Category Archives: parenting

When I don’t know what to do?

One of the things I hate about parenting is the not knowing what to do. What to do when your kid isn’t doing the things you want but you’re out of ideas and methods to change their behavior. We go through ups and downs with Jeffrey (as all children do). He’ll go through a particularly fabulous phase before regressing and testing us and our boundaries once again.
Well, we’re at that tumultuous period again and it frustrates me to no end. He’s being disrespectful to his teachers, he’s having accident’s (like 2 or 3 a day) and then lying and saying that he spilled water on himself. We have been particularly crazy of late. Since Easter we have driven out and back to Lake George twice, once to Pittsburgh and I spent an entire week gone for a funeral. But we’re getting back to normal. Finally and he’s just letting his frustration out on us…

Which doesn’t make it any easier. I’m not sure how to deal with it. He does not react well to having things taken away. I don’t mean that we don’t do that but he works much better by earning rewards. You just get WAY better results by asking him to earn a birthday party rather than threatening to take it away. Whatever we’re doing needs to be presented so that he’s earning rather than losing.

And the problem? I guess is that I’m exhausted and I don’t know what things he has up to “earn”.  And I still don’t know what to do when he’s angry and throws himself on the floor instead of talking. I don’t know how to address the accidents so that I’m not making him embarrassed or ashamed of it, but still getting it to stop. We could go and talk to the pediatrician again but I’m pretty sure we’re just going to hear that we’re doing a good job, that he may indeed have aspergers, and that we need to wait longer for a diagnosis, that he’s challenging us and for goodness sake we were JUST there last month.

He’s a good kid. He’s smart and articulate and funny. But he drives me bonkers and I’m just having a hard week of it. I need to vent and I just wish I knew all the answers/

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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in behavior, Jeffrey, parenting


Emotional rollarcoaster… Whee!

Through a bizarre conglomeration of events, my IUD went rogue, tunneling through my uterus for the vast freedom of my abdomen. Clearly my appendix was a MUCH better place to prevent pregnancy. This prompted a rather quick decision to remove it via surgery and while we’re in there we’ll check out a cyst, get rid of that possible ectopic pregnancy, do a D&C because of the miscarriage and then tie my tubes.

I was really cool with all of that except for the tying of the tubes. I agreed to it because it is the right decision for us but I wasn’t ready for it. Brian does not want more children. For all of the right reasons. He doesn’t want to have to focus more on work than he already does and he stresses about providing for us. He already feels stretched for time with the kids and he loves our family the way it is. I do too. I agree. I want to give our children the world and another one in daycare? Would bankrupt us. I would need to quit my job and stay at home. Meaning we would lose my good health insurance and have to get Brian’s crappy and insanely expensive insurance. I was okay with the whole thing.

Sorta. The thing is… I was banking on those five years of IUD time to allow me to come to terms with no more gorgeous, yummy, sweet babies.  I never expected or understood how intoxicating my children would be. I didn’t see how watching them grow would both warm my heart and make me proud but also leave me yearning for those early days.

It’s done now. I’m comfortable with the decision. I wouldn’t have allowed my doc to do it if I wasn’t.

Logically, practically I am alright. Emotionally I’m still sad about it.

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Posted by on July 1, 2010 in craziness, parenting



I know he’s only four but we’ve decided on a “chore chart” for Jeffrey. I’m trying to give him the idea that certain activities such as hitting your sister or not listening to Mama and Dada are unacceptable. As well as teach him that it is a priviledge to go to the Strong Museum and the zoo.

So he’s got four tasks at home and three at school
At home:

  • Listen to Mama and Dada
  • Be a good Helper
  • Get dressed by yourself
  • Stay in bed all night

At School:

  • Morning behavior
  • Take a nap
  • Afternoon behavior

I know that the first two are nebulous arbitrary things but I really do want him to TRY and listen to us a little better and he requested that being a good helper be on the chart.  The others are the constant problems we run into with him. Asking him to get dressed is an arduous task that involves much hand wringing and excuse giving. I have no patience for this. Also, since we’ve been at Bridget’s and in the same room at night, he is constantly waking up and arguing with us about staying in bed or climbing in with us.

As far as school goes, I just want him to behave for his teachers and get a little more feedback on each day.

The idea is that he gets a sticker for each task that he completes each day and at the end of each week, depending on how many stickers he has, he can choose a reward. I don’t have it all worked out yet but I’m planning on small rewards like; watching a video, getting dessert after dinner, staying up 15 minutes later on Saturday night or getting an extra book before bed.  More stickers can yield big rewards like a trip to the zoo or the museum.

I hope it works. I think it will. His teachers think that he will respond to it and I value their input. I’m hoping that it just makes him a tiny bit more aware of how he is acting. Not to mention that I’ve found (contrary to my instincts) that having him work towards a reward works so much better than taking things away as punishment.

And if it doesn’t work or he’s too young for it? We’ll try it out and shelve it till later. It certainly can’t hurt.


Posted by on February 5, 2010 in Jeffrey, parenting


Ruining the Kidlets

So do you think I’m ruining my children? I generally enforce a no tv policy for the children in the household. Jeffrey has watched virtually no television during his three years with the GIANT exception being the past few weeks while he’s been ill. Once he is at full health we’ll be reinstating the ban.
Since becoming a parent I’ve just become much more aware at how inappropriate everything seems for my kids. Not to mention the crap that is marketing to children through tv. I want control over what my children bring into their little minds.
So. Hopefully my little social experiments will not be tarnished by the fact that I completely ignore my own rule when they are babies and I want to turn on the tube. I do it so that I stay awake while breastfeeding in the middle of the night. Plus Elena has no schedule and seriously? I was not missing an episode of Lost. I would wither and die.

So I wonder if I’ve ruined them by watching and listening to inappropriate (wildly inappropriate) crap while they are innocent babes. With Jeffrey we spent many a day watching Oz on HBO. What? Babies need to know what to do with a shiv. Cribs are sorta like jail. Elena has had much milder fare, we’ve just listened to about a hundred or so Savage Lovecasts. Hopefully it will make her confident and proud of her own sexuality… when she’s 25. I’m not really concerned but I do find it amusing that I’ve banned Bob the Builder from the house but Dan Savage? He’s welcome anytime. 🙂


Posted by on July 8, 2009 in Family, parenting


Woot. A post not about children :)

Okay how about a post that doesn’t concern my children or our health? Imagine that. I’m starting to miss writing on the blog and especially miss writing about things other than the kids. Once upon a time this was a place for me to jot down what I felt about the world. 

So here are a few random observations. First Michael Jackson died and so the kids and I listened to his music off the iPod on the way to school today. While I walked in from the car I listened to Thriller and tried to restrain myself from doing that zombie dance move from the video. Brian said over the weekend that there were flash mobs doing it in London and NYC.

I thought that was pretty cool. I mean whatever you think of the guy, he was definitely messed up but for my generation, he was also the music most of us identified with. I can’t think of a person growing up that wouldn’t have know all the words to Billie Jean or laughed at Fat -Weird Al’s parody of Bad.

My second non child related rant. What the hell is up with the NY state Senate? The Republicans started this stupid coup that was successful then sorta failed and now there is no governing being done at all. I usually don’t discuss politics here because I don’t want my family to rise up and revolt against me but these people are pissing me off! It seems like no one in Albany has any concern at all over their constituents, or even attempting to make themselves look good. What happened to governance that actually cared about the people they represent. I just want to get rid of them all and start over!

To end, I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of the Philippine prison that uses large scale dances for rehabilitation. They’re really cool. I highly recommend checking out some of their videos on youtube. But here’s their dancing tribute to MJ.

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Posted by on July 1, 2009 in linky lurve, politics


Mama is not sick… anymore

Last week I was sick. Stomach flu conjoined with the regular flu, whatever it was – it was awful. And what I learned from this experience is that it takes me about an hour of being alone and feeling crappy to become a completely crappy mom.

I have no patience and it both aggravates and ashames me.

I love my son. He really is the light of my world but on Tuesday night when he lay screaming on the floor “Mama is NOT sick!” at the peak of his lungs? I was very near the edge. The actual tipping point came when he informed me that I was not allowed to take the trash can up the stairs with me because “it belongs down there” -pointing at the bottom step where it has been sitting for the past few days, weeks whatever. At this point of the evening, I had been vomiting about every 15-20 minutes and generally felt like crap. I looked at him, my imposing yet diminutive tyrant and started to cry. Just go up the stairs I thought and then spoke and then yelled. Just go to bed and leave me alone.
I put him in bed, unfortunately after I lost it and yelled at him. Not because he was being particularly difficult or naughty but because I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to be off of mom duty and onto the couch. He’s three, he doesn’t get it that Mama is ill or needs an off day. He just wants to be his usual bubbly, bouncy, LOUD self.

I know that he will not be scarred by me shouting at him. I realize it does not make me a “bad” mother because I loose my cool occasionally. We all have days, where we are under the weather, overscheduled, overwhelmed and understaffed. But they still suck. I still need to be the adult and the mom and try to make myself be better and be more patient. I need to teach him to be patient and kind and teach that, I have to show him that I can do it as well. We all know that this parenting gig isn’t easy, but some days… it can be so freaking hard.

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Posted by on February 9, 2009 in parenting, Update


Holiday tidbits

Other random tidbits about the holidays.
I made Brian an acrylic book for Christmas. Filled it with pictures of us, his family and Jeffrey. Left room for a letter and a few notes just from me to him. It came out better than I had hoped and I think he really liked it.

Jeffrey telling us…

  • Before we called Aunt Bonnie to thank her for early Christmas gifts. He stood at the landing in the middle of our stairs and shouted “Good night Aunt Bonnie, Walk Carefully!” I have no idea why or what on Earth he meant, but it made Brian and I crack up.
  • On Friday, I returned home from work. I asked Jeffrey what he had done all day and if he had fun. His response? “I stepped in cat poop!” Apparently the cats couldn’t get to their litter box and it was unavoidable? He told everyone who walked in the door. He was so proud.
  • Brian is driving down the road and Jeffrey is demanding all these things be done for him. So Bri decides to turn it around on him. He tells Jeffrey that he needs to cook dinner tonight, or go to work in the morning etc. After each thing Jeffrey pauses and says “Nooo,” Finally Brian says you need drive to Wegmans for us. Jeffrey’s response? a long pause before ” Dada I can’t do that. I don’t have a steering wheel.” Because clearly if he had a steering wheel on that car seat, he’d be driving us all over.
  • We stopped by KB Toys shortly before Christmas. While in the store we passed some cars that had fallen off the rack onto the floor. Jeffrey took one look at them “What a mess.” and proceded to start picking them all up and putting them back on the shelf. All while singing the Clean Up song.
  • We are at Uncle Kevin’s birthday party. Jeffrey for one reason or another, chooses to hurl his milk over his shoulder onto the floor. We quickly scoop him up, Brian strips him because he’s covered in milk and I clean the floor. A few minutes later Jeffrey comes swooping out of the bathroom into the midst of everyone and shouts “I’m naked!” We didn’t have a change of clothes inside with us so he’s just in a diaper. He was so darn proud of himself and it was really very funny.

Those are all I can think of right now. Jeffrey is just at such a fabulous age. He is so vocal and independent and he’s just funny. Toddlers are so literal about things and his vocabulary is at such a place that he can really tell you what he thinks. He’s a joy. I could easily freeze him right where he’s at because he’s really just perfect right now. There are still days when I want to sell him to the gypsies but then he yells “Hello in there!” to my stomach and makes me laugh. I just want to remember as many of these instances as I can because our memories are all too fleeting and he’s growing up so fast. 🙂



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Posted by on December 31, 2008 in fun and games, happy, Jeffrey, parenting