Swimmom’s Weblog

Diary of a Stay-at-home Mom, motherhood and beyond

I’ve Moved! May 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — swimmom @ 6:00 am

I’ve moved!

I hope you join me on my new blog:

My Life in Jenga

 

So…what is it that you do all day? February 11, 2009

Filed under: motherhood,Stay at Home,toddlers — swimmom @ 1:27 pm
Tags: ,

I can’t tell you how many times people, including friends ask me what I do all day, implying that I am siting home eating bon-bons and painting my nails. That I have time to get everything done and more and that stayinig home with the kids is an excuse not to work. Well…Stay-at-Home Mom’s, Working moms and Dads out there this one it for you….

I received this as a link on Facebook and it’s great. I couldn’t figure out how to copy it to my blog so I am going to retype it. It is from a column written by Carolyn Hax of The Washington Post. Its quick, witty and deserved to be shared.  Tell me about it is the name of her column the title of this post isWhy don’t friends with  kids have time?

Reader asks…

“Dear Carolyn: Best Friend has child. Her: busy, exhausted, no time for self, no time for me, etc. Me (no kids): What did you do today? Her: park, play group…Ok, I’ve talked to parents. I don’t get it. What do stay at home mom’s do all day? Please no lists Library, grocery store and dry cleaners…I do all those things too. I guess what I’m asking is what is a typical day and why don’t moms have time for a call or email? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (and some let events); I manage to get it all done. I’m feeling like the kids is an excuse to relax and enjoy, but it so, why won’t my friend tell me the truth?Is this a contest (“my life is harder than yours”) What’s the deal? I’ve got friends with and without kids and all of us child-free folks have the same question?—Tacoma, Washington.”

Her response….

Relax and enjoy. You’re funny.

Or, you’re lying about having friends with kids.

Or, you’re taking them at their word because they actually have kids, because you haven’t personally been in the same room as them.

I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical reason your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.

So, becuase it’s validation you want, the real answer is what you get. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned and dressed; to keeping them out of harms way; to answering their coos, cries, questions: to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest to be declared essntial peice of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books in the library; to keeping rest times, to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too tired, hungry or bor any one of which produces checkout line screaming.

It’s needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.

It’s constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice,constant reglegation of needs to the second tier.

It’s constant scrutiny and second guessing from family and friends. It’s resisting constant temptations to seek short term relief at everyone’s long term expense.

It’s doing all of this while concurrently teaching virtually everything-language, manners, safety,resourcefulness, discipline,curiosity, creativity, empathy. Everything.

It’s also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day everyday with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first tem minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts, instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn’t judge you, complain about you or  marvel much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand of keep you snit to yourself”

Love it.

Thanks Carolyn Hax!!!!



 

Cut it Out February 5, 2009

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers,Uncategorized — swimmom @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , ,

I loved the binkie.

I was excited and put at ease when my daughter took to it.

It soothed her when at times I couldn’t, and keep her pretty much content. But now, I look at the binkie with slight amusement and much despise.  Just like another good ‘ol habit, I want to step on it, burn it and kick it to the curb.  Sometimes I find myself asking, who invented the binkie and did they have children?

The binkie should come with a warning label.

This product can be addictive. Withdrawal can cause major distress to the user and the parent. Addiction can cause all parties involved sleepless nights, temper tantrums and crying fits. Please use with extreme caution.

My son never sucked his thumb or used a binkie.

To my daughter on the other hand, the binkie is her security blanket, in all situations. It was attached to her lip like a growth, a cute one, but a growth.

Although it doesn’t feel like it upon withdrawal, I am sure benefits outweigh the risks, increased brain function and reduced risk of SIDS seem like a far cry when your child wants the binkie, you can’t find one in your purse and find yourself sweating as you dart to the nearest baby aisle to calm the latest public display of “binkie attachment”.

Not only should the binkie come with a warning label, it should come with a withdrawal manual: Tips to successfully “detatch” the binkie from you toddler, physically and mentally. I’ve heard tips that range from going “cold turkey” , burning the tips off, to dipping the tips in coffee (which seems like a disaster waiting to happen).

I tried the cold turkey trick and only lasted about 5 hours because the entire 5 hours, my daughter cried for her binkie. So I went for a slightly more gradual approach, after all, my daughter is persistent, demanding and not one to fall to any old cheap trick.  I cut off the tips to the binkies and laid them on the floor in her “usual” spots. As she spotted the binkie, she excitedly made her way to the binkie and as fast as she put it in her mouth, she took it out in disgust.

“Broken” she proclaimed, and dropped it on the floor.

A bit confused she looked at it for a while and walked away. I approached her with the binkie (the broken binkie) and she turned her shoulder to me and walked away. I said, “It’s broken. Should we put it in the trash?” And she nodded her head. As we said bye bye to the binkie.

It has only been one day and I do let her keep one in her crib to use in her crib only. I’m all for not using the binkie during the day, but I wasn’t ready to give up a couple sleepless nights. Not quite yet.

Like I said a couple days ago, we are trying for a third and I wonder if I will find myself at wits about whether or not to give my newborn the binkie. Afterall, binkies now come personalized, in fashionable colors and blinged out.

How could I resist!

 

Shelf Life February 3, 2009

Filed under: anorexia,motherhood,parenting — swimmom @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Do you ever look in the mirror and your ass reveals a side of itself you’ve never seen before?

The side that seems to resist all the countless lunges, running and working out you’ve been doing.

I eat healthy, exercise daily and have always been a healthy weigh, my college weight (proudly even after 2 kids), fluctuating between 5 lbs and 2 sizes.

But why as women are we so hard on ourselves?

Why do we let what we see on the scale dictate how we feel on the inside? And do we ever truly see in the mirror what we look like on the outside?

In a world of emphasis on size 2, 24″ waist, C breasts, and losing the baby weight before you’ve left the hospital, our conception of  healthy has fallen into the hands of the media. The same media, that calls beautiful Jessica Simpson, Fat, follows around celebrity mothers minutes after giving birth and declaring they have hit their pre-baby weight just minutes after pushing out a 9 lber, and the same media that declares that beautiful, healthy athletic women, like Serena Williams are fat and manly.

No wonder so many woman have body dismorfia. No wonder a healthy size 8, 10  or even 12 woman thinks her legs have to be thinner, butt smaller and waist trimmer.

My sister, a long distance runner, suffered from anorexia for many years, still does, a disorder bought on by many issues. But during the onset, as a Sophmore in high school, was told by a reporter at a track meet. That she didn’t look like a long distance runner, she was bigger than the runner she beat. Bigger at probably around the 120 range and 5’5″. Even now at the same weight, even months after bearing a child, she still believe she isn’t small enough, trim enough and beautiful enough.  Who knows what she thinks of my frame, at 5’9″ and 25 lbs heavier than herself?

How do we teach our children that healthy is whats in? Eat well be active and love yourself. As a mother, I believe it is my role to teach my kids, my daughter especially that all body types are different and all body types are beautiful. In the world of childhood obesity on the rise, a mother on the popular hit show Weeds, replacing her 10 year old daughters choclate stach with laxatives, a relative of mine, expressing to her 7 year old daughter that if she keeps up her eating habits, she will find herself on Jenny Craig, we’ve got a lot to filter.

I believe, although we are not fully in control, a healthy image starts from your parents. Give you kids the tools to see who they truly are and hopefully they will see they are 10 times better than a doctored image on the cover of any magazine or a celebrity whose frame is fading in front of your eyes.

Eat an apple a day, turn off the TV, put down the remote and enjoy the sunshine.

Jump around, laugh about and love yourself.

You only get one body and if you don’t love it, who will.

 

2 and counting (hopefully) February 2, 2009

If it were up to my husband we would have a small litter, the starting line up of a basketball team or going head to head with The Duggers. He had said he wants 7 kids and I used to think he was exaggerating, just a bit, but I know he is completely serious. You won’t see me with 18 kids or even 7 (that is unless some freak accident happens and I have multiples).  I doubt my uterus could hold up to that many births and I doubt my sanity could hold up to that much chaos.

At times, though it has been a smoother transition than I imagined, I have trouble with just 2.  Although, I love my children and wouldnt change them for anything, I swear my youngest, Sophia, just a couple days shy of 2 (going on 6), would have kept me barren if she were my first. My son, George, almost 4, whom I thought was busy and energetic, seems a mellow, calm match to my curious, ever moving, wandering and exploring beautiful princess Sophia.

But what do you consider when adding to your clan?

Money, I’m not concerned about. We aren’t millionaires or even 100 thousandaires but we are responsible hard working adults ready to tackly any financial strong hold.

If it were up to my overly opinionated sister-in-law, who proclamined to me during our family Christmas party that, “I know how she feels” about our quest for a third, we would stop at two.

I hear great advice from my husband’s friend, father of 5, that once you think you are done, have one more. And a wonderful comment from a long lost friend I’ve reconnected with through Facebook (my new addiction), “Why not add to the chaos?”

I see it two ways, on one had, I love my children and love being a mother and a wife, but that is not all I am. I have put my dreams on hold to care for my children and don’t want those dreams lost in the chaos of life. On the other hand, the stronger hand, we have so much love to give, so much to teach and so many dreams to nurture.

Why not add one more?

I’d never dreamed of being a mother, but upon meeting my husband, new dreams were realized. My desire to grow old with my husband, and my children and be surrounded by grandchildren and laughter, family. Our hearts are big enough for 2.

Why not add another miracle? God willing.

Why not add  2 more legs to run around the house, 2 more feet to pitter-patter about, 2 more hands to reach everything they shouldn’t, 2 more arms to give those great hugs and one more heart to add to the love and the laughter.

Besides, as my college friend, Michelle Valles, Austin News Anchor, put it to me so poignantly, she once heard a great person say, “I wanted jobs and kids, I wanted it all. I realized I can have it all, just not at the same time.”

I will have it all, some day I’ll get there. But for now, join me on my journey to make out family of 4, a clan of 5.

 

The Bus Ride to Heaven November 2, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 9:42 am
Tags: , ,

Some subjects are probably better left untouched, especially when your dealing with a 3 year old, but of course ,a venture into the unknown is always the thing we mothers strive for, right? Maybe not. But I say I won’t go there and then for some reason I find myself deep in the trenches, unable to get myself out.

Here is one of the those examples.

My husband’s best friend, Adam’s father passed away this past week. And my husband, after work, was making frequent trips to Adam’s house and to the reception and the funeral to support his friend in his time of need. Well, no trip, goes unnoticed with a 3 year old and at first I left it alone, just replying, “Daddy is going to visit Adam.” but of course I got question after question, “Why”, but “Why mommy?”

So, I took a deep breathe and a big step and replied, “Adam’s daddy is sick.” I thought he would leave it alone.

“So , can we go visit him in the hospital?” George questioned.

“No”, I said. “Sometimes when you get sick, and you don’t get better and you go to Heaven.”

“Oh, okay.” George stated. “Can we watch Thomas the train?”

A sign of relief, or so I thought as I wiped the sweat of my brow and went to turn on the DVD. Good, I thought, he is onto the next subject.

Why I thought it would be so easy I have no idea.

After nap time, my son awoke on a mission. The first words upon waking up, were a venture further into the subject then I ever imagined he would go.

“Mom, we need to get the bus schedule”, George demanded.

“Who is taking the bus?” I asked.

“Adam’s daddy. He is taking the bus to heaven. Does he take the yellow bus or the white city bus?”

“We need to get the schedule so we can go say bye”

“Oh “, not knowing what to say next ” Well, Adam’s daddy already took the bus to Heaven, and it was the white city bus.”

“Oh, okay.” George replied.

I don’t know the best way to handle the venture into heaven with my 3 year old. I don’t think I should explain to him death. He never knew Adam’s dad. He thinks heaven is a destination, I think he understands it is unreturnalbe, but he thinks it is a destination.

I know now, never to under estimate the mind power of a 3 year old.

He was gentle in his questioing and thoughtful in his answers and for all we know, maybe he found the answers.

The ones we never look for.

 

Adding fuel to the fire September 5, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 4:55 pm
Tags: ,

My 18 month old knows no boundaries.

Today, my son was playing with one of his trains.

Sophia walked up to him, grabbed the train and ran.

As he went to tackle her, I stopped them and gave George his train back and told Sophia, “No!”

As George walked away with his train, Sophia went and grabbed his shirt from behind and tackled him to the ground.

I kid you not.

Sophia is half the size of George.

I really have to get her to understand their are consquences for her actions and she can not have the run of the house, because right now, she has the complete run of the house.

She is in and out of the fridge at least 2 dozen times a day, just opening it and taking stuff out like a toy, she climbs on tables, rips books, throws toys,plays in the toilet and many, many other things, I don’t want to mention, on hesitation that you may think I have absolutely no control over my children (with Sophia, I may have no control).

My friend was watching an episode of Supernanny a couple years ago and saw an episode about giving kids Sophia’s age a time-out. The technique was to take the child and sit the child in your lap, restraining them so you can’t move, facing the corner. You keep the child in there for 1-2 mintues and but don’t give them eye contact or talk to them. My friend did this with her daughter and it worked out well.

I’m going to start this tomorrow, I’m desperate. Saying no to my daughter only fuels her fire and it’s getting out of control. I really need to control this situation before she is 3 and gets even worse.

So, wish me luck.

My dad thinks that on the first day, I’ll be in the corner with Sophia an easy 30 times.

I wish he were wrong.

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, have any adivce, don’t hestitate to let me know.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.