The Important Things in Life

When I imagined myself having kids I always thought I’d share with them all of the things I love just like my parents did. And so far I think we’re doing a great job. The best part about parenting with my husband is that we share the same passion and love for certain things. For one, we’re both huge Disneyland fans. Both of us have very fond memories of our trips there and the fun we had. Another would be our childhood TV shows and cartoons. Seriously… what better way to bond with your kids than over a good classic cartoon? And third is my love of doing fun things outside and inside the home. I cannot wait for the days and years to come when we can continue sharing our passion and loves with the kids. And finding out what they love as well.

Disneyland has always been near and dear to my heart. My dad would take us at least once a year and we’d always get to do the same thing… each of the three of us (for a long time I only had 2 siblings… now I have a whopping 6!) would take turns choosing which ride we’d go on next. And every once in a while we’d let Dad decide. We’d also get $20 to spend as we please. I was the smart one and would allow my siblings to purchase their tasty treats and than ask for “small” bites or drinks so I wouldn’t have to spend my money. Then at the end of the trip I’d have $20 to spend on a cool toy. I know, I was the cruel older sister.

I would love to start doing that with my kids but with the frequency that we go I don’t think we can quite afford $40 for each kid unless we give up the passes. So for now we let our 2.5 year old decide what rides to go on. And believe me… he knows ALL of the rides! My husband is just waiting for the day he’s old enough to ride Big Thunder with him. And the hubs always gives in to letting E choose one treat to munch on during the drive home. That may or not be related to the fact that my husband enjoys buying a box of cookies to munch on himself! We are definitely blessed to have passes to the Happiest Place on Earth and love enjoying the park with the kids.

A great thing about my husband and I is the fact that we love childish things. We watched cartoons and went to the theater to watch kids movies long before we had kids ourselves. I love playing fun games and he has boxes of Legos and action figures boxed up in the garage. So when we’re able to introduce our kids to the fun movies and TV shows we loved it’s exciting. My son’s current favorite is Duck Tales. We bought Season 1 and 2 on DVD. He puts them on repeat. And when he wants a change he gets Tale Spin. I find myself singing along to the theme songs with him and dancing around the house. It’s quite fun! And I know my husband is chomping at the bit for the day our son is old enough to bust out the little legos. Oh the things they could build together. With a little help from sister, of course. 

We are so excited for what we have and whats to come. And we’re thankful for this perfect little family of ours. It may be crazy and hectic but it’s perfect for us. The memories we’re excited to make and share with our kids will be priceless. Each day we have with them is a blessing and I need to remind myself a bit more about that. It’s time to rearrange a few things, get some perspective and enjoy the life we have together. You only have one childhood, right? I want to make sure my kids have a chance at a good one!

Body Parts: Call It Like It Is

Along with parenting comes a lot of choices. Choices on whether to cloth diaper or use disposables, to buy an organic crib mattress or a regular one, whether to try out breastfeeding or go with formula, whether to go for a pack-n-play or a bassinet (or both!). There are MANY choices a new parent has to make. Sometimes these choices are made for us, but others are all our own.

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When it comes to body parts, it is the parent’s choice on what to call them. Because the parent (or caretaker) is the most involved in diaper changing and potty training, whatever the parent starts to call a baby or toddler’s body parts is most likely what the baby or toddler will start using themselves. So when I started thinking about what I wanted to call my son’s (and in turn my daughter’s) private parts I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. I don’t mind if they start to call their body parts by other names later on down the road as long as they know what they’re really called that’s all that matters.

And while this may seem like no big deal to most, I’ve watched a lot of Oprah  and I know that if a child is having issues “down there” then the correct terminology will make it much easier to figure out what your child is talking about. I recently read that while 95 percent of three year old boys know the word penis, only 52% of girls the same age have been given a specific name for their own genitals. And now that I have one of each I am so happy that I decided early on to call my children’s body parts by their real name. I might not be saying the same thing when my 2.5 year old asks again (in a very loud voice while we’re in a public restroom) if I have a penis or vagina (because he forgets) but that’s a whole other post.

Here are 3 great reasons why a child should know the correct terminology for their body parts: 

1. Reduces Cases of Molestation
Teaching children the proper names to body parts can greatly reduce cases of molestation. Often times predators use cutesy names to gain access to personal and private space, however children who have been taught to name their private parts are less likely to be led astray.

2. Helps Locate a Problem /Hurt Body Part
It also allows children to own their bodies because they can name when and where something hurts or has been hurt. This helps parents and doctors to locate exactly where their child might be hurting in order to come up with a treatment/solution. My son recently came to me complaining that his penis was hurting. Turns out he had a UTI. I’m so glad he came to me right away so we could get it treated ASAP.

3. Teaches Confidence and Respect
Teaching them the proper name also teaches them to not be ashamed so that they can be open with their parents about uncomfortable issues. Hopefully by starting young we can build up that comfort with our kids so that when they have questions later on they come to us first instead of their peers.

Do you have more reasons to share? Or do you disagree with this post? I’d love to hear your feedback!

It Aint Always Rosy {Naptime}

Just about every mommy or parenting book out there says basically the same thing about naps. They’re important. And routine/nap schedules are key to a happy child. So if your child takes two naps a day you should make sure that they take those naps in the same place (or similar) at the same time daily. No alterations should be made so that they have the optimum environment for peaceful sleeping. And NO letting them sleep where distractions are bound to wake them up.

Try abiding by these rules when you have an infant who takes two (and sometimes three) naps and a toddler who takes one nap usually at alternating times. You’d get one grumpy toddler who’s cooped up at home because their sibling is sleeping during playtime. Enter our routine. In order to make everyone happy I’ve tried my best to work around this situation. And I think it works… for us.

We only do playdates in the mornings. That way M gets a cat nap before we leave (or while we’re out) and can take a longer nap when we come home and her brother naps. Staying home in the afternoons is no big deal since it’s getting hotter and hotter at that time. Now I’m trying to get E to nap later in the day so we can align the two naptimes together and Mommy can get some solid alone time to get work done.  You know… the cleaning, dinner prep, internet surfing, and work. Oh, did I let that third one slip? Mama needs some mindless entertainment too!

When M was taking multiple naps a day (read: more than two) I wouldn’t just stay home and let her sleep. She’d get her sleep in the car, in the ergo or in the stroller so her brother could go to playdates with his friends. I figured as long as she was getting at least some sleep she’d be good, right? Our plan seemed to be working.

Well now that she’s on two naps a day I am constantly resisting the urge to just stay home all day and let her sleep. Some days she gets only one good nap a day and others she gets woken up way before she can get a decent amount of sleep. It gets me wondering what really is best. A toddler who is happy and well socialized or an infant who has her solid, peaceful rest.

And then I have to also mention the fact that M still naps in her swing when we’re home. Or on me. We still haven’t attempted another go at getting her to sleep in the crib and I have been putting off letting her sleep in our bed like E did at this age because I don’t want her to get used to it. So I think I’m kind of setting myself up for failure. I need to just bite the bullet and start working on a naptime routine where both kids are sleeping in their rooms (don’t worry, E has that one down after 2+ years).

It Aint Always Rosy {Being a Mom}

A friend of mine and I got to talking one day. About life. And kids. And how jealous we get of each other. Not necessarily jealous, no, that’s no the right word, but how inadequate we felt about ourselves as moms when we started to compare how we mother, how we live and how quickly (or slowly) our children accomplished milestones to how others are doing it. It got me thinking how many other friends feel this way. How many other girlfriends who don’t really see the “real” me.

You see… I’m far from a perfect mom (big surprise there). I do think that some of this mothering thing really did come naturally. I truly feel that some part of our ability to be a mom is innate. So I may make certain things look natural but what you don’t know is that I am really good at keeping things in. And failing to mention other things.

I get angry with my son. And sometimes even with my infant daughter who can’t even speak yet. I raise my voice. I tap little hands when they pinch or hit. And sometimes I yell and get mad when he sits in front of me and pees his pants on purpose even though every book I’ve read tells me it’s not the right thing to do. My son eats french fries when we go out for lunch or dinner. Sometimes he doesn’t get one vegetable in him. And sometimes I forget to give him breakfast (bad mom right there!).

My parenting style is not reflective of one book or one belief. It’s an accumulation of many different influences and what feels right. Sometimes it’s just what feels right at that moment. And sometimes what “feels right” is choosing the easiest choice for that time. Following the path of least resistance.

What’s funny is that all of mine and my husband’s major choices in parenting seem to make us (me) look pretty crunchy. I breastfeed, We co-sleep, I baby-wear, I make our children’s food (for the most part), I didn’t sleep train (might consider it with the second) and try not to let my child cry for long. But what these choices in parenting don’t show is why I do all of these things. And to tell you the truth the answer is that I do most of these things out of convenience.

So I’m going to break down the different aspects of my “parenting style” for you this week. Give you a little inside look to my choices and decisions as a parent. Feel free to ask questions, point out my flaws, share your parenting style and over all feel better about how you parent (or how you’re going to do everything better when you do parent) because you shouldn’t feel bad about how you’re doing it.

As long as your kids are happy, healthy and fed I’m sure you’re doing a great job!



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