Thursday, March 22, 2012


(ooo two posts in one day. the post from earlier was actually one I started last night and forgot about.)

I hated and loved today.

I hated it because Ben decided to leave his listening ears in yesterday. Today was a constant battle to get him to mind and to listen. For that alone, I'm exhausted.

I hated today because we've had several time outs. A lot more than yesterday. We had a time out at the library because Ben ran away from me and refused to stop when I called him. We had a time out at the park because he hit me when it was time to go. We had several times outs on the way back from the park this evening because he again, turned the opposite direction and ran away. And then lots of hitting Nick because he wouldn't listen.

I loved today because we had a lot of fun, in spite of me having to constantly suggest he rearrange his behavior. We played at the park for an hour. We climbed the play equipment, we went on the swings, we talked to the robot, we played music, he rode on the springy horse, we ran through the fields and had a good time.

I loved today because today is the second day of NO ACCIDENTS in our pants. Ben is getting much better at telling me when he has to pee. He wouldn't poop on the toilet. He had to go, he kept saying he had to poop and would run to the bathroom and then we'd get his pants down and sat down and he'd beg to get off. Le sigh. He ended up pooping about 10 minutes after I put him down for a nap. Oh well. We'll get there. At least he didn't poop in his underwear.

I loved today because we went and flew our kite at the playground by our house.
I loved today because he cheered for the little kids playing football.
I loved today because we played with new friends Isiah and Alex that we bumped in to on our way home. Isiah is the little boy of the mom we met on an earlier walk. Alex is his 4 year old friend who lives across the street. This is the first time I've ever seen Ben actually play with other kids. Usually he does his own thing near other kids. But the played chase and (kind of) tag and it was amazing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yesterday. Today.

  1. FIRST DAY ACCIDENT FREE!!! We pottied at Tumble Time (twice). We pottied at the park. We pottied at home. We went for an hour long walk. We did NOT potty in our pants!!! WOO TO THE HOO!!!
  2. Ben prefers the pink M&M's (I got a bag of Easter M&M's). He will go for purple or blue after pink. I've not seen him take a yellow or a green one yet.
  3. I bought a crib today!
  4. I got my beautiful ICKY bag today. I'm very excited to start using it!
  5. Looking forward to the hair appointment I made today for next Thursday. Cut, color & a brow wax. Look out world, it's mama's first hair appointment since 2011! :)
  6. The Great Name Debate continues. This time on FB with input from lots of friends. Lots of good choices to mull over!
  7. Getting some fun nursery inspiration from the interwebs today. I especially enjoyed the organization in this nursery.
  8. SUPER HUGE fantastic day at Tumble Time with Ben. Like, maybe the best one ever. We had one tiny issue towards the beginning of class. I asked him if he wanted to go home. He said no. I pulled out my new weapon and said "well, your behavior says you want to leave. If you'd like to stay, show me behavior that says 'I want to stay'." And he did. Proud mommy moment.
  9. Not only was it a good TT day, but a good day over all. Only two time outs today (and neither one was due to actions against mommy). One was on our walk.
  10. Really looking forward to seeing the Hunger Games on Sunday. I hope it lives up to the hype!
  11. We're going to see Rain on Friday! So excited! We saw them years ago in Seattle and we've been looking forward to seeing them again some day ever since. Then they popped up in Idaho, so we're going! Yay, date night!


  1. Banana cream pie for dessert.
  2. NO ACCIDENTS so far today, but some one did wait til diaper @ nap time to go poo. Sigh.
  3. It's been a gorgeous two days. We are LOVING the outside play time!
  4. Have been pricing outdoor play grounds for our backyard. Holy. Crap.
  5. 20 days til FLORIDA (say that in your best Oprah voice. it's more fun that way).
  6. Severe back pain today. What. The. Crap.
  7. No Tumble Time next week. What will we do with our day?!?!?
  8. Lots of mommy nights next week. Insert guilty + excited feelings here.
  9. Starting to get some Sarah back. Today I actually felt like scrapbooking. I didn't, but I wanted to. ha ha, baby steps.
  10. Did I mention banana cream pie? I want some NOW.
  11. Send prayers to my friend Heidi. She's 34 weeks pregnant and struggling. She's not ready to deliver yet but her body isn't playing nice.

What's new with you?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Underwear. Time Outs. Milk.

Time Outs:

Wednesday I reached my breaking point. I've been bombarded with stuff almost constantly since my mom passed. Well, since even before then, because watching a parent die is horrific. But it seems like the last year and 3 months has been a constant barrage of upset, change, and drama. Not all of it is mine, and I seem to handle other people's stuff just fine. It's my own stuff that makes the scales tip and I started to feel out of control and helpless.

So, I finally put forth the effort to go see a counselor. I sought one out that deals with parenting issues and also counsels children. I went Friday afternoon and talked for just over 2 hours. We mostly talked about Ben and how he's gleefully pushing my buttons and some things I can try. I was forced to realize we've been too lenient with Ben and his hitting. We weren't being consistent with time outs or any sort of repercussions when he acted undesirably.

Following the lead of another mommy friend, I purchased a little red wash cloth that is now Ben's time out spot. It goes with me every where I go, in case we have to do a time out in public (something I'd not really been doing). Instead of sitting on a dining room chair, facing the wall, Ben now sits on his washcloth, bum on the ground, back to the wall, getting to witness life going on without him for 2 minutes. The moment he hits, kicks, bites, pulls hair or attacks an animal, his bum is on the cloth for 2 minutes. No more warnings - well, I try to warn if I can see he's about to strike out.

Saturday morning, we had probably 10 or so time outs before nap time. Most of them were for hitting Sadie but some of them were for hitting me or Nick. I'm surprised that Ben actually sits there for the time out. He doesn't like it and he lets us know by complaining nearly non stop, but he doesn't attempt to get up or leave.


We're slowly but surely making the transition from diapers to underwear. Yesterday he had one accident in his underwear. He was in them from the time he woke up (which he didn't like and resulted in his first time out of the day for hitting mommy), til nap time and then again when he woke up til he went off with his auntie and cousins so Nick & I could go out. We even went to the park (briefly - we went with the intention of feeding the ducks but the ducks were all gone and it was wicked cold. I think we stayed about 15 minutes) with no accidents. I bought a bag of M&M's and put them in a jar in the bathroom. He gets 1 M&M for every pee and 2 for every poo (which he hasn't actually done yet - that was accident #1 today.... ew...). So far the candy is acting as a bribe. He's not interested in going pee (with underwear on, again, he does so great when he's naked) until we remind him that he gets a candy. Shrug. Whatever works.


Ben has gotten into the habit (that I allowed) of taking a sippy of milk with him to bed. Save your lectures. I know. It's not good for his teeth. Lately he's been demanding refills several times through out the night and would wake up with a sopping diaper and soaked pants (surprise, surprise). So, the last few nights, I've had to be mean mommy and say no milk at bed time. He doesn't really like this....however, I don't have to get up with him any more in the middle of the night and we don't have to change the sheets almost every morning, so I like this.

So that's our little update. I've decided (after I was told by 3 different people that I was making a mistake) that I'll go ahead and keep Ben in Tumble Time for at least one more session. I'm going to try very hard to work with him and keep him on task and behave appropriately. If I can't by the end of the next session, then we'll try something else instead.

Next up is working on me. I need to keep my cool, remain calm and in charge and focus on getting time for myself. I've fallen out of the habit of doing really anything fun. I'm not motivated to sit down and scrapbook, which is something I used to really love doing. I don't read as often as I used to. I don't take time for myself to get haircuts, pedicures or anything just for me. Nick & I seem to spend more and more time existing side by side rather than enjoying each other's company (some of this is his fault - he puts in a lot of extra hours a day at work even while at home, but it's also my fault for not telling him we need more).

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


How do I even begin to write what I'm feeling as a parent in this moment? Some words that come immediately to mind: failure. disappointment. angry. frustrated. tired. overwhelmed.

There's nothing happy about that list. And that also makes me feel like a failure, like a disappointment, frustrated and overwhelmed.

I'm just so tired of the constant struggle. It's getting harder instead of easier. The battles are more often and more intense. The help is less and less. I feel stranded on an angry island with only aggressive little boys for company; little boys who want to screech "MOMMY" at me, want to kick me, pinch me, bite my hand and pull out my hair. Little boys who look at me, reach over and hit the cat and then look back at me and smile.

What happened to my sweet baby? Where is the little boy that would make me laugh and was a joy to be around? Where did his mother go? All that's in their places are two angry & sullen people who are constantly fighting over who is in control.

Sadly, I think the 2 year old as won. The mom has lost. She has lost control and has no idea how to get it back. She yells too much. She grabs him up too roughly. She sits him down too harshly. She cries entirely too often.

Who is this woman? Who is this person I've become? This is not the kind of mom I thought I'd be. I wanted to be a fun mom. A mom who always had cookies in the cookie jar, was always willing to get down on the floor and play. A mom who delighted in her child.

I feel like every day I cannot wait until nap time. Then nap time is over and I cannot wait until bedtime. I've begun to resent my child and his constant demand for everything he's not allowed to have, touch or do. I dread taking him any place fun because I know a violent tantrum waits at the end of it.

I keep telling my husband I need help. I don't know how to handle this. I need him to be there for me, and not have his face stuck in front of his computer every night, working until well after I've gone to bed. I need him to think about taking his dirty dishes to the sink, instead of leaving them at the dinner table. I need him to think to say "it sounds like you've had a rough day. why don't you go to (insert appropriate activity here) and I'll take care of Ben for a few hours".

I love my son. Please don't get me wrong. He's adorable. He's so sweet when he's in a great mood. He has the best sense of humor and makes me laugh. I love his hugs, his cuddles and smelling the top of his head. I love when he calls for me when he's hurt or scared. I love listening to him laugh and play.

I feel like maybe I could deal with all the nastiness a little better if I got MORE of the sweet, happy Ben I used to have. It feels like those moments are less and less. I feel like it's a constant struggle to maintain peace and sanity.

At the beginning of the month, I hung this little calendar up in his room. My intention was the very next day that we had a whole day with no hitting, I'd make a huge deal and put a sticker on that day on the calendar. Today is the 14th. I stopped writing frowny faces after the 6th. We have not had one day this month that didn't involve hitting, pinching, biting or pulling hair. That is two full weeks of tantrums and violence every single day. Some times more than once a day.

The most frustrating thing is that I know 90% of these problems are my fault. If I had more patience. if I had more tolerance. If I was more easily able to control my own temper and not yell or grab him too tightly. It shames me. I don't want to behave this way. I don't want to lash out at my kid in anger (or ever).

By the same token, I feel like I'm trying so freaking hard. I try so hard to be calm, to say the right thing, to set the right example. I try so hard to reward and praise every single time I see him acting appropriately. I give high fives. I tell him good job. Nothing seems to work. I can't seem to deter him from the undesirable behavior.

People tell me "oh you're such a good mother" and I want to laugh and cry at the same time. I feel like I have every one fooled. I feel like a terrible mother. The way Ben & I behaved today, I would have hated to have some one like me as a mother.

I think of what my life is going to be like in a few months with an aggressive toddler and a newborn. I can't even get excited by this little baby. I'm so overwhelmed and filled with a sense of dread and feeling of "why did I do this? why am I putting myself through this?" that I simply cannot find any way to be excited or looking forward to another child. I'm filled with dread and regret and that's not an awesome environment to bring a baby into.

I feel like I'm the only one that feels this way. I really do. I feel like I've reached my breaking point and am struggling not to fall apart completely. I feel like I've given up.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

22 Weeks & Other Randoms...

Man, I don't know about you guys, but I am not loving this week so far. This time change... wow. So far bed time and morning wake times have been good. We've adjusted Ben's bed time from 7:30 to about 8:00ish so far and I'll continue to move that back up to his normal time as the week goes on. I'm loving him sleeping in a little - he's usually up by 6:30 or so and so far this week, he's "slept in" til almost 8:00.

Naps on the other hand... dang. Yesterday I put him down by his normal time according to the clock. His internal clock said "no thank you" and proceeded to play for about 2 hours before finally going to sleep and sleeping til nearly 5:00. Today I pushed nap time back by about a half hour, 40 minutes and still... a battle to get him to sleep.

{car napping}

We're not having a great day, Ben & I. Last week he had a pretty terrific cold that made sleeping less than fantastic. He finally recovered and we went out of town for the weekend to Walla Walla for a memorial service. We learned that Ben doesn't really nap well in the car anymore. I got 3 20 minute naps from him. 2 on the way down and 1 on the way home. Yuck. He did fairly well, for being cooped up for nearly 4 hours straight (we did stop half way both ways) and not having nearly enough sleep.

{last week, too tired to sit up and play}

This week, we're dealing with lagging from traveling and dealing with the stupid time change. In addition to that, Nick is out of town yet again. I'm getting really tired of this. When he interviewed for this job, it was my impression that there would be some travel. Some, to me, does not mean 2 weeks pretty much every month. That's a lot of travel to me. And I hate it. I hate him being gone, I hate the lack of support I get at home because I'm all by myself... I hate the lack of a break... and on top of it all, I'm left with a crabby toddler who is angry with me for some reason and finding it incredibly amusing to push all my buttons.

However, in bright & shiny news.... less than one month and we'll be in Florida! I'm SO looking forward to our vacation!! We'll be gone 9 days. I've purchased our plane tickets, tickets to Sea World, tickets to Busch Gardens and have no other plans than maybe an aquarium, LOTS and LOTS of beach time and our traditional meal at Caddy's On The Beach. I'm looking forward to relaxing, letting Anne completely and totally spoil my son and give my sanity a rest.

The end of the term is coming up for Ben at Tumble Time. I've decided I'm going to do one more term of this and if I can't figure out how to shape up his attitude by the end of the next term, I probably won't re-enroll him. It's not a whole lot of fun to be one of the only parents struggling to get their child to listen and do the activities. We used to have a lot of fun at the Little Gym and we haven't transitioned that well to Tumble Time. Ben is not interested in doing what the teacher says, when she says it. He loves to go and he loves to play, but he wants to do it on his own terms. I'm exhausted by the end of every class, trying to keep him in line.

{tooth fairy at Tumble Time}

This Wednesday also marks quitting diapers cold turkey ('cept for naps & night). I simply have to do it. He will never learn to pull down his pants to pee if I don't enforce it. I keep waiting for "the right time" and there is no right time. I will never have a month of no activities, no things I have to do out of the house to do it. It's going to be inconvenient and frustrating but it needs to be done. He's old enough, he gets the concept of going to the potty, he just needs to add in the extra element of going to the potty when he's wearing pants as well.

And for a baby update. No picture today (awww boo hoo), but here's my little questionnaire dealie:

I am: 22 weeks, 1 day
Baby is: approximately 11ish" head to toes and weighs about 1 pound. This is roughly the size of a spaghetti squash (which sounds really yummy right now... ha ha).
Total weight gain: I don't weigh myself at home, so I'm going to assume still just a half pound.
Maternity Clothes: from here to the end, baby
Sleep: better!
Cravings: still no cravings, which is totally different than last time
Best moment this week: mmm more movement.
Worst moment this week: nothing really, just some random leg cramps that are not so fun
Movement: more and more! Soon Nick should be able to feel... I think
Gender: boy
Labor signs: none, whew.
Belly button in or out? still in!
What I miss: being not prego. :/ it's true.
Milestones: nothing. I've been totally lazy. No names, no room planning... nothing

So that's it. I think. Peace out, girl scout!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Life was hard last week. Way super hard. Nick was out of town to start (for the 2nd week in a row), I got a bad phone call in the middle of the night (never a good thing) super early Tuesday morning, my house felt like I replaced the front door with a revolving one nearly all week and Ben was not a happy camper.

But while it was hard for me, it was way less hard for me than other people in my family. And as much as you all know how much I dislike living in Idaho, I was reminded yet again of why I'm glad we do. I also learned that I can handle a whole lot more than I ever expected of myself. My dad asked me how I was handling it. I'm not sure how, but I am. :) Despite being high strung about knowing what to expect all of the time, I really am a "go with the flow" kind of gal.

So, after a pretty hectic/emotional/constantly changing week, it was nice to have a quiet weekend. We had hoped to see my niece play basketball on Saturday (we haven't got to see her all season) but Ben was still sleeping during her game. So instead, we tidied the house, cleaned up in the back yard, had a nice walk around our subdivision (with a stop to play at the school playground) and took it easy. Today we perused the antique mall, fed the ducks & geese, delivered a meal to a mama friend who just had a baby and visited my granny. Then Ben played in the back yard while Nick grilled out and I finished up dinner inside. We had talked about eating outside as well, but by the time everything was ready to eat, the sun was setting and it was too chilly. I sure hope this nice weather sticks around!

Ben's tantrums & hitting (and biting... and hair pulling... and pinching...) continue to be the main focus of my attention right now. I've just finished reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers by Tracy Hogg and I'm going to have Nick go through it as well. She offers a lot of practical advice for what can be a difficult stage in Ben's (and ours!) life. I tried out a few techniques today that seemed to work well. I'm hoping 5 weeks is enough time to nip this in the bud. We're traveling to Florida in that space of time and I know it will be a stressful trip. If we can control the tantrums and acting out before we ask Ben to sit on the plane for an 8+ hour trip, I'm hoping we can make it less stressful. I still have flashbacks of our flight home from Chicago. Yes, we were that family - my child screamed (no exaggeration on the screaming part) for nearly the entire 4 hour flight.

I've been pinning lots of ideas for a baby nursery the last few days. I'm excited to get the room cleaned out and start making it a little boys home. We're uncertain on what to do as far as the crib situation goes. When I picked out Ben's crib, I got it with the intention of having it grow with him - it converts to a toddler bed and then to a full bed. Now that we're making room for little brother, I had originally intended to move Ben into a big boy bed and give little brother the crib. However... I'm hesitant to rush Ben into a bed before he's ready. I've heard lots of stories from other parents that once they made the move to a big kid bed, naps stopped and night time sleep problems began. I'm simply not ready for Ben to give up naps (and neither is he), so I'm concerned about rushing him into a different bed too soon. We may decide to just bite the bullet and buy an additional (convertible) crib for little brother. Either way, an additional bed needs to be purchased, we just have to decide if the money will go to a big kid bed or another crib.

Nick & I are still discussing names. At the moment, Matthew is topping our list. I also really like Andrew & William (as does Nick), but we have lots of family with those names already, so we'll probably not use either of those. Can you tell I tend to favor more old fashioned names? ;) I had hoped to sort of honor my mom with her name for our second child - I convinced myself that I already had a boy, so of course nature would grant me with a girl ;) - and planned to use the middle name as either Linda (her first name) or Darlene (her middle name). Now I'm stumped as to what I could use. I've considered using her maiden name as the middle name, but I'm not sure yet. Any one that knew my mom and has suggestions on names that were special to her, please pass them on! And, no, dad, Wolfgang isn't making the list.

Potty training is slow going. Sort of. If Ben has the opportunity to run around naked from the waist down, he's fantastic. He absolutely gets using the potty and I couldn't tell you the last time I had to mop up an accident. This weekend I decided to skip the diaper and and just do underpants and regular pants. I haven't given completely up, but our experiment was a total failure. Ben just doesn't seem to get it (or doesn't care) when he has clothes on. Added to that, he's completely unmotivated by wet clothes. We'll keep trying, but I really feel like we're starting potty training all over again.

Still working on updated blog names for once this little boy is an outside baby. I had one I liked but now I can't remember it... :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

20 Weeks!

I am
: 20 weeks, 4 days (over half way there!)
Baby is: approximately 10" head to toes and weighs about 1 pound. This is roughly the size of a banana.
Total weight gain: 1/2 a pound. I went down some.
Maternity Clothes: from here to the end, baby
Sleep: meh. I'm so comfortable... just not all the way asleep.
Cravings: Nothing! :)
Best moment this week: we found out the gender!
Worst moment this week: well, this week was completely awful but for other reasons. The worst thing, baby related, that happened has I did puke a little. Poopy diapers + 1st thing in the morning = no.
Movement: much more than last time! this one is a busy little bugger in the evening, just like big brother!
Gender: It's a.... BOY!
Labor signs: none, whew.
Belly button in or out? still in!
What I miss: sleeping.
Milestones: gender reveal! now to start arguing about names and planning the nursery.

Other than finding out I'd lost half a pound since last month and the gender reveal, nothing too different this week from last. Now I've got to get busy on cleaning out our guest room and transforming it to a baby boy room! Lord, take pity on me! TWO boys!

Little boy is growing just the way he should. He has all the right parts, and they're all in the right places. He's breech at the moment, but he had lots of time to move around. I'm thinking Ben may have been the same way. I remember all of Ben's ultrasound pictures were blurry - he was moving around so much, it was hard to get a good picture of him. The first first image we were greeted with was his boy parts. ;) This boy is quieter during the day - we must have caught him at nap time - and we had to wiggle around a bit to confirm it was a boy, he kept his legs together the whole time!

Oh, and now that I know it's a boy, we will more than likely not have a baby shower. I kept so many of Ben's things, just in case, we don't need a whole lot. That being said, if some one wants to throw me one, I won't say no.... ;) but I'm not planning to have one. I have started a small registry on Amazon with things I'd like to have this time around.. you know.. in case you want to buy us stuff. :) Click here to view it. I'm sure I'll keep adding to it.