Sharing is not always Caring

Between daycare, an elementary school, and a high school,  our den is prime real estate for germs to be passed from one bear to the next with sometimes very unfortunate results. This weekend these germs reared their ugly head and knocked half of us off our feet.

It started with me on Saturday night. Sean and I enjoyed a date night out at a colleague’s  birthday party. On the drive home, I started to feel bad and by the middle of the night I was praying to the porcelain gods. This wasn’t the result of too much drinking and no it’s not an early sign of morning sickness. My initial thought was food poisoning but the madness continued well into Sunday afternoon. I spent the majority of my Sunday either in bed or tossing my cookies- definitely not my idea of a good time! I was certainly in no condition to write a blog post.

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By Monday morning, I was feeling more like myself and finally able to keep food down only to discover that poor Liam was now sicker than a dog. Armed with a bucket, we dropped Atticus off at daycare and trekked to CVS to arm ourselves with Nauzene, Pedialyte, 7 Up, and fresh bread. All of the essentials, to help fend off the ickiness of a stomach bug. For all of the times Liam threw up, the little guy was one hell of a trooper. His lingered around longer than mine so he spent half the day at home today and the other with his Grandpa Jim to make sure he was fully recovered and ready to return to school tomorrow.

By the grace of God, Atticus appears to be spared. I pray both Sean and him fare better than the two of us. To combat the breeding ground of germs in our house, I’ve been running around with Clorox spray, disinfectant wipes, and Lysol trying to prevent these nasty germs from settling in like their welcomed guests.

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When half of your clan falls flat on their rear, it definitely debunks the “sharing is caring” adage we sprinkle on our children like confetti for most of their formative years. Sharing is not always caring when it comes to spreading germs from one person to another.

Aside from recounting the disgustingness of the last few days in our casa, I am writing this blog as a PSA for other Mama Bears out there. The flu in various strains is running rampant across the country. We have an obligation as mothers to recognize the signs, take the necessary precautions, and keep our children out of schools and daycares when they’re sick. Most schools maintain a policy of 24 hours fever and symptom free for a reason.  While Liam seemed to be on the mend last night, I knew if the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn’t appreciate another parent sending their child to school when they might still be contagious. It might not always be convenient either. After all, I missed a day and a half of work. But things aren’t going to get better if we don’t make a concerted effort to change the trend. Take precautionary measures like hand washing to minimize the spreading of germs. But more importantly keep yourselves and your children home when they’re sick. Sharing really is not always caring, especially when it comes to contagious viral infections, flus, and the like!

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Okay, I’ll simmer down now and put an end to my Mama Bear rant, at least for now.

Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans

Shortly after Thanksgiving, the Elf on the Shelf shenanigans begin at our house. I don’t know if I have more fun finding unique and creative ways to showcase Willie the Elf or if Liam does scouring the house every morning in search of his elf’s most recent hiding place.

I know staging your child’s elf may not be something everyone enjoys doing, but many do it because it’s an obligatory part of their family Christmas traditions. For the Mama Bears who find it more of a chore than a joy to hide their child’s elf, I thought I’d post a few of this year’s best hiding places so you could catalog them away and implement them in your house in the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.

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Willie blended in nicely with one of my favorite kitchen staples, cherry tomatoes. This hiding place proved to be incredibly difficult for Liam to find. He was unable to find him in the morning before we headed out the door for school and work. Later that evening though, I asked him to help me with dinner by grabbing some tomatoes. He was so very surprised to see who was hiding inside.

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Friday morning Liam woke up to fresh snow outside. As many of you know, this is truly a rarity in South Texas. He enjoyed building a snowman, having a snowball fight, and eating snow. This morning to piggyback on the merriment, Willie had his own snowball fight in the guest room with Liam’s Christmas stuffed animals.

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Willie borrowed one of Atticus’s bath toys for a little fishing fun in a decorative pot in our dining room.

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Baby toys have proven to be ideal props for staging Liam. For this one, I made a chain of teething rings and hung them from the drape rod.

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A bag of Oreos doubles as a prop and as an easy go-to dessert. Liam loved finding his name spelled out in them and was even more surprised that Willie made the icing red just like his clothes.

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During the off season, Willie moonlights as an extra for Cirque de Soleil.

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Willie pulled the drapes together to make a relaxing hammock. He enjoyed a day of sunbathing while Liam was away at school.

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Sometimes Willie leaves notes for Liam that talk about something special Liam did during the day. These notes are a labor of love on my part because I write them with my non-dominant hand. For not being a leftie, I think I fare pretty well.

To the other Mama Bears hiding elves this Christmas, let your inner child out and get creative. Seeing your child’s eyes light up when they discover their elf’s new hiding place makes it a labor of love well worth the effort!

A 6th Birthday of Liamisms

Today marked Liam’s 6th birthday. While driving to Shipley’s this morning for birthday donuts. I started singing happy birthday with an assortment of different nicknames for Liam just for grins. Each time it went a little something like:

  • “Happy birthday dear, Liamnardo da Vinci. Happy birthday to you!”
  • “Happy birthday dear, Liamnardo James Macaroni . Happy birthday to you!”
  • “Happy birthday dear, Liam Sweet Pea Mogwai. Happy birthday to you!”

Every time he chimed in with, “Mom, that’s not my real name.” I preceded to follow up with his full name. At which point he contested yet again that this wasn’t his real name either. He matter of factly followed up with, “No mom. My real name is just Liam.”

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In honor of Liam and his special day on this 5th of November, it seemed only fitting to compile some of his most recent Liamisms to commemorate his sixth birthday.

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“Mom, you want to hear something hilarasing? It’s so funny it will make you laugh.” “Liam, sweetie, I think the word you mean is hilarious. Hilarious is another word for funny.” “Oh yeah, that’s what I meant to say!”

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“Liam, I really need you to be a first time listener, please.” “Mom, I think I’m having a hard time hearing because I have too much ear wax in my ears. Maybe you should clean them out with a Q Tip, so I can hear better.”

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“Mom, why don’t we use mattresses at the dinner table anymore?” “What mattresses are you talking about Liam?” “You know the ones we used to put under our plate to catch the food.” “Oh, you mean place mats.” “Oh right, that’s what they’re called.”

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“Mom, wouldn’t it be funny if I was only one like Atticus. Then we’d be twins. We could play together all the time.” “Liam, I’m sure that would be a lot of fun for you two but it would be a lot of work for me.” “You’re right, Mom. Think of how many poopy diapers two babies would make. That would be disgusting!”

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Liam, your wit and humor bring light to our days. You are an incredibly intelligent young man with a world full of possibilities in front of you. Keep working hard, making us proud, and bringing a smile to our face with your perfectly imperfect Liamisms. May this year bring you happiness, adventures, and so much more! Happiest of birthday wishes to you, Golden Bear.

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