It’s Friday…and it’s a holiday weekend! Woo-hoo!

Well, for a mom that may not mean much, since we never truly get a “day off.”  But if you are a working mom, I imagine you welcome this whole Labor Day business feels pretty damn good after a long week of juggling work and family.  After all, working moms are the hardest laborers out there! Pun intended.

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Ice, Ice Baby!

August 25th, 2014 | Posted by Kristin in Everything In-Between - (0 Comments)

Unless you live under a rock which I’m fairly certain you don’t, you’ve seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge sweeping the nation.  These challenges are raising awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as well as funding for further research, so despite the naysayers, it really is a worthy trend.

With so many politicians, athletes and celebs posting videos of their icy baths, It is hard to highlight a favorite.  We did, however, enjoy the simultaneous pregnancy announcements from these awesome actresses.  Suspected mom-to-be’s, Zoe Saldana and Hayden Panettiere, had fun with the challenge as they confirmed pregnancy rumors.

 





Summer isn’t over quite yet, but summer break is.  Yup, that means the kiddos are headed back to school allowing you that sweet free time you haven’t had since May.  Granted that time will be filled with housework, occupations, and other grownup stuff, you’ll likely enjoy at least a few moments of silence.

This fun, Sir Mix-a-Lot inspired parody gives moms something we can relate to.

 

 





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I don’t cook. Best way I can open this post up is by stating that I do not enjoy cooking.  Baking I can handle to a point, but I’m just not very food savvy in general.  So of course, now that I am a mother I am slowly trying to improve my culinary skills.  The hardest part is, I have a very picky eater in this house.

My Ladybug at 2+ years old is a food challenged toddler. With aversions and fears of foods, it has been such a struggle to get this girl to eat nutritious foods. I sneak in the goods whenever I have an opportunity and with her latest love being cookies, I figured healthy cookies were worth a shot.  I browsed the web for recipes and pinned several before finally combining a few to form my own.  There was a good chance they’d turn out all sorts of wrong, but hey, whatever she doesn’t eat, I typically do.

So here it is, a recipe for a veggie and more cookie that toddlers and mommies will love! Mine turned out great and were so much easier to make than I anticipated.  Mix it up, try different ingredients and see what your toddler will grow to love.  Happy baking!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp flax meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1/2 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

*Flax meal and/or raisins can be omitted; Almond meal can be replaced with another 1/2 cup of flour; zucchini or carrot can be omitted. Use sweetened applesauce and/or more chocolate chips for sweeter cookies. Walnuts can be added if desired.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside for later.

2. Mix together flour, almond meal, baking soda, flax meal, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and set aside.

3. Combine applesauce and brown sugar in a larger bowl and mix well. Mix in egg and vanilla. Then, add the carrot and zucchini and mix well.

4. Gently stir in dry mixture until combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and raisins.

5. Drop heaping tablespoon-size onto prepped sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges. Then, transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

COOKIES

 





toddler hitting
We have hit a new milestone, Ladies and Gentlemen: my toddler hits. It started last week, and it breaks my heart a little each time it happens. This is new behavior for my almost-two-year-old, and from what I have read, a fairly typical milestone.  To add to the fun, he also started pulling my hair during tantrums.  These actions are definitely “corner-worthy offenses,” and believe me, I march him right to the corner and we sit there until his 60 seconds are up. I tell him, during this time-out, that hitting and pulling hair are “not nice” and that he is “hurting Mommy.” He screams and tries to get in another good hit, of course.

This isn’t the first offenses. A while back (maybe around 18 months) my son bit us a few times during his tantrums–an offense that was handled the same way as mentioned above: corner time and talking. This seemed to work, because he hasn’t bitten us since. Although I believe the corner-time will be effective (we only use the corner for extreme offenses), I have come across advice to walk away and ignore the child after reprimanding him. I am not sure I agree with ever ignoring my kid, but perhaps the attention he is receiving from hitting me is something he seeks. Do I let him have that?

All I know for certain, is that I have to try to not become emotionally invested in this whole thing; I know it is not personal. In fact, I am willing to bet this stems from the frustration he is experiencing from not being able to express himself verbally. My son has a handful of words that help him get by each day, but he is not quite talking yet. Aside from momma, dadda, milk, Mickey Mouse, Elmo, all done!, and more, Bubba does a whole lot of pointing, grunting, and taking me by the hand to show me what he needs. We work on words all day, every day, and I plan to speak with his doctor at his 2-year check-up to see if there is anything more we should be doing to help him communicate verbally.  In the meantime, all we can do is be consistent: consistent in teaching him key words and phrases, rewarding him for using his words, reward him for being nice and gentle, talk about feelings openly (in a way he understands), and reprimanding/time-out him when he becomes aggressive.

Upon researching this new behavior and trying to find a solution, I came across some great expert advice. Hopefully this will be helpful to you as well:

Dr. Sears - Biting and Hitting: 16 Ways to Stop it

  • Aggressive biting and hitting is most common between the ages of 18-months and 2½ years when the child doesn’t have the verbal language to communicate his needs. Instead, he communicates through actions. Biting usually stops as the child’s verbal skills grow but hitting doesn’t.
  • Once your child’s face-slapping becomes an expression of frustration (for example, the toddler in your arms becomes angry and hits you because you won’t let her have candy), you’ll have to show her the natural consequence. Firmly but calmly announce “You may not hit” and put her down. She’ll still be angry about the candy, so you can verbalize that for her. Do not allow your toddler to use you as a punching bag. Give her the message that you will not let her hurt you. If you don’t allow your child to hurt you when he’s very young, he will be less likely to let others hurt him when he’s older. You will be modeling to him how to say “no” to being hit, for example, by holding up a hand to stop the blow but not hit back.
  • Timeout the aggressor. “Biting hurts, and it’s wrong to hurt. You are going to sit by me.” Usually by two years of age the child can make the connection between being aggressive and the consequences. Encourage your child to say “I’m sorry.” If he’s not angry anymore, he might want to give a kiss or hug.

What To Expect.com:

  • Keep your cool. Difficult though it may be, try very hard not to overreact when your darling hauls off and pops you one. If your reaction is outsized and dramatic, you can bet she’ll file away “punching Mommy” as a surefire strategy to get lots of attention next time. Melodrama is fun for toddlers, and watching you lose your cool is exciting and immensely entertaining.
  • Discourage aggressive play. Watch out for ways that violence can sneak into your child’s play. Once your toddler starts to make her doll hit other dolls, she’s one step away from acting out the deed in real life. Calmly intervene when you see your child playing in a violent way, and say, “It’s not nice to make Dora hit Elmo.”
  • Know your toddler’s triggers. Some kids act out when they’re tired or hungry. Others show aggressive behavior when they’re overstimulated and don’t know where to focus their energy. And other kids unleash their inner wild child when they’re dealing with a stressful situation (such as a change in day care or a move to a new house). Pay attention to what the circumstances are when your child gets unwieldy, and either try to avoid those scenarios, or be ready to hold your child’s hand (literally and emotionally) when those instances come up. By anticipating any potentially aggressive toddler behavior, you may be able to stop it before it starts.
  • Give it time. Just because your toddler lashes out physically does not mean she’s destined to grow into a bully. With maturity will come empathy, and soon your child will understand that aggressive behavior can hurt other people.




Happy Friday!

Well, the geniuses at NickMom have done it again! As a mother of a toddler, I understand this all too well…and find it especially amusing.

Enjoy!





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The style we lose and the practicality we gain all in the name of motherhood.

One of “those” moms. Hair in a messy bun (often unwashed hair), no makeup, jeans and a t-shirt, driving a family wagon. Yep, we all have a vision of what motherhood will look like and we all say the famous “that won’t be me” line when we see a mom in a stained t-shirt with sweats with a look of sheer exhaustion on her face. I mean, babies sleep, eat and play leaving moms plenty of time to doll themselves up, right?

Then after baby, it happened…I started to look, talk, and act like a mom. My days of heels, form-fitting blouses, done up hair, a made up face, perfume, jewelery and pretty nails had pretty much disappeared. Pre-baby, I spent hours primping to hide my least favorite flaws and make myself feel beautiful. It’s not that I was vain or fake, I was just so insecure that I worried about every detail. I had such an attachment to the outer layer and became anxious when I started to let these things go during pregnancy.

It didn’t all change overnight for me. After giving birth to my precious baby girl, I spent a lot of time in pj’s and maternity clothes and often had unwashed hair and little makeup (yes, I still managed to at least slap on a coat of paint to hide the tired bags under my eyes and make me feel somewhat myself). I returned to work after 6 weeks and needed to continue to look presentable, so I made every effort to revert to my old primping ways. I was slowly realizing that I didn’t have the time, energy or care for my old rituals. Once my job was switched to home office, everything began to just fade. The hair was first.  I just didn’t have the time anymore.  Baby was too mobile and wanted attention constantly, so hair was the last thing on my to-do list.

The wardrobe change was the most dramatic for me. Anyone who knows me can tell you I ALWAYS wore heels. The day I bought flats was the most freeing day of my life! Do I feel short, stubby and somewhat unattractive in them? Yes. But the feelings of practicality and comfort are way worth it. My daughter now has a mom who can keep up with her at the park and safely carry her up or down stairs. A tank and jeans are my go-to these days and my hair goes straight from shower to a bun almost daily. I’ve traded scented lotion and perfume for baby lotion and sunscreen. Instead of necklaces to doll up my shirts I sport my daughters favorite stickers, which she kindly arranges on me. Lip balm instead of lipstick and the list goes on.

It’s funny too – I often feel more beautiful and radiant in frumpy mom mode. Not the crusty, dried up food on my shirt look, but the confident, go-with-the-flow style I’ve now adapted to. Granted I’d trade a diaper blowout for a hair blowout once in a while, but as a whole, the mom style change has been great for me. It’s taught me to be practical, frugal and flexible with my look. And the time I used to spend primping now is spent with my daughter, my wonderful baby. Totally worth it!

 





All stages of breastfeeding are unique, from newborn to toddler.  While newborns don’t do much of anything while they nurse, infants start to grab toes and reach for our faces.  These are the simple and sweet nursing days.  Soon they become toddlers and breastfeeding shifts from a peaceful event to a variety show, and here are the starring roles…

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Which one describes your little one?





10 Toddler Must-Haves

Is your baby starting to act like a big kid? Is your precious little one walking…better yet, running? Is she acting a little bit sassy and craving some independence? Once Bubba reached about 15 months, the above really kicked in with him, and I started to refer to him as a Toddler. Once Bubba reached toddler status, we started doing new things, like playing at parks with playgrounds, visiting zoos and aquariums, and just a lot more on-foot type exploration.

With these changes, I found we needed some new gear in order to make a successful “go” at Toddlerhood. The following 10 items were not discovered overnight, in fact, it took me nearly 7 months to figure out what we needed in our arsenal–and I am sure there is lots more to discover in the next 7 months! I thank my wise Mommy-friends for passing down their knowledge, and I hope I am able to do that for some of you:

1. Backpack for parents – I featured this item as numero uno because I cannot imagine my active days without my diaper-backpack.  I, like most moms, ordered the cutest designer diaper bag when Bubs was first born, but had to ditch it once he was off and running. I currently use my hubby’s “daddy diaper-backpack,” which isn’t the best quality, but does the job. It’s a Fisher Price, cost about $30, and has lots of handy pockets. I love being able to strap it on my back when at the park or chasing Bubba through the Aquarium.

2. Stepping stool - You may remember the article about my “Mr. Independent“…if you are not familiar with this post, basically, I was advised by a wise mommy-friend to get my new toddler a stepping stool so he can wash his own hands, reach things on his own, etc. I immediately ordered a Bumbo stool, and we have loved it ever since! My growing toddler gets a kick out of doing things like a “big boy,” which not only brings a smile to my face, but keeps the peace in our household!

3. Booster seat - Again, another item mentioned in the “Mr. Independent” blog a while back. We love having the option of seating him in a booster vs. a high chair, plus, it’s AWESOME for travel. Bubba really enjoys eating, coloring, or simply sitting in his booster at the table. Plus, it will be handy when baby #2 comes along one day, and kicks Bubs out of the high chair.

4. Streaming radio app  - I’m a Pandora fan. The Toddler Radio station is part of our daily routine. Bubba and I love the variety, and he is at the point where he knows 75% of the songs–even smiling and dancing when he hears the first few seconds of a familiar tune. This app is great to stream through a speaker, in the car, or simply blast from your smartphone or tablet. It’s gotten me out of many jams. And it’s FREE!

5. Small, portable board books – You may already have small board books in your diaper bag or car, and that’s great. I find that now that Bubba is a toddler, he is way more interested in books than before. I love having small books as a secret weapon when we are trying to dine out, or on a long car ride. A great tip: Keep these in the bag or in the car–reserved for special times–that way, your tot appreciates them, and is excited to crack them open.

6. Zoli teething sticksI just discovered these when staying with friends in Hawaii. They had these for their toddler, and my son gave them a try–loving them. I placed an Amazon order immediately. These are GREAT for those hard to reach molars, plus, they have this handy ring around the tip to prevent it from touching the ground or other undesirable surfaces. This is NOT a sponsored post–I just really think the product is fantastic–so go buy a set.

7. First Aid Kit for the car – Another no-brainer–but it took me until my newly walking son stepped off a high surface and scraped his head open to remember to keep first aid in the car! Toddlers are fearless, and get hurt about once a week. Be prepared!

8. Hand sanitizing wipes - Some parents don’t prefer to use anti-bacterial wipes and gels on their little ones…but I do. It’s not like I bathe my munchkin in the stuff, I simply wipe his hands after the park, the store, gym class, or when he is about to snack on-the-go. Plus, my kid always has his hands in his mouth, and we don’t always make it to the soap and water in ample time. There are many hand wipe products on the market that are safe for babies and toddlers, and it sure beats getting sick every other month!

9. Healthy on-the-go snacks - Whether it’s crackers, puree or applesauce pouches, bananas, rice rollers, or dried fruit, I am sure my bag is stocked with one or two healthy (and portable) snacks when leaving the house. A snack can be a secret weapon at the store, or when stuck in traffic. Plus, growing toddlers with boundless energy really know how to work up and appetite!

10. Umbrella stroller - I might as well sell my BOB, because all I ever use now that Bubba is a toddler, is my cheap umbrella stroller! I bought it at Babies ‘r Us about a year ago, and it is still going strong. It’s small, super lightweight, easy to use, and folds-up compactly. It’s really great for those of you who have active toddlers (like mine) who are constantly wanting in and out of the stroller in order to explore.

So, there you have it! Stay tuned…I may revisit this list in a few months and add another 10 must-haves! What would you add?





seasons

Babies are happily welcomed year-round. Pregnancy, however, has it’s seasonal ups and downs.

Like everything in life, maternity has it’s pros and cons. Some parts of the year are just less enjoyable when you’re pregnant and uncomfortable. Others are completely magical. Expecting at various stages throughout the year has it’s ups and downs.

These birth season breakdowns are based on the time of year (in California specifically) you’ll give birth:

Spring

Flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping…seems like the perfect time to be welcoming your new baby, right?

  • Pros: Your 3rd trimester will take place during holiday season and winter which can be awesome! Indulging in festive treats and keeping cool during those tail end pregnancy hot flashes. Plus, baby will not need to be bundled up from head to toe due to the wonderfully warm weather which makes the dozens of daily diaper changes a bit easier.
  • Cons: A spring baby means you started your pregnancy in the mid to late summer time.  Now, if you live somewhere with hot summers, morning sickness and heat can be a wicked combo! It also means you may not be bikini ready for the upcoming summer…bummer.

Summer
Fun in the sun and adorable newborn hats and swimsuits!

  • Pros: If baby is born at the beginning of this season, hooray! This means that no part of your maternity was spent in the summertime. And you probably spent the 2nd (often best) trimester in winter season – holidays, sweets and fun!
  • Cons: It’s hot.  Post pregnancy hormones may have you sweating up a storm and the heat will only add to your dilemma.  Also, if breastfeeding, you may find yourself washing sweat off of your breasts and changing nursing bras/pads often. And good luck swaddling a newborn baby in 90+ degree heated days (part of why my Ladybug was NOT the swaddling type). Lastly, it goes without saying that spending your 9th month of pregnancy in the mid summer can suck pretty bad too.

Fall
Picture this – strolling a new baby through the beautiful falling leaves.

  • Pros: Giving birth in the fall feels like perfect timing. You’ll be able to introduce you’re new tot to everyone during the upcoming holiday season. And with the cooler temps of fall and upcoming winter, you can easily dress to hide that post baby weight.
  • Cons: Keeping baby warm through the chilly part of the year can be worrisome.  You’ll constantly wonder if baby is warm enough.  But that’s what extra mommy snuggles are good for.

Winter
With holidays, festivities and a new year, comes a new baby!

  • Pros: You’ll be sharing those final kicks in the womb or possibly a newly born babe with loved ones during this season…how magical! Also, a pregnant woman in her final stretch of maternity should eat all the yummy treats being passed around right now. Pregnancy can bring on hot flashes too, so the cooler seasonal temps are an added bonus.
  • Cons: Making plans to attend all of these fun filled events can be overwhelming and unrealistic. And you’ll likely have swollen feet, a bloated face and be super uncomfortable, to the point that smiling in front of the Christmas tree for family photos may not be your cup of tea. You also spent part of this pregnancy in the summer, which again can be sort of miserable.

These are all merely my take on things and vary greatly depending on where you live. Truth is, babies born in every season are absolutely perfect, so don’t try to plan around the seasons too much.