Monday, December 20, 2010

Who's on First?

So I'm trying to take an example from my childhood, where my grandmother used to make us say, "Please, beautiful Gramma?" whenever we wanted a cookie, and put it into practice with my 2-year-old.

But the conversations to remind him to say "Please, beautiful Mommy" instead of just "Please" go more like this:

Him:   "Milk! Milk!  Milk!"
Me:   "What do you say?"
Him:   "Please?"
Me:   "Please what?"
Him:   "Please what."
Me:  "No, Please beautiful...."
Him:  "Beautiful mommy, beautiful Mommy, BEAUTIFUL MOMMY!!!!!"
Me:  "OK!  Uh, what did you want?"

It's just like Abbott and Costello live right in my house.  Only I'm, wait, which one is the fat one?  Hey, I shouldn't be so hard on myself, I have lost 20 pounds since we saw the fertility docs again.  So I'm doing good.'s slow going, but he's sort of getting it.  And I don't care what anyone says, it's completely adorable, and if I'm not getting that kind of support from Matt, I should at least be getting it from my boy.

Such a sweetie.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Potty Training, At Last!

I was beginning to think we were the last ones getting on board with the potty training, and I did figure out that the diaper aisle eventually does run out of sizes, so we would have to do this eventually...someday...when he was ready...

That day has come!  OK, I really have no idea if that day has really come, but he's getting interested, and I'm definitely interested, so we took steps to start.

Day 1
Went to Walmart and bought big-boy underwear!  We have three pairs of Thomas the Train and 5 pairs like Daddy's (different colors).  I tell him what they are and why we are buying them and make a big deal of it, letting him hold them until he got tired of it.

5:30pm:  After the big poopy diaper of the evening, I put him in the big-boy underwear for the last hour of being up (so from 5:30 to 6:30).  I make a big deal of it.  I then ask him about every five minutes if he needs to go potty, or needs to pee-pee.  Always got a no answer.

6:30pm:   We go upstairs to do bath time, etc.  After asking him one more time if he needed to go potty, I let him help undress himself, then put all his clothes, including the underwear, into the dirty clothes hamper.  My now naked child runs around a bit, I ask him if he needs to pee-pee.  No.  I go into the bathroom and start running the water, he comes to the edge of the bathroom door and pees on the floor between the carpeted hallway and the bathmat.  I do have to admire the aim, it's only really about an 8 inch gap, but I make him clean it up anyway.

After I make him throw the toilet paper full of pee into the toilet and flush, he's into the bath and we're done with potty training for today.  We'll try again tomorrow.  *sigh*

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Public Exhibition

When I was at the grocery store, or a movie, or in a restaurant before I had a child, I was the perfect parent. I'd never let my kid throw a temper tantrum like that in the middle of the bread aisle. I'd never let my child run all over the restaurant (I still would never do this, but that's because someone could snatch him and be out the door in 5 seconds).

Once you actually have to deal with a real, live, toddler, though, all those "I'd never"'s go right out the window. Because you really have no choice. You're dealing with a completely separate human being, with his own likes, dislikes, moods, etc. You have to try to make things work for a little person who doesn't always know why he's upset about something, just that he's upset!

So I'm getting used to the idea of being OK being "that" mom. I see "that" mom now and want to tell her I get it now, and I'm sorry I judged her in the past. I had no idea what she was up against, and we're all "that" mom at some points. And how you deal with your kid acting up is totally your business, nobody else's.

Just like how I deal with mine is my business. I've learned that letting my child just do something after I've told him not to repeatedly only leads to more of doing what I don't want him to do. So if I have to hold him on my lap and let him cry until he's settled down, then if you happen to be in earshot, just know that I'm doing my best to teach my child that he needs to have control of himself, then we'll talk about what he did/didn't do, and he'll stop crying.

I have 22 months of experience with this child, and you have 5 minutes of observation, so quite frankly, Scarlet...

My child now says, "Thank you very much", and "Please" when he wants something, so I'm doing something right with him. And so is his very patient Daddy (who gets all the credit for the "very much"). We're trying to teach our child to be careful, but not scared of things that are new. To ask for help when you need it, but do the things you know how to do yourself, and to keep trying to do those things you've needed help with in the past.

I find it hard to believe that (if you're the one criticizing my parenting) you've raised perfect children by putting them down when they cried and letting them run wild in waiting rooms. Yes, it's cute now at almost 2, but at 4 it will just be annoying, to me and everyone else in the room. So why on earth would I want to make things harder for myself in public later, by taking what seems like the easy way out now?

I am doing my job of teaching my child what behavior is acceptable and what is not. Yes, it's not always a glamorous job, and I have to be the bad guy, the mean mommy, sometimes, but I still get the running hugs, and a kiss goodnight, so I know I'm doing something right.

And anyone who doesn't think so can just kiss my ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Little Mr. Manners


We are trying to teach (among other things) LittleM to say "Please" and "Thank you". For awhile now I've been having to prompt him, "What do you say?" and he'd say, "Tease!" and rub his chest to do the sign.

But I think he has figured out that if I say no to something, he might have a chance if he says "Please". And for some things I do let him have it (if it's not something dangerous). I'm not sure if that sends the right message, but at least he's thinking of a tactic on his own, so it's some logical reasoning in there.

His first demonstration of logical reasoning was when he was holding two plastic forks at Subway, and Daddy offered him a chip. He leaned forward to get the chip, but Daddy made him give up one of the forks in order to take it with his hand. He then looked at the other fork and offered it up to Daddy in exchange for another chip. Smart kid!

As for "Thank you", he's been saying that almost constantly for the past few days. It sounds a lot like when he says, "There you go", so it's hard to know which response to give. He started saying "There you go" when I'd hand him something because that's what I'd say as I gave it to him. So if he's saying something that sounds like "Thank you", and he doesn't stop when we say, "You're welcome", then it's the other, and the correct response is "There you go."

Today, though, he started saying "Thank you" whenever I'd hand him something, which was really nice. It can be a grind for parents too to have to be reminding them all the time to say it, so it's a nice change when they pick it up and you don't have to be forever going, "What do you say?" or "Did you say thank you?" So I'm hoping if we keep it up at home, it will translate to out in the world as well.

Next on the list will probably be "Yes, Ma'am" (or Sir). But we'll have to get him saying "Yes" first. Right now it's, "N'kay." And that's "N'kay" with me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


So we weren't planning on going to the park, I had just started a load of laundry with ALL my shorts in it, and was in pajama pants, but after hearing "outside" several hundred times, I was convinced we needed to go.

I found some yoga pants in the laundry room and we headed for the park closest to the house where Ms A said she and Big E would be there with Baby O. No sign of them when we got there so I texted her. By the time she replied the Militant Mommies were on their march through the park. Why anyone would pay someone $15 to be able to go to a free park and exercise with other mommies just so they can do the same exercises at the same time is beyond me.

So we get word that Ms A has taken the kiddies to the park on the other side of town. Uh-oh. Meltdown as I put LittleM BACK in the car to go across town. But once we get there all is right with the world.

As we're exploring the park LittleM seems to be getting more interested in the other kids playing on the playground equipment, which is a definite first. He usually starts walking/running and just goes nonstop till he's bright red.

And he asked to go on the swings, which he's never done before. It didn't last long, I got the all done sign before a minute was up, but we're communicating, so I'll take it.

Another first was that LittleM wanted to put his hat back on after he'd taken it off. He usually ditches it and I carry it around. We've tried telling him he has to wear it or we'll be leaving, and that usually involves a tantrum, so we pick our battles.

My favorite thing that happened at the park, though, was when we were walking back to Ms A, and LittleM looks up at me, puts his hand out and says, "Hand?". He's NEVER asked to hold my hand before! I reached for his hand and we walked. Just a few steps before he was over holding my hand, but it was really nice while it lasted.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Choices, choices...

OK, so I'll admit, I pad the questions I ask my toddler so I'll get the answers I want.

If he is being punished for hitting, and I'm holding him with his arms down, I'll ask, "Are you going to stop hitting Mommy?" because he usually answers, "Nkay". And then I can let him down.

And I just talked about the milk vs. bed choices I give him. But tonight he surprised me. After storytime he gave me a kiss, then was reaching for the crib, so I asked if he wanted to go to bed and he says, "Nkay".

I just put him down, without nursing for the first time. Well, we tried it awhile ago, but it didn't take, so for the first time in a long time. He did take a late nap, and so dinner was late, and he was getting sleepy.

But I was very sad to have to leave the room without our play/nurse/bonding time. It's one of the few times during the day when we have each other's undivided attention. And I usually review new words he's learned during the day.

So it's like there's something in my routine that's missing. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of nursing, and maybe tomorrow he'll ask for milk again and I'll have my baby time back. I'll just have to see.

My baby is growing up. If only there were a way to keep him little longer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

First Complete Sentence!!!

Well, Little M finally learned the word "No", and it wasn't the terrible, horrible, awful thing I'd thought it would be. When he does say it, it's usually in response to a question, and at least he now has another option to, "Nkay". So he gets to actually express an opinion and have choices. All good things for a toddler.

This evening, after we'd done bath time and read the bedtime story, we moved on to the question and answer portion of the evening.

"Do you want some milk?" - does he want to nurse before bed.
"OK, do you want to go to sleep?" - done with the sign for sleep.
"OK, then do you want some milk?"
"Nkay". - he has figured out that those are the options, milk or bed. He has always chosen milk so far.

So I start nursing him, and we do some things that I only really do at bedtime, like "This little piggy went to market." Probably not the best for calming him down, since I get to tickle him a the end, but he enjoys it, and I do too.

We also practice all of the signs he knows. So far the list includes: all done, more, go to sleep, please, thank you, cookie, milk, and a few other random ones. I asked him to do "all done", then "more". Then I asked him to do "cookie", and after he did cookie it looked like he was doing the sign for "milk" with one of his hands, so I said, "Oh, you're doing milk, I see that, good job."

He breaks the seal and stops nursing to say to me, "No, it's cookie."

I laughed for a good 5 minutes! It was so completely adorable, my little comedian. And of course, since I was laughing he was laughing, so I had to calm down before we could go back to nursing. How sweet that his first sentence was correcting Mommy on what sign he was practicing.

I look forward to all the other funny and insightful things he'll say.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bath Routine is evolving...

So the bath routine that used to consist of me holding a little tiny guy on a whale shaped sponge has changed to the big boy bath tub where Little M stands outside the tub naked and puts in all the toys, one at a time, that he wants in the tub.

Then he plays with the toys and the water coming out of the spout until he's had his hair shampooed and Mommy turns the water off. Then he plays some more, and when Mommy gets the all done sign, she starts draining the water and Little M has that to play with.

He then takes out each of the toys, one at a time, until he's left alone in the tub, then he decides whether he wants to get out or not, and if he does, he lets Mommy pick him up wrapped in a towel and we go to the bedroom for the after bath routine. If he doesn't, he still gets picked up, he just does it LOUDLY.

The bedtime routine consists now of distract, distract, distract, while Mommy diapers, combs hair, and gets pajamas on. Then he gets to decide what books he wants to read and whether he wants to nurse before bed. Then he goes in bed, with his 4 toys. I adjust the humidifier and go back for one last kiss, then it's out of the room and I listen for him to drop off to sleep.

Except for the occasional middle of the night feeding, nighttime has been very peaceful lately. He's a wonderful baby, and getting to be a wonderful little boy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Only Kitty Time

So our first cat was an only kitty for about a year when I first got him back in 1997. He was five weeks old, and chewed on every craft project I was trying to make ("Oh, that yarn is for me to play with, right?" "No, that's going to be a stocking, and I'm pretty sure they won't want kitty spit as part of the pattern"). He also didn't know how to work his claws very well, and my thighs had scratches covering them by the time he was six months old. So I got him declawed and the first time he tried to climb up the back of my recliner he was sorely disappointed in the lack of traction! I shouldn't have laughed, but I did.

Anyway, cut to 13 years later, and three kitties (minus one, RIP Annie) later, and he is just the old guy in the bunch. He is still wondering when this new human pet is going to leave and he'll get his mommy back. I haven't broken the bad news to him that LittleM is staying. But every night at 5:30pm when his automatic feeder magically produces dinner, I chase the two little kitties down to the basement where their dinner is waiting. Then LittleM and I got through the bedtime routine (climb the stairs, shake the naked booty, bath time, story time, then bed) and then.....

It's ONLY KITTY TIME! I go downstairs to just BigN and it's like he's the only kitty in the house again. How he loves Only Kitty Time. I still have to fake being on the phone (unless I'm actually on the phone) to get him to jump in my lap so I can pet him. For whatever reason it has to be his idea if he's going to get in my lap. Tonight I held the TV remote to my ear and talked for about 30 seconds before he jumped up. At least he has standards, though! Then I pet him, rub his ears, get him purring and he ends up falling asleep on my lap until I so much as move a micrometer with any muscle in my body. Then he jumps down ("I did not authorize the movement, how dare you!") and make himself comfortable on the love seat. And I only get one chance a night to have him grace my lap with his wonderfulness. After that he's just not that into me.

But I get to snuggle with my first feline baby for a few precious moments every day, and while it doesn't compare to snuggling with my LittleM, it does leave a warm kitty footprint on my heart.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Admitting my addictions is the first step to curing them...

OK, so there was a time, while I was nursing LittleM before he was on any solid food, that I had to wait anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to make sure he was really down before I could go to sleep at night.

So since it was summer, and there wasn't much on from 6- 8pm, I started watching Disney shows. Like Hannah Montana, Jonas, Sonny With a Chance, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Suite Life with Zack and Cody. I'm not exactly proud of this, but just slightly less embarrassed than if I'd been caught watching the Jersey Shore (which I don't, by the way).

Yes, I'm aware these shows are made for kids, or at least teens, but I was desperate, and now I'm addicted! They have good plots, cute storylines, the humor is well-timed, they're well written, I just can't help myself! I think it may have to do with my mind still thinking I'm 21 or so even though my body knows otherwise.

Oh well, they're all coming back with new episodes this week, so until I go back to work and have a good excuse for limiting my TV time other than "to slow the rotting of your brain!", then I'll be watching! But I will not be buying any Pancake Puff pans during the commercials. A girl has to have her standards!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Where is all the fun stuff for kids?

So now that LittleM is of the walking persuasion, I need to find places where I can take a 16 month old where he can see fun stuff, and try new things, without scaring the crap out of him so that he never wants to leave Mommy's side! Which is sort of where we are now.

I keep trying to take him places, like the Roll and Stroll in Bealeton, but it was cancelled. And we went to the park at the beginning of the week, but our nap schedule got off, and then it started to rain. So I'm thinking the next sunny day we might just venture into someplace where there's a farm that will give kids tours, so he can at least see the animals that are on all his videos. It's the least I can do to further his education before I have to hand him over to the daycare people who will fill his head with who knows what? I'm just kidding, I'm sure he'll be fine and learn plenty of new and valuable stuff.

But when MY mother, who's a teacher, says that I should be thinking about private school for LittleM, then I start to worry about the public schools around here! And then we're right back to WHEN DO I GET TO START WORK??????? Stupid red tape!

I just want to go back and get started with this next part of my life! Being in limbo is very frustrating, I can tell why the Catholics hate it so much as part of the whole afterlife thing.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maintaining control within the chaos

So far life has been pretty simple for LittleM. Mommy is with him during the week, Daddy takes over on the weekends and Mommy gets a little break, and between them his needs are all met.

As far as he's concerned, life is just peachy. He's not really aware of the economic issue that Mommy and Daddy face that mean that Mommy will have to go back to work again, and LittleM will have to go to a strange place with no Mommy, just other kids and a few grown-up telling him to do things, and eat things, and sleep places he's never slept. But there are new boys and girls, new toys, new games, and new things to learn, so I'm sure he'll adjust just fine. And he might even remember that I'm Mommy when I do get home at the end of the day.

The chaos I'm really concerned about it my body. So far I've kept the autoimmune monster at bay, and not had any overt issues. But lately the muscle weakness is creeping up, just once or twice a day. The arm that doesn't lift quite as high as it did before to get the shampoo in the shower. Or the thigh muscle that used to have no problem lifting me AND LittleM up the steps suddenly needs to rest on unfamiliar steps. I'm trying to keep an eye on how the swallowing is going, but so far, no changes there.

I had some pre-emptive bloodwork done over a week ago, they said elevated CRP, and CK, which is what we were expecting. So now I need them done again, since I've now completed the prednisone regimine to see if they're improving or going the other way. And I need to get my butt into Reston to see the Rheumatologist, unless I can get into see the new one here... I'll have to look into that. I'd rather not have to travel, but if I can't get the same level of service and a good rapport, then I'll drive.

I've got lots of things coming up, new job, new hours, new stresses, new daycare for LittleM, all sorts of new, and I have to be able to handle it. So the key will be maintaining control over that which I can control, and leaving the rest in God's hands to take care of for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Little M's second Christmas

OK, this is really the first Christmas that LittleM was aware of, but last year he was only two months old, so give the kid a break!

We spent the day at Gigi's house with Papa, AuntK, UncleS and cousinG, who is now 14(!). It's unbelievable. Gigi had a great meal cooking for us, and once everyone was there we broke into the presents. LittleM was just starting to walk at that point, so he crawled around mostly. But he ripped paper with glee and had a wonderful time. Thanks to Gigi for a wonderful Christmas Day.

The next day we were at AuntS and UncleV's house with Cousins R, J, and C. Big M's Dad's side of the family showed up that night, and the next day for J and C's birthday party, UncleV's side of the family was there too. Since LittleM wasn't up late enough for gift opening on Saturday, he helped out with opening the gifts for the birthday party. Nobody really cared, though, as long as all the babies were having fun. BigM was not really thrilled that LittleM seemed to gravitate toward the more "girly" toys (pink teapot, pink purse set) that were cousinJ's gifts, but she didn't seem to mind. It was great seeing the babies playing together.

The month of January has been kinder to some of us than others. BigM has been fighting off what we thought was a sinus infection, but after 5 antibiotics we're having to have a CT Scan (according to the ENT doctor), because the x-rays didn't show anything. So hopefully he'll have BigM back on the mend.

Little M had a rough week at the end of January. One day he went headfirst into the corner of Daddy's chair, then the next day he fell down the first four steps of the 9-step section of stairs. Mommy scooped him back up, and he was eventually fine, but I swear I lost at least 10 years off my life in the terror that went through my heart.

Next up for Mommy is going back to work. I have a job lined up for the first day of March, I have to get some paperwork back to the company, but I'm ready to go. Well, once I get some business appropriate clothes to be able to wear to work. But that's why God gave us Online Shopping! I'll have to get on that next.

Bottom line, though, if you want to have lunch with the LittleM while Mommy can still take him, give us a call ASAP and get it on the calendar! We will only be scheduling weekends after that.
Love to my followers, and those who help me have any life to write about at all. And a shout out to my friend Chris, who just had her second baby, named Payton!