Sunday, November 27, 2011

Potty Training

I don't know about you but nothing has stressed me out as much as potty training my little man.  He is 3 and 1/2 and I thought it would never happen.  Most people were understanding, most remembered, but there were some that always were there to give their unsolicited opinion.  They're the same ones that hand out parenting advice without bothering to ask if you want it or need it.  I am here writing to tell you this:  YOUR CHILD WILL NOT GO UNTIL HE/SHE GOES.  This does not mean, that you or anyone has to decide whether the child is ready or not.  Follow these words, let him or her go when they want to.  Have pottys available, let them know that you are ready to help them when they need it.  

Also make sure that you choose a method that complements your child.  My son is big on security, he needs to feel safe, so starting out with our toilet with those covers for children was not going to happen.  Only you know your child so go with your gut. My husband and I had a few different styles of training pottys, but I knew that my little man would go with this one.  The splash guard is wide enough to not get him wet or spray all over.

You should also go to the library and looked at the books they had about potty training.  Choose a book that your child can relate to.  My son loved these two: 

Next, know what your child really wants.  Mine wanted a video game called SONIC and he also wanted his father and I to let him play it.  I sincerely don't know how it happened, how I came up with it but when the commercial came on for the game and our little man started on how much he wanted it, I told him that we would get it for him if he went pipi in the potty.   Well, within a day, guess what?  HE DID!  That took care of the first time, but how to keep it coming?  Well, every time he went he was allowed to play it for 10 minutes.  We even went on a long road trip, we took his potty and he kept going with the promise that we would deliver.  Today, my little man went number two for the first time.  This is just the begining, like every parent that has gone through this before.  We will have our ups and downs but we will keep at it with positive reinforcement and lots of love.  Good Luck!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Another Fall Day

I LOVE FALL!  Everything looks gorgeous and smells awesome.  I don't know quite how to put it, there is something in the air that makes everything OK.

I think Tom Hank's character in "You've got Mail" explained it almost to perfection (even if he was describing NYC) but his description evoked one of the most vivid images of fall I have experienced.  Pumpkin patches, apple picking, school buses, morning brisk air, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  This season has it all!

I wish this weather would last longer, I wish I had more time to enjoy this season before the winter falls upon us.  I wish I were a better photographer!  I am including just a few of my favorites, trying not to bore you too much.

This year Fall has been a little tough on us.  My little man's allergies and repeated colds due to viruses caught at preschool have made it very hard for him to breathe normally sometimes.  He has suffered from two especially rough asthma episodes in the past month.  I know I promised to keep up and catch up with my posts but I have to be a mommy first.  Needless to say that nebulazations and steroids have been the preferred treatment for his wheezing.  Which by the way doesn't make me happy but without time to research and your child having difficulty breathing what do you do?  Now he is on a daily medication that should lower his  chances to repeat the wheezing.  If anyone has any advice, I am all ears.

I hate that he missed Halloween, he was so looking forward to it.  I hate that I can't have him out for very long if the pollen count is high. I started this post about a week ago and here I am still editing and both mother and child sick in bed.  I really hope he gets better.  We will soon enough know, it all depends on how he breathes tonight.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a great day (power of positive thinking)!

Well today is Thanksgiving and I am surrounded by family with much to be grateful for.  Life is good, complicated, stressful, sad, happy and a huge mess and sincerely I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Staycation in August

This is a very old post that should have been.

The first week of August my boss called me in her office and announced that I was taking a week's vacation that month.  She said that I would not be very helpful if I was burnt out and needed some time away from work to come back refreshed and rested.  I wasn't about to argue but it seemed so unnecessary to take days off when there was so much to do and I had no money to go anywhere.  Ultimately, I found myself trying to find out interesting things to do around home.  You would be surprised on how fast the week went by and how much fun we had.  I loved the time at home with my family and just resting and taking life in.  Here is where we went:

Blackwater Creek Trail - morning walks

We are very blessed to have this located almost in our backyard.  It is safe and the kids love it!

Before you judge, hear me out.  I have been wanting to take my little man to this place for months.  It is one of the largest and oldest independent bookstore, toy-store and teacher supplies!  I was in heaven and so was the little monster.
They have a small outside area with an antique train and a cute pond.  It was a great moment to share as a family.  Little man loved looking at old time toys, he loved that Givens has play areas all over the place and twice as many books appropriate for his age at his reach.

I could not resist taking a photo of this sign, very appropriate!

Mill Mountain Zoo

It was conceived as Mill Mountain Children’s Zoo in 1951. Designed as a children’s zoo with a nursery rhyme theme, doors opened on July 4, 1952. After closing due to monetary problems it reopened as a zoo specializing in North and South American animals.  I like that it still keeps the nursery feel to it.  My nephew and little monster thorough enjoyed themselves that day.  The only thing I would change is trying to go on a cooler day.  It was as hot as the dickens!

It even has its only railroad.  Great entertainment for young boys!

Awesome sister in-law provided entertainment through it all!

So tuckered out!  Both boys passed out in the ride back.  My son never falls asleep in a car ride (yes, I know it totally sucks!) so I knew that he had a great time!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our try at soccer

Funny how sometimes a post is so hard to write that it is necessary to step away, forget and then try it again.  Sometimes, there is something more profund going on and it takes some soul searching to find out what is the matter and this particular post would be the case.  I have always thought of myself as a pretty laid back parent (wait for it) when it comes to expectations.  As long as my child is happy, I am also.  Recently, I found out pretty early on, that this was not the case with soccer.  My sweet super energetic and outgoing child, once he hit the soccer field became this shy, needy, and some times bawling kid.  I literally wanted to crawl under a rock and die.  This was not the behavior that I was used to and COME ON this was soccer.  How could he not like it?  There were so many family moments to enjoy, meeting other parents, rooting for the team, preparing the team snacks.  Teammates, out doors and running, what is there not to like?  Well, my  son did not like it.  In fact he felt overwhelmed with all the attention and kids.  Looking back, I can't say I blame him, his whole existence has been with older people, family and at home in relatively quiet and serene settings.  He went to playgrounds and play-dates but never at the level as soccer practice.

To my surprise, instead of all the positive images I had in my mind about how "OUR" experience would be with soccer, I found myself standing by the goal stand, holding my sons hand, wiping his face and trying very hard to be supportive.  "No son, they are not trying purposely to hit you, No son everyone is not watching you, other than mommy and daddy.  Try it, lets just defend and see what happens." I am half Argentine, this should count for something! My baby boy should be the star of the team, he should love this, he has it in his blood!

After two excruciating Saturdays, we really needed to think if it was worth it.  Through it all, I didn't want my son to hate sports so we talked (my husband, the coach and I) and all agreed that we needed him to at least come to practice and be with his teammates, that giving up is not an option when things get hard or are unknown - that he needed to give it a try.  We really did, there were Saturdays that I didn't want to go and felt embarrassed or sad.  I wanted to stay home on my couch fiddling with my laptop.  I reallized that not only was I having to overcome my motherly hangoups but also be a supportive mom at the same time.  So there we were, holding hands right by the goalie and somehow by the end of the game we weren't holding hands anymore and he was less tense and happy to be there.  There were parents that spoke to us and said that this is normal and it happen to their oldest or to their nephew.  They grow out of it, it has to do with maturity, next spring will be better.

Funny how as parents, we promise ourselves that we will not make the same mistakes our parents made.  We harp on the bad, make lists and mental images of practically every horrifying moment of our childhood.  And then we become our worst enemy.  We turn into what we promised ourselves we wouldn't, how does that make any sense?  One of the things that I blame my parents for is their expectations.  It was so hard to make everyone happy and it still is.  I didn't want to be that mother, but here I am 3 years into it finding out that I am and for all the wrong reasons.  After all three of us made a sincere effort to try this out and when it got too cold, we decided that it was time to hang in the towel.  We taught him that you dont give up at first but I am hoping that we also taught him that if you are unhappy with something in your life you need to let it go and start over.

My love for soccer keeps a flicker of hope that maybe next fall...who knows.   

Weekly Round-ups

Hi there! Hope you enjoy my favorite posts!  It has been a long week.

Things you can make
Make a Fall Tree Button Shirt        Tatertots and Jello

Things for a Mom
Reminder: Daylight Savings Ends on Sunday                    Life your way
How to maintain your zen when kids have lost their ever loving minds           Modern Parents Messy Kids
Want to give your kids an Advantage?                             Not Just Cute
What's your definition of successful parenting?                 Simple Mom

Thing you can cook
How to get out of a cooking rut             Life your way
List of great soup recipes                      List Plan it

Things for the Soul
Plan your peaceful Christmas: Task 1               Simple Mom
8 Frugal ways to reduce holiday stress             Life your way
I'm selling dahlia pins to raise money for charity : water          Not martha