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Friday, January 20, 2017

3 Time Saving Products for Feeding Baby

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Sometimes baby/toddler products are worth buying. The only way to discern the products you'll be wasting money on versus those that are actually helpful, is to ask those that have used them. Today I wanted to make a few recommendations related to feeding our little ones. Anything to make the process of pumping, storing and feeding breast milk easier is worth it to me, and I found an amazing product that I'll be using for baby #2 again some day!  Once they graduate to solids, you'll fall in love with the food pouch for on the go feeding (if you haven't already). There's only one annoyance, the squeezability factor to make a huge mess. Problem solved! Then there's the choice of which sippy cup to use. Trying to find a good one that doesn't leak is ridiculously hard- not to mention one that's easy to clean. Well, I've found that as well, and we are never going back to normal sippy or straw cups in this house!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Little Echoes

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

My body aches. An undeniable ache that prevents me from being the fun mom I want to be. The fatigue sets in and my arms and legs feel heavy. For years, doctors told me that nothing was wrong. They did blood work and scans, and could never find anything. We kept fighting. I'm now told I have fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue, among other potential findings. It's a relief to get a diagnosis, but still a struggle because there's not much that is helping. It's been getting worse over the years, and on top of that I now have a 2 year old. My duties as a SAHM include sitting on the floor, running around, squatting in front of the toilet seat with my daughter, etc. Long story short, I'm feeling the pain more than ever.

I try not to complain, but it's written all over my face and my body language. A stranger wouldn't know, but my husband knows me too well. My sweet husband asks me what's wrong. He knows already, but he's wanting the details of what hurts. He cares so much and desperately wants to fix the pain and help. He asks if he can do anything. Then he offers me the best gift he could and silence. "Go lay down", he says. "Go relax", he says.

It happens so often, my daughter is taking on the concerned role as well. All on her own, she'll ask, "How are you, Mama?" She'll look at me and say "Go lay down, go relax, Mama." She's learning from her daddy, how to take care of me.

I melt.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Promoting Positive Behavior by Offering Choices to Your Toddler

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Today is a very special day! I've linked up with another blogger as a part of a new collaborative blogging group. We have both decided to write on the subject of "toddler behaviors"! Check out Carolyn's blog post today as well: - When Your Child Is An Extrovert And You’re Not

Promoting Positive Behavior by Offering Choices to Your Toddler

Choices. They fuel our world. As adults we thrive on making choices and wouldn't have it any other way. Can you imagine a world where you didn't get to make choices? You'd go out to dinner and just be handed a meal and told take it or leave it. Perhaps you don't even get to choose how much you want to eat. You might be full, but you are told you need to keep eating- you don't have a choice. You'd go to purchase a car and the "expert" would choose for you. Our lives are what they are because of the choices we've made. We got to choose what we majored in at college. We got to choose what companies we wanted to apply to and work for, and on and on. Even down to the little choices we make each day- what glass to use for our drink, what shoes to put on, how we want our hair styled, etc. These choices make us feel a sense of ownership and pride in ourselves. These choices make us who we are and make life interesting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

5 Crucial Lessons To Teach Your Child That You Should Start Now

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

My generation was right on the cusp of this transition- the transition to feeling entitled. When I was a few years into the workforce (but still pretty new), I suddenly felt quite old. While I wasn't much older than the "college kids" joining the workforce (literally only a few years older), I was noticing a big discrepancy in our attitudes. I felt like I was worlds apart from understanding them. These newbies did only what was expected of them- if that. Never did they go above and beyond, work late, take on extra responsibility, or take a proactive approach to learning and growing in their role. I noticed that these individuals expected to be rewarded for their efforts, even though they were pitiful efforts and merely doing what they were supposed to do to earn their salary. They wanted bonuses, recognition letters, free lunch days, and more. Again, all for doing the bare minimum. In addition to this, they seemed to be needed to be told what to do at all times. If they finished something early (before being told what to do next), they either did nothing, or asked what they should do. It didn't occur to them to figure it out. To learn and problem solve. Or to do extra. Several years later, I found myself switching from my engineering role into teaching high school chemistry. What I had seen in the workforce, was multiplied times 10 at the high school level. I made it my expectation to try and teach my students some much needed "real world lessons".

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dads, Doing Things Their Awesome Way

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

This post originally appeared as a guest post at Team Cartwright. Team Cartwright is one of the amazing blogs in the Babywise Friendly Blog Network. Check her blog out when you get the chance!

Here's the thing about dads. There are those that stand mostly on the sidelines, and there are those that jump in and parent wholeheartedly. Often, they end up getting criticized no matter which path they choose. Either they don't do enough, or the things they do aren't done "correctly". When this happens, a lot of dads end up backing off and defaulting to mama as the go to parent (and not doing enough). It is a viscous cycle! The thing is, though... dads don't do things incorrectly. They just do them differently than mama. And that's ok.

My husband is pretty hands on. Our daughter is almost 1.5 years old now. He often tells me that things came more natural for me with regards to parenting. Maybe, maybe not. The real reason that I seem to "know what I am doing", however, is that I do it 24-7. It is my job and my entire life! He goes to work and catches up on the whole parenting thing in the evenings.

As moms, we all know that things change on a daily basis (what works and what doesn't), and that we've had all day and all week to figure out the best way to do things. So, it is with good intentions that, when our husbands come home from work, we mention to them what "works". They are often glad to get the headlines so they can feel like they know what they are doing. The reality, however, is that they do know what they are doing. Sometimes we just need to let them parent and figure it out.

Some things need to be consistent- the rules and boundaries. These things should be discussed as a couple so that both parents agree and are on the same page.

Other things can be done differently at different times. They way in which we bathe our children, get them dressed, what we do before nap time, how we play with a certain toy, the feeding process, the outfit selection, etc. All of these things and many, many others are what I'd refer to as the fluid parts of the day. If dad does them one way, and mama does them another- all will be ok in the world!

Dads need to feel a sense of ownership in order to feel that they also "know what they are doing". Things come natural to them as well, but often times they don't have as much time to figure things out before mama steps in. And, if you have an "expert" in the room...why not default to them? It's easy for dads to default to us and trust us. We married these men, however, because we know they are smart an capable. So, we need to let them problem solve and do things differently. Men are usually pretty good problem solvers!

My husband brought this up to me one evening as we were discussing this whole parenting thing. I was upset because, in the moment, I felt like he wasn't stepping up enough. Here's what happened:

He was going to give our daughter a bath. He asked her to come several times, and she wasn't listening. I was staying in the other room letting him deal with the situation. I waited. Nothing new happened. Then she came over to mama, so I got involved. I told her to go to daddy to take her bath. Since she'd already been asked several times, when she didn't listen I simply picked her up, brought her in the bathroom, got her undressed and put her in the bath. I was upset, because now I was doing the bath and I felt like my husband hadn't stepped up.

He later explained to me that he really was going to come get her. He was giving her a chance to come back. That chance was just longer than what I would have allowed. It was the same tactic that I would have used. I just wouldn't have (and didn't) let it go on as long. The reality is that we use the same parenting styles (which is an important part of being consistent). It would have been alright, in that situation, for my husband to wait a little bit longer before coming to get her. I didn't recognize this in the moment, however.

He later read an article about how dads to things differently, but not incorrectly. He sent me the article to read. Here is the link in case you are also interested to read it! All I could think of was that he is an amazing dad. He is hands on. He does step up. He tries and he does SO well! I feel like I am pretty hands off when he's dealing with things. I don't feel like I am the mom that tells dad how to do things. Unfortunately, I do it enough that he notices it and it bothers him at times. I was so glad that he told me, because I never want to make him feel like he is doing things wrong.

So, it is with a conscious effort that I now take a backseat on purpose at times. I want him to see that I trust him. I want him to see how amazing he is with our daughter. I want him to feel like he knows what he is doing- because he does. He just doesn't know the exact way I would do it! No one would (but me)! It's a pretty tall order to expect someone to do things just like you do them. So, even though I thought I was good at this, I was told (and also realized) that I am not as good as I thought or want to be! Most of us mamas can probably improve in this area and let the reigns go a bit. Not to mention we could probably learn a thing or two from our amazing husbands as well!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

$1000 Baby Shopping Challenge

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

There are so many products out there today that are marketed to first time moms. It's almost overwhelming to look through everything and decide what you need for when baby arrives. I started thinking about what items we could have used without, versus what we actually NEEDED for our parenting journey as first timers.

I then decided to give myself a challenge: "What if I only had $1000 to spend in preparation for when our first baby arrived? What would I buy and how would I maximize the money?"

The assumption being that nothing came in the form of gifts, hand-me-downs, or was even able to be found used locally. 

In this post, you'll find my final list of items (that can all be purchased in one place- amazon, because let's face it... online shopping is so much easier and hassle free)! The entire list comes out to UNDER the $1000 goal and is everything you'll need for your baby's arrival!

Must have items for when baby arrives:

*Prices are all directly from Amazon as of 1/13/17 when I posted this article.

Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car seat and base- We loved this car seat. It works for newborns and works up to 30lbs. Great find and it fits in the stroller mentioned below!   $199

Thursday, January 12, 2017

10 Tips for Dealing With a Two Year Old Who Doesn't Want to Nap

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

We have a wonderful guest post today. Valerie from the Babywise Friendly Blog Network is sharing some great ideas on how to deal with a 2 year old that isn't wanting to nap. I think #3 is so very important. It is something we are struggling with at the moment. Getting in enough mental and physical stimulation is a difficult task some days, but is very essential!

I'm guest posting today over at Wiley Adventures. Our 2 year old is really resisting room time, so we've implemented "table time". Check out my post: 8 independent table activities for 2 year olds. Let me know what other ideas you have for table time fun!

10 Tips for Dealing With a Two Year Old 
Who Doesn't Want to Nap
by Valerie Plowman

"You are so lucky your three year old still naps! As soon as my child hit two, he refused to take naps anymore." I have heard this comment many, many times over my years of parenting. Here is the thing. Most two year olds are going to reply, "Thanks, but no thanks" when you say "Time for nap!" It is rare to have a child who loves sleep so much that at age two, he/she will skip on in at nap time. Those children exist, yes. I have had one.