Our daughter is 21 months old. She has had some pretty noteworthy tantrums. This girl can all out fish flop on the floor, hit her head against things, scream bloody murder, bite, hit, kick, etc. As soon as I saw these tendencies in her, I knew I needed to help her to better control her tantrums. Tantrums are going to happen- toddlers are toddlers. They simply don't know what to do with their anger and rush of emotion. They don't know what's ok and what's not ok (until you teach them).
Before I get to our two fabulous tricks, I think it is important to talk about dealing with tantrums in general.
I've been looking at detox diets for quite awhile now. It keeps getting mentioned to me from my doctors and in my research that I've done online. I'm trying to find a way to manage my fibromyalgia pain, to get my energy back, and to feel healthy. Doing a detox and/or changing my diet, with the use of an elimination diet, is the only thing I've yet to try. I was thrilled when I saw that Beachbody had a detox program. I have been very impressed with their products so far, and this program has great reviews. I'm not at all inclined to do a detox where I only get to drink juice. I don't think I can personally get over the mental hurdle of not being able to eat. So, I was happy to read that this program allows you to eat and is very easy to follow.
For 3 days, I will basically be drinking shakes and eating fruits and veggies. That I can handle (I think)!
I am a planner and I wanted to keep things simple. So, I quickly decided that I would be eating the same thing for each of the 3 days and doing my meal prep ahead of time. I wanted to make sure I did the program correctly, and didn't misstep along the way. I based my plan roughly off of what I already had at home as well, to minimize the cost.
I'm in the kitchen getting Caroline's dinner ready. I'm starving because I'm currently doing a detox and not getting to eat anything other than fruits, vegetables and shakes. As I cut up the rotisserie chicken that I normally am pretty blah about eating, I am practically drooling and very distracted.
My daughter pops her head up, as she often does, in the pass through window between the family room and the kitchen. She's climbed up on the couch and is talking to me, grabbing at the items on the ledge, and climbing further and further up. I remind her not to climb, but don't bother to stop what I'm doing to physically go and stop her.
She starts saying what I think sounds like "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby". One of her favorite stuffed animals is named Bobby. I tell her that we'll play with Bobby later and that he's upstairs. She keeps repeating this over and over. I keep simply responding with different versions of no. "Mama is busy making dinner right now, we'll play with Bobby later". "Bobby is upstairs". "No". "You need to wait, Caroline". "Why don't you get your puzzle out, or your books?"
Ok, yes... LuLaRoe leggings ARE buttery soft and it is fun to get caught up in the pattern hunting...for like a couple of months. Then reality sets in and you've spent way too much money, because when you do find a pair that you like, you know that if you don't buy them RIGHT NOW you'll never see them again. So you type "sold" and curse yourself for yet another pair on the way and count your blessings that you have a super understanding and supportive husband! LOL! Sound familiar?
What if I told you, that you could be a part of the decision making for the patterns of leggings, you could shop at your leisure, and even pre-order and be guaranteed a pair when you find a pattern you like? These new leggings I found are the EXACT same as LuLaRoe. They both are buttery soft (I can't tell a difference). They both have the wonderful yoga waistband. One has high pressure buying, and the other lets you be involved and actually have a pleasant shopping experience!
Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest Day! Today's topic is "Transitions". Each mom blogger is interpreting that in her own way, and we have a great list of blogs to read today! Scroll to the bottom to see the full list with links and check out our Pinterest Page for more wonderful reads!
We have topics ranging from "How to Transition from Nap Time to Rest Time", all the way to "Transitioning Your Focus to Positive Behavior" (which you'll find right here)! With Caroline approaching the "terrible twos", we've made an extra effort to focus on positive behavior and natural consequences so she knows what's expected of her. I hope you enjoy these blogs today!
Transitioning Your Focus to Positive Behavior and Natural Consequences
Whether you have a toddler or a high schooler, or anything in between, research has shown that punishment for bad behavior typically doesn't solve the problem long term. Students that receive punishment such as getting sent to the principals office, or being grounded at home, or even suspended from school for a bit... it's rarely a one time occurrence. You typically see the same students in the office, and find that the same students get suspended over and over again. Obviously, the suspensions are an extreme example, but a clear one. The punishment is not something that is working and they simply become repeat offenders. The same holds true all the way down to the toddler age. At the older ages it becomes essential to troubleshoot the reason for the behavior and address the root cause rather than simply having a reaction in the moment. Sometimes that is also necessary at the toddler age, but more often than not your toddler is simply testing boundaries and still learning what's expected of them. Toddlers literally have to be taught EVERYTHING. They may not have any idea yet, that it is not ok to hit or throw things. They may be simply seeking the attention that a behavior like that gets them (even if it is negative).
Many of you probably saw the oatmeal cup recipe that I shared on my Facebook page last week. We tried the recipe as is for the first time just to get a feel for it. The oatmeal cups were really good, so they were gone pretty quick! We ate them for breakfast, and I'd have one (or two) as a snack before bed! LOL! We eat dinner so early in this house so that Caroline can get to bed early (see all of her schedules here), that I'm often hungry when 8/9pm rolls around!
So, when I went to make this for a second time, I made a few adjustments to the recipe, and also decided to double it!
Caroline turns 21 months on 8/26/16! I just did an update at 20 months, so I actually wasn't planning on a post at 21 months, but she happens to have a lot going on! Schedule/Sleep There were some minor changes to her schedule this month. I pretty much just follow her lead at this age, and adjust accordingly. She's working on getting all 4 eye teeth at the same time, and is STILL working on getting her molars all the way through. I swear they've been moving at a glacial speed. I think the major teething this month has contributed to some eating and sleeping issues, which is why we've adjusted the schedule slightly. Eating- She's simply not wanting to eat much (most days). She even points to her gums and says "uh oh" to tell me it's hurting. As a result, she's been on Ibuprofen and Tylenol, and I'm trying to give her
You know the noise. The stomach curdling, forceful throws of vomit. And your instinct is to get out of the way. Well, not anymore. That was before your parenting days. Now you run towards the noise. Now your job is to comfort your toddler that has NO IDEA what is going on and just keeps saying "oh no, oh no mama" as she throws up all over you. You can't just tell her to go kneel in front of the toilet as you would. You have to hold her and help her and comfort her. You have to refrain from throwing up yourself, or join in...whatever works LOL!
My big goal right now is to find quick, easy, HEALTHY meals to add to our usual rotation of meals. Quick meals aren't always the best for you. Healthy meals contribute a chunk of change to your monthly food bill, for sure. It is so important to find a balance, however.
Caroline really doesn't tend to like and eat meat that is offered to her. As a result, I'm really trying to find ways to boost her iron and protein intake. Sometimes that is as simple as giving her peanut butter or beans in her diet. But I'm trying to be more creative with this, since we can all benefit from the added iron. We really aren't a big meat eating family to begin with, so all of us can use a little boost!
I am also focusing on trying to reduce dairy and gluten. I have fibromyalgia and it is causing me to have a lot of pain and fatigue. Diet is pretty much the only thing left I have to try as something to help me with this journey. I'm being realistic in that I can't do an all out elimination diet- not right now. But I can focus on changing up our meals to be healthier. I'm hoping to do an elimination diet this winter, but it's just not in the cards as a right now solution for me. Small changes can make a huge difference, however. So I'm starting something now.
I wanted to share with you some of the meals that I have already tried or am planning to try.
School lunches. I hate even thinking about them. It's so annoying to pack school lunches, and I always struggle with ideas of what to put in them. I hate making them so much, my husband used to make mine for me when I was teaching LOL! So, while I'm no longer working and we don't have any school aged children, we do send Caroline to a Mother's Day Out program once a week. This is something we need to send lunch along for. I'm counting my blessings that I only have to do this once a week for now! Although I struggle with lunch ideas at home sometimes too! haha
Last year, Caroline was eating solid foods, but everything had to be cut up into bite sized pieces since she was so young. This made packing lunch even worse! This year, she'll start the school year when she's 21 months old, and she can handle biting into her half sandwich, thank goodness!
Ok, so this post is almost for me to just get all of my ideas out on paper. I always figure other moms can benefit from be brainstorming out loud, as well!
June 11th of 2016 we started our official potty training! It is now exactly two months later as I write this. It is amazing to look back and realize how much time has gone by already!
Caroline is doing great with everything. She goes in public restrooms without any hesitation, and she holds it and waits to go if we don't have access to a restroom. If she does have an accident (it's very rare), she stops herself and it only gets her clothes a little wet. She's finally saying "potty". She always got my attention in her own little way (saying "uh uh"). I realized that she is going to be in "school" (Mother's Day Out Program) in about 1 month, so she needs to be saying potty! I am catching myself now and making her say the word "potty" before I will take her. It's honestly hardest training myself to not just react to the "uh uh" noises. LOL!
With the school year approaching, and even starting for many already, I wanted to put together a quick list of some helpful books to read to your children. Even Caroline (not even 2), will be going to her version of school (a Mother's Day Out program). It's only once a week, but I still want to prepare her for it the best I can. These books are all about going to school, and some about going to school for the first time. We have several of these, and others I want to make sure I remember so we can get them later!
Daniel Tiger Goes to School- This book has such a great message. "Grown ups come back". Daniel Tiger is sad that his dad isn't going to be with him. He is comforted by his dad telling him that he'll come back. It is also a great book to discuss what will happen at school, as well as helping others out.
Clifford Goes to Kindergarten- This is a cute book about going to school for the first time. The little girl in this book is feeling nervous. She gets to bring an item from home on the first day, which helps her feel more comfortable!
The Kissing Hand- This is one of my favorite books. It is just so sweet. I plan on giving Caroline a "kissing hand" before she goes to school. I always want her to feel strong and that she has me wherever she goes. This book will help that happen.
Llama Llama Misses Mama- This is a book that we actually don't have yet, but I've read it at the library with Caroline. These are just super cute, rhyming books.
Froggy Goes to School- The Froggy books are adorable! We love them all, yet don't own any of them yet LOL! This one is on our list for sure. Froggy has a bad dream about missing the bus, then leap frogs all the way there. These are funny and entertaining!
The Berenstain Bears Go To School- The Berenstain Bear books are great first readers, so they are good to have on hand for learning to read. We love the one where they go to the aquarium, and plan on adding this one to our collection as well. The Night Before Kindergarten (Sticker Stories)- This is one that's going to be on our list as well for when Caroline is a little bit older (maybe for preschool or kindergarten). What better way to ease first day jitters, than with the use of a story book that also has stickers!? Going to School (Usborne Book)- This book is only $1.99 and it is awesome! It talks about the different things to expect at school. Great little book to have for on the go reading (it's small enough to fit in my purse)! There are also mini books on going to the dentist and going to the doctor, which we love.
Ok, so this is one of those posts that I have so many things to talk about, and they are all related, yet all random...meaning I have no idea what title to give to this post. I figured I'd just start writing and figure it out. Let's see if we figure out the title by the end haha!
I've had some proud mama moments lately, and some step back moments where I realize that my daughter is really benefiting from some specific things. I've loved kind of taking a back seat this week and taking it all in.
So, first of all... I recently wrote a post about feeling lonely. I kid you not, that same day...a mom I'd previously gotten together with (who didn't have my blog site yet) sent me a text and wanted to set something up again. I also happened to inquire about a moms group that day. Guess what!?! The same lady is the president of the moms club. How random is that!?! Other moms have started reaching out as well. I have no idea if they read the post or not...and I honestly don't even care if that was the reason. They cared enough to reach out and it meant the world to me. I've also started back up with meeting people and introducing myself. I'd stopped for a bit, but I seem to have a renewed energy with it again and a determination to find my people around here and friends for Caroline as well! Long story short, I've had the opportunity to get together with a few moms recently. In the process, I've noticed a couple of things.
1. Caroline is brave and so strong. I knew this already, but this week in particular I've noticed it a lot. Caroline picked up an empty case at the water fountain the other day. She said "way" (for away). She wanted to put it away. I pointed to two moms across the fountain and told her that it belonged to them. I asked her if she wanted to return it to them. She said "yeah", and then said "yaya" (this is her
Feeding a toddler can be problematic at times! Their favorite food yesterday can become their least favorite food today. One day they eat so much that you have no idea where it could possibly be going, and the next they eat 1 or 2 bites the entire day. Luckily, you are not alone. This is all normal toddler behavior. As a result, however, it can be frustrating to figure out what to make for meals. For me, I specifically struggle with lunch for some reason. We get into a good rhythm for breakfast, and well I guess dinner is another struggle haha!
Here are some things we typically eat (and yes it's WE... we eat the same thing for all meals to keep things easy and everyone happy).
It's BFBN day! My post is called "Puppywise" (yes you read that right)! All about bringing a puppy home and introducing it to your family. Find it over at Wiley Adventures!
Today, one of the lovely ladies from the Babywise Friendly Blog Network is guest posting! Emily is the writer at the Journey of Parenthood, and she is sharing her thoughts on how to help your toddler be more flexible. I shared with her how Caroline gets kind of obsessive about things at times. She repeats things over and over and over again. As a first time mom, part of me worries (even though I know it's nothing to be worried about). Emily took a look back at some of her experiences with her children and has some great ideas on how to help your toddler move through phases such as these.
When I started Babywise with my first child I remember my mother saying to me "won't he end up being rigid and unable to be flexible due to this much structure?" I remember replying to her that if that was the only negative to come from having a set routine everyday then I was all for it!
I do think it's common among Babywise babies to have some issues being flexible as they get older. They thrive on routine and structure and when things are changed up or done differently, they struggle a bit.
As a toddler I really saw this as an issue for my first born. He wanted things done the same way, in the same order. At bedtime he wanted us to each say our prayers in a set order and if something got messed up with that order he'd want to start all over again with the "right" person going first etc. He seemed to go through a bit of a stage where those types of "obsessions" went into many areas of his day. He would get upset when things weren't "perfect" or the way he was used to them being. It was concerning for me and was something I wanted to work through with him.
Caroline is now 20 months old. She understands everything that we say- everything. LOL We can no longer have a conversation about anything without her understanding. We have to spell choice words if we feel the need to exclude her from the conversation! I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M as an example! She has so many words that she tries to say, and only a handful of words that she says correctly or that someone else could understand. She get's her point across, however, and I typically know what she's trying to say. She's also just barely starting to put two words together.
I always take the tactic of repeating what she says in my own words so I can confirm that we are on the same page. She nods and tells me when I got it correct, and says "No" and even laughs at me if I misunderstood. I am so glad she has patience with me!
Yesterday, I was really impressed with how she engaged in a conversation with Daddy.
We often talk about teaching basic "commands" to our toddlers. Teaching your toddler to come to you when called is one that needs to be taught early. To me, this is a safety concern once they are walking/running and independent. We practiced (and still do) all day long to make sure she understood what I meant. I came up with a simple request that made things so much easier for her-"come touch Mama's leg". She now knows to come ALL the way over to me and touch me before her response can be called a success!
Teaching your child to wait comes in as a close second as one of the best commands we've taught our daughter. She applies this to SOOOO much!
Daniel Tiger says "If you have to go potty, stop and go right away". In the potty episode, they make sure that their toys/activity have a sign on them so no one else touches it while they are gone in the bathroom. We turned this into having things "wait" for Caroline. If she's watching a show, playing with a toy, etc... we say that "it will wait for you". She repeats "wait" and even puts her hand out to stop the item from moving! LOL! Cutest thing ever by the way!
If she has to go potty and we are not near a bathroom. We can tell her that she needs to wait. She
Why don't we use cry it out methods now that our daughter is 1.5 years old? Our daughter is already sleep trained. Sleep training and cry it out methods are designed to help your child learn how to self soothe and how to put themselves to sleep. This is an incredible skill that we need to teach our little ones, so I am ALL in favor of using sleep training to teach those concepts. We did sleep training at 4 months with our daughter, and if we need to do it again with our next child, we will. There are so many benefits that our children gain from learning these skills. Caroline is a well rested child. Because of this she is happy, she is healthy, and she is eager to learn.
So, while we did sleep training when Caroline was 4 months old, we are not eager to do any sort of cry it out method now that she is older. At 4 months, she was crying because she needed sleep and didn't know how to put herself to sleep. She was also crying because she wanted me. My husband and I felt that we'd be doing her a disservice if we didn't allow her the opportunity to learn to self soothe. As a result, we did sleep training. It was quite possibly the hardest couple of weeks I've ever experienced. It was worth it. We both agree it's one of the best decisions we've ever made.
Since then, we've always told Caroline that if she calls for us we will always come. Calling for us is different than crying. She needs to call "Mama" or "Daddy", and, if she does, we'll always be there.
You know that feeling when you were single... you'd be out and see all of the couples (for some reason they were everywhere)? You'd feel that little twinge of jealousy and envy. That's how I feel sometimes as a mom. I am that mom with her daughter...never truly alone- but lonely. The other moms are all with other moms. Not me.
Part of me doesn't care. I am not a stay at home mom so that I can socialize. When I go to events for children, or even small playdates I am not there to socialize. In fact, I find it distracting if moms want to socialize too much. I need to be teaching my daughter. I am not the mom that's on the sidelines watching her daughter play. I am the mom that's right there with my daughter interacting. I wouldn't have it any other way. That is my job right now and that's honestly what I expect of other moms as well. It bothers me to no end when adults are missing teachable moments because they are chatting with their mom friends. That's not what being a stay at home mom is about. But, I digress.
I knew that being a stay at home mom would be challenging from that perspective. I knew that I wanted to be proactive and meet other moms. I didn't know it would be so exhausting and seemingly pointless. I am that mom that is reaching out and asking other moms if they want to set up playdates
We've been using the sticker chart for 22 days now. Caroline has gotten 19 stickers! That is a huge success in my book, and is a dramatic change from where she would have been prior to using this method. There are so many ways to use sticker charts. In this post, I'll just outline the specifics of what we've done.
The "problem" we are addressing: Caroline was suddenly delaying bedtime. She was calling for us over and over and over again. She'd claim to have to go potty, but then just socialize. She'd scream and cry when we left the room. She woke up a few nights calling for us at around 2 am as well.
How to earn a sticker: If Caroline goes to bed "like a big girl", she gets a sticker in the morning. We
My daughter is now 20 months old. I have been so excited that she's finally watching TV! I know most moms probably strive for no TV, but this Mama was trying and trying to get my daughter to like something on TV. It gives us a chance to relax, give me a chance to get a few things done on occasion, and even allows us to learn new things in new ways. I have been thrilled that she's found a couple of shows that she enjoys. I decided to try out a movie today, for the first time, because she's been enjoying watching Daniel Tiger and Dora the Explorer. I picked Finding Nemo (not remembering how scary it apparently was going to be for a 20 month old) LOL! Needless to say, there were several moments where she was upset. Although she didn't seem to want me to turn it off, at the same time! I fast forwarded through a couple of moments, but at the end of the day (we sat down 3 different times to watch it) we'd come back to the movie and finished it.
Once I realized there were so many scary moments in this movie, I stopped to think about other movies that would be ok to show her. I have to say, I wasn't coming up with much. Really most Disney movies have a scary part to them. I took to Facebook and asked a couple of different groups, including you guys (my blog readers)! My question was, "What are your favorite movies for this age that are not scary so I don't traumatize my child again?! haha". It got tons of response. I really wanted to compile one list of all of the movies that were recommended so I'd have it for future use, and to share with you today.
So, here is the full list (in no particular order) of movies that were recommended for this age by other moms!