Saturday, February 28, 2015

Girl Scouts Take Over The Zoo

Last Sunday (not this past, but the one before that, yeah I'm behind) we took Rylie's Girl Scout troop to the Houston zoo!! It was a little stressful taking 9 girls to a big place for the first time, but thankfully we had a few moms and a couple husbands attend too. And shout out to Houston weather for not raining more than about 5 minutes on us!

Group photo when we arrived (and Remy testing her limits in a new place)

Fish room first (Rylie's on the right in the denim skirt and red shirt)

Remy was a "tagalong" too! Our poor deprived second-child had never been to the zoo before. Rylie had been several times by the time she was 3, so we had to bring Remster along with us!

Crawling through the fish tunnel


Cute little one

Remy and her daddy

The 2 dads and their tagalongs

This guy looked mean

Rylie looking at the......ok I forgot what this is. All these cats and their different spots. I know this isn't a I believe.

He was beautiful!

Then we came up to the tigers playing.......yes kids, they're playing!

Tigers are so beautiful.

Remy, of course, LOVED the lions!!

We could barely see them though and I couldn't get a good photo, but she was excited to see a REAL "Mufasa" haha!

Girls looking for the lions

Another cat I can't remember the name of. Pretty sure this one's a cheetah though.

Then all the girls got to ride the carousel!

Cute whittle giraffe kid

These giraffes were CRACKING ME UP! They kept winding their necks like a kid with a baseball bat and then whacking each other! I'd never seen giraffes do that before!

It started raining for a few minutes. Luckily we'd brought a few umbrellas to share with the girls!

Remy DID NOT LIKE THE RAIN!! She was also mad I wouldn't let her have an umbrella and gave it to one of the Girl Scouts because Remy was covered in her stroller and we were under a roof.

The rain cleared up and we hit the drums!

Poor Rylie hit her head just as I took this photo.   :(

Imagine trying to get him out! Yikes!

Notice the girls in the center holding hands. Sweet Girl Scouts!

Sleeping flamingos

Remy didn't want any part of a group photo lol

Rylie and Ella were the only ones who wanted to do the reptile room so I took them through.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Shopping Cart

So, I had something happen to me Monday at our local grocery store that I can't stop thinking about. It's seriously not a big deal. I know, I should "Let It Go" as Elsa would say. And I am, but I have all these thoughts about it swirling around and I just need to get this out of my head and sharing it will help. So I thought I'd open up to my mom friends here.

Let me preface with the fact that I rarely take my kids to the grocery store with me. It's just so much more stressful, as any mom would probably agree. So my weekly routine is doing my grocery shopping on Sunday nights, alone. It's blissful. :) But every once in awhile I can't make it on a Sunday night, like this week. So I figured I'd just go with Remy after her gymnastics Monday morning. One kid in the store is better than two, am I right?

So after her class, I got us each a smoothie to tie us over until lunch and I figured it'd help keep Remy busy and quiet while I quickly got our dinner ingredients on my list. It started raining, so we both ran inside the store with our smoothies and I grabbed one of those "car carts." They're annoying, but they help keep Remy entertained and not grabbing groceries. I specifically grabbed the smaller one too because man, those suckers are hard to steer! They're like shopping cart "buses" if you haven't used one before. Well, I pushed it over to the "cart sanitizing station" to clean the cart off because I'm one of those moms and we'd all just had strep throat a few weeks ago, so yeah, avoiding anything else right now! I was trying to move the cart out of the way for people coming into the store and I bumped into the sanitizing station and knocked the bottle of hand sanitizer over. There was a teenage girl and her mom hovering by the Redbox machine right next to us and apparently, I bumped into the teenage girl. It couldn't have been more than a slight bump because I didn't feel nor see it. I just picked up the (empty) sanitizer bottle (maybe this was what actually hit her, I don't know, but something evidently tapped the girl) and put the bottle back on the stand and grabbed some wipes. I started wiping down the cart, meanwhile Remy was just standing so good right next to the cart drinking her smoothie. The mom to the teenager then said to me "You could teach your daughter some manners and could've told her to say 'excuse me' because that hit my daughter." I wasn't sure I heard her correctly, as I was trying to quickly wipe the cart down, so I responded with "What?" And she repeated it again, then quickly stormed off in a huff. I didn't say anything back to her, as she was already off into the store, but the look I was giving the back of their heads probably froze Jamaica.

Here's the thing,
1: Remy didn't do anything. I was the one moving the cart and apparently "hit" her teenage daughter. Had I known I'd bumped into that girl, I would have said something. But I wasn't aware I had and obviously the mom wasn't paying much attention either to blame my toddler for it.
2: Remy does have manners and I do teach my kids right from wrong.
3: Remy wouldn't have said anything to her, even if I'd told her to because Remy doesn't know who the heck this lady is!

I know I'm a good mom. I don't believe anything that lady said. But here's what bothers me about it, she saw a 3 year old in a grocery store and immediately assumed she had done it. That she was trouble. And she pre-judged me as a mom. Moms are constantly under scrutiny with every move our kids make. When a child acts up or throws a fit in a grocery store and the mom starts sweating and getting hot in the face and stressing out, it's not because the kid is throwing a fit. It's because she's worried what the other customers are thinking of her while her child is throwing a fit. Does a mom get that worked up over a fit when they're alone at home? Most likely, no. So why do we get so worked up and worry what others think when we're in public? Because of people like this lady! There are people who will accuse us to our face of being a bad mom. Our biggest fear. That we're failing at raising our kids. Strangers see one tiny moment of ugliness and immediately judge us. That lady didn't see Remy at the end of our shopping trip at the checkout counter say please to the cashier for a sticker. She only knows her daughter said she was hit by something and she immediately blamed Remy, who did nothing wrong.

I've seen a lot of articles and blogs recently along the lines of "Hey mom in Target, I see you struggling and your kid is acting up and I applaud you. I got your back....." And we do need that encouragement! When I had to fly with both girls by myself last Summer to Maine, I was soooo worried leading up to it. Remy was only 2 and we don't fly by maybe once a year and it takes 12 hours to get to Maine. The thing I stressed about the most were the other passengers. I worried my girls would be tired or hungry or cranky and have a moment and we'd get kicked off the plane like I'd heard in news stories. What hadn't occurred to me before going on this trip was that I wouldn't be the only parent with kids flying! Duh me. I had this vision of corporate people and kid-haters groaning at the sight of us. I was pleasantly surprised to see several families. At one stop, I saw a Dad playing with his little one and he must've felt the anxiety about traveling with kids as I did, because he looked at me and said with apology "He's got to run off some energy. We've had a 4 hour flight and another one ahead." I quickly assured him his child was perfectly fine and we were in the same boat and to not be sorry at all. I had his back.

I just constantly get the feeling the world is becoming more "anti-kid" if that makes sense. Hearing phrases like "That mom needs to learn to control her kids" and such. And I'm so tired of it. There's definitely a difference between a mom who's kid is running through the store, aiming shopping carts at the elderly and throwing canned goods across the aisle while the mom just stands there and does nothing. But in the 7 1/2 years I've been a mom, I've never seen a mom do nothing while their child acts up. Kids are going to act up. They're kids. Maybe I just have a higher tolerance for it, being a mom of young ones, but people need to get over it. Because otherwise they start accusing a 3 year old for doing wrong when they're just standing there being good. And when a kid is acting up and you see a mom sweating and doing something about it, how about offering some encouragement? We're all just trying to do our best here.

This mom on Monday could have used that moment to teach her teenager compassion and mercy instead of condemning me. She wasn't thinking about her teenage daughter one day becoming a mom and what she would have liked a stranger to say to her daughter if she were a mom in my shoes. Perhaps then she would've said something more polite like "excuse me, did you know you bumped into my daughter?" And then I would've apologized and explained I wasn't aware. Or maybe she would've realized it was an accident, not some act of evil and would have just let it go and not said anything. But she chose to say what she did and I'm not going to lie, it shook my confidence for a moment. Just a moment though.

I just wanted to share this (if you're still reading this longest post ever ) to the other moms out there in case your confidence as a parent gets shaken by a stranger some day. You're not alone and I want you to know I've got your back and to remind you that you're doing a great job. We all need to be in this together.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine Week Misc and Sickness

These are from over a week ago, but I had to share Remy's cute outfit! She was rocking this coat she got for Christmas!

And she looked so grown up in this outfit too!

Last Monday, Remy had a cute Valentine gymnastics class.

Doing her straddle jump in front of her class


Rylie had woken up with a headache and body aches and was extremely stuffy in the nose. She didn't have a fever and I'd been battling allergies/sinuses too so she went with me to Remy's class. She was excited to finally see her little sister do her thing.

And she made herself a math book lol Always learning!

Tuesday Rylie's sinuses were cleared up, she felt great, and went back to school! She looked so cute in this new Hanna Andersson outfit I got for $4 at a consignment sale.

BUT 2 hours after drop-off the school called me and said Rylie didn't feel well. After PE class (where she said she did 10 jumping jacks and 10 rollover flips), her head hurt and the nurse said she had a "fever" of 99 degrees. She said I had to pick her up and she couldn't come back Wednesday, but maybe Thursday if her "fever" went away. So we had another day of lounging since I actually felt worse than the day before.

Wednesday was a really bad day. I woke up with the worst sore throat ever and could barely move. My head was pounding. And both girls were awake and bouncing around the house. Remy had a well-check appointment that morning (her 3 year checkup that I'm just getting around to taking her to) so I couldn't stay in bed, as painful as it was to get up. I knew right away I had strep throat, but I didn't have time to get me to a Dr before Remy's appointment. Of course, we had a 40 minute wait to see Remy's Dr. While we were there, I had both girls tested and sure enough, strep throat was going through the family! So after a total of 3 hours in the pediatrician's office, trying to keep the girls occupied with no voice and a huge headache, we were finally done! I went straight to the nearest Walgreens clinic, waited 20 minutes to be called back just for them to say it's going to be a 4 hour wait.!! I called my regular doctor office and said I just need a strep test. They said there's no way they could fit me in today. So we left Walgreens and drove what felt like eternity with the pain I was in to the nearest CVS clinic. We walked in to see a sign that said they were out of strep tests in that location. And then I cried. The only other clinic I could think of was a good 30 minutes away and they wouldn't answer the phone. It was now lunchtime so I couldn't risk driving all the way out there and not being seen or waiting a long time. The girls needed lunch and a nap. So my pain would have to wait longer to get relief. I picked up their prescriptions and myself a giant ice cold smoothie and went home. Thankfully David was able to swing by just long enough to make the girls sandwiches and put them both to bed. I took several ibuprofen, drank my smoothie which was so heavenly on my throat, and took a good nap. We all woke up hours later feeling better and a friend texted me with an offer to bring dinner and cookies. And I cried again. I hadn't even thought of dinner and that'd we'd need some and yet a fellow mom friend did. For us. I'm so incredibly lucky. I couldn't have anyone help with the girls since they were sick too and David couldn't take off work. But bringing us dinner was a HUGE help. As soon as David got off work I went straight to another clinic a friend told me about and thankfully I only waited 15 minutes. The test came up positive right away and I finally got my prescription!

Thursday we had yet another day hanging around the house! We'd kind of run out of things to do so I made a "cootie catch" for Rylie. Who knew it'd entertain her as much as it did. lol

Remy missed her class Valentine party and I missed my MOPS spa night. We were stir crazy, so for lunch, we did Smoothie King drive-thru!

Seriously, the best thing when you have strep throat!

Friday morning, Rylie headed back to school! She'd been on meds for 48 hours now and was excited to be back in time for her class Valentine party (seriously, exact same thing that happened last year after her first round of scarlet fever/strep).

Her class goodies and Olaf box she made!

They had tons of extra ice cream so Remy got a float too!

Playing class games

Then it was time to head home and Rylie, who loves school and missed going all week, started to cry because I wouldn't let her stay!

Her teacher 

Her artwork is on display in her school right now so she proudly showed us!

That night we finally picked up her Girl Scout cookies too!

And we had big helpers bring them in!

Saturday, for Valentine's Day, we were all feeling good, we'd been on meds for 3 days, we sanitized the entire house (and I mean entire thing) and we were going out!!

I made the girls these shirts to match the crown headbands they got for Christmas. They got so many compliments on the headbands while we were out!

We gave the girls their treats first.

David got me strawberries!!! My fav!

Love this scarf on her!!

Then we surprised the girls with bowling!! Remy had never been, so it was extra special!

Final score

We did a few arcade games too. Rylie and David rode the roller coaster simulation. Then we did a casual dinner. It turned out to be a great Valentine's Day and I'm so glad we're all on the mend and knock on wood we don't get this again like last year!!!