Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Break

We've come a long way, babies.
 I have a confession: I'm not feeling very funny and inspired these days. 

When I first started blogging, I loved sitting down every day and sharing the funny and/or embarrassing stories of my assorted parenting failures.  At the time, I felt very isolated, and connecting with people through this little space on the interwebs helped me feel as though I hadn't ceased to exist simply because I'd pushed a child out of my lady parts.

The years have gone by quickly and have seen significant changes in my life - my surprise second kid, my Husband's new business, a flourishing freelance career - and I'm incredibly grateful to every single person who has found my blog and laughed at my parenting neuroses.  This past year, as my kids (especially Noah) have gotten older, I've started to rethink what I'm sharing here and how it impacts my children.

This is essentially just a long-winded way of telling you that I'm taking a break from this space for a few months while I figure out what the f*ck I'm doing with my life.  I realize that I probably should have figured this out by now, (after all, I'm almost 80 by Hollywood standards) but I haven't.  I'm still blindly stumbling around cyberspace trying to come to grips with the fact that what I thought I wanted - to skyrocket my Mommy blog - no longer interests me, and it's not fair to all of you loyal readers to put out sub par content.  Believe me, I've tried lately.  I've got about 25 half finished posts sitting in my drafts folder that are so boring not even my Mother would want to read them (and that woman will read anything as long as it's about her grandbabies).

So, I'm stepping away from the blogosphere for a while until I get my funny back.  I don't want to just be another mediocre blogger boring readers with boring details of my boring life. I'm sure I'll be back - I've had these crises of humor before and they go away eventually - but until then you can still keep up with my questionable parenting on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.  Follow me on Pinterest too, if you really have time on your hands. 

Thank you, dear readers, for saving me when I was drowning, and for giving me a (mostly) criticism free space in which to share my parenting missteps and occasional triumphs.  I love you almost as much as I love an ice cold glass of rosé after a long day with my offspring.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Back-to-School the LA Way (and a Babyganics giveaway!)

Babyganics giveaway
He loves the kid-friendly ingredients in his Babyganics!
My Instagram feed has been chock full of first day of school photos this week, which means that for a lot of kids summer is officially o-v-e-r.  The Muffin Man doesn't start his new preschool until after Labor Day, so we've been busy trying to squeeze in the last few summer-fun activities before we get down to serious business in September.  Or as serious as it gets when your kid is learning how to tie his shoes and go to the bathroom alone.

Since we've been through a year of preschool already, I haven't had to buy as much stuff as I did last year, but there are still a few things I need to stock up on before Noah heads back to his institute of lower learning.  You know about the bigger items you need - the backpack, lunchbox, and new shoes - but what about the things you don't think about until you kid comes home with a wicked sunburn, a weird disease, or a mystery substance smeared all over his new clothes?  You need Babyganics!  No weird chemical ingredients, eco-friendly, and baby-safe; perfect for the dirty hippie that's hidden inside all of us.   

Sunscreen.  The seasons never really change here in the city of concrete and broken dreams - it's often hotter during the month of October than in June - so much of my back to school shopping involves stocking up on things you're more likely to find on a summer camp packing list.  Life is lived primarily outside here in Los Angeles and unless it's one of the rare days when water falls from the sky, your child is most likely going to spend the balance of his or her time at preschool running around outside.  Setting aside the fact that my child can do this for free at the park, this does bring to light how important it is to stock up on sunscreen before the seasonal aisle turns into Santa's workshop.  I'm just going to point out here that you can still get a sunburn in the North Pole if the sun is out and you should wear sunscreen every day no matter where you live, but it's especially important here in la la land where the sun never stops shining and Dermatologists are paid better than rock stars.
Foaming Hand Sanitizer and Foaming soap.  Children are adorable little germ factories who prefer to wipe their noses on their sleeves and do not excel at washing their hands.  Preschoolers especially are still building up their immunity to common colds and flus, which means that if your kid is headed to his first year of preschool, you need to be prepared for him to come home with a lot of bugs.  There's only so much you can do, but washing everyone's hands as often as possible, and carrying sanitizer on your person at all times helps combat some of the nastiness your kid is sure to bring home.

Stain remover.  Preschoolers get dirty.  While I 100% support this from a developmental perspective, I do find it rather frustrating when I discover that my kid has used his newest t-shirt as a canvas on which to paint abstract art.  You may want to think about just buying a whole dozen of these right now, as that should last you the first few weeks.  Also, don't buy your kid expensive clothes because preschoolers do no discriminate between a $100 shirt and one that costs $1.00

Bubble bath.  For you (but you can share it with your kids, too). Pour yourself a glass of wine, fire up your e-reader, and toast the fact that you've survived the first week of preschool.

I'm giving away a $50 Babyganics Back-to-School Bundle full of my favorite products, which means one lucky Misadventures in Motherhood reader will be able to get ready for the school year without having to leave her couch.  Definitely a #momwin in my book.    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It's Just a Phase

Not creepy at all. 
Do you ever have nightmares where your child has climbed out of her crib and is wandering the house in the middle of the night terrorizing all of the sleeping occupants?

Yeah, well, I'm currently living your nightmare.

This two year old sleep regression can SUCK IT.

I am exhausted and grouchy and just so freaking done with not sleeping.  But there's the rub (as my old friend Will Shakespeare would say) because the cold, hard truth about parenting is that kids don't f*cking sleep.  Everyone tells you that they do "eventually" which, I'm beginning to suspect isn't until somewhere around age 15.  But see, this is what keeps you going once you have kids, this idea that if you can just make it past this particular sleepless stage, things will get better.  That you simply have to stop night feedings, or sleep train the baby, or whatever, but that someday your child really and truly will sleep through the night most of the time. Of course by then it's entirely too late, because your sleep cycle is permanently f*cked for life and you're so used to waking up before sunrise that you're physically incapable of sleeping until a decent hour of say, eight or nine and you've turned into one of those annoying old people who can't drive after 4pm for fear of falling asleep behind the wheel.  This is what you have doomed yourself to simply by having children.

In the meantime, you wander the streets in a perpetually exhausted state, guzzling lukewarm coffee and repeating to yourself over and over "my children will sleep through the night eventually" or, "it's just a stage.  I just have to make it through this stage."  Everything with parenthood is just a stage and in between each of these stops on the sleepless express you're issued a reprieve of a day or two or, if you're lucky, a few months of uninterrupted slumber, after which you wake somewhat refreshed and completely convinced that your kid is done being a human night terror and that you've made it through the worst.  These short-lived stretches are what keep parents going, during which they are lulled into complacency and refreshed just enough to look at their children as miraculous little beings instead of the devious sleep thieves they really are

So tonight, while my tiny sleep terrorist once again robs me of any slumber between the hours of 11pm and 4:30am, I will do some deep breathing and mutter my "it's just a phase" mantra.  It's a lie - the phase of sleeplessness never seems to end with these small humans - but it's the only thing that's getting me through right now.  Well that, and coffee (so much coffee). 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Vacation Photos I Should Have Shared

There was an epic tantrum not two minutes after this photo was taken.
It turns out that I'm not the only woman who finds traveling with her children unpleasant.

Based on my very scientific research of having spent two days in a large, family-friendly hotel, vacations with kids are not universally adored. I would like to thank the Mother who repeatedly yelled at her kid to stop trying to jump off the balcony, and the lady who told her husband she "just wanted to go home because the kids were being such a**holes", for making me feel that I am not the worst Mom in the world.
Every time I open up Instagram, I'm assaulted with beautiful photographs of other families' travels, and they all look so perfect and happy.  I always embark on any family outing with the best of intentions, and hoping that this time will be different/better, but I inevitably return from these sabbaticals needing a vacation from my "vacation".  Sure, I feel shitty for not enjoying every second of every day spent with my kids when we're away, but the reality is that traveling with children is often far from picture-perfect.  So, in the essence of full vacation disclosure, I present to you the four photos I should have posted to Instagram (instead of the cute ones I did). 

Me, putting Rose to sleep by pushing her in the stroller.  For an hour. 
Attempting to get an overtired kid to fall asleep in an unfamiliar place is quite possibly one of the most unpleasant experiences of parenthood.  I tried everything - singing to her, rocking her, offering to let her sleep in our bed - but nothing worked until I finally put her in the stroller and walked the perimeter of our hotel room 400 times.  On the plus side, at least I got in a workout while out of town. 

The 5:30am wake-up call.
Being trapped in a hotel room with two rambunctious toddlers who enjoy waking up before dawn should be employed by the government as a torture tactic.  Sure, you can try to sleep while they jump on your head and demand cereal - and even be willing to pay $5 for one episode of Daniel Tiger in an effort to pacify them - but to no avail.  Kids: making sure we're the first people in line for the breakfast buffet since 2013. 

The carpet picnic dinner
I have eaten more room service meals since I had children than I did in all of my child free years.  It's not that I think room service is so amazing (it's usually not), it's simply that taking my kids to a restaurant that is not our local pizza place stresses me out.  It's just so much easier to let my kids scream, "I DON'T WANT THAT" in the privacy of our hotel room, thereby avoiding the judgement of other diners.  I'll have a chance to try great restaurants in about 18 years, when I can once again travel without my children.

Noah standing in the kiddie pool sobbing "I want to go home!"
Perhaps one of the lowest moments of my recent parenting life was watching my son throw a tantrum in the middle of the kiddie pool while other children frolicked around him in vacation bliss.  I'm not even sure why he had an epic public tantrum - some kid probably stole his shovel - but I can tell you that I had numerous other hotel guests come up to me to offer their "helpful" parenting advice/judgement.  It blew over, of course, and my humiliation was somewhat comforted by a very strong Bloody Mary... at least until he threw a tantrum in the parking lot about not wanting to go home.  I just can't win.

Yes, traveling with kids sucks.  It's exhausting, infuriating, and I often spend a large part of the time wondering what in God's name made me think going away was a good idea, but there's nothing like hearing your kids say, "I had fun swimming with you Mommy" to make you reconsider your vow to never leave the house again.  

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