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NEVER say never…

3 Jun

I must confess…I have never been a fan of the child safety harness/backpack.  I need to apologize to any parent that I may have stared at a little too long with eyes of wonder and possibly judgement…I walked in their shoes….through four airports.  I was nervous someone was going to scream “free the leash kids!!!” every time I was approached by a stranger.  Strangely enough, I only received words of encouragement from those happy to see me keeping my toddler close in the busy airport setting.  Whew!

I guess I imagined my son would walk like a well-trained dog when I strapped on his “monkey backpack.”  Instead, he acted like his usual toddler self….walking wherever he wanted to go, pulling on the tether when I didn’t follow, and falling to the floor in a temper tantrum when I still didn’t budge.  The backpack/harness is also a great way to develop sibling animosity.  My daughter was determined to be the controller of the leash and my son could not dislike that arrangement more.  It caused countless scuffles and screams between the two.

So, I carried my son through four airports.  I was envious of every parent I saw pushing a stroller and wondered why I thought it would be simpler to bring less baby “stuff” with me on this trip.  But, every time I had to rest my arms or search for an item in my bag, I was very comforted by the tug on my wrist from my son’s tether…I knew he was within arms reach even when I had to look away.

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I wear my most cherished accessories…

12 May

I am a baby-wearer.  I have never been a huge fan of strollers {I like to keep my babies super close}.  Stories about cars hitting or running over strollers and other horror stories like this and this have terrified me.  Only after having my second child, have I resorted to regularly using a stroller when I am out and about with the two of them.  

When I was pregnant with my daughter I ordered a Maya wrap…turned out to be way too much material for me.  I tried the Moby wrap…again, too much material and work for me.  So, I then purchased a Baby Bjorn and both my husband {yep, the husband wore it too!} and I LOVED it until my daughter reached 20+ pounds and it became uncomfortable for all involved.

I still wanted to have a way to “wear” my daughter even after she outgrew her Bjorn, so I was on the search for a new and hopefully inexpensive wrap.  I am an extremely amateur sewer, but I decided to give this pattern a try.  It didn’t cost me a penny because I had heavy material and thread remaining from curtains I made for our old house.  As with everything I have ever sewn, I made a mistake {this time while sewing the seam}, but it was easily covered with a pocket that conveniently carried my cell-phone or a pacifier when needed.  Overall, I was pretty happy with the results and was definitely happy with the price.  I put my new baby carrier to the test when I flew cross-country with my daughter later that week…it was the perfect hands-free, toddler-wearing device for me at the time.

This is not me, my baby, or my sling...

 Next week I face the ultimate challenge of flying with my 18 month-old son {please keep in mind that I don’t even take this child to the grocery store with me anymore…he is that difficult to wrangle}.  When he wants to “GO, GO, GO” there is really no stopping him and he doesn’t find being strapped to his mama fun AT ALL!

I have one toddler-taming idea in mind.  Stay tuned… 

For the Win.

27 Apr

Finish dishwasher tablets.

I highly recommend them.

Not only do they clean my dishes, and clean them well…

They have also provided my children with hours of entertainment.

Yes, I said HOURS.

Hours of pretending the individually packed tabs are anything from money to candy…

Hours of dumping them in and out of their drum-like container…

Hours of hiding them under couch cushions, between toys, and in drawers.

And that can only mean one thing….

Free time for ME!

{and just a little cleanup when the fun is over}

Plug it!!

18 Feb

Before I was a parent, I thought child-proofing a home meant putting child-locks on cabinets that contained dangerous chemicals and placing outlet plugs in un-used outlets.  Once I became a parent, it didn’t take me long to realize that my prior theory about child-proofing was weak.  Unless I wanted to stay on my child’s tail every second of every waking hour, child-proofing meant safety-proofing and included locking every drawer and cabinet I didn’t want my daughter to explore, anchoring unstable furniture to the wall, moving animal food/water bowls, placing gates at the top AND bottom of staircases, locking doors, only cooking on back-burners of the range, covering sharp corners, moving dangerous decorations out-of-reach, even ridding ourselves of some furniture {mean coffee tables!} altogether…and that was probably still only the tip of the iceberg.

Then my son {the future electrician?} came along.  Plugging open outlets was not enough because he loved to un-plug everything…and then try to plug it back in while his chubby little fingers gripped the electrical prongs.   We basically re-arranged our home for his safety…placing furniture in front of any used outlets and then using outlet plugs on the exposed, but otherwise unused outlets.  Even night-lights must be removed from their outlets and the outlets re-plugged the minute his feet hit the floor every morning.  If you’re wondering why I don’t just tell him “no” or re-direct his attention…don’t think I haven’t tried.  His safety comes first.  I know that I am not capable of giving him my undivided attention 24 hours a day…and that is basically what it would take to keep a very mobile one-year old boy safe day after day after day.  I have safety equipment in place so that I can have a break from the fear of my children getting hurt…at least while we are supposed to be safe in our home.

My husband and I can be pretty frugal, so when we safety-proofed for our daughter we opted for the super cheap outlet plugs seen here {12 for $2.49} and continued to use those to safety-proof for our son, but, if  another little trouble-maker like our son made his/her way into our hearts and home, I would probably spring for these {12 for $33.90} so I wouldn’t every worry about my children finding or attempting to use an uncovered outlet again.

Kids!!!  Thank goodness they are SO worth the work!

Tradition

28 Dec

With Christmas comes tradition.  Our family has a few, but I hope to develop more over the years to come.  One of our family traditions that is completely unoriginal, used by many, but still fun is opening pajamas on Christmas Eve.  My husband and I started doing this even before we had children to share in the fun.  Back in those days, I picked out both of our pairs of jammies and we donned them Christmas morning.  Last year my husband and daughter took over purchasing my Christmas Eve pajamas and the results have been comical.  Last year I had a one-piece number that wasn’t so flattering on my postpartum figure.  And this year, I opened full-out footy pajamas…hot pink with dog faces for feet.  Part of my push to have Christmas pajamas started from my desire to have cute Christmas pictures from the morning of.  I now fear my children are going to look back at our Christmas pictures one day and by the looks of their mother’s Christmas attire determine that their mom was a huge dork!!  I’m hoping that by next Christmas I can join the rest of the family in wearing cute, fashionable, and COMFORTABLE jammies on Christmas morning!

Why the emphasis on comfortable?  If any other adult has ever considered wearing full-body footy pajamas, this is my review…

1.  Comfort: C+

I am no giant, I’m only about 5’7″,  but I still would have found a few extra inches in pajama lenght to be beneficial so I could have stretched my arms above my head without the pajamas riding up {you know where}.  Or a couple of extra inches, so I could sit down without feeling like I was being strangled.  At least I learned for my children’s benefit to no longer squeeze them into their footy pajamas…a little extra length in those things is desirable!

2. Warmth: A+

Fleece full-body jammies bring the warmth for sure!  So much that I didn’t need to use that extra blanket that I keep on the end of the bed during the night.

3.  Convenience: C+

I loathe having to get completely undressed just to use the restroom.  And, although it’s nice not to have to mess with socks or slippers when walking around our cold tile floors, I found it a little weird to get into bed with my “slippers” on {since they were attached to my clothes}.  I normally prefer not to have “shoes” in the bed.

4. Appearance: B-

I’m sure the pajamas would have been a lot cuter if I was a teenager and not a mother of two who has lived over three decades.  Did I mention there were pockets over the hip/thigh region?  Extra material in that area is always a negative in my book.

—–

Nonetheless, My daughter’s smile when she saw me wearing this get-up on our Christmas morning made it all worthwhile.  I can see Mama’s silly Christmas pajamas becoming a tradition all of its own!

A Blessing and a Curse…

13 Oct

We are sick AGAIN.  We had a three-day hiatus from misery, but a new and more serious version has invaded…this time just me and the baby boy.

There are only a few things worse than having sick children.  One of the few other unfavorable scenarios is being the sick mom with a sick child or children.  The mothering workload is at an all-time high and yet, you feel your absolute worst.  It would be so nice to have the luxury of calling in sick for the day.  I occasionally used a sick day at work prior to staying home with  my children.  I would spend the entire day laying in bed with daytime tv shows like, The View, as my white noise while I dozed in and out.  There is nothing white about the noise in my home today or any day… and there is nothing relaxing about trying to sneak a nap as my three-year old bounces all over me {obviously the tummy bug hasn’t caught her…yet}.

Through all the misery there is something I am thankful for.  I’m happy to share the illness.  I’m happy to know what my little guy is going through.  I’m happy that I can better understand just how he feels.  I’m happy that I got to watch him devour his first popsicle {way ahead of schedule}…after I was revived by one popsicle {okay, maybe three}, I knew it was just the thing he needed to feel just a little bit better.  Had I planned ahead, I may have had some pedialyte pops on hand or even thrown together some home-poured apple juice pops for my sweetie.

So, today I’ll say I’m blessed with illness.  I just hope I won’t be so blessed with this bug by tomorrow.  I’m not just two weeks behind on some of my household duties, but now almost two weeks behind on my kiddos’ extracurricular activities.  I’m a little stressed about the number of dance classes, soccer practices and gymboree classes we will have to attempt to make-up next week…hopefully next week!!

Future plumber??

1 Sep

I’m don’t enjoy an emotional roller-coaster.  I’m romantic-comedy girl all the way.  I know that life is full of good and bad, happy and sad…I choose to focus on the good times.  But, I’m all about prevention, so sometimes talking about the dark side equals fewer sad times.

I spent a short semester in nursing school on the infant unit at a children’s hospital.  I declined every opportunity to go to the cancer floor because I didn’t think I could handle the emotions of it all…I didn’t even want to try.  I thought I was safe with the babies, but in reality, I hadn’t dodged any bullets.  The infant floor was not just infants, there were toddlers and young children as well.  There were acute and chronic diseases, cases of abuse and neglect, and there were accidents… a precious two-year old girl who had fallen head-first into a cooler and drowned while her grandparents were babysitting her.  Because babies and toddlers are top-heavy {because their heads are large in comparison to their bodies} and they lack great strength and coordination it is easy for them to fall head-first into many things, making an accident like this one, not so uncommon.  It wasn’t always a cooler with a few inches of melted ice…sometimes it was a mop bucket, sometimes a bathtub…whatever the case, they were all horrible and preventable accidents.

My little guy is becoming more mobile and capable every day.  I’ve talked about his passion for the dog-water bowl {I now remove it from ground-level every morning when AJ gets up} and now I must too confess that he is obsessed with toilets.  Yes, TOILETS!!

Last week while my husband was at work, I was in my daughter’s room combing her hair when I heard the toilet flush in the nearby bathroom.  AJ had climbed on his sister’s bench and flushed the toilet on his own…I was impressed and snapped a picture for proof, but it scared me…and that was only the beginning.

My husband embarrassingly reported to me when I got home from work last weekend that AJ had grabbed a wad of used toilet paper from the toilet as my daughter got off the potty and……he WAS going to put it in his mouth!

It may sound a little funny {because this little boy makes my husband and I look like parenting amateurs}, but not only is playing in the toilet disgusting, it is also very dangerous.  Toilets can be just as threatening for a baby as any other {even small} pool of water.  For now, we are diligently closing all the toilet lids and reminding our 3 year-old to do the same {and flush immediately!}.  I see toilet locks in our future!  BOYS!!!