Posts filed under 'Raising a kid'

the pom pom experiment

Life with Asher has been pretty difficult lately. Full of ups and downs and very frustrating. He talks back every time we say anything he slightly disagrees with and its infuriating. I know 3.5 is supposed to be some kind of hell age but he really swings from being the cutest, nicest boy alive to being just plain nasty.

scene 1:

me: Hey Asher can you put your shoes in the bin

Asher: um…no thank you!

me: Asher put your shoes away please

Asher: NO!!!!!!!!!!! screams, stomps his foot, grunts and throws something across the room.

—–

scene 2, waaay after bedtime:

me: Why do you want to sleep on the floor?

Asher: If I want to sleep on my floor, ill sleep on my floor. If I change my mind and want to sleep on my bed I will!

—–

Its been utterly charming to deal with. Its especially funny when he is polite about disagreeing but it drives me nuts. Meanwhile he knows where his shoes go because they have been kept there since the day he got his first pair. Why cant he just put them in the damn blue bucket?

Now he gets a decent amount of discipline. He isn’t allowed to yell at us, talk back, stomp, throw things or even grunt. He immediately gets counted to a time out if he keeps it up. It is VERY CLEAR. it DOESN’T STOP HIM FROM TRYING. Well it does after the first time out. He has so many 2’s lately I can’t even. There has just been so much screaming on both of our parts. And just general talking back is so out of hand he always has to have the last word which is too bad because I also have to have the last word. Or I used to, I don’t really bother with him anymore because ignoring is so much more satisfying. My favorite is that he is so used to saying no that I can be offering him a cookie and he says no out of habit before he even processes what I am saying. I mean, really.

Talking to some of his friends moms I find that this is the case for a lot of them at this point in their development. We all tend to think our kid is the sassiest so its especially nice to see that other kids are exactly the same.  They take turns being little obnoxious mouthpieces but someone always has a story of the day to share where I am constantly like “yup, been there” So all hail mom friends, you can never have too many people to commiserate with.

I’ve been home alone alot with him since September. Picking him up at 245 every day leaves a good 5-6 hrs of bonding time. Matthew usually works at least 1 weekend day plus he has been away the better part of the past 2 weeks. I decided around the time he went away that so many of my conversations with Asher were negative and I was exhausted and kind of sick of hearing myself say the same things over and over again.

No climbing on the table, be patient, lets clean up if we’re finished, yes you do have to take a bath tonight. Get your shoes on or no scooting to school, Please wait your turn. Share the road, stop jumping off the couch, no screaming in stores. Thats 1, Thats 2, Time out.

The thing is, he is really truly lovely so much of the time! He is thoughtful, sweet and always wants to have fun. He randomly gives me hugs and tells me he loves me. I mean, he is too cute!  I know its just a phase and refuse to label him as “difficult” or whatever just because its hard for me to deal with. I really wanted to find a way to change the tone of the house so I made the decision to reward him for all the times he shows good behavior. Sometimes he hangs up his jacket without being told! Yesterday he threw his trash in the can instead of the floor! Those times are rare so I thought if I highlighted them it would remind him to do them more often. One of his favorite things is when we are proud of him so I went for it.

I told him I had a jar, and when he fills up the jar with pom poms he can choose a new train. He was very excited to learn how to earn pom poms! I keep it right on the shelf beside the TV so he remembers what its for and I made it very clear that the following things earn pom poms:

-getting himself dressed or undressed. Also putting dirty clothes in hamper

-hanging up coat and putting away shoes when we get home

-getting into the bath/brushing teeth with no drama

-getting out of the bath with no drama. uh-huh, he is super ridiculous about transitions.

-Leaving the house when its time…he always says “but I JUST have to…”

-good listening when we are outside, especially to/from school

I dunno, basically doing all the things that he is expected to do! I am going to sit with Matthew this weekend and make a list so its even more clear but believe me he gets it. He is smart enough to know the difference between good and bad behavior and I’m trying this experiment as a way to empower him to choose good behavior when he wants to.

He also earns random pom poms for anything I feel like it. I talk to him at the end of the day and we try to think of pom pom worth events together. Like, Matthew rewarded him last week for looking both ways before crossing the path in the park.

I’ll say “You played so nicely with Eva!” or he’ll say “I listened to my teachers in the Big yard!” or “I helped Charlie find a chair” I say things like “Wow, that was really nice, I’m so proud of you!” It makes him feel really good, he usually dances around the room.

Now I know its a form of bribery but isn’t any kind of allowance for chores? He is earning pom poms that will buy him a train. I really feel like if focusing on the good helps remove some of the bad a $10 train at the end of the month is worth it. Now if he starts being TOO good, I’ll have to get rid of those larger sized pom poms from the bag next time around, he figured that one out pretty quick.

3 comments November 30th, 2012

march

Yeah so this has been going on…

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Oops, did I forget to say something?

5 comments November 5th, 2012

for aunt jane

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I’ve been working on dusting off the ol blog this week but its been a week of catch up after so many weeks enveloped in work and travel. Monday I finally finished my work but everything else is so far behind I haven’t even looked through photos from the summer yet.

Asher started full time school which has been amazing but 2:30 comes veeeeeeery quickly when you have work and no other childcare and a husband who gets home at midnight. The good news is that Asher and I are spending lots of time together at the park, playdates and just hanging out.

The bad news is that I can’t seem to accomplish much in the way of housekeeping while he is around.

We head out of town for my brother’s wedding so today is more laundry, packing for everyone, cleaning up the apt and running more last minute errands. All with my little buddy in tow because Matthew is working and my 1 babysitter wasn’t available.

I think I’ll make the most of it.

1 comment September 22nd, 2012

a tale of two sickies

A week ago Monday I took Asher to the pediatrician for his 2.5 year well visit. He was very well! He is 38inches and just under 34 lbs which is around 95% for height and 85% for weight if you are interested in that kind of stuff. He handled the doctor a lot better than last time meaning that instead of screaming on the top of his lungs from the second we walked in the door he waited until it was time to take off his clothes and do the exam to scream and kick and freak the f out.

He survived, I survived but was very sweaty from all the kid wrangling and then after a disastrous loss of his post-doctor lolly we fell while walking back to the car. I was carrying him and took ALL the weight of it in my elbow, knee and ankle. Many lovely people came to our aid and really, we were fine but I was bruised beyond belief and owie my ankle still really hurts.

We got through the week alone fairly well and Friday we headed out to NJ to visit my friend Allison and her family. Asher was great until bedtime then started crying and wouldn’t stop. I chalked it up to missing his nap then he started complaining about his ears and I was all “UH-OH” I gave him some motrin which did the trick but he was up literally 20 times during the night crying and crying and demanding medicine. First thing in the morning I made another pediatrician appt and off we went, I didn’t even get to eat my cinnamon bun! Usually he gets an ear infection after a cold but he never had a cold, it was so odd. The lovely doc looked in his ear and said “yep, that is definitely infected”

I said “oh no, that wasn’t the one he was complaining about”

He had a raging double ear infection. They are more of a use garlic drops and sip rose tea kind of place but he has a history with his ears and this is the 2nd infection in 2 months so they are not messing around.

We picked up his prescription and spent the rest of the weekend at home watching Little Einsteins.(pat pat pat pat)

Monday morning I felt a bit…odd so I cancelled an appointment to rest up for my big wisdom teeth removal on Tuesday. By noon I had 99, by 2 I had 101 and by 5pm I had 104. 104! Thankfully Matthew immediately walked in the door after his 15 day trip. I spent Tuesday in bed with a really high fever and went to the doctor Wednesday for a prescription of my own.

Yesterday I was feeling a lot better. My fever was down, my throat was under control with the help of advil and my special hippie throat gargle and I ate a grilled cheese sandwich after 48hrs without food. Then all of a sudden late afternoon I was struck with some other form of illness and developed possibly the worst cold I have ever had. I know its just this disease leaving my body but its awful. I am completely congested from my ears to nose to ENTIRE FACE and hear a weird tinny sound when people talk which is kind of annoying and makes it hard to do things like listen to anything Asher is saying and also watch tv. I thought I was on the road to recovery but now I am back under my blankets feeling like crap again. Luckily I set a season pass for Gilmore Girls, hopefully their voices don’t make me want to rip my ears out.

Asher rallied and was completely fine by Monday and loooves to take his medicine to the point where we are slightly concerned “It taste like strawberry! Like strawberry smooothie!” but then yesterday his eye was all crusty so today he had to stay home from school. Matthew is home this morning (lucky) and it is his turn to take Asher to the doctor to check for pinkeye -which I am sure he has, thank you Dr Google.

I am walking around with a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol because I swear if I get pink eye between now and my new wisdom teeth appointment on Monday IMA BE PISSED.

UPDATE*Asher has pinkeye and his ears are still really bad so the doc switched his meds to a higher potency. That’s 4 prescriptions this week. 3 doctor visits. The pharmacist told Matthew he maybe shouldn’t go home.*

If you want to drop on by with chicken soup or chocolate pudding feel free to leave it on the stoop and ring our bell. I don’t expect anyone to speak to us for a long time.

3 comments February 9th, 2012

a sign of the times

We started teaching Asher the sign for “eat” a couple of months ago and he picked up on it pretty quickly once he realized it got him food. Its been really handy. (ha)

After he mastered that we moved on to “all done” when he finished eating and he’s been using that a lot too.

This week’s project has been “more” and not just for food.

We  try to do it during playtime and while reading books, anything really. He’s catching on but still a little confused as to when he’s supposed to use it. Its thrown a wrench into his basic signing skills but i’m sure in a few days time he’ll pick it up and we can move on.

After about a zillion attempts I caught him on video tonight. Yes, he is signing for food when what he really meant was “I’ve had enough of this here chicken and would like the server to bring out my next course please”

Asher signs during dinner from bhkart on Vimeo.

Eh, close enough. Its a bit of a work in progress but its working! If you watch that video you’ll also get to see some of his smooth dancing skills and the funny way he tries to blow a kiss. From the top of his head.

Trying to decide what to tackle next. Maybe milk or water. If anyone has suggestions i’ll take em.

5 comments August 17th, 2010

use your words

Well surprise, surprise. The lazy man’s way to discipline your child is proven to be a bad idea.

“a new study published in Pediatrics, researchers at Tulane University provide the strongest evidence yet that children’s short-term response to spanking may make them act out more in the long run…The reason for this may be that spanking sets up a loop of bad behavior. Corporal punishment instills fear rather than understanding. Even if children stop tantrums when spanked, that doesn’t mean they get why they shouldn’t have been acting up in the first place. What’s more, spanking sets a bad example, teaching children that aggressive behavior is a solution to their parents’ problems.”

Time Magazine Article

The article is worth a read although honestly, this is not news. Parents spank because it is easier than arguing. It relieves frustration in the moment, and teaches the child nothing except that it is ok to hit someone else when one is frustrated.  We have all seen Supernanny. It can take a parent HOURS to deal with a disobedient child without spanking them. I would think any child is worth the effort it takes to communicate about consequences and personal responsibility at a level they can understand.

Add comment June 27th, 2010

passover #1

and that’s exactly how many photos I took.

passover1

We were invited to the Levi’s again and had a great time. We got there at Asher’s bedtime and the Best First Passover EVER Picture was taken about 90 minutes after that. Take note of the rare blog sighting of “mah sooooother”  trying its best to keep the status quo. About 4 minutes later he completely lost it and was sent to bed. The poor little soother can only do so much in the way of miracles, ya dig?

Hopefully next year he can make it a little longer, at least until the matzo ball soup is served.

(So I can eat his)

Cannonball!

1 comment April 8th, 2010

transitions

ash7mos
Reading this great article about my lactation consultant in the times yesterday was sort of oddly appropriate.

When Asher was 2 weeks old we went to see her in her lovely house not far from here. I wasn’t having problems breastfeeding but I figured it couldn’t hurt to make an appointment, at least she could confirm if what I was doing was right. I mean how would I know?

We were sort of winging it, my boy and me. Matthew tried to help with tips he remembered from the breastfeeding class we took. Asher was gaining weight, and peeing and pooping and in those early days that’s all that matters.

But off we went, because really, what else did we have to do? Asher was my job those first few months and I take my job very seriously.

Apparently we were doing just fine. Imagine that.

We did just fine for a long, long time. He hadn’t had formula until I found out I was going back to work at about 5 months. We just never needed it. He started on 1 bottle a day, upped to 2 when I began going into the office and when I realized I’d be traveling I added yet another bottle so I could save what I pumped in the freezer for my trip.

By early February I only nursed him 2x a day (AM/PM) and over the last few weeks he decided that he’d rather hang out and chat in the evening so that is what we did. Then I was down to just an AM nursing session. Its a pretty sweet schedule compared to the summer.

I spent the entire month of August nursing. Really. Ask anyone who came to visit.

As Asher turns 7 months old today he has also decided to stop nursing. He is done.

Its not even a supply issue, he just has no interest. It started back in December, or really earlier. He always disliked nursing because he would much rather face the world than the underside of my shirt. From very early on I pumped like a madman so he could have a few bottles a day. I guess you can say we both felt equal indifference to the mother/son bonding opportunity.

I went away for a few days and when I returned last week he acted like I was crazy, what was I doing? Where is his bottle!?

Of course I could have forced the issue, and if I was home with him I’m sure it would have been prolonged a bit but that’s not how it played out.

Am I OK with it?

That’s what everyone wants to know.

Yes. I am. It was his decision and it is nice not to have to worry about weaning.

It is nice not to have to worry about my boobs.

It is nice to have a bit more free time together to laugh, play, cuddle and kiss.

I am just maybe the tiniest bit sad that he isn’t getting the breastmilk anymore, since I really believe in its benefits. I was hoping to have at least 1 of his feedings be milk for the next few months.

It reminds me how little say I actually have in his choices. Its a reality check for sure. A good one.

He has his own thoughts and ideas.

I am just his mom.

ash7mos2

3 comments February 23rd, 2010

first time for everything

Me blogging this year?

Not really.

2010 has consisted of:
1-all of us being sick at once. then again (matthew) and again (poor matthew)
2-me going back to work (at an office!)
3-figuring out childcare (still working on it)
4-falling asleep at 830pm (me, not Asher)

and that’s pretty much it.

We fed Asher his first taste of solids today. I recorded it for your viewing pleasure.

Asher eats rice cereal from bhkart on Vimeo.

6 comments January 17th, 2010

werque

When I found out I was pregnant I had originally toyed with the idea of taking a year off work to hang out with Asher and started saving money to do that. Since I am a freelancer my income when I don’t work is approximately $0. Bank Holidays = $0, Vacations =$0, and Maternity leave = ZEEEEERO! Due to program scheduling and not being able to travel towards the end I stopped working waaaaay back in April of last year which was pretty freakin awesome since I was hella pregnant and we were moving in May. Asher was born in July and I mentally changed my start date up to the spring thinking thats still so much time, and an entire year off work. No big deal. Then Matthew was more or less off for 3 months this summer with a freelancer income of yes, you guessed it…exactly $0 and I thought hmm, maybe I should look for work after Christmas, since we like to eat and stuff.

That’s the plan. I am very comfortable with it. As recent as a few weeks ago I had been telling anyone who asked that I’m taking off until after Christmas and then I’ll start making calls, update my resume, etc. When I get a job I get a job and there you go. In the meantime I’ve been deciding what goofy baby class we’re going to sign up for – and I re-upped my work out baby sessions for January and February.

I got a call last week out of the blue for work. Didn’t even have to send a single email. The best part is that its with a place I’ve never worked with before which is exciting and meets one of my 2010 goals AND ITS STILL 2009. Did I mention the part where I didn’t even have to stop watching Oprah during naps and concentrate on updating my resume. Its pretty sweet.

Unfortunately the job starts Jan4. ACK! That is so soon. I decided it’s ok, its only a month sooner and I’ll just take it. Then after thinking about it I got really overwhelmed at getting everything together with Matthew away (he was in denver for 2 weeks) So I wouldn’t take it because I can’t imagine finding a nanny so quickly on top off all the other things I’d have to do to prepare to go back to work after 8 months and it was Just Too Hard. Then I’d only take it if I could work from home since I won’t have to buy work clothes that fit or worry too much about nursing. Then I agreed to meet the producer to see if he actually wanted to hire me.

What? I just like to have it all planned. Plus Asher is sleeping a bit better and I am running out of things to obsessively worry about.

I met with the Producer last week and sort of decided to take it. Its NOT working from home but its a bit flexible with my work hours in case I need to leave to meet the nanny or go to an appointment. I may/may not have to travel but we can figure that out.

We also decided to wait on the nanny until after we get back from Vancouver. Matthew doesn’t have anything booked the first week of January so we have a little extra time, plus we’d rather do it together.

In the meantime I’m still waiting for confirmation on the project – they sent me vendor paperwork (good) but I don’t have a start date (not so good) and we haven’t agreed on a rate (blergh)

Since I wasn’t planning on going back so early I can sort of take it or leave it. I’d definitely rather not work but its only a 6 week job and then I’m back to hanging out with my best guy.

ashex

1 comment December 20th, 2009

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