Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bad Christmas Shopping Day

I had a tough morning getting out the of house... organizing Geran to go off to daycare, getting baby ready for shopping day. Looking forward to meeting up with a gf for coffee. Kinda excited to have a semi-normal Christmas Shopping exerience.

We are on a tight budget, like many, and I was planning on using my Sears card for some stocking stuffers etc.
We recently paid it off and it was at zero waiting for a Christmas experience of it's own. When I went to get my card, it was missing, so I figured I could use my husbands, and wanted him to call Sears to see if it was ok.
First they tell us our account will be frozen by 12:30pm if we don't pay $10 min payment, we missed. However, I paid it in full, so they had mixed up something. But needless to say, James had to come with me and skip out on work. So down he came to fix the problem and leave me to my Christmas shopping.
I went about my merry way and he his... until they wouldn't let me pay at the til and I had to call him to come help me pay for the stuff... which he left work AGAIN and came and helped out.
I had girlfriend waiting on me and wanted to hurry and get visiting with her. So I said why doesn't she just drive me and home and you can go back to work, I will take the car seat base with me and she can put me and the baby in her car.
Sounded good, it was then I realized that I LOST my purse!!

It was in the stroller, and fell out somwhere! I was  I ran all over the mall and then back into Sears.. talked to security guards... figured my purse was gone, along with everything , phone, money, cc, ID, daytimer, everything! Someone probably stole it! I was starting to freak out...
Then, as I was getting upset, this perfume lady stopped me and asked what was wrong, I told her. ( I was back in Sears) and she called around to her private guard in the store, and he was currently bringing it up to the lady's department... Some lady handed it in!! Christmas miracle... there are kind people at Christmas time... wish I could thank her!
After that I hooked up with my girlfriend Laura, and told James he can just go back to work and I'll take the car seat base and get Laura to drive me home... we shopped a bit... I was pretty hungry too.
We went into the grocery store attached to the mall and I went to buy my pampers with my 10 dollar coupon off... and there was problem, I had to buy a certain amount to get the coupon off, so they called the manager, held up the line, I felt stupid...the saving grace part was that the cashier was hard of hearing and we got to use sign language and chat the whole time, which was a lot of fun!
The manager came and just said 'screw it' and gave me the 10$ off.! Sweet Christmas kindness again!
There was a cafe in the grocery store so I bought a couple samsa's to eat... so starving... heated it up in the microwave at the grocery store... and proceeded to drop them on the floor... no dinner for me.!!
At this point I wanted to cry. After being tossled and bumped into and shoved aside during the season, which is expected...but after the whole losing my purse, forgetting my sears card, and loosing dinner, I wasn't impressed. I looked at Laura and just wanted to go get my two year old from daycare and go home!
It was then I realized I forgot the car seat base and had to get James to come get me and drive me home! AGAIN!
At this point I got a text from the daycare telling me Geran was having a breakdown at daycare, crying for me and missing me. He had a hard day, not wanting to share, pee'd his pants on the floor and having a missing mommy day... so I had to call and send James to get him before he got me.
Luckily the evening went better. James made dinner and the kids and I watched Christmas shows and had a great night sleep!
Sigh... It is days like these I wish I had a drinking problem!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why don't children's listen?

Becoming an asking parent instead of a telling parent.

So we have been trying this new way of talking to Geran, my two year old. I was reading up on being an asking parent and it works quite well. Instead of getting into power struggles by trying to chase the two year old all over the house to get him to put his jacket on to go outside. I stopped saying, "Geran, come here and put your jacket on." And we started saying, "Geran what do you need to wear to go outside in the cold?" Geran runs up to me and says, (very proudly I may add) "A jacket mommy!" Then I say, can you show me how a big boy can put on his jacket? and he proceeds to show me and says "Like this!"

It was a miracle, and yet so simple. This doesn't work every single time, but it works a lot. Not only am I getting to do the things I need him to do, I am engaging his brain to do the thinking. He know is practicing small problem solving techniques at two years old.

To invite your child to think...

Ask things like...
"what do you need to do so your hands are not sticky?"
"what do you need to do before we watch the tv show?"

For more information on becoming an asking parent see this utube video below:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Get my two year old to stop hitting, pushing.

Ignorance is a dangerous thing. To be uneducated in one area or more in ones life is quite normal. Nobody knows everything in every area. This is why we have mechanics and air plane engineers. When you don't know enough about a subject, it is best to learn about it and educate yourself or you hire someone who know more than you do. I may not not know much about mechanics or how to network multi-computer system, but I do know about children. I am very well educated when it comes to working with children who may have special needs or behaviour difficulties. I know more than the average person when it comes to speech delays or children with oppositional disorders or children with ADHD or autism tendencies, because my oldest has all three of these disorders and has had them since he was a toddler.

For those out there who don't know. I was a special education assistant for over 11 years in the Langley School District. I have worked in early childhood education and at the high school level for 20 years. For over half my life I have been facilitating programs for children. I was a Mad Science Instructor, Rec n Reading Corordinator, YMCA leader, Boy and Girl Club Rec Leader, Timms Community Child Minder, A tutor specializing in reading and writing, and I have done child minding. As a Special Education Assistant, I have facilitated Austism Social Skill Programs and worked with children with ADHD and many other behaviour and learning disabilities such as children with Downes, FAS, Oppositional Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive, Speech, Sight and Hearing Delays, Anxiety Disorders, children without communication and more.

Before all this I was given a child who was born with over 12 learning disabilities, Opposition Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and ADHD. I spent the last 20 years studying, going to workshops and writing and learning about children with ADHD. You could say I am an expert in this area. It's important to know this, because here I am with my two year old. Who is perfectly normal development and I am freaking out because he is pushing other kids and hits when tired or frustrated.

Every logical, educated bone in my body tells me it is all fine, but my emotional mind doesn't listen and I hear myself say, Why why why? I know why. I know I have a new baby at home. I know he is only two and can't understand, and in fact doesn't even have the brain development necessary at this age to understand what he is doing is wrong. He is struggling with this new thing called, "Emotions." I know I need to be teaching and using these moments to show empathy and understanding. And yet I hear myself say what should I do?

Today, I decided to hold myself accountable by blogging. I am going to stop asking Why? and what should I do? I am going to tell myself and others right now what I will be doing.

Here is one of many excellent links that you may read to discover more about positive discipline for young children. If you also want to read some Piaget, that wouldn't hurt either. Dr. Jane Nelson has a blog called positive disipline. She is an author/mother and a therapist. Her criteria for positive discipline is below:

  1. Helps children feel a sense of connection. (Belonging and significance)
  2. Is mutually respectful and encouraging. (Kind and firm at the same time.)
  3. Is effective long - term. (Considers what the child is thinking, feeling, learning, and deciding about himself and his world – and what to do in the future to survive or to thrive.)
  4. Teaches important social and life skills . (Respect, concern for others, problem solving, and cooperation as well as the skills to contribute to the home, school or larger community.)
  5. Invites children to discover how capable they are. (Encourages the constructive use of personal power and autonomy.)

There is also a great FB site called positive discipline that has many resources, vidoes and information for your viewing as well.

Here are the links:

Facebook Site:

Jane's Blog:

An awesome video to help young children understand you still love them even when new babies come into the picture.

Hope this helps out there. Please check out the links, you will learn a lot about your very normal two year old!

I am going to start by empathizing with my two year old. When he pushes or hit, I am going to hug him and ask him what's wrong? He will most likely not know, but may in fact tell me what's wrong. Which would be wonderful so I can actually help with his emotions and not just be addressing behaviour.

It is important to address the child's feelings behind the behaviour.

Here are some of Jane Nelson's suggestions....


  1. (4yrs and up) Take the child by the hand and say, "It is not okay to hit people. I'm sorry you are feeling hurt and upset
  2. Help the child deal with the anger. 
  3. Ask, "Would it help you to go to your time-out spot now?" Time out is not helpful unless the child has helped create a positive time out spot in advance.  Also, time out is not helpful if the child does not see the benefit and chooses it. If you "make" your child go to time out, your child is likely to see it as punishment and may rebel.
  4. (4yrs and up) After the child has calmed down, ask what and how questions. "What is upsetting you? How are you feeling?" See if you can get to the bottom of what is really bothering your child and then help the child discover what other things he or she could do besides hitting to deal with the problem. (Children under 4 years of age do not understand abstract reasoning. This is one reason why lectures are not effective at this age. There are other reasons why lectures are ineffective at any age.)
  5. With children under 4, try giving them a hug before removing them from the situation. This models a loving method while showing them that hitting is not okay. Hugging does not reinforce the misbehavior. 
  6. Even though toddlers don't fully comprehend language, you can still use words (while removing them) such as, "Hitting hurts people. Let's find something else you can enjoy doing."
  7. When babies hit you, put them down and leave the room immediately for a minute or two without saying a word. At this age, they will understand actions better than words.
  8. When your preschooler hits you, decide what you will do instead of trying to control your child. Let her know that every time she hits you, you will leave the room until she is ready to treat you respectfully. After you have told her this once, follow through without any words. Leave immediately.
  9. Later you might tell your child, "That really hurts" or "That hurts my feelings. When you are ready, an apology would help me feel better." Do not demand or force an apology. The main purpose of this suggestion is to give a model of sharing what you feel and asking for what you would like. People don't always give us what we would like, but we show respect for ourselves by sharing our feelings and wishes in non-demanding ways.
Wish me luck this week.

Another great idea I read was having your child help you 'make the time out spot.'
Cut a large cardboard box up, so there is just a floor and two walls and have them 'paint and decorate' the inside. It could be a space station, a spring and butterfly set, a car race, or random designs. Then teach that this is their 'safe cool down' spot. They may ask to go to their 'garden, spaceship, race car or quiet spot' when they feel angry, upset or frustrated. What a cute idea.

Monday, December 12, 2011

late nights

What's with late nights and moms. Is it that our babies suck every hour of every day from us and so when they are in bed, we try desperately to attempt at filling up every single minute of that free time trying to boost our fun levels? ;trying to find a way of remembering who we are before children? Or are we just afraid of going to sleep cause then we have to wake up and struggle through another long day?

Even before kids, I was a night hawk. I find that as soon as 8pm rolls around, I am ready and raring to go and party. I use to go out after 8 and get home in the wee hours of the morning. Now I am woke all hours of the night, but I still have a hard time sending myself to bed.

Don't get me wrong, I love my boys and they fill my days with loads of laughter and fun. Like today, Geran, my two year learned how to run and jump into the pile of leaves I made him. It was wonderful. His first time experiencing something I used to do as a kid over and over again. My little 6 month old, Nashville, delighted in watching and laughing as the whole event went down. The crisp, blue sky and chilly air was a beautiful backdrop and I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting. I could imagine the two boys in a year or two just fits of giggles racing to the pile of leaves... and I look forward to many more days like this.

Yet everyone sleeps and I am wide awake at midnight. What is wrong with me? Do any other parents feel this way? I want to sleep, but I love the quiet house, the trickling fish water and the small tapping of the keyboard. Maybe it is a writer thing. I love the peace at night and being alone with my thoughts.

Good night everyone.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bed Bucks to keep lil' ones in bed.

For my eldest son... we used Bed Bucks to help keep him from darting outa bed for 'another pee, another snack, more hugs, another drink of water etc.'
They would get 3 Bed Bucks (play money)
And each time they 'came out or called us into their room' they had to give us a bed buck.
Each buck could stand for (a drink of water, a story, a hug and kiss, a pee etc)
When all three bed bucks were gone, we didn't go in again or do any of their requests.

It worked brilliantly! You must be strong in the first week or so... cause they will 'test' you. If after the 3 bucks are gone, you must NOT go in when they call. If they come out, you gently take them back to bed, say nothing or as little as possible, like, "It's bedtime, I love you." and put them back and leave.

This worked well for our VERY persistent boy.

Thought I would share the idea with others who maybe struggling keeping their little one in bed.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Successful Parenting

Everyone wants to be a successful parent. But ask yourself what does that means?
How does this look?
Is the house spotless, is dinner on the table at 5pm
Are the kids always clean and polite?
Is the laundry always done and put away?
What does a successful parent mean to you?

Do you have time to play with your kids?
Are your kids happy and loving?
Do you include family date night or family day?
Are you showered and well kept everyday?

I am going to let you in on a secret. PARENTS are far from perfect... if your house is spotless, chances are you have spit up on you. If your kids are clean, chances are they wiped their dirty hands on your clothes. If your laundry and dishes are done, your bathroom probably is messy. If your kids are happy and loving, your leaves are probably not raked.

What I am trying to say, is something has to give. Nobody can do it all and have it all. You can have some of it at some point and all of it sometimes, but that's rare.

So if you feel that you fail as a parent today or you yelled, or you didn't clean up or you missed the mail... give yourself a break.

I want all of you reading this and ALL OF YOU! I mean it! You must do this!
Write it down on your computer notepad, text into your phone, use your ipad or use that old fashion paper and pen if you must... but write down your successes as a parent or a person.

Write THREE big sucesses in your life this year and be as detailed as possible... don't write, I am a good person, I have a home. BE SPECIFIC.

Here are mine for an example:
1. I run my own baby sign language business. I am learning and have learned about financial record keeping and business knowhow. I know more about running a business now in my life than ever before.
2. I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. I make sure he gets 15 mins a day of my personal playtime. I make sure he is well fed, changed and socially happy. I am there for him every day and every night.
3. I am good at interpersonal skills. I am good with people. I am outgoing and fun and I have great ideas. I love planning parties and coming up with fun ways to decorate or play fun games. People like being around me.

I know some of the above may sound cheesy or boastful, but we all need to do more of it. It is easy to write about what we are bad at or what we struggle with... it is much harder to write positive affirmations, but it is necessary.

So go do it and give yourself a pat on the back for the kind of person you are!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Do toddlers need to be held as much?

When your baby becomes a toddler some parents begin to think they don't need to be held as much as they needed to as a baby. Mostly because they don't slow down enough for us to cuddle them.
But especially when a parent has a new baby and a young one still at home. Because they are so independent, the parent may think it's okay to tell them, no, when they ask to be picked up.

But I feel this is a large misconception.
Take them seriously when they ask for 'uppys', they aren't manipulating you, they are wanting to love you!

Try to think of life from their point of view:
They can now climb more, explore more, run around fast... which of course is loads of fun and may be scary if they crash into things and have things fall or break around this large world.
Toddlers need us to reassure them that this crazy, big world is safe with us. They may even need more explanations of new encounters they may not understand. They need to be held and nurtured as they explore this world.

Here are my top reasons you should hold your toddlers more. Even sling wearing at age 2 is common in most cultures around the world.
Hold your toddler...
  1. When your toddler is scared, nervous or upset.
  2. Toddlers need reassurance and they need to feel safe and secure.
  3. Toddlers are very young and holding is important to their emotional development.
  4. Toddler trust parents 100% and they need to know your always there for them.
  5. Holding can help calm them and help them fall asleep faster.
  6. Holding a toddler on your hip (in conversation) builds their vocabulary.
  7. Toddlers are not as independent as they may seem.
  8. They still need closeness and human connection, just like adults do.
  9. Holding your toddler creates safe bonding between parent and child.
  10. Holding your toddler will help lessen any sibling jealously.

Toddlers will sense your mood. If you hold your toddler with resentment or frustration, your toddler will feel the unwillingness and may make them feel more insecure and unwanted. Make sure your holding your toddler with compassion and desire.

Holding your toddler slows you down enough to enjoy his world through his eyes. You can become a kid again. If your child is too heavy for you, ask them to cuddle on the couch or chair with you.

It is healthy to give your child nurturing; those needs are essential to their development.

So do a 'check in' once a week and ask yourself, “Have I been ignoring or neglecting my child's request for attention? Am I too per-occupied with the new baby, work, personal life? If so remember your toddler still needs so much from you. Be that parent you want to be, not just adequate, but a comforting, caring, compassionate one.

Take pleasure in the fact that your toddler feels safe enough to ask for your attention and love.

If it feels overwhelming, remember it is short-lived and soon enough you will be with your adolescence wondering if you could get a hug out of them.