Blogging Can Be Like Therapy

A few days ago I received this comment on one of my blogs.

“I stumbled across your blog in a google search last night. I wish I lived in the area of southern highlands as I do live in Las Vegas and would love to join your meetup group. I am 24 with vision of 20/400 when corrected two kids a girl 28 months old and a boy who just turned 6 months a week ago. I wanted to let you know you are an inspiration. I have been considering starting a blog about my disability (septo optic dysplasia) for years now but, can never bring myself to do it. Seeing someone else put themselves out there finally made me break down and do it.”

I myself, have Optic Nerve Atrophy which leaves me with 20/400 vision. I can’t see well enough to drive, I use screen readers on my computer and phone, I read Braille, and it took me about 20 years to come to terms with the fact that my lack of eyesight doesn’t define me. I don’t let it stop me from having a good time. And I especially don’t let it stop me from being a good mom and setting a good example for my children.

I just want to thank everyone who reads my blogs and who have chosen to follow it. I have always enjoyed writing. Back in high school, I won a creative writing contest and have a short story published somewhere. I may not be the best writer out there, and probably don’t put my comas in all the right places, but who cares.

I have to be honest, I used to make fun of bloggers. I thought it was crazy for people to be so open about themselves on the internet to complete strangers. And now I’m one of them.

I suppose some might say that I’m crazy. I suppose some might say that I’m inspirational. I suppose some might not even care.

My blog is for me and anyone who chooses to read it. It is much cheaper to write and reflect on my struggles, challenges, triumphs, and joys of parenthood than it would be to lay on a couch talking to a shrink. I am happy to share my life with you all.

To that person who sent me that comment I say, “Go for it. I wish you the best of luck with your blog. And I hope that we and our children have a chance to meet one day.”

Staying Cool and Keeping Your Cool Through the Terrible Twos

As the temperature in Las Vegas sore to triple digits, so do the intensity levels of the tantrums in our house. It seems like every day is a battle to avoiding the tantrum of the year. Here are a few things I do to stay cool through these hot times of the terrible twos.

1. Pool Play Dates:

My mommy friends and I have started taking the kids to the pool at the M Hotel. There is a large shallow area where the kids can safely splash and us mommies can lounge and catch up. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about taking the kids to a pool without my husband to help keep an eye on the kids, but I really had nothing to worry about with the awesome group of moms that are there who help watch each others’ kids. We bought Marley one of those life jackets that fully surrounds her torso and buckles between the legs so that she can’t slip out, but she refused to where it the first time at the pool. I told her that if she didn’t want to wear her life jacket, she needed to stay right next to me. And that’s exactly what she did. She just happily splashed next to me and her little brother while the other kids ran around in their floaties. The next time at the pool, she agreed to wear her life jacket when she wanted to join me in the deeper area

When it came time for us to leave, everyone there got to witness one of those famous tantrums. Marley made it loud and clear that she didn’t want to get out of the pool. I calmly held her tight between my legs so that she couldn’t throw herself down on the hot cement and forced on a fresh diaper and dry clothes.

I learned my lesson for the next time. About half an hour before it was time to leave, I ordered a bunch of french fries as a distraction. It worked! Marley didn’t even notice that I was changing her out of her bathing suit and into dry clothes. All she cared about was shoveling fries into her mouth. And when the other kids went back into the water, she was still shoveling down fries.

2. Get a Water Table:

When getting to the pool isn’t an option, due to not having a ride or the kids being sick, we go out back and splash in the water table. What’s a water table you ask? It’s a toddler sized table that holds water for the kids to play at. This is a nice clean way to stay cool while our backyard is in mid-remodel and currently looks like a war zone.

3. Extra Long Baths:

The water table is only good for so long. When it’s over 107 degrees out, even splashing in the shade doesn’t help. This is when I let my kids have extra long baths. This also means extra water to clean up on the floor since Jackson has just recently learned to splash and he and his big sister get into splash wars.

4. B Proactive instead of Reactive:

I’ve learned that one of the reasons for the tantrums at this age is because their little brains are growing so fast that they easily get bored. This is why it is especially important to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to the day. It’s not always easy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a lot of work, and exhausting, but it’s worth it if it means getting through the day without a tantrum. Every 20 minutes or so, I bring out a new activity (whether it’s coloring, building blocks, drawing on her chalk board, playing pretend with toys, reading, building forts out of couch pillows and blankets, etc.) She cooks when I cook with her plato. She follows me with her toy vacuum when I vacuum. I have made a preschool-like curriculum where she works on a new letter each day. The key to success is to keep things simple.

5. Mommy Time Outs:

When toddler time out no longer work, it’s time to take a mommy time out. If you’ve never been a stay at home mom, than you truly have no idea how exhausting of a job it is. We don’t get 10 minute breaks. We don’t get lunch breaks. Sometimes, we don’t even get bathroom breaks. That is why taking time for yourself is so important. Your mommy time out can be as simple as putting on a movie for your little one and taking a nice long shower, or making daddy watch the kids for a few hours and getting out of the house.

Two weekends ago was one of those weekends where I needed an extra long mommy time out. Both kids had been sick and throwing up on me all night. The tantrums were on overdrive. We had unexpected house guests. And I had probably slept a total of 4 hours in 3 days. I told my husband, “If I don’t get a few Marley free hours, she might not make it through the weekend in one piece.” I had him drop me off for a mini facial at my own little piece of Heaven, also know as Spa Mio at the M Hotel. I had two lovely hours with just me, myself, and I in a steam room along with a 25 minute cleansing facial. It was the perfect way to recharge my batteries.

So there you have it, just a few ways to staying cool and keeping your cool through those terrible twos.