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Mommy’s Day Out

Today I had a Mommy’s Day Out.

It was wonderful.

I highly recommend all mom’s take one now and again.

But I’m not telling how I spent my day.

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From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
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365 Days

When I was a tiny child, a year was a very Very VERY VERY long time. In January, it would seem like Christmas would never come around again. Same with Halloween.  A year was just an infathomable amount of time for my immature brain. I knew that each day passed, and month by month, eventually we would get there. I knew this to be true. But it was just an eternity. I can’t even describe it. While so many other memories have faded, that one is still relatively clear in my memory.  The endlessness of time stretching out before me.

And from things my son says, I believe this is how he experiences time as well.

Here is an ugly picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Here is an ugly picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Maybe time moved so slow for me because as a child I spent a lot of time being bored. “I’m bored” came out of my mouth probably every hour of the day. I was bored in school. I was bored at home. I was bored in the car. I was bored at the grocery store. I was bored visiting my Gramma.

I look back now, and all that “bored” time just seems like such a waste. I could have been writing the books then that I don’t have time to write now. I could have hugged my Gramma a few more times while she was still here.

When I was in middle school and high school, time went faster than as a child, but was still very slow. And while the three months of summer vacation always ended way too soon, each individual day was slow and boring and painful to sit through. Sixteen hours of television a day helped a little. But even the Brady Bunch and The Dukes of Hazard can get boring after a while. Just like this post…

Here is a beautiful picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Here is a beautiful picture that perfectly illustrates the topic of my post.

Now…Well, MY GOD.

I had my son yesterday. I went to sleep, and he is approaching his fourth birthday. Some of that is because my husband and I mentally block out a lot of the anxiety we had around his medical issues and surgeries. But even when I think about my previous employer, I CANNOT BELIEVE that I was there for over 12 years. (Especially because I didn’t really enjoy it, always wanted to do something more creative, and told myself if I was still there after 5 years, someone should shoot me. And now history repeats itself. I am always trying to do the responsible thing. I never learn. Enough of my whining…) I can’t even fathom how many books I added into their computer system. One that has now been powered down for good. I once calculated that in the year 2007, I allocated 15 million units of calendars as part of a three person team. (Yes, that is straight off my resume.)

I get up now, I rush through my day, doing everything as quickly as I can, sometimes accurately and efficiently, usually not. At the end of the day, I realize that it is actually Friday. I lost the whole week. I am so tired that I go to sleep. I get up, eat breakfast, and somehow it is Sunday night already. I have to turn around and do it all again. My life is racing by me. I don’t have one second to sit down and appreciate anything.

I am afraid tomorrow that I might wake up dead. I am not kidding. People in my family do not have a very good shelf life. Sure, my mom survived terminal cancer, but she has the longevity of the Eatons making up half her genes. They only make up a quarter of mine.

I just need to hurry, to finish as much as I can before I expire like a bottle of Diet Rite at a gas station.* But, the more that I hurry, the more behind I get, the faster time flies. I just wish a had a stop watch, so that I could pause everything so that I could enjoy what I have while I have it. And I need to book that trip to Las Vegas, and Hawaii.  Because someday, I will not be here to do it.

* No one buys Diet Rite, and all diet pop has a shorter shelf life to begin with because of the artificial sweeteners.

What I Learned This Week – 2/9/14

This week I learned that my family and I have very different personalities.

We spent a little family time at Build-A-Bear (or cat) Workshop this week. All the animals we picked out are very different. But I think the ones we picked out represent us all very well. It would be fun to psychoanalyze us by our choices. See the picture below…

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son's), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband's)

Our Build-A-Bear creations (l to r): Rainbow (my son’s), Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty (mine), Lloyd (my husband’s)

FYI–If I get 20 different people to comment on this post, you will all be rewarded with a video of Hootchie Mama Hello Kitty twerking!!!

Quite the incentive, huh? Send over your friends and family! All are welcome here! (Except Negative Nellies! That is why my mom has no idea about my blog. Shhhhh!)

So Eager


Do all first time parents feel the need to give their child every experience right away? Or are my husband and I just like that because our son had medical issues?

My husband and I bought my son, M, a shiny, new, red Radio Flyer tricycle…when he was just two months old. And, of course, my husband assembled it right away. My son is now 21 months old. We recently brought the tricycle down from the attic. He enjoys sitting on it and pushing it around, but he doesn’t have the hang of pedaling yet. Yes, we realize we are a little crazy.

But this doesn’t stop at tricycles. My son sat on Santa’s lap when he was just 15 days old. In his first year, M attended his first hockey game and his first baseball game. He was so young for the baseball game that the crowd’s cheering bothered him. He seemed kind of oblivious to the hockey game. M rode a carousel–twice.

At the animatronic dino souvenir store (check out the AWESOME T-shirt)


By the time M turned 18 months, he had had two rides on a real full-size train. He also had been on his first vacation, to a family event in North Carolina. Not yet two, he has now also racked up his first penny pony ride at Meijer, and seen life-size animatronic dinosaurs. M has ridden a Ferris Wheel. He has seen a full-size Thomas the tank engine, racking up yet another real train ride. He must just think that kids get to ride trains all the time. I think I was in middle school before I ever got to ride on a full-size train. There are probably some people who go their whole lives never riding one. (I like trains, can you tell? Random Fact: Also, lighthouses.)

To top it all off, M has already had his first flight. And not on a commercial airline or for vacation. We had an opportunity at a local festival to go up in a four seater Cessna and fly over our own house. M wasn’t scared at all. In fact, he fell asleep. (In case anyone cares, I got a little nauseous.)

I just wonder if this is normal behavior for parents. My asbestos fiend has a boy six months younger than M. She doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to have him participate in life events before he is old enough to appreciate them, as we do. But then again, this is her second child. I don’t know how she felt with her first child. My asbestos friend lived clear across the country when her first was born.

Are we so eager because we are first time parents? Or is it because my son was born with an issue with his urinary system that required surgery at 6 months of age? Surgery that had complications. I know I really felt the rush to “hurry up” and “make experiences” with M while he was laying in the Pediatric ICU. My husband wanted to get a family portrait done as soon as M was born. I put him off and told him we would do it for Christmas, for our Christmas cards. Sitting in the hospital with my son, all I could think was that if he died before we got a family picture taken, my husband would never forgive me.

We got the picture taken on my son’s first birthday.

On television shows and in movies, the new mother always gazes down lovingly at her newborn child. I was not that mother. I found that I could not even let my heart fully love my son til he was almost a year old. It was a mechanism I used to guard myself, in case he should die from his medical issues or from the complications a surgery could bring. (Morbid, I know. And it hurts my heart to write it now. And it hurt my heart to live all this.)

M has a follow-up appointment on Wednesday. It makes my chest tight just to think about it. Our last appointment brought good news. I don’t know how to ask the universe or pray to God or beg and plead for more good news. I can’t handle a nephro tube or surgery again. I can’t. And my boy wants to put that all behind him and play with his Cozy Coupe and Thomas Wooden Railway (“toot-toot” he says). Please, everyone put in a good thought for him. And I will in return wish that you all get a moment to yourself to enjoy an ice cream.

What will be the next life experience we rush my son into before he turns three? Run for President of the United States? Trip to the moon?

You guys are wearin’ my ass out.


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Potty Training – The Saga Begins

My son, M, is now 21 months old. I have started to try to potty train him. So far, I have been highly unsuccessful.

He has his own little potty. He loves to take it apart (no surprise, see post Like Father, Like Son). I tried making him stay seated on it while I read him stories. I found when he got up off the potty is when he would actually pee-pee. In the corner, or next to the potty. Anywhere but in the potty.

Now M doesn’t want to sit on it. He wants to wander around the bathroom with no diaper on or sit on my lap (must be more comfy than the potty). While his baby butt is adorable, we really aren’t getting any closer to getting this done.

I have a theory. And since this is my first child and I have only potty-trained (i.e. housebroken) my Lab-Chow mix Dave, it really is just a random theory. I believe that to potty train a kid, they have to be old enough to understand what you are trying to accomplish. But I also believe you have to train them before they are old enough to decide not to do what you are asking of them, just to spite you. From the stories my mom tells, she makes it sound like I was the latter.

Plus, everyone says it is easier to potty train when you are at home to devote time to it. I am definitely at home with time right now. And fearing my unemployment will run out at the end of the year, I need to get him trained before I have to return to work. And I could wait longer to go to work if I didn’t have to spend money on diapers.

I feel like if I could get over this child development hurdle, it would be smooth sailing from here on out. Because I am a first time parent and I am just that naive. I haven’t gotten within spitting distance of the terrible twos or terrible threes yet. But the two things that worried me most before I ever got pregnant were changing diapers and potty-training. Hmmm. I sense a theme here.

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