What A Mommy And Her Dog Have In Common

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Before our daughter was born, it was just me, my husband and our dog Duke. Duke was our first baby. We cuddled him, took him for walks, played ball with him & bought him toys every chance we could.  Life was good for our furry boy. Once our daughter was born, life changed dramatically for all of us. Duke received less attention & got scolded more often. This morning I watched our pup anxiously waiting outside of his little sister’s room. He laid on the floor patiently. His ears would perk up when he heard her stir & he whimpered until I opened the door. Even with all the harassment and abuse she puts him through, he still cannot wait to see her in the morning. He & I have that in common. Even how exhausting or frustrating of an evening I had with her the night before. I still cannot wait to see her face in the morning.

I came to the realization that there are many things that Duke and I actually have in common when it comes to our little monster…

Barking at her: There are days that our pup gets pushed to the limit, you would too if you had someone pulling your tail & trying to stick things in your ears.  Lord knows I try to remain calm & level headed, but even the most patient of mothers or dogs can lose their cool when dealing with a cranky toddler.

Eating her leftovers: Being a mother is like being a human garbage disposal. I have involuntarily been fed a half of a soggy bagel with a sprinkle of snot on it many times. Luckily, Duke does not mind a little bit of snot & drool in his food. I think he actually prefers it.

Sniffing her butt: My dog must get very confused when I scold him. He has watched me do this now for close to 3 years. If only he could help change her diapers.

Playing horsey: Our daughter loves to pretend that she is Sheriff Callie & the good sheriff doesn’t go anywhere without her loyal steed Sparky. I often let her play horsey with mommy. Duke does not so willingly saddle up, but he is a good sport.

Clean up her messes: Spilled milk, smashed banana & random crumbs are just some of the messes that wind up on our floor. Duke has saved me a paper towel many a time. Our methods may be different, but our results are the same.

Overprotective: I took a Facebook quiz recently. It told me that I was a helicopter parent. There was no surprise there. I am extremely over protective of my precious little one. If I am a helicopter mom, then our pup is a helicopter dog. When UPS man comes to the door or if he hears a noise, his first instinct is to run to her side to guard her.

There is one more thing that we have in common, we both love her. No matter what the day brings or how difficult she might have been, we both can’t wait until the next time that we can be with her again.

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Pasta Jack-O-Lantern Craft

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As much as fall is my favorite season, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Halloween is next week & we are looking forward to taking Mai trick or treating. I wanted to let her choose her own costume this year. I asked her several times & her answer has always been the same. “I want to be a Jack-o-lantern, mama.” Our daughter loves pumpkins & Jack-o-lanterns, so next week our daughter will proudly strut the streets as the cutest Jack-o-lantern ever to say “Trick or Treat”.

Until then, we can have a little fun making our Halloween crafts in anticipation.

Pasta Jack-O-Lanterns

You will need:

Jumbo shells (as used for stuffed shells)

Farfalle

Ziti
You will need 1 piece of each of these pastas for each Jack-o-lantern

Orange & green paint

Black Sharpie

Glue gun

Directions:

Paint the jumbo shells orange & the Farfalle & ziti green.

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Let the pieces dry.

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Glue the ziti piece into the shell as shown.

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Glue the Farfalle piece over the ziti.

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With a black sharpie, draw on your Jack-o-lantern face.

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Dr Jekyll & Ms. Hyde

JrJekyll.jpgAt times I think my daughter must have a split personality. It is absolutely puzzling how she can go from laughter and smiles to tears and frenzied fits of tantrums in a matter of seconds. She changes her mind even quicker than she changes her temperament.

“Cheese sandwich is my favorite.”
“No, I don’t like cheese sandwich.”

It is not just her feelings toward the cheese sandwich that are constantly changing. Mommy & the cheese sandwich have a lot in common.

“You are the best mama in the world.”
“I don’t like you, mama.”

What? How could you not like me if I am the best mama in the world? It is difficult not to be confused. Women do change their minds quickly, even the little ones.

The other day daddy had a surprise for her. He brought out a chocolate bar and was going to share it with his little girl. Her face lit up at the sight of the chocolate. My husband broke her off a couple of pieces. The light disappeared from her happy face and her bottom lip began to quiver. Within seconds she quickly began to melt, as did the chocolate she was squeezing in her hand. How could anyone be upset when they are holding chocolate? I tried to talk to her and get to the heart of the problem.
“Mai, tell mommy what is bothering you.”
Silly mommy still thinks she can try to reason with a tantruming 2 year old. Her response was louder screams. After a moment it became apparent what triggered the meltdown. As she grabbed my husband’s mouth and tried to pry it open, it became clear, she didn’t want to share daddy’s chocolate bar she wanted it all to herself. I quietly took a video of her meltdown on my phone and held it out for her to see. “Mai, why is my little girl doing this?” She stopped crying and watched the screen. A big smile came over her face as she brought her chocolate covered hand up to her mouth. As the video ended, she giggled. “Again!” she said laughing and clapping as she pointed to the screen. We have a happy toddler again. Welcome back Dr. Jekyll. Don’t worry Mai. I get upset when I have to share my chocolate too.

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Toddler Cold Remedies

IMG_5614It has been a vicious 4 weeks in our home. The change of season has brought a lot of beauty, fall treats & fun things to do, but it has also brought with it a collection of colds, stomach bugs & other viruses. Let the passing around of illnesses begin. Until I can find a giant bubble on Amazon or matching hazmat suits, it is inevitable that we will continue to get sick as the cooler weather approaches.

This week our daughter was sick for the 3rd time within the past few weeks. She has had a rough run of it & so have mommy and daddy. The difference is we can take medicine to alleviate our symptoms. There are not many options over the counter for a toddler, but there are things that you can do to remedy your young one’s symptoms.

Fluids: Keeping them hydrated is essential. Fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration. Give them water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices.

Rest: Our poor little toddler’s bodies are working so hard when they are sick that they need the extra sleep to get better. Of course as we all know, if a toddler does not want to sleep they won’t. Books, videos and cuddle time are a great way to get them to relax.If you are lucky they will doze off somewhere in between.

Garlic: When I was sick as a child, my father used to make me hold a clove of garlic between my teeth. He said that it had healing properties. Turns out he was right. I am not so sure if holding it between the teeth will work, but eating it certainly will. If your child has an appetite, add a little fresh minced garlic to their meal.

Vapor Rub: Vapor rub is wonderful for clearing a stuffy nose. Do not apply too close to the face. When our daughter caught her first cold I read that you should apply the rub to the feet instead of the chest.  I did it & then tried it on myself the next time I was sick. It worked great. Our daughter loves Vicks. She asks for it even when she is not sick, of course mommy has to say no.

Humidifier: Every home should have one of these. A humidifier can help ease many cold symptoms. Running one while they sleep can help the little one breath better and control coughs.

Honey: Raw honey has a number of health benefits. It can be used on skin ailments & it can be used to help cold symptoms. It is a great alternative to cough syrup. If your child is resistant to take a spoonful like mine is, sneak it into their juice or try a peanut butter & honey sandwich.

Ball Syringe: Have your child blow their nose as much as possible to clear out all of the mucus. Too much mucus can lead to post nasal drip which will irritate their throat more. Teach them not to suck it back in. If they let you, use a ball syringe to clear out the mucus.

Chicken Soup: Every mama’s favorite cold cure is hot chicken soup. Studies have proven that this is not just an old wives tale.

Popsicles: The frozen treats are fun to eat & will help sooth their little sore throats. Try to stick to bars that are 100% fruit juice.

Elevation: There is a reason that your child’s cough & sniffles always seem worse at night. Staying propped up will keep the nasal passages clear.

Don’t forget to give plenty of hugs, kisses & cuddles while your precious little ones heal.

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The Day I Tried To Clean

IMG_4823When we were expecting our daughter, I looked through hundreds of patterns & themes for a little girl’s nursery. I could not wait to decorate her room & make it beautiful. I was so excited to assemble her crib and swing and set up her play areas. When we were finished, everything was perfect. Our house felt complete.

Little did I know that these things would continue to accumulate and that our home would no longer resemble one inhabited by adults. Under a mountain of toys, books & stuffed animals is a floor that was once free of crumbs, dried up Play-doh chunks and puzzle pieces.

I must be honest, since our daughter’s birth I have not kept the tidiest of homes. I lack the time, ambition & energy to do it. I have grown accustomed to the mess, but every once in a while the disorganization makes me crazy. Today was one of those days. My husband & daughter went out for the day, so I thought it was time for a much needed cleaning. I dusted & scrubbed, swept, organized, sprayed & wiped. I sat back to admire my work. How amazing. It has been a long time since I could see the top off my coffee table.

When my family arrived back home, I couldn’t wait to show them our tidy home. My excitement quickly diminished as I watched my home revert back to it’s original cluttered form within moments. Now I remember another reason why I don’t clean. God bless our happy mess.

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