Monday, June 25, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride

Slowly but surely you inch up the steep incline and just as you're about to admire the view from the top, you plummet to the bottom of the trenches again - right back to where you started from. It happens so quickly that you don't even get a chance to take it all in.

This past weekend we went on our family trip, a time for the three of us to enjoy one another before our life is turned upside down by a fourth addition. The trip was fantastic, I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. We stayed at a cabin in the Wisconsin Dells, which was the perfect setting to relax and still have some activities to entertain ourselves. The beach front offered a great opportunity for Ella to swim in the river and fish (or catch worms) with her dad. We grilled our own meals, enjoyed the nightly bonfire (s'mores) and even fit in a Duck boat tour and water park visit. 

Considering Ella's recent behavior, I had my hesitations for the trip and just prayed that she would be a good little girl...and for the most part, she was. There were no tantrums, she listened and was even appreciative for the trip! We thought that we were in the clear and that just maybe the vacation reminded her that even though we are excited for the addition of our little man, she is still important and our favorite little girl in the world. This would be the top of our roller coaster ride. 

Then we came home and returned to normal life. Her Monday at daycare was terrible, to say the least. She peed her pants FOUR times today, was forced to sit out of some fun activities and struggled at nap time. When I arrived to pick her up, with a smile on her face she proudly said, "Mom, I peed my pants today!" This has become a regular update from her so I wasn't all that surprised, but I thought she had only had one "accident." Then she proceeded to march over to her cubby where she counted out her three separate pairs of wet undies. This would be the point where we're plummeting towards the bottom of the coaster again. 

Our car ride home was in silence, which didn't phase her and when we got home she said, "Ya know what I'm going to do tomorrow? Piss my pants!" So, I guess we're back to inching up the steep incline, once again looking forward to the view from the top and hoping when we finally get there, that it lasts long enough to take in the scenery. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Not So Brief, Brief

I last wrote 9 days ago and at the time had a lot I could have talked about, but instead chose to highlight some of the Super Parents I know. Now less than 10 days later, I feel like I still have one million updates in our life that are worth mentioning, therefore this brief just might not be so...brief.

Ella's life is in full transition; dance ended, swim began and each day that goes by marks one less day where she gets 100% of our attention. With Summer upon us, I wanted to meet with the school district to determine the best course of action for her speech development. Sadly we will not be going back to Phonology Clinic, but will be making changes to our IEP for more one-on-one sessions when the school year resumes. Her behavior issues have seemed to calm a bit, but we still haven't gotten her potty issues under control (not for a lack of trying).
We had our last 3D ultrasound and everything continues to look great, minus the fact that the doctor predicted our not-so-little Will already weighs 5 lbs. 2 oz. Needless to say I am a bit panicked. I met with my OB this week and she says that those predictions can be off by up to 15%. She also said that over the next 7 weeks Will stands to gain another 4 lbs! Even if the prediction is off a bit...where I am going to fit a 9 lb. baby? The poor little man is already so smushed in there that we could barely see his face. His poor nose is going to take some time to adjust once he is finally out.

All this talk has us feeling like we should probably be prepared in case he decides to make his debut a bit earlier than August 9th so we're trying to get the project list wrapped up ASAP. Therefore, we didn't spend our Father's Day weekend relaxing and grilling on the deck. Joe was able to get the crib refinished and set up in the nursery while I finished the tedious paint striping. We are definitely making progress - I ordered his mobile, looked at art to adorn his walls and began to sort through some of his clothes - but we still have a lot to accomplish before he is here.

Before Ella was born we went on a Babymoon to spend some quality time together before 2 became 3 and I wanted to do something similar before 3 became 4. Originally I had wanted to try to go somewhere that required a bit of travel because Ella really wants to fly. Of course time got away from me and that's not really an option now so we are going on our family trip this weekend to the Wisconsin Dells. I wanted something that was relaxing but could still offer plenty of things to entertain us if we felt like it. We rented a cabin at a place Joe and I stayed when we first started dating and I think it's kind of cool to take Ella back there now. I bet back in 2005, neither of us thought that 7 years later we would be going back as husband & wife, with our 3 year-old daughter in tow and our soon to-be-son on the way.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Super Parents

I have said 1,000,000 times before that parenting is hard-but it's probably not enough to get the message across, so here I am again-it's really, really hard!

To make it better, no one ever tells you that you're doing a good job. They have no problem criticizing your decisions but when you're juggling a thousand things at once and trying your best - no one stops you and says, "wow, I think you are a great parent! Keep up the good work."

Lately it seems like I just can't keep up with life and I realize that this is the slowest our life will ever be. Soon we will add another little monster and have one more person to run to daycare, get to doctor appointments and provide for. I try to remind myself that so many other parents are going through the same thing and in most cases dealing with even more. I know a lot of great parents but a few stand out and they should know just how exceptional they are.

My friends Brooke & Shane do so many fun things and provide their two boys with a new adventure almost every weekend. Whether it's Twins games, Badger hockey games and even trips to Disney World - they never make an excuse about why they can't go do something and just do! They drive all over the place with boys in tow. I like the idea of taking Ella somewhere but in the end usually opt to leave her at Grandma's so Joe and I enjoy a trip to ourselves.

(Ella's first Brewer game; attended with Brooke, Shane and their son Cameron ---->)

I graduated high school with a girl who is now a single parent to three beautiful girls. A lot of times she posts her daily schedule on Facebook and I'm always amazed at how she can juggle so many things at one time. Not only does she balance having a full-time job, but she also attends school and still finds a way to go above and beyond for all of her girls. Her recent post talked about working 10 hours, attending one of her girls ball games, tending to their garden, sharing a bowl of ice cream and to top it all off - getting up the next day at 5 a.m. to take them all to the Dairy breakfast before going back to work again. The impressive part is that she ended it with ♥ LML (love my life). I can't imagine having three children at all, let alone trying to raise them primarily on my own and yet she can somehow juggle it all and then say LML. So many others would end that with FML (f*ck my life).

One of our latest parenting challenges is getting Ella prepared for this new addition. Might be a coincidence but I swear everything in her life has spun out of control at the same time. Speech is regressing, potty training is back to square one and tantrums are an hourly occurrence. I think instead of stressing about it I'm going to follow the mottos of the super parents mentioned above - no excuses and live life to the fullest.

Therefore, I'm off to plan our baby moon vacation...with Ella this time!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sh*t My Kid Says

It seems like every single day I have at least one story about Ella that is worth sharing. Everyone always asks if I am writing them down to share with her later on. I do my best to document them all - like this one, but sometimes writing an entire blog post is too much work.

I'm sure you have all heard of the guy who started the Twitter handle @shitmydadsays - where he tweets all the hilarious things his dad says- like one of my faves, "Any idiot can get lucky once. Takes a special idiot to get lucky twice."  His success (3,057,875 followers) led me to claiming @shitmykids says, but that was taken obviously. I thought @shitmymonstersays was more fitting, but that was too long. So I settled on @monstersqotd (quote of the day). I haven't done much with it yet, but yesterdays story has once again inspired me to keep better track of all the crazy things that the little monster comes up with.

As I have mentioned, we have been having some behavior issues with Ella lately - including peeing her pants after being successfully potty trained for about a year. I have tried a lot of different parenting tactics (bribing) in hopes of getting it to stop, but so far haven't had a ton of luck. Everyday when I pick her up from daycare I ask whether or not she had any accidents. If she can make it through the day she gets a treat on the car ride home and a sticker for her reward chart. She was doing great and had stickers marking each day since Sunday.

When I picked her up yesterday and asked the daily question, she hesitated to answer. I felt her bottom and it was damp, but it's always hard to tell if it's pee because they play with water a lot and she has brought home one pair of dirty undies per day due to filling them with wet sand in the sandbox. As disgusting as it may be, the only way to really know is to smell them. (Yep, the life of a mom is pretty darn glamorous!) I asked her again if she had gone potty in her pants and she said, "No." I double checked with her teacher and she confirmed that she hadn't had any problems that day.

Great, right? Wrong. As I went to put her into the carseat her undies were soaked. Not only had she peed her pants, but now she was lying about it too! She didn't get the treat that I had brought for her and I told her that until she told me the truth of what happened in her undies I wasn't going to talk to her. She hates when I don't give her 100% of my attention so I thought I would be able to get her to tell me the truth by withholding conversation.

Wrong again. It did bother her that I was not talking to her but she held out almost two hours of the night not talking to either Joe or myself. Then she wanted to go outside so I told her until she could explain what happened in her undies, she had to stay inside. As much as she loves talking and my friendship - she loves being outside more, so she caved!

I asked once again, "Tell me what happened to your undies. Why were they all wet?" She put her hands up in the air, looked me straight in the eyes and said - "I don't know, maybe I pissed them...."

I was shocked and replied, "Excuse me? What did you say? Where did you learn that? That is a naughty word and we do not say that!" She responded, "I don't know. Sometimes you say that!"

I had to hold back my laughter and while extremely frustrating, she was right. Apparently my promise to not swear isn't going so well.

Hey, did I mention she and Joe started a band....named by her? Check out a sneak peek of Shock & Wally: