Car Help

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I am so glad I have discovered children’s books on CD for the car! They have solved all of my car riding problems. The kids love listening to these.

Categories: Advice

Helicopter Parents

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I would like to remind the other parents that soccer camp is supposed to be FUN. 4 year old boys don’t have to “take it seriously.” As long as your kid is listening to the coach and being respectful, step back and let the kids have FUN for goodness sakes!!!

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“Thank you God for my two little blessings. You must have been using them today to teach me patience and endurance.”

Categories: Advice

The Second Time Around

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So, I’m on round two.  Little E is three and Baby M just turned 4 months old.  I have a little experience with the baby stage.  If I had to complete a resume prior to having Baby M, I would have put “Well Qualified in all aspects of babyhood – sleep training expert, breastfeeding pro and wonderful playmate!”  Have you ever been hired for a job and realized after a few weeks, that it was a little harder than you expected?   Maybe you aren’t as qualified as you thought you were?

So, that’s how I’m feeling now.  Not in a negative, what did I get myself into way.  I love being a mommy to two completely different individuals. I love watching them grow and explore and start to become more interested in each other.  But, I did think it would be a little easier the second time around.  And, I shouldn’t complain because both my kids have been pretty easy considering.  I just am amazed at how many times I am still consulting my “What To Expect” book in the middle of the night.   If any of my neighbors happen to be awake and looking out their window at 2am (this would be wierd), they will see a strange beam of light through the curtains of my bedroom window.  This is me, reading “What To Expect” with my flashlight so as not to wake up my husband or Baby M.  Or, this is me, shining the flashlight towards Baby M to make sure she is still breathing – for the 4’th time!

I have to laugh at myself sometimes.  I really think I’m a little more paranoid and hovering the second time around.  Maybe this is because I know how precious this time is and I am sad it’s going by so quickly.  Maybe it’s because I’m secretly afraid that this may be my last baby and I don’t want it to end.  So, this is why Baby M has stayed in our room until 4 months old.  Little E was in his room when he was 3 months old.  And I remember being happy when it came time to move him to his room.  Ahhh, the freedom.  My husband and I didn’t have to tiptoe around downstairs after 8pm anymore.  It was nice to have adult time and adult space again.

But, the second time around has been so much harder for me.  We moved Baby M to her room this past weekend.  My stomach was in knots the whole evening anticipating it.  And I knew I was over-reacting.  I mean she was just going to be upstairs and I have a baby monitor and a night-vision camera monitor (see, I told you I was paranoid!  But, in my defense, upstairs is really far away.)  So, of course, she did great.  She is sleeping better and so are we.  And my neighbors are no longer freaked out by wierd light beams shining from my window.

I think in a way it’s a blessing that I am finding the second time around different and more challenging than I expected.  It really makes me stop and think and enjoy the time with my two children instead of sailing through on cruise control.  So, here’s to all you Mother’s out there experiencing your second, third or fourth time around.  Is it harder, easier, more challenging or more rewarding than you expected?  Or, do I just really have a problem and need to lock up my flashlights and night vision cameras?

Categories: Advice, Random Thoughts

The Late-Afternoon Crazies

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I refer to the time period between 4:00 and 5:30 pm (or whenever my husband comes home) as the “late-afternoon crazies.”  I think most Mom’s can agree that this time period can often be the longest of the entire day. It is some strange time warp where things that should normally take 30 minutes (like cooking dinner), can often take upwards of one hour or longer.  This is due to everyone in the house getting a little stir crazy in anticipation of Daddy coming home. 

The crazies affect even my dog, Andy, who will run to the door barking at any little sound in hopes to see Daddy driving up.  This of course means Little E also goes running and screaming through the house to follow Andy and see if Daddy is home.  Baby M is too young to understand any concept of time, yet she too seems to babble with a little more excitement and chew on her teething ring with renewed vigor.  It’s all really sweet when you think about it.  And as soon as my husband comes in the door, he is given a Heroe’s Welcome.  Little E runs up and jumps in his arms, Andy the Dog just jumps and Baby M gives Daddy her best smile of the day.  My husband has often said that he wishes I would greet him the same way!

As heartwarming as it is, I have had to find a creative way to make it through the Late-Afternoon Crazies and still stay sane and have dinner on the table.  So, my solution is to include the kids in making dinner.  I know, I know, it’s not anything ground-breaking, but sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that make the biggest difference.  Little E loves, loves, LOVES to help cook. He is in that wonderful stage where helping Mommy is fun.  So, I plan to milk it as long as I can!  When it’s time to cook dinner, I put on his apron and scoot a chair over to the kitchen counter.  He stands on the chair and “helps me.”  And yes, sometimes his “helping” may create more work for me.  But, it’s so cute watching him concentrate when he measures water and carefully stirs the ingredients in the bowl.  Even if the recipe doesn’t allow for much 3 year old chef work, I give him a bowl of water and let him sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. He can sprinkle and stir and measure for 10 – 15 minues.  In toddler time, I think that’s almost 2 days.  Baby M sits in her highchair happily watching the cooking lesson. 

So, I suggest that if you have young children that like to cook, include them in dinner preparation.  Yes, it is messy and yes it may take twice as long, but it is a fun way to get through the afternoon crazies.  And if the kitchen gets really, really messy, Daddy is there to play with the kids and give you extra time to clean up.  Another plus I didn’t anticipate is that Little E is much happier to try new things when he helped make them.   Oh, and if your kids need some inspiration, just let them watch the Disney movie, Ratatouille!

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