Friday, April 28, 2006

Arbor Day

Yes, there's a special day for almost anything and what a good reason to do something special or crafty with the kids.
We're making an easy pine cone bird feeder in honor of Arbor Day.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pet Rivalry

I have a younger sister so I'm familiar with the realm of sibling rivalry.
Until I had kids of my own, I had not been familiar with pet rivalry.
Both my daughter and my son have gone through this stage. Currently, my son is still envious of any attention I give our two cats.
The cats who were already extremely friendly became more so after the birth of my daughter and son.

I first noticed pet envy when my daughter was about 6 months old. Any time one of my tabbies sat in my lap, she would try and push them off!
Now my son tries to push the cats off of my lap too. He even grunts and pokes at the cats if I'm petting them.
Luckily, my tabbies have a sense of little ones and either take the torment or run off. My daughter has since moved on from pet rivalry to little brother rivalry. She's no longer jealous of the cats and loves to snuggle with them. But, if my daughter gets too rough with the cats now, they'll let her know about it. It's like the cats know she should be old enough to know better.

Aedan's still young enough in the eyes of the cats to tackle them-though I'm trying to teach him gentle as I run his hand across the cats' backs.
We'll see how long this stage lasts for him...or his focus switches to his older sister...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How to safely dispose of drugs

Lately, I've been doing some Spring cleaning and I've thrown out several old or unknown medicine bottles. Since my son is such of fan of garbage hunting, I have to be careful of how I throw medicines away. I definitely dispose of them in the outside trash cans so the kids can't accidently get their hands on the medications.
I remembered an email my friend TL sent me. It had some great tips for safely tossing out drugs...

How to safely toss drugs

-In the original pill bottle, add a small amount of water to pills so they'll become unusable.

-To liquid drugs, add some absorbent material such as kitty litter, sawdust or flour into the bottles before recapping to prevent further use.

-Place the containers and any used and unused mediation into a bag before throwing it in the trash to prevent immediate identification of a drug, or to protect a glass container from breaking. You may peel or soak off any labels to protect your privacy.

-Locate a hazardous waste facility. If your community offers incineration of medications or some other disposal method - use that service. Contact your local health department.

This list was compiled by Vicki Rackner, MD, FACS - Medical Editor, and can be found in the July 2005 issue of Hope Health Letter

Monday, April 24, 2006

Have you ever seen a bruised tongue?

I'm talking black, blue and purple. I've seen one. It ain't pretty.

My son has been walking for about a month and half now. His walk can be more of a clumsy waddle at times. He's often tripping and bumping his head. On Saturday, my son tripped and hit his chin on the coffee table.
It happeded right in front of me as I was sitting on the couch. I scooped him up to console him and as soon as he opened his mouth to cry the gory special FX began. Blood poured from his little mouth. He'd bitten his tongue. I couldn't see how bad the bite was through all the blood. He was screaming hysterically. My daughter was shaking. I told her to get her shoes, "we have to go now." I grabbed a diaper cloth that was on the coffee table and a baton-shaped ice pack from the freezer and left with the kids for the emergency room.
As I strapped my son into his car seat, I noticed his tongue hanging out of his mouth. I thought the worst and drove as quick as I safely could to the ER. By the time we walked in the place, my son had calmed down and the bleeding had stopped. I realized his tongue was hanging from his mouth because it was so swollen and not because he'd bitten through it. I felt much relief.
I hoped my son's age and our blood-covered shirts would get us into a doctor soon. As we waited for almost 2 hours, I was very glad I'd grabbed the cloth and ice pack. When we finally saw a doctor, he informed us that the bite was deep but did not require stiches. The bite had not hit an artery. (I didn't even realize our tongues had arteries?) Additionally, the dotor said the healing process could take up to 4 weeks and during that time my son was not to be given hot food. The doctor suggested Children's Motrin for the swelling and pain.

Kids are bound to hurt themselves from time to time. I've found that especially true during the stage of learning how to walk. It's this stage that corners and just-the-right-height tables (such as a coffee table) are more dangerous. Cushioned table & corner guards are available at baby stores and most large discount stores. I'm thinking I can live without a coffee table for a while...

Friday, April 21, 2006


Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 is EARTH DAY!
Celebrate it with your kids. Most cities host Earth day events or festivals-check your local paper.

Talk to your kids about recycling. I've taught my daughter to throw glass/plastic/paper into our recycle can. She feels like a "big helper" and is doing a good deed too.

I plan on doing a craft project with my kids using recycled materials. We're going to make litterbugs! This site has lots of Earth Day craft ideas!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Currently on the Suave (beauty products) website, you're asked to sign the following pledge:

Today, I will say yes to "mommy you look pretty today."
I will say yes to my curls, my highlights, my bangs, my shoulders, knees and toes.
Yes to a vanilla-scented shower.
Yes to wearing sexy two-seater hair to drive carpool. (I don't get this one?)
Yes to the fact that I’m a woman as well as a mom.
And I will say no to feeling one ounce of guilt.
Today, I pledge to say yes to myself and my own beauty.

Okay, so maybe Suave is just trying to make some extra bucks by appealing to moms, but it's still a good message. We as moms must take time out for ourselves as well as feel good about ourselves. One of the best things I've ever done for myselfesteem was participate in a make-over show. I forgot to take care of myself and turned into a frumpy mom who was not very happy with her appearance. After the transformation, I told the talented crew who helped me find myself again that I didn't think "I was hopeless, I just felt helpless."
We're not helpless. Since the make-over, I've taken better care of myself. I indulge in long, luxiurious bubble baths. Buy myself some cool eyeshadow and those shoes I've had my eyes on. I ditched the overalls and sweats. I got a hair style I like and that is easy to maintain as a mom. It may seem like superficial stuff, but, for me, feeling attractive again made me feel better on the inside too.

If you're looking for a great way to pamper yourself, indulge in the little things-they'll add up and make you feel like a beautiful mama.
And sign up for a head-to-toe mommy make-over. The sweepstakes starts Friday, April 21st, 2006 and is sponsored by Suave and includes style experts from TLC's What Not To Wear.

Click here to read more & enter.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Backwards Effect

I'm not sure why, but it seems that most kids learning to ride trikes go backwards. I've witnessed it with other kids as well as my own. My son loves riding his radio flyer trike and his sister's larger trike. He's been riding for a few months now and is still mostly scootin' himself backwards. He often gets backed into a wall or other obstacle and gets very frustrated.

I've recently learned a good trick. I turn the front wheel of the trike in or out about 45 degrees. When my son pushes off with his feet-backwards-he ends up going around in circles.
No more frustration while he's learning to move forward!


Monday, April 17, 2006

It's a MADTV world with kids...

For several seasons, I've watched Michael McDonald of MadTV play Stuart. I thought I found the character so funny because the young, innocent Stuart is portrayed by a grown man. But, I've discovered while raising my daughter, she and other kids are a lot like Stuart.
Our lives can often feel like a MadTV Stuart skit.

My daughter is honest and speaks her mind-I have to be very careful of what I say around her-or I might hear her utter "shit" the next time she spills something.

She, like many kids, views the world quite differently than adults. My daughter is facinated by snails. At first, it was because they crunched under her shoe when she stepped on them. "Hear that, Mommy?" Telling her not to do that didn't work, so I turned to Sponge Bob. I told my daughter to think of the snails as Sponge Bob's pet Gary. She's stopped stomping the snails, but now my daughter brings them in the house as pets. And she thinks their slime is drool like her little brother's.
My daughter singing "Rock-a-bye" to the snails

Kid's also see or hear things in a different context. I once tried to explain gas to my daughter. Last week she told me her "bum did a burp like her mouth."

Currently my daughter is in the "Stuart" phase. She's constantly saying, "Look what I can do," or "Look at me," or "Look at this."
She's even said, "Look what I can do," while leaping into the air a la Stuart. It just cracks me up!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Breaker, Breaker

A few days ago, I was weeding through the junk mail while my husband was typing on his computer. My son was crying and tugging at my pant leg. My husband asked, "Did you hear that?" "Hear what," I said. All I heard was Aedan crying. Apparently, a breaker blew and the electricity in the kitchen and dining area went out. I went down stairs to flip the breaker. It wouldn't stay on. I tried a few more time before I heard my husband shouting to "stop!" When I returned upstairs, I could smell smoke. My husband told me he heard loud pops inside the wall. "Doesn't sound good," so I called our landlord. He was in Vegas, but would call an electrician to come out and take a look at the place. I made it seem as if the building would burn down-well, it did smell like it might. With in an hour, an electrician was in our apartment. He had his assistant flip the breaker downstairs as we all stood around the dining area. The POP startled me and made me jump. The electrician called down to his buddy to stop. Then, the electrician unplugged a power strip that was behind our snake's cage. He informed us one of the outlets was bad. That's it? Don't we feel silly. Why didn't we just look over there? Hind sight...

Well, after the electrician left. My husband picked up the power strip to throw it away. Water poured out of the thing. We couldn't believe it and wondered how in hell did water get in there? Did we have a leak? I moved the snake cage from the wall and found an old, moldy sippy cup. We had a leak alright-FRUIT JUICE!
The sippy cup had been laying right on top of the power strip. For how long-we do not know? We're just glad we had a really smart breaker!

(If you thought sippy cups weren't supposed to leak- Just remember that after several washings in dishwashers, sippy cups loose their suction. If you wash them in the dishwasher-don't use the heat cycle to dry them)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Oscar is enticing kids to the trash...

Toddlers gravitate to trash cans. I swear they omit some sound wave only toddlers can hear. Does it have anything to do with Oscar the Grouch? "I love trash, anything dirty..."

My daughter often got into trash cans in the bathrooms and kitchen. My son now too. I used to line my bathroom trash cans with grocery sacks, but since the kids get into them it's too dangerous. Trash cans with lids or pedal-style cans are the best bet for both bathroom and kitchen. Although, keep in mind that kids learn quickly and lids and pedals don't detour for long. In addition, Velcro straps are available for securing trash can lids-again it's only a temporary fix as kids will figure the straps out.

I suggest keeping bathroom doors closed only if you're not potty training or your child can open a door on their own. Or if it's possible, keep a small bathroom trash can in a cabinet or linen closet. Same goes for the kitchen garbage can, keep it in a cabinet or pantry if possible.

If you value anything in your home, keep trash cans away from toddlers. My daughter used to throw away her toys. She thought she was "cleaning up." I'm currently missing my favorite eyeliner and I have a sneaky suspision my son threw it away. Kids see you put stuff in garbage cans and they copy you. They have no comprehension that what they've dropped in the trash will - never - be - seen - again.

Just last night, my husband called his misplaced-cell phone.

The garbage can was ringing.

"Hello, this is Oscar..."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


-When my daughter sings the ABC's, I praise her for doing such a good job.
-When my son makes music with his drum, I smile and tell him what a good drummer he is.
-When my daughter points to an object and says the Spanish name of the object, I tell her how smart she is and that I'm so proud of her.
-When I ask my son to get the "ball" and he picks up the ball and not the block, I clap and say he's right-way to go!

These are just a few examples of opportunities to praise your child for a job well done-no matter how small that job may be. But, don't wait for only obvious moments to acknowledge your child's good behavior or talents-ALWAYS ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE IN YOUR CHILD.

I make sure to thank my daughter for behaving so well at the grocery store or restaurant and tell her how much I enjoyed her company. I let her know how much I appreciate her listening to me whether it was putting her toys away or simply getting ready for bed. My daughter enjoys coloring and I try to tell her each time how much I love her artwork. Here are some more examples of times I try and accentuate the positive and let my kids know they're doing a great job in everything they do:

-When my kids share a toy or snack (especially without being asked). "That's such good sharing!"
-When my kids want to snuggle with me.
"Oh, I love snuggles-this is the best."
-When my kids listen (especially when it's the first time I've said something-no hassles) "Mommy, loves it when you listen. Thank you!"
-When my kids laugh.
"I love to hear you laugh. That's my favorite sound."
-When my daughter helps her brother.
"You're such a good big sister. Aedan appreciates your help."
When my daughter uses her good manners.
"Thank you for being so polite and using your good manners."

I could list hundreds of examples to accentuate the positive in my children. When I tell my daughter how much I love her laugh-she laughs more. When I clap and tell my son what a good dancer he is-he dances more. The same goes for all behaviors-listening, good manners, learning, sharing, etc. These behaviors can happen more often with more praise. I believe in the power of positive reinforcement. I find that my kids' behavior is pleasant more of the time because I make sure to appreciate them, praise them and thank them.

"Oh, listen to me children and-a you will hear
About the elininatin' of the negative
And the accent on the positive
And gather 'round me children if you're willin'
And sit tight while I start reviewin'
The attitude of doin' right
You've gotta accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Otherwise pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene"