Tag Archives: kids

Your life is easier than my life

12 Apr

This attitude is a pet peeve of mine. It annoys the hell out of me when I hear comments like this, whether it’s directed at me or at someone else. That other guy over there has it better because he’s got more money. She’s got it easier than me because she’s so pretty. He’s got a cushy job. She’s only got one kid.

WHATEVER.

Image from believe-toachieve.tumblr.com

EVERYBODY’s life is hard. We all take on as much as we can, and then we take on a little bit more, don’t ask me why. Even if you live the simple life, there’s not enough time in the day to do everything you want to do, and there are always outside demands. We are all struggling to find balance. We are all battling our own particular demons. We’re all fighting to stay on top of the day-to-day stuff. Even the kids. They are busy learning their own hard lessons.

Occasionally, I’ve encountered the opposite, with someone telling me she feels better about her own life because mine is so hard. Particularly when Jade was suffering countless seizures in a day, it was kind of a silver lining to know that some people might appreciate their own blessings a little more. And there are families I feel the same way about, who make me draw my girls a little closer and send up a little prayer of thanks.

I just recently had an epiphany, though.

Although I was doing a good job of reminding myself not to compare my life to anyone else’s, I was still falling into the trap.

Jade has been on the keto diet for over three years now. It’s done amazing things for her. And I am grateful. So grateful! I remember thinking, when we were in the thick of things, “If only we could make the seizures stop, life would be so much better again. Things would be easier again.”

And it’s true. I am so glad we aren’t holding our breaths all the time, waiting for the next seizure to hit. There is a lot of tension gone.

But guess what? Life isn’t easy right now. I have all sorts of new things to worry about these days. Not complaining: that’s just life.

And until this epiphany hit me, if you could read my thoughts, you’d have heard this one a lot, “Things will be so much easier when we can finally be off the keto diet.” In other words, I was looking at my future self and thinking “Her life is easier than my life.”

It’s true. There are things that the diet is preventing us from doing. Like taking Jade to Germany or to Taiwan to visit my family, for example. Or even going on extended road trips because I can’t bear the thought of all the preparation that has to be done in advance.

When keto becomes history in our daily life, I will not be sad to let it go. And life will be easier. In one sense. But I’ll bet there’ll be new things to balance and new challenges to forge through. Because that’s life.

So maybe I need to stop wishing we could be done with the ketogenic diet and just start appreciating, a little bit more, the blessings I have in my life now.

And thank God I am the capable person that I am.

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This is not a post about puke

1 Apr

I think my dad was trying to curse me yesterday, in the first sentence of the comment he left on my post. He remarked that although, yes, I had done a post on pee, and then one about poop, I hadn’t yet done one about puke. So, just to spite him, I am not going to blog about puke.

I will tell you that I went to check on Halia last night before retiring. She was sleeping so sweetly, breathing so gently, tucked under the beautiful quilt my friend Nita made for her. I’ll tell you how I tucked her in a little more securely and leaned in to kiss her on her sweet cheek.

But I certainly won’t tell you how my nostrils filled with the sour smell of vomit, or what my hand encountered in trying to tuck her in. And I won’t mention that this appears to be the third time this week that Halia has thrown up in her sleep. The other two times, I didn’t even discover what had happened until the next day. But I won’t tell you about that.

Nanuq has been doing so much better, too. For a while, I was worried there was something seriously wrong with him, as he was throwing up so frequently. Disgusting, too, since all he eats is raw fish. But after several vet appointments and making some changes to his feeding schedule, he’s been doing really well for several weeks. It’s been such a relief not to haul out the carpet shampooer every day.  (Haha! Like I actually did that every time!)

This week, we ran out of Nanuq’s fish and I tried to get some more, but the place where we get it was closed. So last night I concocted a mixture of rice and tuna (which he has tolerated fine before) and scrambled eggs (an experiment). He ate it up happily. Isn’t that a nice story?

I won’t add any sour notes to that one by telling you just how many puke puddles I found around the house this morning. It was a bit of a treasure hunt for the kids, since Jade found two and Halia found one… but you won’t want to hear about that.

I absolutely refuse to do a post about vomit.

Now please, people, don’t leave any smart-aleck remarks about snot, blood, or other bodily fluids. I think I’ve had enough, both of blogging and not blogging about these things.

The definition of good timing

9 Mar

…when your daughter, who is drinking way more than she ever has in her life (in an effort to prevent kidney stones) crawls into bed with you in the middle of the night and snuggles up, only to wake you an hour later because she peed in your bed.

…and the arm of your pajamas are soaked, so you strip her, and you strip yourself and put everything in the washing machine, and freeze a little as you dig a set of freshly-washed PJs out of the dryer.

…and you head back to the bedroom to check out just how bad your mattress is.

Then you’ll be glad you didn’t get around to changing the sheets on your bed this week. Well, that’s good timing, I guess, you might think to yourself.

Then…

…you wrestle with the heavy mattress, which has just one slightly-damp spot on it, because it really needed to be flipped and rotated, anyway.

…and you wonder where the heck your husband disappeared to as you grunt and sweat to flip the darned thing over.

…then you put fresh sheets on, and while you’re at it, change the pillowcases, too.

…and you trip all over the clothes lying about the floor as you switch from one side of the bed to the other, tucking the fitted sheet under, lining up the flat sheet, noting that it’s taking you a good 10 minutes to get it just right so that the scratchy Hudson’s Bay blanket is encased in the flat sheet so that it won’t grate your face in the night, thinking this would go so much faster if only another adult were around at the moment.

…and you finally, finally, settle back into bed, in those cool, crisp sheets, read the alarm clock (4:55), and switch off the bedside lamp.

Then…

…your husband walks in, having snuggled a very distraught girl back to peaceful sleep in her own bed.

Then you might tell him he missed all the fun of helping you change the sheets on your bed, and doesn’t he have excellent timing?

Pull my, er….

2 Jan

A few years ago, my mother sent us a handful of these fun nutcracker tree ornaments.  I look forward to hanging them on the tree every year. The soldier-shaped nutcracker is such a “Christmas” thing for me, and of course it’s fun for the kids to pull the string and make these little guys dance.

This Christmas, both girls have been obsessed with all things nutcracker, since they both got to watch the local production of “The Nutcracker” ballet. That made me extra excited to hang these guys, knowing how much the kids would enjoy playing with them.

Tree-decorating was somewhat chaotic, with my two girls, their 11-month-old cousin, plus our four-year-old neighbour all in the fray.  But for the adults, it all came to a momentary standstill when Halia pointed at one of the nutcrackers and asked, “Is this his penis?”

She paused, looked at me, grabbed the string, and asked, “Can I pull it?”

The birthday Grinch strikes again (sort of)

25 Jan

Last year, I shared with ya’ll how I’m not really into doing great big birthday parties.

I wasn’t hugely enthusiastic about it this year, either, to be totally honest, but Jade’s been looking forward to her birthday ever since Halia’s in November.  (Hmmm, that happened last year, too, didn’t it?)  Plus, this year, Jade’s excitement level has been heightened by all the birthday parties from her preschool crowd.  There have been three birthday parties since the beginning of December, and the whole preschool has been invited to each of them.  I’ll admit they’ve been fun, and it’s a nice chance to get to know some of the other parents.

Jade had so much fun at the Polarettes Gymnastics gym at the December birthday party that we decided to have her party there, too.  All the kids can just run around and enjoy the equipment and the focus doesn’t have to be on food.  I figured I’d buy a bunch of helium balloons, bring a few trays of food, put together some fairly simple loot bags, and call it good.

But!  At the last birthday party we attended, we discovered that we had booked the gym for an afternoon the day after Diego was going to have his birthday party there.  Argh.  In half a minute, we decided to just go ahead and combine the two parties into one.  Hurrah!  Shared costs, guests who aren’t wondering why they’re going to the same place twice in one weekend, plus cutting down on the volume of gifts because we’re asking boys to bring presents for Diego and girls to bring one for Jade.

Diego’s mom has a couple of older children and so has been doing this birthday party stuff for years.  Plus she is one of those really energetic creative people full of awesome ideas and who owns a crazy art printer and more scrapbooking supplies than you can shake a stick at.  She came up with this great “Let’s Monkey Around” theme using an adorable image of two sock monkeys hugging.  Her “draft” invitation was so cute I nearly died.

(And then part of my brain remembered that once upon a time I loved party planning, too.)

Once we started brainstorming ideas for the loot bag (bananas with monkey-themed banana stickers on them, water bottles with custom labels, magnets, stickers, an activity book, crayons with sock-monkey labels) I decided it would be fun(!) and easy(!) to make monkey masks.

Here’s the thing.  Every party so far has included the parents (because so many have special needs, and they’re really not at the age yet where you just drop the kid off and go) and of course that means the siblings are there, too.  Halia has been given a share in the loot bag loot at every party… So since this is a double party (each family will have some extra people there), I figured we should prepare about 30 loot bags.

Can you see where this is going?

Here’s a visual:

In case math isn’t your strong suit, that there is 36 monkey masks.  These really are incredibly easy to make and they don’t take long, either.

That is, they don’t take long if you’re making just one,or maybe two, like a sane person might do.  But 36 of these suckers takes pretty much an entire bloody day, even after you stayed up until 1:40 a.m. cutting out all the felt pieces the day before.  (Except, of course, that wasn’t really the day before.)  (Thank goodness Diego’s mom and sister helped me cut and glue all the eyebrows.)   (It’s amazing how much faster things go with three people…)

I’ve saved two of these for Jade and Halia, who each picked the colour they wanted.  They were very excited about them.  And then wore them for about 3 minutes each.  *sigh*

But, you know what?  I am looking forward to the party.

And I think the monkeys are, too.

Seeing stars

24 Nov

Last night, our babysitter told me that Halia had been asking for something at bedtime, but she couldn’t figure out what the child wanted.  Since Halia had her cuddly blankie, her special pillow, and her music playing, I couldn’t think of an answer, either.

But I figured it out tonight.

Last week one of us put Halia down for a nap without a diaper.  Well, the chances for in-crib precipitation at this point are about 50-50, and by the end of naptime, the sheets and blankets needed to be washed.  I remade Halia’s bed right at bedtime.  Since I don’t use fabric softener sheets, the crocheted blanket and fleece blankies were as full as static as they could possibly be.

I shook the blankets out as well as I could, but after the lights were off and I was tucking Halia in, there was still a lot of static left.  Have you ever tried making static electricity in the dark?  You see sparks!  There were so many flying electrons in Halia’s blankets, it made for quite a light show.  I didn’t want her to be upset by the stickiness of the static-filled blankets, so I said, “Look!  There are stars in your blankets!”

Well, every night since then she’s been asking for stars.  She’s only recently stopped calling them “winkles” and started saying “DAW!”  (Exclamation point absolutely mandatory.)  By the third or fourth night, of course, there were no sparks left, even when I rubbed the blankets together to try to make some.

“Sorry, Halia,” I told her.  “All the stars fell out.”  But that doesn’t keep her from asking me for them.  And asking Jennifer for them, too.

I guess I should wash her blankets again.

Once upon a potty dreary

7 May

…and, oh yes, I’m weak and weary.

If there’s one thing a mommyblog is supposed to bring up, it’s potty training.  I have brought it up before, but not in a long time.  Because Jade is four.  And no, she’s not yet trained.

I never thought I’d have a non-toilet-trained four-year-old.  I think I bought our first potty just before Jade turned one, for goodness sakes.  But there you have it.

We’ve made intermittent attempts, but they often fizzled out when the successes were so few and far between.  We have enough battles to fight on a daily basis without adding sit-on-the-potty-every-15-to-30-minutes to the list.  And since Jade turned four, whenever I offered, “Hey!  You wanna sit on the potty for a few minutes and we’ll read a story?” she would respond with a heartfelt, “No!” and I wasn’t about to start a war over it.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make Jade a chart and offer her a sticker not only for every potty success, but for every time she sat on the potty.  I didn’t make a big deal out of it; I just thought I’d try it to see if she would stop being so adamant about not sitting on the potty.   And she totally went for it.  She also got to have an extra Care Bear sticker if she actually had a potty success.  We also went out an bought new panties that she was very excited about.  I think she’s accumulated six or seven Care Bears now, so I’ve been pleased and thinking we’re finally on our way.

These last few days, though, there has been a marked lack of enthusiasm.  Several times we’ve had accidents right after she insisted she didn’t have to go or right after she got off the pot.  When I asked her this evening why she didn’t go on the potty when I suggested it, she said, “Because I didn’t want to”.  And when I asked, “But do you like having wet pants?” she said, “Yes.”  Argh.

There’s a load of laundry in the dryer that is made up mostly of her pants.  I don’t know if I have the energy to keep this up.  But she’s four.  I know she has global developmental delays, and all the child-development experts we know tell me not to get stressed out about it and not to put too much pressure on it, it’ll come.  I’m torn between switching to Pull-Ups for a few days to give myself a break and just sucking it up to stay consistent.

The funniest part is that Halia, now almost 18 months, loves it when I let her go diaperless and she loves to sit on the potty (for 20 seconds or so) in imitation of her big sister.  Looks like I might be training two kids this summer.  Oh, the puddles I’ll clean.  But if I can have them both out of diapers by fall, I sure won’t complain about that.

*sigh*