Archive for April, 2009

15_banana-appleRight now I’m reading The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.  I’m really learning a lot and highly recommend it, especially to parents of toddlers.

One of the techniques I’ve tried is to give them a choice.  Children like to make their own choices…this is pretty understandable since they get told what to do or not to do so often.  To avoid a tantrum or meltdown when you have to tell them “no” about something, you can offer them a choice between two other things.  For instance, when the child says she wants a cookie for a snack, you can say, “We’re going to have fruit right now.  Would you like a banana or an apple?”

This technique worked really well for me today.  It was almost nap time and I was just finishing feeding Kelvin.  Chad was out mowing the backyard and I had opened the porch door so she could watch him, but locked the door going outside so that she couldn’t get near the lawn mower.  She came back in and said she wanted to go by Daddy.  I told her no, but she could watch from the porch.  Since she was really tired, she started to have a meltdown.  I asked her, “Do you want to go watch Daddy or do you want to go upstairs right now to take a nap?”  She stopped fussing, looked at me, said, “Daddy” and went back on the porch.

That was it!  I was shocked that it worked that well.  I’m sure I’d unknowingly practiced this technique plenty of times before, but since I hadn’t done it “on purpose”, I guess I’d never paid attention to the results as much.  Obviously, it isn’t appropriate in all situations and I’m sure it can be overused and lose its effectiveness….but I’m definitely keeping this trick in my “parenting tool box”!

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fp_glider

What are the top three baby products/gear that you think no mom should be without? Of course, this doesn’t include things like a car seat, which are pretty much mandatory.

For me, I think it would be:

  1. Sling or other quality baby carrier
  2. Swing
  3. Breast pump

playdough

One of Ava’s favorite activities is play dough.  We play with play dough nearly every day and she never gets sick of it.

Here’s a good recipe I found for making your own play dough at home!

Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon powdered alum
A few drops food coloring

Combine ingredients.  Heat and stir until mixutre forms a soft ball.  Put mixture onto wax paper until cool.  Knead slightly to eliminate grainy texture.  Store in a tightly covered container (I use a ziploc bag).

If your child still puts things in her mouth, you might want to use this recipe instead (no alum in it):

No-Cook Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
Food coloring

Add food coloring to the water and mix the salt, flour and colored water together, kneading to form a ball.  Add a little extra salt and flour if the dough is too sticky.

Have fun!!

P.S. Remember my post on ipods last week?  If you have one, here’s a good link for finding iphone accessories!

6a00d83451bae269e201116853ac57970c-200wiHow do you like the new title for my “Ask the Readers” feature?  I put a little more thought into this title and I like it a lot more!

ANYWAY…

What is your best strategy for losing baby weight? Not just exercising or dieting, but do you have any specific things that have worked for you…ways to make time to exercise, tips for eating healthier, etc.?

I’m looking forward to hearing all of your ideas!  Make sure to leave your tips in a comment!

typing

I probably don’t need to tell you that I’ve taken a little blogging break recently…it’s pretty self-evident!  I’ve been so busy with trips, business responsibilities and sick kids.  And as much as I enjoy blogging, I had to cut way back in order to save my sanity.  But I finished the last of the quarterly taxes on Friday, so I should have time to get my groove back this week!  I’m really excited about it….way more excited than I am to look for cheap term life insurance !  *rolls eyes*

As moms, sometimes it’s just crazy the kinds of things we need to know, that we never anticipated needing to know.  And of course, when we find ourselves in those kinds of situations, it’s never convenient to get to a computer to research it.  That’s why it would be awesome to have an iphone!  Buy.com has them on sale for reasonable prices…now no mom should be without one!  LOL

maddie
Last Tuesday (April 7, 2009), Madeline Alice Spohr passed away unexpectedly at 16 months old.  I and many other people had come to “know” Maddie through her mom Heather’s blog, so this news was a blow to people worldwide.  Her life touched so many people, and she will be greatly missed.

Since Maddie was born premature, Heather has been dedicated to raising money for the March of Dimes.  Almost immediately after receiving news of her death, people nationwide began organizing teams to walk in the March for Babies in Maddie’s memory.  I’ve started a team in our city (Topeka, KS) and Chad, Ava, Kelvin and I would love to have you join us if you live in our area.  Just visit our team page and sign up!

If you’re not in our area, you can see a full list of teams that will be marching in her memory here.  If there isn’t one already, please consider starting one!

Even if you can’t participate in a team, you can give a donation in her honor by clicking on the purple March for Babies widget in my sidebar.  All donations go to the March of Dimes in Maddie’s name.  Even if you can only give a small donation, it makes a difference and it is appreciated!

fruitveg

This week, we had a WIC appointment, so we had a discussion with a dietician as usual.  She was looking over Ava’s food log and then at mine and noticed that I eat less fruits and vegetables than she does.  I explained that we eat the same thing for breakfast and dinner, but I usually fix her a balanced lunch while I’m holding Kelvin and then I just grab leftovers or something really easy after they go down for their naps.  She suggested that I eat lunch with her, too, because it would help me eat more fruits and vegetables and it would also set a good example for her when she saw me eating them.

I decided to give it a shot, but didn’t expect to see much difference in Ava’s eating.  She’s already really good at eating a lot of fruit and she eats TONS of green beans and broccoli, but doesn’t really like other vegetables.  So the next day, I made lunch for both of us and included carrots as part of it.  Usually, she won’t even touch carrots but I was out of green beans so I gave them to her anyway.  Sure enough, she saw me eating carrots and polished off all of hers and even wanted seconds!

I’ll admit I was very surprised.  I knew children are always watching their parents and picking up their habits, but I didn’t think a simple thing like seeing me eat carrots would change her attitude about them!

And here’s a thought…you could probably get your children to drink more water if you buy these snazzy promotional water bottles and they see you drinking out of them!

tired-mom

Being a young mother with two very young children, I obviously don’t have all the answers (by the way, when exactly will I have all the answers?  LOL).  So I thought it would be neat to start a weekly feature where you, our readers, are the ones giving the advice!

This week’s topic:

What is your best advice for getting through the day after a sleepless night?

I’ve been having a whole string of sleepless nights lately and I need all the advice you have to give!

Coming next week….I think we’ll talk about tips and tricks you have for losing that baby weight!  I’ve never been one to buy diet pills and I have about 5 more pounds of Kelvin weight to lose, so I’m looking forward to hearing everyone’s advice next week!

sick_child1

What more appropriate post right now than one offering tips for dealing with sick kids?  Mine have both been sick for the last week, so I have advice right at the forefront of my mind!

  1. Do whatever you have to do to make sure they get plenty of rest.  Even when she’s sick, Ava still wants to be on-the-go and it’s pretty hard to slow her down so her little body can rest and fight whatever bug she has.  So I usually allow more TV than usual and I spend lots of extra time reading on the couch with her.  If your child is old enough, you could also try playing card games with them while they lie on the couch.
  2. Make drinking fluids fun.  Ava needed to drink Gatorade this week to prevent dehydration, but she was being really difficult about it (even though she normally likes it).  I got out the Disney Princess cup she’d just received as a birthday gift, added a crazy straw and she had no problem drinking quite a bit of Gatorade!  You could also try introducing new fluids, such as tea or a new flavor of juice.
  3. Have lots of Lysol and bleach on hand to help keep the rest of the family from getting sick.  Also, if possible, try to minimize contact between sick children and healthy children.  Pretty impossible in my situation, but it might be easier for families with older children.
  4. Remember to take care of yourself, too!  Make sure to eat and drink right and get as much sleep as your sick child will allow.  Also make sure to take a break when you can and do something that you enjoy.  You’ll be in a much better frame of mind for taking care of your children if you’ve taken care of you, too!

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m sure I could think of lots more great advice if all my brain cells weren’t so sleep deprived, but that’s life.  And you know, I really tried to fit in a link for a discount lighting fixture , but there just wasn’t any way with out sounding like a major dork.

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