Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's the Simple Things

Fred has yet another mustang that he is fixing up and recently bought some parts and tools for the project.  They arrived in boxes full of wrapping paper that sat in our foyer for days before Mason discovered them.  He has taken to playing with this paper religiously.  Running around the house and piling it up and jumping on it.  Funny, but also very messy.  

This morning he was once again playing with the paper and instead of freaking out about the mess being made and eventually left for me to clean up I decided to join in.  Mason was thrilled, grabbing my hand while saying, "mommy play paper too," and showing where to stand.  He was jumping on and off the couch, emersed in the paper and I found that I couldn't resist the urge to pick up a big pile and throw it on top of him.  This caused Mason to erupt into fits of giggles so contagious I was laughing too.  For 30 minutes we engaged in this non-stop fun.  Mason jumping on the couch waiting for the pile of wrapping paper I would inevitably throw on top of him.  Then he would jump off, paper trailing behind him, to the other end of the room, turn around and head back.  Picking up another pile I would throw it at him as he was barreling full steam toward the couch.  This was even more delightful to him.  On and on it went, piles of shredded paper covering the floor, couch, Mason and myself.  A special moment shared between mother and son.  I began to think about those Johnson and Johnson commercials, you know the ones where they state "Having a baby changes everything."  This scene would be perfect.  I used to watch those commercials longing for moments just like the ones the parents were experiencing.  Now here I was in my family room with my 2 year old son smiling and laughing as if nothing else mattered than our little game.  Oh how true it is that parenthood changes us.   

Who knew you could have so much fun with a few rolls of old wrapping paper?
Pin It

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pitty Party for one please!

Seems that I will not escape this pregnancy without having some sort of cold, infection, or other sickness as much as possible.  I woke up yesterday feeling a little bit of a sore throat.  By 4pm I was so out of it and tired that I just couldn't muster up making dinner for my family let alone stay fully awake for my favorite show, Hell's Kitchen.   I had hopes that I could possibly kick it without getting "sick" but it seems a lost cause now.  All night I was achy and unable to sleep.  By morning it turned into a full blown cold or whatever it is I have.  My neck, my back, my leg especially stiff.  My throat feeling as if it is the size of a tennis ball, despite taking throat lozenges.  My head has not only detached from my body but left me with an excruciating headache.  My nose is stuffed, my ears are clogged and I find it is taking every thing inside me to get out of bed and muster up the smallest bit of strength to make sure my son does not kill himself while I wallow in self pitty and attempt to recover as fast as possible.  

It could just be me but it seems that there is some pre-requisite number of times a person must feel like complete and utter crap before the wonderful world of pregnancy ceases to exist. Somehow I have not reached that number yet.  Well F that.  I am so over this its not even funny. I'm sorry but if it makes you feel like you want to kill yourself  just so it will end, its not a gift, its torture. And every woman who says she loved being pregnant is either lying, psychotic or has as my husband calls it, selective amnesia.  Maybe this is how nature gets us to repeat this insane act over and over again.  

I am full term at what, 36 weeks?  Wonder if I can convince my doctor to move up my c-section...
Pin It

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Potty Wars Part 2

It has been a month since I started this whole potty training ordeal and while I find it hard to keep up with on some days (I am trying to grow another human being after all) I feel confident that we are making progress everyday. As a whole Mason goes pee in the potty about 85-90% of the time. This of course is if I remember to prompt him at the right moment and we make it to the bathroom before it comes out. Hence why we are not always successful. It takes a lot of mental awareness to remember that one or two hours ago he sat on the potty last and how many cups of juice/milk he's had since then and are we anywhere near a bathroom. Sorry to say I haven't honed in my supermom skills yet and don't always remember the schedule. I don't blame Mason, I realize he just isn't at the stage of development yet where he can physically identify the need to pee and then verbally tell me before it happens. He is only 27 months after all. Though he has developed the keen sense of actually doing the deed;
"Mommy! I'm pooping."
"You're pooping?"
"Yeah. I'm pooping. Back here," shoves his butt in my direction. "You gonna check?"
And he can identify it once it has already happened;
"Piston cups gone," referring to the designs that disappear on pull-ups when wet.
Yes we are using pull-ups. And before you go into the spiel that pull-ups are worthless, just diapers in disguise because they absorb too well, I have to say that this is one reason I like them. That and they are put on and off like real underwear so he gets the practice of pulling them down and up by himself. Anyway, I like that they are still absorbent so when I miss the schedule I don't have a huge mess to clean up. Unlike others, I don't want to have to clean up accidents. I'm sure with training pants or underwear he might get the idea faster once he's had a few accidents but we didn't spend 6 months renovating this house, installing brand new carpet and hardwood floors to have Mason pee and poop all over the place. We invested way too much money to ruin it all. Not to mention, I clean enough stuff around this house as it is. I don't have a cleaning service, it's all moi! So to add cleaning up urine and poop stains and added laundry to the mix is just unneeded additional stress. Remember I am 6 months pregnant.
Besides I'm not in an extreme hurry to have Mason trained. I know it will take a while. So to all those of you saying, "I can't believe you are potty training already. 2 years old is kinda early isn't it? Boys are slower at this and take longer to train. I waited till mine was 3 years old and he was trained in a weekend." Good for you. Doesn't mean that it will work best for us. I know boys are slower which is why I have not put us on some unrealistic schedule. Maybe if I had waited until he was 3 it would all be done faster. But why put all that pressure on both of us when this whole process is already pressure filled enough? Mason had been showing increasing interest and was even begging to sit on the potty since this summer. I wanted to wait at least until all the chaos of moving, remodeling, and vacations were over. But once they were, I felt I couldn't put it off any longer, I was running out of excuses. What's the harm in doing it now? He enjoys using the potty like mommy and daddy and especially loves the gummy bears and m&ms he is rewarded with when successful. I like the lesson in patience it is teaching me to have with my son. His body will eventually catch up with his determination. We have come a long way already, making good progress in just a month. What we will be able to accomplish in nine more. He might not be out of diapers by the time the baby arrives, but I am sure he will by the time his third birthday does.

Pin It

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Adults have tantrums too

Yeah so that cliche statement that hindsight is 20/20, I really hate cliche statements. Especially when they are true.  

I've been reading two books: 1-2-3 Magic and Scream Free Parenting in the hopes to make life easier with a two year old and one on the way.  By easier, I mean having him obey mommy (the #1 rule is our household).  This task has proved to be harder than expected and therefore turned to outside help.  Even with these experts advice I still find myself struggling in the never ending war over power with my son.

Looking back on it I realize I should have handled the situation differently and with a bit more maturity.  My lame excuse?  I'm 6 months pregnant, running on limited to no sleep and stressed out beyond belief.  I tend to run on a shorter fuse since becoming a parent and choosing to stay-at-home.  Mason, having entered into the infamous terrible twos, is gaining expertise in his skill of testing and trying my patience.   This is also known as my anger switch. The books made discipline seem simple and easy to execute and taking what I'd learned and applying it to my life was going well.  I hadn't screamed or yelled at my son in utter frustration in a few days.  Progress was being made, well that was until today.  

It started off as one of those days.  Up all night because my son had been crying every few hours forcing me to get out of bed to put him back in his and assure him for the 10th time the wind would not hurt him, he was safe.   When 7am arrived much too early and the first thing I did after making it downstairs was to make myself a cup of caffeine filled coffee.  

Feeling more energized it came time to do some grocery shopping so I packed Mason and my reusable shopping bags into the car and headed off.  After a smooth in and out with everything on my list I let Mason watch some Backyardigans in the car while I quickly put away what had been bought so we wouldn't be late for his hair cut.   Being the angel that deep down I truly know he is, Mason sat perfectly still while Holly cut his much needed mop of hair.  It helped that I remembered I had an iphone fully equipped with video capabilities and episodes of Thomas and his all time fave movie, Cars downloaded to it.   Holly was therefore able to get a more thorough, shorter cut.  When finished I stood facing Mason, a little twinge in my heart, and wondered where my baby had gone.  Before me stood this handsome more grown up little boy.  As a reward he got his cookie that he'd been asking for all week and proceeded to proudly eat it, savoring each bite with an enthusiastic "hmmmm."  All of this put me in a good mood, so I gave Mason his choice for lunch.  He, of course, chose McDonalds.  More for the playground than the food and even though I had told him that last time we were there that we would not be returning due to his refusal to listen to mommy and daddy when we said it was time to stop playing, I was feeling optimistic and agreed.  

Mason's behavior only increased with goodness as he willingly ate all four of his nuggets from the happy meal and sat on the potty before going to play.   I'd periodically wave to him as he peered out the windows and kept my ears open for calls of distress.   He was having such fun climbing up the layered landings, crawling through the tunnels and down the slide.  Over and over, each time exclaiming with pride, "I did it!" 

I'm not sure exactly when or what triggered my emotions first.  It could have been the other five kids running and screaming so loud, not listening to their parents pleas to behave or the parents who just didn't care that their offspring were breaking every rule clearly posted on the big yellow sign while simultaneously trying to boss around those younger than themselves.   (It is a huge pet peeve of mine that parents use the playground as a babysitter rather than actually paying attention their children and properly "parenting" them).  Or maybe it was just the simple fact that I get irritated with surprising ease at the most trivial things.  Either way, I am not entirely proud of the following scene I displayed.  

Writing in my little notebook that I always carry in my diaper bag for those moments I don't want to forget I hear a familiar voice calling for Mommy.  Looking up I see that my brilliantly skilled son has managed to get to the very top landing, laying on his stomach and frantic that he cannot get back down.  Now this is not the first time he has put himself in this exact predicament and not he first time I am being faced with the task of having to retrieve him.  My first thoughts are of frustration,  "Why the hell did he climb up there again when he knows he can't climb down?!  No way am I doing up after him this time."  But on the outside I remain calm and attempt to coax him down on his own, encouraging him that he is very capable of doing this.  

"Just swing your legs over the edge, that's it, see you are almost touching the bottom.  Now just slide down a little more.  Yes you can Mason."

After five minutes of this my patience is wearing thin, I desperately do not want to climb up there.  I am 6 months pregnant after all and clearly the space was not meant for, nor built for adult use.  Especially the adult with the protruding belly, back pain and cramping.   I change my tactic thinking I will get better results.  I threaten that we will never come back here if I have to come up there to get him.  More attempts but nothing.  The drop is really not that far and he is really so close to doing it on his own I keep hoping he will just trust me and let go but he doesn't.  Now I am getting angry, I start to question him as to why he got up there if he can't come down, he knows he can't do it from the last time he tried.  This is unacceptable.  Now I am back to encouraging him and now switching to threats again.  It is clear he isn't coming down and I finally give up, now really pissed off that I have to maneuver my ever expanding belly in ways I didn't think I could, to retrieve my son who no longer seems distressed.  Reaching the top I grab him by the arms and yank him down.  Now sitting there I make him look at me and angrily lecture him about his behavior.  I then drag him down the rest of the way and march him to our table where I proceed to put on his shoes, still lecturing him that if he had only listened to me, but now we are not only leaving, we are never coming back here (and I am promising myself to keep this threat this time).  He is starting to get up set and cry and I am just trying hard to get out of there as fast as possible.  Once in the car, Mason in full force crying mode,  I continue to yell at him telling him he has hurt me and possibly Baby Sophie and does he understand.  He stops crying and says yes.  But I know he doesn't.  He starts to whine about wanting to go home but I had errands I wanted to run and I am not going to let him ruin the rest of my plans so I ignore him saying that he better stay quiet if he doesn't want me to pull this car over for a time out.   He starts to quiet and as I look in the kiddie mirror I see that he has fallen asleep.  Looking at the time, 2pm, I realize it is his nap time and could have partly attributed to his actions.  

Now that it is all over, I take a few deep breaths and come to the conclusion that I handled it all wrong.  I forgot the no-talking, no emotion rule.  Even more,  I treated Mason as though he was a little adult which is clearly not what to do as stated in chapter 3 of 1-2-3 magic.  But my worst offense was losing my temper.  Okay, Okay, I'll admit it.  I HAD A TEMPER TANTRUM.  There it is.  I said it, it's out.   I should have calmly rescued him and then proceeded to show him how to get down on his own.  I should have sat him at our table for a few minutes for a time out without talking to him or about the situation, then headed to the car.  But as I stated earlier hindsight is 20/20.  You always know what to do after you have done what you shouldn't.  Now more than ever it has been made so clear to me that parents and adults alike can have tantrums just as much as children.  It seems funny but I never thought that I would have to get a check on my own emotional responses once becoming a parent.  In other words,  I never thought I'd have some more growing up to do after reaching adulthood.  

Parenting is not about kids, it's about parents.  

Adding this to my list of imperfections and moving on.  At least I didn't hit or physically harm my child.  Besides we made up, I bought him a Thomas book while at the bookstore and he seems to not have held a grudge.  Today he is wanting mommy and not daddy.   I realize Mason will be Mason, and he will struggle through lessons as he grows up too.  No sense to dwell on the past.  What I need is to focus on the future and what I can change; myself.       
Pin It

Friday, February 13, 2009


It's such a cliche to have to have a special day to tell someone you love them.  Shouldn't we be telling them everyday?  Non the less, this philosophy doesn't stop me from celebrating or expecting something romantic on the 14th of February every year.  Chock it up to the simple fact that I am a woman and my logic is not only complicated but shouldn't even be tried to be understood by the male species.  Just go with the flow guys, makes life much easier.  Trust me.  
That said.  Last night Fred and I got our hair cut, this was Fred's first time to Holly, and when we arrived home there was a package at the door.  I naturally thought it was for Fred (he is always ordering things online, I'm not that comfortable doing online shopping frequently just yet) but when I got closer I noticed it had my name on it.  The box, from 1-800-flowers, had these beautiful roses (pictured above) in them.  Once again I assumed they were not from Fred (he has a hard time remembering things like this and pretty much never gets me flowers) and once again I was wrong.  (Every once in a while you'll find I can admit this).  The sentiment simply read, "To my one and only love, Happy Valentines Day."  Awwww, how sweet. I knew he could be romantic if he tried hard enough.  Incredibly shocked he actually remembered this Saturday was V-day,  I reveled in the moment.  Yes they arrived two days early but apparently shipping was cheaper.  Hey, in this economy you need to save a buck anywhere you can!  I'm just happy he remembered at all. Which if you think about it, because he does not do this often and usually forgets important days like my birthday, our anniversary, and valentines day, it makes those moments that he actually does even more special and meaningful.  Maybe this has been his plan all along.  
As for me, being the keeper of the calendar and always knowing when important dates are arriving, I had my card for Fred all planned out and ready to execute weeks ago.  Knowing that I wanted to take pictures of my ever growing belly and I being close to 24 weeks, figured this would be the perfect time to get the picture for my card.  I had seen this many times on scrapbook layouts and wished I had done something like this while pregnant with Mason, but hadn't thought of it at the time.  I dressed in the appropriate red and pink for V-day, set up my tripod and snapped away.
This is the card and I absolutely love the result!  All that is needed now is a happy, romantic day tomorrow.  

Here are the best of the bunch of belly shots from my 24 week photo shoot.  

Growing big and strong this little girl is constantly moving, kicking and god knows what else in there. Can't believe that I only have three months left as I begin to head into my third trimester soon.  The c-section has been confirmed for May 28th at 12:30 in the afternoon.   Only 104 more days to go! 
It's now starting to become real that I am actually having another baby.  Mason keeps asking for Baby Sophie to come to Mason house and I'm not sure he fully understands the meaning or what will happen when this new baby arrives but I tell him she will be here soon.  When I ask him where Baby Sophie is, he points to my belly and says she is in there and mentions my belly button.  Yesterday he tried to cuddle with her and it was so cute seeing him attempt to get close to my protruding belly enough to "cuddle" his baby sister.  I wonder everyday what their relationship will be like.  Will they get along, will they have a love/hate camaraderie, will they be close or not want to be around each other at all?  I hope for my children to have a sibling bond that is special and loving.  I do expect fights to happen, it's just human, but I hope they will protect and respect each other.  What Mother wouldn't?

As I play this waiting game I have been diligently working on Mason's baby book.  Only 27 months later and I am now finally finishing it.  I haven't had much time for scrapbooking, or rather I didn't make it a priority to fit into my schedule, until now.  This is where I have been hiding lately.  My scrapbook room.  I realize the need to get all these memories down and the importance of documenting his first year (well our lives in general).  I have just two layouts left and then some journaling to do on about 6 other layouts and it's complete.  A sense of accomplishment is hitting me and I love it.  I will finally have a completed scrapbook for myself.  Something I have not done since my Honeymoon almost 4 years ago.  Speaking of my Wedding, I still have that album in progress as well.  At least I have the video to look back on.  My next goal is to get Sophie's baby book done.  I bought Becky Higgins Sweet Baby Kit so it should be faster to assemble.  I plan to get the design and sketches completed so all I have to do is add the photos and journaling when each month/milestone arrives.  Again my word for 2009 is SIMPLIFY.   
I will post some layouts from Mason's album once I am completely finished.

Have a Happy Valentines Day Weekend!!!!
Pin It

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No dogs allowed

So it seems that my little man has developed a contact allergy to dogs. It shouldn't surprise me though. Fred has horrible allergies all the time, most of which is due to cats and dogs. This is one reason why we never got another cat. I'm not sure why it never crossed my mind that Mason could possibly be allergic to either animal, maybe it is that my parents and sister both have cats and he is over there all the time and never had a reaction. Or been at friends houses with cats and dogs and never had a reaction....until now.
We had been invited to a Super Bowl part at a friends house and were delighted to get the chance to see friends we hadn't seen in a while. The Beadle's had just been on a 10 week trip to Texas, and thought they would never come back. The Gattoni's had just had their third child three weeks ago and we were dying to meet her. The Smith's we hadn't seen since New Year's Eve and any chance for me to be around other adults I jump at immediately. Upon arriving we were greeting by a swarm of kids and Chiquita, the Beadle's Boston Terrier. Mason has enjoyed playing with her in the past so I knew much fun was about to be consumed. Honestly we didn't pay much attention to the game. We were all occupied with laughing at the kids playing and catching up on lives we had missed. Toward the end of the night, Mason started chasing Chiquita around the room and of course they both were loving it. Mason had been itching his nose earlier and rubbing his eye but I hadn't really thought anything of it. Then Chiquita and Mason started this licking game, which in part was a bit gross. Dogs love to lick faces and Mason was giggling like crazy. It was cracking me up. I love to hear him giggle, it makes a bad day perfect again. Then we noticed Mason really starting to rub his eye and his face was looking really red. I thought maybe he was just tired, it was after all like 9pm and way past his bedtime. After arriving home Fred went upstairs to change Mason into the his pajamas and overnight diaper. Of course he had to go potty, and apparently since I am the only one who has the capability of helping with this, I went upstairs to assist. Mason started to complain that his eye hurt and as I looked closely I noticed that not only was his face getting really red and puffy so was his eye. So much so that it was practically swollen shut. I got really worried and screamed at Fred. We decided to give him some Benadryl and keep an eye on his respirations throughout the night. He did o.k. all night but once morning arrived his eye was still red and puffy and now red bumps were all over the left side of his face. I made an appointment to see the doctor. I was sure this was an allergic reaction but wasn't sure of how to treat it exactly. Once at the office, I was questioned about the red bumps on his face and I recalled our trip to Oregon and it started to make sense.

On our trip to Oregon, the last few days Mason had developed a red bumpy rash on his stomach and neck. We weren't quite sure what it was, so just put lotion on it and eventually within a few days of arriving home it was gone. Mason had been complaining that it hurt and was itchy. We had the suspicion that it was some sort of reaction to either detergent or my mother in laws dog, Maggie. But since it went away fairly quickly and didn't seem to bother Mason too much we just let it go. Now I was certain it was a reaction to Maggie. When I explained this to the doctor he came to the same conclusion. Mason has developed a contact allergy to either dog hair or dander. Add in his history of eczema and you've got a bad situation. The solution, to give him 1 tsp. of Benadryl every four hours until it clears up (if it gets worse call him immediately). Avoid contact with dogs or if we know we will be going somewhere with dogs to pretreat Mason with either Benadryl or Claritin. Eventually Mason should get tested, but he is still too young now. I left feeling so sorry for my poor little boy and realizing he probably had no idea what had happened or that he would have to stay away from his much beloved doggy friends.

It is quite sad really because he just loves animals, since he was a baby actually. 7 months old to be exact. I still remember the first time we found out he even had an interest. We were in Spokane, Washington for the Wedding of Fred's Uncle. At the particular moment I am remembering we were at Fred's Cousins, Kelly and Kelley's house taking a tour. They have a small dog (can't remember the breed) and Mason was not quite able to crawl that well yet. We let Mason play around on the ground for a bit and when he saw the dog it was all over. He had mastered crawling in an instant. We were so amazed at how fast he crawled after that little pup and still to this day we revel in the moment with utter astonishment. The love for dogs, cats and I think all animals in general, started in that moment and has grown considerably ever since.

The Benadryl seems to be working, though I just noticed him scratching the back of his leg and now there are red bumps all over it, and I've been wondering how I will be able to keep my highly active 2 year old from playing with, chasing and hugging dogs. In all honesty how do you really keep a toddler from doing what he wants to do? I feel that I have my work cut out for me and am running dangerously close to E. Some words of encouragement and inspiration are needed right about now. Time to delve into my endless supply of parenting books and magazines.
Pin It