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Archive for June, 2007

Hey! I’m starting to get the hang of parenting two kids.

Bella is upstairs sleeping while Max and I are downstairs playing:

My biggest emotional obstacle was accepting that Bella is not going to get the same kind of attention that Max did at her age. Her experience in our family and my experience with her is and will always be different. And that is OKAY. Maybe if I was able to carry her in the sling all day I’d feel she was getting the attention she deserves (then again, maybe I wouldn’t). But I can’t carry her all day. I’m done beating myself up over it. She cries longer and more than Max EVER did, but she is still a happy baby. She is showered with love and affection.

I also had to get use to the fact that I can’t give Max the attention I was once able to give him. I now realize this is probably a good thing. He is very loving towards Bella and shows it everyday with lots of hugs and kisses. I can only assume that he learned how to show this love by experiencing it himself. He seems to be enjoying Bella. Of-course, he won’t always be so affectionate towards his little sis’, but I’m loving it while it lasts.

I’m just [finally] happy that we decided to have Bella when we did.

Max is sleeping in his own bed in his and Bella’s room. He makes it through half the night before quietly crawling into bed behind me. When he wakes and is not so quiet, Hal plays the night parenting role.

Max has adjusted to his new position of facing my back when he sleeps with me as I am always facing Bella. It is her turn to have easy night-time access to her beloved num-nums. Max is still nursing but only two times a day at the most. Usually, first thing in the morning and occasionally once in the afternoon. What can I say, he sees Bella nursing all the time so it’s kind of hard for him to forget about it. He tells me, “those num-nums are MINE!” And I always assure him, “no, Max, these num-nums belong to mommy.”

He never believes me, though.

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Life goes on, eh?

I took a bath with Max last night and just like when he was a baby, the first thing he wanted to do once he faced me was latch on and nurse. I didn’t have the energy or desire to push him away so I nursed him with love and warmth. He kept asking me, “mommy, why are you taking a bath with me?” And I’d answer him, “because you wouldn’t let me take a shower by myself.” After our bath, which was relaxing and sweet – I showered alone and let the water wash over the numbness I’d been feeling all day since having watched Oscar die.

It’s been quite in my house today. No panting, no snorting/snoring, and very little barking. Our house feels just a little empty without Oscar making all his sweet pug noises.

My disposition has improved for the better. I’m glad that storm is over.

Max declared today that he looooves babies. I kind of thought this to be the case before he said something because he can not give Bella enough kisses. Always with the kisses.

Bella is lifting her head up during her tummy time and those little pudgy legs of hers are kicking away in anticipation of their first crawl. She also started saying, “dadadadadada.” The first time she said it Hal and I were both with her and Hal said with the excitement of a win, “YES!” We laughed because I had been trying to get her to say, “mama mama” first.

I know I said that when Camus leaves us we “WILL BE” dog free for a while, but I can’t really see that happening. However, I think from now on we will be a one dog family. Camus seems ambivalent about his friend’s absence. A pug’s true loyalty is to it’s human companion.

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What a day.

Yesterday was a much better day in my house.

I gave myself permission to come off of seizure watch with Oscar and was able to *relax.* This inevitably led to an enjoyable day with Max. As much as I’d like to blame my frustrations (including his first spanking) on his toddler behavior, I know good and well that the frustration I experience comes solely from within. It comes from my inability to manage feelings of anger, sadness, and stress. I’m working on it, though.

We got along like old times because I was able to give him more attention (which is all he ever wants from his mama). We played with his toys on and off all day and outside in the pool for about two hours – sans the baby monitor which I had previously been plugging in outside so I could keep an ear out for Oscar. We kept so busy that Bossman didn’t want to take a nap. I felt a tiny bit bad about not checking on Oscar every ten minutes but I knew how he was doing – and it wasn’t good.

Oscar had been having petite mal seizures regularly since Monday afternoon. The medications he was taking should have totally stopped his seizures as well as the pacing around the living room – had he been epileptic. He was afraid of us all day Tuesday, Wednesday and today. It was as if he didn’t recognize us. Yesterday, he didn’t bark when Hal came home from work. Today, Hal and I took him to the vet and let him go. He lost control of his bowels after one of the many seizures that he had on the drive to the vet. I lost it as the doctor (who was also crying) put him to sleep then administered the second dose of meds to terminate his life. Hal couldn’t be in the room for the second dose. So yeah, we are pretty sad right now but I know we did what was best for Oscar.

We are sending his body to Texas A & M University – College of Veterinarian Medicine. And as I have heard others say before, but never thought I’d have a reason to say it… I hope that our loss helps someone else. The doctor who is in charge of this research was so beautiful and kind over the phone when I spoke to her about Oscar. She will be sending us the results of the work they do on him and his ashes after he is cremated.

There are two upsides to our loss… 1.) I will be less stressed-out everyday and 2.) We know for certain Bella has a dander allergy because her body flared up with eczema while we were at the vet’s office. We put two and two together because we remembered that after Oscar’s first major seizure, when he was urinating everywhere, her skin started to get badly out of control. It was noticeable because we *thought* we had it under control when this happened. Time to have the carpets cleaned. With any luck, her skin will heal up quickly.

R.I.P Oscar. We love you.

 

 

To end this on a high note… I took Max and Bella to Mote Marine this morning. A friend of mine with a son Max’s age helped me get around with both kids.

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Yes, Max got his first spanking yesterday. I asked him where he put the toilet paper that he was using to clean out his nose and he looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I threw it in the toilet.”

“Good boy.” I proudly said.

Then I went into the bedroom, looked into the crib, and saw toilet paper draped over Bella’s face and going into her mouth.

I tanned his hide and made sure he understood why.

*I hate that I spanked Max and never want to do it again. Disciplining has been a huge struggle for me with him because of how strong willed we both are. I’m looking for better ways to deal with my own frustrations so that I can better guide him to “good” behavior.*

BUT…

In the middle of the groaning and moaning about the realities of my life I always feel the need to stop and count the blessings that crop up or linger around. In no particular order:

My paternal grandmother made these two fantastic quilts for my kids:

The horse one was sent to Max after his birth and the other for Bella after she was born. I hate that I *think* that I’m not crafty enough to do art like this. I want to be. My mom and paternal grandmother are both very crafty – so I do have it in me. Maybe once my body isn’t in constant pain (mainly my hands) I’ll learn how to knit, sew, and quilt. Hey, I’m still young – I’ve got lots of time to learn.

I can’t wait to lay these new quilts out on my kid’s beds.

This next wonderful part of my life is what makes me feel like I can and will survive the next year… and that is my relationship with my husband. Even though we have both felt the stress of parenting while poor – we have manage to stay supportive of one another. We don’t fight, we talk. We make one another laugh. We don’t argue over petty things, we keep the disagreement focused on the “real” issue at hand. We don’t blame one another for our personal sufferings, we acknowledge each other’s feelings and perspectives. Okay, I admit it… I do blame him sometimes but he lets it go in one ear and out the other. He understands that I’m “venting.” And if I get out of line – I admit it. Anyway, I really like Hal as much as I love him – and that means a lot.

The third good in my life… I have a couple of friends that I can call any time. And they call me, too. We support and value each other. I feel lucky to have these women in my life when so many people have trouble connecting beyond superficial interaction.

Then, of-course, there is my kids… they are both happy (I have no idea how or why – but they are), healthy & full of life and love…

and that’s all she wrote.

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All I really have to say is that I hate my life right now. It is a true conundrum… I love my kids and my dogs but I feel so miserable spending every day with them.

I hope sending Max to preschool helps me to feel better about the time I do spend with him. He is just so difficult right now. Corporal punishment goes through my mind every day, but I stave off the actions that could easily follow those thoughts. Being a loving, kind, gentle mama is not my goal right now – surviving with brain and dignity intact is.

Liz came for a visit on Sunday bearing fresh banana bread. Max asked her to “help” him use the potty – even though he knows how to do it by himself. I think Max has a little crush on Liz. Hell, what human being wouldn’t???

I read Monica’s last journal entry about me, yesterday. I now know that ending our friendship was the right thing to do. She pretty much hated me.

Oscar was taken to the emergency room, again, last Thursday and all his meds were increased. We are still in the “wait and see” mode as to whether or not he has pug encephalitis. I’m trying to get a little Ari Gold in me and not feel so attached to Oscar (so I can leave the house worry-free). *Fucking dog is costing us too much money, if he doesn’t get better we are putting that pooch down!* When both our dogs leave us, we WILL be pet free for a while.

Max is in the “why” stage of learning and while some of his “why questions” are fun, most of the time they are just plain annoying.

Sometimes, my favorite part of the day is bedtime story time – when everyone sits and listens together. Though, the night I took this picture… Max wasn’t listening very well.

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Yes.

I stole this link from Kelly H’s blog.  Do read it.

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Yesterday we received a notice in the mail that our home owners insurance went up… therefore so did our monthly mortgage payment – by $211.00. In case you are curious, we have a mortgage loan for the amount of $125,000 – which by the way, is unheard of (extremely low) in our area. The only reason we paid so little for our home is because my dad sold me the house I grew up in for pretty much the amount that he had left to pay on it. Anyway, our monthly mortgage payment is… $1,309.00. I have excellent credit so our loan is a low interest loan. The area I live in is over priced, even as a buyer’s market. We are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s just not right.

Today, I received notice that our taxes are going down. Not sure at this point how much that will take off of our monthly payment but hell, anything would help.

This morning… Grandma told me that she would pay for Max to go to pre-school: 3 times a week, any three days I choose, for 3 hours in the morning – 9am – 12pm. I asked her to help me with the cost of preschool and she without hesitation said she’d be happy to foot the entire bill. I found a church that runs a toddler preschool for $44/week. I spoke with the woman who runs it, liked what she had to say so will be popping in for a visit sometime Friday morning.

Last night, my mom (she currently lives in New Hampshire) told me that she is definitely moving to our area next summer to “be a grandma.” I am so happy about this!

Things are looking up.

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