Friday, November 5, 2010

Busy busy busy

So I'm still considering myself to be a new blogger...which means it has not become a habit to me and often gets pushed aside behind the bajillion other things I'm trying to get done in a short amount of time. Life. Is. Busy. Gah. Stresses me out. I've taken on a few too many things lately and a lot of my other pastimes are getting pushed aside. Like reading. I was finalllllly convinced to read the Harry Potter books. I thought the whole wizarding thing was stupid...but then I started reading the books. And I will reluctantly admit that I do love them. A lot. It's been a fun way to relax in the evenings. But, as mentioned, even that has been pushed aside.

So, catching up. Eli got yet another ear infection. So we're getting to the hospital BY 6:30am (yikes!) in a few days to get some tubes. I am anxious to see how much change will occur after the surgery. I have questioned before whether his hearing has been affected from the constant fluid. I don't think he has any type of a speech issue, but he does pronounce some things a little differently...and I wonder if that will be changed as well.

My sister had her third baby this past week as well! I am jealous of her little babies. They always come out looking like perfect little baby dolls. Not a trace of the "newborn look" to them. Our little peanut came out with a giant conehead, squished face, funny color, one eye open one eye shut, purple lips. The kid was absolutely adorable to me, but he also had that "newborn look". But I did change my new nephew's diaper yesterday. It's been a few years since I've even so much as held a newborn. But holy crap, changing his diaper was so foreign to me. His teeny legs and wiggling body. I felt like I had never done that before. But it did make me feel even more excited to think about baby #2! :)

Alright, out of time for today!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My First Date

My husband called me from work today, getting "permission" to play golf this evening with some buddies. While I love his company after having little adult interaction all day, I was still more than happy to let him get out and have some fun with his friends.

So seeing as how I had no plans for the evening, I decided to take my son on our very first "date". While we've had quite a bit more than a little alone time together, I thought it would be fun to take him out for some ice cream, which we hadn't ever done alone. I got my usual cookie dough blizzard and Eli got a vanilla dish with some m&ms on top. It was this simple little moment that made my night.

Lately there have been times where I envy some of my friends or family or even people I don't know, this time of year especially. I was born to be a teacher. Every part of me knows that teaching is what I love, what I am passionate about. And while I realize that I AM still teaching my own child all of these things, there is something different about being in front of a group of kids you really don't know and changing their lives. I think about this these first few days back at school and wonder what I'm missing. New kids, new parents, new co-workers. Creating exciting lesson plans, decorating the room, greeting the smiling kids. The meetings, checking papers, the indescribable feeling of watching a child learn from what you teach. Part of me yearns to know what that is like again. There are parts of teaching that I really miss.

As we sit and begin to eat our ice cream, not even a minute passes before Eli melts my heart. He pushes his ice cream to me and shows me all his m&ms and counts them for me. "One, two, thee, foe, five, sis, seben, eight, nine, ten!" Before each bite, he has to excitedly show me his spoon and tell me what colors of m&ms he is about to eat. This wasn't even close to the first time either of these things has happened, so I wasn't surprised by it in the least. It was more how he does these things that I cannot stop smiling about. He has this funny little way of touching my arm and putting his face really close to mine when he thinks he's telling me something really important. He needs to make sure I'm listening, make sure he has my attention entirely. I cannot tell you the joy that makes me feel. He feels that what he is saying is so important that I absolutely must listen. And I could not agree more. Every tiny thing he does is worth paying attention to. I cannot imagine missing a second of this. The ice cream, the smiles, the laughs, the tickles...I cannot get enough.

The conversations between the two of us will be something I always treasure. I can all but guarantee that if I was working full time, the relationship between us would be quite different. Whatever little part of me misses teaching is almost entirely erased when my son is around. Teachers have an amazingly important job. They teach and train and mold children for the future. But parents have a more important job. They teach values and self-confidence and respect and most important, love. ABC's and colors and numbers can wait, but helping transform my child into a loving human being cannot.

a person who teaches or instructs (

A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience,
And wonderful gentleness, too.

How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years!

The heart of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family
Whose needs she has placed above all.

A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.

A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill -
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!

- Katherine Nelson Davis

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My son's new trick

So you have your baby, your sweet innocent beautiful little boy, and you think...this child will never do anything wrong. Oh, he is too perfect. Look at how cute he is! (Although...this probably only holds true if it's your first. After that you're not as stupid and naive to believe all these lies you are telling yourself.)

And then it quickly, you almost don't notice. He turns two. And this is where I get 23 months, he will still that sweet and lovable little "baby", although not quite as angelic as he used to be. But then, right as you think "wow this kid's pretty easy" - BAM! Reality (or in my case, my child) slaps you in the face. You put to bed your little son and wake up the next morning to your son + major attitude. There must be some type of switch in them that goes off right at that birthday mark. Although, I've often wondered if my mom or dad have been teaching him for months on ways to get their own form of payback- since I was a naughty kid, they taught him a few tricks here and there so I knew "what it was like". So I'm doubting that's what happened, but that's a pretty awesome idea to keep in mind for my own grandchildren. *makes mental note*

So, here's where I'm going with son has become "the hitter". And it's not just this little swing at me. Nope, it's an all-out intentional smack aimed right at my face! Seriously, what is this?? Where did this come from?? It was this tiny little thing, that has blown up into the main way he tries to deal with his frustration. Let me give you an example. Every day we have somewhere to go. So we do this whole chat during the diaper change and breakfast about what we're doing today. I do this because the poor child thinks every time we leave the house we *must* be going swimming. And instead of breaking his heart every time we don't go swimming (which is more often than not), we just talk about everything ahead of time. So let's say we're walking through the garage and he sees, but of course, his beloved basketballs. "Basketballs mommy, shoot, hoop, mommy!" "Not right now buddy, we're going to the zoo." And I try to get him all excited about the zoo while taking his hand and leading him away from the balls and toward the car that we apparently hate all of the sudden. Next thing I know, he's in all out limp noodle mode. Alright, I'm not playing this game, so I pick him up, and he'll angrily yell "NO, BALLS!" and swing right at the face. I can even hold his hands and he'll continue trying to swing. I mean, this kid does not lose his focus. If his goal is hit mommy, then hitting mommy is what we will do.

So I don't know where I'm going with this, other than to complain I suppose. We're working on all sorts of techniques on how to punish this behavior and also how to stop and prevent it. Time outs have become our new best friend. We aren't too keen on spanking, seeing as how hitting as a punishment for hitting seems a little confusing. We work on "nice touches" and how to use our words ("no thank you mommy") instead of hitting. I've been trying to teach him to breathe a few big breaths when he gets super frustrated. I'll let you know in a few months if we actually find something that sticks!

I love my husband though. I end up in tears about once or twice a month at least over this (yes, I'm overly sensitive and insecure about making sure we're doing this parenting thing "right"). He is always kindly reminding me that parenting is not a sprint. It is a marathon. And even if it seems like what we're doing is having little to no impact on him right now, it will eventually start to have an impact.

And I want everyone (before they picture my child with devil horns sprouting out of his head) to know that about 90% of the day, my son is still that angelic, sweet, perfect little boy that can still "do no wrong". And no matter how bad that 10% is, it cannot erase all of the wonderful, loving, kind, and amazing things he does each day. He is a thankful, loving, ornery, goofy, funny, awesome little man.

And I know this rough spot is one of MANY to come during the course of my parenting career. As each new adventure brings more challenges, I will still continue to pray for God's guidance, strength, courage, and knowledge in dealing with each situation. I'm fairly certain He will be the only way I can get through all of this alive!

So...think you're better at parenting than me? Got some advice? Feel free to comment below!

Winter Promise

Wow, have we been busy lately. I know how overused that saying is. It seems like anyone can say this as an excuse to almost anything, but really...we have been busy! All Winter long I made promise after promise that once the weather got nicer I would spend as little time indoors and at home as possible. I am cherishing these few months where it's incredibly easy to wear your child into a full nights sleep. I've cut back a day of work, so now I work two 3-hour mornings, instead of three. We are taking advantage of the beautiful weather and Summer activities. I can remember the last time we spent an entire morning (wake up until lunch time) at was the last snow day we had in January or February! Ever since then, we've been on the go!

This Summer, we are filling up ours days with as much as possible! From sun up to sun down! Zoo, Children's Museum, Lost in Fun (indoor playground), parks, walking around our outdoor mall, going on walks around the neighborhood, and working out at the ymca fill our every morning. Nap of course quickly follows (thank goodness!). Then we're up to usually go swimming at one of the public pools for a few hours or play outside some more. Even our evenings are full- bike rides, Jazz in June, parks, shooting hoops (the little guy would do this all do if he could), more swimming, special events around town, Friday nights concerts at South Pointe, and of course, the occasional DQ Blizzard run!

I'd say I'm fulfilling my promise to myself. Too bad I can't keep this energy up all year long!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Caught not Taught

Caught Not Taught

The past few weeks our church has been doing a series called “Caught Not Taught.” The emphasis has been on living your life as a model of the Christian faith. It has stressed how important it is to LIVE your faith out, rather than to just PREACH your faith. This seems like such an easy and obvious concept, right? And I was amazed at how when I started applying this “caught not taught” theory to other areas of my life, how much of an “AHA!” moment I had. This is much, much more than just an idea that needs to be applied to Christianity. It’s an entire parenting approach as well.

Think about it. How much in your life did you learn from reading in a book, and how much did you learn from watching someone and/or doing it yourself? I am a kinesthetic learner- I learn best when I do something. It will not stick as well if I just hear it, or see it, or read about it.

And think about where you learned your morals, your values, who you are inside, and what matters the most to you. You learned from those around you, those that are close to you. You saw how they lived and you either took from that and thought “That is awesome, I want to be like that” or you looked at them and saw heartache, depression, or anger from their choices and knew how to avoid those places as well.

As far as parenting, you are your child’s major role model. Never think you are their only role model- but you are certainly the most important! Want to raise kind children? Be kind. Want to raise respectful children? Be respectful! And this goes for spouses too! What you model for your children, will greatly influence the decisions they make. Not on good terms with your own parents? Forgive them. Offer them this sign of peace and love and think about what your children will get from that. What an amazing gift you could give to your child. How can you teach a child to love when you cannot love yourself? So kiss your kids, hug them, appreciate them, spend time with them, truly listen to them, and SHOW them how to love. And let them experience how good it feels to be loved.

It will be hard for anyone, let alone your own child, to take you seriously when you are not following your own advice. If anything drives me crazy in this world, it’s hypocrites. Which is why “preaching” can be useless, and non-verbal situations are when they will learn the most about you.

My favorite sermon touched on forgiveness. This was the part I held onto the most dearly and want to never forget. Ask your child for forgiveness when you need to. If you get angry, it’s okay to say “I am sorry I was so angry. Will you forgive me?” Seriously, how much more humbling can that be? And how incredibly important and eye-opening it will be for your child. Anger is natural, and all kids will see it, but what happens after the anger dissipates is what’s most important. I’ve always heard the saying “It’s not how you fight, it’s how you end the fight that matters.” Every word you say will have a lasting impact on your child- so choose them carefully. And if you do mess up (and you will), it’s important to admit that to them.

Everyone has heard the saying “respect is earned”. The quality of your character as a parent and in your every day life will be noticed by your child. They are always watching. You are not here to be your child’s friend. Your child will have plenty of friends throughout their life- you are their parent. And the best way to help them learn to love is to let them catch you doing it.

Your child is, of course, still a thinking, free-willed human being, who will make his/her own choices in life. They may go a different route than you hoped and they will mess up. But by modeling what’s most important in life as often as possible, you are setting them to be the most successful, quality person that they can be.

So, yes, this entire blog is 100% inspired by my church’s series. Here is a link if you are interested in getting more info:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Becoming Zen

"Wow, what an exhausting day." Those were the first words out of my mouth when I saw my husband after he got home from work. I know he feels bad for me and he wishes he could have made my day better, but I can't imagine that he truly, TRULY gets it. I couldn't even think of what to say when he asked what happened to make my day so bad. It sounds so silly to say "Eli threw his shoes while we were in the car" or "He whined and threw fits all day long". Those words do not do justice for the annoyances that have occurred all throughout the day. My energy is completely zapped. I feel like I could crawl under the covers and pass out for the night and it's only 8pm.

I don't think anyone could understand how incredibly physically and mentally exhausting parenting a toddler can be. Unless of course you have a toddler yourself. But seriously, I constantly try to put myself in my son's shoes to figure out WHAT is going on with him.

I would think I'd be living the high life if someone cooked me all my meals, I could eat three fulls meals and two large snacks and barely gain any weight, my clothes were picked out for me and I was dressed each day. I would thoroughly enjoy relaxing in some comfy stroller, being pushed around like a queen. And don't even get me started on how much I would LOVE a 2-hour daily nap! Laundry's done, dishes are done, cleaning is done. That's freaking royal treatment right there. Yet even if my son were able to fully comprehend to sheer awesomeness of this luxury he is provided, he would still probably throw a fit, just to mess with me.

So after battle after battle after battle, I've come to only one conclusion. He is not unappreciative, nor is he selfish. And deep down (although this may be VERY deep down) I think he really loves those naps. There is only one logical reason to his behavior- he loves to piss me off. Plain and simple. He thrives off my reaction. At this point, I don't know if I should be proud or upset. After all, he could only learn how to get under people's skin from the best- his very own mother. My mom will vouch for me there! He's even mastered the don't-cause-trouble-until-you-look-back-and-make-sure-she's-watching tactic. And so far, he wins every time. I get upset, I feel frustrated, and he can see this in me each time. By the end of the day, it leaves me exhausted. And of course, so we're clear, he does get in trouble and he has consequences, every single time. But I think my reaction is satisfying enough to him that the consequences are seemingly meaningless and ineffective.

So, my new goal. I am going zen. I will, as often as I can, be calm, collected, and not let him phase me. I will give consequences with sternness but without annoyance. He will not get away with it, but he will not continue to wear me down. Because in the end, that is all he is doing at this point. He is obviously getting something about of these rebellions because he continues them. I need to keep consistency and keep my cool. And thus, I will come out feeling victorious in these never ending toddler battles.

Or so it seems, right? It might seem like a lost cause, to say he will not bother me. Because he will. I will still feel like crying at certain points and I might want to show him that he is really bugging me. Maybe in the end this may not work. But if I can come out saying that I kept on my game face and didn't let him know he was getting to me, I think I might just feel better at the end of the day. And that in and of itself is a victory to me.

Oh and by the way, I think I jinxed myself today. I know that all the crap I gave my sister about "being pregnant with twins, hahaha, you would lose your mind" and so on, is totally going to bite me in the butt. Keep track of this people...if I show up with two babies in a year or two, there is your proof that God hates me. Or at least likes to play incredibly cruel jokes on me. And I can promise that at that point, all thoughts of Zen will leave my body right as the twins do!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fertile Mertile- no thanks!

My son is now 22 months. Apparently that is the magical age where now EVERYONE asks when we plan on having another. This is annoying to me. Very very very annoying. (So if you are reading this, and you have asked me this question, please don't do it again.) I know that I have asked many people myself if they are planning more children soon or when they want to get pregnant again. I think that it's a safe topic for moms with children, it's a common topic of conversation. I've come to realize though that this question is usually asked without tact and that's probably why I feel a little annoyed about it.

"When are you going to try for another?" Who says I'm not trying? Well, for anybody reading this, I'm not. BUT, you never know when you ask someone if they might be trying without luck. I have used this and that might make me a bad person, using someone else's misfortune to get people off my own back. "I am trying, God just must not love me" and then run off head in hands, fake tears and all. That will certainly get them to leave you alone.

"Aren't you afraid your child will be spoiled, being the only child and all?" You must over-estimate me in many ways. First off, I am not rich enough to be able to spoil my child. Secondly, my child gets hand me downs and used stuff that hardly leaves an impression in the fashion world. Sure he gets all my attention, but it's safe to say I spend enough time in my own world (combine housework, with occasional laziness, with my part time job) to force him to interact with others or himself. He hardly gets 100% of me all day, every day, as it is with any child and parent. And since I know he isn't my one and only, I am not forced to overindulge him, which I could see myself doing if I knew this was my one chance to make the best kid. For now, I can at least sleep at night knowing that if I fail or mess up this one, I still have another shot.

"Don't you just want to go through all those baby stages again?" Sometimes, I could honestly answer that with a "no". Sometimes, even a big "HECK NO!" Baby spit up grosses me out, I have been peed on enough to last me a lifetime, my hips are still yelling at my for the 9 months I spent with my first, and sometimes babies, even though they are ridiculously sweet and adorable and tiny, scare the living heebie jeebies out of me. I found myself constantly second guessing every decision I had to make. Bottle or breast, cloth or disposable diapers, pacifier or no pacifier, co-sleep or sleep in own bed, and all those other battles that every mom out there can relate to.

Maybe it's just a reason for moms to compare how fertile they are. Ha. I'll take last place in that competition please!!! I could live without ever being called "Fertile Mertile".

I will have another child. Someday, and maybe even soon. But it will be done in my time, when it works for my family. I suppose anyone can keep on asking if they want. But I promise, I will let you know when I'm pregnant, and it won't be just because you asked me first.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Little Fingerprints Everywhere

Lately it seems that my life is consumed by everything related to my child. All pictures taken are of him. I am fairly certain I have 500 different pictures of my son coloring, 500 more of him eating, 500 more of him at the park. I saw this term "mamarazzi" recently.

1. Mothers who constantly follow their children around with several cameras and video taking equipment, snapping photos at each turn and documenting each milestone or event with at least two dozen photos and a video.
2. Groups of aforementioned mothers
3. When referring to yourself as described above

1. You can’t even get close to the swings because of all the mamarazzi.
2. I can’t believe how many photos I took of baby Madison on the slide! I’m such a mamarazzi!
3. What's with all the mamarazzi? It's just a bloody hair cut.
(Thank you

Every second of the day revolves around my child- when I get up, what I can eat for breakfast (he is at that "I want whatever you have" stage, so I try to model good eating habits), when I can shower, whether or not I have time to do my hair or whether it gets pulled up, when I need to be home (too close to nap and too close to eating time and I might as well throw myself down a hill, the torture of his tantrums are that bad), and even what we can do in the evenings to make sure we don't pass bedtime. My clothes are covered with the crap he gets on me (which makes for fun surprises later on- is this chocolate, mud, or the dreaded P-word?), my hair is falling out from stress (I might be exaggerating just a touch), and his toys have taken over parts of our house. My phone background is his picture, my purse contains random toddler neccesities- kleenex's (possibly used who knows), a random pacifier, maybe a book or toy; I always dart to the kids stores or sections to find those great deals on diapers or toys or clothes. In all honesty, I have a hard time remembering what life was like before I had a child- and my son is only 22 months old!!! His fingerprints are LITERALLY everywhere.

So of course, it's only natural that I create a blog to spend some "quality time" with myself, only to end up talking about him the entire time. It's like that "date night" idea- you go out with your spouse to get away, to have some time just for you. And you end up talking about your children, worrying about what they're doing, calling the babysitter to make sure they are holding up. After all, you know how much stress your child can put on someone (ie- former mention of hair falling out).

It's amazing and beautiful how life changes after having a child. Right?? That's what we're supposed to think and say and feel, isn't it? After all, you're probably a "bad mom" if you feel otherwise. I should pause and say that life IS beautiful and amazing and wonderful when you have children. It truly is...but I praise God that my son still naps. PRAISE GOD. I have a bad feeling that the Lord has a twisted sense of humor and will take that away sometime soon though. And, seeing as how my son has mastered those "child proof" gates, locking him in his room isn't an option. I suppose there is always duct tape.

This is probably where I need some small print statement with an astrick (spell check is not helping me with that word) that makes sure you know I have a sense of humor.

So why is being a mom so stressful? It's so natural right? It's supposed to be easy, after all, my mom did it! (No really, ARE the best! Please don't take away my Christmas presents!) You see all those other moms with their well behaved, little angels while your child is spitting fire out of every orifice on his/her body. (My husband would be so proud of me....orifice! ha!)

I secretly smile, even giggle a little inside (and sometimes outwardly) when other kids are naughty. In fact, it makes my day! I almost feel like encouraging other children to be little brats. "Go ahead and kick her right in her shin...she deserves it. She stole your ball Johnny, KICK HER!" Because it's only the naughtiest of the naughty that will make my son look like that little angel. "Oh, well my son would NEVER kick someone just because their ball was stolen. He is such a good little boy, isn't he??"

I am pausing for a few moments to fully grasp the fact that I just might be a terrible person. But every mom (mostly moms, dads aren't so crazy) can relate to the whole child-comparing stuff. "Well my son can count to 20!" "Well my son knows all his shapes and colors." Ugh. Well guess what people, my son can't count, doesn't know his colors, and some days I wonder if he speaks English or Japanese. But he didn't just kick that little boy for stealing his ball, now did he? Although, knowing my son, maybe he did....moving on.....

This site is for all those moms who compare. Yes, that IS you!! You know you do it. You can't deny it. And you know you want to hear about how absolutely insanely naughty my child can be, just so you can feel better about yours. Okay maybe that isn't exactly true. He isn't that naughty. It's more about our daily struggles, as moms, and the huge role our children play in our lives. How we can make it better, what has failed us and made life harder, and it will provide mine and other parents' and children's points of view, tips, and stories. It will be honest, it may be scary or boring or entertaining at times, but I want to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it. Maybe someday this site will be used in all high schools as a form of birth control.

Being a mom IS awesome and rewarding. I get to see my little child's fingerprints, literally and figuratively, on everything in his world and mine. And now, you can see them too!