Friday, October 30, 2015

F'n Reward System for a Threenager

Okay... I admit it.  I'm a hard ass when it comes to Sidekick.  I expect a lot out of him and always have.  I'm strict, and I have high expectations for his behavior.  I'm consistent with him as far as disciplining.  I have a real problem with a reward system/chart... gasp!  I  know so many people's mouths just dropped while reading that. I hate rewarding my child for things that he should JUST do: things that I do on a regular basis like get dressed, make my bed, etc.  I don't get rewarded, so why should he?  I think that rewarding children is creating monsters in the end.  I think everyone getting a trophy (even if they are the loser) is bullshit.  When did all of this begin?  It didn't exist when I was a child. 

So while I've been dealing with a Threenager, I'm not about to implement a system in which he gets a reward every f'n day if he has a good day and does what is expected of him.  I have a friend who always seems to do a reward system with her two kids, and rewards her children every day if they got their stickers (or whatever they are using for a system).  WTF??  I don't have the time or the patience to do something like that, and I don't think Sidekick should have a system like that in place. Suck it up, boy!  This is life!

I was going crazy a couple of months ago because Sidekick was dragging his feet in the morning and it was taking us forever to get out the door.  So, I created a sticker chart, and if he had a perfect M-F week, his reward was ice cream (his choice).  After a few weeks, he got on track so we dropped the chart.  Here we are now and he's dilly-dallying again, and we've talked about doing the sticker chart again.  He cries every time and says he doesn't want one.  He sees it at punishment.  My friend who is always doing a reward system told me that I need to reward him every day if he gets his stickers.  I don't agree. 

Last week he was a monster.  His teacher was on vacation, so he was trying to push the teacher's (who was subbing) buttons.  On a day when he had Karate, I talked to him, the director, and the teacher and explained what was expected of him that day in order to go to Karate.  He had a bad day, and I left it up to them to determine if he There are consequences for our actions.  Why should he get to do something fun (what I consider a reward) if he's being an asshole???!!!!  No way.  You know what?  He straightened up after he missed Karate.

I realize that every kid is different and every parent is different, but I do not believe in an ongoing reward system where my child gets something special every day.  For goodness sakes, I'm keeping him fed, healthy, and alive.  Isn't that enough of a reward? 

My friend said that we have to agree to disagree, and I guess she's right.  But I'm curious... how much I am in the minority when it comes to something like that?  Maybe I'm wrong, but right now, I can't buy into creating a entire reward system just so that he will f'n get ready quickly so we can get out the door at the time I would like.  Is that too much to ask without rewarding him???

During our conversations of why I was frustrated, upset, disappointed, angry, etc. with him, he always, and I mean always asks, "Do you still wuv me?"  When I ask him what he thinks, he answers "Always."  He's right.  He's a pleaser.  He's a good boy.  He's a sweet, loving boy. I don't think he needs a reward system, and I'm sticking to that!

Sorry for the rant...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Happy Conception Day! (A Day Late)

Most people have no idea the precise day when their child was conceived unless she goes through some type of fertility treatment.  For Sidekick it was October 24th, 2011.  Four years ago, this "Threenager" was just starting to grow.  It's truly amazing, and I still can't get over the miracle of it all.

Sidekick was conceived on what was going to be my last IUI... Lucky #8!  I had run out of sperm, and it was emotionally, physically, mentally draining, and I didn't think I could do it anymore.  I was going to move on to adoption and had already chosen an agency.

I triggered 36 hours before my IUI, which happened to be the night before my last (see a pattern here?) half marathon.  Why my last?  Because my three previous races had done such horrible damage to my ankles and shins.  As a result I ended up with four stress fractures after crossing the finish line for one race and after another race, I ended up needed platelet injections to heal tendons and ligaments.  Though most thought I was crazy for continuing racing (and I was), training and running races was something else to focus on other and doing injections, timing the IUIs, and being in the dreaded TWW.  I did it all eight times, and it sucked each and every time. And I did it alone.  Friends and family didn't know each time I had an IUI because I didn't want to report back on bad news each time it didn't work.

While running my half marathon, I worried that my eggs would jiggle out sooner than they were supposed to. I remember mentally talking to them and begging them to not pop out until the next morning. I was all but sure Lucky #8 was going to be unsuccessful.  So, the morning after my race, I hobbled in, laid on the table, and had that little catheter inserted in me for the very last time.

My betas had always been wacky because I had to do another hcg injection during my TWW because I have something called Luteal Phase Defect.  It was a bit of a challenging diagnoses, but since I was taking my temperature every day, I noticed my BBT doing funky things during the TWW... further testing showed Luteal Phase Defect. 

Because of the hcg, home pregnancy tests were not reliable early on nor was one Beta.  My numbers were extremely crazy: 

11dpo:  15
14dpo: 37 (It had doubled, but it's supposed to double every 48 hours and it had been 72)
16dpo: 75 (While it doubled, it is a lot lower than the average and RE would like for it to have been well over 100)
18dpo: 182 (Typically two blood draws are done, but with my numbers so low, he wanted to continue monitoring me)

Imagine my surprise and my doctor's surprise when I went in for my first ultrasound and was pregnant with TWINS!!!!  I still remember that feeling and will probably never forget it. I knew it was possible to have twins because I was doing fertility meds, but I hadn't gotten one baby up to that point, so what was the likelihood of two?  It was the race!  I swear it was that jiggled out two eggs at the perfect time!

For many who didn't follow my journey from the beginning, if I did have twins, I was going to give one to my friends who were going through IVF with no success. I was okay with this plan, despite the controversy of it, but it was what was best for me and my babies.  I don't have family in the same state, and I couldn't afford daycare for two, so I had to have a plan before committing to fertility meds, and that was my plan.  

I laid on the table during my ultrasound saying "Shit" over and over and over again.  I immediately realized that one was meant to me mine and the other was meant to be a gift for my friends.  As much as I was prepared for that, I knew it would be extremely difficult.  I sobbed when I walked out and I sobbed for days afterwards.  No one even knew I was pregnant yet, let alone with two. 

I lost one of my twins early on, and I was okay with that.  I always say that it took two to get one amazing, happy, funny, healthy baby.  My friends who would have adopted one to this day never knew I had two.  I always wonder what it would have been like if I carried both to term.  I wonder if it was a boy or girl, if he/she would be similar to Sidekick as far as personality, looks, etc. But I am reminded every day of just how blessed and lucky I am that I got a good egg (haha-- literally and figuratively).

Happy Conception Day (one day late) to Sidekick!  What a journey we've been on!


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Threenager and the Rabbit Hole

I didn't think it would happen. I just didn't believe it would, but it happened.  I have a Threenager on my hands.  We pretty much breezed through the Terrible Twos, but I'm not sure I'll survive the Threenager stage.  Lord help me! 

I'll take some responsibility for Sidekick being a monster.  Why?  Because I didn't put him down for a nap on Saturday and Sunday. The weather was beautiful, and I wanted to take advantage of that. We met some other SMC at a pumpkin patch on Saturday and on Sunday we went for a three mile hike in "da mountains".  On Saturday, he was in bed at 7:00 and on Sunday it was 6:15.  His normal bedtime is 8:00, but I know that has to be earlier when he doesn't nap.  He got the right amount of sleep, but I guess I might have messed with his schedule too much.

Monday...  His teacher is on vacation this week and the other teacher in the room is new, so I think he was trying to figure out what he could get away with.  He was pushing buttons, not listening, and didn't nap.  This resulted in another early bedtime. 

Tuesday... I had to wake him up (guess he didn't go to sleep early enough after all).  He was whiney right away and I told him to pee/poop.  Side note, the poop thing has been a bit of a challenge because he doesn't poop as often as he should or he'll squeeze out a nugget and call it done.  Seriously, my morning always starts out with arguing with him about pooping because I know he has to go.  So, he pitched a fit. I sent him to his room.  I let him out, he pitched a fit, so I sent him in his room.  At that point I wasn't going to argue with him so I got him dressed and then he told me had to poop!  WTF?!?!  During his fits and quick trip down the rabbit hole, I went downstairs to get his breakfast ready because the clock was ticking quickly and he/we had wasted a lot of time.  He normally helps me get his breakfast ready, so another temper tantrum ensued.  Good Lord!  I talked about what he needed to do at school in order to be able to go to Karate that night.  When we got to school (late of course), we talked to the director AND the teacher about expectations for being able to go to Karate.

At 3:20 that afternoon, I'm sitting at my desk working when the number for school shows up on my caller ID.  I immediately say "F***" to myself.  Sidekick shoved a rock up his nose and it was stuck.  WTF?!?!  After a phone call to the pediatrician learning there were no appointments so we'd have to camp out in the waiting room, I headed to school to get my child.  On my way, school calls that he got the rock out by pressing on the outside of his nose.  I then asked if he deserved to go to Karate that night, and as much as the director didn't want to make the decision, after she talked to the teacher, it was decided he did not follow through with the expectations everyone had of him.  So... I turned around, went back home, put on my running clothes, went for a long run, and picked my son up an hour later than normal. I just couldn't deal with him!  I didn't want to deal with him. There are consequences for his actions, and not going to Karate was a big one!

I picked him up and he immediately asked about Karate. The news that he would not be going threw him into yet another tailspin and he was headed deeper down the rabbit hole. It was all I could do to survive until bedtime.  While we were eating dinner, I asked him why he put a rock up his nose, and he told me it's because his foot hurt. Of course, that's a logical explanation.

Wednesday (yesterday) seemed much better according to his teachers.  While he didn't nap, he quietly laid on his cot the entire time.  He went to bed earlier than normal.

I had a horrible dream last night that for whatever reason, my friends and I dropped Sidekick off at a store in this small downtown shopping area in some part of the country. We told him to wait for us while we found a parking spot.  By the time we got there, he was nowhere to be found.  I was terrified and so upset.  I knew I was dreaming, but I couldn't wake up.  I kept looking for him for days and never found him.  It was awful, and when I finally woke up, I walked into Sidekick's room at 2:26 AM to make sure he was okay. He was sleeping like a beautiful, perfect little boy. 

This morning was great.  He peed/pooped, ate a great breakfast, and happily went to school.  Karate is up in the air again depending on how he does at school, but I'm hoping, my sweet, well behaved son is working his way out of the rabbit hole. I want him to be able to wear this cute uniform again tonight. 

My patience is being tested this week, and I am trying my hardest to remain calm when Sidekick makes me crazy, strong with how I am raising him, follow through with consequences, and loving him just little more than normal because for some reason, he needs that extra hug and kiss this week. I sure wish daycare was open on the weekends.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Christmas Card and Dog's Birthday

It may only be the beginning of October, but last weekend, Sidekick and I went into the woods to take pictures for our Christmas card. Yep!  I am way ahead of things.  I always write a poem to a different Christmas song every year with a theme, and I even have that done!  I have uploaded everything, and I all I have to do is hit "Order".  I'm holding out a little longer because I "fear" something will need to be added to the poem.  For example, right now, Sidekick is doing a trial karate lesson on Friday, if he ends up liking it, that will need to go into the card.  He wasn't the most cooperative which pissed me off, but I was determined to not have to drag him out into the woods again for something that might not be better.  So... here's a sneak peek. This one doesn't go with the theme per se, but it's pretty cute anyway. He got dirty right away as this is one of the first pictures I took:


Six and a half years ago, long before Sidekick was a consideration in my future, my awesome golden retriever was diagnosed with a heart condition.  I was faced with the difficult decision to put her through open heart surgery which had a 50% success rate.  She was six years old, so I felt like I owed it to her to give it a shot.  Last Friday she turned 13.  She and Sidekick have such a special relationship.  He walks her, feeds her, gives her her medicine, brushes her, and snuggles with her. 
Since Sidekick knows all about birthdays now, he insisted on having a party for her. So, we made her a dog cake, wore party hats and got balloons and a small present. As soon as he went down the stairs after getting ready, he gave Dog a big hug and sang "Happy Birthday." 
I know our time with Dog is getting shorter.  Thirteen is old.  Thirteen is really old after undergoing open heart surgery and now in congestive heart failure.  She's been such a sweet companion for Sidekick, and I'm sad for the day when we will have to say goodbye.  At random times, Sidekick will ask me when Ah-mee (what he calls her) is going to die.  I wish I had an answer, but I don't.  We will have a difficult time when she is no longer with us.  She's been my baby for a long time. 

I will not get another dog after she dies.  Maybe down the long, long road, but not anytime soon.  I've had a dog for about 18 years (had two at the same time for a while). They've been a huge part of my life, and I think it's so important for kids to grow up with pets and having a role in taking care of them.  But... I need to be less tied down.  I want to go on spontaneous trips and not worry about what to do with Dog.  I want to not having to rush home from somewhere to let her go potty.  I want to not have to walk her when the wind chill is -15 degrees (I'm a firm believer that dogs need to be walked every day, and even when Sidekick was a baby, I walked Dog every day.)  I want a little less freedom than I have right now.

And for a little chuckle... every night Sidekick says a prayer, and the beginning is always the same.  Here was our conversation:

Sidekick:  Dear God. Tank you por watching ober da babies.
Me:  Anything else?
Sidekick:  Also, God, why are deer Cwismas decowations when we haben't eben had Halloweeen?

I just laughed. I'm not sure he'll get an answer, but I want to know the same thing.