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An Anticlimactic Potty Story

An Anticlimactic Potty Story

The worst thing about taking toddlers out in public is when they have to go potty. Or trying to use the potty yourself while you yell, “Don’t touch that! Get your hands off the floor!”

Here’s one rousing story out of our three public potty breaks today:

An Anticlimactic Potty Story

This afternoon, we were all at our limit during our last stop of the day. It was after 3pm, and we’d left the house at 9am. My Costco grocery list was simple – butter, milk, strawberries. I asked my 5 year old to repeat it with me so I wouldn’t forget, “Butter, Milk, Strawberries, nothing else!”. Any more exertion and that baby boy in my belly might arrive 2.5 weeks early! It had been a long. day. Did I mention that?

We trekked across the Costco parking lot and I hoisted my 2.5 year old into the cart (but unfortunately sat her in a less than desirable spot, and had to remove her immediately). She insisted on sitting in the basket of the cart. My 5 year old pointed out the picture on the seat with an “x” through a child sitting in the basket. I nodded, “Yeah, I know; you’re not supposed to sit in there, but she’s going to today.” I figured 37.5 week pregnant women are allowed to be bad mothers once in awhile.

With my belly heavy and aching, we soldiered through a multitude of sample carts, me loading the kids up with their own personal snack bar. My toddler had an impressive snack buffet laid out on top of my reusable bags in the cart in no time at all.

Tragedy struck briefly when she spilled all but two pieces of popcorn out of her caramel/cheese popcorn mix, but that was quickly remedied with another quick swipe at the popcorn sample cart. No apologies here.

We passed a dried pear man, who wanted to tell me all about the 11 pounds of pears that went into this one bag of dried pear slices. I nodded and raised my eyebrows, feigning absolute amazement, and pushed on. We were almost there! The land of milk and honey (or butter) was near!

But adversity was on the horizon – my toddler had begun to complain about needing to go potty. AGAIN.

I reminded her she’d JUST been to the potty at the last store – and she didn’t even go! She could wait two minutes (okay, 20 minutes, until we got home. But toddlers have a terrible sense of time, and it’s very easy to take advantage of their ignorance.).

I halted at the Dr. Praeger’s cart of veggie burgers, and maybe that was my biggest mistake. But I’d been so intrigued by these veggie burgers for so long; I had to try one. I chatted with the veggie burger lady for a moment, and it was then my 2 year old began complaining in earnest.

Moving more quickly now, we sped to the end of the veggie burger aisle where, dangit, they had a gluten-free chicken nugget sample cart. This is not something my kids get but for very rare occasions. So, although I was tempted to speed on, I saw my 5 year old eyeing the samples and I knew that wouldn’t fly. We stopped for a nugget. The sample lady had to tell me of all the salubrious benefits of these wonderful nuggets (which I wasn’t impressed by).

Feeling ever-increasing unease at my younger daughter’s persistence that she had to go potty, I smiled and rushed away from the nugget cart.

We finally made it to the butter aisle whereupon our predicament reached a peak. The toddler was now clutching her crotch, eyes wide with alarm, eyes teary. I thought, “Oh crap; I’ve misjudged the situation!”.

Desperately, I raked my eyes over the butter display. Where was the organic, unsalted butter?? I looked from the butter case, to my agonized daughter, back to the butter. “Oh God, where is the butter!!!”, I cried to myself.

I gave up.

I implored my oldest to hurry and we raced back the way we’d come. The veggie burgers and pear slices were all a blur as we zoomed towards the front of the store. Yes, the butter is about as far away as you can get from the restrooms at our Costco.

We drew nearer and nearer to a sample cart we’d neglected to hit before and I sensed my curious 5 year old starting to lag. Then the sample lady said something to her or me, I don’t know which. In a frenzy, I barked, “Don’t stop; keep going!!!”, as if our lives depended on it.

At long last, we’d reached the Promised Land, the restrooms! What a gleaming, glorious site! I whisked my 2 year old out of the cart and into the very first open stall. In my haste, I’m not even sure I lined the seat with toilet paper before I sat her on it.

She delicately tinkled and she was done.

No impressive explosion of any sort.

I ran my extremely pregnant self through Costco for THAT?

It was so anticlimactic.

THIS, my friend, is why you should never give your child an entire carton of chocolate milk when you’re still two errands away from home. In fact, I suggest no liquids for 24 hours previous to your outing, just in case.

potty training

The moral of this story is:

You can never be too careful in matters of the heart poop and pee.

Today’s Arduous Shopping Trip (Or, Why You Should Always Carry A Quarter In Your Purse)

My Aldi's Shopping Trip

Today’s shopping trip required a long venting text to a friend afterward…I LOVE my local Aldi’s, but this shopping trip in particular was a fairly trying one.

My Aldi's Shopping Trip

Let me tell you the tale…

I was rushing to grab just a few items before I had to pick up my older daughter from dance class. I carried my 2.5 year old daughter above my big pregnant belly to hurry the trip along. I set her in a shopping cart, and rummaged in my purse for a quarter to unlock it. Nothing. Just 3 pennies. Jealously, I look over at a happy elderly couple blessed with a 25 cent cart of their own before I hustle my daughter out of the cold and into the store. She immediately begins crying, “I’m tired of walking! I want a shopping cart!”. How do you explain to a 2 year old the process of renting a shopping cart and getting your quarter back for returning it to the corral when you’re done so the grocery store can cut costs? You don’t. So she cried throughout the entire store.

Aldi shopping trip

So I’m in Aldi’s discount grocery store, 36.5 weeks pregnant, in high heeled boots, with a crying toddler. I had neither a cart, nor reusable bags. I was there to buy, among other items, a heavy bag of flour and cans of beans.

I tried to distract my daughter from her tears with a pack of napkins to carry, oh what fun! Alas, this lasted only 3 minutes before she began crying about having to carry those heavy napkins.

After finally locating the beans (having asked an employee for direction who looked at me as if bean buying was a highly irregular occurrence…”Beans??”, she exclaimed! And I suddenly felt like a very odd, very gassy person.), I was lucky enough to find a box for my groceries!

This box happened to be on the lowest shelf, so I squatted down to unload my arm full of groceries. My daughter happily put her napkins in the box too. I slowwwly unsquatted my pregnant self back to a standing position. Hefting the box (with flour and beans and impulse buys) onto my hip, I turned to leave with a satisfied sigh.

Except then I saw the milk display case. Nearly empty, but with a $1.49 sign above it. “Wow!”, I thought! “I should buy some milk while I’m here! That’s a great price!”. Unfortunately, it just so happened that all the gallons of milk on the top shelves were gone. Only the very bottom row had any milk left in stock.

Not one to let slight annoyances get in the way of a good deal, I squatted down once again. And by some miracle, I was able to haul my body, my box of groceries, AND that gallon of milk back up off the floor. In my high heeled boots, without falling over!

At this point, I was definitely done “window shopping” and listening to my daughter whine, so we headed to the register. We walked right up to a deserted checkout with an employee ready and waiting for us! What luck!! The skies were clearing!

However, double checking my list as I threw items onto the belt, I realized I’d forgotten powdered sugar – a definite must have to make my daughter a birthday cake this weekend! I felt bad, but I told the cashier I needed to run and grab it as more customers lined up behind me. The baking aisle was as close as it could be; it would only take a second.

But my daughter panicked, screaming, “Mommy, don’t leave me!!” as she began crying louder than before.

Feeling nearly defeated, I threw the sugar on the belt and whipped out my credit card. I was almost done; I just might be able to make it to the car without any more trauma or drama!

Except going out the door, we encountered a lady whose toddler decided to stop right smack in the middle of it, which stopped the lady short in front of us, which caused ME to smack my daughter upside the head with the gallon of milk and step on her shoe. Upon which another round of crying ensued.

But you know, it was all worth it. I came home and was able to proudly tell my hubby how I saved him a whole dollar* on my shopping trip AND we managed to survive!

Moral of the story: Pay it forward; next time, leave your quarter in the cart just in case a very pregnant mama with a very whiny toddler comes along quarter-less and bag-less. 🙂

*I exaggerate, but all other details in story are completely unembellished.

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery theme

Nursery themes are always so much fun to put together! Preparing a special nursery space is my favorite way to contain all the anticipation I feel for welcoming the newest member of our family.

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery theme

I am due in just 5.5 short weeks with our 3rd child, and his nursery is still a work in progress. Reusing the same furniture and wall color was a must (we hate painting!), but we’re changing out all the decor. I’ll share photos off his nautical themed nursery when it is done!

Meanwhile, here’s some pics of my last nursery theme, which proved to be quite difficult in executing. At the time I chose this theme, there was almost NO Hungry Caterpillar themed decor to be found anywhere. When I did find it, it was quite expensive. That resulted in several DIYWMH (do-it-yourself-with-Mom’s-help) projects. 😉 Zulily, Amazon, and an online fabric site were my bff’s!

Enjoy!

Hungry Caterpillar Nursery decor
Hungry caterpillar switchplate (DIY, just modge podge and a fabric scrap!), framed puzzle, bookends, etc that we found on Zulily.
Eric Carle shelf decor
On the shelf: I bought a cardboard “C” at Hobby Lobby and used Modge Podge to cover it with a strip of leftover fabric from the valance my Mom and I made. The blocks were special ordered from Etsy, and the wooden toy from Amazon. On the crib: My friend found a hungry caterpillar plush at a yard sale for $1. 🙂
Eric Carle fabric made the cutest switch plate!
Close up of the switch plate I covered in a fabric scrap – it was a sticky project, and involved a learning curve, but still holding up after 2.5 years!
Hungry Caterpillar puzzle
We found some Hungry Caterpillar puzzles at a bargain store for $3 each. I picked up the frame on clearance at Michael’s and was delighted to find it fit the puzzle perfectly! So much cheaper than the licensed prints I found online, and I love the playful look of a puzzle in a child’s room!
Hungry Caterpillar bookshelf
We found an apple shaped bank on Zulily as well as a musical jewelry box. Score!
Hungry Caterpillar changing area
On the shelf to the right: Some wooden buckets from the Target Dollar spot (from a friend), a small wooden toy from Amazon and a music globe from Zulily. Diaper basket half off at Michael’s I believe…
Hungry Caterpillar nursery theme
The Very Hungry Caterpillar rug is actually a tummy time mat, but it made a perfect, plush rug.

So that was our second child’s nursery decor! It’s a little sad to dismantle the decor after all the love I put into it, but I feel like the new little guy should get his own nursery theme. Plus, how else am I supposed to keep the ants in my pants away in anticipation of his arrival? I need something to keep me busy besides an entire house to clean, meals to cook, a hubby and two kids…. 😉

What was your child’s nursery theme? Did you DIY, or buy most of it?

 

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery Theme!

How Your Friend with the Colicky Baby Really Feels (And How You Can Support Her)

colicky baby

Hi, my name is Rachel and I had a colicky baby.

I’ve thought several times of writing a post with tips how to survive, tips for soothing a colicky baby, etc. But there are many good resources already, I’m sure. However, I didn’t have time to research them during our colicky baby “adventure”. I had my hands full – literally – with a crying baby nearly every waking minute of the day. Even the non-waking moments.

colicky baby

So I thought today, I would write about how having a colicky baby made me feel. If you know a mom with a colicky baby, read my tips in the bullet points. Maybe they will help you understand and support your friend a little better. 🙂

Looking back, that time for me is a blur. I don’t remember much except feeling miserable and alone. Now, I look at photos of my baby girl and I see how adorable she was. In that moment, my heart swells, and I remember the love and adoration I felt when I snapped that photo of her sweet face. But then I also see that tear, still fresh on her cheek, and I remember what a brief respite from the crying that moment was. That mostly I felt in that moment sweet relief, and an anxious fear that any moment she would resume crying. I felt a desperation to capture as many non-crying moments as I could, but there were so few!

Colic is supposed to last about 3 months, but in reality, I feel like ours lasted much longer. I didn’t relax or feel like I could take a deep, easy breath until she was one year old.

I didn’t have any family in the area to help me, so I never got a break. I was alone all day with a two year old and a crying baby.

If I went out into public, baby would taunt me by being on her best behavior. I felt ridiculous, like if I told people what our days were really like, they would never believe me. Probably the reason baby was so good in public is because I typically carried her in a ring sling or wrap. She loved to be held. While you were standing. And moving. But try doing that all day long on only four hours of sleep and see how you feel!

  • If your friend tells you she’s having a rough day, that her baby cries all the time, that she can’t take it anymore, pay attention. Don’t brush her off as being overly dramatic.

I don’t know how many times I tried to tell people I was struggling, and no one ever seemed to really understand the depths of my misery.

I received help just once. A friend saw a post of mine on Facebook and came over to show me some tips that worked for her colicky little guy. I was never so grateful when my baby slept for the next four hours – the longest stretch ever!! Except then the baby was up all night. I was damned if she slept, damned if she didn’t. Nothing I did mattered, nothing helped, nothing would make it better. I was at my wit’s end.

  • If your friend vents on Facebook once in a blue moon, don’t EVER tell her how blessed she is to have a baby in the first place. That it isn’t as easy for some people to get pregnant. That some people can’t have babies at all.  Chances are, she knows this full well, and feels like crap for not being capable enough, patient enough, or good enough to handle her own life and child.

When I had a colicky baby, I felt trapped. I wasn’t accomplishing anything, just barely surviving. My house was a mess, prepping healthy meals and snacks to get myself back to a normal pre-baby weight was nearly impossible, and I wasn’t able to do anything I enjoyed.

  • If your friend smiles and tells you she’s doing ok, don’t believe her. Never give her the benefit of the doubt. Offer to take hold baby. Get the woman a cup of coffee. Of course she can do it with one hand, but she would like to feel a surge of freedom now and then. 🙂

By evening, when hubby got home, I was exhausted. But my day wasn’t over because colic gets worse in the evening. And forget sleeping soundly…my baby was fussy even in her sleep. I could hear her rustling, crying out, whimpering during the night. And then she would wake to eat more often than necessary, sometimes only 45 minutes after her last meal. She didn’t like to take a bottle, even if I actually found the time to pump her milk.

Being on call 24/7, with never a restful night’s sleep takes a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically!

My daughter also liked to comfort nurse – I was her pacifier! More often than not, me and my boob were the only path to happiness and harmony. This is incredibly draining (no pun intended, ha!), and puts such a great weight on one’s shoulders.

What would have helped me back then was a listening, non-judgmental ear.

I also could have used a friend who let me dash out to the grocery alone while baby napped. Someone who would hold and walk with the baby while I took a shower. I was desperate for peace and quiet, with time to do something I loved – cooking or baking. I daydreamed about cooking giant meals and decadent desserts for anyone who would come and hold my baby for awhile.

  • Moms of colicky babies don’t need your judgment. They need your help to keep their sanity.

I loved my baby, but I couldn’t take her constant crying and need for attention. People would tell me, “They grow up so fast; enjoy the cuddles while you can!”. But how do you enjoy non-stop kisses and snuggles while your house falls down around your ears? When you never get to talk to your husband because you can’t hear each other over the noise? When you look in the mirror and all you see is a fat, tired, slob?

When people made those “enjoy this time!” remarks, it only made me feel guilty and even more downtrodden than I already was.

At age 2.5, my daughter is still a more difficult, dramatic child than my first born ever was. But she is also the sweetest, cuddliest little cupcake you ever did see. She is funny and spunky and full of life. And I can totally see how she was a colicky baby. She was a needy, high maintenance baby just as she is a needy, high maintenance toddler.

I wish I could have seen then what I see now, and comprehended her personality a little better. Because it all makes sense, now!

But what matters is that one way or another, we somehow made it through the colic. We all survived. And hopefully now, both you and I can help someone with a colicky baby someday. 🙂