I am really not quite sure how to write this blog, so I guess I will just start out with how much I love my little angel Aiden. He was born with the blondest hair, the longest eyelashes, and the cutest smile. He is a spirited toddler to say the least but always so cute and sweet that I have no problem putting up with his occasional orneriness….until this week….
It all started the other day at Target. Aiden and I were having a Mom’s day out with my Mom’s group at the local orchard and I had it all planned out: Aiden and I riding the hay ride to the orchards, him asking all sorts of cute questions, teaching him how to properly pick apples, and getting a few Mama & Me selfies with my phone. It was going to be perfect! However, on the way out to the orchard I realized that I forgot my lip gloss. (For those of you who know me, I am very addicted to the stuff.) I had this brilliant idea to pop into Target, pick up some lip gloss and a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and head to the orchard. The idea of sipping a PSL on the hayride with the brisk morning air blowing through my hair holding my little man’s hand, just made the morning seem even more appealing.
As I was daydreaming in the checkout line I hear the cry of another kid and turn around to find my toddler standing over some stranger’s kid yelling “NO! You put that back!” I was shocked! I have never seen him act this way. Sure I have seen other toddlers be bossy, push to get what they want, and throw tantrums –but that’s not my kid. I apologized about 10 times to the other child’s mother and made my toddler apologize not only at that moment but again when we were leaving. This poor child’s Mom just looked at me and shook her head with that look of “you are the worst Mom ever!”
Fast forward to today. I am involved in a local MOPS group and today was the meeting. My son loves MOPS days because it’s his time to play with other kids in a daycare setting. This morning I walked him into the daycare and let the ladies working know we had been having issues with him pushing other kids and being mean. I figured it’s my duty as a parent to let them know. I thought maybe a little pep-talk before playtime would keep him from being a mean little boy, however on my return I find we had not one but two more “mean” incidents with other kids. WHERE DID MY LITTLE ANGEL GO!?!?!
I arrived home with my son without saying much to him the car ride. When Mom is quiet, he knows he is in big trouble! After talking with my husband, we both agreed that we really had no idea what to do about this mean behavior. The normal timeouts just don’t seem to be a big enough punishment in situations like this. Hurting others and being mean is not OK and he needed to learn that. We decided the best punishment for him would be to remove all toys and books from his room. He HAD to figure out that this is not good behavior and maybe being bored with no toys in his room will teach him that.
While my toddler took his nap today I still couldn’t get over his attitude and all the questions I have about why he is acting this way. Where did our sweet toddler go? Where did he learn this? Are we yelling too much? Is it something he is watching something he shouldn’t? Is he not getting enough attention? Are we not punishing him enough? The questions went on and on.
I felt the sudden urge to go for a run, even though it was raining and we were having threats of tornadoes (in October??) I went anyways. On my run, there was something I figured out. I am not quite sure if I am more upset about my toddler acting out or was I more upset with myself? Don’t get me wrong –my toddler was being extra naughty this week, but isn’t that what a toddler does? No one says, “Oh, the toddler years are so easy!” They wouldn’t call the the terrible twos or horrible threes without a good reason. I wonder if I am more upset because these incidents have me questioning myself as a parent. I don’t like the feeling of being judged by others as a bad parent because of the way my toddler was acting. I don’t like thinking that maybe we really don’t know how to raise a good child. I don’t like questioning if we are raising him to be a good adult or maybe another Dexter? How does a parent really know if they are doing the right thing with their child?
Later that evening, I happened to be at the grocery store and watched another child about my son’s age throwing a tantrum in the produce section. He was yelling at his mom, smashing the children’s cart into stacks of produce, and pushing his sister to the floor. The mother looked at me with embarrassment and then looked away quickly. It was at that moment I decided to walk up to her and say to a perfect stranger, “I know how you feel, my son was having a bad day too. Don’t you just love this age!” She smiled and laughed a little with both of us in silent agreement that these toddler years are tough. We all have our bad days and it’s important to remember that toddler’s do to. They are learning to become little adults and all of these new found social skills are tough. That doesn’t mean that we let them get away with murder or throwing tantrums that hurt others, but we do need to realize that this is part of what they have to learn in life. Parenting a toddler takes patience and true understanding that none of us are perfect parents. We just need to keep trying our best, stay consistent in the disciplining, and say lots and lots of prayers that our children will turn out fine.
UPDATE: I wrote this blog a month ago and can say that the “mean” behavior has gotten much better. Being consistent with timeouts, losing books before bed, and taking toys away has really helped him realize that there is always a punishment for bad behavior. He is back to being a sweet little boy again…on most days!
It’s that time in every parent’s life where you have to tackle the fun ‘potty training’ adventure. My son is officially 2 1/2 years old and we felt like it is time to begin this somewhat interesting (difficult) process.
For the last 6 months we have taken him to the potty on several occasions, but nothing really serious. I could tell he just wasn’t quite ready, until now. We went on a week long trip down to Oklahoma to see GG (great grandma) and while down there Aiden told me very loudly that he needed to use the potty…and he went…not once, not twice, but five times. It was time.
That is where this guy came in:
Meet the Potty Penguin. I had this genius idea to order this timer for him to set every 30 minutes to remind him (really me) that it was potty time. And boy, did I build up this Potty Penguin. While on our trip I kept telling him, “You know when we get back the Potty Penguin is going to have to you sit on the potty!” and “Are you excited for the Potty Penguin!” and “It is going to be so fun for Potty Penguin to live with us!” Really I think I built this guy up WAY TOO MUCH! I think in his mind, this Potty Penguin was cooler than Santa. I seriously wonder what was going on in his mind and it makes me laugh a little at all the scenarios he was thinking about this Potty Penguin.
The moment arrived when we returned from out trip to find a small Amazon box sitting on our porch. We waited until the morning to open it up. His excitement was unreal! As I opened the box, he looked in –almost disappointed– at this little tiny penguin timer. Then I showed him his new Mickey underwear and he became a little more excited. I explained to him “Aiden we are done with diapers. The Potty Penguin will make a noise and that will mean you need to sit on the potty. The noise sounds like this…” and I set the timer to a minute. The minute went by and nothing….no sound. We were both disappointed now. I forced it to ring and he became very excited! I put him in his new Mickey undies, set the timer to 30 minutes and waited for the “potty time”. At 15 minutes, the timer went off for about 2 seconds….what?!?! was this! Needless to say, after a few attempts this awesome idea of the Potty Penguin was over. The timer was broken to start with.
Even though my original idea fell through, I thought I would just write on what I felt has worked so far in this potty training adventure. We are going into day 3 and other then naps/night he is very potty trained. Here is what I have done so far that has seemed to work.
1.Wait until they are ready: Advice I have received from so many of my friends who were mothers before me was to wait until he was ready to start. They all said the same thing. It’s something that will happened eventually, but don’t force it. Some kids just do it later then others. When I tried in the past, he just wasn’t that interested but really was showing the signs now. This post on baby center is a great resource.
2. No Pull-ups: The first time he went in pull-ups he didn’t care –it was just like a diaper. The big boy undies work best. He knows when he is wet and doesn’t like it. Honestly, most of the day I have let him go commando around the house and he has no accidents. The two accidents he has had, he was wearing the undies and forgot to hold it. The naked method seems to work the best.
3. Timer: Even though it’s a plain old timer, it works. I set it for 30 minutes and he knows he needs to sit on the potty. He stops it and starts it on his own each time.
4. Potty Chair: Some parents hate dealing with this but I don’t have to lift him up to get on it which is great for me. It is always close by and when the timer goes off he will run over and sit on it himself.
5. Routine: It helps to make a routine. The timer goes off, he shuts it off & starts it again, sits on the potty for a few minutes. When he goes, I pick up the potty bowl and carry it to the toilet, he dumps it in the toilet, flushes it, washes his hands and gets a treat. He likes the routine and gets mad if I don’t stick to it (totally a first child!)
6. Treats: Have lots of them –I didn’t and wish I would have. I started with gummy worms, but ran out. I went to fruit snacks, but ran out. Now since I haven’t had time to make it to the store he is eating all my Dove dark chocolate 🙂 Whatever works right?
7. Rules: Make rules like “No sitting on the couch or bed” and “You must wash your hands after going potty” Also, I no longer buckle him in his chair for meals so we have an easier escape to the chair if needed.
Anyways, those little tips have seemed to work for us. We are on day 3 and he is doing great. I figure once we tackle the daytime we will work on naps next. I predict some wet sheets in the future…
4- 6 oz tilapia fillets
1/2 cup egg beaters
2 tablespoons of low-fat mayonnaise
1 cup panko Japanese breadcrumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line baking sheet with silicone mat or spray with some oil.
3. In shallow bowl whisk egg beaters and mayonnaise.
4. In a different shallow bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan , and spices.
5. Dip fish in egg beater mixture and then coat both sides in the panko mixture.
6. Place coated fillets on baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until fish is flaky.
The Skinny: Serves 4 @ 295 calories (actually less because you won’t use all the egg mixture and breadcrumbs)
I have been trying to purge my house of extras that we just don’t need. I feel like my life has been so chaotic since the birth of my second child and that maybe “decluttering” might be what I need to give my life a little order.
With that said, I was organizing my downstairs storage room and purchased some new heavy duty storage shelves. I was left with this sad old bookshelf in which I had no use. My husband always hated this bookshelf, but it was pretty sturdy and a great height so I always seemed to find a good use for it.
It was it’s time to go…or was it? I was in need of some toy storage in my toy room/guest bedroom in the basement. (This poor room has so many names, but best to be called the ‘room of chaos’ or the second toy room so Mommy can workout without kids getting under her feet but also doubles as the guest bedroom once in a while.) The bookshelf might be just what I need to organize the toys in this room.
I started out by sanding down the scratches that were on the bookshelf. First with a 60 grit then a 200 grit sanding block.
Here it is with the shelves installed.
This room of chaos looks like this most of the time.
With the new (old) bookshelf painted, it now is organized and looks like this!
This whole project cost me $9, the cost of the bead-board. I had the paint and fabric boxes already on hand.
It makes the room look a little more in order now! My son is very good about putting all the toys back when finished playing now that there is a spot they go in!
Bow Tie Pasta and Creamy Mushroom Sauce
My husband and I are counting our calories again and I made this recipe tonight for dinner. We were both excited at how much this dish filled us up and was so tasty!! My son kept calling it “butterfly pasta” and enjoyed it too. It will definitely be a repeat recipe of ours!
12 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
1 tablespoon light butter
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced*
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced*
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook bow tie pasta in pan according to directions on package.
2. At the same time while cooking pasta, heat olive oil in pan.
3. Add onions and shallots to olive oil and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.
4. Add garlic to onions and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper, and white wine to onion/garlic mixture. Cook until mushrooms are tender.
6. Add cooked bow tie pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley to mushrooms. Toss pasta to coat. Salt and pepper to taste if needed.
7. Serve with crusty bread on the side and enjoy!
* You can substitute any type of mushroom for this dish, just make it a full 12 ounces.
The Skinny: Serves 6 @ 352 calories
I know, I know… a little late on the HAPPY New Year! But this Mama has been busy! It’s now January 19th and this is my first post of the New Year and I will explain why.
In September, I had my second child and since then my life has been in great disarray. In addition to the challenges of a newborn, I have a crazy, energetic toddler to run after. I have felt so overwhelmed in the last few months. I somehow managed to balance two kids, working from home, keeping the house clean, volunteering for my MOPS group, making healthy meals, working out an hour a day, doing some DIY projects, and blogging for the first few months of Remy’s life. However, at some point around Christmas I just felt exhausted and guilty for neglecting my children for my many activities.
At that point I made the decision to scale down my activities in this new year. My children are growing up so fast and soon they will be in school. While they are little, I want to spend all my free time playing, talking, reading, and exploring with them. I have made it a weekly goal to bring my son to library story time, play play-dough, read books, finger paint, color, pretend, build legos, and sing lots and lots of songs. (No matter how horrible of a singer I might be!)
Scaling down my activities this year means you will see me blog less, work less, clean less, build less, and craft less. This doesn’t mean I won’t posts blogs anymore. I have about a million blogs running around in my head on a daily basis, but I will only try to write them when my kids are napping.
I really hope to make 2013, 2014, 2015 years where I spend as much time as I can with my kids! Before I know it (2015) my little guy will be starting school and the moments of my kids and I spending days together will be gone.
I took it apart.
Painted it pink with the leftover paint I had from decorating her room. (Notice I attached all the knobs on cardboard for easier painting.)
Next, I used some leftover ribbon I had from her room and looped it through the holes of the pieces.
I secured the ribbon with a drop of hot glue to the backside of all the pieces.
Then I made sure to press the ribbon down until it stuck and wiped off any excess.
I ended up with all the pieces having ribbons glued to them and just needed to reassemble the hat rack.
I decided to change out the center knobs for some more decorative ones I found at Target.
I hung it up in her room,
and then filled it with all the hair accessories.
Let’s just say this is one of the quickest and ONLY projects I have done since she was born. (Just a little busy with a toddler and a 3 month old if you can’t tell by the lack of blogs!) It functions great to organize all of her hair accessories and adds some cute decoration to her room. This one is almost full, so I might have to make another one!