No-no nap

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

As I write this my adorable child is in her crib screaming her head off. It’s Saturday, we’ve run our every-Saturday errands – you know, Costco, Home Depot, Grocery Store – and then we had a nice lunch, and now it is nap time. Well, on the weekends, nap time doesn’t go so well.

During the week, nap time is usually pretty normal. Around 1:30 or so, the babe and I have pretty much had enough of each other and we are both ready for some alone time. She is more than happy to cozy up in her crib and listen to her quiet time music, which always lulls her into a two-hour blissful slumber. I have a chance to catch my breath, maybe eat some food, and do a little work of my own.

But, that all changes when Dada is home on the weekends.

We start out with the surprise visit to the crib when the wee tot least expects it. She’s having a great time playing and then we just happen to end up sitting in the chair next to the crib reading a book. And then – bango – she’s in the crib and I swiftly walk out and cross my fingers hoping this time will be The Time she falls asleep.

Nope.

First, everything is tossed out of the crib. Then the screaming begins, which consists of wails intermixed with, “no-no nap.” I usually give her about three minutes and then go down and put everything back in the crib only to hear her flinging it all back out while tiptoeing out. (And, the whole tiptoeing thing – not really sure why I do it when she’s causing such a ruckus…)

We usually do this routine for about 15 minutes. By that point, she’s so exhausted from crying, hurling things, and repeating, that she finally falls asleep. The hubs and I sit quietly fearful movement will trigger waking. We so look forward to having some sort of adult alone time on the weekends during daylight hours. We’re lucky if her slumber lasts an hour.

Then we hear the famous, “no-no nap.”

I usually can’t resist going and cuddling her up and giving up on any sort of normal nap time, too.

 

 

My husband and I have separate checking accounts

The other day I found myself defending my decision to have my own separate checking account from my husband. Really? And, it was with a total stranger (amazing what happens in the grocery store line). My husband and I have separate checking accounts. We have a joint account, which I really don’t use, and I have my own account with a debit card (no checks) that he doesn’t have access to.

Yup. The hubs and I have separate money stuff.

I’ve had my own checking/savings account for I don’t know how long. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I’ve had a job since I could babysit and can save and spend as I see fit. Hey, I’m first to admit that attempting to manage money WITH me would be a serious hazard (I sometimes resort to using my fingers to count…). But, I pay the overdraft fees, no one else.

With that said, I’ve been able to save, save, and save like you can’t believe and not had to worry about the hubs dipping into the stash to pick up the newest and coolest camera equipment. I’ve also been able to take care of bills, purchase loads of groceries (and booze), pay my own health insurance (along with the babe’s), and do some other stuff, without using the hubs and I’s joint account.

I’m proud of that.

Having my own account has been a big part of our relationship. I trust my husband to take care of what he says he’s good to go with, and I take care of the other stuff. About every-other-month we have a mini powwow to discuss how things are going and we give or take bills or things that need to be paid.

And, it works.

Whatever you do in your house is perfect for you. But, in our house, we’ve got our own accounts and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Now who wants candy? My treat!

Lovin’ you

Dean Lipoff Photography

Yup, lovin’ you is easy cause your beeeeeautiful. Right now that old classic by Minnie Riperton is floating through my head (I always get caught up with all those “lalalalas”). With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the “love” thing. You know, what should I do to show my appreciation for the hubs, if I’ll get my usual chocolate and flowers, blah, blah blah – boring.

So, yeah, the husband and I aren’t the most romantic people in the world. Add to that a wonderfully lovely and sometimes screaming two-year-old that is awake most mornings at 6 am and there’s not a lot of time for bow-chicka-wow-wow (I think you know what I mean). And, there’s not a lot of time for romantic candle lit dinners. Oh, and also those weekend get-a-ways aren’t such a get-a-way anymore – mostly a big play-date with dada who’s usually at work all the time, which leaves us all exhausted.

That doesn’t mean the husband and I don’t love each other lots, just that we aren’t walking about holding hands and ducking into corners to shove our tongues down each other’s throats.

Blech.

So, the other day when I came across some love stories on the Motherboard, I totally got caught up reading what everyone was saying! It was so fun finding out how others met their love-bugs and what they are like today in comparison to when they were caught up in that lovey-dovey honeymoon phase.

Here’s my lowdown. The husband and I met at my sister’s house. My whole family had met my husband before I did – in fact he went to school with my sister’s now husband! My future hubs volunteered to take me (the newly-arrived-to-California-Wisconsin girl) into the city to see the big buildings. He had to drop off his taxes and thought I’d like to check things out. Well, within a couple of months we were living together, and then we got married, and now we have a daughter. Every time we do our taxes, it’s like a big anniversary celebration (but not so fun)!

After reading all those love stories, I figured I’d better rev up my “usual” Valentine’s Day plans for something a bit more daring. I found some affectionate ways to decorate the house and did some amorous planning for the day (G rated while the babe’s in tow). I might even hold the hubs’ hand!

Ohhhhh, spicy, I know….

So, what’s the best thing your lovah ever did for you on Valentine’s Day? Go ahead and share – maybe you’ll motivate me to really go crazy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Meditation and stuff

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

The other day I wrote an educational article about meditation, memory and the young developing mind, which got me thinking about meditation in general. I totally admit to not buying into the whole “pondering” thing, but have never tried meditating myself. I just don’t really have the time to sit in a quiet corner to chant and ring a bell for a couple of hours.

Yes, as you can see, I’m totally uneducated.

I love yoga, have spent my wad on acupuncture (when trying to get pregnant), and eat pretty healthy. But, the whole chanting-breathing thing just doesn’t bring to mind relaxation, memory building, or weight-loss assistance. It makes me think of feeling silly and time that could have been spent baking cake.

I do love cake.

So, imagine my surprise when I found some pretty positive research linking meditation with building healthy memory. I don’t know about you, but the idea of not remembering things scares the bejesus out of me. I have a hard enough time getting through the grocery store without a list. I would hate to miss out on memories of my child growing up later in life.

I totally can’t remember half of the 90’s (ugh).

One study I stumbled across suggested that spending 12 minutes daily practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation aided in promoting healthy brain function and building memory development. 12 minutes daily. Maybe it’s time I got over my silliness and spent some time meditating.

I think I can do that, right?

After picking a meditation spot (I put a pillow in the bathroom – yes, the bathroom. It’s quiet and I can shut – and lock – the door), getting all comfy-cozy, and setting a nice chiming timer for 12 minutes, I started following the directions for the meditation pose. Yup, I felt pretty foolish at first, but then, I started getting into it. I tried chanting out loud, silently, and then quietly. And, before I knew it, I was feeling pretty good.

In fact, really darn good! Then the chimer chimed, and I set off on my day.

I’m already looking forward to meditating tomorrow…

*And, yes, that is me meditating (I took the pic while finishing my morning chant). My husband thinks I look like I should be in a Sudafed commercial.

Who wants to babysit?

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

We have never left our babe with a babysitter. There, I said it. It’s not like we’re against having someone come over and hang out with our child while we go and do something without her, we just haven’t had reason to. I’m a pretty trusting person, and we have a couple of friends that have offered to watch the wee tot, it’s just that the hubs and I aren’t really big “going out” kind of people, so the need for a babysitter hasn’t happened yet.

I’ve actually had others get slightly frustrated with me over the fact we have not left our child alone with someone yet. I get the big list of all the things that are going the happen the minute we try to walk out the door (screaming, total breakdown, distraught child) and how we are creating future potential issues with separation anxiety. Well, I’m willing to deal with that when the time comes.

When we go to preschool, she’s just fine. Yes, I’m pretty much right there with her, but there are totally times she’s on her own. I know, I know, it’s not the same thing. I see you shaking your head at me.

Maybe I’M the one that’s not ready to leave her alone with someone else. Maybe I’M not sure if I’ll be able to relax and have a good time without having the babe close by. Maybe the real situation is that I have separation anxiety issues and not my babe. Can you blame me? When others are telling me about the behaviors my child will exhibit when we attempt to walk out that door, I’m worried I’ll be the one screaming and crying.

So, my goal this month is to have someone come over and babysit. I know my daughter will be just fine. And, I think it’s time to do it – I’m pretty sure I will be okay. At least I hope I’ll be…

Who wants to babysit?

Who REALLY needs a time-out?

© So says Sarah...

Things have been a bit challenging at my house. These last couple of days the temperature has been hot, hot, and really hot. With all that heat came some pretty bad behavior. Not only was my daughter fed up with being all sweaty, I was getting a bit sick of it, too. So, shove two not-so-happy people together (no matter the age) and you’re going to get some head butting.

It all started with my desire for my babe to stop pulling me to what she wanted along with her constant pointing and somewhat annoying high-pitched noise making. Who am I kidding – it’s a TOTALLY annoying noise. So, attempting to encourage a bit more language and a little less pointing, wailing, and dragging during 90 degree plus temperatures wasn’t proving to be a happy and healthy bonding experience between mama and baby.

Needless to say, I’m pretty determined. My daughter is determined, too.

Neither of us was budging.

There was an overload of pulling, whining, crying, foot stomping, and even the throw-body-to-ground-deadweight routine (my total favorite). And, it wasn’t only coming from the babe. I was doing a good amount of talking a little too loudly at my daughter.

I was even tempted to put her in the crib for a time-out because I was getting so super frustrated.

Wait, what?!

While teaching, wasn’t I the teacher that told parent’s to STOP putting their kids in time-out? Wasn’t I the cheerleader teacher that encouraged them to work through high-drama situations and really take a look at what was causing the frustration? Wasn’t I the one that suggested maybe it was the ADULT really in need of the time-out and not the child?

You see, kids don’t want to cause irritation or frustration (for the most part). They are just working through what’s bothering them. And, in some cases, when language hasn’t developed yet, wee tots are figuring out how to tell you what they want – and when they don’t get your attention or the item of their desire, they make horribly annoying noises to let you know that THEY are frustrated, too.

I plopped my pointing, skirt-pulling, and whining child in her high chair filled with delectable goodies (cheese and grapes) and took a 15-minute time out on the couch. I felt a ton better after watching a couple of minutes of Sesame Street and listening to my babe attempting to sing along with Elmo.

And, my daughter didn’t seem to mind either.

I think I like time-out.

A short tirade with chutzpah

I get caught up with others and how they behave. I’m not talking celebrities, just normal people out in the real world hanging out. The fun mom encouraging her kids to crawl all over the public fountain downtown not caring what anyone thinks. The cool high school girl singing at the top of her lungs to whatever she’s listening to while walking on the sidewalk.

Sometimes I wish I could trade places with them for just a moment, and take some of their chutzpah with me when I come back.

So often I stop myself from doing this because of that, or make up an asinine reason why I can’t go or can’t do something. Deep down I’m wondering WHY I am afraid and WHY I’m not doing what I really want to do.

I’ve decided it is never too late to change your wicked ways. I’m going to take action and start doing the things I shy away from. I’m going to step up to the plate and try new things and not worry about the consequences (I’m not talking death-defying or hurtful situations here people). It’s time to get out there and have a good time.

Maybe you should, too. Let’s all stop and smell the roses. They are quite fragrantly beautiful this time of year.