Isn't it funny how many times it is a product that provides us solution to daily issues? It wasn't until my second, Gretta, was sleeping through the night around 7 months that I realized my 2.5 year old, Holden, was capable of doing the same. Being mom it is common to feed into each child when they wake creating a common wake up issue. This leads to minimal sleep for mom and poor sleep quality for the kids. We didn't implement all of these at once, but have found resolve in all the sleep issues we have encountered at some point in each of these products.
Products that may help solve sleep problems in babies and toddlers:
Some of these may feel extreme, but coming from a mom of 3 children ages 3 and under. I need as much sleep as I can get. If I can find a solution I will use it. I have found these options, they have worked. Reminder, things generally only work with children if you remain consistent for several weeks. Things that may not seem like they are working may feel like a god sent after two months. Stay persistent!
I believe adults make choices. I believe choices have rewards or consequences. I have made the choice everyday to wake up and take care of my children. No matter what. My children everyday are my reward. I am a mom working. I have obligations to other people and my family. I could choose to make more money else where, but I choose my children. My children are my life and I do not want it any other way. I choose full time. What I mean by all this is I choose that no matter what I am doing my children are my responsibility and my priority. If you need something and my child also needs something, my children will come first 100% of the time. I am a full time mother working.
For a father in most circumstances, you still choose full time or part time in a secondary role. I say most, because I was raised by my father FULL TIME. Congratulations to fathers surviving the primary role. I know from being a product of a father choosing full time it is not easy. Now, though you are in a secondary role you still can choose full or part time.
Do you show up at every school event, activity, conferences, etc? Do you know who your child's friends are? Do you know where to find your kids clothes? Do you help with homework? Here's some if you are not with your child's mother; do you show up on time to each pick up or drop off? Do you call to check with school, daycare, etc to find out more about your child? Do you call your child every night or almost every night?
If you answered no to any of these questions you are part time. Whether you are with your child's mother or not full and part time are both options. No matter what your circumstances your child always deserves full time. Choose full time.
I have been there so many times where I can see a dream, a vision with such clarity. There it is, all I must do is these simple things to achieve the vision. Nothing can stand in the way, right? It’s so simple. Then, you are faced with the things that seem so simple to just skip to live the dream. For me the temptation lies when the kids are in bed it’s been a long day whether you’re a stay at home mom or a working mom… you are exhausted, I am exhausted. Whatever the temptation it’s there.
For me it’s food. I use food to feel warm and fulfilled at the end of a long day. What seemed so easy at the beginning of the day to just stay on track… just isn’t. I walk by the candy dish at work. There are treats in my cabinet at home. I am hungry from lack of nourishment being busy all day and not taking care of myself and what my body really needs to fuel to workouts I push myself through giving my all tiredly every single morning to maintain an image of what my body once was before babies.
This image I only got a brief glimpse of before I found out I was pregnant with my son. I can play a video in my mind of all the work over the years post babies I have put into trying to be healthy to be conquered at bedtime by food and in the morning questioning why I can get the drive to pull myself out of bed to work out after waking up six times between all the children.
Do I know what I need to do to succeed? Hell yes, I have done it, I have lived it. Why at 3 children do I believe letting go of cooking a healthy dinner is okay? It’s not. It’s not okay, now more than ever I have the responsibility to take care of myself and my children. If I do not take care of myself, I cannot take care of others. Let me say that again, because I know I don’t hear it. I know you don’t hear it. If I do not take care of myself I cannot take care of others. If I do not take care of myself I cannot take care of others.
Do you believe it? Do you live it? I am a fitness freak, but I am being raw here. I have a problem with food. I know what to do to fix it, but I cannot bring myself to the journey in the morning to fulfill the vision. How is it possible to push through a workout that is so intense you break to breath and continue again, but not be able to control what goes in your mouth?
Why am I sharing this? We all have journeys that are tough. I want to share with you the hard stuff. Whatever you are trying to achieve it starts with you! The next few weeks I will be re-focusing where I was going and where I am going in many aspects of my life and I invite you to walk with me through my blog to see what this looks like.
Are you ready for a life revamp? Sit down and write it out. What do you love? What can you give up?
Holden, my first, had quite the sensitive hinny. In the first few weeks I knew that Johnson and Johnson products were not for Holden. His booty would not settle for anything less than Pampers or Huggies. For awhile I would switch between whichever brand I could buy at a better price, but it came down to a lot more blow outs with Huggies for us. I do understand each brand of diapers fits each child differently. Just as I may not love a Fruit of the Loom under pant, you my dear mom friend may love them. We all have differently shaped bodies and some are more sensitive than others.
I also found after several months of shopping the best store for the best price on Pampers, driving out of my way to get a better deal, and hauling diaper boxes with a small child there was a light at the end of a dark shopping tunnel with Amazon Prime. Thank you Amazon for getting me the best deal with your subscribe and save every month! All I have to do is carry my diapers in from my front door step.
Now begins a very sad story...
The picture I shared above you will see Holden wrapped in a burp cloth. Holden was barely a year old when we had a staff transition at our daycare. Let me say until this point we had great experiences with the daycare we were at. In one week a sever rash had broken out. I had addressed the issue with our daycare ladies. Over the weekend I had done extreme trial and error with several diaper rash cremes and had little results. Going into the next week I had cleared it up to just a faint, but chapped red. By Wednesday that week we had a blistering rash. I connected with the daycare's Coordinator where I was accused of being wrong. At this point I started searching for a new center.
That next weekend I found resolve in wrapping Holden in a burp cloth with heavy Lotrimin and Aquaphor pasted to his butt. He screamed in pain when he pooped. We didn't even wipe just threw him in the tub to gently wash.
After a teary eyed heck of a time I had completely cleared the blistering rash over the weekend. I again called our Coordinator on Monday morning alerting her to my concern. I was finally called back on Wednesday and offered the opportunity to leave. On Monday the following week, we started a new center with a clear butt and have since had no issues with diapering. What they were doing or not doing I will still never know. What I do know is, I have the formula to successfully clearing up a diaper rash. I included links below to my favorite diapering products below....
Let me tell you about my morning... We had my son's last art class..we were late..we ended up leaving because of a tantrum he threw down..A BIG ONE. And as usual it was on a busy morning already and did not fit into MY plans.
Did I want to LOSE MY SHIT, yes ma'am I did!! But I kept reminding myself not only was I in public at school, but the police station was a rocks throw away, but I AM the adult.
I AM THE ADULT...do I feel like completely losing my shit and ugly crying over it all? YES. Have I before YES!!
Are there days I DON'T WANT TO BE THE ADULT??...so many...
Understanding THAT tantrum your child is throwing out...TO THEM..the WORLD IS ABSOLUTELY ENDING and will not continue on unless that TINY set of keys they insist on carrying around is found. OR WHATEVER THEY are stuck on at that moment.
But I promise if you try not joining them in their emotions and stay level and as calm outwardly as God given possible. Things pass a lot sooner...and children are sure easier to teach than fixing an adult later on.
Here's the tough part ladies.
I'm over the public embarrassment...I straight make a queen chair out of wipe boxes in the shelving at Wal-Mart and ride out the show. Admission free to those who want to view. Welcome to the circus...THAT IS MY MONKEY!
THE TOUGH PART is in a split second when world balance comes over them again and they are completely fine and asking about the large truck on the road...like nothing just happened. They CANNOT regulate emotions yet...proven fact. Their bodies flood with it all and to them they are drowning in it with no escape. And as fast as the flood comes in, like an ocean wave it's gone again. They are all safe on the beach making sand castles, happier than pigs in a mud puddle.
MOMMA IS SWEPT OUT TO SEA...there is no split second and it's off our shoulders which are already so weighed down by life. We carry that shit with us...trying not to drown and then while trying to grab onto anything that makes sense and is logical to pull ourselves back in.. we criticize ourselves and even gain our own critic fan club if in public. Just FYI you ever do that eye roll or judgment look on another momma going thru this...KARMA IS A BITCH. Why don't you roll your eyes towards the constipation medication while you be hating and judging. Support for one another is so lacking in our society today..judgement easy to pass out...but that's another days topic.
MOMMA you HAVE TO find YOUR board, branch, twig and start swimming! Grab onto forgiveness and saying sorry when you don't handle that tantrum the way you know you should. You get caught up in the emotions and LOSE YOUR SHIT RIGHT WITH THEIR SHIT forgive yourself! Say sorry in the calm of it all. And try it better the next time. Nobody has this parent thing figured out...NOBODY. And that book that claims to is written by someone without kids or heavily medicated. (I joke slightly). Let's just stop being so hard on ourselves. Set a standard BY YOU for YOU and try to find the beach. God bless and calm seas.
If I could give a new mom any piece of advice to make her life easier it would be: ROUTINE.
I have always been structured, even when my life was chaos I knew what was next and was quiet predictable for the most part. Thankfully this set an expectation for Holden from pregnancy. I am convinced he knew my predictable self from mealtimes, work schedules to bedtimes. I know this doesn't come naturally for everyone. I am thankful to be blessed with this natural capability. Now, when Holden's dad finally decided to come into his life we faced a great deal of sleep and behavioral issues.
Holden has always thrived in a structured environment. His dad does not live that type of lifestyle. I had initially created this for Holden to remind him what was next at an early age. Visuals help the little guys before they can talk. I have changed this a few times since initial creation to suit the changes Holden has needed. I also sent this with his dad in hopes of finding some equal ground on maintaining structure. Does it get followed? Probably not, but I tried. I always want to try to do what's in the best interest of Holden developmentally.
Five reasons why children need routine:
Now, even though I do my best to relay the most important information to Holden's dad in the brief 5 seconds I have with him before he takes Holden and leaves. I know it is likely everything I can relay in that short period is lost. Since his dad does not inquire with his school, daycare or even try to contact Holden out of his fly by the seat of his pants arrivals to see Holden I can't imagine he knows much about Holden's needs developmentally. Eric and I have tried our best attempt co-parenting to recreate the type of home we run when he goes to his dads. The value goes unseen.
Now, we focus on creating security around Holden's leaving and coming home. We ensure Holden knows the routine before he leaves. He knows the routine when he returns. He knows we come back on Sunday at 5:30pm not a second earlier, not a second later. He knows whether his dad shows up or not we are there and whatever was planned for after doesn't matter. Holden has priority. He knows his home family is predictable and safe.
I googled this and found nothing. Granted my son is young we do nothing to provoke this response to him going with his dad. We leave parenting discussions until the kids are in bed and never say anything terrible about his dad. My parents still do this to me today and it still hurts. I don't care their feelings I still love my parents.
FIRST, FIND OUT WHY?
If your child is old enough understanding “why” your child refuses to visit will help you be the parent and resolve the issue. Make sure you are not treating your child like a criminal asking questions that may hurt or feel too persistent. It may be best for younger children to use puppets or social stories.
25 WAYS TO HELP DEAL WITH YOUR CHILD REFUSING VISITATION:
Does it seem like you have tried everything to either prepare your child to go with the other parent or do you do everything you can to make an adjustment home all flowers, hearts and butterflies? Been there! Though we have a set routine now, a routine which generally works for my son because he functions best when he knows what's next like most children do, its never going to be fool proof.
What we have found works before leaving...
I feel it is best when our son knows what's coming if it is out of the ordinary. Since our son only leaves our home one weekend every third weekend I feel that this is "out of the ordinary", because he does not have a good prediction yet of that third weekend. We start on Wednesday with a breadcrumb. What I mean by this is I might drop a line briefly that he will be going to his dad's house for the weekend. Until recently I had no inclination what they would be doing so I couldn't get him excited in that respect for XYZ to be going on. Now, I do get some information, however, I choose now to not tease with what might be happening as I have heard from our son that sometimes those things don't happen. Which leads to disappointment (I like to protect in that sense. I personally would never tell our son we were going to do something then not unless due to behavior or outside circumstances.)
Then on Thursday, I would remind the breadcrumb and add the plan, reminding of the usual drop off time, pick up time, and location. On Friday's when he leaves I always try to get out of work early to spend sometime before he leaves as a family. Generally we would stick to the same routine as any other day. Get home have a lighter than dinner meal (so I know he has ate something good), take a bath, play a bit and then we head to the drop. Do I get push back? 80% of the time. I feel we provide him with a sense of security with a structure.
Another thing we have found is important to the transitions are ALL going to the drop off and ALL going to the pick up. Yes, this means loading everyone up an enduring the ride and the process together. I realize this is a headache, but supporting one another is what a family is and for best results both ways consistency of who is in the car even play a part.
We also use social stories to remind him that though things may be different, they will be the same when he returns. View a great representation of coming and going for a little below:
What we have found works when returning...
Consistency, structure and same expectations. No matter what I want our son to be able to know whats next. We slightly lower our expectations for about 2 days after return. Though we still expect the same listening skills and respect we may give a little grace on discipline as he recovers from an unstructured, fly by the set of his pants environment which can be exhausting. Our son comes home to a dinner or light snack to make sure his belly is full, a warm bath with fresh jammies and he gets to pick his movie. We play and cuddle. Since there is a bit of a struggle coming back to Eric (his step-dad, who has been in his life since 6 months) we really try to emphasize a strong bonding connection with bath-time and play between the two of them. A re-bonding if you will.
Why do we do ALL of this?
We encountered several behavioral issues with return from our son's dad's house. When we came to the realization we have no control over his environment when he leaves us. We have little information about what he is exposed to or what he does when he is gone. What we have came to terms with is we can control what he can expect from being home. We ensure a safe environment for him to share anything openly if he wants to talk, but do not press like a detective. Eventually he just shares and we listen. If there is an issue it is addressed directly with his dad after our son is in bed. Take time to understand what your child needs from you, because you can never control what the other side does after custody is in order.
There once was a day I spent around $4.20 close to everyday on visits to my beloved Caribou Coffee. I longed for the surprise special treat in the rim of my white chocolate mocha. I say surprise because you never really know if the barista would remember to put this fancy little chocolate covered espresso bean in the rim. After number crunching and with the realization I now have 3 children, work full time, push for additional side work through contracts, blogging and contributing to my local community I need my morning boost. This obsession to function was not ending for me anytime soon.
I was on a quest to make the most accurate replication of my morning beverage so I would not revert back to this delicious and costly obsession. I ordered a Ninja Coffee Bar from Amazon. A week later I returned it because though it made AMAZING coffee it was not going to make my mocha after picking and poking for information from my church barista. I knew I needed an actual espresso machine. After reading reviews the Nespresso espresso machine with frother was the right choice for me. I literally opened the package followed the run through instructions before use and the next morning in 3-4 minutes I had my homemade Caribou Coffee, a pump of white chocolate sauce with a delicious little treat in the rim of my mocha. Cheers to saving money, not waiting in line, and a yummy morning boost!
Maple Plain Party in the Park
Princeton Rum River Festival
Albertville Friendly City Days
St. Michael Days & Knights
Princeton Chili Festival
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