2/25/15

The Parenting Lesson That Changed The Game For Me...

Do you ever have those days where it seems like there is too much going on, everything is going wrong and in-between it all, there's a child hanging from you saying, "mommy" four thousand times a second?

Yeah, me too.

On those days, I want nothing more than to run away to a secluded island and stick my head in the sand.



I found myself in those overwhelming moments thinking something must be so wrong with me that I can't keep it together. I was sure I was a horrible person for getting frustrated with my son's constant demands, or the constant demands of my household. I felt like I was a terrible ungrateful person when I would want nothing more than a day away from my life and family.

I know for myself, and other parents I have talked to, we can harbor so much guilt for not being "on" and happy all the time for our children. Yet, it's impossible. We'd never hold anyone to that level of super-human ability, so why do we hold ourselves to it?

Thanks to plenty of conversations with other parents and articles about how losing your shit is normal; I don't hold myself to super-human standards anymore. Bad days happen to the best of us. I am human. I can only handle so much. I can only do so much. I can only be so selfless and "ON" for so long before I need a moment.

Now, when I'm feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, or even just having a bad day,  I step back, recognize that I'm frazzled and honor that feeling for a few moments while taking a break to breathe.

That's right; I now embrace losing my shit. I've learned to recognize when I am about to hit my limit and walk away... without guilt.

It turns out, taking the time to lose my shit empowers me to be stronger. First, I stop to recognize that I am having a bad day, forgive myself for it, and then promise myself tomorrow will be better. When I take the guilt away from a very natural, human reaction to being overwhelmed, I feel better instantly.

If this is resonating with you, please know that you are not a horrible person or parent for having a bad day. It's completely normal. Take a moment to honor your feelings, and breathe. Tell yourself you are awesome, and doing the best you can, and that tomorrow will be better.


                                                         


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2/23/15

Without A Doubt, This Is One Of My Favorite Things About Being A Parent

Oh those first few weeks of parenting are so difficult. The sleeplessness. The fear of SIDS. The fear of screwing up. The fear of screwing my kid up. The constant second guessing... Then, something magical happens that makes it all melt away... a life-changing smile.

Without a doubt, seeing my son's smile for the first time was magic. Even if it was due to gas. (Which, I'm still not convinced of) His sweet little gummy grin melted my heart. From that moment on, getting my little baby to smile became my full-time job. I made stupid faces, sounds, dropped shit, squeezed shit, threw shit... If I thought it would make him smile, I'd try it.

Then, one day, that sweet gummy grin was followed by a sound that sent a beautiful rush of euphoria through my body; my baby giggled.

Be. Still. My. Heart.

From that moment on, my baby's giggle was the ONLY sound I wanted to hear. I ramped up my stupid faces and sounds, dropped more shit, squeezed more shit, threw more shit. FTD too. Our son must have thought, Where the hell did I land, the world of stupid people?

Still to this day, there is absolutely nothing I love more than seeing my son smile and laugh. Just one little smile can make a bad day, better.  One little infectious laugh can melt all of my stress away in an instant.

                                     


 And then there's the whole other ball game; when my son gets super excited.

Oh my goodness I love it when my son shows completely uncensored joy and excitement. Like when he nearly jumps out of his car seat when he sees a train coming, I want to jump out of my seat too. Or when I hand over a new Hot Wheel, the look of pure joy on his face followed by, "Thank you, mommy! I love it.",  the world is a perfectly wonderful place in those few sweet seconds.



THERE IS NOTHING I LOVE MORE!

Nothing.

Of course there are millions of reasons why I love being a mother, but without a doubt, at the top of that list is living vicariously through my child. Seeing life through his eyes and experiences can only be described as one thing, Incredible.


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2/20/15

A Day In The Life Of A Mother. Buckle-up, It's A Wild Ride...

Yesterday, my morning started at 3am with a little crying hot boy crawling in my bed.

"Mommy, my throat hurts!"

Shit. Please, God, NOT STREP! That's all I need is strep streaking it's ugly ass through my house...

"Oh no! My poor baby. I'll get you some cold water, stay here with daddy."

I fumbled down stairs to get cold water and Children's Motrin. Positive the overhead light would blind me at that hour, I pop open the microwave to let its light shine my way. I grab the water and Motrin, and of course, I can't find the first medicine spoon or syringe. I swear, I have 52 of the damn things but when I need one, NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!

I finally find a medicine spoon, fill it, and head back up stairs.

At this point, FTD has the bedside light on and a miserable boy tucked under his arm.

Dammit. It's strep. I just know it!


I coax him into taking his medicine and going back to sleep...

Unfortunately, I was wide awake. I looked at the clock; 3:44am.  Damn....

I laid there for another 20-minutes before deciding there was no way I was going back to sleep, especially since I could think of three-hundred and one things I needed to do--write, dishes, start a load of laundry, organize everything, pay a few bills...

I crawled out of bed like a ninja so I wouldn't wake the wild-child or his wild-father... I spent the next three hours organizing my life and home and getting work done.

Ollie wakes around 7:30am and he looks awful. Sad eyes, runny nose, yucky cough. Since we had our 'Three year-old well-baby check-up' later that day, I opted to wait for the appointment, rather then run him to the pediatrician's early morning walk-in hours.

Of course, even though Ollie looked and felt like crap, he could still play like a champion. In four minutes flat, he wrecked the house... I just organized!!! I was too tired to protest or fix the mess. Surely, he couldn't be that sick! I put up with his wild nonsense until nap-time.

I tried to get him to sleep early since our appointment was at 1:45. AS IF!  He fell asleep at 12:30. Leaving just enough time to take a deep breath, eat lunch, wake him up and dress him for his appointment.

Not like I wanted to nap too or anything...

When we arrived for the appointment, I notified the nurse we were most likely turning the appointment into a "sick-baby" check-up. The pediatrician confirmed that when he started checking Ollie's ears, nose and throat.

I braced myself for strep.

Pediatrician: Has he complained about his ears hurting? Because if they were my ears, I'd be screaming and crying. He has an ear infection in the right side, and fluid building in the left.

WHAT?

Ear infection?

He complained about his ears the night before, but only briefly. My poor guy!

Pediatrician: I'm going to give him antibiotics today, then do his well-baby check-up in two weeks when you come back for a follow-up.

After the appointment, I drove right the pharmacy, only to be told our new insurance was not working.

I HATE HUMANA!!!!  HATE! HATE! HATE!!!

Two hours of bouncing around between member services operators and a lot of F-bombs later, I find out that our insurance is not going to be valid until I pay the bill.  Even though the email I received said pay by the 15th. So, fine, I pay the premium. I'm then told that the payment will not process for 48-72 hours.

WTF?! I need antibiotics! I am furious at this point. The operator I spoke with could not see the urgency of getting my insurance on track.

I tried not to lose my shit on the billing lady... "Clearly, you don't have children, because you think it's OK that you are telling me my insurance will not be active for 2-3 days, meaning I can't pick up my son's antibiotics. Please, if you can't help me, I need to talk to someone who can!"

CRICKETS!  I heard fucking crickets!!!!!

The operator finally says, no I don't have kids. I still cannot help you. You will have to wait until the payment processes. "Sorry for the confusion" and "sorry for the inconvenience," was all I got before the operator hung up.

As much as I wanted to scream, I stayed focused on the goal: get my child the antibiotics he needs.

By the time the two hour insurance saga cam to a close, FTD was home. I told him I was going to find a way to get Ollie his antibiotics, and would be back. I knew Kroger did reduced cost antibiotics, so I drove over to the Kroger pharmacy, explained my problem and asked what I should do. The girl called Walgreens, transferred Ollie's prescription, filled it and it only cost me $8!!!!  (Thank you SO much KROGER!!!!)

Mission accomplished.

THREE HOURS after leaving his appointment!

I gave him his antibiotics, dinner, a bath and tucked him in bed.

After a few minutes of cuddles, I go to crawl out of bed, when Ollie reaches up, grabs my face, gives me a kiss and says, "I love you, mommy."

My heart melted. My day from hell melted away. I'm so blessed to have my beautiful baby boy...

As he slid his hand off my face, I noticed the faint smell of pee.

Ollie, did you just have your hand in your diaper?

Ollie: Yes, mommy. I was playing with my schwantzel.  

Me: Buddy! That's not a good one! I'll be right back, we need to wash your hand off. No more playing with your schwantzel tonight, please. 

As I walked out of the bedroom, pee streaked across my face, I had to smile.

This. Is. Motherhood.

And I wouldn't trade it for the world...




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New Report Suggests Naps After Age Two Not Necessary? WHAT? I Call BS On That...

Earlier this week when I posted about my three-year old being ready to give up naps, a girlfriend sent me a link to an article on Today.com, "Report suggests napping after age 2 could spoil sleep." While reading the article, I shook my head and laughed out loud the entire time. Not only was the idea of stopping naps when a child turns two laughable to me, the "research" leading to this conclusion was just as laughable.

This new "report" is getting so much media coverage it's mind-blowing. Especially because the findings are baseless and no medical expert outside of the research team will back it up! 

Here is an excerpt from the article on Today.com outlining the "report" out of Queensland University of Technology.


"After scouring the medical literature for studies on napping, Thorpe and her colleagues winnowed a list of 781 articles down to 26 that explored the impact of napping on sleep and other outcomes, such as health and sociability, according to the report published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood." 
TWENTY-SIX out of 781 articles were used to come to this conclusion?  Clearly, a witch hunt for info leading to the outcome they wanted. 

Luckily, over the last two days more and more pediatricians, child psychologists and pediatric experts are speaking out against the findings.  And now, so am I! 



Here's a humorous dose of irony...
You know how these new nap findings originated in Australia? So did this road sign, and millions of others like it that address the issue of not getting enough sleep when driving long distances... 

Looking back a year, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt yanking naps from my then two-year old would have been IMPOSSIBLE. It never failed that if we were out running errands well past nap time, my toddler would pass out in his car seat or stroller. And trust me, I would try like hell to keep him awake until we got home so he could have a "good" nap, and most times I couldn't.

Every parent knows, if a toddler is tired, they will pass out where they stand! BECAUSE THEY NEED THEIR NAP!





Further research on the importance of napping in toddlers led to article upon article contradicting the new study, and reinforces continuing naps until it's right for YOUR child to give them up. Here are a few excerpts from creditable sources proving naps are not only natural, but necessary for children! 

FYI: Ollie is a psychobitch without a nap, and he doesn't sleep longer or better at night. I'm back to begging him to take a daily nap until that changes.

 Here's what St. Louis Childrens Hospital had to say:



Daily naps for children are essential for good days and good nights. Many parents believe their child will sleep better at night without a nap during the day. However, if your child is overly tired, they may become stressed and irritable, and their behavior may actually worsen.
The there's the National Sleep Foundation:
More than 85% of mammalian species are polyphasic sleepers, meaning that they sleep for short periods throughout the day. Humans are part of the minority of monophasic sleepers, meaning that our days are divided into two distinct periods, one for sleep and one for wakefulness. It is not clear that this is the natural sleep pattern of humans. Young children and elderly persons nap, for example, and napping is a very important aspect of many cultures.  
As a nation, the United States appears to be becoming more and more sleep deprived. And it may be our busy lifestyle that keeps us from napping. While naps do not necessarily make up for inadequate or poor quality nighttime sleep, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance. Nappers are in good company: Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Napoleon, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and George W. Bush are known to have valued an afternoon nap.
And finally research out of the University of Colorado, Boulder that proves the point every parent already knows:

A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder could be a wake-up call for parents of toddlers: Daytime naps for your kids may be more important than you think.
The study shows toddlers between 2 and a half and 3 years old who miss only a single daily nap show more anxiety, less joy and interest and a poorer understanding of how to solve problems, said CU-Boulder Assistant Professor Monique LeBourgeois, who led the study. The results indicate insufficient sleep alters the facial expressions of toddlers -- exciting events are responded to less positively and frustrating events are responded to more negatively, she said. 
"Many young children today are not getting enough sleep, and for toddlers, daytime naps are one way of making sure their ‘sleep tanks' are set to full each day," she said. "This study shows insufficient sleep in the form of missing a nap taxes the way toddlers express different feelings, and, over time, may shape their developing emotional brains and put them at risk for lifelong, mood-related problems."
Again I call bullshit on depriving a toddler of a nap. If my kid needs a nap, he's bloody well going to take one!

My friends, if you get nothing else from reading my blog, I hope it's the courage to call bullshit on standards and research that you know will not work for your child. EVERY child is different, so do what is best for your child and family.  Never take one line of research as the standard.  Investigate both sides, then come to your own conclusion taking into account the needs of your child. 


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2/19/15

No, Honey, The Cat Was Not Trying To Give You A High-Five. That Was A Bitch Slap.

One family member that doesn't get enough mention on this blog is, Professor, our 11-year-old Maine Coon Cat.



He's magnificent, really. Professor comes when he's called. (Most of the time.), plays fetch, weighs a whopping 15 pounds and while he is not so much a "lap cat," he's happiest curled up next to me.

He's least happiest when Ollie is tormenting the crap out of him...

From early on in my pregnancy, I worried how Professor would react to the baby. I just kept thinking how devastated I would be if I had to give him up if the new baby was allergic to him, or worse, he tried to attack the baby.

Thankfully, neither were the case, until Ollie learned to walk. Only, the cat still didn't initiate the attacks, the toddler did.





It seemed like from the moment Ollie learned to walk, the cat learned to haul ass and hide. Very well.

I hated that the two couldn't snuggle up and be friends. Though, I suppose it's to be expected when you're dealing with a temperamental toddler and an equally temperamental cat.

In an effort to teach Ollie to play nice with the kitty, I got him a stuffed kitty to practice "nice soft pats" on. This pretty much amounted to an epic fail.


Unfortunately, to Ollie the fake cat was not nearly as much fun as the real deal, so any playing with it was very short lived.

Over the past two years, on several occasions I've tried to get both parties to get along.  On a few occasions, Professor has even let Ollie pet him. Sadly, it never fails that Ollie gets so excited that he's petting Professor, that he pets too hard, or pulls his tail; which always ends in Professor darting out of the room.

I just told myself, one day they would be best friends. Surely.

Well, I think the day is close!!! Recently, something has changed...

I'm not sure if it's because Ollie is pushing 3 years old and is finally realizing that he needs to be calm around the cat, or if he's finally giving up on chasing him. Whatever it is, the two can be in a room together now without my intervention. At first.

For the past few nights,  I sit on the floor and call over Professor, then have Ollie sit and watch how I do 'nice pets.' After a few minutes, I have Ollie come over very slowly and put his hand out for Professor to smell.

This is where it usually goes south.

Professor smells his hand, then Ollie jerks it away, making Professor go right into his south paw stance.

Ollie:  Mommy, Professor is trying to give me a high-five!

Me: No, Honey, he's preparing to bitch slap you scared and going on the defensive.

As much as I want them to get along, after two years and many failed attempts, I know it has little to do with me. Ollie has to learn to, be nice  and gentle with Professor. And Professor has to learn to trust that Ollie does't want to hurt him.

I know the two will eventually come together, I just hope it's sooner than later.

Do you have the same problem? Any tips that have worked for you?




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2/18/15

News Flash From Hell: Naps Don't Last Forever. #ByeByeNaptime

After being repeatedly warned by been-there-done-that parents, that somewhere after a child's third birthday, naps cease to happen, I knew it was coming. Still, I didn't want to believe it. My toddler was going to be different. My kid is crazy and never stops going; he's constantly climbing, smashing, terrorizing and/or eating, surely all of that wild activity would be enough to keep my toddler needing a mid-day recharge!

I know I need a nap just watching all that activity.

But, no.

No. No. No. No. No.

For the first time ever, my kid is not different.  He is right on track!  DAMMIT!



I'm living proof that no matter how much you wish, plead, beg or would happily sell your soul to hold on to, one day that dependable daily oasis of solitude in the middle of the day ceases to exist, and in its place you have a toddler refusing to sleep.

I begged.  He refused.

I tried to bribe him. He refused.

I made threats. He Laughed. Then refused.

<Insert four-hundred four-letter words dotted with WTF? Why ME! Why Now! It's the dead of winter, we're stuck inside, NOOOOOOO!>

Finally, when I was holding onto the last shred of my insanity, I caved. "Fine, don't sleep. But you're staying in your room for another half-hour and having quiet time."

The entire time I kept thinking, NO, this can't be. Not now!  It's the damn dead of winter, we are stuck inside and that nap is all I have to look forward to after a morning of toddler terrorizing!

FYI: We are on day three of snow days home. Or my fifth day with FTD and Ollie terrorising me. And with -15 degree temperatures in the forecast with negative 20 degree plus windshields, school is out all week for FTD and Ollie.

Holy shit, I'm going to die.


The parents that warned me about naps ending also told me to still make him have "rest-time" so I could still claim a few moments of peace and quiet; whether that be in his room playing quietly or laying on the couch watching a movie.

But...

But...

IT'S NOT THE BLOODY SAME!!!

I need COMPLETE quiet where there is no stress or worry that my wild kid is going to climb the corner cabinet then launch himself off of it.

I don't care, I'm not giving up on this naptime thing yet. I am going to try for it everyday until all hope is lost.







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2/14/15

My Marital Bliss (FTD POST)

Howdy interweb readers and welcome to the wonderful, wild and wanky world of FTD!  As my wife is consumed with important html, javas and mac-book thingo's tonight, I thought that I would take this opportunity to lead you on a grand tour of cheap-thrills, saucy adventure and bloggedy blog excitements.



So...sit back, balance the 'ole laptop, ipad or other wireless device on yer guts, get a nice big bag o chips, a Pepsi Max, moist towelette etc etc and READ ON...

For TODAY the topic of choice is:

Crazy things that First Time Mom does to PISS me off!
==========================================

Now...before I begin to divulge personal details, traits and other nuggets of information NOT usually intended for those outside our sphere of friends and family, allow me to present this disclaimer:

Honey, I Love you!

You know that I love you. You are the mother of our AWESOME child and you alone make me happy when skies are grey! You are a wonderful, caring, giving, intelligent person and I look forward to the next 50 years or so by your side!  

Ok (phew)!

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Ever Wonder How Other Cultures Celebrate Valentine's Day? Check This Out...

Ever wonder how different cultures around the world celebrate Valentine's day, or if they even do?  Here are a few unique Valentine's Day traditions from around the world that are too cool not to mention!


Japan:
 The women are not only the Chocolate givers, but makers too!  In Japan the roles reverse with women giving men chocolates, some even make the chocolate! There are two types of chocolates,“Giri-choco", and “Honmei-choco”. “Giri” means obligation or no romance involved. Giri-Choco is bestowed upon friends, colleagues, bosses, and close male friends.  Honmei-choco, literally meaning "true-feeling chocolate" is given to a boyfriend, lover, or husband with true love. The Honmei-choco is usually prepared by the woman herself to show true love.


China:
The Chinese celebrate Valentine's day Much like Americans with romantic dinners and sensual gifts, just not on the same day! Chinese Valentine’s Day, falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, usually in early August!  

Philippines: Wanna get married... with hundreds of other couples?  In the Philippines, Valentine's Day is celebrated with "mass weddings". On Valentine's Day, hundreds of couples across the country come together to be married in colossal wedding ceremonies held across the Philippines.  In 2013,  an estimated 4,0000 couples were married!

 

Iraq:Though the holiday isn’t accepted everywhere in Iraq, those who do celebrate have developed a few of their own traditions. Iraqi Kurds believe in a feast of love. Specifically, that the preservation of a red apple with cloves representing Adam and Eve’s story, will bring prosperity and love.


South Africa:Some young South Africans celebrate Valentine’s Day by pinning the name of their Valentine to their sleeve. By the way, do you know where the phrase “to wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from? Although it was first recorded in the 1600s in Shakespeare’s play named Othello, during the Middle Ages a knight in battle would pin a lady’s handkerchief to his sleeve as a way of publicly proclaiming his love for her.


Estonia:
In Estonia, Valentine’s Day is called “Friend’s Day” so that single people are not left out of the festivities. While streets may still be decorated with hearts and other Valentine’s symbols, there is also an emphasis on nonromantic love, with friends and family members exchanging presents.



Guatemala: Valentine’s Day is known as El Día del Cariño in Guatemala, where celebrating love for friends and family is as important as a partner. Guatemala City gets into the spirit with lots of colorful pageantry, with revelers dressing up in feathered masks and Mayan-inspired clothing, as well as a senior citizen’s parade.

Italy- It should come as no surprise, that Italy is the Place to be on Valentine's Day. More specifically, Verona, a.k.a. the land of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. ON Valentine's day couples pour into the city for “Verona in Love.” The city organizes a number of events, including tours that retrace the tragic lovers’ footsteps, a contest for the best love letter to Juliet or a moment with Juliet’s statue for good fortune.Verona also boasts Renaissance gardens, vineyards, boutique hotels, cobblestone streets and countless candle-lit restaurants to further solidify their stake on being the land of lovers.


Where ever you are, however you celebrate, I pray you have a safe, kind Valentine's Day full of peace and love!



Do you have a fun or different way of celebrating Valentine's Day?  I make FTD his favorite breakfast, Eggs Benedict. 

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2/13/15

Being A Mom Makes Me A Fat Ass...And Other Assorted Lies I Tell Myself

*Before I start ranting about my fatty-fatty-boom-boom lazy ass, I want to say that a dress size 12-14  is not healthy for my body type. I'm healthy at a 6-8. I need a Big Mac and fries at a size 4. That being said; some women are very healthy at a dress size 16-18 and some of the most beautiful curvy, healthy women I know rock out in a size 22-24! Please, focus on being healthy in your own skin! 

Now, back to my fat ass and why it's due to being a mother!

I've decided that being a mom makes me a fat ass. I wasn't so much a fat ass before having a child, so naturally, rather than blame laziness, I'm going to blame the kid! 



Since getting pregnant, I have been telling myself one lie after another about why it's OK to eat what I do, or why it's Ok that my exercise is limited... FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS!

Lie #1-You're pregnant, if your body craves potato chips and cupcakes, eat them!

Your body knows what's best. Besides, this is a wonderful time, enjoy it to the fullest. 

Lie#2- You're breastfeeding. You need an extra 500 calories a day, and you are strapped for time, so eat that THIRD slice of pizza, because who knows when you will eat next.

Lie #3-Once you start chasing a toddler, the fat will melt off.  Don't be hard on yourself. 

Lie #4- Between the kid, work and keeping up the house and shopping, I barely have time to sit down, let alone regularly exercise. 

Lie #5- When it gets warmer outside, I will get back in shape.

LIE! LIE! LIE! BULLSHIT LIE!




 Here's the ugly truth...

Truth #1- I snack on shit all day.  While making Ollie's breakfast, I snack.  While making his lunch, I snack, and while making dinner I snack. AND THEN, I eat breakfast lunch and dinner on top of the snacking. I read somewhere that if you reach for water rather than snacking while preparing meals you could lose up to TEN pounds a year! I know it's true because I'm pretty sure I've gained ten pounds a year doing it!

Truth #2-I don't make time for myself or regular exercise.  It's not like I am doing anything more than those moms who get their asses to the gym regularly.  They have a kid, husband, job, house and all kinds of other shit too! 

Truth #3- If I could just stop grazing like cattle every time I walked into the kitchen and carve out a set hour a day for activity, I could really turn things around. 

FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!

Truth #3 sums it up. Every morning I stand in front of the mirror feeling sorry for myself, then go downstairs and make a sugary coffee followed by snacking on what every I make for Ollie and FTD, and if I'm packing lunches too... you'd think I was at an all-you-can-eat buffet. 

I spend my days unorganized and jumping from one task to another. I don't prioritize my activities, nor do I make my needs a priority.  I bought a Pilate's Groupon before Christmas and have yet to use it!  I use to make fun of people who did that. Karma's a fat bitch! 

I have got to get it together!!!

                                                  

I need a Bob or Jillian to come scream in my face for two weeks to help me jump start!  Because that's the thing, after two solid weeks of eating well and exercising, I will feel so great, I will keep at in, and then within 8 weeks, I will actually enjoy looking in the mirror again.

Ugh. In 8 weeks... 60 days...  I could feel and look great. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?

That's it! Starting today, no more snacking. Before I make Ollie's breakfast, I'm going to pour my cereal so I can snack on my own damn food. Before I make dinner, I am going to drink a huge glass of water.  I'm also putting up a post-it note that says, NO MORE SNACKING!  




I'm buying a fabulous dress that's a size 8, and keeping a photo of it on my phone as a screen saver so I can constantly stare at my goal.

I know if I don't do something, and soon, my next post will be about me being even heavier, and more worn-out and out of shape than I am now.  FAIL!  I'm only 36... I shouldn't feel 86.

No more lying to myself.  Being a mother doesn't make me fat, being unorganized and unprioritized does.

Dammit, I CAN DO THIS!!!







Me rollerblading along the Brighton Beach in Melbourne, Australia 2010 months before I got Pregs with Ollie. There's no reason I can't look and feel that fabulous again!

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2/12/15

Potty Training Update: Ugh.

I started trying to potty train my kid when he turned ONE... TWO YEARS AGO! (I started that early because my MIL insisted that FTD was potty trained by one, and sent Ollie potty training pants for his birthday.)

Sometimes I think starting so early is why he is finishing so late.  At one he could walk, but had no clue what the sensation was.  I backed off. At 18-months I picked it back up, still he had no interest.  At two, I really started pushing again. And again, he pushed back.

Over the Christmas break I was DETERMINED to get him out of diapers before he turned three.  I let him run around naked, and asked him every half hour if he needed to use the potty.  Sometimes he was up for it, others, he'd pee on the floor fifteen minutes later. I broke down and got him pull-ups and told him they were still more like a big boy pant than a diaper, so he still HAD to use the potty.

Two weeks ago, I thought we were finally there.  He was using the potty regularly and doing great! Then, he pushed back, and started having accidents again.

I'm so tired of potty training.

I'm so sick of having my house pissed all over.

I'm so over the power struggle.

I'm so sick of three baths a day followed by a load of pee soaked laundry!



The only thing I'm not tired of is when Ollie pees all over FTD's computer desk chair while watching YouTube. I take a sick satisfaction in that. And that's only because FTD NEVER has to deal with the messes. He is always at work or conveniently, "busy."

Over the last two years it's safe to say I have tried EVERYTHING!

You know what's worked? NOT A DAMN THING!

I feel like a failure.

My son is three and not potty trained. It kills me to say that out loud. If someone would have told me two years ago when I started potty training, he'd still be in diapers at three, they most likely would have made their way to the top of my, 'Needs a big ass slap,' list.

People kept telling me: "He's a boy, don't push him. The harder you push, the further he'll regress."

I'm at my wits-freaking-end over potty training. It kills me that Ollie can go three days solid using the potty, then spend two having "accidents" at home and school. Every time I pick him up from his 'Child's Day Out' program at church, I hold my breath as I look in his classroom to see if he's wearing the same pants I dropped him off wearing. Holy crap I hate getting that plastic bag full of pee clothes!

Clearly, he KNOWS how and when to use the potty. He just picks and chooses when he does it. If he's having fun playing, then he just pisses where he stands! (Or sits.)

Thankfully, he hates poop in his pants, and goes to the potty without fail, so I can at least say he is "poop trained." He hasn't crapped his pants in weeks! It's the pee part that we are still struggling with!

Of course, I don't get mad at him for accidents. I do my best to stay calm, and let him know accidents happen. I tell him that I know he is trying the best he can, and that next time hopefully he will make it to the potty.  But what I really want to say is, Buddy? WHAT THE HELL?

After two years of constant epic fails and potty regression, I have resigned myself to knowing, this is going to be 100% on his terms.

The kid is in control. COMPLETE control. And he knows it. There is no way to make a toddler use the potty.

When he's ready to use the potty full-time, he will. Of course, I pray tomorrow is the day.

Holy crap, I hope tomorrow will be the day he only needs a diaper at naps and nighttime. So many parents of boys have told me stories of how, "One day, he just woke up, used the potty and never had another accident again." I know we are close. I'd say he's at about 85% potty trained.  It's the 15% that keeps blowing my mind.  WHY CAN'T WE BE 100%????

Until then, I have to suck it up, and stay calm while cleaning up a puddle of piss and pray that it's my last one, because eventually, it will be. Eventually, the kid will get tired of having pee covered legs and wet socks. Eventually, he will regularly use the potty like the rest of the kids his age. I just hope when that happens, I'm not already committed to a padded room for potty training induced insanity.


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2/10/15

The Five Most Popular Types of Baby Crib



When you have your first child, it can seem like there are endless decisions to make. One of the most important aspects of preparing for the arrival of your baby is selecting the right crib. Your baby will spend a lot of time here, especially in the first few months, so it’s important to find something that is both comfortable and safe. Here are the five most popular types of baby crib:




Traditional Baby Cribs


Traditional baby cribs are the most common, and have been around for a number of years. They are typically rectangular in shape, and will fit the majority of standard baby mattresses. Many traditional baby cribs are durable and long lasting, so you’ll be able to use them until your child is ready to progress to a toddler bed. As they’re the most common type of crib, and don’t come with many additional features, it’s possible to find a high quality traditional baby crib for little expense, which is ideal if you’re on a tight budget. You should consider purchasing a crib with drop-down sides, as this will make it easier to lift your baby out of the crib each morning, particularly as they start to get heavier.


Travel Baby Cribs


If you’re likely to travel regularly with your new baby, you should consider purchasing a travel baby crib. These are cribs that fold down completely, to be packed away neatly into a bag that can be used to transport the crib from one destination to the next. Ideally, you should also have a sturdy crib at home (such as the traditional baby cribs previously discussed), as travel cribs are not as durable. They are made from lightweight materials, and will not last as long as many of the alternatives. However, they are very affordable, so are popular with those who wish to take their baby away with them on a regular basis.


Convertible Baby Cribs


If you’re looking for something that will last many years, you should consider purchasing a convertible baby crib. These are cribs that can be converted into a toddler bed as your baby progresses. This means that, when your child is ready, you can alter the bed so that it adapts with their needs. Whilst convertible baby cribs are usually more expensive than the traditional alternatives, it’s likely to save you money in the long run, as it will last until your child is old enough to move into an adult-sized bed. If you decide to go for a convertible baby crib, be mindful of the future needs of your child. You’ll need to select an appropriate crib, which will be suitable for your child’s changing preferences. Avoid traditional nursery colours, and choose a neutral design.

Multifunctional Baby Cribs


Multifunctional baby cribs are an excellent choice for those short on space, as they enable you to do more than just provide your baby with somewhere to sleep. As the crib doubles up as another piece of furniture, it’s a great way for you to accessorise your baby’s new room whilst saving both money and space. The cribs typically double up as a changing table or clothes storage, reducing the need to splash out on these separate items.


Eco Friendly Baby Cribs

There are many reasons to go green when decorating your baby’s new nursery, and the rise in eco friendly furniture and accessories makes it incredibly easy to do so. Eco friendly cribs have been produced ethically, with minimal impact to the environment. They’re also free from pesticides and chemicals, making them a safer choice for both you and your baby.
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Top 10 Favorite Parenting Firsts #PampersFirsts #Giveaway

*This post was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was provided product free of charge to facilitate my review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

With Ollie's third birthday only a week behind me, I am still waxing nostalgia like it's my job. How can he already be three? It was just yesterday I was cradling him in my arms for the first time. Thankfully, no matter how big he gets, he will always be my baby. 


In honor of working with the Double Duty Divas and Pampers to talk about some of my favorite 'firsts' as a parent, I thought what better time to do that than in a Top Ten Tuesday Post! 






Without further ado, my Top 10 Favorite Parenting Firsts...


1. Hearing Ollie's heart beat for the first time! Thinking about it makes my heart melt. Of course I cried tears of joy, and even though he may not admit it, FTD shed a tear or two too.

2. Hearing Ollie's cry for the first time. I remember thinking, OMG! My baby is here! He is really here!!! Talk about crying. I was so overwhelmed with joy, and relief.

3. FTD's first diaper change! OMG!!!! SO FUNNY!!!! I have no doubt the nurse will never forget it either. The first day of Ollie's life, FTD was trying to pay the nurses at the hospital to change Ollie's diaper for him. By the second day, he knew he had to suck it up and change his son's diaper. As he slowly peeled back the tab on the Pamper's Swaddler and saw that river of black Meconium, he gasped! 

"WHAT THE HELL??  That can't be right????" 

FTD was FLOORED by the black tar. (FYI: The hospital diapers really were Pamper's Swaddlers. They were all we used for months, because we figured if the hospital liked them, so did we. We even took a pack from the room with us.)

4. Ollie's first time sleeping through the night! Or really, for more than three hours straight.  I remember waking up at 6am and running to his room, terrified something was wrong. I still laugh about how if my kid sleeps one minute longer than his norm, I run to make sure he is OK. Yet, for all other times, I'm begging him to sleep!

5. His first, 'mamma'.  Be. Still. My. Heart. There is noting more beautiful than the sound of your child's voice singing your name. Nothing.

6. Waving 'bye bye'.  I love this sweet milestone so much.  I would beg him to wave and say, 'bye bye,' to everyone. Those sweet little hands opening and closing to the sound of his sweet little voice... Sooooooo Sweet!




7. Rolling/crawling/walking- For each of his movement milestones, I remember cheering and wanting to brag to anyone who would listen. HE ROLLED OVER!  It's amazing to look back and think how something as simple as rolling over, was the BIGGEST thing to happen to my baby!

8. Talking!  Even to this day, with Ollie's vocabulary constantly blooming, I am FLOORED by all he can say, and how well he forms sentences.

9. Going to pre-school- I was desperate to put Ollie in a 'Mother's Day Out Program' at the church a couple of day a week. I waited until he was two, then took him over.  I  had no idea how hard it would be on both of us at first.  Thankfully, after a few weeks,  it turned out to be THE BEST THING EVER! He got to socialize with kids his own age, and so did I!  (Hello, coffee with friends!)



10. Riding a bike.  Here we are at three, he's 39-inches and 39-pounds and riding a bike.  My baby has grown into a beautiful little bike riding toddler.




It's posts like these that make me slow down and reminisce on my favorite moments, and realize just how fast it goes!  Being a mother is no doubt the greatest blessing of my life.


Grab the tissues, this video is full of those beautiful first all parents share...



        



Crying yet? Me too. What a blessing being a parent is...

                                            

Dry your tears and get ready for some excitement! Pampers has FINALLY gotten with the program, and added a size 6 to their swaddlers line. Which, it's about FREAKING TIME!  What, toddler's don't deserve that incredible softness of Pampers Swaddlers that newborns do? We used Swaddlers right up until Ollie's round little rump grew out of them. And wouldn't you know, now that he is almost completely potty trained, size 6 Swaddlers are here!  Though, I will say, in a strange twist, we started Ollie's diapering in Pampers Swaddlers and now, thanks to the free pack I was sent, we are also finishing his diapering journey in Pampers Swaddlers.

In honor of this big size 6 excitement, Pampers is giving a TON of stuff away! For starters, I have a HUGE prize pack I'm giving away.


Included:    
Pampers Swaddlers Size 6 
 Pampers Wipes 
 “Love You to the Moon and Back” Necklace
“Guess How Much I Love You” Board Book
Baby’s First Year Keepsake Calendar
$50 AmEx Gift Card
(Estimated Value $100)






Want more chances to win? Join the #PampersFirst Twitter party!


Pampers Firsts Prize Pack (14 available -- 2 winners per each of the 7 questions)
$150 value 

  • Pampers Diapers (3 boxes - economy pack - winner size choice) 
  • Pampers Sensitive Wipes Tub x 4 -
  • Dreft/Ivory Snow - 2 bottles 
Pampers Firsts Grand Prize  (2 available - 2 winners for grand prize question) 
$450 value 

  • Pampers Diapers (8 boxes, winner size choice) 
  • Pampers Sensitive Wipes -12 Tubs 
  • Dreft/Ivory Snow - 4 bottles 
  • Book: Guess How Much I Love You 
  • Book: I Love You Through & Through 
  • Book: That's How Much I Love You
  • Book: Goodnight Moon


To RSVP for the #PampersFirst Twitter Party, click here.
Keep up with all that's going on in the world of Pampers by joining their Facebook Community, here.


What is your favorite first?
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