Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I voted

I voted today.  Isn't that cool?  Isn't it great to live in a time when voting is not a privilege only awarded to those of a certain gender, race, land-owning group?  I for one am grateful for the opportunity and for all those who fought to give me that right.  Regardless of the outcome, I've had my say.

Friday, August 27, 2010

She's stressing out?

Being a parent is hard. I know it's such an overused joke to talk about the lack of instruction manual but really, where is mine? Do you ever feel like you're totally screwing up your oldest child because they are your guinea pig for learning this parenting stuff? I do. I'm afraid I'm raising an uptight little one who won't be able to think for herself because we do all the thinking for her. And while I am constantly changing little things about my parenting as I see what I think will be better for her, the best changes usually come after I am praying for inspiration because I've done something horribly wrong. I just pray that she won't suffer for my well-intentioned, yet apparently poor choices. I was just woken up by a sweet little 3 year old voice saying "mommy? mommy?" I, of course assumed (you know what that does) that she was telling me she couldn't sleep or something equally unimportant so I just said "go get on the air mattress" (which we keep set up in our room because every night she ends up there for one of a myriad of reasons) This was followed by an almost apologetic voice stating "but I need a new pull-up because I peed mine all over me." I sat up and she was holding out a diaper to me (meant to fit her 7 month old sister) that was apparently all she could find in the basket in the dark. So as I got up and took her hand to lead her to get a new pull-up, I realize that she is not wearing the pajama top that she wore to bed. Almost as if she can read my thoughts, she sweetly starts telling me "and I peed all over my pajamas and I got a pajama top but I couldn't find the bottoms but I found the Christmas striped bottoms and it's okay to wear Christmas stuff right now." When I get upstairs to her room I realize that just as she has said, her pull-up has leaked through to her sheet but what surprises me is that the blankets on top of the sheet are not wet. Upon further explanation from her I see that she took off the wet blanket and then laid two blankets on top of the pee spot ("so the pee pee wouldn't get on my legs") and I also notice that Christmas striped pajama bottoms at the foot of the bed that she was talking about. So basically, my 3 year old (who is scared of the dark and hates being upstairs by herself but tolerates it to go to sleep) got up and on her own tried to clean up her wet bed, replace her own pull-up and put on new jammies and only came to me for help in desperation when she couldn't get the diaper she'd found on all by herself. And she says to me as I am removing the wet sheet "I peed my pull-up and then it was stressing me out." Why does this make me wanna cry? Maybe because I'm afraid that she was scared to come get me for help because I haven't always responded so well to being woken up in the past, or that I've possibly reacted too harsh over things that are an accident, but a pain to deal with nonetheless, and so she was attempting to deal with it herself (in complete darkness I might add). It's common to hear the little saying "you've got to pick your battles" when talking about parenting. I'm really feeling that now as I sit here and replay in my head the past few days, weeks and years with her. I think it's easy to expect our kids to be little adults and forget that they have yet to learn all the tools/lessons to act as such. I find myself saying to my 3 year old "why would you do that?" and on the days I'm thinking clearly, I hear my own self answer in my head and say "because I'm three mom and because three year olds are supposed to wonder how much toilet paper they need to wrap around their hand to make the roll not break off when they run through the house with it trailing behind them." Sometimes I wish I had a pause button so that when life got crazy and I found myself feeling overwhelmed, I could press pause and think about what a good response would be to a certain situation instead of just responding in the moment to the situation coupled with the stress I'm feeling. Oh how I love my children and I hope they know that despite my blunders. The good thing about feeling upset over something like this is that it does give me renewed energy to try harder to be a better, calmer, more patient and understanding parent and to figure out different ways to do things that may be a better fit for my kids. I just hope I'm not ruining my daughter while I learn.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mommy said I'm not beautiful

My oldest daughter turns 3 next month. And as many girls her age she is obsessed with all things princess, and girly. She would prefer to be dressed in a princess dress 24 hours a day and always wants to pretend she is going to the ball. And of course by nature of the dress that is worn, marriage is a big thing on her mind these days as well. She's always talking about wanting to get married and about how I should share daddy so she can marry him, etc. Last week we went to a birthday party at build-a-bear for one of her friends and when it came time to choose an outfit for her bear, nobody was surprised when my little Pumpkin headed straight for the wedding dress with matching veil. So today in the car her dad was surprised when he said "Do you wanna get married?" and her answer was no. I was in a store at the time and not present for the conversation where she told her dad that she didn't want to get married because she wasn't beautiful. He asked her why she thought she wasn't beautiful and she told him that I said she wasn't beautiful because she had bumps on her face. Here is the actual conversation I had with her:

Me: Sweetie help me remember when we get home to put some lotion on your face.
Her: Mommy why do I need lotion?
Me: Because your cheeks are dried out
Her: No they aren't
Me: Yeah they are. When your cheeks get dried out they get little bumps on them. Can you feel them? (I put her finger up to her cheek)
Her: Oh I feel them
Me: When the bumps come that means your cheeks need some lotion so help me remember and we'll put some on when we get home.
Her: Okay

So imagine my surprise when my husband related to me her interpretation of that conversation. Apparently what she heard was "honey you aren't beautiful because you have bumps on your face." It broke my heart to think that I had made her feel not beautiful. I of course did my best to clarify to her that she would always be beautiful to me. When we returned home she immediately asked for some lotion for her face. As I was putting it on I talked to her about what really makes people beautiful: being kind, sharing their toys, helping others. We've talked about that before and we'll talk about it again because I really believe it.

I have been thinking about this all day. I remember really loving when Dove came out with their definition of beauty campaign and all the advertising about true beauty and their emphasis that there is not one kind of beauty. That's what I want her to get. I'm just so surprised at how the most subtle things can send specific messages to our children and that at less than 3 years old I am already stressing over this with her. Oh how I wish I could raise her in a bubble of praise and support and love and not have to let her out to get influenced and beaten down by the world. What's a mother to do? Can I skip the teenage years?

Monday, April 5, 2010

I ought to mention

If the renewed urge to post on this blog is going to continue, I ought to mention one small thing.........something to do with being up several times a night, spending a lot of money on diapers, and glaring back at the women who think I'm using a recalled sling. Yeah, I've got another pumpkin in my house. Born in January, nicknamed PolkaDot and probably the reason behind me taking another vacation from posting if that happens.....not that that's going to happen. Anyway, just thought you should know. Oh yeah, one more thing. She's pretty cute.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Don't judge a book by its cover

I picked this up the other day at the Salvation Army. (I love that place, half price clothing on Wednesdays makes my heart happy because this OCD mother doesn't care when her toddler completely ruins a $3.50 outfit. Okay, I still care but I care less which is good for Pumpkin. Wow - tangent.) You can imagine hubs face when he pulled it out of the car. He asked how much I paid for it. I'm not sure it would have mattered what I said, I could have said that they gave it to me and he still would have thought it was a waste of space taken up in our garage.
But I'm hopeful that I can make it look great. I've been searching Craigslist for months and months trying to find something to put in my dining room to store all Pumpkins craft stuff and some other stuff of my own and this thing is perfect. Well it's perfect minus the bright red doors and psychedelic tape squares. Can't wait to post pictures of the finished product. Here's a hint..........2 colors or less.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Motherhood: Enter at your own risk!

Although birthing two children and taking care of them on a daily basis is enough proof that I am, in fact a mother, sometimes you have those experiences that make you really stop and realize. I had two of them this week.

I took my 2 1/2 year old to the ER and ended up spending a week sifting through her stool. Sifting may not be the right word here. More like smashing I guess. You know when you are trying to get those lumps out of the brownie batter so you smash it up against the side of the bowl? Yeah, this experience was similar except that the aroma wasn't quite as sweet and the lumps weren't made of flour. Oh yeah, and I was looking for a dime.....that she had swallowed. TMI? Yeah I thought so but sometimes the truth is poopy.

The other thing that made me really remember that I am a mother? Well when I took her to the ER, I was driving this:

Some of you may know it as the "Swaggerwagon." To me it's a minivan, the kind of car I swore as a teenager that I would never drive. But I'm eating my words. And you know what? They taste great! This thing is awesome. I'll totally trade any cool points I may have earned from sporting some cool SUV for all the convenience that comes with this baby. I realize that this confession makes me an even bigger dork than what I would have been just driving the above but deep down there's a dork in all of us and I've just decided to let mine shine. And it's shining a beautiful red, with seating for 8, and a DVD player, and this really cool cupholder/table thing that moves out of the way when you need to buckle your todderl, and and and...okay I'll stop now. But just for the record, I'm a mom.