Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Mama’s Big Girl Panties

I’ve mentioned K’s bathroom hijinks and habits in previous posts. That kid is convinced that I don’t need to go to the bathroom by myself ever. We do have locks but they sometimes don’t work well.

Best case scenario is that the lock holds and I have a 3 year old and 1 year old banging drum solos, singing to me, and sticking their fingers under the door while I try to relieve myself.

It actually reminds me of almost every horror movie I’ve ever seen. Although, instead of a blood thirsty monster breaking in on a hapless heroine, it is milk thirsty little cookie monsters trying to reach their bedraggled mother with demands. K always decides that when mom goes potty is the exact moment he must have a drink. (Has someone been doing weird Pavlovian experiments on my son?!)

A few weeks ago I was trying to be productive catch my breath while the kids were napping. I went to the bathroom with the expectation of actually having five minutes to myself. (Oh hindsight…)

Did I mention K has ninja abilities?

“Mom, I’m firsty! Hey, are you wearing a diaper in your big girl panties? What is that? Did you poop yourself? That’s yucky!”

No words.

I’d like to say that I calmly explained some version of “the story” to my inquisitive ninja 3 year old. I’d love to tell you that I was mature and serene and intelligent. That I knew exactly what to say. I’d really like to, but I can’t…

“I will give you a piece of your Halloween candy and some juice when I get done if you will go to the living room and stay there.”

Someday mama will put on her big girl panties and explain lady things to her son. This was not that day. He knows babies grow in their mama’s tummies and that boys and girls have different parts. He knows what a bra is. But I’m not explaining mommy diapers for a while.

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To-Do Lists

As a mom I always have a mental to-do list. I rarely write it down, but most days it would look something like this:

1. Laundry (Folding?)- in progress
2. Pull out things for dinner
3. Keep children alive
4. Vacuum the living room
5. Lunch
6. Vacuum again
7. Get both kids to nap
8. Clean while kids nap
9. Shower?
10. Pee alone
11. Give up on 6-10 and spend 2 hours getting K to nap. E will pop up when K goes to sleep.
12. Count the minutes until Daddy gets home.

I started wondering today what my kids’ to-do lists would look like. So far this morning I would guess something like this:

E’s to-do list:
1. Climb on every piece of furniture.
2. Hide from mommy and poop.
3. Crawl between the chair and the wall despite mommy’s protest.
4. Cry when I get stuck behind the chair.
5. Try to rip the blinds down. (Thwarted by mommy)
6. Make brother scream by Sitting on him and kissing him.
7. Watch mommy pull her hair out and giggle- in progress

K’s to-do list:
1. Rise before the sun.
2. Wake everyone up.
3. Beg for cereal.
4. Cry because I really wanted waffles.
5. Follow mommy to the bathroom and sing to her. Ignore her pleas for me to leave.
6. Avoid getting tackled by sister.
7. Whine because sister tackled me and licked me.
8. Pull every blanket out of my room and the blanket basket in the living room.
9. Try to use the one blanket mommy is using.
10. Talk loudly while mommy tries to get sister to nap.

E kissing/licking brother:

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It has been a long morning. Only an hour until Daddy gets home from work. (It is his short day.)

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Bonsai Baby Butt Bomb

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This picture really says it all.

This was not a fluke or some rare occurrence. E really does enjoy sitting on her brother. Poor K doesn’t stand a chance. If he tries to tackle and wrestle with her, she comes back ten fold. That little girl can take her big brother down.

Her signature move is waiting for K to lay down on the floor and plopping down on his head. Daddy has lovingly named this move the Bonsai Baby Butt Bomb.

She doesn’t do anything maliciously though. She is just a tough little cookie. She gleefully climbs all over everyone with a big smile. Watching them fills me with a sense of pride in her toughness and pity for K. I can already see her becoming skilled in the art of brother pestering.

Daddy, Poppy, and Papaw don’t stand a chance either… I can already picture her looking up at her dad or grandpas with those big blue eyes and watching them turn to putty in her little hands.

Daddy says we are going to lock her away when she hits puberty and arrange a marriage to one of our friends’ boys…

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Halloween from the other side…

I have a confession; last night was my first time to go trick or treating as a parent. I know K is 3, but the past couple of years we have just done the Fall Festival at our church and Halloween party at a friend’s house.

I know. I fail at Halloween.

This year we decided to brave the crowds in my mother’s neighborhood and take the plunge. K walked and E cruised in her car stroller. (By far one of the coolest gifts she got for her birthday.)

Pretty much everyone was instantly endeared with our little Minnie Mouse being pushed around in her little red car. K got asked about a million times if he was Bob the Builder.

“No! I’m K Construction Worker!”

Despite looking like a perfectly reasonable Bob the Builder and liking Bob the Builder, he was not Bob the Builder.

We saw a lot of super cute costumes and a few we were less than thrilled with. Andy repeatedly told me that E will never dress up as “slutty” anything or he will lock her up and arrange her marriage to one of our friends’ boys. We did see an awful lot of preteens trying to be “sexy”. Failures included “sexy dead cheerleader”, “slutty taxi”, and vast array of other tweens sporting too much make-up and a Wonder Bra. It was slightly terrifying.

I practiced our Halloween rules with K throughout the day:
1. You must hold Mommy’s hand while walking.
2. Make sure to say “trick or treat” and “thank you”.
3. If they let you get your own candy, take one piece unless they say otherwise.

Following these rules got K gobs of candy. A three year old who politely takes one piece is often rewarded with a big handful being dropped in his bag.

When we got back to my mom’s, I gave E a sucker and let K pick out two treats. In a huge bag full of chocolate and suckers, he chose pretzels and fruit snacks! I was impressed and slightly baffled. (My child picked healthy stuff over chocolate?)

We bathed kiddos and set off for home by way of Starbucks for a peppermint hot chocolate. K was out pretty quickly but E was fighting it hard! She dug in her bag and pulled out the half loaf of French bread we had brought to mom’s to go with dinner. That little girl ate two and a half pieces of bread and finally went to sleep.

All in all, it was a good experience and we have enough candy to bribe kids until Christmas.

We went by my little sister’s work to say hi:

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Glow Stick Bath and Fall Fun

It is finally starting to feel like Fall in the Lone Star State. We’ve actually needed light jackets the past few days! We almost turned the heater on tonight but decided to settle for warm jammies and blankets.

Somehow the “cold” weather is having varied effects on our family. All I want to do is snuggle up and sleep, but the kids have been popping up before dawn. I had both kids clinging to me and demanding things before six this morning. I have a rule now that I don’t make breakfast before the sun comes up.

I’m grateful for my husband’s job, but his early shift on Sundays is getting old. I get so frazzled trying to get the kids and I ready for church by myself. I try to trap E in the living room so I can take a shower but K knocks down the gate for her. They do their best brother/sister collaboration when they storm the bathroom to find mommy.

A cup of coffee with my mom, wonderful worship music, and helping my dad with Children’s Church all soothed my mom soul. Andy met us and we ate lunch with a sweet lady from church who opened her home to several of the young families. We are blessed.

Tonight we attended our church’s Fall Festival. This year was a western theme. They had games, candy, a hay ride, a bounce house, hot dogs, ponies, and even two boa constrictors to pet. (Having a former museum curator as an elder can have its perks!)

Here is our little Minnie Mouse:

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Construction Worker K:

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My father-in-law found a real carpenter kit for $10 and I found the vest at Dollar Tree for $1. He was super cute and now has all the gear to help with remodeling the Old House.

Our dear friends came and here is Thor J with Construction Worker K:

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My friend Nicole has a great blog about raising J. He is an amazingly smart kiddo and a sweetie but has seizures and other special needs.

E decided she was just going to sit for a minute:

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Andy shaved his beard into a mustache and dressed up as his dad. I wore one of my homemade bows.

Here we are at my dad’s booth:

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We got home and K asked if he could use all the glow sticks he got in the bath. Of course I said yes! Glow sticks are a great sensory bath activity. You can just throw them in the bath or put them inside water balloons to make glowing orbs. We wash them really quickly with the lights on and then turn them off and let them play.

It is hard to capture a glow stick bath on camera…

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Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend! I’m beat. I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow being Monday!

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Monsters from The Blue Slime Lagoon: Making Homemade Slime

We love sensory play in our house. I try to do a couple activities a week. I have been coveting a sensory bin table recently. I hope we can build one when we move to the “Old House” in a few months. For now we have a big red bin that we use as our sensory bin.

E gets to participate in most activities, but I try to do a few each month especially for K when sister is napping. Even at 13 months old, E still takes a lot of my attention. I think it is good for K to get some special mommy time when possible.

In honor of Halloween we decided to make slime. K decided it had to be blue slime. Everything has to be blue right now.

I set up our red bin on an old blanket*. I added one tub with corn starch. I also added a bowl of water with some little scoops. (Save formula scoops if you have them! They make great sensory scoops.)

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He added a big heaping amount of blue food coloring to his corn starch.

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He added water and mixed it by hand.

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Mommy’s hands ended up blue too.

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“My hand is slimy!!”

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He poured it out into the bin and played with cars, a rocket ship, and his dinosaurs.

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The neat thing about corn starch slime is that corn starch sediment will settle on the bottom. It is hard when you pick it up but turns back into slime in your hands. He played for about an hour.

It was messy. If you do it over carpet, make sure you have a thick blanket or towels underneath. We threw the dirty blanket and clothing in the wash. I poured most of our slime down the bathtub drain and threw the toys in with the bath water.

When I started running the bath water to clean up, E woke up from her nap. She wasn’t sure she wanted to trust mommy’s blue hands but finally came to me and joined K in the bath. They played for about 30 minutes in their murky blue bath.

Our hands only have a little blue on our fingertips and nail beds. Just enough blue to suggest the onset of frostbite, but we are not so blue as to give the impression that we should live in a toadstool and battle a guy named Gargamel.

*The blanket we throw down for a lot of things is about to be ten years old. I won a car wash kit at Senior Celebration after my senior prom. I traded it to a guy for a quilt bed set he won. I used it all through college and now it is well worn and thread bare but loved.

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Parenting Truths: Part 1

A few observations from this week and life in general.

1. The preteen girl section at Target looks like bedazzled pole dancer wear. I’m scared of E growing out of the little girl section.

2. Little girl clothes are amazing because when the dresses get too short they become shirts. Pants turn into capris too. When boy clothes get too short, they look like ragamuffins and make you feel like the worst mom ever.

3. Kids in footie pjs are the cutest thing ever. I especially love E in them with her cockatoo hair after taking her bow out.

4. Seeing a baby in footie pjs with a big visible load in their pants is surprisingly more hilarious than gross.

5. My kids are unable to poop quietly… unless we are about to go somewhere. If we are about to leave I won’t know until just before trying to load the car. If we are in public everyone in a 5 mile radius will know.

6. People telling me to cherish every moment makes me angry. I know they mean well, but better (and more realistic) advice for a mom is to cherish your children each day. Relish each stage of development and appreciate your little people. If you choose not to cherish being bone tired, covered in poop, and and one tantrum away from a personal meltdown, you are not a bad mom- you’re human.

7. My daughter turns into a crazy mix of super sweet and super rough when she is sleepy. Kisses abound but I often get my glasses yanked off.

8. Little girls cultivate a love of shoes early. E is our little shoe thief and gets mad if a pair isn’t for her.

9. You have to have a sense of humor to be a parent. I can’t imagine making it day to day without being able to laugh at kid antics, gross happenings, and my own failures.

10. There really is a huge attitude shift from the first to the second child. I am so much more laid back about things with E than I was with K as a baby. Poor first kids will always be the experimental kid.

The sleepy cockatoo:

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Visiting the “Library”

In my experience with having a dad, older brothers, a husband, a son, a nephew, and younger male cousins I have learned a few things about male restroom habits…

1. Farts are always amusing to men- no age restrictions apply.
2. Part of bonding with nature is peeing outside.
3. Men take infinitely longer to achieve their bathroom goals than women.
4. They do not notice empty toilet paper rolls.
5. If they are required to sit for any amount of time to do their business, they want some form of entertainment.

If you, dear male readers, do not fit these general rules, consider yourself an exception and secretly think of all the exhaustive lists you could make on strange female behavior.

Today we focus on #5…

I have distinct childhood memories of my dad telling me he had to go to the “library” and disappearing into the restroom with a book. My husband also keeps a weird facts book on reserve on the bathroom shelf.

When potty training K he refused to go poop in the potty. Bribing with M&Ms worked for pee, but he got bored and refused to sit long enough for pooping. We finally got our first big break when we started singing and reading books while he sat. He had a favorite book at the time- Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. (About a baby bird looking for its mother.)

Pretty soon we had a potty trained 2 year old that let you know he had to go by yelling, “Mom, I have to poop! Go get my bird book!” It didn’t matter where we were at the time.

*sigh*

Kids are often loud. It is also a well known fact that mom’s are rarely afforded the luxury of peeing alone.

Today I was in the restroom and a book fell off the shelf. K busted in and saw me picking it up.

“Mommy, that is Daddy’s book! We don’t read books when we go pee, Mom. We only read books In the bathroom when we’re poopin’! Are you poopin’ Mom?”

“… Please just go to the living room.”

“I’ll sing to you! Da da da Afro Circus I like to move it move it polka polka dot polka dot move it!”

“…”

“Bye Mom! Remember to flush, dress, and wash.”

My husband called on his lunch break. I relayed the story and he told me it was too funny not to blog. I hope everyone got a good chuckle from my embarrassment.

K reading his potty book:

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Bonding with nature when we visited Texas Hill Country:

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The original of this picture will be saved to show his future wife upon his engagement. The fiancé gets to see all the really awesomely embarrassing pictures. (My mom-in-law busted out the baby albums that Andy had banned after we got engaged. I must carry on the proud tradition.)

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Broken Ears and The Mean Mom

Last Night:
“Please go get ready for bed.”
“…”
“K, please go potty and get ready for bed.”
“…”
“Oh my goodness! Look over there!”
“What?!”
“Oh, so your ears are working. Go get ready for bed.”
“… *sigh* Okay…”

Today:
“Are your ears broken? You haven’t been listening to mommy lately.”
“Yes, they’re broken.”
“Do you need to go to the doctor to get your ears fixed.”
“Yes. The doctor will fix my ears.”
“Okay, Let’s go to the doctor. she can give you a shot to fix your ears and we can take lots of naps too.”
“I don’t want a shot.”
“But I thought your ears were broken?”
“They are working now.”

Anyone else have broken ear days?

We’ve had a weekend of broken ears. K has decided to flat out ignore me on several occasions. I’ve had to be the mean mom a lot- imposing time-outs and taking away privileges.

It breaks my heart for my kids to miss out on things. I don’t like being the bad guy. It gives me absolutely no joy to have them miss out on the fun things we have planned.

(Ok, occasionally the toy taken away is super annoying and it might make me just a little happy to see it go for a while.)

As a Christian, I often wonder if God feels that way about us. Does it make Him sad to see us miss out on potential blessings because of our sin and stubbornness? Does He mourn when His plans for us are put aside when we go our own way? Parenthood has definitely brought a deeper level of thought to my faith.

This is K sitting in the high chair at Nonna’s today:

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Despite urging and pleading he refused to eat his lunch today. He eventually ended up in the high chair because he would not sit up and eat like a big boy. He missed out on time playing with his cousin. Only when the choice became eat and go play or we would go home and nap, did he finally relent and happily scarf down his food.

It was all food he liked but he wanted to play instead of eat. I hope he learned that doing what you are asked the first time will get you what you want faster. Hopefully his little ears will heal this week and we can do all the fun things we like to do.

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Kid Humor v. Parent Humor

I find my kids to be hilarious. They also fancy themselves (and Daddy and Mommy) to be hilarious. However, what I find funny and what they find funny are very very different.

Things I find funny:
•K telling me our bank is called Bank of Captain America.
•E body slamming her big brother. (She finds it funny too but he doesn’t.)
•K singing “Soft Kitty” or saying “Bazinga”.
•Kids dancing. (Any kid. Low coordination + cuteness + dance moves = pure hilarity)
•K talking to the things we pass in the car using different voices.
•E trying to pick up a ball but accidentally kicking it away when she bends over to get it.
•The kids falling asleep in strange places.
•The way K says “yes I mam!” instead of “yes I am”.

Things my kids find funny:
•Watching mommy chase them out of the bathroom holding a towel around her while conditioner runs into her eyes.
•Rolling and giggling while mommy changes a poo diaper.
•Daddy’s exasperated plea for them to stay seated in the bathtub.
•Tooting, someone else tooting, or any talk of tooting.
•Shoving the baby monitor antenna in mommy’s mascara and painting sister with it.
•Splashing in the toilet.
•Trying to pick mommy’s nose when she is sleeping.
•Emus. K cracks up at the word and pictures of the silly birds.

Things grandparents find funny:
•Watching your kids chasten your grandkids for doing the exact same things they used to do.
•Pretty much everything the grandchildren do.

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