Posts Tagged ‘ milestone monday ’

(My) Milestone Monday: Is My Tech Addiction Making Me a Bad Mom?

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Today I am partially unplugging for the week. My goal? To become more mindful and present. Here’s why:

My friend Teresa came over yesterday.  She  is pregnant and a vegetarian. I was ordering pizza. I needed a crucial answer. I texted her: can u pick the meat off or do I get veggie pizza? What kind of veggies?

She didn’t text back. I got a little indignant. I went ahead and ordered (one plain, one pepperoni). When she arrived I asked if she had seen my text. She said something that I’ve been floating through my increasingly scattered brain for a few days.

“I try and only check my phone every 2 hours. Especially when I’m with my son. It makes me feel like I’m not a good mom when I start responding and not focusing on him. I find that the more I check my phone, the more depressed I am at the end of the day because my mood is constantly shifting based on what comes in.”

What she said = gold in my book. And my brain. I kid you not: last week I had a headache for 3 days. I could tell it was from tension. Nothing made it go away. I honestly think it’s because I’m so scattered with a lack of schedule (read: Frustrated. Need to Vent) and feel pulled in a million directions that no amount of aspirin or Motrin will help. What will help is changing my behavior. Drastically.

Granted  I wrote last week about the beauty of social media. How I’m now a believer in it. But, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put limits on all this stuff.

On any given day, here is how my crazy goes:

Fia and I are playing. I check my phone. She frolics, I text or email someone back. Then I run into the kitchen. Open freezer. Remember someone else I was going to email about something. Write them. Freezer is still open. I pull out chicken to thaw. Fia shouts, “Mama, what are you doing?” I open a cabinet.  ”I’m coming baby.” I pull out a glass and fill it with water. I check the phone. Oops–respond to an email. Cabinet still open. I almost walk into it (two years ago I did and broke my nose. No sh-t). Glance out window. She isn’t maimed. I shoot a quick text to another friend. Reply to the email. Fia asks for me again. I walk outside with my phone.  Oops. Forgot water. Back inside. And on and on.

No wonder I don’t feel “present.” No wonder I have self doubt about my mom abilities. Or frankly any of my abilities.  It’s a CONSTANT yo-yo of emotions. Even as creatures of adaptation, our brains aren’t made for that.

My mom in her crass wisdom used the quote, “If you have one foot in tomorrow and one foot in yesterday, then you’re pissing on today.” I’m going to say that when I have one foot on my computer and one foot on my kids, I’m pissing on the present. I can’t straddle the worlds anymore. It’s a lose-lose situation, and one that apparently has consequences. A recent article in the New York Times says there is a thing called Facebook Depression. And that constant texting and emailing can cause mental illness. These include OCD behavior (me) and narcissism (probably me).

As my friend Teresa said, “Bottom line: this sh-t isn’t good for us.”

I find in moments when I am down on my knees, sans blackberry, playing with Fia, helping her poop, whatever, there is never stillness. Instead of absorbing everything about her and our moments (yes, even if it’s in a disgusting public bathroom), my mind spins. Crazy sentences begin. I literally have conversations with people, thinking about what I will text or email them–which then turns into an entirely different conversation that can range from my purpose in life to my next grocery trip. I am so tired of hearing myself.

TIME. TO. STOP. THE. F–KING. CHATTER.

Here’s what I’m doing: I am going to overhaul my life and really examine how I can schedule my week in a more seamless and sane fashion. Following Teresa’s lead, I will allot myself time to check my phone and time to put it away.  I will schedule chunks of time for my kids without the phone even in reach. I think this will reduce my mom guilt too. I’m going for quality over quantity.

Like I said, I’m giving this a week. Anyone else want to join me in this venture? I’ll report back on June 25th. If you want to do this too, post comments on this blog and I can share them in the follow-up post. And not to worry; I’ll read your comments during my allotted “work time.”

Lastly, if anyone has any suggestions on how to manage time and technology better, please share!

Add a Comment

Milestone Monday: Good Info on Potty Training

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a public toilet. I squat, but I don’t let my legs touch. My quads get a good workout. So does my brain. I will myself not to look at or think about the grime, the hair, and god-knows-what-else that is lurking. I have already been in hypnotherapy for my compulsive cleaning addiction. But training Fia to not only go into a public toilet, but to SIT on one, is going to be tough. However, doctor’s orders: Get over it!

At her 2.5-year check up last week he really set me straight.

“How’s she doing with potty training?” he asked.

“She does great with the poops, but we haven’t worked on pee as much.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because she will pee a lot more frequently, which means I have to deal with public bathrooms. And I’d prefer diapers to kneeling on a disgusting floor with her on a disgusting toilet. So I’ve been putting off the inevitable. With poop, it’s only once a day and usually in the evening, so we’re at home.”

“Ahhh…. this is very important to discuss then,” he said.

The short of it is: if you don’t train your children to go the bathroom–#1 or #2–in every scenario, then they will develop an aversion to using the bathroom outside of the house. He knows people who are prisoners to their own potty. They literally won’t leave their dwelling until they’ve shat.

“There’s a fire? Sorry, I can’t evacuate. I haven’t pooped yet.”

Basically, if I don’t teach her to go everywhere and anywhere, she could end up with a bathroom obsession. And lord only knows she probably already has many obsessive tendencies/genes. She doesn’t need anymore.

My next meditation will consist of positive imagery. I will envision us walking into the bathroom, dressed in fatigues, my head held high. I will properly line her toilet seat with paper. I will cheerlead. A cockroach might run past with a pubic hair in its mouth. “Look Mama look!” she’ll shout with excitement.  “Wow, how neat!” I’ll say through clenched teeth. “Are you finished yet?”

My face will never show disgust.

We will sit for 15 minutes. She will pee a teaspoon. And damn it, I’ll enjoy every minute and drop.

Another good example Fia’s pediatrician gave:

He hates salmon. Every time they have it, his girls whine, “Daddy, do we have to eat the salmon?” He replies, “Of course you do. Salmon is yummy!” and puts a forkful in his mouth (even though he is cringing inside). If he took a different approach, i.e.: “I don’t like salmon either,” they may never eat that fish again. If they end up disliking it, fine. But don’t let it be because of you.

We all know kids are little mimes. As parents, we are asked to do the impossible: show them the way, even if it’s not our way, our preference.  But when it comes to bodily functions, there really isn’t a choice.

For me, I want to travel the world with my kids. She’ll have to learn to squat over dirt holes in India, on bushes in Africa, and in outhouses in South Dakota.  And I get to lead the way. From now on, I will see the filth and squat right next to it. I will smile at it.

In short, I will embrace the gross.

 

Grungy toilet via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

(My) Milestone Monday: Do Baby Barf and Vacation Mix?

Monday, May 21st, 2012

If you don’t hear from me for a few days please call the looney bins in Palm Springs. I may be in one. My mother used to show up at the psych ward with her typewriter so she could get work done. No sh-t.

My potential disappearance is because we are going on “vacation.” It includes a stop at Disneyland. In reading that sentence, I can’t believe this was my idea.

We are heading to Palm Springs for two nights via land of Mickey. The desert is 105-degrees right now. Fia gets burnt even in the shade. She also gets carsick. Massively, as seen on our horrendous trip out to LA this fall. And Emmett barfs and farts. Constantly. This is going to be a helluva roadtrip.

Anywho, I convinced Phil to take off 2 whole days of work (Gasp! I’m not bitter…) to go to the desert. We hadn’t taken a family vacation since last May in Costa Rica. That’s when I got pregnant with Emmett. Oops. This will be a far different trip. I’m not reading 50 Shades of Grey, therefore this trip won’t involve sex. Just diapers and barf.

Right now, as I sit here in the cozy cafe typing, I feel like a smug veteran mother. I can handle this, right? The hotel asked if we wanted a suite on the 5th floor. Oh, no-no-no I said. I’m a MOM. I know better. I know that lugging a stroller with a raft, water wings, Emmett’s diaper bag, 40 bottles of sunscreen, snacks, and my Kindle (dare to dream) through a hallway, to an elevator, to the pool will take up the entire day. I’m smarter than that. I know the only way to go is a poolside room. In fact, I booked two. They adjoin. This way Fia and Phil can sleep peacefully while Em and I tackle the night.

Yes, this “vacation” is sounding more appealing by the sentence.

I had to research about 15 hotels in the Palm Springs area. The ones my mom friends recommended were full. Then there were my non-mom friends. I got a list of about 5 hotels that had things on their sites like, “no pool toys allowed.” One said, “While we welcome guest of all ages, we are a boutique hotel with an intimate setting and backdrop that is not always ideal for children of all ages. We warmly welcome dogs.”

Well folks, that definitely takes Feral Fia out of the equation. My girl who loves dirty feet and messy hair is pure Mutt. I think this hotel wants the Pomeranians. I finally found a place that has, are you ready? A Splashtopia! Whatever the f–k that means. All I know is when I saw “availability” and “splashtopia” in the same sentence I felt like god was on my side.

I have a list of everything we need to bring. Included on it are our two noise machines (one for each room) and wine. Oh no, please teetotaler moms. Don’t begrudge me on this one. It’s vacation for god’s sake. Which now means survival.

The best advice I have gotten thus far is from a friend who said, “Go with low expectations. You probably won’t find it relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.”

Yes, in motherhood, “fun” takes on a whole new meaning. I know my babies won’t let me down.

 

Picture of family vacation via shutterstock

Add a Comment

Milestone Monday: Allergy Test Surprise

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Purple marker is next to all the allergy pricks. Note big H.

I took Fia to the allergist on Friday to get her tested. This, after her mysterious rash kept appearing and disappearing. She was a trooper. Actually, the DVD player with Elmo gets the credit.

For 8 days I kept a food log and the rash seemed to go away when I eliminated dairy. So I was pretty convinced it must be a reaction to that. Nope. I also took out nuts in the days leading up to the testing. Also negative. Cat: negative. That I really exhaled at. I didn’t want to have a Sophie’s Choice situation with Fia and Brother Wayne Sanchez (though I know who would stay). In fact, all 24 things they tested for came up negative.

Surprisingly enough, the doctor concluded that it was a virus, even though she had zero other symptoms. He also said that when hives appear like that, the contagious stage is already over.

The one place on her back that did blow up was the test for histamine (you can see the hive in the upper right hand corner next to the H). He explained that her body has a high sensitivity to histamines so hives might be the way her body fights off things. Because of that, he said to definitely give her Benadryl when they come on, because in essence, that tells the body to stop producing the histamines, and thus the hives.

So the fact I eliminated dairy and nuts and the rash went away was pure coincidence. We went and got chocolate malts to celebrate.

Add a Comment

Milestone Monday: The Rash Continues to Confound

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Hives, but not too itchy

I wrote last week about Fia’s mystery rash. Am reposting the picture. It comes on in a fury, then a dose of Benadryl and it is gone within 10 minutes. I told the doctor last week that I thought it had gone away for two days. He said that was the key: figuring out what she didn’t have during that time or 5 days before hand. That’s how long an allergy can stay in your body. Well, I have a decent memory, but nothing that good. So moving forward, I’m trying to see if it goes away for any extended period of time. So far, it hasn’t.

She is seeing an allergist on Thursday for a consult, Friday for testing. I happen to be allergic to every environmental thing except mold: dust mites, pollen–even my transexual cat. I get shots. Phil is allergic to Penicillin. The doctor explained that our allergies combined give Fia a really good chance of having them. Even though ours aren’t food,  hers could be. And he reiterated the rash looks a food allergy, not environmental.

The only consistent thing about it is the timing. It appears in a few spots right after her nap, typically around 3 pm. Random spots on her body. I put cortisone cream on and they go away. Then right before bed, around 6:30-7, it comes on strong, taking up whole swaths of her skin. That’s when I bring out the Benadryl.

It can’t be her crib. We have washed her bedding twice in detergent, once in just hot water. We put all her stuffed animals in the dryer. We are using the dye/perfume free kind–we have used it for years.

For the last 3 days we have eliminated dairy, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Plus, doesn’t a dairy allergy usually involve diarrhea? I’m now going to eliminate nuts/peanut butter.

Here is her basic menu from the past 6 days (don’t judge me on some of the things like pickles for breakfast. She asked!):

Wed, April 11th:

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with milk, partial granola bar

Lunch: macaroni and cheese, hot dog (no bun)

Dinner: ham, rice, pea soup, Lactaid instead of milk (now we’re doing straight rice or soy milk, as I learned Lactaid still has the milk protein)

6 pm: rash appeared (gave Benadryl)

——————————————————————————————— 

Thursday April 12th: (still waiting to hear from her school what she had for lunch that day)

Breakfast: Oats and Honey Cereal/Lactaid, cheese stick

1 pm–(pre-nap) rash appeared in a big way. It’s the picture I took above–and took it with me to the doctor to show him what it looked like. Gave her Benadryl, so it didn’t appear the rest of the day/night. I’m sure the antihistamine was still in her system at bedtime and kept it at bay. If it came during the night, I wouldn’t know.

Snack: Ella’s Squeeze (made up of sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apple, blueberry), Avocado, 2 cherry tomatoes

Dinner: chicken nuggets, black beans, pea/rice/ham soup, small piece of pepperoni pizza, chocolate chip cookie

——————————————————————————————— 

Friday April 13th:

Breakfast: cereal and milk, pretzels, shortbread vanilla cookie (not the most nutritious of breakfasts, I know).

Snack: apples, Swiss cheese, turkey

small rash @ 3:15 pm

Lunch: rice/pea/ham/spinach soup, smoothie (banana, yogurt, blueberries, OJ, milk), half sandwich on whole wheat bread with ham/turkey/lettuce/ranch dressing

4 pm rash appeared in a few spots

Early Dinner: half sandwich on whole wheat bread with ham/turkey/lettuce/ranch dressing

5:15 pm: spots began popping up. Gave Benadryl before they spread.

6:45 pm: bottle (8 oz of milk)
——————————————————————————————— 

Saturday, April 14th:

Breakfast: dill pickles (lord, she eats like she’s pregnant!), granola bar, flax seed waffle

Lunch: tortilla chips, rice and black beans, smoothie with a tiny bit of yogurt in it.

Dinner: chicken nuggets, avocado, an orange

At 6 pm, rash began. By 6:30 it spread on her arms, then legs then lower back. Gave Benadryl.

7 pm–bottle with rice milk (6 oz)

———————————————————————————————

Sunday April 15th:

Breakfast: peanut butter puffins & rice milk, eggs w/spinach and turkey, whole grain toast w/strawberry jelly

Lunch: half peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain, Ella’s purple squeeze

2:30–small cluster of rash on back and on wrist. Put on cream.

Post nap snack/early dinner:  rice/black beans/carrots, orange-banana squeeze, key lime soy yogurt (2 bites).

7 pm–cluster of rash all over shoulder blades. Gave Benadryl, put her to bed.

———————————————————————————————

Monday, April 16th:

Breakfast: apple/cinnamon organic oatmeal, Oaty Bites organic cereal w/ soymilk

Snack: blueberry-banana squeeze

Lunch: turkey, carrots, veggie chips

No rash yet. But she is napping. Any ideas anyone?

 

 

Add a Comment