Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The understatement of the year when you are a mom.

There are cute poems and funny stories about what is a mother... but lets be serious.

Motherhood is so different to so many people... we should never compare ourselves and we should always be kind to ourselves...

That said... when does the guilt end? sigh.

Is it just me, or is it others? I seem to struggle with feeling guilty when I am working, and feeling guilty when I am playing with my babies. I feel bad if the house is a disaster when my hubby comes home. I feel bad when the laundry piled up and I have spit up on my shirt when I go out with my friends.

Motherhood is certainly a pull in all directions.

The cure... a bath? ... a night out? ... a coffee with friends? ... a date with the hubby?  ... a good book?

How come the cure seems like more work to organize sitters, have a shower, put on clean clothes, put on make up... shave finally this month? Is this why most of us don't bother and we sit on the couch at the end of the evening eating popcorn in our old grubbies with the movie on low low volume? We pray we get about an hour before someone calls for a drink of water or cries out for another feeding?

Not trying to portray motherhood as a terrible house trap. When you run a business and have a busy family, there are times where it can feel overwhelming. The best thing to do, is write it down, talk about it and search for weekly solutions.
A family calendar perhaps with daily schedules, a date night out each week to always have something to look forward to. And don't forget to celebrate your accomplishments both with business and family.

Anyhow, this is just one mom feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering if, at times, I am the only one? I trust I am not.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baby information

If you are every curious how your baby should be developing, or you just want to know how to kepe yoru baby entertained and teach them things... check this out.

You can sign up for weekly information at Baby Center


Have Fun!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Misbehaviour or trust building?

Toddlers are not intentionally acting up or misbehaving for the most part. Toddlers are usually engaging in developmentally age appropriate skills. When you see them 'play' they are literally working. Children learn about their environment through all the 5 senses. They are also testing parents constantly to make sure they parent say and do what they mean. Only in this way, do children learn that valuable lesson about trust and security.

The next time you say to youself, "This child is driving me crazy, they are constantly testing me!" Think to yourself, thank goodness, they are working hard to learn trust... and then ask yourself, "How can I teach this important skill?"

Teaching trust comes with love, affection, patience, understanding. Slow down a bit and find yourself going down their level. See the world through their tiny eyes and short legs and show them what trust is.

Things to think on...

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Cool idea I heard and I am going to try it.

If you have a clingy kid, especially when you are busy or on the phone...
Keep an emergency PHONE Distract-a-box above your fridge. When you are on the phone, take down the 'new toy box' for them to play with during phone time. Put i back up on the fridge when you hang it. It helps!

You can fill it with new puzzles and toys from the dollar store. Put in a play phone so they can pretend they are talking to. You can have separate boxes for different age group depending on your babies. 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Power Struggles

I had a strong willed child 20 years ago and things haven't changed much. He was born to test boundries... if only I had known then, what I know now... would he have turned out different? I believe so. Many parents complain of power struggles, but what parent really wants a child who is 'weak-willed?' Hopefully no one would choose this. But when I power struggled with my eldest son, I really just wanted him to listen and do what I ask. I didn't think about how this may affect him in the future, causing low self esteem and the inability to have confidence in his decision making. Now I hear myself complaining that he has a difficult time trying things on his own and relying too much on me. The power struggles I was having took away the power from my son instead I could of guided him to use his power in useful ways.

Looking at my 2 year old, I need to make sure I am changing the way I use to do things. I need to empower my children, teach them to use their skills and have confidence in who they are and what their abilities are. At 2 years old toddlers usually want to 'show off' or impress their adults. They want to do the same things their parents are doing and make the same decisions we are making. By allowing them to be messy and try cooking, vacuuming, folding laundry, sanding, painting etc... we teach them to be competent, capable people.

It's funny because even though my 2 year old is talking and rarely signing, he still uses his sign in stressful or frustrating situations. This past 3 days of two sick babies has shown me patience beyond means. My 2 year old has tried power struggling, tantrums, throwing things, crying... you name it, he tried it. I had to stay strong. At one point he was litterallly walking around the living room pulling books off shelves, tossing puzzles and climbing on furniture. I asked him if he wanted to play with the puzzle and he just signed ALL DONE and kept walking around. Another time he was crying and crying for 'what appeared to be no reason' and I asked what he wanted and he began signing MORE MORE... When I asked what, he signed MORE MLK. So funny.
He was so distraught and out of sorts from being sick, but his signing was helping him cope and communicate. How wonderful that he has such a great tool to fall back on.

Anyhow, I'm getting off topic. What I wanted to give you today was a way to stop power struggles... the first lesson is to stop power struggling with them.

Use redirection, distractions and teach with kindness and firmness. You can use choices, routines, opportunities to help and hey, try using your self of humour. Many children may not want to clean up their toys... but when you make it a funny game, they are more likely to oblige... for instance..

Use a robot voice and say, "Robot is packing all your toys... must place them in this box." walk around like a robot and say to your two year old, follow me!
Make a race to put toys away the fastest.
Sing songs... like a clean up song.
Sort colours, shapes, animals... make it fun.

Note on tantrums...
If a child is having a tantrum, pick them up and gently and firmly remove them from the situation, validate their feelings and move to another location, distract them with something else once they calm down. The best thing to do with a child under 3 is suggest a few choices. Such as:
"Would you like to curl up in your special corner with your stuffie or book?" ( a positive time out )
"Well, how about playing with your dollhouse?"
"Do you want to play puzzles or play flashlights in the living room?"

All of these are meant to be distractions, but like me, sometimes they are not ready to respond to any suggestions, that is when you can respond by saying something like, "I need to make dinner and I could really use your help...you are welcome to stay here and rest (code for continue your tantrum) or can come and help me wash the vegetables." Most children will want to be with you and join in on water play in the sink.

Obviously, everyone has a different situation and different child. Feel free to share your great distraction or redirection ideas for others to read.

Try asking questions??
Power struggles are usually a will of do this and do that telling responses from parents and the children saying, NO. The way we approach children can diffuse a power struggle quickly.
Say thing like, "Do you want to bring your dolly or your blankie." If they want something else, say simple, that wasn't a choice. You decide. Saying you decide puts the power in their hands and allows them to process and make decisions.
Say things like, "What do we need to do before bed?" or "What do we need to put on when we go outside." Give them the opportunity to make problem solving decisions. Also, validating feelings will soon dissolve anger and power struggling. "I can see you are angry that we have to leave, we will be back to play another day."

Can you give examples of power struggles you were able to diffuse?

Think on these things.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mad Scientists

I have been reading up on toddlers and behaviours and I have been listening to my parent friends talk about their little 'devils.' I was thinking about behaviour and motivation.

From what I have heard, read and experienced, it is my belief that toddler don't actually sit up at night and plot ways to 'get at you.' So if they don't actually plot how to torment parents all day, why do they not listen, get into mischief, run off and simply drive parents batty at times?

The way I see it, toddlers are Mad Scientists. Yesterday I baked cookies with my 2.5 yr old and I watched him as he proceeded to pour all of the 'large container' of vanilla into his small bowl. He simply emptied the whole container of vanilla while my back was turned. I saw enough to watch the last of it cover the table, chair and floor. Inside I was like, “OH NO!” That is all the vanilla we have and I don't want to drag both babies to the grocery store to get more. Plus the mess, grrr.” But as I watched him finish the container. He put it down where he found it gently and looked at his tiny overflowing bowl and said, “Oh, big one. All filled up.” He marveled at how he made that small bowl fill up with this cool black liquid. How could I be upset, he was learning, exploring, interested and proud.

I took that second to see the world through his eyes. He was also about to learn how adults act when mistakes happen or spills. Do they yell? Do they growl? Do they cry? What happens next? He looked at me and down at his bowl and realized the mess and said, “Oh terrible mess.” I stood there one second more, grabbed the paper towel and held it out for him. “Wanta help me clean up? Rip off a piece.” He liked ripping the paper towel off and began cleaning up right away. He wasn't upset about cleaning, he was still learning, exploring and interested. In fact he started signing the clean up song we often sing.

It was a good reminder that toddlers explore this world through seeing, touching, tasting and experimenting in general. We have to be patient while we are teaching boundaries to little ones. It takes some time and often years for children to learn where the boundaries are and what do about them. Plus, the often test these boundaries. Babies and Toddlers alike need these boundaries to feel secure or safe. They need to know they can trust their parents. Once more, they will test this trust. “Will mom say no to another cookie again if I ask another way? Will dad move me away from the fireplace if I try to climb up one more time? What will happen if I keep throwing these toys? What if I kicked and screamed and fell on the floor, will that give me a candy?” test, test, test, yes they will, much to our dismay.

Toddlers love to see how things work. They will bang on things to hear the sounds. Are they buzzing, whirling, pounding, vibrating? They will open and close the same door again and again to test and test. Experiment with throwing toys, ripping papers, eating glue. All to 'check out their growing world.'

Well here is a thought. Do parents get angry at an 7 month old who is pulling books off the shelf or spilling over plants or trying to put things in the light sockets? Not usually, most parents realize that baby is simply too young to 'know better' and they quickly scoop them up and place them somewhere else to play. Or they baby proof their home with light plugs and tacking up cords or anchoring their book shelves. But something changes when that baby gets older.

Once that baby turns into a running, exploring, loud, destructive machine these same parents are all of a sudden go from calming lifting them up to another activity to a NO NO NO parent, expecting their children to reason out what they are doing. That is adult thinking. We expect our children to listen to our commands and know why.

Children don't think like adults. We often feel exasperated when our toddler runs off or pulls the grocery display down and then has a full on meltdown of his own int he middle of an isle. This baby turned toddler is just still experimenting at his own level. He is louder and faster cause he is bigger and older, but he is still learning about consistency and seeing if parents really do mean what they say. They grab at things and turn them over in their hands and see what they do. Or they tear apart things to see what is inside. They aren't breaking toys on purpose or destroying display shelves to make you mad, they are simply checking it all out.

So be kind to your mad scientists and give them safe, secure experiments and guide them through the lessons.


A couple tips:

-Prevent meltdowns by preparing before going to a grocery store - bring things to do (new toys from home), bring food, keep it short. Many positive short visits on an outing, help encourage great behaviour for longer outings in the future.

- Toddler proof your home, keep dangerous liquids and chemicals out of reach and locked away, anchor book shelves, put high locks on outside doors for the escape artist.

-Supervise! Keep a close eye on your little ones, it is hard to get into too much mischief if they are in view or best yet, have them 'work along side you.' If your doing dinner, gardening, bathing baby etc... have your toddler involved.

-Stay calm! When your child is in a full on meltdown, simply pick them up and hug them, with their arched backs and screaming tears, and carry them slowly to the car, quietly reassuring them and validating their feelings. "I know you don't want to leave Jamie's house, you must be feeling sad. We'll be back soon to play again." Stay firm, calm, caring. They don't need a long drawn out talk, nor do they need a sharp, no, let's go.

Action speaks louder than words. Picking them up and removing them from the emotional situation will help redirect behaviours more quickly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What's sweeter? Cookies or a 2 year old?

Teaching autonomy with Cookies


1 cup of "no, mommy, I try."

1/2 cup of 'do-it-myself."

1 tsp of "can you help me?"

1 1/2 cup undressed aprons

1/2 tbsp mistakes

2 tiny helping hands

1 (12 ounce) package of spilled nuts

a dusting of kisses

Sprinkle in as much LOVE as possible

(optional) "do again, mommy."


Mix the 'do-it-myself' with the 'no, mommy, I try.'

In a separate bowl, beat in the undressed aprons.

Add mistakes, helping hands and 'can you help me.'

Combine together and toss in the spilled nuts.

Sprinkle kisses and love.

Bake in a 375F preheated hug until the child squirms and wiggles with a fit of giggles and the cheeks are all rosy.

Let stand 5 minutes and then give the spatula to the child to eat all the ingredients.

Serve warm and loving. Share with milk.

Take lots of pictures.

*Feel free to add 'do again, mommy.'

A note from the author:

-Eating chocolate chips off the floor. 
-Spilling vanilla down the table and chairs. 
-Dusts of flour sprinkling tiny faces.

Inspiring independence and having a bit of fun.

Now, what's sweeter, the choco chip cookies or the face of the proud 2 year old who did it all by himself (with some help) 

PS: He was too full from the 'grazing' during baking to finish his cookie... ha ha.