Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

As I go along on this crazy parenthood ride, I've decided to share with you things that work for me... somethings I will have learned during my many years as a nanny and others I will learn as I go along...

In regards to kiddos of all ages, but especially those in the peak tantrum toddler years, I have found the more control you give them over their everyday lives, the more likely they are to do what you want when you want them to.


Do you want the blue or the green plate?

Do you want Sofie the Giraffe or your stuffed octopus to play with in the car?

Do you want to brush your teeth or take a bath first? (Noticed I said FIRST.)

I have done this with MANY toddlers as a nanny over the years and am doing it with Kayden already. I actually started when she was very young with her diapers... the one she looked at was the one I assumed was her choice. Now that she's older, she'll grab the one she wants.

We will still have tantrums from time to time but the frequency and intensity will be greatly diminished. She will more easily accept the phrase "it's not a choice" (like holding my hand in the parking lot) and she'll learn that her choices have consequences (if she chooses the blue plate, someone else may get the green plate) very early on.


Her first word is officially "milk." She signs it with gusto when she sees her sitters with the bottle... it's not consistent enough with me yet, but that may be because I sign "mama's milk" before I feed her so I add an extra step.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Circus

If you every have the chance to see the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, PLEASE do so!

It is an old fashion circus that actually takes place under a big top tent. They had acts with unicycles, trapeze, rope dancer, a girl balancing on a rolling board, a clown, an act with birds, a juggler.... it was so much fun!

Outside the big top tent, they had a large inflatable slide and a pony ride...

Kayden's favorite thing was the snow cones...

Kayden's First Circus was probably more fun for us but I think she had a good time too...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


We started Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) the last week of April. It is a highly intensive and expensive class that teaches water survival to infants and young children.

The first time I heard of it, it was in an email forward about 3 years ago. The video showed a young toddler, probably 12-15 months old, falling into a pool with no one around. The child oriented herself underwater and came up into a beautiful back float. Then she floated... and floated.... and floated for probably 10 minutes. Toward the end of the time, she started to cry and yell out but she maintained the float, fully clothed, until an adult pulled her out.

Living in a lake community, my interest was high. When I researched it, the closest place to offer it was 3 hours away so I figured I would just be out of luck when it was time for us to have kiddos.

Then, a few months ago, I saw it advertised in a local parenting magazine. I WAS STOKED!!!! I called the place and was put in touch with the instructor. We were signed up and have completed 3 weeks of classes.

The first week she cried through most of the lesson... it was something new and challenging and that's just how she communicates. The second week was a little better but she still complained a bit. The 3rd week was even better. On Monday, she floated by herself for a few seconds and went under a few times and didn't even cry... she's totally gonna be our little fish...

When I say it's intensive and expensive, I am not exaggerating. The classes are Monday thru Friday and range from $75-$90 a week in our area. But, living so close to water, I feel it's absolutely necessary.

The other morning, I was watching Trauma, Life in the ER... they were resuscitating a little girl about 2 years old who had been found at the bottom of her neighbor's pool. She did survive, but had substantial and permanent brain damage...

Yup, ISR is worth every penny, all the time, and every mile I drive...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Again, I promised I haven't died. Life has just been very busy.

Tomorrow, my chunky monkey will be 8 months old. In a nutshell, here is what's been going on:

Right at 7 months Kayden learned to clap and was sitting up pretty stably. She also got her first 2 teeth within a week of each other. She was pretty tough though.... she just started acting fussy about 12 hours before the first one broke through and the only sign of discomfort with the other was a few nights with added feedings.

The last week of April we started Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), a class which teaches self water rescue to infants and young children.

In early May, Kayden went to her first circus. It was an old fashion kind with a big top tent and everything.

The first couple weeks of May, Kayden has really honed her movement. Although she is still not crawling, she scoots very well and has just started to figure out that the scooting can get her from one place to the other. Her sitter said she pulled herself up on a basket but was back down on her bottom before she could grab her camera and she never did it again.

I am considering taking on a volunteer position which may lead to a new career path. Since having Kayden, I have discovered a passion for a field I never would have thought of. It's a long road but I am starting on the reading requirements in the few spare minutes I have.

We've been dealing with cable TV issues for 3 weeks now and it's still not right. I don't know who is more frustrated: Me or my husband...

We lost power during a big storm a few nights ago and had to break out a generator to save the fish tank... we were blessed with deep freeze space at Kayden's sitter's house so we didn't lose any food thank God...

I have started to rebuild my stash of frozen milk. I am pretty sure I've worked out all the kinks and should be successful this time around.

Kayden kissed a boy for the first time last week.... My poor husband isn't gonna know what hit him....

Kayden is growing fast. She weighs 20 lbs and wears 12 and 18 month bottoms, partially because of her personal fluff and partly because of the added fluff of the cloth diapers. I am pretty sure she will slim down substantially once she starts moving around more.

I will go into further details on some of the above events in upcoming posts... hopefully the pics will tide you over til I can post again.