Friday, February 25, 2011

Nothing Too Exciting

Just wanted to share some links with everyone.

I recently discovered Shit My Kids Ruined, a hilarious website about unfortunate disasters caused by meddling kids. I was sent to it after I posted on Facebook about how Athena dumped an entire box of tampons [and some pads, too] into the toilet.

Also, feel free to add me on my Facebook. I'm always up for meeting new people. :]

Check out this video of Sean and Athena from a few months ago.

Have a great weekend, everyone. :D

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Of Pacifiers and Punishment.

With the ominous approach of "terrible two's" comes temper tantrums and the beginnings of discipline. Personally, I am against spanking and hitting [or whatever variations you can come up with]. If you'd like me to expand on why these are my views, please don't hesitate to ask. Anyway, time-outs typically work very well with Athena. For instance, this morning I told her she couldn't have her binky [I'll touch on that topic in a moment] and she hit me on the leg. I put her in time-out for two minutes - one for each year old she is - and when I let her out, I explained to her what she did wrong and told her that I love her.

However, one problem I'm having is sometimes she'll repeatedly do the one action that gets her in trouble, despite putting her in time-out for it before. Athena loves to climb on the kitchen chairs, but it's unsafe because if she falls, she'll have a very unhappy landing on our tiled floors. I've put her in time-out many times for this, but she still continues to do it. Because I don't want to hit her and time-out isn't getting through, what other form of discipline would work? What kind of discipline do you use on your children or what kind was used on you? Is/was it effective?

On to another topic: pacifiers. Athena is extremely hooked on hers. I told the nurses in the hospital when she was born that I didn't want her having one as a newborn, but she somehow ended up with one anyway. I think throughout infancy, pacifiers aren't necessarily a big deal, but as they get older and their speech starts developing, pacifiers can really get in the way. Sometimes I can hardly understand what Athena is trying to tell me when she has her binky in her mouth. I have this horrific vision of Athena starting Kindergarten with a binky. I've been told to just throw all of the pacifiers away, but what if she gets sick and needs them for comfort? I try to only give them to her at nap time and bedtime, but she somehow manages to find them in obscure places all over the house. I'd like some advice, please. Do your children use a pacifier? When do you plan on breaking them of it? How do you plan on doing it? I read once that one parent buried the pacifiers along with some seeds in the ground and grew a 'pacifier tree.' I've also heard of mailing the pacifiers to the Binky Fairy [a relative or friend] to give to other babies when they're born. I thought those were very creative.

In other news, check out my best friend's blog. He's Athena's godfather. :]

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Toddler Translator.

About two years ago, when I was still pregnant with Athena, I overheard my friend's toddler talking to her. I couldn't understand one word of what he was saying to his mother; it just sounded like a bunch of animal sounds and babbling. Yet, without hesitation, his mom replied as if he has spoken perfect English. I was baffled, yet very impressed.

Now I can understand my friend's fluency in the language of toddlers. With each new development involving my daughter comes some new bit of vocabulary. For instance, when she says 'cup,' it sounds more like 'cook,' and when she says 'belly' is sounds like she is saying 'baby.' The latter almost got me in trouble once, when she pointed to my friend's stomach and said 'baby.' I had to quickly translate and explain that she looked nothing near pregnant.

I get an amazing sense of pride when I can understand Athena's words when others can't. It feel part of an exclusive group with a secret language. Of course I can understand her, I'm her mother, but things can get rather complicated when she tries to communicate with new people
such as babysitters. I try to predetermine important words before I leave her with a sitter to make things easier.

The older Athena gets, the easier she is to understand. But there are still often times when she'll just babble to herself and even I can't comprehend what she's saying. I wonder to myself what she could
possibly be talking about. I remember when she first started talking; I knew most of her sounds were just vocalizations so she could hear herself, but I was also curious about what she was trying to say. It's so interesting watching her learn the English language. I can't wait to hear what she'll yell at me next.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Terrible Two's.

I can't believe my little Athena will be two years old in a month
and a half. It seems like only yesterday I was anxiously
awaiting her late delivery, munching on ice between contractions. Nearly two years have passed, and my little girl is a beautiful, blossoming toddler with impeccable manners. That's not an understatement; the other day I heard her sneeze, say "bless you" to herself, then thank herself. She's polite even to herself.

But between episodes of independence and adorable-ness [no, that's not a word], there are sneak-peeks of what's commonly referred to as "terrible two's." Right around 4 in the afternoon
is when some irritable, fussy demon-thing takes over my innocent daughter's body
and makes her throw tantrums and shriek and cry. The demon-thing hangs around until dinner around 7, when it's sedated by food and then calmed in the bath. By then, it's bedtime and the monster has
retreated until the next day, when it reappears as my daughter throws her sippy cup across the room because I didn't let her do tribal dances on the kitchen table.

When the demon-thing is not in possession of Athena, her personality is making leaps and
bounds as far as development goes. Each day she is more defined as a person. She loves getting on "stage" [usually a book, box or piece of furniture] and singing into a microphone [a shampoo
bottle or sippy cup]. Her social skills have just flourished; not only from daycare once or twice a
week, but also from spending time with other toddlers. I'm so proud of her.

Surviving Athena's terrible demon-thing possessions isn't that difficult if I keep her usual demeanor in mind. As long as I tell myself that I just need to make it until bedtime, I can put up with the screaming and throwing and irritability. Then, the next morning when I go to get her out of bed, my sweet little toddler has returned and is just as happy to see me as I am to see her.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Little [Flu] Bug

When I was younger, I used to marvel at my mom's ability to not be grossed out by anything. I accepted that it was a 'mom thing,' but I still never understood how she could change diapers and clean up my puke and not hurl herself. She would always tell me, "India, it's different when it's your own child being sick. You'll be so distracted trying to take care of your child that you won't even think about how gross the job is."

Well, my little Athena has her first virus. I woke her up early yesterday morning and knew immediately something was up. She felt clammy and was whimpering a lot. A few minutes later, she got sick. Thankfully my father, who is a nurse, was home. I would have stayed home from school, but I had a final that morning. The entire time I was in my classes, my mind was on her. I wanted to be the one at home taking care of her, even if that mean getting puked on repeatedly. That afternoon, I came home as quickly as I could. She had been throwing up about every hour or so and sleeping a lot. This continued all night long; she'd sleep for an hour, wake up whimpering and upset, get sick and then go back to sleep. My wonderful father let me get some sleep from 6am-8am so I would have enough energy to repeat the routine today.

Athena seems to be feeling better, although she still whimpers a lot and is irritable. I got our VCR working, so we have a lineup consisting of Toy Story, The Lion King II, Atlantis, Aladdin and Pocahontas. She never ran a fever, which is a very good sign. I'm still afraid to give her anything to eat in fear that she won't be able to keep it down. Also, solid foods are harder for her to throw up. A steady diet of Pedialyte and Gatorade and the occasional crackers seems to be doing the trick.

Do you remember the first time your child[ren] got sick? Do you have any tips for me?

Coming up next: Christmas! :]


For Athena's second Thanksgiving, my family, my boyfriend and I went to east Texas to my grandparents house. We had a fantastic time being with my uncle and his family and my grandparents. Athena loved the outdoors! She spent most of her time dutifully picking up pinecones off of the ground and putting them into a wagon that she helped my cousin pull. She also loved chasing the "quack-quacks."

I've noticed that ever since I had Athena, the importance of family to me has grown
exponentially. Last Thanksgiving, I chose for Athena and I to not go with my family to east Texas, but to stay home with Athena's father's family. At the time, I felt like all my parents were
trying to do was keep him and I apart. But once I watched my family pack up and pull out of the driveway, I felt a crippling sadness. I wanted so badly to go with them, although I'd never admit it. This Thanksgiving, I felt, made up for last year. My entire family has such a wonderful amount of love for Athena, and that is what I'm thankful for this year.

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Do you have any traditions?

I hope everyone had a nice, warm, filling Turkey Day! :]

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy [Late] Halloween

Athena's second Halloween was tons of fun! We went up and down the street trick-or-treating
, then I put Athena down and handed out candy. I did end up going with the pirate costume, and it fit perfectly and was hassle-free. She didn't really want to wear the hat, and when she did, she couldn't figure out how to put it on. We decorated the wagon with black crows to go along with the pirate theme. All in all, this year's Halloween was a success.

How did your Halloween go? What kind of costumes did everyone wear? I'd love to see pictures!

Now that Halloween is over with, Thanksgiving is the next big holiday. Last year Athena and I were at her father's house, but this year we're going to be at my grandparent's house in east Texas. I'm very much looking forward to it. :]

Recently, Athena has been getting a few of her molars in. Teething has transformed my happy, laid-back little angel into a irritable, moody, cranky little poop. She drools everywhere, nothing makes her happy, she's skipping naps, has difficult bed times and spots of diaper rash are popping up. Some temporary remedies that work for me are bath time, going outside and chewing on ice. I also love infant Tylenol and Oragel, but I'm usually out of them or Athena's hidden them somewhere. I've also heard of putting frozen fruit into a clean rag and
letting them gnaw on that, but I've never tried it, and I'm not sure if it works.

How did you survive teething? Any suggestions for what not to do?

I really hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween. Happy November!

PS: Know of anyone participating in No-Shave November? I sure do.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

So Halloween Is Right Around The Corner...

And I simply cannot decide what to dress Athena as. I love this pirate costume because it's long sleeved, and even if she gets sick of the hat, without it you can still tell it's a pirate.

What do you think? What are you being for Halloween? What are your kid(s) being?

On a different note, Athena turns 18 month [or a year and a half] old today! Only six more months until my little hoot is TWO years old! If you're a parent of a infant, enjoy every single day! It sure does fly.
Yesterday Athena and I went out in the wagon again so we could take advantage of the perfect weather north Texas has been having. She's gotten really attached to a pair of my little brother's sunglasses and insisted on wearing them on her wagon ride. So, as any parent does when their child looks adorable, I snapped a few pictures.

Feel free to comment and leave me your thoughts. :]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions of a Teen Mom

I get asked the same questions over and over again, whether they're from teenagers or adults. I figure I'd go ahead and get these out in the open. If you comment on this entry with a question, I'll add it to the post and answer it there. :]

Did you get pregnant on purpose?
No. I was on birth control, surprisingly enough. But I'd fallen behind and missed a few days. I hated the BC I was on because it would make me nauseated and make me wake up with excruciatingly painful muscle spasms in the middle of the night. Anyway, I did not plan on getting pregnant.

Do you receive a lot of discrimination because of your age as a mother?
Not really... but I'm always cautious about it. I was kind of anxious to start going to church again because I was terrified of being shunned or treated rudely. Luckily I picked the right church for me and I was readily accepted and felt right at home. I'd also heard horror stories of delivery nurses being rude to young mothers during and after the delivery. I was lucky there, too. But some just can't see past my age and group me with the teen moms who aren't so motivated and selfless and send me hate mail and such. Luckily, those are few and far between.

What is your opinion of teenage mothers in general?
It really depends. I think that not every woman is cut out to be a mother, no matter what her age. Some teenagers never go through the drinking/partying stage and adapt perfectly to parenthood. Others just can't let their personal lives go to take on the responsibility [and blessing] of raising a child. A female has the potential to be a good or bad mother, no matter what her age. There are plenty of adults that are terrible mothers.

Would you go back and change anything?
Absolutely not. I love the life I'm leading right now. I love my daughter and how close her birth has brought me with my family. I wouldn't be in college and have graduated early if it weren't for her. She's the best thing that has ever and will ever happen to me. :]

Would you recommend getting pregnant to teenage girls?
No. It's extremely difficult, especially if you're dealing with issues with the father. Some girls' parents shun them for getting pregnant, leaving them homeless and without financial support. I am very fortunate to have the aid of my parents. I have no idea where Athena and I would be if it weren't for them. In my opinion, a teenager's top priority should be finishing high school, and that is made very complicated with an infant. Enjoy staying out late, sleeping in, being with friends and having money while you can, girls. Motherhood isn't for everyone.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Little About Me

When people learn my name is India before meeting me, they get this m
ental image of a Middle Eastern girl with dark hair and tan skin. That couldn't be more wrong! I am very pale and I have blonde hair [though I've had many other colors]. I was born in Virgina on Cinco de Mayo in 1992. After that, I moved all over Texas and finally settled in with my family south of Fort Worth the summer I turned 10. I went through my freshmen and sophmore years with no issues at all; I made straight A's, was almost obsessively involved with choir and had no interest in the drinking and smoking my peers seemed to be tapping into. I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of my junior year. I contemplated an abortion along with adoption. Neither seemed to feel like the right choice. So gradually everyone at my high school found out, and I received a wide range of responses. From physical threats to anonymous gifts, I was never really sure where I stood with most of my class. This was 2008, and no one else at the high school was pregnant;
it was only me. Now, I almost always know someone my age that is pregnant. I don't want to talk about increasing young pregnancy rates... Anyway, when my third
trimester rolled around, I was transferred
to AEC [pronounced 'ace'] for the rest of my pregnancy and six weeks after the delivery. My
classroom had four other girls, all from diff
erent high schools. My teacher, Mrs. Brownell, was a very sweet, kind, nurturing woman who was extremely protective and motherly towards "her girls." Thanks to her, I felt almost immediately at home. Of course, in that classroom, it was hard not to. We had a couch and several rocking chairs for the girls to nurse or rock their newborns in. At the end of my 7th month of pregnancy, my best friend, Megan, threw me the baby shower of the century. The color scheme was pink and green; pink for my baby girl and green for my due date in March. Of course with my luck, Athena decided she wasn't ready to make an appearance until April 2, when I was induced. With my epidural and constant ingestion of ice, the birth went flawlessly. Athena weighed 7lbs 6oz and was 19in long.
I went back to AEC a week after Athena's birth and then back to my high school 6 weeks after that. The school system made it extremely easy for me to finish my junior year by setting up a bus that, in the mornings, picked Athena and I up, dropped her off at daycare, then me off at school, and the opposite after school. Someone would have to go com
pletely out of their way to drop out with that kind of assistance.I decided to go to AEC for my senior year and graduate early. Within 9 weeks, I was done with high school a
nd enrolling i
n college.
The rest is pretty simple. I watched Athena learn new things, start to walk, start t
o talk. I knocked out class after class, and now I'm only 2 semesters short of my Associate degree. I'm extremely proud of myself and I hope I'll always have the motivation I have