Miss Morning Sickness?

>> Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alright so I had to post this. If you are from the Triad or Triangle you know of Bob and the Showgram. Our local radio celebs. Well they are hosting a Miss Morning Sickness Pageant. No I can't make this stuff up. I know it is absurd. Normally I wouldn't support this...okay maybe I would drink one too many beers and laugh very hard at it.  But seriously  I think I know some that could win.

I definitely have a friend I am trying to talk into entering. Okay a little background. My friend Kari over at Sassy Sawyer Adventures started pregnancy at a size 00. No I didn't make that up either. Here is her website in case you want to drop her a "I hate you and am insanely jealous" comment. It is so sad :insert sarcasm she is five months preggo and had to go up to a 2. Not to mention she has gained in five months what I gained in three. Don't you feel bad for her?? She can't buy maternity clothes because she is so tiny, but luckily she is blessed to be smoking hot (aka no mom jeans for her) and just wear low cut jeans that give her belly room above. It is a tough life. Whereas I have the problem of finding pants big enough for my arse she has the problem of finding them small enough. Hey everyone has problems, right? 

Let's put it this way. Pre-pregnancy I picked on her for legally needing a booster seat.

Her worst side effect of pregnancy? Big boobs. Well I say worst but really that is pretty much awesome for her.

Point being. She is hot, she is tiny, she all of a sudden has big boobs. I don't get it. IT IS A 1000 DOLLARS!! She would totally win. Everyone go visit her and lets talk her into it..k?

Hey Kari...you could get that nice crib :) And I promise not to take pictures and put them on facebook :quiet snicker:


Guest Blogger: Mr. Cash

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One of the people I asked to guest blog last week for Tantrum week was the infamous Blair. I really shouldn't have to introduce. She pretty much rocks. You can check out Blair and Nate's adventures with baby Harrison over at the Heir to Blair here. I promise you will be addicted once you start reading.

But there was one tiny problem? Harrison is way to young for tantrums. Although I think girlfriend suffered enough with reflux fits so she deserves the break. But to top it off... Blair was the perfect child. As if? Did she really just throw that in my face?? Now?! But honestly I could see it. She probably wasn't perfect just smart enough to get her brothers blamed for it. Resourceful? I think so.

So I gave Blair free regien. A little scary I know, needless to say I was not disappointed. Now I want you to all think about your favorite/most annoying infomerical celeb. This is the fun we could have been having with them.... Tony Little? Billy Mays? Richard Simmons? Mr. Cash?


A few weeks ago, Stephaine emailed me asking if I would participate in her guest blogging party regarding tantrums. OF COURSE. Duh. I was so excited to share stories of my being a wild hellion with mismatched hair-ribbons & combat boots, but then my mother lowered the boom over the telephone:

"Honey, I don't remember you ever having a tantrum. EVER. You were a very well-behaved, chill child."

My mother said chill. More astoundingly, my mother said that I was chill. (what the heck happened? because 25 years later, i'm a type-a control freak.)

So with a heavy heart, I emailed Stephanie & broke the news that I could not participate. Because I WAS PERFECT. & then she did that "mom thing," you know where they grab you by the back of the neck & say "NOT SO FAST, MISSY." So here I am, guest blogging. Not about tantrums. But about how my brothers & I tortured Mr. Cash as young folks.

Sometimes, my parents were foolish enough to leave my two older brothers & I alone for a few hours under the impression of "date night." I found out later that sometimes, they just wandered around Kmart simply happy to get away from us. Regardless, The Momma would spray on some perfume, they'd plop a few boxes of Dominos pizza on the table, & literally run out the door with brief kisses & promises of being back within two hours.

At the tender age of seven, two hours seemed like an eternity.


We ate pizza on the living room floor. We watched fuzzy MTV. We wrestled, set off firecrackers in the back yard, yelled, ran screaming through the house, & dared the Oldest to crawl out on the roof. Pretty much everything we were not allowed to do. But by far, our favorite activity was calling Mr. Cash.

Remember him? The slimy dude in the commercial that would solve all your cash woes if only you would dial 1-800-Call-CASH or something like that? (oh em gee, if that really is the number & I remembered it, I just lost all remaining cool points). Yeah. We'd call him. As in, dial the number, wait for the marketer to pick up, & promptly scream into the phone.

No, nothing intelligent. Just your basic "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" ear-splitting scream. & then we'd hang up, doubling over into giggles. All three of us would lie laughing on the kitchen floor for what seemed like ages until someone had the breath enough to stand up & make the call again. Rinse & repeat for two hours.

Look, we weren't brilliant. But we were HILARIOUS in our own minds.

My parents never condoned crank calling. But to this day, they are thankful for the distraction Mr. Cash gave us. Because otherwise, we might have burned down the house for entertainment.


Impact Dash: Toddler Playdough

Ever wonder what is in Playdough? It is best not to ask becasue no one knows. See below of April's Baby Steps Column or go here Pliable dough that’s not just non-toxic, it’s actually edible — and kind of delicious.

Toddler Playdough
by Stephaine Eads
April 15th, 2010

My daughter received a basket of gifts from my in-laws for Easter. One of the goodies inside was Play-Doh. I hadn’t really thought of giving Lil’E Play-Doh up to this point, and I was excited to see how she would react. Well, she was interested in it alright, interested in eating it. Lil’E was never the toddler that explored with her mouth, so this was uncharted territory for me. She teethed early and the worst case scenario was her using a hand as her teether. This left me perplexed as to what to do. She was enjoying herself so I didn’t want to take it away, but I needed to make sure what she was eating was safe. My biggest issue was trying to figure out what she was eating!

The packaging was very vague as to its contents. It assured that Play-Doh was non-toxic, but did warn that it contained wheat. This did not make me happy. If she is eating it, I wanted to know what was in it; so I set out to find a solution. I went as far as researching on the manufacturer’s website. This is what the Hasbro site stated:

The exact ingredients of PLAY-DOH compound are proprietary, so we cannot share them with you. We can tell you that it is primarily a mixture of water, salt and flour. It does NOT contain peanuts, peanut oil, or any milk byproducts. It DOES contain wheat. PLAY-DOH compound is non-toxic, non-irritating & non-allergenic except as noted: Children who are allergic to wheat gluten may have an allergic reaction to this product.

When I mentioned this problem to my mother, she laughed as I complained about Lil’E’s Play-Doh ingestion. Apparently Play-Doh was not purchased often in our house. Then, just like that, I had a recipe in my inbox for what she described as ‘Yummy Play-Dough.’

Yummy (and Safe) Play-Dough

3 1/2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 cups honey
4 cups dry milk powder

In large bowl combine together peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar. Beat in honey and fold in milk powder. Divide into portions and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Could that be easier? There was no extra plastic packaging, and I had everything in my pantry already. I have to admit it was hard not to sample the concoction while molding a miniature puppy for Lil’E – at least I knew what was in this recipe! Now, this play-dough is only for children that have already been exposed to peanuts and honey with no known allergies. If your child does have a peanut allergy or you are nervous about the introduction of peanuts, try this alternate version:

Non-peanut Play-Dough

2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan, remove from heat and set aside. Whisk together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Stir the vegetable oil into the flour mixture using a spoon. Pour the hot water into the bowl and continue stirring. When the dough is cool enough to handle, turn it onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Store unused portions in refrigerator.

This recipe is a little more complicated and not quite as yummy, but you still get the fun and the peace of mind knowing what is going in your child’s mouth. For a little extra fun add a drop or two of food coloring.


Impact Dash-Toddler Earth Day

I have been a little slack on posting my two latest pieces on Impact Dash. Please stop by and check them out here. Trying to explain Earth Day to a toddler is complicated, so why not start at the ground level, literally.

Toddler Earth Day
by Stephaine Eads
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Everyone told me Lil'E was too young to understand Earth Day, and as far as the big picture is concerned, I agree. I cannot sit a two-year-old down and explain climate change or the layers of the ozone. Yet, I wanted to do something with her at the Saturday play date in honor of the day. I came up with the idea to help her plant some vegetables or flowers after she showed interest in helping me weed the flower garden. When I found this adorable Sesame Street Kit at Lowe’s Home Improvement, it sealed the deal. If you want my little girl to be interested in something, slap Elmo on the front and she is sold.

This type of kit is a great resource to get a small child into the spirit of Earth Day. If you don’t want to buy a kit, simply purchase a few Jiffy peat pallets, seeds and plastic kid-friendly gardening tools. They should be easy to use and bright and colorful enough to hold a small child’s attention for the ten minutes it takes to set up the seedlings. I also recommend a handy green house dome (sometimes these come with peat pallets).

By simply adding warm water to the Jiffy peat pallets and covering the seeds with the resulting soil, you can teach toddlers the simple lesson of where plant life originates. In a seed! While planting the sunflower seeds I showed Lil’E a bloomed flower and explained that eventually with a little love (aka water and light) this seed would become the pretty flower she saw in front of her. She giggled in delight at the idea. I also explained that once the flower started growing we would plant it next to her swing set for everyone to enjoy.

The highlights of the activity for Lil’E were the mixing of the dirt after the addition of water to the peat pallets and the sprinkling of the seeds in the soil. I did have to assist with the covering of the seeds, which brings to light that an adult should supervise this activity at all times. Especially if your child is prone to placing items in their mouths. I had to explain more than once that the shovel was not a spoon.

Not only did she learn about the seeds and growing flowers and vegetables, but she now has something to look forward to when we get home everyday…watering her flowers!


Wipe that tear from your face...

>> Monday, April 26, 2010

Tantrum week is over. Go ahead and wipe that tear from your face. Or should I say wipe it from your toddler's face. It may not be over in real life but in blog life we say farwell. Maybe closer to Lily's third birthday the topic will be revisited by me and others as a whole new set of issues arise. Now don't get me wrong I will still entertain you with horror stories, but I think we are learning to deal with them one by one. It feels like it is getting better and she may actually be learning what is appropriate and what is not.

Thanks so much to all my guest bloggers. I got so many emails from readers about how funny they thought the posts were or how they feel the same way or how ironically their child called themselves Ms. Woo Woo too. I hope this makes us all realize we are not alone, that every child is different (yet the same!), and that there are endless ways to dealing with it. My number one choice? Margaritas. My number two choice? Counting and time out.

To end the week I want to post a little video of Lily in a small tantrum. This is small potatoes compared to her bigger ones...but it is a funny one. First she only starts crying when I look at her. Then she just starts saying sorry and asking for a hug to get out of trouble. My little player player. See if you can pinpoint when I am looking at her and when I am not.

How do I know that it is getting better? Now she just walks to time out when she starts pitching a fit. Check. She immediately starts saying sorry when she sits down. Check. She started asking for a hug when she gets out. Check.

Now the hard part is making her understand just because you are saying sorry doesn't mean you are getting out of time out until your time is served. Even harder keeping her in there when all she wants is a hug :(

Here is to better days and the possibility of another child in spite of these stages.


Guest Blogger: The Face-off

>> Thursday, April 22, 2010

Today's guest blogger is my dear BIL Wayne. I know you all recognize the name Morgan. My beautiful niece. I will say it has been so wonderful having a child the same age as Lily in the family. See Lily and Morgan are only a month apart in age. They are so cute together yet I can see flashes of the terror they will cause us in their teenage boy-crazed years. Since we found out we were pregnant at the same time, my SIL and I have bonded over pregnancy, milestones, sickness, and now....tantrums. Now I find it hard to believe that my sweet little niece would ever act like this, but I found it hard to believe that Lily would ever chunk a bowl of goldfish (last night BTW) at me either. It is nice to know I am not alone.

This is the story of Morgan's latest, and probably most embarrassing tantrum.....Enjoy!

Morgan's latest melt-down happened a couple Wednesdays ago while we were visiting Brent and Chris at their house. After dinner, we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood as it was a beautiful evening and the temperature was just perfect..

Throughout the entire visit, Morgan had been a perfect little angel. Maybe that's why we were caught so off-guard by what happened next. We took two small vehicles on the walk, Will's stroller and his little red plastic push-along car. Both children were content to ride and the adults enjoyed meaningful conversation as we strolled.

Will started climbing out of his car, so we decided to put him in the stroller, but there was one problem. Morgan was in his stroller. We thought this was a minor problem... one that we could easily remedy... we were so wrong.

Morgan wasn't ready to be evicted from the stroller and she made her demand to stay quite clear. We try not to immediately give in to these demands for fear that one day, we may lose control altogether and leave Morgan with an empty void where her strong character and deep sense or right and wrong should be.

So we stood our ground and Tanya removed her from the stroller Being thrust into limbo did not sit well with Morgan. She shrieked in one of those high decibel outbursts that can be heard for blocks. Then she started pulling her hair, which gladly gave itself up in huge handfuls. Telling her to stop made no sense to her and only fueled her intense anger.

Our serene stroll around the neighborhood had quickly deteriorated into the opening scenes of "The Super Nanny", but she was nowhere to be found. The only spectators to this event were Brent and Chris' unwitting neighbors

Wayne quickly put on his "Super Dad" cape and tried to intervene, but Morgan suddenly morphed from sweet, innocent child with a grievance into a vicious jungle cat with Kryptonite claws slashing every surface within range. Wayne's face and ears were in range unfortunately and he too let out a shriek... of immense pain.

The rest of the adults, sensing that the situation was going downhill fast, continued to walk further and further ahead and made it back to the house several minutes before the traveling sideshow. When Daddy and the "Wildcat" made it back, they went straight to the car and Wayne gave a sort of humble, "we're leaving... sorry for making a scene... thanks for dinner" remark.

On the way home, he tried to be inconspicuous as he glimpsed the reflection in the rearview mirror, compiling a damage report. The good news is that the scratches were superficial. The bad news is, we still aren't sure how to diffuse this type of behavior. Though we hate to hear that you're having the same type of issues with Lily, it is comforting to know that we are not alone.


Guest Blogger: What about Mom?

We are getting a double dose of guest blogging today....

Today's guest blogger is Nicole from Nicole Faby Photography and Fantabulous Faby Blog. You may recognize her name from all the awesome pictures she takes of my family, and so many of my friend's families. So how do Nikki and I know each other? I feel like this is a long story, because we have known each other for about seven years. But first let me say she will always be Nikki to me. Nicole is this new fancy name she started going by when she got all grown up. We met in college and were sorority sisters in Chi Omega. To be honest we didn't run in the same crowd, she was a bit younger than me, and I was an older sister that had one foot out the door.  We worked together waiting tables and I still have a hard time remembering it, except in pictures. Ha! All those 'activities' in college are catching up with me!

But then we graduated. I am still heavily involved with Chi Omega post college. At first I was a member of the Alumni Board serving as secretary (as did she), then moving into an advisor position a few years back. Now I remember when I found out Nikki  was pregnant. We were eating at Moe's in Cameron Village and it was during one of our Alumni Officer meetings. At that point she made the THIRD girl on the board of five that was pregnant. A few months later I made the fourth. With the birth of new babies come new friendships. Now that we both have crazy toddlers we have a new bond outside of Chi Omega.

Finally, she started her photography business and we have a whole new bond! Ya'll know I love taking pictures. I have pretty much been with her since the beginning and a totally loyal customer. Nikki has helped me a lot with editing programs and techniques. Not to mention at one point I felt like her photography pimp..haha. Hey you push what you believe in! So check her out here for some awesome picture taking and here for a sneak peak into life with a CRAZY ALL BOY toddler, being an awesome step-mom, and being married to amateur wrestler Jaxon Dane.

Here is a perspective we are not used to hearing, the one from us as the parent.....Enjoy!

When Steph asked for tantrum stories I had no idea where to begin. My stepdaughters first time out with us for throwing a crayon at another table at a restaurant? Or for kicking her newborn baby brother in the head? My son's constant tantrums over the most ridiculous things (i.e. "i want to climb" up the entertainment center?) The strange places my son has had time out (The zoo, the pharmacy, and countless bathrooms? My son is two and a typical day he wakes up and within 15 minutes is in time out! He is a wild boy... who loves to test us!

I would like to talk to talk about how tantrums can make me feel. Sometimes it feels like tantrums will never end. Sometimes I get jealous. There are days when I would like to scream and throw things but at 26 thats just not acceptable to society. Sometimes it makes me laugh... my dearest Luke do you even know how ridiculous you look? I have to hide my smile, thankfully your hiney is in the corner and you can't see me laughing at you!! Sometimes it makes me confused... Why Katelyn will you just not swallow that bite of food?! You like everything in it! Where do you get the willpower to be so stubborn?! Sometimes it scares me... I seriously worry you are going to bust a vein in your head from all that screaming or break a leg with all that kicking. Should I put a helmet on you since you choose to bang your head on the ground. Sometimes it makes me embarrassed! This kid is not with me!! (Why is it that your kid has the worst days in front of your most judgmental friends/coworkers/family members) Sometimes it makes me cry. There are the days I am just too exhausted to deal with it all. Yesterday was one of them. It was a long day no sleep the night before because he was up, he refused to take a nap (WHY do overtired children refuse to sleep) and I was talking with a friend and Luke was laying next to me and wanted attention he thought kicking me was the best way to do it. I wanted to run away but instead I placed him back in timeout and burst into tears... Will it ever end?

It will. I know this. I am grateful for the friends who remind me of this. For my stepdaughter who is living proof. For my mom who raised one crazy boy (sorry bro) and survived. For my grandmother who has run an in home daycare for 30+ years and has shared some stories of her own!

After one of my worst tantrum filled days I laid in my sons bed with him and my husband and my little boy kissed me and snuggled on my chest and the screams faded far away and the tears (his and mine) seemed like a million years ago and I remembered... It's all worth it.


Guest Post: Nanny Mandy

>> Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nanny Mandy is no longer a Nanny anymore...but she is a Mom to adorable Molly. Mandy went to high school with my hubby and is an absolute doll! Other than my kid (no bias) she might have created the prettiest little girl in the world.

But Molly is young. She is still innocent and cute. No tantrums to date. But they are a coming girl. Don't be fooled by her sweetness. This is nature's way of making you think she can do no wrong before a demon possesses them and they turn into a flailaholics! Here a few favorite memories from the Nanny Diaries. They bring humor in hindsight..probably not so much in reality.

I was trying to recall some nanny moments I had since I was with Camille for almost five years. Although she was kept on an extremely tight leash by her parents, she still certainly had her moments while she learned her limits. I think a lot of times I was the one that was tested the most as she knew her parents had a “zero tolerance” policy. She was given one warning and then sent to bed (a time out in her room for at least 10 minutes or until she cooled off). By the time she was 3, maybe 3 and 1/2 , all you had to say to tantrums, whining, bad behavior, etc… was “Do you need to go to bed?” and she (desperately sobbing) would say “No!” I’m sure it was the consistency of how all of this was handled over and over and over again that led to the extremely polite, ridiculously grown up little woman she is today.

That being said – there were times when Nanny Mandy did want to go out of the house and sending her straight to bed was not an option.

One Christmas season I physically had to remove Camille from Founders Hall in uptown after she discovered that she couldn’t hug the bears that sing the songs. Her favorite stuffed animal was a teddy bear named “Gee-Gee” so imagine a little girl dressed in her Christmas best, melting into a pile on the floor and then being carried away while screaming “I want big gee-gee!”

She discovered the “Banana Fana” song and loved to sing about everything and everyone – but particularly about animals. This really wasn’t a problem until she would repeat the same line over and over (at the top of her lungs – of course) about Mr. Duck. “Duck, duck, bo-buck, banana fana, fo-F__k….” I tried to ignore this the first few times but people really look at you when you let a little girl say the F-word. Not sure which was worse, the glares or the tantrums from not letting her sing her favorite song.

She has poured entire full cups of beverages on herself when she hasn’t liked an outfit. Talk about not having anything to wear.

She hid from most men or threw a fit it they looked at her for a solid year. (similar to Lily’s recent episode) This included her own father at times.

There were days when she wouldn’t answer to her own name but to the alter ego she made for herself, “Woo-Woo.” When you’re a 25 year old female nanny, people don’t expect you to say “Where’s my Woo-Woo?” You really ought to know by that age.


Guest Blogger: Yeah I am an Anti-Spanker...So what?!

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Apparently I have one friend that is hard core no spanking...who knew? Meet Sharla. My oldest friend. No like really old. Let me count...five....ten....fifteen..wow sixteen years. That is a long time yo! And I am a military brat so that has to be some kind of record with all the moving around I did. So Sharla is a single mom to Jackson. Remember my new respect for single moms? This girl gets the bulk of it. You can check out her blog called Just the Two of us here How does a single mom keep her cool? Read on my friends....

Greetings, Da Eads readers! Let me introduce myself. Stephaine & I go way back. Back to the mid-nineties when we were awkwardly adolescent and just discovering our true snarky wits. When she moved to the great town of Dallas, NC and joined me at WC Friday Junior High, I immediately knew this girl was destined to be a good friend. We shared not-quite-legal weekend jobs at the local flea market (did I really just publish that on the intar-web? but DAMN those nachos were money.), stories and schemes over our boy crushes (calling the radio to dedicate cheesy songs to boys made us so badass!), later-to-be-determined horribly embarrassing pictures (what is it with teen girls and obsessions with taking billions of ridiculous pictures?! Steph, please destroy the evidence! And thank Jesus in Heaven Almighty that Facebook tagging did not exist then.) Even though I moved to another school after 7th grade, we remained friends throughout all these years. And now we share a new bond of mommyhood --- we’re still badass chicks, but now we have real jobs, perpetual snack stains, marriages, houses, and all the rest that comes along with living in a grown up world.

As for my story -- I’m a late-20s single mom to a 2 year old boy (yeahhh…. my ex-husband just out of the blue decided to peace the eff out of our marriage one day. When my son was 15 months old. After we had been together for ten years in what I thought was a happy, solid relationship. Say it with me now --- deeeeeeeeebaaaagggggggeryyyyy!!). I’ve managed to come out on the other side of that madness with my life still intact, barely medicated, and hopeful and excited about the experiences Jackson and I will share in our tiny little twosome family in the days and years ahead.

So on to the topic at hand --- TANTRUMS. I am no stranger to these evil storms of toddler terror. And I haven’t made it to the other side yet, so I’m still in the terrified how-bad-will-this-get-and-will-it-ever-end side of things. The worst days are when he seems to just get in a “funk” and has tantrums over and over and can’t be placated. His tantrum patterns are similar to labor contractions --- they come in and out for hours at times; usually not too lengthy (a couple of minutes max), some more intense than others. Where’s my mommy epidural? Closest thing I have to simmering it all down is pulling up a Dora the Explorer on the DVR !! Alas, most tantrums happen away from home; that damn Dora is never there when I need her most. No bueno, mi amiga.

His “tantrums” first started as self-punishment; he did the whole head-banging thing. My response to that was to ignore, and he learned rather quickly that it wasn’t conducive to his ultimate goal. The tantrums have since evolved into mixed arrangements of hitting, thrashing, throwing down on the floor, crying/yelling, and the like. Of course, the ones in public are the worst, and I’m sure he senses this slight shift in power and takes full advantage of the opportunity to humiliate me to no end. I try to retain the upper hand, but sometimes I do feel like I lose the battle. I try not to give in, but sometimes I just take a deep breath, remind myself that this behavior is completely developmentally appropriate, and let him “win” whatever he’s trying to achieve. Sometimes my sanity is more valuable than being a 100% hardass.

Many times, the tantrums erupt over his incessant urge to do things completely 100% on his own, and those are usually the battles that I let him claim victory, because sometimes his tantrums make me realize that I’m in the wrong here. I SHOULD let him do more things on his own, even if it will make a mess. Even if it will result in a mistake. Even if it will take more time. Sometimes it takes a crying thrashing 2 year old to snap me out of the my-way-or-the-highway mode and realize I do need to adjust my own attitude and just let him learn and experience things on his own.

But for other tantrums, it’s usually what-I-say-goes-and-that’s-that. At the recommendation of a seasoned mom of two boys, I read and am following the advice and guidance of the 1-2-3 Magic approach. I’m a firm no on spanking (no knock to other parents, just my personal choice). My approach is kind of a 3 strikes you’re out --- if he does something he’s not supposed to (whining, not following instructions, throwing something down on purpose, the list goes on…..), I say “1.” No explanation or discussion (unless it’s something he hasn’t ever done before, and a brief warning precedes the “1”). Subsequent offense gets a “2” and then if I get to “3” it’s a 2 minute time out. During time out, I do not interact with him at all or give him any attention or eye contact. There is little to no discussion on the offense – I may briefly mention it after his time out is complete. There are some things that don’t get a 1-2-3 --- hitting is an immediate time out. In the beginning, he just tested this game, and always went to 3. But now, he often stops at 1 or 2, so some progress!

The only problem is it’s difficult to handle in public. I try to stick firm with the 1-2-3, but do find myself waffling a bit because, hello(!), where the hell am I going to put him in time out?? I have been creative, and simultaneously mortified. Here are some places I have put Jackson in time-out:

In the car. While driving. I just announced he was in time out, turned off the radio, and didn’t talk to him for 2 minutes. Should have gone with the empty don’t-make-me-turn-this-car-around threat instead.

At Discovery Place (museum) outside the exhibit area. Just sat him against the wall and kind of stood a bit away. Tried to not feel like worst mother of the year as he cried and onlookers stared in confusion as to why I wasn’t consoling my sobbing child.

In WalMart in the shopping cart. I do the shopping cart time out all the time (even though I try to avoid taking him shopping at because he only lasts a good 5 minutes before losing it). I just push it a bit away from me, and ignore him for 2 minutes. Also creates confused stares from fellow shoppers, and many oblivious do-gooders ruin the time out by talking to him anyway. So perhaps a worthless effort, nonetheless.

On the sidewalk curb at an outdoor festival. Ditto on the embarrassment.

Sometimes Jackson brings laughter and frustration all at once with his antics. Case in point --- he was not behaving appropriately during bath one night, so he got a time out. Without wasting time, so the offense/punishment time ratio was slim, I just took him straight to his upstairs time out spot --- his PBK Anywhere Chair in the bonus room. Two minutes later, when I go to let him get up, I come in the room and he says “I pee pee.” And indeed, since he was wearing only a towel, there was pee all over the PBK chair. With a slipcover I have only ventured to spot clean because the insert was so effing frustrating to get crammed in the cover. Beautiful. Lesson learned, mommy. Time outs must include a diaper.

Other tantrum highlights?

Me carrying him (horizontal in my arms) screaming “My trains! My trains!” (along with my handbag and a coffee cup) through the Books A Million store after we left the train table.

Me mortified as he threw his plastic fireman hat on the ground in anger and almost tripped an innocent passerby dad holding his baby. (this was just this past Sunday!)

Me taking him thrashing and screaming out of Moe’s before we even started eating because he went ballistic nutso after he couldn’t eat the cookie first (damn that free cookie that I didn’t even know we were getting with the kids meal!!! And a PSA to all the Moe’s cashiers, don’t announce super loud and wave the free cookie in a toddler’s face. This mom will give you a death stare.). We sat in the car for 20 minutes with food left on the table inside. I wasn’t sure if we would be able to go back inside at all. We did, eventually. This was in my early single-parenting days, and at the time, it was a serious blow to the I-CAN-do-it-alone confidence.

And I’m sure there will be plenty more to come. This parenting rite of passage is overwhelming and immensely frustrating at times, but I have to take comfort in the notion that all around me, other parents are enduring the same torture. And it helps me to remember that my little guy is overwhelmed and frustrated himself --- he’s beginning a tremendous developmental journey into learning to manage independence and self-judgment. And I’m so thrilled to be able to enjoy the journey with him --- even if he does scream and thrash a little bit along the way.
Jackson pouting at an event last week....oh the cuteness. At least he is being green!


Princess for a Day

>> Saturday, April 17, 2010

I got Lily and I tickets to see Cinderella over the weekend. We made it through the first act before she stopped listening, stopped caring about being quiet, and I left the theater with my tails between my legs. But it started out good. And although we had to leave she really wasn't being that bad; I just didn't want her to disturb anyone else.

She might have been the cutest kid there. Even if she was dressed as the wrong princess!


Guest Blogger: Would you like some ketchup with that?

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

Katherine over at The Bagley Circus has been a great resource on toddler advice. Her son Landon had a lot of the same ear infection problems as Lily so I was constantly annoying her with baby questions. He is about a year older so she had already been through it when I was just a rookie. Should I do this? What about this? Blah Blah Blah. I am sure she is so sick of hearing it. But when I mentioned the Terrible Twos she laughed and told me she had seen it all. Katherine has beaten the odds and decided to procreate again so I figure it has to get better eventually right? Go check her blog out by clicking here to see some adorable pictures of two little boys that will melt your heart!

Here is a hysterical story of Landon at Lily's age as told through the eyes of a mortified mother:

Welcome to Terrible Twos…the world of tantrums for no apparent reason. Buckle up…it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But nothing that some Mommy time-outs, ear plugs & Heineken Lights can’t handle! As a surviving mother of terrible 2s, I can tell my story from the other side & provide hope to those of you on the front end.

My husband and I both are strong disciplinarians. I don’t let my child run wild. I talk, I give time-outs and I whip. We are consistent. I don’t let my child talk back. He says please, thank you, excuse me, yes mam and no sir. I know those of you out there who glare at a parent and think “get your child under control” and “if that was my child, I would …” and “that kid is a spoiled brat and needs his butt whooped”. You obviously have not had a 2-year old of your own. There is no reasoning with them. There is nothing that a time-out or a spanking will fix. I can promise you. Give those parents a little slack. Pretend not to notice. They are mortified, trust me.

There was a timeframe where the hubby & I didn’t even leave the house. We were too embarrassed. But we had to venture out sometimes with demon-child in tow, and we always arrived back home with our tails tucked between our legs and heads hung low. We took an out-of-town cousin out to dinner once for his birthday. We purposely picked a louder restaurant. It was going pretty good until our son stood up, turned around and threw the chewed-up French Fries (fresh out of his mouth) into the ladies hair behind him…all in a millisecond before the words “Landon, sit down” could leave my mouth. O.M.G. I wanted to dig a hole all the way to China. Of course, my husband grabs him up and takes him outside to discipline him properly while I apologize profusely to the innocent victim and try to get the fries out of her hair. Luckily, she was sitting at a table with her husband & 2 teens of her own. She looked at me (with sympathetic eyes, God bless her) and said “He’s 2, isn’t he?”.

How can you reason with a 2 year old? There’s no way to even understand what they are thinking. Exhibit A: My son wanted ketchup. Gave him ketchup. Then he went into a fit because he had ketchup!!!! WHAT?!?! What do you even do with that? The first few times, of course, I took a napkin and scraped off all the ketchup off of his plate. Then he screamed again for ketchup. I learned quickly that no matter what I gave him, he wanted the opposite. You’ve just got to let them work it out on their own & ignore it. I truly believe they are trying to figure out who has the power. If I want ketchup, she’ll give me ketchup. But then if I cry and scream that I don’t want it, she’ll take it away. Let’s see how long I can boss her around and pull her strings like a master puppeteer. Oh no sir, Mommy is the boss here. There will be no pulling of my strings.

Hang in there Moms and Dads. Try to keep your cool, even if you have to walk away. Let them work it out and ignore the tantrums. They’ll learn that they don’t get them attention. It may take a few headaches to get there, but you will get there.

And it does get better (not to sound cliché) & I have proof. A 9-month old bouncing baby boy.

And PS – if you think 2 was bad…just wait til 3s!!!!!


Reality Check 101

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

You know how you have those friends that will just point and laugh at you while your complaining. In a good way of course. You know the slap in the face that welcomes you back to reality and says snap out of it. Well that is my friend Kelly. Kelly's little boy is well....all boy. A wild child to say the least. When I sent her an email this week asking her to give me some stories to make me feel better about Lily's Drama filled week this was her response.

Tantrums, yes, I am familiar. Is it bad that I cannot pinpoint a single particularly horrid situation? My mom says that what goes around comes around because my son is stubborn like his mamma. Here are a few of my favorite (eye roll) mom moments. I have climbed into the backseat to use my full body weight to wrestle him into the car seat because he didn’t want to leave the park. I have done timeout in the Target restroom because he thought we were at the “banana store” and he found out that Target doesn’t sell bananas. We have also turned his doorknob around so that we can lock him in his room at night because, seriously, it is bedtime. But, the good news is that while months 20-26 were REALLY long, I think we have recently turned the corner. He has learned where the line is and doesn’t push as hard once he crosses it. So, while I have no sympathy for you what so ever because baby girl has been such a doll so far, don’t worry because this too shall pass!

While I have no sympathy for you....Thanks Kelly! I feel like I have officially been inducted into the Mama club. And I thought that happened the first time I got the trifecta of vomit, poo, and pee on my clothes in the same day! Little did I know.

Over the next week and a half I will be featuring a few guest bloggers about Da Eads buzz word of the week... Tantrums. Yes that is right....those eye roll mom moments Kelly spoke of. I hope you enjoy this week and it helps you not feel so alone. Because to be honest that is what this about. To let you know a) it could be worse b) it will pass c) you should call you mother right now and thank her for putting up with you when you were two.


I'm a Big Girl Now!

What is so different about this sleeping face? 
It is in a big girl bed....
This is how I found her Monday morning after her first night in her big girl bed. Ummm sweetie that is the wrong way. Although that would help with the falling out of the bed issue.

Tuesday night she fell out of the bed for the first time. Her reaction? Not so good. I am pretty sure she clawed up her hand and tried to gauge my eye out. My reaction? No so good. I am lucky she didn't draw blood! But she did go back to sleep fairly quickly after she calmed down and realized I wasn't a scratching post. And after I stopped looking at her-ha!  

All in all a smoothish transition. Granted the pillows next to her bed for her to tumble onto have helped me sleep better at night. The bad thing about this crib is it doesn't have a bar there. I have considered buying a generic toddler rail but I am going to see how she does over the next few weeks before spending the mulah. 

And just to make things a little more interesting, she opened a door via doorknob yesterday for the first time. Had to make my life a little harder one way or another didn't you Lily?! Still haven't decided how to fix that problem. That my dear, is to deal with another day. For today I leave you with the realization that you are growing up faster than Mommy ever imagined. 



>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Of all books this morning Lily brought me...What's wrong Little Pookie by Sandra Boyton. This is while she was being a perfect angel. Heaven!



I think my exhaustion with Lily has started to roll into my work life. I was talking with a fellow Mom at work about my trials and tribulations with the terrible twos when another co-worker decided to chime in. She mentioned that if I thought it was bad now wait until she was a  teenager. My response? "Well at least then I can kick her in the arse and she will get the idea. That wouldn't so much work now!" You would think the world had screeched to a stop!

Me :disbelief on my face: Oh yes I can!
CW :shocked: They can call child services!
Me: :matter of factly with extreme southern drawl (my fiesty voice): Call them, I will tell them the same thing. A spanking for mouthing off never hurt nobody  And they will take one look at the situation and think...Mmmm I would do the same thing and then leave.
CW: Well that is just awful and you better be careful! My daughter called them on me once and they came!
Me: Bring it on!

Okay seriously? Is our society that scared of itself that we can't even discipline our own children? That is when you have to stop and realize this is why we have the hellions we have these days. Kids would have never gotten away with this stuff in the day! Parents are scared! Scared of what people think. Scared of getting in trouble. Scared of royally screwing up their kids. There probably aren't many Mom's out there that didn't get a good arse whooping at least once in their life from a pissed off parent. I did! And you know what? I am fine! I am better for it! I learned a little respect.

So yes I admit it. I believe in spanking. I am Pro-Spanking! Go ahead judge, and think I am a horrible Mother! But I know that there are times when it is needed. My Dad used to just get the 'big scary eyes'  at me and it was enough to stop me in my tracks. I think I had the fear of God put in me at an early age. So much that the fear of a spanking straightened me up right quick. I didn't actually get spanked that often. That is golden if you are a parent.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying everyone should beat their children into submission. No you can't do that. Even if you feel like it sometimes (okay a lot of the time when teenagers are involved).  But I think a good pop on the arse is necessary at times. Has Lily gotten a pop? Yes! More than once. It has usually involved a safety issue up to this point. For example, running into the street after being warned to stop. Or trying to take apart the electrical outlet at a friends (not so baby-proofed) house after a being asked to stop. That deserves a pop! It is a safety concern.

With that being said you should always spank responsibly. A fellow mom suggested that the parent "sentencing punishment" (aka the pissed off parent) should determine the punishment and the other should be the "deliverer." This prevents you from spanking/punishing/time-outing, etc a child while angry and shows that both parents are a team and on the same page. I thought this was an awesome idea! Not always feasible but definitely worth a try.

What do you think? Is spanking a thing of the past due to fear? Or in good southern fashion will you deliver a good arse pop when the need arises?


What's Wrong Little Pookie?

>> Monday, April 12, 2010

This morning was rough. As soon as I woke Lily up she started screaming. Nonstop. For no apparent reason other than she was just pissed off at the world. Kicking, flailing, screaming. Somehow, with the help of my ever patient husband, I got her dressed and down to her chair for breakfast (still throwing a fit).

Michael sets down her plate of yummy pancakes and strawberries and she just tosses it.


I could almost see the steam coming out of Michael's ears. He is normally the calm one but this was just unacceptable. He promptly gets her out of the chair and carries her to time out. This doesn't seem to phase her or deter her from the fit. She continues on for quite a while. Full out screams! I tried on two different occasions to get her to calm down and she pretty much screamed louder. I would ask her if she was ready to come out and she would give me a go to hell look and continue on.

I couldn't leave for work with her acting like that. You know I believe no parent should be left alone with a half crazed child because those gut wrenching screams could send even the calmest of parents over the edge. So FINALLY Michael gets her calmed down enough and she starts sobbing for me (SCORE!) and I calmly get her into her chair and when I leave she is happily eating her breakfast and I even get a "Bye Bye Mommy I love you" as I am heading out the door.

But when I call Michael a little bit later to see how she did after I left his response was:

"She was okay as long as I didn't look at her. When I looked at her in the rear view mirror she screamed bloody murder."

It's okay sweetie, I get that reaction when people look at me too. But seriously I don't know why but this just tickled me. Looking at her is what set her off! Wow she should be in full fit 24 hours because who wouldn't want to eyeball that cuteness. I laughed so hard!

But really.... I need some help. We are basically ignoring the fit and putting her in time out to finish it. When she calms down (sometimes a really long time later!) we let her out. Any more effective tips on tantrums? Or finding out the root cause of the tantrum? I have no idea what set her off this morning!


Tricycle Baby

>> Friday, April 09, 2010

We have declared Easter our holiday in the Eads household. We live about three hours away from the rest of Michael's family so it is safe to say not many holidays are celebrated here. Although we did get a Thanksgiving one year. But holiday's with the fam are not a normal here.

Everyone hopped in their cars and made the haul for some outside time and spring fun. I don't think we could have picked a better weekend! It was gorgeous. We stayed outside all weekend and watched the kids play. Okay and the boys.
Cousin Morgan and Lily played so well. They got to swim, play in the water table, and run around chasing balls all day.
Lily ended up having a little too much fun and puffing up her eye on the table. The night before Easter of course. It never fails. Right before a major picture opportunity some sort of injury occurs.
Lily drank a lot of water for a variety of sources. Her sippy cup, the water table, the pool. Might explain her sickness this week.
We got a special treat when cousin Renee came all the way from Florida. She is so grown up now! Do you think this little princess looks five? She has a big girl haircut and is so smart and precious!
Aunt Shannon and Mimi brought cookies for the girls to decorate. Lily loved that!
Well she loved eating the icing.
Look how hard she is concentrating! She is on a mission.
This is a picture Michael took. It is a running joke in my house that you can tell who takes which pictures. Well lets just say mine are a lot better. I am not be cocky I just have a knack for the truth. But Michael was quite proud of this action shot. Just so you know it was suppose to be a picture of Wayne. That didn't so much work out for him.
We dyed easter eggs. Even though I was freaked out about letting the girls near dye. I was more worried about them dying their fingers before easter than anything else. But little did I know the black eye would ruin those picture anyways. But I did give them both Daddy's shirts to protect the cute clothes.
We were hard at work making an Abby Cadabby Egg.
Elmo stickers!!!
Morgan and Wayne
Morgan swinging with Daddy
We decided to give the girls their Easter presents from Mommy and Daddy on Saturday. It was such a nice day. 
She was very excited when she saw what it was....
A brand new TRICYCLE!! 
"oh I am going to rock this out" 

Safety is big in our house. Lily is learning early about helmet safety. By the way did they even have helmets when we were kids? 
Lily loved the helmet so much I decided she should wear it in all outdoor play. Those water tables are rough. There is not telling what could happen! 
She did really well on the tricycle. She knows that her feet go on the petals. She is good about keeping them on there while she is moving. But she still needs to build some more strength to push down hard enough to get going without a nudge. 
So Big! 

Morgan got one as well. Of course the Mom's coordinated. Well Aunt Stephaine talked Mommy into getting Morgan one. Unfortunately the Eads genes produce big heads. Morgan's helmet didn't fit. The only reason Lily's fit is because I knew in advance to get her a bigger toddler helmet! 
Wayne and Tanya
Handsome Hubby
It was a great weekend! The girls entertained each other which meant Lily was in a good mood most of the weekend. She has been talking nonstop about everyone this week. 

After this weekend I am sure of one thing. The old saying it takes a village to raise a child is true. It seemed so much easier when everyone was hear. More eyes, more hands, more entertainment. It was nice not being the sole provider for once. It was great seeing Lily interacting with Morgan and Renee. She loves them so much. It was relaxing! This is how people have more than one kid! They have a village of support! Now I just need to get my village to move here. STAT! 


Flawed Life: Terrible Twos vs. Sickyface

>> Thursday, April 08, 2010

I had a rough parenting week. Do you ever have those weeks? The ones where you realize how people can beat their children. Not that I would....but I see how it happens. I thank god every time these days come that I have another, if not better, half to pass Lily off to. I don't know how single parents do it. Yes I have done the step away approach but that doesn't stop the fit that just moves you beyond hands reach. All I can say is I have a whole new respect for single parents.

Everyone has their breaking point and I have been known to have a short fuse. My breaking point with Lily is tantrums. I just can't stand it. Every time she gets into a crying fit I feel my blood pressure boil and my patience shorten. Now if something is wrong there is a biological response that kicks in that turns off my pressure and extends my patience. I don't know what it is! How does nature do it? But crying because I touched her Play-dough box sends me over the edge. AAaggghhh!

I swear the kid had a two hour tantrum a few days ago. How can you scream, kick, fall, hit, and cry for that long? How does she still have a voice? Her eyes were so puffed up she could barely open them. You know what set her off? Applesauce. She wanted applesauce. Seriously? TWO HOURS! HALF A DOZEN TIME OUTS!!! This is why I will be gray before my time.

There has been a lotta bitch slapping in my house this week. All performed by Lily. I feel like a slapping/kicking bag. NOOO! :Slap: NNOOOO! :Kick: Which has led to a lot of time outs.

And naps and bed time? HA! No more setting her down and peacing out.

Mommy/Daddy: It is night night time.
:Kicking, slapping, screaming:

Although she is still sleeping through the night. But where it took us ten minutes to put her down last month it is now at minimum an hour process.

I will say the counting helps me keep my cool. I am very stern and consistent with my counting. 1-2-3 TIME OUT is becoming a frequent phrase in our house. We have transitioned her time out spot to a wall/corning facing stance. Previously we were keeping her in the crib. But as her fits have gotten more dramatic and spirited I don't think the crib will hold up much longer! And she is hiking her leg up on the rail now. So I am starting to question its safeness.

Have we reached the terrible twos? Do I want to even attempt to have another child. Yesterday my answer was hell to the no. Have you lost your mind! No more babies for me.

That is until I got a phone call yesterday from daycare. Lily had a high temperature and I needed to come get her. Wait? Has she been sick all week and I didn't know it? Did I put her in time out because she was sick fussy? Oh crap. There I go being a crappy mom again. Have my Mommy senses failed me? When I got there she was all puppy dogged eyes and snuggly like I was the only one that could make her feel better. Okay maybe we will have one more.....just one. When Lily is 18...okay 30.

I'll give her a break until she starts feeling better. But I am sticking to my story that we have hit the terrible twos. Hey I am going to do what I gotta do to sleep tonight. Where is my sweet angel princess? I want her back STAT! Actually I just want to stop feeling like a horrible Mother since I have zero patience.

Better luck next week I guess. I will write this week off as a FAIL! And I heard the three's are worse! This is why you should have your kids close together. Before you realize what you are getting yourself into.

Disclaimer: No children were beaten during the creation of this post and no applesauce was consumed.


NC Zoo

>> Tuesday, April 06, 2010

On Good Friday we loaded up the car and headed to Asheboro, NC to visit our state zoo. It was a gorgeous day, although at times hinting at a North Carolina summer afternoon. Our family met us from Charlotte and we spent the entire day searching for animals on their huge plains.

NC's Zoo rocks because they give the animals such great places to live. They are not caged in and confined like some of the other zoos I have been to. (i.e. DC Zoo) The elephant and rhino habitat is huge and the giraffe and zebra area is lush with greenery. Overall I don't feel sorry for the animals like have in the past. It looked like a pretty sweet deal to me!

We got an up close and personal look at the elephants! Check out this awesome shot I got.
Most of the animals were out in the morning when we first got there but by lunch time we were really hunting for them in their exhibits. They were sleeping the day away after breakfast.
We found this awesome Rhino that Lily loved.
She is such a ham. I was surprised she wasn't scared but she sat right ontop of this guy with no fear.
We couldn't get Morgan on top of him but she petted him with Daddy.
The girls had fun together. Although I didn't feel like they got a whole lot of time playing together because we had them in their strollers most of the time. But we did find a little egg play area. Just in time for Easter!

Our girls!
Big Man in a little Egg!
These pictures help demonstrate exactly how sunny it was....they were a little over exposed because it was BRIGHT!
We visited the Giaraffe Feeding Deck but they were not close enough to feed. We were fasicanted by our friend Mr. Zebra. Lily wanted to go "play with zebra" and "ride zebra"

Mommy and Lily
Play? ZZZEEEEeeebbbrrrraaaaa play?

The only animal I was sad we didn't see? Penquins! I wanted Lily to Waddle Waddle for them. But they don't have them at this zoo. I know Morgan was upset that the monkey exhibit was closed for renovations. We were going to walk all the way back and see the baboons but  the Tram line was so long so we opted out of another 45 minute walk.

Finally we got on the Carosuel around lunch time. But Lily was exhausted...she literally was about to fall asleep on the ride. But she loved it as usual.
Morgan and Daddy!

The zoo was a lot of fun. But a lot of walking. I lost a few pounds that day. It was something a little different to do. But something you only want to do every couple of years. Basically giving yourself enough time to forget how much walking it really is!