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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!
Eat wake sleep cycles 21 months old babywise

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! 


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.


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
soft foods to eat. 

She also gets frozen peas with her lunch to help calm the pain down. In addition to the teething pain, she's just getting stubborn and testing boundaries at the table. 

Many days she simply refuses to try something, or already has her mind made up and puts it in her mouth not long enough to even taste it. She'll ask to get down and say she's done immediately. 

Eating has become a bit of a struggle (which is a first really). I've pushed out her dinner time to 6 (unless she shows signs of hunger earlier), to make sure she's nice and hungry for dinner. Some days it seems to help her eat more, and other days it's a wash. 

We are still being consistent with our table rules. She is only allowed to eat what is offered for breakfast/lunch/dinner. In other words, if she doesn't eat, I'm not going to go make her something else. 

With that being said, I always make sure she's got something that I know she'll enjoy. Once she gets down from the table she's done eating- no snacks. 

In the extremely rare occasion where she's hungry in between meals,  she is allowed to eat whatever was left on her plate for the previous meal, and if it's close enough to the next meal, I simply move the meal a bit earlier. 

She never asks for snacks, so I only save her plate for this off chance if she really didn't eat anything. 


Caroline has gotten much better at bedtime. The sticker chart is unfortunately no longer working, however. She's simply no longer motivated by it. The ok to wake clock is still being effective! 

While she's gotten better about staying quiet and trying to go to sleep at night, it's taking her awhile to get to sleep. Most days she's not asleep until around 9 even though we start her bedtime routine at 7:15, and she's in bed a little after 7:30. 

We were putting her down at 7 for awhile, then really doesn't seem to matter the time right now. She's just taking awhile. So, we settled on 7:15 for this month. 

Naps have been a bit more challenging this month. I had to help her get to sleep twice (which never happens...I literally can't remember the last time prior to this month). 

Her naps have also been shorter. All of the above mentioned issues may simply be due to teething. She may also be learning new skills and just wanting to practice. She talks a lot at night before she goes to sleep, and talks when she wakes as well. 

With all of this going on, I am letting Caroline sleep in later (if she will), and I never wake her from her nap. She needs the sleep right now, so if she can catch up and get a few extra minutes I leave her be! She's always tired enough to still stay on schedule (even if she sleeps in). 

I went ahead and adjusted her wake clock to be set for 7:15 instead of 7. Even if she's not sleeping, she gets 15 extra minutes of quiet time.

7:15 am wake and drink milk
8/8:30am breakfast
12 pm lunch
12:30-3:30 pm nap (I no longer wake her), milk when she wakes
6 pm dinner
7:15 pm bed

See all of our schedules here

Wake time

Independent play has been a HUGE struggle all of the sudden. Caroline is going through a very clingy phase, and simply won't allow room time to happen. She stands at the closed door and knocks for me to open it. 

How we do room time
She calls for me and whines and cries. She does not want to be without mama right now. While I know she'd benefit from the room time, I am not forcing it. If she calls for me I come. 

Sometimes I can calm her down and encourage her to play. Other times she won't let me leave. I probably should hold my ground a little bit better, but to me this seems like just a phase that she will move on from quickly. She's always been great at her room time, so I know she's going to get back to it eventually.

As for the clinginess.... her tantrums are pretty 

isolated to moments when she wants mama to do


- Walking from the car into a store, or into our house. 

Normally she's thrilled to walk and holds my hand when I ask her to. At home she even walks on the sidewalk until she gets to the stairs, then waits for me and holds her hand out. At the moment, she is refusing to walk. She wants up all the time. 

She will immediately go into a tantrum if I ask her to walk instead. She's good about using her words when I ask her to. So, as long as I have free hands to pick her up, if she say's "up please", I go ahead and pick her up. There have been a few moments, however, where we were walking towards our house and I had my hands full. 

I simply couldn't pick her up. I tried explaining to her that I couldn't pick her up right now and I needed her to walk. I've also tried asking her to help me carry something, etc. to get her involved.

None of my tactics work! She screams and cries, and even says "please". If I don't pick her up she is all out tantruming on the sidewalk, trying to climb up me, pulling at the things I'm carrying, etc. I've even tried to get ahead of her and encourage her to follow me. 

She's fast...I simply can't get around her! I'm sure this is quite the sight from our neighbors' windows haha! This too shall pass....

- Getting up on the couch. 

Normally she's super excited to go and get her stool, and climb up on her own. She thinks to do it on her own and would probably throw a fit if I simply put her on the couch. She is very independent. 

Right now, however, she had a moment where she walked up to the couch and immediately started crying and screaming for me. I was making dinner, so I came as soon as I could. 

I calmed her down and had her explain what she needed. "Up", she said. I reminded her she could get her favorite green stool. She started immediately crying again saying "no no no mama up". She was fine as soon as I put her on the couch...

- Daddy starts to read a book to her and she takes the book from him and says "Mama", as she walks it over to me. 

- She would rather get on Mama's bed and snuggle than have playtime most days.

etc, etc.....

This same clingy girl however, went to daycare last week and never cried. She had been to this place only once before for a few minutes while we were checking the place out and talking with the owner. It was MONTHS ago. 

This was the first time I'd actually used it for daycare. I dropped Caroline off for 3 hours. She immediately started playing with the toys and other children. I told her goodbye and she was totally fine with me leaving.  


- Starting to put 2 words together (more beans, no mama, uh oh mama, no no mama, no go mama)
Notice a mama trend!?

- She can answer a pretty challenging question of "what did you do today". She comes up with simple words to describe what we did (go, water, lunch)

- She's excellent at following directions. I ask her to wait, come, turn around, stop, go, etc. She does it all perfectly! If she's upset that's a different story and she has some selective hearing going on.... haha

- Her favorite place to be is Mama and Daddy's bed

- She can get onto a low balance beam all by herself. She then needs a little assistance walking on it (only because she's distracted and not paying full attention)

- She can do a somersault all on her own at gymnastics now!

- She loves vacuuming like Mama

- She points out all of the dog hair that finds it's way onto everything. She says "Moe" for Moose. 

- She points out if the toilet needs to be cleaned "uh oh, Mama" 

- When she is thinking she says "hmmmmm"

- She can apparently put her big wooden block puzzles together in a matter of seconds (found that out yesterday)

- She loves singing "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear" at gymnastics and doing all the moves

- The last couple of days she's really enjoyed feeding Moose his breakfast and dinner, by hand

- She loves getting together with other children and having someone to play with, but she's still very independent and likes to do things on her own.

- She still is too shy to say hello or wave to people, but she will say thank you (yaya) and bye bye

- She can say all of the "beeps" in Little Blue Truck as we read it. She also says "stuck" when it comes up in the book.

- She understands how to close her eyes and tries really hard to do so at bedtime

- She is back to letting us brush her teeth easily. She says "ahhhhhh" the entire time now, instead of just when she opens her mouth.

- Pumpkin seeds are her new favorite thing to eat (as of yesterday).

- We read The Kissing Hand a few weeks ago. I gave her a kiss on the palm of her hand when they talk about it in the book. That day when she went to the bathroom she stuck out her hand for a kiss. I gave her one, and she held out her other hand. She then held out her feet for kisses too. She asks for this every time she is on the potty at home now! She gives my hands and feet kisses in return.

- I can blow a kiss at her and she'll catch it and slap it to her face. She tries to blow one back.

- She is really into smelling food. In the grocery store we leave with smashed bread because she sticks her face in it so much. She looked like she had a bloody nose the other day from smelling cherries at the dinner table.

- She's a great little helper and loves putting the groceries away and carrying the bags.

- In the car, she knows when we are close to home and she'll shout "Moe" for Moose. She also knows when we are close to Daddy's work and shouts "Daddy".

- Any time we go anywhere, when we get there she  yells "yay".

- I can now ask her to clean up her room, and she can clean up the ENTIRE room. We used to have to specify to "put away your books, please".

- She likes to carry her giraffe bike and flip it over to "fix" it.

- She loves dancing and will stop what she's doing if her favorite song comes on (yes it is still Thomas Rhett T-Shirt)

- She loves sitting on things and telling me that she's sitting.

- She's excellent at waiting patiently for her turn.

- She loves when I put flower clips in her hair and usually requests that I put all 3 in!

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. 
I have a couple of Pinterest boards that are focused on food. This one has some great breakfast ideas, and here I have compiled some dinners and sides to try out. 

Some of my favorites that we've tried already:

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.

(Click here to find Daniel Tiger Goes to School on amazon)

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!

(Click here to find Clifford Goes to Kindergarten on amazon)

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.

(Click here to find The Kissing Hand on amazon)

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.

(Click here to find Llama Llama Misses Mama on amazon)

If You Take a Mouse to School-

This one goes without saying...we love all of these books and bought this set on Amazon of 5 of these "If You Give.." books. They are that fun!

(Click here to find If You Take a Mouse to School on amazon)

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!

(Click here to find Froggy Goes to School on amazon)

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!?

(Click here to find The Night Before Kindergarten (Sticker Stories) on amazon)

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.

(Click here to find Going to School on amazon)

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).


- Malt-o-meal
- Peanut butter toast
- Pre-made/frozen banana pancakes

Breakfast sides
- applesauce pouch
- grapes
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.

All I have to say about our activities this week is 1 word: WATER!

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

This was a requested post following the post discussing the 18 month sleep regression (why it happens and what to do). I just want to take a minute to outline how we are using the sticker chart, because it has been extremely effective!

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!