Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

I wish I just had cute pictures of the boys, in their matching flag t-shirts and plaid shorts... but instead I have a Mollie story. The long holiday weekend started out innocently enough, I had lunch with a few girlfriends and cleaned the house. Saturday morning, Daddy took Little J fishing. Little J told me, "We tried really hard to catch a fish, but we didn't catch any." I was happy- I wasn't exactly looking forward to having smelly fish in my clean house.

[caption id="attachment_574" align="aligncenter" width="360"] Fishing on Lake Mission Viejo[/caption]

Then, we went food shopping and when we returned home I noticed a (mostly) empty Ziploc bag in Mollie's dog bed. There were a few chocolate chips left in it. I knew they had been in the pantry forever but I wasn't sure how much chocolate was left in the bag. So I asked my husband how full that bag was, "It was a Costco size bag of chocolate chips. Did she eat all of those?!"  She seemed ok, so we figured there wasn't much left in the bag. Then, after we got the boys to bed- we sat down to watch a movie around 9 pm, which is MUCH later than we are usually awake. Mollie seemed to be breathing fast. I mentioned it to my husband, and then... she started vomiting. and vomiting. and vomiting. Poor thing, she just couldn't stop. We finally got her to go outside, where she continued the pattern. When she stumbled back inside and went to get some water, she fell over- and my husband immediately went to get the leash to bring her to the animal urgent care. I called and explained the story, so when they got there the doctor was ready and waiting for her.

They gave her medication to stabilize her heart rate, because she was in danger of going into cardiac arrest. Then they gave her something to clean out her system- and then put her on an IV and EKG all night. My poor hubby had to open a line of credit, deal with a thousand questions that he didn't know the answers to, and sign papers about what kind of CPR he wanted them to do if she went into cardiac arrest. He came home at 2 am, without Mollie. The doctor told him to keep his phone by the bed, in case they needed to ask him something before the morning. Right as we were drifting to sleep, the phone rang- our hearts jumped out of our skin. It was the doctor, "You should probably transfer Mollie to her regular vet before 8 am so you don't get charged the emergency room fees."  OK, great, thank you for scaring us!

So, we tried to sleep. Mayhem was teething, and around 4:30 am he was having a terrible time. So I ended up on his floor for about an hour, trying to get him back to sleep. Then, of course, Little J was up and ready to go by 7 am. Long story short, Mollie missed our barbecue but returned home around dinner time. She had shaved spots, and was very thirsty and clingy- but OK! The vet said she'd never seen a dog eat that much chocolate and live. Add that to her resume. We had a wonderful Sunday, and spent Monday by the pool. Then, hubby took off to Anaheim to buy me this:

[caption id="attachment_584" align="aligncenter" width="360"] My new ride: 2012 "True Blue" Dodge Grand Caravan[/caption]

Yes, I am now a minivan momma. I drove it for the first time this morning, so I'll have to spend some time with it and get back to you on how I like it.

But, most importantly, we have our Mollie back.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Great Post from MODG!

REBLOG: 5 steps to a successful flight with a toddler. And 1 mini step about not killing your husband. All valuable.


We will be travelling to New Jersey over Labor Day weekend with the two boys. I am not excited about the plane trip with Baby Mayhem.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toddlers and iPads - Is it OK?

For Mother’s Day, I received a new iPad. I am a very lucky mama, and not because I received an iPad (though, I can't say I wasn't super excited)!

[caption id="attachment_562" align="aligncenter" width="300"] image source: www.apple.com[/caption]

I should not have been surprised when Little J asked to ‘play with the new phone’. It is very similar to my phone, which he knows has Angry Birds on it. I don’t like to use the phone to entertain him, but there have been times where I let him use it (i.e. restaurants, airports, etc.). My husband instantly downloaded a few apps to the new iPad, including one that Little J can play. I have mixed feelings about sharing my new device, and not just because I don’t want grubby fingers on my beautiful, clean, new screen. iGame mom has posted about child-proofing your iPad, her very helpful article is here .

But more than that, I consider it ‘screen time’ and wonder if it affects his developing brain in a negative way. A variety of research has suggested that the more screen time a child experiences early on (in the formative first three years of life), the more likely they are to develop attention issues. A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses whether or not an iPad is different. It clearly engages a toddler’s attention, more than a TV would. Does that mean it is better for them, and they can learn from the educational apps? Or does it mean an iPad is worse- because it demands their attention?

I am sure the answer is that it is a mix of both good and bad. “Everything in moderation” As long as Little J is not engaged in screen time for hours and hours each day, regardless of what kind, I’m sure he’ll be just fine. Yesterday, we spent an hour in the backyard splashing in our water table and digging in the sandbox. Then, we took a bath to wash all of that off! After Mayhem went to bed, we stamped sugar cookies with Lightning McQueen and Mater from Disney Cars. But no TV or iPad!

I do know that for our family, the iPad means FaceTime with Grandma and Grandpa, or Auntie Kim and Uncle John. That means it is a very valuable piece of technology for us, since they are across the country! Do you let your kids use your phone/computer/iPad? Do you worry about how it affects them?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Citrus Lane

I ordered a Citrus Lane gift subscription, at the suggestion of my sister. I'm so glad she shared this wonderful site with me! www.citruslane.com
When given as a gift, a box would arrive each month for the length of the subscription- with baby items directed at your child's age and gender.

The May Citrus Lane box was themed "Fun in the Sun"- which is perfect, becuase today was 82 degrees here!



Included in this box were:

1. iPlay Sun Protection Hat: This type of hat is essential for our summer pool outings, since my children have my fair skin. This hat is adorable, bright blue with a hawaiian print design and guitars! www.iplaybabywear.com


2. Green Toys Stacking Cups: I love this toy, because I can toss it in my beach bag and keep Mayhem entertained in the sand. I also love that they are 'green'- so when he inevitably puts them in his mouth, it's not going to worry me! www.greentoys.com


3. Plum Organics Greek Yogurt Blend: Love these Plum products, which contain no sweetners or salt, just organic ingredients! I can never have too much food with Mayhem around... www.plumorganics.com

4. eco BABY All Natural Sunscreen: Just in time for the summer heat, I'm always looking for sunscreen that is safe for my fair babies!


5. Joyus $15 gift card: I would have been happy with just the other items in the box- but I also get to explore a new website, and go shopping! www.joyus.com



I also appreciated the pamphlet included with the box, that had some little tips and tricks! What a great company- I wish I had thought of this!! I love the concept of getting an exciting box each month- tailored to your child's age. This box gets me ready for summer! Can't wait to try the sunscreen and go shopping with my gift card!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Flip Slips Save the Day!

So, a while back- my sister  who blogs at I Have A Degree In This! won a pair of Flip Slips from a giveaway from Midtown Girl  - but the shoes didn't come in her size (she wears a 4). So she graciously ordered them in my size, and sent them to me. I put them in my drawer at work, basically forgetting about them... until...

I had a City Council presentation to make, which means it has been a very long day. I get to work at 7:30 am and the Council meeting begins at 7 pm. I had a new pair of shoes on, and my feet are KILLING me. My boss offers to go grab a Starbucks before the meeting starts. And I think to myself, "Sure that would be great, if I COULD WALK!" Then, I remember that I had my Flip Slips!

I threw them on, and walked across the street. My feet were so happy! I hadn't through these foldable flats would be so comfortable! I love that they come with a tote bag, for storable. And they take up absolutely no room, so you can stash the anywhere. I highly recommend them, thanks Sis!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

The morning was unusually calm. My husband took Little J to get Starbucks (my favorite!) for breakfast. They came home with flowers and cards, then Daddy took Little J to swim class- so Mayhem and I spent a quiet hour home alone. Then, we packed up the car and headed to my parents house to spend a relaxing morning with them. It was everything I hoped it would be! My parents had brunch all ready for us when we arrived- delicious scones, chocolate croissants, fresh fruit, and even mimosas! The boys played outside for most of the morning. Little J found some snails in the corner of the yard. Mayhem had to check that out.

Mayhem ran himself ragged- enjoying playing with Daddy, going down the slide, chasing the dogs, and the California sunshine. He even fit in a little badminton.

After we wore everyone out, we went home for nap time and they BOTH slept for two solid hours. That was their Mother's Day gift to me!

I felt so blessed to be a mother to such wonderful boys. I am continuously amazed at how lucky I am as a parent. Each of them is so special in their own way, full of love and joy. How could you not feel lucky with two beautiful, happy children to spend a peaceful Sunday with! Thanks to my mom too- for making the day relaxing and special! I know she had to clean up after us when we left... love you, Mom!

What did you do for Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Am "Mom Enough"

ImageTime Magazine's controversial cover photo portrays a mother breastfeeding her nearly four year old child. The article is on 'attachment parenting', which consists of three main tenets: extended breastfeeding, baby 'wearing' in slings, and co-sleeping.

My reaction to this photo is anger, not because of the breastfeeding- but the implication that if I am not breastfeeding my children until preschool that I am not "Mom Enough". I do not understand why women continue to chastize each other for the choices that we all make. Mothers do what works best for their family- and clearly breastfeeding works best for this family.

Breastfeeding was a struggle for me. In fact, my milk never fully came in with my first- which was extremely frustrating. I had to go back to work when he was 6 weeks old, so I stopped breastfeeding even before that. It does not work for everyone, for a variety of reasons. But I do not feel that anyone should be looked down upon for not choosing that method!

Time Magazine was obviously sensationalizing this topic, and I do not appreciate it. I wish they had not cast 'attachment parenting' as such an extreme method. I have serious concerns with co-sleeping, and I think it is a difficult habit to break. But the general idea that a mother wants to bond with her child is not extreme!! I wish that a variety of motherhood choices were supported by society. Isn't that the definition of freedom? We need to stop judging each other! http://wp.me/p1AbH5-1I 

How does this photo make you feel?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Working Mother Identity

This post on ABC News rang so true to my life... http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/04/working-moms-social-misfits-how-to-fight-isolation/ Recently, I switched departments in my office- so, wanting to fit in with 'the girls' upstairs... I invited THEM to happy hour. I have not received any invites since. It makes you question whether people just don't like you (totally possible), or if they don't invite you because you have children. Send an invite, I'll accept every now and then!

[caption id="attachment_508" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image Source: http://chicagonista.com/featured/to-work-or-not-to-work-the-mommy-decision/[/caption]

99% of the time, given the choice between happy hour or time with my boys... I'll choose time with my boys. But every once in a while, when I've had a particularly frustrating (or satisfying) day at the office- I want to let loose a bit and head to happy hour!

When the majority of your time is spent at the office, and you struggle with the pressures of motherhood, working and being a wife... you have to maintain some sense of self. This blog helps me with that, and provides me an outlet. I hope that the ABC News article shows other working mothers that they are not alone, and that we are all experiencing similar issues!

What do you do to maintain a sense of self?

Monday, May 7, 2012

3 Ways to Inspire a Heart for Learning

Love this post from mamacravings!

Mommy Van - Here I Come!

Well, I finally have to admit that a 5 seater vehicle is not for us. We can fit, but any additional items make it very cramped. By additional items, I mean things like a basset hound, a stroller, a tv, bicycles or kitchen chairs. All of which have been in my car over the past week.

Also, with the two car seats in the back- we cannot comfortably bring ANYONE with us ANYWHERE! So, when my mom and dad want to go somewhere with us- we have to take two cars. This has taken us to the point of revisiting the minivan discussion. To this point, I have said things like, "I would die before I own a minivan." "Why would anyone drive that?"

Now, some background- my mother drove a minivan until I was a teenager. The most memorable was the Ford Windstar, or 'the clunker'. Yes, I have fond memories of trips in these vehicles. But there is something else about it, and I think I've finally put my finger on it. Purchasing a minivan means I have given myself over to my children completely.

Not that I haven't done that mentally already (for the most part!). But when I drive to work and then drive home- all that time in my car (which is about two hours) is MINE. It's my last bastion of Keri-ness. I can listen to music other than 'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' or the Lion King soundtrack. I can zone out, and know that no one will need me until I get home. Until my husband calls, and snaps me back into reality...

And they are so darn practical... easy in and out of the third row, lots of space, low to the ground so they kids and dogs can jump up and down by themselves (saving my poor back!). I just can't fight it anymore.

So, those of you who have been here before me - Any minivan suggestions??