Wednesday, February 27, 2013


To be perfectly honest, and all jokes aside, I fear for the future of mankind, filled with adults who have never been disciplined, who have received awards just for participating, and have zero attention span due to increased technology.

That being said, I praise Aryn just for being super cute and I give her rewards like candy for peeing on the potty. What's that going to teach her? I'm fairly certain her teachers aren't going to give her candy every time she goes to the bathroom at school.

We are low-key disciplinarians. We are not opposed to spanking, but we have never experienced a situation where spanking would be warranted. Sure, she's been bad, but it's been nothing a few seconds on the stairs (her time-out spot) hasn't cured.

And I have to admit, the post-time-out hugs and "sowwy" is kind of awesome.

I've seen both sides of the spectrum - the mom who believes any kind of discipline is being a "bad mom" and follows the "positive parenting" approach. You know, the mom whose kid is flipping out or hurting either herself or another kid, and instead of picking said kid up and reprimanding them, she calmly strokes their kids' hair and explains to her - calmly - that that behaviour is perhaps not the best reaction to a situation. I am the mom watching this, rolling my eyes, and quietly praying that that kid doesn't amount to anything past a McDonald's employee.

And then there are the parents who believe in corporal punishment. Where anything done wrong first gets a time out and then the mother of all spankings. Yeah, that one is fun to be around. You just stand there, mouth agape, going against all of your "I Shall Not Judge Another Parent" philosophies and then you get the "you're not my kids' parent" speech from said parent and you have to accept that everyone parents differently, but you take note that you will never parent like that parent.

We fall somewhere in the middle, I would say; solely because we don't physically reprimand our child at this point in time. Which is not to say spanking is wrong: both my husband and I were spanked as children, and we have both grown up to be pretty responsible people who know right from wrong and don't have any ill feelings towards our parents because of said discipline. I honestly don't remember any spankings and I don't cower at a raised voice, despite what some "psychologists say".

My husband used to get disciplined with a wooden spoon. That ended when he grabbed the spoon from his mother and ran away from her, forcing her to laugh at the situation. Mind you, he was 26 at the time...

Ok, I'm kidding. But that really did happen!

Regardless of our take on discipline, today I have never wanted to be a "spanking parent" so much before. Which is not to say I wanted to physically harm my child - believe me. I was just running out of ways to discipline her and I was searching for something else.

This situation actually started yesterday... with a very stubborn, refuses-to-listen two year old who wanted to run, run, run all around Costco, despite her cold. Even with bribery of a new movie (which she didn't get!), it was awful. Then we went for lunch at the food court and she threw up everywhere. In the middle of the food court. At noon.


In her defence, she has this awful cough and she couldn't stop coughing (due to running away from me 18,000 times) and she must have gotten over-worked and her little body just couldn't handle it. But afterwards she wouldn't nap and was grumpy and just pain ol' pissed off for the rest of the day.

Bed time was early last night.

And then today, our day started off bad. Aryn was up at 5:30am, talking and laughing in her bed to herself. I went in there, asked her to please be quiet, and to wait for her new monkey clock to open his eyes before she got out of bed (monkey clock was set for 6:30am).

She wasn't quiet, but she stayed in her room, lights off, door closed, until 6:45am. Then she opened her door, happily called out for me, and came into our room.

Covered in poop.

And by "covered in poop," I mean covered in poop.

*cue two distressed parents quickly jumping out of bed at the speed of light*

Turns out our potty training has hit a new high. This kid knows she's not supposed to poop in her underwear (or, as she was wearing, her diaper). So, she took off her diaper.

Sat down on the carpet.

And pooped.

Why she didn't ask us to go to the bathroom, I can only assume is 100% my fault for constantly telling her it's still sleep time when she wakes us up at ungodly hours. Perhaps, instead of saying, "Go back to bed!" at 5:30am, I could instead make her go to the potty and then put her back to bed. But my brain doesn't function at 5:30am. After a night of leg cramps, needing 2 arms to roll over (and bring the pillow between my legs with me), and having to go to the washroom 3 times a night, 5:30am is the worst time to be waking me up. Mama needs her sleep.

But that's not an excuse, because toddlers who are learning to potty train should get dibs on when they wake up. But taking off their diaper and pooping on the carpet is not the way to go about doing that.

So there I was, at 6:45am, giving my kid a shower while her dad cleaned poop off the carpet, then ran downstairs to unthaw our carpet cleaner that was in the garage all winter (which, btw, I still need to bring upstairs and wash the carpet... I wish I had a maid).

And it got worse from there.

She was grumpy. She threw fits for no reason. "Aryn, do you want juice or milk for breakfast?" *freak out* "Aryn, do you want to watch a movie during breakfast?" *freak out* "Aryn, can you let Bauer outside?" *freak out*

So then we went to Auntie Aleesha's house for coffee. Within an hour, she'd had 3 time outs for pushing Hunter. Then, Auntie thought it was hilarious that Aryn pronounces "frog" like the big ol' "F-Word" (which, in all honesty, really is friggen hilarious), brought out a frog book to listen to a 2-year old drop F-bombs, to which Aryn apparently didn't appreciate, so she took the book and threw it across the room as hard as she could. Then she threw a tantrum. On the floor, rolling, kicking, screaming.

That was the second last straw.

So I picked her up, told her we were leaving (*freak out*) and carried her, kicking and screaming back to our house. I laid her on the couch, turned on Disney Junior (oh, how I love thee) made her lunch, and when she threw her next fit because I wouldn't let her eat the entire jar of pickled beats (last straw), I carried her - kicking and screaming - upstairs to bed. Where she closed her eyes instantly, said, "Nap, mommy," and I left.

Perhaps she's stir-crazy. It has been 14 months of winter (er... 6 months... but still...). Perhaps I'm stir-crazy. Maybe she's acting out because she's aware of her impending doom of becoming a big sister. Maybe she eats too much sugar.

She woke up at 2:30, and peed her bed. I'm off to start cleaning. Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My family sucks

Pregnancy does wondrous things to your body.

While pregnant with Aryn, I pretty much got to wear all my regular clothes. I bought pregnancy pants - jeans, shorts, capris, and wore all of my normal "under clothes" and shirts. I am not a fan of pregnancy clothes, particularly the shirts with the ribbon that goes above your belly and ties in the back.

Which brings me to my next point.

As I've said before, this pregnancy has been so much different than Aryn's. I was sicker, for less time, I am craving salt, I get contractions easily, and I am not as tired as I was with Aryn. I am also carrying this kid much different than Aryn.

Case-in point: my underwear don't fit any more.

They roll down under my belly.

I wore my same undergarments the entire pregnancy with Aryn. This time around, I had to run to Walmart and... *gulp*... I bought size "large" underwear.

For some, this may not seem like a big deal. It didn't seem like a big deal to me, either. I'm pregnant. There's a natural order to things.

Then I threw them in the wash.

Preface: Ryan does the laundry in our house. I used to, and then he took over after Aryn was born and we never went back. It's fantastic.

Ryan pulled the first pair out of the basket and exclaimed, "When did we get parachutes?"

And, "Aryn, look - mommy got you a new snowsuit!"

And, "Are these for me?"

And, "You could wrap a baby in these bad boys!"

What a jerk.

Second load of laundry was today. Aryn was "helping" Ryan fold.

Aryn pulled out a pair of my brand new underwear, and exclaimed, "Ew."

My family is a bunch of jerks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A funny thing happened today...

Today, I ran to the grocery store to buy some BBQ sauce. I left my car unlocked because, well, it's a small town and I just wasn't thinking. I ran in, grabbed the BBQ sauce, and 3 other things that we didn't need but I decided that we had to have and left the store. 

I got to my car, and there was an old lady sitting in the passenger seat. 

She wasn't doing anything. She was just sitting there, nonchalantly oblivious to the world. I stood in the middle of the parking lot, staring at my vehicle, wondering if it really was my vehicle, had I parked somewhere else, what was happening, was I being Punk'd, where are the cameras, what the hell is going on?

If it weren't for the huge "Newsy Neighbour" sign on the back of my car, I seriously would have started looking elsewhere for where I did park. But, it was my car. So I walked over to it, smiled at the lady, slowly opened the door, and asked her who she is. 

She was just as surprised by my question as I was asking it. First she gave me the, "Why are you asking me this in my car?!" Then her mouth opened to say something... then it closed... then she looked around the car... then she gasped.

"This isn't my car!"

No, it's not, lady. I helped her out, and helped her find her daughter's vehicle, who was walking around looking for her. 

She was driving a large black truck. 

How she got my silver SUV mixed up with a large black truck is beyond me, but it made for quite the hilarious situation. The poor woman was so embarrassed, and confused, and surprised, and humiliated. And I wasn't a very comforting soul, as I couldn't stop laughing at the situation.

I mean, she had to actually move my winter jacket off of the passenger seat to sit down. 

I came home to a very happy little girl (she's always so happy when I come home, but acts super weird whenever Ryan, my parents, or anyone else comes over. It's weird.) and then we decided to have a little photo shoot, which she was - for the first time ever - extremely cooperative in.

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Aryn has been talking up a storm lately. Sure, she was "behind" for a long time with her talking, but she's catching up quickly. She knows so much, and every day she surprises us with new words she's learned. 

My favourite at this point in time is her version of the word "truck."

It's the F-Word. And I laugh every single time. And I make her say it 50 times a day. So I laugh at least 50 times a day.

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Our daytime walks, where they used to take about 15 minutes to go around the block, now take a good 45 minutes to an hour. Aryn won't sit in her stroller; she has to walk. And she picks up rocks and puts them in her pockets (her coats are all 30 pounds right now). She doddles, she plays in the snow, she eats the snow, she looks for animals, she chases birds, she has to climb on snow, she has to find every.single.piece of ice and stand on it. 

We always leave on our walks with smiles and care-free attitudes. We always get home with me frantic, frustrated, and annoyed. I can't help it. Maybe if it wasn't still so darn cold out, it would be nicer. Or if I didn't have 30 extra pounds hanging off my stomach. Or, maybe if I wasn't holding the leash of the most annoying walking dog ever (who has to pee every 3 feet, and takes - literally - over a minute to find the perfect place to poop). 

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Oh, and we're potty trained!!! Can I get a "woot woot"!!!??

It happened so fast. I wasn't forcing it; I was allowing her to pee when she wanted to. If she had an accident, no big deal. I didn't care; diapers are easy and so helpful when you go to stores or the zoo. But then her friend Keegan came over for a bit, and he had to pee on the potty, and brought his very own Cars potty cover, and Aryn had to use it. So after they left, we ran to Walmart and bought our own. And it has been smooth sailing ever since. She's had a few accidents, sure - I don't blame her. And we're still trying to teach her that she can pee in her diaper at night. But she's fantastic during the day - no matter where we are - and we are now in underwear full time, except at night time. I'm so proud of her!! 

Happy long weekend, everyone!

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cleanest bathroom ever

I am losing my mind. And I don't mean that figuratively. I mean it literally. We are living in a world with an infant right now, even though the infant is still in my belly and we have a toddler.

Every night, at any time between 1-3am, when I get up to go to the washroom, Aryn's light is on in her bedroom. I go in there, and she's sitting there reading a book.

"Hi, Mommy!"

I want to lose my mind.

I lay her back down, change her diaper (I sometimes assume this is all due to potty training...), tuck her in and go back to bed.

Then I lay there and think of all the reasons this is happening and how to resolve it the following night: she's too hot (get new short-sleeved pyjamas), she has to pee (decide to wake her up earlier for pee time), she hears a scary noise (kill everyone in the vicinity of our house), she gets woken by her sound machine (smash it to smithereens), her teeth hurt (stock up on Tylenol and don't use it sparingly), she's hungry (force feed her until her pants burst), she misses me (create a life-sized sleep dummy of myself for her bed).

Nothing. Works.

I don't know the reason for these mid-night wakeups. What I do know is that I hate this whole phase with every ounce of my being. We are exhausted. We are all frustrated. We are all throwing tantrums - yes, even myself and Ryan are laying on the floor kicking and screaming in desperation.

And then, when she's back to sleep, I can only assume she'll sleep in later in the morning. It's the weekend - we may sleep in until 8am!


6:20am. Light on, door knocking, our bedroom light flicks on.

I have contacted every manufacturer of toddler-safety products and requested one that keeps lights off. I don't care if it's a super-huge mallet that smacks that little finger out of the way while it reaches for the light, or a life-sized "mommy statue" that belts out "GET BACK TO BED!" at the slightest sense of movement. Something. Anything. I don't care if it's hundreds or thousands of dollars - I will purchase it. I'll take out a loan. I'll be the first one in line.

If anyone has suggestions, I will take them!

I have also decided that parents with potty-training toddlers have the cleanest bathrooms in the world. Why? Because every time they miss, or spray, or stand in the corner (instead of sitting on the potty that's literally mere centimetres from them), you have to wash the entire floor, disinfect it, and be prepared to do it all over again in half an hour.

So, in response to my earlier post about how disgusting my bathroom was pre-Christmas, it is now the opposite. Other than the toilet being unable to be used by adults due to the Cars toilet seat wedged in there so tightly that it cannot be removed, it's the cleanest bathroom in our house.

Oh, and "Cars?" you ask? Well.

Yesterday, my friend brought her little boy to our house who is also on the 'sunlight-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel' potty training train had a Cars toilet seat. Well. Aryn HAD to pee on it twice while he was here. It was HER toilet. So, in hopes that it would welcome more potty breaks, I ran to Walmart and bought one.

It seems to work. We've had dry diapers and dry pants for a few days now. She runs to us with "Mommy! Pee!" or "Mommy! Poop!". It doesn't matter what I'm doing; on the phone, doing laundry, washing the dishes (ha, who am I kidding - I never clean unless I have to!) - the world stops for potty breaks.

And let's talk about the mini potties and the big potties. Whoever's big idea it was to create those little portable potties, I hate you with a passion. The kid sits on it, does her business, and then it's MY job to clean it all up. I'd have happily bypassed the whole mini-potty, but my husband was convinced the mini-potty would revolutionize the potty training business in our house.

And while it has technically worked, it has also re-brought-up my nausea whenever I have to clean the damn thing out. Pee is ok. The other, is not. Grossness.

Our potty training has become a daily comedy act and I empathise with the millions of moms who have had to do this prior to me. And I can't wait to tell Aryn about the time she pooped in her brand new panties when she's older. I'm pretty sure it'll be good leverage when she gets mad at me for not allowing her to go to a party at some boys house.

Being a mom is tough, exhausting work. And I'm grateful for those spur of the moment kisses and hugs, the sound of the name "mommy" (except at 2am), and the beautiful pictures this kid draws for me. Because if it weren't for those things, I am pretty sure I'd be off to purchase a straight jacket and volunteering for experiments.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sleep and pee

Sleep eludes me. It's been a very difficult month. From getting 'The News' about Baby Boy, to Aryn's sleep protest, to having to get up 2-3 times a night for bathroom breaks, I'm walking around a little like a zombie.

Have I mentioned lately how much I do not like being pregnant?

I read a fellow blogger's last post about "A Letter to New-Mom Me". It was hilarious in its usual way, but I couldn't help but want to give her the "mean look" at her idea that one day, I'll have a tough time getting my teenager out of bed. Casein point:

This morning, at 1:30am, Ryan and I were awoken by Aryn, singing loudly in her bedroom. I jumped out of bed, raced to her room, where her light was on, her sound machine off, her pillows on the floor, her babies at the head of the bed with her, and 8 books surrounding her.

"Hi, mommy!"

"Umm... Aryn... it's 1:30 in the morning. Go to sleep."

"No sleeps, mommy. Where's daddy? Where's Bauer?"

"It's sleep time, Aryn."

I got her all ready for bed again. She had a sad frown on her face, like she was getting into trouble. I told her it's sleep time, I turned off the light and went back to bed. And part of me smirked, thinking, she's going to sleep in nice and good in the morning!

Yeah, right.

6:30am, we were once again awoken by a loudly singing toddler. What song she thinks she's singing is beyond me, but it's really not very good. And she sang, and sang, and sang. She finally came out of her room and her pants were soaked - right through a nighttime diaper.


With all the potty peeing she's been doing lately, perhaps she is not sleeping as well, or as late, due to having to go to the washroom? Of course, this would be a much more fantastic option if, when asking her, "Do you have to go potty?" she doesn't scream like a banshee and run in the opposite directions yelling, "No pees! No poops! NO POTTY!"

I am aware that there are not many teenagers in this world with potty problems. And there are kids with meth head parents who seem to figure out one day how to use the potty; even if it's on their own. I know that  one day, we'll look back and think, potty training wasn't all that bad! And I want to remind my future self: it effing sucks.

It wouldn't be so bad if my kid didn't sit in her dad's prized leather La-Z-Boy, legs spread, smile on her face looking right at me, only to pee. And of course, because it's leather, it doesn't just sit there. No, it goes everywhere. It goes into every crack and seam and space in the chair. It leaks onto the floor. And as you try to pick her up oh-so-carefully, there it goes, all over her legs, the floor, the carpet.

This has happened 3 times, and that's just counting yesterday.


And if you say, "Aryn! Let's go potty!" we get the normal response, "NO POTTY!" So, I Google more ideas, like "Let's pee!" or "Big girls pee on the potty!" or I even broke out a syringe and put her baby on the potty and sprayed water out of the syringe to trick my kid into thinking her baby went potty on the potty.

"Ok, your turn!"



So, the question now is: do we quit potty training? Do we hold off? Do we keep going, just with less pressure? Do we tape a toilet to this kids' butt??

I personally like the last one.

We're trucking along. She pees better in the potty when we're not paying attention to her. Which, with the weird wake-up times this kid has been throwing at us lately, is much more often than not since I can't peel myself up off the couch half of the time.

She sure does expect her candy post-potty, though. Guess I should stop sneaking them myself.