Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Elbow deep in laundry

I swear, if it's one thing I hate more than washing dishes, is doing laundry. I don't mind the washing and drying. It's the folding that kills me. Sorting and folding. As it stands, Sofia and AJ fold their own clothes and put them away. AJ can't reach the hang bar in the closet, so I hang up his shirts for him (when I remember).

At this point, we are so far behind in laundry, that there are clothes that don't even fit my kids floating around. I also don't know what is clean and what is dirty, so I'm washing EVERYTHING that I find. I just bought 3 new hampers, and they're full. That's including the 3 or 4 we already have. Plus some huge plastic bucket thingies. I am so tired of clothes at this point, I'm ready to move to a nudist colony. Not really. I'm so self conscious about my body, I don't even undress in front of my husband.

ANNNNNYYYYYWAYS. There was a fire downtown in my area, so I'm going to do what I can to donate clothing. Wash, sort, determine what does and doesn't fit, and bring the clothes that don't fit to be donated to the victims of the fire. Someone has to be able to fit into the clothes that we don't anymore, right? And if no one does, then they can sell them, raise some money, and purchase what they need. Win-win situation!

I know, nothing real important here. Just bored and killing time while I wait for laundry to be done for tonight. Hope you all have a fantastic night!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Unconventional Parenting

Some call me an unconventional parent. I allow my kids to do things that others wouldn't. I also don't allow things that others do.

For example, Sofia lost her eye tooth the other day. It had been loose for a while, but she FINALLY got it out. I told her that she was growing up too fast. As a joke, I suggested second holes in her ears. She laughed about it, and said no. So then I suggested a cartilage piercing. That time, she said okay. I figured, if I take her to the piercing place, and start filling out the papers, she'd back out. No problem, I called her bluff. She went through with it. So much for calling a bluff! I could have told her I was joking. I could have not finished filling out the papers. But, she wanted it. I let her have it done.

Now, I have NO issues at all with allowing my 9 year old to have a cartilage piercing. Why not? Because I had mine done around that age. I also know that Sofia is mature enough to take care of it without prompting from me. She has done a fabulous job so far. She showers daily, and makes sure she uses the ear care solution as soon as she finishes getting dressed. She always washes her hands first. She is careful to not snag it on anything. She keeps her hair away from it. She is VERY proud of her new piercing. She is also the envy of all her friends because they want one too, and their parents said no.

Does that make me a bad parent? Absolutely not. It means that I do things differently than most. I don't want to be like "the norm". I want to do things the way that works for us. I know what my family is capable of. Now, excuse me while Gianna and I finish our breakfast of Thin Mints.

(oops, forgot to add the pic of her lost tooth and her note to the Tooth Fairy!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Boogie Wipes giveaway #2!!!

Another Boogie Wipes package came in, so I decided to share with you, my lovely readers! By now, you should know that I absolutely LOVE Boogie Wipes!! We use them for everything, not just for runny/boogery noses. They are amazing at cleaning sticky hands. I've used them to get lollipops out of Gianna's hair. I have even used them when I forgot to bring regular wipes out with me. They are awesome for cleaning tables, high chairs, car seats, etc. I LOVE them!!

Not only did I get my quarterly box of Boogie Wipes, there were other things in there as well. Full sized hand sanitizers, tattoos, bath poufs, and full sized packs of Kandoo Flushable wipes (though I've been told that it isn't safe to flush them). We love the wipes, and have flushed them with no problems. The kids actually prefer them over toilet paper. The hand sanitizer, I wasn't too impressed with. It just didn't feel like sanitizer to me. But again, the kids loved it.

Here is what I am offering up for the giveaway: 
                               • One 1.7oz container of hand sanitizer.
                               • One bath pouf.
                               • One 42-count package of Kandoo Flushable wipes.
                               • Four samples of Grape scented Boogie Wipes.
                               • Four samples of Fresh Scent scented Boogie Wipes.

                                     Contest is open to US residents only. Winner will be sent an email notifying them that they won. If winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen. Prize will ship out within 2 days of responding. By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing that you are 18 or older, and in the US.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 16, 2013

And the mommy wars continue

(I found this image via search. I do not own it!)

These "Mommy Wars" are getting downright ridiculous.

• You're an awful mom because you use formula. Don't you know what's in that??

• You're an awful mom because you STILL breastfeed your 2 year old. Don't you know that's perverted and your kid is going to be scarred?

• You're horrible for using disposable diapers. Don't you know that they ruin the environment? Don't you care about our children's futures?

• Cloth diapers are disgusting. You shouldn't be washing poop in the washing machine. It's unsanitary.

• You don't put your kid down? You're only teaching them to be clingy and needy. That's not good parenting.

• You leave your baby in his bouncer/crib/exersaucer/on the floor? What's he going to learn from that? That's horrible of you.

• A CRIB?! The baby needs to be next to the parents who love her! You DO love her, right??

• You're going to kill your baby by cosleeping. My sisters best friends cousins boyfriends aunts classmates friend knew a girl who rolled over on her baby, therefore it's dangerous for everyone. Clearly, you aren't putting your kids safety first.

• You are awful for doing CIO. Don't you know just how damaging it is to their little brains? Do you care??

•You work outside of the home? So, you pay people to raise your kids? How terrible of you!

No matter where you turn, EVERYTHING is about how much of a worse parent you are because you chose to do something differently than someone else did. But who decides what makes you an awesome parent versus a crappy parent? No matter what you do, SOMEONE is going to have a differing opinion. And nowadays, it's worse than ever. No matter where you go, you see the comments belittling other mothers. Snarky little comments. Full blown insults. Guilt trips.

When will we, as mothers, learn to come together and SUPPORT one another? Since when did it become okay to bully another mother into doing what YOU think is right? Why is it okay to make another mother feel less than human because she does differently than you? There are so many "right" choices when it comes to parenting. Who are we to say what is or isn't right?

So what, you used formula! Yay for you who breastfed! As a mom who has done both, I don't understand what the fight is all about?? All 3 of my children are healthy. You would never be able to tell which was breastfed and which was formula fed. As a matter of fact, my children who were formula fed are MORE healthy than my sole breastfed child! For a time, yes, I felt judged because I used formula. But you know what? That was MY issue. Yes, other mothers tried to tell me that I didn't try hard enough to breastfeed my first 2. I was told that I gave in too easy. That I didn't care. Well, guess what? I had some underlying guilt that I wasn't enough because I didn't succeed. And these other mothers who said crap? They weren't telling me anything new. But they did make me aware of my hidden feelings. I worked through them, and now when people tell me that I didn't try hard enough, or that I didn't care, it just rolls off my shoulders. I am no less of a mom because I used formula. That was YOUR opinion. And quite frankly, the opinion of a mom who doesn't know me personally means nothing to me.

Any one who knows me knows that I am ALL for breastfeeding now. I believe wholeheartedly that every baby deserves to be breastfed. I believe that every mother should at least try. However, I do not believe in belittling a mother to do it. I have friends and family who didn't even try. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine recently had a beautiful baby boy, and guess what? She decided she wasn't going to breastfeed at all. Not even once. She knows my stance, yet still came to me to ask how she could dry up her milk, or stop it from even coming in. We talked a bit about the benefits of breastfeeding, but ultimately, it is HER decision on how she feeds him. I told her to let me know if she thought I was being too pushy. She assured me that she would, but that I don't have to worry about it. There is a huge difference in how I approached her, rather than how others did. I never overstepped my boundaries. We discussed formula, and making sure that the doctors and nurses didn't force her to overfeed him. Never once did I say to her that she's awful for using formula. Never once did I insult her. Why? Because I am better than these Mommy Wars, and I understand that this is a personal choice.

Same goes with circumcision (get ready for the shit storm!). This is a PERSONAL matter. No one can make me feel guilty because my son is circumcised! I don't go around telling people "You need to circumcise that boy. His penis is going to be ugly if you don't! He's going to get so many infections and diseases if you don't! It's unsanitary!!" Why? Because it's NOT MY CHILD!!! What another parent chooses to do with their son's penis is none of my concern! It doesn't make me any less of a mother because I chose to circumcise. It doesn't make you any better of a parent because you chose to keep your son whole. I'll bet, if we put my circ'd boy next to your intact boy, no one would know the difference. I'm sure your boy and my boy would tell people just how much they are loved by their parents, how much we do for them, and how we keep them safe.

How about cosleeping and crib sleeping? Just because I sleep with Gianna doesn't make me any more dangerous of a parent as you. Despite what the media wants you to think, we don't have a knife on our bed. I haven't yet rolled over onto her. As a matter of fact, I am more in tune with her than I was with my crib sleeping children. But this doesn't mean that I'm a better parent than you if you crib sleep. It just means that I am doing what works for MY family. Just as crib sleeping may be better for your family, it doesn't make you better than I am. As much as I love my space on my bed, and I would love if G stayed in her crib all night, it's just not going to happen. And I'm okay with that. We all get good sleep. It works for us.

When will all learn to just come TOGETHER and SUPPORT one another!? Isn't parenting hard enough without all the judging and snide comments? We need to learn to open our minds to other forms of parenting. Of course, if you see a parent shoving a bottle of Diet Coke in their infants mouths, then by all means, don't support that. I certainly don't support any child under the age of 8 drinking any kind of dark soda. I don't call someone a bad mom because they allow their 4 year old to drink it. But I certainly don't agree with it.

Here's the deal. I started this blog because of a blog post I read that had to do with Formula Marketing. The comments there drove me insane, and made me realize just how ridiculous this has become. The blog was about placement of formula ads within a website's information on breastfeeding. Of course, I don't believe that the formula ad should be there. However, it wasn't THAT big of a deal. At least, not to me. Maybe it wasn't that big of a deal because I've used formula, and I've actually called said formula company for advice when I was struggling to breastfeed Gianna. Believe it or not, they were super supportive, and advised me to NOT reach for the formula. I was told that they would send me samples if I wanted them, but they strongly advised that I do not reach for them in a moment of weakness. They assured me that I COULD breastfeed successfully, and that they would always be there if I needed reassurance. If not for them, I would have likely given up.

If a formula company can be supportive and not judgmental, or try to pressure me, why can't fellow mothers? Why is it that I'm constantly being judged, and hearing (and seeing) other mothers being judged? No one can state what works for them without someone from the "other side" saying that it isn't good enough. Without being told that you aren't doing the "right thing". That you're "damaging" your child. Why not, instead of belittling each other, how about saying "I'm glad that worked for you!" and be happy for them??

It comes down to not being supportive. This is 100% MY OWN OPINION, but I think the attacks are getting out of hand. I think they're ridiculous. I think we need to STOP. Think back to all the times where someone posted something that you didn't agree with. How did you respond? Did you say "You're an awful mother for doing that?" or did you say "Way to go for doing what was right for your family, even though I disagree."? I've asked a few Mommy friends for their take on the Mommy Wars. These are their responses:

Personally, I think "mommy wars" are stupid. Every mom loves their child and wants what is best for them. It's hard enough being a mom, and other moms know this, so I don't understand why we must judge each other for the decisions we make. Unless a child is being emotionally or physically abused, or neglected, it is none of my business. You raise your child and I will raise mine. -KS

L from Everyday Educated Mamas:
I think it comes down to this: people are afraid to be wrong. If they are wrong, then it means they screwed up. No one likes to admit they screwed up. But we are only human. We do the best we can with what we know. And, "when we know better, we do better." We need to stop attacking other people for their mistakes. We need to be about guilt free education, not bashing each other over the head for every little thing.

My BFF Ange said:
Raising a child is a difficult enough task. To point fingers at others moms because they do it differently is ridiculous. We should be coming together to support one another, not tear each other down. Unless it is Kristen...she does everything wrong. (She's lucky I love her!)

I think TL has hit it spot on!
Mommy Wars sounds like a bad reality show. There are different thoughts on child rearing and what works for one, might not work for another. Mind your own child, keep it healthy and safe and don't think your way is the only way, no one has the right answer to anything going on in life.

It is tough enough to be a parent as it is. To have people judging you on your parenting skills is annoying. As if we mothers don't already have the thought that we aren't good enough already, it just makes it worse!- Lindsey Enders from The Crafty Monkeh

Mommy wars are getting out of hand. No one knows what's best for someone else's child. Make your own choices. -Anonymous

Abby, better known as The Badass Breastfeeder, had this to say:
These wars come about when people aren't treating each other gently. We are so passionate about parenting that we can be harsh with the information that we have and want people to know. Being gentle and allowing people to hear it in their own time would end many wars. 
Check out her blog here.

Becky, from Naturo-Mommy, had this to say:
I'm not sure exactly what to say about mommy wars. Everyone knows its ridiculous to fight. The beauty of it though, is that it throws all this amazing information into the world about other mothers' experiences and lessons learned.

Let's try remember that there is no one right way to parent. Remember the phrase "It takes a village to raise a child"? I'm fairly certain that village didn't insult and belittle. Smile and nod when someone tells you that they do something differently. If someone suggests you try something they do that you don't believe in, you can disagree without putting another mother down. A simple "Thanks for sharing, but I don't think that will work for us. But I'll keep it in mind." keeps the waters calm.

Above all, let's remember that NO ONE wins in these "Mommy Wars". Parenting is NOT a "One size fits all" deal. Find what works for your family, and be proud of it! Don't ever let someone guilt you into feeling that you're doing something wrong. Only you know your family inside and out.

(Bottle Babies on FB)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Scared straight? Let's hope!

Today was AJ's appointment with the therapist. It was only the 2nd visit, but he was a bit more open to suggestions and spoke a little bit to her. He admitted that he knows he's been doing bad things, and even admitted to intentionally lying about certain, ummmm, bathroom habits. No, it's not THAT. I'm sort of hoping that behavior won't come any time. Anyways, he used the toilet, and decided to make the contents go up and under the rim. And it wasn't an accident. I'll save you the grim details on how, exactly, he did that.

He is also refusing showers and pretends to brush his teeth. He won't do anything that he's supposed to. The Therapist wants us to work on small goals- if you shower and brush your teeth, we'll (fill in the blank) before bed. I, on the other hand, don't think that he should be rewarded for doing things that he is supposed to be doing. Cleaning the toys off the floor, yes. Putting the dirty clothes from the bathroom into a hamper, sure. But not brushing his teeth!

Take last night for example. We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese as a surprise. It wasn't anything special, but just wanted to take them out for some fun and to burn off energy. Not even 10 minutes into being there, and he pees in his pants. Why? Because he didn't want to go to the bathroom. He stood there, announced "I have to go potty!", and continued to stand there while my husband told him to head to the bathroom. Instead of walking towards the bathroom, he stood there and peed. Luckily, Anthony had an extra pair of pants in his car. After he finally changed, it was time to eat. But, he only ate one very thin piece of pizza before he decided he was "too full" and couldn't eat another bite.

About an hour and a half of playing, and we finally went through all the tokens. That didn't stop AJ, though. He insisted on running around. And of course, the all too famous, "I'm still hungry!" mere seconds before we were going to leave. So, he finished the one piece he had left, and then we left. Stopped off at Walmart to pick some things up, where he decided to run around and not listen. He flat out humiliated me with his screaming at the top of his lungs over nothing. Well, actually, it was because he insisted that he was STILL starving. He was trying to take things off the shelves because of how "hungry" he was. When we got home, I gave him some bread and butter, then it was bed time. That was an entirely different issue.

So, if I can't expect him to behave when we do something fun, just because, why would I be under the impression that he would benefit from rewards when he does what he's supposed to? I don't. That's why I arranged for him to meet with a Police Officer with the Juvenile department. Since he wants to steal and disobey everything we say, I set up a meeting for them to scare him. He had no idea. So, after his appointment with his therapist, we headed to the police station. The officer there showed him pictures of the jail, and a pic of someone behind bars. He showed him the shackles on the floor that they would use if they had to come and pick him up. His partner kept saying "Are you really going to let him go this time? Are you sure it's a good idea? Don't you think he should stay?" and so on. It really did scare him, and he thought that he was going to be staying. The tears started to well up, and he started looking at me with fear in his eyes. He was pleading with me to not send him to jail. The officer then told him that he would let him go THIS TIME, but the next time? No dice. Unfortunately, he's too young for them to put him in a cell for a few minutes to see what it's like, but I think he got the message. He couldn't get out of there fast enough.

We're home now, where we've been since we were done with his appointments. Though he may not steal any more, he certainly isn't listening any better. He's eaten so much junk food while I was upstairs with Gianna. He's ripped up papers. We had pictures taken yesterday while at CEC (the drawing ones), and he markered all over them because he was mad. He certainly isn't deserving of any rewards tonight. I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do with him any more. I'm at my wits end. I think, after all this, I am well deserving of a vacation!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The thief strikes again

Earlier today, I got a phone call from AJ's teacher. It appears he has stolen from me, yet again. I've lost count. This is the 6th time? 7th? According to her, he came straight out and admitted that he took it from my wallet. I looked in my wallet, and didn't see any money missing. I called my husband, and he informed me that he was missing $2. The teacher only said that he had $1.

When he walked in the door, I didn't say a word to him. I didn't even look at him. He walked right over to me, and went in his backpack and took out the envelope with the $1 in it. He told me that he took $2. I asked if he took $2, why was there only $1 in the envelope. He then admitted that he gave the $1 to someone in his class.

It took 20 minutes and me asking him at least 7 times where he got the money from. He insisted it came from my wallet. I know for a fact that it didn't, and I told him that. He looked down, and muttered "Itookitfromdad". When I asked him when he took it, again he muttered "whileyouweresleeping". So, I asked him WHY he took it. Once again, looking down and muttering "becauseiwantedto".

I'm done with the stealing. I posted on FB on my personal account. I received a lot of great suggestions. I even called the local police. Unfortunately, they were unable to help. But I did reach out in a Mommy group because I was desperate to find someone who has ties with local police. I need something done, and I need it done NOW. One of the girls has a SIL who works at a nearby police station. SCORE!! We now have an appointment for Tuesday, after his appointment at the Mental Health Clinic to have him talk to one of the officers, and see what's going to happen to him if he keeps it up. Turns out, they can't really put the cuffs on him and lead him to a cell because he's only 6. They have to be at least 7 years old. At 7, they can actually be put in Juvenile Detention.

On another note, Gianna and spent Thursday morning in the ER. She was wheezing on Wednesday, and I had her doctor call in some Albuterl and Pulmicort for her. By Thursday, she was actually retracting when she was inhaling, so I made the decision to take her to the ER. Not only was she retracting, but she was up all night coughing so violently, that I thought something more serious was wrong.

Luckily, it was empty when we got there. As soon as we walked in, they took us right to the triage, got her checked in, her stats done, etc, and right into a room. We had to wait a while in the room for someone to come in, but Gianna was in such good spirits, that she didn't mind. She made friends with everyone, saying hi  to everyone who would listen, waving, blowing kisses, giving hugs, etc. She willingly went with the radiologists when it was time for an X-ray. And by willingly, I mean, she damn near jumped out of may arms to be in their arms!

The X-ray revealed nothing like pneumonia or whooping cough. Her asthma was flaring up, and it was not pretty. They gave her one breathing treatment, then a dose of oral steroids, and then one more breathing treatment before sending us on our way. We left with a prescription for some oral steroids for her to take for the next few days. We need to give her the Pulmicort once daily from now on, and the Albuterol 2 to 3 times daily, as needed. But even after the flare up is under control, she still needs to take the Pulmicort on a daily basis. That should cut back on the amount of flare ups. We have an appointment on the 11th with her doctor for her 18 month check up, but we'll also have a recheck of her lungs and make sure her asthma is under control.

 Trouble maker trying to grab the phone

Clapping because she put her bear in the pocket. Slick toddler waving before she runs out of the room!

Monday, February 4, 2013

At a loss for words

This morning, my husband had to be to work earlier than usual. Which meant he had to get up earlier. Imagine his surprise when he comes downstairs and sees AJ sitting in the chair, watching TV. He told him to turn it off and get back into bed since it wasn't time to be up. AJ refused. He refused to even get up, or move an inch off the chair. That's when my husband knew something was going on.

Turns out, he had stolen my wallet .. AGAIN ... and was taking money out. AGAIN. He also took $5 from Anthony the other day. We discovered it as we were searching for his gloves so we could go to the store (no car means walking, and we needed to be extra bundled up). He was hiding it in his backpack. Today's incident makes 5 times, if I remember correctly. I've lost track at all the times he's stolen money from us.

When I asked him WHY he took it today, he said "I just wanted to." Well, ummm??? Last night, before bed, I reminded him that taking my money is NOT acceptable. I had him repeat it back to me to be sure he heard me. And here we are, not even 12 hours later, with his hands in my wallet, and my money hiding underneath him.

Anthony yelled at him, he sent him to his room, but when I woke up, he played the victim card. "My ear hurts. I thought if I took your money, my ear would feel better." No you didn't. You got caught, and now you're looking for any way to get out of it. Just like screaming "I'M SO SORRY! I DIDN'T MEAN TO!" to dad while he was sending you to your room didn't work, neither will playing the pain card. I did give him some Tylenol just in case his ear was hurting. Chances are, it was hurting because he's been breaking q-tips in half, and sticking the broken stick end in his ear.

I am seriously at a loss with him. I just don't know what to do anymore. Anyone have any tips??

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Burning holes in my pockets

The lien release came in today. I was excited, and EXTREMELY happy, so I texted the guy who bought my car, and told him that it was in. He wrote back and said he'd be here in about half an hour. It was seriously the highlight of my day.

Let's step back a bit. My husband has hardly been home since yesterday. His mother is moving, so he had to go help her. Since our kids are young, they'd only be in the way.  I was home with them. AJ had his melt downs and whined almost the whole time. Today, same thing. He was up early, and whiny. Anthony was gone by 9 to help his mom again. Our friend D was coming to help, but needed someone to watch the baby. He dropped the baby off here, and I had her for a few hours. Poor Gianna was so jealous. She cried almost the whole time I held the baby. I was able to put her down a bit so that I could cuddle G, but not for long. After a fresh diaper and a bottle, I was able to put the baby down for a nap, then work on putting G down as well. The baby slept for about an hour, G for 2.

Shortly after they woke up, the mail came. When I rummaged through it, I saw the envelope regarding the lien release. I was really looking forward to the check that I was supposed to get from Boogie Wipes, but I was more excited for the lien release. I knew it would only be a bit longer before D and Anthony got back. I could wait a bit to text the new owner of my car. I was anxious, and am super impatient, but the babies kept me plenty busy.

As soon as they walked in the door, however, I was ready for D to take his daughter and for me to find the guy's number. Like I said, about half an hour later, he came over. We talked for a bit, and found out that he owns a mechanic shop. He said he doesn't do heavy duty engine work, but he can do the majority of whatever we'd need in the future. That's great, because Anthony's car needs some work done. We were talking about how I've been worked over by another company that seems to think that I needed things done to my car that likely didn't need to be done. Fortunately, I have people in my life that know what they're doing when it comes to cars. I went to them first, and if they couldn't fix it, THEN I went to the other company.

So, now that I have the rest of the money, it's burning a hole in my pocket. I need a new phone badly, and I also need to get something for Anthony for Valentines Day. Not only that, but our wedding anniversary is only 4 days after V Day. No idea what to get him for either. I have never been good at picking out gifts. I actually think I rather suck at it. This is where you all come in. Tell me, what do you think is a good gift? We've been together for almost 13 years, but married for 4. What do you give your husbands for anniversaries and for Valentines Day? Any and all suggestions welcomed!!!