Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quality Control & Shopping Carts


My son enjoys a new activity when we go to the grocery store. My husband calls it Quality Control.
Basically, he sits in the front of the cart (thank God. I am not ready to let him loose in Target yet), examines all of the items I pick out, and then tosses (throws?) them in the back of the cart for safe keeping.

At first I was hesitant to indulge this new activity (won't he just shove everything in his mouth? or chuck it on the floor?), but my (non-Frantic) husband had let him do it and sung his praises.

So, when I took my little Tazmanian devil to the store this week, he was ready to participate. It started out well enough. I picked up a bag of lettuce, handed it to my son, he studied it, and then tossed it behind him into the cart.
Hmmmm, I thought, whatever keeps him happy... I was very proud of him when he managed to examine his favorite cereal bars (See Recent Post: A Few Food Recs) without demanding one be removed for his immediate satisfaction.


But why, why, did I have to hand him the flimsy plastic carton of blueberries? I hesitated but thought he could handle it. Per usual, he studied the item carefully, and then tossed them...the box opened, and the berries rolled all over the entire produce section. The nice grocery employee didn't even roll his eyes as he trudged off to get a broom.


Oh well, the rest of the items made it home safely.

~Frantic Mama

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Naptime

Ah, naptime. Every stay-at-home mom's short respite in the day.  In fact, naptime is often when I try to write a quick blog entry, along with attempting minor household chores.  Of course, all of those lofty goals of what we "need" to accomplish during naptime rarely seem to happen for many of us, including this Frantic Mama.

For a while, when my son switched to one nap a day (and before I had my daughter), the hour or two would fly by so fast that I felt like all I did was gobble some food, pick up a toy, and brush my teeth before hearing him on the monitor.  Doing laundry, checking email, making a phone call...all of those little tasks seemed impossible to get done.  In an effort to feel more productive, I started making a list of 2-4 things I would like to accomplish during naps, and that helped me feel a bit better.  I enjoy crossing items off that list.  More often than not, however, I still end up spending those precious minutes lying on the couch "for just 5 minutes," or scrolling through Facebook...you get the idea...

And now baby makes 2 kids with naps in the house.  The baby still takes two naps a day, which makes my son and I housebound in the morning-- a blessing and a curse.  But most days, I decide that I'd rather have some cabin fever than drag a tired baby around town, so we try to get her those two naps.  

I suppose the message here is that naptime should be a restful time not just for our children; there's no harm in moms getting some R&R too. Because before you know it, that red light on the monitor will flash and you'll hear the cries, and all too soon you'll be back at it!

~Frantic Mama

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's for Dinner?

My once "eat anything" toddler has slowly transformed into the more stereotypical picky eater. Recently (besides his beloved Nutrigrain bars) he is like a little Frenchman, only munching on bread and cheese. And cookies. To get him to eat anything else, I must drench it in hummus or applesauce. Or his all-time favorite-- yogurt. Yes, he will only eat his chicken, fish, beans, etc. when dipped in yogurt. And that's on a good day.

I was excited tonight because I was going to give him everyone's favorite dinner: pizza. I showed it to him, taught him the word, he dutifully repeated "pizza," and then took one or two tiny bites before curling his nose up, eying it skeptically like it was liver an onions. How had I dared to feed him pepperoni pizza?!, he pleaded [with his eyes].

Still, each day I will continue to try something else. Dipped in hummus or otherwise...

Cheers!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And God Created Babysitters

I must say, there is nothing quite like finding a great babysitter.   Maybe it is (partly) because it requires so much legwork for us to find them.   If you don't have the luxury of family nearby who can babysit, you must find outside help if you ever want to get out of the house solo.

If you stay at home full time, it helps you to be a just [little] less frantic to know you get a couple hours to run errands by yourself once a week.  And whether you work or stay home, a weekend sitter for occasional date nights is worth the trouble of finding one, training one, introducing her to your babies/toddlers/kids, and enduring the screaming cries that will most certainly ensue as you and your spouse leave (flee?) the house.

*[While on the subject of babysitters, may I ask that we not judge moms who use their resources to find occasional help?  It takes A LOT of work to find a sitter; they do not fall out of trees.  Plus, getting out of the house alone is a self-care measure and it hurts when their is judgement around the issue].

So where do you find one of these wonderful people?  It's tricky.  Many moms are reluctant to share their sitters because they found them and rightfully want to make sure their sitter is available when they need them. In an effort to help your year be less frantic, here are some other ways to find high quality sitters:

1. Care.com. It's like Match.com for nannies and sitters, and it comes with a month-to-month price.  Let me guess: you think finding a sitter online is sketchy.  I thought that at first too.  Then I got desperate.  Remember this:  these days everyone is online and as long as you meet the sitter and check her references, websites like this one can be very helpful.

2. Nanniesforhire.com. Similar to Care.com, but it is more expensive.  Most suited for those looking for regular part-time or full-time help.

3. Career Posting at your local college. This has been a source of energetic, nice college-age sitters for us-- many of the students who respond are education majors and love kids!  Jackpot!  Not all schools allow individuals to post jobs, but it's worth a shot.  Call their career services office to ask.  Perhaps there is even a way to post your job on a bulletin board near the education classrooms?

4.  Neighbors and friends' kids.  What could be better than the neighbor kids who lives down the street?  If he or she is young, I would recommend starting her as a Mother's Helper, which means she plays with your kids while you attempt to go about your chores and business while in the house.

What other ways have you found great babysitters?

Best of luck in your quest for enjoying a latte alone on a Tuesday afternoon or a fun night out! You deserve it.

~Frantic Mama

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Frantic Mama: Little Luxuries

One's idea of "luxury" changes once children enter the picture. Whereas an all-day spa visit or even a weekend getaway were in the realm of possibilities before kids, we must find smaller luxuries post-baby.

Some of this Frantic Mama's dependable treats?

Sleeping in. Occasionally letting my husband wake up early with our kids on the weekend feels like a mini-vacation! (Sad that 7:15 feels like sleeping in, but ah, that's life).

Lunch or breakfast with a friend (sans toddlers, of course).  I often prefer a lunch date to a dinner date.  You have to wait all day for dinner, and then it can go late, and you end up tired the next day, struggling to slap together your toddler's waffle and banana breakfast. What should have been a fun night ends up depleting your energy.  A Saturday lunch, however, is a break during the day that reconnects you with your individual, separate-from-baby self. You look forward to it that morning and can carry on with the rest of the day refreshed.

Engaging in a little online shopping during naptime. Amazon.com is my all-time favorite shopping site. (Side note: If you haven't joined Amazon Mom yet, do it now! Last time I checked, you get FREE Prime Status for one year).  I've also recently jumped on the Etsy bandwagon.

A solo walk.  If my husband, babysitter, or family member can watch my kids for even just a half hour, nothing (well, almost nothing) makes me feel better than a walk outside (again, solo).   It can be hard to drag myself out of a warm home in frigid temperatures (or out of an air-conditioned home in 85 degree heat), but I always feel better afterwards.

Here's to enjoying some little luxuries that help you feel a little less frantic in the upcoming year. 

What are some of your little luxuries?  Please comment using my new Disqus comment box-- I'm sure I could add some to luxuries to my list :).
~Frantic Mama

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