Tag Archives: Parenting

Bye-Bye Poop!

17 May

We cloth diaper so when Madilyn poops, we dump it into the toilet and flush it.   As children begin to potty train, some are afraid of losing their poop so I have taught Madilyn to say “good bye” to her poop as we flush it so that [hopefully] she’s not afraid of losing it when potty training occurs.

I’m not quite sure when it happened but Madilyn rarely says “good bye” anymore without blowing kisses.  It happens to random strangers, her daddy, her grandparents, at bed time, and to her poop.

We flushed her poop this morning and, like hundreds of times before; she waved, said “bye-bye poop”, and blew multiple kisses to the stinky turd as it swirled its way to the underworld.

Getty Images

Why it was so much more riotous to me this morning, I’m not sure.  I do know, however; that I wanted to share.  If only we all loved our poop so much….

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My Fragile Psyche

13 May

So as uncomfortable as I am looking at myself in the mirror, I have never been happier or more comfortable with myself in my life.  I don’t know if it is because I am getting older (30 in 2 months), or if it’s because my hunky husband somehow still wants to have everything to do with me every night of the week, or if it’s because I’m too busy to care.  Perhaps it is a combination of all three.

Image Courtesy Google Images

As solid as I feel emotionally, I have these supremely fragile days, like I did on Wednesday.  My dear, hot husband is a complete workaholic.  I feel blessed to be a stay at home mom but I never get a break.  Even rides in the car don’t provide me with any alone time.  My job is literally 24/7 and sometimes I have a mental health day.  I’m trying to learn to allow myself those days and to not feel entirely nutty when I have one.  This is by far the most stressful job I’ve ever had and add to it a nice dose of PPD, I think I’m handling it pretty well.

Image Courtesy theidagirlsays.wordpress.com

I just need to solidify the idea in my mind, that no day is going to be perfect, the house is never going to be perfectly clean, dinner will never be perfectly on the table at 6pm, my children will not always be perfectly behaved, and I cannot always look my best.  It would be nice if I had an Au Pair who could help me achieve all of these things but the reality of the situation is that I’m a one-woman-show.

So forgive me my fragile days and lift me up.  I’ll do the same for you.

My Mother’s Day Presents

8 May

Mother’s Day doesn’t look the same for all of us. As a Stay at Home Mom, I am with my kids all day, every day. My ideal Mother’s Day would be me, alone, sitting in a comfortable chair on a beach somewhere with a good book in my hand and a jug of water with lime slices in it. Alone. It would then be followed up with a pedicure. Alone. I would then go home to my family, completely refreshed and thankful for the “mommy time” and we would eat their favorite meal to avoid any dinner-time complications. Together.

But that’s not what Mother’s Day looks like for me. Mother’s Day, for me, looks like any other day. My dear, hardworking husband is a restaurant manager in a swanky restaurant in a posh hotel, and is therefore required to work all of the big, busy holiday-days. So for me, Mother’s Day looks a little like any other day. Yet still, I have already received three very different gifts from my three very different children.

Styles.

1. Styles: He woke up around 8:30, came into my room and asked if he could watch TV. I happily obliged so that I could have a few more uninterrupted minutes of sleep. He came back in at 9:15 and told me that he wanted waffles for breakfast. I laid in bed a few more minutes, finally drug myself out of the warm covers, and made him some waffles and a glass of orange juice. While he ate we talked and when he was done, he gave me a hug and told me “Happy Mother’s Day”. His gift to me was speech. And a hug. He is old enough to know that the day is significant and celebrates his mom who loves him unconditionally. His age makes him sensitive to the fact that today is my day but it is because of HIM that I am even able to celebrate this day. His gift of speech drives me nuts sometimes but it enables my job as a mother to be a little bit easier because I rarely have to guess at what he wants. Except for when he mumbles. Which is kind of a lot. I wish he’d stop doing that….

Grady.

2. Grady: He woke up at 5:30 this morning and nursed for a phenomenally long time then went back to sleep after a few burps and farts. He then slept until 9:45 which enabled me to spend time with Styles. Once he woke up, he was all smiles and coos. His gifts to me were time and talks. Last night was the first time that Grady had ever cooed at me. Well, it wasn’t really at me, it was at the writing on my t-shirt but nonetheless, I was wearing the t-shirt so by default, he was talking to me. But this morning. THIS morning was different. He looked into my eyes and smiled FIRST. He spoke FIRST. Without any prompting or making ridiculous faces at him first. I have been told that the first 6 months of having 2 under 2 is really difficult and sleep-deprived. I am so blessed that Grady is the easiest baby I could have possibly asked for. He has very distinct whines (not even cries, just whines) for his needs. He is easier to read than a picture book and the past two months have been some of the most fulfilling, wonderful, and easy months for me. Although if you were to ask my husband he’d tell you that these two months have been horrible because he comes home to a tornado of toys, laundry, pots, and pans all over the house. I digress….

Madilyn.

Madilyn: Slept until 11:40 this morning. NO. LIE. Her gifts to me today were time and laughs. Before she woke, I was able to take a shower. A good, quality shower where my hair got washed and my legs were shaved. It was absolutely glorious. When she woke up, Styles was on his computer and Grady was taking a nap. So Madilyn and I sat outside while she ate breakfast/lunch and I drank my coffee. She is becoming so animated and I love how excited she gets over the simplest of things. She is now on my phone having a very intense conversation with the person on the other end.

So though my husband may be at work, and I am literally stuck at home (his car got a flat so he had to take my van to work today), I am thankful for my three kids. I am grateful that despite being told that I’d never have any more kids on my own after Styles, that I had two more children. I am blessed to be able to be home with them every day, even on Mother’s Day. The littlest two might not know what today is about, but I do so today I am going to relish them a little more than I normally do.

What did you get for Mother’s Day? What did you do for Mother’s Day? Tell me about you, your family, and what Mother’s Day looks like for you.

C.A.B.D.

5 May

Today on a trip to the happiest place on Earth (WalMart), Madilyn found a Creepy Ass Baby Doll that she really, really wanted.  You know the kind of doll I’m talking about.  It’s airbrushed to look real, has wrist-rolls, fat piggie toes, and those eyes that close when you lay it down?  The kind of baby doll that likely spends the night perusing your home looking for the sharpest object to stab your eyes out with.  Yeah.  That kind of Creepy Ass Baby Doll.

I hate baby dolls.  As a matter of fact, I always have.  I was a My Little Pony and books type of girl and I prayed every day that I was pregnant that Madilyn would find baby dolls boring and weird too.

Um.  That didn’t happen.  She loves them.  And naturally as she gets older, she’s beginning to like the super-creepy ones.  So I’m going to have to start locking my door when I sleep.

Tell me what you think:

Geez, I’m sorry… I didn’t realize Madilyn was so violent.

That baby’s creepy, right?


							

Child Safety – Not Your Basics

16 Feb

I’d like to believe that most parents know the basics of child safety.  If not, here are a good top 10 for you to review:

  1. Never leave your baby unattended on/in a bed (no, those pillows stacked around him are not going to prevent his falling off of the bed AND they’re a smother hazard), bath tub, counter top, changing table, closed toilet lid, appliance, or car top.
  2. Invest in outlet covers for every single outlet in your home before baby is born (unless you’re lucky enough to have a brand new house with outlets protected from the inside).  Your child WILL learn to crawl and find the one uncovered outlet in your house.  Mark my words.
  3. Place a baby gate at the top and bottom of stairs.
  4. No blankets, bumpers, or pillows in baby’s crib.
  5. Keep guns, knives, tazers, drugs (prescription or otherwise), alcohol, snakes, forks, scissors, cleaning products, boiling water, shards of glass, your childhood toys with small plastic eyes,  and lighters out of the reach of baby.  WAY out of reach.
  6. Never leave older siblings or household pets in charge of a newborn.  Well meaning children have been known to accidentally harm their younger siblings.
  7. Never give your baby food, drink, or medication that has not been previously approved by your (competent) physician.
  8. Use the safety belts on your bouncers, swings, and high chairs.  They’re there for a reason.
  9. Upgrade your window blinds and curtain cords to be self-containing or at the very least, ensure that they are never at a level where a child can reach.
  10. Never, never, never, never shake a baby.

OK.  So now that we have those straight, I’d like to tell you a little story that kind of goes along with #5 on the list above.

My entire household is ill.  I’ve been sick for almost 6 weeks, Madilyn has been sick for about 5 weeks, Styles got sick on Sunday, and Kyle came down with the plague Tuesday.  I despise taking medication.  I am all about the natural remedies and Elderberry is my FAVORITE.  It was recently showcased on The Dr. Oz Show in his “Natural Cures for the Common Cold” segment.  I’ve been using it on myself and Styles since he was 2 and I can honestly say that when I’m out of it and one of us gets sick, we are sick for much longer, and with much more intensity, than when we do have it.  There are lots of other natural remedies that I love but for brevity’s sake, I’ll get on with my story.

I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use Elderberry while pregnant for this reason or that, and in my pregnant-ill state, my synapses are not firing properly.  I have therefore forgotten to ask my doctor about her opinion on its use.  I did, however; remember to tell her that I am entirely sick of coughing my brains out, feeling as though I am going to have an aneurysm, and peeing all over myself with each hack.  She told me that in my 3rd trimester, I can take Mucinex so I got some this past weekend (I’m sorry, Elderberry).  I gave Kyle a

Image courtesy pharmer.org

600mg Mucinex at the first hint of a cough and congestion, in an effort to keep him healthier than I have been (again, Elderberry, please forgive me).  I thought he had most certainly taken the pill upon my handing it to him and I went on my merry way.  At lunch time, he pulled the pill out and acted surprised that it was there.  I immediately told him how dangerous it is to put pills in your pockets when you have children.  It could have easily fallen out of his pocket without his knowledge and our very curious 17 month old daughter could (and would) have put it into her mouth, either choking on it (it’s not a small pill), or ingesting it without our knowledge.  He looked at me like I had 3 heads and said he’d take it.  OH – and don’t complain about not feeling well if you don’t take the magical pill that I gave you that will make you feel better!

We resumed lunch and I just ASSumed that he had taken the pill after my short tirade.  As the day wore on, we went through our normal motions.  We ate dinner, bathed the baby, watched “Wonder Pets” before bed, tucked the kids in, and watched “Parenthood” before retiring for the night.

As I was washing my face (oh how I love Origins), Kyle pulled said Mucinex out of his pocket.  AGAIN.  Not.  Kidding.  I went ape.  Calmly ape.  But ape.  Do I really have to tell you how dangerous that is, AGAIN?  What IF Madilyn had gotten a hold of the pill?  I was exasperated.  I couldn’t believe that A. he hadn’t taken it in the first place (this man is about as far from natural and green as you can get) and B. that after I pointed out the danger, he STILL put the pill back into his pocket instead of IN HIS MOUTH, DOWN HIS THROAT, AND INTO HIS BLOOD STREAM!

So of course, I’m the bad guy because I don’t know how to “say” things when I say them.  I’m sorry, but after I’ve already told you once in one day (one year for that matter), to not put pills in your pocket and walk around with them like they’re a cell phone, I have little patience for your blatant disregard of our children’s health and wellbeing.  What if it had been one of his Adderall?  NOT OK.

Looks like brevity is out the proverbial window.  All that to say, our little medication incident yesterday really got me thinking about the hidden dangers in our homes, our cars, and in our actions that we encounter every single day that could harm our children in some way.

Putting medication or other choking hazards in your pockets and then forgetting about them is #1. Even if you don’t have children, this is probably a horrible idea.  Your pets could ingest them, your elderly grandparents, someone else’s children.

Toothpaste can be Toxic! My 17 month old daughter is OBSESSED with brushing her teeth.  I cleaned out an old toothpaste container that she walks around with sucking on but the novelty is slowly wearing off and she prefers going to our bathroom drawer and sucking on the full tube of toothpaste.  OK, first of all – disgusting.  2nd of all, DANGEROUS!  I have emptied everything out of our top drawer and it now resides on our counter top where she cannot reach.  Ugly?  Yes.  Safe?  Yep.  I suppose I could invest in a small basket or something but I’m just not there yet.

Secure all furniture to walls, no matter how heavy, how full, or how big your children are. A good friend of mine thought that because her chest of drawers was so heavy, she wouldn’t have to mount it to the walls.  Her daughter, who had just begun to walk, learned to pull the bottom drawer out and stand in it.  One fateful day, she stood in the drawer and tried to pull herself up onto the chest.  The chest fell over, causing the TV to fall onto her child’s head.  She survived with minor bruises, but my friend nearly suffered a heart attack.  Who knows what would have happened had my friend not been in the same room when the incident happened.

Don’t leave chapstick or other make-up with small lids lying where little hands can reach. Madilyn is obsessed with my make-up, especially my Burt’s Bees chapstick.  I try to be diligent about keeping it of reach but she is getting older, taller, and more agile.  Last week, I found her after my shower, with my chapstick in hand, cap in mouth.  It’s just the perfect size to get lodged in her throat.  Nice.

Don’t let your children walk around with Popsicles, Lollipops, toothbrushes, skewers, or other utensils. Maybe it’s just my kids but we deal with tripping on a constant basis.  This includes my 9 year old.  We’re klutzy, what can I say?  I constantly have visions of Popsicle sticks going through the back of someone’s throat and I’m always baffled when I see a small child at a park playing on a jungle gym with a lollipop.  Might seem like a good idea at the time, but for the sake of trying to keep our children safe, it’s probably not.  This is not really a “tidal wave” situation.  This can, and does happen.

Keep baby oil and baby powder behind locked doors. Most baby oil comes with child proof caps nowadays but NOTHING is truly child proof (See my series on mURPHY’S lAW mONDAYS).  Baby oil and powder have been known to cause death upon aspiration.  As a mother of a 9 yr old elementary school-aged child, a 17 month old, another baby due in less than a month, I can say that it is impossible to keep constant tabs on my kids.  I do the best I can but if you have a toddler, you know how quickly they move.  While I’m relieving my pregnant bladder, my daughter is in the other bathroom snorting whatever she can get her hands on.  Do what you can to keep things locked up.

Put a lock on your pantry. Aside from the fact that the lock on our pantry has saved my sanity due to less clean up, I now have one less choking hazard to worry about.  Madilyn can no longer get into my pantry to snort flour, inhale raisins, or cause the 10lb bag of sugar sitting on the second shelf to avalanche onto her, burying her in a sticky mess.  You can pick one of these bad boys up at any major retailer.

Door Handle Lock for Lever Handles

OK so there are many, many others but this is all I can think of at this very second.  We do the best that we can for our kids and I know that.  But you can’t tell me that you have tabs on your kids for every split second of every day.  It’s impossible.  Between chores, laundry, bathroom breaks, meals, and attending to multiple children – we are only human.  So let’s use the most common sense that we can muster, and learn from other people’s mistakes.  I’m not saying that we need to be paranoid, just prepared.  It’s little things like Rx pills falling out pockets that could really put our children in harm’s way.

If you can think of anything else to add to this list, PLEASE message me or comment on this blog.  I’d be happy to add to it as time goes on.

A Quickie

18 Jan

I was put on “Pelvic Rest” for this pregnancy about 6 weeks ago. For those of you who don’t know what pelvic rest means, it means no fun after dark. No playing “hide the salami”, no dancing the horizontal mambo, no mid-afternoon “naps”, no more practicing for more babies (so what I’m already pregnant?), you get the point yet? Basically the reason for this is so that no more trauma is being done to my cervix that began dilating and effacing at 27 weeks. BAH HUMBUG! So like this week, we tried busting doc’s orders and it resulted in the tell-tale soreness and pressure in my nether regions. No bueno.

Then today, The Stir posted a titillating post called 5 Ways to Have Sex Without Having Sex. Ok, so these ideas aren’t completely brand new but they definitely revved my engine. My doctor doesn’t really want me to even have any uterine contractions if you know what I mean, but it doesn’t mean I can’t get excited about something, right? Check out the website for some fun ideas on how to keep things fresh in your bedroom, whether you’re on bed rest or not.

Christmas Tree Traditions

13 Dec

I absolutely LOVE Christmas.  I love everything about it: the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree, the scent of baking that lingers in my kitchen for over a month, the warmth of a fuzzy snowman-adorned blanket, the crisp air that stings your nose when you breathe in, the lights, the decor, AND the music.  Christmas makes me happy. The kind of happy that you felt as a kid as you waited for Santa to arrive on Christmas Eve.  The kind of happy that you feel when you discover something new in a world of familiarity.  I feel just pure bliss when surrounded by snowflakes, snowmen, moose, reindeer, and Santa.

One of my favorite things during Christmas, is getting the Christmas tree put up and decorated.  I also love going to stores and other people’s homes to see how they decorate their trees.  I envy the Martha Stewart-types who put up beautifully trimmed trees with ribbons, sprigs of sea oats, beads, and white lights.  I ogle over the trees that look like they just jumped from the pages of “Southern Living” into someone’s random living room.  I lust after the trimmings and trappings of country-inspired decorum placed thoughtfully here and there.

But my tree is one of memory.  Each and every ornament on our tree is inspired and brings back memories.  We sit around the tree with Christmas music playing, sipping hot cocoa, while we unwrap each ornament individually, then guide the ornament to its temporary home on our tree.  We briefly talk about each ornament every single year, walking down memory lane as we trim.  We remember the person who gave it to us, and almost always the very specifics of the gift.  Our lights are multi-colored because white would not match the vibrant and eclectic personality of our tree.  I look forward to this walk down memory lane every year and it is a tradition I hope never fades.  I would love to have so many ornaments on our tree some day that each branch is weighed down with a memory.

Our favorite this year was an ornament given to my husband by the family dog as a Christmas gift last year.  It is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a halo and angel wings.  “Farley” passed on to greener pastures and softer rugs this year, and the irony of the gift did not escape us as we had a laugh and then a moment of silence when the ornament was unwrapped.

Maybe some day we’ll have a house big enough to have an elegant tree and our tree of memories, but if given the choice I’d always choose our Christmas Memory Tree.  Unfortunately, in the haste of moving a few years ago most of my ornaments were lost.  I now live vicariously through my husband’s ornaments while I slowly rebuild my own collection.  The tradition is no less wonderful now, though.  I love hearing his stories and recollecting my favorite, now lost ornaments and their tales.

What are your Christmas tree traditions?  I’d love to hear about what goes into decorating your trees and maybe even see some pictures.

Freak the Freak Out

27 Nov

By FAR my most popular post so far. Glad it is being enjoyed and that I’m not the only parent who thinks that this song is highly inappropriate for the age group this show is targeted to.
I don’t know about you, but my 9 yr old, innocent son enjoys watching TV from time to time a lot.  His favorite shows are “Phineas and Ferb”, “The Wizards of Waverly Place”, “iCarly”, “Sonny With A Chance”, and “Victorious” among a couple of others.  Aside from Demi Lovato’s recent entry into a rehab program, I have had no problems with the stars in the shows that he watches.  We haven’t talked at all about Demi Lovato or what she went into rehab for, I’m not sure he even knows that she’s there.  I’m just glad that she’s getting help for her reported eating disorder and cutting problems, and I hope that she returns to the scene soon.

But (and this is a big BUT for me), just this week I have come into unfamiliar parental territory.  The show, “Victorious” aired a one-hour special entitled “Freak the Freak Out” named after a song that the show’s star, Victoria Justice, recently released.   I’m not at ALL impressed.  The song talks about how the object of Victoria’s affections (correction provided by apparent co-writer of the song) Victoria’s PARENTS don’t listen to her and she’s sick and tired of it.  Lyrics (from second stanza) are as follows:

I’m so sick of it,
Your attention never stick
Never listen, You never listen.
I’m so sick of it,
So I’m throwing on a fit
Never listen, You never listen.
I scream, your name,
It always stays the same.
I scream, and shout,
So what I’m gonna do now
Is freak the freak out, Hey!

I could be wrong but I believe that the target audience for this show is somewhere between 8 and 12, and my son listens to the music sung by stars of various Disney & Nickelodeon shows on his MP3 player.  It is my professional parental opinion that this song is exceedingly inappropriate for this target age.  Freak the freak out?  At your PARENTS?  Really, Nickelodeon?  You  might as well have just said “Freak the F#ck Out”.  This is NOT a phrase I’d like for my 9 yr old to be repeating at school OR at home.  Argue with me on the target age if you want to, but I guarantee you not many high schoolers are watching this show (I wouldn’t have).

I realize that I am his parent and I have the authority to tell him whether or not he can watch a show or listen to certain music but I don’t feel like I should have to be music police for a 9 yr old while he is watching a network that I trust to deliver age appropriate content.  What is appropriate for this age?  I think I should be able to trust Nickelodeon and Disney to deliver (relatively) wholesome and fun music for my kids to listen to.  I’m OK with songs about love, feelings, and growing up, but directing these sorts of emotions (and phrases) in a song for elementary and middle schoolers is just out of line.  Growing up can be really difficult to do and I know that teenage angst seems to come younger and younger as the decades crawl onward.  It’s difficult for these “big kids” or “young adults” to communicate appropriately as it is, why are we teaching them to “freak the freak out” or “scream and shout” to get someone’s attention?  Are they going to be able to differentiate between peer relationships and parental relationships and what’s appropriate in each?  I don’t think that it’s appropriate or necessary to “scream and shout” in ANY relationship, but this song is clearly supporting doing just that if someone isn’t listening to you.  I don’t know what I expect, songs about respect?  I mean why not?  Sing it, Aretha!  This “Freak the Freak Out” song is super catchy so it’s hard not to nod your head a little and remember the lyrics upon listening to it only a few times.  So now I have a 9 yr old walking around talking about “freaking the freak out” and I really don’t know how to handle it.

What do I do?  Tell him to turn the TV off every time the song comes on?  Forbid him from watching “Victorious” or even worse, Nickelodeon?  Am I being too overprotective?  How many of you parents out there think that the phrase, “Freak the freak out” is inappropriate for a 9 yr old to be saying, or even exposed to for that matter?

If you’d like to check the song out, please listen.  And after you’ve listened, I’d love some input and friendly debate.  What do you think?  Do you think this is appropriate for your children?  For your future children (if you don’t have any)?  All witty quips welcome.

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