Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Terrible Twos

Have you ever had those days, or weeks, or even months when you feel like you've been going non-stop, twenty four seven, been all over the world, TWICE, only to look back and wonder, what have I been doing?

Yeah, the last couple of weeks have been like that for us.

There's been so much going on, but now that I'm sitting here trying to think of exactly what has been going on, I'm drawing a blank. But we've been busy, I swear.

On top of the overwhelming nothing we've been doing, Aubrey is going through this super awesome phase. I believe most of us moms call it the terrible twos.
I'm not gunna lie, before I was a mom, I thought the terrible twos was something that people made up. Like, how does your perfectly behaved one year old suddenly begin to defy you, overnight? I was convinced it was just an excuse for a usually poorly behaved child.

I'm so sorry that I ever doubted you, mothers of the world. I understand now. I really do.

Aubrey has been doing things like running away when I call him. In the middle of the store. I've had to abandon ship (shopping cart) more than once. He does this thing where, if I tell him not to touch something, he gets, like, a spaz-out moment and grabs everything in close proximity. And then proceeds to throw it on the ground. I can't even properly describe it, but it's not cute.

He's been hitting, biting, telling me to go away and be quiet. There have been temper tantrums galore. It's so frustrating because he was such a good kids post 25 months. I'm starting to think that aliens sneak into the house in the middle of the night and replace the two year olds around the world with clones. Maybe they keep our real kids for a few years to teach us something or something. Hell if I know. But there's gotta be an explanation.

Have you ever wanted to just throw your kid in the closet and leave them in there...for a few days...with food and water provided, of course. I hope I'm not the only one.
Don't call child services on me. I wouldn't really do it. 

And speaking of child services! I feel like I can't even discipline my child in public. The other day, in the clothing section of Target, Aubrey disappeared into one of the racks and I was calling him and he would laugh and run into a different rack, and I mean, I'm small and what not, but he was gettin' all down and deep in there, so I would catch a hand as he ran by and then lose it, and okay, I lost my patience, whatever, so when I finally got him...I spanked him.

It's not like it was hard or anything. It was an awkward angle, and you know the diaper makes it sound louder than it is. But of course the moment I decide to spank him is the exact moment someone walks by, and she gives me the dirtiest look. And I wanna be like, can I help you? But I'm not a very confrontational person so instead I kissed Aubrey's head and smiled like we were perfectly okay.

These days it's all about talking things out and discussing our feelings. My two year old does not care about my feelings, I can guarantee you that. Sometimes a good ol' spanking is needed. I mean, I was spanked as a kid, and I think I turned out okay, right?

Don't answer that.

Mom Rule #2567
If you're going to spank your child in public, make sure you are properly concealed.

All I know is that I can't wait for his third birthday. I'm thinking it'll be kind of like how morning sickness was for me- gone the exact day I entered the second trimester. Maybe his attitude will disappear on the night he turns three.

I can only hope.

Only two hundred and ninety days, but who's counting?


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Toddler Interpreter

A lot of my posts are about Aubrey, because, well, I spend most of my time with him. He's my full-time job. As I've mentioned several times, sometimes it's hard to switch from mom to wife, from toddler-appropriate to adult-appropriate.

And then sometimes, there's no need to switch.

Because a lot of the times, having a husband is like having a second toddler.

Not in the sense that I'm constantly having to be after him (even though that does happen more often than not) but more like the things he says. Especially after he's just woken up. These are seriously two conversations we've had just minutes after he has woken up, both in the past week.

Me: *after straightening my hair* Babe, does my hair look okay?
Todd: It's so shiny. It's like elf hair.
Me: Elf hair?
Todd: Yeah, like Lord of the Rings
Me: I have no idea what you're talking about
Todd: *falls back asleep*
Me: TODD!
Todd: Like Legalos. Except yours is red.
Me: *walks away*

He later explained to me that it was so shiny and straight that it reminded him of the elves' hair from LotR. Leave it to a guy to compare my hair to an epic fantasy. Then the other night, Todd had fallen asleep and I was still awake (cause I have insomnia) and he randomly woke up and looked over at me, typing away on my computer with my hair freshly washed and all over the place.

Todd: You look like a mermaid.
Me: A mermaid?
Todd: Yeah, that red one.
Me: You mean Ariel?
Todd: Yeah, that one. *falls back asleep*

I should become an interpreter for the UN, except my language specialities are groggy husbands and two year olds. They need one of those, right? You know, someone loses their kid in the mall and they're like, We can't understand what he's saying! Call the Toddler Interpreter! 

Yeah, I think it's legit. Who could I contact about that?

If only it were possible to get paid for the things we do everyday. Seriously though, being a mom should be a paying job. Maybe then more moms would stay home. The government could spare a few dollars for a fund that like that, couldn't they? Then Homemaker could be a real occupation. Instead of getting paid in priceless moments and wonderful memories I could get paid in actual money.

Not that I don't love those moments and memories. Cause I do, I swear.
But I mean, they don't really buy food...or diapers...or sippy cups or size 4t clothes or crayons or magic erasers...

Whatever. It's totally cool. I mean, it's not like it's a 24/7 job or anything..It's not like mom's don't get days off or breaks or late starts. Pshh. It's the easiest job in the world. Not in the least bit difficult, or tiring, or emotionally draining..

Just kidding.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Potty Olympics

Now that Aubrey has hit the two year mark, there's one phrase that keeps getting thrown around:

Potty Training.

It comes up in almost every conversation with other moms, understandably. Questions like, Is he potty trained? Have you started? When are you going to start?

And I'm over here like, we just moved up a size in diapers. Woohoo?

The fact that they call it "training" rubs me the wrong way, anyways. Can't we call it potty learning? Or maybe even potty attempting? Training just sounds so...strict. Like if he fails, than we're doomed. It's just a potty, people. Not the olympics. I've read these articles that give some tips and they're always the same:

Start off first thing in the morning, give him nothing but sweets and salty foods, pump him full of water, set that timer to every twenty minutes and plan to take a few days off of life to get it done. It's crunch time, baby!

So. Much. Pressure. I don't do well under pressure.

He just doesn't seem to have any interest, no matter what I tell him. I've offered treats, we bought him a frog-lookin' potty thingy and he looks at it and is like, "Froggy, ribbit ribbit!" but that's as far as his interest goes.

So this weekend, we're in Orlando, and we're in the bathroom changing out of our bathing suits and he looks at the potty and says, "Mommy, I go potty." And I'm like, "Sure, dude. Get on up there," thinking he's just gunna make me undress him and then redress him for no reason. But then he gets up there and sure enough, he pees! I'm freaking out (on the inside, of course) because I'm thinking, this is it. It's cake from here on out.

Well, it wasn't. Cake, I mean. Monday came rolling along and I was on top of him.

Me: Aubrey, wanna go potty? Let's go potty! (It's funny how you realize that talking to a toddler and talking to a dog sometimes sound exactly the same)
Aubrey: *thinking* No potty.
Me: Come on, it'll be fun! I'll give you some gummies!
Aubrey: NO POTTY! *runs away*

Yeah, it didn't happen quite like I imagined it to. I mean, I was expecting it to be easy. After all, I had a dog, and I had that thing potty trained in a few days, tops. Then I started thinking how much easier it would be if I could stick Aubrey in a crate, too. When I mentioned that to a few other moms, they didn't think it was so funny. It's not like I was serious or anything. It was an honest joke.

Mostly.

I don't want to push him, because I don't want him to fear the toilet, but at the same time, Dude is huge. He looks like a 4 year old in diapers and that ain't cute. I think I'll just have to let him run around naked for a day and see what happens.

After all, if a dog can figure it out, than I sure as hell hope Aubrey can, too.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Eating Time

Since a lot of you mother's out there seem to be having the same eating problems we're having, I figured I'd give you an idea of what a normal food day looks like for us.

Even though Aubrey is super picky and hardly eats anything, he's always been in the above average percentile for weight. If you've ever seen him or held him, you'd know this; he's chunky. He's currently 34 lbs and wears a 3t-4t, which is surprising considering his diet consists mostly of fruit. But I swear to you, this is why:

Mornings: I make him a smoothie every. single. morning. He loves it and now asks for it. If he doesn't get one, the whole day is thrown off. Seriously. It consists of:
1 whole banana
7-8 frozen strawberries
4 oz yogurt (whole milk) 
1 cup coconut water (tons of great vitamins and electrolytes)
I also add liquid vitamins to it, since the smoothie does a really great job of concealing the flavor. They last forever and are known as the best on the market. Whole Foods sells them or you can buy them online at websites like Vitacost or Amazon for a lot cheaper.

After his smoothie he'll either have a waffle (Kashi) or pancakes (Earth's Best), sometimes I can get him to eat eggs. I've noticed that he eats them better when they're mixed with hash browns which I buy already shredded.

Lunch varies, depending on where we are. Usually it's a PB&J or a cheese sandwich made with whole wheat bread. Afterwards he'll munch on some grapes or raspberries, sometimes I can get him to eat some carrots. 

Nap time: I'll give him about 10 oz. of almond milk mixed with 1 tbsp coconut oil. <---- That right there is honestly why I think he has continued to grow so well. Coconut oil is chock full of fantastic stuff, and we use it for EVERYTHING. Bug bites, skin moisturizer, cooking oil. When I was nursing I used it in place of Lanolin. Sometimes he eats it right off the spoon. We buy a huge tub from Costco, but really you can get it anywhere. Just make sure it's organic and cold pressed.

After his nap, he'll eat some more snacks; fruit, corn chips, nuts, granola bars, rice cakes.

Dinner is the hardest meal for us. If he hasn't had a nap, it's even worse. I've also noticed that he eats better while he's distracted, and not by the TV. I'll sit him in his high chair and give him his favorite book or puzzle and spoon feed him myself. (Yes I still do that. You gotta do what you gotta do.)
His dinner usually consists of one of five things: chicken nuggets, rice, hot dog, eggs with rice, or mac & cheese. Sometimes I can get him to eat a sweet potato, sometimes he'll eat a few bites of pizza, but it's usually those five things or nothing.

Bedtime is 10(ish) oz of whole milk (organic, Publix brand, about 5 dollars a gallon.) If he skips naptime, I'll add the coconut oil to this.

I stay away from anything with added ingredients/preservatives, like food coloring or food color enhancements, added sugar, excess sodium, etc. etc. His juice is always diluted to 1/4 juice + 3/4 water. We  don't buy everything organic, because I'm not made of money and haven't yet found a way to grow it, but the things we do buy organic are: dairy products, fruits that don't have peels (berries, apples...) and meat.

We DO NOT shop at Whole Foods unless absolutely necessary (i.e. can't find it anywhere else.) Target and Walmart are coming around to the organic side of things and starting to carry a lot of it, and Publix's new(ish) Greenwise line has tons of organic options.

Mostly, I just keep trying until the kid eats something. A lot of the times I put it in my bowl, like I'm going to eat it, and he gets curious enough to stick his fingers in. Once he realizes that it is in fact tastey, and I'm not trying to feed him brussel sprouts, he's more inclined to take a real bite.

I think what has worked the most is figuring out a time when he likes to eat and stuffing him while he's happy. It's mornings for us, right after his smoothie and while he's watching cartoons.

But of course, tomorrow it could be different. Kids are fickle. Today he pretty much had nothing but a smoothie and fruit, but it's easier to deal with when I know he's getting the vitamins and the fats he needs.

Not that he needs any more fat. 

I save all of my patience for feeding time. That way I can get through it calm, cool and collected.

Yeah. Right. What really happens is that he refuses to eat, I tell him I'm not making anything else, he cries, I ignore him, he cries some more, and then I make him a PB&J. Why is it that he always wins?




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Patience Is a Virtue

If there's one thing I've learned as a mother, it's this:

YOU DO NOT GIVE BIRTH TO PATIENCE.
(Unless, of course, you've named your child Patience.)

You give birth to a child, but you do not give birth to patience. If it is something you have lived your entire life without, it is not something that magically appears the second your little miracle pops out.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a patient person. I hate waiting in lines, I get major road rage, I get annoyed when people decide to stop in the middle of the aisle in the mall or when they create a wall of people four across and walk half a mile per hour.
(If you do those things- I'm sorry. I don't hate you.)

Aubrey likes to test my patience these days. I swear he does it on purpose. You know how, as mothers, we're supposedly able to tell the difference between our child's cries? Like, if he's hungry or poopy or tired, we magically know exactly which one it is?

Yeah, that never happened to me.

When Aubrey cried, he cried. They all sounded the same. Unless he screamed. Then I knew something was really wrong. Well, it's the same way now as a toddler. He's super dramatic, so I'll be in the kitchen, you know, cooking and stuff, and he'll be like, "MOMMY!"
And of course it sounds like the end of the world, so I drop everything and run to him and I get to where he is, on his haunches (yes, i said haunches) in the middle of the living room, looking at the floor.

Me: What is it, baby?
Aubrey: Mommy, look! *points (with his middle finger) to spot on floor*
Me: *kneels down on floor* What is it?
Aubrey: LOOK MOMMY!
Me: WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?!
Aubrey: Ant, Mommy.
Me: *squints eyes really really tight and leans in super close* Ohhh, I see it. Very cool, Aubrey. *walks away*

This happens all. the. time.

But my absolute favorite is when I'm in the car, with Todd or Meaghan or anyone, really, and we're having like a serious conversation. The music's turned down and we're really getting into it, and Aubrey starts this:

Aubrey: Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY. MOMMY. MOMMY. MOMMY!!!
Me: WHAT AUBREY?!
Aubrey: *puts (middle) finger to mouth* Shhhhhhh. No talking.

I kid you not.

He's got rules about talking in the car, about what songs we can or cannot listen too, what cartoons we watch, what foods I eat. He doesn't even let me sit on my own bed sometimes, always saying, "Go away, Mommy."

The worst is when I'm trying to feed him dinner. He doesn't like to sit in a high chair, and he doesn't like to feed himself. So I'll be sitting on the couch holding a bowl and a spoon, and I'll tell him to come take a bite.

Me: Aubrey, come here please.
Aubrey: *runs away*
Me: Aubrey, come here right now.
Aubrey: *completely ignores me*
Me: Aubrey Lucas Wyckoff. Come take a bite NOW.
Aubrey: *still ignoring me*
Me: IF YOU DON'T GET YOUR BUT OVER HERE RIGHT NOW I'M GOING TO SPANK IT!

Even that doesn't always work. Usually I just end up bribing him. Terrible, right? But I'm telling you, what are we supposed to do? There's no rule book, no this-is-how-you-do-it. What works for some mothers might not work for others.

It's hard to be patient on a daily basis. It's hard to feel like you're always the bad guy. It's hard to be a mom. And I only have one... Does patience pop out with the next one?

I friggin' hope so.





Saturday, July 6, 2013

Breaking News*

THIS JUST IN:


The eating sensation has continued to sweep through the Wyckoff/Valldeperas household! 

"It's a miracle," proclaims previously frustrated mom, Raquel. "He just eats and eats and it's as if he's never full. He's going to eat me out of house and home!"
Twenty-two year old mother, Raquel Valldeperas, has had major difficulty getting her son Aubrey, two, to eat anything besides smoothies and granola bars. "It's not like those are bad foods, but he was missing out on major food groups, and I was beginning to worry."
Raquel is proud to announce that Aubrey now eats, without coercion or bribery; meat (eggs and chicken and the occasional hot dog,) sweet potatoes and carrots, PB&J sandwiches, mac and cheese and PIZZA, among various other kid-friendly foods. "Dinner time has become so much less stressful. We can sit down and eat as a family, and for the most part, we all eat the same food. No more cooking seven different meals!"
Raquel has recently made the switch to all organic foods, and when asked about the price difference, said, "It's worth it, right? I mean, organic foods or cancer? It's a no brainer, I tell myself, until I see the receipt. Then I just decide that I don't really need to eat." She laughs and shakes her head. "Just kidding. I eat. I swear."
Aubrey has decided to abstain from providing a comment, but we can see the truth in his substantial growth. It looks as if he's been eating the house AND the home.
"It feels that way, too," Mom adds with a chuckle.

(Article provided courtesy of Raquel Valldeperas.)



*Did you think I was going to tell you that I was expecting again? I bet you did. That is not the case, obviously. I'm sorry for deceiving you.



Not really.



Okay, maybe just a little.




Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Here's Your Sign

There are a few major things that point moms out. As in, we have huge blinking signs over our heads that say "I'm a MOM!"
Sometimes its the way we dress. Sometimes its the way we drive or how we grocery shop or how we insist on everyone taking a jacket to the movies because they might get cold.

Most of the time, its the way we talk.

You know you're a mom when...
you use the word "potty" in normal, everyday conversation. With adults. While there are no children in the vicinity.
It went a little something like this:
I'm sitting in the bathroom, a curling iron in my right hand and Meaghan and Rachelle sitting on my left. We're getting ready for our weekly Renegades outing and I'm telling them a story. I don't even remember what I was saying so I'm gunna improvise a little.

Me: yeah, it was crazy. There were little green leprachauns and flying pigs and I had to walk away from the action to go potty.
Them: *cracking up laughing*
Me: Yeah, I just said potty.
Them: *still laughing*

This happens all the time. Like at night when Todd and I are in bed, watching TV or reading and I'll crawl over next to him and whisper into his ear all seductively, "I'm gunna go get my jammies on."

Super sexy.

It's kind of embarrassing. I mean, I told someone the other day about how you can't have spores indoors, and when they looked at me funny, I said "It was on Miss Sunny's Spider Patch. Duh." 
They continued to look at me funny.

It's just hard to seperate your lives; you know, the mom one and the normal human being one. Because, if I'm being honest (which I am) there is a huge difference. Any mom who says otherwise is lying. But maybe that's the point. Maybe we're supposed to be so consumed and wrapped up in raising our children that the lines get blurred and it's hard to remember that I go pee and not potty

Oh, and I definitely don't need to refer to myself in the third person with other adults. I don't know why we, as mothers, insist on doing that.

"Mommy is super tired."
"Mommy said no."

There's a lot of things I don't know. It's funny, cause today Todd was telling me how it's a good thing I get to go out and have time for myself, with people who can carry full conversations and use words bigger than four letters. He was saying how I spend all day at home, nurturing and teaching, and that it's important I experience things outside of raising our son to learn and grow. Basically that I'm the teacher and not the learner.

But he was wrong.

I learn something new everyday. It's not always profound. Most of the time it's little things; how Aubrey likes more peanut butter than jelly on his PB&J's, how he seems to remember the words to every song but can't remember when I tell him to not climb on that table. Sometimes they're bigger things; about myself, Aubrey, Todd, our relationships and what we all mean to each other. But everyday continues to bring new things to light. I wonder how many mysterious revelations are left to unearth.

I'm assuming it's an infinite amount, that mothers never stop learning and loving and teaching and growing. That sign will always be above my head, blinking and screaming and being downright obnoxious. 

Blinking signs are like that.

Okay, maybe that blinking sign is named Aubrey. Maybe he gives away the whole mom thing. Maybe.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Long Hair Don't Care

Aubrey has a little bit of a problem.

Well, maybe it isn't a problem so much as an inconvenience. And maybe it's not really his problem since he doesn't really care and he doesn't really have a say.

You see, Aubrey has really long hair, and he kind of has a botched hair style because I like to be cheap and cut his bangs myself. But really, I don't want to spend forty dollars for them to snip snip snip and send us on our way. It literally took me five minutes to do and it's not that bad. Really.

But anyways, he has long, beautiful curls and I cannot, for the life of me, find the strength to cut them. And yeah, some days they're a little less curly and more messy than others, but for the most part, they're just awesome. And Todd has long hair, too, so it only makes sense that they have long hair together. Right?!

The problem is, however, that everywhere we go, people call him a she. Which I don't get, because besides the long hair, he so does not look like a she. I mean, he's pretty and all, with his ginormous eyes and perfectly plump and pink lips, but he wears blue and trucks and boy things, for goodness sake. He tells everyone about his peepee, too! Maybe I should just teach him to scream "I'm a boy!" everywhere we go. 

SEE! He doesn't even look like a girl!
And yeah, okay, I'll admit that his name is Aubrey and in today's day and age, it is a girl's name. But it was originally for boys and means Noble Ruler. It's pretty masculine, in my opinion. (No offense if you're a girl and your name is Aubrey.)

So today, we're in Marshall's buying a potty (a blue and green potty, people) and these woman think she is just soooo cute. This is how the convo proceeded:

Me: Thank you. I think he is super cute, too.
Them: What's her name?
Me: His name is Aubrey.
Them: *bends down to eye level with him* Hi, Aubrey, what a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.
Me: *rolls eyes* Say thank you, Aubrey.

I guess I could correct them, but I hate making people feel stupid. And you know they will, and they'll try to justify it by being like, Oh, his name is Aubrey...and he has long hair? I just don't feel like explaining myself a hundred times a day, which is probably how many times he gets called a girl.

If only I got a nickel everytime.

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to cut his hair. It is summer, and I'm sure it's annoying on his neck. He would probably look so cute with a little boy hair cut, but once it's done, there's no going back. Is it so bad that I just want his baby hair to last a little bit longer? A hair cut means he is growing up and if he's growing up it means he won't be a baby anymore and I just don't think I can handle that.

There's nothing wrong with that, right?

Right?!