Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Weird sh*t my kid does

I’m sure anyone that spends any amount of time around children can agree that kids are strange little creatures. When raising kids, parents see a lot of themselves in their offspring. They may have their same mannerisms, sense of humor, they may even sleep in the same position. A lot of things, however, may be very…. different.

Eli, for example, has a lot of my husband and I in him; but he also walks to the beat of his own drum. He does a lot of strange, often times funny, things. Every weird thing he does is a small piece of his quirky adorable puzzle of a personality.

1. booby traps

I’m not sure how this exactly started but Eli was very into setting booby traps. Whenever he found a string, ribbon, or robe tie, he would tie them across random items. Sometimes they’d be so intricate it would take me forever to get them down. This was a thrilling game for me when I had to heat up a 3am bottle in the dark across his booby trap.

2. Emotional text messages

Eli has an iPad and we’ve taught him how to use text messaging. It came in extremely handy during dads deployment. He would tell him he loves him or when he’s sad. Dad would send pictures of his European adventures and Eli would send pictures of his poops when he was potty training. Lately, however, the texting is mostly used when he wants to tell us how pissed he is at us. One instance when I said he couldn’t do something (probably that he couldn’t have a pizza lunchable for dinner) he ran into the other room and minutes later I got a stream of very upset text messages.

3. Selfies

Along with the texting he has perfected the art of picture taking. When I’m too busy (or pretending to be too busy) to come look at something he will take a picture of whatever it is and come show me. He also is a lover of the selfie. Some are happy, sad, goofy, angry. He is quite the actor.

4. Ties knots in everything

Relating back to the booby traps, he also has a tendency to knot EVERYTHING. Common things like his shoelaces. But he will take an unplugged electrical cord and tie up objects. He’ll remove my robe tie and weave it around stairway spindles. He also takes his sisters pacifier clip and ties it to her other toys.

5. Lines up objects

This one he’s been doing for quite a few years. It’s one of his first signs of autism I noticed in him. When he was younger it was always his matchbox cars or markers. They had to be in a perfect line. He doesn’t do it as much anymore but when he does it is quite the production.

6. Heart broken

Eli has always been very emotional. He wears his heart on his sleeve. When something inconvenient happens or he is told “no” he doesn’t just get upset he gets heartbroken. You’d think a pet died or something. He’s always picking up new sayings and lately it’s been “I’m heartbroken” and he makes a heart with his hands and breaks them apart. The first time he did this I nearly cried myself. Much like the first time he said he didn’t love me anymore (🙄). Now when he does this production it’s pretty easy to deal with.

7. “I’m watching you”

On the opposite side of heartbroken we have anger. I’m not sure how but somewhere along the way he’s picked up the saying “I’m watching you” along with the coordinating hand gestures. Don’t make him mad folks because he will make you feel scared.

8. Gives ‘presents’

Along with all his quirky things he is still a loving kind hearted little boy. He says please and thank you, I love you, and gives the best kisses and hugs. Lately he’s been into giving “presents”. He lays a blanket on the floor and fills it with random objects, wraps it back up and delivers it to me. He watches expectantly as I pretend to be very excited over receiving household objects and a half eaten container of baby food.

 

Seeing all the quirky things Eli does makes me love him even more than I already do. He is definitely a unique boy and he always comes up with new things to surprise you and makes you laugh. He is definitely a people pleaser.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

I’m Back

Long time no blog! I have been very busy and very tired. Most of my free time is spent having a glass of wine or taking a nap. I’m sure most people can agree that being a stay at home mother of two children is a lot of work. Us SAHM definitely don’t get enough credit. My entire day is cooking, cleaning, and chasing two children around. Sure, to the untrained eye, this may not seem like too much to handle; but to those of us in the know, children are hellions. My four year old is quite independent but the constant story telling, the everlasting “MOM LOOK” accompanied by the continuing cries from a bored baby who can’t sit up or roll over yet, is maddening. Add in Camille’s reflux and sleep regression and it is a true chaos party. Ever tried to cook a big dinner with a 4mo old crying in a highchair and a 4 year old running around screaming and throwing toys? It’s delightful.

Coincidentally, after my husband gets home I usually have to make a trip to Walmart that just can’t wait until tomorrow. 😉

The trickiest part of being a mother of two is linking up schedules. Eli has started preschool again but his class is only 12:30-3:00; about the same the time Camille is usually due for a nap. Hauling her to and from school during nap time is an inconvenience, but then there are doctor appointments, therapy appointments, grocery store runs… Now none of these are very trivial, just part of daily life. However, the days we do have these things, baby girl doesn’t take a nap and turns into a needy crying monster.

Slowly but surely I am setting our daily routines and trying to make them stick. A well oiled schedule keeps this family-train moving. I’m finally getting around to things I’ve been putting off. I just checked my email for the first time in almost 2 months (4,000 emails!!) and finally getting caught up on my tv shows. Now that we’re falling into routines it’s time for me to make time for myself (more than just laying on the couch playing candy crush..) I want to blog more, join a gym, begin new career opportunities. If I don’t make time for myself I’ll surely go insane.

That being said, I have outlined 10 new blog posts so far and plan to post once a week again like I used to. Thanks for sticking with me! Stay tuned next week for “Weird Sh*t my Kid Does!”

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Goodbye,GG!

I lost my grandma just after Christmas. New Year’s Day I was flying back to Michigan to attend her funeral. Because of the new year holiday, tickets home we’re outrageously expensive. There was no way we would be able to afford tickets for all of us. The decision was made that I would fly back with Camille (who flies free) and my husband would stay home with Eli.

One thing I’ve learned about Eli, is he’s not too big on surprises (unless it’s something cool like popcorn or a new toy). As soon as I booked my ticket I explained where I would be going and why.

Disclaimer: I spoke based on my beliefs and the beliefs I want my family to follow. Everyone is free to choose to have this conversation any way they feel fit.

“You know your GG? The one with the kitties?” Nods head. “Well the other night GG was really sick and in the hospital and she died. So she won’t be around anymore. Do you understand? Does that make you sad?” Yeah. Mommy, I was happy when I came to mommy and daddy’s house but this makes me a little bit sad. “Do you know what happens when people die?” Um, no? “If you’re a good person you go to heaven. It’s this really cool place and everyone’s happy and nobody gets sick anymore. If you’re not a good person you go to another place, a bad place. Nobody wants to go there.” Oh yeah. Ok. “So after someone dies they have a funeral. You go and say bye to them because we won’t see them anymore. So mommy is going to fly to nana’s house to say bye to GG”

Everyone has they’re own way of explaining these things to their young ones and this is the way I handled Eli. Do I think he totally understood? Of course not; he’s only four. Do I think he understood as much as he could for his age? Probably. Every time I brought up me leaving that week he would start crying. My husband, during a breakdown, took Eli into his room and went over it again. And tried to make it a little more personal. (I wasn’t in the room so I’m just giving the gist of it).

“Mommy is really sad because GG died. What if daddy died? Wouldn’t you be sad? You wouldn’t see me anymore.” Yeah…. “so that’s why mommy needs to go back to nana’s house. So we need to be there for mommy” the boys came back into the room after a bit and Eli (still crying) said: I’m really upset you’re leaving. But everything is going to be ok. (Eli’s crying. I’m crying. My husbands crying.)

So New Year’s Day sister and I took off for Michigan. We stayed about 6 days. I said goodbye to my grandma and spent time with the family. Eli texted me everyday from the Ipad and we occasionally would video chat. He made it through the week unscathed. It was the longest I have been away from him ever in his almost-5 years of life.

This certainly won’t be the last time Eli and I will experience a loss like this. So for our first time, I think we did pretty good. And when we have to go through this again (hopefully a long time from now) we can get through it just as easily.

We love you GG!

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Burglary Blues

I’ve been a little silent the past couple weeks. Mainly because The kids and I finally made our move back out to California. Things have been pretty hectic to say the least. I’ve also been a little stressed out because while driving our car back, it gotten broken into at a hotel late one night and a bunch of our items stolen. Most can be replaced but there are so many things that I can never get back, or things that are going to be very difficult to replace. The constant fear that my children’s social security numbers are going to be used has had my anxiety levels to the max. To get out some of my anger I decided to write an open letter to whomever robbed us.

 


 

I hope karma catches you very soon. I’m not worried about the clothes, bags, baby items you stole. I’m not bitter that you left my son with 3 pants and 8 shirts to his name. I’m not hateful that you stole clothes from two beautiful babies. And the broken window was fixed within days.

What I am most upset about are the items I cannot replace because you choose to live a pathetic life of stealing from others instead of making an honest living and providing for your family in a way your kids will admire.

You could have stopped at the expensive yet replaceable items… but you took all of my families personal documents. My children’s social security cards, birth certificates, hospital bills, insurance information. Memorabilia from my daughters baptism. Photos of my children.

My daughter will never have the opportunity to reminisce on her baby foot and handprints from the day she was born because you stole her baby book and hospital documents. All I have left from her birth is one lousy hospital band and it wasn’t even hers. I don’t need to see my own name!!

You also stole my sons autism binder. You couldn’t have tossed that out when stealing the OPEN bag it was in? Now I need to call 15 different places to replace diagnosis paperwork, IEPs, therapy evaluations, referral paperwork, all my therapy and medical contacts.

The sad fact that everything important to me was absolutely pointless to you. Now all my heartfelt keepsakes and resources are sitting in a dumpster somewhere in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I hope the children you stole for enjoy the clothes, I really do. If you went through all this trouble they must have needed it. I also hope that they grow up and see you for what you really are. A pathetic excuse for a human being.

 

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Count Your Blessings

It’s easy to get down in the dumps, especially when life gives you lemons. I know there are a lot of positive people in the world, but there are also a lot of people that are pessimists. I myself, am a pessimist for sure. I often let the bad outweigh the good in situations. I could have a million things go right and one thing go wrong, and I will focus on the wrong rather than the right. I’m not saying that I’m living in a darkness or anything, but, for me, it takes a little extra effort for me to shake off my pessimistic views. My family, friends, and husband often put things in perspective for me, and for that, I’m grateful.

When Eli was first diagnosed, I was devastated. A million worries sunk me to a low and I did not have a good outlook for Eli. Looking back now, I realize how dramatic I was. I didn’t know anything back then, I thought autism would be a social death sentence for him. He would be so far behind his peers, kids would be mean, he wouldn’t fit in. It’s only been two years and he is damn near caught up to his peers and has many friends. One doctor’s diagnosis does not define my son. He is healthy, beautiful, and HAPPY. It just took me a while to realize that.

When Camille was born, everything was great for the first month. She was such a calm baby, never made a peep. After her one month things started going downhill. She was spitting up and throwing up constantly. She would scream all night long from her reflux pain. I was getting no sleep and doing it mostly on my own. At times I would have to give her to my mother and grandma just to keep my sanity. Difficult babies are hard on everyone and it’s so easy to go down the emotional rabbit hole. I was there. It’s hard to stay positive when your baby is hurting and there is nothing you can do about it. There’s times I felt like horrible parent, even though everyone around me was telling me how great I was doing. Now that we have hit her two month birthday things are slowly getting better. She’s screaming less and sleeping a little more. Looking back, I realize how hard I was on myself. I can see now that I am doing a good job as a parent and sometimes there’s nothing to do but ride out the storm.

Outside of my parenting, I am pessimistic about myself. I have always had self-esteem issues. I never thought I was pretty enough, skinny enough, athletic enough, etc. In high school, I thought I was gigantic because I had a little roll hang over the top of my jeans when I sat down. Now, as an adult with a mom body I question who DOESN’T have a roll when they sit down? Looking back on my childhood I see how good I had it. I had a lot of friends, I had boyfriends, I played sports, went to parties, did ok in school, and most importantly I always had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over my head. Of course, teenagers aren’t really the ones to count their blessings. Even as an adult though it’s hard for me to look past my looks and weight and see that I am a beautiful woman. Even hearing compliments from my husband are hard to take serious. But I am learning to accept things the way that they are and that is including MYSELF. I am an awesome person. I’m friendly, sarcastic, funny, loving; who cares if I weigh more than I did before my two kids??

I’m sorry if this blog comes off as a pity party. That’s not really my intention. One thing I’m trying to do with this blog is connect with other people. I’m hoping this blog can resonate with some people out there. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but doing that keeps us from seeing all the positives in our lives. Every bad thing in life has a silver lining somewhere, it just takes some of us a little longer to see it. If I worry too much about my children or succumb to my fears and anxieties about them, I won’t be present to enjoy all the happy moments that are right in front of me. Life is too short to worry (this is way easier said than done, I know). And I’m trying not to be a hypocrite right now because I am still a pessimist, I just need to put towards the effort to make my glass half empty turn into a glass half full.

Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Living in her Shadow

Getting a new sibling is hard for any child. They’re used to getting all the attention and now a new person has come into the world that takes all the attention while they get pushed to the back burner. I wish I could say that isn’t our situation but it is; to some extent, it’s inevitable.

While Eli’s dad was still in town with us, we tried to each give Eli one-on-one attention so he didn’t feel so pushed aside. Now that dad is gone, I’m still trying to give him alone time with me, although it’s a bit harder to swing by myself with two kids.

New baby Camille has been quite the handful and I can see the toll it is taking on Eli. Most of the time he is such a great big brother. Always wants to see her, gives her back a dropped pacifier, and when she cries he tells me it’s because her tummy hurts or she doesn’t like her car seat. Camille has really bad reflux and takes up so much of my time because she’s not sleeping, throws up, and cries a lot. Most of the day for Eli is being told to be quiet or to go into another room to play by himself and I know it’s not fair. He shouldn’t have to be shunned because we had another baby. It’s really hard to try and find the right thing to do here, especially because it is just me. If I could split myself in two so each kid could get my attention, I would.

I don’t want Eli to feel like the ugly stepchild in the family. If anything, compared to Camille, he’s my golden child. He’s so grown up, independent, funny, and kind. He seems to understand the situation and see why his sister needs more attention. This morning during a puking episode I told the baby we’d go get her juice (pedialyte, per doctor suggestion after frequent vomiting to prevent dehydration) and Eli was listening and came back into the room with a whole jug of orange juice. HOW CUTE IS THAT. Just because he may understand a little of why his sister needs more work doesn’t mean he will always understand or always be ok with it. He may be small, but his feelings are huge. He’s a very emotional boy and to see him sad when I tell him I’m busy or to go into another room is really sad.

Although it’s unrealistic to say that I’m not going to “shun” him ever again and give him all my time, I can make some changes. I think I’m going to try and set up one night a week, every week, that is just for me and Eli. We can go to the park, go to a movie, go out to dinner, anything we choose to do. Plus, let’s be honest, this would also be a break for me from the baby! As the baby gets older things will be a lot easier, more chaotic and messier probably, but easier to manage. Until then the only thing I can do is try my best. I just need to remind myself that my children are fed and dressed and I’m doing a good job.

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Posted in family, parenting, Uncategorized

Tired Mommy Games

Being a mother of one is hard; you’re new to the game and have no idea what to expect. It takes a while to learn to manage your time, you need to get used to getting no sleep, and most women worry about getting their pre-baby body back. Now that I’ve got two kids I’m pretty good at multitasking, I consistently run off three hours of sleep, and I’ve given up on any hope of a tight body. But just because you’ve had a kid already doesn’t mean you’re not going to ride the struggle bus with your second.

Even as a (somewhat) seasoned parent with four-year experience, I still find myself a little lost and loopy with my second child. I haven’t had much practice with a newborn since Eli was born, aside from an occasional overnight babysitting gig for my sister. I’m sure it doesn’t help that Miss Camille is a little refluxy and a little colicky (jk it’s not a little, it’s a lot 😫). Eli is very patient and understanding with the baby; but he is also mostly his usual hyper/needy self, which is the cherry ontop of a no-sleep sundae. Sure, I only slept from 3am-6am but Eli woke up at 7:30 and he wants to eat cereal and play Mario party NOW. Nonetheless, these children are exhausting but I couldn’t love anything more (sounds cliché, but it really is true).

One thing that helps me keep what little sanity I have left during these long nights is the little games and self-competitions I play with myself. They’re not your typical games. Honestly, they’re not really even games at all but when you’re tired and delusional, anything is entertaining.

1. Guess whose shit this is

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“Whose poop is this?!” It’s the age-old question, isn’t it? ….no? …It’s not? Well it is in this house!

 

  1. Find the smell.

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What is that?! Is it dirty diapers? Did someone poop their pants? Who farted? Is it pukey baby neckrolls? Is it me? It’s usually me…

 

  1. Dirty Bottle Standoff

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I like to live on the edge. What’s more thrilling than having your baby scream bloody murder at 3am for a warm juicy bottle only for you to find out that there’s no clean bottles so you must power wash one as fast as your chubby little arms can work before your baby hates you forever.

 

  1. hide and go seek wipes.

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I don’t play this game with myself. The wipes play it with me. I swear they hide themselves. My wipes are never around when I need them!! Why would I have put the wipes in the dryer? How does this happen? Was I trying to warm them up?

 

  1. Dirty diaper basketball

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Fan favorite. It’s 3am. 4th quarter. 2.5 seconds left on the baby screaming clock. You’re obviously not getting out of bed for a layup, gotta shoot the 3. Bank shot at the buzzer. Everybody cheers (you cheer). You won the game (nobody wins).

  1. Pretend pumper

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The first time Eli walked in on me pumping, he asked what I was doing and I simply said that I was making milk for sister. Since then he has respectfully referred to me as a “people cow”. I find the name quite fitting because there a few things more tedious than sitting and being yanked for 15-20 minutes, so you might as well reward yourself with a secret break. This game can get carried away quite easily. It starts with “let me finish this episode of chopped” and ends with watching the entire chopped junior championship for 4 hours.

 

Whether you have one kid or 10, it’s important to have fun and relax. It’s easy, especially with newborns, to get stressed out and let yourself get overwhelmed. When you’re stressed out, they’re stressed out. When you start to feel yourself getting overwhelmed try and make it into something less horrible, then just have a glass of wine after your screaming baby finally passes out.