Posts Tagged ‘crying’

Rookie Mom on Professional Sickness

At first it was scary and troubling, then it became so frequent that it was comical. Now I’m dealing with anguish and frustration and just plain old annoyance. Wes woke up with snotty nose #27894589234 of his life yesterday morning, and it’s turned into a full, blown-out cold today.

Okay, sure, it’s not the flu or RSV or pneumonia, or even a fever. But I’m about to throw in the towel. Not even kidding – we have maybe a week of health before something else sets in. Every. Single. Time. We just finished antibiotics for an ear infection. Before that, conjunctivitis. And since August, we’ve dealt with impetigo, croup, asthma and respiratory complications, other ear infections and a whole slew of snot noses.

This kid never had such a bad immune system until he started being around more kids (and germs) at daycare. I love the social interactions and learning experiences he has, don’t get me wrong. But for real? Please tell me it gets better.

What can I do? This child is a toy chewer and touches his face constantly. I do try to keep his hands clean, but I feel like I’m failing here. There’s nothing worse than witnessing a miserable toddler unable to sleep because he can’t breathe. He hates neb treatments, and don’t expect to wipe his nose or suck out any snot without a fight.

I find myself apologizing to Wes on a regular basis. Dark circles are making a permanent home under his eyes. He doesn’t understand why I have to force nasty liquid down his throat or hold a mask over his face, and he just cries and sobs, making my heart break a little more. I just want to snap my fingers and be a magical mom.

I’m sorry, Wes. I’m pretty sure you will eventually grow out of this stage, but it’s hard right now, and I’m hurting, too.

During conjunctivitis week

During conjunctivitis week

Posted: February 2nd, 2013
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

Note to Self: On Discipline

1.47.27I’ve never really been much of a kid person. I do like kids, but I’m usually awkward around them. I rarely babysat, and I was usually the youngest or surrounded by other kids my age growing up, so I didn’t get much experience. No secret that I didn’t want to be a teacher or lead Sunday school at church. But now that I have a kid of my own, this “new mom” thing is changing into mom-of-a-toddler, and I feel like I’m so unorganized in my thoughts on how to raise one. Yes, most of my friends and people we are around have families with 2 or more kids, so I know there are plenty of helpers out there with loads of advice. This doesn’t quite ease my concern of entering the dreaded “Terrible Twos” or worst yet, the “Terrifying Threes,” however.

Wes is usually a great kid. He’s happy when we’re at home, especially in the morning, and can give our undivided attention. He naps well, he sleeps through the night. He’s eating much better (less throwing of food) and even starting to explore utensils. But we’re starting to see glimpses of near-future tantrums, and I’m already sick and tired of his constant whining and tears. He loves to say “no” back to us, and he grins and giggles when I try to steer him away from danger or stop misbehavior.

He’s not quite 18 months old yet, and I believe he’s much too young to discipline by way of time outs or the like. Yet, I have been pouring over books on what-to-do-when’s for some things to keep in my back pocket. And truly, there are quite a few things I can do in the interim.

  1. Determine if he’s in “Changeling Mode”* or getting sick. It might help make me less upset about said behavior.
  2. When the kid is grounded, I am grounded, too. I should stay close when Wes is in time out to make sure he a) doesn’t sneak away and 2) is assured he isn’t abandoned completely. “You will never be effective disciplining your child if you don’t stop what you’re doing and give the discipline your undivided attention.” So, whether I’m outside the door or sitting directly beside him, I need to put aside time to attend him.
  3. Like the above, when tantrums happen, it’s likely because he’s upset or frustrated and loses control, unable to get a grip (maybe like my mood swings when I was pregnant?!). It’s important for him to realize that I’m his source of security and comfort because, frankly, losing control can be scary. I should remove him from the tantrum location to a private area, and ride it out with him. Hold him close (if he wants) and be silent or gently speak. Then we can resume whatever we were doing when he’s settled.
  4. Let him know that I understand and see that he is upset. Most importantly, let him know that it’s okay to feel whatever he does, and normal, but that we can’t act out on our anger or frustration.
  5. Avoid situations and places that he simply can’t handle. Long days, visits and outings just may have to come another time.
  6. Forget “Mommyspeak.” I think talking to him in the third person is just confusing.
  7. I shouldn’t feel guilty for his misbehavior or guilty for denying him something he wants. Why should I feel bad for trying to be a good parent?
  8. ENCOURAGE him! We already do this because it’s truly the only way to get Wes to repeat good behavior. But I want to remind myself that this is also to show him that we respect and admire him.

In several months, I will probably start implementing the 1-2-3 Magic principles. My fear is that I will need to be more firm that I am comfortable with because he is quite good at testing his boundaries. Sweet, innocent Wesley has a firey, ornery spirit, but he does love encouragement and recognition.

Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Ugghhh, I know this is true, but I’m so easily affected by what others feel from my actions, that I will have to really remind myself of this. After all, I’m not the first parent to ever live, right? You all have made it, so surely I can, too.

*Changeling is an affectionate term used to describe a toddler who is always learning something new. They’re not quite children, but they’re certainly not babies and the world is just frustrating to them. The Wonder Weeks refers to these times as phases.


Curious to know what books I’m reading? I asked my social media friends, and here’s a list thus far:

1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan (I’m reading the “for Christian Parents” edition)
1, 2, 3… the Toddler Years by Irene Van der Zande
The Girlfriends’ Guide to Toddlers by Vicki Iovine
Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

Posted: January 6th, 2013
Categories: Leah
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7 months

Two new (unfortunate) things have developed in the last week and since Wes turned 7 months old.

1) Wes gets overwhelmed. His babysitter has been saying this for a while, but I hadn’t witnessed it until recently. If he is around kids older than him or if there is more than one or two rambunctious children nearby, he becomes super clingy and irritable. Adult company and quiet(er) kids are fine.

2) Scream-crying. Usually this starts when he is hungry and happens to see a bottle (full or empty) within his line of sight. Solid foods, at this point, are useless, and you better shove a bottle in his mouth as soon as physically possible, or else you’ll regret it.

Last night he went to bed as normal. He gets tired soon in the evening and quickly turns into a pumpkin. Thankfully, he can put himself to sleep easily anywhere between 6:30-7:30 p.m., and in this case, he was asleep by 6:15. It worked out well because I had plans to get together with friends for a movie night – I even stayed out way past my usual bedtime, and he was still sound asleep until the scream-crying started at 2 a.m.

Now, he has always woken up 2-3 times each night, but easily falls back asleep with my coaxing or nursing. I went in to do my usual routine, and he settled back down for 5 minutes and began crying again. After 3 more attempts over the next hour, I gave up and brought him into bed with us. This worked for about 40 minutes, but to avoid a lengthy story, we didn’t sleep much.

Guess it’s time to seriously tackle the night waking issue. And those ear plugs that I bought during sleep training will now get used. I am so thankful that he puts himself to sleep at the beginning of the night and has a fairly consistent nap schedule. Here’s hoping this works in our favor and it doesn’t take much to get over this bump in the road.

On a lighter note, check out these adorable photos of Wes at 7 months! He continues to be a happy, pleasant, laid back kid – provided he’s near his mom & dad, food and gets ample sleep. 😛

Posted: February 26th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

4 Chunky Months

When rolls are cute

Just back from our 4-month check up. Our big 19.3 lb boy is still in the 97th percentile for weight, 75th for height and 25th for head circumference. The nurses all chuckle at his beefy legs and belly. Oh, my little monster!

So how’s the sleep coming along, you ask? Meh. We had a good run, but enter birthdays, friend visits and holidays and whadda’ya know – we’re back to (nearly) square one. At least he’s still sleeping IN his crib, but it’s getting harder and harder to get him to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Pediatrician said it’s time to let him get himself to sleep. And yes, that means several nights of crying. Sigh. This goes against all my maternal instincts, but I realize that he needs to learn to self-soothe or we may well be battling this sleep nonsense for years. I bought some earplugs on the way home from the appointment.

I feel a little sorry for our friends who stay with us during the Thanksgiving weekend every year. I guess we’ll all be combating nighttime crying together, which is only appropriate, since they’re Wes’ godparents and all. At least I don’t have to endure it alone, and maybe I’ll get distracted enough not to succumb to crying myself!

Here’s hoping that come Thanksgiving Day, I can be thankful for a sleeping child. I am blessed and grateful for a stinkin’ cute kid, regardless. I mean, how darling are his 4 month photos?

Posted: November 21st, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

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