Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's a sh*tty situation!

When you are preggers, no one warns you about all the funky things that happen to your body.

After you have the baby, no one warns you that they soon have strong opinions.

And when you are just finished with potty training, no one warns you about what happens to your toilet!

But I am here to tell you people out there, especially those still changing baby diapers, you just don't know how easy you have it.

I have now learned the truth about the Post-Potty Training Stage: The stage when your kids think they are good enough at wiping their own butts, so they don't tell you when they "go poop". And you are finally relieved that maybe after years of butt wiping, the only butt you have to worry about wiping is your own.

Then one night you learn the truth when you get up in the middle of the night to pee and you are too tired to turn on the light. You sit on the toilet and that is when you smell that all too familiar smell, but you are only doing a #1, so why is there a #2 smell? By this time you are awake and the smell is strong. It can only mean trouble. You stand up and turn the lights on, and that's when you see it...The Shit Smear! The newly anointed Toilet King or Queen has left their mark...and you sat on it!

Yes, that's when you get a fast education in the wide range of Smears that can appear anywhere in or around the general toilet area. And if you are not careful, you can fall victim like me, either by sitting on it, stepping on it or getting an actual feel for it on the door handle. The Smear can appear in numerous shapes and forms in the homes occupied by those new to the toilet and here are just a few that I have learned about so far:

Racing stripes - These are the obvious shit smears typically found in the toilet, also known as, Skid Marks but not to be confused with the underwear version. These smears are the innocent of all the smears since they are in the right place. And to be honest I am not sure if i want my kids using the toilet brush quite yet. Knowing my kids, it might end up in their hair or teeth.

Snail Trail- This was the first shit smear that I experienced. You can get the "Snail Trail" when your kid doesn't use the step stool to climb up on the toilet seat and kind of drags his/herself up and over, leaving a trail much like a snail or slug. This is extremely dangerous when going to the toilet in the middle of the night. Always turn on the light and check for Snail Trails.

The Mystery Smear - These smears can go days without being noticed mostly because they are often left in remote locations around the toilet or bathroom.  I almost always find these smears underneath my hanging toilet but how they got there I have no idea, nor do I want to know. These are the most difficult to clean since they are usually days old by the time you discover them. I now make a smear sweep to check under my toilet at least once a day.

Cave drawing - This is probably the most common smear in my household. This happens when the wiping goes beyond the toilet paper and the kid tries to rub off his/her contaminated fingers on the wall, thus creating the very primitive art form, cave drawing. To be honest, this type of smear can be further divided into sub-categories like abstracts, rainbow swirls or the dreaded full hand-print drawing. This is when you are happy your walls are tiled!

Recycled - This is the one that grosses me out the worst: There is nothing like grabbing a piece of toilet paper to find that someone has beaten you to the punch. Yep, its a Recycled piece of toilet paper. This is often accompanied by random pieces of paper stuck to the floor or in some rare cases on the toilet seat. The Wiper tried to cover his/her tracks literally and just forgot to rip off that last piece and flush. Always check your paper before use!

The Handle Scandal - Finally, you have the "Handle Scandal", when the experts have decided they are tired of wiping and just wanna make a not-so-clean get away. And of course the first thing they grab is the door handle to escape before mama realizes what they have done. I guess this is what we get for having a toilet so small we couldn't fit in a sink. After my first experience with the Handle Scandal, I promised to never again complain when I am sitting on a toilet and I have a sink shoved up my nose (you have to see a Dutch toilet to understand).

Poopy trapped - This is when your Pooper has sabotaged the toilet with all of the above. This normally happens only one time, because most probably you will go (as we say in SC) ape-shit-crazy threatening your child back into diapers.

You have been warned people out there still lucky enough to still be changing diapers! And buy lots of toilet bowl cleaner because believe me some of the things you will come across would even make the Tidy Bowl Man gag!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Freezin' my biscuits off!

I really suck, I can't even make a decent snowman for the kids
I can handle being sawed in half to give birth to my son. I can handle squeezing a watermelon out of a garden hose to give birth to my daughter. I can handle 5 tortuous years of sleep deprivation. I can even handle the fact that after 3.5 years I'm still wearing a spare tire around my waist.

But the one thing a girl born and raised in SC can not handle is this below freezing weather.  I'm freezin' my biscuits off here. I just don't know how to handle it anymore. I would've thought my extra layer of lovin' would protect me during these below freezing times, but I  was sadly mistaken. How in the world do these skinny Dutch women do it? They are about as big as my finger and they walk around in their tights or skinny jeans and pretty moon boots looking like they just stepped off the winter collection runway in Milan.

No wonder everyone stares at me like I am a freak when I do get the kahunas to brave the frigidness. I have on my tights, yoga pants and ski pants.  Not to mention two shirts, a sweater and my ski jacket and my warm Timberland all-purpose mountain boots. I am not even able to walk, I just kinda of wobble through the snow. People are probably wondering where my dogs and sled are because I look like I am getting ready to leave for the Iditarod.

And just when I thought things couldn't get worse:  This weekend, I was stuck in the middle of a forest, -5C and my daughter had to pee. I undid her snow suit, took off my gloves so I could hold her up properly so she didn't pee on herself. I was so cold that I forgot to make sure my hands were out of the line-of-fire. Yep, she peed on my hands. I was in the middle of nowhere, meaning nowhere to wash my hands. I looked at the snow and I had to make a choice: put my urine scented hands back into the warm gloves or rinse them off in the snow and surely risk frost bite. I thought well I could always buy new gloves but fingers were forever so I gagged and stuffed my hands into the gloves.

However, the worst humiliation came this morning when I took my daughter to school. I thought she was bundled up and I was just happy I remembered her snow boots. She took them off at school and ran into the classroom in her socks. And that was when I got a scolding of a lifetime from Juffy Winterpolice.

"Where are her slippers? She can't wear socks around here. Why didn't you bring her slippers?, she growled while all the parents looked at me in shock. But come on, why would I bring her slippers to school?  And hello, I come from a place where they have to put signs on the door to tell you to even wear shoes. I think it's quite an accomplishment I remembered boots!

I guess it's true what they say, you live and you learn! I would just rather live somewhere warm right now and learn how to lie on a sunny beach sippin' a Cosmo. Somewhere where I don't get peed on and look like the abominable snowman. Somewhere my biscuits can actually bake!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Liar, liar pants on fire

Ok, who doesn't tell their kids a white lie every now and then, especially one to get them to eat their dinner or clean up their toys. I think most parents are guilty, whether they will admit it or not. But I have noticed lately that my lies might be getting out of control.

Whose woods these are, I think I know! (See I'm not so redneck)
So I decided to make a list of the white lies (ones I can remember at least) that I tell my kids. Maybe I need an intervention...
  • If you eat your carrots you can see in the dark (my kids refused to eat them before, now its their fav veggie)
  • Eating spinach makes your muscles grow like Popeye (they would have never tried it otherwise)
  • I have an i phone app that alerts me when you get out of your bed (my son was sneaking out of bed just as Mama/Daddy time would start)
  • If you don't brush your teeth, they will fall out (well this is true, but I neglected to say it would take a while)
  • Mama eats monsters, especially ones under your bed (I tried everything to get rid of my baby boy's fear of monsters in his room, and this actually worked)
  • If you don't pick up your toys, they might disappear in the morning (I had to go through with this one a few times and then they became believers)
  • There are crocodiles in the canals, so stay away from the water (my son has a magnetic attraction to the water and no fear to just leap in)
  • A blue stripe will appear on your forehead if you tell a lie (It's not really a lie, something does appear on their forehead when they lie...crinkles from a guilty smile)
  • The police will arrest you if you don't wear your seat belt (well, they might arrest Mama, especially since I don't have Dutch driving licence)
  • If you pick your nose, your fingers will get stuck (could happen if you left them up there long enough)
  • Boogies will make you vomit, do not chew and swallow! (well, Mama would vomit if she sees it)
  • Your ears will freeze and fall off if you don't wear your hat (in Siberia)
  • If you dig in your butt, your fingers will fall off (I know extreme, but I have seen the fingers go from poopy shoot to mouth in 1.2 seconds!)
The list could probably go on for another page, but I don't want to reveal the full extent of my bad motherliness and I don't want to end up on Dr Phil. Eventually, my kids will figure them out and through extensive therapy, realize that their Mama was just crazy. But at least they will be healthy, have all their teeth and their fingernails won't be full of sh#t!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dino Party crisis style

Homemade volcano cake

"Mama, I want a big boy party, with lots of dinos and my friends and a dino cake and lots of dinos, " says my 5 year old about a month before his birthday.

Gulp! "Ok sweetie mama will give you a dino party...but mama is broke and we can barely afford to keep you fed, but yes, I will give you a dino party, even if mama has to get a second or third job." (Ok, I was only thinking this! I would never say such a thing and of course I gave him the thumbs up smile)

But seriously, times are not as easy financially as they used to be and I was concerned about spending alot of money on a birthday party smack dab in the middle of the most expensive month of the year: December.

No worries, I decided to tap into my creative side and I decided I would just make everything the old -fashioned way, old-school, like how we used to rock it back in the '80's...homemade birthday cake, homemade games, a party at HOME (or McDonald's if your parents were rich).

And actually for you people out there that read my blog that don't have kids and wanna give yourself a birthday party, you can also modify, like instead of "Toss the dino's into the lava" game you could play "Strip toss the dino's into the lava." Or for every dino you get in the lava you take a shot of "lava" vodka or Everclear or if you are in SC Moonshine...

Back to the here I was with a nearly empty wallet and a little boy who wanted a dino party!

First thing was first, the main attraction for any 5 year old...The Cake! Instead of paying $30 on a cake I decided I was gonna make my own cake. I searched the web for ideas and that's when the brilliant idea hit me: I would make a dino landscape cake with a volcano on top. So I simply baked a rectangle shaped cake, mixed green food coloring in with white frosting and voila: the grassy field for roaming dinos. I had a left over bundt cake someone brought over for Christmas, so i placed it on top, frosted it with chocolate frosting and used red cake icing to draw lava flowing from the volcano. I scattered plastic dinos around running from the volcano. I used an old green table cloth for the table and filled it with dino snacks like Dino eggs (grapes), Dino toenails (Bugles), Dino bones (Potato sticks) and Prehistoric trees (bread sticks in cheese dip). We decorated the table with all the Playmobil dino stuff and my son's dino collection and really transformed the table in Jurassic park! Kids loved it!! Total price: $15

And since I had to keep 5 little 4/5 year olds busy for 4 hours, I came up with some games, like Dino Lava Toss. I just put a red towel in the mopping bucket to look like lava was flowing out and the boys had to toss 3 plastic dinos into the bucket for a prize. I also had a pin-the-tooth on the T-rex game I had bought in America and a lava dig. I made a big bowl of red Jell-O and the boys had to dig plastic dinos from the bottom. Messy but they had a blast! They thought it was real lava! haaaa Total price: $2 Jell-O (plastic dinos and T-rex game were from America)
Old mop bucket + red towel = Dino Lava Toss

To go really old-school, I made paper mache dino eggs from balloons. We took them to the neighborhood playground and hid them and the boys had to find them. After they found them, they made a nest and played with the eggs for at least an hour in the playground. We got home and I had printed out dinosaur coloring pages so the boys all sat on the floor and colored for 45 minutes. Total price: $2 for balloons

Of course what's a party with out goody bags to take home to drive parents mad with the sugar highs! I bought birthday gift bags at a cheap shop and filled them with dino stickers, plastic dinos and candy. I just cut up the sheets of stickers so I only had to buy one pack of each. The boys were so excited! Total price: $6

The party even went on an extra 45 minutes since some parents couldn't get their kids to leave.It was a success and I still had enough money to put food on the table for the rest of the month!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mama done good

If my southern grandma was still alive, I know she would look at this picture, pat me on my knee and say, "Sugar, you done good."

And she would be right. So far, I have been able to keep my head above water while keeping my babies safe and alive and somehow teaching them along the way to love and care for another. To be there for one another no matter what. And in 2012, I did not take enough time to look at my accomplishments as a mother.

So for me this is what the new year is going to be all about: believing in myself as a mother and giving myself those back pats when I deserve it. They don't say its the hardest job for nothing. and there have been days and will still be days when I will just want to lock myself in the toilet and cry about what a terrible mother I have been. But this year when those mommie blues come, I will think about this photo and remember the moment: Charly about to fall off the log and Luca grabbing her hand and saying "Don't worry I will help you."

Yes grandma, I have done good."

Happy 2013!!