Maintaining The Friend Connection

Earlier this year, when my city was faced with a budget crisis, the mayor started making noises about eliminating bulk trash pick up. I knew the time had come to tackle a major chore I had been putting off for years–cleaning out the basement, thankfully we were able to  get a loan on the same day we decided the crisis was going to get us. With the introduction of sms lån service it is clear that telecom service providers want to give better and new services to their customers at affordable price. In case of emergency, SMS loan service will help you to 50 local and national SMS in your mobile number immediately. The loan amount has to be repaid by you on the next day with an interest depending upon the loan amount. Some of the operators have limited options to choose from a list of SMS plans. However, some operators are flexible in terms of plans and they let you choose the desired amount as per your wish. Do you need a car title loans? Essentially, you’ll need to send in photos of your vehicle or take the vehicle to a title loan specialist and the lender will appraise its condition and provide an estimate of the vehicle’s value using Car Title Loans in Los Angeles website. You can follow the process below to get advance SMS to you mobile number in less than a minute !

I’m not normally a procrastinator, but the enormity of this project was keeping me from forming a plan and getting to it. Our basement is accessible only by a very heavy trapdoor in the floor, and has low ceilings. Over the years, my husband and I had gotten into the bad habit of shoving things anywhere down there and it had become messy and crowded. I truly had no idea exactly what we had stored down there. However it has happened, your hard-earned cash is now spread so thin you cannot manage your debt effectively any more. Yet you have more options for Columbus purchase than you think.

As I said, I did it. A big part of creating order down there involved giving away or selling baby and toddler gear and clothing that we no longer needed, so I could help with the debts, and I help her with a contact so she could be able to get a loan and a business loan agreement with a professional. Out went the double stroller, the baby toys, the infant pool float and the baby pool. I gave the pack n play to a friend having her first child, and the changing table and boppy pillow to another friend.

The basement looks great, but I realized the other day that my house is no longer a baby and toddler friendly place. We don’t have gates anymore. Outlet plugs don’t always get replaced when they are removed. Legos and other chokables are on low shelves. When friends with little ones come over, I try to remove the obvious hazards, but the parents need to be on their toes for everything else.

Earlier this year, we went out to dinner with family, including my brother and SIL and their then-20-month-old son. My nephew was seated next to me, and when I accidentally put my large steak knife down next to my plate, within reach of him, my brother leaned over, rolled his eyes at me and relocated the knife. He figured I would know better, but it’s funny how quickly your forget. My kids don’t grab knives, put non-food items in their mouths, or need help getting off the couch or up the stairs.

I’ve forgotten what it’s like to scarf down your food while your partner walks with the baby outside. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to plan things around naptime. Stroller accessibility doesn’t play into my choices of where to go. I no longer have diapers or baby wipes on me at all times. In fact, I carry a regular purse.

I’m enjoying all the stages as my kids, now 6 and going on 4, grow up, but I’ve also found that it makes me feel a little disconnected from friends with babies. I love it when my Facebook friends post photos of their newborns, but find I have little to contribute when it comes to baby questions because so much has changed in just a few short years. When mine were small, it was okay to let your baby sleep in his infant carseat, crib bumpers were thick and padded, and pediatricians still recommended waiting to introduce peanuts until age 3. Many of my friends are just starting their families and my family is in a completely different place. How do you connect with a friend that wants/needs to talk about teething and breastfeeding when you want/need to talk about sending your child to school and peer pressure?

It reminds me a little of after high school, when the people who went to college drifted away from people who went directly to jobs, or the time after college when people who got married drifted away from their single friends.

What do you think? Have you been able to remain friends with people at a different life stage? Have your children changed your friendships with childless couples? Has the age of your kids made it difficult to stay friends with other parents?

Keeping Your Breast Milk Healthy

Breastfeeding is widely touted as the healthiest way to feed your baby. Each mother’s milk is tailored to her baby’s specific needs. Breast milk is highly digestible and full of maternal antibodies. Breast milk from the source is always warm, never spoils and has never been recalled due to contamination. Some supplements like the ones reviewed at thehealthmania can help you keep your body healthier. As a resident of Buffalo, New York, there is a good chance that you’re going to run into numerous problems from time to time. As you probably realize, you’ll run into a pest problem at some point or another. When that happens, you need to step up to the plate and hit a homerun immediately. If you do not, your bedbug problem is quickly going to escalate and become even far worse. With that being said, you should get in touch with our Pest Control Experts | Bed Bug Exterminator Buffalo firm immediately. We serve residents in Buffalo and the surrounding areas. Plus, we are insured and licensed. When you work with us, you’ll get a great service and the results that you so desperately need.

However, several recent stories in the news have raised concerns about a mother’s influence on the safety of her milk. After a mother was arrested and charged with neglect for breastfeeding her baby while intoxicated, many wondered how much alcohol, if any, is safe while breastfeeding. Then the issue of environmental toxins in breastmilk was brought up after numerous articles about detectable amounts of DDT, PCB’s and other chemicals in breastmilk.

Personally, the articles about chemicals in breastmilk wouldn’t have kept me from breastfeeding. But they do alarm me because they highlight the vast presence of chemicals in our everyday lives, chemicals that we may not be aware of or identify as dangerous. If a nursing mother is passing toxins into her breastmilk, how was she exposed? Was she aware of her exposure? And what can nursing moms do to reduce or eliminate exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals?
Continue reading “Keeping Your Breast Milk Healthy”

Weathering The Picky Eater Stage

P7020118The other day, I made lunch for myself and my two kids. Chicken sandwiches on wheat bread all around, apple sauce for them and a pickle for me. I was putting dirty utensils into the sink when I turned around to see that my 5 year old son had snatched the pickle off my plate, taken a bite, handed it to his sister, who also took a bite and handed it back to him. When he looked up and saw me watching him, he said, “I like it! I like pickles!” He took another bite, then placed what was left back on my plate.

Germ sharing aside, I couldn’t help but marvel at how far this once super picky child of mine has come. And within the confines of my brain, I heaved a giant sigh of relief and thought, “Yes! It finally paid off.”  In this photo, they enjoy a dinner of Asian Pork Linguine, broccoli and cantaloupe.

Picky eating is common among 1 to 3 year olds, and part of the reason is because it’s developmentally normal. As growth slows down, children eat less because they need less. But it’s also incredibly common for a child for a child who once ate everything with gusto to suddenly slam on the brakes and refuse to eat once favorite foods, certain textures, or any type of vegetable. It can be alarming.

As they get older, most picky kids will expand their palates and begin to eat more, but the key for you as a parent is getting through those picky years with your sanity intact. Some picky kids will indeed grow into picky adults (my brother does most of the cooking in the house because his wife found it impossible to cook for him when there are so many foods he won’t touch), but if you teach good habits now, even those picky adults with limited diets can be healthy and happy.

Some tips that have worked for me:

  • Acknowledge your child’s right to not like certain foods–Chances are there are foods you don’t like, foods that are quite good for you. I’m not crazy about most kinds of seafood, pearl onions, or pancakes, and I won’t touch zucchini, beets or eggplant with a ten foot pole. Sure, presenting a food ten or twenty times might convince your child to eat it in the end, but then again, maybe not. Don’t be surprised if your child won’t eat foods that you don’t like either. Food preferences are partially genetic.
  • Keep your expectations realistic–Sure, you know that avocado mashed with pepper and some lemon juice makes a scrumptious swap for mayo on a sandwich, but to your toddler, it’s a funny color and a strange texture. Go ahead and introduce foods that you drool over, but don’t blow a gasket if your two-year-old balks at kale.
  • Model healthy eating–Take a look at your own eating habits. Do you skip meals, guzzle coffee or munch on junk all day? If your own food habits are less than stellar, try to clean them up a little. Kids notice things, and they’ll be quick to call you on what they perceive as hypocrisy.
  • Try peer pressure–At my children’s preschool, the only food allowed for snack is fresh fruit. So my kids take a lot of bananas and apple slices, which are fruits they both eat well, but seeing other kids eat other fruits meant they each added one or two fruits to their “approved” list. It doesn’t have to be another child too. Seeing mom chow down on sweet potatoes is powerful. Eat as a family or invite an adventurous eater over and see what happens.
  • Take advantage of distraction–If you’re truly worried about the volume or variety that your child eats, try getting them to eat when they are otherwise distracted. Many kids will mindlessly polish off a bowl of baby carrots while watching TV. I got my own son to eat melon a few weeks ago at the beach by following him around asking him to take a bite here and there while he was playing with his friends.
  • Reconsider cooking separate meals–Do you make separate food for your picky eater? Be careful, because your child might start to treat you like a short order cook. My first child had a milk allergy when he was younger, and in the interest of getting calories into him, I did make him special meals, food I knew he would almost always eat. But when he got demanding, I quit. For the most part, the kids eat what my husband and I eat. I do try to keep their preferences in mind, making sure there is at least one thing on the menu that they like. The transitional period was rough, but both kids now know that they are expected to sit down with the family and eat what I cooked. They don’t have to eat something if they don’t want to, but I also won’t be making something else in it’s place.
  • Make “kid food” healthy–Chicken is a good source of protein and potatoes are loaded with potassium. Homemade versions of kid friendly food will set your mind at ease when it comes to the nutritional profile.
  • Watch your portion sizes–Think back to when you were pregnant, suffering from morning sickness, and a full plate of food had the power to turn your stomach and make you not want to eat at all. For a picky eater, being presented with too much food can be overwhelming. Keep portions kid sized and if you’re cooking a food on the “non-approved” list, make the portion even smaller.
  • Look at the big picture–Some days, both my kids eat well, other days one eats well while the other picks, and some days neither seems to eat much of anything. If you’re worried, take a look at what your child eats over the course of a week or two and you’ll probably see that he or she eats more than you think.

And finally, hang in there. It gets better. It really does. My pickle snatching, watermelon eating, edamame snarfing 5-year-old is living proof.

Follow The Leader

P7020121Learning something when you’ve been told you need to know it is pretty boring sometimes. Following your child’s lead and letting natural interests develop is a lot more interesting.

My almost 6-year-old is having a lot of fun with this large map, finding the places he has heard about, comparing how far they are from Baltimore, and finding the corresponding flag for that country (pictured at the bottom of the map).

Today’s geography lesson came about after my 3 1/2 year-old daughter, while eating a banana, announced that monkeys like to eat bananas, but why do we never see monkeys in Baltimore (not counting at the zoo)? Her brother answered that monkeys live in jungles, like in Africa. In this photo, he shows her the distance between the US and Africa.

While we had the map out, we also talked about how many continents and oceans there are, the difference between countries and states, and how an island that is nowhere near the country it belongs to can still be a part of that country. And we added a new place to our list–Indonesia, where a neighbor is currently visiting relatives. Both kids listened with rapt attention, something I can say I never displayed during geography lessons in school.

My son will attend a traditional school in the fall, but I’m enjoying working with him at home and letting him choose the lesson of the day.  He’s taking me places I wouldn’t go on my own.

Where have your children’s interests taken you?

It’s Not Personal

Recently, I was reading a piece in a magazine by a woman whose husband had left her for another woman. She was coping with the betrayal, in part, by repeating the phrase, “There is nothing personal going on here.” It sounds crazy, but realizing that the problem wasn’t her, it was her husband’s own drama, made it easier to accept and easier to deal with fear and anger.

The piece resonated with me, and the words “it’s not personal” kept popping into my head in the following days.

I’ve long held the belief that when people get angry or frustrated, it’s often for the wrong reasons. That person who cut you off in traffic didn’t do it because he picked you out specifically to annoy; he’s just a rotten or a distracted driver. That coworker who slacked on a project didn’t do it to make you look bad and steal your job; she may have been tired or overworked or maybe just is not a team player. Yes, it’s difficult when there aren’t enough checkers at the grocery store and the lines are long and tempers are flaring and the kids are climbing in the cart and squashing the bananas; but management didn’t cut staff with the express intention of making you mad. It’s my opinion that there are very few things worth getting truly angry over.

But somehow, I have had a hard time applying this theory when it comes to parenting. When your children are misbehaving or being defiant or tantruming or just being difficult, it’s really hard to not take it personally. Sometimes it feels oh so personal.

Last week, my husband was out of town for work, and my kids were dragging out bedtime one night. After my 5 year old got out of bed for what seemed like the hundredth time, I got angry and said, “Why are you guys doing this to me?” And then it hit me. They weren’t doing anything to me. Bedtime battles are incredibly normal. Developmentally speaking, 5 and 3 year olds aren’t supposed to want to stop playing and exploring and go to sleep. I have a problem settling down at night too, that’s why I do yoga.

It was not personal. My children had not huddled together in their room and made a pact to stay up half the night and keep me from cleaning and paying bills, and let’s be honest, blogging and updating my Facebook status.

Once I acknowledged that the bedtime struggles were not a personal vendetta against me and my desire for alone time, it was easier to be rational, easier to put the kids back in bed one more time, easier to not blow a gasket when they wanted water, easier to tell them that they needed their rest to be healthy and that I was done answering questions and fetching water and helping in the bathroom.

It worked. My calmer self led to calmer children who stayed in bed and went to sleep.

The next time I’m struggling as a parent, I’m going to remember this. It’s not personal.

Try it. What do you think?

Hanging Up The Sling

When my second child was born, my first was just two years old. Life with a baby and a toddler was a lot busier than life with a singleton, and I didn’t have the luxury of spending hours sitting in the glider rocker nursing or lying on the floor watching my baby wave her arms in the air. Because of that fact, one of the most important pieces of baby gear was my ring sling.

Appearance-wise, it looked so simple. A long piece of olive green fabric attached to two silver rings. The non-ring end had a pocket with a zipper. (People said to stay away from black because it gets hot, and also linty. I thought the green color might be less girly in case my husband ever wanted to use it. He didn’t. I should have gotten the purple one I wanted.) And people were amazed that I paid fifty dollars for it. But I got so much use out of it that fifty dollars was a steal.

With my ring sling, I was able to breastfeed my infant hands-free while making a sandwich for my toddler. With my ring sling, I was able to carry my toddler across my back while pushing the baby in the stroller to get across a busy, dangerous street. With my ring sling, I was able to keep my baby, born during cold and flu season, tucked up against me and away from germy, poking fingers.

The kids are bigger now though. My son is almost 6 and long past the stage of being carried. My daughter is 3 1/2. I’ve used the sling twice in the past year. Once was when I took both kids and a friend of my son to see Disney On Ice by myself. I used the sling to carry my daughter on my hip so I had both hands free to help the boys navigate the parking garage and crowded arena. It worked great.

The second time was this past week. My daughter had been napping and I had to wake her up to go pick up her brother from preschool, but she was still groggy and sleepy. Rather than waste gas to drive the five blocks to school, I used the sling to position her so she could lay her head on my shoulder, draped the long end of the sling over her face to shield her eyes from the sun, put my keys and phone into the pocket and walked.

Some of the other moms were surprised. They thought she might be too heavy, or that my back must be aching. And that really wasn’t it. She is small for her age, but my back felt fine. And while carrying her for five blocks in my arms would have been difficult, the sling was doing most of the work.

On the way home though, I started to feel uncomfortable. Again, not because of her weight, but because it was 80+ degrees and despite my shorts and tank, carrying her was making me hot. Seriously hot. As in glug water and lie on the couch to recover hot.

It may be time to hang up my sling. At almost 6 and almost 4, we’re approaching not having kids small enough to carry. I’m done having babies. I’m done babywearing. I’m done breastfeeding and co-sleeping.

At this point, I’m curious how parents with older children continue to practice attachment parenting. I never thought much beyond the baby and toddler years, but I’m looking at it now. And contemplating how to incorporate the principles into my parenting style as I raise older kids.

Those of you with elementary age children, tweens and teens–how do you continue to use AP practices into those later years?

Before You Spank

I once saw a poll in a parenting magazine about spanking that I found interesting. The choices were A–parents who used spanking as a form of discipline and were fine with it B–parents who made a conscious decision to not spank and C–parents who used spanking but wished they didn’t.

What struck me most about the poll was not that there are parents who happily use spanking, but the large amount of voters who fell into the C category, or reluctant spankers. Parents who wanted to do differently, but didn’t have the tools to change their behavior or technique.

My husband and I don’t spank, for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is continuity. The rule at preschool is ‘hands on your own body’ and we feel that spanking would override that message and provide conflicting messages about that rule. However, if your kids have done something or you’ve reached the end of your rope, it can be really hard to reign in your anger or frustration.
Continue reading “Before You Spank”

Children And Puppies

After some of the initial furor over an article published in Time regarding spanking as an indicator of aggressive behavior in children died down, I had some time to reflect not only on the article, but the response to it.

As an AP family, we don’t spank, and the reasons behind that decision are many. However, I don’t want to get into the specifics of if spanking does or does not cause aggressive behavior, nor do I want to touch on the debate of if spanking is or is not abuse. Instead, I’d like to talk about spanking in terms of effectiveness and what parents who don’t want to practice it can do instead. This anxiety in dogs article can teach you ways to help manage your dogs anxiety. Our mission at Little Big Shots is to introduce to the world a revolutionary liquid mineral and antioxidant formulation and delivery system that will transform the pet supplement industry forever. You can check out LBS for your pets healthy life. Our proprietary formulation, Immune-D™, will support a dog’s healthy long life by enhancing the immune system and having a positive impact on the health and well-being of your beloved pet.

When I’m not writing or being a mom, I’m a veterinary technician at a large practice in Baltimore. I’ve been doing this for the better part of 13 years. I’ve been reading this dog blog for a while and I’ve learned a lot about house dogs tips. If pressed, I couldn’t even begin to estimate exactly how many hours I’ve spent with pet owners counseling them on the best way to approach their animal’s behavior. And when I thought about it, I realized there are some parallels between training a puppy consider Black Labrador Retriever puppy for the training find more info about those dogs and raising a well behaved child in this website . It is not easy to raise a dog that is why TreeHousePuppies has got many ideas and things than can help you in the process. Continue reading “Children And Puppies”