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!
The other day I was shopping at Costco and picked up a box of these Quaker Soft Baked Bars for the kids (and me) to eat for breakfast.
1 can (15 oz) of Pumpkin
1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
3 cups Old Fashioned Oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup Almonds, chopped
1/2 cup Died Cranberries
4 oz. of 70% Cocoa Chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grease a 9″x13″ inch pan with cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth.
4. Add oats, almonds, cranberries, and chocolate to the bowl. Stir well.
5. Press pumpkin oat mixture into the 9″x13″ inch pan.
6. Bake for 35 minutes.
7. Allow the bars to cool before cutting into 2″x2″ squares.
8. Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator.
The Skinny: Serves 20 @ 144 calories each!
It’s official, my little baby girl Remy turned one!! I still can’t believe how fast the time has gone! My little girl came in to this world weighing a petite 6 pounds 10 ounces and had the thickest head of hair!
I decided to keep up with tradition and throw my daughter a 1st birthday party! (See my son’s Halloween themed first birthday party here.)
I wanted a princess themed birthday party, but the more I looked into the decorations the more I thought it just looked too “store bought”. I always like designing my own stuff, so I came up with some decorations and planned the party! Here are a few shots of the decorations:
Here’s my cute cupcake stand that housed all the cupcakes for the guests.
Of course no party would be complete without pictures of the birthday girl! Here is her enjoying her cake!
It’s hard to believe how fast she had grown.
1 1/4 cup almond flour
6. Nature- I run to enjoy the beauty of the outside. I live barely outside of city limits and my runs are always scenic. Most of my neighbors have horses, there are acres of forest, acres of fields, deer galore, and bunnies that hop out of my way when I run by. Every once in a while I have to stop and take a picture of something that reminds me how much I love this area we live in.
7. For Myself- The final reason I run is for “ME” time. I can say that 75% of the days I go running I don’t want to do it. It’s hard. I feel every muscle in my legs working, my chest is tight from breathing hard (or maybe my asthma?), my abs start hurting after a while, and I am usually pretty tired after my first mile. However, the feeling I get when I am finished is AWESOME and keeps me going. Not only do you experience the phenomenon known as runner’s high, but you also have the chance to really think while running. It is sort of my therapy to mull over thoughts in my mind, hatch out problems, make plans, or even sometimes it’s my time to just have nothing in my mind.
That’s my reasons for why I run. I may not be a marathon runner, the fastest runner, or the best looking runner, but then again I am really just running for myself and that is really all that matters.
Do you run? If so, I would love to hear the reasons why you run!
I love a good hot breakfast and when a friend made this oatmeal for our MOPS group I was in love! This oatmeal is the perfect balance of well cooked oats, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon! It is slightly sweetened, but not too sugary so everyone is sure to love it! It’s a great hot breakfast that you can prepare the night before and bake in the morning to give your family a healthy start to the day!
Best of all, it’s a hearty 325 calories per serving!!
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of sugar (you can use brown or white)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 cups skim milk
3 cups of quick cooking oatmeal
3 cups of old fashioned oatmeal
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 cups of frozen berry mix (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1. Mix applesauce, oil, sugar, vanilla, milk, and eggs in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
3. Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until just blended.
4. Add the frozen berry mix and stir slightly.
5. Place oatmeal in a greased 9×13 cake pan and refrigerate overnight.
6. The next day, top oatmeal with almonds and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
The Skinny: Serves 10 @ 325 calories
This has been the post I have been dreading the most about writing. I have not had any time over the last few months to really post as much as I would like, but this post has been weighing on my mind —literally. It’s the dreaded “losing the baby weight” post.
If you follow our blog regularly, you know that I was SOOOO good about documenting this baby weight battle with my first child. (Read previous posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8). At the time I wrote the final post of this series Aiden was 9 months old and I weighed 124 pounds. I had lost 46 pounds in 9 months!
However, being that this is now my second child I wanted to confirm the rumors that are true….losing the weight with the second child is harder! At least it seems that way!
There are a number of reasons I think it seems harder…sleep deprivation, chasing around two kids, lack of time, lack of energy, and honestly I love my nightly glass of red wine with chocolate! Whatever excuses I want to give you, the honest truth is I just decided not to put the pressure on myself the way I did with my first child. My mother always told me that it takes you 10 months to put the weight on and it will take at least 10 months to take it off. I decided to take it easy this time around, spend more time with my kids instead of time with my treadmill, and try to eat healthy most days.
I started out this pregnancy weighing 8 pounds more than my ideal weight and ended the pregnancy at a whopping 181 pounds. With the help of myfitnesspal, endomondo, total insanity, p90x (parts of it), and a few other workout videos I can say I am getting there! I may not be as far as I was the first time around, but at least I am working at it and focusing on not putting too much pressure on myself. I currently weigh 133 pounds. And for those math majors out there, that’s a lost of 48 pounds which is surprisingly more then I lost with my first at this time. (BTW, this was a surprise to me as I wrote this post!) I still have a good 13 pounds to lose to be back at my pre-baby weight, but I am not sweating it (except when I workout!)
The moral of this story for all you second time moms out there is:
You will lose the weight.
Focus on eating healthy, take your kids for walks to parks (far away), and reward yourself periodically so you don’t deprive yourself and binge. You will lose the weight!
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…