Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm A Mom...I'm Required By LAW To Ask You These Questions

There are certain words you never thought you would use.  Words like potty...but here you are, you're a mom now, and potty has become one of the most frequently used words in your vocabulary.  Along with words you would prefer not to say, you are finding yourself asking some awkward questions.  I ask them all the time, and I don't limit it to my children.  My husband gets asked as well....along with other family members and random friends.  I may even ask an occasional stranger or two, but don't worry - it's OK.  I'm a Mom, I'm required by law to ask these questions.

'Did you wash your hands?'

Oh, how I wish this was a given, but it's not.  I have two step-sons and anytime I hear a flush, you will hear me yelling through the house - 'Did you wash your hands?!'  And more often than not, I will hear little feet run back into the bathroom and the water go on...

'Can you say PLEASE?'

My daughter's vocabulary is expanding daily, and I know for a fact that 'please' is in there.  So, why does she forget to use it from time to time? It's not just 'please', we are also working on 'Thank you' and 'You're Welcome'. 'Excuse Me' on the other hand she has down pat! That's all you hear as she's tearing through the house and occasionally bumping into things - 'Oh...hee hee...Excuse Me!' - and off she goes again.

'Do you need to go potty?'

Because I don't want to be 5 minutes down the road when you decide you have to go...Just as my Mother taught me, and her mother taught I'm teaching you - You always go before you leave the house!

'Did you say Sorry?'

Sometimes a big hug and kiss isn't enough, you're going to have to say the actual words...I don't know why that's so hard for some people...

'Are you hungry?  Are you thirsty?'

It's not that we are trying to love you fat...we are nurturing and caring and want to support healthy growth and energy for running and jumping and playing!  Sometimes little people (and even big people) get too busy having fun to remember that they are hungry or dehydrated, it's our job to make sure that doesn't happen.

So, the next time you sit down to dinner at my house and I ask you if you washed your hands - NO, I'm not YOUR mother ( or a germ-o-phobe ), but I am A mother.  While it may seem bossy and controlling, it's really not.  A mom's main focus is on molding her little people into responsible, productive and independent grown-ups.  We are in constant teaching mode and sometimes it spills over into other areas of our lives and onto other people... .

Friday, April 16, 2010

Birth Control - Fact OR Fiction?!

So, initially I was doing research about the various methods of birth control, but as I was browsing through Planned Parenthood's website, I was rather appalled with my findings. So, rather than focus on the more effective forms of birth control , I thought I would expose some of the myths instead....


I have two cousins who are 11 months doubt, their mother was told breastfeeding was an effective way to prevent pregnancy. Clearly, it was not. As I was glancing at the rankings of the various products and methods Planned Parenthood had listed, I was somewhat stunned to find that breastfeeding was not only on the list, but it was comparable to the birth control pill. Now, I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding, and while it does in fact prevent you from having a period while you are actively nursing your baby, it will NOT necessarily prevent pregnancy. If it did, my doctor ( who knew I was nursing full time) probably wouldn't have handed me a list of forms of birth control that would be compatible with breastfeeding.

Fertility Awareness

My grandmother was a fan....she was also the mother of five. I'm not ruling out the fact that some women can in fact, keep track of their cycles. Personally, I experience ovulating pains on a regular basis....of course that doesn't help me much if I had sex the week before and was relying solely on this method. Sperm can live in your body for up to six days. You can get pregnant for the five days prior to ovulating, the day of and even up to two days after! Add it up ladies...if you want to be sure not to make any mistakes with this method you are giving up sex for at least 13 days..and not any thirteen days, but the thirteen days you are likely to be your horniest - what with your body being in baby making mode and all. If you do decide to have sex, you will be wise to use a back up form of birth control. Really,if you have to do that anyway, why bother with the fertility awareness method at all?!


Ah, the infamous pull out method. Why this made the list at all, is beyond me. I have always considered it more of the birth control urban legend...the myth...the joke. I had a boyfriend who was a fan and I remember the day he mentioned it to me....I laughed and laughed....and laughed some more. All the way to the pharmacy where I picked up my prescription for the pill. Get real, NO man has that much control of their little swimmers and frankly - no man is THAT dependable. Even if they pull out before they shoot out baby makers at full blast, pre-cum ( you know, the opening act nobody comes to see, but it's always there anyway) can actually pick up enough sperm left in the urethra from a previous ejaculation to cause pregnancy. Add to that the possibility of spills..I mean it, anything hits your vagina and your egg is fair game!

Which brings me to my final point. Birth control should be up to you. As much as we would all like to say that it's as much the guy's responsibility ( and really it is), ultimately the consequences of faulty birth control will effect you the most. So, why leave it up to someone else?

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering...jumping up and down after sex- also NOT going to work!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baby Surprise

Finding out that you are pregnant when you weren't planning it can come as quite a shock to the system.  Wondering if you COULD be pregnant when you aren't planning it can be even worse!  Pregnancy came as a big surprise to me.  I remember being in the car, in the passenger seat, and feeling very car sick ( which I never get)  and for no reason whatsoever, it dawned on me - I'm pregnant.  Now, let me back peddle a little here...I had no reason to believe that pregnancy was even a possibility for me, since my husband had had a vasectomy, but there I was.  Woman with baby on board.  Which brings me to my first point.  Never assume it's not possible. 

The only way to be absolutely sure to avoid getting pregnant is abstinence.  No other form of birth control works one hundred percent of the time.  Many are close, but nothing is completely guaranteed.  Birth control pills are great, but only if you take them at the same time every day.  Even then, you've only minimized the risk.  Not too mention, taking additional medicines like antibiotics can completely counter act the pill and the effects you were hoping for. Condoms, forget about it.  I can't even tell you how many condom babies I know...There are so many variables there....did you put it on properly and on time ( right at the start!)?  Did it come off at any point?  Did it break?  A lot can go wrong here. Oh, and my favorite - the pull out method.  Who's still using that one?!  I love when guys insist that they've got you covered...they don't!  There's such a thing as pre-cum and it is just as capable of making a baby....

Now, supposing you had a condom break or even worse, had unprotected sex all together.  Even if you think that you are aware of when you usually ovulate, are you taking into consideration that sperm can actually live inside of you for several days and wait for you to ovulate?!  Didn't think so....

Should you at any point in time become suspicious about what is going on with your body, take the time to pay attention to it.  Have you gotten your period on time?  If not, don't stress.  It is entirely possible that you have freaked yourself out so much that your body is in freeze mode and your period will likely remain a no show until you relax.  However, if you are getting your period, but something still seems off, you need to consider the fact that you can have period like spotting all through out your pregnancy and you don't want to confuse the two. 

So, you have gotten to the point where you are taking a pregnancy test and it comes back negative, but your period still remains out of sight.  It's time to make an appointment with your doc.  Some women will only show up pregnant on a blood test, so no matter how many times you pee on that stick, it is not going to give you an honest answer.  If you peed on the stick and it showed up with a little plus sign in the window - Congratulations - you are going to be a Mommy!

Take a moment, or two...take as long as you want - You've got nine months!  As surreal as it seemed to me to be pregnant, it all became very real and even exciting once I could feel my daughter moving around in my tummy.  It's OK to be scared or even angry, if this wasn't a part of your plan.  Feel whatever you feel and allow yourself to adjust to this situation...and when you're ready - make a new plan!

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Top 5 Favorite Children's Books

Open a book and you open a mind.  If you take the time to read to your children, you can open their minds to so many wonderful things...the possibility of magic and miracles, creative thinking and imaginary play, learning to count and expanding their vocabulary.  Here are some of my  ( and my daughter's) favorite books when it comes to story time in our home....

Alice the Fairy
We love this book.  We read it over and over and OVER again. It's the sweetest little story about a mischievous little girl,who shares her secrets of life as a temporary fairy.  What I love about this book is that it's written from the character's perspective, who in this case is a little girl, much like my little one.  I want my daughter to believe in things like magic wands and magic mirrors...that's part of what makes being a child so special...the ability to BELIEVE.


Pirates Don't Change Diapers

This was the first book my daughter EVER sat still for from beginning to end.  If you are looking for a story that allows you to do fun voices-this is the one! It's actually a sequel in a series, but we had this one first and fell in love.  Even though it may seem like there is a lot of dialogue for a small child to stay focused on, it's such an easy and entertaining read that it was never a problem for us. I had just as much fun reading it to my daughter as she had listening to it.


I See A Monster

I love touch and feel books.  They are such a great way for children to get involved in  the books before they are actually able to read them....sometimes, before they are even completely able to understand them. The sentences are so short and to the point, that I was amazed to find how fast my daughter learned the different words throughout the story, as well as their meaning.  I remember watching my daughter a while back with her book, flipping through the pages and pointing at key parts of the story and saying the words out loud.  It was a proud moment for this mama! 

Five Little Ladybugs

This little book taught my daughter to count!  By the time she was two she was counting to ten and loving it!  Not only can she count, but she can read numbers, too.  In addition to being educational, the colors and art work are great and I love how the little lady bugs are 3d.  If you're not into lady bugs, there are other versions out there...but who doesn't love a little ladybug?!

The Cat In The Hat

OK, this one is a classic and every child should have it!  Well, that's just my humble opinion...but come on - it's 'The Cat In The Hat'!  And as a parent who reads a lot of books over and over again, sometimes with a child who likes to flip the pages before you're ready - there's something to be said for material that is easy to memorize!

I am thrilled that my daughter has a love for books even at this young age.  Few things give my heart more joy, than to watch her run around the living room with her pirate hat on, yelling 'Aargh!';  or when she cries 'hocus pocus' and practices her magic just like Alice the fairy does.  Story time is a time for us to sit together and cuddle up with a good book.  We get to play and use fun voices and giggle as much as we want.  It's not just educational, it's emotional and every parent ought to take the time to do it.  A lot of these books can be read in as little as five or ten minutes...and that could turn into a lifetime love of books and learning.  Think about it...