Sunday, January 19, 2014

Last Days of Diapers

My final days of using diapers are almost here! I think...
My three year old son (L'il Chicken Hawk), my last baby, is almost completely potty trained. We've cloth diapered him from day one except for Pull Ups when he started preschool (cloth diapers prohibited). I'm psyched to have saved substantial dough these past three years. But I just want to be DONE completely.

The more we keep him bare buns, the better he does. The Pull Ups are a crutch; an expensive crutch. He's got the hang of being dry all day, but the poo poo/#2 is the only thing holding him back from underwear.

His bowels are inconsistent, frequent and often loose and messy. Not to mention SMELLY. I attempt all forms of motivational persuasion. He does the best when it's his idea on his terms.

Any day now we'll be in Thomas the Train undies...then again, he told me today that he really wants My Little Pony underwear.  Funny little dude!

Wish me luck on quitting diapers forever!

P.S. He just woke up from his nap and subsequently pooped himself. Damn it.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Diagnosis: ADHD/ODD

I've mentioned before how my daughter has been struggling with third grade math concepts and fighting with me doing homework. It's been a headache for all of us to say the least.

She's recently been diagnosed with ADHD with the bonus diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which has made me a little nervous. But it explains a lot of why we've been at our wits end with her the past few years. We've always attributed it to sibling jealousy, immaturity, a phase, etc. I'm not sure it's a serious case of ADHD/ODD, unless I'm in denial, but it's still a relief to have a diagnosis.

My older brother was a similar menace when I was growing up, so that's why I'm extra annoyed and frightened by the diagnosis. He's had a tough life of delinquency, crime, anti-social behavior, alcohol/drugs, homelessness, etc. He's a wreck; a 'man child'. I don't want that for my daughter.

So I'm being proactive and found her a tutor, a counselor and started to get an IEP (individualized education plan). I've got her in karate, soccer, guitar and Adventure Guides. We've adjusted her diet and working on teacher her calming/focusing/organizational skills. I'm trying to be more positive and empathetic. She won't be taking prescription drugs though.

One thing that has helped her is the tablet she got for Christmas to play learning games. She really loves the interactive elements of the math games on the tablet. One of the apps she loves is called 'Nommons: Math Universe' by Yummy Yummy Yummy Inc. - $2.99.  It's only for Apple products, so she uses it on my iPad.

Nommons: Math Universe

Nommons: Math Universe is geared for 6-8 year olds and has fun outer space graphics that would appeal to both boys and girls. They can practice basic math skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and build their own universe and take space ship trips to gather candy.

When I asked my daughter how she liked it, she told me, "I love driving the space ship to get the candy." I think it definitely helps her learn the math concepts that are so boring on paper worksheets from school. I highly recommend downloading some fun, creative math apps if your child struggles with disinterest in math at school and is more of a creative learner.

More about Nommons: Math Universe:
The Nommons are looking for their home and you can help them by rebuilding their spaceship with the power of math! Kids learn addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division solving math problems to fix the ship. After the ship is repaired, you can fly through the universe by swiping the screen. Look for yummy candy pieces and watch out for silly enemies like Potato Unicorns while helping the Nommons find their home.

Candy pieces can be used to get items to create your very own universe. Change the graphics from the Milkshake Way to a Dinosaur World or switch enemies like Astro Bear to Ninja Cookie. There are over 1 trillion worlds to create in Nommons: Math Universe and no in-app purchases.
Disclaimer: I was given a free trial of Nommons: Math Universe in exchange for a review. All opinions and feedback are authentic.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 Word of the Year: Play

I'm a proud member of the blogging community, SoCal Lady Bloggers, and one of the fun writing prompts at the beginning of this new year was to come up with a 'Word of the Year' to motivate us.

Some of our blogger's word of the year words were:

Read more blogger's words at SoCal Lady Bloggers.
Amazon Affliliate Link

My 2014 word of the year is PLAY. I like the word play because I've got the work, goals, project management, task-oriented aspects of life down pat. What I need this year is the reminder to stop and smell the roses. To enjoy my children, work, husband, pets, house, etc.

Recreation makes life enjoyable and I need to enjoy life more. I need to stop taking life and work so seriously. To stop taking myself so seriously. I turn 40 this year and I want to (try to) enjoy it.

Some of the fun, playful things we've done lately as a family are: Knott's Berry Farm New Year's Eve, Dana Point Baby Beach, hike at Whiting Ranch, Temecula wine tasting, stroll around O'Neill park and a leisurely bike ride just me and my L'il Chicken Hawk.

I'm in a little bit of a funk lately, so it's a push to get myself motivated and energized. But when I do get out, I end up having a great time. I love the outdoors and nature; it helps ground me.

I'll keep you posted throughout 2014 on the status of my PLAY efforts. I also tweet my occasional recreational fun with the hashtag #SeeMomPlay.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ringing in the New Year at Knott's Berry Farm

We had a wonderful New Year's Eve day at Knott's Berry Farm! So much that we all bought seasons passes for 2014!

Here is my previous post outlining all the special features at the park that day. We chose to spend most of our day watching the performance and avoiding the long ride lines. The shows were very entertaining and holiday themed. Our three kids (and Daddy O and I) had a blast.

Here are some photos from our day. My ultimate  favorite show was the "It's Christmas Snoopy" on ice. I couldn't believe how incredible and talented the skaters were! The kids were amazed by it too. Knott's New Year's Eve was the perfect way to end the Christmas season and the year 2013. We'll be back to enjoy the park very soon!

Review the collective #KnottsNYE celebration posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

#KnottsNYE | Camp Snoopy Theater
#KnottsNYE | Calico Saloon Show
#KnottsNYE | Mystery Lodge Show
#KnottsNYE | Barb, "Working Mom Barbie", resting her aching feet
#KnottsNYE | It's Christmas Snoopy on Ice

Disclaimer: Giga Savvy provided complimentary tickets for us to attend Knott's New Year's Eve. We experienced genuine excitement and fun.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First Day of 2014 and Needing Therapy

Happy New Year!

For the first day of the new year, I'm feeling discouraged at my mom skills, or lack thereof. Try as I might, I can't stop myself from losing my patience and yelling at the kids. Other gems that accompany my anger is sarcasm and mean words towards my children and husband.

I feel like I have Tourette's Syndrome sometimes. It gets worse as the day stretches on. It's probably because I've been off work and at home with them for two weeks and it's taken its toll. In addition, the house is constantly being trashed faster than I can keep up.

The kids' listening skills suck. They won't pick up after themselves. They fight nonstop. Their table manners are nonexistent. When I feel the chaos escalating, and my sense of control slipping, I start freaking out and lashing out. It's completely rude and mean of me. I tell them not bully each other, then I turn around and do the very thing I'm against.

It brings me to tears when they're finally tucked in and drifting off to sleep. I feel like I need help. My husband's participation doesn't count. Both of our combined efforts - with all hands on deck - have been futile. It's like waging a war at the dinner table and bedtime routine every night. We're outnumbered.

Here are some people I wish I could hire: tutor, organizational specialist, therapist (for me and my eldest daughter), cleaning lady and a parenting expert (to teach us how to handle the chaos). I'm actually working on the tutor now and I'm going to make it a priority to find me a therapist ASAP. I need to get a grip.

I am back to work tomorrow. Thank God it's going to be only a two day work week. But then the weekend will bring the same family drama and chaos again. We're having a garage sale this weekend. I'm daydreaming about selling most of their toys and books so we won't have to clean up as much.

Wish me luck at being a more 'perfect mom' in 2014!