The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Yesterday was rough August 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 3:04 pm
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Yesterday wasn’t my best day ever, any way you look at it. I was crabby with my 4yo son, Adam. I ate junk food all day long. I didn’t do much of anything “fun” for the kids, like take them to a park. Frankly, I didn’t feel like going outside much.

A lot of my problems yesterday stemmed from a poor night’s sleep. Once again, it struck me how my whole day can succeed or fail based on how much sleep I got the night before.

It also struck me that when I eat junk, then I feel “big,” and I don’t feel like putting on clothes that might possibly feel tight, and add a few more steps in the chain reaction… then I feel cruddy about how I look, and therefore don’t feel like going out of the house.

Today is shaping up to be a better day. I got a decent night’s sleep and have a decent amount of energy and patience (so far! it’s only 10 a.m.). I have my GTD Coordinator in use, and have made my daily planning sheet, which includes a place to record Weight Watchers points. (One of these days, I’ll post a photo of my daily planning sheet. It is nothing fancy, but it just provides a touchpoint for me to return to throughout the day.)

My 10-month-old son, Mark, has gotten too tall for his Exersaucer. Bummer! So yesterday I went out and bought a Graco Pack & Play to use on the main floor of our house. This provides a safe place to put him anytime I can’t be right there to watch him. This means it’s time to get the Exersaucer cleaned up and ready for our local consignment shop. Who knows, I might even get to that task today.


Thoughts on the GTD Coordinator August 11, 2009

Filed under: GTD,Parenting — lotsofopinions @ 6:41 pm
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It has been about a week since I received my GTD Coordinator. Wow, what a difference it has made.

Of course, using a paper-based GTD solution is not perfect, but then again, neither is an electronic solution (for me, anyhow).

Benefits I have noticed so far:

  • The pages are big enough where I feel I can write what I need to write (not like using notecards, which always seemed cramped to me). (However, I have no problem using notecards as a capture tool, in my purse, for example.)
  • It is a nice, calm feeling to have place to collect things like project notes. For example, I just spent 5 minutes mind-mapping my son’s upcoming birthday party. This is not all that unusual for me, but what is unusual is having a logical, organized place to keep the mindmap. A mindmap isn’t much good to me if I can’t remember where I put it, or if I’m subconsciously trying to remember where I put it.
  • “Ubiquitous capture” is a goal that is much nearer now than it used to be, because the GTD Coordinator makes this fairly simple and painless.
  • This next point is a bit difficult to explain. It has to do with how I feel about myself as an individual and as a mother. It seems that having and using the GTD Coordinator not only makes me feel calmer and more productive, but it also makes me feel better about myself (more confident). I think it’s because in my role as a SAHM, I have a lot of things to do and responsibilities to uphold, but society doesn’t always recognize this. I don’t have a fancy office (or even a desk, for that matter) or an assistant. The fact is, I do need things like a menu planner and a family-friendly wall calendar, but I need much more than that! I need a way to capture, process, etc., EVERYTHING that’s going on in my life. I have tons of stuff coming at me, projects to manage, goals to work towards. Having the GTD Coordinator solidifies the role of GTD in my life, and provides a sense of validation for the challenges I face.
  • On a related note, getting deeper into GTD forces/allows me to deal with areas of my life that tend to slide to the back burner, such as having fun, getting exercise, and generally doing anything enjoyable.

“You’re not the boss of me” — Tales from the trenches

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 4:29 pm
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Lately, my 4yo son Adam seems determined to show his dad and me, once and for all, that we cannot tell him when and whether to eat or go potty.

(He is right, of course.)

He has developed a pattern where he will complain and complain about being hungry, then when food is served, he eats very little or nothing at all (without much regard for whether it is a favorite food of his or not).

Dealing with this one is fairly straightforward. We have set times, generally, for breakfast, snacks, and dinner. He is welcome to eat or not to eat what is served to him. No snacks until the next snack- or meal-time. We try to keep our response to his choices very low-key or even matter-of-factly cheerful. We also use a timer sometimes to limit the amount of time he can spend dilly-dallying at the table. This is a great strategy because it eliminates the tendency for us to do the following: remind, cajole, bargain, plead, etc. In other words, if we are not invested in the outcome (whether or not he eats), we remove as much drama from the situation as possible.

The potty issue is a bit more complex. Over the last few months, Adam increasingly did the “potty dance” instead of just going potty when he had to go. We dealt with this a few different ways, but finally decided to ignore the potty dance completely. During that time period, one time he completely wet himself while we were in our basement (the potty was on the next floor, but the main problem was that he had waited so incredibly long that once it started flowing, he couldn’t stop it).

Over the last few days, this is the situation we find ourself in: Adam does the potty dance more and more intensely, all the while his dad and I completely ignore the entire issue. After all, as long as a toilet is available to him, and he knows perfectly well how to use it, why should we comment on potty matters at all? If he does get his underpants wet (more than a trivial amount), then into his room he goes for the rest of the day, with only books to keep him company. [If we need to go on errands or take his younger brother for an outing, then Adam can participate only marginally. For example, if his brother is playing in the kiddie pool, Adam is allowed to sit and watch but not play.]

It is so difficult to see him land in his room for the rest of the day. However, he is choosing this “withholding” behavior and no one can decide for him to make different choices. He seems determined to show us that “You’re not the boss of me,” and, well, he is right! He can pee in his underwear every day for the next month if he chooses to. Our job is to show him that his choices have consequences.

This is certainly not the first time that he has used urination as a means of control. He seems rather hung up on “control” in other areas as well. It seems to me that he is apt to take a simple activity like playing catch, and hijack it so that he is doing something completely different from playing by the “rules” of catch. I see how easygoing other kids his age are, and I realize that our Adam just does not want to fit into any mold that someone else has created.

Circle time with songs and activities? Forget it. Craft projects where other kids are having a blast? Forget it. I have this vision of him in kindergarten, and while the other kids are practicing writing the letter of the day, Adam is sitting there scowling and saying “I just don’t want to.”

“I just don’t want to” and “You’re not the boss of me” are his thing right now. Here’s hoping he will move past them at some point in the near future.


Re-discovering French Toast August 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 3:24 pm
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Always on the look-out for cheap, easy, healthy kid food, I have re-discovered French toast.

I use either regular eggs or Egg Beaters, whichever I have on hand — I consider either to be a healthy food choice because of the protein and the other nutrients found in eggs.

I also use 100% whole wheat bread, sometimes a “light” variety since I’m on Weight Watchers. For toppings, either fruit or a small amount of sugar-free syrup. I’m not huge on giving artificial sweeteners to my 4-year-old, but at the same time, I’m not worried about small amounts here and there.

Like most kids, my kid loves pancakes and waffles, but I find it is so much easier (and probably healthier) to make French toast. There are some “healthy” pancake mixes out there (Fiber One, for example) that I use when I do make pancakes.