For Those with Children Under 2

This one is for you.

As a young mom, you always hear about the “terrible two’s”.  The moment your child turns 2, they automatically become terrible.  But, just like the “You’re not going to sleep anymore after that baby is born” statement, the terrible two’s also are left to you with a sense of vagueness.  No one really tells you what they mean by that.  And if they try, there seems to be a lot of details left out.  So much so that it’s really hard for you to picture.  I’m going to attempt to draw that picture for you.

1. I’m always complimented on how well Erin is behaved.  Even as a tiny baby.  I always agreed that I do have it easy.  Now that she’s 2, when I’m complimented on her behavior, I smile and nod.  But what I’m really thinking is, THANK GOD she’s not the same around you!

2. Erin loves books.  She loves to be read to, read to herself (or attempt to), and look at them, for long periods of time, quietly, intently, it’s a joy to have that time of silence in your home.  Oh wait, that was Erin PRIOR to 2! She still loves books, but now when she picks a book to be read for bed time or nap time, she picks the LONGEST book in her shelf. When you try to suggest another one, you are met with complete disagreement. The book she picked MUST be read.

3. It has been fun to see Erin’s language develop.  Those first words are such a relief to your mommy and daddy ears.  Each new word is fun to hear from her too.  UNLESS, you slip up and all of a sudden, your two year old not only knows the word, but knows the meaning AND says it in the most inappropriate places! Seriously, you WILL be embarrassed when your 2 year old yells out “FART!” and laughs in the grocery aisle as someone passes them that just let a small rip.  Or calls your college age babysitter “GRANDMA!” Sorry Lisa Lee!

4. At the age of 2, your child is learning how to have a conversation.  Most 2 year olds can put words together 2, 3 or more to form a sentence.  It’s fun to have a small conversation with them.  But when they are asking “What is that?” ALL DAY LONG EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW WHAT THE OBJECT IS, don’t be surprised you want to jump up and down with joy when they are finally asleep.

5. Two year olds like to assert more independence.  “I do it!” or “Erin do it!” is often heard EVERY 5 MINUTES!  Parents, read carefully: To avoid a meltdown or tantrum, let them do it (within safe reason obviously) even if you know they can’t.  I’ve found that if I let Erin try herself she will often give up and ask for help if my hands are left off and away from the object when she wants to do it herself.

6. Don’t be surprised your 2 year old can perfectly say the word “concentrate” and not “spoon” or “water.” Some kids can even pronounce “flower” perfectly and not “ball.”  Yes, I’m baffled too.

7. Be forewarned, your what was then enthralled toddler that could concentrate on a task for a long time and found joy in helping out during bedtime or other tasks that involve their bodies now suddenly has the attention span of a ferret!

8. When your child is 2, you will discover hiding places in your home you never knew you IMAG0628_BURST002had….that only THEY can fit into….and they have so wedged themselves in that only they can get themselves out.

9. When experienced parents tell you a two year old won’t stop talking.  IT’S THE TRUTH!  From the moment their eyes open in the morning, to the time they shut for a nap or bedtime, that little mouth is moving…CONSTANTLY!

10. Two year olds want to be heard.  When they start saying something, and repeating it, the only way to turn off the repeat button is to repeat it back to them.  I once told Erin we were going to see the doctor.  She got excited and for the next 3 hours, she kept saying “See doctor! See doctor! See doctor? See doctor!” And when the doctor finally walked in the room, she was confused the doctor didn’t have a white coat on, so “see doctor” continued.

11. Stock up on wine, beer, liquor, and chocolate for YOU.  Because once that child is alseep for the night, you’ll NEED it!

There’s more, but I’ll spare you and add to this list later.  🙂


Solo Parenting

This past week has been a little difficult. I seriously commend all the single parents out there!  Especially those that are out of work right now.  My wonderful husband got to travel for business these past 5 days.  Normally, it’s a really stressful time for me.  I get anxious and really make an effort to schedule a lot of stuff for Erin and I to do to help the time pass by quicker and keep us busy.  I still end up “losing it” with Erin at least once a day during his business trips.  And now that Erin’s attention span is the size of a pea, and her energy level is 10 times more than the day it was before (apparently this is normal for a 2 year old), I knew that I needed to really mentally prepare myself to “keep calm” this time.  I was thankful a MOPS meeting was scheduled.  That took up Tuesday.  Wednesday we could go to the library (we ended up running errands instead), Monday….Monday was a blur.  I really don’t remember what happened. Oh! We spent the morning at Target because Sunday evening, the coffee pot fell off the counter and broke.  Ping had left that morning.  The moment I heard the glass shatter, my anxiety went through the roof and my heart shattered too.  I cried, cried hard.  I knew that without coffee, I would have an even bigger challenge ahead of me.  I ordered a replacement carafe online (the 4th one in 2 years) and just sulked.  Our Target run, that was mainly to hit up the Starbucks inside.  Ha!

Tuesday, we went to MOPS as usual.  (Got my coffee there) Erin now feels the need to bring BOTH of her loveys EVERYWHERE she goes.  She walked into her MOPPETS room with both loveys in hand (Monkey and “Bo, the hippo”).  When I picked her up 1.5 hours later, she was cradling monkey and immediately said, “Bo go?” I calmly told her to find Bo and then we’d be out of there.  I naively figured Bo was put in a toy box or shoved in a corner.  Today, that was not the case.  All 3 Moppets workers, Erin and I tore up that room looking for Bo.  He was no where to be found.  I checked the bathroom thinking he was brought to the potty and left to fend for himself.  No sign of him.  I began to panic, but kept calm and brushed it off telling others, “We’ll buy a new one.  It’s fine, Bo isn’t her favorite.”  Erin proved me wrong on that one.  It was a nightmare getting out of the parking lot.  Erin knew we were leaving and we couldn’t leave Bo.  This is when I decided to insert a little white lie.  I told Erin, “Bo decided to go on vacation without telling us.  He’ll be gone for a little while and come back.”  (I knew that ordering Bo would take a  week or two to get here because, well, let’s face it, Babies R Us and Toys R us shipping when ordering online is CRAPPY!  Well, I also refuse to pay more for shipping (even expedited) than the cost of the product I’m buying) Bo was apparently sold out or no longer carried in stores.  Erin went down for her nap asking for Bo.  I reminded her he went somewhere and will be back.  I kept scouring the internet for Bo.  Apparently, he goes for up to $35 on eBay.  The thing costs $8 originally! Geez people! I then decided to not trust the internet.  I called all the stores within 10 miles of us, Yes, I was willing to drive to New Jersey if I needed to. I found luck in Long Island City.  The store there had ONE “Bo” and I had them hold it for me. I smiled at Erin and told her, “Do you want to go pick up Bo?”  She excitedly said, “Find Bo!!!”  We drove to the store and when Bo was in her arms, it was love all over again.

I later learned Bo is being discontinued.  I was able to order a back up online.  Bo is back and the second crisis of my week was solved.  My husband comes home tonight and I am THRILLED. I must say, I think I did a good job at keeping my cool with Erin.  I solved a major world problem for a toddler and  my replacement coffee pot arrived last night.  (I’m enjoying my 2nd cup right now)


FYI: apparently, there is a website where you can report your lost loveys and report a found lovey that was lost: Lost My Lovey. Every Parent should have this bookmarked! It’s a pretty interesting site!

Now this is the Rest of the Story:

No, sorry, no guest blogger by the name of Paul Harvey here. (although I don’t think he blogged)  He passed away in 2009. Great writer!  Nope, I’m just here to tell you the rest of MY story.  You know, the one I started the other day….why I haven’t been on here in 11 weeks? Yeah.  That one.  I’m sure many of you were left wondering what I did the other 9 weeks I’ve been absent here.  Well, I vaguely recall mentioning I took up a new hobby back in February.  Apparently, sewing hasn’t become more of a passion, it’s more of an  obsession!  Something I regret not learning a long time ago when I had the chance!  I started with a table runner…simple and nice.  I have it on my buffet table.  Then, I moved on to a rice heat sack.  LOVE IT!  Those achy muscles after a long run and those cold toes in the winter thanked me a lot for that! Then, I cleaned up our garbage bag area and made a garbage bag holder.  I soon found that I couldn’t stop sewing!  I literally have been addicted to it!  I have been dreaming of ideas in my head and it’s been awesome to see them come to life!  I made a birthday dress for Erin.  The pillow case style. That was my first attempt at a garment.  That was a little difficult!  Then, I made a simple tote bag/purse and I turned it into something I’m really excited about.  I call it a “Pockets of Love” tote bag. Here is a picture of mine:


My Pockets of Love bag


Monkey Pockets!

On the outside are pockets for easy access.  I put my cell phone, chap stick, car keys, anything that I use a lot.  On the inside I did something really special. I made pockets our of printed fabric.  The fabric I chose was monkeys.  Monkeys!?!  Why monkeys you ask? It seems to clash with the elegance of the outside, right?  NO!  This is the “Pockets of Love” part!  Erin loves monkeys.  So, I chose monkey fabric to remind me of her every time I open my bag.  I love it!  I love it because I love my daughter so much that I want to be reminded of her even every time I open my purse.

A friend of mine asked me to make her one.  Her son loves cows. She asked me right after I made my purse, so I left the inside pockets a secret for her.  She chose her outside fabric and I told her the inside was my area.  She seemed to be pretty picky with the fabric she wanted (rightly so!  Who wants to wear a purse they don’t like!?!), so I’m guessing it made her a little nervous of what she was

going to see on the inside. I also added a zipper for hers. ( I used a magnetic clasp for mine which I don’t really care for now.  I might change it to a zipper after all)  Here is a picture of L’s purse:

L's purse on the inside: Cow print! Her son loves cows!

L’s purse on the inside: Cow print! Her son loves cows!

L chose burnt orange for her straps as she is a UT-Austin Alum.  Hook em' Horns!

L chose burnt orange for her straps as she is a UT-Austin Alum. Hook em’ Horns!

A second friend also asked me to make her one.  Here is hers:

S's favorite color is teal!  I LOVE how the teal polka dots came together with this fabric.

S’s favorite color is teal! I LOVE how the teal polka dots came together with this fabric.

I got so many compliments on my purse while I was on vacation.  Many people told me I should sell them.  I have really enjoyed making these three bags and loved putting my style and art into them. I love how these two girls really enjoy them and enjoy the subtle reminder they have of their children when they reach into their purse.  So, I opened an Etsy shop (recently)! I decided to call it TLeeCustomDesigns. I also started a Facebook page (tleecustomdesigns) where I’ve been posting my sewing creations before I list them on Etsy.

So, there you have it, the rest of MY story.  Oh yeah….I also ran a half marathon…

Sea Turtles!

Sea Turtles!