Friday, May 27, 2011

Build language with reading and help speech delays too!

A summertime walk up the hill, with little feet, and little trips

Don't you love it when one activity can help your kids in multiple ways? Sometimes I think we forget how little things can impact their world in such a huge way. Like reading for instance. Isn't it amazing that reading to your kids can help them excel at language at an early age and also help those who are struggling with language at the same time? I wrote a little about this in a short guest post for the Reading Kingdom today.

Sometimes when you're bogged down in the monotony of parenting, working full-time, and trying to keep a house at least clean enough, it's easy to downplay the importance of the little things. I'm trying to remind myself today, and every day, that those little things like a nighttime story, a morning cuddle, and a few moments of language focused playtime really do add up to an awful lot.

What are some of your favorite "little" things to do for or with your child?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just one more thing

Ever felt like that server at your favorite restaurant who manages to always add one more thing to the tray, no matter how much is on the tray already? Or, maybe it's more like "The Cat in the Hat" when he says, "But that is not all I can do, oh no that is not all..." If you've ever felt either way, than you know exactly where Tripped Up is these days.

Because working full-time out of the house and managing a "triplet & teen" household in the midst of a commuting marriage is simply not quite enough, I've also added a new writing gig into the mix. Tripped Up is now a local examiner for, and I'll be writing posts about child care and the surrounding issues. I think it fits nicely with my overall niche of writing about parenting anyway and, you know, what mother can't handle "just one more thing," after all, right?

It may be that I need therapy, it may be that I'm attempting to sabatoge my whole life, or it may simply be I really like to write, who knows. In any case, I'm open for you to suggest post ideas for the Tripped Up Life blog as well as my page.

Oh and the request for quick, easy meals and other miraculous time-saving ideas? Yeah, still open for that too. Although, I will say finding a meal planning/recipe building-sharing/shopping list site has really helped with the dinnertime organization. But there's always laundry, house upkeep, and so many other places that organizational tips could be utilized... So, send any helpful tips my way, I promise to try them out and applaud loudly when they work!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Surgery - it just sounds scary

For the past month I've been worried about the upcoming surgery for our Angel triplet. It's a minor procedure to allow her to fully use her right thumb, a trigger thumb release. It's so minor that in undeveloped countries it probably wouldn't be done at all. To do the procedure she has to go under general anesthesia - which has its own risks.

I'm as glad as any parent would be that Angel's issue can be resolved with such a simple procedure and that it's not a major medical problem. I do find, however, that minor medical issues like this leave me and Tripped Up Daddy having to answer questions like: "Should we do it? Should we wait and see if it resolves on its own? Is it worth the risks? It's surgery, shouldn't we try to avoid that at all costs? Consequently, I've been worrying about logistics, suffering from bouts of huge Mommy Guilt and second-guessing the decision to pursue surgery.

I spent yesterday, "The Day Before Surgery," stressed and trying desperately to tell everyone, "No, I'm not stressed, just trying to make sure we're prepared." I tweeted and asked others for tips and received some great answers from Dr. Jen, and from Dr. Heather with her reflection on her own experience regarding surgery for a small child. Still, I found myself having trouble letting go and sleeping last night. Once there today, it was a struggle not to cry as the nurse took my 2-1/2 year old girl into her arms and carried her to the operating room, where I knew she would be safe, but where she would also fight the mask that brought her the needed anesthetia.

Once out in the waiting room, I posted progress to some friends and briefly checked email. I had time to eat some oatmeal and drink some coffee. Before I was even done with that latte, the doctor came out to let us know the surgery was complete, went well and our daughter was now in recovery. Seriously, I was surprised by how fast it all went. Her thumb immediately improved and will continue to improve in the future.

We had a wonderful experience today. The hardest part was the removal of the IV, and frankly, I think our Angel triplet was a trooper. She was hungry and thirsty right away. At home, we expected crankiness, instead, we got cuddles. The other girls had a good time going to play group with their grandma and our sitter.

I'm not saying surgery is always the best solution in every case, but I learned today that surgery sometimes sounds a whole lot scarier than it really is.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama and the mixed emotions of 9/11

I'm not a New Yorker, in fact, I've never even been to New York City. Everything I write in this post must be read with that filter in place. I am, however, an American. I do recognize the New York skyline and for the past 10 years have struggled internally whenever I see that skyline reflected in a movie, a photo, or drawing. I struggle if the Towers are there because the piece is from before 2001, and I struggle if the Towers are gone.

I had no personal relationship to those who were murdered on 9/11. I know none of the heroes who attempted to rescue those in the Towers that day. I have no connection to any of the victim's families. None.

Now I'm going to say something that some could view as harsh, and I'm sorry if I offend anyone, but here goes. (This may be my first step toward angry comments... deep breath.)

I'm sick to death of hearing about 9/11. I'm sick to death of having my 14-year-old's birthday overshadowed by tragedy and death every single year.

There, I said it. I threw it out there where anyone in the world can see it.

I know there are many people who were born on that actual day, some who lost parents in the tragedy, parents they never met. I know my frustration and anger have nothing on those situations. I know that.

Still, as much as I love celebrating my daughter and her birthday, I dread September 11. Especially this year because of the 10th anniversary and how it is sure to be politicized for weeks before and after. There's a part of me that wants to scream, "It's not fair! It was her day for 5 years before that man and his cohorts decided to steal the joy of her day with his despicable acts. And for the rest of her life, she will fight to be able to celebrate her birthday."

Now with the death of Osama, I wonder if any of this will change. Mostly I think not. Like others who were born on similarly bad days for our nation, like Dec. 7th, I think my daughter is sort of stuck battling the grief/pain of others and the sadness of the nation on a day when I'd like her to simply celebrate her life. The death of Osama has opened up my anger again at the whole situation.

 I remember her 6th birthday when she was still so innocent regarding it all. The sweet comment that made me tear up, "Mama, does everyone celebrate my birthday? Because they even talk about September 11 on TV." and my answer? "Everyone who knows you and loves you is celebrating on September 11 because you were born that day, and we just can't stop smiling when we think of that. The people on TV are talking about a really sad thing that happened, though, but that has nothing to do with your birthday."

The next year? She saw a sheet cake at a bakery that had the Towers on it. Don't ask me what they were thinking in that bakery, a commemoration of sorts, I don't know, it had Cake Wrecks written all over it. Anyway, she said, "Mom, that's what my birthday cake should have on it, the Towers - because that's what happened on my birthday." Was I selfish for not wanting my 7-year-old to have to identify her birthday with the Towers?

I've met others whose children have Sept. 11 birthdays and the anger is somewhat there for them too. Although one mom did say, "There's something about those 9/11 birthday kids - they've got a sweet sensitivity about them, don't they?" And, I must admit there is definitely that in Lotte, so perhaps I should be grateful for that. Certainly, I'm grateful to even have my child, to be lucky enough not to have been personally impacted by such a horrible tragedy, but do I also have a right to be sick of it all?

Some have suggested actually changing her birthday or celebrating it on her half-birthday. I guess that makes me even more angry - that we'd have to change her celebration day because of what a terrorist decided to do. Lotte doesn't like that idea anyway and after all, why should she have to give up her birthday?

So yeah, I'm glad Osama is dead. I'm glad it's finally over in that regard. I guess I'm just hoping for a day when 9/11 doesn't overshadow the September 11 birthday of a really pretty cool kid.

And how about you? Do you have a similar story about a different day? Or, how do you feel about the death of Osama? Has it brought closure to you?