Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sometimes I IGNORE my Children!

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Not only do I sometimes ignore my children, instead of feeling guilty about it, I’m getting better at it. Gasp, I’m a horrible mother, I know I read minds too, just kidding. But, I’m fairly certain that’s what some of you are all thinking. Before you get your undies in a bundle, let me elaborate. I don’t ignore my children by leaving them in hot vehicles (and if you do, please stop), I ignore (usually relative to my 2-year-old) his never-ending stalking, whining, crying and hanging on me to put my attention into something anything else. In fact, sometimes I even stalk over to the computer, get on any website (yes sometimes it is Facebook other times the newspaper) just to be doing something so that he sees I am busy and busy with something he can’t help me with and therefore I won’t be busy placating him. It’s sort of very anti-attachment parenting of me, which I generally try to follow, but as Brecken gets older, I think his needs and mine are changing.

So why do I ignore my child? Because if I don’t he will drop down drag himself around the house attached to my ankles, leg(s), hanging on my shirt tales generally all while crying and whining and making obnoxious noises for no intelligible reason. Generally he can’t even tell me what he wants and not because he doesn’t have the vocabulary to do so. He is very  verbal and can effectively communicate all the essential needs like I’m hungry, tired, poopy, need to potty and so on and so forth. When left to his own devices though, magically more often than not all this screaming and crying ceases and he wanders off to PLAY by himself in his playroom or somewhere else in the house. He may pop up in ten minutes or a half hour with a “boat” built out of duplos or a book that he asks to be read, but he is no longer screaming and whining and crying when he does so and I am generally happy to appease him. That’s not to say that during this quiet playtime I don’t get all super secret agent spy like and stealthy pop my head in the playroom undetected to make sure he’s okay and contentedly playing by himself, but otherwise I don’t interfere unless he comes to me with some creation he’s cooked, Duplo masterpiece to show off or book to be read. So you might call it ignoring but I like to think of it as letting his imagination thrive. Maybe that’s just what I say to make me feel better about it but I really think it’s better for both of us than him laying on the ground holding onto my ankles screaming bloody murder. Not that I’m not neurotic, to the point I may or may not have run a google search before admitting this little secret to the world to make sure I wasn’t causing major psychological harm by employing this glorious yes I just said glorious technique. Interestingly, the results of that google search, that I may or may not have run, indicate that I’m not the only one!

Do you ever ignore your children?

Worked for IT!!!! and DIY Gutter Bookshelves

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This blog post is totally late, like I meant to write it Monday, now it’s Friday. That’s what life with two small children is like, time moves FAST. So let’s pretend it’s Monday and I actually got this up when I intended to, mmmkay. Thanks.

So your Father’s Day may have went something like this, special breakfast or brunch planned by you and some combination of the kids, some gift giving, unwrapping fabulous homemade gifts if your crafty, store-bought if you’re not, no judgment I’m a big fan of both, maybe a call to your own dad to say Happy Father’s Day and then maybe you had some fun family activity planned or maybe you just went about your day. I’d love to know, I always wonder what other people do since we do none of those things. Instead, I did enormasize Jeff’s Father’s Day E-Card on our massive I-Mac for him and then proceeded to ask him what he wanted to do, since I’m a slacker and had come up with nothing to do. He responded that he was in a home-improvement mood and wanted to do house projects. On Father’s Day? Yup! Apparently he wanted to earn his Father’s Day, maybe he thought if he worked for it, I would improve my planning next year. In my defense, he is the hardest person to buy for, although if you asked him he would tell you I was. So for Father’s Day, my husband, weeded our massive flower garden, planted a hydrangea for me and built gutter bookshelves among other things. Gutter bookshelves are AMAZINGLY simple, look fabulous and my son loves them. Easiest DIY project ever, seriously it costs like $20.00 (I’m pretty sure that included the price of a new hacksaw) and takes like 20 minutes, if I was allowed to play with the hacksaw I could have totally done it myself. But I’m not, some people just shouldn’t play with sharp objects, I may be one of them. So that was it, our Father’s Day, I did buy him some delicious dessert for after dinner when my guilt set in and then on Monday I ordered him a present, which will be here like next week. I would feel bad about that but my Mother’s Day present came from Croatia like 3 weeks after Mother’s Day. I think we just have a mutual understanding that as long as we get gifts, it doesn’t really matter when they’re given, except Christmas, I am kinda crazy about Christmas. I’ll post a picture of his gift after he gets it, because it is a pretty fab idea for any mothers out there looking for a gift for their husband. I love Etsy, have I mentioned that before.

For those of you interested in Gutter Bookshelves for your Playroom/Reading Area here’s what you do:

Figure out where you want them and measure out how long you want your shelves, you can have them meet in a corner, you will just need corner brackets or they can just be long shelves. I followed someone else’s advice and found that about 14 inches from the bottom of one gutter to the bottom of the next works well.

Go to your local home improvement store, Lowes, Ace, Home Depot, Menards ( I went to Menards where I baffled the man working in the Gutter Section when I told him I wanted Gutters to make book shelves)

Purchase as many 10 foot (that’s how they’re generally sold) sections as  you will need based on the length of your shelves of open white vinyl gutter (you want vinyl so as not to cut the tiny humans). Make sure to buy end caps for each section of shelf, you will need both a right and left end cap, if your will wrap around a corner you will need a corner bracket piece for each set of shelves.

Pick up some dry wall screws

Pick up a Hacksaw if you don’t have one

Go home measure out the length of your bookshelf sections, cut with a hacksaw, put on your end caps and attach to the wall using your drywall screws with an electric drill, put a screw in each end and a couple in between, we used about 5-6 per 3 foot wide shelf because we have old plaster and wanted them to be secure. Wash, Rinse, Repeat and you’re done. If you’re really picky you can cover the dark screws with white paint or those sticker like nail covers, if you’re lazy like me you figure the books will hide them.

Voila, awesome kid accessible shelves which make your kids excited about reading, at least it did mine, and by reading I mean begging me to read to them, maybe this was a bad idea…Also I should probably keep my day job and never try to find one writing directions, sorry.

I’m not sure if the top one is not level or if just looks that way because we have the heaviest books on that end… I’ll have to work on fixing that.

Happy Father’s Day!!!!

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Custom E-Card for my Husband from http://hahasforhoohas.com/

How Clean is your Clean?

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Brecken rarely put things in his mouth that weren’t supposed to go there. All of my choking neurosis with him was focused on the fact that he never seemed to want to chew his food enough. Nevertheless, given he was my first or because people always want to give you advice, people kept warning me, babies always put things in their mouth that they shouldn’t, you can never be too careful… While likely true for most babies and I’m sure he did but even as I type this I can’t recall anything, no freak out moments where he almost swallowed something he shouldn’t, nada. Now Pippa on the other hand, well I’m going to offer her clean testing services for the  mere price of 1 hour of babysitting or $50.00. Ladies and Gentlemen throw away your white gloves because I assure you I’ve got something better.

The Pippa Test.

I merely set her down near or on the clean service and she will very carefully and thoroughly inspect every square inch of it and find the only speck of dirt around for miles.

Then very carefully she will take out her secret weapon, aka her pointer finger and grind that speck of dirt down onto the floor sooo hard and for sooo long that it is guaranteed to stick to her finger and then BAM before you can say “WHAAAT” it’s in her mouth. And before you can blink an eye she’s eaten dirt, dog hair, a combination of dirt and dog hair, the clear tag from a clothing purchase….the list goes ON and FREAKING ON…

I see an emergency room visit in our future very soon unless I really resort to caging my baby. Because in a house with two dogs and a two year old, lets just say she’s having herself a field day. Can babies have pica, because the concerning part is she doesn’t seem to mind the taste of mounds of dog hair? Even better yet, this little lean mean sneaky eating machine is now refusing to take a bottle if I’m not here…Fab-u-NOT.

So now my new goal is trying to not only keep our house which is a DISASTER due to all our traveling as of late clean but to keep it Pippa clean and find something she will eat on the days I work. Sigh. Do any of your babies have strange okay maybe this isn’t so strange, lets say aggravating habits?

lean mean blue eyed dirt eating machine

Don’t let her fool you, she’s a lean, mean, blue-eyed, dirt-eating machine!

If only our babies could speak for us…

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Pippa might say this, on most days that end in Y, only to certain people though, wondering if you’re one of  ’em aren’t you…

Photo Credit Here and you can buy one!

War on Stuffed Animals; Want to be on my side?

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English: Stuffed animals.

English: Stuffed animals. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love toys, I love buying my kids toys. Perhaps I didn’t have enough toys as a child. Perhaps I never really grew up. All of the above? What I hate is (a) cleaning the playroom; (b) selecting some of these toys to get rid of; and (3) stuffed animals. They are cute and cuddly, well some of them, some are downright creepy and except for the 1 out of 50 that my child latches on to as his sleeping mate, 28 months into this whole gig I’m still trying to figure out their purpose. There’s just something about stuffed animals that makes people want to buy them for babies and toddlers. Maybe they think they’re a safe bet, like they can’t grow out of them and what are the chances someone else will get the same one. Before you buy someone a stuffed animal, it’s important to ask yourself this, when will the child play with this? In what situation would they play with this? If you’re inquiring about my child the answer is NONE. Perhaps he will go through a stuffed animal stage at some point or maybe his baby sister will, if they’re lucky I will not have purged them all beforehand. They are not small toys, they take up mountains of space and aren’t particularly easy to arrange in attractive displays. Further, they are one of the first things to be destroyed by the tiny humans, diving through the lot of them, throwing them everywhere, then never touching them again until my OCD kicks in and I have to fix them into something mildly attractive only for the whole nasty cycle to repeat itself. Also they should never be passed down, used stuffed animals, that’s just gross, I can’t even begin to imagine what germy nasty things grow in stuffed animals. All that cotton, kids chewing on them, spilling stuff, coughing, sneezing, I’m feeling a bit nauseous just think about it. Do people routinely wash their stuffed animals? I sure don’t. Perhaps if I lobby the CDC they will declare them unsafe for our health and well-being and require an immediate evacuation of all stuffed animals from the Country?

For all of the above reasons, I’d like to declare a war against stuffed animals and their manufacturers.  We could deliver the world’s stuffed animals back to the facilities they came from, no refund required. Surely there’s enough that such a large delivery of stuffed animals, which may or may not be disease ridden plush, would cease operations if not destroy the place with their loads of cotton filled cuteness  (gag) and equal parts Ebola until they could come up with something better to manufacture. I mean it’s just an idea, I’m open to other suggestions.

 

In the meantime, think how clean our playrooms would look, briefly  momentarily for about a second.

 

 

Caging Children?

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The new specimen is acclimating well to her new surroundings as can be seen by the photographic evidence, she is rolling around, crawling and clearly claiming her territory. I believe she has happily even willingly succumbed to caged life, earlier she even slept there.

My son HATED the pack and play and therefore it was only used for emergency sleeping situations, like unavoidable travel. Even then it was TORTUROUS for all parties involved and no one was happy. I think if he had the intelligence, motor skills and dexterity he would have burned that sucker to the ground, that’s how much he hated it. Therefore, it stayed hidden away, not even in eyesight except for those rare circumstances when it was needed. So I never assumed my daughter would find any enjoyment or contentment in it, except she kinda did.

Our pack and play came with this owl mobile that she loved to look at, so if you had to run to the bathroom or throw in a load of laundry you could set her in the bassinet portion for a few minutes, turn the owls on and be GOLDEN. Eventually their amazingness wore off and they were just owls, no longer fun to look at. Then it served as somewhere to put her when she was sleeping and you didn’t want to try to put her upstairs for fear the other would wake her.

We’ve been getting ready for a garage sale this week and have been hanging out at my moms and after Pippa got sick of her bouncer one day, I threw her in the pack and play with a bunch of toys, hoping to keep her out of trouble and safe. She was PERFECTLY CONTENT to hang out in the Pack and Play. She will sit in there for AN HOUR at home and just watch all of us. I’m sure she probably thinks we’re the ones in the circus and she’s just the spectator. Like look, all these nutso people to watch, they’re funny!!!! The long-haired one feeds me so I better stick around them. I can get SO MUCH DONE while she contentedly sits in there, chewing on toys, watching her crazy brother be crazy. I can write a blog post, I can do laundry, I can shower without an audience!!! Amazing feats in this house!

Yet I have this nagging guilty-mama feeling, am I caging my child?

Pippa is 8 months old and as seen above, pretty content to be caged…