Friday, December 31, 2010

Reason #45097545 Why I Won't Be Buying Luv's Diapers (Updated)

I'm sorry, but have y'all* seen this new commercial from Luv's? (I was "lucky" enough to catch it today). I thought that the Charmin bears commercials were offensive, but this one tops 'em all! Am I the only one disgusted by this?

~I just realized that you cannot actually HEAR the commercial on this YouTube video, but if you COULD hear it, you would hear the song "Whoomp, There it is", only it sings "POOP, There it is." Really? Is this necessary?~

*I lived in Texas for over a year, and therefore, by default, I am entitled to use the phrase "y'all" any time I want to, even though I am a "Yankee" through and through.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mommy Fail

So this morning I was changing Ben's diaper and was desperately wiping at what I thought was dried on you know that was stubborn and just didn't want to come off. Well, it turns out that it wasn't what I thought it was. It was a scab (or mole?) and wouldn't you know it, I had scraped off the top of that poor sucker and it would not stop bleeding!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Slacker City

Yeah, so, if you haven't noticed, I've been really slacking in the blogging department. The inspiration and motivation just haven't been there, (or really anywhere in my life right now). I haven't even ordered my Christmas cards yet or purchased a single Christmas present!

So, needless to say, I'm going on hiatus for a little while. I have ideas to revamp this here blog, and when I find the motivation to do so, I will. Until then, I hope everyone enjoys their holidays!

(I may still have random posts every now and then, but don't hold your breath on that one). 


Saturday, December 4, 2010

This Man Really Disgusts Me

I don't know which is more disturbing about this secret from PostSecret, the fact that the man got a vasectomy without his wife's knowledge, or that he is giving his wife false hopes in having another child. Or that he is using it all as an excuse to get more action. Disgusting!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Write down this number! It will save your child's life!

This is the "911" number to every poison center in the US. It is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. How do I know this? Because last night my little Ben, and his endless curiosity, helped himself to a mouthful of poison.

Before anyone freaks out, don't worry! HE'S OKAY!!! Seriously. He's fine. I was slightly exaggerating when I said that he drank poison. In fact, this story really does not even need repeating; I do not need mass hysteria (read: certain family members) on the other end of the phone line.

Here is what happened. I was downstairs in the kitchen getting things prepared for dinner. The boys were upstairs playing, as they have done a million times, and all of a sudden I hear Ben screaming. I run upstairs to find him in the bathroom with Daddio's electric razor cleaning system:

in his hands, with the cleaning solution all over the floor, down the front of his shirt, and IN HIS MOUTH! I freaked out and didn't know what to do. (At this point, I was unaware of the poison center hotline number). I tried rinsing out Ben's mouth, calmed him down, and frantically called Daddio in tears, who then came immediately home from work. Anyway, long story short. Ben is fine. I don't think that he even really swallowed any of the cleaning stuff (which turns out to be 40% alcohol and 60% water). As soon as it hit his mouth and started burning, I think he instinctively spit it out again.

We are usually pretty careful when it comes to household cleaners and "poisons" and keeping them away from little hands. I keep all medication safely out of reach and usually keep the door closed in the downstairs bathroom, (where Ben is known to frequently explore). We haven't really worried about the upstairs bathroom because there are no cleaning supplies up there, and all medication is out of reach. However, what neither Daddio nor myself considered was his razor's cleaning system. (Truth be told, I didn't even realize that he kept it somewhere that the boys could reach; I rarely use that bathroom. But I'm not about to point fingers at anyone here).

If you look at the cleaning system, it doesn't really appear to be something that one would need to worry about. The cartridge itself looks as though it's pretty secure in there, (it's the blue plastic line thing at the bottom), and unable to be opened by little fingers. However, it turns out that if you tip the device over, all of the liquid pours out (seems like a pretty poor system to me). What Ben must have down was pulled it down from the shelf and either tipped it over on top of himself, or tried to drink from it like a cup. Either way, all of the liquid came pouring out.

Now, I want to make this perfectly clear, in no way, shape, or form, do I hold the product or the company to blame for this. Yes, it seems stupid that this device is not spill-proof, but this was entirely our fault for storing it somewhere Ben can reach.


I guarantee you that we will be reevaluating the potential hazards in our house, no matter how innocent and safe they may appear. (I suggest you do the same). Bathroom doors will stay closed, razors will be kept entirely out of reach, and this cleaning system will find a permanent home on the tippy-top shelf, behind padlocked doors, with an alarm system.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Isoki Bag; Yes, Please!

The October 2010 issue of Parents magazine featured this diaper bag in a mini-article about "awesome imports from Down Under".

It's the Urban Reversible Saddle Tote Bag from Isoki. Hefty price tag aside, (it's nearly $200), I really like this bag. Not only is it pretty stylish, resembling a purse more than a diaper bag, but it has a lot of bonus goodies that come with it. I don't know how well you can tell from the picture, but it comes with a smaller storage "satchel", a changing pad, and an insulated cooler bag.

Other items offered on the site are a small storage wallet, (I wish that I had had one of these!)

And a really great looking portable changing mat.

Of course it's too late for me to make any splurge purchases for items like these. I'm actually in the process of getting rid of my baby items. But I thought that they were really cool and wanted to share them with anyone who might have the opportunity (and the means!) to get one of these in the future.

Even if your not a parent, or interested in these items, you still HAVE to visit their homepage to take a gander at what I'm assuming is Australia's version of a stripper mom? I'm a little confused by the woman featured with her boobs up to her chin, wearing Daisy Dukes, red stilettos heels, and clinging to a rope pole. Seriously, why?

Upon further investigation, it may be worth noting that this woman is only featured on their US website, marketing bags available to the United States. (Their Australian site shows more sophisticated, and fully-clothed moms and their children). Is this woman the image Australia immediately associates with American mothers? Do they think this is what a typical American mother looks like? Or dresses like? I sure hope not!



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Small Town Living

The longer I live in Small Town (we've been here a little over three years), the more I realize how great it is. Here are a few reasons why:

1. We are within walking distance to just about everything in town: the library, the post office, friends' houses, the movie theater, the school, restaurants, the gym (if we are feeling extra motivated, which we never are. But we could definitely walk there if we had to).

2. People clean up after their dogs while walking them. I looked out the window this morning and saw the man from the end of the block in our yard with his dogs, and cleaning up after them! It's so nice being able to have the boys playing outside in the yard without having to worry about what they are going to bring back inside with them.

3. People out walking will stop to say hello or chit chat, even if they don't know you. Especially if Owen is outside. He can get even the sternest people to stop and have a conversation with him. There is one woman, who lives two doors down, who walks around our block several times a day with her dog. Usually she is a woman on a mission, staring forward, rarely making eye contact, let alone saying hello. But one day, Owen was outside while she was out walking and was able to get her to stop and talk with him. Of course he also kept yelling "Hi!" until she finally turned around to say hello in return, but he did it.

4. Even the garbage men are awesome. The woman across the road from us is well in her 80s (although you would never think it if you met her), and this morning, the garbage truck actually backed into her driveway and picked up her garbage from the porch because she hadn't brought it to the curb yet! I have also seen them do this for the couple who live across the other street, (we live on the corner of two intersecting streets).

5. Freebies! The above-mentioned woman across the street gives the boys special Halloween goodies every year. (She doesn't hand out candy on Halloween). Other neighbors have brought us cucumbers, apples, and squash.


Tasty Tuesday: Butternut Squash Waffles

Hey, don't knock 'em until you've tried them!

Owen wanted waffles for dinner one night, and I had just baked a butternut squash to make muffins with. Knowing that I would have plenty to go around, I decided to use some of the squash in place of sweet potatoes in a waffle recipe that I have. (I have yet to try it with sweet potatoes. You can find the original recipe here). I didn't tell Owen what was in the waffles until after he finished TWO of them, (both he and Ben wanted seconds), to which he said, "Mmmmm. I LIKE squash!" Success!

Butternut Squash Waffles

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup cooked, mashed butternut squash
2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, brown sugar, and spices. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, squash, oil, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until combined.

Bake in preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions until golden brown. Serve with syrup.

Note: The original recipe called for a nut topping which I eliminated because of allergies. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Our October Adventures

I am finally jumping on the bandwagon to post the obligatory All-Things October (read: pumpkin patch, Halloween) photos.

The boys are lucky enough to have a grandma who grows pumpkins for them every year! This year the pumpkins were HUGE and I had to call in the reinforcements just to get them out of my trunk!

I don't think it's going to fit in my truck, Mom.

I was supposed to bring the boys to a nearby farm that has a wagon ride, pony rides, corn tunnel, petting zoo etc., but when I woke up that morning to a dusting of snow, I opted out. It actually turned out to be a really nice day, but snow just has a really depressing affect on me and there was no motivating me to step outside after that.

Instead, Daddio and I took the boys to a local family farm to pick out some more pumpkins. (Because apparently, two LARGE pumpkins were not enough for our front porch. We ended up with 8! more, in varying sizes).

Can I have this one?

I am NOT taking down my hood for a picture, Mom

That night we attended a pumpkin carving party where Daddio had big intentions of carving three of the pumpkins, but he only got around to one of them.

Okay, I will sit here because you gave me a chip, but I am NOT looking at the camera!

Benny knows how to listen. But not look at the camera.

They also had a Halloween themed craft at the party (Owen was thoughtful enough to make one for Ben too. Awww). And they decorated Halloween cookies. 
Why can't I have TWO houses on mine, Mom?

 I hosted a girls' game night AND a had a lasagna dinner at our house while Daddio was out of town for two weeks, all by myself. (And for those of you who don't know me well, that's a pretty big deal!) I even decorated with pretty autumn colors:

How great are autumn colors?

(That would be my apple and pumpkin pie sitting there on the buffet. And walnut cookies that I soon discovered Owen is allergic too. Just like Mommy. Why am I not surprised?).

The napkins match the place mats. I was so proud. We don't usually even have napkins in the house.

 For Halloween, Owen dressed up as a pumpkin. His costume was made by Grandma S. 12 years ago for my nephew. It's really held up well!

Can we just go already? The candy won't be there forever!

And Ben was a cuddly little bear. Or not so much. He was more like a grumpy, whiny, little bear. He made it to six houses before we headed back to ours to hand out candy for the rest of the night. Grandma S. also made his costume. He hated the headpiece part and would only leave it on while we were outside:

How long do I have to wear this?

(Grandma S. also made Owen's first Halloween costume two years ago):

How much longer do I have to do this?
 Isn't that the cutest skunk you've ever seen? That Grandma S. She's pretty handy to have around!

That was pretty much it for our October. We are still working through a major horde of candy, split three ways. We are THOSE parents who sort through the candy ahead of time and get rid of the pieces that we don't think Owen should be eating, like Pixie Sticks, Charleston Chew, and Almond Joys. (The latter because they are Mommy's favorite!) But don't worry, he ended up with most of the loot and a pretty good variety too, (Kit Kats, Twizzlers, Three Musketeers, Reese's etc.).

And now that we are in November, I suppose it's time to start planning for Christmas Thanksgiving. Let's not rush things TOO much!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Crumb-Topped Apple & Pumpkin Pie

I have never really been a fan of apple pie. (I know. How un-American of me). But when I came across this recipe in my Light & Tasty magazine it sounded promising. I made it for the first time for Christmas last year and it received rave reviews. I made it again this past weekend when I hosted a game night and a separate dinner night at my house. It received even more rave reviews and several requests for a copy of the recipe. They plan to make this for their Thanksgiving dinners.

Crumb-Topped Apple & Pumpkin Pie


1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
2 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons cold butter
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts

On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Transfer pastry to a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate; flute edges. In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice and cinnamon. Spoon into crust.

In another large bowl, whisk the pumpkin filling ingredients. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

For topping, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly; stir in walnuts. Sprinkle over pie. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted into pumpkin layer comes out clean (cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary).

Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 10 servings

Note: I made a couple of changes from the original recipe out of convenience. Instead of a sheet of refrigerated pie pastry, I used a deep-dish pie shell (from the freezer section). I also used 2 eggs instead of the egg substitute. I eliminated the chopped walnuts in the topping due to allergies. I also found that I had to add at least around 1 tablespoon of butter to the topping in order to get it to crumble properly.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Key to Educational Success is....

For whatever reason, I have been receiving free copies of Parents magazine in the mail. I have been perusing the November 2010 issue and it has inspired reactions to several articles that I am going to share here. This is my first one.

I always find it annoying when statistics are presented in a way that misleads people, or only conveys half of the point. Case in point, there is a statistic being thrown at us that people who floss their teeth will live longer. Now this statement by itself implies that the existence of extra plaque will cause an early death. (Not true). What they don't tell you, (or what you have to read a million paragraphs into the study) is that people who floss their teeth are generally the same people who care enough about their health to be conscious of the choices that they make and actively pursue a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, these people ARE going to live longer, because they take care of themselves, not just because they floss their teeth. Make sense?

So anyway. There is a little paragraph titled "Bring on the Books" in this issue of Parents magazine that claims, "Keeping books around the house will up your kid's odds of snagging that college diploma later on," (45). It further claims that a collection of 25 books, either children's or adults', will add a year to their high school or college career, while a collection of 500* books will add an extra 3.2 years! The "article" (can one paragraph really be considered an article?) then goes on to suggest 9 books to add to a child's library. And, that's it.

See, my issue with this isn't the results of the study, but the information that Parents magazine failed to provide regarding the study, or the participants of the study. I looked it up here, and it turns out that over a 20 year period, Mariah Evans (who the magazine doesn't even give credit to), discovered that an environment with at least 25 books in it, regardless of a parent's level of education, will produce these results in children.

I think that it's safe to assume that regardless of their own education level, these parents who are providing their children with books are obviously concerned with their child's educational success. It's probably also safe to assume that these parents are actively involved in their child's education, and are encouraging reading for pleasure. It would have been nice to see this additional information provided in the Parents article. Otherwise, I can just see some clueless parent reading it and thinking that just by having these books in the house, without doing anything with them, will provide the same results. (Hey, I'm sure that there is someone out there who is just stupid enough to think this).

It would have been nice to see Parents expand on this and provide suggestions for actively engaging children in reading and tips to help ensure success. I am sure that there are many parents out there, especially those who did not enjoy their own educational experiences as children, who might not know exactly what they can do to help their child enjoy reading or become a more active reader. Allow me to offer a few of my own suggestions:

* Make reading fun, and active. Instead of just reading a story straight through from the first page to the last, discuss what is happening in the pictures. Many illustrators of children's books include little surprises, or jokes, "Easter Eggs", if you will, in their pictures. They are meant to be explored, examined, and discussed by parents and children alike. Quiz your children on what they have just read or seen in the pictures. Give them a few moments to study the pictures, then close the book and ask them questions. What color hair ribbon is the little girl wearing? How many birds are in the sky? Where is the mouse hiding? You get the idea.

* Establish a bedtime routine that includes at least one story. And be sure to provide a suitable environment for a bedtime story. Ideally, this would be at the end of the routine when the child is already bathed, dressed, and in bed. A child is more likely to pay attention to the story if there are no other distractions around them (such as the television, or older siblings etc.). A bedtime story will also help the child to switch from "active" mode to "rest" mode.

* Visit your local library. Books cost money, and can be quite expensive. Some families are not going to be able to afford to build a personal library at home for their children. This is one of the greatest benefits of a local library, hundreds of books for kids to read, for FREE. Most libraries also provide story hours and other activities for preschool children and school-age children. They usually also have at least a couple of computers for children to listen to stories or play (educational) games. This is also a great resource for families who do not have a computer at home. It just takes a little research to find out what services your local library provides.

Those are some of the ideas that I have right now.  There are many more things that parents can do to help children enjoy reading. Just remember that it's one thing to have 25+ books in your house, but it's another to know how to use them. They are not there just to sit on a shelf and look pretty.

Anyone have more suggestions to share?

*I would really like to know who has a personal library of 500 books that participated in this study!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Excuse Me While I Rant

Last weekend we attended a little pumpkin carving party for the kids. There were probably about 8 kids there, ranging from 3 months to 14 years of age. The kids had a lot of fun, but I found it.... interesting (to put it nicely), that a couple of parents were allowing their 2, 3, and 5 year old children to drink soda the whole time that they were there.

Now, I'm not about to criticize these parents for allowing their young children to drink soda, that's their choice. I personally don't agree with it, but I'm not going to chastise other parents for it. But what I was amazed at was that these were the same parents who were complaining a few weeks before about how "wild" the kids act (they were three little girls), and how difficult it is to get them to bed at night. One little girl as been known to stay up past 11, finally crashing from exhaustion on her bedroom floor. Well now I understand what is causing these difficulties! If you are allowing your child to drink soda (and eat Halloween candy) at 7:30 at night, then yes, you are going to have a hard time putting them to bed. Duh!

We happen to not allow any of the boys to drink soda or eat candy, unless on special occasions, like Halloween, but then it is limited. And this is mainly because of the effect that I have noticed it has on them, Owen specifically. I have noticed that whenever Owen has cookies, or cake, or candy, he, obviously, behaves completely different. He gets hyper and has a hard time following directions or focusing on what I am trying to say to him. He just wants to act like a crazy boy. Therefore, for my sanity, I have made the decision not to offer these things regularly in my house. If he goes to a friend's house and has something there, then that's fine. I'm not going to go ballistic over it, but I can definitely tell when he HAS had something sweet to eat somewhere else.

The same applies to watching television. I am not one of those parents who is completely against television and is adamant that my child will not watch any TV until he is at least 2. (I have been known in the past to use "Little Bear" as a babysitter for Owen while I was making dinner. He was definitely under 2 years of age, but it kept him entertained and out of my hair long enough to get dinner ready). I do feel that there are some quality children's shows out there with great educational lessons. (Owen has learned his shapes, some Spanish, directions, and the difference between plastic, glass, metal etc. from watching TV). I have also allowed him to watch a movie during rest time on the days that I know he will not take an actual nap. However, I do try to limit how much television Owen watches during the day, but this is primarily because of how it effects his behavior.

I have noticed that on the (usually rainy) days when Owen has been watching tv for at least an hour, he is less cooperative, less likely to follow directions, and more whiny than on the days when he hasn't watched any. So again, for my sanity, while I can still control what he does, I try to limit what he watches.

Now, I don't know if this has the same effect on all kids or if it's just Owen, but when I hear these parents complaining about how their kids behave or how hard it is for them to go to bed at night, and then learn that they watch TV all day, drink soda, and basically eat whatever they want, I really have to wonder if these parents have even considered that this might be at the root of their problems. Last year we attended a Christmas party and there were two brothers there who were a few years older than Owen, and kept bullying him. They chased him around, cornered him against a wall, and started hitting him. Naturally, he fell to the ground to try to get away from them, but then they proceeded to kick him! (Don't worry, I didn't just stand by and watch this all happen. But all of this happened in the time that it took me to get from one end of the room to the other to stop it from continuing).

After this incident occurred (which the boys did not even get punished for, other than a "strong word", nor were they made to apologize to Owen), I overheard their mother telling someone that one of the boys was being tested for ADHD soon. Really? Could his problem actually be the lack of discipline and all of the sugar that he consumes on a regular basis rather than ADHD? (We are familiar with this family because Daddio works with the husband, so I'm not just basing this on the incident at the party). It drives me nuts when parents automatically assume that their child must have ADHD if they are in any way unruly or difficult to control. Take a look at your parenting skills, folks, and then tell me why you think your child is unruly! If there's no discipline, then there's not going to be any control!

Anyway, that was my rant for today. Carry on.

*After re-reading this post, I realize that I basically AM criticizing these parents. What my actual point is that if you are going to allow your child to drink soda or eat sugary candy, especially at night, then be prepared to deal with the consequences, or at least be aware of the effect it will have on your child, and stop complaining about it. With children this young, the parents are the ones who SHOULD still have the say in what the drink or eat, so if you're giving your child something that will in fact cause them to act unruly, then that's your own fault, not your child's. 

Now I'm done.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Tiny Tidbits IV

After explaining to Owen that Ben loves Mommy a little TOO much:

Me: Do you love your mommy?
Owen: Yes, I love you Mom.
Me: Do you love Daddy?
Owen: No.
Me: You don't love Daddy? Why not? You should love Daddy.
Owen: Because I no have the heart for him.
Me: You don't? Who is your heart for?
Owen: You!

     *                        *                           *                            *

Owen has crawled into bed with me in the morning after he woke up.

Owen: Where's Daddy?
Me: He's at work.
Owen: He needs to come home and make me pancakes.
Me: He does? Why?
Owen: Because me awake!
Me: Oh.
Owen: Suppose YOU make me something special?
Me: Make you something special? What do you want?
Owen: Green waffles!

     *                     *                              *                             *

Sitting in the kitchen eating our breakfast together, observing the cloudy sky. (Different day than above).

Owen: It's dark outside.
Me: Yes, it is.
Owen: Where is the sun?
Me: It's hiding behind the clouds.
Owen: Why is the sun behind the clouds?
Me: I don't know.
Owen: I know why.
Me: You do? Why?
Owen: Because him going poopies!

     *                     *                              *                            *

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dear Erin (and other new moms)

I have been reading this blog for months now and have been agonizing for the poor mother who writes it. She is a new mom and has found that it is not as easy as anyone would hope it to be. My heart goes out to her with every new post that she writes as she struggles to find her balance as a mom. After reading this particular post of hers today, I have decided to dedicate this one to her. Hang in there, Erin!

     *                    *                    *                     *                       *                        *                         *

     Occasionally, you are going to come across a mother who claims that her baby was the best thing that has ever happened to her and that her life has never been better. She is going to try to convince you that regardless of how little sleep she actually gets a night, it's totally worth it to look into the eyes of her precious newborn. She may also confide in you that since having this bundle of joy come into their lives, her relationship with her hubby/partner/significant other/baby daddy has never been better; that the baby has in fact brought them so much closer. DON'T LISTEN TO HER! Don't fall for it! She is lying! In fact, I suspect that what mothers like this are really doing is trying to convince themselves that this is how their life is, when it is in fact the complete opposite.

     Here's the truth, straight from my mouth to yours, being a parent is HARD! It is one of the most difficult things that you are ever going to deal with. You can read all of the books published on how to be a parent, but not a single one is going to prepare you for the real thing. All babies are different. They do not come with an instruction manual. And books are not targeted toward your specific child. Unfortunately, you will have to figure out the ins and outs of your baby on your own. And there is nothing more depressing, more lonely, or more frustrating than being a first time mother. Trust me, I've been there.

     When I had my first son, it was the biggest change in my life that I had ever encountered. I was dealing with hormones and emotions that I had never felt before, and I had to do this with 4 hours of sleep a night at best. Owen was not one of those babies that we all hear about who is sleeping for 4 hour stretches at a time at night within the first month. In fact, up until he was at least 6 months old, he was still waking up every two hours. And since I was breastfeeding, this meant that Daddio got to sleep at night while I was up all the time with Owen (although he would have used any excuse NOT to get up with either baby at night). And since Daddio worked all day, I was home with Owen all day by myself. And to anyone who suggests that you "sleep while the baby is sleeping", remind them that being a stay-at-home-mom, most of us are still expected to take care of the household duties as well, including laundry, cleaning, dinner, showering, etc. Try doing any of those things if you are sleeping.

     Between the lack of sleep and the lack of help that I was receiving from Daddio, I was a mess. There were times when Owen would be crying for what seemed like hours, and I would have no idea what was wrong with him. Was he hungry? Was he tired? Was he in pain? Did he have gas? I had no idea. And there is nothing more frustrating than hearing your own child screaming and not being able to do anything about it to help. There were moments when I was so tired and frustrated that I just HAD to leave him in his crib crying while I walked away from the situation just to regain my own sanity. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's best for both parties involved. A baby can sense when the person holding them is stressed, tired, tense, and upset, and it will only make them cry more. They are very receptive little creatures. And forget calling in any reinforcements; we were living in Texas at the time, a gazillion miles away from our family who lived in New York. I was on my own, and I was so depressed, and tired, and frustrated and I was crying all the time. (This also happened with my second child, so I think the hormones can be partially to blame here). But it does get better. And it does get easier.

     My advice to you, and other first time mothers who are experiencing the same things, is to stop feeling guilty, and stop feeling as though you are the worst mother ever. You aren't. You are a normal mother experiencing normal things that come along with a newborn baby. Don't feel guilty if you let your baby cry for a little while. No matter what anyone says, there is NOTHING wrong with doing this. A few minutes of crying never hurt anyone, in my opinion. In fact, it will eventually teach them a valuable lesson, that crying will not get them anywhere; that Mommy is not going to come running every time a tear is shed. And that's okay.

     Let your baby cry herself to sleep. The best decision that I ever made with Owen was to train him to put himself to sleep. At first, I felt guilty every time I put him in his crib and he started crying, so I would instantly pick him up and try rocking him to sleep. But then I realized, that if I kept this up, I would be doing this for the next two years! (Lesson I learned from my second son, Ben). So I decided to force him to put himself to sleep. I placed him in his crib and let him cry. After 5-10 minutes, I would go into his room and try soothing him by patting his chest, but not pick him up, then walk out of the room and let him cry again. With this first attempt, I had to go through this process repeatedly, for at least two hours. I let him cry for a few minutes, then went in to soothe him, let him cry, soothed him and on and on. I'm not going to lie, it was difficult to hear him cry. In fact, there were times when I had to walk outside the house so I couldn't hear him and wasn't tempted to go in his room and pick him up and hold him, but guess what? Eventually, he fell asleep.

     I stuck with this, not giving in once, and after two days, he was putting himself to sleep without a single tear. And it was the best thing I could have done, for both of us. The stress of bedtime was gone, and eventually I was able to discover a pattern with him that helped me to develop a sleep schedule for him (Throughout the day, I would put him back to bed after being awake for three hours). He was still waking up repeatedly at night, but at least I knew what to expect during the day and could start planning my own actions around his naps. It was great.

     Of course, this is all based on my own experience with my own child, and like I said before, each baby is different. But eventually, after many sleepless nights, and tear fests, and screaming matches, you will figure it out. And then, it will get easier. And as the months pass, you will actually forget how difficult the first few months were (much like how we mysteriously forget how difficult and painful labor was), and after a year or so, you will start finding yourself thinking about wanting a second child because you miss the baby that you once had. (You will, trust me). And then in no time, you will be blogging about moments like this and this. And you will look back on your posts from the first few months and realize that it was all worth it (no lie, it is!) and you wouldn't change a moment.

Well, maybe a few.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dinner Date

Two weeks ago Owen kept bugging me that he wanted his "girlfriend" Lilly to come over for dinner. So this past Tuesday morning I made him call her to invite her over. Her mom answered the phone:

Miss T.: Hello?
Owen: Hi.
Miss T.: Who is this?
Owen: Me. (Duh.)

After a complicated conversation between two 3 year-olds, it was decided that the date would be Thursday night. Lilly's daddy would be working and her mom had a rummage sale to prepare for at church, so it would just be Lilly. I let Owen pick the meal, (pizza), and he made sure that Lilly's seat at the table was all set up with a placemat.

They both had a good time. There was dinner:

And there was dancing:

Great fun was had by all, but I warned Owen that next time he may not want to have his little brother on a date with him as he is apt to steal the spotlight away from him. Girls are suckers for babies. :-)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Apple Picking!

The boys and I went apple picking for the first time (ever!) yesterday. We went with a bunch of fellow Border Patrol families to two different orchards. The first one was a complete bust! There were no good apples, only tiny rotten ones. The second place was A LOT better! Owen had fun picking the apples from the trees and Ben had fun picking up the rotten apples from the ground! Now I have to figure out what to do with all of these apples! Enjoy the pics!

I'm ready to go, Ma! Point me in the right direction!

The grass was a little too long for Mr. Ben!

How about that one up there, Dad?

I'm not so sure about this one.

This one looks good!

This bag is getting heavy, Mom

Appropriately dressed for apple picking.

Can I have that apple?

No, I don't want to hold your hand, I want your apple.

Okay, fine. But I'm only holding it for a second.

They had a lot of fun!

Darn pacifier-always ruining good photos.

Handsome boy.

Ben was a big help.

Here, you can have this one.

Ew. What's that?

Apple picking crew #1

Apple picking crew #2.
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