Once upon a time, before I had children I was really into martial arts. My husband and I were members of a Burmese kickboxing gym in Maryland for a while and we both even fought in a few amateur fights. Trust me, it was nothing impressive, but it definitely gave me more confidence in myself and my ability to defend myself if I ever needed to. When we moved to Virginia, I decided to try out Krav Maga with a friend. It was probably the most physical martial arts I have ever done. When they say “fitness with fight” they really mean it. I was in such great shape because of it.
When we first started introducing solid foods to my daughter she was such a great eater. We basically could feed her anything and she’d gobble it down. Nowadays she goes through stages: one week she only eats the veggies on her plate, the next week she only eats the meat, and at no point will she ever eat a potato in any of its delicious forms. (This is how I know she is not my child and was probably switched at birth. I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like.)
In Claire’s last blog, You’re gonna jinx it…, she mentions the likely scenario of what happens the second you start to brag about how your child is such a good eater; they turn the tables on you and refuse to eat anything except Cheerios found in their car seat and string cheese. This is slowly happening more and more everyday so I went to Pinterest for some “toddler meal” inspiration. What I found was horrifying.
Take a look at this BS:
Who in their right mind has time to do all of this? And my real question is, does it actually work? Do kids see food shaped like an animal and magically decide to eat it instead of throwing it on the floor?
In our house, everyone is awake no later than 6AM and we usually eat breakfast right away. Breakfast is never an issue, it is my husband’s and daughter’s favorite meal of the day. If I were to try to get more creative with toddler meals for the rest of the day I’d have to start preparing lunch as soon as breakfast were over and I’m sorry to say, I do not have time for that. I barely find time to shower and brush my own teeth between breakfast clean up, reading 1,000 stories to my daughter, and playing outside. By the time 11AM roles around I’m scrambling to put together something semi-healthy for us both for lunch.
One day I tried making Onigiri (rice balls) because she loves them and eats them every day at daycare, but I was taking too long and my daughter had a meltdown so I just ended up handing her a plate of clumpy rice. She thought it was just as good as the rice balls so I’m now convinced that fancy schmancy food preparation is completely unnecessary when it comes to toddlers. They will eat what they want and throw the rest on the floor.
I mean seriously, I’m impressed with your mom skills, but this is just over the top!
What does your toddler like to eat? It’s ok if you are the type of mom that makes animals out of the food! Tell me it really works and I’ll give it a try!
Have you ever just needed a compliment? Specifically from your spouse or loved one?
I like to think that I do not need to be complimented. I feel confident in everything that I do and rarely need to be reassured. If you know my husband, then you know he is not one to compliment anyone or anything very easily unless it is his beloved cat. When he does feel that a compliment is warranted (which is extremely rare), the receiver should accept it with a grain of salt. For instance, many years ago when we were dating and I was training for an ultramarathon he exclaimed one day that my thighs looked like those of a tyrannosaurus rex!! In his mind, he thought this was the nicest thing he could have ever said to me. I was mortified. This guy that I love thinks I look like a dinosaur!! WTF? No one has ever mistaken a dinosaur for being beautiful. I think I may have even cried at the time until he explained that he thought my legs were strong and muscular and that it was meant as the ultimate compliment.
I’m not saying I’m an expert at travelling with an infant/toddler, but I have definitely discovered a few techniques to make life easier on the go and figured out what items are absolutely necessary to have on hand. During this PCS Adventure, my family has been without household goods for 48 days, spent 3 days in airports and on planes, and lived in hotels for 26 days. It has been a learning experience for us all and I think everyone was pushed to their limit at one point during this adventure. We are finally in our new house, but still do not have household goods so we are back to “roughing it” in our own home. I honestly do not think we would have made it this far without the following items:
Back in July I wrote an article about screen time for babies and how it is a big “no-no” for children under 2 years of age. As much as I wish I were updating this article with new info about how it is not only good to let your kids watch TV that young, but also recommended for admission into Ivy League schools later in life, sadly I am not. I am here to confess that I am a complete failure at this; my 1 year-old daughter loves watching Baby Einstein videos and they have made the last few weeks more bearable for everyone in this family.
If you have been keeping up with my PCS adventures, then you know that my family has been without household goods for 34 days now. The first week was especially hard because not only did we not have anything in our house, but also my husband was not home to help entertain our LO. That’s when I turned to Baby Einstein and never looked back. I stumbled upon one of the videos on YouTube and played it for her; it magically kept her still and focused for 20 minutes. I then found a whole series of Baby Einstein classics on Amazon Prime and introduced a different one each day while I cleaned and prepped our house for moving out. I even had them saved to my iPhone for her to watch on our 14+ hour plane ride and they truly were a life saver. Now that we are temporarily living in a hotel until a house becomes available, Baby Einstein videos help break up our day and keep things exciting for our LO.
Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
That’s basically all I have to say about the past couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot I could say, but I don’t want to rant and cry all over this blog today. Instead I’m looking forward to reaching our new destination and beginning a new life.
Stay tuned for tips and tricks on surviving with a one year old in an empty house and while PCSing.
We are back from our four week leave over the holidays to see family and friends. It’s nice to be back home, though our departure from California is imminent. Movers arrived earlier this week to begin our PCS (permanent change of station) adventure. This will be our sixth move since we got together and third move with the military. Moving always presents some challenges, but moving with a baby and overseas has really given a whole new meaning to “challenge”. Here are my notes thus far, I’ll keep you all updated through the coming weeks.
Day 1 without HHG
Less than 16 hours into not having furniture, cookware, or kid toys I wanted to call it quits and go check into a hotel. I’m no quitter so I’m sticking it out as long as possible. The packers/movers were so efficient they got all of our household goods (that are going to Japan) done in one day instead of two. We still have several more days of packing/shipping left for our Express and Storage items though.
My daughter has had a runny nose and cough for a few days, but no fever so I have been holding out on going to the doctor. Her symptoms worsened last night so I took advantage of the “mover-free” day and took her to see our favorite Doc. Turns out she has bronchiolitis, a virus that’s going around. The doctor recommended I sleep with her in a chair for the next few nights so she doesn’t drown in her own mucous. Great, that will be fun with no furniture!
(Note: I asked around and borrowed a rocking chair from one of my Stroller Warriors sisters. So lucky to have them.)
After an exhausting day of cleaning up snot and keeping our daughter from falling all the way down the steps my husband gets home and I ask him to watch our LO a bit so I can take a minute to breathe. He announces he has to change and go to the bathroom first before he can help. I usually totally understand, but today I have so many issues with this! 1) he spends way too much time in the bathroom. Someone should see a doctor if they are actually going for that long and besides I can hear him playing on his phone. 2) I don’t get the luxury of hanging out in the bathroom for 30+ minutes BY MYSELF a day 3) I wish I were the one attending SERE school instead of home in an empty house, living out of a suitcase, sleeping in a rocking chair, with a sick baby. Locked in a cage for a few days alone sounds like a 5 star resort to me!
Day 2 without HHG
I put on the last wash load (or so I thought) before prepping our washer and dryer for storage and my LO immediately threw up on me and herself. This is going to be a long day. Not to mention I have to go pick up my husband’s eye glasses from downtown so he can wear them into the field tomorrow. Movers are coming this afternoon and I’m working off 2 hours of sleep. And by the way his glasses were ready back in October.
Movers were delayed today and didn’t arrive until after 5PM. So glad I spent the whole afternoon waiting around.
Day 3 without HHG and Day 1 of Solo Parenting
Got up at 4AM to take husband to base so he could go to the field for SERE training. I’ve been really annoyed with this whole process, but am really going to miss his help at night this next week.
Movers are due to pack up the last bit of stuff in our house today (i.e. washer/dryer, china cabinet, pieces of our sectional sofa) and put them in storage. When I got home from dropping DH off at work I remembered I needed to disconnect and drain the washer. Well shit! I had all our tools packed in our Express shipment so we would have them when we arrive in Japan, which was picked up yesterday. Now I’m running around at 7:30 in the morning knocking on neighbors’ doors trying to find a wrench. We have such great neighbors by the way. Got one! Now I really feel like a super mom because I squeezed my big, pregnant belly into our laundry room with the washer pulled out and climbed on top to disconnect the hose. Lesson learned: turn off water first! I some how managed to get both hoses disconnected and the washer emptied without completely flooding the laundry room. Whew!
Next challenge is catching the cat! Movers called and said they are on their way. I need to put the cat in her crate so she doesn’t escape while the doors are open. What does she do? Hides in the box spring of the bed that is about to get packed for storage. I’m halfway thinking I’ll let her stay in there and see if she survives 3 years in storage.
Stay tuned for more of my PCS adventure in the coming days!
When my husband and I finally decided to start trying to conceive (TTC) for our first child I was a little worried I’d have trouble getting pregnant. I have endometriosis (a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus) and have been receiving treatment for it for more than half my life. When my doctor gave me the green light to start trying I bought an ovulation monitor to help track my cycle to give us a better chance for conceiving. I loved how accurate the monitor was and I found it fascinating to track the changes in my body from day-to-day. The downside to using the monitor was peeing on a stick (POAS) every morning and buying a new test kit every month (there is a limited supply of one-use strips). I just looked back at my Amazon history and found that I spent hundreds of dollars on ovulation test kits over the course of our TTC period. I used multiple ovulation tests, took my basal body temperature every day, and even gave up alcohol and caffeine during the process. It took me almost a year to get pregnant. As much as I think it was worth it because it resulted in my beautiful daughter, I also think it is insane to spend that much time and money on baby-making, a thing that happens by accident to most people.
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that is easily overlooked when it comes to decorating and making a big fuss. You probably still have some Halloween candy lingering in the pantry and a decoration or two out that you’ve been too lazy to put away and are just calling it a “fall pumpkin”now instead of a Jack-o-lantern. Now is the time we start to rack our brains for Christmas gift ideas and Thanksgiving is just an event that falls in the middle of all this chaos.
My husband and I live on the opposite side of the country from our families so we won’t be able to celebrate and give thanks with them this year. I was almost going to ignore that Thanksgiving was even happening, but some of our dear friends, who we share this military life with, have invited us to spend the day with them and their family. It feels nice to have a place to go and share the day with friends and for that I am truly thankful.
So now I’m ready to get in the Thanksgiving mood. I pulled out all my fall napkins and tablecloth, but the house still doesn’t have that fall feel that I was hoping for…maybe it’s all the 90 degree days we have been having. I love FamilyFun‘s craft projects because they are usually pretty easy and I seem to always have the supplies lying around the house. For instance, I have 4 larges vases of pine cones sitting on my mantle from last Christmas. I’ve been trying to justify that it is an “all-year” decoration, but you and I both know I’m just lazy. FamilyFun Magazine gave me the idea to put those pine cones to good use by making a Fall Garland (see instructions below).
I hate doing laundry! I don’t actually know a single person who likes to do laundry. I’m the worst at letting it pile up. When I do get around to finally washing it, I absolutely avoid folding it at all costs. Sometimes our clean laundry will sit in buckets for a week or longer. Every morning we dump the clean laundry on the bed, pick out what we need for the day, and pretend like we will get around to folding it later. Usually, right before bed we are scraping the clothes back into the bucket and saving it for another day. This goes on for several days until I just can’t take it anymore or when the cat gets too much fur on the clothes and I can no longer consider them clean. Then I give in and fold the dreaded laundry, which is much more of a chore these days than it should be.