Daily Parenting High vs. Low Struggle

I always figured with kids you’d have your “good” days and your “bad” days. While that’s often the case in the general sense, I never realized how those highs and lows were going to change minute by minute. ParentingHighsandLows

I have two toddlers. It’s obviously not going to be peaches and ice-cream all the time around my house. In fact, most of the time it’s not. Someone is whining for something, someone can’t find a toy, or someones upset about something they lost 6 months ago. That’s just the way it is. It’s just amazing how amazing things can be going and how quickly they can turn at the drop of a hat.

It was a school day and I woke both kids up. I value sleep as much as they do so waking them up was unheard of until Everett started school. We’re working on getting into the routine but some days are a complete struggle. This particular day, they work up without issues, got dressed, teeth brushed, and ate breakfast without one single complaint. They even kept quiet while their dad slept! [he’s on an overnight shift so this is impossible some days] We got to school on time and the entire way there Everett talked to me about how good he was going to be and how he promised me he was going to listen to his teachers. 4 hours later I go to pick him up and he’s in the time out chair. First offense was poking and the second was putting his shoes in someones face. Seriously? Well, I had to listen to him scream about me taking away the iPad for the next 45 minutes. He wakes up from a short nap after we got home and never mentioned it again.

Then the evening rolled around and I made dinner as usual. I always try to offer my picky kids whatever the adults are eating because 1) I want them to eat well and try new things and 2) it’s a total pain in the ass to make them something separate to eat. I made a breakfast bake with sausage and eggs. They absolutely devoured their entire servings. BOTH of them.

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I set them down and take off Aria’s diaper for about two seconds while I put their dishes into the sink. I come back and she had run into the playroom, pooped on the floor, and was playing in it. Fighting the instinct to vomit (I don’t want to clean that too) I throw her into the shower. I went from an “awww! I’m so glad you guys ate all your dinners and behaved at the table” to trying to make sure all the pieces of poop go down my shower drain in about 4 minutes flat.

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Finally, all the poop is cleaned up, the kitchen mess is in order, and the kids are almost ready for bed. Everett requests to watch the Little Mermaid before bed and I allow it. I’m sitting there snuggling an overtired Aria and Everett says to me “Ariel is beautiful just like you mama.” Seriously, melt.

It’s days like today that really show me what an emotional rollercoaster that parenting is. One minute your child does the sweetest thing on the planet or behaves amazingly and the next minute their playing in their own poop or shoving their shoes in another kids face at school. This is what I call the daily high and low struggle with parenting.

My Son Plays With “Girl” Toys

My 2 year old daughter is getting to the age where she’s starting to take a liking to particular types of toys. Completely uninfluenced by me, she’s gravitates towards cute stuffed animals and baby dolls. She loves her a good superhero but she’s way more into what you may call the “girly” types of toys. The older she gets, the more toys that she prefers accumulate in the playroom.

This in turn has led my 3.5 year old son to gain an interest in these particular type of toys. My son plays with “girl” toys.

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I’m almost 99% sure his fondness of these toys is because he knows that they’re his sisters and he can’t handle sharing. He’s awful at sharing anything with her. When I tell him he can’t take something away from her, that’s the first thing that he wants to do. He’s a typical defiant toddler like that.

Sometimes, he’ll pick up a doll and be playing “house” with it when Aria is sleeping. It’s actually adorable the way he just mimics what he sees going on in his world around him. He will put the baby to bed, pretend to feed her, and change her diaper. These are all things he sees me doing with his sister. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and if this type of roll play is teaching him about the importance of parents and family life … then who am I to stop it?

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I just don’t understand what a parent would do that is against their sons playing with “girl” toys or their daughters playing with “boy” toys. Would those parents take away the toy and explain to their child that they are playing with a toy that is not for them because of their gender? That is, bottom line, not what I want to teach my kids. It’s practically impossible for me to separate the toys and stop my kids from playing with whatever is in the playroom. I’m not about to battle all day long over something that isn’t important to our family.

So, I let my son play with “girl” toys. I let my kids walk around the house with babies in strollers and pretend to be parents to those dolls. As long as they’re playing nice, there is no foul play in my mind. He’s usually pretending the stroller is a race car and trying to fill it with gas before he zooms off and tells the baby to “hold on tight because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

The Toddler Snacking Epidemic Must End

I write this post with so much sarcasm I can almost feeling it coming out of my ears. Yet, there is also so much truth behind it. I’m well aware that children need to eat. It would just be nice if mine would eat something that is even halfway decent for them or eat a full meal so they weren’t begging for a snack 10 minutes later. Seriously, the toddler snacking epidemic has to end. It’s an epidemic that is quickly killing off what is left to my parenting sanity.

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A few days ago I decided to keep a log of every time Everett (my 3.5 year old) ate / asked for a snack. I wrote down all his ridiculous excuses for not wanting what I gave him and so on.

These were my results:

8:50 AM: (shortly after waking up) I offer him a waffle. He doesn’t want to eat that waffle because his teeth hurt. I assure you his teeth are fine.

9:07 AM: Asks for a pancake instead. I give him the damn pancake.

9:17 AM: Asks for a sucker.

9:32 AM: Asks for watermelon flavored candy. I don’t think he’s ever even had watermelon flavored candy.

9:58 AM: Asks for a snack. I tell him he must eat the pancake. He refuses. I decide to make them some scrambled eggs in hopes of getting them to get some protein.

10:03 AM: Hand him scrambled eggs with a green fork. He asks for the blue fork.

10:05 AM: “Don’t forget I need some milk with my eggs!”

10:25 AM: He’s still at the table slowly eating the eggs.

10:40 AM: He’s finally finished the eggs with his blue fork.

11:05 AM: Asks for another snack.

11:10 AM: Asks again in a very nice tone so I gave him a Nutragrain Bar.

11:30 AM: Comes walking into the room with the pancake I gave him 2.5 hours ago. He’s eating it.

11:50 AM: False Alarm. I find the pancake crumbled into a million pieces on the carpet.

12:25 PM: Asks 4 times for cookies while I’m making lunch.

12:40 PM: Gave them lunch minus the cookies that I was so annoyed with hearing about.

I swear I'm not starving my children.
I swear I’m not starving my children.

12:50 PM: Doesn’t want to eat his lunch because he “doesn’t like the way the sandwich is cut”

1:30 PM: Finally finishes the entire lunch.

1:30 PM: Asks for another snack.

1:40 PM: “I need a snack because I’m cold.”

2:00 PM: He asked about 6 more times and because I couldn’t handle it anymore, he got an after lunch desert of one cookie.

2:07 PM: “I’m a little hungry.”

2:55 PM: He somehow found another pancake from this morning and was trying to eat it. I took it away since it was as hard as a rock and gave him some applesauce.

3:15 PM: Asks for a snack.

3:23 PM: Asks for a snack.

4:03 PM: He was running around chanting “I need a snack, I need a snack.” I gave him an apple.

6:00 PM: I left for two hours to go grocery shopping. As soon as I returned the hounding of “what food is in the bags?” commences. I put away everything and made dinner.

6:20 PM – 7:00 PM: He’s eating dinner. Complaining he doesn’t like it but eats most of it anyways.

7:20 PM: At this point I just started keeping a tally. From this time till his 8 PM bedtime he asked 12 times.

I swear I’m not starving him. He gets milk through out the entire day and has a cup of water at all times. He’s just constantly wanting a snack regardless of the amount he just ate. I know he’s not hungry because over half the time he won’t even eat snacks if I give them to him. I’m sure I missed somethings during the day but you get the general idea. He just likes to annoy me with constantly asking, or so I’d like to think.

I’m trying for more of a schedule to see if it helps at all. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. We’ll see if it helps to establish more of a “I know it’s time to eat,” type thing. I’m doubtful and feel like we’re too far down the rabbit hole of the toddler snacking epidemic.

First Friday Favorites {July 2016}

June found a way of sucking all my spare time away from me. Between a couple of weekend trips and some TV shows that came back on the air; I have some valid excuses of where my time has gone. That being said, in my “time away”, I did find some awesome things to share with you guys.

JulyFFF

1 // Leuchttrum 1917 Notebooks // Now, I’m a huge Erin Condren fan and everyone who knows me knows this about me. I also am now learning a little bit about bullet journaling and experimenting with it. I’m loving the creations I’m coming up with and I’m putting them all in the Leuchttrum. If you want to give bullet journaling a try, I highly suggest picking up one of these bad boys.

2 // St. Tropez Foaming Tanner // I used to be as pale as a ghost. I am one of those lucky people who goes outside, burns, and then it doesn’t turn into a tan. Well I finally found a self tanning solution that doesn’t leave me orange, streaky, or horrible smelly. It still does have a smell but it’s not nearly as bad as some of the others I’ve tried. Oh, and make sure you use the mitt that you can buy with it. It’s important.

3 // Tombow Brush Pens // These are my favorite brush pens I’ve tried so far for all the lettering I’ve been doing in my bullet journaling adventures. I don’t even come close to saying that I’m good at “lettering” but these pens make my life a little easier when it comes to learning.

4 // Crayola Giant Chalk // A friend got my daughter these for her second birthday and they’re by far my favorite chalk for toddlers. They’re HUGE so they don’t slip out of their hands and they don’t just shatter into a million small pieces when they drop them.

5 // Disneys Tsum Tsum // I’m sure this stupid game has been around for a long time but it’s new to me and it’s been sucking up way too much of my time. If you like matching games and cute little characters, then don’t download it. Trust me.

6 // Orange is The New Black // This is the real reason I haven’t had any free time. Thanks Netflix.

Cool Scrubs, Literally. Introducing: Maevn Uniforms + Giveaway

I’m pretty sure that all of my readers are aware of that fact that i’m a Veterinary Technician. That means that I’m wearing scrubs several days out of the week. I’m a slight “scrub snob” which means that I can’t stand wearing ones that are oversized, uncomfortable, and of course unflattering. I’ve worn several different brands over the years but I’m excited to be adding Maevn to my scrub wardrobe!

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The newest line from Maevn is called EON. The products that I’m featuring in this post are all from this line and are quite amazing. So, I live in Georgia where in the summer, the heat is unbearable. I work in air conditioning but when I have to take a pet outside or I’m running around like crazy during an emergency shift, the last thing I want is my thick cotton scrubs sticking to me and making me even warmer than I already was. That’s the first thing I noticed about my Maevn EON scrubs. The fabric is extremely breathable and I felt cool even when I knew I wasn’t.

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The EON line is also extremely flexible. I’m able to get down on the floor and move patients into position without any issues of the fabric becoming too tight. That’s a huge problem for me with other brands.

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In this picture I’m wearing the full elastic cargo pants and the sporty mesh panel jacket. Yes, I wear a jacket to work on the 100 degree days. We have to cover our tattoos and a jacket is the only way around that for me. Luckily, the material is super breathable and it doesn’t bother me at all, even in the heat.

To find a store near you that carries the Maevn brand, check out the store locator here!

Now, Maevn has agreed to give away one top and one pair of pants from the EON line in any color of the winners choice! You can view the items available here.  The giveaway is only open to US residents, sorry! To enter, just follow the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck! All entries will be verified. Mom Tails is not responsible for shipment of the prize. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. 

RIP Harambe & Human Compassion

I’m sure you’ve heard about the boy at the Cincinnati zoo who climbed over some protective barriers and fell into the gorilla exhibit. If you haven’t, then you’re living under a rock and I’m slightly jealous of you. Since this is my own space on the internet, I’m going to use it to voice my opinion on the situation.

People are just assholes and have lost so much compassion for other humans.

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This is the meme that is circulating around that creates a fury inside of me. People are so quick to judge in this situation. 99% of what I’m seeing are comments about the mother, insulting her for not watching her child. Those commenters must have never had a toddler that is on a mission. Kids are quick. Kids sneak away. The second you turn your back to do anything, they can be gone just like that. I’m not sure what the mother was doing in this situation, but I’m sure it wasn’t ignoring her child hoping that he would climb into the gorillas habitat.

The most dangerous thing you can do if you have children is to think “this would never happen to me” or “I’m always watching my kids so it’s impossible for them to do something like this.” Reality check, the mother that this happened too probably thought the same thing. We need to take the situation as a major reality check and be even more cautious. The zoo is a place filled with wild animals. They have safety barriers in place but as you can see, they’re not always going to work.

I love animals. I work with animals for a living. I actually always wanted to work with wild animals when I was younger. I understand how messed up it might seem to have to shoot a gorilla that is “protecting” the child that fell into his habitat. The reality of it is, wild animals are unpredictable. Another minute longer and the gorilla could have easily ended the life of this human. If the zoo keepers had decided to use a tranquilizer on a 400 pound creature, it would have taken 10-15 minutes to take full effect. That’s 10-15 minutes too long in this circumstance. Unfortunately, I felt that they did the right thing to save this little boy.

I like animals more than I like most humans. I just understand that the value of human life is more important in this situation. The entire situation is beyond sad. A gorilla is dead and human compassion is seeming to be long gone.

Make Your Morning [ & Day ] Go Smoother

If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that he thinks that self help books are just there to help people create problems in their minds that they don’t really need to fix thus selling more books. To a point, I can agree with him. I don’t think that what someone reads in any book is going to complete change their lives unless they adapt what they’re reading to themselves. You’re not going to read a book on how to fix your marriage and have every single thing apply to you, right? Well, recently I read a book called “The Miracle Mornings” by Hal Elrod and chose to take some of his tips and methods  and apply them towards my life.

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I’ve never been a huge morning person. I almost always use to wake up with a bad attitude because I was still tired and wasn’t ready to start my day. Well, when you have two small kids, there is no choice in the matter anymore. You have to get up when your kids get up. So, that’s what I was doing for the longest time. I was waking up when the kids woke up and then starting my day.

I wasn’t getting any peace in the morning. From the moment I opened my eyes someone needed something and it was complete chaos. The kids were hungry. The dogs needed to be fed. Doing all that in a state of being half awake just plain sucked. So, I changed what I was doing.

So my first step is that I wake up earlier than everyone. It sounds counter productive to someone who doesn’t enjoy mornings but waking up and having my own time and my own little routine really helps me to wake up and be alert when the chaos of children starts to happen. Getting out of bed is really the hardest part but once I’ve done that I begin my little routine.

  1. Drink a big glass of water. No matter how much water you had the day before, you’re always going to wake up slightly dehydrated. I drink a big glass of water as I get my coffee / tea ready.
  2. Read for purpose. Wether it be a book that’s inspiring me at the moment or a news article, I read something that isn’t Facebook. I try to start out the day using my brain and think about things.
  3. Take a moment and sit in silence. Enjoy the quiet around you. Meditate. Whatever it is that helps you find some mental balance.
  4. Light exercise. This isn’t the time for me personally to go hardcore and run 15 miles [not that I have ever run 15 miles] I like to spend a few minutes stretching and prepping my body for general movements of the day.
  5. Planning. If you know anything about me, I like to plan. I write down what my “goals” aka shit I need to do that day are. I make a very loose plan for that day to help keep me on track.
  6. Journaling / Creative Work.  I’m obviously really into writing or I wouldn’t blog so i’ll sit down for a just a few minutes and write down some idea. I might journal about something that happened to me. I might doodle. I might color for a few minutes. This is kind of the spot where you have to find your own little creative niche. Just find something that inspires you and do that.

After all is said and done, it takes me about 45 minutes – 1 hour. So I find myself getting up at about 7:30 in the morning. Not too bad [yes, I have late sleepers] Once the kids are awake I already feel quite accomplished for the day. I don’t have to spend a lot of time worrying about things that I need to get done or wishing I had time to do something that I already did that morning. My brain and body feel energized and I’m ready to tackle the day.

Identity Theft Makes For Poor Friendships

I had the absolute weirdest encounter the other day on the phone. A number that I didn’t recognize from “McAllen, Texas” was calling and for some reason I decided to answer. Sometimes I’ll pick up the telemarketer calls just for shits and giggles. Well, this one was a pre-recorded message telling me that they were going to lower the interest on my credit card and all I had to do was to press “1” to be transferred to an operator and they would be on the way to lowering my rates. I immediately knew that it was a scam but decided I wanted to mess with whoever was on the other line; so I pressed 1.

After about 10 seconds of some really upbeat hold music a guy with a very thick accent answered the phone.

Man: Hey there! Are you calling to have your credit card interest rate lowered?

Me: What card company do you work for?

Man: Visa.

Me: I don’t have a Visa card.

Man: I mean, Mastercard.

Me: Oh, I have one of those. How do I get my rates lowered?

Man: It’s very easy. All I need is your name and credit card number to get started.

Me: Do people fall for that?

Man: All of the time. I call about 1000 people a day and get at least 10 credit card numbers. It’s how I buy my girlfriend shoes.

The rest of the conversation continued with me telling him off for stealing. He tried to explain to me that it isn’t stealing but rather his job to call people in our country and get the things he needs from us. I’m not kidding, that was his logic. I asked him several times why he thinks it’s okay for some people to go to work to be able to purchase their girlfriend shoes but he can just use my credit card number to buy them. He was 100% convinced that what he was doing was fine.

After I laid into him a bit, he asked me how old I was. He told me that he is a young man who would love to be my friend. He than gave me his email address so I could look him up on Facebook and add him.

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Of course I looked him up on Facebook & of course I didn’t add him as a friend.

I know there is pretty much nothing that can be done to catch this ass wipe but since I have some personal information on him, I am going to be making a police report. There are bigger fish to fry but I would like to see karma get this guy one way or another.

My Daughter is a Squirrel

Squirrels are really high up there on my list of favorite animals. I love watching them scurry around the yard and hide things in the nests in the trees. They make really cute little squeaky noises, have adorable bushy tails, and by far the most adorable little noses.

I loved them a lot more before my daughter turned into one.

Squirrel

My Reasons Aria is basically a squirrel are as follows…

  • The girl makes nests out of everything. It’s pretty cute when she cuddles up in things that she’s supposed to, like blankets. It’s not so cute when you leave her alone for two minutes and she empties out your drawers and burrows in your clean clothes.
  • Some squirrels really like “dens” at the base of trees. Aria also likes creating a den in just about everything she can squeeze into. Her favorite places include behind the couch, behind my stand up mirror in my room, under the kitchen table, and behind the art easel in the living room. Again, pretty cute routine toddler behavior except she screams bloody murder almost every time because she is either stuck or whacks her head on something.
  • Squirrels tend to bury things so other predators don’t find what it is that they’re hiding. Well, apparently in this house my husband and I are huge predators. This girl can hide things so well that we literally tear the house apart and can’t find what it is that we’re looking for. This has happened to so many things including approximately 8,000 pacifiers and most recently, the baby monitor.  I’ve looked everyday for going on 3 weeks now and there is no sign of the damn thing.

Squirrels are cute until they ruin your clothes, hide all your things, and eat all the snacks in the house [okay, that last one is just every kid]

Monday Mom Confession #8: Police

As all parents know, you do what works for you. I have a pretty hard headed toddler that doesn’t like listening to me. When my husband is home, the kid is on his toes. He will still act up because he’s a 3 1/2 year old boy and he can’t control himself; but as soon as my husband tells him to stop, he pretty much alway does. When I’m home by myself with the kids, it’s a completely different story.

I used to threaten him with “I’m going to call dad if you don’t start listening” but when that stopped working, I had to come up with another plan.

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We have talked about police officers before in this house. I’ve told him that if he ever needs help and he can’t find mommy or daddy, it’s okay to talk to a police officer. I have explained to him that they aren’t bad guys [hold your thoughts on that statement] and they only take away the bad people [again, he’s 3, i’m not about to explain police brutality to him] So, I noticed him taking an interest in pretending to be a cop. He’ll say “MOM, I’m taking you to jail!” when we’re playing and things on that nature.

That is when my mom lightbulb went off. I can use that against him. So, recently I’ve been telling him that if he doesn’t listen to his mom that the police can take you to jail for that. It has shaped him right up. He looks terrified of the thought of going to jail that he immediately stops doing whatever it was that he was doing or does exactly what I was asking of him.

It’s probably an awful thing to be teaching him but desperate times call for desperate measures. I don’t want to instill a fear of law enforcement in him but in reality you can go to jail for not listening to the law. In this case, the law is mommy.