Mar 29, 2011

Visit the Shut-ins

If you are Christian you may have read some or all of the bible. Or maybe you have just heard of a few things  Jesus said.

One thing he said in Mt 25:34 was to visit the sick or the shut-ins.

I always thought of shut-ins as people in nursing homes or people with limited mobility who could not leave their homes for whatever reason.  When I was little my mom regularly took my sisters and I to visit this sweet elderly couple that never left their home. They would give us candy and we'd play lots of mind bending games made out of wood and metal. That has been my definition of a shut-in my whole life. If you don't have candy and mind bending games and are confined to a bed or chair you are not legit. I would have never thought of a healthy 20-40 something year old woman as a shut-in. Enter motherhood.

When I first had my darling Davy, I remember staying inside for days at a time. Even in the heart of San Francisco, where everyday is pretty glorious. I was just doing what I had to do to keep this baby happy and alive. I wanted to go outside, sure, but the reality of it proved to be impossible on some days. Especially when she was a projectile vomiting screaming mess. Thankfully I knew nothing different and only in hindsight realized how crazy it all was.

the happy side of a shut in

I've only experienced the shut-in feelings when I've first had a new baby or when my children are tragically ill. And if you're like me, when your kids get sick, you get sick too. I usually forget about their sickness temporarily and end up kissing their snotty cheeks. It's my own fault.

But anyway, when you/kiddos are sick, it. is. the. worst.

You are stuck home. No one can or should visit because your house is an infested germ sanctuary. And you don't want anyone over, because how are you supposed to keep everyone alive, babes and yourself, and do housework? How people? Your house probably will end up looking like an bomb was set off near laundry and or the kitchen. Don't even get me started on if hubby gets sick too. That's a whole new can of horribleness.

When we are all sick over here or when I've had a difficult babe I've felt so lonely and sorry for myself.

Not all moms are created equal though. At one point or another, most moms will feel like a shut-in.  I have known so many mothers who have gone through more than sickness and colicky new baby craziness.

Moms who moved to a new city with little kids and don't know anyone.
Moms who live in frigid places and are forced into hibernation in the winter.
Moms who have husband's deployed and hardly or never get a break.
Moms who stay at home with kids and no car.
Moms with crazy children that put themselves and those around them at risk in public.;)
Moms put on bedrest during a pregnancy.
Moms with terminally ill children.
Moms who are terminally ill.
Moms of multiple babies.
Moms who are potty training toddlers.
Moms whose husbands are traveling.
Single Moms.

And even though I just relayed that info in the most sad and depressing way possible, it's really all not the biggest deal, when you consider that having children is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened the world and myself.

One second you are stuck in self loathing, the next second you think your heart might explode from too much love after seeing your adorable children sleeping or playing or giving you a hug. And in case you live close to me and/or are related to me and think this is a cry for help. It's not. You guys are all doing a pretty fantabulous job visiting this shut in.

PS. If you know one of these moms stuck inside or someone else who really could use the help, this is an awesome website for organizing it.

Remember the mamas when you make your list of shut-ins to visit this Lent... :)

Mar 11, 2011

Our Puppy

10 Reasons We Love our Puppy

1) She pants with her mouth open.

2) Has been known to enter a room on all fours while carrying a toy in her mouth.

3) She yelps when no is paying attention to her.

4) She is really good with toddlers. Even when repeatedly hit on the head, she is happy for the attention.

5) Her favorite hobby is finding and devouring food off in the kitchen by licking the floor.

6) She lets us dress her up in tiny clothes.

7) She jumps on my head in the morning to wake me up.

8) She licks faces.

9) When she is in the other room and you yell her name, she scurries in as fast as she can.

10) She chews on shoes and newspapers.

Creative Ways to Talk on the Phone with Little Kids

1. Hide in their closet while they are playing in a room. Maybe they won't hear you. Then you can divulge to your sister all the juicy gossip about your neighbor's new small tree they planted in their front yard.
I'm learning about Vegetables actors in Bible stories that have no limbs.
2. Use your speaker phone and transform any place in your home into your own personal telephone party with your friend as you schedule an outing that combines learning and fun.
3. Sit them in front of an education film that will teach them how to read and compute simple math equations all the while providing stimulating and entertaining fun while you and your husband have an "I love you more" playful fight on the phone.
Oh Mom! You're face is hilarious.
4. Sit them down at the table and give them their favorite healthy snack. Try carrots shaped as acorns. Or apple sauce across a white plate that spells "I love you" in cursive. Then you can give ample attention to the interesting and witty insurance company telemarketer and their great life insurance policies.
5. Multi-task. It's easy! Sit down with them and color out of their favorite coloring book while you schedule your next dentist appointment.
6. Entertain your kids with hilarious facial expressions while you talk to your cousin about her recent breakup. Hint: practice next time your in the car driving your kids to the zoo. Hardly anyone is paying attention to other drivers anymore. They all seem to be texting each other.

7. Disregard all 6 ridiculous ways to talk on the phone and don't do it unless your children are safely and humanely strapped to something or in some sort of cage.
I love being strapped in!

WARNING: If you do not heed this advice chaos may and probably will ensue.

Just today while I ran to answer the phone, my adorable and curious two year old for the second time in the last week filled up the bathroom sink with water and threw a full roll of toilet paper roll in it which immediately turned into mushy toilet paper water and clogged our bathroom sink.

Children turn into crazies when moms and possibly dads are on the phone. The child you were just reading to or coloring with lets out sounds you have never heard a human make. Babies will need you and children will injure themselves and the property and people around them.

If you really need to talk to a mom on the phone. Either call her at midnight or expect to hear alarming and terrifying noises on the other end. Or maybe your kids aren't as crazy as mine.

Mar 6, 2011

This is Your Child, This is Your Child on No Nap

Any questions?

A long time ago, circa 2010 I had a 2 year old who acted a lot like someone you might want to put in a permanent straight jacket. After some pretty intense discipline tactic attempts which completely failed, I looked elsewhere for answers. Other moms.

And I got one resounding answer. Longer naptime. Your child is walking zombie. Those bags under her eyes are not permanent. She hated naps and sleeping in general and we thought we were just screwed for life when it came to Davy+sleep.  She was two years old and although extremely tired, somedays she didn't take a nap. The transition from one to two bumpkins had unfortunately suffocated Davy's precious nap.

As sick as you might think this is...we used to let her cry it out in her room until she passed out from exhaustion. Sometimes we found her on the floor. Don't be alarmed. She doesn't appear to be permanently scarred. That was before baby Gia-bear. And since she transitioned into a bed, via expert crib jumping techniques, at the ripe old age of 19 months, we thought we had little choice. Looking back, there were probably more humane options involving a lot of velcro, but that is beside the point.

Survival is the point.  And since we (by 'we' I mean me) had accidentally murdered her nap because I cared more about the infant sleeping/ less toddler screaming than naptime, we found ourselves in a horrible place.

I'm sure you've seen a kid at the grocery store completely loosing it late at night, or midday or anytime really. Statistically I would bet 90% of those children are super exhausted. I only say this based on my own mom emperical research with my wild child.

Let me show you what I've found:

Meet Davy on no Nap

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm angry and I don't know why. I push Gianna because for now I am bigger than her and I like the sound when she falls. I go in the bathroom incessantly to play and do naughty things and tell my mom I have to go potty. Then I do things like climb on the vanity and steal Mommy and Daddy's toothbrushes and turn them into my own science experiment. I will not listen to anyone and scream NO like it's my job. When my mom tells me it's time to leave my friend's house I turn into something that most resembles a dragon and will use whatever physical ability I have to remain in said house. It isn't pretty. I kick and flail and go limp and there is lots of screaming. My favorite phrase is, "DONT SAY NO TO ME MOMMY!"

Meet Davy on a Nap

"Hi, I'm Davy! I run the show around here and I run laps around the living room. I jump because I can. I love to play in the dirt outside. I talk nonstop and I play with many many things around the home which were definitely not intended to be played with. I love my mom and my dad and I pretend to listen to them occasionally. But when they turn their back I am known to resume negative behavior. I play with Gianna. I do take away whatever she has in her tiny hands because it looks so awesome when she has it. But I usually present her with a peace offering upon the removal. When leaving a friend's house I am easily convinced to go to the car with some sort of bribe like fruit snacks and I leave with little drama. My favorite phrase is, "Don't say no to me Mommy."

See the difference? She is still crazy on a Nap, but with no nap, I fear our family's safety.

So now for a while I have had a new system:

When Gianna naps in the afternoon, I literally hold Davy down on the couch and sometimes fall asleep with her until we both wake up to a little "mama. mama. mama. mama. maaaaaamaaaaaaa," coming from the nursery.

So even though I used to have cleaning fantasies that I imagined would be played out during naptime. This is not realistic at this point. A non-dragon child is much better than a clean house. That's what I think.

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