Friday, November 30, 2007

'Tis the Season

Well, tomorrow marks the beginning of the holiday season for us. You see as I mentioned here I refuse to start decorating or celebrating Christmas until Dec. 1st. So far I'm hanging on to my timeline. Miss C is a little dismayed that we don't have our tree up or the house decorated yet, but I'm sticking to my guns. I have to take a stand somewhere right???

With this weekend marking the beginning of December, I will now allow us to make a head first plunge into decorating, shopping, etc. So how will we begin? A visit to Santa? Throwing up lights around the house? Nope. I'm starting with cleaning. My kids have entirely too many toys and books and such, so there is no room for all the loot that will be had on Christmas. This weekend I will be conducting our annual purge where I will give away toys and books. I'm not sure how the kids will handle it, but I've already talked to Miss C. about giving to kids who aren't as lucky to have as many toys as her. She liked it in theory, we'll see how it goes once we put it into practice.

Yesterday I had a visit with a woman in my mom's group that I've become friends with. Yes sir, I made a friend! WOOHOO! ;) I went over to her house and while Miss C and her daughter played I was able to get my talk on. At one point we were talking about Christmas and what to get and she brought up an article she had read about rewarding kids with toys. According to this article, it said by rewarding children with toys starting at a small age, you're setting them up for wanting things all the time, or becoming spoiled. what to do? I totally don't want my children to be spoiled brats in their tween years demanding whatever BFF has at the time, but how do you handle it now? Especially when our family LOVES to spoil my girls?? Honestly, I don't know the answer but we're trying a few things:

1. C has to earn things. We have a star chart and when she reaches the goal, she gets a gift that she wants. I'm kind of equating this to a chore chart, except instead of getting allowance, she gets something she wants. The more money it costs, the more stars she earns.

2. I've been putting away gifts each girl gets for birthdays, etc and giving them some throughout the year. I mean honestly they get so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff they get, are they really going to notice if their stash is light a few items?

3. We're donating things they don't use anymore. I've only done this once before, but as I mentioned this is going to now be part of our Christmas tradition. I'm hoping this will help show the girls how lucky they are and teach them compassion for those who are not as fortunate.

So that's my plan for hopefully avoiding future feelings of entitlement and brattiness. Anyone else have good ideas for this?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The long and winding week...

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of you! I had planned on posting over the week, but the insanity of it got the better of me. I don't even have any pictures to share!! I know, bad mommy...

We were in NJ from last Tuesday until yesterday. We hadn't planned on staying up that long but between family drama and J being sick, we stayed up there. The trip was supposed to be relaxing, minus actual Thanksgiving day, but it turned out anything but. Here's a glimpse of our week:

Tuesday - Arrived at 9 pm. Kids wound up from the drive and don't crash until after 10 pm. M wakes up at 3, and then again at 7 am for the day.

Wednesday - Kids up early but I took advantage of J being home and went back to bed. Woke up sometime after 9 am and get a call from my aunt about my mom. Spend the whole day dealing with that and don't get back home until sometime after 6pm. Kids in bed around 8, but M is again up all night. J begins to not feel well.

Thursday - Thanksgiving Day. Wake up early with the girls and the smell of turkey already in the oven. J is complaining about his head not feeling right. Both girls are cranky because of lack of sleep. Put M down for an early nap which I come to regret later. Spend the day eating and around 8 pm see the look on J's face meaning we need to leave. By 9 pm he's running a 102 degree fever. Spend the night tossing and turning, checking on J and getting woken up by M.

Friday - Black Friday. I had plans on venturing out this year, but between my lack of sleep and no noteworthy sales I decide not to go. J is still running a fever and both girls slept poorly again.

And on and on it goes... Monday I took J to the doctor's where he was told he had a virus. Great, thanks. He seems to be feeling better today, aside from a sore throat. Since M already had this, I'm waiting to see if C and I get it. Guess time will tell...

Now I know some of you may be wondering what the family drama is. I want to share, just not sure how to right now. You see, I've never advertised this blog to my family as I had started it for myself, to give me a place to vent. Given the nature of the internet I'm not sure who is reading this, if Anyway, I don't want to violate anyone's privacy and I'm not sure I'm ready to vent about it anyway. So you can expect more on that later... to get this day going. Hope you all had a better Thanksgiving than we did!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sleep, where art thou?

I am a mom and so by definition I am tired ALL the time. Add to that my gimp thyroid and I go from tired to exhausted in about 2 seconds flat. Recently my exhaustion has hit a whole new level. Enter Miss M. M has not slept consistently through the night in at least a month. I'm starting to feel the haze I lived in during her newborn/reflux months. I'm not sure the real cause of it yet. You see, she's gotten and still is getting teeth, has been sick, we've been traveling, missing naps, etc. But now we have reached a whole new level of it. It's now become that M is waking up at 2 am because she wants attention. Yup, to be entertained in the middle of the night, and what is more entertaining then seeing me scramble it trying to locate her baby/blanket/pacifier or whatever else will get her back to sleep.

Last night (actually the wee hours of this morning) we had one of those incidents. M woke up at 2 am just as I had gotten to sleep (out late for a movie and then talking with J). I went in there and she threw a fit. Literally. She threw everything out of her bed and was yelling at me. So what did I do? Closed her door and went back in my room and freaked out because I've reached my absolute exhaustion point. J promptly woke up and went in there and rocked her for about 15 minutes. No sooner is he back in here than I here M kicking her bed. I chose to ignore it and at 3:45 am she started crying again. I had given her some more tylenol at 2:30 just in case it was the teeth monster that was bothering her. So, I checked on her and then left. 2 minutes later I didn't hear a peep.

So what have I learned from this?

1. I need to buy ear plugs so that I don't jump out of bed and race in there at every noise with the speed that rivals an Olympic runner.

2. I need to get rid of the pacifier. I have been putting it off and putting it off, but it's time. I think part of her waking is because she drops it behind her bed or out the side of it. So I need to start that after Thanksgiving because I don't want to hear it from my family when she's screaming for it.

3. She really is ok and I can't let her cry for a few minutes.

4. As much as M is the cause of my exhaustion, I'm training her to do this.

So we will enter Sleep Bootcamp #2. We did Bootcamp #1 with C and it worked. Took a few weeks, but she got through it and we got more sleep. Time to start again. Does anyone have any words of encouragement or tips? Or maybe a strong cup of coffee??

I'll post updates once Bootcamp begins...wish us luck (and sleep!).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sick, sick again...

Last Friday I ventured out sans kids or hubby to a crop night at a local scrapbooking store. I haven't gone out aside from a grocery store run without my offspring in longer than I care to remember, so I was really excited. On top of that, I decided that I was going to spend the time working on an albulm I want to give my grandfather for Christmas. So as you can see I was understandably psyched to go.

A little after midnight I dragged my tired butt home to find out that Miss M. had been running a fever. She was up almost all night which meant no sleeping for me as well. After two trips to the dr's on Saturday and then again on Monday, she's finally on the mend. She was officially diagnosed with a virus. Fever is gone but she's still acting cranky. I think it's caused by teeth more than anything else right now, but we will see.

I hate this time of the year for illness. At almost 18 months, C started a series of ear infections that led to her getting tubes. Miss M has already had her fair share, and the dr. has already said she's on the road to see an ENT before the winter is out. Hopefully she'll make it through ear infection free!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bah Humbug!!!

Yes, I am officially a Grinch. I've noticed every year how stores start the Christmas season early and earlier. At first, it was right around Thanksgiving, then it was Veteran's Day, was out before freaking Halloween!!! WTH?? Next year I'll be getting Caitlin's school supplies and buying tinsel at the same time?!?

Some may say I'm completely overreacting to some early holiday tidings, but it's not just that at all. Sure, I can't take Christmas lights up before December 1st but I know that's my personal pet peeve. What's bothering me is why are we rushing it? Why are we preparing for a holiday that is months away? Are our lives so busy that we need to multitask even holiday shopping right now? Buy a pumpkin and get a Christmas wreath for free??

I've recently discovered (well really admitted) that I am running, no sprinting through my life. Who made me realize this? My precocious first born, Miss C. I believe her exact words as I was rushing to get somewhere were, "Slow down Mommy! I can't move this fast!!" And she's right. She can't move that fast and neither can I without feeling like I'm shooting up crack. So the moral of this story is...SLOW DOWN!! Enjoy each moment even if you are running late, because you're running past precious moments in your life. In my case this means I need to wake up earlier or prepare more the night before so we don't have to rush, but I think it will be worth it. End of public service message...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Here are some Halloween pictures. Both girls had a great time!!

Here is C posing with our pumpkins. Yes, that is a Cinderella pumpkin next to her...

Here is one of the girls with J. C is doing this smiling with her head up thing that we can't stop. Oh well...

No big surprise that C was another princess this year for Halloween. I figure by the time she's 8 we'll probably have each and every one. I was going to dress M up as a black cat, Flounder (with C being Ariel), or Tinkerbell, but she kept yelling "MICKEY!!!" at the Disney store, so I took that as a hint. Luckily, I had a costume from C's second Halloween and just had to buy some ears. Nice, huh??