Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just, NO.

There's a disgusting story in the news around my home town lately... involving rape that took place at a daycare. I can't even believe I just typed that sentence. A woman who worked as a daycare provider is accused of "engaging in sexual conduct with an unknown infant."

Normally I would cover my ears, scroll past news, and completely hide from a story involving anyone hurting a baby. My heart can't handle these types of mental images... I feel the pain of the parents as if it were my own.

But, for some reason, I didn't ignore the news this time. Maybe it was literally too close to home? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm sick over it.

Aside from the disgusting mental images my brain has had to process... the parents learned about this from the police and were asked to IDENTIFY THEIR CHILD IN THE VIDEO... and then the vile daycare ownership had the nerve to ask the parents to "keep it discreet."

Just... F no. No no no no no.

AND THEN. Apparently to just add insult to injury every news story online, be it Facebook or the local paper's website or whatever, there's some jackass that has to comment "Just watch your own kids, problem solved." or "This is why I never let anyone but my mom watch my babies." (Why do I torture myself by even reading the stupid comments?)

To them, I reply: F you. Get your stupid head out of your dumb ass.

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a fairytale land where everyone had that option? Whoever wants to stay home with their kids, they can! Both parents work? Well then grandma or somebody can watch them! Not some STRANGERS, right?


Ignorant. Self-righteous. Assholes. Some people are just terrible, awful humans and they could even be related to you. Reality check, moron: you really can't trust anyone. Unthinkable, but it's the truth.

You do your due diligence. Research, pray, go with your gut instinct, etc. and all of the above... but in the end, we really just put ourselves out there and hope for the best and God help us all because they're BABIES.

I'm sad. I'm scared. But yet I get up each day and take MY beloved son to daycare, where I know the teachers by their first names and I feel like they have his best interests at heart. Then I go to work, dig in, and wait to hear about his day. Every day, I hope it was a good day.

I do what I do because it's what I feel is best for my family, forever and ever, amen.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday thoughts. Parenting ponderings.

I was just thinking that it's ridiculous how our priorities in life flip as we get older.

When you're young? The only thing that matters is playing.

Toddlers, Preschoolers, Little kids... it's all about getting through the boring stuff to playtime. Recess is everyone's favorite subject!

As teens, it was hanging out with your friends, talking/texting/flirting, singing along to the radio... all playing.

Then as young adults: Everybody's working for the weekend... (what's up! showing my age!) Let's do some day drinking, play some videogames, or watch Legally Blonde for the 48th time.

Now, with a child, we still work toward the fun times... but adult fun (shut up) is different. Sometimes it's the family vacation we've been planning for. Sometimes it's just an hour to read. Most times (for me, anyway) it has to do with getting some time to just not THINK. Getting a pedicure, playing candy crush, reading a book on my Kindle like a damn grown up.


The other thing is sleep. I love sleep. My brother and I decided that if we started a band we'd call ourselves "Defenders of Sleep" because we've taken a lot of crap from people over our love (and ability) to sleep.

If I could sleep 15 hours a day, I'd be thrilled just to have the time, with no other responsibilities. But honestly, I don't know if I could physically sleep that much anymore. (I'd give it a try, though.) I never thought I'd say this, but since becoming a parent I just... wake up sooner. I don't "need" more than 9 hours of sleep and I don't just knock out cold until somebody yells at me anymore.

I'm obsessed with Oliver's sleep too. Not exactly in that way that all parents are, like just generally wishing for "more sleep". But I want him to go to sleep, and stay there... it's irrationally important to me that he gets ENOUGH sleep. So much so that I will give in to the threenager stalling tactics just so he will fall out sooner. Because the fact that I have to wake him up at 7 every morning is a killer mom guilt moment. Basically, my little precious angel snowflake should be able to sleep until the morning sun fairies gently kiss his eyelids awake.

*And also, I'm maybe jealous. If Nick wanted to help me to go to sleep, and would sit and pat my back and rub my hair? THAT WOULD BE OKAY.

Friday, July 26, 2013

calling for backup

You may or may not know what it's like to be the only person (couple) in a 50-mile radius that you really trust to care for your young child. Sure, there are some less-than-involved grandparents in the area, but they were unreliable. Sad but true. Yeah, I have friends, but they're all either hundreds of miles away, or it's my one friend with a child who is super busy every day of her life.

Things have gotten so much easier lately. It's been a long time since I really felt like I had real backup... probably since before Nick's mom got sick.

So not only did I get my mom back, my dear cousin Ashley and her kid-loving husband Brandon moved home too!

I couldn't be more excited. We have real, reliable babysitters. We go on dates. Like, twice in the past two months. Whoa. And just when I get to missing him I get text updates.

Even better: now I don't stress about what might (will) happen when we have our second child. I know I will have help.

I am feeling so lucky and blessed and content right now!

Monday, June 24, 2013

a video for a friend

Thank God for Heather, man. If not for her & Jack prompting, we might not have recorded this video.

Gone are the days where the best I could get him to say is "I only like milk. Mommy only likes coffee." Because, while true, it doesn't really capture everything he's into. Enjoy:

Friday, May 31, 2013

three and a half.

I love three and a half. It's like, he still a little bi-polar crazy person, with mood swings that put PMS to shame, but oh man he is so much fun.

Sometimes when he wakes up in the morning he's happy to see me. On days like this he will smile & tell me he slept well. Other days, he yells at me, demanding that I leave him alone. Oh, and fetch my milk, woman!

I let him pick his shirt: penguin or Toy Story? He giggles & smiles & laughs because, of course Toy Story!

Then he cries because his snow boots are too small. I tell him it's summer, his feet will get too hot anyway: this could either result in a meltdown or indifference to the fact that I am even in the room.

In the car, he cocks his little head to the side and looks at me in the rear view mirror saying, "Mommy! You forgot my gummy! SILLY Mommy!"

Thankfully we're still in the garage... so I obligingly run back in the house for the precious gummy vitamin.

We see a tractor. We listen to his current favorite song, "For the Longest Time" by Billy Joel.

He goes to school and learns to write his name.

Self portrait, signed by the artist. 5/27/2013

On Tuesdays he has soccer class. He stretches big, listens well, and admires Coach James.

has big muscles
He comes home and tells me he has fast running feet.We practice in the backyard and he shows me all his new skills.

Bedtime can go either way, but he's generally a good listener even if he's a little wild. That time between 6:00 and 8:00 at night can be so draining... we're all tired from a long day, you know?

But when I wake up in the morning to find this:

I can't help but smile. I've forgotten that he smacked me in the face with his empty milk cup. I listen to his peaceful, even breathing for a minute. I hope this morning will be more silly than grumpy.

The good always outweighs the bad.
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Monday, March 18, 2013

the right direction

Last week I found out that one of Oliver's preschool teachers is pregnant.

Up until that point, apparently, that news would have instantly made me cry.

Don't get me wrong, it's still hard to hear about other people's pregnancies when I still feel like I should be in the middle of my own... the one we lost.

But that day, my gut reaction was to congratulate her, not immediately tear up and whimper "why not me?" Which is such a huge step for me.

So I don't know if 3 months is a long time or a short time or average, but that's how long it took me to accept my loss. To be able to think about it, talk about it, and most importantly, look ahead.

And to Jen: I'm sorry I missed these last three months celebrating with you. You've been so understanding and patient with me, and I can't wait to see you and hug you. And please, call me after that ultrasound appointment, I promise I'll be waiting by the phone!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We're dino-crazy.

This is Buddy. His favorite thing in the world is riding the Dinosaur Train.

So when we were in Washington DC this summer, at the end of our visit to the Natural History Museum, we told Oliver he could get a toy. We were all tired and he'd had such a long day and he had been so good... the boy deserved a reward. So I parked his stroller next to a souvenir stand and told him to pick out whatever he wanted. He picked a random three-pack of dinosaur toys. I think I actually tried to talk him out of them because they were from some show we'd never seen and I guess maybe I thought he'd be happier with some generic dinosaurs. I don't know.

Fast-forward to the trip home... we stopped at a Waffle House for dinner. (Scattered, smothered, covered and chunked - FYI) and another mom at the table next to us pointed out Oliver's toys to her son. Who then proceeded to tell us the names of the things and also what time periods they were from and some other random info. I smiled and nodded, talking to the mom, who told us her son had started out watching the dinosaur show and now he new everything about them. Cute, her son liked dinosaurs. They're a nice family.

So maybe a week later I came across Buddy there on the Netflix. What the hell, I thought. Better than another episode of Elmo's World, I thought.

I created a monster.

In the best way.

Confession: I love this show.

We know all the songs (and I have come thiiisclose to purchasing the soundtrack), we can identify theropods and pterosaurs and name their features, we have a running joke in our house about how Don likes to eat bugs, and Oliver was seriously bummed that he was not a stygimoloch.

He can recognize each episode by its Netflix thumbnail. We have yet to actually catch it on PBS, but now that there's new episodes I'm going to have to figure out the air times, because OMG new Dinosaur Train. I have 2 PBS Kids apps on my phone.

We're dino-crazy, and it's fun. We like it. It made for a really great birthday party.

Just ask Oliver about Dr. Scott... he'll tell you that's his friend, the paleontologist, who wants us to get outside, get into nature, and make our own discoveries.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

a conversation on each side of sleep

(8:00 pm)

Mommy, are you my best friend?
Yeah... I'd love that buddy.
Just me and you, nobody else.

... well, what about Daddy?
Oh, yeah, Daddy too.
Me and you and Daddy are all best friends?
Yeah, and nobody else.

Oh, and my puppy.
And my toys and my house.
And our new truck.

Good night, baby. I love you.
I love you too, Mama.


(8:00 am)

Wake up time, Mommy and Daddy! I came to get you guys!

(Crap, he figured it out.)

Can you get me some milmy?
I want to watch Dinosaur Train!
Is it wake up time?
Can I have a smoothie for breakfast?
I hafta go get my Toy Storys.
I want some milmy.
Can you turn on a movie?
I don't hafta go potty!
Can you be awake now?

*milmy is his word for milk.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

one of my finer parenting moments

Oliver has been playing "party" the last couple weeks. Like, he'll jump around and say it's a dance party, or he'll get up on our bed and have a party and say the pillows are the cake and presents.

We have a lot of pillows.

So the other day he was playing in our room and found a bag of decorations and supplies from his birthday party.

Yes, I'm very organized.

So he pulls out this roll of ribbon and says, "What is this? Can I play with it?"

Decision time. Do I let him unravel it and get it all tangled up or do I take it away and try some distraction when he (inevitably) gets pissed?

We had a party. I helped with the decorations & the cupcakes were delicious.

Friday, January 11, 2013

this morning

Oliver woke up at 6:40 a.m.

He yelled "Mama!"

I said "Hi buddy, are you awake?"

He said "Yes mama, can I get out of bed?"

(I'm guessing he didn't know if it was morning or night.)

He decided to hang out in my bed while I showered.

I came back in the room. He told me, "don't forget to blow dry your hair!"

(I don't know.)

Then after we picked out his shirt, I offered  him two stickers to get dressed all by himself.

I went in the kitchen to get his milk and my coffee.

After a few minutes he came running in, "wook, mama! I did it!"

"I'm so proud of you, buddy!"

He got back in the big bed while I finished getting ready.

I heard his voice from down the hall... and when I got back to my bedroom he said, "MOM. You gave me a lid that sounds like a bear when I drink."

(I have no idea.)

I was super glad to have some laughs with my boy before work.

Happy Friday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

quickly and simply

The Panzas have decided to lay off of fast food for the entire month of January.

I'm looking forward to it! We did it last January and it was great. It's a little difficult at first, because I have a serious love affair with pizza. But! it's great for the bank account, not to mention our health. Plus, it comes at a good time... with all the junk food we ate over the holidays... not to mention all the money spent around the holidays... So I'm laying off the McDonald's (ta-ta, Peppermint Mocha) and Nick's turning down the lunchtime trips to Subway.

Unfortunately, our habit affects dinner too... and Ollie's gotten used to getting a toy with his chickens and french fries as part of our normal grocery shopping routine. Yet another reason to knock it off. Usually every other week, the routine is for me to pick up the guys and run over to Burger King or Wendy's and grab some food before hitting the store. While not shopping on an empty stomach is good... and dinner out can make for a less stressful evening... we're making an effort to work around that.

Nick's going to try out doing the shopping before I get home from work. And if that doesn't work out well, we can always eat quickly at home or even go on the weekend, I guess. We like avoiding the weekend when possible, not only because there are more people to contend with, but junk like grocery shopping and cleaning cut into our precious family time.

Don't even get me started on the cleaning. Dang dog hair.

Anyhow, that's not a New Year's resolution, it's just something we're doing starting January 1. Ending January 31.

See, my real resolution is to be on time for work. Like, be at my desk by 8:05. Mostly because I just hate making Oliver rush around in the morning. Sweet boy likes to sleep as much as I do, and I don't want my childish inability to get my ass out of bed to affect him. So, I'm trying to grow up. Ha!

Especially since the end of 2012 was so dang nutty... at once happier and sadder than ever... it's time to streamline, clean up, simplify, and start over. I like 2013 already.