Our Pre- and Post-Elmo Life

by admin on February 17, 2011

Picture 3“La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la, El-mo’s sooong…”

Don’t lie! You are singing right along with me right now—at least you are if you are a parent. Who can resist that adorable tune? Or that adorable little furry red monster? Little did I know that cuteness is just a façade. Elmo is a vicious fiend who reaches through children’s brains and grabs their hearts with a steel grip. Ok, that’s an exaggeration—but not by much. Our family has crossed over into a post-Elmo world—but I’m fighting to get back!

I have two boys who are two months away from 2 years old (that’s a lot of 2s). They’ve watched very little TV in their lives, and most of what they’ve watched has been sports (when mommy and daddy both want to watch football!). We’ve focused these last two years on books and just playing.

Well, the boys starting showing some interest in Elmo recently. So for Christmas I thought it’d be fun to get them an Elmo video. Couldn’t hurt, right?

The video laid dormant by the TV until my husband took a four day business trip recently. Without my usual help during cooking time, I broke the seal on the video and popped it in, excited about having a little time to do the things I needed to do.

So we watched the video once a day for the four days and I’ll admit it was nice. But slowly, things changed.

Suddenly, my children became, well, monsters—and honestly, not as cute as Elmo. They whined for Elmo constantly. After a little over a week of watching the Elmo video, here’s what I’m living with.

SLEEPING
Pre-Elmo
My kids are excellent sleepers. For the past 6 months or so, they’ve consistently spent from 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. with a two-hour nap. Putting them to sleep had rarely been a struggle. When we put them in their cribs and tell them it’s time to go to sleep, they do.

Post-Elmo
The first day we watched the video, they wouldn’t nap at all. They literally bounced around their crib for two hours. At least they were having a good time! A few nights ago, one of them wouldn’t go to sleep until 11 p.m. FOUR HOURS after usual bedtime. You’ll never guess what he kept asking to do. Yup, “Elmo.”

EATING
Pre-Elmo
When the boys woke up in the morning, the first thing they asked for was milk and something to eat. They ate breakfast everyday without a struggle.

Post-Elmo

Guess what is the first thing they asked for when they wake up now? Right again, “Elmo.” Twice in the past week, the boys wouldn’t eat breakfast at all.

PLAYING
Pre-Elmo
When daddy got home from work, they’d spend an hour of the evening playing with him and roughhousing. It was one of my favorite hours of the day.

Post-Elmo
Who wants to play with daddy when Elmo is around to entertain us? Daddy’s out. Elmo’s in.

So there you have it, folks. In one week Elmo managed to take down our entire sleeping, eating and bonding system! So, after a week of Elmo, I’ve decided the TV still isn’t right for my kids—at least not yet. I really think one thing you have to learn about TV is that it’s fine to be enjoyed in moderation. I just don’t think my kids are old enough yet to understand that concept. So, our family is on an Elmo-detox program.

We made it through last night and all the whines of “Elmoooo!” and came very close to losing our minds, but we pulled through. In the night I had to bring my son into bed with us, and I woke up this morning to his head directly over my face and the dreaded word, “Elmo?” We’ve got a long way to go.

I should say though that once I feel like the boys can handle it, Sesame Street seems like a great program, and will probably make up a good part of their viewing. Do you agree? What other programs do you recommend?

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The Friendly Fever

by admin on February 3, 2011

It’s no news to me that I react differently than most parents do in many situations. A prime example is a common one around this time of year–the fever. For many, discovering their child has a fever prompts a quick call to the doctor. Many may think I’m crazy, but when my children get a fever, I get excited!

One of my boys has had a fever two or three times during this cold season–and I couldn’t have been happier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy my child is sick, but it sends me into a fit of giddy wonder when the fever kicks in and reminds me of how nature designed our bodies to take care of itself.

He usually hung out in my lap for most of the day–not feeling like doing much. And I just sat there with him, cheering on his fever–and here’s why.

Fevers are your friends! When our bodies are being attacked by a virus or bacteria, the body heats up in order to fight that bug! It’s creating an environment that the bug has difficulty surviving in. It’s a good thing!

What blows my mind is that people will actually give themselves or their children medicine to get rid of that natural defense as quickly as possible. They have no idea that they are basically telling the bug to come right on in! Make yourself comfortable for a long stay!

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Fever is not an illness, rather, it is a symptom of sickness and is usually a positive sign that the body is fighting infection.”

If that were true, you say, why does my pediatrician tell me to give my child fever-reducing drugs? The answer is fairly simple. Medicine is a business, and a business needs satisfied customers in order to thrive. When a worried parent brings their fever-ridden child to the doctor, the parent doesn’t want the doctor to look at them and say “Just do nothing.” They are paying this guy for a solution. A change. Make them better. So the doctor gets rid of the fever, and mommy and daddy feel like they got their money’s worth. Unfortunately for them, they are doing their child more harm than good.

You can read on the internet about the benefits of fever, so I won’t get technical here. I just want to encourage you–for your children or for yourself–next time a fever flares, let it do its job! It’s a sign that something amazing is happening.

And no, my little boy never did get sick. After 4 or 5 hours of feverish downtime, he was good as new! It’s so wonderful to see the amazing human body at work.

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I Have Not Washed My Face in Over A Month

January 5, 2011

If you really want to gross someone out, tell them you haven’t washed your face in a month and a half. You may think I’m gross, but that’s exactly what I’ve done. Furthermore, I haven’t toned it, masked it, lotioned it, or any other part of a 4-step-programmed it.
I didn’t have horrible acne or anything, [...]

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Christmas Tree Guilt

December 28, 2010

I’ve got kids now, so Christmas has suddenly become a lot more fun than in recent years. I was especially excited that they might be able to help decorate the tree, at least a little, so as soon as Thanksgiving was over, we scheduled the day.
I searched through our shed to find our artificial tree [...]

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Spare Me Your Awareness Campaign

December 3, 2010

**Warning: Rant post!**
Like many people across America, today I logged into my Facebook account to get my morning gossip fix. I was greeted by a message that 30-something of my friends had changed their profile photos–all to cartoon characters.
A few updates later, I saw why. People were encouraging each other to change their profile [...]

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The World’s Greatest Deodorant

November 8, 2010

My homemade deodorant is the most amazing deodorant ever. It’s so incredible, I’m devoting an entire blog post to its praises.
Ok so first of all, it’s not mine. I first got the recipe for “The Worlds’ Greatest Deodorant” from Erika over at www.ourdiylife.com. She’s an amazing mom who makes an incredible amount of things she [...]

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Welfare Recipients and the Other “Undeserving”

October 21, 2010

I’ve shared before that I’m not exactly sure where I land in the political arena. Left? Right? Sometimes I think I’m so far one way that, like in a circle, I come around and end up on the other side.
However, I’m pretty sure I’m not a Republican. Not because I really know anything official about [...]

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Show Me a (Baby) Sign

October 17, 2010

I got into the signing game a little late. For most of the first year, if my twins were fed, wearing dry diapers and not crying, I considered that to be quite a successful—although usually short—moment. Finding time to take a shower was a challenge, and these people wanted me to teach my babies sign [...]

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Product Review: The Safe Sippy

October 6, 2010

When my boys turned one I started looking for the perfect sippy cup. My goal was to find a non-plastic cup so as not to get all the nasty chemical-junk in my babies’ drink.  That part was a no-brainer.
What wasn’t a no brainer was finding one, or choosing from the options I did find. Until [...]

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Housework Makes You Hot

October 4, 2010

Have you ever seen those craft or novelty items with the phrase, “Housework Makes You Ugly” on it, paired with an image of a housewife dressed in ragged clothing with crazy hair? I have to disagree. Housework makes you hot!
In the past few months since I’ve given up my fulltime job and stayed at home, [...]

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