Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Parenting with Grace

A few days ago, Squirrel [age 13] spilled red koolaid on my white jeans. Let pause and say that I rarely buy koolaid. It isn't healthy at all.  But since we're on spring break, I conceded.
So, she knocks over the RED koolaid on my WHITE jeans and my heart drops.  My first impulse was to yell and be mad but it was honestly an accident.  We all have accidents. She already felt bad about it.  So instead, we googled "how to get koolaid out of white jeans" and she followed the steps.  My jeans are white, she learned a new skill, and all is well. The rest of the day, this intense kiddo was much calmer than usual and more affectionate.

The next day, I started thinking about it and came to some realizations. I was hot because I looovvvveee those jeans. But sometimes we gotta fight the impulses and look past how we feel in the moment because there are a LOT of lessons she learned:
1. Be more careful.
2. How to remove stains.
3. How to use Google for something useful.
4. How to be calm even when you're super pissed (from watching me).
5. One mistake isn't the end of the world or even a day ruiner.
6. Be accountable and fix it when you mess up.
7. Own up to your mistakes; don't hide them.
8. Treat others with grace.

All of that is more important than how mad I was if she had messed up my doggone pants [which are replaceable anyways]. Someone asked how I would have felt if the stains didn't come out. To be honest, I didn't think she was going to be successful.

I don't always do this mommy thing right but I felt good about that moment so I was moved to share it.

So IDK who needs to hear this but parenting is teaching and almost everything is a teachable moment.  Making kids feel worse than they do for making a mistake or physically hurting them isn't necessary.

Parent with intentionality and grace.

Friday, August 24, 2018

24 Hours with a Newborn Part 2

When we last left off, Lil Fish was down for a nap and I was pondering my next move: bathroom,  shower, lunch-in that order. Even cold Chickfila is amazing.

1:00 pm: I took a long shower and washed my hair which improved my looks and mood by 17%. Thought about hiring a house cleaner. Groupon has some deals. After I got out, I scheduled the baby's 1 month appointment.

2:43 pm: Changer a wet diaper. Took the little one on a short walk around our building. Gotta get that vitamin D.

2:55 pm: Elementary kids are home! Told them to eat an apple or banana for snack.

3:04 pm: Feed the baby and open mail. I got packages! A couple from Amazon with cleaning and school supplies, my nursing bras from Bambooies, aaaaannndddd a #WalmartBabyBox :-(

3:30 pm: Took living room rug outside to clean it with this new Woolite stuff I got.

4:05 pm: Realized that I've been sitting on the couch quietly and doing nothing for some time. I should clean the bathroom or start dinner but I need a minute. Maybe I should take a nap.

4:22 pm: Feed the baby. Then she took a nap with her bro.

4:50 pm: Rug still isn't quite right so treat again.

5:30 pm: Start dinner. My new rule is, if it takes more than 30 minutes,  I'm cooking something else.  Tonight, it's lemon garlic tilapia, spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, broccoli,  and croissants.

6:07 pm: Dinner is plated and on the table. I scarf down 2 croissants and feed the baby.  And myself. I'm hungry

6:33 pm: Laid her down in her own bed. Danced to "Moo" by Doja Cat.  Then, had a full on dance party with the big girls, featuring aaliyah, Ciara, and Beyonce, with a lil Migos and Cardi.

8:24 pm: Gave Lil Fish her first bath. She didn't wake up when I put her in the water. She fussed a little when I washed her face.
She was super chill afterwards.

Then, of course, fed the baby. 

11ish pm: Fed the baby.

Everything got a little fuzzy after that but I got my FitBit data. It says I slept from 11:20 pm to 6:20 am.

 I remember her eating twice but I don't know what time. Looks like a 12:30ish feed and a 5:30ish feed.  There may be another in the middle. Little one was next to me so neither of us fully woke up for night feedings (#reasonstobreastfeed) and I got the best sleep I have had since she was born-6 whole hours!

6:32 am: Fed the baby after her daddy changed her. Went back to sleep.

9:47 am: Diaper and feeding again. Woke up MechanicBae. 

Time to do it all again.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

24 Hours with a Newborn Part 1

I haven't blogged in a week. I am adjusting to life with 6 kids and recuperating.  I was laying in bed last night when I came up with the idea of blogging what 24 hours with Lil Fish & Co is like.  She's  11 days old today, so still a newborn.

9:47 am: Wake up to the smell of Lil Fish's diaper. Surprise-she is on our bed. I need to use the bathroom and I want her to sleep like 5 more minutes.
9:55 am: Looked at my reflection in the dirty mirror. Admired my milk stains.  There are at least six; they overlap. Thought about cleaning bathroom.
9:56 am: Baby was not asleep. She looked at me while I changed wet/poopy diaper.

10:00 am: Tried to wake up MechanicBae and then Princess.  I think she has a live lesson at 11 am but I'm not sure because I'm not sure what day it is.
10:04 am: Gave baby to her Papa and set up living room to be my base for the day. Diapers, wipes, onesie, socks, bib, receiving blanket, swaddle, nursing pillow, and baby box.
10:20 am: I was fixing yogurt parfaits for Princess and me when I heard the baby crying and her daddy asking her if she's hungry.  Duh.
10:22 am: Fed baby. Right side first.
(10:37 am: Switched sides and thought about giving her a bath)
10:46 am: Swaddled her and put her down.
10:47 am: Baby wakes up and wiggles out of swaddle. To be fair, it was a garbage swaddle. I used a receiving blanket and bn left her legs out. Picked her up and sang and danced with her for a while.
11:07 am: Laid her down in her Snuggle Me Lounger and made up my bed.
11:11 am: Made a wish. Tried to finish breakfast coffee.
11:20 am: Baby fussed so I picked her up.
11:23 am: She was wet so I changed her.
11:28 am: Milky time.  She only nursed on the left and for only 10 minutes so #issasnack. She's sleep so I scroll FB, log into my Young Living account and update my order, and order car parts for the shop on eBay.
12:10 pm: MechanicBae walks in with Chickfila for lunch.
12:11 pm: Lil Fish wakes up ready to eat. She stares in my face to compensate for making me wait to eat.  I don't mind. I sing to her.
12:25 pm: She's ASLEEP! I need to eat, use the bathroom, and shower but her diaper is wet.  I change her quick and put her in her own bed to sleep.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

She is here!

It all started with a text from MechanicBae's mom.

She sent it Sunday morning, early, and I decided to take her up on it. I got dressed, put on my contacts, and did my make up. I also extended the invite to the crew-threebbn of them opted to go.

At church, I noticed my contractions were getting...annoying. I timed a few and they were about 10-15 minutes apart, but not super strong. The sermon went on and the pastor randomly said, "That baby you're carrying will be born today!"
{Now let me pause for a moment. I know he didnt mean a literal baby but I was shooketh.}
Princess, MB's mom, and I were like, "nooooo," and laughed it off.
After church, Cracker Barrel for lunch and then home.
I'd stopped timing contractions by then. I planned to go swimming but I decided to nap first but I couldn't sleep. I was restless and tired at the same time. Princess got in my bed and napped like a pro.
Relaxing with my belly

At about 5, I thought about cooking dinner. It was then I realized the contractions were getting strong. I started considering my situation/options: MB was at work. I am full term (almost 40 weeks). I tested positive for Group B Strep. I have precipitous labors. I decided to head to L&D, just in case and while I could still drive. Worst case scenario, I go home and go back to the doc Tuesday and induced Wednesday.

I got to L&D around 7:30ish and Princess said my contractions were 4-5 min apart. I didn't really believe her because I didn't want to believe her. However, I just have looked "labor-y" because a stranger took off running for a wheelchair when she saw me.
Let me add a little info. When I have a contraction, it is insane but as soon as it's over, I'm normal. So they nursed were concerned at first, then mildly puzzled when the contraction stopped. They decided to check me.
5 cm and 90% effaced.
$#!+ just got real.
They put in an IV immediately but tbh, pain was only a 4. Then, at 8:10pm, I heard/felt/sensed a POP. I thought it was a big kick at first but quickly realized my water had broken. As soon as I changed positions, the whole bed was flooded. All that extra amniotic fluid made quite a mess. I actually flooded the bed twice. My bad.
MB and Smoo arrived. I made a few Marco Polos and send some texts. They checked me again (6cm) and hit my IV with a little happy juice.
I made a FB post around 10.
Why is he writing on the board?

Then it got real. The contractions moved closer together and became intense. I turned into a crybaby asked for an epi. Now my brain was telling me it was almost over and to chill but the pain told me to get the needle. They checked me again and I was 8cm but baby was high up. Again, brain told me the epi window was closed but they still called for the anesthesiologist.

Then something happened. I PROMISE I wasn't pushing but I could feel the baby coming. I told them something was happening. They peeked and saw hair. MB said he thought they were joking.

No one was joking.

They grabbed my legs and pushed them into position. The anesthesiologist walked it. It was cool. She said she liked babies. I pushed exactly zero times. My body was on auto pilot so I let it do its thing and on Sunday, August 12, 2018, at 10:37 pm, my sweet girl made her appearance! She is 7lbs 1 oz and 20in long. Her very proud daddy cut her cord. Zero pushes. Zero stiches. No interventions, save 1 dose of antibiotics and 1 of nubaine. Delivered 3 hours after arriving at the hospital .

Hello, sweet girl 

Proud papa

Getting loved on by big sis while Mommy has post-labor Rush's. 

She is beautiful. She is perfect. We love her.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

More Making and Doing

Our new MakeDo pieces came and we are quite pleased! Our weather forecast called for rain EVERY SINGLE FLIPPING DAY this week.
Perfect time to build.

I also got several packages from Target this week so we had an abundance of boxes around.

MakeDo is bringing all the kids together. Popcorn's helpers were Side Salad and Astronaut.   They decided to make a house.  Popcorn planned to sleep in the house and outfitted it with a pillow and blanket.  She then her Sharpie to draw her windows and door (and to label the roof), then put her big bros to work.

It came out super cute, with a little arched door. That last pic is the new Scru pieces he used to attach the handle. They tend to be a lot easier to use and hold longer. We just used MiniTool to punch holes and the ScruDriver to attach them. 

Astronaut constructed the door with hinges from the older generation car kit and we used the older attaching pieces.  The window opens and closes-we used Scrus for that, too. I didn't get pics that day but here is the final product 2 days later. Somehow, she removed the hinges. The older attaching pieces and they can be a little tricky, plus they have pieces in the back that are poke-y. The Scrus held well.

She took her house into her room and snuggled inside but found it wasn't that comfy after all and slept in her bed instead.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Online School for Princess

Many moons ago, I blogged about the challenges of being a minority student. Princess struggles the most with this. Her outspoken attitude can make her a target for some adults so she and I have been discussing online school for months. We decided to proceed with it this school year. I have mixed feeling about it, to be honest, but it really is in her best interest. This is a big change for our family. {Note: The others will be attending their zoned schools-Astronaut will be be a senior, Squirrel will be a 7th grader, Frick & Frack will be in 6th grade, Side Salad in 5th, and Popcorn in first.}

The reasons:

  • My girl had several incidents with the adults in her building.  Nearly all of them were the result of an adult giving conflicting directions and continuously escalating a situation.  In the end, she wasn't punished. In meeting with administration, it was clear the adults were wrong.  It was evident that the adults in her school have a low understanding of child development when it comes to certain students.  
  • Princess has been state identified as a gifted/talented student. She is a TIP Scholar.  Yet her GPA was a 2.0 and she nearly failed some core classes.  This is unacceptable and the school was unable to provide the type of support she needed as those particular teachers were busy singling her out repeatedly for their own inconsistent practices instead of focusing on student success. 
  • The teachers weren't the only issue. For some reason, she just couldn't seem to get her bearings. Maybe it was the size of the school-over 2,000 students.  Maybe it was her own maturity level.  She struggled all year.
  • Her guidance counselor left.  That was one of the few faces that looked like hers in that building and she left. She was Princess' trusted adult in difficult situations and was the leader of her mentoring program as well as her step team coach. Without her, who would P go to when she had issues?
I want my children to be successful.  I don't know if she could be successful in the environment she was in.  If that environment is the dining room table, so be it.  This model of learning comes with its own set of concerns.

I am concerned about her time management and her ability to keep up so we'll be utilizing a planner. This is a strategy we've been using the past few years to help her be accountable for getting things done. We'll also create a daily schedule for her.  Luckily, I'll be home for the entire first marking period and part of the second, so I can help her transition.

She  will be missing out on some extracurricular activities but the online program we chose, SC Connections Academy, has clubs she can participate in.

I also plan to get her the Rosetta Stone in German to ensure she is both challenged and supported.  We're going to get  it through the Duke TIP program.  We are also looking into summer programs she can attend next year at colleges.

She's going to have an exercise schedule to ensure she maintains an appropriate level of physical activity.

I also found out one of her school friends and my stepsister's daughter may be enrolled in the same program!  The girls may be able to support each other.

I hate sometimes that parenting doesn't come with a manual and so much is trial and error but I think this decision may pan out for us in the end.  If not, she can always return to her zoned school.