Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I cropped this out of the birth announcement the husband emailed out, so it has a goofy little bow at the bottom that I couldn't crop out. There are more (and probably better) photos, but I can't access them right now on the husband's computer.
SchmoopyBoy is sick. Isn't that awesome timing? I have a 3 day old newborn, and a sick 3-year old who can't keep his hands off anything, and wanted little more last night but to sit in my lap with his hands on my mole and my belly - all evening long and into bedtime. Primal scream going on over here from that mess.
I had one goal for yesterday - take a shower. (First post partum shower, mind you.) I failed that goal.
Which is only scary because now I have 2 goals for today - take a shower and take LittleSchmoo to the pediatrician by myself this afternoon.
Can I handle 2 goals in one day yet? Ugh.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Nursing is going well.My milk is already in! This kid is going to be a boobie-monster just like his brother.
Speaking of the big brother, SchmoopyBoy is loving him some baby. I can't believe how great he is responding to him. Here are some quotes:
"He's so small!"
"He has no teeth!"
"He is so soft!"
"I love him" (followed by kiss, yes I started to tear up at that point)
"You have a soft big round belly now!"
Friday, September 16, 2011
SchmoopyBoy start T-ball on Saturday and I really don't want him to miss the first day. Then he's got a birthday party on Sunday evening to which we've already RSVP'ed and I would hate flaking on something like a child's birthday party. Then on Monday we are going to be very short staffed in the office and Monday is a very busy day with reports on tight deadlines and meetings, and Tuesday evening the husband has an assignment to do for his class this semester. I know, I know, I'm sure everyone would understand if I was in labor at the time of the event in question. I just don't want anyone to miss anything.
I'm sure I'm being quite ridiculous, and I'm ok with that.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
SchmoopyBoy does not like getting his teeth brushed at bedtime (or any other time, really). Tooth brushing has been a struggle pretty much since we first started brushing his teeth. He is the king of holding his hand over his mouth with his lips tightly fused together. I’ve tried reasoning with him about the dangers of cavities. I’m pretty sure all he hears is “wah wah wah.” Have I been tempted to just pry his hand away and use my physical strength to overpower him and force my way into his mouth on a particularly tiring and frustrating day? I’d be lying if I denied it. Yet using my superior physical strength to impose my will over his body feels very wrong. I think it teaches him a dangerous and destructive lesson that using violence and physical force over a smaller, weaker person and forcing them to do what you want is ok. Not to mention how NOT conducive to a peaceful, relaxing bedtime it is to engage in a physical struggle with a screaming, flailing, 30 pound octopus of a three year old.
So how do I get him to willingly open his mouth? One major tool I don’t hesitate to bring out is music and song. I am all about making up alternative lyrics to popular (or not so popular) songs, and singing them in funny voices with lots of melodrama and silly vibrato. If you think this idea might work for you and your child, here are a couple ideas for a variety of musical preferences.
For the classic rock lover, sung to tune of Queen’s We are the Champions:
I’ve got a toothbrush, my schmoo-oooo
And I’ll keep on brushing every tooth
I’ve got a toothbrush, I’ve got a toothbrush,
No time for cavities, so I’ll keep on brushing…
‘till they’re clean!
For the pop music fan, sung to tune of Madonna’s Music, Hey Mr. DJ:
Hey Mr. Toothbrush
How are you today?
Come on and brush my teeth now.
‘Cause when the toothpaste’s on,
I never want to stop
You know it is so yummy.
Hey there! Mr. Toothbrush!
Brush my tee-eeth! Yeah!
Hey there! Mr. Toothbrush!
Brush my tee-eeth! Yeah!
For the Star Wars fan, sung to the tune of the Imperial March (aka Darth Vadar’s theme):
Brush brush brush
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth
Brush brush brush
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth
Brushie-brush, brush, brush, yeah
Brushie-brush, brush, brush.
Brush brush brush
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth
The lyrics of this are simple and boring enough that silly voices/faces and gratuitous over-the-top vibrato (think of an Ethel Merman caricature or Goofy from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) are a good mix for this choice.
Really, the possibilities are endless. Any tune I get stuck in my head is fair game for being turned into a tooth brushing song. If I can’t think of any appropriate lyrics on the fly, I just substitute the word “brush” or “toothbrush” or “brushie” for the usual “la la” or “doo doo doo” that most people hum to themselves.
The benefits of a playful approach to brushing teeth are numerous. First, the obvious – teeth are successfully and adequately cleaned. Second, the child is either smiling and giggling at the end, or at the very least isn’t having a melt-down and no one is hurt in the process. Third, on those rough “I’m so done you could stick a fork in me” days, you might even find yourself in a better head space – such is the power of play and laughter.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- On being a more playful parent — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how the Playful Parenting book impacted her.
- Parenting a toddler through play — Alicia at I Found My Feet lists some examples of how she uses play to parent through everyday tasks and challenges.
- Splashing in Puddles — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares how she learned to get dirty and have fun with her little boy.
- Say Please — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life explains how they taught their son manners by "play," showing that actions speak louder than words.
- No Nanny Needed — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life wishes parenting through play was her only responsibility during the day.
- I'll Run Away With Gypsies — Nikalee at Spotted Pandemonium maneuvers physical and emotional obstacles while spinning playful tales, jumping through hoops, and inspiring the kids to clean the living room.
- A Promise To My Daughter — Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure writes a poem for her daughter promising to use play instead of anger when facing difficult situations.
- Parenting Through Play — Not Always Easy But Always Rewarding — Amy at Peace4Parents discusses how play hasn't always come easily to her, the power of appreciative observation, and how her family learns together through play.
- Imagination Plays a Role in Our Parenting — Tree at Mom Grooves shares how parents can use play to set the foundation for communication and understanding.
- A Box of Crayons — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction talks about how a simple box of crayons has become a wonderful parenting and teaching tool.
- The Essential Art of Play — Ana at Pandamoly shares some of her favorite lessons available for young ones through play.
- The Art of Distraction — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a list of distracting alternatives to harsh punishments in tough parenting situations.
- Grace and Courtesy Games at Home or School — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has ideas for grace and courtesy games that help you encourage courteous behavior without reprimanding your child.
- I am woman, hear me roar! — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares how one simple sound can diffuse an argument in an instant.
- Getting Cooperation Through Play — Amyables at Toddler In Tow talks about respecting the worldview of a preschooler by using play to encourage connection and cooperation.
- Playful Parenting = Extra Energy?? — Momma Jorje didn't think she had the energy for playful parenting. See what she was surprised to learn…
- Dance Party Parenting — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen learned how to be the parent her children need through play.
- Wrestling Saved My Life — Wrestling is as vital to her son's well-being as babywearing once was, finds Hannah at Wild Parenting.
- Parenting through play — By playing with her children, Tara from MUMmedia is given amazing opportunites to teach, train and equip her children for life.
- Parenting Through Play Starts in Infancy — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Issa from LoveLiveGrow shares that though she only has a 3-month-old, playful parenting has already started.
- Play Before Sleep — Adrienne at Mommying My Way writes about how playing and singing with her son before he falls asleep helps calm her frustrations that tend to arise at night.
- Playful Parenting — Or 5 Lessons My Son Has Taught Me About Parenting Through Play — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama has learned to be a better parent by following her toddler's lead in play.
- Hurry up! Hurry up! I mean it! Quack, quack, quack! — Kellie at Our Mindful Life leads a trail of ducklings
- On the Road: Learning to Play — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante discovers her inner adult through a summer of playing with her children.
- Preventing Tantrums Through Play — Gaby at Tmuffin explains how she keeps her household happy by not taking things too seriously.
- Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play — Lily, aka Witch Mom, redirects unwanted behavior in a toddler using games and play.
- Exaggerating for effect — Lauren at Hobo Mama has learned how to ham it up.
- Handling Big Emotions with Role Playing — Zoie at TouchstoneZ plays at tempering her parental frustrations while helping her children handle some big emotions
- How To Herd Toddlers by Talking Pictorially — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama demonstrates how talking in pictures is a playful way to engage your young child in transitioning from one activity to the next.
- Getting a Toddler to Go Where You Want…Playfully — Sylvia at MaMammalia describes how a game of hide-and-seek can be used to steer a wandering toddler in the direction of her choosing.
- Playful Parenting: Chores That Do Themselves — Remember chores when you were a kid? If chores were this fun for Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey, she wouldn't have needed any reminders!
- Clown School Express: Playing away Fears — MudpieMama describes how she helped her boys confront their fears about starting kindergarten by playing with trains.
- Practicing Playful Parenting — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle realizes that playfulness is the best way through the day and seeks more ways to practice it.
- Today, Tomorrow and Every Day — Starr at Taking Time addresses her children in a letter sharing with them how improtant it is that they spend their childhood playing.
- Learning Through Immersion — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares how she helps her daughter develop naturally without focusing on teaching, but rather by immersing her in their family's way of life and making her an active part of her environment.
- Play Here Now — Jessica at Instead of Institutions learns and relearns and tries to remember the value of play.
- Play: A Wonderful Parenting Tool — Mamapoekie from Authentic Parenting offers a list of examples on how to use play in real-life parenting situations.
- Playful Parenting — a Book Review — Erica at ChildOrganics shares simple yet sage advice from Dr. Cohen on how play can change your child's life.
- Mock Threats: Turning Real Frustration into Playful Parenting — Threatening is not an effective discipline strategy, but Dionna at Code Name: Mama explains how parents can turn their frustration into playful moments by making "mock threats."
- I'm Sick of Yelling — I Want to Play — Alicia at McCrenshaw's Newest Thoughts realizes she needs to change the way she's parenting and is forming a new plan.
- Sing-along, Brush-along Songs — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest shares a few songs to make brushing her three-year-old's teeth more fun.
- Monster Voice — Ever have those frustrating moments with your kid(s) when you just want to scream? Amy at Anktangle shares a silly strategy for getting through those difficult times.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Lest you miss the fine details from my oh-so-stellar photo skills:
In case you are wondering, I did manage to remove all polish before I left the house.
Monday, September 5, 2011
It is useful to note that she approaches the issue from the perspective of a mother of girls. As a mother of boys, I will need to approach the topic of sexism with my children from a slightly different angle. I will confess I'm still sorting out in my head how I am going to do this.
My 3 year old son has remarked on the giant billboard on the freeway near our house which shows four scantily clad women with bare midrifs. The photo is cropped to just above their necks - the photo is literally a bunch of faceless bodies. He thinks it is hilariously silly that there's a giant picture of a bunch of tummies. He has also deduced, in true 3-year-old logic fashion, that since the tummies in question are clearly those of women, and clearly flat (versus his own mother's huge round pregnant tummy) that these "mommies" have already pushed out their babies and that is why their tummies are now flat.
I have no idea how to address this in an age appropriate way, other than to say that they may be mommies and they may not be mommies - I don't know because not all women are mommies. I have not touched the whole objectification of women's bodies issue, nor have I touched the idea what constitutes female attractiveness in our society and how that contributes to unhealthy body image and behavior.
I don't know when is the right time to start talking explicitly about these topics. I do believe it will be critically important for me to talk to my sons about it though, because teaching women to empower themselves is only half the equation. As one of Mom-101's commenter's put it, "You know who will help stop sexism? MEN. Men standing up and saying THIS IS BULLSHIT." I want my sons to be two of the men who recognize sexist BS when they see it and stand up and call it for what it is.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wow, I am uncomfortable these days. Which is ironic to me only because of how very different this pregnancy is that my pregnancy with SchmoopyBoy. With SchmoopyBoy, I was so miserable the first half of the pregnancy, I remember thinking that I would prefer 40 weeks of the 3rd trimester over a single week of what I experienced during the first two trimesters. This time has been so easy and relatively comfortable that I'm kind of beside myself that I'm so uncomfortable now.
This baby is just so... rude! It's funny that I don't remember SchmoopyBoy being quite so rude about practicing boxing on my intestines nonstop for over an hour. Or just hanging out on my bladder, putting so much pressure on it, if there is more than a trickle inside the discomfort is so excruciating I cannot even stand up straight sometimes. Hopefully not an indicator of things to come once he's on the outside. ;-)
At 36 weeks, my doctor is not going to do anything to stop labor once it starts, so I'm officially on baby watch. That being the case, I'm still not ready for him to come out quite yet. I need probably at least one more week at work to wrap things up (although I'm planning on working until the last day to save my leave for after he's born) and my house is definitely nowhere near ready. I have a to do list on my refrigerator, and it feels like for every item I cross off the list, 2 new items are added.