Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time Out

So a long time ago, I brought a chair from my mom's house home with me to be used as a time out chair. It was a couple of weeks, but I finally put it to good use.

The first time Punkin was throwing magnets...again. I swear it's like his favorite game. So I told him not to throw the magnet so he looked at me and threw it on the floor. I handed it to him and asked him to put it back on the fridge and he threw it again. Time out! So I sat him in the chair. He cried. And cried. He got up twice and each time I just told him in my deadly serious Momma voice that he needs to sit and not move. So he did! I let him sit there for a minute and a half. I went to get him and told him why he was in time out and gave him some snuggles. It went really well!

The second time was for hitting. I've been giving him one warning for his behavior and then time out so when I told him we don't hit and he hit again, straight to the chair. He only got up once this time. He still cried but I'm okay with that. It's not supposed to be nice or fun. After he gave me hugs and I put on some Elmo and all was right with the world.

He's been fighting a nasty cold for the past couple of weeks so I think some of his naughtiness is due to him feeling crummy. His cough is nasty right now. He went to the doctor last week and they said his chest sounded clear but I may take him back tomorrow. That cough is just not letting up and I'm worried he'll need a nebulizer or something to help.

I've been giving him teaspoon fulls of honey to try and help but I'm not sure how much it's really helping. He REALLY likes the honey so that's something. I tried to give it to him in a drink but he won't drink anything warm. I tried warm juice and warm milk (which I totally thought he'd go for...he was a boobie baby for a whole year!) but he won't touch the stuff.

Anyone else have any natural remedies that may help?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Battle Scars

I haz them.

Here's the thing...I loathe my body. As I think a lot of women do. I hate looking in the mirror. I hate trying on clothes. I hate having to choose what to wear every morning to go to work. Everything is wrong and even though I have a closet bursting with clothes and a dresser and a half stuffed with them, I have absolutely nothing to wear.

But really, it's not the clothes. It's me.

I've lost a little bit of weight lately, and while that's great all I can do is look in the mirror and pray for the day I get my tummy tuck to come ASAP!

Some (horrible, awful, no good) people don't get stretch marks when they're pregnant. Okay, maybe they're not horrible people, but I kind of hate them. I look like I got in a really bad fight with a tiger and lost. It's gross and horrible and I shake my fist at those ugly scars. Talking with Austin the other day, I kind of had an epiphany.

I don't even remember how it happened or what was said, but my remark was "This happened as a result of carrying your child". And there it is.

Yes, my body has been ravaged. My skin is permanently scarred, my hips are even wider, I won't even go into my once awesome boobs and even my feet got bigger. My FEET for cripes sake. But when you think about what exactly my body did, it kind of seems like no big deal.

I grew a person. A living, breathing, functional not to mention an adorable little person. He grew inside of me from a tiny egg that I never gave a second thought to and my husbands, ehm, contribution which I'm sure he gives a lot of thought to. The two of us seriously came together and My red hair. His curly hair. He got the shortness from both of us.

For 9 months, that little egg that started out the size of a poppy seed grew and grew and grew and my body nourished him. My body cradled him and kept him warm and safe. Even after he was born, my body nourished him for a full year. To me, that's truly amazing. Women are total rock stars.

Honestly, I had it easy. I mean, yes I carried him and it was magical and hormonal and all, but I didn't even have to go through labor. I didn't have to physically push him out of me. He didn't feel like coming out and at already a week over due and no sign of him even attempting to drop or my body dilating or anything, the decision was made for me to have a c-section. Sometimes, I feel really cheated. Sometimes I feel like I should have had that birth experience I really wanted. But then other times, I realize how truly lucky I am to have a healthy happy baby.

Some people don't. It's a cold hard fact of life. One of those truly unfair pieces that make me angry to the core. Why? No good reason. But those women, the ones who have to suffer loss (which I'm not even going to pretend I understand or can comprehend) have the deepest scars of all. Both physically and mentally.

So I put that into perspective. And I take a step back from the mirror. I trace the lines over my belly and think about the fact that for having housed an 8 pound 3 ounce bouncing baby's not that bad. For having breastfed my child for a full year, it's okay that the girls don't have as much pep in their step. For all the complaining and whining I might do about the way my body looks the way it does right now, I'm so incredibly thankful that I have these battle scars.

Yep. I did that. Also, my husband helped...some.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sick Baby

I've had a sick baby on my hands the past week or so. He's had a runny nose and a slight cough and Saturday I was puked on. Lovely.

I think maybe he ate too much that time. I'm starting to think he's going to have a sensitive stomach like his Daddy. I had one when I was a kid but grew out of it. Austin, not so much.

Punkin has been a pretty sweet boy these past couple of days. Remember how I got the chair from my Mom's for time out? I haven't had to use it yet. He certainly has his moments, but it seems like he's understanding better when I tell him no. For example, he loves to take the magnets off the fridge and throw them across the room. One time of me getting down to his level and telling him he can play with the magnets but he absolutely can not throw the magnets and he hasn't done it since.

We're reading lots of books and now he'll pick one up and run his fingers across the words and mumble like he's reading. I always follow the words with my finger when I read to him so he knows these are words and not just part of the picture. I want to start introducing him to letters and getting him acquainted with the alphabet. He likes it when we sing ABC's so I think maybe I'll try and point out the letters specifically while we sing? Not sure yet, but I'd like to start. He's only 18 months old so I'm not trying to teach him to read or anything.

He's gotten really great with his blocks. He can stack up to four at a time. I don't know why this was such an achievement to me but I was really proud of him! Sometimes if I can see a melt down coming I'll say "Hey, let's go play with your blocks!" and he'll happily run in his room to play. It's cut off a few tantrums, for which I'm grateful.

Big score today! Austin managed to find a kid sized broom and dust pan. Punkin LOVES to help me sweep and while I appreciate it, it get a little hairy with him swinging a full sized broom around the house. Hopefully this keeps him occupied. Pics soon!

Tonight is date night with the hubs for and I am so freaking excited. I feel like I haven't been out of the house without a baby in ages. I plan on getting the biggest margarita I can possibly find. Maybe two. I haven't decided yet.

After Momma got a shirt full of puke. This is his new favorite thing to do when he's sleepy or doesn't feel well. He loves to lay on the couch with a blanket and watch Elmo.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Momma/Punkin Time

There was a period of time of about half a second where I REALLY wanted Punkin to call me Mommy. I give up. I've been Momma since he was born and I don't think there's any going back.

I love the weekends. This one was especially awesome. Since Austin started his second job, he's been working double shifts all weekend so Punky doesn't really get to see him. This weekend he had Saturday morning off so we decided to take advantage of the Tallahassee (Jr.) Museum's $2 Saturdays. It's a great deal! Especially since he got sleepy pretty quick so we were only there for maybe an hour.

The last time we went was probably almost a year ago, so he was too little to really get into it. This time, he loved seeing the farm animals! We've been working on our animal noises so it was fun to see them live. He would just stand at the fence staring at them and we would be saying "Look, it's a cow! The cow says Moooo!". He would look for a long moment and then say "It's a puppy! ROO ROO ROO". So every thing was kind of a big puppy...or maybe he meant it's an animal like a puppy? Either way, we're still working on the animal thing.

The rest of the weekend Momma and Punkin cleaned and played. He loves helping with the laundry. Whenever I switch clothes from the washer to the dryer I hand him the smaller things like rags or socks and he'll put them in the dryer for me. Folding clothes is his favorite. He doesn't fold them so much as he throws them on the couch but he's still helping, which I will appreciate as much as possible for the moment because I know he won't always want to!

I managed to get our back deck cleaned off so he can go out there and run around a bit now that it's starting to cool off. One of my (many) Momma guilts is that he doesn't play outside enough. Our back yard isn't really fit for it and we live on a very busy road so I'm scared to let him play in the front yard. I figured the deck was a good compromise. I'm hoping for Christmas we can get him some outside toys to play with. I'm thinking maybe a water/sand table. Anyone have experience with those?

We played with blocks, colored in his Pooh Bear coloring book and read lots of books. It was a pretty good weekend.

I've always heard that around 18 months is really when they have a big language explosion and I can definitely see it! He's catching on to words to quickly now. Even yesterday when I asked if he wanted to go outside he was screaming "outside! outside!" and running for the door. I've never heard him say that before. He's picked up blocks (sounds like boss right now lol) and he's saying book regularly now, as he would kind of use it off and on before. He's saying drink (which for some reason is just "dee") and asking for num, num. I'm trying to break him of the calling food num, num thing because it's started to bug me. Not sure why but I keep trying to use words like eat and lunch instead.

We're still working on please and thank you. He'll randomly say thank you but never when I ask him to. It'll be after I give him a kiss or hand him a book or something. Or he'll hand me something and say thank you. I really would love for him to have good manners so I'm being diligent!

Helping Momma sweep the deck.

I caught him laying down on the job!

Friday, September 9, 2011


This subject is something I've been lamenting for months now. Let me say, I think I've been blessed with a very good baby. He's generally pretty pleasant and he's usually happy running around the house or just playing blocks in his room. But there are those moments when he's sleepy/hungry/generally cranky and he decides to show his little toddler butt. Especially right now, he's really asserting his independence and pushing boundaries.

For example; I tell him not to touch the hot water heater. He looks me straight in the eye while reaching his hand out to touch the hot water heater. I'm torn between laughing and wanting to snatch him up and ask him WTF he's thinking. Of course, neither of those things would help the situation.

I've tried getting down to his level, looking him in the eye, and explaining to him why we don't touch that/throw food/hit puppy but he just looks at me like "Um, why are you crazy?". I think getting down to his level and telling him no is a good thing, but I don't think trying to rationalize with an 18 month old is going to do anyone any good.

So, I think I'm going to try time outs. I've tried it before and he actually laughed. The first time I tried it he cried and cried and I thought maybe it would work. The second time I tried it he thought it was a game. You know, I put him in the chair, he gets out of the chair, I put him back in the chair. Rinse, lather, repeat. So I got a special chair from my mom's house that is going to be his time out chair. I'm going to try sticking him in the chair facing the wall for a minute or so when he acts up and see how it goes. Maybe it'll be a disaster. Who knows.

I also hate the stranger anxiety thing. If he's in a really good mood he'll flirt with strangers all day long. But if he's the tiniest bit sleepy, he'll swipe at a stranger if they get to close. Really, REALLY not okay. And kind of embarrassing to be quite honest. I know people who have kids would understand, but I really don't want people thinking I let my kid go around hitting people just for the heck of it. Because I don't.

The weird thing is, we don't even hit him. Never have I even popped his hand. Yet he's still developed a hitting habit when he gets mad or frustrated. How the heck does that even happen? Luckily, I think with enough times of getting on to him, he's mostly stopped taking swipes at Austin and I. He'll still hit Luna every once in while (and by hit I really mean take a general swipe in her direction. It's never hard enough for her to even notice...but still very NOT okay) but he mostly hits inanimate objects. The wall, the couch, the TV. I'm okay with this. Honestly, I think when he's older and he's really upset or frustrated, it's okay to take it out on a pillow or stuffed animal. As long as he knows hitting people or animals is not tolerated.

Another thing we've really been pushing with him is positive reinforcement. I celebrate the heck out of everything he does well. We've even got him cleaning up his room before bedtime now because every.single.time. he puts a block in his toy basket or puts one of his stuffed animals on the shelf we shout "yay!" and clap and tell him what a big boy he is. He loves it. He claps and squeals and is so proud of himself. So if he's really good in the doctors office (that lasted about 2 minutes) or if he does something I ask right away (like hands me something or puts something away) or is generally being a sweet boy I tell him and praise him.

I feel like discipline is our next big parenting hurdle so I'm hoping we get the hang of it pretty quick!

Helping Momma clean up his room like a big boy.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Doctor

Today Punkin had his 18 month well baby visit. 18 MONTHS! Ugh. He's getting so big so fast. I keep imagining him at 16 and totally obnoxious and telling me he hates me. It feels like it's going to be here before I can say boo. I'll be saying "Remember when you LOVED Winnie the Pooh? And you used to dance to Heffalumps and Woozles? Just like this! *inset corny mom dance*" and then he'll be all "MUH-THER! You're so embarrassing!". And then he'll total the hovercraft on the way to school.

Okay, so maybe that won't happen so soon. But I guarantee it'll happen sooner than I want.

Anyway, back to the hovercraft-free present.

Punkin had his 18 month well baby visit today and it was our first visit to a new doctor. I really loved his old doctor, but mainly because she was my pediatrician and she still sees my brother and has vowed to forever even though he's 22 and a handful (he's mentally disabled and finding a doctor that deals with him well without suggesting placing him somewhere is hard to come by). Also, I love a good run-on sentence.

So I loved the old doctor, but I always felt so rushed in her office. We would wait forever for him to be seen and then she was in and out in (literally) less than 5 minutes. No feedback, no discussion. Just "He's fine, see you next time". I need reassurance. I'm one of THOSE moms that constantly scours the Internet for the latest research on developmental milestones and ways to help them achieve those milestones. I wanted a professional to tell me he's right on track.

This doctor did exactly that.

First of all, when we got there we were handed the standard paperwork to fill out. On the very top was what they called a "communications checklist". At first glance I could tell it was really an "autism checklist". When you've been around it as long and as much as I have, you know the signs and symptoms. You also become super paranoid. Fact is, no one knows what causes autism at this point and it very well could be genetic. The fact that I have more than one autistic family member has always made me a little more aware when it comes to Punkin. Our old doctor never even brought up the possibility or what to look for. This office was asking me about his development right off the bat. Score 1!

When we got into the office. The nurse was super sweet and asked us some general questions. She was very patient with him since he was being a bit of a grump (it was nap time and you could tell). She did the usual height, weight, head circumference check. When I asked if she could tell me his percentiles, she said the doctor would go over everything with me. Um, what?! The doctor will actually voluntarily look it up and tell me what it means and EVERYTHING?! I was seriously giddy at this point.

So we impatiently waited for the doctor to arrive (like I said...nap time). By the time he came in, Punkin was running around throwing his shoe across the room saying "Shoe! SHOOOOOOOOOE!". Doctor C didn't seem phased. He introduced himself and gave us a little of his background. He asked if Punky has ever had any issues and I mentioned his circumcision. They left more skin than they should have so it kind of looks like half a circumcision. He told us he used to regularly perform circumcisions and went into why he's such a big advocate of it from a medical stand point. This made me feel better, mostly because I've always felt guilty about getting him snipped in the first place. It seems so unnecessary. But he explained the reasoning behind it and and took a look and said he looks just fine. He's only 18 months after all so he has some growing to do. I'd rather him have too much skin than too little you know? That can be very painful for a guy.

So after the initial exam he talked to us about his development and what we should be doing to help him along. He talked to us about nutrition and safety and everything else under the sun. He answered all of my questions in depth and left room for as many questions as I had. He even went into discipline with me a bit because I've been so conflicted on what to do with him. He never told me what I should do, but offered suggestions on what I can try. At the end he looked over his "communications checklist" and said "Well, he doesn't have autism!". Hey, thanks Doc! It sounds silly but hearing it said out loud by a professional makes my little mommy heart all a twitter.

Before leaving he said "He looks great. You're doing a great job". Be still my heart! My reassurance! I wanted to hug him! Maybe some people will think I'm silly or not a good mom to need reassurance from a doctor, but hey, when you've seen what can happen with kids when just yesterday they were perfectly normal or when they're maybe just a little behind, you'd probably feel the same way.

So, Punky has a new doctor and mommy has a new peace of mind. He had three shots today which were no fun at all. When I got home for lunch he was still sleeping so I imagine he was pretty tuckered out.

He doesn't have to go back for 6 months until he's two (TWO!! Sigh) so he can forget all about the shots and start learning about the potty.

In the waiting room. Notice the matching outfits down the to dirty black Vans.
One guess on who dressed him this morning.

Friday, September 2, 2011


This morning, for the first time in my short Mommy career, I felt absolutely helpless.

I heard Punkin make a weird noise and start coughing a little early this morning. He didn't make a peep after that so I figured he went back to sleep and so did I. I slept in until the last possible minute, not wanting to get out of bed to get ready for work. Finally, when I had about 10 minutes until I was going to be late, I hopped out of bed, threw some clothes on and went to get Punkin. I knew he was still sleeping because I usually hear him talking to himself in there in the mornings. I walked in and he lifted his head, but didn't attempt to get up like he normally does. I peered in his crib and saw something all over his pillow. *gulp*

I turned on the light and slowly turned around, terrified because I just KNEW what it was. Yep. Puke. All over the pillow...and he's rubbing his face in it. I had about half a second of horror before I ran over and snatched him up before he could really get it all over himself. As soon as I tried to stand him up, I knew he wasn't right. He just kind of looked at me...and started heaving.

I was in full panic mode. What do I do?! Do I take him to the toilet?! Can he even AIM for the toilet?! Do I have to hold him over the toilet?! Can I run and get a bag before he pukes?! It was coming at this point and I was still panicking, so I ended up taking him out of the crib and standing him on the floor. To puke. I guess I was just thinking "hey, it's hard wood. I'll just clean it up with some paper towels". Looking back, the toilet probably would've been a better option.

Standing there watching him throw up, with me trying not to throw up, I felt more helpless than I think I've ever felt. There was nothing I could do. Just stand there and rub his back while he's being sick and tears are streaming down his face. It was really, really horrible.

I don't know why this instance made me feel so awful. He's definitely fallen and bumped his head really hard and busted his lip (twice). Those times I felt pretty crummy, but not like this. Maybe it's because I know how awful being sick is. I don't know. But standing there with him, just patting his back like that would somehow make it better, I felt absolutely useless.

Still panicking a little, I decided I should at least change his diaper. He seemed perfectly fine after about a minute and was asking to see the thermometer after I took his temp (which was fine). I brought him in to my bedroom and sat him on the bed to call my mom and he crawled around on the bed and talked to me like nothing happened. My mom suggested I go ahead and bring him over and she would call me at work if he started being sick again. So I got him dressed and loaded him in the car...all while he seemed perfectly fine. I get halfway there and it starts again. And now there's REALLY nothing I can do. I can't even pull over at this point because of the traffic. So I just got to my mom's as quick as I could and had her bring me out a towel to clean him up. I got him all cleaned up, took him out of the car and he ran around again like nothing happened. Sigh.

At this point, I was so torn it was eating me. On one hand I wanted to put him right back in the car and drive as quick as I can back home and just spend the day snuggling him. On the other hand, I REALLY needed to go to work. So here I sit. At work. Worrying about my baby and trying desperately not to pick up the phone and call my mom every 10 minutes to see how he's doing. I don't know that I'll make it through the day, but at least I showed my face here. That has to count for something, right?

Also, I just want to point out that the last time Punkin got sick and ran a super high fever (we're talking 104 here!) for the first time, Austin was out of town. And this weekend? Out of town...again. I tried calling at 7:00 this morning because I (irrationally) needed him to go through this with me even though he's in another state. Straight to voicemail. Grrr.

I finally talked to him, though. At least he'll be checking his phone for updates.

So here's hoping that I've gotten the mommy hurt out of the way and next time this happens, I'll be an old pro at it. Fingers crossed!