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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Baby V #2 Bump Update- Almost 9 Weeks

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

I am 8 weeks, 5 days today and the baby is the size of a raspberry! Last week we told Caroline that the baby was the size of a blueberry, and she's been asking when it would be the size of a raspberry. I love that she is having fun with the fruit visuals LOL!

I am finally over my nasty cold that seemed to plague me for a couple of weeks. I now just have a cough (probably due to allergies since I can SEE the yellow pollen dust on everything around here). Unfortunately, I am still super nauseous, and every time I have a coughing fit, it leads to me gagging and many times throwing up. I am hoping the cough and nausea subside soon.

In addition to feeling nauseous, I am really fatigued and simply lacking energy right now. I am very much keeping my eye on the second trimester arriving so I can hopefully start to feel better!

I am also STARVING! I can't keep enough food in the house, and I am waking up in the middle of the night because I am so dang hungry. Amazing how a baby the size of a raspberry can cause my hunger to sky rocket. I am not able to eat much in one sitting, and am having to eat about every 1-2 hours at a minimum. I finally got myself to the grocery store to stock up on snack items.

I succeeded for over 2 years in only allowing my daughter to snack on occasion... we are not a snacking household. That is SO out the window now! She's loving my new found love of snacks!

Monday, May 22, 2017

My Worries About Bringing A Second Child Into Our Home

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

When I asked Caroline about her feelings, and if she had any worries about the baby in Mama's belly, my 2.5 year old was able to clearly identify and express her feelings to me about the situation. Not only that, without prompting, she told me all of the ways she'd address the issues when the baby arrived. You can read all about her feelings here.

I'd asked her because she seemed to be crying and whining and pretending to be "baby" a lot more than usual lately. She'd been refusing to listen or try things on her own. And the last two weeks, since I told her about the baby, have been a spiral of negativity around here. More and more acting out, more disciplining the way I don't want to, more and more we were both upset, and we were far from our usual emotional states.

I then realized something- I had asked my 2.5 year old how she felt about the baby growing in Mama's belly, but I failed to ask myself.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

4 Reasons to Announce Your Pregnancy Immediately

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog
4 Reasons to Announce Your Pregnancy Immediately

I am 8 weeks pregnant, and I know there are lots of people wondering why on earth I jumped the gun and announced when I was so early in my pregnancy. Well, I have 4 reasons that I chose to announce early, and I decided to share them in my post at Her View From Home, today!

"The trend is to wait. We wait until the first trimester is finished and we are in the clear from most medical risks and any uncertainty in the pregnancy. It’s the social norm. And I find it to be ridiculous for a few simple reasons!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When Your Toddler Refuses to Do or Try Things

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Today is a very special day! Kimberly over at Team Cartwright has teamed up with me for a topic day. We have a common issue in our houses... toddlers that don't want to do things independently, or try new things. The interesting part, however, is that our toddlers do this in very different ways! As a result, we deal with it in different ways as well. Hop on over to Team Cartwright to see her post on encouraging independence in a reluctant child.  And, of course, you can read my post on what to do when your toddler refuses to do or try things, right here! Enjoy, and please chime in with your tactics as well! We'd love to hear from you in the comments of both of our blogs!

There are two types of toddlers in this world. The kind that like to do everything themselves, and the kind that avoid doing things on their own, if at all possible. Both types can be extremely frustrating to parents, in their own unique ways. The toddler that wants independence seems to move at a snails pace, and it takes forever to do things. The simple act of getting in the car can either feel like it's taking an hour, or, if expedited by Mama, can turn into a fit of tears. And, of course, the toddler that hates to do things on their own, means that Mama gets stuck doing it all. There are times it is just not feasible, especially when you have other children that actually need the help.

We all have the same ultimate goal, however. We want to teach our toddlers how to do things and gain their independence in safe ways. We all want and strive for balance. Ideally, we help our toddlers on occasion, and they help themselves on occasion. Unfortunately, the toddler's world and way of doing things isn't always balanced!

My daughter is the independent type that loves to do things on her own. There's a stipulation, however... she has to decide that it's something she wants to do, and she has to feel comfortable doing it. She seems to only do things that she already knows she can do, and is stuck somewhere in the middle with not wanting to try new things, unless it's her idea. For the most part, however, she's the toddler that wants to do things on her own. She wants to climb into the car all by herself, get into the car seat, and do the buckle.

Her refusal to do things comes out in a couple of ways:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2.5 Year Behavioral Regression - Some Insight Came Yesterday

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Yesterday I wrote about some behavioral problems that have been getting worse over the last couple of weeks. They seem to really be magnified right now, and I am feeling at a loss as to what else to try with Caroline. Read all about the issues we are encountering, and my current tactics in this 2.5 Year Behavioral Regression post.

As I was writing the post, I realized that approximately 2 weeks ago was when we told Caroline that Mama was pregnant and she was going to become a big sister. I noted in the post that she'd been pretending to be a baby a lot more lately, and doing lots of crying and whining. While, I thought it was highly unlikely that it would be happening now, I know that many older siblings regress a bit when the new baby arrives. It is common for the older sibling to mimic the crying and whining that they see the baby do, and to really act out in an attempt to gain the attention back towards them. Our baby has not arrived yet and is simply an idea in Caroline's mind... so I figured there was no way she was having this regression now. Well... I dug a little deeper, and made some discoveries.

We also came to a closure yesterday on the silverware issue, so I figured I'd give an update on that as well (video included as well)!

About the Baby

Caroline had gone to bed already, and then asked to get up and go potty. We have some of our best conversations while on the potty, so as she was sitting on the potty, I decided to inquire... "Caroline, are you worried about the baby?". She put her head down, sighed, and said "I am worried, Mama". So, I asked why she was worried. A flood of information came out of my little 2.5 year old. I was both shocked and amazed.

Monday, May 15, 2017

2.5 Year Behavioral Regression

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog
I need some insight. This probably isn't a typical blog post that you run into. Usually blog posts are all about the answers. Well, in this blog post I'm asking questions, and I need your insight. I need some outside perspective on this issue. I like to think through things by writing them down, and I often write about our daughter's "regressions" as they are happening. This is one such regression, and I really want to know what tactics you'd be using if this was happening in your house. I would describe my 2.5 year old as very obedient, a good listener, and just well behaved. We've put a lot of upfront work in with praising good behavior, setting expectations high, and staying consistent and I think it's really paid off. For the last couple of weeks something has changed and she's really testing boundaries. I'll focus on one specific example, but it's happening quite a bit. I'd like to hear your tactics for dealing with the scenario below, as I feel like I've tried everything from choices to discipline and everything in between, and we just aren't getting anywhere. I'm now to the point that I'm actually getting upset, and I hate feeling upset with my 2 year old. I'm feeling upset because it is happening so often now, and it is seeming to get worse and worse. I feel like I'm in a constant power struggle, which is not at all where we need to be! The Scenario: Every morning after breakfast I have Caroline bring something from the table back to the kitchen to help clean up. I then unload the dishwasher and clean up breakfast, and her one task is to put the silverware away. She's always enjoyed doing this and is great at it. It's just been in the last couple of weeks that we've gotten into a routine of doing this every morning, however. I just ask her to put the silverware away, and tell her that when she's done, she can go play while I finish.

I'm Pregnant and I'm So Shocked!

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

I was a day late for my period...we all know that doesn't really count as late. I'd felt dizzy and just lacking energy the past couple of days, and I happened to have one of those super cheap pregnancy tests lying around from when we were trying to get pregnant the first time. "What the heck?", I thought. "I'll just check". I knew it would come back negative, because it was highly unlikely I was pregnant, and it was also way early to even take the test. Even if I was pregnant, it was just really too soon to tell on one of these tests, so I went into the bathroom knowing for sure I'd see it come back negative.

A dark line appeared immediately. Again, I figured it must be the control line. I looked at my phone to time the test, and by the time I'd looked back there were 2 dark lines! It was as positive as it gets and I couldn't believe my eyes. I wasn't prepared in any way to see that positive line show up! I was thrilled and in complete shock!

As many of you know, I had to undergo fertility treatments to get pregnant with Caroline. We tried for a year and a half. After an exploratory laparoscopy, clomid, hormone injections in my stomach (that I had to do myself), and an IUI, I finally became pregnant! It was a long road (you can read about the whole journey here), and I was fully expecting for our second journey to take just as long. I'd heard the stories of people getting pregnant easier the second time, but never truly believed it would happen for us.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

BFBN Guest Post: Tips For Successful Room Sharing

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Room sharing is the devil. 

Don't ever have your kids share a room.

Avoid room sharing at all costs. 

Stock up on wine and chocolate. 

Just kidding. Kind of. You'll want the wine and chocolate anyway.

The truth is, room sharing is probably not ideal unless you have kids who really function better with a roommate than one without. 3 of our 4 kids function better on their own. Too bad for them because in our current stage of life, it's just not feasible for our kids to have their own bedrooms. But it can get tricky and can rock the boat sometimes with your perfectly scheduled Baby-wise babies. Our kids have shared rooms for a while now and I have found out some things (the hard way) that might make things a bit easier if you are looking to have kids room share.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today I Was Not Patient with My Toddler & I Was Far From The Perfect Mother - Being a Mom is Hard & Real & Humbling

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Oh the screams and the cries today. The hitting, kicking and not listening. The "horrible twos" we all hear about rear their ugly head every so often and it's brutal. If I'm consistent in my expectation and discipline accordingly it only gets worse before it gets better. But I also know that if I don't do that we will have far more of these days then if I do. It's hard, and I lose my cool at times. My daughter reminds me that it's not nice to yell, and that it's not nice to hit (when I swat her hand down from hitting my face)...yes Mama was faster!

Toys get taken away, privileges get removed, etc. I remind her of ways to calm down, I offer hugs, but it doesn't help on days like today. There aren't often natural consequences that I can employ, and end up disciplining in ways that I don't fully like, but they are my only option at the time. Sometimes I try to ignore the tantrum. Sometimes I try offering help. At times I end up putting her in her room for some chill time for both of us. Nothing stops the screaming, though. She's strong willed for sure. Most times I am so patient with her, but some days like today it just doesn't happen the way I want it to. I end up feeling like such a failure on these days. Until I also see the hard work shine it did today.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

When You Become a Parent, You Really Start to Focus on The Big Picture- Embracing #TheWholeYou

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Something happens when you become a parent. No matter how conscious you were before of what you are putting into your body, and your impact on the health of our planet- well, it increases drastically. At least, it did for me and my husband.

For dinner, we didn't always include a vegetable, and we didn't have fruit on our plates daily. Neither one of us struggled with weight or health issues, so we just ate what we wanted to eat, and ate what we liked. We were aware of our habits, and we never ate poorly, but we knew we could do better.

When Caroline entered our world, all of that changed. As Caroline started eating solid foods, we quickly realized that we wanted to make sure we were making good food choices for her, and creating an environment in which she was learning healthy habits. It was easy for us to make this transition. Not only did we want her eating healthy foods, we wanted her to see us eating healthy foods. We want it to be second nature to her as she grows up.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Our Favorite iPad Apps for 2 Year Olds

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Independent play looks a bit different in our house now that Caroline is almost 2.5 years old. While she used to do strict room time, that simply isn't working for her at the moment, so we are having to adjust. Her independent play is more casually structured now. I try to do official room time once a week, but the rest of the time, independent play just fits in naturally. Caroline does independent play all throughout the day, in short segments. Sometimes we have structured table time activities, and other times, it's free play while Mama is busy. One of our favorite (although often forgot about) activities, is playing apps on the iPad! I mentioned these apps in the post on table time activities, but I wanted to pull them out into their own separate post for easy finding. These are still our favorite apps on the iPad for Caroline's age. We have since upgraded most of these apps from their free version, to the full version, and Caroline is enjoying even more wonderful learning! I'd love to hear what your favorite apps are and for what age in the comments section below. These have all been great so far from 2 years of age to 2.5, and will continue to be great for some time!

7 FREE iPad Apps that we love for our 2 year old:

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

3 Ways to Contribute to Your Mom's Club - & My Little Hostess

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

As a part of a mom's group, I feel the need to, well - participate. I enjoy contributing to our mom's group. There are three ways to do this and, as of yesterday, I had only done 2 of the 3. It left me feeling a little guilty, but also I wanted to be more involved now that I know the moms better.

1. You can go to planned outings. This is the easy one. Just show up and have a good time! It's what many moms stick to, and it's totally fine and a good use of the moms group! Everyone appreciates the friendships made, the company at events, and the socialization for little ones.

2. You can plan outings. Everyone can decide on outings, plan and invite. I was immediately drawn to this, because Caroline and I go out and do a lot of things. Before finding the moms group, we did them on our own. We had lots of ideas of things to do, but no one to go with. Now I have an idea, post it on meet-up and invite all the moms! Everyone loves new, creative ideas! I love participating in this manner. The more moms that participate in this way, the more variety we get in our types of playdates and events.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

BFBN Day: When Summer "Break" Is Hardly a Break At All- How to Get By

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

It's Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! All of the bloggers are blogging about the topic of "summer". See below for a ful list of links! Enjoy the posts!

As a teacher, I longed for summer. It was such a wonderful break. Except for one thing... while my schedule was freed up, my husband's schedule was ramping up. While teachers and children are off in the summer, and it is often an ideal time for summer vacations and lots of on the go fun, in our house it's time for gearing up for some difficult, long days. My husband (a golf course superintendent) can't take off for vacations during these months (our family vacations happen in the winter), and often he won't be home for dinner. The weekends are also work days, and there is no break in the schedule (7 days a week) until the weather breaks during the fall season. It's hard on him, and it's also hard on me. I end up kind of solo parenting during these months, and it can get difficult. I know our circumstance is unique, but I also know there are lots of other moms that end up with a similar scenario. Each summer, I try and manage things a little bit better. So, in my effort to tackle these difficult months, and in the hopes that other moms out there might benefit from this as well, I've decided to put together our plan on how to get by!

1. Meal Plan Specifically with Leftovers in Mind

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Feed Me, Change Me, Love Me Baby Tracking Journal Review

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Ok, so here's the thing about tracking journals. They are super useful, but only if they are really good! I have to say, I'm pretty picky about what information I want to record, and how I want to record it. By the time I realized I needed/wanted to be tracking all of Caroline's habits (eating, sleeping, wake time, diaper changes, which side I breastfed on, etc.), I was in full on stay alive mode and too busy to search for one that would be useful. I ended up just recording information about her schedule on a blank notebook that I kept handy. I also made use of my phone. None of the apps seemed to be what I wanted, but there was one simple solution that was going to help me- setting alarms. Every time we had a schedule change, I set both feeding alarms and nap alarms on my phone. This way, I could better keep track of the time and when things were supposed to happen. With schedules changing frequently, that was THE most useful tool that I had at the time.

Fast forward 2 years, and I've since designed a printable baby tracking journal for the basics (eat, wake, sleep). It has recommended schedules, places to keep track of the times and to record any observations. It's basic, but useful. You can check it out in my Etsy shop. It will make things much more organized than simply using notebook paper like I did the first time around!

Right as I was designing this printable option, I was contacted by a fellow Babywise mama about a baby tracking journal that she has in production. I agreed to do a review on the journal, and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised! I definitely plan on using this journal for baby #2. Let me tell you why:

1. Tracking of schedules (goals and actual) is easy to do with this journal! The schedule portion of the journal is an easy tracking system with a grid that you simply draw on. If baby was asleep for 2 hours, you just make a line from 10am-12pm in the chart to indicate a nap. Here's how I plan on altering this for my use. At the top I'm going to write "eat", "wake", and "sleep" in different colors. All on the same chart I'll record these different tasks in different colors. I'm also planning on putting our goal at the top of the chart. I've filled out the week 8 schedule with what this goal will look like for you to see. As we go through the week, I'll just record what actually happened in the spaces below to see how well we are doing with the current scheduling goals. I'll still be setting my phone alarms to help me remember the times, but this all in one recording tool is going to be fabulous!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Free Zoo Admission For Your Family & An Exciting New Partnership- Saving Animals From Extinction

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Saving Animals From Extinction       Stonyfield Organic

I have the wonderful opportunity of getting to work as a blogger for Stonyfield (yes the company with the yummy yogurt that we all love feeding to our babies and toddlers)! Stonyfield is an amazing company to work with, as they are very focused on sustainability and conservation efforts. Their latest effort is a very exciting one to share with you all. Stonyfield is partnering with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) SAFE program (Saving Animals From Extinction). Not only are they contributing funds to a great cause, they have a distinct focus to bring families and children into our zoos, aquariums, and to research locations. Their goal is to inspire a lifelong appreciation of our planet, and a commitment to animal conservation in the next generation.

So how does this impact you? Well, you get to enjoy all of the benefits!