The Not So Terrible Two’s…

Before I had a baby, I didn’t know much. I thought I did, but I didn’t, if you know what I mean. And everything I thought I knew, I was completely wrong, including, what I thought were going to be, the terrible two’s. The two’s for me, were actually quite amazing. And now that Els is about to turn three, I miss her two year old-ness already.

The best parts of toddler two’s:

1. We could actually communicate with each other in sentences. And more than anyone, I love sentences.
2. They turn into this miniature person with a giant personality.
3. They shower you with hugs and kisses.
4. They are funny. Like really really funny.
5. They sing. They dance. They ham.
6. They follow directions.
7. They are enthusiastic. About everything. Including housework.
8. They say amazing things daily.
9. They empathize.
10. And they tell you they love you. Like really really love you!

Not to mention, with Els, there was a huge leap in development when it came to sharing, and taking turns. (So no more sweating – like profusely – on play dates). Sleep got much better. (Hence, I actually got some sleep). Naps subsided, which surprisingly ended up being a great thing. And actually, (I can’t believe I’m saying this but –) I felt like it got easier.

I should just start knocking on wood now, shouldn’t I…?

My little 2 year old is turning three.

Not so terrible two's.

Sigh.

Not So Terrible Two's...

 

 

 

 

 


*Sharing on the Sunday Parenting Party

So What Did You Do Today?

Toddler Imaginative Play

Like most toddlers, Els has a huge imagination. So big in fact, that it spurs and directs our entire day. And by the end of it, my husband and I are downright exhausted.

Besides me binge-eating pretend food all day long, here’s how a typical day in our household goes:

Wake up and go to the doctor. Have our check up. Five times. And then reverse (we are now the doctors). Next we get on a bus, buckle up, and drive to the dentist. We get our teeth checked. (Poke. Prod. Rinse. And spit.) Pick out some toys afterward. And then reverse. We then ditch the bus, get in our car that magically appears and buckle up, only to unbuckle seconds later to get into a boat that takes us to the middle of an ocean, where we swim with dolphins, look out for sharks, befriend the shark who helps us look for pearls to make a pearl necklace, only to notice that the pearls smushed in our pockets and thus we must go back and look for some more. We then go for a luxurious swim in the swimming pool that happens to be IN the ocean. Afterwards we dry off, get back into the car, eat some snacks (that are usually of a gummy bear consistency) and go to school. The school miraculously turns into a zoo where we feed all the animals our never-ending supply of food. We then go back to school where Els gains the courage to have me leave to pick up some milk while she plays with her friends. Only to call out for me seconds later telling me I can not go. No matter what, we have a huge after school reunion where we hug and proclaim our love for each other.

Tired yet?

Not Els. She is running around the house with a pillow over her head because it’s raining. It’s thundering and lightening and we must find shelter quickly. We hide under things until the rain clears, and then we crawl out from our space only to be hit with a sudden torrential downpour. Next, she’s on the phone calling her imaginary friends to come over and play. Once they are all here, she has me be a translator because they can only speak Korean. We tell stories, bake cakes, eat desserts, and play.

By midday, I call out her name. She doesn’t answer. She tells me her name is Rapunzel instead. And she lives in a castle with Cinderella and Snow White. I’m suddenly the prince. I’m always the prince. Or the frog. Or the pumpkin. In the castle, she spends all her day building birdhouses for sparkly pink and gold birds. While she builds, I am ordered to narrate her every brushstroke, design move and craft.

The funniest is when she’s a mom. Because all she does is wipe tables and do the dishes. She also gives me long hugs repeating the words, ‘I know. I know.’

The list is long. Honestly, I couldn’t write her ‘world’ and do it justice. It’s incredible, really. And more incredible how everything including books, people and real situations spark her ways of imaginative play.

And there’s always a twist. Like the other day for instance, after her first real dentist visit, she changed up her normal pretend dentist routine. Instead of poking and prodding the patient (aka: dad) she sat him in the chair and said: “Now, cry daddy.”

Hilarious.

Toddler Imaginative Play

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10 Things That Make You Go ‘*%$#@*!’ When You’re a Mom

1. When you’re 20 minutes into driving alone and realize you’ve been listening to your two year old’s music the whole time. And singing along.
2. When you’re on the freeway and you realize you packed the snacks in the trunk.
3. When you reach into the diaper bag and realize you forgot the wipes. And the diapers. And whatever else it is your toddler is crying for.
4. When you’re about to breastfeed in public and realize you wore a dress. With no buttons.
5. When you decide to take a long walk with the stroller and you forget to check the rain forecast.
6. When you mention stimulating trigger words near bedtime. IE) Ice cream. Legoland. Feeding tiny soft cuddly bunnies.
7. When you finally put your baby to nap. And you sit down, open up your computer, about to take a bite of your lunch, you hear: mommy!
8. When you know you should take away those permanent markers but are too lazy and the next thing you know your couch is ruined.
9. (for my husband) When your baby decides to sleep in one day after being your never-failing alarm clock for the past two years and you’re late for work.

And,

10. When you watch them chew a spoonful of protein-veggie goodness in their mouth and as soon as you think they’re about to swallow, they spit it out.

Anything else? Please feel free to add!

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Mom Humor: 10 things that make you go '*&%$#@!'

10 Mistakes and Lessons Learnt As a First Time Mom

10 Mistakes and Lessons Learnt as a First Time Mom.

A mental list to myself, from myself for the next time, if, BIG if, there is a next time…

1. When they say breastfeed every two hours, that doesn’t mean forever.
Ok… So I didn’t do it forever, but I was pretty much waking my baby every two hours  long after it was okay not to… I TOTALLY missed that memo.

2. Buy a good car seat. For every reason.
My husband and I suffered from major baby-sleeping-in-car-seat envy. Because of course, our baby, hated hers. We were lucky if she lasted five minutes before she cried bloody – everything. And once we switched to a different one, (much later, i may unfortunately add) our lives were forever and ever and ever changed.

3. Don’t hibernate for the first three months at home.
I took, ‘be careful of exposing your newborn to germs’ to a whole new level, by not going out at all. In retrospect, it probably would have been the best time to go and have a nice dinner with my husband, while our baby slept safe and sound in her little stroller bassinet. ( As you can see, I did not say car seat, because even in retrospect, that is wishful thinking).

4. Buy a stroller with a BIG under compartment basket.
Every time I saw my friends cruising along with their Uppa Baby Vista’s, I got a case of serious under compartment basket jealousy. I had a friend carry an entire high chair attachment under there. It made mine look pathetic in comparison. Not to mention, it somehow always had the appearance of looking like one-dress-size-too-small, if you know what I mean.

5. Don’t wait 6 months before introducing a bottle.
I was so afraid of that ‘nipple confusion’ thing, I decided to hold off on the bottle entirely. Big mistake. She had nipple confusion alright. Just not with mine. When I tried feeding her with the bottle for the first time, and the 10th, and the 50th time, she chucked that bottle so far and so hard we have permanent marks on our walls to remind us of that total parenting fail.

6. Eat out. Eat slow. And enjoy eating. BEFORE having a baby.
Because frankly, I know those three things can not co-exist at the same time ever again.

7. (A.) Have a baby shower.
(B.) Have my registry made up only of restaurant take-out gift certificates.

8. Don’t listen to the blogs that say a diaper changing table is a waste of space/money.
My back certainly told me different.

9. Listen to the blogs that say a wipes warmer and a diaper pail is a complete waste of time and money.

And finally,

10. Try to wear something besides a nursing bra and hubby’s boxers for the first 3 months post-baby, so that when looking back at pictures there’s more than just me in a nursing bra and hubby’s boxer’s, post-baby.

Am I missing anything else?! Please feel free to add!

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Tots in Hotels: Ten Things To Do

Tots in Hotels: Ten Things To Do.

When I was pregnant, I always pictured my baby to look just like me. So did my husband. His playful wish was always for the baby to resemble me, and act like him.  But of course, we got the exact opposite.

And like mother like daughter, my tiny 2-year-old, does not want to live at home. She’d rather live out of a hotel, forever.

Here are the top ten things I recommend anyone to do when staying at a hotel with a toddler.

Tots in Hotels: Ten Things To Do.

1. Upon entering, disinfect everything with disinfectant wipes. All surfaces, remote controls, light switches, door handles, head boards and etc.
2. Scan the room and floor for anything small and dangerous that a toddler may pick up. IE) pins, pills, loose cords…
3. Bring with you, electrical outlet covers to child proof  the room. I thought of this after the fact.
4. Think about bringing your own pillow/pillow cover and sheets as most hotels use harsh laundry detergents that may cause a reaction to your toddler’s skin. Poor Els reacted.
5. Bring a big blanket to create a floor play space for your tot. This was genius. And very cozy.
6. Pack LOTS of snacks, water and individually packaged milk. Seriously, I paid 40 dollars for 2 hard-boiled eggs and a bowl of berries.
7. Bring OLD and NEW books. As well as old and new toys to play with. They appreciate both, and appreciate a little piece of home.
8. Bring a couple of arts and crafts or activities to keep your toddler happy and busy. This was a lifesaver. Check out this post for the activities I planned and brought with us.
9. Arrange a babysitter! (If possible.) You deserve a night out!
10. PLAN BUSY DAYS OUT. Ahead of time. And don’t forget to plan around naps.

Also, if you are planning on co-sleeping, make sure you request a king size bed. Otherwise call ahead of time to make special sleeping accommodations for your baby.

We had such a good time during our weekend hotel stay. Els loved it so much, she cried practically the whole way home. I said, ‘Why are you crying? Don’t you want to go home?’ And she said, ‘Nooo! The hotel is better!’

Of course it is. Door men opening doors for you. Concierge at your service. Food brought up to you on wheeling carts with flowers and mini Ketchup bottles. Enormous cushy beds. Cushy beds made. New toys to rent at the front desk. All the attention on you and you and you and you. Why wouldn’t it be better? She’s got it all figured out already.

Oh, boy.

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The ‘Funnies’ of Breastfeeding a Toddler

Otherwise known as: Extended Breastfeeding.

Who would have thought?! Period.

I remember one of my biggest shocks after giving birth was how ‘complicated’ breastfeeding was. Complicated being the perfect word.

Part of me wished I didn’t know anything at all, so that I could have just pretended that I was doing everything right and everything was supposed to be the way it was. But instead, all I could hear was, ‘if it hurts, you’re not doing it right,’ ‘she’s using you like a pacifier!’ ‘breastfeed on demand,’ ‘she’s off the charts, breastfeed less,’ ‘make sure she gets that hind milk,’ ‘how many wet diapers has she had?’ ‘she’s not latching right, try holding her this way,’ ‘this way,’ ‘how about this way?!’ Honestly, at one point I had her propped up on 3 couch pillows, in a makeshift football hold, mentally trying to sum up a days worth of poopies and pees, with zero hours of sleep, paranoid about if she’s getting enough hind milk, sitting on my feet in the most awkward position for 30 minutes, wincing in so much pain, I thought, how the hell am I going to keep up with this?!

Yet, somehow I did. And 2 years later, here I am STILL breastfeeding and STILL amazed at how less complicated, but ‘funny’ breastfeeding is.

Now I remember why I started to write this post in the first place. Because today, in Els’ art class, a mother brought in her little 2 month old. A tiny little thing. And the whole time, she just laid there suckling on her mother’s breast, so peacefully, ever so gently grazing her tiny fingers against her mother’s chest. And I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself. Firstly, at how easy she made it look, and secondly, how drastically different it is breastfeeding a baby and breastfeeding a toddler.

Let’s start off with the looks. Everyone looks at a baby breastfeeding with the automatic head tilt, oohing and aahing, sighing and curling their lips in that ‘oh, so adorable’ form, while clutching their hands to their forever warmed hearts. When they see a 30 pound 2 year old doing the same, people are still clutching their hearts alright. IN shock.

Here’s the thing. Breastfeeding my toddler is not easy to say the least. Besides the comments, the looks, my tired body, she is quite demanding, vocal, and not willing to give it up any time soon. She is no longer lying still nor is she always gazing up at me with those loving, locking eyes. But instead, she is a downward dogging, yoga infused, acrobatic wrestling gymnastic fiend, clawing, grabbing, head-butting, elbowing, greedily alternating, remarkable, expert in the field. She’s like a skilled pick pocketer, but with the boobs. Sometimes, I have no idea how she got it, but she did.

99 percent of the time, we do it in the privacy of our own home, but there are times when we aren’t or can’t, and it is those times where I feel like saying: “Have you ever tried covering up a 2 year old?” It’s like a never-ending, not-so-happy game of peek-a-boo, where she wants to and will inevitably stay completely BOO. Which comes to my next question: “Have you ever breastfed a 2 year old?” It’s just not the same as nursing a baby, and you can’t expect it to be as it comes with its own set of intricacies. And if anyone, or anything comes in between her and my boob, somehow the whole world will have to pay for it. Like I said, it is just a completely and totally different and funny experience all on its own.

For those of you who read this entire post thinking you were going to get some helpful, informative advice on the benefits of extended breastfeeding and feel quite gypped, fear not! Here’s a great link that tells you all the reasons why, we do this!

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The Funnies of Breastfeeding a Toddler

2013 Oscar’s Come and Gone

Els opening up her little Oscar souvenir the morning after…

2013 Oscar's

What a success! Our babysitter was top notch. She had Els fed, washed, clothed and in bed by 8PM. My husband and I were in our seats watching Adele perform live on the Oscar stage and we get a text message saying: Ella is already asleep. She didn’t cry. And never asked for any of you two. 
Sheesh! We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think we laughed. Of course, we laughed! The night was officially ours.

And what a night! It was so glamorous. So unbelievable. And truly a once in a lifetime feeling. We strutted our stuff down the red carpet. Walked amongst the most beautiful. Drank ample amounts of champagne. Watched a spectacular live show. And partied till the wee hours of the morning at the after party. Oh, and my favorite part — snacks mid-show. They brought us trays of yummy goodness, just when my stomach couldn’t handle all its emptiness. Very fun.

I still feel a little foggy from it all. Like as if it was all a dream. But one thing  I do know is real is this quote. (My own by the way.) Because if Els gets one, why can’t I?

“I wish I had a voice like Adele, and nobody had any idea. And then I bust out with it one day and surprise the hell out of everyone.”  

 

Babysitter ‘Kid Kits’

The Babysitters Club. By Ann M. Martin.

Enough said. I loved these books growing up. Sometimes, I think I learned most of my life lessons from them. That and maybe Degrassi.  I would lie in my bed, book in hand, munching on Red Hot Tamales, and dream of one day living in New York City like Stacey, eating Ding Dongs and Ho Ho’s under my bed like Claudia, actualizing my own ‘bright idea’ like Kristy, having my best friend turn stepsister like Dawn and Mary-Anne, and lastly, building my very own ultimate “Kid Kit.”

And 20 years later, here I am, making one ( SO glad to see my dreams are coming true!) to prepare my babysitter for a wonderful day/night so that my husband and I can go out peacefully for our very special occasion.

Babysitter "Kid Kits" Plus tips + ideas on leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

My babysitter is actually pretty great and I probably don’t even need to prepare anything at all, but since this is my first time ever leaving my pretty much, if I had to put a label on it, attachment-parented child for a whole day, and past her bedtime, I thought I would do everything I can to prepare for an easy transition and hope for the best. Not to mention, we are in a hotel, outside of her comfort zone… Which might actually even be a good thing.

Here’s what I did to prepare:

1. I worked with my sitter 2 months prior, having her stay with Els and I, through her bedtime process so that they could both get used to each other during this time.
2. I wrote a complete and extensive list of emergency contacts, bedtime routine instructions, food likes and aversions and other information for my sitter to review and have on hand.
3. I created an ultimate ‘kid kit!’

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

Inside are: SNACKS.  I packed crackers, popcorn, apple fruits, veggies, cereal and seaweed. Other ideas: PB+J’s. Cheese slices. Berries. Pretzels. Yogurts. Smoothies. Freeze dried fruit snacks. Homemade Animal cookies. Homemade toddler muffins. I made it a point not to pack anything with sugar, because with Els, it’s only a momentary happiness. And then after that, it gets ‘Els on sugar’ worse.

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

Crafting supplies: Molding clay with cut up pipe cleaners, feathers, beads, bells and gems. (Fitting for St. Patrick’s Day!)

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

DUPLOS. ( That never gets old) And one new toy – A Melissa and Doug word puzzle

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.

I also included coloring books, sticker books, and old and new favorite books for bedtime. Ella also threw in some of these:

Babysitter "Kid Kit." Plus Ideas + tips for leaving your toddler with a babysitter.
Finger Puppets. Cars. And little animal figures.

 

 

 

And that is that! One more day to go! The hotel we are in is amazing and surprisingly very kid-friendly. They even have toys to borrow at the front desk which is nice. And there is SO much to do in the area. Els is having a blast. In fact, while her face was half buried in the mounds of fluffy pillows on our enormous bed, she shouted: “I’m having SO MUCH FUN!”

Let’s hope for a smooth day and night tomorrow! My baby’s first time going to bed without her mama…

Just knowing we got everything we could possibly cover,  covered makes me feel much better.

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Just Wanted to Say — AHHH!

My little girl is growing up. Where does the time go?

Potty. Back Molars. Dressing herself. Styling herself. And cheeky.

I swear, just a month ago, she seemed like a little baby to me. And out of nowhere it seems, her pants are suddenly at her shins, her sleeves 3/4 length, and she’s telling me where it hurts, when she has to pee, and what she HAS to wear.

Where did the time go?! And why is it that I can’t remember anything it seems, past yesterday?! Ahh!!

5 Things I Never Pictured Myself Doing, Until I Became a Mom

5 Things I never Pictured myself doing, until I became a mom.

1. Spending a significant amount of my time doing Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles for toddlers. Whether for play or clean up purposes. Nevertheless, spending way too much time putting them back together again.
2. Eating half eaten, half chewed, practically regurgitated food like it’s nothing.
3. Sitting in a bathroom singing pee and poopie songs. Even worse, making pee and poopie sounds for the sole purpose of hopeful imitation.
4. Eating so much ‘pretend’ food, to the extent of actually being full from it.
5. And lastly, I never pictured myself bribing someone to put on clothes. Eat food. Or poop on a toilet.

Anyone else want to add to the list? Feel free!