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Showing posts from February, 2015

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

I used to be a firm believer that technology did not have a high priority in my children's life.  But, then I realized that technology does not simply belong in the mindless entertainment category, used only to keep children busy.  No, children can learn from technology - starting at a young age.

THUP Games' Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, an app I found for my Android phone, has provided countless learning experiences for my children.  Not only are they learning colors, sizes, shapes, and more, but they're doing this through a piece of technology that will help them succeed in real life.  My children have learned how to use my smart phone through finger swipes, finding the correct "buttons" to touch in order to play this game.  This same technology is one that they will have to use in their education and, most likely, their future careers.  They are learning the fast pace at which technology changes each time they have to learn the minute changes between the differen…

Life with a dairy-free child

Recently, we've learned that one of our children needs to have a dairy-free life.  Not just lactose-free, but whey and casein-free.  You might think, what's the big deal?  You just take milk out of the diet.  This was my first thought, but I wish it was that simple.

Dairy-free means no milk, no butter, no ice cream, no yogurt, no cheese, no cream cheese, and no to ranch dressing - just to name a few.  It also means no to some types of potato chips - including BBQ - because they contain milk products.  It means no to baked goods including cookies, cakes, biscuits, and more.  No more processed or canned meats.  No more chewing gum or chocolate.  And, that's just the start.

I realize that living with any allergy is difficult.  Finding substitute products for nutrients isn't always easy.  Sometimes the alternatives are limited.  In the case of my child, one of the substitutes is almond milk.  It's delicious.  My child loves it.  You can find nearly any dairy item you w…

5 minutes' peace

Have you ever wondered how, as a mom, you make it through your day?  The needs and trials of our children, seem never ending.  There is always something that must be done - and done now - according to the philosophy which is innate in our children.  They have yet to learn that other people, too, have needs and wants that quite possibly could be just as important or - oh, my goodness - more important than their own.

As a mom, I've found my children's desperate pleas for attention, information/knowledge sharing, quarrels, and more are often at the most inopportune times during my day.  My bladder is full and I find myself doing my daughter's "potty dance" while I resolve the latest conflict between siblings.  I've just put shampoo in my hair when brother finally decides he's a big boy and can climb onto the Mommy and Daddy potty all by himself, but he didn't quite make it and his bum is now stuck.  I've decided it's time for a homemade dinner th…

Toddler vocabulary

Upside up

noun
To be facing the correct way.  To have proper orientation, as in a child standing on their feet instead of hanging from their feet from a tree limb, staircase, or other object within the home from which they are not supposed to be hanging.

The opposite of upside down.


Diminishing returns

Today, I'm studying the indirect correlation between the productivity of parent and child.  This is an interesting study upon which to endeavor and, while I may never fully develop the study into a well-working model, I consider this to be my own example of diminishing returns. Let's take a look at this economic principle in the light of my own parental experience. 

While my husband at times remarks as to how wonderful it could be to expand on the number of people living within the confines of our home (and, granted, there are moments I, too, think this could be a cute idea), the number of children that we have is very certainly controlled constant.

This is our fixed input.
Now, before we go any further, I must take time to decipher what I believe to be the most adequate definition of the commodity that we're attempting to produce throughout our parenting experience.  On one hand, you might say that this commodity is a well-mannered, intelligent, understanding child.  Ho…

Damage Control

One of the greatest lessons I've learned as a parent is that damage will happen.  It's not a matter of 'if' it will happen nor is it really even a matter of 'when'.  No, it is simply that it WILL happen.  So, with this in mind, I've started my own collection of damage control resources on my Pinterest page.  Please be sure to check it out and be sure to share your own thoughts on how you control damage in the comments!  Watch for future posts that may include information on all that my children have damaged.


Follow Katie's board Damage Control on Pinterest.

The rules of potty training

As parents, we establish rules for our children.  Rules that will allow them to be well-functioning people.  However, I've quickly learned that, in order for my children to truly become well-functioning, there are very specific rules that must be spoken aloud...especially regarding potty training.

No toys in the potty.When I say no toys in the potty, that specifically means you cannot throw toys into the potty - even if they are "swimming" toys.No food in the potty.No food in the potty also includes no PB&Js get flushed down the potty.Granola bars also do not get flushed down the potty.Nothing that goes into your mouth should go into the potty.# 6 includes hands.We push down our pants AND underwear before sitting on the potty.If needed, you may take off your pants and underwear before sitting on the potty.We sit on the potty.#10 is further defined by We do not stand on the potty.#10 is even further defined by When we sit on the potty, we do it with the lid open and si…

Do you really have control?

There are numerous books, blogs and thoughts on potty training.  So, I thought, while my youngest child is currently undergoing this tremendous challenge in my his life, I thought I would add my two cents.

Potty training has nothing to do about training your child to go potty in a potty.  No.  After numerous consulting of professionals and parents who've been here before, I've determined that potty training is an inaccurate term for this station in life.  The correct term is "Children training their parents that the one and only thing they [the child] can fully control is their bodily functions, including when and where they function."

Parents like to believe in this fictional place where we have control over every aspect (100%) of our children's lives.  However, in numerous realities - including my own - this percentage is quite a bit less.  I have control over the clothes that appear in my children's closet and dresser drawers through me being the primary p…

I once was OCD, then I had kids

I used to describe myself as OCD.  Everything had a place and that was where it belonged.  Towels were folded in specific directions and dimensions - the same with shirts.  My pantry was impeccable.  My spices alphabetized.  Plastic ware matched with no missing lids.  Sheets were washed on Mondays.  Vacuuming was done each morning.  Dusting biweekly.  Toilets were scrubbed 2-3 times per week (not as consistent since it was my least favorite job).  And, clothes were ironed.

After my first child, I attempted to keep up my personal, rigorous demands of my household.  But, I found myself not sleeping, getting moody (although my husband would probably describe this with a bit more emotion) and, overall, not enjoying my new life as a mother.  Other family members and friends attempted to help me out, but this made me more upset because they didn't put things away where they belonged.  They folded towels and clothes incorrectly.  They didn't back out of the room when vacuuming to lea…

Home Tip of the Day

Should you find yourself in the position of needing to get Sharpie off your hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets, try rubbing alcohol or spray sunscreen (which also works on leather couches or seats in your car).
Or, enjoy a smiley-faced cabinet and proud child.

Toddler Vocabulary

Today's words brought to you by Happy Feet:

alien abduction
- Mama's Definition: Someone or something that's not human (unless it's a penguin talking, then it's anything that's not a penguin) who takes you away without your permission

- 4-year old interpretation: "Mommy you're abducting me right now.  I already told you I didn't want to go to school today."

annihilator
- Mama's Definition: someone or something that destroys something or completely gets rid of it

- 4-year-old interpretation: "I'm a breakfast annihilator."
- 2-year-old interpretation: (while opening and closing arms like an alligator and yelling at the highest volume) "I annihinator. I annihinator.  I annihinator. Chomp!"

How would you describe these new vocabulary words to your toddlers?  How do they then use these words in their daily vocabulary?

I'm Enough

Do you ever have moments, days, weeks, months or longer where you just wonder how your life has gotten to where it is?  It's not quite a midlife crisis, but it seems like it could get there.  You question choices made.  You question the path you're on.  You shut yourself up somewhere - a bathroom, closet, the car, anywhere - to have a moment to yourself because you just don't know who you are anymore.  You don't recognize yourself or your own life.

This has been my season in life lately.



I put myself up against other parents - past and present - and realize that I'm lacking.  My house isn't clean.  My child went to school in mismatched clothes with her hair a mess.  My other child has a giant bruise on his [fill in the blank depending on the day].  I fed my kids McDonald's...in the car...for the 3rd day in a row.  I didn't shower this morning.  Not sure if I showered yesterday.  My outfits haven't been trendy since 1997, but I figure they'll eve…