No more tantruming toddlers

How to avoid your toddler’s tantrum

Dealing with a tantruming toddler is as high on my list of favorite things to do as my PAP smear is. Not a good time. At all.

Due to the unpredictable nature of these feisty little people it’s not always easy to avoid a flailing meltdown (theirs, not yours). As parents we work very hard to make sure we are dealing with our toddlers as effectively as possible, especially when they’re mid-tantrum.

Sometimes, however, exhaustion gets the better of us and we will do ANYTHING we can to avoid taking a Dr.Iknoweverythingaboutkidsbutdontactuallyhaveany’s approach to emotional outbursts (theirs, not yours). As soon as we detect the smallest indication that our precious angel is about to let loose we take the following steps to ensure we don’t have to deal with a full fledged tantrum:

 

Get in your zone.

You’re gonna need to mentally prepare for this. Fight your parental instincts of proper discipline. Remember, this is for your sanity.

Open a bottle of wine.

It’s not easy to avoid a toddler’s psychotic state of tantrum, so if you’re unsuccessful in your attempts at least you’ll be ready. Take this quiz to find out which wine will suit you best.

Oppose nothing.

Your toddler wants you to jump up and down? You jump. Your toddler wants you to be a “poo head”? You’re a poo head. Arguing will get you nowhere. You are now their bitch.

Your toddler owns you

Declare defeat.

Straight up tell your toddler that they’ve won. They can smell fear. They already KNOW they’ve won, but they want to hear it straight from you.

Look away from their eyes.

Do not engage in eye contact. A hostile toddler will take this as a sign of aggression. You’re trying to avoid a throwdown, not instigate one.

Utilize every strategy you know.

Pull out the candy. Turn on the Paw Patrol. Buy them a puppy. Do whatever you have to do to avoid an impending toddler outburst.

Corral backup

No matter what you do it may be wrong according to your toddler. Have a back-up team of at least 8. In theory, at least one person should be able to come up with something to keep them happy.

Kiss your pride bye-bye

Understand that you have lost the battle to a tiny dictator. Own it. There’s nothing else you can do.

 

Following this simple G.O.O.D.L.U.C.K. strategy should lead you to be successful in your efforts to avoid a toddler tantrum.

If you find that your efforts were futile, and you are head on with an hysterical toddler, make sure to some research into the first of these parenting articles you’ll want to read. This one thing may be the answer to your problems.

Good luck to you, good people.

Eli the Elf on the Shelf

The return of my love/hate relationship with Eli the elf

She’s baaaaaaaaaack.

It’s that time of the year for our beloved Eli the Elf to come out from the packed away boxes in the basement and return to the chaotic mess of the upstairs.

Last year was our first year with Eli. My lovely friend gave Eli to the girls as a gift. They fell in love with the idea of this tiny elf becoming part of the family and believed undoubtedly in the magic of Eli that was promised in the story that accompanied her.

It was sweet. It was cute.

It was going to be work for me.

With the return of the Christmas season comes the return of the Christmas season stress. Buying and making Christmas gifts, ugly sweater parties,  decorating, baking, attending Christmas concerts, drinking ridiculous amounts of rum and eggnog, and the list goes on. Adding another “to-do” to the list seemed like a heavy burden, but I was in it now. I couldn’t disappoint these girls who fell in love with this friggin’ elf.

The first night that Eli was to hide I put her in the garland above the fireplace. I looked at her and thought she actually kind of looked cute perched up on the mantle like that. I went upstairs to check on my girls and upon my return back downstairs  this is what I came across:

Elf on the shelf was destructive

 

See that little Elf on the garland there? The garland that’s on the floor!! The garland that fell down and broke half the decorations that were up there???

Ya.

Keep in mind that I was pregnant at this time, so when I saw this I cried. Then I swore at the elf. Then I ate some ice cream. After I felt a bit better I cleaned everything up and put Eli on the back of the couch where she could do no damage while she waited for the girls to wake up in the morning.

When they woke up the first thing they wanted to do was find Eli. When they did, their excitement of finding this elf was magical for them. They truly enjoyed the idea of Eli watching them on behalf of Santa. That’s when I realized Eli’s potential. For the month before Christmas my parenting strategy consists entirely of me saying “you know Santa’s watching, right?”. Now, it was legit. Now there was a physical presence in the house watching EVERYTHING the girls did. When I heard my (then) 4-year-old tell her older sister to return the candies back to the tin because “Eli’s watching” I had to acknowledge the positive impact this could have on my entire month of December.

As the month went on I tried to make Eli feel at home by placing her in places like this:

Eli the Elf on the Shelf

I was having fun with the creative side of where to place Eli, and the girls were basking in the excitement of it all.

When it was time for her to return to her to her post-Christmas home there was a little bit of sadness (mostly from me who would have to begin creative parenting again). While this elf is a bit of an imposition of my time (to be honest, most of the time spent was perusing Pinterest to find ideas on where to hide her), she brought a lot of joy to my girls and added another element of the magic of Christmas to their childhoods.

Ultimately, I’m glad I fought the urge to return her to the store (my lovely friend included a gift receipt just in case I was horribly opposed). This year I plan to utilize what Eli is capable of (like this), but if I do happen to have one too many rum and eggnogs and forget about her there’s an entire list of reasons why Eli forgot to move that I’m sure I will be forever grateful for!

 

What are your favorite places to put your Elf on the Shelf?

 

no money in my pockets

6 Surprising reasons kids cost so much money!

Kids cost a lot. In fact, they’re super expensive. Having a child will run you about $244,000 from birth to the sweet age of 18 when you can boot them out of your house. Right now you’re thinking “but, there are inexpensive ways to raise children”. You’re right. You can reduce the amount that kids cost by pinching pennies here and there and being smart with your money. However, frugality is no match for the little expenses that will add up and deplete your retirement savings fund:

Food

You thought I meant food they actually eat!? No, no, no. I’m talking about the ridiculous cost of healthy food that gets thrown on the floor, put up their noses, or mushed around into an inedible glob that even the dog won’t touch. Perfectly good food (along with your perfectly good intentions) get scraped up and thrown into the compost.

Clothing

You can find kids clothes for pretty decent prices at consignment stores or thrift shops. They don’t need to try things on because the size generally corresponds with their age. ‘Tis not the same for us adults. Not only is it damn near impossible to find clothing that fits over those baby making hips and residual baby belly, shopping for clothes with the loved ones in tow is almost as fun as cleaning the inevitable feces off your new white shirt.

Toiletries

You’ll spend approximately $492/month on toilet paper alone. Maybe it’s that they use too much at a time? Maybe it’s that they flush entire rolls? Maybe they eat it? I’m not sure, but there always seems to be a (rather urgent) need for toilet paper in the house.

Toys

Toys* cost a frickin’ fortune. For the low price of $44.95 you can provide your child with hours of entertainment. In fact, here’s the breakdown of exactly what fun your child will have:

-Receiving toy: 30 seconds

-Opening box toy is delivered in: 30 seconds – 1 minute (depending on packaging)

-Engagement with toy: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

-Playing with the box that the toy was delivered in while the toy sits in the corner wasting the $9.99 batteries required to make it work:

3 hours, 45 seconds

**Make sure you buy boxes that educational toys come in; it’ll make you feel better about money well spent.

Utilities

Ever told a 9 year old to go for a short shower? A 5 year old to turn the lights out when they leave a room? A 2 year old not to watch the hours of cartoons you put on for them while you hide out in the laundry room and eat chocolate? (Ok, that one is a bit of a trap.)  Your efforts to explain the cost of the bills you’re paying go over their heads while all the heat goes out the door (that they left open, of course).

Coffee and Wine

These are your life lines. The cost is irrelevant, as one simply cannot put a price on your sanity.

 

Not included in this list of why kids cost so much are things like shelter, food they eat, and clothing. These expenses only cost about $44,000. The other $200,000 should be put aside…for toilet paper.

 

 

 

 

 

roses-142876_1920

Hot Mama! 7 simple ways to turn a woman on!

Prerequisites for having sex before you’ve had children:

  1. Not applicable

Prerequisites for having sex after you’ve had children:

  1. Children are asleep
  2. Both parties have showered
  3. Both parties have enough energy
  4. The house is clean
  5. Backpacks are packed for the next day
  6. The bedroom door is closed and locked
  7. No noise is made during the romp session

Everything changes after you’ve had kids. Your sex life is no exception. What once worked for you to turn a woman on may still do the trick; but you probably need to make a few modifications:

 

Talk dirty

Be dirty. Be gross. Be downright nasty.

She wants to hear every single detail of the filth you uncovered while you cleaned the bathroom so she didn’t have to. Tell her how you were on your knees scrubbing every corner. Let her know that you rubbed the shaft of that shower head until it was glowing.  She wants to hear about how you squirted the cleaner in the sink. Don’t leave her with any clean thoughts; only a clean bathroom.

Find her “G” Spot

Figure out a Go away spot for her to escape for a while. Encourage her to head to a yoga class, go for a massage at the spa, or have coffee with friends. Tell her to find something to do that’s just for her. She will be ohhh-ohhh-ohhhhhhhhhh so grateful you did.

Kiss her in all the right places

Kiss her ears? That’s ok…  Kiss the back of the neck? That’s nice…

Kiss her ass? You got it! Tell her how pretty she looks in her pajamas. Compliment her snack making abilities ( fishy crackers on a plate is more work than some care to acknowledge). Express what a wonderful job she’s doing as a mother. Let her know of all the wonderful things she’s doing.

Make sure you’re sincere. Any faking will be reciprocated later.

Make her a romantic dinner

Or just order pizza. Basically, anything that doesn’t involve HER cooking will excite her. Feel free set up candles and use the nice china (nice china=a plate that isn’t chipped), but don’t fuss too much about the food you’ll be eating at dinner. Think more about what you’re going to eat after dinner, you know, for dessert.

Buy her flowers

They may not be on the massively long list of food that needs to bought for the house, but you can find flowers at the grocery store when you go pick up groceries so she doesn’t have to battle the lines. Make sure that you buy all that’s on the list, but feel free to include a few extras such as chocolate, oysters, and strawberries.

Get her wet

You know it.

I know it.

She hasn’t bathed in a while.

Take the kids. Draw her a bath. Put away the pink rubber ducky (but leave the pink Rabbit).

Make sure to put the bath mat out for her before she gets in. You know how slippery things can get when they’re wet…you don’t want her falling!

Choose something comfortable for her to wear

Find something lacy, black, tight, and revealing.

Now, burn it.

Grab your brain and get the woman some yoga pants and her favorite hoody. If you’re lucky she’ll throw on that old nursing bra she has in the closet; you won’t have to undo the back but you’ll still have easy access.

 

 

There you have it. It really IS that easy to turn a woman on after she’s had kids.  All those extra things you once knew to get her “in the mood” pre-kids (glass of wine, massage, serenading) will still get her into bed…but she’ll be fast asleep before you can say “Honey, I showered.”

 

Flowers for a hot mama!

 

A letter to myself

A letter to me (from my future self)

a-letter-to-me

 

Hey, girl! It’s me- your future self!

It’s me- your future self!

First of all, let me start by telling you—because I know it’s been on your mind–your boobs do bounce back, and you will age gracefully. At 50 you still tell people you’re 29, and they believe you. Well done!

Listen. I know what you’re going through right now.  The kids are little. You’re exhausted. You’re overwhelmed. You’re working your absolute hardest. You’re doing everything you can to make sure those kids are getting what they need, the house is getting cleaned, and that your partner is happy. You’re drained. You’re maxed out.

You’re drained. You’re maxed out.

You’re feeling like everything you’re doing is wrong.

It’s not.

It’s not. It’s not. It’s not.

Yep, you’re making mistakes. OF COURSE YOU’RE MAKING MISTAKES!!! You won’t stop making mistakes. Even when the kids are adults you’ll continue to mess up.

Guess what?

You AND your children learn from those mistakes. They help you grow. They contribute to the person you become. They allow those kids to see that you are a human being. If you were perfect all the time you wouldn’t be doing those little people any favors. They’ve grown up having a realistic idea of what the world is like: imperfect. Your mistakes have allowed them to understand that THEY are allowed to make mistakes. Your mistakes have given them the ability to understand their own mistakes, acknowledge them, and move on as better people.

 

You’re thinking you yell too much right now. That you cry too often in front of the kids. That you aren’t effectively disciplining the kids. That you let them watch too much t.v. and eat too much junk food. You feel guilt.

All of the above is true.

Do you know what?

They lived! What’s more, they lived AND they’re successful, well-adjusted adults.  Again, they are learning that you are a human being. You have feelings. You have strong moments and you have weak moments. You are normalizing these things for them. You still think you’re sentencing them to a lifetime of therapy.

You’re not.

You’re not. You’re not. You’re not.

You have regrets. Most of those regrets don’t go away, and there’s many more stacked on your (already) long list. You eventually learn to forgive yourself, though. Once you learn to forgive yourself you are able to fully understand that wonderful job that you did as a mother. I’m telling you now so you don’t have to wait that long: You are doing a wonderful job as a mother. Give yourself credit. You will feel empowered when you finally acknowledge what you’ve accomplished, and the beautiful people you’ve raised. Allow yourself that amazing feeling NOW. It will make this time with your children that much sweeter.

what my future self has to say

 

There were bad times. Your children remember those.

Want to know something?

They remember the good times even better: the movie nights every Friday. The baking in the kitchen. The gardening. The adventures you went on. The walks to school. The bedtime hugs. The activities you drove them to. The sleepovers they had with friends. The marshmallow roasts. The shopping sprees. The birthday parties.

Above all, they remember the unconditional love you showed them. They knew how much you loved them then and they know it now. That’s all they needed then and that’s all they need now.

 

Guess what kind of people they have become.

Gentle, generous, compassionate, empathetic, caring people.

 

They remember you taking care of yourself. You sewing and crocheting. You taking off to yoga, or out with your friends. You reading a book or writing while they played at the park. You taking care of you so you could be the mother you desired to be.

Guess what kind of parents they have become?

They’re loving to their children. They have the utmost best intentions. They strive to do and be the absolute best for parents to your grandbabies.

They use YOU as their example.

 

I won’t tell you anymore. You have a long journey ahead of you, and you must figure the rest out on your own.

I’ll leave you with one thing to remember:

Love, mama.

Love those babies.

They truly won’t be small for long. Before you know it, you’re, well, 50 (with amazing breasts, don’t forget that!), and your “babies” are grown.

Love yourself.

You’re doing wonderfully. Believe that and remind yourself every single day.

Love always,

 

-Me

 

P.S. You’re going to need to find a better hiding spot for your wine and candy. They figure out it’s all in the laundry room pretty quick here.

 

 

breastfeeding social media

Breastfeeding tips and tricks from a saggy boobed pro

Last week I answered the door. It was the pizza man. He looked…uncomfortable. I thought maybe I smelled bad? Maybe I had spit up on my shoulder? I closed the door. I looked down. I realized why he looked so…uncomfortable. My boob was hanging out of my shirt because I forgot to put it away after my baby was done feeding and I answered the door. As I stood there thinking about what had just transpired I couldn’t believe it…he forgot to give me the dips!

 

Breastfeeding has been a challenging journey for me.

Some women have no problem and have Pamela Anderson looking jugs full of milk even before they’ve had their baby. Some women go through hours of torture to literally squeeze out one drop.

The latter was me.

I spent hours researching ways to make me produce more milk (and help me fill out a D-cup). Here’s what I came up with:

breastfeeding, nursing, milk production, fenugreek, blessed thistle

 

I did all of those things, plus skin-to-skin contact (get naked, Mama!), baby wearing, and got proper nourishment, including tons of water.

While all of these things worked well, nothing worked the way these lactation cookies did:

lactation cookie recipe, breastfeeding, breastmilk production

If you’re not feeling up to making cookies, simply add some brewers yeast to your smoothie. That’s the main ingredient that really helped me!

 

I mentioned breastfeeding wasn’t easy for me, right? It was a hard go right from the beginning. When I was told by a doctor that “not all women were meant to be cows” I nearly gave up. Instead I spent hours researching, days in discomfort (mastitis, thrush, engorgement, cracked and blistered nipples are no joke, friends), and months breastfeeding. So far, I breastfed for a total of 5 years and 8 months. My breasts may never be the same (in other words, they may never look like they don’t appear in a copy of “National Geographic”), but my choice to breastfeed was the best one that I could have made for myself and my babies.

 

I want to hear your breastfeeding journey! Comment below and share your story!