Pages

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spoiling

Growing up, my parents were not the "ideal" parents. They were the type of parents who hired a babysitter for my sister and I anytime they went anywhere. They both worked full-time running their own business, and when they weren't working they spent a lot of time at business dinners, or parties and we always had an endless stream of nannies at our door who filled in when we needed a boo boo kissed or a hand to hold.

My sister and I craved our parents attention and were always jealous of our friends mothers who packed them wonder bread sandwiches for lunch, did their hair every morning, and inquired about their day at school every single day. My sister and I were the kids who bought lunch every day, but some days we didn't because my mom forgot to buy our lunch tickets because she was too busy and on those days we skipped lunch. I was always leaving permission slips that needed to be signed on the counter, and would find them unsigned the next day.

NOTE: This isn't a sob story (because if it was it would be lame), I'm just trying to show you a different side to parenting.

My parents focused all of their time and energy growing their business. The same business that keeps both my husband and I employed today (and we are very grateful for that). My parents could afford all the toys I wanted, but my sister and I felt a little starved for attention. Most of my parents friends and family called my sister and I spoiled because my parents made up for their lack of attention with lots of "things". We were spoiled with toys, but we were not spoiled with a mother and father who did everything for us. Is the kid who is given lots of material things, but forced to learn things on their own really spoiled? Or is the kid who might not have a ton of material things but has a parent who smothers them and does not teach them how to do things for them self?

I think you can really "spoiling" a child by not preparing them for real life.

I never realized until recently that my parents purposely threw us out into the world, and didn't do things for us because they wanted us to learn. My mom and I talked about this recently, and it never occurred to me this was intentional; we always assumed they were just too busy.

I ended up becoming very self sufficient. I had to learn how to take care of myself, do laundry, make my own dinner, and be responsible because my mom and dad didn't do everything for me. I've had a job continually since I was sixteen years-old. I wasn't forced into working that young, I wanted to work. I saw what the product of hard work was and I wanted it. If I want something, I go for it, I don't want for it to be given to me. I can solve my own problems because I've always had to. I've seen others my age struggle with becoming a responsible adult. They don't know how to anything without the help of their parents, and it's definitely not because they were spoiled with lots of toys when they were children, it's because they were never given the opportunity to learn how to do things for themselves. These are the same children that get out of college with fancy degrees (while never having a job previously) and don't know what to do with themselves. Life is harsh, reality is harsh and introducing some of that harshness early on can prepare a child for the "real world". Note: I hate the term the "real world." My father used to constantly tell me that I knew nothing about the real world, and it drove my crazy.

While I want Carter to grow up self sufficient and not succumb to the woes of the world when he grows up, I find it's really hard to take that step back. He's only two so I think I'm allowed to baby him for now, but I know it's going to be hard for me when he gets older. I want to take away his pain all of the time. I want him to be happy and get everything he wants. I want to smother him with love and kisses and soothe him when he's sad for no reason. I want to do things for him the right way the first time so he doesn't have to make mistakes, but I know he has to. I don't want to watch him fall down and cry out of anger because the world jilted him. I want to run and kiss him and tell him everything is going to be okay, but I know I can't.
I think it's important to find that happy medium. While I can see why my parents made the decisions they did and I can appreciate it now, I've learned I don't have to sacrifice affection and spending time with my son to show him those same important life lessons. I want him to feel secure and loved at all times, even when he learns that life just isn't fair. I'll show him the way, but I definitely won't be doing it for him.

As of now, we don't have a babysitter (besides daycare). When Carter is not in daycare I very rarely ask someone to watch him and only when it is absolutely necessary. If I can bring my son, I do. It's very important for us to spend as much time as possible with him.

What are your thoughts on spoiling?



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby #2: 9 Weeks



Photobucket
Sorry, no pictures of me this week because I am feeling fugly.


How Far Along: 9 weeks 5 days

Size of baby: The baby is about the size of an olive

Gender: Too early

Movement: Too early

What I miss: Nothing really

Cravings: Orange juice, pasta, Chicken Milanese from Angel Cafe

Symptoms: Just tired, a little nauseated, but otherwise I feel pretty good!

Best Moment of this week: We had another ultrasound today, and I'm so glad the doctor squeezed us in last minute. I couldn't wait two more weeks until my NT Scan. The baby was measuring two days ahead of the last ultrasound (yay!) he or she caught up! And we saw the baby moving! Want to see?? Isn't it amazing?



Milestones: We also got to hear the heartbeat today!! I was so surprised we could hear it this early. The heart was beating happily away at 156 bpm.

I was so happy today I cried. I just couldn't get through Thanksgiving without one more peak at our babe to make sure the he or she grew appropriately. I have been extra anxious the past few days for some reason, but when I saw everything was okay, I cried a little.

I go back from my NT Scan in two weeks. Think positive thoughts for me!







Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest Post from Drops of Motherhood!

My bloggity friend Jess and I did a guest post swap recently for fun. She is so kind and adorable and I know you'll love her. We originally bonded over both having had miscarriages (she lost her son's twin while pregnant) and she wanted some advice on starting her own blog. She's much better at getting blog followers and getting her blog noticed than I am. I need her advice from now! Our boys are also very close in age.

Here she goes!





Hey everyone! It’s Jess from Drops of Motherhood. I am so excited to be guest blogging here at Pretty Little Mommy Things today.

So I want to thank Michelle for not only being the main reason I started blogging but for also being such a great bloggity friend. :) She is amazing and I have enjoyed getting to know her.
 
& now to the guest post.

Today I want to talk about us moms. Mother, that such a strong word yet sometimes we are taken advantage of. I am the only child to a wonderful single mom and all I can think of is that I would be lost without my right hand man. I like to believe that I was a great child but then I look at Hayden and think if I was anything like that, that my mom must be one tough woman.
 

 How do you know if you’re ready to be a mom? Oh boy, I can remember the day I found out I was pregnant, it plays like a movie in my head.  I was 19 and told my boyfriend of only 6 months that I was pregnant, and pro life. To my surprise he said okay, were gonna do this. This was after he had told me that he never wanted children. I was so lucky to have such supportive family, friends and boyfriend. I had Hayden 2 weeks after my 20th birthday, best birthday present ever! I wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. I don’t think my life would be the same without with my little man. Would you do anything different? If you could, would you turn back the hands of time and chose a different path?

 


 Having given birth to a health baby boy, it pains me to see others who cannot conceive on their own. That’s why I have decided when I am a bit thinner and healthier I want to become a surrogate. I believe the greatest gift is being a mom not giving birth. I would love to give others the joy I feel when I look at Hayden. & I’m sure this is how many mothers feel.
 
Thanks so much for stopping by and make sure you come check out our crazy life at Drops of Motherhood.

Thanks Michelle for allowing me to guest post. :)





Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Baby #2: Week 8



How Far Along: 8 weeks 5 days 


Size of baby: The baby is about the size of a kidney bean.


Total Weight Gain/Loss: I haven't checked yet, I'm a little scared but I know most of it is bloat right now. I gained about 25 pounds with Carter, but never lost the last 8 pounds, so I'd like to gain less than 20...

Maternity Clothes: I'm rocking both my maternity clothes and everyday clothes. Truthfully, I still wore a few pairs of maternity pants even when not pregnant. What's wrong with a stretchy waist? It's hard to stop wearing those things after you have a baby.

Gender: Too early. I usually get a feeling one way or another for pregnant friends and family, but never for myself. We've had names picked for about a year now. Here's a hint, they both start with an O (boy and girl!).

Movement: Heck no.
Sleep: So far sleep is okay. I'm waking up just a bit more during the night to pee. (4 + times!)

What I miss: Wine. Why is it when I'm pregnant, I want to drink, but when I'm not pregnant I never want to drink? Want what you can't have much?

Cravings: I'm hungrier. You know that feeling where you haven't eaten ALL day and you are about to eat the most delicious meal of your life and you feel like you are so hungry you might die? I feel that way every day before lunch. I'm eating breakfast too. I need to start bringing some serious snacks to work.

Symptoms: Nausea that comes and goes, and utter fatigue.

Best Moment this week: Not pregnancy related, but cooking a nice big belated birthday dinner for my dad with Andy. We made a fall centerpiece for the table with cinnamon scented pine cones, and leaves, and cooked a ginormous dinner while listening to Christmas music. It was a great intro to the holiday season. Yippee.

What I'm looking forward to: Getting to the 2nd trimester and having my NT Scan on 12/1. I'm still living in a ball of nerves which I'm hoping will settle down when I have a good NT Scan. I haven't told most of the people I work with (except for friends) and I've only told some family. There's really no reason why I haven't except that I'm enjoying my little secret for now.
Milestones: Seeing the heartbeat last Thursday!

219 days to go.




Monday, November 7, 2011

The cuteness I call Carter..(LONG Carter update)

Did I seriously make him?! Does it get better than this?

I haven't done a post in a while about how much Carter is growing. He is such a little man now, I can't get over it. He surprises us on a daily basis with new words and phrases and makes us laugh on all the time. I'm going to give you a little bit of what he has been up to.

Words

Carter repeats virtually everything we say, and he is also putting sentences together and communicating with us. He is going through a "hot" and "cold" phase where he likes to point out the temperature of everything. If he touches food that is even slightly warm, he shrieks and drops it as if it's the hottest thing on the planet. He definitely knows how to throw on the dramatics (wonder where he gets that from?). He also knows to blow on his food if it's not the right temperature. He is fascinated with the sun, stars and moon. I told him one night that it gets dark and cold when the moon is out. The very next night we were outside and he pointed to the moon and said "there's the moooooon! It's dark out. Scury." And then he hugged himself and chattered his teeth and said "it's cooooold!" It's amazing that I can tell him something once now, and he remembers! For the longest time, I'd repeat something every single day for a yearbefore he'd repeat it, or start to say it.
The other day we were driving and after Andy sneezed, I heard a little "bless you" come from the back seat. I just about died it was so sweet. Carter is also very good about saying please and thank you.. He says sorry when he does something wrong, but never when prompted. If I ask him to say thank you or sorry to someone or to me, he just stares. Such a stubborn little guy, never wanting to do what someone tells him (hmm, also wonder where he got that from?). But if he bumps into me, or drops something, he'll just say loudly "soweee mommy!" and I melt. Carter's newest thing is pointing out emotions like when someone is "sad." We were reading a book about pumpkins this morning, and one of them had a frowny face which he pointed to and said "pumpkin is sad" and Carter looked very concerned.

You'd think that because he can repeat everything now he'd be repeating some not so good stuff too, but he isn't really. He did say sucks the other day a few times, but I don't know if he was trying to say something else, or if he was just babbling. We had a scare in San Francisco last week with what we thought were naughty words. We were driving, and we thought we heard Carter say the F and the B word and it caused us to gasp, but then we realized he was pointing out the bridge we were driving on and a nearby truck. His pronunciation isn't great yet, haha.

I did a freaky moment with him over the weekend though. I was catching up on a TV show while Carter was playing with his toys on the floor. There was a moment in the show where a woman was hit by a car and was lying on the ground (it was not graphic or gory). Carter looked up, pointed to the TV and said "she died, she died." And then went back to playing with his toys. I have NO idea how he knows what died means or what death is so I found that experience a little nerve inducing for me. I tried asking him, but he just said, very seriously, "she died" and that was it. Eeek.

It's really an amazing feeling to be able to communicate with him. If he has done something bad, I will explain to him what he did wrong, and end the conversation with an "Okay?" And he usually looks sad and says "Okay."

Discipline

It's SO hard, I hate to discipline him at all, but I know he needs to know he can't pinch people (I blame daycare) and not to dump full bottles of water on the couch, or draw on the walls, etc. As much as I want to give him everything he wants and for him to be happy every single moment of his life, it's not good for his development. We give him time outs in his little chair in the living room, but they really don't last long. If he does something he is not supposed to, I firmly tell him to go on time out and point to his chair. He'll usually pout, or laugh and go sit in the chair on his own (it actually kind of amazes me that he listens). I make him sit there for about a minute, explain why what he did was not okay, and then let him free. It's hard because he usually finds me hilarious when I'm trying to discipline him and it makes me angry. He doesn't find me scary or intimidating, which I don't really want, but I want him to take me seriously without having to spank. I refuse to spank my child. There is a book out there on the 1-2-3 something method that I might check out soon.

Rar.


Food

What does he eat you ask? He still has his usual favorite - cheese, but he is one picky little dude. There is very little he will eat. He loves chicken (only if it is plain, not seasoned, and not in a sauce). I sneak him some turkey deli meat and call it chicken so he'll eat it, and he seems to like that too. The only fruit he will eat are bananas and apples, but he does love them. He will not eat most pastas and rice. He will only eat spaghetti noodles (with a teeny bit of marinara sauce or plain) because I taught him how to suck the noodles up one by one and he thinks it's fun. If the pasta is in any other form, it's "yucky." Including mac n cheese. Carter normally likes plain white rice, again if it is colored or has touched a sauce or anything green, it is off limits. His food tastes vary from day to day. Some days I can get him to eat something different and he'll seem to like it, and when I try to get him to eat it another night, he'll turn his nose away in disgust. I stopped forcing him to try foods a looong time ago, and we will never force him again (even though it did work most of the time). He trusts me more when I ask him if he wants a bite, he says no, and I don't ask again and respect his answer. It's so frustrating to know he'll like something if he gives it a chance, and he refuses, but that's life! He drinks almond milk now, usually at night before he goes to sleep and at daycare. We went through a soy milk and an organic whole milk phase (both of which I've read can be bad for him in large quantities) so we threw our hands up and tried almond milk. He liked it. I've found reason to why everything I give my child is bad for him in someway. There's always a new study. Sigh.



Sleep

While we had made great progress getting Carter to sleep in his crib this year, the past few weeks have gone downhill. He completely refuses to sleep in his crib. I've tried the CIO (cry it out) method again, but I can only let him cry for so long before I cave (usually 45 minutes is my limit). We've tried moving him to his crib as soon as he's asleep (doesn't work. he wakes right up), putting on his favorite movie (doesn't work), and giving him a bottle (doesn't work, and yes a baby bottle). He's two. We've spoiled him for too long by letting him sleep with us and we've created a little co-sleeping monster. The truth is, it doesn't really bother us that much, except when he decides to kick us or sleep sideways in the night. We actually like co-sleeping half of the time, and the other half we hate it. We have a plan to give him an official toddler room in the next few months, and maybe we can get him down if he has a big boy bed. Who are we kidding, the bed has nothing to do it with it, but he just can't be sleeping in our room when the new baby comes along. It will not work.

A BIG scare we had the other day. Carter got knocked in the head by a lamp and had the scariest looking bump, EVER. All is well though.


What he's into
He still loves good ole Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but his 2nd favorite show is Wow Wow Wubbzy on Nick Jr. He loves cars, lego's, books, drawing, pretend cooking, rocks, parks, and pretend driving. I left my car door open in the garage the other day while I brought groceries in, and I turned away for two minutes and found him sitting in the drivers seat pretending to drive! He has quite the imagination already.

The Basics

I still haven't taken him in for his two year shots but plan to do that this week. I'm curious to find out his current height / weight. I'd guess he is around 27 pounds now, but I'm not sure. He wears size 24m clothes, finally (but still fits into some 12 - 18 month clothing). He has mild asthma and gets a case of bronchitis whenever he gets a cold (just like me), and we have a permanent nebulizer in our home that he does breathing treatments on when that happens. Poor dude. Ever since we started giving him gummy vitamins a year ago, he doesn't get sick very often which we love. He still wears size 4 diapers. I have a feeling we will skip size 5 altogether (hoping he will be potty trained by then).

He's still in the same daycare, but I plan to take him out two weeks after I have this baby, and stay at home with him and the new babe for 10 weeks (am I nuts?!). When I go back to work, I'll put Carter into Preschool as he will be three and eligible. Most of the preschools I've looked at are a little bit cheaper than daycare. Hopefully I can work out an arrangement so the baby won't have to go to daycare right away just like I did with Carter. Carter didn't start daycare until he was 1, I have no idea how we managed that, but we did.


Potty Training

We have a baby potty and the baby toilet seat that fits on a regular toilet. Whenever I put him on the potty (usually before bath time), he does pee it, but we really haven't pushed him yet. I don't think he is truly ready. Daycare is recommending I wait until he's 2 1/2 - 3, but we don't plan on waiting that long. I'm thinking we'll start really trying in January, and hope to have him completely potty trained at 2 1/2. The good thing about these kids being spaced out almost 3 years, is I'll only have one in diapers at any one time. Yay!

This is the longest update in the world. If you read the entire thing, you are amazing, thank you!




Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Ultrasound

Today was the big day for us, and my nerves were at an all time high. Seeing as the last ultrasound I had to check on my growing baby resulted in no heartbeat (in February), I couldn't bear the thought of laying on that table while the tech searched for a heartbeat. I wanted to burst into tears just walking into the room.

But, I lived through it and everything looked great! The baby had a "very strong" heartbeat at 160 bpm, and the flicker was clearly there. It took the tech a minute to get there, he casually showed me my uterus, the gestational sac, etc and all I could think about was get to the baby, get to the baby! He even gave us a DVD of the ultrasound to take home. Neaat.

Now, based on my LMP, I should have been 7 weeks 6 days today however I was charting and I knew I ovulated two days late. I was expecting the baby to possibly measure 2 days behind because of this, but the baby was measuring 4 days behind, at 7 weeks 2 days. The tech wasn't concerned at all and said all babies grow at a different rate and I probably ovulated / implanted later than I thought. I know I definitely ovulated two days late, so the baby is only measuring two days behind this and the tech acted as if it was nothing to be remotely concerned about so I'm trying not to be. The good news is that we have a strong heartbeat and the baby looks great so far (just one!). My next ultrasound is not until Dec. 1st when I'll be getting my 1st Trimester screen around 12 weeks. I don't know how I'll manage until then, but I'll find a way.

For some reason, I just want to burst into tears. I know it's probably the hormones, and I can't tell if they are happy tears or nervous tears, but I just want to cry. I can't emotionally handle losing another baby. I just can't. Pregnancy after loss is so different (and I'm sure those pregnant after dealing with infertility feel similar). I'm going to go home tonight and pop the DVD of the ultrasound in my computer and just cry. I need to let it all out.

We are so thrilled about this pregnancy and I am trying to manage my fears daily. Each day that passes, it gets better and I know in another month or so I will let all the nerves go. I am happy I had a good appointment. I am grateful I am here. I am grateful we have a strong little baby bean growing inside me right now. And that is all I can possibly ask for.


Photobucket

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween!

We celebrated Carter's 3rd official Halloween yesterday. Isn't that crazy? He's been around for three whole Halloweens now. Soo yea, last night... We grabbed a quick bite at my parents house, and just like last year my mom insisted we take him to a few houses in her neighborhood before heading out tricking or treating elsewhere. The houses are way too far apart to go trick or treating in their neighborhood so we always end up taking Carter somewhere else.





Carter was Brobie from Yo Gabba Gabba. He was adorable. My favorite part were the other little kids getting excited and shouting out "Brobie!" when they saw him. He did really well, except he wanted to take a minute to decide which piece of candy to take and I think it bugged the other kids waiting behind him for candy.






Carter also insisted on waving and yelling "bye, bye" to each person who gave him candy. I just wanted to squish him he was so cute.