Toddler Tuesday-Behaviour & Self Care

I have come across a very important lesson in parenting that I really want to share.  It honestly has answered a lot of questions on “how do I parent my child”…

A child’s #1 learning tool is our behaviour.  Children learn by observing how we treat ourselves and others, how we handle situations, how we react.  There is no special club, no top secret tip– it is simply OUR behaviour that will help our children grow into courageous, compassionate adults!

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Toddlerhood has been a HUGE eye opener for this.  At this stage, Norah is just starting to learn how to process/express emotions and feelings, mainly by watching Josh and I:  if we are adaptable, how we handle stress, how we learn from failure, how we appreciate, how we love.

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There is a bit of pressure in that.  This is the responsibility parents should take very seriously!

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sidenote: I totally chose that GIF because it was Chris Pratt.. lol…. you are welcome ladies!

This really has me analyzing myself as an individual too.  How DO I handle stress?  How do I calm myself down to think clearly?  How do I show love?

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Yesterday, Norah had a temper tantrum worthy of a guinness world record, and I definitely did not handle the situation the way I wanted to.  I lost my patience.  I lost my model behaviour.  I was weak.  Why?  The answer is simple- I am lacking in self-care.   

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Before I had Norah, I had a lot of spare time…but now, any spare time is often filled with chores and errands, and I have stopped making even a sliver of time for myself.   I began to think, ‘my family is the most important-I have to put them first’ or ‘that’s the sacrifice of being a mom’.

The truth is- we ALL need self-care to grow as individuals and to continue to love ourselves! (and to RECHARGE!)  

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Just recently, I started planning some upcoming painting/organizing projects (stay tuned- I am very excited!!) and am FINALLY starting to work on decorating the house, one room at a time!  I cannot wait to dedicate some evenings for this!!   Yes, I will probably have to sacrifice some housework, but to put some music on and do something that is passionate to me will be some major self-care for this mama!!

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So my advise today, on this toddler tuesday– is take time for yourself.  Even if it is just for 15 minutes. (errands and bathroom breaks do not count!)  Take a bath, put some photos in an album, paint a picture, build a table, write a blog, whatever you want to do!  Obviously there will be those days of complete exhaustion, but do not ignore the importance of self-care!!

Until next time..T. xx


 

 

May the 4th Be With You!

Today is an important day…….for Star Wars fans- and as a huge fan, I of course had to collaborate a little tribute to the Star Wars legacy! 


 It started as a play on the phrase, “May the Force Be With You”, and has grown to be an iconic day for Star Wars fans all over the world!

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Pre-kid, I would dedicate this day to a full Star Wars movie marathon!   That obviously would be impossible to achieve today, however Josh and I will attempt ONE movie, even if we fall asleep! (it’s the attempt that counts)  


 I also have been playing the soundtracks all day-while commuting, and working in my office.  Trying to celebrate any way I can!


If you could only watch one Star Wars movie today-which one would it be?


May The 4th Be With You!!

Until next time..T. xx


Toddler snack-Unicorn Cones!

I have been following Real Girl’s Kitchen (and I have her recipe book too!) for a long time now.  She is an AMAZING cook and comes up with the most delicious recipes!

It is even more perfect because we both have kids the same age, so she is always trying to find fun recipes just as I am for the toddler age!

I cannot wait to try these, maybe this weekend! (see blog below)

Now that Ryan is two, I am always looking for healthy snacks that have a fun twist to them! She loves bright colors and sugary things- like cookies and ice cream! Obviously I can’t give the girl cookies and ice cream at every whim!! However, I can give her an ice cream cone with a…

via Unicorn Fruit Cones — Real Girl’s Kitchen

Toddler Tuesday: Milestones

After having a baby, I noticed the word ‘milestones’ listed constantly in articles and books- first steps, first words, can hold a toy, can sit on their own.  I honestly wish I didn’t know about most of them, as they can cause a lot of anxiety.   Norah was a late walker- and for awhile, my mind went to the extreme, “what if she never learns to walk!” because she didn’t reach it during a specific timeline.  I don’t like to compare and I struggle with a few of the timeline goals, as many children develop differently- physically, mentally, emotionally.   Norah is 22 months now- and although I notice she has achieved some of the “traditional” milestones (mostly vocabulary) I think it is important to point out the milestones that are not in every child development book- the less traditional ones.

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Here are a few of Norah’s milestones so far:

  1.  First fashionably late appearance–  June 17th 2015, Norah was 11 days past her due date, when she decided to grace us with her presence.  I honestly thought and feared that she wanted to stay in me forever, so I definitely celebrate this milestone…..

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2.  First meltdown for not getting her way-8 months old. I have a video of this so I know exactly when this happened.  She wanted to play with the phone charger cord (she had just started to crawl so I was video taping) and completely fell apart when I said no…

3.  First hotel stay– 6 months.  Christmas in North bay, we stayed in a hotel, and little Norah looked so tiny on the king sized bed..


4.  First Joke– 20 months.  She has started to pretend sleep as a joke (with little fake snoring and all), and then wakes up fast to scare us–she thinks it is hilarious. (we have to play this a million times on the drive home from daycare)

5.  First box of smarties-16 months.  Halloween- used as a bribe to take her picture. (don’t judge-it worked)


6.  First chores-16-18 months.  Norah now helps with unloading the dishwasher (mostly passing things to me, or tossing spoons into the top drawer-she has pretty good aim!) and helps us feed the dogs.  She dusts her toys sometimes too (with a baby wipe) while I dust the furniture.  Folding laundry is another story-it usually ends up all unfolded and on the floor so she can climb in the basket and play…


7.  First flu– a couple of weeks ago! i still think the man flu is worse than the toddler flu….

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8.  First Obsession with the Toilet – 20 months.  One day she just started to talk about the potty/toilet and has not stopped!  “Mommy, are you going potty?” “Can I flush?”  

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9. First pumpkin carving– 16 months.  We gave her a little pumpkin and a spoon, and she dug out some of the seeds! she did pretty well for her first time…

10.  First swear word– 17 months.   Thankfully this was just when she would repeat everything she heard, and we have since cleaned up our vocabulary to prevent any further mishaps.

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Well, this list could go on…. what were some of your children’s funny/memorable/non-traditional milestones?

 

Until next time..T. xx

toddlercoffee

 

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I thought I would do something fun today.. to distract from this rainy weather.  So I made a list of 10 fun little facts that people may not know about me!

  1. I love plants!! I have so many in my house- they are the best home decor, and I love nurturing them.  I find it very therapeutic.   I take pride in how long my plants have lived.  My mom gave me a plant on my first day of University, and I still have it to this day, 14 years later!


2. I love organizing, making lists, and am obsessed with time management.  (I’m just a ball of fun… lol).  My husband often compares me to Monica from Friends, and it isn’t a far stretch!

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3.  I love football.  I love watching the sport, and I love most football movies.  The atmosphere is full of energy and excitement!  There is nothing better than a classic football movie to get you motivated and inspired!

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4.  I am an avid reader.   According to my mom, I was an early reader, and didn’t like doing much else!  I always remember reading Nancy Drew under the covers with a flashlight into the wee hours, and if I couldn’t finish the book, I would finish it first thing in the morning.  Murder mysteries are probably my favourite, as well as biographies!

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currently reading- I love Sandra Brown novels!


5.  I highly prefer to watch movies (and t.v.) with the captions on..

My poor husband- after being married 5 years, he is finally okay with me putting them on when we watch a movie together!

6. I have a fear of clowns and large open spaces.  The movie “IT” just ruined me for clowns.  and I am not sure why, but deep dark oceans, staring into outer space– any large space of that proportion just freaks me right out!

7.  The Real Housewives series, I am sad to say, has become my guilty pleasure.  When I get an evening to myself (doesn’t happen too often), it consists of nail painting, wine, popcorn, and Real Housewives on my PVR! (I throw laundry on to feel productive on those nights..) 

8.  My two favourite classical composers to play on the piano are Mozart and Chopin.  Mozart for the fast intricate notes- it is always a fun challenge to play his music.  Chopin for the deep passionate Nocturnes- his music is so moving.


9.  I am a huge Star Wars fan.  My entire family is, and thankfully my husband is as obsessed as I am (it would have been a deal breaker)

RIP Carrie Fisher ~

10.  My favourite holiday is Christmas.  I love the entire season- the birth of Christ, the twinkly lights, the music, the trees, I love it all.  My decor consists of Nativity scenes and nature.  This year our basement flooded including our storage, and I had to claim 4 Christmas trees to insurance.. my girlfriend said she would vouch for me if they questioned…I guess 4 trees is more than the norm?

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Anyway, that’s it from me… I hope everyone has a great weekend- it is supposed to be beautiful on Saturday in our area!  Hooray for spring!

Until next time.. T. xx

Toddler Tuesday: Quote

Well, I am a day late- but that is better than two days late, which is what I had initially thought!  (do baby brains every go away?)

Things have been pretty busy- between prepping for Easter (that crept up fast!),  singing practices for the Easter season, flus, teething, colds, and for any accountants out there, you know how crazy quarter end reporting can be (which is of course when I got my turn for the flu…),  there hasn’t been much time for anything else (like cleaning the house…messy house, happy life? lol)

So today I am just posting a quote-a good little reminder that I love:

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Until next time..T. xx

 

toddlercoffee

Trip to NFLD, 2016

Awhile back, Josh and I were watching this show, “Canada: Over the Edge” , where a helicopter circles a specific area of Canada, and the landscape and history is told.  One episode, ‘Newfoundland: East Coast’ came on, and it brought all my memories back of my visit to Newfoundland.  


Last April almost to this day, I went to visit one of my dear friends in Witless Bay, NFLD.   Kelly, her husband, and their dog had packed up their life and moved there the October before and it had been really hard not having her around.   I had been through a few life altering changes (prenatal depression, new baby) and I decided to take a trip on my own before I was done my mat leave.  I was feeling extremely anxious to return to work (it was still two months away) so something big needed to be done;  A mental health trip- a momcation (there is honestly such a thing, look it up!)


On top of being united with one of my closest friends, and seeing the glorious sites of Newfoundland, I also took a big leap by leaving my 10 month old daughter at home for 7 days.  It was not easy, but was such an important thing to do for my independence and for Norah’s!  She also had some great bonding time with her dad and grandmother! 

I had a lot of fun on that trip- it was one I will remember for the rest of my life!  We toured the Avalon, visited many lighthouses, went to Signol Hill, learnt how to make a jiggs’ dinner and fish stew (both DELICIOUS), and I even got screeched in (I am now an honorary Newfie)!   It would take a thousand blogs to describe this trip, and another thousand to include the pictures I took.

  I will say this- if there is such a place to go to for serenity and reflection (and a great time with great people!)  it is the east coast of Newfoundland! 


until next time.. T. xx

 

Toddler Tuesday: The Flu

You know, I think there is always a time when one feels unappreciated or not needed.   By your husband, wife, friend, sibling, child, coworker, boss…..

As a new parent, I have come to a realization- there is one time that I will always be appreciated/needed: when my daughter is sick.

She has had a few bad colds and viruses in the past two years, but this past week she got the flu for the first time.  My 21-month old chatterbox woke up one night and could not stop throwing up.  I felt so bad for her- she didn’t know what was happening as she cried in between getting sick.


I suffer from anxiety, and with that I also struggle from OCD, so unfortunately, when someone is sick, I become an extreme germaphobe.  It honestly is a horrible feeling that has increased now that I am a mom- moms can’t get sick! It is one of my hugest battles within my mind and one of the hardest to work through.  I feel crazy as I obsessively wipe every handle, lightswitch, cup, my daughter’s hands, etc. 


That night however, every fear/worry/anxiety went away and I went into mom mode.  Poor Norah did not understand why she was puking and let’s just say she is definitely not at the age to know how to aim into a bowl/bucket.  She would turn towards me for a hug,, clutching to me as she projectile vomited everywhere.  We both went through quite a few pairs of pjs that night!

I’ll never forget her little voice. “Mommy, my tummy hurts.. it hurts…” and I responded while stroking her hair and holding her close, “It’ll be okay sweetie. You are going to be okay”, to which she says quietly, “thank you mommy”, in a relieved tone.

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That moment right there erased all anxiety, OCD, unappreciation, everything!  I could live in that moment forever and will cherish it always.

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So, we survived her first flu and she’s now back to her spitfire self- she bounced back very quickly!  If only adults were as resiliant as toddlers….. guess who caught the flu next? my husband. (hello man flu..)

 

I just hope I don’t catch this…lol

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Until next time..T. xx

toddlercoffee

Toddler Tuesday: Temper Tantrums

Well, I don’t know about you other toddler parents, but right now we are in the (to say it lightly) ‘mood swing’ phase.  Also known as the full out Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde tantrums.

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For those that do not experience these “mood swings”– JEALOUS.  And also, here is an example of how they work:

It is 6am and I am patiently waiting as Norah makes her 10th attempt at putting on her jacket by herself.  It took 15 minutes to convince her it was time to get her boots on, and we are so close to heading out the door.  She is chatting away, proud of putting the boots on, and I decide to step in (time is not a parent’s friend).  The moment I kindly assist with the one sleeve, Norah runs away, cost dragging behind her, as she screams “No Mommy!!! I do it!!” and stomps her feet.  When I finally get the coat on and have distracted her with the task of giving the dogs their treats before we leave – she is all smiles and excited to get in the vehicle…. 
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How can she be so extremely happy one minute, and so ridiculously mad the next, and then back to happy again?  These tantrums often leave me feeling exhausted and defeated (I find I say this a lot, am I the only mom who feels this way at times?)

Now I know this is just the age of tantrums-  they are learning how to control their impulses and feelings while trying to call the shots and test what they can get away with.   But it’s like they are these mini dictators on PMS!

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I am not going to write a whole post on ‘ways to tackle tantrums’.  Josh and I have come up with a couple of methods that work for us and her tantrums have significantly decreased (and she is actually learning to communicate pretty well). Every child is different and it’s about finding what works for them.  The true comfort is that we are not alone- most toddlers go through this!

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Honestly though, some of these tantrums are for the most ridiculous reasons and sometimes we have to laugh to survive these days.

Just in this past week, here are the reasons why Norah has had a little(or big-the range varies) tantrum:

-because there were no more blueberries at breakfast

-because I was singing the wrong Wiggles song

-because I threw out her dirty diaper when she had wanted to do it herself

-because we had to leave daycare

-because she couldn’t get her coat on by herself

-because I wouldn’t let her brush her teeth for 6 hrs

-because I wouldn’t let her wear her spring jacket (it was -30 out..)

-because her dolly kept falling off her toy lawn mower while she was pushing them around

-because she wanted Josh to help her with her yogurt,  but I helped instead

-because Josh read the wrong “in the night garden” book

-because she wanted the magnet holding up her crayon drawing but didnt want the drawing to fall 

-because she didnt want to say hi to her cousin Jacob

just to name a few….

 

 

P.S.-Is anyone else scared for puberty?

Until next time..T. xx

toddlercoffee

Happy Friday!

Yay-it’s Friday!!!   I didn’t think we would make it through this week, but we did!

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This week, Josh started his 12 hour shifts (Monday-Friday) so he is pretty exhausted.  He is enjoying his new job though, so.. happy husband, happy life?

The contractors in our basement finally finished the painting and cleaning!  It is now time to finally put the basement back together.  Since it is a blank slate, this is my chance to rearrange–and to set up part of the living room as Norah’s little playroom (hoping to eliminate SOME toys/books scattered throughout the rest of the house)

This week, I managed to squeeze in a yoga session,a singing practice, a facetime call with my parents and nephew, I painted my nails, another facetime call with my sister and nephew, and did some reading (on top of working 40 hrs).   I tried something new (made my own pesto-simple and delicious) and have had some great quality time in the evenings with Norah (minus the tantrums) and the dogs-I haven’t seen too much of Josh, but we have a movie night planned for tonight-providing we can stay awake for it!

I was wondering why I enjoyed this week so much- NO HOUSEWORK!  (aside from cooking and cleaning kitchen..)lazy eyes with clothes everywhere

There was no point cleaning this week since the contractors were trucking in and out of the house (except to wipe the bathroom down a million times due to the extra traffic), and it was hard to get to the laundry room with all of their supplies in the way, so I said, screw it! (doesn’t happen often..)

Our family has started pizza fridays too!  I am loving these- no cooking at the end of a long week is a holiday in itself!

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Ok, it’s time to go relax now..since (let’s be honest…) I will be up early tomorrow despite it being a Saturday….Unless Norah sleeps in?

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Until next time..T. xx