Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mean Mommy

I am a mean Mommy.

I am a fed up Mommy.  Yesterday, I got completely fed up with K telling me that she didn't like whatever I was making for dinner, immediately after hearing what I am making for dinner.  It doesn't matter what it is, she says she doesn't like it. "What are we having for dinner?" "Blah blah." "I don't like/I hate blah blah."  Without fail.  Every day.  Even things that she actually loves, and things she has never tried.  I could say that we are having ice cream for dinner and she would probably automatically respond that she doesn't like it.

Yesterday I broke.  I told her that the next time she said something negative about dinner when I tell her what is for dinner, she wouldn't get to eat.  Anything. So, tonight, when K asked me what was for dinner, I said, "We're going to have hot tuna sandwiches but I think we're going to have them cold today because it is so hot outside."  She immediately replied (almost before I finished talking), "I don't like hot OR cold tuna sandwiches." So, she bought herself no dinner for the evening.  She had a glass of milk while we ate dinner and then continued on with her bedtime routine.  It was a little bit of a problem right at dinner when she was hungry and then realized she wasn't going to get to eat anything.  Then, she seemed to accept it.  Now, she is in bed, but had a rough time about 20 minutes ago because she couldn't go to sleep because she is hungry.

So, was it a dramatic response?  Yes.  Jim and I struggle so much with discipline and guiding K to becoming a pleasant and productive member of society.  My big question with any disciplinary action I am taking as a parent is, does the consequence match the infraction?  In this case, I think yes.  The infraction is rudeness.  We have talked to her about being rude with her comments about what I have made for dinner.  K is a very verbal child in many ways and, in some ways, suffers from diarrhea of the mouth as a result.  She talks, just for the sake of talking.  If a commentator on TV says, "Julia Smith is there in the pink suit in lane 4." Katie repeats, "That's Julia Smith in lane 4.  She's wearing a pink suit.  Did you know she's wearing a pink suit Mom? Smith. Shmith. Shmit.  Her name is Julie Shmit.  Shmit is in lane 4.  I'm rooting for her."  I kid you not, this could easily be a word for word transcription of a miniscule part of a conversation with my daughter.

As a result of her highly verbal nature, she struggles with self control, which leads to rudeness and back to my point.  Although we have talked about how it is rude to say negative things about the food, that hasn't mad much impact.  She can't seem to keep the comments from spilling out anyway.  We are hoping, with this new consequence, that it will be memorable enough to tame her tongue somewhat.  I would hate for her to go to someone else's house, be told what's for dinner and respond with her automatic, "I hate that."  Now, you must understand that Katie doesn't get an alternate meal when she doesn't like dinner.  She eats what we have, I am not a short order cook.  I usually try to have a side dish that she likes (carrots or grapes or something like that) that she can fill up on as long as she eats a little of what ever we are having.  I will also allow her to eat a yogurt, if she has already had some of what we ate.  Mostly, this works well and she eats fairly balanced meals and tries many different foods.  And even likes them.

It's the rudeness.  I hope that this new consequence will impress itself upon her enough to change her attitude.  I can't stand rudeness, it is a pet peeve of mine, especially after teaching middle and high school.  My child will not be THAT CHILD that other parents are slightly appalled at when she comes over to play.

Side note: She had lunch AND a snack at 4:30 AND a glass of milk instead of dinner so she wasn't going to starve.  In case the internet police come after me...

Friday, June 29, 2012

My baby is ONE!

Wow, Christian is ONE YEAR OLD!!   However did that happen!?!  It's amazing and scary and emotional all at the same time.  Although Christian is one, he hasn't really taken on many of the characteristics that I associate with toddlers. He isn't walking, or even cruising and he isn't talking at all yet.   Although that is occasionally frustrating, it is also special to me because it allows me to hold onto my baby for just a little while longer.

(Update: 13 months now.  I wrote this a month ago.  See 2nd child syndrome below...)

Poor Christian.  He is a victim of 2nd child syndrome.  By the time Katie was one, there were many blog entries and posts with pictures.  In the first year of Christian's life, there have been only a few.  I have, however, endeavored to at least record in pictures what I have not recorded in words and pull out the camera regularly to document his progress and stages.  I do not want to forget the information, however, about when he started to move, how he moved, his first tooth, his hair, his smile, all those things that are uniquely his so I am going to try to document everything I can remember over the next little while.  I am writing this at 4am when I can't sleep.  That may be what it takes to get some of his babyhood recorded for posterity, but it will be time well spent.

Physical Development
Like his sister before him, Christian is a big boy!  He was nearly identical to Katie in size and length at birth, coming in at 9 lbs  2.9 oz and 22.25" long.  The doctors generally want babies to regain their birth weight (after losing some immediately after birth) by the two week visit.  Christian was an overachiever.  He had almost completely regained his birth weight by the first doctor visit at 4 days old!  We had a rough first few months with infant GERD (reflux), nursing problems, milk protein sensitivity, and being tongue-tied but every time I took him to the doctor, there was never a concern about failure to thrive.  In fact, the doctors had trouble believing that he had reflux, nursing problems, and milk protein sensitivity because he kept gaining weight.  What they didn't realize was that he was nursing every two hours during the day up until and even into 4 months.  The reflux and milk protein caused him so much pain and discomfort that he couldn't nap for longer than 30 minutes or so during the day.  So he would nap, and wake up screaming.  Then I, being a mom who loves and wants to help my child stop screaming, would think he was hungry and feed him.  Every. Two. Hours.  All day. Until he was 4 months old.  So he thrived and gained weight despite any problems we had.

Well, my computer battery is dying and that is all the time I gave myself for tonight.  I probably won't post this until the morning since I want to track down the rest of his stats to post along with it.  Good night for now!

Update: I actually wrote this a month ago but took awhile to track down the stats and then, shock of shockers, got busy again.  Better late than never!

22.25 in (99%)
9 lbs, 3 oz (90%)
13.6 in (25%)
2 weeks
23 in (98%)
10 lbs, 11 oz (90%)
14.3 in ((27%)
2 months
24.5 in (95%)
14 lbs, 9 oz (97%)
16.25 in (81%)
4 months
27.25 in (98%)
18 lbs, 6 oz (96%)
17.25 in (88%)
6 months
28.25 in (92%)
20 lbs, 13 oz (90%)
17.7 in (81%)
9 months
30.25 in (94%)
23 lbs, 10 oz (89%)
18.25 in (77)
1 year
31.5 in (91%)
24 lbs, 7 oz (73%)
19 in (91%)

Note: I actually posted 5 days this week!  Hurray!  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Father's Day Yum!

For Mother's Day I got a wonderful breakfast in bed made by my daughter and wonderful and tolerant husband.  For Father's Day, we tried to make something special as well.  We had orange cinnamon rolls for breakfast (although not in bed) and Katie and I made these super yummy Frozen S'Mores from Easybaked.

It made 12 so he is still enjoying them!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Where was Christian??

Where was Christian during Katie's b-day party you say?  Splashing in the pool and hanging out, eating his first pizza!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6th Birthday Success!

Despite Katie's comment earlier in the week that, by pool party, she actually meant a sprinkler in the yard...we finally managed to have her party AT the neighborhood pool and she had a great time.

We didn't really have a theme for the party but, after much deliberation, she decided on a rocket cake and it was AWESOME!  Katie loves space and spends a lot of time at the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville with her dad so this was definitely a good choice.  Huge thanks to Eileen Sheldon of Sugar Mama's Cakes for this awesome Saturn V sister rocket, the Katie 6!

Even cooler were these cake pops that look like the sun, all of the planets (with great details!) and several stars.  I loved these!!

Happy birthday sweet girl!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Creative Play

Now that I am going to be staying home, I am exploring new and exciting ways to play with my kids (so I don't go crazy, and neither do they).  Also, since Christian won't be going to a daycare where he would otherwise get lots of stimulation and time to explore and play, I feel more pressure to provide more stimulating play opportunities at home.

Thanks to a friend, I came upon a blog written by a few moms in my area called Play at Home Mom.  They believe in the value of creative play in learning and they have some of the BEST ideas ever.  One of the things that really interested me was how they set up "invitations".  Basically, they set up a new play area, a collection of tools and then let the kids have at it.  Sometimes the kids go right for it, sometimes they wait awhile (even days) before they decide they "accept" the invitation to play.  I loved the idea of the invitations as a way to give a child some tools and a fresh palette for their imagination.  By not scripting their play, the child has the freedom to let their imagination roam wherever it wishes.

This is my first foray into "invitations" and I was very excited about trying it.  It was one that the Play at Home Moms had set up as an activity that was appropriate for an infant.  This is what the invitation looked like:

The white is vanilla yogurt (Christian puts EVERYTHING in his mouth).  Each of the yogurt blobs has different food coloring in it, except one so that we could have white as well.  

Christian had a good time playing and exploring although I was sad that it didn't hold his interest longer.  Mostly, he wanted to see what sissy was doing on her table.  He did have some fun playing (and eating) some of his colors.

This one is Jim's favorite. :)

Ultimately, he had more fun playing with the hose that we ended up leaving running to rinse the dirt off of his yogurt covered hands and legs whenever he wandered over to Katie's table to see what she was doing.

I put Katie's invitation up on a table with a few different tools.

Katie was super excited about her "experiment" as she called it.  But, as she got started, I saw how I have failed as a parent.  She sat there and said, "What do I do?"  I said, "What do you want to do?"  "I don't know.  What am I supposed to do?"  "Anything you want." "But what do I do?"

This conversation went on for a few minutes before she tentatively began mixing and stirring.  

Then more of the tools came out...

 ...and she started to really have fun.

Ultimately, although Christian did not engage with it as much as I had hoped he would, Katie had a blast and she showed me that I definitely need to do more activities like this to give her the opportunity to let her imagination go without the being constrained by rules.