The Kids Are Actually Cute

The Problem Child’s Perspective

Posted on Sep 14, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

The Problem Child’s Perspective 1

Mom, I think we need to clear the air.

A few days ago at the doctor’s office, you called me, “your problem child.”  You said it in that high-pitched baby-talk voice while smiling and tickling me, which makes me think you were kinda-sorta joking.  But I think you were maybe also kinda-sorta serious.

Is it because of the ringworm? Look. I have no idea how I got ringworm.  You’re the adult. You figure it out.   I get it.  It’s weird.  I have been exposed to absolutely nothing that would give me ringworm.  After all, we never go anywhere on account of me screaming every time I get in the car. But looks what happens when you take me out in public! I GET NASTY FUNGAL INFECTIONS! Can you blame me for shrieking the entirety of every single car ride? It’s my only defense!  And besides, all the rest of the time I’m pretty much the smiliest, happiest baby ever, so I think you’ve got it pretty good.  But back to the ringworm – let’s just chalk this up to one of life’s great mysteries.  I have it, now move on.

I told you. Smiliest Baby Ever.

I told you. Smiliest Baby Ever.

Could it be this allergic colitis thing? Is that why I’m the “problem child”? I hear you complaining about not eating dairy anymore.  Or egg.  Or soy, which according to you is in everything.  And I know all you want is to dig into a massive pizza with a side of ice cream.  (And real ice cream. Not that coconut milk crap.)  But seriously, Mom.  First. World. Problems.  I’m the one bleeding from my gut, remember? Is a little sympathy too much to ask? Besides, the vegan cookies you baked can’t be that bad.  I mean, you ate the entire batch in like, three days.

Or maybe it’s because I don’t sleep?  I don’t really understand what the problem is.  I just love you so much I want to hang out with you all the time! That’s a good thing, right?  I know that since daddy is deployed and you’re on your own for now that the nights are really long. I’m happy to stay up with you to make sure you’re not lonely. Just doing my filial duty. Plus, that’s our special alone time without that pesky sister of mine bothering us, you know?.  I love her, but she steals my pacifiers when you’re not looking and tries to pick me up out of my swing.  (As a side note, can you please remember to not leave her alone with me? Like, ever?  Thanks.)

I'm so faking you out right now.

I’m so faking you out right now.

Anyway, the other day I heard you talking to your friend.  She told you her baby sleeps 12 hours.  You said something like, “12 hours!? OMG that’s not fair.”  You know, you’re right.  It’s not fair.  She has to go without cuddles and snuggles for 12 whole hours, every night.  How selfish of her baby.  Meanwhile, you get to cuddle with me like, every two to three hours.  You are so fortunate.  #Blessed.

Yet you still seem concerned about this whole sleeping situation.  The other night you said to your friend, “Maybe the wine will help him sleep.”  Oh, Mommy, you’re so funny!  I don’t know what wine is but, no, it will not help me sleep.  Let me make this very clear: Nothing will help me sleep. I am impervious to any and all efforts to sleep.  Sleep is for the weak.  I’LL SLEEP WHEN I’M DEAD!

Now hold me.  (Oh, and since you’re already holding me 24/7, do you think you could manage to bathe me every now and then? That would be great.)

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My Sweet Baby James

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 in It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, Pregnancy Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

My Sweet Baby James 0

Labor. People say you forget about the pain of labor, or else you wouldn’t ever have more than one child. BS. I certainly didn’t forget.  Maybe I didn’t remember the exact type of pain, but I sure remembered that it hurt. A lot. And not just during labor, but after. For some reason, none of the books or blogs or classes I read or took during my first pregnancy mentioned anything about postpartum recovery. Perhaps they reasoned ignorance is bliss.  Expectant mothers: You’re in for a surprise! But I won’t ruin it for you… Anyway, armed with the knowledge of just how much pain was coming my way, I started to freak out a bit.  Especially because I know many women who are really into natural childbirth, and therefore I felt like I should be really into natural childbirth. Hey – I’m just as badass as they are! If they can do childbirth without pain medication, so can I!  But the prospect was still scary. As I approached my due date, my doctor insisted I would deliver early.*  She was wrong, but at the time her predictions forced me to face reality. Labor was coming. Pain was coming. So I psyched myself up.  I’m active! I’m strong! I do yoga and know how to breathe! I can do this! (Plus, I have no choice.)  I even got kind of zen about the whole thing. Childbirth has nothing on me! And then labor actually happened.  If you read my last blog post, you know that I spent the 36 hours before labor running around Orange County visiting various doctors, and went into labor late Thursday night. It was a restless two days, followed by a restless night of contractions.  Point is, when I did go into labor I was tired.  And a little stressed out.  All of a sudden I wasn’t so badass. At first, I just kept moving through the contractions.   Hey, this isn’t so bad! I thought to myself.  I can totally handle this.  And then the contractions started coming faster.  Like, a lot faster. Wait, hold up. I...

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Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Christmas According to My Two-Year-Old 0

“Santa… Reindeer… Jesus!” This is how Elisabeth explained Christmas to me.  Seems like a pretty sound explanation. At least for a two-year-old. I have to say, I was pretty psyched for Christmas this year.  This was the first Christmas I’ve celebrated in a long time with a child present who gets Christmas.  Gets the fun, the joy, the celebration.  Well, sort of gets it.  See above.  Not to mention, Elisabeth was featured all over one of Tokyo’s premier department stores in their Christmas ad – on billboards, placards, shopping bags, the works.  I mean, when your daughter is basically the face of Christmas in Japan*, it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit.  See below. Anyway.  We tried to impart upon Elisabeth the importance of Jesus on this special day.  And indeed, Elisabeth loves her Fisher Price Nativity Scene (“Jesus’ House,” as she calls it), complete with a light-up manger and flying angel.  However, Jesus didn’t drive around base on a fire truck handing out candy on Christmas Eve; Santa did.  So Santa made the more lasting impression this year.  As did Santa’s lack of sleigh.  “Reindeer?” Elisabeth asked, perplexed, as Santa passed in an open-air vehicle.  She’s been obsessed with reindeer, Rudolph in particular, ever since we let her watch the 1964 Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer film a couple of weeks ago. “The reindeer are resting for tonight,” I explained.  She bought it. Later that evening at church, following a prayer in which the pastor touched on the real reason for the season, Elisabeth excitedly exclaimed, “Santa!”  She continued to joyously shout for Santa until I silenced her with a blessed pacifier.  “We’re celebrating Jesus!  Baby Jesus!” I whispered.  “Santa!”  Okay, then.  Not much to argue with there. Even later that evening, Elisabeth became increasingly concerned about Santa’s milk and cookie situation.  I don’t know where she learned about the milk-and-cookies tradition, but it was sure stuck in her head.  “Santa milk cookies.  Santa milk cookies!” She repeated over and over and over to Damon, shaking her little finger at him and nodding her head in earnest to...

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The First (and Second) Haircut

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

The First (and Second) Haircut 3

Elisabeth does not like anyone messing with her hair.  Which is why it always looks terrible.  Every time I go near her with a hairbrush or bow, she screams and runs away.  And frankly, I don’t need to deal with that kind of attitude.  I’m sure I’ve got years and years ahead of me during which Elisabeth and I will disagree about her hairstyles, so why start now? That being said, her hair was starting to get straggly.  Like, greasy straggly.  Like I don’t bathe her.  But I DO bathe her!  I swear!  Lest people think I neglect my daughter’s personal hygiene, I decided the time had come to get her hair cut. I dreaded it.  My ears hurt thinking of the shrieks that would surely fill the salon as I forced Elisabeth into a salon chair.  The cries of, “Nonononono!” as the stylist tortured her with hair clippers.  But it was time… This was around six weeks ago, shortly after I arrived to California.  I had thought about taking Elisabeth to the children’s salon where, as a child, I had gotten my hair cut.  But I Yelped that salon and dang were those reviews bad.  I know you’re probably thinking, “She’s a toddler.  How badly can they screw up her hair?” To answer that, I ask that you direct your attention to the picture below: This is me as at toddler.  To be fair, I was older than Elisabeth is now, and had much more hair.  Also, this was before I ever went to the specialty kids’ salon out here in California.  But I show this to you as an example of When Bad Hair Happens to Good Toddlers.  My mother let someone hack my hair into a veritable bowl cut, and I spent the better part of toddlerhood wandering around looking like a boy dressed in his sister’s pink clothes.  (Except in this picture, when I just look like a boy.  What IS this outfit!?) Anyway, there was no way I was going to subject Elisabeth to a similarly embarrassing fate.  I found a salon that had...

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Cheesus Loves Me

Posted on Jun 30, 2013 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

Cheesus Loves Me 3

Elisabeth loves cheese.  I mean, LOVES cheese.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack time, she looks up at me expectantly and asks, “Cheese? Cheese?” She also loves music.  Girl can get her groove on.  Like many families, we end Elisabeth’s day with a bedtime book and song before putting her to bed. I recently began incorporating “Jesus Loves Me” into her bedtime routine.  After several evenings of singing this classic Sunday School song to her, Elisabeth began asking for it by name.  Sitting in the rocking chair, head nestled into my shoulder, she’d pop out her pacifier just long enough to ask, “Cheese?” The first time she said it, I melted.  That “J” sound must be a hard one to nail.  But she was trying.  And pronouncing “Jesus” cheese is pretty darn cute. After repeatedly asking me for the “Cheese” song, I got to wondering.  Did she actually think I was singing about cheese?  That Cheesus loves her?  Given how much she loves cheese, it’s not a far leap for her to believe that cheese loves her back.  Think about it: “Cheesus loves me this I know/For the Bible tells me so/Little ones to [cheese] belong/They are weak but [cheese] is strong/ Yes Cheesus loves me/Yes Cheesus loves me/Yes Cheesus loves me/The Bible tells me so.” She’s going to be one confused little girl come Sunday School time… Share...

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The Big Birthday

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 in The Kids Are Actually Cute

November 21, 2012.  Elisabeth turns 1.  I turn into a total wreck. I was recently watching an episode of “Parenthood” in which one of the couples sends their daughter to college.  And I lost it.  I can’t believe I have to send Elisabeth to college!  … In 17 years. As I am clearly emotionally incapable of accepting that my baby girl is no longer a baby baby, I will instead link you to her birth story. Sorry, I just gagged.  I hate that term, “birth story”.  But that’s what it is, I guess.  So in honor of Elisabeth’s big day, let’s revisit how she tortured me for the better part of 24 hours. And while you’re reading that, I’m going to go crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate surviving my first year of motherhood. Share...

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