The Family

The Family

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day #27: banned from the gym

    My husband has banned me from the gym for the next two weeks. This is the equivalent of a time-out for my one- year old, or not letting Savannah have fruit snacks for the day (holy cow that is about the worst punishment around here!), or taking away her t.v privileges. This. is. BIG. The reason being, my sweet Luke now has Strep throat! In efforts to get him well and keep him well, all contact with other children has been banned, which includes, but is not limited to, the gym. I must say, I agree too. The boy has had a double ear infection, pink eye, two seizures, Hand Foot and Mouth, and now Strep- all in a 2 month period. Each time he gets better, we return to our normal schedule of the gym, playdates, etc. Not this time though! We are going to try to get him 200% better and healthy! To add to all the fun of staying home, Savannah had her last day of school on Friday, so I now have both of my children home all day with me and nothing.on.the.calendar.nothing. This calls for some big time creativity on my part.
    I just ordered How to Teach your child to Read in twenty Easy Lessons. Yeah right like it's going to be easy. And I can just about swear on my life it will be longer than twenty lessons. Call me crazy. I figure it will give her a leg up before going into real preschool this Fall. So that should occupy a total of 20 minutes every day..... I do have big plans, I just don't know how realistic they are. I tend to get preoccupied with my to-do lists. Laundry, gym, grocery store. Although I stay at home with the kids, I feel like I sometimes don't give them the attention and time they deserve. So the next two weeks I am really going to make an effort to put them first, rather than fitting them in at the end of the day when my energy is dwindling and my patience is low. I mean, I am literally going to put activities on the calendar to do with them everyday. Along with reading, Savannah loves to help me cook. So I think I will have her help me cook dinner every night and master setting the table. These are life skills that she is old enough to accomplish. She also enjoys painting but I rarely let her do it because it is just so dang messy. But heck, I apparently now have all the time in the world, so I'm going to get a cheap shower curtain liner to cover the table and let her have at it.
   As the second child, Luke does not get as much of my time as Savannah did at his age. He has about three hundred books (no I'm not kidding! Thank you grandma for being a book lover!) so I'm thinking this is the week to start sitting down and reading with him daily. He is also starting "preschool" in the Fall, so this is a good opportunity to start working on sitting still and listening to instruction. ha. Like I said, I have BIG plans for my little people! He can start working on his colors too. He loves balls and food, so I'm thinking if we can round up all the balls in this house, we will have every color, and then throw in a bag of Skittles...I'm confident we will have our colors down in no time!
  As for me, I have a few plans for myself too. I want to branch out and try some new recipes, which I rarely do because it takes extra time and effort, both of which I sometimes always lack.  Also, Tyson has been wanting me to get into bike riding (not like the biker shorts, shave my body, crazy kind- just regular get- on- a -bike- and -ride -it kind) an activity the whole family can do together. He has been working on my bike lately and I'm thinking I will get over my bike issues (so, when I was fifteen my parents for some reason thought it would be fun for our whole family to ride bikes in Colorado. in the summer. for 30 miles. And FYI, there are mountains there. Now I know its been 12 years, but the emotional scars left behind are vast), find a bike trailer on Craigslist for the kids, and maybe hit up a bike path this weekend!
   I will have to update my blog to let you know what actually gets accomplished. It might just be that I read to Luke, Savannah paints, and we do some bike riding. But I'll aim high and hope for the best!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day # 26: waking up too early: an epidemic

So I had to get up at 4:30AM to get Chel (my little sister) to the airport for her 6AM flight. I was going to make her take a cab, but I'm not that mean. I got back in bed at 5:20AM, Tyson's alarm went off at 5:45AM. Needless to say, I was awake and was not going back to sleep. So I decided to be productive, do a little bit of cleaning and laundry since I was up and unable to sleep. Well my children just know when I am up, it doesn't seem to matter what time it is or how quiet I am. They can hear me. For a while I was setting my alarm for 6AM, having some down time and coffee before the little people were up; well that lasted all of a week because although Luke typically does not start making noise until 6:45AM he started fussing the minute I swung my legs out of bed to get up. Plus, I have a rule that I do NOT get Luke out of bed until 7AM. It doesn't matter if I am awake, it doesn't matter if he has been making noise for an hour, 7AM is when I go in his room to get him up. Apparently I didn't pass this rule on to Tyson who brought Luke down at 6:20AM this morning- then left for work! I was slightly peeved not so happy about that, he claims he did not know the 7AM rule. Well then Savannah heard us all downstairs and came down at 6:45AM- she's been sleeping until almost 8AM every morning. People, let me call it now, there will be a mandatory nap time today at noon...if we can even make it until then. Honestly, I'm already grumpy and I'm pretty much ready for a nap now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day #25: To have or not to have

  I grew up on shows like Full House and 7th Heaven, the families were big and happy. Now I watch shows like Parenthood and Brothers and Sisters, each boasting big families that eat together, live a few miles apart, and are each other's best friends. I like to imagine myself with this big family one day, lots of kids and in-laws and grand kids....
  So the time has come that if we wanted a third child and if we wanted them to be the same 2.5 years apart as Savannah and Luke, I'd have to get pregnant. Next month. I know, I know, the kids don't all have to be the exact same years apart, but I would like it to be similar and not to have my oldest and youngest too far apart, ya know? Tyson is all for another kid; of course he is! He isn't the one who will be pregnant, or breast feeding, or struggling to lose 40 pounds.again. And I have to admit, having two kids has its perks. I like that we have a boy and a girl, its east to divide and conquer. Tyson and Luke can go to Home Depot while Savannah and I grocery shop.or better yet, go to the mall. The kids are each others playmates, they only have each other, so there is never an odd man out. I can spoil them separately. If I buy Savannah a baby doll, I don't have to get Luke one too. I have two younger sisters and my mom would always say, "I can't buy you that because then I'd have to buy two more just like it for your sisters." Tables at restaurants are made for four, not five. My youngest sister Sam was always stuck in a chair at the end of the booth at restaurants, which I'm pretty sure she is still bitter about. Two kids seems more manageable than three, I feel like I already stay busy enough with two, how would I make time for a third?
   It doesn't help that I have 12 (at least) "friends" (I use quotations because I admit some of these people are FB friends, people I haven't actually spoken to in years) who are having or about to have babies this year! Maybe just MAYBE, I'm having a touch of baby fever?...possibly, especially since Luke will be two in September! However, I do feel like I'm just now getting a little bit of my life back. Babies are hard work! I mean, they are cute, but heck, sleep deprivation, crying, all of it-! Throw in a husband who has an unpredictable work schedule and who deploys regularly, and it's even more tiring. Right now I have two children who sleep through the night, can feed themselves, and who are independently mobile. I just don't know that I am ready to go back again right now, or ever.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day #24: Time flies

   Today I went to Savannah's end of the year parent-teacher conference. What the what? It's already the end of the school year? Her teacher showed me her progress throughout the year: writing her name (or something that resembled her name, there was definitely an S and two upside down v's somewhere in there) her drawing of people (which I love at this age because it was basically a head with arms and legs coming out of it) and her cutting skills. As a mother, I loved hearing her teacher talk about how my child is doing well, learning quickly, following instructions, and always has a smile.  My child isn't a social outcast who tortures small animals, throws tantrums, and pushes her classmates down. Knock on wood. It gives me reassurance that although it may not feel like it ever, I'm doing something right.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day #23: staying calm during an emergency: a mandatory class for the SAHM

   So my little sister is here this week and my parents are coming next week, so I'm enjoying lots of quality family time. It's also a bonus that my sister is a pediatric ICU nurse since Luke, once again, had a fever induced seizure on Tuesday. Luckily, Tyson was with him when it happened, not me. I don't know that I could have handled it again this soon on my own.
   Tyson and Luke had gone to Home Depot on Tuesday while Savannah and I headed out to do some grocery shopping in preparation for the next two weeks of company. Luke had a low fever that morning and I had given him Tylenol. I had even taken him to the Dr. Saturday because I was sure he had another ear infection, but he checked out 100%, in fact, the Dr. said he looked great! We went to ballet class and Chick- fil- a and he had been a little cranky but nothing out of the ordinary. Well, when Tyson looked back in the car seat after they returned from their errand, Luke was seizing. Tyson explains this all to me in a very detached matter-of-fact tone later that night. Once he realized what was happening, he took Luke inside and put him on the rug in the 'safe' position and made sure nothing was blocking his airway and took his pulse. Then he called 9-1-1 and rode with Luke to the children's hospital where Savannah and I met them. So of course, as a woman and mother, at the end of his tale, the only question I had was, "how are you telling me all this in such a calm manner?? How were you acting so rationally as our child was having a S-E-I-Z-U-R-E?". Fine, my tone may have been slightly accusatory. To which he replied, "Micah, I'm trained to be calm in stressful situations and act rationally." Which got me thinking, there should totally be a mandatory class for all mothers that give us the same training! But of course what I told him is that I am his mother and I must love him more because I am a WRECK when things like this happen to me! I could NEVER act so calmly when I think my child is in the grips of death. A little dramatic, I know. I'm just grateful I have a partner who can act rationally and appropriately in tough situations; maybe some of that will eventually rub off on me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day#22: no nap and cranky (Luke, not me. Okay fine, me too.)

  Well, you would think I would be an expert in diagnosing ear infections in my children by now. Savannah had them CONSTANTLY as a baby and ended up with a set of tubes right before turning 2. Luke has had his fair share of ear infections as well, landing us in the ER last summer (yes, I have been to the ER 3 times with this child!). But this kid is a little trickier to diagnose than most. He never runs a fever or has a runny nose. He doesnt lose his appetite. He sleeps through the night. He rarely tugs at his ears.  Instead, he has a hard time napping, but yet will still sleep 13-14 hours at night and he becomes super cranky. And I mean cranky. Like lie down on the floor and A tantrum if you will. But every kid has cranky days. I figure I have bad days, days where I wake up pissed off at the world irritated for no apparent reason and my whole day is just a series of bad events overshadowed by a bad I allow my kids a cranky day every now and then. But his crankiness has lasted 2-3 days, which for Luke, means possible ear infection. Right? Wrong! So adding up the handful of "symptoms", if you can even call them that, I surmised he must have an ear infection, and with the way things go in my house, probably a double ear infection.
  So you must imagine my absolute shock (My mouth was literally hanging wide open) when the Dr. looked in both of his ears and said they look great! I was like, "are you sure? Is there anything else that could be wrong with him??".  I know this sounds bad, but I hate to go to the doctor FOR NO REASON AT ALL! Tyson asked, "Isn't that better than going there and finding out he is sick?". Um, no, it's not. I need a reason for my child's crankiness and inability to not nap longer than an hour. And I need medication. For him. So I basically took my child to the doctor for crankiness. Classic.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day #21: Carrabas fiasco

  Well I ate at Carrabas one time while Tyson was deployed and if you know anything about me at all, you know I LOVE Carrabas. Love. So I suggested we go a few nights ago; I figured a Wednesday at 5pm would be "safe". I realize Carrabas is not a super kid friendly establishment, so I was trying to be there at a time that would not inconvenience all guest surrounding us. But there were a few things I should have considered before we went. A) I have a 20 month old (who I am pretty sure is coming down with yet another ear infection)  B) he napped 40 minutes that day and C) we were at the beach that afternoon, so both kids were already so freaking cranky tired. But no, my craving and NEED for Carrabas overshadowed my mom sense.
  Unfortunately, two elderly couples were seated right behind us, I mean, who else goes to dinner at 5PM, yes, the senior citizens. They glared at Tyson, who was facing them, throughout most of dinner. Good thing I wasn't on the other side of the table because I would have glared right back! Granted, my son was Out.of.control. He even threw a plate on the floor and broke it! The manager looked far less than happy about it. Yes, we were those people. Never again will I judge parents with crazy kids at restaurants. Maybe their kids only napped 40 minutes. Maybe they had an ear infection. Maybe despite  their best efforts to go to dinner at a convenient time was undone by a 20 month old. Or maybe they suck as parents, who knows.
  The only thing good that came out of our trip was we arrived during happy hour, making my Sangria half price. Of course I was chugging it at the end of the meal since I had spent the entire 45 minutes we were there wrestling the plate away from Luke (unsuccessfully), coercing Savannah to take a BITE, just one bite, of pizza, and wishing we had gotten our dinner To Go. Maybe the next two years it would be wise to NOT take my children to non kid friendly places and stick to places like Texas Roadhouse where you are expected to throw things on the floor. My kids would blend right in.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day # 20: An Ice cream maker

   So with my husband being home (and have I said how AMAZING it is to have a spouse who lives in the same country??) we have been on a "staycation" for the past 10 days. I love that I just used the word staycation.  It just so happens I really had nothing on my calendar last week or this week. Well, I think Savannah has a Dr. appointment sometime this week. Or is that next week. Hmm, I should have written that down....anyway, we have really just gotten up everyday, had coffee, then looked at each other and asked, "what do you want to do today?".  We have gone to the gym, the zoo, Busch Gardens, the beach (tomorrow) and a baseball game later this week. Since we finally have beautiful Spring weather here in good ol' Norfolk, VA, we have also played outside almost every afternoon. These are a few of the moments I've really enjoyed in our backyard:

- Luke drinking directly out of the water hose.
-Tyson telling the kids that he hid the sweet gum balls (ya know, those brown prickly balls that fall off trees?) all around the yard and needed the kids to pick them an egg hunt.... but without the candy.
- eating dinner outside.
- rocking in my rocking chair with Tyson.
- Savannah pushing her baby doll stroller down the slide from the fort (which concerns me on many levels)
- Luke pushing Savannah around in his toy truck.

 But I just want to say, I think I would be a better mother if I had an ice cream maker. I mean, for the children of course. Wouldn't that just perfectly complete an afternoon of playing outside (besides a giant glass of wine)- homemade ice cream? I think so.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day #19: The Play date

  Well, I did my good mommy deed of the day. Do I get mommy points for that somewhere?? I arranged a play date for Savannah. Yep, I picked Savannah and her friend up from school. Of course the teachers in carpool line were all very concerned with whether I had an extra car seat. "CHECK HER CAR!! MAKE SURE SHE HAS 2 CAR SEATS!" Um, hello, I drive a mini van, of course I have an extra car seat. They were acting like I was just going to strap her to the roof of the van and drive off. After we got that sorted out, we were off to Chick-fil-a. I mean am I good or am I good? I got them both hopped up on chicken nuggets and chocolate milk (and heck yes we did the french fries too. I mean, is a happy meal really happy when you get a fruit cup. No, absolutely not.) They ate and intermittently played on the germ infested  play ground. Yes, I so let my children play on fast food play grounds. and play grounds at the mall. and bounce houses. People, they are going to get sick no matter what....and in my defense I go through at least a pack of wet ones anti -bacterial hand wipes every time we visit Chick-fil-a or the mall. Or anywhere. I also carry Lysol wipes to go. Yeah, I'm that mom. Anyway, the girls had a blast and I got to sit on the other side of the plate glass windows while drinking my diet coke and reading a People magazine for AN HOUR! This is the closest thing to an official "lunch break" a mom can get. So not only do the girls benefit (I mean, play dates are for the children right?), but I got a caffeine fix and got to catch up on my celebrity gossip. And yes, I do care if Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper have been out on a date. again. Oh, and Gwyneth cooks now. Really? It's okay to be good at just one thing Gwyneth.
   I do have to give props to my husband though. He stayed at home while Luke napped so I could have a Luke-free play date. I mean, don't get me wrong- a 19 month old at any restaurant is a BLAST...but it was nice to just have a pair of 4 year- olds who could eat on their own (without throwing food on the floor), go to the bathroom and wipe themselves unassisted, and who don't yell "no" at me every 5 minutes... apparently shaking his head violently and yelling "no" are currently Luke's favorite things to do right now. Gosh, I don't blame him...I wish I could get away with that some days too.
  But really, do I earn some mommy points for arranging and hosting the play date? I think so.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day # 18: Mother's Day

  Mother's Day started out at the Silengo household with the best gift EVER- my entire family (including myself) slept until 8am! I know, incredible! We then all got dressed and headed to my favorite breakfast place here in Norfolk, The Baker's Crust. Everyone was happy, well I wasn't super happy until I downed my first cup of coffee (note to self: Even when going to breakfast where I will have coffee, I need to take a cup to go with me for the drive to the restaurant and for the wait) and the food was great! Then my husband took us to a local flower shop where he and Savannah picked out some flowers for me. All in all, a wonderful way to start Mother's Day.
   Growing up I didn't really appreciate Mother's Day. Fortunately, my dad knew how important it was to make a big fuss over my mom and now that I am a mother I realize how nice it is to have a special day where I am appreciated for being a mother.
  I spent some time yesterday reflecting on what my mom did for me and just what an amazing woman she is.
- My mother is selfless. Even in the little things, she put us before herself in everything
- She told us she loved us EVERY SINGLE DAY
- She tucked me in until I left for college
- She is my biggest cheerleader
-She used to say she would cut off her own arm if it meant I would avoid hurt in my life. I now fully understand that.
- She used coupons on triple coupon day- while shopping with three kids!
- She never yelled at (until I left the house... we have had a couple of yelling matches since then)
- She home schooled my sisters and I! Now that's love.

  Being a mother is amazing and some days, really hard, but all totally worth it.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day #17: Food, exercise, and my body...Oh my!

    Food, and exercise, and my body...Oh my! I have a love/hate relationship with each of these areas. I think most women do, and for me, it was amplified once I became a mother. Finding the place where I  not only accept, but LOVE my body is a daily challenge that I struggle with. Even after I lost all of my baby weight and then some, I continue to scrutinize myself.

  Food. Let me just say- I love it. I love to cook a good meal, to plan meals, to have dinner parties, heck, I even love to grocery shop (without the two little people, although that is really just a fantasy I have since they are with me ALL THE TIME). I also have a major sweet tooth. Major. If it's in the house and its chocolate, or cake, or involves icing, I'll eat it. Or I'll think about eating it. I confess there are times where I've had to THROW away the temptation so I won't eat it. I know, it's sounds extreme, but I would eat it all until it was gone! I have to force my self to not count every single calorie I put in my mouth every single day. It is okay to let go. It is okay to indulge. It is okay to not feel guilty over every bite. And that is something that goes through my mind EVERY MEAL I EAT.

  Exercise is something my parents forced my sisters and I to make a habit of. We had no choice in the matter; exercise was a daily event, unless we were sick. I am fortunate that I had my parents drill that into my head at a young age because now, it really is second nature to me. I crave it. I start everyday with it and if I don't get my gym time in or a run, I get grouchy. So exercise for me personally is not a struggle, but keeping it in balance is. I cannot let making it to the gym dictate the course of my day. Sick kids, school events, vacation, my husband coming home (!!!)...all of these things interrupt that. And that's okay. My family IS more important than exercising. But I still have to remind myself of that

  My body. Oh, my body is so different than it was before I had children. I used to not obsess over it, I didn't even own a scale. If my pants fit, then I was fine. If they got a little snug, I would start being a little more cautious about what I ate and add an extra 15 minutes of cardio. But I've also experienced the opposite end of the spectrum, stepping on the scale at least 5 times a day. I can say that that behavior was not healthy. I feel like I am an all or nothing kind of girl, balance- especially in this area- is difficult.

 Having a healthy relationship with food and exercise is important, especially when you have children, and especially when you have girls. I want to be a good example for Savannah. I don't want her to have food issues or body issues. But I have to remember what my body has achieved. I have carried two children and for that I appreciate my body. All of this being said, having a healthy outlook when it comes to food, exercise, and your body will make you a better mom. You can stop obsessing over it all and focus on others rather than yourself, which is what being a mom is all about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day #16: My better half

  Well, after six LONG months ( and I mean l-o-n-g), my husband is home! We are in the honey moon phase again, which is a challenge with two kids hanging around.... But the kids have taken to Tyson quickly and Luke seems to remember who he is, which is a relief. Luke was a little unsure at first, seeing his dad in 3D rather than on Skype was confusing, but within half an hour he was his father's shadow. He now prefers Tyson over me, which I love (less diaper changing for me)! Everyone is settling in beautifully and we have Tyson all to ourselves for the next two weeks before he returns to work.
   The next couple of months present new challenges. When your husband has been gone for six months, theres at least a month of an adjustment period, if not more. Life doesn't stop when they are gone, so picking up where you left off is not an option because it's just not possible. Tyson has been on his own for six months and I have been here with the kids doing everything on my own for six months. There are  things that we both have to relearn like- sharing a bed, making coffee for two, parenting together, watching t.v. shows we can both tolerate (no more Desperate Housewives and HGTV)....but it's all worth it because he makes me a better mom, he calms me down when I get wound up,  he listens to me. Simply put, he is my better half.
    I would rather be left here with our kids than leaving my family for six months. In the end, Tyson had it the hardest. Although the next month or two may be bumpy, it'll be a great ride.