Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mommy Fear

Since becoming a mother, I have had an entirely new type of nightmare. The fear started when I was pregnant with my first. I am not a fearful person, but the idea of losing what is most dear to me... stops me dead in my tracks. I never realized how little I had to fear in my life before children. Parenthood comes with its own set of paranoia, specific to the mommies and daddies of the world.

[caption id="attachment_469" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="image source: www.melissacooley.com"][/caption]

My fear was, of course, intensified by the helpless I felt when Mayhem had his febrile seizure.  I didn't used to be like this! I appreciate the carefree attitude that I had in college now. Here are my top 3 recurrent nightmares- let me know if you share them! 

1. Earthquake: We live in southern California, so I worry that 'the big one' will happen when I'm at work- away from the boys. And I won't be able to get home to them, find them, or know they are safe. This fear has significantly increased my desire to own a large SUV with 4-wheel drive, which is entirely unnecessary in this climate. 

2. Kidnapping: We all see those stories on TV about the kids that are taken from their own home, while their parents are asleep. I can't even imagine, but I definitely waste my energy worrying about it! Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, they were the lucky ones. But the list could go on, and I can't stop myself from reading all about them!

 3. Pool accident: My parents have a pool in their backyard, across the country. Is it logical to worry about my California kids drowning in New Jersey? No. Do I? Yes.  

What is your biggest 'mommy fear'?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Value of Great Childcare

Well, I was going to post about the nightmares that I've had since becoming a mother. And then one came true... our beloved Kymber is leaving us. Kymber has been coming to our home Tuesday through Thursday, and every other Friday. She takes care of the kids, deals with our dogs, and keeps the place running while I'm gone. She kisses boo boos, she changes wet sheets, she feeds them, she bathes them... I trust her completely. She has made it easier for me to leave my babies, and head off to work.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="354" caption="I totally look like this. image source: www.helloladies.com"]Image[/caption]

While I'm proud of her for pursuing her dreams (she's so young!), she will be sorely missed. My biggest heartache will be informing Little J that his "Kimmie" won't be coming over any more. I'm pretty sure that he thinks Kimmie comes over to hang out, because he is so awesome. Of course.

It feels like I'm back to square one with childcare. My mother-in-law watches the boys on Mondays, so that is taken care of. I have every other Friday off (it's called a 9/80, and it's AMAZING - I know!). So that leaves me with the remainder of the days. Little J will be starting preschool in September, but it's two half days. He also does a gymnastics class during the week, so we need a driver!

My husband and I have discussed at lengths what the best option is for us- and we've settled on a part-time nanny. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be able to have this option, and it just works best for us. We have someone in the house with the dogs all day, the kids can sleep in their own beds, and germs are kept to a minimum. After my ER visit with Mayhem http://wp.me/p1AbH5-68, I truly value the ability to keep the boys in our own house! I know that every mother, child and family is different. But this situation is what keeps me sane!

That said, I would much MUCH MUCH prefer to be able to stay home with them myself. Losing the current setup has made me absolutely ache for that chance. I know that my income is needed right now, but I can't help but dream.

Have you experienced a similar situation? Does this ever get any easier (leaving your children with someone else)?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oh, Mollie...

When I first started this blog, I promised to keep track of things that my dogs destroy. While I haven't posted each and every dinosaur they have beheaded, or every ball they have popped... or even the dog balloon they murdered...

[caption id="attachment_434" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Please forgive the blurry photo, Mayhem wouldn't be still. The point is for you to see the dog balloon, or Sparky as Little J called him."][/caption]

But I have got to share this story with you. Over Easter weekend, we attended three egg hunts. The first was in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard. The second was Saturday after brunch, and finally Sunday at church. That is not counting the eggs hidden by the Easter bunny eggs on Sunday morning. That's a lot of eggs. I put them all in a shopping bag, and left the bag downstairs. I failed to empty the candy from each egg, and I failed to put the bag on the counter.

This is what I saw on Tuesday morning, when I came down to leave for work.

[caption id="attachment_431" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="Happy Easter!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_432" align="aligncenter" width="224" caption="The source..."][/caption]

 It appears that the dogs popped open each individual egg and ate all the candy. I figured there would be two sick dogs in my kitchen. Instead, I found this:

Oh, Mollie! Do your dogs do things like this, or am I just really lucky?!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Are you tired?

Is the sky blue? I never paid much attention to the fact that I get tired.

[caption id="attachment_424" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="image source: www.thehonestbaby.com"][/caption]

But when Little J started getting 'extra fussy' in the afternoons. I searched for an answer. "Is he tired?" "Is he just going through a phase?" "What's going on with him?" Well, I began to research reasons for his afternoon crankiness, and things I could do to mitigate it. Below is the summary of my research.

Symptoms of exhaustion:

1. You find it hard to concentrate.

2. You have a shortened temper, and lose patience easily.

3. Simple things seem to hard to handle.

4. You lack the desire to do things you used to love.

If you are three years old, and you are exhausted. You throw throw a tantrum, don't want to watch "Movie Cars" for the 800th time, and/or cry when you can't find one of your dinosaurs. If you have not taken a nap, you may do all three.

Solutions to exhaustion:

1. Eat a balanced diet.

This would require branching out from peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. According to the US Department of Agriculture, Little J may need more magnesium in his diet if he's exhausted. So, I have purchased almonds to leave out as a snack. He likes them! Other options include: cashews, hazelnuts, whole grains, and fish.

2. Take a 10 minute walk. We have two dogs, what more of an excuse do I need!

3. Don't skip a meal. Well, this one is a challenge with his age... but I'm trying! If an entire meal is out of the question, try a 'power snack' of peanut butter on a cracker or yogurt with granola. These options include protein, a little fat, and fiber.

4. Drink water. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue. This is true for you too!

These solutions can work for you or your child.  Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Spring LOFT Clothes!

Went shopping this past weekend, and I was so excited by all the spring clothes!  My favorite store for 'work clothes' is definitely LOFT. My sister at I Have A Degree In This! says that I need to incorporate color and patterns into my dull wardrobe- so I'm trying! I'll show you what I picked up, and you can tell me how I did!

1. Accessories: I added a 'cool tone' long necklace, to accompany the many blues, greys and purples that I have in my closet. I love how this necklace picks up the color of whichever top I put on!

[caption id="attachment_400" align="aligncenter" width="289" caption="LOFT Long Multi Stone Illusion Necklace"][/caption]

2. A new top: I fell in love with this top when I saw it on a model in the LOFT store. It is light and airy, but still form fitting enough so that it doesn't completely take over!











3. Pants: I love these seersucker pants. I had to have them! I can’t wait to wear them with a pink top and wedge shoes. I love the bow!

I am pretty sure that the Maternity section in LOFT got me through my pregnancy with Baby Mayhem. Now that I'm FINALLY back (or pretty close to) my pre-pregnancy body, I'm excited for their new clothes!

What are you excited about for Spring?  Have you picked up any new clothes? Share with me!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

This weekend is Easter, a holiday where we celebrate new life in all its forms. Even if you aren't religious, this time of year is the beginning of spring! This week I have been racking my brain, trying to come up with age-appropriate Easter basket ideas. I do not want to fill the boys up with candy and chocolate, especially before heading over to Grandma's house. We all know what happens there. Here are a few ideas, in case you are searching for ideas for toddlers.

1. Bath toys- Munchkin letters and numbers have been a hit at our house. Check your local Target or Babies R Us.

[caption id="attachment_389" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="image source: http://www.munchkin.com/bath-letters-and-numbers-primary-colors"][/caption]

2. Sand/beach toys- pails, shovels, sandcastle molds... what's more exciting than looking forward to summer time at the beach!

3. Books- Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit is a natural choice, and I like to get the matching stuffed animal. This may be why my older son has about 300 stuffed animals in his bed right now...

4. DVDs- you can't eat those!  Baby Mayhem will try, though... I'm sure.

5. Plum Organics Fiddlesticks Snack Sticks- Apple Carrot flavor, of course.

6. Annie's Bunny Snacks- if you throw in the Chocolate Chip bunny graham snacks, you aren't completely passing on chocolate...

[caption id="attachment_391" align="alignleft" width="71" caption="image source: www.crayola.com"][/caption]

7. Chalk- Crayola washable chalk is great, if you haven't tried it - you should! http://www.crayola.com/products/where_to_buy/index.cfm

I have found almost all of these items at Target, and Babies R Us. I have also found that CVS has a good selection of odds and ends for holidays. Happy Easter!

Please share, and let me know what you are putting in your Easter baskets- or better yet, share pictures!