An Unexpected Situation

When you become a parent (especially for the first time) you are constantly thrown into situations where you just have no idea what to do and sometimes say.

You have a newborn that just won’t stop crying….it might take you a few hours or days to figure out that the little one has bad gas or just likes to be held in the football position. You have a toddler who is scared of the dark…you might find a book that helps or finally find the perfect nightlight in the shape of Elmo (after purchasing four that didn’t work).

In some situations you might find yourself searching for the right words for your parents, in-laws, friends and even strangers when they might be judging your parenting or even your kid.

This week I found myself in this kind of situation with a complete stranger at a MyGym class with Lily. My baby was literally attacked by another kid not once but THREE times by another child. In this situation I was shocked, hurt, freaked out and beyond pissed that I had no clue on how to appropriately handle the situation at that time.

mygympicThe first attack happened in the first five minutes we got there. Lily and I walked over to a corner to say hello to my friend Elisa and her twin boys, good friends from our playgroup. In that corner there was a little girl playing on a small trampoline and I noticed that Lily started to walk over towards her. I kept a side-glance on Lily because she loves to jump and really doesn’t think twice about climbing on if another kid is trying to jump. My heart literally froze when I saw this little girl lean over and with both hands grab at Lily’s chest. She squeezed and twisted her hands into Lily’s shirt and skin while trying to push Lily down. What made my heart freeze was the look on this kid’s face. Elisa saw the whole thing and after it happened agreed that it was terrifying to see the amount of pure hate that radiated from this other little girl. It wasn’t your typically toddler “I’m pissed that you took my toy” look…no her eyes faded out, lips curled and teeth grit into a “I’m going to kill you” look.

Shocked I told Lily it would be okay but to remember that only one person jumps at a time. Elisa immediately pointed out the kid’s mom who was on the opposite side of the gym, just chilling on the floor completely oblivious and on her phone. Since it was a one-time situation and I had no clue who the kid was I didn’t say anything. Now I understand that Life happens and that sometimes we might get a call or text from a loved one that you pay attention to. So even though I was annoyed that the mom wasn’t there to talk to her crazy kid, I just let it go because who knows what kind of issues she might have dealing with. BUT regardless of whatever was so important on the phone, the mom should have at least been close by and keeping an eye on her kid.

Five minutes later Lily proceeded to walk up a carpeted plank and I noticed that the same little girl was at the top of the landing. Elisa and I gave each other a knowing glance and I walked over closer to Lily just in case. Well before Lily could even make it to the top, the little girl dug a hand into Lily’s hair…digging her nails into Lily’s scalp and proceeded to tug her head back and forth. Time seemed to stand still, when I lunged over to Lily. I looked at the little girl giving her a stern “No” and immediately the little girl’s face switched from that terrifying evil look into a “oh shit I’m caught” face. Besides Lily’s ponytail being a little messed up she was physically okay, but her face broke my heart. She looked confused and hurt. Her eyes looked up to me in a pleading “Mommma what happened?” glance and then my heartache turned to anger in a second.

This ramp was actually on the side of the gym where this mom had decided to park her butt on the floor so she finally heard the commotion and walked over asking “what happened, what’d she do? Did she push her?” In the most calm voice I could muster I said, “No she tried to rip her hair out.” I must admit that I said it calm but with a slightly pissed undertone. The lady quickly said Sorry but without real empathy and quickly followed with “Well she has an older sister and she was just standing her ground.” I was seeing red at this point that she was offering that as an excuse and not even scolding her child for this totally inappropriate behavior. It took every ounce not to go off on this woman, so I picked Lily up and walked back over to my girlfriend Elisa….who was also shocked and pissed as well.

Ten minutes later Lily was playing with a piece of gym equipment and having fun socializing with another little girl. The two were speaking gibberish to each other and I glanced over to her mom giving her an “OMG this is too cute” smile. That faded instantly when that little girl crawled away and the girl who had attacked Lily twice crawled in next to her. Lily’s whole demeanor changed and she now looked at the girl with a scared face. To see that face on my child broke my spirit but at the same made me furious. I looked for the kid’s mom and this time she was close by, but again she was knee deep into whatever was going on with her cell.

I made myself clear towards Lily but loud enough for the mom to hear when I said “Lily if that little girl isn’t going to play nice then lets walk away from her…” Before I could even finish the girl leaned over to Lily and pushed both hands into her stomach in attempts to knock Lily onto her back. I quickly leaned into the equipment to pull her out while repeating myself again. The mom was still focused on her phone…oblivious to her kid. I did notice that my girlfriend Elisa at this point was informing one of the gym teacher about this kid. A mom standing next to me wispered “That was my daughter last week.” So knowing that this child was a repeating offender made me even more pissed off.

mygympic1Lily started to point to the door and repeated “Go…Go”. Lily no longer wanted to stay and play. She ran to the gate to leave and I followed her running into the gym teacher where I told her I was seeing red and having a hard time controlling my anger. I picked Lily up and tried to calmly coax her into staying. While rocking her on my hip I turned to see the little girl lean over some equipment to attack yet another kid. This time the gym teacher was there and immediately grabbed her and the mom came over. No clue what was said, but knowing the teacher she had to at least have said something that informed the mom and kid that it was wrong and not allowed.

It made me sick to my stomach that even after knowing her kid attacked Lily even that one time (since she was oblivious to the two additional times) and now being caught by the teacher attacking a different kid…the mom let her kid stay and continue to run around the gym. There is no question that if Lily was the aggressor I would have taken her immediately out of the equation. Lily never warmed back up to wanting to play so we ended up leaving. Even more upsetting is that when I got home I noticed that Lily had some claw marks on her back from when the girl had attacked her. My poor Lily.

Like most situations I’ve had time to think over what happened and have come up with so many things I wish I had said or done. I wish that after the second time the girl attacked Lily that I informed the mom that it wasn’t the first time, since she was in lala land. I wish I had told the mom that her ‘older sister excuse’ was not good enough and that it was inappropriate. That no two year old should approach another child with so much hate. I wish I had confronted the mom after the third time. Telling her she should take her daughter home.

Part of me hopes that this mom and kid are at the gym next week. So I can have some kind of redemption and be that strong protector for my daughter. BUT of course part of me hopes that we never run into them again. As much as I wish I could have said/done something else…I’m actually proud that I kept my cool. With Lily being so freaked out I thought it was more important to focus on turning her frown upside down.

As angry as I was at that child for hurting Lily…she is just a child. I actually feel horrible that in her mind that was her idea of normal. I wonder how her home life must be with an older sister who must bully her and with a mom that might look the other way.

I was totally unprepared for this situation. I didn’t think Lily would be running into a physical bully at the young age of two. I wish Lily could continue to live in a bubble of my protection with rose-colored glasses. This situation was a bit of a wake up. Unfortunately we all know that growing up is tough. Kids will run into plenty of similar situations from elementary school to college. Hell there really isn’t an age limit to bullies.

The one positive thing I walk away with from this experience is that while Lily was physically attacked, at no point did she get physical back. I’m glad that at two she still knows love more than hate. I just hope that she will always have more love in her life than hate.

(BTW all these photos are from last year’s Halloween costume party at her gym…where Lily had a blast with her buddies)

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  1. Michelle Smith commented:
    September 28, 2013 Reply

    Amy! My heart was racing now that I have a duaghter just reading this blog! You did a great job, there is no way I would have been able to keep my cool after the first incident. Love that you are posting your experiences!

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Scaredy Pants

bellyshotI’ve always expressed my honest opinions/thoughts/views on this blog, including some pretty personal moments (like my post partum depression). So bare with me as I need to vent some emotions that have been boiling up recently.

During the worst part of the nausea with this pregnancy I started feeling horrible guilty feelings about my parenting towards Lily. There were days I could barely get out of bed and many were spent curled up on the couch. On days where my mom and Mike couldn’t help watch Lily I would allow her to watch movie after movie to keep her busy. I felt so guilty….

Oh that crappy parental guilt. Even when you think you’re doing a kick ass job at being a parent the littlest incident can make you second guess your ability to raise your own kid.

I felt guilty that I wasn’t being a good mom. Letting the tv and iPad take over my duties while I couch potatoed it. Starting to feel better now, I know this sounds silly. I can’t be super mom everyday. Oh but those guilty feelings were wrecking me to the point of public sobbing. One day I broke down and called my sweet friend Emily for her help in watching Lily for a few hours. As I dropped Lily off at her house I completely balled in front of her nanny, the very sweet and awesome nanny extraordinaire Danica. There I was dropping my kid off for someone else to care for not because I had a job…because I needed to get home and just get in bed. Oh I felt so horrible.

When the nausea started to lift a bit in the mornings (still hits me every afternoon & evenings ugh), I started to develop new guilty thoughts.

What if I can’t handle two kids?

How in the world will I get anything done (it’s hard shopping with one toddler already!)?

Will I be able to spread my time, love and affection evenly to both?

Will I miss out on special Lily moments while caring for baby number two?

Will I miss out on special moments with the baby while caring for Lily?

Will the post-partum depression come back and will it be worse with two kids?

Before Lily was even born I had these moments of anxiety wondering if I was going to be a good mom….ones I’m sure most first time parents contemplate. Now here I am again anxiety ridden knowing how damn tough it is to be a mom, and wondering if I can do it x2.

And the answer is who the hell knows. Like most things in life you just don’t know until you do it. And it seems that I have been able to keep the first kid alive, so I must be doing something right…right?

Parenting is the toughest job I have ever experienced. Somewhere deep down inside I know that I will be able to handle two children. I know that I will love the second child with every fiber of my being and care for him/her with the same passion as I do Lily.

I’m just scared. Just like I was when I was pregnant with Lily.

So right now I am trying to rid myself of that crappy parental guilt while I order more take out rather than cook and allow more tv/iPad time since I have zero energy for the park. Right now I’m going to continue to pray for a healthy baby number two. Lily is safe, happy & healthy (& that’s what really matters) and I have 5 more months until I need to worry on how to juggle two kids at Target. But ANY advice on how to juggle two tots is welcomed!

PHEW…that felt good to get off my chest….

{and the pic above is from my first pregnancy!}

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  1. Stacie commented:
    September 20, 2013 Reply

    Oh, I feel better. My 11 month old has been going through some trouble getting to sleep at night, just having a fit and I have been feeling so guilty and like it must be my fault and just a wreck over it. I feel normal now. Chin up!

  2. Michelle Hammond commented:
    September 20, 2013 Reply

    Hey… I will share something with you as I am sure your mom already has… EVERY mother feels guilty about something and it never stops… you just do your best … your an excellent mommy… its ok to couch it at times… ipads and tv can be a good break .. as well as educational… postpartum is not fun … and nobody is ever ready for any kid let alone two .. hope this helps 😀

    • Amy Romano commented:
      September 27, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Michelle for your kind words!!! xo

  3. Sarita commented:
    September 23, 2013 Reply

    Amy! I suffered from PPD, as well. I KNOW how scary it is, how embarrassing, too. I also never wanted to harm myself or Maxwell, but I was just overwhelmed by the responsibility, the sleeplessness, the unfamiliar territory of taking care of a newborn. Even with Bjarni at home during the first weeks I couldn’t leave the baby to take a simple shower. I had so much anxiety. And, Maxwell was colicky! Salt in the proverbial wound, man! But, I too sought help from doctors and medication. I felt better. Soooo much better– stable, able to weather the manifold and inevitable parenting stresses, and enjoy my baby boy.
    My experience with #2? It was soooo much easier! I think it was because I knew that the most exhausting first months were just that: first months. I knew it would be most demanding on mommy until solids at 6 months. I knew we could sleep train around 8-10 months. Whereas with my first, it was like running a marathon, but not knowing where the end was; #2 was like running a marathon, but knowing how quickly things would change.
    I am so very, very impressed and proud of you for embracing how tough it is and sharing it with us (who, let’s face it, already know!). XOXO

    • Amy Romano commented:
      September 27, 2013 Reply

      Oh Sarita thanks for sharing! The main reason I went public with the PPD was in hopes that it might help another out there who hasn’t reached out for help. Talking to my doctor was THE BEST thing I did as a mom to get better! I do think that the PPD is playing a HUGE role in this anxiety of have over baby #2 AND yes since we know how tough it was with the first…I know that it will be even harder once the second arrives. But just going to try and soak up the good moments because the second will be 16 in a blink of an eye! xoxoxo

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Surviving The First Trimester

The first trimester of your pregnancy can be are some simple tips and ideas to help you survive it!As I enter my second trimester with my second babe I thought I would share my thoughts & tips on surviving the first trimester. There are quite a few first trimester symptoms that can be rough like exhaustion, cramping, outrageous acne, and extremely sore nipples. It seems that the most common first trimester symptom that can be the roughest is “morning sickness”.  If you are one of the lucky ones that has been blessed not to experience this…I envy you.

If you’ve been reading along with me you know that this pregnancy has been pretty brutal as far as “morning sickness”. And like I’ve said before, a man must have coined the term using morning, because it can last all day and all night. At 14 weeks I’m still battling the nausea, however, I am experiencing longer breaks between what I call my “nausea attacks”. Over the last week it seems the nausea kicks into gear more in the afternoon and carries on until I go to sleep. I still get moments in the morning of oncoming queasy feelings, but I just chug my water and continue to snack every two hours to keep my stomach full. Surviving the nausea can take up a whole post, and it did…read all about my tips on morning sickness here.

Nausea, extreme exhaustion, sore boobs, headaches, hormonal rages, constant need to pee (I average 3-4 times during the middle of the night alone), round ligament pains, bloating, cramping, bleeding….yep I’ve had it all just in this pregnancy. If it’s your first pregnancy all these changes to your body can be shocking (like instant Dolly Parton boobs!) and scary. Regardless if it’s your first or you’re on your third pregnancy, I suggest having resources readily available to help you understand your symptoms and your baby’s growth.

Some books & apps to help you (& the daddy-to-be) survive your first trimester! Some other great tips & ideas to get you through to the second trimester:) With my first pregnancy I purchased a few books, but the two that helped the most during the first trimester were: What to Expect When Expecting and Your Pregnancy Week by Week. Towards the end of your first trimester once you feel safe and comfortable with it, buy a baby journal and start to capture all the first feelings you and the dad-to-be are experiencing!

One hurdle that most pregnant women don’t expect to jump are issues with the daddy-to-be. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself (& from convos with my girlfriends), but I expected my husband to just get it. To just understand that my sudden mood swings and over sensitivity were from the raging hormones and not that I was just a witch. That he needed to let me vent and literally cry over spilt milk. Well guess what ladies- some men won’t get it. They might understand that our boobs are sensitive and that our backs hurt…but when it comes to being okay with the mood swings, they will swing right back. I knew that no matter how many times I explained to my husband that the hormones were making me act crazy, he just didn’t understand. So I went looking at the bookstore for some help and found the greatest pregnancy book for men. Knowing Mike would never read three pages of a step-by-step pregnancy book I opted for one that spoke in guy humor. Pregnancy Sucks For Men was probably the best purchase ever. Three weeks after I gave it to Mike he came up to me out of the blue and told me he understood now what I was going through and would try to be more understanding. To a hormonal pregnant lady that made me burst into tears. Mike just needed to read or hear it from someone else other than his “nagging” wife. That book ended up helping Mike be the most supportive husband over the rest of my pregnancy.

Not wanting to lug around my pregnancy books with me I downloaded a few apps to my phone. You will find that most weekly and monthly alerts from books, apps and websites tend to say the say things…but because growing a human being inside your belly is so damn awesome I don’t mind re-reading that by babe has fingernails and is the size of a peach. My favorite apps are the What To Expect (from the famous book series), Sprout Pregnancy, BabyBump, Pregnancy + (from Health & Parenting) and My Pregnancy Today (from Babycenter).

Great blog post filled with comfort items, tips and ideas to get you through the first trimester! Plus plenty of ways to cope with the awful morning sickness!Besides the books and apps, here are other items that helped me survive the first trimester.

Aquaphor. For some reason my lips dry up like the Sahara Desert. Aquaphor lip balm is my saving grace and I apply it all day long to keep my lips from cracking.

Comfy bed & pillow. My bed is my oasis. Some might like a gigantic bathtub or a huge closet, but my bliss is my ultra soft bed with plush pillows. Some days I have been so sick I haven’t gotten out of bed and having my comfy pillow made that nausea suck just a little less! So if you hate your pillow or have been dying to get some nice sheets….go get them. Enjoy this time to sleep & spend money on yourself…because once that baby comes you will have plenty of other stuff to spend your money on (like diapers) and sleep…well what the heck is that???? You don’t really need to buy a pregnancy pillow this trimester. If you find that placing a pillow between your knees brings you comfort towards the end of the first trimester then just use a small pillow. Unless you’re having twins you won’t have much of a belly the first trimester, so no need to spend your money on those pregnancy pillows yet!

Prenatal Vitamins. Of course you have heard to take your prenatals, I’m here to tell you about a great deal on them (because they can be expensive!). I found that the CVS drugstore brand has all the vitamins that you need including folic acid for a fraction of the cost (found here). You can get a bottle of 300 tables (enough to last through your entire pregnancy) for $19.79 where most regular prenatal vitamins cost around $20 for just a one month supply!

Hydration. Staying hydrated is important during your pregnancy. For me I have “thing” while I’m pregnant that the water has to be cold for me to drink it….room temp makes me gag. So I carry around a thermos type jug filled with ice water all day. I love it because it looks like a mason jar! Find it at Walmart here. (Target has them too, but of course Wally World sells them cheaper).

Tums. Acid reflux is no fun. Even if you stay away from triggers you can still get it. Tums help but they are gross. I found the ones that I could stomach were their smoothie flavored ones. They dissolved quickly too!

Toothbrush. Yes my toothbrush has helped me survive one pregnancy symptom…bleeding gums. While pregnant your gums can become swollen and bleed so find a soft toothbrush to help minimize the bleeding.

Comfy Bra. Most women experience a growth in their boob size and/or their boobs become sore. I lived in (& still do) Champion sports bras from Target and the super soft racerback pullover bra from Gap Body. Note that your bra size can get even larger so don’t go overboard buying multiple expensive bras at this stage! If you are planning on breastfeeding your cup size will get even BIGGER once the baby arrives!!

Below the waistline (the TMI section). Sadly constipation can develop during pregnancy due to the hormones causing your digestive system to slow down. Make sure you drink lots of water and eat plenty of vegetables. To help constipation I take the stool softner Colace (Ob suggested Miralax too). One thing to know about stool softners is that you need to keep taking them to continue to help. It is not a one pill and your cleared kinda relief! The ONLY way I obtained any instant relief was using enemas. Yes it is a gross concept of squirting a saline solution up there, but in less than one minute I was flushed out and felt amazing.

Remember to listen to your body and do what it says. If you’re tired then take it easy. Between morning sickness and exhaustion don’t beat yourself up for not committing to every engagement you’re invited to. Kick those feet up and rest! If this is your second or third pregnancy and you have littles running around like me then rely on your baby daddy for some help. Have a birthday party to go to?? Have your husband go solo with your kid (it’s funny how much more they respect our jobs as moms when they have to take care of the kid!). When you do get the energy to cook for your family try doubling the recipe and make a freezer meal for future use. If your like me and choose to order take out often, then just make healthier choices. Try not ordering Papa John’s two nights in a row!

The first trimester can be brutal and I hope these ideas and products help someone survive the first part of their pregnancy!

Please note that these are just some of the symptoms you can experience, not all of them! Since I’m not an expert or OB please check with your doctor for any concerns you may have. Be sure to check out tips on surviving the second trimester that even has a free printable checklist for when you register! Also read all about surviving the third trimester that has a free printable checklist to prep you for the hospital! 

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  1. Amanda commented:
    April 8, 2014 Reply

    I just found your website and am so glad. I am finishing up my 1st trimester with my second bundle of joy. It is hard running around after an almost 18 month old, while pushing through the morning sickness and exhaustion. This pregnancy has been different from the first, and sadly, at some points, I feel that I haven’t been able to enjoy it like the 1st. The pampering is just not there. I think that the hubs forgets that I am pregnant again as I work full-time, and run our household. Here is to 25 more weeks!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      April 10, 2014 Reply

      Welcome to L & B Amanda! You are SO right with not enjoying the second pregnancy as much as the first. I didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy the pregnancy this time, especially since I was sick up until I gave birth! Hopefully once you really start getting the belly it will be a physical reminder to your husband how demanding and taxing pregnancy is. Men sometimes just need to spelled out or physically laid out in front of them to realize things! Stay strong momma and enjoy the last few months with just 1 kid…two is a whole new ballgame!!

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Second Trimester on January 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    […] Head back to read my thoughts & tips on surviving the first trimester, as I might discuss things that you are just experiencing in the second trimester! (click HERE) […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Third Trimester on February 24, 2014 at 1:06 am

    […] just like my other posts on the first & second trimesters, the following lists some ideas, thoughts and products to help you survive […]

  3. […] Surviving the First Trimester from Lily & Bliss […]

  4. […] know you have to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or […]

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DIY Chalkboard Memo Pad

DIY mini chalkboard memo pad! Hang inside your pantry or kitchen cabinet with a removable 3M hook and you have a perfect place to jot down needed groceries. Great part- save you nice stationary and notepads to create your shopping list and you can re-use this clipboard over and over, not wasting that pretty paper of yours with one or two item lists! One thing you learn about motherhood is that “pregnancy brain” seems to no longer just be a pregnancy symptom…it’s become a perma fixture between cleaning smashed goldfish crackers from the rug and the rare moments you get to pee or poop alone (or maybe I’m only speaking about myself and my girlfriends).

Oh there are days sometimes weeks were I’m dominating motherhood and making it my B____. But then there are those days were you run to Target for TWO items, two items you had spoken to your husband about a number of times, trash bags & wood cleaner…and five minutes into the store and wait….ummm what was it……???? and blank. It is beyond irritating especially when your toddler is freaking out that the iPad shut off (of course because I forgot to charge it) during a Caillou episode and begins to toss goldfish all over the isle. Gotta love those moments right? Well this particular instance I was an idiot for not writing the two objects down before I left. But when I pulled out of the garage I knew what I needed as well as the lyrics to the Fresh Prince theme song. Good thing my husband was working from home that day and I called him to check my chalkboard memo pad to save a wasted Target trip.

Enter today’s DIY project. Because my memory seems permanently to slip here and there, I needed something in the kitchen to record needed grocery items. Of course I could use one of the cute notepads, and I did. But I love my pretty paper and I seemed to waste a lot of my notepads on one or two item lists. Always looking for something to chalk paint I picked up a cheap clipboard from Staples (under $2) to make a DIY chalkboard memo pad.

diymemopaintI taped off the top so there would be a nice clean line of paint. I used a plastic bag to cover the remaining top with the clasp. Using the spray chalk paint I had left over from the DIY chalk tags I gave the clipboard three coats of paint. Remember you need to give a 3-4 hour window in between coats. Once dry I peeled off the plastic bag, tied some rope to the clasp and on the other end tied a piece of chalk (so I don’t have to rummage around trying to find it). And viola….I have a notepad that I can use over and over and not waste my pretty paper! Plus this now gives my husband a known area to write down items he finishes like the milk…

To keep this out of view but within reach in the kitchen I hung it inside my pantry with a 3M plastic hook. I have seen people paint the inside of their pantry or cabinet door with chalk paint to create reminders or lists. I have a spice rack that takes up most of my pantry door and this mini chalk clipboard can move wherever I want it to. All I have to do is peel the 3M tape off and reapply it to another cabinet if I want.

Next time I leave the house I just need to remember to actually write down the items on paper or in my phone!

DIY mini chalkboard memo pad! Hang inside your pantry or kitchen cabinet with a removable 3M hook and you have a perfect place to jot down needed groceries. Great part- save you nice stationary and notepads to create your shopping list and you can re-use this clipboard over and over, not wasting that pretty paper of yours with one or two item lists!

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