Healthy Family & Home

When Mommy is sick – what happens in your house?

Moms run the universe, and everyone finds this out when Mom gets sick. At least in our house they do. How about in yours?

What happens in your house when Mommy is sick?

  1. Not much differently – she takes whatever medicine she can and ploughs through it all in a fog.
  2. The babysitter and a maid are called in (otherwise known as grandparents and willing friends to some) while Mom gets much needed rest.
  3. Daddy takes over and most things happen as they need to (well, except for the massive cleanup required upon Mom’s recovery).

I found out that ours is a Type C household recently.

I came down with a stomach virus that knocked me off my feet for about 36 hours. I almost never get sick, THAT kind of sick, so I was pleased, grateful – and also vaguely unaware (at the time) of just what a great job my husband did taking care of the kids.

He did exactly what was needed to keep the kids safe and happy – all I could have asked for.

When Daddy takes over                                                                

My husband is not the sort of guy who comes home from work, juggles two whining kids, cooks dinner and ushers in bath and bedtime all by himself normally. (I know they're out there!)

While he has strategies for when he has to care for both at the same time, he’s never done it for more than two or three hours at a time – and usually one is sleeping.

I spent the entire Sunday in bed, delirious and shivering under mounds of blankets. My husband scrounged leftovers from the fridge for lunch, ordered dinner out for a special treat, and made sure he and the kids ate well. He had them bathed and in bed on time. There were few tears throughout the day, and both kids had a bit of mommy cuddling time – but not too much.

I was impressed.

Granted, when I woke up nearly normal the next day, the house was in complete disarray and laundry had piled up. (I’m sure the babysitter and maid would have made an appearance had I been sick for a week.) But all in all, I was just so happy to have been able to get the rest I needed to kick that stomach bug without the stress of worrying about the kids, too.

So, do tell. What happens in your house when Mommy is knocked out?

Healthy Family & Home

One year later – what it’s like having two kids now

As I planned for the arrival of our second child, I polled other parents I knew to glean advice from those who had experience parenting more than one child (here’s their advice Part 1 and Part 2).

Then I wrote about how it was going for us after several months, and recently I jotted down all the best parts of having two.

As a parent yourself, you know nothing ever stays constant with children. They are always changing, growing, developing. So now that Nik is 15 months and Rohan is four, the dynamics are different yet again.

Here’s what’s going on with our family now

The preschooler tries to keep the toddler in check

My four-year-old son is constantly yelling “No!” to the one-year-old. Now that Nik can walk, he gets into everything, and Rohan feels it’s his duty to police him. It actually seems to bother the older brother when the little guy puts something into his mouth he’s not supposed to or does something he knows I wouldn’t approve of.

But I’m much more relaxed about things

Food flung from the high chair, books pulled off the shelves, magnetic toys slammed off the fridge door – I don’t mind any of it now. I just pick it up when I get a chance later, or even better, get Nik’s help to “put it back”. (I figure my anal retentive obsession with keeping everything tidy when son #1 was little may be the reason for the issue we’re having above.)

They play together more now

There are moments every day when the two siblings get along great and do something together. It might be just making the same noises and laughing at each other, or it might be a silly game where we turn the kitchen into a bowling alley while I’m cooking. Rohan surely loved being with his brother when he was a baby, but now that he’s older they come closer to really playing together.

The preschooler has lost his interest in sharing toys

This one has me baffled. The four-year-old never had a problem sharing until recently. Now he doesn’t want Nik to have anything, even going so far as to snatch things from him.

Big child is in preschool = easier days for Mommy

Rohan goes to school 9-2:30 Monday to Friday, so I get alone time with Nik. I try to balance special time with him and errands, so he can benefit from my full attention to help his reading, potty training and his general feeling of being important. Until we had this time together, I always felt he was being short-changed in his Mommy-time.

Still a challenge to spend special time with older child

I have a couple hours with both kids until Daddy gets home, and that’s usually when I cook dinner. It’s a challenging time, and I always wish I could find a way to really connect with Rohan after school before we start down that stretch of time. Still working on this…

 How about you? Do you have it down or are there still areas you’re challenged with while raising two kids?

Managing Your Time

When your day goes awry

Oops, upset Mommy's plans again! Oh well, that's life...It seems that nothing ever really goes as planned anymore, at least since I started having babies just over four years ago.

I imagine it’s hard for non-parent friends to understand. But the smallest member of the household winds up dictating what we do most days. Plans often don’t come to fruition – at least in the manner and timing we initially plan.

Take today for instance.

Our latest visitors had just left yesterday (our family is all from different places, so we have many long-term guests) and we were looking forward to getting back to our usual weekend activities.

My husband was golfing in the morning, so we planned to go to the park and then out for dinner after the baby’s naptime.

It only took one little thing to throw it all off.

My baby pooped during his naptime. And I didn’t know it.

I pulled off his training pants while he was still lying down to take him to pee, as he is normally waiting to go. But lo and behold, a nasty, smushed up poop greeted me – and promptly became part of the duvet cover. (He sleeps in our bed!!)

If you use a comforter with a cover, you know how hard it can be to change those things. I knew instantly with the cleanup I was facing that there would be no park today.

Luckily dad stepped in and played with the kids in our yard for an hour while I stripped the bed, dunked poopy pants in the toilet, ran laundry, spot washed the comforter (because the smell had penetrated the cover in that spot!) and finally got my shower for the day – the only part that had been planned.

Oh, and I was cooking dinner for the baby to take out, too, in case he couldn’t eat anything at the restaurant. (Last time that happened, it resulted in baby trying to pick a food fight with anyone else who looked his way. Wait staff were not impressed by his throwing abilities though clearly advanced for such a tender age.)

So, long story short, the kids had a great day, we made it to the restaurant and everyone ate, and I’ve got a cozy, extra-clean bed waiting for me tonight. Not part of the plan, but somehow it all turned out just fine.

What about you? Does your day go awry often? Or am I perhaps particularly disorganized?

Hats & Designs

What causes static electricity when you take your hat off?

two poms striped girls hatIt’s winter – which means it’s prime time for hair that stands on end when hats come off.

Of course the static doesn’t last long and hair gets right back to normal. But did you ever wonder exactly what’s happening to cause hair to do that?

Your beanie hat, your hair, and the science of matter gives a great explanation for static, especially helpful if you want to teach your little boy or girl why hair stands up all funny after taking a hat off. Here’s the gist boiled down for you.

You probably remember from science class that everything around us is made up of atoms. Inside atoms are protons, electrons and neutrons.  Protons have a positive charge and electrons are negative (neutrons have no charge).

Your hat or hair has no charge when the number of positive and negative charges in its atoms are equal. In this case, there’s no static happening.

But when two things rub together, some electrons move from one item to the other. This changes the balance, and one item can end up with more or less electrons.

Now, remember that opposites attract, and like charges repel.

When your hat rubs on your hair, your hair gives up electrons to your hat, so each of your hairs has the same positive charge. Each hair is repelling the others, trying to move as far apart from each other as possible. Thus, they stand up and separate, leaving your son or daughter looking like a little prickly porcupine.

Why do you notice static more in the winter?

Yes, you probably wear a hat more in the winter, so that’s one reason. But it also has to do with the air. In the winter, the air is typically drier, and the charge from the electrons can stick around more. When the air is humid, the electrons will dissipate more quickly, so you don’t notice the static as much.

Other times you get static electricity:

  • When you scuff your feet across the carpet and then touch the doorknob
  • As you come down the slide at the playground (this is my favorite – I love seeing the kids reach the bottom with a fluffy porcupine hairstyle, completely different from how it looked on the way up!)
  • Try rubbing a balloon on your hair and then sticking it on the wall
  • And of course laundry all stuck together when you take it out of the dryer

Try explaining static electricity to your preschooler and let us know how it goes!