Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Recently on Parent Society

I've been a tad slow with my Parent Society writing.  It probably has something to do with a full time job, two needy kids who need to eat dinner every. single. night (the nerve), a Halloween party to plan, and a Christening to get in order. But I haven't been completely silent, so come and check me out and
share it with all your peeps

Questions to Ask During Parent Teacher Conferences-  Now that the hubub of the start of the school year is winding down, you know those conferences are coming right up.  Here are a few guiding questions to get the most out of your time slot.

Tips for the Frazzled Mom-  I'm one frazzled mama, but I've managed to scrounge up a few tips to help things go smoothly.

You Hate Your Child's Teacher...Now What? - It's not easy when you don't like your kid's teacher, but the year doesn't have to be a total wash.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Spirit In The Walls

Can we please all agree to agree that when it comes to Halloween and all things spooky that there's nothing creepier than little kids?  What parent hasn't been creeped out by waking up at 3 am with their kid just staring at them next to the bed.  And in movies like The Omen or Poltergeist it's always the little kid who are the creepiest.

Yes...little kids are creepy.

So when Isabella casually said this to me in the car I almost freaked my shit.

"Mommy, there's a little girl spirit who looks out for me.  She's invisible and she can't leave the house, but she talks to me."

Freaky huh?

I'm not sure where my belief system lies in regards to the paranormal.  I love the idea of ghosts and spirits and Halloween and being scared, but I'm not sure that I actually believe in things like that, but I know that I don't know enough to say it's definitely an impossibility.  There have definitely been nights where Andy was on midnights that the thought of demons kept me up for hours terrified that if I closed my eyes I'd become possessed by a demon.  But I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of scary books.

After some question asking I found out this about Isabella's spirit friend:  she has blue hair and she talks to her through the walls.  Just to add to the freak factor, my mom said that my imaginary friends when I was little were called The People From Dark Meadows and they came to me through the wall.

Now, Isabella probably just has an overactive imagination and it was probably just something she said in passing, but just in case it's true, at least the spirit is looking out for her.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Flashlight Friend

Isabella is scared of the dark and has an insane love for all things stuffed, so Flashlight Friends are an awesome way to combat her fear while also playing into her need for something soft to snuggle with.

Flashlight Friends are plush, soft stuffed animals with an LED flashlight built into their stomach.  Tap the flashlight circle twice and the light will come on.  The light is soft and not overwhelming, but provides enough light to keep fears of the dark away.

 The best part is, is that it shuts off automatically after 10 minutes so it won't keep little ones awake after they've drifted off to sleep.  The light never gets hot and isn't bright enough to hurt sensitive little eyes.  It has an easy to hold handle on the back for small hands to grab.

It's perfect to help ease fear of the dark, for reading at night, and Isabella even uses hers in imaginative play, it usually involves the princess and her pet unicorn being captured by an evil queen (me) and she has to find her way out of the dungeon (darkened basement).

Flashlight Friends come in  pink unicorn (that's the one we have), black penguin, green turtle, green dragon, blue puppy, and purple panda.

Flashlight Friends are a product of Idea Village and are available for purchase for $19.99.  I think they'd make a wonderful gift during the upcoming holiday season.

I received a free Flashlight Friend so that I might provide an honest review. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Boobs

What used to be my free drink getters now completely dominated my world.  At first I would obsess over my boobs and their magic milk making abilities.  Was she getting enough?  Was she getting too much?  Will this ever stop hurting?  Why is the breast milk bloody?  Is this poop normal?

Luckily we're past all that.  The first 6 weeks were rough stuff, but after that things got easier and right around 3 months we hit our stride and breast feeding has been easy peazy since.

But I would like to go a full day without worrying about the state of my boobs.

I feel like I spend about 30 minutes a day just wrestling with my pump and it's parts.  The room I pump in at work needs two extension cords to reach the outlet.  That means every day I have to unwind extension cords that apparently have some sort of extension cord orgy in my Pump In Style backpack which requires multiple attempts at me untangling them.  Then I also pump in the car to and from work which requires some serious skills.  Shrouded in my cover I have to tussle with a seatbelt, pumping wires, car adaptors, and leaking flanges.

I'm also always concerned when I'm away from her about how long I can go without pumping.  About how full my boobs can get before those pesky ducts get clogged.  On the rare night she sleeps at my moms, I have to wake up early to pump.

And did you know that now all of my bras have trap doors?  Isn't that cool?

My boobs are taking over!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

24 Hours

I need 24 hours to catch up on my life.  That's what I really need.  First of all, I'd need to sacrifice 12 of those hours to sweet, sweet sleep, and since this is a fantasy, I'd like to not have to wake up halfway through to pump or wake up engorged or with plugged ducts.  I'd like my breasts to just chill out for 12 hours while I sleep.

Then I would like to write.  Uninterrupted, without tiny hineys to wipe or crusts to cut off of sandwiches that nobody eats.  I'd like to sit on my back porch with a steamy pumpkin spice latte with pumpkin whipped cream and write.  Also, the latte has no calories, but full fat.  I'd like to be able to write all the posts that are swirling around up there in my head.  The posts that come to me, fully written at 3 am when I'm bleary eyed and feeding the baby.

I'd like to scrub my house from top to bottom.  Organize every nook and cranny with baskets and bins and all the pretty things.

I'd like to cook a big meal while drinking wine and listening to music.  I'd like to have a dessert without little fingers poking into it and snatching up all my frosting.

I'd like to lie on the couch for a copious amount of hours watching mind numbing television.

I'd like to read a book without pictures.

Hmmmm...I think I might need 48 hours to fit all that in.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Flipeez Review

Isabella loves all things cute and furry and fuzzy.  She's also quite the fashionista and enjoys every opportunity to accessorize.  Flipeez fulfills all of those needs.

Flipeez are soft, warm and fleecy to keep little heads warm when the weather starts to turn cold.  They are also in the shape of adorable animals like the Huggy Monkey, Twitchy Kitty, Curious Owl, Peek-a-Boo Monster, Rascally Rabbit, Playful Puppy, or the Ranger Raccoon.  But their cuddly cuteness is not their only charming feature...

When you squeeze the ball at the end of the tassle, you get a little action.

Isabella has the Twitchy Kitty and when she squeezes the little ball at the end of the tassle the tail in the back flips up and down.  She just about exploded when she saw that tail move.  She wore it around the house for the better part of a weekend and she can't wait for it to be cold enough out for her to wear it to school.  I can't wait either...for her to wear the hat, not for the cold...mama likes the sunshine.

But inevitably winter comes around every year and it's so thick and warm that I know I won't have to fight with her to bundle up to go out in the cold.  It would make a great gift for my little nieces as well, although I'm sure that I'd have to get three Twitchy Kitty's so there's no fighting involved over who has the cutest hat.

The hats are made as one size fits all and it fits Isabella really nicely with some stretch to cover all that mop of hair that she has.

I'd have to say that I'm really pleased with the feel of this hat, how cute it looks and how well it fits!  Flipeez are adorable!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Meltdown - The Giveaway

mommy meltdownsSo remember that book that I co-authored with 29 other super awesome mom bloggers where we all dug down deep and wrote about our not-so-finest moments?  Well I'd love to giveaway a copy to one of you awesome readers.

You'll want to win this book because it's totally relatable.  It's like sharing stories with your best girlfriends over a cup of coffee, or more than likely if you're at my house, a glass of wine. It's all about honesty.  Our children, while adorable, can really drive you to drink because that's their job and every now and then even the coolest of cool moms can really loose her ish if you know what I mean.

So if you'd love to read the book you can buy it on Amazon, on your nook, kindle, or Barnes and Noble or you can win it here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  Good luck!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

It's Not Fair

When I was a little girl and I'd piss and moan to my mom about how unfair whatever stupid rule she was trying to enforce was, like going to bed or doing my homework, she'd simply say "life isn't fair."  Ain't that the truth?! Bad things happen to good people.  Bad guys get away with things that they shouldn't.  The people who run the country are corrupt and good, honest, hardworking people are lost in the shuffle.

Scaling back to my own personal world, there are a ton of things that aren't fair.

1.  It's not fair that men do not have boobs.  It's really not fair that I'm solely responsible for providing Arya's food.  It would be nice to hunker down with a bottle of wine and The Walking Dead and not have to worry about pumping and dumping or having to listen to her scream while Andy heats up a bottle.  It would be nice to trade off every so often so I could get some solid sleep.  I feel like my life revolves around my boobs.

2.  It's not fair that broccoli is good for you and chocolate is bad for you.  I don't mean that 95% dark chocolate cocao crap that is full of antioxidants, I mean the good stuff.  You know, the chocolate that's all mixed up with caramel and peanut butter and nougaty goodness.

3.  It's not fair that there is always traffic.  Staten Island is by far the worst borough and I feel like I spend more time on Staten Island than I do with my children.

4.  It's not fair that Isabella is so independent.  I mean wasn't she just born like last week?  Can she slow it down a bit.

5.  It's not fair that my pedicure always smudges 30 seconds after I get in my car.  Every. Single. Time. I'm lucky it's closed toe shoe season and I can pretend that I'm "letting my nails breath" which is code for, "ain't no one gonna see these toes so I'll get them painted in May".

6.  It's not fair that when Andy gives Arya a bottle and does her bedtime she's lights out, but when I do her bedtime I have to go in like three times to get her to stay asleep.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

5 Months

Weight: Unknown (next appointment isn't until 6 months)

Height: Unknown 

Sleeping Habits: It looks like we're starting to get some sleep around here.  Not much, but enough.  Things are looking up.  Arya will go to sleep between 7 and 7:30 each night, she'll either nurse to sleep or sometimes she'll fuss and we'll just pat her buns and she's out.  Sometimes she sleeps straight through until 5:30 or 6 and sometimes she wakes up once to eat.  I can handle that.  She sleeps on her tummy in her crib.  Her naps are also slowly improving.  She's starting to take one long nap a day.  She takes about 3 naps a day, between 45 minutes-2 hours.  We still have to walk with her to sleep, but it only takes about 5 minutes so it's not so bad.  

Eating Habits: We still EBF and she takes bottles of pumped milk when I'm at work.  She eats every 2-3 hours.  She'll take 4 ounces in a bottle.  

Milestones: That wee baby is rolling both ways AND she starting inching like an inchworm on the floor, so now I really need to watch her.  She also found her feet and is blowing raspberries.  

Best Thing This Month: Getting her all dressed up in her Halloween costume and going to Spooktacular at Sesame Place with her big sister, such a fun family day.  

Challenges This Month: She's teething pretty badly.  I can see her bottom tooth and it's so close to popping out.  She likes to chomp on a frozen wash cloth.  I use orajel sometimes and if it's really bad I give her Tylenol.  I try not to give her to much medicine, but I'm not going to leave her in pain either.  Someone suggested putting a frozen breast milk ice cube in one of those mesh feeders, but I haven't tried it yet.  

Looking Forward To: We're starting solids next month and I can't wait.  I'm thinking of doing a combination of baby led weaning and purees, we'll probably just skip the cereal.  I have to do a little research on BLW, but everyone I've spoken to that tried it, loved it, so we'll see!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Home Repairs
I feel like I could live my life at Home Depot or Lowes, mainly because we bought an older home in the nicest neighborhood we could afford.  We knew going in, that in exchange for a great neighborhood and awesome schools, that we'd have to buy a home that needed a little TLC.  Unfortunately we didn't have the money after pricey closing costs to completely gut the house, so we've been doing one project at a time.

The first big project we did was to gut the kitchen.  The original kitchen was something out of a 1970's nightmare, with a glorified ironing board sticking out of the wall that was listed as an "eat in kitchen".  But guys, kitchen renovations are expensive.  It cost a pretty penny to replace the cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and the floors.

We also pretty much painted every room in the house, because that's a fairly inexpensive way to spruce up the house.

We'd still like to:

  • Rip up the hideous tile floors in the family room 
  • Redo the fire place
  • Replace the vanity in the main bathroom
  • Paint the main bathroom
  • Replace the sink/shower fixtures in the master bathroom
And a whole slew of home decor I'd like to work on. 

Like most Americans, the main reason holding me back from making all of those fabulous home repairs is money.  You don't want to skimp on repairs and updates because you want them done right so they last for a long time, but that can get costly.  You can always find tutorials and videos on You Tube to help save yourself a ton of money on labor.  

Here are some tips for helping you along with those home repairs
  1. Do your research.  Research contractors, parts, supplies, and read reviews.  This is your house, you need to do your homework.  
  2. Find your inspiration.  Browse Pinterest or Young House Love to find something that really calls to you.
  3. Prioritize.  What's the most important to you?  Where do you spend the most time?  What currently gets into your skin the most?  
Happy House Loving!

Sleep Training

Could you let that sweet face cry? 
Guys...I'm sleepy.  Sometimes it's just a lingering feeling of being tired, a lack of energy.  Other times I'm using toothpicks to prop my eyelids up and I'm one grunt away from being cast as an extra in The Walking Dead.  Some nights my girl is only up once, eats and goes back to bed.  Other nights we're up and down like a jack-in-the-box on crack.

Arya is almost 5 months old (crazy right?).  The window for sleep training and the need for it are quickly approaching.  All of the pseudoscientists and parenting authors seem to agree that the ideal time for sleep training is between 4-6 months, any sooner and your kid will probably develop some sort of attachment disorder and carry a blankie around with him until puberty.  Any later and your kid will probably become some sleep deprived sociopath.  So you see, there's really only a small window for a child to become a productive member of society and I don't want to miss it.

But guys, I really don't want to sleep train.

I suppose I should clarify because there are a ton of ways to sleep train without crying: pick-up-put-down, drowsy, but awake, bedtime routine.  Sleep training is really just teaching a baby to go to sleep on her own.  I just don't know if I have the heart to let her cry.  I don't mind letting her fuss a bit or whine a little in her crib before I go in and get her.  I mean that full on crying where they lose their breath, so sad to me.

I used Weisbleuth's method of Cry It Out (CIO) with Isabella when she was 6 months old and it worked wonders. Isabella was a keeper, but not a sleeper.  Within three nights she was sleeping through the night.  The first night she cried for 20 minutes, the second and third barely even 10.  But she was up 3-4 times a night every night.  She really needed it and I knew she did.  Arya's not that bad.  She's not that good, but she's not that bad.

Here's the thing.  She's my last little baby.  Our family is finished growing and I don't want her to cry for me in the night.  This time I know how fast it goes.  I know that the days are long, but the years are short.  I know that one day she won't want me in the middle of the night and there will be nothing I can do to keep her fears away, but right now I'm all that she needs.

A part of me selfishly wants to keep her dependent on her mama because I see how independent Isabella has become.  How sometimes I'll ask her if she wants me to make her lunch and she'll just go to the fridge and grab a yogurt all by herself.  I'll ask her if she wants me to take her to the bathroom and she just says, "I can go by myself."  So proud and so sad at the same time.  I wish I would have lingered over her babyhood a bit more than I did, instead of rushing it to the next milestone.

I know that Arya needs to sleep, and honestly we do too.  But I'm just feeling really conflicted about letting her cry.  I know Andy is all for it and I always was a big proponent for it as well, but it just doesn't feel right this time.  Not yet anyway.   Maybe I haven't hit my breaking point yet.  Maybe I'm a different type of mother this time around, a bit softer.  Maybe what they say is really true and no two babies are alike.  We'll have to see, but for right now I'm shelving the cry it out.  It doesn't feel right to me right now and that's what I'm going on.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Halloween Props & Decorations Review

I love Halloween.  It's my favorite holiday.  I love all things spooky and scary and covered in chocolate.  Every year Andy and I throw a big Halloween party with all of our friends.  We decorate the house with as many Halloween knick knacks and pictures as we can find.  This is our first year in our new house and I want to do it up big and nothing screams Halloween like a Full Size Prop.  Enter this guy.

That's my creepy corpse light up reaper. He measures 56 inches long, is clothed in decomposing rags that sway eerily when he moves, long bony fingers peek out behind his gauzy attire, and his face is a putrid green.  Also, his eyes glow a bright red (batteries are included) which is really freaky.  You can hang him from a tree and really creep out your neighbors or from a hook inside.  

When I opened the box, I immediately dropped the corpse on the floor and kicked him under the table because his face is so creepy that it totally freaked my out.  I waited until Andy came home from work so he could hang in on a hook on our back porch.  That's where we'll set up the Halloween beer pong station and I'm really looking forward to every one getting the heebie jeebies.  

I was worried that Isabella would be scared of him, but she's just as into Halloween as I am.  

I'm really loving this new addition to our Halloween decor.  I love that the reaper is full sized and is such high quality.  He's durable enough that he'll be freaking out my friends for years to come.

***I received the reaper free of charge so that I might provide an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Mother of All Meltdowns

 Haven't we all been there?  In the middle of a full fledged mommy sized meltdown.  The kinds of meltdown that either have you peeling yourself off the ceiling or crying in the corner into your merlot.  I always figured that my meltdown would either have me sitting in a padded room somewhere where you don't have to chew your food, but instead it landed me in a book.

That's right, I'm one of 30 amazing authors in the new book The Mother of All Meltdowns.  This book tells true stories from some of today's best bloggers.  It's a warts-and-all show and tell of motherhood at it's truest, because, really...we've all been there.

You can buy the book at Amazon

Like it on Facebook

Follow on Google +

Follow on Twitter

Squeee!!!! This is such an accomplishment for me and I'm so beyond excited about it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Note On Depression

After writing my post called All My Flaws there were a few readers who expressed concern that I might be suffering from ppd.  How amazing is it that people who are virtual strangers to me, people who don't know me at all were kind enough to reach out?  Sometimes the internet is a dark and scary place, but sometimes people are just good, deep in their bones good that they cared enough to broach a sensitive topic with me.

I just wanted to shed some light and let everyone know that I'm fine.  I can definitely say that I'm not suffering from post-partum depression.  I'm not even depressed, just really stressed out.  I think every single teacher in my school feels the same way.  We're all burnt out, not only from the transition from being off all summer to full time work, but to all of the new city and state wide changes to the educational system.  I won't bore you with the details, but it involves a lot of paperwork.

I'm just having a hard time keeping up.  I'm working on lowering my standards in regards to housework and even parenthood.  Pinterest will have to wait for while as we enter into survival mode.  I would also really appreciate a solid night sleep from someone who I shall not name ::cough:: Arya:: cough.  Is it possible to get a kid to sleep through the night without sleep training?  I'm just so blah when it comes to sleep training.

Anyway, I'm digressing.  I think that the next few months are going to be hectic and chaotic and while I will admit to being stressed and overwhelmed, I'm not depressed.  Maybe I just use my blog more as an outlet to vent and I don't really write about times when I'm happy.  Maybe that's something that I can work on.

So a very big thanks to those who were thinking of me.  If you could send me some positive vibes, a maid, and a lifetime supply of coffee and wine that would be fab!