Sick Parenting

If you haven’t given your sick toddler fruit snacks for breakfast when their sick just so they’ll eat something, are you even a parent of a toddler?

That happened this morning. We spent Saturday in Urgent care and yesterday in the doctors office followed by the Emergency Room. Diagnosis: Pneumonia.

I learned a lot about our family in this Emergency process. I learned  my 3 year old can play opossum with the best of them. That’s right faking lethargy. I mean she was sick and tired and just wanted to cuddle but she wouldn’t even react when the doctor is listening to her lungs or to the pulse ox on her finger. Didn’t lift her head from my chest when a doctor or nurse was in the room.

When we leave the office she’s instantly Chatty Kathy asking pat where he was, and what took him so long to get there, and if we are going home, is he coming, why is he riding with us, and the best…telling us she’s fine and just wants to go watch Goldie and Bear. Opossum.

What I didn’t learn and am still trying to figure out is how do you parent a sick child? Where is the line between giving the fruit snacks for breakfast and totally losing control of your French parenting lifestyle goals? We try to be French and have a frame work of rules. I know we fail a lot but we have to have goals right?

For the most part we do okay. She listens pretty well and knows when we are serious about things. She gets time outs and yes I’ve patted her on the but before. But do you spank a sick kid? Do I put her in time out because she’s crying over the wrong color gummy vitamin? That seems a bit harsh since she clearly doesn’t feel good. On the other hand eat the damn gummy or cry in your room mommy is also tired now too.

Still this is a struggle for us. When you do stick to the rules and when do you let things slide because quite frankly when I’m sick the rules and expectations of me can suck it.

Its been a few days since I started writing this and I’m no closer to figuring it out. The only thing I can say is that she is a champ at taking medication! Even yucky antibiotics. She takes it herself and I feel like she’s in training for tequila shots. She takes the meds, has a juice chaser, and gets a gummy vitamin treat right after. Lick the salt, take the shot, suck the lime? I swear I’m a good mom! We can get concerned when she starts asking for chasers.

I think our saving grace was that I can use “doctors orders” for a lot of things! Threatening with having to go back to the hospital has also worked really well in my favor when trying to get her to do things. So bribes and blackmail is what it sounds like. Basically no different from my normal parenting style. Awesome.

To be clear there was a ton of cuddle time in my house. It was the silver lining that when she’s sick she just wants me by her side snuggled if the couch. Can’t complain about that one bit her snuggles are the very best. My hair can wait a few days to be washed anyway.

I found this podcast and am obsessed. Sounds like a tangent but its relevent I swear. It’s a parenting podcast and seriously the best one I’ve found yet! Here are  two links that literally had me laughing out loud while I was doing dishes and driving to and from work.

This is on sick day hacks   the other is on Whats up with toddlers

Seriously I feel like these girls are my spirit parents. One is great with research and both are just hysterical and so real. Refreshing and great with advice. Better advice than bribes and blackmail!

104 Degree Panic Attack

“Where the thermometer? I think she has a fever!” I yell to Pat as I’m changing Rylans diaper.

“She doesn’t have a fever we just checked it an hour ago” Pat rolls his eyes as he hands me the thermometer.

I love that he can roll his eyes while doing what I want. No matter how ridiculous he always humors me.

That was a little less than 3 years ago. Every new mother has a thing. For me her thing was her temperature. I can feel the judgment from here, yes I’m sure I had more than one thing but at this point the fever was my biggest obsession.

I took her temp constantly and was always worried about her having a fever. She ran super hot all the time. Mainly at night and that hasn’t gone away. I’ve just learned that if I have to question if there’s a fever or not… there’s not.

Which brings me to this past 2 weeks ago. She woke up crying and when I picked her up there was no doubt she had a fever. We snuggled on the couch and she was so warm I considered turning on the AC.

I took her temp and as expected it was 102. It ranged from 100 to 104 for the next two days. I know I should have taken her to the ER right away but I work in a medical office I know how this goes. It’s a virus and there’s nothing they can do but alternate Tylenol and Motrin and keep her cool and do baths…yadda yadda yadda. So that’s what we did.

Come Thursday morning her temp had started to go down on its own but we made an apt for her anyway. Turns out it was a double ear infection! One of which had possibly ruptured! Awesome job mom.

Nothing makes you feel like a worse mother than NOT taking her to the doctor, only to find out she has a ruptured ear drum. I will no longer question whether or not to take her in. If I’m thinking about I’m doing it. Bring on the hypochondriac comments I’ll take the punch.

My 3 year old sassy pants did not even complain this whole time. The same kid who threw herself on the ground and screamed because I tried to put the wrong pants on her never once mentioned that her ears hurt. That’s the only thing saving me from really believing I’m a terrible mom.

Not even a week after this happened she’s feeling better and wanting to read stories before bed time again. We were reading the book “The Sleep Fairy”. To whoever bought that book for me I think you owe me money for it. Who busy a book as a present that makes the parents buy their children presents every night they sleep in their bed by themselves? We are on a budget! I’d rather her sleep in bed with me!

Luckily for me my kid is a little weird and after listening to the whole story cuddled in to me very concerned. She put the book down and said “mama, if the sleep fairy tries to come in my room and put something under my pillow while I’m sleeping….I’m going to scream.”

I’ve never been more proud! Glad she’s feeling better and back to being feisty. Next time we are going to the doctor. Then I’ll buy her a present!

You Have To Host

I’m a flake.

I don’t want to be. But its true.

I love making plans. The idea of doing all the things is very appealing to me and always sounds great. But when it comes to actually doing all the things I lose motivation, and to be honest I get a little anxiety.

My friend once told me she makes back up plans when she makes plans with me. I’m not even mad! I actually thought “well that’s smart!” followed by “I wonder what the back up plans are and if I want to do that”.

So I complain that we all don’t get together enough and then I don’t show up. Yes I suck so hard!

That’s my new years resolution this year. Get ready cause its a long important one. Spend more time with my friends!! What a crazy concept!  Seriously though I want to spend more time with the friends that make me happy. The ones that make me laugh, that I can cry with, that my kid can be a brat in front of and they wont judge me when I flick her in the arm. Not hard, just enough so she knocks it off.

This started with my sister-in-law around Thanksgiving. I was complaining about all my groups of friends never doing anything and never getting together. So she asked a ground breaking, life changing question of “do you ever host”?

No. Point blank. No. I live in a bird house with hardly any room to live let alone entertain.

She hosts all the time and has once a month things like book club, dinner club, moms night, family night, movie night, and I’m sure I’m missing quite a few more clubs/nights. I’m not even sure there’s enough nights in a month to fit all her “once a months”. But she does it and makes it look effortless. She always has something going on and has been part of my motivation to make things happen. In the friends department… career is still a hot mess.

Okay I’ll start reaching out. Hosting. But not at my house. I have to get creative about this.

I talked to one of my best friends about this. She agreed. She is always the hostess too and does an amazing job of it. Maybe I’ll “host” at her house next time! Any way she brought up another thing to think about in my new master plan at becoming a better friend. She said “if you want people to come to things you host you have to show up to things too”. Well said bff…… well said.

So I’m going to be a better friend and show up to things. No more flaking on people. I promise to come if I say I’m going to. Or at the very least be honest if I have no intention of coming.

I’ve already started this new me thing. I went to the casino last night (yup on a Thursday) to support a fellow instructor and watch her band play. It was great. I had a drink, I danced my bum off, and was home before 10. Brilliant.

Bonus: I shocked a few people in showing up! Reputations can’t be changed in a day so I don’t blame people for doubting me. Also I know there was no better back up plan since they were still going there no matter what.

The next thing I am trying to put together is a Paint & Sip party with a big group. Whoever wants to come can if not, next time.

Fun things to come for the new me. I’m open to creative suggestions!

Photo of some friends celebrating Jeanette’s birthday!

The Griswold’s

The weather is finally starting to cool off! The leaves are changing into amazing fall colors and our tiny town looks like a post card for mountains in the fall. Except our house. Our house looks like the leaves have come alive and attacking our yard  getting ready to suffocate our house.

We’ve tried staying up on them. Its impossible if you have a day job to keep the leaves cleared. You can try in the morning only to come home to more leaves just to repeat this process 2-3 times a day. No thank you! So we are waiting till they all fall to do it all at once. Actually we are waiting till this weekend so we can start putting up Christmas lights. I don’t know if Pat knows this yet. But that’s my plan.

When Pat and I first got together he did some lights. Nothing special. I’d say sorry but I’m fairly certain he doesn’t read this. Not testing him, just saying.

When we bought our house… he turned into Clark Griswold and went nuts. Our bird house is 100 years old so we don’t have outlets like you would need to actually be Clark. But Pat was determined and for our first Christmas in our first house we had cords coming out of every window in the house. We had at least 6 blow ups and every studio, garage, tree was covered. It was amazing.

Our second year in the house I was pregnant. Well Rylan was born on the 16th but leading up to that I said no lights because I didn’t want the cords. I didn’t realize he would take it as a challenge to see how many lights he could put up without having to use cords through the windows. Again, it was amazing.

I believe last year I threw a fit over the lights. I say that like I forgot… I for sure threw a fit over the lights. We had waited too long in my opinion to put them up and I didn’t think it would be worth it. I said no. I didn’t want any lights. So when I went out-of-town and came home to lights the week before Christmas instead of being excited…I cried.

Here’s why I cried. I had said no I didn’t want the lights up. Rylan was almost 2 and not listening very well. I had a melt down thinking that no one listens to me about anything. Feeling like my opinion didn’t matter and that the rules that I set in place with Rylan or the house all only mattered to me. It was dramatic and ridiculous but it was how I felt and I can’t even say I don’t still feel that way a little bit.

This year I’m determined to enjoy the lights. Its thanksgiving weekend and I want to join him and his excitement over the lights. I think we may have ruined a few blow ups but we will make it work. I keep telling him I’m going to help this year and I can’t tell if he’s ready to let me help or planning to do it while I’m at work. Fingers crossed right?

We used to have a place in our town where you could get out and walk around and see different light displays. It was magical. I want our house to be that house one year. It’s a long way off and I have a lot of work to do on our back yard so that it doesn’t look like a scary kidnapping trap but once we get it done it could be so great.

We could have candy cane lane, and snowman village, and new age crap with minions and movie characters, even a whole section for the vintage plastic light up molds.  I have big visions for it but we’ll see. This will be my first year of actually helping and quite possibly my last.

So my minimalist ideas and goals go straight out the window when it comes to outside decorations. I wish I could decorate inside but I can’t. We do a tree but other than that you could walk in our house and not know if its December or June!

In other news I have given up on the book Fall of Giants. I loved it and feel like it’s a great read if I had the time to devote to it. I’ll pick up again after the new year but right now I’m needing an easy mindless read I can put down for weeks and pick it up and not be confused or have to retrace the last two chapters. So I’m reading nothing. Well I’m reading note for the Les Mills classes I’m teaching but that’s all I have time for a this moment.

I finished the  series Gilmore Girls. Holy freaking crap!!!! I adore that show and am so said its over. Although I’m not devastated because if you’ve seen the end you know that there is no possible way someone could end an entire show that way. If you could you are an A hole. That’s right producers I’m calling you out. Add more episodes or forever be categorized as a dick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hard is Hard

Rylan is less than a year old and I’m trying to get her down for a nap while visiting my sister-in-law in Chico.

She’s flopping around and trying to talk and crawl away and is refusing to nap. I get frustrated and finally give up and take her to the stroller because I know that works. I’m frustrated and don’t have the energy to force it.

I come out of the room huffing and puffing and go to take her outside. My sister-in-law asks what happened and I start to tell her.

She laughs. “So she’s not crying or fussy, she’s just….awake?”

Me: “well yeah but its annoying I know she’s tired and going to get cranky and she needs to nap.”

I get why she’s laughing. It sound ridiculous when I hear it back to me. Later over a glass of wine we talk about it. She makes me feel better by reminding me that even though Rylan is a great baby and I have no idea how easy I have it, my hard is hard for me.

So while she can handle things and has infinitely more patience than I do, to me… this is hard.

Fast forward to Rylan being almost 3 and still I know how lucky I am.

She listens well and reasons for the most part. She argues at bed time and I want to pull my hair out. I’m sure there are a million moms that would look at our bed time routine and laugh at how frustrated I get. But its hard to me.

We all have no clue what going on in each other life and its so easy to look at every situation and say how you would do it differently. But you know what? It might not work. We all have to do what we know how to do and make changes where we need to in order to make things work for us.

For instance my hard right now (aside from bed time) is a kitten. Who would have thought that something that weighs just over 1 pound can make want to drink. Given, it was 3 weeks old when we were gifted it.

Gifted is a strong word. It was a trash can kitty my cousin found and my Aunt asked if we wanted it. I didn’t. At all. My darling, sweet, animal loving husband was supposed to be the bad guy and say no… he didn’t say no.

We’ve had it a week and its slowly getting better. Not going to lie, the first couple days I was cussing out my aunt dreaming of dropping it off on their doorstep knocking and running away.

The ONLY saving grace was how happy this damn kitten made Rylan. I mean they are buds. Rylan will sit and watch her iPad and this stupid kitten will cuddle on her back and sit in her lap and just snuggle. The smile on my kids face made me realize I couldn’t drop her off at the fire department. Wait is that kittens too?

So my point is everyone’s hard is hard. It doesn’t matter if we laugh at it and dismiss it or fully understand we could not handle that its hard. We all have support systems you just have to find yours. Find your people, your tribe, the one you can open up to about locking the kitten in the bathroom and turning up the radio so you can’t hear it cry. Thankfully my tribe is pretty big. They all understand me.

They also laugh at the fact that now that the kittens getting older and getting a personality she’s turned into a total little psycho.

I’ve had to delete 3 paragraphs from her stepping on my keyboard and throwing me off. In case you are wondering why she’s still living with us here are a few pictures.

 

 

Riding the Dragon


Me: I hate this kitchen!

Husband: Why whats wrong with it now?

Me: nothing it’s just a freaking mess! How did it get so messy we weren’t even here this weekend!

Husband: well it’s not even that bad. Its been way way worse, and it was like this when we left I don’t understand why it’s suddenly so bad.

He’s right. On our quest to become minimalist the kitchen has been cleaner than normal lately. I could do without him being right once in a while. But I take this as a sure sign that I’m changing as a person. The fact that some fruit, a bottle of wine, and the groceries that I just bought, on the counter is sending me over the edge. I’m turning into a cleaner person.

OR… The much more likely explaination is I have PMS. DUN DUN DUN *cue dark music and thunder clouds*

I have always had PMS ever since I was a teenager. If I have to explain what it is you are reading the wrong blog post! I’m not saying I get it every month. But once in a while there’s a month like this one that scares my husband, my mom, the dogs, and even myself just a little.

I can’t be alone in having little things send me over the edge. Little things like a dirty kitchen counter making me want to move. My husband not writing back fast enough results in a series of WTF texts and passive aggressive messages including but not limited to “its fine forget it I can go to the grocery store later. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do”.

I can’t be alone in thinking for 1 week that the world should revolve around me. That’s right the whole world! How dare people have other lives and not wait around for me to want to do something. Only to cancel on them at the last-minute because I want to be around people but don’t actually want to be around people. How can people not know that?!

I can’t be alone in being COMPLETELY irrational and out of control of my emotions. Its like seeing a red light and knowing, logically, that I need to slow down and stop yet I hit the gas anyway. I know its wrong, I know I’m not making any sense and that whatever I’m feeling/saying will be different in a week, but it doesn’t matter. I have no control of the irrational things I’m thinking/doing.

This is where getting rid of things can be a good thing. Its good timing when you’re irrational to throw away everything and get rid of anything that is in your way or doesn’t change you mood. Which is everything because there is no help for this mood!

People will tell you “exercise and get rid of caffeine”. Ummm what? Don’t drink coffee? I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore. That’s the worst idea ever! When you are the most tired and need all the help you can get…. don’t take it.  Exercise really does work. I also know this to be a fact. However, when I’m in the middle of a mood swing and some one suggest exercise, they better start running themselves because I want to throat punch them.

Did I mention I have PMS right now?!

I also have to say that getting yourself to exercise during PMS should be worthy of an award. Or at least a gift card. People say gift cards are thoughtless but let me just tell you… give a Day-o or Sephora gift card to a woman with PMS and she will switch moods like a toddler who just got their way.

To the women who think you don’t get PMS…. Yes you do. I’m sorry but its true. Its okay don’t be sad. Even if you truly think you don’t get it. You just don’t realize it. Again, it’s not your fault. Chances are your PMS has taken over your thought process and the bitch is lying to you. You are forgiven. Or maybe you really don’t get it and I just think you do because I have PMS and think you get moody when really its me.

See this whole thing is just one giant tornado of irrational thoughts and snarky comments. This is my disclaimer to anyone dealing with me this week.

I’m sorry.

 

Traditions

 

In a world that’s rapidly falling apart and dividing itself, there are still a few things I find comfort in.

  • My morning coffee.
  • The fact that Rylan will argue over bedtime.
  • Nana will get us pajamas for Christmas.

It’s the little things in life.

When I was growing up we always had traditions. Thanksgiving was celebrated with Nana the Sunday before so that she could have everyone there. No excuses. For Christmas it was always Christmas Eve. That one is a touchy subject so we’re just going to breeze by it for now. Sorry mom xoxo.

The holidays have always been a really big deal in my life. Example: Nana used to own a Santa costume and would pay someone to dress up and come to the house Christmas Eve. It was magical. Even the year it was Granny Doris and I realized Santa wasn’t real. I was older than I care to admit!

So as the weather starts to cool off, the leaves start to change, and bedtime is now getting earlier, I’m starting to think about the holidays. Rylan is going to be 3 years old this December and I want her to grow up with the same traditions that I had. I also want to make our own traditions with her.

Which leads me to my question: How do we find time for all these traditions? How do we make new ones while respecting the ones we hold close to our heart? How do we blend traditions with our in-laws? When do you throw you hands in the air and go on vacation for the holidays instead?

I tried suggesting that we make it a destination Christmas this year. After some thought and discussion Nana informed us that we won’t be vacationing for Christmas this year. Or as long as she’s alive. Clearly she values the traditions and I respect that.I had to laugh at the fact that Nana vetoed not only this Christmas but every foreseeable Christmas after that.

I’d like to bring back Santa so if anyone has a Santa suit let me know!

My cousins and I actually have started our own tradition of taking family pictures every Thanksgiving. I was doing them myself with my professional camera but that took a crap on me this year so I’m not sure what we’ll do. I don’t really want to pay for professional pictures but am considering it as gift to all of us.

Other than that I don’t even know where to start! I have this constant tug of war going on in my head. Its like tiny bad mom saying “ugh who has time for that? Aren’t the holidays stressful enough?” then a tiny Martha Stewart slaps her across the face with a homemade, one of a kind stocking and says “because traditions are wonderful and it gives us something to look forward to and pass down to our kids so they can remember us when we are gone”.

I’m afraid tiny Martha wins. I want that. I want Rylan to grow up with the same happy memories I had. I want her to remember things from Nana and Granny. It’s special that she’s gotten so much time with her Great Grandparents so why wouldn’t we want to emphasize those traditions?

So its my goal to prioritize the traditions we have already and along the way make new ones. Of course I’ll have to put my own spin on things so maybe instead of having new pajamas we all have onesies and look ridiculous together. Maybe make a signature cocktail to have at Christmas dinner? I’ll keep thinking.

We used to go in Nanas room and re-wrap gifts we had given her in years past because she never even opened them. It took her longer than she cares to admit to catch on to that!

I’m just blessed I have the family that I do and the in-laws that I do. Everyone has a sense of humor and gets along and truly loves life. And fun. And cocktails. Rylan is pretty lucky too.

I’m aware I didn’t solve any of the my questions so if anyone has suggestions let me know!