Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Bomb Squad

I’ve come to the conclusion parents of toddlers could all be viable candidates for the bomb squad. Parents of any age kid actually. All phases bring new tactics.

If you know, you know.

If not, let me explain my thoughts.

These tiny humans are elite explosive devices. They can be triggered at any second. At times they appear to be no harm and an innocent matter. But always destructive when they implode.

From the moment they’re born we treat them as a very delicate bundle so we do not break them. That is absolutely expected and rightfully should be how every parent is with the tiny babes.

We have found every creek and crack in our wood floors in our home since he has been born. Truly, since our son was tiny he was a great sleeper. The sleep regressions have all come and gone in their due time. They are pretty spot on with the timing!

This recent one is a doozy.

I have had a lot of time sitting on his bedroom floor to think while he falls asleep. That is when I determined a parent could be a bomb squad member.

The patience we have waiting for them to calm and fall asleep is amazing, most nights. Sitting so still and speaking so softly to them.

When holding their hand, you have to move so incredibly slow to not wake them from the feeling of your hand leaving theirs. That is tactical. I have had some nights I literally lift one single finger at a time ensuring he won’t wake at each movement.

Exiting their room in a stealth like fashion so you do not step on a creeky piece of floor to wake them. We have to move slow and steady as if we are tip toeing around landmines because that’s what they are.

Parenting takes skill and tactical moves. Like when I crawled out on all fours the other night and my husband was laughing so hard once he caught me. No video evidence because I silently threatened him as he laughed.

In reality, our real bomb squad members are amazing at what they do and for good reason. I’m not knocking anyone’s job.

As a mom who overthinks while awake during the trying times, I think of ways to lighten the stress of the situation.

Nights are tough right now for us. It is a phase, I hope, like the others we will soon have behind us. Until that time comes, we will see what other fun thoughts I can come up with!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Two Trips Around the Sun

2 years. 730 days. 17,520 hours. 1,051,200 seconds.

All the moments we’ve spent loving our son since he came into this world as of May 28,, 2019. (Tomorrow for some reading this). Two years since he has been born!

I was talking with someone this past week about when it’s his turn to have kids and how excited he is. He had every question under the sun about how it is. I loved that conversation!

It brought out a side of me that simply showed how amazing motherhood is. More vaguely, parenthood.

I was always taught and brought up to know that you let others brag about your children. Mainly because you sound like a bit of an ass constantly bragging about your own kids, but also, when others say it, you can puff your chest as a proud parent in knowing you are raising a good human.

I give a little “toot toot” about my son and how much I love him, but you read my blogs about the sides of him that make me go “boy, you’re moving in with grandma tomorrow!”

I was overwhelmed with talking about how much I love parenting my son. In a good way, that it surprised even me. I think because we as adults constantly dwell on the bad side of things, rather than the best sides of things. It’s our nature.

I have had moments before where I wasn’t sure it was for me. I know my son picked me to be his mom, but I wasn’t sure I was cut out to be a mom in general. I have always wanted to be a mom but I had my doubts, which I believe is normal for some of us.

He brings out the best of it all, even the tough moments and smiling back at them.

I’m not the one who will scream, “I LOVE BEING A MOM!” It’s freaking hard and some days being a mom isn’t what you want on your to-do list. But in that conversation I had, my heart swelled so much talking about it all and truly how much I love it and most importantly, my son.

We talked about how my husband was in every moment of our son’s birth. It is one of my favorite parts of welcoming our son into the world.

My husband legitimately called out every moment like a sports broadcaster while I pushed. Ask him. It’s now funny because I told him if he again tells me the details he did then, I’ll probably ask him to shut up. 😉

Either way, our son has been bringing us literal joy, laughter, worry, memories, anger, and most importantly more love into our life for the past 2 years on this side of the world. Of course, he brought us all that while I was pregnant too.

In these past two years, they are not kidding when they say you see your heart on the outside of your body when your children are born. It continues to grow as he does. (cliché, I know!)

He knows how to make his mom smile and cry at the same time.

He is my boy. He is my husband’s buddy. He is our world.

Happy 2nd Birthday, bubs! Mom & Dad love you!

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

No, No, No

Here we are, in the “NO” zone with my just about 2-year-old and I hate it.

This morning, I opened his bedroom door and said, “Good Morning!” as I always do. Normally there is no response, but today, I heard a stern, “no.”

Sure, we all feel that when our alarms go off each morning before work. This was a great example of how he is knee deep into using this word daily! I’m also not as chipper as that text may read to you when I say my good morning to him.

There is no sugar coating this phase because it’s hard and we don’t know exactly how to correct it. We know every kid goes through it though and it’s not simply the Terrible Twos everyone loves to tell me are coming. *eye roll*

Truly, I think it’s getting worse before it gets better. Which is how most scenarios work, right?

I’ve offered to give him away. (Anyone who doesn’t understand that and is judging me, move along.)

The face when he says “No” to dinner. Life isn’t ALL smiles all the time, people.

Reality is we’re stuck here for a moment until we figure it out. I have searched on what we can do as well as reached out to friends who work with children regularly to help me know what other things we can try.

I find myself being extremely frustrated with him. More than I’d like to admit to but I’m human and it’s exhausting. He’s exhausting because he has mom’s stubborn and persistent side that I knew would be coming for me to handle and deal with.

One of my closest friends works with kids daily in her job so she was someone I reached out to when I felt like we had hit a wall and who could provide some tips for us to try.

Below are a few of the items we discussed trying in the next few weeks to ease our stress and direct him out of this phase. Maybe they’ll help another parent going through this phase at the same time as we are.

  • Changing the trend. He is used to getting away with things for so long, that we have to stand firm when we ask something of him and follow through. Do not allow that long rope as we have done before. He will learn the new pattern after some time.
  • Rewarding the behavior or words that you want and ignoring the negative. Give over the top praise or big celebrations so it is very clear that what he did was good, and we’ll hope that he repeats again.
  • Provide choices to him. They feel that they have a little more control when provided a decision to make on their own.
  • Ask him to help a lot. Instead of saying, “it’s time to clean up” ask them instead to help me and try to make a game of it for them.
  • Favorite one is to always redirect. Quoting her here, “it’s my go to for when we’re stuck on the “no” merry go round.” By telling them, “Let’s do this” instead of “do you want to…” can help.
  • Last resort is to send to the grandparent’s house. 😊

I’ve already told my mom that she may have a new house guest if he keeps it up! She has no problem with that, but of course that’s not how it works for us.

We’ll keep pushing through these tough days of his phase and hope that the tips given work. We as parents do need to work together on this too so we’re on the same page giving him the same reactions and actions from each of us.

To be fair to this sour patch kid of mine right now does have the biggest heart for his mama. He gets me flowers when we’re outside and gives me the sweetest hugs when he sees I’ve hit my limit with him. Not before I’ve heard about 300 “no’s” though.

Send some hugs our way and hope we make it through unscathed! 😉

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Creating Confidence

I am 33 years old and I struggle with my own confidence. However, what I don’t want is my own child to as he grows up.

The world we’re in is mean. It’s unforgiving. It is unfair to anyone who wants to and should love themselves for who they are and what they look like. To boot, we have social media that makes everything worse.

I want to teach my son everything I can about loving himself for who he is and what he looks like.

My husband and I have conversations constantly of how we want to raise him and what we can do to nurture him to be who he can be. Remember, we’re first-time parents and we don’t know much other than we want to raise a kind human who loves himself and others around him.

Children are the fastest learners and are sponges when it comes to what they see and hear. The struggle of ensuring that we are doing and what we are saying in front of him that harness what we want him to see is there every day. We both make comments on our own appearance and how we feel that we never realized before were so effective to how he perceives us.

I have had to change my own views of myself in the short 2 years that he has been here. My husband even corrected me recently on something I said out loud. In relation to the scale, but let me tell you how we help our son see himself as strong using that scale already.

We have a scale in our room we step on from time to time and our son does too. When he hops on it, I quickly ask him, “How strong are you today?!” It takes a moment to get him to uncover the weight since he thinks it’s cool to step on the light-up part. But that’s what I want him to know when we weigh ourselves, that it’s about our strength and not the actual weight.

That’s exactly what my husband told me recently when I stepped on the scale and wasn’t too happy about it. He reminded me by asking, “how strong are you today?” And I just smiled because he is right. How can we teach our kid that if we don’t believe it either?

Another story to add that he does what he sees us doing.

I started another workout program that I do in our basement. The other evening, he was full of energy and I was preparing to go downstairs and get my workout in. Most days I do it when he’s napping or too early that he’s not awake yet, but I was lazy this day, so the evening was the best time to get it in.

I invited him to join me and come workout with mama. In his little head, he hears time with me and quickly agrees, plus there are toys in the basement he doesn’t see as often as others he has upstairs!

We started the workout, and the warmup began. He watched me do a jump rope action as well as high knees and attempted both. I wish I had recorded it but the pure joy I got out of watching him try to jump and then step those tiny knees as high as he could was perfection. He was so proud of himself to keep up with me and what we were mimicking on the TV.

Of course, his attention went off to his toys most of the time during this workout and he got into other things. I would continue to invite him to join me on things I thought he may want to try. He in turn did join a few more times but not on most of it because toys are cooler than goofy moves with mom.

He gave push-ups a try, which that cute butt goes straight in the air as he tries. Then he did mountain climbers. That was easily my favorite one of the day. He ended up laying on the floor and kicking his feet like he was swimming. After each one we high fived and he would sometimes give me a “YEAH!” with his little fists in the air.

The point is that he followed mama trying to workout and keep her own confidence and health in check while we cheered one another on as we did it.

If it’s normal to them to treat themselves this way and see you do it too, they’re going to continue to build that confidence we all know we need.

Oh yeah, one more thing I did with him the other week that made me smile. He spotted himself in my full-length mirror and was smiling. I made sure to ask him to blow himself a kiss and say, “I love you!” and it came out, “lahh you!”

I was surprised he actually did it but man, did that make my heart explode. I need to do this too when I see myself in the mirror.

Again, not every day is this way that we instill the best ideas that come to mind. We’re human, we have bad days, he does too. I’m harder on myself than I ever should be, but I really hope as parents we can work on ourselves and teach him how great he is and how strong he is in every way.

Do what you can to help those little minds develop self confidence in any way you can.

Also, go to the mirror and blow yourself a kiss while saying, “I love you!” 😊 You deserve it.

I’m interested to know if you use any techniques, sayings, or routines of any kind to help instill confidence in yourself or your children! Please feel free to share in the comments so we can all learn and help our children grow with strong confidence in themselves.

Posted in Mom life

Things Not Told in Parenting Books: Early Toddler Edition

As a new parent, you’ve either read books suggested to you, googled anything you think of, found blogs on Pinterest, or been given all of the unsolicited advice you never asked for.

Shoot, I still google things related to what my son is going through. We all know Google is extremely reliable… I am joking, of course.

What most people don’t tell you is the real shit that happens when your kids are here and how they will be. I love sharing the stories with friends so we can laugh together about what has happened knowing they have their own to share with me too.

Kids are unpredictable. Whether they go through the same developmental milestones or not, they each have a personality someone cannot write about for you.

But I can share with you what my son has done that was not told to me but I can now save in my memory and write it out for you to see his antics and hopefully laugh along with us.

Things Not Told in Parenting Books: Early Toddler Edition

  • Your kid will throw things in the trash thinking they’re helping. Really, he just tossed his baby monitor and you’ll only know if it’s on and the battery is dying. Then it’s a game of hide and seek toddler style. This is done while he is napping too so you can’t ask for his help, as if it would have been any assistance. It doesn’t end there. Other items that don’t make noise also find their way to the trash and it’s a game of luck if you find it. If you don’t find it, plan to blame your spouse for throwing it out because that’s the obvious logical thing to do!

  • You will go to get something from your deep freeze and find all items are thawed. You quickly yell to your husband that something is wrong with the freezer panicking over what items you’re going to lose because it’s too warm to put it all in a cooler and store outside while you wait to buy a new one. Then he investigates and realizes a small human turned the knob controlling the temperature to 0 because it’s on his short leg level. Now we cross our fingers it freezes and everything was still cold enough and is not ruined. Update to that event: everything was a-okay! We also installed a toddler proof mechanism… duct tape.

  • When you’re hungover from enjoying an adult night with friends trying to nap on the couch, the savage will find you. They are sweet and cute when you feel fine and dandy with no headache. The minute you fall asleep from the awful feeling over being over 30 and drinking too much he will throw a rubber bottom slipper at your face and get a direct hit on your nose then smile at you when you wake up. Along with this same time of attempting to become human again while still on the couch, they get as close to your face as possible and yell “MAMA!” just to be sure you’re alive and still there to pay attention to them. That same shitty smile will appear when your eyes pop open out of fear.

  • They will have accidents in the tub and/or shower. It’s inevitable. Our son quickly stood from his bath a while back signing “all done” to my husband and he couldn’t figure out why until he looked over and saw a floating turd. Also, when they’re done in the shower and you place them on the rug while you turn for .2 seconds to grab a towel they will begin to pee on the rug. You’ll panic and say “whoa, whoa, whoa” scaring them to a stop and quickly hop them to the toilet to finish. Remind yourself, the rugs are washable or replaceable for cheap.

  • You’ll plan for him to have dinner in front of the TV on his tray table of chicken nuggets, fries and ketchup, peacefully. He gets excited at the movie scene and flips the tray guaranteeing the ketchup lands straight down on your light colored rug. You stay calm, clean up what you can and continue to remind him, calmy, not to touch the spilled ketchup. Emphasizing calmly because every ounce of you did not want to clean up red ketchup. He claps once its clean and proceeds to finish his hopefully 5 second rule safe dinner. The next day you use your Oxiclean concoction to clean the stain.

But when you’re winding down for bedtime, he will sit in your lap all snuggled in. He will grab your hands and hold them, then put them against his face while you kiss his perfect head. The whole world stops and it’s perfect in the moment. Every moment he had to test your patience and handle the unknown moment will fade.

No book ever prepares you. No other parent’s advice will prepare you. Only you trusting your gut and instincts will allow you to be able to handle each and every situation.

You are their parents and their antics will make you laugh, smile, cry and be frustrated. They’re still perfect and so are you, as the beautiful mess each day brings. Trust the process.