Thursday, October 1, 2015

Adventures in potty training

When I was pregnant with Mila I was nervous about everything! I would worry about if I didn't feel her move enough or if she was moving too much. Then she was born and everything was right in the world.

When I was pregnant with Luna I felt like I had a handle on it and I tried not to worry so much. Maybe that was my problem!! :) Don't get me wrong, when she was born, everything was right in our little world, just as she filled in her little spot in our family to make it whole. But Luna, well she is my handful of a child! She came to shake things up!

Obviously, children are different. They have different cries, different laughs, different personalities. Mila was, no muss, no fuss. Luna is Ms. Mussy Fussy! (Said with all of my love of course!) With Mila at daycare at 13 months they changed from 2 naps a day to one long one and she handled it, no problem! Luna, I'm just trying to make her morning and afternoon naps a little later and right now it seems like I'm torturing both of us! :) As for potty training, Mila started around 18 months and was pretty much done around 2!

Because of this I decided I should look into "early" potty training as I know Luna will be anything but easy. I was surprised to find out I was behind the eight ball! At least as far as cultures in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are concerned. They start "elimination communication" with infants! It's really very fascinating and IF we ever have another baby I might consider it. But for now, "early" potty training will have to be what I try with Luna.

So some of the articles I've read say to let baby run around diaper free for a while to see if you can tell what signals they might give before peeing or pooping. I already know what Luna does before she poops as she gets into a baby version of the yoga "downward dog" except on her knees. So I was looking for pee cues.

My experiment started yesterday because it was a day Mila is at preschool so I don't have to entertain her while Luna is diaper free. After Luna's morning nap I took off her diaper and put her on the potty.

Nothing.

So I just let her play without her diaper. I just had to run downstairs to get the vacuum because I didn't want her little bare rump covered in dog hair. I was downstairs 10 seconds at most and came up to a little puddle. Well, mommy's mistake... So I sprayed carpet cleaner, blotted it up, put a chair over the area (after I cleaned her up of course) and vacuumed as quickly as I could. She was sitting so good while I vacuumed that when she moved I saw the little wet spot. Ok, accident number two. Cleaned Luna, cleaned carpet. This was about 20 minutes after the first. I finished vacuuming with no additional accidents.

Now it was lunch time I walked in the kitchen and took the food out of the fridge to warm and Luna followed me with her water bottle in hand. The next thing I know she dropped her water bottle and she fell over. Why did she fall over? She had peed all over the floor (biggest of the three) and slipped in it. I swear I didn't even hear the little tinkle! So I picked her up, cleaned her off and then the kitchen floor. All of the accidents happened within 40 minutes.

So our first day was a learning experience. I'm going to try the put her on the potty every 20-30 minute approach and see if we fare better. Today I actually got one pee to happen on the toilet! I'd say that's progress! I don't expect her to be potty trained in a short amount of time but I feel like the more of a routine we make it now, the easier it will be down the road.

Wish me luck!! :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

A beautiful day

Today was a beautiful day! Last night was the Super blood moon lunar eclipse. Mila and I sat on our back lawn watching the eclipse and talking about the heavens making for such a great night. This morning started with a cuddle with both my girls on my lap reading a book. 

After breakfast, Nama joined us for tea and crumpets (actually maple and brown sugar muffins we made yesterday). We always love when we get to see Nama. 

This was later followed by Luna's first movie at the theater (Mila's 3rd). We went to see Hotel Transylvania 2. 

I was nervous taking Luna to the theater with it being loud and dark. But she did surprisingly awesome! She was so excited watching the big screen. She danced to music on the previews, giggled and pointed when she saw a dog and cuddled Nama and sissy Mila for the first 20 minutes or so while she munched on her snack. I also thought she said 'mama' at one point. 

When she finished her snack she decided to sit with me. That's when she was done watching the movie and decided she wanted to climb! Luckily we had the whole row of chairs to my right and she was happy traversing them for maybe another 20 minutes or so. Even quietly looking up at the rows of seats behind us and waving to people she could see in the dim light. Then she wanted bigger things to climb... Like the wall at the end of the aisle. She grabbed onto that thing and was trying to hoist herself up except I was holding onto her. She let out a loud scream in protest. I could no longer keep her happy romping over the seats. So I decided not to try to keep her there when she wanted to roam. She and I left the movie early but I was glad she did pretty good and seemed to have fun. 

I kept prodding her to say 'mama' and she kind of seemed to be testing me by stringing 'mamamama' together and when I would turn to her she'd smile coyly. 

Later, after picking up a somewhat grumpy Mila from Nama's house and returning home, I was playing peek-a-boo with Luna while changing her diaper and I said 'where's mama?' And when I uncovered my eyes she said 'hi mama!' With a big smile!

The evening ended with my pre bedtime snuggle time with Mila. As usual, Mila was stalling a bit by chatting and she said 'my eyes are sparkly, right mama?' Something I tell her often. 

'Yes they are'
'How did they get like that?'
'That's just the way they are love'
'Maybe when God was making me the Angels came and put sparkles in my eyes.'
'I think that's exactly how it happened lovey '

I almost cried. 

What a perfect way to end such a beautiful day. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Another day

I love days like this. It makes me feel so grateful that I have the opportunity to stay home with my little loves. The reason I have that opportunity? My husband. Though this year has been tough on us we're getting better at talking about things and trying to work together :)... (sometimes not trying as hard as we should) but it is because he is working so hard that I am able to stay home.

Today we had breakfast and saw daddy off to work. We listened to some music, did some laundry and  had our morning snack while the little one napped and we played Legos :)

After morning nap, we headed to the library. I packed us a lunch and a blanket. We had a lovely picnic on the lawn. The weather was perfect, not too hot and nice in the shade. Mila ran up and down the hill while Luna and I finished munching.

I love going to the library! I always have. Books are like magic, and I get excited to pick interesting and fun books for the girls. Even though I don't always get a lot of time to look because Mila wants to play on one of the computers and Luna just gets a kick out of crawling away from me around the next bookcase. But it's still fun. Today we ended up with 6 books. I try to get at least one book that shows a different culture or group so that Mila will see that others live differently. Last time that book was Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary and Rich Chamberlain. It shows the life of a mother and son in a Kenyan village. I really liked it because it included a recipe for the pancakes as well as some Kiswahili words.

We got home and I read one of the books to the girls and put Luna down for her nap. Mila and I pretended we were on an adventure to seek out the magic crowns of Arendelle (Frozen of course) before it was time for her to have quiet time.

Now I took the chance to write a quick blog before it's time to play again. :)

Today is also the two year anniversary of Diana's death. It's  hard to believe it's been two years. It seems like it was so recent. I know Marc misses his mom every single day, I would feel the same if it were my mom. I pray she's watching over us all and giving us little inspirations each day. I know she would love to play pretend with the girls. It would make her smile.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Luna's 1st Birthday

It's a question we as parents will ask (when we have the moment to sit down and think about it) 'Where does the time go?!' I know where it goes. It goes with the worry of naps and sleeping, of teething and eating, of tummy troubles and diaper rashes. It comes in the rush of trying to bathe one child while the baby cries in her chair... But then, it morphs into both taking a bath together. We also see it in the rolling over, the sitting, the crawling and standing. The babbling and waving and first words. Today our little Luna turns 1! This year truly seems like more of a blur than it had with her big sister! I can probably contribute a lot of that to her sleep issues and thus my lack of sleep and worry over it.

But my how she has grown! She's so spunky! I have since dubbed her my trouble child! After her infamous roll down the stairs at 6 months she started learning how to crawl and from then on she has gotten into everything! With Mila, we never really had to "baby-proof" the house just with the basics, but with Luna... give her an inch... I find her with something in her mouth or climbing a chair and onto the table (the toddler table), pulling things off of tables and chairs, trying to climb into the bathtub to play in the water, or scoot under a baby gate and today climbing up the stairs! Oh yeah... we're going to have our hands full with her! I have to watch her like a hawk! And all that and she still has yet to walk! But I think that's not too far off and then we're really in trouble!

She may not be much of a talker yet, but boy she can tell you what she wants with a point and a grunt! But she's also quite the cuddler under the right circumstances. She'll give hugs and kisses and she loves her big sister so much that she gets excited when we go into her room to wake her up. My favorite thing is to hear them laughing together. They are so alike but they are also so different. I'm so excited to see them grow together. 

Saturday we will have her birthday party. I know they'll both have fun because daddy has been working so hard to get the back yard ready. We are putting turf in because we had grubs destroy our lawn over the past two years. At least now the girls will have a place to play outside (in decent whether). So it will be doubly celebratory!

Happy Birthday little sunshine. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

An Historic day

As my readers know, my blog is mainly a narrative of my family life. Kind of like a journal to the world and for me to keep track of life sometimes as it goes so fast.

But today, I would like to take a moment to say congratulations to the LGBTQ community and to all Americans for the history making decision made by the SCOTUS yesterday, June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states! BRAVO! It's about time! It is the type of day that makes my heart fill with joy and hope for people everywhere. How can it not?

This was not about the "definition" of marriage according to the people who oppose this ruling. As Justice Kennedy pointed out "The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times." The definition of words change as humanity changes (see this story and this one that includes an amusing note on the meaning of the word left.) There are so many examples just in the Bible itself!

I think it was George Takei that tweeted yesterday that "Gay used to mean happy, now all gay people are happy!" #Lovewins was the hashtag floating all over social media yesterday and it's perfect. Because, who are we to tell other people who to love? I was raised Catholic and just because I don't practice through the Catholic church doesn't mean I don't believe in God. The God that I believe in doesn't hate. As a Facebook friend of mine pointed out, because "God is not an asshat" :) Thanks Melissa for the quote and the cartoon.
(Image by David Hayward at www.nakedpastor.com)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

First Family Road Trip - Little Miss M's Tale

Little M is becoming quite the smarty pants, and it is for this reason she thinks she is also the boss. (Hence the nickname Little Miss M) This doesn't bode well for a long drive. It just so happened that Little Miss M thought she could tell daddy what to do while we were near completing the drive up to our vacation spot. And, this is what led to the first time we had to pull over to discipline our oldest. This was the least favorite part of everyone in our car (maybe except Little L because she didn't like being in the car anyway). 

Throughout most of the drive, Little Miss M had been so good! She didn't keep asking "are we there yet", she kept her little self busy either coloring, playing games on the iPad or playing with the new little lego car we bought her. But just as we were getting close to our destination, she pulled out the "NO!" and wouldn't back down (in defiant preschooler fashion). After the disciplinary event, she was quite solemn as we were stuck in some road repair work right before reaching our destination. Finally, she came out of her self induced grump and tried to cheer up Little L who, by this time was screaming for release from her carseat bondage. 

Thankfully, that was our biggest bad behavior incident the whole trip. Little Miss loved "the cabins" as she called them. She was quite happy being able to walk to Nama and Papa's cabin everyday to see what they were doing. She loved playing in the hot springs and did such a great job practicing her back float that she was finally able to do it all by herself for a few seconds! She went fishing and caught a fish within the second try of casting (even with all her wiggling about!) She played with her cousins (arguing with little Noah was one of her pastimes). Even though she tired herself out daily with all of these activities, she went to bed late each night because she was sleeping with me and wanted to talk the whole time. I didn't mind most of the time, especially the night we had spectacular thunderstorms. She's such a big girl and is not afraid of the thunder! Even as loud and crazy as it was! We just laid on our uncomfortable pull out bed watching the lightning illuminate the room and listening to the thunder crash and echo off of the surrounding mountains. 

She makes me smile because she's growing so much and she's so smart! But of course there are her moments like on the ride up where she reminds us she's only 3 and 1/2 and still has a lot of growing and learning to do. But I'm so blessed that I'm able to be here at home with her and her sister, at least for the present, to watch them grow each day. I know it will still go by fast, my goodness, this first year of Luna's has gone by SO fast. But when we get to have family trips like this, it makes it all the more sweet. I hope there are many many many more to come. She has so much fun with daddy and it's so great to see them together. 

At the end of our trip when I told her we were heading home she said "but I don't want to leave the cabins!" and I said "neither do I! But we'll come back again". Hopefully we'll be able to do something like that every year. With Nama and Papa and aunty too, because that just makes it more fun!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Family Road Trip - Little L's tale

After A LOT (and I do mean A LOT) of trepidation, in March I decided to book our four day, three nights stay at cabins in Redstone as a big family get together with my parents, sister, grandpa and his family. I was very nervous about making such a commitment because of our Little L and her sleep schedule and lack of ability to sleep anywhere but in her crib. So I took the leap of faith and decided I needed to try to sleep train her to sleep in her playpen. So nearly every Monday and Friday I would take her for her afternoon nap to my mama's house. My nap time checklist included her playpen, and her noise machine. We would try to make my mom's room as dark as Little L's room at home by hanging a towel over the window and I would surround her playpen with blankets so she couldn't see out. I know, it sounds ridiculous but with a babe like L, you go with what works.

It started off pretty bumpy. She would flat out refuse to nap and just cry for most of the time. It took about a month but eventually, she started doing pretty good and only cry for a little bit before falling asleep. I'd keep up her sleeping practice at home by setting up her playpen in my room and putting her down for a nap every other day in there. So it seemed we might actually have a nice stay in the mountains. I was starting to be optimistic about it and look forward to it!

Then, two weeks before we were going to leave, I got a little lax in having her nap in her playpen at home and she took advantage of it. Once again, she refused to nap at mom's house and she would just cry her little lungs out. This did not bode well for our trip. I was dreading it thinking I would just be up with her the whole time and I didn't want to ruin Marc's only vacation in over a year. Not to mention the ride up there was projected to be more than 3 hours and she hates being in her carseat longer than 20 minutes!

So, as the weekend before approached, I had made several lists for packing. I had a special box of "L's sleep stuff" ready. Our plan was to head out around her morning nap time so that she would hopefully be lulled by the car ride to sleep.

Everything was packed.... the morning came. I conducted our morning routine like usual and I tried to have her crawling a lot to get some energy out. Around a quarter to 10 we hit the road. As luck would have it, she fell asleep 10 minutes into the drive! Yay!! Our first success. As we rode a little more happily along for about 30 minutes it was ok. Then, of course, we hit slow traffic on I70 and when the car stops moving, Little L notices. So she woke up and fussed and protested (luckily not screaming) while we sat in traffic for 1/2 an hour before it cleared up. Once past that she was still fussy and didn't fall back to sleep until right before we were about to stop for our lunch break to give Little M and her a break (typical!).

At the rest stop we met my grandpa and the rest of the family there and the cousins got to meet and run off some energy while eating a bite for lunch. Little L woke up and wasn't grumpy but just wanted to be held.

As we loaded up again, she began to protest, but quickly fell asleep. (Another Yay!) The remainder of he trip she was good until right at Glenwood Springs (approximately 1/2 hour before our stop). She was MAD! Crying and screaming to be picked up! I would hand her a toy and she'd toss it to the side. I started handing her random things like a water bottle and Little M's binoculars that kept her interest longer but they would eventually end up in the door panel where she tossed them. Eventually, we made it to our destination in one piece. One obstacle down, now just what would she do for night time?!

It turned out our cabin, wasn't a cabin but a loft above the gift shop. Great... gift shop noise I groaned. As we walked around the back to our room, there was a dog that was barking at the trash can right near the stairs that led up to our door. It had pinned a rabbit under the can and was waiting for it to emerge. It just kept barking and wouldn't move. I wasn't thrilled about that as I thought "it's gonna be there our whole stay! How will she sleep?!" Inside, the loft was nicely furnished and had the extra room that I specifically booked it for so that L could have a separate sleep space but the bed in the room didn't leave much space for her playpen. I was just thinking, this isn't going to work!  Yes, I was being a little bit of a Negative Nelly, but who isn't after being in a car with a screaming baby and having apprehensions about her sleeping anyway?! Anyway... I digress...we were able to move the bed over. I blocked out the windows with black trash bags taped to the window. It was a bit warm in there as there was no a/c and so they provided fans. I set up the fan and it was loud! Even on the 1st setting. I got all her sleeping stuff set up: playpen... check... sound machine... check....cuddle fox... check... sleep sheep... check... bedtime story... check... sleep sack... check.... monitor... check. I prepared for a sleepless night.

It turns out, all my worrying was for naught. (Yes...I know you all told me so). For the whole trip, naps AND nighttime, she slept like a baby! Or, more accurately, like everyone who doesn't have babies assumes they sleep. (Honestly, that saying should be used to indicate when you sleep like poop. "Up every few hours?" "Yeah, I slept like a baby" :-/).

I didn't even have to use her sound machine! She had white noise in the fan! I might have to get one for her room because since we've been back she's been a fussy napper. Also, I attribute her good sleep to her being around more family and activity everyday and having new places to explore, she tuckered herself out!

I'm happy to say our first family road trip was a big success. As Little L's main provider of sleep and sustenance I dare say I look forward to another!

Thanks to my hubby and to my mom for being such a big help in trying to keep me from worrying my life away! :) I know it's sometimes a full time job :)




Saturday, March 28, 2015

Women's History

As March is Women’s History Month, I wanted to write a post that highlighted the importance of Women’s History.

(The abbreviated article can be seen at Skinny Mom)

History was my favorite subject in school. One of the contributing factors of my fascination was having an inspiring teacher who emanated her passion for history. As many of my friends and family know, that teacher was Gail Beaton. For those of my readers that don’t know, Gail is a retired public school teacher and community college instructor. She was also my middle and high school history teacher. She recently authored the book Colorado Women: A History. The theme of this year’s Women’s History Month is weaving the stories of women’s lives. Gail’s book is an engaging narrative on the roles of women from prehistoric to modern times. I had the pleasure of interviewing Gail about her past as a history teacher, her book, and her perspectives on women’s history. Enjoy!

Q: What made you decide to become a teacher and why did you choose history?

A: I decided to become a teacher because I liked school, liked the learning. I taught my youngest brother who is six years younger than I was how to read. We played "school" when he was young. I decided to teach history because I was always fascinated by people and events in the past. Another big factor was my parents were big influences on me. When we had vacations we would go on trips and we would visit historical sites like the Mayflower, or go to Washington, DC, Mesa Verde, things like that. The national parks. So I think they were a big part of me loving history.

Q: What has been your favorite part of teaching history?

My favorite part of teaching history was working with the students. That was always the best part  - the relationships you form with them, whether you just had them for a semester or if you had them for six years in a row.

Q: What female figure from history has inspired you or influenced your life? Why?

A: Eleanor Roosevelt was one woman from history that inspired me and influenced my life. I think this was because she defied all the stereotypes. She took the role of the First Lady beyond what it had ever been before and she overcame a number of challenges in her personal life both in growing up and later as First Lady. Of course also the Rosie the Riveter character. In other words, the symbol for all those women who worked so hard during World War II to help in the defense effort. There were also other women who influenced me though maybe some people wouldn't call them historical. One of course would be my mother and how she did everything with four children with grace and classiness. I had teachers who were very influential, especially my fourth grade teacher and my Latin teacher in high school. They always demanded the best and knew how to relate to the wide variety of students in their classroom.

Q: Have you had any challenges in your life as a woman and how have you overcome?

I think I have been very lucky that way. My parents were very supportive of me. I remember that for my 9th birthday, all I wanted was my own baseball mitt. Being left-handed, it was difficult to share with my brothers. Although my parents' friends kept asking what else they were going to get me - implying that a "boy's" gift wasn't enough - my parents insisted that a mitt was what I wanted and that's what they were going to get me. I chose a traditionally female career so I didn't face the challenges others did. I do wish, though, that someone had pointed out other possible avenues - but I was pretty set on teaching so maybe I would have ignored them anyways!

Q: What inspired you to write a book on women’s history in Colorado?

A: Most books center on men in Colorado history or US history so I thought it was important to learn about and then to share with others the story of women's history in Colorado.

Q: Was there a favorite person or time period you researched and why?

My favorite time has always been the 1880s to 1945. I love those eras because that's when women's opportunities were greatly expanding. There were more job opportunities whether it was in store clerking and office work, union organizing, the professions, college education, and of course World War II and all of the Rosie the Riveter work. It was also a time of great expansion - economically, industrially for the United States and so that's exciting history.

Q: Was there something that you discovered in your research that surprised you?

I didn't realize Hispanic women in southern Colorado were often the religious leaders in their communities. This was because Catholic priests only visited these small outposts of civilization periodically. It may have been months between visits. I also did not know about women who worked their own mines in the Colorado mountains.

Q: In line with this years theme for Women’s History Month, how would you describe women’s contributions to the “woven” fabric of history that is currently mainly told from the male perspective?

Women were often seen as in the background supporting men's efforts, raising the children, perhaps doing a little bit with education and things like that but never really seen as standing side-by-side and doing important things on their own. That is so far from the truth. Women plowed fields, planted crops, set up schools, hospitals, aid societies, fought for civil rights, lobbied elected officials for particular legislation, supported the arts, and led progressive reforms. They were miners, educators, philanthropists, suffragists, elected officials, appointed officials, war workers, religious leaders, business owners, and workers. That's from the time of the first Native Americans to the Hispanic settlers to Anglo pioneers to Black, Japanese, and European immigrants to today's Colorado women.

Q: Why is it important to teach women’s history?

Without women's history, one only knows half the story. Without women's history, where are the role models for today's girls? It's important - for both genders - to know of the struggles, the challenges, the hard work that earlier people dealt with and to know that they succeeded. Some times not right away. In fact, often times change was slow, but they didn't give up. If you want to succeed, you have to persevere. Find your passion and work your hardest at it. That's what makes life meaningful. [sorry- got carried away!]

Q: You are also a re-enactor portraying a Rosie the Riveter character. What inspired you to create a character for your history lesson? Have you ever thought of creating another female historical figure to re-enact? If so who and why? How does using re-enacting help to convey the importance of women’s contributions in history?

Rosies applied for and worked jobs that people said they couldn't, said they wouldn't be capable or handling the skill level or the stress or the work conditions. But they did. And were so dang good at it.

I have thought of a few other women I'd like to do. One is Amelia Earhart but someone already does her in this region. Another is a WASP, a woman aviator from WWII. Dr. Ella Mead,a doctor in Greeley, or Bessie Smith, an architect, if the same time period. But who really intrigues me is Margaret Bourke-White, a photographer of the Great Depression and WWII. Her transport ship was torpedoed and she spent 18 hours in a lifeboat with other survivors until they were rescued. 

Re-enacting brings a personal, human face and persona to an event, to a time period. The audience can relate to the person's struggles and successes. It affords the audience a chance to ask questions of the character and of the historian behind the character. It's a glimpse into the the life of a woman who made a difference.

Q: What do you hope is ahead for women in the coming century?

I hope for equality. No more "can'ts" and "shouldn'ts." For both girls and boys, women and men. That all phases of life are open to anyone, regardless of gender, should they wish to pursue it.

Q: What are you doing next?

I am currently researching Colorado women of WWII. I am interviewing army nurses, WASPs, Rosies, etc. in the hopes of sharing their stories with others. So possibly another book but one with a must narrower focus - one era, one state.
I am also a research volunteer for the National Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs. They are preparing for a large expansion so I am researching their current artifacts for them. And learning a lot in the process! 


I would like to thank Gail Beaton, not only for taking the time to answer my questions, but also for her work to remember the women of the past and their often-unrecognized contributions to history.


For more information on Gail’s book or her Rosie talks please visit her website www.GailBeaton.com

Monday, March 16, 2015

Magic

I love the magic of make believe. The way it makes my little girl smile. The kind of smile you can hear when she talks.

Today was a great day. We played with stuffed animals in her room where I was the 'evil' Von Cowsikle and she was the hero rescuing Elmo.

...later while I was making dinner, she wanted me to be Repunzel. I happily obliged and we had a conversation about visiting Arendelle with Anna and Elsa. Her little grin was so broad and I could just see the magic in her eyes as she imagined this grand day in the future. 

I wish I could bottle that up. For the days when she's grown and she has a bad day and doesn't believe in magic. I know it's there. I see it in her and I hope she can look back when she's older and has those days we all have as adults. I hope she can remember and smile and see the magic too. 

One of the best parts of being a parent is seeing that magic and remembering it for ourselves. I love that feeling. I love those moments. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Healthy box of yumminess

As a Resident Mom for Skinny Mom we have the opportunity to review products. This past month I was fortunate to try a product from Fit Snack. There are several products out there where you can have a subscription to have goods delivered to your door monthly. We've gone beyond the magazine, milk and jelly of the month (a la Clark Griswold) and can now have anything from dog treats, kids crafts, to contemporary wall art! Well Fit Snack is a similar product but, as it's name suggests, they deliver healthy treats right to your door!

 Unless you get to go to Sams Club or Costco on a Sunday, you don't always get to try products that aren't usually on your radar. The snacks that Fit Snack provides are even better than those little taste testing expeditions for two reasons: 1) you don't have to leave your home and face the crazy, crowded store; 2) the products selected by Fit Snack are healthy! As stated by Fit Snack: "Each product always containing two or more of the following:
GMO Free, High in protein, low in sugar, gluten free, organic, raw, vegan and all natural."

They're also a socially responsible in that they donate a meal to Feeding America with each box sold! I truly enjoyed trying each of the snacks out. You can read more about what came in my Fit Snack box on my review on Skinny Mom by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Winning and losing

Little M is at the age where she's able to learn how to play games and understand some instructions. I've been waiting for this because I've always loved playing games. Doesn't matter what kind of game really, board games, card games, word games... they can all be so much fun. As I was growing up I remember visiting my great grandpa and my grandpa down in southern Colorado. We would stay in the small farmhouse and in the evenings after dinner and after we'd gotten ready for bed the adults would play cards. I remember the sound of the cards being shuffled, the talking and the light glowing from the living room as we were sent to bed with the playing still in full swing.

When we got older, during holiday's when we'd have family over we enjoyed playing Pictionary after the holiday feast and dessert. There is always a lot of laughing and some arguing over some of the drawings that come out of those games.

These are some of the greatest memories and it's something I've always looked forward to sharing with my kids. Well now that Little M is of the age our first board game was of course CandyLand. This is actually a great game for teaching things like taking turns, counting, colors and of course, winning and losing.

The first time we cracked it open, Mila was all a twitter over the pictures of the sweets on the board. She of course, chose to be the ice cream play piece. I was the marshmallow. I gave all the pieces names. There's Isla Ice Cream, Mitzy Marshmallow, Go-Go Gumdrop, and Ginny Gingerbread. The game seems a lot shorter than I remember it (thankfully). We played once and I was just focusing on her counting and taking turns. By the end, Mila was pretty much done taking turns. So I waited a while and the next time we played she really enjoyed it. Yay! The only problem... she seems to have really good luck and wins most of the time. I admit, I may have looked the other way the first couple of times on a couple of unauthorized spins she made on the color wheel (what parent hasn't?) but now I jump on those and she seems to win more often than not!

So I decided to teach her another game because it's usually pretty hard to get the hang of. I decided to teach her Uno. I had read a blog by Sarah Punkoney over at Stay at Home Educator and thought it was an awesome way to teach number and color recognition. Mila's already got her colors down but her numbers are something she's just starting to learn. So we played with our cards facing up and we went through the game. Every time one of us plays a card we say what color and what number it is. Well, it turns out, she's pretty darn good at this game too! Sometimes she does get bored with how long the game can take and sometimes she decides she wants to change the color when she doesn't have a number or color that matches, but other than that, she really enjoys playing.

So how can I teach her about losing when she keeps wining? Well, I decided on our last game of CandyLand to play as "Goofy" and as Mommy. She always has me pretend to be a character of her choosing. Well Goofy won and she said, "no I won". I had to tell her that it's ok if someone else wins, we can just tell them "good game, maybe we can play again." So we did, and that time she did win (honestly, she's really pretty lucky!) I guess I'll just have to keep looking for opportunities and as the mommy, be the good sport and teach by example when I lose (because it keeps happening! :). And when I do get the chance to win, emulate good sportsmanship.



Monday, March 2, 2015

Published!

It's so exciting that my first blog for Skinny Mom has been published! For my first piece I went the food route and because you should always write about what you like I wrote about Sweet Potatoes! I mean, come on, who doesn't love sweet potatoes?! Okay, my husband and my daughter don't but the rest of my family LOVES sweet potatoes. I mean, they're so versatile. If you'd like to check it out, here's my first published article titled Super Tubers

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Resident Mom

I'm really excited to let you know that I'm taking part in a new endeavor. As I'm often looking for recipes or tips/advice on health I kept coming across the SkinnyMom website where they always have such fun and interesting recipes. As I perused the website I found that they had so much more! They have articles on fitness and lifestyle but also everyday mom topics anywhere from household hacks to hugs! Well I found out they were recruiting Resident Mom's to write about topics that they can include in their content so I applied! Well wouldn't you know, I'm now a Resident Mom! And today I'm on their Resident Mom spotlight page! Check it out if you get the chance! I'll be sure to keep you updated on any articles they publish of mine and I'll be able to link to them on my blog. I'll also be working on having new content here that may coincide with topics over on SkinnyMom that I can relate to! And if anyone has any topic ideas that interest them, please pass them on! It would be greatly appreciated to get feedback from moms I know!

Just another new adventure for this Resident Mom!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Teaching moments

On my last post I mentioned how sometimes movies can present teaching opportunities for Mila. After watching Frozen, Mila wasn't quite sure she understood why Hans was a bad guy. I mean, at the beginning of the movie he totally sweeps poor gullible Anna off of her feet. They sing "Love is an Open Door" together and he proposes to her. I had to explain to her that he was just pretending to be nice in order to take over the kingdom. She still isn't quite sure about that explanation but she goes with it.

The other day I had my laptop open and it went into sleep mode where it starts scrolling through pictures we've downloaded. On this day it was scrolling pictures of our trip to Hawaii with Marc's mom and his brother's family when they had just one child. Neither of my girls were yet in the world. Particularly, these were of our visit to Pearl Harbor. There were pictures of The USS Arizona Memorial, The USS Bowfin and some of the artillery that had been used. Mila asked what the pictures were and I told her we visited Pearl Harbor, where a long time ago, some bad people attacked.

Mila: "Why mama?"
Me: "Well they wanted to take control"
Mila: "Like Hans?"

The way her young mind made that connection was really just awesome. I know that my explanation of the event was beyond simplistic but she's 3, she'll learn about the events that led up to that fateful day when she's older. I was just amazed that she made that connection. Our conversation expanded a bit from there about why but, I just thought that this was a perfect example of a teaching moment from both life and fiction. I love to see her mind grow with each experience she has and when she makes connections it just blows me away. I know that's how I grew too but to see it in action is to see life. The life that grew within me and is now out in this big, wide, scary and amazing world.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Let it Go

For those of you that know me, you know I'm anti-Disney Princesses. I just loath how they market the crap out of them and make little girls seem like crazed pink seeking zombies. Well, if you haven't been "off the grid" in the past year, you're probably at least slightly aware of the phenomenon that was/is Frozen. For the past two and a half years of Mila's life she's had a princess free zone but the songs of Frozen were slowly seeping into our world. We hadn't seen the movie yet but I would play the songs on youtube for her. She loved them! She knew the songs before we had really seen the movie and she would run around our house singing Let it Go at the top of her lungs and waving her hands like she was creating magic. Who can resist that?! I had to yield and we finally saw the whole movie around the time that Luna came along. It turned out to be a great movie. I liked it even more because ****SPOILER ALERT**** the act of "true love" that saves Anna in the end is her own choice of sacrificing herself to save her sister. Good theme of sisterly love and strength in family.

Well, as one might assume, Mila caught on to the idea of princess and has since wanted to wear a blanket as a mantel "like Elsa" around our house. She also wants to wear long dresses, also like Elsa, but we didn't have any for her. Needless to say, her birthday party theme was Frozen and for Christmas, Santa brought her an Elsa dress and daddy added a crown to match.

I have come to realize that I need to... "Let it Go" (Yes, I went there) and let her be a princess sometimes. It's all about letting her play and pretend and learn for herself. It's about me not being controlling but helping to guide and model for her that will help her interpret and learn things from the world around her including sometimes from movies.

As a side note, it's also about not over indulging in the princess merchandise because that stuff is, to quote Dr. Evil in a more G rated tone, Ri-gosh-darn-diculous! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Terrible Three's??

Ok, so I was reviewing my post for Mila's birthday last year. She was a spunky little two year old who was constantly learning new words, who was curious and friendly to everyone. She was anything but 'terrible'. 

Fast forward another year (which is definitely how it feels) and we now have a three year old and a 5 month old! I look back on this time last year and I remember my little two year old, who was still nursing at the time, and how sweet she would say 'mama, I'm gonna share with the baby'. I'm proud to say she does share with the baby.  She loves her little sister so much, sometimes a little rough but with all the warmth in the world! But right before she turned three she wanted to share something else... Screaming. She started throwing tantrums! Like the real thing... I mean, kicking, screaming,  flailing on the floor, Niagra Falls tear streaming tantrums!! And for the littlest things. They come on like a tornado with all the chaos and destruction and yelling that comes with it... Well at least that's how it seems.  

Now seeing my sweet daughter morph into something akin to Slimer on Ghost Busters combined with the wailing of banshee is enough to make me want to find my own proton pack, and so far I haven't had any luck on curbing these little storms. I'm trying to stay calm and ignore her when they come on but any parent who has seen similar outbursts knows the difficulty. 

And today, it happened. I was that parent. She'd had a great swim class and I gave her 5 minutes in the hot pool. When it was time to get out she tried to swim out of my reach so I pulled her out... And meltdown ensued. Screaming...becoming a limp noodle so I couldn't pick her little wet body up. Refusing the towel while shivering and cold. All while other mothers witnessed this display with looks of silent solidarity. I wasn't embarrassed just distressed because I know she isn't that child, but  a three year old going through a phase. I gained a little encouragement from the fact that she saw better of sitting on the wet floor and that I wasn't having it by walking under her own volition into the dressing room, albeit while still screaming. 

Sigh...I ironically thought of Dori on Finding Nemo singing 🎶'Just keep swimming'🎶 

And that's what I have to do!