Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Go with your gut

I was recently included in a group message by a grade school friend who is about to have her first child. She was looking for suggestions on a pediatrician from all her "mom friends" out there in cyberspace.
As I sat there reading the other responses from the other women who either LOVED their pediatrician or were just lukewarm about them, I thought of what I could contribute. I like our doctor. That's about it. He is knowledgeable, he is friendly and listens to my concerns, he has a sense of humor and the kids like him and the nurses there. That being said, I think the wait time is waaaaaay too long when I have made an appointment in advance - would he wait for me in that fun little room if I was running late??? Of course not! I have heard other doctors accuse him of giving out antibiotics like candy and having too many patients to handle. The jury is still out on that one. You may be wondering why in the world I'd entrust my five most precious blessings to someone who I don't fully trust. . . .
The answer to that is that there is no one out there (besides Tim) that I fully trust when it comes to my babies! It is a scary business being a parent - I've heard it likened to your heart walking outside your body, and I'd say that is pretty darn accurate. Suddenly, you love someone so fiercely, and and at the same time spend every waking (and sleeping) moment terrified that they will be hurt by something or someone - or worse yet, hurt by you! God forbid I make the wrong decision in terms of what I think is best for them. Am I being strict enough or too strict? Letting them be kids, or not teaching enough responsibility? Giving them enough activity or overscheduling?
I realized as I read this email today, that as moms, the most powerful tool we have is our gut. My mom used to say that she never really worried about me getting into too much trouble as a kid because I had such a good conscience. That same little voice inside from when I was a kid, is what guides me today. Its that feeling in your stomach that something's just not right. Its how I know when my 9 year old is trying to pull a fast one on me, or when my 3 year old's ickiness has gone past just a regular cold. Its how I know that a certain child needs a little one-on-one mom time or that 2nd grader saying they don't feel good is worried about something at school.
I don't claim to know better than a doctor, but I do believe that my gut feeling rarely leads me astray. I will never put my full trust in a doctor, teacher or anyone when in comes to my child, and that is the advice I would give to any new mom. Do what feels right and what works best for your family. Be an informed mom, do your research, don't be afraid to ask questions. When you don't feel comfortable with the answers you get, ask different questions or different people. After all, you are your child's advocate!! They need to know that you are on their team. That's not to say that things will always turn out perfectly - its a rare night that I go to bed feeling satisfied with everything that happened that day. But like they say, hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully we learn from our mistakes. My mom says nobody ever tells you all the guilt that comes along with being a mom. So true- I like to think that plays a part in keeping me determined to do right by my kids. There's an instruction manual for every petty little thing ever invented, except children. So in the meantime, I'm gonna keep going with my gut!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year, New Decade

Daddy and Scout on Christmas Eve

Uncle Ryan building LEGOS with the boys

Scout is always so amused by Ollie

Piper modeling her pink bday extensions with Auntie De and Dom

Scoutie's 1st Xmas

Can't believe my baby is 9!

Piper carrying Scout down on Xmas morning

Finley's standard Apres-PreK wear

Here we are in 2010, not only a new year, but a new decade. It got me thinking about all that has happened over the last 10 years.
Here's my breakdown
I have been pregnant for 45 out of the 120 months of the decade.
We have used somewhere in the ballpark of 21,600 disposable diapers costing roughly $4,320.
(Based on 5 diapers a day costing 20 cents per diaper) (And yes, I do know about what this does to our landfills and in a moment of eco-weakness made a very unfortunate journey into cloth-diapering which I'd rather not speak of...)
We have lived in 3 different homes.
We have painted 32 rooms.
We have been through an SUV, two minivans and now a Suburban.
We have had 33 well-baby checkups.
I've played for countless hours with Barbies, LEGOS, and Little People.
The tooth fairy has visited our house 11 times.
We have made 4 ER visits with kids.
I had my tonsils taken out (after a winter with a combined total of roughly 24 cases of strep in the family...good times!)

I'd list all the things we've been lucky enough to avoid, but there's not enough wood to knock on here . . .

I've had people email me to make sure I haven't dropped off the face of the earth in light of my blogging absence. I'm here, though I'd much rather be somewhere tropical, given our string of really yucky weather. But in the meantime, I am taking advantage of my cabin fever and organizing like a madwoman. Maybe if I do it now, I'll be so organized that I will be able to spend every waking moment outdoor once it gets nice! Wishful thinking I'm sure, especially since cleaning the house with kids around is like shoveling while its still snowing.

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