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Very well put, ModernMom! While I do admire all the ‘full time moms’ out there, I decided when my now 3-year-old son was born that being a say home mom just wasn’t for me. Sure, there are some days when I wish I could stay home with my son and bake cookies with him all day, or lounge around and sing songs. However, most days, I get to come home from a rewarding day at work and spend time with my son while he sings me a new song he learned at school. It’s days like that when I am reminded that my decision to be a full time mom with a full time job was the right decision for me.
Being a fulltime mom with a full time job is the most rewarding feeling for me. It makes me feel even better taking both of my young children to a safe and familiar place each and every morning before my long day at work. It really does sadden me that our beloved center will be closing shortly, but in my search for a center that will meet up to my expectations I think I have found “the one”! After many, many tours of many, many centers, my husband and I finally have found one that is very comparable to our current Bright Horizons. It is a brand new center in Sterling Heights on 18 and Hayes. It’s called “The Learning Expereince”. They are warm and friendly and are willing to work with us through our transition from Bright Horizons. They also had a discount for my second child, and 1/2 off their registration fee!! So if any of you mom’s are still looking for a center, I would highly recommend checking out “The Learning Experience”!! Just for my curiosity, what other centers have any of you mothers decided to go with??
Thank you for providing me with a really good belly laugh today. The only reason I can laugh so hard is I too have done similar things, including leaving the house with my towel still on my head from the shower. Thank goodness my daughter caught me before I embarrased the daylights out of her at school.
Keep the laughs coming…
I can totally relate, CommuterMom. I have to travel more with my new job than I ever have before. My daughter is now four but she was almost three when the trips increased in frequency and length. It is still hard sometimes but I manage and she does beautifully. Her dad is great and has it completely handled while I am gone. And an international cell phone plan is beautiful thing when you are missing the sound of your family from far, far away!
I wonder how many other kids you infected when you brought him to school. Thanks… Next time stay home..
No — I think the capri pant lady is me — but that has more to do with my thighs than my knees. What I can’t believe about my post pregnancy body is how low my belly could go. Yikes!
I couldn’t agree more Modern Mom! While during my maternity leave I came to understand that being a stay at home Mom may just be the hardest job out there (and the most rewarding). But it doesn’t make those of us with jobs outside the home any less of a mother. The hardest part of any job is the responsibility and accountability. That’s a 24/7 thing for every mom.
I experienced the same thing! It will get better in the 2nd trimester and as soon as you are energized, the 3rd trimester comes and you are more pooped than the 1st! It won’t last long though, soon you and that little person who has been creating chaos inside of you will be face to face! Good luck!
As a single parent for years, I struggled with the “are cheerios dinner?” question, not just for my son, but for myself as well. When my partner came along, my son was a little older, and I was able to work more, but now I had to cook dinner for three instead of two (the third eating almost as much as my son and I put together).
I don’t think it hurts your kids if once a month you have a breakfast for dinner night with fruit, some yogurt, and cereal.
There are plenty of things you can get from a can, in a bag, or do before, though, to help mitigate some of the guilt, and to add some extras to your meal. For instance, we do refrigerator soup with 1 can of tomatoes, 1 can of cannelini beans, 1 can of vegetable broth and whatever else we feel like adding.
Buy your veggies on the weekends, and have your kids help in prepping them for the upcoming week. I peel carrots, slice celery for stir-fry, dice cucumber for tzaziki sauce, and chop apples and walnuts together for oatmeal breakfasts all on sunday. I’ve found it easier to do that and throw together something last minute like stir-fry or soup (both pretty afforable, and easy) than to cook 6 days worth of meals on sunday and hope and pray my 4 year old and I are in the mood for whatever it was I fixed.
I don’t think your kids will be scarred for life thinking that the delivery guy brings dinner, but I would be a little careful of always using upper-middle class solutions to solve a problem that affects all working families… try budgeting for thai food or pizza only a few times a month, and use their energy to help you cook when you’re fried.
I hope that helps!
I am a new parent and I struggle with the same questions. One question is how to provide healthy food everyday. Another is the question of what’s considered healthy.
Checkout these resourcesA tremendous benefit to everyone to read. ( I read the first 2 books there)Also the blogsdiseaseproofcuriousaboutmyhealth
Wear the sneaks! No big deal these days – but get a note from your doctor if your corporate policy doesn’t allow them. Save your feet and your money!
I will say it depends. Even meetings can be divided into utmost formal one and casual ones. Sneakers should be fine for most cases, but maybe take your formal shoes with you for occassions less casual, like first meeting with your clients/vendors etc.
I am definitely with you there! I suspect that my brain has shrank to pea size after the births. Now I prepare a list for everything and remain forgetful. For instance, this morning I remembered to dig out the two books due at the library and brought them to the breakfast table, meant to take with me. And you can probably guess, 10 minutes after leaving home, I was patting my head for not taking them. I set a lot of actions in outlook calendar to remind me, and with some wiggle room. What I have been trying is to set routines and habits, try to iron everything into my biological system instead of counting on my poor brain to remember them. Works better this way but still with mischives here and there. 🙂
I used signing because my son was greatly delayed in his speech… no one really could figure out the reason, and speech therapy only mitigated it. I don’t think signing slows down the speech process anymore than learning a second language slows it down, I think it just takes slightly longer to develop a more diverse vocabulary when you are learning it in two languages (like signing and spoken english).
If you’re worried about enunciation (and I wouldn’t be yet), try playing with her for about 30-60 minutes a day with something fun and specific to practice the signing and the saying of each word: “fluffy feather” and throw some feathers in the air, “blowing bubbles” and blow lots of bubbles to pop, “squishy shaving cream” was a favorite of my son’s, we would put it on the kitchen counter and squish it in our hands (p.s. if you do this one, buy the unscented kind!!). Focus on single words and fun sounds for sun objects, and she’ll love it.
My son was about 3 before most people could understand him, now, at 4.5, he’s above-average in terms of vocabulary, but still about 6 months behind his peers in terms of how clearly he speaks… I don’t think that there’s anything to worry about, but you can always look up a speech therapist and have him/her meet with your daughter a few times to give you some better ideas.
Personally, I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to start signing. She’s only 4 months now, but the older babies in her classroom at Bright Horizons use signing and I think it makes it much easier for everyone, especially the babies themselves. And from what I’ve seen anecdotally, if anything, signing helps, not hinders, speech. I have one friend with a 16 month old boy who talks with a larger vocabulary than most 2 1/2 year olds, and completely clearly. (I can understand every word he says.) They were huge sign language devotees.
Of my two daughters, my oldest had a speech delay and my younger child did not. I did signs with the first b/c her frustration was mounting when her mouth couldn’t keep up with her mind. Her doctor said, you may not be able to give her speech yet, but you can give her language. I also made up a poster of the top 25 signs that she used and gave them to the teachers at daycare, to babysitters, etc. so they could understand her.
I did signs with my second because i saw how amazing the sign language experiece was.
With my oldest, she had about 100+ signs and what was amazing to me most was that when she finally began speaking at close to 3 years of age, all of her first words were those that she signed. And now by 4 1/2 she tested age appropriate for expressive language.
She still signs for fun even though she can say anything and everything verbally!
One last thing – i remember that i was told to always do three things when you sign – say it, show it and sign it.
Good luck with it!
One thing i’ve found helpful, is steaming a batch of veggies on Sunday – carrots, brocolli and green beans are my usual. Then i toss them in tupperware and pull out enough for the meal and heat it up.
Also, i usually cook a hot meal for my husband and i while the kids are eating their meal and then I make enough so that the next night, they get our meal’s leftovers. Not perfect, but since they need to eat the moment we walk in the door I can’t realistically cook them a hot meal but i can offer them a good meal, albeit a day later..
Skechers has some slip-on sneakers that are pretty hip and trendy, yet comfortable. I wear them with jeans and even summer skirts. Don’t be too self-conscious about wearing sneakers, but if anyone gives them a glance you could always hold your belly and say, “Just x more months and I’m sure my doc will let me put my real shoes back on.”
Oh yes, Cheerios can be dinner! My kids adore breakfast for dinner, though I leave pancakes for special occasions and instead serve eggs w/ham and cheese, maybe a pepper if I have one. Add some fruit and you’re good.
Another great solution is soup. Yes, it comes from a can, but chicken noodle has veggies, protein, etc. Add a grilled cheese sandwich and voila!
Maybe you just need some new ideas. Try googling crock-pot recipes and just asking friends what they serve. My staples are spaghetti w/meatballs (frozen meat section), canned green beans (low sodium, and yes, they’re not great but they do qualify), tacos and fajitas are easy and balanced too.
I got pulled over for speeding, and when the officer asked for my license, I reached into my purse to get it, only to realize that it was still packed in the diaper bag for the weekend, which was at home! I thought I was going to get in trouble for that one too, but luckily I told him my story and he just gave me a ticket for speeding and a verbal warning for not having my license. Maybe he has encountered mommy brain before?
I agree with Tara. However, I had the same difficulty and still do with wearing my older shoes because my feet changed so much. I would go to a shoe store and find a good balance between sneakers and dress shoes. They have some really nice sandals with lower heals to help with the client meetings that can be more formal. Depending on the organization that you work for and the “business” aspect you could at least wear the new shoes without tears in your eyes.
I tihnk the smaller portions frozen is a great idea. My husband and I like to BBQ over the weekends and we tend to have left overs. I break them up in smaller portions (chicken, veggies and mashed potato) for my 1 year old and just throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes and done..
It does save ALOT of time and “worry” about what to feed them. But then you have to worry about Wednesday -Friday! 🙂 Pasta is a great solution. My daughter adores it.. and just because it is messy doesn’t mean that it isn’t good for her.. just throw some peas or brocolli in them.. Amazing how little time pasta takes.
Good luck, I believe that every parent faces this hard challenge because we do not want to feed our kids fast food all the time.
What about wearing ‘dressy’ sandals? My feet got very swollen near the end of my pregnancy, and sandals were my lifesaver. They were dressier than sneakers, still comfy, and I didn’t have to worry about stretching out any of my pre-pregnancy shoes.
For me (I do the same thing) I think it’s because my employer is flexible that I feel the need to be “on call” when I’m out of the office for a personal appointment, and because I use “work time” to handle mommy duties (childcare issues, scheduling doctor’s appointments.) The really rotten part of it all is that it always seems to be my personal time that is sacrificed.
I work 2 days per week in the office and 3 days per week at home with my 5 month old. (We’ll see how long this can continue once my little one is crawling and walking!) But…for now, it is a wonderful set up. However, I feel a very similar urge to work all of the time. My company allowed me to work from home and I am quite sure they expect me to use my “flex-time” option quite liberally in this situation. I feel guilty when I step away from the computer/phone to do a diaper change, feeding time, play time, ect. I have voice mail and nothing is an “emergency” with my job, so why do I feel guilty? I think it is just my work ethic. I am a devoted/loyal worker and I do not want anyone to think otherwise. Honestly, I do not want my attitude to change. I want to continue to feel a little bit of quilt when I am “on company time” doing personal things. I think it will help me stay focused. It is so easy to become distracted when pregnant/and then when a mommy, so I think the internal “guilt” will help keep me on my toes and a good worker. I think your feelings are perfectly normal and I am sure they are benefiting your company in more ways you even know.
Hello Commutter Mom,
While not a mom (I’m a Dad), my wife and I felt that teaching our son sign language actually helped his verbal development. It took quite a while for him to catch on to the concept, but once he did, he quickly learned over 50 signs. For the ones we couldn’t find “proper” signs for, we simply made up our own. In the long run, he learned an amazing variety of words from signing and a child who can communicate effectively is a lot easier to please! He is now 3, and has an excellent vocabulary. I would say to keep up the signing!
get rid of the gadgets Sis because having them is setting you up to become the property of your employer 24/7 due to too much availability through far-reaching communications technology. If you think I’m kidding, taka a look at you now and compare it to when you were a kid. If you’re not over 40 then look at Mom and Dad’s relatively simple life. We are buying into a not so convenient Very Large Array of conveniences. No one is suggesting you thrown the stuff into the lake on your next camping trip, but try taking out the batteries and temporarily misplacing them for awhile. Then do an honest comparison. My ousted my tv set many years ago and I am a much happier person for it. This stuff is absolutely addictive. If you don’t think so then I would like to politely challenge you to do without it for a while and put yourself in a place where you can honestly take it or leave it. As far as the guilt thing is concerned; while guilt has an enormously pertinent purpose in our souls and does help us to keep on track, I would also like to assert that there is such a thing as false guilt. I can support this by saying that there are times when we feel guilty but are not actually guilty (like when little johnny tells you that you never let him do anything HE wants to do and that you are a mean mommy because you took the ball away from him after he broke the chandelier with it, etc. There are times we are guilty and we don’t feel a thing. When was the last time you felt guilty about calling your child a kid. Sounds innocent enough, but the word sescribes a young goat. How would you feel about calling your child a goat?We need to concentrate on getting the guilt thing right. I would assert that the most effective way to that is to be able to ask yourself the key question: Am I really guilty or not? (of course it helps if you believe in a God that has true authority and can speak to you through your conscience.) My best guess is that Love is the standard to go by. I love my job. I work with little people and I enjoy their company but I need to go home and let them leave my thoughts at the end of the day. I find myself having to turn them off when I am home so that I can devote myself to the things at hand. I sometimes just have to purposely and objectively prioritize. I sometimes fail miserably and chalk it up to being human. We all have that right. Hope this helps.
I kind of like having my blackberry for the doctor’s office. I hate the feeling of wasted time while I sit and wait — and we all know how long we get stuck waiting at the doctor’s office! Being able to read things for work and still communicate while I’m sitting in a waiting room means that I can get things done and still get home on time – even when I have to be away from the office during work hours.
I have 2 children in day care 2 days a week and 1 day they are with Grandma & Grandpa. They learn so much from daycare & their grandparents, but I truly feel that my husband and I have the most influence.
We recently changed child care environments because our previous care provider indicated that she felt she should be making decisions about raising our child!
I just started daycare about a month ago, and that had been my concern throughout the months I had grandma and then a nanny taking care of baby girl. But I believe that, as long you have a strong, healthy and loving relationship with your child, you will always be the ultmost comfort and security for your child, and that will give you the most authority over and leverage with your child. So make sure you use your powers for good 🙂 and take advantage of then to instill your own values and beliefs.
Dear New Mom,
I have considered your blog without having read the article nor the book but I have been really thinking about and going through some troubles as a working mom.
My daughter just turned 2 and I am 4 months pregnant with our second. She is currently in full time care as of May. Prior to that she stayed home with me until 18 months (I had a great sitter come for a few days a week here and there in the summer of 2006 but our daughter did not have to leave the house.) After 18 months she went to daycare 2 and then 3 days a week.
My job allowed me to stay home as much as 4 to 5 days a week. Now, I am full time days, Mon to Frid. I also have a commute to contend with.
I really do not feel connected to my child as I did prior to the change. I am feeling quite blue about the whole thing as I feel the quality time I once had with my child is now compromised greatly. I am truly not sure if I am making the right decision and I think about it all the time which is probably worse. You see, many working moms have had to work from the get go, especially in the states. In Canada, were I am, I had a reduce paid one year off and my job, although full-time hours, was not Monday to Friday. I have had to make the change for a couple of reasons and I really do notice a difference in my ability to be a good mother as well as in her behaviour.
I honestly feel that if a woman can and wants to stay home and if her husband/partner is supportive of this (ie choosing to live in a smaller home, driving one car, not buying a lot of new stuff and/or not taking a lot of away vacations then your children will truly benefit from this.
I am trying, unsuccessfully I feel, to run a good household (clean, cook etc), be a good mom, wife and have time for myself and I don’t. I did before the full time hours however. Part-time hours made a big difference and I also could stay home fulltime and be very very busy with all the household and family responsibilities.
It certainly is challenging in our day and age to balance it all. Most women, I feel, try to make it seem like it is so easy to run a house and raise a couple kids and work, but I really don’t feel it is easy and I am really wondering if I am doing the wrong thing.
My husband however wants me to work and I have a good job. I would not be able to stop working as he would not support it. Actually, in our current financial situation, we need two incomes.
Work together with your partner and really come up with something that works for both of you and especially for your child.
My husband and I have raised two children (now 25 and 22 years old) with the help of excellent child care providers. We made the decision early on that when we were able to be with the children (evenings and weekends), we would BE WITH the children. That doesn’t mean that we ignored each other, our home or yard. It just means that we included the children in our activities (grocery shopping, house cleaning, cooking, gardening, etc.)with an eye toward cooperation and sensitivity to what they could really do. We also made sure that we were available to them to participate in their activities. My children were exceptional athletes (both earned college scholarships and one now plays professionally–yes I am bragging :)). But we were a team as a family!
It wasn’t easy. It was exhausting but it was also rewarding. We are a very close family.
No one raises your child but you. Child care providers should act as partners with you. You need to communicate your goals for your children to them and ask for their cooperation in working toward those goals with you. They should also be resources for you. Their breadth of experience with children coupled with your depth of experience with your child is a powerful combination. Use it.
So it can be done successfully. There are trade-offs (my house was never going to be in House Beautiful) but we raised loving, caring, intelligent, productive adults. We were (and still are) very blessed.
It always concerns me when moms divide over wether being home or going to work is “best” for their children. We live in a society that puts enough pressure on all women to be perfect…perfect wives, perfect mothers, perfect employees, etc. Seems like what we really need is to support one another in our choices…only you can find the solution that works for your family and I should not tell you that your choice is right or wrong. I should be supportive and tell you that if you go to sleep at night knowing you are doing what is best for your family, then you ARE doing your best for them and they will know that the choices you have made are out of love. My own daughter goes to daycare 4 days a week…I work full time (4 days, 10 hours+) so that she and I can spend one extra day each week together, just us. It works for us and I look forward to those days…I know I am doing what is best for her and for our family. If you keep the same things in mind, you will make the best choices for you, too. Good luck!
Rosa – your suggestion that stay at home mom’s get to spend there days “lounging around” is laughable. Having spent the first three years of my very active daughters life at home with her, I can assure you that “lounging” and “baking cookies” is not an everday reality. Some days we were able to do that – other days I spent tearing my hair out running after a baby, who was learning to crawl, then walk, then run. Keep in mind – there is no “shift end” for a stay at home mom. If daddy came home, and he’d had a rough day – mommy was left to entertain baby from 7 in the morning till 8 at night (less naps, of course). It made for some very long, tiresome days. Don’t forget too – in the winter if the weather was bad, we would be stuck in the house, so sometimes you would have no interaction with anyone else for days…just you and baby. Please don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade a second of those three years – and now that I am back to “work” fulltime, I miss her terribly. I find it very sad that mothers can’t agree on the basics of life though. As moms, we do the bulk of the baby work (most of the time – I know some dads are very proactive – but I also now that we are not living in a world were labour is divided that equitably)- and yet here we are not able to see eye to eye – or offer woman on the other side of the fence the respect they deserve.
We have made rattlers out of the empty water bottles and spare change that we keep in the car. They have entertained our 10-month old during many a looong commute.
I am sure that this has to do with your desire to be perceived as the same strong employee you have always been, without giving away that there might be something “interfering”. I remember dreading for DAYS the conversation with my boss about being pregnant. I knew he would be supportive, but I just felt as if in some way it made me a lesser employee or something. Irational, I know, but real nonetheless. Would you agree?
aluminum foil makes a great space suit and martian costume. Plastic containers, utensils and water make great water play inside (with a few towels). Get the book “ultimate concoctions” (found at barns and nobles) and you will have a blast creating and experimenting with household items. (great way to spend a rainy day)
Tupperware bowls and other large mixing bowls make great water play outside with both water and ice.
Bath towels make great super hero capes.
What is it about the mini-van that we’re all so concerned about avoiding anyway?
I’m in the same place you were – 2 kids, one dog, not enough space in the car. So why am I resisting the mini-van? Should I just take the plunge?
I wondered that too. I always liked kids, but I never really liked babies. Until I had my own of course. Now I love my babies more than anything and other people’s aren’t so bad (because they remind me how my own were)A little bit selfish, but no one is perfect.
It’s alot easier to enjoy being around other kids when your own child is on the same levelas the others (for me anyways) Though I was just the opposite. Before I had any kids I loved to be around all kids. When I had my own I suddenly wanted to be around kids that were at the same stage as my own.
I am in the same predicament! I haven’t started yet but I have decided to try my hand at making scrapbook pages digitally and then if I want to create an actual book I can print out the pages that I want to have in the book. I think that I will enjoy more (and be less intimidated by) this process than the craftier way – cutting and gluing paper, notions, and pictures. Good luck with your scrapbooking!
Be careful what you read – things are not always what they seem. Do the math from the study….32% of the children would be 320 out of 1,000 and 17% of those would be 54 out of 1,000. Now the numbers aren’t as convincing.
My personal opinion – watching educational type programs with your little ones is beneficial. Both my 3 year old and 1 year old gain a lot of vocabulary from these types of shows with my interaction.
My 5.5 and 1.5 year olds and I watch Sesame Street together now; all 3 of my children have been early talkers, but the youngest “counting” to 20 and reciting the ABCs before the age of 2 indicated to my husband that what we were doing with her certainly didn’t hurt!!!
In my experience, the weirdness persists, and with superiors you lose the option of giving in to using witty retorts, when frustration mounts. It’s a good time to practice your zen meditation exercises!
That happened to me once as I was giving a presentation to about 10 executives. I had two women on my staff there as well and they promised me that no one noticed, at least none of the men!
Personally, I don’t believe a very limited amount of TV is terribly harmful at any age, as long as it’s age-appropriate and doesn’t lead to a pattern of more and more TV. I did read an interesting comment from pediatrician in one of the many articles on the topic. He said he isn’t so concerned when he hears that a child is watching 20 minutes of TV because it gives a harried parent the chance to take a shower or make a quick meal. It’s when he hears that they are deliberately turning on the TV or popping in Baby Einstein because they think it’s an important tool for their child’s educational development, that it concerns him. The lesson I take from that is this: if it’s a valuable tool to help you get things done (or get a few more minutes of sleep), a limited amount of TV isn’t terrible; but when proactively trying to work on your child’d development, don’t kid yourself — there are better tools than TV.
I can appreciate your story. My husband and I have gone on very few dates out since having our two boys. The cost of a babysitter plus the date is hard to justify. We don’t have much family available and none of them are knocking on the door asking to help out, so I rarely ask. One thing that has been a life saver for us is that our boys go to bed at 8:00p.m. A lot of Friday or Saturday nights we will put the boys to bed and then have an evening to ourselves grilling out, enjoying a bottle of wine, and just talking (without interuptions). We enjoy the time together to catch up or to just be together without anyone making any demands!
I totally understand what you are going though. I to am going to be taking leave. I get paid for 6 weeks but my boss said that well i should just take off all of January (i am due on the 27th of Jan.) I am thinking about it but then agian i am so worried that something will go wrong like they are going to mess up and i will have to fix it when i come back.
So now i decided that i will go and work part-time till the week before i am due. Then afterwards i am going to work once a week, most likely friday, and just get my work done and leave. My boss, she is so nice it is like one big family there, said that she will babysit the baby while i am doing my work. That is in her office lol, i think she just wants to show my baby off.
Anyways, but i would not worry about losing your job. I mean if you are a hard worker i would not think that they would get rid of you. Also i think there is a law that prevents that on happening also? Well i hope you have a nice day, and relax as much as you can.
CrystalPS and this is coming from a first time mom, can you belieave that =)
If your parents are often babysitting while your daughter is asleep, how about doing some small things to treat them to a good time while they’re there. Rent a DVD and pop some microwave popcorn for them to enjoy while they’re there. Make a nice dessert and brew coffee, buy a book of crosswords, a jigsaw puzzle, or print a story from the Internet on a topic they enjoy. Make it a treat for them as much as possible. Then, when you can, return the favor with favors. Drive them to or from the airport and/or housesit next time they travel. Offer to walk their dog, shovel their walk, mow the lawn, etc. Just a few thoughts.
I’m a teacher in bright horizons… I often read this blog to learn more about concerns of parents so I can better my classroom. I never have anything to comment on BUT, SCRAPBOOKING is my favorite thing ever SO… this is my advice. Go to your local craft store and take a class on scrapbooking. they’re cheap and not very long. Tell the Mr. to sit for a little while and enjoy the class. You’ll learn cool tricks and want to get started right away!! Once you start.. DON’T STOP until you run out of ideas… then go back to the class 🙂
Congratulations! I look forward to hearing NewFamily stories.
Hello Commuter MomYou and Modern Mom are truly what I refer to as supermoms. You do it all. Maybe I should not be reading yours and ModernMom’s profile as it makes me feel worse about myself. As you can tell I do not have a lot of confidence in myself as a Mom. But I am trying to fix that. I, too, am a working mom, and a wife. The additional pressures come from being the only source of income, a handywoman wannabe since my husband has no interest in it and would rather hire someone to do it when we have no spare income to do so while our house is falling apart.I envy women like yourself who have a list of responsibilites that they meet and sound to be successful at all those responsibilities. How does one do it? At the same time, how can I communicate to Bright Horizons that they need a blogger-Mom who is not as much of a Supermom as you and ModernMom are. Again, I am not unappreciative of both of you. Just that I know of a lot more women like myself who are not as ambitious as you are and not as confident as you are.Thank yoU!
Ralph’s World, the Wiggles, and Choo-Choo Soul (as heard/seen on Disney Channel) are on my son’s list with Dan Zanes.
DD also loves to dance whether it’s at home or in the car. She really enjoys Laurie Berkner and The Wiggles.
definitely the Beatles
Not only do I also suffer from reclass fatique, but these recalls are also making me toy -shy! “Where were they made? Are they painted? Are they safe?” I don’t have time for this, do any of us? Maybe these toy companies need to be looking at bringing their operations back to the states!
The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ is one of my son’s favorite albums… along with Jack Johnson. I feel fortunate that I love to listen to them as well.
welcome to chapter in your life!
We use Picassa software. It’s a free photo management software by Google. You just download it to your own laptop or PC. It makes it very easy to e-mail a bunch of photos at once to as many or as few people as you want. It also allows you to create slideshows with captions, etc. and then e-mail those or burn them to CD or DVD. I highly recommend it, even if you also choose to use a web-based site as well.
Consider yourself lucky and enjoy the energy. I had a tough recovery from my C-section, and never got that new baby high.
I would think email would be the best way to go. My mom is a teacher and she sends and receives emails from parents to keep them up to date on their children’s progress. This would allow the teacher to say everything that needs to be said and to give thought to the repsonse. Or you coudl arrange a meeting time with the teacher if you are not satisfied with the response, or just want some personal interaction.
I truly understand your frustrations. I have three kids, ages 13, 10, and soon to be 2.
I receive detailed progress reports on the oldest and the youngest, however I yet to hear from my fourth grader’s teachers. I do send weekly emails. I have informed them that I am working full time and it is not always easy for me to come in but I am concerned about my child’s education.
I too agree with you when you say you do not want to wait until progress reports to learn what your child is doing in school.
I understand that teachers have a lot on their plates, but the point in A COMMUNITY RAISING A CHILD, is to interact with all parties involved to insure that your child is productive.
Try the weekly emails, send notes with him to school, and call and leave messages with the front office for your child’s teacher to call you back at the end of the day!
I wish you luck as well, and if something comes up in the future that works for me I will definetly send you the word!!!!
There are to many kids to write everyday of details. My son has a simple check off sheet. You can request that and add on your own “details”.
Or start something like a web cam securty code in the activity room only parents to log in from your work.good luck Debi
When my oldest son transitioned from the toddler room in daycare to the full day preschool class, I had the exact same issue. As working moms, it’s more important than ever that we’re “plugged in” to what’s happening with our kids on a daily basis. The preschool does not provide daily sheets like the toddler room at the daycare, so I have asked the preschool teacher her preference on how to communicate with me. Turns out – she wanted the phone calls! So perhaps you could ask the teacher what the preferred method of communication would be and work something out. Good Luck!
I was always so tired, but that could prolly be because my baby had colic real bad, but shes 6 months and I am still tired all the time. If she didnt sleep through the night, I dunno what I would do, so yea, you are one of the lucky ones!
You may try signing up for some of your local park district activities centered around mommy and me type classes such as infant massage or post natal yoga classes. This worked for me – they are typically scheduled for 6 – 8 weeks so they work well for moms on temporary leaves. I’ve even managed to stay in touch with a few of the mom friends that I made via those type of classes. Local churches often have small groups as well.
I can’t speak to temporarily joining moms groups while on leave but my daughter and I did take yoga when she was very young. It was a wonderful class and gave me a chance to meet other moms. She was only 7 weeks when we started and the yoga was surprisingly much more about her doing yoga than me (who would have thought a 7 week old could do so much!)
But here I am back at work and VERY interested in meeting other moms. I just moved to a town that has a “fabulous” moms club (or so I’ve been told by just about everyone I meet.) I’m experiencing the SAHM issue. The literature on the club must use the term “at-home mother” about a 1/2 dozen times in the first paragraph. By the second paragraph it talks about how the get togethers are specifically designed for the “at-home child”. The term “at-home” is used throughout the whole brochure. Are they trying to tell me something? I can’t believe I’m being excluded from a moms group because I work. I feel your pain. Meeting new moms is definitely a challenge – more so than I ever thought!
I use Kodak Photo Gallery. You can go to http://www.kodakgallery.com to upload your photos and create distribution lists to share your photos. They also have software called Ofoto that you can use to upload your photos as well. It’s great because family members can then order prints from the site.
I belong to the MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club chapter in my town. The chapter is part of the international MOMS Club organization. True, it was started by and for SAHM’s. The organization charter and all the online information stress that. But, my neighbor, a SAHM, really encouraged me to join. She insisted that our particular chapter is supportive all mothers, working and not. She was right. In fact, I later found out that 75% of my chapter’s membership works at least part time. True, most of the activities are daytime ones that I can’t participate in. But on a monthly basis there is a “Moms’ Night Out” gathering, and there are frequently holiday parties for the kids that take place on weekends. I joined about 6 months before my second child was born. I soon found out that some of the working members had formed their own spinoff working mothers’ support group. So now there is a group of about a dozen of us who have evening meetings every other week. While I was on maternity leave I did a daytime MOMS Club activity at least once a week. It was wonderful and I regretted losing those experiences when I went back to work. But, I am still a member, I still go to the working mothers meetings, and I make it when I can to weekend events and have even been known to schedule a vacation day when there is something good during the week that I want to do with my kids. You could try googling MOMS Club for your area. Or, you could start your own club for working mothers. Your Bright Horizons center is a great place to start. Ask the Center Director if you can put up a notice in your child’s classroom soliciting interested parents. If your Center is employer based, your employer might even be willing to help stimulate interest in other employee working parents who don’t have children at your Center. You can also do what the woman who started my working mothers’ group did: post flyers around town and try to stimulate interest in your community. Once our group got going, a lot of new members were attracted by word of mouth. There are way too many people like us out there for us to have to go it alone.
Hi there! I love your post. My family is new to the Seattle area; any recommendations on “you pick” orchards? Thanks!
I know what you mean. I had the same concerns when I took my son to the office for the first time as well as the first time I took him into church. My very wise and experienced older sister gave me great advice – leave the baby strapped into the infant carseat when you first arrive and see how she handles the crowd. Some will just sleep as a defense mechanism, while others won’t be bothered at all by the crowds. Let NewGirl tell you when and if it’s OK to take her out of the carrier.
I agree wholeheartedly about children needing downtime. Extracurricular activities are a wonderful opportunity to socialize, learn new skills and have fun but in moderation. I have seen far too many children at my daughters preschool overextending. Everyone seems really stressed and sometimes the kids don’t seem happy or exhausted. Children need time to play and wonder with no “agenda.” I love how both my children (3&1/2 and 2) can create their own games and keep themselves entertained for a little bit without me having to direct the action. Besides my daughters half-day preschool, I only allow her two activites a week and the same rule will apply to my son when he enters her school in six months. Right now he is limited to two activities.
I’m not very crafty but I do enjoy trying once or twice a year, and this year after I bought all the parts to make my son a doggy costume, I realized I could buy a good quality one online for $10 less than what I spent on materials. I’m sure that if you make crafts all the time it’s much more economical, but I say forgo the guilt and just buy the costume. In addition to your typical costume shops, Old Navy, Babies R Us, BabyStyle (free shipping), Children’s Place and The Right Start all sell good quality costumes, many $25 and under. Warner Bros. has lots of their character costumes available for sale online and they’re also good quality. Or check out EBay and buy someone else’s handcrafted costume!
Give Laurie Berkner a listen. We recently saw her in concert and our family favorite song is Victor Vito. Be careful… once it is in your head you cannot get it out.
There’s also “They Might Be Giants”. My kids love the music and have learned some great words. Marsupial!
That is a hard one… I guess I would think about taking a special gift (a bag of special coffee and/or a bunch of flowers) with a either a promise of returning the huge favor when she feels that she has a need or give her some time certificates. When I give these out to people, they are for (almost) anything – watching kids, doing a special project, mowing a yard, etc. I just have to be careful that I’m ready to pay up when they are cashed in!
Thank your neighbor and let her know how much you appreciate her help. Then, be sure to pack lunches or snacks to share or have pizza delivered to her house while your children are there. Or leave money for them to all go bowling or to the movies. You could also send along craft activities or a movie to share.Bethany (mom of two school-agers)
My niece struggled with eating for a long time and my sister kept after the doctors – about 3 months later they determined that she has reflux and now takes medicine every day. My advice – keep after the doctors until you’re satisfied with the answers! And keep talking to your daycare providers and teachers – perhaps you’d feel better if you went in during feeding time and shared with the teachers how difficult it really is and talk to them about that situation face to face and find out if they have had similar issues before. A great advantage to child care settings – lots of experience!
I would have to say that the eight weeks of a row of early dismissal is ridiculous. Organize a parent protest group and break the union in your town. Why not just make every day an early release day? I would bake the neighbor a pie. Or maybe get your sister to do a few of the early pickups. Or, best of all, move to a more progressive town — maybe in New Hampshire.
Many of my niece’s symptoms sound just like this but my sister believes it’s just because that’s the way my niece is…a spit up baby. However, does a baby spit up so much that she is soaked by noon? How does one tell another mother that there’s a difference between a spit-up baby and a baby with probably a severe problem? I don’t want to be rude to tell my sister how to raise her child because I’m a new mom and she’s a mother of 3…but I’m just concerned becasue my niece spits up so much.
IF you must return…My experience with infant care has always been wonderful when the ratio was low – when there were no more than three babies to every teacher and when there was primary care giving and RIE training (infant education). Talk with your teachers about how to transition your child before they begin the school and drop by without calling to reassure yourself and read the chart often and compare to bottles left. The lower the ratio and closer parent/teacher relationship the better the care. It will be harder on you than your child. But it will be ok.
I know what you mean — Preschool. That’s a big transition – much tougher than toddler to two’s (at least for me!) But there was an obvious benefit when my oldest son made that transition – he had fewer “accidents”, his self help skills really improved quickly and so did his vocabulary. Good Luck!
Best delegation I ever made was to hire a house cleaning service. Even though we couldn’t afford to have a weekly service, it’s great to know that at least every other week my house is getting some real attention and it takes away a lot of pressure to get that mopping done! So now instead of worrying about whether my floors need done, I’m spending some extra quality time with my boys.
I think that it’s a good thing that they want to move your daugther up early they obviously think she has the potential to be moved into a new surrounding with different people. hope everything goes well. oh and don’t worry to much!!!
right there with you!!
Put her in a baby bjorn – people can see put she is protected from germs and will feel safe with you.
Give up the comfort and go for the advancement! I agree with ModernDad–much to gain, nothing to lose. The older kids’ verbal skills will get your daughter stringing her words together in no time.
What fun are the holidays when you can’t enjoy them because you’re too busy in the kitchen? I would guess that the house will still have that fantastic Thanksgiving day aroma with all of the other foods and if the turkey is good – no one will care where it came from! A couple of years ago, I outsourced the turkey to my husband — on the grill! Besides – instead of putting such a high focus on the food, let’s all spend this Thanksgiving Day being thankful and spending time with our kids!
Completely agreed. I’m also not in a position to spend on cleaning each week, but I have the house cleaned bi-weekly. They even change my sheets. It costs less than many think. I live in a fairly pricy area, (outside of Boston) and the house is 3,000 sf and we pay $80.00 for the whole house. Hardwoods cleaned & all surfaces, 3 bathrooms, etc.
I highly encourage any mom to do this, you’ll get tons more time with your family and you can make up $160 p/m somehow. I did.
I agree. My sister in law hosts Thanksgiving now, and she makes the turkey, but orders most everything else from a great prepared foods service in her town. A few items are outsourced to guests (desserts, for instance), and her husband always makes his famous mashed potatoes, but with so many guests and so much else to get ready, I say take advantage of the resources available to you.
Try this site: http://www.thelittleauthor.com/
If you want to go more homemade you could take digital photos of flat and 3-D art. It can easily be printed and made into a book on your printer or on a photo site like snapfish.com.
This is lovely! I felt grateful at Thanksgiving to be able to share it with my whole extended family; We all cooked together, played football, and reminisced with each other, and, like you, my sister and brother and I were getting along! I am, for once, excited for Christmas! Since our dad passed, things haven’t really been the same but I do get those moments of nostalgia around the holidays, like when we’d all sit around the TV and watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on VHS and frost cookies 🙂 That’s why I love the DVD set of the Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Frosty the Snowman, just to name a few)! You can get this limited keepsake edition set at any place that sells DVDs, and it even comes with a bonus music CD! You can also get it at http://www.christmasclassics.tv. I can’t wait to start enjoying this with my children! I work with Classic Media, so I’ve got the inside scoop 😉
I completely understand! It’s hectic enough in the morning’s getting everyone ready and dragging all of the necessities into the car – winter brings its own challenges with boots, hats, mittens and snowgear. With the arrival of my second son – I decided that a consignment store purchased boots and snowpants was a complete necessity – or we had a high probability of the boys being at school with inadequate snow gear. So frivolous? Not in my opinion – but rather a good use of hand me downs and second hand store purchases that can be donated to someone else in need next year.
As for the day-care staff, I limit the holiday appreciation gifts to the primary teachers and the support staff who spend a significant amount of time in the classroom with my children. To show my appreciation of the other staff(director, program coordinator, etc.), the day-care coordinates a holiday breakfast and I make sure that I contribute to that by donating money for the food. I’ve also seen people bring in things like bagels and coffee and ask the director to put them out in the break room with a thank you card.
my sons day care is VERY mixed with the classes. they have a policy of have the teachers move around during the day to spend a few minutes in each of the other classes to get them used to ALL of teachers and teach them new people can be accepted. I was at a loss as to how to distrubute holiday cheer, his direct class teachers were a must but the other added alot to his day also, so I went the route of stopping at dunkin donuts for coffes and a mix of bagels donuts muffins… and I left a pile of cards (one for each person at the school) with a personalized message. i’ve heard some people say they give money as a tip to the ‘homeroom’ teachers. i find this unnecessary, its hard to put a monetary amount on the head of the person who takes care of your child each day when really its just a show of appreciation that counts.
In the beginning it can be difficult, but after a while it becomes second nature. Many milk (casein) allergies are not outgrown, mine wasn’t. However, they typically lessen in severity so that trace amounts are not a concern like peanuts. Good luck with the transition!
I try to avoid turning my children into consumers at every turn. You’re right, we do have so much in our culture. Sometimes we have too much!
To keep my kids out of the toy aisle I keep them occupied with arts and crafts. Now, nearly every night of the week is arts and crafts night at our house. The place is kind of a mess, but we all have an absolute ball, the kids are learning and making all sorts of decorations for the house (and not tacky ones, either), and even the old man’s blood pressure is down.
Lately my boys have been enamoured with something called Kabillion’s Little Director. It’s a kid-friendly online sketchbook you can find at http://www.kabillion.com/littledirector. All the tools are there for my boys to draw whatever’s in their imagination. And my husband and I are right there, creating with them! The pictures can even be taken a step further and turned into complete animations, with music, voiceovers and everything needed to tell a story!
You can even buy your child’s masterpiece on DVD. My boys’ latest cartoon will make a great Christmas gift for my parents. They’ll love it! I only know about this because I work with Kabillion, but I’m so happy to share this with my amazing children!
You should be totally proud of yourself!!! My son is 2 and I know how hard it is, but you need to stick to your guns or they know they can get away with anything!!!Consistenty is key.
You GO girl! Child-less patrons standing in line may not have noticed; but any parent, grandparent, good aunt/uncle, day-care provider, or anyone’s that ‘been there’ definitely noticed. Kudos to you!
I have two very energetic boys (ages 2 and 4) who really struggle when it’s too cold or rainy to get outdoor time – serious cases of “cabin fever”. We have found an indoor pool that has a great play area, which is a fun Saturday morning. I also have a small closet in my house with “special” activities such as playdoh, a ball hut with 100’s of plastic balls, electric train that requires adult supervision….and a few more – these are toys that don’t get put out for them to use on a regular basis, but instead are reserved for “one of those rainy / yucky days”. Good Luck!
We go to the library a lot. Our library has a great play area and sometimes even has a weekend story time with puppet show. We also spend time at Barnes and Noble…
You had the presence of mind to give your daughter to competent caring caregivers when you were not ok. That is what you are supposed to do. You were there for your daughter–you put her in a safe place when you knew you weren’t ok. That is called being responsible. You were shaken up by the fall and what could have happened. Of course you needed to regroup. It is so important to take care of yourself. If you are feeling guilty for other reasons then touch base with a good friend or a counselor. It is so hard being a working mom today–we have enough to be worried about and by the way NONE of us is perfect.
Think of it in a different perspective – passing her off quickly into the safe care of someone she knew also meant that you didn’t let her see you in that state of mind – which could have just scared her even more. Accidents happen – trust me, as a mother of two very energetic boys, I have certainly learned that truth. But sometimes it’s best not to let them see your reaction. Trust that your maternal instinct would have kicked in had she needed your immediate attention. There was no need to let her see you in a meltdown!
thanks for the tip!
love seeing positive posts!
I totally know how you feel. I have the exact same problem. We have a 3 year old and a 2 year old. BOTH BOYS! Cabin fever and it’s finest in the winter.
I don’t know where you live, but in Poughkeepsie (think….new here so I’m still a little fuzzy about the towns) they have Kids Kingdom. A great indoor playground. Usually not crowded, small enough that it’s easy to supervise, clean and nothing large enough that they can get hurt easily. It’s going to be our saving grace this summer. Good Luck. If you have trouble finding it, contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll forward to you the telephone number and address!
You should be proud. At this point I always ask myself “who’s in control here?” It sounds like she was trying to take control of the situation and you and get the juice. This is not a criticizm. They ALL try it over and over again and all ages.
You maintained control and you should be proud of that. It’s difficult. Is it possible that some people were watching you in approval, or looking for a better way to handle it themselves. If not they obviously don’t have children, or don’t have boundries for their children.
You did great! Keep up the good work!
You can’t beat yourself up over this – it was an accident! Your child has probably already forgotten about what happened. Like the other comments said, you did the right thing and you cannot feel guilty for it. You are a good mom and should not doubt that!
None of you are a FULL TIME MOM!!! You are feeling bad because you are failing as parents. Your kid does not care if you are driving a used $5000 car or new $50,000. Your kid would prefer time with you.
which center are you involved with that has photos posted on snapfish? I love this! Is this just something that I’m missing or is it not at all centers yet?
It’s really different for all of us, huh? Before I was a stay at home mom, I felt the same way. It used to make my heart sink.
Now I am, and they are in pre-school and I am always so proud to see them learn a song, or somthing about the weather, etc. from their teachers, peers, etc.
It’s just amazing to see them learning from every avenue. There are a million things that you will teach her that nobody else will or can. Rejoice in what she has the passion to learn from others.
Rental car companies usually have car seats that you can rent and I think that some local police stations also loan them out. Be careful doing that though, as I’ve heard that some of those rental seats are in pretty poor condition.
You can also purchase travel bags for your car seat to protect it – and if you check it at the gate, it takes less abuse.
This is a tough one. I have yet to travel on a plane with my daughter, but every time I’m in the airport and see someone struggling with the carseat, kids and luggage, I wonder if there isn’t a better solution. One thought — Is there a less expensive (and maybe slightly smaller) carseat you could by to have for this kind of purpose? not exclusively for airplane travel, of course, but if you have a second car you could maybe keep it installed there most of the time. I know you’re daughter isn’t an infant, but I did just recently realize that an infant seat can be used without the big bulky base. The base just makes it easy to ensure you’re properly installed easily and quickly, but the seat itself is equipped with a place for the seatbelt to hold it in all by itself (and installation instruction are actually printed on the car seat). A good tip for a mom I once saw in the airport lugging the infant seat with the base attached so she couldn’t even properly snap it in the stroller. I felt so bad for her.
I have flown many times and have checked a carseat (or two!) almost every time. I buckle the straps and tighten them down so that they don’t rattle around or catch on anything and then ask the ticket agent for a courtesy bag (very large and clear). The carseat slips into the bag and can then be tied shut at the top. The ticket agent will then put the fancy travel sticker on it and voila, you are traveling carseat free. I have also had concerns about what would happen if it didn’t show up at the other end, but figured that I would cross that bridge when I got to it. I’ve done this for at least 10 flights in 3 years and haven’t had a problem. Good luck and happy travels!
LOL! I too can tell what type of day my DD had by her clothing… but not because of reflux, we are potty training! Oh Joy! Not sure which is worse, a bag of spit up clothes or a bag of potty accident ones!
I love your positive post. I am so tired of parent chat rooms and parenting blogs that only whine and complain.
feel free to check out my weblog. While parenting is challenging, I try to keep it positive and helpful in regards to challenges. Instead of whining and complaining.
No, I don’t blog for the $$ of it either, like so many are doing. Just my pure passion of parenting and believing in support systems for each other!
Have a great day!
My baby had reflux until about 10 months. Her teachers wrapped her in a bath towel every time they fed her and for 1 hr. afterwards. It worked AWESOME and kept her clothes clean! The teachers also put a towel over themselves to keep their clothes clean.
Isn’t it fun to think about the things our kids will see and or do in their lifetime? It’s also funny to think about the things that they will never know due to technology advances. I was just thinking the other day that my kids have never listened to a cassette tape in the car….The world is full of endless opportunity for them — and it’s so important for us to let them know that!
That is so exciting! Stock up on laundry detergent, grin and bear it. This too will pass.
Enjoy this milestone and all of the others that come with this wonderous age!
I’ve had similar experiences with Melissa and checking the car seat. However, if you like the seat on the airplane, an umbrella-like stroller serves as a handy way to tote the carseat through the airport – the carseat straps can be placed over the umbrella stroller handles – it is a bit ackward, but better than the back pack.
If you’re flying you probably won’t be going there often enough to buy a carseat to keep there, but maybe your Aunt or Uncle (or you) know someone that can loan you an extra carseat of theirs for the week you are there.
We recently made our first flight with my son (16 months). We purchased him a seat so that we were guarenteed extra space, but we didn’t want to carry the carseat (or even check it in). We wanted to take as little as possible. So, we borrowed one from my brother. It made the trip easier, not having to worry if our carseat would get messed up, not having to carry it, etc.
One thing though, you’ll have to get to the airport. We let a friend use our car w/our carseat. You can also request a carseat from most shuttles or taxis.
Hope that helps…
I understand this is a blog for parents. When a child vomits it is through licencing regulations that we as childcare providers call the parents and notify that your child has vomit. Due to so many bacterias and sickness surrounding the center we have to take precaution and think about the well being of your child and the well being of other children.You have to understand that we as childcare providers have to follow certain guidelines. It is not to hurt you any form or fashion it is the safety and health reasons. With so much going on today you should thank your lucky stars that someone cares enough about your child and call you and let you know your child may not be feeling well. Without that call something severly could happen and then it would be the daycares fault for not notifying you about your child. Please understand.
ChildCare Provider who loves and cares about the kids. Vera
Good luck weaning. I found when weaning my daughter at 14 months that she suddenly did need more cuddle time, and it was a great side benefit. Now I am embarking upon the process of weaning my year-old son. I’m there with you…maybe we should meet for a beer 😉
My girls’ are 18 months and I’ve held on to one feeding – evening. I weaned down to the 2 feedings by the time they were 15 months, but kept the morning/evening until they were 17 months. At that time it felt right to eliminate the morning feeding. I’ve held onto the bedtime feeding and just can’t seem to give it up. My girls’ enjoy the Mommy time (and I of course enjoy the baby time) and when I’m away one night per week, they are ok with Daddy. You don’t have to give it up completely, wait until you or baby are really ready.
I found as a working mom, I was so happy that we did not wean right away at one, I treasured those nursing sessions.
How are you doing now??? Was Dad able to step in and help?? I am finding it very difficult to wean my 15 month old boy. He will do fine when I am not around, but he wants to nurse the minute he sees me!! Even if it is just for a minute or two…
I know what you mean! But believe me, it gets easier. The older NewGirl gets, the easier it will be for you to incorporate some exercise into that precious family time. My two toddlers love going for fast walks outside and dancing to loud music in the living room. I’m finding that the older they get, the easier it has been for me to find that time for family exercise!
I know exactly what you mean! Everyday there are at least 2 or 3 things on either my work or personal to-do list that I never get to, not because of the time crunch, but because I simply forgot. The other day I went to CVS explcitly to pick up infant Motrin, which we needed very badly, and refill a prescription, which was not so urgent. I walked out with the prescription but no Motrin. Just one example of many.
It’s a success!! It hasn’t been easy and in fact the first few tries my husband was really quick to hand my daughter back to me because “she really wants you”. Luckily we had an appointment with our pediatrician a few days after I started trying and I asked her for advice in the presence of my husband. She turned to him and firmly said “you need to put her to bed for at least a week, no matter what!” That night, my wonderful husband took the advice of the pediatrician to heart. He took my daughter out of my hands, had her give me a kiss and off they went into her bedroom. It took awhile that first night and I of course felt incredibly guilty waiting for him downstairs while he put her to bed, but it’s been successful! It’s really nice to have the extra time to myself (even if the plan is that we will take turns every other night). I do miss nursing, but I plan to have more children and know that wonderful bond with my baby will happen again!
Creo que estamos equivocando el término de MAMA DE TIEMPO COMPLETO o MAMAS DE MEDIO TIEMPO. Que pena necesitar trabajar para poder vivir mejor y que los hijos no sufran carencias y tener que dejar al Bebé. Se nota que todas las que esciben no estan en esa situación. Hay otras mas que se quedan en casa y pueden salir a almozar con las amigas o tomar el café y realmente la que cuida a los hijos es la NANA. Por que se complican lo verdaderamente importante es la calidad de tiempo que dediques a tus hijos.
I had been giving formula to my daughter since I started working (3 months old), she didn’t want the frozen milk but she also started to take solids. I would nurse her 4 times a day: morning, come back to feed her at lunch time, after work and in the evening. When she was 10 months, my husband would give her a bottle after bathing her and she would fall asleep right away so I stopped breastfeeding her. I guess it depends on the child, my daughter seems quite independent and she was ready for the weaning since she is ok with the bottle. I do spend the time feeding her dinner and cuddling in the evenings, I think that the quality time is more important than breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Good luck to you all!
Thank you so much for appreciating the work we do. I am a proud Infant Teacher and parent. Many people,including Early Childhood Educators think that Infant Teachers are not “real teachers.” I know that what I do is important and all my parents appreciate it including myself as a parent of an Infant baby. Thank you a thousand times over. ProudInfantTeacher.
I would send her to daycare (but I’m the one that likes distractions when I’m not feeling well too). I’m glad that you gave her a day of comfort with you (yea mom!). However, I think even babies need start learning that they can’t be coddled through every hurt they go through. Sorry if that is way too forward but it is my philosophy on the matter. Babies start understanding early how much rope they have to pull on with their moms! Give ’em a little to help them through but not so much that you are wearing yourself out. (Of course, there are exceptions to this “rule”, but you are the only one as the parent that can determine that.) So, I would consider her discomfort when making decisions about things like what food to feed her and whether or not to give her some tylenol to help her sleep but generally, I would try to go about the day as normal. Hope this helps!
I second that statement. I am also an infant teacher and feel that the work i do is very important. It makes me crazy when people laugh at me when i call my classroom a “classroom.” They do not think what I do is important… I know what I do is important.
So nice to read! I feel the same way!
Our toddler loves oyster crackers in the car. Also Goldfish and Cheerios. May be worth a try!
What about offering her a snack that has a variety of parts so she won’t get bored — like trail mix. Make your own with nuts, seeds, dried fruit (maybe a chocolate chip or two if she’s been good), or buy one of the hundreds of varieties out there. Also, Whole Foods sells fried veggies that are just veggies fried in oil. They’re very crunchy and our doctor actually recommended them to us. The green beans are amazing, but again, if your looking for variety, they have a mixed kind that has green beans, carrots, plaintains and a few other things. The veggies get a sweet taste, though there’s no sugar added (the process must bring out the natural sugars). And they look cool so that might win some favor from veggie resistent kids.
I am an infant teacher as well and reading your blog just made my day. Thank you for recognizing our hard work. We love what we do but it is nice to see that others appreciate it as well. Thank you.
The best part of putting the baby to sleep is hugging her and rocking her and the bed time story.
Hi Modern Mom ~ A mom I know and admire said it best when it came to the question of letting the kids join mom and dad in bed. “This is all we have left!” The marital bed is the last place parents have truly all to themselves, and I agree with my friend that it should be kept sacred. Trust me, your ability to sleep peacefully through the night will be well worth a few sleepless nights to help your daughter learn to sleep on her own. Be strong and keep your eye on the prize!
I would have done the same thing.Bravo for not calling in the so called authorities. Parenting is not a one size fits all kind of thing. We need to take responsibility for our lives and quit relying on the government authorities to decide what is right or wrong.
Part of me says I would have gone into the store and had customer service page the owner of the [color] Subaru in the store parking lot. Part of me says I would have stayed until the owner returned just in case the boy woke up alone and crying. I could not have left him there. I’m not a new mom, however, so New Girl being overtired and screaming in the backseat would have been my conscience not to let this happen to my child. My hope is that you were right, that Subaru Mom dashed inside and was out again before you even got out of the parking lot.
Mother of 3 with 1 on the way!
after 3 nights of carrying your little one back they usually get the message!
my son loves freeze dried organic fruit and organic fruit strips as a snack. both work well in the car and he’s pretty content with one or the other for a while because it’s sweet, but of course, it’s naturally sweet…no sugar added(check the label to be sure if it’s something that concerns you). you can find both products at your local whole foods or trader joe’s. good luck~!
Easier said than done! (O: Our little “princess” is scared of the dark…she has a night light, a lamp and the TV on in her room but still refuses to sleep in her bed or go to sleep without mommy in her room (she’s 4 1/2!)…HELP!!!!!! (O:
I have been through this exact scenario! We have been on an every other year pattern so far (my oldest is only 4). One year, I’ll do the traveling and the next is my year to stay home with my boys – planting flowers in the yard!
I have another friend who celebrates with the grandmothers the weekend before Mother’s Day, perhaps that would work for you?
I suppose it is a glass half full/half empty conundrum. We live 500 miles away from our moms/grandmoms, so spending Mother’s Day with them isn’t a feasible option. I would enjoy the time that you and your extended family can spend together–and maybe choose another Sunday to have a stay-at-home-and-eat-pizza-for-dinner day. I bet, in time, you’ll be glad you made time for both!
What a great idea — using http://www.freecycle.org. I just looked it up in my area and over 2,000 people are subscribed in just my town. I’ve just requested membership and hope to get rid of some of my stuff without going to the landfill.
OMG– I literally thought this word for word on the train yesterday as I started to begrudgingly plan the day I now refer to as “Grandma DAy”
I don’t know what I would, probably the same thing.
It is time for Moms to take back Mother’s Day! This will be my second year as a new mom. My first Mother’s Day was awful! My baby was only 4 months old and I had to take her (without my husband) to a loud restaurant, try to hold her, feed her, keep her calm with all the noise around and have dinner with my family. I couldn’t believe how they didn’t even consider the fact that I had a newborn. I was very excited to be a new mom and celebrate my first Mother’s Day and then it was ruined by having to hold my daughter, try to eat and keep everyone from messing with her because she would scream bloody murder and then be in a bad mood the rest of the day. So this year, I am doing what I want. I am going to church with my mom in the morning because it is still her day too but I am skipping the dinner with family to go to the zoo with my little girl and husband.
When I was standing in line at a bank a few years ago there was a mom so embarrassed by leaving her sleeping toddler in the car she kept telling everyone about it and peeking out the window to check on him. She was frantic, every time another person walked through the door she reiterated her apology. It was a long line too.I hadn’t had my daughter at that point looking back i wonder if i should’ve offered to stand watch.
I don’t know, I ‘d like to think I would’ve waited it out instead of reporting the person.
I have a very good friend who has had the same “issue” with her son a while back. However she finally choose to let it be and let him wear different color shoes. She warned him that he might be made fun of, but he didn’t care.
He was just expressing his creative side and his individuality. I believe that we as a society have too many “rules” today and we expect all of the kids to line up like ducks and follow-along. Rather than allow them to express their creativity to be INDIVIDUALS.
I also went to a seminar a few years ago and the keynote was a painter. He had CRAZY DADDY time with his kids. He allowed them to cover themselves with shaving cream, roll in the mud and do other crazy things. It was wonderful!!
Your post is true and funny. I’ve said ‘No’ to a large number of training classes and conferences this year because I couldn’t dream of leaving our baby alone with dada. I have to admit, part of me was afraid he’d do a better job.. or atleast the kind she’d like better. He’s been home alone with her before and actually done a bang up job in her eyes…ofcourse it did mean that I had to re-break the pacifier habit, and re teach her that mommy’s arms hurt from carrying her all the time… and that she only got to watch telly tubbies if mommy could get some quick cooking done. It’s funny, our daughter adores her ‘Dada’ and all day along all you can hear is ‘Dada Dada’ in different tones of voice. But let something go wrong … either she falls or is hurting in some way… and then suddenly it’s ‘MaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaMaaaaaaaaMa’. My husband thinks it’s not fair that she turns to me for comfort… I think it’s not fair that he gets the excited squeals and I only get the wails.. Oh well.. c’est la vie
I can completely understand your “celebration” of realizing the important role you play in NewGirls day to day activities – but I caution you too. It’s not necessarily a good thing. My role was certainly heavier in the caregiving side than Dad’s role when my two boys were babies – but now that they’re toddlers, I celebrate the fact that Dad can single handedly manage without Mom! I think it’s great knowing that my boys are so well cared for by their dad in the event that I’m either traveling for work, enjoying some “me” time, or heaven forbid – if something should happen to me, leaving Dad to play the single parenting role. I advise all Mom’s out there – Help those Dad’s become more self sufficient with your kids — it’s worth it!
I too am like your daughter, aftraid of bugs. The smallest spider can send me screaming. Last year my son got the best gift, a bug vacuum. Now when we find a bug in the house he get his vacuum, sucks up the bug and it encapsulates it in a magnifying tube. He can look at it and study it and then we release it outside unharmed. Before the vacuum all the bugs in our house met an untimely death. This just might make the bugs more fun than scary to your daughter.
that made me so happy. even people in my own center tell me i’m not really a teacher. i help teach them EVERYTHING they do before they get to the other “teachers”. how to walk, jabber, roll-over, hold a botlle (and later a cup), i even teach them how to give hugs and kiises. i teach an infant that i love them everyday and i thank you for recognizing it.
Exactly. I am hosting a baby shower for a good friend of mine this Saturday and I have 6 out of 18 invited guests who have not responded. I’m hosting this shower at my house as a luncheon with food to prepare and favors to purchase. I would think that people would realize the importance of RSVPs and have the common courtesy to the hostess to actually respond. Showers, birthday parties, whatever they may be, are expensive and time consuming to host. As a guest, is it unreasonable to expect a timely response of a simple Yes or No?
You may have done this, but I’d like to suggest an email address for RSVP’s. I’ve been invited to 2 children’s b-day parties lately and when I think of responding it’s usually 6:00pm when I see the invite on the counter. This seems like the wrong time for the mom on the receiving end but the time I remember to do so. 8:00am, the other time I see the invite on my counter, is not convenient for me.
I was recently invited to a shower that had an email for the RSVP and I thought that was a wonderful idea! I didn’t know the people I was responding to so it made it so much easier to send an email. Maybe that is not proper etiquette but for a full-time working mom, responding via email was a no brainer!
I know how hard it is to figure out how sick your kid really is.My daughter acts like she is fine even when by all medical considerations is quite sick.It is so hard to tell, but it sounds like you did the best you could.
I sympathize and don’t have any great answers. Lucky for us, my mom lives about 150 miles away — too long for the expectation that we’ll visit. Plus, her bday is right near mother’s day, so this year we visited for that event instead. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is in a relatively nearby nursing home. It seems mean and selfish not to want to visit, and on the other hand, it’s not really my idea of a fun and relaxing day for me. This year, we didn’t make any formal plan to visit, but had time in the afternoon and made an impropmtu drop-by. With the great weather and some other family as surprise guests as well, it turned out to be the best visit we’ve ever had. I think the lack of pressure of HAVING to visit, made it all the more relaxing.
My husband and I are probably more like “balanced parenting”. It’s a give and take – I don’t think you need to create a spreadsheet or documented plan to work out a balance. Some weeks are probably heavier on me and others on him….it all balances out in the end! Except the laundry — I keep that of course – it’s cheaper than buying a new wardrobe every week.
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing – a fun and creative way to spend some time with the kids when the weather is uncooperative. I’m always looking for new ideas.
Your son is lucky to have a babysitter to go rock climbing, kayaking and swimming with him… but I bet, he understands that you’d be happy to share all his activities, but you need to work so that he’d be able to enjoy his summer…
Hello Guest Mom, I have heard your story dozens if not hundreds a hundred times. We want our children to ride, feel the freedom and confidence it all brings only to have them frustrated and then scared to try any more. I am very proud for your daughter that she had the persistence to keep trying.
If I may give some advise for the next Mom or Dad struggling with the “learning to ride process”. This mom started off right, taking the training wheels off. Only, you needed to add one more step, take the pedals off also. Balance is the key to riding, not pedaling. With the pedals off make sure they can be on the seat with their feet flat on the ground and a slight bend in their legs. They must be completely comfortable that they can put their feet on the ground easily to keep themselves up right. Too small is much better than too large. Now they can push the bike like a scooter or I call it a pushbike. The progression is a simple as walk, run, coast, coast and turn (s turns). No need to push they will get it very quickly. A big open parking lot with a slight slope is very helpful. Once you see they can balance and control their bike put the pedals back on. (I have more helpful hints if anyone is interested).
I started telling my friends and neighbors about this more than 10 years ago. Some would do it with great success while other went another direction, so I decided to prove it works and make it easier for parents to engage their children. I wrote a children’s picture book called “Learning to Ride with the Bits”. It is my families’ true story of how my children learned to ride using the method I briefly described above. The book allows children to see themselves in the process. It is also great parent time reading together. I say I wrote it to help teach children and their parents an effective way to learn to ride, fun for kids and easy for parents. My family and I started teaching classes mostly to show that it really works and found there is a big need and we loved it. Over the last year we have had more than 200 kids (ages 3 – 16) learn to ride in 4 1-hours sessions (95% successful). Now I cannot seem to keep up with training request now and my regular job as the word has gotten out. I never dreamed I could touch the lives of so many children and their parents. The testimonials have been great.
If anyone out there is interested in starting training programs in their community I would be happy to discuss further.
Harvey A. NixAka “Bike Coach” or “Daddy Bit”email@example.com
It might. The fact that your lives are different, for now anyway, might contribute to a different set of priorities. At least until your SAHM friend’s child will start full time school. Then you might be on the same page! And even then, things may not be exactly at par because your SAHM friend may not be working full time (if at all), therefore, your lives will be ruled by different forces. this doesn’t mean you can’t stay friends…. it might just take a little more effort to appreciate each other’s life styles.
I also love to spend time with my little one and have never looked for any “side” babysitters. If we need to leave, we usually ask one of 2 grannies to stay with the daughter:)
I like the fact that you backed up what you said. However, the fact that you let her cry about it all the way home disturbs me. The point of setting guidelines is to direct the child. You made a stand when it came to running around the store, however, the child knows it is OK to throw fits about not being able to do something. You didn’t guide her there.
Your kids are experiencing what all kids should experience: adventure, curiosity, and fun. I wish I was in there playing with them. My best memories of things learned was when I would be doing stuff like this. TV, books, and classroom “adventures” pale in comparison.
Kids understand everything and remember nothing. The old expression “kids will be kids” was said for a reason and has survived the ages for the same reason. Parents are always second guessing themselves: “should I have done this?” or “should I have done more?” The truth of it is, do what you think is right. It all comes out in the wash and in the end, most children grow into responsible well-adjusted adults despite their parents.
You definitely did the right thing. When a child gets to that age where they truly understand yes and no, commands etc it is definitely ok. You gave her chances and she continued to misbehave so you taught her that there are consequences when she misbehaves. As far as her crying all the way home hopefully as she cried you guided her and helped her understand that you won’t reward bad behavior. Kids go through this. Isn’t it fun? 🙂
My baby is almost 5 and we have not left him with baby care either. My husband and I think we have only few more years when he needs us…..
Children just have strong attractions to certain things or characters. As a mom of 4 grown children and a former Parent Educator, I would not make an issue of the Elmo attraction. (all of my kids loved Elmo :)) Have fun with as much of it as you can tolerate and appreciate her interest and use it for her benefit. There will be many things bigger than this to worry about so in general I would try to take a more laid back approach to this kind of thing. There will be wonderful things to share with your child and you will have more fun and feel much less stress if you set this kind of thing aside.Good luck!
Have you ever watched Elmo? Have you ever watched Sesame Street? VERY EDUCATIONAL! As a matter of fact Elmo does talk to the kids. He has an upbeat voice and is very warm and fuzzy. You must remember that these are children. In addition to learning their ABC’s and 123’s, most parents would agree it doesn’t always have to be work, play is just as important. Why not let her idolize a character who TEACHES!!!!? These programs teach letters and numbers and in many languages. I am friends with many College Professors, many early educational teachers…no one ever said that Sesame Street or ELMO was bad education. I would reccomend checking out your sources. As any pediatrician and they will back up Educational Programs, just like Sesame Street. I grew up on it, my spouse grew up on it, our siblings grew up on it, so our will our children. If a program is so BAD for kids and their development, then why would the FCC allow them to be on for almost 5 decades???? Maybe your resolve would be to shut the TV off and spend time doing other activities such as nature walks, or a day at the park, or beach. Today, its an ELMO phase…tomorrow, it will be something else.
We’ve done TWO long roadtrips this summer and was COMPLETELY surprised at how well our kids, 21 months and almost 4 years, did! One was 13 hours and the other was 12 hours (one way and we stopped overnight with both). There are two things that I would highly recommend – 1. lots of “new” books to read and some that play on CD too, I picked up about 20 at the library and they really helped pass the time, and 2. if your smaller kids take afternoon naps, warn them that there will be an afternoon “quiet time” and then after lunch, do your “putting to bed” routine in the car, whenever they start making noise, remind them that it is quiet time. The real cincher is having a great snack for when quiet time is over. Beyond those two things, lots of car-friendly snacks and toys and stopping every 3 or so hours for potty and stretch breaks should do the trick. Good luck!
I had a biter when my little guy was about the same age your little one. I was mortified every time I got to the center and I had one of those “sheets”. I asked repeatedly what could I do, and really there was nothing. Just reinforce that biting is bad.
Well it did gradually get less and less and then one time I got another one of those dreaded sheets and I was thrilled that my child was the one bitten rather than the one that bit.
Probably not the best reaction that I was thrilled, but I felt like we had started to turn the corner.
Your child will grow out of it — as long as your center and teachers are patient, it will get better.
GreenBaby and I struggle with this same problem. It’s a tough choice between wasting gas and idling in a parking lot or the driveway (because of course he’ll wake up as soon as I turn the car off)and having a good nap. I usually choose to turn the car off and hope for the best…which usually means a cranky baby and early bed time.
My daughter is now almost 4, but I remember long drives to get her to nap as well!! I never even thought about the cost of gas which has probably doubled since then. I used to pay $35 to fill up and now $75!! I feel your pain….
I so understand where you are coming from! You just want your kids to be safe.
Thunder can definitely create havoc in the bedtime routine! Unfortunately with so many nights in a row, you may be forming a habit! I had the same problem with my son when he was 2 years old – and now at 4 – he sleeps right through those storms!
As for your traveling woes — a neat little trick my sister taught me was to put the extra pillows under the edges of the fitted sheet. It helps hold them in place and creates a small barrier on the edge of the bed.
Hey New Mom, Potty training is a very hard process for mom and the child. A potty chair is good if the child is ready. And only the child. Most Doctors say to start around 2 years of age but in all actuality 3 is a better age. Mentally at 3 a child has a better understanding of comprehending the process of going potty. As well as their muscles in their body are a bit more dseveloped so dont stress until your child is closer to three.
My story is sad. I try to have parties for my kids and I always get no RSVP’s and no shows and come the party I get a sad little face asking where her friends are when only my adult people show up. When my daughter was in preschool I didn’t get one child to attend. Now she’s in school entering 1st grade, RSVP dead line is tomorrow and I have yet to hear from 8 of her little friends from school. I have two so far coming so at least for this party there will be a kid there. During the school year I brought my daughter to every party she was invited to. I also was Room Mother and busted my butt all school year with classroom parties and donating goods and at the end of the school year I even made each child a slideshow DVD of the school year for memory keepsake. Now it’s my daughters turn for a party and it looks like I am going to get crapped on once again. I don’t know why other parents act the way they do. When you get an invite you should always stop what you are doing and picture the face of the child the invite is for and picture for a second of what that child will look like if her friends can’t come to play for an hour or two. If everyone would do that then maybe more RSVP’s would happen and maybe two hours out of our lives to make a child’s day would happen.
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The office of VP is a little more than just a simple job on the resume. The discussion shouldn’t have “mother” or “father” even in the mix. If you look at it for what it is, she’s woefully under qualified compared to Biden. If you look at it from her “values” she attended (her whole life– until she was made a VP candidate) a church whose primary doctrine preaches that the end of days/rapture will come in our lifetime. How can anyone govern for the next generations if you think the world stops with yours? That’s way scarier than whether a mom or dad is fit to be the next in line to the leader of the free world, in my humble opinion.
KEEP TRYING! Children need to explore & try food numerous times before they acquire a love for it's foreign taste. It is natural for children to be more easily adapted to jarred food, as the taste is much more bland & they contain a lot of sugar. However, on the flip side if you begin introducing "real" tasting food at a young age your child will be better equipped to manage the transition to a regular diet.
I have to disagree a bit with foggyr on one point. There is not necessarily a lot of added sugar in jar foods. We used Beech Nut jarred foods, and their peas contain nothing but peas. Their carrots are just carrots, and so on. The fact is, that in order to make great homemade mashed carrots, you have to have the ripest carrots, use just the right amount of water, cook it just the right amount of time, etc. That doesn’t mean that over time it isn’t more economical to make your own, but don’t feel bad that just turning to the jar is in itself a bad thing. Some jar foods may be a less nutritious choice than homemade, but others may be equally (and sometimes even more) healthful.
Good for the other side that their questionable religious connections came early enough to have been forgotten by now. Palin is just as qualified as any candidate running, maybe more so. She is an incredible, well spoken, poised woman. I appreciate her for being candid. How many other candidates are comfortable enough with themselves to be just that, themselves. It is time that working women get some level headed representation in Washington.
Try reading some books about going to the hospital. There is a great Curious George one and a search on Amazon.com shows more. Good luck!
I too am a Infant Teacher..I have 3 students in my classroom…Ages 8wks, 7months and 8months all boys….It is wonderful as they are learning something new everyday..Watching the looks on their faces when they touch that cold paint, or that warm pudding is unexplainable…Shame on those who say we infant teachers don’t teach and or not really teachers..It begins with us Infant Teachers!!Proud Of What I Teach!!
I am surprised at how expensive costumes have gotten!
I received the e-mail that is going around the internet this week about baby carrots. I felt a bit foolish when I stopped and thought, “Why are all the baby carrots the same size?” I did a bit of research on the internet and composed a page at Baby Carrots ~~ When A Carrot Is Not A Carrot. It talks about a lot of the information and misinformation and gives you steps to avoid carrots with chlorine and still eat baby carrots. Of course, they are considerably more expensive so we’d be wise to prepare our own carrots!
I’d be thrilled if you’d visit my page!
Unfortunately, I have had similar issues – I have been trying to get through a bottle of Global Balance bathroom cleaner for more than a year because I feel like I should use it since I bought it! I hate it though and I should just get over it and pour it down the drain. After all, I bought it because it was biodegradable and non-toxic so isn’t that the point? No guilt? Just recycle the bottles. I have never seen trial sizes in all natural stuff so good luck! It will probably cost you $8.00 for 2 oz. To help you in your quest to try things that work – I will tell you that Palmolive’s Free and Clear liquid dish soap (for the sink) is awesome. I also really like the Greening the Cleaning products. Their all-purpose cleaner is fabulous and same with their glass spray but I prefer this other one that has oranges on the front and I can’t remember what it is called. It’s essentially vinegar though. If you’re not using Bon Ami and and Murphy’s oil soap, you should because they are old school products that work but are all natural. But I struggle big-time with the dishwasher stuff and laundry det. because I never feel like those work as well as the regular stuff so I just look for no phosphates and no bleach. When I see that pricetag on the laundry detergent, I never feel like I can waste $15 on a product that I rely on so much with two kids!!! In Cookie Magazine this month they did a little test of all-natural cleaning products that really work. You should check it out. http://www.cookiemag.com/brain/2008/10/green_cleaning. And if you don’t already look for tested items on the Green Guide, you totally should. Sometimes it’s still hit or miss but worth a shot. Also, say what you will but Martha Stewart wouldn’t endorse a cleaning product that didn’t work and they always do tests. Again, good luck.
Back up of BlackBerry Devices batteries are a much needed necessity and you do not want to be without power for your BlackBerry Devices. A spare battery will ensure that you are always prepared. It can extend your talk time and reduce worry about dying battery life if you are on a long call or listening to music. It’s also great for safety on long trips especially when your battery is dying and there is no charger around. A spare battery that is charged and ready to go will do the trick.
Thank you! Especially now, when everyone is feeling pinched financially, can we just stop buying stuff?!LuluMom
I think you are unfortunately going to have to make specific lists. Here’s the thing – people LOVE to give gifts. Especially to kids, ESPECIALLY to nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc… See a child’s eyes light up when you give them something “cool” or having a niece beg you to play the game you bought her for her birthday – those are such wonderful feelings for the giver. If you really are hesistant about what gifts your child gets, consider “registering” for gifts at Toys R Us or Amazon.com. While personally, I don’t think it comes across great to register for kids gifts, I do think you can easily explain your challenge to families. They will be much happier to at least have something they can pick out for your child. Or give them a list of “please consider” when buying your child gifts. Your family must know you are a green mom and hopefully will understand.
Because my parents were 1st generation American immigrants, they didn’t talk to us about politics and many social issues. I’ve had to rely on personal experiences and education to formulate my political opinions, but I feel like I’m a late bloomer because of that. I wish I could have had some foundation to my beliefs, even if it was contrary to where I am now. So with my kids, I have no shame in encouraging them to share my ideologies. At the same time, I teach them to ask questions and form their own opinions. It’s a great gift for their future.
MAKE YOUR OWN CARDS!
Most craft stores sell packs of blank cards with envelopes in assorted colors. You can also find them in dollar stores or the dollar section at Target (my favorite). These are just solid color cards with nothing on them. When an occasion comes up, I give my 2 yr old daughter a few crayons and stickers and let her get creative. People always seem to appreciate the home made card and since she made it, it doesn’t get thrown out like the others.
newsprint with handmade pictures by your kids? You can actually roll a lot of newsprint out in a “safe” area and let them just go to town with crayons, washable paint, and markers. That would make the wrapping paper art to keep if they choose. Is it recyclable after that though?
I am not so much of a new mother any more in that my kids are 5 and 3 and a half years old. But I somehow still feel new. And even with 2 kids who are both out of diapers, everything on your list is totally valid! Great list!
I’m surprised that you did not have to have surgery for your dog! Our dog tore her ACL in both her back legs at the same time and required surgery for both! Nine months and $8000 later we have a dog that is still having major trouble walking and we are bringing her back to the vet this week to see if something went wrong.
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
They have really cute invitations announcements cards for the holidays, but I found four websites that have lots of unique holiday invitations cards and custom party holiday invitations at:
I have ordered from all four for different holiday occasions and been very pleased. Take and look and see what you think.
Nice post!! I have an account on ShutterFly and love to upload photos on this…
I wouldn’t fret over the cutting down of a tree for Christmas. Because Xmas trees are farmed, new ones are planted where one is cut down. If you didn’t cut down the one you decorate, no new one would be planted in its place. Plus, tree farms are a private enterprise that ensure open space, just like pick-your-own orchards. So it’s really like farming and not deforestation, and you can’t feel bad that they cut down wheat or corn in order for you to eat it right? If no one bought the farmed xmas tree, the tree farmers would be motivated to sell the land for development. We buy a tree every year from the local boys and girls club and I feel good both about supporting the tree farmers and the organization selling them.
Thanks for including Ringo Baby in your write up, New Mom! For all of your readers who are running late this year, all of our cards and bookmarks (including Recipe Cards) can be adapted for a “Happy New Year” greeting. And I would love to offer you all a 10% discount on your Holiday/New Year’s cards with code MTM10.
Have a wonderful holiday season!Kristen RingoOwnerhttp://www.ringobaby.com
I know exactly how you feel. I am a WAHM (www.babylovecards.com) and my daughter is almost 2 years old. She has been in daycare, since she was one, but the director lets me do part time, or every other month. I feel so guilty when I leave her. Then when I have her home she drives me crazy!! My little ladybug, who knew something so beautiful could be so complicated. I was so happy to read your blog, it just confirms that I am not as crazy as I thought I was 🙂 Modern MOMs live in a dilemma where we want it all !1
I agree with you! They are just offering up their drug if your back hurts when you are wearing your baby… no different if they had said running is fashionable and you might want to take Motrin if you’re sore after a run. Some people are just way too uptight!
The mother with the 9-month old son, along with the father who was seated 3 or 4 rows behind with the 2 1/2 year old daughter were interviewed on the Today show the day after the crash. It was an amazing interview about how a complete stranger help the mom and her son, both during the impact and after the crash. The mom and her two children were immediately put in the raft while the dad waited on the wing for rescue. You might be able to see the interview if you go to the Today show website and search for it.
Ugh. I feel your pain. I can’t believe that in this day and age when so many Dads are so much more involved in their children’s lives than they were when I was a child, that people would still make these presumptions. The media still freely and regularly use the term “Mr. Mom” when they talk about Stay at Home Dads, or even Dads who are at home for the day when their child is sick. To me it seems unfair to Moms AND Dads.
Unfortunately, the only place my son gets high fructose corn syrup is at his Bright Horizons center. The center provides his snacks, and his daily sheet features such healthy snacks as ‘Nilla Wafers with Cool Whip’. I’m not sure how to protect him from toxins without being ‘that mom’ at the center.
To the first commenter, I’d say you should never worry about being “that mom.” Speak up and let your director know about your feelings about the snacks. I am a Bright Horizons employee and a Bright Horizons parent. Our center used to have snacks similar to what you describe, and when a new director came in, she made it part of her mission to change things. It was simple. They may not be able to serve exactly what each parents wants, but they can offer better options. Different centers offer different snacks, so it’s a very easy change for your director to make. Just let her know her feelings and the feelings of others.
All the bright horizons??? I haven’t heard anything about it?
Parents’ Night Out — or similar programs — are something individual centers may choose to offer. The idea for this one at our center came out of discussions at our monthly Parent Meeting. If it’s something you would be interested in and/or think other families may be interested in, mention it to your Director. I know there are centers that have done similar things around the holidays to give parents some time do their shopping. There is a charge for it at our center, and I imagine there would be at any center offering this sort of program.
This is where the “I Dressed Myself” award comes in handy. My kids love getting an award they pin to their shirt and I feel a little less guilty about letting them go out in public looking like clowns. Now if I could just keep their faces clean for more than 5 minutes…
Our center offers a nights out and Saturday out 2 times a year (spring cleaning or Christmas shopping. The parents association organizes it and makes a little profit that goes toward teacher appreciation week. The kids LOVE it!
If we’re talking about the safety of our kids then I totally support it. Thanks for sharing these links.
I like the way you did not make Valentines Day the center of what they are learning. Most teachers would use this technique but to me it is the easy way out. Meaningful learning is the most important thing. All the children are not going to be into Valentines Day and it is not for everyone. Presidents Day sure is a holiday to celebrate! I am in college and studying Early Childhood Education. Thank you for your meaningful efforts for our children!
I also did not make Valentines Day a big deal in our household and I completely know what you mean about the schools assumptions that every kid would want to participate. As a mom of three small boys, only two of which old enough to participate in school activities, I was the one who ended up making up these traditional cards as my boys were completely uninterested in doing any of the prep work themselves. Since I didn’t want them to be left out at the school party, I ended up making these cards, signing their names and as a consequence, ended up not real excited about Valentines Day!
As above i am also a nursery assistant who knows how hard it is for parents to keep their children at home when their sick because of work. but at the moment their is a bug going around the centre i work in and some parents are coming in saying their doctor says its not contagious but it clearly is as alot of the children are falling ill with this bug and some parents are being honest and keeping their children at home as their doctor says it is contagious. I am now at home with this bug and am using a sick day for an illness that i would not have got if the parents were honest and kept their children home until their symptoms were gone. Please think of others when your c hildren are sick. And just a little note: Would you like it if a child in the same centre as you child was sent in when they were putting your child at risk of infection?
One of the cooler Iron Chef America shows I’ve seen was the Food Network All Stars special that pitted Rachael Ray against Giada De Laurentiis! Ray was teamed up with Bobby Flay and Giada with Mario Batali in their battle. I don’t remember what the secret ingredient was but it was cool seeing the two of them work in an environment that wasn’t completely scripted. Giada for Dad and Ray for your little girl, is your family ready for the showdown!?!
i like rachael ray too. I think it is good that someone one so young will have an interest in cooking.
Here are a few other great goodie bag ideas:http://www.idealbite.com/mama/archives/want-party-favors-outshine-rest
Thanks for the article link – it was incredibly moving. I have seen other articles on this subject that referenced good suggestions on prevention of this exact scenario that I really took to heart: Put your purse / lunch / computer / briefcase – anything – in the back seat next to your child! This will hopefully force you to look in that backseat before walking away from your car! And I also make this suggestion to Grandparents if / when they are transporting my kids too.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. I was in the same boat — initially scared by BPA. This article, and others that I’ve read, just raise more questions for me. How do we even know that the current BPA-free plastics are any safer? Many haven’t been tested nearly as much to know if they are any safer. Until there can be more assurances of safety, I’m contemplating glass as the way to go for baby bottles.
I totally agree about not knowing what is in these other plastics. After more thought, I’m planning to use glass with Baby #2.
When our 4yo was at that stage and pull the same tactic, we would tell her that if she said she had to go potty but then didn’t, she would be punished for lying. She continued to do it until she decided the punishment wasn’t worth it. Yet, when she did go, she was praised for paying attention to her body with a reward. It work for us with her, but I don’t think it will work with our 2yo son – every kid is different!
In our house, using the potty ALWAYS superceded bedtime – even when it wasn’t convenient. My boys learned quickly though that Mom and Dad were not happy if they were “crying wolf” about having to go. But it’s probably different for each child – my boys were older (3yrs +) when they decided they were ready to use the potty – so mom and dad were more than willing to sacrifice bedtime to help expediate the process!
Is your daughter wearing underwear everyday? You “she’s close to really potty training” which makes me think she’s not yet to the regular underwear stage, in which case, I’d discourage the night time potty trips and focus on conquering the day time first. Assuming she’s still in diapers at night, let her use the diapers and stop playing you.
We eat out with our toddler almost once a week. We don’t have a ton of take out places by us and I really don’t like to cook on the weekends. Besides keeping a stash of Wikki Stix in the diaper bag, http://wikkistix.com/, we also often resort to hiding the sugar packets in our hands and having our toddler guess where they are. She thinks it’s hysterical!
You might want to check out LunchBots. These are the perfect size for sandwiches, reuseable stainless steel, and easy to wash. As an added bonus, no squished sandwich! I just ordered some myself off http://www.lunchbots.com.
Just a quick not to say THANK YOU.
We here at Ceiva do appreciate the kind words.
I recognize myself in a lot what you are saying. The “big” things are not that much of a bother, but the small things that you know can make such a difference. What I do is to just keep reminding myself to remember the small things, and at the same time still remembering that even I need some attention sometime (thinking of eg. the adult time)
Read the book “Don’t Sweat the Samll Stuff” it will help put things in perspective. It teaches you to let go and stop analyzing all the “bad” things you do as a mother. For as many things that you may have done wrong I’m sure there are a 100 things you did right. Afterall, she loves you so you can’t be all that bad! 🙂
I like to wrap things in tissue paper so that its a present. And, it buys you a little time while they try to get it open!
…but remember to keep in mind that bubble baths can sometimes cause trouble for girls (i.e. urinary tract infections)!!
I wish all airlines had sky nannies:http://www.gulfair.com/air/skynanny.asp
Great idea! We used frozen mango chunks, too.
My vet suggested tea tree oil.
Great idea!! 🙂
I think it is a great idea to start telling your daughter your funny or poignant or otherwise special stories about her grandparents. Also, gather up pictures of them and put together a picture book. (It doesn’t have to be fancy!) As she grows those stories and pictures will be what she remembers of them and even though she wasn’t there when the story or picture was created, she’ll feel like she is a part of it. I have many family stories that I grew up with that I feel like I was a part of because I heard them so much!! Good luck on your quest!
People with very young children should be careful though because freezing those yogurts can be a choking hazard. They break off in big chunks if the kids are not careful.
I’m not sure where you live, but in Ohio we have BJ Wholesale, they usually have displays set up and kits that you can purchase. Also Lowe’s and Home Depot, they may also have installation packages that they construct the thing for you.
Creative Playthings has a FABULOUS showroom in Holliston I believe. Even if you don’t buy a swingset from them, it’s a fun place to go with your child to see what they are interested in. Pictures 1/2 dozen swingsets set-up inside free for climbing, playing, etc… Lots of fun!
Time with mom and dad. Priceless and memorable.
Just makes sure to avoid the pressure-treated wood at Lowe’s and Home Depot…the wood preservative contains toxic chemicals.
i agree. family time.
Intersting that you pediatrician would prescribe that, especially knowing your preferences. Do you feel more comfortable using aquaphor or petroleum jelly as a substitute for eucerin and cortaid? For our daughters eczema our pediatrician rcommended aquaphor and perscribed a stronger version of the over the counter cortaid which keeps the itching at bay.
I'd suggest a look at his diet too – I know several children whose eczema was a result of a food allergy (including my son). Within day so of eliminating milk from his diet, he cleared up.
I love the wetness indicator too! Isn’t it the greatest thing specially when you are a new mommy and have no clue on when to change a diaper! I work for Pampers and have 2 LO and Pampers Swaddlers with the wetness indicator were always a must. Thanks for the great comments! Nat
My daughter loves squeeze yogurt out of the freezer. Smooze fruit ice (http://www.sambugroup.com/html/pdtcon_Smooze.html) is another healthy alternative.
Wheat can be a big contributor to eczema, so you could try limiting that in his diet (or yours if you are breastfeeding). Eczema runs in my family, and the only thing that has helped my sister (who has it worst of all of us) was finding an Ayurvedic doctor. When it was clear my son had eczema (at about 2 months), we got some Neem oil and Avocado oils to use as moisturizer, and a lotion from the Ayurvedic doc for the real "trouble spots." He still has flair-ups, but I feel better about using these products than other creams and such. The downside is, it's pretty pricey! http://www.pratimaskincare.com/pratima_skincare.html
Wow, I will be praying for the results. A mother's intuition is not to be trifled with. I hope you get results back from the doctor that give you clear direction to your next steps. Hang in there and keep advocating for your child!
Very cool idea! I've never seen it done. Great way to keep the kids involved with an exciting craft. What a creative way to use up useless, broken crayons. They usually just get pitched. Thanks for the tip on gloves with your kids. I was wondering how involved they could get once the rocks came out of the oven.
Every couple of months I try to stock up our freezer – even if it is just chicken breasts in some bottled marinade. My biggest challenge is remebering to take something out to defrost more than 30 min before dinner!
We got a Cedarworks set off Craigslist and sanded/stained it…it looks GREAT and can be added onto. I love that it is huge (it has a fun deck on it) and has a large sandbox underneath. A NEW Cedarworks set is, in my opinion, the ideal choice if money is not a problem, because you can make it exactly as you like.
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy my daughter's first appointment was! She actually enjoyed it and as long as you chose a pediatric dentist or one that specializes in family dentistry, it will be a breeze. Our dentist even has a movie screen on the ceiling and she got to watch Nemo. Now, she's so comfortable – just 3 appts. later -they don't even put it on. Good luck!
One thing that works well for us it to roast a big chicken on Sunday. And I mean bigger than 5 lbs. It's the only way to make it worth it. We eat it for dinner Sunday night as a family. And it gets us chicken salad for a few days after – either for lunch or dinner – or chicken quesadillas. When you add apples and nuts to the salad or all the other stuff to the quesadilla, it makes it go further. But the kids are happy to eat it plain, too. I find it gets us through Tuesday, with at least three dinners (Sunday included) and a couple of lunches. I also highly recommend using a crock pot to make a big roast of some kind one day and for dinner the next night make a ragu with the leftovers and serve it with pasta. Two super easy dinners. I am amazed at how much my kids like this meal, especially since they are typically chicken fingers and mac and cheese kids.
We love CA Baby products, too. Their sunscreen is fantastic, and all their bath products are great. We also have had great luck with the diaper creme, too!
I totally agree and was happy to see a post about this. Kudos New Mom!
I was so glad to see a woman in the public eye think about setting an example for her children based on self-respect rather than compromising their self-respect to hold together a marraige.
Great idea for a playdate activity!
It IS a nasty bug!! I'm home with my sick 2 1/2 year old – day 5 with the fever virus and a newborn that I'm scared to death will get sick. I'm ready to pull my hair out. Thank you to the children at the child care center – I guess the fever virus is going around and lasting 7-10 days. My best friends daughter, at another child care center, also battled the bug for 8 days. I totally feel for you.
I enjoyed your comments and I appreciate your words of encouragement. I have been an infant teacher for 7 years. I am proud to say that I do make a difference in each babie's life. The first years of a child are the most critical days of their learning experiences
We love the Flip too! Our school-age daughter loves making videos of our family–including some hilarious bloopers–and it's a great activity for her and her little sister to enjoy doing together.
Using Grab Green detergent has been a time saver for me…it combines detergent, fabric softener, and stain remover in one dissolvable pack, so there's no need to add anything else in. It's been really convenient.
Does your all natural laundry detergent have any fragrances or dyes? I use Grab Green and it's been gentle on my daughter's sensitive skin. The package says all natural and also fragrance and dye free. It seems to do the trick! You can get it at http://www.grabgreenhome.com
I got my husband a Flip for Father's Day and this weekend we used it for the first time. We used it to film at the beach and a 4th of July parade. I got the HD version and was amazed at the picture quality. We won't get rid of our old camcorder, but the Flip was easy to throw in a zippered section of the beach bag without weighing us down.
Mr. Thirsty, now that is something new for a nickname. Great thing that you teach your kids when they are still small everything about the importance of going to the dentist.
I can't wait to see what others have to say on this topic. My husband and I have been pondering the same thing!
I personally believe it should be Ms or Mrs until the person being addressed says otherwise. I could not imagine my child calling a teacher "Sara" or "tim" it should be Ms. Smith unless they say different. I have also seen it when the last name is hard it could be Ms. Sara or Ms Dawn but never just the first. Just my opinion
Works as a quick clean-up on non-bath nights too. My daughter's feet are always filthy from the sand box even if she otherwise doesn't need a bath. But if I powder her feet before bed, I feel much better about skipping the tub (and it keeps the sheets cleaner).
We use the MS or MR in front of the first names. My mom told me it was "the southern way". I don't know where it came from, but it makes it easy & still respectful. So our neighbors are Ms Jen & Mr Jeremy,and our friends are Ms Maria & Mr Andy.
Yes, I do and I love them.
Wow you have surely covered everything – great ideas!
Here are a couple more.
I leave a box on the counter by the phone w/ post-its, note pads, and pens.
They are also handy to keep sunblock, insect repellant, etc.
Great ideas. You can also turn an empty wipes container and caps from milk cartons into a piggy bank type game for children that need a bit of help w/their fine motor skills. They can practice opening and closing the lid, and putting the caps in the slot.
Any ideas for empty formula cans?
Best idea I'll actually use that I've heard in a long time. I bet it makes the store bough frosting taste better to.
We had to go the "cry it out" route with my daughter when she was 7 months and then again when she was 2 and bedtime routine had gotten out of control. It was MUCH harder on me emotionally when she was 2 than when she was an infant. But I have to say, neither time took more than 3 or 4 nights and for us I cannot argue with the results. Bedtime struggles are so incredibly stressful for me and her, so my husband and I vow to each other to enforce the current routine and not succumb to the slow creep of "one more song, one more book, etc." It is understandably not for everyone, but it really really really is for their good and yours when it's what your situation calls for.
To keep hands clean, cut a slit in the top of a plastic lid ( from a butter container etc…) place the popsicle stick through the slit and further eliminate the yummy mess!
I noticed that you mentioned you have a newborn, and was wondering if maybe this is the cause of your son's sleeping changes?
I found "Who's Shoes ID" and we just took them on our vacation. They are great. Thankfully no one had to look at them, but I didn't think my son would ever keep a bracelet on.
Thanks for the comments. I do have a newborn, but this sleep strike started before he was born. We suspect his chronic ear infections have something to do with it and are considering having tubes put in.
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Well said! Way to go Commuter Mom.
mmmm … my mouth is watering. I think I have enough zucchini to try this out today. Thanks!
I made these last weekend with my daughter. We had a great time…and she loved the biscuits!–Commuter Mom
lol – Was this learned the hard way?
You bet it was! I am happy to report that Curious George survived (and I have three clones I rotate in circulation in the event he didn't).
A fun and inexpensive gift idea for toddlers and preschoolers: Wrap up an assortment of band-aids, some kids just can't get enough of them! They also gain fine motor skills trying to open them with their little fingers.
@Anonymous, great idea. While you're at it, remember to buy some plain band-aids as a gift to yourself. I find it slightly more professional than sporting an Elmo bandage at work, which seems to be all we have around when I need a little first aid.
Reusing the containers for arts and crafts is a great idea, but considering the research on reusing #1 plastics, you may want to consider not reusing the containers for food.
Great list! Thanks for the link.
Although I haven't tried it myself. I have heard some great things about the Klean Kanteen bottles. Some quick research tells me they are made of high-quality stainless steel as opposed to the coated aluminum. Worth a shot if you are concerned about Sigg!
All CamelBak bottles are completely BPA free. They have stainless bottles too!
This is great! I can only image how useful something like this would have been back when my kids were that young… say goodbye to the notebooks and post it notes!
What a cool app! What will they think of next…
I'm no expert, but I think you feel guilty because something happens when we give birth and in place of what was once a big baby in our bellies, we now carry around these giant guilt tumors. If you tell me how to get rid of yours, please write a post on that! It sounds to me like you're doing a beautiful balancing act! As for the guilt, we have to just work on letting it go…
My husband and I use Fuzzi Bunz for our 7 1/2 month old son. He has been at a Bright Horizons center in Mass since he was 3 months. We have to provide 2 wet bags every day for the soiled diapers. Another family in my son's classroom uses them also.
Good to know. I wonder if Bright Horizons has a policy that is cloth-friendly. It would be nice if there were a little training for teachers too.
If four kids from my class left without understanding the concept I was trying to teach, I'd want to get the homework back blank. That's the only feedback I get that my lesson has failed and I need to try to teach it a different way. Sometimes being too involved in your child's homework can backfire.
I work with toddler Bright Horizons in Pa. We have two children in the center that use cloth diapers. We bag the diapers in plastic bags and place them in individual containers. These containers are really just trash cans with lids. They are labeled with the childs' name etc. The parents collect the used diapers each night and bring more the next day. There is no policy against cloth diapers that I know of. If there was we would not be doing it. I myself was a bit hesitant about cloth diapers at first, but am a big fan of them now. Your Director should be open to this request, just be prepared that you may loose one or two diapers in the begining. When you have been changing diapers for as many years as I have it is odd to not throw them away. Good luck with everything!
My friends whose kids have gotten tubes have only had positive things to say about their child's improved general health, speech, and hearing after the tubes were put in. Incidentally, I also had them when I was a tot. And, if you ask me, I'm no worse for the wear either. Good Luck!
My oldest child had 3 sets of tubes. That was after 15 ear infections in one year. I am happy we finally made the decision to have them put in. She eventually grew out of them and didn't need them anymore (around 5). Her eustation tube just needed to grow some more so that the fluid could drain on its own. It is hard to see them go into surgery but it is really not a big one and is really quite quick and painless for them. Good luck!
This is going to be fab! You totally should add it to the handmade halloween blog carnival!
That is one of the best stories I've heard. I love it!
No wonder she doesn't eat….What 2 3 year ond eats lentils… hummus? Are you serious?
I am guessing the PB&J and Spagetti-O's aren't in your vocabulary.
I get the whole healthy thing but really, seriously, really????
You should change your name to "Crunchy Granola, Berkinstocks and sock wearing mom".
I'm glad to read that it's a common thing because my daughter who is one just got her first set of tubes. She had 3 ear infections in less than 2 months so hopefully this will help. I had them when I was younger too and can voucher it worked for me. Good luck!
I love this blog especially the designs, very informative blog. http://www.zoppinicharms.co.uk
I'm glad to hear that the surgery went well! I'm also hopeful for ear infection-free winter for you. God speed!
I have found that making friendship bracelets with my girls is such great quality time! We wear the bracelets that we make for each other to keep us close while we are apart.
There is a great new product, The Friendship Bracelet Maker that revolutionizes the old way of making them…no more pinning or taping. The storage case comes with 56 threads. A great value for your money. The website also has great video instructions on how to make different patterns. Check it out… http://www.myfbm.com
Thanks for the super blog!
Thanks for this hysterical post. And I'm embarassed to say that I had to use Wikipedia to find out the answer to #2. (FYI, it's the Pilgrims.)
What do you do with all the crafts projects your family creates? I have no room in the house for these treasures.
I know, you can end up with TONS of stuff. I keep "scrapbooks" that are basically filled with just clear sleeves and I put all the 2D work I want to keep in those. I don't mount them or anything – I'm not a true scrapbooker. The stuff goes straight into the sheet protectors. But over time I have really started to minimize what I keep because it gets out of control. So I recycle a ton if it's not something new (skillwise)or different or – eek – not that impressive. Particularly with drawings and paintings. I mean seriously, how many pictures of rainbows can one house have? If it's seasonal and fun, I put it away with the holiday decorations and bring it out each year. That saves me from having to throw things away but also lets me store it. I do give some stuff to relatives and I try to bring some things into my office because I'm not as picky about my decorating scheme there. Ha ha. But I also frame things (in cheapo frames from Target, Goodwill or Ikea) or display things in random rooms in our house like the bathrooms, the playroom or up the stairs to the attic. My decorating budget is pretty minimal and spaces like that tend to get ignored and could use a little help! When my older daughter was younger and she would paint, she would tell me what the picture was and it would either look nothing like what she said or there would be the faintest resemblance. So I would "title" them and date them and many of them are framed in her room. I love looking at them now that she has grown. I have started to do a similar thing with my youngest. We also do a lot of craft stuff intenionally for a gift we are giving or we make things we will use so it's not just stuff that collects – like these crayons, they are in with the crayons now. Friendship bracelets and tie dyes actually get worn, etc. But like I said, I do get rid of stuff. You have to. I just try to recycle it or reuse it whenever possible. And just like school work, everything always gets a little time on display either on the fridge or on a magnetic blackboard I have in the kitchen. And then one day, it's just gone and no one knows where it went.
I take digital pictures of some of the projects my daughter brings home that are harder to display…at some point, I plan to make an art book on one of the photo sites of her masterpieces.
Anonymous – That is a great idea! I have seen people scan in drawings, etc. as if they were photos and then they have made books from one of the photo sites. They look really terrific. I never thought of taking pictures of "sculptures" and other hard to display stuff, though. Thanks for sharing.
I found this on the CDC website and thought you might be interested;
"Who will be recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine?
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that certain groups of the population receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it first becomes available. These target groups include
-pregnant women, -people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, -healthcare and emergency medical services personnel, -persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old, -and people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems."
This site might also be helpful to you. It's a search engine that helps you find out where to get vaccinated in your neighborhood.
I have wanted to try the mashups for my twins. I don't think that they are quite old enough, but they will be soon!
Just a caution to anyone using frozen foods as teethers. They can be a scary choking hazard. I learned this the hard way while watching my 6 month old nephew chewing happily on a very frozen bagel. His saliva melted the bagel as he chewed and he choked on a chunk of the bagel that came loose. Thank goodness his mother, my sister, had a faster reflex than I did and was able to quickly dislodge it. That was 8 years ago — and six years before I had my own baby, but the frightening experience has stuck with me.
I'm a little scared of it myself.
Hi fellow momma's,
I love Ladybug girl and so does my five year old daughter Zohar. I recently wrote a book about my lovely little one, aptly titled the "Princess of No". I would love to hear your feedback and get a review. http://www.nomadladygirlbooks.comIts independently written, produced and published. Any support is appreciated!Jade
The parents who make me absolutely irate are the hypocrites! It goes without saying boys are physical! Many of them play rough. When several other boys instigate rough play with my son on the playground, there is zero intervention or discipline from the other parents. (I call them the daycare clique.) I don't expect that my son will continually tolerate these repeat offenders, so I intervene every time. So the other day I had my back turned for no more than a minute and my son finally retaliated by pushing another boy off of him. Now one of the parents finally takes notice of the situation and calls me out, because her son had been pushed, even though he was on top of my son. She has the audacity to lay into me. I guess these people are fine with their children hurting other children. When it comes to payback time then rough play is no longer acceptable. The days of personal accountability are gone. The cellphone has taken over. Don't blame me or my kid for your negligence.
I delivered my second child as a VBAC. While I didnt have to move, I did have to change from my ob/gyn to a midwife. My husband was so against it that he would not meet the midwives with me. Just a few months after my son was born the hospital stopped allowing VBAC's too. I was glad to have had the opportuntiy to birth my child the way I wished.
Sounds awesome. Thanks for the recipe. WIll have to try it.
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Sorry for offtopic
Between us speaking, you did not try to look in google.com? achat levitra I can recommend to come on a site on which there are many articles on this question.
I love the part about the shoe! I highly recommend "The Paper Bag Princess" – great book, with a great "Princesses can stand on their own" message!
It was certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more on that blog soon.
I have to be honest. I am lucky to have 'found' a job in this economy and that too on my own terms. I have been a SAHM for over a year by choice and I have only done it twice in the short time of 4 years and never been able to do it more than one year. I get restless because I allow my 'profession' to define a large part of 'who I am'. This is my problem but I do know that sending my child to preschool and allowing socializing is the best thing for her and I am deeply grateful and feel blessed that I am able to do it on my own terms.
I’d passion to ascertain that too!
That baby is adorable. Great idea!
I had the exact same issue, except it wasn't related to the move to a real bed. But my daughter would never nap in her crib, and nothing I could do worked. I have driven around more hours than I can remember. I have now gotten her to nap in my bed with me (something we don't allow at night at all), and that has been working well. Sometimes I sneak out after she's fallen asleep and get some work down around the house, but most of the time, I end up sleeping as much as two hours with her. It may not be productive, but it's much better than driving all over the place.
Being more efficient is great. I def do agree with you about how we don't have to use paper anymore…so we're more green with the iphone!
I don't have to worry about using a notebook anymore for making grocery lists while shopping. You should check out this FREE app called Make It @Home Grocery List from Make It At Home website.
You can select to download the app at the bottom of the page I believe. This should totally help with everything you need to buy for yourself and the baby, so you will never forget a thing. You can also make the list remotely from home and have some one upload the list to their phone while they are at the store. It's awesome if you have to stay home and watch the baby!
Giving back to the community is so important — and a great way for families to spend time together. Check out Doing Good Together (www.doinggoodtogether.org). This organization is an excellent resource for those who are interested in finding family-friendly service opportunities and they focus on the reflection and education piece of volunteering with kids as well.
Great ideas in this article. There are some more really good ideas in a couple of articles herehttp://www.celebrationideasonline.com/fun-holiday-ideas.htmlOne is about baking Christmas cookies as gifts and the free printable gift tag is cute as can be. Also a fun ideas about turning old photos into gifts that is easy and inexpensive but so special Happy Holidays to moms everywhere!
We had the exact same experience! As a child, I loved watching the Olympics with my family and feel so fortunate now to remember watching some of the great moments. We were so excited to let the kids watch the opening ceremonies. We got them all ready, made popcorn, etc. and then had to promptly turn it off because they played the video. To their credit, they did warn people, but it was still incredibly distasteful – first for his family but second for all the families that gathered around to watch that night. It was totally unnecessary and showed really bad judgement.
That is a very comprehensive list she has. I’ve had this conversation with my little guy recently and his list had “Legos” ahead of Mom and Dad. But, hey we made the list.
I enjoy reading your blogs – I teach a Music enrichment program at one of the Bright Horizons Centers – Uncle Sam’s, and have three children that attend your centers (Rachel – 10 and Kaitlyn – 7, Bright Horizons at the Downtown School, and Jacob – 5, Uncle Sam’s)
I was thinking you might consider adding a “Music Mom” to your list of bloggers! I’m writing songs right now based upon my experiences as a mom, and teaching the little children at Uncle Sam’s. If you’re interested in any contributions, let me know! 🙂 Denise
I am so impressed. What a great idea to use the oranges. I’m going to try it myself.
Last year, Green Mom told me about How To Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Priceman. It is now one of our favorite food books!
Oh, I’m sending you all sorts of hugs. How frustrating it is to try to do great, fun things with your kiddos and be under-appreciated. Keep trying. Frustrating as it is, it’s up to us to always be willing to start over. Someday, you’re going to get that “This was so awesome, Mom!” and you’ll be glad you kept after it. Hang in there!
Sally, you’re totally right. Last night we finally got around to decorating the tree and introduced Elf on the Shelf (ours is named Georgie) and it went really well and was actually fun!
I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels this way. Christmas seems to just add more to my already overloaded task list. Buy,wrap and ship presents, parties to attend and plan, cards to create and address. Gifts to make. Cookies to bake. House (and office) to clean, decorate and keep clean. This on top of all the everyday stuff! And of course extra sessions at the gym to work off all the stress and gingerbread men! It’s really not fun, it’s just more work. Is it January yet?
Thanks for the links.
Good point that I had never thought of before.
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Hi Cooking Mom!
I try to schedule workouts in my DAY. Drop the kids off to school, Go to Gym/Class right away, then get dressed/cleaned up and off to work. It means then that I have to work LATER in the day/evening….but Like you, I own the mornings and my husband owns the evenings.
In order to maintain family dinner – those are the nights when we have LEFT OVERS or something that has been cooking in the crock pot all day. Those are the easy dinner nights 🙂
Hope that helps – PLEASE know – I can talk my way out of working out too…and baby number 2 has helped me do that more than usual….so even though my suggestion is an option…its one that you too could probably talk your way out of! Good Luck!
What a great idea. I love that the focus is on sharing in others acomplishments and reading nonverbal cues. I think this could help even earlyier in a preschool class. Something I will have to think about.
Did Santa bring the unicorn pillow pet? My daughter has one, and it’s one of her absolute favorite things. Her Dad often teases her by claiming it’s his, and so she chose to by him his own pillow pet (a Penguin named Pipkin) for Christmas.
Happy New Year, Green Mom!
I applaud your courage!–I’m too chicken to look back at my resolutions from last year. But like you, I’m hoping to do better this year. One of the best things about having a daughter from China is that we get to celebrate Chinese New Year (which begins 2/3/2011). That gives me the whole month of January to formulate and “fine tune” my resolutions. Making resolutions really isn’t part of the traditional Chinese New Year, but it works for our blended family (and for a procrastinator mom, like me).
I hadn’t heard about this program. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention. I hope U.S. schools will pick this up. Too many programs–anti-bullying, college access, etc.– start too late (middle school/high school).
And I agree with you about our friends to the North. They “get it” in so many ways that we don’t: healthcare for everyone, humility, politeness, Joni Mitchell… (except for that baby seal hunt thing–what’s up with THAT, Canada?)
Have you looked into Community Supported Agriculture? You can get direct from the farm produce on a regular schedule either delivered to your home or for pickup in most areas. Many are priced comparative to buying organic produce at the market. And it’s a great way to get exposed to veggies you might not otherwise try and it supports local businesses.
You can see if this is an option in your area and learn more about it by visiting this site: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
Oh, never mind. I just saw your more recent post about breaking up with your CSA. Tee hee!
I work out first thing in the morning, waking up at the crack of dawn. I roll out of bed, get dressed, brush my teeth, put my hair in a ponytail and I’m out the door — no distractions, no excuses. I do this 5 days a week. I’m then home, showered and ready to go to work by 7.
It’s tough and tiring, but the positives outweigh the negatives — no one’s at the gym at 5 am to distract me from working out so I get a better, more quality workout in a short time and I don’t sacrifice any time with family. Plus I’m too tired at night to get in a good workout!
The key is scheduling your workout just like you would schedule a business or doctor appointment.
He sure did! Now she has a friend for her giraffe one which (like your husband) I’ve been trying to claim. They are quite soft and snuggly. Now that Christmas has passed, she definitely seems less stressed about being “good.”
Thanks Kara and KL for the ideas and inspiration. My focus (like half the world) is to figure this out in the new year. And I’ll try not to talk myself out of it! 😉
While we are taking on the topic of Mom and Dadâ€™s Summer Vacation Mom to Mom, Everyone loves the thought of a family vacation. At least it starts out that way! If you’re thinking back to a bad experience you have had on a family vacation, we’ve all been there. I’m guessing the trip went wrong because it was either poorly planned, too long or the trip was full of arguments.
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Oh goodness! Naming kiddos is so, so hard! We always had a TON of girl options, but picking boy names was impossible. For our first, a girl, we had the book of 60,000 names at the hospital and chose one a couple of hours before she was born. For our second, a boy, we were flummoxed and had a so-so, just in case name for him before he was born. In both cases, we didn’t know the baby-to-be’s gender, so that made it super tricky. We didn’t commit to any names until we’d used them ourselves for a few hours. So family, and hospital paperwork, all had to wait until we were sure!
Best of luck to you with your delivery and your naming! 🙂
I totally know what you mean. Girls names can be pretty, whimsical, girly (!) somehow it’s less pressure. Boys names need to be strong and manly but OK for a baby too. We also didn’t find out the gender so had to come up with both. Our girls name was set in stone by the 20 week ultrasound. We were still discussing boys names on our way to the hospital to be induced at 41 weeks! Eventually I gave him my top three names (Benjamin, Oliver and Alexander) and said you pick! Sure enough, he was a boy, my husband chose Benjamin (we call him Benji) and I am very pleased with his name – it suits him perfectly. Good luck with your decision (and the birth!).
If you are considering things like popularity,like we did, don’t just consult the Social Security site to see the most popular names from last year. Also look at the most popular list of dog names! Max, not so high up on the SS list, but #1 dog name in the United States. Who knew?
You are my hero.
(We once got to daycare only to realize I had put my two year old in the car with no shoes on. I had a conference call I was supposed to lead in ten minutes and the daycare could not legally take a shoeless child. I lead my call on my cell phone while in the aisles of Walmart as we searched for new tennies….)
This just made my day…misery loves company. I have children of similar ages, and I dread the morning routine. No matter how well planned, something ALWAYS goes awry. There is never a morning when all three children cooperate and are in good moods. It is a bet on which one will be monstrous on any given day. I have had many mornings when my three year old refused to get out of the minivan and I have wrestled him out kicking and screaming like he is being abducted. By the time I get to work, I am ready to collapse. If my shoes match my outfit and the tea I made is not still sitting on the kitchen counter, I consider the morning a success.
Thanks for all the suggestions. As for Green Mom’s, you’re not kidding. Modern Mom already made me take two names off my list because they sounded too much like dog names. I love “Max” for a boy (though not so much for a dog) but my sister already beat me to the punch on that one.
I think naming a girl is a lot trickier. You always have to consider what the child’s initials may spell whether you’re having a boy or a girl, but with a girl, you also have to consider what her initials MAY spell if she gets married and changes her name. . .
Having a few names is always a good idea. When I looked at my daughter for the first time the leading favorite went out the window. She just didn’t look like the name. As it turned out one of the back up names seemed to work perfectly – Cailley (which means from the woods) and oddly enough this wild child with a love for outdoors and her name suit each other to a T.
Well, my daughter doesn’t drink any milk at all given that she never developed a taste for it even outgrowing her allergy to milk at age 2. She does east yogurt, cheese and other dairy products. She seems to be surviving fine, so I’d say if your kids are at least getting the calcium, vitamin D, and calories they need from the milk, you’re probably doing fine.
This isn’t just an issue for organic milk – but it is true that you see the ultra pasturized more often with the organic milk. What is much more concerning to me is that many brands which are labeled organic are factory farmed and (other than their lack of RBST) don’t actually live up to the ideals I expect when I purchase an organic product. (One of the worst offenders is Horizon.)
To me it is worth a separate trip to my local co-op for local organic milk – which isn’t Ultra-pasturized and where I know the cows have been treated in a humane fashion. The sad fact is, there is not enough money is humanely raised sustainable food for most grocery stores to offer those options.
Check out this scorecard of organic milk manufacturers – http://www.cornucopia.org/dairysurvey/index.html
Here’s their write up on Horizon:
Tell me more about that great wooden kitchen set! I’ve been avoiding getting one until I can find something that’s not plastic or pink.
Thanks Christie. I have seen that list before and do shy away from Horizon products. I just wish it wasn’t so hard to find the right product!
We got the fridge and kitchen at a local eco-friendly children’s store – they are both made by Camden Rose http://www.camdenrose.com/our_story/. Pricey, but WELL worth the investment! I especially love how “pretty” they are (when most of the “food” is put away) since they are right next to our dining room table!
Most of the toys are from either Melissa and Doug or things we have recycled from our own kitchen…
My son is 18 months, and I am desperate to get pregnant again. I know it’s probably not practical but, at the moment, I just really want another baby. I wrote in article listing the various pros and cons I can see in having two so close in age. If anyone would like to add any pros or cons from your experience, I would greatly appreciate the advice. The article is here. http://8poundpreemie.blogspot.com/2011/01/mythical-perfect-age-gap.html
Wow. . .what a nice article! Tooth brushing is very important especially to the children that is very prone o cavity.
Olivia and I had a delicious time – thanks for having us. Can you dream me up a made up maid too????
Great job Cooking Mom (and Olivia)! We use cloth napkins exclusively at my house. I just keep a basket of them on the table. I do laundry often enough (and have enough napkins) that there are always clean ones. We also use them multiple times before washing if the meals aren’t too messy. We’ve just moved to the larger yogurt containers too. Before this challenge, I was buying the single servings and scooping the yogurt out to put in the bento boxes. Pretty silly I didn’t think of the bigger container sooner.
Thanks for putting the link to those containers. I’ve been looking for some non-glass, non-plastic versions that I can send to child care or school. I also like your waste-free spin on dinners too!
Eh, you can’t win them all! Good effort.
News Mom, since we use the same center, that’s an effort I can get behind. Let’s suggest at our next Parent Group meeting!
Starting a waste free lunch program at your child’s school is a great idea and easier to do than you might think. Please check out http://www.wastefreelunches.org for some great tips and ideas on starting a waste free lunch program at your child’s school and please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to further support your efforts. Once you have started your program, please also keep us up to date on your school’s progress so that we can possibly add you to our list of success stories!
Yes! Family personal ads sound wonderful right about now.
We moved to a new state 5 years ago and then just as we were getting to know people in our neighborhood we ended up moving again. I found out I was pregnant six days after we moved in. We know no one nearby. My husband and I each travel 45 minutes in opposite directions for work so there aren’t even work friends nearby. Add to that we have an odd hobby (we’re medieval enthusiasts). I would love to have playdates for our son but I just don’t know how to find us friends!
Ugh. I feel your pain! Winter in Massachusetts has been brutal this year. Our family also struggles with finding (and keeping) friends. We have one family we adore -but they live an hour away. Besides working full time, which leaves little time or energy for socializing, I’m shy and I have little in common with the moms in our neighborhood. (It’s Stepford-ish -and I’m out of place as a full time attorney and all about video games and Star Wars). I’m grateful that our boys have made good friends at school – but sometimes I wish I had someone other than my husband to talk to!
Bribery works. If we think our child doesn’t know that you are in a compromising situation and will more than likely get his/her way…you’re kidding yourself.
Your time will come where you can discipline and follow through with it.
You made the right move….I bribe when I have to
Congratulations on that one.
And now imagine you are not the typical Mom in your mid-30’s, you are in your mid-40’s, you are German and you have a 14 month old. I feel like an alien even in playgroups I attend. And not like an foreigner-alien (which I am), more like an outer-space-alien…
I really thought it would be easier to find other parents to meet with.
Luckily I am still working 3 days/week and get to talk to other people there.
I actually saw Peggy Orenstein speak on this topic the day that the book was released. She spoke to a small group on women in my community and read a chapter or two. As the mom of 2 girls under the age of 4, I expected to walk away from the talk with a feeling one way or another about the princess culture – love it or hate it. But like you, I don’t feel too strongly either way right now. My older daughter is the girliest of girls but it manifests itself in her wardrobe and the way she decorates her bedroom (ALL PINK!), but she has little interest in Disney princesses to date.
The one thing Peggy Orenstein did point out that caused me some concern is that the princess culture is the gateway to other, more dangerous interests. Once girls get over the princess thing, she finds they move on to the BRATZ dolls and other scary/sexy images I can’t name because I’m not familiar with them (yet!).
Anyway, thanks for starting this discussion. It’s an important one.
One of my best friends wil love this book, she has a daughter of 4 years. Thanks.
What a great opportunity to hear Peggy Orenstein speak on the topic. I actually finished and am compiling my thoughts on how I feel about it all now that I read it. I have to agree with you that I was not expecting the insight about how the princess culture leads to more dangerous interests — most of the book speaks to this. It is what scares me the most and I can’t say that I got a lot of advice about how to handle it from Miss Orenstein. I have to go back to my highlighted notes and write part 2…stay tuned!
News Mom – those are the reuasable bags we have…and we love them!
It’s great to see that you are working to make a difference by packing a waste free lunch for your daughter. It really does make a huge difference and will get easier with time, so we hope you will stick with it. You should check out http://www.wastefreelunches.org for some great tips and inspiration. Keep up the great work!
I agree with your decision to compromise then. Yes, time is too precious when it comes to certain errands that need to be made.
I too wondered if I should leave my groceries, but a lady suggested that I try this: if my child throws a fit in the grocery/mall or wherever, I first give the warning to stop. if that does not work, I take his hand and we go to the nearest bathroom. My child knows then I am serious and I want him to behave. This way I am also consistent.
I came across this blog on the BH facebook page. I actually work for Bright Horizons and this was an issue with some of my parents. At one point I had a lot of parents that were first time parents and either moved to our state because of a job or were from overseas where all of their family were left behind. They actually made friends with other moms in our classroom. But most of them found families with children the same age or close in age from different classes that they took their child to (i.e. Mommy & me Yoga, dance class, music classes & free events at the library).
Great idea I need to purchase some of those, for my child’s school lunch. However the school says I need to put her food in cold or hot packs. Hot packs because they are not permitted by law to heat up the food brought from home. As for the cold packs I can just place the cold items in the refrigerator so there is no problem with cold food items. Does any of your products come with a pack or container that will keep the food hot or cold. Say for example I made pasta and I wanted to make sure it was reasonable warm when my child ate it the pasta. Do any of your projects keep the food warm/hot ?
I typically pack soup and chicken nuggets for my daughter’s lunch in stainless steel thermoses made by Thermos. I have been told by my daugher’s teachers that the soup is sometimes so hot by lunchtime that they have to pour the soup into a bowl to cool off. I really recommend Thermos stainless steel products. I also think it helps to then pack the thermoses in insulated lunch bags to ensure that the food stays warm!
Wow, I find it hard to use Outlook Calendar. Now I’ll try to see the benefits, your article is encouraging.
This is so difficult with an infant. I buy organic baby food; I don’t make my own. But, since I am a breastfeeding mom, I do try to be earth friendly and buy bottles (instead of the bags) to store my breastmilk.
I love Amazon Subscribe and Save. I just wish we could get our Target brand diapers and wipes (our brand of choice) there. FYI, you can do this with other things besides diapers, think cereal, etc.
It is so great to hear that your family has made the decision to pack waste free lunches. Did you know that the average American school child throws away 67lbs worth of trash at lunch time alone? It is amazing what a huge impact packing waste free lunches can really make. For some great tips and ideas, check out our website, http://www.wastefreelunches.org. We look forward to hearing how your waste free lunches go!
My husband and I each use Google calendar, with our settings set so that we can view each other’s. Then, each weekend, we do a “look at the week ahead” and transfer key items to the whiteboard in our coat closet.
If you subscribe to baby talk or american baby, the diapers are even cheaper. They typically have 20% diaper coupons and $10 off any item in the baby store and they can also be stacked. I just received a box of huggies diapers size 2 for free. Amazon is awesome!
I have converted from Diapers.com to Amazon, but it is a bit more work. Amazon does not always have the product or size I am looking for, and it is sometimes difficult to determine what is eligible for Subscribe and Save. There was a learning curve, but I now use Subscribe and Save for diapers, pullups, baby food, and laundry detergent.
The hat is fantastic. 🙂
The only other option I could tell you is an entry way Mommy Calendar. I do a mixture of both even though I’m not a SAHM. I have one dry erase weekly calendar for the kids to read their daily activities. Then I have a monthly/year calendar next to it to copy onto the weekly calendar (it’s a catch all). Finally, for my own reminders, my blackberry is synced to Outlook and Facebook so that I can see what events are coming up as my day goes on.
I have to say, while I’m all for safety, these seem a little extreme. A 2-year-old’s legs would be so scrunched in a rear-facing situation, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. Also, 4’9″??? There are Olympic gymnasts and skaters who would be in booster seats by that measure. It’s only 3 inches shorter than me! Perhaps they can come up with a better after-market adjustment to the seat belt instead. Plus, by the way, you’re not supposed to use those mirrors, by the safety standards either. Just another safety precaution I’m guilty of flouting.
I think this was a great experience. I currently work at an elementary school and I will definitely share this activity with my peers. I would even try doing this with my 3rd grade group and I know they would love, and enjoy it! Not too sure about the grass drinking though but good luck! 🙂 Thanks for sharing…
LOL about the unicorn video clip. My daughter begged for the unicorn pillow pet for Christmas and Santa obliged.
I love the Rainbow party idea – may have to steal it for Olivia’s birthday if I can remember come October. 🙂
Shortly after posting this, my daughter burned herself when a steaming ramekin of marinara sauce spilled on her at a restaurant. Strange as it seems, it was this article that made me the only one who reacted by first trying to get all the sauce off of her hands as opposed to comforting her or cleaning up the mess (I know it sounds strange, but that is gut reaction sometimes). I did then take her to the bathroom to run them under cold water, and took an icepack from the baby’s bottle cooler to cool her hands. I was surprised that the restaurant, which caters to families, didn’t bring ice right away (or at all). Finally, note to restaurants everywhere: Don’t bother serving anything to my young child if you have to caution us all not to touch it because it’s too hot. Do all of us a favor (yourselves included) and keep it in the kitchen for another minute or two.
We trimmed our potted grass last night…my daughter had a great time deciding how tall it should be and then “mowing the grass”.
Don’t you love that movie? Ha ha. I will definitely be making that cake. I’ve made rainbow jello before and my kids were obsessed. But this would be amazing because it would be a surprise when you cut into it. We’re going with Unicorn, though. She made up her mind!
Not sure where in MA/NH you are, but there’s a really cute Children’s Museum in Acton and some indoor playground-type places around: one in Westford (One Stop Fun-REALLY nice and REALLY clean) and one in Lowell (Jump On In).
We love our “trailer bike”! We do long bike rides all the time with our kids with it during the warmer months. Our older used it until she was able to keep up (and stop!) on her own bike and then our younger graduated to it from the “pull-buggie” that we had for him. The most important part is to ALWAYS hang on to the handle bars! I think that as long as they are old enough to understand that, they can pull off riding this bike.
Thanks Kayla for the suggestions. I live in Westford so know those places though haven’t been to Jump On In yet. It’s really about making the effort to ignore the cleaning and chores and getting out to do more things. We ended up at the Boston Science Museum soon after that post and spent a fortune for a few hours. We’ll be going to the one in Acton from now on!
35 years ago I went to a regular kindergarten with an amazing teacher in Northern California where we learned how to work with real saws and sewing machines. When, at the end of the school year, the teacher learned my family would be moving to the northeast, that teacher gave me a french saw as a graduation present. I can only hope my kids have such a great kindergarten experience, though I have a feeling it’s unfortunately unlikely.
I agree, we are constantly split in two, whether we stay home or go work, as there are pros and cons to both. The internal battle is constant, especially when you see where your kids/family is in contrast to where it could or should be, emotionally, financially, etc.
Every mom, at one point in their life, will have to justify their current ‘work’ option, no matter what, not to herself, but the outsiders who frown upon our option.
I have been at both ends of the specturm, currently in the middle, as I work PT (mid-day) and it’s just as draining as staying home or working all day.
Hi-try FitYourWorld.com for a great way to get exercise in for working moms and dads- we created a product called Deskercise. It’s not expensive, created to do at work and best of all it’s effective. I was tired of being tired, didn’t look the way I wanted to look and generally unhappy with myself. I felt life had become one big chore. We created this program to help people like me find a way out- and it works. Give it a try and see results.
That hair! He is such a cutie. I would just cut the pieces that seem to bother him (or you – ha ha) for now. Have someone hold his head just to make sure he doesn’t move.
I love the idea of the bird feeder. Very clever.
Here’s another simple way to color eggs. Hardboil the eggs and let them cool. Meanwhile tear colored tissue paper into little pieces (make sure it is the kind where the color bleeds). Then dip the cool eggs into water and stick the tissue paper to the eggs. Let them dry…a hair dryer will speed up the process if you are impatient like me :). You can leave the paper on the eggs if you wish, or peel off and enjoy the tie-dyed effect. I like this project because I don’t have to mess around with boiling water when I’m working with my little ones…
That’s a great tip Barbara! I love the way tissue paper looks when it’s decoupaged. I almost recommended using watered down glue or Modge Podge to do something similar but didn’t. I’m glad you suggested this idea. Happy Easter!
As an update, we weren’t able to get the eggs from the local farm, but we did use all natural egg dye- beets, blueberries, tumeric and grape juice. The colors were really pretty and muted and it was just as easy as the traditional dye tablets we’re all used to.
Hey by the way, You look great these days…must be the stress free living!
Hi Green Mom! I try to live as “Green” as I possibly can- my husband and I share a car that we drive less than 6K miles a year, we compost, recycle, joined a CSA and have cut back drastically on our waste… with the exception of the K-Cups. I also can’t seem to shake them (have you tried the Green Mountain Wild Blueberry? YUM).
I have found a way to recycle them, but not in the traditional sense. Once I’m done with my K-Cups, I tear off the aluminum cover, empty the grounds while keeping the brown filter in-tact. After collecting 12 empty K-Cups, I fill them with a blend of potting soil and compost, and start herb seeds. I fit them all into a recycled egg container- and give away to my friends and neighbors once the seeds sprout. Everyone LOVES getting a starter herb kit and it makes me feel better about at least using K-Cups one more time. You can see a photo example here- http://www.flickr.com/photos/coozie/5661481774/in/photostream
-April in Denver
OMG April, that is fantastic! I’ve already thought of a few people I could give one of those to. My boys got seed packets in their Easter baskets this year, so I’m going to start saving my K cups right away. Do you compost the coffee grounds?
I have read some not so great reviews of ThredUp. You’re too likely to receive things you don’t like and then just have to give away anyway. Someone did ask me if there are any charitable organizations that will pair families in need with families who want to pass down clothes, toys and baby/kid gear for long-term relationships. The idea is that you’d get paired up with a specific family who has a child the same gender and about 2 years younger than your own. This way you’d know that your stuff was going where it was needed and the family would have an idea of the sorts of things they are likely to be able to receive. Anyone know of any such program?
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I cut my sons hair when he was 6 months old, he too was born with alot of hair… it was not to hard as at that point he could sit up with help and a hair stylist friend helped…
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Absolutely–thanks for asking!
Have you tried Enjoy Life Foods? They have 2 cereals (I’ve found the flax variety at the Meijer on Rome Hilliard Rd in Hilliard). http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/our_foods/cereals.html – neither cereal has oats in it.
It’s probably not the same as his Mighty Bites (the flax kind which we’ve tried, is sort of akin to Grape Nuts in crunch.)
How about a wheat based cereal, like Cream of Wheat? You can make that yummier with honey, berries, dried fruit, etc. (caveat–I haven’t read the ingredients list on this, but it’s worth a shot).
You could break down and try something like Cocoa Krispies, maybe…. not nearly as healthy, though.
What about going in a totally different direction and serving muffins, bagels, or eggs? Don’t fight the cereal battle when you can avoid it! I also think that packaged cereal can be much more expensive than other healthy breakfast items.
Perhaps you can try making muffins at home and involving your son in some fun and messy baking. He might enjoy eating what he makes, too.
I’m pregnant with our first, and we’ve started our CD stash already and have signed our intent to send our kiddo to Bright Horizons daycare. I love the center, but was disappointed the Director gave me some spiel about it being against their policy or something (legally, I mean) to CD. I plan to look more into it and bring in an actual diaper and push the issue more at a later date. I will probably use disposables for DC but cloth at home for awhile…and then once I am familiar with and comfortable with the staff, I may bring in some cloth dipes and have a discussion with them. I’ve also heard that many doctors are willing to write notes that cloth is recommended for your child due to rash issues, etc. It’s nice to know other moms are having success CDing at other Bright Horizon centers in the Country though. Frankly, I would’ve expected California to be in line with other places in the Country in this regard, if not leading the way in some regards. Thanks for this post!
I think you said it all with your first line…what is WRONG with people? I could go on and on (and I just deleted the rant that I wrote!), but these two examples are just unbelievable to me. Truly.
Thanks for the sunscreen links. We are going to Florida in June and I’ve been meaning to research safer sunscreen options for my family. Now I don’t have to look far!
Great, I never thought about how loosely the word “adopt” is used.
My son is going to be 4 years old in August. I’m really struggling on how I’m going to tell him he’s adopted, especially since his birth mother just moved around the corner from us.
It’s my understanding that a diet loaded with Omega 6 fatty acids creates an imbalance. Our bodies can only absorb a certain amount of Omega 6’s & Omega 3’s. If we’re loaded with Omega 6’s there’s no room for Omega 3’s. Think of it as a see-saw, Omega 6’s on one end, Omega 3’s on the other. The goal is to have them even & not one above & one below.
Check out Michael Pollan’s Book, “The Omnivore’s Dilema”.
Having taught Kindergarten (1 year) and Special Needs Preschool/Developmental Kindergarten (5 years) in a Public School setting, and training other teachers on how to deal with behavior management for 3 of those years, I can tell you that teachers generally fall into one of two basic categories. Those who want as much feedback as you can give them to make their task of teaching your child easier, and those who feel like they are the “experts” and don’t even like to get tips from actual behavioral specialists, let alone parents. If you happen to luck out and get the first kind, then you have to hope that they are of the subset who can actually take what you tell them and turn it into a working solution. If you encounter the second type your three, very unfortunate, choices are to ride it out and hope for better the next year, go over the teacher’s head and seek help from the counselor and/or principal, or change schools/classrooms. Your son sounds like exactly the type of child that I loved to work with and there are a myriad of strategies that could probably help him and his teacher, if they are willing to learn them. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want some specific things to try out. I will likely need more information because I would normally spend several hours observing a child before making suggestions, but it might help.
LongacresPC, you sound like an amazing resource! Thank you and I’ll be in touch if necessary.
I say you pick they school that is right for them now and for the short-term future. For many families with special needs, public school is the best answer, and for others it’s a terrible option. If private school is the right choice for your boys, certainly don’t feel guilty. Even in private school they will have to conform in many ways, so it’s not as though you’re protecting them from the big bad world just because you choose a school that may soften the blow and set them on a better path for the future.
I am a product of both public and private schools, and both served me well at their respective stages in my education.
All women should get to spend more time after delivery. We are all irreplaceable–to our newly born children. In Europe, women and men (in Sweden) are given 18 months–could be split between the two parents–for family leave. Why in the US do we accept 6 weeks or 12 weeks? Our children need more time to bond. In my job, I can take up to one year for child bonding. This time off is unpaid so it makes it financially very difficult. My maternity leave is unpaid, as well. I went to work 9 weeks after my daughter was born. Was that difficult? Extremely. If I have another child, I will do my best to take more time off.
Why aren’t we pushing for legislation that allows women (and men!) to take more time off with their babies?
We are all indispensable to our children.
It’s a big news story but not that big a deal. They did explain that they did not “swear their kids to secrecy” but that their kids chose to participate in keeping the secret. In any case, I just don’t see this lasting long enough to matter in any psychological way. Since it’s not a new idea (see the 1978 story “A Fabulous Child Story” by Louis Gould) you’d think someone else would have tried it before if it was possible to keep it a secret that long. People are already guessing that Storm is a boy just from the pictures. In any case, in my experience kids that are going to be made fun of will be made fun of no matter what; the other kids will use any excuse they can find, and even make one up if they have to. And, from the kid’s perspective (this from my own experiences) it’s easier to deal with taunting about something you’re proud of (like, a choice to be genderless) than something you’re sensitive about but don’t know how to change (for example, your weight).
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Toddler Mom – Thanks so much for your incredibly thoughtful comments. I still contend that it’s not possible or reasonable to expect that a 2-year-old can truly and freely choose to keep a secret. And I think it has already lasted long enough to have a real psychological impact on the siblings, even if it doesn’t last long enough to impact the infant. Also, it’s great if later in life, you “choose to be genderless” and can be proud of it, but an infant cannot make that choice, and I still believe it’s unfair for his/her parents to make that choice for them.
That said, I am certainly aware that even very young children can grapple with gender identity issues, and having parents who support them is critical to their healthy social and emotional development.
Get your foot off your pizza!
No, you may not have a piece of cake until you’ve finished your hot dog. (Because that hot dog is sooo much healthier!)
Of course these were all things my mother said to me and I swore I would never say to my children.
Because I said so.
I am the mom, that’s why.
I dont care what Sally’s parents let her do. I am not her mother, I am yours.
Ditto to AutumnC’s #2
My problem with this is that I don’t really see the benefit of it? Who really cares to be honest? I could see if they were doing this after the child expressed mixed emotions about their gender than that would make more since but as an infant, what is it really doing? And why would you keep the gender from your own family? It really doesn’t make much sense at all. I’m assuming that they probably used a simple excuse such as “it’s part of a game” to explain what they are doing to their 5 and 2 year old sons and that is how they are being compliant.
To me it’ll just backfire. If anything the child will be isolated and ridiculed more for not identifying with a gender at all. There will be speculation that perhaps the child has both male and female sex organs and that’s the reason behind the secret. I really don’t see any benefits as people will always speculate. Everyone think the baby is a boy anyway and if he is in fact a she then that will just lead to ridicule that their child looks like a boy which again, it doesn’t help.
The fact that they tried it with their other son and he hated when people didn’t address him as a boy (because they kept his hair long) you would think would be enough for them to just let it go. It’s probably just a publicity stunt for attention like balloon boy.
I was too nervous to ever have anything in my daughter’s crib so I went without anything. Eventually she stopped waking up to it and just slept with her legs outside. In fact, my husband kept wanting to wake her up to move her away from the edge.
I would suggest putting him down with an eye to which way he is more likely to roll. Putting him down further from that side might stop him from hitting the rail at all. If he’s not to big and sleeps curled up a bit, you could put him perpendicular to the rail. My daughter now sleeps like that with her back to one end even though we put her in the middle. I think she likes the closeness (we swaddled her for a long time).
We didn’t do this with our first, but needed to with our second. We bought the mesh, and it’s worked out great. We wanted something that wasn’t like a blanket or bumper for all the reasons you state. But we needed something to prevent her hands/feet/arms/legs from getting trapped in between the slats and potentially causing a lot of pain. What happened to us was that eventually she stopped rolling as much, and we could probably even take off the mesh now. Good luck in whatever you choose.
We are using a breathable bumper for the same reasons you described. We were bumper free until our daughter began getting stuck in the slats, which I’m told isn’t safe either. We have been very happy with it.
Have you tried a Sleep Sack? I know it is Summertime and may be hot – but if he was ok being swaddled in a blanket, a Sleep Sack is probably a similar weight.
We also never used any kind of bumper with either of our kids. I guess I would suggest just taking it out.
A sleep sack is a great idea. We used a cotton sleeveless sleep sack for a long time with our daughter.
OK — I am feeling like an idiot because after four years of parenthood, I am just now understanding the point of the sleep sack, and that it would prevent the baby’s legs from getting stuck in the crib slats. Duh!
Thanks to everyone for all your suggestions. We did try moving my son away from the edges of the crib and placing him in the crib perpendicular to the long side, but he always finds his way back to the edge and keeps getting stuck, so we have installed the mesh bumper. It seems to be working great so far.
I am sooooo buying this frisbee. “Cringe” is such a perfect word choice. That’s exactly what I do every time a frisbee is thrown. This is super cool looking, too.
Awww, that’s cute. I love the way she kept looking at the pictures. My older daughter couldn’t have cared less when we told her and I waited forever to do so because I thought she would torture me for my whole pregnancy. Alas, she pretty much shrugged. Now, though, they are actually really good friends. BTW, Congratulations!! How exciting!
This is adorable! Congratulations, and best of luck with the growing family!
I have no answers, I just share the same dilemma. I fold laundry while watching TV because the kids are always asleep at that point, and I don’t want to disturb them. And my random basket of mismatched socks has also grown into a giant pile of clothes that are difficult to fold or put away. All I know is that when my kids get old enough, I’m going to do what my Mom did: No TV watching unless you’re also folding clothes.
to my 2.25 year old at the time (he’s now 2.5)
“ok, either come down off the ladder or give me the scissors”
and another favourite of mine is – when i get in a pinch…
“( fill in the blank)
I don’t make the rules, I don’t know who does, it’s just the way it is.”
This post hit home with me as a semi-frequent business traveler (more frequent than Green Mom would like, I’m sure). I do enjoy trips like to NYC where I can take the train, because it is more relaxing and enjoyable. I can even work on the train to avoid the headache of having emails pile up waiting to be answered.
That said, I do think that business travel has earned its bad reputation. I do look forward to some “alone” time, but I find that the worrying about leaving the familiy behind, stress of of the airport, delays and uncomfortable flight beats that out of me before I even get to my destination. And whatever enjoyment I get out of exploring a new city and enjoying a night out for dinner usually gets zeroed out by trying to check in at home and talk to the kids for a few minutes. Nevermind dealing with time zones, particularly if I’m in Europe. Any thoughts of restful sleep in a quiet hotel room are dashed by staying up past midnight to make a phone call or Skype with the family back home.
I’ll stop complaining now. 🙂 But at the end of the day, I’d rather forego a trip by myself to remain at home and deal with the hectic daily routine. Maybe Green Mom and I just need to figure out how to carve out an hour here or there so that we can each get some time to ourselves. We talk about it and it sounds great…but I’m not sure it’s actually happened yet!
We have a babysitter who taught swim lessons to children before she moved to the east coast, and she’s a firm believer that kids can’t learn to swim until they’re 4, and that it’s dangerous to teach them when they’re much younger because they get comfortable around the pool but can’t really learn what they need to be safe.
I started my daughter in swim lessons just around the time she turned 4. If you go to a place that does short, small group lessons, I think you’ll be fine.
Well said News Mom!
If your son is not fully potty trained but nevertheless wearing underwear while full-time in child care, there’s a good chance your provider will not appreciate it (especially since they’ll have a LOT more kids to look after). In my twos and threes class, we have two children in underwear who really aren’t ready for it yet. They use the potty when they have to pee, but they’ll go ahead and have BMs in the underwear instead of using the toilet (because wearing underwear doesn’t automatically prompt a concern of using the toilet in a child who just isn’t fully ready). What a mess! Not only do we have to get a change of underwear every time, but it often necessitates an entire change of outfit (since underwear just don’t have enough material to catch everything like a diaper would). If I might, I would recommend going to an intermediary like Pull-Ups if your son is not fully bowel trained yet. They’re more like underwear, so he’ll get used to pulling them down and back up again, but they have enough coverage that accidents won’t be a child-care nightmare for your provider. 🙂
While maybe not the cleanest, you can still wash hands at a public sink and get clean. I’m a microbiologist, and I’m here to tell you – you can wash your hands clean at any source of running potable water and soap.
If the counters are wet and that bothers you, get a paper towel and wipe them down before you wash. Get another paper towel ready (dispense it, but don’t tear it off), then wash hands at the sink, keep the faucets running after you’re done, tear off the paper towel, dry, shut off the faucet with the paper towel, let yourself out the door and throw the towel away. If no paper towel, wash and air dry.
With my son, I actually wash his hands first, then set him on the counter next to the sink (which I’ve dried off already – depends on the place) with his paper towel, then I wash my own hands.
Washing with running water – even if it’s the backyard hose – will always get you cleaner than a wet wipe or Purell!
I have this issue when I’m changing my kid’s diaper and have just carried her with no baby pack or stroller. It’s a little easier now that she can stand but I had no way of washing my hands after I changed her diaper. Put the baby on the floor? No way. If I felt like I was very dirty I would wash each hand individually while juggling her around but it’s always a struggle. I like that at O’Hare airport, there’s a sink right next to the changing table so that you don’t have to leave the kid to wash your hands.
We got a kids weather station for Christmas: http://www.amazon.com/Crosse-Technology-WS-9640U–Wireless-Weather/dp/B0028WDYCE/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1309265116&sr=8-16 It has made the battle a lot easier – at least I know if she matches what the girl on her weather station is wearing she’ll wear the right clothes for the season. Matching or wearing occasion-appropriate attire is another story…and not a battle I’ll fight anymore.
Yes! We have one. Unfortunately, my daughter isn’t that into it, but I think that’s just her. I think it would be a great idea for Max. However, you have to be sure to get one that is big enough. A lot of these bikes are too small for a 4 year old. We got the Mini Glider by Glide Bikes for our 4-year-old, and they make one that’s even bigger that they recommend for 5-9 years olds that may be worth checking out as well. The “Useful Info” section of this web site http://www.kidsbalancebikes.com/ is actually very useful.
Try checking with an occupational therapist who works with kids–there are a lot of really cool solutions for riding toys and bikes that have been developed but might not be easy to find through consumer outlets.
Have you or would you try glass bottles? They sell so many options now, and most of them come with silicone or other covers that make them child care friendly. We started w/the least expensive Evenflo option readily available at Target, but those didn’t last long (the nipple rings kept cracking). I can’t seem to find the ones we ended up using online, but they came with a great full sized neoprene sleeve that covered the whole bottle and was a cinch to wash.
We used the born free glass bottles and loved them. We were able to use them at day care also with the silicone sleeves. They didn’t have too many parts so they were easy to clean. Good luck!!
Love these. Just have to find the barrettes and I’ll be in business. Thanks for the reminder about these.
Thanks so much. I had been against glass bottles because I figured with my considerable clumsy gene there was a good chance I’ve have a serious glass accident, but I had no idea the glass bottles can come with a silicone or neoprene sleeve. I’m going to check them out!
I found your post while searching on this question. My 4.5 yr old also has problems with motor planning. We bought him a Strider balance bike last year with high hopes but he never really took to it. Now, he is starting to get pedaling a little better though still doesn’t balance well. Balance bikes still require cross-lateral movement. I wish we would have bough him a better trike when he is younger so he could master pedals, but don’t want to fork out the dough for one that he will soon outgrow. We do have a bike with removed pedals and training wheels (my husband’s thought that this would work as a balance bike) and I think we might just put it back together.
I’ve been thinking about my No’s per day, as we’re deep in the terrible two’s. Your stories gave me a good laugh. They’re just why I’ve hesitated, but you & the BH moms have inspired me to talk w/hubby and give it a try. I’m thinking he’ll be thrilled at the prospect of “breakfast dessert.”
This is unconditional love.
Your life will never be the same.
Hang on kid, your in for the time of your life.
It doesn’t get any better than this.
Every moment is a learning moment.
Those are wonderful, Nadine. Thanks for sharing.
I am a member of Cafe Mom and I didn’t get the liberty of seeing this article there. . but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it here. I must say both of the pros and cons are SO true.
The main thing for a mother that has a job outside of her home is to be optimistic as possible. As far as having someone else teaching your kids core values, that’s where an extensive interview comes into play. Get the best person you really want, by having some questions lined out.
LOVE this idea! And I commit to doing it. I have been feeling like all I ever say is no, mostly because I am tired, or don’t want to do whatever. It doesn’t make for a very fun summer, so this is a big part of my mid-summer resolution to have more fun!
Thank you for the feature! Hope your having a wonderful weekend!
Totally agree Cooking Mom. In the school lunch reform, I think snacks should be included. Even with my preschooler (in public school program) I sent my own snacks and let the teachers know he was not to be offerred chocolate milk, just water or white milk. The affordability issue really bothers me too. Cost shouldn’t have to determine how/where you eat or shop for food.
I don’t know about your childcare center, but ours doesn’t allow glass bottles. We really like MAM bottles. The valve in the bottom really helps reduce ingested air and the flow is great for a breastfed baby. We’ve also used the regular Medela bottles with no leaking, etc, issues. Good luck!
I blogged about these before too – http://blogs.brighthorizons.com/familyroom/2009/09/magic-nuudles/
I’m a huge fan and had the same experience, why didn’t we use them earlier?? Too funny.
Oh I’m torn. First off, I will say that I can’t stand researchers on any topic offering up extreme solutions just to grab headlines. I think it’s irresponsible. There are lots of issues that children can have — from behavioral disorders to obesity — that may be signs of less than perfect parenting, but to suggest as part of this debate that obese children be taken from their parents is purely a headline grabber in this case, and I think it’s distasteful for academics to employ such tactics.
Second, I truly appreciate the anti-obesity efforts, and I understand that for the vast majority of children, the suggestions being offered for universal change are wonderful. But we also need to remember that one size does not fit all. For my daughter, for instance, a milk allergy in her first two years left her unwilling to drink regular milk. On the rare occasion she will drink chocolate milk, I am thrilled for the calcium she’ll it provides her and which could help prevent osteoporosis in her later years. My son is significantly underweight and any calorie he can consume is a good calorie — the fattier the better. And I talk to parents all the time who have issues getting their children to eat enough and are willing, essentially, to “take a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down.”
So some universal changes are wonderful (the broad expectation of drinking water instead of juice has been a major positive change since I was a child). But I think the most important universal change is not prescriptive practices but better education on the subject. And I don’t think you need to scare people to teach them.
I am a working mom. I have nothing against mom’s staing at home when their kids are little. Although when the kids go to school, the mom needs to go to work!! There is no reason not to. I work, plus handle all the other activities involved with school. So there is no excuse why other women can’t. Other than the fact they just want to be supported by the husband that works to pay for her little activities to do while the kids are at school.
Wow, are you a condescending person!!! I’m guessing you assume all SAHMs lounge around eating Bon bons, watching soaps, right? Being a mom is hard job, whether you work out of the home or not. Being a housewife means not only caring for children 24/7, but also cleaning, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, waiting on a husband, and basically running an entire household. Personal time? Relaxing? What the hell is that? I love my job as a SAHM, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. But it can be exhausting. My husband brings home the bacon, I do.. Everything else. So you know what, honey? Hell yeah, I’m going to do some “little activities ” when my kid goes to school. I will be overjoyed when I can have time to sew, make jewelry, grow food and flowers, jog alone, or just read a book. Along with everything else I have to do to make my home a happy one.
By the way, I have been on the opposite end and stay home on Fridays. It is simple compared to having to work!
Not just drawing…you can totally make puppets out of those barf bags! Good luck and try and have fun. As my husband recently stated, it’s not really “vacation” when you have small children, it’s merely getting away.
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I just made 10 quarts of pickles with my kids. We track our harvest each year and we are already up to 54 cucumbers. We love our garden!
Wow! Good for you guys. Do you have a pickle recipe that you always go back to? If so, I would love to have it!
Wow! That was quite a day! Kudos for you to sticking it out and not turning around, going home, and throwing in the towel for the day.
I don’t know if I have a specific story that can top that one! However, I completely understand the juggling of two work schedules to take care of sick kids. Honestly, that’s the one scenario for which I have not been able to come up with a reliable solution. I was relocated for work and my husband and I live far away from any sort of support system that would serve as a safety net, so like you, if our girls get sick we have to take a look at each others’ schedules, determine who’s meetings take priority and work things out from there.
Thanks for sharing as it is somewhat of a stress relief to read that others go through the same experiences!
Author, Mommy & Daddy Work to Make Some Dough
You’ve gotta laugh, or you’ll just end up crying 🙂 One day we will all miss these days!
WHAT?! That is awesome. I love it! I am super impressed. Your kids are lucky to have such a talented grandfather.
I know, right?!? Next up is this…but thinking maybe a farm or firehouse. http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/green-ideas/before-after-from-drawers-to-darling-dollhouse-nice-girl-notes-144757
How timely! I was just listening to this NPR podcast about challenges just like the one you had this morning and it really made me feel better about my life as a working mom. Thought I’d pass it on…
That is SO cute!! My husband made the boys a sink and oven similar to that out of two $15 Ikea shelfs and all random stuff we had. He got his idea from this site. http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/how-to/how-to-build-a-play-kitchen-from-ikea-components-066719
There are no words for this. I secretly crave and indulge in McD’s now and then. Never. Again.
First -YUCK! What is that experiment all about? But second, I actually do give McDonald’s kudos this time around. My daughter thinks McDonald’s is the place where we go through the drive-thru to get a bottle of water. She’s never eaten there once. But I don’t think this campaign on McDonald’s part is to get people who don’t patronize them to do so. I think it’s to make things healthier for those who do visit McDonald’s, and I think it’s mostly to get regulators, lawyers, and advocates who blame one restaurant chain for a national epidemic of obesity off their backs. And hey — isn’t that what they’re trying to accomplish?
My mom just reminded me that my 103 year old great grandmother eats at McDonalds almost every day. Perhaps in some alternate universe McD’s is the Fountain of Youth!
That’s amazing! My husband is pretty handy but I’m not sure he could do THAT. 🙂
Oh – I still crave it. Like last night when we were out at a restaurant that happened to be next to a McDonald’s and I could smell those fries.
oh my gosh eww!!!! The movie super size me did a similar experiment. If you watch the movie you can find it in the special features. But, one of the things that they did was with the fries from Mcdonalds and let them sit for months and months and the same thing. They were hard has rocks but no mold! UGH just the thought of that sitting in my body! Nasty!!
I can answer this as the mother of a child with a serious disease. 1. I agree with the hospital blog that helping out with the other kids is a huge help. It is a strain on the whole family and taking siblings out for a fun activity is a help for the parents and a great distraction for the kids. 2. Helping with the cooking is fabulous. If you don’t live nearby, consider sending a basket of fresh fruit. 3. Find out what the child likes and send activities, such as coloring/sticker books, books on tape, etc. Very handy when in recovery mode. 4. Telling you friend “I don’t know how you do it,” is validating, but not very helpful. It’s better to let her know you are there for her and to check in often, not just around major medical treatment.
I agree with Modern Mom. Food is almost always welcome…even during “down” times. It’s likely that lots of people send things during chemo or other procedures, but it’s the day to day when those things are not happening but the doctor’s appointments and therapies continue. Since you’re out of state, you could also call their hospital to find out how to pay for parking when they are there. I also really appreciate when someone focues on my other child since I constantly feel like he’s getting the shaft. I really agree with the Children’s Hospital blog when it encourages you to get educated about what the child is going through. Much of the time, when we were in the thick of things with Max, I didn’t feel like talking about what he had, what his prognosis was or what we were currently doing about it. It was more helpful when friends and families took what I said and looked up more information so they didn’t have to ask so many questions. Lastly, refrain from phrases like “I don’t know if I could do it” or “We are only handed what we can handle” (sometimes associated with God) because right now, this is probably more than your friend can handle, but she does it because she’s his mother. No parent should have to handle a sick child.
Not only would you be consuming sulfuric acid (see video), but think of all the pesticides in corn that you’ve just concentrated into that “sugar” you’re going to consume.
Definitely let your friend know. If something ever happened to her child while in the sitter’s care and you kept mum, well, I’m afraid you’d be guilt ridden for life!
I would definitely tell my friend. I think too often in life people don’t speak up when they should. Good for you for being conscious!
I think its completely ridiculous to not have your own brothers’ child not attend your wedding! I thought one would want all ‘loved’ ones and family around them for such an important event in your life.
Regarding, not having kids in a restaurant is ok, one has the option to visit or not visit the place!
Great suggestion! I’ll incorporate my son’s milestones into his medical journal. Thanks!
My son Max is 14 months now. He suffered a perinatal stroke. It is not clear if the stroke occurred in utero or just at birth but two days after birth we began to see his right arm and leg jerk. He was swifted into NICU and after many tests of all kinds, it was diagnosed that he had suffered a stroke from a blood clot. Since then our hopes for our second born changed but we didn’t stop living. We were reminded each day how life is short, that Max is our Miracle, and that we were not going to give up. We are very fortunate that early intervention quickly assisted us on what Max’s needs would be. I quit my already part-time job in human resources at the Venice Family Clinic that I absolutely loved to help support Max’s medical needs full-time. Plus my mother was not ready to take on the responsiblity of caring for a special needs infant. I also have Dean, my 4 year old at the time, who needed me, too. I prioritized what I needed to do for me and my family so that looking back I wouldn’t regret the decision I made. I know that I will have a future in hr again. I knew that I wouldn’t get back the early years of my kids. Since you wrote, did you make any changes or alter your focus?
I have kids and I am in the camp of no babies at weddings for several reasons.
1. The wedding day is not about you or your baby; it is about the bride and groom and their vision of what they want their day to be. Usually that vision does not include the potential of a child disrupting their ceremony, shifting the focus to the baby and off of the ceremony and the couple. I would be mortified if I was at a wedding (even my own sibling’s) and my child became disruptive in such an important event in the lives of the bride/groom, shifting the focus on us. How rude and embarrassing. No matter if you get up and take the child out or try to deal with it in your seat, people will still be distracted and looking at you instead of the ceremony at hand.
2. For babies, it is disruptive to their schedules (which for the baby is priority number one). Leave them home with a sitter or trusted friend, keep them on their schedule and free yourself for a few hours to relax and enjoy the event. Bringing baby to a wedding is a lot of work and can take away from you being able to fully enjoy the event. You could run home between ceremony/reception to do a quick feeding if needed, or have the sitter meet you somewhere with the child, and/or identify a place to pump, then return to the reception. It is essentially a free date for you and your spouse/partner. Take advantage of the bride/groom’s generosity in providing you a free meal. It is their day; let them have it how they want it.
3. For people who think someone’s wedding/reception is a good opportunity to show off their new baby to the larger family… How rude! You effectively just hijacked someone else’s event for your own agenda and made it about you instead of them. This is not your day to show off your new baby, as wonderful as he/she may be. This is the bride/groom’s day. If you want to show off your new bundle of joy, host your own event specifically dedicated to that purpose (you might even get gifts!) Then you can fully enjoy the spotlight being on you and the baby without detracting from someone else’s event.
Restaurants… Even if a child is well behaved they will likely be bored out of their mind at an adult-oriented place and not have anything on the menu they want to eat. I don’t understand why you’d even want to go to a place like that when there are so many other really great family-friendly options. Find another that allows kids, which you all can enjoy and have fun at. The selection is endless.
I just read this and thought it might help: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/08192011-what-to-say-to-parents-of-special-care-babies/
I, too, am always on the hunt for a good deal on children’s clothing. I have a boy entering second grade and a girl starting Kindergarten. We have recently become close friends with another family, who have a girl my son’s age, and a boy, close to my daughter’s age. Every season, we go through our closets and hand down clothing to each other’s children. This has saved me hundreds in rain boots, snow boots, snow pants, ski jackets, tennis skirts, plus your everyday clothing. Also, I shop at Children’s Orchard, http://childrensorchard.com/. They are a consignment shop that only takes higher-end clothing. I fair better for my daughter than for my son here. They also have a huge amount of clothing for infants and toddlers — the selection gets smaller as children age. But, on the bright side, a teen consignment boutique just opened in my town, so there’s hope for the future!
Love this case but I’m concerned the strap is a strangling hazard when the child is sleeping with the case.
Great grandmas must think alike! My mom said the same thing and plans to use an open drawstring type method instead.
If I were your friend, I’d want to know. And if you were my friend, I’d tell you.
Even though there were folks keeping an eye on the kiddos, as often happens at events like that, the sitter was responsible for both kids’ safety and well-being.
We LOVE grilled pizza. One of our favorite recipes (unfortunately only loved by the parents) is with arugula and fontina chesse. You put the cheese and arugula on at the end after both sides have been griiled. You make a huge pile of arugula – sometimes I use almost the whole pack. Close the lid and it wilts it. It’s amazing.
I have been thinking about the same thing as we get our daughter ready for Kindergarten. Since she’s riding the bus, I want her to know a phone number just in case there’s an issue. We decided on my cell phone number for the same reasons. I’m also planning to make an emergency contact card for her that we can tuck into a pocket in her backpack.
This post makes my heart hurt because I know exactly what you are going through. It happens to me every time my son has transitioned from one program to another in child care, and again when he started his public school preschool program. I’ve literally seen kids leave a table when he arrives at an activity because they don’t want to play with him and it breaks my heart. On the flip side, there is one child in particular that goes out of his way to make sure Max is included and that makes me want to cry too (for happy reasons). Someone will take a liking to her. There will be one kid who hangs back and plays board games instead of Tag or does something D can handle. As for peering into the classroom, schedule meetings with her teacher and/or team as often as you want to talk about her peer relationships (write them into her IEP so they have to happen). I’ve also had success emailing w/Max’s teachers and therapists and expressing my concerns about peer relationships. Regarding the hearing aids, I would find a children’s book that the teacher can share with the class, then include in the book area that may help explain why she wears them. OR, a child in Max’s program had his doctor come in and talk to the class about the child’s needs and the kids thought that was really cool. Child care to public school is a really hard transition for anyone, but throw in all the moving parts of special needs and it’s particularly stressful. BTW, I would totally follow the bus too. Good luck!
Thanks Green Mom! It makes me feel so much better to know that I’m not alone. I love the idea of the book and the guest speaker.
Very timely, thanks, will definitely check out the resource. My daughter just turned 7 year old and just asked what Patriot Day is (since it’s a holiday on our calendar) and I was pretty unprepared. We won’t be watching the live coverage with her – but I think it’s time she had a few of the facts.
“Words are both better and worse than thoughts, they express them, and add to them; they give them power for good or evil; they start them on an endless flight, for instruction and comfort and blessing, or for injury and sorrow and and ruin.”
So much fun and so cool she got a ball.
I feel your pain. But I have to say this, while you hear lots of stories of kids who put on underwear one day and never have an accident after that, for others, your kids and mine, potty training is a journey — often a long one. It’s now been almost two years since my daughter first seemed to be done potty training, and she still has accidents, sometimes daily. There have been periods over the course of these years that we have thought she was done, but now I think I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that she may just be one of those kids for whom her emotional response to situations, even into her schoolage years, will be to have an “accident.” The poop accidents do end sooner than pee. I promise. And if he seems really unable to control the poop, it is worth seeing if there’s something in his diet that’s causing it to be loose, which will make it harder for him to know it’s coming. We had to cut juice entirely out of my daughter’s diet, and it made an enormous difference. (And for what it’s worth, at least Target actually has really good clean public bathrooms.)
I feel your pain too. Wish there was a magic potion for this one but no such luck. You did an amazing job holding yourself together at the library.
I don’t know if the experts would agree, but I can tell you what eventually worked for us. I got a desirable toy with lots of individual pieces and put it next to the potty and told her every time she told us when she had to go potty we would let her pick a piece of the toy. In our case we got train tracks, cars and street signs. Every time it worked, she got to pick a small piece. After awhile she forgot about the toys and it was just second nature to tell us when she needed to go.
We are largely accident free. These days the accidents often happen in the bathroom because she didn’t leave enough time to get her pants down. Progress is progress.
Hello there! I’ve read something and tried it on my 1 yr and 7month old baby. Whenever I sit her on the pot (we were on vacation for 3months so we used regular pot, not a potty trainer) then after a Number 2, I bid goodbye to it as it was being flushed, she followed and said bye bye, it seems ridiculous, but you know how kids are when see an airpalne, they’re ever so eager to say goodbye to them. I guess that’s the psychology behind it. So after that she would really bring me to the bathroom for her chance to say byebye to her poop. =)
Some moms give a treat whenever their kids use the pot, whatever technique you use I think it will be twice as effective if they see your enthusiasm, I feel that my kids are proud of themselves when they make me happy. If they do someting good, I jump for joy or any exaggerated smile and tell them how happy I am for their achievement.
HI Green Mom,
As a mom and also a BH director I have literally seen thousands of children and parents go through this process. There are three things you can’t MAKE a child do. EAT, SLEEEP and GO POTTY We can encourage, suggest and play a lot of tricks, but in the end the child is the one with the control.
And that’s the whole problem. CONTROL. He has control and you don’t. That’s what’s causing your frustration. As a mother who had a child train at 19 months and another who didn’t until almost 4 I have experienced both ends of the spectrum. Luckily they are now 22 and 15 and both are not having any accidents, I am happy to report! Well, except for the 22 year old….but that’s with a car and a story for another time!
Something I told a set of parents at my center recently who were extremely frustrated with their son by his lack of interest, enthusiasm and focus on becoming fully free of diapers was overwhelming all of them. The problem was the parents wanted him to be trained, he of coure could have cared less about it. While he knew WHAT to do, HOW to do it and even WHEN and WHERE to do it, He just didn’t WANT to do it. The more the parents wanted it, the less he did. Together we came up with a plan to “let it go”. While hard for the parents, they just stopped asking, suggesting, etc about using the bathroom. While you are hesitant in going back to using diapers, it sounds to me like the effort, planning and thought you are putting into your day around his potty training is causing you significant stress. Why? He will eventually give up diapers and use the potty full time, I promise. He will not go to High School in diapers!
Children are always learning and growing and they do so at very different rates. As infants it’s easy to see that a children who is learning to walk doesn’t do a lot of talking because the brain is working on the walking so the language takes a back seat for short time. The same goes for 4 year olds. Right now your 4 year old maybe working on some other portion of his development. While not as obvious to us, children are VERY busy growing in so many ways. They are developing their personalities, learning language, growing muscles, etc. It’s not really a parent’s job to decide when a child’s body is ready for potty training (really don’t like that word, by the way). The only person doing the training is the child….he’s trainng YOU to remind him to go, change you daily plans around him, etc. Sound like he’s doing a good job at it too.
While you didn’t mention it in your blog post, I am sure there are friends and family members who have children who have potty trained successfully, which add more pressure and stress to your situation.
I could go on forever….but here’s my suggestion. Do some internet searches for “Potty Training Resistance” you will find a lot of great articles, which will tell you what I am trying to tell you here. Relax, put your son back in diapers and let HIM dicide when he’s ready. As soon as it becomes a NON-ISSUE like magic he will make the decision himself (along with his body and brain) and wa-la……potty trained!
I know this may be a mute question, but have you spoken to his pediatrician about his potty accidents? It could be something physical especially if he knows when he is going but just can’t seem to control it. Also, from the way you have said he talks he sounds younger than 4. Perhaps emotionally, maturity wise, he is just not ready. I recommend the thick training pants, not pull-ups, as these hold the urine without making a puddle and work as a diaper for the poop still allowing him to feel the wetness on his body, which is what I feel the key to potty training. He needs to feel successful as well in order to motivate more use of the potty. Positive re-enforcement for using the potty should be used as well. Do you have a sticker chart for him? Hang in somewhere at his level and every time he uses the toilet reward him with a sticker. When he uses the toilet, start with just pee, give him a sticker. Start slow, use the toilet once a day and get a sticker and maybe a small prize. (I found something as simple as a matchbox car worked). I was lucky to have boys who trained simply and early but I still used all of these techniques. Have faith! He won’t be going to 1st grade in diapers. He probably just needs a little more time. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions for potty training at night. My son just turned 4 and he can’t get through the night and cares less if he’s wet when he wakes up. I have tried to make him go in the middle of the night but he’s still wet. I try to cut down liquids but he cries that he’s sooo thirsty at night. I personally don’t want to wake up to take him to the bathroom a few times at night — am I pushing it, should I wait awhile, maybe he’s not ready or do I just suck it up and take him a few times throughout the night???
I suggest to parents that when the children still have trouble staying dry out of the home or center setting is to put a diaper on before leaving home or the center (after having the child use the bathroom before leaving). This takes away the concern that the child might have about using a public bathroom. Immediately upon arriving at the center or home, take the child to the bathroom and allow him to use it and take off the diaper. No more diapers until the next travel time. This takes away the stress of commuting where quick and easy access to the bathroom is not possible. Lots of times children will not inform a parent or teacher when he has to go. That is why it is necessary to “remind” the children to go frequently. Toilet learning is a continuum from total reliance on diapers (infants) to complete independent toileting. Four year olds are not necessarily ready to be completely independent. But they should take more responsibility. When possible (library experience not included in this, of course), you should require your child to take an active part in cleaning up any accidents that he may have. If you and the teacher rush in to help him take off his wet pants, clean him up, put on his dry clothes and clean up the mess on the floor, he does not have to take any responsibility for staying dry. He gets lots of attention for wetting (one-on-one time with you or the teacher). However, if you calmly and matter-of-factly take him to the bathroom, tell him to take off his wet clothes, instruct him to wipe or clean himself, and put on his clean clothes, he will find this less attractive. You and the teacher should stay near and assist as needed, but not do the work for him. Part of the incentive of staying dry is to avoid the inconvenience and bother of dealing with being wet. If someone else handles all the clean up, there is no need for him to stay dry. This is not to mean that he should have to clean up poop by himself. But wet pants are not that bad as long as he washes his hands very well. Be prepared for some resistance from him if you try this. He may refuse or whine that he can’t do it, but he can and he should. This is not really punishment, just logical consequences. “When you make a mess, you clean it up.” I would still take him to the bathroom regularly. If one hour is too long between tries, then cut back to 45 minutes. I would also give him some type of reinforcement for staying dry. For instance, you or the teacher could check in with him every hour. If he is dry, he gets a sticker. If he goes in the potty, he gets a sticker. Over time as he is more successful, the time between checks can become longer, every hour or 90 minutes. Stickers will soon give way to the more natural pride in his accomplishment when he can do it on his own. I would recommend talking to him about how his body feels just before he has a poop. Usually, bowel movements are easier for children to recognize and manage in the potty due to the typical regularity of when they occur and the relative strength of the sensation preceding the movement. If he has a problem with loose bowels or real uncontrolled urgency, you may want to discuss it with his pediatrician. My son had difficulty with fatty food (so we stopped french fries and pizza for awhile). He is 29 years old now and still has to watch what he eats but he was able to manage it since he was about 9 years old when we figured it out. Good luck! Remember, almost every child accomplishes this task by the time they go to kindergarten.
Hi there — I feel the same way! My son is in Pre-K this year and was in preschool last, so I just made a BIG deal of the day after labor day, when the “camp portion” of day care ended and the “school portion” started. I took a picture of him, made gifts for the teachers, etc. FUN.
Wow! Thank you for all of the encouragement and feedback. Debbie, you’re right. I do need to have him do more in the way of cleaning up when he has accidents. I think that may help since he hates washing his hands after using the toilet, I can only imagine how annoyed he’d be if he had to change his own clothes/clean up.
Lorraine, you are right too. He is developmentally a bit younger than 4 because of some delays. Perhaps I did feel pressure because of his chronological age (and the fact that he was putting his hands in poop soiled diapers) and put him in underwear too quickly.
Knowing how he has achieved other skills thus far, I know that putting him back in diapers isn’t the right idea. I’m going to do my very best to remain calm, have him clean himself up more and stock up on underwear!
My son is only 2 years old I say the same thing at his daycare. No juice and only food from home. So when my kid goes to school we have to supply those tissues and wipes?
I’m sure you don’t have to supply those things at every school, though I think it’s pretty commonplace for teachers to send home wish lists.
At orientation we had to bring paper towels and wipes to the kindergarten room, and ziplock bags and napkins to the extended day room!
Happened to me this morning. Sometimes I have a snack for him in my bag if the wait is going to be long. I also put his order in right away, even if my husband and myself have not decided on what to eat. Recently I bought a small dry erase board that he can use to draw, doodle or practice his letters. I’ll bring that to the restaurant so he can use it while we are waiting for the food. It seems to be a good distraction and he’s enjoying writing.
The resources from our last Webinar might have something to help you: http://www.brighthorizons.com/healthyeaterwebinar.
I would love to go to a restaurant that didn’t bring my daughter’s food out so super hot. We also bring snacks and put her order in right away. And it comes out scalding hot. So even worse than waiting for the food is waiting for the food to COOL DOWN….
Try cous cous. It’s a perfect first pasta. It’s easy to make, comes in a variety of flavors, & it’s already in small pieces so you don’t have to cut it. My boys (8 & 6) still love it so now it makes a perfect side dish to almost any meal. 🙂
My son gagged on everything cheerios, puffs, fruits, vegetables everything no matter how small. I almost gave up on him until one day we were eating spaghetti and I gave him some without cutting it up just to play with while we ate. He ate it like it was going out of style! He sucked up the noodles like a pro. After that he ate just about everything. I think he just wasn’t ready until then. After that I just cut up what we were eating and let him try it.
We made peach pepper jelly this year. Fantastic.
I worry about this all the time because my daughter has an October birthday and will be starting Kindergarten at a much older age than her peers. However, I am happy that her new Bright Horizons Pre-Kindergarten classroom is stimulating her learning more this year in preparation. It has helped relieve some of the worry for me as I hear her enthusiasm each night about the cool learning things they did during the day.
I have no advice, but I hate potty training, too!
We bought a cheap one from a local bike shop but my son isn’t overly enthused over it yet; he has his moments in between obsessing over hockey 🙂
I think we’ll get him a Strider bike because of the small foot pegs and that might get him interested again.
Such a great reading with a very interested audience. You did a fabulous job Cooking Mom!
spectacular! Thanks so much Cooking Mom, the children had so much fun!
Enjoy the cuddles!
I am right here with you – only I have 6 weeks or less (my midwife also is preparing me for an early delivery.) I have thought about what if my replacement at work does a better job than me, but with the same thought, I ponder what life would be like to just focus on being a parent without the need to balance work and life – maybe because I know this our last baby and I want to soak up as much time with my girls before they grow up.
I, too, have a list of baby projects, but here is the beautiful reality, we will have these miraculous little new people in our lives and like everything else, we will push forward and make it all work – why? Because we LOVE being parents and we have eachother to lean on!
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I can totally relate!! My next little one is due in 3 weeks. I haven’t put his clothes into his drawers yet, haven’t gotten the baby bath out of the attic, and the list goes on… But having been through this twice before I too am comforting myself with the knowledge that it all works out. At some point we get to have the cutest little bundle in our arms and somehow all the other stuff gets done or we realize it really didn’t need to get done. As for work, it pales in comparison once the bundle of joy arrives. Instead of wondering what’s my boss thinking right now, I was too busy wondering what was going through my munchkin’s tiny little head. Hang in there, your bundle of joy will be here soon!
Muno! Red sweat pants and shirt, cut out circles of red felt and pin on to the ensemble. Then big white circle in the middle for his eye. May incorporate a hat in the mix if he is feeling it. Then I can reuse the clothes for the fall/winter. I am not a fan of clunky outfits for toddlers…as cute as they may be.
Last year I just got one of the “outfit” tshirts at Target to look like a leather jacket, spiked his hair and put skinny jeans on him. Punk rocker was a hit!
we play go fish with the different colored sugar packets and then tic tac toe with them.
I love your blog! Thanks for commenting.
We have homemade Muno, Brobee, DJ Lance and Foofa outfits all ready to go, but I will be stealing your punk rock outfit as a backup in case someone won’t wear their original costume.
Also, lots of Apple Cake recipes are naturally free of dairy. Great for kids with milk allergies. Here’s one good one. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/german-apple-cake-i/detail.aspx
Thanks for that nice pic re; Steve Jobs. It seems so extra sad when a one of a kind is taken too young.
She is showing a sense of compassion, which is wonderful. She’ll make the connection of how to effectively give back in a way that helps. Our kids join us at the grocery store so it is no wonder they think they’ll take the cans and “sell them.” Once when my son accompanied me to a Good Will drop off he said, “Why can’t we sell the clothes/toys in a yard sale like x family(insert neighbor’s name) and can I keep the money?” I had to explain again that we are a fortunate and grateful family and that we will share our gently used items with other families that need the support.
This year, he is so excited to collect for UNICEF and tells me that he wants to help other kids that don’t have clean water to drink.
Like anything else, we just keep communicating our messages and values and model the behavior. They’ll catch up. I am sure of it.
Good for you, News Mom! Keep trying…It may not completely sink in now, but eventually it will sink in! Thanks for the humor, though.
I think I’d also warn the school that there may be civil liability on their part for failure to keep her child safe. Peanut allergies are scary!
Congratulations! what a lovely family.
I am so looking forward to sharing your journey from here onwards. Specially the dynamics of being a professional and a mom.
You are wrirting my story as well. I gave upon scrapbooks and did almost the exact thing you did. I don’t have 2 scrapbooks but like that idea of one being specifically for art. Thanks!
When Max was in the hospital for a week, we did want visitors. All you’ll be doing is staring at your little guy and the monitors so you’ll want a distraction. However, the docs might not want visitors to reduce the spread of germs so ask them first. Bring magazines and things to browse through…books are too hard to stop and start all the time. We also played music quietly on our iPods to keep the mood light (or to try to). Wear comfy clothes, and pick up some hospital appropriate pjs/clothes (ex yoga pants) to “sleep” in if you’re planning to stay there at night. Bring water, hand cream and chapstick…the air is really dry. Throw some food in your bag for pre-op, but they should ask you what he eats and provide all that. Bring some snacks for yourselves though. He won’t need his own clothes. He’ll likely have leads stuck to him so they’ll put him in baby scrubs or hospital gowns (that will be HUGE on him) but that open easily so they can check everything. If you use special soap on him or anything you might want to bring that too since they may give him sponge baths. Max was in the hospital for a week and Ben had day surgery and both times we were amazed how quickly they bounced back. Good luck!
Green Mom, thank you so much for all the tips. I hadn’t even thought about the hospital appropriate PJs issue, even though I know I’ll be sleeping for a night or two. All your insight is so valuable. I appreciate it.
My daughter was in the hospital for a couple of days when she was a month old. While the hospital gown was nice because all the wires and things fit better since it was fairly open and easy to get on and off, the detergent that the hospital uses really irritated her skin and she got a mild rash. So perhaps see if there’s a little gown or something (maybe even a sleep sack?) that you can use that is washed in your own laundry soap, particularly if your son has sensitive skin.
I couldn’t agree with you more! I have a “perfect” family of a girl and a boy, but that doesn’t make one I grew up in – with 5 girls and no boys — any less perfect. I couldn’t stand it when people would find out I was one of five girls and then say “your poor father” — and neither could he. And there are many perfect families with one children, 9 kids, or none.
Agreed. A perfect family is one that loves and supports each other no matter what. It is not defined by age, gender or numbers.
Sometimes people are so rude without thinking it through. I have twins and I can’t tell you how many times I heard “double trouble”. My usual snarky reply was something like, “I’m sorry your kids are trouble…mine are pure joy.”
I have one husband, one human child and lots of hairy animal children. I am constantly hearing from others,”When are you having another one? That would make it even and perfect.” Can you imagine, “even and perfect?” People are just dopey sometimes, and Ruth is right, they just don’t think.
It sounds like your transition is off to a really great start AND that you have figured out much of what took many of us much longer! 🙂
yes i did try it, even though i was against the whole idea. i tried it because one night she was cring for no reason so i put her in her crib and let her cry it out. The first night it took 50 min, the second 50 min, the next was 10 if even that and then we were happy to be sleeping full nights. Even her naps became very scheduled and longer. Now my problem is that it was just barely a week of successful sleeping and now she is sick with a cold. My instinct tells me to soothe her but her sleep has returned back to its regular waking 3X, im just wondering if it will go back to normal later. Have you experienced this or do you have any suggestions? Please help i need some encouragement.
I am in the exact same boat with you. Scared to death of co-sleeping. We had a lot of TV public service announcements in my state that made it even more scary, including one where the Dad comes in with the camcorder to record his wife and new baby on the couch, sleeping. . . the mom wakes up, but the baby does not. I just couldn’t co-sleep and we also placed the bassinet next to our bed.
I’m a big believer in “do whatever works”. Yes, there is a potential for danger when you co-sleep with your baby. However, a parent who hasn’t slept in days because the baby won’t let them also presents a host of dangers as well due to inattention.
With our first, we ended up co-sleeping on and off with him since it was the only way for anyone in our house to get ANY sleep. We’d reached the point we were too stupid to remember to put a diaper back on after a change or understand why we were so wet. Something needed to change before we got any worse. He now is four, survived co-sleeping, and happily sleeps in his own bed without issue. I don’t regret it. We did what we had to to survive.
Our second son doesn’t have the issues our first did. And we don’t find ourselves as worried either (I don’t do breath checks. I sleep like a log). He sleeps in his bed or swing and there is no need to co-sleep.
Thanks for this post…I am pregnant and with our first child, my husband was home. With this little one, we will start day care at 13 weeks and I am really nervous…reading your post has helped!
I think campaigns like this take a low road and rely on fear where they could be educating families about an issue that is 1) incredibly common and 2) a personal and cultural value. Most families outside the United States cosleep and don’t kill their children. It is possible to cosleep in a way that is safe, and , when done safely, cosleeping is correlated to lower rates of SIDS and higher breastfeeding success. There is a wealth of good information available through the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at Notre Dame.
Safety guidelines http://cosleeping.nd.edu/safe-co-sleeping-guidelines/
And information for medical professionals http://cosleeping.nd.edu/what-every-health-professional-should-know/
My husband and I coslept with our son from the day he came home until he was about 9 months old (standing), and would not trade it for anything.
I love the idea of coupons. We just stuffed our “Christmas House” full of candy last night, but next year I’m going to steal your coupon idea.
Thanks for the personal insights on this topic everyone and the links Saima. Education is key when it comes to parenting decisions. I entirely agree that it is a personal decision and families need to do what works best for their situation. We’ve already switched up our “routine” at 6 weeks and I’m sure it will change again as Owen continues to grow and we discover what works best for our and his needs.
We decided not to co-sleep because I just could relax with my baby next to me (too anxious about turning around and sleeping on him), so bought a Chicco play yard and the MamaDoo Kids mattress topper and had our son sleep in our room next to our bed and it was wonderful. Everyone slept great!
I’m in the “I Hate Pumping” boat too! I’ve been pumping every day since Owen was born (6 weeks ago) to bring in my supply and keep it going. I’m down to 1-2x per day for 10 minutes each session. I dread going back to work in a few weeks when pumping is going to be multiple times a day for longer sessions. I’m also worried that my supply will diminish after all the hard work I had to do to get it going. Augh! But I do it because I know it’s good for my little one. We’ll have to lend support to each other through this.
HAHAHA – I love it! It’s right up there with a conversation my family had a few months back. We just learned a neighborhood restaurant had too long of a wait. My husband jokingly says, “Looks like we’ll have to go to McDonald’s” which my daughter has never eaten at. My daughter replies, “Cool! We’re going to the farm.” I guess Old MacDonald would be proud.
I’m in the same boat, I’d rather be feeding a baby than a pump, but I also look at it from the perspective that it’s a nice little break I get to take from the work day. I take my pumping time as a moment to regroup, relax and decompress from whatever else has been going on at work. I think about how wonderful it is that I get to take some time away from my desk and “connect” with my baby, albeit through a machine. I’m thinking about my LO, and that also helps with let down. Another key is to make sure you have a “hands free device” (like a pumping bustier) so that you can read or multi-task. Sometimes I just sit back and close my eyes, which is also nice!
I hate it too! I’ve been back to work for 3 weeks and still dread it every day. I try to pump at 10 and 2 and always end up having a meeting scheduled during that time. Half the days I just forget to pump and end up so full that I have to pump at the end of the day and give the baby another bottle instead of getting to nurse her when I get home. And then cleaning all the pump gear and bottles…don’t get me started!
I’m sorry to hear you all hate pumping too but it’s nice to know that I’m not alone!
I thought it might be helpful to gather tips and tricks from pumping moms so I started a conversation on the Online Community: http://community.brighthorizons.com/t5/Infant/Tips-for-Pumping-at-Work/m-p/2598#M110
Please add anything that has worked for you!
I didn’t go to any even though I really wanted to. We were having a party for my son that day so I was busy preparing for it. But I still feel guilty as I love supporting small businesses. Maybe next year.
You can and should be practical! That is the same thing I told my daughter last Christmas, her son was 2 months old. You could also buy toys/items for him to grow into, we have found those items are great to pull out later in the year. He had diaper ointment, sippy cups and sunscreen in his Easter basket as well as a few fun things.
Yes, practical is best 🙂 As a mom of three I’ve learned that our presents to the children need to be more practical because with three sets of Grandparents buying toys, toys and more toys and us in a small house we get over run. I wish I had thought about this when the children were little. I’m a first time Aunt this Christmas and unlike some who think it’s funny to buy loud obnoxious toys I bought him a little outfit, a board book, and a train that he can push along the floor and I may make some cloth blocks if I get the time. In a season where the main reason of Christmas is overlooked – practical is sometimes best.
I have six siblings. Every year we got a package of socks from Santa. We knew it was coming, and it was exciting to guess which present contained our socks. The one year our parents (Santa) did not get us socks, we all comaplained and had to wear old socks. I am completely serious. Now that I am an adult, I think that practical gifts are the only way to go. Not that toys and leisure gifts can’t be given because their practicallity comes in the educational and recreational factor. 🙂
Totally go practical… My daughter is 4 this year and we still don’t go overboard. We don’t want to set ourselves up to have to do it every year. Wait until they start learning from their friends and then worry about it! Until then you enjoy setting the pace!
I think that homemade soaps and special treat packages like you’ve planned are totally different than the standard lotion gift set or box of chocolates. Not that there’s anything wrong with those gifts, but a homemade gift that you’ve obviously put such thought and effort into is totally different. As a former teacher at a child care center, I would have loved to receive either of those options that you’ve planned! I’m sure everyone will enjoy them 🙂
Please no department store gift packs. No candy filled mugs. No egotistical photo ornaments of your child. No dust collectors. Gift cards for restaurants and department stores are great. As for the cost, remember your child’s teacher is the second most important person for his or her care, growth, and development, and should be at the top of your gift list.
Homemade cookies or other things can be very well received. Far better than cheap store gift boxes. And handwritten notes on a card detailing your appreciation are treasured, just also send the same sentiments in a letter to the teacher’s supervisor.
Definately embrace the pracitcal. My daughter will be getting flannel sheets from santa this year. A few toys along with toothpaste, shampoo and socks are what Santa gifts are all about!
I agree, the homemade soaps and treats are a different story. They are going to love all of it!
We love cards! Pictures of the kids and just knowing we are doing a great job is very rewarding.
Don’t worry about it. Christmas is not about stressing on what to give but sharing the love. Give what you can.
Thanks for the reassurance! So glad to hear that I can stay practical for years to come 🙂
We delivered our ice cream sundae baskets to the teachers yesterday and this morning one said, “Thank you so much for the great sundae basket. You don’t see nice thoughtful homemade gifts like that anymore”. Gift success!
I returned to work at 4 months for both my kids and pumped every day until both kids were about a year (I continued nursing until 15 months with my daughter but my son literally refused to nurse indefinitely on his 1st birthday). I have some great stories of why I hated pumping but I also LOVED what it stood for. I look back and am so proud of what I accomplished. Who says you can’t do it all? Nursing/Pumping/Working full-time – you are amazing women!! And don’t worry, those of you pumping twice during work will soon only be pumping once and before you know it, you will only pump in the morning and then it will be over and you will be sad…for a moment. The real challenge I found with pumping at work was cleaning the bottles and pump afterward. That is quite the experience in a crowded community kitchen!
As a preschool teacher and a coach, we are so appreciative to recieve gifts that keep on giving…Walmart and Target Superstores are great! So are the gift cards to the department stores at the local mall. Even a trip to a get a massage or pedicure is great to rejuvenate over the holidays. Good hand creams are awesome too! We love the mugs, homemade cookies and treats but include a gift card to make us really feel like an important factor of the growth and development of your child!
Best resolution I’ve heard this year! Be sure to include Brown Bear Brown Bear and Sheep in a Jeep in your rotation. 🙂
What perfect timing! The latest eFamily News discusses reading to infants and toddlers.
That’s great inspiration! I am not currently a runner, but once upon a time in my 20s I took up running. I too started out mixing up the running and walking, and eventually just found myself bored during my walking segment. I eventually worked up to 5 mile runs. (I am now back down to 0.)If you’re not concerned with speed, just keep trucking. I have a friend who is a true runner whose best advice to me was to always think you can run one more step. Don’t try to make it to the end of the block or the next tree. Just try to take one more step at a time.
And welcome to the blog!
Love your strategy but I think I’ll keep walking. I love my morning river walks. I’m looking forward to your organization tips.
Thanks for the inspirational post. I was working out quite regularly until last summer when I had some minor surgery. That gave me a “get out of the gym” pass for 6 weeks, and it’s been hard to go back ever since. I started yesterday in a Zumba class and now, ache all over. However, it’s a good ache and I’m committed. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts! Welcome to the blog.
Hope he’s feeling better! My daughter spent her first Christmas crying most of the day. She was about 3 weeks old and I never figured out why she was so upset. My mother, husband and I spent about hours trying to get things under control. We’d get short moments of peace and then she’d start up again – after lots of tears (from my mother, daughter and me!) she finally calmed down. The pictures of our first Christmas as a family of 3 in front of the tree are funny to look back on now – my husband looks exhausted, my eyes are red and puffy, and our daughter is sound asleep.
Love the bouncy balls! I’m totally ‘pinning’ that as a goody bag idea for birthday parties.
Love the article about visiting a new baby. My favorite gift to bring to new parents is packages of batteries – AA and C. It seems like most baby things need batteries and there’s nothing worse than not having fresh batteries for the baby swing!
Unfortunately, it’s not just in politics. It’s careers in general. I know if I didn’t have children I would definitely have more time for my career and probably be moving more in an upward motion. In fact I was just discussing with a friend the other night that as a mom, you sort of put your career on hold – whether by choice or by misconceived notions from those who can lead you to the top. The question becomes, how and when do you relaunch with the least amount of impact your children? Wait too long and you could miss your career opportunity window but I certainly wouldn’t want to miss being able to embrace and cherish these moments with my kids either. I’ve watched my husband’s career soar past mine and it’s certainly not because I don’t think we’re equally as capable. The reality is, as women, we tend to take on a different role once we have children, in most cases by choice but not without pondering the “what if’s”.
I found this incredibly interesting…especially since I just started a blog about my new year’s resolution as a mom (resolutionmom.wordpress.com) It’s comforting to know there’s a lot of us feeling the same way. P.S. The book that worked best with son when he was an infant as opposed to my 2 daughters was, “I Love You Because You’re You.” Good luck!
Don’t think its just politics. Even in a career like mine, where most of the work is “out of office” hours, I have seen many of my colleagues giving up on their careers to be full time mums. Some careers might allow for part time work, but then, its often cheaper to be at home then py for the babysitter.
Andrea and Mary, points well taken. I think there’s a difference here though. On the one hand, moms in many industries might wonder if they’d have gotten farther up the ladder by now if it weren’t for their choices as moms.
On the other hand, there are still some industries that clearly remain impossible for moms — at least moms of babies and young children — from participating in the way this post describes. And in politics, the impact is more far-reaching than we might realize.
I breastfed both of my children and avoided doing so in public. At malls I either nursed in my car, in dressing rooms or in higher end department store restrooms (which are generally a nice place to nurse as they have couches). I actually did a lot of nursing in my car when I would go out – sometimes sitting in the front seat and covering my baby or when it was hot out, I would sit in the back seat since I had tinted windows. Often I have music on to help relax my baby.
I was and am an advocate for breastfeeding but feel I can do that just as well by talking about it vs. putting it openly in people’s faces. When I was still nursing, I went out to lunch once with a friend who started nursing in the middle of our meal. I was offended but not bold enough to say anything. What offended me what that I was eating my lunch but my view was her breast. I can understand why some people would be offended by women openly nursing in public. I think that has the potential to be just as discouraging to future moms, if not more so, then seeing a mom using a chic cover-up.
I nursed both my children and will my third. I will say that when I had my first I was a lot more timid about where I nursed him. If I was in public I would often retreat to the car or hide out in a private space. When I had my second it was very different, he was in the NICU for 11 days and I had to pump to feed. We were displaced in DC and I found myself pumping anywhere to keep my supply up so I could nurse him when he got out. I became less ashamed of the process and would feed him in public if needed after that, covered of course. I also nursed both of them at their child care once a day in their classroom, in front of teachers and other parents. Sometimes sitting in the hall where anyone could see. I think breastfeeding is a private bond that you share with your child but I also think that I shouldn’t have to worry about offending other people because that was my choice. It’s one of the most natural things, I wish more people would be more accepting of the process.
Great post GreenMom
I always used a cover when nursing in public or among friends & family (except my husband of course). I didn’t hesitate to do so, and I didn’t seek out a private spot in a restroom or my car rather than sit on a picnic bench or in the middle of a mall.
I think I would’ve been less likely to stick with nursing had I felt pressured to do so without a cover. And I think I’d be uncomfortable with a friend nursing in public without a cover. You might be nursing, but you’re still topless.
LOVE THIS! We are on the same page on this issue. I really couldn’t care less about “academic learning” with the 3 and under crowd. At this age, the real learning is through social situations, exploration and problem solving. I am visiting several centers in the coming weeks (making some changes in our life and exploring some options) and I’m really interested to explore this topic, in particular!
Lack of personal accountability is, unfortunately, a lesson that kids in America are learning across the board. Why would Paula Deen change the way that she cooks delicious food that millions of people love when there is medication to keep her alive? For most people, this would come at a significant expense (insurance, cost of medication, etc.), but that doesn’t matter when you are paid handsomely to take the medication. It’s unfortunate that she’s chosen the pay day instead of taking charge of her own health. Then again, for those of us seeking to instill a sense of personal accountability in our children, it only means that we have to seek out better role models. Jamie Oliver, anyone? http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/home
I LOVE the idea for preserving holiday cards, especially photo cards. Thank you for posting this! This seems reasonable enough to do even with a baby in the house 🙂 I may even try to do with birthday cards and other special occassion cards.
Interesting perspective. I had a different take on it. I guess I feel that not everyone has an obligation to make their personal health or family issues a public cause. The fact that there is a connection between her health issue and her career doesn’t obligate her to act in a certain way. No one elected her. Choose to watch her show or don’t. But blaming her for not using her bully pulpit to me is like blaming an actor in a violent movie for not advocating for gun control. It may be noble if she chooses to do it, but it’s not a requirement to my mind.
Great post Green Mom!
I couldn’t agree with you more. I also think state licensing agencies need to revisit their regulations. Here in Massachusetts the regulations seem excessively restrictive when it comes to keeping children inside, especially in cold weather.
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YES!! I had my second child in July, so when a month back to work & I was breastfeeding, my boss had a death in the family & I had to travel sooner than planned. Brought on all sorts of stress/panic that never existed. A single colleague joked because 3 levels of bosses thanked me for “taking one for the team” of which he couldn’t get over they would thank me for traveling to an amazing city (Seattle) with a gorgeous room over looking the bay, celebrating an accomplishment. And while it was a bit silly to get thanked, it felt like an emotional chore, even if for one morning I didnt have to wake at 6… I still did.
While I’m not a mom, I can totally relate. A few years ago I went through a period of significant weight loss and found healthy living/cooking/weight loss blogs to be a huge support system. I wanted an outlet to talk about the things I was experiencing and to interact with others going through the same things–but didn’t necessarily want to talk about it with my friends or people I was seeing on a day to day basis. Whether it be because they couldn’t relate, or because I just didn’t want to be talking about my diet all of the time (people hate that), I needed a ‘new’ group of people to connect with. I found that through blogging, I could address what I was experiencing on my own terms as you mentioned, and I definitely found comfort and a sense of empowerment in that. It really did make me happy.
I’ve finally come to the realization that taking time to get well means more productive days than struggling through sick for weeks. So, now, when I don’t feel well (migraines are my thing) I get rallied enough to get the kids to daycare and then go home to bed. Sometimes my husband can do pick up, which gives me another hour or two, but usually eight hours of rest gives me enough time to get back to school pick the kids up. Then, it’s a movie/easy night and to bed early. Your health is worth the “inconvenience” to your employer.
I don’t have this issue so much with my mom, but I see it constantly with my sister-in-law, now that she’s a grandmother. Her daughter clearly values her help and sometimes her advice, but also often struggles with what seems to be her mother’s dated guidance at times. In the end, your parents know the same thing about you as your brother said of them, “the results speak for themselves.” Presuming they love Liam and think he’s wonderful, I think it’s safe to assume that they give you credit and think you’re a wonderful mom, even if you don’t always take their advice.
Thanks News Mom.
This eFamily News article also has some great advice for parents and grandparents.
My kids are almost 3 and 5 and we still struggle sometimes with their grandparents understanding our choices for them. We primarily have to discuss our food choices and help them understand why we eat organic/all natural and why we don’t want our kids to snack all day just because it’s there (especially on processed food or cupcakes). It’s all out of love for their grandchildren, but as parents we make choices for a reason and it’s not because we don’t love our kids. It’s because we do that we make those choices and all we can do is help OUR parents understand and respect that.
When I was a Mom (rather than a Grandma) my parents always used to tell me what a good Mom I was. Those comments gave me such a feeling of confidence about my parenting. I try to do the same for my kids now. Turns out that sometimes as a Grandma you should bite your tongue if you want your children to be successful.
I have also found that blogging makes me happy. Like you, I started with a new baby – for similar reasons. I wanted to tell stories, and share pictures – but sometimes, when you’re up at 4am, it isn’t like you can just phone and talk to someone!
My husband recently mentioned to me, “You need a hobby!” – – and I realized that blogging (which I hadn’t been doing in quite some time) is a hobby – and one that helps me keep things in perspective! For the new year, I’ve decided to post (or attempt to post) 350 times during the year – almost daily! In February, I’m posting about socks every day of the month (since that just happens to be something I’m passionate about). I will soon (two weeks or so?) be a mom of two – and I’m hoping the new baby helps provide some of that inspiration and spirit that helps me enjoy life!
I love your posting, I also use Bright Horizons but for back-up only for now.
I wish my center has the shared office space like yours!
Thanks Kathy! Being a working mom is a struggle and I definitely feel extremely lucky to have Bright Horizons helping me to do it better. I hope the back-up care benefit helps you in this area as well.
We had a similar first birthday party situation for Max where we kind of wanted to celebrate the struggle he’d been through that year (and let’s face it, we’d been through that struggle too). We had it much easier though becuase his birthday is in the summer so we just had a festive bbq outside. We also asked for no gifts and most people obliged, but I really love the donation idea. If you didn’t want to ask for money you could ask people to bring a toy or blanket or book that you can then donate. Most Child Life departments have an area of the hospital website where they list what they need. For location can you find some kind of casual restaurant that will rent out a small room– that’ll solve the food question too? Good luck, I’ve always felt lucky that both my kids have summer birthdays…seems so much easier to plan.
Enforcing new foods to school lunch’s is not a bad idea, but honestly I don’t feel its going to make a significant difference in childhood obesity. To tackle obesity you have to educate. You have to educate the parents as well as the kids in school. Talk to your kids of the better choices of foods and tell them why they are better. The kids will still have an opportunity to choose foods from home, outside of home, or even the vending machines. Educating the kids will help them make the better decision on their own. Eating healthy is a lifestyle. You can’t force it upon others.
While pizza will be a “vegetable” because of the tomato sauce, and french fries because they are potatoes, there are limits on the amount of saturated fat and calories that can be served at each meal. So the french fries would most likely need to be baked to meet fat restrictions (shall we call them french “bakes?”). There will also be a limit to the number of servings of starchy vegetables served each week, so that will limit the number of potato products (as well as peas, corn and lima beans). This chart is a little cryptic but pretty helpful:
You’re very right, Green Mom, that it’s up to us as parents to teach our kids. I always smile when my kid asks for a piece of fruit, but still have to be strong in saying “No” to a second cookie, when it’s just easier to say “Yes!”
The state of school lunches in the USA leaves something to be desired thats for sure. x
Hello – I am a fellow Bright Horizon’s mom and also run my own online children’s boutique. I make every piece myself. My shop consists of handmade tutus, onsies, t-shirts, hair accessories & more. Check out my website for more details 🙂
This article rings so true for myself! I recently had a conversation with my mom where about 75% of the conversation was criticism from her about how we parent our 10 month old son. Since he was born, I’ve felt a definite change to our dynamic and it’s sad. We also sometimes struggle with my mother in law. She wants to feed our son things we are not okay with. So far we’ve brushed it off but it can be stressful. We are just trying to remind them there is more than one way to raise a child and we’re just trying to do our best.
A great option for kids movies is Kidtoons. You can find info at http://www.kidtoonfilms.com. One weekend each month they show a different kids movie. They’re typically an hour long and are often just special episodes of TV shows. But they’re totally appropriate for young kids. Tickets are $3.50 for kids and adults, and there’s often something extra at the theater, like a balloon animal guy. You can find participating theaters in their web site. We’ve seen the Super Why movie, Olivia Christmas special, and one other I can’t recall. Yes, it’s often something you could also see on TV, but it makes it a real theater experience and a great thing to do to get out of the house on a cold or rainy day.
Not sure I’ve been been quiet so proud of my generally curmudgeonly daughter than to see her express such genuine affection for her friend Max.
Yes, you will sleep again–in about 3 years. So grab naps when you can. Don’t be shy about asking friends and family to watch your little sweetheart while you nap. Sleep when the baby sleeps. It does get better, but it takes a while. Hang in there!
Your hubby is helping, right? My hubby had to cook, clean up after dinner, and do all of the grocery shopping when our children were just babies. We both worked. I pumped 4 times a day with our first and breastfed the rest of the time. It was hard work. He made the lunches too. I basically focused on the baby while he took care of feeding us. When the second baby came around, he was feeding three of us while I focused on feeding baby number 2. 🙂
Oh…and my children both went to a Bright Horizons Center…..Awesome place.
I had a similar experience with a chain fondue restaurant. We did not have our kids with us but were greeted with the “Do you have a reservation” question. We did not but could clearly see at least 25 tables that were open. The hostess sighed heavily, shook her head and the waiter behind her laughed at us. On our receipt we received a survey which I did complete. The next day I received a call from the owner of the restaurant. I explained how put off I was with the way I was greeted and treated as we arrived at her restaurant. The answer I got was, “That is what I tell them to do and it seems fine to me.” Needless to say, we have not been back.
Not napping like I did on my maternity leave. Boy do I miss those days now! But that’s my plan for tomorrow when my husband is taking my 5-year old skiing. My husband has been doing a lot but definitely not as much as your husband, Kristin. *jealous!* The breastfeeding and pumping has got to be the toughest part of being a working mom. I already had low supply so there’s no slacking off there. 3 years is right around the corner! 🙂
To this day, I still keep a toothbrush holder in my purse filled with bendy straws. I don’t know why more restaurants, especially kid friendly restaurants, don’t have bendy straws but they are essential IMO when dining out with kids.
One other thing to consider re: the cost of online grocery ordering is time spent. After one has done this on a few occasions, completing an online order can be done in about 20 minutes. Compare that to the time spent driving to the store, shopping, and driving back. Now take your annual salary and divide by 2080 to get a rough estimate of your ‘hourly wage’. Are you spending more time actually shopping in person than you would be by paying the small fee for delivery? It is this rationalization that has helped my wife and me determine which things we outsource/automate versus what we don’t. Less time doing long tasks = more time with the kids.
Day care! What would we do without Bright Horizons?
We don’t have a car, so grocery delivery is great…but even better is delivery of baby essentials. Diapers.com is a godsend–free overnight delivery for everything from diapers to formula to medication to clothes? Fantastic for those of us in city apartments without lots of storage for big box trips.
This is my first time on a blog believe it or not. i am a single mother working fulltime. I was setting up backup care on bright horizon web site and ended up here. i am going to try peo pod for grocery delivery. My biggest challenge is what to make for dinner that is easy and tastes good.
I guess what I want to ask…would you be willing to share an example of a “weekly dinner menu?” or recipes? My daughter is 6 she just started kindergarden.
Thank you, lorena
Hi Lorena! Happy to provide your with some ideas. I just posted a lengthy response on the Bright Horizons Community. Hopefully you find some ideas to inspire you: http://community.brighthorizons.com/t5/Health-Safety-Nutrition/Dinner-Menu-Ideas/m-p/3052#M191
The cleaning is the part that overwhelms me. I can manage on little sleep, although i’m not as productive as I was pre-baby. But coming home everyday to dirty dishes, noticing that the kitchen needs to be vacuumed (again?!) and folding the laundry is enough to push a sane person over the edge. It’s also frustrating when you can’t finish the task in front of you because you do need to spend time cuddling and playing with the baby. I love my family, but it’s overwhelming me at the moment.
This is next on my list of things to do! My son is just about ready to sit on his own any day now and I’m sure he’ll be moving around before we know it!
I find Pinterest to be a perfect tool for a working mom. It lets me quickly organize/save the cool things that I want to do and make but may not have the time to right now so when I do find the time, I know exactly where it is.
I think this is our best Friday Links yet. Such great stories!
i couldn’t agree more! i wrote a post about this on forbes.com a couple of days ago. here is the link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeswomanfiles/2012/03/07/bringing-up-bebe-no-thanks-id-rather-raise-a-billionaire/
Pinterest is a good tool for saving things. The only problem that I have with it is that there is no privacy. I cant save some of the things I would like to since everyone would be able to see them. I found another site that offers me the privacy im looking for and a couple other cool features, its called Clipix. Other than saving pictures, I am also able to save articles about parenting and even upload documents. It is the perfect tool for saving absolutely everything.
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Lots of good things to think about and it’s never even occurred to me that I need to decide these things!
My husband was saying that next year our (now 6 month) baby can go to Buffalo Wild Wings with him next year to “watch” March Madness. He said he would have beer and the baby would have diet coke. Um, what? You can’t give our 1.5 yr old son diet coke! Yikes, we have a lot to discuss as this all comes up…
I have been using pinterest for a month or so primarily as a way to promote our library programs. (and find new ways to spoil my grandchildren) I really like it and have been delighted to find a way to form relationships with other librarians as well.
I struggle with this from my mother in law. While I know she generally intends well, I face daily critique of my choices of day care vs. staying home, the food my boys eat, when I should have started cerearl, hiring a babysitter so my husband and I can go out once in a while, discipline, and the list goes on. I still get aggravated once in a while, but I have simply started responding with a “Thanks, I’ll take your advice under consideration”. It is pointless to argue as I’m the only one that ends up frustrated. Everyone has an opinion on how you should do it and some are actually good! Keep listening and just pick the ones that work for your family.
That is so beautiful! Brings tears to my eyes!
A first I’ve been wondering about is the first unassisted unsupervised bath…. i think we’re still a long way off from that one in our family though…
Adrienne, good one! I’m thinking a unsupervised shower may come before an unsupervised bath.
you always have the best links; thanks!!
I am having trouble discerning the point of this post. For starters, baking is not a CRAFT. Your complaint against NickJr, of course, really isnt a complaint. Need a REAL pressing topic? I’d start with the program’s lack of important subject matter. Cupcakes and pillows only work to further promote and embed their characters into our kids’ minds. And what is this obsession with Pirates-the most horrific group of people to walk the planet-on these cartoons? This “pressure” you describe to please your child sounds more like a lack of commitment. It doesn’t matter whether the cupcake attempt fails. What is important is the time spent. I suggest you find that time, and more importantly, start writing for the sake of inspiring and not for revealing your semi-cute style of prose…pfff!
I’m a stay at home mom. I recently have created GroceryOrganizer.com to help people organize their groceries when going shopping. I think it could be helpful to the visitors of your blog.
This looks amazing! I love how you really made kiddie art look like real art. I love getting these kinds of tips and ideas from nyc mom blogs. One of my favorites is Young Urban Mothers. They have some great ideas from young moms who have been there. It makes them really worth checking out.
John — Thank for taking the time to comment, and sorry the post didn’t resonate with you. I’m sure it didn’t resonate with many people. But what I hope resonated with a few is the point that there are pressures on mothers (and fathers) to be perfect at everything. In this case, Nick, Jr had been one place I could turn to where my daughter could watch decent quality advertisement-free TV while I fold laundry, make dinner or get some other task done. In this particular case, it became the source of a new pressure for me to master something that simply isn’t in my personal or parenting repertoire. And for the record — I call it my “craft demons” because I can do the baking part fine. It’s the decorative skill I severely lack.
I don’t think my disinterest in learning how to make Dora’s face on a cupcake is a lack of commitment as a parent. There are simply other things I’d rather do with my children.
While needless to say we don’t see eye to eye on everything, I will agree with you wholeheartedly on the pirate thing. It’s not just in cartoons, but in children’s books, toys, and clothes. Pirates are violent, drinking, raping, pillaging and murderous people — and they are a very real present-day threat. Who in the world thinks these are appropriate characters for children?
And thanks for calling my prose cute. I try.
Don’t do it! At least don’t do it for convenience sake. If you want to for appearance, of course do what you like best, but shorter hair is actually harder to take care of than longer…it always has to be styled. On a bad, I don’t have time to wash my hair day, a cute updo is the way to go…not an option with shorter hair.
i think if you need a little break cut a little off, say 3 inches to take the weight off and make you feel fresh again. I would suggest putting your hair in a ponytail, braiding or pony with a braid or wrap it up so you can enjoy it on your ‘days off’. Ask a friend to come over and dye/cut your hair and you can spend time together and return the favor to her somehow and get both time with a friend and your hair done. I dye my own roots and my mom cuts my hair and its at my lower back and I cut it straight across – it looks good. Plus I save a ton of money this way. I’m not a mom but I hope I can help. My 2 nieces and 1 nephew grabbed away and i made sure i pulled it back whenever i spent time with them, now they like to braid it or otherwise knot it and i love it. in fact my nephew tells me my hair and me are beautiful all the time, xoxo you’ll make the right decision but if you’re still not sure don’t do anything drastic start small.
Where can I find them? I had been looking for something like this.
Hi Shani! You can purchase them here: http://bafriend.bigcartel.com/product/chalkboard-place-mat
I agree with Progressive Mom – don’t do it. Or, do it but go gradual. I did the full on pixie haircut a couple of years ago. I loved the ease of it but looking back at pics of me from that time — eh, not so much! I am also thinking about going shorter at my next appointment (this week) but I don’t have far to go from my current. And even with short hair little baby fingers find their way there.
I’ll weigh in on the other side. I just cut a huge amount of hair off. The length was just getting to me, and so were my sons hands. I have had no issues with my son grabbing my hair now, and I actually find it much easier to maintain. I can even shower at night, sleep with my hair wet, and use just a tiny bit of leave-in condition in the morning. There are definitely low-maintenance short haircuts. If that’s what you’re looking for, just be sure to let your stylist know.
You say, “They compared kids with the same abilities and maturity in their pre-K years.” So in fact, this study is irrelevant to most parents considering this. Most of the time, parents are talking about starting kids later who do NOT have the same abilities and maturity as the other kids in their class.
Sorry Heather if it was unclear. The children who delayed Kindergarten were compared to children who shared the same abilities and maturity as those children, but whose parents did not delay the start of Kindergarten. In other words, as best as can be done, they studied apples to apples, with the only distinction being whether or not they delayed Kindergarten. Children who were immature for their age and who delayed kindergarten a year, for instance, were not compared with more mature children. They were compared with equally immature children for their age who started Kindergarten on the standard schedule.
I can completely understand why women who don’t have supportive husbands/mothers/sisters/friends find it so difficult. Breastfeeding can be really hard, particularly in the first weeks and months.
For me, the support from my husband was so key to dealing with breastfeeding issues. There were definitely times where I was ready to throw in the towel but his encouragement helped me to push through those times of frustration. I’m going on 7+ months now and am so glad I stuck with it.
I also think those same support networks should be informed and in place if you choose to or cannot nurse for some reason. Being a new mom is hard enough and no one needs to feel judged for making a decision that is the right one for her family…even if it’s not the mainstream choice.
As a stay at home poppa, teaching my son to pee standing was no problem. Just one of the side effects of the father staying at home is that our son never learned to pee while sitting. I also firmly believe that the stigma of boys toilet training slower is really just because there are more moms doing the training. I am sure that if we had a girl, me doing the toilet training would have been more difficult.
Thanks for the shout-out!
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Such an emotionally charged post – thanks Organized Mom for taking this on. With my first born I was devastated when I learned after a month that Olivia (5 years) hadn’t gained one single ounce (she was 5 lbs. 15 oz at her 1-month appt!) because my milk supply hadn’t been fully established due to a bad latch. I also thought this was supposed to be “natural” but it didn’t feel like that when I started working with a lactation consultant – nipple shields, on the breast supplementing, pumping, pumping, pumping. Luckily I found support with a group of women who recently had babies at the same hospital and were struggling with nursing too. They saved my sanity. With Owen (5 months) I knew the signs of a bad latch right away and immediately got support from the same lactation consultant. But this time around it felt more isolating because I didn’t have my mom group as I was heading back to work. I did however have neighbors, family and friends to cry on their shoulders to. I think the best advice I can give others is what Commuter Mom suggests – set small increment goals for breastfeeding. With Olivia I ended up going a year (working part-time then). With Owen, my current goal is 6 months (one more month to go) before I evaluate again. Working full time and managing supply has been a stressful nightmare so I may just be happy with 6 months. We’ll see!
Great post on a very sensitive topic!! Im glad that I could be part of your support system. You are my inspirational go-to story when I talk with new Moms going through the same thing. And you have some amazing women in your life with 17 breastfeed babies!!
I say just go where your baby goes. Our daughter likes to pull all the pans out of the cabinets and turn on the oven but has shown no inclination for climbing the bookcases. So, we put latches on the cabinets and oven and left the bookcases alone.
My husband bought a lot of baby fencing but we discovered that she hates it and will cry until you take it down so that was a waste. We don’t have stairs, though.
I used to have super-short pixie hair. I adored it. Everyone told me how flattering it was. It washed and styled so easily. But, and this is a big one–I had to get it cut/trimmed every 5 weeks (maximum time frame) to keep it looking like that, and it was an expensive salon that made it cute–less expensive salons were not nearly as nice. Short cuts have to be precise and well done or every mistake will show. I had to get it colored about every other cut because the color grew out so fast (and I didn’t feel like showcasing the white in my black hair at the ripe old age of 29). It was really expensive and time consuming to do this kind of cut and color schedule.
Now that I have a kid, I have long (shoulder length hair) that is usually down at work and up in a ponytail or clip at home. I don’t have the time, money or inclination to keep up with the super-short super-cute ‘do I used to have. I miss it terribly but feel confident it isn’t realistic for me at this point in my life (with a full-time job, a 1 year old and spots on the boards of 2 local non-profits).
I had short hair long before I had a baby -it is much faster in the morning and it looks always stylish and “done” in just a few minutes. BUT: short hair needs a cut every 6-8 weeks to look good, otherwise you really have mom hair. If you are not willing to do that or don’t have the time, don’t do it.
No!!! Get long layers to give it a lift and put it in a bun or a ponytail for a quick fix. My philosophy is we can only pull off long hair until a certain age so we ought to keep it long until then.
You’ve convinced me. While I think there are a lot of great reasons to go short, i don’t think i could give up the ease of a ponytail on a particularly busy morning and regular cuts are just not going to happen right now. Thanks for all the advice!
I tweeted about this post and here is the response I got from Chipotle…
@adempsterbh Thank you for the write up! If you want, here is some info on how we are backing up our message chip.tl/rqgZcJ -Rusty
Here is the link: http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/fwi/fwi.aspx
Now that’s a company with integrity!
Get a nice basket with a lid (maybe a laundry basket) for each of the boys’ rooms – throw all of the clutter in there when you need to get ready for a showing. Buyers will open closets and cabinets, but they won’t look in the pieces that will move with you – like a nice basket. And, don’t forget my favorite tip, they won’t open the washing machine and dryer…and probably not the microwave. I put the dog bed inside the washing machine for every showing.
My Dad was a realtor and he once gave me some great advice. If there are a couple things you need to stash quickly toss them (ever so gently) in the dryer…no one looks inside your dryer when they look at your house. Good luck.
Just to add another one to your list check out http://www.mymove.com/tips-advice/lifestyle/children/introducing-your-children-to-their-new-school-tips-from-the-experts
It might really help
Thank you for writing this. I’ve had a hard time with breastfeeding (it has been almost 4 months). I play with the thought of quitting every day mostly because I have had mastitis and don’t want to get it again! I will keep going. Thanks again for the encouragement!
That’s a smart answer to a tricky qusetion
Such an important topic to discuss with children. I was just reading on Parenting.com about the controversy surrounding the mom featured in Vogue who put her 7 year old on a diet.
It reemphasizes my point that there needs to be programs out there that teach parents, children, teachers, doctors, etc. how to help children develop a healthy relationship with food (and their bodies). I addressed this in my post – Should Parents Lose Custody of their Obese Children?
Just this week I saw on article by Kathleen Squires from Real Simple on How to Fake a Clean House. It’s perfect for what you need. Check it out here: http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/26/living/fake-clean-house/index.html?hpt=li_bn2
Some of the tips are so basic, it’s silly. But there are a few real gems.
We’ve done the same thing with a digital clock. My kids share a room so we only needed one, but both can identify single digits
(ages 2 and 4). I put tape over the minutes so only the hour showed and taught them that they shouldn’t leave their room until the clock said 6 (and would secretly set the clock 10 minutes slow so it was actually 6:10 when they came out giving me a few minutes to myself to wake up).
Well said! I use the exact same time restrictions. It helps and our kids deserve it. Our new phrase is “Disconnect to connect!”
How about the possibility of ordering recipe-specific groceries:
1) Select recipe from favourite site
2) Order ingredients’ home delivery
We are currently validating the concept at http://HomeChef.me – please sign up for a test drive!
great blog! thanks for sharing your experience with sleep training. always a difficult time, but truly pays off in the end! you are exactly right when you mention that every family has a different idea of what method will work for them. i have a blog of my own where i help sleep train many babies and give advice, tips and more about your baby’s sleep, schedules, etc. check it out sometime http://mommysecrets.squarespace.com/blog/rss.xml
i will subscribe to your blog for sure!! happy blogging and parenting!
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Another fun party favor is to grow a pet TickleMe Plant and watch how the leaves fold and the branches droop when Tickled! Check it out. http;//www.ticklemeplant.com
Awww, I don’t want to know this! My mom was telling me that boys will no longer be cute once they hit a certain age and I told her my son will always be cute. I hope!
Can I hire you to do my son’s 7th birthday party?
My son loves Monster Trucks and he just turned 4. I didn’t do anything for the kids to take home on his 3years Bday. We had his party outside at Cochran Mill Park, A huge nature preserve with trails, horse back riding trails, waterfalls, all outdoor nature stuff. It was simple to do it at the play ground under the pavilion with a camo, outdoors theme. I think getting kids outside in natue is so important and some kids don’t get outdoors enough. To glued to electronics. For party favor at the end of the party I paid $3 a child to get in the Cochran Mill Nature Center across the street. They got to see all kinds of reptiles, owls, deer, aligator, birds, etc. It’s small compared to some nature centers but they loved it. & The N.C. gives them a stuffed snake to take home and a fake pair of Binoculars so they did get to take something home.
4 years old we did Monster Trucks, the cake was the hit of the party. But you can buy the Hot Wheels Monster Truck to give to take home, they run around $5 a piece (but for the girls, they make a pink Monster Truck too and a purple one.) Or if you do an airplane theme. You can buy the matchbox airplane and helicopters (about the size as hotweels) but they came 4per pack for less than $10 or $3.97 a piece at Walmart and Target. The girls might not like these party favors too much but I’m sure you can find them a little something different. Just an idea. I used all my sons monster trucks to decorate the cake with and the larger ones as center pieces with baloons tied to them. Solid color plates , table clothes, balloons, forks and napkins (we liked orange & royal blue.) I ordered the invitations on-line and printed them myself. It was very inexspensive this way. Pizza was $5 a piece at Little Ceasars and Cake was $75 for a little more than 1/2 sheet double layer. The cake had a ramp on it with monster trucks going up the side of it, checkered flag tooth picks and was looked like a mud pit on the top with white icing springled with cinnamon and sugar, I was a little worried about how it would taste but it was delicious!! Just thought I would share this. Enjoyed your post!
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I can see why this is such a big debate! Everyone I talk to has a different opinion and it’s really hard to know what’s right. My son is 7 months so I followed the advice from my pediatrician in terms of what to do when. She was also my doctor, so I trust her judgement. We started with rice cereal at 5.5 months and some veggies and fruit purees at about 6 months. He still has only eaten pureed food and I’m not in a hurry to push him to do more.
I think you are doing exactly right for Owen – trust your gut and be prepared to change if he decides he’s ready for more or less. I waited 6 months with the 1st and about 5 1/2 with the 2nd (both breastfed). Both started on rice cereal and both are good eaters (for different reasons – he is much more adventurous!) I was amazed when my sister had her son a few years later and when she asked for my opinion, I suggested starting with rice cereal mixed with breast milk and gradually adding baby food to the rice cereal. That’s when I learned that pediatricians are now saying “no to rice cereal”. So she skipped rice cereal and made her own baby food. Her son still isn’t the best eater but he’s healthy and thriving. My point is, there’s no right or wrong way (IMO). Do what works for you. Gather your information (research is always great) but take away the bits that you feel most strongly about.
Your blog is very nice I appreciate it
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I totally agree. Some people seem to think their way of doing things is the only right way so it really is good to just set back and assess what works for you and your baby. We first offered rice cereal around 5 months but because he showed little interest, waited until around 6 months and introduced purees. Now at 8 months he eats a wide variety of purees although his favorite is actually plain yogurt. I haven’t tried to make anything beyond a basic puree but I’m hoping to start doing more of that now that he’s eating a lot!
Great perspective… as a recent college grad I totally fit into the group of those who never really even considered adopting a landline to begin with. I never even thought about the points you brought up. Thanks for sharing!
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I can’t figure out why feeding babies and children is such a major cause of stress for parents, I just know it is — at least for me and just about every other mom I know. I think it’s great if you can take it casually and reduce the pressure.
That said, one potential reason to take a more regimented approach is to be able to identify any food allergies or intolerances that might surface and to be able to identify more easily what new food a reaction could be attributed to. This hasn’t been an issue for my son, but it was a major issue for my daughter. On the one hand, it added immensely to the stress, but on the other hands was important for her health.
I will also pipe up for one reason to keep a box of rice cereal in the house — when the stomach bugs hit, rice cereal and bananas do wonders. You can use your breast milk to make the rice cereal. So just a thought to keep in mind next time you do find yourself in grocery store.
We moved and never re-started our land-line. When the cell phone rings (which is usually located in the designated area next to the key-hooks) any of us can/will answer. We pass the phone to our children to speak with grandparents when they call. I don’t find it any more difficult to find the cell phones than it is to find the cordless phones we had previously for our land-line.
I believe most cell phones have GPS tracking, so the police could triangulate your location if 911 was called from a cell phone. Also nice for a child to know how to call 911 from a cell phone in case of an emergency that happens away from home.
Also, my son is just now turning 4, the age where he’s figured out that 911 is the number to call when we need for help, but he also has memorized my cell phone number and our home address.
I’m not looking forward to my parents getting rid of their land-line however, because it is the only phone number I have memorized. All the other numbers are programed into my cell phone. . .
You forgot one big pro to dropping the land line, no telemarketers. After coming to the “caller ID” game late, we realized that 95% of our calls were from pre-existing charity relationships (we are on the Do Not Call list). My husband had stopped answering and checking the phone entirely. We finally dropped the landline this year, and with it one more of my nightly jobs. It took him 8 yrs to convince me, but now I also don’t worry about the 2 and 5 yr old making calls to some $ foreign destination.
Thanks for sharing our Picture and Link! Save your lids and recycle when you’re done playing with them. We’re working on Eco Friendly Activities in the next week for Earth Day. Hope you stop by for more ideas!
As a busy mom who works outside the home, I have found that a good working mom blog can be a great resource through all of the stages of a child’s life. My favorites, like Young Urban Moms, have a ton useful tips that only come with experience. I get great tips, advice, stories, and ideas from moms that are really easy to relate to and really funny. I highly recommend taking a look.
I say NO, especially if you do love long hair. I, personally, started motherhood with a pixie cut and quickly grew tired of how your hair MUST be styled everyday to look like anything presentable. I’ve grown it just past my shoulders in two years and when I hit those moments that I want to cut, I get a trim, a new style, change my bangs, anything to keep myself from chopping it off! I suggest looking for easy updo’s, youtube has a ton of tutorials.
Besides, the length of your hair won’t prevent split ends and coloring growing out 🙂 I don’t have the split ends but my roots are a good two inches 😀
I like using diaper boxes to store my kids clothes. They can be easily labeled (cross off and relabeled) and are in abundance at my house.
I feel your pain! We’ve just moved out of the infant room and into toddlers, and I echo all your advice. I’d just add one thing: When you’re done filling out the daily sheet and unpacking the bottles, food, etc. into the cubby/fridge, eye the teacher to make sure she has free hands to pry your baby away if necessary, give big hugs and kisses, and then leave with a smile and wave no matter how your baby is reacting and how you feel inside. Whether your child is suffering from separation anxiety or not, this is the best thing for you and for them. Lingering in the morning can set up a tough routine that is bound to get you to work late, stress you out, and actually makes things more confusing and difficult for your child. This is admittedly easier said than done, but it’s worth it if you can do it. I flipped my routine so that I allowed myself time to hang out in the infant room with my son at the end of the day, which is when we have more flexibility, and it worked nicely.
Your advice is great! It was a hard adjustment for us too, but he’s been at BH for 4 months now and doing great.
Like the last poster said, I really enjoy spending a few minutes there when I pick him up to chat with the caretakers and get to know the other kids. Usually, my husband is the one who does drop off and pick up, but I try to do it as much as I can so I feel more comfortable.
Your advice is spot on as far as packing the night before and getting out the door 30 minutes early (or plan to anyway). It took me a few weeks to figure those out and it has helped tremendously.
In addition, the transition to the new one is one to look at too. Going from infant to toddler – right in the middle of the LO learning to walk/run, move objects, toss items and the “older” ones in the room who have been doing it for months — hard to get used to. Are the kids a bad influence b/c they climb on chairs or bite? Will my kid take on bad habits. Talking to the teachers & the directors helps to solve those issues. Especially with a 1st time parent 🙂
Great advice from everyone – thanks for weighing in. I definitely need to get better about the “drop off and go.” I got myself into a pickle with Olivia when she was young by lingering too long. And I can’t even put my brain around transitioning to toddlers though there are a handful of children moving up this week at my center so I’m definitely going to take notes.
I just posted on the community about this post so others can benefit from everyone’s advice (and also weigh in there!).
Well, I loved reading this post (even though it made me tear up and almost full-on cry at my desk at work!)… I have LOVED all of my daughter’s teachers at Bright Horizons, but I feel like I have a special “bond” with her infant teachers (including her original back-up care teacher) because they were the first “strangers” with whom I ever left my baby girl! They are truly amazing people, and all the examples you used to describe them were perfect! 🙂 I would love to copy your “ode to the infant teacher” to give them.
Jennifer — Thanks so much. Please feel free to share the “ode to the infant teacher” with your daughter’s teachers. I would love that! I am going to be sharing it with my son’s teachers as soon as we create the perfect appreciation gift for then since he has moved on to toddlers.
Hi there, It really is a rare locate to get a good web site this way. We liked the idea. Use a fantastic day time !
For two moms who claim to be very “un-crafty”, you came up with some great rocks!
I share your sentiments! My son’s infant teachers were exactly what he and I needed when he started at BH at just 7 weeks old. My daughter now has one of the same teachers! They are amazing people and helped my son grow into a curious, creative, active toddler.
I’m also spring cleaning in this traditional sense, but also unconventionally; “de-cluttering” but making simple changes to my daily routine. I write about this in a recent blog post.. enjoy! http://ifcoffeecouldtalk.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/unconventional-spring-cleaning/?tw_p=twt
Mealtimes can be a challenge and it’s often easier to fix things you know your children will actually eat than branch out and waste time and food. That said, I suggest replacing some of your rice and pasta with some similar but healthier options. Instead of plain rice try wild rice or couscous. My son likes to act “wild” during and after eating wild rice which makes it fun. Instead of plain pasta there are whole wheat alternatives or even some whole grains such as quinoa. They can be livened up a bit with citrus, herbs, or even cheese and are an excellent healthy substitute. Good luck!
Thank you so much for featuring my “lunchbox bouquet”. You made my day:)
Check out http://www.skinnytaste.com. I have become a huge fan and have tried tons of her recipes – all healthy and family-friendly. The chicken rollatini, the five spice chicken, the stuffed pepper soup and the parmesan roasted green beans are all faves in my house.
Ahoy matey! The best Mother’s Day gift would be a copy of Guide to Pirate Parenting along with a treasure map showing how to find a chest of jewels. Combine that with a trip to a desert isle and a bottle of rum and ye would have yerself a fine day.
We are in the very same phase! I hope we see some great advice posted here.
It is definately a phase that one day soon will pass. What I used to say was, “Yes, you can do it. You try first and then if you still need help, I will help you.” Of course, once they did it (usually without help) I would provide praise.
Hang in there, this too shall pass.
I recently took a plastic box and filled it with all the stickers laying around the house. Now the kids get to pick a sticker when they put their shoes on in the morning. Okay, it’s only ONE thing but by giving them one responsibility that is all theirs, they’ve really embraced it. Sure, we have to make sure the laces are untied at night and the shoes are in the right place so they don’t get frustrated when they look for them, but it has helped. We also have a lot of races in our house – “who is going to get upstairs first, put on/take off their PJ’s first” that sort of thing. My kids also like to “get their sillies out at night” so we will say “no one can get their sillies out until their PJ’s are on and teeth are brushed.” Sometimes I’ll even say “go run into the bedroom, get dressed as quickly as you can and surprise daddy”. Any sort of game gets my kids going. It’s crazy how many games we play but it helps to get things accomplished!
We also have “jammie races” to see who can get ready for bed the fastest. These are very motivating to my oldest who is 4.
Sometimes when my kids use a whiney voice I tell them that I can’t understand whiney voices and then wait for them to re-phrase what they’re trying to say in a better tone. . . has worked well for us because they’ve found that they don’t get anywhere with whining.
We do that too. If the kids are whining I say that “I don’t understand whiny voices” or a new favorite, “can you use your ‘power’ voice?” The kids really like that one because it reminds them that they do have their own power and can take control over certain aspects of their lives; even if it is simply their voice and nothing else 😉
Thanks for your comment!
I love the sticker idea Mary. Thanks! I’m going to try that one.
I was writing to see if you knew anout a family pajama night for this year. I have been trying to search for the date; but have been unable to find it. Thanks!!
We are in the same phase too, and it is trying my patience several times a day. I’ve tried lots of the tricks , and some work sometimes, but nothing seems to work often enough. I’ve resigned myself to recognizing that this too shall pass… someday.
If nothing else, it’s a good reminder than my husband and I need get out for adult time more often.
I am loving the T-shirt filing system, it looks awesome! What a great idea, thanks very much for sharing you blog
I don’t see any information on it for 2012! Bummer. I’ll repost here if I find anything but maybe they are not doing it again.
We just moved the boys in the same room and our almost 2 year old in a bed all at the same time. Bedtime has been…awful! We implemented the sticker chart 4 nights ago and it has been working great!! Still having a hard time with the 2 year old but our 3 year old really gets it and is working hard for his stickers! We had been taking things away from them but they didn’t care, this is much better and they feel rewarded. After so many stickers they can get a toy too which they love, something small like a matchbox car.
Plz email me copy of Ten mistakes new herb gardners make, i am gettin ready try start small herb garden Thank u :)lol
Hi Lisa! So sorry–the link was broken but it’s fixed now. Just in case, here is the article: http://skinnygourmet.blogspot.com/2008/05/ten-mistakes-new-herb-gardeners-make.html
My dream Mother’s Day gift would be a night of uninterrupted sleep in a luxurious hotel where there is no anxiety/anticipation of night time/early morning interruptions either! That and a fun and happy day playing with Liam followed by a nice dinner out with my husband to thank me for being such a great mom. Also not likely but it’s fun to think about!
Ok, I’m going to be “that mom” and wish for a day away from my kids! Like Kate, I’d have a night of uniterrupted sleep in a hotel with no deadlines for the day. A nice brunch (without the Mother’s Day crowds of course) followed by a mani/pedi and afternoon of shopping (where everything would magically fit!). I suppose we could finish up with a family dinner at our favorite diner (only if the kids behave of course) followed by an easy bedtime, delicious glass of wine and watching a movie without falling asleep before the end!
In actuality, I’ll be woken up before 6 a.m. with demands of Milk! and Breakfast! I am heading out to see a show in the afternoon w/my mom and sister so my dream day will almost come true.
I used a pacifier right away even though they kept telling me not to and my daughter never had trouble latching. As yourself, I also found that it helped her sleep (and still does).
Of course, now she’s almost 2 and OBSESSED with pacifiers. She likes to carry all that she can find (this morning it was 6). I had one until I was almost 4 so we’re in for the long haul.
What shocked me most about the cover was how old that little boy looked up on the chair. TIME Magazine certainly had motive with this photo on a number of levels.
I have been nosing around wanting to learn more about Dr. Sears and I stumbled upon this site. Apparently, this other doctor is friends with Dr. Sears and he “sort of” commented on Dr. Sears while talking about how to boost breast feeding nutrition.
For us moms out there who do breast feed, I was wondering if you have ever heard of this before to boost the nutrition for our babies. Would love to hear what you think about this.
Anyhow, Happy Mother’s Day to all of you (and me, too).
I totally agree Media Mom. Cleaning up the school lunch menu seems like a better choice.
Although I agree with what you’re saying about making better food choices, I can’t say that I’m opposed to the ban. Personally, I don’t want my son eating anything from a bake sale. Who knows if the well intentioned food preparer is aware of safe food practices? I love a good cupcake too but it is not worth salmonella .
Great post! Such a sweet story and I can’t wait to hear what others have to say about this. It’s something I’m afraid of (letting my kids play outside on their own) so I’ll be following the comments along with you.
My 4 years old daughter every afternoon seeing all the neighborhood kids in our apartment complex playing and I’m happy for her when she’s joining them and plays along them but also it brakes my heart and her heart to see other times they ignore her and don’t want to play with her or share their toys… I see these kids sometimes smile and wave at her and other times completely stagers help me to help her what to do ?
Hey Sista. Yay, Olivia! Yay, you! Neighborhood play has been a godsend for us. Just as the boys will be getting on each other’s nerves on a long, boring afternoon, a “knock, knock” on the door will often rescued us. We keep the boundaries simple…a friend’s house up the street. Generally, they need to tell us when they will be playing inside someone’s house instead of outside. There are only 3 or 4 places that they would be, so it’s easy to track them down. When they were little, there would be lots of calls back and forth: “do you have them?”. It’s been great. You and Olivia will navigate the rules and make them fit. Just be gentle when she breaks one every now and then….
I started to let my son play alone with friends outside around August of last year. My son was 7 years old and I was nervous the first couple of times but I check on him every 10-15 minutes. I told him that he can not go into a friends house with out my permission and he can not leave the area with out letting me know or asking. I believe since he enjoy playing with his friends outside he obeys by the rules and we have not had a problem yet. I am so happy to have a child that obeys the rules and listens.
Thank you for this. I was told the exact same thing and on our 3rd night home, after nursing 24/7, my husband popped the binkie in and everythign was fine. She still wanted to nurse, she didn’t get confused and we were both much better off. Breastfeeding is such a wonderful yet challenging experience so it was hard to hear from numerous lactation consultants – DON’T DO THIS! It added so much stress for a new mom who was just trying to do her best.
Interesting fact that I came across.. 1 of every 5 kid in America lives within short walking distance to a playground ! You can add a playground where you live and share it with other parents near you using Kidzloop.
You can even signup at http://www.kidzloop.com .. once live , the parents will absolutely love the iPhone app !
Absolutely don’t worry about TSA. They are so great when it comes to breastmilk as embarassing as you may feel at the time, they won’t make you dump it. Sometime’s it’s quite comical to look at the TSA’s face while he’s testing the milk – he’ll be more embarassed than you! Now that my kids are older I travel with sippy cups filled with juice and we have no problems with that either. They will swipe the bottles with a special cloth to test for explosives so don’t be alarmed. Make sure you get a room with refrigerator too so you don’t have to worry about keeping an ice bucket full (which I’ve done before and is not fun.) You will also need to remember to freeze the icepack for the trip home.
As for Liam, you may find that he doesn’t drink as much while you are gone and instead bulks up on food. 9 months is right around the time both kids switched to 2 nursings a day (and I think with one it was for the same reason – I went away on a business trip so it was just a good reason for the shift). You will also find that pumping only twice a day will produce a lot more milk so you can bulk up your freezer when you return. Also, keep in mind when you return Liam may cluster feed a bit just because he missed you so much but cherish this too, it will soon be the end of breastfeeding with a year right around the corner.
If Liam hasn’t had formula before he may also turn his nose up at it so you may want to consider splitting up some of the supply that you do pump between now and then – meaning if he normally drinks 4 ounces, make 2 2 oz freezer packs. That way whoever is watching Liam can give 2 oz and try to get him to eat more food but have 2 oz for back up later in the day.
Finally, although you hate to pump, mornings is always when your supply is at it’s peak so you may want to nurse him in the morning and then when you get to work, pump. It will give you a couple ounces of back-up for while you away. He may have less to eat when you nurse him at lunch but that may not be all that bad to get him accustomed to that.
Great choice in at least trying to make it 1 year despite the trip. I traveled for the same time frame with both my children a couple times while I was nursing (and yes, I actually pumped in an airport bathroom once – although a family one that locked). With my 2nd he turned 1 just days after I returned from a trip and sadly my going away made him decide that on his 1st birthday he would stop nursing (something I wasn’t prepared for). It’s not easy but you’ve done such an amazing job so far and your are in the home stretch. Good for you for continue to nurse despite all the hurdles along the way. You should be proud of yourself!
Thanks, Organized Mom! That is really helpful. He is totally fine with formula so I don’t think we’ll have a problem with that and he’s a good eater so I suspect you are right about it causing him to eat more solid foods. I’ve already noticed a huge drop off in how long he nurses as we introduce more food.
Good luck with this. I had to do OUS travel for a week right before my daughter turned 1. Even though I pumped at least 2x a day while I was gone (e.g. on the plane, in airport bathrooms, in my hotel room), my flow dropped so much and my daughter was so stressed that I had been gone, she never breastfed again. It was definitely not the way I wanted to end such an enjoyable time for both of us. (With OUS travel, the extra hassel was not worth traveling with breastmilk.)
These cup sleeves make GREAT gifts for teachers. You can order enough to last them the entire school year!
Great article. I tend to struggle with the fact that one of my boys is different from the other. Recognizing their different temperaments is difficult in certain situations. Also, my pediatrician talks a lot about how the 1/2 years are hard (4 1/2, 5 1/2). I’ve found that to be spot on…you kind of sail through the first half of the year after their birthday, then things become difficult again. Good luck!
My 3-year-old has decided he’s ready to go out in the backyard by himself. We, of course, do not agree. I wonder if it’ll be helpful — when he’s insisting on going out the door on his own — if we tell him he’ll get to do so when he’s 5 … or 7 … or maybe 17.
awesome recipe, I tried this the other day. As long as you don’t accidently dump too much salt there delicious.
I think I could have written this myself! I’m glad to know I am not the only one struggling with a temperamental 5 year old and have a preference for games/crafts over pretend play. I know I need to be available to play what she wants but, with an infant, my time is so limited that I wish we could spend the time doing something we both enjoy. I do try to suck it up and play pretend some of the time but usually after a lot of whining – on both our parts! 🙂
Sounds like the top solution is being clear about rules but also reviewing them as she shows responsibility and matures. Or I can lock her up until she’s 17 – sort of like that one too!
Thanks all for the advice.
My baby is 7 months too. She is breast fed as well. We mix formula with here cereal and foods for some extra iron and vitamins.
It’s never bad to let kids play alone with neighborhood kids, what we just have to remember as parents is that no matter what, we always have to keep an eye on our kids, know their whereabouts; what they do, who they are with, etc. I am a parent and I’m worried and I don’t want anyone to experience threatening cases like this especially my kids. As a way of helping everyone especially the parents, who still find it quite hard to manage issues like this, I found this great application which featured safety app which gets me connected to a Safety Network or escalate my call to the nearest 911 when needed, it has other cool features that are helpful for your kids with just a press of a Panic Button. Check it here: http://www.SafeKidZone.com
Great idea Shree – thanks!
Really good info & ideas. Be blessed
The fact that Dads can do things differently and it’s ok is hard lesson to learn if you are a mom like me and like everything a certain way. That lesson also has to come about grandparents too. Letting go of some of those things is actually kind of liberating because you realize just because you’re the mom, you don’t have to be in charge of EVERYTHING. I’m glad things went so well.
My first business trip after returning to work was a week long trip to Germany when my son was 6 months old. I felt so far away. I left lists and post it notes all over the house for my husband. I realized too that it is ok if my husband does things a little differently than I would have done. Now when I travel I make sure there is enough food in the house but I don’t make tons of lists. I text him reminders of key things related to school work ” J’s spelling test is Friday, please practice with him Thurs night.” As much as I don’t want to be away, I realize that the time away is good bonding time for them.
Interesting story..!!! i have read your story and really enjoyed it a lot. keep writing.
Thanks for the comments. It really was good to step back and realize how I was sometime micromanaging things that I didn’t need to be.
Sarah–I totally agree that it was good bonding time. I particular love that Brad got to do the dropoff/pickup routine to get more of a glimpse at what Liam’s days at the center look like.
Ah, the unicorn phase! So funny how it seems like all little girls go through it! Mine is moving on to regular horses : ) She BEGGED me to plan a pony party for her, so I had to pick up a whole bunch of my little pony party suppliesfor her next birthday!
I have a few pointers to add:
1) Go late. If you’re not able to get going in the morning, consider going to the beach at 3:00 or so, and staying until dinner.
2) Invest in a beach-friendly stroller (we love our BOB) if you go to the beach more than a couple of times in the summer. It’s critical for navigating the sand. Also, neither of my kids would fall asleep in the tent we bought, but we can get the baby to sleep in the stroller if we walk briskly along the water.
3)Shelf-stable yogurt smoothies and applesauce crushers (and other fruit/veggie crushers) are a great snack for the beach, especially the ones that come in the those resealable pouch containers. They are sand-resistant and nutritious. Cheese sticks and fruit are a must as well.
4) For little babies, try bringing your Bumbo seat to the beach. You can even set it right up by the surf so the baby gets to experience the waves and water.
5)My daughter has a collection of buckets and shovels that came in their own small rolling “suitcase.” She brings only the beach toys she can fit into it, and she is responsible for rolling it herself. It really lightens the load for parents and she loves it.
I’m so glad to hear that my post was meaningful to you. Thank you for sharing your list- I love it.
Although I do enjoy planning birthday parties, I agree with you that it is not the party itself that is important but the memories we make.
I hope my kids remember that I am always here to help and encourage them. I hope they remember our family vacations. I hope they remember laughing during family movie nights or family game night. I hope they remember that they can do anything they set their mind to.
You are right to focus on the love! Though I have been “that mom” who pulled off the mega-theme parties and my kids had a blast, I wore myself out every time. Though they do have happy memories of those parties, they certainly have a lot of happy memories that have nothing to do with those parties and those everyday things are the ones that will stick with them forever. My son recently begged me to finish a scrapbook that I’d started long ago. Though he had other, seemingly more exciting things to do at the time, when it was done, he stopped everything and went through every page, just enjoying the memories. That meant so much to me, knowing that our everyday life, just snuggle time and inside picnics and whatever else we came up with was just as important in making him who he is and who he is becoming – as any big party ever did.
I don’t know if you saw the movie Pursuit of Happyness, but it’s about a man who was homeless and trying to care for his young son. I saw the interview with the real life father and son it was based on and the now, grown man son said he really didn’t remember all the trials they went through, just that every time he looked up, his father was there. That spoke volumes!
oh my goodness, so many great ideas! keep them coming!
great blog, i love your ideas!
I have another item to add to your list after doing some father’s day shopping of my own! Dad’s love tech-gifts and I just purchased a father’s day bundle from lynktec.com that included an awesome stylus, a cleaning cloth (which is great for his nasty screen!) and an iPad stand for around 30 dollars. hope this helps!
LLBean offers an Outdoors Adventure series where, for $20, you can “sample” different sports, like kayaking, skeet shooting, archery, etc. An affordable gift – send him with a friend while you watch the kids!
Thanks for the great ideas! Father’s day is right on the heels of my hubby’s bday, making it a bit of a challenge for me too.
But I have to say, my guy always does Mothers Day right. This year it was homemade (eggless) french toast & strawberries in bed, a kindle, and a lovely day in Newburyport.
Awesome ideas Robert and Jean Ann. I think my husband just got himself some skeet shooting lessons!
I think some middle ground between encouraging children to reach for the stars but keeping their head on the ground is probably the right path. What that means in practical parents terms, I have no idea yet!
One of the messages I loved about the speech was encouraging students (and all of us) to stop looking at life experiences as things to put on a college resume or post on Facebook. To remember to follow our passion and let the things that we choose to do be for no reason other than we derive meaning and enjoy doing them. It’s one of the most important lessons I hope to pass on to Liam as he grows.
Really lovely post. I tend to carry the burden of the family on my shoulders even though my husband does just as much as I do. It’s really not fair to him. Sounds like NourishDad is a great father and partner.
I need to get to work, but wanted to tell you how great your stuff is. Thanks muchly.
Love this! I think this post would be a better gift than anything you can buy in the store. Happy Father’s Day.
Great post. We’ve made it a habit of talking to the kids about why we’re donating clothes or toys rather than just throwing them away, but we don’t really get them involved in doing anything. Mostly because we struggle to find the time ourselves. Bright Horizons has hosted two webinars on Raising a Socially Responsible Child that may help families narrow down choices: http://www.brighthorizons.com/growing/parent-webinar/
Hey Rookie Mom,
First off congratulations on the newest member of your family! I also totally agree with you on your “out of the box” type recipes to bring your sister-in-law. I remember after i had my first child everyone sending all the “typical” foods such as lasagna, pizza, chicken, etc and i just got tired of them after awhile. I love your recipe suggestions and I am sure your sister-in-law will as well!
Ok — so I’m embarrassed to admit that I know this from watching Celebrity Apprentice, but Clay Aiken from American Idol started a charitable organization called the National Inclusion Project. (Aiken was a special ed teacher for Idol.) The organization’s goal is to train teachers and program providers how to adapt their programs to be able to include children with special needs. Summer camps seem like exactly the kinds or providers they aim to help. I wonder if they — or other organizations like them, keep a list of camps that are able to meet the needs of children like Max.
Neat idea! I featured your placemat as part of a Barnyard party roundup I just wrote, and thought of having it as a neat kid’s craft to build – http://themeaparty.com/9750/birthday-party-roundup-barnyard-theme-decor
Thanks Chris for sharing! Ironically, for the party I made these for, cake was served in a barn on picnic tables. I put these out ahead of time on the picnic tables, just as your described. This helped the kids know where to sit (which was great because we have family kids, school, kids and friend kids) and served as decor. I love your ideas around having the kids participate too. Great blog!
Looks like an amazing party!! Great job on the cake and cookies!!!
Correction — Clay Aiken was not a Special Ed Teacher “for” Idol, but rather “before” Idol.
Thanks MediaMom… I’m going to check out that organization. My husband also came across a day camp that is run like a typical camp but is intended for children with more needs and has staff trained to work with children with special needs.