Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Family Road Trip to See the King Cousins!

Road Trip!
We went on a road trip for a 8 hour drive, it took 12 hours.  We went with my kids a 2 year old and a 9 month old and stopped many times. They did fantastic!  I am pretty impressed.  Grandma and I took turns driving, or playing with the kids in back. Having our minivan helped a lot, we had room to move and have activities close.  By the time we hot to Idaho and home again we were ALL exhausted!  I could not imagine doing this on my own.

My sister said to me at lunch one day, "You know, Sara you're spoiled with Grandma living with you. I did most things on my own with 5 kids." To that I say, more power to you! 

Then I explained grandma helps may not nearly as much as most people think. She hasn't been able to help, because of her two jobs. But now hopefully she will have more time with us.  Not needing her to just babysit, but enjoy just being Grandma more!

My sister Roanne is much stronger than I am when it comes to chaos, multitasking and organizing. She had kids young without knowing any different.  I chose not to do it this way, thus me having kids at a later time in life and being prepared.

I would NOT have planned a road trip without help.  I don't want to hate the trip, yell at the kids or get sick from being exhausted. I know it sounds selfish, but I have waited this long to be a mom, and vacations should be relaxing not suicidal.

So to plan for this road trip I needed grandma to help us! I had kids later in life and feel having another person to help makes me happier, the kids happier and we feel better all around. Being trained as a preschool teacher, mom compliments me in doing activities and making it exciting for the kids.  She reminds me how to be a kids again, it is great to have her help.  Is that being spoiled, or just prepared?
I don't know..... I look at parents out there with mulitple kids, and the craziness and ruckus that happens.... it makes me so tired and overwhelmed! I get over stimulated from just watching it all.

As I get older I am getting more stuck in my ways. BUT my ways are planned, prepared and flexible. I want to have fun, enjoy myself, not be exhausted, and just let the kids have fun. So I prepare, and have someone else with me and my kids whether it is daddy, or grandma helps the situation immensely!
This road trip was planned with grandma to help, and then daddy was going to meet us here for the weekend. He got sick and stayed home. So a little harder, but we managed to be consistant and visit with our family without ripping our own hair out.

I also have a bad back, so back and forth out of the car, or eating, playing and sitting too long is very hard on me physically.  Having another person help that is supportive in the way I parent, really made our time more enjoyable.

I wish Andrew could have gone with us, but on the otherhand I think having grandma there was a perfect compliment for me and the kids really enjoyed themselves! 

So if you are planning a road trip... it pays off to plan and recruit help that will ease your trip!  Plan activities, excercise and healthy food options for everyone!  Everyone will enjoy themselves more and feel better in the end!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Daily Challenges for a Two Year Old and His Mommy

Where do I begin? I have a 2 year old.
The average day for Hudson revolves around food, pooping and his passy. If he is hungry he is mean and yells or hits. If he gets in trouble he wants his passy, is mean and yells or hits. If he hasn't pooped his is mean, yells or hits.

The mornings are great, he is happy to be up and see me or daddy. He plays by himself in his room for usually an hour or so depending on his bowel movements. Poop is a big topic in house all the time. He is content in his room or upstairs playing as long as he has his passy. He will put it away and play and then go back and get it. You can tell when he puts it back in his mouth because his self-talk through the monitor is muffled. He is happy to put it away one one of us goes up stairs to get him. He likes the morning. He usually eats an entire bowl full of yummy oatmeal. My special recipe- 2 fruits strawberry, blueberry, raspberries or apples with cranberries or raisins. Then I add ground flax and amaranth, with cinnamon and vanilla~ he loves it! He lasts about 2 hours on this and then the day of trials and tribulations begins.

Depending on what we have planned, play date or activity or whatnot in the morning he will do fine as long as he has a snack by like 10. If we don't snack then he starts with the yelling or hitting if I need him to do something or stop something that is not OK or unsafe. So I have been trying to redirect him, have him use his words about being grumpy because he is hungry. "Tell mommy your hungry when you start to feel grumpy." then is it finding something he will want to eat that is not just fruit. He would eat fruit all day if I let him.

Then at some point of discipline he reverts back to wanting to be in his room with his passy. Or he is tired and says, "watch movie mommy? watch cartoons 1 minute mommy?"

I am trained in ECE, I know how to handle this. BUT Everything I am trying is not working.  Redirection of what he can do, giving him 2 choices within my limits.  I love this one, the new response to my choices " Never ever never, mommy!" I don't know where he got that one. 

I have been stumped in the moment and found myself asking him to really do things I know he is capable of, but have not spend enough repetitive time doing it with him, so that it is a "learned" skill.  For example, cleaning his room.  I few times I have asked him to clean up his toys, and the mess only gets larger.  I was doing other things and needed him to clean up before he wanted another toy.  All craziness came out and he pitched a fit about wanting the new toy, a long afternoon.  So the next time, I said if you clean up your books and tinker toys, then we can take out your music set.  A small task, two things.  He just stood there as I walked away.  Then I realized he has watched me clean up, I have asked him to help, and sometimes he will help.  So since this is new skill I am asking of him, I should help him.  Lead as a parent and not just bark orders. DUH!  "Would you like me to help you put away your toys?" "Yes mommy!"  I sat close and pointed and 1 to 2 things at a time and told him where to put them.  It took a longer time but he did it all, picked everything up and got to play with his music toys.  He was very proud and happy.  I was helping make him more independent by helping him.  I get so caught up in trying to be a better housewife and wanting to have the house clean.  I have to remember that having young kids take time, and I need to be patient.

So I visited a few preschool and found one!  I really think even though he is not quite 3 yet, he will love this school.  I feel like their curriculum and detail in teaching is very similar to what I was trained in as well as who I strive to be as a parent.  So having teachers and kids be around Hudson with positive redirection, and problem solving skills will influence him in good ways. 

I thought with my training and everything even though it has been over 15 years (yikes) I would be able to entertain him enough to keep him challenged.  Nope.  I know I could do more, but my 9 month old Dayton will not get her needs met equally and the household chores, well since they went out the window a long time ago, maybe I can get them back. 

I want to enjoy motherhood and not be fighting a battle all the time.  I know he is hungry or tired or needing different stimulation.  As a parent I see this, I can meet most his needs, and the other ones I am asking for direction from his new teachers.  I don't want it to look like I am giving up or failing.  I see this as a positive for him, he will gain his independence from me, and become the little BIG boy he wants to be.  Daddy thinks it is too early, I think he is smarter and bigger than we take him for, and he will only get a better environment to grow in different directions I don't have the energy for, physical ability to do or creative brain power that I use to have.  Having kids has shot my entire short term memory and I feel like my mind is blank when talking, typing or thinking sometimes.  So frustrating! 

I want my kids to remember the good parts of childhood, I don't want them to remember I yelled at them all the time, because I was tired, they were tired and we all had melt downs all the time. 

I am the mommy of a two year old, I see he needs more, I am putting him in preschool 2 days a week.  I don't think this is a bad thing, it is a good thing!

Dayton and Hudson are Growing Up Fast

Dayton got her first tooth 2 days before xmas and the next tooth came 3 days later.  She has been pulling and grabbing at our food so we also started feeding her solids.  She loves squash and carrots!  She has been practicing sitting up on her own as well.  I put a video on youtube.

Hudson started potty training on New Years day.  It is day 16 and he has been accident free for over a week with pee, and now initiating going on his own.  Just this morning he went poop on the potty all on his own in the other room away from us.  Then he came and found Andrew and said "Hudson poop" and took Andrew to the potty to show him.  He then asked, "m&m's?" and tilted his head and smiled!  It was great!  So we are on our way to having a potty trained son by 2 and half years old!

Hudson's speech is so great.  He talks in such full sentences, yet still in 3rd person about himself.  We are working on that!  He loves to narrate what people are doing, he loves talking!  Takes after grandma!

Grandma has taken Hudson on a few adventures and he loves them!  He recently visited the Train Museum in old town Sacramento.  His last adventure was to the state capital where he picked oranges out front.