March 30, 2011

March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday - August 11, 2007

What is Flashback Friday? Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog. I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook. For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays. I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs. Enjoy my friends
August 15, 2007 - I was up and had a chance to write about my story of birth with Thing One.  It was the first night at home with him.  My heart was full.
Arcadia Methodist - on a great August day
August 11, 2007 a date to never forget. My lovely baby boy came into this world at 2:37 pm, weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces and measuring 19 inches.
The day before I was feeling quite heavy, hot, and just plain uncomfortable. My due date was not until August 30th but according to the doctor I was ready at any time to give birth from this past Thursday until then. Thirty-seven weeks pregnant and I was totally exhausted, swollen, and not hungry. The only thing I wanted was a nice big juicy sweet orange and a huge ice cold glass of water.  Mami had suggested we go to the store to get them, but I was craving the one's from the farmers market.  Luckily it was Friday and the street fair / farmer's market was in full swing in Monrovia.  Big Cheese was at work so it was just me and Mami.  I figured we would park close enough to where the fruits were being sold and that way we could get them and go home.  Well, better said than done, we parked where I thought the fruit was.  They had moved to the other side of the street.  I must have really wanted those oranges because I walked all the way down to the other side, stopping occasionally to catch my breath and wipe the sweat off my brow.  It was a sweltering 102 degrees! In foresight maybe getting pregnant in December and having a child in the dead of August heat was not the smartest thing ever. 

We finally reached the oranges and Mami was hungry, so we went to sit and a local burger joint.  All I could think of was to sit in the AC at home and eat my juicy sweet oranges and the ice-water.  Nothing at the burger joint looked appetizing to me.  We got home and I was exhausted, like completely exhausted.  Mami cut up the oranges for me and served me my water.  I lifted my hugely swollen ankles up on the lazy boy and sat like Cleopatra with the fan in my face and feeding myself oranges.  I don't even think it was 8 in the evening when I crawled into bed.

Every night before Big Cheese would get home from work around three in the morning I would wake up, like clockwork and go to the bathroom.  I was about to get up when I rolled over and felt a gush of water.  Immediately I sat up and was thinking, I didn't need to go so bad to wet my pants like that.  I wobbled over to the bathroom and noticed that I was wet and a little bit of blood.  Mami was in her room when I went over and poked her to wake her up. Half asleep she looked at me and grunted "que?"  (what?) .  "Mami I think my water broke"  I don't think I ever saw Mami get up as fast as she did.  I was pretty relaxed, I had time to call the doctor and Big Cheese.  When I called Big Cheese, I could hear his breaths pick up pace.  He was on his way to pick me up and take me to the hospital.  My doctor hadn't returned my calls but I could feel small twinges on my lower back.  I was sure I was going to have this baby.  I showered to relax myself and relieve the small twinges in my back.  When I stepped out of the shower to grab my towel I was startled by Big Cheese standing there.  He has always been pretty fair skinned but it was nothing compared to that morning.  "You ok? Did you call the doctor?  Are you in pain?"  Panic had set in for the fellow.  I reassured him I was fine but that we should go to the hospital.

I suppose we were lucky that it was so early in the morning and there was no traffic on the way to the hospital.  We were at the hospital in a matter of minutes.  When I was checked, sure enough my water had broken, and I was 3and a half centimeters dilated.  The only thing was that my water bag apparently resealed itself.  I was given oxytocin and told that my doctor was on vacation, as of that morning.  Great timing!  So for the most part I was dealing with pain.  My birth plan was to take no medication of any kind.  Mami had the runs from the stress, Big Cheese was tired, hungry, and didn't know exactly what to do.  I met the doctor once and had a great nurse.  At about 1:00 I was given a stronger dose of oxytocin to move things along.  I was at 7 centimeters and no real strong contractions and my water had been broken. I was still talking to friends on the phone at that time.  Mami went with my coach to get some coffee.  By the time they got back was feeling massive pain.  I remember getting hot and trying to breathe through the pain.  Both Big Cheese and T(coach)  were trying to help me breathe through the pain.  I stated loudly "COULD YOU STOP BREATHING ON ME!"  I think that's the point I looked at the nurse and asked for pain medication. 

Without hesitation she took a look at how I was progressing and the look on her face said it all.  "We can't do that now, we are at 10 and you're going to have to push"  I was told to wait for the doctor before I did a practice push, but I wanted to push.  The nurse pulled up my legs on the stirrups and as I started a practice push, down went T.  That's when my doctor and all the other doctor's and nurses made it into the room.  T was whisked away and Big Cheese was left to coach me.  I got so hot at one point that cold towels were placed on me and the oxygen mask was flung over my mouth.  After several pushes I heard the doctor say we needed to get the baby out soon because he was showing signs of distress and that a vacuum was needed.  I was shaking, tired and sweaty, I felt all energy drained out of me.  I heard Big Cheese say "You can do this, one more push"  I bared down and with the help of a vacuum out came the blackest curliest hair on a head I had ever seen.  Eyes wide open staring at me, he was here.  Marcus Alfonso Olivas had arrived.  After a brief eye to eye moment the whisked him away to be cleaned. 

This is the moment I heard the nurse say "we have to take him to the NICU, he's having trouble transitioning"  I shed tears and all I could say was "please let me hold him for a minute before you take him"  She brought him over and I kissed his little forehead "Mommy will be waiting for you, you need to get better"  I could hear the grunting noise he was making, he was really struggling to breathe.  I yelled at Big Cheese to go with the baby, not to take his eyes off him. 

Everything was a blur until I was told he was ok, I would be able to see him that night.  I haven't slept right since then.  I know he's here and he's a blessing.  I listen to his every breath and sometimes I hold mine.  He's here, and I couldn't be more over joyed to be a loving sleepless mommy to my newborn son.

March 24, 2011

The Solution...for now

Last week was really rough.  I didn't even have motivation to write.  As many of us did, I was glued to the news about what was going on in in Japan with the earthquake, the Tsunami and all of the devastation and loss of lost ones.  I was also going through a tough time coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to do what was best for my children.  Previously I had mentioned that Thing One was needing his father more than what he normally was use to.  It has progressed into a little bit more of stress induced bed wetting and has put this mommy's heart into a spin.  No one likes to see their child go through pain. 

Big Cheese and I have had no custody agreements or visitation set up by the courts, we have just agreed for the most part on what works for the kids at the time.  It has worked more or less until now.  Big Cheese has a work schedule that fluctuates every 6 months and we have to revisit how we are going to make arrangements with the kids and such.  He rarely has had the babies over night, because he works nights.  However he does get two days off of work and he for the most part has not asked to have them stay over night.  This has worked because of the simple fact that our children were still very young. 

Thing One has been asking for more time with Big Cheese.  I brought this to Big Cheese's attention in hopes that discussing it we could come up with a solution on having both children visit over night.  It has been a battle since I brought this up.  Two weeks ago Big Cheese promised to spend a Sunday into Monday with the children.  The week before this was to happen Big Cheese informed me at Thing One's soccer game that he was not going to be in town the next week.  That very moment I was sent into mad insane anger.  Thing One had already been told that he and Thing Two were going to their Daddy's house.  One thing I cannot handle very well is that my child be disappointed by something completely preventable. 

I took action and put my foot down.  Some call it spiteful, some may even call it vindictive, but I had to do what I had to for my children's sake.  The Monday following his "vacation"  I informed him that I was no longer allowing him to see the children all week as we had previously planned.  He had always said that he did not want to have the children over the weekend because: 1.  He spent all week with them Monday through Friday and he needed a break.  and 2. I always did stuff with the kids on the weekend anyway.  I explained it to him that if he thought he was spending too much time with them that we could cut his visitation to one day a week and every other weekend. 

I saw shock in his face.  My stomach churned from the stress of the decision I had come to.  I was uneasy with it, I wanted what was best for my children and I felt as if I was being cornered to make decisions based on the inability of others to see the whole picture.  Somehow coming to this decision empowered me a bit because even though he was angry and my children had to adjust to the change, I was trying to do what was right by my children.  I could see if this was a battle for time for myself(which I need from time to time) how this can be seen as wrong.  Mostly I was doing it for Thing One and his struggle to come to terms with separate homes.  That made me able to get through all the turmoil in my head. 

Wednesday came and Big Cheese picked up the children.  Thursday he returned to the babysitters home to pick up the children.  He again was shocked that I wasn't going to allow him to take the children.  Big Cheese called and I stood my ground and explained as to why I was doing what I was doing.  He started to cry and tell me that he could not stand seeing the children cry when he left them and that he loved them.  This is when I believe my point came across.  "I go through that same feeling every time you promise our children you will be there, and then you dont' come through".  The silence after that statement was deafening. We actually calmed down and talked about having the kids go over to his home every other weekend.  I even asked if he needed time to himself during the week so that I could make arrangements to have the baby sitter take the children more days.  To my surprise he said no, I'm ok. 

My head stopped spinning, my heart was happier.  Not only was I being heard, but I was being heard because of the love we both share for our children.  I would say it was a great moment for us.  Co-parenting is not an easy thing.  People get hurt, children get hurt, but when it works for the best my heart sings.

Have you ever gone through a difficult time co-parenting?  How did things ultimately work out?

March 18, 2011

Flashback Friday - A not so simple letter.

What is Flashback Friday? Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog. I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook. For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays. I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs. Enjoy my friends

July 27, 2007 -  I was getting really close to my due date and I was thinking of all the things I wanted my child to know.  Two weeks after I wrote this, my son Thing One appeared into this world.
Swollen and ready at my baby shower for Thing One.
Yesterday I went to the fancy paper shop in the mall and picked out some stationary (Yes I know how antiquated!). I couldn't believe how long it took me to pick it out. Usually it takes me maybe two minutes to pick one out and start writing something on it. This time the letter wasn't going to a friend or a relative, this time I was going to write to my unborn son.

I have been wanting to do this for sometime now, I guess there is no time like the present. It's going to be difficult and easy at the same time to write the letter for him. The reason I'm doing it is simple, I remember coming into adulthood and thinking, am I doing all the things my father would have wanted for me. Is this what he envisioned for me? I had sometime with him before he left, but I think if it was written down and left for me to read in his own words I would have felt more secure about his hopes for me.

So here I sit with the "perfect" paper for my son contemplating on all that I want to say to him. Of course he will not be allowed to open this until his 18th birthday and I'm hoping to still be around for that. If I'm not, at least he will in some way be connected to me from beyond and know that I will always love him no matter where life takes him.

Have any of you left something for your loved ones for the future? Believe me, it's important, you never know what life has in store around the corner for you and yours. I for one and glad for the time I had with my father and others who are no longer with me.

March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Japan's children

Nothing has left me quite as wordless as the images that have been in the news about the devastation in Japan.  The thing that struck me the most was the images of young children.   I thought of my own children and held them tight and prayed for those who lost children, and the children who lost parents, and the children going through this trauma..  These are not my images but what has been posted on news sites.

This last one made me cry.  She was found alive after being separated during the Tsunami from her parents. 

Click here for the story of this miracle baby.

March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - My overachieving son

 What is Flashback Friday?  Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog.  I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook.  For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays.  I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs.  Enjoy my friends

June 16, 2007 - I was two months from my due date and my pregnancy with Thing One was getting into the third trimester and there was so much to think and worry and be excited for.  Here is what I wrote that day.  
You could see his cheeks even then.

It's 6:00 AM on a Saturday morning and some may ask, what the hell are you doing up? It's no secret that I love quiet mornings and watching the sun rise on occasion, but today is different. This is what I call my thinking time, translation worry time.

For the most part my pregnancy thus far has been pretty uneventful, except for that scare early in the pregnancy when the doctor put me on bed rest. Yesterday I went to see the specialist that has been seeing me once a month to see if the baby is ok, and if my thyroid condition is not interfering with his development. He said, and I quote "this baby is big!" which I sat there and said "duh, have you seen dad? He's a big guy and my dad was a big man". Well then he said Marcus should only be at a certain range and he is actually in the 90 percentile which means one of two things, c-section or early delivery. WHAT!

So set in motion is worrying and sleepless nights that are to come for me until I know he is ok. The doctor kept reassuring me he was ok, and just put me on a monitor to make sure I wasn't having contractions. Guess what? I was, so on medication I go and thoughts just swirl in my head. I'm trying to keep good thoughts about this boy, and that yes, he is like his mother an over achiever. I'm just glad the doctor didn't put me on bed rest, because I simply go bezerk when I have to just lay there and keep thinking and worrying.

But my little guy, you need to bake a little longer so that mommy can stop worrying about you in the womb and start a whole new other sets of worries, like why did you sniffle? Or are you doing ok in school? or Did that girl break your heart? I just pray that he will be ok and that I can do that.

Man, this little boy is exhausting me already! I love him so much. Maybe I should get back to bed and let him rest with me for now.

Ok friends, just needed to get that off my chest.

Baking a baby during happier times.

March 10, 2011


Sometimes I believe I may judge Big Cheese unfairly.  He may not be a horrible father, he just isn't the type of father I am accustomed to. I expected someone to father my children the way my dad did for me.
Today is my Daddy's birthday.  He has been gone from our lives since I was 12.  I had him for 12 glorious years.  He was the best Daddy anyone could have.  It is because of him I am the person I am today.  He taught me so much.  A lot of what he taught me are things I want my babies to learn as well.

Things that made him an exceptional father:
  • He called my half sister his daughter .  Not step daughter, not my wife's child, HIS daughter.  He did for her what her own father probably would never have done for her.  He was her dad as much as he was mine.
  • He loved my mother.  Despite her hot Latin temper, despite the difference in opinion.  He would grab her hand even when she was mad.  He would kiss her cheek and hold doors for her.  He respected her as a woman, as the mother of his child.
  • He would pass up a night out dancing with friends if no one was able to take care of me.  He would even send my mom out with those friends and he would stay home with me.  He never wanted me to feel that other things were more important than keeping us a family.
  • He made pancakes on Saturday mornings and he made sure that we ate meals at the table as a family.  During these meals he would ask me how school was and about what I wanted to do.  He never belittled me as a child.  He listened and encouraged all the dreams I layed out as a child.
  • He had a variety of friends from all walks of life.  They were poor migrant workers, well to do lawyers he worked with, middle class friends from the barrio he grew up in East Los Angeles.  He exposed me to all kinds of races, ethnicity's, backgrounds.  "mija no one is above anyone, we are just people, humans"
  • He loved all kinds of art.  He would take me to museums to see art work.  He would also take me to East Los Angeles and show me the paintings on the walls by local artists. I would spend hours in the garage watching him come up with his own pieces of art.  That is when he would show me brush strokes and how to shade to create effects on drawings. I can still smell the oil paints and hear the stroking of the brush on the canvas.
  • He made sure we knew our heritage.  He found his extended family in Mexico City that my grandfather left when he crossed the border with my grandmother.  We were never to lose touch with them again.  We would spend summer vacations and Christmas vacations visiting the large family we had there.  I learned the culture, the food, the art first hand.  I still speak with those family members years after our first meeting.
  • He fought for other's rights and made sure we knew that when someone is being treated unfairly to speak up.  My father was a police officer and he was always the police officer even after he retired the badge.  If there was something that wasn't right, he tried to make it right.  I don't know how many times I would see my dad stop something that was not right.  I remember the neighbor who had just moved in came to our house seeking to call her parents because her drunk husband had beaten her.  My dad promptly walked over to her house.  He told her husband "the next time you lay a hand on her, you will have a lot more than the police to deal with.  I will give this one moment for you to sober up and think about what you are doing to your wife and to your children".  He never touched her again. 
  • He never missed one school assembly, girl scout meeting, gymnastic practice, field trip.  When he did he was sick or like that one time during the gas crisis, he was in line for gas.  If he did miss any event he made sure to ask how it went.  He would listen and ask questions, and i knew he was really listening to me.
  • He was the funniest silliest person I knew.  We would laugh for hours sometimes because of something silly he would say to us.  I still remember him singing Oliva Newton Johns song "Heart attack" as "Fart Attack".  Hours and hours of entertainment with him.
  • He was the best story teller.  He could make a boring newspaper article come to life.  The tone in his voice, the added story lines.  He made me interested in the written and spoken word early in life for this reason.
I miss my Daddy everyday in different degrees of longing for him. He was just perfection to me even in imperfect situations.  For these reasons I find it hard to see being a father any less than what I was given. I have to cut Big Cheese some slack sometimes.  Daddy was a size 9 shoe, but boy those are some large size 9 shoes to fill. 

March 8, 2011

One by One

Together, but not.
10 years ago I thought I would never be a mom of one child let alone two.  Here I am a mommy of two beautiful children who make me want to pull my hair out at times.  Having two children only 17 months apart can be on the top list of stressful.  I have days when I realize that I no longer have two in diapers and the last child is almost ready for potty training.  I still have my challenges everyday. 

On occasion I have special one on one time with each child.  It seems so effortless to communicate with Thing One or Thing Two on our special one on one time.  My whole focus is one that one child and I seem to learn so much about them as an individual.  Thing One is actually a lot calmer when Thing Two is not around.  He seems to focus a lot better on a task and his thoughts are clear as well as his speech.  He is also not quite as loud. I'm thinking it's because he doesn't have to compete with Thing Two's incessant loud chatter. 

When Thing Two is alone with me, we can focus on things I know best.  Girl stuff.  She likes to play with my jewlery and pretend she is putting on my make-up.  I have to admit I soak up this time with her.  There are things that only a mom and daughter can share sometimes.  We've gone on shopping trips and we can just look at different clothes, and dress up items in the toy section.  She is a lot more patient than Thing One on a normal day and these are the times I can actually see how observant she is of the world around her.  I'm not constantly interrupting her thoughts while I have to remind Thing Two to stop what he is doing or to leave his sister alone. 
I often think what it would be like to just raise one child. Parenting is hard enough with one child, but adding another into the mix is just wild.  Each child feeds off each other and sometimes I feel as though one is losing out in their basic personality.  Then I think where would they be without each other.
They bring out the best in each other and protect each other.  Sure there is a lot of fighting and arguing, but for the most part they are each other's best friend.  Things would be much easier with one, but with two it's a life of fun.

If you have more than one child what do you do to create alone time with you?  Do you think your child is different alone than with their sibling?

March 7, 2011

The shoe is on the other foot.

Just another Saturday night being silly.
In my past life before my beautiful children, before my nice existence in the Human Resource world, I was a preschool teacher.  During those times I saw many children and their parents through some rough times as well as some great times.  The rough times were always when I had observed something that was troublesome, something that was a marker for development that wasn't being met.  I would jot down what I observed watched like a scientist.  I would compare to the markers of development and how that was fitting into the dynamic of the group and of the development of the children as a whole.  Delivering news to parents that there was a concern was always done in a respectful and very thorough way.  These were small children, and I was with them most of the day.  I saw things that maybe their parents did not see, or did not want to see. I had one parent many years ago tell me that what I saw was nothing, that I didn't know what I was talking about. Years later I heard that this young child did not get the help he needed then and that the child, now a teenager was being reffered to special needs classes.  I just thought of all the years that could have been easier for this child, had this parent not taken what I was saying as an insult on their parenting. 

I have always known that if the shoe is on the other foot, your opinion can change, especially if it is your own child.  This actually took place at Thing One's yearly doctor's appointment when he was two.  I had always observed that Thing One was always moving, fidgety and increasingly impatient. I figured it was a part of being a toddler. Even as an infant he couldn't be held more than a few minutes without wiggling and moving going on.  While waiting for the doctor Thing One was wide awake from a nap and full of his normal energy.  He was playing tag with the doors, fidgeting through the clothes I was taking off of him and I was exhausted.  All this at noon, exhausting.  First time mom I just thought he's just energetic.  When the doctor came in she observed what I had been use to seeing on a daily with Thing One.  She asked me if I had any question ran through his chart and did the normal check ears etcetera.  Then she said it after watching me get him two or three times to get him to sit and to focus a little.  "We have parenting classes for a high energy child if you are interested".  I recognized the tone and the message.  I asked "What do you mean? Do you think it's ADHD?".  It clicked, I saw it too.  His energy level his loss of focus, or was he just being two?  PANIC.  I think I started to breathe harder and I probably even was pale in the face with this news.  The doctor just said "He is at the high end of energy, I have observed so far.  I have a son just like this.  We won't test him until he is older, if this continues".  I felt like I had been hit by a million brick and I was ready for my knees to buckle.  I was the parent this time.

What I did I do you ask?  Well I didn't ignore what the doctor had said.  I read a lot, I observe when Thing One is in a group of children.  These are all things I was taught to do.  I don't want to ignore the signs, I don't want Thing One to be a teenager and be struggling when I could have taken note and helped along the way.  I do realize that all the things I can do from now until the test may not make a huge difference, but it's being proactive and not letting things for him slip away.  I may not like the prognosis, but there are things I can do and try to be prepared for him to thrive.   There is a lot of guilt that goes on sometimes and I often see my behaviors and wonder if he is this way because of how I am or what I did during my pregnancy.  Then I realize this is not conducive to helping him. 

This is a clip from the movie Parenthood with Steve Martin.  Never had this made more sense to me as it does now.

In the end, it doesn't matter if he has ADHD to me, it matters that I did something to try and help him along the way and that this is livable and we will make it through no matter what.

March 4, 2011

Flashback Friday - Waiting can be the worst!

What is Flashback Friday?  Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog.  I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook.  For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays.  I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs.  Enjoy my friends.

March 27, 2007 -  My thoughts about the amniocentesis I had and what occurred after.  
As the title says waiting for things can be the worst. I guess it all depends on what you are waiting for. I have waited in lines at the DMV (how much worse can it get, right!?) and I've waited for traffic to start to flow to get me to my destination. I have done millions of types of waiting and it doesn't get any better, but the waiting I have had to do these couple of days has had me all tied up in bunch without being able to concentrate on the most basic of things.
I had an amnio about a week and a half ago. Because I am over 35 (I know, don't be shocked! LOL) the doctor suggested I go through it. Besides there is also diabetes that runs on both sides of our family and a series of other conditions, I wanted to make sure the baby was going to be healthy.

The procedure was not half as bad as I thought it might be, especially with a giant needle going in under your belly button (ok, you can stop getting dizzy with the visual now). I just never imagined that the painful part of the whole procedure would be the waiting. Waiting just got my thoughts going in high gear, what would I do if something was not right, how would I deal with it? I think I cried once or twice because of the stress of it all, excruciating. What if the baby was less than perfect? It sounds silly, but I thought of EVERYTHING!

My mother saw how stressed I was and took me to pamper myself at the nail salon with a manicure and a pedicure, and of course words of encouragement and reassurance that everything was going to be ok. While at the nail salon I saw a young girl come in with her mother, she must have been about 22 and she had downs syndrome. I watched how her mother took care of her, and how even though she was dependent on some things, she was as normal as can be. Her mother took care of her with care and kindness, much like my mother was taking care of me.

At that moment I thought of my baby, and if something would not be ok, I would still love him the same and would deal with what could happen no matter what.

I got the call yesterday from the doctor, my baby is going to be free of all those things I feared. But I learned a lot just in the waiting. I had a few minutes of despair and I thought of all those people who are waiting, waiting for their children to get out of the preemie ward. Waiting to hear if what they have is cancer, waiting to know if a loved one will make it through the night after much illness. My heart goes out to those of you who have to wait, it's painful.

My father would say " Don't cry because you don't have shoes, there are people who have no feet".

Lesson learned Dad.

March 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 2 Toddler beds + 1 Lonely toddler = 1 Shared Love

Well Good Morning!

A visit to a toddler friendly library

Yes, I used TODDLER FRIENDLY and LIBRARY in the same sentence.  Shocking I know! I have been going to our local public library for a few months now in our city.  It's very small and not quite appropriate for my two toddlers.  I always got glares stares from the other school children and parents who were trying to work on homework.  The librarian always just gave me that annoyed  sympathetic  smile, as one or both of the Things were yelling about a book or just being the loud toddlers that they are.  The last time I was at that library Thing One and Thing Two had taken stacks and stacks of books out as I frantically tried to put them back as they were pulling them out.  Call it guilt, call it stress, call it a normal day at the local library.  I was on the other side of the book shelf when I heard the library page say "OH NO, those kids are here again" as he picked up yet another stack of books that was left out.  I felt tired, defeated, and just annoyed at the comment.  I vowed never to step foot in a library until the kids were old enough and quiet enough to be accepted  appreciative of it.

Two weeks had past since our last visit and Thing One came up to me after dinner "We go to library today?" *SIGH*.  He really missed the time we spent looking for books and then reading them at home. Thanks to Mommy Guilt I decided to give the library another try.  This time I thought we could go to the public library a city over.  This library was exceptional for someone with young children.  The children's library was upstairs, separate from the adult area.  So I was sure that we would not get those annoyed stares from the adults trying to read. 

Once upstairs I was pleasantly surprised.  The homework center was separate from the special section I discovered towards the back of the room.  As we walked to the back I could hear the screeches of young children and no one seemed to look over concerned.  As a matter of fact the librarian had a great smile and said hello.  She reminded me of many of the preschool teachers I had worked with before.  It was welcoming, something the Things and I hadn't felt from the librarian before.  Thing one was the first to go and explore the computer with child friendly programs.  The computer was just at their level and had a bright easy keyboard and child size mouse.  Thing Two quickly joined in the exploring of the computer programs.  Some programs had alphabet and number recognition, while others read books, or composed music from keyboard strokes.  
Thing One exploring an Alphabet recognition program

Even Thing Two could appreciate the colorful keyboard
Popping bubbles with Keyboard that made music.
There was also a great play area with blocks, puzzles, and puppets.  It resembled a school set up.  All the children's furniture was just their size, tables, chairs and soft sofas. There were also buckets and buckets of books.  No special order for the books, just board books strewn about in buckets, on tables.  No one was particularly picking these up or worried about where the books belonged. 

Figuring out a number puzzle

That's a guilty look.  Fun play house area.

So much to do.

My favorite part of the whole experience was the bathrooms were geared towards children and their was one adult bathroom.  I'm weird like that, child sized bathrooms, where I don't have to lift a child to wash hands, but can let them do it independently is a win, win situation for me.

I'm so glad that I found a library that works for us.  Neither of us were crying or throwing a tantrum (yes I do that sometimes).  It made the whole experience much more pleasant.  The things and I are on our way to story time geared for families tonight.  Stories, songs, movements, and an art project.  Great way to start off our literary experience together.
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