Tuesday, April 28, 2009

potty training, day one

It's potty training time in the B household again. Or at least I thought it was. As I'm sure you all remember, Doodle has taken up the hobby of throwing her poop. I took this as a clear indication that she was 100 percent ready to use the toilet.

So, on Sunday I took her to the store and we picked out her "big girl" panties (otherwise known as pull-ups) and planned on starting the next morning. Monday morning came and I applied the potty training tactic that I had used for Dizzle. Placing the toilet in the hallway, I stripped Doodle from the waist down, hoping that when she was ready to go, she would actually do so.

Things started out well. She walked around for two hours without any accidents. But, she didn't used the toilet either. Needing to leave the house, I asked her to try one more time and then put on the pull-up and dressed her. And by the time we got to gymnastics (only 15 minutes later), she had peed in her pull-up. And I am pretty sure it was deliberate.

Once we got home again, Doodle went back to her naked ways. And although she sat on it for nearly 40 minutes, Doodle never actually went to the bathroom. Feeling comfortable that she wasn't ever going to go, I left the room to get the girls a snack. And when I came back guess what I found. A super giant pile of poop right on the playroom floor, not to mention all over Doodle.

So, I cleaned it up and we moved on. For about 30 minutes, when Doodle proceeded to urinate all over the hall floor and then slide around in it. FABULOUS!

Once I got her cleaned up, the poor girl was begging for her diapers. I tried to put a pull-up on her instead, but she ripped them off. So, she won. She got her diapers back. Obviously, the diaper diving incidents were not a cry to be potty trained, but rather just an indication that Doodle is crazy enough to play with fecal matter ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

illogical logic ...

So, once again we are having struggles with swim lessons. And by we, I mean Dizzle. After going underwater last week (and being quite excited to do so), she has had a huge backslide. She's resisting everything. Saying "I don't want to" before she even finds out what is being asked of her. Which makes me frustrated. Very frustrated. So frustrated that I am having a hard time staying patient with the whole process. And trust me, I understand that it is a process.

But with that said, I am finding it harder and harder to feel sympathetic for her. I know she can do everything she is resisting. I've seen it with my own two eyes. But for some reason, she is suddenly afraid to try. And so, the crying fits ensue. And I get angry. And I threaten. I threaten to leave class and never bring her back because she is doing nothing more than wasting my money. I threaten to throw her in the pool if she won't jump in herself. I threaten to withhold whatever it may be that she wants that day.

But it never works. And I know it will never work. She's too stubborn to let it and deep down she knows that I would never pull her out of the class (I want her to learn, no matter how much she resists). And she knows I wouldn't really just throw her in (although some days I REALLY want to). And even though she knows I will withhold the things she wants, she is smart enough to know that they are just things and she will survive without them.


Then once my anger passes and I rethink the situation, I usually end up presenting Dizzle with a plate full of logic. So much logic that it is spewing out of my ears. And that doesn't work either. You can't be logical with a three year old. And I know that. Instead, I keep finding myself running in circles with her.

"Dizzle, why won't you go under the water?"

"Because I'm scared."

"What are you scared of?"

"The water."

"But why are you scared of the water?"

"Because I don't like it."

"Why don't you like it?"

"Because I'm scared."

And that's what I hear, over and over again.

Eventually, I end it and present her with an ultimatum. I tell her how all I want is for her to try. To try to do her best to be brave and to try to not cry and to try everything that is asked of her, because no one is going to let her get hurt. I tell her she will be safe. And she yeses me to death. And for a moment I believe her.

Then for the rest of the day I do two things. First, I pray that she really understands that she will be OK and that the next day will be better. And second, I remind her non-stop of "the plan" (my plan) for the next lesson. It's all really quite annoying for both me and her. I feel like such a nag. And honestly, I don't think it really works. Or even works a little, for that matter.

I'm beginning to believe that I am putting too much pressure on her, maybe I'm causing her to freak out. That I'm making it all such a big deal that she can't handle it. I know I expect a lot from her. I think all parents do of their first born. In fact, several times a day I catch myself expecting too much. Forgetting that she's only three. And it eats me up.

I have to believe there has got to be a way to parent, motivate and encourage at the same time. And there has got to be a way to do it without feeling like you are diminishing your child and their spirit. I know Dizzle doesn't want to hear me tell her the same thing over and over again. Especially when it's about something I'm not happy about. But everyday I fall into that trap.

I guess all I can do is try to do my best everyday and trust that my kids are doing the same.

Monday, April 20, 2009

my whole life ahead of me ...

Recently, I have begun to feel old. Not in that "I wear mom jeans" kind of way (God, I hope that never happens), but in the "I feel so much further along than my friends" kind of way. You see, almost all of my childhood friends (and J's for that matter) are childless, and the majority of them are still unmarried. Which puts us about a zillion years beyond them. They still go out after seven (OK who am I kidding? I never went out). They travel. They sleep in. They can leave their houses without worrying if they have enough snacks to keep everyone happy. And me? Well, I can't.

Now don't get me wrong. I love my kids and my life. It just seems weird to me that we are done having children (and are soon to be accident-proof) before anyone else has even started. And that realization is making me wonder about what is next for us.

It used to be obvious. When we were dating, we were supposed to get married next and then we were supposed to have children. But now that we have accomplished that, I'm left questioning what I want to do from here.

Am I supposed to give myself to my children entirely? Or should I be focusing more on me? Do I want to work more? Or less? Or not at all? Am I OK with being defined primarily as someone's mom? Or will it drive me crazy? Really, what do I want out of my life? I swear, at moments I feel like I am 18 again, with my whole life ahead of me and no idea what to do with it.

Perhaps, I am just having an early realization that one day my kids won't need me anymore. Maybe I am just looking ahead 18 years and thinking that 45 is really young to have an empty nest. And when that happens, who will I be?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

and it was downhill from there ...

I will admit it. I am an overachiever. OK, maybe I would be better classified as an overdoer. I tend to overdo everything. I just keep piling it on. The more on my plate the better. Usually. Until it all blows up in my face. Like today. And yesterday. And last Friday when I got stranded.

You see, today started out innocent enough. Sure, I was beyond overbooked with life and such, but I had a good outlook on things. I could handle it. Easy peasy.

But then I realized, that it was 7 a.m. and Dilly hadn't eaten in four hours. Which meant that if I fed her at that moment, I would have to do it again around 11. Which would mean a total meltdown during Stroller Strides. Which would lead to me publicly breastfeeding - a thing I'm not too fond of. So, I decided to hold her off. I figured if she could wait until 8, I would have plenty of time after class to hang out and then make it home to feed her. So, very wrong. By holding her off, Dilly screamed at me for 30 minutes until I gave in. And then, she still cried during the majority of class. And it was all downhill from there.

Dilly's class time crying was the first of many crying bouts today (myself included). So, why was everyone crying? Well, Dizzle had a rough day at school. After rushing around to make it out of the house (as stressful on the kids as it is on me), she settled into her school day. Until about lunchtime, when she had had enough of a fellow classmate and things got physical. No one was seriously hurt (physically at least) but Dizzle lost out on her opportunity to be "blessing leader" due to the incident. Which caused her to cry the entire ride home from school.

And then we were running late for swimming, due to some work stuff that threw me for a loop. But it gets better. Since class time was so close to the end of the school day, Doodle went without a nap. Which caused her to cry about EVERYTHING. Fortunately, swimming itself was uneventful.

But then we tried to leave. But Doodle had dropped her cup. So I ran back inside. To find out she had her cup the whole time.

Then we really left, but I was feeling the time crunch while trying to sort out the previously mentioned work stuff and I was going slightly faster than I should have been. And then the speed limit changed. And I didn't notice. But the cop did. And I ended up with my first ticket EVER.

Which left me with even less time to feed all of my children and get to my second Stroller Strides class of the day. So, I made a sandwich for the girls (which they ate in the stroller) and ended up nursing Dilly in the parking lot before class. A class where my kids were less than stellar. A class where at the end of it, I realized that Doodle was blowing boogers out of her eyeballs. Seriously, something has got to give ...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

stranded ...

Let me just begin this post my noting that I never travel alone. In fact, I could probably count the times I've done a big trip by myself on one hand. And let me also mention, that I have never (until yesterday) flown anything but non-stop. Obviously, I don't get out much.

Anyway, my best bud H was having her bridal shower today in Ohio and I, being in the wedding and all, made arrangements to go. So, after a jam-packed day (which started at 4:40 a.m. thanks to an early run), Dilly and I were dropped off at the airport and so our adventure begins ...

The weather report was calling for thunderstorms in Charlotte (our connection), so of course we were delayed. But, so was everything going out of Charlotte, leading the ever-so-helpful crew of US Airways to believe that, and I quote, "you will all make your connections." And I probably would have since my connecting flight had been pushed back until 11:46 p.m. (it was 9:00 p.m. at the time). So, after three hours of waiting we were about to board the plane. At which point, I specifically asked, "Is there any way that the flight crew on my connection is going to be grounded due to working too many hours?" They said "probably not" and against my gut I boarded.

The flight itself was uneventful, but we did have to circle Charlotte for 20 minutes (which caused every person on the flight to miss their connections). But not me. I didn't miss my connection. Instead, my flight was CANCELED due to "staffing issues." Really? Isn't that exactly what I asked about?

So, at 11 p.m. I got in a line 60 people deep to rebook. (Natalie fortunately slept through all of this.) In the meantime, I also called US Airways. And the agent on the phone told me, "We can get you out on the 8:45 p.m. flight to Akron or the 1:10 p.m. through Philly."

Right! That shower I mentioned was at noon. So not going to work. Plus, my return flight was scheduled for 7 a.m. on Sunday. I wasn't about to wait all day for a flight to be there for less than 12 hours. Instead, she offered me a refund and a ticket on the first flight back home. But, she couldn't book it on the phone due to the refund, so I had to wait in line.

FANTASTIC! So, I waited. And waited. And finally rebooked. For 7:30 this morning. "But wait," I said. "There is a Richmond flight still on the board. Can I get on that?" "Let me check," she said. "No, that flight left at 11:11."

11:11? As in when I was standing in line, all because I couldn't get rebooked over the phone. That made me so happy!

Then I was offered a discounted hotel rate (no comps because cancellations were caused by the weather. So what if I was traveling with a newborn (still asleep by the way)?

I opted against the hotel. I wasn't about to spend one more penny on this trip. And this began my very long and very uncomfortable six hour wait at the now closed (read: no food, no drinks and lots of ticketing area waiting) Charlotte airport.

Fortunately, I met two people who were a huge help. First, a very nice US Airways agent, who took me to her break room to get some food and water. And second, a fantastic woman, K, who was on my flight to Charlotte and who coincidentally has the same employer as J. We sat around, chatted (and mocked other passengers) during the long wait. I'm pretty sure that without her I would have gone crazy.

Anyway, at 9:30 this morning, Dilly and I got home. After 29 hours of being awake (no way I was snoozing in the airport with an infant). And all I got to see on my trip was the inside of the Charlotte airport ...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Aquaphobic ...

A long, long time ago (Monday), in a land far, far away (Ashland), a mom paid $99 for her child to take swim lessons. And magically, the little princess (read: terror) instantly fell in love with all things aqua ...

And then the actual lesson started.

And I woke up from my daydream.

If you've ever met my eldest child (or read this blog) you probably know she doesn't have the best history with swimming. Unfortunately, swim lessons have not proven to be any better.

Day one went down like this. Dizzle cried. Dizzle held on for dear life. Dizzle attempted about half of what the instructor asked her to. But at least she stayed in the water.

Day two went drastically downhill from there. Before class, Dizzle and I came to an agreement. If she didn't cry and tried to do what the instructor asked, then I would get her a milkshake. If she didn't make it through tear-free, she got zip.

You know what happened, right? She started crying before she even got in the pool.

So, I forced her in. Over and over again. She screamed. She screamed that she didn't like milkshakes. Or water. Or anything. And I screamed that she was wasting my money and if she didn't get back in that water we were going to leave and never come back. (Amazingly, she got back in every time.)

With every bit of instruction it was two steps forward, one step back. Talk about frustrating.

Then with two minutes left in class. Dizzle got out of the pool and said she had to pee. So, begrudgingly, I took her. And she missed the end of the class, which is what I thought she was trying to accomplish. But I was SO VERY WRONG.

Because once we got back and she realized that class was over, it was a full-on sobfest. It was crazy to watch. And harder to believe. How exactly can you hate something so much but be so incredibly heartbroken when it's over?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

pincushion ...

Last night, Dilly did not sleep. Therefore, I did not sleep.

This morning, Dilly was running a fever. Therefore, I got so worked up that I felt like I was running a fever.

Crazy how that happens.

So after a sleepless night of endless screaming, I took Dilly to the doctor, where they checked her out and found that while her fever had broke, she may have an ear infection. Which may or may not have caused her fever. And since they had no real answers and didn't really like the fact that a two month old was running a fever, they ran a CBC (skin jab number one).

Once those results came back (with an elevated white blood cell count), she needed more test. Because, obviously, she was fighting off something. Maybe an ear infection. Maybe not.

So, my teeny weeny baby was taken back to the treatment room, where they used a catheter to get a urine sample (skin jab number two) and a really big needle to get a blood sample (jab number three). She cried. And I cried. It's so hard to watch your baby in pain. Especially pain you are allowing others to inflict on her.

Then, if the first three pokes weren't enough, she got a shot of antibiotics, which the nurse so pleasantly told me, "will hurt a lot. It stings because the antibiotic is so thick." THANKS! Because I didn't feel bad enough.

The great thing is that we still have no idea why she is running a fever. And the even better part is that we get to go back tomorrow so that my little pincushion can get jabbed some more. Dilly, I am so sorry ...