Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Don't Drink and Clean up Bath Toys

It was Sunday night, and we'd had a great sunny day here. We had been playing outside, working in the yard, and washing cars. Something hits me when the sun comes out, and I feel giddy. But when the sun is shining I always want some country music playing loud on the stereo, and a cocktail in my hand...

My at home bar is not well stocked, I never remember to pick up alcohol and mixers when at the grocery store. This is probably because I've got two impatient kids in the cart yearning to go play. So, on this day, as we started to barbeque dinner, I assessed my options: vodka, wine, and an array of soda or juice. Hmmmm. Vodka and ginger ale sounded fantastic. I poured myself a double and drank away.

By the girls bathtime I was tipsy. I don't drink often so I've become a light weight. They bathed, and I sat and sipped the remainder of my beverage. What a great day.

When the girls got out of the tub, my 3 year-old had to pee. So she naturally tracked water all over the bathroom floor while walking her sopping wet self to the toilet. I came along later, dried them off, and while they got their jammies on I went on my nightly mission to fish the bath toys out of the tub. We have a Boon frog, which I absolutely love. If you have kids that take baths with toys you need one of these. It's a storage system that looks like a frog, and the storage "bin" comes off and acts as a scoop, so you can scoop up toys floating in water.

So full picture: tipsy mom, wet bathroom floor, bathtub full of water and toys. I grabbed my scoop and reached to get the toys.....of course you know what happened next: my ass fell in. Fully clothed, hit my leg, flipped over, and landed on my bootylicious (not fat, bootylicious) ass into the soapy toy filled bath water.

I called for my husband, cause I couldn't get up from the position I was in. He comes in, points, laughs, goes and gets the kids and the video camera and comes back to laugh some more. Finally he helped me out.

Don't drink and pick up bath toys. Your family will laugh at you, they will record it, and you will have a HUGE bruise on your right thigh. Seriously, my leg actually throbs right now due to this bruise.

Bath tub: 1, Mom: 0.

If you are interested in the Boon frog, here's a link:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Illness's a gem of information that I did not know. When kids get sick, they go down FAST and scare the crap out of you.

Good to know. Where the hell was that nugget of advice in the FOUR parenting books I read? Nowhere.

So yesterday, my 4 year-old woke up after having a nagging cough all night. No big deal. By mid morning, her cough was annoying me, quite honestly, and she wasn't her usual sassy rambunctious self. It was nice that all she wanted to do was lay around, but I knew it wasn't normal. I called her pediatrician, told his nurse the story, and she gave me a prescription for cough medicine with codeine for her to take a night. Thanks lady, you're a saint. Because I didn't sleep AT ALL the night before due to the coughing, and neither had my daughter.

As the day went on she was OK, but after nap she starting really not feeling well, I don't think. The girls go to gymnastics on Wednesday afternoons, I told her she should stay home with dad while her sister and I went, that didn't go over well. So we all went to gymnastics, where she huffed and puffed through it, I thought- greeeat, my kids going to go into respiratory arrest for all to see. Nice. But it wasn't like I was going to pull her out mid class, she would throw a fit which would be loud AND embarrassing.

After dinner, which she did not eat a bite of, she really started breathing hard. Like, if she were an adult patient at work, I'd be calling for some serious help. Her little belly was puffing out with each breath and she was working harder than usual to breathe. I know the symptoms of pediatric respiratory distress thanks to my very good nursing school memory...and she didn't have any. But, it was getting later....and I wasn't about to hit the ER at 2am so I called my experienced mommy friend and made her listen to my peanut breathe through the phone....she calmed me down and said to do what I'd been doing and wait it out.

So, last night, I gave her the robitussin with codeine, put a humidifer in her room, vicks rubbed her chest and propped her up on two pillows. She did fine, and slept all night. I did not. I woke up every hour to check on her, make sure she was still breathing, etc, etc. Over reactive mother syndrome. I never knew I'd worry like this but .... shocking.... here we are.

This morning she is doing much better, and I have quietly given myself the "your a good mommy" award for my efforts.

Jeez, kids can really affect your sleep, even when they're snoring away!

Friday, April 6, 2012


Hi everyone, I know I've been lacking on my posts, but I cannot believe how busy I am. I never knew that being a stay-at-home mom was such a crazy job. And challenging. The days fly by, and I can't even get my own to-do list done for the day. I'm managing to keep the house fairly clean, and I make all three meals a day (we quickly realized that taking a family of four out to eat is both a chore and expensive), and best of all, at the end of each day, I have happy kids that hug, and kiss me goodnight.

You know how we call it "practicing medicine" because it truly is a trial and error process? Well they should call it "practicing parenting" too. I don't always know what is going to work for these girls. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don't know them that well. Let's be honest. Most people carry their kid for nine months, get to plan how things are going to go in their mind. Then, the kid comes out, doesn't do a whole lot except eat, sleep, and poop. You fall in love. Then they cry more and sleep less, but they start to smile, and coo. Their first words are usually either "mama" or "dada" and by then you are in love.

Once they start walking they are super cute and have just enough hair for you to do a little style. Everyone is still pretty much in love with them, family and friends were around a ton when you left the hospital, and though their home visits have dwindled your little one is still the center of attention. As they start to become more mobile you are constantly saying "no-no" to them in a loving voice, they learn what you will and will not allow from before they even know how to talk.

By the time the terrible two's and three's hit, you are so in love with them, and know them so well that you grumble through it. Well ladies, this is where my journey began. My three year old is sassy, and sometimes bites and hits to try to achieve her goal. My four year old has moved into the smart misbehavior. This means she knows what to say and do to try and manipulate her way out of trouble. Guess what? I'm lucky because these behaviors are normal for their age group. I'm unlucky because on top of their developmental frustrations, I'm learning how to manage them without knowing these kids very well. All in all? I'm getting it. We've been trying different techniques and consequences to get the girls to follow the rules we want them to follow. But, sadly, they've had lots of different expectations in their short lives, and they're adjusting too.

Some days are grueling, and some are amazing. But that's parenthood. When I get overwhelmed I stop and say to myself "parenting is supposed to be fun, so relax, take this moment for what it is and move forward." A friend of mine gave me a great book suggestion about caring for kids who've not been in your home since birth. She adopted children at the same ages as mine, and has had the same struggles. It's called "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: 7 basic steps to turning conflict into cooperation" by, Becky Bailey. I have also read "Love and Logic." These books are great in theory, but let's be honest, sometimes you don't control your anger, and you yell and send your kid to time out. That's life. All I can ever do is be the best mommy I can be, and make the best decision I can in any given moment.

Here are a few things I've learned:

Don't get upset and reprimand your child until you ask them why they chose to do a certain thing. My four year old put toilet paper in the bathtub with her the other night. I was so's a mess to clean up when wet. But, I asked her "why" and she said, "because I peed in the tub and had to wipe." Well that's actually a good answer. She didn't get in trouble, but she had to clean it up.

Distraction works wonders. If an altercation between the kids is about to happen, or they're heading to do something that is going to get them in trouble, distract them. "look out the window, what's that" or "do you want to take small steps or big steps out of the mud?" these are ways to achieve the goal you want without having to yell or say NO.

Do-overs are helpful. If the kids don't treat each other respectfully, and one pushes the other one out of the way, I'll say "do-over" and make them go back and do it the right way. One will use her words instead of pushing and say, "please move" and then the other one will. I try to teach.

Be consistent. I follow the same schedule each day. They eat at the same times, sleep at the same time, had a bedtime and morning routine. I also discipline consistently for the same issue. Hitting always gets a time out. Tantrums will always get the kids sent to their rooms. I see less of these things, cause they know the punishment.

Ignore the negatives, praise the positive. If one is doing the right thing, and the other is not, I pay A LOT of attention to the one doing the right thing, and ignore the other one. This way they don't attention seek by doing bad things.

That's my bag o tricks for now. Sometimes nothing works. Then I breathe, and pray.