Jump On the Bandwagon

Phew. It is rough to be a parent these days. It’s always been a tough job, but given the current climate of social media and an invisible force that urges you to define your parenting style  – helicopter mom, baby wearer, breast feeder, anti vaxer, free range parent – the list is endless and yet well defined.

And if I’m being honest, I think it’s amazing that so many moms are talking, sharing, posting. I constantly question my parenting method, look for new skills and sigh with relief when I read that I’m not alone. It’s all good.

Except when it’s not.

That’s right. I’m jumping on the bandwagon of posts about vaccinating your kids.

My bottom line is this: get educated. Ask questions. See more than one doctor. Read articles, posts, journals. Do whatever you have to do to reach the conclusion that vaccinating your healthy child is the right decision. And I emphasize healthy. Because those not healthy kids are the other reason we need to vaccinate our children. Herd immunity is meant to protect those that aren’t healthy enough for vaccinations, those that can’t be vaccinated for health reasons, and those too young. Choosing not to vaccinate your children out of a fear of the vaccination is not an excuse. Fear is not an excuse.

If you’re still conflicted, then think over this scenario in your head. I was sitting with Auggie in the emergency room a few months ago. He had a horrible case of croup and was in severe distress. His sweet little chest caved inward with each gasp for air because he was sucking in so hard. At some point my brain flipped into survival mode. Gone were the emotions and my only focus was to get this kid some help and fast. I realized after the storm had passed how awful it had been. How horrible it is to have the thought his oxygen levels are ok so if they have to, they could do a tracheotomy and then he could breathe.

It is not a fun when the thought of having a hole cut into your child’s throat is comforting.

The one thought that popped into my head over and over was how I could have prevented him getting so sick. And while the answer for his condition was “nothing”, that would not be the case for whooping cough. I cannot imagine the guilt of watching my beautiful little boy not be able to breathe because of my decision not to vaccinate him.

Which is why we do vaccinate our kids. When Baylor was a baby, I talked extensively about vaccinations, vaccination schedules and risk with our pediatrician. And the bottom line for me was when she said “I totally understand your concern. I do constant research about vaccinations and as a mom and a doctor, I fully vaccinate my child and that’s why I require this schedule for my healthy patients”.

That was all I needed to hear to make the decision to prevent the preventable. There’s enough unknown with our kids. Being able to check life threatening illnesses off that list? I’m in.

 

 

 

Little Whispers

I’m so grateful for little whispers from Heaven. The little messages from Mamie that let me know she’s still here. Still sees her Baylor. And that knows we talk about her, pray for her, think of her, and say her name every day.

From the moment Baylor was born, Mame would tell Baylor when you are a little bigger, you can walk down to my house and we’ll make biscuits with butter and grape jelly. We’ll put chocolate milk in tea cups and we’ll have a party. 

When I got Baylor’s snack schedule for January, I nearly fell over my own feet reading it. Today is Baylor’s snack day and her assigned snack was biscuits, butter, grape jelly and milk. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh, cry or both.

Thanks Mamers. We miss you and love you too.

Mom Moment

That moment where you accidentally text “hoes” instead of “how’s” to the baby sitter.

As in “Hi hoes!” instead of “Hi how’s it going?”.

Most concerning is that auto correct thinks you use the word hoes so frequently, that’s probably what you meant…

A Mindful 2015

I hate new years resolutions. I get that it’s a good time to drop bad habits and gain some good ones, but I always struggle with doing it right after the let down of Christmas.

A few weeks ago, I had something hanging over my head. It was this crummy feeling that I couldn’t shake and no amount of talking it out, waiting it out, crying it out, dancing it out would make it go away. Finally, late one evening I just sat in silence. I realized what was at the heart of the issue and then made a decision to move past. Listening to my brain think (as odd as that sounds) and my heart talk was all I needed to loose that heavy feeling and feel better.

So for 2015, I’m resolving for more meditation. I’m not a quiet person (somewhere in downtown Phoenix, Peter is laughing in agreement) so sitting and or being quiet is not really in my nature. I did a little research on meditation and how to do it. Stupid, I know. But really, how do you meditate? What should I focus on? Not focus on? How should I breathe? For how long? I came across a really simple explanation of Mindful Meditation and how mindfully meditate. What I like most about this technique is that it’s very simple. At the basic level, it’s taking account of your body; how it’s feeling, moving, breathing. Letting thoughts flow in and out of your mind…or not at all. It’s enough thought for those time when sitting still is hard and not so much thought that it’s not easy to follow. Just enough instruction that I will actually be able to do it.

And so far? It’s been awesome. Maybe it’s just getting a few deep breaths in while the kids are napping, maybe it’s just a minute of calm, but it’s been so energizing. Something about those 5-10 minutes makes a huge difference.

Now if I can just get this guy out of my lap while I’m meditating, I’ll be in business.

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Thanksgiving Prep

I think for the last two Thanksgivings, someone in our house has been sick. And this year, sadly, is no exception. Baylor started running a fever over the weekend and it is still going. Now Auggs has decided to join her. I’m currently spraying them and their room with Lysol while they nap and simultaneously popping zinc.

All the care taking and a lack of recovery from Peter being gone for SEVEN DAYS (more on his hunting trip later when I’ve recovered from my adventure in solo parenting) has left me with a little less zeal for Thanksgiving this year. It kind of feels like it’s snuck up on me. And I can’t summon the excitement I usually have for entertaining. However, the show must go on and as Peter pointed out, you can’t reinvent the wheel on Thanksgiving, which should make it easier to tackle. None the less, there’s still a very long list of things to get done before our 18 hungry guests arrive. Here’s what I’m doing to keep the urge to say screw it and open a bottle of wine for some day drinking:

1. Scale Back

We typically have dinner outside at the great table PW built for me a few years ago. But getting the patio, plants, table, table cloths, string lights, heaters, etc ready is a lot of extra work. So we decided to move inside. This might prove to be a terrible idea later, but it’s allowing me a lot less work on the front end so that’s a good thing. Prioritizing your to do list and or editing it is essential.

2. Create A Lot of Lists

I’m a list person any way, but the holidays call for many more lists and a lot more detail. I started a spreadsheet last year with tabs for each topic: guests, food, grocery list and a few recipes. That way I only have to amend each tab instead of redoing all the work. Keeping them each separate allows you to separate your thoughts and print each one individually.

3. Schedule 

I start a schedule about 2 weeks out based on how much work I need to do. I try to divide all the tasks so that I can do a few each day. This leaves a lot of room for last minute stuff and GASP! maybe even some down time. Starting ahead on cleaning votive holders, stemware, locating serving pieces, ironing napkins, etc is all essential to not loosing your mind the day before.

4. Ask For Help

Everything from some child care to bringing various dishes, ask for help. Most guests like to participate so let them bring their favorite dish. Just be sure to prioritize oven space and time for baking off vs reheating. Use crockpots for things like potatoes, sweet potatoes and green beans.

5. If You Can’t Ask, Buy Some Help

It’s often worth not only your sanity but your time to pay for some help. Yard maintenance, house keeping, professional laundering of linens, window washing and even store bought dinner are all great ways to make everything come together AND actually enjoy yourself!

 

 

What to Bring to the Emergency Room

Just a week ago, Auggie and I were sitting in the Emergency Room. We had been sent there by his pediatrician after he explained that he did not have the kind of breathing treatment Auggie need for croup. The poor guy’s lungs were working great, but his trachea was so inflamed, he was struggling for each breath.

Thankfully we live near a great pediatric ER (Scottsdale Healthcare Shea campus was fantastic!) and shortly after arriving, he was breathing easier. But because he was still having some difficulty, we got to stay overnight at the hospital so they could keep an eye on him.

As I laid on the bench in the quiet hospital room listening to Auggie breathe while he slept, I thought about what I would do for a sweatshirt and socks. Being that it had been 90 degrees that day, I was in shorts and flip flops. And I was freezing. But it was late and it had been such a long day, I didn’t want to wake anyone up. I eventually crawled into the bed with Auggie and layered on the blankets – all in the name of making sure he was breathing ok, of course.

So. If I had to do it all over, knowing what I know now, here’s my thoughts on what you need to bring if you find yourself in the same situation:

1. Sippy Cup.

This one I actually had. Auggie is a big water drinker so I usually have a cup in my bag. For almost any condition, they are going to be pushing the fluids on your little one so having a familiar cup is helpful.

2. Ipad. Iphone. Electronic game of some kind!

What a lifesaver. We don’t normally let the Ipad go with us, but he was feeling so crummy, I let Auggie bring it to the doctor. Thank goodness we did because you know what isn’t on those super fancy TVs in the ER rooms at 6pm? That’s right, cartoons. And when your munchkin is hysterical over the face mask they have to wear and are generally feeling bad, there’s nothing like a little electronic distraction.

3. Chargers.

If you have a second to think before leaving the house, grab your phone and Ipad charger. I did not have either and my phone died about 3 hours into our visit.

4. Sweatshirt and Closed Toe Shoes.

Hospitals? Are freezing. It’s good for keeping germs down, but not so good if you’re trying to keep your teeth from chattering.

5. Blankie / Lovey / Pacifier.

I thought more than once that having one of Auggie’s blankets might have made him a little more comfortable.

6. Call in Favors.

I think one of the reasons that we didn’t have to wait forever in the waiting room of the ER was because A. our pediatrician called ahead. They gave the ER the details on the medications Auggs had been given in the office as well as dosages so they were able to hit the ground running. And B. Peter called a friend of his who is an ER doctor at another campus of the same hospital network. He was kind enough to call the doctor at the ER we were at and ask him to get us in quickly. While I think we would have been well cared for without those things, it sure doesn’t hurt. Especially when you are stressed with a sick kiddo.

Auggie’s First Day

With Auggie’s first birthday came his first day at preschool. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been visiting his classroom a few times a week since August to ease him into his first day. And thankfully he has two teachers that could double as Disney princesses. They love him and he flirts up a storm with them. Auggie also has the greatest big sister who reassuringly told him to come find her if he ever feels scared.

Walking away from the school without Auggie on my hip was the strangest feeling. I’ve never understood when a mom tells me they sat in the parking lot and cried on the first day of school. Until today. I watched him happily digging in the sandbox and realized how big he is now but how little he looked. Having munchkin free time to work is really necessary and he is going to learn so much at school, but it was a bit heartbreaking to leave him today for reasons I can’t pin down.

As I peaked around the corner at pick up today, I saw him sitting sweetly at the tiny tables eating lunch with his buddies. I’m always amazed by this preschool and how they create a calm community at meal time. I picked up his birthday crown and he carried his truck lunch box out the door and we headed home for some much needed sunggles (for me…). The report from his teachers was glowing and Wednesday is Fire Safety day which means there will be a fire truck to sit in and that it is fire themed week. He’s in heaven!

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He was so pumped to have his OWN lunch box. He also refused to wear sneakers. Crossing fingers for Wednesday.

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Tuesdays with Auggie

I distinctly remember the day that Baylor and I had our first two way conversation. She had woken up from her nap early and was standing in her crib, crying. As I opened the door, I asked her what was wrong. She pointed to her ears and said “Ears. Hurt.”. It was like Helen Keller signing water. It was amazing to speak to her and have her answer back!

With the Auggie boy, our conversations sound a little more like this:

Mommy!!

Yes Auggie.

MOMMY!!

That’s my name.

MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!!!

Augustus. I’m. Right. Here. What do you need?

YOWD!!

Yes, hammering the train table IS loud.

Ok. Dank you, Mommy. 

I would give that kid a pony if he said orssie peas, mommy. Dank you. It’s so stinking cute, I can’t stand it!