Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stir Crazy

We have had two back to back episodes of the stomach flu around here. I didn't even know that was possible. It started the Friday before Thanksgiving on Noah's birthday weekend. The kids started throwing up. They felt miserable. Sunday they seemed a little better, and Monday they were fine. I took them to the gym as usual. I couldn't do my usual workout with out my heart rate at 172 which was strange. By Monday evening on Nathan's long work day I had the sickness too. Tuesday night Ethan woke up 5 times vomiting again. Then Noah started having worse episodes of the poops. It continued until the Saturday after Thanksgiving when I caught the second round of it, 1 day after I recovered from the first. I feel better now, and now Noah has a cold. Why do I bother telling you? Well, because the kids are getting stir crazy and its really getting quite funny.

Ethan has always been the kind of guy that likes to get out of the house. Since I have been too sick to take him anywhere and he is feeling better he is getting really antsy. When he gets bored he invents new, dangerous games. He tries to find new things to jump off of and Noah thinks its awesome, and before he came down with the cold, he was all about attempting the same daredevil activities as Ethan. Other games invented include Ethan making pictures with Cheerios and then freaking out when Noah ate an integral piece of the picture, Ethan dialing the operator over and over and telling her he wants to watch tv and then holding the phone out to Noah so Noah could say, "Bah." When I poured out the last of the V8 Fusion juice into Ethan's cup this morning (which he doesn't even like) he started jumping up and down saying, "Its all gone! We need to go to the store to get more!!!" Can you say Desperate For Somewhere to GO?!

On another note, since the sickness I don't want any of my usual favorite foods, including coffee, chocolate, oatmeal, toast, turkey sandwiches, apples, peanut butter. What am I supposed to EAT?? My appetite is back and I am starving. Please post ideas.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Something wild just happened. Both boys woke up prematurely from their nap, and I talked them into going back to sleep. A first in my motherhood career. So I decided to write a blog because I left my book in Noah's room.

There are some days when I really think I could breastfeed Noah until he is 1. I am almost there. 3 months to go. It doesn't seem like that long. Then something happens like last night. Nathan and I were watching Office reruns as usual and Michael mentions wanting a Frosty. The urge to have a Frosty overcame me so greatly I almost couldn't take it. Or I will drive by an Italian restaurant and smell cheese. My mouth starts watering with the scent. I want dairy so badly. I WANT A FROSTY!!!

Then I say to myself, really Beth? You are going to cut breastfeeding short because you want a Frosty? Have you no self control, woman? Seriously.

Sigh. Like I have a choice. The weaning to a cup thing is going very slowly. I mean, its going. Just. So. Slow.

Oh, and Noah is learning to sleep a little better. So some nights I can get 6-8 interrupted hours. Victory. Almost. He still wakes up once or twice and needs assistance in getting back to sleep. The last two nights I have gone in there and he is standing up and he starts laughing and dancing when he sees me coming. Nice.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ethan the Empathizer

I bought the Sunday paper yesterday because I am going to start couponing--maybe. Anyway, the paper was lying where Ethan could get it and he pulled out the comics section. His eyes landed on The Peanuts. In the comic Lucy hands Snoopy and balloon and tells him not to lose it, and of course, he does in the comic strip. Ethan starts yelling,

"OH NO! OH NO! The doggy! Balloon! Sad! Balloon! I sad! I sad!" Repeat like 5 times. He is near tears and I had to reassure him that it was ok, that the doggy could get another balloon at the store several times.

Oh, and another funny about Ethan. I often say to him, "Just a minute, Ethan." When he is calling me to come to him from another room. Yesterday he climbed into the bathtub and started making a lot of noise with his bath toys and Noah was sleeping in the next room so I asked him to please get out of the bathroom and come into the playroom, and he said, "Just a minute, Momma!" Same tone, and voice inflection of my own. I guess he told me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Survey on Happiness

I have had this blog circulating in my head for a month. Lack of time to myself, and not quite sure I know what I am talking about has kept me from writing. So, I ask you for your opinions.

In my conversations with people in the three life stages of:

1. Single, no children

2. Married, no children

3. Married, have children

I noticed a trend on happiness and life satisfaction level. Now, it could be that my pool of informants were too narrow, I know this, so that is why I am asking if you have an opinion to please post it.

The single people I have talked to seemed...sad.


Discontent with life.

The married people (no children) I talked to seemed happier.

More content

But tense about the inevitable frustrations that come from living on planet earth. Such as, financial setbacks from car repairs and medical bills, school loans, and irritating coworkers.

The married people (with children) seemed...tired. Oh, so very tired. But... happiest. Most content. Joyful. Peaceful. Accepting of things like no money, and job frustrations. Perhaps because they have decided those things don't matter so much and they are finding joy in their little ones, and they have the family unit and do not feel lonely. Or they are just too tired to give all the other stuff the energy required to be frustrated and mad and don't have the time to contemplate things that might make them sad.

So, what do you think? What is your life stage? Are you happy? Are you content? Do you want more out of your life?

Just wondering.

Me, Personally?

I am tired. Beyond Exhausted most of the time. For my birthday in a few weeks, I want the one thing money can't buy. I want to sleep through the night!!! Oh, and to lose the weight I have gained, which now may be possible since I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid the other day and I am now medicated so I might be able to. YAY! Other than that, I have every thing I want. I love my husband. He is the perfect man for me. I couldn't ask or dream of anyone better. I love my babies. Ethan is smart, and funny, and loving, and sweet and he looks so much like his dad. Noah is happy, focused, active, adorable in every way, and in my opinion, drop dead gorgeous for a boy. They both bring me more joy than I ever thought was possible to experience outside of heaven. While we aren't rich, and we daily have concerns over how we are going to pay for big expenses like replacing our a/c, and leaky roof, we aren't starving and we can buy what we need (and needs include a few items from Gymboree when they have their summer sale, ok?) I am happy. Very happy. Slightly insane on any given day from lack of sleep and not knowing how to parent a toddler and not speaking to adults on a regular basis, but I am very very very happy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Lesson I Learned in the Last Six Months

Next week my little Noah will be six months old! Almost a grown up. We had a really hard adjustment period initially. Noah was up a lot of the night because he was very gassy. Ethan decided after Noah was born to start night waking again and to stop taking naps. I was extremely tired. Some days I might have only gotten two hours sleep. Ethan threw a lot of tantrums. He tried to hit the baby. Any time I would feed Noah, or Noah would wake up from a nap Ethan was not a happy camper and the tantrums would start. I remember when Noah was six weeks old Ethan stopped screaming when I would get up from the dinner table to feed Noah. He had gotten used to the fact that things had changed and that meant I wouldn't always sit down with him while he ate. He was used to Noah being around. By the time Noah was four months old Ethan seemed like he was starting to like Noah. He was helping me on a regular basis with diapers or finding Noah's clothes, making sure Noah was in his carseat and his toy was properly positioned. By the time Noah was 5 months he started calling him, "Oah." This past month he has started playing with him. He plays peek-a-boo, gives him toys, tries to shove the pacifier in his mouth, rubs his head when he passes by. He stopped throwing tantrums constantly when I realized the main source of the tantrum throwing. Life for the most part, is really good now.

But there were dark days. Very dark days. When I was tired, and Ethan was tantrumy, and Noah was gassy and Nathan was nowhere close to coming home for the day I really didn't think I could do this. This mothering two kids thing. A friend suggested I do Mom's Morning Out. It is a program at local churches that let you drop your 18-24month old off for a couple of hours one morning a week. This would give me a chance to take a nap with the baby. Sounded good. Really good. My husband informed me that there wasn't room in the budget for something like that. I was like, "Oh, yeah? I'll find it!" I really didn't think my sanity could take my life as it was. I looked at the budget. He was right. No matter what I tried to shave off, the money just wasn't there. There were times when I thought Ethan seemed so unhappy I wondered if he would be better off in a daycare like setting. Would he be better off somewhere else? With anyone else but me? He always seemed so much happier when there was someone other than me around. When we were alone together the monster child would come out. I knew it was because he was jealous and he wanted all of my attention. I tried to give him as much as I could, but it never seemed to be enough. He was never happy. I wondered if it would be less hard on him if he were in a different setting. It didn't matter because we didn't have the money, but I had moments of doubt if at home with me was really the best place for him.

I am glad we didn't have the money. It forced me to learn some really important things. I learned how to be more patient when I felt stretched to my absolute limit. I don't do it perfectly every time, but more often than I used to, I take a deep breath and repeat my mantra: He is only two. He is only two. He is the baby you prayed for. He is precious. He is only two. Then I try to make my next words to him kind (even if he needs to be punished) and sensitive to his feelings. Usually, the root of Ethan's problem is he is feeling unloved at the moment in time he is throwing a tantrum. He is feeling frustrated that I will not give him what he wants. The biggest change in his behavior came when I changed mine. I started looking him in the eyes when he would tell me something. I started touching his back and rubbing it when he was starting to get worked up while I was breastfeeding and trying to give him the words to help him express himself. I started making a point to sit down with him several times a day to snuggle, read books, and tickle him. Once I started learning how to love him better he didn't seem to need to fight so hard with me to get my attention. He started liking Noah more.

I don't think I could have learned how to love Ethan better, and how to balance having two babies if I had sent Ethan to someone else to take care of. I don't think Ethan would know beyond a doubt that I love him so very much. I think he gets it now. Because I get it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I hate going grocery shopping. I hate going to Costco. I have a 19lber strapped to me in a sling, and a screaming whining two year old in the cart. Buying items in the bulk make them heavy and hard to lift in and out of the cart with a baby strapped to me. Plus, its huge and I have to walk REALLY fast to get through before Ethan loses it and I always forget something and I have to go back. But I do have a favorite part. When we get to the check-out some store personnel usually comes to help me as they see I am struggling lifting a million pound box of diapers onto the conveyor belt. They see Ethan and say,

"Hi, there!"

Ethan screams.

"Oh, wow. Ok." They usually say, or something like that. Then they look at Noah.

"Oh! Look at YOU! Aren't you smiley! He's smiling at me! How CUUUUUTE!"

"The difference in temperments." I say.

"Yes." They reply with raised eyebrows.

Now, of course I think that Noah is perfect in every way. He really is the happiest baby I can imagine.

But honestly, if I could get away with screaming when a stranger talks to me, I would. That's my boy. I love him. And his screaming at strangers pleases me very much.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


There is this old man at my gym that feels the need to talk to me when he sees me. I am not big on talking to people I don't know for casual conversation. I never strike up conversations with random strangers and I am always a little surprised when others do so with me. When he sees me coming I try to dodge him, but with the two little ones in tow I am a slow mover. Usually, he gets me. All of our conversations go like this:

"Hi, so you had your baby?"

"Yes." Clearly.

"What's her name?"

"HIS name is Noah." For the upteenth time...




"Noah. N-O-A-H. Like the guy who built the ark."

"Ohhh. Noah. Unusual."

I nod but I am thinking, Not really. Its actually been around for centuries.

"Its pretty."

Pretty? So not what we were going for.

"So, how is Ethan? Did I tell you my grandson's name is Ethan?"

"Yes, and you also mentioned they are the same age."

"Yes, but my Ethan is much bigger than yours."

Oh, really, that is kind of sad for him then, because my Ethan is at the top of the growth charts for height, and right smack in the middle for weight so this would make his Ethan fat and obscenely tall. How unfortunate.

"Good seeing you. Keep up the workouts young lady."


Sigh. I'll see him again in a few days. For certain, he will catch me and we will repeat this conversation.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr. Sears, I love you, but...

One of my favorite authors to read for information on how to nurture your babies well are Dr. Sears (all of them). He is a big proponent of attachment parenting.

Attachment Parenting is defined at the AttachmentParenting.org website as-The essence of Attachment Parenting is about forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children. Attachment Parenting challenges us as parents to treat our children with kindness, respect and dignity, and to model in our interactions with them the way we'd like them to interact with others.

I have done my best to implement this since having Ethan. Its really really hard, but I have tried my hardest because I think it is the right thing to do. The primary ways the Sears say to do this is breastfeeding, babywearing (carry them a lot and use a sling if it helps), and co-sleeping or bedding close to your baby, and belief in their cries (don't ignore them or let them "cry-it-out").

All right so now after doing this for the past two years, I have some questions of practicality for good ol' Dr. Sears. I am not trying to be antagonistic. I really want to be an attentive and loving parent, but some of his suggestions on how to handle certain situations are just not working.

1. We did the bed sharing thing with Ethan and we ran into the problem of his diaper leaking every night when he was 10-15 months old because he still took bottles at night. We woke up every morning to pee sheets. He also had a fondness for sleeping horizontally and taking up most of the space on the bed OR he wanted to sleep on top of me or his dad all night. I cannot sleep while someone is touching me. The result? We HAD to get him in his own room and his own bed before the new baby came because not only did the baby deserve a nice dry place to sleep and to not be kicked on, Ethan is a light sleeper and would wake up to new hungry baby noises. So, Dr. Sears, if we are supposed to let our children sleep where they sleep best, and if that is with the parents, then what should we do if it is not the best for the rest of the family?

Oh, and yes, Dr. Sears, I did try your various suggestions for gently teaching him to sleep in his own room in his own bed without him crying alone but it only worked until the new baby came. When he arrived he completely regressed.

2. You say to breastfeed your new baby on the floor so you can still play with your toddler so they won't feel left out and go get into mischief. Ok, if I could have done that comfortably, MAYBE, but I couldn't. But lets suppose I could. What should I have done about the fact that the toddler kept trying to hit the baby and climb on my back?

3. You say that we should wear our new baby in the sling and our toddler will be happy that I have two hands free to play. What do I do when I put the baby in the sling and the toddler gets jealous and starts screaming bloody murder in public because he would also like to be, "up?" I am sure the attachment oriented parent wouldn't have dragged their toddler who refused to walk back to the car like I did...

4. You say if your baby bites you while breasfeeding that you should press their nose to your breast so they can't breathe for just a second so they will associate it with discomfort and they will stop. What if they DON"T stop and you are getting bitten many many times during a feed while they are teething. THEN can I use a freakin' bottle?! Oh, but what if because you say breastfeeding is best and you have delayed introducing the bottle they refuse it all together and you are now stuck?

Just wonderin'...

Love, Your Fan,


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What I didn't Say

Just to clarify about yesterday's blog--this is what I was NOT saying:

1. I wasn't bashing working moms. Some moms HAVE to work. They love their kids to bits and going to work tears their heart out. These moms have my total compassion. Others go to work because they want to. They love the career, and the money it brings and complain about how their kids act when they pick them up from daycare which is kind of what you have to deal with if you aren't going to be the one raising them yeah?. There is a difference. They don't get to enjoy the preciousness of the children because they don't see it as precious.

2. That we shouldn't use birth control, put our kids in Sunday School, or make our kids act well in public. These are all just symbols that give an example of how our generation seems to view children. You better believe I want Ethan in Sunday school in a nice safe room with a nice person with toys and other children and NOT where I have to keep him from climbing under, and over chairs and getting into electrical equipment. Again, these are just examples of how I see us viewing children. And its just my opinion.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Why Aren't We Having Kids?

An article came up on my igoogle page last week from Wiki. I usually don't read them, but when I do, they are really fun. They are a how-to type thing. This one was called, How to Explain Why You Aren't Having Kids. I didn't read it right away because I was busy, but I kept thinking about it. Why would anyone need to write an article on that? Isn't our generation the most anti-life generation EVER? Then I read the article. It was really good. And then it made sense. It was how to explain why you aren't having kids to people like your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Because people in my generation, the ones not having babies, already have the same mindset of- "Having kids? No, maybe not." It is the older generations that still think having kids are essential to life and need the explanation. So I got to thinking, why is it that my generation is so anti-life?

When I use the term anit-life, I use it because we are more accepting of abortion, and birth-control than any other generation. Most girls don't even think about it, when they get married or become sexually active (whichever comes first) that of course, they will go on the pill, or whatever type of hormone treatment they think is most convenient. They don't consider that some pills actually act as abortificants. Because that is what we do. We avoid making babies, at least until it is convenient. We also have a bad attitude when it comes to children in general. When people we know have babies, they usually are ostracized from their former peer group, because babies can cramp your style. Toddlers are to be avoided at all costs in restaurants, and movies. Children are herded to Sunday school so they do not make noise during church and distract those that are there to "worship." When we hear of a woman who has more than two children, many people look upon her with pity. Oh, and stay-at-home moms, what is THAT? When my generation has a baby, they usually go right back to work and drop their kids off at the closest daycare center. So, that is what I mean when I say we are anti-life.

What if we are anti-life because our first round of the parent-child relationship wasn't so great? We are the first generation to be the offspring of the liberated couples where the woman went to work, and we had joint incomes in our home. We experienced more divorce than any generation before us. Many in my generation were not valued and did not feel loved at home. I read a book recently, and it was by far the best book I have read on parenting. It is called How to REALLY Love Your Child by D. Ross Campbell. He discusses how many children do not feel loved even when their parents adore them. Why? They are not getting one or all three essential things:

1. Eye Contact. I don't know why, but this has made a huge difference for Ethan. The tantrums I was experiencing with him many times per day have dwindled to one a week maybe.

2. Physical Contact. Many parents feel uncomfortable with this after their kids are 5, yeah?

3. Focused Attention. Um, blackberries anyone? Checking email, facebook, twitter?

During my second pregnancy a good friend of mine said that I should get fixed after it was over because it would be terrible to have THREE babies. It made me really sad. Why did she hate the idea of new life so much? Then I remembered, oh yeah. She has one of the most horrible stories when it comes to having a Mommy Wound. Why should she understand how beautiful and amazing it is to have a mother-child relationship? She couldn't, of course she couldn't.

Is that how it is for many people my age? Is that why they don't want children? Is that why many people can't understand why I would want to stay at home with my toddler and baby? Maybe to them it is unthinkable that I see raising my kids to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I only get one shot being their mom. Only one time will Ethan be a crazy, loud, boundary-testing, negative, joyful, exuberant, funny, happy, curious toddler that steals markers and writes on the wall and runs to me to kiss his boo-boos, and joyfully shouts, "Momma!" when I enter the room. Only one time will I get to breastfeed Noah, and sometimes it takes FOREVER and I just want to get up and do something else already, but only one time will he light up with adoration and joy just because he saw my face. Only one time can I watch him discover he can put his foot in his mouth--literally. When my generation doesn't want children or drops them off at daycare, they are missing precious moments with their kids, and then what will happen? Will the next generation be like us or even more anti-life? At least they won't need a wiki article to tell people why they don't want kids.

Please feel free to leave comments and tell me how wrong you think I am. I welcome feedback.