Saturday, August 13, 2016

How Not to Raise an Asshole

Guys, you know how I am. I tell it like I see it. And these days, I see a LOT of two things: asshole adults and asshole kids who will grow up to be asshole adults.

Not raising an asshole requires work, so if you aren't interested in some blood, sweat and tears, then close your browser, and don't forget to write a rude comment on your way out.

Let me preface this by saying: these suggestions are being made from my professional side, not my parenting side--- let's be real, the verdict is still out on whether my kids will grow up to be assholes or not (just kidding... over my dead body will they be entitled, dependent adults)... but still, the important distinction of point-of-view needs to be mentioned.



Here are some ways not to raise an asshole:

1) Teach them how to do stuff. You know how kids don't come with an instruction manual? Well, neither does growing up. Kids learn from example how to do almost everything - show them how to do things! Don't just do everything for them because they don't know how to do it yet. And start early on this. Things like picking up toys and putting them where they belong, putting dirty clothes in the laundry, putting plates in the sink, cleaning up messes on the floor, putting things in the trash can be done by 1 yr olds. You can't expect them to do things for themselves if you don't teach them how to do it, and have them "practice" daily.

2) Turn off the DAMN TV. I'm not saying never turn the TV on, but for Heaven's sake, don't leave the Disney channel on all day. Your kid will not want to do anything but melt in front of the television screen. Not only is this straight up bad for development, it completely hinders a child's imagination and creativity. Too much technology promotes laziness, hurts social development, and sets the tone of constant entertainment. Turn off the TV, and pull out puzzles and books... or go outside and play.

3) Do not ever let them forget who is in charge. This sounds so imperious, but for real, kids need to know their place in the pecking order. This goes farther than kids respecting their parents; kids need to be taught from the beginning to respect other people of authority like police officers, teachers, etc. Some parents, in an effort to be loving and kind to their children, mistake their role of "parent" with being a "friend."

4) Raise your expectations of what they can do. In large part, we as parents (all of us, including me) are still stuck in the last development phase our kid was in. Before you know it, you are doing things for your teenager that they should most definitely be able to do for themselves. If you think that your child is "too young to do that," or developmentally can't do that, you fake it 'til you make it.. i.e. "help" them do it... or at least start introducing the skill.

5) Pay attention to them. The days where I am the busiest with other things are usually the days where my kids act the worst. In their natural state, kids are assholes. So if you aren't paying attention to them, they will likely revert to their most natural state. Also, if you aren't paying attention, you are likely missing out on some valuable teaching opportunities...

6) Practice what you preach. This one is a hard one for parents to swallow sometimes because it's hard! But we must remember that in large part, our kids' behavior is a reflection of the behavior they see around them - and that includes you. So, say your pleases and thank yous, and don't think that just because you are in a higher place of authority than your children that you cannot show them what respect looks and feels like. Respecting your child looks a little different though - it may mean that you acknowledge their feelings on something upsetting, or show them a little grace when they've made a mistake.

7) Help develop their interests and skills. Arm your child with activities and resources that encourage imagination and creativity! Take them places, read them books (LOTS of them), encourage them to go outside and play. Give them arts and crafts to do. Show them how to take pride in their work!

8) Communicate your expectations of them. You need to set the rules and communicate them to everyone. An example of an easy to understand rule is no snacks after 9 pm or only one hour of technology a day. The expectation is clear. Create rules that are clear and easy to enforce. Stay away from "never" or "always" because there are always exceptions. If you have a busy schedule or feel like, as a family, it's hard to create rules you can stick to, make general rules. But HAVE RULES.

9) Reward good behavior, but not expected behavior. Exceptionally good behavior can be rewarded, after all, that is how adults are treated in the real world job setting. But expected behavior should, at most, earn acknowledgement in the form of a "thank you for cleaning up all those toys" or "good job on your homework tonight." You don't see people giving lollipops to 8 year olds for going on the big boy potty, do you? Don't shell out prizes for things that your children should be doing anyway.

10) Stick to the rules. Sure, there may be exceptions to this, but the more exceptions you make, the harder it will be to enforce the rules and the more often your kids will be asking you for an exception to the rule. Then, you'll have to make that call, and defend your decision. Just stick to the rules.

11) Keep special things special. You don't get a cookie after every meal. You don't get to pick out something at the store just because. Everyday isn't going to be filled with fun activities from sun up to sun down. One of the problems I see time and time again is that through our own behavior as parents we are setting our kids up to expect too much. And before you know it, you have created an unrealistic expectation of how things are. You can even have them "work" for things that are special... like when your class got the most stars, at the end of the year you got a pizza party.

12) Teach them that behavior and words mean something. Teach them that what you say and what you do matter and have consequences. If you say you are going to do something (as a parent), then you need to do it. If you say you are sorry, MEAN it. If you say you aren't going to do something again, MEAN it. Words are just words if you don't have the actions to back things up.

Sure, there are tons of other ways not to raise an asshole. And you may do all of these things, and still have an asshole kid. Or you may not do any of things, and in fact, do the opposite, and your kid isn't an asshole. This is just my opinion - you can take it or leave it! But really, I am fearful of the effects of raising entitled, clueless children will have on our future. Can you imagine what the world will look like in 30 years? So, if you aren't already, start thinking of your sweet child as a little human who will, someday, be a member of society. I'm not saying rush kids through their childhood, but goodness gracious, equip your kids with foundational skills so at least they have a fighting chance in the scary world of our future.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Best Products for Baby Bath Time

Oh, bath time. When I just had one kiddo, it was actually enjoyable to bathe her regularly and relatively drama-free. My oldest loved to play in the water and only cried about getting out or pooped in the bathtub occasionally. Enter second child. Enter extreme sleep deprivation and being overwhelmed. All the sudden bath time wasn't so much fun anymore.

9 months into being a mother of two, I can say with confidence that bath time is more like the bath time I used to love and cherish - enjoyable! But not without the help of a handful of products that really make bath time more enjoyable and safe for both me and my sweet little angels.

As a mom, I'm constantly looking for products that make my life easier and keep my kids safe. 

Without further adieu, here are some of the best (in my opinion) products for bath time! (disclaimer: some of the links provided are affiliate links, which will result in a small amount of compensation to help fund my freelance writing efforts if clicked on and used to assist in any purchasing via Amazon)



1. BBCare® Non-Slip Safety Play Seat with Extra Long Play Mat (Blue_Whale) - This has been integral to success in bathing my two children together in a regular-sized tub. I was previously bathing them both together in my big-girl tub, with my 9 month old in her baby bathtub inside the big-girl tub (and effectively taking up 3/4th of the tub space, leaving my 2.5 year old a small amount of space to move around. This play seat has suction cups on the bottom and attaches to a play mat that fits perfectly in the bathtub. So with this, the 9 month old can sit with some additional support and there is plenty of space in the tub for my other child. (additional disclaimer: AS ALWAYS, don't ever leave your kiddos in the bathtub alone, but especially not a kiddo that is DEPENDENT on a play seat to sit up safely.)

2. Boon Flo Water Deflector and Protective Faucet Cover with Bubble Bath Dispenser,Blue - If you have a wild child like I do, and you DON'T have a faucet cover, then you know how the faucet is a sharp little magnet for the top of your kiddo's noggin. This awesome faucet cover protects your kiddos head, but it also serves as a water deflector so your kiddos can get their hair wet or rinse the stuff out of their hair easier AND a bubble bath dispenser. Seriously, one of the best inventions ever.

3. Skip Hop Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser - This is a great thing for kids of all ages, until they are old enough to close their eyes, hold their breath and rinse their hair themselves under the faucet! The rubber siding along the rim of this rinser molds to your kiddos forehead so you can rinse their hair without getting the sudsy water in their eyes. This comes in big-time handy, because whoever said all those shampoos were actually "tear-free" are lying!!! (from my experience anyway)

4. Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy - This is a public service announcement: ALL of those toy storage bags or bins that require you to suction anything to your bath tub walls DO NOT WORK. I cannot tell you how many millions of times those suckers (pun NOT intended) fell off their little spot on the bath tub wall, spilling toys everywhere. This is why I love the bath caddy from Munchkin. Not only does it NOT require suction cups, but it has little holes that will help your bath toys drain out. No one likes mildew-y toys, no one!

5. Munchkin Caterpillar Spillers Stacking Cups - While we are on the subject of toys, I'm a big fan (no surprise here) of educational bath toys. So, I love these stacking cups that can second as bath rinsers if you are in a "soap-in-my-eyes!" situation and your trusty waterfall bath rinser is not within your panicked reach. Also, they drain completely -- no nastiness here -- UNLIKE those very cute but very GROSS (when they have water stuck in them) squirt toys you can get for the bathtub. Those squirt toys WILL end up on the opposite end of your child's mouth, and your child WILL suck nasty mildew-y water into their mouth and digest it. Gross. Throw ALLLL those squirt toys out!

So, there you go. My favorite products for a fun, safe and organized bath time for the littlest people in your life. Hope you love it!

What are your favorite bath products for your kiddos???

Monday, January 4, 2016

Dear Disgruntled Mama....

Dear disgruntled mama....

Dear disgruntled mama, who cusses (sometimes not very quietly either) in response to her 5:30am alarm clock who WILL NOT SNOOZE, both literally and figuratively.

Dear disgruntled mama, who has set her personal aspirations and cleanliness aside for the last however many years while she cares for littles ones and makes their dreams hers.

Dear disgruntled mama, who has yelled more in the last year than she ever thought she would in a lifetime.

Dear disgruntled mama, who puts her frustrations inwards because there is no more room for it on the outside.

Dear disgruntled mama, who wants to murder the next person who asks her "how do you do it all?" because like you have a choice.

Dear disgruntled mama, who wonders when and if there will ever be a day again where she can sit down on the couch and truly be "done" for the day.

Dear disgruntled mama, who longs for some time away but knows that even that time away would never be the same with the little hearts at home waiting for you to return.

Dear disgruntled mama, who is struggling between creating a loving atmosphere at home and making ends meet financially with your choice to stay at home.

Dear disgruntled mama, who wants to SHAKE her former self silly for not fully appreciating the weekends spent sleeping in, carefree vacations and showers that last over 3 minutes.

Dear disgruntled mama, who would love more than anything in the world to be acknowledged for the thankless job she has.

Dear disgruntled mama, who listens to whining or crying all day over the sounds of Fisher-Price toys or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse whilst changing diapers and sitting on the floor of a bathroom bribing a small human into pottying with M&Ms.

Dear disgruntled mama, who is so spent by 7 pm, that all the things she had planned for herself go on the ever-growing "To-Do" list for the next day.

Dear disgruntled mama, who can distinguish a pain cry from a hunger cry and smell a dirty diaper from across the house.

Dear disgruntled mama, who understands that the punishment for doing work from home or going to the bathroom by yourself is almost always a child accompanied by tears.

Dear disgruntled mama, who heard but did not listen to when people said that being a parent was the hardest but most rewarding job in the world.

Dear disgruntled mama, who heard but did not listen that this is a season, and that one day she will miss this chaos she is surrounded in.

Dear disgruntled mama, who is so lonely and so disappointed and so good at fooling the world around her that she has it all together.

Dear disgruntled mama, who spends her morning taking a shower with an audience and putting on her makeup with a crying baby or toddler demanding her attention and/or lipstick.

Dear disgruntled mama, who knows that the only thing that is worse than a crying baby is prolonged silence from a toddler.

Dear disgruntled mama..... these times will pass. You will be victorious, and when these times have passed, you will miss them. In all honesty, I don't know that last part from experience, as I am a disgruntled mama standing (or rocking in the fetal position) right next to you, waiting for bed time so you can prepare for another day. But that is what I have heard, and it's what I'm counting on being true.

Dear disgruntled mama, I know that there is NO WORSE FEELING IN THE WORLD than feeling invisible and/or unappreciated. But unfortunately, our co-workers in life are not specialized in compassion and appreciation, as they cannot even wipe their own butts or feed themselves yet.

Dear disgruntled mama, I know you want an award for the crap you have to deal with on a daily basis and the fact that your job is never done. But the truth is, you will never get one, so if you are expecting one, you will be sorely disappointed.

Dear disgruntled mama, instead turn your unrequited appreciation outwards. Find time to appreciate your little heathen and laugh at their tantrums (albeit behinds closed doors as to not continue the issue). Find time to close yourself in the bathroom and eat that candy bar. Find the time to figure out one thing you can do for yourself each day, no matter how big or small. Find the time to look at all the things your significant other does, because I'm sure he's feeling pretty unappreciated too.

Dear disgruntled mama, these times will pass. But until then, don't be so hard on yourself.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lucy's Birth Story

 ((((This was first written when she was 5 weeks old, and now she is 5 months old (almost) )))))

It's been about 5 weeks since little Lucy was born into this world, and let me tell you: it's been nothing but a roller coaster since BEFORE she got here.

So much has happened, I do feel the need to document it here, so one day if I forget all the details it will be here for her to read.

Let's start with a side story, involving my sweet, sweet fur baby Max. I have had Max for 10 years now. 10. years. He is my little tenacious terrier who doesn't listen, loves cheese and popcorn, and has been my sidekick through jobs, boyfriends/husband, living arrangements... he is just the best. I have a feeling that I will be touching more on his story later, but for right now, I can be brief and say: Max started getting sick (vomiting and not eating) when I was about 37 weeks pregnant. We went through a huge amount of diagnostic testing and treatment and I'm sad to say that there were several times throughout the 2 weeks this all went on that I was sure that we were about to have to say our goodbyes. He had to stay at the doggy ICU that was about 15 minutes from my house for the week and a half before I delivered Lucy... and I visited daily, sometimes twice a day. I waddled my very pregnant self inside, and sat either by his crate or in a room, on the floor, usually crying, as I visited with my sweet pup. He had a major surgery, ended up not eating, had to get a nasogastric tube, but my parents and I felt that he deserved a chance.... and I am thankful to say that NOW, 6 weeks after all of that, that Max is eating great, not getting sick, enjoying walks and being terrorized by his older sister Beulah.... But I tell you this as part of Lucy's birth story.

Bless my sweet mom (and dad for his long distance support) for coming in before Lucy was scheduled to be born to help with all of the Max stuff... he was requiring multiple medications and at one time we were even tube feeding him... that was a lot for us to handle solo with a new baby coming on board and I am SO THANKFUL that my mom flew in from their home in Santa Fe to help us for 2 weeks!!! <--- the longest my mom and dad have EVER been apart their entire lives together! What a sacrifice, for us and for Max. 

So, things the weeks before Lucy's birth were EXTREMELY STRESSFUL to say the least. I don't think I had ever spent so much time crying (because of Max), but luckily we made it to d- day, but before that:

PREGNANCY:

So, anyone who knows me at all knows that pregnancy and I are NOT bffes. We don't really like each other at all, actually. With my first pregnancy, I had some annoyances, such as extreme morning sickness (hello 20 lb weight loss) and what I KNOW was cholestasis (resulting in crazy itching on my arms and legs).... and Lucy's pregnancy was no different. Crazy morning sickness again, and also cholestasis-like symptoms this time around starting at about 36 weeks with extreme itching on my arms and legs.... I still have war wounds from the itching. With my pregnancy with Lucy, I also had gestational diabetes. Which initially, I'm not going to lie, I completely freaked out about. But after I discovered what to eat and  how often to eat it, I was in pretty good shape. And actually, eating low carb and frequently is probably how I should eat anyway, so touche.

Because of the gestational diabetes (and the growth scan that predicted Lucy would be a 9 lb-er!!), I was scheduled for an induction at 39 weeks, just as I was with her older sister Beulah. I am so SO thankful that I didn't go longer than 39 weeks in both pregnancies, but I was sad that I didn't have the whole "oh my God, my water just broke, let's rush to the hospital, I'm in labor" bit, but the OCD, Type A planner part of me is quite alright with it being scheduled.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning, the day I was to be induced to have Lucy. Naturally my biggest kid Beulah decides to wake up that morning at 1:15am with a 103 fever. NEAT. Because my mom was in town for the event, I woke her up and we all three sat downstairs (me, her and Beulah) trying to break her fever with piggybacking Tylenol and Motrin. I swear that I felt like at this moment everything that was going wrong WAS going wrong.

D-DAY:

We ended up going to the hospital as planned at 5:30 AM while my mom stayed home with Beulah, who ended up having strep throat (AWESOME).

Because of Beulah being sick, we were a tad bit late to our 5:30AM appointment, but luckily there was not a ton of other mamas having babies that morning. We had the best nurses EVER getting us set up to welcome little Miss Lucy into the world. Knowing more than what I knew going into it with Beulah, I'm not going to lie: I was totally nervous and scared.

They started me on pitocin an hour or so after I got there and nothing really progressed for several hours. It wasn't until around noon that a doctor came in a broke my water -- then things started happening, and I got an epidural. Thank goodness for modern medicine, y'all.

I sat for a lot of the rest of the day, feeling contractions and totally scared to death. (side note: they told me that Lucy MIGHT be a big baby because I had gestational diabetes so I was extra nervous about birthing her). I sat for most of the day texting my parents and sister giving them updates. It wasn't until the early evening that stuff really started happening. I was feeling contractions and starting to get really emotional. They came in and checked me --- and said everything was "ready" and that a baby would be born any time now.

I'm not going to lie. I was scared. I cried. I panicked actually. I think a lot of it was just all the nerves and hormones running through my body, but because of all the stuff going on at home, I just didn't feel like I was ready to have a baby! The feeling of panic and feeling like I was going to burst into tears, in correlation with feeling like I *might* need to go #2, they got everything ready to have a baby.

Not to get into much detail, I went through 3 rounds of "pushing".... I was so horrified that I guess I did a good job, because after the third round of pushing (so about 20 minutes), Little Lucy was about to enter the world. She was halfway out; they said to wait, but she just continued her way out into the world, and on the evening of March 31, 2015, Lucille Jane Boyd entered the world, screaming and unhappy about life as she would proof to be for the first couple of months of her sweet little life.

Despite the doctor's predictions, she was just a little bit bigger than her older sister, weighing 7 lb 9 oz. Pretty tall, just like her older Sissy.

photo by Lori Sapio <3


She looked just like her bigger brother Sammy. She had dark hair (and a lot of it) and definitely had his little mouth. I had a mini Sammy.

The hospital stay was pretty uneventful. We nursed and nursed and nursed. I was ultra concerned about her gained weight and nursing the way she needed to be nursing, since Beulah and I had a much more difficult time.

COMING HOME:

We came home after 2 days at being at the hospital; nothing new there. We did continue to nurse. We nursed and nursed and nursed some more. We had my mom there (THANK YOU MOM FOR ALL THAT YOU DID DURING THIS TIME) to take care of Max and to help tend to Beulah. Much to my dismay, Lucy did develop some jaundice which required several visits to the doctor (and even to the local hospital) to monitor her bilirubin levels.

LIFE AT HOME: 

I was determined to nurse Lucy, given the troubles I had nursing Beulah. DETERMINED. But all my sweet Little Lucy did was cry. and nurse. But something wasn't right. After 5 days of torture (for all of us), I made the decision to stop nursing and start on a formula. Given my nursing history with Beulah (where I never produced enough and she was always hungry), I decided to start giving her formula.

But, low and behold, we were in for quite a ride. We are still on the roller coaster ride, with the ups and downs involving colic (read here) and transitioning from 1 to 2 kids (read here).

Lucy has taught me more about being a mommy than any one else. I have learned selfless love and truly putting her (and Beulah) before myself in every way possible. I am so excited for life as it develops with me being mommy to Beulah and Lucy. We are definitely in for a fun ride!









11 Ways to Calm Colic (from a Mom who knows Firsthand)

Colic. Fussy baby. Crying all the time. Needy baby. Spoiled baby. WHATEVER you want to call it, if you have a baby who is fussy A LOT then you know how hard it is. I, with a 4 month old who has been described as all of the above, am speaking from experience here. It is not fun. But, from what I read anyway, it goes away. Hopefully by the time she is 18 years old. Lord, help me.

I actually hate the term "colicky." It doesn't really tell you WHAT the problem is. Just that there is one and that is supposedly goes away. I'm a problem solver. If there is a problem, I want to solve it. (Check out my hook while the DJ revolves it)... Really, from all that I have read and heard, the best "cure" for colic is time - which is the hard part. Because let me tell you, these months have been long and frustrating, and I'm only assuming that there are more months to come. Here are some tips that I have gathered in my desperate search for relief from the colicky baby.



1. Get a village. You know that saying "it takes a village".... well, a village is invaluable when you have a fussy baby. A village hasn't been with your baby all day and night, so they can take your baby (even when he/she isn't fussy) to give you a break for a little bit.

2. Find other parents who understand how frustrating it is. This is not the time to talk to people who have "easy babies." Talking to parents who have easy babies will just frustrate you further and cause more stress when your baby will not. stop. crying. Talk to the parents who have dealt with it first hand. They might have some tricks of the trade for you, or at least be able to share war stories.

3. Try to find a problem (if there is one). I truly believe that colic at least is "born" from an issue of some sort. For my baby, she has a milk allergy. So, it took nursing, then switching to formula, and then switching formulas 3 times until I felt like she at least wasn't actively hurting. Other common issues that cause tummy issues for babies are gas, reflux, and lip/tongue ties. There are a ton of ways to treat these, and I am no pediatrician, so definitely consult with one of them before self-diagnosing your crying cherub. But for us, we tried gentle formula, formula for milk protein allergy, formula for lactose sensitivity, gas drops (in every damn bottle or we'd have an issue) and reflux medication (which didn't really seem to make a difference). Every baby has their own required concoction.

4. Find a soother for the baby. This could be a pacifier (mine could give a ____ about one of those unfortunately), a swing (my SAVIOR because my baby loves hers), or being worn in a sling/carrier. I've heard of babies who soothed to the sound of the vacuum cleaner or a hair dryer. Maybe going on a drive in the car seat. I have definitely had days where the only thing that keeps her from actively crying is being carried around all day, which is not easy with other children around and when she doesn't really like to be put in a carrier.

5. Create a routine. For me, a schedule has been pretty key to my personal sanity. Our "schedule" isn't the same each day, because it kind of is determined by how well she slept the night before and when she wakes up, but I can pretty much count on one 2-3 hour nap either in the morning at around 9 or in the early afternoon at around 12 noon. And bed time is as close to 8 pm as humanly possible.

6. Get medicated. Not the baby, but you. You might not require this as a parent, but let me tell you, after hanging out with a crying baby for days upon days upon days..... it kind of (completely) started to mess with my head. A crying baby can literally drive you crazy. Maybe not crazy crazy, but full of anxiety and nerves. If this sounds like something you are dealing with, talk to your doctor.

7. Get OUT of the house. I know the feeling of feeling paralyzed, like you can't move or do anything because nothing will get the baby to stop crying. And there is nothing worse than being out (say, at the grocery store) with a wailing baby in your buggy. But just get out of the house anyway. With the baby. When s-h-i-t hits the fan, head home. But getting out might help you feel a little less stir crazy and desperate. 

8. Get a babysitter. For me, the best time to get a babysitter has been whenever I knew that the baby would be asleep at least most of the time we would be gone. But getting out and not having to cart kids around with you is super important for your mental state. Not only for the parents of a colicky baby, but for parents period. So, go find you a babysitter!

9. Research home remedies. This is to your own discretion. I've read of tea drinks to give a baby, but I never was brave enough to give my baby anything other than formula.

10. Research essential oils. My cousin Skye swears by her essential oils! We were at a family reunion and my baby was doing her fussy baby thing. Skye busts out some lavendar essential oil and puts it on her feet. She even put some on me. I swear it helped calm the situation.

11. Visit a baby chiropractor. Again, to your own discretion. I also didn't do this because I won't even take myself to a chiropractor, much less my new little baby. But I do know some people who swear by it. I'm just providing options here.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I'm Sorry I Yelled

I never thought I would be that parent. That parent who yelled. Not that I have something against raising my voice, but I never thought I would be a yeller. But I am. And I am sorry.



I'm sorry I yelled.

I'm sorry I yelled when you fought your diaper changes.

I'm sorry I yelled when you wouldn't stop crying.

I'm sorry I yelled when you wouldn't go to sleep.

I'm sorry I yelled when you made a mess. 

I'm sorry I yelled when I couldn't get dinner on the table before you were hungry.

I'm sorry I yelled because I had to get to work, and we were running late.

I'm sorry I yelled when you couldn't find your shoes. 

I'm sorry I yelled when you didn't want to be in your car seat.

I'm sorry I yelled when you wouldn't sit in the buggy at the grocery store.

I'm sorry I yelled when you whined. Incessantly.

I'm sorry I yelled when you came in to "help" when I was getting your little sister to bed.

I'm sorry I yelled when all you wanted to do was paint, but the mess would be too much.


Here's the thing. I'm sorry I yelled, but I'm learning too.


I'm learning how to be a mommy.


I'm learning how to be patient. The craziest patience I have ever had to have.

I'm learning how to put my craziness aside and realize you are just a little person.

I'm learning to be completely selfless even though all I want is to take an uninterrupted shower. 

I'm learning that you don't understand all that I do for you, and that's okay.

I'm learning that in the world of parenting, no one is keeping score.

I'm learning that maybe this craziness is the biggest kept secret in the world.


Because, GOODNESS, the craziness is real.


The craziness every morning to get everyone's diapers changed amidst tears and arguing over outfits.

The craziness over immediate hunger when I haven't even had my coffee yet.

The craziness over getting kids into a car then out of a car then into a store then into the car again. It's a lot of craziness.

The craziness of toddler minds not being able to realize how to wait. or what waiting is.

The craziness of Daddy not being home until 6pm and it's barely 1pm.

The craziness of fighting naps even though you are insanely tired.

The craziness of it all.

I don't want to end this on some sentimental sweet note.... something that sounds like this:

"the craziness of loving someone so much it scares you" or something of the like.

Because, while TOTALLY TRUE, a mom (or dad) in the midst of the craziness doesn't always want to read the sappy remarks. Sometimes they just want to read about the craziness... the learning... the yelling... and KNOW that they aren't alone. This parenting thing is tough. Sometimes, there is a lot of yelling. Which comes with a lot of guilt.

But Mom (Dad), you aren't alone. I wouldn't say everyone yells, because maybe there is a parent out there with superior amounts of patience. But I do. I yell. I don't want to, and I do feel sorry. But we are learning. And the whole parenting thing - it's hard!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Newbie Phase: 5 Things That Got Me Through With a Toddler in Tow

So, I kinda knew I was going to freak out when I had my second daughter. A) I don't deal with any change very well and B) the freak out from having my first daughter just 21 months prior was too fresh on my mind to ignore. I wrote about it (read it here); I asked for tons of advice. Come April 2015, I braced myself and experienced the inevitable: complete (but manageable) chaos for basically 4 months straight.

Some people have easy kids. That's great! These must be the same people who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight, never get sick during pregnancy, and have kids that slept through the night when they were 2 days old. Although so thankful for my little cherubs, my kids aren't what I would categorize as "easy." Probably a good thing or I'd want to add more little soldiers to our army.

Being the Type A personality that I am, I have always felt the need to be prepared. I did my research and made a list of what I thought that I needed for my transition from 1 ankle biter to 2 ankle biters. While the list still rings true for the most part, I've made a new list of things that got me through the newbie phase with an active toddler in tow.

Disclaimer: These are not paid reviews. Although it may seem so since half the products are made by Fisher Price. I truly love, love, love each and every one of these products. Some of the links provided below are affiliate links, from which I may receive some small compensation to fund my blogging adventures.  

 

1) Fisher-Price Snugabunny Cradle 'N Swing (With Smart Swing Technology) Ok. I would totally sell my soul to Fisher-Price in thanks for their invention of the baby swing. I know many other mamas who would agree with me on this. Both of my babies were (are) swing babies. My second daughter was (is) very fussy and especially in the first couple of months, this swing seriously saved my sanity. It got her to SLEEP without being in my arms. Confession: I have TWO in my house, so a swing is always near by. Another confession: when we go out of town, I take one with me. Yes, we are swing-dependent.

2) Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard So, turns out newbies sleep a ton, which I am thankful for with an active 2 year old running around. But we didn't want to be stuck in our house all day while the baby slept, so this play yard was AMAZING for us, so we could go have play dates and take this 15 lb play yard (that comes in a handy bag for easy carrying) with us so I could still nap the newbie on the run. LOVE.

3)  Beco Soleil Baby Carrier & Infant Insert - Gray - Birth and UP Turns out that the ring sling was not for me (or my newbie). We could never get comfortable with it, much to my dismay because I got an awesome one that was highly recommended by my ring sling friends. Good thing my Beco that I inherited from a dear friend in Illinois has an infant insert. I love that this one grows with your baby. I have also heard amazing things about the Tula Ergonomic carrier.

4) Fisher-Price Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat with Tray This one we didn't become obsessed with until my newbie was more like 4 months old - but once she started liking it, it was a game changer. She loves to stand up and sit up, but being a newbie, she really can't do those things on her own. I would be stuck on the couch or walking around holding her, which I was happy to do as long as I was able to. As soon as she had good enough head control, this little floor seat let her sit in the kitchen while I cooked, in the dining room while I folded clothes or next to the couch while I sat with my older daughter to give her some individual attention.

5) Infantino Pond Pals Twist and Fold Activity Gym and Play Mat
This play mat isn't exactly like ours, but I love these for several reasons - a) it gives your baby something to look at while you get some stuff done b) you can flip them on their tummies and do tummy time and c) especially as your newborn starts developing their eye sight and hand/eye coordination you can really see their little wheels turning as they start to be able to grasp at the little objects hanging above them.

Obviously the above are actually products that you can go out and buy (or register for if you have giving family and friends), but honorable mentions for getting me through the newbie phase go to: coffee makers with delay brew options, daily phone calls to the bestie and my mom, bubble baths, and lots and lots of wine.