Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sick Days

Every kid gets sick. Every family has sick days. Every family handles them differently.

The more I talk to other families this cold/flu/nastiness season the more I realize that every family truly handles sick days differently....

One girl that I know tries to only take half days off when her kids have colds. She's the ibuprofen in the parking lot mom. When the kids are sick she backs up the dosing schedule to be able to give a dose moments before walking her kid into daycare. Work starts at 9 a.m., so she drops off her kids at 8:30. Six hours before is 2:30 a.m. and  six hours before that is .... You get the idea.

If the cold symptoms don't show with the ibuprofen, she can make it through half the day at the office and then only use a few hours of sick time.

Another mom I know lets her kids stay home when ever they say they don't feel good. As her kids have gotten older, there are days I'm not even sure if she knows their symptoms. Could be a stomach bug or it could be a math test. She's getting into a pinch because the kids have missed so much school.

I don't agree with either of them. I hate the idea of a kid sharing sick germs with other kids. That is how they got sick to start with. At the same time, I don't want to be so lenient that my kids are out of school enough for it to impact them going on to the next grade.

Its something all parents have to figure out. What to do when their kids are sick.

For our part, Hubby and I have always tried to downplay symptoms. We don't do cold medicine unless the kids are downright miserable. In our minds, if they are sick enough to stay home, they are sick enough to stay in bed. If its a cold or something mild, we leave the kids home with the sitter, just like any other day. Our theory (and the sitters') is that she has already been exposed, and if the kids are in bed, or watching TV, basically resting all day, the sitter will also need rest. So, basically it works out. If one of the kids are seriously sick - vomiting, or needs more than an antibiotic - one of us will stay home.

A few days ago Big Girl left swimming early because she didn't feel well. When she got home she had a second wave of energy. We still had her go to bed early, but then in the morning - when she got up - she was fine. Whatever was going on came back over her in the carpool line, because she said the smell of her lunch made her feel like throwing up. She still went to school, but came home early. Again feeling bad for a bit, but getting better after a few hours.

It has made me re-think our strategy a bit. Next time she isn't feeling well, a low key day at home would do her good. have her rest up and get back to 100 percent instead of the ups and downs. She's old enough to explain her symptoms and certainly understands about telling the truth. I also have plenty of sick time. So, why shouldn't I stay home with them more? They need it, and I think the next time someone is sick, I'll try to put work aside and put the focus on the family.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Break, But I'm Back

You know those parents that are all, "I can do everything. I can have a job, coach basketball, workout three days a week and still have time to bake cookies for school." We are not those people. I know a lot of days I try to be that kind of a mom. But, who am I kidding. I couldn't be that mom (without a ridiculous level of caffeine intake and a job that called itself full time, but really only required 10 hours a week).

So, when Big Girls' teacher asked me to plan another party at school I was super excited. Because the truth is - I want to be the do it all mom. Who doesn't. Out of all the busy moms in the class, to have the teacher feel like she can count on me is fantastic. Its a recognition of sorts that even though I'm busy, I still put my kids first, and that I can create an awesome second grade party invite on very little sleep.

See. Second grade awesomeness in about 30  minutes.

The thing is, if I do it all, I also have to take a break. Sit down on the couch, grab some mint chocolate chip with brownies frozen custard and tune the DVR to mindless crap and say, "for the next two hours, I'm going to push all the crazy business out of my head and relax."

It works wonders.

If I actually take the time to do it.

Fortunately my husband knows exactly when I need a break. And this weekend he planned a surprise break. When he told me I was all, "I don't want to leave the kids, I just want to sit here and snuggle them," (in my head, not out loud). But as the day wore on, and they woke up and didn't want to be snuggled, I realized he was right.

So, we enjoyed a wine tasting (with the State v. Carolina game on!) followed by dinner out, and saw the kids again the next morning. THANK YOU GRANMA AND GRANDPA! I didn't realize how much I needed a break - and a good nights sleep to recharge. It is for real amazing what 10 hours of sleep will do for you.

The short break also helped put life back in perspective. Its about the family. Taking care of myself and putting other things lower on the list.

As part of that, I'm going to get back to blogging. Putting the memories that we make each day down on paper. Recording all the fun events of family life so my kids can cherish them when they are older without creating a fire hazard. Sharing all their business on the internet because I'm chatty and writing is a release and something I need in my life. Plus it doesn't create a fire hazard or the headaches of sorting through everything when they are adults. (Long story there. I'll tell it soon!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Making Valentines

Its almost Valentine's Day, and like pretty much every parent out there, I was trying to figure out when Big Girl was going to get all the valentines finished before her class Friendship Celebration Thursday morning.

Her school doesn't allow characters and prefers not to have any logos. Keeping the focus on personal work, the school only wants kids to bring in valentines that they've made.

It sounds all fine and good in theory. But add in a crazy busy weekend - Krispy Kreme Challenge, basketball game, birthday party, movie and swim meet all in two days! - homework, regular after school activities, and we don't have time to make 28 valentines.

28 kids + 2 teachers = 30 x 10 minutes each = 300 minutes = 5 hours

No way!

So I came up with a plan.

Make one valentine, scan it, resize to a quarter page using the fancy settings on the printer. Call it done.

That was the idea.

We started off just fine. Finished dinner, ran an errand, baths, then art. Just a few minutes before bed time.

As Big Girl draws, I explained to her my idea. She was reluctant. I explained the math to her. 5 hours. She'd rather watch TV. Not exactly what I was thinking, but whateve. We were on the fast track to finishing "project valentine." 

As she finished drawing Little Man finished his bath and came downstairs. I set him up to color his own picture. We were all good.

Then he decided to color her paper. Just as she got up to go to bed he grabbed her picture. And colored.

On her beautiful valentine.

Do you see it. Right there on the face of her girl. And on the hand.


I got it back. Turned it over. And rushed her upstairs to bed.

Once she was in bed the scanner gave me trouble. Ugh! So, I went to the backup plan. Photo. Photoshop. Send to the printer.

Late night. Valentines finished.

Can you tell it was scribbled? Do you think she will notice when they're printed smaller?

Cross your fingers! Feel the love. Happy Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Potty Training

Potty training takes forever. Parents that say that its a piece of cake and that it only takes a day are flat out lying. Lying.

We started putting Little Man on the potty before Christmas. Even before he turned two. Too early according to a lot of people.

But he went. Not just sitting there, but making use of the potty. Now we still potty training. Still. And we aren't that serious about it.

If he says he needs to go we take him.

I know. Not the best ever. But it is what it is.

And as anyone who's potty trained a kid can tell you, it can be super funny... And if you know us, you know we love funny.

Here are two stories of the potty training drama.

For a few weeks we went the reward route with potty training. It was working well. Sit on the potty. Something happens Little Man would get Nerds. His favorite. Only 8 or 10 little morsels of sugar. Mini sugar rush and life goes on.

That is until the day we ran out of diapers downstairs just before bed.

He finished on the potty. We were out of diapers downstairs (as I said) so I slipped his pants back on him commando style and took him to the kitchen for his treat. Standing in the middle of the kitchen munching on his candy before bed - just moments after going potty - when all of a sudden he said "uh-oh."

Not the giggly little voice, but the serious one that he knew for sure something was wrong.

Without even looking at him I knew. But as I looked I saw it happening. A puddle. In the middle of the kitchen around his little feet. As our eyes met he put the last piece of candy in his mouth. Chewed it up and said "sorry mommy."


Watering the Shower
Just last night he was sitting on the potty. After going two times earlier in the day I heard a trickle. He said all done and I put him in the tub.

When he got in he didn't sit down. Instead he said, "Watch me Mommy."

I looked at him and as soon as he was sure I was watching he peed on the tile on the wall. Looking straight at me and giggling.

Clearly this kid has control for his bodily function.

So many people have said, "boys will be boys" and that "boys are different." Its really starting to show!