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Showing posts from March, 2015

I have to teach them what?

Does it ever amaze you, as a parent, the things you have to teach your kids?  There are some things that I just assumed were innate or an auto-learn feature of childhood.  I was wrong.  So far, here's the list of things I never knew I had to teach my children: How to's not as innate as many lactation specialists would like you to think. How to sleep. When to sleep. How long to sleep. How to sleep in their own beds. When to wake up. How to dress themselves. How not to dress themselves. How to wipe their own bottoms. What to put in the potty. What not to put in the potty. Not to touch bottoms other than their own. When not to touch their own bottom. When it's appropriate to talk about bottoms. How to eat. What to eat. How to tilt a sippy cup up so that the drink comes out. To not tilt a straw cup up. How to drink out of a regular cup/glass with no lid. How to dial a phone. How to make an emergency phone call. What is an emergency. When the

No regrets

This week has been one of those weeks. I feel as though each day has been a day that tests my patience and is filled with disciplining my children instead of having fun with them. There have been moments where I just wanted to stop and cry - or at least scream aloud, "Why?!" I don't need to get into the details of all this week has involved. As parents, we've all had these weeks. Perhaps you're going through this week, too. Right now, in theory, my kids are napping (although there monitors are telling me it has yet to become reality).  I'm hunkered down in my bedroom trying to rebuild my sanity to make it until bedtime. As I've been attempting this, I came across Finding Joy's blog and 20 Things to Not Regret Doing With Kids .  Wow! This is exactly what I needed to read today. It's not just about missing out on the hugs and kisses, but also not regretting the choices you make as a parent - even when others are doing something else. Thank y

Getting ink off your TV or computer monitor

Our home office is typically off limits to our children.  Because of this, it is the area in which they both desire - more than anything - to spend their time.  We've set up gates, filing cabinets, trash cans, and storage bins in the entrance to our office (it's an open den area) in an effort to foil their attempts to enter.  They have all failed. Upon gaining entrance to this heavily guarded fortress within our home, our children's (especially our 2-year-old son's) mission quickly changes to 'seek and destroy'.  What do they seek?  Primarily our computer monitors because aren't they just one giant screen on which a child is meant to color? So, if you come across this same battle with your children, be sure to keep a bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol on hand.  Use either a Q-tip or cotton ball (be sure your monitor is off) and gently rub across the screen.  In a matter of seconds, the drawings are erased.  This is effective for Sharpie, highlighter, dry erase

Leprechauns are taking over

Just a bit of St. Patty's Day fun with the kids and a few drops of food coloring!  The kids didn't notice me putting the drops in the glasses before I poured the milk and water, but they were amazed at the effect. They're still searching for this mischievous little, green man.


Some nights, I really want to be a good mama and prepare a healthy dinner for my kids. They're fairly good eaters, but they are still pickier than I would hope them to be. So, on these nights when I'm a single mom and I just don't have the fight in me, I think about making vegetables to go with whatever we're having. Sometimes I go so far as to get the veggies out and chopped.  Then, I wonder why I'm going to all this work to have them thrown into the trash instead of bellies.  So, I put them back and try again on a night where I do have the energy for this fight - or dad is home.

My Pregnancy Story

It's been nearly three years since I had my youngest child.  While I love both of my children, I must admit that he is my angel.  Here is his story: My husband and I wanted a second child.  So, shortly after my daughter's first birthday (and well after I'd forgotten the morning sickness, preterm labor, and sleepless nights) we decided to start trying.  Because it took nearly two years to conceive our first child, I wasn't holding out hope that the second would be much easier, but I was wrong.  A few months in and that second line appeared on the stick.  My husband and I were overjoyed! We waiting until I was twelve weeks pregnant to spread the news to close family and friends.  We'd already had an ultrasound and morning sickness was, once again, well underway.  Then, at thirteen weeks (the start of my second trimester), on a Sunday, I suddenly started bleeding.  It wasn't spotting.  It was enormous abdominal cramping with bright red blood that seemed to neve

Yes, my children are obnoxious

I'm sitting down, enjoying a cup of coffee at my favorite coffee shop, having a conversation with friends, making that all-important phone call, or actually sitting down at a nice restaurant ordering adult food.  It never seems to fail...these are the moments my children will choose to be their worst.  They will scream, be obnoxious, throw a tantrum, say something inappropriate or impolite.  To those of you who are in the spaces surrounding me or on the other end of the line, my children do not always act this way.  It may seem like they're unruly and they may be an annoyance to you.  You're right.  In these moments they are.  However, do not judge them.  They are still learning. You may not know that my children didn't sleep well last night because of nightmares or monsters under their bed.  You may not realize that they're sad because we just lost a pet.  You're unaware that they're dealing with a deployed daddy - or a mommy who had to travel for a few

Tantrum tip

Do you find that your children just won't stop throwing tantrums?  Yes, we've been told to ignore them - just turn around and walk away.  But, have you ever tried doing the opposite? Take a video of your child while he/she is throwing a tantrum.  Then, once the realization has been made that he/she is being filmed, let them watch what they look like.  Not only might they calm down because they realize you're filming them, but this might also open a window for discussion about their behavior and what it looks and sounds like.

Tantrum tip

When your children are throwing a tantrum in the car and you just need a break - even if only for a few seconds - randomly scream out a word (e.g., tree, truck, school bus, or car).  It doesn't have to be something that you actually see or it could be something completely obvious.  If it's not something that's really there, I find that screaming a word that may be difficult to see, like 'squirrel', is helpful as it gives kids a chance to search for said squirrel [idea is not my own, came from watching Up too many times to count]. What's the worst that could happen?  Your kids are already screaming, so perhaps your one-word scream will be enough of a diversionary tactic to actually cause them to stop screaming.

Time to rest

A poem for all of you mothers - and fathers: My alarm clock was set for six o'clock on the dot. You woke up much earlier, a battle we've continually fought. You came to the side of my bed and stood stoically still. With your nose half an inch from mine, it was quite a thrill. We began our tug of war game we play every day. Which clothes do you wear; a flower girl dress is not for play. Your outfits may not match, but they will all have a theme. All plaid, sparkles, and Hello Kitty are appropriate, or so you deem. While we struggle to get out the door in the morning. Your brother, Silent Warrior, found the Sharpies with no warning. My dining room walls now need a repair. No worries! Alcohol will provide the right care. We make it to school, and I get a small break. Since Costco doesn't open for another hour - I wait. Sleep would be nice, but there isn't the time. But, oh, just the thought is completely sublime. School ends too soon, I only got half

Question of the day

Why is it that when you want your kids to sleep, they stay awake, yet when you want them to stay awake, they go to sleep? What would happen if we want them to always stay awake?  They'd probably finally listen and run around like they've had nothing but espressos and jumping beans.

Sleep - is it just a fairy tale?

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there were families with children who slept - and allowed their parents to sleep...  It seems like sleep is simply a fairy tale.  Once upon a time, I slept.  Or, if I didn't sleep, it was a conscious choice on my part.  A late night study session or cramming to get a paper written.  Talking with good friends until the wee hours of the morning.  Or, watching the marathon session of a BBC miniseries.  Nowadays, I think that sleep has become this fairy tale of hope.  I daydream about it, but never actually reach it.  I lay down at night thinking, "Tonight could be the night!" But, then my child needs to go to the potty one more - or fifty more - times (obviously important).  Or, they need one more hug and kiss (who can deny these?).  How about one more book? (Ok, this one is easy to say "no" to).  They've lost their favorite toy, blanket, snuggle item.  They continue to tell you that they're not tired, despite the e