Swimmom’s Weblog

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

The Abc’s are not as easy as 123! April 3, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,Uncategorized — swimmom @ 6:48 pm
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Don’t you wish it was as easy as that song!

When I am teaching, or shall I say attempting to teach new things to my toddler I honestly think he senses two things, my strong desire to have him learn the new things and my nervousness. I wonder if I am explaining it right and is he able to understand. I remember it was forever before he said his name in front of me. I would ask him what his name was and repeat it and I just gave up that he even knew his name, and then we went to my parents house and my mom and dad would ask him what his name was and without hesitation or question, he would spurt out his name, first, middle and last, like he had been saying it all along.

My almost 14 month old does the same thing, she says a couple words, hi, mommy and daddy, thank you, cat and yesterday at my mom’s house…..grandma.


My mom claims she also said cracker and cup.

My latest venture is teaching my son to recognize his letters. He can sing his ABC’s but he can’t recognize all the letters. And I don’t expect him to but just to start to learn. Sometimes he gets most of the letters I ask (and not in alphabetical order) and sometimes he doesn’t even look at the letters and spurts out numbers. I’m honestly not sure what is the best way to go about it. I tried flash cards but that was a joke and then I left them on the table and both my one year old and 3 year old started chewing on them.

That was a big hit!

I guess it’s like potty training, at least for my son, the harder you push, the harder (and smarter) they refuse your attempts.

I have taken a break from the potty. A couple months ago, if you recall, my son popped and pee-peed on the potty, without being asked and then I tried to make it more consistent (and I thought fun) but somewhere between the stickers and the fruit snacks he decided, he didn’t want any more stickers or fruit snacks and decided using the potty wasn’t worth taking a break from playing with his trains and cars.

So I decided to take a month and not even ask about the potty but keep it in plain site. I have about 2 more weeks to go. And he has gone in the potty, not at home, but in every public restroom we have been in, in the past 2 weeks. One potty was so gross (in a very clean place, it was bizarre) i lied to him and told him it was broken. He just about had a break down.

At home when I change his diaper you can see him mental anguish over the choice he is going to have to make.

He exclaims, “I’m mad!I don’t want my diaper changed.”

“Well, sweetie,” I try to explain, “the only way you won’t have your diaper changed is when use the potty.”

“I don’t want to use the potty!”

To which I feel like saying, “well, I don’t want to change your diaper anymore, I’m sick of wiping butts, mommy needs a break!”


My kids are from Mars March 27, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,Uncategorized — swimmom @ 3:56 pm
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As I write to you my sanity is spiraling down a black hole.

My 3 year old is yelling at the top of his lungs for juice,demanding it actually.

And my one year old is pulling all the pots and pans out of the cabinet that was supposed to have a lock on it. Oh look, she turned to the cabinet with the puzzles.
If I wasn’t rational and a little bit sane, I’d swear that a UFO landed and dropped off little devil clones of my kids from Mars.

My day started out in a backwards universe.

Everyone was tired and crabby. (I can’t imagine what a bad day must be like for Jon and Kate plus 8 considering I am having trouble with just two today).

Within a hour of waking up, George had 2 breakdowns and had to be put in time out two times. Sophia cried and followed me around with a tight grasp onto my pant leg. And as I was getting her dressed I took her off the toilet seat, which she likes to climb on and pull to a stand, at least a dozen times.

To make things worse, I was having a bad hair day and my clothes which I had just taken out of the dryer already had yogurt stains from my daughters tight grasp.

To my luck, the day didn’t get better or worse, it really just stayed the same. I was hoping a visit from the nap fairy would change them back into the loving kids I once recognized but it seems to have added fuel to the fire. They are now kids with attitude and energy.

At least I lost 22 lbs (my daughter death grip) and my son seems to be preoccupied by a Thomas and the Friends movie I put in the DVD player.

As I make dinner I keep looking at the clock counting down the minutes (it would be seconds but it is digital), until my husband comes homes.

T minus 2 hours and 30 minutes, until my husband comes home or I have a complete breakdown, which ever comes first.

At least my day can’t get worse (knock one wood).

Thanks for listening.


To favor or not To Favor February 27, 2008

I am really over doing this birthday party thing.

I usually err on the side of being cheap (well, more like inexpensive, I usually like to get the most for my buck) but since my husband gave me the go ahead on this Bounce U party, it’s been full speed ahead (at least according to my standards).

My latest dilemma has been whether or not to do party favors.

I wasn’t sure of two things.

Did I want to spend the money for it considering I am already paying for everyone to play at this play place?

And I have a large age range, how was I going to get something for everyone?

Well, of course, I decided, why not? and I went with the favors.

I went with a local person (so if you live in Philly or South Jersey great, but I think she also ships out for everyone else).

I heard about her through the grapevine. My friend used her for favors for one of her daughters parties (she ordered these super cute Frisbees), and we have gone to parties where her favors have been given. I always hear very positive things. She is Mindys Magic Touch. And hopefully we will score another magic touch with this one.

The favors come hand decorated and affordable. I think they make a nice touch for your party guest and they also come wrapped and “bowed” ready to give. I had trouble deciding but after consulting my husband (who has no idea whatsoever) I went with the Roundabouts. I figure the little kids can put snacks in them and the older kids can up them on their desk or dresser and use them for trinkets, like erasers, spare change, whatever.

Anyway, check out her website. She really has come cute stuff at great prices. She has anything from Frisbees to decorated pillow cases (I hear those are adorable).

Well, since I went with the favors, unfortunately I couldn’t go with the amazing Thomas the Train cake I saw at Diabartolo bakery, a great Collingswood bakery that makes amazing cakes. If you live in the area and need a cake for any occasion, I would definitely recommend them.

They are like the “Ace of Cakes” of South Jersey.

I ordered my sister’s baby shower cake there, which is this weekend. They make a great cake in the shape of a baby carriage. (It’s pictured in the second row. We ordered the Spongebob Cake for his birthday last year.)

When I went in to order the cake, I saw this amazing Thomas the Train cake. It’s 3-D and shaped like Thomas. You really can’t beat it. Anyway, as far as the cake is concerned we went with the a Wegmans cake. Mainly because they too make great adorable tasting cakes (great icing and super moist cake), but I need a full sheet and it’s a little more affordable, especially since I went with the favors. But they really do an exceptional job at their bakery. Besides, I think I need an easy cake to cut since it is cute served by the people at Bounce U. I’ll save that Thomas the Train cake for next year, I’ll sure he’ll still be a train enthusiast (knock on wood, it may be onto something else).

Anyway, a baby shower this weekend, George’s birthday the next, and my sister, husband and mother-in-law are also in the month of March.

And we are looking for a new house.

Things couldn’t get more hectic, fun but hectic.


Smirks and Giggles February 25, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,Uncategorized — swimmom @ 9:28 pm
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My one year old instigates her almost 3 year old brother like I’ve never seen.

Whatever George is doing, he does it bigger, faster and at times badder when he see her laughing at him. She laughs, then he laughs, the she laughs harder pushing his mind to beyond good fun and into mischief.

Whether it is chasing the cat, slamming the door shut or crashing his trains and cars, he finally has an audience. And his shows are reoccurring and unpredictable, happening at the drop of any little look, smirk or giggle my daughter sends his way.

Today it was laughing at the cat, who takes it in stride. They open the closet door and sit and she laughs at him, he laughs at her and they laugh at each other and some how “kitty-cat” (as we so affectionately call him) is caught in the middle. When the cat runs, they follow, George thinks the cat wants to play and Sophia thinks she can run just as fast pushing her wide legged stride to a quick stammer.

Our old, gentle and very friendly cat has taken to hiding in the closet most of the day to escape the toddler storm that often comes his way. He knows exactly when my son has “left the premises” at nap time or bedtime because he comes out of hiding and rolls around, stretches and reclaims his reign in the middle of the living room floor.

Some days I know I should break up their hysterical collaboration but some days I feel like I want to secretly join in. They can’t talk to each other (well, he talks to her, she babbles back), yet they are already developing that secret language between siblings. She doesn’t even have to say anything and he knows what she wants. He knows when she wants to play, how to make her stop crying and how to make her laugh hysterically.

Their secret language is clear and to the point. At his tender age of 3, he knows when to comfort her and play with her and unbelievably she knows the same. When he is crying (usually because he needs a time out) she pats him on the back. And when he is playing alone, she joins in and laughs at his comical acts. She screams, he screams and they both laugh.

Of course, there are the days when he wants nothing to do with her.

But for the most part, lately, they are a pair that can’t be stopped.

It is different seeing this connection as an outsider. As a mother, I want your kids to be close and to understand that bloodlines are tighter than anything. I have a sister, yet as a sister I didn’t get to see the relationship grow and develop. I didn’t get to see the secret language develop and the connection that was constantly being formed because I was in it. And when you are in it the experience is different.

I understand and appreciate it more.

A sister or brother is always a sister or brother.

I know their relationship won’t always be close and will take rocky turns but I hope they can care for each other and watch out for each other.

That is one of the reasons I wanted two kids, so they’d always have each other.

I know I’ll have to deal with the fights sooner or later, but for now, I’ll take the laughing and the instigating.

I’ll take the looks that send messages and the screams that get each other going.

I’ll take the smirks and the giggles.


Pink Eye and Banana Bread January 22, 2008

Filed under: cooking,motherhood,parenting,recipes — swimmom @ 2:30 pm
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My son awoke this morning with eyes, crusted shut and glops (like my medical terminology?) of crust clinging to his lashes.

Yep! Pink eye!

And to make it even better, in both eyes.

I think at his age, it is impossible to prevent, especially with my son, his fingers tend to always be in the dirt, in his diaper, up his nose, everywhere they shouldn’t be. And of course, he is always, rubbing his eyes. I am always stressing with him the importance of not rubbing your eyes, and washing your hands, which we do all the time, but what can you do?

I guess only the best you can do.

I can just hope my almost one year old doesn’t get it. Unfortunately she is always in his face, but lucky for us, her fingers are always going to her mouth!

So, I called the doctor and they just called in a script, I guess they want to keep all that highly contagious stuff out the office, so now our task is administering the eye drops, 1 in each eye 3 times a day for 7 days.

And trust me, it is a fight, not because we want it to be, but because my 34 month old son is 42″, almost the same in lbs and solid as a rock. He’s slender,there is not an once of fat on him. He has lead weights as hands and his back sports mini lat muscles.

He is tough, our little linebacker.

Even after explaining to George how it was just like water, which he doesn’t mind, and even after bribing him, which trust me I am not against, we leaned him over to administer the drops, he screamed bloody murder and clamped his eyes shut.


That means 3 times a day for 7 days, my husband holds George down and pries his eye open, while I put the drops in.

40 more drops, 20 more fights to go.

So, to make him feel better we went to the store and got his favorite things, a new Thomas the Train book and his favorite desert, believe it or not, a small scoop of cool whip with a little bit of rainbow sprinkles.

I know, I couldn’t help it

It breaks my hear to see him sick.

To make me feel better, I made Banana Bread. As you know, this isn’t the first time I talked about Banana Bread and it probably won’t be the last. I love baking, I don’t always eat it, but baking is stress relieving for me, kinda like Izzy on Grey’s Anatomy. I made 2 loaves, one with chocolate chips I thought the kids would like, just a little bit of chocolate chips (1/2 a cup) and one with walnuts for my husband. He loved it.

The recipe, I found today on Epicurious. The one bowl preparation is fast and easy.

You can literally whip it up and throw it in the oven.

With kids at your heels, what more can you ask for.

Aunt Holly’s Banana Bread

3 to 4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
Chocolate chips (as many as you want!) or Chopped nuts (both are optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Bake in a buttered loaf pan until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Slice and serve.


The best of times, The worst of times January 5, 2008

Filed under: motherhood,parenting,Places to go,Uncategorized — swimmom @ 5:19 pm
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Yesterday started out great.

We took a trip to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. We got there early, which I highly recommend, for 2 reasons. First, we got to take advantage of the meter parking right near the museum, it was like $3 for 3 hours, you can’t beat it and you really don’t need much more time than that with little kids. Second, when you go early (and on a weekday) it is not that crowded, you can let your kids run around and not worry about losing them, we really had the displays and attractions to ourselves.

George had a blast with the Train Factory, a 350 ton locomotive that has been there since 1939. Even I was impressed!You actually get on it for a “train ride” and the guide really tells a great story! He was mesmerized by the Giant heart display.

You can take a little hike through the heart, learning about the blood flow and arteries. He loved hearing the heartbeats, which resonate through out the display area. He also enjoyed Kids Science, hands on displays dealing with water, magnets, mirrors and much more. And another favorite was the Sports Challenge, and the Franklin Airshow displays.

Basically, he enjoyed the entire museum.

I will not waste a lot of time telling you too much about them, but it is definitely worth checking out if you live in the area or will be there visiting.

If you have a little train enthusiast such as mine, I would recommend working your way from the 3rd floor down, seeing the train display last because, we saw it first and he had serious separation anxiety.

You’d think I should know better!

Anyway, we had a great time, even Sophia was awake the whole time, clapping her hands and laughing.

As you know with kids, things can drastically change, one minute great and the next…unpredictable.

On to the unpredictable.

Later that night I was giving the kids a bath, Sophia loves to get in the big tub with George.

I usually put him in , wash him and then put her in, wash her and take her out and dress her in the bathroom while he plays in the tub. So, she goes in her crib, while I take him out and dress him. As I put her in I notice she stands and then falls face first, for some reason, against the side of the crib, I didn’t think she was hurt, so I get her to stop crying, give her the binky and go to get George out of the tub. As I come back into the room with George, I look over at Sophia, and she is sucking on the binky, laughing, blood everywhere, all over her mouth, on her onsie, all on her crib sheets.

My heart dropped.

It appears that when she feel in the crib, her face against the crib, it lifted her upper lip and she partially tore that piece of skin that connects your upper lip to the gum, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, there was blood everywhere. And of course, blood mixed with saliva just looks like double the blood there really is. So I panicked, of course, what else was I to do, handle things like a rational person, too easy.

Let me remind you, while I am trying to get the bleeding to stop with a towel because at first I thought she bit through her lip, George is naked, jumping on my bed, laughing, screaming and having a good ‘ol time,I’m sure marking his spot.

So, my husband wasn’t home at the time, because get this, he was with his brother, whom was sick, in the emergency room (another long story). So who do we rely on when hubby isn’t available, but my trusty mom.

It is funny how the person who used to get me so worked up, is now the person who is able to calm me down. I rely on my mother more than ever now that I have kids. I guess as a kid I never quite understood, why she was “freaking” out? worrying? etc. but you have your own kids, and you finally look at your mom and have that ah moment, where everything having to do with my mom finally made perfect sense.

Anyway, to make this story short the bleeding finally stopped and everything is okay.

As I was on the phone with my mom, I said ” I am sooooo bad at handling things like this”.

She replied, “No one is ever good at it”.

I asked, “Well, does it get easier?”

She replied, “kind of but not really.”

“Why?” I questioned, ” Because the injuries get worse?”


Frankly stated.

The best of times, the worst of times and you don’t need a lifetime to experience both, just a couple hours.