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How do I Grocery Shop with Little Ones?

How do I Grocery Shop with Little Ones?

How do I Grocery Shop with Little Ones? Grocery shopping is simple enough...until your first is born. Then, what was a simple, everyday task suddenly becomes oh-so-complicated. When my second was born, grocery shopping suddenly felt like solving a Rubix Cube. The first time I walked up to Sprouts with my 18-month-old son and my infant daughter, I sat my son in the front seat of the cart and the infant carrier in the back. Perfect! Uh, now where am I going to put the food? Timing is Everything If you can only remember one shopping with your kids tip, this is the one. Go shopping when your kids are full, rested, and ready for an outing, so your chances of a relatively calm 20 minutes are good. All the new things to see and listen to are very interesting to children who are not distracted by hunger or sleepiness. Go shopping when your kids (or you maybe) are really hungry or tired, and your odds of a smooth trip crash pretty quickly. Be Prepared My days of walking into the store and then looking at the sales and deciding a menu along with what to buy were over once I had kids. I just

How Do You Handle a Messy Eater?

How Do You Handle a Messy Eater?

What happens when you put a curious, energetic baby in front of new textures, colors, and tastes?  Along with the eating...yes, finger painting happens! Soon face painting happens, and then scientific experiments with gravity and yogurt plastered in the hair happen! Messy mealtimes are cute but also time-consuming for mom to clean up. If you have two babies or young toddlers at once, then the fun is multiplied! How do you handle a messy eater and keep yourself from going crazy at messy, toddler mealtimes? Here are some tips to help! Put Less on the Tray at a Time Once your baby is graduating from the baby food stage to finger foods, it can be too easy to just put full servings of food on the babies highchair tray all at once. While this may give mom a few more minutes to eat herself, if there are piles of food on the highchair tray, baby thinks she has plenty to spare for experiments. Putting less on the tray at a time is less overwhelming for a baby and also makes it less likely for the food to look like an invitation to an art competition. Bibs, Sippy Cups, and Splash Mats Having a

Why Should We Avoid Comparison as Moms?

Why Should We Avoid Comparison as Moms?

Have you ever compared yourself to another mom? I certainly have and, boy...it is not fun! Why should we avoid comparison as moms? And why is it so easy to fall into?  Here’s an example. I’m driving my son to his babysitter, so I can work and look back in the rear view mirror. I realize I forgot to brush my son’s hair. The hair is more or less clean, and this really won’t bother the babysitter, but still I instantly I think of another mom friend. She has seven kids and has never forgotten to brush her youngest’s hair before dropping him off at my house for a play date. The next feeling is embarrassment which I brush off quickly. Having been a teacher has taught me to power through embarrassment. Yet, a gnawing feeling of inadequacy lingered awhile. The smallest things can set off this comparison cycle. For example, realizing I forgot to make my sick husband lunch to take to work like I said I would - a mistake that my mind whispers to me another friend would never have made. Another time a tutoring student sat down at my kitchen table onto a pile of cracker

How Do You Choose Daily Priorities in Order to Accomplish Your Goals?

How Do You Choose Daily Priorities in Order to Accomplish Your Goals?

I spent this past Saturday baking cookies for several upcoming events. I didn’t think much about it but just got up and dove in. My husband was at work, so this process was uphill work with my two-year-old and nine-month-old. After nearly five hours of hard work, that included numerous interruptions and my son pulling a couple of batches on the floor while I was mid-diaper-change, I began to have that familiar questioning feeling? You know the one. Was this really the most important thing to do today? Should I have bought cookies instead? Maybe I should have made lemon bars or something that would have taken a fraction of the time? Should I have finished the laundry and garage first, squeezed in a workout? - Probably so.  Prioritizing... ahh….prioritizing. How do you choose daily priorities in order to accomplish your goals? Dreaming Big is Good One of the reasons prioritizing as a mom is difficult is because we have big dreams, and that’s good!! I made a list recently of my dreams for myself as a mom. I know what they are, but hadn’t taken the time to write them all down. I don’t believe in dreaming small. The solution to

How Do You Keep A 2 Year Old Busy For More Than 2 Minutes?

How Do You Keep A 2 Year Old Busy For More Than 2 Minutes?

How Do You Keep A 2 Year Old Busy For More Than 2 Minutes? I enjoy looking up lists of toddler-friendly activities. I quickly eliminate ideas that require buying more than one item I don’t already have and then eliminate ideas requiring more than a couple minutes preparation. My life, like most modern moms, doesn’t need any more busyness! The activities that are left I try out on my two-year-old son and and his little friend who is three. I have found that many toddler activity lists are written for 4-6-year-olds, and they just don’t work for 2-year-olds. Dress up play and obstacle courses are a lost cause on my just-turned  two-year-old. So how do you keep a 2 year old busy for more than 2 minutes? Here are the basics along with a list of simple ideas to get you started. The Basics of Toddler Playtime Keep Expectations RealisticFirst, have realistic expectations. Part of being two is having a shorter attention span that older toddlers. Actually a 25-36 month old commonly focuses only 3-8 minutes on a single activity. Pick activities that have several 3-8 minute variations possible. No one has time to pick up and get out

How Early Can you Begin Potty Training?

How Early Can You Potty Train?

How Early Can you Begin Potty Training? I grew up like most of my fellow American moms, seeing potty training typically happen between the ages of 2 and 3 ½ years. Did you know that potty training is possible before this range as well? I didn’t know that until recently, but many kids can be potty trained as early as 18 months, which is amazing! We even know of some moms who potty-train their infants! Just how early can you begin potty training? The answer is generally just as soon as you (Mom) are ready. Early potty training does require an additional commitment to consistency and a component of training mom as well as baby. On the other hand older potty training requires months to years more diapers and navigating the budding young will of a toddler during the training process! Motivation and timing are a big part of potty training.  Motivation means asking if my child interested in what I’m about to teach him, and if not, can I develop the interest? Also, am I motivated to stay the course and do whatever it takes to get this child potty-trained. Motivation is a more significant component of older potty training, and

How Do I Motivate My Child to Potty Train?

How Do I Motivate My Child to Potty Train? As a young mom, realizing that cleaning up potty training accidents is no longer a big deal to you is one of those moments that proves to you have truly arrived in motherhood. It’s like the moment you first laughed about getting spit-up down your shirt...or found yourself carrying two babies, a carseat and the diaper bag without thinking about it.  Sometimes you just have to pause and celebrate how far you have come! But we don’t want to be cleaning up potty training accidents forever, so today’s questions is: How do I motivate my child to potty train? Potty training is all about timing and motivation. Timing means is my child ready for what I’m about to teach him? The reality is that your goal has to be physically, neurologically, and emotionally possible or else you are both headed for frustration. Motivation means asking is my child interested in what I’m about to teach him, and if not, can I develop the interest? How Do I Motivate My Child to Potty Train? Be Cheerful and Enthusiastic Kids quickly pick up on our emotions. If they sense our enthusiasm is low it’s hard for them

Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children?

Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children?

Housework with Two Under Two: How Do I Keep my House Clean with Young Children? Doing housework has never been my strong point. I don’t naturally clean my environment as I walk through the house and seem to have missed that “mom gene” where you naturally add order to your surroundings without thinking about it. When I don’t think about it, the house gets dirty...really, really fast! Once I do look around and think it’s about time to tidy up, my next thought is how? I work from home. My little ones are both under two, and sitting with them while they crawl and run around me as I work on my computer is actually easier than trying to figure out how to sweep and mop, cook, do laundry, and clean the bathrooms with them. Full disclosure - for this blog I’m pulling heavily from the advice of some experienced moms who have been there and done that. So thank you Charity, Lindsay, and Megan for giving expert advice on today's topic, how do I keep my house clean with young children? This Phase will End This stage where housework feels so difficult is just that - a phase that is short

How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk?

How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk

How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk? When I began nursing my firstborn, I had so many very basic questions. One of those was how do I know if my baby is getting enough milk? It seems like such a simple question, yet you can’t see how much milk is getting into baby when you nurse, so how do you know? You sit there in the hospital counting how many minutes they’ve been nursing, filling out the feeding log and wondering if half-hearted “sleep nursing” minutes count. What you really want to know, however, is if your baby is getting enough milk?    What Goes in Must Come Out In the beginning, your primary way of gauging whether your baby is getting enough milk is how much is coming out the other side. It’s simple and effective. JoAnne, one of our contributors who also works on a hospital lactation team, says the rule of thumb is baby should have as many wet diapers in 24 hours as the number of days your baby is old. For example, on day 3 there should be at least 3 wet diapers. There is a reason they have you fill out all those

How Do I Get A Break as a Busy Mom?

How do I get a break as a Busy Mom? Mommy Breaks are a wonderful thing. Being a mom sometimes feels like a long distance race, and we all need time to recharge for a few minutes from time to time. Have you ever tried to take a Mommy Break and found that you honestly really felt no better afterwards? For example, one day when I was just feeling done, I watched my son empty the bookshelf because I was too exhausted to to even think of sitting down to train him on how to put the books back in anymore. So, while he emptied it, I ate my candy bar. I stood there thinking, “Sure, I’m calmer now, but I also have a huge mess to clean up and I’m just as tired as I was before!”  Then, in a moment I had a revelation: “This is not rest; this is a timeout….rest needs to be restorative.” This thought was revolutionary to me. Rest needs to be restorative or it’s not rest! Wow! Actually, there is some solid research on the necessity of rest particularly for moms. Check out this article for more on that.   Rest vs. Timeouts Me watching

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