Archive | October, 2012

Mom Fail.

29 Oct

So yesterday, I lost Max for a little bit. Yup. That’s right lost him. He’s 5 ( a new 5) and for the past few months, Bill and I have let him do his thing outside, by himself and we just go and check on him every so often. Been going well too…until yesterday that is. Usually one or both of us lets him do his thing while we finish up a few things around the house or getting Rory and ourselves ready to head out too and then we are all outside for a bit. But sometimes, like if Rory needs to nurse or needs a nap or if she is sick (like she is now with a cold and an ear infection) she can’t go outside. And I have to stay inside with her. But usually Bill is home and can help me with Rory or with going out and checking on Max. But, a co-worker of his needed yesterday off, and so Bill worked yesterday for this co-worker if the co-worker would work for Bill on Halloween. So it worked out. But left me at home alone with the kids on a weekend. Max had been driving me bonkers all day. I knew he needed to get out of the house, but I knew that if I let him out, Rory would want to go out and shes sick and can’t go out, so at first I was just trying to keep both happy and inside. But then Max heard kids outside playing and asked to go. I said OK. We went over our rules- No hitting. No going in the road. No going by the pop machine (which is in front of the clubhouse and too close to the road) and no taking off socks, shoes, jacket or hat. (a lot of kids either don’t wear these outside or take them off to play and it is too cold to be doing that).  And off he went. Rory got upset that she couldn’t go outside, but after a few min, we ended up having a tea party with some of her babies and all was good. Then she went to the play room to get something got sidetracked, and I used it as an opportunity to start cleaning the living room and kitchen. As my internal “mom” clock wore down, I put on my sweater and shoes and told Rory I’d be right back. I knew she would freak out, but it was going to be a quick run down the stairs and see what Max is up too thing. If I see him and he’s not bleeding I would run back up to the apartment. 1 min tops. So as she was freaking, Max came in. Told me he and Noah needed a snack. I said no, you just had a snack and Noah can go eat at his house. And I reset my “mom” clock and calmed Rory down again. Then she started helping me pick up some toys. And we played Princess for a few min. And once she got into playing I went to go do some laundry. Then Max popped in saying he needed his football. I told him OK and that he had 30 min left. With Rory and I sick, I know its only a matter of days when Max is probably going to get sick, so I didn’t want him outside too much. After he left, Rory came up to nurse. I thought perfect, as soon as she falls asleep, I’ll go bring Max in. Rory didn’t fall asleep and finished up nursing and started playing again and my “mom” clock was winding down again, so I got on the computer real quick to see when Bill would be home. He said he would try to get off at 4, I didn’t know what time it was, I knew it was probably around that time. So I emailed and facebooked him and even made a joke about not seeing Max for awhile…. (ugh), and I went to go get my stuff on to go get Max and I heard boys outside playing. I looked over and saw 3 boys faces peering over the balcony railing, Noah, John and Joey. And I was thinking to myself “Max better not being climbing up there”. So I run out before he could fall off and I don’t see him. And one of the boys, Joey, says he doesn’t know where Max is. And I’m not worried, because there are other kids he plays with, so I head over to the playground, but there is nobody there. I start to head back the back way to our apartment to go check out the field and trees near our apartment but I figure I should check near the pop machine just in case he’s playing football with the bigger boys there. That is wear they like to play football. Nope not there. Still not worried though. I head over to the field, the kids like to explore over there and I don’t see him. I ask the boy if they’ve seen Max yet and they still haven’t, but I’m still not worried because I figure that we’re just missing each other and figure if I keep walking around we’ll run into each other. So I do a quick walk around again, and still can’t find him. I go inside to get Rory cause I figure shes realized I’m not there and is freaking out. We bundle her up and head back outside and the boys ask if I found Max. I tell them no and they get on their bikes and start riding around yelling his name. I’m thinking he might be over a Jacob’s house, but I don’t know which one that is. So I’m hoping he’ll hear the boys and come out to play with them again. We’re walking around looking and then I figure I should ask Taylor if Max is there. The boys come with me and we ask Taylor but he isn’t there. So Taylor and her mom get bundled up and come help us look. Now, I’m getting worried and feel real dumb for not knowing where my kid is. We see a few new kids outside and ask the if they have seen Max and one girl, Madison said that she saw him at the playground up the street with some kids. So I have Rory go to Taylors mom and I run up the street to see if he is there. I see 3 kids and one, is on the swings and Max likes the swings so I’m sure its him, but as I get there, it isn’t and I asked the kids there if they have seen Max, and they hadn’t. So they get on their bikes and start yelling “MAX” and looking for him. I check the lake, because he likes to throw rocks in the lake, but still no Max. Someone suggests we check Josh and Connors house, so I ask Taylors mom if she’ll go check the KOA playground on the other side of a wooded area near our apartments, and I head over there. Half the kids go with Taylors mom the other half come with me. All of the yelling and looking. Just then Bill comes home-  I had messaged him while I was getting Rory ready to come outside telling him I really couldn’t find Max and that he needed to come home asap. So I put Rory in her car seat, we go to Josh and Connors house, but  he wasn’t there either. We were going to just go door to door and ask everybody if they have seen Max because we knew he just had to be at a friends house playing, we just didn’t know which one. And as we were pulling up to the apartment complex, we see Joey and Anna’s mom outside helping and Taylors mom was waving us down and told us they had found him. Where was he?…at Joey and Anna’s house playing with Anna. I guess Joeys mom heard the kids yelling for Max and had asked him if he asked to come over and he told her no, so she immediately brought him out and Taylors mom told her we were looking for him. She felt so bad. Max had his head down and his little chin was quivering. I jumped out of the car and hugged him and thanked everybody for helping us look. And we had a very long talk about asking before you go to a friends house. I showed him all of the people that love him and were scared because we thought he was gone. I felt dumb because I didn’t even think to check their house. I saw Joey and just forgot about Anna. They are in class together at school, but they haven’t really played together much, because Max is either playing with Taylor, or with Noah and Joey, or all 3. But I’m just glad we found him, and he, along with his friends got a “safe” lesson on why you don’t wonder off and why you ask to go to a friends house. So I guess in the end it worked out, and the only thing that got hurt was my mom ego.

But now, Max is sick, Rory is still sick and I’m trying to get better myself. So again… like last month, a day of doing nothing. Ugh.

If it ain’t broke…

14 Oct

It is hard navigating your way through parenthood. The do’s and don’ts, the shoulds, coulds and woulds.  But in the end all you can do is your best. All you can do is what works for your family, not what works for your neighbors, friends, family, complete strangers. This is probably one of the most important things parents (especially young parents) need to learn and always keep in mind. I know I struggle daily trying to remember this. But I also have to remember “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. 

See in our family things are working pretty well and running pretty smoothly.  We are still trying to get our bearings with this new routine, but that will only solidify how things are working around here. And I know that this will only be “for now”. Until Max gets a little bit older and his needs change and the same goes for Rory. 

I’ve been worrying about bedtimes for starters. We don’t really have “bedtimes”. We all go to bed when we are tired. Bill kind of has a bed time, but sometimes we get involved in more important family things and that goes out the window. All of us seem to be more night owls and take awhile to wind down. So instead of turning bed time into a power-struggle, we just let the kids stay up until we see they are tired. Max, when he gets tired, does a 180, and goes from being a “caged lion” running around, into a run-down, cuddly kid. Rory, she gets ornery. I try and catch them before they get that far, but when we let them get tried, and actually tired, they fall asleep easier with less fuss. Also, we have a little bed set up next to our bed, and it was meant for Max to sleep in, but sometimes Rory and Max sleep in it, sometime I do alone, sometimes I do with Rory or with Max and once Bill did alone. haha. We don’t care where the kids sleep, as long as they get enough of it. And that works for us. We aren’t worried they will be sleeping with us until they go to college, because we know they won’t. 

The other night, Bill had read the kids a story, put Max in his Spider-man bed, tucked him in and was playing Max some sweet 1950’s rock (Max loves it). I went in for my hug, kiss and to ask him what he wanted to do the next day as usual. As I was about to leave, Max asked if he could come cuddle. And I thought about just saying, “No you’re a big boy, so you should sleep in your own bed”. In fact I was thinking about what other families do and how they have their kids in their own beds and have bed times and all of that stuff, and I was really thinking about saying “You’re almost 5 and 5 year olds sleep in their own beds” but then I stopped and thought “wow, he’s almost 5. No, he can’t be 5, he’s going to be 5?!” And in that sec (or 2) I remembered the times I wanted to cuddle but he was too busy playing, reading, coloring, out riding his bike with friends and thought, how many more nights is he GOING to want to cuddle? I thought this might be the last night he asks, and I won’t know it until it is too late. I missed too many times for kisses, hugs and cuddles because I’ve been too concerned with what other’s may think or because as a young  mother my priorities at the time weren’t what they should have been. But I’m older, and wiser and have a much better head on my shoulders, so I will not let these opportunities slip away. So needless to say, Max got to cuddle with us. And it turned out to be a pretty awesome night. As Max was laying in bed with Bill, Rory and I were laying on the bed on the floor and Rory goes, “guess what? CHICKEN BUTT!” And we all laugh. And in the dark we all started telling jokes and laughing and having a wonderful moment. It was spontaneous  and fun and perfect. It wasn’t planned or scripted, and certainly wouldn’t have happened if the kids hadn’t been there. And that is when I realized I don’t care what other families do. We do what works for us. 

So I guess my post is about learning when to fix something and when not to. Bed times in our family, unlike some, aren’t stressful or a power struggle (usually of course there are some times when they are because we have kids) so we don’t need to fix it. Our kids get at least 10 if not 12 hours of sleep in the night, so they certainly aren’t lacking in sleep. We are however working on a routine, to fix transitions, to fix the tantrums and back-talking. Which has really helped, we still have work to do, but in the short time we have been working on it, it has helped.  We will probably have to “fix” bed times next year when Max starts kindergarten, but that can wait til then. 

Thinking Ahead

11 Oct

I know it is just barely October, but since we have already bought all of Max’s bday gifts, we are now looking ahead to Christmas. We are moving towards more “open-ended” toys (play dough, blocks, sensory and light table, dress up, pretend toys) and less electronic, toys (computers, kid tablets…anything battery operated). First we have wanted to make a light table since last Christmas and have found a way to use a busted flat screen TV to make a huge one. So Bill has put in a request for a busted TV (awesome how that worked out huh?) and we are just waiting for the size we want to come in. We actually didn’t think it would take as long as it has, he has been on the waiting list for over a month or so. So we are putting off making the light table and we’ll hedge our bets and make the sensory table (which we have everything for) for Christmas as their “shared”  BIG gift (along with colored rice, and other supplies for the sensory table). And when the TV comes in for the light table, we’ll make that and give it to them just because.

Now, even though all of their toys are technically ‘shared’ toys (I know we are lame), we do still give them their own stuff. We actually don’t even MAKE them share, they just do (most of the time without much incident). But we don’t make a big deal out of Max playing with Rory’s doll house or babydolls (which he does) or Rory playing with cars and guns (which she does).

We just made Rory a bookcase dollhouse for her birthday and she loves it. Plays with it every day in fact. But, last week there was a commercial for this Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Dollhouse, and Max asked Rory if she wanted it, and she got excited and said YES! Now, she might have just said yes, because it seemed Max was pretty excited about it…or she could really want it. But I think maybe that will be “her” gift. And then We found Max a Imaginext Spider-Man playset that will go with his Joker one he is getting for his birthday. I’m pretty confident in these choices, but will continue to do research. But a playset each, a sensory table and all the fixins, sounds pretty awesome. Probably some play dough for Max and a few little baby doll accessories for Rory as stocking stuffers, and I think we’ll be set. Probably get a mirror or 2 for the playroom, to put in their dress-up area.

A few other things I’ll be looking into are:

Magnatiles (light table)

WonderMaze

Pattern Blocks

and

Kid Smart Markers.

I also need to allocate time for me to sit down, look through my “Kiddos” board on pinterest and write down all of the supplies I need for the ideas I have pinned. So many ideas I cannot do because we simply do not have what is needed to do them!

Sick, sick, sick.

10 Oct

Ugh. School starts and we instantly get sick. Lovely. Last week of Sept, I was nursing the cold/flu/plague all week. Then I got better, but then next week, Max, Bill and Rory had it. They are all just getting better, BUT last night I was up late, dealing with the beginnings of a sore throat and cough. Seriously? Ugh, why oh why can’t people just be considerate of others and keep their sick kids home/inside?! Sure, its a pain the butt, I know, I just went through 2 weeks of being cooped up with 2 kids because we were sick… moving on…

So needless to say, our getting organized and getting a routine down has taken a backseat to all of us getting better. We have had good days when we had some sort of routine, but other days, it was “meh do whatever”. Hopefully I can fight off whatever this is and we can get back to it. I know it won’t be an overnight thing, it will probably be months until we have it down, I just want to really get started without distractions from illnesses and other junk.

Next week Max has a parent/teacher meeting. I’m excited to hear about how he is doing. He loves school and when he was out for a week last week, the kids missed him. When he got back to school on Monday, several kids were VERY EXCITED to see him and attacked him with hugs. From what I have heard, he is doing well with writing his whole name and cutting out shapes real well. So yay!

Rory and I have been working on shapes names and colors. We haven’t done the alphabet yet, because she has just seemed more into shapes and colors right now. So we do a lot of drawing and we kind of stole an “Eye Spy” book from Bill’s mom this past weekend when we were up there. She loves it and it has been helping out A LOT in just the past few days we’ve had it with shapes and colors so it is awesome.

Our month project is decorating the house all “Spooky” like for Halloween. Since we don’t have a yard, we have just been decorating the inside of the apartment. Some day we’ll have that creepy, scary (NOT CUTE) halloween yard that most parents won’t let their kids go to because it is “too scary”. But until then, we’ll just have to do it up right inside and practice for the future!

Our “Fall Bucket List” isn’t nearly as long as I was hoping. With us being sick and it being cold and everything, we’ve lost nearly a month of fun fall time. We only have about a month left before it gets too cold to do stuff. We went to the Pumpkin Patch here in town, but they started charging for stuff that has always been free in the 4 years we’ve gone there. So sadly it was a quick 10 min walk around. I was pretty bummed. Then Earl May here in town was having a free “Pumpkin Fest” but the kids were sick and we were thinking about taking them anyway because they were on the mend, but it was way to cold to risk it. The 27th, the Train Museum here is having a Halloween Party Fest, so (fingers crossed) it won’t be too cold or we won’t be too sick to go to that!

I’m trying to think of Birthday Week things for Max for next week. Hopefully I can think of a few fun things!

Lots of stuff. Getting more organized, a routine, working on learning (Max and Rory), Family Activities, Birthday, Halloween. I would like to lose some weight before I go in for my final fitting for my sister’s wedding. Trying to do more home cooking, healthier cooking. Trying to get the playroom done, which I haven’t even really started it since moving some of the furniture around a few months ago. I really need to go through everything and organize… but then the kids want to “help” and I like to encourage their helping, even when it isn’t actually helping like they think. Max has been wanting to buy stuff, so we have decided to do an allowance for chores. So we are trying to navigate that. He found a $5 gun he wanted to buy the other day and I thought it would be a good opportunity to start talking to him about doing jobs around the house for money. Usually he does jobs around the house for computer time. But I think it will be much better for him to earn money and learn about money instead of rotting his wonderful mind in front of the computer.

But yeah that is “all” we’ve been up to. Being sick and trying to get stuff done…