Still a Good Mom…

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When I started this blog, I was so sure I’d be a perfect mom. I mean really, the original name of the blog was something like, “Becoming a Young Mom, and How I Did it Right.” Barf! Am I right? It quickly became “How I Did it Peacefully,” because right is a very subjective word, and I mess up all the time. ALL THE TIME. I tried for a long time to still put on a facade. I wanted the world to think I was a super mom. Perfect house, perfect kid, perfect put together life… Well I’m here to tell you, it just isn’t so.

I get angry sometimes. Caleb will be extra clingy for one reason or another, and every hair on my body stands on end. I might even yell. I might even lock myself in the bathroom for five minutes while he cries, because I need five minutes where no one is touching me; poking, prodding, squeezing… But, most of the time I’m not. Most of the time I feel like having this small little boy around me 24/7 is the most awesome blessing that has ever been given to me. Sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I put the TV on all day long and I just lay on the couch, because the idea of doing a craft or having a conversation exhausts me past my breaking point. TV all day or a mean mom? I’ll go for the TV every time. But, most of the time I’m so happy to take Caleb to the park, play dates, do the newest cool kid craft, or play make believe. Most of the time I don’t ever want him to leave my side.

This is one of the hardest things in the world for me to admit. 99% of the time I honestly don’t feel like I need a break. 99% of the time I really think I’m doing okay. Then that 1% where my nerves are just fried, I wish someone, well someone like his Mimi because I’m neurotic and really don’t trust many people with him, would come get him just for a night. He’s spent maybe five nights away from me since he was born. Maybe ten times he’s gone with her for a day. That 1% of me isn’t a regular thing, and yet I still feel so much guilt about it… but why?

Don’t even get me started on the house. This week we had kind of an inspection. Not on our house from our landlord, but he’s trying to sell the house so the state inspection people had to come and measure stuff. I took three days cleaning the house. Twenty loads of laundry, seven loads of dishes, a full bottle of Windex, and an emptying of the vacuum five times later, our home was presentable. While I was putting away the clothes I ask Corey in exasperation, “How is it that I did all of these things AND went to school when I was younger?” He looked at me and laughed then responded, “You didn’t have Caleb.” I mean, I get the kitchen clean, and every toy is pulled out in the living room. I fold the clothes, turn my back, and the pile has become something to play in. I’m honestly not even mad, in fact I’ve accepted it, but when my house is a disaster (think dishes from a week ago and mysterious sticky spot on the kitchen floor), I’ve been home all day, and I’m still exhausted at the end of the night I do feel really guilty… but why?

This morning I woke up and my house was essentially still clean. The living room has some toys on it. I asked myself if I wanted to pick them up and decided to sit down and watch a movie while Caleb was still sleeping instead. I started to think about all of the things I’m doing wrong. I though about how I lose my patience, or I don’t always make the healthiest foods, or how when his doctor asked us how much milk he drinks, I had no freaking clue. But, I looked around at the fun art on the walls. I looked at the pictures of us together. I looked at his toys and thought about how much I love watching his imagination at work. I walked in and watched him sleeping next to his daddy. He is strong, healthy, and loved. He doesn’t go without. He has at least one close friend, and he has all the family he’ll ever need. He isn’t afraid when I life my hand that he’ll be hit, because we never hit him. He doesn’t have to worry about eating quickly or hoarding food, because we never let him go without. His body is respected. I do everything in my power to raise him peacefully. 99% of the time I succeed, so why do I fixate on that 1%?

… I’m still a good mom.

YOU ARE LOVED

How to Not Raise a Princess (or in my case, Prince)

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^^ My Friend’s ADORABLE 13 month Princess ^^

Children do not spoil, food does. That doesn’t mean you can’t accidentally entitle children causing them to believe the world revolves around them and that they will always get exactly what they want. Here are three easy steps to avoiding this.

1) Don’t make your child share and don’t let them expect other children to share with them. I went on a play date recently and Caleb’s friend, who is two and a half, was playing with a doll. Caleb wanted it and went to grab it from her. Her mother jumped to tell her to share and I said no. Don’t worry about it. It’s her’s. I don’t want Caleb to think that just because he wants something, he will get it. That isn’t how life works. You don’t get a car that belongs to someone else just because you want it. There were plenty of other toys so I just redirected him and he was fine. She was a happy little girl because her toy, that belongs to her, wasn’t taken away from her. She was already sharing all of her other toys and that is going above and beyond to be gracious in my mind. I wouldn’t want my one special thing taken away either.

2) Don’t be afraid to say no. I know, shocking after my introducing the idea of no post. It’s true though. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down. Times for that are like when you’re in a store. If your child is screaming for a cookie, and they’ve already had enough sugar, tell them no. Don’t reward screaming and disrespect. Instead, because we all know that the screaming doesn’t stop just because you say no, redirect. I talk about it again and again. Offer something healthy if you can afford it. Oh look at this super awesome apple. Honey you can pick out something yourself if you want but it can’t be a cookie and you can’t eat it right now. This way, their want is understood but you are leading to a better decision.

3) Money is not the only thing that makes a child happy and more over it shouldn’t be the main source of their happiness. Sadly, so many parents use money to stop crying and to make up for lost time. That’s the best way to make a child spoiled because they will forever need more to fill a much more important spot in their life. Kids don’t naturally want stuff. They just want you! The more QUALITY you time they have the less material items will mean. This means that even if you work, the time you have with them matters. Cuddling, talking, asking questions, can make your child feel loved and wanted and that need for things doesn’t even come up.

 Thank You for Reading and Good Luck My Lovely Readers

“Mummy, I Need a Break!”

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Everyone knows that babies need naps. It’s just one of those facts that everyone has been made aware of. On the other hand, most of the time we just assume that when it’s nap time it is nap time and all the other times baby should be doing something else. Either eating, playing, or some other active baby thing. Well my son taught me a very good lesson. Sometimes, we all just need a break.

He had been playing hard for a while and he started getting a little fussy. He crawled over to his blankie and then stood by his rocking chair and I figured he needed a nap. I set him all up in it and something different happened. He laid there for a while, relaxing, watching out the window and really just taking a break. He didn’t end up falling asleep but he needed that half hour or so to just relax. Once he was done he told me he was awake and ready to get back to playing.

I don’t think I ever took the time to think that just like me, my little man could just need a break for a few minutes. Why wouldn’t he though? With all the new things he is seeing and learning everyday it shouldn’t surprise me he needs to rest. The mind needs a break just as much as the body does. We as adults are able to say, I need to sit down for a while and relax. Babies are just expected to constantly be going and that just isn’t right. Babies are just tiny adults. I still have trouble really realizing that they have all these same feelings that we do because until they can talk and explain to us these things, we only know what others show or tell us. Society has put babies in a whole new category of creature.

My son has taught me once again how wrong this thinking is. Now, when either of us want or need a break, I’ll be better equipped to respect these feelings and react the right way.

Thank You for Reading Lovelies!

 

How Much Freedom is Too Much Freedom (for a 9 month old)

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First of all… Happy Nine Months to Caleb!

What a great and amazing nine months it has been.

So here’s the scenario. As I sit here and type, my son is playing in the hallway off of the living room. A few minutes ago, he was even farther away and out of my sight in the kitchen. To be clear, I just cleaned the kitchen an hour ago and I know it’s completely clean and safe for him. On the other hand, I am human and you never know what could happen. Does this amount of freedom make me a bad parent?

I am going to say no. Some people look at me crazy when I tell them I let him do this. The majority tell me if I’m going to let him play by himself like this then I’m not practicing attachment parenting. Some tell me that my child is too independent and it’s my job to watch over him and occupy him. What they don’t see, or in reality just choose not to remember, is that I’m breastfeeding, bed sharing, baby wearing, and playing with him 80% of the time we’re together. My son knows that if he needs me for any reason that I am here and will take care of him. All of his needs are being met. People look at this so strangely though because they expect him to be needy. They expect him to be up my butt.

This is where I believe Attachment Parenting gets a bad rap but that idea is wrong. Attachment Parenting makes children more independent. When they don’t have to be afraid of anything, when they trust that mama and daddy will always be there, they aren’t afraid of going off with strangers or wandering a room away. I think that allowing him to do that boosts his confidence and him knowing that I’m not afraid for him and that I trust him boosts it even more. A confident child is happy, outgoing, and in touch with his own feelings. This freedom I’m giving him could be considered dangerous for someone so young but I honestly believe it’s part of raising my child personally.

Tell me what you think. Comments or emails. As always, Thanks for Reading!

Just a Funny in the Life of an Almost Walker

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I’m laughing hysterically! This is one of those moments I wish I could constantly have a camera rolling on Caleb. He has one of the sit and stand cars and for the most part he really hasn’t cared for the standing part. Yesterday he started standing against the front of it and seemed to like it so today I tried getting him to use it again and it was a success. He walked all the way from the living room, to the kitchen, under his high chair, and back. The funniest part though was when he saw a toy on the way, let go, continued standing, bent down to grab the toy, and put one hand back on the walker to continue. My little man is going to be walking in no time!

vvv Caleb When He Wasn’t a Fan of It vvv

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The Beauty of a Child’s Imagination

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^^ The Photo is a Screen-Cap, Please Excuse the Poor Quality ^^

My son has always had a strong connection with his stuffed animals.

The first one was his puppy. Just a simple little wrist rattle of the laugh and learn puppy. He would chew on the ear and always wanted it with him. It was his first friend that wasn’t family I think. He’ look at Puppy and just seem so joyful. That’s one of the first moments that his personality and imagination became relevant to me. I could see that he’d made the decision that this toy was something special to him.

Then the Mimi got him… Moomoo! We swear that will be his first word. The second she handed it to him a bond was made. He would have his Moomoo with him constantly. He also wouldn’t sleep without it. It got to the point that it was so dirty we had to wash it. One day while he napped his daddy decided to take it from him to wash. About ten minutes later Caleb woke up and started screaming. You all know by now, my child rarely ever cries. Corey had to take the Moomoo from the washing machine and show Caleb that she was okay before he would calm down. I feel like sometimes we don’t give babies enough credit. We don’t realize how much they really do think and know and how good their memory can be. My son at three months was concerned for the well being of a toy. How adorable is that?

Now… it’s Mickey Mouse! Even better, it’s daddy Mickey and baby Mickey. First of all, Caleb got to choose this interest 100% on his own. We were walking through Walgreens after getting our income taxes (the beauty of having a few extra dollars) and Caleb grabbed this little Mickey Mouse off of the shelf. He started kissing and hugging it so we decided that since he seemed to like it so much we would get it for him. Since then he’s been all about Mickey. He plays with him like he’s a friend and takes care of him between kisses, sleeping, eating… It’s funny to watch my eight month old turn Mickey into his baby doll. I don’t think I even realized that he’d have the thought process to do that. Well, a few days ago his daddy was walking by a yardsale and found a big Mickey! When he brought this home Caleb was thrilled. The best part? He realized immediately that it could be a daddy Mickey. He handed it to his dad, grabbed his Mickey and tried to play doll with Corey! I was looking at him like… How do you even put two and two together? You’re eight months old, you don’t walk, you don’t talk, but you can understand a connection like that? I’m just amazed and thrilled by this. Last night was the icing on the cake though. He had put the big Mickey into his jumper and helped it jump! That’s where the picture comes from. He was so thrilled that he was helping his Mickey jump.

Children are amazing. They have their own feelings, thoughts, and a strong imagination. Allowing them to make decisions and blossom is wonderful. Giving them the chance to figure out what they like will do nothing less than help them really grow.

Thank you for reading!

Why I Spend 60% of My Time on the Floor

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In our family we are all equal. We all deserve happiness, attention, and a close connection. I spend a good amount of time with my fiance but my son and I spend even more time with how much Corey works, sleeps, and plays on the computer. The truth of the matter is that I hate being on the floor. I’m over weight and getting up and down hurts. Even more, laying there squishes me in weird ways and really isn’t that comfortable. Caleb is almost seven months, tomorrow he will be, and that means he’s become a total floor baby. He’s constantly trying to crawl or he’s sitting up like a big boy and passing the ball back and forth between his daddy or I. A lot of parents buy things like jumpers and exersaucers so that at times like this they can just place baby in it and go on their way. That would be against our way of parenting, and that’s why I spend so much time on the floor.

When you get down to eye level and you really talk to and react with your baby they learn so many things. Conversational skills develop between six and twelve months. In order for baby to learn properly how to converse and what words mean they need their parents nearly constant and loving attention. Caleb will babble at me and I will either babble right back or tell him things. We talk about love, numbers, how much I want to see him be happy, and how good he really is. His expressions are many and he really has an opinion. When I tell him that his sissy (our kitty) doesn’t want him to grab her fur he will shout back and look at me all concerned like because that’s exactly what he wants and he’s objecting. On the other hand, I will talk to the other babies around us and depending on my tone of voice they might react but I know their home life is very different and that is exactly why they wont react the way that Caleb does. I sacrifice a sore back and some personal time because I know it’s best for my little man. It gives me the ability to react to him, make him feel secure, and let him know that he’ll never have to be along or scared because mommy will always be here for him.

I’ve had people tell me that my blog makes them upset and sounds like I’m bashing them. I’m not trying to make people feel bad or guilty. The only thing I want is for parents to realize that a peaceful and loving, child centered, way of parenting can really improve the lives of their children and themselves. It’s a real blessing in my eyes to see my child smile and talk to me. Then when we are out and about he’s confident enough that I’ll be there for him that he’s willing to go to any stranger. He doesn’t fuss or worry about where I am and after a little while when he’s done with the new person he will find me and I’ll gather him back into my arms. This attachment style of parenting is all about taking away stress and building trust, respect, and confidence between you and your child. So fellow parents, get down on the ground with your little ones. Talk to them. Don’t assume that they have nothing to say because boy are you wrong! Children have amazing minds, no matter how young, and the best thing you can do is help them bloom.

Thanks for reading my lovely readers. You are wonderful and loving parents. No matter how you do it, as long as your child is fed, happy, healthy, and clean you are a great parent.

Review: Disney Baby Winnie the Pooh Dots & Hunny Pots Walker

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This is so much fun! When I first got the package I was like… okay so it’s only got a few things, it will be too simple, blah blah blah. Then my wonderful fiance set it up and my opinion took a total 360 degree change. Thank you so much Disney Baby for sending this walker to us cost free. All opinions and what not our mine and totally honest. You have all read my reviews, I’m always honest one way or another. I wont lie to my readers.

Let’s get the complaints out of the way. You have to take it apart to fold it away or store it. Luckily for us we don’t really go anywhere but being able to fold it down was the only plus to the old walkers we had. That’s it though. That is my one complaint. On an item where there is only one little complaint, you know it’s gotta be good.

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Alrighty, now we got that out of the way, let’s get on to why this is such a perfect walker for us. My son LOVES music. The keys on this are so easy to press and play all kinds of different sounds and songs which gives him an endless amount of entertainment. He has been sitting there for half an hour already, walking around a little bit and playing. Some, most really, toys have the same sound bite that plays over and over again. Me, as the parent listening to it, can only deal with something like that for so long. These sounds really don’t get to me at all and I’ve already just blocked them out. Instead all I hear is the happy babbles of my very content baby.

The toys are simple but engaging. Caleb loves spinning rattle like things and this walker has one that is very easy to use. He’s great at spinning it and loves to see the two different pictures; a friendly Pooh and Tigger. My mother was a huge Tigger fan so this is something close to our heart as well. The Pooh in the Honey Pot is easy to push down and squeak. To me the most important thing with all my little man’s toys is that it’s easy to use for him. I’ve had some things that to make work I have to really work for it. If it’s hard for me, then why give it to a baby?

Oh goodness what wonderful design and colors. All beautiful colors that are bright and lively. Oddly, it matches my kitchen wonderfully! I believe strongly that kids have a need for bright colors to stay interested in something. This is one toy that I don’t have to worry about that happening. The pictures don’t do it justice.

Now, this is a walker. So how does it do with that you ask? One word; Carpet! It rolls even on carpet. If it’s more than 1/2 inch tall carpet I learned a secret to making it still work. Take off the green grips with a screwdriver, takes two minutes, and you are good to go. My little man has been walking all over the place. All of his other walkers had him sitting weird so he could only go backwards. That or they couldn’t go over carpet. This one on the other hand has no problem.

One more plus is that there are three height settings. Without that, you would only have a small amount of time to use the walker. With this one, instead it lasts almost a year at least! Really worth the money for what you get out of it. This is an item I would recommend to anyone that can afford it.

Thanks so much for reading! What’s your favorite walker? Does your little one love Pooh Bear and Tigger as much as we do?

Whobo? Mombo! Review for ALL Moms!

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A while ago, I reviewed the Breast Friend. Let me make this clear, I still love that nursing pillow for certain times, such as when I’m on the floor and need some back support. Now I introduce you to the real BEST nursing pillow… The Mombo! Comfort & Harmony, a company of Kidsii, gave me the chance to test the pillow, mint cover, and toy bar for totally free. All of these opinions are my own and true though. It really is just THAT awesome.

For months now I’ve wanted to try this out for the toy bar. Caleb has always loved sitting in his Boppy but he gets really bored not having toys stay in front of him. All the ones we would hand him would roll away or go missing from his sight and we’d have him fussing till we passed him another one. The Mombo has found the solution. The Toy Bar, which is so simple to add onto the pillow, gives him something fun and safe to hang out in and allows me the time to do things like clean or blog without running back every few minutes to hand him another toy. A super bonus is the the bar has extra loops to add toys onto. That way, the favorite like Lamaze’s firefly, can be added on. This really puts the Mombo at the top of all Nursing Pillows.

Another insane plus for all ages is the vibrating disk that you can insert into the pillow. My little man loves sleeping with his Mombo and the vibrations make it a very dreamy and happy sleep for him that has him waking up with a big happy smile and ready to play. My only regret is not getting one sooner. When he was a few month younger this vibration would have been such a help to us. That way we wouldn’t have had to put him in another room in his swing just to go to sleep. I recommend this item to all moms. Whether you are nursing or not, it really is a must have.

Now, to the pillow itself I say… where have you been all my life!? One side is firm. Those of my fellow breastfeeding mamas know that soft is great for sleep but if baby’s head sinks into the pillow, the alignment changes, the latch is affected, and that pillow becomes useless. Then, oh my goodness how is it possible it’s this amazing, you flip it over and it’s a soft bed for baby! This is one of those, bring with you everywhere, kind of items. Baby can go from play time, to sleep time, to nursing within a moment of change.

I really have no complaints. The toys are adorable, the colors are easy to match with any theme and there are so many covers that you won’t struggle to find the perfect one for you and your little. Again, this is a must. If you know someone with a little one, this is the perfect gift. Head over to Comfort & Harmony’s facebook page and give them a like. It’s worth it.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about the Mombo!

Love of Leap Frog-FOUR Item Reviews!

Topper     Yesterday we finally got Caleb’s room completely put together and I realized something. I have absolutely no complaints with any of the Leap Frog items that we own. They all serve a wonderful purpose; educational fun. My son, at five months, can use all of these objects to some extent, doesn’t get bored easily with them, and I feel comfortable letting him play with them even though two are “screens.” Also I want to mention that we own more than just these four things but I want to focus on them because they are in constant and current use around here.

Flashcards

Some people would wonder why flash cards would be so important to me, but let me just tell you, I’ve never seen such useful and helpful cards as these. One huge factor to me is that there are separate lower case and uppercase cards. Most cards out there have both on one card and I find that that can be very confusing for early learners. This way they can really focus on one shape at a time. The colors for each are a different shade of green also, great for easy sorting. The dog eared shape helps with organizing as well. The backs of the cards have pictures on them to illustrate each letter. You get two separate images which means two examples which opens the child up to seeing letters don’t just work for one word. A wonderful feature Leap Frog has provided is a card with activities on it. Most the time, you get a pack of cards and have to work with them your own way. You don’t think, oh hey these can be used ten different ways. Leap Frog has given us that option! You’re probably wondering why these are something we use when my son is only five months old. Well, I’m teaching him his letters and guess what. He already can identify A to E with no problem thanks to these cards. He loves holding and staring at them!

LeapTop

The LeapTop! Oh my goodness. For only $20 you get a customizable and totally educational learning tool for your little. Caleb is a tad too young to really get the full use of this but I love it already. The fact you can customize it makes it way above the rest. You can put different songs and messages on it for your littles which helps it not get too repetitive. It also has three settings. Animals, music, and alphabet. Each with fun animations and sounds to accompany the learning, it really keeps the kiddos happy and entertained. From birth to five years, this is an absolute must from Leap Frog.

LeapFrog Chat & Count Phone

 

This LeapFrog Chat & Count Phone is one small this that is great for when your in the car or on a walk with the stroller. Or any time really. All children love our fancy smart phones so give them their own! This adorable, easy to hold and use toy helps teach numbers, pretends to call, and plays music while the little puppy dances on the screen. $12 well spent. My little man will play with this in his car seat for half an hour no problem. He laughs at the puppy and I think he has figured out the cause and effect of each button. Great for coordination and entertainment all in one.

Chair

Now my, and Caleb’s, all time favorite. The Magic Moments Learning Seat! This right here is the best investment for any baby and should be on everyone’s wishlist. At first you put baby in and see a mirror, which is so much fun in itself. Anything with a mirror they can look at themselves with makes me happy. Even more amazing though, when you turn it on… IT IS A SCREEN. With three amazing settings, one that names the animal and colors, one that makes up cute rhymes about the animals, and one that names the composer and plays great classical music there is an endless supply of entertainment. The colors dance across the screen as it talks to baby. I say it that way too because at first I thought it wasn’t loud enough because I could barely hear it myself, but when I put my head by Caleb’s, I realized it was the perfect volume for him. This is the same for the Vibration feature. It seems to not do much but it’s more than enough for our littles. The other nice thing with the vibration is that if the seat doesn’t feel movement, it will shut off after about fifteen minutes which helps save the battery. In general, the battery life on this thing is amazing. I’ve had it since December, purchased it used with already old batteries, and it still works no problem. One MORE thing that is awesome is that baby kicking his feet also activates the screen. If they hit the feet board it plays a medley and colors dance across the screen in time with it. That is one feature I’ve never seen but once Caleb figured it out, he wouldn’t stop. It thrilled him to no end.

Over all, these are four items I would recommend to anyone. I love them all dearly and I am very judgmental when it comes to things my son gets to play with. So, check them out. Which Leap Frog item is your favorite? Let me know in the comments bellow. Thanks for reading!