Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Funny- People Without Kids

Don't Fear the Twos

I am currently the proud owner of TWO two year olds (yikes! I know...)
Like most of you with kids, I have heard the phrase “terrible twos”, one too many times. But is it really a thing? Do kids really change into little monsters when they turn two and magically change back when they turn three?
Many mothers I have spoken to have noticed their children becoming a little more difficult around that age. In my own experience, my oldest daughter never went through any phase at that age, she potty trained easily during that time, listened (in public), continued her exhausting sleep patterns, and we never really noticed any new behavior. On the other hand we did notice some new defying behaviors when she turned three, which happened to coincide with the birth of the twins. She was receiving less attention and her world forever ever changed with the addition for 2 new little sisters. She was helpful and never outright jealous of the babies, but did display new behaviors that seemed to be a subconscious cry for attention, which was understandable.
Fast-forward to this year, when my twin girls turned two in May. From the beginning they have always been loud and outgoing, complete opposites of my oldest daughter. They have been feisty from the moment they started developing and showing their personalities. They have developed very strong personalities over the past 2.3 years, which has definite positives and negatives. But they have always been consistent in their behaviors, just like my oldest daughter. Which is why I kind of disagree with the “terrible twos’ logic. Children’s personalities do not change around that age, but even further solidify. I believe many parents FEEL their child changes or becomes more difficult because children around the age two truly start to develop their vocabulary, and really learn the word “NO” and begin to use it....a LOT! Children at that age are learning how to express themselves, what they want and don't want, because they can finally have the vocabulary to do so. What was once expressed with whines and cries is now expressed with frequent “No” and “I want that!”. It may seem like you have a demanding little tyrant on your hands, but remember that your child might just be saying the things that they have always thought or wanted, but could not say.
Also with older age, comes more intelligence. Your child will now know it's time to sit at the table to eat breakfast, but also that if they don't like something, there is a whole fridge of other possibilities just in the kitchen. They will know where their shoes and jacket are when it's time to go outside, but will also know that turning left leads to the park and right in to grandma’s house. With this new intelligence comes testing limits and requesting things that they now know are possible. 
Two year olds really do get a bad reputation, which is unjust since they are no more or less demanding then a four or five year old. 
Every age has definite positives and negatives. 
Below are some good articles I have found on dealing with the unique challenges that are facing parents of two year olds. 

 While the terrible twos can be difficult for parents and caregivers to navigate, keep in mind that 2-year-olds are undergoing major motor, intellectual, social and emotional changes. Their vocabularies are growing, they're eager to do things on their own, and they're beginning to discover that they're expected to follow certain rules. However, most 2-year-olds still aren't able to move as swiftly as they'd like, clearly communicate their needs or control their feelings. 

Two-year-olds are opinionated. But so are sixteen-year-olds, five-year-olds, and nine-year-olds. Two-year-olds probably get the bad rap, then, because they have opinions without a shred of self-consciousness — they couldn’t care less if you’re in public when they decide it’s worth shrieking bloody murder to defend their principles.

To help you cope with this normal stage in your child's development, you should always remember that your child isn't trying to be defiant or rebellious on purpose. He is just trying to express his growing independence and doesn't have the language skills to easily express his needs. This can also be the reason why your toddler frequently gets frustrated and resorts to hitting, biting, and temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way.

What are your experiences with two year olds? Have you noticed any big changes in your toddler around that age?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Check Out- Weelicious

Packing your child a healthy lunch every morning that they will actually eat is more challenging than I thought. Even though my daughter is quite a picky eater, thankfully there is a variety of ‘snacks’ she really enjoys. But, pack her any type of sandwich and it comes back uneaten. I find a wide variety of smaller ‘snack’ items stand a much better chance of being eaten every day. Thankfully she loves smoothies, especially the green ones! I make a new batch every other morning and make sure to fill it with spinach or greens powder, I add almond milk, strawberries, bananas and whatever other fruit I have frozen in my freezer. I pack that in her ‘Juice in the Box’ (wrote about it here) and I know she is at least getting some nutritious fruit and vegetables.
After a few weeks of school, I am slowly running out of ideas for healthy snakes and lunches, but thankfully I came across Weelicious on instagram a few days ago, and I am obsessed. Catherine Mccord manages to create most amazing lunches for little ones, full of fun shapes and colors that kids love. She manages to put together a new lunch everyday, with products I would have never thought of packing. 

Check out some of my favorite lunches!

The website is so much more then lunches though! There are sections for homemade baby food which have different fruit and vegetable purees, toddler recipes which feature things like strawberry-banana almond milk popsicles and family meal ideas with recipes for things like protein bars an shrimp scampi. 
There is even a family meal planner so you get optimize your grocery trips.
It is a great all around family meal website that is fun and healthy, and full of amazing ideas for everyone. 
You can check out the website here, or follow Catherine on instagram and pintrest


Monday, September 8, 2014

Kids Room Pinspiration

Scrolling through my Kids Room Board on Pintrest always leaves me inspired and has definitely been my favorite thing to 'pin' lately. 
I have recently noticed a trend with the rooms that I love most. They all have a slightly modern almost Scandinavian feel with great modern furniture pieces, a black and white base with one or two bold patterns and colors, and a lot of personality!
The good news is that all these looks are very easy to achieve in your own home. Many of the rooms feature budget friendly IKEA pieces like the RIBBA picture ledgeMALM dresser and MINNEN bed. These pieces are mixed with some unique vintage finds and a few designer pieces to create a amazing high/low mix that makes these rooms so cool. The finishing touch is all in the details- fun lighting, bold rugs, lots of great books and graphic art work really bring all these rooms together. They have very 'collected' feel and coincidentally it is the perfect recipe to use all over your home when it comes to decor. 
Take a look at some of my favorite kids rooms, all can be found on my Pintrest

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Product Spotlight- Stuck on You Labels UPDATE

Around this time last year I made this post featuring Stuck on You Labels. I purchased a set of these plastic name labels in the little bird design for my daughter. The set is on sale right now for $14.95 for 50 labels, which I think would actually last you for a few years! I stuck them on her water bottle, lunchbox, sandwich and snack containers, and communication folder. A year later the labels still look like new. The water bottle and lunch box containers went through regular cycles in the dishwasher a few times a week and the labels stayed on, but are removed easily leaving no reside when you want to peel them off. I am actually very impressed with the amount of wear and tear they can withstand. In comparison, a permanent marker on a plastic container lasted only a few washes in the dishwasher before disappearing. 
Seeing the quality of the product, I will definitely be purchasing a few more things from the company like this tag for a backpack, these shoe labels for indoor school shoes and these clothing labels for coats and jackets. If you have more then one child and plan on handing down clothes/shoes, getting just the last name printed on labels is a good idea! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Time to Go Back!

We all know back to school can be a hectic time for a family! Getting back into the school routine is not easy after two long months of summer. My daughter will be starting senior kindergarten tomorrow and I admit this year is much less nerve racking then last when she was first starting J/K. 
That very first time at school is full of excitement and stress, especially not knowing how quickly your child will adapt to classroom life. Even the most outgoing children might have a hard time starting school for the first time.
My own daughter is quite shy around new people and has never attended daycare so I was a little nervous to see how her first day would go last year (especially since she wouldn't even look at the teacher when attending ‘met-the-teacher’ days before school began). She also mentioned that she was scared to go on the big bus with the older kids, but when the first day of school came she got right on the bus and didn't look back. She came home later that day with a note from the teacher saying that she was very talkative and not shy at all which I was pleasantly surprised about. Now after a long summer she can't wait to go back, especially to see her friends and teachers. She thrived in the busy classroom environment where everyday there was something new to learn and do.
So starting tomorrow we will all be in school mode - waking up earlier, making lunches, walking to the bus stop and even some light homework this year! The transition from summer to school will take some time getting use to for the whole family.

I recently came across a few links I found on Apartment Therapy that I found very useful to get back into the schoolMODE.

Impress Your Children With this...