Having a REALLY hard time adjusting to 2 kids - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure where the best place for this is-mods feel free to move. I have a 29 mo. old DD and a 3 mo. old DD and I'm about to lose my mind. Things started out really good, with DD#2 sleeping a lot and being very content most of the time either in a carrier, being held, or just on floor with us. She also was taking a good 3-4 hour nap through the afternoon so DD1 and I had lots of quality time.

Well, that all changed now! DD1 is getting her molars and just seems overall "off", so she's been much clingier and crankier lately, and DD2 is either going through a growth spurt, getting teeth or something else and she's been much more fussy. She's having a really hard time staying alseep at all and very unhappy in any carrier.

I try to do stuff outside or out of the house, for DD1 to get some activity, but DD2 is cranky and it's been really hard. I'm also starting to potty train DD1 but finding no time to actually do it.

I find myself resentful of both kids for taking time away that I should helping the other one. I feel like I'm constantly yelling at DD1 and DD2 is always being put down while I do stuff for her. I just feel drained, exhausted, and sometimes just frustrated with the whole situation. I know it will get better and everyday I say that it's going to be a better day and that I'm going to stay calm and loving, but it never ends up that way, then I always feel so bad. I feel like I'm just barely surviving and not at all enjoying my girls. I'm sure they feel this too and that makes me so sad.

Anyway, I guess I just need to vent to other mom's because my husband doesn't get it since he's not here all day. Any words of advise would be greatly appreciated!!!

Mom to 2 amazing girlies, Feb. '08 and May '10.joy.gif
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#2 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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Oh I just had to post and say I'm sorry your having a rough transition. I don't have any advice... BUT I am about to be in your shoes in less than 3 months. I'm currently pregnant with number 2 and I'm due in November. I have a 2 year old daughter.

I'm trying to mentally prepare myself since I'm also going from working full time to SAHM with 2 kids... EEEKKKK! I'm totally freaked out about it.

Mommy to Little Girl, Age 3. Baby Boy, Age 8 months.  caffix.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

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#3 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I've so been there. The transition to 2 kids for me was just as hard when I had the first one. What helped me the most was putting things off that didn't HAVE to be done, maybe waiting a couple more months to potty train might be well worth your sanity. I really lowered my expectations, like if at the end of the day if both kids had been fed, that was about the extent of my goal for the day. Maybe instead of going out every day go out every other day, that might help balance your older ones need and younger one who may not be happy to go out every day. It takes time to feel confident as a parent, it also takes time to feel like you can be a parent to multiple children and learn how to balance their needs. You will get there just give it some more time. If it makes you feel any better, when DD2 was 3 months I was failing miserably at being a parent to two children and continued to do so for quite some time but when #3 came along, the transition was so easy.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#4 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Hang in there - hopefully it will get better soon. I have four kids, each 23-25 months apart, so I know it can be challenging at times. Some days you just have to try to survive.


ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
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#5 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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I've been there -- it's hard. Just plain hard.

coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#6 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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I have BTDT and relate to your entire post. I found that the newborn stage was very hard, but also the next age (around 3-6 months) was very hard too, because, like you mentioned, your babe is no longer so sleepy and is less content to be carried around etc. And like you I found that during that stage I was just trying to survive the day to day.

First thing mama is to forgive yourself. This can be tough stuff and you are doing the best you can. As you know from when your first was a baby things do get easier as they get older - they become interested in toys and can entertain themselves a bit, their sleep tends to become a bit more regulated, etc. This will happen with your dd2 as well. Today you might just be surviving (which is ok!), but it won't be too long before you'll be feeling more on top of things.

Forgive yourself too the fact that sometimes you need to attend to one child and that means leaving the other one unhappy for a minute. It's all about prioritizing. In the ideal world you could pop dd2 up on your back (happy as a clam) while you clean dd1's pee pee mess off the floor, but the sad reality is that sometimes your baby is going to cry or fuss for a minute while you quickly attend to your older child, and sometimes your older one is going to have to wait an extra minute while you are dealing with the baby. This will always be the case, but gets a lot easier as they get older - as baby becomes more easily distracted by toys etc, when dd1 is old enough to be able to wait patiently a bit longer. But, yes, right now it is hard mama, so cut yourself some slack. I am sure you are doing the absolute best you can. This is a big adjustment, and you are also dealing with all the sleep deprivation, etc that you dealt with with dd1, but now you also have a toddler to chase around! You are super mom! Just surviving the day is something to feel proud about!

Another thought... I am a hardcore babywearer (I make mei tais, am a volunteer with our babywearing group, etc), BUT I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to try my baby in a stroller if I couldn't get her happy in any carrier/carry that I tried. The most important thing is doing what you need to do to make life work for you. My best friend has a baby who doesn't love being worn. She loved it when she was wee tiny, but since about the age of your dd2 it got trickier. They were using an SSC (Beco Butterfly) and ajusted it so it was quite loose (not comfy for the wearer, but oh well) so that their baby wasn't right up against them. The other thing that worked ok was a hip carrier once her neck control got good enough. Now that she's 6 months old she's up on their backs and likes it a lot more, but still they end up using a stroller way more than they ever thought they would (they never even bought one at first - just thought they'd be wearing her all the time). All this to say... if you would feel bad about trying dd1 in the stroller, don't. Of course first you can try out some different carries (shoulder hold in a wrap, back carrying, supported hip carry, etc), but if right now she'd be happy(ish) in a stoller, but doesn't want to be worn, then just pop her in the stroller - NO GUILT - and get out to the park or wherever.

Good luck mama. You have my empathy. Sending big hugs and may-life-get-easier-really-soon vibes!!!!

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#7 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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Yes it was terribly hard for me. But I want to start off saying that it is great now, most of the time. My kids are 7 and 4. And do not feel bad, because they will love having a sibling close in age, they can go to school with etc.. You are not failing them. You are doing your best. I did have many bad days when I felt like I DD1 was yelled at too much, or I was too impatient.

I would also put off the potty training. If you are able to get outside help, a mommies helper can be wonderful, a kid from your area who can come by after school? Is there a moms support group near where you can take both kids and comisserate with others? That is what I did and it helped so much. The group leaders had such good ideas.
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#8 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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Not a lot of advice, but I am in the thick of it, too...DD was 3 in July and DS is 4 months. The first few weeks were rough, but then things were good for a few weeks and then right around 3 months, DD started to get more jealous of my attention being split, somewhere in some parenting book I read this might happen, too (like in a LLL book, or something)...so I wasn't too surprised when it happened...We have good days and bad days, and most days I feel like I am not being the mom I want to be to either of them...What helps me is forgiving myself (like someone else posted), remind myself that I am doing my best for both, try to be joyful/mindful in each moment instead of thinking of what I should be doing, etc. As for the fussy baby...Not sure what to suggest, I am lucky DS sleeps pretty well in a sling...But he won't sleep if he is too hot...Could this be an issue? Maybe not, but had to mention it, in case you hadn't thought of it. We have to keep the AC on, though we would like not to, or else Benjamin does not sleep. Plus, I have to stay inside mid-day. Anyways, back to you...lots of hugs...Before you know it, you will be back in the groove and the yuckiness of now will be forgotten...
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#9 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Ok, now I am back to post with a bit more time.

I want to preface everything I am about to say with this:

I was waaay over-extended when #2 was born, and I had very little ability to try to meet my own needs, and so I was a pretty grumpy mama a lot of the time. It's fair to say that I had a lot of anger toward my older child, whom I needed to be able to handle things better than he did, play more independently than he did, help me more, etc. He was only 22 months old when #2 was born. How could I have expected anything from him?! Again:

Looking back, I see how the situation developed. I think I did my best, even though my best was pretty crappy a lot of the time for the first 5 months or so. But when I was in the thick of it I was just soooo hard on myself for not having better days. It felt miserable.

This thread helped. And this one too. And even this one, which got me laughing and made me feel more normal.

Hope this helps, mama.

coolshine.gif Mama to DS ('06), DD ('08), and DD (9.18.11).

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#10 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Someone mentioned a stroller-- maybe a double stroller, even, might be a good idea. My sister and I are 2 years apart and there are a lot of pictures of us in a double stroller.
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#11 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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oh man. the transition from 1 to 2 children was soooo hard for me.

i learned to try and do less activities and such and focus on being happy and fed and safe.

i feel like with the first baby there is lots of time to coo and the baby, but the second time you cant really do that and then you feel guilty for the older child and guilty for the baby....

let go of the guilt.

get yourself to a place where everyone has a full cup.

i was trying to keep dd1 (almost 3 at the time) tv free and attending playgroups and crafting and and and.

it led to lots of days of me crying and the baby fussy in a wrap and my dd1 doing things just to do them.

i had a friend say, "get up, let the house be messy, feed your kids, go for a walk around the block. come home, put on a movie and cuddle and snuggle. get up, make lunch, go for a walk around the block, come home and watch a movie. repeat until your day feels easy. sometimes its easy for some women right away. its not easy for you right now. honor that"

im telling you that her words saved my sanity.

did i think that was too much tv? YES!

would i choose that for ever? NO!

but i can tell you that id rather my kids have memories of watching too much tv with a baby around than a frantic crying mama sitting at the table crafting with them.

and remember- with a newborn- it gets easier after the growth spurts at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and a year. it does. it gets hard as they are ramping up for the spurts, then gets easier. at least in my experience.

you just have to hold on and try and stay centered.
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~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#12 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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I had PPD after DD2 was born. I honestly don't remember too much about that time, but all 3 of us did survive.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#13 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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i feel like i am in the same boat somedays. dd2 is now 6 mos & dd1 turns 3 next month & things have seemed better, but a few months ago i was struggling. our house is on the market so we have to keep it perfect at.all.times which is near killing me. dh is working a crappy telemarketing job where he can't really hang out with us for too long without logging back in & making a call or sale but we both feel better at least being home together.

where i am falling apart is taking care of myself though. i am heavier now than i was 6 mos ago when she was born...it is sooooo hot & humid here & i have all my great carriers & even decided on a great double stroller but i can't stand to be outside in the humidity...so i am not exercising at all & i am eating quick, cheap meals that are full of carbs which my body does not like.

potty training-one thing that worked well for us was having the little ikea potty so dd1 could sit & go by herself without my help. i can see it from my nursing spot on the couch & talk her through everything but she doesn't need my help except to wipe after poop. she kind of just potty trained herself back in may while i was sitting here nursing 24/7. there are still accidents but everyone has accidents.

dd1s meltdowns & tantrums are breaking us both. she flips out over everything. she was so sweet just 6 mos ago...and now all hell has broken loose! i feel like it's my fault for having another baby! lol i normally have plans 1 or 2 days a week with friends but have felt anxiety over dd1s behavior lately & handling it in front of more experienced parents, getting feedback, criticisms etc.

the sleep deprivation is killing me though-we got dd1 to start out in her own room & just recently, dd2 is starting out the night in the crib next to our bed-but they both end up in our bed & my sides are hurting so bad from being stuck in positions. and just like dd1-, dd2 often wants my nipple in her mouth all night.

i know i would feel better if i could get an exercise routine going daily but i just don't know how to get it started. maybe mall walking in the AC? i find myself looking fwd to cold weather? is that sick? i think something is wrong with me!!!

oh & yes-tv has become a major part of our lives. i let dd1 watch way more than i thought i ever would but it has just made things easier & happier during the transition.

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
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#14 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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Oh, mama. Hang in there! The transition from 1 to 2 was my toughest transition. It WILL get easier! Cut yourself some slack (easier said than done, I know!)

And to the pp - 3 is just a hard age. Don't beat yourself up for having another child. You have given your daughter the WONDERFUL gift of a sibling.

Proud Catholic, homeschooling, RN-student mama of
DS 10 reading.gif  DS 8 fencing.gif DS 5, DD 3 energy.gif and a new DS  belly.gif 3/2011
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#15 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for the replies! I can't tell you how good this makes me feel, to hear your experiences, your advise, and your support. Even though DH always is very supportive and encouraging, it means so much coming from veterans. I'm going to print this out and refer to it daily.
Thank you so much!!

Mom to 2 amazing girlies, Feb. '08 and May '10.joy.gif
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#16 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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My advice... lower your standards. Don't judge the success of your day by how much housework got done, what dinner was prepared, etc. I judged my day simply by if I kept it "positive", or not. If the kids had a happy mom, and, if we had a good mood going in the house. And yes, we lived in a messy house for awhile.
But, now my kids are 3 and 7. They play together beautifully. It was definitely worth it! Hang in there!
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#17 of 23 Old 08-16-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1329 View Post
But, now my kids are 3 and 7. They play together beautifully. It was definitely worth it! Hang in there!
SUCH A GOOD POINT!

now that my older two are 5 & 2- its awesome to see the companionship they provide each other.

sibling love is sweet

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#18 of 23 Old 08-17-2010, 07:25 AM
 
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I think when DS2 was around three months I started to try to have more of a routine. It really helped with both the kids.

DS1 also watch ALOT of DVDs while DS2 was a baby. DS2 stopped being able to fall asleep in the living room with us (too many interesting things going on) so the only way I could get him to sleep was to take him into the bedroom, and have it be dark and quiet while I nursed him to sleep. The only way I could get DS1 to be quiet was to put on a movie. Once I gave in to the telly, it made life so much easier! Was it ideal? No. Did it save my sanity? Yes. Do they still watch so my telly? No.

There are moments of intense guilt when you first have your second. You feel so bad because you're tired and grumpy and you expect so much from your older one, even though they are really still baby's themselves but when I see my boys together now it is so great. The love each other so much. DS1 makes DS2 laugh more than anyone else in the world. Recently DS1 and I were out and about, just the two of us and I thought how nice it was. I suggested to him that maybe we could start going out just the two of us more often. I thought it would be nice for him to have some one on one time. He didn't want to because he wanted his brother to come along. It just melted my heart. It really does get better.

Also, I'd probably give up on trying to toilet train your oldest for a while. Unless it is something that she really wants to do herself I wouldn't worry about it. There is no point in making more work for yourself at the moment. Give it a few months and then try again.

It's complicated.
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#19 of 23 Old 08-17-2010, 09:49 AM
 
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My transition from 1 to 2 was way harder than from 0 to 1. One crying child I could hold in my arms. Two crying children had to be managed on my lap, the best I could. Two crying children in the grocery store just about sent me over the edge. You get the idea...

My kids are barely 15 months apart. I had a few YEARS where I lost my mind. Being an attached parent to more than one child is a whole new ballgame, and looks really, really different than parenting just one. You can't be "on" for both kids, all the time. It is physically impossible. You do the best you can in the moment and hope that it all turns out all right.

My kids are 5 and almost-4 right now, and they are each other's primary playmates. When they aren't bickering - they are best friends.

It DOES get better. Watching your kids laugh and crack each other up and play together is the absolute best thing ever. Ever.

It gets better. Hang in there! You will make it.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#20 of 23 Old 08-17-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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I'm there too mama. DS is 3 and abig bundle of go-go-go and DD is 6 weeks and very high needs. Nurses24/7, refuses to be held by anyone else, and shrieks when you put her in the car seat. Did I mention we're in the middle of DIY moving using pods? The fun part? The new house isn't available until a month from now so we get to spend a month in a hotel.

I'm so sleep deprived, cranky, impatient, stressed, sad...this has been total hell so far. Ds is suddenly waking up at night and coming into our bed, which wakes up the baby, which wakes up DS, which wakes up the baby again....


YOu're not alone!!!
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#21 of 23 Old 08-17-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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Hang in there. I'm not there yet (only one so far), and I know that every child is different. BUT 29 months and the PLing days were hard. I remember thinking that just as things seemed to be getting easier, DS started having bouts of really difficult behavior. It's only a couple of months later, and now he's not only an angel again but he is a MUCH better listener/helper than he was just several weeks ago. IDK if it will help the cling/cranky thing your DD has going on, but maybe you could try asking her to come give you (and baby, if you're holding he) a big hug and kiss, and then ask her to do something for you. Maybe she needs a job to keep her busy and help her feel important? I tried that with DS b/c otherwise he was just getting into all kinds of mischief, and (again, it took several weeks) now he's following directions that I really never thought he'd understand. Even if you don't need her to do anything, just ask her to pick up her toys, or bring you one of them so you can see it, or ask her to help with the baby (esp diaper changes). If she feels more involved, maybe that will help her mood and take some of the load off for you?
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#22 of 23 Old 08-17-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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You're doing great, mama. I totally agree with tallulama's post-- give it to tv if you need to, take a breather, keep yourself centered.

my kids have the exact age difference as yours, but my babe is now 6 months old. our days got a lot better when the baby was able to interact more with her older bro. they absolutely love playing together, and she worships her brother--which of course he loves.

Hang in there!!!!!

and I hear you on the babywearing-- #1 wanted to be worn 24/7, my baby hates it. it is hard. we got her an infant seat with bells and whistles. when we're in the hard i put her in the stroller and stroll her from place to place.

also, search out the little joys where people are happy. for example, both of my kids absolutely love the grocery store. my babe has been SO mad lately because she has a tooth coming in, but she absolutely loves the grocery store. and my son could spend hours opening the greeting cards that sing songs. We spent an hour there yesterday morning and then another hour there in the afternoon!
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#23 of 23 Old 02-24-2012, 11:53 PM
 
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A little outside help with cleaning etc. may work out for the better . I wish the husbands could say some caring words !! We can enjoy more with the kids any age if we just get the hold of our emotions, when pushed. Don't worry, give them all your love and care and in no time they would grow up as caring individuals and would love you for everything. You can do it !!

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