Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let's Hold Hands :)

As you may remember from my Tantrums From The Dark Side post Nicholas HATES to hold hands, as in REALLY HATES it! If you take his hand and try and walk with him anywhere he instantly throws himself to the ground and screams like you tried to kill him. (I love my toddler, I love my toddler, I love my toddler.... ) I don't know what bonked him on the noggin and knocked some sense into him but suddenly as of today *knock on wood* hand holding is not only OK, it's fun! :) This evening I needed to do some running around that included dinner with granny, a trip to visit the great grandparents, and a trip to deliver a phone to my sister and visit our other grandma and grandpa. Nicholas is starting to get a tad heavy and sometimes wiggly so today when I asked him to if he wanted to "Go Bye Bye" and he ran to the door I took hold of his hand, held my breath prepared for a tantrum, and opened the door to lead him outside. Out he walked like a little gentleman and off we went to the car. I think I might have held my breath the entire time we were walking to the car fully expecting him to rip his hand free and try and make a break for it to go explore the yard. He didn't! We made it all the way to the car and into the car seat with no trouble. Yay! He even held my hand at the restaurant and walked all the way from the car inside and then to our table. Now if you think a cute toddler being carried to a table draws attention that's NOTHING compared to a tiny tot walking hand in hand to a table. Ooooohhhs and Ahhhhhs and awwww look at the little baby, followed our progress through the dining area. Nicholas is quite the ham too so naturally he tried to stop and talk to some of his admirers lol. We made it through dinner and walked back out to the car hand in hand. YAY!!!! This routine repeated itself through most of our stops this afternoon and he only had to be carried once but that was because he had fallen asleep. He even held my hand a time or two when we were playing in great grandma's back yard - something he has NEVER DONE. In addition to improved hand holding skills he also responded to "lets go bye bye" at each and every place we were today. THAT'S a huge help!! I didn't have to chase him down to leave anywhere which is not the norm for us! He even came running to me while we were in our own backyard playing when I called to him to come over hand help me fill up the water thingie for the chickens.  I almost hate to write all this down for fear of jinxing myself but I can't help it. I am soooooo proud of him though that I just have to share!!! I really hope this continues. I'm not naive enough to think he's going to always want to walk with us like that but a toddler has a mind of their own for sure, but I do hope he will walk with us sometimes. Sometimes he doesn't want to be in a baby carrier or a stroller and if he'll hold out hands and come with us it will make like a lot easier. I think this is a habit we need to practice! Hooray for hand holding and hooray for toddler cooperation!!! :D

Friday, August 12, 2011

Toddler At The Vet Clinic

So we had a little puppy dog malfunction. My poor Wonder puppy (my first born child haha) had her butt break. (She had an infected gland and it ruptured - gross). So a visit to the vet clinic was in order. Even though I can express anal glands, I'm a dog groomer after all, I cannot do one that's already impacted and swollen. Bummer. I made sure to be be up and ready to call first thing this morning when the clinic opened so that I could get my baby girl in ASAP and get her taken care of. I was successful in getting an appointment right away with no effort or arguing (yay) and hung up the phone satisfied that at 10:15 the doctor could make Wonder all better. I decided to crawl back in bed for a few minutes because Nicholas wasn't awake yet and as I snuggled down into my comforter a thought occurred to me. I don't have a babysitter. zomg! Holy Crap!! What was I thinking making a 10:15 appointment when that gave me no time at all to procure a sitter for the energizer toddler who is at his most active right after breakfast time. Add to that the fact that I rarely take Nicholas anywhere on my own b/c he is SUCH a handful. I was petrified lol and got right back up out of bed to get started so to speak. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to carry a bunch of stuff with me in addition to the hyper toddler. Seriously though, any time you leave to go anywhere with a baby/toddler it's sort of like going camping with all the stuff you have to take. Snacks, juice, diapers, wipes, toys, a book, keys, sunglasses, shoes, spare set of clothes (cause you know he'll have a blow out in his diaper if you don't!), wallet, and it's not a bad idea to also have a change of clothes for yourself. LOL. Now most of this stuff has a permanent home in my car. We always keep a diaper or two in there for emergencies, and a change of clothes, and a pack of baby wipes. However when you INSIDE someplace those things don't do you a bunch of good OUTSIDE in the car so you have to plan accordingly. I stuffed a two step diaper and one insert and three cloth baby wipes in my purse along with two toy cars, a mini sized book, a sippy cup, and some goldfish crackers. No room for the wallet so I took it out and put my credit card and ID in my pocket. Ok we're set. Anyway the point is with all this stuff you tend to have your hands full. Hands that are already kind of full with a toddler and now we're going to add a little dog to the equation. Oh boy.... this is going to be wonderful fun.

Naturally Nicholas picked today to be a total goober about waking up, as in he didn't wanna, and getting dressed. No time for breakfast b/c I totally misjudged how much time I needed in order to get myself and the dog ready to go out and then he took forever to get ready as well. Only had time for him to drink some milk and I grabbed a piece of toast for him to eat in the car. We are late! I stuffed his feet into his shoes and then put him in the car and strapped him in. All the while trying to avoid his soggy finger which he was determined to jam into my eye for some reason. I jumped in the car, started it up and we're ready to go. Opps, not quite, forgot to lock the door. Jumped out and did that then back in the car and started backing down the driveway waving cheerfully at Wonder and Howie starting at me from the window in the guest room tails a'waggin. Ummm.... wait a second, why is Wonder look back at me from the window? *glances at passenger seat* Awwww @$%^#$ !!  I forgot the dog!!! *sigh* That's a major blonde moment!

We finally arrived at the vet clinic with Wonder and I was a bit nervous. You never know what animals are going to be in the waiting room and if they are going to be friendly or not. I have a dog AND a toddler to worry about keeping in line and no help. I have a secret weapon though in the form of a toddler leash. Yes, Yes, I am one of those parents who thinks it's OK to leash children. You wouldn't want to let a puppy rum amok in a public so why is a toddler any different? I clipped on his adorable puppy backpack with the little leash attached and in we went. All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for the toddler leash!! Nicholas would have been all over the place without it and there were some rather large dogs in the clinic this morning along with an unfriendly cat. I was able to let him play in the waiting room while at the same time preventing him from running off or getting to out of control which in turn allowed me to make sure both he and Wonder were safe. Nicholas alternated his time in the waiting room between playing with a toy car I had brought along, drinking his apple juice, and eating pizza blast goldfish (the breakfast of champions lol). I know most of the staff at the clinic from having taken dog's there since I was about 6 and working there for a year before I got preggo with Nicholas. So he got lots of attention from friends and that helped to keep him occupied. When we finally got into an exam room I felt safe to let Nicholas roam "off leash" so to speak. Almost a good idea. First thing he found was the cord to the x-ray viewer which the vet tech (yay for Heather being smart!!) got to before he did and put out of reach. Naturally he entertained the idea of poking his finger into the outlet but that didn't last long. Next he discovered the lever style door handles on the doors leading out of the exam room. He had GREAT fun grabbing them and trying to open the door and then rattling the door, giggling, while I held it shut to prevent him from jumping ship. After the door game got old he decided he would have a couple more goldfish and then go poke around in the cabinets. It's so funny how you forget that not every cabinet is baby proof lol. Fortunately they didn't have anything in the lower cabinets that a toddler would find interesting and it wasn't to difficult to convince Nicholas to come play elsewhere. In no time at all he had exhausted his desire to explore and was back to sitting on the floor eating goldfish and Wonder was all finished and  ready to go home. I managed to gather everything up and get it all back in the bag, get Wonder's leash and then pick Nicholas up and carry him to the front desk to pay. He was only mildly interested in snatching things off the counter which was good. I of course put my ADD on display when I accidentally let myself get distracted and asking one of the receptionists about her new baby right in the middle of another conversation with the receptionist who was checking us out. Oops! (Sorry Crystal, even though you aren't even reading this b/c you are a goober and won't get back on FB, so won't see it!). Anyway all in all we went toe to toe toddle style with the vet clinic and we WON! Whooooo!!! It wasn't so bad after all. We didn't break anything, have a meltdown, get bitten or scared by another pet, and we didn't annoy toooo many people. Mommy managed to not be rude to a lady who wanted to ague with me that my dog HAD to be a Pomeranian mix (hate to break it to you but a Tibetan Spaniel is a real breed, google it, and MINE happens to be a champion show dog LOL) so score for me too. I guess we were both on our best behavior. The icing on the cake I guess is that Dr. Martin who owns the clinic got to meet Nicholas for the first time. Which probably makes him feel old lol since he's know ME since about age 6 lol. Anyway Thanks to Crystal, Vanessa, Hannah, Heather, and Dr. Chapman for getting Wonder Puppy in and taken care of and being patient with hyper toddler :) All in all a decent trip and one that gives me more confidence in my ability to handle Nicholas out in public on my own, even with a dog in tow! Yay for me and yay fro the toddler leash for helping me out!!

Next stop, pediatrician appointment first thing Friday Morning.... which I guess it today since I am up late again. Oops! Yay for the 18 month appointment, I hope we don't need shots.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For Baby Brookelyn

I do not know Momma J personally she was a member of the Feb 2010 momma's group on WhatToExpect.com and I have gotten to know her gradually over the last 18 or so months. She and her family live in Canada and have three absolutely beautiful children. Two daughters and a new son who was born a few months ago. A happy little family you might think, and I am sure they are happy most of the time. There is a shadow though one that lingers and should haunt us all. Momma J had to experience a mother's very worst nightmare, the loss of a child. No death is easy, most especially the death of a child, a baby. However this loss is all the more difficult because their middle daughter, Baby Brookelyn, was taken from them not by an illness, or defect, or SIDS, or even an accident. No, Brookelyn was a victim of a caregiver's abuse. I sat in shock a year ago reading a status message on Facebook where Momma J revealed she and her family had had to say goodbye to their sweet Angel. I was even more shocked to learn why. Momma J cannot talk about her case because she is actively seeking justice for her little girl and wants no wayward detail to compromise her case. That is understandable. At the same time she also doesn't want Brookelyn forgotten, and she shouldn't be. Every day children in our world are abused. Some of them make it, and grow to become amazing individuals, some of them repeat the cycle of abuse with others, some of them are called home. A year ago a caregiver decided that Brookelyn had no right to her life, that her inner candle should be extinguished. There is no excuse that can be made for this woman that I can think of. Personally I cannot imagine living with myself after causing the death of anyone. Momma J has had to be an incredibly strong woman. To have to look into the eyes of a person who snuffed out such a bright and shinning little girl..... I cannot imagine. :(  I am sure this person had some reason for deciding Brookelyn's fate the way she did. I am sure she will have a defense. I am certain that it will not be nearly enough. Even if she were to walk free forgiven by the justice system she will certainly one day have to stand before God and explain herself. We are all judged in the end.

The one spot of light in this short story is that while this woman set out to extinguish Brookelyn's inner flame she did not succeed. Brookelyn's candle will forever burn brightly so long as we remember her and remember what happened to her. Brookelyn will light the way to a greater awareness of the issues surrounding child abuse. Brookelyn has changed my family's life and we never even met her. I am more careful with who Nicholas is with and where he is at all times. Not because I believe Momma J was not careful but because I now see that it could happen to anyone. I am also more appreciative of my son. I thank God daily for every dirty diaper, every broken toy, every sleepless night, and every single temper tantrum. Even though there are other things I enjoy more about my son I realize that these are also gifts. I am reminded that Momma J doesn't have smash cake photos from Brookelyn's first birthday. She never got to see her crawl, or hear her laugh. I treasure each and every memory and each and every experience good or bad that I have with Nicholas. I truly am thankful. I am also thankful for Momma J for being a role model of sorts on how to be a strong woman. I am thankful that she is sharing Brookelyn's story and that she is using her experience to try and prevent this from happening to another family. Baby Brookelyn will forever be remembered as will baby Chase who has his own farewell post on this blog after having passed from SIDS. Nicholas and I will in a show of support for Momma J and her family will be sending a Balloon up to baby Brookelyn. If Brookelyn's story can prevent even ONE more family from going through this terrible pain then Momma J can claim victory. Brookelyn's light, shining so very brightly, has touch me deeply both as a person and more specifically as a mother. Momma J shared a photo of some of her last moments with her daughter, holding tightly to a little Angel who was going to slip away. I don't know a mother alive who wouldn't be moved to tears, as I just was, looking at such a special moment. A moment that changed everything forever.

Child abuse is a serious issue that doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. Before being allowed to take Nicholas home from the hospital my husband and I were required to watch a video on shaken baby syndrome. Nobody stayed in the room to make sure we DID watch it, and as I recall I slept through most of it. Nobody asked us questions to make sure we understood or provided us additional information about it either. The routine was the same for all three of the video's we had to watch. The lack of importance that was placed on such matters is now, looking back, a little shocking. Nobody tells you what you really need to know about choosing caregivers, or about what to do if you suspect somebody you know is abusive. There is little attention given to cases of neglect or even to murder unless you happen to hide the fact from the police like a certain Florida mother we all know. I can't imagine the pain Momma J experienced watching that woman go free! We should all be aware of abuse though, we should all be on the lookout for it. Not to say we all have to be paranoid but be attentive. Look and listen and don't make excuses for what you hear with your ears or see with your eyes. This goes way beyond dueling parenting methods or green living or nutrition beliefs. This isn't something that can be argued, it simply is a fact of life we all need to work to change. It is not acceptable. Change cannot be brought about by those who sit by on the sidelines and never speak up. Change requires action and we should all be involved. Look at your children, right now, go on look, and imagine a life without them. Imagine that they were suddenly taken from you for no reason at all. Imagine that they were hurt by someone. Can you stomach the thought? No? I thought not. This happens though, every day, and every day people turn a blind eye. No more, we can't do it anymore. Now you know Brookeyln though I cannot share a photo with you they are not mine to share. You know her story though and you can no longer be blind. Brookelyn's light will not allow child abuse to dwell in the shadows and neither should we!

Momma J, thank you for sharing Brookelyn with us all. You are the most amazing mother I have the privilege of knowing. I cannot truly understand how difficult today must be for you all. I hope that you know that my family as well as countless others are praying for you and your family not just today, but every day. Thank you for letting us in on the private last moments as heartbreaking as they were. Brookelyn will NEVER be forgotten, not by me, not by Nicholas, and I suspect not by a lot of other WTE mommies. Even though we are not close by please know to that we are releasing our Balloons and lighting a candle in memory of Brookelyn and out of deep respect for you. I cannot recall having such admiration for somebody in my entire life as I have for you now. Thank you for sharing Brookelyn's light, for shining it on such a serious issue and for doing what you can to make sure it cannot happen again. My prayers are with you in your continued fight for justice. You have such a network of support even if you cannot see us all, we are still here and we will remember you and Brookelyn always and will remember the message of awareness as well. (((HUGS)))) from us to you, I know it perhaps isn't much but it is what we can give you from so far away.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Toddler Understand More Than We Think :)

So today I got a lesson in just how much my toddler really does comprehend about the things around him. I've had this lesson a few times in the past week but this evenings was the most impressive. I guess I have been operating under the assumption that because Nicholas is basically non verbal he does not understand very much at all. After all if he did wouldn't he be talking. Haha, that is a terrible underestimation of a toddler! Talking doesn't equal an understanding of anything. A cashier in a store told me on Friday that she had read somewhere that late walkers and talkers were often more observant and had better concentration skills when they were older. I have no idea at all if that's true, I haven't been inclined to research it at all but I found it interesting that she, unlike our doctor, wasn't at all surprised that Nicholas wasn't talking at 18 months. I don't know that that is true really but I can see how Nicholas really IS observing and learning about the world all the time. Probably he's not unique in this but as he's the only toddler I've got much experience with haha, he's the only one I can talk about :P He's been doing things like responding to random phrases that I had no idea meant anything to him. For instance the phrase "Want to go bye bye" generates an instant response. He runs to you and wants you to pick him up or wants you to open a door for him. Very adorable unless you've happened to utter the phrase before you are truly ready to leave and now have to deal with a toddler clinging to your leg and fussing while you attempt to get everything you need together so you CAN leave. :p He recently also shocked me during story time by responding to my questions about his twinkle twinkle little star book "do you see the start? where is the star?" by cleverly pointing to and touching the star on the page. I almost dropped the book! YIKES! I didn't know you knew that!! Of course my response to him was more like " Oh that RIGHT!! Good Job! That's the Star!!" Amazing how such a small thing really equates into such a BIG thing when you realize that he's growing up more and more every day.

Today we took Nicholas to the beach again and spent a wonderful evening splashing in the water and digging in the sand. It was about 7pm when we decided to leave and so dinner out seemed like a good idea. It helped that I had found twenty dollars floating in the water near the shore and couldn't find an owner, so, (Yay), basically a free meal!! Ok, ok, so I didn't look tooooo hard for somebody who was missing a 20 but I looked around and there was nobody near and I figured if I walked down the beach to ask around somebody was bound to say yes whether it was really their 20 or not. Ya know? Anyway we needed a night out so maybe the sea gods were granting us one. We didn't go anywhere great, Denny's actually was the choice we made haha. I haven't eaten there since I lost an entire grand slam to "the sickness" while I was pregnant with Nicholas. Our waitress was very baby friendly and asked if she could bring us some crackers for Nicholas to munch on before our dinner arrived. YES! It makes looking at the menu much easier when he's occupied with something other than crayons that he's trying to shove in his eye or up his nose. I gave him a cracker which he shoved whole into his wide open mouth before snatching another. Adorable. I figured I'd notice if he had trouble and was in any danger of choking (and daddy's an EMT so he could deal with such an emergency) so I focused a bit on my menu. It wasn't long before the first two crackers had been eaten and next thing I know Nicholas is FURIOUS! Not because he didn't have another cracker but because he was ASKING for another cracker and I wasn't listening to him. I looked up to see him glaring at me then the crackers on the table, back to me and then very clearly signed CRACKER. OMG!!!!! NO freakin' way!! Honey did you just see that?! My husband looked up from his menu and observed Nicholas signing cracker as well. Not just pointing at the cracker actually giving us the sign for cracker from the baby signing time DVD. Now see you might not think this is impressive at all but you'd have to understand that I have never taught him the sign for cracker. I actually have only taught him "All Done" and "Eat". Not that I haven't tried to teach him others those are just the two he's picked up. I never bothered with cracker at all actually. Mostly I focused on actions and animals and people. To see him sign cracker was quite the shock! Where on earth did he learn it? Take a guess.... well seems like those sign language DVD's really DO work. Apparently he learned it directly from the DVD which I will go ahead and tell you he hasn't seen in about a month now because we've been watching Your Baby Can Read instead. (I like to rotate the educational DVD's for a little variety) He just never felt like using the sign I guess? I'm not sure. What I am sure about was that he was clearly communicating a specific desire to me that I had no idea he was capable of communicating. Bravo! :)  I was of course super excited! It doesn't take much for me to get excited and adding a new sign to our nonverbal vocabulary certainly did the trick. Now if we can just get him talking we'll be set, though I am told to enjoy the nonverbal while it lasts lol. This makes me realize that I should probably be a lot more observant about what Nicholas is watching, listening to, and who he's around. The old "he's not going to know" or "he doesn't understand" isn't going to cut it anymore. I don't want him to go to preschool and tell his teacher to eff off or anything so I better pay attention. Not that I use that term frequently, it's just the first example that popped into my head now. When I think about it it's kind of amazing to me just how quickly a toddler can change and just how much they probably do understand about the world around them without us ever realizing it. I certainly wasn't giving Nicholas as much credit as he obviously deserved :) Now that I know though I am SUPER excited to see what the future brings us in the way of changes and development. I have a feeling that talking is right around the corner among other things. *sniffle* My little man is growing up!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Has it been 18 months already?!

Gosh WHERE did the time go??? I can't believe it but yesterday I woke up and it was August 3rd. Nicholas' "half birthday". Probably I am a dope for celebrating the "half birthday" after he's already a year old but I couldn't help it. Besides, why waste any excuse to have a special day? So we got up, had a yummy breakfast and played and played and played. I really wanted to take him to the playground at the local park but the heat index was 112 - YIKES! So no surprise that when the husband got home from work he wasn't thrilled about that idea and shot it down lol. In fact he looked at me like I had lost my mind. I don't do well in the heat to be honest so he was pretty shocked at my idea. What we did instead was wait another hour or so and took Nicholas down to the beach. It was just about sunset when we got there so it was cooler plus the breeze that is ever present down on the water. It was actually rather nice. Nicholas hasn't been to the beach since he learned to walk. Last time we took him we set him down in the sand and off her went crawling out to sea lol. This time we handed him a couple of toy shovels and he was happy as the proverbial clam to play in the sand. He did eventually make it to the water and he had fun letting the waves come up around him. Every time a big one would splash him he would giggle and bounce up and down on his butt. He is SUCH a water baby! We played for maybe a little more than an hour it was pretty dark by the time we left not that it mattered b/c the area we were was very very well lit with ambient light from restaurants, the boardwalk, a pier, and a couple of night clubs. Very family friendly even after dark :) When he started grabbing and trying to eat handfuls of wet sand we decided our big beach adventure was over lol. Sure did enjoy it. Even though we had dinner waiting at home in the crock pot I was hungry right then so the husband stopped and picked up a quick snack. Just to let you know S'more flavored goldfish = AWESOME :) Mommy and Toddler approved. Dinner when we got home was a yummy pot roast with carrots and green beans and homemade mashed potatoes (Are there really any other kind?) YUM-O! Nicholas enjoyed it and then a bath and off to bed with no trouble at all (a first for the last couple of weeks).
 I can't believe we are halfway to two years old - WOW! Why is it that your life just sort of goes by at a normal pace when you are in a non parent but the very second you find out that you are expecting somebody turns time to high speed and everything just FLIES by? :) Before you know it your pregnancy is over and you have this newborn bundle of joy. Then one day your wake up and your newborn has morphed into a toddler. Preschool is just a hop, skip, and a jump away and you are left wondering "how did this happen" LoL. You just have to buckle up and hang on for the ride! :) I wouldn't trade the last 18 months for anything in the world even though they haven't always been easy. Then again is anything that is really worth it ever really easy? I wonder what the next 6 months will hold for us. Surely it will be full of awesome!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tantrums From The Dark Side

 Holy toddler tantrum batman!!! Over the past week my adorable little creature feature has turned into Jekyll and Hyde. One moment he is totally fine and happy and the next moment he's having a meltdown. Doesn't take much to send him into hysterics either. Sometimes it is something as simple as needing to do a diaper change. Holy cow. Diaper changes in our household now closely resemble wrestling matches where Nicholas lays on the changing table screaming at the top of his lungs like you have just tried to rip his pecker off while twisting around trying to kick at you and won't let you hold his legs still to put another diaper on him. Super fun!! Just trying to hold his hand and get him to walk with you from point A to point B is also another tantrum trigger. Take hold of his hand and try to guide him anywhere and you had better have your ear plugs and that lifetime supply of patience handy. His usual routine in this situation is to scream and fall to the floor crying while you are left to stand there wondering what on earth you did to cause such a reaction. Obviously I don't hold his hand very often now since it is so offensive to him. Today the BIG tantrum was over where he was playing in the living room. We happen to have a fireplace in our living room which of course is not lit since it's July and we're in Florida. It is however not the best play for him to play since he often has the urge to try and climb into it. I asked him to come play with me a few feet away and he wouldn't. Since I can't hold his hand I often touch the back of his head to guide him in the direction I want him to go. It's an imperfect method b/c he can easily resist but it usually works. Not today though! He started fussing right away and when nothing fun could entice him away from sitting in the fireplace I had to give up on the avoid a meltdown idea and just pick him up and move him. Dear lord, you would have thought I had just tried to kill him. Nothing would console him afterwards either. I guess because of my background in animal behavior I tend to do a lot redirection as a way to defuse tantrum situations but today it wasn't working. I have read the book The Happiest Toddler on the Block and have been putting some of the advice within into practice in my communications with Nicholas. Toddler talk wasn't going to work today either lol. *Sigh* Somebody remind me why I want ANOTHER baby??? I forget LoL.

It's times like these when it sometimes becomes difficult to maintain even the illusion of calm when my tot seems determined to convince the neighborhood that I am killing him. I swear I have actually had neighbors ask me if everything is OK. Yup, nothing to see here folks just a high need toddler who's having a moment. Today he was in a bad mood for about an hour off and on of course. He went from reading a story with me on the couch to throwing all the books across the room. Oh boy... Let's try this again son :p I let him pick out another book from our stash and we read that one instead. He got mad again though when we finished it. He then plopped off the couch and ripped the book from my hand crying so I didn't even have the option of reading it to him again. He was in full toddler tantrum mode by that point and snatched one of MY books from a side table and started trying to look through the pages. Oh boy, that one isn't toddler proof like the various board books we have so I offered him another book in return and tried to take my book back from him. He proceeded to start trying to rip pages out of my book. HEY! OMG, That book is AUTOGRAPHED!!!!!!! Don't rip the page that says "Best wishes Leia, -Christine Feehan" out of it!!!  Arrrggghhhh!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!  Not cool! (also not cool that my copy of Dark Fire was within his reach and that's MY bad). I believe it is nap time!  That idea didn't go over well either and the before nap diaper change was a giant pain in the butt and a book before we laid down was out of the question. I am very glad that he is so small b/c it seemed like he was intent on beating me up. Pfffttt, I don't think so little guy! We settled for a few verses of the itsy bitsy spider sung at the top of my lungs to be heard over his angry howling and a very tired but still fighting it baby Nicholas layed down for a nap, well kind of. He fussed on and off for about ten more minutes and then he was out. I hoped he would sleep off the bad mood. Luckily for me he did and when nap time was over he had renounced the dark side and my Jedi mom skills allowed me to easily handle the evening's activities and still keep him happy.

Toddler's are basically little animals and they can't help their mood swings I know. That doesn't stop me from being frustrated from time to time which I hear is totally normal. The so called terrible twos (which in this case happen to be terrible one and a half's lol) are also normal. Toddlers are just now learning to cope with life and tantrums are to be expected. How one should handle these tantrums, well that's up to the individual. I happen to believe in a more positive approach and while I don't give in and let little Nicholas walk all over me I also try very hard not to make a big deal about tantrums. It's just fact of life and we deal with it. I don't believe in physical forms of discipline at this stage and most of the time opt to just ride it out so to speak. I notice the less of a reaction I have to his behavior the less extreme it is. That's not to say I ignore him but I often ignore the behavior. Meaning I may try to talk to him and help  him through a situation or I may try to redirect his attention onto something else without really adding fuel to the fire by getting upset over the tantrum itself. The way I see it is why focus on the tantrum itself when you can focus on a solution to whatever the issue is and end the shrill screams :) Let him experience and express his feelings and be as supportive as your ear drums can handle while attempting to help him move on and into a happier activity. That said I do also believe in picking you battles!!!! :) Sometimes it's just not worth the tantrum!! I will be glad when this stage of life is over. It will be a relief he is old enough to think more calmly through life's various situations and doesn't need to meltdown in order to express himself. Until then, bring it on Baby Gods. You're gonna have to do better than this to frighten me ! :p

(Anyone want to take bets on whether or not that last statement is going to jinx me into 18 months of toddler tantrum hell? LoL)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yay Pancakes ! ! !

         So I am perhaps a little simple minded when it comes to some things and it doesn't take much at all to get me REALLY excited. Yesterday evening pancakes got me so excited I was practically bouncing up and down in the kitchen. I have never, ever made pancakes successfully before. I have most certainly never made them from scratch with just a recipe. Any time I've ever attempted to make a pancake it is always with good old bisquick mix where ya just add milk or water or whatever (see I don't even know what you are supposed to add to it now lol!) and shake it up and pour. It usually ends in disaster. Smoke, sometimes a little fire, batter forever stuck to the pan, and a burnt substance that vaguely resembles a pancake in shape. Yeah, I am THAT cook lol.

        So anyway I was clipping coupons a week or so ago and had several for pancake mix and it got me thinking about breakfast for dinner. I have friends who eat such a meal once a week or so and it recently came up on a green parenting forum as a great money saving type meal idea as well. I've never been a real "Brinner" fan but hey I am a real fan of cheap (healthy) meals and a "brinner" meal is an excellent use for the gazillion eggs that the chicken project is producing. So saving money and using what we have on hand, always a WIN. Plus it's really easy to make breakfast vegetarian so I was super excited just thinking about it lol. Unfortunately this week isn't payday and so the pancake mix coupons have to sit in the folder un-used. No breakfast for dinner for us. Unless....... HEY! I can make pancake batter all on my own right? Now wait a second, stop laughing!!! >:( I could do it.  Probably.... Right???
I started searching the Internet for a wheat flour pancake recipe since wheat was all I had on hand.  I found a very simple batter recipe that didn't also require all purpose flour and that I had all the ingredients for right here in the pantry. I gathered everything together and dumped it all into my blender (which was what the recipe said to do). I am proud to report that I remembered to put the top on the blender before I turned it on and successfully whipped up what appeared to be a usable pancake batter. Not that I really know what pancake batter is supposed to look like but whatever. lol. I heated up a pan, sprayed it with Pam and viola I was ready to rock. After taking a deep calming breath I poured the batter into my skillet straight from the blender and then stood back sure it would explode or burst into flame or open a portal to hell or something. Nothing happened. Well nothing other than a little bubbling and some cooking. OMG, is this pancake going to actually turn into a pancake???!!!! Holy cow! Seeing that my pancake was cooking and obviously not about to burn the house down sent me scrambling around the kitchen to try and find a spatula to flip said pancake with. I guess I never expected it to be a success so I sort of forgot I would need a way to flip it lol. Spatula in hand I prepared to flip, certain that THIS would be the point of doom. Nope, flipped perfectly and began to cook on the other side. What???? Have we entered the twilight zone of something? :p Another minute or two passes and I am able to call the pancake finished and YAY!!!! I DID IT!!!! WHOOOO! I did a little happy dance around the kitchen with the hungry toddler watching and laughing. Thank God the husband was in the shower and couldn't see me, he doesn't get as excited as I do over little triumphs like pancakes lol.

I was able to cook up a whole batch of pancakes with little to no smoke filling the kitchen. I did make the pan to hot at one point and then sprayed it with more non stick...... yeah don't do that. Haha. It instantly turns black and starts to smoke. (we gave that pancake to the dog). I sampled my work and it tasted OK. Maybe not the most awesome life altering pancake I have ever had but I have never had a whole wheat pancake either so I didn't have much to compare it to. It wasn't toxic so I let Nicholas have at it and he tore it up!!! He LOVED them. I served with banana, eggs, and a glass of milk and he was in toddler heaven! My husband sampled a bit and he wouldn't eat them, I don't guess he's ever had a wheat pancake either but whatever - what does he know :P Maybe he'll get used to them, or maybe I will break down and buy different flour. I am almost out anyway and probably need more.  Anyway pancake success, toddler meal success, happy dance success! All in all a great evening AND now I know that I CAN make a pancake (and my toddler will love it if I do) I think I am going to be trying this more often :) The picky husband is just going to have to get over it b/c we WILL be having a vegetarian breakfast for dinner several times a month!! Yum Yum! I can't wait (but that's probably b/c I am a dork and am just happy that I didn't cause any serious damage to the kitchen!).

By the way, I don't want any Vegan's jumping my @$$ so I will point out that we are not a strictly vegetarian household and we're certainly not a Vegan one. We define vegetarian to mean no eating of animal flesh, things like eggs and milk are A-OK in our book. Just to be clear, b/c I know I'm going to get at least one comment or e-mail about how this recipe below isn't totally vegetarian *eye roll*

If you are interested this is the recipe I used;

1 c. whole wheat  -
1 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
Blend whole wheat and milk in blender for 4 minutes and then add all the other ingredients and blend 4 more minutes and then let sit for 2 minutes. Pour on hot griddle and place fruit on each cake as fast as possible. Batter will keep in refrigerator for 1 week. May need to thin with a little milk
I assumed that whole wheat meant the wheat flour I had on hand, if not then Oh well, it still made an editable pancake :) I also added a little splenda to sweeten the deal so to speak. About 1/4 of a cup or so. Just made it taste a little yummier. 


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Miscarriage is hard enough....

I am in a complete and utter state of astonishment at how insensitive so many people are towards the topic of miscarriage (MC). It shocks me that a person can look into the eyes of a grieving mother and say things like "oh well, maybe this is for the best" or "better early than later" or my personal favorite, "Better luck next time!". Why this country has not seen a mass murder at the hands of a pissed off emotionally drained mother who's just MC'd and heard some of these statements from close family and friends I do not know. People deal with things in their own way and even if a mother does not show outward signs of her distress to you it's a fair bet that she IS feeling it. I think maybe some people do not understand just how attached a mother becomes to a little pink (or blue) line or the word pregnant on a home pregnancy test. When that woman takes more than one test and see's more than one result saying the same thing the attachment deepens. Saying something along the lines of it's better that it happened early VS later because the later it happens to more attached a mother is is terribly misinformed. From the moment you know, there is no going back. That little line represents a human life like it or not. Doesn't matter if it's five days before your missed period or 5 weeks after. The result is the same. The medical protocol is the only real difference here. Another comment that shocked me was the wide spread belief that sometimes a woman's body is "just practicing" and next month you'll probably get pregnant again, you're body will be all systems go, and the pregnancy will stick. Well that would be nice except, guess what, the baby gods don't work that way. They don't assume that since you've had a MC they owe you a pregnancy on your next try. If only that WERE true I know a few ladies who would be a lot happier. The common and often given advice to just keep trying is also amazingly annoying and insensitive. You see the scariest part of a MC is the fact that it doesn't just go away. It stays with you whether you want it to or not. Sure you are working on a baby and you will try again but it can really suck some of the magic out baby making. Aside from being a potential kick start for depression (Was it my fault? What did I do? What's wrong with me? Why me?) it can also be a real source of fear. You may find yourself reluctant to try again b/c you fear rolling the dice and losing.  I'll say it once again for those who weren't paying attention the first time, once you see that positive result there is no going back. You are forever changed.  You are sure to have people encouraging you to go ahead and move on and get back to baby making because they do not understand what it is like to suddenly realize that you've lost something so precious. It's not the same feeling as when you misplace your Rolex OK, though that would surely strike fear into the hearts of many as well lol.  The thoughts and feelings that go through the mind are likely different for everyone but I can assure that icy chill that goes straight to your soul when you discover you are bleeding, or you fail to hear a heartbeat, or you're blood results don't come back the way the aught to have is most likely something that everyone shares. It isn't the nicest thing mother nature can do to you and insensitive, though likely well meaning, friends/family don't help that. They cannot understand the bone chilling fear that it will happen again and they cannot understand the unavoidable feelings that somehow it's your fault. Interestingly enough though even mothers who CAN understand because they have been there sometimes forget how you may be feelings and are often some of the most insensitive. If you're the friend, relative, neighbor type well then maybe stop and think before you speak. Your intentions might be good and you don't mean to be hurtful but please understand the person you are speaking to is usually trying to deal with a lot of emotion, even if they don't show it. Maybe now isn't the time for any deep thoughtful advice from you. Maybe just an "I'm sorry, is there anything I can do?" or a hug is all that is needed. Don't dispense medical advice or suggestions unless you are the person's doctor either. That is probably the LEAST helpful thing you can say. Unhelpful advice is bad at the best of time, it's down right wicked in this case.

As you might have guessed, if you're the brilliant sort, I have been on the receiving end of mother nature's cruelest joke and the "helpful" advice that usually follows. My husband and I did our thing and almost right away I knew we had been successful. It's amazing how early a woman can notice subtle shifts and tiny clues that a baby is in the future if she is really paying attention. :) Suffice it to say well before even the most sensitive of tests could possible detect hCG in my system I knew we had conceived. My husband knew it as well. We both just KNEW! When it was time to test neither of us were really surprised that the test was positive. What happened next WAS a surprise. There is unfortunately no real way to predict a MC is coming though oddly enough, there were clues there too though nothing could be done. My own husband was guilty of being one of those insensitive jerks mentioned above which just made the whole process that much harder. When I voiced my first fears to my husband on what might be taking place he shrugged me off, likely b/c he didn't know what else to say. I guess there is where the difference between a mother and a father becomes apparent, it's not real for some daddies until the baby has been BORN! When it became apparent that it was a done deal I didn't bother to bring it up to him at all. I just expected him to figure it out on his own as I was obviously expected to deal with it on my own. Only a few close friends were aware and my TTC group on BBC, no family.
A lot of tears and a little depression followed and as it has a habit of doing time marched on until my newly started chart green lighted another attempt. I had heard all of the wonderful "you're body is just practicing" advice and decided why not, let's go for it. That side effect that I mentioned where a MC sort of sucks the magic out of baby making was very much in evidence as was the fear. As my DPO count progressed I began to become really anxious at the thought of another positive test result and the possibility of another loss. I was not at all as excited and giddy as I was the month before and in no hurry to POAS. Even when my chart looked promising that a pregnancy MIGHT be in the future I dared not to hope. Today at 15DPO AF showed up to end the process pretty much right on time. Now what was that about my body was going to be ready this month ??? :P See told you the baby gods didn't work that way. *sigh* I am reminded though that I already have one little monster... err I mean adorable, lovable, amazing child and some don't even have that much. I will be thankful for the baby who is already in our lives and send prayers to my new found TTC friends who have suffered this injustice more than once and do not yet have a baby to love. We may keep seriously trying and we may not. We are trying to plan our next baby around the weather. There is no sense in being huge and pregnant in the hot Florida summer if you don't have to be. :) Nicholas will have a bother or a sister eventually I am sure. We won't forget our little angel bean though, the one who got away, who would have been born in early Feb. All we can do is to hug baby Nicholas and wait for fate to decide it is time. God, we are ready when you are.

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Real Housewife of Toddler County

So, yes I will admit that I am a housewife fan. Bravo sucked me in and I couldn't help myself. Since I don't work outside my home anymore I don't get my regular dose of drama, bitching, or synchronized menstrual cycles. I don't really miss it but drama drama and the fantastic lifestyles of the housewives caught my attention and now my DVR is set to record Orange County, New Jersey, New York, and Atlanta. I often watch late at night while I am getting caught up on other things or during nap time when it's nice to have a little something on in the background. I haven't found the Miami or Beverly Hills love so from those I am safe...for now. So called "Reality TV" in general has kind of roped me and held me hostage, though it occurs to me that very little of it is based in actual reality. The housewives certainly are not. The show in fact in a total misnomer b/c most of them are decidedly not what you would think of when you think housewife. It's more like I lesson in how to be a MILF and make yourself look like an immature 40+ yr old fool on national television. Part of it's charm maybe? I guess that is the point in a way, it's what every housewife dreams of? The cars and the money and the maid I mean, not the looking like a fool though I imagine that might just come along with the deal anyway. I don't know. The reality that these ladies live in kind of implies that I as a "housewife" (aka stay at home mom) don't really work at all and it's all just peachy for me. Life is good and I can sit home with my baby and be lazy. As any stay at home or work at home mom will tell you (and be careful b/c if you suggest this to one because they might just beat you to hell and back before they tell you) that nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not in the O.C. I'm afraid, I live in the seriously reality based toddler county (so would that be T.C. ? lol). My day to day life doesn't get to include shopping, unless you count skimming ebay looking for great diaper deals or going to the store for milk and cheerios between temper tantrums. My life doesn't include "Frenemies" but rather a slightly clueless husband and an adorable toddler who seems to be perpetually stuck on high speed.

Our mornings start off with a bang as we run through the house mommy singing the itsy bitsy spider and twinkle twinkle little star at the top of my lungs while Nicholas squeals in delight. Playtime has begun! Dumping toys out of various containers all over the house is a ritual that repeats itself several times a day and makes keeping up with cleaning an almost a full time job in itself. You HAVE to keep it up though, otherwise the mess becomes almost overwhelming. Besides what if prince charming... eerrr I mean a relative or friend stops by? Don't want them to think you are lazy or untidy by nature. The fact is left to their own devices a toddler can destroy a room (or an entire house for that matter) in 20 minutes or less. Unlike the housewives on TV I don't have a maid or a nanny to help run damage control or pick up tiny toy cars. The 2 hours of work I did getting the house in shape earlier in the day or late the previous evening is undone in a matter of moments. Frustration isn't exactly the right word here but it'll have to do since this is a (mostly) G rated blog. No wonder so many mom's go ape on their husbands when they come home and point out the messy dinning room table or ask obnoxiously "what did you do all day?!". What indeed. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times more closely resemble feeding time at the zoo than any actual human meal time. An impatient toddler who screams and yells at the top of his lungs and bangs on the baby gate that keeps him out of the kitchen  (where did the chimpanzee come from and what did it do with my toddler??) while you prepare said meal or snack is oh so much fun. Advil anyone? You would think he never gets fed if you witnessed the hell he raises while he's having to wait for me to slice up a banana, cook and egg, or pour juice into a sippy cup. Still wonder why mom's get addicted to pain meds, alcohol, or chocolate ? Come over to my house for an afternoon and I'll show you. :p As if the food prep wasn't painful enough, that floor you just moped, yeah you're going to need to re-do that in spite of the four legged clean up crew. Some things are just to sticky for even a dog to clean up lol. You are also going to need to either pin the crazy hyper toddler to the floor to wipe him down or dump him in the tub for a bath to get various substances from the meal off him. This is especially true after meals containing foods like oatmeal, yogurt or ANY kind of sauce. Banana is wonderful fun to try and scrub out of hair, my advice would be not to let it dry there! I spend half my morning watching the clock thinking "oh please, let it be nap time!".  You're probably thinking that once nap time arrives and the little monster goes to sleep peace and quiet returns and relaxation reigns. Not so fast. All those messes that hurricane toddler made over the course of the morning, yup those have to be cleaned up on top of the days regular chores which in my case include things like dishes, general cleaning, laundry, as well as garden and animal related chores. My toddler only takes one nap a day. I get ONE shot at getting things done and only two hours tops to do it all. So if somebody happens to ring the door bell and set the four legged alarm systems off well then I'm screwed. :/ On good days though nobody comes by to try and sell me a Kirby and I can spend nap time zooming around at top mommy speed putting everything back in it's place, getting the daily chores done, and if I am REALLY lucky even having a meal, which is usually the first (and sometimes only) meal of the day for me. Of course, why I really bother to clean at all is still one of life's great mysteries. I know that within ten minutes of waking up from his nap all my hard work will be for naught and Nicholas will have returned to the living room to it's previous state of disaster. I love him anyway. Our afternoon is spent much the same way our morning is and making a mess is great fun. If it's not to hot sometimes we can go for a walk or to the park. Those are exceptionally good days. If walking or the park isn't an option there is always the little kiddie pool in the backyard - if you can keep our duck Daisy from jumping in and pooping in it. This is Florida though and this time of year it is generally to hot and humid to spend much time out doors unless you happen to be in the water and then you have to watch out for sunburn. Nobody wants a cranky teething SUNBURNED toddler.... dear lord I shudder at the very thought! Sometime after nap time we have a snack which I sometimes have to hose off of the toddler and then I spend the rest of the afternoon running around picking up after and playing various games with my son. When the husband comes home, well he just adds to the mess, as husband's tend to do whether they mean to or not. He also is tired from his day at work and doesn't feel like running around with the energizer toddler. This equates into NO break for mommy. Unlike husbands who go to work and get lunch breaks, and hour long drives in the car to be alone and listen to music or have quiet time the real housewives of toddler country get no such reprieve. My husband is in fact under the impression that staying at home with the baby is easy and I don't do much during the day. One day I'll probably snap and smother him in his sleep for this I'm sure, but so far he's been careful not to voice that belief often. Now it's evening time and in addition to dealing with a toddler I have to clean up after my husband who tends to leave random things just laying around. Then move on to prepping dinner, feeding the baby, getting baby dressed and ready for bed, conducting story time and convincing little Nicholas that it really IS bedtime and he needs to go to sleep. After baby is in bed I must finish and serve dinner, take care of the nightly chores for the chickens, duck, and dogs, and maybe just maybe when I am finished with all that I can sit down for a few minutes. The house by this point in time is still pretty much a wreck from the afternoon's activities by the way and so at 10:30 when husband heads off to bed I begin picking up and cleaning once again as well as getting caught up on any chores I wasn't able to finish through the course of the day and cleaning up after dinner. In my household floors, counter tops, and litter boxes tend to get cleaned sometime between 11pm and 1am. Laundry is also folded during this time usually. Oh and by the way, if you think all that is a lot to handle I'll feel obligated to add that I also work from home as a pet groomer and trainer on top of everything else I do.

I am super mom :P The only time I have a baby sitter is when I need to travel to a client's home for work. Otherwise it's all me and I have learned to juggle life with a toddler fairly well (I think). To be sure, it's definitely hard, it's stressful, it's exhausting, and sometimes I hate it. You know what though? For right now I wouldn't have it any other way! Would I enjoy having the bank account of one of the O.C. housewives, suuuure! Would I enjoy their lives? Not a chance. Mine is hectic and loud and busy just like theirs but it a MUCH better way. They can have their drama and false housewife title, I get the worlds most adorable little boy who keeps me on my toes. Not much out there can be better than that! :) 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Return Of The Teething Monster

Nicholas has been cutting four molars one right after another starting about two months ago. Baby drool EVERYWHERE! Gross. I was on my knees nightly begging the baby gods to please hurry this process along and make it quick. Once again I think I got more than I bargained for, which I suppose aught to teach me not to pray to false gods lol. Teething sure is hurrying along. He's got the four molars mostly in but guess what. Apparently the baby gods decided to send the tooth fairy/teething monster BACK to our house to deliver MORE teeth. zomg! Today I was checking on the status of our molar acquisitions and noticed that there are four MORE teeth just barely poking through. Ugh, no wonder the drooling hasn't stopped (and in fact has increased!). Nooooo!!! Looks like we're working on the teeth between the four front teeth and the molars. Wonderful. I have noticed for a couple of days now that Nicholas has been biting on his thumb in a weird way. I realize today he isn't biting his fingers, he's using his fingers to feel his gums. He's nothing if not curious and I'm sure they are a bit sore. He's been a good boy about it though. I guess since he's been cutting teeth for more than two months now he's maybe just gotten used to to? He's is likely to be slightly fussy here and there but NOTHING like what he used to be like when teething. He's also eating like a champ for the most part. Today he ate almost a whole apple and man the boy can tear him up some chicken. No worries! I am thinking now that perhaps the runny nose may have been another gift from the tooth fairy (gosh, when does she start bringing $$ on her visits??) and he was not really sick. I was very concerned that he was getting sick this weekend but aside from two days of being a little stuffy and one day with a fever and the grumpies he's been fine. Just a slightly runny nose every once in a while. I think the new teeth may also have brought him new stores of energy! What is the tooth fairy putting in these things?? He's been a hyper little bugger lately running around screaming (the happy kind of screaming) at the top of his lungs and smiling and laughing. Imagine my shock to find new teeth beginning to poke through today. That is very out of character for teething toddler of doom - AKA Nicholas. I won't complain though, except about the baby drool which is just GROSS. I am happy that he is happy and I hope he stays that way. I honestly don't have any great teething remedies up my sleeve b/c nothing except Tylenol seems to help him. He won't chew on frozen rags, I'm frighten of gels stuff on the gums, and his doctor says not to give him those little teething tablets. *shrugs* Ok. At least lately he hasn't seemed to need anything at all and maybe the baby gods aren't really picking on me after all. They at least seem to have some compassion for a poor baby and aren't making this process any more uncomfortable than need be even though they have doubled the teething workload.  For that I thank them. For the tooth fairy... you're still on my list bitch. Beware.... :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Real Momma's Don't Lable Themselves

Sometimes a momma just can't win. She isn't mainstream enough and gets judged harshly for her beliefs in breast feeding, cloth diapering, or her position on various sleep training techniques. So she calls herself crunchy, or natural, or green.  Then one day she isn't natural enough because in she doesn't fall in line with a group who feels they have a divine right to judge mainstream mothers. She finds herself  either to attached for the mainstream or not attached enough for the natural crunch.  Yesterday I found out I was not pro-breastfeeding enough. OMG, can you imagine somebody saying such a thing to me? TO ME??????? No, really STOP laughing, I am perfectly serious. :P It's a case of not being enough for one group and being to much for another and it really gave me pause and got me thinking.

 Every mother no matter what style of parenting she attempts to adhere to is going to eventually HAVE to make it her own and adapt it to her lifestyle, personal set of beliefs, and unique needs. Otherwise they risk falling into the trap of becoming a slave not to their children but to the idea of *insert parenting label here* It's ridiculous. Simply put you have to be comfortable in your own skin. Nobody can tell you how to do that or what you should be comfortable with. Some things you will see or hear and think OMG, that's ridiculous! Other things will intrigue you, some may even inspire you. Be inspired if you will, but FUCK the label. Don't aspire to parent your children the way another mother you know does, or the way your family wishes you would, or the way a book/blog/forum tells you that you should. Do what is in your child's best interest and do it the best way you can.

For the situation from yesterday, it is not necessarily in your baby's best interest to nurse in public, it doesn't harm or help either way. In fact it doesn't matter at all how or where your baby nurses. The important thing is that they are receiving mother's milk. Duh! Applaud THAT not where they are nursing, and don't get pissy when somebody expresses their own (very well informed) belief on the subject either. I believe in live and let live and try your best not to bother or negatively impact others. What I choose to do with my own personal life and my own son does not have anything at all to do with you. If you don't like some of my parenting choices well bite me.... if you dare. Open yourself up to engage in debates in a way that allows you to be free from emotion and accepting of differing view points. You never know, if you stop being preaching and judgmental for two whole seconds you might just learn something. I don't have to agree with what you do and you don't have to agree with what I do. That's fine.  A real momma does it her way so long as her way isn't going to harm her child. A real momma doesn't allow herself to be labeled nor does she limit herself with a label. News flash, I don't know if you've noticed or not but I haven't seen anyone walking around sporting 1st place ribbons or gold medals for natural birth, home births, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, or even public breastfeeding. Yet some mothers continue to try and put their ideal up on a pedestal and are quick to judge or speak down to other mothers who can't or don't want to measure up. They call these ideals "brave" as in "the brave who will nurse their children anytime anywhere and at any age". K, you go ahead and do your thing in a shopping cart at a WalMart, but don't expect me to follow suit just because you are "brave" and you think I am not. Bold and brave are not the same thing by the way, and I'll let you examine that for yourself. I have a sense of modesty, excuse me for that, and don't feel like whipping the girls out in the middle of a shopping trip if I don't have to and expose more of my body and needed to complete the task. Nursing is perfectly acceptable and natural act. Public nudity... well maybe not so much and the woman in the photo being discussed was in my opinionated opinion slightly over exposed. I can understand how she ended up as a boob on the people of WalMart  website. I didn't say it was right to make fun of her I just said I can understand how it happened that she was there and why some of the comments where what they were. Sorry, if you get your panties in a twist over that. Grow up. I thought it was less than appropriate from my point of view which speaks to what I would personally be comfortable doing, not judging somebody else for the difference in their own personal comfort level. I am supportive of a mother's right to nurse in public, just because I don't exercise that right the same way this woman did doesn't make me less than somebody else who does. I pretty much always nursed Nicholas in a car, or other private-ish place and the same applied for pumping. I was also most comfortable if I was almost completely covered though I never actually used a nursing cover. I simply didn't expose more of myself than was absolutely necessary.  Everyone is entitled to express their opinion. Go for it in fact.  Don't be so surprised though when there is more than one opinion on your chosen subject. You need to be tolerant of that fact.

My whole point is this; I am not an attachment parent, though I believe in, often promote, and apply the concepts of attachment parenting to my personal life. I am not a baby wearer though I have and still do wear my son when it is mutually desired. I also use a stroller *gasp*. I am not a green or crunchy mother either. My own person style is green in color but you have to remember just how many shades of green there are.  I adapt as many green living concepts into my daily life as I am able to at this time. Some people go a lot further than I am even willing to go and I am glad for them, but they still aren't getting a cookie from me for it. I relate well to many "crunchy" mothers but I won't call myself that either and it isn't just because I can't stand that particular term (makes me think of dirty underwear - sorry ladies, I obviously don't understand where that came from). Apparently as with being green there are different textures of crunch. I find myself often not crunchy enough. So who am I as a parent? I am a REAL MOMMA! I do my own research, ask my own questions, tell my own stories, and I make my own choices because I have a mind of my OWN. This is the only label I will accept and I hope others can follow suit or keep their lips zipped. Don't be what anyone else wants you to be, I certainly won't.  Just be real and most importantly own your reality! Forget everyone else and their opinions. Glean what real knowledge you can from them, be open to ideas, engage in friendly debate on occasion, but do it on your own terms and decide for yourself what is best. Always reserve judgment of a situation or idea until you are completely education on ALL sides of the debate on it. I won't buy into a label unless it's Prada, Armani, or Versace. If you choose to then so be it but judge others for not measuring up at your own risk. You might just find YOURSELF the one who doesn't measure up to somebody else. After all, there is always a bigger fish.... and beware Real Mommas WON'T take your bullshit.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lets make a baby

Yes, I have turned the page in the book that is my life and entered into the exciting and sometimes complex world of TTC, which stands for Trying to Conceive. We are working on baby number two. We were excited to try for a baby way back before Nicholas came along, however just didn't happen.Turns out that we weren't REALLY trying, there was so much more to this project that I had dreamed of. A year later I said screw this and decided I would rather have a new puppy. Enter our silver standard poodle Saleen. 8 weeks after she came home, guesssss what.... SURPRISE!  Baby on the way lol :) This time we decided to plan a little better and not really knowing where to start I logged onto a website called Baby Center and joined their getting pregnant forum. WOW, was I ever in for a surprise (not to mention quite the emotional roller coaster ride but that's a whole different post I'm afraid). I learned what it meant to be REALLY trying to have a baby lol. I quickly discovered that just doing the baby dance is sometimes not all that it takes to make a baby. These ladies are incredibly in touch with their bodies and know things about themselves I didn't even think was possible to know. They temp, and chart, and observe CM (a abbreviation I won't explain for the faint of heart) and examine themselves regularly to note the position and condition of their reproductive self. They keep track of all this on various websites and even know when and how to test long before a missed period. Truly a fascinating world. Even when they manage to get pregnant most of them stay on the forum to help newbies, like myself, learn the ways of the TTC force.

Months ago I purchased a basal thermometer in an attempt to explore Natural Family Planning. Said thermometer has been sitting on my night stand still in it's unopened package. Charting my temps just seemed complicated and to be honest I was a bit of a wuss when it came to relying on such a method for birth control. The more I read the more I realized that timing is everything and knowing WHEN to dance is almost as important as actually doing the dance. This would also be true of trying to prevent conception. I learned tons of techniques that I was previously unaware of and soon found myself totally immersed in a fascinating world where people know themselves so completely it would shock you and they are totally free in sharing their observations with you. They will also freely help you figure out your own chart and learn all the wonderful things that they know. They seem to have their own language as well. You almost need a lingo cheat sheet in order to understand what you are reading at times but not to fear you learn very quickly. In fact I posted a status on my personal facebook profile that quickly generated a response from those in the know. My best friend however had to ask what in the world I was talking about when I said I was 14 DPO and I was going to POAS that night. Then later that evening I was able to post that I had done the POAS thing and O.M.G it was BFP, (even though it didn't stay that way). Only people in the know would understand those statements. Only people in the know understand what I mean when I say we didn't have sticky dust as well. It's so fascinating really how people can come together and just create their own little world and work together and support each other in this TTC journey. The support I have found both educational and emotional has been surprising and no drama, at all ! We are all to centered on our mission for petty drama.

So this month we are going to attempt charting. I have opened the basal thermometer and have it under my pillow. I have an account, per instructions given via the getting pregnant group, on fertility friend.com to help me keep track of what my temps are and other observations about my body which I will leave to the imagination (or to those "in the know"). I am perhaps to clinical and find myself looking at this as a giant science project. It's fascinating lol and I can't help it. I don't care really if I actually get pregnant, in fact perhaps I should not as Nicholas is a handful. I am not sure I can handle two of them. However I can't help being interesting in learning something new about myself and will proceed with at least the charting even if I don't end up dancing. I'm like a kid in a candy store given the opportunity to learn new things.

So I guess we'll just wait and see. We've got one month officially under our belts and that was a success. Now we'll get more specific in our ovulation charting and see what happens. I am engaged in an imaginary race with a family member, we'll see who wins :p Hehe, stand back, I'm going to try science! :)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Reading Wars - Victory is OURS!

I think it is safe to say Reading Wars has been won :) Nicholas has become so attached to story time that trying to put him to bed for a nap or for the night without a book first is a perilous task indeed. Not only that but the whole point of reading wars was to promote verbal development. I have to say it might just be working. We have noticed a change in the way Nicholas babbles. It's very interesting actually. It isn't so much that he sounds more conversational, though he often does, but more that his babbling is reminiscent of the cadence of a book that rhymes or a poem. He has several books that where the story line rhymes and the particular verbal cadence that one has when reading such a book is now appearing in Nicholas' various forms of babbling. He is also becoming more apt to babble back and forth with you. For instance I pointed out a dog in a book the other day and he looked back over his shoulder at me and made a sound that sounded a lot like dog. I'm not running to the rooftop to shout to the world that his first word was dog but I will admit that it was pretty close. Almost as exciting as that is the fact that we have a new new trick that developed over the past week. We have a stash of books in the living room some of which I've intentionally put there and some he has swiped from his bedroom. Lately he's been going and grabbing books and running to me with them. If I take the book from him he will often try to climb up on the couch and sit next to me while we read the book. Sometimes he just stands there while we look at it together. He LOVE LOVE LOVES a baby faces book about learning to eat. We got it from the doctor when he was 6 months old. I often touch various points on his face while reading the book as it talks about where food ends up when you're just learning to eat. Now he gets a HUGE grin on his face when we get to the page where a little girl has food on her nose and usually the touching of his nose earns me a giggle. Another favorite book is The Going To Bed Book. We read it every single night before bed, it's the last book we read before turning out the light and singing out bedtime song. Since we read it so much I have notice a lot of his babbling most closely resembles the rhyming cadence of this particular book. We're also big fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, God Made Puppies (which was actually a book of MINE when I was little), and The Very Busy Spider. A new Baby Einstein book about colors is one of the ones he brings to me most often while we are playing in the living room. It is so adorable when he does that and to watch him focus on the photos on the pages is super duper adorable. We have also noticed that we're hearing momma and dadda more and more often in amongst his babbling. Every once in a while he seems to be saying it TO one of us rather than just babbling it. We don't always get a clear mama or dada but rather ma ma ma and da da da. We're still signing as well even though many many people believe that signing actually delays speak. I don't care. I'd rather give him the tools to communicate however he chooses than try and force him to talk right this second. Our most often used sign is "eat", followed closely by "all done". Those are pretty much the only two he uses but he's begun pointing a lot. I think we might be getting closer to more understandable communication. Hoping we'll have real words by the time we go back to the doctor in two months. If not, I will be able to say with absolute certainty that it isn't from lack of reading or talking with him. I think since he's been such a good boy this week he deserves to go to the book store and pick out a couple new book. Ahhh, who am I kidding, I missed the Ragababe opening today and just want to feel like I bought him SOMETHING since he isn't going to be getting a new diaper lol. Meh, who cares, I'm sure he'll enjoy new books and frankly so will I. If I had to read the Where's My Puppy? one more time I might go insane. We definitely need new material!!

Starting A Veggie "Garden"

So I know it's already June, (gosh where did spring go???) and I'm a little late to the party but Nicholas and I are starting our own little veggie garden. Now see we have a whole little fenced off section in an out of the way corner of the yard that has been a garden before. It was supposed to be a garden again this year. Welll...... the chickens and the duck are living in there at the moment so bummer, no in ground veggie gardening for us. Over memorial day though Old Time Pottery had a FANTASTIC sale and in amongst the items that were on sale were bunches and bunches of clay pots..... for under two bucks a piece. Not little tiny clay pots either, the nice useful 12 inch ones that are going to end up being really useful. :) We bought a bunch of them along with a bunch of smaller ones and they have been sitting on the back porch for about a week now. My mother gifted me with some dirt and I was all set. Except for the plants. Well last weekend I suddenly remembered that I had a Walmart gift card that I had received for Christmas and YAY off to wally world we went to look at veggies. To be honest, the selection was pretty sad lol. A bunch of the same kinds of plants I'm afraid and apparently tomatoes are the MOST popular b/c that is what they had the most of. A lot of the peat pots were pretty died out and the specimens wilted and dying. Bummer. Oh well. I bought several anyway.  Mostly I got the four packs of things like squash and various peppers b/c those were the cheapest and since they were all looking pretty sad I decided I would rather spend less and get more sad looking plants than spend more for less and risk some of them actually dying. We packed up our haul and ended up not having to spend any extra money for the plant. You've gotta love a gift card right? Because walmart had NO good looking herbs we also went to Lowe's which is right across the street to look. They must have been awaiting a shipment b/c they didn't have herbs either but they did have a poor dying four pack of spaghetti squash. When we took it up to the register my husband pointed out that it was dying and they sold it to us for just $ .50. Can't beat that!

I took advantage of nap time a couple of days later to plant our new container garden in the pots we purchased the weekend before. Everything except the tomatoes found a home in the pots. The tomatoes ended up in the flower bed up front where there are ironically no flowers b/c none of the seeds I planted this spring sprouted. I have just the worst luck with seeds lol. Anyway everything else is right off the back porch organized neatly which makes me happy.  So far everything is doing well. Some of the spaghetti squash plants don't look like they are going to make it but two of them, which are sharing one pot for now, seem to be recovering with good soil and plenty of water.  The tomatoes up from are also doing very very well.  It's even rained a time or two since we've planted the veggies which helps a TON since it's been soooooooooo dry here over the spring. I really cannot wait until we start getting good veggies in a few weeks. We've planted, several different peppers, tomatoes, egg plant, two types of squash, zucchini, and we have a strawberry plant that hubby and I have had since we got married that loaded with berries already. I am hoping to get more herbs, hopefully somebody will have some in stock soon, to add to the rosemary and mint that grows like crazy in our front yard. Maybe I will be able to look into canning and preserving some of the veggies for the winter. Not sure if we'll get enough this year with just what is in the pots but you never know I guess. Next year for sure I will try it! Maybe next year I will be able to plant a baby food garden for a new little Johnson, ya never know about that either :D

Now I just have to make sure to keep these guys away from the new plants and we'll be all set :D Hopefully they'll be to busy laying eggs soon :P 

Happy gardening!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baby Food Wars

I haven't posted a BFW post in a while and thought perhaps it was time once again. The current battle is not exactly WHAT foods we're eating and introducing but rather HOW we are eating them. We are attempting to introduce Baby N to the concept of using a spoon to eat with. He still eats with his hands 98% of the time. It's just easy that way. I can cut something up to an appropriate size, put it on his tray and away he goes, (with my supervision of course).  Granted it can be messy and he tends to double fist things that are especially yummy which causes a lot of dropping into his lap. His usual practice of eating with both hands like this results in him jamming as much food into his face as is possible. With his cheeks puffed so far out he often resembles a hamster! I'm proud to say that most of the food DOES make it to his mouth and very little is dropped. However, he still loses a fair amount.  I probably need to get him one of those bibs that is designed to catch dropped food. It might make things a little easier. I've pretty much given up on bibs in general these days, and can't even remember the last time he wore one during a meal lol. *shrugs* just add that to the growing list of my motherly faults I suppose. Anyway apparently finger foods weren't messy enough for me and I decided we needed to up the ante.  On Easter Sunday we ate lunch with part of our family and there were two kids there both eating with forks. They are older than Nicholas but still, it inspired me to start introducing the idea of using a utensil to eat with.  I have a toddler after all, he's not a baby anymore, he should be able to do anything right?

We finally took the plunge a few weeks later and I wish I HAD put a bib on him that day! His first attempt was to eat yogurt out of a little bowl with one of the spoons we already had and had used to feed him baby food with way back when. It's a bit long I suppose and while he almost instantly grasped the idea that the spoon should deliver the yogurt his execution was a little off. Most of the yogurt ended up ON him rather than in him. Adorable to be sure but messy to clean up later. The main issue was that he was holding the spoon side ways so that when he scooped up some yogurt and started moving it towards his wide open pie hole the yogurt would drop out well before making it to it's destination. Lord help me though when I tried to touch the spoon and readjust it in his hand he threw a fit. He's gonna do it his own self thank you very much! OK, little man... go for it. He did manage to eat some of the yogurt and that was reward enough for him to keep working at it.

The next hurdle we faced arose the second time we handed him a spoon. This one was a shorter kids spoon that I had from a long time ago. I didn't tell him that it was a My Little Pony spoon lol. I bought it to get the plate and bowl a few years back,. I am a die hard MLP fan/collector!! Anyway back to the point, Nicholas had a slightly easier time with this spoon and some mashed potatoes. However he was apparently hungrier than a spoon could handle and reverted back to the double handed eating technique. He would spoon up some 'taters and try and to get them to his mouth while at the same time grabbing a handful of them with the opposite hand and shoving those straight into his face. Yum, Yum. Haha.

We are still working on letting him use his spoon and I know he'll get it eventually. However, we don't use utensils very often b/c I am the type of momma that is having a hard time letting go of my idea of a clean baby after meal times. We are sticking to finger foods for the most part and sometimes I hand him his spoon, yeah it's still the my little pony one, to practice with at snack times. For regular mealtimes though I'm finding that I value his ability to eat on his own without me having to worry about him jabbing his eye out. So far he's only tried once. Mastering the use of a spoon will eventually happen and once it does we'll move on to a fork. Forks make me seriously nervous. There isn't tooooo much damage the toddler of doom could do with a spoon but a fork.... or eventually a knife??? Lord, LOL, am I ever going to be ready for that? Probably not, but as with everything we'll do it anyway and be the better for it. For now, so long as he keeps eating his veggies I don't care how he shovels them in :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Reading Wars

So apparently I am a bad mother and have not been reading enough to my son. While we are confessing sins I'll also own up to the fact that I don't brush his teeth twice a day every day :/ It's hard to remember sometimes. Anyway little man is 15, almost 16 months old and not talking - at all. At his 15 month check up his doctor expressed concern that he wasn't speaking. She's not expecting him to greet me every morning with a "hello mother, let's have a wonderful day" or anything but she says he should be saying 3-6 words by now. When he was 6 or 7 months old he said mama for the first time and by 8 months he had stopped saying it entirely. I heard a dada yesterday but it was jumbled into all his other random babbling and I know darn well he isn't really saying talking about daddy. The doctor says he should be saying mama and dada and with purpose by now. Anyway she says I need to make sure he hears 5,000 words a day no clue on how I should count to make sure haha but hey I'm a GIRL I can talk up a storm! I am also supposed to be reading tons of books to him. The paperwork she gave me she wrote 20-30 books... I sincerely hope that was a typo and she meant something more realistic. We don't even own 20 books, unless we want to start reading trashy Christine Feehan romance novels. I like them but somehow vampires and sex doesn't seem age appropriate for a toddler. (Dear Mrs. Feehan PLEASE, please hurry and write Skyler's story!! The wait is killing me!!). I cannot even imagine trying to read that many books in a day? Am I the only one out there that doesn't/cant do that. Gosh, that would be almost a full time job. Yeah, sure Doc I'll get right on that right after I do my real job, and all my housework, cooking, and general parenting chores. Wonderful.

So because I felt like a parental reading failure I got started right away with the new reading regime and tried to add extra books to our routine. Previously reading has consisted of picture books with one word to each page and us pointing to and talking about the photos. That's not good enough I guess. Anyway, I sat down on the floor that very day with a copy of The Very Busy Spider totally sure Nicholas would be thrilled and in heaven to have more reading time. I was wrong. He wanted no part of it. Great. I chased him around with the book for 15 minutes before I just gave up. No worries, we'll try again later. I tried again later with the same result. This went on for days. Yay, motherhood is "fun". I tried reading to him in the bath tub and he threw water at me. I tried reading to him in his highchair and he fussed b/c he wanted to do baby signing time. I tried touch and feel books, colorful books, rhyming books, musical books, you name it, and I tried it. Nope nothing seemed to change our routine of looking at a book for just a few minutes at a time and pointing out photos. I decided I would even try to just MAKE him sit down and read a book with me. That was fun. He kicked and struggled and pulled my hair. Yay.... :/ He ended up upside down in my lap me holding onto his hips holding the book out in front trying to yell the words off the page so I could be heard over his loud protests lol. This isn't working!!! At my wits end I couldn't help but wonder how I was supposed to get additional books into our routine when I couldn't even get him to sit still for ONE. I want to cry lol.

The breakthrough came about a week later. At the same time as we were trying to introduce more books and a set in stone story time we were also weaning from the bottle to a sippy cup before bed. Up until this point in time Nicholas has "nursed" himself to sleep, except since I don't have any milk anymore he was using a bottle. Not the best habit but you know what, BITE ME. With Nicholas you take whatever you can get and you are thankful for it. As it turns out story time was the perfect substitute for bottle time. It wasn't easy at first but day after day the habit of reading a story or two (or three or four) before bedtime became stronger and the bottle was forgotten just as easily as it had been introduced in the first place. Nicholas wouldn't always sit still but I found that standing up and walking around the nursery with him in one arm and the book held our in front of us with the other was helpful. My hair became less of a plaything and the pictures in the book became more interesting. He especially likes a peek-a-book book probably b/c of the little pages within a page that you can turn and see what it hiding. The colorful tabs on the books pages are also a hit. :) It was a HUGE relief the night we sat in the antique maple rocker in the nursery and read four whole books and he still wanted more. I wanted to cry then too. Ahhhh, the sweet smell of  SUCCESS!  ugh... wait a second.... I think that's the diaper genie. :/ Anyhow, I tried to put Nicholas down for a nap yesterday without reading a book first and O.M.G. he threw the mother of all temper tantrums. Seems like my little active can sit still for a story toddler has turned into a book lover after all. I gave in and read him a story, which just happened to be The Going To Bed Book. :) Our reading list is a bit short at the moment and we read the same stories over and over again. He, ironically, will NOT tolerate the old picture books with one word per page. That's a recipe for a quick temper tantrum. He really prefers the touch and feel books and the books with story's that rhyme. Anything with actual photos of people or animals is also a big hit over books that are illustrated. I need to head out to barnes and noble and sort through some inexpensive board books I noticed they had the last time we were there. His next favorite book, and my LEAST favorite is a veggie tales books he got for Easter. It has a button in one corner that you can press and hear a REALLY off key, sounds like somebody is strangling the singer, verse of "God make me special" which is what the book is about. He won't actually let me read him the book so I guess that means he doesn't care if God made anyone special lol, mostly he just pushes the button. Over, and over, OVER again! OMG! I'm hopeful that the batteries in that thing are everlasting lol. This morning he picked up a copy of Dun dunnn duuuunnnnn The Very Busy Spider and came running to me with a big huge grin. I love it when I win :)

Side note; we've been reading and reading and reading and even making him watch your baby can read and talking and talking and talking for a month now. No change in verbal skills LoL. He is no closer to forming actual words than when we started and not to say what we've been up to isn't a good thing, I'm just pointing out that it's not helping with anything other than bonding. Lord knows he's certainly already well bonded to me. :P That's not to say he's quiet either, Nicholas has a lot to say but he's going to use his own language for now and as far as he's concerned his doctor can kiss his ragababe!  :p

Second side note: We are always open to suggestions for good books for kids under 2. We need more and more and more! :D

Saturday, May 14, 2011

RaNdoM Restaurant Experiences

Soooo, the better behaved my little man gets the more we can take him out. He LOVES to eat so it's getting easier to assume we can go have a meal out of the home on occasion. This is a good good thing for mommy and daddy, we get to get out of the house and we don't have to worry about leaving the creature.... err the toddler with a baby sitter. So no worries on trying to find somebody and no worries about what time we have to be leave or be back. We are experiencing more and more freedom and less and less of the "If I don't get out of this house I am going to keeeel you !" :) Always a nice change of pace. The only downside to dining with one of the worlds most adorable and handsome little toddlers is that you tend to attract attention. Almost as much attention as you get with a brand spanking new newborn sleeping in a car seat at crackle barrel lol. Anyway, this is a different type of attention. Because little man is so personable and it seems has never met a stranger people talk to him/us ALL the time !! These days most of the attention comes from grandparent types and it's not totally unwelcome. Other times it gets a little annoying. Below are a few of those times.....

This past month the three of us went out for pizza. Nicholas usually gets some veggies from the salad bar, some pasta, random crap that we bring from home for him to eat, and pizza crusts that my husband doesn't eat. Maybe it sounds weird but Cici's Pizza was one of the first places we were able to eat out b/c we could give little man a crust to chew on and it kept him happy while we were able to wolf down a decent meal. Now of course he gets real food but still gets a pizza crust or two. (He recently had his very first real piece of pizza but at the time of this trip he had not been allowed to have anything but crusts yet). We had been there about 15 minutes or so I suppose and Nicholas was happily munching on his lunch and a pizza crust. A pair of rather large ladies came in and sat at the table directly facing me, which would be behind my husband since he was seated across from me. They were both in tight spandex like yoga pants. I just so happen have the same pair of pants for when I am working out, no shame in working out in them.... wearing them out to a pizza buffet when they are practically a second skin and your pushing well past 300lbs... eehhh, maybe a fashion don't.  (Oh and for the record I own these pants in a smaller size, I'm not in the skinny bitch club -yet- but I'm not XXXL either, I was also wearing cloths that fit). So this lady goes up and piles two plates HIGH with pizza and comes back to sit down. She then starts eating her pizza. Me minding my own dang business for a change happens to look up from my own plate and notice her glaring at myself and Nicholas. I ignore her. I notice a few minutes later she is still glaring and now not only is she glaring she is staring right as my son chewing on his crust with a couple bits of pasta and veggie on his plate and shaking her head. WTH? Hey newsflash, check yourself and your own two plates honey! Quit looking at my kid like you want to murder us both, weirdo! She glared at us shaking her head from time to time for the rest of our meal. Creeeepy! Who does that, who glares at a smiling happy toddler (that isn't throwing food or otherwise creating mayhem) I felt like asking her what her problem was with a 14 mo old baby but whatever. Honestly I was afraid to approach her, she looked like she could do me harm lol. I settled for posting a photo of her glaring at my kid on facebook instead :P Mwahahahaha, This was unwelcome attention.

Experience two came just a week ago in a local Burger King. We sometimes get Nicholas a kids meal (chicken nuggets with apple slices and juice). He is happily munching on his nuggets and I notice an older couple, smiling pleasantly in our direction obviously amused by Nicholas. Not such a bad thing so I ignored them after sending them a nice smile in return. This is the south after all, y'all have to be polite ;) When the couple was finished with their meal and their sodas they got up and came over to our table to talk to Nicholas. The usual conversation was exchanged about how old he was and what his name was (why people want to know his name is still a mystery to me as is why people want to know details of his birth. One of these days I fully expect to be asked for his SSN by a complete stranger lol). They mentioned their own grandchildren as grandparents tend to always do and I expected that would be the end of the polite encounter. I was wrong. The older gentleman proceeded to get in Nicholas' face trying to make him laugh and then POP he popped out his lower teeth which apparently were false teeth. OMG! Hey, A-hole we're eating here!!! God Almighty, kill meee.... I almost threw up. I have a weird phobia about false teeth which I guess I can file on the shelf next to my belly button, needles, and spider phobias. The look on Nicholas' face was equally horrified. The man and woman laughed and he did it again. Well, that's one way to get a toddler's attention and after two more false teeth show and tells Nicholas was grabbing at his own teeth to see if THEY were going to come out. I was ready to faint and sooooo glad to bid farewell to this couple. This was unwanted attention!  

Yesterday I took my husband to a new place that just opened up in town to try it out. I had been already and liked it and noticed that they had a decent priced lunch menu. Aside from the dumb blonde waitress (And I can say that b/c I AM blonde) who couldn't figure out that we really DID just want water for Nicholas to drink and not a soda or sports drink of any kind and we really  DID want steamed veggies as a side for his kids meal VS the "smiley fries" that come standard we had a good experience. There weren't many people in the place since it was a weekday just after the bulk of the main lunch rush. The wait staff was in love, as many a wait staff have been, with Nicholas and his antics. The hostess carried him to the table and proclaimed that he must know a grandma when he see's one and the waitresses kept coming by to tickle him as we waiting for our meals. At a table nearby were two older ladies and a teenager, who come to think of it should have been in school but whatever lol. After the two toddler girls three tables over (in the opposite direction) left Nicholas decided he would engage these ladies behind us. He kept turning around and staring like a creepy stalker and then waving to see if he could get their attention. He even went as far as to hold out a bit of half eaten grilled cheese to them. He didn't go unnoticed by them or by several other people who could see him. By the time we were able halfway through our meal the entire dining room had noticed the adorable boy with the airplane toy and the grilled cheese. Nice, I do so love to be the center of attention when a waiter delivers a taco salad that is bigger than my head (a fact I was unaware of when I ordered it!). It was really hard to get Nicholas to eat any lunch which made me feel bad for paying the up charge for the steam veggies with his meal, because he was way more interested in getting the attention of his chosen new friends. They kept egging him on too. Just as soon as I would make him turn around and get him interested in his food they would catch his attention and continue to interact with him. It made it really difficult to eat actually on account of I had to pay attention and make sure he didn't try and pitch his cup, or any food towards their table. Kid's got a good arm, and well.... that's just not Ok to throw food or anything else at other diners. Throw it at your dad or the waitress like everyone else! You're not special lol. Another couple who had been watching the whole thing stopped to talk to us on their way out about the usual how cute and how old and then parted with a rather ominous good luck. Good luck?? WTF?? Is he about to explode or something??? I'm a first time mom, if you know something I don't now isn't the time for secretes.... gosh, do I have enough baby wipes to cover what is about to happen???? I was nervous for the rest of the meal. Finally we were done with lunch and Nicholas' new friends insisted we bring him over to their table before we left to say a proper hello. Friendly folks but still, this was unwelcome attention since it went on for so long. On a side note; it was also an unwelcome experience to have a lady in a ford Taurus try and run me over in the parking lot while we were getting into the car. I sprang to safety, thankfully daddy had the baby on the other side of the car, just in time to avoid being smacked with the car door. Thanks a lot lady! When she got out of her car she shrugged and sort of thanked me for getting out of the way so quickly saying " you must have known I was HUNGRY !!!" Uhhh yeah, you look hungry... hey you also look like that shirt/pants set is four sizes to small. Not to be rude but Kmart DOES carry the extra extra large fo yo hungry ass.... This is the time when it's Ok to go ahead and up size and that car you almost hit me with is brand new so don't tell me you can't afford it. :p

I need a little sign or something sometimes. The constant awww he's so cute, how old is he? What's his name? When's his birthday? Well all that get's tiring after a while. I need a stay away I'm crabby or sick or my baby is rabid and bites sign. Oh or better yet, and perhaps more practical, maybe I should go on vista print and get little baby business cards made with the answers to all the usual questions and a thanks for stopping buy type message. Then I could just smile and hand them out before people had a chance to interrupt a family meal. Then again it's probably friendlier on the wallet and the waistline to just continue to eat all our meals at home. *shurgs* can't win I guess. Dining out is fun, meeting new people is fun, constantly not being able to talk to your husband or finish a meal .... maybe not so much fun.
What's a girl to do ? : P