Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mummy Meme

So, I've been tagged by my friend Monica (yanksinweimar.blogspot.com) in this Mummy Meme thing...sort of like a chain letter for blogs???

First, I've been directed to post a picture of me and my little ones. (How embarrassing that I can't dig up a more recent one of the three of us...I know I have one, I just can't get my hands on it. But I do love this one since it was the first time Ethan got to hold little Eli!)

Second, answer the questions.
1. How many children do you have?
Two sweet, sweet boys.

2. What are their ages?
Ethan is 4 and Eli is 7 months.

3. What time of day do you start your day?
Preferably, not before 8 a.m. I set my alarm for 8 and hope that neither of the boys wake up before it goes off. Usually (and thankfully!) they are both still asleep, or at least starting to stir, when 8 a.m. hits. Ethan typically gets up before Eli, but sometimes, Eli surprises me a bit early. Ethan eats breakfast, watches a "kid's show", and then gets dressed for school...usually in the clothes I lay out for him, but sometimes he overrules my wardrobe choice and comes downstairs in one of his many (and usually too small) Red Sox shirts. Eli has a bottle and plays in his Exersaucer while I get dressed.

4. What do you eat for breakfast?
Decaf coffee. Sometimes that's all. Sometimes I have a bagel (not usually, since I don't have time in the morning rush to wait for it to hang out in the toaster). Sometimes I swing by Dunkin' Donuts and get an eggwhite flatbread with low-fat cheese. Sometimes I eat a Kashi breakfast bar. Once in a while I'll make smoothies with frozen fruit, skim milk and low-fat yogurt. Ethan usually has a waffle or cereal and fruit.

5. Do they watch TV?
Ethan loves TV so I really have to keep an eye on how long I let him watch. He always watches it while he has breakfast. (I'm usually racing around getting Eli settled and getting myself dressed and I don't really expect him to sit quietly all alone while he eats his breakfast). He will also watch when I am putting Eli down for naps or to bed. And then maybe one or two shows in the afternoon, depending on the day and how much TV he has already had. I try to run a good balance between limiting it and also not making it the forbidden fruit. I am also very strict about what I will let him watch. Nothing with guns, shooting, swords, violence, potty words, naughty words (I consider "stupid" and "idiot" to be naughty words even though they run rampant in Disney movies!) Things like Power Rangers, Transformers and Sponge Bob are definitely off-limits in our house. His favorite shows are Curious George, Charlie and Lola (my personal favorite, I LOVE that show!), Franklin and Backyardigans. He will also watch the occasional educational show such as Word Girl and Super Why.

I am also trying harder to limit the TV in my house because if it is on, Eli is completely mesmerized by it and that sort of freaks me out.

6. What are their favorite activities?
Ethan's favorite things to play with are Monster Trucks and Hot Wheels. He is also an avid builder and can make some really amazing things with blocks (I think he might be an architect). He loves to dress up and has quite a collection of costumes, which he often wears outside of our home.

Eli is just happy to be wherever his mommy or Ethan are. He gets quite a work-out from his jumper and is starting to figure out how to get up on all fours. Time to start thinking about baby gates...sniff...

7. Do you get a break during the day from them?
Not really. I do have a wonderful sitter who comes once a week to watch Eli which is just amazing. I run errands, go to dentist/doctor appointments (or goof off at Starbucks and the bookstore) in the morning and then will pick Ethan up from school in the afternoon and do something fun with just him. Today, we are going to Target so he can use his chore money to buy a new toy. I try to have Ethan in bed by 8:30 so that I have the rest of the night to myself to chat with Adam, read, knit and/or watch one of my favorite shows on TV. If I haven't taken my add medicine, I've been known to do all four at once! But, usually, I wind up cleaning the kitchen, making lunch, doing laundry, cleaning the playroom, etc. until about 10:30 and then I sneak in an hour or so of reading/knitting/TV and go to bed by about midnight.

8. How do you end your day?
I almost always read in my bed before going to sleep, say the Shema (Jewish prayer said twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed) and will either turn out the light and fall asleep or fall asleep with the light on and book next to me (Adam's personal favorite because not only is he faced with the task of turning out the light - which is really super loud - but also wrestle my book out from under me all without waking me up.)

9. What is your best parenting tip?
I think the best thing you can offer your child is consistency. In my opinion, Time Out isn't just for home. When Ethan was younger, if he acted up in a restaurant, we went outside for Time Out. If he acted up in Target...out of the cart and near an empty wall for Time Out. So far, it seems to be working. Typically, I can offer the same results of Time Out with just a look and/or glare. As he's gotten older and more independent, dealing with his behavior has offered some new challenges, but I find if I am consistent, then I see a better result. This is often more trouble than it seems to be worth...something my husband doesn't really understand. For instance, if Ethan asks for something that isn't all that big or important and I say no and then he whines, Adam would rather give in to him than endure the whining. Not me. I'll deal with the whining up front because I know that long term, being consistent and following through will make my life easier. Sure, there are days that I get lazy and don't follow my own advice, but typically, I try to stick to the rules no matter how difficult it is for me in the moment.

10. Tag 5 people.
Hm...I don't know if I know five people who blog...um....Cara, Angela, Julie...Mckmama...

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