Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mommy Guilt: Time Out

When my T Bear was an only child she was quite well behaved.  I rarely had to discipline her, but if I did a two minute time out was sufficient.  I hated doing it.  I always felt guilty.  I basically felt that her "bad" behavior was a direct reflection of me.  Then she turned three and became a big sister.  Let's just say time outs became much more common!  There were days when she had to go to time out a few times.  I still felt guilty.  She also developed a flair for the dramatics and would even scream and rant during a time out.  This would either amp up my guilt or verify the need for the time out (mostly depending on my mood!).  I hated seeing her like that, but it was more than obvious that she needed some discipline in her life.  Now that she is four I find myself pleased with the use of a time out.  I even give myself time outs every once in a while!  I still look for reasons behind her behavior (I mean why would you bite your brother for the second time in one day??), and I still feel guilty when she does something "naughty" as we like to call it, but at least I am so much more comfortable resorting to a time out.  She knows what to expect too.  If she knows she has done something to warrant a time out she asks if she should go on the stairs...why yes you should my little bear.  I can only imagine what life would be like without time outs!  Thank you Super Nanny for all that TV training!  I guess I would rather feel guilt now to hopefully help to develop a well-behaved T.  Only time will tell!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chaos...while Traveling

I had completely planned on a different post for this week, but seeing as how I was visiting my sister and was experiencing oh so much chaos this post seems more appropriate.  Apparently for us, the five hour drive that it should be to my sister's house takes eight when traveling with kiddos and my parents!!  All day Friday was spent in the van.  Saturday was fairly relaxing, mostly because my dad and my sister's boyfriend watched the kiddos while my sister (aka Auntie), mom (aka Mima), and I went to Ikea (God a girl can get lost in that monstormous home store haven!!).

Sunday morning the real fun began.   Mad Man woke up at 7:00 am, which even for him is early.  T slept in. The only problem was that she didn't fall asleep until 10:30 the night before.  Add that to the fact that she was up until after 11:00 the previous two nights (that ONE nap she took this week threw her whole routine into a tailspin!).  So, she was clearly operating with a sleep deficit.  Our plan was to go out for a yummy breakfast at the Silver Diner in Laurel, Maryland.   Love this place.  T woke up in a good mood, but things deteriorated quickly.  She cooperated while getting dressed, but she was hungry, so Poppi (my dad) got her a Pop Tart (her favorite) and some Cocoa Puffs.  Well, he broke the Pop Tart into too many pieces which caused a huge melt down.  Mad Man had already been melting because he was now ready to go back to sleep.  Ugh.  So amidst the tears and screaming I packed the diaper bag for the day (we were planning on a shopping extravaganza after breakfast!).  Somehow she came around (I believe with Mima's assistance). Crisis one: diverted.  We were about ready to leave when T Bear couldn't hear her favorite show and asked Auntie to turn it up.  The answer was no because we were leaving.  Crisis two: full blown melt down.  Once we calmed the fire we were out the door.  We had enough foresight to bring two cars in case we needed a quick get away for the kids, so I decided to ride with my sister.  Big mistake.  T Bear apparently had a colossal meltdown because I was not riding with her.  Inconsolable, from what I was told.  Mad Man had fallen asleep.  So, we all arrived at the diner and by them miraculously no one was crying!!  Score. We walked toward the entrance and realized that there was a twenty minute wait and no where to sit inside to wait.  Mad Man woke to the wind whipping his face.  So, my dad, the kids, and I headed back to the van to wait.  We endured a few melt downs by Mad Man and then our table was ready.  We love this diner in part because of the food and also in part because of the fun atmosphere!  Mad Man was miserable from the second we sat down!  T Bear kept asking me, "Why did that mean Auntie want you to ride with her?  I wanted you with meeeee".  Oh, the drama.

The rest of the day seemed to go on like normal.  Just when I thought the chaos was over we went to dinner.  Dinner itself was fine - no melt downs and both kiddos ate.  Then we headed out toward the van.  Now, Poppi had given his phone to T Bear so she could watch some Disney YouTube videos, which was fine.  The problem occurred when I took the phone so we could walk safely to the van.  This action was not well received.  T whined about it, but conceded and continued toward the van.  She started crying and saying, "Mommy you took my phone away.  I need it baaack".  I can see how this will play out when she actually has a phone and it is taken away.  Oh boy - something to look forward to!  Poppi was strapping Mad Man in, but had trouble so Auntie stepped in.  Poppi climbed in the back, then I climbed in behind him and slid the seat back.  So we were essentially caged for the episode that was about to begin.  Mima climbed into her seat in between the kiddos and the fun began.  Auntie tried to get T into the van, but she wanted to watch the airplanes in the thirty degree temperature (the restaurant is near an airport so there were lots of planes).  So, she threw a fit.  Auntie tried to talk and reason with her as did I from the way back seat.  Nothing was working.  Auntie had no choice and picked her up, T screaming the whole time.  Auntie thought she had hurt her, so she bent down to ask her and T looked her square in the eyes and let out the loudest scream you could imagine.  Right in her face!  Then T swatted at her (T's words!  Just like a cat would do!). Auntie put her in and shut the door.  I literally felt trapped in the back and had no control over the situation. Eventually the fit ended and we headed back to Auntie's house.  Oh, good times.

The rest of the weekend went fairly well.  We experienced a few melt downs in the van on the long ride home, but nothing too extraordinary.  I am definitely beginning to think that I am insane thinking that any trip will go smoothly.  T is a child of routine and throw her off a little and this is what you get.  Mad Man has to roll with all that we do, but you have to expect some serious wailing after being confined in a van and/or restaurant from the little mover.  Even though it was crazy I know I will plan more trips in the future and feel that the craziness is all worth it (even if I want to pull my hair out at the time!)

High:  Getting to celebrate Auntie's birthday with her with my babies.
Low:  The swatting incident (even though it had me laughing uncontrollably!  Who says swat??!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mommy Guilt: Hot Dogs

I have been thinking about increasing my number of posts, but as Hubby says I am a bit wordy!  I would prefer he call me verbose, but oh well!  So I have always been someone who feels a great deal of guilt over everything (even things I really have no control over).  With mommyhood that guilt becomes so much more intense.  My plan is to write (briefly!!) about the times I am feeling mommy guilt.  I am pretty sure I will have at least one mini-post a week that points out this emotion!  Here is the first one:

Mad Man is a good eater.  I would not necessarily consider myself a good eater.  So, coming up with meals that include meat (because I really could just live on meat free pasta most of my life) is a challenge for me.  This week I have fed the poor little guy a hot dog for dinner, along with veggies and fruit, at least three nights.  Yes, I feel guilty; I mean are hot dogs really even considered meat??! I haven't even bought the turkey hot dogs, which might make me feel a little less guilty. On the plus side he does not seem to mind!  Well, at least I can recognize the guilt and vow to resort to hot dog meals maybe only once a week!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

C-Section: The Aftermath

Seeing as how I was completely blindsided by my first c-section I was not at all aware of the recovery process involved.  Let me tell you that it was not enjoyable.  Sorry.  Let's begin with the first few hours after surgery.  I had trouble hearing.  I was shaking so much that I felt like I was experiencing serious air turbulence for about an hour.  When I finally was brought up to my room I was still completely out of it.  I do not remember most of those first few hours:  dazed and confused.  Another bonus:  the intense swelling of my body.  My feet were the size of engorged cantaloupes and continued right up to my swollen ankles and calves.  Highly attractive.

I was also immobile for quite some time.  This meant that I got to have the oh so lovely catheter as part of my ensemble for days.  Too long if you ask me.  Random doctors and nurses would come in to check on my recovery and the incision.  I'm pretty sure I flashed more people during my three day hospital stint than most do in the course of their lifetime.  Then there are the mesh undies which hold the ginormous sanitary pads in place.  Not to mention being unable to shower for way too long.

I do remember being pushed to walk around, which was really the last thing I wanted to do.  I waddled down the hallway, not even close to being upright.  Hubby was so proud - he really was.  I was unable to stand upright for days and days and had to shuffle my feet.  Also, my incision was disgusting and almost looked like it was not closing properly, so several nurses and doctors had to look at that as well.  Good times.  Once I was able to shower that was a joke.  Thank God for my sister who endured the torture and helped me through his process.  Not only did I stink, but upon standing for some time attempting to shower gravity takes action and helps to eliminate some of that post baby "stuff" (for lack of a better term).  Gross. Plus, I could only manage standing for brief periods of time so I had to sit on one of those special hospital shower seats.  I even used our kitchen stool to shower once I was home.  I used that thing for weeks.  Now, there was also the fact that I had not packed my hair dryer because I was not planning on the emergency c-section and I did not think to ever have anyone bring it.  My hair looked terrible - those pictures are certainly not what I had envisioned (vain, I know, but oh well).  I also thought I would bounce right back, but the doctor gave me all of these warnings and precautions to follow, and me being the rule follower that I am followed them to a tee.  No driving.  No stairs.  No lifting anything except the baby (I kind of liked that one!).  Lots of rest (really? With an infant that wants to eat every one and a half to two hours?  I don't think so.

I remember starting to feel like myself about a month and a half later, but it seemed to take forever and was much more of a process than I was expecting.  Now, this is not to say that I was miserable during that time, but I was definitely resentful that I did not get to experience natural child birth. 

I have to say c-section number two went much smoother from beginning to end.  There could be many reasons for this- different doctor, knowing what to expect, having it planned, who knows.

I still wish I could have delivered naturally but that was not in the cards.  Regardless, I have two beautiful babies and would go through it all again.

High: Seeing each baby for the first time. There is truly nothing like it.
Low: The anxiety I felt while going through the birth of my T Bear/the recovery process (sorry this one gets two lows!!).

Happy Valentine's Day!

As already established I like to decorate the first of every month; this month was no different.  Oh yeah, except for the fact that we were having a birthday party for T Bear on the second, and I was doing a million and one things for that!  So, decorations went up on the fourth (blasphemous I know).  Also, my snowmen decorations are still up!  Seriously, who is running this place?!

I love to involve T Bear in the decorating process so T and I have decorated a few paper hearts, but her new saying is "No thank you Mommy.  I just want to do my own thing."  Gee thanks T!  Add that to he fact that Mad Man is into everything and the arts and crafts time has been limited.  This year she wasn't even interested in making Valentine's for her friends, or Hubby's softball players; previous years she was all about it!  I did manage to teach T to "sew" a ribbon through holes I punched into a heart.  She was really good at it once it was just the two of us working on it!  We also made the cutest picture with finger paint (I got the idea courtesy of So cute.  You use the child's forearm for the trunk, hands for the branches, and fingers for the leaves (which should look like hearts).  I love this project and would like to make it a Valentine's tradition!  Here is our masterpiece:

It is so funny what a different meaning Valentine's Day has for me now.  It is not all about romance (although that is obviously still a part of it, I mean we wouldn't be where we are if we had not fallen in love, right?) and gifts, but about really showing the people you love that you love them.  It is also about teaching T Bear and Mad Man how to love.

We surprised Hubby at work for lunch then came home and I made our traditional V-day meal: appetizers! Nothing fancy, but oh so filled with love.   I love Valentine's Day and couldn't be happier with my little loves.

High: Spending the day with my loves.
Low: Glimpsing into the future when T Bear will not be so enthused to hang out with Mommy and do such things as arts and crafts.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Night Out: Disney on Ice

It is a well known fact that I love Disney.  All things Disney.  Having children affords me the opportunity to indulge in all things Disney.  So when I heard that Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic was coming to Binghamton I was in.  It just so happened to fall the week of T Bear's birthday, so as an added bonus it was an excuse for us to do something as a family.

Now I was a bit leery of the 7:00 start time but I figured we could roll with it.  Let's face it my kiddos are not the best sleepers anyway!  We headed to Binghamton to first purchase a bigger car seat for the Mad Man. (He is growing so much faster than T Bear ever did).  We were pretty much able to get right in and out of the store.  Of course we did have to endure a slight meltdown by T Bear because we were not focused on her while buying this car seat.  Gee, I really don't know where she gets her need for attention!!  We then headed to Ruby Tuesday for dinner.  As a side note, I love the fact that they bring a plate of grapes and apples to the table for the kiddos.  Mad Man was super excited by it; T Bear could not have cared less about it!  We dined in a pretty quick manner and were in good shape to get to the arena with plenty of time to spare or so we thought. 

We didn't face much traffic getting to the arena, the problem occurred when the lot we used to park in was no longer available (granted it has been awhile since we have been to the arena).  So we turned around and headed back to the arena parking garage.  Ugh.  Traffic was completely stopped.  We watched as family after family made their way to the arena.  I was patiently answering T Bear's slew of questions on where we were going to park, when we would be there, would we miss anything, and why couldn't we just park in the street.  Believe me my patience was waning, but I knew she was super excited.  Time passed before us and now it was five of seven, so we decided to have Hubby drop us off by the arena and find a spot on his own. So in the freezing temperature I strapped Mad Man into the Bjorn grabbed my way too over sized diaper bag (which I usually don't admit is obscenely big), grabbed T's hand, and headed to the arena. I must have looked like a mad woman because the security guard opened an exit only door for us.  We made it to will call, I left a ticket for Hubby, signed for our tickets (miraculously because let's face it Mad Man is too big for the Bjorn and I was trying to keep the bag on my shoulder and T from getting lost in the crowd).  The friendly will call woman noted, "Oh gee, you have your hands full." think?  So we trudged up the stairs as fast as we could, had our tickets checked, and made our way into the crowd.  At this point T Bear became completely mesmerized by the Disney paraphernalia (I'll admit that I wanted to shop too!).  She was pretty much stopped in her tracks pointing out all of the princess dolls, lighted cups, and spinning toys.  Oh my. 

So, at this point I was almost in a complete sweat because I knew we had to get to the bathroom before the show.  T had not peed since we left home and Mad Man needed a diaper change.  Not to mention that I felt like my bladder was about to erupt, especially with my twenty four pound Mad Man sitting right on it (I felt pregnant again!).  I asked where the closest bathroom was only to find out that we had to go back down the stairs to get to it.  Seriously?!  Just as we found the stairs we heard the show start.  T was trying to pull me toward the entrance, but I ensured her that we wouldn't miss much.  I reminded her that I needed her to act like a four year old and we made it to the bathroom.  Then it got interesting.  In my haste I did not locate a large stall so we went right into be cleanest looking stall we could find.  Well, with Mad Man on my front and the ginormous bag on my hip, we did not fit into the stall.  I stood half in and half out!  T insisted on her potty seat and offered to help.  What a big girl!  Oops, there goes the seat into the toilet.  My pre-baby self probably would have left it there without touching it.  Reluctantly, I picked it up and put it back on the seat. As I attempted to lift T onto the seat, oops in it goes again.  Are you serious?!  I was beyond exasperated at this point.  So, we had to do it without the seat.  Poor T was barely on the seat, but she managed.  Then it was my turn.  Somehow we got the stall door shut and I was able to pee with Mad Man strapped to me.  But, oh how will I manage to wipe?  Not sure, but I eventually maneuvered him around so I could.  The whole time Twas trying to fold up her nasty wet potty seat.  Disgusting.  Her hair was electrified and literally stuck to the stall door and walls.  Double disgusting.  So, we finished without washing our hands.  Triple disgusting (hand sanitizer would have to do).  I grabbed our stuff and we made it back up the stairs and then down the stairs to our seats.  I was exhausted.

T couldn't keep her eyes off of the ice.  She loved every second of the show.  In fact, Mad Man was mesmerized too once he saw Mickey Mouse.  It was an awesome show.  We all enjoyed it and the family time it provided for us.  T sat up on her knees the whole time.  So cute.  Mad Man stayed awake right until the end (add breast feeding at Disney on Ice to the list).  Definitely a night to remember.

High:  Seeing the pure excitement and enjoyment on my kiddos faces.
Low:  The bathroom debacle.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I Need Your Support

I am pretty excited about blogging (if you can't tell already)!  My blog has been accepted on the Top Mommy Blogs site.  The way the site works is by ranking blogs based on votes.  The way to vote is to simply click on the banner on my blog!  Each month the site ranks all of their blogs.

So, if you like my blog, or have enjoyed a post please click on the Top Mommy Blogs banner to vote for me!  You can click on it any time you want and more than once!

I hope you are enjoying my posts!

Monday, February 4, 2013

T Bear's Arrival

Four years ago my little T Bear made her debut.  One of the most amazing phenomenons is that we each have our own birth story.  We are all amazing individuals with unique stories.  The miracle of birth is truly astonishing.  This is T Bear's birth story.

T Bear was due to arrive on January 29th, 2009.  She had other plans.  On January 28th in the middle of the night I had a great deal of trouble sleeping.  I woke up several times and amidst one of the many trips to the bathroom discovered that I had lost my mucous plug (God I hate that term but it is what it is).  When I woke up the next morning the weather was atrocious.  It was a snow day; it was cold, slushy, and icy.  Hubby was home anyway for bereavement, because we had just lost his grandfather.  I remember I had Raisin Bran Crunch for breakfast and just hung out for the rest of the morning.  I had an OB appointment scheduled and they called to see if I was going to cancel.  Due to the events of the night I decided to keep my appointment in spite of the icy weather.  I wanted to make sure everything was alright.  I was anticipating labor beginning at any time since I had been dilated over a centimeter for over a week.

My OB was not available so I saw Dr. S (whom I had designated as sausage fingers).  I really didn't care for this woman.  She was gruff, had referred to the baby as a parasite, and was known for rupturing things to get labor started.  Needless to say I was not thrilled to be seeing her.  Once the exam began Dr. S discovered that I was leaking amniotic fluid, and had been for some time.  She quickly did an ultrasound and discovered that the baby was breach and there was a serious lack of fluid.  So she told us that I needed an emergency c- section.  What?!  I was freaking out.  That was not how this was supposed to happen.  I hadn't even read about c-sections in my What to Expect book.  I was not prepared for this.  Plus, she made no indication if the baby was alright.  I had my hospital bag with me but it did not have everything in it.  I was teary eyed and panicking.  Hubby was wonderful.  He reassured me and calmly took me to the hospital.  He contacted our parents and really did take care of me.  He even had enough composure to make sure our pets were going to be taken care of.

When we arrived at the hospital the nurses set me up in a room, hooked me up to a fetal monitor, and did an ultrasound.  The problem was that still no one was reassuring me that the baby was alright.  I was full of anxiety and just really unsure of what was going to happen.  I was surprised when my doctor, Dr. G, arrived (even though she was not working that day) to help perform the c-section.  At this point she actually apologized to me that she missed the baby being breach.  On a side note, Dr. S had done an earlier exam on me and told me that the baby was breach; Dr. G had been telling us all along that the head was down, so I did not put any merit into Dr. S's assessment.  I should have.

Now the fun really began.  The nurses put in an IV and then the dreaded catheter.  That was by far the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  Apparently I was in the early stages of labor, but I didn't really feel any contractions.  I did, however, feel the excruciating pain of the catheter being inserted by a grumpy nurse.  By this point the grandparents had arrived and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby.  Later I was told that when my father was told I was having an emergency c-section he uttered some explicative phrases!

We headed to the operating room and donned our cute blue caps.  Hubby got dolled up in his blue scrubs.  He actually looked quite handsome!  The anesthesiologist gave me an epidural (which Hubby was not allowed to witness) and before long the surgery began.  Things seemed to be going very smoothly.  Hubby was able to witness the whole thing.  His recap of events:  "When they told me I could watch, I did not expect to see what I saw.  You were completely cut open; the baby was still inside, and I basically saw your insides.  Then they pulled the baby out.  Wow."  We did not find out the sex of the baby before hand so it was a wonderful surprise.  I was convinced for most of the pregnancy that the baby was male; I was wrong!  I remember the doctor saying "It's a girl!" and I uttered: "Are you sure?".  The anesthesiologist was very light-hearted and counted her fingers and toes.  I cried true tears of joy.  I was ecstatic to hear my baby cry; it was the first point in this experience that I was able to know that the baby was okay.  I had been so freaked out up to this point that she was not okay due to the leaking fluid that I really did not feels secure until I heard that cry.  However, when the nurses and the pediatrician examined T Bear they realized that her hips were dislocated.  At the time I did not really understand what this would mean for her, because they tried to reassure us, but it was an ordeal for sure.  It became clear to us that she had been breach for the majority of the pregnancy, which was missed by my doctor.  Perhaps her hip displaysia could have been prevented.  We will never know.  Now I am grateful to sausage fingers for saving the life of my T-Bear. 

Before they took T Bear out of the operating room I was able to see her.  I cried elated tears upon seeing her angelic face.  It was also at this moment that I became severely nauseous, so the anesthesiologist pumped me with some other medication.  The rest of the procedure is somewhat foggy for me.  I vaguely remember being unable to hear clearly and just feeling overwhelmed.  There is so much whispering during a c-section, and I was left wondering what was going on.  Then they wheeled me into the recovery room where I spent a great deal of time.  My hearing was still unclear and they covered me with hot towels and blankets to bring my temperature back up.  My body was trembling for a long time.  I remember hearing other people in there recovering from other surgeries.  It was all very surreal.  I just wanted to meet my baby.  Laying there on my back, shaking, unable to hear clearly, and pretty much left alone was not what I had pictured for my post delivery.  Such is life.  After about an hour or so I was reunited with my new bundle of joy.  It was all worth it.  Although, this recovery was not enjoyable and seemed to take forever, but that is another story!

One of the most profound things about this experience is the fact that I can remember the event so vividly.  So many things in life are blurry, but the birth of a baby stays with you.  I recall sitting in the hospital room the night she was born and all of the emotions that were coursing through me.  The excitement, anxiety, exhaustion, and wonderment were overwhelming.  I don't think that I slept at all those first few nights.  I  love remembering the quiet of the room and the feeling of being a new mommy, now responsible for another human being.  There is nothing like that new mommy feeling.  Truly electrifying.

High:  The beauty of bringing another human being into the world.
Low:  The angst experienced during and after an emergency c-section.