Tuesday, January 29, 2013

There's a new blog that I'm anxious to check out.


Are you already there?  Let's start some dialog?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

To Nap Or Not To Nap. That Is the Question.

For Bridgette's 2nd birthday I threw her pacifier away. 

Seriously!  I went to the mall and while she wasn't looking dropped them into a trash can.  No looking back. 

What a HUGE mistake that was.  Why?  Because in retaliation, she stopped napping.  I doubt it was a conscious endeavor on her part.  I can't imagine a 24-month old being that conniving.  But it is exactly what happened.  Without her beloved "Binky", she just wouldn't nap.  I hated that.  I loved the quiet.  The chance to be me for just one hour.  Some might think that sounds selfish, but as a parent (again) I totally get it when my friends mourn naptime.

Now, I've been blessed with Little R.  He never took a pacifier.  He never sucked his thumb.  Other than a worn blanket (which he can and does sleep without occasionally), he has no true vice.  I've also been blessed that at age 4, he still naps.

So enters my dilemma; bedtime.

Little R will take a 1.5 to 2 hour nap.  It's such a wonderful, blissful time.  And seeing as he is full of energy when awake, I thought that it was a big necessity, too.  On those rare occasions when he refused the nap, or the neighbor's barking dog cut the nap short, I had a bear on my hands.  Three hours (from 5pm-8pm) of non-stop grouchy, cranky, growling BEAR.  Obviously, he needs the nap, right?  Maybe not.

I had a fairly observant week over the last 7 days and noticed something in my son's behavior.  When he doesn't nap, he is a menace. I get out my protective headgear and the dog runs and hides.  Bedtime can't come soon enough.

When he does nap, he is pleasant.  He is kind.  He is respectful.  However, when it comes to bedtime, fuggedaboudit.  His 8 o'clock bedtime becomes, 9 o'clock, 10 o'clock, once even 11 o'clock.  Not that he's watching Big Bang Theory or CSI:New York.  Just the opposite.  He's screaming, sneaking out of his room, doing whatever he can to keep me from watching my favorite shows.

Also during this week of observation, I asked my friends about their kids' naps.  Guess, what?  I found a pattern.  One that has been staring me in the face for at least three months (maybe longer, I can be rather dense).  A nap during the day means a later bedtime at night.

In an effort to keep my husband and my "me time" and to watch my shows uninterrupted, I have to eliminate the nap.  *GASP

It's going to be a long road.  It will take some adjusting.  Mostly by me.  But I figure, that I'll just do like Davy Crockett and "grin down that b'ar".  Eventually, he'll leave and I'll have my boy back.  In the meantime, it's only 3 more hours until bedtime.


Oh, and so you don't think I'm the worst parent on the planet, I did do some further research to make sure I wasn't depriving my son of what his body really needs.  Here is a lovely chart provided by BabyCenter.com outlining how much sleep our little boys (and girls) need.

AgeNighttime sleepDaytime sleepAverage total sleep
2 years10 to 12 hours1 to 3 hours (1 nap)13 hours
3 years9 to 12 hours1 to 3 hours (1 nap)12 to 13 hours
4 years9 to 12 hours0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap)11 to 12 hours
5 years8 to 11 hours0 to 2.5 hours (1 or no nap)10 to 11 hours
6 years10 to 11 hoursnone10 to 11 hours
7 years10 to 11 hoursnone10 to 11 hours
8 years10 to 11 hoursnone10 to 11 hours
Note: The two sets of numbers don't always add up because children who take longer naps tend to sleep fewer hours at night, and vice versa.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bribery Works

Back in the 70s, when I was a child, it was referred to as a reward.  Somewhere in this Politically Correct world (where it is no longer kosher to discipline your child), it has become bribery.  Let's work on positive reinforcements for our children, but if you offer them any kind of reward for good behavior, it's a bribe.  I honestly don't see how that makes sense, I just have to live with it.

So as I was saying, bribery works.  My father used it.  Report card day was money day in my house.  A's = $1, B's = $0.50, C's = $0, D's = giving Dad $0.50, and F's = giving Dad $1.  Amazingly, I never had to give Dad any money.  I wouldn't dare do that to my bank accou...I mean to him.

So, when my daughter was born I knew I was going to bribe her, too.   She loved report card day as much as I did.  She was saddened, I'm sure, to see it end upon graduation.  Maybe I should offer this to her with her college report cards.  Of course, I could go broke.  She is a great, and hard-working student.

Little R has a little ways to go before I start paying for report cards.  But bribery works for him, just the same.

I've been having issues with his sleeping since he was sick last July.  Nothing horribly life shattering, just him crawling in bed with his dad and me in the middle of the night.  We decided to let him grow out of it, but I have a small fear that I'll still have him in my bed at 11 years old.  I was so inspired by 2 nights of him staying in his own bed all night that I had to try for a third.  Enter bribery.

After a day of good boy behavior, I offered him a special Sumo Wrestler car from Disney*Pixar's Cars 2 if he would go to bed without a fuss and stay in his bed all night.  After a quiet night of reading a magazine before I went to bed, I climbed into bed wondering, "Will be remember to stay in his bed all night?"  I was awake at 1am, 5am, and 6am.  Each time I checked my bed, the floor, and even the dog's bed to see if he was in my room.  At 6:30am, I heard the most beautiful sound, snoring through the baby monitor.

At 7:30am, Little R came to the kitchen to greet his daddy and me.  A smile was going from one ear to the other.  "I stayed in my bed all night!  I get the Sumo Car!"

Yes, Little R, you stayed in bed all night.  Bribery works.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butterfly Kisses

There is nothing in the world more beautiful than the innocent, all consuming love a child.  God shines through their eyes and actions more than we can ever truly know.

This has never been more evident to me than it was last week when Little R opened a new meaning to Butterfly Kisses. 

We were at the playground.  A place where children who don't know each other, children of different races, religions, ages, genders; all come together and celebrate youth.  Little R is the epitome of said youth.  Small and mighty, he can run with the best of them.

But on this particular trip, Little R came to a stop in his play.  There, on one of the raised stepping stones, was a butterfly that had come underfoot.  Little R didn't know who stepped on it.  He didn't care.  All that mattered was this precious, beautiful creature in the palm of his hand.  He brought to me at my bench. 

It wasn't brilliant in color.  No orange, green, blue or red.  However, it was a butterfly as my high school science class could easily attest to.  It was so fragile, so beautiful in it's brown and grey plainness.  Little R couldn't take his eyes off of it.  As I watched its legs curl under its small body, I explained to Little R that it was badly hurt and would be going to Heaven soon.

Little R's eyes welled with tears.  "Oh, poor butterfly," he said again and again.  Then he looked at me.  "It will go to Heaven? And be with Jesus?"

"Yes, Baby.  It's going to go to be with Jesus."

Then he started to pet is small body, being careful not to touch its wings.  "I saved it, Mommy.  It was on the toy and could be stepped on.  Is God happy with me for saving it, Mommy?"

"Yes, Baby.  God is very happy with you.  You are a kind boy.  But it has already been stepped on.  Let's go put it in the flower beds, so God will know where it is to bring it to Heaven."

We walked over to the Tiger Lilies that were stretching 3 feet tall and shining as cheerful as the orange sun.  There I dug a small whole with a stick.  Little R pet the butterfly one more time and leaned forward to give gentle kisses on the edge of its wings before laying it on the ground and placing green grass over the top.

He said a little prayer to God as we left the beautiful spot.  The butterfly is gone, but the love he showed it will live in my heart forever.  My beautiful son, offering his love through little kisses on a butterfly's wing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


As I'm reading my friend's blog post about her beautiful grandmother (check her out at writespell.com, you won't be disappointed), I'm reminded of my own beautiful grandmother.

It's 1am when my phone chirps, "Call from...Mommy." "Grandma's in the hospital. They won't tell me anything. Her lips were blue this morning. She fought be all day about coming here. They let me go back to see her, but it wasn't a good time.

"Donna, I need you."

Then at 6am my phone chirped again. "She has pneumonia and congestive heart failure. They say she doesn't have much longer. She will die here in the hospital. Donna, can you please come?"

I went outside as I sat on a conference call with my mom and daughter, holding each other across the miles. 4 generations, separated by a continent, but brought together by Ma Bell.

In the cool of the rain-drenched dawn, I took a walk and remembered. Grandma is MY special family member. She was my pen pal when I didn't have one. She was the first woman to give me the gift of yarn, as she taught me plastic canvas needlepoint. A gift that I've always treasured as I've made Kleenex box covers that looked like birdhouses, or specially designed with Ariel, the little mermaid, for my little girl; as I've made napkin rings, monogrammed coasters and matching place mats for my mother; as I've designed a book to hold all of my princess's earrings. she is a big part of who I am.

Grandma was there for me when my kitten, Wildfire, was run over by a car. She bought me a stuffed cat with 3 kittens Velcro'ed to her tummy to console me (a hefty $30 toy back in the early 1980's).

But I think my funniest memory of Grandma is when we were visiting her home in Fresno, CA. Mom, Brother, Grandma and I were all playing Monopoly (we always played board games when we visited). Next thing Brother and I knew Mom was exclaiming to Grandma, "What ARE you doing?"

We looked at the board. We looked to Mom. Brother said it first. "What? That's a valid move."

Grandma looks Mom straight in the eye and apologizes, "I thought that was the table leg." Turns out Grandma was rubbing her foot up and down Mom's leg. We laughed so hard!

I can't seem to be there physically. At least not yet. But my heart is at Lake Havasu, AZ, right now.

Thank you Nicole. Your memories of your grandmother are so full of love and joy. It brought my own memories to life. I pray your grandmother is doing better.

God bless all of our Grandma's! They really are our special angels.

On Saturday, October 9 at 3:00pm PDT my family took the time to light candles and revisit memories as we honored Grandma. She's in Heaven now. Riding her Harley in the wind. No helmet necessary. Her smiled that would light the room is now lighting our skies.

We all miss you, Grandma. You meant the world to so many.

(A special "thank you" to my little girl who read this post at Grandma's memorial today. You helped me be there. And I love you so much. Thank you for your sacrifice.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Swimming Lessons

My daughter was never into the water. Even has a newborn, she would scream as soon as I set her into the little tub on the kitchen sink. Some people just have an aversion to getting wet. I've learned to respect that. She at least trusted me enough as a youngster to teach her how to float on her back. I know if she needed to, she can float until help arrives.

My son is a whole different book. We nicknamed him "Tadpole" when he was an infant. He never could get enough of the cool, wet stuff. His lips would be blue and still he would insist that the bath go on (and on and on and on). So, as soon as he celebrated his first birthday, we took the plunge and started swim lessons. All told, he has had about 6 months of lessons over a period of 2 years. Later this summer, he should graduate to the next level of swimming without mommy in the pool. He loves it and looks forward to it every week.

Yesterday, we had our first scare. Well, it was scary for me, anyway. Little R was getting ready to jump into the water. I was waiting for him about 18 inches from the wall, ready to catch him. I had just given him the signal that I was ready, that he could jump, and he lost his footing. Now, jumping into the water is nothing new to him. As a matter of fact, it's his favorite thing to do. But he's always had the safety of Mom's arms to land in. He had the common sense to at least try to get out away from the wall (or his guardian angel pushed him). He went into the water about 12 inches from me. He went under the water. I scrambled to get to him, my heart stopped. I absolutely hate how you move in slow motion in the water. I got to him and he was already kicking and scooping his way to the surface. I reached out to him and he was twisting his body to swim back to the wall. When he was safely back in my arms he smiled at me and said in a super-happy voice, "Swim underwater!"

Yes Baby, you did. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weight Loss And The Toddler

Or ...."How Does One Exercise With A Toddler"

I started a new challenge this week. I'm always up for a little friendly competition (just the testosterone speaking). On June 1, I joined 13 other women to see who could lose the most pounds, the most inches, and who could exercise the most in a 3 month period.

I figured that this would be a little difficult with it being summer and the Ice Cream Man coming by every Thursday night and sometimes on Sundays. But with that "fat person" swimsuit starting to show its age, and a new one in my future, I figured I could do it!

What I didn't anticipate was the big huge road block named Little R! Obviously I can't exercise with him around as he will just want to "tackle" me or jump on my back. So, June 1 I made the decision to work-out with my "Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred" DVD (brand new never been used) while Little R napped. "FAIL" I have no idea where I've put the DVD. So, that naptime was wasted looking for a DVD that has literally disappeared.

I decided that we would go for a walk after the nap. Nope. Little R says that he is a big boy and refuses to ride in his stroller. Then, as we are potty training, we go 2 houses away and have to hurry home for the potty.

June 2 came, another nap wasted looking for that DVD. I'd say the dog ate it, but I don't have a dog. Oh well, I'll work-out after he goes down for the night. "FAIL" again. I was too tired and in bed an hour after he was.

June 3 (today!) I came to the decision that I WILL not waste time on that DVD. It's gone. I'll see it again when I'm a size 10 and can see my toes. Instead, I'll go high tech and work out with my Wii Fit.

They say that the best of intentions...yada yada yada.... Of course, Little R didn't nap. So another day is done and I still haven't exercised. At least I can say that I resisted the siren call of the Ice Cream Man.

Maybe tomorrow I'll hire a babysitter while I work-out. Hey Big Sis!