Potty training, poopy diapers and pandemonium…

blog nov 3 (3) Ever since Lisee was born, we have been on the go. Things get pretty busy with two little ones. I figured my last two posts were pretty heavy so let’s make this one a little funny. At least it will be… to me because I usually enjoy laughing at my own jokes.

So my toddler is potty training. By that, I mean, we are talking/lecturing/yelling/pleading/bribing/begging her to pee and poop on the potty but to no avail. She is just not interested. We tried giving her Skittles when she goes. It worked for a while until she decided all the work was just not worth one Skittle as a reward. In fear of making this a negotiable action, I decided against offering external rewards for a natural, biological event. Bad idea. I think I might just start bribing again.

She eats what we eat so in turn that means she tends to excrete what we excrete (I know, yucky, sorry). It’s getting bigger, stinkier and stickier. I know that everyone says she needs to be ready. I don’t know if she is but we definitely are! So we are talking about the underwear. Celebrating every achievement with “You Did It!” and we are consistently reminding her to “Go on the potty”. Tonight she was helping me fold towels (I had to refold them all but it was so sweet that she was trying) and I saw the face… y’know, the one she makes when there is a little push required. A second later, the room was consumed with the penetrating stench of a poop in progress. I asked her “Do you want to go on the potty?” and of course she quickly said “No”. Then I proceeded to enthusiastically suggest to her “Let’s go to the potty.” To which she responded “No Mama”. In desperation and self-preservation I demanded, “C’mon, we poopoo in the potty not in our pull-up” to which my sweet angel sternly replied while wagging a finger at me “Mama, Juya said NO!” (that is how she pronounces her name which is Julia).

I lose. Too late. Daddy cleaned it up because he usually puts her to bed. I can hear him seriously saying “Poopoo goes in the potty Julia not in your pull-up” and I giggle. I never thought I would find that sexy. But somehow, someway, I find it extremely appealing when I hear my husband with my toddler as he lectures her, tickles her, wrestles her, disciplines her, feeds her and reads her a book. He is such a hands-on dad and I love that. I especially adore the giggles that escape from her as he chases her around the house then hides. She then begins her search for him with a sloppy, carefree smile and a squeally, high-pitched “Amma gonna getchu” (Translation: I am going to get you).

Meanwhile, I get to nurse my baby who is now 6 weeks old and I already feel like she is getting too big too fast. RANDOM OFF-TOPIC thought: I have decided that Newborn clothing is a waste of money because babies only wear the ultra-small stuff for like 4 weeks then its 0-3 months for the most part.

Anyhow, I get to play with my baby and feed her and dress her while my husband takes care of her big sister. I don’t know how people say having three kids is easy because there are only two of us. How do people do it? If we have a third, I may have to sit the other two down and let them know that someone may be pink slipped 🙂

In all seriousness now, I can’t believe the number of people who stopped to admire the baby hats I have been knitting and decorating with clip-on flowers. A lady actually told me to blog it for other parents and I said I would so I will and I am – here it is. If you have a little girl and like me, people can’t tell if it is a boy or girl, just buy/make a knitted hat and insert a flower clip in it. Here are two photos of hats I knitted on a round loom (so easy, if I can do it anyone can).

blog nov 3 (1)blog nov 3 (2) Are they not adorable and so cheap!

Also, here is some other cool advice from moi to toi:

– Buy yourself a sanitizer for baby stuff because boiling water is from the dark ages and so slow comparably. Use the time you would spend boiling water, placing objects gingerly in water with tongs then extracting objects and letting them cool off before use and enjoy your baby instead.

– Breast feeding is not all it’s cracked up to be. I have to supplement my baby with formula and I can’t wait until I don’t have to nurse anymore. I can’t really spend time with her or play with her while nursing and quite honestly, I already know she is going to be the slowest darn eater on the planet. A single feeding can take upwards of one hour. Seriously!!

– Invest in a good crock-pot. Discover the luxury of chopping veggies and buying stewing beef or roast to place the next morning in the slow-cooker so you do not have to worry about dinner (and it’s healthy). Instead of cooking, spend time with the kids.

– Nipple Shields. Man’s greatest invention. Enough said.

– Buy a playpen with vibrating capabilities. Usually buys us another half hour or so of complete bliss (for the baby) and time for us to finish vacuuming/showering/laundry/dusting/stretching/online banking/insert preferred activity here.

– Have a routine of things you do on a day together. Our eldest knows that Saturdays, she gets to jump in bed between us, play games on my smartphone while I nurse the baby and daddy catches a few more precious minutes of sleep. On Sundays, we go to Church together as a family then come home and nap as a family. Because you know what they say… the family that naps together, stays together.

– Figure out what your toddler likes to eat and use it to leverage certain situations to achieve beneficial results. Do not fear the stigma attached to bribery and never underestimate its proven potential for success. My husband figured out that Julia likes apples so now she needs to finish her dinner to have an apple (healthy and motivational- life is good).

– Argue in front of your kids (respectfully) and then resolve and make-up in front of them too. It’s important that they see anger as a natural part of life and more importantly how to deal with it. Parents who only fight behind closed doors and maintain a serene face for the kids are setting unrealistic expectations of what the perfect marriage should be. Deal with all emotions so that the kids are well-prepared for reality. And honestly, it is creepy when parents don’t fight. Isn’t it?

– New mommies, I know this is hard, but DO try and treat yourself once in a while. It is ok to leave the baby in the bassinet and go get a hot shower or manicure. Dare I even suggest you get your hair done?

– We were husband and wife before we were mommy and daddy so give lots of kisses and hugs to your spouse in front of your children. My daughter loves it when I loudly kiss daddy on the cheek and she consistently giggles, blushes then demands loudly “More, more, more” (in that order) to which, of course, I willingly oblige.

– Adopt the following methodology of diaper changing for babies: Place a new diaper under the old diaper before opening it to save yourself getting peed on or worse, pooed on (it happened to my husband when our daughter was 6 days old). Practice makes perfect and you will soon be able to do it quickly enough but in the beginning they are so wiggly and constantly pulling up their little legs so it’s like changing a worm under water who is fighting for dear life (great imagery right?)

– If you are worried that your daily chores are taking away from spending time with your toddler, involve them! Julia loves to ‘help’ and often folds laundry, puts away the kitchen towels, throws stuff in the garbage and grabs things for us (baby pacifier, remote, tissue). There are no child labour laws against putting your own child to work around the house. Parking the car and mowing the lawn are unacceptable examples of ‘involving’ your toddlers- c’mon!

– Try and take as many photos/videos/time to scrap book for your second as you did for your first (I am awful at this and trying my best to be equitable).

– Use your maternity/paternity leave to learn something new. With my first, I learned how to knit. This time I am aiming to learn how to cook (I know I am not very domesticated).

– Try not to Facebook/message/tweet/e-mail people at 4 am because you are up and feeding the baby. It is alarming and disturbing to everyone else who is not a new mom 🙂

– Last but not least, do spend time reading my blogs, adding me, following me, liking me and messaging me because I need every ounce of encouragement to continue blogging between the two kids, a business, hobbies and trying to apply all my great advice!

Until next time,

Smartignani

I am just about ready to POP!

pregnant-cartoon-image 3.5 more weeks and counting. To be honest, I am so heavy and so uncomfortable, I am just about ready to let loose and push with or without contractions. There are nights where I think I am going into early labour then there are times when I know I am just wishfully thinking.

The last month is the most painful. It feels like forever ago that I shared my secret joy of another human being harvested in my belly with my spouse and wondered days and nights if my daughter who is only two will accept the fact that a sibling will share the spotlight. It feels like an eon ago when I anticipated the arrival of my first-born and now two years later, I am anticipating the arrival of my second.

We didn’t find out the gender. We just pray that it is healthy. I pray that it comes out. Soon.

Anyway, I think that much of the anticipation this time is centred on how will the baby look because quite honestly the first one looked just like my husband. I am hoping this one takes some of my dark hair and features but you know what – who cares…. as long as it comes OUT soon, I don’t care what it looks like really.

The other day I pushed myself off the bed to get up and go to the washroom and actually felt the baby shifting in my belly as if it is swimming from one side of the belly to the other. Just like people on the Titanic when the boat was sinking and they were clinging to dear life on one side of the ship. It was a comical visual until the baby kicked me so hard I had to do a super wobble to the washroom in order to avoid making a mess. Yes, I feel like the Titanic in size and stature.

I feel slow. I forget things. I am not really focussed. I fall asleep sporadically and at random times. I lost my toes. I think my nose is inflating to the point that I can’t see past it when I look down at my enormous tatas. I am uncomfortable sitting. I am uncomfortable standing. I am uncomfortable lying down. I am moody and sad. What did you just say? I am fine. I am happy, see? I am heartburning-stomachurning-forwardleaning-backpaining ALL THE TIME and worst of all, as aforementioned, I STILL HAVE 3.5 WEEKS LEFT….

I am also getting some wicked cravings. Root Beer floats, pistachios, Feta cheese, watermelon and that was just last night. Today it was Pizza Hut, garlic shrimp and Skittles (preferably together). Last week, no word of a lie, I was craving Cream Soda, blue cheese and red velvet cake. I am sick…help me!

I wake up in the morning thinking about food. I drive to work and think about going home and napping. I nap thinking about eating and eat thinking about napping – how am I supposed to have time to DO ANYTHING ELSE??

My poor husband must think I am nuts sometimes. He is so patient and kind but even I, looking from the outside in, think to myself “Who is this witch and why is she so mean all the time? What is her issue?”

I will tell me what my issue is… I am ripe.

Cooked.

Done.

I am ready for this baby to be picked, plucked, groomed and passed into my loving arms.

I want this wait and unnecessary painful stage to end. In a good way. I am praying that soon my body will catch up with my brain and say enough is enough, I am just too little to handle all this weight and all this action.

My fetus is practicing black belt karate in there. I swear there are nights where I think there is some sort of soccer game going on in the depths of my belly. Whatever it is, I know that it better be an athlete or dancer after all that action!

I think this is enough complaining for now but I do have one thing to say- if you approach me to tell me that you think I am adorable because I am huge- save the comment to yourself and “No” you cannot touch my belly and yes I am almost there and no we don’t know the gender and yes this is my second and of course we are excited and no- YOU ARE NOT JEALOUS because you have a sleek glass of wine in your right elegant hand which I would gladly guzzle down if I wasn’t carrying precious cargo. Got it?

I hope I will be able to blog again before Jellybean is born but if I don’t because it decides to come early then… HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY…

Keep me in your thoughts.

SMartignani

Third Trimester ain’t so sexy!

mama and j Listen, it is so nice that pregnant women are glorified in the media and some celebrities do look a lot better with some actual fat on their bony bodies but let me tell ya – the average woman don’t look too sexy in the final months. What’s worse, she really doesn’t feel sexy either, AT ALL!

Here is what I mean.

First Trimester, I was like OH WOW, I am having a baby. So cool. Let me try my maternity clothes on and wear a cushion where the bump will be. Can people tell just by my glowing skin and shining mane? I feel so good, so energetic, so beautiful. Uh oh, do you think my mother can tell? I am not telling anyone until the third month. No way, no how. Ok, maybe just my mommy and daddy like c’mon they need to know. Oh, I slipped and told a few very very  close friends and co-workers. But that is it! No way, no how.  Ummmm, did I just tell that lady who is a complete stranger on the elevator? Why? Why did I do that? She doesn’t even know me? I am losing my mind- seriously- chill woman, you don’t even look pregnant! People will think you are making it up!

Second Trimester, oh yeah. Have you seen this little bump I am rocking in my tight tank top and “slimming-maternity” (oxymoron) pants?! That is right! The cat is out of the bag. The belly is out of the shirt too- I am officially preggo. I know. I look better than last time. It must be a boy/girl. Whatever. The energy is still somewhat there, I have my good days and my bad days (what is up with all these random zits?) Anyhow, I will not fret. I have an excuse not to have flawless skin anymore, besides, I am too busy drowning in people’s adoration/congratulations, I am sure they don’t notice the humungous whitehead on the top of my right cheek – right? Right! No one would say anything anyway because I can now cry about EVERYTHING. Say something, anything and that opens the floodgates. It’s like my tear ducts lost all control and are eternally open and ready. I cry when I am happy, sad, frustrated and even when I am hungry. This is insane, let’s go back and focus on the belly. That’s a nice belly 🙂 ooooh, are those little flutters I feel- yay, the baby is kicking!

Third Trimester. I have a headache. You are wearing too much perfume. The baby is karate-kicking me while I am mid-sentence and I am too tired to get up and eat. That doesn’t stop me of course but boy can’t I just catch a break. My bump isn’t cute anymore- it is HUGE. Stretch marks are indicating the paths to the various parts of my body like a little roadmap. I think it is a message but I can’t read it. I am a little gassy, I won’t lie and to be really, brutally honest (as if I haven’t been already), I think there is more facial hair growing in place of the hairs I wax almost instantly. I know that this is due to hormonal changes in my body but seriously, I have a five o’clock shadow at 10 am! (I am exaggerating a little but not by much) – I am forgetting things. My largest pants are too tight after I eat. I pee a little when I laugh. My legs are achy and my ankles are slowly disappearing. I have lost count of the sheer number of times I have to go pee at night and then trying to go back to sleep afterwards. My husband is so patient and so understanding and I am so not in the mood for anything. My waking thought revolves around what I will eat next and when my next nap or sleep will be. My belly is getting too heavy and my skin is itchy. I can’t sit comfortable anymore and I feel like I am suffocating when I lie down.

I want this baby out now.

I am done.

So yeah. Third trimester- ain’t so sexy sister.

 

Smartignani

 

What is happening?

ImageI used to say “Stop” or “Come Here” or “Sit please” and she would listen but now… not so much.

She screams, shakes her little fists, bangs on the table, points to the door and yells “Go!” or simply looks me straight in the eyes and says “No!”

Half the time I feel the need to smack her for being belligerent and the other half I can’t help bursting into a fit of laughter. She is not even two and already thinks she knows her mind. Mind you, I am an educated mom… in fact, I have my Early Childhood Education Diploma, a BA Honours in Psychology and a Bachelor of Education. I spent the first 18 years of my career caring for children and giving parents advice on how to raise and nurture their children. So I find it strangely ironic that I am now a mom who is finding it hard to discipline my own child. I know that she is spoiled sometimes. I hate to refuse her when she wants the simple things. Maybe we are giving her mixed messages and she needs more consistency? For example, sometimes when she runs away in a grocery store, her dad chases after her and makes her giggle with joy and anticipation. Now, whenever we go to any store and she asks to “Walk”, she sets off on an amazingly fast and agile sprint to hide from us. This is extremely dangerous and she is fearless. One time she ran outside into the parking lot and thank God for my hubby who is fit and fast!

I know that I should be more stern with her. I can’t even get her to stay in a time-out like her daddy does. She listens to him and just sits crying in the corner of our couch. With me, she chatters away and says things like “Mama, luff you, kiss, sit, yes, up, yes, walk, yes” then she gets up and comes over to hug me. I melt when she smiles at me and I think that I am the biggest sucker as I read what I am writing.

I just have to come to terms with knowing that I can’t be perfect at everything. I also need to acknowledge the fact that she needs a good hand slap once in a while when she does something bad or dangerous, I just prefer my husband does it instead of me.

However, daddy travels in July and I am worried to be by myself with my little angel. Can you imagine? I don’t think we will be going anywhere since it is becoming increasingly difficult to carry her (I am almost 7 months pregnant now) and she kicks like a professional soccer player!

I will just have to swallow the big lump of “love” and just be strong. Funny how I have fired people, had several serious confrontations, experienced break-ups and grieved deaths in my life but this… this one thing called “Discipline” is becoming one of the biggest challenges…

I know, I know… wait until she’s thirteen. I know. I was an awful teenager but you know what, I just want to enjoy the affection she pours on me when she wants something. I guess putting on her favourite cartoon for a while or staying up a bit longer to read a book aren’t the biggest problems in the world. I want to choose my battles wisely and with her in particular, I would rather spend my time holding her than battling anyway.

If you have advice on what worked for you in the discipline department, please do share your strategies…

Until then,

SMartignani

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