Down with the Sickness

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So much for blogging daily.

My entire family has been sick for what seems months. Either allergies or just a full blown head cold, I can say, this is getting old.

So of course when I set a new goal to blog daily, BAM, we all get sick. I was doing OK after about 24 hours and thought I kicked it quickly, but this nasty thing grabbed a hold of me Monday and I was in hell. It’s sad to say you’re doing worse off than a toddler. I literally couldn’t get myself out of the house to DRIVE to the park. Oh yes, it was bad.

Luckily after that 24 hours I was much better and thankfully, almost a week out, I’m about 97% there.

On top of all that, Jackie has been showing us a few new things we haven’t expected. For about 4 days now, she doesn’t want to sit down in the bath and cries that she wants out. This is a kid who has been a fish  since birth. We think it’s due to a scrape she had on her knee and that it may have stung a few days ago when she took a bath, but she’s not at the point to tell us.

My husband said that it could be her ears. Since she’s been sick for about 2 months (or really just a runny nose and low grade fever last week), it’s possible that her ears may be a bit clogged, but not infected. She’s not showing any signs that she’s in pain and is generally in good spirits during the day. She even is happy to get ready for the bath, but when we go to put her in, she cries. She’s also been complaining about things being “too loud” lately. She has great hearing but this is a bit over the top.

We think she’s remembering that her knee stung the other day, or if it is the ears, she ‘s afraid to lay back (she floats on her back in the tub) as she’s been putting her head almost all the way down to get her hair wet. I did some research last night and most people say it’s a phase, which I’m really hoping, as she has loved the water so much and it’s been tough to get her out.

I have noticed that there’s a lot of change going on right now with her. Her language exploded yet again in the last couple weeks. She’s really able to let us know what she wants and how she’s feeling (with exception to this issue). She’s trying to do a lot of stuff on her own to show to us and herself that she can do it. So all of this may be just a growth spurt in a number of areas. I just wish it was a bit easier to figure out.

Our two biggest projects that we’ll be taking on very soon, however, is to get rid of the paci and potty training. Both of these have been going on for several months, but nothing hardcore. I stupidly tried to deal with the paci situation the day I was really sick = BAD IDEA. When I wouldn’t give her the paci for nap, she literally cried and screamed for an hour.. ONE HOUR. I couldn’t believe it. This kid definitely is her mother’s daughter. And I have the audio recording to prove it. I realized that this was not going to be an easy task and it’s actually hard for me too. Not becasuae I don’t want to put the “baby phase” behind me, but because I know she’ll suffer a bit. Knowing that life gives us enough to suffer about, why start now? But she’s also acting older than she is and still has a paci to sleep. It just doesn’t make sense.

She’s also not old enough to really say “now let’s give your pacifiers to a baby that really needs them”. She’s not there yet. So it’s really just about going cold turkey. I’ve done research on this as well and most parents say that their kids cried for like 10 minutes and just went to sleep. Yeah, right. I’m trying not to be pessimistic, but it’s hard to hear her plead and cry over something that is really a small thing. But I also know, that this is the time that she really needs to find her own strength to deal with upsets. Although I know we, as parents, are here to protect our children, our main purpose is to teach them the coping skills to lead happy and successful lives. Although this may sound like a small thing, I do find she is addicted to it when she’s upset. And, good news is that we have worked with her and she can calm herself down without it (and we’ve acknowledged her for that), but SHE really needs to get that she did it on her own for it to stick.

The potty training has been going well but we haven’t been full force on that either. I did get some good ideas from her Isis teacher today which gave me some hope (just some other structures to put in place to help all of us), so that will be happening soon. I don’t want to bring on too much all at once as it will all backfire, but all I can say is that I’m learning on the job as well.

I’m just glad she’s happy, fulfilled and having fun. Although sometimes, it is hard to be Two.

Writing About Writing

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It’s been a LONG time since I’ve written here. I just posted on my personal blog and linked this one. As I came over to determine if I wanted to change the look and such,  I saw that I had about 8 views in the last 15 minutes. That told me I had to write something 🙂

There’s so much that has gone on since April of this year with my family, my daughter and myself and I’m not going to even try to rehash all those things, but let’s just say they will come in time.

For now, the small updates these days are my daughter just turned 27 months and is a true toddler. I love this age and love her to death. She’s funny, smart and independant. I’ve been waiting for this age since WAY before I had kids.. even before I even thought about marriage. I just love that toddlers are more like “little people” and you can finally communicate with them in a way you both understand. I know I will miss this age a lot as time goes on, but for now, I’m doing all I can to enjoy her. We go to three classes a week, the park quite often and I’m teaching her a bit of Spanish. She still signs when she really wants something and I find that extremely cool.

She loves her routine (just like mom) and our weeks are quite fun. I’m finally getting to the place of saying that this is better than work. That in itself is a great thing 🙂

 

However, as I wrote in my other blog, I do recall why I stopped writing. I had gotten a HUGE energy spike earlier this year from finding other local bloggers and mom bloggers. I went to a few events, as I wanted to see if I could actually have a “job” writing blogs. Although the events were OK, I wasn’t blown away. I met some really great people, but unfortunately, none of those people were really using their blogs for monetary use. Most had just started (a lot like me) and didn’t have the monetary part as an end goal.

As with many things I’ve done in my life, I got very frustrated after putting a lot of energy into something and when it didn’t work as quickly as I’d like, I give up or pull away. I could probably go back into my calendar and look at when the last meeting was and when I stopped writing to find the correlation.

It’s no one’s fault other than mine and I guess that needed to happen. I have other things I like to put energy into and places where things (or people) take my time. This is a choice, but I always think I can take on a lot for a small amount of time. Usually that is not the case.

So for now, I’ll be back just writing about my life and what’s going on, my opinions and thoughts on things. I do love to write, but when I lose the context of why I love it, the frustration happens and I “quit.”

But, for the 10th time, maybe I will take on a game to write daily, either here or on my personal blog, to see what shows up. It’s worth a shot 🙂

American Idol, Pia and the Buzz

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I knew there would be a lot of buzz today about Pia getting voted off Idol last night.. well, more than a lot.

I just read a few blogs on this, but this one made me head over here to blog.. and fast.

A voting problem? Well, I can’t say there isn’t, but in my opinion, America may have gotten it right again last night. At this point in the game, the weaker contestants will be gone 1-2-3. That’s what happened to Thia and Naima last week. America got it right. Thia was just getting eaten up by the show and the competition. In her case, her age got her and Naima just wasn’t a “fit” for the show and I think a lot of the viewing population didn’t “get her.” I did, but 40 somethings are not a large population of viewers. Would I have loved to see her win or get farther? Sure. But was she one of the best singers, no.

I do have to say that last night was a surprise for me, as Pia was destined to win the thing. I mean, look at her. Perfect body, perfect voice, singing since she was four, comfortable on stage, articulate and great fashion sense. Here’s what I think happened.. and it’s what the judges always say.. song choice, song choice, song choice.

Last week’s theme was “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” She had hundreds of songs to choose from. But what does she choose? A Tina Turner song that even I wasn’t familiar with, “River Deep – Mountain High.” She sounded great, but it was boring. She didn’t do anything with it, not many people knew the song (except maybe Randy) and I knew she’d be in the bottom three the next day. Was I the only one?

Here’s Tina’s version:

Fast forward to last night, it wasn’t a huge surprise to me that she was in the bottom three with that song. The deal with this season is at least they found really talented singers, but now they are stuck with ALL of them being amazing. There are some that stick out as “better,” but it’s all about the song choice and if they end up having a good night that night, or if they’re not sick, or “_______.” At this point, unfortunately, it will be a popularity contest. We’ve already been warned (as we are every season, every week) to be sure to vote for your favorite as no one is safe–no one.

I now feel like I’m getting a small glimpse into Simon Cowell’s mind and really seeing his reasoning on choosing some people over others during try outs and in Hollywood Week. In past seasons, it’s been obvious that there were amazing singers that didn’t get picked and we all wondered why.. well.. we now have the answer, or at least one.

I think Simon was always looking at the show, numbers and what would have people continue to tune in. He was looking at the big picture. We may not like that context, but in the end, this is a TV show. With the new judges, minus Simon, their context was finding the best singer. Was this wrong? No. But their view was smaller. I don’t think they were looking at the show.. they were focusing on the kids and getting them a record contract.

Good or bad, we are now “stuck” with 8 extraordinary singers. I love hearing each of them sing and finding out what they will bring to the table with arrangements, but as we move farther along in the show, I think they all may be a bit tentative in bringing uniqueness to their performances. Why? They’ll want to play it safe. All of them know any of them could win this. If Pia got voted off, anyone can. Especially since deep down inside, I think each of them knew that Pia would win it all.

I was waiting last night for someone to give up their spot. It’s never happened before. But in this case, one of them should have. You can’t tell me that Jacob or Paul, for example, think they can win this on vocal ability. Don’t get me wrong, their voices are unique, but they are not American Idol winners (sorry to those that are huge fans). I’m a huge Casey fan, but he would be the one I could see giving up his spot. He already almost left the show, he was feeling guilty that the save was used on him, it would have been perfect TV.

In the end, he was going on tour anyway, he’ll have a record contract either way and he would have left as a name that no one would forget as he gave up his spot for the better hopeful. Just perfect.

But that didn’t happen.

I’m wondering what the producers are saying right now. Ironically, I just went to the American Idol website and they don’t have the banner on Pia’s picture that says “voted off.” Makes a girl wonder.

Many have said there’s a major issue with the voting process on the show including the blog link I shared above. You can vote a number of ways and as many times as you want pretty much. There’s people who are haters of the show who have a contest where they vote for the WORST singer to see if they can stay on the show. Although there will always be those people, if there was a limit on how many times you could vote (other shows have that rule in place) I think it would end up a bit more fair and accurate.

But for now, there’s no way they will change any voting structure until next season. It wouldn’t be fair to the past contestants and it would show some sort of “failure” with the Idol voting process in general. And we wouldn’t want to show the reality of this on a REALITY SHOW would we?? Wow, do I smell lawsuit on that one.

So in the end, I’m shocked, but not floored about the Pia departure. The song wasn’t the best choice, she veered away from what she does best (ballads) and got sucked into what the judges kept telling her. What she should have listened to was America and their fast fingers. All those other weeks she was in the game, then she changes it up and she’s gone.

To the other contestants, I say this: “Follow your heart and gut. You know what’s right.”

Needless to say, the show has an interesting twist starting next week and for that alone, people will continue to watch. Oh the drama! American Idol, how I love you!

Drinking Advice

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Writing a request type of blog is not normal here, but with so many new and amazing parents I have met lately, I thought ya’ll could help me with some of my anxieties.

Here’s the deal:

I’m going a bit crazy with some of the stuff that my daughter is up to. Luckily, she’s a happy and amazing 19 month old. She’s healthy and learning so much every minute.. but Houston, we have an drinking problem.

We’ve been having a hard time weaning her from the bottle for a number of reasons. I can’t say she’s “addicted” to the bottle, but she never seemed to like sippy cups. When she was 12 months old, I had her try a real straw and she sucked thru it flawlessly. From there, I got her a straw cup (one of the big ones where it’s easy to suck from), and I found out that kids closer to 2 were supposed to have those. Who knew?

In any case, we were happy about that early transition and had water in the cup to start with. We were still using bottles for milk, but over time I bought, literally, 10 different sippies. She hated all of them EXCEPT the straw cup that we originally got her. One day, I have a GREAT IDEA to put milk in the cup she used to drink water from–BAD IDEA. She was expecting water when she sipped and when she got milk she refused it. Luckily I was able to get her to drink water out of it after a few days. I told myself I would never try to trick this child ever again.

I did find another similar straw cup (different color) and put milk in there. Again, a few sips, and refusal. I had been putting it off a bit, even though I knew her pediatrician would tell me to get her off the bottle at our next visit (he likes them to be off the bottle at 18 months).

During that appointment he told me to take one bottle away per week to wean her (first lunch, then morning, then night). Put milk in a sippy in place of the deleted bottle. He said that it was possible she may protest, but to keep doing it. We’d be transitioned in 4 weeks. Ha. I should have just laughed there and talked about another plan because I knew that wouldn’t work.

Later that week, I took away the lunch bottle and found one cup that she actually liked.. the Sip and Toss. You know, the ones that cost $3.99 for 5? I probably bought $40 in cups and she likes those. So.. I thought I was in the clear, but found that it was more of a novelty. I think once I was able to get her to drink 3 oz  from noon to dinner (nap was in there). And once again, I thought we were at a turning point. But now, she basically doesn’t drink milk at all in the afternoon.

I can’t figure out if she’s very aware that she will get the evening bottle and just holds off? But the question is.. why? Does she not like milk? I was allergic when I got to be about 2. Is she full from meals (we always give her milk after meals). I’m not sure what the deal is.

I do give her other full fat dairy during the day (yogurt, cheese, butter), but another switch was her not eating plain cheese anymore (she used to eat a cheese stick a day) so I have to put cheese or other related dairy in other foods.

 

I’m nervous about this milk situation as I assume that she NEEDS this for healthy bones, teeth, and to put on some weight (she was in the 30%ile when we last were there and hardly gained anything from 15-18 months), but there’s not much I can do other than offer it to her.

I’ve avoided doing the chocolate or strawberry additions as I don’t want her to get addicted to the sugar taste.

My fear is that once we are straight to cups (due to illness I basically stopped at the lunch cup back in January.. I’ve now moved some of the morning bottle to a cup), I’m not sure she will drink milk at all.. and if so, very little.

Her doc says she needs 22-24 oz of dairy a day. When she has both her bottles she gets that in combo with other stuff, but taking that away.. not sure. I have been told that eventually she may crave it and I have seen that in her at times, but if she doesn’t, what to do?

I know it’s not the end of the world as there are many kids who are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant and others who are on a vegan diet, etc., but we are on the Standard American diet and this is what our plan has been.

I’m looking for suggestions and advice. Do I just do what the doc said and not stress about it? Do I add something to the milk? Add other full fat dairy until we figure out a plan? Water it down with Pedialite?

Any and all suggestions welcomed!

 

Thanks!!

Procrastinating

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I’m not a procrastinator.. I usually have reasons I don’t do stuff. Blogging is no exception.

I just saw my last post was at the end of January — FAIL. I attended a Boston Parent Bloggers event around that time and thought I should post something as I met a few folks and passed along my blog link. Apparently going to an event and meeting people that could possibly be solid followers didn’t get me to write. Don’t get me wrong, I was totally inspired by every single person there, but I was in the place of obligation *shudder*. I so hate that word.

When I start to feel obligated, I get resentful and when I get resentful, I turn into a 16 year old. “You can’t make me” is generally the phrase of the day running inside my head. The thing is that no one is “making me” do anything other than myself. I realized the other day, however, that I was putting off writing (read: procrastinating 🙂 because it wasn’t fun any more. Well, not that it wasn’t fun, but I wasn’t writing random stuff for myself. Everytime I brought out the laptop to write, I was thinking about possible new people that would read my blog–could I say something witty, annoying, or anything to make people comment? Due to all that, I just said “eff it” and wrote the blog in  my head. Damn I had some good ones. But with in a few hours, it was all gone and guilt and confusion set in. I wondered if I would just give it up all together.

I’ve thought a lot about what a couple people said at the BPB event back in February and I’ve also seen a few people write this in their introductions online. “I’m just going to continue to write for myself and see what happens.” That’s the key. Writing for myself? That context left a while ago.. no wonder I’m not inspired to write anymore.

I decided to blog today just to get it out of the way, no matter how rambling this was or how crazy it sounded. I have a lot to say, things happen daily and I’d really like to write them down. I also feel that people/parents may get a lot out of what I’m saying and I’m always up for comments and advice.

I’ll end here saying that I really do want to blog every day. I found how hard that was to do back in November, but I think I can make it happen. It may just be a phrase, posting a video or something else, but I really do want to keep this up and gather some readers. I”m not sure I have a specific focus, but maybe one will arise.

Thanks for your patience. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming….

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

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I rarely repost magazine articles, but I found this fairly poignant now that it’s the first month of the year and also things I think of quite often.

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started.

By Martha Beck

O, The Oprah Magazine |  January 18, 2011

1. What questions should I be asking myself?

At first I thought asking yourself what you should be asking yourself was redundant. It isn’t. Without this question, you wouldn’t ask any others, so it gets top billing. It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently.

2. Is this what I want to be doing?

This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you’re doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you’d prefer. Thus begins the revolution.

3. Why worry?

These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it’s just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works!

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?

Feel free to switch out the words in brackets: You may like TV more than exercise, or bad boys more than nice guys, or burglary more than reading. Whatever the particulars, every woman has something she likes more than the somethings she’s supposed to like. But forcing “virtues”—trying to like people more than cupcakes—drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don’t like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

5. How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?

Your existence is already a factor in world history—now, what sort of factor do you want it to be? Maybe you know you’re here to create worldwide prosperity, a beautiful family, or one really excellent bagel. If your impressions are more vague, keep asking this question. Eventually you’ll glimpse clearer outlines of your destiny. Live by design, not by accident.

6. How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?

In small ways or large, your life will change the world—and in small ways or large, the world will change you. What experiences do you want to have during your brief sojourn here? Make a list. Make a vision board. Make a promise. This won’t control your future, but it will shape it.

7. Are {vegans} better people?

Again, it doesn’t have to be vegans; the brackets are for you to fill in. Substitute the virtue squad that makes you feel worst about yourself, the one you’ll never have the discipline to join, whether it’s ultra-marathoners or mothers who never raise their voices. Whatever group you’re asking about, the answer to this question is no.

8. What is my body telling me?

As I often say, my mind is a two-bit whore—by which I mean that my self-justifying brain, like any self-justifying brain, will happily absorb beliefs based on biases, ego gratification, magical thinking, or just plain error. The body knows better. It’s a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what’s bad for us, and leans into what’s good. Let it.

9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?

I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” Face it: You’d be better off without some of your relationships, many of your possessions, and most of your thoughts. Chuck your chic-chick junk, chic chick. Enlightenment awaits.

10. What’s so funny?

Adults tend to put this question to children in a homicidal-sounding snarl, which is probably why as you grew up, your laughter rate dropped from 400 times a day (for toddlers) to the grown-up daily average of 15. Regain your youth by laughing at every possible situation. Then, please, tell us what’s funny—about everyday life, about human nature, even about pain and fear. We’ll pay you anything.

11. Where am I wrong?

This might well be the most powerful question on our list—as Socrates believed, we gain our first measure of intelligence when we first admit our own ignorance. Your ego wants you to avoid noticing where you may have bad information or unworkable ideas. But you’ll gain far more capability and respect by asking where you’re wrong than by insisting you’re right.

12. What potential memories am I bartering, and is the profit worth the price?

I once read a story about a world where people sold memories the way we can sell plasma. The protagonist was an addict who’d pawned many memories for drugs but had sworn never to sell his memory of falling in love. His addiction won. Afterward he was unaware of his loss, lacking the memory he’d sold. But for the reader, the trade-off was ghastly to contemplate. Every time you choose social acceptance over your heart’s desires, or financial gain over ethics, or your comfort zone over the adventure you were born to experience, you’re making a similar deal. Don’t.

13. Am I the only one struggling not to {fart} during {yoga}?

I felt profoundly liberated when this issue was raised on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” Not everyone does yoga, but SNL reminded me that everyone dreads committing some sort of gaffe. Substitute your greatest shame-fear: crying at work, belching in church, throwing up on the prime minister of Japan. Then know you aren’t alone. Everyone worries about such faux pas, and many have committed them (well, maybe not the throwing up on PMs). Accepting this is a bold step toward mental health and a just society.

14. What do I love to practice?

Some psychologists believe that no one is born with any particular talent and that all skill is gained through practice. Studies have shown that masters are simply people who’ve practiced a skill intensely for 10,000 hours or more. That requires loving—not liking, loving—what you do. If you really want to excel, go where you’re passionate enough to practice.

15. Where could I work less and achieve more?

To maximize time spent practicing your passions, minimize everything else. These days you can find machines or human helpers to assist with almost anything. Author Timothy Ferriss “batches” job tasks into his famous “four-hour workweek.” My client Cindy has an e-mail ghostwriter. Another client, Angela, hired an assistant in the Philippines who flawlessly tracks her schedule and her investments. Get creative with available resources to find more time in your life and life in your time.

16. How can I keep myself absolutely safe?

Ask this question just to remind yourself of the answer: You can’t. Life is inherently uncertain. The way to cope with that reality is not to control and avoid your way into a rigid little demi-life, but to develop courage. Doing what you long to do, despite fear, will accomplish this.

17. Where should I break the rules?

If everyone kept all the rules, we’d still be practicing cherished traditions like child marriage, slavery, and public hangings. The way humans become humane is by assessing from the heart, rather than the rule book, where the justice of a situation lies. Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.

18. So say I lived in that fabulous house in Tuscany, with untold wealth, a gorgeous, adoring mate, and a full staff of servants…then what?

We can get so obsessed with acquiring fabulous lives that we forget to live. When my clients ask themselves this question, they almost always discover that their “perfect life” pastimes are already available. Sharing joy with loved ones, spending time in nature, finding inner peace, writing your novel, plotting revenge—you can do all these things right now. Begin!

19. Are my thoughts hurting or healing?

Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness. Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering. Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.

20. Really truly: Is this what I want to be doing?

It’s been several seconds since you asked this. Ask it again. Not to make yourself petulant or frustrated—just to see if it’s possible to choose anything, and I mean any little thing, that would make your present experience more delightful. Thus continues the revolution.

Is it me?

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First, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I wanted to write something longer for my first post, but I’m going to just start posting random things on here instead of trying to formulate this “wonderful post” that will wow people. Usually when I contemplate formulating said post another month goes by without anything being written and then I forgot whatI was going to say 🙂

With all that being said…

Second, here’s my post, or link. I found this article horrifying and sad. I even took time to comment on the article it bothered me so much. As one of my FB friends stated: “too broad a stroke.” Would love to know what you think–even if you just say “too annoyed to come up with a response” 🙂

http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Lisa-Kogan-How-to-Reinvent-New-Years-Eve/1