Category Archives: Parenting

Tea for Three, Please

You ever decide you want something, and you get so obsessed over it that you just can’t stop until you have that precious object in your hands?  For some people it’s a puppy, a baby, or that fabulous job with a corner office, but for me it was a tea set.

I’d been thinking about buying a tea set for several years.  My two daughters had a pretty good mishmash of several plastic tea sets that no sane person would ever put their lips to (except perhaps after a really thorough washing), but I wanted a real tea set.  One in which I could serve real tea, maybe with real little cookies (because the plastic ones aren’t very appetizing), and my girls and I could act like ladies.

I suppose I’d been waiting until the girls were old enough, but what really gave me a kick in the pants to go for this was this sneaking suspicion that my 8 year old was pulling away from me, perhaps encroaching on the pre-teen grumpy-with-attitude hormonal thing.  I didn’t think I would ever write words like that at the ripe old age of 8, but there it is.  I decided a tea set would be a great way (excuse?) to sit down with my daughters and make sure we stayed super close.

So, like anyone looking to buy crap they don’t really need, I headed for eBay.  I spent hours poring through listing after listing of tea sets.  I found new ones, old ones, extremely expensive ones, and a few that were pretty darn cute.  I finally settled on this one.

Our fancy new tea set

Our fancy new tea set.

The picture really doesn’t do it justice.  (The lighting in the dining room is pretty awful.) It’s a gorgeous gold with little Victorian couples, and the bottoms say Western Germany.  It was easy to decide on this one when I showed it to my girls and they said, “Oh, it’s so BEAUTIFUL!  Can we have it?  Can we can we can we?”

The day after it arrived we sat down for our inaugural tea party.  The girls voted to have a hot cocoa party though.

Hot Cocoa Party

Complete with a sugar bowl full of marshmallows.

Sugar Bowl of Marshmallows

We sipped our cocoa with our pinkies in the air and called each other m’lady.  It was, in short, just as fabulous as I imagined it would be.

We didn’t have any cookies this time, but I imagine the next tea party will involve a baking party immediately beforehand!

 

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A Different Kind of Spa

Is there anything better than a day at the spa?  Well, if you get to do it all right from the comfort of your very own couch, and your five-year-old daughter is the one pampering you, then I think that’s about as good as it gets!

My youngest daughter, taking full advantage of the larger amount of Mommy-time available now that I work from home, wanted to get out the foot spa, nail polish, and all the accessories.  I thought she wanted me to do her nails, silly me!  She wanted to take care of me!

For the low low price of a hug and a kiss, I received a pedicure complete with being pumiced up to my knees and massaged with more lotion than my feet have seen in a really long time.  My toenails now have a, uh, beautiful coat of light purple on them, and my fingers are well coated in pink glitter.

She did finally relent and let me return the favor.

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Are those not cutest feet ever?

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And of course she couldn’t decide which color to use. Nothing better than time with the kids!

 

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The Kindness of Strangers

Mother’s Day, 2009.  I’m sitting in an out-of-town IHOP.  My only breakfast companions are my three-year-old and my very pregnant belly.  An elderly couple leaving the restaurant stops at my table and wishes me a Happy Mother’s Day, and they were just the first ones.  At least five random strangers took a couple seconds out of their day to give me a smile and some kind words.

None of them had any idea of the very rough times I was going through, but even without knowing they helped me through it.  So thank you and Happy Mother’s Day to all the strangers out there.

 

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Photo Credit, David Niblack, Imagebase.net.

 

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Things that make my Uterus Giggle

I have three children.  Two are mine from my previous marriage, and one is my boyfriend’s son.  Three should be enough, right?  But every now and then I see some adorable baby, or hear about someone being pregnant, and my uterus jumps up and down, clapping its ovaries and saying, “Oh, yes!  Let’s do that again!”

Really, Uterus?  Don’t you remember the last time?  Oh, don’t get me wrong, my first pregnancy was amazing.   Sure I had a little bit of morning sickness, and I was a little tired here and there, but everything was perfect.  I was so happy.  Even my labor and delivery went ridiculously smooth, and my sweet little bundle of joy was the best baby ever.  Ever.

Round 2 didn’t go quite so well.  I had horrible aches and pains the whole time (which I was assured was not a big deal).  I went through some awful stuff in my marriage that I won’t bore you with here, and my baby was born with a cancerous tumor that resulted in an emergency C-section.  Oh, and did I mention the nightmares?

Don’t get me wrong:  I wouldn’t trade any of my children for anything in the world.  Not even for a unicorn, and I really want a unicorn.  But it was tough, and I don’t know how well things would really go this time around.  We haven’t made any concrete decisions, and if you ask me whether or not I want a baby my answer will depend on how my current children are behaving that day.  But then I see something like this…

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…and my uterus starts giggling again.

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Photo courtesy of Artistic Photography by Sydney

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The Progression of Public Pottying

As a mother of three, I feel like every time we go out in public I spend a great percentage of the time in the bathroom.  No, I don’t mean for myself.  It doesn’t matter that we make the kids try to go potty before we leave the house, or that they had just gone at the last store we were at.  There is always at least one child that absolutely must go to the bathroom, and take their sweet time.  Public pottying with children comes in stages:

Stage 1:  Babies in diapers present an entire bathroom problem of their own.  This is the stage when you realize that you frequent stores and restaurants that DO NOT have baby changing tables in the restroom.

Stage 2:  Toddlers in Pullups are an interesting challenge.  Sometimes they let you know they need to go to the bathroom, and you’re so excited that you don’t mind your steak is getting cold.  Other times, they don’t tell you, and you are stuck trying to figure out how to get them changed when they refuse to lay down on a changing table that they barely fit on anyway.

Stage 3:  Once fully potty trained, a young child is obligated to visit every single public restroom within throwing distance.  Every.  Single.  One.

Stage 4:  The widely-traveled tot decides they don’t want you coming in the stall with them anymore.  This leaves you standing outside the stall and wondering just what the hell is going on in there that takes so long.

So new parents beware!  Ditching the diapers is only a gateway into future bathroom hell.

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photo courtesty of freedigitalphotos.net, by nuttakit

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February 10, 2014 · 8:26 pm

Exaggerations of Christmas Past

It seems that each Christmas is known for something different. There was the year the presents completely filled the room at my grandma’s house, the year I made every single gift by hand, the year my sister accidentally beaned Mom with the tree pruners. I thought for a moment my kids might remember this holiday as The Year the Christmas Tree Almost Killed Mom.
I lived for a couple years with just my girls. There wasn’t a man around, and I did plenty of I’m-an-independent-woman-and-I-can-do-it-all-myself stuff. I got the Christmas tree in and out of the attic, ripped up and replaced the bathroom floor, and took care of the lawn. I moved furniture and fixed the sink. Some of the things I did were challenging and satisfying. Other things might have been a little stupid.
I guess there is a little bit of that independence still in me, even though I do have a man around the house to open jars and kill spiders. I decided this evening it was time to get the Christmas tree down, and since my boyfriend was asleep, it was a job for one. What you should know about our attic is that the entryway is above the basement stairs. This means that when you are climbing the ladder into the attic, you have nothing but a downward staircase underneath you should you fall. Considering how much I hate ladders, this is nothing short of terrifying.
Getting up into the attic was not so much the challenge as coming back out of it. With the gargantuan Christmas tree box poised above me, I slowly descended the ladder, while visions of injury and concussions danced in my head. I imagined that, as the weight of the tree box hit the ladder, the whole contraption would break. The box would snap my head back as it fell, and I would crumple to the Stairway of Doom below me. My children, hearing the crash, would rush in to find the bloody carcass of their mother on the concrete floor of the basement.
Isn’t that delightful? A beautiful holiday fantasy? Fortunately, the reality is that I got the tree down just fine. I’m sitting right across the room from it, all in one piece.
Now I just have to hope the cats leave the tree in one piece.

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photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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“I just need you.”

My attention was split between my laptop and a late night cable showing of Ghostbusters 2 when I heard the squeak of the door. At first I thought it was the cats, because they like to play around the bathroom door, but a few short seconds later I could see the figure of Violet stumbling toward me in the dimness.
“What’s the matter, baby?”
She said nothing, with her bleary not-really-awake eyes and a good size frown on her face. She just kept walking towards me.
“What do you need? What’s wrong?”
“I just need you.”
She piled herself on my lap, curling up and burying her face in my neck. She said she hadn’t had any nightmares, she was feeling okay, nothing was wrong.
“I just need you.”
My work was calling to me (I can’t ever seem to get caught up) but the weight of this child on my lap was calling me more. My mind drifted to beautiful spring days seven years ago, when a newborn baby girl and I would snuggle up on the couch. She would lay on my legs and we would play and watch TV. Sometimes she would fall asleep and I would read a book with the weight of the sleeping baby on my legs, warm and soft and perfect.
That was my paradise, in days when everything was happy and wonderful. The random and necessary course of life took a lot of that paradise away from me, but I got a little bit of it back tonight.

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