Friday, October 22, 2010

Another giveaway site...check it out!

So, another giveaway blog I follow is Minnesota Mama's Must Haves and she has got some great giveaways this Christmas season in her Holiday Gift Guide 2010. You've got to check her out!

The sneak preview of her line-up this season made me very excited and I can't wait to start entering! Who couldn't use a little help this holiday season? The Holiday Gift Guide 2010 begins November 1 and runs through December!

If you add her Holiday button before November 1st, you get extra entries into her giveaways! So hurry on over!! What are you waiting for?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10 Randoms

1. As of yesterday, Max is now on a gluten-free diet. Please Lord, let it help him. And help me.

2. I found a crayon in the washing machine and a pacifier in the dryer yesterday.

3. I couldn't find my phone earlier when it was ringing - I later found it in the kitchen sink.

4. Today has been one of the most exhausting days I have had so far with two kids. Does everybody have to cry at the same time (and I'm including myself in this scenario)?

5. If I have to vacuum and mop the floor around where my son eats one more time I might jump in front of the mail truck.

6. My dog pooped on the floor today and my son got so upset about it that he threw his chicken across the room.

7. My newborn won't stop crying unless I hold him and I can't hold him all the time because of my 2-yr old, so I might not make it through today without major medication or alcohol.

8. Max colored on the den wall yesterday with a red crayon. Thank God for the Magic Eraser.

9. My 2-yr old only took a 30 minute nap today and is now way too tired, so again, I might not make it through this day without major medication or alcohol.

10. Since I can't take the time to pamper myself while taking care of two fussy small children everyday, I am going to visualize what I would do if time and money were no object.


Aaaahhh, I am so relaxed. It is such a nice change to get to eat my food while it is still hot and watch a morning show while I drink my hot tea. Ahhhhh... What a great day. I think after I casually sip my tea and slowly eat my warm bagel instead of having to shove a cold bagel down my throat in between taking care of everyone else, I will get a pedicure and then maybe do a little shopping. I could use some new cozy sweaters and furry boots. Also, I think I will stop by Kohl's and buy that soft, long, white robe I've been wanting. Then, after I stop off for a hot, hazelnut soy latte, I will go home, put on that soft new robe and watch my DVRed shows from the last few weeks that I haven't had time to watch and maybe even get to eat a hot dinner. By myself. In silence. Around 9 pm, I will snuggle up into bed, without a headache or anxiety for once, pull out that book I have been too exhausted to read, and sip some Sleepytime tea until I fall into a deep, peaceful sleep that no one will wake me from until morning. It will feel so great to get a good night's sleep. Ahhhh...I am so relaxed. What a great day.

Okay...I feel better.

Back to reality. I'm going to go take some Ibuprofen for my headache, eat M&Ms to escape my life, brush my teeth, try to get dressed before 3 pm, eat more M&Ms, try not to lock my toddler in the closet, and watch out the window for my husband to come home and help.

Drink some wine for me, will you?

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Meeting of the Mommy Kind

So, we had our meeting with Max's preschool teacher this morning. It wasn't an easy meeting to sit through - it is hard to hear that your child is struggling. When I picked Max up from preschool this afternoon, he suddenly looked so small and vulnerable, so fragile and sweet. I did feel a sense of relief after the meeting simply because now we know what issues to work on.

Here is the short version: Max has several issues which make him different from most children, which I already knew. I mean, you can't have the most out of control child EVERYWHERE you go and not know that something is up. Unless you are in complete denial, which we are not.

He has difficulty with social interaction (he doesn't know how to relate to other children and he tends to hit, not out of meanness, but because he doesn't know how to play) and vocabulary (he is two and still cannot process what he wants to say enough for it to come out of his mouth - he can repeat, but he doesn't come up with the words on his own - this results in extreme frustration). He has sensory issues (he has texture issues with food, he spits out his food, he becomes overstimulated very easily in loud places, his clothes bother him so he takes them off in the playground). He is hyperactive (he has an even shorter attention span than most toddlers and has a lot of trouble sitting still - he is never still enough to watch cartoons or play with toys or hear a story, and has trouble following direction when it involves being composed) and has difficulty with coordination (he falls down more often than other toddlers, which results in lots of bumps and bruises, and he tends not to notice objects in his path). He also struggles with any changes or breaks in his routine.

All of these things are fairly normal in toddlers, however, Max has all of them at once and he is on the extreme end of the spectrum.

His teacher recommended that we take him to a pediatrician to be evaluated for occupational therapy or behavioral therapy. We definitely plan on doing this, but the doctor assigned to Max by his government insurance is not a pediatrician - he is a family practitioner, therefore doesn't specialize in these types of children's issues. So, that is one tiny hurdle, but we will get it ironed out.

His teacher also recommended that we take gluten out of his diet (some ADHD and autistic children improve after gluten and casien are removed from their diets), which I considered doing anyway since I have celiac disease and already eat gluten-free.

As I said before, ADD runs rampant in my husband's family, so I am not surprised by any of this. I was just hoping it wouldn't affect my boys.

But, I'm not discouraged. This is just a point from which to begin. We have some challenges ahead of us, but I am positive that we will overcome them and we are so grateful that Max has such a knowledgable and kind preschool teacher. She was so positive in our meeting and we could see how much she cares for the toddlers in her class.

So, here we go on this journey! Wish us luck!

The Ethertons: A Great Giveaway Blog

So, I love entering giveaways. And I actually win sometimes, too.

One giveaway blog that I love is The Ethertons. She always has really great giveaways for families and kids and there are a couple of really great ones I want to tell you about - maybe you might want to enter, too!

So adorable for both boys and girls! I know my son would love to play with this market stand and I am hoping hoping hoping to win it for him for Christmas! This giveaway ends on 10/29, so hurry and get your entries in!

The second giveaway is for a $100 gift card to My Vintage Baby!!

This website has ADORABLE clothes for both girls and boys! I would love to have all of the clothes for my boys! My son needs winter clothes and their fall collection is precious! This giveaway ends 11/5.

So, get on over to The Ethertons! You will be glad you did!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Boys

So, I am down to posting about once a week now. Maybe someday my boys will be able to wipe their own bottoms and I can post more often. Until then...I'm elbow deep in dirty booties.

I went to pick up my 2 yr. old son from preschool on Wednesday and I saw him swat at the teacher because she was telling him to sit still, which he forever has trouble doing. Then, as soon as he saw me, he let out a high-pitched girlie scream (not using his inside voice) and ran down the hallway toward the parking lot. In the lot, he threw his backpack in a mud puddle and then ran the opposite direction of the car with me running after him and once again carrying his baby brother, backpack (now wet and soggy) and lunch box.

When we got home, I put him in time-out about 10 different times, during which he just looked at me and laughed.

Okay, so he's not really flipping me off in this picture, but that was basically his attitude.

So, this morning we requested a conference with his teacher to match up our disciplinary tactics and make sure we are on the same page at home as at school. The conference is Monday morning, but his teacher (whom we love and adore) went ahead and suggested that we look into putting him in occupational therapy so he can learn how to better channel his high energy levels. He is easily the most out of control child everywhere we go and he has an impossible time sitting still. It is very hard on us as parents because it is difficult to take him places, like restaurants, retail stores, or the doctor's office without him running wild.

My husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law all have ADD, so I wouldn't be surprised if Max has a little of that in him, although he is too young to be diagnosed and I never want him "labeled" as anything but a spirited child!

And here is a Harry update: He just turned six weeks old! Harry is just the easiest baby in the world and doing extremely well. He is truly an angel baby and oh so sweet! I couldn't have asked for a better baby. And he looks a lot like his brother! Here are pictures of them both at 6 weeks. The first two are Max and the next two are Harry!



But looks are where the similiarities end! Max was a very playful baby, just like he is today. By four weeks, Max was smiling and laughing constantly! It was so easy to get a sweet baby giggle out of him. Harry, though, is a more serious baby so far. I have only seen him smile a couple of times and I haven't heard him laugh yet (except in his sleep). He makes you work for one of his smiles!

Neither one of my boys cry very often, but when Max did cry as a baby, it was hard to get him to stop and usually we couldn't figure out why he was crying (btw, Max is the same today - if he cries, it's hard to figure out why or get him to calm down - babies truly are born on day one with distinct personalities). But Harry stops crying as soon as we pick him up and it is very easy to figure out what he is trying to tell us. Max was never a cuddler, and he still isn't, while Harry loves nothing more than to be held.

Their birthdays are only 11 days apart, but Max is a Leo while Harry is a Virgo and I can definitely tell their astrological differences!

Well, that's it for now! I am typing with one hand and holding Harry in the other, so this post is taking forever to type!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Love Affair with Sweat Pants and The TERRIBLE twos with lots of capital Ts.

So, oh my sweat pants. How I have missed your cottony comfort in this long, stifling summer season. When I dipped my legs into your cool coziness this morning, I thought I might never have been happier or more comfortable. Please, never leave me again, sweat pants. I need you to wrap me in your mom-jeanish embrace and carry me away from here. Thank you for letting me wear you all day, then sleep in you, then wear you again the next day. You don't judge. You are my true companion. My soul mate. I love you, my sweet sweat complete me.

I had to express my undying love for all my sweat pants because they are the only things bringing me true joy these days. Not just because regular pants still hurt my c-section incision, but because my two-yr old is trying to kill me. I think Max knows I still have high blood pressure from being pregnant, so he is trying to get me to stroke out.

My husband and I don't believe in spanking, but I might be altering my belief system very soon. Okay, well, not really. I don't have the heart to spank. But, I might swat at him while he runs away from me, laughing at my expense. Ha, ha, mommy. You'll never catch me. Watch while I pee on the living room carpet.

He has been very full of himself lately. The last two weeks have been like hell week in a fraternity and I am the freshman pledge. I'm being hazed. I am being beaten up by a cocky 2-yr old.

I know this is all related to being two years old and having to share the limelight with his new, baby brother.

Here are some of the Terrible Two hurdles we, as parents, have had to clear this week (actually, we pretty much fell over them and collapsed on the floor, panting and bruised):

Last week when I went to pick Max up from preschool, he didn't want to get in the car. I was carrying my newborn, Harry, in one arm, and Max's backpack and lunch box in the other arm. So, no free hands. I tried to coax Max into the car for a couple of minutes until I finally dropped his backpack and lunch box and tried to drag him to the car, to which he responded by throwing himself onto the pavement in the middle of the parking lot behind another mother's SUV WHILE SHE WAS TRYING TO BACK OUT OF THE PARKING LOT.

So, this mother is having to wait to leave with her quiet, obedient child, while I try to scrape my screaming son off the pavement with my one free hand. But, he won't get up. He knows I'm struggling and he is half-fake crying and half-laughing. Meanwhile, his backpack and lunch box are strewn across the parking lot.

I needed both hands to carry him to the car, but I couldn't set my newborn down in the street and I didn't want to leave Max in the middle of the parking lot either in the small chance that someone didn't see him kicking and screaming in the road and ran over him. And the other mothers were starting to stare. One mother gave me a sympathetic smile. I hate those sympathy smiles.

Finally, after Max stood up and then threw himself on the ground again, he stood up for good and I pulled him to the car, buckled him in his seat, put Harry in his car seat, and then sat sweating and panting, embarrassed (although just slightly - I mean, he's a toddler. How much can I really reason with him?), in the driver's seat. Lovely.

Then, this past Tuesday, I really thought Max was going to do me in. Here is just a quick rundown of our day:

he threw his breakfast on the floor,

he threw his snack on the floor, (blood pressure rising)

he dumped out the dog's water dish and as I was running to stop him, I tripped over a step in our house and ripped off half of my toenail (ouch),

he threw his lunch on the floor, (our bull terrier had a feast)

while I was changing his poopy diaper, he reached down, grabbed a handful of poop and wiped it on the sleeve of my CASHMERE sweater that has to be HAND WASHED, (blood pressure rising and who has time to hand wash anything?)

he hit his brother in the head with a drumstick, (baby crying and blood pressure rising)

he threw my bracelet in the toilet while my husband was peeing in it, (blood pressure at all time high and now I have to sanitize my jewelry)

he threw his dinner on the floor, (when is my vacation?)

are you getting the picture? I could go on, but we will all need to get up from the computer at some point.

Also, for the past few weeks, he will only eat five foods: cereal, crackers, applesauce, yogurt and pickles. That is it. Everything else ends up on the wall behind his chair. One morning this week, he had cereal and pickles for breakfast. Grody. And he will only drink milk. No water, no fruit juice, just cow juice (as my grandaddy used to call it).

We have been doing time-outs, although he just looks at us from the corner and laughs. He knows the routine. He will start saying he's sorry while he is still in time-out, and then when his time is up and I am trying to explain to him the reason why he was in time-out, he tries to hurry up and kiss me while I am talking because he knows we always kiss at the end and he wants to get up. No time for your explanations, mommy. Just kiss me and let me outta here.

Ay, yi, yi.

But, in the midst of all the chaos, how can I stay mad at this little face?

It gets me every time. I will always be a sucker for that little face.

Mommy loves you, Max. Always and forever. But I would really appreciate it if you could keep your food on the table. Just a suggestion.