Wednesday, September 26, 2012


"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:

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.

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.