Monday, January 25, 2010

The Help Us Save Our Son's Teeth Campaign

So, my son HATES getting his teeth brushed.

When we first started brushing his teeth months ago, he was fine with it. Didn't mind a bit. Actually enjoyed it, I think.

Then, he started throwing fits when it was time to brush his teeth and would refuse to open his mouth. So, like any good clown parents, we started doing dances, playing games, and singing songs to get him to open his mouth.

It worked for a few weeks.

But now that he is the wise old age of 17 months, nothing works. The old song and dance doesn't work. Pleading doesn't work. Having him help and do it himself doesn't work.

Every toothbrush session ends in tears. And our son cries, too.

We are at a loss. Just because we are from Arkansas doesn't mean we want our son to have rotten, missing, snaggly teeth.

Has anyone else had this problem and what did you do?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freak Out Friday

So, I got this idea from Michele at Finding Trinity. Let's all vent our freak outs for Freak Out Fridays!!

So, my goodness, I didn't think I would survive yesterday. I'll call it Toddler Terrors Thursday, or TTT.

TTT was not pretty. It is amazing how far a toddler can push you over your limits of sanity. Just give you a little push with that chubby little pointer finger and you go flying over the edge. He is only 17 months old! How does he make me crazy?

I was trying to get ready to go to the grocery store - you know at least brush my hair and my teeth so I don't look like a total over-tired, overwhelmed, mommy cliche - and my son was in the bathroom with me playing with the bar of soap from the bathtub.

He looked up at me and said, "Uh-oooooh" because he got soap all over his fingers. So, I took the bar of soap away from him and picked him up to leave the bathroom with me.

Apparently, making him leave the bathroom and the soap was like making him leave his two best friends. He became so angry that he grabbed a handful of my right cheek, and with his other hand, grabbed a handful of my hair, and he pulled and twisted with all his might. Um, ouch. It hurt! I screamed in pain, put him down, and told him, "No, you do not treat mommy like that. We don't pinch and hit other people. Hitting hurts." I'm pretty sure all he heard was, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

I continued to get ready in our bedroom (I had to rinse the soap out of my hair that he smeared in with his little death grip) when all of a sudden I heard what sounded like the dog food spilling on the floor. I ran into the kitchen to find that he had dumped out the dog's water and then dumped out the dog food all over the floor. And he was jumping around in the water and splashing like he was at a water park.
He knows better than to play with the dogs' dishes! But he was mad and doing everything in his power to find things to do that he isn't supposed to do.

Ugh! So, I cleaned and mopped the kitchen, while my son lay crying on the floor because I wouldn't let him play with the mop. Still no grocery store.

Immediately after this, a piece of my son's sippy cup came off, unbeknownst to me, so that he was able to dump out the contents. And he did. Watered down orange juice all over the living room floor. He laughed and laughed. Super.

More mopping. Still no grocery store.
Then, he found a crayon. I don't know where he found it. Who knows? I think he has a stash somewhere of things he isn't supposed to play with without supervision.
I found him drawing all over the back door (it is glass, thank goodness), after he had already drawn on the TV screen. When I told him, "No," he ran off and started drawing on the washing machine. When I ran over to him to take the crayon from him, he stuck it in his mouth and bit a piece of it off. Thank you Crayola for non-toxic crayons.

He pushed my limits all morning. He cried, I cried, he laughed, I don't remember thinking any of it was funny, and we never went anywhere. All of my energy was gone. So, we ate lunch, I put him to bed and we both took a nap!

For dinner, I tried to feed him something new: salmon, steamed potatoes and apples. He spit all three of them out and we had to resort back to fish sticks and baked fries. I don' t think he will ever eat anything but fish sticks and chicken nuggets.

So, this was my edition of Freak Out Friday. And...I made my goal of posting everyday for a whole work week! Yay! It actually wasn't that hard! The only problem was that I was so busy writing posts in my limited spare time, that I didn't get to read many of yours!! I need to catch up!

What was your freak out this week?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Thoughts, Keep Talking Happy Thoughts...

So, I was tagged in a meme by Lauren at Mud Mama! A ten things that make me happy list! So here it goes...

1. M & Ms. Especially when they come in holiday colors like red and green for Christmas or pink and white for Valentine's Day.

2. Watching my son have fun. I feel like a super mommy when I can provide experiences that make him smile and laugh.

3. Quiet nights alone when I feel at peace and can be still enough in mind and spirit to read a book.

4. The TV show Ugly Betty. Yes, a tv show makes me very happy.

5. Memories of my Grandaddy. He was always a positive spirit.

6. When my sister comes to visit from St. Louis. I'll be happier if she ever moves back home.

7. Musicals! I love them all! This is a constant thorn in my husband's side.

8. Finding money. And getting money in the mail. And winning the lottery. I've never won the lottery, but I'm pretty sure I'd be over the moon. I mean, who isn't happy about that?

9. Getting comments on my blog posts. (hint, hint)

10. And finally, last but not least, wearing new clothes for the first time and feeling like an
attractive woman again instead of a sweat pants wearin' momma. I need this feeling more often. And while I'm at it, a pedicure would be fantastic. And some new make-up. Oh! And definitely new shoes. Man, it's been years since I bought a pair of new shoes.

And now, I will tag ten other blogs to do this happiness post!

Life Not Wasted or Lost
Meandering Moody Memories
Eroding Self Sediment
Mimi Bella Boo
Finding Trinity
Momma Ra
Raising My 4 Sons
Such is Life
King Max
Susan Fobes' Family Formula

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Look at me go! Writing posts three days in a row, two more to go to reach my goal of posting everyday for an entire work week. I kinda feel like Wordless Wednesday is cheating, but since I'm not being graded, I'm goin' for it.

My housekeeper. He's not that good at it, but man is he cute, or what?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Look What the Cat Dragged In

So, when I got up this morning, my husband said, "Wow, you look like a rock star!" And by "rock star" he didn't mean, "Wow, you look hot this morning!" No, he meant, "Wow, your hair looks ridiculous like you're the lead singer of Whitesnake or some other equally embarrassing '80's hair band."

Which reminded me of the dream I had the night before.

I loved hair bands in the '80's. Metallica, Poison, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses, you get the picture.

However, my two favorites were Bon Jovi and Poison. Because I was in love with the lead singers. In the eighties, you couldn't get better than Jon Bon Jovi and Bret Michaels.

My how times have changed.

Jon Bon Jovi can still beat my drum any day of the week. I don't think I will ever stop crushing on that Jersey boy. Bret Michaels, however...well...

So, in my dream, I met the members of Poison...Bret, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall, and Ricki Rockett.
We were in somebody's house and I went on a search for something or other, but the point is that I walked in on Ricki Rockett while he was getting dressed and he was a woman! All those years we were led to believe he was a man in women's makeup because he taped down his boobs. But there he was nipples and all. Full B cup.

Then, Bret Michaels starting hitting on me and I was all, "No way, Bret. Maybe in the '80's, but now? After that train wreck Rock of Love on a bus or whatever? I don't think so."
And I was outta there. Peace out, Michaels.

Dream over.

I love it when I have dreams about my celebrity crushes. Frankly, I'm surprised I haven't dreamt about Joe from Blue's Clues yet. I have teeny, tiny crush on him. Is that wrong?

So, who do you dream about?

Monday, January 18, 2010

All work and no play makes Amo a grumpy girl

So, I'm beginning to feel like a single mommy. Not because my husband is a dead-beat dad or anything - my husband has been a patient, fun, loving daddy since day one - but because he has to work so much to keep us afloat. He works two jobs so we can pay our bills - one full-time during the week in which he travels, one part-time on the weekends. And then he watches our son on Saturdays so I can work a part-time job during the day. Tag-team parenting. I get home from work on Saturday afternoon, I tag him, and he leaves to go to his part-time job. The only day we are together as a family is Sundays.

I miss my husband.

I know we are not alone. Tag-team parenting has become necessary in the past couple of years for many Americans. We gotta do what we gotta do to pay the bills.

However, I feel as if this has made me a grumpy mommy and a grumpy dog owner. Ninety percent of the time, I am the only one at home to deal with the domestic problems and my patience level is decreasing.

It would be easier if I could concentrate on my son only. But, my husband's dog, Meeko, (I didn't adopt him after we were married and I don't claim him) is like having two more kids. He is an over-sized, muscle-y, bull terrier who thinks he is lap dog. And he is not. At all.

He drinks from the toilet, he pees in the floor, he eats Q-tips and used Kleenex, he eats my panties, his breath smells like anal gland juice, he expels his anal glands when he gets scared, he tortures my tiny toy rat terrier (Pia), he is always under my feet, he stinks, he sheds, he manipulates my son into giving him his dinner, he barks, he's pushy, he requires a bath after every trip outside to the bathroom, he chews up my son's stuffed animals, and he drives me craaaaazy!!!

This week, he cornered Pia in the hallway until she got so freaked out that she peed when I tried to pick her up...she peed on my pants, peed on my slippers, peed on the floor.

Later that same day, my son picked up an entire glass of soy milk and dumped it down the front of his body, starting with his face. I came in the room to find Meeko licking my son from head to toe, like he was a white, bloated cow and my son was a salt lick.

And later, Meeko ate my son's Play-doh after my son thought it would be fun to tear the Play-doh into tiny pieces and throw it around the room.

A couple of days ago, he dug into a trash bag of Max's dirty diapers like it was a buffet. He tore into each diaper, ate the poop out, and then ate the crystallized pee that came out of the diapers.

That was fun to clean up. He went outside for the rest of the day after that.

I feel like I am yelling all the time, saying, "No!" and "Stop!" to my son and the dogs. I'm grumpy. And then I watched an episode of Supernanny where she says to never lose your cool in front of your kids, always remain calm and assertive. And I just want to say, "Yeah, right. When the only conversation you have had in days is with yourself, you miss your spouse, when the only place you ever get to go is WalMart, when you have been peed on, cleaned up human excrement, have had to daily deal with the dog from hell, and have not had any time to yourself in over a year, it is almost impossible to remain calm, yet assertive."

And I know there are moms out there who do remain calm, who speak in soft voices, who are loving and kind and quiet in all they do, whose kids don't yell because they never yell (my sister-in-law is one of them)...but I just don't happen to be one of those moms, no matter how hard I try. Which makes me feel like a failure.

Because when my son throws a tantrum, it is a THROW DOWN to the finish. No sissy tantrums for him.

And when Meeko loses control of his cow body and has to run around the house like a wild stallion, he seriously LOSES CONTROL of his cow body and knocks over furniture, my son, and pushes me into whatever wall is closest. I don't want the first words out of my son's mouth to be, "Meeko, stop!", "Meeko, no!!", "Meeko, if you do that again, I will drive you to the nearest Chinese restaurant and cut you into Kung Pao Chicken myself!"

So, Mommies, how do you stay calm? How do you find your parenting chi? I think my chi is broken.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stay tuned next week

So, starting Monday, I will write a post everyday. Monday through Friday. It's a test to see if I can do it. I might fail, I might succeed, but at least I will know my bloggy potential. And this is only for one week, mind you, so don't think I'm gettin' all crazy. I will resume my 2 or 3 times a week after that, I'm sure. I'm not that motivated.

I might even see if I can get in on some of those memes I see on other blogs. I usually can't remember to do them, so this is a big, bloggy test.

Let the challenge begin! (on Monday. I need to rest tomorrow.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guest Post on B is for Brown!

So, hey everyone!

My guest post is featured today on B is for Brown. If you haven't checked out Summer's blog yet, she is the real thing, full of stories about her struggles with infertility, her family, her friends, and moustaches!! You'll love her!

Anyway, HERE is the link to my guest post on B is for Brown!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Heart Max (and again, Richard Simmons)

So, I have been down the past couple of days because I'm not pregnant again. Maybe I should just go ahead and have surgery again. I really had faith and hope that I would be able to get pregnant this time without another surgery, especially after getting pregnant in July (even though I had a miscarriage)...I really believed it to be true, but now I'm not so sure.

My husband and I are desperate for our son to have a sibling. My life wouldn't have been the same without my sister and my husband's wouldn't have been the same without his older brother and younger sister. We both believe it is so important for our son to have a brother or sister, someone to grow up with, to learn to share with, to fight with, to learn conflict resolution with, to love and share life with. Someone to share the burden of our inevitable aging and death. He needs a family member for life. Someone close to his age and who knows all the family secrets!

But, even if I never have another baby, at least I have my Max. He is my dream come true and I am blessed beyond words to have him. He is a miracle baby - my doctor didn't think I would really be able to get pregnant, even after surgery, because my endometriosis was so advanced. But, guess what? I did! And now I have my precious son, Max, who makes me smile, laugh, cry happy tears, cry frustrated tears, and count my blessings every day.

And, of course, I always have Richard Simmons to bring a smile to my face.

I love Richard Simmons. I wrote about him once before on my blog HERE. I have a lot of respect for the work he does. And he is so nonsensical and screwy sometimes that I can't help but be happy when I see him on TV. I tend to like the types of people who drive others crazy, like Richard Simmons and people who talk a lot.

Lucky for me, he was on Ellen yesterday, right in the middle of my down-in-the-dumps period. This was my son's first Simmons exposure and he was absolutely fascinated with him. I've never seen my son be still for such a long period of time. He was, dare I say it? enthralled with Richard Simmons.

So, I heart Richard Simmons who brought a smile to my face yesterday when I couldn't do it on my own.

Then, today, my other light in the darkness, Max, brought smiles and kept me busy, so I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself.

My son, God bless him, loves to throw his blankie over his head and walk around the house running into walls. He thinks it's hilarious and it freaks out our dogs. Remember that kid in the '80's movie, Parenthood, who walks around with a bucket on his head, running into walls? Yeah, that was my son this morning.

My son with his blanket on his head as he ran into this wall...

and this wall...

and this wall.

After his head had enough of a beating, I changed him into his paintin' clothes and let him finger paint for a while.

After a much needed bath, I let him play with his Play Clay. This was his first Play-doh-ish experience.

Then, it was lunch time and now he is napping quietly. All of this before noon.
He takes my blues away. Just one laugh, one look of excitement on his face, one hug, and all the feeling sorry for myself is gone. How can I feel sorry for myself when I have Max?

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm gonna hang whoever did this from the rafters

Someone stole my boobs.

They stole the fat that made them round and they took the elasticity that made them perky. Okay, kind of perky. Okay, they haven't been perky for a while, but they weren't this...dare I say it...I'm gonna say it...flaccid. There. I said it.

I don't know what monster did this, but I'm going to find you, dear kidnapper.

I didn't realize their fullness was absolutely gone until I bent over in our closet last week and what's left of my boobs fell out of my bra. Not because they are so voluptuous, but because they deflated.

I only breastfed for 2 months. And even then it was sporadic because I didn't produce enough milk. Is this the result of breastfeeding for a mere 7 weeks?

I've never had luck in the boob department. As a matter of fact, my boobs didn't even get big in pregnancy. Or with breastmilk. Or anything.

I used to have B cup boobs. While I was pregnant, I got super excited and ran out to buy C cup bras, just assuming mine would burst out like the next pregnant lady's.

Those beautiful C cup bras just stayed in my drawer, dejected, never used, never needed.

And now, damn them to hell, I have to go out and buy...and buy... A CUP BRAS!! And I'm gonna need those A cups with a forklift built in the bottom - no underwire is going to do with these popped balloons.

And now a letter to the kidnapper:

Dear Kidnapper,

I hope you are proud of yourself. You have left an already hormonal and emotional woman with no boobs, no cleavage, and no sex appeal. The necklines of the dresses I used to wear, like the gray and white striped one I wore for New Year's Eve three years ago, now gape open like the wound on my womanhood. Please. I beg of you. In the name of all things attractive, please return my boobs. I don't have any money, but I'm sure we can come up with something to exchange. Like my brand-new, never-been worn C-cup bras. You could use them in a quilt. Or make a handbag out of them. If bras aren't your thing (although you would think they would be with you out stealing boobs and all), then perhaps I can entice you with some of my belly fat. It's just like the fat you stole from my boobs, but there is definitely more of it. Really, you'd be coming out ahead.

I'll give you whatever you want. Just please. Return my boobs.


Your boobless hobo,


The first four days...

So, so far, 2010 has been tolerable. I'd even say pleasant. I mean, I know it's only day four, but really, just about every day in 2009 sucked, so four pleasant days in a row is big.

We spent New Year's Day lying around in our jam-jams and then ate dinner at my sister-in-law's house. On the 2nd, we layed around in our jam-jams until my husband had to go to work that night (he works at a pizza joint on weekend nights to earn extra dough...get it? dough? It's a pun. Okay, nevermind. It wasn't funny). Yesterday, I made turkey sausage and pancakes for breakfast. Then, we took our son outside to play in the snow! This is the second snow we have had here so far this winter, which is a big deal, because it doesn't snow too often here anymore. Damn global warming. Anyway, Max was sick during the last snowfall, so this was his first time!

Here are some pictures!

He could barely walk in all that gear.

Max is kinda mad in this one.

Oh, and in this one.

We don't own a sled, so my husband made one. Out of a plastic bin and some rope. Fancy. Max loved it! He laughed and laughed.

There go my two boys, up the street!

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. My son threw a monster fit when it was time to come inside and warm up. He brought us his boots and tried to put his coat on by himself because he wanted to go back out. When we said no, he threw his body onto the floor and kicked and screamed. We decided to leave the room and let him throw his tantrum by himself. No energy from us given to the tantrum, so we left and stood in the hallway. Until we heard banging coming from the kitchen. We peeked around the corner and saw that he was banging his forehead against the washing machine. Still throwing one awesome tantrum. Well, I couldn't let him thrash his cute little head, so I picked him up until he basically passed out in my arms.

Later, when we took him out again after his nap, our dog, Meeko (those of you who regularly read my blog know this dog is not my favorite), was having too much fun in the snow and jumped on top of Max while he was in his makeshift sled and gave my son a bruise on his forehead and a swollen left eye. Or maybe the bruise is from the washing machine. Regardless, that dog gave my son a red, swollen eye!

I said in 2010 I wanted to be able to take more showers. I can't even remember when I took a shower last. That is how long it has been. So far, I'm falling short on that one, but I have been working to improve my attitude and have more patience with all the men in my life (including Meeko). It takes practice. So far, so good...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blue Moon Year

So, last night, a little after midnight, my husband and I sat outside (in freezing temps, I might add), and bathed in the light of the Blue Moon, we wrote down all the negative we intend to release from 2009 and everything we intend to welcome in 2010. Then, we spoke our intentions aloud out into the Universe and to the Moon.

2009 was a nasty year for a lot of folks, including us, but now we begin the years of cooperation instead of competition. And now, we can move forward without looking back, clear and focused on the moment, forgetting the past year and anxiously awaiting this new one.

But first, I wanted to take a look back at the past year with a quiz I found on Finding Trinity. A great blog you should all take a look at! I love the stories she writes about her life with her daughter. And I hope nobody passes out because I'm actually writing two blogs in a span of three days!! It might not ever happen again.
Here we go:


I began to fit back into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes.


I don't officially make New Year's resolutions anymore. Not since realizing I can make changes all year round.


Yes, my friend, Erin (you can view her blog here) gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! He is now six months old. In this picture, Erin is holding her son and my son! She is a natural! Notice, how happy I am to let her.

Also, my cousin, Brandy, gave birth to my newest cousin, Nic! He is precious!! Congratulations to both Erin and Brandy!


No, just my ability to look like the woman I was in my pre-mommy days. My sense of fashion and make-up and desire to shower died this year. RIP pre-parenthood Amy.


Are you kidding? Time? Money? Nada. And do people with toddlers travel?


Time. Money. A grateful attitude. Time. Money. Consistent showers.


July 27th - my husband lost his job
August 16th - had a miscarriage
August 21st - my son's first birthday!




Only surviving.


Nothing that wasn't self-inflicted.


On a personal level, my husband's behavior this year was outstanding. Since becoming the father of a son and the husband of an unstable mother, he has really taken hold of the crazy train and even managed to slow it down sometimes.


My own.


Oh, must we go here? Bills, bills, bills, health insurance, bills, bills, bills, food, bills, bills, bills, diapers, bills, bills, bills.


I was truly excited when I found out in May that the reason for my long-time tummy suffering all these years was eating gluten. Now, that I have cut it out of my diet, I feel great!


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. It always brings a smile to my son's face. And all of the songs on Blue's Clue's.


Sadder, thinner, poorer. But, I have great hope for the new year and in my ability to turn myself around. And I don't want to stay thin because I want to have another baby. This year, I would welcome getting fat!






Ugly Betty. And whatever would hold my son's attention and keep him still.


No, but I do love some people more than I did this time last year. Like DJ Lance Rock. And Joe and Steve on Blue's Clues. And Murray from Sesame Street. And Elmo. What a bunch of great guys.


I haven't had the opportunity to read as many books this year as I normally do, but a couple I really liked were The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows, and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Elmo's CD of songs (a gift from my sister to Max). They both entertain my son in the car. They do, however, make my husband and I want to jump out.


Well, I didn't really want them, but I got some heavy-duty life lessons.


What is a film? Do people with kids still watch those?


I was 35. I went to my mother's house for dinner. And then I spent the rest of the evening in the ER having a miscarriage. Not my best birthday.


Well, naturally, if none of the tragedies that befell us would have happened, my year would have been immeasurably more satisfying. But, all in all, I can't say that I regret any of the bad that happened in 2009. Except the miscarriage. I really would have loved to have met our bright baby soul.

But, the rest...well, I learned a lot in 2009. I learned that my greatest fears can come true and I will survive. I learned how to hold tight to my family and appreciate what matters most in this life. I learned that I am not fulfilling my life purpose and I need to find what that is. I learned that being a SAHM is much harder than it looks. I learned I can live without a pair of Uggs. I learned that eating at home every night is kinda nice. I learned that my husband is an amazing man who just wants to do right by himself and his family. I learned that my family will jump to my assistance whenever I need it the most and for that I will be eternally grateful. I learned that I can live without the nicest home on the streeet, the prettiest decor, the newest furniture, new clothes, the greenest lawn, the prettiest flowers or decent bathrooms (although I'm still struggling with that bathroom part). I learned that constantly rushing isn't worth it and I have all the time I need.

And I learned that my son will eat whatever he wants and how much he wants, when he wants, no matter how much I stress and beg and plead, so I might as well just accept it and not get frustrated when he rejects yet another food. Yesterday, I made him a ricotta cheese and raspbery puree parfait, he rejected it, and I became agitated. But, today, when he rejected tomatoes, I took it like a champ. I'm trying.

Happy New Year everybody! This year was hard for so many, but I know that if you can let go of last year and begin anew with a fresh, clear head, this year will be a knock-out!