Thursday, March 24, 2005

To spank or not to spank?

My parents spanked. My dad ruled with an “iron fist” and if I stepped out of line, I knew I was “gonna get it” – no questions asked. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding spanking, and what it does to a child. I didn’t grow up to be a mass murderer and I still love my parents (in fact we have a great relationship) but I obeyed out of fear. I was a fairly well behaved child and teenager. I was afraid to step out of line, and rarely did. I can only count a handful of times that I truly misbehaved or even talked back. I knew better. Even in high school I rarely stepped out of line (I waited for college for that! LOL) I was too afraid of my dad to do anything wrong. Was I abused – no. Definitely not. But I do believe that spanking can be abuse, depending on the degree of hitting.

I have been thinking a lot about how I’m going to discipline Gracelin when the time comes. Right now she is just so perfect that I cannot imagine her ever misbehaving. But, I’m sure she will. Because the main form of discipline that my parents used was physical, I don’t know anything different. But, I really don’t want to spank. I do not believe that it is consistent. I will teach her not to hit others, but what does that say to her for me to spank her. I really want to parent with positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. At the same time, I want to teach Gracelin to respect others – especially other adults like teachers.

DH and I had a long conversation last night about how we are going to discipline. He doesn’t want to spank either, but that was his parent’s main form of discipline as well. He was spanked and even hit with other objects on occasion – his mother one time broke a broom over his backside. Spanking caused him to rebel against his parents, and he still has issues with his parents today.

I guess I’m just worried that we won’t know how discipline our children because we grew up with corporal punishment in our homes. I don’t want to revert to spanking out of frustration, which is likely for me to do. I have a short fuse and can have quite an explosive temper when provoked. I love Gracelin so much, and never want to make her feel hurt/scared/afraid. I also want to teach her to behave appropriately.

I know the best way to teach is by example, which is a problem. I’m not perfect. It is unrealistic to think that she’ll never see me do or hear me say something contrary to the way I want to teach her. I yell. Sometimes I get so mad at DH that I want to kick him hard (I never do though). But I do work hard to be the best person that I can. I want her to see me working hard. And I do try to be a good and honest person. I hope too that by treating her with love and respect, she will learn to do the same for me.

Even now, I’m trying to teach her every day. I try not to be negative. Instead of telling her “no”, I try to redirect her. Instead of saying don’t do this or that, I try to give her something new to do instead. I also try to teach her to express her feelings. I never tell her to stop crying for example. Instead I hug her and say “its ok to cry when you are sad. But, mommy’s here and she loves you”. I think the structure that we follow helps with discipline, and even now she is learning her routine and what comes next. She knows now that after she gets dressed in the morning that she goes to lay with Daddy while she drinks her bottle. As soon as her socks are one, she wave at the door and ask for Daddy. I believe consistency is key.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Resolving old issues

I think I may be the world’s worst blogger. I read other’s blogs, and they seem so much more interesting. I’m going to try harder to update mine on a regular basis, in the hopes of being interesting. Along with that, I also notice that I introduce a topic, never to resolve it. So, I’m going to try and do better with that as well. So, here’s my attempt at resolution:

Organic milk: Recently I brought up the subject of regular-old cow’s milk vs. organic milk. I decided that organic was best for Gracelin, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s better for the cows. I found a local delivery service that will bring it to my doorstep once a week – and it’s over $1.00 cheaper per ½ gallon than it is at the store. They also bring cheese, bread, eggs, etc. And, I’m buying from a local dairy. I love it! I’ve begun the transition from mommy’s milk over to moo milk for Gracelin, and other than a bit of “plumbing problems” for her, its going well. I’m hoping to have her weaned by age 1 (only 5 weeks away . . . sniff)

RSV baby: She seems to be feeling better, but I don’t think her lungs have fully recovered. She still gets out of breath when she’s playing, and she occasionally wheezes/coughs. Last night she was wheezing pretty badly, but she wasn’t retracting and her respirations weren’t too high so I assumed she’s ok.

My “nether regions”: Everything is peachy down there. I made an appoint clear back when, and it is finally next week. I don’t really have “those” issues to discuss with him anymore, but I want to talk with him about why I’m so tired all of the time. And why my muscles are so sore.
Ok – I’m outta time now, but I’ll try and update more tomorrow

I want an extreme makeover

I didn't watch TV before Gracelin, but lately it seems I'm so tired at night, that all I can do is veg in front of the TV. I saw Extreme Makeover for the first time Monday night, and ever since then, I've been looking at myself in the mirror and wishing I could have an extremem makeover.

There are a few features of myself that I like: my teeth are perfectly straight and all the same size and I have beautiful skin. But aside from that, I am a complete mess. I need a brow lift and eye lift - something to make my eyes less saggy. My nose has a weird bump on it, so a nose job is definitley in order. My chin is slight, and I could use some lipo underneath it. I also need lipo on my flabby arms and back fat (where'd that stuff come from?), my inner thighs, and calves down by my ankles. I'd like my boobs to stand at attention instead of looking down at the ground, so maybe an uplift. And, lets top it all off with a tummy tuck.

I've been so unhappy with my body since having the baby - this show just made it worse. Why do they put such terrible stuff on TV?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Am I failing?

Sometimes I feel like I’m failing as a mother. The problem is that I use my own mother as an example, and I’m nothing like her. She grew up with a mother that was a schizophrenic, alcoholic, drug addicted, abusive, crazy person. Instead of letting that be an excuse to be a messed up person, my mother decided that her children would never live that type of life. My childhood was truly golden. Mom cooked us breakfast every morning, and had cookies baked when we came home. My clothes were always washed and put away. She vacuumed the house every day, cleaned the bathrooms every day – her house was immaculate. She taught aerobics, was the PTA president, and volunteered in our classrooms at school. We had a home-cooked dinner every night as a family. Needless to say, she was a saintly woman – the type of wife/mother I have always wanted to emulate.

Granted Gracelin is only 10 ½ months old, but I’m already losing it. I can’t remember the last meal that I cooked (unless micro waving something frozen counts). I’m so behind on the laundry – it isn’t uncommon to have to get clean underwear from the dryer instead of the dresser. There are seriously parts of my house that I can’t remember the last time they got vacuumed. There is so much dust on my furniture that I can write my name it.

I do try hard. I love my baby with all my heart. The days I work, I only get to spend an hour or so with her, but during that time, I play with her as much as possible. She also gets a bath, a massage, and a story read to her every night before bed. I sing to her, dance with her, and try to teach her things. I am also still breastfeeding her. I feed her healthy foods. I dress her in clean clothes (that sometimes do come straight from the dryer).

I’m just so tired at night. I can barely force myself to do the things that have to be done. But, after that is done, I usually just crash. I’d like to have the immaculately clean house that I grew up in. I’d like to be able to workout every day. I’d like to have time to work on my scrapbooking, or to read a book. And obviously I’d love more time with my baby and my husband.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My poor, sick baby

G's been so sick. She started with a runny nose and slight cough on Friday, but didn't seem to mind. I just thought she had a cold. But, on Sunday morning when I went to get her out of bed, I could hear her wheezing from across the room. DH and I ran her to Urgent Care, where they did a chest x-ray, gave her a breathing treatment, and sent her home.

She seemed to do better for a few hours, but by 1 pm she was having a difficult time breathing. Her respiratory rate was about twice what it should be and she was retracting. This time, I took her to the ER. They again did a chest x-ray and gave more breathing treatments, but this time they also tested for RSV. The culture came back positive. The doctor told me that she was borderline for being admitted into the hospital, but told me he felt comfortable sending me home with her. So, back home we went.

But, a few hours later, she was bad again, so we went back to the hospital. This time they admitted her. They put her on oxygen and the pulse oxymeter. Every hour, they would come in with this long suction tube and put it down her nose to suck all the junk out. I think it was going down into her lungs. Poor baby.
RSV is so bad, because there really isn't any medication they can give that helps. It is just a wait and see thing.

She came home from the hospital yesterday, but by last night, she was taking short, shallow breaths and her fever was up to 104. Every muscle in her body was rigid - I think because she was trying so hard to breathe. Back to the ER we went. This time, they got her fever down to 101, gave her another breathing treatment, and sent her home.

She wouldn't sleep last night unless she was in my arms. Poor baby. We actually did sleep pretty well though - I think because she and I were both so exhausted.

This morning she seems worse again. She can't even breathe well enough to eat. I finally got her to sleep by driving around the neighborhood. She's been sleeping for almost 2 hours. I have a follow-up visit at 2:30 - I wish it was that time now. I just feel so helpless. I know I complained when she was getting ear infections all the time, but at least they were easy to treat. After 24 hours on the antibiotics, she'd be back to her happy self. I wish I could make her feel better.