Friday, January 28, 2011

To Spank or Not to Spank

In general Daniel and I are on the same page when it comes to parenting - we believe in structure, schedules and consistency. But there is a specific part of the parenting equation we weren't quite in agreement on - discipline. Specifically, the age old question: To Spank, or Not To Spank. It's something my husband and I discussed a great deal before Miss Paige was born, but never really came to a consensus on. As children we were both spanked. And, as far as we're concerned, grew up to be pretty decent people. However, I have no interest in spanking my children. Daniel, on the other hand, thinks it is an effective way to discipline. Up until now, it hasn't really been an issue since Paige didn't get into much purposeful trouble. But once she turned one, we quickly realized Miss Paige had inherited my curiosity and determination, and Daniel's selective hearing (You're husband probably has the mysterious condition of "selective hearing" too... He has no problem hearing his buddies in a crowded football arena with deafening noise levels, but ask him to take out the trash and all of the sudden he can't hear/understand what you are saying...). She understands everything we say, and chooses whether or not it fits into her action plan. If I say, "Paige! Do you want a cracker and milk?", she'll crawl right into the kitchen and wait by the fridge. If I say, "Paige! Don't touch the TV!", she pretends she doesn't hear me. Or worse yet, she'll turn around, smile, and go right back to putting her sticky little fingers all over the LCD screen and turning it on and off.

One day in particular, she kept going up to the TV, pushing on it (which would make it wobble), and then laughing. No matter how many times we said "No!" and took her away from the TV, she would crawl right back up and do it again. I even tried putting her in a "Time Out" on the stairs (aka: sitting her on the bottom step and holding her there for 30 seconds). She thought it was the funniest thing that ever happened to her. It obviously had no impact. So after a few more times of pushing the TV, Daniel took matter into his own hands... and spanked her. Not hard or anything, but enough that she felt it. And a split second later, she was crying as if she had just gotten a shot. She jumped off Daniel's lap and came over to me for comfort. We both felt TERRIBLE! For the next hour or so, she wouldn't even look at Daniel. And if he happened to catch her eye, she would burst out crying all over again. And however traumatic it was (for both child and parents), she hasn't touched the TV again! And that was about 3 weeks ago. But I still have no interest in spanking.

So I kept on trying my usual methods of "Three Strikes and Your Out!", but it never seemed to have an impact. So one day I was on the phone with my sister - aka Aunt GiGi - and she heard me doing the "1.2.3." thing. And she brought up a good point: Shouldn't you're child listen to you the FIRST time you say "No!"? OMG! It was like the lights had been turned on for me! It's SO true: stopping whatever they are doing shouldn't be optional. They shouldn't have three more times to do something before they stop. Children need to listen the FIRST time, or they need to be disciplined. I'm not sure why no one ever talked about this scenario before, but it has completely changed my life as a parent. Aunt GiGi learned about it at a parenting class she is taking at a local church, based on the book: Growing Kids God's Way by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. Here is link to their website:  There is more that goes into it, of course, so Daniel and I are going to sign up for a class down here. But, in just a week, discipline has taken on a new, consistent and structured plan in our family. Here's how it works with Paige:

If she does some sort of inappropriate behavior (i.e. throwing her food, getting into Lenni's water bowl, climbing the stairs without parental supervision) I immediately say to her ,"Paige, come over here/look at me now." If she didn't come over or respond, I would go to her and tell her, "No. Do not thrown your food." If she did it again, I immediately picked her up, brought her upstairs, and put her in her crib for a "Time Out" (no more sitting with her on the stairs, thank you very much). Then I would leave the room and leave her in there for one minute. Of course she would be screaming her head off and crying bloody murder. After one minute I go into her room, pick her up, give her a hug and a kiss and tell her why she went into Time Out. The first day she went into Time Out 6 times : ) But I stuck with it and the next day, she seemed to absorb the consequences of not stopping an inappropriate behavior when I would say, "No" the first time. Over the last 5 days, she's only gone in Time Out 2 times, and never for the same thing twice.

This may not be the ultimate solution for all families, but it seems to be working wonders for us! It feels good not to constantly be barking "NO" over and over again for the same actions. I feel back in control as a parent. I'll keep you posted, but so far I feel pretty good about this... Wonder if it will work as well once she hits her teenage years? : )

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Few New Skills I've Acquired Along the Way...

Over the past 13 months of Mommyhood, I've managed to expand my repertoire of skills and abilities to include things I've never dreamed of. Some good. Some not so good. But all in the name of being the best mama I can be... So here goes:

  • Master Yogi: One hand on the baby, one hand reaching for the diaper cream that just got flung across the room, one foot keeping the dog away from the dirty diaper that fell on the floor, and hopping up and down on the other foot, trying to keep from peeing myself (because, yet again, I rushed to take care of the baby and forgot about my own needs). The flexibility required to be a mama is unprecedented.
  • Infomercial Aficionado: Ask me about any product advertised late-night and I'll have an opinion on it. Why? Becasue nothing else is on during the 12 am - 4 am shift spent feeding, rocking, pacing, etc. with a newborn baby. The new Pajama Jeans seem pretty fantastic. If I had live plants in my house, I'd definitely have an Aquaglobe. And the Yoshiblade makes me want to chop up some onions - or a soda can, because it can do that too!
  • Forced Narcoleptic: Remember the days when you could freely choose your bedtime? 10:00, 11:00... what did it matter? If you felt like taking a quick nap on a Sunday afternoon, you could! Now, our sleeping schedule is dictated by the human alarm clock you gave birth to. And because of that, we force ourselves to sleep whenever we can... because who knows the next time you'll be able to lay down and close your eyes!?
  • Birdbath Taker: I've become an expert at taking birdbaths... you know, the quick "clean the necessary places" splash down you do in the bathroom sink when there is no time to take a real shower? No time to wait for the shower to heat up... a birdbath can be taken cold, hot, lukewarm. As long as some H2O hits the necessities, you feel like a whole new mama!
  • Psychic: I can now predict the thoughts, movements and needs of every person (or animal) under my roof. Forget multi-tasking... mamas learn to psychic-task - predicting what everyone is going to need/want in the next 12/24/48 hours just to maintain a normal breathing pattern and avoid losing your mind.
  • Human Mapquest: Before jumping in my car, I plot out the exact route to get to where I need to go and back before nap time, lunch time, diaper change time, or complete and total meltdown time. This mental mapping also considers sand traps (i.e. School Zones, Crossing Guards), traffic patterns (i.e. morning/evening rush hour) and most importantly, Natural Disasters - those inevitable happenings that must be avoided at all costs (i.e. The last stop must ALWAYS be picking up the dry cleaning... otherwise the newly pressed shirts and pants and crinkly plastic are too tempting for sticky, grabby fingers).
  • Sun and Moon Gazer: I'm pretty much a budding Galileo. No matter what time of day or night, I know exactly what time it is based on the sun and the moon. If the sun is shining through the front blinds, it's still before 9 a.m. The moon shines in the bedroom window at 3 a.m. So why don't I just look at a clock, you ask? Becasue who has time for that!? Gotta keep it moving...
  • Ventriloquist: Here's how it usually goes...  
Stranger: "Hi cutie! What's your name?"  
Paige: Blank Stare. No smile. Wide eyes.   
Stranger: "You are such a big girl! How old are you?" 
Paige: Blank Stare. No smile. Wide eyes.
Me: (cue high pitched baby voice) "Hi! I'm Paige. I AM a big girl... 13 months old!"
Stranger: Laughs uncomfortably, walks away  
Paige: Waves bye-bye and smiles as soon as the stranger turns her back.    

  • Stealth Bomber: During nap times, I am able to maneuver through the house with the silence of a Drone. Laundry, straightening, cooking - I've mastered doing all as if I were a mime. Guests must learn to do the same... or else. : )
  • Bat Girl: No, not the baseball kind of Bat Girl. But the animal kind. As in the animal who has super sonic hearing. Forget baby monitors... a simple roll, sneeze, whimper from the nursery and I am awaken from a deep sleep. Not much goes on in this house that mama doesn't hear.
I know there must be more... any that I have forgotten? Or maybe just haven't discovered yet? Do tell!

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Up the Prego Fashion Creek Without a Paddle

    I'm really getting frustrated with the lack of reasonably priced, stylish maternity clothes. SERIOUSLY! And as I spent way too long this morning sifting through my closet for something to wear, I got to thinking: why does it feel SO much harder to find cute prego wear this time around? And then I realized... because last time I didn't WEAR maternity clothes (other than jeans and some dresses). Last year's fashion trend in tops was "long." A few extra inches were added to regular tops, which made them PERFECT to wear for maternity purposes. Those few inches added the necessary coverage over any size baby bump. But this year? Everything is CROPPED! NOOOOOOOOOO! I went into American Eagle the other day to pick up some new hoodies (I know what you're thinking - and I know I'm not 15 anymore... but they are just so comfy and cute for under $20!) and after I went through about 5 different styles, holding them up to see if they reached over my baby bump, I finally asked the sales person - "Are these a lot shorter than they used to be?" And she replied in an overly-chipper tone - "Yes! Definitely! The style this year is to wear everything cropped at the waist..." Hmmmm... interesting. I don't mind this style any other time of the year (note: with a longer tank or shirt underneath - def no belly baring going on around here!) but not while I'm PREGO! Can you imagine a prego walking around with the bottom part of her belly exposed? OMG! Pardon me while I go vomit... So anyway, I've pretty much given up on finding regular clothes to fit my prego bod. But that leaves me with a terrible fate - shopping only in the(cue dramatic music)maternity sections. Gross. Sorry, but if I don't wear floral prints, empire waists, shirts that tie into a bow in the back, pastels, bedazzled goofy sayings across my chest (i.e. "Rub My Belly for Good Luck"), tents, tie-dye, head to toe corduroy, denim or velour, etc. while I'm not prego - why in the world would I want to wear them NOW? C'mon people. So back to my standard prego uniform of leggings, Uggs and some stretched out shirts from last time around... so if you see me out and about, please don't judge : )

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    What's Up With Co-Sleeping?

    Lately I've been shocked to hear just how many parents "co-sleep" with their young children and babies. Co-sleeping is when the parents and child/children sleep in the same bed. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with it, I just can't imagine how it could work! Then I realized I have my own co-sleeping situation... with Lenni LuLu, my dog.

    I took this picture yesterday morning. That is my dog - the one and only Lenni LuLu - sleeping soundly on my husband's pillow. It's a daily occurrence. So how exactly did we get in this predicament? It started when I was pregnant with Paige, home on modified bed rest, and spending the majority of my days napping or resting in bed. Lenni decided she would be my nurse and never leave my side. Up until that point, Lenni was not allowed on the bed. Every night she would sleep in her kennel - sleeping in our bed was never even an option. Then, when Paige arrived, we started feeling guilty that Lenni wasn't getting enough attention. So her naps in bed soon turned into nights in the bed with us. And cuddled in a ball at the end of the bed soon turned into wedging herself in between us during the night. And sleeping on top of the covers soon turned into getting under the covers if she was chilly. ANd that soon modified into sleeping with her head on our pillows as soon as one of us would get up. For example - if I get up in the middle of the night to tend to Paige, I come back and my spot in bed is officially taken over by the fur ball. I have to shove her over and squeeze back in. Sometimes she even huffs like I'm inconveniencing her and messing up her sleep. And at these moments, as half my body hangs off the bed and I'm sharing my pillow with a snoring dog, I wonder HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS HAPPEN?!

    And I think maybe that's what happens with parents co-sleeping with their child/children. Maybe not, but I can see it happening. It starts off slow - maybe you feel guilty if you aren't able to spend enough time with them during the day or have a busy week at work - so you let them cuddle in bed with you before they head to bed. And then one night they fall asleep in your bed, so you let them stay. Then, somewhere along the way, your bed becomes "our bed" and the child naturally migrates there every night. As long as everyone is happy with the situation, there is nothing wrong with it in my opinion. A little unconventional, yes. But so is letting your dog sleep in the bed, so I can't judge : )

    Luckily Paige wants nothing to do with our bed. She has slept in it 2 times - both out of pure necessity and she was NOT happy about it. In both instances, our heat wasn't working properly and her bedroom was an icebox. We brought her into our bed, snuggled together under the blankets, and after about an hour of tossing and turning and huffing and puffing (her, not me), she finally dozed off. Paige loves her crib - she reaches for it when she's tired. She likes her own space to stretch out and roll around. The days of her falling asleep in our arms are LOOOOONG over. So I don't think co-sleeping will ever be an issue for us.

    But now.. what do I do about my other bambino? No, not the one in my belly... the furry one that drools on my pillow. I think it's time we start using the old kennel again... sorry, pup!

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Are You a Mama Who Loves to Sing? Read on!

    I LOVE to sing. However, I'm not so good. Like, at all. So this opportunity is not for me : ) But it IS for people like YOU who LOVE to sing, and are GOOD at it! My friends at AVON sent me this info, and it sounds like an awesome opportunity for any aspiring starlets out there... make sure you let me know if you enter so I can link to your video and drum up some votes!! xoxo, Erica

    If you asked ANY mother what her top 5 complaints would be, you would most likely hear something similar to this:

    1) I miss alone time!
    2) I need a vacation!
    3) I don’t feel “pretty” anymore.
    4) We never get out of the house.
    5) Does anyone even hear me?

    If you are woman over 18 with an amazing singing voice, thanks to Avon Voices, your woes can be over.

    Avon Voices is Avon’s first-ever global online singing talent search for women and songwriting competition for men and women. A panel of celebrity judges, including Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Sheila E., Diane Warren and more are on hand, providing singing tips and helping select our finalists.

    And if you are picked as a finalist, you’ll get the chance to TRAVEL (takes care of the vacation) to Hong Kong, Rio de Janiero, Paris, Hollywood, New York or Nashville, plus PHOTO AND VIDEO SHOOTS, a PROFESSIONAL MAKEOVER and coaching (will get you feeling pretty again). The best part is, the winners may get the opportunity record a professionally produced album (the whole world will now hear you).

    It takes 30 seconds. Record a video of you singing 30 seconds of a hit song from the approved list that you can do right from your home. It’s a year-long competition but you only have until February 13, 2011 to submit a 30-second video clip at After all, it might be all you need to become the next big singing sensation!

    Videos of celebrity judges and other information about Avon Voices can be found on our YouTube channel at

    So, if any of you win, can you bring me along for the professional makeover portion? This mama needs some SERIOUS help : ) Gracias!

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Craving Bacon

    Today is the first day I've been able to venture out of the house (via car) since Sunday thanks to the Snowpocalypse that hit Atlanta earlier this week. Since about Wednesday, I've been craving one thing and one thing only: bacon. Yes, bacon. Real bacon. Not turkey or tofacon or any other "healthier" option. All I've wanted is greasy, crispy bacon. In general, bacon is not a regular part of my diet. I don't despise it, but I certainly don't keep it around the house or eat it regularly - maybe once every month or two. So the fact that I craved it - and craved it like a rabid wilder-beast btw - but was unable to get out of the house to get it, made me NUTS! Yesterday my husband ventured into work for the first time this week, and I made him stop on his way home and get me a grilled chicken salad with bacon on it for dinner. It was heaven. But when I was done wolfing it down, I wanted more. But there was no more. So I was back on the hunt, craving bacon with no satisfaction in sight. Today I decided it was time to bust out of the house for the first time in 5 days - not because I was going stir crazy - but because I needed to get my hands on some bacon : ) After our morning naps (our, as in Paige AND I) I loaded her up in the car and took off on my mission. Luckily the roads were pretty much clear of ice, although I don't know if ice could have stopped me at this point. During my morning nap I dreamed about a BLT sandwich... greasy bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo smushed between two toasted slices of white bread. HEAVEN in a sandwich. So I went to Publix, got the supplies, drove home, made my BLT and took my first much anticipated bite. You think I'd cry at the sheer taste of the bacon hitting my mouth, but I had the complete opposite reaction... I spit it out! For some reason, at the moment I finally got what I wanted most in the whole wide world, I had an instant aversion to it! I know! SHOCKING! So I ended up eating a lettuce and tomato sandwich... the bacon went in Lenni's dog bowl... and I think I officially brought a conclusion to my bacon craving. AMEN!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Hello Toilet.. It's Me Again!

    Seriously - the peeing is out of control. Every 30 minutes, off I go to the bathroom. I remember peeing frequently the first time around, but not THIS much! I asked the doctor if it was normal, and of course they said yes. They said it may have something to do with where the placenta attached and the baby could be sitting on my bladder more so than last time. Ay-yi-yi!! A message to my future son: keep it moving you little booger... the uterus is still pretty roomy so there must be another place to settle in : )  But if you do decide to stay in that place, that's ok too.. you are worth it! Just try to give mama a break at night so she can get some sleep. Muchas gracias.

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Trying for a Specific Gender?

    I must start this blog by stating that I would have been equally as excited if I found out I was having another girl. Miss Paige is one of the best things that ever happened to me, and having another little Peanut like her would have been AWESOME! However, I can say now that the results (aka: the ultrasound) are in that we were "trying" for a boy this time around. We had decided early on that we only wanted two children - so either way - boy or girl - this was going to be the last hoorah. So we figured we might as well shoot for a boy so we could have one of each. If we ended up with a girl, I never would have shared this info for fear she would read it one day : )

    I embarked on the journey of "trying for a boy" after a friend of my husband's (who already had two girls) told him he was reading books and researching how to make their third baby a boy. I found this fascinating and figured it was something I should look into. So, during the spring I began my deep and highly scientific research into the subject (and by "deep and highly scientific", I really mean I Googled it). There are a TON of websites on the topic. Here are the "tips" I found useful and worked to implement during our "Schmying to Schmoncieve" process...

    • The Chinese Gender Prediction Calendar:  For every mama I've consulted with on this topic, it seems to be pretty accurate. How? I have no clue. But it seems to work. The only two people I know who it was incorrect for was my Mom (when she was pregnant with me) and my sister (the chart said girl, and she is having a boy). Don't go by the one on either - it is off for some reason and always says the opposite of the other charts. Now, there is some strangeness involved re: actual age vs. Lunar age, and this chart seems to convert it for you:  For example, I'm 27, but my Lunar age is 28. No idea what that means, but I'll go with it... So according to this calendar - - we needed to conceive in July, August, September or October for it to be a boy (going by my actual age) and September or October (going by my Lunar age). I figured we'd shoot for the overlapping months just to make sure. Lucky for us we hit the jackpot in October! : )
    •  The Shettles Method: Is this scientifically accurate? I have NO idea. But it kind of made sense to me, a person who hasn't studied science/biology since high school : ) Here's how the theory goes: Y sperm (male sperm) are faster, but more fragile. X sperm (female sperm) are slower but have greater longevity. SO, to conceive a boy, you must have intercourse as close to ovulation as possible so the egg pops out and the Y sperm are there to meet it. If you try BEFORE ovulation, the Y sperm will die off and only X sperm will be there to meet the egg when it pops out. Again... this sounds kind of hokey, but this Dr. Shettles person claims 90% accuracy. 
    I ultimately think God chooses which little miracle to place inside your belly, but it's fun to think we could have some influence, right? So happy trying! : )

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    IT'S A...

    It's a BOY!!!!! Woo hoo! I was going to come up with some fun and cute way to share the news, but it's just too exciting to wait! : )

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Black, White and Tan: Our Interracial Family

    I honestly don't think about this topic much at all - it's nothing but 100% normal for us. We are an interracial family: I'm white (Caucasian), my husband is black (African-American) and little Paige is tan - a perfect mixture of the two of us! We've never encountered any negativity as a couple due to our "interracial" status... maybe it's because I never think about it. If people are rude to us, it's because they are jerks... I've never really thought about how people would/could react to our family. At Paige's birthday party we made special Angel cupcakes - some had white faces and some had brown faces, and nobody thought anything of it... and that's why I love our friends and family! : ) I figure one day Paige will start asking questions, or maybe some of her friends at school. One of my besties is also in an interracial marriage, and her nephew asked one of the sweetest things to her a while back: "When you and Uncle Billy have a baby, will one arm be black and one arm be white?" Too cute! I can see how the topic can be somewhat confusing to little ones. Which is why I wanted to share an awesome book I found a while back. Paige picked it off her book shelf for me to read tonight, and I just LOVE the way it explains the concept of an interracial family. The book is "Black, White and Tan" by Nicole C. Mullen. I picked it up at a Women of Faith conference I attended while I was prego the first time around... it was written by one of the featured speakers. I searched online and it seems like the book is currectly sold out (BOO!) but here is the link:

    "Black, White and Tan" is narrated by a little girl who is of mixed race. She talks about how her Mom is black, her Dad is white, and each of her brothers are a different shade of tan. Here is a small excerpt:

    We all look a little different,
    But we are the same family.
    We are black, white and tan,
    Like a human rainbow,
    And we love each other very much.

    When God made me,
    He gave me big brown eyes,
    And dark wavy hair.

    He also gave me tan skin.
    It is the color of coffee
    Mixed with cream,
    A shade of honey,
    Kissed by the sun.

    Isn't it adorable?! The illustrations are also great... It's definitely one of Paige's favorites. I definitely recommend it for any parent looking for a good book to teach their children about their own mixed race, or maybe any parent who has a child who is curious about God's family - the human rainbow. : )