Archive for the 'parenting' Category

Talk, talk, talk

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

When Sabrina says they are going to hide, this is what she and Tessa do.  Yep, Mensa has us on speed dial.

Tessa kindly passed her illness on to me hence my silence this week.

I will tell anyone who worries about a developmental delay in her child that every child is different and they all eventually catch up (except those that don’t…but that is another post).  I’ve told people this professionally.  I’ve told people this personally.  I believe it.  Except when it comes to my children.

I know in a few months, I will be kicking myself in the ass for complaining about this but I am concerned that Tessa isn’t talking.  There were a half dozen bloggers who had babies within 6 weeks of me and they all write about their babies asking for things and saying I love you mama.  Tessa has had the same words for over 6 months now.  Cracker, momma, dadda, Nina.  She also says “Ba” which can mean ball, bye, and when said twice her cup.  She says lolo for lotion and looon for balloon as well as noool for noodle.  Her only recent word is peas which means please.  She does a few signs and screams for everything else.

The screaming is about to send me over the edge.  She screams when she is happy.  She screams when she is mad.  She screams when she is frustrated or wants something or is bored or is playing with Sabrina.  It is obnoxious and by the end of the day I often have a headache forming.

We try to work with her on words.  She tries and makes lots of sounds…some of them appropriate and some of them not.  Sabrina even tries to get her to say new words.  Sometimes she’ll say them a couple of times but then she seems to forget how.  Honestly, Sabrina rarely shuts up long enough to really let Tessa try to talk so Tessa just screams over her incessant chatter.

Mostly, I put this out there because I need to say it out loud.  It worries me.  But also I wonder when do I become concerned?  She will be 2 in less than 2 months.  At this age (I know, stop comparing), I worried Sabrina was behind but she was putting 2 word sentences together.

Steve reminds me that Tessa has done everything at her own pace and in her own way.  She started walking and was running the next day.  She started eating solids way late but she just decided to get on board with it one day.  He says that one day I will ask her if she wants more milk and she’ll reply with a full sentence “Why yes mother, that would be delightful.  Thank you.”

5 minutes after these photos…

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

We clinched the complete loss of our deposit on this rental house.  And be very glad I’m not that dedicated to blogging as to provide photos.  Also, everyone who said it was different when you had to clean up vomit unpleasant things from your own children LIED.  Finally? I hate when my little ones don’t feel well. Tessa actually seems to be feeling okay but taking her cue from Sabrina who isn’t feeling well.  I kept kidding this morning that Sabrina woke up 13 – all attitude, full of sighs and eye rolling while moving at the speed of maple syrup.  I asked her at least 4 times if she felt okay and if her tummy hurt (prompting more eye rolling and sighing).  She insisted she was fine.  I should have known better because when she feels fines she fakes all sorts of pains and ailments.  But when she is truly sick she doesn’t want to admit it.

I’m a little traumatized from cleaning up.  Fortunately, my mystery fever broke yesterday and I’m feeling good today.  As I was gagging and scrubbing, Sabrina kept insisting “But grown ups don’t puke, Mommy”.  I almost disproved her theory but managed to Mom Up.  Blargh.  Honey?  I deserve an extra large slice of Mother’s Day Bruster’s ice cream cake  (Coffee Ripple please) for this – have you ordered it yet?

First true heart break

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

p1020519We (we being my MOMs Club) went to watch the dough become donuts at Krispy Kreme this week.  Sabrina thought it was all very cool.  Well truthfully, Sabrina spent about .3 seconds paying attention to the donuts being made and the remainder of the time was spent shoving a chocolate iced donut down her gullet, followed by the free sample chocolate ice cream cone they brought around for the kids.  (The moms were overjoyed to find another source of sugar being offered to our children just before nap time.)  And to top off the sugarfest, they gave the kids balloons.  Sugar + more sugar + balloons x 10 toddlers = much screaming and running amok.

After leaving SugarFest 2010, I decided to inflict take the girls to see Daddy.  Then we headed home.  Sugar crashes were hitting hard.  I was doing my best song and dance routine in the driver’s seat to keep Sabrina from falling asleep.  If she gets even a 5 minute car nap, it is all over for naps for the day.  We pulled into the garage.  I got her out of the car and handed her the balloon and then headed to the other side to get Tessa.  As I close Tessa’s door, I hear Sabrina saying she can’t find her balloon.  She was standing in the driveway.  I stepped outside and saw a small red speck in the sky.  Not understanding what would happen, she had let it go.  I explained that it flew away and I couldn’t recover it for her.  She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  She told me it broke her heart.  I felt awful for her.  The first boy who makes her cry that way better run and hide.

p1020326In completely  unrelated news, we returned to Tessa’s pediatrician for a weight check and blood work last week.  She managed to lose 3 ounces** in the 4 weeks since we had been there despite shoving high calorie food into every chance we had.  So they took blood (insert rant about making a momma hold down her baby while they stick the needle in her arm repeatedly because they keep blowing her veins).  Lots of it.  The syringe they filled was almost the size of her forearm.  They tested for celiac’s, liver function, and a boatload of other things.  (Boatload being the medical term used by her doctor.)  We got the results yesterday.  Everything came back normal.  So we return next month for another weight check and a conversation about what, if anything, might be next.  Bottom line: she is either fine but petite or there is something wrong but we haven’t figured out what yet.  Helpful, isn’t it?  But at least we know what isn’t wrong and I choose to believe until someone proves to me otherwise that she is just fine.

**I will admit the weight loss is the first time I’ve really thought perhaps there was something wrong.  The %tiles don’t bother me so much but she shouldn’t have lost weight with everything we fed her.  So despite my bravado, I’m kind of on the fence about whether or not there might be something wrong.

In spurts

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

I am not usually one to compare what my child is doing with what others kids are doing.  My theory is that, saving a medical issue, they will all catch up eventually.  Sabrina made this easy.  She did some things early and other things a little later.  I didn’t worry at all.  Tessa is making this harder.  She was so late to eat solids and walk that I was getting really concerned – and then started doing both in one weekend.  When I talk to any one, I am very laid back about her late-blooming tendencies.  But when I read the blogs of the half dozen bloggers who had babies within a month of me and I read about their babies talking and using utensils, I get a little angst-y.  I wonder if something is wrong.  I wonder if I’m not working with her enough (poor neglected 2nd child).  Then I remember this is Tessa we are talking about.  Tessa does things when and how Tessa wants to do them.  She doesn’t care what the doctor’s chart says she should be doing. Nor does she care what I say she should be doing.

She still isn’t talking.  She says Mama (meaning both Steve and I), Cracker (I know – complex for a kid who doesn’t talk but she loves her goldfish – priorities), Baba (which means everything that isn’t Mama or Cracker – bottle, bath, puppy, ball, bye bye, etc).   This week she decided to master 2 new skills.  One of which I’m not sure I’m thrilled about: stair climbing.


The other is using a fork.  She skipped right over the spoon and went for the fork.  She will eat twice as much if she can use a fork just because it is fun.


Sabrina isn’t sure what the big deal is – she can use a fork and climb the steps.  But she is a little concerned at the talk of Tessa becoming a big girl.


Why do her bangs look like I let Steve cut them again? Gah! I swear, I paid a professional this time…I didn’t do it myself.  They look so uneven – and every time I look at her there is a piece 2″ longer than the rest hanging in her eyes.  Stupid Great Clips $6.99 special.


Thursday, February 11th, 2010

p1020285I’ve mentioned in passing that Sabrina will be attending pre-school next school year.  (Deep breath.)  I have mixed feelings about it – as demonstrated by bullets (or little arrow thingies because my blog doesn’t seem to like to do bullets).

  • It is expensive!  The free option in my area is through the local school and the program is tiny compared to the number of kids in the area so they accept applications and do interviews to determine who needs to be in the program.  Criteria are murky.  And they don’t inform you if your child has been accepted until June.  Around here, you need to commit to a pre-school before that or they will all be full so you can’t wait around for that.  The free option has to be Plan B.  Plan A is only 2 days a week because with momma not working that is all we can afford.
  • It means my baby is growing up (WAH!).  I struggle every time I stop and realize what a little girl she is now – the baby-ness left her long ago but it still makes me catch my breath when I see glimpses of the person she is becoming.  Also, this will truly be the first time other people will exert steady influence over her.  Her world has been 90% Mommy and Daddy for the past 3 years.  Now I’m supposed to allow teachers and other grown ups to influence, teach, and guide her.  GAH!  AND what about Mean Girls?  I die a little every time I think of the first time other kids are mean to her.  I don’t want her to get her feelings hurt or want to change something about herself to fit in.
  • She is going to LOVE it.  I know this and it makes me proud.  She is such a social creature that I completely expect her to flourish in her new school.  She is already excited about it and cried a little when we told her we had to leave after our tour of the facility.  She asks daily if she can go to school yet.
  • It will be good for her in so many ways (see above: Mommy & Daddy = 90% of her world).  She doesn’t seem to have a strong intrinsic motivation to learn and I think keeping up with her peers and pleasing her teachers will give her the extrinsic motivation and hopefully kick start a little ambition/love for learning.
  • Her new school is wonderful.  It just opened and was started by 2 moms, previously elementary teachers, who were looking for pre-schools for their children and couldn’t find one that had it all (see above: expensive).  It has an indoor playground for days that it is too cold/hot/raining.  Each class has a pet and a garden.  The outdoor playground area is quite nice.  And the art teacher is bilingual so she teaches Spanish while doing art projects daily.  (So wish we had a Spanish immersion pre-school around here.)
  • Honestly, we love it so much that if the free option would be offered we would have to think about it.  Free is good but there are so many great things about the school we have chosen.  Plus, the free option is 5 days a week and I Sabrina might need to be eased into school so the 2 days a week is a good start.
  • The first boy she dubs her “boyfriend” better watch out.  Daddy won’t take kindly to sharing her affections.
  • And to be totally honest, as much as her starting school makes me hyperventilate, it also makes me do a happy dance.  Six hours, twice a week, with only 1 child sounds blissful!

Nap time woes

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I adore my children.  Really I do.  But one of my favorite times of day is nap time (see also: bed time).  Once Tessa was about 8 months old, I managed to work their naps out so they both napped at the same time . I need that break in the day.  It allows me to facebook, read blogs, shop online, catch up on TiVo, make phone calls, shower, do the dishes, and eat.  I’ve been holding tight to this tandem nap time but came to the sad realization this weekend that it needed to change.

For the past 3 weeks, Sabrina has only been napping maybe 2 out of 7 days.  Instead of sleeping, she was spending that time playing in her bed.  I was prepared to allow her to stay awake and make it “quiet” time in her room to rest because that would still give me a break.  But I realized that she naps on the days that we are out running errands and she gets to bed a bit later.  And she is whiny on the days she doesn’t sleep at all.  It was obvious that she needed the nap – she just needed it later in the day.  Tessa, on the other hand, still needs the earlier nap. I’ve adjusted them so that they still overlap for 30 minutes so that I can grab a shower without an audience.

Sabrina loves this new schedule because it gives her 90 minutes to play with the things that only come out when Tessa isn’t around (games and puzzles and things with small pieces easily lost – we have a rubbermaid container of “big girl toys”).  Tessa likes it because she gets an hour without Sabrina grabbing things away and generally bossying her around.  Momma, very selfishly, doesn’t  love it.  I love the individual time.  I like that Sabrina is napping.  I don’t love losing my 2 hours of quiet time during the day.

I am reminding myself that in 6 months Sabrina will be starting pre-school and I will have 2 days of quiet(er) time which will make me sad in a different way.


Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I took the girls to the pediatrician today.

Tessa is up to 19lb 6oz (8th %tile) and 29 inches (18th %tile).  Her head is in the 60th %tile – she is her daddy’s girl in that way.  Between her continued growth and her starting to eat table food, the doctor has called off the crisis mode and says she is perfect. I could have told him that.



Sabrina is firmly in the lower middle portion of the growth charts.  She is 29lbs 4oz (31st %tile) and 36.5 inches (31st %tile) which puts her BMI index in the 41st %tile.  The doctor also proclaimed her perfect. Again, not news to us.



Sabrina got the flu mist/up the nose vaccine.  They were out of the infant flu shots.  I’ve exchanged email with several folks about the H1N1 vaccine.  The office didn’t have it in yet so it was a moot worry on my part.  But the doctor, who I adore, did discuss it with me when I admitted to being on the fence about it.  I think he is doing his part to fight some of the hysteria and misinformation about it.  He asked what my specific concerns were and I admitted that I wasn’t entirely sure…I just have a general sense of malaise about it.  Basically, he said that if I trust the regular flu vaccine there is no reason to question the H1N1 vaccine because they are made the exact same way (using a strain of dead virus).  He wouldn’t give it if he didn’t feel it was safe.  I questioned the fact that they haven’t removed the mercury from the flu vaccinations (including the regular flu vaccine).  He said that there is a chemical (long word I can’t recall) that does contain a trace amount of mercury but that it was a really tiny amount.  I admitted that Tessa’s eating issues had started some concerns about the Autism spectrum in my brain and the mercury pushed that button for me.  He said he understood that and reiterated that it was a tiny amount and said that there is a vaccine (I believe regular flu…not sure about the H1N1) which has none of that chemical and therefore no mercury.  So there you have it – I promised I would share what he had to say.  As for my feelings?  I am still a little skeptical of it but if pushed would probably fall on the side of getting them vaccinated.  I think.  Or not.  Honestly, I was relieved that they didn’t have it so that I didn’t have to decide today.

Some days it is hard being the grown up and having to make the decisions for the 2 most important little people in my world.


Picture page

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Things are entertaining around here with a new walker/eater. Tessa vacillates between being pleased as punch at her new skills and looking at us like she isn’t sure why we are all making such a big deal out of things.




And Sabrina is 3 going on 13.  The things that come out of her mouth crack me up.  She was upstairs playing with Steve.  I came upstairs and she said “You don’t belong upstairs mommy.  Go back downstairs.”  Unfortunately, she is spending  a lot of time in Time Out for pushing her sister, taking things from her sister, and generally not listening to mommy.


Now that Tessa is getting older, I realize I am going to have to find another time out corner soon.


My attempt at solving the tendency of a 3 year old to not share only works in very small increments of time.  I found a wand and crown in the dollar section at Target.  I put them up high but visible and told Sabrina that they belonged to the Sharing Princess and she could only play with them when she shares.  It is my attempt at catching her being good as I used to tell parents back when I thought I knew what I was talking about taught parenting classes.  When she shares, she gets the crown and wand.  When she stops sharing, I take them back.  Much drama ensues.



Saturday, October 10th, 2009

p1000859This is a picture of my youngest child EATING actual food and not gagging.  Not baby food or pureed food – food.  Carrots, green beans, turkey bologna, and noodles.   We aren’t completely there yet but the past 24 hours has been a huge step forward.  For all of you who have babies about the age of mine (she is 14.5 months) and post photos of your babies eating apples and waffles and other non-pureed food items, I’ve been so envious.  I hope to soon have her off baby food completely.

Kids 1, Mommy 0

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

p1000674Yesterday, the kids almost defeated me.  I don’t know what was different but I was beaten down when Steve finally arrived home.  The morning wasn’t bad.  Sabrina declared she didn’t want to go to ballet anymore but changed her mind at the last minute so I didn’t have to decide whether or not to do battle over that issue. During naptime, I started hanging and tagging items for a consignment sale.  If you’ve never done this (this is my first time), there are specific directions.  You safety pin all items to wire hangers.  All hangers must face left.  For some reason, I can not make myself do this correctly.  I have to unpin and rehang 75% of my garments but can’t seem to learn from my mistake no matter how many times I have to re-do it. Hoping this ends up being worth the time invested.

p1000670After naps, the kids were wound up.  They wouldn’t stop hanging on me or poking at each other.  Sabrina wanted to go outside and Tessa wanted to be on my lap.  So we went out so Sabrina could ride her Dora bike and Tessa could sit with me on the porch.  Sabrina was only happy riding for 5 minutes and Tessa wasn’t even happy on my lap.  I was on the edge of losing it so I threw them both in the stroller and went for a walk.  Because – GAH – THE WHINING!  Thankfully, Steve was home when we got back.  And I slept like a rock last night so I am feeling like maybe I can handle the wee ones today.

(Sabrina is concerned that the Hello Kitty on her t-shirt doesn’t have a mouth.  It is all we are talking abotu today.

And Tessa – when does the drooling stop? Or at least decrease.)

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