Category Archives: Parenting

Trying for Family Pictures

So, this time I gave up on getting a good family picture.  This will be the first spring that I haven’t gotten one of all of us.  My tradition had been to get a group photo every spring and fall to see how we have all changed.  This time, it was hard to get the kids to cooperate at all, being that everyone was recovering from a cold, but we were able to make it a little fun.

After getting a couple pictures of R for her birthday, we decided to be crazy and let the kids play with paint for the pictures.  It was non-toxic, washable kid’s paint, so what is the worst that could happen?

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I am happy to say that the paint was well contained by the sheets and everyone had a good time.  J also got a very smeary piece of artwork to put in his office.  This picture was taken right before L decided to put his paint covered hands on his face.  Of course, R copied him about 5 seconds later.  Bath time for everyone!

Do I blame Christmas?

I don’t know if this happens with all kids, but L has gone insane over the past month.  Is it due to his age or due to Christmas, I can’t tell.  I can say for sure that this is the first year that he has really understood that Christmas is coming and that he is getting presents (contingent upon good behavior).

This past month has been a challenge and I only foresee it getting worse.  Blatantly ignoring the rules that he once had no problem following.  Screaming “NO” at us when we ask him to do a simple task.  Crying at almost anything.  Constantly whining.  And oh the potty training.  The potty training is a whole different post.

Is this the transition from being a three-nager to the effing fours?  Is this just Christmas and we get to look forward to this every year?  I will let you know next month when the holidays have passed and hopefully the attitude has too.  ::fingers crossed::

Work, work, work

Now that I am back to work full-time, after a short bout of pneumonia, I am having a hard time figuring out what my goals are.  I love my children and want to be there for them, especially since schools/daycare/activities in my town seem to always end at 5pm.  Being there for them is really difficult with my current hours and commute.  On the other hand, I am enjoying working on my projects, having adult interaction, and bringing home a paycheck.  I guess this is the dilema of every mom out there; what is the balance between what is best for me and what is best for my family.

Guilt Attack

This morning, as I was sitting on the couch feeding R, L scoots over next to me and lays his head on my shoulder.

L: I love you, Mommy.
Me: I love you too.
L: I miss you, Mommy.
Me: I miss you too, Buddy.

Enter the working mom guilt.

L has been having a hard time since I went back to work.  R has been having a hard time too, but I think her issue is more that she still refuses the bottle.  L got used to me being home and having energy to play with him in the evening.

12 weeks01My sweet little girl is 12 weeks old already!  I am so enjoying this time home with her and not looking forward to going back to work soon.  I will miss her so much!

Camping with Little Ones

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Banana slugs are fascinating

Recently we decided to be crazy brave and go camping over the weekend with the kids.  We have taken Liam camping before, just after he turned 1, and it was great.  We were gone for a week and there was lots of family around to give us a hand with him.  This time, we went camping for a weekend with an almost 3 year old and a 2 month old.  Yikes!  Luckily, we happened to go with people that had older kids and they gave us a ton of help with watching Liam.  After this most recent camping experience, I have a few tips to make camping with little ones a little less stressful.  We actually ended up over-packing quite a bit, but I know that if we had left anything out that would be when we needed it.

  1. Bring lots of wipes and then pack even more.  We went through a ton of baby wipes because both kids pooped a ton while camping (of course).  We also used them to clean L's face/hands/feet/arms throughout the day and on our own faces/hands.  They are also nice to use to give your feet a quick wipe-down before bed to keep the sheets clean.
  2. Bring toys for the dirt.  We brought L's construction vehicles and they were a big hit.  They kept him occupied for hours during the trip!  I think we all would have gone a little insane if we didn't have those toys to keep him occupied while in camp.
  3. Plan on the kids being dirty all the time.  
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    You have a little something on your face…

    Every time we tried to clean L's hands up before a meal, he would walk away and start playing in the dirt.  Eventually, we decided to just let him eat with dirt under his fingernails.  Unless you are staying in a cabin (also known as not really camping), dirt is going to be everywhere no matter what you do.  Might as well just give in early and enjoy it.
  4. Citronella candles.  R is to young for bug spray, so the only way to keep her from being eaten by the mosquitos was to hang out near a citronella candle.  It worked great because she didn't get any bug bites… J and I won that lottery.
  5. Make sure there is a good adult to kid ratio.  2 adults to every 1 child is a minimum to have a good time.  This ratio allows time for everyone to relax and sit around the campfire at some point while someone else is chasing the children.  If there are more kids than adults, the camp will quickly be overrun.  In a pinch, older kids can substitute as adults for the purpose of distracting the younger ones.
  6. Pack 2 complete outfits for each day.  We did not end up using all of the clothes we packed for R, but L went through almost all of his (see #3).  Kid clothes don't take up a ton of space, so squish a couple extra onesies or t-shirts in where you can.

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Just watching the trees

You would think that camping with a baby was difficult, but it was the preschooler that was giving us heart palpitations constantly.  The baby just wanted to be held, her food was mobile and available with minimal fuss, and she only woke up once a night and went right back to sleep after eating.  The preschooler was fighting bedtime, refused to nap, picky about his food, and did not understand the concept of "in or out" when it came to the tent.  All in all, just being a normal, exhausting, little boy.

Even with how tiring it was, we had a great time.  L loves being outside (he gets that from J) and the lack of TV just blew his mind.  R enjoyed sitting with me and just staring at the shadows made by the wind moving the trees.  I hope that we can go again later this summer or fall before it gets too cold for the kids.