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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Potty training regression and giving your little ones grace | indiasroses.com

If you’ve ever read anything about potty training regression you know that the number one and number two biggest reasons for increased accidents and disinterest in the toilet are moving to a new home and having a pregnant Mom or a new sibling.

So basically a month ago when I was stressing out about escrow and our routine had gone to crap and moving was imminent and pregnancy was taking over it is no wonder that my daughter stopped having ANY interest in using the potty. I mean in a world where Mommy is stressed, Daddy is stressed that Mommy is stressed and you’re two and half and unable to control much of anything, why wouldn’t you take control of the one thing that you can and flat out refuse to use the potty? I mean is there really any other option?

So here we are back in diapers, and not the frugal, earth friendly cloth kind like we used to use, no, the landfill filling, .50cents a pop kind with unicorns on the front and magical stars that disappear when you pee in them kind. Because today when I put her in a cloth diaper she waddled around for a few minutes, told me it was too big, that it hurt and she really didn’t like it, but again what could I expect? When you don’t wear cloth diapers for 6 months it’s inevitable that you forget how to exist comfortably with the cloth diaper bulge and bubble butt.

But the truth is, it’s all completely normal. I think half the reason I’m writing this particular post is to remind myself that it is in fact incredibly normal for potty learned toddlers to have regression even without monumentally life changing events. So really all in all we’re lucky that a little pee on the floor is the worst of our whole moving/family expanding venture.

So I will give her grace, and I will look at the big picture and take the time to see that she needs normalcy restored to her world before we can move forward with anything else, and to create that for her I will take the time to make this house a home as quickly as I am able, and I will put aside my “to dos” and have diner ready at the normal time, and keep an eye on the clock so that our bedtime rituals are consistent, and most of all I will love her with everything I have, because while this has all been very stressful for me it has been more so for her because she can’t grasp the big picture, or the reasons for Mommy being grumpy, she only knows that things aren’t “right” or the “same” and needs me to be there for her as we work towards our new normal.

And may I just add I am completely aware that when the baby actually arrives all of this will once again become a whirl wind of late diners, and missed baths, but all I can do is give her one day at a time and when the baby does come we’ll have a better foundation to work back to.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to ask questions or leave comments

 

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Letting go and letting your children be perfect just the way they are | indiasroses.com

To say I’m a perfectionist would be very close to the truth. I like things a certain way and I like them to have been done a certain way to get there. This was my biggest fear before my daughter was born in 2011. I worried that my need for other people to do things correctly would be the same with my child as it was with adults, and I knew that expecting anything from a child besides presence was expecting too much. So I worried and I wondered, and then as babies do she arrived.

And there I was holding this tiny person, this tiny perfect person. She was so small and so fragile and made from so much love that I immediately dropped my fears and knew that I wouldn’t expect her to do things a certain way, because in her own creation she was the most amazing, perfect things I’d ever seen.

Fast forward to toddler-hood and the real test (so far) of this theory, but even in her juice spilling, food throwing, doesn’t quite follow directions glory I still found myself thinking that she’s doing it all with such quality and finesse and what’s a little spilled juice and missed direction when it comes to the amazing person you’ve created? It’s all part of the stage and I was and am often overcome by the way she does things and the intelligence in her actions even if they’re not the actions I was hoping for.

Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get completely overwhelmed. I cry(even when I’m not pregnant) and wonder if I’ll ever make it through this whole parenting thing, and I have moments when perfect isn’t the word I would use to describe my little hellion, but the truth is, she is perfect. She’s perfectly her, so at the end of the day when I’m looking at the things we’ve done and the way I’ve handled each situation I find myself always wishing I’d just let her be perfect, let her be the perfect person that she is naturally, the one that she is growing into, the one that my husband and I have the blessing to guard and nurture until she can blossom into a self confident adult who knows that it is her uniqueness and those things that could be considered imperfections that make her who she is, and that just in being true to herself and her character she is perfect.

So today when she takes all the measuring cups out of the drawer and asks to paint for the 10th time while I’m trying to get things done; I will stop and ask myself “Why can’t she do this?” and if I can’t come up with a good reason then I certainly can’t say no to her, and really what’s a little extra time teaching her to clean up when she’s done in the kitchen? Or the few moments and the casual supervision it takes to get her ready to paint?

Everything… that’s what those things are. They’re valuable life lessons and encouragement that will last her her whole life, and are far more important than finishing the dishes or avoiding a little bit of paint on the walls. So I let her paint, I let her paint and I give her the freedom to experiment and learn. I don’t tell her how to paint or correct her when she begins to use her hands. I just let her paint because the way she paints in perfect.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or as questions.

 

 

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A post about finding the best time for yourself as a mother | indiasroses.com

When I was a kid my Mom always got up at 5 o’clock in the morning. I remembered being baffled by this as a young child, and further still as a teenager. I even remember finding it particular odd as a young adult on her own in the world for the first time. “Who has time to wake up at 5 a.m.?” And as a stay at home mother she wasn’t getting up for some timed job, she had all ready been on the job all night; this would have been her opportunity to get some extra sleep, but still she got up at five every morning.

Now as I sit her writing this at 6 a.m. my whole life (so far) later, I begin to understand the reason for the early hours. It wasn’t a conscious decision and there have certainly been moments in my life as a mother that I ignored the early morning wake up call but somehow, sometime after the birth of my daughter I also found my internal clock shifting and my mind and body waking before my family was up and my wife/mother job started for the day. It’s such a peaceful time sitting quietly listening to the world waking up and the sounds of my family sleeping calm, relaxed and undisturbed as time moves forward around them. It’s magical, magical and just for “Me”.

In the evening after my daughter is asleep for the night, my husband is happily entertained by his latest gaming interest and all the house is pulled back together; after dinner and family life I find myself with a little bit of time to myself which I greatly appreciate, but at the end of the day when everyone’s needs have been met and all has been said and done there is very little of myself left for me. I’m tired both mentally and physically, the pains of pregnancy are gnawing at my body and creativity is something I vaguely remember from earlier in the day when I was crafting with my daughter or trying to reason my way out of another tantrum. It’s not really time for myself as much as time by myself while the weight of my whole day still wrests heavily on my shoulder.

But 6a.m….. That really is just for me. Being a natural morning person after getting out of bed and brushing my teeth I find myself feeling alert and refreshed, ready to take on a new day full of wonderful and positive possibilities. As I sit here alone the weight of life is light and my optimism for the future is sweet and heavy with promise. And it’s these moments as the sun peaks over the mountains, light trickling into the valley, as a new day is born that I find myself being able to truly recharge and center myself in a peaceful and calm way that could last me a lifetime if only I remembered to great it each day as it comes and give this gift to myself, for the peace that I gain from this hour of new day far exceeds the benefits of an extra hour in bed.

When do you get your “Me” time?

Also if you caught it this is in fact a picture of a sunset and you’re right. I couldn’t find one I’d taken in the morning and it was just to beautiful to leave out.

 

Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions bellow.

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A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

My two and a half year old daughter is a handful. An adorable, loveable, sweet, curious handful, but a handful none the less. She is very smart and becomes under stimulated incredibly easily. And as everyone with a toddler should know under stimulation breeds misbehavior, tantrums, and a whole lot of unpleasantness all around. So in a hope to improve the general atmosphere of our home I have initiated Theme Weeks!

Each week we pick a theme and base our play and learning around it. This week I chose SNAILS. So instead of seeing my daughter struggle and wondering what activity I could do with her and getting overwhelmed by the mass quantity of possibilities on my Pinterest feed I narrowed it down by choosing one theme. This week whenever I noticed she needed a little something I first thought snails and from my own creativity and a little help from Snail Crafts on pinterest we were set. It was amazing how much easier it was to come up with fun ideas when I’d narrowed it down to one specific topic.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

We started off by collecting three garden snails to be guests in our home for the week, and learned how to keep them moist and happy with a little help from Wikihow: How to Care for Garden Snails.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

After carefully observing them in their new terrarium home we moved on to something we could get a little rougher with… Polymer Clay (we used Sculpey brand clay because it’s incredibly easy to manipulate). We rolled the clay into long snakes and then rolled the snakes into spiral snail shells, formed little snail bodies and added a set of copper wire eye stocks and were set to bake them. We followed the baking instructions from the side of the clay package and a half hour later we had fully cooked, solid and very hot snail toys. We let them cool for 15 minutes and they were ready to go.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

After having a chat about Simple Snail Anatomy (Eye Stalk, Shell, Muscular Foot, Mouth) we got into a discussion about Escargot and she was inspired to do a little imaginative play in her kitchen.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

We also had a snail inspired lunch of peanut butter and jelly rolls, banana slices and carrot slivers served on a bed of fresh baby spinach; it was a big hit, and way easier than you would think. When I was putting it together I was surprised to see that once all the elements were placed together it looked great, so don’t be intimidated and give it a try.

A weeks worth of snail activities for children: indiasroses.com

Having spent some time on snail anatomy I got to thinking about spiral shells and spirals in general so we spend an afternoon with our pens, crayons and paper drawing lots and lots of spirals and talking about how they go around and around and around. We also made spiral shell sun catchers by putting our own spin on this great little tutorial over at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas about making coffee filter art.

By the end of the week my daughter could identify and draw a spiral tell you the basic anatomy of a snail, and is a much more pleasant, much happier, much less whiny little person who loves snails, and I feel like a great, attentive mother. Wins all around in my book.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions

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It’s been a while since I’ve been here. I check in every so often and stare longingly at the cover page of India’s Roses and wish I never put it down, but that’s just a thing I can’t undo like most things in life that have already been done. So instead I pick myself up, dust the cobwebs from my headline and try again.

So here goes…. (more…)

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My daughter is 20 months old and a frequent user of the word “No”. I knew this phase would come and I’d heard all the same horror stories about it that most parents do, but when she did finally learn the word “No” I was surprised to find that every single time she said it, it was exactly what she meant.

It wasn’t a form of rebellion, or a means to torture me by refusing every single possible thing I came near her with; it was a means of finding and embracing her own personal sovereignty. Of letting me know what she thought was wrong and what she didn’t like. So instead of overpowering her like so many parents do I made a decision to respect her instead. When I ask her a question and she says “No” and I feel that she understood me and fully grasped the concept of what I was putting before her then I take the “No” at face value and that’s it, she said “No” and “No” means “No”.

Now there are always some exceptions like when we’re getting ready to go in the morning and she doesn’t want to wear clothes or be strapped into her car seat, but I also make sure not to offer up these things as options. I don’t ask her “Can we brush your teeth now?” I tell her “It’s time to brush your teeth!”, but if I do ask her a question like “Would you like yogurt for lunch?” or “Can I give you a kiss?” and she says “No” then we don’t have yogurt, and as much as I’d like to give her a big kiss on the cheek I don’t because she obviously isn’t interested at that moment and I respect that.

Another reason I think it’s so important to respect the “No” from an early age (especially for girls) is because you should always feel with every part of your being that when you say “No” that is does in fact mean “No” and if someone doesn’t respect that and tries to force you into something you are not comfortable with you should feel empowered by the fact that you gave them an easily understandable statement meaning that you did not, do not, and would not willingly participate in whatever it is they are suggesting (or forcing) and that you have every right to use any means possible to remove yourself from the situation and that by saying “No” you were in the right and they were without a doubt in the wrong. No shame should be felt, No guilt should be lived with because you wholly believe in the meaning of your “No”.

So as I try to get my toddler dressed this morning and make the mistake of asking her “Would you like to put on your shirt now?” and clearly hearing her pronounce “NO!” I respect that she means it and wait a little longer before rephrasing and telling her “It’s time to put on your shirt now”.

 

 

 

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After 8 months of having a child living and breathing on the outside I’m starting to feel like I might actually be regaining some of my individuality, like a sliver of that person I was before I dedicated my life to new life is getting a moment at the surface to breath.

Now don’t get me wrong… I love being a mother and I’ve wanted to be a mother for far longer than I would like to admit, but somewhere in the midst of morning sickness, birth and raising a baby I became a new person and in my new roll as a Mom I very quickly lost the time I used to spend being me.

But at 8 months old SweetPea has become so independent, happily exploring and playing on her own, and I’ve found myself with “freetime” a strange and bizarre concept I vaguely remember from my previous life.

The other day I was able to spend time baking in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes while she happily played with a wooden spoon at my feet for an hour! A whole HOUR! And from that hour I got the most delectable, savory, moist, wonderful scones I have ever been so lucky as to taste. Pumpkin Scones to be exact which you can find here if you’re interested.

When I was pregnant and my Husband and I were talking about parenting and finding the style that paired best with our feelings and beliefs we were instantly drawn to attachment parenting a philosophy that mirrored our own parenting desires and promoted comfort and independence in our child, and I am so happy to be seeing first hand how comfortable and secure we have made our daughter by earning her trust with closeness and reassurance.

As time wears on and SweetPea learns more about herself and her independence I am blessed with the opportunity to rediscover the person I am as a mother and as myself

And the real cherry on top of my parenting Sunday would have to be Yoga! With her new found sovereignty SweetPea will happily crawl about our bedroom happily playing with toys and trying to crawl on top of me while I get to spend 15-20 minutes a day releasing stress and practicing Yoga a pastime I could never consistently fit into those precious hours she spends napping each day.

Thank you so much for reading!

 

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After SweetPea was born when we were getting ready to leave the birthing center I strapped her into her car seat for the first time; She didn’t much seem to care and she slept the entire 2 hour drive home despite me poking her every 3minutes to make sure she was still breathing.

It went on like this for the first few months. Every time I put her in her car seat she would instantly fall asleep and not wake up until we reached out destination it was lovely.

But then one day on the way home she didn’t fall asleep instead she cried the whole way, and then it happened again, and again until I began to dread taking her anywhere that involved a lengthy car trip.

My first solution was to start leaving the house right around when she’d take her first nap of the day. I’d fill her full of breast milk, strap her into her car seat and hope that the 2 miles of bumpy dirt road would lull her to sleep; this worked almost every time, but once we made it into town and she woke up the rest of the stops were agony and the ride home was filled with the sound of sad screaming baby.

Last week my Hubby and I took SweetPea to visit his parents who live 3 hours from our home. I knew I could count on SweetPea to sleep for the first hour of the drive so I set up a playdate with a friend who lived in the first town we pass through, after crawling around on the floor and having lots of fun we headed out for the next leg of our journey and she was so exhausted she fell asleep almost immediately, and continued to sleep until we were about a half hour from our final destination. Now normally what I would do in this case is stop for a minute, check her diaper, fill her tummy and put her back in her car seat. Sometimes this works, but most of the time she starts getting upset before I even have her buckled in.

But this time when we pulled over we were at a beautiful beach park and I decided to try something new. We got out of the car and watched seagulls and waves crash for a while before changing her diaper and having a snack. When I put her back in her seat she was happy and made it the rest of the way with only a few unhappy outbursts.

Prior to SweetPea’s birth we would always drive from point A to point B only stopping when absolutely necessary, and always trying to make the best time possible, but with a 7 month old baby getting bored and restless in the backseat we very quickly learned that this was no longer possible.

So we went to the beach everyday of our trip, and didn’t stop there. Since finding out how helpful it is to stop and wear SweetPea out before continuing on our car journeys we’ve seen so much more cool stuff than we every had before. We saw Lions, Tigers and other wild cats at Great Cats World Park, we road in a gondola through the redwood trees at the Trees of Mystery, and we even stopped at a Medieval Festival on our way home the other day when previously we would have just passed it by, and thanks to our new found need to spend time out of the car we got to watch men in full armor jousting on horseback. As sight we would have other wised passed by.

Thank you for reading.

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Today my sweet little SweetPea dropped her first sign. There she was laying on her changing table getting her pants put back on and she was doing this funny little grabbing motion with her hand opening and closing her fingers into a fist, and it dawned on me… she was signing MILK.

I immediately removed her from the table and offered her the breast. She happily latched on and nursed for a while happily signing milk as she drank. When she was finished I set her on the floor and she played for a few minutes before signing “milk” again. I wanted to reward her positively so I placed her at the breast once again. She took a few pulls and happily looked up at me before squirming back to the floor. I think we had about 15 little booby snacks today, which is a bit excessive for just taking a drink, but we both had lots of fun with it.

The funniest thing is I’m an awful sign language teacher. I remember to sign to her about once every twenty times we do something, but she still picked it up, and at 6 months old she is able to sign milk and convey hunger, which is just amazing!

Thanks so much for reading!

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The other day I spend hours with SweetPea on my back in the Ergo Carrier picking blackberries in the afternoon shade; I must have picked at least 30cups. When I got home I had all these wonderful dreams of cute little jars full of homemade blackberry jam being handed out at Christmas, and everyone fawning over how incredible crafty and thoughtful I was while I modestly played down how much work went into it all.

This is not what was going to happen…

It all started off so well. I measured out 9 cups of crushed berries and added 3 cups of raw sugar, I was really excited about the raw sugar because I think it just tastes better than white sugar plus it’s so much better for you(as far as sugar being good for you goes). All of that was put on the stove to simmer while I brought a giant pot of water to boil and stirred the sweet mixture diligently. At this point SweetPea is strapped on my back and playing with the collar of my shirt patiently, happy to indulge her Mammas desire to create and can new things.

The sugar begins to melt down and the berries relinquish their juices as everything comes to a slow boil. I grab my candy thermometer and stick it in… 50° Fahrenheit… now that just can’t be right, it has to reach 220° before it can be canned as jam. I grab the instant read meat thermometer and give it a stab… 150° that seems a bit more like it. After disposing of the first thermometer I dig up another more reliable candy thermometer and stick it in, it’s reading about 10° less than the instant read thermometer, but I figure it just had to do with placement in the mutant hot blackberry lava.

I continue to stir every few moments and try to sooth my fussy little SweetPea; who after an hour or so has decided that Mom making blackberry Jam is not any fun and she would much rather be somewhere else. This process is a lot more difficult than it seems because I have to keep picking her up and putting her down so I don’t burn her with bits of hot berry sauce.

Over what seems like the next few hours the temperature slowly creeps up to 180° and I impatiently spoon a little bit of jam onto a plate and stick it in the freezer to see if it’s solidifies enough for me to call it jelly and throw it into some jars and start canning. A few minutes later I pull it out and it has in fact become jam a rather loose jam but jam none the less. Then I taste it, and it’s so good. It tastes like sweet sunshine on a warm summer day how incredible lovely it is…

But wait… what is that taste… that taste in the background that is slowly sneaking into my mouth full of sunshine……….. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo… but it’s to late, the unmistakable taste of burnt sugar has entered my sweet summer medley and it’s ruined, there is no coming back from this, no saving it, the hours I spent picking berries and the hours I spend mixing jam have been wasted and I will have nothing to show for them besides and incredible dirty kitchen. I momentarily think about canning it anyways and giving burnt jam away as Christmas presents to the members of my family I’m not particularly fond of, but I’m to proud of my housewife skills to let even them know I totally messed this up.

I sit down on the floor and pout for a moment because it’s hot and I’m tired and completely worn out. After turning off the burned and making sure nothing is going to make a bigger mess than it already has I pick up SweetPea and mope about outside for a little while, at least she’s happy (she loves being outside). After an hour outside I am suddenly overcome with the need to successfully accomplish something today, so I head back to the kitchen.

There are still several cups of fresh blackberries in the refrigerator so I decide to make a blackberry cobbler, but no… I can’t stop there… I also have to make homemade vanilla ice cream because somehow in my mind cobbler and ice cream is equal to homemade blackberry jam in the success department, and making cobbler alone would not be enough personal gratification, so I find an ice cream recipe and I totally screw it up…

My tired brain misreads at least two measurements and adds the wrong ingredients at the wrong time making a general show of how completely fried I am from my jam project gone wrong, but I somehow manage to pull it together and the ice cream mix tastes amazing so I throw it in the ice cream maker and enlist my hubby to crank it until it’s done.

Meanwhile I put the blackberry cobbler together and throw it in the oven relatively unscathed and with little to no problems. I walk over to the table to check on the ice cream and it has reached the consistency of a melty milkshake, he keeps stirring.

15 minutes late it’s still a melty milkshake… Ahhhhh what happened? I contemplate blaming my husband for this failure since he’s the one mixing it and would be an easy scapegoat, but I know it’s not his fault; once again my now completely exhausted brain misread and muddled directions. I guess you’re only supposed to stir the ice cream 2 times every 2-3 minutes instead of constantly for 20 minutes…. Ooops

The timer dings for the cobbler and I pull it out of the oven. The top is crispy golden brown and the berries are bubbling up around the sides. It smells just wonderful but it’s way to hot to eat so I set it aside to cool. A little while later I serve myself up a bowl, slowly cutting into the sweet biscuity crust and scooping juicy purple berries from the bottom. I grab a fork and sit down just taking in how beautiful it looks in the bowl before me. I am afraid it will be awful, that somehow I will have messed this up too, but after a few moments the glorious smell of fresh hot blackberries and sugar gets to me and my mouth is watering so I muster the courage to take a bite. I stab into the crispy golden crust and coax some berries onto my fork, holding my breath I slowly raise the fork to my mouth and…

it tastes just wonderful, like sweet sunshine on a warm summer day.

Thankfully

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