25 March 2015

Spring Flowers: Scenes from Our Yard

23 March 2015

Some Things of Late (or My Lack of Luck)

Driving to pick up Shawn in New Orleans after a week of him being gone, a big SUV speeds up behind me as I'm passing another car. It's going so fast - 90+ - that I don't notice it until I am signaling to get over after my pass. I shake my fist at the driver who then pumps his brakes, acting like he will swerve into my lane and run me off the road. I also had a thought he would shoot me if I did catch up with him, so I slowed down. Then he sped up and was off again. I didn't actually see the driver, but what a dick move. And scary. Moral: don't shake your fist at drivers.

On this same trip there is a marsh fire near/on the Bonnet Carre Spillway and there is backedup traffic for 5+ miles in both directions. There is no obstruction on the actual roadway -- completely rubbernecking. So frustrating and added an extra hour to our travel time.

Jane has been sick since Wednesday evening. Her very first tummy bug that has lasted more than a few hours. Fever, vomiting, extreme fatigue, the whole nine yards. She is finally better, but it really put a cramp in our style. We were basically trapped at home for two full days while Shawn was out of town, and then she had to power through while we picked him up. She wouldn't eat so she is all kinds of skinny now, and not in a good way. She started eating almost normally today so I'm sure she'll bounce back. She never stopped drinking water so I didn't fear dehydration. We missed a day of school (so a few hours of Mama time for me), Art in the Park, church, soccer practice, a special family church service with a play, and today's library story time. I've got to find some babysitter I can call for something like that so I could go out and get supplies. Madness!

I am a web servant at church, meaning I work on the website content, social media, sermon videos, weekly email blasts, etc. One thing I do is remind our pastor to write every week, although sometimes there's no inspiration so no letter. I can think of all kinds of topics for HIM to write about, but clearly I can't come up with much for myself, given I haven't written here in more than a month.

A slight positive in my world - the azaleas are blooming and Baton Rouge looks beautiful. My favorites are the light pinks (I'm assuming those are azaleas too). There are flowers everywhere and it's gorgeous. My eyes have been hurting so maybe I have seasonal allergies (which would fit with my luck these days).

Wishing you better luck now and always. (And a little luck for me in the coming weeks too...)

13 February 2015

Preschooler Eye Drop Tip

So, I googled around for advice on ways to make eye drops for preschoolers/toddlers easier. I did find one tip that seems to work:
Have your child lie on his back and shut his eyes as tight as he can. Place one to two drops in the inner corner of each eye. Tell him to relax his eyes. The liquid will seep into the eye without tears or fuss! Wipe off the excess with a clean cloth or tissue.
I've used this with Jane, and she still fights the drops, but it's easier to do (takes fewer hands to hold flailing limbs, pry open eye lids and squeeze the drops in). Thought it was a good one.

There's also this funny post I found on Today's Parent (but it has an ad wall before it will show you the post, just FYI).

12 February 2015

Parenting Wobbles


The refrain when we were at a church leadership retreat meeting on Saturday was overwhelming. Everyone commented on Jane's physical beauty and adorableness.

It's true! She's a precious little moo-hoo who is also very pretty.

But I forget! I know she's beautiful, inside and out, but in the frustrations of life with a "threenager" I can look past her beauty and only feel the frustrations and see her disobedience, defiance and willfulness. Everything feels so hard.

This week she has been sick. Started with a cough on Sunday evening, so I'm guessing she picked up something at church -- passing the peace is NOT my favorite, but especially during cold and flu season. (But partly my fault because I didn't get the hand sanitizer on her hands or make her wash her hands before we took her to the nursery/Sunday school -- I would think they would wash their hands in Sunday school before a snack, but they do not.)

The cough progressed and added a runny nose and leaky eye, which is usually her first symptom of a cold. No fever though, and still she hasn't had one. She went to school on Tuesday and I got a call to pick her up after a couple hours. Her eye was hurting and the school said she had pink eye. We went to the doctor -- possibly our first (second?) sick visit in her 3+ years. Doctor diagnosed an eye infection (so yes pink eye?) and prescribed drops.

Wrestling a 36 pound preschooler (who is 3 feet, 4 inches tall!) to get a drop in each eye is a really difficult thing. I'm going to attempt my first solo drop placement after lunch. It's going to be impossible, as it's really a struggle even with Shawn helping. Ugh.

She is some better, but still sneezy and coughy and tired. So we decided to have her stay home from school today. It is fine, but I'm so disappointed and sure that it's the wrong decision. She'd be having a better, more engaging time at school. When I called the office to tell them she's staying home the secretary seemed to be trying to talk me into bringing her in, because she isn't contagious re: pink eye once she's started her drops, if that's even what it is. But it was too late (to get her together to go and I'd already texted her teacher and asked a friend to bring her Valentine cards by after school).

Yeah. Jane's missing her first class Valentine party and card exchange. She won't get to make her card box craft or celebrate love with her friends. I'm way more disappointed than she is, and it's definitely FOMO (fear of missing out), which I happened to read about on Mommy Shorts this week. But decision made, we're missing out, etc. I know my regret and unhappiness with the decision will fade (probably by this afternoon even).

I also am missing out on alone time for myself, and next week the school is closed for Mardi Gras, which is pretty much the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Oh, and I'm teetering on the verge of being sick myself -- sore throat and just tired, part of it worry about her and lost sleep from getting up in the night again with her from the coughing.

06 February 2015

TIBTIL: Chi Shampoo & Conditioner

I first saw Chi Infra shampoo at Ross in Danville, but I knew I didn't want to weigh myself down with extra liquids on the flight back no matter how good the deal. I have loved the smell of Chi products for a while, since a couple haircuts ago when the stylist used Chi Iron Guard 44 and I was swept away by the smell. Since I knew I could find a deal on it and I needed new shampoo I thought I'd shop for it locally.

I first tried my Ross here, but they are a real run-down, ramshackle store with no real beauty section. Later I tried TJ Maxx and score, they had the shampoo and conditioner (called Chi Infra Treatment). Unfortunately they only had giant, 32-ounce containers, but they were only a couple dollars more than the much smaller 8-ounce containers you can find at CVS or Target. I was in a snit mood anyway, so I dropped the cash am loving the smell of my hair ever since.

I had been using Trader Joe's tea tree oil shampoo, which was OK but didn't keep my hair clean very long. And my hair does not do well being washed too often. This Chi stuff gives me several days of clean-enough hair and smells fantastic. Have I mentioned I love the crisp, clean smell?! I know it's just chemicals and just as bad for me as a floral or something but my nose knows and I love it. I wish there were a curly product -- like mousse -- so I could have my hair smell great no matter the style.

I also think I would like a Chi perfume. THAT's how much I love this smell.

Amazon affiliate links used throughout.

05 February 2015

it's MARI time

A friend of Shawn's came across this and sent it. She's even wearing purple..

02 February 2015

Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy?

Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or EnemyYour Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy by Louise Bates Ames

I didn't actually write a review on Goodreads, but I'm stealing their formatting for links and the cover image. This book wasn't that helpful, but I was drawn in by the funny title. I was looking at parenting books at the library and saw this one. I am such a frustrated parent much of the time now. It's like I am the tantrum-prone toddler with trouble controlling my emotions (or at least I have my moments, with and without Jane around).

The book was published in 1985 and the advice is funny. There are several sections that talk about Father not understanding -- expecting too much of his children's table manners so better for the 3-year-old to eat supper alone in the kitchen before the family meal. LOLOL.

A running theme is: PUT YOUR CHILD IN NURSERY SCHOOL FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING. They write a lot about how people who are not the child's mother can get better results with a 3-year-old so take advantage of that. Also they say several times to find a local high school girl to babysit. (I don't think that flies now since high school girls are probably overscheduled with after school activities, college prep and dates.)

For us Jane is in preschool a couple mornings a week, and we love it. I was very resistant to it at first, but she's really liked getting to make friends, which is something that I am so bad at. It's also given me a little time to work on projects myself. BUT I also respect the choice to keep kids home for as long as possible (or even home schooled). I have fears of her picking up bad behaviors from other kids, but for us I think that's a trade off we're willing to accept for the socialization aspect (since I'm lacking in that area -- or something like that). She's also learning a lot and having experiences that don't include me, which have to happen eventually, no matter how weird it seems to me.

The book also advises against feeding your kid food dyes, since they've been linked to behavioral changes in kids. They say if you and your kid are reasonably happy with their behavior you don't need to change anything, but if there's "deviant" behavior that you can't figure out look to the diet and eliminate foods with dyes. That's not to blame for Jane's behavior (none of which is deviant, all of which is typical 3-year-old stuff, however much I dislike it in the moment), but I will still do my best to keep food dyes out of her body. (That's another mark against going to school because she's fed crap on a somewhat regular basis ... although they say they're "treats" it doesn't seem so much because it's so regular. I'm especially not happy with the King Cake that will be part of next week's lessons -- green, yellow and purple food dye are the main ingredients in the frosting ... not to mention the sugar, which is another thing we really limit in Jane's diet.)

There's got to be an up-to-date parenting book for preschoolers, and maybe I'll stumble across it or seek it out. (If you have a recommendation, let me know!) For now this was fun enough to read and probably gave me some insight into child development, at least as understood in the 80s (which is when I happened to be a 3-year-old myself, and my mom said it was the worst age!). I'm going to keep on loving my girl and do my best to keep my own emotions in check.