You Can Do It!-Be the Parent You Want to Be!

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Today I was thinking about why I started this blog. While I was pregnant my aunt had to get a new pair of eye glasses. I was waiting with her and she was talking to the wife of the¬†ophthalmologist. This woman felt that it was her right to tell me that because I got pregnant so young I had ruined my life and made a huge mistake. I was absolutely shocked. Yes I’m young, but I knew exactly I was doing when I did the deed, both Corey and I wanted Caleb, and I knew that I’d be a good mother and put my son first. On top of all that, I wanted to be a mother more than anything else in life and becoming a mother certainly would not and has not stopped me from doing all the other things I want to do.

The purpose of this blog is to say that no matter what age you are, no matter how others treat you or put you down, you can be the parent your child deserves. Everyday is a learning experience, every moment with your baby is a blessing, and nothing can stop you now.

It’s a Tablet, it’s a Laptop, it’s… both?

For the last few months we have been entirely without anything besides my phone to access the internet and let me just say… I really do not enjoy blogging from the phone. I just don’t feel like the app works as well as the site and I tend to spell more things improperly when I try it. We got our income taxes back this week though and guess what? We decided that I could spend the $170 and get this awesome tablet that comes with a keyboard it magnets into and runs Windows 8. I’m absolutely psyched about it. It’s just small enough to fit in my purse/diaper bag and big enough to fit my hands comfortably to type on.

Now what does this mean for you? I can finally get back to blogging!! I’ve felt so bad slacking so much but I am back at it and I will try my best to at least have one post out each week. Thank you for being patient with me and continuing to follow. I love you guys, you’re the reason I keep writing!

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Evil!

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Super dramatic title to drag you in…
Of course it isn’t really evil (or is it?) but I can tell you right now that it is a serious addiction. It’s in so many foods and drinks that we consume as a nation in a daily bases.
For my first month of “New Year Resolutions” I decided to cut out all soda and Arizona tea. After a few weeks of doing so I have started feeling less bloated, I am more awake, and my clothes are fitting again even though I’ve only lost half a pound. Great results from something so simple right? Now here’s the real kicker… For the first three weeks I craved it constantly. A few days ago I took a sip of my others half to take some Tylenol with… And it was disgusting! I was absolutely repulsed! So, the next day I went and tried an Arizona Tea… Same thing! I took one sip and gave it to the other half. The common denominator between the two? Corn Syrup! I started looking at other products around my home and anything with Corn Syrup in it was either nasty or just thrown straight out because it wasn’t worth keeping it in my home.
That’s right, we are a corn syrup free, raw cane sugar living household and I am so glad. Such a simple change that will help you loose inches and feel better right away.
For more information on why Corn Syrup is evil, check out this pretty awesome website.
Link

Dress Up? Say yes? Ah ha!

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Last night we had a good laugh. I had taken off my shirts (tank and see through one) and tossed them across the room. My sweet little man ran over and grabbed them and started wrapping them around him. Eventually he even got the tank top on him. He ran around talking and “modeling” it for us.
Lately he has been very interested in taking his clothes on and off, picking out clothes, etc etc… This is a whole new thing for me. I’m a first time mom, I’ve never been there to see a child start getting dressed by themselves. It’s awesome! I absolutely love watching him learn and grow like this. Now though, I totally want to run out and get him a dozen costumes! We have a penguin and Tigger costume already. Of course I need to get him a Mickey Mouse costume.
Again, I plan to indulge his new interest. We don’t have the money to go get him a bunch of costumes, but we have clothes. This afternoon, after nap time, I’m taking a big pile of clothes out and letting him free in it. He could totally ignore it, or we could play dress up. Either way, I’m giving him the chance. Sure it will make a little mess. Is that any reason not to give him this chance? Of course not!
That leads me to another thought. Last Sunday we were at the Chuck E. Cheese. We had a blast, Caleb could actually play some of the games (his favorite being a frog version of whack a mole), and he ate a ton of pizza. Towards the end I was letting him run free and he wanted to take a cup with him. I almost said no as a knee jerk reaction. Then I realized, there wasn’t a single reason to say no. He wasn’t hurting anything, the cup couldn’t spill, losing it wouldn’t be the end of the world… So I let him get the cup and he was happy as can be. I try really hard to let him do what he wants when he wants it as long as it won’t hurt him or cause some kind of problem. I let him color with markers and he will draw on himself. So what? I can give him a bath. I let him walk outside even though it doubles the amount of time it takes to get somewhere, oh well though. I plan to leave twice as early! It works for us.
We rarely have tantrums (and even if one starts it ends within a matter of moments) and life is pretty relaxing. Why start a fight for no reason? Is there something wrong with children getting to do what they’d like?

A Beautiful Community Project

I’ve spoken before about PLTI. Part of the class is a project that betters the community. My friend Chris has an absolutely wonderful one. I hope to participate as much as I can to help him get it finished because of how much I believe in it.
He is working on a play that will showcase what happens when you are not a constant player in your child’s life versus what happens when you step up into your parental duties.
So, I urge you to check out his website and follow along on his journey. If you’re local, I hope you come out to see the play once it’s complete.

Link to Chris’s Site

Indulging Interests

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I can remember as a child I had two main passions: Scooby Doo and Pokemon. My dad would take me to Pokemon tournaments and my whole family really supported my Scooby obsession with toys, VHS, and everything in between. Of course as time went on those passions changed. I went into my preteen, omg every celebrity is so hot, phase. Then I went into my “dark” high school phase. Now, I’m still in what my other half likes to call a rotating phase where one day I’ll be obsessed with this show, this song, this actor, this singer, this writer, this kind of product, this cause, etc etc…
Because phases change so fast, parents have been driven into this fear of wasting money. Caleb has really loved Mickey Mouse since a week or two before last Easter. At first we would just let him watch a little bit of the show or get him a little something here and there but now that he’s walking, talking, and really a competent toddler we have decided to indulge his interest. This doesn’t mean we spend a lot of money on it, we can’t, but we find ways all the same. We will put on the Hot Dog dance and all dance as a family. We read Mickey Mouse books with him and talk about the characters. We will download coloring pages of Mickey and Minnie. May I add, he loves Minnie just as much as Mickey so has many Minnie Mouse things as well. We went to the dollar tree and got him Minnie Mouse markers to color his Mickey Mouse coloring book. I’ve begun decorating his bedroom with more and more Mickey so that it is really a space just for him. And I know, in another few months he might not like Mickey anymore. I know that someday he will find a new passion and interests and this phase will be gone. That isn’t a reason to push his interests to the back burner though. It excites him, it makes him be very thoughtful, and the present is the most important thing to us.
Somewhat near us, not walking distance but walking distance from the bus route at least, there is a car dealership. One day we were on the bus and somehow I looked at just the right moment to see inside, and noticed a giant Mickey Mouse statue. We have been talking about it for a couple months now, going to check it out, but haven’t had the time to go down and make it back to the bus in time or money to take a taxi home. We came across that extra $12 for a taxi last week though and decided to take him down there to meet his Idol, Mickey Mouse. He was in awe. He said in the quietest voice, “I love you.” Mind you, it was his I love you that only I understand but he’s working on that. He would reach out to almost touch him and pull back. Such a simple, nearly free, thing gave him all the joy in the world and made me smile like crazy.

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So! The point of all this? When your child shows a strong interest in something, ignore that nagging thought, “It’s just a phase.” It is just a phase, but does it really mater? No. Because today is what you live for, tomorrow is not guaranteed, and your child’s happiness shouldn’t be put on hold for a what if.

Gentle, Peaceful, and Attached Parenting through Life

When you hear attached parenting you think of infants and toddlers. You think breastfeeding, baby wearing, co sleeping… The truth though, is that is is so much more than that.
I attend a class called PLTI (Parent Leadership Training Institute) and the group is a truly fabulous group of people. We are all there for the common goal of making a better and more supportive world for children. Last night we were asked to list the things children need from us at all different parts of life and to create an emblem or logo that would distinguish each group. After we finished I looked back over them and saw the perfect answer to, “How do you gently/attached parent wen after toddlerhood?” I asked the group if I could post these answers and they all thankfully said yes so here it is my dear readers.

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One of the biggest things I got from this is that in a class of about ten (it depends on the week) we could all very easily agree that these things were common sense. If you were to take 100 people off the street you would find many people who disagree. Let’s aim to change that. Let’s put parents back in charge of raising their children. Let’s give them the responsibility of providing all of these things. It’s not easy, it’s nearly impossible, but it is absolutely vital that we do our best to create the best next generation of adults that we can!

Thanks for reading my lovelies.

How Do People do Cry it Out?!?

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Look at that innocent face…
My son is the absolute light of my life. His existence makes me happier than I have ever been in my entire life. All I want to do is protect and care for him and let him know that I will always be there for him.
I had to get the kids I babysit off the bus today and Caleb’s daddy was working so I had to take him with me. We live in Maine so I bundled him all up to brave the negative seven (Fahrenheit) weather. Even with him bundled up in warm clothes, a blanket, and in his stroller which stays pretty warm, it was just too cold for him and he started screaming and crying. I couldn’t take him out of the stroller (it was warmer in there and I was walking half a mile to the bus stop) but I figured another layer would help. I took off my jacket and wrapped it around him. Still, the crying. It just broke my heart knowing he wanted me to help him and the best I could do is run back to the house once the kids bus pulled up. That half hour though was more then I ever want to make him go through again. Next time, baby wearing with a giant jacket it is.
That led me to really ask though, how on earth do people consider Cry it Out a good option? Is your sleep really worth making an innocent little life cry so long they could throw up? So long that their throat is raw? So long that they eventually pass out from the stress of it all? Wow… I just can’t imagine it.

Well It Only Takes a Minute

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When you walk into my home, 80% of the time you will see dishes on my counter and in the sink. I wouldn’t blame you if your first thought was, “Ew, she’s a stay at home mom, is she just to lazy to do her job?” Most the time people actually come right out and say it, others just give me a look like, who are you again? Well, I’m here to tell you that I love doing the dishes and that is exactly why they aren’t done as often as they should be.
First off, we have a dishwasher but I refuse to use it. Since it is there though, it has become our dish rack in order to save counter space. The huge issue with this is my little one year old just HAS to climb into it every chance he gets.
Okay you say, why not just strap him in some where? Oh you mean a jumper or exersaucer he no longer fits in? Sure… Or a high chair? High chairs are great but this little one year old walker boy wants nothing less than to be free on the ground to roam around. He will eat a snack, do a little coloring, but shortly he will become bored and demand to be released.
Now again, I enjoy doing the dishes. It is my time. I love scrubbing away the gunk, the water running and muting the background noise, and being able to complete such a messy task gives me a great feeling. I don’t want to be rushed, I don’t want to listen to my little angel scream to me from behind a gate or strapped into a chair, and I certainly don’t want it to interrupt my play time with him either. So I wait until he takes a nap and I don’t have anything else pressing on my plate. With babysitting, his nap is usually not had at home which is why days can go by before I can get the chance to wash those dishes. I can assure you I’m not lazy, I’m not a bad mom, but I’m not going to sacrifice something I enjoy doing just to please someone coming into my home. Washing dishes calms me. Until I can get to that point, they can wait.
The moral? Well I suppose you can take a few things from this but the big one is to do what makes you happy even if it doesn’t fit someone else’s vision.

Northern Belles: Manners and Positivity ROCK!

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A dear friend of mine and I have been really struggling with this great big World Wide Web. It feels like you can’t scroll down a Facebook news feed without being faced with negative post after negative post with just a whole lot of profanity and aggression thrown in. We’ve been in groups to try to change this. Sadly the groups have fallen short to our expectations.

This friend of mine and I dream of a world where your inner sun may shine, manners are always considered important, respect for both self and others is a must, and a good Southern Belle attitude fits in just perfectly. This dream had led us to create a group for those of us in the North (if you are in the south and this ideal applies to you, don’t shy away, just know that the majority will be from the North) that wish to see such an ideal brought to fruition. The link will be provided below. We will also be sharing books, recipes, and anything else fit for a Belle. So please, come join us for a wonderfully positive experience.

Northern Belle Coalition Group Link