Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Being a stay at home mom/working mom

It's hard to distinguish whether I'm a stay at home mom or a working mom only because I'm both. I work 15 hours a week so I'm home a fair amount of the time. It feels like I'm home all the time as the laundry piles up, cleaning never seems done, kids need to be fed (AGAIN!), naps need to be taken, and homework needs to be done. Add to that Ethan's endless treatments and I feel overwhelmed most of the time.

Overwhelmed so much that I can't move sometimes. I mean I make it all happen, but it feels like I'm moving at a snails pace and my house is a mess in the mean time. Would I trade it for working full time? Probably not.

I love seeing my kids faces when I pick them up from school on my two days off and hearing about their day. Even though Ethan's response is typically "I don't know" or "We did nothing". Would I love to be home full time? Maybe, but for now it's nice to be at work 3 days a week, to have some time away from my own kids and feel refreshed when I get home from work. It makes me a better mom.

I'm often overwhelmed by all the doctor's appointment, dealing with nurses and doctor emails, medicine refills that never seem to stop and mostly everything revolving around Ethan's health. I wish I could get paid to handle all of it since it's so time consuming.

I am in no way saying that if you are a full time stay at home mom or a full time working mom that you should be happy or unhappy with your situation. For me, this makes sense. Thankfully we've been able to make it work with me working part time since Ethan was born, with a couple breaks in time off to be a full time stay at home mom right after my babies were born.

I'm very thankful for my husband, who works hard to help us pay all our bills and I'm thankful I'm able to work so we can save some money every month or pay for extra things we need.

As my kids get older and go to school more I know my need as a stay at home parent will lessen and I will miss this time. I also know that being a parent never stops even when they are grown, married and have their own kids.

I don't really know where I'm going with this other than that I'm thankful for the opportunity to stay home with my kids most of the time and I wish I took it minute by minute more often to enjoy every moment my kids are young.

The days roll by sometimes without me even realizing, among the day to day operations, that my kids are getting bigger and more independent.

So whatever your circumstance or situation embrace it. We're all parents no matter what it looks like. The point is take it all in and embrace it. Motherhood (& fatherhood) is a gift and not everyone can or will experience it. Hug and kiss your kids more often and know that you are doing your best as a parent.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Parenting an extra stubborn kid...or two.

Lately, parenting has been a real struggle so I've decided to give blogging another try. Maybe this way I can get what I'm thinking out of my head and finally start to make sense of it all.

Lila is now 3 years old and beginning to display some of the habits Ethan started at the same age. She's stalling about everything: bedtime, nap time, eating, taking a bath, etc. She thinks everything is a negotiation and when told no she keeps pressing forward to try to get her way.

In the past, I have given her too many options and let her get away with it taking 30 minutes to get her to do what she should've done on the first try.

Today started out great. The kids and I played, did some art, played with playdoh, put together a race car track and a remote controlled skateboard. I've been working on spending at least 15 minutes out of every hour on the floor playing with them. I've noticed that when I can do that they fight less and we all yell less.

This afternoon was a different story. Ethan, who typically is not very good at taking direction was occupied in the front room. When I told Lila it was time to go to bed she immediately screamed, "5 minutes!!!" Not exactly the best way to start out nap time. I gave her 5 minutes to finish coloring but after her time was up I started putting everything away. She complied hesitantly and we headed to her room. Little did I know that it would take an hour to get her to stay in her bed.

She wandered around her room for a few minutes as I told her it was time for bed. She dawdled around picking up her babies and making a cup of tea in her kitchen. I told her again it was time for bed and that she needed to get into bed. This is where it got interesting. She started screaming, "No!" over and over again. Everything I said was met with a "No!" We spent close to an hour with me telling her, "if you don't get into bed you will lose ____." She's always up for a good challenge so she continued with the no's. Finally she gave up after some cuddles from me and a quick "I love you" with no buts she climbed into bed and went to sleep.

In the process she lost her play kitchen for a few days, her water cup because she'd told me she didn't want water and then ran out to get it. She's constantly changing her mind when she makes decisions. "I want mommy. No, I want daddy. I want mommy!" She wants things to happen on her terms, much like someone else I know named Ethan.

About halfway through getting ready for nap time I realized I was calm and firm and it felt good to be taking charge. I know I have a long way to go before I'm super mom, but today even though it took me an hour to get her to stay in bed she is going to begin to know that mom isn't going to put up with it anymore.

I think she needs the stability of knowing what the rules are and we all do better when we know what the expectations are. I'm going to try really hard to be more consistent and firm.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. It's the hardest job I've ever had. When you first come home with your baby you think that first year will be the hardest of all, but then your children grow into the next phase of life and things change. Things aren't necessarily harder, but different. Just when you think you've got this parenting gig down it goes and changes on you.

So the challenge is on. My kids are going to get my full attention for at least fifteen minutes out of every hour. In that time I will get off my computer, my phone and checking things off my to do list. I will remain calm because if I'm calm they will hopefully match my calmness. I will try not to yell but to say what I need to in a quiet and firm voice. I will only give 2-3 options instead of open ended options.

Challenge accepted.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wrist surgery

I'm writing this now because I have surgery on my wrist this coming Monday. It's not as painful as it was before, but still painful. It's been 7 months since I first went to the doctor about it and 8 months since it started hurting (right after our move). The doctor gave me the option of doing surgery since it hurts about 50% of the time. I had already lined up taking time off work, childcare and just gearing myself up for surgery so we're going to go ahead and do it.

This is an exploratory surgery. She will use a scope to see into my wrist through small incisions around the wrist. We know that it's most likely in the joint (because the last injection I received that worked was in the joint).  She is also going to look at the tendon sheaths if the joint looks fine. I just hope they find something to fix, since I know something isn't right. It shouldn't hurt to pick up my kids, to lift a light weight pan or to go to work.

I'm nervous. I'm still unsure if I'll be awake for the surgery or completely out. I typically get very nauseous after surgery and even throw up. They said they can give me some anti-nausea medicine before surgery if needed. I guess I'll make my decision Monday with the anesthesiologist.

I'll try to update once I'm able to type again. I'm guessing that will be a couple weeks. Until then I'll be typing with one hand or on my phone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ethan turns 5!

Ethan turned 5 last Wednesday, well almost Thursday since he was born at 1159pm. We decided this year to give him two low key parties with just family. We celebrated with Ken's family on Valentine's Day with a BBQ and last weekend Ethan and my niece, Ella, celebrated turning 5 and 7 years old together.

Ethan brought in cupcakes to share with his class on his actual birthday. It was the first time we needed to bring in something for his birthday since this is his first year in school.

We are now less than 6 months away from Ethan starting Kindergarten. I'm really excited for the new experience and he keeps asking when he's going to Kindergarten especially now that he's 5.

We've been working on breaking his habit of sucking his thumb. We think that his constant sucking his thumb could be contributing to him getting sick. At school I hear lots of coughs this time of year, so it would be extra helpful if he'd stop.

We are also have begun trying to get him to sleep in his own room ALL NIGHT. This has been a constant struggle for 6 months (since we moved into our new house). He did well last night. Making it his third night since we moved in that he's stayed in his bed all night. So that's progress! Now to make it a habit.

We've been talking a lot about responsibility like how it's his responsibility to put on his clothes, take off his clothes, brush his teeth, etc. We should have worked on these awhile back but better late than never.

That's about all that's happening with Ethan. Can't believe he's 5 already!!! How is it possible I've been a parent for 5 whole years.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The sickness that won't go away!

I hate that most of my posts since the new year have been about sickness but we're going on almost 4 weeks of Ethan being sick. He's had 3 days of no sickness and then one day between when we thought he was better and when another runny nose appeared yesterday. He's symptom free now with treatments, but as soon as we stop it comes back. I'm baffled.

I don't really know what to do since it stops when he's doing extra treatments. I don't know if it's a continuation of the RSV or what. I hope not. I heard it would take 2-3 weeks to be over all symptoms but we've exceeded that. Was it two different sicknesses? I'm just not sure.

Ethan's missed 6 days of school in the last month and that's out of 10 days he would've been in school. I worry he'll fall behind and know that Kindergarten next year is most likely going to bring more sickness. How will we keep him up to date with schoolwork? I don't want to homeschool and we have one of the best schools because of being in Elk Grove school district.

We'll see how this next week goes and what clinic says to do. I just want it to go away so we can go back to normal life with 2 treatments a day instead of 4. That's a difference of 50 minutes a day when well vs. 3 hours and 45 minutes when sick. That's 3 hours he should be playing every day.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I'm beginning to think a lot of how Kindergarten will be next year with all the sickness preschool has brought this year. Ethan's preschool is very good about hand washing several times during the 3 hours he's there and he's still managed to be sick 4 or 5x since the beginning of school in August. The last one was RSV and he missed 2 weeks of school. Total he's missed over a month of school (3 days a week). I can't imagine what life will be like once he goes into Kindergarten with double the number of students in his class (24) and possibly less sanitizing.

We'll put it all in his 504 plan, but it'll be hard to regulate. His 504 will read that he won't be penalized for missing more than 10 days of school as that's the number of days you are allowed to miss in public school before being truant. It will also say that homework will be sent home if he's out for more than 2 days of school to keep him current and that the room be wiped down each day.

I'm really concerned that he will be out for a week maybe even two weeks at a time for sickness or a tune up in the hospital. I don't know how he's going to stay current in his schoolwork. I'm really hoping for a teacher that will help us keep him current so he doesn't fall behind.

I hope we don't have to home school because of this. I don't think he'd listen to me and follow my directions. I also feel that school is better for him educationally and socially. His speech has improved since starting school and he's picking up a lot of great skills at school by learning to write his name each day before signing him in, sorting and counting items, etc.

I'm really excited for him to go to Kindergarten, make new friends and learn more.

These are my concerns, but I know he'll probably be fine. We'll deal with everything as it comes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Go away sickness update

We found out yesterday morning that Ethan tested positive for RSV from the nose swab they took in the ER on Friday night. We were obviously not happy to hear that and also knowing that Lila most likely had and has RSV as well.

I'm now coming down with it too. It appears to hit hardest on Days 4 and 5. My mother in law has it now and she's on Day 4 and she's miserable. I started feeling off, runny nose and slight cough last night. I feel fine for the most part but I know it's coming.

There's really no treatment for RSV, except if it effects you in a way where you need nebulizers, albuterol, etc to help you breathe. Ethan responded well to the extra albuterol and 4 treatments a day and once he got over the Day 5 hump he gradually got better. We'll be keeping him out of school for the rest of the week so the RSV doesn't just keep running around the school. Evidently you can get it over and over again.

As of now, Lila is on the mend as well. She still has a wet cough and a runny nose, but she's much better. She has what I would call a regular cold now and it's Day 11 for her and Day 9 for Ethan. Ethan still has a wet cough, runny nose and will continue on 4 treatments a day until the cough is completely gone.

Ken has pretty much been sick since the first of the year. He thinks he's gotten sick 3x with different colds and now feel nauseous at work today.

Sickness, be gone already!