Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Supplies you might need for this world?
Paper plates. Glue. Glitter. Pipe cleaners. Feathers. Puffballs. Foam stickers. Tissue paper. Construction paper. Brown paper bags. Felt paper.
When Alanna was in Kindergarten, her class did a Wild Rumpus Parade around the school. Her project was to make a Wild Rumpus Vest. They were reading "Where The Wild Things Are". I wanna tell you, I think it was just as much fun for me as it was for her to make that vest. We got to be all kinds of creative. And it turned out great.
If you're lacking things to do with your kids to keep them occupied... make a Wild Rumpus Vest! Heck, have some friends bring their kids over and turn it into a vest making party. Ask everyone to bring supplies (like a potluck... but for crafts) and then help your kids create all kinds of papery fun things!
Get some big brown grocery bags from stores (or your cupboard if you save them). Cut them up the middle in the front and straight through the bottom, but obviously leave the back in one piece. Cut some space for the "neckhole" in the bottom as well, and then on both small sides for the arms and VOILA. All that needs to be done now is the decorating!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It's the only thing that helps make it go quicker. Heh.
I've noticed that if I'm trying to pick up and the house is quiet... or there's cartoons on in the background... it takes FOREVER. And I generally quit before I've gotten everything done (yes, I said it. I quit). But when I've got something to sing to or (God forbid) dance too, it makes it seem less like a job that I have to do. And more like something that doesn't really suck as bad as it should.
Now, there ARE people who enjoy cleaning. Who don't need music blasting just to make it through the task. They have a place for everything and put everything in it's place. They're organized and have labels and containers for things and when they're finished everything looks super neat.
I am not one of those people.
My kids are not those people either.
My daughters room is currently a mess. And the mess needs to go away. She hates to pick up though. And I don't blame her. I can't expect her to love something even I can't stand to do. So I am determined to make picking up her room fun for her in some way. I'm still trying to figure out that way, but I'm pretty sure I'll come up with something. If she's excited to do something, she does it with gusto. If not? Then when I ask/tell her to do something the answer is "No. That's very boring." How's that for a 2 and a half year old. Haha.
With Alanna, I've found that even just putting a sing-a-long in the VCR (yes, I am ancient and I still have one) makes the thought of picking up the aftermath of her hurricane a little more bearable (bareable?). Perhaps the same will work with Lydia. We have yet to see.
Moral of this all over the place story?
If YOU hate doing something, your kids generally won't like it anymore than you do. And you can't expect them to have their room spic and span in no time if while YOU clean you grumble the whole time. Make it fun. Sing. Dance. Be silly. Not only does it get them more in the spirit, it also makes the cleaning seem to take a whole lot less time than it otherwise would.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
From left to right: Summer, Alanna, Savhanna, and Lydia down in front
Put the 3 of them together though.... and they are a pain in the butt. A big fat pain in the butt. Don't get me wrong, even when they're together, I love them.... but they fight like cats and dogs. Everything from "Alanna's being bossy" to "Summer pushed me" to "Savi won't let me play". I've heard it all.
They've been together since they were born though. I bottlefed Savhanna while I spoon fed Alanna in a saucer. I've put their hair in pigtails and braids since it was long enough for me to do so. They love each other. But sometimes they can't stand each other. And they like to let everyone know it too.
Yes, I have a moral to the story.
Kids need to know they've got boundaries they can't cross. They need to know you've set limits for them and that there aer consequences to their actions. You can't get frazzled and harried and frantic or flip out on them. Even if you're pretty much at your wits end. Believe me. I've been there. They see that and they run with it. And believe it or not, they feed off your mood. If you're stressed out, it stresses them out, only they don't know how to deal with it.
Alanna and my nieces do just that. With certain people, they fight. Non stop. With others, it's only occasional, and once they've been made aware of the consequences, they stop. If they know the deal before I ever get there, then we're good to go.
Kids need boundaries. As much as they say they don't like rules, they do better with them. They act better, they feel better... they just do better knowing what's expected of them. If I tell the girls when we get there... "You get three strikes, you fight once and it's a warning. You start twice, and it's time out for the culprits. Three times and I pack up and go home..." usually only one of them makes it to time out. And the visit is much calmer and a lot more fun for them because they're PLAYING. Not bickering. And it's a lot calmer for ME not having to run after them saying "Why is she crying?!" "What is going on?" "Who started it?"
At some point, no matter how hard you try, you will find some part of YOUR body drenched, covered, sticky, smelling like, or splattered with someone else's bodily fluid. And that someone else would be your lovely little bundle of joy.
I, for one, cannot stand bodily fluids. The thought of changing a diaper had, at one point, been enough to trigger my gag reflex. Bad. No matter who I babysat (mostly just my nephews) I never got used to the diaper changes. Never. Seeing babies spit up, nasty. Watching a baby's face distort and turn redder than a tomato and then listening to them grunt and then the nasty squishing sound that followed, KNOWING they had just filled their diaper and possibly everything else on top of it, made me wanna barf.
And then I had babies. Well, obviously not both of them at once. But you know what I mean.
I was watching American Idol. The season with Clay and Ruben. Fun times. Anyways, I was laying down on my back holding my 3 month old Alanna in the air. She was a helicopter. She was spinning and laughing and having a grand ol' time. I was smiling and laughing with her. And then.... with she was situated directly over my face.... BLUUURP. She spit up. A bottle full of milk. In my mouth.
Lydia, when she was even younger than Alanna had been.... was being changed in her little changing station. We were getting ready to go out somewhere, probably to my sister's... I don't remember, but she smelled a little stinky so I went to go check her diaper. No mess. Nice. Was getting ready to tape the diaper back up when the bottom half of my shirt got an impromptu shower. Lydia must have had a supersoaker for a bladder or something I swear. She peed on me. And let me tell you, it was impressive. I've never seen a little girl pee on someone who had jumped about a foot back from the changing table. I thought only boys could do that. No. OH no. I was so wrong.
My point... when I was not a mom.... the thought of bodily fluids made me want to get rid of my own, in the nicest way possible. Now? I honestly could care less. Well, wait. I take it back. I care... it's not like I like it. Like I don't want to clean myself off at the earliest possible moment. But it doesn't make me nauseous anymore. Unless it's someone else's child... but that's a whole nother story. My own kids? I'm good to go. I'm more than happy to clean them off, change their clothes, before I change my shirt, wash my hair, do whatever it is I need to do.
So please, be prepared to get spit up on, peed on, pooped on, and probably at some point a combination of all 3. And for a lot of you, be prepared for it to not bother you. Believe me, I have one of the weakest stomachs known to man when it comes to things like that.... rollercoasters, bucking boats/broncos, I can handle those with flying colors. But bodily fluids.... yeah better throw me my own bucket.
You'll be surprised what doesn't bother you, though, when you've got someone callin you mama. :-)
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I know... drumroll right?
My children apparently hate Walt Disney movies. No, just kidding. They're in love with all that is Disney princesses. They think they are one. However... it seems that the age of 2 is the universal age when all things Disney are mispronounced.
Sweeping Doody? Yes.... sadly, it is Sleeping Beauty. Ok, maybe not sadly. It's actually really cute and it made me laugh. And I thought that SweepingDoody.Blogspot.Com had a better ring to it than SnowWipe.Blogspot.Com. Snow Wipe... you guessed it, is Snow White. My oldest owns the first faux pas and my youngest owns the second. Sounds like my kids are preoccupied with the toilet doesn't it?
I've never figured out why. But it's ok. I love them just the way they are. :-)
Friday, April 16, 2010
Follow that button right there and take a peek.
So... part of the party is to basically introduce yourself. As I've already got a pretty lengthy bio over there on the right I'll try and keep this one a bit shorter. Or at least put stuff in here that I've left out of there.
I'm a bit of a procrastinator. As it were, I'm supposed to leave for work in 30 minutes and have yet to actually get dressed to go. Oops. For everyone who's already been reading me you know this already.. but I'm not thrifty, I'm not crafty, I don't have any space/time/money saving hobbies. I read. That's about the only hobby I have. But I like it. It suits me... as I'm generally too tired to do much of anything else. My two kids are my life and I love them with every piece of my heart. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for either one of them.
So there you have it. This blog post is probably about as "social" as I'm ever going to get in the blog world, but I figured I'd have to give it a go at some point. :-) But you guys should definitely go check out the rest of 5 Minutes For Mom even if you don't enter the contest.
And now... I really should get ready to go.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I was fortunate enough to be able to take my kids back in 2008 for almost an entire week. Lydia was only 6 months old and Alanna had just turned 5. Granted they were a tad bit young to enjoy most of what Disney World had to offer, but it was ok with them. Lydia, for the most part, was content to sleep in her Jeep carrier with her little head on my chest. And Alanna was happy visiting all of the princesses and Disney characters that she could. Missing out on the rides didn't phase her. Heck, she preferred not to go anywhere near them.
Now, I understand that Disney might not be financially logical for a lot of families right now. And that's fine. Your children will not curl up and die for not being able to walk down Main St in the Magical Kingdom.
What you CAN do... and what I'm currently doing right now... is plan a trip for a few years in the future. I've told my oldest that we will attempt a journey back by the time she's 10 years old (she's 7 now). That puts my youngest at 5 (the age Alanna was last time, and honestly, I suggest waiting until your youngest is of the age where they are self propelled and compeltely mobile on their own... it's a pain to try and juggle infant, a diaper bag, and a stroller using only 2 hands onto one of the shuttles between the parks). I have given Alanna the task of making her very own Disney Piggy Bank. Using construction paper, puffballs, stickers, glue... any crafting objects she desires.
She's happily agreed to the task and looks forward to putting every bit of spare change she can procure into her bank. Forget that the trip is still 3 years away... as long as she knows she's working towards it she's good to go. And she's excited that she's going to be able to spend her own money on pretty much whatever she wants. When Lydia is a tad bit older we'll start her Disney piggy bank as well. I want her to be as involved in the process as Alanna is going to be.
Granted, there probably won't be TOO too much in either piggy bank (although, Alanna is very resourceful when it comes to "finding" change.... as is Lydia... they start young) kids are excited about the prospect of having their OWN money. Being able to buy something that THEY earned the right to buy. They don't like asking for something and being told NO. I know... surprise right? They like knowing that they contributed to the trip in some way. They like knowing that this trip was made possible, in part, by what they put in their piggy banks.
I'm going to have to make my own Disney piggy bank here soon and start shuffling change from the couch cushions into the cavernous hole that needs to be filled in 3 years.
If you want to go to Disney, but can't do it right now... don't worry about it. Give the kids something to work towards. Something to look forward to. Stop feeling bad having to tell them "Not this year" or "I'm sorry, it will have to wait". Tell them "Yes... we can go to Disney". Tell them when. And tell them what they have to do in the mean time.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Lydia loves to do just that. Every night.
I came home from work early tonight with a migraine. Lydia up and running around in her "princess" dress. Asking "Can I have this dance your majesty" and then bowing to me with her hand out. "Time for bed" says I. "But I wanna sit wif you" says she. Oh no. No.
So we changed her out of her pretty princess dress ("I just wanted to look beautiful" she said to me) and in to her cute fluffy snowman pj's. We waded through the toys in her room and made it to the bed where she jumped in it and plopped her head down on the pillow. "Read me a story". So I picked up her storybook pillow and read to her the story of Sleeping Beauty's quest to pick out the perfect wedding dress. Sang to her a few times. Kissed her and told her I loved her. Got her a drink of juice. And then said goodnight.
She hasn't moved.
Bed time doesn't necessarily need to be routine. Or at least doesn't need to be at the same time every night. What it needs to be is a quiet time. A wind down time. Don't put them to sleep in the clothes that they wore all day. Get them in their comfy pjs. If they ask you to read to them... read. It doesn't need to be a long book. It doesn't even need to be one that they understand. They just want to be read to. If you sing them a song, pick a short one. Because it's pretty much a guarantee that they're going to ask you to sing it again.
The one above is one of my favorites. And my girls love it when I sing this to them.
Pick your favorite lullaby from when you were little and sing it to your little princes and princesses. Sing it a few times. Rub their tummies or their hair while you sing.... they'll fall asleep (ok, maybe I can't guarantee that it's going to work every single time... but even if it doesn't, it helps).
Bed time needs to be calm. It needs to be quiet. It needs to be restful (yes, restful... even before you fall asleep your body is winding down for rest time).
This one used to be one of Alanna's favorites.
So, with Lydia in bed... and my head throbbing to the point where my brain feels like it's going to leap out of my skull... I bid you Adieu.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
At work, worry about work. At home, worry about home. Don't bring the 2 together. Because you end up worrying about one more than the other and the one you're REALLY supposed to be worrying about, isn't actually the one that's worrying you.
I'm only going to talk about one half of the equation today.
Don't let work follow you in the door when you get home. Yes, I understand that you may have had a COMPLETELY crappy day at work, beLIEVE me I know what those are like and it's hard NOT to want to tell someone about it. To rant and vent and just have them listen and say "Wow, I'm sorry" and basically justify your irritation. Scream in the car if you have to all the way home. Pretend someone's sitting in the seat next to you. Talk to that invisible person. Will people see you talking to yourself? Maybe. But how many people now use a bluetooth in their car. You're not going to look out of the ordinary. Trust me. Heck, USE your bluetooth, call someone and talk about it all the way home.
Don't bring it in the house. Your kids are more important than your bad day at work. While you're busy wallowing (wow this is really starting to sound mean, and I promise, I don't mean it as harshly as it's coming out) in how horrible your day was, how poorly you were treated, how tired you are.... your kids are in the background (unless you're like me and you work until midnight) saying "Mommy look at me."
Too many times our kids hear "Not right now" or "Mommy's busy" or "In a minute" but that minute never comes. Too many times when we hear "Mommy play with me" or "Mommy watch what I can do" we say "I can't" or "I'm too tired, you'll have to show me later". Since when did work become more important than our kids?
A woman that I work with shared a story with my training class back in January of 2009... she called her husband up excited one day about the fact that her son started speaking. His response? "I know... he's been saying that for a while." Few days later she called him up jumping for joy saying "He's walking!!!" His response? "I know... he's been doing that for a while." She had been so busy bringing her work home with her that she was MISSING everything that was going on around her. Her son had been walking and talking and she wasn't around enough or present in mind enough to pay attention.
When she told me that I realized... too many times I had heard "Mommy, can I play with you" and being tired I said "No not right now." Or, "I just got home from work, give me a minute".... but the minute never came.
Don't be so wrapped up with work, so upset about something that happened at work, that you can't see what's going on around you. These are precious minutes that you CAN NOT GET BACK. Your children need you to notice them. They need you to love them. They need you to make them a priority. They DESERVE it. You can keep telling them "Give me a minute".... but how many minutes have you LOST doing that?
Don't lose anymore.
When you're home.... BE at home. In body AND in mind. Leave work at work. Or at least at the doorstep. Pick it back up when you leave the next day if you have to.... but don't bring it inside with you.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
It's also great for kids (I had to throw that in there too). When I was a kid I can't tell you how bored I was most Sundays sitting in those hard backed wooden pews and stark white Sunday School classrooms listening to people talk about things that I didn't understand.
The songs are catchy and fun to sing. The movies/shows are cute and explain things to kids in a way a lot of adults can't. They grab their attention and hold it for a while. And what's best? The kids don't know that they're LEARNING at the same time!
A lot of times, I would prefer my kids watch these cartoons over a lot of others (i.e. SpongeBob - although I might be the ONLY parent that doesn't like that show). They teach morals and faith and manners. And sometimes just how to be silly.
The series is good, not just for Sundays, but for every day. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have just as much fun watching Veggie Tales as my kids do. :-)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Honestly... I couldn't stand the girl for the longest time. I absolutely loathed and abhored her with every fibre of my being. Yes. I did. Me. Britney Spears. Hate. Intensely. Anyways, I'm sure everyone remembers when she completely flipped her lid and just went "nuts". Right? Like, oh my gosh what's her problem.
I knew what her problem was (or at least had an educated guess). And some people speculated about it. But no one really did anything to help her for the longest time. Everyone pointed fingers at her and laughed. Everyone said what a horrible mother she was. Everyone plastered her face all over the tabloids with every single mistake that she made. Every single ugly t-shirt or untied shoe was world news. I mean, holy cow.
I felt SORRY for her. I looked at her and how she was crumbling infront of the entire nation and I felt sorry for her. While everyone was saying she had gone completely loony and was high on drugs and drunk etc.... all I kept thinking of was the complete feeling of almost bone crushing depression she must have.
Now this post isn't about Britney Spears. I kind of got carried away in my analogy.
What I AM talking about is postpartum depression. The frustration a lot of women feel when they try to voice their concerns to someone who blows it off as "baby blues" saying "oh you'll feel better in a week or 2". And the despair women can feel knowing that THEY know something is wrong and no one is going to help them because in their infinite wisdom, they believe otherwise.
So many women are afraid to admit the way they feel. Understandably so.... but it goes back to what I said before. If you can't take care of YOU how are you going to take care of anyone else. ESPECIALLY a newborn child that DEMANDS every ounce of energy and attention that you have.
Everyone is bound to have the Baby Blues. With all of the hormonal changes going on in your body it's pretty much a given. And it's normal. But those usually do subside within a few weeks after you deliver. Postpartum depression is (and forgrive my terminology) baby blues on steroids. The feelings you have intensify and can keep building for months after you give birth.
Please don't be afraid to find help. If, after a few weeks, you notice that you have no enjoyment in the things that used to make you happy, you constantly feel on the verge of tears, you feel hopeless and worthless... if you feel guilty with no reason behind it.... tell someone. If you don't think that anyone without a PhD is going to give a rats ass (pardon my french) find someone WITH one. Tell your own doctor. If you don't feel like you have the energy to get out of bed (not to mean that you're getting no sleep because your baby keeps you up at night), if you notice drastic weight/appetite changes... and here's the big one... if you have thoughts of suicide or harming yourself TELL SOMEONE. Please.
Don't suffer in silence. You are not alone. Don't keep it to yourself because you're afraid of what people will think of you if you spill that you're depressed. If they have a problem with you then who cares what they think anyway right? Don't let someone talk you in to believing that it's just Baby Blues (and for those of you on the receiving end of the "I think something's wrong with me" conversations DONT. I repeat. DON'T. DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT just tell them "it's baby blues. It will go away." I can not tell you how many people I wanted to slap in the face because of that very saying). Just because it WAS baby blues for someone else doesn't mean that you don't feel something different.
Don't be afraid to tell someone. You deserve to be healthy. Mentally and physically. You deserve to be emotionally happy and well. You don't need to wish, every morning when you get out of bed, that you'd never opened your eyes.
Don't be afraid.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
We learned the signs for happy birthday, jump, walk, run, train, bike, plane, family, class, dog, cat, fish, horse, rainbow, clouds, rain, outside. We learned how to count in sign language (which is a TAD bit different than normal counting with fingers). We can say our ABC's and sing certain songs in sign language.
The best time to start teaching them is when they're little. They pick it up SO QUICK. And I know you're probably thinking "When are they ever going to need this. When will I even need this?" You might.
When I worked in the nursery at the Y we had to know enough sign language to tell a mom that her son needed to come in with shoes the next time she brought him. And one of my best girlfriend's sons had learned sign language and would use it when he needed to ask to help or when he had to tell us that he needed to use the potty.
When Alanna was in kindergarten her teacher taught them how to say "thank you" in sign language. The cashier in the cafeteria was deaf. In the 10 years that she had been working there, not once had she had a conversation with anyone who bought lunch from her. After Mrs. Haney taught her class how to say thank you, that day at lunch when the kids went through the line they all signed "thank you" to the cashier. It absolutely made her day.
On top of all that, it's so much fun to learn! For the parents AND the kids.
Check out the videos on YouTube.com or at SigningTime.com
Friday, April 2, 2010
Unless morning time constitutes every second between midnight one day and midnight the next.
But we know it doesn't.
How do you combat morning sickness? Well, people say if you keep crackers next to your bed in the morning... eat some and drink some water before you get up you'll be fine. Does it work? I don't know. I wasn't much for crackers when I was pregnant. Water either come to think of it. Although I could do away with a gallon of whole milk fairly quickly.
I also heard that sour candy helps. You know... those Preggy Pops that you can find in the Motherhood maternity stores are supposed to do wonders. So I bought them. They seemed to help. But I quickly ran out of them and wouldn't you know it? I had gotten the last bag of pops from the store. No one knew when they were due to get more. Crap.
So I'm thinking.... I like sour skittles. If sour Preggy Pops work... Sour Skittles would too right? Right?!? Not that I'm aware of. I did develop a craving for them. But I'm not quite sure if they helped with my morning sickness or not. I do know that I ate too many of them though.
How do I know this?
The sour salt that they put on them burned off the top layer of my tongue. Yep. My tongue started bleeding. I had to quit them cold turkey. Oops.
Honestly, I don't know if all of the "remedies" you hear about work. I really don't. I do know that you should get lots of fresh air (certain smells can cause nausea). Don't go too long without eating (hey, being too hungry can make ANYONE feel sick). Have a doc check to make sure you're not anemic. Low iron can cause you to feel dizzy, lightheaded, AND nauseous. Keep your blood sugar up. If it's been a while since you ate last, but you're not necessarily hungry, suck on a piece of hard candy. Maybe a few sips of a sugary drink. Remember protien. Peanut butter, or even the thought of it sometimes made me nauseous. Eat almonds (salt and vinegar almonds by Blue Diamond are particularly tasty) if you can't stand peanuts or peanut butter.
If something makes you nauseous? Stay away from it. If you find something else that works for you and makes the nausea go away? Awesome! Keep a food diary if you have to. Document the times when you eat, the times you feel like you're going to wretch, the times you have something to drink, what you're doing, etc. It will help. It'll make patterns apparent. If none of this works for you, then I sincerely apologize and you just have to remember... This Too Shall Pass.
Heck, it can't last more than 9 months can it?
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Is there something terribly wrong about giving your children responsibility? No. Is there anything wrong with teaching them not to nag and ask for every little thing that they say in the store? No. Is there anything wrong with teaching your children that your bed is yours and their bed is theirs? No.
So why the post?
While children might learn not to ask for things.... while they might understand that they have their own room that belongs to them and that's where they sleep every night... while they may learn self control quicker than someone else's kid and might SEEM like a miniature adult to you when it comes to vocabulary and the way they act.... they are little.
It seems like they're little for such a long time. It seems like they just won't ever grow up. It seems like they'll always need you. But that's not the case. They're only little for a little while. They need to know that it's ok to be kids. They need to know that you love them. They need to know that mommy and daddy are there for them. Once in a while they're gonna want to sleep in bed with you. Whether the reason is a thunderstorm or the flu. Or maybe a bad dream. When they hear you tell them NO they might not really give a rats behind the first 50 times. You might have to tell them "Not today" several times pushing the cart through Walmart.
Kids are kids. They are not little adults. They are little people yes. Adults no. If they were born adults then what the heck would they need us for. If it was as simple as saying "When I have kids they're going to do what I say the first time I say it and I won't ever have to tell them again" then I know a LOT of people who would be pretty ticked off that they didn't figure out that parenting method from the get go.
We are here to teach them how to grow. We guide them in the right direction. We give them the tools that they need to be adults. To be teenagers. To be children. Praise them for being who they are and never expect more out of them than you know they're completely capable of. But don't always be disappointed in them if they don't meet your expectations. Sometimes they might try and fail... but that's never as bad as failing to try.
So let your little girl be daddy's princess. Let your little boy play with GI Joes. Heck, let your little GIRL play with GI Joes too if she wants. Fight off the monsters of their nightmares for a while, until they realize that that's all they are... nightmares. Not real. Let them know you're proud of them for who they are. Not just for what they do. Let them be little.