Monday, June 27, 2011

Planetary Talk



(A young, happy girl skips down the hall towards her bedroom. In another room her mother sits motionless and stares at computer. Displays amazing parenting skills while the other 2 children play on the floor around her. The skipping girl freezes the moment she enters her room and sees it.)


Mom! Mom! Come quick!


(Enthralled with computer mother doesn't hear child. Child screams louder.)


 Mommmmmm! Uranus is on the floor! Oh no!


(Snapping out of coma mother stares into space and tilts her head as she questions what she thought she heard. Child yells louder.)


It's real bad Mom! Uranus is broken!!!! Oh mom, come here now, I can only find half of Uranus.


(Laughs out loud and rushes toward the bedroom.)


(Child drops to knees. Starts crying out.)

Uranus! Uranus! Mom, Uranus split in half!


(Mother looks for hidden camera. She studies 
grief stricken child. Decides to comfort her.)

 Bella, it may be difficult, but I think we can fix Uranus.


(Smiles. Obviously thrilled with the news. Begins to speak.)

Can we glue Uranus back together?



Why, yes Bella, I think that'll do the trick.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

10 months of Chance

Look at this growth spurt!

The dude is growing like crazy.

And as you can see from these pics, he does NOT want to sit still.

And he's always on the run.

Except of course, when he gets stopped by headlights.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Of all the parental mistakes I have made in the past 5 years pushing Bella to potty train at the age of 2 was my biggest. Like a true jackass, I ignored her pediatrician's repeated suggestions that I should wait till she was 3. "No way Doc, my child's TOTALLY ready and I REALLY don't want to have 2 children in diapers and I'm CERTAIN that she won't regress when Mia's born." 

Yadda, yadda, gag me yadda. 

What a superficial idiot I was. I pushed her too hard. And she pushed me back by wizzing on the couch :) and we both ended up frustrated. As a first time parent I had way too high of expectations. But in the end, I figured it out. Grasping the concept that humans pee in a toilet is completely different than having control over your body. But somehow I blurred that line and I promised myself to do it differently the next time around. 

For the past 4 months Mia has been randomly going #1 and #2 in a toilet. Great. But it didn't mean that she was ready, it just meant that she was understanding the concept. In fact, I've actually been putting off potty training with her because for the life of me I couldn't seem to get my shit together enough with 3 kids to maintain any kind of consistency with her. For the parent, it's not easy folks. It takes constant reminding, tactical planning when you're out of the house and a ton of patience. All of which I haven't possessed since Chance was born. 

So I planned a strategy, I knew that when the time would come I would probably need more motivation than she would so I figured a big production would benefit us both. For the past couple months I've been hyping Mia up for "Potty Week" a week-long celebration marking her new big girl status. We talked about the big girl underpants we'd shop for, we talked about the balloons we'd get and the big "potty party" at the end of the week. Complete with big girl cupcakes. She got so excited, but I told her that she wasn't ready yet but that she was soooo close. I persuasively convinced her that she would know when she was ready.

Last week, she woke up with a dry pull-up and told me she was ready for Potty Week. 

No turning back Gina, seize it, embrace it-she's come to you! 

I took a deep breath and knew it meant that I needed to get my act together fast. And several hours later, there we were in Target picking out every licensed panty on the shelves. Rapunzel being the most coveted of course. We went out to lunch and talked about what it meant to be a big girl. And somehow, she managed to mature right there in front of me.

We told everyone we met that it was Potty Week and she was congratulated by the local librarian all the way to the manager of Noodles and Company. She felt so confident and was on cloud nine ALL WEEK! 

I was doing pretty good too. Granted, for the first couple days I needed to set a timer to remind myself to take her regularly. But towards the end of the week I too was settling into our new routine. Although the huge whopping banner I made kept me on track too! 

I'd encourage Bella to take her as well and would toss a couple M&M's their way when they were done. We made crafts in honor of her new status.

We'd sing our "big girls pee-pee in the potty" song to the tune of "Big Girls Don't Cry
every time she was done.

And as promised, we decorated with balloons.

My parents came over every day after work to congratulate her and gave the kids little gifts as rewards. We'd celebrate with ice cream or by going to her favorite park. 

Anything to make her feel proud of herself. 

And you know what happened, I witnessed fewer tantrums. She was less aggressive with Chance, in fact even took on more of a "big sister" role with him. She talked things out with me instead of flying off the handle. She grew up--- all because we gave her the opportunity to do so. Treat a child like a child and they'll act like one. Give a child a chance to shine and grow and they'll do just that.

I'm happy to report that she's doing AWESOME. Just when I think a new challenge comes up and she can't handle it- I stop, I take a breath and I give her that chance to succeed, and she has. 

Except when she randomly flashes her new panties, yeah, still working on that one. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

A day with Thor

It's about that time again. That time when I get so fed up with my own hair that the only option I see is to cut the heck out of it. I always get to this point and crumble. Why? WHY? Why can't I embrace my long-ish locks and make it look like a decent head of hair? Why does my hair have to be as thin as tooth floss? Why am I like 80% gray, already????


This weekend, I have an appointment at a fancy-schmancy salon in Chicago. Like, they have valet parking! My sister, who has faithfully cut and colored my hair for the past 8 years thought I would really enjoy getting pampered in a salon for once. And I agreed. And I'm sooooo excited.

While browsing the list of stylists to chose from I was bombarded with bios and photos and I ended up making my decision based on one thing and one thing only,  his trademark is a 10 minute head massage at the end. Um, yeah! I don't know about you but that sounds to me like a coupon! What, what!!

His name is Thor, people, which I assume means he's pretty serious. In fact, here's Thor now

Does he look like the kind of stylist that I want to strike up a semi-meaningless conversation knowing that I'll probably never step foot in the salon again? Or do I shut up and give him the space he needs to creatively work his magic? Hmmm....

And what to wear? Really, I can't go in there looking like a Kohls/Old Navy MOM. Those city slicksters will point and laugh. Such decisions. But the most important decision I'm dealing with is--what to do with my hair?

I'm thinking about Chelsea Kane's cute little hairstyle? What do you think?

Isn't it cute and sassy?

Here's what I assume is the only other way to wear this cut, with a bit of a feathered curl.

I'm also getting my hair colored. Again, not sure what I'm going to choose. I tend to go lighter in the summer because it makes dying my grays easier, a lot easier. 

Okay, enough with the self righteous post already, but honestly friends, what should I do?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Graduation Day

Daaang, preschools are pretty hard core!

Not sure if they've always been that way since this is my first time experiencing it but I tend to think so since recently Bella graduated from Pre-K. Like a real graduation ceremony. With caps and gowns and all! Sure it was a mens dress shirt worn backwards but the point is still the same--the idea that they've successfully completed a stage and are moving on to a better, more challenging one.

It was actually sweet. I really think the children understood the concept and the importance of it. I remember last year when I was SUPER preggers and crying at all the pre-k graduates at Bella's  2010 end of the year celebration, thinking that will be my Bella next year, sniffle sniffle.

Well, here she is. A graduate.

 It seems silly at such a young age but think about it, if she plays her cards right, she will experience 4, maybe 5 graduation ceremonies in her lifetime. That's not a lot. And each one will have such a different meaning to her.

She'll be a different Bella at every one.

But today? Today Bella was full of poise and excitement to be standing up there with her classmates. Each student received a character award and Bella received the "confident and attentive" award. Awe, so proud! Then the teacher announced what she wanted to be when she grew up. And to our surprise Bella wanted to be a doctor. Score! Parent win for sure. 

But believe me, I started sweatin' a bit thinking she might say Ke$ha. 

My favorite answer was a boy in her class who wanted to be a stay-at-home-dad. Another parent win! As I watched the kids on the stage I recounted some of my favorite memories from the past 2 years. Memories of her first day of school when her backpack was too heavy for her to hold.

 Or when I could barely recognize her as the goat whisperer during her live nativity, 

or when her preschool class put on a performance for  Grandparents Day

or when Bella's Lolo (Grandpa) from California got to be the guest speaker for her class!

Such happy memories. 

Her teachers have been awesome too. Let's see, her first year she had Miss Brenda

and Miss Veronica

and her second year she had Miss Carrie

and Miss Marianne.

A huge thanks goes out to all four of these amazing ladies 
for their patience and leadership over the years!  

Here are a few of the highlights from her graduation ceremony. 

On our way home we talked about her wanting to be a doctor and she told us that she wanted to be a doctor who works in the Winter and Spring but stays home during the Fall and Summer. We couldn't help but smile. Because, really? How GREAT would that life be!

Congratulations Bella!


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