Sharing an important post

June 10, 2010 at 9:33 am (Baby, Opinion, Parenting, Politics, Toddler)

I’ve been following this blog for a while now, having been directed to it by Matt Logelin’s blog.  At first the story was captivating, then heartbreaking, and I was truly invested in the lives of this woman, this mom, who so easily could have been me.

Now, she finds herself in an impossible situation.  One that should not EVER happen in this country.  A family should not have to put themselves in debt for health care.  I could never write about it as well as she can, so please take the time to read her most recent entry and then read her story.

The Spohrs Are Multiplying

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I admit it, I’m over protective

February 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm (Baby, Family, Friends, Opinion, Parenting, Toddler) (, , , )

But I would rather be over protective than under protective and regretful.  I just finished watching an episode of Oprah about child sex offenders.  These men all knew the children they molested.  Family members or close friends.  I don’t remember the exact statistic they said but I believe it was 90% of victims know their abuser.  People are sick and twisted, there is no question about that.

Being mom to a young daughter, unfortunately i think about these things.  She is innocent and does not know about evil people and cannot fathom that there are people who would want to hurt her.   Its my job to keep it that way.  No, I would not leave her with a babysitter who I did not know.  She was 18 months before I left her with anyone who was not family.  And even then it was because I had surgery and needed the help, but I was there with her most of the time.  And she was someone who came highly recommended from family.

I am mainly skeeved about diaper changes.  There are only a very very limited number of people who I feel need to be seeing her privates.  So even if it’s me changing her, I’m cautious about who is around, I don’t do it if there are people around who can look. Because, again, people are SICK.  I don’t like lap-sitting for the most part either, depends on the person, but again the number of people is very small.  It makes me uncomfortable.

I want  to raise her to be strong and have a voice and a mouth and be very familiar with the word NO (though she seems to have that one down pat).  Yes, I will teach her all about staying away from strangers, but there are a lot of non-strangers that can be worse.  I will have to find the balance between making her aware and cautious without making her fearful and nervous.

One of the most important things that I heard in the Oprah show was from one of the sex offenders he said (I’m paraphrasing) ‘if a child says they were molested, believe them, kids don’t lie about this’.  That really struck a nerve with me.  I can’t imagine ever not believing Alexis if she told me anything happened to her, but I know it happens.  People don’t want  to cause trouble in families or think the kids are looking for attention.  I know that if she ever told me anything like that, I would not be responsible for my actions towards the person.

I would rather question people and their intentions than be too trusting because you just never know.

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Is your kid perfect?

February 5, 2010 at 10:19 am (Baby, Friends, Opinion, Parenting, Toddler) (, , )

Because I know that mine is not.  Of course she is perfect in my eyes 🙂

I know she has her moments.  All kids do.  All adults do too! She is a toddler after all.  She has tantrums and meltdowns, issues sleeping, etc.  It’s normal.  When she was little, there were issues with feeding and crying and just general baby stuff.

I think its so important to have a good support system when these things arise.  People to talk to.  To vent your frustrations to.  That’s why I love being part of a message board filled with other mommies like me.  We can vent and share our frustrations and get help, or at least get sympathy.  It’s a place where I don’t feel like I should be judged because I know that I wouldn’t.

Why do I bring this up?  Because lately I’ve noticed something.  The “perfect kid” syndrome.  There are those moms (this also applies to facebook and real life) who like to pretend that everything is puppies and rainbows.  All we ever hear from them is bragging.  Bragging about how wonderful their kid is, or how he or she did such a cute thing the other day.  They will be the first ones  to jump on and offer advice from their vast experience of raising a perfect child(ren).   Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with bragging about your kids or sharing cute stories, but I really think that needs to be tempered with the reality that is parenthood.  Life, actually.   Kids are not always perfect, life is not always perfect.  It’s messy and full of potholes and surprises that come out of nowhere.  That’s why I love having people I know I can talk to and be open with and be frustrated.  The same people I can share good news with and cute pictures and funny stories.  It’s real.

So, for those who think that you will be judged or who feel like you can only share the good stuff, i encourage you to open up.  It’s cathartic to talk to others.  Who knows, someone may be able to have just  the rights words of wisdom.  Or someone may have been exactly where you are and they can say, “i understand”.  Believe me, by not venting, you’re not fooling anyone.  Because no one has that perfect  of a life, so everyone knows that you’re just trying to be someone you’re not.

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I will sound like an infomercial in this post

January 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm (Baby, Home Improvement, Opinion, Parenting) (, , )

I don’t usually post tips here, however I have stumbled upon something that is so amazing it deserves its own post.   As anyone with a young child knows, stains are a part of life.  I live with them.  I have Shout and it gets stains out most of the time, or at least makes them less noticeable.  Recently, Alexis had gotten a shirt of hers stained with watermelon.  This is one of the most difficult things to get out and i have thrown out more than one shirt because of it.   This particular shirt was still relatively new and part of an outfit, and one of my favorites so i was very upset.  I sprayed with Shout and washed.  It was still there.  I sprayed it and left it overnight to soak, then washed it – still there!! I was getting frustrated.  I wasn’t putting it in the dryer because I knew that would be the end of the shirt.  I went in search of a better spray.  While at the store i saw OxiClean stain remover, I decided to give it a try.  I get it home, spray the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes as per the directions, I wash it and voila! it’s gone! Totally clean.  The stain is gone, not just diminished.  I was shocked.  Needless to say I a,m a believer in the commercials now.  i have used it a few more times on other stains and each time, it’s worked!!

So, I highly recommend this product for anyone who has a frequent stain issue!!!

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Disney Recap

December 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm (Baby, Eating Out, Family, Holidays, Marriage, Parenting, Sleep, Travel) (, , , )

This was the 6th year that Marc and I had been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas and the 2nd time for Alexis.  We started a tradition the first year we went of buying an ornament and having it personalized with our names, we have gotten one every year since.  We brought along the 2 grandmothers this year, my mom and marc’s mom.  My mom had come with us last year but it was the first time for marc’s mom.  This year was a lot more fun for Alexis than last year.  She loves Playhouse Disney and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, etc.  As soon as we got close to the park she started seeing the Disney logo everywhere and yelling “MINNIE! MICKEY!” This continued in the park.  She absolutely loved everything we saw and did.  She was mesmerized by It’s a Small World and was just pointing and looking at everything.  The carousel was another big hit.  She kept saying “mas, mas” (more) b/c she wanted to keep riding.  Minnie’s house was also a lot of fun.  She sat at Minnie’s table and “had tea” she loved opening the fridge.  But, the most fun thing was watching the cake rise and fall in the oven continually.  Every time the cake fell, she would say, “uh-oooh”.  Over and over.  We were cracking up.  When she met Minnie, she nuzzled up to her.  She loved her, it was so sweet.  Unfortunately the line for Mickey was waaaaay too long so we didn’t wait.  We went to eat at the Cosmic Cafe where they have a DJ and Pluto and Goofy were there dancing.  Alexis loved it.  She was not shy at all, pushed her way past all the bigger kids, shaking her butt and poked Pluto in the back so that he would turn around and dance with her.  I kid you not.  Then when she was dancing with Goofy she bent down and touched his foot, almost like making sure he was real.

The fireworks show which is honestly the real reason that i continue to go year after year was amazing.  Alexis also was mesmerized and kept saying “ooooh” to all the pretty lights.We went into more than one store and she would just run from one thing to the next, picking up all the stuffed toys and hugging them.  We are now the proud owners of a lot of Disney stuff – a Tinkerbell light up spinning thing (I’m sure it has a better name), several t-shirts, a Minnie purse, a huge Mickey and Minnie – most of this wwas thanks to my mom, except the large Mickey which was Marc’s mom, we also got her countless stickers, or “stickies” as she calls them, which are her new obsession.  By this point she was getting very very tired and cranky.  She had not napped at all, we had hoped she would sleep in the car on the drive up but that didn’t happen.  So she passed out in her stroller around 10:30.  If she hadn’t fallen asleep the plan was that the grandmas would have taken her back to the hotel early.  We went on a few more adult rides, picked up our ornament, had some cookies and hot chocolate, by the time the park closed at midnight we were dragging and ready for bed.

The hotel was another story.  We thought it would be nice to stay in a cabin in Ft Wilderness so we could all stay together.  Eh, not so much.  I guess it’s nice if you have a big family and are staying for a while, but for an overnight I didn’t like it.  It’s definitely rustic.  Not awful, I have stayed in much worse places.  The transportation is a bit time consuming.  There are buses that take you around the resort itself.  We take a bus from our cabin to the docks where we then board a ferry for the Magic Kingdom.  By the time we did the reverse and got back to our hotel, it was after 1am.  Alexis thankfully fell right back to sleep after I put her in her PJs and put her down in the pack n play.  I didn’t think she would sleep in there but she did, she must have been so exhausted that she would have slept anywhere!

So the next day we headed to Downtown Disney for some (more) shopping.  Marc and I got our fix at the candy store of the chocolate covered marshmallows.   Those are so good.  I’m going to have to learn to make them, how tough can it be really?

So all in all we had a wonderful trip.  And it was so different to be able to see everything with Alexis, it really makes the Magic Kingdom more magical.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2009 at 10:18 am (Baby, Family, Parenting) (, , , )

Mother's Day 2008

Mother's Day 2008

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day 2009

What a difference a year makes!!! Last year Alexis was just over 2 months old on Mother’s Day.  She was still a little blob who didn’t do a whole lot.  This year however a whole different story.  She is a person.   A walking (somewhat) talking person!  I think in the year between my first and second Mother’s Day I have gained a different understanding of motherhood and what it really is.  It’s no longer only being caretaker – feeding, changing, bathing, etc.  It’s still those things but so much more.  Now that Alexis says Mama and looks for me and comes over to me.   I’m not just the person who takes care of basic needs, I’m Mama.

There is also the aspect of being a daughter and granddaughter who is now also a mother.  Instead of only celebrating my mom and grandmother, they are now celebrating me!!

Mother’s Day has always been special to me but now it has new meaning.

So to all the wonderful mommies, mommies to be, mommies in spirit, and anyone else – Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Why did I win the fertility lottery?

May 6, 2009 at 10:00 am (Baby, Family, Friends, Parenting) (, , )

There are things in life that are not fair, I know that.  Fertility seems to be one of those things.  It was extremely easy for my husband and I to conceive Alexis.  We decided to start trying and boom! pregnant first month.  I never had to experience the let down of negative tests, the month after month of disappointment.  I had the usual nerves during my first trimester but everything was fine.  I don’t know the heartbreak of losing a pregnancy.  I don’t know what it feels like to have to “un-tell”.  I am grateful and lucky.  My daughter is perfect and beautiful.

However, many of the closest people to me have a different experience.  At least 5 of my friends had to see fertility specialists in order to conceive and some still have not been able to.   Countless others have lost pregnancies.  There is no reason for this and it’s not fair.  Why did I win the fertility lottery while they struggle?  I feel guilty around them because I don’t know how I would feel if i were in their shoes.  I don’t know if I would be able to be genuinely happy for my friend who so easily has something that I have wanted and can’t have.  They are all strong women and deserving of motherhood.  I only wish it were as easy for them as it was for me.

I know there are no answers to this and I know that they would not wish their struggles on me.  I guess it just gives me something else to be grateful for and that I should count my blessings because things could always be different.

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Let them eat cake!!

April 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm (Baby, Cooking, Eating Out, Family, Opinion, Parenting) (, , , )

Disclaimer: this is only my opinion – no offense to any mommies out there.

I was just reading one of the message boards I frequent filled with moms of Toddlers from 12-24 months and a mom posted a “dilemma” her word, not mine, because she didn’t know what to give her daughter for her birthday cake.  Come on! Give her cake.  I am all about being health conscious and teaching Alexis to eat healthy.  I buy organic when I can and make sure that she eats fruits and vegetables every day.   It has paid off because she is a great eater.  She loves broccoli, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, etc.  Not to mention all variety of fruits.  She has fish once a week and all the other meats.

However, I do allow her to have “junk food” also.  When we go out to eat I will give her french fries – not an entire order but a few.  I control what she eats not her.  So as long as she is eating whatever food I got her then she can have a few french fries.  She likes them.  She has also had cookies, chocolate, cake, and (gasp!) cake batter!  I believe in moderation and I know how happy chocolate makes me so why not allow my daughter to indulge a bit.  Again, as long as it is in moderation and as long as she eats the healthy food as well.  I think it’s important to have variety and that includes the bad stuff!  There are a few things that I will not allow – soda is one of them.  I do not think there is anything even slightly good about drinking soda so I will keep her away from that as long as possible.

I know there is an obesity epidemic and kids are heavier than ever which is why I do believe in moderation.  When I take her to fast food places, I opt for the healthy options for her – the apple fries, milk, I take half the bread off the cheeseburger and make sure she has tomoato on the burger.   When she’s old enough, I will enroll her in sports to make sure that she is not a sedentary child.

Anyway, I say, Let them eat cake!!!!! They are kids after all 🙂

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Move, Pictures, SEO

April 16, 2009 at 6:05 pm (Baby, Family, Home Improvement, House, Marriage, Sleep)

Ok lots of topics in one post.  I guess that’s what happens when I don’t blog for almost 2 months!!!!!

First – we now have a new home, temporarily anyway.  We sold our house 6 weeks after we put it on the market and decided that it would be wise to move in with my parents until we find a house instead of rushing to find one.  We sold our house furnished so luckily we didn’t have to store all of our furniture along with our belongings.  We packed up all our stuff in the midst of working 2 weeks at the SEO (more on that later), put most of it in storage and are now happily settled into our new digs.  i gotta say I’m pretty happy here.  Not that I could live with my parents indefinitely, but it is nice to be back in my old neighborhood amongst family and friends – there’s something familiar and comforting about it.  We start the house hunt in earnest this weekend and I’m sure we will find the perfect home for us 🙂  I loved my old home but it never felt like “home” to me.  Marc was the one who chose the house long before we began dating and I moved in with him to his house and it always felt that way.  So while I really liked the house it will be nice to have a house that is truly “ours”.

Next – pictures! I am very fortunate to have a talented friend who is also a photographer, Stephanie Sokol!! I wanted to have some professional photos taken of Alexis before her first birthday and I could not be happier with the way these turned out.  Here is the link to the photos www.stephaniesokol.smugmug.com and here is the link to Stephanie’s blog http://www.stephaniesokol.blogspot.com/

Lastly, Sony Ericsson Open.  This was my 9th year working at the tournament.  I started there as the Special Events Manager as a full time employee and have since transitioned to tournament only staff and for the past 3 years I have been the Stadium Court Producer – responsible for all music, contests, ceremonies, etc that happen on stadium court.  I absolutely love what I do there and I love the people who I see from year to year.  The downside – the hours.  It’s a killer.  It’s 12 days of long hours.  I was there about 14 hours a day on average.  Marc and I met there – he’s in charge of the Ballperson program so he has the same killer hours as I do – he is actully there about 3 hours before I am in the morning so neither one of us is around too much for Alexis.  Luckily we were able to stay with my parents and they stepped in, along with other family members to act as surrogate parents while we were away!  As an added bonus this year, we were closing on our house just over a week after the end of the tournament.  So in the week that we usually recover from the exhaustion, we had to pack our house and get ready for he move.  So now we are finally getting to relax and catch our breath a bit!!!!!

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Confessions

January 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm (Baby, Opinion, Parenting) (, )

Here goes:

I let Alexis watch TV even though the American Academy of Pediatrics says no TV until age 2.   Sometimes it just helps me get things done,  I can fold laundry or wash dishes.  I don’t let her eatch tv all day long and I don’t let her watch inappropriate shows, but she likes Yo Gabba Gabba, Backyardigans, and the Sprout channel and she also likes Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!.

I bring Alexis into bed with me when I’m too exhausted to help her fall back asleep.  This is not something that I do frequently, but if she wakes in the middle of the night and will not fall back asleep usually due to teething pain, I do not have the heart to let her cry so I bring her into bed until she falls back asleep.  Or if she wakes too early in the morning, she comes into bed.  She usually wakes up between 8 – 8:30 sometimes earlier.  I will get up if it’s at least 7:30, but any earlier I just can’t do it, so she comes into bed.

I give her food she shouldn’t be eating yet.  Chocolate, mainly.  Yes, most of the time she eats healthy but if I’m having something yummy i give her a taste.

I have 2 blankets in her crib and they have been there since she has been in there.  Actually, I covered her with a blanket in her bassinet b/c she hated being swaddled.  Even when I did swaddle her with her arms out, I still added an additional blanket.  Our house is cold and I didn’t want her to be cold.  When I put her in the crib, I would tuck the blanket into the mattress at the bottom of the crib.  By that point she was able to pick herself up and she would cry if anything happened to her.  I would check on her at first to make sure she was ok and she was so I felt comfortable leaving it there.  Now the blankets are a bit heavier since it’s cooler outside.

I also have bumpers in her crib.  They are not only cute, but they keep her from bumping her head.  See above for picking her head up, rolling over, and crying if there was an issue.

I know a lot of these things are no-nos but I’m the mom and I would not do anything that I felt would be dangerous to Alexis.  So there it’s out I’ve confessed!!!!

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