Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meltdown Mastered

Aiden and I get tired. And we get cranky. Because we go, go, go and then we crash.

Luckily, as a Mommy, I get to be grumpy - because I am an adult and I don't kick people when I am cranky.

Aiden seems to get tired enough he crosses this "meltdown line" where all logic and reason suddenly go out the window and kicking, hitting, screaming, running away, throwing toys and being mean are not only possible but all occur at the same time if he doesn't get what he wants or he has to do something he deems "unfair."

Please note - Aiden considers the following "unfair":
- Brushing his teeth
- Buckling his seat belt
- Cleaning up one toy bin before getting out another
- Turning the TV off if he won't eat dinner
- Going to bed before 9 PM
- Putting his coat on before we leave the house

So last night, when I picked him up from Grandpa's as per usual, and I told him it was time to go home he came unglued. Even though I relented to helping him with and puzzle and a game of hide-and-seek before we left. Life is still just really unfair.

When he wasn't getting his way he started screaming about how he wanted to go out to dinner with Papa (Randalicious) -- at this point I had already been hit, kicked, slapped and screamed at. By the time I had him buckled in the car there was absolutely no way I was going to take him any where in public - I even expressed this to him vocally, "Mommy would be silly to take you anywhere but home to bed after you hit me."

So his screaming turned to crying, which of course made my resolve turn mushy.

"I wanna be a nice boy, I wanna be nice, I wanna say sorry!"

So I start feeling sad...does he not think he is a nice boy?? He's a very nice boy - he's just making bad decisions...should I go easy on him? Now that he's saying "sorry" and "please mommy, please," I feel like a total jerk :/

But I held fast to what I already told him -- I can not take this small person who may or may not be suffering from a bipolar disorder at the moment, to a public place. In part because I am also tired. Nope, not in the cards.

So we drove away from Grandpa's with him screaming and me remaining ever so quiet so as not to let on how bad I felt about how he was carrying on. Half way home, with the screaming still coming from the back seat he started in with, "I need to go potty, I'm gonna go potty!"

When I offered to stop, he refused saying, "I need to go potty at Grandpa's house!!!"

Ah, sweet relief, I made a good choice. He was totally aware of his manipulative behavior and when I didn't allow him to see it working, he spent half the ride home re-working his angle. So I spent the second half of the ride home convincing myself that if he really did pee his pants in the back seat -- that might be the best thing for him.

The worst thing for him would have been giving in. It's not like I stand a lot gain from him peeing his pants in my new car, having to wash the car seat and carrying his pee-stink self inside the house -- but I did gain from him realizing that the carrying on and essentially "bullying" into getting his way doesn't fly.

Wouldn't you know it, by the time we got home, he couldn't wait to get inside and do a new puzzle. And boy was it quiet while he ate every last bite of his dinner with me, one might dare to say enjoyable.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Burn






Do you wanna be a poet and write
Do you wanna be an actor up in lights
Do you wanna be a soldier and fight for love
Do you wanna travel the world
Do you wanna be a diver for pearls
Or climb a mountain and touch the clouds above

Be anyone you want to be
Bring to life your fantasies
But I want something in return

I want you to burn
Burn for me baby
Like a candle in my night
Oh burn
Burn for me, burn for me

Are you gonna be a gambler and deal
Are you gonna be a doctor and heal
Or go to heaven and touch God’s face
Are you gonna be a dreamer who sleeps
Are you gonna be a sinner who weeps
Or an angel under grace

I’ll lay down on your bed of coals
Offer up my heart and soul
But in return

I want you to burn
Burn for me baby
Like a candle in my night
Oh burn
Burn for me, burn for me

Laugh for me, cry for me
Pray for me, fly for me
Live for me, die for us

I want you to burn
Burn for me baby
Like a candle in my night
Oh burn
Burn for me, burn for me


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Great One


As always, Halloween did not disappoint. 

Since I was working on Saturday night, I didn't get to go all out in costume and celebrate my favorite holiday but I did get to spice up the LBD a little bit.



Aiden began celebrating on Friday by going Trick-or-Treating at Grandma Deiker's office so his candy stash was well on its way by the end of the weekend. Aunt Dana even brought home a pair of Vampire fangs from her Halloween party for him to play with.

He is so spooky!



On Halloween night we went Trick-or-Treating in Randalicious' neighborhood (where I used to go) for the first time. Aiden was so independent and all "big boy" about the whole thing.

He rang all the door bells by himself, said "Trick or treat!" and "Happy Halloween" and lots of "Thank you's"



There was one house though that was just a little too spooky for him, so he took Daddy to the door with him.


All night he was great about holding hands and staying on the sidewalk. I was personally impressed by how many parents were out and volunteer safety patrols.

Aiden was so funny, when he passed a group of parents who said, "Spiderman, COOL!" He silently, coolly looked up at them and shots some imaginary spidey-webs at them. I don't know who thought it was funnier.


As we walked away I whispered to Steve, "Our kid is such an effing B-A"


On an even more amusing note, I decided to participate in Jimmy Kimmel's You Tube Challenge this year --
"Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I told my kid I ate all their Halloween candy"

Enjoy the results knowing, I promptly gave him a piece afterward because I felt so bad.


video

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Early Christmas

As it turns out, kids really like presents. Presents seem to put kids in a really good mood.

I can't say whether that was the intention behind Aiden's new "toy" but I am really liking the effect it has on his attitude :)

I brought home an old computer last night, in pretty good condition, nothing special, stripped down, etc. last night. Fortunately, because of bad traffic and Aiden's delayed arrival I was able to get things rearranged and set up before he got home.


Since I wasn't really planning on this, well planning on it happening so soon, I had nothing to put the computer on for Aiden and the monitor being so big made me think twice about stealing space on the train table. So I cleaned off Aiden's night stand and hijacked it for the computer.


Dexter was so extremely helpful with all the cords and plugs :)



Aiden has his own little space in the corner now for watching Netflix and playing games, but we are going to have to find a better seat - not his Crayola Craft Table.

When he got home, I had it on and set up on PBS.org with all his favorite little shows, and I told him he had a surprise in his room.



When he walked in, he went straight for the blue bag in the background (which was used as transport for the computer) opened the bag and gave me a disappointed look like, "Uhh, Mom, my present is empty, WTF?"

I pointed out the new addition and he got excited!




"This is mine?!?!"


He was hesitant to check it out, still in disbelief, until Randalicious came to help him.


They were really enjoying themselves, and as I mentioned, this early Christmas present put Aiden in a great mood. He was hamming it up at dinner - more than usual...



video

After dinner, all he wanted to do was go home and play. Having never had to explain what a mouse is and how it works before, I was stumped. I kept calling it a "button" and a "clicker" trying to help him understand what it does. It was probably similar to discussing paint swatches with a monkey who speaks Spanish...

After we played quite a bit and learned about dinosaurs, he settled down on his couch to watch a movie before bed.

I went to the living room to take care of some emails and things for work and as I sat on the couch, I thought to my self - wow, it is so calm and quiet. I don't think any living room has been so peaceful since I was taking pregnant naps on the couch.





Monday, October 22, 2012

Ready for Halloween

 Some of us more than others....

Aiden in particular is overly excited. I don't know if I mentioned or not but the subject of witches, ghosts and pumpkins came up during conferences last week - not in a bad way, but lets say, this time of year - dinosaurs take a back seat to Halloween.

Being the Halloween nut that I am, this should surprise no one really, but what may shock you, is that we still have not done pumpkins. There was in fact a time when we would go get our pumpkins in September because I was worried about shortages - yes ladies and gentlemen, I have long been fearful of pumpkin shortages.

Anyway, even though they are more expensive at private pumpkin patches, this ritual is decidedly important enough for us to make a whole ordeal out of pumpkin picking. So we spend Sunday morning at the pumpkin patch.


Aiden wore his Spiderman costume, because of course if he only gets to wear it to school and trick-or-treating, we will no doubt, not be using it nearly enough.

He spent a good deal of time inspecting the left over pumpkins, and after seeing Steve "knock" on the side of one to see if it was rotten, Aiden then had to pat down all possible carving contenders.

There were carving stations and farm animals to pet also, as well as other kids to play with, and an amusing learning experience about see-saws.



 It was such a beautiful day, once I was done being the "Mom-aratzi" we just sat and enjoyed the warm sun while Aiden played.

And played....
And played some more...



Since it was such a nice day, we decided on a picnic lunch in the park - mostly so Aiden could get more use out of his Spiderman outfit.




Climb Spidey, climb!


Once he was officially tuckered out, we went home for a nice long snooze, then headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner. Aiden was super excited, he got to help put up Halloween lights last week, so he spent a great deal of time Sunday night admiring his handy work.


He was so wound up last night that I had to remind him at bed time what a busy week we have - we have to carve our pumpkin...("Oh boy!") and make our ghosts....("Oh my gosh!") and buy candy...("Oh my candy!"). He added trick or treating to the list and I didn't have the heart to tell him no :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Gentleman and a Scholar

It's that time of year...Parent-Teacher Conferences. Early this month, Abiding Hope did their annual hearing and vision screening, and I knew as the screening approached that Aiden would be in for some more in-depth analysis.

Sure enough, his teachers approached me about having a more involved evaluation done on him about a week before the screening and I agreed to is so long as it would not affect Aiden negatively, i.e. - I wouldn't want him singled out and I surely wouldn't want him to feel any sort of pressure to do something differently, or "correctly," because he is truly sensitive to those things and it seems to make him feel as though he has done something "wrong."

All these concerns addressed, Aiden had a screening and we discussed it all this morning. I have known, for over a year now that developmentally, Aiden's speech is not where the other kids' are at. However, having since been in speech therapy and more and more time in school, as well as more and more reading at home - he has VASTLY improved. Luckily, one of his teachers this year was one of his teachers last year and she could affirm this also.

For right now, Aiden is going to have another evaluation done, by his speech therapist. We are all in agreement that since he is comfortable with, and probably misses her, she should be the one to determine whether he needs further intervention or not. That being said, he definitely needs Occupational Therapy and there's just no way around it.

The real concern at this point for Aiden's teachers, is his lack of spatial awareness. Literally meaning, he doesn't understand what is "his space" as opposed to someone else's space or just in general - how much of the space around him is comfortably his. Some of the clues to this are, rather hilarious, that he will explore that "unknown space" with his body. By running his hands along all surfaces, spreading him self out as much as possible, and even running his head along the carpet - I told you, rather hilarious.

If only it were a perfect world where Aiden could test and learn his limits via head rubbing whenever and wherever he wanted....sigh. Unfortunately, this leads to other problems within the class room. He has trouble  getting from Point A to Point B simply because he doesn't understand the space between. In attempting to do so, he knocks things over, tramples things, and sometimes tramples other kids.

Obviously, he doesn't do this on purpose and no one is suggesting that he is. Quite to the contrary, his teachers have on occasion told him, "Aiden, you hurt your friend," and he will not have even realized it, furthermore, he then gets terribly upset and cries because he feels so bad for what he has done. Bless my little guy's heart.

This is the only area on his "report card" scholastically where the teachers show concern - emotionally, being tied to his spatial awareness, he gets really down when he thinks he has hurt someone. But everything else is going great.

He interacts extremely well and respectfully with adults, which I find humorous because at this stage, it is obvious that Aiden views my friends as his friends/peers/playmates - so of course he interacts well with them.  Aiden and I are even in the habit these days of telling each other, "You are my best friend."

He is counting beautifully, knows all of his colors (except grey which we just happened to be working on in the car this morning) and is great with geometric shapes. Earlier this week at dinner, he was using his food to show me some of his shapes even.

My biggest joy from this morning though, was hearing about his aptitude for reading and writing. Aiden views himself as a reader. Even though he is not necessarily reading all the words on all of the pages, he believes himself to be. He will sit and take a book from beginning to end without interruption and work through it as though he is reading it. (Not to be extra boastful or anything but he did point out the word "Big" to me last week).

Aiden is the same way with writing. His pencil grip is developing beautifully and when he sees someone writing, he wants to write as well. When asked to write his name he produced a beautiful "A" - really it would bring you to tears, and then he drew a pumpkin and told the teacher to write "pumpkin" because it was very important that this go with his "name." Just like with reading, when he is "writing," he fully believes himself to be writing clearly, legibly, and lengthily.

I am a proud mama bear today. My kid can write an A.


OOOO! Also, Kids Kreations orders are due next week - 



And I will have new school pictures shortly :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"I Did It!"

Anyone else feel that Pinterest should have an "I Did It!" button...?

Because when you actually pick one of the 70 things you have pinned or re-pinned, or "liked," and get off your lazy, TV watching ass and get it done, you feel awesome don't you??

I do.

Granted, I only choose the really very easy projects that are seldom helpful in the great measure of my dis-organized, dirty apartment. But when I pick one of the "achievable" projects and do it -- I feel like I deserve a gold medal, I mean, I did have to pause Netflix to concentrate for a minute so....that's worth something right?


What I did - 



These are the instructions that I more or less "used" -- I find it hard to believe that all women of all body types can do this same thing and have it fit the same way, so I highly suggest adjusting to your comfort if you attempt this also.

Firstly -- very important to select only your really large t-shirts/shirts your other half may not wear anymore or notice are missing if you borrow.... Because your stylish, smaller, big t shirts will be snug.


Love this shirt, never wear it - too big!

So I begin by very neatly cutting off the collar - this is important because you will reuse it later.


Then I cut off the sleeves - I cut right along the inside edge of the seams but I recommend that if you want a looser fit (haha "looser") you should cut a little longer down the sides like where your armpit is - a la a man who you look at and wonder why he's wearing a shirt at all....


But my sleeve holes we're smaller.



Next, you need to adjust the new neck line.
In the back you want a deep v-shape. The deeper the V (I don't know why this post continues to be so dirty :/ ) the looser it will fit, FYI.




In the front I cut about a 1 inch slit in the middle and tugged at it to give it a worn and torn look - but this is also not in the instructions.




Ok - next, flop the shirt over so it's face down. Pull the back "straps" of your tank top together and grab your collar piece. Loop it through around and through itself once and pull tight as low as you can go on the straps.


Now the collar piece has a little tail left over, so I chose to snip it at the very middle of the "tail piece"





Tie the loose ends up in a cutesy fashion and try on for size!


Once you get one under your belt it goes quick and you make some easy space in your drawers.

By the by, the Hurley shirt was a long sleeve - so be creative.


And really, can we all write to Pinterest and ask for an "I Did It!' button?


Professionalism and the 3 Year Old

On Monday evening I went to meet my booking agent briefly to pick up a check and especially to bring Aiden to meet her. She is the sweetest lady and we have a really great relationship, so of course she always asks about him and when she gets to meet him, so Monday night I took him with me.

By 7 o'clock in the evening he was snoozin' in the back seat - which has become pretty regular on days that he hasn't had a nap. This was a good thing as far as I was concerned: he's sleeping, he's cute, so he's not fussing or whining over anything, it'll be perfect.

Well he woke up.

In rare form.

And while I was discussing all the important things I have coming up this month - he farted, like, "let one rip" farted in my agent's office.

As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, it was extremely hard to ignore and carry on once he announced to the room -- "I burped from my butt!!!"

Where do they learn these things??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Birth-Control

"She's done what she should, should she do what she dares?"

If you are easily offended or a whiner of sorts, this post is not for you.

When I was a teenager, my parents thought that babysitting infants and toddlers was a sort of birth-control that might keep their daughters from having sex and getting pregnant. I always knew I wanted to have children, I remember thinking at one point that I wanted five kids (so that I would never be alone) - but when the time was right of course. I felt deeply that I was meant to be a Mom, that I would be a good mother, and that my kids would know love like no one else's.

Oh that phrase..."When the time is right." Anyone who has ever had, or tried to have, or tried not to have kids - will tell you, there is no right time. I have a list, hidden away somewhere, called, "Things I never did." A couple of the items on there might maybe one day happen, but mostly it is a list of things that are pretty far out of the realm of possibility at this point. Would it have been easier to finish school if I didn't have a baby half way through? Would I have immediately gone to grad school afterward if I didn't have Aiden? Could I have gone out and had a million girl's night with my friends when I turned  21? Would I have traveled to the end of the earth to find the inspiration to write the next Great American Novel when I was done with school?

Well, it's easy to talk a big game when you have a 3-1/2 year old out clause I suppose.

I have never asked for anyone to applaud my efforts, and frankly I don't expect it to ever happen. I am certainly aware that I have had more help and support than a lot of people do and I definitely recognize that there are people who have done much greater things than I, with much greater setbacks on the table than I will ever see. But that doesn't mean it hasn't been difficult at times - to juggle Virginia Wolff and bed time stories. It doesn't mean that I haven't had my fair share of lonely nights watching Thomas the Train instead of a movie with my friends. Above all, sometimes there are just pieces of parenting that override all of the "I Wants" with "He Needs."

I am not complaining - I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams with what Aiden continually brings to my life. Nope, no complaints. But I am also striving. Constantly asking myself if I do enough, if I support him enough, if I make the right decisions for us, if I am doing everything I am capable of to be the best mommy I can be.

Doing everything I am capable of.

I was raised with the expectation that I would carry the burden of doing everything I am capable of, into every task. Fly or fall, as long as you bring your A-Game, that's all that counts.

So that's why I didn't quit school. That's why I worked all day to make money and all night on homework for 3 years. That's why I am still striving, to make ends meet financially and prioritize my time. That's why I am still striving to make my dreams come true. I know things get hard, and I know people are often forced to make tough decisions regarding what they can and can't force themselves to accomplish. But if you aren't bringing your A-Game, I don't care how difficult your life is. I don't expect compliments, and I certainly don't hand them out until they have been earned.

No excuses, work harder. Be smarter. Play better.

And before you have kids, consider this:


video


This nonsensical temper tantrum brought to you by a boy who didn't want to pick up his choo-choos, then tried to hit his mommy with the choo-choo tracks, and instead cut his face and bruised his eye with them - and was still put in time out despite his owie. This is the tail end of the tantrum, which lasted nearly 45 minutes.

I promise you, there will never be a "right time" for you to fit this into your schedule.

All I am saying is, suck it up and get it done. Otherwise, you're right - it's too hard, life is just too hard - when you spend the whole time complaining about what you can't do.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Excuse me, but do I know you?

Lately, Aiden has been evolving. Saying some really surprising things, things that I know I say, or probably think often but think better not to say. He is just turning into this little adult with a mega feisty 'tude and darn it if you think he's gonna do anything but what he wants to do.

The majority of the humor started last week when we bought him a spider man mask. From the moment he put it on, in the store, he was climbing shelves, sliding on the floor, shooting spidey webs every where, asking Mommy if she needed to be rescued. It was hysterical. And it has continued ever since.

Since we live on the 2nd floor in our building, we are constantly on his tail about walking softly, no running, no jumping, etc because there's new people downstairs. They moved in about a month ago and feeling bad about Aiden's loud "walking" I decided to bake them some brownies and have him take them downstairs.

When my neighbor opened her door and turned out the be the sweetest lady, I asked Aiden to apologize to her and he said, "I'm sorry I play Spider Man." I didn't prompt this at all...but boy did I laugh.

Another source of enjoyment recently has been the fact that there isn't anything Aiden DOESN'T like, but boy is there a plethora of things he CAN'T like.

"I can't like a bite of spaghetti"
"I can't like bedtime"
"I can't like brushing my teeth"

And when I make him do these things anyway..."Alllllright...."

On Monday, he was giving me the business about not picking up Daddy (because Daddy had to sleep he said). To which I responded, "It's ok, we aren't getting Daddy anyway, he has to work."

"Mom," he says, "Look in my eye," as he uses his pinching fingers to accentuate one of his eyeballs, "I am serious, just look in my eye."

I about died laughing!

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to cut back a bit on the chocolate milk, not that the Ovaltine isn't a good alternative, I just don't like him being "dependent" or "expectant" of it when we go out to eat because restaurants use real sugary chocolate for theirs. So a couple mornings ago, he wanted to take a cup of milk in the car with him on the way to school, but, "please Mommy please chocolate with my milk."

"Oh you want to take chocolate milk?" I suppose this was a moot question, I knew what he wanted and I knew his answer, I thought....

"Mommy," then he takes a pause and a deep in thought look crosses his face, "Just imagine."

I was so caught off guard and almost wondered whether he had heard this phrase from all the political ads on TV...nope.

"Just imagine Mommy, like Barney!" Bahahahahaha!

He has been so incredibly witty and instant with his humor that I can't even contain my laughter.

Last night, he was really chasing the cat around and couldn't quite catch him. So Daddy wrangled Dexter and put him right in Aiden's arms. He really does just love that kitty. So of course he began with his public display of physical affection for the cat with hugs and kisses. Dexter was not having it, but Aiden was not about to let go. He just kept hugging and squeezing until he said, "Mommy, the kitty is squeaking."

I couldn't hear the cat over the noise in the kitchen and on the radio but I started laughing and took this to mean of course the cat was royally pissed off, but all I could do was laugh.

Sometimes, the whole Mommy-Adventure is really fun. And sometimes it really isn't. Sometimes it is just plain hard and I actually begin to understand, in Aiden's worst moments, why some species eat their offspring - self preservation. Having only a couple friends my age with kids, who are all inconveniently located far away, I often feel like I have no one to talk to. No one who understands how hard it is. But in these silly moments, when there's a ninja doing somersaults on the carpet, or a bossy pants telling me how serious he is in the back seat, or even reminding me to "just imagine," I come to realize, there is no self-preservation anymore.

There is Aiden-preservation, family-preservation, childhood-preservation. Because this kid is growing up pretty darn quick, I don't even know who I am talking to sometimes. It all just goes by way too quick.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winding Down

The last few weeks have been exhausting - emotionally and physically because of work and getting Aiden ready for school and trying to find a healthy work balance between days and nights and extra jobs.

Labor Day couldn't have come sooner, we I needed a nice little break from the everyday to re-group.

Aiden had a fabulous first week at school, so while we were playing around Friday afternoon trying to get out of town I took him to Kohl's for new pjs, more big boy underwear and a toy.

While walking into the store from the parking lot, a car paused and waited for us to cross to the sidewalk. When the car stopped, Aiden put out his hand, raised his voice real big and said, "YOU STOP! Wait your turn! DON'T HIT ME!" Of course the driver's window was open and she replied very meekly to assertive Aiden, "Don't worry I won't hit you!" Funny little guy.

Inside the store, I let Aiden pick two pairs of pjs and two packs of underwear -- he was excited about the Elmo pjs so much that he grabbed the first pair of Elmo underwear he saw -- they were pink. Normally, I would take the stance, eh, if it's what he wants...but really, there's kind of an important difference in boy/girl underpants so he had to put them back and settle for choo-choos and SpongeBobs.

Back in the car Aiden practiced his photography --  





This pose is Aiden's favorite. He requests all models use this for photos.


Since we still had a little time to kill we had to stop for a snack too...



 When we finally got to the lake, I got to help Maria make a HUGE pot of spaghetti sauce for Italian Night - since I begged to have it and then it got re-scheduled just for me. So I helped with the sauce, the beef and the sausage. MMMMMMMM!


Since there is officially no water left in the lake, we spent the day Saturday playing Slip N Slide.













While it may look like Aiden is having the most fun ever, I can assure you that I had even more fun than him.


video

A swift twist of fate put me back in Denver late Saturday night, but I needed the rest and when I was done working on Sunday I got to catch up on a quick couple things around the house that I have been dying to do.

Like take the cat for a walk...


I took Kane to the pet store wiht me to get food, and while walking around with the horse of a dog that he is (knocking over displays left and right) I was asking for help finding a cat harness and leash. You can't really tell but Dexter's harness is fiercely striped like a zebra and his leash is pink.

He LOVED going outside, sniffed everything, talked a lot and purred in the grass.

I also got to catch up with the girls in the evening.


Of course we had out margaritas before we painted our nails....



This is my "I'm at the top of the bathroom" spot


careful, don't spill that!


Jo, who came ot spend some extra time with Katie before she moves, was a very good sport and made an excellent cabana boy when drinks ran low.


Things got a little silly.


After a good night's sleep, Kelly and I made our Clinique Bonus Days trip on Monday and then an impromptu trip to Taste Of Colorado for lunch.

Once Aiden was back in town, he was right back to taking pictures...



I even managed to finish an IKEA project - but don't get me started on the damn shelf in the living room



Finally settled and ready for Fall.