A Poem for My Mom

A Poem for My Mom

My mom raised 3 girls

and kept a smile on her face.

She raised us to be happy and we

always felt safe in her embrace.

My mom promoted silliness

and taught us how to dance.

We laughed until our belly’s hurt

we didn’t need to seek acceptance.

My mom told us to stand up for ourselves

and how important it is to be brave.

She showed us how to respect one another

We knew when it was time to behave.

My mom tried to calm our worries

and take away our fears.

She was always there with open arms

and to wipe away our tears.

We all had talents, we

wanted to make her proud.

But we also always knew

her cheer would always be loud.

I see how hard my mom worked

Now that I am grown.

I hope that I am half the mom she is

now that I have kids of my own.

Author: Kelli Markham

5/7/16

My Love Affair with Dr. Pepper

My Love Affair with Dr. Pepper

 

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Disclaimer: I am not comparing my addiction to soda to anyone suffering from addictions to drugs or other potentially harmful situations. I just really like Dr. Pepper.

Do you just love something you should give up. Everyone has addictions. Whether they be good or bad for you. Mine is Dr Pepper. I love it. Seriously. I prefer it over wine or any other drink. I know, I’m crazy. It’s there for me in the morning and it’s there for me when I get stressed. It’s my vice.

I try to limit myself to one a day but most of the time I drink two which is totally too much sugar. Every few months my husband and I try to quit soda. We are usually good at it for a few weeks but then we have one at a friends house or family gathering and my addiction kicks in. Even my kids get on my case about soda as they have never had it. When Dr Pepper and I are on a break I’m usually good with a class of ice tea or coffe or just plain ole ice water. But when I see a commercial of a glass of Dr Pepper with the condensation rolling down the side it’s hard for me to resist.

When we go out to eat, which is rarely, and the waiter asks what I would like to drink I say my usual and when they say they don’t have it, I die inside a little. “is Mr Pibb ok?” Um sure. And I say to myself of course not. It’s not Dr Pepper. But alas I can’t have every thing.

Moms don’t do a lot for themselves, myself included. So it’s difficult for me to give up something so small as a soft drink. When my kids wake me up I stagger down stairs and I pour myself some caffeinated sugar with ice and the day will be awesome. Or at 3 pm when my kids refused to nap and are starting to melt down. That’s when I reach for my second one. It’s like my smoke break. Then I feel guilty about the calories I’m consuming and tell myself I could have had water. It’s a constant battle.

So since its Mothers Day tomorrow. This will be a short post and I’ll enjoy my glass of ice cold Dr Pepper and not worry about the amount of sugar I am ingesting.

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

Parent’s Dont Get Weekends Off

Parent’s Dont Get Weekends Off

 

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Before I had kids, weekends were a different ball game. Like most people it was when I got stuff done. I got to sleep in. I got to go into a store and not have to take a child out of a car seat and find a cart and put the car seat cover on the cart then put my kid in the cart before even going in. I wasnt exhausted by the time I was able to start things.

But now my weekends are pretty much dictated by my kids. Not that they tell us what to do. Yet. But like most parents we revolve our time around them.

  • No sleeping in. The obvious. If you have read some of my other posts you know my kids are early risers. My oldest is up some days at 6:30am. Always has. As he gets older there are some days he sleeps in until 7:30 but it’s not often. We tried to tell him to not leave his room until a certain time and explained he had lots of books etc to read or play with. Usually he brings the books or toys in our room and asks if it’s time to get up yet.
  • Your days kind of revolve around them. Sure, go to a restaurant and try to eat a whole meal and drink a glass of wine like you did before. Some people are really lucky where their children are behaved enough for you to enjoy yourselves. Usually when my husband and I take our kids out to eat we go to a place where they can be loud. Think Red Robin. My kids aren’t screeching but they are little, they don’t understand when they need to have their volume turned down. Then I maybe get to eat half my dinner because I have to help feed the younger one, or the older one has to use the bathroom.
  • Leisure time. What is that? Most moms don’t have that because, well, they don’t even get to go to the bathroom by themselves. Remember when you would wake up and think about what you wanted to do during the weekend. Yes, well throw that out of the window. Between errands and soccer practice my weekends are jam packed. My husband and I use to see movies and walk around the antique store looking at all the cool things. I don’t think that antique store would love to see our kids in there.
  • Errands and chores. I remember many moons ago I could get all the laundry done on a Saturday afternoon. Now there is always laundry to do. Like it’s everywhere. I try to do a whole load of laundry once a day. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t get put away all the time. Let’s talk about going to the store with your little ones. I usually try to get my husband to watch once or both so I can actually buy the things we need and not 40 bags of cookies and ice cream. If I do have to take my darlings, I go in the very early morning. But it still takes a while.
  • Before you know it, it’s Sunday evening again. You’re frantically trying to get stuff done you said you would before having to prep for the upcoming week. And you’re oh so tired. Every weekend I tell myself I’m gonna mop the kitchen floor and nope it doesn’t get done. I usually have to do it when my oldest is in preschool and the other naps.  So you’re not alone.

I’ve been told that eventually weekends come back to you. Once your kids grow up a bit. Not that I want mine to grow up fast or anything. I’m enjoying the time that they are little but a weekend away would be nice. I like the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff” because there is a lot of small stuff I just don’t get to.

Are your weekends crazy now that you have kids?

How To Survive your Child’s First Cold

How To Survive your Child’s First Cold

 

 

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice but just advice from one mom to another.

 

We were very lucky that my first born didn’t get his first cold until he was almost six months old. My husband and I took him to the very crowded aquarium that day. He wasn’t himself for most of the day but we just thought it was because it was super crowded in there and really cold out side. We get home from an exhausting day. He has a bath, eats and goes to bed. About 2 hours later he wakes up. Eh no big deal my son didn’t start sleeping through the night until he was a year and a half. I go in his room and I pick him up and he is burning up. I freaked out and yelled for my husband. We took his temperature which is not fun to do. Rectal temperature and screaming baby do not mix. Then we called the on call nurse because we were first time parents and didn’t know if we should take him to the dr or just calm down. Luckily she said don’t worry and get some acetaminophen in him. So after his corrected dose we dealt with what would be the first of many all nighters with sick kids.

So what did we do to make it easier?

Tag Team: My husband and I make a great team. He didn’t flinch when I needed him to wake up so I could sleep. So that’s what we did. We took turns sleeping since my son refused to go back to bed. I wasn’t staying at home yet so one of us needed to call in absent from work. If he was going to call in I would stay up longer or vice versa. If you are able to take turns sleeping it really helps with dealing with your sick baby. My son would just cry when he was little and didn’t feel good. So if your holding a screaming baby it doesn’t help if youre over tired. No one will get well in that scenario.

Bulb syringe: Most people get a bulb syringe from the hospital. It is seriously, the best one you can find. At first I was really disgusted by it. I got over that real quick. When your kid needs help to be comfortable, you’re pretty much ready to do anything to get them to feel better. I misplaced ours and used one that came in a kit I got from a baby shower gift. It was crap. Again, the bulb syringe you get from the hospital, put it in a golden box and never lose it. Maybe ask for an extra if your allowed to.

Warm baths/Steam showers: I would bring my son into the bath room with some toys and turn the shower on until the room was nice and steamy. We would stay in the bathroom for a little while and then I would sit my little one in a warm bath. That really cleared his nasal passages. It also settled him down and made him sleepy. We would read or play with blocks in there. What ever it took to pass the time but usually he didn’t mind being in the bathroom. If you have a long mirror on the back of the door you could draw in the condensation with your fingers.

Humidifier: Another great investment with a baby. We have cool mist ones in each of our kids rooms. It just helps prevent their nose and chest from drying out so they can breathe better. If they breathe better they sleep better. One of the humidifiers we had was so strong that it took the stickers off our daughters room. Which was annoying although I was just happy she was sleeping better.

Bucket: Ha so it’s the middle of the night and you hear your son crying and what’s that noise? Is he throwing up. Yes, all over his bed and the floor. And it’s milk. I don’t need to explain the smell. My son’s first stomach flu was just terrible. When you are a little kid, you don’t know to run to the bathroom. You want your mama. And you want to hug her as you throw up. So that’s what happens. You go to your scared crying child and then he just lets it out. You are partly grossed out but then also you really just want him to feel better. So during these on the hour screaming/vomiting times, my husband went into the basement and got a bucket. He learned pretty quickly to aim for the bucket. At almost 4, I have to say he knows to throw up in his bucket and not all over the bed.

Patience: As a parent you are already tired. Whether you work outside the home or a stay at home parent, you are just tired. So when your little kiddo is sick it just adds to the exhaustion. You’re going to lose sleep, you’re going to over stress, you’re going to clean a lot. This too shall pass. By the next weekend your kiddo will be back to running around and being his crazy self in no time.

What helps your family when your children are sick?

How My Son Learned to Use the Potty

How My Son Learned to Use the Potty

 

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I read everything on potty training. Everything. I wanted my son to be done with diapers. I had another one on the way and the cost of buying two sets of diapers frightened me. I mean a big box of diapers is anywhere from $25 to $35 bucks. I didn’t want to spend that much. My son is also a tall active boy so diaper changes were like a wrestling match. It was exhausting not to mention my pregnant stomach in the way didn’t help. I, like many parents also worried that he would be in diapers forever. Nothing seemed to be working. So what did I do? Well let’s start at the beginning.

When my son was two I bought a cute little potty chair. It was a frog one. He loved frogs at the time. I put it in the bathroom and had him sit on it right before bath time. So like clock work he would say “time to sit on the frog potty” right before his bath. He loved to sit on it. Nothing happened. But I wasn’t worried because he always remembered to sit on it. So I thought no big deal it’s only been a little while.

The my next step was having him sit on it once during the day and then at night before bath. He did it, no issues. Again he did this for a few weeks but still nothing happened. Surely he was going to start going sooner or later, right? About this time he was 2.5 years old. I was newly pregnant with my second child and I was determined to not have 2 kids in diapers at the time. I started searching the Internet for ways to potty train my son, answers on why he wasn’t trained yet. Have I failed?

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Enter bribery. My son and I went to the store and I told him to pick out some candy and if he went in the potty he would get a few pieces here and there. So he picked out Reese’s pieces, lollipops and m&ms. We came home and I had him sit on the potty and nothing. After about 2 weeks of this I was eating more candy then I should have been. My stomach was getting bigger, from the pregnancy no the candy, and then he started to refuse to even sit on the potty. So we took a break. I didn’t move the chair out of the bathroom but I just stopped asking him and stopped making it a big deal. He would sometimes tell me he wanted to sit on it but he never went. My mom kept telling me “listen he won’t go to college in diapers” which I understood but I was ready for him to be going on the potty. He just wasn’t.

Next step was big boy underwear. I took him to the store and he picked out a lot of underwear. Paw patrol, Star Wars, construction vehicles and cars. He was so excited. He wanted to try that day. I said ok buddy let’s try. Guys let me tell you, I think I washed 10 pairs of underwear a day. I won’t get into details but yes we washed our carpets a lot. It got to the point that I had him wear under wear a few hours a day then would switch him to a pull up in the afternoon. That seemed to work. He would do really well using the potty in the morning but by afternoon he kept having accidents. So I just gradually increased his underwear time and lessened the time he was in a pull up. He had a few accidents but sometimes in the afternoon he would go in the potty even though he was wearing a pull up! Win Win!!!

During this time he was going to a parent day out program at our local church once a week. I was comfortable with them helping me by having him sit on the potty during the few hours he was there. But he still had to wear a pull up. So every day he would soak through under wear and once a week he would wear a pull up.

Now I was really getting worried. Oh and I had my second baby. There goes that hope of only buying a box of diapers for 1 child. His PDO teachers said that he couldn’t start preschool until he was potty trained and I really wanted him to go to make friends and he soooo loved it there. My husband and I talked to him and told him that we couldn’t enroll him in school in the fall unless he went. He got very upset. He wanted to go to school. About this time he turned 3. I would say he was about 70% trained but I was worried about him having accidents at school. Was he ready?

So we worked on it all summer. I even had the guts to take him to Target in big boy underwear under his clothes. I’m sure the people were thinking ” why does this mom keep asking her kid if he has to go to the bathroom?” It was nerve racking. Our day trips got longer and longer all summer. Finally September was here and it was his first day. I dropped him off at preschool and went back to the car and cried a little because hey it was his first day. I had my phone with me the whole 3 hours waiting for them to call me to tell me that he had an accident. The call never happened. I finally felt comfortable enough to to say he was potty trained.

Looking back I wish I didn’t worry so much about it. My mom was right he won’t go to college in diapers. Yes it was difficult to clean up after him many times but now it’s done. Hopefully my daughter will be a little easier. What really seems to work was the gradual wearing underwear and not wearing the pull up.

What worked for your child to get them trained?