2. All are made with white flour.
3. Packed with preservatives.
4. Environment Impact
3. Store in airtight container.
Tip: Save your plastic bags to reuse when you make them.
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…
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and for many families that means traveling to see relatives. We now have a two year old and a two month old so I am anticipating our five hour road trip might not be the most enjoyable experience for any of us, but it is totally worth it to see family! I have been racking my brain with ideas to keep my toddler busy on this drive!
The other day, I purchased this great car seat tray from a friend of mine for Aiden to play on while on the trip:
Next I put them in a sheet protector, back to back. The tray isn’t big enough to have them side by side, so he can flip this over and change the map if he likes. Also, the sheet protector will hopefully protect it from spills and food in the car.
The size is just perfect for the map! There is also space on the side to store extra cars.
Periodically I have been posting about The Joys of Toddlerhood (Part 1 & Part 2) and the fun that comes with these years! When I say fun, I actually mean it! Everyday is like a new adventure for him and it’s fun to watch him grow and learn! A common battle with these toddler years is the food battle and I thought it would be a fun blog to write about this topic. I have several friends with kids his age or soon to be kiddos his age that have asked me what I do for food so hopefully I can answer all their questions with this two-part blog.
In this first part I will start out with my philosophy on eating and in the second part I will cover some foods he loves to eat and I keep on hand for him to eat.
What We Eat
I am not a person who believes in only buying organic, grass-fed, all natural, and no sugar items for our food. I am not vegetarian or vegan and we don’t have any special diets we follow. I have nothing against those people that buy that way and I will buy the items if they are a great price, but normally I buy what is available to me and cost effective. I do buy items that are lower sugar, low salt, and I try to cook all my meals….which translates to we don’t buy a lot of perservity pre-processed foods. We have a large garden and I use as much as I can out of our garden and can/freeze what I can’t use. However, saying this, you will find some pre-proccessed foods on my list (in the next post) for convenience and I always say
A few months ago we went through this food battle, sort of. I noticed he was becoming picky about his eating and wouldn’t eat certain things we put in front of him. My son like meat and fruit. Everything else is just something to play with. When we first became parents, we decided to feed him what we eat. He doesn’t get some special meal of hot dogs and chicken nuggets every meal….he eats the exact same food we are having for that meal. He eats what we eat and if he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t eat. At first I felt guilty, scared he might starve to death, but my husband put me in check. He said “People are programmed to eat when they are hungry and even if they don’t like the food, they will eventually eat it.” With his medical experience, I decided he is most likely right. I usually feel just fine knowing that he eats one really good meal each day, which he does.
Variety Is The Spice of Life
I have found that my child likes a variety of foods. Each meal I give him a small amount of a each item that we eat and throw in a little extras. He will eat little bites of everything and overall gets a nice variety of nutrition from each item. Muffin Tin Mom has some great ideas for meals for your toddler if you want an example of foods. I don’t use the muffin tin, but it’s a good concept.
In addition to variety, we let him try new things all the time. For instance, my son really didn’t like salad until one day while out to eat with my husband’s aunt she gave him a piece of her lettuce that had balsamic vinegar on it. You know what, HE LOVED IT! Now when we have salad, he eats his with balsamic vinegar on it! I am not big on condiments so I try to keep those to a minimum but we have found he likes barbecue sauce with his baked french fries, so I let him eat that too.
Eat Like A Grown-Up
In addition to eating the same meals we eat, I have started to transitioning him over to grown-up eating. He sits in a booster seat at our table, eats with glass plates and metal silverware , and even puts his hands together in prayer before every meal. (Obviously, with the forks you have to watch him very closely, but we are right next to him.) I think he likes the feeling of being a “big boy” and the newness of the glass plate and metal silverware he uses are something different to play with so he eats more. We hope to tackle the normal cup soon!
Give Up The Battle
I will not fight with my child over his food and decided to give up any battle that might arise with his food. I like to give him options. Today for breakfast, I asked him if he wanted Nutella or peanut butter on his toast, he chose peanut butter. He can choose between mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese, cucumber or green pepper, grapes or strawberries…. If he eats, he eats. If not, he will be hungry later and he will get the same plate that he didn’t eat before. I do this quite a bit with lunch because sometimes he isn’t very hungry for lunch after his big breakfast and usually an hour later he will walk over to his chair and say “eat”. He gets the same plate again and will usually eat it.
I hope this post helped some of you Moms out there with the food battle you might be having with your little one(s). I am no expert on kids, as this is my first, but have found these little rules work great for us. However, one thing I have noticed being a Mom is all children are different…so this might work for me, but not work for you. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the post and look for part two of the post where I list off some of the best toddler foods to keep on hand.
A few weeks back I posted my first blog about the ‘Joys of Toddlerhood’ and hope to make it somewhat of a series that I can use as a way to vent my frustrations of toddlerhood, but also look back and enjoy reading all the fun times with my child.
Toddlerhood is here to stay, complete with all the bumps and bruises that go with it. My little guy got his first scrapes on his elbow the other day. From what, I have no idea. I should say that I am not a bad parent, for not knowing when my kid gets hurt, but I have one tough kid! He will take a spill like Steve-O from Jackass and will barely make a peep. He was blessed with my husband’s non-dramatic personality, so he usually stays pretty calm even when he has hurt himself.
Each day he becomes more and more aware of his surroundings. He will point at the sky and yell “Bird” when he hears the birds. He loves to play with earthworms and watch the frogs jump in our pond. (We have tried to catch a frog, but they are way too fast for us!) He experienced his first run through the sprinkler the other day. He has always been a kid that loves water, but I soon quickly found out that he is not a fan of the sprinkler’s ice cold water for a long period of time.
Though I talk about my son as if he is some sort of angel, he is not. One thing that has come with toddler years is the whining. The constant, non-stop, daily whining.
It’s enough to make a woman go insane and it really tests my patience, I am sure the whining is his form of communication until he develops more words. I notice his whining is worse when he is tired and hungry, so usually I will try to subside him with food or sleep. However, on occasion, it seems like he just likes to walk around an whine. I guess that is just one of the fun parts of having toddler. My husband and I have decided that whining is a bad habit and to adopt a “No Whining” policy.
Even though it is hard to really enact forms of discipline, the phrase “No whining” probably comes out of my mouth about 50 times a day. After one warning, we do the “That’s One” count down to a time out. (As instructed by the 1-2-3 Magic Discipline Book.) Some people might think it’s mean to do timeouts on a 17 month old, but with our son we can tell he knows the difference between right and wrong and it’s a good way to reinforce it.
After talking to my older sister, she says the whining battle is a battle you will fight for the years to come. She still sometimes has to remind her kids (now 9 and 6) that they need to quit whining. Right now, I feel like my son mainly whines as a way to communicate and also get attention. (Much like the fake coughing he does.) No matter the reason for the whining, it will not be tolerated this house. Or at least we will do the most we can to prevent it. I am sure it’s just one of the many fun things that comes with the toddler years!
To end this post on a happy note, my son has learned the word “No”. Now I think many parents cringe at the thought of their child learning “No” but I have found it quite hilarious. My child has decided that right before he is going to do something naughty he will repeat to himself “no, no, no.” It’s a great warning for me and it also shows me, even more, that a toddler can understand so much more than they can communicate.
So for now, we will make it through these whining times and cherish the times when hearing “no” makes me laugh. Parenting isn’t for the weak, but I think in the end all the bad times will outweigh the good and it’s good for me to remember to keep my cool.
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