Archive for July, 2010

Party Time

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Andrew was invited to a birthday party. It’s one of his friends from day care, who he loves. For about a month now, Andrew has been talking about going to Landon’s party. Mr. Scott the Music Man is going to make a special guest appearance. (This is a very exciting thing…Mr. Scott wears a lot of tie dye, dances and plays fun music for kids. Andrew loves him.)

But seeing how this is our first birthday party for someone who isn’t family…

I have absolutely no idea what to get the birthday boy. If he’s anything like Andrew, he’s into Thomas the Tank Engine and Cars. But if he’s anything like Andrew, he owns virtually every Thomas and Cars character on the market.

So what do you get a three year old boy that he doesn’t already own far too many of? And how much do you spend on a friend from school?

I have no idea, but hopefully I figure it out before Saturday!

Dark Dilemma, cont’d

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

My fellow blogger, “Monday Mom,” and I both have children who fear the dark.  Jack is frightened at night as well. He must have his night and dresser light on when he goes to bed.  If it isn’t bright enough, a ghost will come out of his closet and get him.

I remember as a child I had a fear of the dark, too. In fact, I think I still do when I’m home alone at times. I Googled this issue to see how other parents handle this or what the pros have studied.  I learned that these fears are a healthily developing imagination and growing knowledge that the world does not revolve around them.

One of the best things to help treat this issue is to have a good lighthearted chat with your child. I have had many chats with Jack about this, and it’s usually long after the bedtime process begins. I don’t want to dismiss his fears in any way, but want to get the point across that no ghosts live in our house. Most nights it’s an hour evolution getting Jack to sleep. If he doesn’t fall asleep on his own while we are reading books, storytelling, singing, or me rubbing his back, I know it’s going to be a long night. Having a newborn in the house to care for already has me sleep deprived, so finding the patience gets a little challenging.

Another point the article made was playtime during the day while using their imagination can sometimes backfire since those “characters” can fuel inventions of demons during the night.  To me, that makes perfect sense.  For example, Jack loves to play with his trains and create different problems for them.  The Diesel engines are the bad guys and seem to cause a lot of problems and heartaches with the other trains.  When Jack doesn’t like someone or something he calls them a Diesel 10 which is the scary train. Perhaps, the diesel engine is one of the contributing factors to his fears.

All of these fears have started over the last few weeks, specifically, when baby Tate arrived.  I don’t know if this is Jack’s way of getting extra attention, one on one, or if he really has these fears cooped up in his head at night.  Maybe it’s a little of both, but all we can really do as parents is comfort them with the reassurance of safety and hope that will help their fears disappear.

No More Monsters

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Brady went over FOUR years without the traditional fears of monsters or “ghostis.” I must admit I love how Brady pronounces ghosts as “ghostis.” Now at four and a half, he has started to see “ghostis” in the bedroom.

I must admit I was kind of surprised, since he has rarely seen a TV show that even speaks of either. I am sure other kids have talked about monsters and such during playtimes. So now I am perplexed and trying to figure out how to handle this fear. I don’t want to minimize his fears, but I don’t want him to worry about such things either. I will admit at times I handle it calmly and we talk it out (when it isn’t 30 minutes past bedtime). But there are those few times, which I am not so proud of, when I say “Brady, you are fine – just go to sleep.” Of course, when I walk away on those evenings, I feel guilty that I didn’t really help him through his fears.

Typically we sit down and talk about how monsters and “ghostis” aren’t real. He lives with three adults that will protect him, our house has a security system so no “real” bad guys can get in, and God is always watching over him. I allow him to express his concerns, explain where he might have seen a ghost, etc..

So far, this is working pretty well. But the “ghostis” continue to scare my little man. I am hoping this phase will soon end. As his mother, I really need to learn patience with him during these scary moments (even at 10pm). Because I am sure there will be new fears and frustrations with every age. And the main goal is for Brady to know that I am there to listen to him and help him through any fears that he may be facing – regardless if they are fact or fiction, preschool fears or teenage worries, whatever it is, he can count on me to be there as a support and offer him the best guidance and listening ear that I have available.

Upping the Difficulty Factor

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Have you ever noticed that the little things become more difficult after you have kids? The first obvious difference is that there’s no such thing as traveling light (if you were ever capable of it in the first place). Suddenly, a quick day trip half an hour away requires not just your purse. You have to have the diaper bag. And the activity bag for the car. And the bag of snacks. And…whatever else you shove into a bag, realistically NEVER actually needing it, but now you have it JUST IN CASE.

Without fail, at least once a week, I’ll leave the house and leave something I need inside. Whether it’s a file, a bag, my lunch or something even less significant, pre-baby I could just run back inside and reclaim what I needed.

The difficulty factor increases when you throw a kid into the mix. If you’ve already wrestled your child into his car seat, do you unstrap him and run back into the house together? Do you turn the car on and let him sit in the air conditioning for the 30 seconds you’re away? Will you end up getting a call from DYFS if you do? (The lawyer in me feels the need to clarify that I don’t leave Andrew in the car unattended. I do actually run him back into the house with me and make myself even later for work in the morning)

Right now hubby and I are undertaking the oh-so-enjoyable task of looking for a house. We’ve been in a townhouse we outgrew before Andrew was born and we had to somehow fit all his stuff into our house too. Andrew needs a yard to play in and a swing set, more room to run around. It provides the motivation to look, but I’m not looking forward to it.

It took us 9+ months to find our townhouse. I could have had a kid in that time! And, even with the morning sickness, it would have been more enjoyable than the house hunting!

The first house we looked at, Andrew came with us. It was a beautiful place. At least, I think it was. I probably spent more time chasing after Andrew and making sure he didn’t wreck the place than I spent paying attention to what I was seeing.

Fortunately, my parents have offered to watch Andrew so we can concentrate at looking at houses. That will make things easier. If nothing else, we can look at the hot pink walls and teal carpeting of a basement, wondering what the heck those people were thinking, without fear of Andrew taking a header down the stairs.

So, wish us luck. I’m hoping this little task is easier the second time around.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Meeting the Dentist

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

After several weeks of rescheduling, I was finally able to get Jack a dentist appointment last week.  This was his first visit, and I wasn’t sure exactly how he would do with someone poking and prodding around in his mouth.  At home, he does pretty well with brushing.  His daddy and I still help a little, but he has learned to brush around every tooth, rinse (and spit out) with water and he has graduated to “big boy” toothpaste.  He thinks big boy toothpaste is very “spicy.”

We arrived at the dentist and had to wait a few minutes in the waiting room.  There was a kid corner with toys and books.  One of the books was the Berenstain Bear book about a visit to the dentist.  We quickly read it to give him an idea of what the dentist will do in his mouth.  Kudos to the office for supplying this book, because I am pretty sure it made him relaxed and excited to get his teeth cleaned.  We walked back to the chair and met the hygienist.  She was extremely nice and had her own method, or should I say tricks, on how to clean a preschooler’s teeth.  She explained every tool she used in his mouth and what it was for as well as complementing him every time he listened to what she asked of him.

Jack ended up doing a great job. I had positive thoughts, but was prepared to hold him down in the chair if I had to.  Sometimes I think he does better with strangers than with me… kind of scary.  The dentist came in and took a final look and said his teeth looked great and had lots of space for his permanent teeth.  To that I said Yippee, no braces in the future?!  Unfortunately, if his permanent teeth are anything like his mommy and daddy’s were, I think we are out of luck and he’ll need a lot of orthodontia.

We are set to go back in six months for another visit.  We’ll see if he is just as successful then as he was last week.

Fact or Fiction

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Brady has always loved non-fiction, informational videos, “how-to” books, and just staring at large machines and how they worked. Several times we have packed a lunch and gone and sat at a worksite and watched the diggers working. Another day he was curious about how buses worked and their routes, so we took a ride on our local transit system (and thankfully had an amazing bus driver who allowed Brady to play and explore). Sometimes we get ice cream and go to the local park right at 1:30pm when the afternoon train is sure to go chugging by. These are the activities Brady enjoys.

I never realized how literal and “non-fiction” Brady was until recently. We were at a friend’s house and they were watching a kid’s movie. I could hear the one little girl telling Brady that he was the panda, she was the lion, etc.. She was going through and assigning parts of this movie to each of her and Brady’s family members.

About ten minutes passed and I heard Brady sobbing. I ran over to the sofa to find out what happened. Well, apparently my “assigned” character had died. Brady was devastated. He was sobbing and telling me that I died, he could never see me again, begging me never to leave him, etc.. He was so upset it took us about ten minutes to convince him that mama really wasn’t going anywhere.

Once I got home that evening, I was explaining the events to my mother. It is funny, but even when you are a grown woman, your mom still always will know more than you do and has great advice (especially about their precious grandbabies). My mom made me realize that Brady had never really seen a movie where anyone died – he literally watched PBS or Nick Jr. (or more likely, a “how it works” video). He also hasn’t grasped the fact that the movies aren’t real life. In his little mind, mama died, and he was scared.

I learned two important mommy lessons through this event. First, even after my last blog about how I don’t worry anymore…. I still worry! Second, imaginative may not be a good adjective to describe my son right now. His imagination is still developing and that is okay. Parenting – another day, another worry, but the perks of the job are amazing.


Friday, July 16th, 2010

Two weeks ago, our family sent us on our first Andrew-free vacation. Andrew had a blast being spoiled rotten by his grandparents. While his parents enjoyed getting away and spending time together, we also missed him terribly.

When we pulled into the driveway at my parents’ house, Andrew came right over. His face lit up as he screamed “MOMMY!” and threw his arms up in the air so I could scoop him up. As soon as I went in for the kiss, he literally jumped out of my arms and covered daddy’s face in kisses.

The ENTIRE ride down to our house, Andrew was sobbing. He begged for his grandparents. Told us he didn’t want to go home. That it was no fun at home. He didn’t want anyone other than Nana to put him to sleep.

Andrew was a little stand-off-ish for a few days after that, but by the end of the week, it seemed like we were finally forgiven for going away.

Unfortunately by the end of the week, we took off again. This time we went down to Virginia on Friday night for a wedding. Andrew returned to the fun house with Nana, Papa, Alli (my sister) and Rosie (their dog that Andrew has declared to be his). We met up on Sunday morning for brunch.

Andrew refused to look at us. He clung to my mom’s neck like it was a life preserver. He wouldn’t sit next to anyone but Nana. Wouldn’t talk to anyone but Nana. I couldn’t even bribe Andrew into a smile with new trains or Lightening McQueen stickers.

Again, the entire ride home he bawled and screamed that he wanted Nana and Papa, not Mommy and Daddy.

I won’t lie. It stung. I missed the little guy like crazy. I know he missed us too. But instead of embracing us when we got back, we were in the dog house for leaving him in the first place. Maybe that’s normal for kids…but it’s still real hard to take.

Early Monday morning, about 20 minutes after I finally got to sleep, Andrew woke up screaming for me. It was the first time in awhile he woke up in the middle of the night. Part of me wanted to let him cry himself back to sleep, but I also knew he just needed to see we were still there.

I ended up spending the next four hours asleep in the rocker at the foot of his bed. It made for a long right for me, but maybe it helped him feel a little more secure. At least I’d like to think so… Maybe it’ll even get me out of the dog house sooner rather than later.

Adjusting to two

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

It’s been one week and two days, and as a family we are all making adjustments being a family of four.  Tate William entered this world on July 5th.  He has lots of blonde hair just like his brother.  As a matter of fact, he resembles his brother in many ways.

Tate has been doing great!  He basically eats, sleeps and poops and falls right back to sleep.  He has been letting me sleep a lot more than I ever could have dreamed of.  Don’t get me wrong I’m still adjusting to the midnight snack screeches from across the house.

Jack has been doing a wonderful job as big brother.  I didn’t know quite how he would handle it, but so far he has been such a big helper, and I’m so proud of him.  He wants to hold Tate all the time, and he will get me anything I ask for.  I am hoping this lasts for years to come, but for now it’s so sweet to watch him help out.

We are so blessed to have Tate in our lives.  He has been a joy to have around, and I find myself staring at him all the time.  I know how fast they grow up, so I am cherishing every cry, every silly face and those big blue eyes when they are opened!  Off to another feeding…


Monday, July 12th, 2010

Well, after 4.5 years, I think my little boy is completely potty trained. He has had NO accidents in weeks (maybe even months now). It is funny how worried I was for a few years about him pooping in the potty. Now I barely flinch as he yells (as he is running) “mama, I gotta poopy – now!”. This is a good thing since he begins preschool in several weeks!

I think we, as parents, naturally worry. I remember when Brady was 21 months old and barely said 4-5 words. This is hard to believe now – as he talks nonstop, everywhere, to everyone, all the time! But back then, I was convinced he had a speech delay. I even had a local service evaluate him. Turned out that he was ahead in nearly every area, but speech was a bit delayed. But it was nothing that required any special services.

Then there was the worrying a few months later about him having to move into a new house – – again, I underestimated my little man. We had some big changes with the divorce and living with Mamaw and Papa. And even then Brady adjusted fine and I worried for no reason. So it shouldn’t surprise me that I worried about potty training for so long.

I am slowly learning that worrying is a part of parenting. But you can’t allow the worrying to overshadow current victories, activities, and everyday life. So to those parents out there worried about speech delays, late walkers, adjusting from a crib to bed, potty training, night training, whatever challenge you are facing. You are not alone. Worry if you must, but enjoy your day, your “present.”

The Mind of a 2 Year Old…Mine anyway

Friday, July 9th, 2010

I often am amazed by the things that come out of Andrew’s mouth. Not just because I had no idea he actually knew my name to be anything other than “mommy” or that he knew every single Disney character, whether we’ve introduced him to them on not.

It’s fascinating to see his mind work.

We drove past the street his doctor’s office was on yesterday. He yells from the backseat “MOMMY! DOCTOR!” I looked over to where he was pointing, impressed that he knew that. Then he says, “Need doctor, mommy! Have boo-boo. Doctor look at boo-boo.”

Okay… maybe I shouldn’t be overly impressed that he pieced that one together. (For the record, his latest boo-boo was a scraped knee from when he tripped over his own feet on the playground.) I thought I’d be able to sneak some veggies into Andrew’s favorite food (mac and cheese). Yeah. No dice. He knew just looking at it there was something not quite right. I watched as any mouthful containing a piece of corn got spit out, analyzed and rejected. (Anyone got any other brilliant ideas for getting him to eat his veggies?)

Today, Andrew’s teacher couldn’t wait for me to pick him up so she could tell me that he was too smart for his own good.

They had been outside playing in the sprinklers. Everyone came inside and got changed. There was a group of kids on line to wash their hands after they had used the potty. Andrew tried to jump on line and said he needed to wash his hands too.

They told him he was clean and these were the kids who had just used the potty. Andrew nodded like this made perfect sense. Ten minutes later, Andrew runs to the bathroom announcing that he had to go potty. They let him in, he strips off his diaper and (of course) doesn’t go. But he hops off the toilet and says, “I wash hands now too!”

They were amazed that he planned the whole thing out so he’d be allowed to play in the sink. Without a doubt, this kid is the product of his parents… boy are we in trouble when he gets older!