Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Doesn't she look as though she takes dental hygiene very seriously?
Don't let it fool ya. She just likes to eat the toothpaste off the rotating brush
and let it fling leftover toothpaste and saliva everywhere.
However, it is on my husband's side of the bathroom so he never notices.

Perfecting Time Out

K..anyone interested, my sister emailed this wonderful advice based on years of behaviour management classes and personal experience with her preschool students. Thanks, Amanda!

For time-out to be effective it has to be:

a) Away from positive stimulation (boring, but not painful at all!)
b) Enforced (she has to be made to stay)
c) Predictable (a set length of time, usually 1 minute per year of age. Longer than that is pointless considering their attention span.)

Ideally, if you were teaching a child behavior guidelines, when they crossed the guideline, you would say "Don't do that again, or you will be in time-out."

All children do it again, cause they want to test you. Immediately remove them from the situation and place them in their time-out area (carpet square, chair) and tell them they have to be in time out for X minutes.

Walk away.

If they scream, ignore them.

If they don't stay in the time-out area, put them back ("stay here") and start the timer over.

If they still don't stay, hold them there. They will struggle but do not speak to them, lecture, or make eye contact.

After the appropriate amount of time, take them away from the time-out area and have a SHORT discussion about what happened.

The next time they test their boundaries, they will have a good recollection about what "Time Out" is. It will be an unpleasant memory, and they might (maybe) think twice about misbehaving.

Also, counting is a no-no! Don't ever say "Get overhere right now! one.... two.... I mean it!...." etc. That is not only ineffective but it shows the child that they have until you get to 3, and that just prolongs their compliance.

She also says that Time Out often doesn't work because it isn't done correctly.

Next Issue?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Parenting Gone Awry

Isabella is pretty much a good girl. However, she's now a pretty much good girl who's two years old. That presents some problems for when she's not-so-much a good girl and is testing her boundaries and ours.

My husband has, up until recently, been able to discipline Bella with The Look. My Dad calls that look "The Evil Eye" and it always worked on us as kids.

Bella's learned the art of ignoring her parents or anyone else trying to tell her what to do. She'll just zone out, turn off her ears or simply keep doing what she's doing.

Last night as I was nursing Ava, Bella plopped down beside me on the couch (after standing on it which is no-no #1) and began to kick at me with both feet. It didn't hurt but was obviously not meant in a loving way. My husband told her to stop. She didn't. He sent her to her room. She giggled and ran as if he was chasing her. He told her to stay there until she could behave.

She came out moments later with some toys. He asked if she was going to behave. She said no. So he sent her back to her room. This time she practically skipped with glee to her punishment.

She returned a nano-second later with her babydoll. This time I asked if she was going to be a good girl. She said yes. Then she ran over to the couch, climbed up next to me and proceeded to kick me again. My husband gave his best Look. She returned that look with one of defiance, still kicking, and yelled "I want to go to my room!". She lept off the couch, ran to her room and I glanced at my husband who just sat and blinked.

I could not help laughing (You know, the parental look away laugh). So even today my husband is perplexed. I pointed out that perhaps sending her to her favorite place to play isn't a good punishment. We may try the Time Out method. I think she's too young to write 500 sentences.

Any effective disciplinary actions you can share with me that don't involve spanking? I'm all ears.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My, How Times Have Changed.

Gone are the days when we'd gather with family for the holidays and just hang out all lazy and full from gorging ourselves throughout the month+ of celebrating. The holiday naps as football games blares on the TV until someone gets irritated enough to yell at the boys to turn it down.

Now our holidays consist of entertaining little people or at least keeping a watchful eye every second as they entertain themselves. Constantly asking, "Where's child ______ and who's watching him/her?" Then when a wail comes from somewhere out of sight, the women make a mad dash to see what's going on while the men yell from their post, "Hey! What's going on in there? Cut that out!" (standard Man Yell without knowing any facts, apparently)

Eating is a circus of getting plates of food ready for the little people, making sure each has exactly what the other has, finding those little people so they can eat, making sure no one touches anyone else, that they all have a utensil of some kind (not that they'll use it) and a drink. Thus begins the search for sippy cups. That is never ending. Or the grabbing of Sippy Cup A from Kid B while Kid C goes for Kid B's cup. Doesn't matter that all the cups look completely different. It is always more appealing to drink someone else's juice rather than your own, right?

Naps are ridiculous as well. Coordinating the little people to nap in a small house with too few beds never works without many tears and the probability of no nap for most.

Just as the big people crumble in a heap of exhaustion wherever their butt can sit, they peer out the window and see a wonderful, blessed sight. Their sweet, adorable little ones squealing, running, gleefully tossing autumn leaves into the air and laughing hysterically when the leaves stick to hair, clothing or the freaked out elderly dog. That's really what the holidays should be all about. Enjoying the moment.

I like how times have changed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Who's Your Daddy? Or Mommy?

When you marry, before the ink is even dry on the marriage certificate, you are asked when you'll have kids. When pregnant, you're asked how many more babies you'd like to have. When your newborn is less than one hour old, you're asked when you'll try for the next child.

And apparently from day one that any of your children are born, it is commented who that baby looks like. Now we all know that a newborn doesn't look like anyone in particular right out of the chute (no pun intended) but people start the guessing game right away.

What's funny about our children is that they look like, well, us. My husband and I looked strikingly similar as babies. If I had the pics on the computer, I'd upload them to show you. It is almost too weird how we can barely figure out who is who.

Our daughters are a blend of both of us. But to some people, Isabella looks exactly like my husband. To others, she looks exactly like me. In photos, she looks exactly like my mother as a child.

Note that "exactly" is used each time. Because everyone is emphatic about who she looks like! And we hear it...all...the...time. From family. Friends. Old ladies. Check-out clerks. Random people in the elevator.

Now everyone tries their hardest to figure out who Ava looks like. Most say she looks like me. Some say my mother-in-law. (Yeah, makes no sense, does it?) Pictures of Bella as a fat baby (she was a chubster now that I look back) compared to Ava, they are hard to tell apart.

What is it about us that we want so much for our offspring to resemble us? Is it basic human nature? Some primal instinct to identify what is ours? Or is it arrogance? Selfishness?

I personally love that my girls resemble their dad. I love their daddy and seeing our babies with so many of his traits makes me very happy. Now, I may not love it if they try to break their nose three times so it'll look like his. Or if they one day exhibit an inability to ask for directions. But as long as I can teach them the concept of a laundry hamper, as I've failed to do with their dad, then we're good to go.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Survey Says...

Oh, yipee... all you who are brave enough, you get to talk about birth control!

I just went to my 6 week checkup (granted, it is week 7) and the doc said my c-section "zipper" looks great. Funny guy.

I didn't opt for tubal ligation because of the slimmest of slim possibilities I might want another baby. You just really never know what life will throw your way. So I need birth control of some sort. I really don't want any more surprises...

Anyway, I am nursing and though it gives some protection from pregnancy at least the first few months that I exclusively breastfeed, I know that I need backup.

Number one option is called the Mini-Pill. I used that when nursing Bella but it cut down my milk quite a bit.

Number two option is what my doc recommends but I have reservations. It is a particular IUD called the Marina and it works for 5 years. It has the greatest success rate in protection against pregnancy, but one in 1,000 patients will get pregnant and the chance of a fertilized egg in the fallopian tube is increased slightly. That would result in a miscarriage or an abortion, both which horrify me. But any birth control carries risk, in all reality.

So today, ladies, I would like your humble opinions on the matter of birth control. Have you tried the IUD? Is there a particular kind of pill you prefer? What have been the upsides or downsides to what you've used? Once I stop nursing, I will most likely get on a stronger dosage pill. I do have worries about taking any pill for an extended period *snort* of time, but it is the safest option I know of without a procedure for hubby that he'd have to be drugged, knocked out and dragged to. I don't think I could forge his name with his limp hand on the paperwork without someone noticing.

Discuss amongst yourselves...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Doctor's Orders?

Perhaps Daddy should follow the recommendation of
An Apple A Day...

Or Bella's
Nibble On Every Apple In One Day...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Doctor Is In

My hubby gave me a scare last night. His blood pressure sky-rocketed and his face got all blotchy. We called his mother, who is a retired nurse, and like every other nurse on the friggin planet, she said we needed to go to the ER. C'mon! Where's the sage advice? Where's the do-this-so-you-don't-have-to-pay-out-the-ummm-nose help?


Bella, being the concerned intern that she is, patted her daddy sweetly and told him he'd be okay after checking him out.

When he started feeling better, I made him swear to go to the doctor for a check-up. Being a man, he said he was fine and didn't need a stinkin doctor. I growled and gave him The Look.

Then Bella asked if he had to go to the doctor.

He looked at me, defeated, and mumbled something resembling a "yes".

Bella's eyes lit up, she started clapping excitedly and exclaimed, "YAY! Daddy hasa go to tha dawtor!"

She's the only person who really seems to appreciate our healthcare system.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Ava just had her one month checkup. The child weighs a whopping 10lbs, 2oz.

She was just 7lbs, 12oz when born...barely over FOUR weeks ago!

Not only that, she's jumped from 19 1/2 inches long to 22 1/4 inches long. Is someone feeding her steroids when I'm not looking??

Needless to say, I was very surprised. I even questioned the nurse's weight scale, which I'm sure she appreciated.

Other than being an Amazon Baby, Ava is doing wonderful. Showing signs of reflux but not nearly like it was with Isabella (thank God). She is a very happy baby, sleeps a more predictable schedule and is fascinated by her big sister. Doesn't even mind when Bella rubs her head all over Ava's face as if she were snuggling a kitten instead of a kid. A few curls in the eyeball never hurt anyone, right?

My mother-in-law scared me. She pointed out that my child is growing about a pound a week. There are 52 weeks in a year.

Then my brain turned back on and I scoffed at her suggestion. Pshaw.

It wouldn't, it couldn't happen. Right?

See? Even Ava is pondering the possibility.

Hmmm....I may not always be the little one to pick on, after all...

Watch out, Isabella and Cousin Channing!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Who's There?

Bella has learned her first joke. Now she likes to make up her own.

"Not, not"

Who's there?


Orange, who?

"Owanj you gad to see me?" *giggle*

Then that spins into:

"Not, not"

Who's there?


Um, blankie who?

"Bankie to wrap you up? " *bursts into laughter at her own cleverness*

"Wait! Wait! No!...Not, not!"

Who's there?


Ava, who?

"Aba's gad to see you!!" *laughs so loud, her little sister's arms fling out in alarm*

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Toddler Conversations Continued


"Bella! What are you doing?"

A little voice replies...

"I'm hittin the wall with baby's head!" (her doll, not her sister)

I ask why.

" noisy!"

I will not be asking her to babysit Ava anytime soon.


A rustling noise comes from the kitchen. I go in and she's munching on something out of her pumpkin bag. I ask what she's got in there as I peek in at what looks like leaves. When I ask if it is leaves, she gives me a look as if I'm completely ridiculous.

"Noooooo Mommy (laughter), is SALAD."

Only my daughter would put green leaf lettuce in her candy bag. So proud of my lil' rabbit.


It is too quiet in the gameroom so I tiptoe in to check things out. I enter the room to find her standing on her stroller next to the pool table. She is a little startled but recovers quick enough to put on her best innocent look and ask politely "Mama, won't you go in tha other woom?"


So far it isn't the Terrible Twos as much as it is the Troublemaker Twos. And I'm okay with that.