Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Slow down, Mama

As I write this, it is 9:22 pm. My son’s typical bed time is around 8 pm. I just put him down to sleep 10 minutes ago.

Our play room looks like this.

I didn’t get to the workout I had planned to do when I put him to bed. I didn’t pack our stuff for this weekend. I didn’t do the dishes. I didn’t do the 10 other things running through my mind.

What I did do is sat with my son and watched Despicable Me the whole way through and put my phone down to enjoy the slow down and relaxed with him.

The intention was to put it on before his bedtime to wind down a little but we both got sucked in.

I had to and am still reminding myself it is okay to slow down.

I’m not good at it. My anxiety is high and mind are racing knowing I put things off BUT I slowed down and truly relaxed with my little man.

We sat and forgot all those worries for a little. I even watched this nugget hop off my lap and show me his best dance moves with the last scenes. THAT made my night and the entire time slowing down truly worth it.

Forgive me for the super dark video. If you can make ot hus silhouette, it’s worth watching!

Remember, it is okay to slow down, mama. It will all be there tomorrow.

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Watchful Eyes

I sit my son on the counter when I cook.  His head is just short enough yet to open the cabinets for spices.

He is very interested in what I am doing and being right at mom’s side. We are in the phase of “mommy is where he needs to be.” It is much easier to have him on the counter watching me than at my legs pulling on my pants crying. Plus, this is a learning opportunity where he sees mom cooking.

I need to invest in the toddler stepladder so he can be a part of things and since he is getting taller every day!

Little eyes do what we do. He is 13 months old but these little eyes are constantly watching and replicating what we do.

The other day when he was “helping” me he had the glass salt grinder in his little hands and it fell. It hit the floor and shattered. Yes, I trust him more than some would. It’s how I roll and how I know he will learn as well.

As this happened, my husband was actually taking this photo a moment before. (I LOVE that he snaps a photo now and again so I can be in a few)

I remember distinctly how I reacted. Calmly reminding him it was okay. He also stayed calm. Guess who else did? My husband. All three of us reacted the same. It was quite nice to be honest.

My husband and I both carried the same vibe and quickly cleaned up the mess together while our son looked on from the counter top. Accidents do happen and this was mom’s fault allowing him to have it in the first place so I could only be mad at myself. But in the end, that set maybe cost us $15 so we can replace it which I already did with a quick trip to Marshall’s for $4.99. 😊

My mom taught me that. How to react when something breaks. I have to credit her for most of my calmness with my son, for most moments, because I am much more like my dad in other aspects and he is not the calm one, at all. Love him of course! But a glass of spilled milk to my dad is a complete disaster.

When we would break something at home growing up my mom would calmly say, “There goes another! Now we have to break another to make the set even.” This was said all while she laughed. It has become more of a joke to her and I now because we understand that things can and will break. If you don’t want it broke, don’t use it. It’s as simple as that.

Now, what I did not like that my son saw me do and then replicated. Our dog loves to be right by his side when he eats because of obvious reasons that he either feeds her or drops things that she can then get. The one day she was too close to him I gave her a little tap on the head to get her attention and said, “GO” to get her to leave his personal space and ideally the room. Well, my son saw this as a hit on her and he pulled his little hand high and swung at her.

We have been working diligently with him since he was able to recognize our pets to pet them nicely and not grab their fur so this was an embarrassing moment for me and I was mad at myself for it too. I had to quickly correct him and truly realize EVERY SINGLE ACTION I do, he sees.

As noted, he “drops” his food and both pets join his side

I knew this, but when they replicate you in the moment, it hits you hard. He is 13 months old too. That is young to realize that these small brains are sponges and quite literally soak in every single thing they see and hear.

I like to believe that my husband and I display a pretty solid example for him, minus our sailor mouths. That’s just the truth on that. Sorry not sorry there.

We will obviously be more mindful of any moment like the one with our dog, but having him sit with me while I cook or my husband is cutting grass or handy man work are all items he can be involved with as well. When he watches us he will replicate as well.

I love watching his little mind learn and grow and hope !

Posted in Mom life, Two Cents Worth of...

Weight of the World, NOT for Kids

Well, that all escalated quickly for all of us here in the U.S. and I will admit I wasn’t prepared for it. We saw it coming, but a lot of us did not want to admit it would be here as quickly as it came. I was naive.

The worry and anxiety I have with this pandemic kicks in every few days when watching the news. It’s a human reaction to something like this. I am thankful I am able to work at home during this time because not only am I fortunate to be working safely at home while here with my family, it is something to help occupy my mind from wandering too far into the worry and uncontrollable.

One thing we have to try to do is keep our composure for our kids. They do not understand the crazy world we live in and they shouldn’t have to. It is our job to guide them through this and allow them to live as normal of a life as we can while on a stay-at-home mandate here in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Growing up, I can say, my parents never allowed the weight of the world to fall onto my shoulders through any lows they may have experienced or during the world events that occurred. I always wondered how they did it now that I can see life truly does throw some curveballs at you as an adult and even more as a parent.

I have tried to recall the moments and what they did to help. They worked through it as we do any situation because you have to. My parents figured things out without me seeing the worry in their eyes because parents are the guides in a child’s life. They knew the importance of working together and making life go forward without panic or fear for me to have on my shoulders. Things always work out as long as you keep pushing forward. If I had questions, they would help me understand the best they could with correct knowledge, but also to what I could comprehend at each age.

A tweet I came across. I’m not the only one with this thought

Kids are learning something new every day and learning how to handle their own emotions. Do your best to not let them see you panic or worry through this, no matter how much of a struggle it may be for some of us. Children are not designed to handle an adult’s emotions as well as their own. Do not be selfish in that regard. This is not the time to use homeschooling to teach them how to handle a pandemic. There are learning moments for sure, but not on how to take on our emotions.

Sure, this is tough for all of us to wrap our heads around but don’t make this hard for your children. Take the time at home with them to do things you would not typically do together. Yes, they have to learn while they are out of school but it’s going to look different in how everyone is able to accomplish that. That will vary from what each school has been able to provide to you for this and what creative ideas you may have.

Many of my friends have posted all kinds of different things they have done with their children. Some have helped them create fire starters to sell to begin his own savings for a tractor, writing with sidewalk chalk on neighbor’s driveways to bring smiles to their faces, virtual dance parties/classes at home, crafts to hang in your windows for others to see, snack rationing with 1 cup per day, and cooking together. There are many things to do with them like being outside when it is nice and sure, let them on the iPad a little longer on the days you need the sanity for yourself! You’re not a bad parent. You need to take care of yourself as well.

I do encourage you to, if able, help your local small businesses and restaurants. Some are making kits to either bake cookies or make pizza (can be something fun to do with the kids) and other various items they are selling, even gift cards. My birthday is this coming weekend if anyone wanted to support a local bakery and have a kit shipped to us or even a lovely bottle of wine! 😉 I wear a size dry red.

On a lighter note, here are a few events that have happened in our home during the quarantine. I’m highlighting our more humorous moments for you here rather than a full list of what we have done day to day.

  • I was video chatting friends last week and hear my husband groaning. Our almost 10 month old son got into the dog’s water and food dish. He had a dog bowl bath and tried a bite of dog food.
  • When changing my son’s diaper, I panicked for a moment thinking his belly button magically moved and became an outtie. Turns out, it was only a cheerio hidden in his diaper from earlier. Amazing how they get things in places you never expect!
  • We definitely never drank on weekdays. Now we enjoy a beverage on our walks or with dinner. No we aren’t getting drunk, but we are enjoying the extra time in the evenings together more.
  • My husband went to Sam’s Club last week for some essentials. He thought we needed rice, but the smallest bag was 25 lbs. This was his panic moment and we now have 25 pounds of rice to eat through this situation. It will be our side dish at most meals! 
  • In the idea of making sure we get outside, we took a 4 mile walk when it was 20 degrees outside. Kid and dog in tow as well. Brrr
  • We turned on Frozen 2 Saturday morning for our son while we drank coffee at 7 am. He passed out, we continued to finish the movie. #notashamed
  • If you watched Frozen 2, you will understand this one. I later googled why wombat poop is square… watched a YouTube video on it. You’re intrigued aren’t you?
  • My husband and I ate Honey BBQ Fritos recklessly at 10 PM at night, totally sober,  instead of going to bed because, quarantine.
  • The other night my brother-in-law sent a nice text to the family checking in on all of us. This lead to all of us group texting (my whole in-law side) while drinking wine and laughing our asses off as we introduced them to the world of GIFs and how it makes messaging 100x funnier.
  • I tried crafts with my son.I set up paint on paper to color an Easter egg to hang in our window for the neighborhood kids to go on an “Easter Egg Hunt” by spotting eggs in everyone’s windows. Well, my son was irritated that I had put him in his high chair without food and could care less about the fun paint he could swirl around. The egg in my window was done by me. #pinterestfail
Another idea for those with younger kids!

Find some humor and fun throughout this odd time. I know it is scary and I am certainly not saying to ignore the world outside. Keep yourself informed with the proper channels. Do your best as a parent to keep your kids calm and enjoy the time they have being little! They will remember the fun times and what you did to make them smile. I promise.

A lot of the images I used in today’s post are from the Daily Chirp emailed from Natural Life.
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They bring a smile to my morning every day!