Posted in Parenthood

Potty Training My Stubborn 3.5 Yr Old

Hello there fellow parents!

I am not a professional anything, but I wanted to share my stress free potty training strategy with you all!

Now, full disclosure, we have tried this damn potty thing for over a year now with no success, a stressed out kid and stressed out me and husband….

Step one- do not push it! Seriously, every kid no matter the gender is ready at different ages. I’ve seen kids getting out of diapers at 2 and some at 4. It happens when they are ready.

Step 2-personally, i say skip the pull up stage. Go from diaper to underwear. Let them pick the underwear. Ya know, fun colors, Characters…. and buy a lot of them! We have pull ups for night time and maybe naps if you child still take them.

Step Three- just ask! Ask your kiddo if they want to go potty. DO NOT PESTER THEM! It adds anxiety. I say every 30 minutes is plenty to bug them. I can’t speak for girls, but little boys start to show very obvious physical signs when they need to go (LOL).

> Basically one day, I asked Damien if he wanted to go to the potty. He said yes, so i took his diaper off… which didn’t go over so well until he got super cool underwear to put on! I simply reminded him to go sit on the toilet every 30 minutes during the first day. He only had on the underwear. It was a slow process, and frankly we were nervous about him pooping.

I made a super simply sticker potty chart for Damien to fill out as he went. He really helped him stay motivated. You don’t have to do big rewards either. His rewards were a small dinosaur, chocolate chips, new underwear and a super long toy filled bubble bath.

We chose not to use a training potty. I got a step stool for kids, and a seat insert that sits on out toilet seat. I wanted him to get comfortable with the actual bathroom and toilet. Which worked out great. Prior attempts were done with the training potty seat and he had zero intrest in a real toilet… so I wanted to bypass that this time.

Potty training shouldn’t be stressful but it is. I won’t lie. Honestly its like 90% us parents and 10% the kiddos. If they have an accident, just clean it up, and let them know it happens. Don’t get mad, it just makes it harder for them.

I think that if you go into this thinking, it is what it is. And that you know you are about to clean up pee and poop then it is way easier! I just decided that he is 3.5 years old and that he would have accidents and that it was okay. I don’t get mad, and he doesn’t get upset. We clean it up and move on.

I hope this helps!

Posted in Parenthood

Fear

It’s common. Every one has a fear of something.

For some, Phobia is a better word. Some are rational while others may be irrational.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fear

FEAR:

1 a: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger

b(1): an instance of this emotion(2): a state marked by this emotion

–As a child you may have some fear of the dark or being alone. Eventually you may grow out of that fear and develop a new one of maybe spiders or clowns. But as an adult we fear money struggles, relationship issues, school, jobs…. an endless list of possible fears.

Now, add in being coming a parent to the already stressful task of adulthood and the fears shift with urgency. Not only do you have to provide for yourself but now you must provide for a tiny human…. one who is completely dependent upon you.

So, whats my biggest fear since becoming a Mother? My children growing up and looking back on their childhood and not feeling important or loved enough by me. Now, that stems from my own family dynamic and lack of my own biological mother and the death of my father. Aside from that, I worry that I’m failing them. I have mental health issues, and body image issues and although I do my best to not let that interfere with my parenting, it does. There are days filled with me on the couch doing my best to keep my eyes open and some days where I go to sleep hoping my baby wakes up and wants to cuddle so I know I’m still needed to comfort him. —

So, The above was written yesterday. Today as I am back reading all that, I realize how different this post has become. It was meant to be simple yet somehow it got deeper than I intended. But, I’m going to leave it all, because I feel like this is therapy for me., Its a way for me to express what I think and hopefully along the way, I help someone out and shoe them they are not alone.

So, If you are a mom out there feeling like you are drowning in fear of not being good enough here’s a reminder: You are doing great. You are doing your best. You are amazing and worthy.

Posted in Health, Parenthood

3 Years…

It has been 3 years since I had my miscarriage.

Id like to say that it doesn’t weigh on me at times or that I don’t think about it. However, I do. More than I’d like to admit. I am so very thankful for my children. I am thankful for Damien and having him by surprise and thankful for Ronin for helping me move on some from the miscarriage.

For women who go through this situation multiple times, my heart goes out to you. You are so very strong and brave for living day to day with this type of loss.

So many of you don’t get to be upset especially if its early on or you have a baby following a miscarriage… well, they are wrong.

I have a hard time reading stories or watching movies if a miscarriage is involved. Its a life event that I buried, and didn’t talk about to really anyone. No one really knew we were pregnant and in reality we had only know for a bit over a week ourselves.

This isnt a pity post, or a cry or pray for me post. Its just to let you know you are not alone. You are allowed to grieve this event and child however you wish to.

You lost a baby, and that is something that isn’t easily moved on from.

I expected to have that baby, but the universe had other plans.

Posted in Parenthood

Food and Toddlers

This Post is not sponsored by any brand or company that I mention, I’m sharing because we enjoy the items.

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit, bagels with a spread, muffin and fruit, Vans Brand Waffles (gluten free), Eggs with dairy free yogurt is a good easy meal as well. Hard boiled eggs can double as a snack full of protein!

Lunch: left overs! PB&J on gluten free bread or wraps/tortillas, soups, some days they just have a “snack tray” for lunch.

Dinner: depending on the type of day we may have had, we dont have dinner rules. Some nights we have a “proper” dinner, other nights the boys get cereal and some random stuff. Breakfast for dinner is always fun, everything listed can become dinner! I switch up the sides with veggies, rices, fruits, smoothies are great too!

Snacks: Fruit, Fruit&Grain Bars (look for GF options) We buy Kind/ RX bars, LaraBar, KidCliff Organic Zbar, kashi, and sunbelt bakery bars . Rice cakes, pop corn is a good snack (but a chocking hazard for certain ages).

-Fruit is staple in my home. Every meal has a fruit. If they wont eat a veggie at least they are getting antioxidants and vitamins anyway!

Snack trays are a great exposure tool! Muffin tins and fill with all different stuff! Fruits, veggies, dips, something you know they will eat(safe food) is always a most.

Inspiration: I am not big on using Pintrest. Well, really I don’t get how to work the site so I look on Instagram and Facebook and just basic google searches. Instagram has been amazing I will add the page names at the end of this article so you can check them out as well.

Baking Ideas: I like simple quick and easy! I do have to be careful as both my kiddos have allergies and sensitivities( which I detailed in a previous post). Betty Crocker has great little packs of muffins mixes, I use coconut milk and bake! Homemade anything is always great as well. I recommend muffins because you can use them as breakfast and snacks, you can hide veggies in them, all kinds of ideas! Plus, add a few sprinkles and some Icing and you have a “cupcake”.

I also suggest maybe purchasing some fun plates and utensils for your kiddos! Definitely seemed to help my kids eat better.

Instagram Accounts That I follow for tips/tricks and Inspiration:

bentgo – great resource to use for fun lunch boxes and packed lunches!

kids.eat.in.color – has a few free guides as well to help you out with picky eaters

theallergychef – has some resources to help more in detail as well!

I will be sharing some “recipes” soon as well to help out! I like simple and easy. My kiddos love the colors and finger foods! Hope this helps you out some. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Posted in Parenthood

Toddler Times

Hey everyone!

So as many of you know, I have two toddler sons and I am a stay at home mama. I’d like to take some time to discuss activities and schedules and day to day planning with you. I would also love to hear feed back for you to see what has worked for you and your families as well!

Stuffed ball and outside is all you need

First off- I will admit, I have big plans but have a rough time sticking to them every day. I am working on it, especially because I know that the more structured/ scheduled the day is and consistently, my boys behave better and seem happier. Do you find that schedules help you and your kiddos out? Do you wing every day?

I have found that my kids don’t love breakfast… they enjoy something small but like a later breakfast or mid morning snack. Some screen time and activities for the day. So, Here is a broken down list of inexpensive/ budget friendly activities to do on a day to day basis:

Coloring and Drawing! You can get all the needed books and crayons at dollar stores! I go about once a month to get new coloring books. They usually have the good ones like avengers, paw patrol, mickey mouse and some others. I spend maybe $10.00 for everything including stickers,

Finger Paints! Sometimes I can find some at the dollar store, other wise walmart! Crayola has great ones for a bit more money that are super easy to clean up with water or wet wipes.

Puzzles! My 3 yr old loves them! Dollar stores usually carry some. You can also make your own. YouTube has some fun DIY videos on that.

Bubbles! Inside or outside… yes I said inside. All kids love bubbles! Cheap and lots of play!

Bath time can also be play time. Amazon has so many awesome bath toys now its crazy. Some bubbles, boats, animals, anything even a cup makes bath times extra fun.

Imagination play- Blocks, legos, Lincoln logs, magnetic tiles… getting to build with their hands and imagination is a great bonding time plus its great for fine motor skills! Double win right there!

Don’t forget to get involved. Sometimes we just need to put our phones down and get on the floor and play! Dance parties, banking and cooking together are always fun. My boys love to take balls, dinosaurs and a few cars outside to play with too. Seriously, they never get bored lol.

When we go to the grocery store my husband and I like to involve the kiddos as well, Letting them pick out a snack or drink… putting items in the cart. Anything and everything can be made into a learning and teaching activity! I hope these ideas help you!

Now Schedules– I suggest start by finding what order works for you. for us its:

Breakfast/ tv/ activity and snack/ play with toys/ lunch and naps/ play or activity/ dinner/ bath/ snack / brush teeth and bed time story

At least roughly in that order. Bed time for my oldest is 8-830 most nights. If its been a rough day then 730-8pm. Im still working with my youngest to adhere to a bed time, but both kids wake up between 730-830 am on their own.

I kind of followed my youngest sleepy cues to go with naps times. Which I would say 6 out of 7 days they stick to 1-3pm nap times. For some they may say this is crazy, but its just what Ive found works for my boys. I have learned that it takes one day to ruin a set schedule and about 4 days for my kids to get back on track.

I would love to hear what you do, and what activities you and your kids do!

All the beads and skills
Posted in Health, Parenthood

Food Issues With A 3 Year Old

I’d like to explain my kiddos food allergies and issues. Its not simple and yet its not difficult to understand.

Damien is 3 1/2 years old. Short life so far, yet we have been through so much with him when it comes to his food issues.

Here’s a list of his sensitivities and allergies:

  • Milk/ Dairy intolerant
  • Meat… especially hamburger intolerant
  • Gluten sensitive, but not intolerant
  • processed sugar sensitive
  • dye coloring sensitive

All these can be triggers to his Cyclic Vomiting Condition. Meaning, if he eats these items or too much of these, they can trigger 2 to 8 days of vomiting for Damien. He doesn’t actually get sick, just pukes. No fever, he still plays some, but he doesn’t eat or drink much. The vomit itself if odd as well. It’s not really normal puke, its like a mucus, frothy white slime that comes up.

How do I get around all this with him being so young? Well, Damien actually understands that certain things can make him sick. He knows cheese and milk will hurt his belly. I have made it a point to get him learn his allergies for safety reasons. So far, It has worked out great for us and our family.

Damien can’t drink almond milk as it has same of the same properties as meats, it makes him vomit. So, coconut milk it is! Which he only gets with cereal or in baked goods, and small doses like that. He does get to eat sugary fruit snacks, but we get lots of organic fruit bars. Kashi is a favorite brand, and we look for dairy free and gluten free when we can find it. Vans brand is great for this! He loves fruit, so berries are always a snack. Damien still gets to eat like any other kid but sometimes its at a limit or just a different brand or home made. Muffins are great for breakfast or a snack.Oatmeal with berries and chocolate chips make for a great breakfast and he gets a treat! Damien loves water so that’s mostly what he drinks. We do get fruit juices but only once in a while. None the less, he knows no different.

I will add to the resource page links for cyclic vomiting.

Posted in Parenthood

Why I chose to Formula Feed

This is possibly one of the most heated topics when it comes to babies. How will you feed them? Formula or breast? You will hear fed is best, breast is best… you’ll hear every ones opinion. Frankly, it gets annoying and old real quick.

So, I’m going to share my choice and why I did what I did. I will state, I am in NO WAY SHAMING anyone choice. I fully support fed is best. However and whatever works for you and you little babe is good.

First Child: I was pregnant, and I was learning all about formula vs breast feeding. I had talked with moms on both sides of the spectrum. I read books and watch videos on breast feeding. When I was 28 weeks pregnant the doctor wanted to discuss feeding with me at an appointment. She briefly went over he view as a doctor, and I decided on Formula. Here’s why- I knew I would be alone with my son 100% of the time (deployed father). I knew there was a chance of a c-section and that can delay milk coming in. I also knew I wanted others to be able to feed my son as in day care or babysitter. I knew I didn’t want to be stuck to a pump either. So I chose formula. It seemed best for my life and situation at the time. I got judgement and women letting me know how horrible formula was ect… but I didn’t care. I made the right choice for my son and myself.

Now, for my second child- I knew for sure I would formula feed again. I knew I enjoyed the freedom of others being able to feed him, and being able to not have to deal with a pump. I also knew that with my 1st kiddo, I didn’t produce any milk. None, at all, so I figured that was a possibility again. When I had my second child I had a repeat c-section and began formula feeding right away. Around 4 days Postpartum My breast decided to engorge, and holy shit that was hell. I ended up with mastitis. Eventually, I dried up and all was well. My kids hit all their mile stones, have no delays… formula isn’t for everyone and yes, it is pricey. But for some it is the right choice. Sometimes, formula feeding is what’s best for the mothers mental health. And that is okay too. We moms have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of our children.

So for the love of humanity, next time you see a mother feeding her child… and you want to say something just dont. We already deal with enough, we truly do not need others opinions on how we fed our children. Formula or breast fed, fed is best. Happy, healthy babies is what matter.

Posted in Health, Parenthood

Untold Motherhood & Postpartum

Do you think society lies about mom life? I sure do…. now I promise I’m not crazy so please stick with me.

Was your pregnancy planned or unplanned? Because to be completely honest that changes a lot with this post. For someone who plans on having a baby you most likely did some research. Ya know, baby books, google searches… but for those of us who got the surprise positives … well for me at least- I DIDN’T KNOW ANY THING!

Okay, in all seriousness I wasn’t planning on having my son when I did so I had never picked up a baby book. Never heard of HG, round ligament pain let alone look into birth or breast feeding….

So, for any of you expecting moms out there or veteran moms who may want a laugh this may be a post for you- I;m going to share the things I’d never heard of, didn’t expect… or just was blown away by.

To start off- I knew my body was going to change. I knew I was going to gain weight, and my belly grow… HOWEVER no one not ever my doctor warned me about round ligament pain. Like holy shit. With my first son it started at like 12 weeks. The pain was bearable but annoying. I didn’t know what it was. After talking with other moms, since I had to wait til my next OB appointment, I found out what it was. And thanks to google at 13 weeks started wearing a belly band to help.

Next we have the boobs- now again I knew and expected my chest to grow.. what I did not expect was leakage before I had the baby. I also wasn’t aware that they would be so damn sore. I must have had a crappy doctor. I learned this thankfully was normal from books.

Cravings: They are REAL LOL. I really thought it was a lie so pregnant women could eat whatever. Nope, I was like 4 months pregnant eating ice cream and pickles…TOGETHER. I had no idea that was a real thing until I experienced it.

Morning sickness is not just in the morning for a few weeks. Like seriously… I was sick at night with my first for like 6 months. Morning Sickness is such a lie. It should really just be called pregnancy sickness. Like did you know that that shit could be so horrible?!

What else should be on this list? What did you not know??

Posted in Parenthood

No, I dont want a girl thanks

I’ve been asked this many times, especially once someone knows I wont be having more kids. “didn’t you want to try for a girl?”

Well, frankly… NO.

I wanted boys. Nothing against girls, and of course I would have been happy no matter what however, I am completely content with my boys. I’m happy being a boy momma. I don’t know why its so hard for some to wrap their heads around the fact that not everyone wants both sexes of babies. Not all moms want the little girl to dress up in pink dresses and bows. I have friends that have faced the same question. I truly don’t get the issue….

It doesn’t make me or anyone else a bad mother or parent because I want one over the other. Its just how we feel! Like I said, if we had a girl we both would have been happy, but truthfully, two boys is enough!

I enjoy the mud, and trucks and dinos and all things boys! My husband is happy and so am I. So next time, if you feel the need to ask, just don’t. Remember not everyone feels the same as you and that is okay!

Posted in Health, Parenthood

My Tubal at 23

You may or may not know that I had my last child in 2017, at the age of 23. That birth was my second cesarean and a horrible pregnancy. I chose to have a bilateral tubal ligation while they already had my cut open. My choice, and my husband agreed it would be for the best.

Now, did I just not want more kids? Did I not want to do pregnancy or birth again, why at 23 would I have my tubes tied? Well, I will tell you….

I WAS SOOOO FREAKING DONE AND OVER PREGNANCY.

Neither of my pregnancies were pretty. I still don’t get why people say pregnancy and birth are beautiful, no they are bloody and scary… and painful.

And yes, my c-sections were great, and I had fairly great recoveries… I don’t ever want to go through any of that again. Both my pregnancies were filled with feelings of being terrified.

You see Both my sons are actually rainbow babies. With Damien, I went to the ER at 16 weeks because of heavy bleeding, they told me I was having a miscarriage. 16 weeks, I already knew he was a boy, and his name… and had felt flutters and I was told I was about to lose him. Luckily, I didn’t. I did how ever experience this 3 more times during my pregnancy. Not to mention, high blood pressure and probably the worst pain you can imagine in my back. Which turned into Sciatic Nerve Damage later on. I was induced a week early because my blood pressure was 209/92…. y’all I’m not kidding when I say it was a some what traumatic pregnancy. I had no help from family and my husband was deployed. I did it alone.

My second pregnancy wasn’t any better, I had slightly elevated blood pressure and Gestational diabetes. More pain than I thought was possible. Not just my back but every where. I was exhausted, sick the whole pregnancy.. I was constantly worried if I didn’t feel baby movements. Like it was a massive toll on my physically and emotionally.

So at 23, I knew I was done. We had our two boys and I was and am content. People always say I should have tried for a girl.. No, I shouldn’t have. I don’t want a girl. I don’t want to try for a VBAC.

Sometimes at a young age, we just know we are done, and that is beyond okay! Stop judging peoples life choices.