog or business (if applicable, but not neccessary) with your approval on all copy and photos before publishing. Email your moments to me at laurealism@gmail.com to be featured or for more details! I'm looking for some great photos to feature!