Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the most frightening time of the year

It's the most frightening time of the year
There'll be toddler fit throwing
And shaking head “no” ing
When Santa comes near
It's the most frightening time of the year

There'll be cocktail party invitations for declining
Crying and whining
And complaining because there’s no snow
There'll be scary Elf on the Shelf stories
And tales of the glories of
Drunken Christmases long, long ago (before we all had children)

It's the scare-scariest season of all
With some tushy beatings and clenched-teeth meetings
And tantrums at the mall
It's the scare-scariest season of all
PS - Don't feel too badly for M. She dried those tears up approximately 2.3 seconds after we got off Santa's lap. No severe emotional damage done.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dog Vigilance

When we first brought Marryn home from the hospital, we were nervous to say the very least. We worried about her eating, sleeping, eliminating, her safety, her comfort, the list went on and on. We also worried about how our dogs would react to her. We were hyper vigilant when they interacted with her, only allowing them to sniff her head and blankets when we were holding her. We never EVER left them alone together, even for a few seconds. Our dogs are sweet and lovable, and we didn’t think they’d ever intentionally harm her. But they are animals, after all, and large ones at that.

That was then. Fast forward two years to the present. A visitor to our home can regularly see Marryn riding Boz like a horse, laying in ADS’s bed, kissing the dogs in the face, crawling underneath them, and hiding under blankets together. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into our bedroom and seen both dogs in our bed with Marryn lying on top of them. Boz and AD join Marryn for bath time (as observers, not participants), play time, story time, and (most especially) meal time. They are buds.

When baby boy arrives in March we will need to get back some of that vigilance. Boz & AD have been exposed to one child, but I’m sure they have forgotten how tiny and helpless their baby girl once was. I’m sure they’ve also forgotten how loud and smelly she used to be, and how she frequently disturbed their intensive nap schedule. There will be another period where we’ll need to keep them separated from the new baby until everyone becomes accustomed to each other.

I know that dogs are colorblind – seeing the world in limited shades. However, I also know there is no limit to their unconditional love, and they are loyal as hell. I’m not as worried this time. Saddle up pups. A new cowboy is coming.
This video was made a year ago, but the activity repeats today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

One week

Last week, we moved into a new house. It's located thirty miles west of our previous home, and outside of city limits. We are in a neighborhood, but, relatively speaking, we live in the country. It's been a fun process that's still ongoing. I took some time today to reflect on the last week.

Some things I've learned from one week in the new house:
1. Stairs are a child's best friend. They are instant boredom beater.

2. Thirty minutes in a car goes by really quickly.

3. You can’t underestimate the utility of an indoor utility room. And yes, I know calling it a utility room sounds like 1954.

4. You can't be embarassed to use directions like, "Take a left at the dead oak tree." They are succinct and save time. That’s why they are called “directions”.

5. Dogs will chase after deer even if they have no hope of catching them.

6. The same dogs will forget they didn’t catch the deer the day prior, and will continue to chase said deer.

7. A toddler imitating a coyote howling is the funniest sound ever.

8. It's dark outside city limits. Like really. Really. Dark.

9. It's also quiet outside city limits. Like really. Really. Quiet.

10. In both of the above statements, dark & quiet = awesome.

11. You must master the one finger recognition wave while driving. It's the polite thing to do.

12. Get used to seeing a lot of stray animals. Some are actually homeless, and deserve pity. Others are perfectly well taken care of - just out on an adventure - and deserve to be envied.

13. I prefer my husband with scruff on his face and longer hair. It just seems to suit him better here.

14. Home is where the heart is. For me, my heart happens to be in the form of a loving husband, a precious child, and two sweet hound dogs. Home is wherever I’m with them.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Toddler Addendum to the Open Door Policy

Ever since I’ve had some awareness about me, I’ve been a relatively modest person. I didn’t walk around in the locker room in my cheerleading sports bra any longer than just to change clothes. I didn’t live in the “naked hall” in the Tri Delta house. I didn’t change in front of my female roommates post college. I’ve given birth in front of Ben, and I still shut the door to the bathroom.

However, nothing breaks the modesty rules like having a child. For me it began at the eight week OB appointment. You know the one I mean – the appointment with the apparatus. I saw that thing and figured that my body was no longer my own. How right I was.
It makes sense really. First, your child lives in your body. Then if you breastfeed, they practically live on it. Then they live attached to it – by your leg, your arm, your waist, your brain, your heart. The adage, one hand, one heart is actually way more applicable to the mother child relationship than the husband wife one.

So now, the girl who was never really all that comfortable with being naked has become a mother who doesn’t think twice about it. I can’t recall the last time I went to the restroom alone or didn’t have company in the shower, and honestly, it’s ok. We’ll have plenty of time to address the complexity of body image. The longer we can put that off, the better. For now, let’s throw modesty out the window. I just hope no one’s peeking into that window.
My newfound laissez faire attitude regarding modesty doesn’t extend to the internet, so I don’t have an appropriate picture of either of us that relates well to this post. I’ll just post a funny naked picture of someone else’s baby instead.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sometimes She's A Little Scary

We’ve been hit with a language bomb in the McMurrey household. Our baby girl who a month ago used to spout out phrases like “Mommy read” and “Daddy kiss”, has now graduated to a much more sophisticated manner of speaking worthy of her toddlerhood. It seemed to happen overnight. Some of Marryn’s recent bon mots have included the following:

“Daddy’s panties have flags on them.” Ben would want me to explain here that she is referring to his boxers. He does not, in fact, wear panties, but that’s how M sees them.
“Trust me Mommy. It goes here,” after I questioned her puzzle solving capabilities.

“My medicine is purple. It’s sweet” Has anyone else had a cough the entire month of October?
"I’ll see you later,” as I dropped her off at school. It’s a shame she has such trouble transitioning at school drop off. Yeah right.

This is her "get a load of this"expression.

Marryn has also apparently developed a sense of memory recall more suited to an aged pachyderm. She remembers A LOT, especially the things I’d rather she didn’t. Like when I say “Dangit” and “Heck”. (Granted these are tame “curse” words, but it’s still jarring to hear them coming out of a two year olds mouth.) We’ll go weeks without seeing someone, and she will bring them up out of the blue, and talk about the last time we saw them. I will hide the leftover Halloween candy, and like the annoying kid at the carnival who wins all the games and makes the carnies mad, she finds the secret cabinet. She knows that My Little Pony is on TV on the weekends instead of Dora The Explorer.

I sound like I’m bragging, but really I’m just amazed. When did she get so with it? What will she say next? Is my child an evil genius? More importantly, will these recent developments make her easier to potty train? Dangit, I hope to heck it’s so.