Blog Archives for category Advice

Food discussion

So, of course I posted all about Owen’s issues and our new decision on a forum with some friends. I love the input I get—often things I’d never have thought of. They gave lots of advice—some things we’ve already tried and some things we just don’t want to do (mainly, let him make a bowl of cereal or a sandwich—himself—if he doesn’t like dinner). We don’t want to let him do that because then he’d just eat cereal or a PB&J every night. And we’re trying to get him to EXPAND his food choices.

The mom guilt part of me agrees that if he wants to make a sandwich he should be able to do that because it’s just food…and if HE makes it, at least I’m not…but the other part of me wants to be a hardass because I’m just SOOOOOO sick of it and dammit, he can eat what’s on the table or go hungry. Yes, I’ve literally reached that point. (All the years of the same issues over and over and over have hardened me a bit, I admit.) I mean, he managed to survive pre-k lunches not liking anything but obviously eating enough to not be hungry so why can’t he do that at home? Also, he’s not always going to be able to make a PB&J or grab cereal—if we’re out or at someone’s house, he needs to eat what’s given (not that it’s a terribly common event).

I just don’t know. Just when I think we’ve come up with our solution, someone else makes a point that changes our minds.

Oh, and to make matters more complicated, it’s also a possibility he could have some sensory processing issues. Sigh. His autism diagnosis has long been retracted, but the doc never did any type of food/texture testing, and I’m struggling to remember if we even answered any questions about it. At the time, we may have just thought he was still just young and being normal-kid-type picky and we were concentrating more on the other areas.

So of course if I pick the hardass route, we’ll likely find out he does have a sensory issue and then I’ll be wracked with mom guilt. But if we go the non-hardass route, we might never even know.

So in the next week I’ll be calling his pediatrician to see what we can get figured out. And in the meantime we’ll see how it goes. 

Blurg.

You will never be this loved again.

A friend posted this on Facebook and I loved it. It’s hard to think when you’re in the middle of a meltdown, tantrum, or mess…but it’s the truth. I’d love this on a big poster to hang somewhere I’d see it every day…

youwillneverbethislovedagain

New mamas get nothing done (and other untruths)

>>> New mamas get nothing done (and other untruths)

A blog post definitely worth reading at big city moms. Here’s a snippet:

Mamas, I want to tell you the truth. And here it is: You will not get anything done when you are home with a baby. And anyone who told you otherwise is not being very forthcoming (or perhaps they just have a lousy memory). You might get yourself fed. You might get yourself dressed (then again, you might not). You might take a walk (it makes baby happy). You might have a short phone conversation or start a load of laundry, neither of which you will finish. This is your new mom normal.

So what are you doing all day? Not much that can be measured, really. You’re simply responding appropriately and with patience (through fatigue), to smiles, to tears, to hunger cues, and to drowsiness, teaching your baby how to navigate this complex and (to a baby) highly emotional and raw world. You are keeping your baby clean, which on some days involves more costume changes (for both of you) than any non-mother can begin to fathom. You are teaching a tiny, helpless person all about the world—at least the important parts, like how we treat each other and what it means to be connected to a family. You are creating a foundation of love and trust between you and your baby, one that will help you set your parenting compass, inform your future interactions, and provide a basis for the way your child relates to the larger world.

But that’s about it, really. That’s your day.

There is no greater task than the nothing you did yesterday, the nothing you are doing today, and the nothing you will do tomorrow.

Today’s Money-Saving Tips

Today’s Money-Saving Tip #1: If your A/C stops cooling and you notice there’s ice on the unit, TURN ON THE HEAT TO MELT THE ICE.

Today’s Money-Saving Tip #2: Be sure to change your filters when recommended.

These tips brought to you by the Emergency Service Call Technician who was at our house for 10 minutes for $135.

:|

Poor Katie

Ugh. Poor Katie.

Before we left, I noticed two red spots on her face by her eyes. I just thought they were random baby pimples and didn’t think much else about it.

We came home and she had another one—and the old ones weren’t gone. Another day, and she was up to five—all around her eye.

20130522-142728.jpg

It was at this point I decided to ask my sister, Kathryn, who has professional dermatology experience. Her diagnosis was Molluscum, a type of wart. (FYI: don’t google–EEK!—though the pics are all WAY worse than what she has.)
Unfortunately, they are contagious, and can be spread on herself or to Owen (or to us). :( But how do you keep a baby from touching her eyes/face/mouth? EXACTLY. YOU CAN’T.

My sis said to keep her (and Owen) very moisturized because it spreads more easily to dry skin. So I lathered her up really well last night…but then she woke up with three more around her mouth and one on her finger! Ugh. I bandaged the one on her finger but then I have to watch that she doesn’t chew the bandaid off (and swallow it). And of course it’s one of the two fingers she puts in her mouth to comfort herself. :(

They’ll (supposedly) eventually go away on their own but it sounds like it’s something that can stick around for a long time (like 5 years) and the best treatment is burning or freezing. :| Though my sis says from what I’ve said and pics I’ve sent they don’t seem to be that bad. There are other creams but Googling says they’re not very effective (and my guess is they shouldn’t be applied around a baby’s eyes).

I just hate that she has to deal with this. (Okay, I’m not kidding anyone. I hate that I have to deal with it as well.) They look awful but don’t seem to itch (fingers crossed). Though she does seem to be more cranky than she’s ever been…and I’m guessing her no-nap days are because of this somehow, too, though she does sleep all night.

We have an appointment with the pediatrician tomorrow so we can confirm. We don’t need to quarantine ourselves (you just have to take precautions) but I really want to because it just seems easier. I did cancel our playgroup date tomorrow but I’m sure we’ll be back next week depending what the doc says.

I just hope there’s something we can do…

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What a brilliant mom.

No, not me. :)

Mom Has Son Sign 18-point Agreement For iPhone

Dear Gregory

Merry Christmas! You are now the proud owner of an iPhone. Hot Damn! You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift. But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations. Please read through the following contract. I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it. Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.

I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.

  1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?
  2. I will always know the password.
  3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”. Not ever.
  4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.
  5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill. *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.
  6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.
  7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.
  8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
  9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.
  10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person—preferably me or your father.
  11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.
  12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear — including a bad reputation.
  13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
  14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO—fear of missing out.
  15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.
  16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
  17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.
  18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

It is my hope that you can agree to these terms. Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life. You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world. It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get. Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine. I love you. I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone. Merry Christmas!

xoxoxo

Mom

Today I was a zen master.

Or maybe I should say a zenpoop master? Or a poopzen master? Whatever you want to call it, I was it.

I was calm.
I was cool.
I was collected.

I promised Owen I wouldn’t yell at him again.
I told him it was okay if he pooped in his underwear (but I’d still like him to try to poop in the potty).
I told him he wouldn’t be in trouble.

You see, in talking about this whole ordeal with my mom friends, I came to the conclusion that the Miralax might actually be making it harder (in a sense) for him to poop successfully—since if it was making the stool too soft, he might not realize he had to poop and then OOPS before you know it, it’s there. And if he really isn’t able to control it, then OHMYGOD do I feel guilty about getting mad at him, you know? As a friend pointed out, he’s still learning what it takes to poop—especially since it’s different than pooping in a diaper, we’re guessing he had constipation and possibly pain issues, and now with the drugs it’s a different feeling/experience yet! Ugh, talk about mom guilt. :cry:

Hence the zen master.

Luckily it was a pretty easy day so I wasn’t REALLY tested…but we still went through (I think) five pair of underwear. But there were no HUGE disasters, which I think can be attributed to A) him pooping quite a bit over the past two days and B) decreasing the Miralax dose (I’m hoping to hit on the magic amount that will make pooping easier but not create a holy mess).

Please keep your fingers crossed.

Parenting Tip #53

Never schedule a doctors appointment for the day after you get back from a vacation.

I was still so apparently out of it that I forgot to pack extra underwear for Owen at daycare (though he did have pull-ups) and I forgot an extra bottle for Katie (though I did grab the bottle with the leftover 2oz from her last feeding). Then I wasn’t really paying attention to the time and I left about 15 minutes too early (not the end of the world, but why sit in a doctor’s office with a baby any longer than necessary?).

It all worked out okay in the end (Owen didn’t need the extra undies and Katie was happy with the 2oz) but it could have just as easily gone south.

Pooping

Oh, the things you talk and write about when you’re a parent. 8O

You should see the size of Owen’s poops, which are about every 3-4 days (which is why they’re so big). 8O

They are ALWAYS too big to flush—we joke that it’s the size of a sweet potato but it’s not quite that big—but it always needs to be broken up into pieces. /gag/ I have no idea how he can, um, contain that much OR get rid of it without pain (he’s usually whining when he poops, but it’s not a pain cry and he never says it hurts).

So anyway, not only will Owen NOT poop on the potty until it’s dire….now he apparently has the poop dribbles. Like diarrhea consistency but not quantity. Lovely. So I Google and…he’s just, um, FULL. So the liquid parts are coming out around the solids.

I had asked friends for advice and, unfortunately, most of their suggestions were for different foods—which, if you know Owen, is NOT going to happen. However, they did remind me that we’ve been traveling (not really conducive to drinking a lot OR being on a regular schedule OR being able to run around all day to get things moving). And of course he’s JUST potty training so it’s still new and probably scary (even though when he DOES poop he seems very excited and promises to do it again). So we have been promoting as much liquid of whatever kind he wants…

We were on our way to getting really worried and were about a half day away from taking matters into our own hands (with a bit of Miralax in the morning) when he finally did poop tonight. Phew! BUT! We are now going to be watching his diet more closely—adding more of things he already likes (like nuts and Fiber One granola bars) and adding more stuff he doesn’t even realize he’s eating (like flax seed in his peanut butter).

Isn’t this fun?! :|

Road Trip Rule #43

As soon as one kid falls asleep, the other one wakes up.

Owen barely ever sleeps in the car…so of course, not five minutes after he fell asleep, Katie wakes up SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER because, oh, you know, she’s STARVING after just having eaten 4oz 30 minutes prior.

WE HAVE POOP IN THE POTTY!

Oh. My. Gawd.

Owen just pooped one of the biggest poops I’ve ever seen. IN THE TOILET! ENTIRELY ON HIS OWN!! (He claimed he did once before but he flushed before we saw it, so we aren’t 100% sure.)

He had pooped in his underwear twice this morning so we kept him naked (on the recommendation of a friend who went through this recently with his son and claimed it worked wonders). So Owen was playing out of sight (naked) while we were watching the MSU/CMU game…then suddenly came running in “Mama! Daddy! I pooped in the toilet! All by myself! C’mon! Come look!”

So I followed him—downstairs!—and I’ll be damned…he did. But it was SO huge I honestly thought it might have been Tom! So of course I called Tom to check it out (it wasn’t). And I took a picture for posterity (no, I won’t be posting it!).

We lavished him with praise. He seemed thrilled.

We said “Wasn’t that easy?” He said yes!

Then he says “You happy now?” We said yes!

Then he picked out his reward and I asked if he was going to keep pooping in the potty…and he says no. :|

Failure at the dentist

I had really high hopes for today’s visit to the dentist since it went pretty well the last time and now he’s six months older.

Ha.

Things started well enough—he went potty right after we got there. He had fun counting chairs and running around.

But then he started to have a meltdown because—are you ready?—he wanted to take his shoes off and I wouldn’t let him. I tried all my normal tricks to get him thinking about something else and nothing was working. I looked around. AHA! A water fountain. Something completely new. That got him excited, got his mind off his shoes, and kept him busy until we were called back. The front of his shirt was also soaked from trying to learn to drink!

He climbed up in the chair no problem so I thought things were going well. I told him to just sit back, relax, put his arms out, and say “Ahhhhh!”

Then he did really well wearing the lead cape (a superhero cape!) on the first x-ray (they put a piece IN your mouth and you have to stay still) and then it started to go downhill. He didn’t want to sit still and of course didn’t like the thing in his mouth…so that was the end of that. One of five x-rays. But it was one more than we got the last time so okay, fine, moving on.

The dentist had to look in his mouth (at his superhero teeth!)…which took some cajoling, but it was managed without much issue.

Then it was time for the cleaning, and that’s when the MELTDOWN started. He wanted NOTHING to do with ANY part of it—which was extremely frustrating because he did JUST FINE with the cleaning on his last visit. He finally agreed to touch the brush, but then still didn’t want it to come near him. He agreed to watch her use it on me, but again refused to let it near him. I tried to reason with him, but you can’t reason with toddlers, let alone one in meltdown mode.

So that was it. Pretty much a complete waste aside from the one x-ray and brief look by the dentist.

Good times. :meh:

Potty Training: Day 3

Since Owen pretty much has the basic hang of peeing in the potty, we’ve downgraded the cost of the toys in the jar—we started with real die cast Cars cars and are now down to chocolate candies, dollar store trinkets, and Matchbox cars. :)

Also, Tom had regaled me with tales of Owen doing everything perfectly by himself. But with me? He apparently can’t ever get his undies off and when he does he pees all over everything. So now, in addition to the cheaper toys, he only gets a toy if he successfully pees in the potty and keeps his undies dry.

About half the time we still have to ask him if he has to go potty. Today I asked him and he said no (he was watching a TV show) but he was crossing his legs so I actually said “OWEN GO POTTY RIGHT NOW” at which time he ran in there and peed just fine (Tom ran in right behind him and I think he may have helped a bit). So our biggest obstacle seems to be him not wanting to stop what he’s doing.

And then there’s the poop. UGH. We knew he was going to have to poop today since it’s been two days…so we were watching him very closely and making him play in the same room as us. Whenever we asked if he had to poop, of course he’d say NO! and then say “NO poop on the potty!” |-| He peed just fine.

Fast forward to this afternoon when I discovered a tiny little nugget in his underwear…which, of course, he hadn’t told us about. So we made him sit on the potty, letting him play with his cars (and future reward) but he pretty much spent the whole time saying “NO POOP ON THE POTTY!” and saying he was going to poop in a diaper. :| I told him we were going to try to poop every 15 minutes and sent him off in clean underwear. On our next trip to the potty? Poopy underwear again. >:XX I know pooping is the hard part, but OHMYGOD one of us might not survive this.

And I really don’t know what I’ll do when Tom isn’t around all day…

7 Things You Should Never Say to Your Toddler

http://blogs.babble.com/t…o-your-toddler/ [Link dead as of 6/9/2016.]

The list, condensed so you don’t have to click through all the pages (though the pages explain WHY you shouldn’t say those things):

  1. Stop crying.
  2. Hurry up.
  3. You’re so… [“Why are you so mean to Katie?” Or “How could you be such a klutz?”]
  4. Leave me alone!
  5. Don’t touch this!
  6. Why did you do that?
  7. Wait until mom/dad gets home.

Helpful tip of the day

If you’re giving your toddler a bubble bath in your jetted tub and plan to turn the jets on, make sure the water (and not just the bubbles) is above the jet line.

Now excuse me while I wipe down the walls and change my clothes.

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

http://www.theatlantic.co…kid-in-therapy/

Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports.

By Lori Gottlieb

Consider a toddler who’s running in the park and trips on a rock, Bohn says. Some parents swoop in immediately, pick up the toddler, and comfort her in that moment of shock, before she even starts crying. But, Bohn explains, this actually prevents her from feeling secure—not just on the playground, but in life. If you don’t let her experience that momentary confusion, give her the space to figure out what just happened (Oh, I tripped), and then briefly let her grapple with the frustration of having fallen and perhaps even try to pick herself up, she has no idea what discomfort feels like, and will have no framework for how to recover when she feels discomfort later in life. These toddlers become the college kids who text their parents with an SOS if the slightest thing goes wrong, instead of attempting to figure out how to deal with it themselves. If, on the other hand, the child trips on the rock, and the parents let her try to reorient for a second before going over to comfort her, the child learns: That was scary for a second, but I’m okay now. If something unpleasant happens, I can get through it. In many cases, Bohn says, the child recovers fine on her own—but parents never learn this, because they’re too busy protecting their kid when she doesn’t need protection.

Reversed!

Owen has been doing great in his new room—and hadn’t tried escaping at all—until it was Gramma Jean’s turn to watch him during his nap while Tom and I ran some errands. He decided to keep following her out of his room and refused to stay in his bed and take a nap. The stinker! (And smartypants, since he knew not to try that game with mom or dad!)

So, following the advice of some friends, we reversed his door knob so we can lock it from the outside. And it worked like a charm!! :up:

Tonight, I put him to bed, locked the door, then stood outside his room to listen to what happened. I heard him get out of bed, rattle the knob, announce that it was locked—and then he cried and whined for a few minutes before he got back into bed and settled down.

Parenting tip for the newbies

Keep all future clothes/baby supplies/etc. in ONE area, so when you wonder “Do I need to buy ____?” you only have to look in one place.

Yeah, I just found a 2T winter coat that was stashed in some random drawer. Since I found some online on sale and thought I needed one and didn’t see one in the closet…I bought it. Now I have two. Granted, I think one goes to lower temps than the other (both Lands End) but still, I think one was plenty. They were both on sale, so still not too bad…but I could have gotten 3T (of 4T!) had I known I already had a 2T.

I also forget about stashed food, since I keep it in the basement pantry as well as the upstairs island and cupboards. I just realized I have a box of oatmeal and yogurt…which Owen doesn’t eat any more. It’s only $5 worth, but it’s the idea that I forgot about them.

Owen + ink pen + couch = artwork!

We never really worried about Owen getting hold of ink pens because he didn’t know how to click the top.

Until today, apparently. |-|

Owen got hold of a pen!

So today I learned (thanks, Google!) that rubbing alcohol gets ink off microfiber. And now you know, too.

A Busy Day

First we had mom’s group from 10-noon and then we had physical therapy from 3-4. I never specifically woke the boy up, but he still didn’t nap as well as he normally does…so at the moment, I’m waiting for him to fall asleep (he was out within two minutes of leaving PT, but since I moved him to the pack-and-play when we got home, he woke up).

The mom’s group topic was sleep, and surprisingly, I didn’t have much to say or ask about…since Owen really is doing pretty well. The guest’s basic philosophy on everything was “If you like it and/or it works for you, go ahead and do it” — whether that means having them sleep in a car seat or having to take them on a car ride to get them to nap. While I agree with that to a certain extent, I draw a line at using anything really odd to get him to sleep. That said, he is apparently an easy baby since he goes down without a fight (most of the time).

It makes me feed bad (and good!) to hear what some of the other moms are going through sleep-wise…babies that can’t self-soothe at all or who have to be rocked to sleep before being put in the crib. Or babies who scream for an hour first or have to be walked around to calm down. Egads. I guess we have it easy. Most of them are still getting up at night, too, for at least one feeding—so I’m not alone. Of course, there is also a mom or two with a baby that sleeps from 7-7 or 10-8.

The hardest part of the group for me is seeing all the other babies rolling over or stretching themselves up on their arms or sitting up well on their own…since Owen is not quite there yet. Yeah yeah yeah I know all babies are different but it still stinks to see most of them ahead of him. A lot of the babies are also eating a lot of real food—like an entire baby jar at a time! They were surprised when I told them that Owen doesn’t really want anything to do with food—or that we just haven’t found the right food yet. He seems to want to eat (he opens his mouth when he sees the spoon) but he hasn’t liked any of his options yet. I happened to mention it to the physical therapist and she said by six months (which is next week!) he really should be eating some amount of solid foods…and said if he doesn’t start soon, she might recommend I talk to a specialist! Egads. Of course, I need to ask the pediatrician about it next week at his six-month appointment.

So, the physical therapy. She said he’s doing better. He rolls to one side much better than the other, so we have to keep working on that (he still doesn’t roll over on his own, except for a happy accident now and again). He has good neck and leg strength and his arm strength is getting better. We had thought today might be the last appointment for awhile, but after seeing him today, she said still wants to continue to see him. At least we have moved the appointment time to 3pm instead of 7am (although, honestly, I might like the 7am better because it’s MUCH quieter and cooler in there).