22.1.16

How I'm Coping With My Toddler Weaning Himself Off Of Naps

It's hard to believe Dean will be two years old in March. My little baby is no longer a baby but a full-blown little man who runs around all day, playing, dancing, talking, and has even started to sing a little bit. He has a strong will of what he wants to do, when he's going to do it, who he's going to do it with, and where it is going to happen. Is that common for toddlers?


My parents often talk about how "busy" he is. He is always doing something. If he's not playing trucks, he's playing trains, blocks, ball, sweeping, vacuuming, reading books, telling stories to his stuffed animals, running around, eating, or any number of other things... that are not sleeping. Over the last few months he has weaned himself almost completely off naps. For some reason I pictured him napping once a day for another year or so. I'm not quite ready for this change.

Nap time was the time I set aside for myself to work out and catch up on a few things that were easiest to do when Dean isn't around. For the last year I was able to do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd two to three times a week. I'm not trying to get shredded, no no no, but I want to build a bit of muscle and loose that stubborn tummy of mine. Now that Dean has stopped napping I'm finding it hard to work that 20 minutes elsewhere into my day. I would do it while he's awake but his love for playing with weights is not helpful to my workout routine.


Luckily the lack of naps don't effect him much. He's not often cranky. I think it's because he gets about 10-12 hours of sleep a night. (The last few nights it's been 14 hours, which leads me to think there's a growth spurt in the future.) There is a point everyday in the afternoon where he does slow down and he'll zone out watching an episode of Thomas the Train or Daniel Tiger, and then he's back up and running again. I figure as long as he doesn't get nasty there's no need to have him nap. That being said, I've now lost the time I used for certain things.

The day I took these pictures we went to two parks in hopes I could wear him out enough to take a nap. We left the second park more energized than when we arrived, I'm sure of it! I was so bummed that day because I had put off a few things that week and was just waiting for him to nap so I could get them done. That day I learned I can't rely on nap time any more and I need to start figuring out a way to get stuff done (especially working out). Laundry, which is difficult because he is the Destroyer of Piles, I now either pile up on the bed and do it before bed with Aaron's help, or I'll put the baby gate up in the hallway and sit on the floor on one side and do it while he's playing toys on the other. Crafting I push back until he's in bed for the night.


Over the last few weeks I've been showing signs of Postpartum Distress, which are making this transition more difficult than I'd like. Things as simple as me showering, getting ready in the morning, and running errands are now incredibly stressful. My body deals with these high levels of anxiety by detaching myself from the situation and slowing me down, almost paralyzing me. Aaron and I are working together to get me through this, and his support has been wonderful. He helps me fold laundry or plays with Dean when he gets home from work so I can have "me" time or do whatever I needed to do without a toddler underfoot.


One good thing to come out of Dean's lack of naps is he wants to cuddle with me in the morning. He has never been a cuddler, but for some reason he wants to sit on my lap in the morning while he watches his morning episode of "Thomas and Friends" of "Daniel Tiger". I don't care how starving I am in the morning, I will sit there with him leaning against me as long as he sits there. Yesterday he even put his arm across my body while he was sitting with me. I teared up because he just doesn't do that. I guess I can handle getting less work done if that means I can cuddle with my baby. I gotta stop calling him my "baby". He's not a baby anymore. But he will forever be my baby so I can't help it.

Do you mama's have any advice or ideas on how to get things done with a little one running around. How do you keep them from getting into your work? What are your best tricks?

7.1.16

Shared Toddler and Mama Meals - Eggs and Toast Breakfast

Scrambled eggs has become my go-to for a quick and hearty breakfast. Pop some bread in the toaster, chop up whatever greens that are on hand to mix in, pour a glass of almond milk or Green Machine and it's a super balanced meal.


Spinach is what I put in my eggs most of the time, but this morning we didn't have any so I used green onions. As a little extra somethin'-somethin' for me, I added a little Kewpie Mayonnaise and habanaro salt on top of my eggs. On my toast I added butter, a tiny bit of peanut butter, then some jelly. In all honesty, I could probably eat three pieces of toast each morning, haha!


Dean doesn't really care what I add to the eggs as long as he has ketchup stars and "may-mays", which is normal mayo, not mama's Kewpie Mayo (there's no way I'm sharing that with anyone). Every meal I put a different number of stars on his plate which we count together before he digs in. The stars are made by a mini condiment bottle I snagged at Daiso.


Toast is something Dean hasn't been really big on, so I decided to cut his up and add a dollop of jelly for him to use as dip. This little trick worked and he ate his entire piece.

Avacados are a staple around here also, but since I haven't been able to find any good ones at the store, I served Dean some cottage cheese. This isn't something I typically buy since I have a dairy allergy, but since Dean eats it really well at my parent's house I figured I should get him some.

Scrambled Eggs and Toast
ingredients:
3 eggs
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 green onions
pepper
ground flax seed
chia seed
habanero sald (for my portion)
2 slices of bread
butter
peanut butter
jelly

to make:
Mix eggs, cheese, onion, pepper, and seeds together in a bowl. In a small pan add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, when the oil is hot add the egg mixture and cook until scrambled.

Add bread to toaster and toast. I enjoy my toast brown and crispy. Add toppings to one piece and cut the second piece into toddler bite size pieces.

Plate everything, add toppings (habanero salt, ketchup stars, mayo, and jello). and enjoy. Oh and don't forget to count the stars!


What sorts of foods do you like sharing?

31.12.15

Fabulous 2015

This year is coming to a close, and man oh man, am I excited it's over. Before I ring the new year in I want to do a quick little post about my Word of the Year: FABULOUS.


My little family is growing fabulously. Look at those two guys~ so cute!!

I made awesome new friends from the store~ some of which I spend a good amount of time outside the store, made friends with a new neighbor who has kids around Dean's age, dropped a fair amount of baby weight, and have pretty much perfected my morning routine (6-8 mins on hair and maybe 10 mins on makeup, depending on if the eyeliner is behaving).  We got a van which I love.  It has 16 cupholders, which is rediculous and awesome.  It also has remite controlled doors which are so incredibly handy with the little guy.
Not much has happened around the blog lately but maybe that'll change next year.  Until next time~~ HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS! ♪(v^_^)v♥

5.11.15

My Top 5 Baby Teething Items [Edited]

Dean is a very chill little dude. He doesn't fuss when he takes a tumble, doesn't let bonks on the head phase him, and has taken teething in stride. He has been teething since he was about five months old, and he has been a trooper the entire time.  Currently he's cutting all four canine's and you would hardly know it.



I feel like part of it is his chill nature, and part of it is how we have helped him get through it. Aaron and I didn't want to give him Tylenol on a regular basis so we looked into other ways to help sooth the pain. Dean was very receptive to these items, so I'd like to share them with you.

MY TOP 5 TEETHING ITEMS

1. Amber bead necklace
2. Punkin Butt Teething Oil
3. Hyland's Baby Teething Gel
4. Teething banana
5. Sofie the Giraffe

There's a lot of skepticism towards the amber bead necklaces, so let me tell you my reasons for why I am happy with the one Dean is wearing. The succinic acid found in the external layer of Baltic amber is a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. It doesn't make the pain go completely away, but it makes it tolerable.

In my experience, the two of the biggest arguments against the amber necklaces is that they are a choking and strangle hazard. The beads are tied on individually so if the necklace were to break, only one bead would fall off, not all of them. The necklaces are worn short so the baby can't reach it or chew on it. In addition, the clasp tears away, so if it gets caught on something, the baby won't get strangled. At night I move the necklace from around it neck to around his ankle. This way it's still against his skin, and I don't have to worry about it.

The teething oil was recommended to me by the gal who I bought the necklace from. They stock a variety of different oils there and she really liked this one. Dean doesn't like the taste of the oil, but once I get it in his mouth I can tell immediately that he feels better.

The teething gel we use is one that was recommended to me by quite a few local mama's. I haven't tried other gels so I don't know if Orajel is any better. Why mess with what I know works for Dean?

The banana was something I saw at Target and snagged it on a whim. Dean didn't respond to frozen wash clothes, frozen foods, or teething toys. For whatever reason he preferred to chew on harder plastic items. He just happens to love banana's so when I found the banana I figured it was worth a shot. To my luck he liked it! He's slowly stopped chewing things in general, but I got a good four-five months out if.

As far as Dean's symptoms went: he's run a fever only twice, had diarrhea once, a moderate amount of drooling, and some break-outs around his mouth from the drool. On occasion he'd get fussy. Overall, though, he's such a trooper.

Are there any items you've heard of or seen that work well? What do you recommend for soothing the pain?

[Edit] Sofie the Giraffe!! I totally forgot about Sofie! This was one of the first teething toys I bought him and he l o v e d her. So much so he gnawed some soft spots into her after about six months, so we had to toss her. That's why I forgot about her, I guess. "Out of sight, out of mind." She was worth every single penny, and I highly recommend the investment.[/Edit]

3.11.15

Shared Toddler and Mama Meals - Ham Sandwich Pasta

Who's got time to shower and eat when the baby/toddler needs changed and fed, dishes need done, errands need ran, laundry needs to be moved over, the little guy needs to be changed and fed again? Really- there's just so much to do sometimes (read: frequently) feeding myself takes the backseat. I don't know about you but I become a cranky mama bear if I don't eat. I focus on everything else that needs done so I get surprise attacked by the bear, and that's when I know it's time to put on the breaks and eat.


I wanted to come up with a way to feed myself along with my little man that helps me keep that mama bear at bay. Since Dean is eating "people food" I'm taking the opportunity to expand his food pallet by feeding him meals that I enjoy. Now I want to share these recipes we've enjoyed together with you. They're quick, easy, and healthy. Instead of cramming them all into this one post, I plan on spreading them out over a couple posts.

This particular recipe came about because I had a hankering for a ham sandwich but I didn't have any bread.  I found some pasta in the pantry so I just went with it.


HAM AND CHEESE PASTA

ingredients:
1 cup of pasta salad noodles
3-4 slices of sandwhich ham slices, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cheddar cheese
Kewpie Mayo (we prefer this particular Japanese mayo, but use whatever you like)
A sprinkle of ground flax seeds
A dash of spicy habanero salt (for my portion)

to make:
Cook pasta according to package.  Rinse the pasta to cool it off.  Combine all ingrediants but the spicy salt.  Add however much mayo you feel comfortable using.  Mix and serve.  Make sure to add the spicy salt to your portion.



Most of Deans meals are accompanied by half an avocado.  This particular day we didn't have one, so we had olives.

What sort of meals do you share with your kiddo(s)?  Have you ever tried turning a sandwich into a pasta dish?  Let me know what you think or what ideas you have!

 photo blanklogofull.png