What I Have Learned From My Miniature Mimic

Posted 12-18-2014 at 12:15 PM by Matrivine

Mother with her daughter

When my child started talking I expected long philosophical conversations about the color red and flushing the toilet. What I hadn’t expected was to have a mirror held up to my own personal verbal habits. While I’m not a swearer and I am careful not to use derogatory name and titles I found I had a few other verbal habits to work on.

I Apologize Too Often

I knew I said the word “sorry” often, but I had no idea how often until my child started saying it for fun. He apologizes for closing doors, his blocks falling over, and when he decided he didn’t want to use the restroom. He apologizes because he isn’t going to eat his dinner. He apologized once because I had discovered I had gained a few pounds on the scale. Now I am working on not over apologizing. I thought I was being polite, but now I realize it’s not my fault it’s raining, and I don’t need to say sorry for that.

I’m Obsessed With Safety

I am told to be careful by my two year old every time we come to the stairs. I am told if something might be too hot or too cold. I know he has gotten this from me. I don’t want him to be afraid of adventure and healthy risks, but I don’t want him to get hurt. Ever! I fluctuate back and forth between keeping him safe and letting him explore life a little. I don’t think that will ever change.

Love Is The First Response

The other day I dropped and broke a glass and my little guy told me it was okay and hugged my leg. I then had to delicately fight him off as he tried to help me clean up. I realized that he got this from me as well. He helps me because I am an example by helping him. Each time I respond with care (though, unfortunately it’s not every time)  he is being taught this is the way we react when things go wrong. I know I will never be a perfect mom, but I feel like I’m not doing terrible.

What have you learned from your little mimic?

Diaper Swapers

Parenting Resolutions I Won’t Make Next Year

Posted 12-10-2014 at 10:33 AM by Matrivine

Family Watching Fireworks Featured

New Year’s Eve is a great party. The new year, however, can be riddled with guilt and stress when we bite off more than we can chew in New Year resolutions. While goals are good, I am a repeat offender in resolution burn out. This year, however, is going to be different.

Topics My Child Has a Say In

I made a resolution that my little man would be potty trained by two and a half years old. This time I refuse to set a date my little guy is going to be potty trained. My son has been more in control of that than I ever even considered possible. It is likely that the more I try to push the issue the more likely he is to reject the idea. Right now he is willing to make his bear go on the potty. I’ll be patient and one day I’m sure he will try it himself.

I Eventually Gave My Child Formula and Everything is Fine

Posted 12-8-2014 at 10:17 AM by Banana Cat

Bottle Fed Baby Featured

It’s no secret: I nursed both of my kids.

According to the Internet Moms of today, this is the Correct Way Of Doing Things. I don’t really care about the Correct Way Of Doing Things much (perhaps it’s the Catholic schoolgirl in me still being a bit rebellious), but I did find myself, over the past three years, having to defend my decision to nurse my kids. While I never got kicked off a plane or humiliated in public, I did have to deal with a family for whom breastfeeding was not “normal,” and the few disgusted looks occasionally thrown my way in public. Still, I nursed my eldest until she self-weaned at 19 months of age, and I intended to nurse my youngest until he weaned as well.

I was pretty certain he’d wean early. Already at 9 months he was an amazing eater of solid foods, cutting back on his milk feedings, and eating as much as his 2 year old sister at mealtimes (sometimes even more, if she were going through a spontaneous picky stage. Actually, he often finished her meals, too). What I wasn’t prepared for was for myself to be diagnosed with a condition for which medication was not nursing-safe when he was only 11 months old.

Gift Giving Stress as a Parent

Posted 12-4-2014 at 10:04 AM by Matrivine

mom parent child gift

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to stress out over what to give my kids for Christmas. Will my kids be happy? Am I going overboard with the gifts? The educational gifts? The socks? Shouldn’t my kids know the true meaning of Christmas? Isn’t me giving them a lot of presents teaching them about the spirit of giving?

Chill Out!

The sure fire way to ruin a kid’s holiday season is to be super stressed about gift giving habits. Children pick up on that and soon it leads to them feeling their small tokens aren’t good enough or that they are a burden for Christmas. Christmas should be warm and loving, not a giant stress ball over presents.

What is the Motive?

I want a big pile of Christmas gifts under the tree for my kids this year. I just don’t know why. Some days it’s because I want the fun to last. Sometimes I feel like a bad parent if they don’t have much under the tree. Other times I worry I will be giving them too much and they will get spoiled.

5 Things Not To Feel Guilty About

Posted 12-3-2014 at 10:52 AM by Matrivine

Woman No Featured

There are plenty  of reasons to feel guilty as a parent. They don’t even have to make sense. As parents we’ll feel guilty for doing the right thing, even when we know it’s right. Here are a few things we shouldn’t feel guilty about.

1 – The Diaper Defying Poo

We have all had that lovely moment when we go to pick our little one up only to discover everything is wet and squishy in all the wrong places. Then you feel bad because your first reaction was “this is gross” and you’re trying to change and wash your sweet bundle of joy without actually touching anything nasty. Next you wonder why it happened and feel guilty about that. Did you put the diaper on wrong?

The truth is you are cleaning your child and will never really know how it happened (unless you opened up the sleeper sack and discovered an open diaper) so there isn’t a productive reason to feel bad about it. There are few people on earth that actually want to touch baby poo. Be content with the fact you can overcome the grossness enough not to throw up while cleaning up.

2 – Not Wanting To Get Up

You hear your baby start to stir in the middle of the night and don’t want to get up to change them or feed them. The bed is comfortable and you have already been up twice before this very night. You, of course, will get up and face your sweet baby in all her unhappy glory. You will console, feed, change, and put your little one back to sleep. If you are really, really lucky you will get to go back to sleep as well. No one is happy when sleep deprived. You’re doing a good job continuing to pull yourself out of sleep and to your child’s aid. Don’t feel bad for feeling that temptation to not get up. It’s not like you’d ever act on it anyway.

Toddlers Sleeping In Cloth Diapers

Posted 11-10-2014 at 11:40 AM by Matrivine

sleeping baby
It can feel like the absorbency of your cloth diapers decreases as your child grows from infant to toddler. That’s not really true. It’s just that the deluge of bodily fluids a toddler can unleash on a cloth diaper is so much more. Toddlers use more energy, water, and space and as a result your cloth diapers just don’t hold as well. This is particularly true during bedtime, but with a few tweaks to your nightly routine, doesn’t need to be a problem.

The Bedtime Changing

Cloth diapers should be changed right before everyone’s bedtimes. Once, right before your little one goes to bed and once before you go to bed. This is to limit the amount of saturation and uric acid your little one’s sensitive skin is exposed to. Multiple night changes also helps your little one stay comfortable and increases the chances for a better night sleep for all parties involved.

After The Breast – Feeding Toddlers

Posted 11-6-2014 at 08:40 AM by Matrivine

Little boy in a chief hat sitting on a floor

When feeding a newborn it’s easy to pick the menu, especially when you’re breastfeeding. After the first six months however, it’s not quite as simple. Our little bundles of joy demonstrate that they have preferences when it comes to what is put in their mouths. They graduate from breastfed and immediately become picky eaters. Here are a few tips on how to get your new picky eater to eat.

What’s In It For Them

No, I’m not talking about bribery, although I was tempted for a while. In my quest to get my little one to eat I tried everything from disguising healthy food to making airplane and choo choo noises while manipulating the spoon. My little one, though quite entertained by my sound effects, still refused to eat. The answer to getting him to eat actually came when we were watching his favorite PBS show together, in the form of a song. The basic message of the song was we need to try different foods because we might like them. It occurred to me that my little one needed to see what was in it for him if he tried something new. What’s in it for him is he might actually enjoy the new food. As a result I can at least get him to eat one bite of any new food and have been able to expand his food tastes like that.

Breastfeeding a Teething Baby

Posted 10-31-2014 at 08:11 AM by Matrivine

teething baby
Breastfeeding can take a turn for the worse once your little one starts getting those little chompers. Don’t lose your cool when they start exploring what these new oral additions do while you are trying to feed them. Instead, try some of the following suggestions.

Be Firm 

Should your child bite your firmly tell them no. Don’t use your scary mommy voice, but do use a deeper tone that will get your child’s attention. Even if you feel they don’t know what you are saying this will put you in the habit of responding calmly and firmly. Eventually they will know what you are communicating.

Remove Your Child From The Breast

The best way to show your infant that biting is not an accepted behavior is to remove your child from your breast for a minute or two. The negative consequence will eventually help your child to avoid the action that causes it. They want to eat more than they want to bite you.

Child Safe Decorating

Posted 10-14-2014 at 02:58 PM by Matrivine

baby living room

When you first have children, decorating takes on a whole new dimension of thought. Instead of thinking something is pretty or would go great with your home , you think of your child instead. Will my son eat this if I put it in the bathroom? Will this be stable enough not to fall on my little girl if she pushes on it or even touches it? Here are a few child safe ways to decorate.

LED Candles

I love candles, but with the arrival  of my curious and mobile little guy, the idea of an open flame anywhere he may be able to reach put a damper on my candle burning. So now I use LED candles. Not only do they give the same ambiance that a flame lit candle would, they last longer. Best of all they are safe for my little guy to be around.

Wall Hangings

Rather than have heavy framed pictures that may (and have) fall off the wall, I use wall hangings made of cloth or a paper product. If these fall off the wall and hit my child, it won’t cause much more damage than that of a blanket falling on them. Always remember, however, that a wall hanging has no place over an infants bassinet or crib.

Safety Tips for Infants

Posted 09-26-2014 at 03:02 PM by Matrivine

Little baby child in safety car seat
Whether it’s your first child or your seventh child, infant safety should be taken seriously. Here’s a little refresher course of a few safety necessities when working with infants.

Transportation

Whether you are riding in a car or on a bike it is important to make your little one’s safety a priority. When it comes to the car an infant should always ride in the back seat in a rear facing car seat. It’s easy to make sure you have your car seat installed properly. Check with the fire department, or ask hospital personnel to teach you how to install your car seat. Obey the laws regarding weight and age of a child when it comes to using a car seat. Also, when using an older model car seat make sure it meets the new safety standards.

Some bikes have a child seat on the back of the bike. When on a bike make sure that your infant is old enough to be on a bike. They should have advanced neck control and be able to wear a correctly fitting helmet. Know and obey all biking laws and stay on bike paths. Remember that your child is strapped in on the back of your bike. If you should take a spill the bike will take your little one down with you and they will be unable to move out of the way of any oncoming object. A safer way to bike with a child is to use a trailer for the back of your bike  instead. It is less likely to tip over.