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.

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