Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Sunday Night Chit Chat March 25, 2013

Filed under: Grown Up Slam Books — arminta @ 2:20 am

We did our first Skype birthday party with Nana today and it was a hit! Sister and I made food (and I made a kick ass Matilda cake) and everyone ate and had a good time. Even the kiddo’s were well behaved. They enjoyed their second round of Easter, too 🙂 Mamaw was paranoid as usual (she’s fed up, Mrs. Wiccan won’t let her use the phone/the kids visit her/name something), her Alzheimer’s is getting a lot worse… But, she recognized me, I only had to tell her Lil G was a boy once and when Big C told her that he tried to visit her a couple of times last week, but she was asleep, she dropped the topic (sometimes she would argue). We had to leave a little early due to Lil G’s asthma (too many triggers… smoking house (obviously NO ONE smoked while he was there, but they do smoke in the house on the reg) and spraying air freshener literally EVERY TIME someone used the bathroom), and it was a good thing we did. By the time we got home, everyone was stripped and bathed and the boy was asleep it was 8:58pm. We all know The Walking Dead comes on at 9:00pm. So, I got to watch it AND The Talking Dead, so yay!

 

You would think I’d be sharing a pic of the party I just yammered on about? Nope! Sometimes when it’s yucky outside I let the kids get their “PE” time by jumping off of the furniture, and I love to take action shots…

Daddy moved the crib mattress into the living room to make this activity “safer.” I think it was just an excuse to make it funner.

 

On to the chat!

What are you…
  1. Reading? I gave up on the ghost-in-law romantic mystery *blech* and am re-reading Timeline, one of my favorite Crichton novels.
  2. Watching? The encore of The Talking Dead 🙂
  3. Listening to? Just the TV, yo.
  4. Cooking/Baking? Today I made a Matilda cake, baked Mac-n-Cheese and some yum-a-lum green beans. This week will be bringing Black Bean Burgers (with homemade buns), and bread and more. Who knows 🙂
  5. Happy you accomplished this week? Yeah, I need to start making goals so I can feel like I accomplished stuff.
  6. Looking forward to next week? Spring finally hitting the Heartland? IDK, my Actemra is tomorrow and that tends to knock me out for a day or two 😦
  7. Thankful for today? Sleeping kid, Skype, my juicer, tramadol, successful IVF for my cousin-in-law
  8. *Bonus Question* What is your absolute favourite dessert? OMGeezle, wrong Q for me, I majored in Culinary Arts with a minor in Bakery Science (no lie, that’s a real thing…) in college. Probably my favorite dessert is Buckeye candies.

Play along? http://halfdozendaily.typepad.com/my-half-dozen-daily/2013/03/a-very-late-sunday-night-chit-chat.html

 

State of the Union March 21, 2013

Filed under: Marriage — arminta @ 10:16 am

Ya’ll, I just don’t know how much longer I can do this. I love the man, but honestly, most days I can’t help but to feel like life would be easier for me if we were apart. There are reasons and more things that could be said, but it boils down to: I want to give up, it’s just to hard like this. The sad part is that it really wouldn’t take that much for me to feel differently, but the effort just isn’t there. This sucks.

 

The Message March 20, 2013

“Even in the kindest and most loving families two year olds must be reminded a hundred times a day, perhaps by words and acts of their parents, perhaps by events, by Nature herself, that they are small, weak, clumsy, foolish, ignorant, untrustworthy, troublesome, destructive, dirty, smelly, even disgusting. They don’t like it! Neither would I. Neither would you.” John Holt

 

Life with a two year old is hard, friends. They are small, weak, clumsy, foolish, ignorant, untrustworthy, troublesome, destructive, dirty, smelly and even disgusting.  They wreck your house and demand unhealthy snacks. They are fiendish little tyrants. They are emotional and fearless (often the reason for being untrustworthy, troublesome, destructive and/or dirty). They soak up knowledge like sponges (even things you don’t want them to soak up). They are bold adventurers. They are… people. People who are still developing their sense of self worth. People who think YOU are the be all and end all of awesome (unless, you are denying them said unhealthy snack). People who take your opinion of them quite seriously, making it kind of important that you don’t let them know that you think they are small, weak, clumsy, foolish, ignorant, untrustworthy, troublesome, destructive, dirty, smelly and even disgusting. Even though they are.

 

Recently, I have been looking for more structured activities to do with the Little Twosome. Partially to help fill our days with more doing and less TV. Mostly to encourage the learning. And somewhat to help combat all of the “when are you going to send him to preschool? and get his hair cut? and good god, you’re doing it all wrong!” comments (fyi… I’m not, when he’s good and damned ready and eff you). The point… I’ve been researching different homeschooling methodologies, by accident, as I’ve been looking for more activities. The two that really seem to resonate with me (for this age group, anyway) are Unschooling and Montesorri. The main message they both present for educating this age group are: “Holy shit, they’re two, let them play!” The main message they both present for learning in general is: “If you take the fear of failure out of the equation, kids tend to learn better.” I think I would be afraid if the primary vibe I was catching from my main caregiver, and life in general, was “Wow, you’re a real pain in the ass!”

 

If your every effort to help around the house was met with an exasperated sigh and being told to go play somewhere else, you’d probably get tired of the rejection, right? If every activity you wanted to do was not a good one for “right now” you’d probably stop asking to do activities, huh? You’d probably start soaking up the message that you are inconvenient. I think I’d probably be scared to ask to do anything if I felt that I was viewed as an inconvenience to the people I loved most in the whole world. I think that would be a terrible feeling. So, why is it OK to make our little people feel this way? Yeah, because it’s not.

 

I am as guilty as anyone of needing to watch my tone and loosen up a little. I have to remind myself everyday that the world will not end if the toys stay on the floor for a couple of days. Nothing bad will happen if the laundry takes a long time to fold and not all of it is done “right.” Water can be mopped up when spilled, dishes can be rewashed if necessary. At two a child’s main learning takes place through play and play is usually pretending or imitating.

 

Let them help with the dishes. Let them fold the towels. Let them help out. There is no higher praise to a two year old than “Wow, you’re a great helper!” except, maybe “You sure are an excellent helper.” Let them make messes. Let them help clean up after they’ve made a mess. Let them have adventures. Let them explore daily life. It may seem boring to you, but they’ve only been here a couple of years and they’ve only been big enough to help for a few months. This is still all quite new and exciting to them. Tell them that they are big, strong, learning, trustworthy, helpful and loved (even if they are stinky and dirty, and then give them a sensory bath so they’ll be clean and smell nice). That is the best way to help them learn at this age. Plus, you know, it helps with their self esteem.

 

So, that’s what we’re working on around here, more daily life DOING. More letting them help. More showing them how capable they are. Well, and letting them make giant messes with sensory bins, ’cause that shit is fun.

 

 

Monday Morning Chit Chat March 18, 2013

Filed under: Blogging,Grown Up Slam Books — arminta @ 11:13 am
Tags: , , , ,

I wanted to take part in the Sunday Night Chit Chat again, but my kid is allergic to sleep. So, Monday morning chit chat it is 🙂 Also, someone please help me with some tips for getting this kid to sleep. He sleeps 7-9 hours a day. Naps included. Yawn!

The boy loved having his Nana home for a few days last week. He also loved that balloon. They were like 8 for $1 at Wally World  and were the HIT of the Easter baskets.

***

What are you…

Reading? A Kindle freebie called Trouble in Mudbug. It is self described as a “romantic ghost-in-law mystery.” It was free, don’t judge…

Watching? Last night’s The Walking Dead as soon as 1) it gets posted online and 2) these hooligans take a nap. But right now it’s “Daniel Tiger Time!!!!”

Listening to? Ladybug scream “It’s Daniel Tiger time!!!!” and the closing credits of Sesame Street.

Cooking/Baking? I made muffins from juice pulp this morning (they were gross, btw), then will be making some soda bread and corned beef & cabbage later. Won’t need bread until Wednesday, probably. The hubs eats a lot less bread when it’s healthy and he has to slice it 😉 Also on the agenda this week are some Thai noodles and big salads. I am so in the mood for spring food. I’m thinking some muchroom/pea risotto (maybe with quinoa instead of rice?) is also in order.

Happy you accomplished this week? I didn’t accomplish a thing this week 😦 Between Mom being here and us having the tummy bug I really just barely kept us all fed and alive. Oh wait, I did juice fast all weekend… we can call that an accomplishment!

Looking forward to next week? Getting back to our schedule, budget and cleaning. I feel out of control when off plan.

Thankful for today? Project Free TV, snuggly babies toddlers, a fridge full of healthy food, heat, spring, my washing machine

*Bonus Question* Do you celebrate St.Patricks day? Usually I make corned beef and cabbage and drink Killian’s with dinner, but we were juice fasting this year. So, we had some green juice and I’m making the traditional meal today.

***

Ok, your turn!! Play along in the comments or link to your own post here.

 

  • Reading?
  • Listening to?
  • Cooking/baking?
  • Happy you accomplished this week?
  • Looking forward to next week?
  • Thankful for today?
  • *Bonus Question* Do you celebrate St.Patricks day?
  • Watching?

 

 

Surprise! March 15, 2013

Filed under: Baby G,Expanding Their Minds,We're parents? — arminta @ 11:40 pm

Lil G is not always into the sensory play stuff I put together for him and Ladybug. Sometimes he surprises me, though…

There is a person selling this setup on Etsy (like exactly, same ice molds and everything) as a “Sensory activity for toddlers.” I didn’t think there was any kind of way stuffing puffballs into ice molds was going to be fun for a kid, so obviously I had to try it. Well, shockers! He flippin’ loved it.

Notice the dino dig and dragon taking a back seat to puff balls and ice molds? Cray-cray.

On the other hand I thought he would be all over gluing little tissue squares into pictures. He loves glue and he’s got a little OCD streak about making patterns (can’t imagine where that might have come from… la la la). This was the goal:

This is what happened…

So, that was time well spent cutting up tissue squares.

Anyhoo, my point? Little kids are fickle ass creatures and you never know what they’ll like and what they won’t, so try lots and lots of stuff 🙂 When all else fails, break out the Lincoln Logs

so they can do this

 

All My Fault

Filed under: Baby G,Marriage — arminta @ 4:15 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So, Mom has come and gone. We had a good visit, but it had to end and now Am.Sad. Easter Part 1 was pretty fun. There were mishaps (as there always are), but overall it was good. We did Kool-Aid egg dying, and had a hunt and ate ham and the Easter bunny stopped by Nana’s early because he heard she wasn’t going to be home on Easter Day. Also, we had a talk with the 9 year old about just playing along with shit like that so the littles (including his crazy gullible almost 6 year old brother) get to have a childhood. Good stuff.

 

Of course, as happens with four children we had a lot of sickness, too. A tummy bug and pink eye made their rounds. Which has caused no end of grief to me. Not because of eye goop and puking, that I can handle. No, because now Lil G is sick. I made the choice to take him around children that I knew might still be contagious because his grandmother wasn’t going to see him for weeks and weeks, then he got sick. The words “I hold you and your bad decisions as a mother responsible for this” were spoken. Not sure how to handle this one, yet.

 

I do get it. It’s miserable seeing the little guy sick. He’s miserable, I’m cleaning up puke, Daddy might get sick, too. Not a good situation. If it was a normal situation where he was going to see Nana again in a week or two, I’d probably not have risked it. Probably. Because also… he’s two, this is the time to let their immune systems build. I’m not saying intentionally expose them to germs or anything, but they can’t be kept in a bubble, either. Most viruses are contagious before they are symptomatic, so, by the time the puking begins it may be too late to stop the spread, anyway.

 

My lackadaisical attitude about the current illness of doom appears to be the main thorn in the husband’s side. Except, I don’t feel that my attitude is uncaring at all. I feel I’m being practical. When the flu was rampant here and college kids were dying (a perfectly healthy 22 year old girl died of the flu in my town this winter, among three other kids from the local college), my kid didn’t leave the house. My husband showered as soon as he walked through the door and if my sister’s kids so much as sniffled, they ALL went somewhere else until we were SURE they didn’t have the flu. Because, Lil G has “moderate to severe” asthma. Every time he has gotten a respiratory infection it has triggered an attack, and his attacks aren’t little gasps cured by albuterol events. His attacks are days and days of coughing until he’s almost blue and breathing 50-60 breaths a minute, relieved temporarily by the medicine (Duoneb, a second line drug), only to return again as soon as the drugs wear off. Yes, I do EVERYTHING in my power to prevent that. There’s no benefit to his immune system to allowing him to go through that. Also, people with asthma go into respiratory failure and die, so that’s something to avoid.

 

Thing is, tummy bugs don’t trigger acute asthma attacks. There is some benefit to letting him get those bugs now (to make him more resistant to them when he’s older). Some illness are “the end of the world” and some are not. I don’t think there is anything wrong with acknowledging that and allowing reasonable risk when the reward (spending time with his Nana who he hadn’t seen in months and wouldn’t see again for months) is worth it. Problem is, my husband thinks that makes me a bad mother. Yay!

 

My Boy: Drama Monster March 8, 2013

Filed under: Asstastic Things that I do,Baby G — arminta @ 2:39 pm

You may have caught on from all of the “leopard seal” talk in the last post that the boy is imaginative. That, friends, would be an understatement. An extreme understatement. He comes by it honestly, though. I can remember spending much of my childhood (like from 3-7) pretending that I was Luke Skywalker, our car was the Millenium Falcon and my family members were various other Star Wars characters. If I was alone, then I just imagined all of the characters that I wanted. Yes, I was a weird little kid.

 

Also, he is most dramatic. Things are important. Sadness is obvious. As is joy. As are all emotions!!!! That, he gets from his Daddy and that clan. They are an emotionally expressive lot. (Unlike the long line of repressed Brits from which I hail.) You rarely have to ask what they’re feeling, it’s pretty much right out there. My son fits right in.

 

You read that right, imaginative and dramatic. It’s fun. Really. We have tons of fun, going on safari’s and being animals and guarding castles. Because he gets so emotionally invested into his play it’s easy to believe he’s really there. He sees dragons. But, sometimes it’s a little challenging. Like when he’s seriously upset and the reason is “we can’t go diving today” and I can’t figure out if he *really* wants to go diving (how could he possibly, he doesn’t even like getting his hair washed) or if he’s in the middle of a play scene. Or, when to him I’m a mama leopard seal, but to me I’m a person that needs to make dinner before Daddy gets home (have you ever made dinner from the floor? it doesn’t work). Because he’s two. So, *his* reality IS reality. How dare we think otherwise.

 

That makes it hard to have an asshole for a mom, though… Because conversations like this one are infuriating to him:

Boy: You be a krill and mine eat you like a orca!

His Asshole Mother (aka Me): Orcas don’t eat krill, Bud.

Boy (slightly irritated): Them is called killer whales and whales do eat krill!

Me: Well, they’re called killer whales, but they’re really dolphins. They eat seals and fish and stuff like that.

Boy (highly pissed): THEM DO EAT KRILL!

Me: OK *(under my breath) but, no they don’t*

(Disclaimer: The boy knows killer whales are dolphins and eat penguins and seals, I wasn’t being a dick about something he didn’t know…)