Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mommy Meltdown

I like to take Stella to mother goose on the loose. It is at the public library's in my area where babies and toddlers listen and interact by saying and doing hand motions to nursery rhymes. Sounds cute right? Well not if your Stella. I keep trying to take her thinking she will eventually enjoy but I give up! I look at every other kids in there smiling and giggling with their mommies, but nooooooo, not Stella. If I sing one word she starts screeching and whining like I just did the most awful thing ever, cute huh? We went this morning and after her first little outburst I took her outside to discipline her, rather than causing a scene. Then we go back in to try it again. I give up trying to participate with her and sit there quietly. But when its time to turn in their scarves Stella is not having it. Every other kid is walking up to the librarian turning in their scarves but when I tell Stella its time to turn in her scarf she starts yelling and throwing things. Not because she wants the scarf but because I told her what to do.

Its days like this when I don't even like my own kid! Don't judge me, I heard you gasp. I get over it quickly but not without a few tears myself. It doesn't happen often but I hate feeling that way. I don't think my pregnancy hormones are helping because today we both left the library in tears. I can't even sing to the radio in the car without her getting mad! I'm not trying to annoy her I promise! It feels like we've just skipped straight to the teenage years where mom can't do anything right. It is exhausting.

My mom tells me Stella thinks she "rules the roost", but she is in for a rude awakening! I am reclaiming my roost and if I want to sing 'Grease lightening' or 'Summer lovin' then I am darn sure gonna do it! Stella, my love, you are not the boss of me. You're not, you're not, you're not!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Early Mornings

I remember the days when an early morning was 4:30 or 5am. Those days fade fast, like everyone said they would, and now an early morning is 6 or 6:30am. Its funny because I remember saying "If she would just sleep till 6am I could deal with that". Now that we've been to the wonderful world of 7:30am and even on occasion, 8am, 6:30am feels sooooo early!

I try to bring Stella in bed with us to catch a few more precious minutes of rest, but Stella has other plans and they usually include sitting on my head, no joke. Trying to get her to sleep in my bed just does not happen, she only wants to play. She enjoys jumping up and down on my stomach, its not very comfortable but at least its a good ab workout.

I must say that her greetings are pretty darn cute, she likes to say "hi" whenever we get her in the morning or after a nap. Its not just "hi" though, its more like "hieeeeeeeee", in a sweet little high pitch voice. So this morning when I brought her into bed we laid there quietly for just a couple minutes before she turned to face me and with big eyes and a big grin said "hieeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Even though I was half asleep I had to laugh. Not really a bad way to start your day, even if was a little early.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oh The Terror!

What happened to my sweet little girl? Lately she is making appearances from time to time but more often she is a pinching, hitting, grunting, screaming little brute. She is even a little scary sometimes because of how rough she is. She gave me a fat lip twice in one day, once with her big noggin and the other with her foot. Yes, my sweet little baby kicked me in the face! I believe this rough and tumble persona she has acquired has been intensified with some incoming molars. You can only imagine the chaos in my home this last week. I think I even cried during her bath the other day. She is just darn right exhausting!

Thankfully, either her tooth has cut through or the devil has left her body because she has had many more moments of sweetness. Yesterday and today she has hugged me, petted my cheek and given me kisses. Do I dare say my sweet little girl has returned? It may be to soon to tell but at least she is giving me a break. She isn't talking much yet, but I have a feeling the words are just dying to come out. Maybe then the physical abuse will end. Then she can move on to repeatedly saying "NO" and "MINE".

Toddlers are amazing to watch, they are like little sponges soaking in the world around them. But they are also like angry foreigners cursing at you in a language you don't understand. I will have to make the sweet moments last in my memory to get me through the times when I want to rip my hair out. If I start going bald, please be kind.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I'm sure you thought I forgot about my blog, but nope, I'm still here! I've just been doing the normal stuff, taking care of Stella, Mike, our house. I'm still working at Awful Annie's, play dates usually at least one a week and I've been visiting my Grandpa every Friday. So I keep pretty busy and I'm about to make myself a lot busier!

If you haven't heard of MOPS it stands for Mother's of Preschoolers. MOPS is an International organization that is a part of churches all over the world. It is a group where moms can get together and fellowship, get support and talk to other moms going through the same stage of life; raising young children. It is also a great place to learn how to teach your children about God's love. I really feel like this is an invaluable resource for young moms and since there isn't a MOPS group at my church I am going to start one! I met with one of the pastors of my church last week and they are totally behind me which is very encouraging. However, I am a little intimidated seeing as though I don't really have experience with this type of thing but I'm a people person so I think I can learn the rest. My next move is to recruit some other moms to assist me as leaders because I can't do this alone. This task is slightly daunting because I can imagine what I might think being approached with such a task. Hopefully other moms will see the benefits that a group like this will have for themselves and their families and that might inspire them to want to help other women as well. I guess we'll see what happens, keep me in your prayers please! I really am excited about this and I think my church will be too. Who knows, maybe we will even be able to reach out to the community! How cool would that be!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update: Cleaning Kick

So far so good! I have missed a chore or two but I've been really good about fitting it in on another day. Being on a cleaning schedule is keeping me thinking about how to better manage my time and keep a cleaner house. The biggest challenge, and I'm sure you can relate, is the clutter. You put it away and then it comes back! Sneaky clutter. Its only been a couple of weeks though so hopefully I can keep it going. Wish me luck!

A Fish Called Stella

Last summer Stella was just a few months old so she wasn't such a big fan of the water. But this summer, I think she sprouted fins! We had a play date today with our friends Susan and Karly who have a pool and Stella had an absolute blast. She just loves water! We splashed, kicked, blew bubbles ( well, really she drank the pool water), Stella even went under water twice. She was so happy, smiling and laughing, it was fun to see. I looked into swimming lessons and I think I better sign my little fishy up. Its the most fun we've had in weeks!

Friday, May 22, 2009

One of my kicks

So I've been known to get on what you might call a "kick". I get all psyched about something, talk about it, research it on the Internet, and become quite obsessed for about a week maybe two. Am I flaky, or easily bored? Call it what you will but that is just how I roll. So this leads to my latest kick: cleaning. Not a bad kick to be on huh? I am just really fed up with the state of my household, its a never ending battle. My life seems to be on instant replay when it comes to cleaning up, if you have a little one you know exactly what I mean! I am so tired of cleaning up the same mess over and over and I am so busy doing that that I never get any cleaning done. So in order to bring some sanity back to my life I am trying to stick to a cleaning schedule that I made. I printed out a blank template from the Internet and filled in the tasks to complete on specific days. So far I only missed one thing, sweeping and mopping. I meant to do it the next day but decided to just wait until next week so I didn't get behind on my other scheduled tasks. So not bad for my first week, I just hope this sticks because it really would make my life much more manageable. I really am more of a binge cleaner, I work fast and get it all done in a few hours. I never have a few hours in a row to clean anymore so I have to change my plan of action. I must admit I did a much better job closing at work tonight. Maybe my cleaning kick will sneak into other aspects of my life and I will just become a wonderfully clean an organized person! I wouldn't hold your breath.

UPDATE: My house is still a mess and there is no cleaning schedule in place. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My little Vampire

I just let out a big sigh because, yes, I still have a biter!!! I am holding on to my patience by a very thin thread. Almost every time I take something from Stella or or tell her no she tries to bite me! It takes all I have to keep from losing it completely. I quit trying to squeeze her hand because that was a joke to her. I advanced to squeezing her fat little cheeks hoping she might make the connection but nooooooo. She actually tries to bite me again after I squeeze her cheeks; its so exhausting. I still don't feel right about biting her back, even though so many say it works, I'm not ready to give up. She will learn dang it, I will teach her! My next move is the time out. She doesn't really get it yet but I am not giving up. The most frustrating thing is that she doesn't really bite Mike. He walked hand in hand with her down the sidewalk and there was no biting. Why does she feel the need to bite me? Ugh, the saga continues.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm back!!

I know I haven't posted in awhile, I hear about it from my mom like every other day! This week I have been trying to get organized after a fun but crazy weekend. We went to Half Moon Bay for my cousins wedding, she was stunning. I was a bridesmaid so I was on duty the majority of the trip. I was really hoping to have somewhat of a weekend getaway but it didn't really work out like that. In fact I really couldn't tell you anything about the town because all I really saw was the highway and the hotel. All said and done though it was a great weekend. I got to see a lot of my family and my husband was on daddy duty all weekend, thanks honey! Seriously, he was a super trooper the whole time! When we drove into town I was supposed to be at the hotel for the rehearsal dinner so he dropped me off and took Stella to check into our hotel. We didn't stay in the fancy hotel, it was all about the luxurious Comfort Inn for us. After he dropped me off we pretty much swapped our normal roles for the entire weekend. It wasn't as if I was really free though, like I said, bridesmaid duty.

It was a little overwhelming to travel with a toddler, they need a lot of stuff. Its ridiculous how much you have to pack for one tiny person. You have to be Kate Gosselin prepared. And if you forget anything its usually stuff for yourself. Like my jacket for example, here we are heading to the coast for a rainy cold weekend and I was so frazzled about Stella's stuff I didn't even remember my own jacket.

Overall Stella did pretty good on the trip but it was no easy feat. The car ride down was fine but in true Stella fashion she fell asleep for about the last twenty minutes of the care ride. The worst part was having only one room for all of us to sleep in. If I can advise anyone traveling with a young child, especially a toddler, it is almost crucial to have a sweet with two adjoining rooms. Unless you just don't plan on sleeping. Our first night in the hotel ended in tears for Stella and I. We didn't get her to sleep until 10 pm, which is very late for her. At about 1 am someone accidentally called our room and woke Stella out of a dead sleep, screaming. She did not return to sleep until 5 am! Its really hard to get your child to go back to sleep when she can just stand up in her pac-n-play and stare right at you. It was like going back to when Stella was a newborn, tears and all. Luckily the next night she was so exhausted that she slept till 9:30 am the next morning. Praise God for that because that was sleep I desperately needed.

So, now we are back home in our own comfy beds and private rooms. Home is the best. I want to say thank you again to my fabulous husband, he is one awesome dad.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Friend or Foe?

The hormone changes that accompany having a baby are pretty crazy. You experience them throughout the pregnancy but after the baby is born its like you've been hit with a mac truck of wackiness. There are a wide range of emotions and it is pretty common for a new mother to experience some postpartum depression. I had hoped that would not be the case for me when Stella was born but unfortunately I did get a bit of the baby blues. My doctor prescribed me a low dose of Zoloft (50mg). I took it thankfully, I'm not afraid of medication and I really wanted to feel better. I've continued to take it because I noticed that even beyond depression it really helped me deal with life's little struggles. I haven't had problems with depression before, other than the occasional bum day but I am a sensitive person who cries easily. I've always hated crying over little things so the Zoloft is really great for that. So I guess you could say its been my friend, my little blue buddy.

However, I have thought for a while now that it is time to go off the Zoloft. It has served its purpose and I think I can handle things just fine without it. This is definitely easier said than done. There are side effects and withdrawal symptoms that make it a frustrating experience. It is best to wean off the medication slowly which is what I have been trying to do. I cut my pill in half which reduced the dose to 25mg, I did this for about a month. Then I even cut that in half for a couple weeks. The other day I tried to stop taking the medication all together and now I just feel like crap. I feel dizzy, nauseous and seem to be experiencing a little bit of vertigo. You throw in my monthly visitor too and you can imagine how wonderful I feel right now.

My point is that while this medication is really helpful it does have a down side. I think this true for all antidepressants, your body becomes physically addicted. Although I would have still taken the medication I just wanted to share this because this is information I was not aware of. Its good to have all your info up front so you can decide what is best for your health.

So, say a little prayer for me because I'll be back to the land of the crazies real soon!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tantrum City

I don't know who is more frustrated sometimes, me or Stella. Does anyone else have a one year old who throws a total fit when she can't close the door of the fridge because you are in it? I didn't think so, its just me. I know babies like to open and shut things but come on Stell, mommy is just trying to put the freaking groceries away! Oh the joy.

Fun Run

For those of you who didn't know, I've been training for my first 12k the last couple of months. I started running back in October and ran my first 5k on Thanksgiving day. I've always hated running but I really wanted to get into shape. I thought of joining a gym but since I've already had four different gym memberships I decided against it. My husband might lose it if I got one again. So I was pretty much forced to run because, well, its free. My sister-in-law was also training but since we don't live very close she ran with her friend. I tried a couple of times to find a running partner but it didn't work out for different reasons. I kept on a schedule the first month and I think the race would have gone better if I continued the schedule until the race but I got a little off track. The schedule came from a book called The Beginner's Guide to Long Distance Running, by Sean Fishpool. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to start running. It discusses nutrition, clothing, shoes, injury and a lot other things relevant to running. It has great training schedules starting from the most novice to running a marathon, which at this point is not a goal of mine. It still sounds awful!

Before the race yesterday, the farthest I had run in one session was 5.5 miles. Even though I hadn't run 7.5 miles(12k) yet, I knew I would finish one way or another! I started out feeling good and I was waiting to get in "the zone". Usually the first 20 minutes of a run really drags, even after running for months now. My legs feel heavy and I feel tired and slow but after awhile I get over the invisible hump and I start to feel good, like I can run for a long time. Unfortunately this doesn't happen every time I run but if I stay consistent and on schedule it usually does. I never did get in "the zone" on race day. Actually about 3.5 miles in I got a stomach cramp that stayed with me all the way to the finish line. Mike brought Stella to two different spots along the course to cheer me on. The first time I saw her I ran up and gave her a kiss. I heard her screaming for me as I ran away, oops. The second time I saw them I waved from a distance. It was great to see them during my run and at the finish, thanks baby! Even though it wasn't the race I was hoping for and my time was embarrassing, I am still proud of myself that I finished. When I first started I could only run about two minutes before I had to stop. I'm no marathon runner now but I've come a long way. I think my next goal will be to improve my 5k time. I'd like to improve that before I bump up my mileage. Always making goals really helps to keep me running.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Neighborhood Bullies

Lately my dogs cause me much more stress than they do happiness. Tucker(4 years old) and Dieter(2 years old) used to be our babies. We cuddled with them, spent time with them, took them places and talked about them to everyone. I could have never imagined, even after being told, that once my actual baby came along that I would no longer feel the same way towards my dogs. I remember having multiple conversations with Mike saying, "that is just not going to happen to us, we love them too much". Unfortunately, just as we were told, it did. I do feel I am slowly finding my way back to them but its difficult, they drive me nuts! They bark at anything, everything and nothing. They seem to find their way out front often, usually because I'm not paying attention to what they are doing.

This morning, once again, they got out. I let them out back to go to the bathroom and went about my business. After about twenty minutes the doorbell rang. We have pretty cool neighbors that always bring them back when they get out. Thinking it was one of them I answered the door. Instead it was a lady I have never seen before, she was holding her dog, a bichon or something. This woman informed me that my dogs were running all over the neighborhood, sounds about right. What she said next though didn't sit well with me:

Lady: "Your dog attacked my dog."

Me: "What?"

Lady: "Yes, they were running all over the neighborhood and the black one attacked my dog. I had to pick her up"

Me: "I'm sorry. They have never attacked anything in their whole lives. They must have gotten out of the gate, I'm sorry"

Lady: "Well he did. I just thought you should know".

Me: "Thanks."

In all reality I was not out there, I didn't see what they did but I can only imagine. Should I have apologized? Yes. Did I like it? No. I guarantee they probably barked at her dog, she panicked and picked up her dog. I can't really blame her for being worried but I think an "attack" might be a bit of a strech. Tucker attacking another dog is not a likely scenario in this situation. My dogs will run towards another dog barking until they actually get up to the dog, then they roll over on their backs and pee on themselves. Ooh, viscous.

Even though I was seriously irritated, my "mother's love" for them came back just a bit more today because I felt I had to defend them. "Not my dogs lady! No way." That is what I really wanted to say. I can only imagine the elephant sized pill I am going to have to swallow when someone accuses Stella of something bad. It sure does bring out the fighter in a mom! Hopefully if and when that occurs I can be mature about it, hopefully.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Method to my Madness

Everyone has a lazy day once in awhile but I'm coming off about a week of minimal productivity. For whatever reason there was a definite lack of motivation and an overall feeling of blah. Something that has been weighing heavily on my mind the past month, and became very apparent in the last week, is that Stella's diet is lacking some nutrition. I know toddlers are difficult to feed and at times I should cut myself a little slack but lately I've been feeling like even the dogs are eating better than Stella. She has gotten pretty good at sharing her meals with them.

I've realized that where I'm falling short is my planning. Every so often you have to re-evaluate what stage your child is at and what you are doing to support their development. I have to admit, I did a pretty good job when it came to baby food. I pureed tons of fresh fruits and veggies and rarely cracked open a jar. In fact, it was pretty easy. Throw some vegetables in a blender, spoon into ice trays and you've got meals for weeks! I miss those days. As mothers/chefs we have to be much more creative now because our little people are developing big brains and big opinions too. Toddlers are not shy when they don't like something. They'll be sure to find some adorable way to let you know that lunch sucks. Stella's favorite is using her hand like a windshield wiper on her tray, resulting in food every where except her mouth.

I'm attempting to approach this mommy challenge with a new attitude. Instead of looking for the easy, surefire meal successes: mac-n-cheese, chicken nuggets, diced hot dogs and PB&J, I am planning to make my life more difficult. Join me won't you?! My first plan is going to be just that; an actual plan. I will try my best to avoid the "oh crap its lunch time, what am I going to give her to eat". I'm thinking this might be a good place to start. The next step is to revert back to what worked before and that was the purees. I got so tired of putting vegetables on Stella's tray just for her to play with them that I quit offering them to her, not good. She needs those veggies! I picked up a copy of Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook "Deceptively Delicious", I'm sure you've heard of it. Her method is to stock your freezer with pureed fruits and veggies and add them to meals your kids already like.

I'm hoping that the book might help spark some creativity in my kitchen and provide some better nutrition for my growing girl. Shocking as it may seem after reading this post, I'm actually a pretty decent cook. So if I come up with any yummy recipes of my own I'll be happy to share. If you can relate to my struggles I hope this encourages you to try and find healthy, nutritious meals to feed your children. If not, you can at least laugh at how lame I am.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Little miss independent

From the very beginning we've known that Stella has a mind of her own. She wants what she wants when she wants it, no doubt about it. This entertaining yet difficult part of her personality once again disrupted what I had planned for today. A friend of mine is the nanny of a sweet little two year old girl and the four of us had plans to walk at this beautiful park and take pictures in the wild flowers. Doesn't that sound just adorable?! Well that's what I tried to tell Stella but she had plans of her own and they didn't involve flowers. Actually I really don't know what they involved but she was on a mission. The first picture is my friend and her little girl sitting pretty for a picture. The next is Stella. Sitting pretty? I don't think so.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mommy Dearest

Sometimes when Stella is tired and whiny, or screaming for whatever reason, I just don't know what to do with her. So tonight, as I was trying to get her out of our bedroom, she let out her usual scream of disapproval. I don't have the ability to explain to a one year old why she needed to leave our bedroom, nor was she able to express her frustration with this in words. So she screamed and screamed and to get her to stop I decided to scream back. "See, mommy can do it too". She actually thought it was pretty funny and she did stop screaming, mission accomplished. Mike, doing the dishes and listening from the kitchen chimes in; "Its a good thing we don't have any wire hangers". I fell down in the hall hysterical, with tears of laughter running down my cheeks. Then I tried to do my best Joan Crawford impression. Priceless moment.


Why is it that so many women feel that they have to do it all? They have to be a super mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and employee. Not only do you fulfill all of these roles but you have to look good while doing it. Basically we want to be perfect. If we are not, we at least need to appear that way. I tell ya, I spread myself so thin sometimes trying to please everyone, including myself, that I start to feel like a failure. Just because I didn't accomplish the fifty million things on my to-do list for the day does not mean the world is going to end. So why does it feel that way?

It really is incredible the way we stress ourselves out. Over the weekend a co-worker of mine asked me how I was doing and I responded with, "good, but a little stressed out". You know what was one of the biggest things stressing me out? Macaroni salad. That's right, you read that correctly, macaroni salad. I was in charge of bringing the macaroni salad to my sister in-laws house for Easter and with my busy weekend I didn't know when I would have the time to make it. Thinking about this now I can't believe I actually told someone I was stressed about making a dang macaroni salad! If this sounds a little familiar to you then let me suggest this: put your priorities in check. To do this I think we need to change our thought process first. Decide what is really important in your life then check yourself on a daily basis. Better yet, an hourly basis. What's on your to-do list for the day? Is it stressing you out? Is it really important or just macaroni salad important? This might help to put things into perspective.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Playground patience

It is so fun to take Stella to the playground now that she is walking. She absolutely loves it and runs from one thing to the next the whole time we are there. Yesterday I went to the mall with Stella, my mom and niece. The mall in my area is great because it has two inside play areas that are rubbery and soft, so they are pretty safe for a stumbling toddler. One of the areas is supposed to be for babies, toddlers and preschoolers; at least that is what the monkey says at the entrance. Well yesterday there were quite a few kids in there that I'm pretty sure were none of the above. We were having a great time at first, Stella was bouncing around as usual. After a while it got a little chaotic with larger kids running everywhere, and not at all concerned about knocking over little ones. I could feel the anxiety building up every time another kid bumped, stepped on or raced past Stella. I thought to myself, "they are just kids, have some patience". How crappy is that though! I have to have patience all day with Stella and now I have to have patience for other people's kids too, ugh.

Stella made her way to the slide and was slowly climbing up to enjoy her little ride, so cute. After about the fourth kid walking over her I started to get frustrated. Where the heck were the parents? Most were sitting around chatting or staring off into space. Umm, hello? Come get your kid, he is blocking the slide and there is a line of about fifteen other kids behind him! Lets pay attention here folks! Even though Stella didn't seem to be bothered, I guess I didn't have enough patience for the playground that day. Next time I will remember to practice my relaxation breathing before entering a mall playground, geesh.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


It surprises me every so often when I look at Stella and realize I love her more than the day before. I thought my heart was full and I couldn't possibly love her anymore, yet I do. I am occasionally overwhelmed by the feelings you get once you become a mother. This new expansion of my heart is not always happy though, It can feel very sad too. This morning Mike informed me that the little girl gone missing in Tracy, CA. was found dead. Sandra Cantu was only 8 years old and her life was ended in a horrible way. This news left me sickened and even though I do not know this girl or her family I shed tears for them. It is because I am a mother that I feel the sadness so strongly; my heart has changed. Even though this change has brought a stronger sense of sadness along with the joy, I accept it gratefully. I guess you don't get the joy without a little bit of pain. That is kind of what motherhood is all about.

God Bless Sandra and her family.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My apologies to the dogs

At some point in our lives we realize that the world does not revolve around us. Our sweet little children don't fully understand this quite yet. This is why the new bed we just bought for our two miniature dachshunds has become Stella's new bed. She has also adopted their new bones. Our poor dogs, life will never be the same for them. As far as Stella is concerned she rules the world!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


There comes a time when you have to do more than just bathe, feed, and cuddle your baby. You actually have to parent. Seriously, you actually have to be a parent! For me it has been a slow process of small realizations every time Stella reaches a new milestone. The day she started to crawl was the first time I really went “ok, its probably going to get interesting here”. You get a little taste of parenting when your baby becomes mobile because you are constantly following them around to make sure they aren’t getting into something dangerous or really messy. Then they start walking and man do they get busy! How does such a little person move so fast? One second Stella is playing with her toys in the living room and the next she is running down the hall with a bottle of nail polish. It’s all giggles for her too, especially when you are trying to take something she isn‘t supposed to have. It is one of Stella’s favorite games really; she grabs a black Sharpie and laughs while mommy chases her to get it. It doesn’t end well for her though because mommy usually wins. At this point there is a bit of screaming. It’s raspy and cute and it makes me laugh but here is where the parenting comes in. I can’t just grab things from her all day or we are going to have a day full of the raspy screaming which is only funny in small doses. Ideally the first choice would be to make her environment as kid friendly as possible. The best way to handle these conflicts is to avoid them all together, but we all know this is not always possible. Another choice is to distract the mischievous one with another toy or something else that might interest them. This way you are not always having to say “no”, which gets pretty old. “Mommy said no, mommy said no”, I annoy myself saying that all the time. Unfortunately we do have to say “no” sometimes because that is what they understand. You can’t give lengthy explanations on how you will get electrocuted from playing with plugs and sockets, you’ll just get a blank stare. What I’m learning is to find a happy medium. I try to make a nice, safe place for Stella to play and when she finds some trouble I direct her to something that will keep her busy and of course there is the unavoidable “mommy said no”. With a combination of these parenting techniques hopefully we can have a tantrum free day, or at least keep them to a minimum.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Burn baby burn!

Check out the latest fitness craze! Some of you may have seen these at the gym and passed by the cannon ball with the handle. Probably thinking, what the heck do you do with you do with that thing? This medieval looking thing is actually called a kettlebell and you can do oodles of exercises with it. Some of my close friends and family may be a little hesitant to try it because workouts I've suggested in the past didn't exactly stick. Those of you who still have a mini trampoline in your living room know what I'm talking about.

I'm not alone on this one though. Kettlebells are becoming increasingly popular. They were featured in the January/February issue of Women's Health magazine. They say the reason it works so well is because all the weight is centered below the handle and when you swing it almost every muscle in your body has to work to counteract the momentum. The result is a total body work out! Awesome right! Another cool thing is the amount of metal it replaces in an at home gym. You can use this workout tool in place of most traditional equipment and not only do you save space but you save time too. You can do this at home so you don't need 90 minutes of weight training at the gym. I keep mine in my living room right along with the Stella's Little People and their farm house. Its easily accessible so I can do my exercises in between Stella's breakfast and our trip to the park. Mine looks more like a medicine ball with a handle but it works the same way. I got it at Target for around 30 dollars. I have also seen them at Sports Authority and I imagine you can find them anywhere that sells fitness equipment. Happy fat burning!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Expect the Unexpected

Being pregnant for the first time is quite the learning experience. During my pregnancy I scoured many books and spent countless hours searching the Internet. I wanted to know everything that was happening to my body and the little person growing inside. But as well prepared as I thought I was, nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow.

I was certain that I was going to breastfeed my daughter. In my mind that's what a mother does and I didn't want to miss out on any part of being a new mom. Though I had been told that some women struggle with nursing, I didn't think I would. My mom said that I would be able to feed my baby just fine and mom knows everything, right? However, after an exhausting but relatively smooth labor we brought our bundle home, and I eventually went from exhausted to down right miserable.

It was about a week before the hell began. We spent the first week like most new parents delirious, joyful and doubting nearly every decision we made. But before Stella and I could really get the breastfeeding thing down I started to feel sick. Trying to diagnose what was happening to me was extremely frustrating. Every time I tried to feed my baby I became very nauseous. I was prescribed some medication that was supposed to help but the sickness got much, much worse. Did I have a mastitis? The flu? No answers. I remember the night I gave up on nursing Stella. I was totally defeated and very sad. I felt like such a failure though the relief that came with that decision was almost as strong as the sense of defeat. At this point the smell of my own baby was making me nauseous and I just couldn't do it anymore. Unfortunately my illness was caused by something more than nursing and I spent the next four days in bed. My husband was doing everything. My mom and niece came over a lot to help as well. I felt useless as a mother and sicker than I'd ever been in my life. Not exactly how I had envisioned my first weeks home with my brand new baby.

To make things worse, as if they could've been, it was almost two months before I started feeling the special bond that a mother feels to her child. Talk about depressing. I wasn't able to nurse and my illness had sucked all the life out of me. I didn't even feel like a person, let alone a mother. It was a devastating but thankfully short-lived experience.

The first weeks with Stella were nothing like I'd imagined. The wonderful part though is that there are no time limits on bonding with your baby, no deadlines to be met. I just need to love my daughter, because she definitely loves me. Seeing us today you would never know we started out the way we did. We adore each other, just like a mother and child should.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

gimme gimme

Before I start this post I just want to say that I am guilty, guilty, guilty! But . . . what is the deal with all the crap we buy our kids? Can you say over indulgence people! As the mother of a 14 month old and part of one of the largest consumer groups ever; I have bought my baby everything under the sun, and then some. Half of the toys she never even liked and how many toys does one baby really need? They just want everything out of your cupboard anyway! I should just give her some wooden spoons and let her go to town. But I can't risk her not having all the developmental toys right? She has got to learn how to stack blocks or else she won't learn anything in preschool and then she will be behind in elementary school and then she'll never get into college! The excuses we come up with to buy more stuff are endless. You can always find a reason why you NEED something. I am pretty sure that I am not the first new mom to participate in the baby shopping extravaganza but lets hope I learned something from it when the next one comes along.

What really gets us is when our kids start asking for stuff, that's when mom really goes off her rocker. When they see the amazing new toys on commericals or that the neighbor kid has. How do you control it then? Its like a double assault, not only do you want your kids to have everything but now they want it too! Self discipline seems like a pretty easy concept but yet it is so hard for many of us to implement. Christmas for example, if you say you've never gone a little overboard on Christmas then you are a big, fat liar! The spending frenzy of holidays can be intoxicating, exciting, stomach wrenching, and stressful all at once and we still do it every year. Maybe we should focus on making memories with our kids rather than buying them the toy they so desperately want, can't live with out and won't play with for more than a month. Do you know anyone that buys their kids gifts for Easter? I sure do! An Easter basket, a little candy, no problem. But video games and new clothes, come on.

Now don't forget, I have admitted my guilt in this area but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try to control my spending impulses. Our kids really don't need all the stuff we buy, the "moms are big suckers" industry just makes you think they do, resist! By Teaching your kids at a young age that they don't need and won't get all the stuff they want you are actually doing them a favor. Just tell them that next time they are asking for a new Barbie; "trust me honey, mommy is doing you a favor by not buying you this toy". I'm sure they will understand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I've got a biter folks!

Who knew someone so sweet could be so vicious! I've always known that babies like to chew on things when they get new teeth, but nobody ever told me my baby was going to chew on me! My husband gets a huge kick every time my little sweetie sinks her teeth into my skin. She always manages to get just a little bit too, and man those teeth are sharp!

So what are you supposed to do? Usually my instincts would tell me to swat her away like a mosquito, but my baby isn't an insect. I try to remain calm because I can only imagine what it must feel like to have tiny sharp teeth cutting through your gums, but holy cow does it hurt!

I've heard some parents say "bite her back, it worked for me!" Maybe it does work but can you really imagine biting your child, it sounds a little ridiculous. A method that I've tried, and probably will continue with is a gentler approach. I look Stella in the eyes and say "no biting, that hurts". Has she bitten me again? Of course, but at least I am teaching her something constructive! Its all about learning.

Dr. Lawrence C. Pakula of the American Association of Pediatrics seems to be on the same train of thought. He suggests explaining to the child in a concise way that we do not bite because it hurts people. The longer drawn out explanations only provide more attention to the negative behavior. To reinforce this we shouldn't allow the child to bite pets or stuffed animals either. Pakula also mentions that interrupting the behavior before it starts is helpful as well.

So even though I continue to get bit on occasion, and my husband laughs, I think I will just stick to what I'm doing. Because in the grand scheme of things this is just a phase and eventually Stella won't have the urge to bite me anymore, thank God! Hopefully in the future when she is playing with other children and gets frustrated she won't bite because she knows "biting hurts people"!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Hello moms, friends and family. I have decided to create a blog to write about the thing that I'm most passionate about. The thing that has given me more joy in one year than I have ever experienced in my whole life; motherhood.

Since the birth of my daughter Stella I have been searching for something that allows me to stay at home but still have the ability to contribute outside the home. Going through all the trials that a new baby brings I have spent countless hours on the computer looking for ways to get my baby to sleep, eat and much more. What I noticed is that I am not alone! There are so many moms out their looking for answers, support and just someone who can relate to the challenges of motherhood. I'd love for this blog to be a place where other moms can get those things. I hope to provide some tips on getting little ones to eat, or fun activities to do with a toddler. I also hope to give some comic relief with a funny story or two.

What this blog will become I'm just not sure. You'll have to come back and see! I look forward to sharing the adventure of motherhood with you and I plan to have more for you soon.