Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taking time for me

While most people made New Year’s resolutions about losing weight, getting fit, eating healthy, spending more time with family, friends etc. I have decided that my resolution will include all of that by retiring. After almost 40 years in the nursing profession and 20 years working at this wonderful hospital I have decided 2012 will be the year.

I have received a lot of the usual comments, such as you are too young to retire, what you will do with all that time, you will get bored, I wish it was me, are you going to volunteer here?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cell Phone Bathing

Sometimes Mommies have to learn things the hard way…like just how far a toddler’s reach really is. One day last week, not surprisingly, nature called. Since Daddy was upstairs working and the big boys were engrossed in a video game, Sam came with me. (Don’t judge, we’ve all had to lose our modesty as Mommies and it was one way to keep him from playing on the stairs.) As I often do, I had my cell phone in my hand, so as I came into the bathroom, I set it down on the counter, far enough back to be out of reach of little hands…or so I thought.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thinking Outside the Jar

Your grocery store is full of opportunities for consumers to get in on this convenience trend that is on the tip of everyone's tongue.  That is the number one response that I get 100% of the time from clients or the groups I talk to when asked 'What affects what you eat or cook the most?'  Easy, quick, and delicious -- all wrapped in a pretty little bow, or a paper bag advertising the drive thru restaurant that just got the remaining cash in your wallet.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heart Broken

How is it that a child knows just what to say to put us right in our place?

 Preston, my four year old, likes to “lolly-gag,” a term we use frequently in our house.  He is a very easy-going, laid back, fun-loving child who doesn’t recognize the need to hurry for anything.  I, on the other hand, rush to get things done and feel the need to hurry to get out the door on a daily basis.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“I laughed so hard, tears ran down my leg”

“I laughed so hard, tears ran down my leg.”

That was a quote from a sign I saw on vacation last summer.  While we read it and laugh, we all know what it means.  “How’s your bladder working?” is a common question that I ask patients in the office.  The responses I get include, “fine, except when I ____”, or, “I’m fine as long as I know where the bathrooms are.”  And while some patients may think this is normal, the fact is, it’s not.

The incidence of urinary incontinence does increase with age, but it isn’t something that you should, “learn to live with.” Once you’re potty trained, you should stay so.  Unfortunately, childbirth is a big cause of the problem.  One study found that for women who’ve had a vaginal birth, the incidence of urinary incontinence was 31 percent in the first three months after the delivery.  Another survey found the overall incidence of urinary incontinence to be about 53 percent in women ages 20 to 80.  In fact, I heard once at conference that we spend more money in this country on “Depends” than we do on diapers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Finding a sleep schedule

Having a baby is wonderful but it can also be exhausting!  It is hard to get them on a schedule that works for everyone.  This is what works in our home…for now!

The reason for this post is two-fold. First of all, if we decide to have another baby, I want to remember what I did to get Hannah to sleep! The second reason is because so many people have asked me what I do to get her to sleep and I hope to help someone. I also want to say that it might not work for everyone. It is simply what we do. It is what I have done with all three of my kids and it works for us!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Simple is best

Ava has reached that age when she constantly needs to have a toy in her hands. But she has her own definition of what constitutes a toy. For instance, all those rattles and plush baby playthings pale in comparison to any kind of paper.

Each weekday when I pick Ava up from daycare, I hand her a rattle and she promptly drops it and reaches for her “daily” sheet – the paper the daycare uses to keep me informed about her feedings, naps, and how her day went. If she’s anything like her Mommy, she’s probably checking it for accuracy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sports Overload?

Now, please don’t throw things at me, because I do realize that there is a childhood obesity epidemic, and that participating in organized sports is one way to combat that epidemic, in addition to the many other wonderful things that organized sports teach kids. But with the two older boys in multiple sports, plus a toddler, I get a little overwhelmed sometimes. And yes, if you remember from previous posts, there are actually 4 parents to help juggle the 2 older boys’ games and practices, so I realize we may have it a little easier than some traditional 2-parent families, simply because we have more drivers to help shuttle. So, I realize I might sound a little whiny here – please forgive me a weak moment.

Basketball season is about to start in our house. I love the boys’ basketball seasons – the games are action packed and fast paced, and it helps that they’re all indoors, so extreme temps don’t cause me to miss games because the littlest fan doesn’t need to be in them. As I was putting their schedules on the nifty new planner Santa brought me, I realized 1) that a 5-week yoga workshop I’d been hoping to attend was likely not possible and 2) just how busy our next eight weeks will be.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Missing Milestones

Like other parents who have shared on this blog lately, I’ve found that leaving my little man at daycare can be difficult.

Well, that’s putting it mildly – I’ve actually found it to be downright gut-wrenching and guilt inducing beyond what I ever imagined. But I also love my job and don’t think I could ever stay at home, either. How parents can make peace with all these conflicting sentiments is beyond me at this point. (Or maybe they never do?) I’m hoping to be more at ease with things as time goes on.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Planning to a fault

My name is Mindy and I have a problem. What’s my problem you ask? I’m an obsessive planner. I am one of those freaky people who plan what they are going to wear days in advance. I plan conversations, future purchases, and when it comes to gatherings or events, don’t even get me started.

I believe that being a full time working mother of two, wife, daughter, sister, friend, home and pet owner, the only way my life works is to have a plan.  With my first child, having a plan relieved my anxiety of leaving the house.  I planned our outings around feedings and nap time. I also planned what was in the diaper bag, and where we could stop along the way for diaper changes and nursing.  I’m sure you can see how all of this planning could be exhausting. I can never entertain someone with a spontaneous play date without first doing a manic cleaning of my house and planning activities, snacks, and drinks.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The New Year is always a time to start fresh, make a resolution, take on a new challenge. For Elliot it was the start of “real” daycare. For the first 9 months of his life he was fortunate enough to stay with a family friend while my wife and I worked. We have known for months that January was going to be the time he would start in a more traditional daycare setting and have had time to mentally prepare ourselves. Elliot, on the other hand, was caught unaware.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Saying NO

My son, as an only child, often gets whatever his little heart desires.  Yes, I will admit, he is a brat, but he is still kind-hearted, and don’t we want better for our children than we had growing up?

So having said this, I am working on how to say “no” to my child more often.  Christmas was especially difficult as Santa is supposed to give them their wants and needs.  As mentioned on a previous blog post, he is teetering on being a non-believer, so my fear was that he would realize Mom and Dad couldn’t find those scented markers that he wanted (which I couldn’t by the way.  Darn those friends at school that have something that Aunt Mary bought from Maryland).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Returning to work

How do I feel right now?

Let's see...I have a sassy 5 year old that thinks she is 12, an almost 3 year old that is a sweet sweet mommy's girl, and a newborn 2 month old that is by far my most difficult baby to date!

I am exhausted, thrilled, humbled daily, frustrated, and above all, honored that God would entrust these little ones to me! There have been so many times when I have made the comment that I do not deserve these little blessings and I am SO glad that God does not give us what we deserve because frankly, we deserve nothing. I love my kids beyond anything I could have ever imagined. But...being a parent is hard. It is hard to know what the "right" thing is for them. I get so worked up sometimes trying to figure out how to be the Perfect Mommy. Truth is I never will be and I just pray that I don't mess them up too much!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Did you say my name?

Do babies enjoy hearing their name?  The question is debatable; but I know, without a doubt, that my little munchkin loves the sound of hers and looks forward to hearing it whenever she can.

As I’ve said before, my daughter’s name, Nandi, means “strong-willed” and “sweet”.  And to this day, she’s been living up to both definitions.  I picked her up from daycare one day, and her teacher said, “Miss Nandi is becoming bossy; and do you know that she’s very strong?!”  I couldn’t help but laugh – yep, my little lady will let you know if she doesn’t like something or someone, for that matter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm Not Ready

John, today, is nine months and three weeks old. He can tell you he wants to eat, he can tell you when he wants to dance, and he knows the names of all the people and animals who live in this house.

And a few weeks ago, a small, barely perceptible change occurred in his cruising along the furniture - he began letting go, and standing.

As days went by, he got braver. Sunday, he danced without any support. Then today, it happened.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's for dinner?

Answering the “what’s for dinner” question is something most of us face every night. I have that covered for the most part.  My OCD/Type-A/Dietitian brain takes heart and love in planning my meals (a week in advance) and make my grocery lists (or any list, to be completely honest). My planning habits fall into play as far as planning for meal times when my Fireman and I dine out.

One of my (many) resolutions this year is to be more mindful of my munching habits.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Only Child Blues

Not having someone else around your age to relate to can be pretty tough and I think it’s beginning to take its toll on our daughter.

Despite the fact that she has voiced on multiple occasions how inconvenient another sibling would be, my husband and I recently discovered a note she’d written that simply read, “Being an only child is really hard. No one my age to talk to. No one my age to play with.”

Not wanting to leave her feeling lonely, we have tried to make and keep more play dates, increase the frequency of family activities such as bike rides, going to the park, and have even included her in our weekly workout sessions. None of this seems to keep her from mentioning that she gets lonely.

Friday, January 6, 2012

How do you get mad at that?

The little boys have an 8:30 p.m. bedtime... And that's just so they'll be asleep by midnight.

Maybe midnight is a slight exaggeration, but they will stay up as long they can think of excuses to keep those little eyes of their open.  They have to get a drink, another trip to the bathroom because the little sip of water was on a fast-track through their bodies, they forgot if they said, "Good-Night", they forgot if they gave everyone a hug, they always have to fight a little bit before falling asleep, but the best excuse for staying up later happened the other night.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birthday party balancing act

Over the past year, we’ve been invited to several birthday parties that were held at places designed for kids, like Going Bonkers and Chuck E. Cheese.

With the quickly approaching fourth birthday of my first-born sweetie pie, Dylan, I battled with the decision of whether or not to have his birthday party at a similar type of venue.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Daddy day care

When I was pregnant with Ava, a dear friend of mine who I like to refer to as "Supermom" shared a fascinating tidbit with me. When her husband keeps their four kids, they never refer to it as "babysitting."

"It's parenting," Supermom said, matter-of-factly.

Clearly, Supermom is the expert. And let's face it: she does have a point. Where is it written that Moms automatically assume primary responsibility for children? Is a Dad any less a parent than a Mom? These are all fascinating questions - none of which my husband is interested in exploring. In his mind, the buck stops and ends with Mommy. So the moment he realized that Ava's daycare would be closed for the same two-week period that he was off work for the holidays, he turned white as a sheet and looked as if he might pass out. I was worried for a minute there that I might need to administer oxygen (not that I would have had any oxygen to administer).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Power of No

I have always prided myself on being a parent who doesn’t give the kids everything they want.  I am proud to say that my kids have never whined or thrown a temper tantrum in the store when I told them we couldn’t buy the toy they just had to have.  I can remember a specific time when we went with a group of moms and kids to the circus.  Upon leaving, virtually every kid insisted on getting a souvenir.  The other moms succumbed.  But I proudly leaned over to our daughter and explained to her that our treat was coming to the circus and that the only thing we would take home was memories.  I patted myself on the back for that.

But I am not so proud of a habit I’ve seen in myself that has grown increasingly worse as our kids have gotten older.  Why is it that I have such a hard time saying no to the demands for my time – not from my immediate family, but from others?  Why is it I sign up to help even when I know I already have too much to do?  I think there’s some deep dark curse on all mothers that says that if we don’t say yes, something terrible will happen – our kids will miss out on something, not be accepted by others, or even worse, that as mothers, we might not be accepted.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Grandparent Bond

My father, who is now 73 years old, suffered a stroke in the summer of 2007.  At the time of his stroke, my daughter and son were 8 years old and 4 years old respectively.  It was a terribly frightening time for everyone in the family. My Dad seemed so young and was very active---how could this be possible?

A few days after the event, my mind was flooded with all the things that my kids would never get to experience with their Grandfather (affectionately named Poopa)---hunting trips, lessons in his wood shop, cooking in the kitchen, and wind-blown cruises in his red Corvette.  Why I was so upset about these things was unknown to me, because they were not things I did with my Grandfather.  However, these were things that my Dad looked forward to and enjoyed tremendously.  These were the things that made him happy, and I knew he would enjoy doing them with my kids.  I greatly mourned the loss of these events for my Dad and for my kids.